A ‘disease’ whose lesion no one can see

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. I wrote most of the below text in the last century:
 

In his Occidental Dissent article about yesterday’s California bar shooting, the author wrote:

Take a young man, send him to fight in some God-forsaken Third-World pit inhabited by primitive Brown people, let him watch his buddies get their arms and legs blown off, dump him back in a homeland devoid of true healing religion, a unified culture, and basic healthcare, and you’ve essentially created a ticking time bomb.

Add in experimental drugs that certain (((doctors))) like to prescribe without knowing or caring about side effects, and the situation only grows worse.

So true.

With the Helfgott case I have outlined the model of trauma. Now, I will say something about the so-called medical model of mental disorders.

It is elemental that there can be no medical treatment without a biomedical disease. However, in contrast with true brain diseases such as tumors, multiple sclerosis, meningitis, epilepsy or neurosyphilis, after more than a century of bio-reductionist psychiatry no one has been able to demonstrate that the ‘diseases’ the psychiatrists diagnose are related to brain lesions. Thus by an act of faith and a diametrically opposed logic to jurisprudence, the psychiatrists supposed that the people under their charge were ill (‘guilty’) until proven healthy. Just as the pseudoscience of parapsychology that started about the same time as modern psychiatry, and which after more than a hundred years has not been able to demonstrate the paranormal, the psychiatrists believed it was simply a matter of time for the cellular pathology of the mysterious disease ‘schizophrenia’ to be discovered. (Likewise, the parapsychologists have been running after the mirage that sooner or later they will demonstrate the reality of ESP and psychokinesis.) [1] Thomas Szasz’s words are decisive on this point:

The gist of my argument is that men like Kraepelin, Bleuler and Freud [who defined modern psychiatry and psychotherapy] were not what they claimed or seem to be—namely, physicians or medical investigators; they were, in fact, religious-political leaders and conquerors. Instead of discovering new diseases, they extended, through psychiatry, the imagery, vocabulary, jurisdiction, and hence the territory of medicine to what they were not, and are not, diseases in the original Virchowian sense.

Actually, given the Virchowian criteria of disease [cell pathology], I do not believe that Kraepelin, Bleuler, or the other psychiatrists of that period could have assumed such a role, and gotten away with it. The reason is simple. They would have had to conclude that most of the ‘patients’ in their hospitals were not sick; at least, they could not have found anything demonstrably wrong with the anatomical structure or physiological functioning of their bodies. [2]

On these premises Szasz’s verdict is that:

No one is so blind as the person who does not want to see. Many people did not want to see in the past, and do not want to see now, the naked facts of psychiatry—namely, that psychiatrists diagnose diseases without lesions, and treat patients without rights.

This, then, was the fateful point of departure in the origin of modern psychiatry: the invention of the alleged disease ‘schizophrenia’—a disease whose lesion no one could see, and which ‘afflicted’ persons in such a way that often they wanted nothing more than not to be patients. [3]

Despite the misinforming publicity in the media promoted by the pharmaceutical companies, no one has seen anomalies in the brains of those labeled with that word, so much so that the psychiatric concept ‘schizophrenia’ has a bad reputation among some neurologists (the renowned journals of neurology do not publish bio-reductionist papers about ‘schizophrenia’). [4] Furthermore, it is fascinating to notice that, for many years, in the DSM the very American Psychiatric Association excluded the organic conditions as responsible for what they call schizophrenia. For instance, in the published revision of 1987, DSM-IIIR, the manual says that such diagnosis ‘is made only when it cannot be established that an organic factor initiated and maintained the disturbance’. [5] If they recognise that organic causes have not been found, how do these shrinks dare to tell their clients that the condition is due to chemical imbalances in the brain? What kind of schizophrenia do these professionals suffer from?

Perhaps the explanation of their divided mind can be found in the following fact. It was not until the DSM-IV edition of 1994 that the honest passage (‘it cannot be established that an organic factor…’) was censured from the former version. Psychiatrist Fuller Torrey recognises that the censorship could have been due to ‘the prevailing psychoanalytic and family interaction theories of schizophrenia’. [6] Another explanation is that if psychiatrists did not take bio-reductionism dogmatically and made common cause with the victims they listen in their offices, their drug prescribing enterprise in just a ten-minute consultation could go out of business—and that is something they cannot afford. As Laing said, economics controls politics.

It controls science too, or rather the political pseudoscience in the universities. If the medical model persists it is because it provides an unending field of pseudoscientific research for psychiatric drugs that generate billions of dollars. It is that simple. This ‘research’ has persisted since psychiatrists decided that the people under their charge were ill, and it will proceed because the biological causes of madness do not exist. It is exactly what is happening in parapsychology: both parapsychology and biological psychiatry unceasingly run after a mirage. (It is worth saying that Eugen Bleuler, who coined the word ‘schizophrenia’, was a staunch advocate of spiritualist phenomena in his time.) [7]

It seems incredible that the so-called professionals in mental disorders are capable of self-deception of this magnitude, but just to show that besides Szasz there is a new generation of psychiatrists that have realised how medical students are being deceived, I will quote Colin Ross again:

When I entered my psychiatry residency, I believed that research had demonstrated the genetic foundation of schizophrenia and had shown that schizophrenia is primarily a biomedical brain disease. This view was almost universally accepted at my medical school, and I never heard serious criticism of it while in training. It was by a gradual process that I began to become more and more aware of the cognitive errors pervading clinical psychiatry […]. I also saw how badly biological psychiatrists want to be regarded as doctors, and accepted by the rest of the medical profession. In their desire to be accepted as real clinical scientists, these psychiatrists were building far too dogmatic an edifice on a very meager scientific foundation […].

One of the most disturbing effects of the errors of logic in biological psychiatry I witnessed in ten years as a resident and academic psychiatrist, from 1981 to 1991, was their influence in medical students. Already intensively socialized into biomedical reductionism by the time they arrived on the psychiatry wards, many medical students accepted the folklore and logical errors of biological psychiatry as a scientific fact. I would hear them parroting the teaching that psychiatry has become more scientific recently, has many effective drugs, has demonstrated the genetic foundation of schizophrenia, and is moving ever forward into more specific psycho-pharmacology. The problem was not that all these propositions were completely false; rather, it was the uncritical acceptance of the dogma that alarmed me. [8]

This passage is from Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry. In another chapter of this book Ross criticises one by one several bio-reductionist articles of the AJP (American Journal of Psychiatry), the official organ of information of American psychiatry. It is unnecessary to quote the rebuttals to the theories of the medical model of ‘schizophrenia’: studies on monozygotic twins, the dopamine hypothesis, the subjects’ response to psycho-pharmacology, etc. Those interested in the rebuttals can review the writings of Ross and especially Peter Breggin’s journal. [9] Suffice it to quote Ross’ final words about the AJP:

This completes a detailed analysis of pseudoscience in the American Journal of Psychiatry from 1990 to 1993. The January 1994 issue of the Journal indicates that logical errors and bio-reductionist ideology will continue to dominate psychiatry for some time. A similar analysis could not be made of a leading journal in a truly scientific field. [10]

In the market world, the advertising that drug companies sell to the media is taken as real science. This advertising, which ignores the biographies of persons like those of the California shooter, is precisely the same of the medical students who parrot that psychiatry has demonstrated the biologic foundation of schizophrenia, depression and other mental disorders. The impression on the public of these supposed medical advances has been created by the incessant repetition of these psychiatric slogans in the media.

________

[1] A splendid book of how for more than a century parapsychologists have been chasing a mirage is Leaps of faith: science, miracles, and the search for supernatural consolation by Nicholas Humphrey (Basic Books, 1996).

[2] Thomas Szasz, Schizophrenia: the sacred symbol of psychiatry (Oxford University Press, 1979), pp. 35 & 21.

[3] Ibid., pp. 42f.

[4] Neurology (the official journal of the American Academy of Neurology), Journal of Neurology (European Neurological Society), Journal of Neurological Sciences (International Federation of Neurology), Journal of Neuroradiology and Archives of Neurology.

[5] Quoted in Lawrence Stevens, Schizophrenia: a nonexistent disease (www.antipsychiatry.org). The page of the DSM-IIIR is 187.

[6] E. Fuller Torrey, Surviving schizophrenia: a family manual (Harper & Row, 1988), p. 149.

[7] George Windholz, ‘Bleuler’s view on the inheritance of acquired characteristics and on psi phenomena’ in Skeptical Inquirer (Spring, 1994), pp. 273-279.

[8] Colin Ross, ‘Errors of logic in biological psychiatry’ in Colin Ross and Alvin Pam (eds.), Pseudoscience in biological psychiatry: blaming the body (Wiley & Sons, 1995), pp. 85-87.

[9] Pam and Ross convincingly refute the biological theories of schizophrenia in chapters 1 and 2 of the book cited in the previous note; Peter Breggin in chapter 5 of Toxic psychiatry (op. cit.) and more academically in his scholarly journal. In addition to the mental institution with his name, Ross has been a contractor of psychopharmaceutical companies; he has been called to participate in neuroleptic trials, and continues to publish in the AJP: his credentials as a psychiatrist are impeccable. The books of veteran critic, Tom Szasz, who already has forty years fighting against psychiatric barbarities, are also useful to approach the subject of this inquisitorial pseudoscience.

