Psychiatry is Edging Dangerously Close to Eugenics


Eugenics was a powerful movement in England, the United States and Nazi Germany from the late nineteenth century until 1945. The basic belief was that bad, ‘degenerate’ genes were the cause of problems in society, and the solution was to cleanse the gene pool. Eugenics receded from the world stage after Germany lost World War II. In its most extreme form, in Germany, it was the rationale for the Holocaust – the killing of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and schizophrenics. We’re talking 6 million murders. In the United States there were massive programs of forced sterilization. Traits that were seen as infecting the gene pool were poverty, feeble-mindedness, alcoholism, rebelliousness, criminality, prostitution, manic-depression, and schizophrenia. 60,000 forced sterilizations took place.

In 1913, twenty-nine states had laws preventing marriage between the races. It wasn’t until 1967 that most of these laws were changed. Hitler quoted the Eugenic Societies of the United States when he concluded that the creation of progeny should be based on what would be injurious to the racial stock. After 5000 sterilizations a month, the Nazis moved on to gas 80,000 schizophrenics, 20,000 manic-depressives, the deaf, the blind, the so-called feeble-minded, people with epilepsy, etc. American eugenic organizations were publicly jealous of their effectiveness. As is the norm, amnesia then set in and eugenics has disappeared from our consciousness. History, unremembered, repeats itself.

All of this took place with minimal understanding of genetics. During the rise of the eugenics movement there was no knowledge of what a gene actually was, nor DNA, RNA and protein genetic functions. There was no double helix, and the genome was a total mystery. In today’s world, armed with amazing genetic knowledge, we have once again returned to the myth of genetic determinism – with potentially dangerous implications.

In psychiatry, there has always been a swing between the two poles of nature and nurture (see “The Nature-Nurture Question”). Unfortunately, psychiatry is firmly back in the nature camp. Lip service is paid to the emotional environment and trauma. But that is as far as it goes. The accepted (and dangerous) belief is that psychiatry deals with brain diseases – inherited brain diseases. We are back to absolute genetic determinism. Today’s extremely bad science is employed to validate not only the idea that schizophrenia and manic-depression are genetic brain diseases, but that depression, anxiety, phobias, psychopathy, and alcoholism are caused by bad genes (see “Bad Science creates False and Dangerous Beliefs”).

Here’s the thing. Underlying these ideas is an accepted misconception as to how genes operate in the first place. The false belief is that genes operate in such a fashion that they determine our behavior directly. This is an inane fallacy. The very idea is an insult to the complexity of the human condition, yet it is accepted as unquestioned fact. The real way human personality operates is that our brain maps our experience of nurture – either responsiveness or deprivation and/or abuse, i.e. trauma. Our nature operates through our genetic temperament which digests our nurture experience. Temperament does not have a direct effect. The interplay of the two forms our personality, constructing the play of consciousness.

The temperamental digestion of trauma into our personalities is the source of psychiatric conditions. Different temperaments experiencing similar traumas generate different psychiatric symptoms – you might have depression and I might have anxiety, or hyperactivity, phobias, or compulsions. There is no gene that determines psychiatric symptoms. We are not set up that way. Trauma is the source, while temperament determines the form.

How does this point toward the potential horrors of eugenics? It all follows from the delusional belief that psychiatry is about genetic brain diseases. At this stage, the PR battle has already been won and the false belief has taken root. The human race has been diluted by bad genes – this is not taken as a metaphor, but accepted as literally true. 13% of American adults take antidepressants, for ‘biological’ depression; five percent of children are diagnosed with ADHD; one in sixty-eight children have autism; 18% of Americans have anxiety disorder; 1% with schizophrenia; 2.6% with manic-depression; 2.3% with so-called OCD; 4-5% with phobias.

The second stage has been to put all these brain-damaged people on drugs. But psychiatry and the pharmaceutical companies claim that not enough people are being ‘treated’ and that we need more drugs. Not only are almost 50% of adults on psychiatric drugs, we also have adolescents on drugs, children on drugs, even toddlers (see “Enough is Enough, Two Year Olds on Antipsychotics”). You may notice that we are working our way younger and younger, starting earlier and earlier, as we address our diseased brains.

What does the future bring? The likely next steps are even more scary. Let’s go even younger, all the way back to the embryo. It’s only a matter of time until science will conclude that they know definitively which babies have genes for depression or OCD or schizophrenia. (This will never happen, but the PR will be believed.) Those babies should be aborted to fix the gene pool, so we can have ‘healthy’ babies instead of diseased ones.

Even more scary, with today’s genetic technologies we can already delete bad genes and substitute new ones. Not only will we create designer babies, we will have a method of rooting out diseased and mutated psychiatric genes and replacing them with corrected ones in utero. Finally we will have a purified race with no psychiatric symptoms. Life will be a dream.

There certainly are a few genetic conditions that come from one mutated gene – Huntington’s chorea, Down’s syndrome (trisomy 21), Tay-Sacks etc. These single gene mutations are clear and definitively proven. But somatic psychiatry and the geneticists conclude that all psychiatric conditions come from mutations of multiple genes and extra repetitions on the chromosome. And that they have a direct effect on behavior, as opposed to the play of consciousness affected by trauma. Of course, this is all fantasy. Nothing is ever proved regarding the multiple gene theories. It’s a house of cards, built on a false foundation of specious correlations with no causation, yet currently accepted as fact. “It’s very complex and we can’t be definitively conclusive yet, but the proof is right around the corner.” A corner that never comes. And the myth continues to grow.

This genetic belief system is consonant with the beliefs of somatic psychiatry throughout the last seventy-five years. The theory has always been, and is today, that human struggle is caused by the brain, not the interplay of personality with experience. Insulin shock therapy, ECT and lobotomies have been the treatment of choice. Each incarnation of somatic psychiatry has led to inhumane and barbaric practices. How did the sordid practice of reaming out the brain with an ice pick ever capture the psychiatric imagination? In case there is any confusion about the science at that time, the inventor of lobotomies, Antonio Egas Moniz, actually won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1949.

Pharmaceutical psychiatry is the latest incarnation of this practice, now in the service of fixing genetic brain diseases. As always, amnesia has set in and we are repeating the devastation. History is repeating itself.


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. Dangerous clse? It is and always has been eugenics through and through. I would dispute that eugenics “was” a movement, because it has remained alive in the post-war years. It is only now that it is stronger than ever, and opposition to eugenics in the early 20th century has been whitewashed from history.

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  2. Absolutely history is repeating itself, and in more ways than just in psychiatry. The same European “banks and corporations that will grow up around them,” who destroyed Germany and profited by financing both sides of WWII, are destroying America today. Just as Thomas Jefferson forewarned us they would.

    But it’s quite obvious to some who have taken the psychiatric drugs that the DSM disorders are iatrogenic illnesses, not genetic illnesses. The antidepressants and ADHD drugs can create the symptoms of “bipolar.” And the “bipolar” drug cocktails – especially the combining of antidepressants and / or antipsychotics – can create the “schizophrenia” symptoms, via both poly pharmacy or neuroleptic induced anticholinergic toxidrome or neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome. But these drug induced illnesses are not billable DSM disorders, so they almost always get misdiagnosed as a billable DSM disorder, or many.

    The DSM is a book that classifies the adverse effects of the psychiatric drugs as “mental illnesses,” and this is too embarrassing for most psychiatrists to admit to even themselves. Glad you are not one of them, and are speaking out against “the delusional belief that psychiatry is about genetic brain diseases,” Dr. Berezin. I knew my psychiatrist was delusional, and now his many delusional belief systems are being pointed out as fraud, racist, and sexist by many, all over the internet. Thank you, and thank God.

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      • John Read doesn’t specifically state this, he thinks child abuse leads to schizophrenia because a very high percentage of those labeled as ‘schizophrenic’ by psychiatry are child abuse victims.

        Google “John Read child abuse schizophrenia” and you will come up with lots of his research into this subject. I say psychotherapy is used to cover up child abuse because that’s what my medical records prove. I was drugged up based upon lies from the people who raped my child and denied my other child a baptism on the morning of 9.11.2001. And some decent nurses did eventually hand over the medical evidence of the abuse of my child. And innocent people don’t go around lying to doctors to get people they barely know tranquilized for no reason, they do it to cover up a serious crime. And an ethical subsequent pastor of mine did confess to me that historically, and obviously still today, the medical and religious communities utilize psychiatric defamation and torture to cover up their easily recognized iatrogenesis and “zipper troubles.” My pastor called this “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.”

        And psychologists profiteering off of covering up child abuse has seemingly been going on for a long time.

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        • Even Peter Breggin points out this problem by stating, “Victims of child abuse can be helped, but not by biological psychiatry.”

          And of course this makes perfect sense, since “antipsychotics don’t cure concerns of abuse,” as quoted by my oral surgeon, especially once the medical evidence of such has been handed over. Odd, though, that I could not find one psychiatrist, nor one mainstream doctor, who could comprehend this obvious reality when it came just from my mouth. It took embarrassing my last psychiatrist, by quoting my oral surgeon, to finally be weaned off the toxic antipsychotics.

          But the good news is Dr. Breggin is right. My child, with love and encouragement, did largely heal from the abuse. He went from remedial reading in first grade, after the abuse, to getting 100% on his state standardized tests in eighth grade. But I did have to fend of the psychiatric practitioners who wanted to get their hands on my child. Because my psychiatrist did want to drug up my child, after he learned the medical evidence of the sexual abuse had been handed over. And a public school social worker also wanted to get her hands on my child, after he surprised her by doing so well on his state standardized tests. But I’m quite certain it’s not actually in society’s best interest to drug up all the well behaved, intelligent children, merely because they were abused at a young age. The “mental health” industry is filled with child abuse covering up and profiteering loons, based upon my families’ experience.

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        • One last comment, based upon my research it seems that during the past sixty years the psychiatric industry has largely gone from claiming that being Jewish is a “mental illness,” to claiming those dealing with child abuse are “mentally ill.” And, really, defaming, torturing, and murdering millions of child abuse victims with the psychiatric drugs is no better than defaming, torturing and murdering millions of Jews in gas chambers. It’s a holocaust either way. And today’s psychiatrists have murdered more than 6,000,000 people with the psychiatric drugs since 2000.

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          • Thank you Someone Else for your detailed posts, and I’ll follow up with your links.

            As I see it the issue is child exploitation. I try to be reserved in calling it child abuse, saving that for things which could be criminally prosecuted.

            I prefer to speak of child exploitation, to indicate that there is nothing aberrational about it, as it is the norm.

            What make the middle-class family unique is that the parents are living in bad faith, they don’t want to admit that they have choices.

            For those in traditional societies and primitive societies, they do not have any choice. But the middle-class does, and they know it, but they don’t want to admit it.

            The children see this, that the parents hold to very high Enlightenment ideals, but they just don’t live it. And they use their children to hide behind and they act deliberately to harm their children.

