“The systematic sterilization and killing of individuals with schizophrenia in Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945 was influenced by several factors. Perhaps, of greatest importance was a belief that schizophrenia was a simple Mendelian inherited disease, passed down from generation to generation. In Germany, this theory was promoted by Drs Ernst Rüdin and Franz Kallmann, among others.”
— Dr. E. Fuller Torrey and Robert H. Yolken, “Psychiatric Genocide: Nazi Attempts to Eradicate Schizophrenia,” Schizophrenia Bulletin, 16 September 2009
Let me say right away that I’m not the greatest fan of Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, one of the authors of the quote that appears above. He’s given us a couple of organizations that are supposedly about dealing with the issue of “mental illness,” like the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC) as well as the much better-known National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) (which I might point out, as the name indicates, is not an organization of the “mentally ill” but an organization that is on the “mentally ill,” as in “we will impose our views and our will on you, whether you like it or not”). These organizations are not only funded in large part by Big Pharma (you need only to look at their donors’ list to see their names), but they also promote the idea of “mental illness” as a biological disorder or a disease or a so-called “chemical imbalance” (or something: the medical narrative constantly changes, in the hopes that sooner or later some kind of justification for thinking that schizophrenia is a medical problem will finally come along and justify the prejudicial bias of biological psychiatry that such a medical cause must exist, regardless of whether there has ever been any actual medical evidence to support this bias or not).
Furthermore, Dr. Torrey appears to be an advocate of the reintroduction of a mental hospital system that would use coercion to force drugs (and possibly other “treatments”) on people. I am completely opposed to all of these measures and to these ideas, and I am stating my own bias now so that you will know what it is as I examine the work that he and a co-author, Robert Yolken, produced in a paper that deals with the Nazi’s destruction or sterilization of most of the schizophrenics in Germany, which was done on the basis of eugenics: the idea that some people are so genetically inferior that they are, essentially, unworthy of life (or of the expense that it takes to support them in an institution which is paid for by the state, such as a mental hospital).
I find this paper to be a very curious piece of work. On the one hand, it explains the Nazi genocide of almost all the schizophrenics of Germany, and it even explains the genetics-based theory behind it all, but then it goes on to ignore the question that, if all the schizophrenics of Germany were either dead or sterilized, how was it possible that the incidence rate (new cases each year) of schizophrenia actually rose to double the rate of most industrialized countries?
This begs the question: if all the schizophrenics were dead, how did they pass on their genes? How was it possible — if Dr. Torrey and Mr. Yolken, and all of biological psychiatry itself were right — for a bunch of people who were either dead or sterilized to produce more schizophrenics? And on just what rational basis do you come around to supporting another baseless gene theory for schizophrenia, even after you have just described how a gene hypothesis was used to justify the murder or sterilization of hundreds of thousands of people? And doing it all while completing ignoring the social context which you have just gone to such lengths to describe?
Let me put it this way: I am not opposed to anyone exploring the possibility that genetics may lie behind schizophrenia. I don’t personally believe that to be the case, but I don’t have a problem with people exploring it. This is science we’re talking about, after all, and I believe that it is only right that we explore every idea. What I have a problem with is when the authors of a supposedly scientific paper ignore the obvious scientific conclusions that their own evidence suggests in favor of another, completely unsupported hypothesis. That’s not science anymore. That’s prejudice.
I would like to review the paper very briefly before examining the authors’ conclusions, just so that people will know the context of what we’re talking about here. Germany was, after all, in a difficult situation at the time of the Second World War, and so this invisible holocaust, and then the very curious resurgence of schizophrenia that followed it, did not take place in a vacuum.
According to the paper, which I have no doubt was carefully researched, psychiatrists were asked by Hitler to design a method for killing the “mentally ill,” or at least those who were currently housed in psychiatric centers, where they created a financial burden on the state of Germany. The psychiatrists complied, and they came up with much of the machinery that would later be implemented in the rest of the Holocaust: the “showers,” which were really gas chambers, the use of drugs (for so-called “euthanasia”), the mass sterilization, and the crematoria for the disposal of the bodies. That’s where it all came from, if I understand it correctly. If you have any reason not to trust my account, please check Dr. Torrey and Mr. Yolken’s paper. They are, after all, on the other side of this imaginary debate.
Here’s what they wrote about it all:
Hitler’s letter authorizing the program to kill mental patients was dated September 1, 1939, the day German forces invaded Poland. Although the program never officially became law, Hitler guaranteed legal immunity for everyone who took part in it. In October 1939, the directors of all German psychiatric hospitals were asked to fill out forms indicating the diagnosis and capacity for useful work of each patient, although they were not told what the forms were for. These forms were then assessed by a committee of selected psychiatrists who targeted approximately 70 000 patients for death, 1 for every 1000 people in Germany, which was the initial goal of the program. The program was known as Aktion (action) T–4, after the address of its headquarters in Berlin on Tiergartenstrasse 4.
As if this were not horrifying enough, there are also the actual details of how this mass murder was planned. All of this was done on the basis of a genetic hypothesis. Here is what the Nazis did with that line of thinking:
The planning and logistics for such mass murder elicited much discussion. The method finally chosen was the release of carbon monoxide gas into a closed room outfitted to look like a shower room and the subsequent burning of the bodies in crematoria. Gold fillings were removed from the deceased and used to partially pay for the program. In early January 1940, the first 20 patients were led into a “shower room” at the Brandenburg asylum and killed. This method was judged to be highly successful and was later adapted for the killing of Jews. Five additional asylums, at Bernburg, Grafeneck, Hadamar, Hartheim, and Sonnenstein, were designated as killing centers, and patients marked for death at other hospitals were transported to these regional centers. By August 1941, 70,273 patients had been killed. Careful records were kept, and the 6 centers competed with each other in efficiency. Hadamar, eg, “celebrated the cremation of its ten-thousandth patient in a special ceremony, where everyone in attendance—secretaries, nurses and psychiatrists—received a bottle of beer for the occasion.”
I want to thank Dr. Torrey and Mr. Yolken — quite sincerely — for bringing this to the world’s attention. I am particularly taken aback by the callous brutality of the last line, but if you have ever witnessed a psych ward in action, the basic constituent parts of the situation should be familiar to you. Many mental health workers, nurses, doctors, etc., do tend to get a little jaded and indifferent.
According to Dr. Torrey and Mr. Yolken’s analysis of the historical situation, there were approximately “132,000 with schizophrenia who were sterilized and 100,000–137,500 people who were killed” out of a total German population of about 70 million.
That’s the general context of it all. Now I would like to talk about the gene hypothesis of schizophrenia. This hypothesis, which is the basis of what used to be called the “social science” of eugenics, once so prominent in the world (not only in Germany but in the United States and other countries), was based on the idea that some people are inferior, which is then the basis for the further idea that those “inferior” people can be exterminated without either moral harm to the people involved or without any significance to the world in terms of the people it’s done to, since, after all, they were supposedly less human or less valuable than the population that had supposedly “superior” genes.
I believe that this idea — the genetic hypothesis of schizophrenia — is completely wrong, as the continuing lack of any established science to prove it shows. And I believe that Dr. Torrey and Mr. Yolken’s own paper actually shows how wrong the genetic hypothesis of the origin of schizophrenia actually is.
Let’s use Dr. Torrey and Mr. Yolken’s own words here, because they are quite succinct and clear. It begins with the context of German society and how badly the mental hospitals were burdened after the First World War. I will also fill in a few historical details on my own, in order to make the historical situation a little more clear.
