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Report on the 2003
Congress on Matriarchal Studies




The First World Congress on Matriarchal Studies in Luxemburg, 2003

Personal Observations and Reflections
And a Response to Criticism

by James DeMeo, PhD
Updated 19 November 2007


CONTENTS OF THIS ARTICLE (Scan down as desired)

Personal Observations and Reflections on the 2003 Congress
Declaration of the Congress on Matriarchal Studies
Post-Congress Discussions, and Reactions

CRITICAL POINTS of DISCUSSION
The Differences Between Freud and Reich, on the Matter of Real Traumas
Murdock's Data and DeMeo's Maps: Biased and Wrong? Or Factual and Robust?
Dr. Peggy Sanday's Other Criticisms
The Issue of Polygamy, and Polygyny Specifically as an Extreme-Patrist Indicator Variable
The Drying-Up of Saharasia Produced More Than Merely "Ecological Stressing Factors"
Were the Tuareg an Example of a Peaceful Matristic Society, Or a Violent Matrilineal One?
The Need for Clarity Regarding Definitions of "Matrilineal-Patrilineal", "Matriarchal-Patriarchal", and "Matrist-Patrist".
Other Points

_______________________


Personal Observations and Reflections on the 2003 Congress

The First World Congress on Matriarchal Studies was held in Luxemburg, in early September 2003:
http://www.universitadelledonne.it/Kongress.doc
http://www.hagia.de/documents/kongr_e.pdf

This Congress was organized by Dr. Heide Gottner-Abendroth, a scholar who for years has researched the history of matriarchal cultures around the world, with many books documenting the higher status of women in ancient times, or reviewing modern matriarchal cultures such as the Mosuo of China. She directs the Hagia Institute near Munich, Germany, operating autonomously as a recognized leader in this field of study, reconstructing the lesser-known history of the world, when women had a higher status. Her work in many ways provides added specific details and parallels my own findings on the subject of Saharasia, which was a geographical study on the Origins of Violence question which also included significant discussion on the status of women. Based upon her interest in my findings, and some personal contact we had a few years earlier, I was invited to speak at this important event.

Before proceeding, I wish to express publicly my thanks to Dr. Gottner-Abendroth and her associates who organized this Congress and invited me to participate, and who acted as a moderator in the follow-up debates and discussions. The Congress was a professionally-organized event, with a lively group of presenters and participants. I learned new things from many of the other scholars who presented, though certainly some sharp differences were brought to the surface. The Congress was held in a large and comfortable lecture hall, with a place for professional translators in glass booths at the top-rear of the room. Every seat had its own small desk space, microphone and earphones to hear the simultaneous translations in French, German or English. Most of the presentations were in English, but not all.

Because I want this article to address the issues and controversy which was created by my own presentation to the Congress, I will not here make any commentary about the other speakers and presenters, except generally to say I had mostly favorable views and learned new things. Some of the presenters specifically come to mind, notably Dr. Ceylan Orhun, who had worked very hard towards uplifting the status and condition of women in the rural region of Islamic Turkey around the old ruins of Catal Huyuk. She spoke about the plight of the girls and mothers, about the problems of "honor" murders of young girls for violations (or perceived violations) of sex-taboos, and the generally unconcerned reactions of the police to such things. She established a woman's center in that rural area, which offered the hope of some positive changes, but it was repeatedly burned down by the angry men of the village (or by the police?), eventually forcing a heart-wrenching abandonment of her efforts. One rarely hears such important things presented at scholarly conferences, as it would be considered too "politically incorrect", and even many feminists would be against it for reasons of "multicultural respect". In any case, here is a good on-line report which reviews the Congress, mentioning the various speakers, by Leslene della Madre: http://www.awakenedwoman.com/les_matriarch.htm The above weblinks to the Congress also may be consulted.

My presentation to the Congress was on the last day, lasting about 40 minutes with a question period afterwards. I anticipated my work would be new to most of those in attendance, with rational and critical discussions afterwards. Only a few of the Congress participants had read either my books or published articles on the subject, though many were familiar with the works of the late Dr. Wilhelm Reich, whose findings were a foundation-stone for my own findings on Saharasia. Consequently, after my talk there was a lot of important open dialogue and exchange of ideas, both during the Congress breaks, at lunchtime, and later into the evening. Also many e-mails were exchanged after I returned home, continuing the discussions.

This friendly and productive exchange was punctuated by one unfortunate event, however. The public question-period just after my lecture partly degenerated into an irrational attack, being reported (or mis-reported) today on a few websites as having been something scientifically substantive, or which reflected the predominant reaction of the Congress participants to my talk. Neither is correct. This essay-article and report was prepared to clarify exactly what happened, to correct any misunderstandings, and to steer the discussion back towards the scientific issues involved, which are important to everyone. However, it also is important to provide rebuttals to, and background details about, some of the events and participants.

The question period after my talk was dominated by Dr. Peggy Reves Sanday, Dr. Malika Grasshoff, and Dr. Helene Claudot-Hawad. Dr. Grasshoff and Dr. Claudot-Hawad, with family backgrounds and a research specialization in North African Kabyle and Taureg cultures respectively, voiced a ferocious objection during the public open-question period, as is well-known to all those who attended the Congress. Their reactions were of such an extreme and unscholarly nature, where I was literally screamed at, with many outrageous statements and accusatory fingers thrust in my direction, speaking so fast and angrily (in German and French, as I recall) that even the professional translator expressed a difficulty to keep up with them. All I could say afterwards, when finally they were finished, was I could not agree with their positions and that my findings had developed through a quantitative evaluation of very good and peer-reviewed collections of ethnographical data, widely used for social theory testing in many disciplines.

Dr. Sanday's criticisms were voiced with an equally strong and stern condemnation, though more briefly and succinctly. She claimed the Ethnographic Atlas data base of the late Dr. G.P. Murdock which I used for construction of my World Behavior Map -- a cornerstone of the overall Saharasia discovery and theory -- was somehow flawed or discredited, and declared my work was "wrong and dangerous". Since I was familiar with the developmental history and widespread use of the Murdock data, how it had been extracted from the standard anthropological literature and published in the journal Ethnology for peer-review and possible corrections before being made available to other scholars, my response was as follows. While I agreed in principle that the Murdock data, like all other large data sets, had to be used with intelligent care, I disagreed with her analysis and knew of no substantive criticisms suggesting a wholesale dismissal of it could be justified. Below I give more discussion to the issue of the Murdock data, and my use of them, as well as some added information on Dr. Sanday's objections to my work, which subsequently re-emerged on a few internet websites and e-groups.

In closing my response during the Congress, I acknowledged my work was brand-new material for most of those in attendance, which carried controversial implications, and encouraged everyone to read my book for more exacting details.

After my lecture, I was approached by Ms. Marie Josee-Jacobs, Minister for Women's Affairs for Luxembourg, who gave the welcoming introduction to the Congress participants. She had apparently been unnerved by the anger expressed during the question period, and privately apologized to me for what she said was "the most rude treatment of a speaker ever witnessed" at any conference she had attended. I could say the same.