            Now most of the time, the children just end up exactly like their parents, and they have children so that they can do the same thing. But once in a while, the child is able to see what is being done, and to see that it is wrong, and so they come to resist. So these are the cases where you have open antagonism between parent and child. And these are the cases that we need to jump in on. Make sure that the child ( adult-child ) is fully vindicated.

            So while there is no such thing as mental illness, there are definite stresses and strains incurred by living in a world where you have no legitimated social identity.

            And so the solution is that we the Survivors of the Middle-Class Family must not only reject Psychiatry and Psychiatric Medication, we must also reject Psychotherapy, Recovery, and Salvation Seeking.

            We do need to learn from the Black Movement, but not its Uncle Tom wing, from its more radical nationalist wing.

            We need to organize and take our own actions and set up our own institutions and build our own economics, while at the same time taking actions on a regular basis which undermine the middle-class family, offering no quarter and expecting none.


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    • Exactly.

      First we have all the adults who’ve been kept on the debilitating drugs for years. Their lives have been turned upside down. They exist rather than live.

      Now we’re drugging children as young as two years old, or less, under the guise that they are bi-polar. What a bunch of bologna. We have no idea what the effects will be for these kids in the years to come. We are destroying future generations of people with this blithe attitude that we’re “treating a mental illness”. What happens when everyone does not know how to take care of themselves, hold down a job, or make good decisions for themselves?

      But this is the direction that our society and country are headed in with the drugging of kids. I work in a state “hospital” where almost no one on any of the units has ever held down a job! Numerous people have always been on disability since they were children. People do not know how to take care of themselves. This is not their fault but the fault of the “mental health” system and the government. Not only are we destroying people with the toxic drugs, we are beginning to destroy the very fabric of society by which everything is held together. The more people who are disabled by the treatment the greater over all effect this has on society itself. Where is it going to end if we don’t start putting a stop to it now?

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  3. The US eugenics program was a good, solid one, set up to prevent disease and suffering. Someone else had a eugenics program that turned into a genocide campaign. Therefore every eugenics program is guaranteed to end in genocide and war. That’s pretty much the mindset of everyone who speaks of eugenics. It’s an emotional and frankly, ridiculous response. There are many shades of gray to this issue.

    Sterilizing those who cannot even care for themselves on a consistent basis, much less a baby, is a kindness, not an evil.

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      • I believe so. MIA’s policies are a little too liberal for the sorts of spam that we can expect to be coming our way. I’ve seen this happen before on other sites.

        Just in case he is misinformed here are the two basic links on American/Nazi fusion in matters psychiatry, and the APA debate on “euthanasia” for psychiatric inmates:

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        • Just because someone’s opinion is different from your own, you consider it trolling? What’s the point of the comment section if you only allow comments that reflect your own opinions?

          I looked up the links you provided. I don’t think that killing mental patients was ever part of the American Eugenics program. It was based on sterilizing those who were unfit to reproduce. It looks as though you were able to dig up one American doctor who agreed with the Germans about mercy killing. I’m pretty sure his wasn’t the mainstream view in the US even back then. If you have more links to indicate that the US was going rogue and getting geared up to murder all the mental patients, I’d be happy to read them, but I don’t think that was the case.

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          • You are terribly wrong. At the yearly meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in 1949 the keynote address was given by a doctor who stated that we needed to “euthanize” the mentally ill in the same way that German psychiatry did to the “mentally ill” in the middle 1930’s. You do know that this program of murdering the “mentally ill” in Germany was started by the psychiatrists and not the Nazi’s don’t you??? anyway, only two doctors opposed the keynote speaker. The next year two anonymous writers wrote an editorial for the APA’s journal in which they supported the “euthanizing” of the “mentally ill”. You need to be informed so that history doesn’t repeat itself. You seem to be poorly informed of the facts.

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          • The patients’ extermination program was cancelled through citizen reaction to administrative bungling (relatives of a single patient receiving two crematory urns, deaths by “heart failure” in patients known to have sound hearts, etc.) being found out by the patients’ relatives, who complained to Hitler(!!), who ordered the program stopped (it was originated by the German shrinks of their own volition).

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    • But eugenics-based sterilization wasn’t just for those who “cannot care for themselves”, it was for people for example who were convicted of multiple crimes (in order to “weed out” the criminal genes from the next generation, not even the people at the time claimed it was for their own benefit themselves.)

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      • But why on earth would we WANT criminals to have children? Why would we want ANYONE who we know wouldn’t be good parenting material – to have children?

        Have any of you people ever suffered thru being raised by a mentally challenged parent? Or a mentally ill, abusive one?

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        • Yes, I was, and it was tough, and yet I came through it and gave birth to raised two very well adjusted, highly educated (adult) children who are making excellent contributions to society. What’s more they are ethical, caring and empathetic human beings with whom I like associating.

          I was making a very solid contribution too…. until psychiatry got hold of me.

          Now…with something like 50% of people experiencing some sort of “mental illness” (and hence in your view potentially requiring sterilisation or extermination), that’s getting towards genocide on a scale the world has never before seen.

          However, the only people capable of carrying out such actions would have to be diagnosed as “psychopaths” or whatever the current DSM label is, and hence, being “mentally ill” also would need to be gotten rid of, so eventually, there’d be no-one left!!!

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        • I was declared a “bad mom” by a psychologist, then literally made “psychotic” by psychiatrists, via what I’ve learned through my medical research is called anticholinergic toxidrome (both the antidepressants and antipsychotics can cause this toxidrome).

          I’m certain I would have been a better mom, if I had not been massively poisoned by child abuse profiteering psychiatrists. But even while I was dealing with a psychotomimetic psychosis I was able to raise two children, one who went from remedial reading (due to prior child abuse) to valadictorian of his high school class. The other just graduated from high school with the “most high” award for a female in her high school. And during that time I was “hyperactive,” one of the symptoms of anticholinergic toxidrome, so functioned in my neighborhood as one of the “super moms” as well. I co-chaired a 250+ member volunteer organization, was the lead designer of redesign of one of my children’s schools, was the Charter Rep for my son’s Boy Scout pack, a Girl Scout leader, a head room mom many times, plus participated in many, many other volunteer positions.

          The reality is psychologists and psychiatrists who view people as mental illnesses, rather than as people, have less than zero insight into their patients’ actual potential. Thus they can NOT “know” who “wouldn’t be good parenting material.” The DSM functions to prevent proper discourse, and cloud the insight of psychologists and psychiatrists into their patients’ talents and skills. It’s a government sanctioned defamation and iatrogenic illness classification system.

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        • Criminality is a modifiable spectrum. Some criminals can and do reform themselves, so we should not put ourselves in the position of being ultimate judges of who is ever allowed to reproduce or not.

          Yes, of course many people here have suffered through being raised by an emotionally disturbed, abusive parent, including myself. Glad that you weren’t in charge of our nation’s social policy, otherwise I might not be here…

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        • “Have any of you people ever suffered thru being raised by a mentally challenged parent? Or a mentally ill, abusive one?”

          I just read this comment here and it’s interesting. I did get raised by a psychopathically abusive parent. But because he is a surgeon, useful to people, supported by his own family and wealthy, he never got into the psychiatric system. But I ended up there, which only gave him more tools to gaslight me as always did even before.

          This happens fairly frequently. The abusive ones escape and their victims end up in psychiatry.

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    • I can’t believe that you just made these statements. Everyone has issues of one sort or another. You could very easily end up being the person who receives the wonderful benefits of eugenics programs. When it comes to people and their well being we cannot allow shades of gray any place in the discussion. Once you allow any gray you start down that slippery slope where everyone will eventually become a victim of the program.

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          • I concur with your assessment, oldhead, which is why I have kept silent as the level of provocation continues to rise, the idea being that engagement feeds the trolls. But I think that was the wrong stance for me to take on this. I won’t be engaging that troll, but I shall be engaging the MiA staff to step up and enforce so that those of us who treasure this community as a safe haven can continue to do so. Thank you for saying things here that made me challenge my reaction to this provocateur.

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        • I don’t fear death.

          If I were ever to become injured or debilitated to the point that I can no longer care for myself, and would become a burden to those around me, my family has strict orders to do whatever they legally can to avoid extending my life. I prefer to go with dignity. I believe that if many people with dementia or other incurable mental illnesses could see with clear eyes the pain and burden and expense they are to their families with no way of improving, they might agree with me. But people are so afraid of death, that they hang onto life, no matter how poor a quality it becomes. I don’t want to do that at the expense of my loved ones.

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      • That’s the problem right there, not allowing any gray. I think we all can agree that it’s horribly wrong to kill off an entire race of healthy people. At the other end of the spectrum, I don’t think that allowing my cancer-ridden parent a merciful release from her misery is murder. But it’s a gray area which you would forbid with that argument of yours and it’s the reason so many people are not allowed to move on with assistance, even though it’s of their own choosing. Paranoia.

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      • I’ve read that before. I maintain my opinion. Sterilizing the mentally ill and developmentally disabled and those with heritable disease such as Huntingtons is nothing but good for society. And in all those years, you’ll notice, that we never started rounding up masses of Americans for the gas chamber. Because sane people ran the American eugenics program, unlike the travesty in Germany ran by a madman.

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        • To givemeyourking, A madman? You mean Hitler? On what basis do you make your claim that he was a “madman?” Did he have a so-called mental “illnes?” How could a “madman” gain so much power and influence? Also, on what basis do you make your claim that “sane people ran the American eugenics program”? Did they all pass some sort of sanity test? Maybe the American eugenics program was actually run by a bunch of “madmen?”

          Please explain yourself. Thanks.

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    • Some people who cannot care for themselves on a consistent basis can be helped via social support to become functional and able to care for themselves, and can then engage in relationships and become good parents.

      Your comment is abhorrent and inhuman, and fits the thinking that the Nazis used when they sterilized thousands of people with no consideration given to those people’s potential for growth and improvement in better social conditions.

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          • Oldhead, this is how fascist disruptors work – taking advantage of their free speech to intimidate and silence anyone who disagrees with them, resorting to bullshit doublespeak if engaged with directly.

            I have no fear of these people and will gladly strike back at them as much as I please.

            In the meantime I hope you don’t leave, because unlike the trolls you’re adding something to the conversation, as have most of the people responding in this thread.

            That is why I said from the start what he is and how best to deal with him. It is useless to give sanctuary to fascists by regarding their bullshit as valid conversation; just pound them the moment they start in.

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          • I wonder if the fascist comments would still be here if that commenter had said, “Sterilizing [Insert racial/sexual/ethnic/gender/etc. minority here.] is nothing but good for society.” I think they would have been swiftly (and rightly) deleted in that case. I think that if the fascist comments had explicitly violated the norms of bourgeois identity politics, then they would have been gone in a heartbeat.

            But if you have a psychiatric diagnoses (even on MiA!), you are apparently expected to tolerate being told that you should be sterilized by the state. Because “free speech,” or “open dialogue,” or one can only guess. This is what I find difficult to understand.

