Common Mystics Podcast
Season 2 Episode 13:
On this episode of Common Mystics, we discuss a prominent figure who made waves in the field of psychiatry and surprisingly some of the casualties he left in his wake. I'm Jennifer James. I'm Jill Stanley. We're psychics. We're sisters. We are Common Mystics. We find extraordinary stories in ordinary places. And we have a story for you today out of Topeka, Kansas. Jennifer? Jill? I think you owe everyone here an apology regarding the email situation. I don't know why you always have to call me out, when we hit record.
00:01:11 So I have not checked our [email protected]
account in a year. And so I apologize to those, oh... three people, Jill. Honestly, it was three people. Three people whom we did not get back to. Jennifer, we want our listeners to be more interactive, and if we invite them to interact with us, we have to be there to catch what they're throwing down. Are you feeling me?
00:01:42 You are right. And I do apologize and I am going to be much more on it. Thank you. You're welcome. Okay, so you guys, before we start, I want to let you know that this subject is not interesting to research and… [So, just push stop] Just kidding. Move on to next week. No. So what we did is instead of laying out this man's incredible achievements in the field of psychiatry, we really wanted just to give you like, a quick snapshot of who he was professionally and believe me, I love abnormal psychiatry and abnormal psychology, and I was not interested.
00:02:25 So, um, so just trust us when we say he's a big deal. What's his name? Oh, his name is Karl Menninger. Menninger. Menninger. There you go. Karl Menninger. Yes. He rose to prominence in the early to mid 1900s or the early to mid 20th century. And he was a hella big deal in psychiatry. Very good. But before we talk anymore about Dr. Karl, let's remind everybody where we were and what, what our intention was. Sure. We were in Topeka, Kansas, and we had our amazing, lovely niece. Miss Emma with us. We did. Hi, Emma! We love you. Cutest thing ever. She is a great mystic, Jennifer, like was she not? Oh, my gosh. A natural. Can you remind everyone of our intentions and how we operate? Our intention was to find a verifiable story that is unknown to us. And most importantly, that gives a voice to the voiceless.
00:03:36 So we set our intention and we set out from the house with Emma. That's right. And we were in Topeka. Of course, that's right. And, uh, wanted to take us to a cemetery, um, that is relevant to our family, right? So she was giving us directions to this cemetery. And when we were in the car, we were trying to explain to Emma how we got impressions from spirits. So I was feeling or so you were feeling very feminine energy. You were picking up on pink, the color pink, and then you were seeing ballet slippers. It's just overwhelmingly feminine. I was getting really feminine images. Right. And it, which is funny and it directly contrasts what Jennifer was feeling like this overwhelming femininity. I was, I literally saw the Fruit of the Loom commercial with like, the little guys in their fruit costumes. That's what I was seeing in my head.
00:04:34 Which of course you, you think of male underwear. Exactly. Right. Exactly. So Emma led us to Mount Hope Cemetery. That's right. As we were walking around, we were led to this large… [ obelisk.] Yes. And describe it for me, Jen. It was this huge pillar, like the Washington, the Washington Monument, right. Washington Monument, exactly. And all around it. There were words and engravings. And we were totally focused on the engravings. We were, do you remember what we were saying? We were seeing like the all seeing eye, like the back of a dollar bill. We were seeing a compass with the G in the middle of it, and it felt very, uh, fraternal. It felt like, um, it felt Freemasony, right? Very DaVinci code, like mysterious, you know, symbols that were not only mysterious, but also like long standing historical, you know, like packed with meaning.
00:05:38 Right. Exactly. And I thought, yeah, we were going to have to make tinfoil hats because if anyone knows anything about Freemasons, that was going to be a deep, dark, um, dive into some rabbit holes. So I was like, excited, but then Em was like, we need to go to this cute, little neighborhood called Potwin Place. Do you remember? I loved it there. Yeah. It's like two streets and that's it. And it just has really old historic homes, cobblestone streets. So cute. Very Victorian feeling. And the Victorian age of architecture was from what time, Jen? Oh, God, let me ask the Google.
