By Jason Edward Kennedy
In 1962 when Marilyn Monroe passed away, her final Will and Testament bequeathed the most important and sizable parts of her Estate to Lee Strasberg and Dr. Marianne Kris. Almost immediately, Berniece Miracle, who is Marilyn’s half-sister, and at the urging of Inez Melson, Marilyn’s business manager, attempted to challenge the signing of that Will. In fact, Inez felt so strongly about it that she wrote a letter to Joe DiMaggio stating, “I know it sounds like a “Perry Mason” television script but I am (between thee and me) very suspicious about that will…”.
Their suspicions were reflected in an attempt brought to the court October 25, 1962. Arthur N. Field, a special guardian for Gladys Monroe, who was Marilyn Monroe’s mother, stated that “he had been advised to file objections on the grounds that the Will was prepared under the undue influence of Lee Strasberg. Miss Monroe’s drama coach or Dr. Marianne Kris, her psychiatrist.”
Unfortunately, Field chose to not submit any supporting evidence and the case was subsequently and summarily rejected by the judge.
Behind the scenes and prior, Berniece had a meeting with Marilyn’s Attorney Aaron Frosch. In her book, “My Sister Marilyn: A Memoir of Marilyn Monroe”, Berniece stated that she was threatened with consequences for pursuing any legal action to counter the Will as prepared. If she chose to fight it, and won, Norma Jeane’s estate would fall back to an earlier Will written just after she married Arthur Miller in 1956. In other words, Berniece would be at the mercy of Arthur Miller and there would be no guarantee that he would monetarily support her mother Gladys who needed mental health care and living expenses. Frustrated and feeling cornered, Berniece felt she had no choice but to let the Will stand as written.
On November 10, 1999, an article (Freudians prefer blonds) written by Damion Matthews for Salon.com began to expose the possible unethical influences between Anna Freud, the daughter of Sigmund Freud and Marilyn Monroe.
In 1960, John Huston, the American film director, wanted to cast Norma Jeane in his film based on Sigmund Freud’s life, “Freud: The Secret Passion”.
In general and using “quiet legal channels”, Anna Freud was actively discouraging the overt use of Freud in Hollywood. According to her official biographer Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Anna Freud did not want to make her father a film hero. Hollywood, she believed, was not the proper forum for her father’s importance as the founding father of psychoanalysis.
Anna Freud’s obsession with this theory prompted her to take action against John Huston by expressing her protest against the film. While her disapproval largely fell on deaf ears and the film continued as planned, she expressed her private frustration with Dr. Ralph Greenson who was her official Los Angeles emissary. Anna Freud stated, “It did not shake my conviction but it made me feel a bit lonely with it”.
Anna Freud wielded the depth of her power as a last recourse of opposition to the film in a November 5, 1960 letter written by none other than Marilyn Monroe.
I have it on good authority that the Freud family does not approve of anyone making a picture of the life of Freud — so I wouldn’t want to be apart of it, first because of his great contribution to humanity and secondly, my personal regard for his work.
Thank you for offering me the part of “Anna O” and I wish you the best in this and all other endeavors.
What does Anna Freud’s official biographer Elisabeth Young-Bruehl say about the apparent unethical influence that Anna Freud exerted through Dr. Ralph Greenson who just happen to be Marilyn Monroe’s private psychotherapist in Los Angeles?
“Absolutely not. I mean, no analyst of principal — and she was certainly a very rigorous person — would instruct another analyst to be the courier of a message,” she said. “That would be a violation of the kind of consulting relationship that Anna Freud had established with Greenson.” (Elisabeth Young-Bruehl as quoted by salon.com-Freudians Prefer Blonds)
Really…no analyst of principal? And she says it would be a VIOLATION of the consulting relationship?
What would Elisabeth Young-Bruehl say today about a scathing charge articulated by Douglas Kirsner, PhD in his ground breaking 2007 paper titled “DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO”: Ralph Greenson, Anna Freud, and Superrich Patients?
That Anna Freud and Dr. Ralph Greenson, with full knowledge and collusion conspired to manipulate Greenson’s patients Lita Annenberg Hazen and Barbara Anderson and others for money to fund the Anna Freud Foundation for a permanent psychiatric cure.
Yes, you heard that correctly.
Lita Annenberg Hazen’s net worth in 1986 was $200 million.
