comment about the removal of Barbara Roger's answers to readers' letters on the alice-miller.com website:
Dear Mrs. Miller,
since I discovered your website a year ago, I regularly read the readers' mail; not only the currently new entrances, but also once in a while again the older ones. Recently, when I called up one of my own mails, I noticed that the comment by Barbara Rogers was missing. She had written some most empathic lines below your response to me, which are very valuable for me - but now I have to write: were, because they have disappeared.
As I know of your personal conflict with Barbara Rogers, because back then, I read your post against her, I had a premonition of what had happened and in order to be sure, I clicked through the readers' mail during the time when Barbara cared together with you for the website. You actually have removed all of her comments!
I am shocked by this act of arbitrariness. You have not announced or explained it, but deleted everything secretly. How could this perfidious course of action be justified that reminds me by all means of the methods of totalitarian regimes? What do Barbara's responses to our mails have to do with YOUR most personal problem with her? What else could you be aiming to achieve but to "punish" Barbara, to devalue her work, to humiliate and hurt her? You are doing this at the expense of your readers, irrespectively of the feelings, which you thus cause in them.
I am horrified by this sign of blind vindictiveness. That Alice Miller of all people does not recognize herself that she is acting out something that cannot yet be felt, that is still repressed, that never ever can be meant for Barbara herself! In your rage, you address Barbara - in place of your tormentors. This is after all poisonous, blind (parental) behavior: "If you do not behave as I demand, I will punish, annihilate you!" You have actually obliterated Barbara's traces, I cannot yet believe it. In retrospect, you want to deny her former existence on this website. But Barbara's comments do not belong to you, they belong to those to whom they are addressed.
As a matter of fact, you do not waste a thought about us, your readers. You seem indifferent to what it feels like for us when we suddenly discover that you simply have "cut-off" Barbara's responses. Can you really not understand how important and valuable precisely these compassionate comments were, and would have continued to be - also for all new visitors of your website? Can you really not feel how hurtful this obliteration was for those who received the responses that you now have removed, an action that probably also often triggered them? Aside from that such petty behavior simply is unacceptable?
(Since Barbara no longer answers the readers' mail together with you, the tone and temperature of the comments have become noticeably cooler. Just to mention an example: To the literally loving, sensitive, long summary of another cruel childhood fate, "The Terror," of January 1, 2009 [in German], covering a long text, you only respond in a lapidary style: "AM: It is a horror that lasted for years." That hurts me; how harshly the author of this mail must feel disposed of. This breathes emotional coldness. It was indeed Barbara Rogers who carried warmth and true sympathy into the responses.)
Your whole work is full of bright and consistent explanations for such poisonous behavior patterns as you yourself, of all people, now put on display! You have fallen into acting out blindly; this action cannot be explained in any other way.
Do you not realize how you have not only hit Barbara, but also yourself and us, the others "out there in the internet," in the forums, with your blind hatred that has greatly overshot the mark? With this, I of course also and especially refer to your post which got the ball rolling:
„I even once thought that Barbara could BECOME a therapist with my help but today I would no longer say this because I think that working with IFS can’t help to confront the reality of our parents and to work with patients mistreated in childhood who need to feel eventually their deeply repressed rage to become free. I think that the IFS, like so many other methods was developed exactly to AVOID the confrontation with one's parents out of fear that everybody knows. Thus it is an INTERNAL SYSTEM. Today, after some new experiences, I see it much more clearly. SO I CAN'T RECOMMEND A FORUM THAT WORKS WITH A METHOD, WHICH CONTRADICTS WITH THE CONCEPT OF THERAPY THAT I DEVELOPPED AFTER 50 YEARS OF THERAPEUTIC EXPERIENCE.
"Concerning Norman I do think indeed that one can give up his blindness in 3 years if one has the courage to feel and to fully see the reality of one's childhood so he can become free from the confusion of his parents. Norman 's development shows that this is possible and MANY of people writing to this mailbox confirm that they did not need decades to change. But if you are trapped in confusion full of fear even decades can’t be enough to change. There are hundreds of therapies concepts offered on the Internet that try to help by avoiding the truth about the child mistreatments like IFS but they don't succeed as long as they are afraid of the patients hidden rage. Norman seems to be able to overcome this fear because he doesn’t deny it and can thus honestly work on it. He doesn’t need to be a guru to feel well about himself.”
I definitely sense also envy and resentment from these aggressive, arrogant lines. Thus, you throw obstructions into Barbara's way, you even try to destroy her, as a human, and professionally. The judgment that you pass has its roots in past hierarchical thinking. It is devastating -- and if the truth were not stronger than the lie, and if not most people would see through your intentions, you actually could cause great damage with such an evaluation that you have declared publicly in the world wide web, very deliberately, mind you.
