Psychiatry Over Medicating Our Country
Over recent years, we in the U.S. have become accustomed to the seemingly never-ending parade of prescription drug commercials on television. It's surprising to learn that the only two places advertising of this kind is legal is in the United States and New Zealand.
Would it surprise you to learn that the pharmaceutical industry not only targets Americans directly in this fashion, but also allocates approximately $25,000 per doctor per year? With the help of today's technology, a pharmaceutical representative can know exactly how many prescriptions a doctor has written and for what drugs. Obviously, this information allows the industry to target certain physicians that fit certain profiles.
If you look at recent history, the field of "mental health" didn't even exist until about 20 years ago. People were ignorant about psychiatric diagnoses and medications. Then over the next 10 years all of this changed. People learned all about the psychiatric diagnoses and many came to be on medications.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft burst onto the pharmaceutical scene. They were heavily advertised on television and high profile public figures were giving them the thumbs up. These things helped to bring psychiatry and their pharmaceuticals into the mainstream. Prozac is portrayed as a wonder drug, so people think it is.
Starting in the 1990s, certain terms and concepts also started appearing. For example, we started hearing about being "hard-wired" for some behaviors. Mental illnesses were thought to be the product of chemical imbalances. We also started hearing about being genetically programmed to be a certain way. These concepts have become immersed in our culture.
Something the psychiatric field of medicine has done is confuse very serious forms of illness with lesser serious forms. Case-in-point: depression. Severe depression can be an absolutely brutal, consuming illness and those who suffer from it are at real risk of self-inflicted harm. Conversely, nowadays it is very common to hear someone mention being "down" and their family doctor putting them on an antidepressant. This is a prime example of our confusion of serious disorders with lesser conditions. "Life issues" are being medicated when they should not be.
The clinical guidelines for mild depression recommend watchful waiting. Other included recommendations are diet and exercise, self-help and counseling, and cognitive behavioral therapy. If these things fail, then the next step is to try antidepressants. Currently, the practice in the U.S. seems to be the opposite of this.
When SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil first came out, they were considered to be free of side effects. This was mainly because in comparing them to the previous generation of antidepressants they seemed minimal by comparison. Most recently, it has become apparent that the majority of side effects connected with SSRI drugs are connected with getting on and off the medicine.
So, of issue is the fact that it is mostly family doctors who are writing these prescriptions. Often there is almost nonexistent follow-up treatment. This is of special concern because there is evidence pointing to the fact that most patients experience side effects when they are either going on or off of these drugs. If these patients are not being adequately supervised by physicians then potential problems will be missed.
Another trend of the pharmaceutical industry is to move away from the severe conditions that only affect a very small portion of people. It's much more profitable to hit a larger market base with people with lesser conditions. For example, many of the big named drugs from recent years are not really about serious disorders. They are more about lifestyle issues: Viagra, Cialis, Lipitor, and the antidepressants.
One problem the drug companies had to overcome was the fact that they can't advertise for diagnoses that aren't FDA prescribed. So, there has been a huge expansion of diagnoses over the last 60 years. In the 1950s there were 50-60 diagnoses recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The most recent count came in at over 300.
One example of a relatively new diagnosis is "Adjustment Disorder." This disorder is defined as essentially having a difficult time adjusting to a major life change. There also are categories such as "phase of life problem" and "sibling relational problem." Admittedly, these can be very painful issues. They are not mental illnesses, however.
The American leaning is to be uncomfortable with unhappy feelings and get rid of them as quickly as possible. Interestingly, our obsession with happiness is somewhat recent. It was not until the 1960s and 1970s that happiness became a human goal. If you make happiness your primary goal you will be disappointed in the long term. Happiness is better pursued as a byproduct and not a primary goal.
There are a lot of very simple, effective approaches to depression and anxiety that can work very well either alone or in conjunction with medications. They are not marketed like the medications, however, so they don't make money. We are learning new information about how our brains work every day, yet there is more we do not understand.
There is a new book called Comfortably Numb written by Charles Barber. The subject of the book is the complex and frightening relationship between Americans and the pharmaceutical industry - particularly antidepressants. Working in the mental health field with homeless shelters, Mr. Barber brings an insightful perspective to this issue.
(Emphasis by Justice Lover)
ON SOME ADDED HORRIFYING NEW DANGERS OF PSYCHIATRY IN THE SERVICE OF THE RULERS
by Justice Lover
As if the past and present practices of coercive psychiatry are not inhuman enough there are now new terrorist (and secretive, of course) methods of control, torture and murder by new technologies which have been developed by scientists at the service and on the order of the rulers. Those secret technologies would make psychiatry infinitely more dangerous to humanity !
The following article highlights some of those horrific dangers.
On the Need for New Criteria of Diagnosis of Psychosis in the Light of Mind Invasive Technology
by Carole Smith
Global Research, October 18, 2007
Journal of Psycho-Social Studies, 2003.
"We have failed to comprehend that the result of the technology that originated in the years of the arms race between the Soviet Union and the West, has resulted in using satellite technology not only for surveillance and communication systems but also to lock on to human beings, manipulating brain frequencies by directing laser beams, neural-particle beams, electro-magnetic radiation, sonar waves, radiofrequency radiation (RFR), soliton waves, torsion fields and by use of these or other energy fields which form the areas of study for astro-physics. Since the operations are characterised by secrecy, it seems inevitable that the methods that we do know about, that is, the exploitation of the ionosphere, our natural shield, are already outdated as we begin to grasp the implications of their use." [Excerpt]
For those of us who were trained in a psychoanalytical approach to the patient which was characterised as patient centred, and which acknowledged that the effort to understand the world of the other person entailed an awareness that the treatment was essentially one of mutuality and trust, the American Psychiatry Association's Diagnostic Criteria for Schizotypal personality was always a cause for alarm.
The Third Edition (1987) of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) required that there be at least four of the characteristics set out for a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and an approved selection of four could be: magical thinking, telepathy or sixth sense; limited social contact; odd speech; and over-sensitivity to criticism. By 1994, the required number of qualifying characteristics were reduced to two or more, including, say, hallucinations and 'negative ' symptoms such as affective flattening, or disorganised or incoherent speech or only one if the delusions were bizarre or the hallucination consisted of a voice keeping up a running commentary on the person's behaviour or thoughts. The next edition of the DSM is not due until the year 2010.
In place of a process of a labelling which brought alienation and often detention, sectioning, and mind altering anti-psychotic medication, many psychoanalysts and psychotherapists felt that even in severe cases of schizoid withdrawal we were not necessarily wasting our time in attempting to restore health by the difficult work of unravelling experiences in order to make sense of an illness. In this way, psychoanalysis has been, in its most radical form, a critic of a society, which failed to exercise imaginative empathy when passing judgement on people.
The work of Harry Stack Sullivan, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, Harold Searles or R.D. Laing - all trained as psychiatrists and all of them rebels against the standard procedures provided a way of working with people very different from the psychiatric model, which seemed to encourage a society to repress its sickness by making a clearly split off group the carriers of it. A psychiatrist in a mental hospital once joked to me, with some truth, when I commented on the number of carrier bags carried by many of the medicated patients around the hospital grounds, that they assessed the progress of the patient in terms of the reduction of the number of carrier bags. It is too often difficult to believe, however, when hearing the history of a life, that the "schizophrenic" was not suffering the effects of having been made, consciously and unconsciously, the carefully concealed carrier of the ills of the family.
For someone who felt his mind was going to pieces, to be put into the stressful situation of the psychiatric examination, even when the psychiatrist acquitted himself with kindness, the situation of the assessment procedure itself, can be 'an effective way to drive someone crazy, or more crazy.' (Laing, 1985, p 17). But if the accounting of bizarre experiences more or less guaranteed you a new label or a trip to the psychiatric ward, there is even more reason for a new group of people to be outraged about how their symptoms are being diagnosed. A doubly cruel sentence is being imposed on people who are the victims of the most appalling abuse by scientific-military experiments, and a totally uncomprehending society is indifferent to their evidence. For the development of a new class of weaponry now has the capability of entering the brain and mind and body of another person by technological means.
Harnessing neuroscience to military capability, this technology is the result of decades of research and experimentation, most particularly in the Soviet Union and the United States. (Welsh, 1997, 2000) We have failed to comprehend that the result of the technology that originated in the years of the arms race between the Soviet Union and the West, has resulted in using satellite technology not only for surveillance and communication systems but also to lock on to human beings, manipulating brain frequencies by directing laser beams, neural-particle beams, electro-magnetic radiation, sonar waves, radiofrequency radiation (RFR), soliton waves, torsion fields and by use of these or other energy fields which form the areas of study for astro-physics. Since the operations are characterised by secrecy, it seems inevitable that the methods that we do know about, that is, the exploitation of the ionosphere, our natural shield, are already outdated as we begin to grasp the implications of their use. The patents deriving from Bernard J. Eastlund's work provide the ability to put unprecedented amounts of power in the Earth's atmosphere at strategic locations and to maintain the power injection level, particularly if random pulsing is employed, in a manner far more precise and better controlled than accomplished by the prior art, the detonation of nuclear devices at various yields and various altitudes. (ref High Frequency Active Auroral Research Project, HAARP).
Some patents, now owned by Raytheon, describe how to make "nuclear sized explosions without radiation" and describe power beam systems, electromagnetic pulses and over-the-horizon detection systems. A more disturbing use is the system developed for manipulating and disturbing the human mental process using pulsed radio frequency radiation (RFR), and their use as a device for causing negative effects on human health and thinking. The victim, the innocent civilian target is locked on to, and unable to evade the menace by moving around. The beam is administered from space. The Haarp facility as military technology could be used to broadcast global mind-control, as a system for manipulating and disturbing the human mental process using pulsed radio frequency (RFR). The super-powerful radio waves are beamed to the ionosphere, heating those areas, thereby lifting them. The electromagnetic waves bounce back to the earth and penetrate human tissue.
Dr Igor Smirnov, of the Institute of Psycho-Correction in Moscow, says: "It is easily conceivable that some Russian 'Satan', or let's say Iranian or any other 'Satan', as long as he owns the appropriate means and finances, can inject himself into every conceivable computer network, into every conceivable radio or television broadcast, with relative technological ease, even without disconnecting cables and intercept the radio waves in the ether and modulate every conceivable suggestion into it. This is why such technology is rightfully feared."(German TV documentary, 1998).
If we were concerned before about diagnostic criteria being imposed according to the classification of recognizable symptoms, we have reason now to submit them to even harsher scrutiny. The development over the last decades since the Cold War arms race has included as a major strategic category, psycho-electronic weaponry, the ultimate aim of which is to enter the brain and mind. Unannounced, undebated and largely unacknowledged by scientists or by the governments who employ them technology to enter and control minds from a distance has been unleashed upon us. The only witnesses who are speaking about this terrible technology with its appalling implications for the future, are the victims themselves and those who are given the task of diagnosing mental illness are attempting to silence them by classifying their evidence and accounts as the symptoms of schizophrenia, while the dispensers of psychic mutilation and programmed pain continue with their work, aided and unopposed.
If it was always crucial, under the threat of psychiatric sectioning, to carefully screen out any sign of confused speech, negativity, coldness, suspicion, bizarre thoughts, sixth sense, telepathy, premonitions, but above all the sense that "others can feel my feelings, and that someone seemed to be keeping up a running commentary on your thoughts and behaviour," then reporting these to a psychiatrist, or anyone else for that matter who was not of a mind to believe that such things as mind-control could exist, would be the end of your claim to sanity and probably your freedom. For one of the salient characteristics of mind-control is the running commentary, which replicates so exactly, and surely not without design, the symptoms of schizophrenia. Part of the effort is to remind the victim that they are constantly under control or surveillance. Programmes vary, but common forms of reminders are electronic prods and nudges, body noises, twinges and cramps to all parts of the body, increasing heart beats, applying pressures to internal organs all with a personally codified system of comments on thoughts and events, designed to create stress, panic and desperation. This is mind control at its most benign. There is reason to fear the use of beamed energy to deliver lethal assaults on humans, including cardiac arrest, and bleeding in the brain.
It is the government system of secrecy, which has facilitated this appalling prospect. There have been warning voices. " the government secrecy system as a whole is among the most poisonous legacies of the Cold War the Cold War secrecy (which) also mandate(s) Active Deception a security manual for special access programs authorizing contractors to employ 'cover stories to disguise their activities. The only condition is that cover stories must be believable." (Aftergood & Rosenberg, 1994; Bulletin of Atomic Scientist). Paranoia has been aided and abetted by government intelligence agencies.
In the United Kingdom the fortifications against any disturbing glimmer of awareness of such actual or potential outrages against human rights and social and political abuses seem to be cast in concrete. Complete with crenellations, ramparts and parapets, the stronghold of nescience reigns supreme. To borrow Her Majesty the Queen's recent observation: "There are forces at work of which we are not aware." One cannot say that there is no British Intelligence on the matter, as it is quite unfeasible that the existence of the technology is not classified information. Indeed it is a widely held belief that the women protesting against the presence of cruise missiles at Greenham Common were victims of electro-magnetic radiation at gigahertz frequency by directed energy weapons, and that their symptoms, including cancer, were consistent with such radiation effects as reported by Dr Robert Becker who has been a constantly warning voice against the perils of electro-magnetic radiation. The work of Allen Frey suggests that we should consider radiation effects as a grave hazard producing increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier, and weakening crucial defenses of the central nervous system against toxins. (Becker, 1985, p. 286).
