Fields of Experience: :
Business Press/ Consultant in Communication
Translations : English/German
Fields of Competence :
Psychiatry, anti psychiatry and Society
Sciences, technology and industry (history, explanation, illustration, popularization):
The West Coast
On my first visit to the West Coast of the States, just after the « revolution of the Campus » and the advent of the flower-children, I was received by science-fiction writers, such as Norman Spinrad and Philip K. Dick, to prepare a TV film “Escapees from Future”. I also interviewed producers, directors and all kinds of Hollywood stars (Alan Horowitz, King Vidor, Samuel Fuller, Fritz Lang, Michèle Mercier
I started to explore the Jesuit universe, when Jean-François Chauvel decided to send me for his TV programme, to Rome, for the Thirty-second General Congregation of the Company of Jesus (1st December 1974-end of February 1975) : the Pope was « fighting » with the General of the Jesuits, Father Arrupe, s.j., because of his “flirting” with Marxist theories and leaders. My first work on them was, therefore, a film, the Black Council.
Father Calvez, s.j., whom I knew from the film, agreed to introduce me to Father Arrupe, for a private interview, and, then, to all kinds of Jesuits throughout the World, for a book I was writing (“Les Jésuites ou la Gloire de Dieu”), at the end of the 1980s, with historian François Lebrun : a history of the company, from its origins until the present day, all over the world, especially in America, with more than a hundred of photos and documents, never before published. And a foreword by Father John O’Malley, s.j.
Last, but not least, Father Calvez introduced me to Father Salembier, s.j., and we did a wonderful CD-ROM, « Roots of tomorrow » on Ignatian Pedagogy. Not to forget an Article on Jesuits, that I wrote for Notre Histoire and a Conference that I did, at the Collège de France (photos below, with, left, Gilberte Furstenberg of the MIT, and on the right Marie-Madeleine Chapuis), in 1990, invited by the Ethnological Society.
On the left, Father Salembier, on the right, Jérôme Caillot, developer of the CD.
Factories for the Elite: Jesuit pedagogy (Notre Histoire)
Judaism and Secularization
Even before the Six daysWar, in the summer holidays of 1965, I’d travelled the length and breadth of Israel. I visited it many times since, without knowing that a part of my family history lay there. I first discovered that much later in Paris, and I read, in the archives of the Alliance Israelite Universelle, letters written by my grandfather, a go-between and key person in Ottoman Palestine, before the First World War.
I wrote about him in L’Homme du Sérail, The Jewish little Pasha of Jerusalem,(1996), translated by Tony Crawford Publishing Cy, Australia : « The Little Jewish Pasha of Jerusalem ». Then, I met Gérard Nahon, Professor at the School of Advanced Studies (EPHE), who encouraged me to write a Memorandum and a Thesis, that gave birth to a book: Edmond de Rothschild. L’Homme qui racheta la Terre Sainte (« The Man who redeemed the Holy Land »). On the Alliance Israélite itself, I published Les Missionnaires Juifs de la France., describing the (very current) conflicts emerging around 1900 in every big city on the Mediterranean borders and in the Middle-East.
Psychiatry and Society
From the beginning of the anti-psychiatric movements in Europe (around 1968), I was interested in the theories flourishing, but I saw the dangers of « freedom über alles » (Basaglia), of the resurgence of Trotskyite activists (Gentis), and of drugs as the key to paradise (Laing). I became, nevertheless, aware of a very new way of looking at madness and modified states of consciousness. I made a radio report from the Château de La Borde, a very enriching experience.
Then, I interviewed, Ronald Laing, for the Express Magazine (1973). Later on, I studied the “Psychiatric weapon” extremist 'Marx-speak' - from which it derives with relentless logic, from the wrong premises. I decided, in 1976, to go to the Soviet Union, and to meet there not only the victims, but also the torturers psychiatrists who had put the finishing touches to this new way of erasing the memory, both the conscious and the unconscious of human beings. The filming of a TV feature on the subject having been forbidden by French Television, because of the visit to France of President Brejnev, I published the book, the following year, on my report : Droit d’Asiles en Union Soviétique (“The Right of Asylums in the Soviet Union”). Minister Pierre Mendès-France agreed to write a Preface: a phone call from President François Mitterrand stopped it. The Common Programme between Socialists and Communists had been signed in 1972, and, from 1974 on, the members of the Socialist Party were very careful not to irritate its partner. It was not the time to « tease » the Soviet hydra. The play-writer Eugène Ionesco, author of The Rhinoceros agreed to write the preface instead.
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