The Inversion of Truth: Paradoxical Encounters of Psychoanalysis

Karen Barna
14 min readFeb 6, 2024

“I felt I had finally attained humorous acceptance of the “the bitch within,” I find that I still prefer the familiarity and general recognition that comes from being a “good girl.” ~Lynn Layton, speaking on the effect of socialized gender roles

One of the key features, according to my personal experience with wireless electronic assault and torture, is the presence of an indifferent group/gang/institutional ordering, similar to the indifferent ordering in the mafia perspective, that breeds low levels of informal trust and high levels of anxiety about becoming “useless.” In our increasingly individualistic meritocracy, where a few people are recognized as truly talented (e.g.: “special”) and the rest are relegated to the “nonspecial status” of a disposable mass, it is the untalented mass who often receive the blame for their own “victimhood” (pg. 366).

Maltreatment from those on whom we depend creates the conditions in which disavowal to vulnerability becomes an individual and social defense. The label of “disavowal to vulnerability” will be referred to throughout this essay and has been considered in psychoanalysis as the “repudiations of the feminine represented as weakness, vulnerability, and inferior womanhood” (pg. 363).

Dominant narratives explain what is happening in terms that generally do not challenge the habitual ways of thinking that support the power status quo, such narratives pass as “common sense.” For example, the existence of torture in illegal detention sites will be framed by government, media, and the populace as the work of a few bad apples. Such de-contextualizations and de-historicizations are at the heart of the individualistic thinking proper to bourgeois ideology; to fit our experience to existing narratives, we “learn” to ignore the links that would render counter narratives meaningful, for example, narratives in which such phenomena are understood as systematic. Indeed, for many, systematic narratives simply don’t make sense. For some, notably those who have something to gain from supporting the status quo, be it material reward or social acceptance, adopting these narrative frames might involve cognitive dissonance — it is not in their interest to know what they know (pg. 363).

Maltreatment often issues in a wish to keep the perpetrators good, a wish that makes us distrust our own sense. I am arguing that this is a key feature in wireless electronic assault torture. “It is not the powers that be who are to blame, it is the victims/citizen in his craziness who is to blame” (pg. 364).

For those of us who are aware of how they suffer from existing power relations, systematic narratives that run counter to the dominant frame make perfect sense and some, especially those whose life depends on it, resist. Yet many of us in this situation too often feel helpless to challenge individualistic narratives in any way then by yelling back at the television or writing articles to help explain it. It is as Al Franken’s (2003) book title avers, there are the lying liars of the past 8 years (now 22 years), who justify war with lies like the one that linked Iraq to al Qaeda. It was hard for anyone to say they did not know these were lies — evidence was downplayed in the press, but evidence was there to find in popular books, documentaries, and news articles. Those who directly challenged the lies were named enemies of freedom; once the antiwar movement withered, it was easier to collude by silence. All of these forms of disavowal engendered resistance to resistance and have the feel of a socially shared perversion (pg. 364).

Lies seek collusion. And institutional and socially collective lies DEMAND it. Perverse pacts are defined as “a relationship between two accomplices, a mutual agreement … that serves to cover over or turn the common mutual gaze of the accomplices from the catastrophic biographical events that had befallen each of them.” A social reality built on cynical lies evokes a painful turn away from what we know to be true. But the disavowal works in two directions. As Howard Stein (2000) has argued, a media that turns away from painful truths, such as the body count of Iraqi citizens not only collude with government to trick the population into quiescence, but also collude with the population’s social defense against knowing what it knows (pg. 363).

“The resistance movement that formed in opposition to Bush’s social and foreign policies will need to stay mobilized (pg 370).” (see my previous post “Paradoxical Encounters with Psychoanalysis: Warmaking and violations of the Hippocratic Oath, The Role of Shame, The Paradox of Electronic Harassment and Wireless Electronic Torture, Benevolence and Malevolence in Theory, God’s Jury and the Inquisition, The Role of Mutual Recognition and Julia Kristeva’s Power of Horror” dated January 23, 2024 about the Bush’s administration’s use of APA psychologists in programs of torture at Guantanamo.

The Interpretation of My Dream

I want to recount a dream I had recently. It is amazing I had this dream because wireless electronic frequency stimulation is turned on during the night that prevents me from dreaming. The ancients believed dreaming was the vehicle with which the “gods” spoke to us. More recently, they are the food that helps us interpret unconscious signals of our waking lives. My dream:

“In my dream, I was in the process of learning a “new job” and felt like a fish out of water. There were supportive training staff, one man who was kind and supportive, said to me, “Don’t worry about it. You’ll eventually “get it.”

