Black Hats, White Hats, and Financial Reckonings


It is clear now that the marketing of ayptical antipsychotics over the past 20 years was, in essence, a criminal enterprise, as the makers of these medications regularly violated the law governing the selling of new drugs. The manufacturers hid side effects and marketed the atypicals for off-label purposes, targeting in particular children and the elderly, and this led to legal actions by both state attorney generals and the U.S. Department of Justice. States sued the manufacturers to recover the millions of dollars their Medicaid programs shelled out for medically unwarranted prescriptions, while the U.S. Department of Justice charged Eli Lilly and other manufacturers with health care fraud under the False Claims Act.

As these legal actions have been settled, the manufacturers have paid large fines. I haven’t kept track of all the settlements, but even a quick Google search tells of Astra Zeneca paying a $500 million fine for its illegal marketing of Seroquel; Bristol Myers Squibb paying $515 million for its illegal marketing of Ability; Pfizer paying $301 million for its illegal marketing of Geodon; and Eli Lilly paying $1.4 billion for its illegal marketing of Zyprexa.

It should be noted, of course, that this illegal marketing of atypicals caused considerable harm. It resulted in millions of Americans, young and old, being prescribed powerful drugs that could cause diabetes and other harmful side effects, even though there was an absence of scientific reason to believe the drugs—when prescribed off-label—would provide a benefit.

However, while the companies have paid these fines for their illegal actions, the executives of these firms have gone unscathed. Instead, during the past 15 years, they were rewarded with stock options and bonuses worth billions of dollars. For instance, when I was researching Anatomy of an Epidemic, I reviewed the profits earned by Eli Lilly executives and employees on stock options from 1987 to 2000 (when the company brought Prozac and then Zyprexa to market), and determined that they netted around $3.1 billion during that period.

Thus, from a financial standpoint, the moral of the atypical story appears to be this: crime pays. The executives at the pharmaceutical companies prospered, and so too the companies. Their illegal marketing of the atypicals turned these drugs into the top revenue-generating class of drugs in the country in 2009, with prescription sales totaling $14.6 billion. The fines could be seen as just a cost of doing business, and actually, as money well spent given that the illegal marketing worked so well.

Now consider the financial bottom line for Jim Gottstein, an Alaska attorney who blogs on this site, and, at one point, released sealed court documents to the public related to Eli Lilly’s illegal marketing of Zyprexa. His financial travails—thanks to a recent IRS decision— continue to get worse.

Here is a little background to this story.

In 2002, when Gottstein founded his non-profit organization, PsychRights, he set his sights on two goals.   The first was to file a lawsuit challenging the state’s rights to medicate patients forcibly, with the goal of making it more difficult for the state to do so. The second was to lobby Alaska’s Mental Health Trust Authority to fund a Soteria-like home, where psychotic patients who didn’t want to take neuroleptics could get residential care and help.

He succeeded in achieving both goals.

State laws governing the forced treatment of psychiatric patients date back to the late 1970s. Typically, courts have ruled that while patients have a right to refuse treatment, antipsychotics are understood to be a “medically sound treatment of mental disease,” and thus hospitals can apply to a court to sanction forced treatment. At such hearings, hospitals regularly argue that if the patient were “competent,” he or she would readily agree to take this “medically sound treatment,” and courts consistently order patients to be medicated for that reason. Thus, patients may have a theoretical right to refuse treatment, but in practice it can be very different.

Gottstein, in his challenge of Alaska state law, made a different argument. In a case known as Myers v. Alaska Psychiatric Institute, he argued that the state could not show, through a review of the scientific literature, that antipsychotics were necessarily helpful, particularly over the long run. Thus, a person might have very good reason to refuse the medication;  refusal should not necessarily be seen as a sign of incompetence.

In 2006, the Alaska Supreme Court agreed. “Psychotropic medication can have profound and lasting negative effects on a patient’s mind and body,” the court wrote in its Myers decision. The drugs “are known to cause a number of potentially devastating side effects.” As such, the court ruled, a psychiatric patient could be forcibly medicated only if a court “expressly finds by clear and convincing evidence that the proposed treatment is in the patient’s best interest and that no less intrusive alternative is available.”

In Alaska case law, antipsychotics are no longer viewed as a treatment that will necessarily help psychotic people.

As for the Soteria project, Gottstein spent years pushing Alaska’s Mental Health Trust Authority to fund such a home in Anchorage. His hope was that it could offer psychotic patients the type of care that Loren Mosher’s Soteria Project did in the 1970s. The Soteria model involved using neuroleptics on a cautious, selective basis, and as Gottstein lobbied Alaska’s Mental Health Trust Authority for support, he once again relied on the scientific literature to carry his argument that there was a sound medical reason to provide such care. In the summer of 2009, a seven-bedroom Soteria home opened a few miles south of downtown Anchorage.

Over the past decade, Gottstein and his Law Project for Psychiatric Rights have waged other battles as well. For instance, the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights filed  a whistleblower lawsuit in Alaska federal court, arguing that Alaska physicians, healthcare providers, and pharmacies committed Medicaid fraud when they billed Medicaid for prescriptions of psychiatric drugs to children for non-approved uses. According to Medicaid rules, the federal government is supposed to provide Medicaid reimbursement only for outpatient drugs prescribed for an FDA-approved use, or for a use supported by a drug compendium (a text that will assess off-label uses of a drug as well.)

Thus, Gottstein argued that healthcare providers commit Medicaid fraud when they bill for drugs that don’t meet this standard. While that legal action has so far failed — the trial court ruled, in essence, that the government is aware of this billing practice re psychiatric drugs already, and thus Gottstein lacked whistleblower status — the case is an example of the many ways that Gottstein has tried to curb the improper prescribing of antipsychotics and other psychiatric drugs to children.

His fight with Eli Lilly erupted in 2006. At that time, while representing a client in a forced medication case, Gottstein subpoenaed documents from Dr. David Egilman, an expert witness in the federal case against Eli Lilly for its illegal marketing of Zyprexa. After Egilman produced those documents, which were under seal in the federal case, Gottstein released them to the public, including the New York Times. (He argued that he could legally do so because Eli Lilly had not objected in a timely way to his subpoena.)

The documents, which federal judge Jack Weinstein later unsealed, detailed some of Eli Lilly’s marketing misdeeds. A little more than two years later, Eli Lilly pled guilty to the federal charges, and agreed to pay a $1.415 billion fine. That fine included a criminal penalty of $515 million, which the Department of Justice announced was “the largest criminal fine for an individual corporation ever imposed in a United States criminal prosecution of any kind.”

