The nature of evil:

The self-righteousness of (((Viktor Frankl)))

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of my books:
It would seem that in this series on psychiatry I portray psychiatrists as the nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: one of the coldest villains, yet of softest voice, that has seen the film industry. But that is Hollywood; reality is not like a movie where the villain possess a perfect consciousness of the evil she does, so much so that the spectator becomes excited when Jack Nicholson throws himself to the nurse’s neck to strangulate her. Alienists are not Ratched, nor my objective to film them as such.

Evil is not to do evil for the sake of evil. Evil is to believe that the good is being done, it is the faith with a smile, the educated dogma untouched by doubt, the ideology with charisma. It was an educated and preoccupied theology with saving souls what moved the inquisitors to burn countless women labelled ‘witches’. It was an ideology with an enlightened smile what moved the Jacobins to decapitate not only blond aristocrats, but also thousands of simple citizens. It was the dogma of a philosopher that half humanity took as its second Messiah what moved the artificers of the Gulag Holocaust. How many more souls have not been destroyed or driven mad by other men so well-intentioned as the psychiatrists? Because it is the belief that the identified child by the parents has to be ‘treated’ what moves them to re-victimize children and teenagers condemning them to the hells of panic.

To be convinced of one’s own rectitude is a notion of evil not yet accepted by common sense, a notion about which we human beings have to ponder about. Not even the immortals seem to know it, not a Homer nor a Dante nor a Shakespeare. Solzhenitsyn wrote:

Just how are we to understand [evil]? As the act of an evildoer? What sort of behaviour is this? Do such people really exist?

We would prefer to say that such people cannot exist, that there aren’t any. It is permissible to portray evildoers in a story for children, so as to keep the picture simple. But when the great world literature of the past—Shakespeare, Schiller, Dickens—inflates and inflates images of evildoers of the blackest shades, it seems somewhat farcical and clumsy to our contemporary perception. The trouble lies in the way these classic evildoers are pictured. They recognize themselves as evildoers, and they know their souls are black. And they reason: ‘I cannot live unless I do evil. So I’ll set my father against my brother! I will drink the victim’s sufferings until I’m drunk with them!’ Iago very precisely identifies his purposes and his motives as being black and born of hate.

But no; that’s not the way it is! To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good, or else that it’s a well-considered act in conformity with natural law.

Fortunately, it is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions. Macbeth’s self-justifications were feeble—and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a little lamb too. The imagination and the spiritual strength of Shakespeare’s evildoers stopped short at a dozen corpses. Because they had no ideology…

Thanks to ideology, the twentieth century was fated to experience evildoing on a scale calculated in the millions. This cannot be denied, nor passed over, nor suppressed. How then, do we dare to insist that evildoers do not exist? And who was it that destroyed these millions? Without evildoers there would have been no Archipelago…

That is the precise line the Shakespearean evildoer could not cross. But the evildoer with ideology does cross it, and his eyes remain dry and clear. [1]

Sixty million were killed by Stalin’s (((willing executioners))).[2] But Solzhenitsyn’s vision of evil can be also illustrated through psychiatric practice.

Electroshock, that some psychiatrists use in their private offices, artificially produces an epileptic seizure so severe that some decades ago, when the body was not tied up and paralyzed with drugs, the violent muscular spasm occasionally broke the patient’s vertebrae. At present, in the subsequent instants of electroshock the EEG waves become temporarily flat, exactly what happens in brain death. And what about its therapeutic effects? It has been demonstrated that electroshock produces memory loss, in other words: brain damage. I obtained the information of this paragraph from a book by a psychiatrist who denounces the crimes of his profession.[3] But despite this denunciation and numerous protests from those who have been injured in their memories, in the United States thousands of persons are exposed to electroshock each year.

For the psychiatrist to openly say he injures a healthy brain it is evident that, as Solzhenitsyn says, he has an ideology: he is convinced that what he does is good and necessary. Just remember Dr. Massini’s letter about Julie. He re-victimized the mentally sane Julie by committing her to the psychiatric ward with the cleanest conscience. To mercenary bring oneself on the side of an abusive father, which is a reprobate act for us, for this physician’s eyes was so perfectly natural that he left it on the paper so that future generations may judge him.