I was typing — performing data entry — from a document and feeding the text into a computerized data base. Eventually I would be evaluated and based on this “evaluation” I would be either allowed to walk free or be incarcerated in an institution for the “mentally ill” based on the number of my mistakes.

As I was entering the data, my screen slid down to the task bar, thus revealing to me the presence of another screen. (Towards the end of this paper I’ll touch briefly on Shoshana Felman’s textuality and the riddle of bisexuality and pull into a clearer view the inversion and mask that conceals truth from us.) On the second screen that was revealed to me, there the data on the screen was full of mistakes and typos. I was being careful to correct my typographical errors by inputting accurate information to ensure a good evaluation. After this happened, I start to panic. Someone is going to LIE about my performance! And usurp my freedom away and place me in a mental institution to be incarcerated!

I immediately alert the support staff and the kind gentlemen, who said he would stand by me when it came time to address the problem with the senior staff.”

It is important to comment on the particular task I am performing in my dream. It is a redundant and repetitive task of data entry. People who are deemed “redundant” or whose jobs are outsourced are, indeed, disposed of in very traumatizing ways (H. Stein, 2000). It is the threat of precarity found in this position in which we all can be located. We can be all the subject of a rumored lie that is false. A false lie supporting a narrative to defend the status quo of power and influence, most usually is the dominant narrative.

An important consequence for individual psychology is that people feel anxious, not so much about failure, rather people are more anxious about being found useless and redundant. Like I have just previously stated, people who have been deemed redundant or whose jobs are outsourced are, indeed, disposed of in very traumatizing ways (H. Stein, 2000). Likewise, feminine domesticity is, too, a service job that can be outsourced as domestic work involves a lot of redundant, repetitive tasks. Likewise, when governments’ abdicate responsibility for containing anxiety and for “holding” the vulnerable and the needy, dependency becomes more shameful. It has been my experience with wireless electronic assault/torture, that the main scope and purpose for its use is the complete and utter annihilation of the victim’s identity. Through the reduction of cognitive capacity (induced hypnotic states) combined with the infliction of physical pain and suffering directed at the body and mind (wireless electronic frequency stimulation), to induce feelings of shame, and to reduce mobility and productive output, further evidences its inversion to truth. In short, DISPOSAL of the victim (pg. 366).

Political institutions have modeled themselves on “cutting edge” corporate culture, a key feature of which is to be less and less accountable for the negative effects their policies have on workers/citizens. These new cultures, based on a consultant model that discourages long-term attachments and rewards risk taking and shaking things up, cultivate an idealized self that publicly eschews long-term dependency on others (pg. 366, see Sennett, 2006 — The culture of the New Capitalism). The “politics of disengagement” that characterizes the postwelfare state make it difficult both to locate a clear collective opponent and clear collectives with those grievances one might ally. Thus, individual competition replaces collective struggle (Bauman, 2001) (pg. 366).

We consciously and unconsciously collude with social norms, even when such collusions cause pain, because we long for acceptance and for caretaking responses to our vulnerability from both our loved ones and our cultural surround. Careful tending from the social surround might more quickly counter the defense of disavowal than does the analyst’s careful tending in the therapeutic arrangement (pg. 374).

The Inversion

The inversion, then, is the more harassment from one’s social surround, the more quickly one can move the targeted victim quickly into a state of disavowal and psychic splitting that lies at the heart of resistance to resistance (e.g. MIND CONTROL) (pg. 374).

My Interpretation Based On Personal Experience: If the targeted subject is moved to a psychic disavowal of feminine vulnerability via the targeted harassment (e.g. social and electronic harassment), and the subject then retaliates, the use of wireless electronic targeting to the victim then counter-acts the aggressive response inducing a sedative or hypnotic state. Thereby the targeted subject becomes the possession of the perpetrator issuing forth the assaults. For those of us who contend with “the bitch within,” represented as the symbolic all-powerful feminine maternal object, that seeks to kill us, that all-consuming maternal object of which we are all split, this technological arrangement might be very well wished for masturbatory fantasy.