There also was another partly-funny incident at the Congress on Matriarchal Studies worth mentioning, as it also highlights how people sometimes react to my Saharasia findings in very emotional ways. During the break period after my talk, and the brief turmoil during the question period, a large German man came up to me, literally trembling with rage and with hate on his face, accusing me of being "a CIA agent, come to spread confusion" because my Saharasia maps "supported the Bushs Achse des Boesen (Axis of Evil)". Clearly this was an over-the-top comment, and for a brief moment I thought he was joking until observing his clenched fists and trembling rage. I wrote about this already in my article Masters Of Deception which described the intensive and widespread anti-American and pro-Islamic sentiment, and the embrace of toxic conspiracy-theory I observed in Germany during my lectures around the same time as the Congress in Luxemburg. But I had to admit, the fact that my World Behavior Map, produced in the early 1980s, showed a geographical pattern of extreme patrism which matched the modern world distribution of Islamic culture, out of which the major sponsors of global terrorism have emerged, is no mere coincidence. The low status of women, hysterical antisexual taboos, harsh and compulsive marriage customs, extreme genital mutilations, religious extremism, totalitarian political structures and high levels of social violence found today within the Saharasian region are rooted in the original tribal customs which were documented in the ethnographical literature, assembled in the Murdock data, and finally plotted on world maps by myself. It is no accident that these regions also constitute the cultural and ideological well-springs from which the international terror brigades are coming. And this set of facts undermines those world-views which are anchored in pro-Islamic or anti-Western politics.

But I should emphasize, not a word about political issues was spoken by myself during my lecture presentation at the Congress. Nothing was mentioned about Bush or Iraq or 9-11, nor do I recall speaking the words "Islam" or "Muslim" even once. The only item in my standard set of slides for the Saharasia work which is even remotely related, and which I am not sure was presented to the Congress, was a double map from other scholars identifying the geographic "Regions Conquered by Arab/Islamic Armies Since 640 AD" juxtoposed against another identifying "Regions Conquered by Turkish-Mongol Armies Since 540 AD" (page 104 of Saharasia). The two geographical regions combined cover 100% of the Saharasian Desert Belt, spilling over into the borderlands of that great desert territory -- a fact which is largley explained by the Empire-building mania of those cultures, and the military advantages which horse-mounted warriors have over foot-soldiers on the open desert, versus the disadvantages of horse-mounted cavalry in tall grasslands or forests; a fact which also explains how extreme patrist behaviors generated within the hyper-arid desert core regions were exported to distant lands, via military invasion and conquest, as well as by "soft" migratory diffusion. But time did not allow exposition on these important details. My presentation was otherwise identical to similar ones I've given elsewhere on many occasions, summarizing only the basic findings in the short time available. If people looked at my maps, and gained insights that modern terrorism had something to do with the old Islamic Empire regions of extreme patrism as identified on my maps, they did so by correct intuition, and knowing something about the modern world situation.

Perhaps because of these factors, because my Saharasia findings and maps open people's eyes and give them an insight about "why" world conditions are the way they are, the overwhelming response I received from Congress participants was supportive, expressing their own great interest in my work, and about the cross-cultural methods and maps I presented. In private discussions, many of the women scholars and participants expressed their amazement at the intensity of the angry reactions during the question-period. A few persons openly came to tears, given the emphasis I placed upon the hard treatment of babies and children, and of extreme sex-repression or family cruelty which they personally suffered and was the core reason for their personal misery, and the high levels of social violence they observed in their home cultures. They were critics of those negative characteristics of their home cultures, social reformers who had been trying hard to make their homelands a better place, to end the "honor murdering" of young women, to help women into education, and out of the arranged-marriage system, to overcome the power of the fanatical Imams and Mullahs, or tribal chiefs of one or another sort. So the people who appreciated my Saharasia findings were already deeply critical of the extreme-patrist social environments they grew up with, even while cherishing their many loved family members, and remaining appreciative of the core-culture and natural landscape into which they were born. But they had never seen those issues articulated and organized in such a way as I presented them with such strong proofs from the correlation studies and world maps. They were appreciative of my open discussions about child-treatment, women's status, self-regulation, and authentic sexual freedom.


Declaration of the Congress on Matriarchal Studies

During the 2003 Congress on Matriarchal Studies, a "Declaration" was developed into which each presenter was asked to contribute a paragraph. Here is what I wrote:

James DeMeo: The study of both matriarchal and patriarchal societies must proceed on an objective, scientific foundation, so as to best separate out myth from fact. Cross-cultural evaluations, to review specific practices, are one such objective indicator. The claim that a matriarchal society is more desirable or better than another social model must proceed from a clear detailing about just what it is we value in a society: higher women's status, greater overall freedom for everyone, low violence, absence of cruel sexual mutilations, and so forth. Only with such scientifically critical and objective approaches can the study of matriarchal societies hope to defeat academic obstructionism, and benefit the world.

The full Congress Declaration is posted here:
http://www.hagia.de/documents/declaration.pdf


Post-Congress Discussions, and Reactions

Following the conclusion of the Congress, some email exchanges were made in the way of authentic scholarly discussion and criticisms. For one example, I received a communication from Dr. Gottner-Abendroth which contained the following:

...I like to observe what some participants of the Congress have critically formulated against your theory and what you will answer. Therefore, I would like to send you a copy of the critique of Michael Machleb via airmail, because he wrote it down in German and English. He is a trained scholar of psychology and very open-minded to different disciplines and to new research, and I am curious what you will answer to his arguments.
In regard with Peggy Reeves Sanday's criticism, I suppose that she has not written some special article or chapter against the theory of Wilhelm Reich. But these two books of her are important (I am just reading them):
- Fraternity Gang Rape. Sex, Brotherhood, and Privilege on Campus, New York University 1990;
- A Woman Scorned: Acquaintance Rape on Trial, (date, place?)
In these books, she analyses the male sexual culture in the USA. Especially the book: A Woman Scorned, is important for her critique of Reich, Kinsey, and Hefner in general. If you want to know what are her objections, I think you should know the contents of these books completely.

-- Email from H.G.A. to JD, 28 Nov.2003

Dr. Gottner-Abendroth's email made reference to criticisms against my Saharasia work she had privately received from a few persons, notably from a psychology student Mr. Michael Machleb, but also those from several academics -- including apparently Dr. Sanday. In early December of 2003, a few months after the Congress, I received from Mr. Machleb in the postal mails a 12-page document with the following title:

Annotations to the theoretical and methodological background of the conflict after James DeMeo's presentation (7th of September 2003) by Michael Machleb.

I wrote a detailed Response to Mr. Machleb and Dr. Gottner-Abendroth by emails a few days later, though I have no idea how widely that was circulated. I considered Mr. Machleb's "Annotations" to be scholarly open critique, even though he misunderstood many things, having made his criticisms without firstly reading my Saharasia book. I also obtained Dr. Sanday's writings referencing Dr. Wilhelm Reich, which revealed a very negative set of misinterpretations and wrong ideas. The various critical points of Mr. Machleb (which often echoed Dr. Sanday), and my response to them, are addressed in the sections below.

After the Congress, I also had an exchange in the nature of a clarification with Dr. Gottner-Abendroth by emails, at the time the Congress Proceedings were being prepared, regarding the need for greater clarity in my use of the terms "polygamy", "polygyny" and "polyandry". Those issues were also addressed amicably and the Proceedings were eventually published. A clarification on this was also included in the Second Edition of my Saharasia book, which went to press around the same time. Dr. Gottner-Abendroth eventually invited me to give a weekend seminar on my Saharasia findings to a private gathering of other scholars and students at her Hagia Institute in Munich, Germany, and the discussions continued. Partly due to my participation in the Congress, but also from other talks I previously gave in the USA on the Origins of War or Origins of Social Violence questions, several of my invited articles appeared in new books and journals by major academic and popular press publishers in the following year. These are listed near the end of this article.

