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Monkeying with Mothers, Lovely (but motherless) Russian Orphans, and “Child Care Research Scholars”

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Mothers Day, the Day After: 

Articles that make you go “Hmm…..”

Let’s connect a few dots here. . . . .

We are going to look at Harry Harlowe, the man that made Monkey Mothers “noncustodial” and how & why he did this….  back in the 1970s….

I remember seeing photographs about this Maternal Deprivation study in (as I recall) a glossy publication called “The Family of Man.”  I looked at this book a lot growing up.  It emphasized the HUMAN aspect, including emotions…

The Steichen exhibit described in Wikipedia:

The Family of Man was a photography exhibition curated by Edward Steichen first shown in 1955 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

According to Steichen, the exhibition represented the ‘culmination of his career’. The 503 photos by 273 photographers in 68 countries were selected from almost 2 million pictures submitted by famous and unknown photographers.[1] These photos offer a striking snapshot of the human experience which lingers on birth, love, and joy, but also touches war, privation, illness and death. His intention was to prove visually the universality of human experience and photography’s role in its documentation.

The exhibit was turned into a book of the same name, containing an introduction by Carl Sandburg who was Steichen’s brother-in-law. The book was reproduced in a variety of formats (most popularly a pocket-sized volume) in the 1950s, and reprinted in large format for its 40th anniversary. It has sold more than 4 million copies.

The exhibition later travelled in several versions to 38 countries. More than 9 million people viewed the exhibit. The only surviving edition was presented to Luxembourg, the country of Steichen’s birth, and is on permanent display in Clervaux (50°03′15″N 6°01′49″E / 50.054246°N 6.03025°E / 50.054246; 6.03025Coordinates: 50°03′15″N 6°01′49″E / 50.054246°N 6.03025°E / 50.054246; 6.03025). In 2003 the Family of Man photographic collection was added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in recognition of its historical value. [2]

The exhibit elicits, among other things, compassion, empathy, and perhaps some understanding that we don’t all live the same, but we share common human emotions and challenges across the cultures.

BY CONTRAST, let’s take a closer look at what the U.S. (and other countries) have become, in their quest for categorizing, studying, and producing (on demand) these same human emotions.  First, let’s start with the primates, it’s a little more politically acceptable, at first….

(I cited “The Family of Man” for the opposite of this:)

The Pit of Despair (posted May 1st, 2010)

Someone forwarded the article to me.  One has to ask, why wasn’t the man who would do this to monkeys being psychoanalyzed, rather than the monkeys. Talk about “detachment” — on the part of the researcher.

The question I also ask is:   Who would FUND this kind of a study?  I mean, what is the profit of knowing how to scientifically CAUSE trauma, anti-social behaviors, and depression on the part of the experimented-upon population (here, primates).

And from under which rock did this type of (male) researcher crawl?  Because it makes my skin crawl….

Think about it. . . . .

Background


A rhesus monkey infant in one of Harlow’s isolation chambers. The photograph was taken when the chamber door was raised for the first time after six months of total isolation.

Much of Harlow’s scientific career was spent studying maternal bonding, what he described as the “nature of love”.

Read on, and you might conclude, like me, that Harlow’s own childhood might have been a little maternal love deficient..  Did he have kids, and did he watch those kids with their mother???

These experiments involved rearing newborn monkeys with surrogate mothers, ranging from toweling covered cones to a machine that modeled abusive mothers by assaulting the baby monkeys with cold air or spikes. The point of the experiments was to pinpoint the basis of the mother-child relationship, namely whether the infant primarily sought food or affection. Harlow concluded it was the latter.

Note:  Why not give the infant both, and be done with it?

In 1971, Harlow’s wife died of cancer and he began to suffer from depression. He submitted to electro-shock treatment and returned to work but, as Lauren Slater writes, his colleagues noticed a difference in his demeanor. He abandoned his research into maternal attachment and developed an interest in isolation and depression.

Harlow’s first experiments involved isolating a monkey in a cage surrounded by steel walls with a small one-way mirror, so the experimenters could look in, but the monkey could not look out.