The New York Times, in its reporting on Eli Lilly’s guilty plea, observed that the federal investigation had “gained momentum” after Gottstein released the documents in December 2006.

However, by this time Gottstein was fighting a legal battle of his own. Judge Weinstein rejected Gottstein’s argument that he had a right to release the documents, and censured Gottstein for having done so. Eli Lilly then sued Gottstein for having made the documents public, arguing that it had been damaged by his actions.

To defend against that lawsuit, Gottstein has run up a legal bill of more than $270,000. His non-profit, PsychRights, has paid $10,000 of this (since it is under the auspices of PsychRights that Gottstein defends clients in forced medication cases). Gottstein  personally paid $125,000 to the attorneys. Finally, the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, where Gottstein was a board member, set up a legal defense fund for Gottstein, and in 2009 and 2010, paid $16,761.50 to his attorneys.

At this moment, Gottstein still owes his attorneys another $130,000.

But now the IRS has come calling. For unknown reasons, the IRS decided to investigate the Center’s defense fund for Gottstein, and it recently determined that the Center’s fundraising for this purpose was not in keeping with its stated mission. It also determined that it was improper because Gottstein was on the board. For those reasons, the IRS concluded that Gottstein was a “disqualified” person under IRS law, unable to receive such financial help, and thus the $16,761.50 the Center paid to his attorneys was an “excess benefit” to him personally.

As such, the IRS is now demanding that he pay an excise tax of $16,761.50, plus a penalty of $558.30. If he fails to do so within an allotted time, the IRS will double the tax to $33,523. Gottstein is fighting the IRS’s decision in court.

Such is the story of two contrasting financial outcomes, and when I heard from Jim Gottstein of this latest financial setback, I could not help myself from writing a blog that, as my high school English teachers might have advised, sought to “compare and contrast.”






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  1. I think it was in April that Johnson and Johnson lost a court case in Little Rock, Arkansas for their drug Risperdal(?). The fine levied against them is $1.1 billion. Of course, they quickly appealed the decision. Even though this seems like a huge amount of money to the average person, the drug companies look at it as nothing that bad, jut the price of doing business.

    And now Mr. Gottstein is being punished for doing the right thing. What’s wrong with this picture?

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  2. Could this *unjust* financial penalty for Jim Gottstein point to the over-focus on the criminal practices of pharmaceutical companies to the exclusion of focus on the *negligence* and *malpractice* arising from overwhelming ignorance that pervades the leading academic medical centers in the U.S.? The market driven philosophy of medical practice that has developed without much interference has taken on the appearance of both evidence based and gold standard medical care. Regardless of the occasional publicity the pharmaceutical companies receive for fraudulent marketing and bogus RCTs, there has been no significant decrease in the prescribing habits of any of the *proven to be ineffective and seriously harmful* psychotropic drugs. We see that the billion dollar fines paid out by companies who have been *busted* for their wrong doing haven’t put much of a dent in their ongoing profit margins. It is their wealth that still wields power. Nothing has been done, so far, to change the prescribing habits of those who keep them both in the money and in the driver’s seat. The promotion of bogus science is alive and well amongst every single MD who was caught with his hands in the PHARMA cookie jar! Mr.Gottstein’s deplorable fate is shared by any single individual, or small group who has dared to reform medical practice, or to re-establish it as a practice for *people* , who’s well being, safety and overall health matter.

    What if?: A poll was taken today to determine how many MD’s know the following:

    1) How do the *guidelines for treatment* become established?

    2 ) Can *new* disorders/diseases emerge from clinical trials and *create a treatment guideline*?

    3) Who performs such clinical trials? Who writes articles for publication in medical journals to *advertise* the new disorder? (easy, same answer-both questions)

    4) Who sponsors RCTs to *validate* a *new guideline for treatment* for an *off label* use of a drug? Who *owns* the raw data obtained from the RCTs?

    5) Is the *raw data* of the RCTs (above) made available to the investigators in the RCTs?, to the Regulators?; to the public?

    6) What information related to the RCTs IS released? How does it differ in significance from the *raw data* obtained from the RCT?

    7) Do you believe that you are able to access the *data*/ info you need to exercise prudent, expert medical discretion in caring for your patients?-
    Of critical relevance to this question is whether or not the sources of data/info: medical journals, leading academic medical specialty/experts, scholarly articles and books written by leading-academic medical experts are both credible and reliable.

    Bonus ESSAY question for the MD who has correctly answered questions 1-6.

    Essay question: Compare the process for determining *best practice* and standards of care/treatment with the medical based SCIENTIFIC process for making these determinations.

    Currently, we know that most doctors do not realize how the treatments (largely pharmaceutical) that become the guidelines they are compelled to follow (to reduce liability/litigation & receive reimbursement for service by health insurance providers), are actually established. Most doctors do not question, much less doubt the role of *academic medicine* as both credible and ultimate authority over these matters. Most doctors believe pharmaceutical $$ assists academic researchers to provide *the best* treatment options in the shortest amount of time.

    Although it may always be difficult for doctors to see any treatment they prescribe as having caused harm to their patients, perhaps there is another tack that can awaken them to this deplorable reality. To the extent they remain ignorant of the lack of true science in current medical practice, they risk career suicide. Taking this risk seriously would curtail both the wealth and the power of the pharmaceutical companies who are leading the charge to persecute Jim Gottstein– and a few others.

    Doctors can bankrupt PHARMA,and elevate Jim Gottstein to the status of *hero*, which he does so richly deserve.

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  3. Can Jim put up a Facebook cause or post the Pay Pal link on his site or use Peer to Peer lending or something like that? All the readers of this site could chip in $5 or $50 and help him out and knock this out in a week or so.

    As for the pharma execs, there is precedent for making them personally liable and not just their companies.

    The government has the ability to move in this direction and our phone calls and letters to our elected officials can make this happen sooner. How about someone volunteers to start one of those online petition processes so we can all voice this one?

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  4. One thing this excellent article didn’t say explicitly is that the only real solution that might stop this abusive promotion of these deadly drugs is the criminal prosecution of the corporate executives who commit these crimes. As a lawyer, I am dumbfounded sometimes by criminal fines against corporations. Perhaps prosecutors do this to give the impression they are actually trying to address these problems. But corporations cannot be sent to prison, although it would be beneficial to society if this were possible.

    I think our movement should be raising the demand for criminal prosecutions everywhere we can.