Today, new discussions and criticisms of my Saharasia work are emerging into internet websites and e-groups, which is not unexpected given a growing interest in the subject material. However, some of these repeat the original privately-voiced criticisms and claims which were already addressed and refuted years ago, suggesting people are unaware of my privately-circulated responses. Worse, the emotional outbursts during the question period after my presentation at the 2003 Congress are sometimes being misrepresented as "serious scholarly critique" of my work, which it most definitely was not.

One notable example of this comes from Ms. Max Dashu, an independent scholar who attended the Congress, and by whose published accounts I should judge my Saharasia work to be entirely worthless rubbish. I learned about her views by accident, when a friend sent me an email which had been posted to an internet e-group. Ms. Dashu was interviewed about the Congress back in 2003 by the Awakened Woman online internet journal, with a more lengthy and scalding article posted at some later date to her own website: "Controversy Over DeMeo's Saharasia hypothesis". In her interview article, Ms. Dashu correctly stated that my lecture at the Congress was "the most controversial presentation", but most everything else in her articles was way off-the-mark, and for good reason. In her "Controversy" article, Ms. Dashu said, "I haven't read DeMeo's book, but I did look it over carefully at the conference." Sorry to say, in the context of such very explicit and damning statements being made by Ms. Dashu against my work, a mere "looking over" a large-format 464-page book which summarizes 10 years of detailed work, during some off-period during a major conference, is simply insufficient. If Ms. Dashu had read the book, she would learn that many of her own interests and ideas are actually supported and strengthened by my work. She also makes several references to "racism" and "white men" in her article, quoting Dr. Sanday on such matters, in ways which are completely out of place in scientific discussions.

Below I give a list of my responses as previously given to Mr. Machleb and Dr. Gottner-Abendroth in our productive exchanges, with additional details and points more specifically addressing what Ms. Dashu and Dr. Sanday have been saying.


CRITICAL POINTS of DISCUSSION

The Differences Between Freud and Reich, on the Matter of Real Traumas

Reich was an advocate of Freud's early work, where Freud discussed REAL TRAUMAS creating deep mental illness, and also knew and wrote about sexual violence as expressed against children, and the primacy of the sexual drive itself. Freud's entire theory was at one time resting upon such a foundation, of the sexual etiology of neuroses, and his libido theory provided a causal mechanism later preserved in Reich's bioenergetic ideas. Freud later abandoned this early socially-revolutionary emphasis, abandoning the drive-discharge model and reducing libido into a metaphor; only the later work of Freud is followed, though psychoanalysts often use Reich's work Character Analysis as the basis of therapeutic method. Psychoanalysis today rarely mentions specific hard traumas, such as incest, rape, beatings, life-threats, etc., instead preferring to speak about "fantasy" and "wish". In many cases, anthropologists and social scientists will discuss a given culture, but avoid mentioning the specific traumas which they heap upon their own children and young people, or the sex-repression and negation of love which is predominant within them. By contrast to this, I selected variables from the Murdock and Textor data sets which included a long list of pain-inflicting social customs which can only be enforced within a society by use of family-murder, severe beatings and/or threats, all of which create severe damage to the human psyche and body. I consider these real traumas to be causal in the generation of adult violence. And it was on that point, of the co-relation between psyche and soma, or of mind and body, that Reich's discovery of human armoring provided the key to understanding the human condition. Which meant, you could actually prevent neurosis and generate a non-violent society, if you could only stop the abusive treatments of infants and children, and also liberate the sexual drive from compulsive moralism (or compulsive pornographic ideology, which is more of a problem today). And so, Reich led a group of young radical psychoanalysts like Fromm, Horney, Perls and Finichel, to set up sex-education clinics, distribute birth control (which was then illegal) and in other ways, to try and change social conditions. Stodgy psychoanalysis would have none of this, and Reich was thrown out of the International Psychoanalytical Association, and his name literally expunged from the "official history" of psychoanalysis. Reich also was attacked by the Nazis and Communist Party for his Mass Psychology of Fascism at the same time... but the universities and mainstream academic journals rarely mention any of this.

Reich's emphasis, and mine also, was to eliminate the abuses and modify laws and social institutions as a means to eliminate neurosis, on a culture-wide basis. The reader may recall the arguments of the early psychoanalytically-trained anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, whose Sex and Repression in Savage Society basically refuted the assumed "biological nature" of the Oedipal Conflict, showing very healthy native cultures which did not engage in adolescent or premarital or extramarital sex repression, did not "bottle up" sexual expression within the confines of a compulsive patriarchal-authoritarian family structure, and where matrilineal organization left the training-education of children to the mother's brother, and not the father (the man who slept with mother), thereby avoiding the claimed "psychic trauma". This was a hot topic in anthropology and psychoanalysis in the 1930s, but today it is mostly suppressed or ignored material. Related to this is the more recent work of Jeffrey Masson, who worked in the Freud Archives and discovered all the letters between Freud and Fleiss, detailing how Freud abandoned his early work and ideas on the real trauma of child rape occurring in "good families", in favor of interpreting the reports by children on such trauma as being mere "fantasy-wishes". (ie: Assault Upon Truth and Memory: Freud's Abandonment of the Incest Theory, J. Masson). Where Freud was professionally rejected and isolated for his early powerful ideas, once he re-wrote his work to basically expunge discussion of the incest theory, he then got all the social applause and approvals -- he got the social approvals for the very reason that his work had been castrated, and would no longer pose a threat to any social order whatsoever. That is the very issue where Reich split with Freud, and where my work on Saharasia certainly sharply splits away from modern insipid and socially affect-less psychoanalysis, and many other disciplines as well. My work on Saharasia also adds another level of quantitative proof to the matter, exposing the historical roots of the process, with an argument on how human emotional armoring and sexual-repression began, backed up by plenty of evidence from global archaeology and anthropology.


Murdock's Data and DeMeo's Maps: Biased and Wrong? Or Factual and Robust?

Previously I developed a separate webpage article giving details on the Ethnographic Atlas data of Dr. Murdock, beyond the considerable details already contained in my Saharasia book. Readers who feel this issue of the Murdock data is important are obliged to review the book and this separate webpage for details. But some details can be summarized here. The time provided to me at 2003 Congress, already generous by the standards of many other conferences, simply was too short to allow for much discussion.

