The Psychology of Veridos™ (Seekers of Truth and Justice)


Diane Perlman, Ph.D.  | CoronaWise - TRANSCEND Media Service

A Study of Moral Heroism of the 5% or less

9 Jan 2023 – A courageous vocal minority has arisen in the face of relentless opposition, demonization, censorship and punishment to challenge the official Covid narrative, to speak out and work for truth, justice, health and freedom.

Many have inquired about the psychology of these few I call Veridos™, seekers and speakers of truth. Some say “nobody knows.” I say, “Seek and Ye Shall Find.”

In the late 1990s I began research on the Courageous Personality, inspired by Daniel Ellsberg[1], the father of Whistleblowers. Dan risked life imprisonment to expose the Pentagon Papers to end Viet Nam War.

In June, 1995, Dan gave a keynote at the International Psychohistorical Association in NYC, where I was giving a workshop. I asked why Dan, of all who knew about the unwinnable Viet Nam War and government lies, was the only one with the courage to risk exposing the truth. This led to a touching revelation about his youth[2], excerpted in APPENDIX 1. During a family trip, his father fell asleep at the wheel. The accident killed his mother and sister.

I was curious. I had no hypothesis and no idea of what I would discover. I assumed that if I explored in depth, patterns would be revealed. I conducted semi-structured interviews with people who take personal risks for truth and justice – truth tellers, code-breakers, history changers, exposers and challengers of corrupt, oppressive, dominating intellectual, political and social systems.

I explored

·      family of origin, family systems theory, drew genograms

·      depth psychology – Jung, intersubjective psychoanalytic theory

·      gender perspectives

·      childrearing practices

·      heroes

·      political awakening

·      formative life experiences

·      Jungian psychological type

·      psychological development and maturity

I had an “Aha!” experience, concluding, among other things, that “the Courageous Personality” is the psychological opposite of “the Authoritarian Personality,” a body of work developed after the Nazi Holocaust to understand genocide, anti-Semitism, fascism, ethnocentrism and anti-democratic attitudes. More on this at the end. (Scroll down to my chart).

Let’s consider Veridos as a “psychoclass,” coined by Lloyd DeMause, founder of the International Psychohistorical Association, described as emerging from a particular style of childrearing. Indeed, the childrearing practices moral heroes and authoritarian personalities are quite opposite.


I interviewed Dan Ellsberg, Joseph Rotblat, Nobel Peace Prize winner, the only scientist to quit the Manhattan Project after Hitler committed suicide, a woman who hid Jews from the Nazis, judges at the Hague war crimes tribunals, Betty Friedan,[3] feminist pioneer, Peter Breggin, psychiatrist who challenged overdiagnosis ADHD and drugging children, and Israeli and Palestinian pioneers in the peace process, introduced by Dan, who also supported Mordechai Vanunu, whistleblower on Israel’s nuclear program,  who was entrapped and put in solitary confinement for many years, and others.

I felt a palpable sense that these risk takers did not undergo a conscious, rational, deliberative, decision-making process, nor did they think of themselves as heroes. They could perceive and feel through deceptions and were incapable of holding untruths in their bodies and souls. It was intolerable for them, as for “heretics” in history who were burned at the stake.

I coined the term “Verido”, to mean an instinctual drive for truth and justice, like “libido” the instinctual energy and drive for sex. This capacity may be cultivated or squashed with familial and cultural practices of childrearing, education and socialization.

See my previous Substack, Call Us by Our Names:  Proposed Terminology for Responses to Covid Narrative and Policies for further explanation of Verido, classification and descriptions of Complaints, Conformists, Refuseniks, Remorseniks and Veridos.


Veridos™, maybe 5% or less initially but growing. They see through the deception, investigate it and challenge the official narrative.

Veridos are truly courageous and incapable of remaining silent. All have been censored, demonized, retaliated against, de-platformed, restricted, lost reputations, jobs and livelihoods, rejected by lifelong friends, relatives and colleagues, excluded from social events. People who have known, even loved and admired Veridos for years and decades believe that they suddenly became crazy, naive or stupid.

Veridos are called selfish, dangerous, right-wing, Republican, propagandized Trump supporters, patronizingly called “vaccine hesitant” when attempting coercion through rewards, and “anti-vaxxers” when shifting strategy from rewards to punishments. Veridos may call themselves dissidents, pariahs, red-pillers, awakened, not drinking the Kool Aid. I am calling us Veridos, active seekers of truth.

Note: Some who are Veridos in other domains, like the war in Ukraine, may be Compliant and Conformist with Covid, subject to the biggest propaganda campaign in human history, compounded by other dynamics like being frightened to death.

Before presenting my findings, I wish to highlight the meaning of moral heroes for the collective psyche.

The Archetype of the Moral Hero

Jung considered moral heroism as an aspect of an “urge to life,” the life force, Eros. The hero archetype personifies progressive elements in the collective psyche – forward movement, negative entropy and integration. It is the aspect of the Self that fights against the pulls toward regression, passivity, fear, and the desire to take refuge in the protective nurturance of the Great Mother. The collective symbol of the hero embodies the highest aspirations and ideals of a culture.

