Forbes Unpublishes Commentary on Medication/Violence Link


A google link to a Forbes magazine article titled “Psychiatric Drugs, Not A Lack Of Gun Control, Are The Common Denominator In Murderous Violence” now leads to a page on the Forbes website that says “Oops!”

Original Link →

A cached version of the missing Forbes article follows:

Lawrence Hunter, Contributor –
OP/ED | 1/14/2013 @ 8:00AM |9 views

Psychiatric Drugs, Not A Lack Of Gun Control, Are The Common Denominator In Murderous Violence

In 2000, New York legislators recognized the ubiquitous and unambiguous connection between violence, especially gun violence and mass murder, and the widespread prescribed use of psychiatric drugs. Senate Bill 7035 was introduced in the New York State Senate that year requiring police agencies to report to the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) on certain crimes and suicides committed by a person who is using psychiatric drugs, including assault, homicide, sex offenses, robbery offenses, firearms and other dangerous weapons offenses, kidnapping and arson. The preamble to the bill read, in part:

There is a large body of scientific research establishing a connection between violence and suicide and the use of psychotropic drugs in some cases. This research, which has been published in peer reviewed publications such as the American Journal of Psychiatry, The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and The Journal of Forensic Science, has shown, among other things, that: certain drugs can induce mania (a psychosis which can produce bizarre, grandiose and highly elaborated destructive plans, including mass murder);. . .and certain drugs can produce an acute psychotic reaction in an individual not previously psychotic.

The bill died in committee. Since that time, there have been at least 12 additional high-profile mass murders linked to the use of psychiatric drugs, about one a year. And, in virtually every mass school shooting during the past 15 years, the shooter has been on or in withdrawal from psychiatric drugs. Here is a partial list of 24 such horrific events that occurred since 1998, not including the Virginia Tech shootings and the recent Sandy Hook shootings where the authorities continue to suppress information about whether and to what extent the shooters were on or in withdrawal from a psychiatric drug.

These examples are not unique. According to the Citizens Commission On Human Rights International (CCHR), between 2004 and 2011, there were 12,755 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system of psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects including: 1,231 cases of homicidal ideation/homicide, 2,795 cases of mania and 7,250 cases of aggression. Since the FDA admits that only one to ten percent of all side effects are ever reported to it, the actual occurrence of violent side effects from psychiatric drugs is certainly nine or ten times higher than the official data suggest.

Yet, federal and state governments continue to ignore the connection between psychiatric drugs and murderous violence, preferring instead to exploit these tragedies in an oppressive and unconstitutional power grab to snatch guns away from innocent, law-abiding people who are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution the right to own and bear arms to deter government tyranny and to use firearms in self defense against any miscreant who would do them harm. Therefore, it is pharmaceutical makers, not law-abiding gun owners or gun manufacturers, who should be held to account for the series of “lone-wolf,” mass shootings that have occurred since the widespread use of psychiatric drugs began.

Although it is doubtful any single variable can explain what causes someone to commit such unspeakable acts as we saw recently at Sandy Hook, one common denominator surfaces time and time again, in hundreds and hundreds of cases where a “lone wolf” commits violence, murder and mayhem for apparently no reason: Prescribed psychiatric drugs, which are well documented to induce mania, psychosis, violence, suicide and murder, including mass murder for no apparent reason by otherwise non-psychotic people.

Given the mass of supporting data linking psychiatric drug use/withdrawal and violence, and given the fact it has been ignored studiously by the U.S. Congress and federal agencies, it is well past time that Congress and state legislatures and government agencies at all levels formally investigate the well established link between prescribed use of psychiatric drugs, school shootings and similar acts of senseless violence.

This video reveals the indisputable connection between psychiatric drugs and violence, especially young “lone-wolf” shooters in gun massacres.

As psychiatrist Peter Breggin observes in the video:

“One of the things in the past that we’ve known about depression is that it very, very rarely leads to violence. It’s only been since the advent of these new SSRI drugs that we’ve had murderers even mass murders taking these antidepressant drugs.”

Instead of intimidating the NRA into negotiating away Americans’ Second Amendment rights through its seat at the table in Washington, the government should be demanding answers and explanations from PhRMA and the pharmaceutical companies.