Dr Becker has written about nuclear magnetic resonance as a familiar tool in medecine known as magnetic resonance imaging or MRI. Calcium efflux is the result of cyclotronic resonance which latter can be explained thus: If a charged particle or ion is exposed to a steady magnetic field in space, it will begin to go into a circular or orbital, motion at right angles to the applied magnetic field.The speed with which it orbits will be determined by the ratio between the charge and the mass of the particle and by the strength of the magnetic field. (Becker, 1990,p.235) The implications of this for wide scale aggression by using a combination of radar based energy and the use of nuclear resonating are beyond the scope of the writer, but appear to be worth the very serious consideration of physicists in assessing how they might be used against human beings.
Amongst medical circles, however, it has so far not been possible for the writer to find a neuroscientist, neurologist or a psychiatrist, nor for that matter, a general medical practitioner, who acknowledges even the potential for technological manipulation of the nervous system as a problem requiring their professional interest. There has been exactly this response from some of England's most eminent practitioners of the legal profession, not surprisingly, because the information about such technology is not made available to them. They would refer anyone attempting to communicate mind- harassment as a psychiatric problem, ignoring the crime that is being committed.
The aim here is not to attempt a comprehensive history and development of the technology of mind control. These very considerable tasks - which have to be done under circumstances of the most extreme difficulty - have been addressed with clarity and courage by others, who live with constant harm and threats, not least of all contemptuous labelling. Their work can be readily accessed on the internet references given at the end of this paper. For a well-researched outline of the historical development of electro-magnetic technology the reader should refer to the timeline of dates and electromagnetic weapon development by Cheryl Welsh, president of Citizens against Human Rights Abuse. (Welsh 1997; 2001). There are at least one and a half thousand people worldwide who state they are being targeted. Mojmir Babacek, now domiciled in his native Czech Republic, after eight years of residence in the United States in the eighties, has made a painstakingly meticulous review of the technology, and continues his research. (Babacek 1998, 2002)
We are concerned here with reinforcing in the strongest possible terms:
i) The need for such abuses to human rights and the threats to democracy to be called to consciousness, and without further delay.
ii) To analyse the reasons why people might defend themselves from becoming conscious of the existence of such threats.
iii) To address the urgent need for intelligence, imagination, and information - not to mention compassion - in dealing with the victims of persecution from this technology, and
iv) To alert a sleeping society, to the imminent threats to their freedom from the threat from fascist and covert operations who have in all probability gained control of potentially lethal weaponry of the type we are describing.
It is necessary to emphasise that at present there is not even the means for victims to gain medical attention for the effects of radiation from this targeting. Denied the respect of credulity of being used as human guinea pigs, driven to suicide by the breakdown of their lives, they are treated as insane at best regarded as 'sad cases'. Since the presence of a permanent 'other' in one's mind and body is by definition an act of the most intolerable cruelty, people who are forced to bear it but who refuse to be broken by it, have no other option than to turn themselves into activists, their lives consumed by the battle against such atrocities, their energies directed to alerting and informing the public of things they don't want to hear or understand about evil forces at work in their society.
It is necessary, at this point, to briefly outline a few one might say the precious few attempts by public servants to verify the existence and dangers inherent in this field:
- In January 1998, an annual public meeting of the French National Bioethics Committee was held in Paris. Its chairman, Jean-Pierre Changeux, a neuroscientist at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, told the meeting that "advances in cerebral imaging make the scope for invasion of privacy immense. Although the equipment needed is still highly specialized, it will become commonplace and capable of being used at a distance. That will open the way for abuses such as invasion of personal liberty, control of behaviour and brainwashing. These are far from being science-fiction concerns and constitute "a serious risk to society." ("Nature." Vol 391, 1998).
- In January 1999, the European Parliament passed a resolution where it calls " for an international convention introducing a global ban on all development and deployment of weapons which might enable any form of manipulation of human beings. It is our conviction that this ban can not be implemented without the global pressure of the informed general public on the governments. Our major objective is to get across to the general public the real threat which these weapons represent for human rights and democracy and to apply pressure on the governments and parliaments around the world to enact legislature which would prohibit the use of these devices to both government and private organisations as well as individuals." (Plenary sessions/Europarliament, 1999)
- In October 2001, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich introduced a bill to the House of Representatives which, it was hoped would be extremely important in the fight to expose and stop psycho-electronic mind control experimentation on involuntary, non-consensual citizens. The Bill was referred to the Committee on Science, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services and International Relations. In the original bill a ban was sought on 'exotic weapons' including electronic, psychotronic or information weapons, chemtrails, particle beams, plasmas, electromagnetic radiation, extremely low frequency (ELF) or ultra low frequency (ULF) energy radiation, or mind control technologies. Despite the inclusion of a prohibition of the basing of weapons in space, and the use of weapons to destroy objects or damage objects in space, there is no mention in the revised bill of any of the aforementioned mind-invasive weaponry, nor of the use of satellite or radar or other energy based technology for deploying or developing technology designed for deployment against the minds of human beings. (Space Preservation Act, 2002)
In reviewing the development of the art of mind-invasive technology there are a few outstanding achievements to note:
In 1969 Dr Jose Delgado, a Yale psychologist, published a book: "Physical Control of the Mind: Towards a Psychocivilized Society". In essence, he displayed in practical demonstrations how, by means of electrical stimulation of the brain which had been mapped out in its relations between different points and activities, functions and sensations, - by means of electrical stimulation, how the rhythm of breathing and heartbeat could be changed, as well as the function of most of the viscera, and gall bladder secretion. Frowning, opening and closing of eyes and mouth, chewing, yawning, sleep, dizziness, epileptic seizures in healthy persons were induced. The intensity of feelings could be controlled by turning the knob, which controlled the intensity of the electric current. He states at the end of his book the hope that the new power will remain limited to scientists or some charitable elite for the benefit of a "psychocivilized society."
In the 1980's the neuromagnetometer was developed which functions as an antenna and could monitor the patterns emerging from the brain. (In the seventies the scientists had discovered that electromagnetic pulses enabled the brain to be stimulated through the skull and other tissues, so there was no more need to implant electrodes in the brain). The antenna, combined with the computer, could localize the points in the brain where the brain events occur. The whole product is called the magnetoencephalograph.
In January 2000 the Lockheed Martin neuroengineer Dr John D. Norseen, was quoted (US News and World Report, 2000) as hoping to turn the electrohypnomentalaphone, a mind reading machine, into science fact. Dr Norseen, a former Navy pilot, claims his interest in the brain stemmed from reading a Soviet book in the 1980's claiming that research on the mind would revolutionize the military and society at large. By a process of deciphering the brain's electrical activity, electromagnetic pulsations would trigger the release of the brain's own transmitters to fight off disease, enhance learning, or alter the mind's visual images, creating a 'synthetic reality'. By this process of BioFusion, (Lockheed Martin, 2000) information is placed in a database, and a composite model of the brain is created. By viewing a brain scan recorded by (functional) magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, scientists can tell what the person was doing at the time of recording say reading or writing, or recognise emotions from love to hate. "If this research pans out", says Norseen, "you can begin to manipulate what someone is thinking even before they know it." But Norseen says he is 'agnostic' on the moral ramifications, that he's not a mad scientist just a dedicated one. "The ethics don't concern me," he says, "but they should concern someone else."
The next big thing looks like being something which we might refer to as a neurocomputer but it need not resemble a laptop it may be reducible to whatever size is convenient for use, such as a small mobile phone. Arising from a break-through and exploitation of PSI-phenomena, it may be modelled on the nervous-psychic activity of the brain that is, as an unbalanced, unstable system of neurotransmitters and interacting neurones, the work having been derived from the creation of a copy of a living brain accessed by chance, and ESP and worked on by design.
On receiving a communication from the writer on the feasibility of a machine being on the horizon which, based on the project of collecting electromagnetic waves emanating from the brain and transmitting them into another brain that would read a person's thoughts, or using the same procedure in order to impose somebody else's thoughts on another brain and in this way direct his actions there was an unequivocal answer from IBM at executive level that there was no existing technology to create such a computer in the foreseeable future. This is at some variance with the locating of a patent numbered 03951134 on the Internet pages of IBM Intellectual Property Network for a device, described in the patent, as capable of picking up at a distance the brain waves of a person, process them by computer and emit correcting waves which will change the original brain waves. Similar letters addressed to each of the four top executives of Apple Inc., in four individual letters marked for their personal attention, produced absolutely no response. This included the ex- Vice President of the United States, Mr Al Gore, newly elected to the Board of Directors of Apple.
Enough people have been sufficiently concerned by the reports of victims of mind control abuse to organise The Geneva Forum, in 2002, held as a joint initiative of the Quaker United Nations Office, Geneva; the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research; the International Committee of the Red cross, and the Human Rights Watch (USA), and Citizens against Human Rights Abuses (CAHRA); and the Programme for Strategic and International Security Studies, which was represented by the Professor and Senior Lecturer from the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford.
In England, on May 25, 1995, the Guardian newspaper in the U.K. carried an article based on a report by Nic Lewer, the peace researcher from Bradford University, which listed "more than 30 different lines of research into 'new age weapons' "some of the research sounds even less rational. There are, according to Lewer, plans for 'pulsed microwave beams' to destroy enemy electronics, and separate plans for very-low-frequency sound beams to induce vomiting, bowel spasm, epileptic seizures and also crumble masonry." Further, the article states, "There are plans for 'mind control' with the use of 'psycho-correction messages' transmitted by subliminal audio and visual stimuli. There is also a plan for 'psychotronic weapons' apparently the projection of consciousness to other locations and another to use holographic projection to disseminate propaganda and misinformation." (Welsh, Timeline). Apart from this notable exception it is difficult to locate any public statement of the problem in the United Kingdom.
Unfortunately, the problem of credulity does not necessarily cease with frequent mention, as in the United States, in spite of the number of reported cases, there is still not sufficient public will to make strenuous protest against what is not only already happening, but against what will develop if left unchecked. It appears that the administration believes that it is necessary and justifiable, in the interests of national security, to make experimental human sacrifices, to have regrettable casualties, for there to be collateral damage, to suffer losses in place of strife or war. This is, of course, totally incompatible with any claims to be a democratic nation which respects the values of human life and democracy, and such an administration which tutors its servants in the ways of such barbaric tortures must be completely condemned as uncivilised and hypocritical.
Disbelief as a Defence Mechanism
In the face of widespread disbelief about mind-control, it seems worth analysing the basis of the mechanisms employed to maintain disbelief:
i) In the sixties, Soviet dissidents received a significant measure of sympathy and indignant protest from western democracies on account of their treatment, most notedly the abuse of psychiatric methods of torture to which they were subjected. It is noteworthy that we seem to be able to access credulity, express feelings of indignant support when we can identify with victims, who share and support our own value system, and who, in this particular historical case, reinforced our own values, since they were protesting against a political system which also threatened us at that time. Psychologically, it is equally important to observe that support from a safe distance, and the benefits to the psyche of attacking a split-off 'bad father', the soviet authorities in this case, presents no threat to one's internal system; indeed it relieves internal pressures. On the other hand, recognizing and denouncing a similar offence makes very much greater psychic demands of us when it brings us into conflict with our own environment, our own security, our own reality. The defence against disillusion serves to suppress paranoia that our father figure, the president, the prime minister, our governments - might not be what they would like to be seen to be.
ii) The need to deposit destructive envy and bad feelings elsewhere, on account of the inability of the ego to acknowledge ownership of them - reinforces the usefulness of persons or groups, which will serve to contain those, disowned, projected feelings which arouse paranoid anxieties. The concepts of mind-invasion strike at the very heart of paranoid anxiety, causing considerable efforts to dislodge them from the psyche. The unconscious identification of madness with dirt or excrement is an important aspect of anal aggression, triggering projective identification as a defence.
iii) To lay oneself open to believing that a person is undergoing the experience of being invaded mentally and physically by an unseen manipulator requires very great efforts in the self to manage dread.
iv) The defence against the unknown finds expression in the split between theory and practice; between the scientist as innovator and the society who can make the moral decisions about his inventions; between fact and science fiction, the latter of which can present preposterous challenges to the imagination without undue threat, because it serves to reinforce a separation from the real.
v) Identification with the aggressor. Sadistic fantasies, unconscious and conscious, being transferred on to the aggressor and identified with, aid the repression of fear of passivity, or a dread of punishment. This mechanism acts to deny credulity to the victim who represents weakness. This is a common feature of satanic sects.
vi) The liberal humanist tradition which denies the worst destructive capacities of man in the effort to sustain the belief in the great continuity of cultural and scientific tradition; the fear, in one's own past development, of not being 'ongoing', can produce the psychic effect of reversal into the opposite to shield against aggressive feelings. This becomes then the exaggerated celebration of the 'new' as the affirmation of human genius which will ultimately be for the good of mankind, and which opposes warning voices about scientific advances as being pessimistic, unenlightened, unprogressive and Luddite. Strict adherence to this liberal position can act as overcompensation for a fear of envious spoiling of good possessions, i.e. cultural and intellectual goods.
vii) Denial by displacement is also employed to ignore the harmful aspects of technology. What may be harmful for the freedom and good of society can be masked and concealed by the distribution of new and entertaining novelties. The technology, which puts a camera down your gut for medical purposes, is also used to limit your freedom by surveillance. The purveyors of innovative technology come up with all sorts of new gadgets, which divert, entertain and feed the acquisitive needs of insatiable shoppers, and bolster the economy. The theme of "Everything's up to date in Kansas City" only takes on a downside when individual experience exploding breast implants, say takes the gilt off the gingerbread. Out of every innovation for evil (i.e. designed for harming and destroying) some 'good' (i.e. public diversion or entertainment) can be promoted for profit or crowd-pleasing.
viii) Nasa is sending a spacecraft to Mars, or so we are told. They plan to trundle across the Martian surface searching for signs of water and life. We do not hear dissenting voices about its feasibility.