            And incidentally, sterilizing racial/sexual/ethnic/gender/etc. minorities and poor people in general is what eugenics is all about. That’s why you had a third of the adult women in Puerto Rico sterilized at one point. That’s why you had Native American women sterilized for being Native American. Immigrants for being immigrants. And on and on. This is what the fascist commenter thinks was “a good, solid one, set up to prevent disease and suffering.”

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          • Furthermore, I am confident that it would be recognized as a personal attack if someone came on here and said, “Uprising, you should be forcibly sterilized.” But it is apparently deemed okay for someone to say that a whole class of people of which I am a part should be forcibly sterilized? It doesn’t make sense.

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          • To “no one”:

            It is useless to give sanctuary to fascists by regarding their bullshit as valid conversation; just pound them the moment they start in.

            You’re preaching to the choir. Once identified they should be banned. Any direct response, or accommodating their claims that we are “debating opinions,” is to them a small victory as it diverts the original discussion to them. People could learn to be disciplined and collectively ignore them if they would get out from under this self-effacing liberalism. People don’t have “freedom” to fuck with the process of our discussions simply because they object to the content.

            Btw if we studied the guidelines carefully I’m sure we could find more than a few grounds for banning them.

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          • Props to Uprising & nononeinparticular for taking this up, if more would chime in maybe MIA would adjust or clarify its policy. I’m sure after all that when RW set up MIA that fascist and other sinister elements contaminating the site was not something that was anticipated. It’s a sign of success!

            Oh, and I guess I shouldn’t have implied that they were going to chase me away. See you at the Organizing Forum?

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          • re: oldhead

            I tend to be skeptical of over-moderating and banhammering as the only tool. Obviously it is necessary, but I’m used to being in a position where I hold no sway with moderators, and I’m on my own when defending myself. So, it is valuable to call out their BS for what it is, and not spend too much time on the defensive. Calling them out has nothing to do with legitmizing them – I call them out for everyone else. It’s a helpful tactic in online guerilla tactics.

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          • Unfortunately it’s hard to do that without it being labeled a “personal attack.” I’ve dealt with them before too, they hate being ignored and love people to trash talk back. I find it to be a matter of collective discipline; once identified there should be zero reply by anyone. But many people can’t avoid responding to their provocations, which plays into their hands; plus there’s always some fool who thinks this is about “free speech,” so I believe permanent moderation is in order in some cases, especially when someone champions overt fascism..

            You can see clearly how valuable discussions have disintegrated as soon as they start posting their trash, as everybody rushes to respond and whatever was being talked about goes down the tubes. Just in case anyone thinks it’s a coincidence.

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        • Apparently the leaders of most countries disagree with you dude. Thank god you’re not in charge! As much as I may not like some of our elected leaders, they are more humane than you…

          Of course, even the most severe “mental illnesses” can improve and in some cases be cured given sufficient social and psychological support over time.

          Let me give you a couple of references: Rethinking Madness (Paris Williams – see – and Treating the Untreatable (Ira Steinman – see . These are stories of people who were once delusional/psychotic/”schizophrenic” who got well and in some cases became good, loving parents.

          Stop making assumptions about what people are or are not going to be able to do. You don’t get to decide what people are capable of…

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          • I should clarify, that question was directed at “givemeyourking,” who commented:
            “So you think that everyone should get to have children no matter how mentally ill they are? How kind of you. Having children is just the thing for a highly stressed, mentally ill person living in poverty…..”

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    • You really believe human beings are in a position to decide who is allowed or not allowed to reproduce? Are you unable to see that it is the same belief in the US eugenics program that led to Hitler’s excesses? It’s not a door that should be opened. We’re clearly unable to handle even the responsibility for those detained “for their own good,” as we drug and shock them and ruin their brains and don’t even listen to what they tell us is happening. Don’t try to pretend we as a species or as a culture are some how able to constrain ourselves to act responsibly when given power over someone else’s life. We have proven again and again that we are not.

      — Steve

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  4. “The theory has always been, and is today, that human struggle is caused by the brain, not the interplay of personality with experience.”

    Where in the world does the author think that “personality” resides, if not in the structure and function of the brain? Is it in your elbow? Hovering above your head like a halo? Psychodynamic theories are just abstract models used because our knowledge of the brain is inadequate.

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    • First off, that statement is as much a statement of faith as the idea that the soul is implanted in the body. You are assuming that nothing can exist outside the physical realm, and have zero proof of that. Not saying you’re wrong, just saying that you are stating a BELIEF, not a scientific fact.

      Second, WHO CARES? The personality is clearly something that transcends any analysis of individual brain circuits, in the same way that a computer program like the one I’m using to communicate with you transcends the circuitry I’m using to make it run. Sure, the computer program RESIDES in the circuits of the computer – ultimately, it’s just a series of ones and zeroes. But the location and order of these ones and zeroes has MEANING that is in no way discernible from examining or fiddling with the circuits.

      Psychiatry trying to fix mental/emotional problems by studying brain circuits makes exactly as much sense (or maybe even less) as trying to de-bug Windows 10 by fiddling with the printed circuit board or memory chips. It is an effort doomed to failure from the outset, because it fails to recognize that personality is about meaning and intent, which do not and never will translate into circuitry.

      — Steve

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        • I like Dr. Breggin’s analogy of the inept computer guy pretending to fix your PC. First he refuses to examine the software. If asked why he assumes that the hardware is at fault he says that it must be the hardware because software doesn’t exist.

          Next he opens the computer shell and proceeds to pour corrosive chemicals into the wires and other stuff.

          When you yell, “What the XXXX are you doing?” he waves you off and mutters some double-talk about crossed wires and misaligned circuits, using impressive technical terms. But when taken as a whole, as sentences, they mean nothing at all.

          What? You wouldn’t want that man fixing your computer? Then don’t let a shrink fix your brain.

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        • Hardware, can be emulated within Mind, to run a proprietary software within its partitioned ‘private mind’ as a fragmented and dissociative explication of an implicate disorder – along the lines of Humpty Dumpty – for the reaction to disorder by coercive rule (all the King’s men) operates ‘power’ in a loveless world.
          Perhaps many are waking to realize that the ‘disorder’ from which we sought escape or somehow to overcome – has to be truly felt into and lived through.
          For the nature of action and reaction can and does spiral ‘out of control’ when falsely founded. The chain of reaction has to be released. It is not enough to hide it – or hide from it.
          Any term for self or for reality can be taken or used at many levels. So ‘mind’ can mean anything to anyone and often does. Confusing levels is where we assign creative decision to ‘body’ (or matter) and suffer to be frail illusions under hostage to its reality.
          Creative function can be projected away or dumped and denied as an attempt to escape overwhelming unbalance – but this just makes a rigidly held unbalance against change – which is exhausting and indeed sacrificial.

          Our being is already ‘creative function’ but the mind that ‘survived’ the trauma of separation or dissociation either thinks to have usurped it as its ‘own’ power to define, predict and control (its experience and reality), or as the sense of being rejected, unworthy, deprived and denied of its being-rights – not least by the entanglement in the behaviours of those who think to wield ‘power’.

          In any given situation we may flip between different roles within archetypal patterns – but unless we are truly present, we don’t see that we in a sense shift or are triggered into such roles all the time. The mind is always running a continuity narrative that seems to present some kind of unified face on the current predicament. And if our world reflects reinforcement to such sense, it is because everything else is being ignored, filtered out or denied- relative to the default survival needs as defined by our conditioning.

          The mind has children; thoughts – that go forth and multiply in experience shared. Some seek to kill the firstborn children of a true spontaneity to appease the god of control – because such pain and loss in terror became associated with a nature that ‘must have been wrong’, ‘is treacherous’ or ‘evil’, to have received such pain. The control is not wrong – so much as a temporary device in which to realign in balance, that became attempt to force balance upon a sense of wrongness – as if to be ‘right’. If we do it to each other we do it first to ourselves – but the two cannot be separated.

          The error I see beneath much that brings pain and loss is of focussing upon and within what we do NOT want (ie what we – perhaps unconsciously – fear reliving again) – but we disguise this focus in masking and presentation of a seeming positive or justified person. And so a mask of personal and social adaptation covers the psychic-emotional conflict as if an end in itself. As if the LID over dissonance of being is The Good – over and against the ‘evil’ or the feared – in struggles to maintain its face set AWAY from Cause by persisting the pattern of abuse. For giving focus to conflicting thought operates the implicit ‘hardware’ of disconnect from true feeling being.

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    • But “Doctor Houlihan” we all “know” odd behaviors or painful emotions are solely due to brain disorders of the genetically unfit. Your Ministry of Truth says so.

      And psychiatrists claim to know everything about the human brain. They can figure out your exact chemical imbalance just by looking in your eyes and filling out a questionaire.

      Oh, yes. That’s just a metaphor. You “well-informed doctors” can’t help it if everyone takes it seriously. You’re not to blame just because you spout this bovine excrement on every media network available.

      I hate liars.

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  5. Yeah, I dunno Dr Berezin.

    page 15

    If you have a look at this research they found a gene called ZNF804A which …..

    “The gene variation was associated only with ideas of reference and paranoia. This meant people with it had a tendency to misinterpret social cues in the environment, which would otherwise be normal and insignificant, as very personally relevant and possibly dangerous,”

    and that “the new buzzword is gene -environment interaction” Seems that if you take people with this gene and drop em in a combat zone, the potential of the gene is actuated, and they get all paranoid. Were working on some medicine for it lol

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    • “Associated with” doesn’t mean “caused by.” It means this gene is more likely to occur in people having these experiences, and/or that people with this gene are more likely to have such experiences. It does not mean that all people who are paranoid have this gene variation, nor that all people who have it are paranoid. It’s an association.

      The idiocy of psychiatry is not in assuming that genes play a role in personality and behavior – it’s in assuming that ALL behavioral and personality variation is caused by genetics, and that ALL interventions should focus on the physical body as a result. There is PLENTY of evidence that psychosocial interventions, both formal and informal, not only can change personality and behavior, but can change the expression of such genes as you identify.

      So which should we study? The genes that create greater vulnerability for certain people to certain reactions, over which we have essentially no control? Or the environmental variables that can help turn such genes on and off to the benefit of the person involved?

      Or to put it another way: does it make more sense to try and figure out why some people react more severely to being dropped in a war zone than others? Or would it make more sense to figure out how to keep from having to put people into war zones in the first place?

      I think you know where my vote would go.

      —- Steve

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  6. Make positive criticisms that aren’t outlandish like psych Doctors being Nazi’s,, which is cliche for everyone who doesn’t have a good argument to describe the so called bad guy.

    You are against progress, human evolution, and science, almost as bad as those who believe dinosaurs and humans lived together.

    How exactly is psychiatry being used the same as eugenics by the Nazi’s? Do you see Doctors experimenting to create blonde hair and blue eyes, or people trying to help those who are too sad or too angry to function in society in a civilized manner?

