All I can say is fasten your seat belts.
If you read my post A.C.E.ing out Dr. Vincent J. Felitti, you got a glimpse of Stefan Molyneux’s first “Bomb in the Brain” video. (Shown below.)
In that video and also in the outstandingly bizarre recent podcast entitled Why We Are Different (FDR 1551), Molyneux pulls out the latest intellectual bauble he’s been playing with—his conjectures about the physiological effects of child abuse; specifically, that all child abuse causes some kind of permanent brain damage. (I’m not saying that’s all wrong, but stay with me. You know this will all go crazy at some point.)
Here’s what he says in that podcast:
01:45…[in the future] where it [child abuse] does occur, there will be simply brain scans, right? And the brain scan of the child will show the effect of the abuse. And I believe the brain scan of the parent or primary abuser, whoever that is will show the effects of being an abuser….I believe that the perpetration of abuse creates brain changes as significant if not more significant than being the receiver or victim of child abuse.
And there you have it: all child abuse—whether you are on the giving or receiving end—causes permanent brain damage. (And if this just happens to the first article you’ve read on FDR Liberated, you should know that when discussing what could be considered “child abuse,” Stefan Molyneux casts a pretty freakin’ large net.)
Anyway, the good news is that Molyneux has proof! And you can see it for yourself!
If you watched the YouTube video, you probably saw at about 2:31 a CT scan image that Molyneux believes is a “proof” that abuse causes brain damage.
Well now. Let’s just take a look at where that slide came from, shall we?
Molyneux obscures the fact this image came from Dr. Bruce Perry’s study Altered brain development following global neglect in early childhood (See Page 6).
You see, Dr. Perry’s study is about neglect. Certainly, neglect and abuse are kissin’ cousins, but they are not exactly the same. Moreover, the subject matter of Dr. Perry’s study and the subject matter of Dr. Felitti’s work are miles apart. Which is probably one of the reasons Molyneux doesn’t want you to know about the origin of that CT scan image.
Specifically, Dr. Perry’s research focused on “globally neglected children,” that is, children suffering from severe malnutrition, very little social contact, etc. Some of them were so badly neglected that they “were raised in cages in dark rooms for the first years of their lives.”
As far as I can tell, Molyneux is entirely misrepresenting Perry’s work to make his own points. In my Dr. Felitti article, I wondered if Molyneux was committing Psychologist Abuse. Turns out that Neuroscientist Abuse is apparently just as acceptable. In Molyneux’s defense, he would probably say that while the image is on-screen, he uses the word “neglect,” but I think it can be argued that he is slipping it in as if it is part of Felitti’s work.
Not convinced, huh? Good. I love a challenge.
Freeze the YouTube image at 2:31. Now compare what you see to the one in the Perry study I linked to. Notice something? That’s right, Molyneux blocked out the labels beneath the two brain scans, the one saying “Normal” on the left and the one saying “Extreme Neglect” on the right!
I guess Molyneux was afraid you’d worry yourself sick trying to understand what, if anything, that image had to do with the point he was making about abuse. A logical trauma like that could cause brain damage!
So he just…kind of…blocked it out so you wouldn’t be confused. Another little thing he overlooked (and blocked out) was the really, really big text beneath the slide that said “All rights for reproduction of the above image are reserved, Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine.” Maybe there’s a Fair (mis)Use Doctrine I didn’t know about.
So where did we end up on this? Here’s my read. Molyneux (when he’s not going on and on about his own ethics and virtue) is perfectly O.K. with misrepresenting one physician’s work (that he’s using without permission) to aid in the misrepresentation of another physician’s work, all to support his otherwise completely unsupportable theories.
There’s something really awesome about all that, in a master-criminal kind of way.