Instead of extorting NRA chairman Dave Keene and NRA president Wayne LaPierre into participating with the gun snatchers’ efforts to nullify the Second Amendment in the name of reducing gun violence, why aren’t the White House and Congress putting former Business Roundtable President and current head of PhRMA, John Castellani, along with the presidents of the pharmaceutical companies on the hot seat?

Why isn’t Castellani sitting in on White House and congressional meetings about the connection between his products and mass shootings instead of Keene and LaPierre of the NRA?

Why isn’t there a White House Task Force on the connection between psychiatric drugs and violence, suicide and murder, both gun related and otherwise?

Why aren’t there congressional hearings on the connection between violence and psychiatric drugs?

Why aren’t there bills being introduced in Congress and state legislatures to tighten down on the indiscriminate, unmonitored use of these killer drugs?

Why is the government still suppressing information about the shooters’ psychiatric drug use at Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech?

Why is the government turning America into a police state in the name of protecting us against nonexistent “reefer madness” while it turns a blind eye to the real, deadly med madness created by psychiatric drugs and the uncontrollable violent rages they produce in some people?

Could it be there is a quiet conspiracy afoot among pharmaceutical companies, the government and the gun grabbers to make Mr. and Mrs. Gun Owner of America the patsies for the violence and to blame lone-wolf violence on guns rather than psychiatric drugs?

Could it be that power-hungry politicians and gun snatchers are out to exploit rare tragedies such as Sandy Hook and use the blood of innocent children to scare America into giving up its constitutional rights to own and bear arms and use them as a deterrent against tyranny?

Could it be that big pharma is today’s big tobacco?

Could it be there is an intentional effort underway in the centers of power in Washington, DC to hide the truth from the American people about the strong connection between psychiatric drugs and violence and to protect the pharmaceutical companies from civil and criminal charges for their responsibility in these heinous crimes?

Could that be the explanation for why there continue to be lawsuits against gun manufacturers — not for defects in their products but rather for the misuse of their products by drug-addled individuals — and why there are few lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies for the obvious flaws in their products, which are producing violence and mayhem?

Could it be the Gun Control movement is simply a blind; just an effort by the triple alliance of left-fascists, big-government politicians and big-pharma prescription-drug dealers to dose and oppress the American people in the name of public safety, “officer safety” and social order?

The gun snatchers such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg all shamefully exploit the bloody murder of children as a pretext to nullify the Second Amendment and short arm the American public with their so-called “assault-weapons” ban and ammunition/clip restrictions. The fact is, the kinds of guns used by mass shooters are far less relevant than the kinds of drugs they were prescribed.”

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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. Oops, a mainstream article cited the Church of Scientology’s front group and had to take it down. I am personally glad. Nobody takes the issue seriously when they see CCHR. Was completely disappointed that the ISEPP letter cited them and that Gottstein also cited it. No better way to get people to roll their eyes and forget about it than to cite CCHR material.

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  2. I doubt that was the only reason. My bet is one of their advertisers read the piece and threatened to pull their support if they didn’t retract. Or maybe more than one. Pharma companies pay a huge amount in advertising, and money is definitely power. Or perhaps they simply threatened to put a contract out on the CEO…

    —- Steve

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  3. Oh, puh-leeze, “left-fascists?” The fascists are on the right; look up the meaning. What would it profit the “gun snatchers” to snatch guns? The weapons used by the mass killers certainly *are* relevant. If they weren’t semi-automatic with large clips, the body count would have been much lower. And saying that depression very rarely leads to violence is true, it very rarely does. But it can. I, myself, have been in such a place of darkness that I planned to kill family members and then myself with — wait for it — a gun. See And psychiatric meds saved lives in my case.

    I don’t know who this author is, but he seems to be as rabidly against psych meds as he is for eliminating all gun control. Why does it have to be one or the other? Can’t we advocate for tighter restriction of prescribing psych meds while, at the same time, advocating for some gun control to reduce body count in the event that some sociopath goes on a rampage?