Comparing some of the social roots of contemporary disavowal regarding vulnerability and dependency to wireless electronic assault/torture, one can quickly make the connections to historical conspiracies and cover-ups and perverse pacts, to the degrading effects of mind control, the targeted individual experience of suffering wireless electronic assault/torture, and see it for what it truly represents. The inversion to cure which further gang/mafia/institutional indifference objectives rather than the supportive space of vulnerability and dependency of Thirdness (see Benjamin, 2018) in which mutual recognition can be achieved. The social and electronic harassment and torture, of which I have been suffering in the greater community of my demographic, aims to degrade the subject’s clairsentience, and locus of control, cognitive clarity, performance output, and unhinge the person’s sanity by quickly moving them from a state of peace into a state of disavowal and psychic splitting. Thus, inducing shame in the victim for the purpose of controlling her body. If employed as a tactic of control, the two common responses that follow will be either retaliation or withdrawal. Of course, there is one other possibility, creativity. When creativity is the response to this disavowal, an individual psychological response might be a fetish for homosexuality in the subject’s sexual orientation. As is the case of girls abused by one or more abusive female caregivers.

“In the personality who has the habit of lying, we find a scission that Freud described in “Fetishism” … a part which is in contact with reality and the other part that disavows it. The patient in the habit of lying usually uses ambiguity to “navigate” through the scission. This characteristic of “yes,” but “no,” indicates the tenacity with which the scission is maintained. Conflict implies having contradictions, vertices that might be in disagreement; in ambiguous functioning the definitions of vertices and the acceptance of contradictions are eluded, and what usually shows up are masks and incongruence (pg. 362).”

Taking this one step further, if the lies rooted in the fetish structure of social perversion (repudiation of feminine dependency) for which I have been speaking, a person in the habit of lying, usually uses ambiguity to “navigate” this scission, than we need to look at the mask. What does the mask tell us?

“Throughout history men have knocked their heads against the riddle of femininity … Nor will you have escaped worrying over this question …”

And

“What is femininity — for men — mean for women?”

The Textuality and Riddle of Bisexuality In Balzac Compared To the Fetish Structure Roots of Contemporary Disavowal

The girl with the golden eyes in Balzac’s writing represents gold and femininity. In this writing, Henri is attracted to the girl’s golden eyes because they are for him the sign of feminine desire and sexuality, the very incarnation of femininity per se. However, what are the connotations of the metaphor of gold that, through her eyes, comes to symbolize the girl and, thus, to embody ideal femininity? By virtue of its very brilliance, the “gleaming gold,” is essentially a reflective substance, which reflects a source of light external to itself; the light reflected comes indeed from the object contemplated by the woman — Henri himself: the golden eyes of femininity are fundamentally a mirror in which the male — Henri — can contemplate his own idealized self-image so as to admire himself: “Judging from the expression on her face, she seemed to be saying: “What! You are here, my ideal, the being I have thought of, I have dreamed of night and morning!”

The golden brilliance of the girl with the golden eyes is fascinating, says Henri, because it is an “amorous gold, gold that wants to come into your pocket.” Paradoxically, gold as the metaphor of the utmost value is an image, at the same time, of possession and appropriation through which the ideal woman is again “reduced to a mere object, whose sole function is to be possessed and owned by man.” But the metaphor evoked by Henri of the gold that wants to come into his pocket is even more ambiguous than that, since, carrying a clear erotic connotation suggestive of the sexual act, it grants the golden eyes of femininity a phantasmic masculine — phallic — role. Ironically enough, femininity itself thus turns out to be a metaphor of the phallus. To the extent that the girl with the golden eyes is here viewed by Henri as the tool for his purely narcissistic satisfaction, Henri’s desire for the ideal woman can be said to be a sort of masturbation fantasy: his own phallus is indeed the prize he seeks. In much the same way as was said gold to be the ruling principle, a principle of domination and of hierarchy, so the golden phallus in the story, beckoning from behind the mask of woman’s beauty, is to be wishfully recuperated and restored to its proper place: man’s pocket (pg. 46–47).

In much the same way this story uncovers the textual riddle of bisexuality, and so too, the fetish structure of contemporary disavowal for which we observe in modern neoliberal capitalism and free market economy. It is my argument that the use of wireless electronic targeted assault/torture represents the masculine phallus of male patriarchy whose wish is purely narcissistic satisfaction in possession and appropriation, and so too, is carried out in a very similarly erotic space of intimacy of the sexual act, penetration and domination of the individual subject targets through wireless electronic assault (see the anal-sadistic universe and perversion in Chasseguet-Smirgel, 1984).

