system. It has a large reserve stock of " embryonic " brain
nuclei or cells awaiting development. The results of careful
and necessarily prolonged treatment and supervision are in a
large measure successful. Many, however, are never the same
after a serious nerve illness. If recovery be imperfect, the
result is a changed disposition. Those who were bright and
cheery may become duU, peevish and irritable.^ Some lose
their memory, or their application and mental vigour, others
are affected in their sense of morals. The true balance of
the Ego has apparently been disturbed and not properly
readjusted, so that new sub-personalities, previously under
guidance, lead and direct the individual. The Spiritists, in
my opinion, wrongly describe it as the personality under
control of an alien spirit from the outer world. It is I think
the true Ego, the highest mental concept, dethroned, and a
sub-Ego in control. But we are confronted with the difficulty
of finding a limited definition of the Ego, or personality. Some
speak of the Ego as consciousness, but is the Personality
destroyed by death, or even absent during sleep or anaes-
thesia ? No scientist could admit of such an opinion so long
as the laws of conservation of energy rule the universe.
Energy, muscular and nervous, are transformed from chemical
^ Read the cases for actual confirmation. See fig. p. 108.
176 EDUCATION, PERSONALITY AND CRIME
energy ; but the subtle psychical forces which reign in or
through mind are beyond our powers to measure. Surely they
cannot be lost, but how they may be transformed will probably
always remain a mystery. If we move from this position
and allow that death ends all, we reduce the brain with its
psychic functions to the position of a gland such as the liver ;
only instead of secreting a chemical substance, as bile, it
secretes something we know not how to analyse, namely,
Science There is no scientific objection to an eternal force or power
admits higher than mind, or above human conception or measure-
Forces ment. It is the experience of many that such an influence
actually exists, and is no delusion. It foUows likewise that
the " Fruit of the Spirit " should blossom and ripen more fully
in intellectual soil. Such we see in comparing the lives of
intellectual men " spiritually minded," with those at the oppo-
site pole, such as our poor " converted " criminals. The Ego
or personality, even when shattered or poorly developed, is
receptive of this higher influence. Perhaps the normal Ego
presents variations, as in the case of man, betwixt giant and
dwarf forms, with corresponding differences in strength and
stability. This seems the only way of explaining the different
effects of religion or ethics in different individuals, apart from
evidence or suggestion of abnormal or sub-personalities. It
also furnishes us with an explanation of reformed life in the
iUiterate, or the criminal, which may be regarded as a dwarf
form in most cases, and answers the objection as to the genuine-
ness of their conversions, and the permanency thereof. The
Salvation Army and similar agencies experience many
relapses, and consider it necessary to protect and hedge round
these stunted growths. They might be called subnormal
Egos, as contrasted with abnormal types and sub-egos, and
furnish a correct basis for this part of the science of
criminology. We must, however, on the plea of brotherhood,
sink aU social distinctions, or else cast religion to the wind,
for a converted criminal is a valuable asset to society, and
on practical grounds, apart from humanitarian principles,
the work of the Salvation Army and other socio-religious
bodies merits liberal support.
Assuming his former nightly attitude for sleep.
Facing page t77.
PERSONALITY AND SUB-PERSONALITY 177
As an extreme contrast to the intellectual leaders of Contrast
social reform, I might mention the case of one of our Law^and
most dangerous burglars who received 400 lashes with the Salvation
cat, and 40 years in prison. What the law could not ^^^ '."
improve or soften the Salvation Army accomplished by the
reaching his Ego or inner self, though it considered it necessary
to watch over him till the end of his earthly career. Many
of these converts, whom I have examined, have been physically
degenerate, and some mentally weak, but religion appealed
to the subnormal or stunted Ego which remained.
