SECRETS: The Untold Story of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung

A New Drama by Broadway Producer Ken Wydro about the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. One Thousand letters were exchanged between these two Masterminds of psychological analysis. One Thousand letters. In six years. This play is based on those actual letters.< FIRST POST - Click on MAY under "Archives" >

Jul 27, 2006


Hello, everybody!

This is to give you a mid-summer's update on the forward motion of the Sigmund Freud - Carl Jung stage drama. After a series of readings in the Spring of 2006, three of which were attended by a veteran Broadway - West End of London producer, there has been a valuable incubation period when new ideas had a chance to form and rise to the surface.

The Broadway producer delivered the script of SECRETS: The Sigmund Freud - Carl Jung Affair to a top notch, Tony Award winning Broadway director who was engaged enough to offer some specific suggestions for another set of revisons -- exactly what the doctor ordered.

Asa result, the script has been 80% rewritten with a new title SECRETS REVEALED: The Untold Story of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung . There will be a reading of this new version of the script at the One Spirit Learning Alliance on Friday, August 11 when the entire script will be read. Those who have been present at the rehearsals have claimed that the new version is immensely improved, compelling and more edgy and tension-filled.

There are some surprises in store for those of you have seen the earlier readings at the MAMA FOUNDATION in Harlem or at the C. G. Jung Center. Hopefully you can attend to see the changes -- and get an update as to what is happening next.

Public Reading of this new version of the script

The Untold Story of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung

  • FRIDAY AUGUST 11, 2006 6:30 pm
    • One Spirit Learning Alliance
    • 330 West 38th Street (Between 8 / 9 th Ave.)
    • Suite 1500

PHONE FOR INFO / RESERVATIONS 212 931-6840 ext. 50

More info now:

It appears that there is a good chance that SECRETS REVEALED is moving towards a Broadway production. For other information, you may also call 212-280-1045.

Jul 11, 2006


Otto Gross

A Commentary

For those who have read the script or seen the staged readings of SECRETS: The Sigmund Freud – Carl Jung Affair during the first months of 2006, there may have been the impression that Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung held the dominant first position in each other’s hearts and minds during their intense professional and personal relationship in the period of 1907 – 1913 when the events of the play took place.

In actuality, those six years held many activities, events and relationships that were also in play and active at the same time. Not only were those the formative years of psychoanalysis – with writings, meetings, conferences, international travel and a private practice for both men – there were personal issues and decisions faced by both individually and together that poured fuel to the fire of their historic and dramatic encounter.

Freud was in his early 50s in 1907 while Jung was in his early 30s. Freud already had a large and blossoming family – six children plus the care of his mother and sisters – while Jung, married in 1902 to Emma Rauschenbach had two children under the age of four and would have another, his only son (Franz) in December of 1908. During the first years of the marriage, Carl and Emma lived on premises at the Bergholzli Clinic where Carl’s duties included patient care, lecturing, writing, as well as managing the emotional demands that a new wife and children bring to any man. During that time, Carl and Emma – an independently wealthy daughter of a Swiss industrialist – began making plans for a new house in Kusnacht near Zurich, built from scratch on a lakefront. Anyone involved with the design and the details of building a new house can well understand what a task that could be, especially when the “master” of the house poked his nose into every aspect of the construction.

In the early years of his career, Freud was a “lone ranger” working in what he called “splendid isolation” until he felt the need to spread the word and win support for what he knew to be controversial and revolutionary ideas on the issues of mental illness, anxiety, depression and addiction. In 1902 in Vienna, Freud initiated the famous Psychological Wednesday Evening Circle which included the intense, brilliant, and volatile personalities of Alfred Adler, Wilhelm Stekel, Max Kahane and Rudolph Reitler. By early 1907 – when Jung first visited Freud – the group had grown to seventeen strong, and in 1908 to forty. Participants from six countries attended the first conference of the International Psychoanalytic Association in Salzburg.

