Analysis of John Beebe’s Type Assessment of Hitler (Requires Site Membership)

As some readers will know, John Beebe is a medical doctor and self-identified ENTP who has written a lot on typology. Beebe also played a crucial part in developing the theory of cognitive functions from a four-function model to an eight-function model (a notion which we cannot agree with at CelebrityTypes). Beebe has offered a type assessment of Hitler in print. According to Beebe, Hitler is an IS-J:

“Hitler was originally probably an introverted sensation type, whose inferior extraverted intuition, carried by a hypomanic but inspiring anima, had led Germany in the 1930s to a miraculous economic recovery. On the verge of his starting World War II, however, encouraged by the fascination and lack of limit-setting of other world powers, Hitler’s inflated, but unstable, extraverted intuition seemed to give over to its truly demonic shadow, an undermining introverted intuition that assumed the form of a distorted religious vision. Hitler’s use of a falsified, ‘bedeviled’ version of the old Germanic god Wotan to stir up archetypal support for his vengeful project of world domination and ethnic purification was like introducing a virus into the collective unconscious of the German people: he did succeed in producing a genuine religious disturbance, a caesura in the spiritual history of Europe, from which the West is still trying to recover. Hitler’s case, as no other, illustrates the dangerousness of the demonic function, that area of primitive compensations and uncanny possessions that is in all of us, but is an especial threat, through the collapse of the inferior function, to decompensating individuals.” – John Beebe, Jungian Analysis, 1995 ed. pp. 329-330

On one site, this passage is referred to as an “excellent case” for Hitler as IS-J. But at CelebrityTypes, we don’t think this is an excellent case at all. The text barely argues its claims; it merely states them. If that is the way it is supposed to be done, we could merely state the opposite, namely that Hitler was INFJ (or any other type), and we would then have done just as much as the text quoted above to “prove” our case as Beebe has done above. Adding a ton of psychological verbiage (e.g. “a hypomanic but inspiring anima”) does not change the fundamental structure of the text: It is merely postulation and not argument. ...

  • This article requires site membership. If you are already a member, click here to log in. If you are not a member, go here to create your account and become a member of the IDR Labs community today.