The Modern Day Witch-hunt

Noel Hunter, PsyD
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Fear is a funny thing. When people are afraid, they need to feel a sense of control. Often, control may be perceived when blame is cast and scapegoats are named. If there is someone to blame, then there is something we can do. Fear can lead to irrational postulations of immense proportions; depending on one’s hierarchical position in the world, such postulations may be considered delusional or innovative.

The centuries-long persecution of witches was a powerful example of society and governments acting to combat social problems through the scapegoating of (mostly) innocent prey. Areas that had the greatest social and political turmoil were those that also persecuted the greatest number of witches. Most witch hunts were commanded by government authorities in response to chaos and death. Investigations frequently involved obtaining ‘testimony’ from subjective informants, including children, and confessions through torture.  Execution was generally the official punishment. In fact, well before the infamous Salem witch trials, Connecticut held witchcraft as one of 12 capital crimes punishable by death.

Similarly, “mental illness” is the scapegoat dependably relied upon by politicians and fearful citizens to blame for senseless violence and chaos. According to Arthur Colman, “The basis of the scapegoat myth is this: the group is not to blame for its problems, its bad feelings, its pain, its defeats. These are the responsibility of a particular individual or subgroup – the scapegoat – who is perceived as being fundamentally different from the rest of the group and must be excluded or sacrificed in order for the group to survive and remain whole”. Unlike other scapegoats, such as Jews, Muslims or African Americans, mental illness is more akin to witchery due to its illusive, subjective, and culturally defined nature.

Scapegoating the “mentally ill” every time violence or chaos breaks out allows us to absolve society of any blame. It allows us to ignore the problems that give rise to anger, distress, and violence (i.e., poverty, rejection, discrimination, oppression, injustice, abuse, etc) and instead focus on the one thing that can never be proven or defined and yet so easily can be identified in another. It provides relief without any reflection on how our society and way of life, and the inevitability of death, may be contributing to the terror that overwhelms us.

In the same way that the “mentally ill” are defined by highly educated, elite, usually white professionals, so too were witches. Identifying, classifying, and interrogating witches was a highly sophisticated endeavor, so much so that an official publication, commissioned by the pope, was printed and reprinted over 13 times and held persuasion for over 200 years. The Malleus Maleficarum was used by judges and prosecutors — among others — in the effort to officially condemn those marginalized offenders of witchcraft. Further, once defined as such, defendants would often admit to unfathomable behaviors, such as flying on poles and causing violent storms, and behaved in deranged and frightening ways in tandem with expectations. In much the same way, the DSM acts as a manual with the façade of sophistication, that allows the elite class to identify and classify those that are different, abnormal, or deviant from the social norms.

Methods for testing the validity of accusations of witchcraft likewise had a veneer of superiority and complexity that allowed professional witch hunters to feel justified in their authority, as is also the case with psychological testing. For instance, witches might be bound and thrown in the water to see if they would sink, or would be examined for a “witches’ teat,” which was an extra nipple through which to nourish the witch’s helper animals. If one wanted to discover signs of a person being a witch, he or she was sure to find something. While fortunately we have moved past the era of phrenology, which was much more closely akin to witch tests, mental health professionals continue to evaluate for mental illness with tautological questionnaires based on politically-driven diagnostic categories examining deviations from cultural norms that subjectively can be found anywhere one may choose to look.  And, as with the hysteria of centuries before, the more chaos and violence within society, the more governments and frightened citizens will continue to look for something and someone to blame.

Interestingly, many scholars have suggested that many of the people deemed witches were, in fact, traumatized citizens who were suffering the ills of rape, child abuse, poverty, gender oppression, and other psychologically damaging events.  Not coincidentally, these also tend to be the most common factors predicting a mental illness diagnosis. Trauma survivors and those with developmental disruptions tend to make perfect scapegoats; they spent their childhood learning how to be just that.

Are you upset and struggling with this thing called life? Mentally ill. Are you violent? Mentally ill. Are you passive and avoid conflict? Mentally ill. Are you angry? Mentally ill. Are you energetic and happy all the time? Mentally ill. Are you numb and repressing emotions? Mentally ill. Are you anti-authoritarian? Mentally ill. What an easy solution. If every person who acts ‘crazy’ and does bad things is, by definition, crazy, then I guess the witch-hunters, er, mental health professionals are right. All the bad things that happen are because of mental illness.

