Some Articulations on Melanie Klein and the Reformulation of Identity
“From the beginning, the destructive impulse is turned against the object and is first expressed in phantasied oral-sadistic attacks on the mother’s breast, which soon develop into onslaughts on her body by all sadistic means. The persecutory fears arising from the infant’s oral-sadistic impulses to rob the mother’s body of its good contents, and from the anal-sadistic impulses to put this excrement into her (including the desire to enter her body in order to control her from within) are of great importance for the development of paranoia and schizophrenia (Klein, 1946, p. 2).”
In her 1946 piece, under the subtitle, “Some problems of the early ego,” Klein explains that although so far, we know little about the structure of the early ego, she is in agreement with Winnicott’s emphasis on its unintegration, that is the early ego lacks cohesion, or that it tends to alternate in its tendency toward integration with the opposite tendency toward disintegration, a “falling into bits” (Klein, 1946, p. 4). To deal with the anxiety arising from the operation of the death drive, the psyche creates an effect of fear of annihilation, which in its turn is reversed into fear of persecution. As Klein (1946, p.4) stresses, the fear of the destructive impulse attaches itself at once to an object, which is experienced as a bad, overpowering object.
In Melanie Klein’s “On Identification,” (1955) she opts for a curious illustration of processes of splitting of the ego, by analyzing the novel If I Were You, written by the French novelist Julian Green (1949). In Green’s story, a young clerk named Fabian Especel makes a pact with the Devil, which allows him to change himself into other people. Klein accompanies Fabian’s journey through other bodies, as he literally splits himself and projects himself into a new person/identity. Each of these transformations is accompanied by a new kind of disappointment and estrangement. Fabian both exits his body and remains in it.
I believe it is of great importance that Melanie Klein takes us to a work of fiction while working-through the ideas of identification, projection, and splitting. Fabian is a product of fiction, and it is this fictionality that allows him his massive projections onto others, by literally inhabiting new bodies of choice.
Here I pose the questions, “Isn’t this the articulation of actors, illusionists, and performance artists? Is this psychic splitting connected with transformations or reformulations of identity?” as well as “Is this not a staged performance based on a deceptive seduction?”
Perhaps in search of more “eventful” splitting of the ego (which would be encapsulated in Fabian’s misrecognition of his old self when he enters the bodies of others, populated by their own traces and marks; and his sense of loss in relation to the part of the self that he had left in his old body), Klein curiously lands again in the realm of splitting by the ego. Fabian’s transformations remain metaphors of splitting, and no close equivalence of his body-travels can be established with actual patients or subjects. Thus, Fabian’s journey is dreamed-up, phantomized, it is ultimately a series of “mundane” projections. Klein writes:
“The processes underlying projective identification are depicted very concretely by the author. One part of Fabian literally leaves himself and enters into his victim, an event which in both parties is accompanied by strong physical sensations. We are told that the split-off part of Fabian submerges in varying degrees in his objects and loses and memories and characteristics appertaining to the original Fabian. We should conclude, therefore (in keeping with the author’s very concrete conception of the projective process), that Fabian’s memories and other aspects of his personality are left behind in the discarded Fabian who must have retained a good deal of his ego when the split occurred. This part of Fabian, lying dormant until the split-off aspects of his personality return, represents, in my view, the component of the ego which patients unconsciously feel they have retained while other parts are projected into the external world and lost (Klein, 1955, p. 166).”
Although Klein used a work of fiction to describe psychic splitting, this is a very accurate description of when someone is taken over by electronic targeted bodily assaults, and these articulations are best described as “psychotic projections” and the splitting of an object into its “bad” part. As we already have come to find, identification is closely tied to splitting and cannot be separated from the process. The perpetrator, by failing to identify with the victim, thereby casts down the victim by taking him or her over with electronic targeted bodily assaults (physical violence) much like Fabian did to his victims in the novel If I Were You and where strong physical sensations were accompanied by the various assaults. However, unlike Fabian, it is the victim that loses his or her original characteristics pertaining to their original identity, and it is through these electronic attacks that identity is reconfigured, transformed, or reformulated to the likings of the perpetrator, in at least, in how I have experienced electronic targeted bodily assaults. The person undergoes a change in direct response to the long-term physical abuse.
In choosing the novel If I Were You, Klein stimulates provocative questions regarding being inhabited by another through these electronic targeted assaults and that is, “Can any of us truly be said to exist as individuals, or are we rather the recipients of a script dictated to us, which we are generally too idle or cowed to question?” In this light, we can come to an explanation regarding the phenomenon of Targeted Individuals suffering electronic targeted bodily assaults and mind control. To get these individuals to question their reality and their existence in it, by forcing them to be subjected to these long-term physical electronic assaults seems to serve the perpetrators purpose. They are force-feed a script by some unknown perpetrator who is not interested in their long-term well-being. Are these people just “easy targets” because they are too cowed to ask questions? I think these are important questions to be answered because as a mind-control experiment, electronic targeted assaults would affirmatively satisfy the following questions, “Can we change personality and behavior?” To which the answer would be an affirmative, Yes, we can!
Soreanu, Recula. (2018). The Psychic Life of Fragments: Splitting from Ferenczi to Klein. The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78(4), 421–444.
Klein, M. (1946). Notes on some schizoid mechanisms. In The writings of Melanie Klein, vol. 3 Envy and Gratitude and other works 1946–1963. (pp. 1–24). London: Hogarth Press. 1975.
Klein, M. (1955). On identification. In The writings of Melanie Klein, vol. 3, Envy and Gratitude and other works 1946–1963. (pp. 141–175). London: Hogarth Press. 1975.