FYI, a good deal of the current family law system is designed in this manner. It’s not transparent.  You have to go looking to see what’s the gas in its tank, and it takes some time.  Just show up to be “demonstrated” upon, and you’re in for a rude awakening.  After a while, it’s damn hard to get all the way out.

 

The only connection the monkey had with the world was when the experimenters’ hands changed his bedding or delivered fresh water and food. Baby monkeys were placed in these boxes soon after birth; four were left for 30 days, four for six months, and four for a year.

After 30 days, the “total isolates,” as they were called, were found to be “enormously disturbed.” After being isolated for a year, they barely moved, did not explore or play, and were incapable of having sexual relations.

When placed with other monkeys for a daily play session, they were badly bullied. Two of them refused to eat and starved themselves to death.

Wow, that’s starting to sound like some of our current public school systems:  bullying, anorexia, and other behavioral problems….

 Harlow also wanted to test how isolation would affect parenting skills, but the isolates were unable to mate. Artificial insemination had not then been developed; instead, Harlow devised what he called a “rape rack,” to which the female isolates were tied in normal monkey mating posture.

A rape rack???  At about this point, perhaps the doctoral students should have suggested he try it first….

He found that, just as they were incapable of having sexual relations, they were also unable to parent their offspring, either abusing or neglecting them.

“Not even in our most devious dreams could we have designed a surrogate as evil as these real monkey mothers were,” he wrote.

With typical detachment.  The evil originated in him, and was forced onto the moneky mothers by repeated trauma, (including rape), torture and systematic intentional behavioral modification. Yet in his reports, he describes the monkeys, not himself, as if there was no correspondence between his treatment of them and their behavior. 

Today, as it pertains to human beings, we call this “domestic violence” (or should I say, “USED to call that”).

Having no social experience themselves, they were incapable of appropriate social interaction. One mother held her baby’s face to the floor and chewed off his feet and fingers. Another crushed her baby’s head. Most of them simply ignored their offspring.

 
These experiments showed Harlow what total and partial isolation did to developing monkeys, but he felt he had not captured the essence of depression, which he believed was characterized by feelings of loneliness, helplessness, and a sense of being trapped, or being “sunk in a well of despair,” he said.
 

He was PAID for this???
(This web page lists a lot of subtitles, and below the next excerpt, references).

The technical name for the new depression chamber was “vertical chamber apparatus,” though Harlow himself insisted on calling it the “pit of despair.” He had at first wanted to call it the “dungeon of despair,” and also used terms like “well of despair,” and “well of loneliness.” Blum writes that his colleagues tried to persuade him to not to use such descriptive terms, that a less visual name would be easier politically. Gene Sackett of the University of Washington in Seattle, one of Harlow’s doctoral students who went on to conduct additional deprivation studies, said, “He first wanted to call it a dungeon of despair. Can you imagine the reaction to that?”

Note, the doctoral student, here, was more concerned, apparently, about the REACTION to calling it what it was, than the actual doing of this. 

Again, think about it.


Most of the monkeys placed inside it were at least three months old and had already bonded with others. The point of the experiment was to break those bonds in order to create the symptoms of depression. The chamber was a small, metal, inverted pyramid, with slippery sides, slanting down to a point. The monkey was placed in the point. The opening was covered with mesh. The monkeys would spend the first day or two trying to climb up the slippery sides. After a few days, they gave up. Harlow wrote, “most subjects typically assume a hunched position in a corner of the bottom of the apparatus. One might presume at this point that they find their situation to be hopeless.”

Stephen J. Suomi, another of Harlow’s doctoral students, placed some monkeys in the chamber in 1970 for his PhD.

He wrote that he could find no monkey who had any defense against it. Even the happiest monkeys came out damaged. He concluded that even a happy, normal childhood was no defense against depression.

The experiments delivered what science writer Deborah Blum has called “common sense results”: that monkeys, very social animals in nature, when placed in isolation, emerge badly damaged, and that some recover and some do not.

Reaction


The experiments were condemned, both at the time and later, from within the scientific community and elsewhere in academia. In 1974, American literary critic Wayne C. Booth wrote that, “Harry Harlow and his colleagues go on torturing their nonhuman primates decade after decade, invariably proving what we all knew in advance that social creatures can be destroyed by destroying their social ties.” He writes that Harlow made no mention of the criticism of the morality of his work.

