A Witness to Fraud


To feel as if I was doing something to stop the expansion of state-sponsored organized psychiatric industries, I attended the United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Hearings on HR 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 and HR 2690, the Including Families in Mental Health Recovery Act of 2015.

On June 16, 2015, I arrived at the Rayburn House Office Building early. Only three people were on line to enter the hearing room. In my estimation, over the next two hours more than one hundred people eventually congregated to form the line. When the hearing room filled, remaining onlookers were left in the hallway, as the doors closed.

I was glad I arrived early for the hearing; it meant I got my choice of seat. As staff workers maintain a position of privilege in the front row, as a witness to what I hoped would be a balanced hearing, I chose the seat next to the rear exit, stage right. I sat directly across from where Congressman Murphy sat, save the rows of people and space between us.

Yes, I chose the seat next to the door as a quick escape if I felt I had to scream and run. No, I did not scream and run.

I am sure that my silence did not help the situation one bit.

I consistently feel like I have to do something about the Murphy bill. Unfortunately, what I do most often is chase my tail and try to find ways to grab the public’s attention about the horror show that is occurring in the name of democracy about legislation that is sure to threaten foundational premises of American life such as freedom.

During the hearing, I felt as if Congressman Tim Murphy (R), Pennsylvania, consistently asked the panelists who were there to testify about the bill, ‘Are you assuaged now?’

To my dismay, those who positioned themselves as opposition to the HR 2646, offered support for the bill during the hearings.  There is video footage of the testimony. You can watch the repeated betrayals yourself.

I do not think it is that people are unaware, but, if people are unaware, there are survivors and allies, who are opposed to these bills entirely. Murphy shut down any hint of criticism of any aspect of the proposed bill, such as the involuntary outpatient commitment laws.

Why is the opposition not getting a voice in the hearings? What is American about that? Nothing and it is my opinion that there is nothing American about these bills.

Matsui slashes privacy rights for all adults under HR 2690. HR 2646 extends the age of childhood to 26 years of age. Mental Health America said they were opposed to the Murphy bill (Westberg, 2014), however all I heard was support for it and promotion of their newest campaign, aligning psychiatric diagnosis with an actual physical, provable illness, which could actually terminate one’s life, is disgusting. Campaigns such as what was described are part of the fear mongering perpetrated by the organization as an overt ploy for screening, with half a million Americans have already been targeted by their deceit.

A growing concern, I have to air: why is no one speaking out for young people, and young adults?  Why is everyone applauding a focus on early intervention and prevention of involving children and young people in this fraud?

Are you, like me, concerned that targeted psychiatric attention on minors and young adults is acceptable in this country? If the United States is not going to protect the rights of the child, we must. If for no other reason, so many of us entered this psychiatric mess as children, teens, or young adults. But, reader, be sure, there were some people who entered this nightmare of psychiatric torture upon birth, at 10 days old, and several months old, and so on.  The legislative efforts hide behind incidents of mass violence used as leverage to convince the public to infringe on our civil liberties, our constitutional and human rights, all the while, lying to us about the evidence of harm and long term negative ramifications of psychiatric involvement. The public never for a moment realizing, they are at any moment one of us, someone psychiatrized.

Sadly, it is no surprise that the new codes are designed to go after children. It is easier, via state power, to force a minor’s compliance and convince them young, with Patrick Kennedy lies, that s/he has a brain illness, and have that forever etched into each individual electronic medical record.  It is easier and cheaper to focus on minors because it creates more jobs and less of a court proceeding, etc. needs to take place to gain compliance because all that is required, amicably, is a parents’ permission to subject a child to psychiatry. Of course, if parents or guardians object, the government interrupts their custody—if not entirely strips it from them.  A response to parents who refuse their child’s involvement with psychiatry often includes the parents or guardians also being mandated into some type of program, or to comply with some type of psychiatric product. Sometimes, a child’s involvement with the system was rooted in the fact that their parents were some way involved with psychiatry or some other state-sponsored arrangement. You get my point. This can be a devastating situation for both parent/guardian and child immersed within power dynamics with durable negative consequences.

My passions for protecting people from abuse and torture in the name of psychiatric ‘help’ are as strong as they have ever been.

My passion for keeping me out of the grips of state-sponsored organized psychiatry is stronger than it ever was.

