How to murder your child’s soul *

* with the help of a psychiatrist

In first place, marry a man who super-loves children, someone who’s got grace and charisma with them.

In the second place, you must understand that your child is part of your mind. His thoughts and desires are your private property, part of your heritage. His emergent mentality is a computer and you have the right and duty to program it as you please.

All initiative, natural spontaneity or free will of the child that doesn’t reflect your programming is a symptom of a mental illness, so you must harass him inexorably.

If by reaching puberty your son rebels before your engulfing behaviour, ask help from your husband. Correct him between the two of you. Your husband still has much more physical strength than your son, and if you use your feminine arts to humiliate your son and tease him and your husband giving him tremendous slaps on his little face, much the better. The stronger the super-loving dad hits on his tender heart, the gravest trauma he’ll cause.

The objective is to provoke a bestial confusion of feelings: that the one who showed your son the greatest love as a child is the one who shows him the greatest hate as a teen.

This is the key to murder your child’s soul, and if your husband fails to develop the Jekyll-Hyde syndrome you may not achieve your goals. Remember that nothing undermines more the fragile and developing mind of a teenager who adores his loving dad than these inexplicable changes.

If even with these measures you haven’t reached the inner self of your son to injure it, hire the services of a specialist! A psychiatrist, psychoanalyst or clinical psychologist will do the job.

Your son will go to forced sessions in the Ministry of Love.

Since he’s already mortally wounded by the transformation of his loving dad, you’ll have a golden opportunity precisely in this instant of maxim vulnerability to victimise him again to produce, at last, irreversible psychic injury. If in addition to this you chose a gentleman O’Brien with fame in the media, no one will suspect anything of the drastic step you have taken.

If under treatment in the Ministry of Love your son suffers from panic attacks and develops paranoid delusions (“my mother wants to posses my thoughts”, “my father turns into Mr. Hyde”, “the shrink’s drugs cause akathisia in me”), don’t dare to believe they’re resonances of your splendid education or the medical attack. The therapist will inform you that in no way should parents be blamed for your child’s disorder. On the contrary: the evidence of a biological anomaly in your child is overwhelming. This wise man in doctor’s gown has a Malleus Maleficarum DSM manual where he can easily find the name of his ailment. Once diagnosed, his prescription will be to bombard the brain of the hallucinated bub with the most incisive neuroleptic.

Please make sure he doesn’t get his own way to avoid the chemical lobotomy, lest already grown up he decides to write an autobiography! On the other hand, if your son takes his pills he’ll be left meek as a lamb and he will never be able to say what you, your husband and the therapist did to him.

Then you’ll have once more the adored little child of your dreams, albeit a mentally handicapped one. And remember: you have the Medical Institution, the State and Society itself on your side…

______ 卐 ______

The parody above is taken from the second chapter of my book. My late sister suffered something similar but she was not the only victim of the family. As I said recently in ‘The eternal feminine’, the details are not to be discussed in this blog. Here I prefer to discuss understandable issues for ‘the eternal masculine’.

It’s a pity that YouTube has deleted a recent video of Richard Spencer that I mentioned in my yesterday comment. Spencer said there that the psychiatrists are over-medicating without being aware, as most of the nationalists do not realise either, that all psychiatric practice is pseudo-scientific.

Although the passage translated above is a dramatisation, when I investigated specific cases of mental disorders I could see that each disturbed individual told stories as horrific as my dramatisation. The model I rely on in my books is simple: major trauma families naturally cause symptoms in children. From the point of view of parsimony, my trauma model contains the least amount of speculative elements.

Psychiatry does exactly the opposite. Unlike neurology that does have biomarkers, psychiatry blames genes or aberrant metabolisms without any proof, as Loren Mosher acknowledged in the bold-typed letters of my yesterday post.

Occam’s razor is the ultimate word in scientific decision-making. It is a rule that has been the cornerstone of the scientific method since it was expressed by William of Occam in the 14th century. It establishes that when we face two or more scientific hypotheses for the same fact, we must adopt the one that contains the least amount of speculative elements. ‘Assumptions should not be multiplied beyond what is necessary’, says Occam’s rule in its current formulation.

Psychiatry violates Occam’s razor. By blaming the body without medical proof, it simply ignores the heartrending testimonies of the victims of enormous abuse at home, as the psychiatrists make their living from what the abusive parents pay them, not their victims.

The English speaker who wants to research mental disorders from the point of view of the trauma model should read John Modrow’s How to Become a Schizophrenic: The Case Against Biological Psychiatry, which contains a long autobiographical section. Incidentally, I used to correspond with Modrow and still have his letters, written in pencil.

Queer generation

Racist folks who have passed away—Robert Mathews, David Lane, Dr. Pierce, Revilo Oliver, Ben Klassen, George Lincoln Rockwell—were tougher than the younger white nationalists of today. They were also far less compromising with the System’s lies than what we see nowadays in the Alt-Right scene. This reminds me an obituary that I wrote on October 16, 2012 and I translate now into English:

Tom Szasz (1920-2012)

I heard that Thomas Szasz died last month, who had a great influence on my thinking while writing the second book of Hojas Susurrantes twelve years ago. After learning about his death I visited YouTube and watched a long lecture by Szasz at his ninetieth birthday.

Although my critical study of psychiatry is now a thing of the past in my life—the race replacement that occurs throughout the West is infinitely more alarming—I had not seen critical material about psychiatry since then. But I used the news about Szasz’s death to watch other anti-psychiatric videos.

I was surprised to discover that Robert Whitaker [not to be confused with the one who coined the mantra], another of the authors mentioned in Hojas Susurrantes, has published a book critical of the profession that became a bestseller. Anatomy of an Epidemic is even influencing the fraudulent profession that we call psychiatry (this is just one of the several didactic videos of Whitaker that I watched following the death of Szasz).

Finally, remembering the trauma model of mental disorders, so central to my Hojas Susurrantes, yesterday, as I continued to refresh myself on the latest news in psychiatry criticism, I saw several interviews with Colin Ross including this one about trauma. (I quote Ross at length in a pivotal chapter in Hojas Susurrantes.)

How interesting was it to learn that it was the elder Szasz the only one in these videos who, at the beginning of the Q&A session, spoke with the right emotional tone—an open and emotional condemnation—that if a child is sent to a psychiatrist, it is because ‘the parents had done something wrong’, not the child!

Ross, on the other hand, the very psychiatrist who coined the term ‘trauma model’ when referring to parents who drive their children mad, spoke sparingly about the parents in the above-linked interview: as if he wanted to soft-pedal his main message, or convey a politically-correct image to a wider audience.

Whitaker, the psychiatry critic with the most momentum because of his bestseller, doesn’t even know that abusive parents are the cause of mental disorders. He even thinks—as orthodox psychiatrists do—that the aetiology of mental distress and disorders ‘could be biological’!

I’ve already said it elsewhere and I’m not afraid to say it again: Psychiatry critics of the first generation of critics, now all dead—Szasz, Lidz, Laing, Miller—were much braver than critics who are still with us—Whitaker, Ross and those scholars who publish in the journal that Breggin founded.

I am writing this post to reassess the critics of the old guard, and especially Szasz, who has left us.

Loren Mosher’s letter

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of the books that I wrote in 2000 (I added the triple parentheses this year):

A student-led panel discussion sponsored by NAMI

In NAMI’s website I saw the photo of Justin, a four-year-old boy with a suppliant expression on his face. The website says:

Meet Justin—a child with a mental illness.

Justin was diagnosed with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) which made it difficult for him to succeed in school. Today medication helps Justin to attend classes with his peers and avoid the uncontrollable behaviors he previously experienced. [1]

At the end of “Perpetrators and psychiatrists: an obscene alliance” I had mentioned an organization of family parents which calls itself National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Since this book deals with parents and psychiatrists, it is pertinent to delve a little deeper into this organisation of parents that, with the help of psychiatrists, has labelled and medicated thousands of children and adolescents during family conflicts. In recent times NAMI has gained such power in American society that I must speak out about what it is doing to little boys like Justin, even though I have to stomach the largest string of psychiatric lies and Newspeak propaganda that I know.

Following next I quote some passages from NAMI’s web site as I found it on the internet in May 2000. Let us read with attention NAMI’s lies. The following quotation is from NAMI’s book reviews, It’s Nobody’s Fault by (((Harold Koplewicz))), a bioreductionist psychiatrist of children and teenagers in a medical center of New York:

It’s Nobody’s Fault could not have been written 25 years ago.

It reflects the monumental change that has taken place in understanding all mental illnesses—that they are brain disorders, disturbances in brain chemistry and nobody’s fault. The work deals with serious brain disorders in children and adolescents […].

Koplewicz is “must reading” for parents who feel guilty and remorse about the brain disorder of a child. [2]

The truth is that NAMI does not approach genuine brain diseases such as epilepsy, the stroke or brain cysticercosis, but of those invented by psychiatrists. NAMI’s list includes: “schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder [the label on little Justin] and severe anxiety disorders”[3]— “disorders” similar to drapetomania, dyasthesia Aethiopica, nymphomania, kleptomania and moral insanity to the psychiatric mind of other times.

In “Things you should know: NAMI facts”, this organization states who are the target of these labels: “Most often, severe mental illnesses are diagnosed in young people between the ages of 16-25”.[4] More extraordinary is to learn of the political goals of NAMI on these youngsters:

GOAL: NAMI will be recognized as the primary source for information and helpful referral on all aspects of mental illness.

GOAL: The general public will understand that mental illnesses are non-fault, biologically based, treatable, and may eventually be curable. [5]

Another goal of NAMI is to increase its membership “to at least one million families by the year 2000”.[6] Most significant of the folie à deux between these families and NAMI can be seen in a 1998-1999 NAMI poll to 900 parents. It showed that more than half of the polled parents said their GPs didn’t recognise the mental diseases that the polled parents believed to see in their offspring. [7]

In other words, according to NAMI the parents, not the medical doctors, are the ones to diagnose biomedical diseases. This is what Jeffrey Masson said above about the “identified” child by his parents: that a psychiatrist implied that parents did not err in home diagnoses and even quoted scholarly psychiatric journals to support his claim. Similarly, NAMI uses the word “identifying” alluding children.[8] NAMI’s blindness is such that even when they have evidence from physicians that home conflicts can disturb emotionally a child, they proclaim the biological cause of the disturbance:

Parents [of said poll] perceived that most professionals and services had not kept current with the latest research or treatment information and used outdated theories and approaches, including blaming families for their child’s disorder.

