Balancing Harms vs. Benefits at #NAMIcon16

Poetry for Personal Power¬†is sending a team of 10 people to the National NAMI conference Wednesday. It’s time for #NAMIcon16 in Denver. ¬†Yet this is a bittersweet moment for me. I disagree with much of what NAMI does and what they stand for. So do we protest NAMI from the outside or work to change from within? Can we do both?

This infographic best describes Poetry for Personal Power’s relationship with NAMI and what we are doing in Denver at #NAMIcon2016. ¬†We are using the event to bring new people into the recovery movement and to bring more information to disease model advocates to balance harms vs. benefits.

Poetry for Personal Power's goal at #NAMIcon2016
Poetry for Personal Power’s goal at #NAMIcon2016

The Recovery Movement

The Recovery movement is also the peer community, or civil rights activists for people with mental health labels, or psychiatric survivors, or whatever need to start calling ourselves. But¬†we tend to be an aging, white, and middle class community. In the 70’s mental illness was 1%.¬† Now 20% of Americans are on psych drugs. People work, have families, live their lives despite or around these drugs and disease labels more and more often. Almost everyone in the US that has a chronic health condition like migraines, brain injury, lupus, or chronic pain is on psych meds. I’m on psych drugs. (For sleeping issues related to brain injury.) ¬†The notion of “mental illness,” has shifted. Has the recovery movement shifted with it?

Why do people keep seeing our advocates as anti-medication or anti-mental health care when we are actually pro fully-informed choice? How do people get full information about¬†how biased the information has been that they are basing their choices upon? How biased their medical providers’ education has been?

The late great Ken Braiterman from NAMI New Hampshire.
The late great Ken Braiterman from NAMI New Hampshire.

Fewer and fewer people have experienced physical abuse at the hands of mental health providers. Understanding the abuses of the disease model and it’s constant information bias are a lot more subtle. Yet many people in the community “get it.” Many people in the community don’t like mental health care but don’t know another way to do this stuff. When Poetry for Personal Power does community presentations challenging the disease model, lots of people say, “Oh, yes, I know there was something wrong about this mental health care all along, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.”

New Ideas for #NAMIcon16

So how do we share limitations of the disease model? How do we bring information to balance harm vs. benefit to #NAMIcon16? How do we bring this information to the general public?

I have looked at the workshop offerings at #NAMIcon 2016 and I would describe it as, “peer support and recovery heaped on top of a pile of BS.” I feel ¬†like sometimes it would be a lot better to sweep away the BS first if you want to promote peer support and recovery. ¬†It took me a long time to start working on sending people to this conference because the disease model stuff or the BS is so harmful. Three out of four of our sponsored artists said that they know someone whose disease label has taken over their life. ¬†Trying to solve social problems with drugs and diagnoses is like using ¬†a hammer to turn a screw. I do not agree with most applications of the disease model framework. But yet, this is our chance to expose our 10 people to the tiny smattering of peer support and recovery available. It’s our chance to start teaching them to talk about resilience and community to people who need to hear it.

Why I Can’t Attend #NAMIcon16

So we are back to this. This is a bittersweet moment for me. I disagree with much of what NAMI does and what they stand for. Yet, do we protest from the outside or work to change from within? Can we do both?

Edward Duff from NAMI Missouri, wearing "Cut our Budget, We'll tell you how." The back promotes peer services. #NAMIcon16
Edward Duff from NAMI Missouri, wearing “Cut our Budget, We’ll tell you how.” The back promotes peer services. #NAMIcon16

I know, that, I personally, cannot. I am distressed just thinking about this conference. It’s re-traumatizing just to write a check to them for our 10 people. I lost jobs, friends, my husband, and a full ride Ph.D. Scholarship when I thought I had a lifetime illness instead of solvable life situations. I did two years of brain injury recovery after the shock treatments I signed up for because a NAMI blurb (which is still up) said “safe and effective,” despite lots of science and advocates saying the opposite. ¬†¬†I suffered a lot learning how to safely taper off the medications¬†that NAMI encouraged. Those drugs¬†gave me Parkinson’s disease, made me fat and diabetic, and gave me insomnia. I am often too angry at disease model advocates to talk to them. They are hurting me and my friends in ways they don’t even understand. How can they talk about wellness when they have no idea about the extent of the slaughter?