Barbara Anderson, wife of oil executive Robert Orville Anderson, net worth in 1982 was $500 million.
Both were Dr. Ralph Greenson’s patients and both were major contributors to the Anna Freud Foundation which was searching for a permanent psychiatric cure.
On December 11, 1972, Dr. Greenson flagrantly overstepped his position as therapist by attempting to find Hazen a companion. According to Kirsner, Dr. Greenson wrote to Psychoanalyst Joseph Sandler in London. “…keep your eyes open to find a companion. It would make all our lives easier and above all, it would insure the existence of FRIP” — Foundation for Research in Psychoanalysis.
He then traveled, on his own accord, to New York from California to interview a possible male companion for Hazen. Dr. Greenson wrote to Anna Freud, “To me it was a chance to help Lita and help myself”.
Kirsner charged, “This was beyond the call of duty for a patient — or even for a friend — would be a gross understatement, and that he communicated all this to Anna Freud also significant.”
Lita Annenberg Hazen became the President of Dr. Ralph Greenson’s foundation in Los Angeles. She was also funding it as well.
On April 28, 1979 Dr. Greenson relayed to Anna Freud about his patient Anderson, “ As I told you, she is very nice woman and a very wealthy woman. I believe she will become a patron of the Anna Freud Foundation and that could be very useful”.
Anna Freud and Dr. Ralph Greenson were both using patients to fund a permanent psychiatric cure.
By 1976 Dr. Ralph Greenson was in charge of the Anna Freud Foundation, the California Chapter, of course.
And if that was not enough, in correspondence with Anna Freud on May 8, 1975, Dr. Greenson wrote about another unnamed patient: “As for getting money for the Clinic, I have given your name to a very wealthy patient of mine. He is an old patient. Instead of giving money only to Israel he can also give money to your Clinic. I think he will. He came a long way in his analysis and continually wants to raise my fee or give me money in some way or another and I though the best way out of it was from him to give money where people really can use the money.”
Anna Freud responded, “I was very interested in what you said about your patient. You can imagine that here in England patients are in the opposite position now, they are all feeling money trouble and analysis becomes a burden on them. But it is nice to know that somewhere the opposite happens.”
According to Kirsner, “these activities took place with Anna Freud’s knowledge, approval, and collusion.”
Manipulating patients for money that went well beyond the fee’s charged for psychological services has huge implications.
The Freudians knew full well the problems of transference. In fact, Sigmund Freud discovered it in the 1880’s.
“Anna O”, the character that Marilyn Monroe was going to play in John Huston film, Freud: The Secret Passion, was a pseudonym for one of Freud’s patients.
In the film, the character of Freud would sit over “Anna O” while she laid down on a bed. This is where the Freudian couch originated. It comes from the field of hypnosis and facilitates placing the patient, in this case, “Anna O” into a trance.
Appropriately called the talking treatment, Freud found that as patients began to verbalize their symptoms he could trace their problems back to traumatic childhood sexual experiences. In fact, according to Freud, sex was the cause of all neurotic behavior. What Freud found is that patients would “transfer” their passionate feelings of their parents onto him. The result is that female patients of Freud were pursuing him sexually.
One can already surmise the immediate problems with Doctor/Patient relationships that could arise from this dynamic. And both Anna Freud and Dr. Ralph Greenson were fully aware of its implications.
Kirsner emphasized about Lita Hazen, “She was tied to Greenson by transferences and he (and Anna Freud) to her through money.”
On September 22, 1972, Anna Freud responded to Dr. Greenson about transference: “I was very glad too that you succeeded in making Mrs. Hazen realize that transferences are not only positive but also negative; glad for her sake, for yours and, of course, no less the Foundation. The last concern may be very mercenary of me, but after all it is for the sake of the Clinic and the work, not for myself. It is too bad that this type of work is so wholly dependent on money, and too bad that I am not a millionaire myself.”
Marilyn Monroe’s net worth in 1962, as initially indicated by her lawyer Aaron Frosch was close to $1 million.
In another letter, Anna Freud elaborated, “could we not ever find in America….real millionaires who would endow the Clinic in a way which would diminish almost…all of my money concerns for it, so that one could really foresee a future, at least one of ten or twenty years?”
