The Persecution of Heretics


This post accompanies a talk I gave at the Hay on Wye How TheLightGetsIn Festival this May, called The Persecution of Heretics.  The talk can be seen below, and an accompanying article, a variation on this post, is here.

Here are two additional articles that cover the content of the video: Medical Partizans and Academic Stalking.

No One Ever Expects the GMC

Behind the apparent Biblical Authority of the Clinical Trial Literature in medicine lies an Inquisitional-like apparatus run by company PR agencies and agencies whose job it is to manage the perception of science – linking in academics – aimed at silencing dissent and ensuring that prescribing doctors continue to prescribe. It focusses most clearly on anyone who suggests that a brand-name drug might have significant adverse events.

Such a person will be harassed in a range of ways, including being referred to the General Medical Council (GMC). There is a need for the full details of the many ways harassment can be carried out to see the light of day.

At the time the talk was being given, unknown to me, I was again being referred to the GMC.

The stake at which the heretic ends up is in the broad light of day, but the persecutor hides in the shadows. In this case is it the local Health Board, clinical colleagues, the relevant Royal College, the GMC itself, one of the major pharmaceutical companies or the Government? Watch this space.

What You Think is Going On

For millennia we have struggled with death and disease. In the 1950s, there was a huge increase in the number of truly effective medicines and this has played a part in improving lifespans and quality of life, in particular among children. These new drugs supported the creation of the National Health Service as treatments that work will make populations healthier and more effective at work and the provision of services offering treatments that work will pay for themselves and will make a country better able to compete with others.

Although almost all new treatments emerged without a clinical trial in sight, following the thalidomide crisis in 1962 clinical trials were put in place as a way to evaluate treatments. The established wisdom now is that clinical trials reveal the truth about medicines – they are the gold standard method of evaluation – and that once a trial confirms that a drug works, doctors should give them, and guidelines should enforce the giving, and health systems should make these treatments available at whatever cost as if effective they essentially pay for themselves.

Another safeguard put in place was that even though prescription only was a status for medicines invented to control addicts, all new drugs would be made available on prescription only. This puts doctors very clearly centre stage.

The view that medicine should be evidence-based and that doctors should adhere to the evidence has become increasingly solidified in recent years. Linked to this an ever increasing proportion of the population is on an ever greater number of medicines for ever longer periods of time.

Meanwhile, treatment-induced death has become one of the three leading causes of death and it now takes decades before doctors recognize a link between serious life-threatening adverse events and treatment where such recognition used to be much quicker.

The medical literature has become ghost-written with close to the entire literature stemming from clinical trials of on-patent drugs ghost-written and the raw data from those trials is inaccessible. Nobody – not even the regulators – gets to see it.

In the face of this, the standard response from medicine has been that the problems lie within the pharmaceutical industry and that the only issue for doctors is one of conflicts of interest and this problem can be solved if doctors declare any conflicts they have.

Whatever about the pharmaceutical industry, doctors are good people who are trained to make sure you get the right treatment and the General Medical Council (GMC) takes care of those few doctors who might pose a risk to your health.

Latterly, with the realization that clinical trial data has been concealed, there has been more of a push for access to Clinical Study Reports – the written-in-the-company account of what its study shows. Doctors and medical researchers apparently don’t want to – or can’t be trusted to – have access to patient-level data for reasons of confidentiality.

While there are some things that we are not happy about happening within the pharmaceutical industry, medical journals and individual doctors have the belief that they are effectively drawing attention to problems and that individual doctors attempting to raise issues will find their colleagues supportive.

What Is Going On

In fact, adverse events now take 10-20 years from the time they are reported first to the point where it is accepted they can happen. Randomized controlled trials have become the Gold Standard way to hide adverse events, and the blind adoption of trials is a mistake of historic proportions. The National Health Service meanwhile is on its way to being transformed into a system to deliver clinical trial patients to pharmaceutical companies.