00:06:18 The Google knows. I thought it was like the 1880s. Yeah. Through the 1900s, but... Yeah, right around that turn of the century. So we were feeling characters from that, from that time frame. And I was feeling... what was really funny is that I was feeling a young boy and in my head I heard ‘you should know my name.’ Hmm. Like, like he was like a big deal. Right. But whatever. So we're driving around and we decided, Em, cause she's our niece and we love her dearly. She was like, we need to go to old Topeka cemetery because it's an older cemetery and you're going to love it there. And then to answer your question, the Victorian architecture was, uh, around in 1850 and uh, through 1900. Thank you. Um, so we get to the older, the old Topeka cemetery and I'm feeling politician, president and you and Em are still picking up on the whole Freemason vibe, Emma, which is amazing side note, Emma closed her eyes and she said, I can see in my mind's eye and I'm ad libbing cause she doesn't really talk like this. She said that I can see a red stone with the name Robinson that has a Freemason symbol on it. And Jennifer? We frickin found it. We found what she saw in her head. And I was like, you are a little mystic. You are amazing. It was. It was so cool. So, we knighted her.
00:07:54 So let's talk about the research and what we found. Jennifer, please see the outline. Page two. What I noticed right away about your outline is the fact that that Presidential connection comes up, like, right away. So the Menninger family was apparently the first family of psychiatry and they have been called the Kennedy's quote unquote “of psychiatry.” So just in case you were wondering like, is this our story? It's a pretty big breadcrumb, right? That's true. That was actually in the introduction to one of the books that is a part of our source information. And I should bring it up here. And multiple times during this episode, legal note, the thoughts and opinions in this podcast are solely those of Jennifer and Jill, the Menninger family has not commented. The facts cited in this podcast was from the following resources, “Menninger, The Family And The Clinic,” by Lawrence J Friedman and “The Unpublished Menninger, The Divorce, Marriage and Analysis,” by Howard Faulkner and Virginia Pruitt.
00:09:07 Now, the reason why I bring this up is because that opening that the Menninger family was considered the first family of psychiatry. Some compared them to the Kennedy’s, was- when I opened up that book, that was the first paragraph. Wow. So yeah. Legal note. Yeah. And big breadcrumb for us- for you, who actually like, took the lead on the story. Crazy, crazy. So it was during the early 20th century in Topeka, Kansas, that Charles Menninger and his son, Karl actually created a clinic that focused on mental health. That’s right. That's major. That is huge because again, think asylum, scary places, mentally ill. Right. Now I'm going to quote the Kansas Historical Society, which says,” the Menninger’s opened the first clinic in 1919. In 1925, they purchased a farm house on the outskirts of town for a sanitarium to provide long-term inpatient care. William Menninger, Karl's youngest brother, joined Karl and their father in this practice that same year, fulfilling Charles’s dream of a group practice with his sons.” Wow. No kidding. It was-- it was a major success, this clinic and the sanitarium. It's true.
00:10:24 Yeah. [Especially for Karl] Right. Karl was the standout. Tell me about Karl. Well, I will. And according, again, to the Kansas Historical Society website, it said Karl became a popularly respected and well-known figure in psychiatry after the publication of his first book in 1930 and writing a regular advice column in the Ladies Home Journal. Will, his brother, Will, like many other Menninger staff, joined the armed forces during World War II. By the end of the war, he was brigadier general and extremely influential in the treatment and care of soldiers with psychiatric problems. Wow. Yeah. That is huge. That is huge. It was really great that they were focusing on like, PTSD basically at the time, like before those, that acronym was ever used before. That is major. Well, you can speak to this because you use the DSM daily and it was their research that contributed to, like, the precursor to the DSM.
00:11:29 And describe what the DSM is. The DSM-V is the one we're on now. It's a manual of disorders, and in the school setting, we rely on it to help us determine if a student has an educational disorder, but it's, it's broader than the educational setting. Right. Many of the diagnoses are made by psychologists, psychiatrists in different fields. So, the fact that this family was major in the, the development of the precursor of the DSM is wow, that's really mind blowing. Right. And then in Karl's later life, he and his wife at the time had focused on the needs of orphan children and needy children. And they created a, um, what they call quote and quote “the villages,” what was an area of town, where needy children, kind of like an orphanage, but on a larger scale lived, and they donated money and saw about the funding of their care. Oh. Yeah.
