The 1960s comprised a period of great upheaval and change in the west. Two major groups that underwent significant change were the Catholic church and the field of psychology.
Sigmund Freud’s ideas of psychoanalysis were still relatively new and boundaries were being tested as his ideas became incorporated into mainstream psychology. Freud created methods of changing behavior through dialogue between patient and psychoanalyst, which included different techniques such as free association, unconscious redirection of feelings or transference, dream analysis, and various techniques of awakening the subconscious mind.
The Catholic church also went through its most significant change in centuries. Vatican II, a discussion and transformation of the church that lasted from 1962 to 1965, resulted in a significant liberalization of church views and policy, including the end of Latin Mass, a change to priests facing the congregation during Mass, retiring of certain church clothing, artwork, regalia and music, a decree to open dialogue with other religions, and various decrees to the priests and laity.
The church was reacting to significant social and political changes in the aftermath of the first and second world wars, dissolution of colonies, rise of the Cold War superpowers, and the spread of industry and technology, and in 1959, Pope John XXIII convened the Council shortly after his election as pontiff.
The history of psychoanalysis and Vatican II are outside the scope of this article, but suffice it to say that both were reactions to a rapidly changing society and were attempting to solve problems facing people of the time.
The church had dominated Western religion for centuries, and was fighting the loss of believers to other religions. The church took steps to improve its image, and to be more modern and flexible. In this spirit, the Convent of the Immaculate Heart in Los Angeles, one of the largest seminaries in America, agreed to allow a group of radical psychotherapists to try a personal liberation experiment.
The focus of the project included “weekend encounter workshops” with several hundred of the nuns, sessions of truth-telling and ice-breaking group exercises. One of the key tools in psychological control is getting someone to express secrets to you. Women use this in relationships, making the man feel comfortable so that he will open up and tell her all his secrets, weaknesses, and fears, which can later be used against him.
The Church of Scientology holds intensive sessions where the childhood and detailed sexual history of every member are probed and documented. The psychoanalysts had found a very powerful tool, and the nuns were eager to be perceived as modern, willing participants.
Carl Rogers of the Education Innovation Project was the chief psychoanalyst leading the study. Rogers was one of the leading psychologists of the time, having authored “On Becoming A Person” 1961 and “Toward a Psychology of Being” with the renowned Abraham Maslow in 1962.
Rogers and Maslow received funding from the US government, especially clandestine agencies such as the Office of Naval Research. Their work was derivative of Freud’s theories, and the focus was on therapy where the client solved his own problems, with minimal interference or guidance from the analyst. This technique, known as nondirective counseling, has become very popular (see any Woody Allen movie or The Sopranos) and basically allows the patient, with very little guidance, to arrive at his own solutions and conclusions.
It was seen as a less harsh version of Freud’s clinical psychoanalysis. While much of Rogers work stands up today, and his theories were designed to help clients solve problems, not disintegrate cohesive groups, the power of his theory was about to be proven, and in 1966 the Immaculate Heart nuns were about to face a far more powerful force than any temptation they had overcome so far.
The nuns operated in a hierarchy, with a Mother Superior who unquestioningly ran the convent, and tiers of nuns who did their obligatory duties without question. During the encounter workshops, the nuns were told that they shouldn’t be reserved or shy, that they should open up, that prudence is an oversold virtue, don’t avert your eyes to the ground in piety, but to make eye contact and open up with their inner desires, feelings, and emotions.
The nuns, being people after all, and imperfect, did open up and revealed things about times of weakness, theft of drinks out of the refrigerator, secret things they had not discussed before.
After the weekend retreats, the nuns would inevitably ponder them during the week, and slowly began questioning authority and further exploring their thoughts and decisions. One nun, Jeanne Cordova, who was sent out into Skid Row by the Mother Superior, began questioning authority and developed a bitterness for her new assignment, stating:
They promised me monastic robes, glorious Latin liturgy, the protection of the 3 sacred vows, the peace of saints in a quiet cell, the sisterhood of a holy family. But I entered religious life the year John XXIII was taking it apart: 1966… destroying in the name of CHANGE, my dreams. Delete Latin ritual. Dump the habit. Damn holy obedience. Send nuns and priests out into the REAL world. If I had wanted the real world, I’d have stayed in it.
And then of course, the most taboo topic of all, the analysts tapped into the nuns’ repressed sexual energy. The nuns were assumedly mostly if not all virgins, and many had never been kissed before. Their sexuality was something that the church confined and restrained, and was very good at doing so. However, many of the younger nuns were impressionable and curious, and the questioning of the analysts inevitably lead them to the natural human urges of the flesh.
Some of the nuns, freed by the encounter workshops, stopped wearing their habits. As nuns were no longer required to go to Mass at 6:30 AM, some of them stopped. As the ritual and framework of religious practice faded away, the sisters turned to each other for support, and inevitably, some of these relationships turned sexual.
One of the nuns kissed and seduced a classmate, and then, finding the exciting pleasures of human sexuality, while driving back from a grocery trip, leaned over and kissed the Mistress of Novices on the lips.
As Rogers explained:
In mixed intensive workshops positive and warm, loving feelings frequently develop between members of the encounter group and, naturally enough, these feelings sometimes occur between men and women. Inevitably, some of these feelings have a sexual component and this can be a matter of great concern to the participants and … a profound threat to their spouses.
As the church was struggling with its new modernity, it instructed the nuns to “be open to their feelings” in the encounter groups–a reasonable enough sounding instruction. However, some of these feelings were inevitably sexual, and as the order no longer prohibited certain friendships, they flourished.
Sister Mary Benjamin stated that she turned to a priest to seek council from these growing feelings, and the priest, also bewildered by the spirit of Vatican II and the changing times, refused to pass judgment and left it up to her to decide whether her actions were good or bad. When she revealed she was worried about developing a terrible crush on Eva, Eva responded “Great! Enjoy it!” A sexual relationship ensued, followed by a painful breakup, and Sister Mary then left the Catholic Church.
Within a year, over 300 nuns petitioned the Vatican to be released from their vows. One nun, Sister Genevieve, began a sexual relationship with one of the therapists named Harry, who soon divorced his wife and had the former nun move in with him. With over half the nuns gone, the remaining nuns became radical lesbian activists. The convent soon closed, and remained vacant for years until it announced in 2015 the building will be sold to Katy Perry.
Feminism Is Destruction Of Institutions
Sexual psychology was able to obliterate a group of God-fearing, pious, virginal women who wished only to help others and serve God. The feminist beliefs postulated in this experiment have been quickly spread through the rest of our society.
It is worth noting that the US federal government funded and aided this research. If a group of hundreds of nuns can be convinced to renounce their vows and become radical lesbians within only a year of exposure, is it any wonder we are living in a sea of slutted, tatted, pierced, used up, unkind, narcissistic women?
And if the pure and innocent nuns fall victim, the rest of society has no chance. Feminism and its ideas must be stopped at their root. The fight should be directed not towards the feminist herself, but to those spreading feminist ideas in media, schools, art, culture, and religion.
For more, see:
There is a Policeman Inside All of Our Heads, He Must Be Destroyed, Adam Curtis. In the 1960s, a radical group of psychotherapists challenged the influence of Freudian ideas, which lead to the creation of a new political movement that sought to create new people, free of the psychological conformity that had been implanted in people’s minds by business and politics.
An encounter between psychology and religion: Humanistic psychology and the Immaculate Heart of Mary nuns, The Journal of The History of the Behavioral Sciences, Vol 41 Issue 4 Fall 2005 p 347-365.