It is extraordinarily easy to intimidate doctors. One simple clinical misstep can provide an opportunity for a complaint against a doctor. And clinical practice inevitably gives rise to missteps.

Once it does, the GMC can be used as a weapon to persecute heretics.

Wonderful though the GMC can be, its role is asymmetric. It will not take action against doctors working for pharmaceutical companies who put out grossly misleading information about the lethal hazards of the latest blockbuster drug. It won’t take an action based on its own Good Prescribing Practice against doctors who – without seeing the data – put their names to ghost-written articles that are part of a marketing strategy to encourage doctors to prescribe drugs that are ineffective and dangerous.

Far from being trained in one of the major determinants of clinical practice, doctors have no training in how pharmaceutical companies market drugs, no knowledge of how to investigate adverse events, and they are becoming ever less able to hear awkward messages coming from patients.

The pressure on doctors is vastly greater than they are aware, and this can distort well-meaning people into not-very-nice people. Faced with a patient or a colleague questioning whether treatment is likely to have caused an adverse event or not, from cognitive failures on statins to suicidality on antidepressants, doctors feel threatened and are liable to turn nasty. Try it and see.

* * * * *

A slightly revised version of this article
first appeared on David Healy’s website.

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David Healy, MD
David Healy is a founder of Data Based Medicine and and has authored of over 240 peer reviewed articles, 300 other pieces, and 25 books. His main areas of research are adverse effects of treatment, clinical trials in psychopharmacology, the history of psychopharmacology, and the impact of both trials and psychotropic drugs on our culture.


  1. Agreed. Doctors can be VERY nasty indeed when told a drug or treatment has adverse effects. Many of us here have been locked up and drugged because they refuse to believe it could be the drugs, not us.

    It’s no big surprise that they’ll turn on their friends and colleagues too rather than see their “gold standard” challenged….a great shame, but no surprise.

    In worshipping the drugs and the ‘gold standard” they are worshipping at the wrong altars – the most important one is patient well-being.

    The medical profession is racing headlong towards what could only be termed moral bankruptcy, and psychiatry has set a standard to which the rest currently can only aspire.

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    • I agree. I once complained about Zyprexa-induced narcolepsy (for a lack of a better term – I don’t know how you call a sudden attack of extreme tiredness causing you to fall asleep on the spot – e.g. riding a bike in the middle of a busy street, with possible life-threatening consequences). I got scolded for “not reading the label” (not true), where it was listed the drug can make you tired. Well, tired and practically narcoleptic are two different things in my books.
      Another awesome “doctor” denied that benzos can cause anterograde amnesia, which happens to be very well documented (in fact they are used for that purpose to decrease trauma during some surgical procedures). When I told her to get up, walk to her computer and type in PubMed she quickly walked it back – “oh, but that only happens on high doses”. If so then they have lied in their documents about the dose I was on (which could very well be given that they lied about pretty much everything else).

      I could go on but I guess the above examples are enough to get a picture.

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  2. “Evidence based practice” is really at the core of the problem here…the idea that a few randomized control studies done in a short period of time can truly show us efficacy of a psychiatric drug. Not only are the harmful health ramifications ignored, the Wunderlink and Harrow studies have shown us that the longitudinal effects of neuroleptics actually show a decrease in efficacy. This should be front and center in our understanding of treatment protocols but has been conveniently dismissed.

    So we are left with whatever big Pharma tells us is “scientifically approved” and “evidence based”.

    Of course very few trials of non-drug alternatives are undertaken, so evidence based practice omits an enormous range of treatment modalities. We are left to take their word for it. I’ll pass.

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  3. I’m sorry you are being persecuted, Dr. Healy, but am terribly grateful for your efforts and honesty. Since the patients are dealing with attempted murders, and no doubt murders, by doctors who want to cover up adverse reactions to the pharmaceutical drugs.

    In my case doctors wanted to cover up, what was confessed in my medical records to be a “Foul up,” with Risperdal in early 2002. In an attempt to cover up this documented ADR, I was forced to take combinations of six to nine drugs, all of which now have major and moderate drug interaction warnings – this is attempted murder via poisoning.

