Attacks on Jung:
A Psychological Perspective
Steven J. Frank, Ph.D.
May 19, 2000
As Jungians we have long become accustomed to Jung not garnering the respect we believe to be his due in the academic world and his not being widely understood in popular culture. We have also become accustomed to concepts such as archetypes, typology and shadow being bandied about without reference to Jung.
Yet, we have a very different reaction when we find Jung is the target of accusations which seem unjust, unfair or at the very least biased, as was most recently the case in widely publicized books by Richard Noll and Frank McLynn.
Rather than become defensive, another way to respond to such attacks is to approach the matter as Jungians would a dream or other manifestation of the unconscious - search for its essence, find the inner truth and discover the significance for our Jungian community.
In his lecture Dr. Frank will address our defensive responses to the attacks on Jung of Richard Noll, who wrote The Jung Cult and The Aryan Christ, and Frank McLynn, who wrote the biography titled Carl Gustav Jung. In their attacks on Jung and Jungian psychology, ranging from cultism, identification with Christ, anti-Semitism and womanizing, these authors have stimulated a great deal of controversy in the Jungian community.
Dr. Franks' thesis is that if we can acknowledge the attack-defense reaction that we, as Jungians, might feel with respect to these writers, we can see the possibility of a third, transcending position. "We can do this if we look at these attacks and our responses to them symbolically. I think they represent shadow features of our group, and they call for renewal of our identity as Jungians. They point to collective unconscious issues that are demanding the light of consciousness in this transition to the Aquarian aeon."
Steven J. Frank, Ph.D. is a Jungian Analyst in private practice in Westwood. He is a member of the faculty of the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles and Director of the Kieffer Franz Clinic, the non-profit clinic of the C.G. Jung Institute.