Blaming the “Mentally Ill”: This is Hate Speech


As could be expected, in the wake of the mass killings in El Paso and Dayton, we have politicians and others blaming the killings on the “mentally ill.” We have heard this over and over again, and I think it is time to call it what it is: Hate Speech.

Here is how the Oxford dictionary describes hate speech:

“Abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group, especially on the basis of race, religion, or sexual orientation.”

Blaming the “mentally ill” for mass killings fits that description. It is speech that asserts that there is a group of people in our society who are dangerous and are largely responsible for mass murders in our society, and it is speech that implies that we need to identify the “mentally ill” and in one way or another restrict their citizenship rights. At its most extreme, this restriction may involve their being placed under a court order requiring them to take antipsychotic medications.

The latter course is what E. Fuller Torrey urged in an editorial published Sunday in the Wall Street Journal.

And thus, hate speech. The blaming of the “mentally ill” is threatening to a particular group, and it expresses prejudice against that group. And as can easily be seen, this blaming ultimately prevents us from acknowledging the obvious truth: the regular presence of mass murders in our society needs to be seen as a societal failure. Blaming it on the “mentally ill”—whoever that mythical group may be—simply helps perpetuate that failure.

Scapegoating is a Form of Hate Speech

On Monday, President Trump, commented—admittedly in his inimitable word-salad style–on the mass murders in El Paso and Dayton. “Mental illness and hatred pulled the trigger,” he announced. “Not the gun.”

Trump, of course, was repeating a Republican talking point. Yet, the mental illness part echoes a bipartisan belief.

We all know the political context for Trump’s statement. While there may be many factors that have led our society to this very dark place, the first factor is this: we as a society have made it possible for people to arm themselves with weapons to commit mass murder.

The Republican party, of course, has made opposition to gun control a central part of its strategy for attracting a voting bloc, and we have a lobbying organization, the NRA, that provides funding to the leaders of that party. Thus, when a mass murder occurs, the Republican party has a need, given its opposition to gun control measures, to place the blame elsewhere, and so it trots out the “mentally ill” diversion.

In other words, the Republicans are singling out the “mentally ill” for scapegoat purposes. That meets the criteria for hate speech: it is threatening to a specific group (those seen as mentally ill), and it labels them as “dangerous” to society, and that sets up the possible passage of laws that would restrict their citizenship rights. And that is all being done for political purposes, to deflect blame from their own politics.

Bipartisan Prejudice

While the Democrats may be in favor of gun control measures, under President Obama the “disabled” mentally ill were singled out as a dangerous group. His reason for issuing the regulation may have been different from the Republicans’ use of the “mentally ill” for scapegoat purposes, yet, upon close examination, the regulation itself fits into the “hate speech” category.

After the 2012 killing of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Obama issued a “red flag” regulation designed to prevent the “disabled” mentally ill—those who received government disability checks because of a psychiatric disorder—from buying guns. The regulation required the Social Security agency to submit the names of such adults to the federal background check database. However, the regulation didn’t go into effect until shortly before Trump was inaugurated, and then Trump quickly cancelled it.

Obama had suggested that this would add 75,000 names to the background check database, and thus prevent this group on government disability from buying guns. However, that 75,000 number is way too low. There are now more than 4.5 million adults on disability due to a mental disorder, and millions more on government disability who, while disabled for another reason, have a psychiatric diagnosis. So it would seem that Obama’s regulation, if it had ever been implemented, would have added millions of names to the background check database.

I haven’t studied the roster of mass murderers, but I don’t know of any study that has found that those on government disability due to a psychiatric disorder are more likely to use a gun to commit a mass murder than the general population, or say, more likely than white males ages 18 to 45.

Indeed, for comparison sake, imagine the following scenario. The killer in the Sandy Hook murder was Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old white male. If Obama had then issued a regulation “red-flagging” white males ages 18 to 45 making it more difficult for them to buy guns, I am sure he would have been bitterly attacked for his “prejudice” against white men and for promoting “hate speech” toward whites. This would be so even though—given the roster of mass murderers we do have—red-flagging white men ages 18 to 45 would have been more “evidence-based” than singling out those on government disability due to a psychiatric disorder.

With this example in mind, it’s evident there was an element of “hate speech” in Obama’s  regulation. It was in fact “threatening” to a specific group (the “disabled” mentally ill), and it subjected that group to societal “prejudice.” Replace “disabled mentally ill” with “white males” in the red-flag equation, and the hate-speech element, unwitting as it may have been, becomes apparent.

Who Are the Mentally Ill?

As the Washington Post wrote in one of its articles on Trump’s comments, his blaming of mental illness could be expected to provide support for “red-flag” laws that would make it more difficult for the mentally ill to obtain guns. Obama’s regulation targeted those on disability; the “blame” mental illness mantra implies that society should cast a much wider net.

One in five American adults is said to suffer from a mental illness in any one year. This  figure arises from populations surveys that use the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual to set the boundary lines for determining who is “mentally ill.”

That means there are 46 million adults that are said to be “mentally ill” in the United States. Once again, I don’t know of any study that found that this large group of people in our society are more violent, or are more likely to commit mass murder, than the general population. But when we have politicians and others blaming mental illness as the root cause of mass murder, it is speech that singles out this larger population as “more dangerous” than the rest of the U.S. population.

Now what could our society possibly do in response to this belief? Should we, based on these numbers, pass laws that will screen the entire population for mental illness, and then prevent the 46 million adults who are deemed to be mentally ill from buying guns, while allowing the rest of the population to do so?