    The problem isn’t the medical community trying to fix societal problems like returning soldiers, homeless, ex convicts, under paid, over worked, people.

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    • “Do you see Doctors experimenting to create blonde hair and blue eyes, or people trying to help those who are too sad or too angry to function in society in a civilized manner?

      The problem isn’t the medical community trying to fix societal problems like returning soldiers, homeless, ex convicts, under paid, over worked, people.”

      If they’re “trying to hep”, then they need to look at what they’re doing. “Trying to help” while destroying lives with dangerous drugs which have been proven neither safe nor efficacious, is no more acceptable than destroying lives by any other means.

      Just because they’re “TRYING” doesn’t excuse the damage they’re doing. Their pledge is, “first do no harm” and yet there’s amplye evidence that they ARE doing harm, and that they’re aware they are doing harm, but choosing to persist.

      Whether that is for reasons of financial or reputational gain, or even reasons of ignorance, it remains inexcusable.

      They collect big paychecks, they are in positions of trust, and they are supposed to undertake ongoing training to stay abreast of scientific studies , so they have a responsibility to those they treat.

      Just read the front page of MIA on any given week and you will find studies (academic and peer reviewed) that bring into question the whole basis of psychiatric “illness”, “treatment” and safety.

      Read the blogs by highly respected specialists and survivors, and read the comments below those blogs, and you will find there are very significant reasons to question the status quo.

      A system that “tries” by enforcing its misguided “treatments” and causing harm is no more excusable than the Nazis’ eugenics programs….it’s possibly worse because it is cloaked in trust and academic respectability – at least the Nazis were honest in their aims.

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    • The Nazi’s are not the ones who started out murdering those who were labeled as “mentally ill” in Germany in the 1930′. German psychiatrists were the ones who started this wonderful program. They were having a whalloping great time murdering people they called “useless eaters” before Hitler came along. He just took over their program.

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    • liberalminority wrote : or people trying to help those who are too sad or too angry to function in society in a civilized manner?

      Ever stop and think it is society itself that is sick and dysfunctional since it thinks it needs to drug a massive percentage of its population for people to get along in it ?

      You talk about progress but I can’t think of anything more regressive than drugging people to fit into a broken society.

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      • You are right, it is the underpinnings of our society as a whole which are broken, actually based upon fraud. And our politicians are too afraid to talk about it, and our mainstream media is covering it up. But the young children can explain the problem:

        And the Internet is now filled with economists who now think our monetary system is about to implode. And historically the international bankers have destroyed country after country with this fraudulent system. The system is broken. And they drug people up to try to prevent society from understanding the fraudulent underpinnings of our society.

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    • Can you function in society in a civilized manner, Liberalminority?

      I was too sad to function once. Psychiatry made it ten times worse.

      I escaped the madhouse without walls, went off my uppers and downers gradually (Not fast!) and can think straight. I feel human again.

      My sadness is better. I’m figuring how to bootstrap my way into a community now. And got over my “social anxiety” despite the best efforts of the System to keep me segregated and disabled.

      Leaving psychiatry was all it took to function again. No mind-altering drugs. No defamatory label. No problem . 🙂

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    • Bramble,

      A few spots in this post are really badly garbled. MIA badly needs light copy editing and complete proofreading. No ‘spellcheck’ program replaces a breathing human who can read and understand the material. I see it in every single post and cringe. Funny irony: I used to copy edit and proofread for a NAMI newsletter (and medical journals of unrelated subject matter) before I ever had any personal interest in this subject.

      Liz Sydney

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  7. The most comprehensive accurately documented book on the subject of the origins and history of eugenics in America and the actual individuals and organizations involved, that I’ve ever read was written by Edwin Black. He had a team of 50 experienced researchers scouring archives in the U.S. , Europe , and Russia for any pertinent documents or communications , and presents the findings in a chronological historical context through the writin word and copies of authentic photographs that is truly eye-opening and mind boggling and remains as an invaluable aid in recognizing the various guises (by intentional design) of eugenics today and going forward . Definitely a must read for all humanity. Edwin Black’s book is titled ” War Against The Weak”.

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  8. What’s dangerous is misinformed educators such as this casting our profession in a bad light.

    What he asserts here is absolutely untrue. There is exciting work going on right now in epigenetics (a word that appears nowhere in this piece). That is, right now we’re making stellar advances in understanding how one’s environment affects the genetics we pass on even in one generation. Dr. Berezin teaches at Harvard? How can he be so boldly ignorant to the current state of psychiatry? Google the word “epigenetics” and you’ll find many years’ worth of articles and scholarly studies asserting the very opposite of what this man writes. I’m dumbfounded. No, we’re not on a steady trajectory towards forced sterilizations and gas chambers. Wow.

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    • There have been discussions of epigenetics here on numerous occasions, specifically regarding how developments in this field negate the “biology is destiny” claims of psychiatric fraudsters. You may be assured that Dr. Berezin is not unaware of this. Hopefully he’ll respond to your post.

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      • As you know, I certainly do not believe biology is destiny. Nurture is what is important, not epigenetics. I’m not as impressed by epigenetics as the apparent scholar bbthelpe. Believe me I understand the research and the methylization of DNA. I think we will find in the long run that epigenetic effects will prove to be quite minimal. There are Lamarkians of every generation since Darwin. The proof is not at all conclusive as to what methylzation actually does. The studies which demonstrate epigenetic effects are pretty weak, although they are highly touted by the faddish press.

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        • Very regretful to see an MIA author be so entirely negative and dismissive of what is a very new, fascinating, and hopeful area of study. It behooves MIA contributors – more than the contributors to establishment publications, I daresay – to be open-minded to what the future of health studies is uncovering and may uncover. Nobody, including the author, has the first clue about what the study of epigenetics will, or will not, show us about the possibilities for altering our minds and bodies.
          Liz Sydney

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    • bbthelpc ” No, we’re not on a steady trajectory towards forced sterilizations and gas chambers.”

      Of course when people started making a bit of noise about this current shift in psychiatry the sections were removed. And gas chambers? woah, old technology, we have made a number of breakthroughs since the old days.

      I laugh when I think about anyone who visits Gitmo thinking they set up a place to detain “unlawful enemy combatants” only to find that it’s a locked psych ward and there are franchises all over the country that could have done the same job so much cheaper.

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    • I agree that Dr. Berezin is quite extreme and alarmist. I appreciate your comment bbthelpc. Although I am no expert, I read quite a bit of research about mental illness in an effort to understand my son’s illness. I am also dumbfounded by some of Dr. Berezin’s statements. I am quite optimistic about some of the research being done in the area of genetics. It helps me understand a little bit why my son is so much like his grandmother. I don’t believe we are on a trajectory towards forced sterilization and gas chambers. My son’s treatment has been improving since he first became ill six years ago. Thankfully he has found a psychiatrist who is trying to help him through lifestyle and dietary changes as well as drugs. He also receives help from a wonderful social worker. These people seem to understand that mental illness is a complicated illness not attributable to a single gene or traumatic experience, but a complex situation requiring help on multiple levels.

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        • As worshipful as the NAMI mommies are of eugenics to brand their children monster/genetic throwbacks you wonder why these people were allowed to have children. Unfit parents who make the Scapegoat’s life a living Hell.

          Aren’t they the carriers of the “monster genes?” Shouldn’t the Golden Child–favored kid of Family Drama Queen–and Winged Monkeys get sterilized since they might produce “bad seed” too?

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      • I thought YOU were mad in Canada. It’s not so reassuring to find you are speaking for your son.

        Your son, it seems, is now set up to provide jobs for life to social workers, psychiatrists, mental health teams, drug companies, and whoever else can be worked into this system of ballooning mental health expenses – a system once referred to by Allen Frances (in the somewhat parallel American situation) as ‘the pie’. I believe Frances characterized it as big enough for all present and even prospective stakeholders.

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  9. I got my date wrong for the year of the APA meeting where the keynote speaker proposed that we “euthanize” the “mentally ill”, for their own good of course. I think that the year of that meeting was 1941 and not 1949. Sorry about the mistake. The chilling fact about all this is that only two doctors stood up to oppose the suggestion. Of course, remaining silent doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with what was said, but it’s frightening to think that people who may have opposed it kept their mouths shut.

    Psychiatry tries to hide the fact that German psychiatry was guilty of a great number of crimes against humanity. German psychiatrists also supported Hitler and his program of murder, most of the people who were hung or put in prison at the Nuremburg trials were psychiatrists. The American prosecutor at Nuremburg was named James Mchaney. I had the privilege of being the chaplain of the nursing home were he lived out the last years of his life.

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    • From the Guardian link I shared above:

      On January 30 1933, Hitler seized power. During the 12-year Reich, he never varied from the eugenic doctrines of identification, segregation, sterilisation, euthanasia, eugenic courts and eventually mass termination in lethal chambers. During the Reich’s first 10 years, eugenicists across America welcomed Hitler’s plans as the logical fulfilment of their own decades of research and effort. Indeed, they were envious as Hitler rapidly began sterilising hundreds of thousands and systematically eliminating non-Aryans from German society. This included the Jews. Ten years after Virginia passed its 1924 sterilisation act, Joseph Dejarnette, superintendent of Virginia’s Western State Hospital, complained in the Richmond Times-Dispatch: “The Germans are beating us at our own game.”

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    • “The chilling fact about all this is that only two doctors stood up to oppose the suggestion. Of course, remaining silent doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with what was said, but it’s frightening to think that people who may have opposed it kept their mouths shut.”

      In my State if you disagree with a Doctor they simply call the local hospital and have them arrange a police referral (with a ‘verbal’), a ‘label’ is applied, and you can be laying in a pool of your own urine and faeces within three hours. It’s sometimes best to remain silent about some people. And they need more power and money to deal with the ‘mentally ill’?

      “most of the people who were hung or put in prison at the Nuremburg trials were psychiatrists.”

      This I didn’t know Stephen. I’ve heard it said that 40% of the psychiatrists were gainfully employed by the State during this time, and wonder what it is about the changes to our MHA that has resulted in the mass exodus from our public system, and the need to ‘outsource’ our public psychiatric services.

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      • These ‘home delivered’ diagnoses by Community Nurses which look like police referrals are going to be useful in the fight against ‘mental illness’. Especially since the only avenue of complaint is to the police and they simply refuse to examine any proof, look for their copy of the criminal code, will retrieve any evidence the ‘patient’ has, and now they are “hallucinating” and require referral to MHS for treatment.

        Best one exercises their right to silence with police where reporting the crimes of Doctors is concerned.

