Toxic Socialization

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Toxic Socialization is a term coined by Mike Sosteric to refer to a socialization process that undermines human potential and disables the body's ability to Connect and contain higher levels of Consciousness. Toxic socialization is characterized by violence and abuse, [1] neglect of needs, chaos in the home environment, Destruction of Attachments (including Parental Displacement) and Indoctrination.

Syncretic Terms

Toxic Socialization > Poisonous Pedagogy


Dr. Daniel Gottlieb Moritz Schreber is a German physician who actually advocated a horrific form of Toxic Socialization. Mom Katya Degrieck[2] provides some interesting commentary, including the insight that the popularity of his methods likely contributed to the easy growth of fascism in pre-WWII Germany! If that is not an argument for the global abolition of all toxic socialization practices, I don't know what is.

Toxic socialization is encouraged in at least one passage in the Old Testament, Proverbs 23: 13-14

Martin Teicher provides a fascinating and compelling look at the neurological damage caused by violence and neglect in childhood.[3] His article is particularly interesting because he notes the damage is actually adaptive and "sculps" the brain to respond in ways that although they are toxic and antisocial, nevertheless are adaptive for the organism as a whole.

In an interesting nineteen seventy-five, James Prescott published a study suggesting the link between childhood violence and neglect, and adulthood violence and war. In the conclusion, the author says, "The competitive ethic, which teaches children that they must advance at the expense of others, should be replaced by values of cooperation and a pursuit of excellence for its own sake. We must raise children to be emotionally capable of giving love and affection, rather than to exploit others."[4]

Toxic socialization stunts and damages the Physical Unit. It causes

Toxic socialization disconnects. "The most important obstacle to that kind of openness is a history of traumatic experiences that lead to emotional and physical blockages, a kind of Reichian armoring that separates us from the rest of the world."[5]

Toxic socialization is required by The System, important for System Maintainence, actuated through indoctrination of an Old Energy Creation Template, and supported by Intergenerational Toxicity (a.k.a. toxic "traditions")

"Spare the rod and spoil the child" is an admonishment to expose children to violence, an admonishment to Toxic Socialization.

Toxic socialization is implemented in order to create a docile and compliant Physical Unit with low CQ, willing to fit into the accumulation machinery of this planet (Sosteric, 2016).

Abraham Maslow had a nascent sense of toxic socialization. He "generally ... believed that the social environment inhibits rather than facilitates Self-actualization, for example by frustrating the lower needs, encouraging defensiveness, or masking the real self with an idealized self."[6] Maslow felt that a "culture gone bad" suppressed "love, kindness, and tenderness" and inhibited authentic human actualization[7] He suggested the need to consider the development of a Eupsychia or a "psychologically healthy culture" that encourages full human development, in particular, the expression of higher human needs and values.[8]

Abraham Maslow distinguished between "coping," which is a response to toxic environments, and expression, which can occur only in positive environments.[9]

John Lennon wrote Working Class Hero which is a discussion of Toxic Socialization in the context of social class exploitation.

The song wage slaves is about breaking the shackles that hold workers down in a system that depends on the diminishment of people through manipulation and constant demeaning, to service the greed of by people in powerful positions. (VJB).

The toxic quality of western cultures is recognized by others. A Samoan chief, for example, writes that in Samoan culture, "grey hair comes very slowly, not in youth, as it comes to the white man.[10]

Further Reading

Neufeld, Gorden & Mate, Gabor (2013). Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers. Vintage Canada.

Sosteric, M. (2018). The damage we're doing to ourselves and our children. The Conversation. [1]

Sosteric, Mike (2012). The Emotional Abuse of Our Children. Teachers, Schools, and the Sanctioned Violence of our Modern Institutions. Socjourn' [2]


  1. The deleterious effects of violence and neglect in childhood are well established. For a summary, see Sosteric. “Toxic Socialization.” Socjourn, 2016.
  2. Degrieck, Katya. “Dr. Daniel Gottlieb Moritz Schreber Archives.” Motherhood (blog). Accessed May 7, 2019.
  3. Teicher, Martin. “Scars That Won’t Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse.” Scientific American, 2002.
  4. Prescott, James W. “Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence.” The Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists, 1975, 10–20.
  5. Laszlo, Ervin, Stanislav Grof, and Peter Russell. The Consciousness Revolution. Las Vegas: Elf Rock Productions, 1999.
  6. Daniels, M. “The Development of the Concept of Self-Actualization in the Writings of Abraham Maslow.” Current Psychological Perspectives 2 (1982): 71.
  7. Maslow, Abraham. “Eupsychia—The Good Society.” Journal of Humanistic Psychology 1, no. 2 (1961): p. 7.
  8. Maslow, Abraham. “Eupsychia—The Good Society.” Journal of Humanistic Psychology 1, no. 2 (1961): p. 1-2.
  9. Maslow.“The Expressive Component of Behavior.” Psychological Review 56, no. 5 (September 1949): 261–72.
  10. Mead, Margaret. Coming of Age in Samoa (Perennial Classics) (p. 46). William Morrow. Kindle Edition. "
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