Robert Whitaker & Allen Frances on Al Jazeera TV:
“Redefining Mental Illness”

Robert Whitaker notes on Al Jazeera’s “Inside Story” that a helpful diagnostic text must be both reliable and valid, and the DSM is neither – resulting in a harmful expansion of diagnosis and medication. Allen Frances says that experts “always expand, they never reduce” their authority over a domain. 5% of the population has a psychiatric disorder that can be diagnosed and effectively treated, Frances says, but the DSM is misused such that more than 25% of the population is so diagnosed and a “ridiculous” 20% of the population is taking medication.

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From Al Jazeera:

“Known as the bible of psychiatry, the DSM or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the most influential guide for helping doctors define what a mental illness is. But it has sparked a backlash among some respected psychiatrists in the United States who say the new guidelines are turning normal behaviour into illness, and will lead to the medication of patients that should not be.”

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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].


    • David,

      I give you a lot of credit for saying that this travesty against women is due to “cultural stereotypes, prejudices and fears” rather than the so called inferiority of women.

      If you read the great book, THE GIFT OF FEAR, by violence expert Guy deBecker, he makes it all too clear that women have plenty more to fear and be stressed about given their far greater risk to be raped and murdered by men while men are at far less risk for such events.

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  1. Dr. Allen Frances seems to be against the expansion of psychiatry, but keeps insisting that conventional treatment works well for 5% of the population.

    In other words, he sends up a much-needed red flag – pointing out the absurdity of labeling and drugging 20% of the population, while trying to expand market share…

    On the other hand, he appears to be protecting the 5% – namely, those labeled with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder – in short, the more traditionally targeted groups.

    Not good, Dr. Frances.
    Not good at all.

    Go back and work on it some more.
    … Not buying it.


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  2. Wonderful! The real shame is that to get this type of debate (conversation really) we need to watch Al Jazeera. The host question on the Biederman affair was priceless :D. I understand that Allen Frances has a vested interest in saving the quackery, but Bob should have been more assertive: indeed, the Biederman affair was bribery, plain and simple.

    It should be worrisome for everyone that neither CNN nor Fox (or the large networks) is willing to host a candid conversation on this matter.

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    • There is a reason al Jazeera was for so long banned from the U.S. They blow the lid off everything and there is no topic that is too taboo or too controversial for them to touch.

      They tell the real story behind the Israel- Palestine conflict (never covered on U.S. news). They also show the photos and stories of the real people impacted from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and other conflicts around the world. They will cover every angle of a corruption or corporate fraud case. They are the epitome of the free press (and ironically are based in an Arab country) – and a free press is the ultimate threat to the power of the U.S. elites. And that is why they are banned. But luckily, they have a live stream on their website, so if you want to know the hidden story behind the day’s headlines – you can watch their coverage anywhere, anytime! 🙂

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    • David,

      I noticed that too, and it came as some relief to me — because I deeply respect Whitaker and hope that he can distance himself from Frances.

      Allen Frances is a dyed-in-the-wool true-believer in genetic theories of so-called “mental disorder” — consistently promoting and defending this concept of “normal” (e.g., in his book and his blog, “saving normal”) as though he personally knows what ‘normal’ is and can legitimately defend it, as being ideal.

      (I.e., He’s a terribly conventional guy.)

      Also, he promotes ECT.

      Generally speaking, I’m not happy to listen to psychiatrists pontificating, but I’ll be much less troubled listening to one who condemns such extremely dicey procedures, as ECT… and one who can at least admit that ‘normal’ is culturally determined.

      (And, if s/he can be humble enough to suggest that no one can ever say for certain whether ‘normal’ is truly desirable, that’s all for the better.)



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        • Donna,

          Here’s one source — Allen J. Frances speaking at University of Toronto, on May 6, 2012 (watch the last half minute of this lecture, and you’ll see him offer his ECT pitch – at the very end):

          Throughout that May 6 talk (and in most of his talks and writings), Frances comes off as a psychiatrist who is careful, methodical — and genuinely interested in limiting the damages that are done by psychiatry.

          In fact, I do not doubt he has good intentions, that way; I acknowledge, he means well and has done some good by critiquing DSM-5.

          Yet, he is still a very conventional psychiatrist, being that he’s *not* going to renounce all psychiatric dirty-work (not by a long-shot).

          I mean, ‘patients’ whose ‘conditions’ he perceives as more than mildly ‘abnormal’ will not stand a chance of avoiding harmful stigma and toxic, brain-damaging ‘treatment’. Just listen to him, in the end of that Youtube, advise, directly: “for the severe problems, get the medicine started as soon as possible – and sometimes ECT.”

          (And, note: I presume he would not recommend offering such persons a choice in the matter. Similarly, he ends that Al Jazeera interview, above, by promoting ‘treatment’ for people who, I suspect, would not have much choice.)

          Asked by the Al Jazeera interviewer, “What’s the best that we can expect from psychiatry,” Frances winds up, by promoting this totalitarian notion (that’s all too easily spoon fed to the general public) that millions of people in prisons are actually ‘mentally ill’ folk going ‘untreated’ (i.e., currently going ‘un-medicated’ and/or going without ECT).

          Simply put: Frances is doing all that he can to *seem* perfectly reasonable while, nonetheless, stumping fanatically for the survival of medical-coercive psychiatry.



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          • “Frances is doing all that he can to *seem* perfectly reasonable while, nonetheless, stumping fanatically for the survival of medical-coercive psychiatry.”

            I agree. In fact, he made it very clear during his intervention that he wants to go back to a time in which 5% of people were labelled and drugged. And the reason to me is obvious. In the US, that is still 15 million people (as big as a medium sized European country). That’s a market big enough to keep his pals gainfully employed. I think that Frances correctly anticipates that psychiatry will not be able to get away with labeling 50% of Americans as mentally ill. He is trying to save psychiatry from itself for the sole reason that he sees DSM-IV as his “magna opus”.

            What he doesn’t realize is that he would be assured a true legacy if he were to join us in denouncing psychiatry. He could be part of the solution, but he insists in being part of the problem. I don’t think his position is tenable in the long term though. It’s only a quackery when DSM-5 says something but not when DSM-IV says the same thing? The most obvious example is the so called “bereavement” exclusion for depression. He has been ballistic that DSM-5 shortens it from 2 months to 2 weeks. What he hasn’t be so open about is that in DSM-III, that exclusion lasted 1 year. So his team decided that mourning a loved one for 2 months was healthy but longer wasn’t. Then he complains when the DSM-5 team has a different arbitrary opinion about what is “healthy” when it comes to mourn a loved one.

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          • Thanks Jonah,

            I only asked because I never heard him promote it to my recollection, but I totally agree with your views of Frances. That’s why I asked for a source.

            I feel that he and Spitzer are the main perpetrators of most of psychiatry’s recent crimes against humanity, so you won’t see me defending them.

            He made a killing himself from this fraud and participated in the vile Texas Algorithm scandal and other BIG PHARMA shilling, so he comes off as very hypocritical attacking the DSM 5 committee when he and Spitzer did far worse and started the horrific ADHD and bipolar fad fraud epidemics to push the latest lethal drugs on patent for BIG PHARMA, their real concern. David Healy exposes this whole scam of the bipolar fad in his great book, MANIA: A SHORT HISTORY OF BIPOLAR DISORDER. Though I realize Healy also promotes ECT, making a great horrific comeback now for more massive brain damage, he is right on target when he sticks to his critques of drugs and bogus stigmas like bipolar.

            Just about everybody encountered by the mental death profession got this fraud bipolar stigma to push lethal Depakote, the “new” neuroleptics and other drugs for an especially lethal, deadly cocktail along with a 100 pound weight gain, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and countless other assaults on their health, brains and ability to function once the DSM III and IV came out. And I guess this fraud, invalid monstrosity will be expanded in DSM 5 along with ADHD and other scams.

            I am at a great disadvantage now because the sound on my computer won’t work, so watching the videos right now is futile since I don’t/can’t lip read.

            Anyone who is willing to share about some of these videos in a general sense would be appreciated in the meantime.

            Thanks for your response.

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          • Frances recently was quoted in WIRED as saying “psychiatric diagnosis is bullshit…you can’t define it…there is really no way to distinguish who is normal and who is not.” The constant claims of the latest gene finds, heritability and other biological causes of bogus DSM stigmas were deliberate lies and scams perpetrated by those at the top of the food chain like Frances and Spitzer in the APA, NIMH and BIG PHARMA making a literal killing in tons of money for themselves and destroyed lives and death for their so called patients.

            Let’s not even pretend that psychiatry is at all medical, but rather, it is another arm of our growing global fascist, military police states in the guise of medicine and “mental health” and one of the most dangerous of all to freedom, democracy, human rights, constitutional rights, due process and everything America supposedly symbolized. See articles like “Psychiatric Imperialism” by Joanna Moncrieff and many others exposing psychiatry’s true purpose: illegal agents of social control allowed to violate citizens human and civil rights with the pretense of offering treatment for mental illness when everyone knows that a bogus stigma puts in place a predetermined series of abuse, torture and outrageous rights abuses without due process.

            Frances also described the DSM as like maps with unknown territories in the far past whereby they would be named some absurd thing like “Dragon Territory.” Frances thought that such deception like this similar to that of the DSM was better than people lacking answers or reasons for their distress, life problems, etc. Plus, they were necessary to push the latest lethal drugs on patent and to get their high payments. Such fascist dictatorial attitudes have been called “benign paternalism” by the likes of Sally Satel, a forced treatment twin of Fuller Torrey who are anything but benign! Rather, they are very dangerous individuals in high places with both having access to Bush and Obama to push their forced drugging and commitment Stalinist agenda.

            This is typical of the mental death profession like their continuing to promote the chemical imbalance fraud lie with BIG PHARMA to the public and their so called patients and justified it with the pretense that their so called patients were happier getting such a fraud explanation or lying!! See book, PSYCHIATRY UNHINGED by a psychiatrist also expressing this morally challenged, reprehensible view along with the total lack of science behind psychiatry. He also admits that the drugs prescribed are based on whim and/or which pharma rep was most recently seen.

            So much for the great medicine and ethics practiced by Frances and biopsychiatry in general.

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          • Jonah,

            With all the massive information out there for many, many years about the huge harm of psychiatry’s bogus stigmas and force lethal drugs/ECT/forced commitment/and other torture “treatments” that are no more than social control and punishment without being judged guilty of any crime with psychiatrists acting as part of the police state without any due process for their victims, anyone promoting so called psychiatric treatment to anyone cannot be said to have “good intentions” in my opinion.

            If survivors could access this information in libraries, Amazon, online and their own and others’ horrific, deadly experience, certainly psychiatrists cannot pretend lack of knowledge or access to the same information since they have access to far more of it.

            The truth is that psychiatry sold out to BIG PHARMA when their profession was declining in status along with Freudian analysis. Thus, they got the great idea when lethal drugs were accidently found to make zombies out of distressed people to pretend to be real medical doctors based on their ability to write prescriptions. The fraud that was perpetrated by the bio-psychiatry/BIG PHARMA cartel that harmed so many people is inexcusable and completely violates the Hippocratic oath.

            Bob Whitaker describes this ignoble history of bio-psychiatry in his great books.

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          • Donna,

            I appreciate your comments in many ways; but, I think it’s possible that you are misquoting Allen Frances (to begin your comment, above, on May 25, 2013 at 12:11 am). And, as a consequence, you make him seem even more self-contradictory than he actually is.

            But, note: I presume your misquoting him is *unintentional* — as I have no reason to suspect you of being a dishonest person; and, indeed, it seems to me that you would *not* deliberately put words in his mouth, which he didn’t speak… as I sense you are essentially well-intentioned.

            In fact, it’s my aim to presume that any individual is well-intentioned unless or until I’m given ample evidence to suspect otherwise; so, I quite *disagree* with your ultimate conclusion regarding the quality of the intentions of those who promote psychiatric ‘treatment’.

            You explain, on May 25, 2013 at 12:47 am, that: “…anyone promoting so called psychiatric treatment to anyone cannot be said to have “good intentions” in my opinion.”

            Well, sometimes (only briefly) I have attempted to entertain such a black-and-white view of psychiatric ‘treatment’ promoters; i.e., occasionally, I’ve almost wished I could believe that they had no good intents, period; after all, I sometimes imagine how *easy* it would then be to divide up the world, in a way that merely dismisses promoters of psychiatry, ultimately, as ‘bad’ people!

            But, in fact, I cannot do that — because (A) I believe that, occasionally psychiatric ‘treatment’ does some good; and (B) generally speaking, I see that the majority of those who promote psychiatric ‘treatment’ are, indeed, largely well-meaning and yet living in a near-constant state of more or less *unconscious* denial.

            (Of course, there are *some* promoters of psychiatric ‘treatments’ who are in *conscious* denial; i.e., there are some who are habitual liars, basically. E.g., that describes certain top executives, in Big Pharma. But, that does not accurately describe most promoters of psychiatric ‘treatment’ — I believe.)

            In most instances, those who promote psychiatric ‘treatment’ do *not* fathom the worst harms that are done by Psychiatry — as their minds are effectively ‘defended’ against the acquisition of such realities. Their denial is largely unconscious.

            Thus, most of them may be well-meaning, even as they are effectively leading many or most of their adherents (deemed “patients”) into an existence of ongoing and increasing misery (which, in *many* sad instances, one might reasonably call, “hell on Earth”).

            Are the people who led them to psychiatric ‘treatment’ all devoid of good intentions? No way. Many of these people are giving the Koolaid to their own closest loved ones — and, *many* take it themselves. Indeed, this is so frequently the case, that, at last, I believe, we can only surmise that the vast majority of true-believers in psychiatric ‘treatment’ are not unlike the vast majority of true-believing promoters, of various other, plainly *unworldly* religions.

            I.e., they are well-meaningly pointing out a ‘promised land’ in the form of ‘treatment’ — but are simultaneously, in effect, blind to the *actual* reality which they are promoting — somewhat like lemmings, leading their fellow lemmings, tragically, off a cliff.

            (Of course, my saying all this is not to deny that some promoters of psychiatric ‘treatments’ are just plain unscrupulous profiteers; simply, I would not put Allen Frances in that category.)



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  3. Interesting that when asked about corruption, Bob suggests there may have been “unconscious” processes involved.

    Is this a hint, that while we hero worship does with high IQ’s, an ability to pass examinations and obtain qualifications does not really correlate with EQ or the getting of wisdom and emotional maturity?

    Perhaps emotional maturity may be considered as NOT needing to “guild the lily” when pitching one’s cognitive constructs, with a rather adolescent slip of tongue, while at the same time, posturing a rather paternalistic care and concern for one’s fellow man. Yet the average “conservative” seems to make these lazy observations all the time, or so it seems to me.

    Like the esteemed Dr’s take on our amazing brain, with more cells than stars in the Galaxy, apparently? Yet a quick check reveals;

    “An adult human brain has more than 100 billion neurons”

    “The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy 100,000–120,000 light-years in diameter containing 200–400 billion stars.”

    We see the same conservative IQ’s like Kay Redfield Jamison and Elyn R. Saks make the same slips of the tongue, while projecting the appropriate paternalistic care and concern, in stating categorically that Bipolar and Schizophrenia are brain diseases.

    Why does the majority of the American public lap up this kind of apparently authoritative and paternalistic advice? Are there unconscious processes related to emotional needs, projection, and emotional maturity, involved?

    Lastly, why the taken for granted assumption that mental health is “all about the brain?’ Is this a projection of how the brain and nervous systems guide the business of life, with an unconscious pattern of stimulus matching “expectation” which leads to our conscious assumptions?

    Is the experience that many on MIA know well, all about the brain or the creature in which the brain resides? Is our experience symptomatic of what it means to be human?

    When will does of us with lived experience address Dr Michael Cornwall’s profound question “if mental illness is not what psychiatry says it is, then what is it?” Do we simply assume that we can’t find the science which supports our experience as a natural phenomena, and refutes the science which psychiatry uses to make its claims.

    I firmly believe that there is emerging science which strongly refutes this taken for granted and myopic focus on the brain, as the sole mediator of emotional/mental disorder.

    Best wishes to all,

    David Bates.

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      • Jonah,

        Here is Gary Greenburg’s article in WIRED where Frances describes psychiatric diagnosis as “bullshit” and says there is really no way to define normal versus abnormal. This article also backs up other things I said like him comparing DSM life destroying stigmas to old maps putting “Dragon Territory” over unknown areas, which Frances thinks is fine and dandy. He pretends this is helpful to his victims while he profited hugely from this scam by colluding with drug companies to push the horrible Texas algorithm program exposed by a whistleblower who suffered great consequences from the mental death profession to warn the government and public.

        Sorry, I don’t agree with you about the so called good intentions of biopsychiatry, especially those at the top of the food chain like Frances, Spitzer, Lieberman and many others serving as BIG PHARMA KOL’s. The Occupy Psychiatry Movement in 2012 used the Lucy cartoon playing “psychiatrist” with the bottom of her stand containing check boxes for COMPLICIT or FOOLED!

        So, I guess you are saying there are corrupt and incompetent psychiatrists pushing the bogus biopsychiatry agenda of the APA, DSM and BIG PHARMA. Either way they have destroyed the lives of untold numbers of people including children and toddlers no less with this monstrous fraud.

        So, one’s motives don’t really matter here. If I hit you with my car and you suffer huge disabilities, it really makes little difference with regard to your disabilities if I did it deliberately, by mistake or due to lack of ability to drive. And most people wouldn’t admit their motives or incompetence anyway.

        Plus, what psychiatrist would admit to doing such harm on purpose to serve their own interests while destroying the lives of those they conned to accept their “treatment?” Yes, humans can be very good at deceiving themselves when they harm others for their own advantage.

        There are all too many still doling out the same life destroying stigmas they know are bogus to push drugs they know are useless and deadly to save their own careers while destroying those of their so called patients or clients.

        The whole enterprise is a sham and a fraud and set up for the sole, soulless purpose of social control and huge profits for the power elite, which has finally been admitted by the NIMH and others despite years of lies to the contrary. Are we supposed to trust the new bogus “neuroscience” lies they dole out in the future when it is well known biopsychiatry just medicalizes social/environmental stressors, abuse, oppression, prejudice and other evils of the power elite they really serve? I don’t agree anyone is helped by this horrific system, but I do believe people are brainwashed to believe that unless or until they are fortunate enough to wake up before their health/brain/life is totally destroyed and greatly shortened. Laura Delano does a great job of writing about her own wake up call at MIA that probably saved her life.

        Moreover, people regularly sue doctors and others for incompetence, malpractice, neglect, etc.

        Anyway, thanks for the information, Jonah, but I’ve done too much research on bio-psychiatry and seen its horrific effects loved ones I was fortunate enough to save to ever believe in their so called good intentions or wanting to help anyone but themselves. Perhaps some were initially conned by all the junk science, but there has been no excuse in recent times with the plethora of books like ANATOMY OF AN EPIDEMIC.

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        • Jonah,

          When I spoke of lack of “good intentions” I was only addressing your claim that you believe Frances and bio-psychiatrists have “good intentions.”

          I used to naively believe most people had good intentions until I learned the very hard way that this was not true. There are a lot of people with very bad intentions if you check out the ton of books and articles about predatory, self serving psychopaths and narcissists growing in number constantly due to our CULTURE OR NARCISSIM (Christopher Lasch. Check out books like THE NARCISSIM EPIDEMIC, THE WIZARD OF OZ AND OTHER NARCISSISTS, WHY IS IT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU?, THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR, WITHOUT CONSCIENCE: THE DISTURBING WORLD OF THE PSYCHOPATHS AMONG US, SNAKES IN SUITS: WHEN PSYCHOPATHS GO TO WORK, THE MASK OF SANITY, WORKING WITH MONSTERS, etc. I recommend them to those who wish to protect themselves from these intraspecies predators. Dr. Robert Hare is known as the world’s foremost authority on psychopaths and invented the PCL-R to test for them. They are well described in the Bible and similar sources.

          So, I’ve learned to try to get to know somebody and their character and ACTIONS before I put my trust in them now because actions speak much louder than words as we all know.

          Jesus said beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing…and you will know them by their fruits.

          In response to your disdain of religion, I have a Christian background myself and though I may not believe all the dogma/rituals, I think great spiritual leaders like Jesus, the Buddha and others made a great and positive impact on humanity. Consider Martin Luther King, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and many other spiritual giants influenced by Christianity, Buddhism and other religions. Sadly, evil people have hijacked such spiritual paths to push their own self serving agenda as is true in medicine and every other area of life.

          Also, it has been demonstrated that spirituality has a very positive impact on one’s health by those like Dr. Larry Dorsey, Dr. Andrew Weill and many others, which is far more than biopsychiatry can say about its so called treatments. Also, psychiatry plotted from the start to destroy religion, families and every other institution that fostered human solidarity and mutual aid since its inception. Their agenda was to infiltrate every institution and area of society with the idea of hijacking it to serve their own toxic agenda. Obviously, they succeeded beyond their wildest sociopathic dreams and our worst nightmares with takeover of families, churches, schools, the courts, medicine and government. If you don’t believe me, check out the links I posted on Chaya’s post about her Occupy speech.

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        • Donna,

          Thank you for your response. I quite admire your passionate opposition to psychiatric pseudo-science. Really, I do.

          And, I am aware of that Wired article, which you’ve mentioned.

          Unfortunately, you have misquoted it (and, by extension, you’re somewhat misrepresenting the views of Allen Frances).

          You say (in your comment, on May 25, 2013 at 12:11) that Frances was recently quoted, in Wired, as saying, “psychiatric diagnosis is bullshit…” Similarly, in this latest comment of yours (directly above, at 6:38 pm), you say: “Frances describes psychiatric diagnosis as “bullshit” and says there is really no way to define normal versus abnormal.”)

          To my knowledge, Frances *never* says that diagnosis is bullshit.

          And, knowing what little (or however much) I do know of his professional views, I don’t believe he would *ever* say such a thing.

          However, he does say something which seems, at first glance, like that…

          That is, he refers to the concept of “mental disorders” as having no unified meaning; he points out that there is no professional consensus, on a definition, of that “mental disorder” construct.

          And, therefore, he is quoted as saying, “there is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.”

          There, he’s pointing out — in a very straightforward way, really — that there is no general agreement, amongst his peers, on this question, of what exactly a “mental disorder” is.

          I.e., officially speaking, “mental disorder” remains an abstraction (quite like “mental illness”).

          Hence, his life’s primary body of work — which has been in the realm of defining DSM psychiatric “disorders” (i.e., defining individual, so-called, “mental disorders”) is full of highly questionable theorizing.

          It is pseudo-science, mainly.

          Yet, he’s a true-believer; e.g., he deeply believes in “schizophrenia” (which Szasz famously — and rightly — called, “the sacred symbol of psychiatry”).

          Allen Frances (like so many psychiatrists) deeply believes that there are underlying, genetically caused, neurological disease processes, which create “schizophrenia” — and *insists* that “medication” is absolutely necessary for ‘treating’ such supposed disease processes.

          He’s got a lot of company (many fellow colleagues, who agree with such theorizing).

          I have seen some of their rebuttals of Robert Whitaker’s conclusions.

          Usually, they profess arguments suggesting that Whitaker has cherry-picked data to bolster his own hypotheses.

          They tend to believe that so-called “misdiagnoses” of would be ‘brief reactive psychosis’ leads to seemingly complete remission of some psychiatric “patients” who’ve received the “schizophrenia” label.

          They are barking up the wrong tree…

          For the most part, they don’t understand what’s really going on; they don’t realize that their views are creating tragic, self-fulfilling prophesies.

          But, I do believe many of them (including Frances) are well-intentioned – in many ways.

          Just one example of how Frances has done some real good: He has been very clearly outspoken — and effective — in *opposing* the notion of “prodromal (i.e., ‘pre-psychotic’) disorders” — a category which almost became a new set of “mental disorders” in DSM-5.

          (That category — had it been implemented in DSM-5 — would have created much needless grief for many young people.)

          I do think Frances is basically well-meaning.

          But, he’s terribly paternalistic and authoritarian (like most psychiatrists) — and professionally deluded (like most psychiatrists), hence, largely in denial about the realities underlying most of what’s called “schizophrenia” (as are most psychiatrists).

          Frances has done some good; but, he (and the DSM-4 committee which he led) has also *inadvertantly* been responsible for creating “epidemics” of iatrogenic (i.e., medically caused) “disorders”.