“I took my son to a psychiatrist who said if we, parents, stopped fighting with each other, my son would be fine. It was our own fault”. [9]

NAMI quotes these words as proof that the physician had not subscribed the latest fashion of biological reductionism, discarding the possibility that this fighting between mom and dad could affect the emotional state of the child. Other parents stated:

“The biggest issue we faced during the time our daughter began to manifest problems (when she was five years old) was to convince the ‘professionals’ that she did indeed have a disease that was biologically based and not caused by alleged child abuse [or] bad parenting”. [10]

Is there another field beside the psychiatric where an organisation dares to air in every direction that the parents know more of biomedical symptoms than medical doctors?

In addition to these pediatricians it is revealing that some people who know these polled parents are under the impression that the parents might have something to do with their children’s mental state. This is inferred from the same information in the NAMI poll. To the statement “I often feel that others blame me for my child’s condition”, 29 percent of the polled marked “Strongly agree”, 21 percent “Agree” and 20 percent “Partially agree”. That is, 70 percent of those who actually know these parents may suspect a parental etiology of the problem. However, nothing more annoys NAMI that “the injustice of outright parent-blaming”. [11]

NAMI claims that “as many as 8 to 10 percent of all Americans suffer from severe mental illness, and as many as 1 in 5 families are affected”.[12] NAMI also claims that mental illnesses “affect about 20 percent of children and adolescents”[13] and that “an estimated 7.5 million children [in America], 12 percent of all children under age 18, have mental disorders”.[14] It is amusing to observe that this last figure contradicts the quoted before. Laurie Flynn, NAMI’s director, claims that “two-plus million Americans suffering from schizophrenia today receive substandard care”.[15]

As some critics have pointed out, psychiatrists, and now this organisation of “concerned” family parents not only invent diseases: they invent epidemics too.

Incredibly, an organisation that sees epidemics has started to influence American politics. NAMI has carried out successful campaigns in several states of the United States, with the support of local judges and social workers, to force children to take drugs against their will and without the need to commit them in the hospital. The New York Times estimates that in the year 2000 more than 4,000 outpatients in New York state will be given psychiatric drugs against their will due to NAMI and the new law.[16]

How is it possible that NAMI has obtained such power and influence? According to the periodical Mother Jones, from 1996 to 1999 eighteen drug firms donated more than ten million dollars to NAMI: Janssen ($2.08 m), Novartis ($1.87 m), Pfizer ($1.3 m), Abbot Labs ($1.24 m), Wyeth-Ayerst ($658,000), Bristol-Myers Squibb ($613,000) and Eli Lilly & Co., which among other drugs manufactures Prozac ($2.87 m).[17] This is evidence of the obscene alliance between abusive parents, psychiatrists and the forces of the free market.

The existence of organisations such as NAMI exhibits psychiatry as what it has always been: a fraudulent profession composed by mercenary pseudo-scientists that always plead for the interests of parents. NAMI’s goals (“The Nation’s Voice on Mental Illness” says its logotype) of controlling, stigmatise and medicate their rebellious children are so open that I must continue to quote them:

NAMI’s Policy Goals: An increase in federal funding for research in House and Senate appropriation bills—emphasizing / targeting children […].

Extensive and meaningful involvement of psychiatrists trained in child and adolescent psychiatry in the diagnosing and treatment—including residential treatment [involuntary hospitalisation] […].

To identify at least three federal government policy barriers which obstruct treatment of childhood serious mental illness. Then to advocate appropriate federal Congressional and Administration policies responding to such barriers.[18]

The lie NAMI repeats the most, that even the editors of the DSM would be embarrassed to iterate so many times, is that these children have “biological brain disorders”, for instance when NAMI advocates medication against their will.[19] This strongly reminds me what Solzhenitsyn observed: that in Stalin’s age there was no official communication in the Russian press that didn’t lie in some way about a propaganda statistic or social affair.[20] But let’s continue to listen to the Americans:

NAMI believes that children and adolescents with brain disorders have the right to thrive in nurturing environments, that all children and adolescents with brain disorders deserve to have early diagnoses with appropriate treatments.[21]

Orwell could not have said it better in the black-white Newspeak of the Ministry of Love. If NAMI manages to accomplish its political goals, the image that comes to my mind is similar to one of 1984: a parent in the future stepping on with both feet the child’s face and looking down in the name of his nurture, diagnosis and treatment.

I would like to annotate this essay on the nature of evil in mankind, in which I’ve already included many quotations, with two more quotations. Orwell wrote:

Twelve voices were shouting and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. [22]

Tom Szasz quoted this passage of Animal Farm in one of his books because he fears that with time the Soviet Communist State and the American Therapeutic State could be undistinguishable. The other quotation is a letter of resignation of the renowned psychiatrist Loren Mosher. Mosher was the chief of the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia in the National Institute of Mental Health (1968-1980). He wrote the following letter to the president of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Rodrigo Muñoz:

December 4, 1998

Dear Rod:

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 […].

This is not a group for me. At this point in history, psychiatry has been almost completely bought out by the drug companies. The APA could not continue without the pharmaceutical company support […].

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 organization provides a rationale, by its neurobiological tunnel vision, for keeping our distance from the molecule conglomerates we have come to define as patients […]. 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 represents 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 organization) […] 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. For the most part we stand by and allow this fascistic agenda to move forward […].

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 of a psychiatry of oppression and social control […].

Finally, why must the APA pretend to know more than it does? DSM IV is a fabrication upon which psychiatry seeks acceptance by medicine in general. Insiders know it is more a political than a scientific document […]. 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 [emphasis added]. So where are we? APA as an organization has implicitly (sometimes explicitly as well) bought into a theoretical hoax […].

We seem to have forgotten a basic principle: the need to be patient / 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 marketplace.


Loren R. Mosher, M.D.

This confession of an apostate of psychiatry shows that there are good people everywhere, even in that profession. Unfortunately, they are not the majority.


[1] (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[2] (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[3] (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[4] (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[12] (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[13] (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[14] (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[15] (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[16] The New York Times (8 April 1999).

[17] I obtained this information thanks to a web site critical of psychiatry. (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[18] (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[19] See for example “NAMI’s Policy on involuntary commitment”. (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[20] The Gulag Archipelago (op. cit.), pp. 325f.

[21] (In 2019 this page is no longer available.)

[22] Thomas Szasz’s quotation are the last words of Orwell’s Animal Farm. In The Therapeutic State (op. cit.) the citation appears on page 237, in a chapter devoted to comparing Soviet with American psychiatry, with detriment to the latter. The image of the feet on the face as a symbol of soulless oppression appears in what O’Brien said to Winston in the Ministry of Love (Nineteen Eighty-Four, op. cit., p. 211).

______ 卐 ______

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Published in: on February 27, 2019 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  

Neuroleptics – psychiatrist Peter Breggin

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of the books that I wrote at the beginning of the century:

The profession originated during the industrial revolution as a method of bypassing legal restraints on the incarceration of homeless street people. State mental hospitals, within which the profession originated, were lockups for the poor […].

By the 1930s these giant lockups, which shoved the problem of poverty under the institutional rug, had become too large and unmanageable. Lobotomy and various shock “therapies” were developed for subduing the inmates. In the 1950s, drugs were developed that induce chemical lobotomies. [1]

In addition to eliminating bibliographic references, in the following paragraphs the quotation marks on the word “schizophrenia” are mine. And just as I did with Arieti’s quotations, to avoid psychiatric Newspeak I took liberties to replace other mentions of that word with the word “insanity”, placing brackets on it:

The neuroleptic drugs have gradually become promoted as agents with a specific “antipsychotic” effect on “schizophrenic” symptoms. Meanwhile, psychosocial approaches have fallen into disrepute among many psychiatrists. Patients have been instructed to remain on neuroleptics for a lifetime and told that it was safe to do so. The public was told that the “miracle” drugs had emptied the hospitals and returned millions of patients to normal lives.

The reality. In 1973, psychiatrist George Crane gained the attention of the medical community by disclosing that many, and perhaps most, long-term neuroleptic patients were developing a largely irreversible, untreatable neurological disorder, tardive dyskinesia. The disease, even its mild form, is often disfiguring, with involuntary movements of the face, mouth or tongue. Frequently, the patients grimace in a manner that makes them look “crazy”, undermining their credibility with other people. In more severe cases, patients become disabled by twitches, spasms, and other abnormal movements of any muscle groups, including those of the neck, shoulders, back, arms, legs, and hands and feet. The muscles of respiration and speech can also be impaired. In the worst cases, patients trash about continually.

The rates of tardive dyskinesia are astronomical. The latest estimate from the American Psychiatric Association indicates a rate for all patients of five percent per year, so that 15 percent of patients develop tardive dyskinesia within only three years […].

There are no accurate surveys of the total number of patients afflicted with tardive dyskinesia. There are probably a million or more tardive dyskinesia patients in the United States today, and tens of millions have been afflicted throughout the world since the inception of neuroleptic treatment. Despite this tragic situation, psychiatrists too often fail to give proper warning to patients and their families. [And when TD appears] often psychiatrists fail to notice that their patients are suffering from tardive dyskinesia, even when the symptoms are flagrant.

In 1983 I published the first in-depth analysis of the vulnerability of children to a particularly virulent form of tardive dyskinesia that attacks the muscles of the trunk, making it difficult for them to stand or walk. This is now an established fact. In the same medical book, I offered the first detailed documentation showing that many or most tardive dyskinesia patients also show signs of dementia—an irreversible loss of higher brain and mental function. Indeed, it was inevitable that these losses would occur. The basal ganglia, which are afflicted in tardive dyskinesia, are richly interconnected with the higher centers of the brain, so that their dysfunction almost inevitably leads to disturbances in cognitive processes. Since my observations, a multitude of studies have confirmed that long-term neuroleptic use is associated with both cognitive deterioration and atrophy of the brain […].

Shocking as it may seem, this brief review can only scratch the surface of neurological disorders associated with these drugs, let alone the vast number of other potentially serious side effects. For example, in a small percentage of patients the neuroleptic reaction goes out of control, producing neuroleptic malignant syndrome. The disorder is indistinguishable from an acute inflammation of the brain comparable to lethargic encephalitis and can be fatal.