Jungian analyst, Dr. Jerome Bernstein distinguished between the immature, adolescent hero, identified with the warrior, strength, mastery over death, and power and is anti-life and the mature hero, concerned with moral and ethical issues, committed to the life principle.

They represent “the ideal of the Bodhisattva, the symbol of compassion, is the ultimate expression of the underlying concern to lead every being to freedom from suffering, to enlightenment” (Self and Liberation: Jung/Buddhist Dialogue, ed. Meckel & Moore, p. 286)

Veridos exemplify high levels of psychological, moral, cognitive and political development, maturity and integration.

The Archetypal Drama of Liberation from Oppression

Veridos arise in response to domination, destruction, oppression, corruption, ignorance, and deception to stimulate humanity to higher levels of consciousness, creativity and functioning – the stuff of myths and fairy tales.

Their devotion to relieve suffering transcends ego, the separate sense of self. Each is a developmental force to bring equality, freedom, truth, and justice. Some are moved to live on the front lines. Their work can contribute to conscious evolution.

Veridos are often fired, censored, exiled, imprisoned, killed, denigrated or ridiculed by the regressive forces of oppressive authority that want to keep information from the populace to retain power, because information is power.


My observations are based on semi-structured interviews. I did not administer psychological tests. Some patterns emerged. Not every finding applies to every Verido., but in combination they paint a picture. These apply to people courageous in causes other than Covid.

My hypotheses are based on my observations and intuition. I welcome challenges, alternative theories, validations and examples in the comments. My findings regard

Family of Origin

Life Experiences – Discrepant Realities

Jungian Psychological Type

Psychological Maturity and Human Development

The Psychological Opposite of the Authoritarian Personality

Psycho-Sociological Observations

Family of Origin Observations

·  Mothers (in one case an older sister, in one case a nanny) were described as being ahead of her time, competent, strong, having a mind of her own, open-minded, compassionate, creative, but were somehow unfulfilled (highly likely in previous generations). Their children felt their mother’s frustration of her unlived life. They felt delegated to fulfill dreams, to live out her unlived life. Sometimes the father was frustrated.

As a girl, Betty Friedan prayed for “someone who loved me best and ‘a work’

·  Families valued equality, justice, freedom

·  Clear boundaries, limitations, sometimes a strict but loving father

·  Mother was regarded as subject, not object, and affirmed their child’s subjectivity, individuality and uniqueness.

·  Mutual recognition and close relationship with a member of opposite sex, a sibling, friend, relative. This applies to race in some cases.  There are developmental connections between consciousness of otherness – the Other Sex and the Other Race. With unshakable knowledge of the humanity of the Other (sex and race) they could not dehumanize and found dehumanization of others intolerable.

·   In adolescence they differentiated from family, carved out their own identity and values. They could reject parents’ values without rejecting parents. Family could tolerate difference and negotiate the tension between individuality and connection (neither enmeshed nor disengaged).

·   Some did not have heroes. They did not disown the heroic aspect of the Self and engage with it though projection onto external heroes who embody unlived aspects of the self. Some admired Gandhi, King, Malcolm X, Einstein, Paul Robeson.

·  Capacity for intimacy, depth, richness in relationships, several became co-creative couples.

·  Some felt special, the “Christ child.”  Parents had confidence in them.

·   Alice Miller who attended my presentation at the International Psychohistorical Associaton in Amsterdam in 1999, urged me to emphasize that (most) were not punished as children.

·  Child Holocaust survivor, Samuel Oliner and his wife Pearl studied people who rescued Jews in the Altruistic Personality. They similarly found that families were close. Parents had moral principles and taught empathy, compassion, equity for all humanity. They had lenient childrearing practices. They did not demand obedience. Hence, they were not submissive to authority.

·  Rather than physical punishment, parents used reasoning, a sign of respect and trust. By contrast, child-rearing practices in Germany before the Holocaust were very strict, demanded obedience, breaking the child’s will, authoritarian and punitive to encourage toughness.

·  A secure attachment pattern, as opposed to anxious, avoidant and disorganized is established in the first year of life. It optimizes development, empathy, trust, problem-solving, and openness to exploration, associated with taking risks.

A fortunate beginning in life with a sense of Basic Trust, according to Erik Erikson’s model, provides a basis for psychological health and developing a courageous personality.

Erik Erikson stages of Psychosocial Development


·  Psychological Maturity, Emotional Intelligence, Capacity to Tolerate Ambiguity, to live in and negotiate the tension between the opposites, a sign of psychological health.

·   Strong egos, not necessarily big egos. They operate at a level that transcends ego. (They are not necessarily ego-less either.) Jung said that to withstand such overwhelming opposition, the ego must be equal to the whole world. They have a good connection between the ego-Self (higher Self) axis.

·      Not deterred by fear. Do not regress under fear. Some who may function at higher levels regress under fear, lose higher level brain functions and may be vulnerable to psychological manipulation.

·      Low on hypnotic susceptibility and the Tellegen Absorption Scale, low on “openness to absorbing and self-altering experiences (Tellegen & Atkinson, 1974).

