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Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson 1941- was a Sanskrit specialist who trained as a psychoanalyst in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. During his training he became close friends with the distinguished psychoanalyst Kurt Eissler[?] and later became acquainted with Anna Freud, Sigmund Freud's daughter, both members of psychoanalysis' inner circle. His psychanalytic practice was not very successful but, based on his friendship with Eissler, he moved in the highest circles of psychoanalysis. He learned German and specialized in the history of psychoanalysis and was briefly Project Director of the Sigmund Freud Archives.

Masson, after gaining access to Freud's correspondence, took the position that Freud, in order to advance the cause of psychoanalysis, had developed the theory that childhood reports of sexual abuse were fantasy, despite much actual abuse. See Sandor Ferenczi. Word of his controversial position reached the New York Times, and when Masson had been interviewed by a reporter, his theories were published in the Times to the dismay of the psychoanalytic establishment. Shortly thereafter he was removed from his job as Project Director of the Freud Archives and he left the psychoanalytic organizations he belonged to and wrote several books critical of psychoanalysis. These events are described in Janet Malcolm's book In The Freud Archives[?].

Lately he has written several successful books on the emotional life of animals.

Masson's Books

  • The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory.
  • Against Therapy: Emotional Tyranny and the Myth of Psychological Healing.
  • He edited The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess[?], 1887-1904.
  • A Dark Science: Women, Sexuality and Psychiatry in the Nineteenth Century
  • Final Analysis: The Making and Unmaking of A Psychoanalyst, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., 1990, ISBN 0-201-52368-X.
  • The Oceanic Feeling: The Origins of Religious Sentiment in Ancient India
  • My Father's Guru
  • Dogs Never Lie About Love: Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs
  • When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Life of Animals

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