          He admits this — while yet insisting that it was an *unintended* effect of unforeseeable processes, in the official ‘defining’ process, of such “disorders”.

          I believe him when he says that; yet, he would do well to dismiss his own DSM-4 — just as he now dismisses DSM-5.

          That would earn him more credibility amongst critics, I think.

          Why he continues to call the DSM “essential,” I am unsure; but, I suppose, in part, he feels loyalty to the brand, which was popularized by his mentor (Spitzer).

          Spitzer was a very flawed (“neurotic”) character, I think — as are most psychiatrists.

          His DSM-3 led to much misery (including for myself).

          But, I think of him (as I think of Frances) as being was, in ways, well-meaning…



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          • Jonah,

            Thanks for your responses. I don’t think I am misquoting Frances in the least bit.

            I’ll let the WIRED article above speak for itself, since I greatly disagree with you about Frances, the DSM and biopsychiatry.

            The link below shows Frances serving as a highly paid drug company KOL shill for Johnson & Johnson with two other doctors to push the lethal atypical antipsychotic, Risperdal, on every state Community MentalHealth Center that mainly serve the poor with their bogus Texas Algorithm project funded by J&J.

            Thanks to Allen Jones, who caught on to this fraud and became a whistleblower, J&J and these corrupt doctors were exposed. Though Jones lost his job thanks to those like Frances, he was validated and the case went to court with this horrible corruption exposed. As the article states, Dr. Allen and his cohorts completely ignored all medical ethics in this J&J Risperdal MARKETING CAMPAIGN to sell more poison neuroleptic drugs.

            As all can see, Frances served as the poster boy, mentor, model and enabler of Dr. Joseph Biederman, who almost single handedly created the child ADHD and bipolar fraud fads just as Frances did for adults as a paid shill to push J&J’s lethal drugs on children once Frances made sure the adult market was saturated by his huge expansion of the bogus bipolar and ADHD labels in the DSM IV he edited.

            Biederman and his cohorts were exposed by Senator Grassley for their hidden millions they made while doing a government study, a huge conflict of interest just like that of Frances, while promising J&J positive study results in advance also like Frances and his cohorts. Rebecca Riley dying at age four has served as a model for the lethal cocktail of drugs Biederman recommended for the child bipolar he pushed to sell J&J’s toxic drugs just as Frances did to adults.

            I am not at all impressed with his so called mea culpa and supposed regret for the huge bogus ADHD and bipolar epidemics he caused that is far too late for the huge harm and destroyed lives for millions of people including children he orchestrated. It is all too clear that Frances was more interested in serving BIG PHARMA’s agenda to line his own status and pockets with no regard for the so called patients he preyed on lacking his power, prestige and wealth!

            Again, I will provide the link and allow others to make their own judgments.


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          • “I don’t think I am misquoting Frances in the least bit.”


            You certainly did misquote him.

            Respectfully, again, I remind you that, in your earlier comment, above (that is, on May 25, 2013 at 12:11 am), you began by offering a sentence of text, which you attributed to Allen Frances.

            I am referring to that comment of yours, which began with the following lines that appeared sandwiched in quotation marks (i.e., in your comment, these next lines, which you attributed to Allen Frances, appear exactly as I’m copying and pasting them): “psychiatric diagnosis is bullshit…you can’t define it…there is really no way to distinguish who is normal and who is not.”

            You offered that exact quote, saying it was from Allen Frances.

            And, yet, I assure you, no one will find such a quote by Allen Frances, in the Wired article, which you offered as your source.

            Again, I emphasize: nowhere in that article is it said that, “psychiatric diagnosis is bullshit…”

            Frances would never say that, I believe — as he’s all about diagnosis…

            But, my most critical point is this (I emphasize): you definitely did misquote him (as he was referring to “mental disorder,” not to “diagnosis”), and, moreover, you are now mis-characterizing my views, no less.

            Indeed, what troubles me terribly about this conversation is your *mis-characterizing* what’s being said.

            You are mis-characterizing my positions, largely by dragging in more and more and more information that’s really quite beside the point.

            E.g., about your throwing in these other names…

            Please know: I have not the least intention of attempting to defend Joseph Biederman’s character, in any way, shape or form.

            As far as I’m concerned, that man should be in jail.

            I.e., you needn’t educate me about Biederman, Grassly, etc., etc..

            But, moreover, you are so *totally* mis-characterizing my views (not only my views on these matters – but also, now, about religion), that I feel I can no longer maintain this dialogue with you.

            E.g., you write, “In response to your disdain of religion…” as though I’ve condemned religion, generally speaking — which I would never do.

            But, there are ways of twisting religious belief — such that lives wind up ruined.

            With such considerations in mind, I wrote, “we can only surmise that the vast majority of true-believers in psychiatric ‘treatment’ are not unlike the vast majority of true-believing promoters, of various other, plainly *unworldly* religions.”

            Did you not see my emphasis, on that word, “unworldly”???

            Maybe its meaning did not register, as your read it.

            You seem to me as though failing to read carefully — and/or, as bent on reading much more into what is being said than is there…

            You are looking for ‘enemies’ — just maybe? And, truly, my only disagreement with you regards this notion, of yours, that all people who promote psychiatric ‘treatment’ are supposedly without good intentions.

            That kind of thinking is just too black-and-white, in my view…

            It’s attempting to prove bad intent amongst many people who are actually quite well-intentioned, I think.

            And, I think you are doing that in other realms, as well.

            E.g., I have no disdain of religion, generally speaking.

            If you care to, you can see some of my views, on religion, at the following link.


            Meanwhile, for now, I’m done with this conversation.



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      • In response to Jonah’s attack on me that he claimed ended our discussion, I feel a need to clarify my views.

        I have to write here since there are no reply buttons for the latest/last comment from Jonah attacking me for having my own opinions and accusing me of misquoting Frances.

        Here is Alan Frances’ quotation from Wired on defining mental disorders, which I see as synonymous with DSM diagnosis as did many reporters in the media:

        “Every so often Al Frances says something that seems to surprise even him. Just now, for instance, in the predawn darkness of his comfortable, rambling home in Carmel, California, he has broken off his exercise routine to declare that “there is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.” Then an odd, reflective look crosses his face, as if he’s taking in the strangeness of this scene: Allen Frances, lead editor of the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (universally known as the DSM-IV), the guy who wrote the book on mental illness, confessing that “these concepts are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the boundaries.” For the first time in two days, the conversation comes to an awkward halt.”

        So if Jonah wants to nitpick to make me appear a criminal for equating “defining mental illness” and “DSM diagnosis” for the purpose of Frances’ discussion here, so be it. As you can see, the author of the article implies this when after mentioning the DSM, he says Frances GOES ON TO…. As I said, I posted the article for anyone to read, so they can make up their own minds. But, given Frances’ statement, I stand by what I said, in terms of my take of Frances calling DSM defining and diagnosing mental disorders “bullshit” as one and the same thing. Many media articles quoting this statement got the same impression I did given that the discussion was ABOUT THE DSM.

        But, when Jonah called me into question on this, I stood by my own interpretation while providing the link so everyone can make up their own minds, but per Jonah, I am still misquoting and misrepresenting Frances while I think he is misrepresenting Frances and me. Again, the actual quotation in with the article is posted above, so everyone can make up their own minds, but my equating the two terms as synonymous in an article about DSM diagnosis does not prove I deliberately misquoted Frances to make him look bad as Jonah implies.

        Given Jonah’s further explanation of his term, “unworldly religion,” I admit that with his explanation, I can see where he probably didn’t mean to attack such religion or its followers. Therefore, I apologize for that misunderstanding since there is quite a bit of religious bashing here when psychiatry itself is obviously a cult or religion based solely on faith alone and certainly not science. But, I must say that the way it was worded did not seem like a compliment to religion for sure.

        Given that Jonah has touted the good intentions and actions of Frances several times, I find it odd that he chose to criticize and attack me and abruptly end all discussion right after I posted the information and link about Frances’ corrupt tactics in promoting the Texas Medical Algorithm, which harmed so many people.

        Anyway, I stand by mine and everyone else’s right to have their own opinions, so Jonah is welcome to his opinions though I continue to disagree with him greatly. I believe I have supplied ample evidence and facts to back up my own opinions and claims.

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        • One final thing about Jonah’s attack on me. He keeps going on about his claiming good intentions and me bad ones for psychiatry when I have been censored here for supposedly attributing motives (or intentions) to certain people when I was focusing on their bad actions and results with the term “motives.” Thus, I have tried to avoid attributing motives or intentions to anyone while trying to stick to the facts or actions. I suppose Jonah will jump on me for equating motives with intentions. The only time I mentioned intentions/motives was in response to Jonah’s claim about Frances and bio-psychiatry having good motives, which given the bulk of their actions is a moot issue in my opinion.

          After this debacle with Jonah I can certainly see why arguing about anyone’s motives is a real bad idea because according to Jonah’s argument, serial killers could have good motives. So, when it gets to this level of absurdity, it seems one’s actions and results are the key point regardless of their motives.

          Then, Jonah goes on to attribute all kinds of nefarious motives to me such as looking for enemies, not reading carefully, attributing bad intentions (or motives) to psychiatry, misquoting, etc.

          I have noted that on most of Jonah’s comments, he prefaces it with a statement that those he is about to criticize have good motives in his opinion, which makes me wince every time as he goes on to describe people doing the most horrible things.

          That’s why folk wisdom says, “Actions speak louder than words.

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          • In response to another attack, I also wasn’t trying to educate Jonah or anyone about Biederman or Grassley, but rather using the Biederman scandal to show that Frances did the exact same thing for the exact same drug, Risperdal, for the exact same company, Johnson & Johnson, for schizophrenia with his corrupt tactics with the Texas Medical Algorithm. And that’s exactly why bipolar was invented and so greatly expanded by Frances in the DSM IV to be the new “sacred symbol” fad fraud label for psychiatry to push the same lethal antipsychotics used for schizophrenia while adding Depakote and other lucrative toxic drugs on patent as described by David Healy’s book, MANIA.

            I wonder how many people know about the Texas Algorithm scandal that involved Frances helping to market the new deadly atypical antipsychotics in the guise of creating medical standards for which I provided a link below.

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        • “…my equating the two terms as synonymous in an article about DSM diagnosis does not prove I deliberately misquoted Frances to make him look bad as Jonah implies.”


          Actually, I do *not* believe you deliberately misquoted Frances; no way do I believe you did so; and, that is why I very clearly stated my belief, that you did *not* do so deliberately.

          (If you would revisit my comment, above, at 5:43 pm, you’ll see I explained, that: “I presume your misquoting him is *unintentional* — as I have no reason to suspect you of being a dishonest person; and, indeed, it seems to me that you would *not* deliberately put words in his mouth, which he didn’t speak… as I sense you are essentially well-intentioned.”)

          As for your repeatedly saying I “attacked” you, I don’t believe I did attack you, ever, anywhere, in any way. So, I’m not sure what to say about that claim, of yours — except that I am genuinely sorry you feel that you’ve been attacked.

          And, about your apology: I gladly accept your apologizing for having mis-characterized my view of religion.

          About the matter of misquoting, this is really important, I feel — very simply, a bit of advice: When sandwiching lines between quotation marks and attributing them to someone, just be sure that you are using their exact words. (I.e., don’t paraphrase at such times.)

          Lines which are sandwiched in quotation marks can become serious business; if they are controversial statements, they will tend to be copied and pasted by others, into their own documents; and, wherever they are read, they will automatically imply (in most readers’ minds) that whomever those lines are being attributed to said *precisely* what appears in those lines, between those quotation marks.

          And, finally, regarding the article you offered from PharmaLive(dot)com, it points to a certain, really classic and truly horrible, awful nexus between Big Pharma and the realm of psychiatry — in this case, J&J pushing a particular so-called “antipsychotic” drug (Risperdal) for so-called “schizophrenia”.

          It reports on ways, in which Allen Frances was involved. You seem to be troubled by the fact that I’ve not commented on this; therefore, now I say, frankly, I’m not sure if it actually shows more than the typical, awful/horrible way in which psychiatry’s KOLs and Big Pharma have tended to merge their efforts, toward mutual self-promotion.

          I say it suggest typical behavior — not the sort of malfeasance that Joseph Biederman was involved in (he was *hiding* millions of dollars in Big Pharma payouts); though, I do see that the blog post’s author (Ed Silverman) suggest there is profiteering by the involved psychiatrists, I don’t see any numbers.

          He writes, “The purpose of this organization was to use J&J money to market the guidelines and bring financial benefits to Frances, Docherty, and Kahn.”

          OK, I’d like to know more; has anyone shown how Allen Frances may have profited, personally? (I don’t think so, but I am very much open to finding out whatever verifiably true information anyone may have, about this.)

          By the way, in past conversations about Allen Frances, I have often been the first to criticize him. You write, “I am not at all impressed with his so called mea culpa…”

          I’ve actually devoted a whole blog to that very same sentiment. (I.e., I am not really at all impressed by Frances’s way of addressing the problems in his DSM-4. I think, thus far, he’s doing way too little to rectify those problems.)

          Never before, in any conversation, have I defended Allen Frances.

          But, yes, I say that people who do harm are often well-intentioned.

          The thing is, I like to keep things in perspective; overall, psychiatry does much more harm than good, I believe; but, I do believe it does a bit of good — for some people; moreover, much of the harm that psychiatrists do is coming from good intentions, I believe.

          And, so, I presume not all psychiatrists are doing harm equally; there are many differing levels of harm being done, via psychiatry.

          Biederman did extraordinary harm — by *secretly* colluding with (and taking hidden payouts from) Big Pharma; I see nothing good in that man. Nothing. Am I inclined to see Frances as comparable to Biederman. No.

          You apparently equate them, I think?

          But, this thread is not about Biederman; it’s about Allen Frances — and Robert Whitaker.

          Whitiker does huge good (we agree); but, I don’t always agree with him. In fact, I think he does some harm — unintentionally.

          E.g., Whitaker may be too close to the Open Dialogue people, I think.

          As a journalist, he should distance himself more.

          Instead, he relies so heavily on the statistics produced by the Open Dialogue people, that, apparently, he’s willing to accept this notion, that some people who are supposedly ‘psychotic’ simply must be placed on psych drugs.

          In Whitaker’s view, only 80% of people who are called ‘psychotic’ can go un-‘medicated’ — because that is the statistic produced by the Open Dialogue people.

          I don’t buy that *limiting* view.

          But, I feel it’s Whitaker’s good intentions that lead him to adopting it.

          And, still, I’m inclined to view Allen Frances as having had some good intentions pervade his work — and, as having done at least some little good, by critiquing DSM-5.



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          • Jonah,

            Here is an article from about Frances’ corruption with two other psychiatrists pretending to create medical guidelines when they were actually working with J&J for marketing purposes:

            Confidential Expert Witness Report Documents Psychiatrists’ Corrupt Practices Print E-mail

            Wednesday, 15 June 2011

            “From the start, the [Tri-University Schizophrenia Practice Guidelines] project subverted scientific integrity, appearing to be a purely scientific venture when it was at its core, a marketing venture for Risperdal.”

            The case filed against Johnson & Johnson by Allen Jones and the State of Texas was recently postponed until November. But some of the documents from the case are now publicly available at the Travis County, Texas courthouse.

            The confidential Expert Witness Report by Dr. David Rothman of Columbia University (March 22, 2011), is the most damning document that we’ve seen in which not only is J & J’s “detestable” conduct–as described by Judge Couch who presided over the court decision against J & J in South Carolina–laid bare, but Rothman’s report also describes the shameless active collaboration by prominent academic psychiatrists–including the Chairman of the DSM-IV.
            The prominent academic psychiatrists who were paid by Johnson & Johnson to formulate the Tri-University Guidelines are: Dr. Allen Frances, Chairman of the Dept. of Psychiatry, Duke University; Dr. John P. Docherty, Professor and Vice Chairman of Psychiatry, Cornell University; and David A Kahn, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University; who took the lead in designing and developing the Tri-University Guidelines as a marketing strategy designed to elevate their then new so-called, Atypical Antipsychotic, Risperdal, to first-line treatment.
            The report describes how these prominent psychiatrists developed commercially driven prescribing algorithms that they helped masquerade as legitimate, science-based medication prescribing guidelines.

            “Not only were Frances, Docherty, and Kahn ready to violate standards of conflicts of interest in mixing guideline preparation with marketing for J&J, but also in publicizing the guidelines in coordination with J&J. The three men established Expert Knowledge Systems [EKS]. The purpose of this organization was to use J&J money to market the guidelines and bring financial benefits to Frances, Docherty, and Kahn.

            Dr. Rothman’s report states that the 1995 Tri-University Schizophrenia Practice Guidelines was the first of subsequent psychotropic drug prescribing guidelines formulated by prominent academic psychiatrists at the behest of Johnson & Johnson. The best known of these Guidelines was the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP), which adopted the Tri-University Guidelines en masse.
            Excerpt describing the inception of the Tri-University Guidelines, page 14: [link]
            “As one of its first activities, and in disregard of professional medical ethics of principles of conflict of interest, in 1995 J&J funded a project led by three psychiatrists at three medical centers [Duke, Cornell, and Columbia] to formulate Schizophrenia Practice Guidlines. From the start, the project subverted scientific integrity, appearing to be a purely scientific venture when it was at its core, a marketing venture for Risperdal. In fact, the guidelines produced by this project would become the basis for the TMAP algorithms, giving a market edge to the J&J products in Texas.

            Three psychiatrists, Dr. Allen Frances, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, Duke University, Dr. John P. Docherty, Professor and Vice Chairman of Psychiatry, Cornell University and David A Kahn, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University, took the lead in designing and developing the Tri-University Guidelines. The project would employ three questionnaires to establish the guidelines: one went to academic experts, one to clinicians, and one to policy experts. Including the third group was in all likelihood J&J’s idea as witness to the fact that Frances wrote J&J: “This is new to us and requires additional discussion. The panel members would include mental health commissioners, community mental health directors, NAMI representatives, experts in pharmacoeconomics, and so forth.”

            These were precisely the constituencies that J&J was eager to influence. J&J was the exclusive supporter of the project, dividing an “unrestricted” grant of $450,000 among the three schools. It further agreed to a $65,000 bonus incentive payment if the team was timely with its product. The team met the requirement, requested the additional payment, and received it.

            The guideline team promised wide distribution of its product, including publication in a journal supplement. The team was prepared to have J&J participate in its work, not keeping the company even at arms length. With a disregard for conflict of interest and scientific integrity, the group shared its drafts with J&J. On June 21, 1996, Frances wrote Lloyd: “We are moving into the back stretch and thought you would be interested in seeing the latest draft of the guideline project… Please make comments and suggestions.” So too, the group was eager to cooperate with J&J in marketing activities. Frances wrote without embarrassment or equivocation: “We also need to get more specific on the size and composition of the target audience and how to integrate the publication and conferences with other marketing efforts.”

            Indeed from the start J&J had made it apparent to the team that this was a marketing venture. In a letter to Frances, Lloyd set forth what he called an “aggressive time line” for the project, and added: “There are a number of other Treatment and Practice Guidelines for schizophrenia being developed or published during this same period that may well serve our marketing and implementation needs at a substantial lesser cost.”

            “Not only were Frances, Docherty, and Kahn ready to violate standards of conflicts of interest in mixing guideline preparation with marketing for J&J, but also in publicizing the guidelines in coordination with J&J. The three men established Expert Knowledge Systems [EKS]. The purpose of this organization was to use J&J money to market the guidelines and bring financial benefits to Frances, Docherty, and Kahn.

            EKS wrote to Janssen on July 3, 1996 that it was pleased to respond to its request to “develop an information solution that will facilitate implementation of expert guidelines.” It assured the company: “We are also committed to helping Janssen succeed in its effort to increase its market share and visibility in the payor, provider, and consumer communities.” Now that the “first phase” was completed, with guidelines created, “EKS is now ready to move forward in a strategic partnership with Janssen.” The strategy will allow Janssen to influence state governments and providers… Build brand loyalty and commitment with large groups of key providers around the country.”

            EKS also promised “rapid implementation,” with particular attention to having an impact on Texas decision making. “It is our intent to work with the State of Texas immediately in implementing this product in a select number of CMHC’s with the assistance of A. John Rush, MD.” Again, EKS emphasized: “It is essential for Janssen to distinguish Risperidone from other competitors in a timely and creditable way.” In its Summary of the document, EKS wrote: “Your investment in the development of state of the art practice guidelines for schizophrenia is already beginning to pay off in terms of positive exposure in the Texas implementation project.”

            The costs for these various activities included: $250,000 for “educational conferences;” and dissemination of publication at $177,659. J&J agreed to them. So all told, J&J paid at least $942,659 on the production and marketing of the Tri-University guidelines.

            The report is posted at: pp.1-20; pp. 21-42; pp.43-65 ; pp. 66-86

            Vera Hassner Sharav

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          • “…Rappoport made the same interpretation of Frances’ “bullshit” comment as I did…”


            Indeed, Rappoport did offer the same interpretation of Frances’s Wired interview, as you do.

            That’s clear, from reading the May 7, 2013 Rappoport blog post, which you’ve recommended (above).

            It is *quite* a powerful piece — very affecting; and, it seems to make quite a lot of sense, how he pieces the details together; thank you for sharing it.

            As he is into presenting ‘conspiracy theories,’ Rappaport naturally presents a lot of *questionable* conclusions, about how dots connect up and about people’s motivations. That’s OK; we need people who’ll shake up our conventional/mainstream views, surely; and, it’s fine to speculate — wondering, if maybe some ‘conspiracy theorists’ aren’t, in fact, right on target.

            But, Rappaport’s reporting would be *much* improved if he used footnotes.

            Anyone who’s into promoting ‘conspiracy theories’ simply loses my attention once I realize s/he is failing to provide source documents.

            (E.g., Rappaport says, “It turns out that the phrase “mental health” was invented by psyops specialists, who needed to create an analogy to physical well-being.” Well, that’s the kind of statement, which requires documentation, I feel; it needs to backed up, by a reliable source… because it sounds so outlandish. I’m inclined to doubt that that phrase was “made up” by psyops specialists; however, maybe it was? I don’t know.)

            Also, thanks for that AHRP(dot)org material, which you offered in your preceding comment.

            I found that comment a little hard to follow (primarily, as there is some repetition, of a few paragraphs); so, I Googled and found your source, via this link: That’s a great link, because it includes a way to access the *original* report.

            I.e., following that link, one finds a post, which — in the end — includes further links, to PDF documents containing the actual Rothman report itself. (They happen to be posted on 1boringoldman’s website.) One can study those reports and, hopefully, wind up more properly informed.

            Though I have not yet studied those PDF documents (I will when I have some time to do so), I do now see why you are as charged as you are, about Allen Frances.

            Thanks to your passionate desire to get out the truth, I find my view of him is evolving; e.g., now I’m inclined to think your essential interpretation of his comments in Wired may be correct (or, very nearly correct).

            In any case, I’m now inclined to feel that I was giving Frances too much slack, in my earlier interpretations of that Wired interview.

            But, I do maintain that you *inadvertantly* misquoted him (by mistakenly sandwiching *paraphrased* ideas inside quotation marks); I know you did not mean to misrepresent anyone, but I was immediately turned off to your first presentation — because it was clear to me that you’d sandwiched words in quotation marks which were not his words; you said they were his, but I knew they weren’t; and, that made me skeptical of the quality of your reporting.

            My addressing this problem to you created a lot of static in our conversation — especially, because you kept insisting that you hadn’t misquoted him.

            That static in our conversation could have been avoided — had you been more aware of this fact, that every word is important; changing one key word can totally change the meaning in anyone’s remarks; thus, I encourage you to be careful about how you present quotations… because you are aiming to reveal and spread the truth.

            That’s a very noble cause — which requires demonstrating a strong passion for *accuracy* in reporting, deep respect for attention to details.

            The more clearly *careful* we are, about how we present our opponent’s views, especially (i.e., the more *fair* we are in presenting our arguments against those who are promoting the vilest of policies), the more convincing we become, as advocates of our views — because, then, we are really becoming, very certainly, advocates of the truth.

            I appreciate your views very much — because they are pointing to vital truths; they are important and should be well expressed.



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          • Jonah,

            Thanks for your response.

