Captain Tom Bunn

 

Capt Tom Bunn MSW LCSW, is a retired United Airlines pilot, who now sells his therapy skills to those who are afflicted with Fearful Flyers anxiety.  He has a forum known as the Soar Board, where fearful flyers discuss their problems and compare notes.  Of course, it also serves as an advertisement tool, for Capt. Tom to sell his Soar Fearful Flyers course.  That would all be well and good, except for the fact that Capt. Tom doesn't use that board just as a means to help fearful flyers, and to find new clients.  He also periodically uses it to inflict his Far-Left political propaganda on his trusting clients, and any other fearful flyers who are likely to be reading in that forum.  

An example of such propaganda, which sometimes has the effect of inflicting additional anxiety on the readers in that forum (just the opposite of what a skilled and ethical therapist should be doing to his clients and readers), can be found at:  http://pub133.ezboard.com/ffearofflying74562frm1, in the thread entitled USA 3000???

The propaganda, in that particular thread, is in the form of the old militant unionist claim----that union pilots (and union airlines) are safer than non-union pilots or non-union airlines.  Imagine how the stress anxiety of those who are booked on Jet Blue, or any other airline which has little or no union presence, is likely to increase significantly, when they read something like that in a forum which is supposed to help them dispel their irrational fears!  Imagine their stress being intensified by a "therapist" who makes such propaganda claims, which have no support in statistical or accident history reality.  

The last time I looked, one who is licensed by the state, to give any form of mental health therapy (and charge money for his services), is supposed to put the welfare of his client first.  It is my opinion, that it should be (if it is not already) considered unethical for any kind of therapist to use his professional relationship with his clients, to inflict political propaganda upon them, especially when the logical effect is to increase the very anxiety, for which the client is paying the therapist, for promised relief!  

In October, 2004, Capt. Bunn posted in that Soar Forum (the forum designed to help fearful flyers to find escape from their irrational fears), a summary of the book written by Dr. Justin A. Frank: 

"...a well-respected Washington, D.C. based psychoanalyst and professor of psychiatry, unwraps that mystery, assembling a comprehensive psychological profile of President Bush. Using the principles of applied psychoanalysis -- the discipline of psychoanalyzing public and historical figures pioneered by Freud -- Frank fearlessly builds his case ... and reaches conclusions that are at once highly persuasive and deeply disturbing."  

Capt Bunn's obvious purpose, was to dissuade readers of his board from voting for the [allegedly] mentally ill, President G.W. Bush, for a second term.  

But, what was the basis of Dr. Frank's analysis?  Was it based on solid science, which scientists around the world could test and verify and come up with the same conclusions?  Hell no!  It was  junk science, unadulterated claptrap, which relied on the rigid and absurd theories of Sigmund Freud.  

Dr. Frank is a far-left political hack who also has an education in medicine, topped off with an irrational devotion to the dead theories of Freudianism.  It is assumed, that he is a scientist, simply because he has that "MD" behind his name.  But that does not mean his willingness to embrace the unproved and unscientific theories of Freud, makes those theories scientific. 

Freudianism is Fraudianism.  It is a long, drawn-out rip-off of gullibles, who also happen to be wealthy enough to pay for years and years of psychotherapy, which never does any real good.  The sad part is that our State Govts sanction and license that rip-off, much in the same way as they sanction the kind of junk science in the courtroom, which has made John Edwards so rich, at the expense of doctors who deliver babies.

Freudian psychoanalysis belongs in the same dustbin of medical history, where you might find "blood-letting  and frontal lobotomies."  The "well-respected" (by whom?) Dr. Frank never met or interviewed President Bush, yet he wrote an entire book, which tried to analyze the President, as if he had been one of his patients.  If that isn't bad enough, what is the yardstick which Dr. Frank uses, to come to his conclusions?  Answer:  The idiotic ideas of Sigmund Freud, which have never had the support of solid scientific inquiry.  Apparently, there are still some Freudian acolytes drifting around today, assuring us they see all, know all, and can advise us on all, because they revere such witch doctors, out of the dark past of psychology history.

