Deafening Silence: What Happens When the Whistle Blows and Nobody Hears?


What happens when someone finally “blows the whistle,” exposing potential harm and possible death caused by today’s mental health system? Is there any government agency or designated persons who are prepared to hear the whistle or even investigate and/or act on the nature of a serious complaint? Are all whistle blowers fired, or are some just ignored and easily dismissed as just an isolated voice in the wilderness?  Just how broken is “Broken”? Is it even worth the effort of going through official channels to file formal complaints within the current ‘System’? Here is my story and I will let you ponder some of the possible answers to these provocative questions.

September 11th 2015 was my last day working as a counselor/therapist in the U.S. community mental health system. After 22 years working within that system I resigned out of protest having waged a concerted effort (2½ years) to challenge potentially dangerous psychiatric drug prescribing patterns at my workplace. In late April of this year these challenges led to the filing of a major complaint with the Massachusetts Dept. of Mental Health and eventually the Dept. of Public Health. Here is a brief summary of how these events unfolded and ultimately reached a disappointing, but not surprising, final conclusion:

I had been working in the largest community mental health clinic in southern MA. My specialty was addiction problems, but I also worked with people suffering from many other types of extreme emotional distress. During my 22 years at this clinic I sadly witnessed the complete takeover of community mental health by Biological Psychiatry and their disease/drug based medical model of so-called “treatment.” Today, psychiatric drugs have completely replaced therapy as the new standard of care within this system, and I would argue that the result has been a complete disaster for the vast majority of people seeking help at a very vulnerable time in their life.

Even though I was 67 years old, I had no intention of retiring from this type of therapeutic work. At the same time I was keenly aware that my working days were numbered in this environment due to the intensity of my ethical conflicts with the daily practices there. I could have just simply resigned and easily transitioned to a private therapy practice, however; I felt morally obligated to push the system to the limit prior to my leaving.

Due to my status as a senior clinician in good standing, I had the greatest latitude in attempting to challenge the ‘System’ while taking these on-the-job risks. I had no illusions that this would be easy, or that the ‘System’ was open to any serious examination of potential harm being done in community mental health clinics. However, I never expected to discover just HOW unprepared, dysfunctional, and totally oblivious the entire state bureaucracy is when it involves any serious complaints detailing possible abuses and harm being done to its citizens by a branch of medicine called Psychiatry.

At the very least I thought there would be an actual investigation of the evidence, even if it meant going through the motions and acting as if there was some degree of professional concern. I believed that maybe going through this process might put some pressure on state agencies and local leadership in community mental health to investigate possible medical abuses and set an initial precedent towards future action. I soon discovered that any supposed “checks and balances” regarding medical safety, as it applies to psychiatric drugs, are nonexistent and the government agencies entrusted with protecting the public in this area of medicine are virtually clueless and totally unprepared to act with any authority. The bottom line is that the overall situation is far worse than even the most cynical critic could ever imagine. Here is how this whole process began:

On January 6th 2014 I sent a five-page document to clinic leadership at my agency detailing a pattern of potential harm being done by psychiatric drug prescribing patterns. I also requested an outside independent evaluation of clinic prescribing patterns and suggested two New England psychiatrists who were experienced enough for such an evaluation. Here is a brief except from this original document:

Of particular concern regarding [clinic’s name removed]’s prescribing patterns are the following:

  1. A high number of long term prescriptions for benzodiazepines. These drugs may be the most dangerous and abused drugs in the world. In general, prescription of this category of drug for more than three weeks, with few exceptions, often leads to dependency and potential addiction issues, and long term use often worsens anxiety symptoms and overall treatment outcomes. Many people coming to (clinic name) for treatment are already dependent on these drugs and their demands for continued use puts enormous pressure on clinic prescribers to continue writing prescriptions. This makes the need for a comprehensive policy, with very strict and clearly delineated guidelines to ensure safety, of the utmost importance.
  2. Poly-pharmacy: this refers to a pattern of multiple prescriptions for the same category of drug (such as two or more antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, or antidepressants to the same client) or multiple prescriptions (sometimes as high as 7 or more psychiatric drugs for a single client) for several categories of drugs where the drug interaction or synergistic effect cannot be determined or understood, and may be overwhelming and dangerous for the client.
  3. Possible unsafe prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs with examples of poly-pharmacy (2 or more prescriptions for the same client), prescriptions to people over the age of 40 where recent scientific evidence has led to serious warnings of potential dangers, and “off label” prescribing to both children and adults which has raised similar safety concerns. 
  4. Long term prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs where recent evaluation of research indicates poorer outcomes in global functioning, including health indices, for those maintained on these drugs, as opposed to those who use them for a shorter period of time or were never started on them. 
  5. The lack of a true “Informed Consent” policy that accurately lists ALL the new scientific evidence of the potentially harmful side effects or long term effects, and major withdrawal syndromes connected to all categories of psychiatric drugs prescribed at [name of the clinic].”

After several weeks passed the clinic leadership did agree to have one meeting with me where they allowed for some discussion of my concerns, but clearly stated that there would be NO scheduled independent outside evaluation of clinic prescribing patterns. They told me to be patient until a new computer software system was installed in the summer which would supposedly allow them to more accurately track prescribing patterns. They chose not to pursue any further investigation into any of the particular cases that I identified where possible harm was being done.

Two months later in the first week of April 2014 I took an additional aggressive step by sending out a new 3-page open letter to the entire medical department (12 prescribers) and to clinic leadership focusing on the high number of benzodiazepine prescriptions emanating from the clinic. This open letter followed newly published statistical evidence that at least 30% of all opiate overdose fatalities involved the combination of benzos and opioid drugs. I followed up this open letter with an Op-Ed piece printed in the area newspaper which was titled “Opiate and Benzos: A Deadly Cocktail of Drugs.”

Meanwhile, throughout Massachusetts an epidemic of opiate overdoses was raging, with a record high number of deaths, with Massachusetts’ south coast area having one of the highest per capita rates of these fatal overdoses. No public outcry or government action was able to slow down this epidemic and nobody was willing to explore the lesser known connection of the rising high number of benzo prescriptions (94 million throughout the country in 2013) that had also been closely paralleling the related rising opiate overdose epidemic.

After 8 more months of inaction, I decided to make another aggressive move (in early December of 2014) by sending a second letter to the medical department and the clinic leadership regarding the benzo crisis and the clinic’s role in maintaining a high number of long term prescriptions. The impetus for this letter followed my becoming aware that a young client of a fellow colleague had recently died of a possible opiate overdose. This particular client had a known history of opiate addiction, including area prescriptions for suboxone (a synthetic opiate), and was prescribed benzos (Xanax) by a clinic psychiatrist. This very well could have been one of those “perfect storms of addiction” where certain drug combinations (especially opiates and benzos) all-too-often lead to a deadly suppression of lung and heart function. This death may have represented only the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to the nature of these types of overdose fatalities in the South Coast area.

By the spring of 2015 a total of fourteen months had passed by with not a single response or action from clinic leadership beyond my initial meeting with them in January of 2014.  In late April of 2015 I decided that I had exhausted all efforts seeking change within the local clinic and was now ethically obligated to take these serious complaints to the Dept. of Mental Health (DMH). Despite the obvious risks to my job security, I filed a formal complaint on April 21st. This complaint was comprised of a total of 70 pages of documents including original source material and scientific studies supporting my serious concerns about the dangers of certain psychiatric drug prescribing patterns. The beginning text of this complaint read as follows:

“To Whom It May Concern:

It is my intention to make a formal complaint to the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and other appropriate state agencies regarding possible unsafe medical practices at [name of clinic removed]. I believe some of their psychiatric drug prescribing practices may have harmed patients in the past and are potentially harming patients at the present time. In addition, I believe that serious problems related to the high number of benzodiazepine prescriptions coming from this agency may be creating dangerous health risks that spill over into the broader communities throughout the south coast of Massachusetts, especially as it concerns the growing epidemic of opiate overdoses…”

Taking the action of filing an official complaint targeting a workplace where one has been employed for 22 years definitely causes a high level of stress and vigilance, even for someone who has a long history of political activism. This complaint requested a meeting as soon as possible to discuss the details related to specific examples of clients being potentially harmed. Even as someone with very low expectations of the current ‘System,’ I expected a fairly quick, if perfunctory, response that would at least go through the motions of an initial investigation.