Given that these are exceedingly dangerous drugs, what about their advantages? How do they “work”? It is well known that these drugs suppress dopamine neurotransmission in the brain, directly impairing the function of the basal ganglia and the emotion-regulating limbic system and frontal lobes and indirectly impairing the reticular activating system as well. The overall impact is a chemical lobotomy—literally so, since frontal lobe function is suppressed. The patient becomes de-energized or de-enervated. Will or volition is crushed, and passivity and docility are induced. The patient complains less and becomes more manageable. Despite the claims for symptom cure, multiple clinical studies document a non-specific emotional flattening or blunting effect.

This cannot but remind me Giovanna’s already quoted words to me and Luisa about her group-therapy mate: “Claudia is very sluggish”: another of Amara’s victims. [Note of 2019: the anecdote appears in another chapter of my book in Spanish. All of them were white girls by the way, that I met in 1976.]

There is no significant body of research to prove that neuroleptics have any specific effect on psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions. To the contrary, these remain rather resistant to the drugs. The neuroleptics mainly suppress aggression, rebelliousness, and spontaneous activity in general. This is why they are effective whenever and wherever social control is at a premium, such as in a mental hospital, nursing homes, prisons, institutions for the persons with developmental disabilities, children’s facilities and public clinics, as well as in Russian and Cuban psychiatric political prisons. Their widespread use for social control in such a wide variety of people and institutions makes the claim that they are specific for “schizophrenia” ridiculous. (They are even used in veterinary medicine to bend or subdue the will of animals. When one of our dogs was given a neuroleptic for car sickness, our daughter observed, “He’s behaving himself for the first time in his life”.)

The fact that neuroleptics are used to tame animals discredits so completely the theory that these drugs have a specific “antipsychotic” effect that these veterinarian data are withheld for the young students of medicine and psychiatry.[2]

That is a very important piece of info. Breggin continues:

But isn’t [insanity] a biochemical and genetic disease? In reality, there’s no convincing evidence that [insanity] is a biochemical disorder. While there are a host of conjectures about biochemical imbalances

These conjectures refer precisely to the “negative chemical imbalances” that, with a potent neuroleptic, Amara wanted to “remove” from Claudia’s body without any physical proof of their existence.

the only ones we know of in the brains of mental patients are those produced by the drugs. Similarly, no substantial evidence exists for a genetic basis of “schizophrenia”. The frequently cited Scandinavian genetic studies actually confirm an environmental factor while disproving a genetic one. Such conclusions may seem incredible to readers who have been bombarded with psychiatric propaganda, and I can only hope they will personally review the literature and read Toxic Psychiatry [see “Suggested readings” at the end of this book] for review and analysis. But even if [insanity] were a brain disease, it would not make sense to add further damage and dysfunction by administering neuroleptics.

If the neuroleptics are so dangerous and have such limited usefulness, and if psychosocial approaches are relatively effective, why is the profession so devoted to the drugs? The answer lies in maintaining psychiatric power, prestige, and income. What mainly distinguishes psychiatrists from other mental health professionals, and of course from non-professionals, is their ability to prescribe drugs. To compete against other mental health professions, psychiatry has wed itself to the medical model, including biological and genetic explanations, and physical treatments. It has no choice: anything else would be professional suicide […].

After falling behind economically in competition with psychosocial approaches, psychiatry formed what the American Psychiatric Association now admits is a “partnership” with the drug companies. Organized psychiatry has become wholly dependent for financial support on this unholy collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry. To deny the effectiveness of drugs or to admit their dangerousness would result in huge economic loss on every level from the individual psychiatrist who makes his or her living prescribing medication, to the American Psychiatric Association which thrives on drug companies largesse.

If neuroleptics were used to treat anyone other than mental patients, they would have been banned a long time ago. If their use wasn’t supported by powerful interest groups, such as the pharmaceutical industry and organized psychiatry, they would be rarely used at all. Meanwhile, the neuroleptics have produced the worst epidemic of neurological disease in history. At least, their use should be severely curtailed. [3]

In 1995 I came across Claudia with her parents in the Carrillo Gil Museum in Mexico City. Already in her thirties she told me she was studying the Open High School—at this time of day.

Sometimes I wonder how many more youngsters Amara has destroyed. Cases like Claudia’s, and according to Breggin many more around the world—about 250 to 300 million persons have been given neuroleptics [4]—, show why Jeffrey Masson wants a trial for every psychiatrist who has ruined a life. [5]


[1] Peter Breggin, Beyond conflict (op. cit.), p. 150.

[2] Toxic psychiatry (op. cit.), p. 58.

[3] This article, “Should the use of neuroleptics be severely limited?”, was originally published in Stuart Kirk and Susan Einbinder (eds.) Controversial issues in mental health (Allyn & Bacon, 1993), and can be read uncut in the author’s website (

[4] Toxic psychiatry (op. cit.), p. 90.

[5] Masson said this in the talk show Geraldo of 30 November 1990.

______ 卐 ______

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Published in: on February 8, 2019 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  

‘Patients are only riffraff’—Freud

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of the books that I wrote in the last century:


Many psychiatric survivors have written manuscripts about their experiences but are rarely successful in getting their books published.

—Al Siebert [1]

Being silent is itself an indication of how we have been oppressed and ignored. The forces that keep us silent and invisible are most vulnerable to our speaking out.

—Harvey Jackins [2]

It is biography, and especially autobiography, the royal road to the conscious and unconscious, that continent barely explored; not Freud’s system. But to be fair with Freud, and very independently that as a physician of the soul he had been soulless, I must recognise that the man made a couple of good points.

In the Epistle for instance, I used a Freudian concept, the idea of abba (dad-God) in Jesus. Moreover, Freud introduced the fascinating notion of the unconscious and perceived that dreams meant something. (This doesn’t mean that his libidinous interpretation was accurate.) In this very indictment of psychiatry, although not directly, I based my ideas on a Freudian concept. According to John Modrow, the Sullivan-Modrow model of panic leading to a psychotic breakdown was based on Freud’s principle of self-delusion.

I confess I have scarcely read Freud. However, in my opinion (and Modrow’s) his fundamental discovery was that ordinary people continually distort reality in order to boost their self-esteem. This self-delusion is completely involuntary and inevitable. The objective is always to boost the self-esteem or self-image that an individual has of himself. According to Modrow, from this principle Harry Sullivan deduces that the most dangerous thing for mental health is an assault to the self-image. I call this an ‘assault to the Self’, and from Freud’s principle of self-delusion I would deduce that after our ‘I’ is assaulted, all sort of delusions crop up as defense mechanisms, such as religious and ideological delusions (psychoanalysis included!).

I recognise these lights inspired by Freud. But Freud also created a lucrative profession on the basis of human suffering, and that is precisely a fraud based on self-delusion.

Sándor Ferenczi, one of his closest disciples—so close to Freud that in 1909 Ferenczi, Freud and Jung vacationed together to America—, became aware of the fraud. I will only quote three lines of an intimate diary that Ferenczi wrote, a diary he devoted to the serious doubts he had about psychoanalysis. In a private conversation of Ferenczi with Freud, the latter:

said that patients are only riffraff [Die Patienten sind ein Gesindel]. The only thing patients were good for is to help the analyst make a living and to provide material for theory. It is clear we cannot help them. [3]

By some cruelty of fate Ferenczi died at fifty-nine (a little earlier for his diary reflections to crystallize to be published), disillusioned by a dispute with Freud and his colleagues about the veracity of incest in the lives of his female patients (Freud, who sided the Vienna establishment, always denied that actual incest took place).

According to Jeffrey Masson, Jung’s dissidence was not a threat to the fundamentals of psychoanalysis. But Ferenczi’s was.[4] Jung merely exchanged Freud’s pan-sexual meta-narrative by his own mystic-religious one but Jungian analysis, as the Freudian, claim to help people understand themselves and enlighten them with their problems. Ferenczi, on the other hand, knew that these problems could not be solved with so-called psychoanalysis. Freud also knew it (‘It is clear we cannot help them’), and could have confessed it to the world.

He didn’t: that could have aborted the birth of a lucrative profession.

Besides the moral limitations of the founder, this side of psychoanalysis must be exposed. Tom Szasz’s view is that both psychiatry and psychoanalysis are a kind of Machiavellian rhetoric; I would say, the rhetoric of blaming the victim. An inquisitorial pseudoscience, psychiatry, blames the body of the victim. Psychoanalysis, a system of inspired invectives (Szasz’s words), blames the mind. These pseudosciences are two sides of the same coin. They sprang from the same sources, but Freud had great intellectual powers and immense literary gifts. However, he had little heart toward human suffering, as we saw in a previous chapter.

Psychotherapists, far from helping those who suffer, make a profit on the basis of that suffering. There are more than two hundred schools of psychotherapy in the United States and fifteen million Americans that consult psychotherapists. The fee for a fifty-minute consultation with an “analyst” is something above the hundred dollars. Psychotherapy is a multibillion-dollar business, and its popularity continues in Spain, Italy and Latin America.

Freud was the father of the mystification to see the problems of those who asked for help as ‘neurosis’. Actually they are familiar, economic, social and political problems. Psychotherapists have invented a whole Newspeak. They redefine these problems as ‘mental problems’ of ‘patients’, otherwise they could not justify their profession and income. The ultimate truth is that anyone who claims to sell psychic solutions to environmental problems has entered, consciously or not, the reign of fraud. Unless someone sponsors economically a person suffering from tribulations, very few will be capable of helping him. But no therapist sponsors his clients: in that profession money flows one-way only.

It is worth saying that, since a quack is the one who earns money pretending to be a physician, the writer Vladimir Nabokov used to call Freud ‘the Vienna quack’. I would add that Freud’s legacy has some analogy to Marx’s. Both proposed totalizing meta-narratives that bamboozled a good part of the Western intelligentsia: one about political economy, the other about the politics of the psyche. Now, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Marxism agonizes but psychoanalysis lives. It is my hope that the 21st century witnesses more critics of analysis. Although I recognise the few lights Freud showed us—Marx showed us a few lights too—, the quackery of his legacy must be exposed. Freud’s epigones are a parasitic class of which civil society must free itself from.
Scholarly quackery

That not only psychoanalysts but biological psychiatrists behave as quacks can be seen in the case of one of the most influential psychiatric geneticists in our times. David Rosenthal edited The Genain quadruplets, a book about four women, identical twins, and family dynamics.

