A marvelous article on Truthout shows how a paper on the genetics of academic achievement – which found that only 2% of academic achievement could be attributed to genetics – focused in its headline, conclusion, and press release on the 2% contribution of genetics rather than the 98% contribution of environment.
I’m delighted you posted this crucial article that exposes the corruption in government/corporate sponsored “science” with its typical eugenics and other blaming the victims agenda to escape from any and all responsibility themselves.
I have been trying to post this important article everywhere I could, so I thank you for posting it in your more general and accessible “Around the web News.”
The information in this article is mind boggling to say the least while exposing that MIA’s Dr. Jay Joseph has been right all along in his great posts and books, The Gene Illusion and The Missing Gene. Dr. Joseph has been astute enough to expose that this bogus eugenics or individual faulty brains pseudoscience has been pursued to justify a right wing agenda that mainly serves the needs and greed of the 1% power elite at the increasing horrific expense of the all too equally intelligent and deserving 99% as have many others in this great article you posted here.
Thanks for linking the article in a previous comment.
Kermit, thanks for posting.
A reasonable article on behavioral genetics,
I thought this bit was interesting:
‘However, to return to the main point, for common physical and mental health conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, autism and schizophrenia, the situation has proven very different. The epidemiological and genetic evidence suggests that genetic risk is at most a minor contributing component. For behavioral and economic traits the lack of positive genetic data is even more apparent.’
Here I was, thinking people were labeled ‘schizophrenic’ on the basis of their behavior.
It’s strange that the author thinks ‘big tobacco’ invented behavioral genetics. Even a cursory look at the history of psychiatry shows that behavioral genetics was around a long time before it became fashionable to blame corporations for people’s decision to smoke. But I think it’s a precondition to write for Truthout that some anti-enterprise message gets put in there somewhere. And of course some kind of pro censorship petition appears on the same page, ‘Protect Kids: Help Stop Smoking in Movies’…
Also this science journalist critiquing other science journalists, doesn’t give me the impression that he knows the real difference between breast cancer and complex human behavior.
Jay Joseph is the essential person to read on this matter, his books are amazing.
I totally agree with you that Dr. Jay Joseph is fantastic and the author of this article about the gross misuse of genetic information cites Dr. Joseph and pretty much presents the same type of information that Dr. Joseph has written in his great articles and books.
It could be the author was saying that biopsychiatry has been falsely claiming that certain things were genetic like schizophrenia, bipolar and certain breast cancers, but then goes on to present the actual evidence. He lists all of the bogus DSM disorders like ADHD, bipolar and schizophrenia among others as having no genetic evidence whatever despite tons of time and billions spent to find such genes. He also shows that though there is a breast cancer gene, it only accounts for about 10% of the cases.
Tobacco companies hook kids when they are very young and want to look grown up and cool. Often, kids who are vulnerable, abused, bullied or have other problems or challenges are all the more vulnerable to this lethal addiction. So, you are being pretty harsh when you say the article is blaming tobacco companies for “people’s decision to smoke.”
With all due respect, I think your response was a knee jerk reaction due to your own hot buttons about such issues that isn’t truly relevant to this article. I have my own many hot buttons like the bipolar fad fraud, so I am in no way condemning or judging you, but rather, just disagreeing with you about the interpretation of this article I think is excellent in exposing that such genetic studies are all about ideology to push a nefarious agenda when the evidence does not match that agenda at all.
“Here I was, thinking people were labeled ‘schizophrenic’ on the basis of their behavior.”
They’ve got it all covered; Physical Symptoms, Feelings/Emotions, Mood, Changes in Behavior associated with schizophrenia, Cognitive Problems Associated with Schizophrenia, Delusions, Hallucinations
No mention of a gene, unlike THIS condition (which my granddaughter was born with)
For anyone born with CdLS, it is unmistakable that they have the condition. I qualify for a ton of “schizophrenic” “symptoms”, or whatever, – characteristics! – but I don’t look schizophrenic. Unless my diastema is proof and evidence of something, I dunno. I just think it means I’m the human manifestation of Bugs Bunny (which could be a schizophrenic thing to say, no?). lol
Taming Suspect Gene Reverses Schizophrenia-like Abnormalities in Mice
““The deficits reversed when we normalized Neuregulin 1 expression in animals that had been symptomatic, suggesting that damage which occurred during development is recoverable in adulthood,””
Damage? What damage? How? Are you saying schizophrenia is brain damage?
“Schizophrenia is thought to stem from early damage to the developing fetal brain, traceable to a complex mix of genetic and environmental causes. ”
Environmental causes. Like what? Electric lights? Perfume? Cigarette smoke? Exhaust fumes? Processed foods? Disco? Pluto, Mars, Neptune and Jupiter?
I still think there’s something about the brain FLUID that holds some answers.
Explain the screeching feedback sound I got from putting my head next to a radio, during a radiation / cosmological event. I certainly didn’t imagine it.
Which element, too much or too little? Chemical imbalance, huh?
Can so-called schizophrenia be MALNUTRITION, deficiency or excess? What if my birth mother was eating too much red meat?
Can somebody have a neurological condition like Non-24 Hour circadian rhythm AND schizophrenia?
While Big Tobacco did not invent behavioral genetics, it seems to me that they did an excellent job of using public media to shift the focus away from their product and toward the individual who used it, using behavioral genetics as a foil, a tactic which is almost universally employed in the marketing of “mental health” drugs today. For example, there is now talk that PTSD is a biological problem, because not everyone reacts that way to a traumatic event, implying that the PROPER way to respond to a traumatic event is to NOT have flashbacks and intrusive memories, etc., and that those who do react that way are personally deficient in some way. This takes the focus completely off of the traumatic event and its progenitor, letting rapists, domestic abuse perpetrators and child abusers off the hook. A page right out of Big Tobacco’s playbook.