Well, guess what?! After three weeks, with not a word of response, (followed by my making several phone calls checking the status of my complaint), I heard from someone indicating that they had “unfortunately misplaced” my complaint. After several apologies they then decided that DMH did not have state jurisdiction over my workplace due to the type of licensure of this particular clinic, and then indicated that the Dept. of Public Health (DPH) would be forwarded the complaint. Now, after several more weeks of delay, I was told that DPH WOULD NOT be investigating the complaint because it was “NOT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY,” and it did not warrant any further involvement on their part. Finally they told me I should instead forward such a complaint to the state Medical Board for their review. This couldn’t have been a more classic example of “passing the buck” and, in this case, to an almost certain dead-end result.

I then carefully researched DPH policy and discovered that there is actually a division within the department called the Drug Control Program whose mission states the following:

“The Drug Control Program (DCP) promotes access to safe and effective pharmaceutical care services in Massachusetts and protects consumers against fraud, deception and unsafe practices in the distribution, handling and use of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The Program has statutory responsibility to set standards for the control of prescribing, dispensing and administration of pharmaceuticals by health care providers as well as distribution of pharmaceuticals by health care facilities (e.g. hospitals, clinics, long-term care) and other entities (e.g. manufacturers, distributors, community-based programs). The DCP undertakes initiatives to promote effective security and accountability measures and to prevent theft, tampering, misuse and abuse of drugs.”

Thinking I had discovered something important, I rewrote my complaint with more specific examples of potential harm done, including possible deaths related to psychiatric drug prescribing patterns, and sent it to the head of the DPH’s Drug Control Program (DCP). Reading the mission statement of the DCP one would think that there is no way that leading employees of the DPH could now refuse to accept this complaint as somehow not being part of their public health responsibility. Wrong again! They not only refused to investigate this newly written complaint, but repeated the now tired recommendation that I forward the complaint to the state Medical Board.

I vociferously made the argument to DPH’s head of investigations that taking this complaint to the Medical Board would be similar to expecting the police department to seriously investigate a claim of police abuse against one of their own. We all know how that goes in this country. I further stated that when certain institutions in society, such as medicine and Psychiatry, fail in their responsibility to “Do No Harm,” it is THEN the responsibility of DPH (as an arm of government) to carry out its stated mission to “protect the health and welfare” of its citizens. Reality once again slaps one hard in the face and reveals the truth that logic has no power in the face of an inept and broken governmental bureaucracy.

After weeks went by with no direct contact from any state official (and after repeated telephone calls on my part that were never answered) I finally received what I thought was the final word in a telephone message from the head of the Drug Control Program. He stated that after seeking legal advice it was determined that this complaint DID NOT fall under their jurisdiction and once again the recommendation was to send the complaint to the state Medical Board.

Ironically, a few weeks later the head of the DCP called me out of the blue and said that he would be willing to meet with me, but “it would not change their position on whether or not to investigate this matter.” I decided to go through with this meeting regardless, and it finally took place on August 7, 2015, over 3 1/2 months after the first complaint was filed. By this time I had authored another Op-Ed piece printed on August 2nd in our area newspaper titled “A Perfect Storm of Addiction: Opiates and Benzos Still Flood SouthCoast.” This article revealed even more incriminating facts about the dangerous connection of the Psychiatry-led benzo drug prescribing patterns with the opiate overdose epidemic. Included were the statistic that in the year 2013 Medicare prescriptions in Massachusetts for all benzodiazepines were extremely high in our area. Looking at Xanax, perhaps the most addictive of all the benzos, 4 out of the top 5, and 15 out of the top 25 prescribers of this drug were located in the South Coast; two of those prescribers worked in my clinic. None of this important statistical information was enough to even interest or sway state officials to change their position about launching an investigation.

During the meeting with the head of the DCP I decided to ask why he decided to actually meet with me when there had been a refusal on the part of all state officials to investigate this complaint, and that even he initially had refused such a meeting. Interestingly, he then admitted that he “felt sorry” for me and that “out of respect” he believed he should offer to have a discussion of these matters.

Like many low-level bureaucrats in various state jobs, the head of the DCP was a sympathetic person (with a work history as a pharmacist) who appeared to agree on the surface about the dangers of benzodiazepines and certain other psychiatric drugs. However, as he saw his role (as defined by DPH) he was ONLY there to “crunch” statistical numbers related to issues such as opioid drug prescriptions. He had no concern that the responsibility of his department was also (at least in the words of their mission statement) to “…protect{s} consumers against fraud, deception and unsafe practices in the distribution, handling and use of pharmaceuticals and medical devices…”, nor did he perceive a mandate or motivation to pursue evidence related to psychiatric drug prescribing abuses. While this man came off as respectful and cordial to me, he also made it clear by his words and actions that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is not willing or prepared to even investigate, let alone challenge Psychiatry when it comes to any of the categories of mind altering and often dangerous drugs they prescribe.

For many of us it is not surprising in the least that another government agency is failing in its civic duty to protect the public in this country. But the utter disregard and lack of preparedness by a major public health agency to even investigate Psychiatry’s wrong doing and/or medical harm, including possible death to its citizens, is not only disheartening and dumbfounding, but clearly & outrageously wrong.

At the present time in the history of our movement it is clear that “whistle blowing” may not even be heard by the ‘System,’ let alone ever be acted upon. If they don’t fire you then they can simply ignore you because no one may even be aware or willing to acknowledge that an actual problem exists. When I first began this journey 3 years ago I had a brief phone conversation with PsychRights lawyer Jim Gottstein about how those in power might respond to my challenges and formal complaint related to psychiatric drug prescribing patterns. He did suggest at the time that one possible response may be to “just ignore you.” In this case he was, sadly, all too correct in his assessment.

It needs to be stated that all the people who are currently ignoring the sounds of blown whistles (from the leaders of community mental health clinics to low level bureaucrats in state government positions) are not necessarily bad people. Most have been thoroughly mesmerized by the billion-dollar propaganda campaigns and the perceived medical authority of Biological Psychiatry. As for those state officials responsible for the investigation of medical complaints, they are simply following a narrowly defined job description that ultimately defers to medical authority and steers them away from any action that might potentially “rock the boat” of those in authority.

In retrospect, to become a lone whistle blower in a particular workplace (in the absence of more organized forces) poses major limitations as to what is possible to accomplish in these types of efforts. This should not deter those who wish to expose wrong-doing in the future, but instead encourage those individuals to work towards developing a broader base of support to maximize the sound and effect of the blown whistle. The entirety of my experience in this endeavor reconfirms my long-held belief that the current ‘System’ is truly broken FAR beyond repair. My use of the word ‘System’ refers not only to Psychiatry and the entire mental health system as we know it, but also to the broader profit-based economic system within which it thrives and derives its power.

If whistle blowers are ever to be heard, and harm-doers exposed and punished, it can only happen in the wake of a more highly developed mass struggle and organized resistance than exists at this time. We are just a serious nuisance to the Psychiatric/Pharmaceutical/Industrial/Complex, and still in the earliest stages of a much more protracted movement. There is enormous work and struggle to be carried out before there can ever be a true end to psychiatric abuse, and by necessity this will require major systemic transformations of an irreparably broken system that remains deafeningly silent to the cries of its many victims and critics.


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. If a whistle blows in a forest of denial does it make a sound?

    Richard, thanks much for your efforts to correct, and now to expose this. I think we might agree that the system is not “broken” but functioning as it is meant to — to protect the wealthy and powerful. And I agree that we are in the first stages of a protracted struggle which will require far more effort than simply organizing a demonstration or educational event here & there from time to time.

