Depth psychology and New Zealand society
Centre for Psycho-sociological Development
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Letter to Minister of Corrections on crime and penal reform.

4 June 2000

The Hon Matt Robson
Minister of Corrections
Parliament Buildings

Dear Minister,

The Centre wishes to extend to you its compliments on your recent public statements in respect of the concepts of both conjugal rights and allowing women prisoners to keep their children in the institution in which they are held.

The Centre finds disquieting the almost universal opposition your views encountered.

The interest of the Centre in this matter stems from its concern that since circa 1985 those in positions of power in this country - be that power governmental, business, media or police - have gradually moved away from an insightful understanding of why Western democracies came into existence - and how they therefore need to be governed - toward an unconscious method of operation based on abstract rules of the mind as to how societies must be governed in order to be successful. The Centre describes this new method of governance as cognitive totalitarianism.

In essence Minister, it is the view of the Centre that it is the unconscious psychological forces inherent in human beings that determine the nature of the world in which we live - and therefore the nature of our societies - and not the ideas of the conscious mind. Just as King Canute found that his power could not control the waves, so the government of Britain found that its power could not control those who settled in North America in the 1700's.

"No taxation without representation" was the rallying cry from the Americans against those who sought to impose the products of their minds on the psychological forces which were driving the settlers in their new land.

So too did the French aristocracy discover when those whose psychological drives they sought to repress rose against them. Other examples exist. The Russian peasants rose against Lenin in 1918-19 when he tried to force them to sell their excess grain at half the market rate. The most important recent example of the inability of the conscious mind to control the forces of nature inherent in human beings is the collapse of the Soviet Union itself.

In the case of the preceding government the Centre predicted for a number of years - and for this very same reason - its ultimate demise.

The human mind can never control the forces of nature because it is itself a product of those forces.

It was Freud who said that "Nothing is hidden from those who have eyes to see", yet it appears that those in positions of power in this country are refusing to see the uprising they have caused in this country as a function of their attempts to impose the abstract products of their own minds on the unconscious psychological drives of the people.


Much credit for raising the matter of crime in New Zealand must go to The New Zealand Herald for first publicising international figures on crime rates obtained from the British Government.

These statistics show that this country has a greater incidence of violent crime that almost any other Western or para-western country except South Africa.

The figures from the British Home Office showed that per 100,000 of population, the incidence of violent crime for New Zealand is 1121, for Canada 979, for Australia 861 and for the United States 610. These same statistics show that New Zealand has a higher rate of murder than Canada, Australia or Britain but a lower rate than the United States.

When consideration is given to the very positive response to the recent referendum on greater punishment for crime, it can be seen that the people, as individuals, are rebelling against the force being used against them by criminals.

This is exactly the same kind of rebellion the powerful in this country have created in those human beings who are treated as if they are not entitled to that which their innate psychological drives cause them to seek.

They are told that they cannot have that which others take for granted and that they must therefore meekly accept a life of impoverishment and futility; and that furthermore the fact that they cannot have the life they seek is their own fault.

That those who have created this situation believe that further oppression of such people is really going to be successful calls into question their intellectual suitability for the positions they hold.

A bigot is after all defined as a person who continues to hold - out of emotion - a deprecatory view of others despite the arguments of reason showing that point of view to be false. The Centre hopes that this country will never become home to a people given to rampant bigotry in respect of crime or any other area of unacceptable social behaviour.

The Centre is further concerned Minister that, with almost the sole exception of The New Zealand Herald, the media in this country considers that its role is to pander to the emoto-cognitively under developed by encouraging matters of human interest, nationalistic fervour - which is really only jingoism - and a totally unjustified belief that New Zealand is the " . . . best country in the world", when it patently is not. A world view the Centre describes as the "Rose Coloured Glasses Syndrome".

Despite the difficulties inherent in a society where much of the media gives the impression of down playing or even ignoring matters of substance, the Centre wishes to express the view that you will continue to work for an enlightened long term solution to crime in New Zealand

Yours faithfully,



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