    It seems many within the medical community need to be reminded that poisoning people to cover up adverse drug reactions is not acceptable human behavior, it is attempted murder, or murder, if the patient dies. And being an unrepentant murderer or attempted murderer is not going to bode well for the doctors, if any of the religions happen to be remotely correct. Thank you for your courage, Dr. Healy.

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  4. Th biochemical Psychiatrists were as you know suppressed with the fraudulent Task Force 7 Report, the 58 page hatchet job of 1973.

    In the video Abram Hoffer interviewed by Jeffrey Bland, the late Dr. Hoffer tells us that the drug companies overran Psychiatry after the huge profits from the tranquillizers of 1950’s. He states that he thought they would make him a hero. They made him a heretic.

    SP Mahadik is another more recent example — a person who may have thought that the value of their work would naturally be recognized on its merit.

    Robert Whitaker helped in publicizing the WHO studies on schizophrenia in poorer countries that show that people have better outcomes in poorer countries that cannot afford endless drugging and so much sugar and junk food. IPSS and DOSMD are referenced specifically by Malcolm Peet.

    Oxidative stress and role of antioxidant and omega-3 essential fatty acid supplementation in schizophrenia.
    Mahadik SP1, Evans D, Lal H.

    International variations in the outcome of schizophrenia and the prevalence of depression in relation to national dietary practices: an ecological analysis†
    Malcolm Peet, FRCPsych

    B-6 Essential Micronutrient
    ” The key functions of B6 include the formation of neurotransmitters, the metabolization of amino acids, and the support of the immune system. B6 also plays important roles in regulating water and hormone balance, storing energy, nerve functioning, and protein metabolism.”

    International variations in the outcome of schizophrenia and the prevalence of depression in relation to national dietary practices: an ecological analysis†
    Malcolm Peet, FRCPsych

    Background Dietary variations are known to predict the prevalence of physical illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease but the possible influence of diet on mental health has been neglected.


    Why do we not make more use of nutritional knowledge?
    David Horrobin, M.D.

    6. It may be that the oxidative stress is lower in populations consuming a low caloric diet rich in antioxidants and EPUFAs, and minimizing smoking and drinking.

    “10. Since the oxidative stress exists at or before the onset of psychosis the use of antioxidants”from the very onset of psychosis may reduce the oxidative injury and dramatically improve the outcome of illness.

    Leaving out the suppression of the honest Biochemical doctors and biochemists is a crucial matter of strategic importance. Fighting against the crimes against humanity of the propaganda version of “Psychiatry” it is not enough to speak of non Medical alternatives. The actual falsification of the Medical approach that happened in 1973 gives the rest of the story. They aren’t using any Medical model, they do not have a mistaken biologically reductionist approach and paradigm. They have no paradigm – no “Model” – since 1973 they do propaganda. They don’t have the Medical approach, the treatment, the medication – they have intentionally fabricated propaganda – as we see over and over again in reports from Evelyn Pringle, Robert Whitaker, Vera Sharav, Baum Hedlund Law Firm, Senator Charles Grassley and so on.

    Daniel Burdick Eugene Oregon, USA

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  5. Unfortunately as we are finding out almost daily, the criminal element has taken over most of our institutions. This is such a shocking situation that it simply can not be handled by most persons and so these nefarious people are safe to continue their destruction of societies!

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    • So true, look into the crimes (or reality behind the system) of the Federal Reserve banks, historically and now. Truly, the criminal .01% greed mongers have seemingly taken over our society.

      However, they’ve oddly done so in a manner exactly as predicted in the bible, at the second millennium, exactly when the bible predicts hell on earth, then Jesus’ return. I know not all believe in a Creator, but I personally think it’s quite illogical to believe there could be such a perfect and beautiful order that allows life, without One.