As noted above, Dr. Sanday was a primary critic of Murdock's data and my work during the 2003 Congress, and subsequently has voiced her negative opinions privately to others, such as Max Dashu, who quotes her in separate interview and essay articles attacking my work. She is quoted in the Dashu article (weblinked above) as calling it "the most flawed data-base I can imagine" but without explicit critique. Interestingly, Dr. Sanday is a former student of the late Dr. G.P. Murdock, and uses Murdock's data extensively herself, in her own cross-cultural studies and publications. This makes her objections and claims seem doubly puzzling. But in fact, I also have a good knowledge and familiarity with the Murdock data, going back to around 1980. I was the first scholar to make geographical world maps of the Murdock data, in several large published and unpublished volumes, and studied them extensively. I obtained them from Dr. Murdocks books, from the journal Ethnology where they were published and peer-reviewed, and finally I obtained them in computer-readable format (a set of IBM cards) from the Human Relations Area Files organization at Yale University which Dr. Murdock founded, and whose cross-cultural materials are today distributed to university libraries world-wide. Additional and separate groups of scholars loosely affiliated with the World Cultures journal continue to provide similar information more directly using Murdock's original and most-comprehensive citation materials and data sets. In 2004, World Cultures published summary materials on my Saharasia findings. (See: James DeMeo, "A 'Saharasian' Climate-Linked Geographical Pattern in the Global Cross-Cultural Data on Human Behavior" and "The Saharasian Desert Belt", World Cultures, Vol.14, No.2, Spring 2004, p.111-143.) Years ago, I reviewed many other research papers which used the Murdock data, or subsets of them, and they continue to be used by scholars world-wide.

During my Saharasia research I also composed several independent checks of the Murdock data, which only confirmed their robust qualities. For example, a smaller 400-culture subset of the Murdock data was expanded upon by Dr. Robert Textor, to include data for over 500 separate variables, out of which numerous statistically-significant cross-cultural correlations were identified. His work was published in the book A Cross Cultural Summary. When I used 63 different variables from the Textor data for my work, it showed nearly identical Saharasian cross-cultural correlations, regional histograms and geographical patterns as the larger Ethnographic Atlas sample of 1170 cultures, but which was constrained to only 15 variables. Other independent checks of the Murdock data and my findings existed in several world maps of cultural variables I made from completely independent data sources (ie, on Female Genital Mutilations and Infant Cranial Deformation and Swaddling), or in the reproductions of maps made by other scholars, all of which revealed a quite similar Saharasian geographical pattern. For these and other reasons, I concluded many years ago that the Saharasian patterns on the world maps which emerged from my research were robust, real, and causally-related to the large Saharasian Desert Belt which had nearly identical geographical dimensions as the Saharasian region of extremely patristic culture.

And my professional associates and reviewers have agreed, over many years. None of the professional anthropologists who sat on my doctoral dissertation committee, or who peer-reviewed my various published articles or book-chapter contributions on Saharasia, or who heard me speak about these issues over decades at various academic scholarly societies, have ever voiced a similar concern as Dr. Sanday, even when they found themselves staring wide-eyed and mouth-open upon seeing the World Behavior Map and my other evidence for the first time. While the Murdock data surely must be used with care, as is true for any large data-set, I certainly cannot find anything which would support Dr. Sanday's sweeping dismissal of those data, or of my work generally, and she has never provided defendable scientifically-developed evidence by which they should be so dramatically discarded.

The burden of proof is therefore on the shoulders of my critics to come up with clear and explicit reasons as to why we all should abandon the Murdock data. But they also must give some alternative reasons as to why such a robust set of positive cross-cultural correlations and structured geographical patterns emerged from my use of the Murdock data. And additionally to explain why the Textor data, and my other published maps composed from other data sets, and the maps from other scholars which I cite and reproduce in the Saharasia book, all show the same very similar Saharasian geographical pattern. If the Murdock data were such a messy and "most flawed data base imaginable" one might expect only messy and chaotic patterns would have emerged on the world maps in my use of them. That surely was not the case.

I again reference the Saharasia book and my separate webpage article on the Ethnographic Atlas data, which provides great detail on these questions.


Dr. Peggy Sanday's Other Criticisms

In addition to her strong negative opinions about the Murdock data and my use of them in the Saharasia research, as noted above, Dr. Sanday appears to also hold an extremely negative view of the work of the late Dr. Wilhelm Reich. In her writings, she reveals significant misunderstandings of Reich, and an unscientific mixing of his findings with the activities of soft-port peddlers and others who had sharp disagreements with Reich on critical points. This clear bias probably has colored her views of my work, as I cite Reich so extensively and positively. Consider her words in the book A Woman Scorned: Acquaintance Rape on Trial (Doubleday 1996). Starting on p.146, Sanday mixed a number of sexological researchers together in a series of condemning statements. Havelock Ellis, Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm Reich, Alfred Kinsey, D.H. Lawrence and Henry Miller were are all thrown together as "bad boys" in her universe, right along with Hugh Hefner and Playboy Magazine as if no differences existed between them worthy to mention. For example, here are some quotes from Sanday's book:

"In 1945 Wilhelm Reich published the English translation of his book The Sexual Revolution. In this book the trend of turning the sexual into the purely mechanical continued to evolve. As God was degraded to matter by the scientists, Reich turned love into orgasm as an outlet for sexual energy. Reich made the Puritan concern with venting sexual energy into a matter of social survival. Sex couldn't and shouldn't wait for marriage; it had to be released or society would crumble. Any holding back of sexual desire was sure to result in 'sex-negative' activities such as warfare, social oppression, and widespread human anxiety leading to other sex-negative social expressions. In other words, the free expression of sexual energy was necessary for the peaceful operation of society."
"Building on Ellis, Freud, and Reich, Alfred Kinsey's massive study of male sexual behavior, published in 1948, dispenses with love and relationship altogether in favor of the outlet for achieving orgasm. Of the great sexual scientists, Kinsey was the first American and the first entrepreneur of sex. ... Kinsey's emphasis on orgasm helped to give scientific legitimacy to the behavior of future generations of young males, who rather than regulating their sexual activity, as Reich suggested would happen in an atmosphere of sexual freedom, would mindlessly sow their seed like animals without concern for pregnancy, their partner's consent, or her pleasure."
(Sanday, A Woman Scorned, p.146)

This is a stunning distortion of Reich's ideas, if not also a broadside against males in general, even while her points about a loveless-sexuality deserve a serious consideration. Her argument seems to be (and I would agree with some of it) that mechanical sexual release alone does not bring about any kind of broader psychic benefits, nor any pacifying affects upon the individual or society. That is generally correct, though even a basic "mechanical discharge" does play a role in relief from accumulated sexual bioenergetic tension which, temporarily at least, prevents neurosis formation. But most emphatically, mechanical tension-release alone has only limited value for maintenance of psychic health, and Reich never advocated empty sexual "free fucking", devoid of love, as is often claimed by his critics. Reich even developed a new term, the Sexual Embrace, to separate his ideas from the dirty-minded claims of his critics, who inappropriately accused Reich of supporting a loveless sexuality, merely because he was critical of antisexual religious moralism, compulsive loveless marriages and the patriarchal authoritarian family. The strongest orgasm happens when love is present, along with strong erotic passion. Reich was clear about that, and also clear in his criticisms of the pornographers, whom he felt were just as deadly to a healthy sexuality as the religious moralizers.