    I will keep repeating as often as necessary that in order to bring down the psychiatric gulag we need an analysis which recognizes the psychiatric industry is a branch of the prison industrial complex, not a legitimate branch of medicine which simply needs tweaking.

    Again, thanks for your efforts. You are one of the few professionals here whom I consider primarily an ally of “survivors,” rather than someone trying to rationalize their participation in an evil system by calling for “reforms.”

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    • So after reading this again I have some further thoughts.

      One, their ignoring you is a tactic; it’s not like they aren’t keenly aware of what you are officially making known to them. They need to avoid any public discussion of these issues, and while it may seem to you that your actions have been futile or gone unnoticed it may well be that all the buck-passing over jurisdiction, etc. is a way of them trying to appear calm and collected as they hold their fingers in the dike. Because this is an emperor’s new clothes scenario if there ever was one, and there is the potential for us to rapidly gain momentum and support once a few key sectors of society grasp the enormity of the fraud involved in the perpetuation of such absurd constructions as “mental illness” and the subsequent mass drugging of the population under the purported aegis of “treating” metaphors.

      So, this form of ignoring you could constitute the “first they ignore you” part of Gandhi’s four-part scenario. Accordingly, the next part would be for them to laugh at you/us, except we’re up against liberals here for the most part, so any laughing they do will likely be behind our backs as they prepare for stage three, the attack stage. Meanwhile we need to step up our outreach to otherwise progressive people and try to ignite that proverbial “single spark” of consciousness which could lead to the critical mass necessary to take the anti-psych movement to the next level.

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      • Oldhead,

        Thanks for the support and your attempts to find deeper meaning and lessons from all this experience.

        Yes we need to search for those opportunities where a “single spark can start a prairie fire.” Despite some of the disappointments encountered in this struggle it has not demoralized me or caused me to back away from seeking ways to advance our movement.

        I did receive some interesting support and feedback from some of my colleagues at the clinic before I left. Many thanked me for speaking out and daring to challenge the status quo.

        Many of the other therapists are definitely aware that Psychiatry has too much power and that the medical model has not only NOT delivered on its promises, but also that poly-pharmacy has overwhelmed and replaced therapy as the standard of care. While they don’t yet share a radical perspective at this time, many are beginning to lift their heads to ask questions and think more critically.. Several other clinicians are also leaving the clinic due to low morale and other related issues.

        One psychiatrist even called me into her office and apologized to me for not speaking out more and supporting my efforts regarding the excessive benzo prescribing patterns at the clinic; she has since resigned and move on to another job. Even she (and another prescriber who was open minded and read materials passed on to her) had some ethical problems with Big Pharma’s claims and how much drugging was going on.

        This shortage of psychiatrists puts enormous strain on the system and increases liability issues due to the fact that some of the remaining prescribers are now responsible for three to five hundred patients apiece. This gives new meaning to quality of care and the five minute [med]/DRUG reviews that may occur many months apart.

        Oldhead, I agree that we must be careful about the use of the word “broken” to describe this ‘System.’ I do not want to leave the impression that this system EVER really worked for the vast majority of people. It never has nor was it designed to function that way.


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        • One reason for exhaustively pursuing the purported avenues of redress provided by the system, even when we know what the result will be, is as a means of exposing its bankruptcy.

          I’m wondering if you could at this point take everything you’ve presented here back to places like your local media (or that of the nearest big city), or to salon, huffington, etc. and have them either do a story or print something by you. Especially if some of those other ex-clinicians who support you would dare to back you up on the facts (they wouldn’t have to say anything “radical”). Maybe Bruce L. or someone else here could hook you up with the right contact people.

          In the same vein, if you have that kind of moderate support from former colleagues, it’s likely that there is a strata of similarly discouraged people throughout the entire CMH system. If you could find a way to reach out to them and encourage them to start speaking out in an organized way it would be huge. (As much as I hesitate to use that term in the current electoral climate.)

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      • “… we need to step up our outreach to otherwise progressive people and try to ignite that proverbial ‘single spark’ of consciousness which could lead to the critical mass necessary to take the anti-psych movement to the next level.” This analogy made me think of the following contemporary lyrics, which I think are relevant, hopefully even motivational, to those in our movement.

        “Like a small boat, On the ocean, Sending big waves Into motion. Just like how a single word Can make a heart open. I might only have one match, But I can make an explosion. And all those things I didn’t say, Wrecking balls inside my brain, I will scream them loud tonight. Can you hear my voice this time? This is my fight song, Take back my life song. Prove I’m alright song. My power’s turned on (Starting right now) I’ll be strong. I’ll play my fight song. And I don’t really care if nobody else believes, ‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me ….”

        This “Fight Song” speaks to me, at least, and we do have one heck of a fight in front of us. Almost exactly like, albeit more insidious, but also forewarned, the one the Jews were facing when confronted by Nazi Germany’s government sanctioned psychiatrists; or the one the Russian dissidents were facing with the Russian government’s state support of psychiatry.

        It’s a shame the US has sunk so low as to actually switch from a so called “Christian” country, to one which advocates today’s US psychiatrist’s, scientifically invalid DSM stigmatization, theology instead. And, how ironic, at the exact same time the “private banks … and corporations that will grow up around them” that are depriving “the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered,” that Thomas Jefferson forewarned us about, took control of this country. And by the exact same “too big to fail” European banking families who worked to financially destroy Germany pre-WWII.

        Nonetheless, Richard, I do absolutely agree with your passion regarding the impropriety of combining the benzos and the opioids, no doubt a deadly combination. I’m also personally disgusted that doctors / the pharmaceutical industry are prescribing the opioids under names other than opium, and denying the opioid’s known mind altering effects, which was one of the etiologies of my fictitious “life long incurable, genetic mental illness.”

        As to “Poly-pharmacy: this refers to a pattern of multiple prescriptions for the same category of drug (such as two or more antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, or antidepressants to the same client) or multiple prescriptions (sometimes as high as 7 or more psychiatric drugs for a single client) for several categories of drugs where the drug interaction or synergistic effect cannot be determined or understood, and may be overwhelming and dangerous for the client.”

        I’d like to point out the actual medically known drug interaction effects of specifically the drugs you mentioned, “the four ‘anti’s of antihistamines, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and antiparkinsonian drugs[3] as well as atropine, benztropine, datura, and scopolamine.”

        Combining more than one of these particular drug classes are already medically known to cause a known toxidrome called anticholinergic toxidrome, aka anticholinergic intoxication syndrome. So, your belief “the drug interaction or synergistic effect cannot be determined or understood” is not actually true.

        And the central symptoms of anticholinergic intoxication syndrome are already known to cause the following symptoms: “memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, hallucinations, psychosis, delirium, hyperactivity, twitching or jerking movements, stereotypy, and seizures.” Symptoms which almost exactly mimic the positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” thus are no doubt almost always misdiagnosed as one of the “major mental illnesses.” Since poly-pharmacy induced anticholinergic toxidrome is not, as it should be, even mentioned in the DSM as one of the possible causes of these symptoms, thus psychiatrist in practice don’t consider this, since they can’t bill for this drug induced syndrome / toxidrome.

        And I will say, in regards to my medical research, and the medical crimes committed against me, my child, and my entire family. I, too, was a “lone whistle blower,” thus ineffective (or at least seemingly so). Although, time, and further research, does help bring about the truth.

        In reality, the motive behind the etiology of my “life long incurable, genetic mental illness” was a medical cover up of some easily recognized iatrogenesis by my PCP for her incompetent doctor husband, and a cover up of the medical evidence of the abuse of my small child for an unethical pastor.

        I sent and discussed my medical research and concerns with my family’s lifelong religion, a religion my family had given and made millions for, asking for assistance, to no avail; I requested assistance from numerous subsequent doctors, to no avail; sent and discussed the situation with my local and all relevant police stations, DCFS, the IL DPR, the IL States Attorneys Office, the FBI, including a friend who is a lawyer for the FBI. All to no avail. My subsequent pastor, of a different religion did, however, confess my family had dealt with the “dirty little secret of the two original educated professions,” once he’d seen my medical research and learned of the extreme religious betrayal, with which my family had dealt.