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    • I admire your spirit for justice, Ted, but I worry that the process of seeking criminal indictments of these wealthy corporations will only further demean and stigmatize those who have already suffered far too much of this. Seeking to justice for damages, means proving damage–people, and their lives become exhibits for prosecution.

      I envision another means for achieving it that embraces *treatment* instead of punishment. I’d like to see financial restitution and community service offered to the *professionals* in both the pharmaceutical companies and academic medicine in lieu of prison time. Allocation of their profits and assignment to service to be administered and managed by the recovery community of psychiatric survivors and their consorts.

      Strange as it may seem at present, there is hope that enough of the newly graduated MDs have not been successfully indoctrinated into the market driven means for exploiting *patients* for profit. Dissension within the ranks would be a powerful initiative for reform of the practice of medicine .

      It costs less to provide quality education for a single person, than to house that same person as a prisoner. Education reform, that is; humanistic guidance to foster reasoning and compassion rather than indoctrination is also a surer means to a peaceful society.

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  5. Yes, people need to be sent to prison for misdeeds like this. A person pushing drugs on the street often spends most of their life in prison. Why is it that people in large corporations who do the same thing don’t suffer the same fate?

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  6. Robert,

    This life of ours is temporal.

    And for those of us with spiritual leanings, there is so much more to this journey than what we are able to see, hear, touch, feel… Much more.

    This injustice will all be straightened out in a time and place beyond our understanding… Or put more simply, you and Gottstein will go straight to heaven for all you’ve done to help the most vulnerable in our society.

    Thank you both.


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  7. /// Such is the story of two contrasting financial outcomes, and when I heard from Jim Gottstein of this latest financial setback, I could not help [ but write of it, in a way,] that – as my high school English teachers might have advised – sought to “compare and contrast.” ///


    This is a great piece of writing, so I hope you’ll forgive me; I’ve taken the liberty of suggesting a very minor edit (in brackets, above).

    I did so only as the details of your “compare and contrast” assignment have remained, gnawing at the forefront of my mind, hours after reading them.

    “…the IRS is now demanding that he pay an excise tax of $16,761.50, plus a penalty of $558.30. If he fails to do so within an allotted time, the IRS will double the tax to $33,523.”

    I’m not much for numbers, but details like that make a truly compelling story.

    Thus, I fiddled with a few words, in that last line, so your article my readable by the widest possible audience.

    Please, submit it as an article for publication in the New York Times Op-Ed section.

    Great work you’re doing.



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  8. Gottstein is a victim of financial bullying. I cannot understand the mentality of financial punishment. How does this equate as any form of Justice?

    I experienced this myself and I’ll tell you what I did. I had been arrested and charged with assault. Twice. I punched one man in the face, knocking two of this teeth out. I punched another man in the face, spilling blood from his nose. Both of them put their hands on me first, which is a big No-No. The courts wanted to charge me with a fine, totaling one thousand dollars. I thought that was so bizarre. What on earth would paying money to the state have to do with true Justice? Absolutely nothing.

    I made my own deal. I asked for the wrongful charges of assault to be dropped and instead to be charged with what I had been truly guilty of (obstruction, post-incident and trespassing, pre-incident). Then I requested a jail sentence. I was ordered to two weeks, served 5 days.

    Where is the Honor for Justice in this world? Where is the Honesty? Seriously. I need to know.

    These drug manufacturers need to be found guilty of their actual offense and crime, and not given the slightest chance in Hell of buying their way out of TIME. But that reveals the corrupt and criminal nature of human justice, anyway. That the state would primarily and readily seek money before anything else is a crime in itself. I seriously cannot wrap my head around it.

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  9. Another black & white “Hero” article Bob?

    Is there a false assumption about human nature in your article & your exposure of the predatory nature of “them.”

    Where’s the justice! People scream, as if this is some statement of fact about human nature & its motivation? For those interested in a meta-analysis of the human condition, do the maths on the overwhelming humanitarian response to Jim’s predicament.

    As long as we’re stuck fast in such black & white logic about us & them, and deny our own functioning, nothing will change.

    Our aspiration ideals are wonderful, and well projected into a better future, yet will we realize these ideals by “acting out” the same old us & them reactive nature? As long as we cling to an outdated “I think therefore I am,” view of ourselves, we will not address the feet of clay, Descartes error stands on.

    As Daniel Fisher points out, its time to turn Le Superior Frenchman on his head & shake the cobwebs out of our subjective illusion about “them.”

    What Murray Bowen says about our emotional projection process, is that for every action there is an equal & opposite reaction at an unconscious level, which either enhances or depletes one’s sense of self.

    The emotional system of human societies is going through a chaos phase transition now, which will bring a new order of stability. The way forward is NOT more “us & them,” unconscious projection, its a deeper realization of what we are, and our common humanity.

    The best thing we can do for psychiatry, is pile up the research and knowledge base which points out natural cause, to highlight the way forward. You cannot effectively shift a delusion by destroying it (by fighting), nothing will change until the solid platform of new ground & new direction is clearly articulated.

    Yet instead of seeing this we get caught up in unconscious reactions of us vs them fighting & simply sustain the status-quo. We do this because we are less than honest with ourselves about our own self-preservation motivation, preferring to believe we are righteous, when we are simply projecting an emotional need, like everybody does.

    To see how this “unconscious” self-preservation need works & is rationalized, browse the comments on any thread topic, & contemplate how people choose to take from an article/essay what they need, & leave the rest.

    We do this by “scanning” for emotional resources that will enhance our sense of self, rationalizing our response as intelligence & critique? When the topic is “charged” we do what Bowen describes as emotional projection, or Fritz Pearls “one up, one down – top dog, under dog,” and we really need to be more realistic about our own functioning before we can hope to change anything.

    Your nervous system unconsciously scans at millisecond speeds, seeking resources for survival, the reactive choice is made long before your reasoned rationalizations? See Stephen Porges “Orienting in a Defensive World.”

    Why is the Oracles advise to “Know Thy Self,” written above a cave? The cave is your body & its instinctive nature, that constituted “matter” which is the shore on an ocean of being. Realization, is what is needed, not more bloody Revolution. More “being” and less re-actively doing?

    When you feel the “black hat, white hat” need to “fight,” are you certain you “know” the reason why?

    “Differentiation of Self: This concept is a cornerstone of the theory. The concept defines people according to the degree of fusion, or differentiation between emotional and intellectual functioning. This characteristic is so universal it can be a way of categorizing all people on a single continuum.

    At the low end of the extreme are those whose emotions and intellect are so fused that their lives are dominated by the autonomic emotional system. These are the people who are less flexible, less adaptable and more emotionally dependant on those about them.