00:12:33 They took care of the orphans. Wow. Well, I'm really liking this family so far. They're
prominent, but… [Are ya?] well, they're doing a lot of good. They do do a lot of good. And they're bringing these big ideas. They're these big, important ideas. I like it. I'm a fan. Sign me up. Well, I can't wait for you to continue reading because that bubble folks, you're going to hear it pop.
00:12:55 Oh wait, but there was another side of Karl. Please take it from there. A personal side. Oh, okay. So, it occurs to me that we're going to go into an area here where you are going to want us to separate his professional achievements with his personal transgressions, like a Bill Cosby sort of vibe. Is that where we're going here, Jill? Ya know what? I don't think that. Oh, okay. Yeah. Right. Um, I have a different point of view. [You can tell me why later.] Yeah. I have a very different point of view of what I'm bringing up here and I will bring it up on page… a further page.
00:13:39 Okay. A page further ahead. Okay. So, apparently Karl, behind the tower...What? Behind the tower of psychiatrics that he built, there was a son, a man, and a husband struggling with his own demons that we believe he projected on, not only the struggles of society, but also on people around him. Wow. That's a bold statement. That's a bold statement. Yes, and I want you to, um, look at the outline at Karl's childhood and according to Lawrence J Friedman and the book that I referenced earlier, again, legal note, these are solely the opinions of Jennifer and Jill and no one in the Menninger family had commented. Um, the book is “Menninger, The Family and The Clinic,” please take it from there. Well, Charles we've already mentioned that Charles is Dr. Karl's father, Charles and his wife, Flo, were Karl's parents. And they were married in January of 1885. Now the first seven years of their marriage were, were good. They were amicable. However, when Elmer, Flo's brother, with whom she was really close, died of typhoid fever in 1886, just a year after they were married, Flo became really depressed. And she felt abandoned not only because she lost her own father at a very young age, but also she felt the loss of her brother who was a very close person in her life. So the thing is, what you should know about Flo, that I did not write in the outline… [Is her name Florence?] They call her Flo. They refer to her as Flo.
00:15:28 Is it bothering you? It is, but I’ll keep going. I'm sorry. Um, so Florence was the oldest child of, uh, whole brood of kids. There was a lot of them and after her father died, Florence had to take care of the kids. So she was like a mother at a very young age. Right. Can you identify? Yeah, keep going. So she, you know, after the kids moved out of the house, she was so close to Elmer and she actually lived with Elmer as she was attending Washburn College, the college in Topeka. Oh, neat. And Charles at the time was a, uh, a professor there and he used to visit Flo regularly, even though the college was like, Hey, that's like, I don't know, kind of iffy. What are you doing? Because she was his student? Yeah. I don't know if they were in the same class together, but she was a student and he was a professor.
00:16:20 Okay. I can see how they kind of like, crosses the line, a little bit, maybe. But Charles was like, you know what? Elmer's there. He like, served as like, a chaperone to their like, early relationship. [Weird] So, she really relied a lot on, on Elmer, not just because they were friends and like, besties and siblings, but also that he was so involved in her early relationship with Charles. So, when he died… um...[a major loss] Huge loss. Yeah. Wow. Well Flo, or Florence, became pregnant in late 1892 um, and while she was pregnant, her husband Charles was traveling? Yeah. Wow. So, he left his pregnant wife alone, and he traveled to try to build up his practice of internal medicine. Right. So, he was going to those different clinics we talked about earlier. He was getting different exposure and he was traveling, even if it was just during the day, so that he can go and recruit different, um, patients in the area to come see him instead of other doctors.
00:17:27 So, he was kind of a bit of a salesman, an internal medicine guy. Gotcha. All right. So, Karl is born in July of 1893, and according to Flo's autobiography and diaries, she suffered from despair that further separated her from her husband. The couple had two additional sons, Edwin and William, and by the time of William’s birth, Flo was like, straight up anxious. She had like, an anxiety disorder. Um, Charles spent as much time as he could away from home, even though Florence was really struggling, being a single mom, basically raising her three boys. He was like, nobody got, nobody got time for that. He was like, you do you. You deal with that. I'm going to go. Let's see what we can do to get more money. [Okay] But she was… in all fairness to Charles, she was also crazy about having enough money. She was anxious about, we're not bringing in enough money because I had to stop working because I have to raise these kids now.