The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646) is a prime example of hysteria reaching the Federal government, in much the same way fear of witches did 600 years ago. In the same vein as burning the witches in Salem, Murphy and others are suggesting that we essentially “round ‘em up, drug ‘em, and lock ‘em away” in an effort to ameliorate society’s fear of death and violence. Yes, there are likely many other political and financial reasons for this, but people are afraid and Murphy has provided a scapegoat and a method to give the illusion of action and control. People seem to believe that persecuting, excluding, and taking away the rights of people already in distress will somehow result in American society becoming whole and safe. Witch hunts did nothing to increase security or safety; they bred fear and hatred. Perhaps by understanding the uncanny and disturbing similarities between the hysteria of the 16th and 17th centuries and our current culture, we might be able to heed warning and save the lives of thousands of vulnerable and powerless individuals before it’s too late.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Good article Noel. In my own writing I’ve suggested that mental illness diagnoses are like myths; schizophrenia, bipolar, borderline exist as separable “illnesses” in the same way that griffins, dragons, and unicorns do – only as fantastic constructed ideas in the minds of certain people with a need to believe in them. I think witches may be an even better metaphor for the mythic construct projected from the minds of one group (psychiatrists, the establishment media) onto another group – trying to scapegoat those poor people who are not essentially so different from the rest of us, but are having delusions, hallucinations, terror, and rage mainly due to stress, alienation, poverty, abuse, neglect.

    It has been disturbing to hear a “professional” as ignorant as Tim Murphy constantly saying that “people with serious mental illness” are fundamentally different from the rest of us, that we have to accept that these people “have a brain illness and need our help”. Murphy even knows that no genes nor biological cause has been found for these mythical creatures, and that their reliability and validity is fundamentally lacking. But he still says these things. In reality psychoses and borderline conditions are quite real and extremely painful, but do not exist in the separable way he imagines and are certainly not caused by brain chemistry as he naively assumes.

    Too bad some of these witches can’t cast a silencing spell on Tim Murphy and keep him from spewing forth the drivel that comes from his mouth every day. Emmeline I hope I won’t get in trouble for inciting witchcraft this time!

  2. Bonnie Burstow’s book pointed out that the psychiatric profession developed at the same time in history as witch hunting was being dismantled as a societal practice, if I recall correctly. I’m glad people are finally pointing out that today’s psychiatrists are nothing more (and no more scientifically valid) than witch hunters.

    And, absolutely, the psychiatric industries’ function is to cover up crimes by the wealthy and / or well connected – particularly the medical and religious communities (and, of course, governments who rule with a divide and conquer strategy).

    As a matter of fact the most common trait of all so called “schizophrenics” today is psychiatric cover ups of child abuse or ACEs, psychiatrists tend to misdiagnose symptoms of physical and mental abuse as “psychosis” – and as we all know the religions are becoming notorious for their child abuse cover ups.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060614120625.htm

    http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Culture-Wars-Reclaiming-Prayer/dp/1598868330#immersive-view_1449329487528

    And the supposed psychosis “treatment,” the neuroleptic drugs, when given to trauma victims, rather than people actually suffering from psychosis, can indeed cause both the negative and positive symptoms of “schizophrenia.” The negative symptoms can result from neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroleptic-Induced_Deficit_Syndrome

    And the positive “schizophrenia” symptoms can appear via the central symptoms of neuroleptic or poly pharmacy induced anticholinerginic intoxication syndrome, aka anticholinergic toxidrome.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxidrome

    As a matter of fact, today’s recommended “bipolar” drug cocktails are an exact recipe for how to create anticholinergic toxidrome.

    I’m quite certain we’d be better off as a society if we got rid of today’s iatrogenic illness creation, witch hunting / psychiatric industry, and started arresting child abusers and bringing back a more just and mutually respectful society.

    Psychiatry’s DSM “bible” of stigmatizations’ theology is the opposite of most religions’ “treat others as you like to be treated” / golden rule theology. It’s nothing more than a divide and conquer theology, a theology of war and injustice.

  3. Yes, yes and yes.

    Often when people make the connection to the persecution of “witches” they see it as little more than a colorful, “thought-provoking” analogy or aside to whatever their main point may be.