  
Charles Snowdon, a junior member of the faculty at the time, who became head of psychology at Wisconsin, said that Harlow had himself been very depressed by his wife’s cancer. Snowdon was appalled by the design of the vertical chambers. He asked Suomi why they were using them, and Harlow replied, “Because that’s how it feels when you’re depressed.
Harlow’s colleagues and doctoral students also expressed concern. Sackett told Blum that, in his view, the animal liberation movement in the U.S. was born as a result of Harlow’s experiments.  

 

Thereby revealing his motivation.  He was working out his own (severe, I’d have to guess) psychological issues on helpless subjects.

MY point is,  he was also paid for doing this, and he had Ph.D’s working under him, too.  They were getting their doctorate degrees and learning how to abuse animals.  Tranferable later (if the outcry over animals got too loud) to the human behavioral sciences spheres….  Business is business….

 


Another of Harlow’s students, William Mason, who also conducted deprivation experiments elsewhere, said that Harlow “kept this going to the point where it was clear to many people that the work was really violating ordinary sensibilities, that anybody with respect for life or people would find this offensive. It’s as if he sat down and said, ‘I’m only going to be around another ten years. What I’d like to do, then, is leave a great big mess behind.’ If that was his aim, he did a perfect job.”
 

 

 

 

Leonard Rosenblum, who studied under Harlow, told Lauren Slater that Harlow enjoyed using shocking terms for his apparatus because “he always wanted to get a rise out of people.”
 

 

 

 

POINT.  … This study, years later, provokes indignation & outrage.  BUT, after that, it reminds me of where we are, these days, only using human subjects more and more overtly.  Think about it:  What was the funding behind those Harlowe experiments?  The federal income tax as distributed by which departments?  Or was it private money? 
  • Article Two:  

    Russia’s 700,000 Orphans

Russian Orphanage Offers Love, but Not Families  (The New York Times: posted & printed May 4th, 2010 )

. . .

MOSCOW — There is nothing dreary about Orphanage No. 11. It has rooms filled with enough dolls and trains and stuffed animals to make any child giggly. It has speech therapists and round-the-clock nurses and cooks who delight in covertly slipping a treat into a tiny hand. It has the feel of a place where love abounds.

What it does not have are many visits from potential parents.

Few of its children will ever be adopted — by Russians or foreigners. When they reach age 7 and are too old for this institution they will be shuttled to the next one, reflecting an entrenched system that is much better at warehousing children — and profiting from them — than finding them families.

The case of a Russian boy who returned alone to Moscow, sent back by his American adoptive mother, has focused intense attention on the pitfalls of international adoption.

But the outcry has obscured fundamental questions about why Russia has so many orphans and orphanages in the first place.

In recent days, senior Russian officials have begun to acknowledge how troubled their system is.

The chairwoman of the parliamentary committee on family and children, Yelena B. Mizulina, spotlighted what she said was a shocking statistic: Russia has more orphans now, 700,000, than at the end of World War II, when an estimated 25 million Soviet citizens were killed.

Ms. Mizulina noted that for all the complaints about the return of the boy, Artyom Savelyev, by his adoptive mother in Tennessee, Russia itself has plenty of experience with failed placements. She said 30,000 children in the last three years inside Russia were sent back to institutions by their adoptive, foster or guardianship families.

“Specialists call such a boom in returns a humanitarian catastrophe,” she said.

She reeled off more figures. The percentage of children who are designated orphans is four to five times higher in Russia than in Europe or the United States. Of those, 30 percent live in orphanages. Most of them are children who have been either given up by their parents or removed from dysfunctional homes by the authorities.

Now let’s review again:  What constitutes a “dysfunctional” home, and who decides what is dysfunctional?  Of those “dysfunctional home,” how did they get that label dysfunctional, and what, if any, role did the same government play in that “dysfunction.”

This is the land (isn’t it?) of “The Gulag Archipelago…”  You are either functional or you ain’t.

