Richard Noll

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Richard Noll (born 1959) is a clinical psychologist and historian of medicine. He is best known for his publications in the history of psychiatry, including two critical volumes on the life and work of Carl Gustav Jung and his books and articles on the history of dementia praecox and schizophrenia. He is also known for his publications in anthropology on shamanism. His books and articles have been translated into fourteen foreign languages.

He grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and Phoenix, Arizona, where he received his education at Brophy College Preparatory, a Jesuit institution. From 1977 to 1979 he studied political science at the University of Arizona. In the fall of 1978 he spent an honors semester at the United Nations in New York, returning to complete his B.A. in political science in May 1979. From 1979 to 1984 he was involved with the resettlement of Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian and Hmong refugees for both Church World Service and the International Rescue Committee in New York City. From 1985 to 1988 he was a staff psychologist on various wards at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital in Hammonton, New Jersey. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the New School for Social Research in 1992. Before assuming a position as a professor of psychology at DeSales University in August 2000, he taught and conducted research at Harvard University for four years as a postdoctoral fellow and as Lecturer in History of Science. During the 1995-1996 academic year he was a Visiting Scholar at MIT and a Resident Fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology.

Scholarship on Carl Gustav Jung[edit]

Noll received the 1994 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Psychology from the Association of American Publishers for his book, The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement.[1] The resulting controversy over the book made front-page headlines worldwide, including a front-page report in the 3 June 1995 issue of The New York Times.[2] Princeton University Press submitted The Jung Cult to the Pulitzer Prize competition that year, without success.

The background to the controversy over Noll's research on Jung can be found in the "Preface of the New Edition" of The Jung Cult published in paperback by Free Press Paperbacks in 1997 and in an article he wrote for a Random House, Inc., promotional publication, At Random, in that same year.[3][4] At the urging of the Jung family and estate, Princeton University Press cancelled the publication of a second book edited by Noll which had already made it into final page proofs form, Mysteria: Jung and the Ancient Mysteries: Selections from the Writings of C.G. Jung (ISBN 0-691-03647-0).[5] A pdf of the page proofs containing only Noll's contributions to the book is available online.[6] A summary of his controversial conclusions were outlined in a short piece in The Times Higher Education Supplement on 22 November 1996.[7]

Noll also summarized his views in a 7 October 1997 interview by Terry Gross on NPR's "Fresh Air."[8]

In his intellectual history of the 20th century, historian Peter Watson noted that "(Noll's) books provoked a controversy no less bitter than the one over Freud . . . ."[9] Frederick Crews lauded The Jung Cult as "an important study."[10]

According to an article by Sara Corbett, "The Holy Grail of the Unconscious," published in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday, 20 September 2009, the Jung family's fear of "the specter of Richard Noll" was cited as a contributing factor in the decision to allow Jung's "Red Book" to be edited and published by W.W. Norton in October 2009.[11]

Criticism of American psychiatry[edit]

He was an early public critic of the American psychiatric profession’s complicity in the moral panic of the late 1980s and early 1990s concerning Satanic ritual abuse.[12] "Except for the work of very few mental-health professionals, such as psychologist Richard Noll and psychiatrists George K. Ganaway and Frank W. Putnam, what little psychiatric writing has emerged on survivors and their therapy has uncritically embraced the literal truth of survivors' claims."[13]