I do agree with the author that the tobacco industry honed this tactic to a fine point during my childhood years, though they were eventually busted by the overwhelming bulk of the evidence. My hope is that this will eventually happen to the psychiatric drug industry as well. Of course, it does make a difference that nobody was ever forcibly hospitalizing people and insisting that they smoke, or injecting them with nicotine as a means of “helping”…
Jay Joseph is amazing and very research-focused, which this particular author fails at. But I still think his point is well taken.
As usual, I agree with most of what you say here. You have shown that the mental death profession in bed with Big Pharma/Corporations/Government always put their victims in no win situations.
In other words, once the latest victims catch on to the latest lies of biopsychiatry like fraudulently stigmatizing abuse, war, rape and other related trauma as bipolar, borderline or some other bogus victim blaming stigma, the demonic duo of Big Pharma and their KOL’s come up with the new lies that you describe that the victims are also to blame for their unique PTSD symptoms because normal people wouldn’t react like the victim. For them to even pretend or claim they can honestly assess all the stress or trauma in the lives of many people and compare it all exactly and then decide who and what is normal is just biopsychiatry’s typical psychopathic garbage lies and victim blaming junk science with no real evidence possible for their bogus claims. This is just a way to deny any justice/benefits to victims of war, rape, bullying, domestic violence and other traumatic events while hypocritically and evilly profiting from the victims they invalidate and destroy at the same time. Monstrous!
I agree with you about the tobacco industry, but remember that doctors used to recommend certain brands of cigarettes as more healthy than others in ads. They also prescribed alcohol for various ailments too. So, it did take some doing to overcome our collective brainwashing when it was a big deal that the Surgeon General finally came out against smoking.
Since you said you felt the author of this article fails at being research-focused and I did not get that impression at all, I went back to reread it to make sure I wasn’t being too prejudiced in my praise for this article.
I must say that I disagree with you on that in that I believe the author of this article more than backs up everything he says with many quotations and citations throughout the article and its end to make the following crucial, horrifying points:
“The consequences of this dynamic are that individual scientists have negligible power within the system; but more importantly it opens a route by which powerful political or commercial forces can surreptitiously set the science agenda from above.
In the case of medical genetics that power has been used to deform our understanding of human nature itself. Thus public money has bought not scientific ‘progress’ but the domination of intellectual enquiry by an entirely malevolent project, conceived fully outside of science. This project was intended only to ensure political paralysis and the consolidation of economic power and whatever agenda scientists thought they were following was entirely incidental. What we observe is in fact a full-blown enlightenment malfunction.
Nevertheless, despite the almost daily PR barrage of genetic determinist headlines, our fate is not written in our DNA and the state of public understanding can in principle be reversed. The hopeful truth is that there are compelling reasons to remove subsidies for junk food, pesticides from the food and water, toxins from the workplace, and social and economic injustices from society, and that when we do, things will improve.”
I have known this for a long time about the mental death profession in particular since anyone who has done any research like most at MIA knows that the constant lies that DSM stigmas like bipolar, schizophrenia and ADHD especially are genetic are used to push biopsychiatry’s bogus pro-drugging/poisoning agenda in bed with Big Pharma while scapegoating, stigmatizing and vilifying the victims, so the general public won’t object just as was true when the Nazi psychiatrists gassed to death those they stigmatized as “mentally ill” before and after Hitler came to power.
I believe the author gives much research evidence for the points he is trying to make with both this author and Dr. Jay Joseph coming to the same conclusions.
Another article about psychiatry’s predation on hurting children in the foster care system used as Big Pharma cash cows for caretakers.
Anonymous, I feel frustrated by your reinterpretation of this and other articles/evidence to push your own apparent agenda that every individual is totally and completely responsible for whatever happens to them and/or their every minute action and there can never be any mitigating factors when considering that person’s liability, circumstances, unique personal, social, family, health or other factors/stressors, etc.
I am not exactly sure I understand your goal here except I get the idea that you don’t think anyone should ever use any excuse for bad or illegal behavior. If that is true, I agree with you and Dr. Thomas Szasz that those committing heinous crimes including rape and murder should not get off on an insanity defense or any other abuse or other excuse.
On the other hand, people on this web site have argued back and forth with you that if they took drugs like SSRI antidepressants and did not know they could cause mania, suicide, violence and other dangerous effects at the time they were prescribed, if they committed a crime under the influence of these drugs, they would not be as culpable as somebody getting drunk and driving since the effects of the latter actions are well known and illegal while the former was not known at the time.
Anyway, it appears you are mistaking the tobacco company’s pretense of studying genetics as a marketing device to protect themselves from any liability for use of their lethal products as it became increasingly evident that smoking caused cancer and other diseases. As with the bogus genetics research in this article to justify government/capitalist cronyism and with its blaming the victim agenda, neither the tobacco industry nor Big Pharma wanted to actually create or present honest research or truth about genetic influences, but rather, cover them up as this article shows so clearly.
The tobacco industry sought to find a lung cancer gene that would blame the smoking victims for any cancer they got whether from smoking or not. As the author of this article shows, by planting such doubt, this helped preserve the tobacco industry.
Thus, our government, Big Pharma and other corporations are using such bogus eugenics to similarly blame any and all victims of poor schools, poor health care, poverty, racism, sexism, exploitation and other oppression on their supposed faulty genes rather than their toxic unjust environments.
And yet, you are saying that this article is just looking for scapegoats to blame like those poor tobacco companies that continue to hook children.
Anonymous, having been a victim of the tobacco industry in my youth when the ugly facts were less known, I can only say to you, please give me a break with your one size fits all approach to any and all information that exposes the fraud of the latest eugenics agenda by those in power to blame their victims never mind claiming the victims are doing the blaming.
Perhaps some day you can explain why such seemingly blaming anything or anybody by an individual appears to be so upsetting to you? Were you accused of blaming or of trying to escape responsibility when maybe just trying to explain your unique traumatic situation? Forgive me if it seems I am stepping out of bounds. But, I am frustrated by your twisting of this excellent article to make it appear to be saying something different than what is says in my opinion.
Expect to remain frustrated with me and get increasingly frustrated with me then, because Anonymous ain’t about to agree with you that you were a ‘victim of the tobacco industry’. Did the tobacco industry force you to smoke? no.