When people share with me the horror stories they experience with activities such as court-ordered psychiatric drugs, I often think, if it were myself, they would not let me out.  I would not be able to tolerate this kind of inspection. Could you imagine the State’s Prosecutor exclaiming to a judge—in an open court—that you are mad and institutionalization or constant supervision in the community is required?

I could imagine it.

I know I would not be able to silently sit and accept a psychiatric sentence.

I make an argument that the public awards its support of forced psychiatry to the State based on Whitaker and Cosgrove’s (2015:156-159) discussion of the illegitimacy of institutional informed consent, because of the fraud perpetrated by psychiatry.

What I saw at the hearings on June 16, 2015, was the State knowingly perpetuating the fraud and further using psychiatry positioned as a legitimate science to defraud the public, gain support for faulty legislation with huge overreach at great taxpayer expense, and more significantly, the cost of human life.

It was not until after I tried to see Congressman Tim Murphy’s Twitter page that I realized someone in his administration blocked me from being able to see his page or twitter feed.  Remarkably, I can still Tweet @RepTimMurphy, so he was in a manner, electronically delivered this Open Letter to the US Congress House of Energy and Commerce Committee I wrote on June 18, 2015. Blocking outspoken advocates is a trend on Murphy’s page, and I am only one of many unable to see the twits of Murphy.

There I am boiling over with anger at the hearings. I am sending out Facebook posts on a moment-to-moment basis, trying to feel like I have a voice in the supposed democratic process, produced, enacted, and fabricated in front of me. It truly was the theater of psychiatry.

Nowhere in the hearings, has there been truth. Worse than an obfuscation of the truth, there have been scripted, blatant and uncorrected lies—most notably, that “mental illness” is a “brain illness”. Multiple members of the Committee—and those who testified—repeated the lies set out by Congressman Murphy as the talking points of the day.  Some of the Committee members even included use of statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Fabricated data based on fabricated diseases justifies the reach of government that will undoubtedly occur if HR 2646 and HR 2690 pass.

The level of applaud Congressman Tim Murphy received during the hearings for his tireless efforts to control the American populous is nauseating.

Everyone in that room knew that there is a research base that shows nothing but dangers of psychiatry; misuse of power of psychiatric workers; psychiatry used in ways that meet criteria for torture under the Convention Against Torture; and the plain fraud that psychiatry and psychiatric industries have something to offer. Why do they all act this way?  Why do they not speak out?

June 29th is the American Launch of Psychiatry and the Business of Madness, Bonnie Burstow’s (2015) newest publication and it deserves attention for exposing some of the most horrific human rights violations perpetrated by psychiatry, including the drugging and electroshock of people via the illusion of medicine. Recently a person who survived electroshock asked me if electroshock is a supported practice in HR 2646. To the naked eye, is not. No specific psychiatric thing was, except of course the re-appropriated “peer” industry.  Murphy and cohorts used the broadest brush ever imagined to design this bill and what Americans will be forced to comply with if it passes.

I responded to this person that since we know electroshock has been used in involuntary outpatient commitment, as well as institutionalization, and as leverage to get out of either of these situations, we can assume our fight to ban electroshock, and as urgently, forced, court-ordered, coerced, or uninformed electroshock must continue.

Certainly, the bill makes no hesitation that the State ought to be able to give power to psychiatry to control someone who is unlikely to comply with any suggested psychiatric protocol.

I am near out of space here, and perhaps for a next entry, I want to discuss the willingness of organizations to support, or seem to support HR 2646 and HR 2690.

The issues presented by people testifying and supporting something, which they inherently do not support, are not like fake monsters looming under the bed. Do not whisk this away.

If the organization thought to be the opposition to the bill publicly supports the bill under duress, based on fear that Murphy et al will strip things important to the organization from the bill, what kind of opposition is that? This is particularly troublesome when the organization positions itself as a proponent of rights for people with psychiatric histories.

So, I wrote an Open Letter to the entire US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, because I thought that perhaps, Chairman Upton, or one of the other members, not on or involved with the Health Subcommittee might be interested to know of the false testimonies routinely provided during the hearings on June 16, 2015.

I concluded the open letter:

When, in the past, has the committee heard the charges of those who oppose the field of psychiatry on the grounds of fraud? When will the committee hear from people who are survivors of electroshock, drugging, restraint, seclusion, aversive behavior modification, invasive psychological inspection, and a host of other dehumanizing horrors psychiatry has the audacity to refer to as “medicine”?

