The Kennedys - A Prototypical and Quintessential Hypoic Family
The Kennedys and The Kennedy Curse -
A Prototypical and Quintessentially Hypoic
We're all familiar with families that never seem to get out
of the cellar financially, socially, or medically. They have kids
with lots of potential, occasionally beautiful and brilliant as
well, but who end up losers nevertheless. We went to school with
them. Disasters of one sort or another follow them around. Stupidity
and inappropriateness seem to abound in their histories. They
define the phrase "dysfunctional family." Quite frequently,
members of these families are alcoholic, sex "perverts,"
drug addicts, criminals, gamblers, murderers, and con artists.
Not infrequently is an occasional massive success that seems to
stand out in glaring contradistinction. These families are not
enigmas. They fit into our perception of human nature and the
"monkey see, monkey do" theory of human behavior currently
prevalent. We blithely attribute their weirdness to bad upbringing,
lack of spiritual values, antisocial personalities, poor education,
bad neighborhoods, absence of "good role models," poverty,
and other reasons according to our personal views. They seem to
be excellent examples of the commonly held view that schmuckiness
Every so often, a quite wealthy and socially successful family
shows up with the same kind of black cloud story but who lacks
the above reasons for their peculiarities. By them we are dumbfounded.
They are enigmas. Absent the typical excuses for their misadventures
and misbehaviors, we attribute to them a superstitious theory
for their mishaps - A Family Curse.
One such family, in the public eye for the last eighty years,
is the Kennedy family*. (I could use the Clintons equally as well,
but there aren't enough of them.) The Kennedy Curse follows them
in a ghostly manner. Even the best, the brightest, and the most
beautiful seem to be affected ineluctably by this curse.
HEADLINE: John Jr. Dies In Airplane Crash That Kills Wife and
Sister-In-law; Accident Or Fatal Hypoic Decision?
They run and hide but can't seem to shake it. Out of nowhere
- BOOM - another inexplicable disaster. This is some sticky curse.
Addictions of all sorts, individual disasters, horrible decisions,
earth shaking gambles, deadly misadventures, and criminal misbehaviors
abound among the Kennedys at the same time as cosmic successes,
generation after generation. What else but a curse could be so
HEADLINE: Hypoism, Made Up Of The Stickiest Stuff On Earth
The Pathophysiology of Hypoism: Inherited genetic alterations
of the Decision-Making Apparatus that inexorably lead to the three
cardinal manifestations of Hypoism.
The three cardinal manifestations of Hypoism are: 1) Addictions
to substances, people, behaviors, and beliefs, 2) Disastrous decisions,
and 3) Evaluation mistakes that result in disasters.
The list of examples of these manifestations among the Kennedys
This hypoic family is very typical of hypoic families around
the world, but is illustrative because they are so well known
and in the public eye daily. The others are ignored and dismissed
as merely dysfunctional. Policy decisions at a personal and at
a public level figure profoundly into this family's story. This
hypoic family demonstrates both the creative, productive, and
inventive qualities of Hypoism as well as the inevitable disasters
despite these positive attributes. The Kennedys are probably the
most closely studied family on the face of the earth. Yet, despite
all the books, articles, movies and court cases, no one has figured
out what thread runs through their history as individuals and
as a group. It's not a curse. It is Hypoism.
We all ask ourselves when thinking about the Kennedy's, "How
could such an intelligent, wealthy, savvy group of people live
in such a destructive manner?" The Kennedys is an example
of the inexorability of Hypoism despite all attempts to change
themselves in every conscious and willful way. Do they lack family
values, religious upbringing, or a higher power? Did they come
from broken homes, poverty, and a poor socioeconomic neighborhood?
Was there a crack house on the block, bad peer pressure, and bad
friends? Did they drop out of school or have bad teachers? Was
psychotherapy or social worker help unavailable? How about disapproving
family members, not enough emotional support and acceptance in
the home? The clear answer is no. So, can we finally dispense
with the above outmoded and nonsequitous excuses for why people
"become" addicts and make disastrous mistakes?
The Kennedy family provides evidence for many and most addictions:
alcohol, people addiction, heroin, image, sex, power, criminality,
money, self-righteousness, religion, narcissism, and gambling-risk
taking. These addictions define the presence of Hypoism. Do I
need to list the disasters and just missed disasters?
There is no Kennedy curse, but there is Kennedy Hypoism.
Wouldn't it be something (WOW!) to see the whole family get
into recovery and really do something helpful for society without
the mess that non-recovery inevitably results in and without that
phony-bologna image that it presents to us for our stupid mesmerization?
To have the Kennedys take their rightful and loving place as
the poster family for Hypoism, support the N4A (The National Association
for the Advancement and Advocacy of Addicts), and recover in HNA
(Hypoics Not-Anonymous) would do infinite good for them as well
as the world. This could be their true and lasting legacy.
* I chose the Kennedys, not because I mean to disparage them, but on the contrary, because they embody, as I do, the best and worse of the exact brain mechanism that is currently so completely misunderstood and misrepresented by behavioral psychologists and psychiatrists, not to mention the many Kennedy authors and journalists who have been led astray by these misrepresentations. Maybe they will identify with their hereditary neurophysiology through this article, and maybe you will with yours.