On Cognitive Liberty: A Principle to Rally Behind

Bonnie Burstow, PhD
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Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind. (Milton, Comus)

Everyone has the right to freedom to hold opinions without interference.” (United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.” (Bertrand Russell)

Whether we are members of the antipsychiatry movement, the mad movement, the critical psychiatry movement, or the neurodiversity movement, despite very real differences between us, we are united by a common cause—to wit, reining in the psy disciplines, for the most part, in particular psychiatry. Various concepts assist us in this vital endeavour. Examples of concepts that have been and are likely to continue to be indispensable in this regard are: validity, construct validity, basic human rights, dignity, and free and informed consent. A concept that falls squarely under the larger umbrella of human rights that I am suggesting that we would do well to draw on more is cognitive liberty. It is this concept that I am exploring in this article.

Traces of the principle now called cognitive liberty can be found in legal literature dating back as far as Roman times. An early formulation is evident in the maxim of Roman law “cogitationis poenam nemo patitur” (which means ‘no one can be punished for his thought alone’—for a good discussion of the history of the concept, see “Cognitive Liberty or the International Human Right to Freedom of Thought”). This principle in various forms has continued to be drawn on throughout the ages, with freedom of thought becoming a hallmark of the Enlightenment.

Underlying the general principle is a belief that on a profound existential level, the self-direction coming from our mind, our awareness, our consciousness is precisely what makes us human. Correspondingly, whether it arises from a dictatorial regime intent on punishing people for thoughts considered treasonous or it originates with a so-called “helping professional” out to alter our consciousness purportedly for our own good, interference with our right to our own awareness constitutes nothing less than a violation of our humanity.

Albeit intimately related to this age-old discourse on liberty and on the freedom of the mind, the term “cognitive liberty” itself is comparatively new. It got introduced and became popular recently with the spread of neuroscience and neurotechnology. Coined by neuroethicist Dr. Wrye Sententia and legal theorist and lawyer Richard Glen Boire, the term’s development and meteoric rise in popularity can be traced to the enormous threat that people see as posed by this new technology—the threat to the very integrity of the mind.

Like freedom of thought formulations before it, cognitive liberty refers to liberty in the area of mind or consciousness. At the same time, it reaches somewhat beyond earlier formulations. More particularly, the concept of cognitive liberty is predicated on the idea that there are three basic cognitive rights that we all have simply by virtue of being part of the human community, to wit:

1) People have the right to think both what they think and how they think. That is, people have a fundamental right to cognitive self-determination.

2) People have a right for their thoughts to be private.

3) People have the right to alter their own consciousness (for a video that highlights these three dimensions, see The Audiopedia’s “What is Cognitive Liberty?”)

It is this concept thusly articulated that I am looking for our community to upfront more. Why?

Quite simply because linking our respective movements to this concept brings with it a number of distinct advantages. On one level, it is valuable—one might even say necessary—precisely because it goes to the core of what we are as human beings. Correspondingly, it unmasks psychiatry for the profound human rights violator that it is. More fundamentally still, it reveals such transgression as the essence of what psychiatry is actually all about.

On a related level, it is valuable because it links us to a long-standing tradition and widely accepted legal and philosophic value—the value of liberty, with particular emphasis on the freedom of the mind—as found in Roman law; as articulated, for example, by John Stuart Mills in his seminal treatise On Liberty. As such, it could be of significant help in bringing the general public on side. Given the enormous prejudices against people seen as mad, the public often balks when it comes to the rights of psychiatrized people—the right, for example, to refuse treatment. More securely anchoring these rights to broader human rights with a long-standing history arguably could go a long way to navigating around this prejudice. To be clear, of course, we have already linked it in other ways to broader human rights and indeed have been doing so for centuries, and we need to continue doing so. Moreover, we have been making noteworthy strides with initiatives like the CRPD as currently formulated (see “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” on the United Nations website). Linking it additionally and explicitly to this right, nonetheless, has the added advantage that comes from this being a right that the public is currently highly concerned about.