        And one of the ELCA hospital doctors who’d medically unnecessarily had me shipped to him, then force medicated me for profit, and to perpetuate the cover ups, was eventually arrested 7 years later. For doing the exact same thing, and worse, to many patients. His name is VR Kuchipudi. Here’s his arrest warrant:

        And my ex-religion is now having books written, by pastors formerly within their Chicago synod offices, about their “psychopathic” pedophilia covering up behavior. I’m one of, apparently only many, of the “widows whose purse was stolen,” written about in the preface of this book. And the chapter on evil describes to a tee today’s current ELCA Lutheran corporate behavior:

        I guess my point is we, as a movement, need to maintain hope that justice in time will prevail, I do believe it will. I also agree, however, the current system is completely corrupt, needs to be exposed, and fought against – but this includes the entire paternalistic, greed inspired nature of it, not just the psychiatric crimes. Our country’s been taken over by the evil our founding father’s forewarned us of, the same evil that took over Germany pre-WWII.

        As a former ethical American bank president’s daughter, who studied economics in college, I’ll tell you the root of our society’s current problems are unethical banking problems. The psychiatrists are just pathetic loons, who’ve been deluded, and given undeserved and unchecked power, who have lost their minds since they have delusions of grandeur they’re in charge. But they definitely are a societal problem.

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        • Someone Else

          Thanks for the support and the poetic and musical contributions that do offer inspiration to carry forward with the struggle.

          You consistently tell a powerful story at MIA and provide detailed experience about the dangers of psychiatric drugs and those institutions of power that continue to lord over the masses of people.

          Your passion for the truth and for bringing the harm doers to justice helps inspire me to stay in the “Good Fight.” Onward!


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          • Richard,

            Thank you for your kind words, and appreciation for my creative side, for which I was drugged by psychiatrists who apparently harbored “delusions” that creatives are incapable of also utilizing the analytical side of their brains. Thus allowing us to medically explain how doctors make patients “mad as a hatter” via anticholinergic toxidrome.

            Thankfully, I’ve now found doctors who are capable of comprehending medical research. And, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, Stand a little taller. Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone. What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter…”

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    • Richard and others: This article is timely for me, since I am confronting Psychiatry from multiple angels while simultaneously involving myself on other social justice related issues. First off, as I have written here before, I was involuntarily committed and brainwashed into biological psychiatry. I have successfully titrated myself off Lithium, which damaged my kidneys, as well as other psychiatric drugs. I am still taking 2mg of Zyprexa and .5mg of Klonapin. I have been in touch with my primary care physician in hopes that she can set me up with a psych-drug withdraw program-in my experience withdraw from Zyprexa is extremely tricky, combined with the problem that both drugs come in tablet form making dose withdraw on my own imprecise, Also on MIA and else where, it has come to my attention that with draw from Benzos is no easy matter.
      In my professional life I work three jobs-as a substitute in the school system and at Job Corps. I also work as a youth worker at a non-profit. As a result Richard, I am not completely beholden to one job, thus making it safer to speak out. (My wife has a secure position in the hospital, my son is on scholarship, and we have little remaining debt, which makes speaking out easier). My employers at Job Corps know that I take psych drugs, and thanks to the understanding of the human resource manager, we established the fact that someone with a Danger to Himself or Others classification can work for Job Corps and the Department of Labor. Likewise, I made my concern known to my AFT rep about what I consider the spurious diagnosis of ADHD. (I also discussed my concerns with my labor rep regarding the privitization and charterization of the public schools through such vehicles as No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and Common Corps. I also brought up the issue of Boycott, Divest, and Sanction-a movement opposing Israel’s occupation that has caught hold, particularly in the California system. I also talked to the AFT legislative rep as well as the local Green Party affiliated Mountain Party with regards to my running for the local legislature).
      At my non-profit I have discussed my concern regarding the influence of Psychiatry as it impacts our foster youth. I loaned my supervisor a copy of Whitaker’s book, and we set up a meeting on January 7, to discuss my concerns. I have also been in contact with the local WV branch of ACLU regarding their efforts to spear-head the opposition to a 70 bead juvenile psych lock-up in Logan County.
      Moreover, I was formerly a student in the counseling program at Marshall Graduate College until I was bullied out of the program on account of my anti-psychiatric views. I have recently been in contact with my advisor and the department head in order to file a complaint of discrimination. So you can see, that I am confronting Psychiatry from a number of angles. Moreover, as someone who will be running for political office on a Green Party affiliated platform,I stay abreast of numerous other issues including being involved with local environmental organizations as well as a foreign policy study group at the local library.

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      • Chrisreed

        I admire your tenacity. Make sure you carefully pick and choose those issues that you plan to take all the way to the wall/barricades. There is a lot of expenditure of time and emotion in these battles and it pays in the end to have developed an overall strategy with others who can share the responsibility.

        All the best, Richard

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      • Chrisreed–

        Good luck with the tapering. Very few professionals will acknowledge the need for an adequately slow taper. You will need to be insistent. The website Surviving Antidepressants has excellent tapering-off advice which is useful for all categories of meds. It can be done, but it has to be done slowly, especially at the lowest doses.

        Best of luck to you!

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        • Chrisreed, when you’re ready to start tapering off Klonopin, will be a tremendous help. Since being a member of this wonderful group, I’ve learned an incredible amount and am so thankful it exists to help others heal.

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  2. This non-comprehension problem is almost universal. I have to give you much credit for trying to do something about psych-drugging in your locality. We certainly need more whistle-blowers, and you just got a taste of why so few people rock the boat. On my home turf, I’m thinking there should be a dialogue about the mortality rates of people in the mental health system in institutions of higher education. Problem is those are the same institutions that train psychiatrists and pharmacologists. There have been mad students that made their way in the world of academia through compliance with authority. Seeing the other side of the issue is just something so many in academia are not really invested in, even if, for human reasons, of course, they should be. Why has 60 minutes, or 20/20, for instance, not picked up on the story told in Mad In America and Anatomy of an Epidemic, and had Robert Whitaker on national television as a guest? Well, I imagine, it has something to do with all the drug companies sponsoring commercial television now. There’s a reason they call it corporate media, Eli Lily, Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca, etc., are all feeding the newscasters. There’s a lot of corruption out there. If people want to do something about it, one good place to start would be by getting the money out of politics. Corruption feeds corruption, clean up one area at the top, and corruption is not likely to be as pervasive elsewhere as it is today.

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    • Frank

      Thanks for your support.

      You are right about mortality rates being an important issue to explore and publicize. There are many clients in community mental health dying in their 50’s; twenty years (or more)sooner that other people in out society. If it’s not a drug overdose or suicide than it’s metabolic diseases or heart conditions all caused or made worse by the psychiatric drugs.

      Today, Psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry are inseparable. Neither on can exist without the other; their future is forever tied together. Hopefully they will both fall together, and the sooner the better.


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  3. Richard,

    I had heard you weren’t working there anymore, but not all the details. Thank you for your bravery, and for laying out what happened here. These are some of the stories that make me feel most hopeless, but at the same time, I find a sense of hope for knowing that there are people like yourself who can work in the system in some way and still come out of it being clear on what you believe.


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    • Sera

      Thanks for those words. I greatly admire the very narrow and treacherous path upon which you walk as someone still in the ‘System.’ You have helped build a base of support that provides some insulation from all the heat; at least for now. I clearly was not surrounded by a similar base , especially from active survivors who emerged from some of your area’s alternative supports. That collective voice will make it more difficult to isolate you and silence those who continue to speak out.


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  4. Richard,

    I admire what you did and imagine you at least had the satisfaction of honestly confronting what is nothing less than outright corruption, charlatan-ism, ignorance, laziness, and idiocy, terms which well describe most of the people working in establishment American psychiatry. One can at least take some solace from standing up to the beast.