I ask again, when will the House Committee on Energy and Commerce schedule and hear (and let the public hear) the testimony of people directly affected by and opposed to psychiatry?

You can see the full text of the letter here:


* * * * *


Burstow, B. (2015). Psychiatry and the business of madness: An ethical and epistemological accounting. Palgrave Macmillan.

Matsui, D. O. (2015). HR2690 Including families in mental health recovery act 2015. Retrieved on June 22, 2015 from https://www.congress.gov/search?q={%22congress%22%3A%22114%22%2C%22source%22%3A%22legislation%22%2C%22search%22%3A%222690%22.

Murphy, T., et al. (2015). HR 2646 Helping families in mental health crisis act 2015. Retrieved on June 22, 2015 from https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2646/text.

Tenney, L. J. (2015). With a public defrauded illegitimacy of forced psychiatry crystalized. Psychiatry, State Power, and Capitalism Blog. Mad in America. Retrieved on June 23, 2015 from http://www.madinamerica.com/2015/06/with-a-public-defrauded-illegitimacy-of-forced-psychiatry-crystalizes/.

United States House of Representative House and Energy Committee Health Subcommittee Hearings on HR 2646 and HR 2690, June 16, 2015. Retrieved on June 23, 2015 from http://energycommerce.house.gov/hearing/examining-hr-2646-helping-families-mental-health-crisis-act#video.

Westberg, J. (July 15, 2014). Mental Health America says they are against the Murphy bill but some doubt it. Examiner.  http://www.examiner.com/article/mental-health-america-says-they-re-against-the-murphy-bill-but-some-doubt-it.

Whitaker, R. and Cosgrove, L. (2015). Psychiatry under the influence: Institutional corruption, social injury, and prescriptions for reform. Palgrave Macmillan.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. Keep up the good fight, Lauren. I think the best we can do now is gather up our strength, such as it is, and organize some kind of effective national organization to fight things like the Murphy bill.

    I think the bill will pass, but that does not mean our fight will be over by any means. One thing that is happening now is that psychiatry is grossly overreaching, and that is the sort of thing that eventually gets people to fight back. Murphy’s bill is part of this overreach.

    And a positive thing that the Murphy bill does is defunds all the Astroturf organizations and the “Alternatives” conference that have been supporting those who have betrayed our movement. Without that money, hopefully those who benefit from it will disappear (I hope).

    Something else that should work in our favor is the new consciousness in our country now about racism and the domination of our country by a tiny few who want to take us back to feudalism. Our movement should try to connect with that. Not “should,” we HAVE TO.

    We are a movement for freedom and liberation, fighting what is now being called the billionaire class, and all the other antidemocratic tendencies in our country. We need to align ourselves with the larger fight that is starting to take shape.

    In the short run, I don’t think we can beat back Murphy. In the long run, and there is no other way we can go, we and the other 99% of the people in this country are going to take back our freedom.

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  2. When a Congressional Hearing was convened, in part, to consider the the public benefit and the over 500 accusations of abuse regarding an institution I spent two years in, I thought, “They can’t deny this anymore. Once these things are said out loud, they can’t take it back. Finally, we will be validated.” I did not give testimony, but the girl who did had been just a few months behind me, and her poise and clarity were striking. Then, the representative said, “And how did you find yourself there?” She was candid about her past, but she was met with accusations about her character. They were goading and repetitive, but she didn’t become defensive. The TN representative then said, “And yet, you are now able to address a Congressional Hearing. I think that is more than enough evidence to show the benefits this facility brings to the state of Tennessee.” In a single sentence, he had belittled and discounted not just her experience, but all of our experiences and the accounts of abuse including several suicides within the facility. That was when I realized that they didn’t want to hear us. It didn’t matter how severe the accusations or what methods were used under the guise of treatment. The whole hearing had just been a way to play to the public. They had never intended to take us seriously.

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    • “And yet, you are now able to address a Congressional Hearing. I think that is more than enough evidence to show the benefits this facility brings to the state of Tennessee.”

      Psychiatry 101. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. You get better – you should thank them for the torture. You kill yourself or turn into a brain-dead zombie – well, it’s clear mental illness is horrible and we need more psychiatry. There’s no discussion with this propaganda machine.