The following is a case of a stunted Ego reviving under
conversion â€” a male, aged 40, who had been a lazy man aU his
life. He is a typical invert, passive, not energetic enough to do
wrong ; also he admits never having done a day's work before
his conversion. AU he aimed at was enough to pay for a bare
allowance of food, and if possible a bed. He had, however, so
often to sleep on a stair, that he lost the habit of assum-
ing the horizontal position, and after his conversion for
some time always slept on the bed in a sitting posture,
leaning against the wall. He is rather a curiosity on this
account. The Salvation Army were the means of his con-
version, and his stu,nted Ego when roused exhibited new and
more normal tendencies. He now works hard aU day and
feels happier than before. I regard this as a very practical
conversion, for his work consists in scrubbing, which can
afford no pleasure. It represents the awakening of a stunted
uneducated Ego, which had loafed the streets for thirty years,
in what some may regard as a form of somnambuUsm. Com-
paring his rehgion and ethical condition with that of the average
man is like comparing the difference between a tallow candle
and an electric light. It would take a volume to explain, so
I can add no more, except that the light of a taUow candle
is of use in some places.
Conversion, then, requires no premium of intellect, but Religious
resolves itself into a choice of two conditions ; ^ and the resulting Conver-
potentiaUties must depend upon the ability of the individual. Examined
We are all daily passing through minor conversions, which Scientia-
consist in comparing mental pictures of past and present
^ " Therefore choose life and good." â€” Deut. xxx.
178 EDUCATION, PERSONALITY AND CRIME
circumstances with future prospects and possibilities. A
conversion from one creed to another may be slow and require
deliberation, whereas a conversion from evil to good should
be decisive and rapid. We are aware that such is not always
the case, when the distorted Ego clings hard to the distorting
influences on the physical plane. As an example I might
instance my own conversion to antiseptic surgery, when a fresh
unbiased student, under the teaching of Professor, now Lord,
Lister. It was decisive and prompt, whereas some of the
mature and skilled surgeons resisted conversion for years,
finding it so difficult to leave their old habits, and open up
fresh channels in their mental neurons, much to the loss of
In religious conversion there must be several stages, as
contrition and sorrow, followed by hope, with new desires
and ideals. I take it that as brain is the physical basis of
mind, so mind is the psychical plane in which the higher spirit
manifests itself ; and as before said, the extent of the spiritual
manifestation must bear some ratio to the amount of mental
power and development. The order seems to be body, mind
and spirit. The body is governed by chemico-vital forces :
the brain evolves nerve force and mental energy : whilst
the undefinable personality or Ego is in relation to the
higher spirit, which we call God, and other races name Allah,
or Great Spirit. If this view be correct, it is some plea for
leaving other races to enjoy their own deities a little longer,
until we get our own house into order.
Ethics In the disputes between ethics and religion, the latter
ReUcion ^^^ higher claims, being more expansive, as it allows for the
existence of an unseen power. Science in every decade unfolds
knowledge of fresh forces, and we cannot regard poor human
intelligence as the acme of the ' Creation.' We are only on
the edge of these great mysteries. To limit the conception
of God is to place narrower Hmits to human understanding
than should exist. To deny the influence of this Spirit on
mind and character is to Hmit science. We know mind by
its intellectual manifestations, how can we refuse to acknow-
ledge the manifestations of the Spirit, which exists on a higher
and non-material plane ? It is only a few years ago since
PERSONALITY AND SUB-PERSONALITY 179
we thought that wood was opaque and glass transparent ;
now we find the reverse is equally true, in relation to X rays.
Knowledge and discovery are ever on the increase. We
look on the past generation as behind the times, but I fear we
shall be regarded in a similar unsympathetic manner by future
generations. Therefore to suggest a present finaUty to know-
ledge, or to define the horizon of oiu' mental operations, is a
presumption which cannot be tolerated in any discussion on
the subject of unhmited unseen forces or powers. Let me
ask the physicist to extend and define the etheric vibrations
beyond the red and violet in the spectrum or rainbow, and
he shrugs his shoulders in despair. Twenty years ago he
would have said that nothing existed beyond the red and
the violet, but now we know quite differently. At the former
time his intellect and imagination could not conceive the then
hidden heat and light rays. At the present time he has no
instrument by which to discover further new vibrations,
so the attitude assumed is " agnosis."
The same position is taken up in rehgious matters by the The
Agnostic, who talks as if one should measure the vital forces As"Â°stic
with a perfect standard before he can beheve in them.
Each science has its own formula for making estimates,
and the psychical phenomena, bearing on the existence of an
unseen power, are in one aspect a closed book. We are
allowed to see the resultant manifestations, but the how or
wherefore we cannot solve.
