In the prior issue of PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, we documented Dr. Tim LaHaye’s involvement in psychoheresy. In this article we document LaHaye’s promotion of Freudian psychology.
In his book titled What Everyone Should Know about Homosexuality, LaHaye says, “A major contributor to the present-day tendency to accept and encourage homosexuality is Dr. Sigmund Freud” (p. 12). LaHaye briefly, though inadequately, describes Freud’s Oedipal theory and says:
In other words, homosexuality was no longer to be considered an illegal form of debauchery or perversion in which one willingly engaged a person of his own sex, but a “mental illness” which one blamed on his mother. Consequently, a homosexual is not responsible for his behavior—it’s his mother’s fault! (p. 13).
LaHaye thus concludes that Freud was largely responsible for the widespread acceptance of homosexuality.
Nevertheless, in spite of his initial criticism of Freud and his Oedipal theory at the beginning of his book, LaHaye actually promotes Freudian ideas that are based on the Oedipal theory later on in this same book. For instance, LaHaye authoritatively and favorably quotes the following from Dr. Irving Beiber, who is known as the dean of psychoanalytic (Freudian) homosexuality:
Current research indicates that the family most likely to produce a homosexual comprises a very intimate, possessive and dominating mother and a detached, hostile father. Many mothers of lesbians tend to be hostile and competitive with their daughters. The fathers of female homosexuals seldom appear to play a dominant role in the family and have considerable difficulty being openly affectionate with their daughters (p. 71).
LaHaye continues to refer favorably to Bieber’s work, which is based on Freud’s Oedipal theory, and thus uses Bieber as a voice of authority on the subject of homosexuality. The “very intimate, possessive and dominating mother and a detached, hostile father” are Freudian code words that relate to the Oedipal theory, which includes such ideas as superiority for the male sex organ and inferiority for the penisless female. Add some further Freudian fantasies such as penis envy and castration anxiety and the formula for the Oedipal brew in the Freudian cauldron is complete. In our May-June 1999 issue of PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, we spell out what Freud’s Oedipal theory is all about and show how this theory is the cauldron in which parental blame is brewed. LaHaye dips into this very cauldron and dispenses the brew.
LaHaye, subscribing to and endorsing Bieber’s Freudian ideas, says:
As important as the father is in the life of a child, even he must take second place to mother during the first three years of life. . . . Consequently, mothers actually have more to do with producing a predisposition toward homosexuality than fathers. Two kinds of mothers are particularly harmful—smother mothers and dominating mothers (p. 72).
LaHaye reveals the extent to which he supports the Bieber-Freud formula by discussing in detail in three sections of his book: “Smother Mothers” (p. 72), “Dominant Mothers” (p. 73), and “A Passive or Absent Father” (p. 74).
Note how contradictory LaHaye is. He condemns Freud for the present-day acceptance of homosexuality but promotes the very Freudian (Oedipal) ideas that result in the “Smother Mothers” and “Passive or Absent Fathers.” While LaHaye condemns Freud for making homosexuality the mother’s fault, he does the very same thing. In promoting Freud’s Oedipal blame game, LaHaye presents the mother as a psychic devil. He repeats this theme in various parts of his book.
There are a number of other problems with LaHaye’s book, including his connecting anger and homosexuality (p. 122), his approval of hypnosis (p. 123), and his teaching a form of self-love (p. 127). One egregious error that follows from LaHaye’s mindset on the four temperaments is the way he uses the four temperament theory to explain homosexuality (pp. 66, ff). His temperament analysis of homosexuals is speculative and spurious. In addition to its connection to the horoscope, LaHaye’s four temperament notion applied to homosexuality has no valid basis in research and is found in no academic treatise on the subject of homosexuality.
The four temperaments theory is among the worst kinds of psychology and is a means of opening Christians to aspects of the occult as well as to other psychological theories that may seem to appear biblical. LaHaye’s support for the dominant mother-passive father explanation of homosexuality is blatant promotion of Freud’s demonic Oedipal theory.