White House Blocks Petition Seeking Investigation into Psychiatric Drugs and Violence


A petition on the White House web site which calls for an investigation into the link between psychiatric medication and violence has been blocked after a week (out of the month allotted) in which it had garnered 6,635 of the 25,000 signatures needed. A videotaped response by President Obama, addressing issues of gun control, school safety, and mental health care (but not medication) has been placed on the petition’s page.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. A rather generic Official White House Response was added to the petition webpage, advocating, among other things, for easier access to mental health care. That completely misses the point of this petition. A link was provided for further feedback. I submitted the following feedback:

    Hi. I signed the petition titled: “Launch a federal investigation in to the relationship between school shootings and psychiatric drugs”. In the Official White House Response, President Obama is quoted as saying: “We’re going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun.”

    Here’s the problem with that: The track record of current mental health care practices isn’t that great, so better access to it won’t necessarily help much. My understanding is that some of the shooters in recent decades were already on psychiatric drugs when they did the shooting. Current mental health care practices certainly didn’t sufficiently help them.

    Maybe the psychiatric drugs just didn’t do enough to help those shooters’ pre-existing impulses. But it’s possible the psychiatric drugs are actually making things worse: For example, do a web search for akathisia and violence, and you’ll see mainstream and medical links that psychiatric drugs can affect this. If that connection is real, action is desperately needed to address this. If that connection isn’t valid, it needs to be carefully researched and debunked once and for all.

    So if you want to increase access to mental health care as a response to violence, please make sure that increased access to mental health care will actually help, and not worsen, the problem of violence. Please do what the petition urges: “Launch a federal investigation into the relationship between school shootings and psychiatric drugs”.

    Thank you.

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    • Absolutely. Making guns responsible for what happened is like making cars responsible for killing people in the streets. It’s not the guns, nor the cars! It’s the condition and the character of the individual that’s responsible. Ever cut your finger with a knife? Ban all knives!!!! Then what? Are we supposed to eat dinner with our bare hands now? Oh, and yes: don’t forget about those pesky forks! They are dangerous too!

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      • Absolutely not recognizing the carnage capability of a semi-automatic assault rifle is insane. Although I personally do not need to see crime scene photos from Sandy Hook Elementary School, I wonder if the “guns don’t kill people, people do” folks might need to be brought closer to the actual situation to gain some measure of mature, rational perspective on the insanity of private ownership of these particular guns!

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  2. I left the following response:

    “You can NOT ignore the strong collusion between psychiatric drugs (see black warning label for anti-depressants) and violence. In fact, almost all perpetrators of school shootings were on these drugs, another thing which isn’t reported in the media. You can NOT ignore these things and do a decent job of addressing the problems. Saying that there should be easier access to Mental Health care when the mental health system promotes the implementation of such drugs and suppresses the violent results caused bye the drugs in order to demand more implementation of such drugs; this is running people on propoganda rather than reality.

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  3. Unfortunately, I think we’re going to see a strong effort to make sure people diagnosed with “severe mental illness” are not allowed to protect themselves – with tougher gun laws and more “treatment” by force.

    Forget about that pesky Constitution – particularly, the 2nd and 14th amendments… People with “severe netal illness” must be controlled.

    And it will get even worse when Obamacare is fully implemented. The federal government will have quick access to mental health records – a thorough data bank of “ill” and “dangerous” people at their fingertips, sharing the data with federal and local law enforcement.

    A stong and powerful federal government – the gift that keeps on giving.

    That’s my call.


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  4. What interests me is the way that they completely sidestepped the issue and put the emphasis on something else entirely, which was not the purpose of the petition. Then, they blocked the petition! This is worrisome to me, a lot worrisome! What are they afraid of that they would block the petition so that people don’t have access to it?

    I suspect that the lobbyists for the big drug companies have been busily whispering in the ears of all politicians since Newtown, from the president right on down the line. They’re determined to keep this dirty little secret of psychiatry and Big Pharma out of the eye of the general public, no matter what it takes.

    One note of interest is that more posts have appeared on social media about the horrible side effects of SSRI’s than any time before this so some people out there are getting the message, but they’re not enough. How do you get the message out to a larger audience when even the president is willing to block things like this petition?

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    • Stephen,

      I agree, this is worrisome! I just left a response too, saying I consider his removal of the petition for an investigation into the link between psychiatric drugs and violence to be UNdemocratic!