All you really need to know, historically speaking, is that Germany had been blamed by the Allies for the whole expensive disaster of World War I, at which point it was stripped of all of its most important economic assets (largely in the form of its most industrial, coal-producing region, the Ruhr), and burdened with such massive reparation payments to make up for Germany’s part in the war that the country could never have kept up with them. This caused not only immense poverty and suffering in post-war Germany, preventing economic and social recovery, but also contributed to the rise of fascism (the idea of the state as a military and financial power that is to be obeyed without question) which then led to the rise of the Nazis. It also led to an extreme form of racism, because the Nazis appealed to nativist sentiments about what race you belonged to — which in a part of the world that already had enough ethnic problems of its own then led to people hating other people even more, based on their race, their ethnicity, or their national identity, or even because of another kind of perceived genetic defect, as exemplified by the hatred of those with “mental illness.”
This sentiment even extended to simple physical deformities, or to illnesses such as epilepsy. It was all based on a mere hypothesis — not a proven theory, but a mere hypothesis — of what caused “human inferiority” that was in turn based on a narrow ideology about genetics, which the Nazis exploited to extend their power and to eliminate their enemies so far as was possible (and perhaps to ease their consciences).
So the historical context, as Torrey and Yolken write, is this:
This massive increase in patients in psychiatric hospitals came at a bad time for Germany economically. Following World War I, Germany had been stripped of valuable industrial and coal-producing areas and saddled with onerous reparations. The decade following was marked by strikes, clashes between Communists and nationalists, inflation, bankruptcies, and a severe economic depression. Funding for psychiatric care was sharply reduced even as the number of patients requiring care was rising. In 1931, the German Psychiatric Association organized a prize for the best essay on the topic “How can provision for mental health care be more cheaply reorganized?”
The idea of killing the patients in psychiatric hospitals first surfaced prominently in 1920 in a publication by Karl Binding, a lawyer, and Alfred Hoche, a psychiatrist. Entitled Permission for the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life, the tract posed the question: “Is there human life which has so far forfeited the character of something entitled to enjoy the protection of the law, that its prolongation represents a perpetual loss of value, both for its bearer and for society as a whole?” The authors’ answer was clearly affirmative and described such individuals as being “mentally dead” and “on an intellectual level which we only encounter way down in the animal kingdom.” The authors emphasized the economic burden of such individuals to Germany. The economic argument was repeated in subsequent discussions of this issue, such as in a 1932 article entitled “The Eradication of the Less Valuable from Society,” in which the author, psychiatrist Berthold Kihn, estimated that mentally ill individuals were costing Germany 150 million Reichsmarks per year.
So, to cut to the chase, the Nazis either exterminated or sterilized almost all the schizophrenics in Germany (as well as other countries, but the authors don’t go into that very much) on the basis of the idea that so-called “inferior genes” were the cause of schizophrenia, and that killing or sterilizing all the schizophrenics would prevent these “inferior genes” from being passed on to the next generation, and that schizophrenia would be more or less eliminated from Germany.
And yet, in Dr. Torrey and Mr. Yolken’s paper, the reality of the situation — which is that the incidence rate of schizophrenia actually increased after the war — is treated only as a bizarre anomaly without any explanation, when, if you actually take the historical situation of Germany at that time into account, it becomes clear that the traumagenic hypothesis (the idea that stress and trauma are what lies at the heart of schizophrenia and psychosis) should be taken very, very seriously.
To put it in other words: The Nazis either killed or sterilized almost all the schizophrenics in Germany — 200,000 to 270,000 of them. And yet there was a resurgence in the population (a rise in the incidence rates of new cases of schizophrenia each year) that showed a doubling of the population of schizophrenics in Germany. And how, if it were really an inherited disease, and all the schizophrenics had either been killed or sterilized, was this possible?
This defies the gene hypothesis, which the authors go to some lengths to explain at the end of their paper.
But to continue with the historical context, they write:
Regarding the incidence of new cases of schizophrenia, no published studies were apparently carried out in Germany prior to World War II. The first postwar study was done in Mannheim in 1965, 20 years after the last patients had been sterilized or killed. Heinz Häfner and Helga Reimann at the University of Heidelberg identified all new cases of schizophrenia reported during the year among the city’s 330,000 inhabitants. They reported an incidence rate of 53.6 per 100,000, which the authors noted was “more than twice as high as the mean of 21.8 per 100,000 calculated in 1965 by Dunham from different studies and two to three times as high as the rates of 23.8 or 15.8 respectively . . . for the U.S.A. and England and Wales in 1969.” The German rate, they added, was comparable to the “rate of 52 per 100 000 given by Walsh for Dublin in 1969.”
I would like to note, regarding this last paragraph, that the one incidence rate they report that is comparable to Germany’s incidence rate belongs to Ireland, which at that time was also a very troubled society.
Häfner and his colleagues subsequently opened a psychiatric case register and recorded the incidence of schizophrenia for each year from 1974 to 1980; it ranged from 48 to 67 per 100,000, averaging 59. In one report, the authors compared the incidence of schizophrenia in Mannheim with 11 studies in the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia; the 11 studies averaged 24 per 100,000, less than half the incidence rate for Mannheim, and only one, a 1970 study in Rochester, NY, reported a higher rate than Mannheim. In another publication, Häfner compared the Mannheim incidence rate with that of 8 centers in the World Health Organization Determinants of Outcome Study; only 1 of the 8 centers had an incidence of narrowly defined schizophrenia exceeding that of Mannheim.
The other area in Germany where schizophrenia incidence studies were carried out was in Bavaria. A 1971 study found 102 cases in a predominantly rural population of 424,000 for a 6-month incidence rate of 24 per 100,000. Another study done in the same area in 1974–1975 reported an annual incidence rate of 48 per 100,000, thus being more similar to the rates reported for Mannheim. These high German incidence rates were also confirmed by international comparisons. For example, a review of 55 schizophrenia incidence studies by McGrath et al found the median schizophrenia incidence to be 15.2 (7.7–43.0) per 100,000; few of the studies achieved the high incidence rates reported in Germany.
Which brings us to the trauma hypothesis. My own explanation for the appearance of these high incidence rates in Germany were the conditions of the time. After all, these people had just been bombed almost to extinction, subjected to Nazi terror, and then, in the post-war period, often nearly starved to death. Yes: many people were nearly starved to death, jobs were difficult to come by, and all resources, including money, were tight all over the country. Maybe that would harm some people, and possibly contribute to an altered psychology?
Dr. Torrey and his co-author present some different arguments that might explain the increase in the incidence of schizophrenia. I am presenting all of their arguments (there are four) in order to represent their position fairly. I’m not cherrypicking so I can make them look bad, in other words. I would like to keep my discussion as fair and evenhanded as possible.
I will take these arguments in turn, using the authors’ own words so as not to misrepresent or distort their arguments.
Is there any apparent explanation for the relatively high incidence rates of schizophrenia in postwar Germany? One possible explanation is that the areas in which postwar incidence studies were carried out were less affected by the psychiatric genocide. This seems unlikely because many Bavarian psychiatrists enthusiastically supported the eugenics program, and individuals with schizophrenia in the Mannheim region were killed initially in Grafeneck and later in Hadamar asylum.
Here, Dr. Torrey and Mr. Yolken have themselves discounted one explanation on the grounds of logic and plain good sense, so I don’t need to address it. It does speak in their favor that they included it, but not to have done so would have been scientifically obtuse. On to the next, then.