I rather doubt that we would do that. That wide net would capture too many people who owned guns, which would make it politically unacceptable. In that sense, the blaming “mental illness” talk is just empty talk, diversionary in nature, and not meant to be the basis for any legislative change.

However, we already have a legislative agenda in place that focuses on a smaller subgroup of the “mentally ill”—those who have been in a mental hospital. Which brings us to E. Fuller Torrey, the Pied Piper of Hate Speech toward those who have that experience on their resumes.

Blaming Mass Murder on The “Unmedicated” Mentally Ill

For twenty years, E. Fuller Torrey has been using the spectre of violence by the “untreated” mentally ill to advocate for state laws that authorize their forced treatment in the community. For instance, in a 2013 interview with 60 Minutes, Torrey said that without such legislation, the country would need to accept regular occurrences of mass murder, such as what happened in Tucson, Arizona, and at Virginia Tech.

His Sunday Wall Street Journal op-ed, titled Mental Illness and Mass Murder,  was more of the same. He stated that there were one million people in the United States who in the past would have been institutionalized in state hospitals but who were now living in the community, and that perhaps half of this population wasn’t being treated for their illness. He then suggested that this is the group  responsible for the majority of mass murders. He wrote:

“What is clear from all the databases is that these mass killings are increasing in frequency and have been since the 1980s. Not coincidentally, that was when the emptying out of state mental hospitals was at its peak.”

Having put blame for the majority of mass murders on the “untreated” mentally ill, Torrey then argued that forced outpatient treatment could help eliminate the threat that these 500,000 or so people posed to our society. Once the mentally ill are treated, he said, they are no more likely to commit violence than the general population.

“We know what to do to reduce the number of mass killings associated with mental illness,” he concluded. “The question is whether we have the will to do it.”

Hate speech, of course, tells lies about the targeted group, and uses that information to stir up prejudice toward the group. Torrey’s blaming of the untreated mentally ill for the majority of mass murders does just that. Here are just a few of the facts that belie his argument:

  • A number of our mass murderers were taking psychiatric drugs when they committed their murderous acts. Antidepressants in particular are a subject of possible culpability; studies have found that they can stir homicidal impulses.
  • Torrey provided no evidence that the majority of mass murders over the past 25 years were committed by people who had been discharged from mental hospitals, and yet his forced treatment laws target that group. Personally, I would like to see a study that assessed what percentage of our roster of mass mass murderers over the past 25 years spent time in a mental hospital; I am willing to bet that the percentage is very low.
  • In the era prior to the introduction of antipsychotic drugs, patients discharged from mental hospitals committed crimes at either the same rate or a lower rate than a matched cohort (level of education and income) in the general population. The risk of violence by the “seriously mentally ill,” while greatly exaggerated in the public mind today, rose to above the general population rate during our modern era of widespread use of psychotropic drugs.
  • The number of people treated for psychiatric disorders has dramatically increased since the 1980s, with 20% of the adult population now taking a psychiatric drug on a daily basis. If we apply Torrey’s reasoning, we can conclude that “the frequency of mass murders” has increased with the expansion of the psychiatric enterprise in this country.

So what is Torrey doing in his editorial? He is stirring societal hate towards nearly half a million people—that number is his estimate—who have been in mental hospitals and have stopped taking psychiatric drugs. He is placing a big scarlet DANGER label on this group, and blaming them for the rise in mass murders and urging that their liberty be taken away, as though that would be a remedy for this violence that regularly erupts in our society. He is using a scaremongering argument to advance his own political agenda.

Mad in America recently published a lengthy piece titled “The Case Against AOT,” detailing how forced outpatient treatment doesn’t achieve the ends that Torrey says it does. His WSJ editorial, in fact, serves Republican talking points, and once again, distracts our attention away from placing the blame for the mass murders where it belongs, on us as a society.

We have created a societal landscape that makes it possible for people to arm themselves with assault weapons and to buy ammunition that can be used to kill multiple people in a short period of time. That is what enables mass murder in our society.

And so, please: no more blaming the “mentally ill” for this horrible violence in our society. It’s a type of hate speech, for all the reasons listed above, and all it does is stir up a profound societal prejudice toward people diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, and prevent us from doing anything that might actually reduce the frequency of such awful, shameful events.


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


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  1. Nice to know I’m a homicidal maniac. Since I haven’t been flagged, I should be accumulating AK’s and M16 type rifles, while using my Social Security to accumulate thousands of rounds of ammunition and dozens of magazines. Why don’t I have the desire to do so? I must not realize how crazed I’m actually supposed to be.

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    • I was part of the “psychiatric community” in Ireland for a number of years, and am part of the “12 step” community for many years in the UK. I honestly cannot identify much violence with people that Donald Trump might view as the “mentally ill”.

      I also work in an industry in the Uk where practically everyone has physical confrontation scars, and this would be viewed as quite normal.

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  2. Thank you, Bob. These are frightening times. It’s so hard to get past all the emotion-fueled rhetoric and remember that innocent lives hang in the balance. With concentration camps once again occupied inside American borders, I’m not sure any of the labeled can feel safe. And lest anyone blame Trump and republicans, please see NY Gov Cuomo’s call for “mental health databases”.

    Obama’s targeting of psychiatrically disabled was specific to those who benefits are managed by a representative payee. There are no cognitive tests for such placements and indeed many of us who have received disability for a psychiatric diagnosis have started out with a representative payer for the first year. Trump, for all his problems are legend, was right to repeal this regulation and we need to remember not to get caught up in Right vs Left ideology when politicking tragedy and making reactionary laws based on fear. The calls for new antiterrorism laws are just as flawed and will mean more surveillance, more police force, and more restrictions on liberties cast in drag nets.