There is no doubt that Sigmund Freud was the driving force and the dominant personality in these early days of the international growth of psychoanalysis. His writing, his personality, his brave and witty spirit - his own sense of purpose as a founding father – made him a target for the complexes and fantasies of those around him, both friends and enemies.

From all known accounts, the inner Viennese circle was articulate, passionate, argumentative and combative. While they recognized and appreciated Freud’s intellect and innovation, they also had their own ideas, ambitions and plans for the future of psychoanalysis. Stekel had many contacts in the artistic circles of Vienna as a writer as well. Freud became the focal point of much discussion, debate, adulation and criticism, a destroyer of old attitudes and social norms as well as the visionary for new possibilities.

When Jung came on the scene in March, 1907 and was anointed by Freud as the heir apparent, the infighting among the inner circle grew heated and confrontational. Stekel, Adler, Karl Abraham and others did not take well to the rapid ascent of Carl Jung in the hierarchy of the movement. Freud had to defend himself against the Viennese and had to defend Jung to almost everybody. His adopted son, and Freud as surrogate father figure to Jung, were in constant combat during those years. When, in 1910, Carl Jung was named as the first president of the International Psychoanalytic Association with the blessing of Freud, the stage was set for the defection of Adler, Stekel and others of the original group. Each defection was difficult and heart wrenching for Freud. Many hard feelings on all sides of the fence.

In addition to his duties, obligations and responsibilities to his young family and to the Bergholzli Clinic, there were other strong personalities tugging at Carl Jung’s heart and mind during the years of 1907-1909. While Jung admitted in a letter to Freud dated October 28, 1907 that “my veneration for you has something of the character of a religious crush,” there were others in his field that may have had something more of an emotional or even physical “crush” on Carl Jung.

During those years that Jung was still on staff at the Bergholzli, he came in close contact with three patients who – to put it mildly – touched his heart and soul. There is much speculation and some evidence that Carl Jung had intimate relations with Sabina Spielrein and Antonia “Toni” Wolff, young women patients ten or more years younger than him. Jung consulted with Freud about the course of “treatment” with Sabina Speilrein who later, after being released from the Clinic, went to medical school and became a prominent analyst and writer of some influence.

It was not a secret that Toni Wolff was Jung’s mistress, possibly starting as early as 1910 when she is sitting in a photo two seats away from Emma Jung at the Weimar conference. Toni became a part of Jung’s life and inner circle for more than forty years – some scenes of which are dramatized in SECRETS – it is more than likely that these associations with Speilrein and Wolff caused much tension and concern in the domestic life in the Jung household. When Emma began to write in secret to Freud in 1911 about her personal worries and concerns, she was only 29 or 30 years old, with three young children to take care of on a daily basis.

It is also likely that Carl Jung was deeply influenced by a charismatic, yet troubled personality, Otto Gross, who as also a patient of Jung at the Bergholzli in the spring of 1908. Otto Gross was blond, beautiful, highly articulate, the quintessential Bohemian of his era. The son of a highly wealthy and prominent criminal psychologist, Hans Gross, Otto was the enfant terrible of the psychoanalytic scene. Hooked on cocaine, morphine, opium and caffeine, Otto Gross was a huge fan and supporter of Sigmund Freud. At one point, Freud identified Jung and Otto Gross as the only original thinkers in the psychoanalytic movement.

Gross would hold court in all night sessions in coffee houses and cafes, giving brilliant, Freudian analyses of friends, writers, artists and other bohemian types. Gross preached the “gospel” of sexual liberation and obedience to the instincts of the libido. Gross claimed, in a highly exciting and innovative manner, that society was the real enemy. Conforming to the prevalent culture and societal norms could only lead the individual into the doldrums. Gross gained a reputation of being insightful and provocative, yet his unbridled use of narcotics finally landed him in the Bergholzli in the spring of 1908.