That psychiatrists behave towards the children that their parents bring to them as third-class citizens is attested when pointing out the fact that they don’t warn them about the risk that the ingestion of psychiatric drugs carries within. Only psychiatric critics know that neuroleptics are potent neurotoxins that affect brain cells, and that those under this drug suffer from tardive dyskinesia, a permanent and irreversible neurological disorder.

But the ultimate truth is that neuroleptics don’t mend diseases: they cause diseases. This is so true that even a textbook of psychiatry confesses that ‘antipsychotic drugs have been termed “neuroleptics”, in that these drugs’ actions imitate a neurological disease’.[4] The supposed ‘antipsychotic’ effect of the neuroleptic is actually a state of emotional indifference. The individuals under this drug become lethargic, they become more docile and manageable for the family and the psychiatrist hired by them. In fact, this stupor effect has been called chemical straightjacket and even chemical lobotomy. Peter Sterling, neuroanatomist of the University of Pennsylvania wrote:

At any rate, a psychiatrist would be hard-put to distinguish a lobotomized patient from one treated with chlorpromazine [a neuroleptic]. [5]

Surgical lobotomy cuts off the fibbers that come and go from the frontal lobes; chemical lobotomy produced by neuroleptics disables the fibbers that go to these lobules. This iatrogenic zeal is found even in the most beloved psychiatrists and considered the most humane. How pertinent it is to quote Viktor Frankl whom twenty-nine universities conferred titles of doctor honoris causa:

In my department at the Vienna Polyclinic, we use drugs, and we use electro-convulsive treatment [electroshock]. I have signed the authorization for lobotomies without having cause to regret it. In a few cases, I have even carried out transorbital lobotomy. However, I promise you that the human dignity of our patients is not violated in this way… What matters is not a technique or therapeutic approach as such, be it drug treatment or shock treatment, but the spirit in which it is being carried out [my italics]. [6]

The city of Austin awarded Viktor Frankl as ‘Honorary Citizen of the Capital of Texas’ in 1976. Frankl’s words are a perfect paradigm of the Solzhenitsyn vision of evil: if a dude’s spirit or intentions are good, his actions have to be good.

Frankl, a so-called victim of the Nazis in Auschwitz (if he was a true victim the Nazis would have killed him), once in power committed terrible atrocities, always convinced of his own rectitude. It goes without saying that, from the patient’s view, it is irrelevant that Frankl claimed to be well-meaning; what he did to him was mutilation. (Psychosurgery such as lobotomy means to operate perfectly healthy brains of those unfortunate to fall into the hands of psychiatrists like Frankl. On the other hand, neurosurgery means to operate genuinely sick brains like one with a cancerous tumour. Again, the pseudo-science of psychiatry should not be confused with neurological science.)

It is very telling that Frankl promises that his patients’ dignity, whose healthy brains were mutilated, was not violated. This is a classic rhetorical device in the psychiatric profession. Obviously the only one who can pronounce this judgement is the so-called patient, but our society has allowed that his inquisitor to be the one who talks in his name. Not to let talk someone who shouts ‘Don’t mutilate my brain!’ and to say the opposite to public opinion, ‘The human dignity of my patient is not violated’ is what George Orwell called a black-white use of language. [7]

Of course, Frankl wouldn’t have performed his dignified surgical lobotomies if the broader gentile society wouldn’t have granted him tremendous inquisitorial power.

[1] Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag archipelago (Harvill Press, 1999), pp. 77f.

[2] See ‘The Sixty Million: Jews & Bolshevism’ by Dara Halley-James (Counter-Currents, August 4, 2016).

[3] Toxic psychiatry (op. cit.), p. 195.

[4] Quoted in ibid., p. 68.

[5] Quoted in ibid., p. 57. Dr. Breggin talks about the functional equivalence between psychical lobotomy and chemical lobotomy in chapter 3.

[6] Quoted in Thomas Szasz, The myth of psychotherapy: mental healing as religion, rhetoric and repression (Syracuse University Press, 1988), p. 205. Frankl’s words originally appeared in Encounter (November 1969), p. 56.

[7] In George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen eighty-four the blackwhite slogans of the party were: ‘War is peace’, ‘Freedom is slavery’ and ‘Ignorance is strength’.