Yet they do. The do talk about wellness stuff sometimes.¬†Can , as advocates, throw away all these people because they still use disease model language sometimes? Can we, as a blanket statement, say, “NAMI sucks,” or #NAMIcon2016 is pure evil? I know I myself feel that way, but is it true?

And do we help them talk about wellness or do we keep on attacking? I don’t know.

I just know that Poetry for Personal Power has built into a business where other people can do this and not me. I put together a team of 10 people willing to walk into Mordor. In fact, quite happy to do so. Our people want to learn how to become mental health advocates or try out new techniques. They feel like they can talk to NAMI.

In fact, many of my friends, my support people, my allies “are” NAMI. ¬†A bunch of them are at #NAMIcon16. Some of the most productive members of our teams are actually lifetime NAMI people. And they are just seeing their friends at this conference.

  • The late Ken Braiterman led NAMI New Hampshire for about 20 years, working in an inside/outside manner with recovery movement advocates. He also edited our blog for two years, posting a great selection of voices and topics on harm vs. benefit.
  • Eric Harkness is board chair for NAMI Kansas and NAMI Topeka, as well as vice chair of the Kansas Mental Health Coalition and the Disability Rights Center (Paimi) for Kansas. He is an advocate ally who gets us important notifications and he is working to spread “Whitaker Aware,” or harm vs. beneift information through Kansas.
  • Paul Komarek is long term NAMI from Cincinnati, and also our technical writer.
  • Rick Cagan, the chair of NAMI Kansas, is spreading harm vs. benefit information into Kansas. His organization is also working to partner with Poetry for Personal Power. Whereas Kansas’ first¬†statewide consumer network refuses to answer emails about collaboration with Poetry for Personal Power, the second statewide consumer network.
  • Edward Duff, a Joplin tornado survivor, worked with NAMI Missouri for 20 years, and is a veteran of events like #NAMICon2016. He is also one of our long time allies and a convert to “Whitaker awareness.”
  • Laurie Dameron is our new observer from Colorado who is still trying to figure out where we stand.

So these are the people that might eventually get NAMI to stop giving people a disease label for what might be a social problem. They might get NAMI to give honest information about the benefits vs. harms of psych meds. They might eventually just warn people that most of the drug categories for most of the illness categories don’t work better than placebo.

Because I know I sure can’t do this. I’m freaking out here at my house just sending texts to attendees. I can’t do this, I can’t walk into Mordor like this. I have been too harmed by NAMI to do this. There is too much trauma under the bridge.

Our Team of Allies at #NAMIcon16

But I have build a team who can. Our Poetry for Personal Power program now has 75 sponsored artists and advocates in 3 states. We have been teaching them how to share recovery movement ideas for years. So I can let my team speak for me like Aaron spoke for Moses.

When I say,

“We need to focus on resilience and community¬†because you are ¬† **)(&#$)(& ¬† ¬†killing people,”

the anger and trauma and hurt turns people off. And I say this all the time and no one listens. And I just sit at home and get angry and hurt and stew.  But the allies for our organization, our youth poets, our slam teams, they are not so mad, not so traumatized. And they say, or they are learning to say,

“We need to focus on resilience and community¬†because it worked for me,”

and people listen. And that is how a movement begins. At least I hope that is how our movement begins.

Poetry for Personal Power youth team at the Kansas Recovery conference. Watch for 10 of them at #NAMIcon16
Poetry for Personal Power youth team at the Kansas Recovery conference. Watch for 10 of them at #NAMIcon16


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


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  1. I believe there should be no working with NAMI, and I agree with you that they are evil, and our enemy. It pains me to hear about you writing those checks. NAMI is responsible for Murphy. I think that any cooperation with this organization only serves purposes counter to our collective well-being. They need to be opposed and exposed, it is not in their interest to be reasonable or support our struggle in any way.