    If we really want to address the deep psychological scars blanketing this country, we must address austerity and capitalist oppression along with hateful ideologies that are fueled by fear and class oppression. And we mustn’t forget that our leaders are actively dividing us.

    We must rise in solidarity ready for fight for freedom against tyranny regardless of whether the oppressed looks like us.

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    • Thanks Randall,

      I appreciate your comment.

      I know you have linked to an article by the National Review, which of course is a publication that regularly puts forth Republican talking points, and I think this article is doing that.

      Now, in regard to this blog:

      Do you see the same rate of mass murders in countries that don’t allow access to assault weapons (but still have people said to be “mentally ill?” No.

      Do you see that it is people on disability due to mental illness who are the ones who are buying assault weapons and committing mass murders? I know of no evidence for that.

      Do you see that it is people who have been in a mental hospital and aren’t taking medications are the ones who are committing most of these mass murders? No.

      Is there evidence that forcing people to take antipsychotics, which is what Torrey urges, reduces the likelihood that they will commit mass murder? There is nothing in the AOT literature that shows that to be so.

      Is there any evidence that our expanded psychiatric enterprise, which sees more and more people getting diagnosed and treated, has reduced the frequency of mass murder? No.

      Of course people who commit mass murder are “disturbed” in some way. I don’t think you plan to bring an assault weapon into a public space and start shooting people if you are not “disturbed.” But what are the paths that these mass murderers are on before they act? They may have gotten psychiatric treatment. They may not have gotten psychiatric treatment. They may be on psychiatric drugs. They may not be on psychiatric drugs. And so on.

      So now, three questions.

      1) If you are going to “blame” mental illness, what is the legislative action that should follow? More screening for psychiatric disorders? Forced treatment? Banning all those with a psychiatric diagnosis from owning guns? Can you point to any evidence that “blaming mental illness” will lead to a societal change that will reduce the frequency of mass murder?

      2) Do you think that banning all assault weapons would reduce the frequency of mass murders? If so, that would be a more effective choice of action.

      3) In terms of numbers, there are a tiny number of disturbed people, including some who may have been psychotic, who commit mass murders. Do you think it is right to cast societal aspersion on the millions of people who have a psychiatric diagnosis, and limit their citizenship rights in some way (including subjecting them to forced treatment), for that reason? Do you tar the millions based on the actions of a few?

      There is a 2016 publication, by the American Psychiatric Association, titled Mass Shootings and Mental Illness. It states that people with “serious mental illness” commit about 3% of the violent crimes in our country each year. The percentage of people said to be seriously mentally ill in our country is higher than that. So why would we blame mass murder on that 3%, and target that group with legislation that curtailed their rights?

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          • No one argued with Hitler as I recall.

            A big challenge we face is most people view these damaging drugs as “safe” and “healing” and firmly believe they correct brain abnormalities and save the lives of all who take them.

            That is a BIG problem. Even those who wish the “mentally ill” well think they’re saving the lives of the “SMI” with AOT. Not to mention other lives if they go on killing sprees.

            I managed to convince my family with carefully chosen arguments and an article by Dr. Pies from the APA Journal. That is a damning piece of evidence. It convinces many–if they aren’t too busy to read it.

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      • I thank you, and agree with most of what you say, Mr. Whitaker. But I don’t believe that taking away the second amendment rights of anyone is the solution. Since all of us here know that the psych drugs can cause suicidal and homicidal thoughts and actions, even according to the black box warnings on the antidepressants.

        So the solution to our society’s mass murder problems is ending the massive mis-medication/drugging of our society with the psych drugs, not the taking away of the second amendment rights of anyone.

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        • Someone else: This brings up a good question: Is there a Second Amendment Right for individuals to own an assault weapon?

          Wikipedia has a good history of U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding the Second Amendment. It was only recently that the U.S.Supreme Court said it gave the right for the individual to own a gun for self-protection in the home, and the Court, it is clear, has historically given states the license to limit access to certain types of weaponry, as the right of the individual to bear arms is not an unlimited one.

          While psychiatric drugs can stir homicidal behavior, there have been plenty of instances where psychiatric drugs haven’t been involved. Personally, I think we as a society can ban assault weapons while not intruding on a Second Amendment right, as interpreted by the Court, to maintain a firearm in the home for purposes of self-defense.

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          • Bob, how would you address the 3D printing technology that allows people to simply make their own guns, including assault weapons, bump stocks, etc? One can outlaw this but it would be extremely difficult to enforce. I personally think gun control does not really address the root causes of mass violence, and merely puts a feel-good bandaid on a hemorrhaging wound. (Not that I want guns myself, having been a victim of gun violence.)

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          • Kindred Spirit,

            Right now we have weaponry of all sorts circulating in American society. If you ban private ownership of assault weapons, and make it illegal, i would think it would make it much more difficult for any potential mass murderer to obtain one. And I would think that difficulty would extend to obtaining such weaponry with 3d printing technology.

            I don’t think banning assault weapons will eliminate all mass killings. But I do think that it would sharply reduce the frequency of such killings. It doesn’t go to the root causes at all. But it would go to the ease of acquiring weaponry of this sort, and that would be a help.

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          • Criminals do not regard any law. They will find a way to get their hands on whatever weapon they choose. There have been more “mass killings” with other weapons that people have chosen – including airplanes, cars, trucks, knives, bombs, etc.
            An AR 15 is not an assault weapon. It may look like one but it is not “fully automatic” as the media would like us believe. It is one shot per pull of the trigger like any hand gun.

