Willard Mitt Romney: psychology of a lifelong bully

Barbara Gittings (1965) picketing Independence Hall

Mitt Romney has a strong psychopathic neurosis concerning sex and self-identity—especially his own sexual identification and place in society.  While growing up in Michigan, Willard (popularly known as Mitt) Romney was a constant bully.  Primarily targeting any male who seemed to him and his faction of friends to be effeminate (the popular term in the middle 1960s was “fairy” or “queer” and “gay” was coming into vogue, but the basic term used was “homosexual” that came with its initial appearance in the Protestant Bibles in 1954), or with any female who appeared masculine, Mitt would cast aspersions and result to physical violence in order to change what he believed was improper. Those who did not embrace the rigid racists Mormon line (for example: Black males were not allowed into the priesthood until 1978–Joseph Smith Jr first wrote that he would never allow Blacks to be more than slaves: Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 5:21; women were to be subordinate to their husbands, and officially, according to the Book of Mormon, men could have more than one wife (Book of Mormon Jacob 1:15), although the church in Utah restricted this to join the Union; etc.) line were lectured severely and shunned afterwards. The rigidity of the face and heart of Mormonism crystallized in full brutality when Romney entered preparatory school (detailed in an article for the Huffington Post by Michael Calderone). Calderone wrote about a story published on-line by the Washington Post reporter Jason Horowitz who commented that Romney had a problem with a “soft-spoken new student” who “was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality”  (read here).

The Washington Post article reported that Romney, leading a pack of his predatory partners, tracked down a male student with long hair.  The boys, tackled the one they saw as a threat to their heterosexual masculinity, and let Mitt butcher the boy’s newly-peroxided blond hair barbarically as Romney rich raiders sat on their squirming victim.  Their terrorist action created a life-long horror for the youth who had to live with the frightening fear that it would be repeatd and would not dissipate for the rest of his life.  This is clearly seen in the key line in the article: “As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.” 

The cutting shears could easily have appeared as an eighteenth century rapier on display in the museum. The image could easily conjure thoughts of emasculation that was not far removed from the history and philosophy classes at Cranbrook School that taught the tragedy that befell eunuchs in ancient Egypt and beyond. 

When any one is attacked and the threat of violence appears in a held instrument, the mind runs wild and no one can dispel the irreparable damage done to the psyche of the victim as seen men with low sexual prejudice react to masculinity threat by perceiving themselves to be more masculine.  Men with high sexual prejudice react to threat by perceiving themselves to be less masculine on the Bem (1974) Sex Role Inventory, F(1, 56) = 4.58, p < .037, η p² = .16 (cf. Stotzer, Rebecca L.; Shih, Margaret (2012). “The relationship between masculinity and sexual prejudice in factors associated with violence against gay men”. doi: 10.1037/a0023991. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, Vol 13(2), April, 136-142; Special Section: Recent Research on Gay and Bisexual Men).

Bullying is always about going after the most vulnerable.  Bullying is a sign of neurotic behavior.  Bullying is a facet of a mentally disturbed individual who targets with verbal or physical aggression against someone younger, smaller, weaker, or does not have the social graces and manners required by a particular group (cp. Tóth, Máté; Halász, József; Mikics, Éva; Barsy, Boglárka; Haller, József (2008). “Early social deprivation induces disturbed social communication and violent aggression in adulthood”. doi: 10.1037/0735-7044.122.4.849. Behavioral Neuroscience, Vol 122(4), August, 849-854). 

There are always excuses offered for bullying–with the more extreme evangelical elitists claiming that bullying is good for the soul and to interfer with bullying denies their faiths religious liberty, but within the excuses the psychoanalyst clearly sees the subconscious attempt at justification, as what is given as an excuse is what the accuser sees within him or herself.  Mitt’s men confessed the same truth psychoanalysts have written about for decades: “It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me,” Thomas Buford said. “What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do.” “It was vicious,” Philip Maxwell responded.