I don’t accept that SSRI’s ’cause’ these complex behaviors you point to, this was all gone over last year. We disagree that it’s an ‘excellent article’. We’ll have to agree to disagree I’m afraid.
I think minors who are enticed to smoke with ads of alluring people having fun and appearing cool/grown up are definitely victims of the tobacco industry. A large part of the article we are discussing has to do with Big Tobacco covering up the deadly effects of their product while trying to come up with bogus science to prove that lung cancer caused by smoking could be blamed on another “missing gene” for lung cancer as Dr. Jay Joseph exposes for other similar claims by biopsychiatry. Also, while Big Tobacco was lying that their products weren’t addictive, they were doing all in their power to make them much more addictive for which they were fined greatly along with other punishments once all their lies and damages were exposed.
But, of course, as I got older and learned more about the deadly effects and consequences of smoking, it was my responsibility to go through the hell of quitting smoking, which I did. Knowing what I know now, I would like to see children and young teens protected from Big Tobacco predation as with Big Pharma’s life destroying stigmas and forced drugging. Obviously, the huge cost of cigarettes should deter children and teens somewhat.
I don’t think it is black and white that SSRI’s always cause certain behaviors, but they have and do cause them for some people, so the issue here is informed consent and awareness to avoid harm and not necessarily blaming anyone.
I regret you don’t care for the article because I think it gives survivors much more ammunition to validate our reality that biopschiatry’s never ending eugenics agenda is not about science at all, but rather an ideology to blame the victims of corporate/government predation, injustice, abuse, oppression, exploitation, forced committment, drugging, etc.
Anyway, Anonymous, it is your perfect right to have your own opinions and beliefs just as I do with mine. I will concede that we can agree that we disagree rather than agreeing to the disagreement.
Finally, Anonyomous, like others, I think many of your comments are very brilliant and insightful, so I was just hoping to understand why you seem to have such a trigger or hot button about this “blaming issue” if I understand correctly. I’ve had this problem with abusive people falsely accusing me of blaming them for certain problems when I objected to their abuse. Neat trick since with psychiatry hijacking addiction to make it a multibillion dollar industry, they were always very quick and happy to blame the victims for their self medicating as with their other trauma or stress symptoms. Then, if the victims tried to make abusers or any other perps accountable, they would be blamed for blaming the perps!! Crazy and crazy making, of course. I finally came to see that I was putting the responsibility for the abuse on the abuser right where it belonged while I was and am always more than willing (too willing) to take responsibility for what I was/am responsible for.
Anyway, since you are such a brilliant person writing such great, insightful posts, I guess I would like to understand where you are coming from better when you seem to be very sensitive about you or others appearing to blame anybody or anything for any crises or problems. I think it depends on each unique circumstance, but the truth is that in the end it doesn’t matter who is to blame, but rather that whoever got hurt or harmed has to take the responsibility for healing and recovery even if somebody else is to blame or responsible for your suffering. The person harmed alone must do the work of healing, regardless of who is to blame.
So, I hope you see that this is an issue I and many others have struggled with, so because you are so intelligent, I guess I just wanted to get a better idea of where you were/are coming from on this issue since it does seem to upset you greatly as it has others.
Thanks for your response. I didn’t/don’t mean to upset you, but rather, I’d like to understand you better on this issue if possible. But, I understand if you prefer not to discuss it.
“Also, while Big Tobacco was lying that their products weren’t addictive”
Some people like to smoke, their culture tells them that they are ‘powerless’ to stop. I don’t believe in ‘addiction’, in the modern sense of ‘it’ ‘being’ ‘something that happens to you’. I believe bad habits and temperance and mastery over one’s intake of risky things is a problem as old as civilization itself. I think the 1998 master settlement against tobacco firms is one of the singularly most disgusting flights from personal responsibility in modern human history. I have no respect for anybody who sues a tobacco company, or a fast food company, or a casino, or a soda company.
I believe tobacco has a right to exist, as do all drugs, and that people should be able to sell it and smoke and eat it and chew it and grow it. The tobacco companies used scientists and doctors, professionals that have always been available for a price, to fight those who wanted to shut them down, it was a response that any industry would engage in and shouldn’t be surprising.
In regards to your tobacco, you said in your ‘youth’. Then you said ‘minors’. I think it is a parent’s responsibility to guide their child to make the choices the parents want them to make. I don’t endorse minors smoking.
Life is full of risky vested interests vying for the human being’s loyalty and attention. People can claim they were victims of being indoctrinated into their parent’s religion, their parent’s smoking habit, or eating habit, their parent’s nationalism and military worship, or endless lists of things.
I don’t really understand what the primary question you’re asking of me is. Why am I for personal responsibility ultimately when it comes down to things where nobody was holding a gun to the person’s head?
I think the survey on ‘Truthout’ calling for the censorship of movies, the banning of depicting smoking in art, says it all. If people, parents, whoever, doesn’t take responsibility, then we wind up with no freedom.
There are a number of things we disagree on, and very important things we do agree on Donna.
I’m not upset.
“I don’t think it is black and white that SSRI’s always cause certain behaviors, but they have and do cause them for some people”
My position is that the molecules in a psychoactive drug do not ’cause’ complex behaviors in human beings, any human being, living or dead. They can only be contributing factors inhibiting or dis-inhibiting human potentiality to execute complex behaviors, among amazing amounts of other contributing factors.
I also don’t believe in ‘sociopaths and psychopaths’, and you appear to. I don’t believe the invention of labels to slap on ‘bad people’, constitutes the discovery that ‘bad people’ are ‘pathological’. Like I said, we all have our disagreements.
Anyone who is anti forced drugging has an ally in me. We will always disagree on some things, and that’s fine.
I have supported your brilliance on other issues.
I am more with Donna on these questions.
I thought the above article was overall very good and important for us to promote in our movement and in all human rights struggles.
The tobacco industry represents only one entity benefiting and promoting genetic determinism. Back in the 60’s the book, THE NAKED APE by Conrad Lorenz, was one of many promoted as an attack against the powerful movement against the Vietnam war, the Black Liberation struggle, Women’s Liberation Movement, and anti-capitalist sentiments.