    The concept eliminates the concept of normal, which psychiatry has never successfully defined. The concept of differentiation has no direct connection with the presence of symptoms.

    People with the most fusion have the most of the human problems, and those with the most differentiation, the fewest; but there can be people with intense fusion who manage to keep their relationships in balance, who are never subjected to severe stress, who never develop symptoms, and who appear normal.

    At the fusion end of the spectrum, the intellect is so flooded by emotionality that the total life coarse is determined by the emotional process and by what “feels right,” rather than by beliefs or opinions.

    The intellect exists as an appendage of the feeling system. It may function reasonably well in mathematics or physics, or in impersonal areas, but on personal subjects its functioning is controlled by the emotions.

    The emotional system is hypothesized to be part of the instinctual forces that govern automatic functions. The human is adept at explanations to emphasize that he is different from lower forms of life, and at denying his relationship with nature.

    The emotional system operates with predicable, knowable stimuli that govern the instinctual behavior in all forms of life. The more life is governed by the emotional system, the more it follows the coarse of all instinctual behavior, in spite of intellectualized explanations to the contrary.

    At higher levels of differentiation , the function of the emotional and intellectual systems are more clearly distinguishable. I used the term “undifferentiated family ego mass” to describe the emotional “stuck togetherness” in families.” _Murray Bowen.

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    • “As long as we’re stuck fast in such black & white logic about us & them, and deny our own functioning, nothing will change.”

      I wonder if the colors are … green & gold.

      As long as the reality of division (privilege / oppression) continues to exist, the “us / them” will continue to exist.

      Money (lack of) guarantees certain privilege is out of reach for certain people but money (abundance), status and privilege should never guarantee an escape from Justice where Justice is due.

      When “they” hold “us” (the little pennies, the nobodies) to standards of morality and Law, the same must be applied to all. Most people call “them” the “elite”. Myself, I do not feed that delusion by using the laughable term. I simply refer to “them” as human beings.

      Interesting though. How many people wish they could live “above the law” and be more like “them”? How many couldn’t care less about money, and just wish for true Equality? I think most people know the sad answer.

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      • Only when we get stuck in the foreground of HEADLINE focused attention, while evolution happens all the time in the background?

        How far can you step back, mjk? Can you take your imagination for a drive, park yourself on the Moon for a minute & gaze upon the majestic reality of heaven floating on an implacable black sea of cosmic being.

        “Cold hearted orb that rules the night,
        Removes the colours from our sight.
        Red is grey and yellow white.
        But we decide which is right.
        And which is an illusion?” _The Moody Blues. otherwise known as the “Existential Rock Band.”

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        • How’s this for a headline, then?

          Eli Lilly and IRS smite Gottstein!

          GO, Eli Lilly! GO, IRS! Whoo-hoo! Crush that little guy!

          I’m sorry, did you say evolution? I listen to British music, mostly. I’ve grown fond of post-rock because it lacks mind wrecking lyrics and could be the equivalent of modern-day classical. And I can’t tell if that’s a step up or a step down.

          It starts off so dark, ends so bright – but the trashiness and smog doesn’t change at all.

          link ID: Music For A Forgotten Future (The Singing Mountain)

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          • “Where ever you are on the great journey within, you will see & feel what you need to?”

            Ah, the great state of Nothingness – from which all things come, to which all things return. I remember it well. In it, there is nothing to see (nothing exists) – but there is thought and that is precisely what some of us ARE.

            I think “them” and “us” just might be, forever and ever more. These spiritualists are always carrying on about “One” and I keep telling them there is *always* TWO (“me” and “you”). Whatever.

            Poor Gottstein. Being strong-armed by the super-might of cash.

            In God We …

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    • What a a tribute to the potential each of us possesses! Thank you, David, for this enlightened view – a way out, a path opened to transcend our cultural heritage that leads us into *declaring war* on each other!

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    • I’m going to have to ready David Bates’ comment over many times to absorb it. But here’s a first reaction to one passage:

      “The best thing we can do for psychiatry, is pile up the research and knowledge base which points out natural cause, to highlight the way forward. You cannot effectively shift a delusion by destroying it (by fighting), nothing will change until the solid platform of new ground & new direction is clearly articulated.”

      The research and knowledge base have already piled up. While more knowledge is always welcome and needed, there is already more than enough information to point a “way forward” out of the delusion. That is part of what Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic do so well; they take information that’s existed for decades and connect the dots, providing a more rational perspective.

      We need to approach all conflicts and differences of opinions with humility, recognizing there are human beings on all sides of each issue, and the ultimate solution is not to vanquish but to reinforce our common humanity. But it is possible and sometimes necessary to confront injustice and untruth in clear terms without trashing the humanity of your “opponents.” That is how I see this site and this particular piece – Robert Whitaker is always respectful and factual. The headline refers to “hats” – roles played by participants, not characterizations of of their souls.

      We could pile up evidence until the cows come home and PhARMA would be perfectly happy to crank out its $60 billion/year spin machine to neutralize the evidence. Real gains in justice for humanity do not always rely solely on the accumulation of evidence. Calling out those who wield the stick, by those who are on the receiving end of the stick, can be constructive. Where would African Americans be today if the reliance was solely on “accumulated evidence”? Ditto Black South Africans, or Indians, or gays, or women, or to use an often-tortured reference, those who opposed the Nazis?

      I agree – demonizing perpetuates injustice. But Martin Luther King used powerful moral argument to confront power in no uncertain terms, as did Mandela and Ghandi, without demonizing. The irrational Greek-chorus-selective-cheering-section nature of online discussions doesn’t negate the possibility of intelligently and humanely making forceful moral arguments backed by a determined stance. I think of Abraham Lincoln, at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg: “With malice towards none, with charity for all …” He wasn’t apologizing for the fact that there was a battle, but he was pointing us all toward our common humanity. This isn’t an argument for violence, but it is for the need to take a principled, determined and active stand against systematic mistreatment and exploitation – which is what is clearly happening to so many drugged “mental patients.” Robert Whitaker does us all a service by citing hard facts that illustrate the dishonesty and economically motivated exploitation practiced by PhARMA.

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      • To see how this “unconscious” self-preservation need works & is rationalized, browse the comments on any thread topic, & contemplate how people choose to take from an article/essay what they need, & leave the rest.

        We do this by “scanning” for emotional resources that will enhance our sense of self, rationalizing our response as intelligence & critique? When the topic is “charged” we do what Bowen describes as emotional projection, or Fritz Pearls “one up, one down – top dog, under dog,” and we really need to be more realistic about our own functioning before we can hope to change anything.