00:18:29 So, she was telling him like, you go get patients. She was putting a lot of pressure on him. Okay. Okay. So basically just anxiety is like running her life and that's going to impact the way she mothers her sons. Oh yeah. So the marriage isn’t happy and Charles is said to have considered divorce-- divorcing Flo. That's right. Ugh. Because of that, obviously the kids are affected by this, right? Of course. So can you refer back to, um, Friedman. Friedman's book? Sure. Um, it says that she had control issues. So, Flo… [Well, which makes sense because when you have anxiety… ] You try to control. Yes. You try to control the people and the things in your life. So, her control issues apparently strained her relationship with her son, Karl, who would become Dr. Karl. This quote says that her fear, and by her, this is Flo, Dr. Karl’s mother.
00:19:34 “Her fear and difficulty in controlling Karl seemed most acute when she realized that the unusually bright child was a separate entity. Our baby has such a mind of his own that sometimes it is hard to know how to manage him. It was hard because Flo identified closely with Karl and found it unsettling whenever she and the child was out of step. She realized that Karl is like me, and in many ways, especially in his constant mood swings from warm and thoughtful to depression and crossness. Therefore, it seems strange to push him from unpleasant conduct. It was like pushing herself.” I don't even understand like, the twisted thing that I just read here. I gotta be honest. So like, I know like, I've heard before parents feel like children are an extension of them, like a hundred percent. That's why they're proud of them. That's why they show them off. Whatever. What I don't understand, and what is weird AF is that usually one is not aware of it, and isn't-- when you're aware of something that's kind of off about you, you're kind of like, oh, I should do better.
00:20:46 She was like, full on like, oh, he's just like me. I'm not going to punish him. It'd be like me yelling at me. I can't do that. That’s just weird. We’re like, wow. That’s just weird.
00:20:56 And I took Psych 101, like, this is not normal. And she said that in her diaries? Yeah. She was like writing it out. She's like, I can't possibly discipline him because it's like, disciplining me. I’m like, no it’s not. That is such a weird thing to say. I can't understand that at all. Well, I think it's obvious. It's becoming a little bit more clear why Charles wanted to understand psychiatry a little bit more, right? Yeah. Perhaps. And maybe why Karl went into it maybe. Okay.
00:21:29 So, Flo found that in her relationship with Karl, she was examining aspects of herself and she seemed unwilling to allow him to satisfy fully, which therapist Alice Miller has characterized as legitimate narcissistic needs of a baby to gain a firm sense of inner worth. But by looking internally to his mother and other objects as mirrors of himself. I am so confused right now, Jill . This makes no sense to me. I don't get it. I don’t get it. Okay. Let me explain it. I totally get this. I totally get it. So Flo, this is what she's doing. She is not allowing him to experience life on his own. She's only rearing him to be an extension of what she would want for herself. Right. So if she, bad example, but if she liked cherries and he didn't, she would be like, no, you like cherries. Or if he liked cherries and she didn't, she wouldn't let him eat the cherries.
00:22:25 So it's impossible for him as a child growing up to be like, huh? I kind of like country music because she wouldn't allow that self expression, that self understanding. He would only look to her and defer to her with what he liked and didn't like. It's almost like being in an abusive relationship. You forget what you want and what your likes are cause you've, you hadn't had the chance to seek them out. So you don't become fully functioning. You become like, codependent. So both of them are messed up basically? Yes. So, Karl's messed up now because of his mother and his mother is messed up AF. All right. All right. That's fair. Okay. Again, legal note. These are solely our opinions based on the information we had available to us. Okay. Go on. Uh, okay. By the way, Flo had a favorite and it was Karl. This is so twisted because she sees him as herself, so of course he's her favorite. Like, isn't it like the definition of narcissism? Right. But the point is, is that the other kids know that too. So Edwin and Will are like, yeah, you're a mama's boy like to the maximum. Okay. Jill, so you tell me what happens next? Like Flo junior. So Karl grows up in this weird psychological, mind fuck of a home life. He's really awkward.