·    Jungian Psychological Types. This was a fascinating and significant discovery. The theory of Psychological Types requires a separate article. Here I will focus on the dimension of Perceiving. Jung’s theory of personality type, was developed, tested and popularized by Myers-Briggs typology. There are four dimensions.

o   Introversion – Extroversion – how people get energy

o   Judging – Perceiving – how people take in information

o   Thinking – Feeling, Jung called this the “Rational Axis” meaning more Judging

o   Intuition – Sensation, Jung called this the “Irrational Axis” meaning beyond superficial reason, as in more Perceiving

Veridos take in information more by Perceiving (P) rather than Judging (J), meaning they have highly developed dominant functions of Intuition and Sensation. They have heightened, fluid perceptive abilities which enables them to take in new information directly and in more detail, and to see through the propaganda and preconceived notions, social conventions and belief systems.

Intuition is not a hunch or a guess. It is a form of knowledge, perceiving through the unconscious, not on the level of concrete reality. Intuitives can see below the surface and intuit into the future. Some can feel when they are being lied to, pick up incongruencies in a story that doesn’t add up, detect something hidden, anticipate trajectories.

Sensation types perceive empirical reality directly and immediately through their heightened senses. People with strong sensation function are good with directions, mechanical abilities, science, finance, and possibly the arts.

Jung labeled sensation and intuition as being on the “irrational axis” (not irrational or illogical, but operates beyond and beneath reason). Myers Briggs reframed the “irrational axis” as Perception, as opposed to Thinking and Feeling functions, which Jung framed as the “rational axis” Myers Briggs reframed as Judging.

The rational axis deals with “thoughts, feelings and actions that accord with reason, an attitude based on objective values established by practical experience.” (Carl Jung, Collected works, “Definitions”)

It is like the difference between being “theory driven” (Judging, Rational Axis) with preconceived beliefs, second hand information, and social convention versus “data driven,” (Perceiving, Irrational Axis), direct, fluid, open to revising beliefs hypotheses and theories according to new information.

LIFE EXPERIENCES – Discrepant Realities, Ruptures, Paradise Lost, and Failed Enactment

Many Veridos had formative life experiences I call “discrepant realities.” Others are similarly affected by historical traumas like genocides, massacres, slavery.

One’s primary experience of humanity, dignity, equality, freedom, security, safety, and love was ruptured in some way, generating a sense of paradise lost, failed enactment, the pain of unnecessary preventable loss and suffering. The discrepancy feels physiologically intolerable.

Processed by their developed psychological functions of intuition, sensation and feeling, they experience tension between current reality and what is possible, and their inalienable human right. They feel a deep urge to repair and devote their lives to restoring the ideal state. Examples include:

·  Paradise lost

Nelson Mandela said, “I wasn’t born with a hunger for freedom. I was born free…” Having lost the freedom he had known, he devoted his life to regaining freedom.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Joseph Rotblat, born in 1908, grew up in a secure, prosperous household in Russian Poland. With the outbreak of World War 1the family lost everything and went into poverty.

Camelot Lost, RFK, Jr., experienced the assassinations of his uncle and father, and his knowledge of hidden forces motivates his fierce courage and relentless dedication and readiness to “die with my boots on.” We wish him a long, healthy successful life.

Families of the vaccine and Covid spikeshot injured – Rising from their trauma, grief and loss to speak out and prevent this from happening to others.

·  Failed Enactment

Dan Ellsberg’s StoryAt 14, on a family trip, Dan’s father fell asleep at the wheel. Their car went off the road, killing his mother and sister. This incident, fused with Dan’s nuclear awareness, led to preoccupations with questions like, “Why didn’t my father stop the car and take a nap? Why didn’t he ask my mother to drive? Was he too macho to admit to weakness?” (See APPENDIX 1)

This was a “failed enactment,” an acute sense of inability to prevent a tragedy which can motivate devotion to preventing catastrophes as an adult and to avoid living with regret.

·  Identifying “the problem that had no name”

Feminist pioneer Betty Friedan, was the first to name, research and describe “the problem that had no name,” a malaise felt by privileged women in suburbia in her groundbreaking “The Feminist Mystique” which struck a huge collective nerve. She wrote, ”There was a strange discrepancy between the reality of our lives as women and the image to which we were trying to conform, the image that I had come to call the feminine mystique. I wondered if other women faced this schizophrenic split, and what it meant.”

Veridos, motivated by experiences of loss, betrayal, and failure, experience that a better world is possible. They palpably feel it in their bodies and strive to overcome the discrepancy.


Around 1990 I was developing a “unified field theory” model of human development, called “Eros Development,” inspired by Erik Erikson’s eight stage model, Jane Loevenger’s scale of Ego Development, Piaget’s model of genetic epistemology and others.

I read a disturbing fact, that 50% of Americans did not achieve “formal operations,” the capacity for abstract thinking. I also read that business school students graduated at a lower level of ego development than when they entered. When listening to political discourse, I began coding development levels.  Much reflected immature, concrete, black-and-white thinking.

Veridos exemplify high levels of psychological, moral, cognitive and political development. individuation and self-actualization, Their lives and work are dedicated to stimulating humanity to higher levels of functioning.

·      Loevenger’s Model of Ego Development (see full chart below APPENDIX 2)

Loevenger’s stages, from birth, are pre-social (undifferentiated), impulsive, self-protective, conformist, self-aware, conscientious, individualistic, autonomous and then integrated.