Another possible explanation is that postwar incidence studies of schizophrenia in Germany included large numbers of non-German immigrants. In fact, 13% of Mannheim’s population in the 1970s were foreign workers. Studies of the incidence of schizophrenia among these workers, however, reported that “when corrected for age, the rates of treated schizophrenia episodes . . . were significantly lower than those of the German population.”
What this means is that the authors have, in essence, now presented an argument against the genetic hypothesis, using a historically informed analysis of the existing data. However, they have not really presented the material in the way that really shows what is happening here. Germany was largely rebuilt, following the war, by bringing in a large number of guest workers — “gastarbeiter” — which is a factor that the authors gloss over by ignoring how Turkey, the origin of a substantial portion of those immigrants, had not been subjected to the same kind of horrible conditions that Germany had been subjected to during the war. In other words, since the Turks came from a much less damaged society, their lower incidence rates for schizophrenia would actually speak against the genetic hypothesis and in favor of some other cause, such as the traumagenic hypothesis (which I would suggest is social, since trauma and its aftereffects are both psychological and social).
On to their next rationalization:
A third possibility is that much broader diagnostic criteria were being used to diagnose schizophrenia in Germany after the war compared with before the war. If this had been the case, one would expect to find high rates in prevalence as well as in incidence studies, but this is not the case. It is difficult to determine what diagnostic criteria were being used in prewar studies. Brugger did not define the diagnostic criteria he used in his 1929–1931 studies, but they were probably the classical criteria of Emil Kraepelin, who dominated diagnostic thinking in Munich psychiatry until his death in 1926. Most studies after the war used the diagnostic guidelines of the International Classification of Diseases, Eighth Revision (ICD-8), and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9), introduced in 1965 and 1975, which use somewhat broader criteria for diagnosing schizophrenia. However, most of the other European studies that were being done at the time and that reported much lower incidence rates also used ICD-8 or ICD-9 criteria.
Again, we have a fairly reasonable argument here, but this time it doesn’t prove anything either for or against the gene hypothesis. It’s just saying that, well, we don’t know if they were counting more (or possibly fewer) schizophrenics before the war than after it, or vice versa, due simply to the ways they used to count them (much the same way that a census might allow you to be called multiracial, rather than only “black” or “Caucasian” or “Latino,” which distorts how many people do or don’t belong to any one group).
So those are the first three arguments, none of which actually supports the gene hypothesis at all and one which is potentially an argument against it.
But in going forward, I would like to point out that there is one thing you should always note about psychiatric articles, which I noticed a while back. It is that all the information that really matters — the information that usually contains the truth of it all — is almost always put last. It doesn’t matter what kind of paper it might be, or what kind of form, or what kind of news article. If it’s a form that describes your rights in a psychiatric hospital, for instance, the number that you need to call to get help in addressing how your rights are being abused is always at the bottom of the piece of paper, in the very last line. If it’s a government press release or an article in the newspaper that describes why schizophrenics die on average about 30 years younger than everyone else does, then the real cause (psychiatric drugs) will be in the last line of whatever paragraph it’s in, or at the very end of the article. And it will be done in a throwaway fashion, as if they wanted to numb your brain out with all the other irrelevant information before they finally throw in what really matters, which will be when you aren’t really paying attention anymore. Everything else — I promise you — will be a lot of smoke and mirrors, largely put out there by the PR divisions of various Big Pharma companies or their psychiatric adherents, and everyone who works in psychiatry (except the naive ones) probably knows this. So the last line in anything written down on paper by a psychiatrist is almost always the one thing on the paper that might matter.
Here’s Dr. Torrey and Mr. Yolken’s last argument about the cause of the high schizophrenia incidence rates in post-war Germany:
A fourth possibility is that social conditions during or after the war produced environmental factors that led to an increase in the incidence of schizophrenia. An example was the increase in schizophrenia in Holland that followed the Dutch Hunger Winter in 1944–1945. The cause of the high schizophrenia incidence rates in postwar Germany is thus not apparent and is an appropriate subject for additional research.
So that is what amounts to the last line in Dr. Torrey and Mr. Yolken’s list of the potential causes of the increase in schizophrenia in Germany after the Second World War. And what does it say? That despite the actual existing evidence, such as the rise in schizophrenia in another severely traumatized country immediately following a disaster (much like what happened in Canada, when there was a rise in schizophrenia in children following a period of exceptional economic hardship and stress), there is no serious arguing being done here at all for the traumagenic hypothesis, despite there being considerable evidence for it. At the same time, there is no evidence at all for the gene hypothesis, and in fact any evidence that is presented here is against it. In the absence of any sort of scientifically established argument for the gene hypothesis, I would argue that it’s time to look very seriously into the evidence for the traumagenic hypothesis — that, if not directly causative, it is certainly an overwhelming factor in what gives rise to psychosis.
Yet the conclusion that the authors provide is telling because of how very weak it is: “The cause of the high schizophrenia incidence rates in postwar Germany is thus not apparent and is an appropriate subject for additional research.” It’s a throwaway line if I’ve ever seen one (practically any scientific paper you’ll ever see ends with the same words about “more research” being needed), and it is especially so when you consider the evidence that was presented in the paper itself about the social conditions of Germany at the time.
I would argue that the whole paper, in fact, is sort of a smoking gun. The paper, in toto, says to me that the only plausible cause of such a high incidence rate, going by the evidence presented, is trauma. Not genes. Not any disease. It says that the only common denominator between all these countries with high incidence rates for schizophrenia is the harm caused by a painful and traumatizing environment, not by a disease or a genetic defect. And that is all we know about what begins the experience known as schizophrenia.
Trauma, pain, and adversity. That’s what some people, like Prof. John Read, have been telling us for years, but the psychiatric establishment doesn’t seem to want to do anything with that information. But it’s not the only time that Dr. Torrey, for one, has been willing to close his eyes and ignore the actual social and historical context of schizophrenia in favor of a physiological hypothesis. And in the usual fashion of a psychiatrist who is unable (or unwilling) to understand what is right before his eyes, what Dr. Torrey and his co-author actually say at the end of the paper is this:
It is hoped that this article will elicit additional, previously unpublished, data that can be used to document and memorialize this reprehensible but important chapter in psychiatric history. In addition, perhaps, the most appropriate response the profession of psychiatry can have to the Nazi eugenics and psychiatric genocide program is to focus additional resources on examining more complex forms of genetic and gene-environmental interactions in order to understand the true genetic contribution to schizophrenia. This knowledge should then be used to develop methods for disease prevention and treatment that can be used ethically in all populations.
They just don’t ever learn, do they? Not even from their own work.
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.
Thanks, Eric Coates – you make a number of crucial points and it is important that people be reminded of the tragedy of the Nazi extermination of people with psychiatric labels and also of the lack of proof that so-called “mental illness” is inherited. But can we please stop referring to people with that diagnosis as “schizophrenics?” It’s demeaning.
The question of how we all talk about experiences like that we now call “schizophrenia” is something that a friend and myself have been talking about how to address. We are considering how to organize what we are calling a “virtual conference” that takes place over two or three weekends so that people can talk about what we as a community want as a common language to describe things. The biopsych and psychopharm people move in lockstep, with a common vocabulary and rhetoric. We, on the other hand, are divided, and our lack of progress in penetrating the public discourse is one of the results of that. Thanks for your comments.
Gracias, Eric, por un artículo tan meticuloso y bien escrito. Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con tu hipótesis, sin embargo, permíteme que añada un dato más:
No debemos olvidar que la Alemania del Tercer Reich hizo un consumo masivo de metanfetamina (Pervitin) distribuida en esa época por los laboratorios Temmler. Se distribuia incluso en bombones, y lo consumió todo el mundo, desde el ejército hasta los niños. También entre el ejercito se prescribió el D-IX, un compuesto a base de metamfetamina, oxicodona y cocaina.