Here is an excerpt, from one of the more astute book reviews, found at www.Amazon.com

Perhaps the ones who really need to be "on the couch" are the leftists who write and actually believe this baloney. The author has never met President Bush much less conducted any sessions with him. He engages in wild speculation/diagnosis based on unsubstantiated rumor and second/third hand information. Without the common motivation of intense hatred for the President that the author and his fans share, most would give him no credibility whatsoever. The American Medical Association has severely criticized Frank's methods and analysis as being completely bogus. Even his colleagues think he's a "goober".

In a recent C-Span appearance, Dr. Frank openly admitted that he wrote his book after being persuaded to do so by someone who despised Bush and was shopping around for someone willing to provide a negative analysis to help remove him from office.  He admitted that he is a hardcore liberal political activist who has, in his own words, "hated" several Republican presidents. He admitted that he is totally partisan and biased in his views. And he even admitted that the American Medical Association has proclaimed that his methods of analyzing someone without ever meeting that person, are not only impossible, but also unethical and unprofessional.

This is basically just a Kitty Kelly style hit job. It's partisan, mean-spirited psychobabble for the Michael Moore crowd. And while it reveals little about President Bush, it reveals volumes about Dr. Frank and the angry, elitist hate-mongers who have, unfortunately, hijacked the political left in recent years.

I'm shocked that Dr. Frank is allowed to maintain his medical license and practice. And I'm saddened that so many Americans choose such infantile slander over mature political discourse.

One thing George Soros, Dr. Justine Frank, Michael Moore, Al Franken and Captain Tom Bunn have in common:  They all hate George W. Bush with such an extreme passion, that laymen might have legitimate reason to suspect the mental stability of all of those men.  

Those who pay for his therapy services, and those who read and/or post on his Soar Board forum, can expect to be given a strong dose of Capt Tom's hate-driven Leftist political agenda, sooner or later.  I don't think that is right or ethical, but Capt. Tom apparently has no problem with it.  

If any want to see some of the fallacious reasonings of Capt. Tom, go to:  Captain Bob Vs Captain T.  

Here are a few excerpt samples, of many of the posts on that Soar Forum board, which demonstrate the stress and resentment, which had accumulated in Tom's forum, as a direct response to his continued insistence upon haranguing his clients with Far-Left political propaganda:

First, let me apologize for keeping this going. It's just that I'm really struggling with this one and I'm hoping to get feedback from people here I respect.

I'm very torn about what to do. My problem with going is easy to lay out. There are people on this board choosing to stay who I want to remain in contact with because their help has been invaluable. In the past, I've watched the storms here, stayed out of it and waited for them to blow over. I'm having trouble with it this time because of the depth of Tom's hostility here.

Dxxxxx, like you, my family could have a heated political fight over dinner and then say 'Pass the butter and move on." The difference is that it's taking place in the home. Not in one's office. This is Tom's office. If you notice every post says LCSW with it. So, he is putting forth opinions as a licensed therapist. I have made myself clear on him posting political opinions here so I won't go into that again (did I just hear a collective sigh of relief from this board...). But the fact that he berates people and uses therapeutic diagnosis to show why he's wrong is not OK with me. Frankly, I find it unethical.

He literally berated Hxxxx in his recent post. Said "I'm the expert, you're not" (respectful aside to Tom. I, too am the expert and I think you're wrong). I know Hxxxx can and did handle himself beautifully but that's not the point. The newbies can't. People are stepping into Tom's office here and getting yelled at.

Over the years, I've had many a hostile client in my face. My job is to diffuse, to calm the person down, not to get back in their face like kids on the playground. In these recent posts you can't distinguish the professional from the non professional other than the letters after their name. If I heard of a therapist berating a client in his office I would never refer to that person. Would you guys suggest to a friend that they see someone who you know is rude to their clients?