The concept is valuable, additionally, because of how enormously broad and far-reaching it is. It of course rules out all compulsory psychiatric treatment aimed at changing people’s thoughts or “correcting their minds”—and this is critical. It rules out hassling people in any way for taking the recreational drugs that they choose to take, including those that the law currently criminalizes. However, it also rules out surveillance—and as we know, psychiatry is an extensive and all-encompassing system of surveillance. Additionally, if such a principle were accepted, it could allow us to significantly curb the pressure that is routinely brought to bear on people “technically free” to make their own decisions. How so? Because all such pressure is transparently incompatible with cognitive self-determination.

To give you a quick taste of what a principle like this could hypothetically be used to protect people from:

If cognitive liberty were truly enshrined as an inviolable human right:

  • Would anyone be able to be drugged or electroshocked against their will? No.
  • Would it be acceptable to try to alter someone’s brain by subjecting them to electrical stimulation under the pretext that they are children who do not know what is best for them and that this would improve their thought processes? Or indeed, under any other pretext? Not for a second!
  • Could people be locked up for what they think or seem to be thinking? No.
  • Could concepts like “grandiose thinking” and “paranoid thoughts” be used to typify people and/or to fashion approaches to them? No.
  • Would any current psychiatric diagnoses be acceptable? Nary a one of them.
  • Could extensive notes be taken on people, despite their wish for privacy? No way! (In other words, gone would be all that spying on survivors and the compilation of case records that can be trotted out and used against them in an instant.)
  • Could anyone be thrown in jail or in a psychiatric institution or have “treatment” forced upon them for using recreational drugs like heroin? No.
  • Could threats—covert or otherwise—or dismal predictions of what will happen to people if they do not agree to what is being recommended to them be used to pressure said people to agree to mind-altering treatments? Of course not!

In a nutshell, psychiatry as we know it today quite simply could not exist.

Nor is this the totality of the benefits that could be gleaned by rallying behind this concept. By way of example, it could also be of use to us in fostering alliances between the antipsychiatry movement, the critical psychiatry movement, the mad movement, and the neurodiversity movement—for it provides us with a basis through which we can act together. If we were considering joining in a collective action, for instance, despite very real theoretic and practical differences, one way we might go about deciding whether or not to take the leap is by asking ourselves questions like: Is the action consistent with a commitment to cognitive liberty? And does it aim in the direction of maximizing cognitive liberty?

Now, to be clear, I am in no way suggesting that we should always and only be uniting across differences. As an antipsychiatry theorist and activist, for example, I place enormous importance on the claim that there is no biological basis whatsoever to any of the so-called “psychiatric disorders,” also on maintaining an uncompromising abolitionist stance. Correspondingly, I often wrestle and will continue to wrestle with theorists and activists whose positions are of a reformist nature. Nonetheless, I also want to be able to unite with them. And I see the principle of cognitive liberty facilitating this.

By the same token, the principle could unite people with different beliefs within the same sub-movement. To see how this could work, let us consider for a moment the neurodiversity movement:

On one level, drawing on the principle of cognitive liberty, people in the neurodiversity movement who believe that there is a genetic basis to “autism” could use the concept of cognitive liberty as a way to ally with antipsychiatry activists who might question this causal attribution, and vice versa. However, what is every bit as fundamental, it could also be used to bridge differences that are totally within the neurodiversity movement itself. What is significant in this regard is that not everyone in the neurodiversity movement believes that autism is caused by inherent neurological differences.

Take the cutting-edge neurodiversity theorist Nick Walker, for example; correspondingly, witness this interchange between Nick and me (from The Revolt Against Psychiatry):

NW: It is clear from neuroscience 101 that all of our thoughts manifest as neural pathways. If you are thinking differently…

BB: In the very process of doing this, you are altering your neurology?

NW: Exactly. It is not possible to think outside the norm without building neural pathways in your brain… And every mad brain is a neurodivergent brain, which is different from someone’s whose thoughts stay within cultural norms.