The movie “In the Valley of Elah” (2007), turns out to be about the violence perpetrated on the soldiers by their individual fathers — and how that violence is passed on. In the movie, Hank, the father, must bear many painful truths before he is able to face the entirety of his perverse relation to his son. He will have to confront his ugly racism, bear the unsettling of some of the very certainties that ground him, such as “the people you fought next to would never hurt you” and face a devastated wife who accuses him of killing both their soldier sons because of the macho code to which he made them adhere (pg. 371).

But the lie I want to address in this story happens when Mike, Hank’s son, is ordered by his superior officers to drive into an Iraqi child in the street and to keep on driving. Even though they know they hit a child, the group, Mike’s platoon mates who were with him, agree on the lie that they hit a dog, reducing the child to a non-human object. It is this lie that masquerades in the psychic constellation of the perpetrator against his perceived “enemy.” This psychic splitting exists in many forms; the Iraqi child, the Jew, the Muslim, the Prostitute, the Drug User, the Homosexual, the Catholic, the Black Man, the Autistic Child, and the Alcoholic.

So, what are some of the ways that the social defense of disavowal (repudiation for feminine weakness and vulnerability) is made manifest in our institutional ordering? The author from which I am quoting, Lynn Layton, suggests we all need to locate our experience in existent cultural narratives or in personal adaption of these narrative (pg. 363).

It is through the malevolent use of emotion as a dark mirror, in inducing shame through abusive tortured violence of wireless electronic assaults to the body and mind that this technology creates the malevolent mirror which is a reflection of the perpetrator’s own position in society. Thus, the perpetrator replaces the truth, with a more palatable lie, that it is his target that is the “useless” “immoral” “inferior” “shameful” Other. And that she, in fact, IS the lie instead of it being the other way around.

In Balzac the reflective substance is gold, gold that reflects light penetrating illumination. In the malevolent dark mirror, the reflection is of the darkness found within the perpetrator’s own heart (see Chassguet-Smirgel, 1984). The textuality and riddle of bisexuality in Balzac’s work compared to the fetish structure of contemporary disavowal to feminine vulnerability and weakness in the experience of the targeted individual IS the tool with which we can uncover the conspiracy via a comparison. The technology that creates the targeted individual experience of wireless electronic assault/torture reflects the masculine phallic narcissistic satisfaction through appropriation and possession of the targeted subject, reduces the targeted subject (victim) to a mere object whose sole function is to be manipulated, degraded, and possessed by a masculine perpetrator, or if the perpetrator is a woman, by the masculine side of the female psyche. In short, it is a masturbatory fantasy that strokes the ego of the perpetrator’s “superior being.”

In methods of mind control, following the victim’s “softening” by these attacks, he/she is granted reprieve and acceptance by the group where he/she now feels he/she belongs when he/she begins to “comply” with the orders given. He is hence rewarded in direct proportion to his self-denunciation and immersion in what is dictated to him. These processes were and are practiced in cults, in religious conversion agendas, under totalitarian governments, in certain therapeutic communities, and in abusive relations of all stripes (pg. 252).

It is this inversion of truth that operates, not just in mafia/gang mentality, but also in the institutional ordering of indifference found within our social institutions and social structures.

Sources:

First Do No Harm. (2010) Adrienne Harris and Steven Botticelli (editors). New York. Routledge. Chapter 18, Resistance to Resistance by Lynn Layton (pg. 359–376). Note: the major part of what I have shared comes from this chapter in this book.

Felman, Shoshana. (1993). “What Does A Woman Want?: Reading and sexual difference.” Baltimore, Maryland, The John Hopkins University Press. (pg. 46–47). Note: The interpretation of Balzac’s work “The Girl With The Golden Eyes” comes from Shoshana Felman’s interpretation of the reading.

Benjamin, J. (2018). Beyond doer and done to: Recognition theory, intersubjectivity and the third. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Franken, A. (2003) “Lies and the lying liars who tell them: A fair and balanced look at the right.” New York. Dutton.

Stein, H. (2000) “Disposable youth: The 1999 Columbine High School massacre as American metaphor.” Journal for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society, 5(2), 217–236.

Sennett, R. (2006) “The culture of the new capitalism” New Haven: Yale University Press.

Bauman, Z. (2001) “Community: seeking safety in an insecure world.” Cambridge. Blackwell.

Chasseguet-Smirgel, J. (1984) “Creativity and perversion” London. Free Association Books.

--

--

Karen Barna

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