At the invitation of psychiatrist and researcher Frank Putnam, then the Chief of the Dissociative Disorders Unit at the National Institute of Mental Health, Noll was one of four members on a plenary session panel that opened the 7th International Conference on Multiple Personality/Dissociative States in Chicago on 9 November 1990. In a ballroom filled with television cameras and more than 700 conference participants (including feminist intellectual Gloria Steinem, who was a firm believer in the veracity of "recovered memories" of satanic ritual abuse) the members of the panel presented, for the first time in a public professional forum, a skeptical viewpoint concerning SRA reports.[14] The panel cast doubt on the corroborating evidence for the thousands of claims from patients in treatment that they were recovering memories of childhood abuse at the hands of persons (often family members) who were members of satanic cults. Such satanic cults were claimed to be intergenerational in families and had been abusing and ritually sacrificing children in secret for almost 2000 years. When American psychiatrists published purported historical evidence supporting these beliefs in the peer-reviewed journal Dissociation in March 1989,[15] Noll challenged their extraordinary claims in a subsequent issue. His December 1989 conclusion that SRA beliefs were "a modern version of (a) paranoid mass delusion -- and one in which all too many clinicians and law enforcement officials also share" was the first unambiguous skepticism of the moral panic to be published in a medical journal.[16] Noll continued his public skepticism elsewhere.[17][18][19][20] Noll's 1990 panel presentation was an elaboration of this earlier published critique. Other members of the 1990 conference panel were anthropologist Sherrill Mulhern and psychiatrist George Ganaway.

Noll’s participation on the panel was viewed by SRA believers as part of a deliberate disinformation campaign by Frank Putnam, who was skeptical of the reality of satanic cults. This set Putnam apart from other prominent American psychiatrists who were less critical, such as conference organizer Bennett G. Braun, a member of the Dissociative Disorders work group for the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual, DSM-III-R (1987).[21] According to an account based on interviews, "conference attendees characterized (Noll) as a professional expendable who had no idea he was being used. Through him, they contended, Putnam could cast doubt on the contentious issue of linking MPD to ritual abuse." However, Noll's skeptical presentation did have an effect: "Mulhern and Noll cut a line through the therapeutic community. A minority joined them in refusing to believe sacrificial murder was going on; the majority still believed their patients' accounts."[22]

Psychiatric Times published Noll's memoir of the 1990 conference online on 6 December 2013.[23][24] However, after a week online the article was removed by the editors without explanation.[25][26][27][28] The backstory to this controversial editorial decision was explored in blog posts by the author Gary Greenberg[29] and psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John "Mickey" Nardo.[30][31][32][33][34][35][36] The PDF of the published article is available on the web.[37][38]

Prompted by Noll's article, psychiatrist Allen Frances, who was editor-in-chief of DSM-IV (1994) and who led the DSM-IV Task Force during the height of the satanic ritual abuse moral panic, formally apologized for his public silence during that era and explained his reasons for keeping MPD (as Dissociative Identity Disorder) in DSM-IV despite his belief it was a purely iatrogenic idiom of distress.[39][40][41][42]

On 19 March 2014 the Psychiatric Times reposted Noll's retracted article under a different title and with text deletions selected by the editors. Along with the article was commentaries by three American psychiatrists who were discussed in the article as well a response from Noll.[43][44][45] Allen Frances added additional comments reproducing his blog posts from other websites.[46]

Anthropological Fieldwork[edit]

Chuonnasuan, the last shaman of the Oroqen.

In 1994 Richard Noll and his colleague from Ohio State University, anthropologist Kun Shi, explored Manchuria and Inner Mongolia and interviewed the last living Tungus Siberian shamans in the People's Republic of China south of the Amur river.[47] The story of the life, initiatory illnesses, and shamanic training of the last living shaman of the Oroqen people, Chuonnasuan (1927–2000), was published in 2004 in the Journal of Korean Religions and is also available online.[48] Noll's photograph of Chuonnasuan appears as the fronticepiece in Le chamanisme de Siberie et d'Asie centrale (Paris: Gallimard, 2011) by anthropologists Charles Stepanoff (l'Ecole practique des hautes etudes, Paris) and Thierry Zarcone (also EPHE [Sorbonne], Paris).[49]

A second published report of this fieldwork concerning the life and training of the Solon Ewenki shamaness Dula'r (Ao Yun Hua) appeared in the journal Shaman in 2007 (15: 167-174). The Wenner-Gren Foundation supported the fieldwork that produced these reports. The rationale for the research was provided in a 1985 article in Current Anthropology which examined the ethnographic literature on shamanism from the perspective of cognitive science.[50] Tanya M. Luhrmann, the Watkins University Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University, lauded Noll's 1985 article as a novel turning point in the anthropological study of religion.[51][52]

Noll was introduced to the study of shamanism in the fall of 1980 by the anthropologist Michael Harner, then a professor at the New School for Social Research in New York City.