Here is a leading neurodiversity theorist who indeed very much believes that there are differences between the brains of neurodivergent people and those of neurotypical folk but who absolutely does not believe that anyone is caused to be “neurodivergent” by these differences, but instead believes the reverse—to wit, that the neurology of “neurodivergent” people’s brains differs from the brains of the “neurotypicals” for the simple reason that they think “mad thoughts.” Uniting behind the concept of cognitive liberty allows people in this movement to bridge this divide.

As you can see by now, there are manifold advantages that can be gained through leveraging the concept of cognitive liberty. Of course, it goes without saying that there will be opposition to its use from a number of quarters and that these would have to be addressed. To provide a brief list of myths and facts that may be of help to people who take it upon themselves to lobby for the acceptance of this principle:

Myth: People’s thinking may sometimes need to be controlled, for their thoughts can be dangerous.
Fact: While thinking may well be dangerous, indeed, downright subversive, part of being a human being is precisely accepting such danger. It is one thing to put a stop to dangerous acts; it is quite another to interfere with people’s thoughts.

Myth: People will have greater cognitive liberty if we first correct the distortions in their thinking.
Fact: Besides the fact that the very framing of people’s thoughts as distortions is inherently problematic, people do not end up with more liberty from the removal of liberty. They invariably end up with less. Herein lies one of great lies and one of the profound tragedies of psychiatry.

Myth: Some ways of thinking are simply superior to others.
Fact: Even were this true, it does not justify intrusion. Moreover, it is not true. In the long run, we benefit from a broad range of ways of processing—reason, emotion, intuition, imaginative leaps, and no, there is no proof whatsoever that one way is demonstrably better than the rest.

Myth: Predicating anything on freedom of thought is a non-starter, for it assumes free will and people do not have free will. There are causal explanations behind every thought that we think.
Fact: There are clearly impulses and instincts that exert influences on our thinking as well as on our acts. However, that is different than saying that there is no free will. While people in the neurosciences commonly deny free will, none of their arguments show the absence of free will. Rather what they reveal instead is a tendency to gross reductionism on the part of the people who advance such arguments. It is high time that we stop reducing and we started taking in people in all their fullness.

Now obviously, it would be a real asset in any attempt to gain acceptance for the principle of cognitive diversity if any of the major theorists in any of the movements named in this article had already taken up the concept. Have any actually done so? Indeed yes. Nick Walker from the neurodiversity movement solidly embraces the concept. And well over a year ago Nick and I, at the instigation of Emily Cutler, and indeed with input from Emily, did a podcast precisely on using the concept of cognitive liberty. Correspondingly, in my upcoming book Nick explicitly names it as a concept that the various movements might unite around.

In other words, not only is the time right for this concept, and not only has substantial historical, philosophical, and other groundwork been laid, but practical steps have already been taken. As I see it, the task confronting us now is to tease out in more intricate detail its precise relevance to the “mental health area” and to begin building a broad-based acceptance for it—among survivors, among theorists, among activists, among legislators, within the public at large.

In ending, let me pose a few questions to the reader: Do you believe in the inviolable right of individuals to think what they think? To think how they think? Is cognitive self-determination important to you? Do you view the privacy of thought as sacrosanct? Is cognitive liberty a term, a principle, a bottom-line that you can imagine yourself rallying around?

If your answer to these questions is yes, my invitation is: Do consider joining Nick, Emily, and others in the attempt to build a broad-based acceptance for the principle. While for sure this principle is not everything, if our theorists, our activists, and our lobbyists truly get behind it, it just might be able to do the heavy lifting that a number of us are sensing that it can do.

76 COMMENTS

  1. I am fortunate; as a reasonably intelligent late diagnosis autistic man, I was (and have been) spared a great deal of the “interventions” the caustically informed neuro-typical psych brigade now near the fore of society’s cultural evolution that could have been impinged upon me. If I had been subject to psychiatric medical regimens, either chemically with drugs, or physically with measures such as ECT (a common practice on youngsters with autism in the UK), I might not have the wherewithal to write this today; I’d have a much different series of outcomes at hand.