The Socio-biologists (the forerunners of Biological Psychiatry) of the time promoted the view that war, imperialism, and all forms of social inequality were just a product of the true genetic nature of the human species. They would cite all the examples of violence and so-called inequality in the animal world and project that onto all forms of human social organization.
So any 60’s activism against injustice, in all its forms, represented just a bunch of hopeless dreamers going against the natural order of things dictated by the consequence of human genetics. Not too different from today’s more modern version.
Any exposure of these “genetic theories of original sin” and the political and economic agenda behind them is a good thing and should be supported.
You said “I think the 1998 master settlement against tobacco firms is one of the singularly most disgusting flights from personal responsibility in modern human history. I have no respect for anybody who sues a tobacco company, or a fast food company, or a casino, or a soda company.”
I have no problem with this settlement. Any righteous exposure and attacks against the tobacco industry are a good thing. My problem with the settlement is the fact that the state governments fraudulently took the money that was suppose to be used only for smoking cessation programs and used it to deal with their own system’s financial crisis.
Why should any entity, individual, or corporation be allowed to make a substance known to kill people, then market it as something worth using, while hiding its lethal nature.
If their was a legitimate government agency such as the FDA (we know it is now thoroughly corrupt and illegitimate) that determined that a medical procedure, drug, or medical device was causing far more harm than good,then it would be in the best interests of society to ban its use.
“Freedom of choice” does not really exist when an entire socio/political/economic system controls the major institutions disseminating information and knowledge, and uses that power to promote an agenda of self interest diametrically opposed to the best interests of the majority of society.
Should we place the same amount of responsibility and blame on an economically disadvantaged mother who makes the Sophe’s choice like decision that allows her child to take psychiatric drugs in exchange for disability benefits as we would the institutions representing Biological Psychiatry that uses power, corruption, and lies to convince people that the drugs are absolutely necessary?
Absolutely not!! There is not an equal exchange of information, power, and control in the so-called “market place of ideas” and choice in today’s world. Huge sections of the population are born into conditions that place them at a serious disadvantage to make informed decisions. What about the “extreme states of psychological distress” that we talk about so often at MIA.? These have a connection to poverty and a lack of power and control in our society.
And finally on the question of whether or not certain drugs are responsible for violence or other behaviors. Of course, by themselves they do not dictate a specific behavior but they can be a factor in pushing people over a certain threshold that otherwise may not have been crossed without them. For example, there are certain medical prescribed drugs linked to compulsive gambling behavior. These behaviors would not exist if someone did not live near or have access to gambling entities or perhaps have been exposed to a prior gambling experience.
Psych drugs can play a role or be some type of catalyst in pushing people beyond certain thresholds of tolerance to stress, and combined with other past exposures to violent behavior and a multitude of other social influences become a significant factor to be evaluated in these cases of suicide and outbursts of violence.
Thanks Richard. I’m no sociobiology fan, no genetic determinist, no believer that biology explains society, but I’m also no socialist. We are just going to have to respectfully disagree on a lot of points. I’m not into banning, I’m not into government, and I’m not into using the state to create anybody’s dream of anything. I want the state to stop doing a lot of things, anyone who wants me to come along in their desire to have the state start doing something, won’t find me coming along, that’s just the way it’s going to be with me.
This great article above shows that the great book, Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry, is just as relevant now as when it was published per the following enlightening, amusing review:
Thanks for clarifying about your position being more about freedom and responsibility than anything else. And the way you put it, I find myself agreeing with you on many of the things you say.
Yes, I got hooked on smoking by about the age of 14 due to older siblings and its “cool” image back then, but times were very different then regarding what was known or admitted about smoking. The tobacco companies ran into problems eventually because of all their lies and misleading ads just like Big Pharma. It was mostly governments suing the tobacco industry to reduce the huge impact of all the disease caused by smoking that they had to absorb. Perhaps you are younger and may not realize that there was a time not too long ago when the verdict was still out as to whether smoking caused the many diseases it does in fact cause! Just like the lies and fraud science promoted by Big Pharma, Big tobacco used the same dirty tactics.
Anyway, I understand better what you are saying in terms of putting up with certain things we might not like such as others’ free speech or habits that may be offensive to us, but we tolerate it because we want to maintain our own free speech and that of everyone else. The problem with smoking is we now know that second hand smoke is harmful to others, so in fairness to the health of others, it should be limited in my opinion. I didn’t recall the part you mentioned about limiting smoking in pictures and though I don’t think it’s crucial, I’d prefer not to see smoking in movie previews or the movies themselves since I’ve come to hate smoking so much and how kids can get so easily hooked into it without realizing it. Did you ever smoke? You might not understand unless you have experienced this nightmare.
In one way I agree with you about the possibility of certain drugs causing people to act out. It seems to me that a good analogy of that is a man who becomes abusive when he drinks and then blames the alcohol. Abuse experts don’t buy it in that they say this guy has two problems: he has a problem with alcohol abuse and he is an abuser. Of course, he uses the alcohol abuse to excuse his abuse or blame it on the alcohol, but that’s not true. I find it unlikely that somebody would act totally out of character just based on some drug, but I have to say that I don’t have the expertise or background/history to make that judgment for all cases with drugs like SSRI’s, but I agree with your idea of being generally responsible for one’s actions. It’s interesting that most school/public shooters were males since males tend to be more physically violent than women while women seem more apt to self destruct. So, as you say, a drug might cause a person to be more disinhibited or less, but it’s hard to believe somebody could act totally out of character. But, according to Dr. Peter Breggin, this has been the case with some people doing really ridiculous things when under the influence of certain psych drugs. Dr. Breggin calls this drug effect spellbinding. Again, I don’t have the expertise to judge.
Sometimes people do have harmful addictions that they can’t quit due to lack of adequate information, a very stressful or toxic life style and other factors including bad timing, so I think we need to cut others some slack since we haven’t walked in their shoes. They may just need more time to get out of their own matrix or labyrinth.
