Linking The Realistic Invisible With Ignoring Its Usable Knowledge of Erudition: The symbolic “madness” of the targeted individual suffering electronic assaults

Karen Barna
4 min readMay 4, 2022


Artwork of The Spectral Mother

When dealing with the invisible we are always dealing with imaginary symbolic terrain. In analyzing what Shoshana Felman calls the sociological sexism of the educational system which corresponds to the symbolic metaphor in Plato’s Cave, in which it took feminist authors to unravel the fact that what we were actually dealing with regard to Plato’s Cave metaphor, was actually the symbolic fecund womb of maternity. Likewise, in Felman’s analysis of Honore de Balzac’s work entitled “Adieu,” a short story about an officer, his mistress, and the Napoleonic War, the madness of the woman Stephanie is completely ignored by male critics who analyzed Balzac’s work. Her madness is rooted in the trauma of having to watch her husband drown while in a life raft floating toward safety. The male critics of this story instead focus on the “reality” and “realism” of Balzac’s work depiction of war. And in reading this story through the eyes of a woman, Felman’s opinion is the interpretation that this mad woman (Stephanie) in Balzac’s work is rendered invisible because she is ignored in the textual analysis by men of erudition. Why do they not ask, “Who do these women represent and what symbolism do they offer the story?” Not to mention, the only other woman mentioned in this story turns out to be a deaf mute. As this fictional story would have it, both women are deficient in some capacity and unable to communicate effectively. What symbolism do these facts hold?

Let’s compare the nature of the invisible electromagnetic frequency assaults and subsequent psychotronic torture. In these cases where both men and women claim to be targeted individuals of electronic stalking, there exists a narrative that completely renders these individuals as invisible, mute, and impotent beings. Oddly, as the the same medium these very real invisible assaults carry with them. This method of creating a realistic invisible, mute, and impotent person is the simple task of labeling the individuals with terms grouping them “mentally ill,” “alcoholic” or simply “mad.” In other words, just call them “crazy,” “who would believe them?” and, apparently, this would be enough for the story to be believable and taken as accepted Truth. If we refer to Felman’s analysis of Honore de Balzac’s work “Adieu,” we find this mad woman (Stephanie) is relegated by masculine discourse to the edge of non-existence, since the male pedagogical commentary by Pierre Gascar and Philippe Berthier in the published work cited from 1974 fail to analysis her presence in the story what so ever. Apparently being “mad” and woman was a given attribute based on one’s biological gender at birth.

With regard to Plato and his Cave metaphor, a similar occurrence happens. The fecund womb of maternity (the symbolic mother) becomes silenced and instead rendered as an inanimate object, and one without a speakable voice, she is silenced and denied a position from speakable discourse. This becomes part of the unconscious textual metaphor and the unspeakable known. That the people carrying out these electronic transgressions against my feminine body may very well be dealing with their own “spectral mother,” a ghostlike object of simultaneous fascination and dread. These facts, only solidify the fact Freud himself was unable to confront his own powerful mother in his theory. He gave us only the father-son relationship. It would be Melanie Klein that would give us the Mother-Child relationship and one that mirrors Freud’s foundation of loss.

I suspect the reason the absence of the mother remained in theory so long, her body erased from conscious thought is that when woman enter womanhood, and their by pregnancy, woman has become signified by the phallus. Her growing bulging belly ever that reminder of that signification. Thus, as mother “her influence is regressive, her personality childlike and even hostile to culture.” She, herself, in pregnancy and motherhood has broken the bond to her own mother by becoming a mother herself, and has not broken the bond to her father, because woman marries father’s surrogate. His nom de pere. Thus, the baby becomes her finally acquired penis. She becomes the same overwhelming presence ever dreaded by men. She becomes castrating father but as mother. This is the same psychotic text of Western culture but on the feminine vertical. Madeline Sprengnether, in her book “The Spectral Mother: Freud, Feminism, and Psychoanalysis” writes:

“Like the process of mourning, the developmental process that leads the child away from its mother internalizes an absence, so that the subsequent achievements that Freud attributes to the successful passage through the Oedipus and castration complexes appear to rest on a quicksand of loss. Undermined from within, phallic masculinity, the cornerstone of patriarchal culture, is thus inherently unstable.”

Finally acquiring the phallus through motherhood via the birth of baby, in all actuality completes the woman. However, she seems to present to the child a ghostlike function, creating a presence out of an absence. This effect is called spectral because she haunts the house of Oedipus. “Where is Jocasta?” The spirit of the mournful and unmourned Jocasta.


Nancy J. Chodorow (2012). Individualizing Gender and Sexuality: Theory and Practice. New York. Routledge.

Shoshana Felman (1993). What Does Woman Want: Reading and Sexual Difference. Baltimore, Maryland, The John Hopkins University Press.

Lucy Holmes (2008). The Internal Triangle: Theories of Female Development. New York. Jason Aronson.

Amber Jacobs (2007). On Matricide: Myth, Psychoanalysis, and the Law of the Mother. New York. Columbia University Press.

Madeline Sprengnether (1990). The Spectral Mother. New York. Cornell University Press.

Michelle Boulous Walker (1998). Philosophy of the Maternal Body: Reading silence. New York. Routledge.



Karen Barna

I am a Targeted Individual suffering electronic harassment. I write about gender difference and object relations and feminism. I am Gen. X