Today we have with us the father of psycho therapy, Dr. Sigmund Freud. Thank you for being with us, Herr Doktor. Or should I say “Danke sehr.”
Freud: You are welcome, Sandy. What is on your mind?
Well, Herr Doktor, our topic today is the Shriners. In the mid-1800s, corporations were considered to have same legal status as a “person.” As you know, the Shriners Hospitals for Children is a non profit corporation. How would you diagnose the “personality” of the Shriners corporation, say, using the diagnostic criteria of the DSM-IV, the standard diagnostic tool of psychiatrists and psychologists?
Freud: According to these guidelines, most corporations have a highly anti-social personality. In the case of the non profit corporation otherwise known as the Shriners, it seems that they exhibit symptoms of “psychopathic” behavior.
Herr Doktor, can you please explain?
Freud: This corporation, on the surface, claims to benefit sick and crippled children. Yet twenty years ago, their corporate fundraisers known as circuses exploited these same children in a ticket re-sale scam that led to the discovery that most of the money raised on behalf of these children didn’t go towards the hospitals. It was also discovered that there was an incestuous relationship between a local government attorney and the head of the convention center, both Shriners, who tried to cover this up.
Herr Doktor, please go on.
Freud: These incidents are just a few that seem to match identifiers listed on the Psychopathic Behavior Checklist and in particular:
- being conning/manipulative
- lack of remorse or guilt
- poor behavioral controls
- early behavioral problems
Herr Doktor, did you know that the corporation control nearly $10 billion dollars?
Freud: If we refer to the list of psychopathic traits, this could be related to “parasitic behavior” since the corporation seems to prey on the elderly and the affiliate fraternal membership for “charitable, tax-deductible” contributions. In my opinion, the corporation clearly demonstrates traits of “aggressive narcissistic” psychopathic behavior.
Herr Doktor, let’s move on please. What do you make of their symbols the crescent moon, the star and the Scimitar?
Freud: It is clear that the crescent moon represents the “Erectile Dysfunction Syndrome” or ED experienced by many men who are the age of this corporation’s leadership. They want to relive their “glory days” and perceive themselves as stars or maybe super stars, particularly in the bedroom. The scimitar is a symbol of the large hard-as-steel weapon they like to believe that they wield, both in the bedroom and in the boardroom. It is also a symbol of patriarchal phallic power and represents a weapon that can be wielded to control the membership as well as the entire corporate “organ-ization.” There is another issue here of ethnic exploitation of these symbols and terms from the Islamic culture but we can discuss that another time.
Herr Doktor, there have been reports about the corporation and members of their affiliates allegedly having drunken orgies, molesting children and being hit with sexual harassment lawsuits. What do you make of this?
Freud: This is not surprising to see this corporation display the Psychopathic trait of promiscuous sexual behavior. Many elderly men are attracted to younger women to prove their virility and potency through the sex act. The pedophiliac deviancy is similar to the psychopathic behavior of another type of non profit corporation, the Catholic Church. Corporate “organ-izational” dysfunction such as this is similar to the dysfunction found in incestuous families where the primary modus operandi is secrecy. Secrecy is a symptom of dysfunction and the dysfunction is based in the perpetrator’s need for power, whether it’s in the corporate world or in the home next door.
Herr Doktor, this brings us to one of the main questions and that is what do you make of the term for the fraternal leaders, that of “Potentate.”
Freud: It is clear that these men are at the age when they are prone to suffer from ED. Thus, they have decided to prop themselves up and declare to the world that by the power vested in them through their positions of leadership, control and unquestioned authority, they are “potent.”
Herr Doktor, how, then, do you analyze the term “Potentate?”
Freud: It is clear that many in this position crave and wield ultimate, unquestioned power over this corporation’s fraternal general membership. A May 2006 directive “By Order of the Potentate and in Concurrence with Imperial Shrine” states that:
1) No one has the authority to speak outside the Temple to anyone on legal matters of the Temple without permission of the Potentate.
2) No member of any Temple will give interviews to any media without the permission of the Potentate who must know what will be discussed.
3) Members are forbidden from requesting Shrine Unit or Shrine Club records from any source.
4) No one has the authority to contact the Imperial Potentate without first contacting the Potentate with a copy of the signed complaint. If the Potentate refuses to forward the communication, then the member may transmit it directly to the Imperial Potentate. A representative may communicate directly with the Imperial Potentate.
5) It is also ordered that no Shriner enlist the help of a non-Shriner to get around Shrine law.
6) Anyone conducting an investigation of a Shrine Club or Shrine Unit without the Potentates’ permission is hereby ordered to cease and desist.
Herr Doktor, what, then, is your final analysis?
Freud: This “gag” order that is “in concurrence with the Imperial Shrine" sounds dictatorial, illegal and unconstitutional, but this is not my area of expertise. However, the term “Potentate” is a reflection of the subconscious mind of these aging leaders who crave power at any cost. It is my opinion that they should be recognized for what they truly are and be referred to as ‘Impotentates’.”
Herr Doktor, thank you for your valuable insights and help in writing this parody.
Reprinted with permission from Sandy Frost's blog at Newsvine.com.
Image: Note the large ring on Freud's left hand... Masonic?
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