    Cognitive liberty, the notion that a being is first and foremost allowed to be a different thinker, would necessitate a different course of action – what would the world for autistic and other neuro-diverse youngsters be if psychiatry wasn’t touting a “calming the brain” solution such as ECT, and instead, we collectively worked, as human kin, to calming the exceptionally caustic environment we live in, and the myriad poisonousl inflows our industrially mechanized life, school, work and commute, and food production systems put upon our endocrine systems?

    A different world. One more conducive to actual health, both mental and physical, rather than a barbaric attempt to use electricity to overwhelm and exasperate a naturally sensitive way of being. A world where those who could tolerate these sickening environs weren’t positioned as successful, merely for being able to tolerate their untimely demises a few more decades than the “challenged”.

    Indeed, life here is a challenge. A position of cognitive liberty as integral to our cultural understandings of what it means to be human would begin to address some of the challenges that we put, or allow to be put, on our beings as a whole.

    A different kind of profitability.

    Indeed…

    • I just realized what it is about using the term “neurodiverse” that’s bugged me. It seems to imply that there is some monolithic mass of people with “normal” brains from whom the “neurodiverse,” well, DIVERGE. But isn’t the real truth that ALL of us are “neurodiverse,” and that it is the practice of expecting everyone to think and act the same that is causing the distress? Shouldn’t the concepts of allowing people to think and feel as they see fit apply to ALL of us, rather than just a category of people who are already judged to be “weird” by the judgmental “mainstream” of oppressive social institutions?

      I’m not saying this as a criticism, just asking what folks think about it?

      • Psychiatrists claim all who don’t agree with their DSM based opinions, particularly when those people haven’t studied or been educated about the DSM “bible,” to be “neurodiverse,” or “bipolar” or “schizophrenic” or whatever.

        And they claim people suffer from “anosognosia,” because our “mental health” workers don’t confess, or properly educate others about the fact they worship from the DSM “bible.”

        Psychiatrists believe all who don’t worship from the DSM “bible” are insane. But psychiatry is a primarily child abuse covering up religion, by design.

        https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-child-does-not-have-bipolar-disorder/201402/dsm-5-and-child-neglect-and-abuse-1

        Psychiatry and psychology were adopted by the mainstream paternalistic religions, to cover up their child abuse crimes, apparently over a century ago.

        https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/23/18820633.php?fbclid=IwAR2-cgZPcEvbz7yFqMuUwneIuaqGleGiOzackY4N2sPeVXolwmEga5iKxdo

      • Neuro-babble is the term I use for the trendiness of neuro-speak in academia about practically everything these days, and I think the term ‘cognitive freedom’ actually grows out of this neuro-babble, that is to say, it has grown out of a deterministic biological reductivism manifested by mainstream psychiatry. Get rid of the bias, and you won’t have people complaining about bad brains so much anymore. Isn’t that the issue really? The claim that some people shouldn’t have a voice on account of the thoughts generated by their bad brains.

  2. “Do you believe in the inviolable right of individuals to think what they think?” Yes. “To think how they think?” Yes. “Is cognitive self-determination important to you?” Yes. “Do you view the privacy of thought as sacrosanct?” It appears big tech has already taken this right away, which I believe is a matter our governments should have prevented, not condoned. Although, psychiatry and psychology abuse their power, unnecessarily nose themselves into others’ business, and take away our right to privacy as well. “Is cognitive liberty a term, a principle, a bottom-line that you can imagine yourself rallying around?” Yes.

    I’m curious, Bonnie, since you’re an antipsychiatry scholar, I can’t find an answer to this question on the internet. When, and why, did forced psychiatric treatment become legal?

    I’m also wondering when it became legal for our “mental health” workers to steal other people’s children from them. (That didn’t happen to me, thankfully, however my psychologist’s medical records show evidence of her desire to steal my “4 yr girl” from me on my first or second appointment with her. My daughter was actually only 3 at the time, in other words that psychologist knew absolutely nothing about me or my family at the time.) Wanting to steal the child of a person, who you know nothing about, should get a person put in jail.

  3. Yes, of course people should be able to think what they think. But it is not just Psychiatry and the Bio-Medical Model which threaten this, it is also Psychotherapy with its Moral Improvement and FYOG model, and then the ~neurodiversity movement~ to, which threaten this. Though often not coercive in a strict sense, and when applied to adults, they still work to corner people into accepting a diminished social and civil standing, and often by promoting out and out lies.