    Your situation brought to mind two quotes from my favorite writer Machiavelli:

    “The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous.”

    “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”

    I hope these don’t depress you too much; but they are quite applicable.

    As your account gives a localized example of, the United States is a singularly embarrassing and horrific case when it comes to psychiatric overdrugging. There is no political will to do anything about arguably much more serious problems (e.g. national debt, fossil fuel depletion, climate change)… so why would there be any will to do something about this? The entire structure of our capitalist society, including such horrific policies as allowing drugmakers to directly advertise to the public and hand massive bundles of cash to non-doctors (i.e. psychiatrists) on a regular basis renders the problems you are describing insoluble, at least in the short term.

    Corruption is woven into the bones of the American mental health system like a metastasized cancer, a cancer that kills patients literally or metaphorically (through emotional extinguishment) and enriches doctors. American psychiatry is similar to the energy industry in Russia or any number of corrupt industries in China, in which the state and industry collude to ravenously stripmine a given source for all possible profit with no regard for human life. Based on its actions it is entirely appropriate to call American psychiatry a criminal Cartel. There is no motivation to change when the American psychiatric cartel, comprised of corporations and their minions the psychiatrists, are profiting to the tune of billions every year from drugging and murdering innocent yet ignorant and voiceless people. It is truly horrifying and tragic. The only possible escape for most people is to somehow exit the System.

    I have confronted a number of biological and genetic researchers about the fraudulence of their research on “psychiatric illnesses” and encountered little but denial, avoidance, projection, and ignoring from these charlatans. I do not expect them to acknowledge how fraudulent their own work is; the real reason I contact them is because it is entertaining to see the ones who respond squirm, because I like them to know that people like myself can see right through their quackery, and because it exposes them for what they are: cowards and paper tigers. Their responses bring to mind this quote from Upton Sinclair:

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

    Few truer quotes exist that apply to American psychiatrists and mental health workers.

    I agree with oldhead that to have real success in effecting change, the anti-psych movement needs to be somehow taken to the next level, but am not sure how it can be done. If it’s to be done at all we will need many more people as courageous and active as Richard.

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    • BPDT

      Thanks for your support and your continuing efforts at MIA to get to the heart of many matters of importance.

      You are right that I do take some satisfaction about taking on the ‘Beast.’ In the heart of this struggle I felt that my beliefs and radical actions were totally in sync, and that is a feeling that one rarely experiences in most jobs, especially working in the mental health system.

      Being of retirement age and collecting some Social Security (while now also working in a small private practice) I did have a bit more freedom than most people who can’t afford to take too many risks for fear of losing a single paycheck.

      You are also right to focus some of your analysis on the profit based capitalist system, which is at the heart of what stands in the way of human progress on this planet. Psychiatry has become more and more necessary and useful to the preservation of this system, which makes our fight all the more important. In Part 2 of my past blog titled “What is Biological Psychiatry: Anatomy of Power and Control” I made the following statement:

      “Today’s Biological Psychiatry has become such an essential part of the economic and political fabric holding together our present day society, including its ability and need to maintain control over the more volatile sections of the population, that its future existence may be totally interdependent on the rise and fall of the entire system itself.”

      I believe the truth of this statement manifests itself each and every day that Psychiatry maintains its current role and power in our society.


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    • John

      Thanks for the support.

      I agree that more direct action that coordinates with greater education and exposure will be what is decisive in the future. I am not a big proponent of the legal route, but I felt I couldn’t ignore the opportunity my last few years in community mental health afforded me to raise a little hell.

      I do know that I made some people in authority at my clinic very nervous, and I wish I had a recording of my exit interview with clinic leadership because I held nothing back in my criticism of the harm being done by the medical model. I had prepared for that conversation for several years and it felt good to be completely free to state the truth and to morally hold people’s feet to the fire. I do hope they have more trouble sleeping at night as a result.


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  5. Well, here’s another essay response from me. As has been mentioned, the system is not simply broken, it was intentionally designed that way. It is not there to help people, it is there to make obscene profits from controlling people.

    The promotion of the medical model and ignoring of people who ask questions or raise concerns regarding the practices of psychiatry and mass drugging goes much further than biological psychiatry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the health/mental health system. This corruption has spread into almost every bureaucratic/governmental (the definition of bureaucrat by the way is “an official who works by fixed routine without exercising intelligent judgment.” – fixed routine without intelligent judgement), and corporate entity, not only including psychiatry, Big Pharma, and the health system, but extending further into government agencies (e.g. the FDA and NIMH), mental health advocacy groups (e.g. NAMI), the mainstream/corporate media (that receives billions of dollars in pharmaceutical advertising revenue), and even education (where many universities/health departments receive funding from drug companies).

    The reason why it is so difficult to be heard and to change this ‘broken’ (designed that way) corrupt system is because the corruption is so pervasive. It is also because the capitalist system puts profits before people, and the psychiatric/pharmaceutical complex is extremely profitable even though it is extremely harmful. Those people at the highest levels of power seek to maintain the status quo because the status quo is based on power, profit, and control, and these people do not want to lose their power, profits, or control. Also, how many people in the highest levels of power (government, corporate, media, education) would have egg on their face (as the saying goes) if they were forced to publicly admit that psychiatry, which they accept and promote, is fake science and a massive fraud. Many people already realize that psychiatry is an institute of social/political control, rakes in massive profits, and has way more power than a so called ‘branch of medicine’ should have (no other branch of medicine can legally kidnap, detain, restrain, and forcibly medicate or torture people against their will in the name of ‘treatment’).

    Although the higher levels of many institutions are corrupt, many people lower down may be good caring people that have been brainwashed into accepted the propaganda surrounding the validity of ‘mental illness’ or the effectiveness of psychiatric drugs. These people also have an invested interest in maintaining the status quo because to do otherwise would mean destroying their entire belief structure, that they know/practice good science, that they are offering safe and effective treatments, and that they are helping people. How many of these caring people could accept the extreme harm they are causing to other people when they think they are helping them? Widespread accepted beliefs are hard to challenge, no matter how wrong they are. People hold the view and belief that “that’s the accepted science, that’s just the way it is, everybody knows that.” It’s difficult for people to acknowledge or accept that the accepted science is wrong, that’s not the way it is, and that everybody that knew that is wrong. Just look at the world flat/world round thing. 500 odd years ago everybody knew the world was flat. Governments said it was flat, religions said it was flat, education institutes said it was flat, everybody knew it was flat. Then some guy comes along and says no, sorry, you’re wrong, the world isn’t flat, it’s round. Look what happened to him.

    I encountered something somewhat similar to what you did Richard, of being completely ignored when challenging the system, though I encountered it within an educational institution, not a medical institution such as yourself. After a decade of experiencing a wide assortment of so called ‘mental illnesses’ I entered university to study psychology. Shortly after I started uni I began piecing things together, which was in great part due to my personal experiences. As anyone who has studied psychology/psychiatry knows, there are many different theories, but no unifying theory. While there are many theories of how different aspects of the mind function (personality, memory, emotions, etc), there is no theory to explain how the mind itself works. Atleast there wasn’t previously. Well, 4 years after I entered university I mapped the mind, or more specifically, the psyche. This theory unifies all the other theories and can explain such things as personality, emotions, ego, consciousness, and even what ‘mental illness’ really is, all in one theory. It’s called The Map of the Psyche. How I thought my research would be viewed was very different to the reality. My university had the slogan “Discoverer’s Welcome.” My discovery was not welcomed. I approached practically every one of my lecturers and they all dismissed me, without even bothering to read my research. I thought psych-ologists would be interested in the psych-e. I was wrong. I thought those who taught me so many different psychological theories would be interested in a psychological theory that could unite all the others. I was wrong. I thought psychologists who wanted to understand more about what mental illness is and how best to treat it would be interested in a theory that explains what ‘mental illness’ really is and how best to ‘treat’ it. I was wrong. Although my lecturers claimed they want to learn and understand more about how the mind works, they are part of the system, an educational system that costs tens or thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars and takes a minimum of 4 years and a dozen or so classes taught by a dozen or so lecturers. I have a book that can be read in a under a day or taught in 2-3 hours (though it is certainly not as detailed as a full psych course would be, it’s like comparing a sketch to a painting – the sketch shows you the full image while the painting adds the detail). Although I learned psychology and not psychiatry my theory challenges the accepted structure/system, and for anyone in or running the system that could be considered a threat to their livelihood, like a lecturer teaching flat earth theory coming across a world round theory.