    Here however you very effectively illustrate that there is a direct line from the persecution of “witches” in the name of sanctity to the persecution of the “mentally ill” in the name of health: both categories objectively non-existent by most western standards (though I would respect someone’s self-identification as a witch more readily than I would their self-characterization as “mentally ill”); both “categories” allegedly identifiable via clearly absurd standards.

    It is important to take this and other similarly cogent analyses beyond the pages of MIA. Those who are on other mailing lists and websites could post links to this. And Salon.com and those like it should be featuring these sorts of articles as frequently as MIA. Maybe MIA could reach out to them (if it doesn’t already) and send them particularly appropriate stuff for their demographic, etc.

    The so-called “progressive” people are the ones who are most painfully clueless about what psychiatry is. I see some similarity between our situation and that of people who have tried to include support for Palestine as part of the general anti-war/anti-racism/pro-ecology liberal-“left” agenda, and who have often been rebuffed, leading to the expression “PEP” — i.e. “progressive except for Palestine.” We have another version of “PEP” — “progressive except for psychiatry.”

    Overcoming the desire of the left to replace religion with science and embrace psychiatry as the pinnacle of that quest is one of our biggest hurdles. We need to recognize and help others recognize before it’s too late that psychiatry is not a branch of medicine but of law enforcement, with a primary function of containment, not “health.” The Murphy Bill defines this struggle right now in a way that will have ramifications for years, and right now the “left’s” response to the whole issue is “huh?– more funds for mental health, power to the people.” And I’m afraid I’m not exaggerating.

    • Very true regarding the “PEP” analogy. I like it. “Progressive Except for Psychiatry”.

      I think part of the problem is that “mental health spending” is a very spend thrift “liberal” matter, and I think the onus is on us to education people, and to raise consciousness on the left regarding the fraudulent nature of practices engaged in by psychiatry.

      Problem. The left today is much more academic than the left of yesterday. Structuralism and post-structuralism generally are more about academic chairs than they are about people at the barricades or on the job, intellectually savvy or totally gauche. Progressive academics and psychiatry and psychology professors rub shoulders all the time. You want to do something about corruption…then follow the money. One way to do something about corruption in academia is first to do something about corruption in politics, that is, get the money out, and by money I mean corporate money, super PAC funds, in political campaigning.

  4. This is eloquent and forceful critique, often astute.Congratulations. However I think it misses several points.
    First the Murphy bill and scapegoating of the “mentally ill” is not an example of “hysteria reaching the federal government,” and it ought not to be seen in isolation–it is part of the trend to elimination of democratic processes in the US and transformation of the US into a distinctive kind of totalitarian state. It should not be viewed in isolation from NSA intrusion into ALL Americans lives.
    Second the author implies that the chaos and violence that give rise to the Bill are random, or the byproduct of other processes such as growing inequality. The author writes,”the more chaos and violence within society the more governments and frightened citizens will continue to look for something and someone to blame.” Although the chaos is certainly partly due to social processes like growing inequality it is also true that the problem entails the DELIBERATE creation of violence and chaos in order to justify authoritarian measures that undermine the foundations of democracy.
    For example there is the administration of SSRIs by psychiatrists to unstable and rebellious teenagers despite the fact that it is known that SSRI–popular anti-depressants push many people–even a small but significant group of non-violent people -over the edge into insanity and homicidal rage. This has been documented in books by Dr Peter Breggin, Dr David Healy and Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D. among others.
    Third, the question must be asked of the acts of violence used to justify these bills, such as schoolyard killings or other mass killings:Did these children or young people kids act alone on their own initiative?. There is reason to suspect that in many cases the official story is dubious. From Columbine to the Batman shooter to Sandy Hook, there are reasons for suspicion. Why for example in the Batman shooting did numerous witnesses report seeing a second shooter who was never apprehended? And in Sandy Hook was it possible for Adam Lanza to shoot so many bullets in such a brief time each time scoring a bull’s eye? Or was Lanza a patsy? The exploration of these inconsistencies can be found on youtube or on the excellent website http://www.globalresearch.ca.
    Anyone who thinks my suspicions are those of a crackpot “conspiracy theorist” should read the real story of CIA agent Frank Olson (murdered by CIA).or the history of MK-Ultra or read John Hall’s new book Guinea Pigs or read the numerous literature by those associated with the 9/11 Truth movement, including books by theologian David Ray Griffin and Kevin Barrett.My point is that we may be dealing with deliberate creation of chaos and violence either by intelligence agencies or rogue elements within these agencies in order to scare the population into supporting greater surveillance and control–particularly of the” deviant”— and the dissident (protesters), I would add–as Hunter points out– by State agencies, as well as by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who demand more power to do exactly the things that create disturbed youngsters.
    Finally I’m surprised no one pointed out that psychiatrist Thomas Szasz was the first to draw an analogy between the mental health system and the Inquisition. The late Dr Szasz argued in The Manufacture of Madness that the witches were not traumatized citizens at all. Szasz would probably say that the interpretation above is akin to the modern day psychiatric explanation for the witch hunts– that the witches were unhappy mentally ill people. Szasz argues that they were indigenous healers, women, who were perceived as a threat to the Church. I think subsequent scholarship bears out Szasz’s interpretation.
    Despite my criticism the article was a well written and forceful critique of psychiatric labeling and Murphy’s project. Seth Farber, PhD http://www.sethHfarber.com