    That said, I know some people have conflicts because individuals whom they may respect or depend upon for support are with NAMI. I recommend finding a real support network asap, and encouraging these aforementioned supportive individuals to dissociate with NAMI if they’re seriously interested in being our allies. But as for changing the organization for the better, forget it. That’s not what they’re getting paid for.

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    • There are people in NAMI who might be won over though. I used to be a member because I thought they were going to help me with my civil rights.

      Most of them don’t have any idea that educating folks about the “diseased brain” only serves to heighten the stigma they’re protesting.

      Until I saw Daniel Mackler’s documentary I had no idea people could come off meds. Considering NAMI won’t allow those people to speak at their meetings I’m not sure open infiltration is the way to go.

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      • No way that’s going to work. Nor should we even be trying to turn NAMI into something progressive. We should be encouraging its demise and encouraging people not to contribute money or energy. That way it will be clear that they are basically in existence entirely due to Big Pharma. financing. Demonstrations at NAMI events should be accompanied with banners & signs making this connection. It’s something that hopefully people can “get” without too much trouble.

        Oh, and I think it’s a good thing to try to peel away their supporters on a one-to-one personal level, but participating in their organization to do this would, at the least, be sending mixed messages.

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  2. Hocus Pocus Diagnosis where the focus is on the label, and Not on the facts of the individual’s experiential life, the hypnotizing, mesmerizing effect, objectifying the person to be controlled and managed by harmful synthetic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and ECT, electric current through the brain, with No Cumlative Healing Effect, making them instruments, tools of torture, used by pontificating pros for their pockets at the expense of suffering individuals. Allopathic medicine is eugenics. Then, medical records are documentation for the day of reckoning when correctly understood. Project MK ULTRA Mind Control Techniques CIA Program A documentary about the CIA and Psychiatry The Nazi Doctors – Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide by Robert Jay Lifton Operation PaperClip brought Nazis to the US after WWII. Pharmacy < Pharmakeia < Sorcery, Drugs, Enchantment That Old Black Magic literally

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  3. UHS (Universal Health Services) with a horrible record for patient abuse & neglect is a National Sponsor for NAMI !

    And who else pays for NAMI ? All these drug companies that are constantly getting busted for rigging drug trials, hiding dangerous side effects and marketing to children at the same time.

    Basically the way it works is if you are a large drug company or hospital chain and you harm and kill patients all you have to do is pay off NAMI and the nations largest “grassroots” mental health organization won’t say a bad word about you.

    Nothing else harms patients more than inpatient abuse and drug company crimes but NAMI is SILENT about those things.

    Remember this with the Risperdal ? Over the course of 20 years, Johnson & Johnson created a powerful drug, promoted it illegally to children and the elderly, covered up the side effects and made billions of dollars.

    Not a word from NAMI, they were pushing the stuff for decades and even gave that criminal Joseph Biederman an AWARD !

    ‚ÄúThe best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.‚ÄĚ ‚Äē Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    Thats what is going on, the big hospital chains, drug companies lead NAMI by writing fat checks.

    Screw NAMI.

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    • People say they want to end coercive psychiatry, but they keep playing footsie under the table with psychotherapists.

      “Please don’t subject us to forced medication and psychiatric treatment. We have already been rendered non-violent. Have pity on us. Give us a chance to try psychotherapy and recovery.”

      So given that the reason that we have psychiatry and psychotherapy is to legitimate child abuse and to perpetuate an underclass using eugenic arguments, the anti-psychiatry movement is not being very effective.