 

It’s a SYSTEM.  What caught my attention — the NYT is reporting on this “humanitarian catastrophe” as it occurs in Russia, not the ongoing one in the United States ….

 

  • Article Three:  

  • “Grant Opportunity:  Child Care Research Scholars:”

  • I believe I posted this around April 15th, also, so we know what noble causes those taxes are going towards.  Some doctoral students (who are obviously more important than mothers in the lives of little kids) can get from $30,000 — $50,000 to STUDY child care situations.  (Why else do you think there is the huge push for “supervised visitation” in the family law system?  To help families somehow? ???)

    Administration for Children and Families

    Child Care Research

    Child Care Research Scholars, 2007-2010

    Overview

    Funds for Child Care Research Scholars grants are available to support dissertation research on child care policy issues in partnership with State Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) lead agencies.

    Since 2000, Congress has appropriated about $10 million per year of CCDF discretionary funds to be used for child care research and evaluation. These funds have supported projects that add to our knowledge about the efficacy of child care subsidy policies and programs in supporting employment and self-sufficiency outcomes for parents, and providing positive learning and school readiness outcomes for children. Previously funded Child Care Research Scholars have made significant contributions to the child care policy research field.

    To ensure that research is responsive to the changing needs of low-income families, partnerships between the graduate student, their mentor and the State CCDF lead agency are essential. This partnership ensures the research will be policy-relevant and is the foundation that fosters skills necessary to build the graduate student’s career trajectory of successful partnership-building and contributions to the policy and scientific communities.

    The specific goals of the Child Care Research Scholars grants are:

    1.  To directly support graduate students as a way of encouraging the conduct of child care policy research

    (and so forth…..)

    I’m so glad that federal funding is going to support graduate students and encourage them to enter the arena of “child care policy research,” rather than, say the mother-daughter (or -son) bond such that we might have fewer maternal deprivation, trauma, depression, and other symptomology as created by other institutions which BREAK Up the family at will, and for ulterior motives, usually the old one, the profit motive.

    NB:  Wasn’t that a feature of slavery?  The disintegration of the family, at will, by the masters, and farming out the kids to work, for no or low pay in unknown conditions, for the profit of — THE KIDS?  of SOCIETY? ??  of the PARENTS???

    I don’t THINK so..

    This google search shows that where these are being advertised are sites ending, primarily, in *.edu or *.gov, and some *.org.

    Posted on April 15, 2010 by Nancy Cruz

    The Early Ed Watch blog posted information on a new grant opportunity for graduate students focusing on child care policy issues. According to the post,

    Federal grants are now available as part of the Child Care Research Scholars program. Letters of intent are due April 19; applications are due May 3. The program is funded through the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services. The grants are designed to support dissertation research on child care policy issues and are available for 12 and 24-month projects, with awards of up to $30,000 for the first 12 months of a project and a maximum of $50,000 for a two-year project. Grants are open to doctoral level graduate students who, according to the funding announcement, are “enrolled in accredited public, state-controlled, and private institutions of higher education.”

     

    Also advertised on this site, the “New America Foundation,”

    http://earlyed.newamerica.net/node/30591

    Click on link to see the cute puzzle graphic.  The “New America Foundation,”  has many “initiatives.”  I blogged earlier on the Conflict between (and among) Christians & Muslims in Nigeria, from this same foundation. 

    Here’s the foundation of the “OLD” America:

    HERE, by the way, is the purpose of Government as defined in the U.S. Declaration of Independence:

    “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among men.”

     

    The forces, and deeds, that changed the U.S.A. from a government BY PERMISSION of the people to a People ENSLAVED by the Government has a lot to do with the tax system, which is providing endless grants to study human subjects at will, and often enough without their informed consent.  And to separate mothers (and fathers) & children and raise up a generation to usher in the new utopia by forgetting the original foundations.