        Your nervous system unconsciously scans at millisecond speeds, seeking resources for survival, the reactive choice is made long before your reasoned rationalizations? See Stephen Porges “Orienting in a Defensive World.”

        “The triangling process in a large family will help illustrate the process in society. It may begin with conflict between a parent and child. When another takes sides emotionally, he is potentially triangled. When he talks (to influence others) or he takes action based on feelings, he is actively triangled.

        Each person who becomes involved can involve others until a fair percentage of the group is actively taking sides. The controversy is defined on “right” and “wrong” issues, and often as victimizer and victim. In societal conflict, those who side with the “victim” are more likely to demonstrate and take activist postures. Those who “feel more responsible” for the total group will side with the parental side. They are more likely to stay silent or take action in letters to the editor, or to actively counteract the activists.

        One interesting group of activists is made up of members of professional and scientific organizations who attempt to use knowledge and social status to further entangle the triangular emotional system. To summarize the process, it begins with emotional tension in a bipolar situation, it spreads by involving emotionally vulnerable others, it is fed by emotional reactiveness and response to denial and accusation and it becomes quiescent when emotional energy is exhausted.

        There are several ways it can be started, intensified, deintensified, or stopped. It can be started by one person who, intentionally or unintentionally, touches an emotional trigger in the second. The triggered person characteristically defends or counterattacks which adds emotional fuel. It can be deintensified or stopped by a calm person who stays in “low key” contact without defending self or counterattacking.

        The words used in triangular emotional exchange, based on rational thinking, are usually not heard by the other except to defend or prepare a rebuttal. The words can be heard only after the emotion is reduced. The triangle emotional system is most intense when anxiety is high. It disappears when the system is calm.

        There is fair evidence that man functions at his best under adversity or when he is challenged. Until the mid 1960’s, I considered society’s slump to be functional, and perhaps a cyclical phenomena related to the depression of the 1930’s or to World War II, and that after World War II man became lazy and greedy as he luxuriated in the greatest period of material plenty and freedom from want in his existence.

        I was guessing he would meet another challenge and rise to the occasion. After the mid 1960’s there was more evidence of an even lower level of societal functioning. There was more feeling-oriented action and less long-term principle planning, more “rights” thinking than “responsibility” thinking.

        The overall pattern was closer to that of a family with a problem child, giving into emotional demands, hoping the problem would go away.

        Society appears to be much more similar to a family with an intense “undifferentiated family ego mass,” than the less emotional fusion of previous periods. The members of society are fused into each other and are more emotionally dependant on each other, with less operating autonomy in the individual.

        Emotional events are more similar to those “within an ego fusion” than to events between relatively autonomous people.” _Murray Bowen.

        “People see what is, instead of seeing what could be.” _Albert Einstein.

        The “cerebral tone,” of subjective awareness is set by a “postural attitude,” a “stance,” the body comes 1st not the mind?

        I understand its very difficult to grasp this concept in our cultural heritage, which is now so over-invested in Cartesian clockwork logic, the mind has become detached from the nature of being.

        There also the sage advise to the feuding couple, “do want to be happy or do you just NEED to right?”

        Please think about your postural “stance,” as you prepare to perpetuate the “us vs them,” nature of human functioning, in this sea of “unconscious” emotional re-activity we call society?

        Is your feeling for a “fight,” about your unconscious metabolic arousal needs? It sure does help get us out of bed in the morning?

        How much do you take your daily functioning for granted? How many “facts,” do you know about your hidden inner nature? How self-aware are You?

        “Deepening awareness is a challenge. It isn’t a challenge because my parents didn’t love me enough. It’s a challenge because it’s a challenge. I don’t need to take it personally. I’ve spent years excavating my past, sorting and cataloguing the wreckage. But who I really am, the essential truth of my being, can’t be grasped by the mind, no matter how acute my insights. I’ve confused introspection with awareness, but they’re not the same. Becoming the worlds leading expert on myself has nothing to do with being fully present.”

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        • “One interesting group of activists is made up of members of professional and scientific organizations who attempt to use knowledge and social status to further entangle the triangular emotional system.”

          With society-at-large in mind, an excellent example of what you’re saying is the “them” known as “illuminati” and “the elite”. I don’t know how familiar you are with the masses, but a great many people went completely nuts over that. Personally, I can’t blame them. Simply put, there *are* extremes in this world – humans “group” themselves and those groups pit, battle and compete. To believe in unity and unifying all billions of people in the world into a body of “One” who choose peace, non-violence, equality, etc. is quite honestly, *ignorant*. Why? Because there ARE plenty of people who don’t want that, they’re never going to. They like division, they like difference and they *love* the battle. There is a prophecy that all people WILL unite as one (in mind, spirit) and will see, hear, feel and know ALL THINGS AT ONCE. But, will that change humanity?

          Some people DO want disharmony. Ever listen to death metal and scream-o?

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          • “People see what is, instead of seeing what could be.” _Albert Einstein.

            We are emerging into the 21st century A.D. & I understand all the references to the “past.” Yet is our typical “cause & effect” logic changing towards a “systems” understanding of our own nature?

            Are we, as Bowen predicted, falling into a chaos period of “challenge” when our awareness needs to rise to this systems understanding.

            As a species, are we emerging into our “coming of age” century? Do the past existential metaphors such as the Christian Bible need re-examining in light of new discoveries like “The Polyvagal Theory?” Or;

            “”This psychoneurobiological developmental model views the brain as a self-organizing system. It also fits particularly well with a number of essential tenets of nonlinear dynamic systems (chaos) theory. This powerful model is now being utilized in physics, chemistry, and biology to explore the problem of how complex systems come to produce emergent order and new forms. A fundamental postulate of this conception is that there is no dichotomy between the organism and the environmental context in which it develops. The physical and social context of the developing human is more than merely a supporting frame, it is an essential substratum of the assembling system. Of particular importance to
            chaos theory are the transitions from one developmental stage to another, when the organism encounters instability while it shifts from one stable mode to a new mode.” (Page, 63)

            It is well established that the transfer of emotional information is intensified in resonant contexts. At the moment when a system is tuned at the resonant frequency it becomes synchronized – vitalized. (P,71)” Allan N Schore, “Affect Dysregulation & Disorders of the Self.”

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          • “Yet is our typical “cause & effect” logic changing towards a “systems” understanding of our own nature?”

            Spiritual Awakening.

            We have our Human nature and our Spirit nature. We are called to live on High (in Spirit).