At the conformist stage we identify with our group, act as a member of the group, and treat others as members of groups. I believe that nationalism, submerging one’s identity with the group (as opposed to patriotism perhaps), is associated with the conformist stage of development and below. People who may not feel good about themselves can feel pride and esteem by binding their identity to being part of a group that is good and superior. Those who criticize and blame the group are psychologically threatening at a core level and will be fiercely resisted.

Stage E4 Conformist

“Belonging to group is paramount; “right” and “wrong” simply determined by social convention; self and others viewed in terms of “fit” with group norms; simplistic and banal inner life.”

Psychologically, at the conformist stage, one has not yet constructed a concept of the individual. One emerges from the conformist stage with budding self-awareness, followed by conscientiousness, individualism, autonomous and then integrated.

I hypothesize that Veridos are at least “Autonomous”

Stage E8 Autonomous

“Freedom from excessive striving and achievement; search for self-fulfillment; recognition of individual human complexity; tolerance for ambiguity and paradox; deepened respect for autonomy of others”

Stage E9 Integrated

“Self-actualization; not fully described”

·      Moral Development  Kohlberg & Gilligan’s Six Levels of Moral Development

In the 1950s and 1960’s psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg, extended Piagetian cognitive development a model of moral development based on interviews with boys about moral dilemmas. Kohlberg’s theory consists of three levels and six stages of moral development.


The levels are Preconventional level, Conventional and Postconventional or principled level.

Developmental psychologist Carol Gilligan challenged Kohlberg’s work in her classic, groundbreaking book, In a Different Voice (1982). Gilligan conducted research with girls and women, discovering that females use different reasoning. While males are concerned with rules, females are more concerned with caring. Gilligan attributes changes in moral reasoning to changes in relational thinking rather than cognitive.

This is referred to as a Justice vs Mercy orientation. Hopefully since the 1980s the gender split is less rigid, and Veridos in particular are crying out for mercy.

“On Kohlberg’s model, moral development is the development of an autonomous self, capable of being motivated by abstract principles understood as a kind of “mathematical” solution to conflicts of interests.

On Gilligan’s model, moral development is the development of a self-in-relation.  Morality is understood in terms of the preservation of valuable human relations.  Progress from stage to stage is motivated by increasing understanding of human relationships.

Males and females can possess both justice and care orientations, but one is more prevalent. The more evolved, mature we are, the more likely to integrate both dimensions.

You guessed it. Veridos are at the highest Post-Conventional stage. See APPENDIX 3

·      Individuation (Carl Jung and others), self-actualization (Abraham Maslow), Heinz Kohut’s “nuclear program of the self.”

To live according to one’s design, to become whole, realize one’s Self. A goal of Jungian analysis is expanding consciousness by awareness and integration of unconscious contents from one’s shadow, anima/animus (complex of the opposite sex in one’s psyche), and other unconscious complexes and to develop balance in one’s personality by developing one’s inferior function. Following the horrors of World War II, Jung strongly believed that it was critical for more people to become individuated to resist tyranny, mass psychology and potential destruction of the planet.

In the last analysis, the essential thing is the life of individual. This alone makes history, here alone do the great transformations take place, and the whole future, the whole history of the world, ultimately springs as a gigantic summation from these hidden source in individuals. — Carl Jung

Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself. — Carl Jung

Individualization does not shut one out from the world, but gathers the world to oneself.

— Carl Jung

·      Differentiation of Self from Family of Origin (Murray Bowen)

The goal of Bowen’s family of origin therapy is to establish a sense of self, one’s own personality, and one’s own path despite (family) pressures and expectations, developing one’s ability to hold an “I position” while maintaining relationship rather than disengaging. One is able to resist “groupthink,” conformity, the need for approval, and to be able to think clearly, handle criticism and conflicts constructively and creatively.

Veridos: The Psychological Opposite of the Authoritarian Personality

Studies on the Authoritarian Personality have exposed the underlying psychopathology in those who have caused the greatest damage to humankind. I hypothesize that the Courageous Personality is the psychological opposite of the Authoritarian Personality, representing a high level of psychological development and integration.

Authoritarianism and Human Development

After World War II, many psychologists developed a body of research on psychological forces and conditions that allowed the Holocaust, including Stanley Milgram, on obedience, Phil Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment, Solomon Asch on pressures to conform, and many others. Adorno, et all developed a theory of the Authoritarian Personality.  

Erich Fromm was a prominent social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist and humanistic philosopher. Here are excerpts from his 1957 article on “The Authoritarian Personality.” Note this applies to followers of authoritarian leaders (Bolds are mine)

What they have in common, what defines the essence of the authoritarian personality is an inability: the inability to rely on one’s self, to be independent, to put it in other words: to endure freedom.

The opposite of the authoritarian character is the mature person: a person who does not need to cling to others because he actively embraces and grasps the world, the people, and the things around him.

the individual’s goal must be to become his own authority; i.e., to have a consciousness in moral issues, conviction in questions of intellect, and fidelity in emotional matters. However, the individual can only have such an inner authority if he has matured enough to understand the world with reason and love. The development of these characteristics is the basis for one’s own authority and therefore the basis for political democracy.