[10] Colin Ross, ‘Pseudoscience in the American Journal of Psychiatry’ in Pseudoscience in biological psychiatry, p. 191.

______ 卐 ______

Liked it? Take a second to support this site.

Published in: on November 9, 2018 at 12:01 am  Comments (4)  

Shine: a dad more devastating than Mengele

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an edited translation (I’ve now added a couple of triple brackets) of a chapter of one of my books that I wrote before my awakening on the JQ:
 

Mental illness in the biological sense is a myth. Yet, it is obvious that madness is not. Madness exists, but it is merely a psychological catastrophe.

Millions have seen this phenomenon on the big screen. The movie Shine is about the life of David Helfgott, who became famous after Geoffrey Rush interpreted his tragic and won an Oscar for best actor. I will sketch his life so flatly that the story’s pathos will be missed.

(((David Helfgott))), a sensible and talented boy for the piano, wasn’t only the eldest son of Peter, but his spiritual heir as well: the unlimited love of Peter insufflated his great music vocation. David, who used to run on the street to embrace his dad when he came back from work, corresponds to such love by consecrating his pianist career to his dad. But Peter did something wicked. He felt humiliated by other Jews in the community and displaced all of his impotence toward his favourite son. The assault to the ego of the boy lasted years. David became a disturbed young man, a ‘schizophrenic’.

This is a case of real life. At the writing of these lines [1999] David Helfgott still lives in Australia and continues to play the piano. However, David is under the care of his wife Gillian since he could never recover. In her biography Love You To Bits and Pieces, the result of years of maternal care of her husband, Gillian testifies that ‘David always believed’ that his father ‘caused his illness’. [1]

In essence, this is what the proponents of the trauma model of madness, Lidz, Laing and Arieti, have been trying to say. They studied parents like Peter instead of treating the brain of the victims of such parents, which is what bioreductionist psychiatrists do.

I would like to mention another case in real life, the boy (((Yakoff Skurnik))). Relying on Yakoff’s testimony, Gene Church wrote 80629: a Mengele experiment.[2]

Yakoff Skurnik survived Birkenau and Auschwitz, where he claims that all his family died and that he became a guinea pig of Josef Mengele. Immobilized by the staff and in Mengele’s presence, a doctor named Doering castrated Yakoff without the proper spinal anaesthesia. Apparently his castrated genitals were photographed by the Russians, but after liberation Yakoff and others were capable to thrive in life.

Yakoff didn’t become mad in a Nazi camp but David did before his abusive dad. How was that possible? Following the Sullivan-Modrow model, in some way the Nazis ran across more difficulties to reach Yakoff’s inner self and injure it than Peter with his son. A passage by Arieti sheds light on these two different cases:

First of all we have to repeat here what we already mentioned […], that conditions of obvious external danger, as in the case of wars, disasters, or other adversities that affect the collectivity [my italics], do not produce the type of anxiety that hurts the inner self and do not themselves favor [insanity]. Even extreme poverty, physical illness, or personal tragedies do not necessarily lead to [insanity] unless they have psychological ramifications that hurt the sense of self. Even homes broken by death, divorce, or desertion may be less destructive than homes where both parents are alive, live together, and always undermine the child’s conception of himself. [3]

Since the victims of a concentration camp are a collectivity, the self of Skurnik or his inmates was not necessarily assaulted; hence they had better chances to survive psychologically than the sole victim of parental abuse, such as Helfgott. Arieti’s passage answers also one of the favourite arguments of bioreductionist psychiatrists in their attempts to refute the trauma model of insanity. For instance, in a critique to his colleagues who believe in the model of trauma, August Piper argues that:

The logic of the claim that childhood trauma causes [insanity] demonstrates a serious final flaw. If the claim were true, the abuse of millions of children over the years should have caused many cases of [insanity]. A case in point: children who endured unspeakable maltreatment in the ghettoes, boxcars, and concentration camps of Nazi Germany. However, no evidence exists that any [become insane] (Bower 1994; Des Pres 1976; Eitinger 1980; Krystal 1991; Sofsky 1997) or that any dissociated or repressed their traumatic memories (Eisen 1988; Wagenaar and Growneweg 1990). Similarly, the same results hold in studies of children who saw a parent murdered (Eth y Pynoos 1994; Malmquist 1986); studies of kidnapped children (Terr 1979; Terr 1983); studies of children known to have been abused (Gold et al. 1994); and in several other investigations (Chudoff 1963; Pynoos y Nader 1989; Strom et al. 1962). Victims neither repressed their traumatic events, forgot about them, nor [become insane]. [4]

The case of Yakoff and his inmates, neither of whom became mad, exemplifies what Piper wanted to say in the above quotation. However, it is clear that Piper has not studied with attention the investigators he criticises. I know personally one of them, Colin Ross, whom I visited on 4 March 1997 in his Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma, a mental institution at the north of Dallas. I had written Ross after reading one of his books and he admitted me as a visiting researcher. Ross’ clinic of traumatised people is the only mental institution I have ever stepped in, and although I visited it for only nine hours, in the therapeutic sessions I saw many devastated women by domestic abuse.

Below I quote a passage from the text they give to the newcomer patients:

The problem of attachment to the perpetrator is a term invented by Dr. Ross. It provides a way of understanding the basic conflict in survivors of physical and sexual abuse by parents, relatives, and caretakers. The conflict exists in all of us to some degree, since we all had imperfect parents, but is much more intense and painful in abuse survivors. Ambivalent attachment may not be such a core problem when the perpetrator was not a family member or an important attachment figure [my italics].

The basic driver of [insanity] is simply the kind of people mom and dad were, and what it was like day in and day out in that family.

The focus of therapy is not on the content of memories, processing of memories as such, or any particular thing that happened. This is because the deepest pain and conflict does not come from any one specific event […].

Because children are mammals, they are biologically constructed to attach to their parents […]. There is no decision to make about attachment. Your biology decides for you and it happens automatically. In a halfway normal, regular family this all works out relatively well with the usual neurotic conflicts. The problem faced by many patients is that they did not grow up in a reasonably healthy, normal family. They grew up in an inconsistent, abusive, and traumatic family.

This is the cardinal distinction that biological psychiatrists do not want to acknowledge in their clinical practice: dysfunctional families are very different from schizophrenogenic families.

The very people to whom the child had to attach for survival, were also abuse perpetrators and hurt him or her badly […]. One way to cope with the abuse would be to withdraw, shut down one’s attachment system, and go into a cocoon. This would be psychological suicide, and would cause failure to thrive. Your biology will not let you make this decision—the drive to attachment overrides the withdrawal reflex. You must keep your attachment system up and running in order to survive […].

The basic conflict, the deepest pain, and the deepest source of symptoms, is the fact that mom and dad’s behavior hurts, did not fit together, and did not make sense. It was crazy and abusive. [5]

What Ross says complements what Arieti said: the only person before whom we are really vulnerable is the one with whom we are bonded since children. If the quotation of Piper refers to someone like Yakoff Skurnik, the latter refers to someone like David Helfgott. Ross talks of the abusive relationship of a minor with someone who represents something very special for him or her. The abuses that Piper recounts are not of the kind that Modrow suffered, the sensation of the betrayal of the universe. They are a completely different set of psychological phenomena.

This is one of the problems not only of psychiatry, but also of psychology in general. They want to study ‘objectively’ a subject without realising the existence of an entire universe inside him. It’s not possible to study a mind from the outside as behaviourists do: we need the individual testimonies, the survivors’ autobiographies. Independently of the scholarship of Piper (his paper contains a hundred references), his cases have little to do with a Modrow or a David Helfgott.

The Helfgott case also answers another favourite argument I have heard from other bioreductionist psychiatrists: ‘The question is why one becomes sick and not the other siblings’. If there is something common in the literature of victims, it is that the behaviour of schizophrenogenic parents is directed almost exclusively toward one child, not toward all of his brothers and sisters, just as Peter’s behaviour targeted David, not his other children, and the same can be read in Modrow’s autobiography.

In my comparison between the Jews David and Yakoff, one victimized by his father, the other in a concentration camp, there is something else. The Nazi dynamics toward Yakoff did not constitute a mixture of cruelty and love as was Peter’s attitude toward David—the ‘short circuit’ caused by ‘Jekyll-Hyde’ fluctuations about which I have written, that results in the ambivalent attachment to the perpetrator according to Ross. There is a big difference between being a victim of camp guards, who appeared in Yakoff’s mind as aliens, and being a victim of he who, with all of his love, formed the universe of the child David. In the words of David himself to his wife:

It’s all daddy’s fault. It’s all daddy’s fault […]. ’Cause father had a sort of a devil in him, and an angel in him, and all my life was like that. Dad always had a devil and an angel all his life. It’s a sort of a dichotomy, a split of scale. [6]

‘Father’ doesn’t seem to be the same ‘dad’ in David’s disturbed mind. That this dichotomy produces split personalities was precisely what I observed in the Dallas female patients (in the Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma almost all inmates for multiple personalities were women).