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          • Bob I agree. What practical use do these assault weapons have? The only thing I can think of is that they could be put in a museum as display pieces (such as war memorabilia) and never used again.

            The DSM is also an assault weapon that should be limited to a museum or buried deep in a historical archive so it can be referenced by researchers as a bad idea but never used. We have seen the shameful mentality that has arisen from it.

            The way to end hate is to cease all participation in hateful activities. This should be a conscious decision, as it is better to choose than to be pushed into something via force. We need to choose the most responsible way to act. We should hand in our weapons. Communities already offer this to people, weapons collection where a person can do so anonymously. We should each choose our words wisely, and teach our children to do so as well. Our actions and thoughts often follow our words. Our world is shaped by our language.

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          • Personally, I think we as a society can ban assault weapons while not intruding on a Second Amendment right, as interpreted by the Court, to maintain a firearm in the home for purposes of self-defense.

            The 2nd Amendment is also meant to protect people from the development of a tyrannical government.

            Again who is this “we” who would be telling people they have no such right?

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    • Randall, there is a lot of irrational violence. But anger, like other extreme emotions, causes irrational behaviors including violence.

      A lot of those labeled “mentally ill” do not act this way. I got my label of “bipolar 2” because I sought help for depression and had a bad reaction to the drug Anafranil. I have been iatrogenically damaged by decades on a cocktail.

      I have broken no laws. I don’t ask for the right to bear arms.

      Just live peacefully in the community where I sought refuge and am slowly healing after 23 years on the same class of drugs that harmed me. Do people like me deserve to be segregated? Do we deserve to be treated worse than felons? We are not all criminals.

      I have struggled with guilt for living on disability. I have a strong work ethic. I volunteered regularly even when I couldn’t find a job. We are not all lazy.

      I have a number of health problems linked to decades on a cocktail. The segregation, isolation, and extreme poverty with the constant threat of homelessness is horrible. I have done nothing to deserve this. All I did was seek out help for anxiety and depression. And religiously obeyed my doctor’s orders even as my brain and body fell apart. We are not all lazy or irresponsible idiots who refuse our “meds.”

      (It took me years to come off mine because I felt I owed it to society. How I decided to come off them is a long story.)

      I will never have a family now and am overcome with grief. The “mentally ill” aren’t allowed to marry due to financial penalties and I chose celibacy rather than promiscuity like the “mental health” staff encouraged. We are not all hedonists.

      We are not monsters just because we had a rough time long ago or even a simple drug reaction. The vast majority of us are in this situation.

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    • Conveniently National Review forgets to mention the two main causes of mass shootings and mass killers in the western world.

      White supremacy ideology that feeds on rhetoric from some politicians.

      Islamic extremism that is exacerbated by wars in the middle east and feeds radicals.

      Politicians and psychiatrists, for different reasons, seem to be the most respected sociopaths on this planet.

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  3. “Mass shootings” are a “social subject” whose media coverage largely exceeds the objective importance.

    Mass shootings in 2018:
    373 deaths (

    Opioid overdoses in 2018:
    68,557 deaths (US drug overdose deaths fell slightly in 2018)

    Excess mortality due to hypnotics in 2010:
    320,000 to 507,000 deaths (Hypnotics’ association with mortality or cancer: a matched cohort study)

    Only hypnotics cause 1000 times more deaths than mass shootings.

    If the press was objective, it would not even talk about these news items.

    An objective press would talk about the real mass murders, that there are hundreds of thousands of people dying every year in the United States, and millions more who are physically, socially and psychologically disabled by means of deliberate chemical poisoning.

    And this real mass murder, which makes mass shootings absolutely insignificant by comparison, is not only legal, but also encouraged by the press, which repeats that these psychotropic drugs are good for (mental) health and even save lives.

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  4. So what? Altered states are the path to the future. The whole history of mankind is a rebellion of those who aspired to altered states. It may be worth to stop diagnosing people who have experienced psychosis as chronically ill. Isn’t it obvious?

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  5. Brilliant as usual bob. Thx for clarifying for me. I just wish you would have addressed the statistics in the article directly, rather than brushing them aside as “talking points.” They cite statistics. Can you refute them? Thx

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    • Randall,

      That National Review article is linked to a Heritage Foundation report that is quite long, and so I don’t know where there original citations come from. The 20 times homicide rate cited for people diagnosed with schizophrenia doesn’t line up with any study I have ever seen (and the cited report is from the Heritage Foundation, and I can tell you that the claim in that report, which I did see, that says there is little relationship between gun ownership and suicide rates is just dead wrong. See the MIA report, Suicide in the Prozac ERa for data on this.

      If you read The Case Against AOT, you’ll find some discussion about this issue of violence by discharged patients from mental hospitals. Although such studies vary in their findings, in a study where the discharged cohort was matched to a similar general population cohort for education, income, and substance abuse, the violence disparities disappear. In such studies, the increased rate of violence by the discharged patients comes from those with a substance abuse problem..

      More to the point, an article appeared in the New YOrk Times yesterday, citing studies of mass killers. Only 20% had a psychiatric diagnosis, which is the percentage of people in society with a diagnosis.

      In other words, there is no higher rate of mass killers emerging from that segment of the population than from the rest of the population.

      And remember, let’s say that 5% of the mass killers have a psychotic diagnosis. If there are 20 mass killings a year, that would mean one would be due to someone with a psychotic diagnosis. Are you going to restrict the citizien rights of several million people for the acts of one person?