    When one opens their thoughts to such people, it is more like a religious confession. I think it was Alfred Adler who first wrote about this. And these things exist because of the abject failure of Western religion. So the Original Sin doctrine is being propagated by all of these assaults on personhood.

    So even if you or I are not confessing to our therapist, other people are, and still more believe that psychotherapy is the proper response to the perception of injustice. It all comes down to pressing people to live without public honor. So I say that people should only discuss their affairs with comrades, with people who are fighting, rather than “healing” or “recoverying”.

    Once people learn to protect their privacy and not to ever disclose to these sorts, then they do have thought privacy and liberty. But this alone should not be the objective. We also need restoration of public honor, and this means penalties for perpetrators and reparations for survivors.

  4. Thanks, excellent blog Dr. Burstow! And thanks to Emily Cutler and Nick Walker for the initiation and input on the concept of “cognitive liberty”.

    What could possibly be more important than the integrity of one’s mind. I agree this human rights issue could be the basis to unite those who oppose psychiatry (whether to abolish or reform) to rally for a collective action. As you explained so well if people are given the right to have their own thoughts, and how they choose to think, psychiatry can no longer operate as it does. Count me in, I totally agree and support the concept that cognitive liberty should be a mandated human right. Also a good point that viewing the issues with psychiatry from this human rights angle can help bring the general public on board.

  5. Interesting article. Thank you.

    I agree that it is important to rally around common principles, and that the idea of “cognitive liberty” may hold some potential for that purpose. However, there is something even more fundamental than “cognitive liberty,” and that is liberty itself. Unfortunately, in the modern world there is rampant confusion regarding the principle of liberty, some of which confusion we owe to the likes of John Stuart Mill and other modern political philosophers, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx.

    Nevertheless, the concept that you describe as “cognitive liberty” may have more solid origins in the thought of American founders such as Thomas Jefferson: “…I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” The irony is that too many proponents of antipsychiatry, critical psychiatry, etc. also tend to side with the very originators of tyranny, cognitive and otherwise, in political matters. Nowhere is tyranny over the mind of man more prevalent than in the communist regimes who owe their practice to Marxist theory. The Orwellian thought control that was present in Soviet Gulags, for example, ought to inspire antipsychiatrists and any lover of liberty to resist the ideologies that gave rise to such tyranny.

    Although he was much too libertarian for my taste, Thomas Szasz labored incessantly to promote the twin principles of liberty and responsibility. Liberty and responsibility are two sides of the same coin, and Szasz correctly demonstrated that psychiatry is inherently antithetical to both liberty and responsibility. The term “cognitive liberty,” therefore, may unnecessarily obscure the true meaning of liberty in a way that is similar to the obfuscation of justice by other names such as “social justice.”

    To answer your questions:

    Do you believe in the inviolable right of individuals to think what they think? People are free to think and to choose as they will, but no one can control the consequences or the results of thoughts and choices.

    Is cognitive self-determination important to you? Liberty and responsibility are important. “Cognitive self-determination” sounds a bit too much like the psychiatric doublespeak that many of us are trying to resist.

    Do you view the privacy of thought as sacrosanct? People are free to choose what they think, and that freedom to choose is a sacred gift.

    Is cognitive liberty a term, a principle, a bottom-line that you can imagine yourself rallying around? As I hope to have made clear, liberty is something even more basic and fundamental than “cognitive liberty,” and since liberty itself is misunderstood, it is not likely that the principle of “cognitive liberty” will remedy the problems that are posed by psychiatry. Nevertheless, I rally behind the principle of liberty that I believe is being aimed at in this discussion of “cognitive liberty.”

    • Is cognitive liberty a term, a principle, a bottom-line that you can imagine yourself rallying around?