00:23:51 Can you describe…. [ No, no. I would think he'd be perfectly well-adjusted] He throws himself into studies. He's very studious, rather unsocial. And at the beginning of freshman year at Washburn College, again, it's a college in Topeka, his good friend joins a fraternity, right? So, and I say “good friend” in air quotes. So, his friend is like in this fraternity and he's like, oh my God, they're going to ask me any day to pledge. I know this is going to happen. And like, no one ever mentions it. Like when he walks in the room, there were like, crickets. And so he's like, why, why aren't they asking me to join? And it's because Karl's quote unquote, “good friend” said that he was feebleminded. Not only did he not vote to bring Karl into pledge, but also he convinced everyone else, like, you don't want this guy.
00:24:47 He'd be feebleminded, you don't need him. And so, okay. So, his friend turned on him, he did not get into the fraternity, and that hurt his feelings. And like, forever. Like later in life, there was a quote that was like, he was like, if I can't get into that fraternity, like I couldn't get into [in] college, I will be a strong, controlling member in all fraternal societies that I could be a part of. And you're like, like, holy wow. Someone didn't get over that. And you're like, dude. Okay. So despite all of these strange, antisocial behaviors, he happens to hook himself a bright, young, attractive young girl named Grace Gaines, and, um, they were engaged in 1913. That's right. Wow. And I… in my heart, I just, I wish I could go back in time and be like, Hey girl. Um, do you think that, that, I don't know, he’s weird. You should, I don’t know...
00:25:47 You should date someone else, but no time machine. How did that marriage go? Well, Jennifer, I was just about to ask you to read from the unpublished mesic, Menninger book, Divorce, Marriage And Analyses. Can you do that for me? You’re always telling me what to do.
00:26:08 Can you just do it, and stop giving me so much lip? In the late 1920s, especially during the period when he was writing “The Human Mind” in 1930, Dr. Karl was having an affair, was having an affair with Lilian Johnson, the wife of a prominent Topeka lawyer, who would later become a judge, and the daughter of a man who was Speaker of the House in Kansas. So these are like, like high society folk. Wow. Go on. And Lawrence Friedman, his book says that Grace, Dr. Karl's wife, meanwhile, turns periodically to Judge Johnson for understanding and assurances of her sexual attractiveness. Wow. She's like, you'd hit this, right? Oh my gosh. Grace. She, oh my gosh. Do you blame her though? Come on. I mean, I, yeah. I mean, that can't feel good if, if your husband is, is cheating on you, but apparently, Dr. Karl sometimes invited her to foursomes [Mm hmm] with the judge and his wife? [No, no, no, no, no.] To wife swap? He referred… [what is in this outline?] Jennifer, he referred to them like when they would go to like, the golf course or the country club, he would be like, oh, it's our foursome. Gross. He, and then he was like, later on, he's like, you know how I'm, [you know how I’m a gross fuck? Sorry.] You know how I'm hitting up Lilly and I see how you be talking to her husband, [So, Karl?] so why don’t we just make this…. [So, Dr. Karl was doing this?] Yes.
00:27:55 So, yes, he’s like, why do we make this official and just swap it out. Just swap out. That happened? Do you know that that happened? Is that in the books? Did Friedman tell us? Neither Grace nor Lillian accepted the offer, although Karl and Lillian's affair went on for several more years. Okay. I see how it is. Now, so Dr. Karl has this book, “The Human Mind.” It's really successful. So the Ladies Home Journal is all like, Hey, Dr. Karl, will you write an advice column for us? And it's published for about two years. And there was a flood, a flood of ladies who are like writing him letters, asking for advice. Wow. So much so, that he, that Dr. Karl had to hire an assistant to help him organize and type out and answer these letters. And Jeanette Lyle was hired as his assistant in this project. Exactly. Right. Wow. So, during this time, in the 1940s, the hospital and the Menninger clinic was really successful.
