Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dr. Gabor Mate: Lord Black Just Needed More Hugs As A Kid

How's this for a crackpot theory? Dr. Gabor Mate, a physician who has done work with addicts, thinks Conrad Black ran into trouble with the law since an absense of unconditional love from his childhood inculcated within him a need to acquire property and to be feared.

Story from The Ottawa Citizen:

To the reams of analysis dissecting what makes Conrad Black tick, add one more theory - that the disgraced media baron was addicted to acquisition because he was an awkward child who was compensating for the pain of being unloved.

So says Dr. Gabor Mate who wrote In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts, a book about addictions released Saturday. It's based on the physician's work with the addicts of Vancouver's Downtown East Side.

It's a long way from the East Side to Palm Beach, Fla., but Mate, author of the bestsellers Scattered Minds and When the Body Says No, says there's not that much difference between a street addict and Black.

"He kept going for more and more," said Mate, who became fascinated while working with addicts at Vancouver's Portland Hotel by the human drive to fill our voids in self-destructive ways.


"People have described him as selfish or a monster, but no one tries to understand what happened to him," said Mate. "He's a sensitive, very gifted man who had a very rough childhood who had to compensate for the pain."


Friends from Black's youth say he was close to his father, but he felt uncomfortable around his sporting extended family because he was unco-ordinated and not particularly attractive, said Tombs.

"He didn't get love on his own terms. So he would be feared instead of loved," said Tombs. "I felt that there was a little Conrad inside who was quite sad."

Emphasis mine.

Well, sure. Isn't childhood abandonment issues and psychological maladjustment the root of every good Capitalist's drive for accumulation and profit? Fun times with psychology.

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