      Seems superfluous and overly academic to me. The abolition of psychiatry remains just fine as a principle of unity, and doesn’t need to be watered down as it addresses all the concerns mentioned. If people say they support “cognitive liberty” but don’t oppose psychiatry en toto their words ring hollow to me, and it means they have a ways to go before there’s any reason to unify. “Critical psychiatry” is still psychiatry. “Mad Pride” for many abolitionists is a ludicrous concept, and “neurodiversity” is another thing entirely. So let’s not look for “unity” where there is none, for “unity’s” sake. Again, anti-psychiatry works just fine as something to work towards, if people are looking for a “cause.”

  6. Yes. USA it’s fine to say what we want.

    China and Russia it’s different. Can’t make the change they want happen. Entire lives and wealth accrued gone.

    USA I know I try to speak up gently although I do it everyday. Everyday and I keep eyes out as to kernels of excitement or big opportunities to combat society.

  7. Thank you for all of your community service in challenging psychiatry.

    However, I am concerned that your posted advocacy of “cognitive liberty” discounts the context of psychiatry functioning as a medical science. The community supports human rights violations (and violations of “cognitive liberty”) as unfortunate parts of “medical treatment” for those with “cognitive impairments” that interfere with “sound” judgment. The community generally considers psychiatry to be an altruistic enterprise (albeit with problems).

    In contrast, I consider psychiatry to be an illegitimate medical science advocating that natural emotional suffering and other natural problems in living are instead unnatural- medical problems. Psychiatry denies our humanity by advocating the myth of “mental illness”- that emotional suffering is unnatural regardless of cruel and unjust life circumstances. I consider the foundation of all of psychiatry’s harm to be the Myth advocating Pollyanna and a fairy tale world of goodness and fairness (in support of existing social structures). Doesn’t a reformist perspective of psychiatry imply that it has a legitimate goal that deserves reforming rather than being an illegitimate medical science pathologizing social welfare problems?

  8. Oh my goodness, You just posted this, and i just got to reviewing it, and 26 comments etc already? LOL already feeling like at the tail end. Very much intune with you Bonnie. I left you a message about the antipsychiatry curriculum, when you get time, thanks. <3

  9. I mean I definitely had I’d say a year of angry meditation about advocacy issues. These days the advocacy is ongoing and I get going when big issues happen.

    I am selective with my battles and I use the droids of perseverance and persistence.

  10. As an autistic man, I find my disclosure is oft encountered with, “Aren’t we all just a little autistic?” or “Why are you separating yourself with a label?” or “Stop labelling others as ‘normal’.”

    It’s offensive. We aren’t all “just a little bit deaf”, we aren’t all “just a little bit blind” – there is a majority (neuro-typical) and those who are not part of the majority.

    I am autitistic. I am a neuro-diverse being. I am.

    • There is plenty of debate within the autism community about the ‘neurodiverse’ label. I think the request to stop labeling others as ‘normal’ is actually quite reasonable. The majority of us are suffering to lesser or greater degree, but a great many have been successfully socialized to believe they are alone in their suffering or have learned methods to cover up the fact that they’re suffering or have received intensive therapies they found harmful in order to make them seem more outwardly normal while still suffering inwardly. The idea that there are neurotypical people whose brains work normally and neurodiverse people whose brains work differently actually hurts all of us by setting up opposing categories that are to me entirely arbitrary.

  11. An immediate problem.

    People who are pro-psychiatry also have cognitive liberty. Same as those who are anti-psychiatry.

    Each group has cognitive liberty and thus will be endlessly locked in a tussle about who has the greater ethical right to claim their thinking as superior. At least in a legal sense.

    Next problem.

    The mind does not have a firewall and is hackable, from a distance, using various forms of consciousness-altering technology. There are no known defences against these technologies nor much awareness of their capabilities. So in the not-so-distant future, someone’s cognitive liberty could come under attack, invisibly, undetectably, and then this compromised cognition would be regarded as a protected right.

    Then the problem of thought and thinking as a purely private process. And it is, and it isn’t. Thoughts are private until an attempt is made to express them. And then those expressions are interpreted by others, who will have thoughts of their own. But the expression of thoughts and thinking aren’t protected. And in many cases they shouldnt be.