The scientific man cannot define life, except in common-
place and unhelpful terms. Yet he admits this unseen vital
force in plants and animals, and in their seeds and germs. In
like manner, there is no reason why there should not be another
form of life associated with the mind which we call the soul.
Though we can measure nerve motion, and the rapidity of sim-
ple thought, or the delay and disturbance of thought by emotion,
yet we have no apparatus that can disclose or explain mental
energy, or its effects and changes in the cells of the brain.
How then can we hope to acquaint ourselves with the soul ?
We all know too well the hmitations of power and existence Man
to the human mind, and so far we may compare man to a ijr^^t^
180 EDUCATION, PERSONALITY AND CRIME
machine, like, for instance, a watch. There are many watches
which appear normal, but the machinery oft goes wrong as
with many of us. Nor is the perfect machinery able to work
beyond a certain time. Some are old at 50, while others
last to 70 and 80.
These facts are not sufficiently considered in dealing with
human wreckage, or we would make more allowance for bad
machinery. Certainly we should cease from punishing old
dotards of 70 or 80, whose "grinders are few." Instead of
casting them into prison, with its shame and horrors, the State
should care for them in homes, remembering in many cases
they were useful and faithful citizens till they passed the
stage of repair.
THE MORAL INVALID AND THE MENTAL CRIPPLE
NECESSITY OF BEING ACQUAINTED WITH THE BRAIN MACHINE:
Criminal types â€” Object to analyze the criminal physically and mentally.
MENTAL INVALID OR MORAL CRIPPLE : Education has changed
the criminal type â€” My experience at Dartmoor. Deterioration now
going on among the upper classes. BORDER-LINE CRIMINALS :
Parental duty â€” Don't force children or youths. SHIELD THE CHIL-
DREN FROM THE KNOWLEDGE OF EVIL : The effect of evil sugges-
tion â€” Auto-suggestion â€” Cases. BAD LITERATURE : Need of press
censor â€” Duty of Government â€” No one can take the parents' place.
DESIRE FOR WEALTH WITHOUT WORK : Cases to illustrate the
loafer â€” Bad companions â€” Laziness and drink â€” Lazy tramp â€” Lazy and
gambler â€” Sad case of neglect : saved by good influences at pauper school
â€” Knowing the difference between right and wrong, CRIMINAL
RESPONSIBILITY : Dr. Mercier's writingsâ€” Criticized. TO THE
MORAL INVALID THERE IS NO FREE-WILL : Compare with a phy-
sical cripple â€” Responsibility clear in complex purposive actions â€”
Allowance for impulse â€” Correct for normal people. THE CRIMINAL
MIND ABNORMAL : Like an overgrown baby â€” Requires protection and
compulsion â€” Follows the way of least resistance â€” Instincts of primitive
man. THE COMMON THIEF A MORAL CRIPPLE : Has never
learned the principles which must govern Society. SALVATION ARMY
GIVING THE EDUCATION THE STATE SHOULD HAVE GIVEN : The
legal profession is now sympathetic. MORAL SPLINTS REQUIRED :
The medical man required to elucidate these psychological problems â€”
Crime like a moral cancer â€” We must aim at the cure of crime.
Ruskin said that " Punishment is the last and the worst instrument in the
hands of the legislator for the prevention of crime."
A CLEAR understanding of the physical action of the brain
ought to form part of the education of every criminal lawyer
and jurist. Some of the mysteries otherwise unappreciated
by the layman are thereby unravelled and explained.
Every intelligent parent can appreciate the importance
of information concerning brain and mind with a view to the
proper training of the young, for under better auspices many
actual criminals would never have developed their evil ten-
dencies. Some of those I have examined expressed a thirst
for crime, usually theft ; some are attracted by the excitement
of the life. In the former type we see rudiments of the unscru-
182 EDUCATION, PERSONALITY AND CRIME
pulous acquisitive financial adventurer ; in the latter a per-
version of the spirit of adventure and sportsmanship of which
the Briton is justly proud.
It is the object of this chapter to ascertain the physical
and mental basis of the criminal. Is the defect in the associa-
tion areas, so that he never sees life in the true perspective ?