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      • First, “psychotherapist” is a much broader and more inclusive tent, or umbrella, than “coercive psychiatry/psychiatrist” can EVER be. I do NOT agree that the 2 terms are synonymous. Very few psychiatrists these days do anything near “psychotherapy”, or “talk therapy”. Many, if not *most* psychs never even *see* the victims, um, “patients” they write Rx scripts for…. So, to me, your “given”, above, is idiosyncratic. Speak for yourself. I’ve read your blog. It’s good. But I think you hold an extreme view, that will get little, if any, real traction in the marketplace of ideas. I can feel your pain and anger, but I think your emotions cloud your rational judgment. I say the REAL reason the so-called “anti-psychiatry movement” is as ineffective as it has been, has more to do with the lack of $$$ on OUR side, and the $$Billions$$ of PhRMA money on the psychs side…. Your point that psychiatry – and the clergy – suborn and cover up child abuse is well-taken…. But I’d like to see more nuance from you…..just sayin’….~B./

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  4. I agree that NAMI is bought and paid for by Big Pharma, and that its original intent was to help family members avoid blame and make it easier for them to force their adult kids into “treatment.” It’s a very toxic combination, parents looking to avoid self-examination and organized psychiatry teaming with drug companies profiting from providing them a model that does just that.

    But it’s also true that a lot of people go to NAMI because they don’t know any other support network for family members of people struggling with these issues. I think it’s great that someone is going in there and providing a different point of view, and letting people know that NAMI’s framing of reality is not the only way to look at the situation.

    I’d also add that there are some local NAMI chapters who do take a much more survivor-based approach than the national office, so it can be a mixed bag. But I don’t trust NAMI further than I can heave them collectively, and I think suspicion of or even contempt for their motives on a national scale is very well deserved.

    —- Steve

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    • I think progressive chapters should be encouraged to dissociate from NAMI and either go independent or associate themselves with more progressive networks such as perhaps Sera or someone would know much more about.

      It’s easy to start out thinking you’re “burrowing from within” only to realize at a later point that you’ve been swallowed. Obviously there are no hard and fast rules about the “correct” way for anti-psych people to go about confronting &/or subverting the system, it all depends on the situation and the individuals involved and their understanding of what they’re trying to accomplish. As a whole though I don’t think our strategy for change should be to work for a better NAMII. ūüôā

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      • Agree 100%. There was one NAMI branch in Santa Cruz, I think, which had a website with great articles and comments from survivors – kinda reminded me of David Oaks and MFI’s website. At some point, it simply disappeared. I can only assume they lost their NAMI charter for being too “off message” for the national organization. As long as national NAMI continues to be owned by Big Pharma and promotes the protect the powerful/blame the brain model, local NAMIs with a different agenda will simply be anomalies who can only go so far before being excommunicated.

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    • Any such cases should at once be reported to CPS and Law Enforcement. And you can also report them to me, as we need to be tracking these cases if there is ever to be justice.

      You talk about “support for the families”, well very likely that should come in the form of getting them served for a civil suit, or getting booked with criminal charges, or both.

      If a therapist declines to report what they should see as a suspected case of child abuse, they are committing a felony. If they are aiding the parents in their abuses, like by trying to mediate and make the child more compliant, then they are likely committing felony child abuse themselves.


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  5. There should be no communication with NAMI, as doing so would legitimate the concept of mental illness.

    The Recovery movement is also the peer community, or civil rights activists for people with mental health labels, or psychiatric survivors, or whatever need to start calling ourselves.

    I am 100% opposed to the Recovery Movement or to the concept of Recovery. It is all based on the idea of defect.

    And so this is further abusing the victims of abuse. And for these victims to endorse it themselves, that is pity seeking, becoming Uncle Toms.

    No Thank You!


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  6. I am heavily anti-NAMI, like several of the commenters here. The combination of the drug company money, and the commitment of many NAMI families to avoiding self-examination and denying the possibility that dynamics within the family may contribute to the problems their children have, have been and still are deadly.

    Personally, and this is not very nice, but I feel that NAMI tends to attract simple-minded, less educated people with fewer resources: these are the sheep that are more easily deceived by the disease model lies. There is probably a grain of truth to this perception, and it’s a sad reflection on the lack of awareness about how weak the basis for psychiatry’s claims about “severe mental illness” is, on the strength of the Big Pharma propaganda, and of how invested in denial many American families are.

    I agree with the focus on reaching out to individual NAMI members with an alternate perspective.

