In this paper, an extension of an earlier paper (Sonne, 2002b), the author advances the thesis that murderous sibling rivalry, one of the psychological and social consequences of the threat of being aborted, is a major dynamic operative in "ethnic cleansing," eugenic movements, racial, religious and international conflict, mass murders, serial killings, and sometimes even in marital and parenting behavior. Destructive acting out in a variety of social contexts is a universal phenomenon that has been operative throughout the history of the human race for centuries, and it is still prominent today. To explain these behaviors as derivative from abuse, conflicts of desire, or self-object distortions occurring during oedipal or pre-oedipal stages of development leaves much to be desired, whereas explaining them as abortion survivor symptoms derivative from trauma occurring during prenatal life is much more illuminating, and is applicable to a wider range of social interactions. In particular, considering tyrannical murderous sibling rivalry as a dynamic in such well known public figures as Adolph Hitler, Francisco Franco, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden can be of great help in understanding the origin and motivation of their destructive behaviors. The theme of tyrannical siblings is, "No one can have what I didn't get, what is rightfully mine that has been taken away from me. I will psychologically or physically destroy these persons, and also anyone who gives or gave to them or supports them. Revenge is what I want more than anything else, and this is more important to me than being loved or cared for. I hate others, but I also loathe myself so much that if I die in seeking this, I will only have gratified my own wish for suicide."
KEY WORDS: Tyrants, abortion survivors, prenatal psychic trauma, threat of being aborted, sibling rivalry, revenge, murder, suicide, love, religion
Note: In addition to the references listed below I have drawn on a large body of print and visual media items not cited. Also, some references that I have listed may not have been directly cited in the body of the text, but they are included as pertinent to the subject and might be of interest to the reader.
Bodansky, Y. (1999). Bin Laden: The man who declared war on America. Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing, Member of the Crown Publishing Group (A Division of Random House, Inc., New York, Toronto, London, Sydney, Aukland).
Bollas, C. (1987). The shadow of the object: Psychoanalysis and the unthought known. London: Free Association Books.
Bosworth, R.J.B. (2002). Mussolini. London: Arnold. Co-published New York: Oxford University Press.
Buzby, T.U. (1995). Turmoil in Iraq: Saddam's dysfunctional family. The Middle East Quarterly, II (4). Philadelphia: Middle East Forum.
DeMause, L. (2002). The Childhood Origins of Terrorism. The International Journal of Psychohistory, 29(4): 340-348.
Dennis, A.J. (2002). Osama bin Laden: A psychological and political portrait. Lima, Ohio: Wyndam Hall Press.
Doder, D., & Branson, L. (1999). Milosevic: Portrait of a tyrant. New York: The Free Press, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Fanon, F. (1986). The wretched of the earth. Constance Farrington, trans. Preface by Jean-Paul Sartr. New York: Grove Press.
Feiler, B.S. (2002). Abraham: A journey to the heart of three faiths. New York, NY, Harper Publishers, Inc.
Gavin, P. (1996). The Rise ofAdolph Hitler. The History Place Web Site, July 10.
Hitler, A. (1924). Mein Kampf (1939) English translation by John Chamberlain, Sidney B Fay, John Gunther, Carlton JH Hayes, Graham Hutton, Alvin Johnson, William L Langer, Walter Milk's, R de Roussy de Sales, and George N Shuster. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock.
Hodges, G.A. (2001). Franco: A concise biography. New York: St. Martins Press.
Hyer, J. (1997). Stalin Era Research and Archives Project. University of Toronto.
Itzkowiz, N. (1972). Ottoman Empire and Islamic tradition. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
Johnson, J.T. (1984). Can modern war be just? New Haven: Yale University Press.
Johnson, A., & Szurek, S. (1952). On the genesis of antisocial acting out in children and adults. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 21: 323-343.
Kafka, J.S. (2002). The mind of the fundamentalist/terrorist. Terrorizing and being terrorized. International Psychoanalysis (The Newsletter of the International Psychoanalytic Association) 11(1): 31-33.
Katz, E. (2001). Margaret Sanger: A biographical sketch. New York: Department of History, New York University.
Karsh, E., & Rautsi, I. (2003). Saddam Hussein: A political biography. New York: Grove Press.
Kertzer, M.N. (1978). What is a Jew? New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Company, Inc. (First edition, 1953, The World Publishing Company).
Lachkar, J. (2002). The psychological make-up of a suicide bomber. The International Journal of Psychohistory, 29(4): 349-367.
Lagner, W.C. (1943) The Mind of Adolph Hitler: The secret Wartime Report. Basic Books, Inc., 1972.
Lifton, R.J. (1999). Destroying the world to save it - Aum Shinrikyo, apocalyptic violence, and the new global terrorism. New York: Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company.
Ney, P. (1983). A consideration of abortion survivors. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 73(3): 168-179. (Republished in the International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, 10(1): 19-28, 1998.)