    There are many people challenging biological psychiatry, the DSM, and pharmaceutical drugging (especially here on MiA), and although we can say, with supporting evidence, that ‘mental illness’ is not a brain disease, chemical imbalance, genetic defect, or biological illness, and that pharmaceutical medications cause far more harm than good, there is no alternative to that system (apart from psychology/therapy). Depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and others may not be real medical illnesses/diseases, but people do experience such things. So if mental illness is not a real illness, what is it? There is no real alternative that can explain that. Well, actually, there is. The Map of the Psyche: The Truth of Mental Illness explains it. To replace the DSM and medical/psychiatric model, we need a different model, a more accurate and truthful model. The psyche model will replace the DSM and medical model of so called ‘mental illness’. It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. I, like so many others challenging biological psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry, are still in the first part of Gandhi’s four-part scenario of “first they ignore you.” We cannot change this broken and corrupt system if even those who challenge it ignore others who challenge it and offer solutions.

    Psych-ology and psych-iatry, are, by definition, fields that study the psyche, the Greek word for mind, soul, and spirit. The Map of the Psyche is a single unifying psychological theory that unites all the other psychological theories. It can explain an assortment of psychological functions, such as emotion, personality, ego, Self, consciousness, unconscious, and even ‘mental illness’, all in one theory. It can explain depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, multiple personalities (dissociative identity) and other personality disorders, and more. It will replace the DSM. It will replace biological psychiatry. It shows what ‘mental illness’ really is, and by doing so, shows how best to ‘treat’ it, without drugs or electroshock. The current system is so broken and corrupt that it cannot be fixed, it must be replaced. The map of the psyche will replace the DSM and biological psychiatry. So, am I insane (maybe), or are the people running the current system insane? Well, as I’ve said before, psychiatrists don’t treat the insane, they are the insane. I offer a free electronic copy of my book to any MiA authors that would like to challenge, confirm, or deny my claims. Call me crazy or completely batshit insane if you’d like, but do so after reading my research. I’m sick of being ignored. It’s time to laugh at me, fight me, or let me win, and when I win, everyone else will too (well, except for the insane psychopaths running the current system).

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    • Ragnarok, the Psyche Map idea you discuss contains many elements common to the psychodynamic relational developmental approach to understanding “mental illness”. Some big writers in this field would be Fairbairn, Winnicott, Kernberg, Kohut, Guntrip, Adler, Stolorow, Masterson… and many others. I wonder if you are familiar with them.

      In my view it’s this type of approach which focuses on essential human relational needs starting in infancy and continuing throughout the lifespan (e.g. idealizing, mirroring, etc as described by Kohut) that should replace the concept of brain illnesses. Mental illnesses can instead be understood as natural responses or developmental arrests in response to trauma, abuseneglect, stress, poverty, and misattunement between caregivers and the developing person.

      Here is some more info if you’re interested about Donald Rinsley’s approach –

      The model based on “good” and “bad” self and object representations in a person’s mind is still correct and still represents accurately how psychotic, borderline, and neurotics states develop and how they may be transformed. Many therapists still operate using this model and effectively help clients outside of the medical model/existing system. It would be good if psychiatry could somehow be absorbed or replaced by this system.

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      • BPD, you are correct, my research is based on a lot of other psychological theories, especially any that are social/relationship/environmental based.

        My theory, based on the amazing research of other well known psychologists/psychiatrists, says that mental illness is not an illness but a natural response to a toxic environment, such as abuse, trauma, neglect, etc. So your view that this sort of approach should replace the biological psychiatric notion of brain diseases, my theory does exactly that.

        The notion of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is somewhat simplistic, and my theory is more complicated than that, yet still almost as simplistic. It’s based on the concept of duality and unity, much like the Yin-Yang. Within the psyche there are such dualities as good and evil, law and chaos, extroversion/external and introversion/internal, masculine and feminine, light and dark, etc. We all have these dualities within us, just look at your left and right hands/feet, or the left and right hemispheres of your brain. But those dualities also combine into a unity, such as the brain as a whole being composed of left and right hemispheres.

        Honestly, what you want to replace the current system of psychiatry is exactly what my theory offers. Although it will replace biological psychiatry, it doesn’t replace the many well known and accepted psychological theories, it incorporates and unifies them. Imagine being taught two separate mathematical equations, such as 2 x 3 = 6 and 1 + 1 = 2. My theory just puts them together and says 1 + 1 x 3 = 6. Using psychological concepts, we are taught many separate theories for various psychological functions, such as emotion, personality, behaviour, etc. My theory just puts them all together into a single unifying theory. It’s a true map of the mind. And the only way to replace the biological view of ‘mental illness’ (mental refers to the mind not the brain) is with a map of the mind that explains what ‘mental illness’ really is.

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    • Ragnarock

      Thanks for your thoughtful response. You tell a powerful story and have many important insights regarding what is wrong with Biological psychiatry and the medical model.

      I did look through online your “The Map of the Psyche” and (upon a cursory review) found it to be highly creative and comprehensive in its efforts to cover all aspects of the mind and human thought. I, personally, don’t do well with charts as a learning method, but others might find them to be both interesting and quite helpful.

      All The best, Richard


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      • Hello Richard,

        My theory is not based on charts or statistics. I personally don’t like numbers. It’s a visual model. Initially based on a pyramid then a star shape within a sphere. It’s kind of like a 3-dimensional map. On a map you have a state here, a state over there, a state up there and another down there. Each state looks and feels different. That’s basically what my map shows. Depending on where you are, your ‘location’ within the map, tells what you may feel or perceive based on your ‘state of mind’ as it were.


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  6. In countries that aren’t quite as “sick” as the US, people w/ problems do better. They don’t always get the shiniest new pills (or as many pills), but there seems (from my limited perspective) to be a bit more understanding of the limitations of “treatment” and the fact that, well…life is hard. Not everybody’s a “winner” or an above average worker bee.

    Now, in the US…its crazy. The gov’t will spend more on 1 Rx than on the small disability stipends they give to the masses of “mentally ill.” Not just for cases of “treatment resistance” or whatever, but…all the time. Routinely. Meanwhile, its never enough $$$ for the “compassionate treatment providers.” The level of cruelty is unimaginable.

    If you’re caught with xanax w/o an Rx, you probably go to jail. If you have a huge Rx, your doc shrugs it off, unless something bad happens, and then you’re a “drug seeker,” “manipulative,” etc. The shrinks routinely create “addicts” and then refuse to let us/them truly recover. One can “recover…” on their terms, of course. Otherwise, its not recovery; its ongoing “sickness.”

    I’m proud of the whistleblowers, but…hey…this is how the system works. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here…

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    • Yes, there wasn’t anyone there for me either in the Mental Healthcare facility where I attended every week. Even after they told me it was ‘just fine’ to cold turkey off a 10 year addiction to Klonopin. They refused to help me through it, they refused to inform me of any withdrawal symptoms. They refused to even believe my withdrawal psychosis and seizures once I came out of the mentally torturous withdrawal. In fact, my Recipient Rights case against them for neglect was DENIED because I had signed a simple 1 page consent form the year before that said nothing of withdrawal symptoms especially a ‘cold turkey’ withdrawal. Cased Closed. That’s what they told me. They were able to silence another patient so they can continue abusing the rest.