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  3. As far as I can tell, the Murphy bill is unconstitutional on the face of it. Based on prior Supreme Court rulings, you can’t force a person into treatment without a demonstrated immediate risk. This is a constitutional issue, not something they can legislate away.

    That said, I wonder how many people were bribed to bring this back after its earlier ignominious defeat?

    We need new representatives in Congress!!!!

    — Steve

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    • I think the argument will be that outpatient commitment is a lesser deprivation of liberty, that should be balanced against the compelling state interest of getting murderous schizophrenics off the streets.

      As far as I know, OPC has been challenged legally in only one state, New York. In the case of In re K.L., New York’s highest court upheld the law, but the legal reasoning resembled the Dred Scott decision (“A black man has no rights a white man is bound to respect.”) In other words, the court openly said we have always done it this way and we see no reason to change it. Fortunately, I don’t think K.L. will carry much weight in the federal courts, as it is completely lacking in any rational legal argument.

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      • Dred Scott had that extra bonus of being the only time I have seen the 5th amendment used to guarantee your right to own a person. The Supreme Court has been hesitant for years to make decisions on mental health that don’t also include criminality. As the rights and protections aren’t the same, it’s difficult to support an argument that isn’t going to be struck down in the first five minutes.

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  4. Given that this bill means to turn schools into intelligence gathering agencies for the police state, screening youths and children for “mental illness”, thereby expanding the “mental illness” industry, and the ridiculous excuse for doing so has something to do with violent crime prevention, hopefully it isn’t such a shoe-in as some people might suppose. Anyway, I’d like to think we can fight this thing, and that we can win. Were the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 to go the way of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013, there you go. Fight it, of course. It’s not a good thing. If it gets tabled, well, with fingers crossed, that’s going to mean 2 strikes against the supporters of this bill, and perhaps that’s something they couldn’t recover from. Not that I have too much faith in the ability of the politics of corporate greed to do any such thing (Who would benefit from this bill become law? Big Pharma would benefit from this bill become law!), but it’s not over until the paper receives a signature, and then the fight begins in earnest.

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  5. I’m “boiling over” with anger too and I’m very, very afraid of what will become of us all if this bill becomes law. Not only will Mad people be forced to make a “Sophie’s Choice” between neglect or psychiatric abuse, but the entire democratic process will be severely undermined by the precedent that this mockery of legislative deliberation will set. The only target of pro-force psychiatry who was allowed to testify in one of these hearings was not allowed to mount a formidable protest of this bill. The leaders of both NAMI and MHA have made no attempt to stop the members of these groups who advocate for a pro-force psychiatric system from silencing opposition to this bill from the members who advocate for a pro-choice system. To the best of my knowledge, Mad in America hasn’t been given an opportunity to fight, formidably or otherwise, for a mental health care bill that doesn’t turn us into wards of the state. People are not really citizens when their elected officials can stop them from speaking on their own behalf or appointing somebody else to represent them. A government that enfeebles one segment of the people who create it cannot be trusted to act justly towards anyone else. This consequence will be the worst and final danger of Rep. Murphy’s “Jim Crow” laws for Mad people.

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    • Dred Scott had that extra bonus of being the only time I have seen the 5th amendment used to guarantee your right to own a person. The Supreme Court has been hesitant for years to make decisions on mental health that don’t also include criminality. As the rights and protections aren’t the same, it’s difficult to support an argument that isn’t going to be struck down in the first five minutes.

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  6. I agree, thank you for your activism, Lauren. I’m saddened and shocked by what’s going on in this country. The evil banks and corporations Thomas Jefferson warned us about have taken control, and they will take this country down, just as they’ve destroyed other nations. And our politicians are going along with their divide and conquer strategies. It’s truly shameful. Historically, and today, only evil governments advocate belief in psychiatry.