Actually, I am more inclined to see all people including me on a “spectrum” of good and evil and we all fall somewhere along the continuum with what Jung called our shadow. Since I come from a Christian background, I am more inclined to prefer the former words, but many non-religious people use such terms as narcissists and sociopaths/psychopaths with the same lists of traits as those in the Bible for self centered, evil, manipulative, very dishonest people with lots of superficial charm or phony charisma. So, I’m flexible on that. I am sad to say that I have been hoodwinked by some very evil people who fit the description of psychopaths, so I must say I am sadder, wiser and less the trusting fool I used to be. Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing…. Again, the idea is to recognize, avoid and escape harm from would be human instraspecies predators. I don’t like slapping labels on anyone either, but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and acts like a duck………..My acknowledging to myself I’d better watch out for somebody who may be unsafe for me is far different than having psychiatry slap a label on somebody. In my case, I’m using prior experience to assess my own safety with a talk between my own two ears and not stigmatizing somebody for life.
So, yes, Anonymous, since we are two unique individuals, we are likely to agree and disagree on various things, which I think makes life far more exciting and interesting. Like others, I think you have recently made many brilliant comments as usual that give me a different way of looking at things. So, I’m glad you’re here. Perhaps your anger about limitations on freedom comes at least partly from your anger about biopsychiatry curtailing and abusing others’ freedom with forced drugging and commitment? If that’s the case, we are in full agreement there for sure. I am dead set against biopsychiatry’s bogus stigmas and toxic drugging in the guise of help not to mention having them forced on anyone.
So, though you might find that we still don’t see eye to eye on every detail, I think we have lots in common where it counts the most: being anti-stigma, anti-forced drugging/commitment 100%.
Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
“It was mostly governments suing the tobacco industry to reduce the huge impact of all the disease caused by smoking that they had to absorb. Perhaps you are younger and may not realize that there was a time not too long ago when the verdict was still out as to whether smoking caused the many diseases it does in fact cause! ”
You see, I don’t see that so called ‘secondhand smoke’ is any more dangerous than fireplace smoke, and the secondhand smoke debate is marked by some of the most egregious pseudoscience from both sides, the prohibitionists are just as likely to lie as the sellers of products people want. Both if these kinds of smoke can be dangerous over long term chronic exposure, but both are easy to avoid. I think the fact that you believe ‘the government had to absorb’ the costs of disease associated with private individuals choosing to smoke, captures our difference of opinion on the role of government. You see ‘had to’, I see chose to.
The ‘verdict’ on smoking, depends on whether you are a person that hangs out for the ‘official’ word from big government, surgeon general etc. Hitler knew that smoking was bad as early as the 1930s. Any habit that begins invariably with violent coughing upon your first try of it, the breathing of burning combustible materials, if you think even for a second its a ‘health food’, and wait for government scientists to decide, then you’ll be let down.
You see where others see some future perfectibility of the FDA, government, and are ‘disappointed’ when the latest candidate doesn’t live up to his promises, or disappointed when this money or that doesn’t go where it was ‘supposed’ to go, I am amazed anyone still has any faith in government at all, I don’t, I expect incompetence, that way I’ll never be disappointed again.
You said above “I’m no sociobiology fan, no genetic determinist, no believer that biology explains society, but I’m also no socialist… I’m not into banning, I’m not into government, and I’m not into using the state to create anybody’s dream of anything. I want the state to stop doing a lot of things, anyone who wants me to come along in their desire to have the state start doing something, won’t find me coming along, that’s just the way it’s going to be with me.”
How far do you want to take this argument? You do not have to be a “socialist” to have more ethical and moral consistency in the power of some of your strong positions.
You have articulated the most powerful condemnation of forced drugging on the internet. I believe you have almost convinced Sandra Steingard; you have just a little more work to do with her.
Question: Is there really a huge moral or political difference between someone who is physically forced to have psychiatric drugs placed in their body or a person who is subjected to 16 hours a day of intense psychological pressure from so-called medical experts, media propaganda and other forms of cultural coercion, family members, and perhaps peer influences insisting that these drugs are necessary all ending in some type of medication compliance?
You know those so-called Mafia type “offers you cannot refuse.”
If the same result occurs whereby these drugs end up in that person’s body assaulting their brain’s capacity to function in the world, and rendering them more pliable to be controlled, is this not also a form of slavery? Perhaps more similar to that referenced by Bob Marley as “mental chains of slavery.”
When the American Civil War ended slavery and southern Blacks found themselves mired in a sharecropping system, and the southern aristocracy ultimately received concessions having the northern army removed allowing the KKK (an organized terrorist arm of the plantation owners) to run amok keeping Blacks in their place and essentially denying basic freedoms, such as voting and freedom of movement etc., was this not just a new form of slavery?
Yes, you could say the Blacks were no longer owned and in theory could move to another state, but it does not change the essence of an entirely new form of human oppression.
Today, some people say that an individual business should have the right to serve who they want; if they don’t want to serve Black people then that is their choice. Does government have the right to tell them who they can serve? Anonymous, how far do you want to take your argument about government intervention?
What about Xanax, Peter Breggin exposed the fact that the pharmaceutical giant, Upjohn, promoted Xanax as non addictive, and deliberately withheld the last 4 weeks of studies from the FDA (during the approval process) that showed that people’s anxiety symptoms became worse after 4 weeks of continuous use. Should they not be punished financially and otherwise for the human carnage their lies and deception created? Or do we just want to say that people all have “equal choices” to decide to take the drugs or not; that moral responsibility is shared. Do you really believe this?
Anonymous, through accident of birth and a set of your own unique experiences that exposed you to advanced forms of education (and of course, also the school of hard knocks) which allowed you to acquire a highly developed and creative ability to use human logic and language, I am quite sure you could resist the 16 hours of indoctrination that I mentioned above. I am sure you would refuse the psychiatric drugs and be better off for it.
Unfortunately for most people in society there is not a level playing field. We live in a class based society where many people are denied the tools and/or the conditions for emotional stability to make truly informed decisions.