            I had included the Rothman report below already so everyone could see the unbelievable corruption, and despicable, unethical actions by J&J and their cohorts in psychiatry, NAMI, government officials, etc. But, it was Frances and his cohorts who set the whole horrific ball rolling to create the atypical antipsychotic epidemic from toddlers to the elderly with their bogus schizophrenia treatment guidelines to MARKET/push J&J’s Risperadol used to create the Texas Medical Algorithm as a model for the whole country from which they did financially benefit as they were paid for their “services” and got other perks until they were exposed by Jones. Perks can also include increased status, fame and recognition. Important KOL’s are highly sought and lavished with perks in “medicine” as the Rothman report shows. Also, as the report shows, even small gifts and food can influence doctors in their prescribing though they may not realize or acknowledge it.

            You make good points. I take Rappaport with a grain of salt as I do all media, but he is right on target about psychiatry and nothing our corrupt corporate cronies in government do would surprise me either. There were many horrible CIA secret atrocities that did involve psychiatry with LSD, etc.

            The truth is I think we both got caught up in arguing about the small things we disagree about rather than the large things we do agree about.

            I can assure you that I have no desire to unfairly harm anyone’s reputation deliberately, but the corruption in all of medicine has gotten so horrible and frankly evil, especially when it harms babies and toddlers, we can no longer trust it. And given the fact that psychiatry in my opinion does not practice medicine and only does harm especially since it sold out to such corrupt companies as J&J became, I believe that the KOL doctors at the top of this lucrative, bogus food chain betrayed the whole country and world as it turned out. So, this is no small matter when children have died due to this arrogant fraud and the number grows daily. Also, psychiatry has corrupted our democratic principles in the USA with their bogus pseudoscience and medicalization of all human problems and crises. Consequently, they’ve also robbed all too many people of all their human, civil, democratic, constitutional rights and due process thanks to their aiding and abetting BIG PHARMA to make the global billions that corrupted and brainwashed our society and the government enough to pass these obscene laws in the guise of mental health. And let’s not forget these drugs are poison and destroy the brain, body and one’s ability to function as well as the deadly, life destroying stigma that is nothing but 100% fraud per Dr. Fred Baughman, Neurologist, and many other real doctors/experts.

            You are right about quoting articles. I should have quoted more exactly when I used quotation marks in one post. I didn’t use them in another post. It was a bit of laziness given these posts are pretty informal. However, the original WIRED article was included with the original video at the top of the page with others when it was added to the web site, so everyone had access to the original quotes anyway. Plus, when you raised the issue, I added the disputed portion in a comment for all to see and explained my interpretation while urging others to make up their own minds.

            Though you make good points, it would have been more helpful if you had just posted the exact wording in the original quotation in your first critique to demonstrate what you meant when you said I misquoted Frances because I got the impression you were disputing my entire claim about France’s “bullshit” blast about defining mental disorders when talking about the DSM rather than arguing about exact quoting. I still think we have a different interpretation of the exact words, but you are entitled to your opinion. THE BOOK OF WOE, THEY SAY YOU’RE CRAZY, MAKING US CRAZY, THE SELLING OF THE DSM and many other books/articles expose the very shoddy, unscientific process that went into VOTING in its bogus disorders with no science or anything else to back them up than personal opinion and BIG PHARMA ties. The group in charge of the major drugging categories like mood disorders (depression and bipolar) and schizophrenia all had drug company ties. Many observers compared it to choosing a restaurant and many power plays took place with people resigning over ethics concerns. Since I don’t think Frances is that stupid, he knows that these bogus, voted in stigmas are not scientific or even real because he admits in the WIRED article that the fact they only have a descriptive DSM based on only symptoms is not good. That’s why he said that defining mental disorders as was done in the DSM creation is bullshit because it was literally if you read about the backdoor tactics used in creating it.

            Anyway, you share a lot of good information and maybe I read it before, but I was not much aware of Frances’ promotion of ECT KNOWN to cause brain damage, permanent amnesia and vilified by many neurologists and other experts like Richard Bentall. With SSRI’s exposed as no better than placebo for the most part, psychiatry is regressing more and more to its worse days of barbaric practices like those Whitaker described in MAD IN AMERICA. But, lobotomy is lobotomy as Dr. Peter Breggin points out whether surgical, chemical or electrical.

            Finally, as Dr. Paula Caplan demonstrates, it is Spitzer and Frances that inflicted the most mass damage of the greatly expanded DSM causing ADHD and bipolar epidemics, so their assault on changes in the DSM 5 that are trivial in comparison to the huge harm done by the DSM III and IV is very hypocritical in my opinion. It also gives the very false impression that the DSM IV is accurate, scientific and can be trusted when nothing could be further from the truth. This attack by Spitzer and Frances smacks more of narcissism and ego trips rather than any concern for so called consumers/patients since they certainly couldn’t have cared less when they sold out to BIG PHARMA and created their bogus, life destroying stigmas to help push lethal torture treatments and destruction of human rights.

            Gotta go! Have a nice day. And thanks for your comments too.

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    • If I am allowed to do this analogy, it is entirely possible that corruption is so called “unconscious”, but that doesn’t make it more acceptable, in fact it makes it more worrisome.

      Ask people who live in countries in which corruption is so ingrained in daily life that they don’t think that bribing is wrong how good is it for those countries’ welfare. I am not talking about the usual suspects (India); even in the EU, in countries such as Greece, so called “petty corruption” is pervasive.

      The corruption I wanted to talk about is the corruption in many US media outlets that have a proven liberal bias (for detailed studies read here ); yet these liberal journalists repeatedly deny that there is any bias. That bias is insidious and shows in things such as “stories to cover -and not covered-“, “people who gets hired and promoted, etc”.

      Then when disaster strikes (I am referring to the story that the AP/Fox reporters were spied -called “co conspirator in the case of Fox”), these same media outlets cry “scandal”. These things didn’t happen in a vacuum.

      So even if we were to grant that the corruption in psychiatry is “unconscious”, we should not excuse it nor pretend that these corrupted psychiatrists are innocent souls.

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      • This is an excellent point. Domestic abusers often engage in behaviors that have unconscious motivations to maintain control at all costs. Their behavior is still criminal, and their victims are still devastated. Unconscious evil motivations are still evil and people are still responsible for their decisions, regardless of how aware they may be of their intentions.

        — Steve

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      • From the perspective of possible “unconscious” projection, I found the use of the word in this particular discussion, a bit Freudian.

        Both the other participants were sympathetic to charge of corruption, and Robert seems to use the term unnecessarily? Perhaps there some doubts forming, as to the “objectively” obvious cause & effect logic, we use in describing the causes of the epidemic and a societal delusion about the medical approach to troubled minds?

        Was Robert flagging a need for more exploration of the non-obvious, unconscious nature of apparent, reason & madness?

        Do the well functioning assume, they operate with pure reason, and is our faculty of critical thinking, more about self-defence than insightful perception?



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  4. Can’t Say, regarding the perception of a liberal media bias, let me tell this story that happened several years ago. A conservative co-worker complained to me that the Washington Post fit that description. So in response, I asked him what he considered an objective newspaper. His answer was the Washington Times.

    My point is that as a conservative, you seem to feel that anything that doesn’t fit your point of view has a liberal bias. And to be fair, as a liberal, I have the opposite point of view.

    As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle regarding media reporting. And by the way, the link you provided covered all sides of the issue and not just liberal media bias. It also got into other types of media biases.

    Do agree with your points about psychiatry. Even if it is unconscious, it it still very harmful.

    Also agree with your previous point that I wish Bob had been more assertive. But in in all fairness, I think he has a tough position in not wanting to perpetuate the stereotype of a crazy anti psychiatry nut vs. being too restrained. And I am grateful, he was given this platform to express his views.

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    • Let’s agree on our commonalities :D.

      With respect to liberal bias in the US media, the Wikipedia entry cites several rigorous studies that show without a doubt that most major news organizations are staffed with liberal journalists. You also have the studies the Pew Research institute on excellence in journalism did on the matter in both 2008 and 2012. They both showed a clear bias favoring Obama although in different ways. The 2008 study showed that all outlets, except for Fox News, gave Obama a very rosy coverage vs a hard time to John McCain. Fox News was singled out as an “equal opportunity basher”, ie, they gave both Obama and John McCain an equal hard time. In 2012, the bias was more “subtle” (insidious if you will). While these media were able to keep it as objective as possible for a long time, they broke for Obama big time during the last week of the campaign under the excuse that “the polls showed increasingly that Obama was going to win”. Oh well!

      I am not as naive as to think that Fox News is without bias, but at least they give the liberal point of view the opportunity to make a fair, and assertive, case. Something that doesn’t happen at CNN -let alone MSNBC which was recently singled also by Pew as a “mostly opinion” outlet vs CNN/Fox that were 50-50% news/opinion- with the conservative point of view. Neither CNN nor MSNBC have in their payroll any conservative with the assertiveness that Dennis Kucinich, Alan Colmes, Kirsten Powers, Sally Kohn or Jehmu Greene bring to the otherwise conservative crowd. On the news department, Fox has been assembling an impeccable team of reporters that are second to none, many of whom (like Bill Hemmer, John Roberts or Ed Henry) came from CNN. Others, such as Shepard Smith, Bret Baier, and yes, James Rosen, were developed in house.

      I also read regularly the NY Times and the Washington Post. Not with the intention of “getting news” (both outlets lost me in 2008 with their decisive liberal bias) but with goal of learning what “the other side” is up to :D.

      In any case, I think that in MIA we should celebrate our common purpose, instead of highlight our political differences. The fact that psychiatry has harmed so many of us regardless of our politics, religion (or lack there of), education, ethnicity, etc is one of the reasons that makes this movement so powerful. Let’s keep it that way.

      Whitaker did a great job to be sure, but I am still scratching my head that the host of Al Jazeera saw things so clearly. The Biederman case was bribe, I don’t see how you can spin that in any way. It might have been “legal bribe” according to US law, but ethically speaking it was a bribe. What kind of society are we becoming in which to have a candid discussion about things that are so relevant we have to tune Al Jazeera?

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    • Thanks eileenwanda for this great post. As I said above, the sound isn’t working on my computer, so I haven’t been able to access such videos to my great disappointment. It’s a great help that you provided this article.

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  5. Here’s a post from the highly respected ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION continuing to debunk the bogus DSM, biopsychiatry’s horrible treatments, Jeffrey Lieberman, APA President and the future goals of NIMH and others continuing their fascist eugenics agenda to control, stigmatize and poison every member of society so they can’t occupy and protest corporate cronyism and oppression that now governs us. There is also a great quotation from a psychiatric survivor:

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    • I included an article by the ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION about the corrupt Texas Medical Algorithms created by Frances and two other psychiatrists to help Johnson & Johnson MARKET its new atypical antipsycotic, Risperadol, in the guise of creating medical standards for schizophrenia for all the state Community Mental Health Centers, which mainly serve the poor. The huge increase in costs for states for new toxic, useless antipsychotics that were no better than the older, much cheaper useless, lethal antipsychotics with their own horrible “side effects” almost broke the Texas budget.

      The article refers to a report for the Texas District Attorney about Johnson & Johnson’s vile practices in using these guidelines to implement the Texas Medical Algorithm and many other very corrupt tactics to illegally push the new antipsychotic, Risperadol. It also shows how J&J worked with many corrupt KOL psychiatrists like Joseph Biederman to collude with J&J to create a bipolar and other fad fraud epidemics/uses to push more and more of these toxic drugs.

      This damning report shows how vile BIG PHARMA companies used every trick in the book and corrupt KOL psychiatrists, NAMI leaders, government officials, ghost writers and anyone else they could corrupt to help create and expand bogus DSM disorders to push their lethal antipyschotics while covering up the toxic effects. It also shows the huge, ultimate harm caused by the betrayal of all medical ethics by Frances and his cohorts when working as marketers for J&J for their own self interest and financial gain as reported in the other article I posted here about this debacle.

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  6. There are a lot of these books coming out now–the moire the merrier because they undermine psychiatric credibility. However they are all based on the same premise: That psychiatrists are pathologizing normal mentally healthy people. Of course this assumes the validity of the medical mode but it would restrict its use to the abnormal. (I DO wish Bob Whitaker would stop using the term “mental illness.” I know the rationale for doing it but it’s time to push the envelope.)

    Frances doesn’t mind it if grief for over 2 months is considering mentally ill. The DSM-5 says over 2 weeks is sick. But as noted above according to DSM3 grief was normal up to a year.

    Thomas Szasz was correct, R D Laing was correct (Szasz overstated the differences between them) and everything I have written inspired by Laing and Szasz refutes the idea that “schizophrenia” is pathological. There is no pathology PERIOD. Sure as a metaphor it makes sense to say we live in an insane society. Sure people are distresed, unhappy, terrified. On what basis does one determine they are “mentally ill”? Most people–even on many movement websites–are convinced the construct has validity.
    This is the validity. Sarbin and Mancuso wrote a book Schizophrenia: Medical Diagnosis or Moral Verdict? It is a MORAL VERDICT, an expression of public disapproval cloaked in scientistic objective seemingly value-neutral language
    to obscure that it has no more validity than an expression of taste. In the film Frances wanted to save the medical model–that’s what it means to “save normal.”He describes a diagnosis as our “best guess.” I suppose if the guesser were genuine experts that would mean something. But they’re not. Thus it is a moral verdict uninformed by knowledge. However Donna caught him with his pants down. He said elsewhere,”Diagnosis is bullshit…you can’t define it…there is really no way to distinguish who is normal and who is not.” To define someone as mentally ill is to say nothing more than “we the self appointed experts” do not approve of your behavior. The diagnoses are stigmata of degradation.The label has no more validity than a lousy movie review, except the movie reviewer usually knows something about movies and the shrinks know nothing about people.

    If mental health professionals were interested in helping people they would identify the problems and ways of dealing with it. It does not hep a patient to be to told her grief has lasted too long, and thus it is now a mental illness.It does help her in her moment of despair to be given a bad review as a person.It’s like: “You’re a loser, A better more competent more normal more worthy person would not still be mourning her mother. There is something wrong with YOU. I’m OK. You stink” How does he know this? It’s sheer bias,purely arbitrary. How does that help?
    The same hold true of schizophrenia which I have showed in all my books.

    It does help to listen, to explore her feelings–they are many interventions that might help. Nothing therapeutic is ever added by the “diagnosis.” It is the secular priesthood who determines what is
    normal, and because they are regarded as great scientific experts
    their evaluations carry great weight, just as those of the religious Priesthood did in previous eras. What they really mean is: “Anethema on you! Anaethema!”
    Seth Farber, Ph.D.

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    • Hi Seth,

      Thanks for your usual enlightening, validating comments.

      You quoted me in the above comment, so I just wanted to point out that Jonah above criticized me for not quoting Frances exactly if you read our argument. As I admitted, in a technical sense, he was right when I didn’t quote exactly, but I believe that “defining mental disorders” and voting in DSM stigmas are one and the same thing or “BULLSHIT” per Frances (and me) in the WIRED article above.

      Here is Alan Frances’ quotation from Wired on defining mental disorders, which I see as synonymous with DSM “diagnosis” (arrogantly defining others’ reality while invalidating their own reality) as did many reporters in the media:

      “Every so often Al Frances says something that seems to surprise even him. Just now, for instance, in the predawn darkness of his comfortable, rambling home in Carmel, California, he has broken off his exercise routine to declare that “there is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.” Then an odd, reflective look crosses his face, as if he’s taking in the strangeness of this scene: Allen Frances, lead editor of the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (universally known as the DSM-IV), the guy who wrote the book on mental illness, confessing that “these concepts are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the boundaries.” For the first time in two days, the conversation comes to an awkward halt.”

      Seth, what do you think of my interpretation of Frances here that defining mental disorders and/or voting in DSM stigmas is the same thing: BULLSHIT? Perhaps we shouldn’t put it in quotations when we say Frances said DSM diagnosis is bullshit since we are paraphrasing with synonymous terms?

      Since you seem to be so familiar with R.D. Laing and I am not, I got the impression that he thought that somebody who had the symptoms called schizophrenia had a very shaky sense of self. From the little I read recently (plan to read more), I got the impression that if such people were allowed to continue on this path in some cases without some intervention like Soteria or Open Dialogue that they might continue to deteriorate to the point of no return. Did I interpret that correctly or misunderstand that? I admit I haven’t read enough of Laing at least recently to say I get his approach other than he thought we all were pretty crazy living in a crazy world.

      In keeping with this, I was reading about the author of I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN and found it interesting when she said it was a struggle to come out of one’s fantasy world because that was more comfortable than dealing with reality. Could it be that if one is left in the fantasy or delusional world too long or won’t/can’t come back to the real world (consentual reality), they are doomed with little hope of recovery? I know you see this as some spiritual process, but even in that sense could some people have what would appear to be such permanent delusional thinking though spiritual they would be seen as crazy? I know very little about psychosis or what is called schizophrenia and have no personal or family/friend experience with it, so as I am sure I am demonstrating, my knowledge is very limited to say the least.

      Jonah says above that Bob Whitaker cites about 20% of those labeled with schizophrenia who never recover and others like Dr. Steingard and Open Dialogue talk about the need for early intervention to avoid too great of a deterioration if I recall correctly. Do you have much familiarity with Dr. Loren Mosher’s work?

      I enjoy reading your comments.

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  7. Hi Donna
    I knew you had a debate but I read it so quickly–all those words–that I thought you won. Now reading the first paragraph I see I’d have to rephrase it. Jonah is right. I have to read the entire piece–which I had saved. Frances probably WAS as slippery
    in the “predawn darkness” in 2010 as later. To call “diagnosis”
    a “best guess,” as he did in video, is to erroneously impute both innocence and wisdom to the process. But it is neither.When the religious Priesthood declared a woman who was under suspicion a witch it was not a harmless guess, but a nefarious decree. You see “a guess” implies that the correspondence theory of truth was involved, and that wisdom and good faith enabled the shrink to make a good guess, one that corresponded with reality–at least when dealing with “schizophrenia,” and now bipolar. All of these premises are wrong. What you said about diagnosis IS right on target I think and probably too honest for the slippery Frances. Diagnosis is bullshit, you can’t tell the difference between what’s normal and what is not. You can only try to put one over on people.

    You write “I got the impression that [R D Laing] thought that somebody who had the symptoms called schizophrenia had a very shaky sense of self. ” This is true BUT ONLY OF his first book, and it is why I consider this book The Divided Self (written in the 50s), to be very problematic, marked by conformity to the psychoanalytic version of the medical model, which he later eviscerated. In fact in the 2nd or 3rd edition of The Divided Self Laing repudiated in the Preface its main premise–that schizophrenic suffer from a mental or spiritual illness that differentiates “them” from “us,” the mentally healthy people. It is also true that he does indeed posit in The Divided Self that if the schizophrenics continue on their trajectory that “they might continue to deteriorate to the point of no return.” He states they might very well “implode,” tragically. There is no implication that normal society is profoundly disordered. This was before Laing even conceived of anything like Kingsley Hall, the model for Soteria
    Despite some brilliant insights into the insanity of psychiatric practice The Divided Self is guilty of all the sins of the medical model I described above.

    It was in the 1960s that Laing began to revolutionize his interpretation of madness culminating with The Politics of Experience in which he argues that normal people are trapped in a state of spiritual torpor and insensibility, and schizophrenics are trying (mostly unconsciously) to “breakdown,” and break through–to shed their ego and give birth to a new Self that is a servant of the Divine. This breakdown/ breakthrough is typically aborted by the psychiatric mind-police. This was a revolutionary concept at the time. For the first time Laing called for an asylum like the Soteria Project. Despite Laing’s decisive repudiation of the premise of TDS, the pundits usually praise this book to the skies whereas they patronizingly describe PE as if it was the work of an unbalanced countercultural acidhead in need of psychiatric help.

    Unfortunately Laing himself abandoned the radical political argument of PE, although contrary to the popular myth Laing still retained his critique of the medical model. I discuss the details of this in my latest book, and I attempt to complete the argument Laing began in PE.
    I might be the only fan of Laing (in print anyway) who still considers PE his greatest book, by far. (It is actually a collection of speeches)

    Let me say that Laing retained the idea that madness was a natural healing process, despite what I describe as a retreat in the 1970s. That is why Laing devoted himself to trying to get funding for a Soteria type alternative. In Laing’s memoir in 1985, he discusses his vision of a libertarian asylum–it’s not very different from what he describes in PE. He completely repudiated the Freudian bullshit dominated the treatment of “schizophrenics” to the present. If you read the first half of Laing’s The Voice of Experience circa 1980 you’ll find a critique of the pessimistic self fulfilling prophecies that abounded even among the so called Freudian avant-garde with a 2 or 3 exceptions. That was the initial reason I repudiated psychoanalysis in 1984.

    The neo-analytic view of schizophrenics was pernicious—and I had the privilege to work with family therapists who rejected this nonsense. Had I not discovered them I might still be trapped in the Freudian intellectual ghetto. I was a Freudian true believer but I came to believe neo-psychoanalysis (ego psychology etc) was a secularization of the Augustinian myth of ORIGINAL SIN–a concept you will not find in the Bible– along with the idea of predestination of the elect.
    As fas as I know this analogy was an original view on my part. (I wrote a book Eternal Day,and an essay on this analogy. The essay was a miniature version of the book. I could email you the essay if you want–since it seems it’s the only way to get a quick critical view of therapy in the 70s and 80s. I have the prepubication version that was published in Review of Existential Psychiatry… in 2000) Do you want to see it?

    People nowadays don’t know or don’t remember how destructive Freudianism was. The original mental patients’ liberation movement
    was miraculous from the standpoint of psychoanalysis. The latter was no better than bio-psychiatry. Schizophrenics were considered doomed no matter how soon “treatment” began, Donna. Schizophrenics were considered too sick to aspire to do anything, other than avoiding getting worse. True therapy or psychoanalysis was out of the picture. The goal of “supportive therapy” was indeed to keep schizophrenics from getting worse, but the idea that they could work and love (Freud’s goal for “neurotics”) was considered ludicrous. FRomm Reichman was a Sullivanian as I recall, right? So they were a small group who believed schizophrenics cold recover–could love and work. But they were rare when I was in school in the 80s.

    In 1980s even in new age San Francisco when I looked for an internship I was continually told schizophrenia was incurable.i could not find an internship that was not based on this premise. They were only capable of “supportive therapy” and to attempt to even talk normally to them was dangerous and could lead to “decompensation. ” Particularly if you talked about religion which supposedly would swamp them with fantasies as you say.Breggin mentions this, you may recall, in Toxic Psychiatry. I had not heard of the mental patients liberation movement until 1989–but one of their greatest achievements (I discovered later) was to prove schizophrenia was not incurable, although the shrinks said later that those people– like David Oaks– was “misdiagnosed.” How else could they explain how “incurable” people got better?You see it was my refusal to accept this dogma that led in the mid-80s to my rejection of psychoanalysis. I studied with people like Jay Haley, a family therapist, who opposed all psychiatric diagnosis. Unfortunately although Jay remained pure the family therapy movement was soon coopted. They had to be– in “the decade of the brain/”

    So you see your question assumes an optimism that did not exist. Betram Karon was the outstanding exception among Freudians–but he was unique in 1980. You write, “Could it be that if one is left in the fantasy or delusional world too long or won’t/can’t come back to the real world (consentual reality), they are doomed with little hope of recovery?” Do I agree with this? No of course not. If true
    there is no way to explain all the mystics. Mosher did not believe this. THe reason Mosher did not let
    long term schizphrenics into Soteria—I think this is the question on your mind??– is because like Bob Whitaker he believed chronicity was created by psychiatric treatment including the drugs and hard to undo. Mosher was pragmatic. And his goal was to do the research to get shrinks to stop prescribing psych drugs.

    All of my writing attempted to show how spurious was the distinction between the mad person and the mystic Many of the transpersonal psychologists in the 1980s uncritically accepted Freudianism. THus they accepted the medical model. They insisted that there were REAL schizophrenics. THis linear rigid view left the mad at the mercy of the shrinks with their labels and their drugs. They should have followed the lead of Laing and Szasz and Perry. THese were the pioneeers who repudiated this idea that spirituality was dangerous unless the client was first treated by shrinks. It was only when the patients movement itself PROVED that schizophrenics could grow from their experiences that people like Ken Wilber gave up the insistence that they were the gatekeepers of the community of mystics, and that they had a right to tell the mad to go home and get a note from their shrink. This actually happened to Will Hall some years ago whenhe went to a meditation retreat. The idea that spirituality is dangerous unless you have passed a psychiatric test would avce doomed most of the great prophets, including Jesus.