No dudo que muchos de los brotes esquizofrénicos posteriores a la Segunda Guerra Mundial fueron debidos a esos consumos masivos.
La transmisión genética de la esquizofrenia no se ha podido demostrar, pero el consumo de masivo de drogas de generación en generación, eso si queda claro.
Espero que puedas entenderme a través del traductor. No sé inglés, pero queria agradecerte tu trabajo. Gracias.
Thank you, sir. With my only primitive Spanish (at best, believe me!), I can see that you got the idea. What a wonderful thing that this has crossed the language barrier! My best to you, sir, as you move ahead. A friend once told me that they say: Muerte o suerte! Maybe that’s how it works for us. Bon chance!
Grácias a usted !!
Ambos somos supervivientes psiquiatricos, y el idioma no puede ser una barrera.
Esta página web es espléndida. Siempre os leo y aprendo muchísimo.
Bon chance !!
Great blog. Very well written, and very sharp in its exposure of the blatant distortions of the scientific method by Dr. Torrey and his cohorts who seemingly ignore reality slapping them in their face – all for an agenda of promoting the pseudo-science of Biological Psychiatry.
And I agree with Darby, that definitely quotation marks should always be used for ANY of the so-called DSM psychiatric diagnoses. We mustn’t give any credibility to their misuse of the language supporting oppression.
Thank you for this important and informative piece. What is particularly scary, is that biological psychiatry has lately so successfully ingrained the “genetic mental illness” lie into American culture, that if we had another major economic crisis like the Great Depression, then eugenics-based mass sterilizations/murders could conceivably happen here too, especially in light of the recent apparent rise of white supremacy movements.
Thank you, sir. Your scientific acumen is always appreciated.
In 1941, the keynote speaker for the yearly meeting of the American Psychiatric Association advocated for doing the same thing to the “mentally ill” in the United States as was being carried out in Germany. Only two people opposed his proposal.
In the following year two anonymous editorialists advocated for the same thing in the organization’s Journal.
Thank you, sir. If you choose to do so, my email is [email protected], and I would very much like to see what you have in terms of how we in the United States were doing things in regards to eugenics. That would make a very good research project — people need to be informed about these things.
This is an excellent article; “schizophrenia” cannot be genetic if you kill all “schizophrenics” in a population and the number doubles thereafter.
I’m glad that you see what I was talking about. Best to you.
Thanks so much Eric.This is the work that I think is so important.
Torrey, at first was into a virus cause and did work on birth dates and Ireland. That has been around for a long long time maybe 1950’s but the historical story and other abuse stories point much more to trauma and secondary and tertiary trauma.
Check out the badge and color coding schemes used in the camps in Germany and other places such as surprise! Institutions of all kinds.
Some of the refugees from Germany developed into interesting voices for children. C. Henry Kempe and Fritz Reidel among others. Not perfect but aware in some areas.
Keep up the good work!
You are right about the Irish Trauma:- the man made Famines of the 1840s would also have contributed to a schizophrenic society. These famines resulted in the mass emigration from Ireland to America.
The thing also about the Famines was that some people ate well while other people starved.
Yes, I think that starvation is often one of the roots of the origins of schizophrenia and psychosis. That’s what everything I have read indicates. Anything that puts survival stress on an individual, even if they are still in the womb and are simply being part of a mother’s experience indirectly, it seems to affect things. Even when there is stress a couple generations back, it can affect a person in terms of health and their mental welfare. Thanks for your comments.
Thank you. The cat poop theory of schizophrenia, which I believe was Torrey’s pet idea, was certainly one of the more absurd ideas in retrospect that has ever been produced. Yet, you have to sort of admire the doggedness of the psychiatric profession. If they actually had a clue about anything — if they could get over their bias that schizophrenia is physiological or psychological in origin and start to actually examine the evidence of what their own patients are telling them about their experience — they probably would have solved the problem for us long ago. Thanks again.
Eric to clarify my writing.
My fault- Torrey was on the scene in the early 1980’s trying to promote that a winter reoccurring virus caused the s word. If you were born in certain months he tried to prove their was a greater risk due to this virus idea. He didn’t strike me as strident and rigid but that was before I was in country.
There is information on the badge system used in the cc camps. The guards used it for easy identification of what prisoner class an inmate was. Sounds horrorific and would overlaying even more future affects in a survivors family.
I never knew about the labeling system until now Look under shaming badges.
In my area a lot of NAMI folks have been Jewish and I wonder about the dynamics of that. Don’t want to comment further because it is not my story.
The badge usage ties into color coding. My last stay in country I was forced to wear bright orange patient wear for two days after admission.
Shaming badges- shaming clothing / essentially the same thing except patients are supposed to be there for help.
The whole industrial/prison system especially in some areas / read here Arizonia is rife with this thinking process. Again not my story but we need to hear and maybe help.
To think a WWII refugee was able to be the first American medical doctor to identify child abuse is informative. His cohort Fritz Reidel was among those who conceived the concept of therapeutic mielu.
Anna Freud worked with refugee children in England. She and her father were very late refugees from Germany.
Bruno Bettelheim was also another refugee who worked with children and later committed suicide. No one wants to acknowledge that can of worms.
You may not agree with all that they did but they came from war and it informed their life.
Children and adult children of War vets are beginning to realize secondary trauma in their own lives.
I am thinking each of us as the ability to handle stress present and past and sometimes the stress becomes so overwhelming you go into altered states. And each person is unique and their circumstances are unique . This is not being acknowledge in the system.
You are opening up a whole field of discussion here, and I would love to respond sufficiently. However, there simply isn’t time or space right now. But I will at least suggest the outline of my own views to you.
What if God had decided that there were certain people who were so good that He would make them suffer even more than they otherwise would have, just so as to teach them even more about the world and what it means to sacrifice ourselves for others and for Him? What if trauma is not a biological factor in the situation, but one that comes from God Himself? That it is not a causation in terms of brain development, but a sign that God is testing you and preparing you to become one of His Chosen?
I realize that this point of view is outside the boundaries that everyone believes in right now, but this is what I believe. And if you are a true schizophrenic, with a split mind — two forms of consciousness at once: the human being’s, and the consciousness that God has given you — then you will understand what it means. This is why I do not use quotes around the word schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is real, real, real — a split mind. Maybe people haven’t encountered it, and maybe most people wouldn’t know what it is when they see it, and maybe a whole lot of people who aren’t schizophrenic at all are mislabeled by people who don’t know better. But we do exist, and I have no doubt at all about what that means. God is here.
If you are interested in theological aspects of “schizophrenia”, you may find my book, “In The Fellowship of His Suffering” helpful:
I hate to sound like I am promoting my book, but there is so little written on theological aspects of “Schizophrenia,” that I think those of us who have dedicated our life research to the topic may have something worth pondering on.
BTW- I put quotation around the word “schizophrenia,” not because the illness is not real, but I disagree with how psychiatry categorizes it and defines it.
so what about those who no longer seem to be able to access their ‘human’ consciousness and seem lost in an altered or ‘psychotic’ state. Is God as cruel as that? I am always so surprised when people talk about “severe mental illness’ and yet seem to be able to read and write and have conversations etc. You say you were very psychotic a couple of years ago but look at the articles you wrote at that time. I am not trying to be argumentative – just desperately trying to understand and learn how to reach and support someone in this state.