Why is it that, when a person accounts that their mind is being disrupted and they are being persecuted by an unseen method of invasive technology, that we cannot bring ourselves to believe them? Could it be that the horror involved in the empathic identification required brings the shutters down? Conversely, the shared experience of the blasting of objects into space brings with it the possibilities of shared potency or the relief that resonates in the unconscious of a massive projection or evacuation a shared experience which is blessed in the name of man's scientific genius.
ix) The desire 'not to be taken in', not to be taken for a fool, provides one of the most powerful and common defence mechanism against credulity.
Power, Paranoia and Unhealthy Governments
The ability to be the bearer and container of great power without succumbing to the pressures of latent narcissistic psychoses is an important matter too little considered. The effect of holding power and the expectation and the need to be seen as capable of sustaining it, if not exercising it, encourages omnipotence of thought. In the wake of this, a narcissistic overevaluation of the subject's own mental processes may set in. In the effort to hold himself together as the possessor, container and executor of power, he (or indeed, she) may also, undergo a process of splitting which allows him, along with others, to bear enthralled witness of himself in this illustrious role. This may mean that the seat of authority is vacated, at least at times. The splitting process between the experiencing ego and the perceiving ego allows the powerful leader to alternate his perception of himself inside and outside, sometimes beside, himself. With the reinforcement of himself from others as his own narcissistic object, reality testing is constrained. In this last respect, he has much in common with the other powerful figure of the age, the movie star. or by those, in Freud's words, who are "ruined by success."
In a world, which is facing increasing disillusion about the gulf between the public platforms on which governments are elected, and the contingencies and pragmatics of retaining defence strategies and economic investments, the role of military and intelligence departments, with their respective tools of domination and covert infiltration, is increasingly alarming. Unaccountable to the public, protected from exposure and prosecution by their immunity, licensed to lie as well as to kill, it is in the hands of these agents that very grave threats to human rights and freedom lies. Empowered to carry out aggression through classified weapon experimentation which is undetectable, these men and women are also open to corruption from lucrative offers of financial reward from powerful and sinister groups who can utilize their skills, privileged knowledge and expertise for frankly criminal and fascist purposes.
Our information about the psychological profiles of those who are employed to practice surveillance on others is limited, but it is not difficult to imagine the effects on the personality that would ensue with the persistent practice of such an occupation, so constantly exposed to the perversions. One gains little snatches of insight here and there. In his book on CIA mind control research (Marks, 1988), John Marks quotes a CIA colleague's joke (always revealing for personality characteristics): "If you could find the natural radio frequency of a person's sphincter, you could make him run out of the room real fast." (One wonders if the same amusement is derived from the ability to apply, say infra-sound above 130 decibels, which is said to cause stoppage of the heart, according to one victim/activist from his readings of a report for the Russian Parliament.)
Left to themselves, these servants of the state may well feel exempt from the process of moral self-scrutiny, but the work must be dehumanising for the predator as well as the prey. It is probably true that the need to control their agents in the field was an incentive to develop the methods in use today. It is also an effectively brutalising training for persecuting others. Meanwhile the object, the prey, in a bid for not only for survival but also in a desperate effort to warn his or her fellows about what is going on, attempts to turn himself into a quantum physicist, a political researcher, a legal sleuth, an activist, a neurologist, a psychologist, a physiologist his own doctor, since he cannot know what effects this freakish treatment might have on his body, let alone his mind. There are always new methods to try out which might prove useful in the search to find ways of disabling and destroying opponents air injected into brains and lungs, lasers to strike down or blind, particle beams, sonar waves, or whatever combination of energies to direct, or destabilise or control.
Science and Scepticism
Scientists can be bought, not just by governments, but also by sinister and secret societies. Universities can be funded by governments to develop technology for unacceptably inhumane uses. The same people who deliver the weapons - perhaps respected scientists and academics - may cite the acceptable side of scientific discoveries, which have been developed by experimenting on unacknowledged, unfortunate people. In a cleaned up form, they are then possibly celebrated as a break-through in the understanding of the natural laws of the universe. It is not implausible that having delivered the technical means for destruction, the innovator and thinker goes on, wearing a different hat, to receive his (or her) Nobel Prize. There are scientists who have refused to continue to do work when they were approached by CIA and Soviet representatives. These are the real heroes of science.
In the power struggle, much lies at stake in being the first to gain control of ultimate mind-reading and mind-controlling technology. Like the nuclear bomb, common ownership would seem by any sane calculations to cancel out the advantage of possession, but there is always a race to be the first to possess the latest ultimate means of mass destruction. The most desirable form is one that can be directed at others without contaminating oneself in the process - one that can be undetected and neatly, economically and strategically delivered. We should be foolish to rule out secret organisations, seeing threat only from undemocratic countries and known terrorist groups.
As consumers in a world which is increasingly one in which shopping is the main leisure activity, we should concern ourselves to becoming alert to the ways in which human welfare may have been sacrificed to produce an awesome new gadget. It may be the cause for celebration for the 'innovator', but brought about as the result of plugging in or dialling up the living neuronal processes of an enforced experimentee. If we are concerned not to eat boiled eggs laid by battery hens, we might not regard it morally irrelevant to scrutinise the large corporations producing electronically innovative 'software.' We might also be wary about the origins of the sort of bland enticements of dating agencies who propose finding your ideal partner by matching up brain frequencies and 'bio-rhythms'.
We do not know enough about the background of such technology, nor how to evaluate it ethically. We do not know about its effects on the future, because we are not properly informed. If governments persist in concealing the extent of their weapon capability in the interests of defence, they are also leaving their citizens disempowered of the right to protest against their deployment. More alarmingly, they are leaving their citizens exposed to their deployment by ruthless organisations whose concerns are exactly the opposite of democracy and human rights.
Back in the United Kingdom
Meanwhile, back in England, the Director of the Oxford Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Professor Colin Blakemore, also the elective Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council writes to the author that he "... knows of no technology (not even in the wildest speculations of neuroscientists) for scanning and collecting 'neuronal data' at a distance." (Blakemore, 2003, ) This certitude is at distinct variance with the fears of other scientists in Russia and the United States, and not least of all with the fears of the French neuroscientist, Jean-Pierre Changeux of the French National Bioethics Committee already quoted (see page 5). It is also very much at odds with the writing of Dr Michael Persinger from the Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. His article "On the Possibility of Directly Accessing Every Human Brain by Electromagnetic Induction of Algorithms" (1995), he describes the ways that individual differences among human brains can be overcome and comes to a conclusion about the technological possibilities of influencing a major part of the approximately six billion people on this planet without mediation through classical sensory modalities but by generating electromagnetic induction of fundamental algorithms in the atmosphere. Dr Persinger's work is referred to by Captain John Tyler whose work for the American Air Force and Aerospace programmes likens the human nervous system to a radio receiver. (1990)
Very recently the leading weekly cultural BBC radio review had as one of its guests, the eminent astro-physicist and astronomer royal, Sir Martin Rees, who has recently published a book, "Our Final Century", in which he makes a sober and reasoned case for the fifty-fifty chance that millions of people, probably in a 'third-world country' could be wiped out in the near future through biotechnology and bio-terrorism "by error or malign release." He spoke of this devastation as possibly coming from small groups or cults, based in the United States. " few individuals with the right technology to cause absolute mayhem." He also said that in this century, human nature is no longer a fixed commodity, that perhaps we should contemplate the possibility that humans would even have implants in the brain.
The other guests on this programme were both concerned with Shakespeare, one a theatre producer and the other a writer on Shakespeare, while his remaining guest was a young woman who had a website called "Spiked", the current theme of which was Panic Attack, that is to say, Attack on Panic. This guest vigorously opposed what she felt was the pessimism of Sir Martin, regarding his ideas as essentially eroding trust, and inducing panic. This reaction seems to typify one way of dealing with threat and anxiety, and demonstrates the difficulty that a warning voice, even from a man of the academic distinction of Martin Rees, has in alerting people to that which they do not want to hear. This flight reaction was reinforced by the presenter who summed up the morning's discussion at the end of the programme with the words: "We have a moral! Less panic, more Shakespeare!"
The New Barbarism
Since access to a mind-reading machine will enable the operator to access the ideas of another person, we should prepare ourselves for a new world order in which ideas will be, as it were, up for grabs. We need not doubt that the contents of another's mind will be scooped up, scooped out, sorted through as if the event was a jumble sale. The legal profession would therefore be well advised to consider the laws on Intellectual Property very judiciously in order to acquit themselves with any degree of authenticity. We should accustom ourselves to the prospect of recognizing our work coming out of the mouth of another. The prospect of wide-scale fraud, and someone posturing in your stolen clothes will not be a pretty sight. The term "personal mind enhancement" is slipping in through the back door, to borrow a term used by the Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and it is being done through technologically-induced mental co-ercion mind raping and looting. In place of, or in addition to, cocaine, we may expect to see 'mind-enhanced' performances on "live" television.
The brave new science of neuropsychiatry and brain mapping hopes to find very soon, with the fMRI scanner - this "brand new toy that scientists have got their hands on" - "the blob for love" and "the blob for guilt", (BBC Radio 4: All in the Mind, 5 March, 2003). Soon we will be able to order a brain scan for anyone whose behaviour strikes us as odd or bizarre, and the vicissitudes of a life need no longer trouble us in our diagnostic assessments. In his recent Reith Lectures for the BBC (2003), Professor Ramachandran, the celebrated neuroscientist from the La Hoya Institute in San Diego, California, has demonstrated for us many fascinating things that the brain can do. He has talked to us about personality disorders and shown that some patients, who have suffered brain damage from head injury, do not have the capacity to recognise their mothers. Others feel that they are dead. And indeed he has found brain lesions in these people. In what seems to be an enormous but effortless leap, the self-styled "kid in a candy store" is now hoping to prove that all schizophrenics, have damage to the right hemisphere of the brain, which results in the inability to distinguish between fantasy (sic) and reality. Since Professor Ramachandran speaks of schizophrenia in the same breath as denial of illness, or agnosia, it is not clear, and it would be interesting to know, whether the person with the head injury has been aware or unaware of the head injury. Also does the patient derive comfort and a better chance at reality testing when he is told of the lesion? Does he feel better when he has received the diagnosis? And what should the psychoanalysts and the psychiatrists, - feel about all those years of treating people of whose head injuries they were absolutely unaware? Was this gross negligence? Were we absolutely deluded in perceiving recovery in a sizeable number of them?
It is, however, lamentable that a neuroscientist with a professed interest in understanding schizophrenia should seek to provide light relief to his audience by making jokes about schizophrenics being people who are "convinced that the CIA has implanted devices in their brain to control their thoughts and actions, or that aliens are controlling them." (Reith Lecture, No 5, 2003).
There is a new desire for concretisation. The search for meaning has been replaced by the need for hard proof. If it doesn't light up or add up it doesn't have validity. The physician of the mind has become a surgeon. "He found a lump as big as a grapefruit!"
Facing up to the Dread and Fear of the Uncanny
Freud believed that an exploration of the uncanny would be a major direction of exploration of the mind in this century. The fear of the uncanny has been with us for a very long time. The evil eye, or the terrifying double, or intruder, is a familiar theme in literature, notably of Joseph Conrad in The Secret Sharer, and Maupassant's short story, Le Horla. Freud's analysis of the uncanny led him back to the old animistic conception of the universe: " it seems as if each one of us has been through a phase of individual development corresponding to the animistic phase in primitive men, that none of us has passed through it without preserving certain residues and traces of it which are still capable of manifesting themselves, and that everything which now strikes us as 'uncanny' fulfils the condition of touching those residues of animistic mental activity within us and bringing them to expression." (Freud: 1919. p.362)
The separation of birth, and the childhood fear of 'spooks in the night', also leave their traces in each and every one of us. The individual experience of being alone in one's mind the solitary fate of man which has never been questioned before, and upon which the whole history of civilised nurture is based - is now assaulted head-on. Since growing up is largely synonymous with acceptance of one's aloneness, the effort to assuage it is the basis for compassion and protection of others; it is the matrix for the greatest good, that of ordinary human kindness, and is at the heart of the communicating power of great art. Even if we must all live and die alone, we can at least share this knowledge in acts of tenderness which atone for our lonely state. In times of loss and mental breakdown, the starkness of this aloneness is all too clear. The best of social and group constructiveness is an effort to allay the psychotic anxieties that lie at the base of every one of us, and which may be provoked under extreme enough conditions.
The calculated and technological entry into another person's mind is an act of monumental barbarism which obliterates perhaps with the twiddling of a dial the history and civilisation of man's mental development. It is more than an abuse of human rights, it is the destruction of meaning. For any one who is forced into the hell of living with an unseen mental rapist, the effort to stay sane is beyond the scope of tolerable endurance. The imaginative capacity of the ordinary mind cannot encompass the horror of it. We have attempted to come to terms with the experiments of the Nazis in concentration camps. We now have the prospect of systematic control authorised by men who issue instructions through satellite communications for the destruction of societies while they are driving new Jaguars and Mercedes, and going to the opera.