There he was treated by Carl Jung who engaged him in long sessions of analysis while Otto Gross returned the favor. Beginning May 11, Jung treated Gross, attempting first to wean him off opium. It is safe to say that Otto Gross bombarded Jung with his ideas of free love and polygamy during their long, sometimes all night analytic sessions. Gross did feel he had a cause to promote – the liberation of the individual from society’s repressive influence – and he had Jung’s rapt attention while the treatment was going on.

Otto Gross escaped from the Bergholzli clinic on June 17, 1908, going over the wall and back to his drug-laden days. Jung’s treatment of Gross ultimately failed, yet there seems to be some impact of Gross on Jung.

On June 19, 1908, Jung wrote to Freud. “In spite of everything, (Gross) is my friend . . . for at the bottom he is a very good and fine man with an unusual mind . . . in Gross, I discovered many aspects of my true nature so that he often seemed like my twin brother.” It was about his time that Sabina and Toni attached themselves to Jung, and it is a matter of speculation as to the degree that Jung responded to their energy and sexuality.

Add to all this the ocean voyage to America in August of 1909 where Freud and Jung were engaged with the new wave of American personalities, plus Jung’s writing of the Transformation and Symbols of the Libido (two volumes) in 1910-12 and Freud’s book on Totem and Taboo, and you can see that there were many morsels on the plates of both Freud and Jung during this time period of 1907-1913. These were turbulent, exciting and demanding years for both Freud and Jung who were both pulled in many different directions by patients, friends and family – and, most of all, by the new and evolving ideas of psychoanalysis.

Freud and Jung were engaged not only with each other on a personal basis, they had their hands full with their own associates, feelings, hopes and dreams. The bond between them was both personal and professional. They had to juggle the many problems and personalities that were attracted to them. They were the stars of their prospective dramas, involved in the theories, practices and politics of psychoanalysis.

So much on each plate. No wonder it overflowed with such a rush of passion at the end.

Ken Wydro
July 10, 2006

Jul 4, 2006



One of the questions that came up after the series of readings of SECRETS: The Sigmund Freud – Carl Jung Affair in the spring of 2006, especially for those who knew something but not a lot about these two revolutionary thinkers of the 20th century, was : Why were Freud and Jung so important? What do they do that made them so famous and influential nearly 100 years later?

In other words, people were asking, more for clarification than for opposition, why do a play about these men at all? What in their story and in their personal and professional lives – is really worth telling?

In a nutshell, Freud and Jung were – and are – important because they uncovered and discovered that the invisible world is real. More than that, they began to explore and understand how the invisible world plays into and influences the everyday lives of millions of people, then and now.

By “invisible world’ – my phrase, not theirs – Freud and Jung mean the reality of the unconscious side of the psyche. Before them, when dealing with hysteria, depression, addictive behavior, mental illness and even sociopathic attacks by individuals against society, most of the focus was on the external, environment cause of such problematic conditions.

Mentally ill people were either not treated at all or locked up into asylums without any hope of cure or returning to play a positive role in their environments. Mental illness as one extreme, and unhappy lives on the other, were thought to be functions of social ills or environmental conditions.

What Freud and Jung did, with revolutionary insight, was to identify and explore the conditions of the invisible world, the unconscious dimension to the human mind and soul. Freud and Jung began to realize that traumatic events of the past were pushed down and buried in the unconscious, but were not put away to rest forever. Their task as therapist and as theoretician was to draw out the secrets – unlock frozen emotions, have the patients tell and claim a story that they would rather kept dark and boxed up forever.

If a child was beaten, mistreated or abused as a 3, 4, or 5 year old, the wounds and scars did not get buried forever or thrown into the scrap heap of the past. Those feelings, emotions, fears, worries, resentments were stored underground, out of sight and awareness of every day waking consciousness, but did not disappear. That which the patients resisted and resent, they retained.

Underground, these emotions and feelings grew into issues and complexes – what we might call baggage today – and could influence the actions, perspectives and ways of behaving into the adult life. When traumas of the past went underground or “under the radar,” they would often take on an energy and life of their own.