The father of the Genain family was an alcoholic that beat his wife and daughters, whom he restricted contact with the outside world. According to his wife, he was ‘always so angry and hateful’ and once he threatened to murder her when she wanted to leave home. The father played sexually with one of his daughters, but when he realised that the teenagers masturbated he send them to an unscrupulous surgeon who mutilated their genitals. The mother abused the girls too. On one occasion she banged two of the girls’ heads together to stop them crying. When the husband wanted to prevent the masturbation, she participated in the use of acid in her genitals. This occurred before she approved the initiative to mutilate them.

The four daughters got mad.

The Genain quadruplets is a treatise for biological psychiatrists, saturated with scholarly references of genetic studies. One could expect that, confronted with such a story, the contributing authors exposed the case as proof that some parents drive their offspring mad.

They did the opposite. Rosenthal believes his data is proof of a genetic aetiology of the madness of the daughters. The book is a study about hereditary and environmental factors in the family, but Rosenthal, an apologist of the medical model of mental disorders, stresses the hereditary factor. Genes turned out to be responsible for the ‘schizophrenia’ of these poor women. The very name ‘Genain’ is a pseudonym invented by Rosenthal, deriving it from the Greek words ‘dire birth’ or ‘dreadful gene’.

The psychiatrist Peter Breggin, author of a dozen books critical of his profession, read The Genain quadruplets and discovered that throughout the book, hidden in the irrelevant scholastic material, information existed about the happenings in the family:

The book presents one of the most tragic chronicles of child abuse recorded anywhere. Yet at no time is the abuse discussed as such. In no place in the book is it summarized. The data is strewn throughout the six hundred pages in the reports of the various professionals. Much of it is contained in the footnotes. The synopsis I have provided was put together from these observations. [5]

Breggin concludes that the omission to talk plainly about what really happened in that family constitutes intellectual complicity with the parents.

If one of the most renowned psychiatric geneticists ignores this level of abuse and inverts the information, blaming the genes of the victims, it is not surprising that ordinary psychiatrists ignore the anguished testimony of their patients in relatively lesser cases of abuse.

In the 1980s an American series of scientific programs was televised under the title The Brain. One of the programs approached the subject of madness. It did not pass the microphone to any professional of the trauma model of mental disorders. But the program passed the mic to two biological psychiatrists who have devoted their professional lives to “demonstrate” the biomedical foundation of madness. Let’s listen to Daniel Weinberger:

At the turn of the [20th] century, every neuroscientist that was interested in schizophrenia was convinced [emphasis in Weinberger’s voice] that this is a brain disorder. There was no skepticism about that. It was only as that sort of stagnate [that] people really couldn’t make much of the findings they had through the 19th century that people begin to raise this notion of psychogenesis that somehow either bad mothering causes schizophrenia, or that bad neighborhoods [a strawman: the trauma model doesn’t claim that] causes schizophrenia, or drugs [same strawman] or some peculiar school experience [same strawman] or some major psychic trauma of some kind—for which there’s absolutely no scientific evidence, whatsoever! [great emphasis in Weinberger’s voice with a parallel movement of his hand on the table].[6]

In the same program Fuller Torrey, after talking at length about the Vienna quack Freud and his disciples, stated:

What the psychoanalysts said about schizophrenia is that it is caused by early childhood experiences. [False: analysts make no such a claim.] There is no evidence whatsoever for this! And in fact all of the research evidence today is diametrically opposed; it is exactly on the opposite side.[7] [Note of 2019: In fact, it’s the bio shrinks who lack scientific evidence. See: here.]

At the moment of the filming the program, Weinberger was a young professional who spoke with charisma. How could his emotional voice have impacted the millions of TV viewers (The Brain was televised in several countries)?

In the same program the case was presented of a very disturbed adolescent who spoke before the cameras and stated that his problem was originated in the rape during his Kindergarten years. But just as Rosenthal did in his treatise of the Genain girls, Weinberger and Torrey did not pay attention to his anguished testimony.

Like many other renowned psychiatrists, Weinberger and Torrey publish scholarly quack papers in the American Journal of Psychiatry. What is scholarly quackery? Let’s taste a flavour of it: ‘Evidence of dysfunction of a prefrontal-limbic network in schizophrenia. A magnetic resonance imaging and regional cerebral blood flows study of discordant monozygotic twins’.[8]

The journal that Breggin publishes has rebutted this and other quack, though scholarly, papers by Weinberger and Torrey. But as Colin Ross revealed to me when I visited him in Dallas, the psychiatric community kept silence about his book Pseudoscience in biological psychiatry, which also includes rebuttals. [9]


[1] Flier published by the Kenneth Donaldson Archives for the Autobiographies of Psychiatric Survivors, Al Siebert, executive director.

[2] Harvey Jackins, What is wrong with the ‘mental health’ system and what can be done about it: a draft policy prepared for the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities (Rational Island Publishers, 1991), p. 21.

[3] Against therapy (op. cit.), p. 129.

[4] The revelations of Ferenczi’s diary and Masson’s observations appear in a whole chapter of Against therapy.

[5] Toxic psychiatry (op. cit.), p. 106.

[6] The brain, episode 7, ‘Madness’ (1984).

[7] Ibid.

[8] D.R. Weinberger, K.F. Berman, R. Suddath and E.F. Torrey in American Journal of Psychiatry, 1992, 149, pp. 890-97.

[9] Pseudoscience in biological psychiatry (op. cit.), pp. 56, 60 & 174f.

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Published in: on January 18, 2019 at 12:01 am  Comments (5)  

The hammer of the victims

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of the books that I wrote in the last century:

This quotation explains perfectly why the so-called mental health professions have so much power in our societies:

To commit violent and unjust acts, it is not enough for a government to have the will or even the power; the habits, ideas, and passions of the time must lend themselves to their committal. —Alexis de Tocqueville [1]

Since psychiatrists and psychoanalysts diagnose people who are actually victims of insulting environments, their fundamental postulate is precisely to deny what they are. In psychiatric Newspeak the expression ‘victim of the environment’ has been eliminated; the aetiology of any disorder has to be looked for in the reign of the somatic. By doing this it is methodologically impossible that the profession will blame the parents even in cases of flagrant physical, sexual or emotional abuse toward the children (schizophrenogenic emotional abuse was what Helfgott and Modrow suffered). Thus psychiatry carries out an important function: to exonerate the family, the cell of civilisation, of the devastation manifested in the children.

Civil society lives in denial too. It doesn’t want to see that inside its most sacred institution maddening abuses exist on its most vulnerable members: children and adolescents. Both present-day university professions and civil society are as ignorant and superstitious of this situation as the Middle Ages was about diseases caused by microorganisms.

Voltaire saw the learned inquisitors as what they were—instead of diagnosing as ‘heretics’ the persons that the Inquisition tortured and murdered. Henceforth his call Écrasez l’infame! against the church, with which he annotated his liberating letters.

Nowadays the therapeutic state took over the labour of social control of the theocratic state. The call Écrasez l’infame!—Crush the infamy!—can be no more pertinent to refer to a profession that tortures and murders souls of children through psychological re-victimizations and handicapping drugs.

The studying of perpetrators is a revaluation of values of psychiatry: a new science that in lieu of hammering the victims it studies the perpetrators, or simply perps. In this revaluation of all psychiatric values science has to re-orient itself to the study of maddening parents (cf. Helfgott’s life), re-victimizing psychiatrists (cf. Breggin), charlatans who call themselves analysts (cf. Masson), and the civil struggle to abolish the therapeutic state (cf. Szasz).

In addition to these lines of investigation and struggle, my dream is that the study of perps will eventually include a new type of literature to reclaim for biographers and autobiographers the study of the human soul which was usurped by politicians that people call psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and clinical psychologists (psychiatry, psychoanalysis and clinical psychology are pseudosciences). One of the paradigms of this new literature is the study by John Modrow, who contributed to solving the mystery of why some adolescents get mad (in psychiatric Newspeak, ‘schizophrenia’) if subjected to parental abuse and psychiatric re-victimization.

If this new kind of vindictive autobiography doesn’t develop in the future, the true study of the human psyche will stagnate. The Lithuanian poet Czeslaw Milosz, Nobel laureate in 1980, has said that events such as the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War and even the Trench Warfare of WW1 were not autobiographically recalled in a satisfactory way, independently of the fact that historians have written entire libraries about those events. [2]

The same can be said of the absent autobiographies of the victims of our society. Hundreds of thousands of Doras didn’t recall literarily their testimonies. Brilliant politicians like Eugen Bleuler and Freud took their words out of their mouths and spoke in their names. Hersilie Rouy, Julie La Roche, Modrow and a few others are the exceptions.


[1] Alexis de Tocqueville, quoted in W.H. Auden and L. Kronenberger (eds.), The Viking book of aphorisms: a personal selection (Dorset Press, 1981), p. 297, quoted in a lecture by Thomas Szasz presented in the Foucault Symposium in Berlin University, May 1998.

[2] Czeslaw Milosz in La experiencia de la libertad/3: la palabra liberada (Espejo de Obsidiana Ediciones, 1991), pp. 102f.

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The hammer of the witches

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of the books that I wrote in the last century:


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It is not that witches and mental patients are alike; on the contrary, it is because inquisitors and psychiatrists are alike that they treat their victims similarly.

Tom Szasz [1]

I have asked why human beings are capable of committing atrocities and observed that, if in my epistle I approached the subject of what could have happened in the minds of my parents, I had yet to analyse psychiatrists and psychoanalysts (keeping in mind that many analysts are also psychiatrists).

Insofar, I think, the riddle has been solved: it is the self-righteousness of some ideologues, and the folly of their followers, what is behind the crimes of the most murderous century in history. Not only believing in a (((Trotsky))) convinced that terror is good for Russia is folly: it is folly too to believe in religious-political leaders such as Eugen Bleuler and the other founders of a criminal organisation known as ‘psychiatry’. Both the atrocities committed during the Red Terror and those committed in the West have been perpetrated by ideologues convinced of their own rectitude and backed by society. Just remember how The Machine hammered that helpless patient labelled ‘catatonic’—that is: a witch—and how the Bucks County District Attorney in Pennsylvania approved the torture.