    I do not believe madness is a pathological process. This talk about early intervention to ward off deterioration assumes the reality of “mental illness,” of a pathological PROCESS. But there is no deterioration. I think it was Margaret Mead who pointed out there are whole cultures which consist of functional psychotics from the POV of our collective delusional system. If anything I worry that WE are too far advanced to arrest the process or normalization. Remember also the shaman is also a functional psychotic. My favorite metaphor is Campbell.Joseph Campbell (see chapter 5) [X-REF], had
    used a striking analogy, he stated that the mad person and the mystic
    are immersed in the same ocean of beatitude, but the mystic is swimming
    while the mad person is drowning.
    One of Mad Pride movement’s important goals, as I see it, should
    be to help the mad to swim in this ocean. The first step is for the mad
    to become aware that it can be done—that madness represents not a
    meaningless biochemical aberration but a potential opportunity to discover
    new dimensions of existence.

    You write “[C]ould some people have what would appear to be such permanent delusional thinking though spiritual they would be seen as crazy?” You write “SEEN” as crazy. Of course. Shrinks viewed Jesus as crazy , George Fox as crazy, St Paul, Ramakrishna…the list of people regarded as crazy by shrinks includes many of the great minds of human history.
    That is not to say there are not mad people who are delusional–like Charles Manson. But delusional when judged by standards of normality is irrelevant. It excludes shamans and prophets and others with altered sttes of experience.
    I regard normality as a consensually validated delusional system. In Eastern terms it is called Ignorance. THat to me is the great problem, not the suffering involved in madness. But like Laing I never denied the suffering experienced by schizophrenics nor by normal people.

    David Oaks wisely said the goal of the mad movement is to help people attain a state of creative maladjustment. THe trajectory of normal society is leading to catastrophic destruction. My alternative is messianic creation which often leads through madness.
    “I know you see this as some spiritual process, but even in that sense I know very little about psychosis or what is called schizophrenia and have no personal or family/friend experience with it,” Donna I must have gotten you mixed you with one of your name sakes because I thought you had been in the loony bin . I take it you don’t know psychologist John Breeding . You are a psych survivor, aren’t you? My impression was you were a victim/survivor of Psychiatry. I thought you described direct violations.

    Jonah says above that Bob Whitaker cites about 20% of those labeled with schizophrenia who never recover and others like Dr. Steingard and Open Dialogue talk about the need for early intervention to avoid too great of a deterioration if I recall correctly. Do you have much familiarity with Dr. Loren Mosher’s work?

    I don’t believe in fostering self fulfilling prophecies. Have you read Sheldrake on the morphogenetic field?

    Let me know if you want my piece in Augustinianisam and the Psychoanalytic Metanarrative?
    Or anyone intersted in a critique of Freudianism?
    [email protected]

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    • Seth,

      Sorry I didn’t get back sooner to thank you for your very generous and detailed response to my questions. You seem to have me mixed up with someone else. I don’t know John Breeding, but know of him through his great work and noble fighting on behalf of those preyed on by biopsychiatry. I have stated on this site several times that I feel I must maintain anonymity because thanks to those like Peter Breggin, you, and many others in the early stages of biopsychiatry/BIG PHARMA hijacking and creating the lethal mental death profession, I was forced/able to rescue loved ones who naively and innocently got caught up in this evil scam of such unbelievable betrayal of all humanity. Those loved ones are doing very well now no thanks to the psychopaths of psychiatry, so I have no desire/intent to put them at risk for further predation by these intraspecies predators especially those at the top of the psychiatry/BIG PHARMA food chain. That’s why I prefer not to share my personal information.

      You make many good points and have helped my understanding of those like Freud and Laing because I only have a superficial knowledge of them as I said. One thing that frustrates me is that one thing that harmed Freud’s reputation from what I gathered is that his supposed hysterical female patients had endured sexual abuse (all too common), but when he tried to expose it, his financial supporters or would be male and other clients attacked him. Thus, he back pedaled and came up with the bogus theory the children had such urges and fantasies (what age were these victims?) This supposed betrayal and sellout of Freud’s patients was a of Mason’s Against Therapy and/or Final Analysis if I recall? But, I read recently that the incest claims were fake and further invalidated by the false/recovered memory epidemic and other excesses. Very confusing! I only caught the latter claim very briefly and am showing my general ignorance of Freud. Do you think the incest claims were real or fake? From what I do know, I loathe Freud and see him as a despicable misogynist (had his sister’s beloved piano removed), narcissist, phony, cocaine addict, fraud. Could that ego, id, superego be some type of trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit to add to your claims of Freud stealing from religion, possibly Christian no less as a Jew while claiming to be an atheist? I find his Oedipus complex and over-focus on sex revolting, sickening and stupid. Me thinks he did protest too much! I agree with you that he set the stage for a privileged class of so called perfect priests of the mental death profession falsely accusing others of inferiority while their own denied inferiority was glaring for anyone who could see through the frauds. What do you think of Karen Horney? I’ve read great things about her works and that she disagreed with Freud, but haven’t read much of her either.

      I have to be cautious because my anger at these fiends/frauds can get the best of me when discussing it.

      Anyway, you’ve given me some validation of what I understood of what I read and I agree with your more positive views that you’ve established with other like minded people.

      My major focus for many years has been the work of Dr. Robert Hare, world authority on psychopaths AKA malignant narcissists. He wrote WITHOUT CONSCIENCE and SNAKES IN SUITS for the general public. He’s done tons of research and you may know he created the psycho test, the Hare PCL-R. Having studied many experts on these deadly intraspecies predators and the massive harm they have inflicted on humanity since its origins, I believe they are the major threat to humanity per the book and web site, POLITICAL PONEROLOGY and what the BIBLE calls Satan. Are you familiar with the works of Dr. Hervey Cleckley, Dr. Hare, Dr. Martha Stout, Dr. John Clarke, Dr. Paul Babiak? Because psychiatry has failed humanity so greatly, there are tons of web sites on the huge damage caused by psychopaths/sociopaths/malignant narcissists. I believe those who created and maintain the mental death profession were/are psychopaths/malignant narcissists or per Dr. M. Scott Peck, THE PEOPLE OF THE LIE, or plain evil people. Though psychiatry has tried to outlaw us from seeing and naming evil, many are resisting their hijacking of humanity by mental death profession on a road to hell. Have you read any of these?

      Since psychopaths ply their evil trade in plain site while appearing perfectly sane, charming, noble and wonderful while destroying many in their deadly wake as the world’s greatest manipulators and con artists, I don’t have much patience for words like loony, mad, nuts, crazy, psychotic, delusional and other pejorative terms as I’ve said before. Maybe you and Kate Millette don’t mind terms like “loony bin,” but I find them just as offensive as the bogus “mental illness” insult exposed by Szasz.

      I prefer not to give out my email address right now, but if you were able and willing to post the pieces you mention here or on your web site I would be interested as time permits. Again, having been raise Catholic, I am all too familiar with “original sin,” but only found out about the misogynist Church fathers during a later spiritual crisis as I told you in prior posts. By spiritual crisis I don’t mean a psychotic episode, but rather, having my life time firm beliefs seriously challenged by History of Western Civ and other college courses, college friends (even Protestants) challenging my views and other challenging experiences. As I said, books like SEXISM AND GOD-TALK, BEYOND GOD THE FATHER and the words of Jesus himself helped me see the neverending dirty tricks of the Patriarchy throughout human history with biopsychiatry one of the most despicable.

      As to your question of being a psych survivor, in keeping with my anonymity, we are all psych/human survivors just like we are all Holocaust survivors because such human predation can only occur when certain “others” are treated and regarded as subhuman, inhuman, vermin, garbage, useless eaters, “mentally ill” and other despicable attacks on their humanity to persuade others that they can free themselves of their own humanity to destroy those so called lesser humans. Dr. Seuss does a good job of exposing this farce in his book, THE SNEECHES. I greatly admired the non-Jews wearing yellow stars along with the Jews as a refusal to play along with the evil Nazis who tossed their own humanity in the garbage heap, which sad nothing about the Jews whatever. Though the Nazis’ goal was to humiliate and degrade the Jews and others they targeted to the lowest animal level, their actions ended up backfiring big time when their own evil actions became a horrific lesson about how low humanity could stoop while others were shocked by what appeared to be THE BANALITY OF EVIL. As you can see, I have focused on the topic of evil quite a bit in my life like others who have had the shock of seeing/feeling it first hand to their great peril.

      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

      Friedrich Nietzsche

      Again, I want to thank you because you have a great background in addition to your opposition to biopsychiatry, making your comments all the more helpful and enlightening while being very interesting. You’ve been very generous in answering my questions while doing a great job making a very complicated topic very clear.

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      • Not directed to me, but needing to comment anyway. Freud did largely come up with his theories based on pressure, but that also shows just how self centred he was. I certainly know of people who gave up trying to go public with things due to pressure put on them, that did not mean they changed the whole thing and came up with something to support the status quo even more. Freud could very easily have just gone away into the shadows and done his work with clients alone. He was more interested in being the centre of attention and having everyone worhsip him, so when the pressure become too much he changed his whole tack and blamed the victim.

        Incest does and always has existed, and I think it would be niave to say it will never not exist. It is also stupid to say that it does not harm people. In a criminal justice sense there are real issues with charging people and sending them to prison and giving them life long restrictions on the basis of some very old memories, that one cannot prove.

        But research has shown that people do forgot those things. One the best pieces ever done to confirm this was by Williams and Williams. They went back through hospital medical records and interviewed adult women who had been bought to hospital as children because of CONFIRMED sexual assualt. They did not tell them WHY they were being contacted, just that they were doing research on adults who had been hospitalised as children, and what they remembered about it, what had gone on in there lives since, etc. Over half of the women did not remember, or if they did they did not tell the interviewer, BUT they also denied ever having been in hospital and MOST of those that did not remmeber did talk in great detail about domestic voilence and adult rapes they had experienced since. It seemed strange to say that they would be happy to talk about domestic voilence and adult rape, but not childhood abuse, unless of course they really did not remember.

        The people who claim that repressed memories are false have done research showing children movies of disney characters and then after it they ask them questions about something that happened in the start of it, and whether mini mouse of mickey mouse did it. As they did not all get it right they say that repressed memories do not exist. That research might prove that people do not always get the person right, it does not say the crime did not exist.

        Having said that research of that nature has been done with two different groups, those with confirmed histories of sexual abuse and those without. Those with confirmed histories were more likely to accurately remember characters who were voilent or aggressive in movies that those that weren’t. Possibly because that is what they live.

        No ethical therapist should ever be working with someone to recover memories, you simply work with them on the day to day issues they bring to the therapy. Hypnosis is also contradicted with such people. One does not ask a person who has supposedly been voilently attacked to submit to being out of control with someone they don’t know. One of the cornerstones of any ethical therapy with such people is allowing them to maintain control of the therapy process, as they lost that control during the abuse/assulat. Hypnosis takes that control away and makes them vulnerable, which is not conducive to healing. People who are vulnerable are also much more likely to agree with anything being said to them, just to please the person, and try to keep themselves safe. People heal and recover at there own time and rate and need to be supported to do that, not forced to do it on someone else’s timeline.

        As said previously in a criminal justice sense there are issues, but in terms of people deciding to seek therapy or support and moving on for themselves, there is no issue, providing ethical therapists are working with them.

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    • In case folks are interested, there is plenty in scripture to support both the radical fall that occurred after the sin in the Garden and predestination.

      For Original Sin please read:
      Jonathan Edwards, The Great Christian Doctrine of Original Sin Defended in The Works of Jonathan Edwards Volume I, pp. 143-233

      For Predestination please read:
      Chosen by God, by R.C.Sproul

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  8. Despite Szasz and Laing this model still dominates AND they are nit content to pass off bio-chemical, they are insistent that mental illness exists. zit’s not enough to save normal. WE must repudiate
    I think Donna’s inaccurate paraphrase of Frances is an improvement over the original. She quotes him,”Diagnosis is bullshit…you can’t define it…there is really no way to distinguish who is normal and who is not.”
    Also the language of madness poetry and dreams is not inferior to the prose of the Apostles of Normality

    EXCERPTS on FReudianism and Medical Model//Despite

    But an even more fundamental point is that it was Freud himself who established the “scientific” status of the bogus concept of mental illness–it was Freud the “genius” whose rhetorical gifts enabled him to captivate and awe human beings with his narrative constructions and thus to pass off the construct of mental illness as a scientific inference rather than a moral evaluation. Freud replaced the Augustinian Original Sin narrative with the Mental Illness narrative–which has become the primary metanarrative of modern psychology/psychiatry, and one of the most significant and socially influential cultural metanarratives of the 20th century.
    It may seem dubious that a scientist like Freud should deviate so egregiously from standard scientific procedures. But consider: As soon as Freud claimed that his patients were suffering from mental “disorders,” he had to assume, consciously or unconsciously, that there existed (at least in theory) a natural condition of mental “order”–obviously not an order ordained by God, as Freud was an atheist. (The concept of disorder entails necessarily the concept of order) In medicine there is a near consensus (until recently at least) about what is natural, what is in order. An illness is ipso facto a breach of the order of nature caused by a disease, e.g. a virus or bacterium, that interrupts the natural homeostasis of the body, and that poses a threat to the survival of the organism.

    While repudiating the existence of God, Freud has arrived at a philosophical position almost identical to Augustine’s, albeit somewhat less severe. Augustine stated that human beings’ souls were dead. Freud stated that they were diseased, in most instances irreparably so. In either case, there is something fundamentally wrong with the person. Man is essentially flawed, lacking in existential worth. Being is deficient…..

    At this point a final epistemological question arises; how did Freud know? How do the Freudians know what is natural and what is unnatural symptoms of mental illnesses? Christians, Jews and Muslims, for example, know by revelation what is a violation of God’s order. As an atheist Freud could not very well claim to have had a divine revelation. Thus he evaded this issue and merely sanctioned his own values by hiding behind the prestige of Science. In actuality the order of nature and its norms were Freud’s own construction. (Homosexuality was considered a mental illness by Freud and his followers until there was a rebellion within the ranks in the mid-70s, and many Freudians were willing to reclassify homosexuality as natural.) Freud evidently intended that the power to define what is natural and what is pathological would be passed on to his loyal disciples throughout history, in a kind of apostolic succession. However the guilds of the mental health professions refused to cede this privilege exclusively to Freud’s disciples. Rather they arrogated to themselves as a group, which included the prominent and prestigious Freudians, the right to make these determinations. (Of course there was continuous turf fighting between the different mental health professions, with the psychiatrists claiming special expertise–despite Freud’s caveat on this topic.) The types and degrees of mental disorders–of “deficiency” as a human being–are today described and codified in the latest edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, first published in 1952, which remains the Bible of the mental health professions.

    The question is bound to arise in these postmodern times: How is it that the narrative structure undergirding neo-Freudian “science” has remained undetected for so many decades despite extensive explorations of psychoanalysis? Why has its ascription of “psychopathology” to the individual been so rarely challenged? I do not know the answer to this question, but I have already indicated that neo-Freudianism has the same deep-structure as the Augustinian narrative of the Fall that captivated the collective imagination of Western humanity for centuries. Thus the more fundamental question is: Why have we remained captivated by metanarratives that are pessimistic, misanthropic and life-negating?

    Seth Farber, Ph.D.
    [email protected]

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  9. Donna, Thanks for your eloquent comments. To addresss all the point you raise would take too much time. Nonethelesss I have to clear a few things up that I evidently left vague.
    First my essay would give you a good background. It mentions Jeffrey Masson and all that stuff. I don’t have time to put it up on my website now. I’d put it up on Facebook because that’s easier but I guess if you are trying to remain anonymous, you don’t have FB. Or do you?

    You can’t tell from my few excerpts since you don’t know a lot about Freud but I was not claiming Freud stole his ideas from Augustine, or that he was religious. My point was Freud believed he has transcended religion and superstition but unconsciously he had assimilated one of the dominant worldview of his age. The competing worldviews was more progressive version of Enlightenment thought. The older one was what Jean Delumeau called the sin and guilt culture of Western civilization. That was forged by Augustine and reaffirmed by Luther and Calvin who were actually WORSE than the Catholic Church. What you find is an extraordinary isomorphism betweeen the secular theories of Freud and the Augustinian theory of original sin. You have to read my essay to understand the point. Since Freudianism is pretty much dead by now my argument is not that important. Otherwise I’d try to get the book reissued by a bigger publisher. But the point I’m making here is that Freud was really the architect of the medical model. He was the one who saved the idea of mental illness. He revivified and secularized the archetype of the flawed soul which derived from Augustine.(The is an original theory of mine, but it was based on experience and intuition–an epiphany of sorts.) It reigned in the guise of original sin for centuries. This is one reason the archetype of mental illness is still so strong and intractable.

    To this archetype and narrative I proposed an alternative. THere are Christians who rejected original sin and contended that the soul was not tainted by original sin. ST Gregory of Nyssa Augustine’s contemporary rejected it. He accepted the Fal but not the garbage about the tainted../diseased soul, and predestination of an elect–not the idea that most are doomed to hell. I think they are following in the spirit of Jesus.Matthew Fox woud cal it original blessing as opposed to original sin. There were others. Emerson and Transcedentalists repudiated origina sin and affirmed the sanctity of the soul. As do mainstream Christian today. Of course the latter do not believe anything with much fervor. I was in the Eastern Orthodox Church for a few yrs because their theology which rejected original sin. Then there is Hindu tradition which influenced me–primarily through Sri Aurobindo.

    I don’t think the idea of madness, which derives from folk culture, popular culture, is denigrating. I never use “medicalist”-as I cal it- terminolgy But I make my argument for that in my recent book so i won’t repeat it here.

    I was a Freudian for at least 10 yrs so I base my critique on how it was practiced in the clinics. In my article I cite the Freudian books that were being read and used by clinicians in 70s and 8os. You cannot have any idea how destructive Freudianism was unless you were part of it–from either end. Of course most people are not but most of my cohorts in psychology were part of the sheeple. I was one of the few rebels, although it took me awhile. Don’t forgot the construct that you invoked a few months ago–freom Milgram and Prisoner’s Dilemma. It’s not ALL evil people. A lot of it is people just accepting what they were taught. For 10 yrs I believed that Freudian garbage. The way I see it now is Freud was one of the greatest intellectual charlatans of the 20th century.

    Look at the way his cockamammie idea were treated as great epiphanied and FReud was worshipped as a genius not just by shrinks but by virtually all the leading 20th century intellectuals. What a con-man! It was in part because Freud was a very gifted writer and a great albeit morbid storyteller. It was also because Freud had unconsciousy revivified archetypes that had enthralled the collective imagination for centuries–the idea of mental illnes—and secularized the tragic metanarrative first developed by Augustine. I show all the points of isomorphism . Thus these crazy stories seemed real.

    You have 2 different things mixed up. Jeffrey Masson in his 3 books (the first was The Assault on Truth) indeed showed that Freud suppressed his original discovery: THat mnany children were sexually molested by parents or adults and developed “complexes” because of it. For opportunistic reason he suppressed this discovery and invented these crazy theoiries, eg Oedipus etc. But what Jeffrey founded equally disturbing was the extent to which the psychoanalytic community went to suppress this. Masson was still an analyst when he made the discovery. He thought his colleaques would support him because the reputation of FReud and his followers hinges on an alleged and bold commitment to confront and accept the truth. But they did everything they could to silence Masson. And then harassed him.
    He was profoundly disillusioned.

    Once Masson started exposing Freud more and more stuff about Freud came out. No serious intellectual today–presumably informed— could believe Freud was the valiant warrior for truth he claimed to be. He was an opportunist and a phony.He jeopardized the well being of female clients to cover up abuse committed by men. But that is not my main reason for opposing Fredianism–it is the reason I gave above.

    Karen Horney is a banal thinker who remained–as they all did–
    within the parameters of the theory I critique. In her day she was progressive because she repudiates some of the misogynist excesses of Freud. But you cannot be a Freudian and be a radical thinker. People like Norman O Brown are twisting Freud in their OWN direction. If you accept Freudianism you accept the medical model. (Those who don’t have appropriated the term “FReudian”) I call this–the medical mode– an ontology of deficiency and regard it as reactionary. I try to show how it keeps humanity trapped in a tragic metanarrative. To me Freud was the great Apostle of the religion of Mental Illness. That’s why I became an apostate. I think Masson best book was his personal account Final Analysis.

    It’s true of course that sexual abuse of women and girls has turned out in general to be much higher than previously realized. I have not kept up with all the research Beinda mentions. However none of any of this vitiates the fact that there were witchhunts carried out in the 1980s and that false memory syndrome was common. That has nothing to do with Freud, Donna. It has to do with the idiocy of modern therapists who specialized in sexual abuse and started seeing it everywhere. I can mention many famous cases of therapists who asked children leading questions and concocted with them far-fetched stories of Satantic sexual abuse. Your can read the book coauthored by Debby Nathan, former VV reporter. And then there were therapists who put cliebnts in hypnotic trances and convinced them they were abused 40 yrs ago. You can tell whether these were valid by examining the methodology for interviewing.NO 1.) Were there leading questions??? Also when a 5 year old child claims he was taken under a secret dungeon and sodomized with a broomstick while witches chanted evil spells and churned boiling soups you know you’re dealing with a story invented by a nutty therapist.
    BTW one of the reasons I thought months ago you were familiar with my use of the term mental death system is because I thought you were the OTHER Donna, to whom I had discussed that issue.
    I have not read all those books but I accept the idea within the limits I mentioned.
    Let me know if you want me to put that article up on Facebook.
    Thanks to you and Belinda for your provocative and enlightening thoughts. Best, Seth
    I still trying to publicize my book

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  10. Hi Seth,

    Thanks for clarifying about the Freud cover up of incest to appease his benefactors. I had read some of Masson’s work long ago when I was on a mission to debunk a lot of brain washing I like others had swallowed about not only psychiatry, but certain sexist aspects of religion, my illusion that women has made progress in equal rights, etc. I didn’t misunderstand; I just wasn’t sure which book(s) dealt with the incest coverup and didn’t take the time to check, which I tried to indicate.

    Also, I know Freud was a professed atheist, so I was agreeing with your brilliant take that he may have unconsciously created his theories of psychoanalysis with prevailing religious views. Freud was Jewish, right? I don’t know enough about his background in terms of religion, but I would think that may have played a role in his thoughts and life at that time. I am making that assumption because I know that’s true from my having been brought up Catholic, but also brainwashed by the mental death profession that pervades everything in our culture like a virus. The term “behavioral health” is so gross, vile and horrific when you consider Szasz that I want to scream. I’m trying to free myself of such rubbish, but it’s hard when you find psychological terms pervading your thoughts and language if you try to be aware. Like referring to “healthy habits” and other stupid terms.

    I can’t help but think that the so “original sin” concept could have also been a deliberate ploy as is true today with the mental death system. I found it pretty funny and ethically honest on your part to admit psychotherapy (or at least Freudian analysis) is a sham as does Szasz. What is really obscene is that anyone going to a mental death expert will be conned into believing they have something wrong with them now in the form of a bogus DSM stigma to make a long term or permanent patient out of a new “customer” to line the “expert’s” pockets at the “patient’s” monetary, mental, career, reputation and other expense if unaware of the scam. You talk about the recovered memory scam, but there was also the adult child/codependency movement, another sham of psychotherapy ridiculed by such books as “I’M DSYSFUNCTIONAL, YOU’RE DYSFUNCTIONAL, THE DISEASING OF AMERICA, THE CODEPENDENCY CONSPIRACY and many others. Obviously, it is not in a mental death expert’s best interest to admit there is nothing wrong with the would be patient or the problem may lie in a narcissistic, abusive husband or bully boss driving the victim crazy per many articles on the web. The mental death profession doesn’t acknowledge such environ-MENTAL stressors as you know! I read recently that Robert Spitzer admitted that if environmental and other stressors had to be considered by psychiatry, the whole house of cards of the DSM would fall apart.