This is essentially about humiliation, and disempowerment. It is a manifestation of rage acted out by those who fear impotence with such dread, that their whole effort is directed into the emasculation and destruction of the terrifying rival of their unconscious fantasies. In this apocalypse of the mind the punitive figure wells up as if out of the bowels of the opera stage, and this phantasmagoria is acted out on a global scale. These men may be mad enough to believe they are creating a 'psychocivilised world order". For anyone who has studied damaged children, it is more resonant of the re-enactment from the unconscious, reinforced by a life devoid of the capacity for empathic identification, of the obscenities of the abused and abusing child in the savage nursery. Other people -which were to them like Action Man toys to be dismembered, or Barbie Dolls to be obscenely defiled - become as meaningless in their humanity as pixillated dots on a screen.
Although forced entry into a mind is by definition obscene, an abbreviated assessment of the effects that mind-invaded people describe testifies to the perverted nature of the experiments. Bizarre noises are emitted from the body, a body known well enough by its owner to recognise the noises as extrinsic; air is pumped in and out of orifices as if by a bicycle pump. Gradually the repertoire is augmented - twinges and spasms to the eyes, nose, lips, strange tics, pains in the head, ringing in the ears, obstructions in the throat, pressure on the bowel and bladder causing incontinence; tingling in the fingers, feet, pressures on the heart, on breathing, dizziness, eye problems leading to cataracts; running eyes, running nose; speeding up of heart beats and the raising of pressure in the heart and chest; breathing and chest complaints leading to bronchitis and deterioration of the lungs; agonizing migraines; being woken up at night, sometimes with terrifying jolts ; insomnia; intolerable levels of stress from the loss of one's privacy. This collection of assorted symptoms is a challenge to any medical practitioner to diagnose.
There are, more seriously, if the afore-going is characterised as non-lethal, the potential lethal effects since the capability of ultrasound and infra-sound to cause cardiac arrest, and brain lesions, paralysis and blindness, as well as blinding by laser beam, or inducing asphyxia by altering the frequencies which control breathing in the brain, epileptic seizure all these and others may be at the fingertips of those who are developing them. And those who do choose to use them may be sitting with the weapon, which resembles, say, a compact mobile telephone, on the restaurant table next to the bottle of wine, or beside them at the swimming pool.
Finally if the victims at this point in the new history of this mind-control, cannot yet prove their abuse, it must be asserted that, faced with the available information about technological development it is certainly not possible for those seeking to evade such claims to disprove them. To wait until the effects become widespread will be too late.
• For these and other reasons which this paper has attempted to address, we would call for an acknowledgement of such technology at a national and international level. Politicians, scientists and neurologists, neuroscientists, physicists and the legal profession should, without further delay, demand public debate on the existence and deployment of psychotronic technology; and for the declassification of information about such devices which abuse helpless people, and threaten democratic freedom.
• Victims' accounts of abuse should be admitted to public account, and the use of psycho-electronic weapons should be made illegal and criminal,
• The medical profession should be helped to recognise the symptoms of mind-control and psychotronic abuse, and intelligence about their deployment should be declassified so that this abuse can be seen to be what it is, and not interpreted automatically as an indication of mental illness.
If, in the present confusion and insecurity about the search for evidence of weapons of mass destruction, we conclude that failure to locate them - whatever the truth of the matter encourages us to be generally complacent, then we shall be colluding with very dark forces at work if we conclude that a course of extreme vigilance signifies paranoia. For there may well be other weapons of mass destruction being developed and not so far from home; weapons which, being even more difficult to locate, are developed invisibly, unobstructed, unheeded in our midst, using human beings as test-beds. Like ESP, the methods being used on humans have not been detectable using conventional detection equipment. It is likely that the signals being used are part of a physics not known to scientists without the highest level of security clearance. To ignore the evidence of victims is to deny, perhaps with catastrophic results, the only evidence which might otherwise lead the defenders of freedom to becoming alert to the development of a fearful new methods of destruction. Manipulating terrorist groups and governments alike, these sinister and covert forces may well be very thankful for the professional derision of the victims, and for public ignorance.
Laing, R.D. (1985) : Wisdom, Madness and Folly: The Making of a Psychiatrist. Macmillan, 1985
Welsh, Cheryl (1997): Timeline of Important Dates in the History of Electromagnetic Technology and Mind Control, at:
Welsh, Cheryl (2001):Electromagnetic Weapons: As powerful as the Atomic Bomb, President Citizens Against Human Rights Abuse, CAHRA Home Page: U.S. Human Rights Abuse Report: www.dcn.davis.ca.us/~welsh/emr13.htm
Begich, Dr N. and Manning, J.: 1995 Angels Don't Play this HAARP, Advances in Tesla Technology, Earthpulse Press.
ZDF TV: "Secret Russia: Moscow The Zombies of the Red Czars", Script to be published in Resonance, No. 35
Aftergood, Steven and Rosenberg, Barbara: "The Soft Kill Fallacy", in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Sept/Oct 1994.
Becker, Dr Robert: 1985,The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life, William Morrow, N.Y.
Babacek, Mojmir: International Movement for the Ban of Manipulation of The Human Nervous System: http://mindcontrolforums.com/babacek.htm and go to: Ban of Manipulation of Human Nervous System
"Is it Feasible to Manipulate the Human Brain at a Distance?"
"Psychoelectronic Threat to Democracy"
Nature: "Advances in Neuroscience May Threaten Human Rights", Vol, 391, Jan. 22, 1998, p. 316; (ref Jean- Pierre Changeux)
Space Preservation Act: Bill H.R.2977 and HR 3616 IH in 107th Congress 2nd Session: see: www.raven1.net/govptron.htm
Sessions European Parliament:
Click at Plenary Sessions, scroll down to Reports by A4 number, click, choose 1999 and fill in oo5 to A4
Delgado, Jose M.R: 1969. "Physical Control of the Mind: Towards a Psychocivilized Society", Vol. 41, World Perspectives, Harper Row, N.Y.
US News & World Report: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics/ Dr John Norseen; Report January 3/10 2000, P.67
Freud, Sigmund: 1919: Art and Literature:" The Uncanny". Penguin,
Also "Those Wrecked by Success."
Marks, John: 1988 :The CIA and Mind Control the Search for the Manchurian Candidate, ISBN 0-440-20137-3
Persinger, M.A. "On the Possibility of Directly Accessing Every Human Brain by Electromagnetic Induction of Fundamental Algorythms"; In Perception and Motor Skills, June, 1995, vol. 80, p. 791 799
Tyler, J."Electromagnetic Spectrum in Low Intensity Conflict," in "Low Intensity Conflict and Modern Technology", ed. Lt. Col. J. Dean, USAF, Air University Press, Centre For Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education, Maxwell Air Force base, Alabama, June, 1986.
Rees, Martin Our Final Century: 2003, Heinemann.
Conrad, Joseph: The Secret Sharer, 1910. Signet Classic.
Maupassant, Guy de: Le Horla, 1886. Livre de Poche.
Carole Smith is a British psychoanalyst. In recent years she has been openly critical of government use of intrusive technology on non-consenting citizens for the development of methods of state control. Carole Smith
E-mail: [email protected]
(Emphasis by Justice lover)
June 3rd 2008
EXPOSING MORE PSYCHIATRIC CRAP AND THE LIES ON WHICH COERCIVE PSYCHIATRY IS FOUNDED
by Justice Lover
The following article was first published by Asylum, "the magazine for democratic psychiatry". It is necessary, of course, to abolish the schizophrenia label, but not enough. Psychiatry must be absolutely and immediately outlawed before it inflicts more numerous deaths and suffering on innocent people. Psychiatry, with its alliance with Big Pharma, and with its barbaric history, cannot and never will be democratic.
It must be outlawed now as a dangerous terrorist and fascist quackery !
The Campaign for Abolition of the Schizophrenia Label
Paul Hammersley and Terence McLaughlin
(This and the previous post are excerpts from the 2 June, 2008, issue of Peter Myers' newsletter, [email protected])
The idea that schizophrenia can be viewed as a specific, genetically determined, biologically driven, brain disease has been based on bad science and social control since its inception. If the scientific argument against `schizophrenia' is judged to be won, it remains to take the evidence to the people, to explain and develop the alternatives in the full light of day. This is why the campaign is led by Asylum, the magazine for democratic psychiatry, psychology, education and community development. We believe the time is fully ripe for a paradigm shift across the field of mental distress and that the alternative knowledges and resources are now in place to mobilise for change. No more will we view the scandal where intelligent persons are expected to accept discredited diagnoses for fear of being labelled as `lacking in insight' and having treatment forced on them.
Read (2004) lists a fundamental dissatisfaction with the concept of schizophrenia as an illness that can be traced back over 80 years. More recently Bentall (1990, 2003), and Boyle (1990) have published elegant, well researched arguments clearly demonstrating that the concept of schizophrenia is neither valid nor reliable. Despite this, mainstream psychiatry continues to perpetuate the myth that when talking about 'schizophrenia' we are discussing something that actually exists. For example, the opening statement of the NIMH public information website in the USA reads as follows:
"Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe disabling brain disease"
As Read (2004) points out, such an opinion is common in psychiatric textbooks and drug company pamphlets.
The CASL campaign is driven by two central factors:
1) The concept of schizophrenia is unscientific and has outlived any usefulness it may once have claimed.
2) The label schizophrenia is extremely damaging to those to whom it is applied.
For a diagnosis to have any clinical utility it must be reliable. That is to say there must be consistency in how individuals are diagnosed. There is no evidence that this has ever been the case with schizophrenia. Read (2004), has illustrated how it is possible for 15 individuals with nothing in common to be gathered together in one room and ALL be diagnosed with schizophrenia. Test- retest analysis is as low as 37% and in 1970 when 194 British and 134 American psychiatrists were asked to provide a diagnosis on the basis of a case description, 69% of the Americans diagnosed schizophrenia whilst only 2% of the British did so. There is no definitive evidence to suggest that the reliability of the diagnosis has improved since that date.
An unreliable diagnosis cannot by definition be valid. However it is worth pointing out quite how poorly the diagnosis of schizophrenia performs in terms of validity. Firstly, a diagnosis of schizophrenia tells us nothing about cause. Biological research into cause offers little more than a series of dead ends (Bentall 2003, Read 2004), and the significance of genetic inheritance in schizophrenia has been vastly overstated and is seriously methodologically flawed (Joseph 2004). Secondly, a diagnosis of schizophrenia tells us nothing about prevalence rates. It is often blandly asserted that schizophrenia has a prevalence rate of 1% in all societies. This is not true; there is a wide disparity of prevalence between rural and urban environments and different research has shown prevalence rates of between 0.33 and 15%. In addition a diagnosis of schizophrenia tells us little about the course of the illness. Kraepelin initially suggested that schizophrenia was a chronic deteriorating condition in all cases. We now know that all outcomes are possible from chronicity to complete recovery. Interestingly Marius Romme, the Dutch Psychiatrist, has argued that those most likely to make a complete recovery are individuals who reject or drop out of the psychiatric system.
To be labelled 'a schizophrenic' is one of the most devastating things that can happen to anyone. This label implies dangerousness, unpredictability, chronic illness, inability to work or function at any level and a lifelong need for medication that will often be ineffective (Whitaker 2005), but will usually cause unpleasant side effects. To champion the idea that schizophrenia is an illness just like any other (sometimes referred to as mental health literacy) makes the situation worse, in that it has been shown to increase amongst other things mistrust and a desire for social distance.
Sincere attempts have been made to rescue the word for humanity (Jenner et al., 1993) yet we have had to conclude that the continuation of the concept serves only the greed of Big Pharma in the pursuit of producing yet more `magic bullets' The desire of our campaign to place the label 'schizophrenia' into the diagnostic dustbin, in which it most certainly belongs, is not based solely on the poor science that surrounds it but also on the immense damage that this label can bring about. A single word can ruin a life as surely as any bullet and schizophrenia is just such a word.
Japan abolishes schizophrenia?
There is hope. In 2002 in order to remove the stigma and prejudice associated with the term schizophrenia, The Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology renamed the condition. Their reasons were that the old term 'Seishin Buntreyso Byo' (mind- split disease) was ambiguous, had purely negative connotations and was in part related to the inhumane treatment of most people who carried the diagnosis (Sato 2006). The new term is 'Togo Shitcho Sho' (Integration disorder). It is defined not as a specific illness, but as a syndrome based on a stress vulnerability model, with many different causes, symptoms and outcomes. This change was brought about largely by lobbying from service users and family groups, and has been welcomed by service users and families alike.
Alternatives already exist. Given the high levels of trauma in the lives of individuals who experience psychosis (Read et al 2004, Hammersley et al 2003) Professor Marius Romme in The Netherlands has for a number of years called for a new diagnostic category of post-traumatic psychosis. Colin Ross in the United States has made a similar call for a category of Dissociative Psychosis.
Yet alternatives also exist outside the language of psychopathology (Parker et al, 1995; Romme and Escher, 2000). In recognising the role of language and being prepared to make a practical deconstruction of what it produces (in this case forms of pathology) is taking one step in enabling communities, through self help networks, to regain control and ownership of human experience. Romme and Escher have remained particularly faithful to the contribution of knowledge of `experts by experience' and we remain firmly convinced that the future health of communities lies largely in the hands of organisations like the Hearing Voices Network and new initiatives like the Paranoia Network and depressiondialogues. The hope and promise of radical change is not something to be relegated wistfully to a bygone age but is firmly on the agenda today (McLaughlin, 2003). Furthermore growing alongside CASTL is a widespread enthusiasm to form a European Association for Democratic Psychiatry as the mechanism to bring about decisive change in public policy, media activity and social attitudes.