Radzinsky, E. (1997). Stalin: The first in-depth biography based on explosive new documents from Russian secret archives. HT Willetts (Trans.) New York: Anchor Books, A Division of Random House.
Robinson, A. (2002). Bin Laden: Behind the mask of the terrorist. New York: Arcade Books.
Sadam Hussein (2000). Biography. Shown 9-18-00 on Arts and Entertainment TV Biography series, Absolute Power (9-18-00 through 9-21-00).
Shipman, C. (2002). Defector says she heard outlaw leader's innermost thoughts. Interview of Parisoula Lampsos, Hussein's former mistress, ABC Primetime, Sept 12.
Sonne, J.C. (1966). Feticide as acting-out. Voices, 2(1): 49-53. (Error corrected: Voices, 1967-68, 3(4): 109-110.)
Sonne, J.C. (1969). Heaven and the passionate longing for death. The Journal of Sex Research, 5: 65-67.
Sonne, J.C. (1969-70). Research as a rebellion. Voices, 5: 47-51.
Sonne, J.C. (1975). Pregnancy, abortion and the unconscious. Marriage and Family Newsletter, 6(4,5,6): 1-12.
Sonne, J.C. (1994a). The relevance of the dread of being aborted to models of therapy and models of the mind. Part I: case examples. The International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, 6(1): 67-86. (Republished, Sonne JC (1995a) in Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, 9(3): 195-219.)
Sonne, J.C. (1994b). The relevance of the dread of being aborted to models of Therapy and models of the mind. Part II: Mentation and communication in the unborn. The International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, 6(2): 247-275. (Republished (1995c) Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, 9(4): 257-294.)
Sonne, J.C. (1995e). Prenatal themes in rock music. Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, 10(2): 103-119. (Republished (1996c) The International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, 8(4): 451-463.
Sonne, J.C. (1996a). Social regression and the global prevalence of abortion. The International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, 8(1): 27-46. (Republished (1997b) Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, 11(3): 125-150.
Sonne, J.C. (1996b). Interpreting the dread of being aborted in therapy. The International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, 8(3): 317-339. (Republished (1997c) Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, 11(4): 185-214.)
Sonne, J.C. (1996d). An open letter to the Pro-Life community. Decree (Newsletter, American Adoption Congress), 3(3): 11-13. Republished in Celebrate Life (Newsletter of The American Life League), May-June 2001: 45-46.
Sonne, J.C. (1997). Magic Babies. Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, 2(2),Winter 1997: 17-43. (Republished (1999a) International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, 11(2): 1-23.)
Sonne, J.C. (1998a). Book Review of "The Enduring Effects of Prenatal Experience: Echoes From theWomb,' by Ludwig Janus. The International Connection (Newsletter, the International Family Therapy Association), 11(1), March/April: p 13.
Sonne, J.C. (1998b). Is that all there is? Book Review of Marketing the Menacing Fetus in Japan,' by Helen Hardacre. The Journal of Psychohistory, 25(4): 370-374.
Sonne, J.C. (1999). Abortion Dynamics and the "Trench Coat Mafia.' Celebrate Life (Newsletter of the American Life League) June 18th, pp. 38-39).
Sonne, J.C. (2000a). It's not that simple: a reply to Joe Gill. Letter to Editor, Celebrate Life, July-August, p. 8.
Sonne, J.C. (2000b). Abortion survivors at Columbine. Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health 15(1): 3-22.
Sonne, J.C. (2001). It's proven but not believed: An exploration of psychosocial resistances to the acceptance of the reality of prenatal mentation, communication and psychic trauma. Int. Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine 13(1/2) 43-82.
Sonne, J.C. (2002a). The varying behaviors of fathers in the prenatal experience of the unborn: protecting, loving and "Welcoming with arms wide open,' vs. ignoring, unloving, competitive, abusive, abortion minded or aborting. International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine 14(1/2): 33-51.
Sonne, J.C. (2002b). Tyranny Engendered in the Womb. Paper presented June 7: International Psychohistorical Association 25th Annual Convention, New York City.
Steele, B.F. (1970). Parental abuse of infants and small children. In CJ Anthony and T Benedek (Eds), Parenthood: Its Psychology and Psychopathology. Boston: Little Brown.
Volkan, V.D. (2002). The mind of the fundamentalistfterrorist: The making of middle eastern suicide bombers. International Psychoanalysis (The newsletter of the International Psychoanalytic Association), 11(1): 29-31.
John C. Sonne, MD
Paper presented September 20, 2002 at the 15th World Congress of the International Society of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, Budapest, Hungary, September 19-22, 2002. Correspondence to: John C. Sonne, MD, 13910 Swantown Creek Road, Galena, Maryland 21635, USA. Phone and Fax: 410-648-5392. Email: email@example.com. Paper reprinted with permission from the Int. J. Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine Vol. 14 (2002) No. 3/4, 261-276.