Romney conceived and led attack.  It was as brutal as anything that was found in any German Nazi concentration camp.  Cutting off hair in NAZI Germany was a form of humiliation and subordination to the superior wishes of the entrenched elite.  The same was true for Mitt’s goons as Maxwell detailed when he told reporters about Mitt’s attack with the scissors by stating:

Adolph Eichmann and NAZIs chop of long hair from Jews (1941-1945)

“It was a hack job … clumps of hair taken off.” Maxwell confessed that he held the boy’s arm and leg, describing how he and his friends acted as a “pack of dogs” identical to the actions of the NAZI guards at internment centers and concentration camps (read and watch here): the same words used by the NAZI SS.  “He was just easy pickins [sic],” said Matthew Friedemann (read here) revealing a stage of group schizophrenia (cf. Miller, Allison B.; Lenzenweger, Mark F. (2012). “Schizotypy, social cognition, and interpersonal sensitivity”. doi: 10.1037/a0027955.  Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, Vol 3(4), October, 379-392). What is not clear is why the police did not arrest and charge Romney and his gaggle of goons with assault and battery as Romney’s actions matched those of Adolph Eichmann.  Even in a “prank” is a crime in Michigan and elsewhere (Michigan penal code Act 328 of 1931 Section 750.81). 

Cranbrook school 1965

Romney’s ghoulish gambols at Cranbrook never stopped. Once Mitt staged an ‘elaborate formal dinner’ in a busy corridor–to disrupt the flow of human traffic, but cannot be dismissed that it was a cloven-hoof monsterous mephostophelian moment for Mitt to parade his own wealth and possessions.  Mitt loved pomp and circumstance, as he would show on his entertainment yacht that flew the flag not of the USA but of the Cayman Islands where he maintains most of his untaxed wealth.

At another time Mitt impersonated a cop (a misdemeanor then that carries a fine and possible jail time of up to four years in prison).  Governor George Romney’s son was never charged nor arrested as the Romney influence and unlimited capital to spend on favors for police.  Later Romney would put on the uniforms again to scare two girls who were being driven around by two friends.  Romney was known for outlandish pranks, regardless of their cost.

John Lauber before his death of cancer in 2004

According to the report Mitt Romney’s classmate Matthew Friedemann, one-term Governor of Massachusetts was a bully during his years at the prestigious Cranbrook school for boys.  Friedemann, now a dentist, told The Washington Post, Romney was obsessed with John Lauber, a Cranbrook student one year behind them. Romney was not able to talk about Lauber, save in blasting his hair (a strange thing to become enraged over, but one that shows Mitt’s peculiar interests) before Mitt savagely hacked at it.  Mitt’s rant indicated a common occurence when  individuals do not or cannot express their thoughts and feelings concerning a traumatic event,  i.e., behavioral inhibition and denial of a desire) that is either unreachable or for various (social, political, religious or sexual) are denied them–or that they feel they cannot obtain.  There is an increased probability of obsessing about the event as well as long-term illness consequences especially if it is affection that is not returned (cf. Pennebaker, James W. (1985). “Traumatic experience and psychosomatic disease: Exploring the roles of behavioural inhibition, obsession, and confiding”. doi: 10.1037/h0080025. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, Vol 26(2), April, 82-95). Such an obsession is frequently translated into desire, especially leading to sexual acts that include the violence of rape when the attacker feels that intimacy is denied or cannot be obtained calmly and with honesty.  It is the discovery of a person’s true sexual interest.   

All psychopathic diseases can be referred to one fundamental instinct – fear – with its concomitant manifestation – anxiety.   The fear instinct arises from the impulse of self-preservation. All functional psychosis is merely an obsession of this instinct, conscious and subconscious. A narrow suggestible personal life plays an important role in the arousal of this instinct and when an act, action, or style of living is contrary to what is presumed or assumed to be acceptable, the fear accelerates and dominates causing violence (cp. Sidis, Boris (1911). “Fear, anxiety and psychopathic maladies”. doi: 10.1037/h0072818. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol 6(2), June-July, 107-125).  This is especially true in rigid theologies, such as that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), where Mormon teaching against homosexuality and homosexual expression is forbidden or at least curtailed to the point that no one becomes aware of it.  This leads to schizophrenia, where the individual has more than one personality: one that lives in the real world, while the other lives in a world of illusions, allusions, and fantasies. Usually where the faith is strongest, the individual whose conceptualization of the self is divided, will marshal his or her mental forces to bring the divided parts together so that he or she will be a total person.  This causes more stress since the person is not true to the self.

It is possible that Mitt’s desire to save his soul, as seen in his acceptance of being a bishop in his Mormon church, that Romney believes he has to act adversely as he did in the 1960s: pretending to be opposed to Lauber and to show his disdain to cut off Lauber’s bleach-blonde hair that draped over one eye, that suggested to other students that Lauber was gay, while secretly staying in his mental closet and wanting Lauber for himself.  This is common with all great frauds who proclaim one message and enact a different lifestyle as with the Russian monk Rasputin who preached the gospel while seducing the Romanov court physically, sexually, and monetarily–much as the Moscow Patriarch Kirill is doing today to increase his $2 billion fortune made by selling illegal cigarettes. 