It is interesting what you said about this. The experience of what we call “schizophrenia” (and I agree with you that it is a real experience but I feel better putting the word in quotes) was often the thing that decided that someone would become the shaman in indigenous communities across the world. I think that there is a documentary out now titled Crazy Wise that talks about this very thing. In a way, the experience is the calling for this very important position in the community.
Being a former hospital chaplain and a person interested in spirituality and world religions from an early age, I can see where you are coming from with this. Thank you for sharing this interesting perspective.
I have always been susceptible to the spirit world. For good or evil. This seems to run in families like mine. My boyfriend sees into the spirit world. The reason he’s not mentally ill? He’s not stupid enough to tell a shrink about his experiences.
Btw, when I told him I was coming off my brain drugs, he strongly encouraged my efforts. I’m joining a Pentecostal Church because they don’t dismiss the supernatural as forgone proof of insanity.
I have read the comments by Elaha, Sa, Stephen, and AnotherAccount, and I would like to say right now that you are the most important people on our side of this discussion. There are those who understand the social dynamics, etc: those are the others in this conversation. I wrote this article with those people in mind. Yet I, myself, am one of you. And I believe that this is all a spiritual question, and I am on YOUR side when it comes to all of this as a larger question. God bless you all. I can tell by your comments that you are all God’s people, and that you are all on the right side of things. God bless. Thank you for bringing our side into this conversation — even if no one realizes what you are doing. I hope to see you all again, especially after my next article is posted.
I don’t think Torrey is a cat lover.
Agree that Germany’s postwar “schizophrenia” paradox is the most powerful to invoke when challenging genetic faith-holders. And this article stands now as a great resource. Much thanks.
It’s funny, I read the article that Torrey and Yolken had written and I was just sort of puzzled for a while, because it is a very dense piece of material and it takes a while to get your head around terms like “incidence rate” and “prevalence rate” and so forth . . . in other words, to think like an epidemiologist rather than like a normal person. It’s hard to penetrate. But I could immediately sense that there was something wrong with it all, and by the time I got to the end that first time, I had started to spot what was wrong with it all, and their explanations at the end struck me as a lot of smoke and mirrors — that they were essentially lying to themselves and to their public. So this idea sat in the back of my head for the last couple years, and I finally decided to write it down, just to sort of scratch an itch because it bugged me so much, and it is certainly a surprise and a pleasure to think that someone might use it as a resource. That’s really the point of writing for me in the end — sharing ideas, etc. — so I’m glad you consider it so, even if all I meant to be doing was getting a bugbear off my back.
It is obviously not simply the trauma of war that caused so much so-called schiziphrenia in Germany, above and beyond all the other involved nations, including those that opposed Hitler. It’s the trauma of defeat, the trauma of an extreme rightwing ideology taking hold, creating its pervasive and intoxicating false narratives, and for these falsities and delusions to come crashing down. The trauma of humiliation. The trauma of fascist delusions being smashed.The trauma of living a lie and then being compelled to face those lies. The trauma of having to face up to all those evils. An old departed friend of mine volunteered to stay in Germany and take part in the re-education programmes. He was under orders amongst other things to command any citizens with their heads down to look at the posters depicting the crimes of auschwitz and so on. There’s lots been written about it. It’s a very interesting and important part of history, especially what you have written about. But doesn’t get much discussed in English-speaking circles.
Yes, many citizens of German towns near concentration camps were forced to take part in the mass burial of the people murdered by the thousands in those places. The allied soldiers forced them to carry the emaciated bodies to the graves. These Germans were not allowed to claim that they had no idea what was going on in those places of evil and darkness.
When the allied forces were closing in on everything in the last days of the war, people in the camps were gunned down by the hundreds; some were forced into barns and buildings which were set on fire. As people tried to get out they were gunned down by Nazi guards. The bodies were left everywhere since the Nazis were intent in escaping and didn’t have time to bury bodies. So, the allied soldiers forced the German townspeople to do the burying. They didn’t enjoy it very much, to say the least.
I taught with a woman who was born and raised in Germany. She was a child during the war. When I asked her about the concentration camps she claimed that the German people knew absolutely nothing about what was going on in such places. But she would not look me in the face while stating this. But then she shared the fact that they always knew that they would have fresh hand soap when the smoke belched out of the furnaces that were located at the concentration camps! Cognitive dissonance at the highest level.
You are correct, not much is discussed about all this in English speaking circles. Humankind must always be on guard against things like this. Too many like to pretend that humans are not capable of such terrible and horrible acts. But Nazi Germany puts the lie to this.
I think the children who grew up through the transitional period, and those born postwar, that were particularly troubled. Given too that one big slice of germany carried on under the psychological duress of East Germany and East Berlin, with that wall of absolutes separating them. All those many families split, some on one side, some on the other, and a kind of national mourning for the continuation of Totalitarianism within a literally schizophrenic state.
And all those ex-Nazi psychiatrists, those that remained, seamlessly transitioning into Stasi psychiatrists, perhaps the most politicised psychiatry in its intense history.
You certainly seem to have a real grasp of what was going on for these people. Are you German, or of German descent? You are describing the kind of thing that normally only someone inside the situation would know — much as one can tell immediately from a written account if someone has actually spent time on a psych ward. There are certain things about an experience that are almost impossible to imagine unless you’ve actually had the experience.
I suppose I’m an empathic person, by and by.
Just life experiences, reading and thinking. I think the empathic stuff was kicked off when a resettled German widow and her son were allocated a concrete postwar council house on the estate I grew up on. And coming to terms with the intensities that ensued. She was a bold woman, who spoke very little English. She was middle-class and very aloof.
In many ways her Fall from grace was an eyeopener for me. Although it’s only really when you think back over childhood that you really get a good angle on what it was exactly you were learning.
There were lots of rumours about her background. The usual (although obviously unusual) stuff. Her son was bullied in a way I had not experienced before. All the adults turned a blind eye.
And so on and so forth.
But I am an English madman. Kindalike John Clare if you replaced the poems with Stella Artois.
Thanks for your comments. I will certainly check them out.
Good article, I’d heard of this before but was interesting how the author described the researchers’ inability and/or unwillingness to consider the implications of their own findings.
Well written, keep up the good work!
Thank you also!
Great essay; very well-written and incisive.
I would add to what you said that the effect of much psychiatric treatment today is most unfortunately similar – over a much longer timeframe – to what the Germans did much more quickly in the 1940s. In other words, modern day psychiatric treatment – comprised primarily of indefinite tranquilization with all its long-term effects, and telling someone they have an incurable disease and should not expect recovery – often largely prevents people from living a meaningful and enjoyable life, and leads to early death via all manner of physical and psychological adverse events. Thus, it often takes a few decades to gradually exert the same effect on the “patient” which the Nazis did in only seconds in the gas chambers. It is horrible to think about this, and about how much distortion, denial, avoidance, and self-deception goes into maintaining the myths about “schizophrenia” that many in the field hold.
All the things you mention are very important concerns for me also, especially since I am a schizophrenic myself (I’m sorry, but there is no other term for it at this time, and it is a very, very real experience that needs a word to describe it in some way, even if the old term has come to have a taint of medicalization that shouldn’t be there; perhaps we should simply reclaim the term in the same way that people have reclaimed “gay” or “queer” or anything else that was considered offensive for a while). In any case, I agree with you on all the points you made and this is the focus of almost all my writing these days. Good luck to you, sir.
Yes. Which is more humane? Slowly poisoning and shocking a person to death over the course of 20 or 30 years or gassing them to death within minutes.