    I did run into a book about Freud recently that stressed that he didn’t want his pet psychoanalysis to be hijacked by medicine because he predicted what would happen if this was the case. But, this type of psychotherapy was really for the elite, so it would have been fine with most people if it had been kept that way instead of becoming the nightmare of bio-psychiatry that preys especially on the poor by ripping off Medicaid (our tax money) today for which I don’t think Freud can be totally blamed. Don’t think I am sticking up for him because I realize that without him, we might not have the mental death profession we have today.

    I watched a video of a talk you gave online (don’t remember name of guy interviewing you) and you did a good job, but I was pretty familiar with just about all you said exposing the sham of psychiatry.

    I question if the concept of original sin has the power today that it had in Freud’s day if it even had much power then thanks to the likes of Voltaire and others because it’s based on what is now seen as the “myth” of Adam and Eve by most educated people at least. So, all the vicious attacks on women by the Church fathers based on this myth come off as not only vile and disgusting to those like me, but also, ludicrous, ignorant and ridiculous. I love the hilarious book of IN PRAISE OF FOLLY ridiculing some religious excesses. Same thing with original sin. Plus, the gnostic view sees the Adam and Eve myth as Adam’s soul waking up and other interpretations. Some experts think Genesis was written by a woman, so if that’s true, I doubt the intent was to damn women or people in general forever. Anyway, I told you I have done some research on the Bible and not too many take every word of the Bible literally today since studies have exposed a lot of it as far less than the “word of God” for sure including lots of tailoring by later Christians especially in the N.T. Of course, people hypocritically cherry pick when they want to attack gays, but never mention the parts that advocate handing over daughters to be raped in the O.T., etc.

    Actually, the point of the Milgram experiments was that CERTAIN PEOPLE would not do the evil things the “men in white coats” tried to bully then into because they had ethics that couldn’t be violated. It is true that a large number acted like sheep and were willing to almost kill people if they could pass the buck off to an authority figure, which I think makes them evil as was true in NAZI Germany. And the former would be killers weren’t even threatened with harm, so perhaps it points more to Christopher Lasch’s THE CULTURE OF NARCISSISM and many other books like THE NARCISSISM EPIDEMIC that have been coming out in droves in recent times? I think Milgram was trying to understand how people could do or allow the evil things that were done in the twentieth century. Zimbardo’s, book THE LUCIFER EFFECT, lets evil people off the hook too much, but he does provide ways that people can avoid being manipulated into giving their power away to would be dictators like Hitler and psychopathic charmers on his web site and in his book. I think these experiments expose that there are narcissists, psychopaths or evil people among us who have no problem harming others, but rather, enjoy it in many cases. It appears that number is growing as the mental death profession has succeeded in their goal to infiltrate and destroy all social institutions while eliminating all morality to push their amoral mental death agenda on one and all. If you check out psychiatry’s stated goals in the 1930’s onward, they plotted to bring a new world order with funding from robber barons like Rockefeller to destroy society and inflict their own toxic agenda on humanity of global social/mind control with their eugenics and other vile theories. They have succeeded all too well.

    I can see how one could be brainwashed by the mental death profession to believe one is helping others, but as Szasz said, it is our responsibility to learn about our social institutions to avoid being caught in such webs of deceit for would be patients, so I think it should apply all the more to would be therapists. As you say, you saw through the con and I am sure others did too, but they lacked your ethics and honesty to refuse to harm people with such fraud.

    I can see where in this time of gross alienation and isolation, you could be helpful in terms of talk therapy to just listen to people, validate them, do no harm and help them to arrive at common sense solutions, which is not so common especially when one is in great emotional distress over life problems.

    You are right, I don’t have a Facebook account because I spend too much time on the web already that I need to reduce. When you offered the article I thought you had it online and you could just send a hyperlink here. It appears that is not the case, so I may get the book instead through Amazon when I have the time to read it. Did you say you covered this concept in ETERNAL DAY?

    Again, thank you for sharing your wide range of knowledge about the history of psychiatry/psychology and some of the giants in the profession for good or ill. You’ve been very helpful in my understanding of this topic and what books would be especially helpful in my understanding though I am more interested in a spiritual perspective. I was always interested in psychology in college, but I have mixed feelings about its claims now. Take care.

    P.S. I will never agree with the denigrating terms of loony bin, mad, crazy, mentally ill or any other terms except honest ones like emotional distress, trauma, stress breakdown (a more physical ailment than mental in keeping with the work of Dr. Hans Seyle on stress that anyone will eventually break down if subjected to enough stress, which bullies count on to make their victims appear crazy. See BULLYONLINE), etc.

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  11. Donna, Let me respond to a few points–al i have time for. Yes the history and philosophical analysis is in Eternal Day: THe Christian Alternative to Secularism and Modern Psychology. As I stated original sin is not a Biblical concept–I describe that in my book.
    Yes my parents are non-believing Jew. Eternal Day is based on a sacramental concept of Christianity–I was then in Orthodox Church. THe most abiding influence on me was SA sstated/ The Augustinian wordview had hegemony, although it was challenged by Enightenment. the irony was FReud was NOT a progressive thinker.

    You write I question if the concept of original sin has the power today that it had in Freud’s day if it even had much power then thanks to the likes of Voltaire and others because it’s based on what is now seen as the “myth” of Adam and Eve by most educated people at least.
    >>You have to read it. It takes too long for me to recapitulate.
    The only Augustinian left are fundamentalist evangelicals, a backwards group IMO. But when I was a Freudian I realized I was pedding salvation and insisted that the secular Priesthoods mediated the blessings of psychological “Science.”

    . I love the hilarious book of IN PRAISE OF FOLLY ridiculing some religious excesses.
    >>I never read that.

    Same thing with original sin. Plus, the gnostic view sees the Adam and Eve myth as Adam’s soul waking up and other interpretations. Some experts think Genesis was written by a woman, so if that’s true, I doubt the intent was to damn women or people in general forever.
    >>Again I was noit talking about Genesis. I believed the myth of the Fall had existential truth, but that God wiled our salvation.
    I have other problems with OT due to its sanctioning of genocide. You know I wrote a pro-Palestinian book on Jewish critics of Israel–which included interview with Noam Chomsky.
    IMO you overloook the pervasive nature of corruption in our society. What happens in “mental heath” is only one fractal iteration. If you look at the military industrial complex, you’l find another iteration. It is not an anomaly. For a great but
    disturbing account of our exploitation of nature leading to catastrophe I suggest you read Derrick Jensen’s books. My favorite is What We Lleft Behind. America is the only country in which educated people are noit familiar with Noam Chomsky. Try reading one of his books–say The Manufacture of Consent.

    Anyway, I told you I have done some research on the Bible and not too many take every word of the Bible literally today
    >>Of course. To be frank only rednecks are fundamentalists. For histiorians (who happen ti be Christians) I recommend Crossan, N T Wright and etc

    since studies have exposed a lot of it as far less than the “word of God” for sure including lots of tailoring by later Christians especially in the N.T. Of course, people hypocritically cherry pick when they want to attack gays, but never mention the parts that advocate handing over daughters to be raped in the O.T., etc.
    >> AS atated I can’t accept the OT. Reform Jews originally repudiated it for that reason. The writings of the prophets reflect a more evolved concept of God…

    Actually, the point of the Milgram experiments was that CERTAIN PEOPLE would not do the evil things the “men in white coats” tried to bully then into because they had ethics that couldn’t be violated. It is true that a large number acted like sheep and were willing to almost kill people if they could pass the buck off to an authority figure, which I think makes them evil as was true in NAZI Germany.
    >>Although I read it long ago it made a deep impression on me, and that isincorrect. Firat oif al Miligram was shocked at how view refused to deivers what they thought could be lethal shock.
    You write:
    And the former would be killers weren’t even threatened with harm, so perhaps it points more to Christopher Lasch’s THE CULTURE OF NARCISSISM and many other books like THE NARCISSISM EPIDEMIC that have been coming out in droves in recent times? I think Milgram was trying to understand how people could do or allow the evil things that were done in the twentieth century.
    >>YEs he was but his concusion was not yours. It was an authoritarian attitude, not sadism or evil. THis anaysis is in accord with the understanding of the anti-psychiatry movement. Bruce Levine stresses this also. As David Oaks put it the crime of our centurt (20th) is not deviance but obedience. The problem is people propensity to follow orders. The people at the top giving the orders could be seen as evil–sadism, greed–but the majority were sheeple. Their weakness was not sadism greed or lack of sense of justice, it was reluctance to question authority. Hannah Arendt also concluded this is her book on Eichmann and “banality of evil.” I agree with you that the most successful in THIS society, the most powerful sociopaths. I don’t take David Icke literaly but as a metaphor the idea of reptilian mind makes sense. On the other hand the style varies. For example President Obama is carrying out the same poicies as Bush/Cheney, eg drone strikes, persecution of leakers and whitle-blowers (worse than Bush), refusal to crack down on global warming to the point of jeopardizing human survival, Same policies with Guatanamo. His style is different. THis to me is evil. When you have the degree of knowledge and power and do not se it to protect the survival of humanity, and other species, to do harm, that’s evil.

    But most people are not
    knowledgeabe. Peope who ARE concerned about global warming do not realize Obama has the power to make changes. A society whose leaders are prepared to destroy humanity rather than alienate the oil companies is not sane. In 2008 I thought Obama would be better than Bush. But I’m not fooled by his professions of anguish, by his performance. I look at the policies. The mental health system is a tool for preserving the status quo: It is based on premise that this society is sane. It’s not. Read The Politics of Experience by Laing.

    YOU WRITE Zimbardo’s, book THE LUCIFER EFFECT, lets evil people off the hook too much, but he does provide ways that people can avoid being manipulated into giving their power away to would be dictators like Hitler and psychopathic charmers on his web site and in his book. I think these experiments expose that there are narcissists, psychopaths or evil people among us who have no problem harming others, but rather, enjoy it in many cases. It appears that number is growing as the mental death profession has succeeded in their goal to infiltrate and destroy all social institutions while eliminating all morality to push their amoral mental death agenda on one and all.
    >> I don’t agree with your apparent implication that you can separate the mental heath system from the other institutions in society.Tht is I do not see Psychiatry as more evil than the political syatem which caters to the 1% THis is the premise of my book:

    Yiu write
    “I can see how one could be brainwashed by the mental death profession to believe one is helping others, but as Szasz said, it is our responsibility to learn about our social institutions to avoid being caught in such webs of deceit for would be patients, so I think it should apply all the more to would be therapists. As you say, you saw through the con and I am sure others did too, but they lacked your ethics and honesty to refuse to harm people with such fraud.”
    The task is great

    “You are right, I don’t have a Facebook account because I spend too much time on the web already that I need to reduce. When you offered the article I thought you had it online and you could just send a hyperlink here. It appears that is not the case, so I may get the book instead through Amazon when I have the time to read it. Did you say you covered this concept in ETERNAL DAY?”
    >>Yes. It’sprobably inexpersive boook

    Again, thank you for sharing your wide range of knowledge about the history of psychiatry/psychology and some of the giants in the profession for good or ill. You’ve been very helpful in my understanding of this topic and what books would be especially helpful in my understanding though I am more interested in a spiritual perspective. I was always interested in psychology in college, but I have mixed feelings about its claims now. Take care.

    P.S. I will never agree with the denigrating terms of loony bin, mad,
    >>The term “mad” is used by most radicals in the psychiatric survivors movement today.It is NOT a psychiatric term. In all the yrs I worked in cinica I never heard a shrink iuse the term.
    It does not imply any defect. I have aways admired radicals and revoutionaries. i rebelled when I was 121. Thus to be a term which suggests deviation from conventionality, from consensus reality is positive. To me the greatest insult woud bew to be clled “normal'”–see above. It is also true for poets and Romantics the mad person has akways been an intriquing person.

    crazy, mentally ill or any other terms except honest ones like emotional distress, trauma, stress breakdown (a more physical ailment than mental in keeping with the work of Dr. Hans Seyle on stress that anyone will eventually break down if subjected to enough stress, which bullies count on to make their victims appear crazy. See BULLYONLINE”
    >>Here again I disagree> I do not think altered states of consciousness involving stress are necessarily negative.Sometimes they are. Again like Laing said a breakdown could be pre-condition for a breakthrough. The shaman vision quest requires a breakdown. Madness is a rich potentially profoundly spiritual ASC. The prejudice against madness is a prejudice of altered states of consciousness reflecting a bias toward the normal state of consciousness.

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    • Seth/Donna,
      I would ask that both of you review your recent comments as they relate to Christians and Christianity. I don’t know if it was your intent or not, but the language and tone you use is disparaging in my opinion. There are Christians on MIA like myself who are just as passionate about eliminating/reforming a broken and dangerous system as you are. I just ask for a bit of reflection. Thanks.

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      • David (and Duane),

        Please let me know the exact comments I made that you found disparaging.

        You may recall that Vatican II allowed Catholics to go by their conscience rather than church dictatorship though the last two popes did all in their power to ILLEGALY turn back the clock.

        Also, David, I recently complimented you for your forward thinking views of sticking up for women misdiagnosed by the mental “health,” profession, but you didn’t respond.

        I also apologized when you said you felt disparaged by what I said when we had a prior dispute that you might have missed or are you still hold a grudge? What did Jesus say about forgiving…?

        I ask you if you (and Duane) agree with this statement by the Church Father, Tertullian:

        “Women are the gateway to hell…”

        And that’s the nicest part of it.

        Anyway, Jesus never said or did one sexist, misogynist thing to women, so that’s HIS/MY story and I’m sticking to it.

        Also, I was an English major and have studied the Bible as both spirituality and literature, so many people misunderstand that different parts of the Bible convey various types of truth through various forms of literature such as myth, parables, poems, history and others that can be interpreted in many different ways giving them much meaning.

        Have you studied expert theologians on the Bible that include many Catholics? The literary format of the Bible? What certain Church fathers and theologians like Aquinas said about women?

        Plus, Seth and I were having somewhat of a two-way conversation mainly about psychosis and early psychoanalysis, which was influenced by religion. Many people say things on this web site with which I don’t agree, so for the most part, I just understand that we all have different opinions, experiences and other uniqueness and just move on.

        And you must be aware that we had some pretty evil popes in Church history as well as very dirty politics within the Church if you took the required History Of Western Civilization course. That was part of a spiritual “crisis” I had that I mentioned to Seth, which included the horrible, misogynist attacks on women by so called Church fathers and later tailoring of the Bible to make the major disciple of Jesus, Mary Magdelene, appear a whore to discredit her and detract from her importance and influence like other women in Paul’s writings. Pope Gregory decided he’d take all the Mary’s in the Bible and claim they were one and the same prostitute. You may not know that the Catholic Church admitted this sham and reversed it in recent times!

        Yet, during a mass I attended a while back, a priest had the gaul to refer to Mary Magdelene, the Prostitute, as defining her.

        I was tempted to stand up and say, what about David, the adulterer, wife thief and deliberate murderer of her husband when Uriah wouldn’t sleep with his wife while in service on David’s behalf to cover up Bathsheba’s pregnancy by David??? God, Himself, judged David’s actions as very evil through a prophet. Would any priest ever dream of defiling David’s great reputation?

        Just some food for thought that you GUYS may never have considered.

        Anyway, you are entitled to your beliefs and opinions just as everyone else here is entitled to theirs.

        But, I would be interested in knowing what you (and Duane)found offensive in what I said.

        Just bear in mind that as males, you may see things quite differently than I do as a female.

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        • You state that the Adam and Eve story of the bible is a myth and most “educated” people know that. Well I do consider myself “educated” and, along with many, don’t view the Adam and Eve narrative as “myth”

          I find this whole section rather offensive:
          “I have done some research on the Bible and not too many take every word of the Bible literally today since studies have exposed a lot of it as far less than the “word of God” for sure including lots of tailoring by later Christians especially in the N.T. Of course, people hypocritically cherry pick when they want to attack gays, but never mention the parts that advocate handing over daughters to be raped in the O.T., etc.”

          Millions do in fact believe that what is in the bible is in fact the inspired word of God. They don’t believe that it has been “tailored” So an attack on the truthfulness of scripture is attack on the character of God. That some people “cherry pick” scripture or misinterpret scriptures meaning can’t be challenged, but that in no way negates the truthfulness of scripture accurately interpreted. I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make with Lot and his daughters? When the angels came to Sodom? Surely, Lot’s behavior regarding his daughters and offering them up to the crowd is sinful. Are you making the point that the bible says it wasn’t?

          I’m not too sure how “dirty tricks of the Patriarchy” and “misogynist Church fathers” would be interpreted by our Catholic friends, or how it contributes to further conversation on the subject.

          I didn’t notice your response to an earlier comment of mine. Thanks for that and I did notice your apology awhile back but thought we were “done” with that thread. Nope, not harboring any resentment on this end.

          I guess I’ll end in a similar way to what I said to Nijinsky. I’m not sure you realize it, but when you make sweeping statements about what you believe to be true of Christianity or any faith tradition, you have to understand that there’s bound to be people who disagree with your statements and may see them as so far from the truth that they amount to being offensive. Again, I’m just asking for a bit more sensitivity when it comes to differing faith traditions on MIA. I need to do better myself so please don’t think I’m exempting myself from this. I can do better and should do better in responding to those with different beliefs than my own.

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          • David,

            I’m not going to get into a long term argument with you over our various spiritual beliefs.

            All Christian theologians including Catholics have been working together for quite some time and found through historical, language and other methods that the Bible and the N.T. in particular is not what people have believed before such methods were available.

            You are misinterpreting my statement that the Adam and Eve story can be viewed as a myth as denigration of the Bible when the opposite is true. Many spiritual ideas are hard to convey, so many religious/spiritual traditions have used myth to convey them. I love the definition that a myth is something that may not be literally true on the outside, but is true on the inside. The major take on the story of Adam and Eve is that BOTH gave into temptation and disobeyed God for which both were punished. Though Eve has been used as a weapon against women, both disobeyed and Adam tried to blame Eve who was tempted by the serpent (Satan). BOTH were punished for the same disobedience and banished from Paradise. Perhaps their major punishment was learning/seeing good AND EVIL or opening Pandora’s box for the human race. That’s the take on the story whether you see it as literally true or not. I find C.S. Lewis’ interpretation of this story very fascinating and enlightening. All Christian churches have approved his writings including the Catholic Church.

            However, I wonder how much you’ve gone beyond just Church attendance and reading the Bible with your own interpretations versus keeping up with the Church’s modern theology, biblical studies, etc.

            The Catholic Church has admitted its error in taking the Bible too literally when it stood in opposition to science as with the embarrassing case of punishing and imprisoning Galileo when he exposed that the earth moved around the sun and not the other way around per the Bible. Modern popes have apologized for this and other errors like their influence on anti-Semitism that led to such horrors. Pope Benedict VI in particular has said the Church must recognize such science in scripture and otherwise and change its views accordingly (rather than being a superstitious laughing stock as with Galileo). So, do we throw out the whole Bible due to these obviously false scientific statements or recognize that some parts of the Bible were based on the knowledge and customs of the times and pick the wheat from the chaff as to what is eternal truth and what is ephemeral based on custom and the state of science at that time? That’s why modern theology, Biblical criticism and other approaches are necessary. Are you aware that the authors of the N.T. were not the original apostles of Jesus or that Paul was the earliest writer and some of the letters attributed to Paul are now recognized as pseudo Pauline letters agreed to by most Church authorities due to the science and modern biblical analysis methods. This type of discovery is based on the history, language, customs, buildings like the Jewish Temple and other factors in these writings obvious to historical, biblical experts.

            You may not be aware that the Catholic Church does not rely solely on the Bible, but also Church tradition, Papal decrees, Councils, etc., so the Catholic Church does not necessarily take the Bible literally now or solely rely on the Bible for its doctrine or theology. In fact, Aquinas was the major theologian of the Church for much of its history and he based his views on Aristotle, a “pagan,” as did many theologians of the time in search for the truth.

            I feel sad that you would treat such assaults on women and obvious misogyny in the Catholic Church not to mention the pedophile scandals with such glibness while being so adamant about the literal interpretation of Adam and Eve that has been twisted to condemn women alone.

            Anyway, nothing I said would be seen as outrageous among the range of Catholic or even Christian beliefs. What you are really saying is that you want to impose your beliefs on everyone else when I don’t think you have done the homework to warrant that.

            As we have said in our discussions about bio-psychiatry, one may claim to believe certain things, but belief does not make them so.

            Anyway, I regret that you and Duane chose to be offended by the discussion between Seth and me, but I was addressing my comments to Seth and not the world at large. I don’t mind you disagreeing with my views, but to claim you have the sole right to decide what the correct Catholic/Christian views should be is on par with your claiming to be the Pope. Did you hear that Pope Francis just announced that even atheists are saved?

            Since nobody has a monopoly on truth, I think a bit more humility and compassion all around would be more appropriate than the proverbial Christian arguments about how many angels can fit on a pinhead to cite some of the theological absurdities of the past that make Christians appear as fools who lose sight of Jesus’ command of “Love your neighbor as yourself.

            Thanks for your input.

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          • David,

            I was checking out some Catholic sites regarding our debate on the interpretation of the Bible and found a guide from the Vatican:


            It discusses some of the things I pointed out like the need to be aware of the type of literature used, the times and customs in which it was written, Church tradition and ongoing interpretation by the Church with guidance from the Holy Spirit, etc.

            So, perhaps if you read this, you will see that I was not being disrespectful about Catholic views, but rather, was basing my views on those expressed by the Church and bible experts in terms of biblical interpretation.

            I read other articles claiming that some Catholics take the Bible literally and others’ don’t or some take parts of it literally and not other parts, etc. In other words, there is not just one rigid Catholic stance that represents everyone since we are all unique individuals.

            I hope you find this useful.

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        • Donna,

          We would have to take each statement, each view, opinion point-by-point.

          And doing so would make this go on for days, which is precisely why I addressed the single issue – Seth’s comment about St. Augustine, rather than take on umpteen points.

          IMO, there are other sites to discuss religion and politics.


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          • “IMO, there are other sites to discuss religion and politics.”


            Of course, it’s true, that there are other sites to discuss religion and politics; however, I see this site as a place where one *must* wind up considering ‘religious’ and ‘political’ matters, almost inevitably.

            IMO, as this site is officially dedicated to “Science, Psychiatry and Community,” there’s really no way to reasonably suggest avoiding the topics of religion and politics, I think.

            Science, psychiatry and community are — all three (together and separately) — quite *deeply* affected by religion and politics, both.



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        • There’s enough evidence that Mary Magdelene herself never was a prostitute (and even if she was that’s still no reason to judge a person without knowing what went on in her life); and that the Roman Catholic Church actually is responsible for those statements being in the bible, although there was enough material to the contrary. BECAUSE it would give women too much power. And didn’t go along with their misogynist teachings.

          I don’t believe she ever was a prostitute.

          One could also point out to HOW JESUS saved the live of a prostitute….

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          • Nijinsky,

            You are right. The Catholic Church did finally admit that Mary Magdalene WAS NOT a prostitute and admitted the error made by a past Pope, Gregory, when he lumped all the Mary’s of the N.T. together as one prostitute to discredit Mary Magdalene in particular because she was such an influential disciple of Jesus and other female disciples serving with Paul when the church sold out to Constantine and adopted all of Rome’s cultural, misogynist, hierarchical and other traditions in direct opposition to what Jesus did and said.

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      • The Majority of Catholics already disagree with the pope here: Further more, this doesn’t make them non Christian. Nor does it makes their beliefs disparaging against Christians. I don’t see Seth’s statement against the doctrine of original sin as disparaging, either.

        When someone has so put their beliefs in something that when questioned — with quite reflective and clear logic — is labeled as being disparaging. Upon reflection, you might find that what’s disparaging is the belief itself.

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          • David,

            I didn’t make the statement, so I don’t think I should have to defend it. I do think that cherry picking various parts of the Bible to push certain agendas can be dangerous, but I don’t think the term, “redneck” implies that. I think of the term “redneck” as someone who is more racially prejudiced like someone in the Ku Klux Clan. That’s why certain words and language can be tricky because the map is not the territory. If you read my posts, I made it clear that I am against any pejorative terms that stigmatize or degrade people.

            I’m not sure I get what you mean about “standing by my earlier comments.” Which comments?

            Do I stand by everything I ever said or did? Probably not, because I try to be open to new views and am willing to change my mind when new, convincing evidence comes to my attention.

            As Emerson said, “Foolish consistencies are the hobgoblins of little minds.”

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          • David,

            I only saw your comment that you are not a Catholic today. Since you and Duane joined forces in your critique of Seth and me and other comments you’ve made in the past, I did assume you were Catholic.