If Sanday's comments had been restricted only to Kinsey, I could find some empathy and agreement with her points. But Kinsey never "built upon Reich" in any manner, and appears to have loathed Reich, for reasons exactly opposite of what Dr. Sanday claims. Kinsey mentions Reich only peripherally or negatively in his book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male where he expresses a disagreement with Reich on this very issue of love-less "mechanical discharge". I could condemn Kinsey in far harsher words than Sanday, as with the more recent findings of Reisman and Eichel, summarized in Kinsey, Sex and Fraud. Reisman reveals how Kinsey apparently used pedophiles to rape children in his laboratory while he stood there, in white-coat with stop-watch in hand, to obtain the "time to orgasm" data for young children. Kinsey also exaggerated the incidence of homosexuality within society, using study-populations derived from prisons and other biased sample-groups, by which extrapolations were made to the mainstream of American society. Eichel reveals how Kinsey-based university sex-therapist certification programs embrace pedophilia as merely an "alternative sexuality", actually inviting pedophiles to give "scholarly lectures" on their "experiences". (But nobody bothered to invite the children to testify about their experiences!) I would 100% agree with Sanday that Kinsey was a very sick man performing sloppy and pathological "science" which had negative effects upon society. But Sanday's inclusion of Reich, and Freud and Lawrence for that matter, were woefully out of place in her critique of Kinsey and the problems of contemporary sexual license and pornography. She also says, on page 163 of that same book: "Contrary to Reich's prediction that more sex would mean less crime, all the evidence of the sixties suggested that more sex was strongly associated with more crime." It is unclear to me what Sanday is speaking about here, what kind of "evidence" she is relying upon, but just from the last weeks, there are new studies available which indicate early teenage romance and consensual sexual relations between teen-peers is correlated with a lowering of social violence, fully in keeping with Reich's claims. I have not yet obtained the original publications, but for example here are two news reports on the subject: "Study Debunks Theory On Teen Sex, Delinquency" and "Early Teen Sex May Not Be a Path to Delinquency, Study Shows". This latter news report states:

"A new study by University of Virginia clinical psychologists has found that teens who have sex at an early age may be less inclined to exhibit delinquent behavior in early adulthood than their peers who waited until they were older to have sex. The study also suggests that early sex may play a role in helping these teens develop better social relationships in early adulthood." Sanday clearly misunderstood Reich, needlessly injecting sex-negative ideas into her scholarship, and that appears to be partly behind her distaste for my Saharasia findings.


The Issue of Polygamy, and Polygyny Specifically as an Extreme-Patrist Indicator Variable

The question of polygamy (polygyny or polyandry) versus monogamy came up as the very last question after my presentation at the Congress, and there was no time to address it. There are entire chapter sections on this variable in my book, however, where I address the question of compulsive marriage irrespective of its form (polygamy or monogamy). The variable "Bride Price" in my book did address this more directly, indicating where women were purchased in marriage, indicating a diminution of love-match for choice of marriage partner, and the intrusion of parental control and demands (religious, economic) upon the sexuality of young people. The other variable on the form of marriage (monogamy, polygamy) was another indirect indicator of this, as follows: A general review of polygamous practices around the world suggests in the overwhelming majority of cases:
a) it is polygyny, men taking on additional female partners, and
b) they do so by the force of other patriarchal-authoritarian social institutions, where the status of women is very low, and men have most of the economic wealth for buying of a new bride.
There surely are a smaller number of cultures of polyandry, where women select more than one lover ("marriage" may or may not be the correct term in these cases) or partner. There was only one of the 1170 cultures in the Murdock data where polyandry was practiced, but hundreds where polygyny was practiced, which may approximate their frequency of occurrence in the real-world. This suggests why in most people's mind the term "polygamy" has come to define one man with many wives, even though the term "polygyny" is the more correct technical definition. "Monogamy" also may have compulsive and patriarchal-authoritarian qualities, but this is less certain than the usual polygynous practices (or "polygamous" as by the Murdock data, which was almost totally composed of polygynous societies of one man with many wives). Much depends upon if marriages are love-match or arranged, if divorce is legal or not, if people can escape a loveless marriage to find happiness with someone else, but the Murdock data had no separate variable on this. A standard cross-cultural review of the "Polygamy" variable indicated a positive correlation with the following:

Statistically-Significant Positive Correlations to the Murdock-Textor Variable "Polygamy"
(>99% polygynous cultures of one man with many wives) include the following:

Male genital mutilations present
patrilocal marriage present
father has family authority
bride price present
female status is inferior or subjected
female barrenness penalty is high
abortion penalty is high
sex anxiety is high
patrilineal descent is present
slavery present
military glory emphasized
bellicosity, narcissism and insult-sensitivity are high
High God is present
There was not a single "matrist" cultural correlation found for the "Polygamy" variable, precisely because it was overwhelmingly composed of polygynous (one man, many wives) societies. (Thanks to Dr. Gottner-Abendroth for her private critique pointing out how the first edition of Saharasia and my summary article required clarification on some of this -- the Second Edition now carries the clarification.)

Consider Mormon polygamy (polygyny) in the State of Utah in the USA, now totally illegal, but perhaps 20,000 families still practice it in a hidden manner, very much as it was practiced in the 1800s. It requires all women to be ignorant and squashed down, and married off by parental arrangements usually to much older men while the girls are in their early teens. When polygamy was made illegal, those same Mormons continued to have sex-repressive and compulsive marriages. However, the shift away from polygamy to monogamy, and the ending of child-betrothal, was by itself a life-positive revolution in the lives of Mormon women. "Radical ideas" such as divorce have been adopted in those regions as well, and girls in Utah now have a sexual life which often includes premarital sexuality, they go to college, pick their own husbands, and even birth control and abortion are legal in that very conservative state. The point is, that polygamy within a larger patriarchal authoritarian social structure, by its very nature, can intensify and structurally "anchor" women in a very low position. Even Islamic forms of "limited polygamy" of "only 4 wives", has continued in those areas where women are really crushed down as property of fathers or husbands. Temporary "Mut'a" marriages and forced concubinage, akin to legalized sexual slavery, also predominates in the Saharasian Muslim world, which makes the "limitations" of Islamic marriages appear hypocritically deceptive. Thankfully, as love-match marriages occur with increasing frequency, worldwide, the desire of men (or women) to seek out added sexual partners is reduced. There is a natural tendency to gravitate towards emotional-sexual bonding with one partner at a time, over longer periods, though without compulsiveness. This was Reich's finding also, that love and erotic excitation was necessary for full orgastic discharge, and without such a full discharge, one constantly seeks out other partners. Sexual gratification, or the lack of it, is the driving and determining force. Where extra-marital sexuality is repressed by severe penalties, in combination with sex-repression and child-betrothal customs, polygamy may receive an even stronger force to support it, and the needs of polygamy then support the larger sex-repressive social structure. Polygyny also gives Islam a boost over Christianity in some regions, given that men who exploit the labor of women will chose that which permits multiple wives, and reject monogamous religions. And then, what happens to all the young men who have no female sexual partners? They are steered into military institutions, which then discharge their pent-up bio-sexual tension and sadistic rage against other social groups, often seeking to kidnap new wives from elsewhere. In such cultures, women are both prized and denigrated, and one may also see preferential female infanticide, which further reduces the number of available females, demonstrating an intensifying downward spiral of patriarchal authoritarian culture. The point is, these social institutions exist in a complex which supports or reinforces each other, much as I outlined in the original Matrist-Patrist schema in my Saharasia book and publications.