    Certainly don’t agree with partnering or allying with NAMI or any of its subgroups in any formal way. This would be similar to partnering with groups that promote slavery, illicit hard drug trafficking, or terrorism. Lest we forget, NAMI is a group that is supporting forced drugging, that generally supports telling people they have a lifelong brain disease, and generally supports the idea that drugs should always be a maintenance treatment.

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  7. Back before I was placed on moderation there was much discussion on Frank B.’s threads about the Anti-Psychiatry Movement, and on whether or not it still exists, and what it might take to restart it.

    Well, as far as I am concerned it is still on going. But, I see that on this Mad In America forum it is dead. The reason for this is that the Anti-Psychiatry Movement has been absorbed into the Recovery Movement.

    Back in the days of R. D. Laing this might not have made any difference. But today it is very serious, as there are legions of people, homeless, supposedly mentally ill, supposedly with chemical substance addictions, who make up a huge untouchable caste.

    Some people here on Mad In America seem to think that this is just some minor problem, an over zealous mental health establishment, and the influence of Big Pharma.

    I disagree entirely. I see Recovery, Psychothearpy, and Salvation Seeking as being responsible for the subjugation of a large, double digits, percentage of the population.

    Capitalism needs this. It needs people it can ritually humiliate, in order to maintain discipline.

    Maybe before in the industrial age, it needed cheap labor or slave labor. Now this is no longer necessary. It does not matter if those it humiliates are living in public housing and on welfare and disability money. All that matters is that they lead hopeless lives, are made to submit, and are displayed ritually.

    So for example now, where I live local government finds ways to get church meals programs shut down and it replaces them with Recovery Programs, where people will have to submit to case management. Now there is even a charity which sends a case manager around in a motor home. More like a cop really than a charity.

    This is the way it works, this is entirely deliberate, that the Middle-Class Family will have its scapegoats, and religion, recovery, drugs, alcohol, and the ideas of mental illness and developmental disability are its means.

    So of course I oppose this Murphy bill. But I also oppose NAMI. And I am opposed to the Recovery Movement and Psychotherapy in any form.

    And I oppose The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery.

    All it is is telling people who are already the scapegoats of the middle-class family, that they should learn how to live by seeking pity.

    “Don’t drug me or lock me in a Mental Hospital. Give me a chance at Recovery, and at Psychotherapy.”


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  8. To all commenters who are anti-NAMI as a blanket statement:

    a) what is Your plan? b) who do you collaborate with to make your plan happen? who do you work with?
    c) NAMI represents the dominant paradigm, and how do you plan to reach mainstream America if you want to run away from or beat up everyone who holds those viewpoints?

    d) and, if you refuse to recognize NAMI volunteers as individuals with individual valid viewpoints, and refuse to recognize that some NAMI chapters are more progressive, and refuse to recognize changes that they are making,

    THEN, you are painting them with the same broad, brush stroke generalizations that you are criticizing them for. BE the change you wish to see in the world. IF you are against categorizing and labeling people, maybe this is your place to start.

    If mad people need to be judged as individuals with their unique stories recognized, so do NAMI people.

    By the way, the conference was horrible. All the people we sent hated it. No one was able to stay the whole time. Our people said, “outdated,” “inaccurate,” “not enough choice for workshops,” “too many large group activities,” “crowded,” and “too expensive.”

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    • First, thank-you, Corrina, for all that you’ve done, and are doing here….
      That said, *WHY* do we need to see NAMI folks as “individuals with unique stories”?
      NAMI promotes the false propaganda of groupthink, as do MOST NAMI members….
      The “volunteers” perhaps most of all. “Painting NAMI with a broad brush”, as you put it, is exactly what I think anti-NAMI folks *should* do…. I’m not “against categorizing and labeling people”, nor is NAMI. Yes, I do get your point(s), above, about better and more effective “advocacy”. But I do NOT see the point in playing NAMI-games the NAMI-way….
      Feel free to call yourself a “mad person”, or whatever politically correct wordgames floats your boat. But please don’t include me. *DO* include me on your list of allies, and supporters, however…. I’m not trying to play “devil’s advocate” here – I’m more “loyal opposition”…. like I said, I think you’re doing a GREAT job!…. I truly believe that NAMI **IS** EVIL….even if most NAMI folks can’t, or won’t see that….