Scholarship on the History of Dementia Praecox and Schizophrenia[edit]

Noll's most recent book, American Madness: The Rise and Fall of Dementia Praecox, was published by Harvard University Press in October 2011. A brief interview with Noll appears on the Harvard University Press Blog (30 January 2012.[53]

In April 2012 it was announced that American Madness: The Rise and Fall of Dementia Praecox was the winner of the 2012 Cheiron Book Prize from Cheiron, International Society for the History of the Behavioral and Social Sciences.[54]

On 13 September 2012 it was announced in London that American Madness: The Rise and Fall of Dementia Praecox won a 2012 BMA Medical Book Award - Highly Commended in Psychiatry from the British Medical Association.[55]

In March 2013 Scientific American Mind incorporated findings from American Madness in its print and online "timeline" on the history of schizophrenia.[56]

"Tales of personal drama enliven Noll's story in a way that few would imagine possible for a historical account of nosology," said a reviewer in the American Journal of Psychiatry.[57] According to sociologist Andrew Scull in the Journal of American History, "Richard Noll's American Madness is an important book that deserves a wide readership among those interested in understanding the development of American psychiatry between 1896 and the 1930s."[58]

In a September 2012 review in Isis historian John C. Burnham noted, "It is clearly written and is based on a remarkably thorough literature search and reading of primary sources. . . . Noll's book will become a useful narrative for much of the modern history of psychiatry in the United States." He further added, "the research and thinking that went into this book make it refreshing and valuable."[59]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Princeton University Press. "The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Religion". Princeton University Press. Retrieved February 2013. 
  2. ^ Smith, Dinitia. "Scholar Who Says Jung Lied is at War with Descendants". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 June 1995. 
  3. ^ https://www.academia.edu/6417279/_Preface_to_the_New_Edition_1997_US_paperback_edition_of_The_Jung_Cult
  4. ^ Noll, Richard (Fall 1997). "A Christ Named Carl Jung". At Random 6 (3 (No.18)): 56–59. 
  5. ^ Noll, Richard. "Mysteria: Jung and the Ancient Mysteries". Princeton University Press. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  6. ^ https://www.academia.edu/6698999/Mysteria_Jung_and_the_Ancient_Mysteries_1994_uncorrected_page_proofs_of_a_book_cancelled_prior_to_publication_due_to_objections_by_the_Jung_family_
  7. ^ Noll, Richard. "Folk Fictions". The Times Higher Education Supplement (22 November 1996). Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  8. ^ https://www.academia.edu/6662191/_Books_on_Jung_transcript_of_NPR_WHYY_Fresh_Air_interview_by_Terry_Gross_of_Richard_Noll_and_Frank_McLynn_7_Oct_1997
  9. ^ Watson, Peter (2001). The Modern Mind: An Intellectual History of the 20th Century. New York: Harper Collins. p. 760. ISBN 0-06-019413-8. 
  10. ^ Crews, Frederick. Follies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays. New York: Counterpoint, 2007 (page 247).
  11. ^ Corbett, Sara (20 September 2009). "The Holy Grail of the Unconscious". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "The Search for Satan". PBS Frontline documentary. aired 24 October 1995. 
  13. ^ Hicks, Robert D. (1991). In Pursuit of Satan: The Police and the Occult. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus. p. 156. ISBN 9781591022190. 
  14. ^ Braun, Bennett G. (1990). Dissociative Disorders, 1990: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Multiple Personality/Dissociative States . . . November 9-11, 1990. Chicago: Dissociative Disorders Program, Dept. of Psychiatry, Rush University. 