There might be two causes ; structural underdevelopment
or decay, in which case he would be more or less insane, either
ament or dement ; or average structure might exist, but
want of education would deprive him of the opportunity
of distinguishing right from wrong, and giving each its proper
In these circumstances the criminal becomes a moral invalid,
or a mental cripple. From whatever standpoint we view
the criminal, we do not at present see him on his " native
heath " in situ. We so abhor him as a species of leper that
we are only too thankful to hand on our responsibilities to
some one else, not grudging the big bill of costs necessary
for imposing a barrier between him and us. But the criminal
demands special treatment, first for the safety of the public,
and secondly for his own protection against himself. The
question is too serious to be ignored or pushed aside. Thirty
years ago our prisons were occupied with much rougher men
than now. Education has made the lower orders a little
smoother externally, but more cunning, whilst the pace at
which we live and the neglect of nature's laws has produced
more pseudo-criminals or borderline cases among the respect-
able classes. I was struck, when going over Dartmoor, by
hearing the chief warder speak of the prisoners as " gentle-
men." He was describing the facilities of the library, and
said, " A gentleman can get any book he wishes to read or
study through the chaplain."
Our prisons have quite as many gentlemen as rough men.
As the former are educated there must be some atavism or
degeneration going on apace among better-class families.
This is no imaginary picture, as every medical man of experience
can testify. There is so much luxury, alcohol, and high living,
plus a tremendous stress on the nervous system, that the marvel
is there are not more degenerates.
THE MORAI. INVALID AND MENTAL CRIPPLE 183
There are, however, many more on the borderline than Border-
is suspected. They are weaklings, or mental cripples who criminals
will drift, if neglected, either towards insanity or crime. Their
relations may not be alive to the danger until a catastrophe
has happened, but often it is their indifference and lack of
courage that prevent them from seeking advice in time to
avoid such an event. If parental duty be observed and each
child educated with due care, then if a catastrophe occur,
it is modified. Medical men have occasionally to rescue
unfortunate youths from the clutch of the law, or to place
others of the same type and social condition in asylums. On
the first there necessarily rests a shadow, whilst on the latter
there is no dishonour to embitter the affliction. The difference
would probably be due to environment, to the primary parental
care. In order to avoid these social shadows parents must
devote their lives, as a rehgious, moral, and social duty, to
their children. They will in later years possess the filial
affection, which is worth more than all the flattery of society
or the fawning of inferiors.
It is a very great error to ripen the chfldren too soon. Let
them enjoy chfldish innocence and simplicity, until they are
quite strong enough to bear the yoke of youth, and aUow
them to enjoy the vigorous pleasures of youth, manly sports,
brisk studies, and healthy hobbies, until they are equal to the
burdens of adolescence. Life will then be a success to them, and
what is worth more, an honourable happiness and satisfaction.
While some parents shield their children from aU knowledge Shield
of evil, others seriously maintain that it is better for children *'^^Clj*^<*
to know the evil of the world, in order that they may the more Know-
easily avoid it. But when a child is familiarized with wicked- g'^?Â® Â°*
ness the brain is furnished with a series of evil mental photo-
graphs. However forcibly the evil may be denounced, the
poisonous seed has been sown and may, nay wiU, probably
germinate. On the other hand restrain such knowledge,
and place life with its nobler aim in the true perspective before
a child or youth, and all that is wrong or unworthy can only
be reached by the pathway of a new experience. What is
injurious or unwholesome is better kept out of the mind,^
* Read The Hygiene of Mind, by Dr. Clouston.
184 EDUCATION, PERSONALITY AND CRIME
lest it acts by suggestion as a stimulus to unwholesome acts.
Many of the criminals I have examined attribute their
downward course to suggestion from bad companions. But
they probably saw, even in infancy, a good deal more evil
than people in higher walks of life. These influences would
tend to lead them downward by suggestion, acting powerfully
on their imagination.
A burglar says he associated with bad boys on the street
and was a criminal at 15. He paid the heavy penalty of
thirty years' penal servitude.
Another says he went wrong before 15, through bad com-
panions. He had twenty convictions for stealing.
A third man, a receiver, had every chance in life cut off
by bad companions leading him to gambling.