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    • a) what is Your plan? b) who do you collaborate with to make your plan happen? who do you work with?

      Plan for what?

      c) NAMI represents the dominant paradigm, and how do you plan to reach mainstream America if you want to run away from or beat up everyone who holds those viewpoints?

      All you can do is expose them for what they are & hope people understand. Eventually they will. Meanwhile you can ignore them, they didn’t even exist when our movement started in the 70’s. They serve no valid purpose. If they can’t force you to participate why would you volunteer?

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  9. What is my plan? Zero communications with NAMI. Zero communications with anyone who endorses Psychotherapy or Recovery.

    You say I am anti this and anti that. Well that is how Recovery people talk to me all the time. They don’t understand that I am opposed to them because they are abusing people. They are making people into objects of pity. So my opposition is not passive. Where ever I can I will intercede. And I have done so.

    Full enforcement of the mandatory reporting component of the Mondale Act and state versions of. Usually when psychotherapists do sessions with children they are failing to report what should be seen as indicative of child abuse. Usually their sessions amount to trying to make the child more compliant. This is also usually psychological child abuse. So we’ve got two federal felonies right there.

    End the bullying in schools and understand that everyone is unique. You don’t have any business trying to hold them to standards or apply labels. Don’t ever try to tell anyone that they have some sort of “neurological difference”. And don’t even think about putting anyone on drugs, or you’ll be convicted in International Court of Crimes Against Humanity, and there is no upper limit on the penalty this could carry.

    We the Survivors of the Middle-Class Family need to set up our own Foster Care and our own Revolutionary Training Camps for those who have no place in this world. ( supposedly mentally ill, homeless ). We also need to set up our own self-study university, and our own industries and communes. We will take care of our own people, no substance use, no unemployment or homelessness. Everyone always continuing their life long education.

    Reform US laws so that people cannot disinherit their children. And start suing over child abuse, until it becomes a kind of divorce from parents. As it is now, middle-class child abuse is profitable. Start publicly humiliating the parents when they have used a child. Pauperize them, because what this is really about for them is money.

    Repudiate the Self-Reliance Ethic, because everyone wants to do well. Self-Reliance, just like Recovery, is an adaptation of Original Sin. Rick Warren of the Saddle Back Church goes on and on saying, “Everybody needs Recovery.” Repudiate this and oppose any group or person which endorses this view.

    Make sure that those who are in need have quality housing, food, clothing, and non-abusive medical care. Stop using the poor, the homeless, and those who have been scapegoated by the middle-class family and the supposedly mentally ill as symbols to maintain capitalist discipline.

    Replace welfare and disability money with Citizenship Pay.

    Start right now, oppose this Murphy bill, but also oppose every single Recovery program and Recovery group you can find, and get child abuse investigations going on any group which is based on stigmatizing children. This will include vast numbers of therapists and evangelical churches.

    Tell people, mood altering chemicals are dangerous and life damaging, but this is not a serious moral problem. When people are ready to stop they stop. People who have a decent job and social relations and some future to live for are far less likely to use. Very little difference between psych meds and street drugs, in terms of how they effect people and why the use them.

    Tell them that Capitalism needs an untouchable caste. It used to need cheap labor and even slave labor. Not anymore. All it needs is to be able to make a public spectacle out of the scapegoats of the middle-class family. This is how it keeps everybody else in line.

    Shall I go on?

    Also a note about the Murphy bill. This representative Murphy has his district in the South West corner of Pennsylvania, not including Pittsburg. No real cities in there, bordered on two sides by West Virginia. Probably his district is very similar to West Virginia.