  15. ^ Hill, S and Goodwin J. "Satanism: Similarities between patient accounts and pre-Inquisition historical accounts". Dissociation (March 1989) 2(1): 39-44. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  16. ^ Noll, Richard. "Satanism, UFO Abductions, Historians and Clinicians: Those Who Do Not Remember the Past . . . .". Dissociation (December 1989), Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 251-253. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  17. ^ Noll, Richard (Summer 1991). "Give me that old time religion: Two books on the modern satanism scare". Skeptical Inquirer 15: 412–415. 
  18. ^ Baker, Robert A. (1992). Hidden Memories: Voices and Visions From Within. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus. p. 327. ISBN 0-87975-684-5. 
  19. ^ Noll, Richard (1993). "Exorcism and Possession: The Clash of Worldviews and the Hubris of Psychiatry". Dissociation 6 (4): 250–253. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  20. ^ Noll, Richard (1992). Vampires, Werewolves and Demons: Twentieth Century Reports in the Psychiatric Literature. New York: Brunner/Mazel. pp. 6–7. , https://www.academia.edu/6793535/Vampires_Werewolves_and_Demons_Twentieth_Century_Case_Reports_in_the_Psychiatric_Literature_1991_
  21. ^ http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/June-1998/Dangerous-Therapy-The-Story-of-Patricia-Burgus-and-Multiple-Personality-Disorder/
  22. ^ Lockwood, Craig (1993). Other Altars: Roots and Realities of Cultic and Satanic Ritual Abuse and Multiple Personality Disorder. Minneapolis, MN, pp. 14, 17: CompCare Publishers. ISBN 0-89638-363-6. 
  23. ^ Noll, Richard. When Psychiatry Battled the Devil. Psychiatric Times(online), 6 December 2013. Noll, Richard, Psychiatric Times (online), 6 December 2013. http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/blogs/history-psychiatry/when-psychiatry-battled-devil
  24. ^ Greg Eghigian, "Noll on the Satanic ritual abuse Panic of the 1980s, H-madness,10 December 2013, http://historypsychiatry.com/2013/12/10/noll-on-the-satanic-ritual-abuse-panic-of-the-1980s/
  25. ^ Ivan Oransky, "Psychiatric Times retracts essay on 'satanic ritual abuse, 13 February 2014, http://retractionwatch.com/2014/02/13/psychiatric-times-retracts-essay-on-satanic-ritual-abuse/
  26. ^ Lew Powell, "In search of 'a frank and unblinking apraisal'", 20 February 2014, http://littlerascalsdaycarecase.org/Archive/14Q1/140220Gutheil.htm
  27. ^ Neurobonkers, "The Psychiatric times Cover Story on Psychiatry's Dance with the Devil...That Wasn't," 17 February 2014, http://bigthink.com/neurobonkers/the-psychiatric-times-cover-story-that-wasnt
  28. ^ Ed Cara, "Forgetting Satan,"Grumbles and Rumbles," 3 February 2014, http://www.grumblesandrumbles.com/2014/02/03/forgetting-satan/
  29. ^ http://"Mistakes Were Made, Part 2," 30 December 2013, www.garygreenbergonline.com/
  30. ^ "The Unforgotten Unremembered, 6 January 2014, http://1boringoldman.com/index.php/2014/01/06/the-unforgotten-unremembered/#comments
  31. ^ "The Twilight Zone . . .," 9 January 2014, http://1boringoldman.com/index.php/2014/01/09/the-twilight-zone/
  32. ^ "learning from Mistakes . . ." 28 January 2014, http://1boringoldman.com/index.php/2014/01/28/43440/
  33. ^ "perhaps bigger . . . ," 17 February 2014, http://1boringoldman.com/index.php/2014/02/17/perhaps-bigger/
  34. ^ "Of All People . . .," 7 March 2014, http://1boringoldman.com/index.php/2014/03/07/of-all-people/#comments
  35. ^ "The unforgetting . . .," 19 March 2014,http://1boringoldman.com/index.php/2014/03/19/the-unforgetting/#comments
  36. ^ "un-retraction watch . . . ", 27 March 2014
  37. ^ Richard Noll, "When Psychiatry Battled the Devil," Psychiatric Times, 6 December 2013, http://www.garygreenbergonline.com/w/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Psychiatric_Times_-_When_Psychiatry_Battled_the_Devil_-_2013-12-06.pdf