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        • Absolutely true, doctors in the US today use the DSM diagnoses to cover up their easily recognized iatrogenesis, when they become “paranoid schizophrenic” regarding non-existent, but potential, malpractice suits. And the religions use the DSM stigmatizations, and psychiatric torture, to cover up their “zipper troubles.” And the police, the lawyers, the judges, the government employees know all about this “dirty little secret of the two original educated professions,” and condone this deplorable harm of innocent humans. This country needs to get rid of the scientifically invalid and unreliable DSM becuase it is being used by criminal doctors, like this former one of mine:

          And by psychopaths within the religions, like my former religion:

          To harm and steal from innocent people, for illegal reasons. Today’s psychiatrists, with their insidious DSM iatrogenic illness creation system, are no more innocent today, than were the Nazi psychiatrists with their murders of innocents. Esspecially since they’re targeting abused children. I’m amazed and disgusted the medical community, religions, and governments learned nothing from the improprieties, sins, and crimes of WWII. We are reliving history because of the greed of these industries, and the European bankers who funded this whole insidious mess.

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      • boans, you said “It’s sometimes best to remain silent about some people.” This is a tricky one. Sometimes it may be best not to get involved, but according to the State, silence is consent. So if the government says “We are going to lock up every single mentally ill person and experiment on them to find out why their brain is broken” and you (or everyone) don’t say anything, that’s the same as consenting and saying “Yep, go for it.”

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  10. Can you imagine if they ever “cured” or rid the world of all the so called mental illnesses in the DSM ?

    Start with that ying yang thing , you can’t feel good without feeling bad cause then you wouldn’t even know what good is.

    And what would this “utopia” world free of so called mental illness look like ?

    It would be like a world of clones or borg or something everyone’s behavior and feelings all the same as defined by the self appointed people who get to define “normal”.

    What a utopia world, from all the little children sitting still in class to the happy adults living pointless lives doing pointless tasks and “enjoying” every second of it.

    Give me a break already. Depression, anxiety, and even anger hate and wanting to punch someone in the mouth and knock their teeth out is all part of the human experience. Leave it alone already.

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  11. Truly, I don’t think there’s one great artist that you can’t find some inane analysis of, by people whose institution correlates with the spike in mental illness that we’re experiencing, rather than the art that all of the “mentally ill” great artists have given. And then you can do a search for many scientific geniuses (or philosophers, or inventors, or religious leaders), as well as as who knows who else who actually had enough personality to have something to say, rather than fit into “consensual reality deportment” or “statistical based norms,” as if society magically creates reality by voting on it with their belief in how every one should fit into their indoctrinations, which apparently then by psychiatry is considered “consensual,” despite the abundance of objections they call diseases.

    One wonders what would be left of the human condition could they delete all “sick” genes from the pool.

    I really don’t know what to say about this: is evolution then a psychiatric disorder, because to evolve this requires moving away from “consensual” reality based norms that are considered statistical? Don’t get sad that society is going round in circles, don’t show any signs that it’s confusing you, or making you have emotional challenges of any kind. Just sit there and act like it’s working…..

    And what does this have to do with thought?


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  12. Regarding “History is repeating itself.”
    There was a film made in Germany ” I accuse”
    In the film a Doctor kills his handicapped wife and goes to court for the “mercy” killing.

    Today people want to die when they get old and laws have been passed here in Canada to support medical killing.
    The Germans were just ahead of their time.

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  13. Funny thing. Since the end of WWII, eugenics has officially been in disfavor, however psychiatry has focused on “mental disorder” as a matter in which genetics plays a primary part. Unfortunately, the criteria for “mental disorder” is so broad as to include a very wide swathe of the population, and the “minor” end of this categorization throws even the “major” end into question. Psychiatric research is looking for those elusive “bio-markers” everyday of the week. I’d call this hunt for mad genes, they’ve scrapped the hunt for just one, ‘crazy’. There’s always that ‘what if’. What if we’re on the wrong track looking at “genetic mutations” as the primary cause for “disturbing behaviors”? What if there is no physical division putting crazy people outside of the realm of typical behavior attributed to the human species? What then? I’d say in many cases this ‘wrong track’ is a complete no-brainer. When it comes to the nature versus nurture argument, no question, it takes 12 years or so, 18 plus by modern standards, 21 by law, of nurture to produce a natural adult human being. I wouldn’t think that it would be unusual at all that obstacles and unforeseen circumstance to result from this process, such as the raising of a number of people who hadn’t read a line that “Guide for living the good life” so many people are still searching for. Also, you’ve got to wonder, in this world, how often do people neglect the virtue of “getting lost”? There’s a virtue there, I’m sure of it, and I think maybe that has something to do with why the natives were encouraged to strike off on ‘vision quests’ at the age of 12 or so.

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  14. One comes to this blog, reads a title like the one for this post, and then wonders if MIA really is interested in attracting a diverse audience to encourage consideration of a viewpoint, or, maybe it is really just ramping up the entrenched base for choir shrieking.

    Really, Eugenics?! It is so over the top an accusation, I have to wonder why I should make any effort to come here to see if there is a genuine effort to debate and educate or just realize extremism has conquered any opportunities to pursue healthy and effective change.

    Sincerely, if Mad In America really wants to be taken seriously on a consistent and ongoing manner, posts like this need at least better headlines. Otherwise, not if, but when I should hear there is a post entitled “Psychiatry needs to be exterminated” printed here, well, good luck maintaining a responsible following that validates MIA’s mission statement.

    This site is now a de facto “Psych Li(v)es Matter” redux. Good luck with that if I am right…

    Joel Hassman, MD
    Board Certified Psychiatrist

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    • “One comes to this blog, reads a title like the one for this post, and then wonders if MIA really is interested in attracting a diverse audience to encourage consideration of a viewpoint, or, maybe it is really just ramping up the entrenched base for choir shrieking.”

      I’m just here for the cake (Qu’ils mangent de la brioche).

      How’d ya know MiA isn’t being taken serious Joel? Different choir with different songs?

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    • to joel hassaman,

      I`m not sure I would be looking to a psychiatrist for lessons in diversity.

      ps. does psychiatry have any (pseudo) tools in it`s (pseudo) toolbox to measure the level of condescension in a written statement?

      If so i would like to see that applied in a rigorous fashion to your statement.

      sincerely trying to follow you responsibly

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    • Dr. Hassaman you are not an actively bad man who kicks puppies and tortures people for kicks. You’re a weak, timid man who supports the status quo because acknowledging to yourself that you are crippling and killing us might force you to sacrifice your prestigious career and even oppose the Powers that Be.

      I know how risky that would be. Perhaps you’re too scared. I understand why it’s easy to go with the flow since you aren’t the one sickening and dying from experimental drugs of dubious benefit. Or being segregated because someone told society you were a public menace.

      I am grieving the life I lost to your profession. My religion says I should forgive those who wrong me and pray for those who injure me. I am not out for revenge. (Though I do wish to end psychiatry as an institution since it destroys souls. Not just the souls of “consumers” either.)

      But I wish you would realize you are hurting people. We are human beings like you–not a collection of diseases. Does it trouble you that your patients deteriorate instead of recovering? That we die in our early fifties on average?

      It’s better to suffer evil than inflict it. I wouldn’t trade places with you–you are worse off than I ever was.

      Your own soul is sick. May you find healing soon.

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      • I have not read the article on which I’m commenting.

        But, I did visit this Dr. Hassman’s blog.

        In it, he calls MIA people “losers” and what not. That’s okay. This is in some sense a battle between groups with different interests, and some name calling is expected. Call a person something, and they will call you something back. ‘Tis life.

        But then, he does something which disgusts me and something which rather shamelessly showcases his profession. He seems to be a master at “personality disorders”. Something, which to me, are the most defamatory of the tools which are in the toolbox of the men and women who are licensed to practice as psychiatrists.

        I do not care what the person has done. Dr. Larry Nassar, an American osteopath, was recently in the news because he molested 200 girls. It was trending on youtube at the time so I watched his trial.

        If a man like Larry Nassar molested 200 girls, then that his what he did, and there are reasons behind it. Relabelling it under the tautological rubric of a “personality disorder” adds no more truth to it.

        In one of his articles, he writes about MIA commenters:
        “Amazing how illustrative the usual primitive and dysfunctional defenses of the personality disordered are well provided: the projections, denials, deflections, minimizations, and frank pathetic rationalizations of child-like mentality are on full display!”

        It is also very illustrative how the minds of (at least some?) medical men and women work.

        If a person is deflecting or whatever else it is, say that. Why then cover it up under the tautological rubric of a “personality disorder”?

        Person: X person is denying, deflecting, projecting etc.

        “Doctor”: Yes, that’s a classic personality disorder.

        Person: But why does he behave that way

        “Dumber” (sounding) Doctor: Well, only personality disordered people do that.

        “Smarter” (sounding) doctor: The etiology of the “condition” varies from person to person. There are biological and environmental risk factors.”

        The reality: The person is behaving in a certain way, and just like I have reasons for my behaviour, he/she has for his, and that’s what it is.

        If I had the power of labelling, I could easily have done this to Hassman. God knows how many people he has labelled with his personality “disorders, clusters, Axis *insert your favourite number here*. All with good therapeutic intentions of course (and I’m not even being sarcastic).

        It is obvious that, at least sometimes, he is using these terms as weapons even though he denies it and writes elsewhere “I have seen therapists use such terms with less than therapeutic intentions”, which is what he is doing even if he denies it. Besides, associating these terms and “therapeutic intentions”, no matter how well intentioned the labeller is, is a folly. The intentions of the labeller or the definitions of such labelling do not matter. You just don’t do it.

        Medicine (I am excluding psychiatry from this) is a complex subject. If a person comes in and says “fever”, it could mean so many things. Every doctor has their own way of working, and on a bad day, even an otherwise excellent doctor can make a mistake. If a doctor (again, I’m excluding psychiatry from this) made an honest mistake, I could understand it, and perhaps I’d even encourage that doctor to better next time (unless he has done something that needs me to get amputated or the like). I cannot show the same leniency towards people who are licensed to practice as psychiatrists.

        People like Hassman frankly terrify me. Knowing that there are people like that out there in the field of psychiatry is all the more reason to stay away from the profession. If I am ever labelled with tripe like “personality disorders”, I will do everything in my power to ruin the medical career of the labeller involved. And if he/she wants to hit back because they believe they are justified in doing it; well fine, then we go to war.

        If a person is behaving in a certain way, say that. Perhaps he will say a few things about you to, and you will have a conversation with each other. If you have state-sanctioned medical power and put a “personality disorder” on the file (irrespective of how the person behaves), the conversation is over.

        In yet another post he writes about MIA people as people who keep writing about “abusive doctors” and that’s “classic Axis 2 stuff”. Most people who practice psychiatry are indeed not abusive and intentionally cruel. But that does not stop them from being dangerous. Hassman is a good example of that. Once again, if a person is behaving in a certain way, say that. By all means say that a person is “deflecting, denying” or whatever else it is. Why relabel it under the rubric of “personality disorders”?

        Further on he goes on to say “characterological problems means Axis 2” and justifies this labelling. No. “Characterological problem” (whatever it may be) is whatever that behaviour is. It does not matter what clinical definitions have been cooked up for these labels. Changing the definitions, or “diagnosing carefully based on clinical definitions and guidelines” does not change the fundamental underlying political nature of these labels.

