E. Fuller Torrey on 60 Minutes


CBS’s 60 Minutes airs a segment on E. Fuller Torrey tonight (7 pm, ET). Torrey speaks about mass killings in the interview, saying “about half of these mass killings are being done by people with severe mental illness, mostly schizophrenia, and if they were being treated they would have been preventable.”  Comments on the 60 Minutes website point out that many of the shooters have, in fact, been in treatment.

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


  1. I hope they address the negative side effects of the treatments and their possible relationship to some of these crimes. People seem to want to think some pill is going to prevent crime and the only thing that needs happen is get more folks drugged up with Rx psych meds. There are hideous adverse effects that cause hallucinations,severe agitation, restlessness, “out-of-body” feelings, total lack of empathy for others, …I could on and on because, yes, I took many of these meds that the naïve public wants to believe is a “cure all.” They are not an answer in and of themselves for all people and can often cause more problems in some individuals because of side effects. For instance, I was told I could drive taking a certain medication~~I was hallucinating for godsake! What kind of craziness is this that people want to turn a blind eye to the consequences of side effects just because big pharmaceutical companies say they are the answer and are safe for all. These companies are in business to make a profit; they’re not ‘good Samaritans’ looking to save the world. No lives should EVER be lost because a doctor doesn’t take side effects seriously. Not by suicide, nor by homicide. Please, start listening to those who have experienced the adverse effects of these drugs. Many, I am afraid, did not live to elaborate on what they experienced. Please, listen.

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      • I would find it comical were it not so tragic that psychiatry readily endorses the theory that illegal drugs such as cannabis and PCP induce the experiences referred to as psychosis, without fully understanding the science but happy to rely upon the what is obvious merely from observation. Yet when it comes to legal (and wildly profitable) neuroleptic drugs, the same or better evidence (both scientific and observable to a layperson) shows that addiction results in withdrawal-induced psychosis, then psychiatry makes every effort to establish a consensus that there exists insufficient evidence of the connection. Including efforts in the form of interpreting damning scientific evidence as support for the opposite proposition: i.e. that psychosis following discontinuation proves that the psychosis was biologically based. And what is more, psychiatry is then happy to have it both ways: illegal drugs, which are bad, cause every bad thing that was ever suspected of them, including psychosis. But, no matter. Even if a psychosis was precipitated by an illegal drug, psychiatry deems that the person still has an illness. The illegal drug use, it is explained, was just a trigger of a pre-existing biological propensity to suffer from a mental illness. This is nothing new to this audience, but it is truly remarkable, as others here have observed, that there was absolutely no discussion whatsoever on the program of the possibility that the conduct might have been influenced by powerful, brain altering drugs. If Lanza had taken PCP, the drug would have been to blame and all over the news. Then, quietly and not on the news, had Lanza survived, it would be established that, PCP notwithstanding, the PCP triggered a pre-existing disorder. Though if were on the news, it would be because his defense attorneys would have raised it as an insanity defense. Which would, in this environment, play very well to a jury.

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  2. It is BECAUSE of your “treatment” that I personally would LOVE to see you dead, psychiatry!


    Put THAT on TV (and don’t tell me that’s a “national insecurity issue”). C’mon, Obama – tell us. Tell the whole wide world who the antichrist is. Or is that the pope’s job?

    Or is the job of some NOBODY with a really big mouth and zero fear of YOU, government.

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  3. It was hard to stomach the brief statement by Torrey on the 60 Minutes web site, but I was happy to see the comments exposing this fraud.

    Thanks for posting this, which I had read about. I wonder if they will bring up the connection between psych drugs like SSRI’s and school/public/work shooters. Any possibility Bob Whitaker and/or Dr. Peter Breggin could get on the program and tell the truth for a change? Somebody should certainly point out the new position of the NIMH on neuroleptics based on the most credible studies and the fact that these drugs make people worse with more potential for violence, but as Bob Whitaker pleads, “Dr. Torrey, Please stop the lies.”

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    • Donna,

      It used to be that outfits like 60 minutes would present both sides of a story but sadly, in the name of chasing sensationalistic headlines, pursuing the facts goes out the window. Since NRP refused to interview Bob when the Anatomy of an Epidemic book came out, my guess is that 60 minutes would do the same thing.

      And folks like Peter Breggin have no chance in heck of getting on programs like that. I hate to say that but in my opinion, it is the truth.

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  4. It must be great to have hundreds of millions of dollars in funding and to be a psychiatric mogul. After months and months of victory after victory for Torry’s enemies, he gets to go on T.V. to 20-30 million American viewers and destroy it all with blatant lies and what should be considered prejudice hatespeech in hi attempts to demonize “mentally ill” people in the publics mind.

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  5. Lies:

    1) “It’s becoming harder and harder to ignore the fact that the majority of the people pulling the triggers have turned out to be severely mentally ill — not in control of their faculties — and not receiving treatment.”
    — Fact: Most of them were already “in treatment”/on psych drugs.

    2) “In the words of one of the country’s top psychiatrists, ”
    — Fact: Fuller Torrey is not considered one of the nations top psychiatrists, not even by maintstream psychiatric itself. He doesn’t get published in mainstream journals, he’s never considered for jobs with the APA or NIMH, he doesn’t even get invited to NAMI conferences anymore! He is a nobody in the world of research and academia, and a nobody in the world of mainstream psychiatric. He has lots of money that he got from a memorabilia collector and he once publied — decades ago — a best selling book… That’s it.

    3) “these were preventable tragedies,”
    Holy sh… I didn’t even have to to the next sentence to find the next LIE!
    — Fact: There is no evidence to suggest that psychiatrists can predict who will become violent OR that “treatment” with drugs can prevent it. On the other hand, there IS evidence that they are no better than chance at determining who will become violent and that psychiatric drugs CAN CAUSE violent behavior.

    4) “There is something eerily similar about the shooters, as if they were variations of the same person. All young males, often with the same glazed expression, loners who exhibited bizarre behavior, and withdrew into their own troubled world.”
    — Fact: And all, or at least mostly, ALREADY ON PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS — Which scientific evidence has shown can cause ALL OF THAT!
    I cant go on. But surely somebody better at this than me will pick apart all their lies and blog about it, then a few hundred members of the choir will read it and struggle to get their voices heard while Torrey rides his T.V. momentum to have new laws — and possibly even federal laws — passed.

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  6. ” Comments on the 60 Minutes website point out that many of the shooters have, in fact, been in treatment.”

    Not anymore. I went there and could only find 5 comments, all supporting the 60 minutes episode… Including one from a guy at the FEMHC, which isn’t surprising in the least. Just add them to the list of traitors along NCMHR after they supported “in principle” a national database of “mentally ill”.

    It appears there are no real allies in this war. None at all.

    Correction: As of right now, there are only FOUR comments.

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    • Hi JeffreyC,

      I just read several comments against Torrey on the 60 minutes website as I clicked on the link provided at the top in the blog entry. I didn’t look at the link you provided but I am assuming it is a different area.

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    • I found lots of comments, the vast majority of them reflecting disappointment/disgust with the lack of objective reporting. Four pages all together, and 90% were negative. I didn’t even feel compelled to comment, because all I’d wanted to say was covered more than once by others. Well done!

      —- Steve

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  7. Dr. Jaffe of the Mental Illness Policy Organization made a comment on the 60 minutes blog thanking CBS for including the point of view of schizophrenics’ who were grateful for treatment. Could somebody please explain this aspect of the show to me? Were patients saying they found forced drugging “liberating”? Were they presuming to speak for the rest of us? Why do people almost invariably think that what “works” for them has to “work” for everybody?

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