            The Age of Aquarius: growth, knowledge and Humanitarianism. I’m Aquarius, Scorpio Rising – but won’t get into that here & now.

            “This powerful model is now being utilized in physics, chemistry, and biology to explore the problem of how complex systems come to produce emergent order and new forms.”

            The maturation of becoming. In growth is the necessary aspect of *reduction* and *refinement*. The fire burns to purify. The Gnostic Gospels says creation is achieved by great turmoil, agony – in other words, “blood, sweat and tears”.


            “At the moment when a system is tuned at the resonant frequency it becomes synchronized – vitalized.”

            Synchronicity is said to be “god’s time”. I used to be seriously freaked out by it, but have since gotten a pretty good grip.

            Angel Numbers. “222” means “manifestation” and that’s exactly what I went thru at the beginning of this year. LOTS of messages came though to remind me to be *very* careful of my thoughts and expressions because I was near instantaneously manifesting them. It was true. I had to put myself on shut-down; I have NO problem admitting that I’m not a Master. I’m only a baby.

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  10. How can Eli Lilly sue Jim for damages due to his revelations of their unethical AND ILLEGAL practices. This doesn’t make sense. It’s like a thief suing someone for damages resulting from interfering with their ability to steal? The Court had already declared Lilly was guilty of marketing misdeeds. Should not Lilly case agasinst Jim be thrown out ast discovery? I can see how the judge could hold Jim in contempt considering the power of the judge. But I don’t get how Lilly can sue. Is this a suit they can win or just done to force Jim to pay legal fees. Cannot Jim counter-sue?
    And IRS manages to maintain its facade of independence. Ok

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  11. Interesting conversations above. Sinead remarks are astute but her conclusions are egregious. It’s not ignorance that leads to career suicide, it’s knowledge and humanity.Can’t you see that anyone who knows and questions is a threat to the system set up to serve the 1%.? People get fired for telling the truth about drug companies–that’s career suicide. And if Sinead taught in medical school and posed those sharp questions for students, she’d be fired in no time.You are underestimating the problem. Ted’s idea has potential due to the anti-corporate sentiment.And Sinead I can tell you there wilol be millions of people lining up. I hear from them all the time–they want their day in Court.
    As to community service etc you have creative and intelligent suggestions, but you’d first have to have a trial to prove liability
    David Bates is eloquent but he offers self-delusion as the solution to the problem of humanity. The thief is not a thief. The victims of US drone strikes (women, children, non-combatant males) ordered by our President are not victims. Anyway David’s violating his own principles by self-righteously defining himself as the wise one, and the others all as phonies. He doesn’t have a solution. At best he has an insight which requires more development.
    Oh yes I suppose I should take this opportunity against to mention my new book on Mad Pride.The Spiritual Gift of Madness: The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement [Paperback] by Seth Farber, Ph.D.At Amazon
    I can be reached at [email protected]

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    • Speaking for myself, I am fortunate to be in close proximity to a large number of medical students, residents and fellows in psychiatry. My strategy is 1:1 dialogue and sharing factual info- knowing first hand as you have stated, the fate of those who fail to persuade in larger forums of the well established status quo.

      Another strategy involves is dialogue with journalists and those who are engaged on the community level with mental health issues.

      Communication that is focused on the factual matters that illuminate root causes grounded in *bad science* peak attention in those who feel a sense of responsibility for having this knowledge and are not entrenched in the delusions too deeply to perceive the truth as a threat.

      The warfare tactics used against Jim Gottstein are aimed at *breaking him* financially and and forcing him to attend to his own survival thereby weakening his resolve and zapping his energy and resources for engaging in matters that threaten the established status quo. He is being made an example of the *pay backs* one can expect for waging this struggle– I believe that those who are defending truth and a cause to save humanity (on every conceivable level) only gain strength in this struggle– and support of others for whom he/she has the deepest respect.

      It is important to continually work to create new opportunities for evoking thoughtful reflection on this matter, because so many only have a Reader’s Digest version and shallow understanding. It is this majority who are most likely to see emotional and personal issues as major causes, rather than think more deeply about human dynamics and human errors that are more easily corrected when the emotionalism is overcome.

      I realize via my young adult children and this current generation coming of age in general, that they have engrained a working knowledge of *tipping points* and the speed with which *truth* goes viral. They have more reason to seek to have a leg up on what is going down around them, and a self perception of power via competence with the technology that transmits truth in real time anywhere in the world. They listen. They have a stake in the future. They are also de-sensitized to corporate corruption and criminal indictments for white collar crime. Which is why becoming better educated and better able to discuss factual information is a means for gaining their attention—where emotionalism fails. Oh— and perhaps the best reason for engaging youth who are already engaged in the profession under siege is they have an abundance of youthful energy driven by passion. The basic stuff that wins over those who have already been defeated by the force of gravity.

      Call it egregious or ignorant, but it is in fact, a strategy underway that is strength based and reality oriented. It is also personally enriching and energizing to engage in it!

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    • Hi Seth,

      I think I saw you in a video posted on MIA. Weren’t you in the audience for Bob Whitaker’s talk on the evidence for the impact of eugenics on psychiatry- past and present? I wish I had time to fact check myself, but I wanted to communicate that your writing and YOUR impact on psychiatry reform thinking has deepened my convictions to remain involved in the work to create change.

      Whenever I do have the vital experience of success either through my freelance work with clients , or the frequent encounters I seek with students in the medical field, I feel very grateful to an increasing number of individuals whose work has contributed greatly to these increasing number of victories. I appreciate the opportunity to say “Thank You” –personally on this site.

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      “Andrew Newberg and his colleagues have, in their seminal book “Why God Won’t Go Away,” brought together a vast amount of research on the brain substrates underlying a variety of different spiritual experiences. The application of this type of brain research to trauma transformation is a rich area of further research and exploration.

      The autonomic nervous system (ANS) gets its name from being a relatively autonomous branch of the nervous system. Its basic, yet highly integrated function has to do with the regulation of energy states and the maintenance of homeostasis. The ANS is composed of two distinctly different branches. (Although the parasympathetic branch is dived into a primitive (nonmyelinated) and an evolutionarily recent (myelinated) branch.)” _Peter Levine, “In an Unspoken Voice.”

      It is this myelinated branch of parasympathetic stimulation of the heart & therefore metabolic rate, ventral vagal complex (VVC), which is metaphorically eluded to in the mythology of the Christian Bible. “The Ark of The Covenant.” Put very simply, it’s the secret of your Smile, and those two hundred muscles of your head & face.