Resiliency is the capability of a strained object to recover its size and shape after stress. In elastics for instance the capability of resilience has a limit: if the elastic is extended beyond its breaking point it will break and won’t recover its original form. Using this analogy I would say that the Nazi abuses Yakoff was subjected lied within the ‘resiliency’ limit of his mind. It was not so with David’s Jewish daddy. The abuses he was subjected went beyond the breaking point and he suffered a permanent psychotic breakdown.

To sum up, the criterion to measure the level of trauma should be the breakdown that the abuse causes, not the abuse itself. A father who loves his Jewish son can break him better than a Nazi who does not like the Jewish prisoners. The breakdown of David’s mind occurred because relatively Peter’s atrocity was greater than that of the Nazi who castrated Yakoff. It came from the one on earth whom the abuse should never have come from: the one who formed his soul.

___________

[1] Love you to bits and pieces (Penguin Books, 1996), p. 268.

[2] Gene Church, 80629: a Mengele experiment (Route 66 Publishing, 1996).

[3] Interpretation of schizophrenia (op. cit.), p. 197. I substituted the word ‘schizophrenia’ for ‘insanity’ in the brackets—see the next note.

[4] August Piper Jr., ‘Multiple personality disorder: witchcraft survives in the twentieth century’ in Skeptical Inquirer (May/June 1998). Piper’s critique doesn’t refer to general madness but to so-called ‘multiple personality’. Yet, the substitution of psychiatric terms I have done in these quotations is pertinent. Ross himself told me that it is very common that psychiatrists become confused and diagnose as ‘schizophrenics’ those with ‘multiple personality’ and vice versa. The point is that, since I don’t believe in a formal system of categories (as is the DSM), I’m not obliged to make these distinctions. I prefer to include all psychoses within the vernacular word ‘insanity’ as I did with my brackets instead of the textual ‘MPD’ (multiple personality disorder).

John Modrow’s words are conclusive in this respect: ‘Since no clear-cut distinctions can be drawn between schizophrenia and a number of other psychiatric syndromes, such labels as schizophrenia, paranoia, manic-depression, and so forth, are mere artificial abstractions obscuring the unitary nature of madness. Indeed, I would go even further than that: the madness-sanity dichotomy is itself a mere artificial convention obscuring the fundamental unity of the human mind’ (How to become a schizophrenic, op. cit.), p. 238.

[5] Dissociative disorders program: patient information packet (Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma, undated).

[6] The two passages separated by the bracket come from Love you to bits and pieces (op. cit.), pp. 42 & 104.

______ 卐 ______

Liked it? Take a second to support this site.

Inside the Ministry of Love

Yesterday, Greg Johnson published an article that shows he’s an absolute ignorant about the trauma model of mental disorders. I have dedicated most of my intellectual life to the subject that extremely abusive parents literally drive their children mad. The basic aetiology of psychoses has nothing to do with faulty genes or chemical imbalances (biological psychiatry is a classical pseudoscience). Cf. my book Day of Wrath for a comprehensive approach to the trauma model. For a single chapter within that book, see ‘A Class With Colin Ross’.

My broader criticism of psychiatry (see for example: here) is a subject indirectly related to the sort of parental abuse that drives children mad, as is the below translation of one of my texts in Spanish.

 

______ 卐 ______

 

But again and again there comes a time in history when the man who dares to say that two and two make four is punished with death.

Albert Camus [1]

Nothing is more terrible than to continually assault the self-image of a person. Not even natural death, terrible as it may be, produces panic. It does produce it, on the other hand, a deaf ear before the screams of a soul in pain, and to be compelled to attend ‘psychoanalytic’ sessions with a professional in deafness is to be compelled to sessions of psychic torture.

It is like the case of my hypothetical Dora: ‘Your story of parental abuse is fictitious. The way you have structured your self is ridiculous. Here we’re going to deconstruct it, Dora. Only I, the physician, the psychoanalyst, the doctor in psychiatry have the academic credentials, and the legal powers, to interpret your mind. The way your parents treated you didn’t cause you any trauma. That is completely surpassed in scientific psychiatry. You live in a paranoid universe, my dear Dora. By your symptoms I would rather diagnose that you are ill… I see that my scientific interpretation distresses you. Do you know, Dora, that the first sign of recovery of a distressed person is to accept that she is sick? For that very reason, and to help you to accept this, my prescription is that we bombard your brain with anti-psychotics. Any rejection of my diagnosis and prescription will be interpreted as resistance. And remember, Dora, the state confers the psychiatrist with special powers. If he wanted he could… So you have to come to these analytic sessions. It is for your own good—and for your family’s’.

What could a minor do but fall in panic before such interpretation, which in turn would be reinterpreted by the psychiatrist as a symptom of ‘chemical imbalances in the brain’, without physical proof, which requires of even stronger psychiatric drugs?

The objective of so-called ‘analysis’ is to dismantle the self-image of the victim to the point of no return. So when the Doras of the world want to convey what happened in their families, the analyst uses the Orwellian technique of crimestop.

Every counterhypothesis to the medical model, the paradigm of psychiatrists, must be stopped before the bio-reductionist dogma. In real life, there was not even an instant in which Freud showed some compassion for the real Dora (Ida Bauer, cf. a forthcoming chapter of this book). Nothing out of commonplace could have occurred inside such reputed Viennese family. Crimestop if someone talks of family abuse. The deaf treatment produces the sensation of revictimising panic, as my Dora’s testimony was ignored to deliver a biological interpretation of the family problem. What the shrink asks is to abandon the vision the victim has of herself and to accept a very, very strange one.

Let us imagine an office behind closed doors with a renowned professional in mental health. It is impossible to redefine there the problems of an abused youngster without doing something psychologically destructive in her mentality. The hidden objective of psychoanalysis, as the hidden objective of the Ministry of Love, is to change the mind of the political dissident:

‘That is what has brought you here. You are here because you have failed in humility, in self-discipline. You would not make the act of submission which is the price of sanity. You preferred to be a lunatic, a minority of one […]. It needs an act of self-destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane […]’.

‘Do you remember’, he went on, ‘writing in your diary, ‘Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four’?’

‘Yes’, said Winston.

O’Brien held up his left hand, its back towards Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended.

‘How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?’

‘Four’.

‘And if the Party says that it is not four but five then how many?’

‘Four’.

The word ended in a gasp of pain. The needle of the dial had shot up to fifty-five […].

‘How many fingers Winston?’

‘Four! Stop it, stop it! […]’.

‘How many fingers Winston?’

‘Five! Five! Five!’

‘No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think there are four. How many fingers please?’

‘Four! Five! Four! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop the pain!’

Abruptly he was sitting up with O’Brien’s arm around his shoulders. He had perhaps lost consciousness for a few seconds. The bonds that had held his body down were loosened. He felt very cold, he was shaking uncontrollably, his teeth were chattering, the tears were rolling down his cheeks. For a moment he clung to O’Brien like a baby, curiously comforted by the heavy arm around his shoulders. He had a feeling that O’Brien was his protector, that the pain was something that came from outside, from some other source, and that it was O’Brien who was to save him from it.

‘You are a slow learner, Winston’, said O’Brien gently.

‘How can I help it?’ he blubbered. ‘How can I help seeing what is in from of my eyes? Two and two are four?’

‘Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane’.[2]

Every bio-reductionist professional is like the Orwellian O’Brien. His biological interpretation is as insulting, as revictimising I would say, as the one applied to Dora (‘The rape didn’t cause you any trauma…’). Whoever says this, and says it from a platform of power, is playing O’Brien in the Ministry of Love (speaking in black-white terms, thus was called the Ministry of Torture in 1984).

Have I been understood? The problem does not lie in a psychiatrist who has ‘abused’ his power. The praxis of psychiatry can only result in the abuse of power. We have seen that John Modrow said it wasn’t possible to practice psychiatry without doing harm. No psychiatrist can validate his identity as a medical doctor without stigmatising others with an insulting label or prescribing iatrogenic drugs. It is not possible to practice the profession without doing harm—logically it is not possible.

I would be embarrassed if this indictment was interpreted as an attempt to assassinate the character of a couple of corrupt shrinks. That would leave their profession intact! The problem of what happens to the Doras lies in their profession, not in the character of any of them. A profession that, as we have seen, was born mercenarily by selling itself out to the System—a fraudulent profession that we must strive to abolish as the Spanish Inquisition was abolished in 1820 by Fernando VII. It is not a single Freud the target of my attack. It is just that by testimonies such as Modrow’s I am convinced that what happened to him has happened to thousands of others. But very few have survived the Ministry of Love or have had the courage to speak out about their cases.

The last quotation proceeds from the novel by George Orwell. Following next I quote the testimony of a victim of an O’Brien in real life. It occurred in the Delaware Valley Mental Health Foundation (DVMHF) in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, a clinic directed by Dr. Albert Honig, who in this case intended to ‘cure’ a catatonic woman:

I lost my capacity to open my eyes and to walk as well as to talk. I was told by Honig that he hated my eyes and could not stand to look at them. He made me close them and keep them closed during one entire session… [sic] after my eyes were closed and I had lost my ability to speak, I was told during another session to get on the floor face down, which I did.