If you believe that human beings are capable of creating safer and more humane ways of meeting the needs of those people experiencing extreme states of psychological stress or other altered states (such as Open Dialogue or Soteria like programs), then you must believe that human beings have the capacity to use some type of logic and morality to create more advance forms of human organization. Why can’t this ultimately include more democratic and humane forms of governing. It’s not just that we can do this, but that we MUST do this or our species will not survive.
Are human beings genetically programed to oppress other human being; you know the famous quote “power corrupts absolutely?” Are the people who do wonderful work creating all the new forms of support for people labeled “mentally ill”, including many who write for MIA, are they all just some form of human genetic mutation; some weird minority running counter to the true selfish nature of the human genome?
If we don’t ultimately get involved somehow and someway in figuring out how human beings can better organize society, including some forms of government, then other people will gladly do it for us. And we all know how that is working out for us.
How far do you want to take this? Anonymous, you can do better; we all can do better; we have to.
Once again, “Anonymous, you can do better, we all can do better, we have to.”
“Question: Is there really a huge moral or political difference between someone who is physically forced to have psychiatric drugs placed in their body or a person who is subjected to 16 hours a day of intense psychological pressure from so-called medical experts, media propaganda and other forms of cultural coercion, family members, and perhaps peer influences insisting that these drugs are necessary all ending in some type of medication compliance?”
I think so. It’s the difference between being raised in a given religion and a forced state sanctioned conversion to a given religion. Being raised into some harmful cult, is a tragic thing, life destroying, but not ‘political’, compared to a state sanctioned forced conversion.
“then you must believe that human beings have the capacity to use some type of logic and morality to create more advance forms of human organization. Why can’t this ultimately include more democratic and humane forms of governing. ”
The more voluntary the better. The state is violence and should be kept to a minimum. I think government killed like 250 million people last century, I don’t trust government to do anything beyond a bare minimum.
I’m all for voluntary cooperation to improve things, government isn’t voluntary.
It is much easier for people living in relative comfort (as compared to the 50% of humanity that is not sure where their next meal is coming from) to promote views of less government.
You say, “The more voluntary the better…I’m for voluntary cooperation to improve things, government isn’t voluntary.”
In principle, and as a goal for the future of humanity, I completely agree with this statement. But the key question is, how does human society get to a point in its history where this level of cooperation is possible?
For those people who currently have economic wealth, with all their basic needs met, it is so easy to push for less government. And for those at the very top of the economic pyramid they need less government to place any restrictions on their ability to maximize profits by any means necessary. Of course these same people want more government when it comes to restricting the ability of people to challenge the status quo.
Until human beings can create a society that maximizes the possibility of a level playing field where everyone can be both a “thinker and doer”, then and only then, will we be able to have true “voluntary cooperation.”
Biological Psychiatry and other forms of oppression will not be defeated by the internet. It can play a role, but let’s remember that governments can control the internet and it already does so in many countries.
I’m not for the overnight shrinking of government at all. If it was to be shrunk, it’d have to be prepared for over the course of generations or decades, I agree.
The potentiality for internet censorship is one of the things that truly worries me.
Richard, what you say is steel sharp. Looking at your picture, you seem much older than my parents or some older people at my work-place. Honestly, some of them are degrading mentally, etc. I don’t know how you’ve done all of this, but I must give it utmost respect.
And I must highlight that reference by Richard to Bob Marley (“emancipate your mind from mental slavery”). Lately I’ve been listening to some reggae music, esperically Marley, and I think we need plenty of similar kind of rebel attitude in our movement. Someone said a while ago on this forum something akin that the battle concerning mental illness is the last great human rights battle.
Bob Marley – Redemption Song Live In Dortmund, Germany
A little scary –
XXIst World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics
Redefining Mental Illness Through Genetics
I wonder if they won’t be discussing Neuregulin 1.
They genetic psych-quacks have not succeeded in finding any genes yet mjk… they won’t any time soon.
Thanks for the compliments. I was hoping more people would chime in on this discussion; it is very important when you consider both short term tactics and the long term goals of our movement.
Thanks for clarifying the origin of the Bob Marley reference.
I am not sure how to take the comment about how old I look. I am almost 66 years old and very much a product of the 1960’s movement and beyond. We may be on the verge of another such movement that will need to take things much much further.
I still work in community mental health (as a counselor/therapist) which has become more and more difficult as the medical model (Biological Psychiatry) totally dominates out field of work. I have been speaking out for years about this and plan to intensify my criticism. I am now coming to a conclusion that more harm than good may be occurring due to the proliferation of Psychiatric drugs. This poses a major moral dilemma about the appropriate response to this. Things may soon get very interesting.
(this is in response to the comments just above)
Thanks for your input on this issue.
I was feeling pretty confident in my views until Anonymous and a reality check “woke me out of my dogmatic slumber” as Immanuel Kant would say.
The problem is that I don’t think any of us disagree as to what would be an ideal government meeting everyone’s needs as much as possible in an honest, ethical way. First and foremost, one would want the right to be left alone!!
But, as the psychopathic power elite have been increasingly able to hijack and corrupt the entire globe to exploit and rob trillions from the vast majority they’ve preyed upon and enslaved with the same old bogus eugenics lies/agenda while poisoning us with toxic drugs, junk food, pollution, GMO’s, global warming and all the other fallout from their singled minded pursuit of maximum profits for the same entrenched richest greedy rulers pulling the strings behind the scenes, I think it is obvious that an increase of such so called “government” is not the answer.
I think what Anonymous was/is saying is that she doesn’t want any more of the type of government that has subjected us to deadly, fascist, corrupt biopsychiatry. Such an enterprise is based on the worst totalitarian ideology to destroy just about everyone who crosses its destructive path as happened in Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany and is now happening globally in the guise of genetic research with the same old vile, junk science eugenics agenda.
