Sadism and Sexual Abuse in U.S.A Gymnastics and Michigan State University reminds me of the film: “Dead Ringers”
This incredibly insightful film depicts the nefarious machinations of two highly-respected identical-twin gynecologists played by Jeremy Irons. This true story details the sadistic horrors committed by real-life Stewart and Cyril Marcus. These twins were my teachers in gynecology while they were attending physicians at the New York Hospital- Cornell University Medical College [CUMC].
What made them stand out in my mind was their incredibly sadistic, torturous techniques used in their gynecological examination of their women patients. At the time, I had enough sense to walk out of the examination room, denounce them personally and report them both to the Dean of CUMC. As one might have expected, I was designated as a troublemaker and non-compliant student.
What do I bring this up now?
- The recent revelations about sicko Dr. Larry Nasser as well as coaches: Dan Peters, Marvin Sharp, and Steven Infante paralleled my experiences within the highly contrived, emotionally abusive hierarchical medical system where power and academic entitlements prevailed. In the famous textbook entitled, The Authoritarian Personality, by Theodor W. Adorno and the rest of the Frankfurt School, he delineates the various characteristics required of those individuals who imbue themselves with power, sadism, and physical/mental abuse. Adorno identified the major traits of childhood experiences that would lead to a sadistic, abusive authoritarian figure in any institution. These traits included:
- authoritarian submission
- authoritarian aggression
- power and ‘toughness’
- destructiveness and cynicism
- exaggerated concerns over sex.
One can see that many of these traits were replete in both the women and men who taught, supervised and oversaw the training of these hundreds of females desirous to please the coach and their authoritarian parents/society. Such personality traits lead to an organizational system that would groom, reward and then manipulate the helpless gymnast, or the aspiring medical student, into submission and eventually acquiescence. The miscreant behaviors on the part of any of the authority figures are buried in the systemic conspiratorial silence. The victim becomes traumatized while the mentor becomes idolized.
Even to the last days of my medical school classes, after having repeatedly complained about the power abuses in anatomy, physiology, gynecology and other courses, I had the distinct privilege of watching a famous Professor of Neurology mock and denigrate a nice Irish Catholic fourth year medical student who was eager to please him. I intervened, physically and verbally calling this sicko-doc a ‘raving, sadistic asshole’. I accompanied the traumatized student back to his dorm at 1300 York Avenue. Hours later, that poor student committed suicide. Nothing was ever said about it.
A few days later, I graduated 87th in a class of 88 students. The 88th student was the medical student who had committed suicide a few days earlier. I received my MD degree in 1968 and I was immediately drafted.
Ironically, my military service hardly entailed any of the physical/emotional that I had to endure at CUMC. Respect, gratitude, and camaraderie had replaced the abominable sadism of my medical school years. Eventually, the anti-Semitic/anti-Catholic CUMC was bought outright by one of the more illustrious gonifs from Cornell University. Sandy Weill was the Corrupt-CEO-Citibank-Philanthropist who donated over $400 million USD. And so it goes that the school’s name changed from the prestigious CUMC into the present day ersatz, “Weil Cornell Medical College”. Financial and medical corruption can always triumph over the history of physical/mental abuses in any well-regarded institution .
The illustrious British novelist/intelligence operative, George Orwell, wrote in his now famous novel 1984:
“Two and Two Makes Five!”
Prove me wrong! Sayeth authority!