So, I'm not at ALL saying this because I want people to leave (sadly we have lost many people I have enjoyed hearing from to the other board). I'm honestly asking how people are reconciling themselves to staying while Tom refuses to back down and change his tone.

Any thoughts?

===================

The other board is not a place for the "anti-Toms" to gather. It is simply another forum that is committed to dealing with the REAL topic here - the fear of flying. I love this place but I am totally disgusted with the posts from Tom. He is throwing around his weight and power here to belittle those who are here either seeking to give or receive help. He has run off many others in the past but this one takes the cake!

Tom has an obligation - a moral and ethical one - because of his practicing as a licensed therapist to HELP the people that seek help from him or at the very least not to HURT them. Do therapists not take the Hippocratic Oath?? He has NO RIGHT to attack others that disagree with him on off topic posts even if he is the one that started this board. Since Tom has helped so many overcome their fear of flying - or rather to manage their fear - it is understandable that those he has helped look up to him with a sort of "hero or rescuer complex" which Hxxxx tried to point out to him. I feel that way about the person that helped me the most with my fear (it was not Tom) and will defend him to great lengths about most anything most of the time. Point is - Tom has people "on his side" because they feel that they need him to manage their fear. They don't want anything bad said about their "hero". Make sense?? Hxxxx is the one that pointed this out to me about my situation and he is RIGHT! The admiration of someone that helped you with a debilitating fear is pretty heady stuff! That is obviously why the supposed 30 to 1 emails happened in his favor....

Should I stay or should I go? Great song.... The choice is yours - unless of course you are banned from the board like others have been.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

==========================

I don't know any of you well..

I don't like what i have seen in recent days on this board & i have been reading it for about a year.

I plan on shifting my attention to Mxxxx's new board for a number of reasons... The main one being- OBVIOUS... Captain Toms remarks....

=====================

We...the few, the proud, the "freeloaders" as Tom calls us (well, at least me, haha.)

I was also torn. Some of you "old timers" may remember that I did leave about a year and a half ago for this exact reason. Tom was very rude and demeaning because I disagreed with him. But I came back because I missed the PEOPLE here.

Honestly, I am definitely not as comfortable here as I am on the other board.

This board has sort of turned into a party where...you love all the people there - and your friends are there - but you cant stand the person throwing the actual party. Makes it a bit, well, awkward.

Vxxxx

==========================

And the person who seems to feel the most "threatened" seems to be you.

YOU also seem to think of things in black and white. You think all Republicans go hunting people in Africa. You think anyone who is a Republican has arrested development. I think it is YOU who think of everything in terms of good/bad and black/white. Not us.

And lets be fair. It was never that I disagreed with your views. I have MANY friends who are very active actually in the Democratic party. We agree to disagree over a glass of wine and are civil to each other.

We don't call each other names ("arrested development" and "freeloaders") like little children, like you have.

You want to now register people on this board, because you want again, to CONTROL everything, and CONTROL those who don't think like you (good vs. evil again.)

And in everyone's defense who is leaving Tom....if you read one thing...READ THIS.....

We aren't leaving because we didn't like what you said. No one CARES if you are a Republican or a Democrat or what your beliefs are. Really your political opinions aren't that important to me.

Its HOW you say things, Tom. When will you realize that?

When?

All of us have tried to explain that in a million different ways. You just don't seem to get it.

In my humble view, Captain Tom should be required to state up front, that part of his "therapy" will be to tell you how mentally ill G.W. Bush is, and what a simple minded fool you are, if you don't agree. 