However, when Dr. Honig told me to get up, and I did not, he said, ‘Look at that defiance’. At that point he yanked me up solely by my hair, which was braided in a single braid in the back. I was so frightened by being picked up by my hair alone that I wet my pants. He then, still holding me by my hair, flopped me on the couch. He asked the male staff to hold my arms above my head and others to hold my legs, while he sat on my stomach. Honig then put his hands around my neck and started squeezing, saying, ‘Open your eyes; I want you to look at me; open your eyes! You know I could kill you’.

The staff confronted me and threatened that if I did not open my eyes they were going to arrange to have them extracted and donated to an eye bank… [sic] Then I was taken into the therapist’s back room accompanied by Adam Houtz and a young doctor. The doctor told Adam to hook up my legs and Adam did so. The doctor asked me to open my eyes, but in my catatonic state, I was unable to do so. The doctor then had Adam turn on The Machine. Higher and higher went the voltage in a constant flow. My legs felt like they were actually being torn from my body. Through this, the doctor kept yelling, ‘Open your eyes! Open your eyes!’

I finally turned to him, and although I could not open my eyes, I still could move my body. I turned to him with outstretched arms raised toward him, and beseeched him with the totality of my being, as I could not speak, to turn off The Machine. [3]

If psychiatry in our societies is not the Ministry of Love, what is it? What is the difference between this testimony and Room 101 in Orwell’ novel? And if this, ‘therapy’, is not Orwellian Newspeak, what then could it be?

We have seen that England’s Mental Health Law (and the non-written law of other nations) and the European Convention of Human Rights gives exceptional powers to psychiatrists; powers that in practice they use to do these things. I would like to know if organisations that fight for human rights consider torture actions as the one cited above. My curiosity is piqued by the fact that psychiatrists have inveigled civil society to make it believe that these tortures are, in fact, therapies. It seems that westerners have been imbecile enough to swallow the Newspeak of psychiatrists to the degree of not recognising classic cases of torture like this in the ‘clinic’ of Pennsylvania. The same can be said of electroshock (ECT or Electro-convulsive ‘therapy’) that is practiced daily around the world, and that a hundred thousand persons get it in the United States alone.

Jeffrey Masson tells that in 1978 the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office in Pennsylvania issued a ten-page report which found that in Honig’s clinic cattle prods and paddles were used to punish ‘patients’ (with quotations because a true patient voluntarily goes to a hospital). Nonetheless, the Attorney’s Office concluded that:

The devices were used in good faith by the therapists and in the sincere belief that they would aid the treatment process [my italics]. The devices were employed at times as ‘punishment’ but only as that term is understood within behavior modification theories. The treatment methodology of aversion therapy and behavior modification (though Honig never said he practiced behavior modification; he called it analysis) practiced by DVMHF falls within the recognized and legitimate treatment techniques for the mentally ill.[4]

‘Good faith’, ‘sincere belief’. This is evil… Is it clear why it is an aberration that Western society endows these powers to psychiatrists? The people whom they are in charge are stripped from their most elemental right: to not be tormented. The report’s revealing point is that Western society is not only allowing these atrocities: it is encouraging them. The only thing the psychiatrist has to do is, as Honig did, is to claim that he commits these actions in good faith and to define punishment as part of the analysis—and the government offices swallow it!

Just as the well-meaning lobotomies of Viktor Frankl, it goes without saying that, from the patient’s viewpoint, it doesn’t matter that the doctor believes he is saving her. What he does with cattle prods, paddles or The Machine is torture, period.
________

[1] Albert Camus, The plague (Modern Library, 1948), p. 121.

[2] Nineteen eighty-four (op. cit.), pp. 196f.

[3] Against therapy (op. cit.), pp. 207f.

[4] Ibid., p. 204.

______ 卐 ______

Liked it? Take a second to support this site.

Therapeutic States

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of my books:
 

The empire of psychiatric power is more than three hundred years old and grows daily more all-encompassing. But we have not yet begun to acknowledge its existence, much less to understand its role in our society. [1]

Thomas Szasz has also said that the social institutions involved in psychiatric violence are the family, the medical institution and the state.

In political theory, one of the definitions of state is ‘the monopoly of violence’. A common civilian cannot exercise violence on another civilian under the law, but the executive power of a state, safeguarded by the legislative and judicial powers, can. The executive power doesn’t only count on an army to protect his (or attack another) nation, but through the police it can exercise violence against its own citizens in those cases stipulated by the law.

If psychiatrists were normal and common citizens they could never exercise, or threat to exercise, any violence. But psychiatrists represent a privileged class of citizens: society allows them to exercise violence on some citizens. Furthermore, they possess special jails for these ends that they call ‘psychiatric hospitals’, which are outside the jurisdiction of the common penal system. This is apparent in the laws of a nation like England and the international law on human rights.

The English laws of mental health are a means by which the right to liberty of a citizen is moved to the side, a right warranted by both the common jurisprudence of that nation and the Article 5.1 of the European Convention of Human Rights. In the quotation of the English brochure I had already mentioned that the Mental Health Law of 1983 permits the compulsory admission to the psychiatric ward, and that similar dispositions in other countries exist.

This means no less than an exception within the law: the right to liberty is warranted between civilians except if the he is a psychiatrist. Just as the state, the psychiatrist has special powers to send another citizen to a prison. This can be proved by pointing out how the constitutional rights of an individual whom a psychiatrist has decided call him ‘insane’ become automatically annulled. If we take now as a paradigm the constitutional right of the United States, this individual is deprived from his right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury (Sixth Amendment), the right to bail (Eight Amendment), and the right that no person be deprived from liberty without due process of law (Fourteenth Amendment).

The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and many other countries are Therapeutic States, as Szasz calls nations that claim to be free but that through the medical and psychiatric institution have totalitarian traits. If in one of these States the accused of mentally ill doesn’t agrees with the legal exception of his country in favour of psychiatry, he cannot appeal to international law either. The Article 5 of the European Convention begins:

Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty,

However, the article continues:

save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law… the lawful detention of persons for the prevention of spreading of infectious diseases, of persons of unsound mind, alcoholics or drug addicts, or vagrants. [2]

We can agree with the statement regarding the prevention of infections and epidemics: the power to decide who is infected falls on scientists who can detect in their labs the existence of biological diseases. But just what the other group means, persons of ‘unsound mind’, is something that only the psychiatrist of a Therapeutic State has the power to decide because in these cases lab tests are not performed. The second part of the European Convention article of international law invalidates the first one: it leaves to the psychiatrist’s discretion to decide who has a ‘sound mind’ and who has an ‘unsound mind’.

To stamp someone with the label of insanity means that the first political step to his imprisonment has been undertaken (for instance, in the 1960s more Americans lost their liberty accused of unsound mind than the accused of a crime). [3] In short, psychiatrists have the powers to incarcerate an innocent citizen who has not broken any law.

This means that the psychiatrists have the power to derogate the civil status of a citizen to a lower level than that of the common criminal. Just remember how they wanted to commit George Lincoln Rockwell.

If we take as an example the bank assailant who killed a cop and some clients during the skirmish, after being caught he has the right to an impartial trial and to a lawyer, as well as the right to not being tormented or mutilated. On the other hand, the individual who has been identified by a psychiatrist automatically loses these rights: he is incarcerated without a trial and without a lawyer who can make an appeal. Moreover, he can be tormented with electroshock or even psychologically destroyed with neuroleptics or lobotomy.

For a teenager in conflict with his parents, his rights fall into an inferior level compared to those of the assailant or common criminal: he lacks any institution or state lawyer who could possible defended him. As we have seen, in generational conflicts of parents with their children the ‘identification’ invariably falls on the latter. Ronald Laing, the most popular anti-psychiatrist in the 1960s, stated in an interview of 1988:

Economics controls politics, so the pivotal issue is an economic one. To see what is happening, look at the textbook or manual called DSM-III, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition. Translated into economic and political terms, mental disorder means undesired mental states and attitudes and behaviour […].

The criteria in the manual are very useful for controlling the population because you can bring them to bear on practically anyone if the occasion seems to demand it. Look at this: ‘Oppositional disorder’ is a very good one. (Laing reads from the DSM-III:)

The essential feature is a pattern of disobedient negativistic and provocative opposition to authority figures. For example, if there is a rule, it is usually violated. If a suggestion is made, the individual is against it. If asked to do something, the individual refuses or becomes argumentative. If asked to refrain from an act, the child or the adolescent feels obliged to carry it out. […].

These are not exceptional examples out of DSM-III. The overall drift is what contemporary modern psychiatry, epitomized by this DSM manual translated into eighteen languages, is imposing all over the world—a mandate to strip anyone of their civil liberties […] to homogenize people who are out of line. Presented as a medical exercise, it is an undercover operation. [4]

That this is the disposition in modern psychiatry is observed in the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, Parham vs. J.R. of 1979. This decision gives carte blanche to the States to enact laws that permit minors to be hospitalized if the parents and a psychiatrist want it without any right for the child or adolescent to a hearing or trial. [5] Let’s give the floor to one of these victims of the Therapeutic State. Following next I quote a letter sent on 12 December 1999 to a lawyer who fights for human rights within the United States:

I’m a 16 year old girl who has just gotten out of a ‘psychiatric treatment center’. I was there for over 4 months because I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder and Manic Depression. Borderline Personality Disorder is the biggest f— joke I have heard of. All it is a description of an immature teenager. Haha. I am also not Manic Depressive. The psych people there somehow managed to convince everyone that I was, including my parents. (‘She has severe highs and lows. And she’s impulsive too!’) They put me on lots of medication.