The only reason the APA opposes suicide and gassing, IMHO, is there’s less of a profit margin in selling a “consumer” a small amount of toxic gas as opposed to $10,000 worth of drugs over the course of 25 years.
Consumers are a psychiatrist’s herd of cash cows. You can’t milk a dead cow.
Too true, too true. The scary thing is that most of them probably don’t even realize it. I call it “The Ever-Expanding Mental Health System.” Everyone bitches about how “the system is broken.” Yet all that they do is add yet another professional, at yet another salary, to the system as it already exists. There is never any fundamental questioning of the system as it exists. “The system is broken.” You hear this every day. Yet the very people who say this, from inside the system itself, never actually do anything to change it all radically, from the ground up. It’s the same thing, over and over.
Thanks for your comments. Be well.
I think their just highly emotional and sensitive people- in a world full of trouble- they’re deeply effected by. Deeply effected anything, can cause mind worry and concern – just look at drug psychosis- born out of insecurity and concern- worry- is this ever going to end- will i be me again- when they’re always going to be me again…if they can beat the insecurity and concern their feeling burdened by /with.. and we all know how that happens and can happen- maturity or words— all it ever was and naturally and logically-all it will ever be.
I take it that you are referring to the experience of schizophrenia or psychosis itself.
Yes, you can eventually come through it all, and you will not be the person you were before the experience. It can be a terrible period of suffering, doubt and fear, but in the end it does resolve into a new kind of awareness and a sense of possibility. I say this as someone who has endured the most terrible kind of experience that can be imagined (short of actually being physically tortured myself, except by God) and I do not take it lightly at all.
I hope that your own journey is at a point where it is calm, peaceful and satisfying. If it isn’t yet, then I hope that it will be soon. As Eleanor Longden said (to paraphrase): “Sometimes, you know, it snows as late as May, but the summer always comes eventually.”
yes pretty much Eric- any mind trouble is mind trouble- people can call it what they like- its all the same to me- troubled thinking is what i call anything that troubles a mind- logically- i don’t believe in any other labels- or i don’t believe their right- i do know its all just bad thinking– in my thinking/feeling anyway- :-)– trouble– causes trouble- so always a reason and an answer- trouble and insecurity go hand in hand-troubles trouble unless you see it as something other than what it is- and call it something- other than what it is- simply- and drug it- then its drugged and alienated or alienating- troubled thinking- even worse- not for everyone apparently- but for people who are badly effected by drugs – it is more than it’s not– and which is more than likely why they knock on doors in the first place- their suffering from the effects of street drugs-immaturity- and their over thinking and now drugged brains- psychosis is just a word they use- – only one word to describe a brain state- theirs two of them apparently- one who isn’t effected by street drugs- and one who is- one with life effects- one with drug effects- slightly different- but the latter isn’t anything other than altered by drugs- in the most- and they’re all getting drugged unethically- and in the most, debilitated and made more despaired- worried- troubled- from it/by it— im a carer parent- watching the ongoing abuse— abuse anyone can get over- but “ongoing” is way too much for anyone- how can anyone get over ongoing. not possible- not until its over can anyone heal or recover- not when their reports is that that’s what its doing to them- their report- their truth- is them.. their reality- their eyes, their feelings, their body, their mind.
I agree so much with what you say…the worry, concern and fear experienced by highly emotional and sensitive people which leads them to believe they cannot be safe in the world seems key to the difficulty of climbing back out of an extreme state.
All I can say is: Trust God, and let yourself go through it. You will come out on the other side eventually, and even if you don’t, it is because that is the way that God wants you to serve Him. You can never know what purpose He is using you for. Just have faith. He will take care of you in the hereafter. I don’t say that in any glib way. I am one who has reason to know that He is there. Trust me.
yes they are who they are- the trouble is theirs thinking people and feeling people- and thinking people are treating feeling people- not saying we all don’t feel or and think- just some are better at one than the other– they often develop differently- they often come from families where feelings are more developed as a way of seeing- understanding- coping-than in families where thinking is more of a way of seeing or viewing the world- a bit like academics and labourers- very different thinking and feeling people- different friends- different type of communication-different people- alien somewhat to each other- laborers hang out with laborers- and academics hang out with academics- they should hang out and judge each other-only- because their alien to the other- other academics might believe academics- in an academic way- but a laborer just wants to tell them and their imaginations- to boot off- your an alien- something like that- but are forced to not only listen to academic spin- they have to take what the spin doctors telling them theyre going to do to them- as well as the jibber misery dressed up as science or academia awareness- or whatever they call their jibber- its like a war between academics – thinking people- and workers – tiolers- feeling people- academics with no feelings- trouble in their feelings or lack of- and the same for workers- laborers-more feeling oriented people in general- with trouble in their thinking- stanbard-one’s better at one than the other- more one way than the other- theyre handy to each other, but thats about it- they shouldnt be treating the other though- the same type of people should be treating the same type of people- cause ones an alien to the other- generally- i dont talk to academics or hang out with them- i find them boring- and wierd- not enough feelings talk to me- shallow to me- so imagine being judged and drugged by one of them. forcefully- how alien would that be to a feeler person–who doesn’t even like them to start with- who believes people who live in/by their thinking heads, are plastic people- but dont realise that when they knock on doors- they expect real feeling people- and just get aliens without any heart or any earth about them- thinkers- naturally thinking- its all about thinking- that they’re going to treat- because the government in every country on the planet lets them-to me this whole MH/psychiatry thing is just a war between thinker people- and feeler people- just the thinkers have got all the money and power. and that’s obviously why, too.. im with you Eric everything happens for a reason—the answers in the answer- or the investigation- to find it and the reason- 99/100– just we cant prove it with the current system, that doesn’t allow us to- or to be treated ethically.. cause theirs only one system — owned and operated by an academia – with power and dollars- looking after their drug dealing mates with power and dollars- who are paying governments dollars in drug money taxes- so the rich and priveledged- academics thinkers- are getting richer- basically.
Thank you very much for an excellent article. This is the kind of argumentation we need in our cause for change: throwing their own arguments at them!
Thank you. I’m doing my best. We don’t have the sheer mass of paid professional writers and trained “experts” on our side, which is what gives them such an advantage even though it’s obvious that they’re wrong. They control the airwaves and the propaganda and the advertising through simple economic power. We do have to fight, even if we are a David against a Goliath. In the end we will win. It’s only a question of how long it will take. Mr. Whitaker’s success in bringing this webzine together, and the newly emerging conferences and consensus among formerly “radical” thinkers is a very good sign. Let’s hope for the best.
Great post, and much to the point. I’ve seen many articles, on less serious subjects, pertaining to psychiatry that go the same way, cherry picking data for the benefit of supporting a theory. E. Fuller Torrey is certainly not the only shrink to ignore his own evidence, but here he is caught red handed. Torrey and Yolken are caught in the same game that many other researchers are engaged in, bias and denial. When theory and the facts are at odds, must we show researchers their mistakes. Yes, surely, so that soon or later, given time, fact and theory might mess. As is, and due to this approach to the matter, history is not something we learn from, but rather something we repeat. We don’t have to do that though, not when we can turn another page.
I can only hope that your vision comes true. We are the ones who have to fight for it; I hope we can all stand together and do that. Best.
Thank you so much for this article.
It reminds me so much of how Robert Whitaker writes -clearly presenting the arguments of the opposition, and then logically and fairly addressing each point. I wish Torrey would respond to your piece even if he does it on his own site. (I do not expect that that will actually happen but one can hope!)