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  10. My observation is also that the chapters vary and that NAMI has changed over the decades that I have observed it. I recall way back sometime between 1981 and 1985, my parents spoke of a “support group” they had found. This sounded rather pioneering to me. I recall my mixed feelings about it overall. I knew in many ways these parents only wanted answers. They felt that the doctors were leaving them in the dark. On one hand, they wanted to help their kids. On the other, they didn’t want to totally side with the kids. Parents of this generation had grown up with us kids, the teachers and school committee, and as third arm there was this very strong town PTA, the Parent-Teachers Association. This served to empower parents and give them some say in how the schools worked. So in this sense, the PTA gave the parents a necessary voice. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have had a say in our education, in the hiring and firing of faculty nor in the curriculum taught in schools.

    I think that’s how my parents viewed NAMI. They didn’t want to incarcerate me against my will. They only wanted answers. They wanted to have a voice. After all, they were PAYING for the darned thing! They paid $10,000 for my first nine months of day treatment! You’d think they’d want some sort of say, right? If you pay for car repair wouldn’t you want to know what parts are being installed? Or have some say in what color the car gets repainted? So they were paying for a service yet confidentiality meant that unless the docs broke the law (they often did) my parents were completely in the dark yet paid and paid and paid.

    I think NAMI satisfied their deep urge to know, to at least think they knew what was happening inside those rooms, inside that therapy room where supposed magic stuff was happening to their daughter’s brain. I’m sure they wanted their daughter back! I’m sure they were wondering what happened to their kid composer, and why she had not composed a note of music nor touched a musical instrument. Well, that’s some freaking magic!

    I’m sure my dad was actually pissed inside. His years and years and years of work in NAMI might somehow have relieved that. I wish I could tell him.

    Hey Dad! Yoohoo! I’m out. Love, Your Favorite Daughter (he always called me that cuz he only had one)

    Love ya’ll, Julie and Puzzle

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  11. My feelings about this are that decades ago, people felt that they could fight psychiatry, while still supporting psychotherapy. R. D. Laing, Loren Mosher, and even Peter Breggin, all thought this.

    Today, I think people are starting to see that the entire mental health edifice is politically motivated. Capitalism used to need cheap labor and slave labor, and so it could get this from colonies, or neo-colonies, and from immigrants, and from a designated racial minority. This public spectacle would in turn maintain discipline in the work force.

    Today this cheap labor and slave labor is no longer needed. But Capitalism still depends on societal acceptance and on keeping people in harness. So it needs people it can ritually humiliate. So to get this, it turns to the middle-class family, and the way it has always been predicated on making children into private property. So with the medical, mental health, developmental disabilities, and religious establishments, it creates scapegoats.

    And then these scape goats are kept powerless with alcohol, street drugs, evangelical Christianity, psychiatric medication, recovery, and psychotherapy.

    So today if you say you are fighting psychiatry, but you are still supporting psychotherapy, the concept of Recovery, and the premises which underlie evangelical religion, then you are fooling yourself, you are supporting the justifications for psychiatry.


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  12. Here’s a bit about my lived experience with the evils of NAMI…. I had a girlfriend, once, years ago, whose father sexually abused her when she was a young girl. By the time she got old enough to tell others what had happened to her, “Daddy” had taken her to a *psychiatrist*, and had her labelled as “mentally ill”, and put on psych drugs. She was both the Black Sheep, and the Scapegoat of her (Catholic) family. “Daddy” – and “Mommy” – both became very active members of the local NAMI chapter. Yes, I *could* “name names” – but my female friend is DEAD, now….
    So, yeah, that’s what NAMI means to me….. NAMI = Nazi….

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  13. Bradford, that you for that account!

    I never stop bragging about the Daddy I helped put into our state prison for molesting his daughters. I see him as my first scalp, and what this means is I get bragging rights. I don’t give out his name, because his name is the same as his daughters’ names. But f2f I never stop talking about the role his Pentecostal church played in promoting denial and legitimating the negative relationship.

    And the parents did indeed try to send the girls to psychotherapy. It was to be EMDR Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy, an obvious brain washing technique.

    As the mother testified, it was to “Make all those painful memories go away.”