I would like to quote a passage written down by a client after visiting the offices of a renowned psychiatrist who is also a university professor:

He said he ‘did not have the powers to take the schizophrenogenic parent by the ear and scold him’. Thus he treats ‘the most affected family link’ even though it was a societal problem: last family link – parents – grandparents – all society. That Laing used to say ‘We aren’t well because of others’ and that, ‘If it weren’t for others, we wouldn’t be unwell’. But an Italian psychiatrist had told him, ‘Only the last link is to be treated’. For this reason, and since it is not possible the little ear thing, ‘Treatment is performed on the most affected link alone’ [emphasis in the original]. This is why he prescribes antipsychotics to them.

The stupidity, monstrosity and immorality of this position is barely conceivable. If her father rapes Dora, then the orthodox psychiatrist won’t take that powerful family figure by the ear. Instead, he ‘treats’ the last link, the victim! And he has no doubt to administer dangerous drugs not to the rapist, but to the victim! After all, the one who pays is the rapist, right?

Let us compare the shrink’s philosophy with any crime. What would happen in a world where rapists, assassins and assailants remain unpunished whereas their victims went directly to jail? What would be of the world? This is the Wonderland Logic where a caste of pseudo-scientists lives in our societies to hammer not the criminal, but his witch.

This is the nature of evil. What psychiatrists do in cases of abusive families is to officially approve the behaviour of the perpetrators. For the physician of Julie La Roche, for Freud with Dora, for the president of the hospital where Jeffrey Masson studied—that great rhetorician who spoke in a booming voice about a helpless eight-year-old boy—, parents are untouchable. All action is taken against the child, against Dora, against the ‘last link’ according to the university professor.

We have seen that a father can be more devastating than a Mengele (in Colin Ross’ clinic I saw adult women of high social standing so devastated that they talked about ‘mom’ as David Helfgott talked about his ‘dad’). We have seen that according to John Modrow his pre-psychotic panic was the most appalling and devastating experience that any person can undergo; and that the re-victimisation of a victim leads to the sensation of the betrayal of the universe, and often to madness.

Sometimes the psychiatrist sees a glimpse of the truth and even quotes one of his anti-psychiatric foes (‘We aren’t well because of others; if it weren’t for others, we wouldn’t be unwell’). But they have those others as untouchable! And how will they touch them if they are precisely the source of income of the psychiatrist?

Thus, in this Wonderland where everything is inverted, the parents—the real clients of the psychiatrist—are always right. They are the sole criterion to ‘identify’ the child. Physicians cannot take by the ear the powerful industrialist who seduced Dora. Let us treat, instead, the last link. Let us incarcerate her in false hospitals or tame them her down with handicapping drugs. That is not only what the above-quoted professor taught but also what the departments of psychiatry teach (‘When a child manifests gross pathology…’). If such re-victimisations produce panic, even stronger drugs are administered!

Moreover, there are laws that allow the Doras to be treated against their will. They are confined in Ministries of Love where electroshock and lobotomy are practiced. For this surgical ‘treatment’ they gave the Nobel Prize to an inquisitor in 1946, and since that date to 1965 no less than fifty thousand lobotomies were performed in the United States alone, and at the moment of writing these lines continue to be performed.[2]

As we have seen, perfectly healthy brains are the ones that get a lobotomy, electroshock or the neuroleptic. This is how this malleus maleficarum, this hammer of the witches, culminates with the soul murder of a Dora.

That, my dear readers, is evil.

Each mind is a whole world inside. Each person is the centre of his or her own universe. A betrayed and re-victimised universe suffers a demolishing panic like the girl who witnessed her little sister be hammered in the most bestial manner by a death-dealer such as that of Kaunas. Then she saw the psychiatrist play the accordion on the inert body and pool of blood. On this survivor has befallen the whole madhouse of a dysfunctional society.


[1] The manufacture of madness (op.cit.), p. 130.

[2] ‘A few physicians still advocate psychosurgery for severe emotional problems, and in some states of the US special boards have been set up to review all such operations’ (Lobotomy, Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000).

A psychiatrist wrote in a web page that I visited on 7 May 2000: ‘Since some OCD patients [a DSM label: ‘obsessive-compulsive disorder’] are refractory to state-of-the-art treatments and remain almost totally disabled, the research group has focused on the use of neurosurgical treatments for severe and treatment-refractory patients. Human subjects approval has been obtained at MGH, Brown University, and Rhode Island Hospital, and this study is now underway’ (Michael Jenike, Obsessive-compulsive disorders [defunct link when clicked in 2018].

On this revival of lobotomy see also Toxic Psychiatry (op. cit.), pp. 261ff.

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Published in: on December 14, 2018 at 1:47 pm  Comments Off on The hammer of the witches  

(((Sigmund Freud)))

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of my books that I wrote in the last century:

‘I’ve never done a mean thing’—Freud [1]

It must have been noted that insofar I have used interchangeably the terms ‘psychiatrist’ and ‘analyst’. Before reading Jeffrey Masson I thought they were two essentially different things.

How mistaken I was. Now I know that since its beginnings psychoanalysis has been closely related to psychiatry, and that in the United States and Canada almost all analysts are both physicians and psychiatrists. Sigmund Freud himself, who initiated his career as an electrotherapist, flourished thanks to an amalgamation of his system with psychiatric policies. For instance, the first journal of psychoanalysis was published by Eugene Bleuler and Freud in 1909. Again, like Kraepelin and Bleuler, it was difficult for Freud to side his ‘patients’ and easy to side their parents.

The psychiatrist Krafft-Ebing disliked a letter that Nina R., a nineteen-year-old girl, sent him saying she had erotic dreams. He wrote to Freud accusing her of ‘psychic masturbation’. In 1891 Freud wrote: ‘Nina R. has always been overexcited, full of romantic ideas, thinks her parents do not like her. Has the occasional fantasy that her father does not love her’, and in 1893 Freud wrote to Dr. Binswanger about this girl:

The inborn crookedness of her character manifested itself in her forgetting her immediate duties, her adjustment to her milieu, while she strove to gain interests on a more idealistic level and absorb more exalted intellectual stimuli. [2]

Clearly, this was a case of one of those so-called liberated women at the end of the 19th century chased by medical inquisitors that wanted them ‘sick’ to ‘treat’ them. (Note of 2018: Keep in mind that although I want to restore patriarchy, this must be done in the Aryan way by restoring the Jane Austen world in England for example. On the other hand, this business of pseudo-medical labelling as a previous step to assault healthy brains is a non-Aryan way of doing things.)

Freud also used his position to degrade male adolescents. This comes up from his own writings. In Psychopathology of Everyday Life Freud recounts that a mother asked him to examine her son. Freud noticed a spot in his pants and the adolescent said that an egg had fallen upon him. Freud didn’t swallow the story and talked with the mother in private. He diagnosed that the boy was ‘suffering from the troubles arising from masturbation’.[3] The point of the anecdote, which I owe to Tom Szasz, is that the boy did not suffer absolutely of anything: it was the ignorant mother the one who was preoccupied of the emergent sexuality of her son. But since, contra Hollywood, Freud shared the sexual prejudices of his age, he saw as ‘psychopathological’ something so normal as an adolescent ejaculation. Whether masturbation produced the spot or not, just as Catholics take the child to the confessional, the boy’s ejaculation merited a whole medical ceremony that culminated in a formal diagnosis. This was no lapse by Freud. Throughout his life he shared the 19th-century European hysteria about masturbation: he believed it to be noxious and even called it an ‘addiction’. [4]

Freud not only sided the parents in conflicts with youngsters, but the State as well. I had said that Freud started his career as an electrotherapist, but did not explain that this therapy was a medical torture in disguise used by the Austro-Hungarian Empire government. The German psychiatrist Julius Wagner-Jauregg used painful electrical shocks in the First World War against the fearful youngsters that wanted to abandon the military service. After the war some of the soldiers under this ‘treatment’ in the psychiatric ward of the Vienna General Hospital complained. In 1920, a commission was designated to investigate the charges. The commission asked Freud for his opinion. He defended Wagner-Jauregg and not only that: he insisted on calling ‘patients’ these soldiers and to talk of their fear as ‘illness’. The commission decided in favour of Wagner-Jauregg. Freud never repented about the defence he made of this case. [5]

In comparatively healthier times, the fact of being Jewish prevented Freud to do the career of a psychiatrist: a profession closely related to the State, so he elaborated a sophisticated method, ‘psychoanalysis’. I cannot make a detailed examination of analytic theory but can focus on its most important aspects.

Freud abandoned his own ‘seduction theory’, the discovery that some women that consulted him suffered from memories of having been raped by their fathers. In 1896 Freud wrote an article about the subject, ‘The aetiology of hysteria’, but when he realised that his scandalous revelations only estranged him from his colleagues in Vienna, he turned over his ideology and decided it was better to blame the victims. Freud then labelled these women as ‘hysterical’, and defined hysteria as an occult desire to be seduced. Although incest does indeed occur in some families, this revaluation of his original findings was to be the cornerstone on which Freud built his edifice. For psychoanalysis the year 1897 signals both the abandonment of the seduction theory (if you say that your father molested you…) and the ‘discovery’ of the Oedipus complex (… it means you fancied him).