When Dr. Marianne Kris passed away she transferred her part of Marilyn Monroe’s Estate, which amounted to 25 percent of the total, to the Anna Freud Foundation to help research a permanent psychiatric cure.
Marilyn Monroe, as a patient, was under the direct care of Dr. Ralph Greenson, Dr. Marianne Kris, and Dr. Margaret Hohenberg.
All were Freudians.
All were influenced by Anna Freud.
And all three were complicit in attempting to obtain a permanent psychiatric cure from Marilyn Monroe.
What is their relationship to Anna Freud?
Dr. Margaret Hohenberg: Described as Anna Freud’s old friend going back to the Viennese Society of Psychoanalysis.
Dr. Marianne Kris: Her father, Oskar Rie, was the Freud family pediatrician and friend of Sigmund Freud from 1908. She not only worked with Anna Freud, but also lived with Anna Freud as a child. She was a member of the Viennese Society of Psychoanalysis and her New York office was in the same building where Lee Strasberg lived: 135 Central Park West, Langham building.
Dr. Ralph Greenson: He functioned as Anna Freud’s lead funding person in Los Angeles.
Marilyn Monroe was still a patient of Dr. Margaret Hohenberg in 1962 (while also a patient of Dr. Greenson as well) and the weeks and months before her untimely and suspicious death. Hohenberg submitted a bill to Marilyn on August 1, 1962 for phone consultations on June and July of 1962, in addition to a balance from May 1962 for a total of $840 dollars. Adjusting for inflation that was $6,615.75 for 3 months.
Marilyn Monroe initially began to see Dr. Margaret Hohenberg in January of 1955.
Then, sometime between April and September of 1955, Marilyn Monroe was taken to a New York City hospital for a “mental” operation; an illegal procedure which is designed to instill guilt in a patient. While under the influence of an anesthetic and sensory deprivation, Marilyn was told by Dr. Margaret Hohenberg that her dreams and hopes for a permanent psychiatric cure were given up.
By February of 1956 Dr. Margaret Hohenberg was on Marilyn Monroe’s first Will for a bequest of $20,000 for a permanent psychiatric cure.
At that time, Marilyn Monroe’s net worth was listed as $200,000.
Does ethics and manipulating patients for money mean anything to the Anna Freud Foundation?
Kirsner emphasized, “But it would be mistaken to conclude that, therefore, such behavior was generally regarded as permissible during this period. Many analysts took the idea of abstinence, professional distance, and neutrality very seriously and did not succumb to temptation. But Greenson’s behavior was especially hypocritical in how he so often violated the spirit of his own principles that were clearly delineated in his classic textbook, and that Anna Freud colluded all the way.”
“But Greenson’s behavior was especially hypocritical in how he so often violated the spirit of his own principles that were clearly delineated in his classic textbook, and that Anna Freud colluded all the way.” Douglas Kirsner, Professor at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia.
What if they were losing their control over Marilyn Monroe?
What if that control started in January of 1955 when she first met acting theorist Lee Strasberg and Psychotherapist Dr. Margaret Hohenberg?
What if Lee Strasberg was working with the psychotherapist? Yes, he ended up as the major beneficiary of Marilyn Monroe’s estate as well, 75 Percent worth.
It is no wonder that Anna Freud did not support John Huston’s film, “Freud: The Secret Passion” nor Marilyn Monroe playing the lead role of “Anna O.” Especially if they knew they were actively manipulating Marilyn Monroe to obtain her estate behind-the-scenes.
Certainly, it would look mighty suspicious if Sigmund Freud was trying to place Marilyn Monroe into a trance while she lay comfortably on the proverbial Freudian couch.
Maybe cousin Norma Jeane would have lived a long life if she did take John Huston up on his offer to be “Anna O” in his film.
Yes, all for a permanent psychiatric cure…
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Stay tuned for my book ‘SURGEON STORY: Means, Motive, Murder‘
And be sure to purchase Marilyn Monroe & Joe DiMaggio — Love in Japan, Korea & Beyond| by Jennifer Jean Miller.
Special thanks to the research of Elisabeth Young-Bruehl and Douglas Kirsner, Professor at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. All Dr. Ralph Greenson and Anna Freud documents cited via Elisabeth Young-Bruehl and Kirsner.
Editor’s note:The author Jason Edward Kennedy is Marilyn Monroe’s second cousin.