During the first 2 months of my stay at the hospital I refused to take it. My behavior, thinking, and stability were fine, but since I wasn’t taking the medication I was ‘noncompliant and not ready for discharge’. So I decided to cheek the medication. Just so I could get out of the damn place. They found out that I was cheeking it though. Of course.

I haven’t been discharged yet. I won’t be. Ever. Instead my parents have decided to sign me out of the place AMA [against medical advice]. They finally realized I do not need to be in that place, nor did I ever.

Perfectly normal people are kept in treatment centers. Perfectly normal teenagers. Nobody was crazy there. Not even one person. They were just teenagers with divorced parents. Or teenagers who did a few drugs. Or teenagers who got suspended from school. Suddenly we were all Borderlines, Schizophrenics, and Manic Depressives who ‘needed’ long term hospitalization. We also ‘needed’ medication. They put us on heavy doses of anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers, antidepressants, anti-whatevers. I was the only patient who didn’t take the medication. I will never take psychiatric medication. I’ve tried it before. It does nothing except for turn me into a zombie. It dulls me out. Makes it so I can’t think straight. Everyone else took it though. [6]

There cannot be a clearer example of the alliance between parents and psychiatrists. In the United States, the sole will of the parents was enough to incarcerate or liberate a child. It’s noteworthy that Rachel, who wrote the above letter at sixteen, had a good grasp of what psychiatric diagnoses really are. In the dawn of the 21st century the diagnoses that were used against her and her mates (‘borderlines’, ‘schizophrenics’, ‘manic depressives’) are as fraudulent as the diagnoses that the psychiatrists used in the 19th century (‘moral insanity’, ‘folie lucide’, ‘nymphomania’). All this is camouflaged in medical language.

It was Lenin who said that dictatorship is a power not limited by law. How psychiatry could not be corrupted if the way they label a girl with the DSM to strip her from her civil rights has no law that supervises it in our societies? Psychiatry is a profession that regulates itself. It is a state within the State that carries out the function of control of the unwanted.

Unlike George Lincoln Rockwell, Ezra Pound was no so lucky. He was committed in a psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C., for over 12 years. His supposed insanity was due to the fact that he had moved to Italy in 1924 and throughout the 1930s and 40s embraced Benito Mussolini’s fascism, expressed support for Adolf Hitler, and wrote for publications owned by the British fascist Sir Oswald Mosley.

How to know if a modern society is a Therapeutic State? This is a state that searches for medical or therapeutical solutions for family and social problems; in the Western past, or in the Soviet Union, even for political dissidence. It is a society that can afford an extra legal system of penalties—the undercover operation of which Laing talked above—with the aim of sparing the dirty job on the constitution of a country. For legislators it would be too embarrassing to enact laws against women in disputes with their husbands, or against teenagers in disputes with their parents. Psychiatrists do the dirty job (‘moral insanity’, ‘dementia praecox’) that society in general, and legislators in particular, do not dare to do directly.

Szasz’s dream was to reform society to separate the state from the medical institution, just as the First Amendment of the United States Constitution separates church and state. Alas, although the Soviet Union and the psychiatric abuse of political dissidents is gone, in the West the inquisitorial power of physicians is well rooted, and civil society is doing very little to question it.

References

[1] Last words of a lecture by Thomas Szasz presented in the Foucault Symposium in Berlin University, May 1998.

[2] Tom Heller et al., Mental health and distress: module 3 (The Open University, 1997), p. 43.

[3] The manufacture of madness (op. cit.), p. 65.

[4] Ronald Laing, Interview (OMNI, April 1988), pp. 60f.

[5] Parham v. J.R., 442 U.S. 584 (United States Reports, volume 442, p. 584), quoted in The antipsychiatry forum, section ‘Compliments’, answer of Douglas Smith to Lolobenchik (www.antipsychiatry.org). This website provides legal assistance in so-called psychiatric cases.

[6] Ibid. (www.antipsychiatry.org), section ‘Physical restraints’. Rachel signs her letter as ‘Rach’.

______ 卐 ______

Liked it? Take a second to support this site.

The nature of evil:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abusive parents and psychiatrists: a criminal association

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of my books:
 
 

Modern psychiatry pushes us in one direction—toward blaming the victim and exonerating the adult authorities. It’s the easy way out for all of the adults, including the child abuser; but it’s a disaster for the child.

—Peter Breggin [1]

The biggest surprise I ran across while reading Thomas Szasz and Jeffrey Masson was the discovery that, since its beginnings, psychiatry has sided parents during conflicts with their children; and it has sided them independently of the moral or sanity of the parents. In the 17th century the admission regulations to two French insane asylums for minors stipulated that:

Children of artisans and other poor inhabitants of Paris up to the age of twenty-five, who used their parents badly or who refused to work through laziness, or, in the case of girls, who were debauched or in evident danger of being debauched, should be shut up, the boys in the Bicêtre, the girls in the Salpêtrière. This action was to be taken on the complaint of the parents. [2]

In the same way, in the 18th century parents could appeal to the king for the purpose of, by means of a lettre de cachet confining a rebel child in the Bastille. [3]

In the 19th century the same situation shows up in America. In 1865 the Boston Times Messenger described the McLean Hospital as a ‘Bastille for the incarceration of some persons obnoxious to their relatives’. [4]

This bizarre history could be comprehended if we see psychiatry from an unfamiliar viewpoint: not as psychiatry presents itself, an objective science, but as an extralegal system of penalties which, since its origins, has allied itself with the status quo. And this doesn’t refer only to the alliance of psychiatrists with parents, but with husbands in other times. In America’s 1850s, for instance, Illinois commitment statute indicated:

Married women… may be entered or detained in the hospital (the state asylum of Jacksonville) at the request of the husband of the woman… without evidence of insanity required in other cases [my italics]. [5]

In the 20th century psychiatry gained even more power and influence in Western civilization. It converted itself into a big psycho-pharmaceutical industry, which acts within the tough arena of the market and the laws of supply and demand.

The key word is demand. When family problems arise the parents, and only the parents, have the economic means to hire professionals. Thus, from its origins it has been very convenient for these professionals to see family problems as medical problems, and they have deceived themselves to see such problems that way. Paediatrician Robert Mendelssohn observed: ‘teens are Big Business for psychiatrists’.[6] Psychiatry is not oriented to defend teenagers during family problems. That would put psychiatrists in conflict with the parents, the source of income of the psychiatrist. Paul Fink, president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), put it bluntly: ‘It is the task of APA to protect the earning power of psychiatrists’.[7]

That psychiatrists have played the role of lawyers for the parents and the status quo can be seen with extraordinary transparency when studying the psychiatric labels in the 18th and 19th centuries. A few examples will illustrate this point.

When slavery was legal in the United States, Dr. Samuel Cartwright discovered that slaves who ran away from their masters suffered from drapetomania, a disease that only afflicted blacks who had ‘an insane desire to run away from their owners’.[8] Other blacks suffered from the medical disease dyasthesia Aethiopica, which pathological symptom was ‘paying no attention to property’. Benjamin Rush, the father of American psychiatry also discovered various nervous diseases. He called one of them anarchia, and defined it as ‘the excess passion for liberty’. At present Rush’s portrait continues to deck out the official seal of the American Psychiatric Association.

In 19th century-Europe the situation was no better. Women who didn’t comply with the role assigned to them were labelled folie lucide in France and moral insanity in England and its equivalent labels in Switzerland and Germany. Many were confined in insane asylums prompted by their husbands, fathers or brothers. Indeed, in the 19th century women were the main targets of organised psychiatry (just as in the 20th and the 21st centuries children and teenagers are once more the main target). Jeffrey Masson disclosed testimonies of some of the victims of these mercenary inquisitors: women that managed to escape the asylums and exposed both their families and the psychiatrists. One of these, Hersilie Rouy, committed as a result of a dispute with her brother, testifies in a book published in 1883 in Paris that:

For fourteen years I have lived under incarceration that cut me off from the real world, took away my civil rights, deprived me of my name, took away everything I owned, destroyed my entire existence without even being able to say why. [9]

Incidentally, I am not using these examples to promote feminism or anti-slavery for American blacks. I believe in patriarchy—but in a patriarchal society not based on the pseudoscientific claim that the liberated women in the 19th century suffered from a biomedical disease and that therefore should be ‘treated’ by MDs. This is analogous to the pseudoscientific claim in our century that boys who don’t pay due attention in the traditional school system have a brain disease that must be treated with Ritalin. The same could be said about runaway black slaves: punish them if you want but do not invent spurious diseases. Otherwise, such pseudoscientific diagnoses and empowering of the medical profession beyond its limits will metastasise into the white community with dire consequences.