The Drying-Up of Saharasia Produced More Than Merely "Ecological Stressing Factors"

The point has been raised several times that my Saharasia findings are a mere restatement of "ecological stressors", or a "desert-violence" equation of some sort, but this is a simplification. I make a sharp distinction between semi-arid deserts and hyper-arid deserts, and in fact published a specialized map, the Budyko-Lettau Dryness Ratio, which distinguishes the relative harshness of drylands. Many other ecological factors are mapped in a separate chapter on The Saharasian Desert Belt in my book. Only the most hyper-arid deserts of very great geographical dimensions show the correlation to high patrism, precisely because they are so much harder and more difficult to survive within. All other world deserts -- the Namib, Kalahari, Atacama, those of the American Southwest and Great Basin, the Great Australian Desert -- by comparison to Saharasia they are all quite lush, or of such narrow dimensions with exotic streams regularly cutting through, such that the problem of famine and starvation rarely occur. People can extract food and water, or walk out of them. Not so Saharasia. So all the claims about matristic cultures living in those peripheral desert regions are not a surprise, nor a contradiction to my Saharasian expectations. Also, the mechanism for the genesis of patrism in the first instance, in the earliest times, is not the same as how patrism is passed on through the generations today. With the drying-up of the Saharasian region, we speak about the greatest magnitude climate change to happen since the end of the Pleistocene Ice Age, which dried up the sustenance and food supply of multiple emerging city-states and broad reaches of territory under cultivation or pastoralism. I provide good evidence for massive land-abandonment at this time period, along with shifts towards irrigation or clustering around exotic river systems. In many cases, ecological collapse of entire regions and methods of subsistence occurred, with famine and starvation, and probably a massive die off of human populations, with a shift of lifestyles towards a nomadic existence. The large abandoned city-states of Altyn Depe, Kara-Kum, in Garamantes and elsewhere speak to these changes, which also afflicted the Nile Valley and Tigris-Euphrates with masses of immigrants fleeing the dry highlands. The paleoclimatic and archaeological evidence for these shifts in settlement and subsistence are given in my Saharasia book, where I also cite studies on the emotional and neurological effects of starvation -- marasmus and kwashiorkor -- upon infants and children, all of which show dramatic and life-long consequences, assuming they survive.

What I speak about is the effects of extreme drought, and the consequent death-giving famine and starvation which follows, and which often kills large percentages of people in a given social group, destroying virtually all social institutions (cooperative work, extended and nuclear families, the maternal-infant bond, etc.). The effects of such severe drought and famine are brutal, no less than if an army had invaded your town, murdered half the people, stole every scrap of food and material goods, poisoned the wells, killed all the animals, and burned down everything remaining, leaving you to fend for yourself in the middle of a harsh winter, and with no hope of being "rescued" by anybody else, as everyone in surrounding towns would have suffered a nearly identical fate. And then, it happens again and again, every year for perhaps several hundred years, distorting and warping your original peaceful social structure, firstly in the development of defensive reactions, but later, the new generations grow up having known nothing else than this kind of deprived and traumatic existence, and all references to the former time of lush vegetation and happiness are recorded only as myths. Meanwhile, mothers and babies do not interact so lovingly as before, and neither do young men and women, whose relations are governed more by anxiety and contraction, while the adults must create new social institutions to deal with their collective sadistic aggressions. Afterward, it is perpetuated down the generations by those new social institutions and belief systems, which demand punishment and pain and trauma be visited upon young people through rituals, and sexual pleasure be reduced and denied, through religion. Now, each new generation is armored up by social institutions, and desert climate only becomes a factor which occasionally makes things worse. Of course I can only summarize the key points here, but this is quite a bit more than some simplistic ideas about "natural forces determine social violence".


Were the Tuareg an Example of a Peaceful Matristic Society, Or a Violent Matrilineal One?

While I do not wish to "pick on" the Tuareg culture by way of highlighting their specific high-patrist characteristics, since they were raised as examples of "a matriarchy" with claims to refute my work given their matrilineal characteristics, it becomes important to clarify the issues. As I discuss in more detail below, there is an important difference between what I call a true "unarmored matrist" culture, and one which is merely "matrilineal", or which may be called a "matriarchy" based upon a few social traits related to women's status alone. As noted many times, my work is focused on the issues of social violence and the origins of war, how they get started, and the role of infant-child traumas and sex-repression in their genesis.

My own readings confirmed along ago, that the non-Arab and non-Muslim or recently-converted Muslim tribes of the Sahara and Middle East were generally less-patristic cultures than for example the most extreme-patrist examples which might be found. The Taureg and Kabyle adopted Islam somewhat later in history as compared to the Arabic-speaking peoples who arrived in North Africa centuries earlier as invaders from the East. So they preserved some of the pre-Islamic matristic aspects of their cultures later into history. However, the Islamic invasions were not the first wave of high-patrist influences -- previously the entire region of North Africa was subject to intensive warring and conflict, through the armies of the Phonecians, Carthaginians, Libyans, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, just to name a few. Nomadic tribal conflict has been rife across North Africa since the onset of desert conditions starting around 4000 BCE, so far as I can determine, and one sees this in rock-art transitions as recorded in the Tassilli frescoes and elsewhere. I duplicate some of these in my Saharasia book. Clear images of warrior-nomads on camels appear in those artistic records only after the desert forms, and fortifications appear on the landscape in quick order once the violence begins. The typical Saharan-Middle East village is a testament to defensive architecture and fortification, and ancient sites of the post-desert period almost uniformly show fortification walls and other signs of weaponry or destruction. The legal structure and demands of Islamic society were also much more repressive of women and of sexuality than the Christians who formerly dominated these territories, and by my rough determinations even today one sees the remnants of old pre-Islamic cultures living under repressive dhimmitude conditions, but holding on to many matristic traits which are not seen among their Muslim neighbors -- or one might see them where Islam was adopted much later in history. Today, for example, it is the Arabic-speaking inhabitants of Algeria who want to impose Sharia Law, under a "one man, one vote, one time" path to totalitarianism. Having been denied the opportunity to institute fascism by organized thoughtless stuffing of the ballot boxes, they are now committing atrocities with over 100,000 victims to date. The Kabyle and Tuareg have generally not joined in with these organized killings, and in fact have sometimes been the victims of it. Nevertheless, Tuareg society was infected with the warrior-cult mentality, often with a military-caste organization, and for centuries they enslaved blacks from more southerly regions to do agriculture under their dominance. And they still do.

For example, here's a BBC story on a black slave who escaped from his Tuareg master, who was getting ready to castrate him. The story is not from 500 BC, but 2002.
Niger 'slave' flees castration
4 September 2002
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/2236499.stm
Quote: "A man has escaped to the capital Niamey from northern Niger, saying his master was about to castrate him. This has brought issue of slavery in Niger under the spotlight again in a very dramatic way. According to statistics provided by a local human rights group, 20,000 people are still living under conditions of slavery in the Niger - some of them suffering from extreme forms of torture. ...He had been sentenced to castration by his new master, a local Tuareg chief."

Here's another about Malian Tuaregs murdering a group of black herders in nearby Niger.
Malian Tuaregs accused of killings in Niger
1 July 1998
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/123742.stm
Quote: "State radio in Niger says fifteen herdsmen have been killed and four injured in an attack by Tuareg nomads from Mali. The radio said the Tuareg raiders, armed with rifles, attacked camps in the south-western Abala region early on Saturday, and made off with cattle and other livestock. Correspondents say such clashes have long been a problem in the area, as herdsmen vie for water and grazing rights. In March last year, more than twenty-two herdsmen in Niger were killed by Malian Tuaregs in a fight over a watering hole."