            So, if you read my posts, you can see that the Catholic Church does not view the Bible in isolation as I said above, so I can see why we would have differing views about Biblical interpretation.

            I regret that misunderstanding.

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    • Seth,

      Your views on St. Augustine are not shared by the Catholic Church. His work is also deeply respected by the Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglicans, Calvinists and other Protestants. –

      IMO, your explanations of Augustine’s work on “original sin” misses his focus on grace, redemption, forgiveness.
      And your animosity about “American Wars” clouds what he had to say on the topic of “just war.”

      For the record, I have never said you were not a Christian. I would never do so.

      I share David’s view about religion on this site. I don’t think we’re ready to calmly and civilly discuss the topic.

      Seth, until such time, I would only ask that you refer to your thoughts and beliefs as your own, and not attempt to broadly say what it is Catholics believe or don’t believe.


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      • Duane, David, I did not say my views on Augustine were shared by the Catholic Church.They are certainly shared by many in the Church. I said they were broadly shared
        Anabaptists. Augustine was the first Church Father to
        call for the use of force to silence other Christians who became known as heretics because their views offended Augustine or his imperial patron Constantine.
        That is a fact–that Augustine was the first to call for the use of force, and it was used to persecute Pelagius among others. Augustine sanctioned Christians participating in the Emperor’s wars–which Christians have previously shunned. (SEe ADam Eve and the Serpent by Elaine Pagels.)I regard these policies as anti-Christian. St Gregory of Nyssa never approved of Augustine’s theories.
        Augustine’s idea of grace was very limited. In the City of God he stated the majority of people deserved to burn eternally in hell but God would save a small elect. That is not a Christian concept of forgiveness which is 70 times 7.
        I was very influenced by the work of the Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder and I used to attend a Mennonite congregation. You cannot just whitewash Augustine and wipe out the memory of the Radical were victims of both the Refomation and the counter-Reformation,. I am sick of right-wing Christians acting as if they have a franchise on Jesus.
        My Anabaptist critique of the mental health system was published by Intervarsity Press, a mainstream evangelical press. Probably many at the press disagreed with my critique but they did not accuse me of being anti-Christian. A critique of Augustine is permitted there. The Orthodox never accepted original sin. BTW this doctrine was the basis of all the awful hell and brimstone sermons that struck terror into the heart of young James Joyce and the millions of other for whom he spoke. Many
        Augustinians believed that due to original sin unbaptized infants who died would go straight to hell to be tortured eternally. My anti-Augustine critique of mental health was published by Regina Orthodox press. The famous Episcopalian priest who was originally a Catholic priest Matthew Fox was a stringent critic of Augustine.
        Fundamentalist Christianity is an oxymoron because many of the teachings of the OT are contradicted and superseded by Jesus emphasis on loving the enemy and refraining from war. The OT sanctions genocide. SF

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        • Hi Seth,

          I am only superficially aware of Augustine’s life and must admit I was not aware of some of the things you cite here. Guess I should read THE CITY OF GOD. So, I want you to know, I was not throwing you under the bus, but rather, refusing to pretend I know something when I don’t or that I’ve read things I haven’t. After the dose of Tertullian and even Aquinas on women among others, reading church fathers wasn’t a top priority for me at the time! In fact, I had a serious loss of faith for a while until I went back to the words of Jesus.

          You have interested me in further exploring St. Gregory of Nyssa and others. I plan to look into that.

          Again, Seth I appreciate the time you took to explain about the confusion about psychosis, Laing’s changing views, Freud and related topics. Wasn’t it Kant who wished to be wakened from his dogmatic slumber? The book, THE COMFORTABLE PEW, comes to mind in various religious arguments. Didn’t somebody talk about comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable? You’ve certainly given me many ideas to explore further.

          Sorry, our discussion led to such an uproar, but I guess it keeps us on our toes.

          I don’t believe the Catholic Church promotes predestination. Nor does the current Lutheran Church to my knowledge. I think that is an odious idea.

          The Catholic Church has changed on unbaptized babies going to hell I believe. I had heard they went to Limbo in the past. But, I think Jesus was speaking of a spiritual state of mind shared with Him when speaking of heaven. Pope Francis just claimed that atheists are saved too!

          Have a nice rest of the day and take care!

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          • Donna,
            THe Catholic Church never accepted all of Augustine’s ideas. But Luther and Calvin did. All 3 of them believed the majority were predestined to go to hell because of o.s. A small minority would be saved. Augustine was very clear about that. I suggest you read ADam Eve and the Serpent by Elaine Pagels who teaches at Princeton. She shows how radical and pacifistic the Church was for the first few centuries. Once they made a deal with Constantine they became conservative. After all their job was to defend the empire. Jesus really believed in the Kingdom of God on earth.

            This was an unsettling idea to the Roman Empire so Augustine’s eschatology was more useful for keeping the masses in line. (Read book subtitled THe Fear and Guilt Culture by Jean Dulemeau ) “Do what the Emperor says” became the substitute for the Kingdom of God on earth. I suggest you look at the theology section on the Christian radicals website: It’s a great radical Christian site. And it includes Cavanagh a radical CAtholic theologian. I think it’s weak on women. What book on the Church and women do you recommend? Is there one in particular? (I don’t have much time lately)
            Mainstream Christians today(Lutherans) no longer believe in predestination. THey believe I think that God’s offer of salvation is open to all. Only the evangelical fundamentals believe only those who accept Jesus is saved. Clark Pinnock is an evangelical who advocates
            more inclusive ideas–most Christian evangelicals trash him.

            The greatest theologians realized the task was salvation on earth. Human must create the conditions for the influx of divine grace. That has nothing with repeating the right formula
            I am accused of being anti-Christian but it’s my leftwing ideology that is under attack. To my critics Christianity means conservative politics.Ironically on the Left those who express theist views are regarded as retrograde.
            I don’t call myself a Christian usually
            but my beliefs ARE WITHIN the parameters of liberal Christian theology. Also I draw upon more biblical thinkers like neo-Anabaptist and Orthodox theologian. That is I believe Jesus was an Avatar, not the only son of god. However he was one of history greatest radicals. Many Christians can’t handle that.

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          • Hi Donna,
            The Catholic Church never accepted
            all of Augustine’s teaching. The authoritative scholar on this is J. Pelikan.I don’t remember all the details. I only read his volumes because I needed to for my books on the topic, 1998, 1999.
            I just want to emphasize that nowhere does Jesus make any statement about original sin.It was an invention of Augustine. His ideas about forgiveness, and God’s forgiveness, and welcoming of the prodigal son etc are completely inconsistent with the idea of original sin(yiu are guilty of sin you did not commit) or predestination. Jesus exemplified love and forgiveness. I regard all this stuff about the majority of humanity going to hell (Augustine) as antithetical to the message of Jesus. It is evangelical fundamentalists today who claim that anyone who does not accept Jesus as their personal savior is doomed to hell. Would a God of love send people to hell merely because they did not praise him as the greatest of the great? To me that sounds like a human being on an ego trip, not the Prince of peace who came to preach compassion and forgiveness.Of course the defenders of that view claim God’s ways are beyond our comprehension. That is not my experience of God. As you say the Catholic Church no longer holds these views either.
            One of the problems even for conservative Christians is that many people have not even heard of Jesus–so how can they be fairly condemned? Evangelical Cark Pinnock rejected what he considered narrow-minded views of salvation.
            Then the idea of eternal hell.Is that compatible with compassion of Jesus? There are a couple passages that IF interpreted literally, and IF they were not later insertions, are not consistent with the universalist thrust of Jesus teaching on salvation but I think the bulk of his teachings supports universalism–See THe Evangelical Universalist by Gregory Mac Donald, which also contains a large bibliography.
            At any rate my 1990 books were a critique of Freudianism in the name of a profound and universalist ideal of compassion which I found in Jesus and in the Christian philosophers and theologians I studied.
            If I thought the conservative view of Christian was the only one or the correct one, I would have completely ignored Christianity just as I did the faith of my grandparents.
            Thnks for your ideas.

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  12. You know what. WHEN a CHURCH has it in their doctrine, and when the pope preaches such bigotry (that homosexuals would they act upon their God Given ability to love each other are sinners, and they won’t go to heaven unless they are indoctrinated with the fears that “Catholics” who follow their “leaders” [the pope] try to convince people of)…..When a “Church” maintains such falsehoods (their stance on homosexuality being just one example); and uses the idea of “original sin” to maintain such hatred; along with a whole host of other totalitarian maneuvers it uses to try to control the lives of completely non violent innocent people who actually DO follow the non violent compassionate teachings of Jesus, there is no error in pointing this out.

    And yes, to tell people they were born with sin, and that they have to follow the teachings of said church in order to not be doomed to an eternity of suffering, this is the same kind means of totalitarian control that fascism uses. Same as the Reichstag incident or others in more recent history that are done to make people believe they are being attacked (will go to Hell otherwise) and thus have to do what they are told, wage a war against some supposed evil which it’s the Churches freedom to decide what, and there you have it…..

    I’m not even judging any of this. This is what you get (The Pope saying homosexuals are sinners, others so insecure that they turn to violent means to make themselves feel free of the ridiculous fear based control tactics they can’t shake themselves loose of, and instead echo what the whole system does with their fascism and totalitarian edicts) when you believe you need to use fear to control people THAT’S what happens (whether you’re on the good side or the bad side of what you believe is justice). What Jesus taught was that there’s something that transcends all of it. He never called evil, the people that “crucified” him, as if it was some means of population control, some means to terrify others that they needed to do what the then “Church” said was how to behave: he never said they were evil, he said that they didn’t know what they were doing. And he never was destroyed through their behavior, and he didn’t see himself as being crucified, he saw himself as being glorified. Instead of being a victim he was resurrected.

    You only have to see how contradictory the Bible the Roman Catholic Church (with it’s attempt at population control) put together as to be able to see that even it contains enough of the true teachings of Jesus that it becomes clear what wasn’t from him but inserted by the Roman Catholic Church. Jesus never said he brought a sword (just one example), he was non violent (and would never agree there ever was such a thing as a just war. Justice is that he was resurrected because he forgave his “attackers,” that he didn’t see himself as being attacked or destroyed; THAT’S what he maintains, and history shows.

    And fortunately, so often, those who call themselves “Catholic” don’t at all represent the true Catholics, who despite what the pop maintain about homosexuality or original sin, actually share Jesus teachings of love. You only have to look at what the Catholic Church did. They were trying to get Beatrix put into an asylum because she interacted with the lady at Lourdes who identified herself as the immaculate conception (a healing energy MANY have shared, that we are all born with the love of God in us rather than with sin, and acknowledging this love heals all things). And they had difficulty with a host of other saints, as well.

    The pope has never stood for what Jesus teachings represent. If he did, the crusades (and other wars and horrendous power struggles not only condoned by the Church but set in motion by it) would have been holy wars.

    Further more, if there is to be talk about insensitivity in posts. Trying to lovingly share with people that they should believe they were born with original sin, and some indoctrination of the church is necessary for them to not be doomed to eternal suffering; THAT is EXTREMELY insensitive to all the people (such as homosexuals) who have suffered extreme emotional abuse from such “love” of the “church” telling them there is something wrong with them.

    And there is absolutely no disrespect in pointing this out!

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    • You just posted a distorted version of what the Catholic Church, and other Protestant denominations which share its moral teaching, teach.

      Teaching that the practice of homosexuality is a sin is by no means more hateful than teaching that sex outside marriage is a sin or that having more than one wife (for men) or having more than one husband (for women) is also a sin as in “adultery”. In Catholic/Conservative Christian teaching, the sin of homosexuality is not emphasized more than the sin of “adultery” and both impact the expected public position of the faithful: opposition to both same sex marriage and polygamy. If you listened to the prop 8 SCOTUS hearing (I did), it was no other than Sonia Sotomayor that brought this issue to the discussion.

      We are all better served if we agree that Churches have a constitutional right to teach whatever morality they want without that teaching being labelled as “hateful”. Although “hateful” is a subjective notion, thus within the limits of the first amendment, it is no less true that “hate crimes” do exist in the US. While the teaching of the sin of homosexuality has not yet been recognized as violating “hate crime laws”, it would be a very slippery slope if it ever did. In that regard, I am very happy that our SCOTUS ruled the way it did on even if I consider it a lack of respect to the memory of the soldier that these people, whom you could also label as “preachers of hate”, picketed his funeral with his hateful signs.

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      • No it isn’t a misrepresentation of any doctrines would I point out how this hurts others, who are told they have a personal flaw (whether it’s original sin, their feelings of love for another or “schizophrenia”). I also didn’t bring the penal system into the discussion (which tries to control people using coercion, something I believe cause exactly what they are trying to prevent)…

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      • You only have to look at how people actually believe that because the United States hasn’t outlawed gay marriage everywhere within it’s borders, it has lost favor with God. And that this is the cause of fill-in-the-blank natural disasters. That ALSO is the same use of preaching (or fabricating) some danger in order try to control people. Part of totalitarian population control. Blame it on a minority (homosexuals or say schizophrenics, the ones Frances says need help and are conveniently the most vulnerable to not being able to prevent being forced to receive “help”) and there you can get the mob riled up and tell them more they’re too terrified to question….

        The homosexuals and the “mentally ill” along with the gypsies were also the first people Hitler went after….

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    • Nijinsky, I just disagree. I think what you’ve just written is extremely disrespectful, because millions don’t believe it to be true. When you characterize any religion falsely, as I believe you’ve done, and make false claims about it’s teachings, you disrespect that faith tradition.

      My original objection to some of what Seth/Donna were saying was it wasn’t very respectful of those with other beliefs (so-called fundamental Christians in this instance).

      I’m asking that the atmosphere at MIA be more tolerate of all religious faiths, including those with orthodox or fundamental beliefs and for those with no beliefs whatsoever.

      I ask you to re-read your comments to see if there’s a possibility that they could give offense. I’ve reported several of the comments made on this thread and await the results.

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        • Your charge of “defensiveness” is simply not true and I can only guess you say this as a tactic to try to keep me or anyone from stating a differing views? I asked for increased sensitiviy regarding making statements about others faith traditions. That’s not “defensive” nor is it “disrespectful”. If you take the time to re-read the comments made I think you may see that they very well could be offensive to those with differing views. By saying I’m “disruptive” when I ask for sensitivity begs the question on who is trying to suppress who here.

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          • This isn’t going to work that you call a differing opinion “highly disrespectful” and then try to repress it as if it shouldn’t be allowed on this blog, by reporting it and saying that because “millions” think a certain way one is insensitive would they point out the false logic that is observed.

            That IS disruptive. This blog isn’t about enforcing your views (or anyone else’s) by saying anyone who thinks differently (despite that you will have difficulty with it) is insensitive when they express it never-the-less…

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        • Religious freedom DOES NOT mean calling someone who has a difference of belief disrespectful. And if your beliefs, which you say millions follow (although many DO NOT follow the dictates of the church who are IN the church, and also have contrary views)… if your beliefs, which you say millions follow (and when contradicted are called disrespectful): if they are so true, they would speak for themselves and not need you calling anyone who simply contradicts them with logic disrespectful.

          Further more, this site is completely not about repressing statements that say that Christianity might be something different than how it’s defined by the Catholic Church, WHILE pointing out how contradictory the church is, and HAS BEEN. Nor is it about repressing clear analogies of how the Catholic Church with it’s original sin doctrines and their implimentation uses the same kind of population control tactics of some impending doom that needs attention, which fascism uses to gain control over them.

          Because you might not agree doesn’t make these statements or analogies disrespectful; nor does it make them suppressing of anyone else’s beliefs. YOUR attempt at suppression of contrary views is disrespectful and an attempt to suppress contrary beliefs.

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          • Your charge of “defensiveness” is simply not true and I can only guess you say this as a tactic to try to keep me or anyone from stating a differing views? I asked for increased sensitiviy regarding making statements about others faith traditions. That’s not “defensive” nor is it “disrespectful”. If you take the time to re-read the comments made I think you may see that they very well could be offensive to those with differing views. By saying I’m “disruptive” when I ask for sensitivity begs the question on who is trying to suppress who here.

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        • I notice that a remark of mind WAS removed. And was marked as personal attack. FURTHER MORE, I don’t have a copy of that remark and have no way of trying to decipher what you call a personal attack, as there was none in my remark, unless it was misinterpretted.

          What WAS in the remark was how the Catholic Church (which has been pointed out here abundantly as a historic occurrence) uses the doctrine of original sin (which Jesus didn’t believe in, and isn’t reconcilable with his teachings) to create an idea that people have a flaw, that they are in danger, and that they have to follow the dictates of the church in order to get into heaven or find salvation. That’s a basic tenet of totalitarian control which you find Hitler used with Reichstag incident: make people think they are being attacked. And when they believe they are in danger, you can gain control over them. And here you are trying to make people feel they have a valid reason to feel attacked, would I bring this out.


          You REALLY need to show you feel attacked. I think you need to look at what this can lead to.

          I’m glad to not blog here anymore…

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      • Neither does Pat Robertson but he thinks they are going to hell.

        The two of you claim the right to represent Christianity, but you don’t have that right. Donna speaks as much for Christianity as you do.

        I was explicating the Orthodox belief on original sin (they don’t accept it) and was called anti-Christian. I have been baptized and chrismated.

        Like Njinsky says you want us to cede to you the right to define Christianity. You are like the members of a Trotskyist sect who claims all the other Trotskyist sects have the wrong line and are thus not really Leninists. But I am relying upon theologians who are as learned as you. They just think your interpretation of Christianity is wrong. When Pat Robertson says 9-11 is God’s punishment for liberalism he is expressing a disputed concept of Christianity. And so are you.
        When David writes,”I asked for increased sensitiviy regarding making statements about others faith traditions” he has loaded the dice. He calls anyone who disagrees with HIS interpretation of Christianity an insensitive outsider. But what right does he have (or you) to define those who disagree with your interpretation of Xianity as outsiders who are prejudiced against Xianity?

        This is the way the Church historically dealt with so called “heretics.” It said they were really outsiders and a threat to the Church. Like Njinsky said if the two of you disagree then argue your own position. Instead you bait as outsiders who are attacking YOUR religion when both of us–Donna and I– feel an identification with Christianity. I’ve had 2 books published by Christian presses. To cast me as anti-Christian is a rhetorical ploy like Bill O’Reilly’s claim there is a war against Christmas.
        It is disingenuous. Readers who don’t read us would but tune into to David would never know I had b been writi9ng AS A Christian.

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  13. Back to the original story. That Robert Whitaker says that perhaps we need a whole new Paradigm in relating to mental health is certainly something that, given the evidence, needs more than a little bit of attention.

    And then the interviewer goes on about that there’s some evidence (which doesn’t exist) that they are treating real biological symptoms. And they aren’t even alleviating “symptoms.” I think statistically they have caused MORE symptoms. And their own premise of a chemical imbalance points how WHY there are more symptoms. As the cause is denied and denied, and denied….

    Humans grow when they are loved, and allowed to be themselves. NOT as those who are analysed as having “symptoms” when not fitting into a fear based norm; that shows how unrealistic and fear based it is when it treats people the way it does.

    And when Frances goes on about treating people with the “most severe illnesses,” that’s again fear mongering. Because it’s EXACTLY those people, who when NOT treated with psychiatric drugs who do MUCH BETTER in recovery.

    If something isn’t working, it’s again a typical maneuver to make out that there’s something critical going on that does needs attention, when they problem is being caused by those saying they need to treat it…..

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    • Nijinsky,

      I don’t like Dr. Healy’s views on ECT, but I enjoyed what he had to say in one of his recent posts about how psychiatric drugs cause 100 effects, and psychiatrists tend to focus on only one of them (not the 99 others).

      IMO, this is one of the reasons *why* the people who are not treated do so much better.

      Frances is grasping at straws – desperately trying to help psychiatry maintain its base – 5% of the population. He instinctively knows that the attempt to expand the market to beyond 25% will eventually lead to psychiatry’s collapse, so he’s trying to persuade his colleagues to be content with the 5% – namely, people diagnosed with “schizophrenia, bipolar, major depression.”

      The profession will collapse in spite of his efforts.


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        • What’s sad is that Frances wouldn’t see it’s fear mongering. For him, when something is “severe” when he’s talking about the worst cases; he doesn’t cognate that there’s a relationship between the treatments not working and what he sees. He just neeeEEEEEEEEEEeeds to see a need for treatment.

          So, it’s completely discrepant. The people that would be helped the most by NOT receiving the treatments he condones (those his cohorts say need “treatment” the most, and who would receive the “medications” that correlate the most with loss of life and disabilities and side effects and loss or recovery): these people who statistically do far better when NOT treated, are then those that according to him still need the treatments, because then there’s still a reason for these treatments. Those also happen to be the most vulnerable people, who have the least say about how they are treated, whose freedoms have been taken away from them the most, their life choices compromised, who are seen as non-compliant would they rebel at all. So, they are the easiest to force treatment on and have the results stay off the record.

          If he would see what’s actually going on, then the whole argument would clearly fall apart, having no base to stand on.

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    • You are so correct in what you have said here. Humans grow when we treat them as humans, and above all else simply love them and let them grow. No one deserves to be treated as psychiatrists treat people. If I treated my dog as psychiatry has treated me I would be charged with a criminal offence and locked in prison. But they do it with full legal backing and then have the nerve to call it “medical treatment”!!!!

      Psychiatry causes as you say 99.9% of the symptoms that people experience, and they sure as hell do not help anyone. The only people I know who claim otherwise are those who have been brainwashed to believe it, and unfortunately it is more and more people every day. They believe that they would get significanlty worse if it was not for those toxic substances they take. They also focus on the one percent of them that has improved, which is what psychiatrists have told them about. They become puppets being pulled on a string by whichever psychiatrists is treating them at the time, and of course each time they get put on a new drug it is going to have magical outcomes, which if they are lucky last for a few weeks, before they are back to where they were before, needing higher and higher dosages and more and more drugs, eventually adding in ECT, locked wards, etc, etc. How so many people can believe in it is beyond me. You do not diagnose a brain disease sitting four feet away from someone with a pen and paper, but that is how all of these conditions are diagnosed. Asking for a real biological test to be done to prove you have it, is taken as a sign that you are iller than they origionally thought!!

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  14. Duane,
    I do agree with you and I think many of us do want many of the same things when it comes to psychiatry, the care of others, etc.

    I’m also hoping that MIA can be a respectful place where differing views on faith can be respected. This site is NOT about religion but it comes up often both in blogs and in comments.

    Again, I’ve commented on what I thought were insenstive remarks and while I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, I feel I have the right to make my voice heard on this.

    Broad statement of “facts” about religious faith traditions is always going to be a tricky thing, I think it best to try to avoid them if possible. For example, Catholics belive this or Christians believe that are problemattic due to variations of traditions within those two broad religious faiths.

    I didn’t think my original request was too extreme. I’m a little surprised by the responses.

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        • Donna,

          That’s a question that would be best answered by the people in my life, particularly my wife, sons and closest friends.

          I fall short in many ways as a husband, dad, friend, but I would hope they would say, “yes.”

          I’ve been reading your many comments as well as Seth’s and David’s. It seems to me this has gone on long enough. I have nothing else to say.

          I hope this comment will serve to respond to all others below.


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          • Duane,

            I didn’t start this “debate” with you and David which was really an attack on mine and Seth’s views that I don’t believe the two of you have the moral, religious, scientific or other authority or mandate to inflict. Seth and I were debating certain issues and the two of you butted in in a dictatorial manner to try to silence us while both of you maintain the right to say anything you want about anything including religion, politics, etc.

            So, I agree that we don’t have much else to say and wish you and David had realized that in the first place when you hijacked a discussion between Seth and me about psychiatry’s history that is very relevant to this site.

            So much for your supposed fight for equal rights and defense of the Constitution. You sure had me fooled.

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    • David & Duane,

      Seth and I were having a conversation about PSYCHIATRY and I asked him about something I read by the famous R.D. Laing and Joanne Greenberg (recent topic of Dr. Steingard’s latest post) with regard to statements made on this and other posts about psychosis). Seth generously obliged and pointed out how religion influenced Freud’s views in inventing psychoanalysis and we went back and forth about these interrelated topics of psychiatry, religion and many other topics based on our research, experience and views.