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    • And how do you propose to do this when almost every psychiatrist and almost every GP is out there perscribing these toxic drugs to everyone that they can get their hands on? These toxic drugs that are killing not only the people taking them but lots of other innocent people are the only so-called “treatment” for so-called “mental illness.” How are you going to regulate them? The drug companies are certainly not going to do it and the psychiatrists are not going to go along with it since being able to push them on people validates them as so-called “doctors” instead of the quacks that they are. How are you going to regulate them>

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      • We have to just take whatever steps we can. We can legislate that GPs can’t prescribe certain kinds of meds. But we also have to allocate more funds for counseling and peer support. Meds are *not* the only treatment for “mental illness.” Unfortunately, corporate greed is going to lobby hard against that kind of legislation and treatment. Pharma and “health” insurance companies won’t allow their profits to be cut without a fight. So the ultimate fix will be getting corporate/tycoon money out of politics. I didn’t say it was easy, just that it needs to be done.

        The author issues a lot of snarky “why isn’t” and “could it be” statements but he doesn’t offer any solutions, suggestions, or calls to action. He is just mad at “gun grabbers” and meds. He just complains. Maybe that’s why the article was removed: because it doesn’t say anything constructive.

        Please keep in mind that you do not speak for all of us, nor does the author. I’m grateful for my psychiatrist’s help.

        What is your suggested solution to the problem of mass shootings?

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        • Stop “treating” people with toxic psychiatric drugs which are now known to cause voilence in all kinds of forms from suicide to homicide. Stop psychiatrists from drugging everyone and start doing real and valuable talk therapy. Of course, this can’t happen because none of them know how to do talk therapy of any kind. All they’re taught in med school these days is pharmacology.

          I don’t attempt to speak for everyone here. I’m so glad that you’re grafeful for your psychiatrist’s help. You must remember that many of us can’t say that about the treatment we’ve received at the hands of many psychiatrists. Not all psychiatrists, but a whole heck of a lot of them have done nothing but harm to countless thousands of people.

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          • Stephen, thanks for your gentle response.

            You are so right about psychiatrists and talk therapy. My psychiatrist is pretty old school, and even though I have been seeing him for a very long time (another anomaly, I believe), he still spends all of our med check time actually asking me questions and listening to me.

            I have also, however, seen psychiatrists in the hospital who spent only five minutes with me and then changed my meds. And now the insurance companies kick you out of the hospital before anyone can observe whether med changes have any effect, anyway. The whole process is in a sad state.

            I know that I have been very lucky in having a long-term relationship with a single psychiatrist and in having private health insurance to pay for some talk therapy. In my experience, I needed the meds to help me think straight before I could make much use of talk therapy. But I know, and you have brought to my attention again, that my experience isn’t typical.

            I guess when I read many of the posts on MIA, I get afraid that people will advocate so hard against drugs that I will lose my own meds. Fear makes me prickly and I respond as such.

            I would be honored to hear your thoughts on my more recent blog posts at I most value comments from people who have “been there.” I would like to see if I am reflecting the “mental health” situation accurately for others. I want to be a voice for those who are not often listened to. I don’t know how well I do that.

            Thanks again, Stephen.

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        • Hi, I scanned your blog, thanks for the invite. all I noticed mostly were trials of medication, 1, Medication 2, and Medication 3………. Just a question were you suicidal before the meds? Are you sure the medications are helping and not hindering healing?

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  4. Pam,

    Thanks for your response. I understand your prickliness for I too am prickly. Unfortunately my first name doesn’t lend itself to using the word for my moniker!

    I went to your blog and think that you raise some important questions with your posts. It’s one more place for people to go and have an intelligent discussion about all the issues surrounding and challenging people who’ve been labeled as “mentally ill.” We need more places like yours on the internet to stir even more discussion.

    The one thing that I advocate for is the right to personal choice in matters of treatment. I’m not against people who choose to take the drugs, after receiving true informed consent. I support choice for all of the alternate “treatments” that are out there for people to use. The problem that’s gotten us to this point where we are is that there has been and is not any real choice in the matter.

    I, like you, was lucky. I had a wonderful young man for my intern psychiatrist when I was in the state hospital where I now work. He actually listened to my story and validated it and then shared something from his own life story that convinced me that he was to be trusted and valued. How many psychiatrists actually would even consider sharing something from their personal life in hopes that it would be helpful and meaningful to someone that they were working with? He did psychotherapy with me every week day afternoon for a month. From what I can gather, I’m the first patient in years at this hospital to receive real talk therapy from a psychiatrist! But he’s a maverick and one of a kind, unlike all the rest of the psychiatrist at the hospital. There are some good ones out there but they’re difficult to find.

    Now I have another place to go and discuss issues than just here on MIA. Thanks!

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