In the year 1900, at the turn of the century, Freud saw for the first time the girl Ida Bauer, called ‘Dora’ in his writings. Mr K., an industrialist and friend of Dora’s father, had tried to seduce Dora several times, the first one when she was fourteen. When Dora spoke out about the situation her father decided to take her to the physician. The girl did not want to go: she only asked to be kept at a distance from Mr K. But finally she yielded. In a session with Freud, Dora recounted her story: since her father did not help her, perhaps the doctor could vindicate her. Freud listened to her during several sessions and, in contrast to his father, he believed her story. But he did something else. Let us listen to Freud:

You will agree that nothing makes you so angry as having it thought that you merely fancied the scene by the lake [the place of the seduction]. I know now—and this is what you do not want to be reminded of—that you did fancy that Mr K.’s proposals were serious, and that he would not leave off until you had married him. [6]

This is one of the sins that analysts commit. In this very moment one of them is ‘interpreting’ the mind of one of his unwary clients in a way as capricious as this seminal case. After Freud’s interpretation, that she was in love of a man so mature that could be her father, Dora said good-bye to the quack doctor never to come back. Freud retaliated contriving the theory that if someone does not agree with the analyst’s interpretation it is simply due to lack of insight: of not wanting to face one’s own psychological reality. Freud baptised this additional interpretation, elevated to doctrine in psychoanalysis, as resistance. To him this word meant that, once the analyst has made a diagnosis the case is closed, the rest is ‘resistance’:

We must not be led astray by initial denials. If we keep firmly to what we have inferred, we shall in the end conquer every resistance by emphasizing the unshakable nature of our convictions. [7]

What Freud really wanted was that his patients fell in a state of folie à deux with him. Freud not only failed to apologise to Dora for the stupidity he had told her, but elevated his stupid interpretation to the level of science with his literary resources: the essay of Freud on Dora is the most extensive clinic story of the Freudian legacy and the most cited about female ‘hysterics’. Because those in the cult of psychoanalysis consider Freud almost infallible, throughout the decades the Freudians have devoted themselves to continue to defile Dora’s image in their writings—without having met her. Famous analysts such as Ernest Jones, Felix Deutch, Jacques Lacan and even feminists like Toril Moi have expressed themselves with contempt for Dora. In other words, the folie à deux between Freud’s ideas and his followers continues. [8]

By the end of the 19th century, in a letter to his intimate friend Wilhelm Fliess, Freud had confessed that because of his essay on seduction ‘the word has been given out to abandon me and I am isolated’.[9] The isolation was caused by his theory of incest. But the Dora case vindicated him. His new theory of hysteria meant a hundred-and-eighty-degree turn over his previous position. Now Freud had no powerful industrialists like Mr K. as a target, but a helpless girl. Freud’s behaviour was already in line with psychiatry: to side parents, the affluent classes and to oppose its victims. From this perspective, it is no exaggeration to say that psychoanalysis was founded on the betrayal of women and children.

The Dora case and the abandonment of his seduction theory are no lapses of the founder of psychoanalysis. They invalidate two pillars of the Freudian edifice: the notion of hysteria and the famed Oedipus complex. After abandoning his ‘seduction theory’, that is, the discovery of some of his female patients had been victims of incest, Freud did not become interested again in the sorrows of the world. In fact, contra popular views his system has nothing to do with psychological trauma. For example, in all of the vast work of Freud and his disciple Carl Jung, there is no single line critical of involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. Jung himself learned his craft in the Burghölzli Hospital of Zurich under the supervision of Eugen Bleuler, the same psychiatrist who invented the word schizophrenia. On occasion Freud played the accomplice of Jung’s penitentiary psychiatry. On 16 May 1908 Freud wrote to Jung:

Enclosed the certificate for Otto Gross. Once you have him, don’t let him out before October, when I shall be able to take charge of him.[10]

This is Mafia. Gross himself was a physician who, ironically, had published that year a letter to the editor objecting the involuntary confinement of a girl by her father. Fortunately on 17 June Gross escaped the Burghölzli. Jung retaliated by labelling him ‘schizophrenic’. Freud accepted the slander with enthusiasm. [11]

Siding the witch burners

Like his forerunner Charcot, when discussing the subject of women persecuted by the Inquisition Freud wrote about ‘hysterics’. This is one of the facts that shocked me the most while reading a classic by Szasz, The Manufacture of Madness: Freud and his mentor did not talk of the perpetrators of the Inquisition but diagnosed their victims. In his obituary of Charcot, Freud wrote:

By pronouncing possession by a demon to be the cause of hysterical phenomena, the Middle Ages in fact chose this solution; it would only have been a matter of exchanging the religious terminology of that dark and superstitious age for the scientific language of today.[12]

As Szasz has noted this is an extraordinary claim. Freud acknowledges that the psychoanalytic description of hysteria is merely a semantic revision of the demonological one! [13]

In the 4th century the stigmatising labels of the Christian Newspeak were ‘pagan’ and ‘heretic’. A thousand years later there were no pagans, only heretics; but a new group became the target of stigmatisation: some women, also-called ‘witches’. In 1486 the Dominican theologians Jacob Sprenger and Heinrich Krämer published the Malleus Maleficarum, literally The Hammer of the Witches: the ideological source of terror for innumerable women that would last centuries. The number of assassinated women by the Inquisition is unknown, but some estimates yield numbers from a hundred thousand to half a million (the last execution for ‘witchcraft’ performed in 1793 in Poland).

Incredible as it may seem, these victims of crazed Christians are not considered such in the writings of psychiatrists. Following Charcot and Freud they talk of neuro-pathologies referring not to the inquisitors, but to their victims. For instance, for psychiatry historians Franz Alexander and Sheldon Selesnick the fact that these women were tortured and burned by the Inquisition is enough to convert them, not the murderers into objects of medical interest. And what do the psychiatrists say of the inquisitors? Gregory Zilboorg, another psychiatry historian called Sprenger and Krämer ‘two honest Dominicans’.[14] Similar words of admiration can be read in the writings of Jules Masserman, another psychiatrist. Of course, these psychiatrists, as haughty as medieval theologians, diagnose ‘psychopathologies’ centuries later, without having examined any of these women.

I call this ‘Wonderland Logic’ making reference to Lewis Carroll’s tale: the surrealism of accusing the victim and not the perpetrators. In the psychiatric Wonderland, almost every psychiatrist believes in these official histories of psychiatry. Fortunately, for historians who are not psychiatrists like Hugh Trevor-Roper the witch-hunt was by all means a paranoiac enterprise of the Church; after the Enlightenment there is no excuse to see in other way this chapter of history.

Freud’s semantic ‘hysterical’ revision over the demonological speaks of his virtual lack of morals and compassion. It is no surprise that a fellow who labels as ‘hysterical’ a victim of religious fanatics had treated patients the way he did.


[1] Ernest Jones quoting Sigmund Freud in Thomas Szasz, The myth of mental illness (Harper & Row, 1974), p. 153.

[2] Quoted in Against therapy (op. cit.), p. 82.

[3] The manufacture of madness, p. 195.

[4] Ibid., pp. 194-196.

[5] The myth of psychotherapy (op. cit.) has a chapter about electrotherapy and Freud.

[6] Against therapy, p. 95.

[7] Quoted in Paul Gray, ‘The assault on Freud’ (Time, 29 November 1993), p. 33.

[8] Against therapy, pp. 108-113. In his book, Masson devotes a whole chapter to the story of Dora.

[9] Ibid., p. 104.

[10] Anti-Freud, pp. 135f (footnote).

[11] Ibid., p. 136.

[xii] The manufacture of madness, p. 73.

[13] Ibid.

[14] The position of Charcot, Freud, Zilboorg and the other psychiatrists on the Inquisition appears in The manufacture of madness, pp. 73-81 esp., and in Szasz’s The myth of mental illness (Harper and Row, 1974), chapter 8.

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A labelled orphan

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of my books that I wrote in the last century:

‘And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless and
the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place’. —Jeremiah [1]

Some readers may be under the impression that I overstated my case with my hypothetical Dora—not Freud’s real Dora, the subject of another chapter—by claiming that psychiatrists are the hammer of the victims. To clear that impression away I will quote the testimony of John Bell: a boy who, like my Dora, was hammered by psychiatrists. Bell’s testimony was published in Speaking Our Minds, an English anthology of survivors of psychiatry:

There is a saying that goes, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me’. Yet there is one name that has caused me more pain and unhappiness that goes beyond imagination. And not only the name but all that went with it. The name in question is ‘schizophrenic’.

Three days before Christmas 1968, my father died from cancer. Five weeks later, my mother followed him. In a very short space of time I had gone from being a happy, carefree schoolboy to an orphan. I had only just turned 14 at the time. I went to stay with an uncle until arrangements could be made for me to be fostered or adopted.

Unfortunately, it never got to that stage. On the way home from school one day I was knocked off my pushbike by a car. As a result, I was admitted to hospital with severe concussion. After a week I was discharged. I then started to get attacks of anxiety. This, I have been told, is quite common after having a concussion.

My GP did not think so at the time and so passed me over to a psychiatrist. After a long talk with the psychiatrist, he said that I would be safer in a hospital. When he told me which hospital, I refused point blank. This was the place that my mother had referred to as Cotford Lunatic Asylum, the place they put people who were mad or insane. I knew the place as Tone Vale Mental Hospital.

Anyway, the psychiatrist issued me with some drugs which he said would help me. In fact, they did the opposite. The effects of these drugs were quite horrific and as a result I ended up in another hospital where some tests, including a lumbar puncture, were carried out.

In September 1969 I was taken to the Tone Vale and the only reason I was given was that they wished to discharge me from the hospital and I had no place to go except Tone Vale. The truth of it is that the psychiatrist had told my uncle that he suspected I had schizophrenia and that I would be safer in Tone Vale.

This was the start of events which devastated my life.

At Tone Vale there is a special unit called Merryfield. Because of my age I should have gone to that unit. Instead, I was placed in the main hospital, which, I can tell you, was a very terrifying experience. I knew that there was nothing wrong with me, that I did not need to be in a mental hospital, but I’m afraid I was the only one who saw it that way.

For the next seven months I went through hell. It was no use trying to talk to the nurses as all they did was mock me. My uncle took the trouble to visit me now and sign, but they always knew when he was coming and so the dose of Largactil was upped to a level that I was unable to stand up.

On more than one occasion I was beaten up by nurses. They actually enjoyed doing it. And when they used to tell me that nobody would believe me, they were right. Like the charge nurse once said to me, ‘Who is going to believe anyone in a mental hospital. We just put it down to you being ill. Tell people if you want but they are not going to take any notice’. I tried to tell my uncle what they did to me once, but the charge nurse was right, he didn’t believe a word of it. And as a result, I was given a shot of Paraldehyde.

The worst thing that I suffered in that first seven months is something that I have done my best to hide all these years. I was sexually abused by another patient one night. And when he had finished, he threw me onto the floor and kicked the living hell out of me. And a nurse just stood there and laughed.