The CASL campaign began as collaboration between The COPE Initiative at the University of Manchester , the Hearing Voices Network and supporters of Asylum magazine (Asylum Associates). We are working to build a broad coalition of service users groups and like minded professionals, with the aim of bringing a more coherent and humane diagnostic system to service users worldwide. Yet it is more than that. We are looking to a future when we can talk less of the associations for democratic psychiatry and more of the International Association for Democratic Communities.
Bentall, R.P. (1990). Reconstructing schizophrenia. London : Routledge.
Bentall, R.P. (2003). Madness Explained. Allen Lane . Penguin Books.
Boyle, M. Schizophrenia: A Scientific delusion. London : Routledge. UK .
Jenner, F.A., Monteiro, A. C. D., Zagallo-Cardoso, J. A. and Cunha-Oliveira, J. A. (1993) Schizophrenia: A Disease or Some Ways of Being Human. Sheffield : Sheffield UP.
Joseph, J. The Gene Illusion: Genetic Research in Psychiatry and Psychology under the Microscope. Ross-on-Wye. PCCS Books.
Hammersley, P.A., Dias, A., Todd, G., Bowen Jones, K., Reiley, B Bentall, R.P. (2002). Childhood trauma and hallucinations in bipolar affective disorder: A preliminary investigation. British Journal of Psychiatry, 182, 543-547.
McLaughlin, T. (2003) `The view from democratic psychiatry.' European Journal of Psychotherapy, Counselling and Health 6(1) 63-66.
Parker, I, Georgaca, E, Harper, D, McLaughlin, T and Stowell Smith, M (1995) Deconstructing Psychopathology London : Sage .
Read, J, Mosher, L.R. & Bentall, R.P. (2004). Models of Madness. ISPS Publications.
Romme, M. and Escher, S. (2000) Making Sense of Voices: a guide for mental health professionals working with voice-hearers. London : Mind
Sato, M. (2006). Renaming schizophrenia: A Japanese Perspective. World Psychiatry, Feb, 5, 1, 53-55.
Whitacker, R. (2004). The case against anti-psychotic drugs: a 50-year history of doing more harm than good. Medical Hypotheses, 62, 5-13
Marius Romme Emeritus Professor of Social Psychiatry:
"We have known for quite some time that the concept of schizophrenia has no scientific validity. We now however have an alternative which is more helpful. It is time to challenge the old concept and leave it behind.
The old concept is harmful because, it is impossible to solve the problems of the patient diagnosed with this illness. We now not only know that the symptoms exist and the illness does not, but we now know more about where the symptoms come from. It is a false suggestion that the symptoms are the result of an underlying illness. The symptoms are partly a reaction to serious problems in the life of the person and partly a reaction towards other symptoms. Therefore attention should be given to the reality for the patient of his /her complaints and the background for each of them should be explored. Only then do we discover what the problems for the patient are, and only then we might be able to help solve those problems. When for example hearing voices is the complaint related to a serious problem in the person's life and the explanation of the person is that it is the voice of God, this can be a reaction on hearing that voice as an explanation. This in itself is not a symptom but a reaction to the strange overwhelming voice often with the metaphoric meaning of a needed spiritual power or a father figure, wanted or feared".
Jacqui Dillon National Chair of the Hearing Voices Network
'In our experience, gained through more than 15 years running a national network, listening to people who hear voices, many of them living with a diagnosis of schizophrenia; it is clear that there is a definite link between traumatic life events and psychosis. On a daily basis, we hear terrible stories of sexual, emotional and physical abuse, and the impact of racism, poverty, neglect and stigma on peoples' lives. We do not seek to reduce people to a set of symptoms that we wish to suppress and control with medication. We show respect for the reality of the trauma they have endured and bear witness to the suffering they have experienced. We honour peoples' resilience and capacity to survive, often against the odds. The reduction of peoples distressing life experiences into a diagnosis of schizophrenia means that they are condemned to lives dulled by drugs and blighted by stigma and offered no opportunity to make sense of their experiences. Their routes to recovery are hindered. Rather than pathologising individuals, we have a collective responsibility to people who have experienced abuse, to acknowledge the reality and impact of those experiences and to support them to get the help they need. Abuse thrives in secrecy. We must expose the truth and not perpetuate injustice further; otherwise today's child abuse victims become tomorrow's psychiatric patients."
Campaign for the Abolition of Schizophrenia Label
By Dr. Terry Lynch, GP and psychotherapist, Limerick , Ireland .
Lynch, Terry (2004) Beyond Prozac: Healing Mental Distress, Ross-on-Wye, PCCS Books.
In our modern 21 st century, access to information has never been easier at any time in the history of the world. Yet, some aspects of life remain very poorly understood. One glaring example of this is the degree to which the general public understand or more accurately, misunderstand so-called 'mental illness', and 'schizophrenia' in particular.
The term 'schizophrenia' needs to be abolished for a number of reasons. The so-called 'illness' which the term is purported to represent is a gross misinterpretation of the experience of people so labelled. The schizophrenia label encourages the ongoing ignoring of key issues which are virtually always present in the life experience of people who receive this label. For example, issues such as great trauma in their lives; terror; immense loss of autonomy and of their sense of Self; overwhelm; powerlessness; immense emotional pain; intense isolation.
The term 'schizophrenia' is taken to mean that a person who experiences certain experiences (such as hearing voices, becoming paranoid, experiencing 'delusions', withdrawing to a major degree) is fundamentally abnormal; crazy; clearly and obviously suffering from a major illness, which we have come to call 'schizophrenia'.
This interpretation is incorrect. Many mental health care workers who take the time to listen intently and work collaboratively with people who go through these experiences come to realise that, far from being abnormal or crazy, these experiences make sense in the context of the person's sense of Self, their experiences, and their life. By rejecting and dismissing the experiences, we also reject and dismiss the individual who is experiencing these.
The term 'schizophrenia' has been taken a step further into inaccuracy and misinterpretation. The term is now widely seen as synonymous with the presence of a biological abnormality within the person's brain. This view has been enthusiastically promoted within some quarters, despite the reality that no consistent, reliable, or durable biological abnormalities have been identified, and in spite of the reality that the 'diagnosis' is always, always made without reference to any tests, because there are no biological tests for this 'condition'. This gross misrepresentation (ie that 'schizophrenia' is known to be a biological illness) is used to justify the long-term (often life-long) use of mood-altering substances (often inaccurately referred to as antipsychotics) as the primary 'treatment' of this 'illness'.
The upshot of this worped logic and bad science is that recovery rates from 'schizophrenia' in modern westernised societies trails well behind that in underdeveloped countries, according to World Health Organisation studies. The misguided obsession with imagined biological abnormalities over several decades has had the effect of reducing the attention on and research into psychological, social, human approaches to helping people get their lives back on track. There are many, many people some of whom spoke at the Hearing Voices Network Annual Conference 2006) whose recovery (from the traumatic experiences which caused their experiences of hearing voices, paranoia, etc) was impaired, and/or blocked by the preoccupation with the diagnosis of 'schizophrenia' and its supposed 'treatment' rather than working collaboratively with the person to explore the distress, seek to ascertain what may lie behind the distress, and with compassion, gentleness and caring, help the person to resolve their pain and move on with their life.
So-called 'mental illness', including 'schizophrenia', is one of the last remaining unrecognised apartheids left in our society. Well intentioned intervention is not necessarily effective intervention, and because it is well-intentioned, and provided by society's appointed experts, it can be even more damaging, subtle and pervasive.
Abolishing the label 'schizophrenia' is an important step towards reversing the enormous travesty of natural justice which has existed in this area for decades. Not having a label, a 'box' to put people into, will facilitate the development of more humane, healing, collaborative working relationships between all concerned, including the experiencer and those who care, love, and work with them. ==
A Carer's View of Schizophrenia
Some people like the term 'schizophrenia'. The diagnosis does enable some service users to access benefits they might otherwise not, so they may find it useful. Some psychiatrists like to have a simple label they can use to describe people who otherwise have a confusing and diverse range of inconsistent symptoms; it suggests that they recognise these behaviours. In so doing, it enables them to ignore and discount the history and traumas of the service user, and all aspects of his or her life since everything is dismissed as 'psychosis' and 'fantasy'. Some families think initially but mistakenly that if there's a 'diagnosis', it represents a well-defined situation for which a genuine treatment and route to recovery is known, as happens with other health problems. So, initially, there may be brief relief with the diagnosis. However, this does not last. All affected families are horrified when the label 'schizophrenia' is soon attended by another damning label, that of 'severe and enduring mental health problem', yet despite this devastating prospect, they are urged NOT to give up hope as this is important to their relative's recovery.
In practice, most families continue to hold the hope of recovery, and to work unstintingly for their family member's support with absolute dedication sometimes for decades and often despite the unsupportive disinterest, and sometimes outright hostility and inhumanity, of many staff. The family often hold the flame which helps and inspires the service user throughout his illness. This is called LOVE, and it is discounted and dismissed by the services and the NHS obsessed as it is with regulations and procedures.
The government has 'recovery' as its goal though how to reconcile 'recovery' with the 'severe and enduring' label is a contradiction neither explored nor explained, and the treatment offered continues to be the same drugs.
As carers begin to search for information, they meet other carers and families; they come to know service users also diagnosed with 'schizophrenia' who have been maintained on drugs for decades and whose lives, along with those of their families, are slipping by in poor or no quality, stigmatised, rejected, isolated and dumped by mainstream society.
Soon, the vast range of symptoms and histories included in the umbrella diagnosis 'schizophrenia' is apparent and it is inconceivable to everyone except the psychiatrist that all these people could, or should, have the same diagnosis or the same treatment. By relying almost entirely on drugs, other therapies of proven value are ignored, often not even mentioned. When carers / families want to discuss other options with the psychiatrist, their request is usually refused or ignored. So, if you're in the right place with more forward thinking and humane approaches available, your service user family member can access empathic therapies, taking into consideration his/her specific history and experiences with understanding and allowing him/her to process them then move on with improved chance of recovery. But, if you are not in an enlightened area, you are supposed to accept the total devastation of your family meekly and without question.
'Schizophrenia' was coined nearly a century ago. No other branch of medicine continues to rely on the faltering first footsteps taken so long ago. It is time it was abandoned so that service users can be treated individually, have their symptoms and histories properly addressed so they can recover proper control of their lives. Once schizophrenia has been abandoned as a concept, the medicalisation of mental illness and the domination of the drug companies is no longer acceptable. This is not recovery; it is sedation and containment using a chemical cosh lobotomy. Service users need appropriate individualised support, so that the 80% recovery rates achieved in the developing World can be seen here instead of the 20% we have currently. A recent comment by an enlightened psychiatrist was to the effect that the service user was in charge of his own recovery, but the psychiatrist supported his/her journey properly so that it was ordered and (s)he was not overwhelmed in the process.
Judith Varley ==
University of East London
The claim that there exists a biologically based diagnosable disorder called schizophrenia has been the focus of intense and persistent criticism and been shown to be scientifically bankrupt. But the label is also morally problematic. It is imposed on people in the absence of any evidence base and used without their informed consent (informed that is, of the controversies surrounding it). The label also appears to justify drugs as the major intervention as well as a vast and very unsuccessful research programme searching for biological and genetic causes.
But schizophrenia is much more than a label. Behind it lies the medical model the claim that emotional distress and problem behaviour are pathological symptoms of illness or disorder rather than meaningful responses to serious problems and adversity in people's lives and relationships. The public know (often from their own experience) that people become distressed because of what is happening in their lives. This understanding, however, may be stretched in the case of the bizarre seeming experiences and behaviour which are labelled as schizophrenia and which, we are told, are outside the range of our understanding of 'ordinary', everyday behaviour and experiences, hence the invoking of a brain disease to account for them. Yet instead of leading us to the conclusion that 'mental illness is an illness like any other', the evidence points in a quite different direction that schizophrenic behaviours and experiences are 'behaviours and experiences like any other' understandable in the same terms as we understand 'ordinary' behaviour and meaningful in the context of peoples lives. If we acknowledge this, then we enter a world of ideas and possibilities entirely different from and far more constructive in terms of helping people, than those created through claims about schizophrenia as a brain disease.
Claims about illness and brain disease have been so persistent and plausible not just because psychotic behaviour and experience may indeed be difficult to understand but also because schizophrenia research is so often presented in ways which systematically obscure evidence against it (see www.critpsynet.freeuk.com/Boyle.htm for many examples of this). Not only that, but service users, the public and professionals are rarely presented with alternatives so that 'schizophrenia as brain disorder' seems all the more plausible simply because there appears to be no other way of thinking.
It is exactly because schizophrenia is not just a descriptive label but an entire way of thinking about people that we need to be alert to the danger that it will be replaced with an equally problematic label leaving intact the language and assumptions of symptoms and illness on which it is based. Indeed the label 'dopamine disregulation disorder' (which does exactly this) has already been suggested, focussing, again, on what is supposedly going on in people's brains rather than their lives and implying that drugs are still the preferred intervention. What is being called for instead (and is already available) is not simply a different label but entirely different ways of thinking about those psychological experiences and behaviours which have been mislabelled and misunderstood as symptoms of schizophrenia. ==
Bristol Clinical Psychology Doctorate
Author 'Users and abusers of psychiatry', Routedge 2000.