With these words you behave also like a mother (who is acting out) that singles out one child (Norman) with extreme praise in order to deliberately and systematically hurt and devalue another one (Barbara), while she is only using both children. The slander that Barbara - contrary to Norman - could not become a therapist because she - contrary to Norman - is afraid of the rage hidden in clients is inconceivable. There is neither a single place in Barbara Rogers' hitherto exciting work nor a comment nor a post of hers which would substantiate this. On the contrary, if anybody has portrayed the healing power of justified anger elaborately and clearly, it is her: "A Love Letter to My Anger" (http://www.screamsfromchildhood.com/love-letter-to-anger.html)
Of course, you know Barbara's texts, and your reproach is nothing but an intentional wrong claim to discredit Barbara in front of the whole world. But that still was not enough for you, as now, on top of it, all "memories" of Barbara, all traces of her most helpful and empathic accompaniment, had to be erased also on your website. Aside from all else, how you thus also treat with contempt the kind support, the good work of your former coworker! What revengefulness drives you to falsify the readers' mail. These comments are the intellectual property of Barbara and ultimately also in the ownership of those to whom they were addressed! These were OUR comments! For me this secret deletion is an enormous betrayal of confidence. You have suppressed Barbara's comments, and in my opinion, you even betray new readers with it, too, because you present comments to them that once read differently; very important parts are missing.
If you only could direct your rage towards those people that you actually mean, dear Dr. Miller, for whom your justified rage is actually meant, then you no longer would have the need to attack people like Barbara Rogers and others as substitutes - and to harm yourself in the end. I think that you have also smashed a lot for yourself through these aggressive actions, maybe more than you can realize right now. It also hurts to experience this. You would not be in need to assault so scathingly a method that has been proven to be successful and good, like for example IFS, but also this attack only seems substitutional to me; it came just as arbitrarily out of the blue as the obliteration of Barbara's comments from your website. Where does this fear come from that is shining through and constrains you so much that you still cannot bear "other gods" beside you?
In your open letter to all the participants of the forum of May 2001 called "To Steven and all the others: I'm not a guru" you write:
"So please don't see me like a guru, this would again put me in a special position where I no longer want to be. I am not your teacher or leader, am not giving advices or imposing anything on you, I am not your mother or grandmother, I am Alice, a sister in pain, like Bent's sister Toril who can tell him: 'I know what you are talking about, I know dad and mom and the answers they gave us because I can finally feel.'"
Can you really feel? What you blame Barbara for, you do yourself. It is you who behaves like a guru that very well wants to be in a special position: in the position to own the only true, exclusive truth. You lay a claim to leadership, you virtually push onto us your unrelenting rejection of all current methods that do not bear your stamp, regardless of how meaningful and successful they are in reality.
The defamation of Barbara Rogers IS a hit of advice in its negative inversion. You talk „ex cathedra“ and don't leave room for any doubt, least of all self doubt. For this reason, you move further and further away from the level where you wanted to be as our "sister in pain."
With how much good will, empathy and joy could you have let go especially your long-standing companion onto a new path, into her sphere of work as a therapist. Justifiably, you could recommend a practicing therapist, personally known to you, to people who are looking for help, and nothing about it would diminish in any way your own merits. But unfortunately, this is not possible for you. You decided in favor of begrudging aggression and vindictiveness, in favor of a profoundly unjust obliteration, which personally hurts and outrages me, and which I condemn.
I close with a quote from Barbara Rogers' response to you, "Escape from the fog of admiration:" (http://www.screamsfromchildhood.com/escape_admiration.html)
„Bullies begrudge others what they lack themselves and what distinguishes their victims, whatever that may be: vitality, integrity, compassion, truthfulness, warmth, inner freedom, dignity, curiosity, courage, the richness of their feelings, the brave exploration of their inner life, their ability to express needs, and their strength to be true to themselves. Bullies do not acknowledge and explore their unwelcome feelings but deny their pain, envy and harmful parts acting out.
"Acting out from a raging bully-part signals an alarming therapeutic dead-end street. Therapy has failed if one cannot distinguish between being in one's true self -- or a dissociated self. We are not liberated, and our approach to therapy is exposed as unsuccessful, if we remain stuck in dissociation and cannot address this severe suffering in our therapeutic work.”
Emerged from the fog of admiration in pain, but also with beneficial cognition,
with regret and disappointment,
February 10, 2009