I am so glad you are back writing for MIA.
Thank you so much! It’s always nice when people actually remember you and what you wrote. And I would LOVE IT if Torrey responded. He won’t, of course — he’s much too highly placed to ever respond to us mere victims of what he’s propounding — but if he did then I would absolutely love to cross swords with him. He would go down in seconds, you can be sure.
As far as being fair and like Mr. Whitaker himself, I can only say this: that we who are not on the side of big corporations, making money from them for being paid shills, we who are standing for the truth know that our only reward is in being honest, and if that means that we represent the arguments of our opponents in order to show how wrong they are, that is what we have to do. It is an obligation of conscience, and you really can’t fake it. If you believe in the truth — the real truth, which will help everyone when it is recognized as the truth of our situation so that we can effectively deal with it — well, that’s what you have to do. And thank you so much for recognizing that! It is a great compliment to be compared favorably with Mr. Whitaker, who is my own hero and teacher in so many ways.
You had several previously written blogs that no longer appear under the list of MIA writers (now only two of your blogs appear there). Do you know what happened to those blogs and how we can access them?
I was very, very psychotic a couple years ago (I won’t pretend otherwise: it was that period that you need to go through before you re-integrate, if you’re a schizophrenic) and I took down those blogs myself in a pique of psychotic rage. I won’t try to explain what I was going through at the time. If you would like a copy of any of that material, I would be happy to supply it. There was one about hearing music as a voicehearer, one about beginning to hear voices again, one about time spent as a prisoner in a mental hospital, and one about what it is like to become awakened, both politically and socially, against the practice of psychiatry. My email is [email protected], and if you would like to write to me and tell me which articles you’re interested in, I can send them to you.
You could ask the MIA editors to re-post all those past blogs that were removed. Those writings were very important and educational and should be a part of this website.
After your inquiry yesterday, I did ask Mr. Whitaker to put one of them back up. He immediately CCed his associate to have it put back up. However, I hesitate to burden Mr. Whitaker or his staff on the basis of my own requests, which might seem needless. If you find the material valuable and would like to ask him to put them back up yourself, please do so. I have no problem with the material being available again. In fact, I would like it if it was. But I wouldn’t want to ask him to put himself or his staff out just to satisfy my own vain, personal desires, especially after I made such an ass of myself when I was psychotic a couple years ago.
I plan on emailing you Eric. Right now, I’m feeling lonely in that I’m one of the few religious with an antipsychiatry viewpoint. Most churches I go to it’s either:
A. You hear voices, have delusions, or get depressed because you’re an unusually rotten sinner. Repent and it will get better. Meanwhile allow us to vilify you and treat you with contempt and scorn.
B. You hear voices, have delusions, or get depressed because you’re biologically inferior to the rest of us. This also makes you dangerous and unpredictable. Take your drugs all the time, obey your psychiatric overlords, be good slaves and we will allow you to attend church on the fringes. Just stay away from the nursery please! While you do penance for your inferior DNA and brain pathology allow us to vilify you and treat you with contempt and scorn.
Notice how humane B is? They want to help you take your meds. Love that church! *Eye roll.*
Ironically, even militantly creationist churches buy into social Darwinism and biodeterminism. If you point this out they gape at you mindlessly–probably because they never heard either term. A lot of religious propsychiatry friends of mine can barely make it through a Christian romance novel or cookbook. Even the two year Bible challenge stresses them out horribly.
You’re describing something that all of us who are willing to be right out there about what we have experienced have to go through. Even I, a noted author on the subject of voicehearing and schizophrenia, have to go through this. Fortunately, I decided a few years ago to simply stand right up and say fuck you and just be who I am, and it hasn’t really hurt me a whole lot in society. Yet, I have been taken to psych hospitals and confined, and when I was there it didn’t really help me to say fuck you and fight back, saying that I am who I am.
It doesn’t help me now that I say fuck you and fight back against the local community mental health center.
But you know what? In the end, all we can live with is ourselves. Yes, it makes life harder to fight back the way that we do. And yet that is what God demands of us. I’m not trying to be delusional here. It’s simply that what God demands of us — that we truly obey our own consciences — is what we do. We have to do it, whether we like it or not. It’s just how it is, even if it hurts us most of the time.
I’m sorry that the churches don’t understand, but they aren’t the spiritually informed that people like you and me are. They see Jesus up on the wall, on his cross, but they don’t see that Jesus is sitting in the aisle next to them, suffering on a cross that is called society. You have to forgive them. That doesn’t mean you have to hang out with them. Just forgive them, and then go do your own thing. A real saint isn’t worried about what people in a church say anyway. A real saint is doing whatever God tells them to do, and you’re probably out there in the world, working for people. Like in a soup kitchen. A soup kitchen is worth 10,000 times what a church service is worth, believe me. And in a soup kitchen, you will be appreciated. Not judged for what you are, but appreciated for who you are and how hard you are willing to work and what you are willing to give. That’s how it really works. I’m sorry that your churches are full of people who don’t understand that. But you know what? The people who created the churches were creating a space for the weak and the lost and the confused to gather together in safety. The real warriors are the ones who create the churches to protect the weak and the unimaginative. Don’t be one of the weak ones. Be one of the ones who creates something new. You can do it. I believe in you.
Too much consumerism and commercialism in churches. That’s part of the problem.
At the church I now attend, I tell them I get disability for fibromyalgia. Most of my problems are the physical kind you get with FM or similar diseases. People don’t treat me like Norman Bates or Hannibal the Cannibal that way.
I absolutely agree, the psychiatric industry’s desire to profiteer off of denying and covering up trauma does seem to be what gets one labeled as “schizophrenic.” Especially when it comes to covering up child abuse, given that today, “the prevalence of childhood trauma exposure within borderline personality disorder patients has been evidenced to be as high as 92% (Yen et al., 2002). Within individuals diagnosed with psychotic or affective disorders, it reaches 82% (Larsson et al., 2012).
This means that the majority of those labeled as “schizophrenic,” or labeled with any of the “psychotic” disorders, are actually child abuse victims.
As to the etiology of “schizophrenia,” I’m quite certain it is primarily iatrogenic, as opposed to “genetic.” Because today’s “schizophrenia” treatment, the neuroleptic/antipsychotic drugs, can create symptoms which mirror the negative symptoms of “schizophrenia,” but this is actually caused by neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome. And the antipsychotics can also make a person psychotic, one of the positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via neuroleptic induced anticholinergic toxidrome.
In other words, the “schizophrenia” treatment can, in fact, create both the negative and positive symptoms of “schizophrenia.” But the psychiatrists claim they don’t know this and these known neuroleptic induced illnesses are not included in their DSM.
An ethical pastor confessed to me that there is a “dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.” This “dirty little secret” is that long ago the psychological and psychiatric leaders made a faustian deal with the mainstream medical doctors and the religions (who own the hospitals). In exchange for being given undue credibility, the psychologists and psychiatrists agreed to cover up all the “zipper troubles” (including rape of children) of the religious leaders and their wealthy donors. And the psychiatrists and psychologists also agreed to cover up the easily recognized iatrogenesis of the mainstream medical community.
And the medical evidence is now in showing that covering up child abuse, by turning child abuse victims into the “mentally ill’ with the psychiatric drugs, is the number one actual function of today’s psychiatric industry.