00:29:01 And there was a real effort on the part of the administration at the hospital, i.e. his family, to separate, um, the hospital functions with that of the Menninger family functions and like personal… [What do you mean?] Well, you know how like, they have like, gallas and for like, um, fund-raising? [Yeah, events.] Yeah, instead of bringing like your wife, you'd be like, well, we'll just going to bring the secretaries and the staff and have them enjoy themselves instead of bringing like the family. And as a matter of fact, members of the staff and Karl's younger brother William's wife, Catherine, noted that it seemed like these functions and parties were scheduled specifically so the doctors can dance with a female staff instead of their wives. And they would go on to say that Karl's dad, Charles, was known to the staff as “The Fannie Pincher.”
00:30:08 I don't even know what to say to that. So it sounds like, it's like this open secret that you go to a work function, and if you're a woman, you're probably going to get hit on and it's just accepted that, that's the way it is. Is that right? Exactly. And because the Menninger’s are the people hiring, they get to hire the ladies that they're attracted to, right? They probably hire young, attractive women, who then get their fannies pinched at work functions. Okay, great. Yeah. Or more, I mean, you don't know what's going on, at the very least,we know that there is a “Fannie Pincher” as part of the administration, and so… yeah. Do that legal note at one more time. Legal note: the thoughts and opinions in this podcast are solely that of Jennifer and Jill’s. No one from the family has commented, and the facts presented are facts brought from the two books that we will frequently cite and will be cited on our website. I think your legal notes are getting longer and longer. Just make it a little more snappy.
00:31:17 Don't sue us. Please don't sue us. Please don't sue us. Oh my God. All right. So according to Friedman's book….oh my gosh. Jennifer is reading these words for like, the first time and letting them sink in. Please continue. Ah, Karl was referring to the sexual aspect of the hospital's existence when he recalled quote, “we deliberately did not involve our wives in hospital details, but they knew.” So wait, what? So basically [ it was said] this business was kind of an excuse to practice infidelity, to chase women? So like, we will talk about this later because we're not there yet, but I think you're coming around to the way I think of things. Um, but I feel like it wasn't an excuse to have a hospital, but it was very opportunistic.
00:32:15 So, it was said that Grace was aware that her husband had taken up with several women during their marriage. Oh, poor Grace. She sounded like a catch.
00:32:30 Okay. This, so... this is, this is, I want to share this with you. So Grace was said to accept the fact that he was screwing around on her. Aww. And part of the reason why is that Karl’s, um, fellow therapists and analyst, so someone that he went to for his mental health and prognosis [Good idea], was Fran… Yeah, really...was Franz Alexander.
00:32:59 And he encouraged Karl to have mistresses. What? A psychiatrist told him. Hey, I know what would be good for you.
00:33:08 Go out and sleep with women. Now again, Dr. Karl is a pillar of his field. So when we say his psychiatrist, we mean like his peer, his friend. Oh, right. So Karl’s, so Karl's coming
home being like, I don't know, Grace, that Alexander wants me to be screwing around a lot more. Right.
00:33:30 That just gives him license to cheat on his wife. Not only that, but Grace’s, her therapist, said the same thing to her. She was like, no, that makes sense. The man has needs. That’s what I thought you were going to say that Grace should go out and sleep with a bunch of men. Oh no. She was saying, no, no, no, men have needs. Okay. You know how they are? And even no, Karl didn't like this person's specific therapist or analysis, he was like, yeah you know what? She makes sense. She's saying that you're not doing anything to make our relationship better, so I have to go out and sleep with other women. So Grace was like, okay. Okay. All right. So you already mentioned that Karl is having a relationship with this lawyer turned judge's wife, Lillian. And other people. But Lillian is notable. She's his main squeeze, and then apparently that relationship kind of comes to an end and he's got a new favorite, and that is Jean AKA, Jeanette Lyle, the young lady who was hired to help him answer his correspondences to all of these women who are writing into the Ladies' Home Journal. Right. So, now he's got a new, [Exactly] a new love interest, Jeanette Lyle. That's right. That's okay. So we don't know when they started bumping uglies cause they worked together and at some point it turned into a love affair.
00:34:58 And according to Friedman's book, Jean was quoted in 1939, saying to Karl, “as for you being married, I knew from the first day I worked for you that you did not love your wife. You were attracted to me the first time you saw me and I to you.” Okay. That's a bold statement. Poor Grace. Continue. Apparently, she had no qualms at all about, uh, letting Karl quote, unquote, “make love to her,” even though he was married. And they went on to have this affair for about a decade. And it was all common knowledge at the clinic, that they were together, even though Grace was at home. Right.