      There have been posts about spirituality on this web site and I have argued that many doctors have said that people who have religious/spiritual beliefs tend to be healthier, so I am the last one who would put down religion or one’s spiritual beliefs. I see myself as still evolving with my spiritual beliefs and that is what should be the case as we pursue a spiritual path with the hope of growing, maturing and improving over time.

      I did not say anything about original sin since I haven’t read that much by Augustine or about the differences in the Orthodox Church, so I don’t think I am in a position to comment on that. It appears that Duane added some good insights on the idea of redemption, forgiveness, etc.

      Anyway, religion is intertwined with psychiatry and all areas of life. In this instance, in particular, religion was not off topic, but rather, an important part of the discussion due to its major impact on all areas of society and psychoanalysis in particular. And to pretend that religion has not been used to perpetrate much evil “in the name of God” would be naïve and dishonest.

      Since I have been a Catholic all of my life and studied quite a bit about the subject, I feel that I have a right to express my views and beliefs while others have a right to express theirs as we do every day in society at large. I doubt the two of you go after anyone in public who profess a different view than yours. And given Duane’s constant focus on constitutional rights, you seem to be forgetting the part about religious freedom.

      So, I think that jumping down somebody’s throat if they dare to express something that does not exactly match your views is not warranted or Christian.

      You may recall how Jesus summed up his whole mission, “Love your neighbor as yourself and love god with your whole heart and mind.” Jesus was not big on theology, but rather, stuck to simple basics as is Pope Francis, which I find a very welcome change.

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      • I’m all for religious freedom.

        I just don’t know that this is the forum to get into lengthy debates on the subject of theology, doctrine.

        I wanted to point out a specific reference to St. Augustine (something that has come up before) to Seth.

        I did my best not to “jump down someone’s throat.” I think if you read my comments on this thread, you will find them to be respectful.

        I apologize if I fell short.


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        • Duane,

          Again, in keeping with the Constitutional Rights you are constantly advocating, to maintain those rights, we often have to put up with ideas and conversations we ourselves are not too thrilled about. That’s certainly been true for me.

          For example, you and others have touted your conservative views here, advocated for gun rights and made other statements in keeping with those ideas. Though I may not agree with all of your conservative views, I do agree with you on free speech and other constitutional rights, so I defend your right to say these things.

          We have become a multicultural country or “melting pot” of many religions, so we have have had to learn to practice more tolerance for views of Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Protestants and Scientologists to maintain our free speech rights. The lack of such tolerance has led to the Crusades in the past and terrorism in the present both literal and metaphorical.

          People have expressed many views and beliefs here with which I disagree, but they have a right to them just as we all do.

          So, I don’t see how my expression of my personal beliefs has any bearing on your personal beliefs and our mutual right to express them.

          For example, you have had exchanges with Cannotsay about your conservative views and I don’t always agree with them. But, I wouldn’t think of getting involved in your exchanges and attacking or trying to silence the two of you. Others don’t like the idea of politics, global warming, liberal views, overweight, some drug reactions and other topics being discussed here. Yet, if every person’s personal dislikes had to be maintained, it may cause the end of all discussions and this web site.

          I think you and David think you have some God given mission to protect his image here and elsewhere, but such infighting actually sets a bad example for both fellow Christians and non-believers in my opinion. There was a recent post on spirituality with many diverse views expressed, but I didn’t see you and David attacking people there. Could some of this be based on past resentments?

          When you got involved in mine and Seth’s discussion, you cited your beliefs about Augustine as opposed to Seth’s and that’s fine because you have a right to express them just as Seth had a right to express his beliefs. I didn’t feel qualified enough to comment on that topic and have mixed feelings about it, so I didn’t comment on it.

          Finally, as I already said, for you and David to accuse Seth and me of being off topic when discussing certain religious ideas is totally false since it was very relevant to the topic of the Freudian analysis we were discussing. Seth pointed out that the concept of Augustine’s original sin and/or the religious paradigms at the time had a great influence on Freud’s dogma and related ideas.

          So, I don’t think it’s fair for you to say that we were engaged in a religious, theological debate when that was not the main topic of our discussion.

          Constitutional rights should apply to one and all and not just one specific class or group as you have maintained many times.

          Kierkegaard said, “When you label me, you negate me,” so I don’t like to paint myself into a limited box and define myself solely as a liberal, conservative, Catholic or other narrow definitions, but rather a human being. In fact, I prefer to be an Independent and eclectic since I like some conservative and some liberal views, so I don’t want a label to make decisions for me.

          I was pretty shocked to come back to this web site and find the negative comments from you and David. Again, this was a two way discussion between Seth and me about psychiatry, so people were welcome to join the discussion or not. I avoid some discussions due to lack of agreement, interest, etc.

          Anyway, I hope you and David realize we had no intent to insult, denigrate or harm anyone here and simply expressed our own views. Anything I said about Catholic thought has been backed up by Catholic/Papal writings.

          I think we agree on more things than we disagree on, Duane, so I hope we can keep that in mind.

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  15. Donna,
    I appreciate your comments. I disagree with them however.
    I too don’t want to get into a lengthy discussion on biblical interpretation but when the Bible was talking about the Sun moving around the Earth it was using phenomenological language. This has been understood from the beginning.

    I never made any of the claims of having the “sole” truth. You’ve made this up! You claim I’m “glib” regarding misogny? Where on earth do you get the right to make such false accusations? Wow. I guess I need to stop as this is NOT a productive discussion.

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  16. David,

    You are right. This is a no win when you twist my every word and deed and attack anyone who dares express religious views other than your own. Do you realize how much you are offending atheists and those with other beliefs here?

    I pointed out many harmful things done by the Church to women and you just blew it off as irrelevant it seemed to me because you were more concerned with defending your views rather than being concerned about the enormous harm to women due to the Church’s great dishonesty with regard to women that continues to the present. I guess I am disappointed after applauding you for sticking up for women when preyed on by bio-psychiatry.

    I’m not going to argue about what the Bible meant about the sun revolving around the earth. I simply cited the Church’s attack on Galileo because they felt his correct scientific views threatened their interpretation of the Bible at the time. Pope John Paul issued an apology for this and other offenses he felt the Church had committed. You talk about the “biblical interpretation….being understood from the beginning” as some ironclad truth as you attack others for supposedly doing the same thing.

    I think you are reading more into what I said than was intended.

    Anyway, let’s just agree we disagree and leave it at that.

    I bear you no ill will and hope we can continue a civil relationship in the future.

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      • I wouldn’t NOT call myself a Christian, but that’s not to the point here. I’ve actually learned from Jesus, and wouldn’t use him as an excuse that I’ve got the answers. That’s not fair to him, and it’s not what learning is.

        I’ve studied for years, and got unbelievable help from a book called A Course in Miracles. It’s in that book Jesus says he never said he came to bring a sword. The bible perhaps talks about that book when Jesus said that God would send a paramour after him…

        This is what A Course in Miracles says, and I believe that (T means text, since there are three parts to it Text, Workbook, and Teacher’s Guide)

        T-6.I.15. These are some of the examples of upside-down thinking in the New Testament, although its gospel is really only the message of love. 2 If the Apostles had not felt guilty, they never could have quoted me as saying, “I come not to bring peace but a sword.” 3 This is clearly the opposite of everything I taught. 4 Nor could they have described my reactions to Judas as they did, if they had really understood me. 5 I could not have said, “Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” unless I believed in betrayal. 6 The whole message of the crucifixion was simply that I did not. 7 The “punishment” I was said to have called forth upon Judas was a similar mistake. 8 Judas was my brother and a Son of God, as much a part of the Sonship as myself. 9 Was it likely that I would condemn him when I was ready to demonstrate that condemnation is impossible?

        Regardless of what the bible says, that book has helped me, and it has helped me understand Jesus, what he taught; teachings which are Universal to all religions actually. And that’s an understanding, something you become aware was always there, this isn’t from any indoctrination; it’s from experiencing miracles, from healing and from inspiration and creativity.
        There’s a oneness that transcends limitations. Many people who have had near death experiences talk about the same things; how when you die that separation falls away between people; that heaven is a state where there’s not even a need to forgive (and we always are in this space whether we now it or not; we are that space and carry it with us), that all the offenses we would judge (and observe and dwell on the illusion of time and space to validate as outside of ourselves), all these things become an understanding of what the other person went through, how he got that way, how it’s part of the whole experience of life that is the human condition we all are, and in the end they still remain pure love, as does everyone.
        And so A Course in Miracles says there’s no such thing as sin, it’s an illusion. It’s not something going on outside of yourself, it’s something you can let go of inside of yourself. When you search for defenses, you create the very thing you are trying to defend yourself from. It you need defense, you believe you can be attacked. And if you believe you can be attacked you create this yourself. THAT came first not the thing outside of yourself you perceive as the attack. The time and the space that this occurs in is an illusion. It wasn’t something outside of yourself, something you’re separate from that caused it. That’s an illusion you share, but you could have dissolved it into nothing giving up on defenses. And so, A Course in Miracles says that defenseless is your only true safety. I think that’s how my friend Jesus knew he would be resurrected, and didn’t see himself as a victim, and showed that death doesn’t really exist; then, those 2000 years ago, which I don’t mind seeing being over with; since he is my friend, and I would only wish a better longer life for him……

        And it’s from many unconventional sources I learned about Jesus life. I learned how the other disciples would make Judas feel terrible because he didn’t understand certain things, and do this even though they knew how it made him feel. And Jesus never did that, he was always gentle.

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      • Seth,
        That is my point, I, as well as others, have a differing view of Christianity than you. It’s not about having a “better” position as you suggest. Many believe that the Augustinian position is a correct and orthodox position as it’s consistent with scripture.This has been carried forward by Luther, Calvin, Edwards, et ct and can be found, most notably, in our current Protestant Reformed faith and among other denominations.

        I made an argument for not calling people “rednecks” who have a differing view than you on religion. You’ve yet to address that or apologize as far as I can tell. If you aren’t willing to even consider that your statement was, at minimum, insensitive how can we have an honest discussion?

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      • Seth,

        I think you know this, but I believe that the doctrines of original sin and predestination are two different things.

        Though many Christian Churches maintain the doctrine of original sin now, many tend to reject predestination. I was reading about predestination and there is lots of confusion about it as to whether one is talking about single or double predestination since they have very different meanings.

        Since I believe this doctrine of predestination is odious as do many others, I will let those interested in the topic investigate the difference of single and double predestination and whether proponents of each were staunch Augustinians or reformed ones.

        How far many came from Jesus’ summation of his whole “theology of heaven on earth:” “Love your neighbor as yourself….”

        Also, “Treat others as you would want to be treated.”

        I think the fights over theology from the Church’s inception was a good way of avoiding the tasks of Jesus’ simple but difficult demands. As You say, Jesus was too radical for his later followers who sold out to the Roman Empire and Constantine.

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        • Evidently the theologically conservative Protestant denominations that David cites like the main bodies (although not all—there arebreak-awayb organizations) still believe in both original sin and predestination.

          See the chart on salvation.
          The fact is I was raised in an atheist Jewish home. I knew little about Judaism or Christianity. I knew a lot about Freud. When I rejected psychoanalysis (which was the revised Freudian doctrines) I had the realization that it was based on a very misanthropic and pessimistic concept of human nature. It reminded me of the little I know about organizational Christianity, which I knew was nothing like the Gospels.My first essay criticizing Freudianism which had been my faith for at least 10 years compared it to original sin and predestination. In my essay I point out there are two aspects–see Pagels’ book also ADam Eve and the Serpent. One the soul was diseased by original sin and the disease was passed aong through the semen. Two, as a result of Adam’s sin which Augustine claimed we participated IN we were ALL guilty and all deserved to burn eternally in hell.(This was based on a mistranslation of Paul but it is the only place in NT that asserts o.s.)

          Both of these were affirmed by Augustine, Luther and Calvin.
          I became very interested in alternative Christian tradition. Inn my 1990 Christian bok I talk about Eastern Orthodoxy and neo-Anabaptism respectively. Neither were theologicaly liberal but they both has a noble and optimistic view of humanity–similar surprisingly to what I had studied in Hinduism>
          So for several years I was in these theologically conservative Churches. Their positions in some ways were liberal. Noit so much Orthodoxy but Anabaptism since Anabaptist theologians stronhgly opposed nationalism violence, and war. ohn Howard Yoder is one of the most important bibicaly based theologians of the 20th century, also one of the staunchest advocates of neo-pacifism–conscientious objection.
          My fascination with Christianity still is a dynamic in my studies. My current book has a chapter on American Christianity. Pre-bellum Christianity was forged in a revolt against Calvinism. Charles Finney emphasized free will and rejected predestination. Oddly enough it was Evangelical Christianity (in the North) that was evolving in a theologically liberal direction. Baptists and Methodist led abolitionist movement affirmed the perfectionism of the soul and rejected the impotence of the will. The great abolitionists were theologicaly liberal evangelicals. Theodore Parker the famous TRanscendentalist abolitionist was influenced by quasi-Unitarian William Ellery Channing and Emerson. They were all revolted by the doctrine of original sin. Man was created in the image of God–this was their credo. Salvation did not depend upon God alone. Such fatalism was not compatible with the Reformism of the period–the battle against slavery, against slaughter of American Indians, the incipient feminist movement–there was even a Christian commune free love movement, See The Spiritual Gift of Madness

          After the Civil War Evangelicalism reverted to misanthropic doctrines–premilennialism dispensationalism.

          So Donna it wasonly 9 years ago
          when I started researching this book that I discovered that for a brief period of time the Northern Evangelicals were the avant-garde of American Christianity. THey repudiated Calvinism, and affirmed the creeds I mentioned above. The leaders of the Reform movements were nurtured by their interpretation of Evangelicalism which revolted against Calvinism. William Lloyd Garrison was a Christian anarchist who strongly supported the movement for women’s equality.In fact his insistence that women had the right to speak out as anti-slavery opponents broke up the abolitionist movement–splintering it into n2 main factions.
          I argue in my book that it is impossible to separate their political radicalism from their “Liberal” Christian theology. Not only an emphasis on free will but on Humans ability to create the conditions for the realization of the Kingdom of God on earth.

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      • Seth,

        I pleaded ignorance not because I am unaware of the original sin concept taught by the Catholic and other churches as descending from Adam and Eve’s sin, but rather, the exact writings of Augustine and others used to create and promote this idea.

        I would question the idea that we are all equally GUILTY of original sin, but rather, that the idea says we are all corrupted, defiled, suffering a major loss as a result of the original sin. I suppose that could be compared to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome inflicted by an alcoholic mother, but I don’t see how the child could be accused of guilt. Yes, I know all the claims of how horrible, vile and sinful mankind is by Augustine et al, but the idea of blaming future people for others’ mistakes does not seem just at all.

        The same is true about the horrible concept of predestination not taught by the Catholic Church that David is promoting. I understood the concept, but it’s not something I’ve researched in depth in such works as Augustine, Calvin and Luther, its chief proponents at least not recently. so I preferred not to comment.

        I was reading an interesting article recently about a meeting between the Pope and members of a group of scientists the Church appointed to keep the Church up to date with scientific developments that might affect Church theology, which I think is pretty progressive.

        This was about evolution and the Pope admitted that evolution seems to be a valid theory though not yet totally . Some experts debated that if evolution is proven that would make it difficult to maintain the idea of single parents for the human race in Genesis, Adam and Eve and original sin.

        Also, if the claim is that original sin came from Adam only, was this based on sexism, ignorance about biology or refusal to acknowledge that both parents contributed to the child’s creation?

        I have been feeling I am in the midst of “critical discussions” of how many angels fit on a pinhead again and that’s why I try to avoid such debates or emphasis on my own spiritual path. I am more concerned about what Jesus said than his obvious detractors whether they realize they are detractors or not

        In some cases, per Pagels, I prefer to get BEYOND BELIEF.

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  17. Well David that point was at least cogent. Your first point was that I was anti-Christian.
    It clear I was wrong. You are evidently a fundamentalist–or so you imply–and you are not a “redneck.” So I was wrong. But it was not a position that was critical of Chrstianity. Such views were rejected by Eastern Church fathers like St Gregory of Nyssa Augustine’s contemporary and later by Orthodox Church. They were rejected by Radica Reformation and by all liberal Christian traditions.
    The term “redneck” is probably not a fair term. SO I will try to avoid it.
    I don’t think you are right though. I think Lutherans no longer believe that the majority of humanity are predestined to suffer eternally in hell. This was Augustine’s view expressed in City of God and other writings at the time. If you are claiming this is the official Lutheran view today I’d like to see a reference. I don’t know any Lutherans who hold this view. They have modified their views to keep up with more modern conceptions. Lutherans don’t believe unbaptized babies go to hell either. I’m not certain about Augustine’s position on that, but it was the common Luther position.
    These ideas are shocking to most modern educated people. The fact is that even most Lutherans and Calvinists have distanced themselves from the views in City of God.
    It is mostly fundamentalist Evangelicals who hold these views. Sf

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    • Seth,
      I do appreciate your acknowledgement of the “redneck” remark. I can tell you that it is very offensive to those it’s used to denote.

      I don’t want to quibble, but it bothers me that you continue to claim that I called you “anti-Christian” in my original comment. I’ve read my comment several times and I don’t get where I said that and I know that wasn’t my intent. I was asking you to be sensitive to Christians with differing views, not to imply you weren’t a Christian but to say that not all Christians agree on doctrine. I think that’s pretty clear in my statement and would love it if you could point to where I said that or said anything about your political views, your ethnicity, etc. Your original outburst was, I think you will agree, a bit much. I would like to get to the discussion piece, which is far more interesting.

      I know many Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterians that hold with the biblical view of radical corruption, which is a consequence of original sin and the fall.

      You asked for sites so I would direct you to the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. They have a fairly exhaustive history at:

      One of the more well-known Baptist preachers who hold to the biblical view (note, not Augustinian view as Augustine, in the reform faith tradition, was nearly interpreting scripture faithfully not “creating” new scripture)of original sin and the fall is John MacArthur at Grace to You:

      Another in the Presbyterian line would be the PCA or Presbyterian Church in America. There site with a listing of doctrinal beliefs and history can be found here:

      There are several reformed church organizations this is just one: And of course a myriad of independent churches.

      R.C. Sproul is an easy read and has a nice concise piece here: on original sin.

      Now, I listed these sites with their corresponding history and beliefs for your perusal but I’m not sure where that gets us?? I don’t think MIA is the place for doctrinal debates and, let’s be honest, you really think I could change your point of view or you could change mine? You’ve said you come from a more liberal Christian perspective, I come from a more conservative one. Don’t you think that’s fine for the sake of discussion on MIA? I’m not here to convert anyone, nor make claims on one view being “better” than another. I’m just asking for a bit more care when describing other faith traditions including those at MIA with no faith tradition. This has been my point from the beginning.

      Now, in addition to all that, the point you made about Freud, his avowed atheism and the notion that he replaced religion with Psychiatry. That’s absolutely correct in my view and a critical point. Many churches have been trying to take back the arena of counseling from the so-called professionals ever since. There was immense pressure for the church to let the “experts” handle things when problems of life, and yes, “sin” were re-cast as “mental illness.” Now brace yourself cause I know this is radical stuff, there is quite a lot of effort to return to what is called nouthetic or biblical counseling. Jay Adams is probably someone you know who’s spearheaded this movement with his book ‘Competent to Council’ back in 1970. A great website for more information can be found at:

      Now I imagine you won’t agree with a lot of what’s said, but I’m trying to raise awareness of alternatives out there that fit for many folks.
      Thanks again for your response.

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      • David
        OK You see when you say “faith tradition” i assumed it means CHristianity. And 2 months ago Duane, perhaps not knowing about my involvement with Christianity, accused me of being prejudiced against Xianity, so I may have missed your nuance.
        OK there are still theologically conservative Christians in various Protestant Churches. Sometimes they dominate as in Lutheranism and sometimes they don’t. I don’t know, in each case.
        From 1994–1999 I argued as an Orthodox Christian, and Orthodoxy is not theologically liberal(although I was in liberal wing) but it rejects original sin–St Gregory had more influence than Augustine.The image of God is not destroy y o I’d name some theologians, but my impression was you wd not know them. And although I used Christian argument my conclusion were 180 degrees from yours. Orthodox does not see man as preeminently a sinner but rather a priest of God.
        I’ve also been influenced by people like Yoder and those influenced BY him. Grieb, Richard Hayes, N T Wright etc I’m not sure which denomination they are in (Wright is Angican) and their trajectory. However they end up politically in my camp, not yours.\
        I don’t think o s is biblically derived. Neither did ST Gregory of Nyssa.
        No neither of us could convert the other. The word liberal is protean. Because Hauerwas, Yoder, Orthodox would share my more positive view of human nature as well as my political opposition to US war and nationalism. Also they would tend toward universalism. Of course I’m also just as influenced by a Christian neo-gnostic like Carl Jung. And by Hindus.
        Adams is a staunch Calvinist. He was friendy. THe Bobgans would not even do a critical review of either of my Christian books/. in fact the fact that I was Eastern Orthodox meant they had to avoid all contact with me. But one thing I liked about Bobgans they resisted effort to turn Christian counseling into a business with credentialing Board.
        The fact is David you are unlikely to find many people interested here in the people you mention.In the first place even I have had a hard time getting people interested in more progressive Christianity. There is some interest in Orthodoxy. But I expected to get some Orthodox theologian to open alternative asylum.
        But the people you praise are too dour to have appeal to people here. I’d be shocked if it happens.
        I’d be pleased to see alternative–but only if they refrained from pushing drugs.

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    • Seth,

      You are right. I attended a woman’s bible study at a mainstream Lutheran Church quite a while back and they do not believe in predestination. And as you say, most modern churches do not believe in that.

      What many forget is that Luther was a Catholic priest who was rightly trying to get the Church at the time to clean up its corruption. He had a horrible guilt complex too as did Augustine and maybe even Paul. There have been many corrupt evangelical and other churches in modern times too. The Catholic Church’s refusal to clean up its act ended up with the Protestant Reformation not so much because Luther was so great, but rather, the Church had antagonized many powerful people eager to diminish its power and usurp much of the huge wealth the Church had acquired due to their abuse of power and corrupt “selling of indulgences.” Henry VIII was one of those with such less than noble motives in terms of his outlawed divorce and hijacking the wealth of the Catholic Church.

      But, David fails to see that the Bible he takes as the word of God along with other Church fathers and theology originally came from the Catholic Church whether he wants to admit it or not.

      You asked me which feminist authors I would recommend. I think I have a little better memory than you in that we discussed this on another post about spirituality. I read a ton of such books long ago and have incorporated much of it by now and moved on. As I said before, I was very influenced by Mary Daly and think her best books on the patriarchy were GYN/ECOLOGY, THE CHURCH AND THE SECOND SEX and BEYOND GOD THE FATHER. I was also influenced by books like SEXISM AND GOD-TALK you said you read, IN MEMORY OF HER, reading the Church Fathers, the BIBLE, critiques of the Bible and theology from a human/feminist stand point, etc. I’m not sure how I’d react if I read them now. I had also said I’ve read many books by Elaine Pagels like BEYOND BELIEF and THE GNOSTIC GOSPELS and have found her fascinating. I read ADAM AND EVE AND THE SERPENT long ago and would like to review it based on what you’ve said.

      I’ve recently become fascinated with books by Gary Wills including WHAT JESUS MEANT, WHAT PAUL MEANT, WHAT THE GOSPELS MEANT and others. Though he identifies himself as a Catholic, he has been and remains very critical of the Church, the priesthood, sexism and other failings of the Church to live up to Jesus’ true message. He has an amazing background in theology and language that allows him to interpret the Bible more closely to its original meaning and intent that I find very enlightening and amazing.