As with most psychopathic homophobes, Romney wanted to draw attention to Lauber and thereby internalizing that he was moving attention away from himself.  His goal was to be “one of the regular guys” but also the leader: der Führer (the father figure or a judgmental god) of the group, by commenting, “He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!”  Like the Martin Luther’s “terrible God of Wrath”–Romney had become judge, jury and would be executioner to weed out the transgression, unlike the passivity of Acts 10:34.

That Romney cut off the hair of Lauber speaks volumes on his fragile grasp of reality.  It shows a lack of empathy and feeling for another person (on the psychological breakdown where there is a lack of empathy, read: Nordgren, Loran F.; Banas, Kasia; MacDonald, Geoff (2011). “Empathy gaps for social pain: Why people underestimate the pain of social suffering”. doi: 10.1037/a0020938. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 100(1), January, 120-128).  Lacking empathy at this young age demonstrates that Romney would be a foreigner to empathy at a later age, as when he chortled that the federal government should not be involved with relief activities (read here and here).

Romney pranks detailed.

Friedemann’s account was not a spin, nor without collaboration.  It was concurred with by others in Romney’s select group at Cranbrook: Phillip Maxwell (a lawyer), Thomas Buford (a retired prosecutor) and David Seed (a retired principal). who were independently interviewed and all spoke on the record for the Washington Post. Maxwell described the attack as “vicious.”  (Lauber died of liver cancer in 2004, so he could not have been interviewed.) Seed told The Washington Post he ran into Lauber in an airport shortly before he died. Seed said, “I’m sorry that I didn’t do more to help in the situation,” Lauber reportedly responded, “It was horrible.“It’s something I’ve thought about a lot since then” (read here and here).   

Lauber suffered severe assault trauma from Romney’s bullying that can be defined as the development and maintenance of cognitive variables (hopelessness and self-devaluative thoughts in depression; cognitive responses to intrusive memories and persistent dissociation in PTSD) that showed the clearest specific relationships with outcome: retaining a fixation on the violence, degrading experience and being targeted as one outside of a chosen community (cf. Kleim, Birgit; Ehlers, Anke; Glucksman, Edward (2012). “Investigating cognitive pathways to psychopathology: Predicting depression and post traumatic stress disorder from early responses after assault”. doi: 10.1037/a0027006. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Vol 4(5), Sep 2012, 527-537). What is common in cases of assault and battery is the victim feels sexually violated as well and develops either an aversion to sex in a healthy environment or becomes a greater risk taker in human sexuality (cf.  Turchik, Jessica A. (2012). “Sexual victimization among male college students: Assault severity, sexual functioning, and health risk behaviors”. doi: 10.1037/a0024605. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, Vol 13(3), July, 243-255; Special Section: Recent Research on Sexual Harassment and Victimization of Men). 

Romney’s attack with scissors could have easily been mentally transferred in the mind Lauber as sexual rape.  Sexual rape is not sexual but an act of violence.  The cutting of the hair has been for thousands of  years a sign of a woman’s submission to a man (1 Corinthians 11:6 that speaks of cutting off the hair, and verse 15 for covering the hair if it is long): a marriage act–one that Romney, as a Mormon, would have understood. 

Since Lauber was deprived of the hair he prized, it being chopped off by Romney, it would be but a short step to similar situations involving sexual emasculation or even castration that could lead to suicidal thoughts.  If the aspersions and attacks continued it would not be uncommon to see immediate and direct action if the victim did not confront the situation with the help of a competent psychoanalyst (cp. Tomasula, Jessica L.; Anderson, Laura M.; Littleton, Heather L.; Riley-Tillman, T. Chris (2012). “The association between sexual assault and suicidal activity in a national sample”. doi: 10.1037/a0029162. School Psychology Quarterly, Vol 27(2), June, 109-119).  The fact that the friends of Romney claim that Mitt repeatedly spoke out against certain people (as he would later do with unusual haste and frequency as a Mormon bishop) strongly indicates that there was some form of victimization within his parental household subject to the Mormon faith’s intensity on “right behavior”.  This belief in “right behavior” was obviously carried over to his school years from the Cranbrook School to Harvard, and later when he served as a Mormon bishop (cf. Espelage, Dorothy L.; Low, Sabina; De La Rue, Lisa (2012). “Relations between peer victimization subtypes, family violence, and psychological outcomes during early adolescence”. doi: 10.1037/a0027386. Psychology of Violence, Vol 2(4), October, 313-324; Special Section: Person-Centered Analyses in Violence Research).