      Dawn DelMonte

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      • Dawn,

        I can appreciate your passion.
        It’s one that I share.

        But the problem is not that this is “Un-Democratic.”
        The problem is that it is “Unconstitutional.”

        And there’s a big difference.

        There is no referendum on constitutional rights.
        No matter what the vote count.

        I apologize if I came on strong, and this certainly is not personal, but this has nothing to do with what the majority has to say.

        That’s the problem, not the answer.


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  5. True. Many people who worked for the FDA are now on the boards of many of the large drug companies. Both of the wonderful Bush presidents sit on boards of drug companies and have for many years. I think that there’s a severe conflict of interest going on. The FDA often allows the drug companies to give it only the drug studies that the companies want to be public. If they do hand over the studies that show all the terrible effects of the drugs the FDA conveniently stashes them away in some dusty, dark corner where it’s almost impossible of ever finding them. And you can be sure that there are many senators and representatives receive ample compensation for voting the way the drug companies want them to vote.

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  6. It looks (to me) like the White House didn’t necessarily single out and block this particular petition, but created just one response to cover 33 different petitions regarding recent gun violence. See the copy of the response at: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/message-president-obama-about-your-petition-reducing-gun-violence

    Near the top, it says:
    Start the process to enact Federal Gun control reforms. and 32 other petitions
    A Message from President Obama about Your Petition on Reducing Gun Violence”

    If you follow the “32 other petitions” link, it looks like none of the other referenced petitions say anything about problems with psychiatric drugs. So it might(?) have been just a (stupid) oversight that they missed the point of this particular petition when they scooped it together with all the others. That’s not an excuse, but it’s not as bad as specifically shutting down this petition in particular.

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  7. Legislation banning firearm use by persons taking certain medications will undoubtedly result in people who need psychological care or medications avoiding treatment. The solution could be much worse than the problem. But that seems to be the approach we’ve historically seen by elected officials who understand neither mental illness or gun violence. Nothing says ignorance more than a “gun expert” using the term “clip” regarding high capacity magazines. But pay attention and you’ll hear the term regularly. Proper mental health screenings, background checks and licensing is a much better approach.

    In the end, any disturbed person who desires a firearm can purchase one on the street much cheaper than at any store. You can’t stop insane people from doing insane things by passing insane laws… it’s insane.

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    • LOL

      Then, such typical abuse of the rights of those with bogus DSM stigmas, would actually do good for a change, if this case of banning firearm use by persons taking psych poisons resulted in them not seeking such “help” that only “helps” psychiatry/BIG PHARMA while destroying the victims. It would also serve as a type of black box warning about the deadly effects of toxic psych drugs.

      So, this would be the perfect solution: would be victims don’t get suckered into the mental death profession in the first place, so their gun rights are never threatened!

      Wes Hardin, I guess we don’t agree that anyone would be deprived or sustain a big loss if they don’t get a bogus mental death DSM life destroying stigma and the lethal drugs to go along with it known to cause all kinds of horrible side effects and disability. So, I also don’t agree that anyone needs this type of “psychological care and medications” you seem to be advocating.

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      • Hi Duane,

        Thanks for following up on the rest of this fascist post to deal with the other horror of the “proper mental health screening” that the current administration is allowing BIG PHARMA to do in schools no less now to find all those would be shooters form kindergarten on up! In the past they would at least try to hide BIG PHARMA influence behind such bogus screening to push more stigmas and lethal drugs, but now they aren’t even trying to hide the fact that our entire government/country/globe has sold out to the psychiatry/BIG PHARMA industrial complex.

        Anyway, I got so caught up in Wes Hardin’s very questionable claim about the supposed great tragedy that certain gun control tactics “will undoubtedly result in people who need psychological care or medications avoiding treatment,” that I missed the other highly dubious claim for the need for “proper mental health screening.”

        Thanks for providing the necessary highlighting of these typical rights, health violations taken for granted by those brainwashed by the mental death profession and the bogus DSM now declared INVALID be decree and not science per usual.

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          • Duane,

            Agreed! Thank God for Dr. Breggin!

            Said it all for me too when my loved ones were threatened and Dr. Breggin provided what I needed to know to rescue them from permanent disability and a destroyed life.

            I highly recommend all of his books and web sites.

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