      I feel that you misinterpret or read things into many things I say. For example, I have said many times that psychiatry became an instrument of the robber barons like Rockefeller and others in the power elite to push the corporate cronies’ evil eugenics theories so they could pretend their superior genes justify their robbery, exploitation, enslavement and other crimes against the rest of us. I even said this in the post you are claiming I unfairly single out psychiatry. I’ve referred to the book and web site POLITICAL PONEROLOGY and similar works showing how entire countries and the world at large can be corrupted by psychopaths or evil people. So, though psychiatry did lots of the dirty work of infiltrating every social institution to corrupt and destroy them and society at large, I have no illusions about the overall corruption of the power elite in every institution including the military industrial complex Eisenhower warned about. What makes psychiatry so despicable is that with its bogus stigmatizing/degradatio process, brain damaging torture and human rights violations without due process in the guise of medicine and bogus “mental health,” all it does is massive, horrific harm without even a semblance of doing any good as with mainstream medicine also corrupted. Also, it covers up the fact that they don’t acknowledge ANY social, relationship, environmental stressors by definition, making it the most fraudulent, evil abuse of power ever unleashed on humanity to blame the victims of massive human rights violations by the power elite these psychiatric SS thugs grovel to and serve. The fact they prey on and destroy children shows their total lack of humanity and psychopathy/malignant narcissism. And I am sure they know that most of their victims are unaware that they are being conned into a web of deceit when trying to get help for abusive relationships, work and school bullying, etc. only to be scapegoated, blamed and destroyed since psychiatry always colludes with the more powerful to destroy its latest deceived victims.

      I subscribe to the AlterNet web site, so I get tons of articles about those like Chomsky and others outside of the mainstream. I must say I was disgusted to learn that Chomsky threw the so called “mentally ill” under the bus in his supposed big fight for human rights, which caused me to throw him under the bus as a big hypocrite. Feel free to “correct” me on seeing his image of a great human/earth rights defender as a sham when he aids and abets the mental death profession. Whether due to evil or cluelessness, the nasty results are the same in my opinion.

      You said you disagreed with me about Milgram’s interpretation of the results of his questionable experiments. That may be so, but having read the book long ago, I do recall he found that those able to resist the bullies in white coats or fake authority figures had suffered in some way themselves allowing them to have more empathy and unwillingness to do the same to others if I recall correctly. So, he did focus on both the sheep and the non-sheep in terms of obedience and resistance. It does prove that whether one caves or resists is still up to each individual and the “I was only following orders” excuse didn’t wash at the Nuremburg Trials or other evil behaviors put on trial.

      Your interpretation sounds much like that of Alice Miller, author of FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, THE DRAMA OF THE GIFTED CHILD and many other works. She, too, rejected Freud and psychoanalysis for this reason. She writes that the Germans behaved the way they did because of the harsh discipline of their childhoods including those like Hitler. I agree with some of what Miller writes, but I totally disagree that an abusive childhood justifies or predicts anyone becoming an evil person or abuser themselves. In fact, the opposite is true in my opinion and many others. Those who have suffered in some way and are able to transform that suffering into growth, increased empathy and compassion are less inclined to want to subject others to the type of suffering they endured. On the other hand, if those who suffer become full of hatred, rage and revenge as did Hitler, they can delude themselves and justify preying on others to inflict as much and more pain than they suffered. Many great people had horrible childhoods like Churchill, Dickens, Beethoven, Mozart, Lincoln, etc.

      I believe good and evil has to do with the choices people make and one’s ongoing choices can lead one down the path to good or evil on a gradual and even unconscious level. In a way, this is similar to my question about deterioration with so called psychosis. Though people can probably always choose to turn themselves around from psychosis or evil, it seems that increasing entropy can become more and more difficult to escape, change or turn around much like bad habits and addictions can be hard to change.

      Finally, I appreciated your important insight that though all of us were sharing our views of Christianity including those who hijacked our discussion of Freud and psychiatry, the hijackers justified their actions by pretending their views of Christianity are the correct ones and we are heretics, outsiders, non-Christians due to seeming disagreement or rather, resistance to tyranny. Very astute on your part.

      Anyway, I appreciated your intelligent defense of our equal right to have and express our own Christian and other views especially when unlike our attackers, we weren’t trying to force our views on anyone else. Further, as I said, I see my views and spiritual path as evolving and growing and believe that when that stops, I am dead for all practical purposes.

      I probably haven’t addressed everything you said, but I’ve tried to address some major points.

      Have a nice night and take care.

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      • “…unlike our attackers, we weren’t trying to force our views on anyone else.”


        You have so *much* thoughtful insight — and great questions — to offer MIA readers, via your comments — especially, as you have done a lot of great reading, on these subjects.

        I finding myself nodding in agreement with *many* passages, in your comments (and, in Seth’s comments, too).

        From this point of view, I find it a shame that you repeatedly claim you’ve been attacked by various commenters.

        I’ve read through this entire thread a couple of times, and I don’t see anyone attacking you — nor either attempting to force any view on anyone; nowhere do I see anything happening, except people offering differing views and (at some points) offering small concessions.

        Please, consider the possibility that the well-expressed passion of your convictions has the ability to incite a lot of *great* conversation, in various instances; and, yet, to call the responses you receive “attacking” may, in fact, do little more or less than turn off readers who are interested in learning from you and from others.

        Here, in this thread, a few commenters (including I, myself) have suggested that you (and Seth) might reconsider certain judgements you’ve both offered. (I have not offered Seth such feedback in this thread, but I have done so previously.) No one is demanding you (or Seth) do anything differently.

        Really, no one is making any demands.

        On the contrary, there is a lot of civil discussion — including disagreement, wherein all who have thus far commented have, indeed, one common interest — that is in fighting the ills that are *caused* by psychiatry. Let’s bear in mind that it makes little or no sense whatsoever for any of us to take offense at the end of the day — identifying each other as villains.

        Truly, despite any differences we may have between us, all of us should be able to see eye to eye, given our common cause, of *rejecting* those in the so-called “mental health system” who really do force themselves and their ‘professional’ views (and “treatments”) upon others…

        I send you — and all the others who’ve likewise posted comments on this page — my heartfelt best wishes, peace and blessings…



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        • Jonah,

          You didn’t respond to my last post to you where I tried to make sense of our debate.

          You did not see the problem that I pointed out in that we were totally miscommunicating because you were combining two issues is what appeared to be one criticism of my posts. As I said in the last post, if you had made yourself more clear in the beginning, the misunderstanding might not have occurred. But, according to you I was to blame for the whole misunderstanding due to my seeming stubbornness.

          Your criticism was really a two pronged one in that you were criticizing my opinion of Frances’ corrupt actions AND my literal misquoting him with a synonym of what he actually said. So, I wasn’t getting your point and you weren’t getting mine. We simply were not understanding each other.

          It may have been better if you posted a separate email and/or replied to me focusing on one topic at a time.

          For example,

          Donna, You misquoted Frances……………

          Here is what you said Frances said……….

          Here is what Frances actually said………..

          And perhaps even add the appropriate paragraph.

          No arguing with that. Either the quote is right or it’s wrong. End of story.

          As you can see, when I got what you were saying I admitted I had not exactly quoted Frances and posted what he actually said as an admission of that. So, I wasn’t advocating misquoting and agreed with you.

          The problem was we were also arguing about our different opinion of Frances’ ethics and actions and you did admit you were not familiar with many of the things I brought up by the end. I has told you I didn’t recall him supporting ECT, so you enlightened me on that.

          Anyway, it was you who left in a huff after making some less than flattering comments about me, which I did not do to you. So, I felt it was only fair that I express my views whether you wished to consider them or not after your many criticisms of me.

          So, I think that given that we had a disagreement with both of us right and wrong in some ways, I wonder if you can be totally impartial now in your criticism of me alone rather than those who started this debacle. Also, I question a bunch of males teaming up against one woman when much of the discussion was about sexist views and actions.

          I don’t think surrounding your criticisms with lots of flattery makes the criticisms any easier to tolerate. It certainly does not make them more clear. More like the dagger in the velvet glove. Perhaps it might be better if you were more direct.

          Thank you for your input.

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          • Donna,

            From what you say now, I realize: you are reading *way* too much into my expressions — and into my non-expressions.

            You take my non-responses way too personally.

            Please understand: Very often, I don’t respond to people on this site.

            Very often, I don’t respond to people who are purely kind to me. Many times, it’s because I want others to have the last word — and because I feel they have offered the best of all possible responses.

            I feel I have said enough already.

            And, they have left me with much to ponder.

            I’m learning from them (and, that means, yes, I’m learning from you).

            Usually, I prefer not to comment at all.

            So, while I do appreciate the ability to dialogue a bit, I don’t like to think of my commenting here as being in any way ‘mandatory’ or ‘obligatory’; it shouldn’t be long, enduring and endlessly back-and-forth, I feel — as it can all-too-easily become burdensome, especially, in the course of waiting out responses, like in some endless game of chess.

            To me, there is no need to respond, in most instances.

            After all, I am *not* trying to make points.

            I am just trying to learn why people believe what they believe — why they do what they do – with respect to matters of psychiatry.

            Really, I am grateful to read people’s views, as I am here mainly to satisfy my curiosities; occasionally, I feel compelled to add my two cents; but, largely, I avoid doing so, as I’m not here to debate anyone.

            Though I’ve wound up in debates, I’ve usually wished it wouldn’t happen — because I see how essentially fixed people are in their views.

            Yes, we are (many or most of us) evolving consciously — but, at a relatively slow rate, I figure.

            I.e., never have I felt a desire to argue with anyone here, such that I might change his/her mind; and, only once do I recall offering a final “goodbye” — because these are on-going conversations; the ‘good-byes’ and ‘good-nights’ seldom make any sense, from that point of view…

            I just like to comment occasionally — and go; it’s simply my way to say what I feel needs saying — and leave it at that.

            It’s catharsis — even as I’m respectful.

            But, frankly, I quickly tire terribly of being on the Web; so, I take breaks from the Internet — often; I don’t go off, in huff; I simply go, period; and, when I come back, sometimes I check ‘old’ threads, where I’ve commented; quite often, I don’t check them — because I like to move on…

            You seem to think I am in a “huff” quite a lot???

            Honestly, I don’t feel that’s ever been true, at all.

            You suggest I have an “anger problem” ???

            Where do you get that???

            You say that perhaps I want to “hurt, control and punish” ???

            Where in the world does your view of me come from, I wonder?

            (You say there was something about Healy and ECT and me going off in a Huff??? I don’t have any idea what you are talking about…)

            You explain, at last, that, “Sometimes people tend to project their own thoughts and behaviors on others.”

            Yes, indeed. I think you are definitely right, on that last point — wow — most certainly. Can you consider it possible that you’re doing that, with me???

            You should please (hopefully) realize, I very sincerely meant what I said, to end my last comment.

            (Recall, I said, “I send you — and all the others who’ve likewise posted comments on this page — my heartfelt best wishes, peace and blessings…”)

            Donna, I sincerely meant that — as all I was feeling was love as I posted it; and, too, I sincerely meant all the compliments I offered you.

            Sadly, it seems, you focus entirely on my few criticisms (really, though you say that I have criticized you a lot, I have done so only very, very minimally, I think); and, you do not accept my compliments.

            Now, I see: you take my compliments (which you refer to as “flattery”) as, “the dagger in the velvet glove.”


            Apparently, you feel I am a real bad guy, eh?

            What can I say, then, to you, which makes any sense?

            I honestly don’t know…



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          • P.S. — Donna, in my last comment, above (on June 4, 2013 at 6:04 am), I inadvertently misquoted you, by switching that word, “anger” for your word, “temper,” sorry.

            I.e., I had offered my befuddled sense concerning your suggestion that perhaps I have an “temper problem,” by saying you had suggested that perhaps I have a “anger problem”.

            (I’m not sure if there’s a difference, in meaning, between those two words; but, as you know, I feel it’s important to quote people as accurately as possible, so I do regret that slip-up — and do apologize.)

            Still, I have no idea how you’ve come to all that; for, I’ve never been angry with you (not in the least).

            Again, I come back now to concluding: you’ve simply made way too much of what, at times, amount to a certain relative *lack* of responsiveness, on my part, in comments, on this site.

            Frankly, there was a time, in the past, when most people did not respond to each other’s comment; and, I thought most people still don’t…

            Maybe I’m wrong about that; but, I do my best to avoid clinging to conversations, on the Web…

            From this point of view, I hope you can simply accept that I’m not necessarily going to respond to your responding comment/s.

            Really, if I don’t, it has not a thing to do with temper (quite honestly).

            And, I urge you, if you find I’m not responding, don’t take that personally.

            Again, I send you my best wishes, peace and blessings…

            Respectfully, J.

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      • Donna

        Luther was not a Catholic “priest.” He was specifically an Augustinian monk. Luther and Calvin were much worse
        than most Catholics as far as their misanthropic ideology.I agree with you about the Reformation. Remember they made their alliances with the States. My comrades, the Anabaptists (Radical Reformation) were persecuted by them.

        Let me repeat my point about my repudiation of Freudianism as “clinical practice.” (Most people under 40 think Psychiatry has always been bio-psychiatric) “THe revelation I had made was not about Calvin. IT was that Freud has the same misanthropic anthropology as the superstitious misanthropes he claimed to have surpassed.”

        I started reading Chomsky when I was 16.I read his first book on US foreign policy and I realized it was all about making money for corporations. No one consistently deconstructs motives for US foreign policy like Noam. You realize writing books on politics–must be about 60 at least–is his avocation. His vocation is a linguist. I asked him
        Yrs ago if I could use his name as Advisors to organization against coercive psychiatry. He said he did not know enough about it to sign. So what? Isn’t it good enough that he knows about 90& of everything and that he has spoken up against justice over and over. There are enough other people. He does not have to be God. I never read anything by him in support of coercive psychiatry.It much worse to read Peter Breggin defending US war in Iraq and complaining about taxes.

        I did not ask about feminists authorS –I don’t have the time. I asked if their was one critical person who wrote about those issues that you liked. Pagels work is critica although I have noit read her memoir yet.
        You write “you are claiming I unfairly single out psychiatry..” No it’s that you are unfairly letting others off the hook. I find the same thing in every institution. The organizing principle in modern society is the same everywhere. I call it cannibalism. It is the opposite of an awareness of uynity of our interconnectedness. One group enriches themselves by destroying others.( I focus on psychiatry only because I can claim some authority.) It’s gotten worse. The only goal is money. The Prison Industrial Compex has been compared to modern slavery. The MIC creates wars everywhere–the need wars to sell their weapons.The idea that the purpose of WOT is to end terrorism is not credible. Subconsciously at least they must want to perpetuate terrorism as dropping bombs on innocent non-combattants repeatedly and locking up innocent people forvever (Gitmo) CREATES terrorist. Everywhere it’s iteration of the same principle.I saw the same thing in the 90s when I tried to help parents who hd their kids taken by child welfare. (There was always a shrink to legitimize it.) It does not good to become fixated on the sociopaths.It is one salient aspect.. But that is one effect. The metaphysical cause is Ignorance–the lack of awareness of unity. It’s the others, the Ignorant, who must be won over. If we can save the earth from ecological destruction Because the owners care only about MORE MORE MORe. Wisdom is realization of unity.

        Wht you say about Millgram doesn’t contradict what I said.I don’t disagree.But we need a mass movement–we need the sheeple. OK but we have a young man now who has taken great risks bto stand up for the principles
        that were formulated and enacted and Nuremberg? Do you know who I mean. Jonah probably does. I only read today that Nuremberg demanded he do what President Obama is persecuting him for, under the 1917 Espionage Act. The government wants to pout him in prison for the rest of his life. He leaked the documents after he viewed a tape of IS pilots shooting down civilians in Iraq. And shooting again when their comrades tried to retrieve the bodies. Under Nuremberg he had duty to report these war crimes. Bradley Manning.
        But his act is admirable but it’s not the basis for a viable strategy. I wish there were more protest like in the 6os

        I repeated what I remembered, and it contradicted what you said LASt time. In fact I’m surprised it did not influence you more. It’s the power of those who wear the mantle of SCience. It’s science as ideology. But the subjects did not enjoy inflicting pain. They experienced great stress and discomfort. Yet they did it anyway. It’s up to us to come up with a strategy to win them over. We don’t much time. I have already argued for my approach–the invocation of messianic possibilities. But so far I have not convinced anyone, except the few who already agree,

        I agree with you on Alice Miller. I hve been able to reaed too much. Too much of that Freudian deterministic doom and glooom attitude.
        I better go back to my writings.
        Thanks for your ideas and eloquent and passionate arguments.
        Being accused if being anti-Christian. It was done 2 months ago. So this time I wasn’t going to be put in that bag again. I reacted impetuously, threw the kitchen sink. Even accused by critics of anti-Semitism(!), to put them on the defensive. It’s like Bill O’Reilly, “You are carrying out a war on Christmas.” But it wasEster when Jesus rose from the dead.
        Best, Seth

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        • Seth,

          You love telling me I’m wrong and correcting me, don’t you?

          Actually, Luther was a German monk, a professor AND A CATHOLIC PRIEST. See below.

          I’m not going to argue about the other things you keep saying I’m doing that I explained I wasn’t doing like singling out psychiatry. Please reread my posts instead, so I don’t have to keep repeating myself.

          I’m saying this with somewhat of a laugh as well as some frustration.

          Okay, if you insist on one feminist book, I suggest GYN/ECOLOGY by Mary Daly as somewhat of a shocker and radical book as well as a real wakeup call about the abuse of women globally. But, I read it quite a while back, so I’m not sure how it would hold up now. I used to own all these books by tons, but had to get rid of lots of them for needed space and to move on. You can check it out on Amazon and get it really cheap or check out of the library. Let me know if you get it and read it. I tend to be a book addict because one of my Master’s Degrees is in a research area. I’ve had a lot of work experience in that area too.

          And if you get around to it, I recommend Gary Wills’ WHAT JESUS MEANT, a pretty quick, simple, inspiring spiritual read. You’ve certainly given me lots and lots of reading suggestions.

          Take care,


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          • No I wasn’t “correcting” you, Donna. And why should I “love” correcting you and teling you are “wrong”? Those are minor things. Do you think I’m so insecure that I should have to do that? I was adding information that I thought wd interest you.
            I thought our views are pretty much the same.

            . I was pointing out the irony that Luther was not just a Catholic (I did not know he was a priest) but that he was an Augustinian monk. You see? So although he left the Church Augustine’s influence was strong.
            I know he was an Augustinian monk because I read it many times.

            A lot of people on this site single out psychiatry. This is understandable because they have been personally victims. I also focus on psychiatry but epistemologically
            the bigger picture is Psychiatry is one manifestation one fractal iteration–to use a phrase.
            Actually I expected that you would agree with me after I explained.
            AS I pointed out you yourself weeks ago pointed out the significance of Zimbardo Milligram etc
            I wasn’t criticizing you for reading a lot either, (or recommending several books). Why would I do that. That is impressive
            It’s just that I have my own project that must be finished soon.\
            Are you feeling OK?
            I look over later as you request.
            I have to run.
            [email protected]
            PS My own worldview is very influence by SRi Aurobindo. Who is similar to Christian philosopher, Sophiologist, Vladimir Solovyov who died in late 19th century

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  18. I also think it’s way too contradictory to what Jesus taught, to believe he advocated original sin. That’s an indoctrination, an attempt at population control used by a fear based society, and exactly what Jesus was showing was an illusion – that it didn’t govern who he was. He wasn’t some evil person to be put to death as an example that everyone should obey the authorities. He wasn’t there to follow those who dictated who would go to heaven and who wouldn’t; and how they were supposed to behave; and be controlled; and buy into fear; and find fault with anyone that didn’t follow the same guidelines.

    To say that it’s insensitive to ANYONE’S religious beliefs to state these simple facts, is exactly what the drug companies in their need to make profits and the corruption in psychiatry does. THE SAME! When someone exposes the simple lies about the reasons a person needs to be a consumer for the drugs that are promoted and forced on people; that’s exactly the same reaction you get from the drug companies. That you are getting in the way of other people’s healing. That questioning their model of what mental illness is means that people don’t get the help they need, rather than there’s a discussion based on open information, logic – and then of course they would use exactly the same terms: that someone is “extremely disrespectful” when clear information is brought out about what’s going on in psychiatry, and that this isn’t healing but using people as objects to be controlled by others. Simple exploitation. When anyone’s supposed belief is so sacrosanct that when it’s simply refuted, this is seen as an insensitivity to others who would need to defend their beliefs – the discussion isn’t about freedom of religion anyone, it’s about suppressing other people’s ideas and about taking away their freedoms to express themselves.

    That’s also what the conversation was about before whoever it was felt they needed to come in and start promoting the same kind of labels you read in the DSMs. So and so is disrespectful to other people’s beliefs. So and so isn’t showing proper social behavior, consequently. There’s something wrong with so and so etc. They shouldn’t be allowed to express themselves here. There’s hardly a difference between that and telling somebody they have a personality disorder, and should be on medications to suppress these thoughts. And I’m sure there are many people (and it would seem a majority) that have suffered emotional abuse from EXACTLY such behavior. Whether it’s the formal body of a Church, Psychiatry or what have you. People that were treated this way any time they attempted to say what they really thought, or what they had come to know, or what they had seen; and then be called disrespectful, and then be harangued in humiliating mind control attempts using fear, intimidation, peer pressure using social privilege, ostracization etc. It’s those people that Jesus teachings show there never was anything wrong with them. And there never will be. And never is….

    And Jesus, what he taught, actually heals the people that even the anti-psychiatry people would say have been permanently damaged by the drugs. There’s still healing possible there. And that changes the system beyond using fear or an idea of injustice to control anyone. He goes that far into seeing that the limitations we are supposed to believe in (or be seen as crazy) aren’t there (the sins, the injustices, the loss, the unrepairable damage). To control yourself or another with fear only creates an illusion that something is done while you’re investing in the same energy (fear, condemnation, judgment, coercion) that causes what you’re using it for to try to change what it causes instead So, you’re actually adding more of what you don’t want rather than alleviating it, and not seeing this (which eventually will become obvious). I certainly don’t believe he advocated original sin. I think he saw that a fear based society tries to maintain limitations that don’t really exist, but that’s a whole different matter than people are born with sin. That’s a fear based society, not the miracles that each child is, emerging from heaven full of joy wanting to show us there’s a different way.

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  19. Friends,

    This is a whole lot of interesting but also very off-topic conversation on this news post. I want to encourage you all to please use the forums section, which has seen some more activity lately, that you all could contribute to further. You could start at thread about Christianity there and discuss this topic in as much depth as you like.

    These very long off-topic posts make the comments impregnable to anybody but the participants. Look back at the thread here. Pages and pages of comments by only five or six people, out of the one thousand or so who have viewed this article.

    As for all the comments that were reported, I will say this: We remove comments that constitute personal attacks and other forms of incivility explicitly stated in the guidelines. We do not censor because somebody finds an idea or an interpretation offensive or incorrect. We have dialogue about it.

    I’m glad to see that Seth and David and others could come to some greater mutual understanding here. I do believe that empathy, listening, and acknowledging the needs and concerns of others are some of the best tools for effective dialogue and creating change.

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  20. Matthew,I did not want to have a discussion about religious freedom. I had to defend myself here from Duane’s insistent allegation I am anti-Catholic. There is no point in doing it elsewhere. Duane got away with this 2 months ago. But this time Donna was a Catholic and she expressed her agreement with me and Njinsky. My disagreement has nothing to do with Catholicism–it has to do with Duane’s right-wing views, on the fringe of the church. Instead of fairly arguing with people he accuses them of anti-Catholicism. Thus above he refers readers to remark he made in another MIA discussion slandering me previously as anti-Catholic.
    He is continually depicting himself and David as martyrs who are victims of anti-Catholic bigotry–from me, Njinsky and Donna. He even depicts the CAtholic Church as a victim of persecution by us three! “I thought the Catholic Church took quite a beating, but I’m not so concerned about that.” A beating here-from us??? Did you even hear anything so ludicrous? And then he goes on to imply the Church has been persecuted.”It’s been through a lot these past 2,000 years. ” Father Berrigan would not agree. There have been many victims over the yrs. In the 20th century I’d say the Jews, African Americans, the Armenians, the Palestinians, the Vietnamese, the Iraqis. But the Roman Catholic Church? . Seth Farber, Ph.D.

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    • The only appearances of the phrase “anti-catholic” on the page — twelve of them — were written by you. It appears you have a personal problem with Duane. This is not the venue for that. If you see a post that constitutes a personal attack, the proper course of action is report it or send me a note, and I will remove it — perhaps I missed the reference you are referring to. It does not serve our readers to draw out perceived slights in post after post as some people have done on this thread.

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  21. Seth,
    I’ve appreciated the opportunity Bob Whitaker has given me to blog and anticipate at MIA. I want to respect Matthew’s direction to us and have an avenue to continue our discussions if you’re interested. My alternative email is [email protected] and I’m willing to continue our discussion outside MIA. I value your perspective, it’s different than mine, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from each other.


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