Happy Relationships Blog

Radical Honesty by Dr. Brad Blanton Book Review

Posted on: February 10, 2009

Radical Honesty 
by Brad Blanton, PhD.

Introduction: 

If you want to find a book that clearly demonstrates not much more than a degree is required to publish a book on relationships, look no further than Radical Honesty by Brad Blanton, Ph.D. Please keep in mind the words in quotes do actually come from the book.

Even the person writing the foreword to the book has trouble with its contents. The foreword begins with “I don’t agree with everything Brad Blanton has to say…”

Details:

This book is also one of the best examples of authors revealing their own insecurities in the writing. Dr. Blanton wears his over-sized ego on his sleeve, like a badge of honor. As he explains in the section on why he is writing this book, “I am writing this book to become famous…I want to be smarter than anyone else. More precisely, I want to be thought to be smarter than everyone else.”

He shows his intelligence with his fantasy about being questioned on a morning talk show about his book. “I love to imagine putting down one of those dumb-assed interviewers on the morning talk shows for their sniveling, wimpy ways, pushing people to hurry up and say something…I love hating them because it makes me certain that although I may be bad, I am not as fucked up as those people.”

He then follows up with “I want to make money from writing this book…I am already rich but I’m greedy and I want more than most people have.” In one section where he teaches his patients the process of telling the truth he says, “the client loves me and thinks I am greater than Socrates.” “Every asshole who writes a book is a neurotic megalomaniac just like me.”

Does anything else need to be said about our Dr.?

The basic tenet of the book sounds like it makes sense. If you want to have a successful relationship then you must be honest with your partner at all times. Sounds simple enough. After all, the unfortunate fact about people with insecurities is they hide behind what psychologically is referred to as the “true self” with a “false self”. As Dr. Blanton states many times throughout the book, “how we are all liars”. Although, he must have some crystal ball to know that everyone lies. He apparently doesn’t realize people in positive relationships are always honest with their partners. After all, they have nothing to hide because they do not behave in a manner their partner would not agree with. The person who tells the truth is the most free, most alive kind of adult human being you’ll ever see.

Blanton’s logic is the only way to remove the insecurities of the false self is to be honest about the sources behind the insecurities. He does begin by discussing the psychological problems of adults who have been raised as children by unhealthy parents. Honest enough.

The book takes an amazingly bizarre twist in logic after this. First he explains that moralism “is characterized by hysterical faith in the mind. We are all sick to death from moralism. The world of human beings may die from it.” And later, “Moralism is a disease in which ‘good’ and ‘bad’ become more important than ‘alive’ or ‘dead.’” Unfortunately, the Dr. doesn’t understand one extremely significant key to the positive relationship is treating your partner in a moral fashion. Treat others as you would want to be treated, i.e., empathy, is a central tenet to the teachings of religion.

In wonderful Freudian fashion, the book attempts to explain that the mind “is a terrible thing; waste it,” dutifully following the most basic premise of the founder of psychoanalysis. He follows this with “Minds are developed and lead us away from the experience of being,” trying to conclude not that the mind is nonexistent, but it is the source of our mental troubles. “The secret of the good life is not suffocating in the mind’s bullshit.” He really shows his own mental state when he declares, “The mind resists freedom. Freedom is antithetical to mind…The mind is a bullshit machine.” He sums up his theory of the mind in his description of “growth from birth to maturity consists of: 1. the birth of being, 2. the growth of the mind, 3. a period of domination of the being by the mind, 4. liberation of the being from the mind, and finally 5. a mind used by the being.” In other words, he is saying the mind may develop but the goal of the positive relationship is to suppress it by letting our bodies and brains dictate our behavior!

The most illogical aspect of this book is the author’s attempt at justifying anger as part of his truth-at-any-cost theory. “The wayanger is expressed has everything to do with the outcome of an argument.” He basically states that if you tell the whole truth and express your anger directly at the cause when doing so then you get over the anger and move on.

So what is the cause of the anger? That he doesn’t cover. Also, he states that if you don’t express your anger then you must be denying it. Honest Brad doesn’t realize that if we are going to get over our anger then we must figure out its source, not rationalize its existence. But his logic, “We human beings are all selfish and unfair and it’s worse than useless to pretend we aren’t.”

So what is his psychological theory on mental problems? “Neurosis is essentially a refusal to accept what is happening in the present. Neurosis involves denying the truth about any form of excitement, here and now,” committing the same blunder of mainstream psychology by not understanding how yesterday’s negative experiences impact today’s thoughts and feelings.

And how successful is he with his patients? He describes one couple he had been treating because the guy decided to leave his girlfriend to move in with another. He convinces the scorned woman to meet with this ex-boyfriend and tell him the truth about her feelings. They talk together, they sleep together, he returns to his new girlfriend. Afterwards she feels okay, he commits suicide! After all, “No change matters…All change is futile…avoiding change…is an equally futile way to live.”

The most incredible section is his advice on sex. The first bit makes sense. You should tell your partner everything about your sex life from the past. This is as important as anything else in your background positive couples share with each other. He also says couples should be open about their desires together. Fair enough. But then he rationalizes sex with other people. “If you do have sex with other people together or separately (italics mine), be sure to tell each other what it was like for you and how you felt and feel about the other person…Whether you are monogamous or polygamous is not the most critical factor in having a successful couple. Whether or not you tell the truth is (italics his).” He further states, after all, “one-night stands are just as good as lifetime relationships.”

So how successful has Dr. Blanton been? He has been married four times. Also, he comments about kicking patients out of his office if they do not follow what he tells them to do. “What bothers me more and more is that even though we are right, if we kicked everyone out who deserved being kicked out for not cooperating with us for his or her own good, there might not be anyone left, including ourselves.” Now there is a revelation!

Our mind is the great gift from God. How can we rationalize not using it?

 

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3 Responses to "Radical Honesty by Dr. Brad Blanton Book Review"

Interesting post; I enjoyed reading this very much.

TIna-Sue

Of course I know who you are. Pretty hilarious stuff, don’t you think?

Tim

Found your book on shared-self publishing.com! Sounds like a good investment!

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