Given the revolving door of government/corporate cronyism making a mockery out of our so called democracy, until biopsychiatry ends its ever increasing Big Pharma global billion profits agenda at the cost of millions of destroyed lives including children and toddlers no less along with its pretense of being the same as real medical doctors, I want far less of such a government and cannot and won’t trust it to stop murdering people in the guise of health or state security never mind catering to such more luxurious goals as good health, freedom and the right to pursue happiness without government interference.
I’m not sure if I’m making myself clear, but to be blunt, I do not want anything to do with the government that brought us the fascist bogus biological psychiatry therapeutic state with its evil cult religion with its life destroying junk science stigmas and lethal drugs/ECT and constant human rights violations such as forced drugging/commitment/community torture and social control disguised as treatment as a matter of course.
If in your current position, you can help to minimize some small part of the huge harm and evil done by biopsychiatry, I’m sure those you encounter are grateful if they know enough to understand. But, you must have heard of Sisyphus consigned to the hell of perpetually trying to roll a heavy boulder up a hill only to have it fall back on him and forced to start again? As I was reading about the devious, crafty Sisyphus in the article below, it dawned on me that both the jailer biopsychiatrist and prisoner “patient/prisoner,” are cursed by biopsychiatry to endure a permanent hell of futility of imprisonment because each is stuck in a sick life destroying, futile lie/ideology. Albert Camus addresses such futile absurdity of life in The Myth of Sisyphus.
I may not agree with all of Camus’ philosophy, “religion” or lack thereof, but he does provide some brilliant input and analysis of how we conduct ourselves in this thing called life.
The only hope for all involved is to completely trash the biomedical model of psychiatry and the worst aspects of it in all of medicine and focus more on quality than quantity of care in the medical profession.
As it stands now, the entire global main stream medicine enterprise has been becoming more of an evil international wrecking crew of greedy psychopathic predators on the majority of its unfortunate victims with biopsychiatry leading the pack as usual with its totally fake, invented, global junk science pretense that normal human suffering can be refigured as disease to make maximum profits with the medicalization of misery. Though they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, the huge fallout, massive disability, resulting joblessness and millions of destroyed lives caused by such reckless predation on humanity with Big Pharma/corrupt governments has come home to roost. The main hope for current and future would be psychiatric survivors is that governments will see that it can no longer afford to provide such massive corporate welfare to Big Pharma and other deadly corporations at the cost of tax payers because increasingly those disabled by such psychopathic corporations are outnumbering those able to work. Of course, the increasing destruction of the middle classes, low wages, lack of benefits and other fallout from this corrupt system will increasingly make it less likely that such corporate welfare can be hidden among tax payers many expenses and bills.
I’m not sure which position your backing off from in your earlier posts. I thought your promotion and support for the above article “Science as Social Control…” was right on, and I said so in a previous comment.
As for the issue of “government;” the current government and the system it represents is all of the things you criticize and more. But let’s call it what it is. This government is in essence merely a committee representing the economic and political interests of the largest corporate capitalists. They promote policies and laws to allow for those that put them in power to maximize their profits by any means necessary; Big Pharma is but one entity in this corrupt mess.
People may vote, but let’s be clear who puts these people in power. I have a master’s degree and have been reading about politics since college and I still don’t understand the caucus system that nominates candidates for elections. Democracy is an illusion; these candidates are selected in board rooms and must pass the acid tests of the major corporate leaders in this country or they will never be allowed near the Democratic or Republican party.
THE ISSUE HERE IS NOT REALLY BIG VS. SMALL GOVERNMENT. Isn’t it be more a question of – who is the government made up of, who does the government represent, and in whose interests do they make policy. When we answer those questions for today’s world we can see that the vast majority of people are going to get screwed.
A few other questions to evaluate government by: is it moving society in the direction of developing the material and social conditions for more equality and opportunities for the creation of a “level playing field” or is it promoting division and widening the gaps between the powerful and the powerless.
In an ideal sense, shouldn’t government be creating conditions in the world for EVERYONE to be able to govern. If it is not doing this then I believe it will eventually become oppressive.
When I mentioned earlier about a point in history (that I believe is possible) where everyone is both a “thinker and a doer” (which clearly implies a point in history when there is relative economic and educational equality (after all 98% is determined by the environment) then, in theory, everyone would be capable of governing. And perhaps large numbers of people would engage in voluntary cooperation and would be involved in the “administration of things” or at least able to rotate in and out of those positions.
The genetic determinists, sociobiologists, Biological Psychiatrists and others of their ilk do everything in their power to make us believe that this is not possible. And the latter group is currently involved in drugging a significant section of today’s rebellious youth who otherwise (and in previous generations) would become the new generation of political activists and creative agents of change challenging the status quo. Hermes is right when he says this may be one of, or perhaps the last major human rights struggle.
Thanks for your response. As I saw in my exchange with Anonymous and now with you, I think we pretty much agree that our current government exists only for the interests of the corporate elite preying on and enslaving the masses around the globe as shown in the book, The Shock Doctrine. Thus, we all agree that we don’t want this current destructive pretense of a democracy never mind more of it.
Yes, we can speak of some utopian world whereby those in government look out for the average person and we all have equal power.
But, you, Anonymous and I know that currently that is part of a fantasy world and we have to deal with the reality we have now.
The problem with so called democracy is that the average person needing to work hard, raise a family and spend a great deal of time to ensure a decent, healthy life style for that family does not have tons of time to watch every move of government and lobby for or against every piece of legislation.
In keeping with this, I believe it was Fisher Ames who saw such dangers of our so called democracy in that special interest groups like NAMI would always lobby and fight for legislation to benefit their interests in the guise of benefit for all or push their own fascist ideas on the rest of us while the majority probably don’t even know what’s going on until it’s too late. Of course, this often happens thanks to corrupt organizations that collude with astro turf groups like NAMI. That’s why Fisher Ames felt government should be very limited so such abuses would not become rampant and necessitate that we spend all of our time watching every movement of government to curtail such abuses. Rather, Fisher Ames felt we should have the right to pursue happiness with the government leaving us alone to do that for the most part.