My lucky break came when the Chief Medical Superintendent went on holiday. The doctor who stood in for him called me into the office one day. She told me that a mental hospital was no place for a boy of my age and as she could see nothing wrong with me, she discharged me there and then.

What I thought was the end of it all was just a break. A social worker was called in to take me back to my uncle’s house. When I showed up he was horrified. He made it clear he wasn’t prepared to have a schizophrenic in his house. Everybody else shared the same view. Not one single person wanted to know me.

My mind could take no more and so I stole a motorbike and rode it straight into a brick wall. I just wanted to die. There was nothing left to live for. I was alone in a big, cruel world and with the threat of having to return to Tone Vale. How I survived I am told is a miracle. I made a right mess of myself. I really wish I had not survived—it would have saved me from what was to come next.

I was taken back to Tone Vale under Section 25 of the Mental Health Act 1959. Before the end of the twenty-eight days [stipulated by law] were up I was handed a piece of paper stating that I was being detained under Section 26 and the diagnosis was ‘schizophrenia’. I was then taken to the back of the hospital and placed on a locked ward. It was put to me by the charge nurse of this ward that the only way I would leave it was when they transferred me to the geriatric ward below or in a coffin.

There were seventy patients on this ward and it was impossible to talk to any of them. Their minds had been destroyed. I saw some of those poor buggers get ECT neat. No doctor present either. I fell victim to it twice. Hardly a day went by when I didn’t get beaten by a nurse. But that’s it. They weren’t nurses. They were keepers. Some of the things that went on are unbelievable.

One day, I was taken down to see the Chief Medical Superintendent in his office. He told me that my condition was worsening and that they were considering giving me a small operation which he assured me would make me feel a lot better. On the way back to the ward my escort of two nurses delighted in showing me the operating room where he would ‘fix’ my brain.

It’s fair to say that the [municipal kennel] treats stray dogs better than I was treated by the nurses on Hood Ward. After two years I was released from Tone Vale. It would take far too long to say how, but I can tell you that it was by the skin of my teeth.

The fact that I had been labelled a schizophrenic has destroyed my life ever since. Everything that I have ever wanted to do has been ruined by that one word and the fact that I was detained in a mental hospital as a youngster. Employment, for example—people are reluctant to work with you when they find out; they feel threatened.

What happened to me years ago did a lot of damage—damage that can never be repaired or reversed. They took everything away from me. My youth. My rights as a human being. My dignity and self-respect. But the one thing that I did manage to hang onto was my mind, which is why for the past eighteen years I have fought so hard to prove that I was wronged. I fought so hard that I could take no more and became very ill—so ill, that in June 1990 I was once more admitted to Tone Vale, the place I swore I would never end up again. Back to the scene of the crime, as one nurse put it.

But it was worth going back. Why? Because the answers that I had been searching for, for so long, I got in the one place on this earth I never dreamed of—the place responsible in the first place. I was amazed at how much the place had changed over the past eighteen years. The building is still the same, but the methods of nursing have changed, and for the better I am glad to say.

The ward that I was on years ago is closed and boarded up now. What did surprise me is that they went to the trouble of getting it opened for a short while so that I could go up with the hope of laying some ghosts to rest. If nothing else, it certainly stirred up my emotions. It filled me with anger to think that so many lives were ruined on that ward.

My other major surprise was that during a meeting with my psychiatrist, Dr Hunt, he told me that he could find no evidence that I was schizophrenic, that the diagnosis of schizophrenia was made in error and that he would give me a letter to this effect. All the staff was amazed, as they told me there is no way that Dr Hunt would do this, but he did. I have been told by numerous people in the medical profession that this is a first. It means so much to me, because I no longer have to prove that I never suffered from schizophrenia. But it still doesn’t justify what happened and how it has ruined my life ever since. Nobody can give me back what I have lost.

While I was in Tone Vale last year, it was suggested that I write a book which I am in the process of doing. I need to write this book—not just for myself but for all those others who couldn’t tell their story, how they were destroyed, how they never got a chance. Getting it published is my only problem. I don’t know how to go about it. I intend to carry on fighting as well—fighting for better conditions for those diagnosed ‘mentally ill’. It’s like my key worker, Staff Nurse Chris Parker, said to me: ‘Psychiatry has come a long way since you left Tone Vale in 1972, but it still has a long way to go’.

To finish on a happier note—I shared a joke with Chris when I was in Tone Vale last. He said that having a key worker must seem strange to me. It’s a pretty new thing at Tone Vale. I replied, ‘No. They had them here in ’69. They unlocked the doors to let you in and they locked them to keep you in’. [2]

This case is only one among thousands of re-victimised persons by that criminal organization that is called psychiatry. It is evident that if his parents had not died this boy would never have been committed. His emotional problems were caused by the tragedy of the death of his parents, not by a ‘chemical imbalance’ that required medical imprisonment. To diagnose and commit Bell was a re-victimisation of a victim—just what I tried to illustrate with Dora—, something that not even Dr. Hunt could indemnify.

The case of John Bell shows once more that psychiatrists unconditionally side parents or tutors. The fact that an egoist uncle wanted to free himself from the tutelage of his fourteen- year-old nephew was enough for a psychiatrist to label Bell as the previous step to imprison him in a place where other victims were systematically re-victimised until driven mad.

In spite of the fact that psychiatric conditions have changed in England, I cannot agree with Chris Parker in that psychiatry ‘still has a long way to go’. Tom Szasz would simply say that involuntary psychiatry has to be abolished. Similarly, the Inquisition did not need any sort of reform, only abolition. Everything these inquisitors did to Bell was possible because of the articles 25 and 26 of the Mental Health Law of 1959, the foundation of psychiatric power in England at that time (today the British have a similar law, that of 1983). As stated in a previous chapter, those of us who believe in human rights must fight to derogate the 1983 law and the equivalent laws in the other nations.

Regarding the plans of the Chief Medical Superintendent to lobotomise this helpless orphan, I would like to confess something. Once I realised the existence of something that almost everybody is unaware of, the modern Inquisition, I had doubts to quote psychiatrists Theodore Lidz and Silvano Arieti in this book. Even though Lidz and Arieti disagreed with their colleagues about lobotomy, as far as I know they failed to condemn this mutilation of healthy brains and the criminals who practice it. [3]


[1] Jeremiah, 22:3 (Old Testament).

[2] John Bell, ‘Label removed, but scar remains’ in Jim Reed and Jill Reynolds (eds.), Speaking our minds: an anthology of personal experiences of mental distress and its consequences (The Open University, 1996), pp. 105-108.

[3] See, for example, the interview to Lidz in Laing and antipsychiatry (op. cit.). Arieti’s failure to condemn lobotomy appears in his classic work Interpretation of schizophrenia (op. cit.), pp. 670ff.

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Published in: on November 23, 2018 at 1:33 pm  Comments (2)  

Beware of the psychiatric Newspeak

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of my books that I wrote in the last century:

The ritual murder of people has always been preceded by the ritual murder of truth—and, indeed, by the ritual murder of language itself.

—Szasz [1]

The inconvenience with the metaphor ‘mental illness’ is that psychiatrists talk literally when they say that a person is mentally sick. Following a comparison with the economy, it is like saying that an economic collapse due to the hyperinflation of fiat currency was caused by a biological virus that affected the gold reservoirs; a virus that has yet to be detected in the labs, but that the bio-reductionist economists have faith they are going to detect in the future. Logically, linguistically and scientifically that would be nonsense, but this is precisely what psychiatrists are doing with the children of abusive families: they are literalising a biological metaphor.

Another reason why I do not like ‘mentally ill’ even as a metaphor is because that word takes off all reference to abuses, to a perpetrator and his victim. It is a very bad metaphor to refer to victims of parental abuse. No one would use it to refer to a Dora who has just been raped. If Dora herself used it the metaphor would turn out to be self-stigmatising. She would have fallen in her tormentor’s Newspeak and, therefore, in his political agenda.

The existence of mental illness as a somatic entity has not been demonstrated scientifically. It is a myth unconsciously created by biological psychiatrists to hide the fact that the family and society are driving some persons mad. To elucidate this point let us think a little about the language.

Some linguists have argued that language is rhetorical, and that we commit a great mistake in believing that, if a group of individuals uses a word in all seriousness, it means that something real exists behind it. For instance, those who defined modern psychiatry used terms like ‘dementia praecox’ (Emil Kraepelin), ‘schizophrenia’ (Eugen Bleuler) and ‘hysteria’ (Jean-Martin Charcot and Sigmund Freud) to stigmatize adolescents and women. According to Orwell, the rhetorical objective of Newspeak is social control; neologism and the abuse of language characterise it. Even though Orwell had in mind political totalitarianism, psychiatrists also abuse language: they have dared to call the ‘right to treatment’ involuntary hospitalisation, and ‘therapy’ the electroshock punishment in psychiatric wards. Civil society must vehemently repudiate these words of the Therapeutic State. To illustrate why we must do it, I would like to make reference to an ideology that, in contrast to the totalitarianism of the 20th century, triumphed and imposed its Newspeak for centuries.

The 4th century of the Common Era, during the reign of Theodosius, witnessed the consolidation of power of the bishops in the Roman Empire after the premature death of Julian the Apostate. Those unconverted to the new religion, that in Julian times enjoyed special protection, became second-class citizens. A new word was coined, ‘pagan’, to label the adept of the millenarian Hellenic culture. Once created the Newspeak those stigmatized as ‘pagans’ became persecuted. Only by these means did the new theocracy succeed to eradicate the Greco-Roman culture.

Modern psychiatrists have also created a Newspeak. Only that they have classified a multitude of disorders and invented others to repress the unwanted, even those who are perfectly sane. Tom Szasz is aware of these snares, and he warns us that the abuse of language (‘pagan’, ‘heretic’ or ‘borderline personality disorder’, the label applied to the mentioned Rachel) is the first step to abuse people. For that very reason all discourse must start with a thorough cleansing in our vocabulary. Only semantic hygiene can prevent us from ideological and political contamination.