Here is my comparison of the Authoritarian Personality with the Courageous Personality written around 1997. The left side of the chart is from p.164 in The Authoritarian Personality.

The Authoritarian Personality                    The Courageous Personality

Identify with ingroup                                   Identify with Humanity

inability to identify with humanity             Inability to dehumanize Other

ethnocentric, us-them split                          interest, curiosity, compassion for others

no individuality in self or other                   individuated, sees other as individual

outgroup is offensive, threatening              no psychological need to use outgroup

primitive fears of contamination                 to define self

unable to criticize ingroup authorities       can criticize own group’s authorities

Stereotypy in thought & experience        Capacity for Individuated experience

overgeneralizations, all alike                      perceives individuality

contradictions in thinking                            discriminating mind

Contradiction                                               Coherence

Repression                                                     Self–Awareness

Externalization (Projection)                        Internalization

submission to outer authority                      guided by inner authority

no inner authority                                         attunement to higher moral authority

dependent, deny and compensate             independent

unable to criticize ingroup authority          can criticize self, parents, own group authority

Conventionalism                                          Genuineness

Conformity                                                    Spontaneity

Rigidity                                                          Flexibility

Hierarchy of Power                                     Equality

Dominance-submission                               Empowers Others

Conscious-Unconscious Split                     Conscious-Unconscious Integration, Fluidity

needs, weaknesses, impulses denied         acknowledgement of weaknesses, impulses

ego-alien, kept out of awareness                self-aware

narrow constriction of ego                          strong, expanded ego consciousness

contradictions between personality           Integrity of values, morality and  and morality personality

Sex role stereotypy                                      Flexible sex role

idealized, one-sided                                     Identification with both parents

identification with same sex parent

disowned parts of self are denied,              Parts of self are allowed, accepted, integrated

projected (i.e. for males – weakness,          self-criticism

inferiority, hostility, passivity)

compensatory strength, power                    little need to compensate

Anti-Intraception                                         Intraception

dislike of subjectivity and imagination    comfort with subjective experience, imaginative fantasies, speculations              imaginative, tuned into emotions

focus on concrete, physical reality          sees beyond superficial, concrete reality observable conditions

oppose subjective and tender-minded


·  Previous Knowledge of Corruption, Fraud and Propaganda

Since Covid, I reconnected with kindred spirits I knew through other causes, like the 2004 election fraud (Josh Mitteldorf, Mark Crispin Miller), alternative cancer treatments (Beverly Rubick), natural health, propaganda for the invasion of Iraq (Mitch Hall). Before Covid, we saw through deception, questioned authority. Engaged with similar dynamics in the past, Veridos were primed recognize similar patterns. History rhymes.

·  Health consciousness

A subset of Veridos have been “health nuts” for decades, using preventive, functional, naturopathic, and regenerative medicine, natural remedies, healthy food, immune boosting rather than prescription drugs. Some gave birth at home, raised children naturally and did not vaccinate them.

At potlucks (Philadelphia and DC), most bring healthy, vegetarian, often organic, and gourmet style food. We have long been healthy foodies who did not conform to the “standard American diet.”

Over the decades I was surprised that many progressive friends did not eat healthy and used the conventional, allopathic medical model that treats symptoms rather than causes, a “pill for an ill” and a “drug for a bug” without question.

·   Skepticism and Mistrust

People who have been deceived before know enough distrust the authorities.

o   Blacks familiar with Tuskegee and other secret medical experiments, were possibly aware of the high rates of autism among Black boys vaccinated before the age of 3. Unfortunately, a targeted patronizing propaganda campaign trotting out Black doctors and celebrities, cash and other rewards and incentives was effective in persuading many Blacks to get the Covid shots.

o   Gays who remember Fauci’s actions, conflicts of interest, denial of effective treatments, and deaths from AZT

·  Privileged people with loving parents more likely to trust authorities

By contrast to those who grew up with injustice, inequality, and deception, those who grew up with privilege and protective parents have a life experience of trusting authorities and feeling protected. To me, the FDA was protecting us from getting food poisoning at restaurants, thanks to Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle.

It is frightening and threatening to realize that trusted authorities might be causing harm.


Living in this incredible time of existential danger and great promise, there is value in raising consciousness about the too few courageous people who have made personal sacrifices to speak truth, expose secrets, and challenge oppressive authority to advance the progress of humanity. It seems that they may be 5% of the population or less.

·  Childrearing – Can we cultivate more Veridos?

Consider Lloyd DeMause’s observation that “psychoclass” emerged from a particular style of childrearing, and Alice Miller’s work on the harms of punishment in childhood, which can make people hypnotically susceptible and obedient to authority.  The difference in childrearing between Veridos and authoritarians is undeniable.

The use of harsh physical and psychological punishment in patriarchal authoritarian cultures results in higher incidences of avoidant attachment patterns, associated with more problems in adulthood that negatively impact society.

Some can be helped with therapy, social support and corrective experiences, but best to prevent. Years ago, realizing the harms of childhood punishment, the German Parliament banned corporal punishment.