Therefore, when a seemingly normal person would erupt at the criticism of an employer, spouse or policeman, Freud and Jung began to realize that the cause of that behavior was not in the immediate physical environment -- it was a function of something on the unconscious that was still alive and in play today.

So, for Freud and Jung, the inner life, the hidden recesses of the mind, were just as real as any object or condition in the physical world. The source of distress, anxiety or depression (or worse) was in the inner life of the patient, so far hidden and buried that the person could conceivably not know it was there and active himself.

This “shadow” side, this secret, repressed constellation of hard, unresolved feelings and resentments, needed to be brought up into the light of consciousness for there to be any hope of release, relief or cure. Both Freud and Jung believed that no cure was possible unless and until they could get at the patient’s secret.

Therefore, they attempted to set a confidential, safe and secure environment so that the patient could relax, trust and open up. They looked to dreams for clues for what was happening on the “invisible” but real side of the psyche. Through their work with patients, Freud and Jung began to infer or make hypotheses about the inner, hitherto unseen, nature of human reality.

They wrote about WHY people behaved as they did. In that sense, Freud and Jung were detectives of the soul. In each patient, there was a riddle or a mystery to discover. Like Sherlock Holmes did with criminals, Freud and Jung looked for clues, slips of the tongue or dreams, for example that shed light on what was going on in the depths of the patient’s mind.

Freud and Jung began to open doors that had previously been locked or ignored. For them, what was happening beneath the surface was as important, if not more important, than what could be seen or perceived by the physical senses. They understood that what was happening way down deep told the true story of the individual’s life history.

In seeking the truth, Freud and Jung knew that the inner invisible world, one that could not be measured or explained by physical devices, was where the ultimate truth really would be found. This discovery in the early 1900's impacted almost every aspect of 20th century thinking. After Jung and Freud, the novelist, the playwright, the painter, the composer, this historian HAD to look at the interior landscape of a personality in order to fully express the reality of that person. Just the physical facts of a person’s life were not enough to tell the whole, truthful story. Dostoevksy began writing what could be called the psychological novel in the late 1800s, but with Freud and Jung, it became imperative for the writer to have an understanding about the nature and the depths of a character’s complexes. The inner life of the character played OUT, as much if not more than the environment playing IN.

Those hidden, buried, “invisible” aspects of a person often motivated and drove the individual into action of everyday life. Freud and Jung were among the first to know and to write about -- to speak about – what used to be kept secret and under cover.

Jung himself, in his autobiography MEMORIES, DREAMS AND REL.ECTIONS (as told to Aniela Jaffe), stressed that the outer events of his life were rather ordinary and unremarkable. What was important to him was the under-the-surface activity, the rhizomes under the ground. The unseen, invisible to the naked eye happenings – that was where the truth really could be found.

Today, we tend to take an anti-depressant like Prozac, Paxil or Wellbuton when we feel upset, anxious or depressed. The pill pushing doctors want to raise our serotonin levels, and bring us back to balance. Maybe that can work for a while. Maybe the pill can bring some temporary relief.

But the real work – as Freud and Jung would urge us – is to work on our inner selves. To bring up the past and see it in a different light. To examine and resolve issues rather than keep them hidden and secret in some faraway distant vault.

Freud and Jung were important then, and are still important today, because they declared the invisible dimension to be just as real and valid as the things we can buy, accumulate, protect and defend. For me, Freud and Jung were contemporary reminders to “Know Thyself.” As Freud says in the play, “You can get away WITH a secret. You can’t get away FROM it.”

In an early scene in SECRETS: The Sigmund Freud –Carl Jung Affair, Carl Jung credits and complements Sigmund Freud:

“You were the first one walk on the dark side of the moon.”

Freud chuckles graciously, happy to have found someone who sees the issues as he does. Freud knew he had his man – or did he?

Ken Wydro July 3, 2006