We have known for a long time that the term 'schizophrenia' is scientifically meaningless. It is not actually a 'diagnosis' in a medical sense, since it is not based on bodily symptoms or signs. Instead, the criteria consist of a ragbag of social judgements about people's thoughts, feelings and behaviour - experiences which actually make sense in the context of people's histories of abuse and deprivation. The people who are so labelled may well have difficulties and be in urgent need of help, but this is not the way to help them.
We used to be convinced that disturbed or disturbing behaviour could be explained by the presence of 'evil spirits'. No one could actually see them, but we knew they were there. We are equally convinced today by the explanation that distressed people are, in effect, possessed by 'schizophrenia'. No one can detect the 'biochemical imbalance' or the 'genetic vulnerability' that is meant to underlie it, but we know the 'illness' is lurking in there somewhere. We know that the reason people suffer 'delusions' is because they have 'schizophrenia'. And how do we know they have 'schizophrenia'? Because they have 'delusions', of course!
Strip away the pseudo-scientific rhetoric and it is obvious where the real delusion lies. Believing in this 'illness' has powerful benefits for professionals and drug companies, and indeed for society at large, which has found it very convenient to conceal the effects of widespread damage and abuse under this ever-flexible label. Perhaps this is why we have failed to draw the moral from the pile of research indicating that this kind of breakdown has a far better outcome in non-industrialised countries that have not come under the influence of Western psychiatry.The people who lose out, of course, are the 'patients' or service users, for whom the diagnosis is often an introduction into a lifetime of dependence on psychiatric services and toxic drugs, alienated from mainstream society by fear and stigma. They would do far better in a village in rural India or Africa . Perhaps this also explains why we have failed to follow more enlightened examples from our own history - moral management, therapeutic communities and so on - or from places like Scandinavia which are moving well away from diagnosis and medication as first-line interventions.
'Diagnosing' someone with 'schizophrenia' is one of the most damaging things one human being can do to another. Re-defining someone's reality for them is the most insidious and the most devastating form of power we can use. It may be done with the best of intentions, but it is wrong. We now have a chance to put some of this right, by abolishing the label - not to replace it with another fake-medical term, but instead to work with individuals towards a true understanding of how and why they come to experience extreme forms of emotional distress.
Mental Illness or Social Sickness?
by Susan Rosenthal / May 19th, 2008
(Susan Rosenthal, MD, is a veteran American physician - Justice Lover)
When you are sick or injured, you want to know what's wrong and what can be done. You want a diagnosis. A correct diagnosis reveals what is wrong, what is the preferred treatment and what is the likely outcome. For example, a diagnosis of pneumonia indicates a serious lung infection that can usually be cured with antibiotics.
While medical diagnoses are based on science, psychiatric "diagnoses" are not at all scientific. They do not reveal what is wrong, what is the preferred treatment, and what is the likely outcome. Nor are they reliable. Different psychiatrists who examine the same patient typically offer different "diagnoses." Moreover, psychiatric "diagnoses" move in and out of favor, depending on a variety of social factors.
Psychiatric "diagnosis" is actually a labeling process, where the patient's symptoms are matched with a grouping of symptoms listed in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders (DSM). As we shall see, this psychiatric "bible" was developed and is maintained by financial and political interests.1
Who decides what is normal or healthy and what is deviant or sick?
Before the 20th century, life stresses were generally seen as spiritual problems or physical illnesses, and people turned to religious advisors and physicians for help. Medical doctors treated "hysteria" and "nerves" as physical problems. Psychiatry was restricted to the treatment of severely disturbed people in asylums.2 The first classification of psychiatric disorders in the United States appeared in 1918 and contained 22 categories. All but one referred to various forms of insanity.
In 1901, Sigmund Freud revolutionized psychiatry by breaking down the barrier between mental illness and normal behavior. In The Psychopathology of Everyday Life,3 Freud argued that commonplace behaviors slips of the tongue, what people find humorous, what they forget and the mistakes they make indicate repressed sexual feelings that lurk beneath the surface of normal behavior.
By linking everyday behavior with mental illness, Freud and his followers released psychiatry from the asylum. Between 1917 and 1970, as psychiatrists cultivated clients with a broad range of problems, the number of psychiatrists practicing outside institutions swelled from eight percent to 66 percent.4
The social movements of the 1960's opposed psychiatry's focus on inner conflict and emphasized the social sources of sickness instead. Dr. Alvin Poussaint recalls the 1969 convention of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
"After multiple racist killings during the civil rights movement, a group of black psychiatrists sought to have murderous bigotry based on race classified as a mental disorder. The APA's officials rejected that recommendation, arguing that since so many Americans are racist, racism in this country is normative."5
Growing the industry
In 1980, the APA overhauled the DSM. The Task Force established to create the new manual declared that any disorder could be included,
"If there is general agreement among clinicians, who would be expected to encounter the condition, that there are significant number of patients who have it and that its identification is important in the clinical work it is included in the classification."6
In other words, the new DSM was not based on science, but on the need to maintain existing patients and include new ones who might seek help for any number of problems. A profitable and self-perpetuating industry was born. The more people could be encouraged to seek treatment, the more conditions could be entered into the DSM, and the more people could be encouraged to seek treatment for these new conditions.
By 1994, the DSM listed 400 distinct mental disorders covering a wide variety of behaviors in adults and children. Significantly, racism, homophobia (fear of homosexuality) and misogyny (hatred of women) have never been listed as mental disorders. In 1999, the chairperson of the APA's Council on Psychiatry and the Law confirmed that racism "is not something that is designated as an illness that can be treated by mental health professionals."7 Homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder until activists campaigned to have it removed.8
The women's liberation movement condemned labeling symptoms of oppression as mental illnesses. In They Say You're Crazy: How the World's Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who's Normal, Paula Caplan explains,
"In a culture that scorns and demeans lesbians and gay men, it is hard to be completely comfortable with one's homosexuality, and so the DSM-III authors were treating as a mental disorder what was often simply a perfectly comprehensible reaction to being mocked and oppressed."9
Caplan describes efforts to prevent "Masochistic Personality Disorder" from being included in the DSM. This disorder assumes that women stay with abusive spouses because like to suffer, not because they lack the resources to leave. Despite protest, "Masochistic Personality Disorder" was added to the 1987 edition of the DSM, although it was later dropped.
The inclusion of "Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder" (PMDD) in the DSM also raised a protest. According to Caplan,
"The problem with PMDD is not the women who report premenstrual mood problems but the diagnosis of PMDD itself. Excellent research shows that these women are significantly more likely than other women to be in upsetting life situations, such as being battered or being mistreated at work. To label them mentally disordered to send the message that their problems are individual, psychological ones hides the real, external sources of their trouble."10
As soon as PMDD was listed in the DSM, Eli Lilly repackaged its best-selling drug, Prozac, in a pink-pill format, renamed it Serafem, and promoted it as a treatment for PMDD. By creating Serafem, Lilly was able to extend its patent on the Prozac formula for another seven years.
A marketing gold mine
The DSM is a marketing gold mine for the drug industry. The FDA will approve a drug to treat a mental disorder only if that disorder is listed in the DSM. Therefore, each new listing is worth millions in potential drug sales. Most of the experts who construct the DSM have financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, and every new edition of the DSM contains more conditions than the previous one.
Once the DSM lists a new mental disorder, drugs for that disorder are heavily marketed for everyone who might fit the symptom checklist. (Doctors are also encouraged to prescribe these drugs for "off-label use," which means to anyone they think might benefit.) Not surprisingly, the numbers of people "diagnosed" with a mental condition rise rapidly after a drug is approved to treat that condition.
In 2005, a major study announced that "About half of Americans will meet the criteria for a DSM-IV disorder sometime in their life "11 How is this possible? Has it become normal to be mentally ill, or has the definition of mental illness expanded beyond reason? Both could be true.
Capitalism damages people in many ways. It's also true that the more people can be labeled as sick, the more profits can be made from selling them treatments. In Creating Mental Illness, Alan Horowitz warns,
" a large proportion of behaviors that are currently regarded as mental illnesses are normal consequences of stressful social arrangements or forms of social deviance. Contrary to its general definition of mental disorder, the DSM and much research that follows from it considers all symptoms, whether internal or not, expected or not, deviant or not, as signs of disorder."12
Most people know the difference between normal behavior (such as grief over the death of a loved one) and abnormal behavior that could indicate an internal disorder (such as prolonged grief for no apparent reason). However, the DSM does not consider what happens in people's lives. With one exception (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), the DSM lists and categorizes symptoms outside of any social context. As a result, DSM-based surveys artificially increase the numbers of people suffering from mental disorders and, therefore, the market for drug treatments.
DSM-inflated rates of mental illness are typically accompanied by the warning that not enough people are getting treatment.13 The question of whether or not they are actually sick is never raised.
Psychiatry has a long history of medicating the oppressed, including children, for social control.14
Using DSM criteria, at least six million American children have been diagnosed with serious mental disorders, triple the number in the early 1990's. The rate of boys aged 7 to 12 diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder more than doubled between 1995 and 2000 and continues to rise.
A 2007 survey of 8- to 15-year-olds discovered that nine percent met the DSM criteria for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The survey found that fewer than half of these children had been diagnosed or treated, "suggesting that some children with clinically significant inattention and hyperactivity may not be receiving optimal attention." Noting that poor children were least likely to receive medication, the authors of the study recommend "further investigation and possible intervention."15
Instead of addressing the stressful social conditions that agitate children, psychiatry imposes conformity through medication. To force compliance with this oppressive system, access to insurance benefits, medical care and social services depends on "having a diagnosis."
The psychiatric-pharmaceutical industry treats illness as strictly individual and internal the result of faulty genes or chemical imbalances. In reality, human problems exist in a social context.
Most of the symptoms listed in the DSM describe human responses to deprivation and oppression (anxiety, agitation, aggression, depression) and the many ways that people try to manage unbearable pain (obsessions, compulsions, rage, addictions). Depression is strongly linked with poverty,16 and alleviating poverty can lift depression.17
Under capitalism, addressing the social causes of misery is politically risky and unprofitable. So psychiatry extracts the individual from society, splits the brain from the body, severs the mind from the brain and drugs the brain.18
A sick society
Capitalism is a system that requires the majority to have no control over their lives and to believe that this condition is normal. Therefore, all reactions to inequality and deprivation must be viewed as signs of personal inadequacy, biological defect, mental illness anything other than reasonable responses to unreasonable conditions.
During slavery days, experts argued that Black people were psychologically suited for a life of slavery, so there must be something wrong with those who rebelled.19 In 1851, the diagnosis of "drapetomania"(runaway fever) was developed to explain why slaves try to escape.20 Not much has changed. Today, exploitation and oppression are considered normal, and those who rebel in any way are considered to be sick or deviant and in need of medication or incarceration.
What's the diagnosis for a sick society? We know what's wrong. Most people are kept in sick social conditions so that a few can maintain their wealth and power. What is the treatment? Putting human needs first would eliminate most human misery. Who will deliver the medicine? The majority must organize to take collective control of society.
I don't expect this diagnosis to appear in the DSM anytime soon.
(Emphasis by Justice Lover)
- Kirk, S.S. & Kutchins, H. (1992). The selling of DSM: The rhetoric of science in psychiatry. New York: Aldine De Gruyter. #
- Horowitz, A.V. (2002). Creating mental illness. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. #
- Freud, S. (1901/1991). The psychopathology of everyday life. New York: Penguin #
- Shorter, E. (1997). A history of psychiatry: From the era of the asylum to the age of Prozac. New York: John Wiley & Sons. #
- Poussaint, A.F. & Alexander, A. (2000). Lay my burden down: Suicide and the mental health crisis among African-Americans. Boston: Beacon Press, p.125. #
- Spitzer, R.L., Sheeney, M. & Endicott, J. (1977). DSM III: Guiding principles. In Psychiatric diagnosis, (Eds). Rakoff, V., Stancer, H. & Kedward, H. New York: Brunner Mazel. #
- Egan, T. (1999). Racist shootings test limits of health system and laws. New York Times, August 14, p.1. #
- "DSM and homosexuality: A cautionary tale." in Kirk, S.A., Kutchins, H. (1992). The selling of DSM: The rhetoric of science in psychiatry. New York: Aldine De Gruyter p 81-90 #
- Caplan, P. (1995). They say you're crazy: How the world's most powerful psychiatrists decide who's normal. New York: Addison-Wesley, pp.180-181. #
- Caplan, P.J. (2002). Expert decries diagnosis for pathologizing women. Journal of Addiction and Mental Health. September/October 2001, p.16. #
- Kessler, R.C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R. & Walters, E.E. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry. Vol.62, No.6, pp.593-602. #
- Horowitz, A.V. (2002). Creating Mental Illness. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p.37. #
- Talen, J. (2005). Survey says nearly half of all Americans will be affected by a mental illness, some before adulthood. Newsday, June 7. #
- Breggin, P.R. & Breggin, G. R. (1994). The war against children: How the drugs, programs, and theories of the psychiatric establishment are threatening America's children with a medical 'cure' for violence. New York: St. Martin's Press. #
- Froehlich TE, et.al. (2007). Prevalence, recognition, and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a national sample of US children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. Vol.161, pp.857-864. #
- Duenwald, M. (2003). "More Americans Seeking Help for Depression." New York Times, June 18. #
- Costello EJ, Compton SN, Keeler G, Angold A.(2003). Relationships between poverty and psychopathology: a natural experiment. JAMA. Oct 15, Vol.290, No. 15, pp.2023-9. #
- Ross, C.A., & Pam, A., (1995). Pseudoscience in biological psychiatry: Blaming the body. New York: Wiley. #
- Poussaint, A.F. & Alexander, A. (2000). Lay my burden down: Suicide and the mental health crisis among African Americans. Boston: Beacon Press. #
- Cartwright, S. (1851). Report on the diseases and physical peculiarities of the Negro race. New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal. May, p. 707. #
THE LATEST USA PSYCHIATRIST TURNED WHISTLEBLOWER
emailed to me by SSRI-Research as
Digest Number 1571
Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:08 pm (PST)
This letter from Dr. Stefan Kruszewski appears in the current issue of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
Dr. Stefan Kruszewski, a prominent Harrisburg psychiatrist who was
hired to root out fraud, abuse and waste within the state's Department
of Public Welfare, was fired for doing just that.