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      • I wouldn’t know where they got such numbers, either. I never saw such numbers in my CJ classes back in the 1990’s. The National Review, etc. don’t seem to realize that when people become really bananas, they lose the mental organization needed to prepare a grocery list, not to mention the mental organization needed to make a complicated plan to carry out a mass shooting requiring the slow accumulation of weapons and ammunition.

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          • I would strongly caution against confusing anger and hatred. The pathologization of anger leads to silencing of victims whose anger is legitimate and anger can lead to emotional growth once one reaches the other side if one has safe and appropriate outlets for its expression. Anger can be momentarily threatening, but it also tends to be emotionally and physically exhausting, whereas hatred is energizing, leading to intense feelings of needing to act. While racism, xenophobia, mysogeny, etc can produce intense feelings of anger, it is the ‘othering’ and FEAR that leads to what amount to cold, calculating attacks on generally very specific targeted groups. I found a good article that explains the difference between hate and anger that you might find informative. In that article, he links to another article about hatred in politics, which I think does a good job of explaining how “both sides” participate, though the hatred coming from liberals tends to be disguised more in shaming terms, but is just as vitriolic.


            I would also suggest that hatred, fear and “othering” are what are driving the political/media/public ‘attacks’ on the so-called “mentally ill”, and so we need to guard against joining in such when we’re in a position to educate people on just why we aren’t the dangerous boogeyman we’re being portrayed as. It is precisely living in a fear-based society that is driving more and more violence, and we need to all be working to dial down the rhetoric and create dialogue and understanding between groups. Our leaders won’t do that because they thrive off of dividing us and fomenting hatred to begin with. It’s going to be up to us The People to do this work. One way we might begin to accomplish this is by refusing to participate in the Us vs Them that occurs in antipsychiatry activism, by remembering that many practitioners are themselves current or former patients who have been taught to believe the things they do about “mental illness”. Things that have been learned can be unlearned. We can extend compassion toward those who have harmed us. I believe this is the only way we will bridge these divides.

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        • Agreed, Kindered Spirit.

          Anger is the ability to FEEL the righteous fire of watching innocent victims be demonized, tortured, disabled, excluded and murdered by the DSM and the handmaidens willing to dole out the social prejudiced that has been othering people since the beginning of time.

          The purpose of labels and treatments is to ensure no one is able to ‘FEEL’ the anger that would allow them to react appropriately. The powers that be fear and demonize “FEELINGS” and those who might dare to be in touch with their deepest humanity. That is what is currently being

          Other twists are:
          the misinformed public “blaming ” those harming us vrs the social responsibility to hold guilty parties “accountable” for that harm.
          that “conflict” is “violence” vrs conflict as a normal inevitable part of human struggle to be heard, understood and safe.

          As long as we hide behind moderators and the illusion of “safe space” where free speech is basterdized and silenced and in particular that outright lie and perpetuation that the DSM or ICD is in any way shape or form valid, vrs the crime against humanity it is, nothing will ever change.

          That’s exactly the way they want it and exactly the way it is.

          Just noting that because no one ever escapes a “MI” dx, that if 20% of the population is newly labeled every year, 20% of the population being “MI” does not, in any respect, reflect the real numbers.

          I have absolutely NO math skills but if 20% of the population is falsely accused without a shred of evidence of having a brain disease every year and no one is ever able to challenge the junk science and have this fraudulent label REMOVED, then it would only take 5 years to have labeled the entire population.

          20% X 5 = 100 and POOF by the slight of hand of the criminal enterprise called “medicine”, everyone is bat shit “crazy”. Great business model, if your a sociopath.

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  6. Donald Trump is employing the same rhetoric employed by the NRA. It’s not guns, it’s crazies. ” That means there are 46 million adults that are said to be “mentally ill” in the United States.” 46 million adults. You don”t think somebody is over stepping their bounds a little do you? They sure are. Great article, and I agree wholeheartedly.
    Donald Trump and E. Fuller Torrey are scapegoating and employing hate speech against people in the “mental health” system.

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      • The NRA and Big Pharma are in bed together in the political action committee ALEC because they have common interests. They both represent manufacturers of expensive, high profit, products of potential danger and abuse and of dubious use in our society. They both promote the myth of mental illness. Only a tiny percentage of potential weapons buyers have been labeled as such so NRA can urge that they be prevented from purchase or ownership and it won’t affect the bottom line. A significant percentage of the population is using or trying to withdraw from Big Pharma’s products. Use of these products has been a factor (to what extent we are yet to determine) in the majority of mass shootings and gun suicides, but NRA is silent on this subject. The most powerful of these drugs carry warnings about operation of equipment, driving, etc. Airline flight crews are forbidden from taking them. Yet one can be prescribed these drugs and still possess firearms of any type or even carry concealed weapons legally.

        If an attempt was made to limit the gun rights of those who purchase these prescription drugs, then we would see who has the real concern for public safety at heart.

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          • Violent people are more prone to strokes I believe.

            Treat all stroke victims worse than convicted felons. (Being facetious.)

            Actually a stroke is a proven brain disorder. Maybe it should be re-classified as a “mental illness.” Proving how stupid the term is.

            “All mental illnesses are really brain diseases.”
            “What if we treated physical illnesses like mental illnesses?”
            I thought the brain was a physical organ.

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  7. Famous Shrink: All the mentally ill are murderous monsters who should be locked up or neurologically crippled to keep them from hurting you. And, by the way, we need to end stigma by educating the public on how dangerous these creatures are.

    You don’t hear cardiologists going on TV and telling everyone how evil heart patients are. Or gastroeneterologists warning how everyone with Colitis is a menace to society. Only psychiatrists do this.