      And of coarse you don’t want to know about this, inside your Cartesian “mind-set” awareness of being, because life truly flows in “unconscious” spontaneous, physiological reactions, like when you feel the pure joy of being alive here in heaven.

      The ascension is not a rising to “above” it’s a Fall, just as its always been, when you seek awareness of the Universe within, & truly feel the presence of this Eternal Now. In Eastern mysticism, such experience is known as a Kundalini awakening, or in the “stillness” of the great Prince, Buddha being?

      Its time to re-address the tribal metaphors of life’s meaning, to a species understanding? In a Universe of 96% dark matter/energy. Life is “The Resurrection.” That great symbol of sacrifice we see in Christ on the Cross, as all the Light Matter Energy, sacrificed to create your life? How does the Universe become Eternal? By evolving into a form which can act upon itself, YOU & your children’s, children’s children, forever & ever, Amen! Or whatever metaphor of gratitude you use.

      “Rather than describing the autonomic nervous system as a linear ‘arousal’ system focused on the sympathetic nervous system, or a balance system focused on the opposing influences of the sympathetic and parasympathetic pathways, the function of the autonomic nervous system is hierarchically organized. As emphasized above, the hierarchical organization is phylogenetically determined and can be summarized as the following three sequential functional subsystems:

      1. The ventral vagal complex VVC: a mammalian signaling system for motion, emotion, and communication.
      2. The sympathetic nervous system SNS: an adaptive mobilization system supporting fight or flight behaviors.
      3. The dorsal vagal complex DVC: a vestigial immobilization system.

      Each of these three neural constructs is linked with a specific response strategy observable in humans. Each strategy is manifested via differentiated motor output from the central nervous system to perform specific adaptive functions: to immobilize and conserve metabolic resources DVC, to mobilize in order to obtain metabolic resources SNS, or to signal with minimal energy Expense VVC.” _Stephen Porges, “The Polyvagal Theory.”

      To paraphrase the late & truly great Harry Chapin;

      “Something keeps calling our name.
      Something keeps calling our name.
      Or is it just the rustling of the wind.
      Or is it just that we need our friends.
      Something keeps calling our name, our name.

      Sometimes we don’t talk too much, or touch hardly at all.
      How can we hope to share this life, divided by a subjective wall?

      Is it time to taste the truth and toss it of our tongue?
      You see the world has come a-calling, and it’s bleeding at our door.
      Are we supposed to turn away, or is this what we’re here for?”

      Is it time for realization? 1 Species, 1 World, 1 Universe, 1 Love.

      Is it time to realize, that the Universe is a friendly place & FEAR is only the shadow “within” & not really “out there.” With the realization of a “meant to be” eternal now, can we stop fighting ourselves & get on with building a new Jerusalem, here on Earth’s green & pleasant land?

      Everything we really need is “inside” us, health, wealth & happiness are not “objects,” they are metaphors for the hidden reality of a holistic sense of well being. The very best medicine, is literally contained within our laughter & our heart felt smile.

      Words are only metaphors, metaphors for a hidden reality within?

      Science & Spirituality are converging in this 21st century A.D. Although to an Eternal Now, Time means nothing & everything? Perhaps this is why the existential metaphors always apply to “this” here & now.

      Such is the silly stuff I go through during the height of “psychosis,” my brain dis-ease?


      “I noticed that the fiery coal that had been burning in my solar plexus constantly for the past 3 months was completely gone.” _Paris Williams.

      As I move through fifth week of my own organic process, this “straining” of the solar plexus, is very much a part of what seems to be trying to rise to conscious awareness. Reading Peter Levine’s unique understanding of our inherent susceptibility to trauma & thwarted natural responses which result in PTSD, allows me to go through the psychosis process, with less & less fear & confusion. Consider;

      “TUMMY TALK:
      The enteric nervous system is our oldest brain, evolving hundreds of millions of years ago. It produces many beneficial hormones, including 95% of the serotonin in the body, and thus is a primary natural medicine factory and warehouse for feel-good hormones. Amazingly, as much as 90% of the vagus nerve that connects our guts and brains is sensory. In other words for every one motor nerve fiber that relays commands from the brain to the gut, nine sensory nerves send information about the state of the viscera to the brain. Many of our likes and dislikes, our attractions and repulsions, as well as our irrational fears, are the result of implicit computations in our internal states.

      It can be said that humans have two brains; one in the gut (the enteric brain) and the “upstairs brain,” sitting in the vaulted dome of the cranium. These two brains are in direction communication with each other through the hefty vagus nerve. And if we go with the numbers – nine sensory/afferent nerves to every one motor/efferent nerve – our guts apparently have more to say to our brains (by a ratio of 9:1) than our brains have to say to our guts. (p, 121)

      When aroused to fight or flight (sympathetic arousal), our guts tighten, and the motility of the gastrointestinal system is inhibited. After all, there is no sense in spending a lot of metabolic energy on digestion, when it is best used to speed up the hearts rhythm and to strengthen its contraction, as well as to tense our muscles in readiness for impending action. (p, 122)


      Our nervous system assesses threat in two basic ways. First of all, we use our external sense organs to discern and evaluate threat in the external environment. We also asses threat directly from the state of our viscera and our muscles-our internal sense organs. If our muscles are tense, we unconsciously interpret these tensions as foretelling the existence of danger, even when none actually exists. (p, 123)

      Tight muscle in the neck and shoulders may, for example, signal to the brain that you are likely to be hit. Tense legs, along with furtive eyes, may tell you that you need to run and escape, and taught arms may signal that you are ready to strike out. (p, 124)

      “The first seat of our primal consciousness is the solar plexus, the great nerve-center situated behind the stomach. From this center we are first dynamically conscious.” _D. H. Lawrence. (p, 125)

      In distress and trauma, I believe that a positive feedback loop, with extremely negative consequences, is set up. Indeed, most of us recognize that primal negative emotions readily turn into self-reinforcing, runaway positive feedback loops. Here trauma is the ouroboros, the serpent swallowing its own tail, eternally re-creating itself.

      In the reciprocal enervation discovered by Sherrington, the nervous system operates primarily as a negative feedback system, much like a house thermostat. Self regulation of the complex nervous system exhibits what are called emergent properties, which are often somewhat unpredictable and rich in nuance.

      While the nervous system operates under the principle of self-regulation, the psyche operates under the emergent properties of creative self-regulation. We might say that as the nervous system self-regulates, the psyche engages with these emergent properties: that is, to creative self-regulation. (p, 130) Exerts from “In an Unspoken Voice” by Peter Levine PhD.