        The danger is not having a personality type (everyone has a personality type, and our personality changes with our experiences in life). The danger is in allowing a medical man to label it.

        If it is such a trivial fact, and just an “aspect of medicine”, then I would ask all members in departments of psychiatry and psychology to do the following.

        Make personality classifications for each of your colleagues (and they can do it for you). By that, I don’t mean your favourite hobbies or books to read. But put yourselves in Axis’s, clusters etc. and publish the information with your name and photograph on your hospital websites for the public to see.

        There are many psychiatrists who publish on MIA. Sometimes, even we learn a few things from them. There are also people who come in here and write stuff with which we disagree with in varying levels of intensity. I have yet, never seen any mental health worker here, so shamelessly and publicly medicalise and stamp people’s actions. I sincerely hope someone sues the life out of this Hassman person.

        Hassman says antipsychiatry people are rude and they avoid his blog in “fear of exposure”. Or perhaps, maybe they don’t want to engage with him precisely because of his behaviour? And are pro-psychiatry people angels?

        I have seen Phil Hickey’s website be littered with rude and abusive comments, F-bombs and what not. In one of Dr. Hickey’s articles addressed to Hassman, he wrote about some of the comments he got (and still gets) from the pro-psychiatry camp. One of them was about how Phil Hickey should see a psychiatrist (a man of “reason and science” according to the commenter) for his “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. You can clearly see how these individuals have weaponised these terms, and they are shameless at it. The only thing is their denials, dismissals, deflections etc. cannot be medicalised away by people who are powerless to do that.

        I hope a time will come when courts of law and other powers that be start seeing these terms for what they are. Defamation, libel and slander; and start handing out suspensions for mental health workers who do this stuff, especially if a person has explicitly asked to not be labelled.

        That being said, if a person uses these terms against you, you should do what you can to use it back against them.

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        • Registered, I had to do a search for your comment. I think it is excellent. I hope my response posts properly underneath your comment. This is an old blog by Dr. Berezin (I don’t know if my spelling here is correct even). There are a lot of psychiatrists’ blogs out there and many are seriously scary.

          If we read in *their* literature about how threatened they are about patients getting online and writing blogs and using social media in general, what about doctors using social media? Many psychs use pseudonyms but some do not. I keep wondering what would happen if their employers discovered their blogs.

          Some write very well but many do not write well at all. There are some that clearly are pissed off at their workplaces and rant in their blogs about how terribly their workplaces treat them, how boring their jobs are, how they hate treating patients who are nothing but addicts, on and on. Do their employers see these posts? Some I’d say break HIPAA! What if their patients saw these posts, HIPAA violation or not? What then?

          How would I feel, as patient, if a doctor I trusted posted that she hated her job? I remember my doc told me once how much she loved being a psych. But then, I read online that she hates her job and hates the patients. Gee.

          I do believe in honesty and transparency, but I also believe that in professionalism and tact. If you are being paid to be polite, be polite. These docs are being paid to have manners and ethics and this includes online ethics. Don’t call your patients, or anyone, a “cretin.” That’s just plain rude and unprofessional. If you truly hate your job, please just quit. Isn’t there a psych shortage? I see psych job postings all over the place. Take your pick. Even overseas, if you’re in trouble.

          Years ago, I was online and browsing at random when I saw a comment cross-posted to Facebook, that is, this was not a comment on Facebook but cross-posted. The post was about maternal abuse. Some kind of article by a woman whose mother was controlling. Right underneath was a comment, about a paragraph long saying, “My mother was controlling and abusive, too.” Roughly those words. This was written by a former therapist who had abused me, with her professional photo, and set to public.

          Now, of course, I knew exactly why she had felt the need to be so insanely controlling of her patients, and why she had very clear narcissistic tendencies. She had never resolved this ghost from her past. She transferred it onto vulnerable people, and claimed it was “life-saving care.” This is therapy? This is a professional? God help us.

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          • Well, as I said, this is a war and some name calling is expected.

            With regards to professionalism, there are both good and bad sides to it. I think qualities like being rude etc. are very human traits to have, and we have all exhibited them in some form or the other, whether it was justified or not.

            When people playing the role of “professionals” behave in a way that is natural, it is actually good if you think of it from the view point of it shattering the mythical aspects of “Mental health workers are experts on people’s minds and lives”. The mythical aspects of that view-point, to me, is far more dangerous than any rudeness I may encounter or shell out. Call me an asshole, I will call you a prick back. Or hell, if I was mistaken, I’ll even apologise.

            Label away the truths of my life under the rubric of medicalised jargon, use it against me, and it’s over.

            When you’re being a professional, you’re being an actor. People can’t be expected to act all day long. There are many places online where people licensed to practice as psychiatrists write about the kind of vitriol they get. At some point, they will want to hit back, which is only human. And go ahead, hit back. No problem. Just leave your medicalised behavioural jargon in the dustbin where it belongs.

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          • Registered, that would be nice if those principles were consistently practiced. They are not. I, for one, as patient, not as any hired person, was threatened because I told the truth in my blog about things that happened to me inside a mental hospital. I told the truth that I was deprived of water at Massachusetts General Hospital. They found out. Am I allowed to be human? Is it natural and perhaps, understandable to be traumatized after life-threatening water deprivation and subsequent denial that it ever happened?

            Yet these doctors told me I had no Freedom of Speech, no human rights, no rights at all. No right to write. They told me I should take drugs so that I would be totally blocked from my ability to write, from then on. Silenced. That didn’t work, so then they attempted to incarcerate me long-term and abused me again, and denied me medical care and denied me knowledge of my own medical condition.

            So they have the natural tendency to occasionally blow their tops, and that’s okay, but if we do…or even come close…in person or online…guess what happens? Hey, Facebook!!! Yoo hoo! Cute little “report” button kinda conspicuous there. Do I see a double standard here?

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  15. For “Givemeyourking” and “Liberalminority”:

    The biggest problem with both eugenics and coercive psychiatry is that they are ALWAYS determined to supress the persons who are deemed “undesirable” by the particular ruling groups in a specific situation. And it can’t be any other way, since there are no objective “criminality”, “madness” or “perversion” – there are just mental traits, worldviews, activities etc. that are negatively evaluated by the “respectable” core of modern society, which seek to marginalise (at best) or eliminate (at worst) the people who manifest them.

    Yet ANY “judgement” of what is acceptable and what is not is subjective; it is simply a decision of the individuals, communities and organisations who possess power in a specific socities. They are not objective criteria – to say so is to confuse values with phenomena.

    And, ultimately, it is “criminals”, “madmen” and “perverts” who change society via acts of rebellion and mutiny, ones who bring innovation in the world. As an anarchist, I openly sympathise with them – and sense no sympathy for the opressors, such as coercive psychiatrists.

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  16. Psychiatry is much more than just edging dangerously close to eugenics.

    As I see it, it started with Social Darwinism, coming into its own in the United States in the 1880’s. The reason for this is that the first one of these global industrial recessions, brought on by over production, came about in the early 1870’s. And so afterwards things remained pretty tough, and we had lots of immigrants coming in, and so Capitalism needed a rationalization for why people were suffering in what had been portrayed as a land of boundless opportunity.

    Now of course the ultimate solution to this was WWI.

    And then in Mien Kampf Hitler points to the United States, with a large racial minority, as the example to follow in maintaining “racial hygiene”. And he specifically holds up a California mental hygiene law as an example, and Lewis Terrman always had a great deal to do with all of this. And then it came to reproductive and sexual orientation hygiene.

    The actions against so called mental defectives, and then against homosexuals, flowed directly into the program to eliminate Jews.

    And so for Capitalism to justify itself, it had to radicalize, and it had to use both Social Darwinism and Eugenics. You either have a politically aware electorate and Democracy, Social Democracy, or you have Radicalized Capitalism and justifications for extreme social stratification.

    So speaking before the Industry Club of Dusseldorf, in order to gain support from the wealthy industrialists and financiers, 1/27/1932


    So today, Sami Timimi and his coauthors are adamant, “Autism does not exist.” They say that the radical increase in cases is caused by the neo-liberalism of the Tony Blair administration. And they do consider the screenings to be a type of psychiatric policing and constituting a resurgence of the eugenics movement.

    The way I look at it is this. Capitalism has always needed to have people it could subject to ritual public humiliations, in order to maintain discipline. So it was able to get this in the cheap labor and slave labor it got via immigrants, minorities, and neo-colonialism.

    But today, in the Information Age, the need for cheap labor is substantially reduced. But the need for people it can subject to ritual humiliations in order to keep everyone else in line, has increased. So it fills this need via the scapegoats of the middle-class family. It uses Psychotherapy, Psychiatry, Medications, Recovery, Alcohol, Street Drugs, and Evangelical Religion.

    And even if people were given a Rolls-Royce, a house in Bel Air, and wads and wads of pocket money, that would not constitute justice because it could never be a substitute for the chance to develop and apply one’s abilities.

    Everyone wants to do well, but our economic system does not allow this, and the middle-class family is set up to abuse children and create scapegoats. Psychotherapy, Recovery, and Psychiatry were designed in order to support this.

    It is bleak. And all the more so in this particular US Presidential Election.

    But it changes the moment people stop supporting Social Darwinism and Eugenics, and when the survivors of the Middle-Class Family stop going along with Therapy, Recovery, and Religion, and instead start organizing and wining some concrete political gains.


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  17. It’s wonderful to see a “shrink” not buying into the usual garbage. As a licensed counselor I have always felt that diagnoses like bipolar and ADHD were designer labels and given to anyone with “issues”. After working in acute care hospitals, there really are people with lots of “stuff” going on who appear to benefit from meds, most people who are prescribed meds, IMO, have environmental issues that could fix their problem. I work a lot with children and most of the kids I work with, I believe, have attachment issues because they are from single parent families, or drug families, etc. where bonding and attachment haven’t been good. They are almost always misdiagnosed as ADHD and put on stimulant medication. What a way to create an entire generation of meth addicts. Sigh. I’m not convinced totally that no disorders are passed on genetically, personality disorders being one, but I am very firmly in the camp of nurture over nature at this point. The way the world is going has created an entire generation of kids with attachment issues who grow up to be borderline personality disorder. It’s interesting how many therapists know next to nothing about bonding and attachment when it’s imo the foundation for everything. In conclusion, it has been pretty upsetting to do the research and find out that my profession is so corrupted. I can only do the best I can, to help people heal their wounds and create productive, happy lives.

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    • Personality disorders are not discrete illnesses:

      as the diagram in my post here shows… but overlapping emotional-developmental levels. It doesn’t really make sense to talk about a non-discrete part of a continuum as something that is passed down genetically…

      As Fairbairn discussed – faulty relationships with caregivers are the primary cause of borderline mental states, which are fully reversible and curable with sufficient help over time…

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    • I work a lot with children and most of the kids I work with, I believe, have attachment issues because they are from single parent families, or drug families, etc. where bonding and attachment haven’t been good. They are almost always misdiagnosed as ADHD and put on stimulant medication.

