The Clare Spark Blog

March 26, 2012

Henry A. Murray and the Thematic Apperception Test

Christiana Morgan sculpted

Today, the History of Madness website publicized a Harvard exhibition celebrating Dr. Henry A. Murray’s invention of the Thematic Apperception Test. Murray is one of major characters in the so-called Melville Revival, and I found abundant material at Harvard demonstrating his low-profile but leading role in left-liberal propaganda. Below is the citation for his original article, and some lines on how the test was used by progressive psychologists and sociologists. For more, see the blog links below. You will not find the material I dug up over many years elsewhere in academic land. The only biography of Murray, by Forrest G. Robinson, is inaccurate and obsessed with Murray’s sexual habits, particularly those that involved his mistress Christiana Morgan. Claire Douglas wrote an even more scandalous one that Murray’s widow Nina Fish Murray loathed.

For the TAT citation, see Dr. Henry A. Murray and Christiana Morgan, “A Method For Investigating Fantasies: The Thematic Apperception Test,” Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry 34, 1935. In the TAT, the subject is shown a drawing which he then interprets in written form. The Progressive Murray of course believed he was rescuing the patient from such neuroses as the Icarus complex (social radicalism, itself irrationally motivated). Murray’s OSS test for weeding out unstable spies was recommended by Harold Lasswell after WW2 as a test for potentially disloyal leaders, employers, and employees.  Lasswell went so far as to recommend a Loyalty Board. The TAT was recommended as a way of analyzing the content of mass media messages. Somehow, in the rage against HUAC and “McCarthyism” the adjurations of the Committee For Economic Development, have been lost to liberals, leftists, neocons, and conservatives alike. (includes three blogs on Murray and sadomasochism) (Alston Chase blames Murray for creating the monster Unabomber)

Murray biography cover art


  1. […] In other words, CK had little experience in clinical practice, yet he is a respected diagnostician of persons he seems not to have ever closely examined. (I have written extensively about another Harvard graduate, a Jungian: Dr. Henry A. Murray, who, like CK, made long-distances inferences about major figures; for instance, Murray testified at the trial of Whittaker Chambers, opining that Chambers had a “psychopathic personality” (based on reading! and linking him to CK’s highly respected opinions. (On Murray’s methods see […]

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  2. […] be fallible. Such self-doubt fostered social division, not the desired social cohesion. (See Is it any wonder that so many artists and writers must write under a mask, simply to express […]

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  3. […] (index of blogs that abuse Freud to grow state power; Freud was about emancipation from illegitimate authority) […]

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  4. Having had the privilege to work with the late Dr. Doris Gilbert, a student of Murray’s, I am delighted to see this article and the TAT’S value as an essential part of any valid psychological evaluation. The themes of present mass psychological propaganda ‘consumption’ are illuminated by Murray-Gilbert analysis of how ambiguous stimuli are perceived and processed by the individual or the ‘mob.’

    The NON-“progressive” elements of analysis can be very useful as a guage of current mental status, in terms of resistance to psychological warfare or barrages of leftist/Marxist propaganda. Having used this technique for almost 40 years, I have found it to be a very useful indicator of the person’s inner world and residual critical thinking. Such resistance to “brainwashing” is indispensible in evaluating the patient’s residual inner strength and negation of lies, distortions, and psychotic “ideation.”

    Since we now have an Islamist fascist diktat ‘president’ the true inner (and OUTER) damage of the thought police can be documented by using the TAT in the most propaganda-free milieu. Harvard has become a fraudulent cess pool of Saidia/OPEC terror state elitism.supremacism and is now a caricature and mockery of “Veritas.” Lies for a price; intellectual integrity becomes a rare and dangerous phenomenon. The ‘progressive’ ideology has been internalized, yet millions still see reality as it is…not some pseudo-utopian hell where mass murderers become well-paid “heroic” figures, despite the primitive bestiality and savagery of their lack of impulse control…unleashed on cue by the power-worshipers.

    Dr. Gary Katz….Boston/Berkeley/Jerusalem now.

    Comment by gk68 — March 26, 2012 @ 10:09 pm | Reply

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