Talk:Ernest Jones

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Jones trial for indecency and subsequent allegation[edit]

I'm sorry but your latest edit does not accurately reflect the modern balance of opinion about the trial and your ref does not support the text in your latest edit. I have given good references at the Ernest Jones talk page for a balanced view being far less favorable to Jones. You are giving Maddox's bio of Jones' as the source (reference 3) for the following "he pursued his research interests in childhood sexuality during interviews with four children with a line of questioning that resulted in him facing trial over allegations of improper conduct." As the book Susan Isaacs: a life freeing the minds of children page 67 makes clear Maddox does not support that text, quite the opposite in fact, as Maddox is cited for the opposite view: "the details of his trial suggest that he might have been very lucky to escape conviction (Maddox, 2006)". Overagainst (talk) 18:52, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

note 2 follows the Maddox account in referring to the possibility of Jones's loss of self control and his own inaccurate account of the episode. But there is no consensus on this. Maddox's account is based on the Kuhn account in Studies in Gender and Sexuality 2002 v3 but the same journal carries Makari's refutation of Kuhn's arguments.  (Makari is the most recent historian of psychoanalysis qv Revolution in the Mind 2008). Given the episode occurred before Jones had met Freud and fully committed himself to psychoanalysis I don't see it as significantly relevant to an overall assessment of his life and career. BTW Maddox points out Jones went on to publish his research findings derived from his interviews with children. Almanacer (talk) 10:08, 31 August 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Almanacer (talkcontribs)

""Unfortunately for Jones the medical establishment of Edwardian Britain was antagonistic to Freudian theory; and Jones’s early attempts to employ psychoanalytic insights in his clinical work proved less than circumspect. In 1906 he was tried and acquitted over allegations of improper conduct with pupils in a London school. In 1908, having demonstrated the repressed sexual memory underlying the hysterical paralysis of a young girl’s arm, he faced allegations from the girl’s parents and was forced to resign his hospital post."

As it stands the fact that Jones was tried for indecency is passed over in a line and a half and explained by an lengthy and completely unreferenced assertion that "Unfortunately for Jones the medical establishment of Edwardian Britain was antagonistic to Freudian theory ...". Claiming that this supposed antagonism was the cause of Jones being tried for indecency is POV unless you can give a reference for it. The evidence against Jones such as the semen stain as given by Madddox in Freud’s Wizard: The Enigma of Ernest Jones.) was strong as pointed out in Susan Isaacs: a life freeing the minds of children, Page 67 and Subotsky, F.,Bewley,S., Crowe,M., (2010), Abuse of the Doctor-Patient Relationship Here is another one “Romancing with a Wealth of Detail”: Narratives of Ernest Jones's 1906 Trial for Indecent Assault. The unreferenced assertion that "having demonstrated the repressed sexual memory underlying the hysterical paralysis of a young girl’s arm, he faced allegations from the girl’s parents and was forced to resign his hospital post." is highly POV. If you want to exonerate Jones from the charges in this way you must give specific references. If there are "factual inaccuracies re Jones' employment" in my edit (below), please offer corrections to them, giving references. Any inaccuracies in the description of Jones' employment should be corrected (giving references) without removing the accurate referenced information which is included in the edit.

"Jones had won prizes as a student and seemed set for a brilliant career in medicine but in 1906, a few years after qualifying, he was tried on charges of indecently assualting two mentally handicapped girls while examining them at the children's hospital where he worked. The evidence, which included semen found on a tablecloth in the examination room, was strong however "all the prejudices of the male Edwardian world were brought to bear in (his) defence" and there was laughter in court during the testimony of the girls. Jones was acquitted to much rejoicing from newspapers and the medical establishment. In 1908, while officially working as a pathologist, he examined two patients without a chaperon and the parents of one, a 10 year old girl, averred that Jones had asked the child obscene questions. This time he was forced to resign his hospital post and found that, despite excellent qualifications, doors were closed to him in Britain. Jones left for Canada where allegations about improper behavior continued, his later account of these events was misleading, portraying him as the victim of groundless allegations and persecution by cowardly, uncomprehending colleagues.

References: Graham, P., J., (2009), Susan Isaacs: a life freeing the minds of children, Page 67, Jones E., 1990, Free Associations: Memories of a Psychoanalyst Subotsky, F.,Bewley,S., Crowe,M., (2010), Abuse of the Doctor-Patient Relationship" Overagainst (talk) 17:23, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the references. I have no problem with an accurate reference to the trial evidence being added in an "impartial tone" duly referenced. WP:NPOV clearly states editing in rather than removing text and replacing it is the preferred option.

To correct your misreadings of my text: I nowhere state or claim Jones was tried for the unpopularity of his Freudian beliefs ( though it seems to me incontovertable that they were ananthema to the Edwardian medical establisment). What I say was that he was lacking in circumspection given this context. What he was attempting in the course of the interviews with the children concerned, was to gather evidence in the form of the children's sexual ideas and fantasies to establish their significance and relevance as predicted by Freud's theory. This was definitely not in his job description (he was an LCC inspector, not a school employee) and probably led to the charges brought.

My account of the girl's hysterical paralysis is from Jones' autobiography - he admits conducting an unchaperoned interview and accepts his punishment. What is there to exonerate ?

Your account of the Canadian episode is tendentious POV without references. Its true he faced allegations from one patient but he was exonerated by a University investigation and subsequently made a Professor.


I'm on holiday away from libraries/internet access at the moment but will add more references and check out yours when I return next week. Almanacer (talk) 10:21, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Abuse of the Doctor-Patient Relationship p.46 was my ref for Jones' position as pathologist and the complaints continuing in Canada (one woman threatened to shoot him). It is most informative about the support that he got from the medical establishment during his trial. The President of the Royal Society of Surgeons hosted a party for Jones on his acquittal. Overagainst (talk) 19:34, 10 July 2011 (UTC)