STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Information in the 1950s Attacking Comic Books Was Falsified
By Staff News & Analysis - February 18, 2013

Dr Fredric Wertham Lied And Lied And Lied About Comics … The Illinois News Bureau reports, (with the most condescending and predictable headline you can imagine, even for Bleeding Cool) that Dr Fredric Wertham, author of Seduction Of The Innocent, the book that inspired government hearings about the content of comic books, saw sales plummet from the bad publicity, and eventually leading to the establishment of the Comics Code – was made up. Or at least large chunks of his supporting data was. – Bleeding Cool

Dominant Social Theme: We need to protect children against bad influences.

Free-Market Analysis: The post-World War II period in the United States saw a number of exposes take place that have since been debunked.

One can speculate on the reasons why but it seems fairly clear that the social order was being attacked to make people feel less certain about their culture and even about scientific "progress."

The mid-20th century saw a veritable flood of scholarly papers that either overturned people's perceptions of social modesty or made them fearful of various artistic influences. People were made to feel fearful about what their children in particular were being exposed to.

Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring and people were made to be afraid – unnecessarily as it turns out – that modernity would wipe out the food chain. Rock and Roll and Elvis Presley were initially identified as bad influences, and people were made to feel that modern music was a threat to the family.

Sexuality was redefined, as well. The faux female sexual hagiography of Margaret Mead and the sexual research and analyses of Alfred Kinsey that likely misstated the prevalence of homosexuality are still cited today despite overwhelming evidence of fraud.

And now another icon of the mid-20th century has toppled. According to scholarly articles now appearing, psychiatrist Fredric Wertham's 1954 book, Seduction of the Innocent, which attacked comic books was also falsified.

While such information involving comic books may seem somewhat insignificant in the scheme of things, the reality of the mid-20th century was such that the public narrative was defined by these individuals and many more who have subsequently been shown to have offered questionable information based on equally questionable research.

Wertham's book was important because it helped confirm the idea for tens of millions that information and entertainment were inherently dangerous and needed to be carefully circumscribed. Here's more from the article:

[His research} serve[d] as historical and cultural touchstones of the anti-comics movement in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s. Although there have been persistent concerns about the clinical evidence Wertham used as the basis for Seduction, his sources were made widely available only in 2010. This paper documents specific examples of how Wertham manipulated, overstated, compromised, and fabricated evidence —especially that evidence he attributed to personal clinical research with young people—for rhetorical gain.

"Lots of people have suspected for years that Wertham fudged his so-called clinical evidence in arguing against comics, but there's been no proof," Tilley said. "My research is the first definitive indication that he misrepresented and altered children's own words about comics."

For example, in "Seduction," Wertham links "Batman" comic books to the case of a 13-year-old boy on probation and receiving counseling for sexual abuse of another boy: "Like many other homo-erotically inclined children, he was a special devotee of Batman: 'Sometimes I read them over and over again. … It could be that Batman did something with Robin like I did with the younger boy.' "

What Tilley found in Wertham's notes, however, was that the boy preferred "Superman," "Crime Does Not Pay" and "war comics" over "Batman," and that he had previously been sexually assaulted by the other boy – all information that Wertham left out.

When one combines the various kinds of misinformation being widely popularized by Kinsey, Mead, Wertham and others, it quickly becomes apparent that much of the West's progressive attitudes of the day were subject to fraudulent research and inaccurate conclusions.

In fact, the vastness of the fraud and the reconfiguration of everyday life as a result are truly remarkable and would seem, in our view, to be part of a larger elite campaign to shake the moorings of society.

People were clearly made to believe that their own understandings of what constituted sexuality were wrong. At the same time, they were made to feel insecure about cultural influences such as movies, comic books and music.

One can certainly argue (and we would) that this was a deliberate attack on people's belief structures that was intended to make people less certain about their own judgment when it came to social issues and the credibility of the values with which they'd grown up.

Today, of course, people are being subject to the same kinds of attacks in terms of their economic reality. The top elites that apparently want to create world government launched premeditated attacks on society in the 20th century. Now it is people's economic certainties that are being undermined in the West.

After Thoughts

Elites are at war with middle classes and almost everything you read and hear in the mainstream media should be considered skeptically. Science, behavior and entertainment are all looked upon by elites as means to an end – and the end result apparently is to be a malleable Western culture that will accept and even celebrate global governance and the primacy of a technocratic state.

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