These are only two examples out of many which could be given, of the rather violent conditions across North Africa, including among Tuaregs, well-documented outside of only newspaper reports. Darfur has made the headlines because of the genocidal ethnic-cleansing which is going on there, but an only slightly less-violent ethnic cleansing has also been on-going in West Africa, with Mauritania and northern states expelling black Africans, and Sahelan nations expelling Tuareg and Arab tribes, and with massive refugee camps along both sides of the Sahelan fracture-line. Certainly, the Tuareg existence in marginal lands at the edge of the Sahara are under great pressure from non-Tuareg, mostly black Africans from the more southerly parts. But the sad historical fact is, the Tuareg were slavers and raiders over long stretches of history, and lived off the backs of the black Africans slave labor. They also often sold themselves to the highest bidder as mercenary fighters, as occurred in the 1980s when Libya's Gaddafi paid Tuaregs and Arab tribes to spearhead an invasion of Chad. Today, however, the blacks of sub-Saharan Africa are better-armed than in the past, fighting back against an historical onslaught of North African Muslims who in largest measure wish to see them either all slaves, or all dead. Historically, the warrior-cult nomads of the Sahara were armed with guns while the black Africans of the south had only spears and arrows. Today, they both have deadly weaponry, though the slaughter of the blacks has been far more dramatic as the Janjaweed can draw upon helicopter gun-ships and bombers from Khartoum. The Janjaweed militias doing the mass-murdering and ethnic-cleansing have already called upon the Tuareg and other Berbers and Arab tribes across North Africa to come join them in the genocidal jihad, and get some of the "free land" where the black Africans have been driven off, or killed. And they are doing so, migrating East to participate in the genocidal jihad. The struggle is over land with sufficient water to grow crops or graze herd animals, but the ideological foundations are saturated in old tribal hatreds and racist ideology, and inflamed by Islamofascist jihad declarations. This kind of raiding, murdering and slave-taking, over land with water or pastures, has been characteristic of the region over centuries, not only in North Africa but for nearly all of Saharasia, as I discuss with specific details in my book. The fact that some of the North African tribes remained "matrilineal" or retained a few other isolated matriarchal traits was insufficient to overcome the other extreme patrist factors which generated the quite violent social traditions.


The Need for Clarity Regarding Definitions of
"Matrilineal-Patrilineal", "Matriarchal-Patriarchal" and "Matrist-Patrist"

My Saharasia research employed a set of explicitly defined terms, to identify a complex grouping of cultural characteristics under the headings of Unarmored Matrism versus Armored Patrism, which were derived from Reich's sex-economic theory of human behavior. I firstly generated a Table of how these factors might appear and associate with each other, identifying the treatment of infants and children, attitudes about sexuality and women, taboos and rituals which inflict pain or severely punish pleasure-seeking, dominant adult behaviors regarding marriage, the family and sexuality, authoritarian or hierarchal tendencies, belief-systems and expressions of violence -- or the lack of such things -- before any efforts were made to test the ideas against the real-world cross-cultural data. I then used 63 different variables from the Textor data, and 15 variables from the Murdock data, to evaluate if these factors associated as per Reich's sex-economic expectations. And they were confirmed. By contrast, the term "Matrilineal" and "Patrilineal" identify only if a culture traces its descent or lineage down through the maternal or paternal line. That one variable was included in my Table and also in the Textor and Murdock data sets I selected for the Saharasian evaluations. By itself the one variable of "descent" (patrilineal or matrilineal) is only a part of the picture I composed in my Saharasia work, and therefore it is not the same thing as the matrist-patrist designations used in my study.

Regarding the terms "Matriarchy-Patriarchy", I have a general understanding of what these terms mean, but observe they are often defined quite differently. So for example a scholar studying a culture with matrilineal descent and inheritance rules might say that culture is a "matriarchy", even though it might possess some very cruel treatments against its children, including female children, with aggressive wars or slavery continuing to occur. For this reason, I try to avoid the terms "matriarchy" or "patriarchy" without some other modifying terms, such as "patriarchal authoritarian". My Saharasia book discusses this issue, and while I find for example Riane Eisler's terms "dominator" and "partnership", as from her book The Chalice and the Blade, to be closer to my own matrist-patrist definitions, I've also hesitated to use her terms, for the reason of the lack of any explicitly agreed upon use of these various terms. "Matrilineal" has a clear definition based upon anthropological observation, as does the term "matrist" as given in my Saharasia book, but "matriarchy" does not, nor does "partnership". This may seem like splitting-hairs, but it is a determinant on how the cross-cultural codes are segregated, and what forms of behavior are classified as life-affirming and biologically-beneficial and natural, versus those which stem from frustrated-neurotic or sadistic impulses.

The presence of matrilineality, of tracing the descent through the maternal line, in many cases only reveals a trace of a prior somewhat more matristic social organization under more peaceful conditions, centuries earlier. Matrilineal cultures can become quite male-dominated and violent by empowering a woman's brothers or sons, or her maternal uncles, into strong-man tribal military castes, supported by sex-negative religion and overall repressive attitudes, with a lot of social violence and overall extreme-patrist social conditions. A woman's power and status may rise or fall based upon the power-relations or violence-acquisitiveness of her male kin, and this complex of social institutions will often result in that culture falling more into the patrist category. Such matrilineal high-patrist societies of violence, military-caste and obedience-cult can be found within North African and Arabian tribes, and even in ancient Egyptian society, where god-kings ascended to the throne based upon matrilineal arrangements, and where the occasional female pharaoh appeared. Male dominance was the rule, however, and the male priesthood always plotted against female influences, just as the god-kings assembled massive harems, waged wars, and practiced slavery. By itself, matrilineality cannot inform us of the tendencies towards social violence within a given culture, even while it is one important indicator-variable which survives from the ancient times of the peaceful societies with a higher status for women.

Critics of my work on this one point often point to the matrilineal arrangements and a few other women's status issues without reference to the subjects of infant and child treatments, genital mutilations, penalties for violators of sexual taboos as with premarital or extramarital intercourse, or the incidence of social hierarchy, castes, slavery, high-god religion and the warrior cult. All of those factors, plus the ones on women's status, define my matrist-patrist scale. For clarity, these were:

Female Premarital Sex Taboo
Segregation of Adolescent boys
Male Genital Mutilations
Bride Price
Family Organization (polygamy-monogamy)
Marital Residence (patrilocal-matrilocal)
Post-Partum Sex Taboo
Cognatic Kin Groups
Descent (patrilineal-matrilineal)
Land Inheritance (patrilineal-matrilineal)
Movable-Property Inheritance (patrilineal-matrilineal)
High God
Class Stratification
Caste Stratification
Slavery

One can certainly find isolated or small-cluster examples of matristic variables within the extreme-patrist regions of Saharasia. But one cannot find fully-developed matristic cultures, such as the Trobriand Islanders or Muria or Mosuo living in the harsh deserts of Saharasia, only the odd case where perhaps half of their matristic social institutions were preserved, while the other half were contorted over generations into a hard patrism. The larger number of more genuinely extreme-patrist cultures within their region conceals the odd culture with remnant matrism, and pushes the regional averages into the extreme-patrist category. Which is why the occasional matristic culture living within a larger cultural background of extreme patrism does not show up on my maps. Of course this geographical method is not very helpful if one's goal is to search out and identify the odd culture or remnant matristic variable here or there. But my methodology was designed to extract the regional averages only, and then review the regional differences over large geographical distances. My approach uncovered a continental-scale variation in cultures which was previously hidden in the ethnographic data, revealing aspects of environmental pressures, and long-distance diffusion of culture. For that function, it worked quite well.

