Responses from Rethinking Psychiatry to Jason Renaud’s Op-Ed

To the Editor:

I’m sorry to see that you did not wait to get feedback from Marcia Meyers and the Rethinking Psychiatry core group before posting Jason Renaud’s Op-Ed that clearly violates MadinAmerica’s own posting guidelines. Such bigotry has no place on MadinAmerica. As has been made clear by others, it is a distraction from our shared goal of psychiatric reform.

I am the person from CCHR who is on the Rethinking Psychiatry planning committee. I do it to support a group that is doing good things in my community; mindful that not everyone subscribes to CCHR’s viewpoint, but cognizant that this group and I share the same goals.

To claim that CCHR secretly funds or directs Rethinking Psychiatry is absurd, as are claims that Rethinking Psychiatry or CCHR is promoting Scientology. Contrary to Mr. Renaud’s allegations, Rethinking Psychiatry did not “use CCHR’s materials.” CCHR was treated as any other of the dozens of groups who wanted a voice in the discussion. All were welcome to participate in the Rethinking Psychiatry symposiums, including Renaud’s organization. CCHR paid to have a display table at the symposium like everyone else. No participating group represented itself as speaking for Rethinking Psychiatry. Each displayed what they had to offer to the movement.

Robert Whitaker was the inspiration that led to the formation of Rethinking Psychiatry. He is credited at the beginning of nearly every Rethinking Psychiatry meeting, and acknowledged on our website. Now MadinAmerica is providing a voice to those seeking to discredit and destroy a group that has been one of Robert’s biggest supporters.

I hope you will pay the Rethinking Psychiatry planning committee the courtesy of weighing in before again posting such an inflammatory article. This movement is not furthered by gross misrepresentations of each other’s intentions and activities.

Ron Hatteberg
CCHR Oregon
Member of Rethinking Psychiatry Planning Committee

 

To the Editor,

I have really appreciated the great work you’ve done with the MIA blogs and articles – it is absolutely my favorite place on the web, and helps me every day in my job by providing statements from key opinion leaders, articles, and scientific research that counter the bio-psych paradigm.

That being said, I have to say that I disagree very much with MIA’s decision to post Jason Renaud’s recent blog regarding Rethinking Psychiatry (RTP) of Portland and the Unitarian Church. It contains unwarranted personal attacks,and contains personalized, biased and unsupported accusations. For instance, words like “fraud,” “propaganda outlet,” and “front [group]” appear to be aggressive and unproductive terms that discourage rational discussion.

In actual point of fact, RTP’s mission is clear and focused, we are funded by donations from members and attendees to our conferences, and our only connection to CCHR has been the dedicated volunteer efforts of one man, Ron, whose contributions have always focused on understanding and forwarding our mission of creating and supporting alternatives to the current coercive psychiatric paradigm.

This kind of opinion article only hurts our cause, as I stated clearly in my comments, which consumed many hours of my time this week. I found the article insulting both personally and professionally. Furthermore, while I personally have no issue whatsoever with the actual activities of CCHR, which are I believe are accurately reflected in a number of positive comments that followed the article, these loaded comments could potentially have had repercussions at my place of work and could have been used to undermine my professional reputation.

I’d appreciate some kind of acknowledgement from MIA that the posting of this piece is regretted in some way, and/or that investigation of the situation has shown that Rethinking Psychiatry is a completely independent entity that receives neither funding nor support from the Church of Scientology or from CCHR (or any other organized group, for that matter).  I believe an apology and a retraction is definitely in order.

Steve McCrea, MS, Portland, OR

(Steve McCrea has been a professional counselor and advocate in the mental health and foster care system for over 25 years. He was a founding board member of the democratic, child-centered Trillium Charter School in Portland. He is author of “Jerk Radar,” a self-help manual for detecting and avoiding abusive partners and relationships.

 

From the editor: We believed that Jonathan Keyes’ response to Jason Renaud’s op-ed, which was posted along with the article, was an appropriate response as he was the original author of the article – and the response that we had at the time. We were concerned about Jonathan’s article possibly having done an injustice to the Unitarian church, and wished to correct the record in a timely fashion. But we are happy to have the opportunity to post these responses from Rethinking Psychiatry now.