      People may become irritated by my continuing reference exerts from this book, yet I do believe its important to point people towards knowledge that is already available to suggest natural cause & resolution to so-called mental illness.

      Perhaps its time to turn René Descartes on his head, as Daniel Fisher suggests. Le Superior, “I think therefore I am,” might need to be re-examined soon, if we are to really shift to a new paradigm & not repeat more of the same clockwork universe logic, in our “intellectual” realism?

      As well as his awareness of the solar plexus, Lawrence also wrote;

      In the Beginning, before the Word, was Consciousness.
      The primal consciousness in man is pre-mental,
      and has nothing to do with cognition.
      It is the same as in the animals.
      And this pre-mental consciousness remains
      as long as we live the powerful root
      and body of our consciousness.
      The mind is but the last flower, the cul-de-sac.
      _D. H. Lawrence.

      I understand that many find very difficult to accept the instinctual underpinnings of our cognitive capacity, yet is it totally unreasonable to suggest that mental torment, is both unconscious, suppressed & denied nature, “acting out?” Would this be to simplistic for a “cognitively” invested, need of maintaining group harmony? Or would it be to fearful?


      Enjoyed your “criticism” Seth:)) & your “Self-Promotion?”

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  12. Our criminal government is at it again, folks. Our current DOJ head, Eric Holder, shielded Purdue pharma in an Oxycontin (synthetic heroin) case against West Virginia. So don’t expect any “justice” coming from this noble department anytime soon. Better yet, the government KNOWS it is a.) getting ripped off and b.) allowing young children to be brain damaged. And the guy that tries to change this gets hounded by the IRS. Given all the philosophizing on the comment section my philosophy is this, put one of these high-level corporate murderers in jail.

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  13. I think it’s ridiculous that Eli Lilly could sue him in the first place. They say that the documents he released cause them harm, but they only did so because they showed that Eli Lilly was BREAKING THE LAW! Does this mean that a criminal could sue me from prison for calling the cops on them? What about when pedophiles get busted by computer repair workers, should they be able to sue as well?

    Did the court who allowed Eli Lilly to sue even think about this?

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  14. Scott,

    Considering the importance in a clear message defining a inhumane act as a criminal offense, I see a greater opportunity to convey a stronger message via the indictment of “Doctor” Matthew Israel of the Judge Rotenberg Center, Canton, MA. This would be based upon the current UN expert’s definition of ‘torture’l applied to his use of electric shock-via an instrument invented and implemented by Matthew Israel, student of BF Skinner of Harvard University- and called—
    *aversive therapy* for behavioral control of autistic and other children labeled, *severely disabled* for two decades.

    What I see as a potential ground breaking advancement in the stirring of public discussion, debate and ultimately personal reflection is this current real-time, in the media, event that forces acknowledgement of the FACT that it is the dehumanizing of a significant number of our fellow human beings that has laid the foundation for the egregious misperceptions that so much of psychiatry is based on. This event furthers the need to evaluate other misperceptions regarding *authority* based on credentials and what lays beneath the public displays these Authority’s make when claiming to be *healers*— In this and other cases of Doctors doing harm under the guise of public welfare there is an obscene amassment of personal monetary wealth attached and a undeniable impoverishing of the funds needed to actually secure public welfare. In this case, the $200,000. cost per student at this center is largely subsidized by both federal and state tax dollars.

    Yes, it is a sensational scandal—but a thought provoking one in all of the areas where we need to engage public participation in initiating accountability and criminal prosecution for crimes against humanity. Additionally there is a very revealing story in the path that led a national group invested in protecting the rights of disabled persons to seek intervention from the UN. Obviously, the implications of our country being in the lime light for this atrocity on a global scale is intimidating to the same public officials who fear being scrutinized and shamed —possibly much more than they would admit. Yet, without a substantial push from an enraged public, they might succeed in sweeping this under the carpet, which would be a grave loss for anyone who envisions major change coming from the actions of our criminal justice system, IMO.

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    • Psychiatry is nothing more than a PHRMA windfall and eugenics operation. For the past century i would argue that US psychiatry did not even have the pretense of helping people in emotional distress. That does not mean everyone in psychiatry is bad or evil or did not want to help people. It just mean that if you look at the history of their treatments and beliefs, they are extremely seeped in the eugenics movement.

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  15. Thank you all for your support. Because of the IRS action, it would not be prudent to donate to the Jim Gottstein Legal Defense Fund and it has been shut down. Donations to the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights®)in support of its mission to mount a strategic litigation campaign against forced psychiatric drugging and electroshock and against the psychiatric drugging of children and youth will be greatly appreciated. There is a PayPal button on its Home Page,, as well as a link to Network for Good’s donation processing website.

    In the over-all scheme of things, whatever I have had to pay and may have to pay in the future is well worth it.

    I appreciate all of your support.

    Something people can do to support the public education effort that doesn’t cost anything is to “like” the brand new Facebook community, Occupy Psychiatry and help spread the word about it.

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    • Jim,
      You actually should not have to pay it … alone, anyway. You are not doing this for your personal benefit – you are doing a service to all, and many of us would like to support you and the work.

      I have a question: how does the corporate structure itself protect individual executives from being prosecuted? What things do they have to have done to be sued as (human) persons separate from the corporate personhood? It seems like the corporate structure is like a curtain that hides many misdeeds and almost encourages immoral actions by the unscrupulous because there is limited liability?

      Thanks for your work,

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  16. Lowry,

    That’s why corporations were formed – to insulate individuals and their assets from liability. As a former prosecutor, I can tell you it is much harder to prove that a specific individual within a corporation violated a criminal statute than to prove the case against the corporation itself. Absent a lot of “smoking gun” memos, prosecutors will have a very hard time proving an individual’s direct involvement in a corporate crime “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Then you must factor in PhARMA’s monstrously deep pockets – they have unlimited funds to throw at litigation, and according to reports, are unscrupulous (read Breggin’s account of the Wesbecker case).

    Also, in response to a couple posts, it really doesn’t matter if the company has a good case against Jim or not – they have so much money they can afford to sue and force individuals to spend funds they don’t have to defend – the company is ok as long as it doesn’t run afoul of prohibitions against frivolous suits.

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  17. Jim, ordinary people who will feel compelled to whistle-blow after you could be made aware of what the companies do by hearing and seeing your story. Kickstarter might be a place to get some funds to get the story out. Perhaps a local producer up there might be interested. Since the story would be about you, but not produced by you, the IRS, apparently working for the company, could not take the funds. Good causes frequently meet their goals quickly on Kickstarter.

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