00:35:44 So for Karl's mental wellbeing, the prognosis was that his wife was not satisfying him and was not trying to satisfy him. So, the treatment was sex with other women. Yes. Poor Grace. Poor Grace, that everybody in this clinic knows what's going on. And a mind fuck. Right. And it's her fault, and she's being made to think that it's her fault that her husband is sleeping around because she's not satisfying his needs. Right. Exactly. What more can she do? Like you're already, like, fucking everyone. Like what do you want me to do? Get you a towel. Like what? Oh, well, how can I make you happy? By the way, they have three children during this time. So again, the offspring of this family, legal note, this is just our interpretation. Jill, those offspring are like, alive right now, and could like, destroy us. I know. I’m sorry. Let's just, let's just not, not go there.
00:36:48 All right. Legal note: don't sue us. Jill, so they eventually divorce? Is that what I'm reading here? Yeah. Why don't you take it from there? Karl did eventually divorce Grace, um, with the understanding that he loved her and respected her as a wonderful wife and loving mother, but he could never feel entirely satisfied and happy with her because according to him, when he married Grace, he was thinking too much of his mother and his relationship with his mother. And according to him that terrified him as much as it comforted him. I, how am I-- why do you write this shit for me to say? I feel dirty just even reading this. It’s a direct quote from the book, Friedman's book, ”Menninger, A family and The Clinic.” It says, “you know, my childhood, you understand that when I separate from you as my wife, I would also be separating from my overbearing mother.”
00:37:50 He said that the only way he was going to be separated from Flo was to get to the root of the dependent attitude and his inability to act definitely and firmly in the direction of his real needs and desires by essentially pulling out the weed at the root. That's just... I don't even know what to say about that. Um, I just want to say big shout out to Grace because in response to that, and I'm ad libbing, I don't have the quote in front of me, but she basically said, you know, I should have known there was a problem with you when you called your mother to ask her if we were ready to have children. I was like, that's a burn, Grace. That is a burn. That was a burn. Also, if it makes you feel any better, during the divorce proceedings, Karl was very stressed out at the time.
00:38:46 He could barely make love with his one woman, his one side piece, because Grace got the most powerful lawyer in Topeka. And there are notes written to like some of his colleagues, like I just, she's just going after me here. So that makes me happy. And she did give some salty burns along the way. All right, good for her. Oh my gosh. Should we talk about the Ladies' Home Journal column? Yeah, I really think that's a great idea. Well, it, it was huge, really influenced a generation of women and men. It wasn't just women who were writing in, but men too. So as late as 1997, “Dear Mr. Menninger, Women's Voices From The Thirties,” was published by the same authors that published “The Unpublished Menninger, Divorce, Marriage And Analyses,” and this 1997 book explains quote, “the topics that were of major concern to these women included their own sexuality, cheating husbands, problem children, interfering in-laws,” in other words, the same issues that many women still face today.
00:39:53 Wow. So now, this is the reason why I am so angry, and this story is so telling to me is because not only is this man privately, really, I don't know, like he's an abuser, not only of his wife, but using his clinic and his hospital to abuse many women, right? He, I mean, if not, if he wasn't the Fannie Pincher, at least, he was creating an environment [in] which the Fannie Pincher [could] exist, but not only that, he's writing a column, a popular column in the zeitgeist explaining to women how they can be better to their husbands. And I am sick thinking about the advice Grace's therapist had given her about letting her husband sleep around. Do you see what I mean? It's not a Bill Cosby thing. It's, I'm creating the standard by which is normal for you guys to just accept. Look pretty. Be kind. Ask what you can do for him, as he's sleeping with another broad.
00:41:04 That's why I have a problem with this. I get it. I got it. I was going to be all like you can't---- Oh my God! All day yesterday, Jennifer and I were arguing because she was all, you have to take him out of his time. You have to look at him in context, [and that’s true.] And I was like, no--
00:41:26 I mean, I stand by that. Whenever we look back and judge someone for their actions, you have to take a look at the context in which they live, but this is a whole, [but he created the] other level. He created the context, not just in his own marriage and in his own little itty-bitty Topeka clinic.
