Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Are we to be blamed for stuttering cure promises?
Check out Peter Reitzes' superb interview with Janus' Speech Easy CEO Alan Newton. Peter asked some very tough questions. That's how we should debate in stuttering. Of course, the worst thing in one's battle against a declared enemy is to actually get to know your enemy better. (It's far better to fight Adolf Hitler as the impersonation of evil rather than also thinking of him as a human being being the nice uncle children reportedly adored, the one who painted much better than I ever did, and the friendly and fair boss his secretaries talked about.) Having listened to Alan Newton, I got more and more the feeling that his perception, and he might be right, of him and Janus being a part of the whole system, and not actually the driving force behind the stuttering cure claims. I can't remember the exact words, but he said something along the lines: We actually need to calm our customers down and bring them back to reality, because they are so excited about the prospect of a cure. So actually the real driver of the cure industry is not really Speech Easy, Oprah Winfrey, or some dubious therapists, but ourselves! We want the cure, and we want it sooo badly. We want to do what everyone else can do: speak without thinking about speech fluency. This emotion is strong, and overrides every rational thinking. We fall for the stuttering cures, because we want to fall for them. We can only be exploited by others, because we let ourselves be exploited. Oprah, Janus, and others do nothing else that give us confirmation of what we always wanted: to find a cure for our stuttering.
by Tom Weidig