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  7. But Richard….we as a culture have decided that mental problems are a medical illness. And no one but doctors are supposed to have oversight over medical illnesses, if anyone else tries to take any control, they are basically practicing medicine without a license, which we all know is very bad. So, there’s no way any government agency, at least any agency not entirely staffed by doctors, can in practice question any decision made by doctors concerning any mental or emotional problem!

    I’m guessing that was a key part of the bind you were up against……..

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    • Ron

      Your point is well taken. I do believe that was a big part of their hands off approach.

      There is a doctor in Fall River MA. who was identified in a Boston Globe article as being the 5th highest prescriber of Xanax in the entire country. He is notorious in the area as a Dr. Feelgood prescriber and many opiate addicted people flock to his door. In the early 2000’s he was brought before the state Medical Board on multiple charges of unsafe prescribing. I read through his case online (Dr. Claude Curran) and it was highly incriminating. But after many years went by they finally let him off the hook due mainly to doctor/patient confidentiality or some other nonsense.

      Reading through the facts of this case one is astounded that this doctor is still allowed to practice medicine. This is why I would NEVER waste my time taking any complaint to the Medical Board. All doctors (not just psychiatrists) have WAY TOO MUCH power and authority in our society.


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          • Absolutely, “All doctors (not just psychiatrists) have WAY TOO MUCH power and authority in our society.” And we all know, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And we are to the point where medical interventions are the number three or one killer of all Americans, depending on where one looks.

            Which is why the ‘M Deity,’ god complex problem, so prevalent within today’s medical community, is so very inappropriate. Just because one’s government is dumb enough to give doctors free reign to poison anyone they want, for any reason they want, this undeserved power does not actually make one God. But, it’s likely resulted in the medical field being filled with lots and lots of unrepentant murderers.

            Now I understand why Jesus supposedly claimed “all the doctors are going to hell,” during my 2009 drug withdrawal induced super sensitivity manic psychosis. I’m quite certain the real God, if there is one, as I believe, is aware of the medical community’s unrepentant sins, and is not pleased.

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    • Hi Ron,

      Unfortunately, my first sleep doctor turned out to be horrible several years ago and tried to bully me into seeing a psychiatrist as she blamed my pap therapy struggles on mental problems. Finally, to shut her up, I said I would see a counselor and actually, I wasn’t totally being disingenuous as I would have if I could have found someone worthwhile. Her response was I had to see a medical doctor meaning she decided my “alleged mental problems” were a medical illness not treatable by a counselor.

      Needless to say, I never returned and in retrospect, I should have walked out on her. Live and learn.

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    • There are some issues with what you have said.

      We as a culture have been manipulated into believing mental problems are a medical illness. The people didn’t magically come up with this idea, it was pushed on them by biological psychiatry and Big Pharma so they could assert power and control (and rake in obscene profits).

      And therein lies the issue. Mental problems are not a medical illness. It is not a brain disease, chemical imbalance, genetic defect, or biological illness, therefor medicine actually has no jurisdiction over mental issues.

      A branch of medicine (psychiatry) and an industry that makes and sells medical treatments (Big Pharma making psychiatric drugs) have asserted dominance over something they have absolutely no right to and something that is outside of their field. It would be like a dentist claiming authority over feet, or a vet claiming they were the experts on art. Medicine, and any branch thereof, has no right to claim authority over mental issues at all.

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  8. Dear Richard,
    Thank you for caring so much and doing what you could for your clients. What you are talking about is the main reason I am in private practice and not taking insurance, nor do I diagnose or label. I subscribe to psychiatrist William Glasser’s (the creator Choice Theory and Reality Therapy) mode of thinking which he has written about in numerous books, one of which is entitled “Warning: Psychiatry can be Dangerous to your Mental Health.” In a world where insurance companies and big pharma call the shots there is little wiggle room for those not wanting to subscribe to the current model.

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  9. I admire your stand Richard. In the last few years I’ve done a certain amount of challenging – in the interest of upholding my own Civil Rights.

    I wonder if the ‘patients’ appear to be improving on their ‘antipsychotic polypharmacy’ regime? I know that I was a liability to myself (and expensive) while on Psychiatric drugs.

    I believe the BMA to be genuinely dedicated.

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    • Fiachra

      Thanks for your support.

      Most people in community mental health know that people are NOT improving (over the long haul) on antipsychotics. They just assume that it fits into the accepted view that psychosis and/or “schizophrenia” is a lifelong incurable “disease.” Sad, but oh so true.


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      • Thanks for acknowledging me Richard,

        To a large extent “it’s” a man made disease.

        We know that the World Health Organisation report high Recovery rates in developing countries that can’t afford medication in comparison to Developed countries that can.

        It’s occurred to me that these countries can’t afford the Prescribers either.

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      • “Most people in community mental health know that people are NOT improving (over the long haul) on antipsychotics.” My neighbor worked in the field and confessed this to me, and also said a big part of the problem was he didn’t feel he could fight the system himself. Plus, he appreciated the job.

        The only problem with this philosophy is “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

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  10. thank you so much, richard, for blowing that whistle, over and over again. i am horrified, but sadly not surprised, at the lack of response you received. you sadly confirned what we all really knew.

    my story in one line is that my husband fell for the scam of labelling/psych drugs and brought our family into a mightmare of epic proportions.

    my 21- year-old son has declared his college major as psychology and intends to work as a school psychologist. he knows many, but not all, of the details of his father’s (horror) story.

    he thinks he can use his eventual position to be a voice of reason and sanity and reform but i imagine his voice will be crushed every time he opens his mouth against the system. i am begging him to go into accounting instead…

    all i can say to you, to my son , and to myself isthis: we will try our best and you never know ehat might happen and who might be helped as a result of your efforts. every time i write a letter to the editor to my state newspaper ( they never print, of course) or reach out to a reporter or an educator or post something relevant on facebook- i tell myself i can never know whose desks my efforts passed through or reached and whose life might have been saved by my words.

    thank you again for your bravery. may this new year be the one to bring the truths out in the open and the downfall of the criminal, murdering entity that is psychiatry/big pharma.

    keep fighting,


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    • Erin

      Thanks for the encouragement and for telling a piece of your story.

      I love your passion and optimism in the face of great obstacles.

      I hope you find a way to tell your family’s whole story; perhaps you should contact someone at Mad in America to find out how you can do this.


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  11. Richard,

    Thanks for setting out this matter so clearly and thoroughly. I agree that, apart from a very small number of individuals, there is zero willingness on the part of psychiatry to consider, or even recognize, anything that represents the slightest threat to their hegemony and their control of the legal drug-trade. Riding under pharma-purchased protection, they shrug off the most telling criticisms with complete indifference.

    The system is indeed broken beyond repair. The community mental health centers, under psychiatric leadership, have degenerated into little more than store-fronts for pharmaceutical products.

    Even the benzodiazepine component in the opioid overdose “epidemic” – a disaster that has been in the making for decades – is barely raising eyebrows.

    The anti-psychiatry movement is in its earliest stages, and psychiatry will continue to ignore and dismiss our concerns as long as they can. The profession is characterized by a general disregard for issues of conceptual and ethical integrity.

    I regularly receive emails from people working in CMHCs who are struggling with the kinds of issues that you describe here, but who hesitate to protest for fear of losing their jobs. I’m sure that your article will resonate widely, and will provide support and encouragement to these individuals.

    Again, thanks for writing this, and my best wishes in your future endeavors.

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    • Philip

      As a big fan of your activist writing, thanks for the support.

      We, indeed, have a long road ahead of us. Even when we think we have some significant evidence to more thoroughly expose the harm done by this system, they ignore it and continue to grind the wheels of their machine. I am afraid that even those new studies summed up by Robert Whitaker will be ignored until we have a more developed movement of active resistance.

      There is much at stake (economically and politically) for the pharmaceutical industry, Psychiatry, and those in power who want to maintain control over the more volatile sections of the masses who are potential creative agents of change. Labeling and drugging are very effective means of control; they will NOT let go of these weapons easily or without a fight.