    The philosophical question of USA is NOT whether or not the Constitution was a “good idea” but to stop redefining who was, and who was not “Men.”  As a member of the gender that got the vote 2nd, I STILL prefer the usage “Men” to “Human,” which is a different point of view.  Wake up folks, unless you want the fringe groups who do NOT acknowledge non-WASPS and non-MALES, and whose specialty is distrust of the “other” (when it comes to religion, too) to co-opt the original principles. 

    here, by contrast, is the Greek mythological version of “equality”:

    Procrustes (proh-KRUS-teez)
    Procrustes was a host who adjusted his guests to their bed. Procrustes, whose name means “he who stretches”, was arguably the most interesting of Theseus’s challenges on the way to becoming a hero. He kept a house by the side of the road where he offered hospitality to passing strangers, who were invited in for a pleasant meal and a night’s rest in his very special bed. Procrustes described it as having the unique property that its length exactly matched whomsoever lay down upon it. What Procrustes didn’t volunteer was the method by which this “one-size-fits-all” was achieved, namely as soon as the guest lay down Procrustes went to work upon him, stretching him on the rack if he was too short for the bed and chopping off his legs if he was too long. Theseus turned the tables on Procrustes, fatally adjusting him to fit his own bed
    OR:

    [edit] Procrustes in Greek Mythology

    In the Greek myth, Procrustes was a son of Poseidon with a stronghold on Mount Korydallos, on the sacred way between Athens and Eleusis. There, he had an iron bed in which he invited every passer-by to spend the night, and where he set to work on them with his smith’s hammer, to stretch them to fit. In later tellings, if the guest proved too tall, Procrustes would amputate the excess length; nobody ever fit the bed exactly because secretly Procrustes had two beds.[1] Procrustes continued his reign of terror until he was captured by Theseus, travelling to Athens along the sacred way, who “fitted” Procrustes to his own bed:

    “He killed Damastes, surnamed Procrustes, by compelling him to make his own body fit his bed, as he had been wont to do with those of strangers. And he did this in imitation of Heracles. For that hero punished those who offered him violence in the manner in which they had plotted to serve him.”[2]

    A Procrustean bed is an arbitrary standard to which exact conformity is forced.

    A Procrustean solution is the undesirable practice of tailoring data to fit its container or some other preconceived stricture. A common example from the business world is embodied in the notion that no résumé should exceed one page in length.

    A Procrustean solution in statistics, instead of finding the best fit line to a scatter plot of data, one first chooses the line one wants, then selects only the data that fits it, disregarding data that does not, so to “prove” some point. It is a form of rhetorical deception made to forward one set of interests at the expense of others. The unique goal of the Procrustean solution is not win-win, but rather that Procrustes wins and the other loses. In this case, the defeat of the opponent justifies the deceptive means.

    GET IT?  This is the Family Law System.  It ain’t what it pretends to be.

    Nor, any more is this country.

    I recommend we start looking at what those taxes are going for, as well as the tax structure itself.

    Start here:  It took me less than one day to (re) read this 1970 publication:

    Money, Bona Fide or Non-Bona Fide

    by Dr. Edward E Popp, D.D.S.Wisconsin Education Fund
    P.O. Box 321 • Port Washington
    Wisconsin 53074To my EdithCopyright © 1970 by Edward E. PoppMANUFACTURED IN
    THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


    Contents

      Preface 7
    1. Some Useful Definitions 9
    2. Media Of Exchange 17
    3. Money Is A Document 31
    4. Media Of Exchange Used In The United States 42
    5. Borrowed Money As A Medium Of Exchange 52
    6. Value Of Money Or Purchasing Power Of Money 59
    7. How To Introduce Coins In A Country, Where No Money Exists 68
    8. Who, With Justice, Has The Right To Issue The Medium Of Exchange? 72
    9. How Much Media Of Exchange Should Be Issued? Who Should Determine The Amount? 78
    10. How To Make A Bona Fide Medium Of Exchange Acceptable 80
    11. Foreign Trade 90
    12. Inflation And Deflation 95
    13. Interest, Just And Unjust 104
    14. Conclusion 118

     

    May your Mothers and Fathers & Sons & Daughters prosper.

    And may you stop leaving your legacy to mediators, custody evaluators, litigators, and those who don’t teach this stuff to your kids.

    Written by Let's Get Honest

    May 10, 2010 at 3:58 pm

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    martinplaut

    Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

    Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

    'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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