Let us now comment on what I used to consider heroes in my previous writing. In a 1971 interview Theodore Lidz stated:

I personally, as you may know, do not consider schizophrenia a disease or an illness, but rather a type of reaction to a sick organization, a personality disorder […]. While I use the word schizophrenia, for example, I think I would never say a patient has schizophrenia. We say a patient is schizophrenic. [2]

The problem with this posture is that today ‘schizophrenia’ is the equivalent word to ‘witch’ in times of the Inquisition. Had Lidz lived in that epoch, would he like that an inquisitor told him that his mother was a witch (cf. the life of Johannes Kepler)? Hugh Trevor-Roper, who studied this black chapter of history, said that the witch-hunt stopped only until the West questioned the very idea of Satan, that is, until the dawn of the Enlightenment. Exactly the same can be said about psychiatry, which already has three hundred years, the time the Inquisition lasted. As long as the idea of ‘mental illness’ remains unchallenged, of which schizophrenia is only one of its paradigms, the persecution of civilians who have not broken any law will not cease.

Let us now listen to Ronald Laing:

Perhaps we can still retain the now old name, and read into it its etymological meaning: Schiz—‘broken’; Phrenos—‘soul’ or ‘heart’. The schizophrenic in this sense is one who is brokenhearted, and even broken hearts have been known to mend, if we have the heart to let them.[3]

This posture makes better common cause with the victim than Lidz’s. But Laing did not seem to realise that in practice the term he retained is used as a semantic bludgeon to re-victimise that victim!

In spite of the fact that Laing was considered the anti-psychiatrist par excellence, he failed to elaborate a critique of language, the most basic of all critiques. Laing did not abandon the word schizophrenia even though psychiatrists cannot explain how this disease could remain so many centuries without detection until Emil Kraepelin and Eugen Bleuler supposedly discovered it. ‘How could it have been missed if it affected one percent of the population, as it does now?’ asks in his magnificent naiveté Fuller Torrey, one of the most popular apologists of biopsychiatry.[4] That the word ‘schizophrenia’ is merely a political neologism is suggested by the fact that the former expression of 1883 divulged by Kraepelin, ‘dementia praecox’, raised up the same suspicion of ‘moral insanity’ (dementia praecox and schizophrenia refer exactly to the same adolescent symptoms). Therein the necessity of Eugen Bleuler to invent in 1911 a Newspeak word that covered up better his political objectives against adolescents. Let us re-baptize Kraepelin’s dementia praecox as ‘schizophrenia’ and in the 20th century no one will suspect anything! [5]

So the word schizophrenia was born. But Laing did not culminate his critique of psychiatry with a critique of language. In fact, each time that, as Laing did, we call schizoid or schizophrenic an adolescent we miserably fall into the trap that Bleuler laid for us, a trap that impedes us to see the essentially political nature of the epithet—‘moral insanity’ for liberated women, ‘dementia praecox’ for rebellious adolescents. Nowadays the smokescreen that the creators of the mental health movement have lifted is so dense; it has covered so much the air that civil society breaths, that only by reading the critics of psychiatry it is possible to rise up above the curtain and see what is behind it.

Defending his position before Szasz’s criticism, Silvano Arieti argued:

I believe that when psychiatrists examine typical cases of, for example, a patient who says that he is Jesus Christ because he drank Carnation milk and therefore has been reincarnated, or who uses peculiar neologisms or metonymic distortions or typical word-salad, or who sees everywhere FBI agents spying on him, or hallucinates all the time, or is in catatonic postures, or complete withdrawal, they are confronted with a constellation or Gestalt that cannot be confused. Certainly no pejorative connotation should be given to a dysfunction of the human being; but if human beings are inclined to do so, they will not refrain from attaching sooner or later a pejorative connotation to the name that replaces the old one.[6]

Colin Ross, who, incidentally, eagerly looked for a copy of the DSM to point out something to me during our Dallas meeting, went even further:

The DSM-IV system is one of the truly important achievements of twentieth-century psychiatry, and it far outweighs the contribution of biological research. I am a firm believer in the necessity for operationalized diagnostic criteria. [7]

Anti-Freud, a Szasz study about a purist of language, convinced me that this is a big mistake.[8] The first step a dissident of an ideology should take is to abandon its Newspeak, and even more its slanderous epithets. Sometimes I have even thought that, despite their creative work, one of the reasons why neither Lidz nor Laing nor Arieti left a school is that none dared to break away from the psychiatric Newspeak (Ross is still too young to know whether or not he will leave any school).

Let us consider for instance the apparently plausible defence by Arieti, quoted above. Szasz had said that the term schizophrenia is a panchreston (from Greek, a word ‘good for everything’ just as a sailor box is so handy in sewing). In the present context, panchreston is a word which merely baptizes with a name a large constellation of disorders (cf. Arieti’s constellation) when such name only mystifies and obscures what the popular word, madness, expresses better. Of course, psychiatrists baptise the crudest form of madness with a single medical name to make people believe they know exactly what they are dealing with, but the truth is that they know absolutely nothing about its aetiology. This is so true that even a 1997 editorial of the American Journal of Psychiatry conceded that ‘as yet, we have no identified etiological agents for psychiatric disorders’. [9]

My reply to Arieti is that those who hate Christianity will never use the word ‘pagan’ when talking about, say, a 4th century Hellenist; or ‘heretical’ when referring to a Mormon—independently that before them traditional Christians are comforted with a Gestalt that cannot be confused. Likewise, those of us who disapprove of involuntary psychiatry do not use psychiatric words to refer to rebellious boys or even the disturbed ones—even if by that we mean (as Laing meant) that they are victims of family abuse. If we use the epithets the effect on them would be counterproductive and re-victimising.

With regard to the genuinely disturbed, Arieti is right in pointing out that the old epithet ‘crazy’ is pejorative too, but he omitted to add that the new one carries along political actions such as involuntary medication and hospitalisation. I appreciate that, in contrast to biological psychiatrists, Arieti maintained the parental aetiology of the disorders he saw in these youngsters. However, if this is so the psychiatric labels should be devised and directed against the parents, not against their victims. Of very little use could a sophisticated diagnostic taxonomy such as the DSM be if the psychiatrists fail to say that distressed people passed through something more dreadful than a concentration camp! As I said, no one diagnoses as schizophrenic, manic-depressive or paranoid a Dora who has just been raped by a gang omitting to say what has just happened to her.

But the most sinister aspect of psychiatric diagnoses is that frequently they stigmatise perfectly normal behaviour. Psychiatrists diagnose as schizophrenia not only cases such as Arieti’s bizarre constellation, but adolescent rebellion as well. That is to say, they use the old trick of ‘guilty by association’ of rebellious teenagers with the disturbed ones. This is precisely the panchrestonian (‘good for everything’) character of the words schizophrenia and schizoidism.

In our societies the power to stigmatize with the word that Lidz, Laing, Arieti and Ross retained is enormous. To say ‘John Doe is a schizophrenic’ euphonically sounds ‘John Doe is a monster’, so much so that it is used precisely to slander people before society. We have seen that in recent times the psychiatrists are stamping the label ‘hyperactive’ to the boy who for centuries humankind called ‘mischievous’, and also the label ‘autistic’ to the girl who withdraws. Just as the label ‘schizophrenia’, which usually is used against rebellious teenagers, these words only mystify and obscure what popular words expressed much better.

The crux is that these are not descriptive but dispositive words. The aim of mystifying language is to legitimise, at the request of the parents, an assault with psychiatric drugs on the brains of these children and teenagers perfectly healthy and normal. (‘Perfectly normal people are kept in treatment centers, perfectly normal teenagers. Nobody was crazy there, not even one person’—the teenage Rachel as quoted in a previous chapter.) This is why we should never use words such as ‘schizoid’ while the psychiatric institution exists just as we would not use the word ‘heretic’ when the Inquisition existed. In those times the word ‘heretic’ was a dispositive word. To say ‘John Doe is a heretic’ actually meant, ‘We want John Doe at the stake’.

Unfortunately, psychiatry has beguiled society and these dispositive words are being used by everybody. This can be noted by reviewing our dictionaries. According to the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, for instance, Newspeak is ‘propagandistic language characterized by euphemism, circumlocution, and the inversion of customary meanings’. However, on that very page the editors let themselves to be bamboozled by the Newspeak: they defined the neuroleptic as ‘any of the powerful tranquilizers (as the phenothiazines or butyrophenones) used esp. to treat psychosis’.[10] This definition is taking for granted that there are ‘psychos’ like Rachel and her friends who are badly in need of being drugged rather than we are dealing with a drug for social control.

In contrast to these psychiatrists, anti-psychiatrists and linguists, my hope is that someday propagandistic language like ‘schizoid’ is considered as superstitious and political as the politically-correct slanders of today (‘anti-Semite’, ‘racist’, ‘misogynist’, ‘islamophobe’, ‘homophobe’, ‘xenophobe’, etc.). Not even the anti-psychiatrists saw how serious it is to re-victimise the victims by using the psychiatric Newspeak because no one was, as John Modrow, a victim of the diagnosis ‘schizophrenic’. It is not excessive to quote Modrow again: ‘In this regard, I never fully recovered from what psychiatry and my parents did to me until I finally realized I had never been ill in the first place’. The testimony of another survivor, an orphan, whom I will quote in the next chapter, annotates what I’ve been trying to say in the last paragraphs.


[1] The therapeutic state (op. cit.), p. 303.

[2] Quoted in Robert Orrill and Robert Boyers (eds.), ‘Interview with Theodore Lidz’ in R.D. Laing and antipsychiatry (Perennial Library, 1971), pp. 151f.

[3] R.D. Laing, The politics of experience (Ballantine Books, 1968), p. 130.

[4] Surviving schizophrenia (op. cit.), p. 215.

[5] Something similar happened in more recent times with ‘manic-depressive disorder’. It was re-baptized as ‘bipolar disorder’, which mystifies the condition even further, so that the public may associate it with a biomedical disease (that has to be treated with chemicals like lithium).

[6] Interpretation of schizophrenia (op. cit.), p. 693.

[7] Pseudoscience in biological psychiatry (op. cit.), p. 122.

[8] See ‘Recommended readings’ at the end of this book.

[9] Quoted in Peter Breggin and David Cohen, Your drug may be your problem: how and why to stop taking psychiatric medications (Perseus Books, 1999), p. 112. (The words of the editorial by G.J. Tucker, ‘Putting DSM-IV in perspective’, appear in AJP, 155, p. 159.)

[10] Webster’s third new international dictionary unabridged with seven language dictionary, vol. I (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1993), p. 96a (addenda).

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