      Onward, Richard

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      • “Even the benzodiazepine component in the opioid overdose “epidemic” – a disaster that has been in the making for decades – is barely raising eyebrows.”

        Thank you, Philip, for writing this.

        Richard is doing a tremendous amount of work to bring the benzodiazepine issue to light, and there needs to be more talk about the catastrophic harm caused by benzodiazepines.

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  12. Thanks for this piece, Richard, and I hope you eventually see some results for your efforts.

    I think Philip’s comment above hit the nail on the head:
    “The anti-psychiatry movement is in its earliest stages, and psychiatry will continue to ignore and dismiss our concerns as long as they can. The profession is characterized by a general disregard for issues of conceptual and ethical integrity.”

    In my 12 years as a psychiatric “patient” I did not meet one psychiatrist with any shred of conceptual or ethical integrity, let alone any respect or care for their “patients”. When it came down to it, they all relied on the power they could (ab)use by virtue of their professional standing.

    Any suggestion that ethics (personal or professional), basic “do no harm” principles, or applying evidence-based practice might be a better way to go was met with suggestions that perhaps it was my “mental illness” speaking and more treatment was needed to correct this. It would appear I have a surplus of ethics and integrity that it is psychiatry’s job to correct – they seek to recreate their patients in their own image, and if drugging and forced treatment is necessary, then so be it.

    Again Richard, thank you for speaking out about these abuses, and all the best for your future.

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    • Kim

      Thanks for the support and I hope you keep speaking out and writing about your experiences.

      “The Banality of Evil” keeps coming to mind when we look at many of those who work in Psychiatry and just keep their heads down without any critical thinking, intellectual effort, or listening skills to make sure they “Do No Harm.”


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  13. Hi Richard,

    I’ve been under a self imposed ban on commenting as a result of the anger which I feel over my ‘introduction’ to forced psychiatry. I came to MiA seeking information, and want to thank you for the contribution you have made to me becoming aware of how serious the problems are.

    I too am on a journey where the whistle has been blown, and the levels of ignoring the problem have gotten to a point of serious criminality. I do believe that hidden among this process is the power of the shame these people must feel when these ‘issues’ are placed directly under there noses. It is by no means easy to do, and I believe this is by design, not accident.

    I thank you so much for pushing forward with these matters, and for writing so well about them. I do hope your activism isn’t going to cease at this point though. Your a fighter, and oh how we need them.

    I am going to have a t shirt printed which states that “psychiatry is to medicine, what ISIS is to Islam”. Whilst it may keep rearing it’s ugly face at different points in history, I feel sure that with a fight, it can be pushed back and contained, and the damage minimised.

    Take care, and good luck in your new environment.

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    • Boans

      Good to read you again and I hope you are back for good.

      Rest assured that I am not deterred in the least from continuing this battle. My experience only deepens my understanding of how dysfunctional and corrupt this ‘System’ is and why we need revolutionary change.

      And yes, shaming and holding people accountable for their actions, or lack of action, is all part of exposing oppression and building a movement against it.

      All the best, Richard

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      • Thank you both, it means a lot to me.

        Richard, can I say I have had something niggling at me about your meeting that wasn’t necessary. And you may already know this but… I say it anyway.

        After I made formal complaint to the hospital about the filing of a fraudulent Stat Dec, they conducted a “formal Investigation”. I was invited to a meeting with an Operations Manager, and the ‘investigation’ resulted in two paragraphs in a letter to me misdirecting me into a complaint with an authority with no powers to act anyway. FOI reveals no other documents.

        However, there were some outcomes which were revealed at a later time. This meeting was nothing more than an information gathering exercise to identify which documents to remove from the chronology, and what documents that would be damaging to my cause to insert, and also which witnesses needed to be silenced about what matters, before distributing fraudulent documents to lawyers etc. No assistance was possible from my advocate as a result.

        I can’t help but wonder if your meeting was of a similar nature, ie “how can this be covered up”? They were running with two seperate narratives, knew the truth, and presented a lie to anyone who inquired. It was only by back tracking that it was exposed. That the Clinical Director has signed off on documents which had the criminal acts removed, and slanderous and misleading documents inserted. I am now a pariah as a result.

        @BPD. I gotta say thanks to you too for teaching me how to challenge others in my life who seem to so easily fall into the downward spiral of diagnosing people with labels that do great harm. I admire the way you bring it back on track with such speed. I’m practicing 🙂

        Kind regards

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        • Boans

          You may be correct in your assessment that there were other motives when the head of the state’s Drug Control Program finally agreed to meet with me “out of respect.” Prior to that he did say he had consulted legal advice. Perhaps they wanted to find out how much incriminating evidence I had of wrong doing to determine if they could be held liable for any future inaction on their part related to the complaint I filed.

          Your case sounds much more underhanded and strategic on the part of those in authority. I am sorry you had to endure such treatment from an institution that “claims” to be helping people in such a vulnerable time in their life. We have much work to do!


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        • Good for you Boans. Most mainstream mental health people are paper tigers / emperors without clothes / cowards / emotional children who end up looking pretty bad when confronted by a confident individual who knows that diagnoses lack validity and drugs don’t work well for most people… and who have the data and references to back these assertions up.

          Challenging these people is also therapeutic because it reduces anxiety/fear which many people have about their past “illness” diagnoses. Over time I’ve come not to worry about the labels “borderline” and other serious diagnoses, because I know that most of the literature about drug treatment, prognosis, outcome, etc. for people so labeled is bullshit. It’s based on ineffective psychiatrists drugging these people and doing nothing else to help them. People can do much better outside the system.

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    • Rachel

      Thanks for that suggestion. I may forward them this blog. I found that article and website very valuable. You can find out (using their data base) the prescribing pattern for any particular doctor in the country for any category of drug for (Medicare) in the year 2013.


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  14. Richard, you took a tremendously strong stance and showed great courage. Bravo!!

    What will it take to move the mountain of ignorance and greed? I truly believe that it’s going to take a grassroots movement to become one very strong and forceful voice en masse. Certainly there are doctors who feel the same way we do regarding opioids and benzodiazepines, but their voices have been too faint.

    Regarding benzodiazepines, I’m stunned at what I’ve heard from so-called “professionals,” doctors, when they expound on their “knowledge” about this class of drug. It would be entirely laughable if it weren’t so sad. There is absolutely no consensus in the medical community as to what constitutes a high or low dose, how long the drug ought to be taken (1-2 weeks in my mind, having been dependent on Klonopin within a 3-week period of time), what a proper taper is, what withdrawal symptoms a patient is exhibiting during withdrawal (it’s not that uncommon for a patient to have 50+ symptoms during the course of withdrawal), and a foolhardy lack of knowledge to even identify that a patient is presenting with signs of benzodiazepine withdrawal AT ALL during a doctor visit. Unfortunately, and all too dangerously, many doctors tell patients to simply stop taking the drug. How stupid is that? Extremely.

    I’ve been reading articles about the dangers of opioids a lot lately, yet benzodiazepines within that same dialogue are still brought up in whispers, not loud enough to even make a dent in the discussion, not even important enough to demand much attention. What a terrible shame. Yet people have been suffering immensely for over 50 years now, many for very long periods of time – 2, 3, 4+ years after the last dose.

    THANK YOU, Richard, for your bravery, your deep compassion, your insistence on doing the right thing no matter what.

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  15. Wow, this is indeed discouraging! If a person of your experience and stature can be so systematically ignored, it’s pretty obvious that no one in Government wants to go up against this industry! And of course, a referral to the Medical Board would have been useless, because they’d simply claim that the doctors were engaged in “common and customary practice” and could not be sanctioned, even if people were dying at their hands. As long as a lot of other docs are killing people in similar ways, you’re off the hook.

    It makes me wonder what can be done about this? Is it even possible to generate public outrage when everyone appears to be so mesmerized by the training and degrees that the psychiatrists use to protect themselves from criticism or accountability?

    —- Steve

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