    And that “Doctor” Torrey, is why there is an anti-psychiatry movement. No one but a psychiatrist demonizes all those he claims to help and maligns their character simply because they made the horrible mistake of seeking “help” from his profession.

    Shame on Torrey for his defamation of law abiding citizens.

    As far as Obama and Trump go, chalk it up to ignorance. Like 90% of the public.

    But Torrey knows it is a lie. He has been quoted as saying he knows the drugs aren’t that effective in Anne Harrington’s book. Yet he goes on the air saying these things and writing slanderous articles. Hence he is truly reprehensible. 🙁

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  8. Yes, blaming the ~mentally ill~ and the ~unmedicated mentally ill~ is hate speech.

    I first learned this decades ago, visiting a book store in a posh suburban retail area. I heard a male voice yelling very loudly. I looked outside to see what was up. I saw a man across the street, didn’t really see anything else going on. Then a few minutes later someone came in and announced, “Off his medication”.

    At first I accepted that interpretation. But then later I thought more, no, that guy has no obligation to stay medicated to please everyone else.

    And when you see someone who is angry, yelling, talking to himself, for no apparent reason, most people will call that ~mental illness~. But there is another more basic interpretation, simply that the person is angry, and with good reason.

    We might not know why they are angry, and the party might not want to tell us or might not even be able to. But if they are angry, then I say that it must be for good reason. When someone has a nullified social and civil standing, the probably will not be able to redress wrongs.

    But this matter is further compounded by things like Mind Freedom, making an unequivocal pledge to non-violence as a way of life. It is appeasement. Knowing when and how to use physical violence is a part of life.

    And then likewise psychotherapists always see one of their main jobs, as required by law, being to talk people down, to make sure that they are disclosing all of their affairs, while at the same time always pledging non-violence. This is belittling and humiliating, and no one should ever go along with it.

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    • The entire media is saturated with blind acceptance to the fraud.
      On the popular reality show Bachelor in Paradise, D says about a crying AL, “gramma’s off her meds.” In one foul swoop she discriminates against seniors (ageism) and the “MI” and no one in production understands this as the vile act it is.
      It stink of psychiatry has permeated the entire culture. Mass torts against the junk science are critical in breaking the mass hypnosis of the lies that most people live their entire lives under the spell of.
      Discrimination against people accused (with no evidence) and found guilty of being “MI”, is no different a crime than the hate messages that were/are used to inspire any other genocide or act of eugenics against any other group of people. This one is just more subtle and doesn’t use lions, or fire, to torture its victims (it uses drugs and ECT.) On the surface it is seemingly plausible because it is spewed by “credible professionals”.
      As of this week, Harvard continues to push the “chemical imbalance” myth. All these garbage Allopathic “medical” institutions underwrite their lies using HonorCode – verifying that the information therein is true! This is a law suit waiting for ethical lawyers to address.
      Too bad, they earn a living supporting the lies.

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  9. Thank you Robert for a much-needed humane and very reasoned response to the latest tragedies. I think it is dishonest and irresponsible for E. Fuller Torrey and any other so-called “expert” to ignore the disturbing fact their psych drugs are playing a role. Psychiatry does not consider or even care to know what is behind the angst of young men, or any person experiencing distress before they slap on a label or two and immediately put them on psych drugs. They follow this dangerous protocol knowing there is a percentage of people that DO experience mania, or suicidal and homicidal reactions from these drugs. This is dangerous to the person put on the drugs and to the general public. I believe the mental health professionals bear some responsibility for these tragedies. The media also needs to step up and start reporting on some of these issues as well.

    I agree it is hate speech to target a group of people who are already oppressed and marginalized due to societal failures and injustices. It is victim blaming. Psychiatric labels themselves are hate propaganda given out so the real issues and injustices can be ignored and dismissed.

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  10. Mr. Whitaker, thank you for your courage in addressing this very controversial topic. There is much that is praiseworthy in your assessment of the controversy surrounding so-called “mental illness,” and mass shootings. For example, it is clearly wrong to blame a supposed group of people for the nefarious deeds of one disturbed individual. And Torrey is clearly wrong to attribute the tragedies of violence to people with so-called “serious mental illness.” Thank you for pointing out what ought to be obvious.

    I would also like to commend you on the great work that you have already done on your books, particularly “Psychiatry Under the Influence,” “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” and “Mad in America.” These books are an invaluable resource and ought to be required reading for all first-year medical students, among other people.

    However, there are a few ideas in this blog post that don’t stand up to scrutiny. First of all, the notion of so-called “hate speech” is almost as problematic as the false notion of so-called “mental illness.” The Marxist origins of the notion of “hate speech” have long been recognized, but this is not something that a dictionary will explain. (See, e.g.

    Furthermore, the problem isn’t just that Trump or anyone else might blame an entire group of people, but that to pin the blame on so-called “mental illness” is to pin the blame on something that doesn’t exist in the first place. While it is courageous to defend people who have been labeled as “mentally ill’ against the attacks of those who would blame them for the tragedies of mass shootings, it is more courageous to defend people against the label of so-called “mental illness” itself. Your work has accomplished much by way of demonstrating that which Thomas Szasz understood best of all, namely, that so-called “mental illness” is a myth. There is no way to blame the so-called “mentally ill” for any tragedy because in reality there is no such thing as “mental illness.” Until this basic reality is recognized by the general public, there will continue to be so-called “hate speech” directed toward a mythical group of people who are “mentally ill.”