Your comments are very interesting. To someone outside our movement, they might seem paranoid. Yet to someone who knows about the high incidence of childhood sexual abuse among those who later hear voices, or how common abuse is with “borderlines”, what you have to say makes very good sense. It’s interesting that a doctor actually told you what you say — that doctors would cover up the sexual abuses of the establishment in return for having their own harmful acts ignored. This is not even remotely as crazy as some people might think. These kinds of unspoken — or even spoken — backroom deals used to be very, very common, and in some circles (I’m thinking of governmental power interests here) they probably still are. Thanks for your post.
Whether it is the genetic origin the Nazi’s assumed or the chemical imbalance theory (too much dopamine), the fact is the schizofrenics these days are threated with poison that blocks dopamine from working properly (dopamine production gets destroyed in the brain) resulting in what they call parkinsonism, the decease of Parkinson cause by the treatement with antipsychotics.
The origin of hallucinations might be a mystery, the way to treat this disease is with poison, like the gas chambers but now with low dose medicine that can be made a high dose treatement in any mental hospital on this globe. For prove of antipsychotics being poison see here https://echa.europa.eu/substance-information/-/substanceinfo/100.000.142 (haloperidol)
Where you call it an invisible holocaust, i call it an silent shoa.
I think this is a really interesting article. I’d like to see some other studies comparing different cultures incidences of psychotic diagnosis and see them related to their histories.
Eric tied the high level in post war Germany to war trauma. I’d like to know if other countries that have suffered recent wars have high levels of psychotic diagnosis.
If anyone knows of such studies please let me know.
I would also be interested to learn this information. Best, Eric
Thank you Eric . You are a first class writer and analyst . The comments are also enlightening , special thanks to bthate.
The funding behind eugenics has only grown (since World War 2 ,hidden under the word genetic ) , as well as the amount of funds available to the true believer billionaire class plutonomy . Stealth strategy , outright lies , double speak , life friendly catchphrases for programs of sinister design , the ever workable strategy of hyper funding to pass off selected pseudo science as science , ignoring everything else while making a fervent effort to reach the holy grail of maintaining and growing power and wealth and control of the population and the planet , throughout a massive genocidal culling process all done with the various mainstream industries, the billionaire class owns . These cartels include “medicine”” health care” “drugs” ,” food” , “agriculture” , “energy”, “news” “media” “electronics” , chemicals and biological agents and yes “psychiatry” ,governments ,and more. They feel people can be controlled by chemicals and biological agents . They believe politics and social programs are not needed . Yes an Invisible Holocaust , a Silent Shoa bigger and more encompassing than most all people would even want to think about even as it is really happening . Rockefellers and Carnegies and their fellow travellers were never on trial in Nuremberg. They never stopped planning and organizing crimes against humanity . And it will take the best efforts of humanity working together if it is even possible to stop them . A must read book by a leading analyst of the New World Order . YES A MUST READ cannot miss book.
Seeds of Destruction (The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation) by F. William Engdahl
Thank you very much. Most people don’t realize how very tuned in most psychotics actually are, and it seems that you’re one of us. I welcome your contribution.
This is a compelling topic and an outstanding analysis. Thank you.
The first observation that seems truly astonishing is that E.Fuller Torrey and Robert H Yolken appear to have revealed perhaps the most damning of the endless psychiatry inhumanities and cruelties inflicted as perversions of “medical practice”?
This is the concept that the very origin of the gas chambers, crematoria and the initiation of the holocaust lies in the response by psychiatrists to Hitler’s request for their “expert opinion”.
My second observation is that the conceptualised origins of EVIL may apply as equally to past and current psychiatry as they do to those Nazis who faced trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg court.
Captain Gustav M. Gilbert, U.S. Army Psychologist at the Nuremberg War Trials (1945 – 1949) wrote: –
“I was searching for the nature of evil and now I think I have come close to defining it.
A lack of empathy – its the one characteristic that connects all of the defendants.
A genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow men.
Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy”.
I have perceived a palpable absence of empathy amongst those whom I observed in the alleged medical speciality of main stream psychiatry.
This was in stark contrast to my experience of working in and alongside other medical specialties and their multi-disciplinary teams.
Here empathy (and compassion) were so often their raison d’être.
Many of us who write here about their own, or their loved ones having lives terminated or destroyed by the inhumanity of psychiatry, by its coercion, deprivation of liberty and forced “treatments” will have searched in vain for “carers” who displayed empathy.
It is largely absent in my experience.
Indeed, we often felt that amidst the arrogance, bullying, lies, coercion and forced drugging, there actually appeared to be a perverse professional pride and pleasure in their absence of empathy, and in their ability to devastate lives without remorse.
This is how I came to perceive drug-dependent, empathy absent psychiatry as another AXIS of EVIL.
By Captain Gilbert’s analysis, the “medicine” that we and our lost souls experienced and endured is truly evil.
Evil, brilliantly and ruthlessly marketed as “medicine”.
TRM 123. Retired Consultant Physician.
Thank you, sir. Your comments are appreciated. I am a great reader of the literature of the Shoa, and I appreciate all observations on it.
I think that if a psychiatrist has a conscience and finally comes to terms with the harm they have caused they will quite likely have a psychotic break and possibly become suicidal. This might explain why suicide is so common among these professionals. Dr. Torrey is in no danger, though, rest assured. No torment from his conscience.
Beautifully and powerfully put.
If anyone has had the patience to read this far, I would like to suggest that you watch the Rachel Maddow show from just last night, which was brought to my attention by my own long-suffering mother after she read this article. This specific show segment deals with eugenics (the genetics-based hypothesis of human superiority/inferiority):
Thanks Eric and to your mother. The concept of other has been so problematic in our human history. I always wonder what the story is on the Neanderthals. They intermarried, 3% of our genes come from them but how did they disappear?
Lepers in the Bible, the mark of Cain- such a long, long history.
The concept of “” the wandering Jew”
It boggles the mind. In our present history, even Winston Churchill had his leanings and ideas. The funny thing is- those who mightly support fear of the other usually have stuff hiding in their own closet.
And btw- never feel ashamed or try not to feel negative about any of your writing where you were in process of any different state of mind. Sometimes writing is the only helpful thing. But I understand. Thanks again for this.
Still have to finish the article, but Florida lawyer and pro bono advocate of the rights of the psychiatrized, Wayne Ramsay, has compiled a series of essays that make a useful online book providing an excellent introduction to the critique of psychiatry: primarily an anthology of quotes with bibliography sprinkled with cogent insights of his own, often from a legal perspective.
He makes several interesting remarks about Torrey in the essay ‘Why Psychiatry is Evil’:
“It is impossible for me to believe someone who so eloquently and convincingly debunked the concept of mental illness, including schizophrenia, as Dr. Torrey did in ‘The Death of Psychiatry,’ could be sincere now when he promotes these very ideas. In 1990 at the Thomas S. Szasz Tribute Dinner in New York City in a face-to-face conversation with Dr. Szasz, author of ‘The Myth of Mental Illness,’ I asked Dr. Szasz, ‘Whatever happened to Fuller Torrey?!’ Dr. Szasz answered with a single word, ‘Funding’, and suggested I ask another psychiatrist who was with us that night, Dr. Ron Leifer, who gave me the same answer. Dr. Szasz wrote an article about Dr. Torrey’s turnabout titled ‘Psychiatric Fraud and Force: A Critique of E. Fuller Torrey’ in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (Vol. 44, No. 4, Fall 2004, p. 416).”
Ah. Dr. Torrey=Dr. Faust. His Mephistopheles must have been a Big Pharma CEO.
Love people; use money. Folks like Torrey get it reversed.
So it seems. I’m no saint but I can’t imagine how someone does that and lives the rest of their life.