    For instance, a paedophile may think all the lurid thoughts they like. A terrorist may think all the hateful thoughts they like. A misogynist, a rapist, a bully, a bigot… all are free to think their thoughts just as much as they like. It’s when they express them that the trouble starts.

    Then we move into the area of censorship, either by others, or self-censorship… and that’s another can of worms. But briefly, cognitive liberty modeled around whose values and whose language-choices and modes of expression and so on? Could this simply become another oppressive over-valuing for instance of academic discourse and language over and above other modes of discourse? Which aren’t strictly speaking thinking or cognition but styles of organising thinking and cognition which tend to be favoured over other styles, such as working class or minority ethnic and so on?

    For a long time people have been able to think what they like without interference from others. Those days are fading fast. Technology is increasingly able to penetrate the mind and extract and insert thoughts.

    Another problem.

    If someone believes that unknown actors using unknown technologies are inserting thoughts into their minds. we have long considered this a delusion, or a feature of psychosis. Many serial and spree killers have claimed this has happened to them.

    Should their experiences be considered sacrosanct and protected, especially now that the technology able to conduct such experiences is extant and active?

  12. I applaud your list Bonnie and if it can ever come to fruition I would love to see it done. I have a couple of more things to add though. The other problem is an economic one. So many homeless, drug addicts and those in prison are forced on medications. It becomes quite the problem since the side effects from the drugs will either prohibit them from making good decisions,render them unable to function or get out of their situation entirely, or could lead to violence. Especially the homeless, they are forced to seek mental health services as a prerequisite to getting help. I was often told this in the hospital. If you don’t adhere to the regiment of “prescribed” outpatient programmed care when you leave the hospital we will not be able to help you with housing etc. I fortunately did not need these services. We need to stop this and making mental health services required to seek social services. This is causing most of the problems of the homeless. We give them these toxins and after awhile they are unable to function or “help themselves” get out of their situation.

    When will this merry go round to stop. We are causing more need for “services” by allowing the “requirement’ of taking these toxins to get “economical help” which should be given without strings. That’s the only thing I ask be added to the list.

  13. We live in the monotheistic reality of one god and spiritualism, but psyche/soul is something which belongs to polytheistic reality. Psyche is a slave of monotheistic fundamentalists. Psyche has got no real image. So how can we have a voice? We don’t have a liberty, because we do not have a right to psychology beyond apollonian ego. Pathology, psychological pathology is an enemy of theological mind. Psyche is now a Satan. Psyche will be an antichrist. For psychiatry, the psyche is Satan. I know it is hard to believe, but even our science our philosophy, our psychology belongs to monotheistic god.

    James Hillman “Re -Visioning psychology”.

    We must be aware of the differences between theological and psychological mind. Spiritualism,materialism/brain is not a psychology.

    Psychology is not a science, it is a form of polytheistic awareness. And our thinking is monotheistic, governed by theology. Psychiatry is a monotheistic fundamentalism, for which, polytheistic psyche is the enemy. Psychiatry is a religious hatred with scientific pretensions. We must know about facts that are hidden.

  14. ^^^^ I do not go along with the neurodiversity movement, as it seems like pleading for approval from abusers.

    Should Jews have asked for acceptance of diversity as they were being loaded into ovens?

    I am opposed to the concept of neurodiverstiy. No one knows that any such neurological differences exist, and unlikely anyone ever will.

    It has to be penalties for perpetrators and reparations for survivors. Otherwise it is just appeasing violators. The objective can never be peace, there has to be continual activism and escalation until there can be justice.

    Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children
    https://www.amazon.com/Childism-Confronting-Prejudice-Against-Children/dp/0300192401

    Talks about a father making “reparations payments”, money for college, and grad school, and therapy ( I don’t go along with this last though ).

    To Live With Honor and To Die With Honor
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlWVV5imXSM

  15. If you go to a “diversity paradigm” in the face of bullying and persecution, then your “diversity paradigm” is just another name for the “pathology paradigm”

    Remember, in the US, the word “colored” was used as a euphemism for saying “negro”, or for saying something worse. And it was spoken in a hushed voice, as it was seen as very touchy subject.