    Although there are furious debates between Democrats and Republicans on a wide variety of issues, the reality is that the myth of so-called “mental illness” has confused most everyone on both sides of the political fence. The problem has nothing to do with Republicans, Democrats, or gun control. The problem is that the vast majority of people in the United States and elsewhere has been deceived by the myth of so-called “mental illness.” As soon as people begin to understand that “mental illness” is a myth, and that psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as a medical profession, there will be no need to worry about so-called “hate speech.”

    Furthermore, there are several studies of the connection between psychiatry, psychotropic drugs, involuntary incarceration, and acts of violence. Our own Peter Breggin has written eloquently and at length on this topic. (See, e.g. “Medication Madness,” and The truth is that psychiatry CAUSES the very problems that it purports to remedy. It is such a clever system because the myth of mental illness and the continued drugging of the innocent is creating an increasing population of drug-damaged individuals who may be chemically incited to violence. When the violence occurs, everyone is ready to point the finger at the so-called “mentally ill” and call for more psychiatric “treatment,” or more psychiatric interventions. The truth is that the rise in the power of psychiatry corresponds directly with the rise in psychiatrically induced acts of violence.

    The more people are subjected to psychotropic drugging and psychiatric violence, the more we should expect an increase in these terrible and tragic acts of violence. Not everyone who commits these murders has been subjected to psychiatric torture, but many of them have been. The reality, as you well know, is that psychotropic drugs can CAUSE otherwise innocent people to perpetrate terrible acts of violence, and they can surely promote violence in those who are already so inclined. It is a well known military tactic to drug soldiers into a chemical craze in order to numb them and incite them to maniacal violence. Just imagine the millions of innocent children, for example, who have been subjected to this kind of psychiatric torture. When they try to withdraw from the drugs, the result is often even more devastating than going on the drugs in the first place. These things have been thoroughly documented even in your own works.

    The attempt to silence opposition by labeling their utterances as “hate speech” is almost as bad as the attempt to stigmatize and ostracize people by labeling them as “mentally ill.” Until the general public becomes aware of the myth of mental illness and the nefarious nature of psychiatry, these acts of violence will continue to increase and politicians will continue to pin the blame anywhere except where the blame belongs, namely, with psychiatry itself.

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    • It’s also very important that we don’t let ourselves be sucked into a false debate about “gun control” and become shills for Democrats who would love to divert the issue of psychiatric drug violence. And we need to demand our 2nd Amendment rights be respected, and not be defensive about this.

      Nonetheless psychiatric diagnoses do constitute hate speech.

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          • Usually so long as people have access to the court house and the ballot box, they won’t do anything extra legal.

            Now when the courts and the ballot box are shown to be rigged, like it was via 3/5’s and the proceeds from Slave Power, different story.


            The number of revolutionary uprisings which have already occurred, even in my own lifetime is huge.

            We have a political and legal system which casts a huge number of people into an underclass.

            This will never be redressed so long as people conduct themselves recklessly. But get people to hold some line, and things will change.

            I am calling for No Drugs, No Psychotherapy, and No Recovery Programs.

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          • Your solution, OldHead, is a bevy of lawyers? Interesting.

            A few years back a patient gunned down a psychiatrist in a northern Virginia parking lot, but, generally, the violence we’re talking about is not a matter of “mental illness”, and not directed at “mental health personnel”. Of course, on the wards the situation is a little different.

            Were the MH authorities to catch the person who was slaughtering hispanics in a Texas Wallmart before he took action, don’t you know they would have loved to have done so. As we’ve continually pointed out, they’re not any better at that sort of thing (predicting the future) than your average Joe.

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      • The problem is, OldHead, when you don’t go after guns who do you go after? The FBI has a list of people who have undergone psychiatric institutionalization whose second amendment rights they would deny. “Mental health” profiling is the NRA’s, and the system’s, answer to gun control. I wouldn’t call that, by any means, an even playing field. Remove military style weapons from circulation, and you don’t need, as is the present case of people with psychiatric histories, a scapegoat for gun violence.

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        • Why should you “go after” anyone? These policies are being implemented in lieu of taking measures to reduce the underlying systemic causes of despair, which The WHO has been pointing out for years to little effect.

          The system is founded on chaos, violence and coercion and sustained with massive inequality forcing ever increasing competition for resources driving people to their breaking points and fueled by hateful rhetoric emanating seemingly from all sides.

          And it’s not like the removal of “assault” weapons is going to give those with psychiatric histories their gun rights back since we still have to be “protected” from ourselves, lest we decide not to continue playing along with the capitalist shit show both major political parties insist we must participate in.

          Additionally, with an increasingly militarized police presence in the US, I am of the opinion that we DO need stockpiles of these weapons precisely to defend ourselves from an increasingly tyrannical state. Bonus: when we’re invaded by the coming robot armies being developed by our enemies, our allies, and by our own DoD, we’ll be well prepared to be armed and ready with those “military style” weapons.

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        • I don’t go after anyone, and I don’t need a scapegoat. They need a scapegoat. A system based on and permeated with violence will see that violence reflected thru all sorts of permutations. Nothing to do about that but replace the system. In the end neither gun control nor crazy control is even possible so I don’t see the point in arguing about it.

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        • Well, unfortunately, the authorities seem to be doing two things simultaneously now, talking about control of weapons (1), and because of this perceived need for scapegoats, depriving people in the mental health system of their second amendment rights as ‘citizens’ (2). I would prefer a peace loving society, but this need for scapegoats, victims of hate speech and smear campaigns is part of the equation, too, and a part with a long history.