      If you are not reporting them to CPS, you belong in prison.

      Even if these are kids already under the supervision of CPS and the Court, you are still obliged to report, because your observations could influence what happens.

      Now I do not agree with your analysis about single parent families. But if you are seeing signs of attachment problems, or of unwarranted drugging, whatever interpretation you bring to it, you are still obliged to report it as it does give one cause to suspect child abuse. If you are concealing, then you are what therapists and doctors have always been, accomplice child abusers.


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      • Whoa! Yet another agency with absolute rule often with little or no evidence.

        Had an acquaintance recently go thru a grueling 3 months of hell, lost her job, lost her place with the child care providers, while her and her FAMILY were dragged to court repeatedly, often with ‘witnesses’ not showing up or court cancelled for bullshit hearsay reasons.

        That agency (CPS) is notorious for power tripping bureaucrats who seem to never pick on those with plenty of dough$$$, they LIVE to create meaningless paperwork so they can justify their authority over struggling single parents (mostly)…CPS is as bad or worse than psychiatry or (ahem) the absolute corrupt family court system.

        Our society is just plain fucking sick. We’re all out here struggling to survive with *very little* in the way of social supports.

        CPS->foster kids->drugging by psychiatry.

        More pigs in the trough.

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        • humanbeing, now I assume here that we are both speaking about the United States. And then understand that CPS is mandated by the 1974 Child Abuse and Neglect Act, but then each county runs its own.

          CPS is horribly overworked. They are by law required to investigate every credible complaint, but this is impossible as there are far too many and CPS could never have enough people. And elected officials have had to publicly apologize for dropping so many cases.

          Without CPS, kids would have zero protection.

          So as overworked as CPS is, it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that your friend ended up having to appear in court, unless there were compelling reason.

          The basic CPS investigation is just a Well Being Check, a knock and talk. But they are still dropping maybe 30% of their cases, doing nothing, because there are so many.

          So if they took additional steps and made your friend appear in court, then they must have seen something quite compelling which necessitated that.

          Now of the drugging of children, this is a severe societal problem. It happens in families, parents get their kids put on drugs in order to control them, and because the doctors are duping them, and the doctors are also violating mandatory reporting.

          Some doctors advertise to parents that they can put the kid on drugs. And then some doctors advertise to parents that they can help take the kid off of drugs. But both sorts are violating mandatory reporting and are covering up for abusive families.

          And then it happens in Foster Care in exactly the same way.

          The drugging of children in families MUST be stopped. And the drugging of children in Foster Care MUST be stopped.

          And there are also other things about Foster Care which need to be reformed, because as it stands now it is designed to teach kids that they are underprivileged and deprived, and then this gets reflected in how it functions, and this need not be so.

          Remember that anything CPS does is always subject to court approval.

          Here is Judge Leonard Edwards and some who work with CASA, to oversee the handling of children coming out of abusive or neglectful environments.

          Edwards’s is position is that they should do everything possible to avoid breaking up families. And this is why CASA was set up, to be able to provide support to families, without breaking them up.

          And then as far as CPS acting more often against poor families, well it is harder and kids are less protected in affluent families.

          In affluent families you are far less likely to find material neglect, and you usually won’t see physical abuse. These parents had children in order to give themselves a public identity, so that want to be able to brag about their handling of their children. They know what they can get away with.

          So the kinds of child abuse you might likely find in affluent families are psychological, sexual, and medical, and these are far more difficult to detect and to prove.

          And then of the doctors, with Psychotherapists and Psychiatrists, they are in kahoots with the parents. This is obvious simply from how some of them are using Mad In America to advertise.

          Affluent families hire their own doctors, and so their families are like fortresses, and their children have very little protection. Whereas with poor families they use publicly funded doctors and they often do have all sorts of contact with various public agencies, and so their families are quite porous and the risks to their children are minimized.

          Excellent book, explains how some of the main forms of child abuse function on a logic very much like racial prejudice.

          If someone has been treated with dignity and respect, and allowed the chance to develop and apply their abilities, I find it highly unlikely that they would be receptive to alcohol or street drugs. I also find it highly unlikely that they would be receptive to psychotherapy, psychiatry, or psychiatric medication.

          So if your making a blanket denunciation of CPS and governmental efforts to protect children, I find your statements to be non-constructive, and also reflective of ignorance.

          As far as why our society is like this, Capitalism works by creating representations, and so baby making is advertised just like automobiles, clothes, vacation trips, and psychiatric medications are. So people go along with it, and there are often negative consequences. But we must not ever revert to the old ways, where children were seen as private property.


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    • I agree, and one must look to find who is behind the destruction of the families, then consider whether it is wise to allow these people to remain in control. For example, consider this quote:

      “‘We, the Rockefeller Foundation, supported and funded the Women’s Liberation Movement. Why do you think we did it? There were two primary reasons for this: One was that before women’s right to work, we could only tax HALF of the population. The other was so that with women going out to work it would break up families. Women would have to spend all day at work away from the family. The children would begin to see the state and teachers as their family and this would make it easier to indoctrinate and control them.’ ~ Nick Rockefeller to Aaron Russo”

      And this one:

      “Destroy the family, you destroy the country.” — V.I. Lenin

      And definitely, the psychiatric industry is here to drug up as many active volunteers and stay at home moms as possible, so they maintain the status quo, controlled by these men:

      Is it the world that is crazy, or is it me, I’m pretty certain it is the world.

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    • One last thing: If people want to fix most “mental illness” and criminal behavior, fix the family. Keep families together. I truly believe many of the problems stem from the annihilation of the family.

      There’s someone here named Nomadic you’d love to meet. 🙂

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      • Trying to Fix the Family or teach Parenting Skills is where the problems start. The Family is something invented to exploit and abuse children.

        So people have trouble in life because of The Family, not because The Family has failed or is dysfunctional, but because it is extremely functional. It’s designed function is to maim and scar children. It’s just like the sharp stones and hot coals used by primitive societies to initiate one into adulthood. It is an ideology of denial which we are all expected to submit to.

        The Family has been created by Capitalism, because Capitalism operates by creating representations. The Family runs by Rousseauist representations, romanticizations, sentimentalizations. Rousseau’s own pedagogy manual, “Emile”, describes how to manipulate children by making it look to the child like they are the one in charge, when actually you hold all power. And so when people talk about teaching Parenting Skills, this is what they mean.

        Pedagogy manuals are how The Family justifies and advances itself. Barnes and Nobel’s has a huge section of them, and I feel that many of them border on being Ki*di* P**n.

        The rise of Liberal Pedagogy and The Family parallels what Foucault has described in the development of prisons, that is at a certain point they switched from trying to obtain submission through physical torture, to gaining submission through psychological torture. And you see this shift in every corner of society as this is what constitutes The Enlightenment.

        The primary function of The Family is to instill the Self-Reliance Ethic, a Capitalist over coding adopted from the religious concept of Original Sin.

        Though submission to this ethic can be obtained by either physical torture and humiliations, or by psychological, sexual, and medical torture and humiliations. Today people of wealth and education see physical torture as something for their social inferiors to use, while they focus on psychological, sexual, and medical tortures.

        This instilling of the Self-Reliance Ethic is extremely effective to, as evidenced by the regular posters on Mad In America. They can walk into the office of a psychotherapist, or a psychiatrist, and they can even get drugs and stay on them for years, simply because they believe that there is something wrong with themselves that needs to be fixed. And they won’t even consider that they are seeing the effects of The Family. And usually their chances at getting a suitable education have been seriously stunted too. Again, they won’t consider that this could be the effects of The Family and the ways in which it exploits and abuses children., To consider such they would have to be able to disregard the Self-Reliance Ethic. And for someone who has lived a challenged life, paying homage to the Self-Reliance Ethic is usually all they have. “My life may be a mess and I may be on Psych Meds, Alcohol, and Street Drugs, but I am not a bum because I know that everyone is responsible to take care of themselves and that they can’t expect anyone else to do it for them. My parents were loving parents and they raised me right.” And so they look to reactionary social identities. And most of the time they eventually decide that it is time to visit Barnes and Nobel’s, purchase a pedagogy manual, and then have some children of their own.

        What they fail to see is the simple fact that everyone wants to do well. People are not inherently lazy. Everyone has interests and desires, and they want to win the respect and admiration of family and friends. So if there had been a way for them to have done this, they would have and they’d still be doing it now.

        There are lots of unfair things about our world which limit people, but by far one of the very worst is The Family, committed to turning future Einstein’s and Mozart’s into Homer Simpson’s, and all in the name of the self-reliance ethic, and so that the parents can remain in denial and never have to face their own pain.

        Now actual families are often not quite this bad, as there are mitigating factors, outside influences. But what makes The Family, and it is the middle-class family, that which is held up as an ideal, so inexcusable is that it is based on parents who exploit their children because the parents are living in Bad Faith.

        Bad Faith
        A lie, especially to the self. Self-deception, the paradox of lying to the self, usually in an attempt to escape the responsibility of being an individual. The extreme example cited by existentialists is, “I was only following orders.” Any denial of free will is an example of bad faith. Sartre believed all moments of Bad Faith (Mauvaise Foi) were self-evident, contradicting many psychologists.

        Another way of putting it is just to say that the parents are not living up to their own values. They know that what they are doing is wrong. But they still do it, and they do it to their children, and being able to do this is why they had children.

        So can you put people in jail for this? Can you fine them?

        I would say NO. But you must protect the children. Actual families are not as bad as what is held up as the ideal, The Family, but some of them come close. So there must be outside intervention, and then we have to take the profit out of child exploitation. So rather than fining thing parents, strip them down to nothing but the clothes on their backs and put it all into a trust fund for the child. Depending on how strong the case is for showing exploitation and abuse, the parents may still be able to get benefit of some of the money, as determined by the Court and a Receiver.

        And then we should provide what ever resources are needed to help real families function. Children should always have other places they can go. Sometimes a child may need to stay in a group home for a while. They should already be known and welcomed in such a home, as children should not have to spend every single night with their parents. There is just no cause for this. The isolation and the privatization of children is how the middle-class arose.

        The vast majority of people are unwilling to challenge the Self-Reliance Ethic by saying anything about The Family. So instead they look to outside demons, and find these in CPS and The Government. And just like all human institutions these are extremely corruptible. And because of pressure from those who stand with The Family, our Foster Care system is horrid. This must change.

        And then those of us who have survived The Family, live without legitimated social identities. Unless we are willing to adopt denial and get down on our knees and venerate the Holy Family, the best we can hope for is to exist in the shadows.

        And we always have to hide from and be ready to defend against Therapy, Recovery, and Religion. They would tell us that our anguish is simply because of things that happened long ago, and that the newer editions of the pedagogy manuals prohibit that, and so that we just need to get over it.

