Is There an Alice Miller Society?
A site visitor has written:
If the teachings in Alice Miller's books were embraced by society, the world would be a peaceful, safe and nonviolent place. I wish that I could find ways to educate the world to Dr. Miller's teachings. Any ideas? Is there a think tank or any organization that embraces and would like to teach society of Miller's teachings?
We welcome this letter, as it gives us the opportunity to respond to many who have sent similar requests:
Alice Miller has always refused to become a guru or leader of any kind and has no organized following. But there are many people who write to ask what they can do once they have grasped the idea of the essential role of childhood in the production and transition of violence. We think that there are many things people can do to disseminate knowledge on their own, without belonging to a group. For this reason, Dr. Miller recently elaborated two texts. Although they are under her copyright and must be not shortened, added or changed, they can be used as pamphlets, leaflets or posters. They can be distributed as widely as possible, above all in schools - before young people decide to have children without knowing what this decision involves. Everybody, young and old, can participate in this action.
In her forthcoming book, Alice Miller writes:
"In the recent past, many people have gone into the streets to demonstrate for all kinds of causes: against war, for protection of the environment, and above all, for more humanity. But there have never been any demonstrations supporting the right of children to be treated with dignity and respect and not to be beaten by their caregivers. Why have we been so slow to realize that many of the instances of violence that we campaign against have their sources in the cradle and the playroom? And that we can only prevent further acts of violence by preventing that first devastating experience of violence right at the beginning of a child's life?"
Dr. Miller adds:
"I have also been asked why I am concentrating on the problem of spanking while there are so many other forms of abuse toward children: disregard of their rights, demeaning words, humiliation, etc. Of course, there are many other types of abusive actions toward children. And in all of my books, I try to call attention to the unnoticed emotional abuse.
"Today I do not know people who would advise parents to humiliate their children or abuse them in other ways. But I have known many who still recommend spanking or a "good smack". Unfortunately, there are many religious pedagogues among them, as well as pediatricians, psychologists, and other professionals who should know better. For that reason, I wrote the Manifesto. Above all, I am focusing on spanking now in my effort to open the eyes of politicians and other responsible people to the necessity of anti-spanking legislation."
Please read and distribute these two documents:
Every Smack is a Humiliation - A Manifesto
Information for Parents
Note from Jan Hunt:
While there will never be an "Alice Miller Society", one way to promote respectful treatment of children is to support The Natural Child Project, which creates and maintains this Internet site. For information on the various ways that you can contribute to The Natural Child Project, click here.
Thank you for visiting!
Jan Hunt, M.Sc., Director, The Natural Child Project