      The bottom line is it’s possible we’re just living through a predicted, but disgusting, period in human existence, and things will get much better for all the decent in the future. Hope is imperative.

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  6. “Very few trials of non-drug alternatives are undertaken” also, perfectly adequate trials have actually been conducted and the knowledge exists and this is then ignored.

    The portrayal of following the scientific method seen in proforma reports published in Peer Review Journals of the Profession constitutes fraud – propaganda fraud.

    The investigative writing of Robert Whitaker delves into the manipulations involved in the supposed Medical testing and Journal publication for the first “atypical” Risperidone.

    More recently Joseph Biderman, M.D. Professor at Harvard gained some notoriety during the Senator Charles Grassley investigations – which disclosed that he evidently promised a drug company positive (for their purposes) results from a drug test in children – results, that is, from a would-be test that had not been done yet. This caused some articles to be written on Harvard’s version of Medicine these days. (Harvard, Veritas!)

    Joseph Biederman, M.D. Psychiatrist – Head of Cambridge Pediatric Psychiatry

    What Do Psychiatric Drugs Do? Further Reflections on Methodology, Sources of Information, and Meaning
    David H. Jacobs, Ph.D.

    Evidence? “There is considerable literature in certain areas of natural medicine … this is research done by mainstream research scientists, at universities, with Medical schools….” quote from Jonathan V. Wright, M.D.

    Dr Julian Whitaker, “most so-called alternative therapies regardless of potential or proven benefit, are outlawed, which forces patients to submit to the failures we know don’t work, because there is no other choice.”

    Why do we not make more medical use of nutritional knowledge?
    Commentary by the late David Horrobin, M.D. Psychiatrist

    The Autism trial of Risperdal published in NEJM caught some attention and commentarey to their, typical these days, “employ of the scientific method” as it were, and their Journal Report publication practices.

    In this would-be Professional, scientific trial they defined the problem children’s actions as symptoms.

    The created an untreated control group.

    The test group they gave the intervention (commenced drugging them with a Dopamine 2 antagonist. This being the independent variable.)

    Then they measured the amount of symptoms (the dependent variable) afterward, as it were.

    The drugged children were less of a problem, and they stayed alive. So in the results and conclusions sections of the proforma “Report” they had a successful trial – evidence based practice, peer review Journal published !

    Drooling was not a stated dependent variable under consideration. They did however make a short note of an increase in drooling in their clinical observations. Professionals as they are.

    See google: NEJM drooling fatigue dizziness autism risperidone.

    New England Journal Medicine JT McCracken – 2002
    Risperidone in children with autism and serious behavioral problems.

    Risperidone may improve behavior in children with autism
    by Laurie LaRusso, MS, ELS

    Keep up the good works all,

    Daniel Burdick, Eugene Oregon, USA

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  7. When I sit, and reflect, and remember – *REMEMBER* – all the *HELL* that the lies of the pseudo-science of psychiatry, and it’s very profitable POISON PILLS, there’s only one word that truly and accurately describes what has happened, and is STILL happening. That word is
    ***GENOCIDE****. There. I’ve said it.
    The psychiatry of genocide, and the genocide of psychiatry.
    Genocide = psychiatry
    Psychiatry = genocide

    (Obviously, not all shrinks are equally guilty of genocidal crimes. And genocide can and does take other forms. Nevertheless, the best descriptor for psychiatry is GENOCIDE.)…..

    I barely survive on Social Security Disability, but at least I’m *shrink-proof*!….
    But yes, I have been the victim of repeated persecution in this small town, as a direct result of my
    getting away from the drugs and lies of psychiatry over 20 years ago…..
    I caught the local “Community Mental Health Center” in deliberate fraudulent billing in 1992!….
    Even the GAO – the Government Accountability Office – estimates $120BILLION per year in FRAUDULENT Medicare billing. What is psychiatry’s share of that?….
    I know several folks who are *forced* to take brain-damaging drugs which are several times –
    SEVERAL TIMES – more $$$ per month than what they *live*on*…..

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