00:41:49 But he created the measure of how a relationship should be, whether you're a man and a woman in a relationship. Right. Now, I didn't read all of the letters, because you know what? I couldn't give a shit what he has to say. Okay. Okay. So, Jill, who is our voiceless then? Obviously, Grace is our voiceless. Grace, obviously. And I just want to give a little shout out about Grace because after he divorced, after Dr. Karl divorced Grace, she's basically erased from history. There's minimal references to Grace and his three children with her in just like, out there on his website. It all goes to his second wife, Jeanette or Jean. Um, so I just want to give you a little background on who Grace was and I'm going to be including pictures of Grace in her college, cause she was, she reminds me of, her intellect, as it was described, Jen, reminds me of Jenny B.
00:42:44 She's a mathematical genius. She's very good with words and charming. She just seemed like such a lovely woman. I don't know how she got wrapped up with this guy. So Grace, he did you dirty. Yeah. You were definitely abused, and I am so sorry that I hope, and from my research, it seems like you fought back, but I hope you didn't internalize any of this. And it's really shitty, a man that spent his entire life studying what causes mental, emotional, [psychological] behavioral disorders would put you through the shit that you had to go through. And I'm so, so, so sorry. And I'm sorry, all those women that worked at the clinic that were getting their fannies pinched. No kidding. That's uncomfortable. Or forced to dance with these geezers at work events. So, that explains the, the intense female energy that I was feeling and also the intense male energy that you were feeling when we were out that day.
00:43:46 And yeah. And just the fact that they were both coming up so strong, there's like that duality. It's really weird. It's really weird, to be honest. And the fact that Emma led us to Mount Hope Cemetery. Why is that significant Jill? They were buried there. The Menninger’s. That Is crazy. Will was buried there. I know for a fact, and by the way, we have a Will that is buried in that same cemetery. FYI. That's true. And Grace was buried there. Ah, and what about all the Freemason symbolism that we were drawn to? Remember, I told you he was butt hurt about not getting into the fraternity. Yes. He, well, he made it like a mission in life to be like a part of many different Freemason organizations and was like a part of like, the third degree. I don't know what that means. Apparently it was a big deal.
00:44:31 He was like some kind of Poobah of many Freemasons. I don't get it. I don't know what that means, but we already talked about the President connection. The fact that he and his family were known as the Kennedy’s of Psychiatry. But Eleanor Roosevelt referred to him and some of his analysis about prison reform and about, um, the human mind. So, wow. Wow. There's a picture of them together. Eleanor Roosevelt and Karl Menninger. No way! Wow. That's a pretty impressive hit then. And then of course, when we were in the Potwin area, yeah, just, just the architectural style being prominent during that time that he was coming of age in the area and the little boy feeling that was giving me like, oh, you should know my name. It's like, I don't know you. And you know what? He might've done wonderful things for the area of psychiatry.
00:45:22 But remember Freud did it first. I’m just throwing that out there. So, how are we going to end this episode? How does it end, Jen? Channel Phil Collins. So how does it end? Because Dr. Menninger wrote so many responses to the men and women in the [1930’s] 1930s and the 1930s who were seeking his advice. We thought that we would write a letter to Dr. Menninger. 21st century advice from women to him. Dear Dr. Menninger, Although we appreciate the contributions that you have had on the field of psychiatry, your efforts to care for the needs of orphan children and your efforts to treat the soldiers of war, we sisters are united in the belief that you missed an opportunity to have been better, a better man and a better husband. As an expert on human thoughts, emotions and behaviors, indeed on the condition of the human mind, you placed yourself in a position of authority and subsequently used that authority to exploit and abuse the women in your personal and professional life. I would mic drop, but these were expensive. So I'm just going to say, yeah. Yeah. All right. Should we tell the people where they can find us? Check out our website, commonmystics.net. Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at common mystics pod. Listen in on Audible.
00:46:56 Amazon Music, Stitcher, Spotify, Tuned In, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts, where you can leave us a positive review, so other people can find us. Thank you. And good night. Thank you. Goodnight.