Update, as of August 15, 2005:  Here is another post on Capt. Tom's Soar forum board, which indicates again how much Capt. Tom's incessant Far-Left political propaganda, is a source of much discomfort to those clients, which he is supposed to be helping with his "therapy" talents and skills:

angry Ok...I did not finish reading most of these (WAY TOO LONG) posts about unions etc. Mainly because I get sick of hearing about union/non-union people – who’s right, who’s wrong, blah, blah, blah… but also because I have a flight coming up 8/12 on, I think (but am too scared to check) a non-union airline. Now I will really be a basket case. This board was really helping me and I was honestly feeling ok about this flight. I just popped in to get some reassurance. Now I am scared more than ever. Thanks captain. I'll be back to read posts on this board, but think I will skip over posts by Tom. I have read some other posts by Tom that (like these) come off as very emotional and not professional. (Xanax posts are an example). I really was thinking of buying the tapes, but dont think so now. It shocks me that a so-called “licensed therapist” would be so careless with his words. I thought this was a sight to help fearful flyers. Sure NOT helping me! I am angry right now...All my hard work trying to prepare myself for this flight (XANAX FREE!!!) for nothing. Maybe all that Tom said is true, but I do not believe it is appropriate to discuss this with fearful flyers. Next thing you know, Tom will have a 3 page long post about crashes – when, where, how, who etc....with pictures! May be facts, but don’t want to hear about them!!!! Aren’t we supposed to NOT think about the UNLIKELY dangers involved with flying???

That was posted on August 3, 2005.  

Update, as of August 23, 2005:  Another Fearful Flyer, seeking help at Capt. Tom's Soar Forum:

Never in the name of God, I expected my message to be the center of a conflict about union or non union related airlines or whatever. I just wanted to get some information about the airline I will be using in my next trip, it's extremely difficult for me as it is.

Still, if anyone gets hold of any information whatsoever about COPA airlines or anything related, please let me know.

Update, as of August 25, 2005:  Now, Capt. Tom exhorts his clients about how evil it is to repeal the Federal Death Tax, as part of his instructions on how to alleviate irrational Fear of Flying anxiety.  This is an excerpt from his Aug. 24th newsletter, which goes out to all clients on that roster: 

The last part is, I think, very interesting. When you go to a store and check out at the cashier, the cashier slides your items by a bar code reader. The bar code reader identifies the item and its monetary value.

Imagine that each of your "what ifs" has a bar code sticker on it. And, as it slides toward the conscious mind, it goes by the mind's bar code reader (the amygdala) which identifies the "what if" and its value. Value, in this case, being "a good thing" or "a bad thing" (or not relevant).

Presently, your shopping basket of "what ifs" that are about to slide by the mind's bar code scanner are pretty negative. As each one goes by the amygdala on the way to the conscious mind, the amygdala says, "bad thing".

Each item that goes by the amygdala, being identified as "bad thing" triggers a bit of stress hormone. If your shopping cart is full, as you "check out", the expense is great . . . you pay emotionally. The sum of the stress hormones maxes out your credit card, let's say. 

What we can do is to change the meaning and value of each "what if" item in your shopping cart. How? It works this way. The bar code reader is stupid; it will believe anything. Notice how sticky those bar code labels are. The stores make them very difficult to remove because they don't want you to take off the bar code from a can of cat food and put it on a can of caviar. If you could you would be paying less than a dollar for an expensive can of caviar. 

The labels of the "what ifs" in your mind's shopping cart - though they also are sticky - can be changed. We can relabel the bar code on each of your "what ifs". Remember now, the bar code reader is stupid. It will believe cat food is caviar if the bar code for cat food is on the caviar can. 

Likewise, we literally can get your bar code reader (the amygdala) to say, "OK, airplane falling out of the sky . . . WONDERFUL. I LOVE IT!" 

OK. Realistically we don't have to take it that far, but you get the point. We can re-label every thought you have about airplanes. 

Have you noticed how that is happening in politics? The tax on estates passing through inheritance to surviving family members was favored by the majority of Americans until the bar code the amygdala read when thinking of that tax was changed to "Death Tax". Suddenly that tax became a bad thing opposed by 70% of Americans. 

It may "cat food" in the can, but the bar code says caviar, so that is how it get "scanned." 

Obviously that is deception, but it is deception which most Americans - so far - have not gotten wise to. Of course it is unethical. 

[Blue emphasis added by Editor, ASC]

August, 2005

Robert J. Boser    
Editor-in-Chief 
AirlineSafety.Com

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