Bad It is too well known how many lads are now suffering the
terature heartaches of prison, through reading polluted literature,
in which every vice is suggested with stimulating and literary
effect. There should be a Press Censor for the protection of
the unstable, who are unable to choose wisely. A powerful
Government control is urgently required. Surely it cannot
be right for a Government to hang or imprison young people
so long as it views complacently the wicked trash which it
allows to be placed before them. If Government has the right
to punish it has hkewise the duty to protect the weaklings ;
otherwise its inaction degenerates into culpable ignorance,
for the State has no excuse if it do not keep up with the times.
Nevertheless we are brought back to the fact that it is
the parental duty to educate and equip the child mentally
and morally. No State or institution can absolve parents
from their responsibility. As things are, in all walks of life,
parents, rich and poor alike, seem to neglect their duties.
Those of us who realize this fact ought to lend our aid
where possible. Grand opportunities arise for those who are
charitably and devoutly disposed, by giving practical advice
and keeping an eye on the children, watching and guiding
them in youth and adolescence.
Above all things lead them on to industry ; discourage
idleness and the desire to get money without labour, which
is a fertile cause of crime among all classes.
THE MORAL INVALID AND MENTAL CRIPPLE 185
Take for instance the case of a man who is not a criminal,
but an idle degenerate. He says he became a loafer at 24,
but he got among bad companions at 17. Though under the
care of the Salvation Army he has no desire to improve his
condition. He is unconverted.
Another man got among bad companions when 21. He
never kept a situation because of his laziness and drinking
habits. He is now converted and his laziness has left him.
Another case was deserted by his drinking father when
he was 8 years old. He was brought up by the Guardians.
He became a lazy, obstinate tramp, but since his conver-
sion is happy and enjoys working.
Again a young man was born in good circumstances. As a
lad he was lazy, which led to a gay, gambUng life. He had
bitter experiences, and two imprisonments. He is now con-
verted and hopes to work into a respectable position. And
I had recently such an interesting case illustrating the
opposite condition that I must quote it. A man 32 years of
age, with tubercle of the larynx, was anxious for permission
to marry. By the time he was nearly cured I gave my con-
ditional consent, because he said he had never known what
the word " home " meant. His mother died when he was an
infant, and his drunken father left him in the street at mid-
night, when he was about 6 years old. He has been in one
situation for eighteen years, and holds an excellent character.
To what can this success be attributed ? With such odds to
fight against, one would have expected him to have joined the
criminal ranks. He told me it was due to the splendid
influence duriug the eight years that he was at the pauper
school at Hanwell. He was there from the age of 6 to 14,
and the education, though simple, was thorough. The rehgious
training was good ; they were taught prayers, hymns and
the Scriptures, everything being carefully explained. Would
he have received the same good influence in an ordinary
non-religious State school ?
I was much struck by D saying, " I knew the dijBfer-
ence between right and wrong." The same expression is often
used by the poorer folk, but they mean something more,
namely, " I have a correct appreciation, or power of choice,
186 EDUCATION, PERSONALITY AND CRIME
of good and evil, through my association centres." Reduced
to simpler terms the meaning is, "I am a responsible being "
or " My volitional power is normal, my powers of choice are
equal to the forces of my desires, and I am capable of responsi-
Criminal Dr. Mercier, in his classical work on Criminal Responsi-
Respon- fyiUty^ has cleared the pathway of many of the weeds which
obscured it, but I wish to pull up some more, which he
purposely left behind, as his subject is strictly legal.
I wish to have this subject of free will and responsibility
valued on a basis of common humanity.
To the I venture to say that the mental cripple has no more
Cripple power to go straight than the paralysed child, who can-
there is not raise a foot or an arm. Nor can the moral invalid be
Will *^^ upbraided for his degraded position, any more than the patient
with locomotor ataxia for tumbling down in a crowded
thoroughfare. Each of these can live under certain condi-
tions, but neither of them is equipped for the battle of life as
civilization has made it.
Dr. Mercier says (on p. 150) : "In proportion as the
will is engaged in that proportion is responsibility allotted,"
and (on p. 152) : " Responsibility is the more undoubted,
the more closely, the more deliberately and the more frequently
the will is concerned in the act." The legal tendency is to
lessen responsibility, when an act is so sudden and impul-
sive as to diminish the opportunity of the wiU to intervene,