But the other interest, of identifying the specific cultural traits within a given region, is also a possibility for the future. One of my ideas which never got funding, for example, was to produce a computer-program keyed into the Murdock data, by which one could select a region, obtain a map display of all the cultures within that region, and by clicking on them obtain the specific information available from Murdock, Textor, or others, plus photos, historical narratives, and other information with as much or little detail as one desired. The controversy which followed my work made this impossible, unfortunately, though if sufficient funds and specialists were available to help on such a project, it could be done as a dynamic internet program. And like the work of Murdock, this would allow every scholar to contribute their information and knowledge, and build up the data base, even while allowing regional averages to be extracted as I do in my use of those data.


Other Points

A) It should be clear, the critical issues raised in Wilhelm Reich's sex-economic theory, and in my Saharasia, are a departure from typical "value free social science", where all cultures are to be placed on the same level without allowing any critical analysis, though I understand how the social science disciplines arrived at such a position. It should be clear also, the social advantages (ie, peace, freedom, happiness) of living in the Trobriander, Muria, or Mosuo culture, as compared to Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, tribal Wahhabist Saudi Arabia or modern North Korea, and I have no trouble in calling those latter nations psycho-pathological cultures, or dysfunctional cultures of rage and violence, much as we may define a dysfunctional family troubled by alcoholism, incest, spouse-abuse or gambling addictions. If we cannot agree in principle on the right of a scholar to make investigations and analysis along those lines, then it becomes a waste of time to discuss the matter, and one can only clarify a stark disagreement. But we all share the same genetics, so the question is naturally raised as to why one culture goes towards peace and egalitarian, loving and happy conditions, while another degenerates towards aggressive warfare and internal social violence directed against minorities and women. Just as in family therapy, or individual analysis, if the discussions don't focus upon REAL TRAUMAS, then they become a fruitless "psychological" exercise, and no social change or healing will ever take place.

B) I have occasionally heard that North Africa or sub-Saharan Africa or the Middle East were relatively peaceful places before European colonialism. While I agree that colonialism often increased the violence potential, that was not uniformly the case, and there was great variation between the way the different colonial powers treated their native populations, and how they agreed or refused to dismantle their colonial structures when their "subjects" finally demanded autonomy. But I also disagree completely with the idea that the Americas or Africa or Asia were some kinds of peaceful places before the Europeans showed up. My Saharasia book gives a scathing condemnation of certain aspects of European behavior, but neither do the other world cultures get off with a free pass, and I have identified in full detail their own oftentimes very bloody and extreme-patrist cultures, where they existed. Full discussion and evidence is given in the historical sections of my Saharasia book.

C) For the record, my Saharasia findings reflect personal observations and field work in Egypt, Israel (Jewish and Muslim areas), Eritrea (Christian and Muslim areas), Namibia, Japan, much of Europe and nearly all areas of the USA. Occasionally, critics have implied my work over years has been nothing more than "sitting in front of a computer" with an absence of field work for either Dr. Murdock or myself, or both. This is incorrect on all counts.


Publications on Saharasia from 2003 through 2006.

By James DeMeo:

- "Letter to Editor: Regarding Brian Griffith's Gardens of Their Dreams and Saharasia, The Ecologist, 32(2): May 2002.

- "Die Saharasia-Hypothese: Ursprünge menschlicher Gewalttätigkeit entdeckt", Zeit Geist, Stuttgart, 3:32-36, 2002.

- "Update on Saharasia: Ambiguities and Uncertainties about 'War Before Civilization'", Pulse of the Planet, 5:15-44, 2002.

- "The Geography of Genital Mutilations", in Constructing Sexualities: Readings in Sexuality, Gender and Culture, Suzanne LaFont, Editor, Prentice Hall, NY, 2003, p.120-126.

- "A 'Saharasian' Climate-Linked Geographical Pattern in the Global Cross-Cultural Data on Human Behavior" and "The Saharasian Desert Belt" in World Cultures, Vol.14, No.2, Spring 2004, p.111-143.

- "The Saharasian Origins of Patriarchal Authoritarian Culture", in The Rule of Mars: Readings on the Origins, History and Impact of Patriarchy, Christina Biaggi, Editor, Knowledge, Ideas and Trends Publisher, Conn., 2006. http://www.booktrends.com/social_issues.htm

- "Peaceful Versus Warlike Societies in Pre-Columbian America: What Does Archaeology and Anthropology Tell Us?", in Unlearning the Language of Conquest, Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America ,Four Arrows (Don Jacobs), Editor, Univ. Texas Press, 2006. http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/jacunl.html

- "Saharasia. Die Urspruenge patriarchaler authoritaerer Kultur in Verbindung mit Praehistorischer Wuestenbildung (Saharasia: The Origins of Patriarchal authoritarian culture in Ancient Desertification)", in Gesellschaft in Balance: Dokumentation des 1. Weltkongresses fuer Matriarchatsforschung 2003 in Luxemburg (Societies in Balance: First World Congress on Matriarchal Studies), Editions Hagia, Winzer, Germany, 2006, p.230-248.

- Letter to Editor: "A Climate of Change", American Scientist, May-June 2006. http://www.americanscientist.org/template/AssetDetail/assetid/51205

The Saharasia book is now used as a primary textbook in a few classes at major universities, indicating a growing interest and acceptance within the scientific mainstream. It is my personal hope this will also generate an increased interest in the works of Wilhelm Reich, upon which my own Saharasia research was founded.

As a Postscript to the above material, the reader should also review my essay article discussing the Murdock anthropological data, and my use of them, which adds to what was previously given in the Saharasia book:

Maps From the Ethnographic Atlas Data
A Defense of the Cross-Cultural Codes and Data Base of G. P. Murdock
and the Quadruple-Blind Control Procedures Used in my Saharasia Research.
by James DeMeo, Ph.D.



Additional Articles and Materials:

* TO PURCHASE: Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World, by James DeMeo, Ph.D. 464+ pages, over 100 maps and illustrations, with comprehensive bibliography and index. NOW SHIPPING THE 2006 REVISED SECOND EDITION.
You can also purchase Saharasia from Amazon.com -- they obtain the book from us, so there is no advantage in time, and they will also charge a slightly higher price ($39 as compared to our $34). However, for destinations outside the USA, they often can offer a much better shipping rate. Be aware, if you purchase a used copy from them, it will probably be the first edition, and lack the additions and revisions of the second edition. (Most of those 2nd Edition changes are identified and can be obtained as PDF downloads from this webpage.

* The Anthropology/Archaeology Book section of the OBRL on-line bookstore. Scroll down on this page for the selection, which includes several titles on the issue of peaceful societies.

* The Orgone Biophysical Research Lab: James DeMeo's Research Website.

* The Saharasia web page.

* The Saharasia Today section of the OBRL on-line bookstore.

* The Complete OBRL / Natural Energy Works On-line Bookstore and Product Shop



Click here for more information on SAHARASIA             Click here for our Online Books & Products Page
                                   
    saharasia.org                           naturalenergyworks.net



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