Another piece of information that shocked me while reading Masson and Szasz was that since those times there has not only been an association between abusive parents and husbands with psychiatrists, but another alliance between psychiatrists and the state. For instance, after escaping and publishing her book Rouy appealed the French Ministry of Justice. Yet the ministry sided the psychiatrists:

Our doctor who knows more about it than we do has the conviction that she is mad and we bow before his infallible science. [10]

The case of Hersilie Rouy was not the only one that Masson disclosed in his investigations, but the pattern is very similar: young women perfectly sane diagnosed as suffering from ‘moral insanity’ in spite of the fact that the doctors acknowledged that there wasn’t anything wrong with their intellects. This is why the condition was named folie lucide in France (literally, lucid madness).

Another curious psychiatric label for unmarried ladies of the high society that had fiancés of lower status—and here I cannot help reminding the film Titanic—was nymphomania.[11] In some cases these ladies were confined in their bloom of youth to be liberated old to homes for the aged. Following next I quote an excerpt from a letter of Dr. Massini to Dr. Binswanger to confine Julie La Roche to an insane asylum in Switzerland:

In mid-January she ran off from there, supposedly with her brother, but in fact with the adventurer von Smirnoff, and suddenly appeared in Basel, presenting him as her fiancé. Here of course the relationship was nor approved…

All of this leads me to conclude that Miss La Roche, who is otherwise a thoroughly lovable girl, is heading toward ‘moral insanity’, which makes medical supervision advisable… She will surely attempt to escape, perhaps at the least pretend to commit suicide. It will therefore be necessary to put her in charge of incorruptible guards who will watch over her very closely… I do not believe that Mr. La Roche ever mistreated his daughter. [12]

It could be thought that these are relics of a barbarian psychiatric past already surpassed that have nothing to do with our civilised age. This was La Roche’s testimony:

My father abused me in a terrible manner… after he had thrown a sharp object at my head with such force that my face was covered with blood, to which a deep wound testified. There are witnesses to all these events.

One day in Saarburg, where we returned after our marriage [with von Smirnoff], and where I had to remain in bed, we were surprised by the police and then by my father. Though sick, I was dragged off through storm and rain by Mr. La Roche [her father]. My marriage certificate, everything was in vain. With court transportation, I was taken to Kreuzlingen, which is a private insane asylum (as can be ascertained by looking it up in any directory). There, on the first day, I was diagnosed as melancholic and insane.[13]

Like Hersilie Rouy, La Roche managed to escape. Thanks to this she left us her testimony, originally published in the Swiss newspaper Thurgauer Tagblatt. And just as the Rouy case, the united psychiatrists faced the exposé. Julie La Roche never was vindicated before society. On the contrary: the newspaper where her testimony appeared had to publish a shameful recantation stating that La Roche suffered, in effect, from moral insanity.[14]

The labels of the 19th century were not always invented to cause stigma on second-class citizens, sometimes they were invented to avoid stigma in the favoured classes. For instance, when a daughter of a high-born family stole something and was arrested, a psychiatrist was asked to diagnose that the poor girl suffered from kleptomania, an illness which symptom was an uncontrollable compulsion to steal.[15] Thus the law was outwitted and the spoiled daughter could return home. But like the stigmatising labels, it’s notorious to see how authorities used to go into open-handed complicity with psychiatrists to avoid, or to cause, social stigma.

These diagnoses—‘drapetomania’, ‘dyasthesia Aethiopica’ and ‘anarchia’ for blacks (anarchia, the disease invented by the father of American psychiatry was applied for whites as well), and ‘folie lucide’, ‘nymphomania’ and ‘kleptomania’ for women—seem ludicrous nowadays. Values have changed so much that the essentially political character of the labels and the role of psychiatrists as agents of the system and the affluent classes is visible from every point of view.

However, regardless of the obscure technicalities of present-day labels, which makes more difficult for the layman to detect the trick, the situation at present continues to be basically the same. The concealed objective of psychiatry has always been control, especially control of the most vulnerable members in society. That this policy persisted in the 20th century can be heard from the cynical statements of Francis Braceland, who was president of the American Psychiatric Association during the hippie movement in the 1960s:

It is a feature of some illnesses that people do not have insight into the fact that they are sick. In short, sometimes it is necessary to protect them for a while from themselves… If a man brings his daughter to me from California because she is in manifest danger of falling into vice or in some way disgracing herself, he doesn’t expect me to let her loose in my hometown for that same thing to happen. [16]

I could not say it more plainly. Notice how the thoughtpolice have not changed since the 17th century when they sent these ‘daughters in danger of falling into vice’ to the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris. Again, I am not against disciplining a spoiled brat. I only take issue with the immense danger of inventing pseudoscientific diseases that the medical profession should treat as if they were ‘illnesses’, often against the will of the ‘patient’.

Something similar could even be said about quite a few cases diagnosed as ‘schizophrenia’. Below, a quotation from the brochure Schizophrenia published in 1998 by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the National Schizophrenia Fellowship of England:

How do families react if a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister develops schizophrenia and becomes odd and unpredictable? They may regard the change in behaviour as rebellious, perverse and unacceptable without at first realising that it is due to mental illness. [17]

This brochure, destined to the masses, expresses more clearly the behavioural criterion for schizophrenia than the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM, the ‘Bible’, so to speak, of the psychiatrists.[18] The brochure does not ask how the adolescent sees his parents. It does not ask, for instance, ‘Is your mother so reluctant to her “psychological childbirth” that she treats you like a little boy?’ ‘Is she possessive, tyrannical and harass you often?’ Or ‘Is your father a passive fellow who always obeys your mom?’

Psychiatrists would never do a brochure for youngsters who cannot remunerate them. Those who wrote the brochure, the official psychiatric associations in England, have had ears exclusively for what the parents say, who are euphemistically called ‘the family’. It doesn’t even occur to them that the adult child’s version exists, or that his or her rebelliousness may be justified. The equation: rebellious, perverse, unacceptable is schizophrenic reminds me that during Brezhnev’s ruling the political dissident’s rebelliousness, an unacceptable perversity for Russian authorities, was officially considered a symptom of schizophrenia.[19]

The English brochure is most perverse when advocating the idea that ‘they may regard the change in behaviour as rebellious without at first realising that it is due to mental illness’. In other words, adolescent rebellion is, by definition of the most reputable associations of English psychiatry, an illness, schizophrenia or schizoidism; the feminist liberation of the 19th century was an illness, moral insanity; the anxiety of the black slave to escape was an illness, drapetomania. All these illnesses require medical intervention, which frequently ends up in incarceration without legal trial. The same brochure says:

People with schizophrenia do not always realise they are ill and may refuse treatment when they badly need it. In these circumstances, the Mental Health Act in England and Wales [enacted in 1983] and similar legal arrangements in other countries, permit compulsory admission to hospital. [20]

Take notice that this is a brochure published in 1998, and that they gave it to me in 1999 in a ‘mental health’ course in England’s Open University.

In essence, psychiatry has not changed since the 19th century, only the social values have changed. Psychiatrists have behaved, and continue to behave, as agents of the current status quo: be it slave-owners at the south of the United States, bourgeois parents that abhor the plebeian affairs of their liberated daughters, or harassing mothers that do not tolerate any rebelliousness in their children.

More direct evidence that an alliance exists between parents and psychiatrists, an alliance not declared to the public, has been exposed by a man who defrocked himself from the lucrative profession of psychoanalysis and that I have already quoted: Masson. In Final analysis he says:

‘When a child manifests gross pathology…’ these words startled me into consciousness. They were enunciated, for emphasis, very slowly, and in a booming voice. There could be no doubt about it, the department chairman was a fine orator. He had acted on the stage. His voice, his urban wit, his friendliness, his poise, his great knowledge of literature were all admirable. He laughed a great deal. He liked to make jokes. You had to like him.

But you did not have to like what he said. And I did not. What was it to ‘manifest gross pathology’? In this case, an eight-year-old boy was the ‘identified’ patient. The word ‘identified’ was a popular and venerable psychiatric term. He had been ‘identified’ as the patient by his mother and father, simply because he was not doing well at school, he had few friends, and he was a ‘problem’ at home. How was this, I wondered at the time, ‘gross pathology’? Where was I? I was at grand rounds.[21]

‘Grand rounds’ was the visit of psychiatric wards in the city of Toronto during Masson’s training for an analyst. The hospital staff met and a senior psychiatrist presented a case of one of the hospitalised ‘patients’. As Masson observed, this was humiliating for the patient:

It soon became apparent that every presentation of therapy was only good as the intellect and heart of the presenter. You did not, you could not, learn about the patient, but you learned plenty about the presenter… So here was a department chairman talking about still another ‘patient’, Jill, nineteen, ‘who was admitted to the hospital with a schizophrenic psychotic decompensation’.[22]

The department chairman who presented these cases was a respected psychiatrist who believed in electroshock. Masson continues:

How did we know, for example, that somebody was ‘sick’? It was simple: they were brought to the hospital. The chairman made it clear that a person who had been ‘identified’ as a patient by the family, was, in fact, disturbed in a psychiatric way. People apparently did not err when it came to making these kinds of home diagnoses. Thus, he told us, speaking of the ‘maladjusted’ (a medical term?) child, that we should accept

that the ‘identified’ patient is ‘sicker’ than the others. A study by S. Wolff (in the British Journal of Psychiatry) lends support to the family’s identification of its most disturbed member as the ‘sick one’…

To me, this was suspiciously convenient for the psychiatrist. What gave the psychiatric community this power? [23]

Who gives psychiatry these inquisitorial powers against children and teenagers? Society and its laws, of course; the state, our very culture! (Remember the epigraph of this book, ‘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’, wrote Alexis de Tocqueville.) Masson is the only former analyst of the world that has dared to expose in his writings what happens in the ‘indoctrination process’ of this ‘semi-secret society’ as he calls the formation of psychoanalysts.