“German parents nowadays prefer to use dialogue rather than physical punishment to correct wayward children, while traditional virtues such as strict punctuality, orderliness and discipline are no longer considered as important.” German parents go off corporal punishment

This should cultivate the development of more Veridos. We could benefit from mass education in childrearing practices.

·  Grand Strategy – Can Veridos play a more intentional role in a “grand strategy” that leverages their gifts since there are too few?

Beyond understanding their individual psychology, there is an urgent need to define and establish a high ideal of the mature moral hero and to recognize their potential role in saving humanity.

Since they are demonized and pathologized as crazy and worse, there is value in identifying and contextualizing their essence and activity as healthy and progressive, to empower them, and increase the extent to which their work is valued in society.

On the level of collective psyche, we can Increase the psychic energy and charge the archetype of the mature moral hero, cultivating these qualities in people of all ages, as a desirable quality to strive for. See Dr. Phil Zimbardo’s Heroic Imagination Project.

Veridos can more consciously craft messaging and frame language to better reach people who are frightened and manipulated, and build a channel to the 40% Conformists.

Veridos should exemplify post partisanship, transcend party, right/left divide, resist manipulation that pits us against each other and focus on common ground, collaborating to construct a better future and stop disparaging others.

We must build on progressive forces that are emerging on the planet to challenge and also to find appealing ways to transcend patriarchal, dominating, regressive, oppressive powers which are highly organized and coordinated to threaten our health and freedoms.

The immunity of the nation depends entirely upon the existence of a leading minority immune to the evil and capable of combating the powerful suggestive effect.

— C. G. Jung, The Symbolic Life, para. 1400.


Only a few individuals succeed in throwing off mythology in a time of a certain intellectual supremacy–the mass never frees itself.

Psychology of the Unconscious (ed. Courier Corporation, 2003) – ISBN: 9780486424996

The mass State has no intention of promoting mutual understanding and the relationship of man to man; it strives, rather, for atomization, for the psychic isolation of the individual. The more unrelated individuals are, the more consolidated the State becomes, and vice versa.

For, in order to turn the individual into a function of the State, his dependence on anything beside the State must be taken from him.

It is the individual’s task to differentiate himself from all the others and stand on his own feet. All collective identities . . . interfere with the fulfillment of this task. Such collective identities are crutches for the lame, shields for the timid, beds for the lazy, nurseries for the irresponsible. .

The achievement of personality means nothing less than the optimum development of the whole individual human being. It is impossible to foresee the endless variety of conditions that have to be fulfilled. A whole lifetime, in all its biological, social, and spiritual aspects, is needed. Personality is the supreme realization of the innate idiosyncrasy of a living being. It is an act of high courage flung in the face of life, the absolute affirmation of all that constitutes the individual, the most successful adaptation to the universal conditions of existence coupled with the greatest possible freedom for self-determination. To educate a man to this seems to me no light matter. It is surely the hardest task the modern mind has set itself.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

From The Undiscovered Self

From the blurb – “ … Dr. Carl Jung—one of history’s greatest minds—argues that civilization’s future depends on our ability as individuals to resist the collective forces of society. Only by gaining an awareness and understanding of one’s unconscious mind and true, inner nature—“the undiscovered self”—can we as individuals acquire the self-knowledge that is antithetical to ideological fanaticism…. Jung compellingly argues that only then can we begin to cope with the dangers posed by mass society—“the sum total of individuals”—and resist the potential threats posed by those in power.”

“Indeed, it is becoming ever more obvious that it is not famine, not earthquakes, not microbes, not cancer but man himself who is man’s greatest danger to man, for the simple reason that there is no adequate protection against psychic epidemics, which are infinitely more devastating than the worst of natural catastrophes.

The supreme danger which threatens individuals as well as whole nations is a psychic danger. Reason has proved itself completely powerless, precisely because its arguments have an effect only on the conscious mind and not on the unconscious.

The greatest danger of all comes from the masses, in whom the effects of the unconscious pile up cumulatively and the reasonableness of the conscious mind is stifled. Every mass organization is a latent danger just as much as a heap of dynamite is. It lets loose effects which no man wants and no man can stop.

It is therefore in the highest degree desirable that a knowledge of psychology should spread so that men can understand the source of the supreme dangers that threaten them. Not by arming to the teeth, each for itself, can the nations defend themselves in the long run from the frightful catastrophes of modern war. The heaping up of arms is itself a call to war. Rather must they recognize those psychic conditions under which the unconscious [tsunami-like] bursts the dykes of consciousness and overwhelms it.



1.    Dan Ellsberg’s Story Excerpts

2.    Jane Loevenger’s Scale of Ego Development Stages

3.    Moral Development – Kohlberg & Gilligan Models

4.    Alice Miller Child Mistreatment, Child Abuse

5.    More on the Authoritarian Personality

6.    The Heroic Imagination Project


Dan Ellsberg’s Story –


On the Fourth of July, 1946, driving on a hot afternoon on a flat, straight road through the cornfields of Iowa—on the way from Detroit to visit our relatives in Denver—my father fell asleep at the wheel and went off the road long enough to hit a sidewall over a culvert that sheared off the right side of the car, killing my mother and sister.