At the time of the assault of Lauber, the Cranbrook administration kept no record of intervening or punishing Romney for his “prank”.  Instead the principal expelled  Lauber for smoking a cigarette.  This witheringly shows collusion and that the school knew it was fully culpable.  A positive school climate could be an important protective factor in preventing student risk behavior, and without one withdrawal and potential suicide is possible and found commonly in private schools where rubrics on behavior are more rigid (cf. Klein, Jennifer; Cornell, Dewey; Konold, Timothy (2012). “Relationships between bullying, school climate, and student risk behaviors”. doi: 10.1037/a0029350. School Psychology Quarterly, Vol 27(3), Sep 2012, 154-169). 

Studies show that students who are bullied at school are at an increased risk of poor mental health and suicide.  Students with multiple roles (victim, bully, and bystander) are significantly more likely to report having had thoughts of ending their life.  In none of the articles on Romney’s bullying of Lauber is there any mention of any psychologist on staff or of any person capable of intervening and stopping this assault on another student.  Instead the atrocity was heralded with screams of joy and passionate applauding by other boys at the school who raised such a din that the administration would have had to have been either asleep or away from the campus. All of them? Nothing was done to curb Romney’s act of terrorism.  His group, more in harmony with the theological students (Taliban) of Afghanistan than any symposium of scholars in the western world, acted with Romney and did nothing to stop the assault that may have led to the later trauma Lauber experienced, and only in 2004 verbally expressed frustration with the incident decades after it occurred (ref. Rivers, Ian; Noret, Nathalie (2010). “Participant roles in bullying behavior and their association with thoughts of ending one’s life”.  doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000020. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, Vol 31(3), 143-148).

What is known, albeit through a paucity of material, is that Mitt Romney deliberately destroyed Lauber’s life at the time of his rape of Lauber’s psychology and catalyzed the incident in Lauber’s psyche so that the younger boy would be traumatized by it for decades.  Romney excused it almost immediately after the incident–which explains why he could not remember it when asked about it in 2012.  It was selective forgetfulness.  Romney and his gaggle could not remember the reason for the assault, although Romney’s friends did claim the attack was generated on the grounds that Romney and his gang characterized Lauber as being “queer” or a “fairy” or “gay” (that was used by many 1965-1966), claiming that the term homosexual was not yet in play.  This, too, is a lie as “homosexual” as a descriptive noun and “homosexuality” as an action verb had been used in the Sen Joe McCarthy (R-WI) hearings of the 1950s (McCarthy was, himself, a closeted homosexual), and were used by those who protested in favor of gay rights (see photo at the beginning of this essay), and especially following the Stonewall riots in New York City (June 28, 1969).

While various faiths and organized religions condemn homosexuality, there is no justification for such bile belched by purveyors of hatred pounding pulpits and bibles, as the word homosexual does not appear in any Bible before 1954,

Biological Exuberance shows that homosexuality exists in every species.

and every major mental health organization has condemned homophobia (cf. the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Pediatrics Association, the American Medical Association, and so forth) as a sickness since homosexuality has always existed, and is normal, natural, and good if it leads to self-actualization, and is nature’s natural way to curbing overpopulation based on genetics that are formed or finalized either at conception or within the uterus before birth (opinions vary but are closing in with the findings at UCLA).

Mitt and George Romney on Commencement Day (June 1965)

Not only was Romney to blame—yet he received no disciplinary action from the school—but the act of bullying and assault with a weapon (the scissors) is a clear sign of Romney being mentally unbalanced.  Worse yet, the school must take its share of the blame, not just for ignoring what Romney did and how much his father, the governor of Michigan gave in cash (much in the same was as Terry Branstad of Iowa was able to silence those who wanted his son Eric tried for manslaughter after killing two elderly people while under the influence of alcohol), but Cranbrook (an all boy private school in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) actually expelled Lauber for smoking one cigarette on campus—a very slight infraction that did not interfere with anyone’s personal rights or perceptions as smoking was common, accepted (and in times encouraged to “look cool”).  

What was Romney’s great fear of homosexuality? It has been around him since birth. In a 2009 national survey, 85 percent of kids who identify as LGBT said they’d been verbally harassed at school, 40 percent physically harassed, and nearly 20 percent physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation. The consequences have been laid out by researchers: Boys who are targets have higher levels of anxiety and depression. For girls, being taunted as a lesbian is linked to social withdrawal. Students who are harassed because of their sexual identity miss substantially more school and, in one study, earned lower grades and both males and females who are bullied have a higher rate of suicide especially within Mormon or evangelical communities and schools. The more elitist a school is, the higher is the potential for suicide as “fitting in” is considered appropriate behavior more so than academic excellence. 