Another piece of evidence that there exist a criminal association of parents and psychiatrists is suggested by the fact that American psychiatry, represented by the American Psychiatric Association, has entered a collaboration with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI is formed by parents that, like Julie La Roche’s father, want to undertake psychiatric action against their offspring. NAMI’s position has been so extreme that it has even come to harass those psychiatrists who are not practitioners of the bioreductionist faith. [24]

It’s important to know that this alliance between tyrannical parents and psychiatrists is a very old story, and that it continues without serious challenge in our societies.

________

[1] Peter Breggin, Toxic psychiatry: why therapy, empathy and love must replace the drugs, electroshock, and biochemical theories of the ‘new psychiatry’ (St. Martin’s Press, 1994), pp. 269 & 315.

[2] Quoted in Thomas Szasz, The manufacture of madness: a comparative study of the Inquisition and the mental health movement (Syracuse University Press, 1997), p. 14.

[3] Ibid., pp. 48f.

[4] Ibid., 308.

[5] Ibid., p. 307.

[6] Toxic psychiatry (op. cit.), p. 298.

[7] Ibid., p. 360.

[8] This, and the following diagnoses, appear in Mind games (op. cit.), p. 105.

[9] Quoted in Jeffrey Masson, Against therapy: emotional tyranny and the myth of psychological healing (Harper Collins, 1997), p. 57. The alliance between parents and psychiatrists is exposed in chapters 1, 5 and 6 esp.

[10] Ibid., p. 60.

[11] Roger Gomm, ‘Reversing deviance’ in Tom Heller (ed.) Mental health matters (The Open University, 1996), p. 80.

[12] Against therapy, pp. 70f.

[13] Ibid., pp. 72f.

[14] Ibid., p. 76.

[15] Mental health matters, p. 80.

[16] Quoted in The manufacture of madness, pp. 46f.

[17] Schizophrenia (National Schizophrenia Fellowship & Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1998), p. 12.

[18] Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition, DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

[19] Thomas Szasz, The therapeutic state (Prometheus Books, 1984), p. 223.

[20] Schizophrenia, op. cit., p. 9.

[21] Jeffrey Masson, Final analysis: the making and unmaking of a psychoanalyst (Harper Collins, 1991), pp. 48f.

[22] Ibid., pp. 50f.

[23] Ibid., p. 51.

[24] Toxic psychiatry, pp. 425f.

Psychiatric re-victimization

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of my books:

 
Let us imagine Dora, a girl in a state of trauma because she was raped by her father. Imagine that instead of taking her to a common hospital, she is taken by her father to a psychiatric ward. The girl does not want to go there. All she wants is for some of her loved ones to comfort her. What would she feel if the admissions officer to the ward told her?:

We are going to commit you. The rape did not cause any trauma. That is completely surpassed in scientific psychiatry. You live in a paranoid, world Dora. Because of your symptoms, my diagnosis is that you suffer from schizoidism. And you run the risk of schizophrenia. A chemical imbalance in your brain is causing your anxiety attacks.

I see that my scientific interpretation causes you panic… Do you know, Dora, that the first sign of recovery of a teenager who feels violated is to accept that she is a sick woman? For the same reason, and to help you accept it, my prescription is to bombard your brain with antipsychotics.

Any rejection of my diagnosis and prescription will be considered resistance. And the resistance to you taking your meds, my dear Dora, is involuntary commitment in this ward.

Would not this ‘bio-reductionist’ interpretation—which reduces our pains to a biological factor—be an additional blow to this minor, something even more devastating than her father’s rape? The example, although hypothetical, illustrates what happens to many adolescents in the doctors’ offices: something that I call the re-traumatization or re-victimization of a victim, which could be defined in thus:

In common jurisprudence, measures are taken against the aggressor. In psychiatric jurisprudence, measures are taken against the victim.

Does this sound like Alice in Wonderland? In real life there was a case in which psychiatrists diagnosed a young victim of rape as ‘schizophrenic’. And even more incredible: a fourteen-year-old girl in a state of trauma for having been raped was electro-shocked, against her will, by the psychiatrists.[1]

These are not isolated cases. The following is an example of psychiatric re-victimization in the United States:

Rana Lee remembers the time she went to her doctor because her husband was beating her. The doctor, she told a congressional committee, ‘prescribed 10 milligrams of Valium three times a day to calm me down… He refilled it for five years, with no questions asked’. [2]

This doctor prescribed to drug not the aggressor, but the victim of the aggressor. I have heard testimonies from women that something similar happened to them. But at least these women were saved from a psychiatric diagnosis, not another victim of domestic abuse:

Psychiatrists are fond of stressing how much suffering schizophrenia causes. However, I can truthfully say being labeled a schizophrenic has caused me a hundred times as much suffering as the so-called ‘illness’ itself. Since recovering my sanity in 1961, I have spent decades struggling to gain some measure of self-understanding and self-esteem. 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. [3]

This confession comes from John Modrow. Re-victimized by psychiatrists, Modrow concludes that psychiatric praxis seems to be calculated to drive a person, who has already been traumatized, into madness.

A psychological re-traumatization is a direct violation of the Hippocratic oath: Primum non nocere!, first, do no harm. The practice itself of psychiatry represents a violation of this oath. ‘How, for example, can a psychiatrist validate his identity as a medical doctor without labeling others as mentally sick’, asks Modrow, ‘that is to say, without dehumanizing others and thoroughly destroying their identities?’ [4]

Of the theoreticians who approached the subject of what I have called here re-victimized victims, Harry Sullivan made the most valuable contribution to understand the interior world of these individuals. According to the Sullivan-Modrow model, the panic that makes a re-victimized victim enter a state of madness is caused by a consecutive series of external assaults that collapse the individual’s defences. In his self-analysis, Modrow ratifies Sullivan’s notion that when these defences collapse, ‘the individual goes into an intense state of panic and simply comes “unglued”, so to speak. In this panic state, the individual has a terrifying vision of himself as a person of no value or worth’. Talking about his own experiences, Modrow adds that ‘painful memories once repressed rise and come flooding into awareness with a gruesome, hallucinatory vividness’. [5]

The experience of the demolishing panic of the inner self could be described as a tearing up of the self where the betrayal of the universe is experienced. We could illustrate it if we imagine that Dora escaped the mental institution just to be repudiated by her extended family, as it was accustomed to do with raped girls. What would she feel? According to Modrow, the panic state that immediately preceded his own mental breakdown was ‘the most appalling and devastating experience that any person can undergo’. [6]

Pre-psychotic panic is the state when the mental health of an individual is at most risk. In this state the mind loses its centripetal force that gives cohesion to its inner self, so to speak.

I dislike medical terminology to speak about problems of the soul. Yet, I could say that Modrow’s panic attacks were iatrogenic. Iatrogenesis (from Greek iatros, physician) is one of the aberrations of the psychiatric profession. In his misguided endeavours to heal the therapist provokes new and more serious disorders than the already existent.[7]

The re-victimization of a victim of family abuse, frequently iatrogenic, is central to understand the nature of psychiatry but very few critics of psychiatry have pointed out to something so consequential. The exception is precisely Modrow:

The psychological harm which psychiatrists inflict on their patients is a subject which is not often discussed. One reason why this topic is seldom discussed has to do with the fact that the people who are the most knowledgeable on this subject—namely, the people who have been psychologically damaged by psychiatry—are rarely listened or taken seriously. The entire narrative section of this book [How to Become a Schizophrenic] illustrates the kind of psychological harm which psychiatry can cause. [8]

Due to the double spiral of extreme abuse, parental and psychiatric, the young Modrow had a psychotic episode. For a brief time he believed himself to be John the Baptist: a delirium of grandeur which, according to Modrow himself, was nothing more than a desperate attempt of his unconscious to super-compensate the feeling of bestial humiliation occasioned by his parents and the doctors paid by his mother.

___________

[1] The young man’s case is mentioned in Peter Breggin: Beyond Conflict: From Self-Help and Psychotherapy to Peacemaking (St. Martin’s Press, 1992) p. 107; that of the girl, in T. Baker: ‘The minor issue of electroconvulsive therapy’, Nature Medicine, 1, pp. 199-200.

[2] Rana Lee, quoted en Breggin: Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy and Love Must Replace the Drugs, Electroshock, and Biochemical Theories of the ‘New Psychiatry’ (St. Martin’s Press, 1994), p. 219.

[3] John Modrow: How To Become a Schizophrenic: The Case Against Biological Psychiatry (Apollyon Press, 1996), pp. 147f.

[4] Ibid., p. 227.