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  7. Thank You Lauren for being there for us , witnessing and reporting a historical classic view of how the Kangaroo Government Therapeutic State operates and plans to deal with it’s citizens . I wish there had been at least a half dozen of us there with you . What do you think would have happened if a few people had done a banner drop and tried to give a speech within the hearing ? Would it have got media coverage or been completely squelched ?
    This climate feels to me as a psych survivor , with loved ones to varying degrees captured by psychiatry one not without hope of escaping and knowing there is possiblity they could reel in anyone including psych survivors especially those in relative poverty unemployed and retired . Heah, they eventually get anyone who enters a nursing home. Anyways the climate reminds me of the climate portrayed in the movie “Swing Kids” in which a youthful Christian Bale had a role , about the group of young people , not involved in politics in Germany as the nazis were consolidating power , who loved jazz
    the music, freedom and partying , dancing and how helpless they were when all was become forbidden , in the face of the tidal wave of Hitler’s totalitarian eugenic dictatorship , sweeping over Germany and beyond. Americans (Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations funded the eugenic movement in Germany starting first in the U.S.A.
    Are we beyond civil disobedience doing us any good and if not why hasn’t this been tested in present time by a group of 6 or so survivors acting together somewhere on the issue of at least opposing, psychiatric pharma teacher oppression of the forced drug and electric brain damaging of children ?
    Or is it time to make phony ID’s and run for the hill’s that have been denuded of tree’s . I guess there is such a thing as hiding in plane sight. I know poverty is a big factor. And may we somehow succeed in the struggle for human rights. I’m still not giving up during my lifetime which with being free of psychiatry , and reaching for clean air food and water and good company and the rejuvenating effect of nature , I plan to be around for a long time. And to hell with robber baron pseudo science in every category. Fred

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  8. Before they decide to force people to take psychiatry against their will, there should be standards met. I was a patient in Glendale Adventist and I won’t Report What I Saw There. Abuse, Rape, You name it…………………. it happens here………….At Glendale Adventist In Los Angeles…

    Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer has filed a lawsuit accusing Glendale Adventist Medical Center of dumping mentally ill and disabled homeless patients on L.A.’s skid row over the last four years.

    The six-page complaint, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, said the hospital improperly transported elderly and dependent patients to the downtown Los Angeles neighborhood, a 50-block area “known for extreme poverty, homelessness, rampant sale and use of illegal drugs and violent crime.”

    Homeless people suffering from mental illness who wander these dangerous streets are particularly vulnerable to victimization and exploitation by criminal predators.
    – City prosecutors in a civil lawsuit filed against Glendale Adventist Medical Center
    “Homeless people suffering from mental illness who wander these dangerous streets are particularly vulnerable to victimization and exploitation by criminal predators,” the suit said.

    Hospital officials “strongly disagree” with the allegations, but are working with the city attorney to resolve the matter, Glendale Adventist spokeswoman Alicia Gonzalez said in an email Friday. City attorney spokesman Rob Wilcox said settlement negotiations were underway and declined further comment.

    In 2005 and 2006, images of taxis and vans dropping mentally ill patients in hospital gowns, including one holding a colostomy bag, on skid row drew national outrage, and resulted in civil actions and fines against Kaiser Permanente and other large hospitals and chains.

    In January, Feuer announced a renewed crackdown on the practice. Earlier this year, he reached six-figure settlements with Pacifica Hospital of the Valley in Sun Valley and Montebello-based Beverly Community Hospital over allegations of improper skid row discharges.

    But the Glendale Adventist case is by far the most significant in his campaign. The 515-bed, acute-care hospital is a pillar of the Glendale community, and the flagship of Adventist Health, a system of 19 hospitals, clinics and home care centers in California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.

    Established in 1905, the hospital has 720 affiliated doctors, employs 2,460 people and has 680 volunteers. The L.A. County Department of Mental Health designated the facility to admit and treat mentally ill patients brought in on involuntary detention holds, city prosecutors said in the suit.

    The vaguely worded complaint does not detail specific incidents but alleges the hospital had homeless patients improperly transported to locations without their consent on June 6, and for four years before the complaint was filed.

    The Rev. Andy Bales, head of the Union Rescue Mission, said the allegations against Glendale Adventist came as “a real surprise.”

    “I have always known Glendale Adventist to not ever be dumping patients,” said Bales, whose skid row shelter has operated “dump cams” to document homeless people arriving in hospital gowns and bracelets. “I do believe they will take action and set up a proper protocol.”

    The Glendale News-Press reported in January that a psychiatric patient was sent by taxi from a Glendale hospital to the city’s winter homeless shelter. Natalie Profant-Komuro, executive director of Ascencia, the 90-day shelter operator, said the case was “notable to me because the patient was so unfit.”

    She declined to name the hospital.

    Follow @geholland for news about skid row and homelessness.

    Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times

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  9. “HR 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 and HR 2690, the Including Families in Mental Health Recovery Act of 2015.”
    Why do they have to come with these Orwellian names?

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