Kruszewski discovered that four children and one adult who had been
prescribed potentially lethal combinations of medications died while
under state care. He believes they died from drug toxicity, but he was
not permitted to review the autopsy reports.
He also found that thousands of psychiatric patients on Medicaid and
receiving inpatient treatment in hospitals across the state were being
given bizarre combinations of drugs they did not need or were given the
wrong drugs for their conditions.
Kruszewski, who was blasted by his superiors for "digging up dirt" and
then fired, has turned whistleblower.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
972 J Clin Psychiatry 68:6, June 2007
The August 2006 supplement to the Journal, titled "New
Developments in the Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity
Disorder" (ADHD), included an article of the same title by Joseph
Biederman, M.D.1 The supplement, underwritten by "an educational
grant" from Cephalon, Inc., was intended to showcase current
clinical and basic scientific thoughts about ADHD, including the
pharmaceutical alternatives available to treat this condition.
The individual reports in the supplement were derived from the
planning teleconference of the same title as noted above.
Dr. Biederman's article provided an introduction and overview to
other articles that followed his. Dr. Biederman fully disclosed that
he has received research support from Cephalon and that he also
serves on the company's speaker's bureau and advisory board. In
his article, Dr. Biederman stated :
The pharmacologic profile and structure of modafinil are
notably different from those of stimulants and other agents used
to treat ADHD, and modafinil may reduce the core symptoms of
ADHD via the same mechanism by which it improves
wakefulness---selective activation of the cortex without
generalized effects on the central nervous system. This
mechanism results in reduced abuse potential and less likelihood
of jitteriness, anxiety, or excess locomotor activity than
That statement, however, is contradicted by 2 federal drug
enforcement agencies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA)--approved product label for modafinil (Provigil), in the
section "Abuse Potential and Dependence," states:
In addition to its wakefulness-promoting effect and increased
locomotor activity in animals, in humans, PROVIGIL produces
psychoactive and euphoric effects, alterations in mood,
perception, thinking and feelings typical of other CNS [central
nervous system] stimulants.
Furthermore, the product label continues:
The abuse potential of modafinil (200, 400, and 800 mg) was
assessed relative to methylphenidate (45 and 90 mg) in an
inpatient study in individuals experienced with drugs of abuse.
Results from this clinical study demonstrated that modafinil
produced psychoactive and euphoric effects and feelings
consistent with other scheduled CNS stimulants
Additionally, the Drug and Chemical Evaluation Section of the Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA), Office of Diversion Control,
evaluation previously stated:
"Modafinil is a central nervous system stimulant that is being
considered for approval by the FDA, under the trade name
Provigil. Modafinil is being considered for marketing as a
prescription drug product for the treatment of excessive daytime
sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. Modafinil produces many
of the same pharmacological effects and adverse reactions as
classic psychomotor stimulants . . .
Our concern with Dr. Biederman's commentary is that it appears to
seriously misrepresent modafinil's neuropharmacologic
characteristics, contradicting the science-based evaluation of the
data by the U.S. FDA and DEA. Dr. Biederman may have misrepresented
modafinil's pharmacologic (stimulant) properties and minimized
modafinil's abuse potential---as described in the authoritative
FDA-approved product label.
Dr. Biederman's misrepresentation of the
serious risks posed by this drug, whose target population is
children with ADHD, requires reexamination and correction.
Of note, if Cephalon, Inc., were to directly mischaracterize
modafinil's pharmaco- characteristics---as Dr. Biederman has--- they
could be prosecuted under federal law.
*Dr. Klotz is on the speaker's bureau of Pfizer Inc and has been
a speaker for and consultant to Bristol-Myers Squibb/Otsuka. As
*Dr. Kruszewski does not have any current business or financial
arrangements with any pharmaceutical company. Dr. Kruszewski
previously participated on the speakers bureaus of the following
companies: Pfizer Inc, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen (Johnson &
*AstraZeneca, Wallace Labs, Eli Lilly, and GE-Amersham
Biosciences; and he previously served on an Eli Lilly Northeast
Advisory Panel (1998). Dr. Kruszewski served as general and
case-specific expert for national OxyContin MP litigation. Dr.
Kruszewski owns less than a $25,000 holding of Millennium
*1. Biederman J. Introduction: new developments in the treatment of
attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Clin Psychiatry
*2. New Developments in the Treatment of
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. J Clin Psychiatry
inside front cover
*3. New Developments in the Treatment of
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. J Clin Psychiatry
inside back cover
*4. Provigil (modafinil). In: Physicians' Desk Reference. 60th
ed.Montvale, NJ:Thompson PDR; 2006:1002--1007
*5. US Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA Diversion-Industry
Communicator: Drug & Chemical Reviews: Modafinil (Provigil). US
Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of
Diversion Control. Spring 1999. Available at:
Accessed August 29, 2006
Stefan P. Kruszewski, M.D.
(Emphasis by Justice Lover).
ARE THE SHRINKS RULING CLASS' TORTURERS AND EXECUTIONERS,OR ARE THEY INSANE ("MENTALLY ILL") ?
by Justice Lover
Theoretically, there is a third alternative answer, namely, that the shrinks are ignorants who do not know what they doing. Although some people adopt such an answer to explain the crimes of psychiatry and its practitioners, it does not seem to be a realistic nor plausible answer, simply because all shrinks must get their academic MD title before they can practice as qualified psychiatrists. Any medical doctor would have sufficient knowledge of pharmacology, human anatomy, and general science to understand the harmful effects of the psychiatric drugs, of the electric shocks (ECT),and of psychosurgery "treatments" - not to mention the daily suffering imposed on the patient - with no benefit for the patient. If any layperson can understand the horrors of psychiatric "treatments", surely the shrinks should be able to understand too!
Therefore, what we are left with are the two possible explanations, namely, that the shrinks understand what they are doing but have certain delusions which lead them to perpetrate crimes, or that they are the willing torturers/executioners for the ruling class in return for the bribes they get from Big Pharma, as well as legal power and full protection from the state. Let us first check the delusion/insanity argument.
Dr. David Kaiser, a practicing USA psychiatrist, wrote an article, more than 10 years ago, in which he stated that psychiatry has gone insane. Here is the relevant part :
Commentary: Against Biologic Psychiatry
by David Kaiser, M.D.
"...It has occurred to me with forcible irony that psychiatry has quite literally lost its mind, and along with it the minds of the patients they are presumably supposed to care for. Even a cursory glance at any major psychiatric journal is enough to convince me that the field has gone far down the road into a kind of delusion, whose main tenets consist of a particularly pernicious biologic determinism and a pseudo-scientific understanding of human nature and mental illness".
However, psychiatry is not a person, has no mind of its own, therefore cannot go insane. He must have used this as euphemism so as not to offend his shrink colleagues who have "certain dellusions", which means by psychiatric definition that they are mentally ill !
While it is true that neither the psychiatric dogma nor the shrinks' practices make sense, and can be described as delusions oriented and delusions based theory and practice, very few people would consider compulsory psychiatric orders against the sick shrinks , much less compulsory electric shocks (ECT) against them. This is so despite the fact that the shrinks are dangerous to the public !
Accordingly, the shrinks are madmen who have got full immunity by law, as well as the legal power to declare others "mentally ill" and force on them psychiatric "treatment" !
We are left , then, with the only realistic explanation to which most critics of psychiatry
adhere, namely, that the shrinks are the ruling class' executioners and tortures in return for the bribes they get from Big Pharma, and for the power and protection they get from the state.
It follows also that their role is neither medical nor therapeutic, the purported roles which are used by the shrinks as a cover-up and as deceptive devices to lull the public into complacency, and the patients into obedience. The role of the shrinks is socio-political ! Which explains too their cynicism and contempt for their victim-patients ! The true status of the victim-patients is that of political prisoners who are being totured, their health and well being ruined, and their very existence is under constant threat by the shrinks' "treatments".
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), the British novelist and essayist, was referring to "psycho eugenics" in his 1946 forward to his 1931 book "Brave New World". Eugenics is the racist theory of human "selection to improve the human race". Hitler's psychiatrists used this theory to jusitify the murder of hundreds of thousands of mental patients in Germany, as well as millions of Gypsies, Jews, Slavs and others who were considered "inferior" by the Nazis during Europe's occupation by fascist Germany in WW2. Here is what Huxley says about "psycho eugenics":
"...I think that's exactly what it's about and especially when thinking about who is nowadays "dictating" the rules to "our" legislative. I mean why are we forced into observance of rules that we have never agreed upon and we were not even ever asked whether we agree upon? So the problem of "democracy" is, that it is obviously comprised of immature people and there is no effort to "enlighten" people and make them more mature, but on the contrary the effort is to "obscure" and keep them in immaturity, because then they are easier to "handle". So anyone who feels unhappy and distrusts this system is regarded as suffering from a disease..."
As mentioned above, the main incentive for the shrinks are the generous bribes provided by Big Pharma. The bribes are given to the psychiatric profession by financing its international conferences (including free travel and accomodation for the participants), financing its "research", and by all kinds of grants and gifts to individual shrinks. So much so, that one conscientious shrink decided to resign in protest from the shrinks' organisation in the USA. He sent his letter of resignation to the head of the organisation, then publicised the letter as follows :
"Letter of Resignation from the American Psychiatric Association
4 December 1998
Loren R. Mosher, M.D. to Rodrigo Munoz, M.D., President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA)
After nearly three decades as a member it is with a mixture of pleasure and disappointment that I submit this letter of resignation from the American Psychiatric Association.
The major reason for this action is my belief that I am actually resigning from the American Psychopharmacological Association. Luckily, the organization's true identity requires no change in the acronym.Unfortunately, APA reflects, and reinforces, in word and deed, our drug dependent society. Yet it helps wage war on "drugs".
"Dual diagnosis" clients are a major problem for the field but not because of the "good" drugs we prescribe. "Bad" ones are those that are obtained mostly without a prescription. A Marxist would observe that being a good capitalist organization, APA likes only those drugs from which it can derive a profit -- directly or indirectly. This is not a group for me.
At this point in history, in my view, psychiatry has been almost completely bought out by the drug companies. The APA could not continue without the pharmaceutical company support of meetings, symposia, workshops, journal advertising, grand rounds luncheons, unrestricted educational grants etc. etc. Psychiatrists have become the minions of drug company promotions.
APA, of course, maintains that its independence and autonomy are not compromised in this enmeshed situation. Anyone with the least bit of common sense attending the annual meeting would observe how the drug company exhibits and "industry sponsored symposia" draw crowds with their various enticements, while the serious scientific sessions are barely attended.
Psychiatric training reflects their influence as well: the most important part of a resident's curriculum is the art and quasi-science of dealing drugs, i.e., prescription writing.
These psychopharmacological limitations on our abilities to be complete physicians also limit our intellectual horizons. No longer do we seek to understand whole persons in their social contexts -- rather we are there to realign our patients' neurotransmitters. The problem is that it is very difficult to have a relationship with a neurotransmitter -- whatever its configuration. So, our guild organization provides a rationale, by its neurobiological tunnel vision, for keeping our distance from the molecule conglomerates we have come to define as patients.
We condone and promote the widespread use and misuse of toxic chemicals that we know have serious long term effects -- tardive dyskinesia, tardive dementia and serious withdrawal syndromes. So, do I want to be a drug company patsy who treats with their fory? No, thank you very much.
It saddens me that after 35 years as a psychiatrist I look forward to being dissociated from such an organization. In no way does it represent my interests. It is not within my capacities to buy into the current biomedical-reductionistic model heralded by the psychiatric leadership as once again marrying us to somatic medicine. This is a matter of fashion, politics and, like the pharmaceutical house connection, money.
In addition, APA has entered into an unholy alliance with NAMI (I don't remember the members being asked if they supported such an association) such that the two organizations have adopted similar public belief systems about the nature of madness. While professing itself the "champion of their clients" the APA is supporting non-clients, the parents, in their wishes to be in control, via legally enforced dependency, of their mad/bad offspring: NAMI with tacit APA approval, has set out a pro-neuroleptic drug and easy commitment-institutionalization agenda that violates the civil rights of their offspring.
The shortsightedness of this marriage of convenience between APA, NAMI, and the drug companies (who gleefully support both groups because of their shared pro-drug stance) is an abomination. I want no part in a psychiatry of oppression and social control.
"Biologically based brain diseases" are certainly convenient for families and practitioners alike. It is no-fault insurance against personal responsibility. We are all just helplessly caught up in a swirl of brain pathology for which no one, except DNA, is responsible. Now, to begin with, anything that has an anatomically defined specific brain pathology becomes the province of neurology (syphilis is an excellent example).
So, to be consistent with this "brain disease" view, all the major psychiatric disorders would become the territory of our neurologic colleagues. Without having surveyed them I believe they would eschew responsibility for these problematic individuals. However, consistency would demand our giving over "biologic brain diseases" to them. The fact that there is no evidence confirming the brain disease attribution is, at this point, irrelevant. What we are dealing with here is fashion, politics and money.