    And I made much of this with the Prosecution and explained my position, that if it were up to me, the mother would be going to prison too.

    But see, it is always like this with Psychotherapy, the therapist has an institutional and professional interest. And they did used to tell children who were currently being sexually molested that it was all in their imaginations. Today they don’t do this, or they shouldn’t, or they should end up in prison. But what they do do is tell you that no matter what happened, no matter how you were taken advantage of, no matter what the life cost for you, they tell you that you should not do anything about it, not even try. They try to make you believe that it is morally superior to just do nothing. After all, the parents were just trying to make the child accept the self-reliance ethic. And yes, this is how most all middle-class child abuse is justified, even sexual abuse. It shows the child that all the platitudes mouthed are nothing, you still have to accept heinous abuse from those who say they love you, and then you still have no legitimate complaint.

    Your therapist could not be a therapist unless they believed that it was morally superior to do nothing. Talking that position they don’t need to feel their own pain. Alice Miller, when she was at her best, was 100% clear about this, as is Jeffrey Masson.

    So ask your therapist, how much money have they collected in damage awards on behalf of their clients? How many Mommies and Daddies have they put into prison? What other things have they done to hold the abusers responsible?

    And of course the answer will always be that they have done absolutely nothing, except to propagate denial, because that makes people “feel better”. Psychotherapy works just like alcohol, street drugs, and psychiatric medication.

    And there are even anti-drug therapists who advertise themselves, seemingly via their conviction that these are loving parents, and so then if he can convince the child to also mouth this, then maybe the parents can be persuaded to take the child off of drugs.

    Even though this is going off drugs, I still say that this goes beyond our penal codes, and should be tried in International Court as Crimes Against Humanity.

    Anytime middle-class child abuse is uncovered, there are always doctors of all stripes who are complicit in it. Mandatory reporting is supposed to stop this, but obviously it doesn’t.

    So, your therapist is not going to go to the barricades with you. They are not going to fight to get laws changed so that parents can be held accountable. They are not going to fight to give people at least some of what was taken from them. They are not going to fight for Citizenship Pay instead of the programs designed to humiliate, Welfare and Disability. They are not going to fight to stop disinheritance, as this is what silences the survivors.

    Capitalism used to need cheap labor and slave labor, and it could get this via immigrants, minorities, and neo-colonialism. The existence of these persons was enough to keep everyone else on board.

    But today, with the Information Age, such cheap labor and slave labor are no longer needed. Capitalism just needs people it can subject to ritual humiliations. And so it gets this from the middle-class family itself, turning Einstein’s, Mozart’s, and Elon Musk’s into Homer Simpson’s, all to enforce the Self-Reliance Ethic. The middle-class lives in Bad Faith, tries to deny that it has choices, tries to live by hiding behind children. Most of the time it works, and the children become just like the parents.

    But once in a while, for some reason, a child escapes partially, and they are aware that something wrong has been done. But what are they to do? Most of the time they end up baring their soul to the enemy, the Psychotherapist. So we must look for the chance to step in a support them, and keep them away from psychotherapy.

    In most other countries disinheritance if prohibited. So while in the US the response to a dysfunctional family is to look in the yellow pages and find a psychotherapist, it is different in British Columbia. There, you do still go to the yellow pages, but you look in the beginning, under Attorneys, like Trevor Todd in Vancouver. He will make sure that the parents are denied the final victory of disinheritance.

    So while I don’t think we can ever outlaw psychotherapy, we should stop allowing our government to license it. And when someone realizes that they are being taken, we should help them sue for fraud.

    And if children are being sent, it must be with the supervision of CPS and Court. Otherwise it is just the parents getting to hire another psychological abuser. It gets to be like Claudius and Gertrude using Polonius to manipulate Hamlet, Ophelia, and Laertes. And so yes, Polonius deserved what he got.

    And so today, sure we are opposed to psychiatry, but we also must not ever endorse psychotherapy. And especially as it applies here, we must never go along with anyone who advocates a pity seeking or Uncle Tom approach.


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