  38. ^ https://www.academia.edu/6400228/_When_Psychiatry_Battled_the_Devil_Psychiatric_Times_6_December_2013_
  39. ^ Allen Frances, "Sex and Satanic Abuse: A Fad Remembered," Psychology Today blog, 28 January 2014, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/saving-normal/201401/sex-and-satanic-abuse-fad-revisited?quicktabs_5=1
  40. ^ Allen Frances, "Multiple Personality -- Is it Mental Disorder, Myth, or Metaphor?" The Huffington Post,30 January 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allen-frances/multiple-personality-is-i_b_4695915.html
  41. ^ Allen Frances, "Righting Wrongs, Setting the Record Straight and Making Amends," The Huffington Pose 3 February 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allen-frances/righting-wrongs-setting-t_b_4718989.html
  42. ^ False Memory Syndrome Foundation 30 january 2014,http://www.falsememorysyndromefoundationonline.org/?mainnewsupdate=MPD:%20Richard%20Noll%20and%20Allen%20Frances
  43. ^ Richard Noll, "Speak memory," http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/blogs/history-psychiatry/speak-memory
  44. ^ Ivan Oransky, "Psychiatric Times reinstates retracted essay on 'satanic ritual abuse,'" 25 March 2014,http://retractionwatch.com/2014/03/25/psychiatric-times-reinstates-retracted-essay-on-satanic-ritual-abuse/
  45. ^ "Richard Noll deserves Our Respect and Our thanks," 12 april 2014, http://www.dysgenics.com/2014/04/12/richard-noll-deserves-our-respect-and-our-thanks/
  46. ^ http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/blogs/history-psychiatry/speak-memory
  47. ^ https://www.academia.edu/6764519/Final_Report_1994_._Wenner_Gren_Foundation_Grant_No._5676._Mental_Imagery_and_Mnemonic_Strategies_of_the_Tungus_Shamans_of_Manchuria
  48. ^ Noll, Richard; Shi, Kun (2004). "Chuonnasuan (Meng Jin Fu). The Last Shaman of the Oroqen of Northeast China" (pdf). Journal of Korean Religions (6): 135–162.  It describes the life of Chuonnasuan, the last shaman of the Oroqen of Northeast China.
  49. ^ Stepanoff, Charles (2011). Le chamanisme de Siberie et d"Asie centrale. Paris: Gallimard. ISBN 978-2-07-0444298. 
  50. ^ Noll, Richard. "Mental Imagery Cultivation as a Cultural Phenomenon: The Role of visions in shamanism". Current Anthropology (1985). Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  51. ^ t.M. Luhrmann and Rachel Morgain, "Prayer as Inner sense Cultivation: An Attentional Learning Theory of spiritual Experience," Ethos, 2012, 40 (4): 359-389, http://www.academia.edu/1973820/Prayer_as_inner_sense_cultivation#
  52. ^ T.M. Luhrmann, "Hallucinations and Sensory Overrides," Annual Review of Anthropology, 2011, 40:71-85, https://www.stanford.edu/dept/anthropology/cgi-bin/web/?q=system/files/hallucinationspdfproof.pdf
  53. ^ "The Rise and Fall of American Madness". Harvard University Press. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  54. ^ "2012 Cheiron Book Prize". Cheiron. Retrieved April 2012. 
  55. ^ "2012 BMA Medical Book Award Winners". BMA Library. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  56. ^ Yuhas, Daisy. "Throughout History, Defining Schizophrenia Has Remained a Challenge (Timeline)". Scientific American Mind (March 2013). Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  57. ^ Fleisher, Carl. "Book review of American Madness". American Journal of Psychiatry 170 (5), May 2013, p. 564. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  58. ^ Scull, Andrew. "Book review of American Madness". Journal of American History, 2013, 99 (4):1279. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  59. ^ Burnham, John C. (September 2012). "Book review of American Madness". Isis 103 (3): 611–612. doi:10.1086/669011. 

Bibliography (selected publications)[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]