This level of intellectual /scientific dishonesty is just too egregious for me to continue to support by my membership.I view with no surprise that psychiatric training is being systematically disavowed by American medical school graduates. This must give us cause for concern about the state of today's psychiatry. It must mean -- at least in part that they view psychiatry as being very limited and unchallenging. To me it seems clear that we are headed toward a situation in which, except for academics, most psychiatric practitioners will have no real, relationships -- so vital to the healing process -- with the disturbed and disturbing persons they treat. Their sole role will be that of prescription writers -- ciphers in the guise of being "helpers".
Finally, why must the APA pretend to know more than it does? DSM IV is the fabrication upon which psychiatry seeks acceptance by medicine in general. Insiders know it is more a political than scientific document. To its credit it says so -- although its brief apologia is rarely noted. DSM IV has become a bible and a money making best seller -- its major failings notwithstanding. It confines and defines practice, some take it seriously, others more realistically. It is the way to get paid. Diagnostic reliability is easy to attain for research projects.
The issue is what do the categories tell us? Do they in fact accurately represent the person with a problem? They don't, and can't, because there are no external validating criteria for psychiatric diagnoses. There is neither a blood test nor specific anatomic lesions for any major psychiatric disorder. So, where are we? APA as an organization has implicitly (sometimes explicitly as well) bought into a theoretical hoax. Is psychiatry a hoax -- as practiced today? Unfortunately, the answer is mostly yes.
What do I recommend to the organization upon leaving after experiencing three decades of its history?
1. To begin with, let us be ourselves. Stop taking on unholy alliances without the members' permission.
2. Get real about science, politics and money. Label each for what it is -- that is, be honest.
3.Get out of bed with NAMI and the drug companies. APA should align itself, if one believes its rhetoric, with the true consumer groups, i.e., the ex-patients, psychiatric survivors etc.
4.Talk to the membership -- I can't be alone in my views.We seem to have forgotten a basic principle -- the need to be patient/client/consumer satisfaction oriented. I always remember Manfred Bleuler's wisdom: "Loren, you must never forget that you are your patient's employee."
In the end they will determine whether or not psychiatry survives in the service
Forced Butchery of Human Brains by Shrinks & by their "Psychosurgeon" Collaborators
by Justice Lover
Amongst the worst horror-crimes of psychiatry, and of its state shrinks, are tortures by electric shocks (ECT), and brain "surgery" (Lobotomy) forced on people the shrinks label as "chronically ill" and/or "treatment resistant."
Here in Victoria, Australia, there is a "Psychosurgery Review Board" which has the legal power to order such a butchery of a patient's brain, and to protect the board from public protests of any kind, the law considers such protest as "contempt of court" with the same penalties.
In the official "explanation", under the title, "Psychosurgery Explained", the legislator admits that psychosurgery "is a procedure no longer practised in many parts of the world" see http://www.prb.vic.gov.au/index.htm
Yet it legalises and protects the butchers of the human brain ; so much so that according to section 130 of the Mental Health Act even to"insult a member of the Board or the Psychosurgery Review Board" is deemed to be a contempt of court, and punished accordingly.
Some people, paticularly psychiatrists who are opposed to psychiatric coercion, seem to confine their criticism of psychiatry to its "biological" dogma alone, or to its adherence to the medcal model alone. However, the history of psychiatry - from the Middle Ages to this day - is a history of cruelty, deceptions, oppression, and crimes against humanity. It always was a tool of oppression at the service of the ruling class, no matter which official dogma it was based on.
One of the founders of modern psychiatry, Eugen Bleuler, who invented the psychiatric term "Schizophrenia" , committed the typically Nazi crime of coerced sterilizations of his psychiatric patients many years before the psychiatrists of the Hitler regime did it in Germany, as part of the official policy of "healing by killing".
In 1949, only 4 years after the end of the 2nd WW, the Nobel prize was awarded to Egas Moniz, the neurologist who carried out the first lobotomy, the butchery of the brain. Within months of performing his first lobotomy, similar butcheries were being done all over the world. As another contemporary said, "Seldom in the history of medicine has an experimental procedure been so promptly adapted to the treatment of patients everywhere." Moniz received several honours and was finally awarded the Nobel prize in 1949. However, his victims, the patients who survived the brain butchery, became vegetating zombies for the rest of their lives.
A psychiaytry oriented website,
presents a brief history of psychosurgery, concluding as follows :
"In 1935, researchers in the United States reported that damaging the frontal lobes and a nearby region of the brain called the prefrontal cortex could pacify a previously aggressive chimpanzee. A Portuguese psychiatrist, Antonio Egas Moniz, learned of these results and recruited neurosurgeon Almeida Lima to operate on some humans suffering from severe psychoses. Moniz's aim was to disconnect nerve pathways running from the frontal lobes to a part of the brain called the thalamus, which is located closer to the center of the brain. By cutting these connections, Moniz hypothesized that he could disconnect a neural circuit that ran from the frontal cortex to the thalamus and then to other parts of the brain's surface. He hoped that interrupting this pathway would disrupt the repetitive thoughts that Moniz believed were responsible for psychotic symptoms.
But as Elliot Valenstein writes in his book Great and Desperate Cures, The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness, "Although Moniz' rationale for prefrontal leucotomy was so vague as to constitute no theory at all, his explanation was repeated so often that itlike the emperor's new clothes in Hans Christian Andersen's famous story acquired a veneer of truth and was accepted (or at least repeated) by many other people." Psychiatrists were so desperate for a treatment for severe cases of mental illness that they allowed themselves to support the use of a procedure that was unproven and increasingly subject to abuse.
Moniz and Lima called their procedure leucotomy. It involved trepanning the skull, one hole on each side of the head, inserting a wire knife and cutting the targeted nerve fibers. Results were mixed enough for Moniz to recommend that the procedure be reserved only for the most seriously mentally ill patients for whom no other course of care or treatment worked. Nevertheless, after 1936, use of the technique spread rapidly, with equally unimpressive results overall. With little evidence of effectiveness and facing opposition from many psychiatrists, particularly psychotherapists, the technique would probably have been abandoned were it not for a pair of American physicians who revived the questionable procedure.
American neurologist Walter Freeman and neurosurgeon James Watts began operating on patients in 1936 and soon began aggressively promoting its effectiveness. Eventually, they overcame doubts expressed by their colleagues who somewhat reluctantly accepted the procedure now referred to as prefrontal lobotomy. In 1946, Freeman simplified Moniz's leucotomy procedure, reducing it to a less complicated, less messy, and less time-consuming operation known as the "ice-pick lobotomy." This allowed Freeman to line up patients and, under local anesthesia, tap an ice pick through the thin bone on the roof of their eye sockets. With the ice pick in the brain, Freeman would sweep it back and forth to cut the frontal lobe's connections to the rest of the brain.
This in-and-out procedure required no hospitalization but many physicians viewed it with alarm. Watts himself refused to cooperate with Freeman after this technique was developed.
Still, in the 1940s, U.S. physicians performed an estimated 18,000 lobotomies. It was equally popular in other countries where more than 50,000 operations were conducted during the same period.
Sadly, Moniz's warning was forgotten. The procedure was not reserved for the most hopeless cases but instead applied to "difficult" patients and became a way to control behavior rather than to relieve symptoms of mental disorder. The abuse often bordered on the criminal. Yet, Moniz received the 1949 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for pioneering the procedure."
Unmasked: The WPA congress - a deplorable disaster
From 6 - 8 June 2007 in Dresden Germany a World Congress of Psychiatry is to take place on the subject of coercive treatment. The congress is evil, since it has as its premise torture-like coercion and force as the basis of psychiatry.
This was confirmed by the organizer and speaker of the congress, Professor Thomas Kallert, on 24.5. in two large daily newspapers, the "Leipziger Volkszeitung" and the "Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten":
"Naturally, coercive measures in psychiatry are justified."
Thus Professor Kallert himself unmasked the fact that the invitation of "critics" of coercive treatment was only a cunning evasive maneuver. The actual goal of the congress however was never to place this practice of coercion and violence in psychiatry in question but instead to come to an agreement on an international level on how the coercive methods can be perfected and standardized. This is exactly the goal which we strongly criticize and we therefore demand the strict termination of all psychiatric coercion be it "coercive treatment", "compulsory custodian-ship" or "only" involuntary labeling with so-called psychiatric "diagnoses".
We are of the opinion that psychiatric coercive treatment is a despicable form of torture or comes close to being torture. According to the Anti-Torture Convention of the United Nations, coercive psychiatric treatment fulfills all criteria for the definition of torture:
1. Humans are subjected to great physical and mental harm by being locked up or the compulsory mechanism of a guardianship (so-called "support"), by the forced administering of harmful drugs (psychopharmacological drugs), electroshocking (so-called ECT), binding (so-called "four-point-restraint"), by slandering as allegedly "mentally ill", by the loss of dignity and one's self-determination and lasting social and physical consequences of coercive treatment.
2. It is not only a matter of persons just being tormented by others, it happens on the basis of national laws such as the "PsychKG" (German mental health laws) and custodianship law and is also exercised by "persons with official status" e.g. the social psychiatric service.
3. Psychiatric coercive treatment fulfills the criteria of the UN definition by torture in as much as humans are intimidated and/or forced into a confession, with the goal of "illness insight" so that the victim remains permanently under the control and thereby becoming a "customer" of psychiatry in order to standardize people's behavior and thoughts. Psychiatry is thereby an instrument of power and social control. (Here you can read a detailed account of the direct proximity of coercive psychiatry and torture: "Coercive psychiatry, a torture system": www.iaapa.de/zwang2/halmi_english.htm
Psychiatric coercive treatment cannot be justified as medical or therapeutic treatment, because informed consent is necessary for it. The self-determination over one's own body is an inviolable human right. The only purpose of so-called psychiatric "diagnoses" is to divide adults into two categories: "humans" and the "mentally ill" and to rob the latter of their human rights, in order - under the pretext of the medical treatment - to make them submissive.
History has proven how the medical libel of the psychiatric diagnosis "Schizophrenia" can lead to criminal acts: the psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, inventor of this term, committed the typically Nazi crime of coerced sterilizations, based on this diagnosis.
Nobody demonstrated the complete void of contents of psychiatric jargon better than Gert Postel. The postman Gert Postel successfully impersonated a psychiatrist and was promoted to the position of head physician of a Saxonian psychiatric institute. As a result of this undercover "adventure" he knows the power apparatus of coercive psychiatry from the inside. So he can report from the inside of a power which is based only on the mystification of a non-existent knowledge and the gullibilty of its subjects. We therefore call for the nomination of Gert Postel for the Nobel Prize for Medicine. (You too can send your own demand to the Nobel Committee using the below specimen letter.)
Incidentally we have pleasantly observed that the number of participants of the congress falls well, well below the expectations of the organizers. We can thereby check off this congress as a further failed attempt to save this violent type of system. This is also because in 2005 on a legal level not only did the higher regional court of Celle establish that the legal basis for coercive treatment in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) is missing, but by a special form of the representation agreement in the FRG we have a legal loop-hole, allowing the exclusion of compulsory hospitalization and coercive treatment for those who have signed such a representation agreement. Thus for those protected in such a way, these criminal actions become what they really are: the criminal offence of bodily injury and deprivation of liberty.
We invite you to join our protest:
- on Wednesday, 6 June, starting at 8:30h in front of the Congress Center on the sidewalk of Devrienstrasse. Starting at 16h we will proceed in a demonstration to the square in front of the "Kulturpalast" (intermediate demonstration) and later to the Town Hall (Rathaus) square with a closing speech at ca. 17:30h.
On Thursday, 7 June, we again start at 8:30h in front of the Congress Center on the sidewalk of Devrienstrasse. Additionally there will be a further protest demonstration from 17h at the Jorge-Gomondei-Platz (Neustadt).
- on Wednesday, beginning 19h in the Dresden City Hall ("Dresdner Rathaus, Ratsaal") you can visit the presentation "The Power of Psychiatry": Gert Postel in a discussion with the public will deliver a critical comment there on the World Congress of Psychiatry and at the beginning will read from his (German) book "Doktorspiele" ("Playing Doctor"). This event takes place in co-operation with WIR e.V. Dresden. (Entrance: 2 Euro, free entrance for those with disability pension, ALG2 or basic social support)
- to support the nomination of Gert Postel for the Nobel Prize for Medicine and to send the enlosed specimen letter with your own address as sender to the Nobel Committee
- to inform yourself about our psychiatry-critical film series in the filmtheater "Metropolis", address: Am Brauhaus 8 (entrance free - donations requested)
Program: - Tuesday, 5 June: 20h: "the Foucault Tribunal" + 22h: "Interview with Gert Postel"
and "Michel Foucault, Philosopher" - Thursday, 7 June: 20h: "For your own good" + 22h: "Frances" - Friday, 8 June: 20h: "Selection and Extermination" and
"Unheimliches Wiedersehen" + 22h "Healing by Killing"
International Association Against Psychiatric Assault (IAAPA) http://www.iaapa.ch Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Psychiatrie-Erfahrener e.V. (die-BPE) http://www.die-bpe.de Irren-Offensive e.V. http://www.antipsychiatrie.de
and Landesverband Psychiatrie-Erfahrener Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. http://www.psychiatrie-erfahren.dein
the Werner-Fuss-Zentrum, Greifswalder Str. 4, 10405 Berlin http://www.zwangspsychiatrie.de