    • …the Murphy bill and scapegoating of the “mentally ill” is not an example of “hysteria reaching the federal government,” and it ought not to be seen in isolation–it is part of the trend to elimination of democratic processes in the US and transformation of the US into a distinctive kind of totalitarian state.

      Yes again. Which is why it is objectively accurate , not just an emotional epithet, to refer to this as a fascist bill — “fascism” meaning the merger of business and government. Keeping down cultural dissent and stifling a disgruntled, rebellious population cannot be done by force alone and must rely on the willingness of the people to impose restraints on themselves. It’s just smart business to invest in psychiatry, which is better than any at convincing people to abandon impractical aspirations such as peace and justice, other than as distant ideals to dream and write poetry about.

    • In the late ’80’s I got hold of a book entitled Endless Enemies. I forget the name of the author . The author is a reporter who recounts how the American government, through agencies like the CIA, pretty much did, and still does do what it wants to governments of countries that we don’t like or those we fear. The American government dismantled and destroyed duly elected governments and set up puppets who did our bidding in country after country. This caused and still causes great harm and havoc for the people of the nations we’ve interfered with and usually leads to great wealth for our large corporations and politicians involved. Iran is just one great example of our handiwork carried out by the CIA and large corporations. The destruction of governments and our support for right wing dictatorships in Central and South America are other examples. We’ve also done this in Africa. All of the things talked about in this book were hidden from the American public, who paid for most of what was done with out tax dollars, to the tune of billions of dollars.

      So, if our government has done and continues to do these kinds of things on the sly and without the knowledge of the American people, just what is it doing in this country that we have no knowledge about? The One Percent, with their control of the mega-corporations wants only one thing and that is a docile work force that can be easily controlled. The DSM net reaches farther and farther into every facet of our lives, pathologizing everything found in normal living. A drugged workforce is a docile and pliable work force. And why is it that in so many cities across this nation that the police forces of those cities are decked out in riot gear and are militarized in ways that make them function as anything but people who are here “to protect and to serve” us, the common citizen. If you make people scared enough for their own safety and that of their loved ones, they will accept just about any curtailment of their civil liberties.

      I agree with you, I believe that much of this horrible chaos taking place in our country is created by politicians and corporations who have agendas. Call me a conspiracy person if you will, but things look mighty strange to me as I look back over my 67 years of life and see some very unusual developments in everything. I believe that Snowdon was correct in revealing the information that he did about what our own government is doing to gather information about us, and it’s all done in the name of national security.

  5. I received the most dispirited comment on Facebook to a comment I made.

    This post is from Debbie Elkins, who I assume is a peer counselor. The thread is located at: https://www.facebook.com/helen.nilon/posts/10206735211352363

    She states:

    “I have work with individuals and family members who suffers from mental illness, and making them feel ostracized because they take medication is a major set back for them. In my experience many individuals go into crisis when they go off medications. They quit taking medication because others stereo type them based on their taking of medications. Why not treat those who need help like individuals. Allow these individuals to have do whatever it takes for them as individuals to overcame. There are several types of therapy used for PTSD and they do not require medication. What do you believe needs to be done for those who are in mental crisis. How do we protect those in crisis and their families who care for them. Have you ever read “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’ ?”