So, I think when Anonymous and I say we want “less government,” we mean the type of government that NAMI and other tyrannical groups try to force on the rest of us that have made our so called democracy a dictatorship enslaving the majority due to the lobbying of such self serving minorities often funded by corrupt corporate interests hoodwinking average citizens in the guise of serving their special needs.
Another thing is you speak of the glory days of the 1960’s rebellion, but the paranoid Nixon plotted against such youth with some youth killed in police shootings as in Neil Young’s song “Ohio.” The government stalked and harassed John Lennon for his peace movement. Edgar Hoover was a real piece of work with his constant spying and harassment not to mention Joseph McCarthy. I believe the later predation on our youth by psychiatry with its bogus stigmas and forced drugging came about to keep such youth in line so that the corporate/military/government industrial complex would not have to deal with such democracy in action in the future. The Occupy Wall Street movement was wonderful, but there was a lot of police brutality there too and the movement couldn’t be sustained due to logistics. It was the original robber barons like Rockefeller who came up with the evil eugenics theories in the 1930’s along with robotic school systems to enslave and prey on the masses while justifying it based on their supposed superior genes and intellect.
So, again, I think we are agreeing in principle about what an ideal government would be, but I wonder if in narcissistic cultures like the USA with the every person for themselves mentality as described in Christopher Lasch’s great book, The Narcissistic Culture, we can expect people to also look out for others’ best interests. Of course, we are fortunate to have the occasional whistle blowers like Dr. Peter Breggin, Daniel Ellsberg, Bradley Manning and Edgar Snowden, but the fact they are made to pay so dearly serves as a warning to all much like the Gulag Archipelago not to mention Soviet psychiatry for dissidents .
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I cringe at many of the human rights violations of our so called democracy when government can force toxic drugs, involuntary commitment, robbery of all due process and human rights, vaccines, fluoridated water, GMO’s, spying, denial of free speech and other poisons/rights violations on one and all. Now, some will disagree with me about what constitutes a poison here, but it seems to me if people want those things they should be able to have them without the power to force them on anyone else. For example, one can buy their own fluoride products while not poisoning everyone else’s water. Now, our water has lots of psych drugs in it, so we are all subjected to forced drugging along with the fish, so those like NAMI should be careful about what they wish for.
The fact that there are too many financial incentives for our elected government officials to betray their constituents along with the revolving door between business and government also guarantees that all too many decisions will not be in the best interests of the public.
It doesn’t take a genius to say that the current biopsychiatry eugenics, forced drugging/commitment fascist life destroying paradigm is totally corrupt and deadly to society overall, so obviously, it is all about the corrupting influence of power and money.
So, I think we agree in principle here, but I don’t see much hope for change any time soon unless there is a massive change in the structure of our government.
I learned about the great very influential Fisher Ames by accident. It’s a pity he is largely forgotten today. I wonder why….?
“Despite his limited number of years in public service, Fisher Ames ranks as one of the more influential figures of his era. Ames led Federalist ranks in the House of Representatives. His acceptance of the Bill of Rights garnered support in Massachusetts for the new Constitution. His greatest fame however may have come as an orator, for which one historian has dubbed him “the most eloquent of the Federalists”
“Ames became concerned by the rising popularity of Jefferson’s Republicans, who advocated the United States adopt Republican type representative government along the lines of post Revolution government in France. Hamilton’s Federalists (of which Ames was one), although they too agreed with a Republic, advocated a stronger federal government with similar powers to the British example. Ames felt Federalism around a clear and firm constitution was the model the United States should follow to prevent the fledgling nation from failing. He cautioned against the excesses of democracy unfettered by morals and reason: “Popular reason does not always know how to act right, nor does it always act right when it knows.”  Likewise, Ames warned his countrymen of the dangers of flattering demagogues, who incite dis-union and lead their country into bondage: “Our country is too big for union, too sordid for patriotism, too democratic for liberty. What is to become of it, He who made it best knows. Its vice will govern it, by practising upon its folly. This is ordained for democracies.”
Sound familiar?? Where is the likes of Fisher Ames when we need him to stand against the current mob mentality of so called government pretending to be a democracy?
“I think what Anonymous was/is saying is that she doesn’t want any more of th”
Wait, what? Anonymous is a she?
You’ve just destroyed my delusion. Anonymous, are you really a SHE? O.O
Thanks, Richard. I made that comment about your age on a drunken weekend evening with wine, etc, and I understand that it may sound confusing. But what I meant, perhaps, was that you still seem to have some of that “rebel” spirit, or maybe the good kind of 60’s spirit in you, you’re still fighting for this cause. Many people are “rebels” in their 20s and then give in to the “regular” way of thinking, this happened even with many of the hippies of 60s. Many of them found a comfortable job later on and had no courage or interest to talk about different types of fundamental problems in our society later on. I’m not sure if it’s even about being “rebel”, but maybe some kind of awareness .. Still learning new things, still wanting to change the world, that kind of thing, see? It seems lots of people even of my age have already given up on that kind of thing. In a way, you are still carrying torch instead of bullshit, and that’s a great thing.
Annonymous said, “The state is violence and should be kept to a minimum. I think government killed like 250 million people last century, I don’t trust government to do anything beyond a bare minimum.
I’m all for voluntary cooperation to improve things, government isn’t voluntary.”
Would that an anarchist position then? Pressumably a non-violent anarchist position?
I’m not talking for Anonymous, and I think we may disagree on this a bit, but .. I’m anarchistic on many levels of abstract, scientific, methodological, etc, thought, but a totally anarchistic society would not work until all people of the society had a high level of self-control, etc, which is not the case – it could easily lead in people creating even more oppressive police states, etc. Maybe in a sense I agree that the government should be kept to minimum and individual freedom maximised, is that a libertarian position? I also understand many of the arguments in some of the more social systems. Heh, maybe that’s the cause I’ve never been so interested in politics, I never find I clearly belong in left/right/whatever party. 🙂
Who are you addressing here if anybody?
Is THIS is a joke?
“The curious case of 600 extra deaths a week”
Apparently, science has found that people over the age of 85 are dying.
Is an article like this an aspect of Social Control?