        What they do not understand is that our anguish comes from not having social legitimacy and always being subject to continuing abuse right now.

        Psychotherapy and Recovery turn our experiences of injustice into a medial problem and a self-improvement project.

        An outstanding book:

        And other people have indeed understood these issues:

        And the greatest in my humble opinion, though not immediately accessible to most Americans, in my observation:

        And so nothing is going to happen until we adult survivors start organizing and acting, to legitimate ourselves with financial redress, and to protect today’s children via strict enforcement of Mandatory Reporting, and intervention, and by setting up our own extremely high quality Foster Care.

        You don’t actually believe that Presidents and Kings have ever had so much concern for their subjects that they made murder, robbery, and kidnapping illegal, do you?

        Protecting children has to work the same way. It has to be clear that unless the government does it, we will.


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    • A lot of marriages and parental relationships are torn apart by the psychiatric model. Witness all the commentators on this site eager to drug their child or spouse into submission. In order to be a NAMI mommy you have to have have a strong sadistic streak. I wonder if they would like to have all their children sterilized. For example, suppose all Creepy Pete Earley’s children were sterilized–not just Kevin? I wonder how he and the children he actually loves and accepts as normal would feel. Obviously they carry evil genes, right? Therefore everyone in the Earley family should be sterilized, according to the eugenics model. 🙂
      No, I’m not proposing this course of action. I find eugenics heinous, even for problems that clearly are genetic–like Down Syndrome. I’m just pointing out that if eugenics were carried out to its logical conclusion those abusive NAMI mommies wouldn’t be pleased with the results. If your “crazy” son is a monster of depravity you must be a monster too! He had to get his genetic depravity somewhere.

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      • This was not always the case. That I know of, NAMI was taken over by Pharma. I do not believe parents get into NAMI having any clue what it is. I know my own parents were curious and wanted to help. You must remember that some 30 years ago there was no Internet so the only source of information were the public libraries. My parents did their own research and were appalled that my doctors didn’t seem to keep up with research at all. They were also appalled that my doctors rarely listened to me, and that the docs had their own agenda. They found comfort in the NAMI groups and they found community sharing with the other parents, hearing that the other parents had similar experiences. Then, Pharma took over. What I am saying is that you cannot generalize and say that “NAMI parents are abusive parents.” Because NAMI was not always the way it is now. My dad would be appalled at the changes. He was once a leader in NAMI and from what I recall, he was so impressed with Judi Chamberlin that he urged me to read her book and get interested in human rights. He worked in the human rights field, FOR NAMI. This was right before he passed away from cancer. I am sorry that it took me another 20 years to take all that up. So you see, NAMI has undergone drastic changes.

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        • Perhaps I was guilty of overgeneralizing. But not all parents who attend NAMI regularly are what I call NAMI mommies. A true NAMI mommy or daddy has a vested interest in keeping their adult child sick and preventing recovery.

          I used to belong to NAMI myself, when I naively thought they cared about the mad and not just making money from pharma ads plastered everywhere and appeasing family members who find eccentric behavior embarrassing.

          If a parent finds the behavior of an adult child to be a severe embarrassment there is a legal option available besides locking the kid up and drugging him or her. Simply disown them.

          It’s all about them after all; the person they say they “love” really has no importance to them outside of how their public image is affected. The suffering of that individual is irrelevant–as long as it is done in silence. And brain drugs make effective silencers….

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          • That is awfully sad. I think in general many of us exploited psychiatry over the years, or decades, for many reasons. For reasons beyond what appears at first glance…..As Szasz points out….Perhaps to avoid marriage because one feels unsuited to it (many are, and have that right!), or to avoid an unwanted career, to avoid having children one does not want (some do not!), to avoid some other cookie-cutter situation that one is expected to do within one’s culture, simply because a person is stuck and doesn’t see any other options there’s that lovely 800 number, because one is married but wishes one married that old sweetheart instead, because you hate your job, because you know you are gay and ooops you are married, what now?…..on and on. I can’t count how many of my fellow high school grads were pushed into med school or law school they did not want. Psychiatry was an option, the other road, a way out of that cookie-cutter. Yes, that’s subtle exploitation, but it did serve a purpose, right? While on the conscious level, they, and their families, may have been convinced of an illness, as was anyone who was around to witness at the time, in the long run, perhaps, if they lived to tell the tale, hindsight revealed the underlying cause. And no, this is not everyone’s story, only an example.

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  18. I find it very disturbing that comments advocating the forced sterilization of mental patients (and others) are allowed to remain here. I hope the continued presence of these comments means that MiA staff are presently busy, and not that they condone the promotion of eugenics on this website.

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    • Yeah, I wish they would take the presence of fascists more seriously than the nature of the responses to them. If anything needs censoring it’s fascism, I think WWII was supposed to have made that “point.”

      I believe MIA might address this dilemma (if they must see it as such) by confining “flagged” people (as determined by the staff & commenters) to an MIA “orientation” forum where they learn how to properly participate without constantly spouting offensive ignorance and bigotry, and how to recognize the latter. Then when they “pass” they can “graduate” to full participation privileges.

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  19. My reading of History is that eugenics never went away, it has been endlessly repackaged, like Elvis’ records.

    Otherwise I enjoyed reading this, if only to enjoy the confirmation of my own hard-won insights.

    Only one point to add. And that is any talk of the Nazi programme to eliminate the mad (or some other as yet undecided pronoun, which I know instinctively I will consider dreadful) is that the name of one bold and courageous man should always be mentioned, if possible. Namely, Bishop Clemens Von Galen.

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  20. Forced sterilization is disgusting. I don’t care if the person being sterilized in a crook or poor or a Jew or quote unquote mentally ill or a so-called bad parent (according to whom?) or “unfit to care for kids” (again, according to whom?)…..On and on…If this is forced then it means the following:

    A person in authority is deciding that a person of lesser authority is unfit to have kids. What makes the person of greater authority so much better, so much smarter, so much more morally sound that he can state that this lesser being should be sterilized? What gave him that authority? What gives him the right to say, “You are incompetent”? Or, “You are unfit”? Is this person granted god-like status? And should anyone be granted this status to judge who is fit and who is not?

    My grandmother was told not to have any more children after her first. She was coerced into a hysterectomy, told it was for “medical reasons.” Decades later she discovered the surgery was unnecessary. I am fairly sure that antisemitism was behind this.

    What authority? By the way, my dad was a mathematical genius who pursued engineering, and his father (my grandfather) was also a scientist and musician. I highly doubt it was “bad genes.”

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  21. People often say Hitler was a “madman.” I consider this a nasty piece of sanism. You ask on what basis they believe Hitler was “mentally ill” and they will say because he tortured and murdered millions of people. You ask them why they think he tortured and murdered millions of people. They shrug their shoulders and say because he was a “madman.” Rather a circular piece of reasoning.

    Hitler was evil. This was due to his bad choices–not his heredity or even his environment. He chose to believe in eugenics, which involved hating those he believed to be genetically inferior. Because he believed they were subhuman “useless eaters” he felt justified in torturing and murdering them. If he had chosen the path of love and not hatred he might have actually accomplished great good rather than horrendous evil.

    That said, Hitler was heavily drugged. Dr. Morrell kept him on a cocktail of uppers and downers. If Adolf Hitler acted crazy, maybe it was because of all the “safe and effective treatments” he was on. Guess you could say he was “Medicated and Mighty!”

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  22. If calling Hitler a madman is a “nasty piece of sanism” then it follows that calling him evil is a nasty piece of moralism, if it’s circular reasoning at the heart of the problem.

    Hitler, so far as history knows, didn’t kill anyone. Just like Charlie Manson. His influence was such that he could sway others to killing. Like say Obama or Thatcher, Reagan or Stalin, Blair or Mao, Bush or Pol Pot.

    Of course, to compel others to kill requires quite complex conditions to be in place. But maybe not so complex as all that. Given that there is a killing instinct in every human being that is as god-given and natural as the love instinct.

    Love is worthless without hate. That’s something understood in the story of Jesus. His love was inexpressible unless he was crucified.

    Same too the mythos of Gandhi, he of the overcompensated passive aggression. Gandhi couldn’t express his love or use love for social change unless others — other than himself — were getting their heads kicked in, or worse. Did Gandhi love his martyrs, those that had their heads kicked in in order for Gandhi’s love to be felt?

    Gandhi understood that the reverse of the instinct to kill wasn’t always the instinct to love. Very often it’s the instinct to be killed.

    And all the maytrs that willingly walked into the flames or knowingly fell onto the sword understood this too.

    In the darkness of humanity — which is really the fullness of humanity — death, killing and hate are fundamental. To describe these aspects of humanity as madness is calling a rose a rose.

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    • I would be a martyr for a cause great enough to demand such a sacrifice. I’m not suicidal. The true martyr doesn’t die for the joy of dying or because life is unbearable. They die for the greater good. Otherwise death would not be a sacrifice.

      Not all people who choose celibacy are asexuals or genophobic or sickly anemics. They offer one of life’s greatest pleasures and joys up to their God or a higher cause.

      People willing to sacrifice their ALL are quite dangerous to the status quo. They will usually become the chief of sinners–or saints.

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  23. I came here, or found this article because the BBC TV in the UK is pushing the psychopathy theory in its latest Horizon documentary. Anything that is mechanistic this documentary team will push!
    but to me I see it is the argument that there are ‘normal’ people and in their midst are ‘THE PSYCHOPATHS’, and they are claiming–guess what??–that they are working on a ‘treatment’ for ‘them’ (HIDE!!!).

    But this to me is the classic scape-goat theory. Make out ‘normal’ civilization is good and pure, but some blessed genes just will create people who mess it all up and they have got to be dealt with by who…? The shrinks and big pharma/drugs.

    I have read an interesting book in the past, and is one of those books that has had big influence on me. It is called Shamanism and the Drug Propaganda:Birth of the Patriarchy and the Drug War, by Dan Russell.

    He says how the ancient term ‘Pharmakon’ originally was/is the psychedelic vegetation one actually eat, ingested and the experience inspired the communal ecstatic expression of emotions, and spiritual connectedness with others and the land.

    Another term he uses is ‘Pharmakos’. The Pharmakos is meaning ‘sacrifice’ and again originally was one and the same, mythically speaking with the pharmakon, because these magical plants would be often envisaged, and personified as ‘gods’.
    The ‘old gods’ who sacrificed THEMSELVES, and were ‘born again’ as the ecstatic -more than your ordinary self/ego–connected self you feel having psychedelic experience, also being described as ‘possession’ by the ‘god’. BUT what happens when this understanding and even memory, and of course freedom, is suppressed. We got lumped with the abstract literalist concept of the ‘blood sacrifice’ and the toxic myths of ‘gods’ and ‘Gods’ and ‘Kings’ and ‘saviours’ and their priests etc demanding sacrifice, be it blood, your sexuality, and even life, alive and dead!

    The pharmakon and the pharmakos.

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