    Why does someone who purports to work with ‘mentally ill’ people and who therefore should know better that people don’t quit medication because they are shamed into stopping medication! They stop medication if the side effects are unendurable; they stop medications if it takes away their personality, drive, spirit, ambition, creativity, sexual functions. Lord, does anyone have a stock answer to this?

  6. Mental Health reform needs to be done but not by CORRUPT organizations and people that many states have on advisory boards!!! The people’s best interests are not on their agendas.
    .
    It’s so much more cost effective and beneficial for the County and State to collect $$$ for people that have even once stepped foot into a court house (whether they were innocent or not) and then label them addicts or mental. This way the $ystem gets to keep them in rehab/psychiatric facilities and/or incarcerated (whether they were innocent or not) which on the most part DOES NOT HELP people but makes them RETURN CUSTOMER$.
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    Pennsylvania and other states are trying to get laws passed to commit people to psychiatric institutions (like the corrupt Meadows UHS of Centre County) without any evidence of a person having broken a Mental Health Law but merely going on the word of some deceitful, vengeful and/or corrupt person or organization’s say so.
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    Similar to Kids for Cash scheme but they’re wanting to make it legal for all ages to get committed without just cause but just a say so.
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    Pathetic organizations like Mid Penn Legal Aid/Services are predominantly taking domestic abuse cases because it’s like shooting fish in a barrel and it feeds the court system $$$. Mid Penn is blowing cases like judicial abuse and mental health law violations off even though the victims and their families are being severely traumatized by it and taking easier to handle domestic violence cases instead. As long as there is no free legal assistance for wrongfully committed individuals (checks and balances) there should be no changes done to the current laws.
    .
    Taylor Andrews, Esquire
    NAMI PA Cumberland and Perry Counties
    Andrews and Johnson
    78 West Pomfret Street
    Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013
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    Taylor Andrews is one of many SCUM on Governor Tom Wolf’s Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee. To me and many others, it clearly seems like they are gearing up to put as many people as possible into institutions to get DANGEROUS FORCED MEDS administered against their wills with FALSE diagnosises for PROFIT sake.
    .
    Taylor Andrews was the Chief Public Defender at Cumberland County Court House with my lousy PD Arla Waller under him when Judge Edgar Bayley conducted my illegal trial. I find it impossible to believe that Andrews had no clue of the corruption and illegal misconduct his employees like Waller and of judge Edgar Bayley yet he did nothing to protect innocent people like me. It was bussine$ as usual.

    Attorney Dan Pollock appealed my case and PROVED ineffective assistance of counsel but corrupt judge Edgar Bayley ruled otherwise and put me in Cumberland County Prison where I got raped right before release. DA Freed blew my rape complaint off as he’s blown off police misconduct complaints years later. I am seeing a clear pattern of abuse of power and gang stalking. I am facing trial next month for bogus charges that Silver Spring Police brought out of malice with the aid of DA Freed who refuses to intervene and my public defender Linda Hollinger is not doing her job.

    If Taylor Andrews, as the Chief public defender, would have glanced at the transcript of my appeals trial accusing one of his public defenders of innapropriately handling my case he would have CLEARLY seen that Arla Waller LIED on the witness stand repeatedly and my new attorney Dan Pollock NAILED HER GOOD and PROVED she was lying and ineffective but Andrews did NOTHING about it and the appeal was heard before the corrupt judge Edgar Bayley so of course we lost.

    Taylor Andrews failed miserably as a Chief Public Defender of Cumberland County as did his NAMI when an innocent person needed his help. How many others have had to endure trauma and suffering because of scum like him?