My father’s nose was broken and his forehead was cut. When a highway patrol car came by, he was wandering by the wreckage, bleeding and dazed. I was inside, in a coma from a concussion, with a large gash on the left side of my forehead. I had been sitting on the floor next to the back seat, on a suitcase covered with a blanket, with my head just behind the driver’s seat. When the car hit the wall, my head was thrown against a metal fixture on the back of the driver’s seat, knocking me out and opening up a large triangular flap of flesh on my forehead. I was in coma for 36 hours. My legs had been stretched out in front of me across the car and my right leg was broken just above the knee.

My understanding of how that event came about—it wasn’t entirely an accident, as I heard from my father, that he had kept driving when he was exhausted—and how it affected my life is a story for another time. But looking back now, at what I drew from reading the Pentagon Papers later and on my citizen’s activism since then, I think I saw in the events of August 1945 and July 1946, unconsciously, a common message. I loved my father, and I respected Truman. But you couldn’t rely entirely on a trusted authority—no matter how well- intentioned he was, however much you admired him—to protect you, and your family, from disaster. You couldn’t safely leave events entirely to the care of authorities. Some vigilance was called for, to awaken them if need be or warn others.

They could be asleep at the wheel, heading for a wall or a cliff. I saw that later in Lyndon Johnson and in his successor, and I’ve seen it since.

But I sensed almost right away, in August 1945 as Hiroshima and Nagasaki were incinerated, that such feelings—about our president, and our Bomb—separated me from nearly everyone around me, from my parents and friends and from most other Americans. They were not to be mentioned. They could only sound unpatriotic. And in World War II, that was about the last way one wanted to sound. These were thoughts to be kept to myself.

Jane Loevenger Scale of Ego Development

Table 1

Levels of Ego Development and Example of a Scored Item (Hy & Loevinger, 1996)[4]



E m2 Impulsive

Focus on physical needs and impulses; dependence on others for control and limits; rules are poorly understood; exploitation of others for one’s own good; Physical and emotional needs are merged; no sense of inner emotional experience

E3 Self-protective

Capacity to delay immediate gratification; self-serving appreciation for rules; interpersonal wariness

E4 Conformist

Belonging to group is paramount; “right” and “wrong” simply determined by social convention; self and others viewed in terms of “fit” with group norms; simplistic and banal inner life

E5 Self-awareness

Allowance for qualifications of “right” and “wrong” based on demographic differences; capacity for loneliness and self-consciousness; expanded inner life; relationships experienced in terms of feelings rather than behaviors

E6 Conscientious

“Right” and “wrong” and decisions based on personal feeling; capacity for guilt; concern about hurting others; feeling responsible for others

E7 Individualistic

Greater tolerance for individual differences; differentiation between inner and outer states; emergence of long-term perspective; Interpersonal relationships are deeper and more intense

E8 Autonomous

Freedom from excessive striving and achievement; search for self-fulfillment; recognition of individual human complexity; tolerance for ambiguity and paradox; deepened respect for autonomy of others

E9 Integrated

Self-actualization; not fully described


Moral Development

Kohlberg & Gilligan’s Six Levels of Moral Development

Level 1: Preconventional level

Stage 1: Punishment/obedience orientation

Stage 2: Instrumental purpose orientation

Level 2: Conventional level

Stage 3: Good Boy/Nice Girl orientation

Stage 4: Law and order orientation

Level 3: Postconventional or principled level

Stage 5: Social contract orientation

Stage 6: Universal ethical principle orientation



STAGE 1:  Caring for the self.

STAGE 2:  Stage 1 concern judged to be selfish.


STAGE 3:  Goodness is caring for others, frequently equated with self-sacrifice.

STAGE 4:  Illogic of the inequality between self and others becomes evident.  Search for equilibrium.


STAGE 5:  Focus on the dynamics of relationships, to eliminate the tension between self and others.

STAGE 6:  Care is extended beyond personal relationships to a general recognition of the interdependence of self and other, accompanied by a universal condemnation of exploitation and hurt.

Males and females can possess both justice and care orientations, but one is more prevalent. The more evolved, mature we are, the more likely to integrate both dimensions.


Alice Miller Child Mistreatment, Child Abuse

What is it?

Humiliations, spankings and beatings, slaps in the face, betrayal, sexual exploitation, derision, neglect, etc. are all forms of mistreatment, because they injure the integrity and dignity of a child, even if their consequences are not visible right away. However, as adults, most abused children will suffer, and let others suffer, from these injuries. This dynamic of violence can deform some victims into hangmen who take revenge even on whole nations and become willing executors to dictators as unutterably appalling as Hitler and other cruel leaders. Beaten children very early on assimilate the violence they endured, which they may glorify and apply later as parents, in believing that they deserved the punishment and were beaten out of love. They don’t know that the only reason for the punishments they have ( or in retrospect, had) to endure is the fact that their parents themselves endured and learned violence without being able to question it. Later, the adults, once abused children, beat their own children and often feel grateful to their parents who mistreated them when they were small and defenseless.