[5] Ibid, p. 18.

[6] Ibid., p. 19.

[7] An explanation of psychiatric iatrogenesis appears in chapter 5 of Robert Baker’s Mind Games: Are We Obsessed With Therapy? (Prometheus Books, 1996). Incidentally, in 1994 I talked to Dr. Baker personally in a conference of critics of pseudosciences.

[8] Modrow: How To Become a Schizophrenic, p. 226.

Published in: on September 18, 2018 at 12:01 am  Comments (9)  
Tags:

It’s time to go


Tech experts are helping me to migrate this site elsewhere. Soon I will tell you the new address but not with everything fully functional yet, and the internal links will still point to this blog probably for the indefinite future. All the old material will be left here for archival purposes, with comments turned off.

We will be very busy in the next days. Meanwhile, don’t forget my yesterday’s post, the one below this one, on how some licit drugs induce psychic torment. I suspect that quite a few nationalists who have visited this site have suffered from those effects without realising that your drug may be your problem and that (under medical supervision) you should stop taking psychiatric meds.

For more information on this subject see Peter Breggin’s webpage.

Published in: on September 7, 2018 at 9:20 pm  Comments (8)  

Akathisia: the torments of the neuroleptic

– mistakenly called ‘anti-psychotic’ –

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. The below article, translated and adapted from the original in Spanish, already presupposes a previous reading about akathisia within my online book: the torture of inner anxiety artificially induced by the involuntary administration of some drugs.
 

‘These drugs are not used to heal or help, but to torture and control. It’s that simple’. —Janet Gotkin [1]

For some time doctors have used substances to control people. The most famous case was that of King George III of England. The same year that the French Revolution broke out an alienist secretly sprayed an emetic on his meals to subdue him.

The effect of contemporary drugs induces such a mental torture, like the case of the young Ricardo [mentioned in the online book] that some people have hanged themselves, thrown from the buildings, stabbed or killed in other ways. An American study showed that eighty percent of these suicides suffered from akathisia due to neuroleptics. It could be said that if drugs like marijuana or cocaine are taken voluntarily to cause pleasure, neuroleptics are administered involuntarily to cause torment.

In the early 1960s, the decade of civil strife par excellence, the victims of akathisia began to defend themselves from the torture by refusing to take the pills. The drug companies reacted: they began to replace the pills with colourless and odourless liquids so that they could be secretly mixed in the meals.

In the United States, the lawyers of the pharmaceutical corporations have argued in the courts that it was legitimate to force an individual and inject him these drugs, or put them in his meals furtively.[2] There are even mental health organisations that occasionally advise putting psychiatric drugs in children’s food in order to control them.[3] That the object of these drugs is control was recognised in cases of dissidents of the communist Soviet system who were imprisoned in psychiatric wards and administered the same type of drug that in the West is applied to some rebellious teenagers.

In March 1976, the Russian mathematician Leonid Plyush told a scientific meeting in New York that his colleagues locked him up in the Special Psychiatric Hospital Dneprospetrovsk. He lived in constant fear of the effects of neuroleptics, and heard stories that these drugs had driven mad some of the interns. Others declared that these chemicals were used in them ‘to inflict suffering on them and thus obtain their complete subjugation’. Speaking in the United States Senate, Vassily Chernishov declared about the akathisia he experienced: ‘Although I am afraid of death, let them shoot me rather than this’. These political dissidents complained that the modern neuroleptic is a more inhuman form of seclusion than any prisoner has ever experienced before. [4]

What distinguishes us from animals is a protruding development of the frontal lobes: the part of our brain that allows us to have abstract ideas and plan for the future. If we compare ourselves with the other species of animals, in the frontal lobes our aristocratic faculties reside: we have them much more developed than in primates and are barely visible in other mammals. These lobes are the seat of our intelligence, the part of the brain responsible for civilisation.

For the same reason, these lobes are the favourite target of what Orwell called thoughtpolice. That in the former Soviet Union the thoughtpolice used neuroleptics to attack the faculties of the political dissident is explicable in a totalitarian regime. How was it possible to do that in presumably free and democratic nations? In what perverse mind could the idea of doing that to a boy or girl fit? Should not the professional who recommends parents drug their sane child be in jail? Are there academic professors and doctors in the West who conspire with the parents to subjugate the child as the Soviets did?

Although I suspected that psychiatry was not a true science, my ignorance of its criminal past was almost total. But during a stay in England in 1998-1999 I took courses of biology and mental health at the Open University.

Thanks to my stay in Manchester I was able to read two extra curricular authors: Thomas Szasz and Jeffrey Masson. There is no more devastating critic of a religion, sect, party or pseudoscience than the one who dedicated years of his life to it and realised its erroneous foundations. Although, as we will see, I have distanced myself from the thought of Szasz, I find myself in immense debt with these two apostates of their profession. Both opened my eyes to what psychiatry and psychoanalysis really are.

Jeffrey Masson showed me that the vast majority of psychotherapies, at least as they are practiced today, are the younger sisters of the psychiatrist, as we will see in the section about Freud in this book. Both are professions that blame the victim for the ravages caused by abusive parents. Without Szasz and Masson I could hardly have corrected my position prior to my maturity, when I still believed in the legitimacy of psychoanalysis.

Peter Breggin has spoken of the folie à trois between some parents who mistreat their child and the psychiatric profession that drugs not the aggressors, but the abused child. In this book I focus on this collusion between parents with psychiatrists. It is a known fact that, from its origins in the asylum institution in the 17th century, parents have used psychiatry to control their children.

Breggin has talked a lot about the harm caused by the drugs that parents advised by psychiatrists administer to their children, including the fad of medicating children who become restless or distracted in traditional schools. Currently, in North America alone, several million of these children are being drugged legally, some as young as one or two years of age. The Big Pharma makes a killing by considering diseases conditions such as ‘hyperactivity’ or ‘attention deficit’, thus converting children into an unlimited market.

Another guide for this book was the heroic autobiography of John Modrow who confesses that, due to the mistreatment of his parents and some psychiatrists, he suffered terrible panic attacks when he was a lad, becoming momentarily disturbed. Regarding the cases where the family uses psychiatry not to repress the behaviour of a sane member, but that of a genuinely disturbed person, I will show that even in those cases the psychiatric profession is harmful and fraudulent.

To visualize it, let’s compare the human mind with a computer. There are neurological diseases, such as tumours, that affect the ‘hardware’ of a person. But mental disorders are not found in this group. If the computer where I write this introduction was loaded with a defective version of a word processor and it is necessary to format it, the problem lies in the software of the machine. Likewise, in a human being, a bad software can be ‘programmed’ through emotional, physical and even sexual abuse at an early age: the province of the psychologist. Psychiatrists ignore this reality and attack the individual’s hardware: his brain.

But the mind is not the brain.

It is as absurd to confuse the human mind with the brain as to confuse the Word program with which I write this book with my CPU.

If something goes wrong with the way an individual sees the world—say, someone who believes himself to be Jesus Christ—the problem lies in his cognitive process, in his defence mechanisms; not necessarily in a physiological dysfunction of his brain. By attacking the brain with psychiatric drugs, electroshocks and lobotomies, the profession we call psychiatry re-victimises the disturbed victim. Following the above analogy it is as if, in my desperation to fix the malfunction of my machine, I got into the Mother Board circuits with cutting clips instead of installing the program again. Clarified this point I reiterate that in this book I focus on sane children assaulted by psychiatrists.

In the appendix I point out how so-called biological psychiatry does not meet the standards of a true science. Among several criteria that distinguish between true and false science I give special value to Karl Popper’s criterion, which I try to explain in the most didactic terms possible. If this book falls into the hands of a sophisticated individual who believes that psychiatry has a medical basis, I invite him to read that appendix, where I remove the scientific mask from psychiatry in one go. But in this book I will focus on how abusive parents use psychiatry to finish destroying one of their children.
_______________________

[1] Janet Gotkin: Too Much Anger, Too Many Tears (Time Book, 1975), p. 385. Gotkin is one of the few survivors of psychiatry who has managed to publish a book about what psychiatrists do to their victims.

[2] I read this in Robert Whitaker: Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill (Perseus, 2001), p. 214.

[3] An American told me in a personal email of August 2005: ‘I remember when I first got involved with anti-psych activities, and I heard NAMI [National Alliance on Mental Illness] psychiatrist (she was on the national board of NAMI, this was the late 80’s), and she was advising True Believers to sneak psych drugs in their children’s food, as she had done with her son—whom I never was able to meet to ask how I felt about this’.

[4] Mad in America, pp. 216s.

Published in: on September 6, 2018 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  

More shrink stuff

Eleven days ago I said that I was going to start translating other texts of an online book unmasking the fraudulent profession called psychiatry, texts that I originally published in Spanish. If life allows, I will be doing it on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Given that, unlike The West’s Darkest Hour, in that online book I use bibliographical references, I would like to clarify that the acronym EHSS that I will be using means Ethical Human Sciences and Services (Springer Publishing Company), which more recently changed its name to Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. This critical journal of official psychiatry is published by the International Society for Ethical Psychology & Psychiatry.

Published in: on September 4, 2018 at 6:46 pm  Comments (2)