    Can we trust people like Taylor Andrews on State advisory boards for Mental Health in what to me looks like a very HORRIBLE plan of institutionalizing people as THEY see fit? All one has to do is say they think a person can cause harm WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE OF IT and have them committed into a CORRUPT facility like The Meadows UHS of Centre County who in turn will keep people indefinitely as the corrupt courts deam fit.
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    The Kids for Cash trial judge, Bradley Lunsford, kept approving longer stays for me at the Meadows. The mental health trials where horrifically corrupt!!! My public defender Stephan Flemming was horrifically ineffective!!! I was not allowed to speak or present evidence or use witnesses!!! EVERYTHING was incredibly illegal and corrupted. Bradley Lunsford of Centre County is scum and clearly has a dark affiliation with the (under investigation) Meadows psychiatric institute just like the Luzerne County judge he tried for the Kids for Cash scheme.
    .
    Taylor Andrews is the head of National Aliance for Mentally Ill in Pennsylvania (NAMI) but those SCUMBAGS refused to help me get out of The Meadows Psychiatric Institution last year and they refused to help fix things once I got out even though I had all sorts of evidence to prove that EVERYTHING involving my commitment was ILLEGALLY done!!!

    The County Mental Health IDD was involved in my illegal involuntary commitment and not only refused to help me but they purposefully negatively intervened in my appeals process and my trying to get another public defender as THEY WERE PARTY TO GETTING ME COMMITTED which I did not know at the time I was BEGGING for help!!! I was committed because I’m a whistle blower and they wanted to shut me up. They wanted to break me.
    .
    If Taylor Andrews’ NAMI is the type of organization that REFUSED to help a mentally traumatized rape victim with PTSD get help for CORRUPTLY and WRONGFULLY being accused of not being able to take care of themselves and suicidal WITH ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE TO BACK THOSE ACCUSATION UP…but with plenty of evidence TO PROVE OTHERWISE than how can we trust scum like him to be on this Mental board that is wanting to make it easy to commit people?
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    This is what happens when you stand up against CORRUPT judges and officials.
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    Attorney General Kathleen Kane of Pennsylvania was voted into her position by several million Pennsylvanians because she promised she’d get rid of the Mob like corrupt judges that are throughout our court systems. This corruption is an epidemic throughout the nation!
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    Those that are active with the corruption that’s rampant in the judicial systems are predominately embedded in the mental health advisory boards. They are not wanting to HELP people. They are wanting to ruin people’s lives because it’s the nature of this BEAST and it keeps the $ystem well fed.
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    Taylor Andrews was also a former President of the Cumberland County Bar Association. The Bar Association has come under public scrutiny for corruption as well.
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    There have been over 22 UHS mental health facilities closed by States  Attorney Generals throughout the United States. The Meadows UHS is on the list of ones under investigation. While there is this much corruption going on in the judicial system that is feeding off of people they falsely put in prisons and mental institutions we should not allow this generation of CORRUPT officials to make ANY changes!!!
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    Just look at the list of names and organizations in this article. Something needs to be done to stop these monsters and their plans to destroy more lives.

    http://www.pccd.pa.gov/AboutUs/Pages/Mental-Health-and-Justice-Advisory-Committee.aspx#.VmYk0KUo7fr

    • The story leading to my illegal involuntary commitment is in this link along with video, audio, documents and testimonials that are in my favor and substantiate how an innocent person can get committed for TWENTY days by the corrupt actions of a Mental Health Hospital like Holy Spirit Hospital of Camp Hill and a mental institution like The Meadows UHS of Centre County with the aid of a corrupt judge like Bradley Lunsford of Centre County. Their DA is in hot water but I think she’s a scapegoat.

      http://PCTAPerryCountyTransportationAuthority.weebly.com

  7. It seems possible, even likely, that conspiracy theories may serve a function similar to psychiatry and witch trials, i.e., an explanation for unpleasant and otherwise disturbing events, activities, and individual behaviors whose more obvious explanations are contrary to one’s preferred desires or political preferences. Such theories, presented absent compelling evidence , are useless, or even harmful, with respect to any potentially effective effort to weaken psychiatry.

  8. I see the opioid hysteria that is labeled a “crisis” resembles another modern day witch hunt. The fog of disinformation is so thick, many people are quick to discredit physicians despite the fact that their education alone implies they are better suited to make medical decisions than a government employee acting on statistics that were admittedly inflated by the CDC. The people dying as the result of under treated or not treated pain is real. The discrimination towards doctors and people with incurable conditions is the crisis I see. It almost resembles Hitler’s campaign against the ill and infirm, just modernized. Maybe it’s just me, but wouldn’t the person consciously abusing a legitimate prescription be the responsible party? In a rational climate, perhaps. Why this monster has been manufactured, I don’t understand. There must always be a witch to hunt.