This is why society’s ignorance remains so immovable and parents continue to produce severe pain and destructivity – in all “good will”, in every generation. Most people tolerate this blindly because the origins of human violence in childhood have been and are still being ignored worldwide. Almost all small children are smacked during the first three years of life when they begin to walk and to touch objects which may not be touched. This happens at exactly the time when the human brain builds up its structure and should thus learn kindness, truthfulness, and love but never, never cruelty and lies. Fortunately, there are many mistreated children who find “helping witnesses” and can feel loved by them.

The Roots of Violence are NOT Unknown

The misled brain and the banned emotions

The Facts:

1. The development of the human brain is use-dependent. The brain develops its structure in the first four years of life, depending on the experiences the environment offers the child. The brain of a child who has mostly loving experiences will develop differently from the brain of a child who has been treated cruelly.

2. Almost all children on our planet are beaten in the first years of their lives. They learn from the start violence, and this lesson is wired into their developing brains. No child is ever born violent. Violence is NOT genetic, it exists because beaten children use, in their adult lives, the lesson that their brains have learned.

3. As beaten children are not allowed to defend themselves, they must suppress their anger and rage against their parents who have humiliated them, killed their inborn empathy, and insulted their dignity. They will take out this rage later, as adults, on scapegoats, mostly on their own children. Deprived of empathy, some of them will direct their anger against themselves (in eating disorders, drug addiction, depression etc.), or against other adults (in wars, terrorism, delinquency etc.)


More on the Authoritarian Personality

Authoritarian Personality

How Theodor Adorno’s F-scale aimed to identify fascism and authoritarian personality.

The Authoritarian Personality Type

According to Adorno’s theory, the elements of the Authoritarian personality type are:

  • Blind allegiance to conventional beliefs about right and wrong
  • Respect for submission to acknowledged authority
  • Belief in aggression toward those who do not subscribe to conventional thinking, or who are different
  • A negative view of people in general – i.e. the belief that people would all lie, cheat or steal if given the opportunity
  • A need for strong leadership which displays uncompromising power
  • A belief in simple answers and polemics – i.e. The media controls us all or The source of all our problems is the loss of morals these days.
  • Resistance to creative, dangerous ideas. A black and white worldview.
  • A tendency to project one’s own feelings of inadequacy, rage and fear onto a scapegoated group
  • A preoccupation with violence and sex

Nine Components of Authoritarianism, pioneering research measured by the “F Scale” by Adorno,[5] et al, 1950,

·       Conventionalism: a rigid adherence to conventional, middle-class values

·       Authoritarian Submission: a submissive, uncritical attitude toward idealized moral authorities of the in-group

·       Authoritarian Aggression: A tendency to be on the lookout for people who violate conventional values and to condemn, reject and punish them.

·       Anti-Intraception: an opposition to the subjective, the imaginative, the tender-minded

·       Superstition and Stereotypy: the belief in mystical determinants of the individual’s fate, the disposition to think in rigid categories

·       Power and Toughness: a preoccupation with the dominance–submission, strong–weak, leader–follower dimension, identification with power-figures; over- emphasis upon the conventionalized attributes of the ego; exaggerated assertion of strength and toughness

·       Destructiveness and Cynicism: a generalized hostility, vilification of human nature

·       Projectivity: the disposition to perceive the world as dangerous; tendency to project unconscious emotional impulses outwards

·       Sex: Overly exaggerated concern with modern sexual practices. (Less true in 2023)


The Heroic Imagination Project


Today, HIP’s mission is rooted in the findings of social psychological experiments of Asch, Milgram and Zimbardo, among many other. These experiments, as well as myriad heinous acts throughout history, reveal the “banal” side of evil, as described by Hannah Arendt. No one is exempt from the possibility of being coerced by the dark side of human nature.

However, the reverse also appears true. The “banality of heroism”, an idea first explored in a 2006 article written by Dr. Zimbardo and Dr. Zeno Franco, is a guide for HIP’s work, suggesting that each and every seemingly ordinary person on this planet is capable of committing heroic acts.

From this core belief, the Heroic Imagination Project was born with a mission to use important findings in psychology to equip ordinary people of all ages with the knowledge, skills, and strategies necessary to choose wise and effective acts of heroism during challenging moments in their lives.

Our Mission

Inspired by the Heroic Imagination in each of us, HIP designs innovative strategies by combining psychological research, intervention education and social activism to create everyday heroes equipped to solve local and global problems.

We believe ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

We believe most of the heroes in the world are everyday people, just like you.

The Heroic Imagination Project provides training for individuals and groups, as well as promoting research and providing resources.


[1] See Academy Award nominated documentary, The Most Dangerous Man in America.

[2] Dan Ellsberg’s Story –

[3] I highly recommend the Hulu 8 part series, Mrs. America, dramatization of the 1970s feminist movement featuring the characters of Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, Shirly Chisolm and Phyllis Shlafly

[4] Scored items were removed from


Diane Perlman, PhD   is a clinical and political psychologist, devoted to applying knowledge from psychology, conflict studies and social sciences to designing strategies and policies to reverse nuclear proliferation, to drastically reduce terrorism, reduce enmity, and to raise consciousness about nonviolent strategies for tension reduction and conflict transformation. She is a visiting scholar at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, is active in Psychologists for Social Responsibility, the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, and on the Global Council of Abolition 2000. Some of her writings can be found on her websites,  and Email:

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