    Things changed when people refused to go along with that, “colored”, and instead proclaimed that they are “BLACK”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrB4uQyU0DU

  16. Part One *****************

    Bonnie, A big reason that slavery ended in the United States was that free blacks were highly offended by Harriet Beecher Stowe and her protagonist. Within one year they were speaking before the Massachusetts State Legislature, demanding to be able to serve in the militia. And their justification was that they did not want to have to be like Beecher Stowe’s protagonist. Then when the legislature still denied them, they bought their own uniforms and formed their own militia. Eventually 180,000 black men would train with rifles and bayonets and would serve in federal uniform. When Frederick Douglas praised them, he contrasted them with Beecher Stowe’s protagonist. Without this service, they probably would have been returned to a state of slavery.

    Part Two *****************

    Beecher Stowe had not intended her protagonist to be offensive. She painted him as a paragon of Christian virtue, tortured to death, but still not betraying the escapees. But offensive he still was. She had wanted Whites to accept him as non-threatening, as already subjugated.

    Part Three *****************

    In Nazi Occupied France, resistance emerged, Catholics, Nationalists, and Marxists from the Spanish Civil War. They killed both Germans and French Collaborators. When they killed Germans, other Germans took those places. When they killed French, no other French took those places. It is only because of such resistance that France was purged of such collaborators and treated as one of the four allied powers of Europe.

    Part Four *****************

    And then in the Warsaw Ghetto, Jews saw that it was better to die with honor than without, and so they rose up in the face of near certain death. This act and others like it today give Jews something to remember and to look up to.

    Part Five *****************

    Bonnie, you do not seem to understand the nature of honor. If people let bullies pin a completely bogus label to their lapel, or let psychotherapists talk them out so that they can easily manipulate them, then they are surrendering their honor.

    Part Six *****************

    Usually the primary bullies are the parents, doctors, and school teachers. Other children are secondary.

    Part Seven *****************

    And though it is right that LQBTQ members condemn abuses, just calling for diversity is not the same as taking any and all steps necessary to secure social and civil standing, and honor. I know of LQBTQ members who have devoted themselves to protecting children from religions abuse, and from familial abuses. Calling for diversity is not at all the same as directly standing up for ones own personhood and that of comrades.

    Part Eight *****************

    Diversity is an idea like tolerance, that rather than enforcing absolute standards, that one should look the other way and understand that not everyone can measure up to those standards. So the standards still remain in place, its just that they are not always enforced. So no, I do not go along at all with what you are saying.

    Part Nine *****************

    The ~mental health~, ~recovery~, and ~neurodiversity~ movements exist to label and marginalize, because that exonerates any and all abusers, and it leaves us with a society where everyone is always worried about their own compliance with normative standards.

  17. “A good course on autism (or, for that matter, a good piece of writing on autism, or good education or journalism on autism in any medium) should not attempt to strike any sort of “balance” between the neurodiversity paradigm and the pathology paradigm. ”

    http://neurocosmopolitanism.com/

    The problem here is that the neurodiversity paradigm, even Walker’s version, is just another kind of pathology paradigm. And so this is why his approach must be rejected, along with the rest of the neurodiversity paradigm.

    He writes also:

    “While the term neurodiversity originally developed within the Autistic community, the neurodiversity paradigm is not about autism exclusively, but about the full spectrum of human neurocognitive variation. This particular essay, however, was addressed primarily to Autistic readers, and, in its discussion of the implications of shifting paradigms around neurodiversity, it is very much focused on autism, because that was the focus of the anthology for which it was originally written.”

    http://neurocosmopolitanism.com/throw-away-the-masters-tools-liberating-ourselves-from-the-pathology-paradigm/

    Well the neurodiversity paradigm, Walker’s version and earlier versions, are just wrong. They amount to capitulating to bullies and abusers, and in an area where there is zero scientific evidence. It is all just a way to placate abusers, and to tell victims that the abusers have some validity behind their actions.

    It exonerates parents, doctors, teachers, bully kids, and workplace bullies.

    Here we go Bonnie, how about we make up these as lapel tags to put on the patients.

    https://simpleijustdo.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/img_2297.jpg