Lauber was not the only gay male Romney and his coterie bullied. Romney mocked a closeted gay student, Gary Hummel, in English class.  Whenever the youth attempted to speak, Romney, like a small child, would shout “Atta girl” inflicting emotional and psychological harm on Hummel. While the Romney campaign initially tried deflecting news of the “exaggerated” incidents, Romney later apologized on the radio show for any pranks that “might have gone too far“.  Several of Romney’s classmates have verified the story as true.  For a long time Romney refused  to admit “remembering” the incident, but in the end apologized for “possible” youthful indiscretions (read here and here).

While there have been rumors of Romney living the closet for most of his life, there are also stories about Romney bullying females.   One published

Peggie Hayes was 23 and single (photo www.dailymail.co.uk)

account notes how “Peggie Hayes, a young divorced mother with a child, got pregnant out-of-wedlock in 1983. Romney was the leader of her Mormon ward and she knew the Romneys because she had baby sat their kids and done some work at their home. Romney went to her apartment and pressured her to give up her second child, a son, for adoption (she didn’t), saying that was what the church wanted and threatening her with ex-communication”.  Romney not only acted as a god, but carved out a special world of his own separating himself from the rest of his ward.  There were the ropes that often curtailed access to Romney and his chambers. The elevator settings restricted access to his office. The tape on the floor told people exactly where to stand during events. 

Carrel Hilton Sheldon

Peggie was not unique.  A second account notes “Around the same time, Carrel Hilton Sheldon, also a member of Romney’s ward, developed a blood clot during her sixth pregnancy and suffered life-threatening complications when she was given an overdose of Heparin. Her doctor recommended an abortion and also told her the medication had probably harmed the fetus. The head of the Mormon church in Massachusetts, also a doctor, agreed, noting she needed to survive in order to care for her other children. But Romney went to her hospital room uninvited and pressured her not to have an abortion, telling her that his concern was “with the child.”

Carrel Hilton Sheldon a former Mormon for Choice

Carrel Hilton Sheldon later wrote that as she lay “helpless, hurt, and frightened, trying to maintain my psychological equilibrium,” Romney’s concern was “for the eight-week possibility in my uterus – not for me!”  She terminated her pregnancy and recovered her health (read here).  Carrel Hilton Sheldon left the Mormons, which she called a cult, and became a pro-choice advocate, writing a book entitled Horror Stories: Mitt Romney’s Shameful Record with Mormon Women detailing Mitt Romney’s “psychological intimidation and bullying” during his role as a Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mitt Romney baptized dead people

Romney, more than any other candidate for the presidency, allows his religion to dictate his public policies for all people, even for non-Mormons, non-Christians, and those without any belief system.  Romney has participated in baptizing numerous people who were dead and had lived not as Mormons, including thousands of Jews, in his twisted belief that Mormons can pray anyone into heaven (read here and here and here and here).  It is absurd to think that any man has the right to tell any woman what she can or cannot do with her own body; no man has the right to determine if a woman keeps an unwanted or life-threatening fetus for any reason.  Suicides within

Henry Stuart Matis (1967-2000)

the Mormon church are rising (read here and here and here and here and here).  The rigidity of the faith is more than most adherents can accept, with Henry Stuart Matis, 32, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Santa Clara, Calif., shot himself with a handgun on the steps of a Mormon church in Los Altos in the early hours of February 25, 2000.  It is shocking to think that there is a man who condones suicides by Mormons who do not live the straight and narrow interpretation of existence that the plagiarist Joseph Smith Jr created in his Book of Mormon (before he ran for the presidency of the USA in 1844, but was defeated), and will tell women what they cannot do with their bodies–including having an abortion to save their own lives, and who bullies men and women (heterosexuals and homosexuals) and delights in tripping his own daughter-in-law to win a foot race–so that the woman’s husband will admit that Mitt will have no problem with a nuclear war if it wins the victory he envisions.

One comment to Willard Mitt Romney: psychology of a lifelong bully

  • mrjimthompson  says:

    I grew up in the serving class of a great southern American city and for the most part, the scions of the wealthy were twisted individuals relying on their Daddy’s money and their aggressive natures for their petty authority. Your revelations of Mitt Romney’s mien supports my teenaged observations and experiences.

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