          I’m not saying, as some might, that the second amendment insures our right to armed insurrection. When you take away people’s rights to weapons, if possible, as in put them on this FBI list, you remove them from the threat of armed insurrection as well. I just think any massacre on main street, so-to-speak, all daydreams of armed insurrection aside, becomes basically something we as a society have to do something about.

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    • I think most people understand that the whole “mental health” field is something of a “witch hunt”, however such an awareness is not going to prevent people from hunting for witches. I think, OldHead, gun control makes a lot more sense than what we’ve got, mental patient control. Hate speech and scapegoating? It’s the guns, dummy! Get rid of those. If some kind of gun control isn’t enacted, the present debacle is only going to become more severe. Mass violence is the issue, not “mental health”.

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        • People control, and here we’re talking about loony control, is the alternative. Hunt for witches, or deal with the prevalence of weapons that cause a great deal of destruction of human lives. Excuse me, OldHead. I just want to see fewer horrific incidents of carnage involving the use of weapons that probably shouldn’t be on the public market anyway. Do nothing about the problem, and, of course, the problem is not going away.

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      • It’s the guns, dummy! Get rid of those. If some kind of gun control isn’t enacted, the present debacle is only going to become more severe.

        So somehow the cause of this very new problem is the very existence of guns, which have existed forever, rather than the mass consumption of neurotoxins, which started relatively recently?

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        • Guns didn’t exist forever (and you’re simplifying a much more complex argument). Were we dealing with hunting weapons, no problem, you can keep them. Nobody is going to clean a mall of customers with a shotgun. We’re talking about military-style weapons, killing machines, and weapons that when crime is equivalent to opportunity can wreak a lot of destruction. Bows, arrows, Bowie knives, slingshots, they haven’t created the problem we’ve got with automatic weapons and recent massacres.

          I’m not saying the use of certain drugs might not be a contributing factor in the escalating crimes of hate we’re seeing. I am saying that to see them as the predominate factor, or the only factor, is to blindside yourself.

          Violence is a far cry from peace, love, and happiness, and most of us had rather see more peace, love, and happiness than WallMart, etc., massacres, but if we don’t do something about the real cause of these acts of violence, by which I mean the availability of weapons of, relatively speaking, mass destruction, of course, they are only going to escalate.

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        • And–according to psychiatry’s narrative the “severely mentally ill” have been around forever. Their “safe and effective medications” were–for the most part–non-existent till recently.

          Yet though these magical snake oil elixirs are everywhere now and the “SMI” have always been around (according to shrinks) mass shootings occur more than back in the 80’s. Amazing how no one asks these head honcho shrinks WHY this is.

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          • Thanks Rachel, I didn’t think my logic was that hard to follow.

            I also don’t think RW has enough info to know that significant numbers of mass shootings aren’t drug related; plus often the exception simply proves the rule.

            Anyone who thinks this is simply a matter of “gun control” is very naive about who controls what in this society, and to use the term “we” interchangeably with the state to which we run for protection is equally naive. The problem is not guns, it’s not “mental patients”; it’s corporate totalitarianism on steroids…or antidepressants.

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          • Well, your logic does seem faulty, as far as I’m concerned, when it comes to quelling the violence that threatens so many innocent people. “Corporate totalitarianism on steroids”, my view, didn’t kill 22 people in El Paso for starters. “Corporate totalitarianism” is behind these violent episodes? I don’t think so.

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          • Corporate totalitarianism and white supremacy are inextricably intertwined, and indisputably violent, so in the case of El Paso I would say “yes.” I heard that the Dayton guy had neurotoxins in his system, maybe Breggin will discover more about this.

            Read what Kindred Spirit has been saying here about internalized violence and the system, maybe some of it will resonate.

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          • The Dayton guy was on cocaine as well per a report I read. His well known misogynistic attitudes, combined with the fact that his trans sister and her boyfriend appeared to be his primary target, make that one seem more like a substance and hate-fueled domestic violence incident. That he also mowed down a whole lot of others may be incidental to his targeting of his sister.

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          • The connection between misogyny and mass shootings is just beginning to be recognized for what it is. But it doesn’t make good copy or help either party politically, so it’s not out there where people can read about it.

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          • Richard, I think ultimately it is going to come down to some kind of gun control, that is, outlawing the sale of automatic weapons and assault rifles because the availability of such weapons is making mass murder a trendy crime of opportunity and convenience. The NRA serves gun collectors, and people who seek guns that are almost only appropriate for military actions. the kind of weapons nobody needs on the street. You want safe streets, you are not going to get them so long as certain weapons are in circulation. Get them out of circulation, and then people, people desperate for a body count, and rows of corpses in body bags, aren’t targeting department stores and malls, places where masses of people congregate.

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          • Frank, I agree. Banning assault weapons…whom does this hurt? I can’t think of a practical purpose for one of those weapons. If they are banned, will the previous owners die? How will they be harmed? Take away food or water and many are harmed. While it might hurt a person’s pride and dignity to have to give up a cherished assault weapon, and might even feel violating, it’s not like they will die or get very sick without it. Furthermore, I feel like my safety and security are violated here in Pennsylvania knowing that just about anyone here might be armed. Honestly I worry that my dog will be shot while we’re out walking. The likelihood is slim but I hate the feeling that anyone out there can own a gun and can use me or my dog as target practice. It is unsettling. We have shootings in the city about every other day.

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        • Don’t forget the gun-toting mystique we’re subjected to in countless movies, TV shows and novels, where the hero snatches up Old Betsey and rides off to town to blow away dozens of heavies and henchmen, his Model 1873 containing hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the cylinder of his 6-shot revolver.

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        • I agree. The love of many has grown cold.

          As Bcharris says up above, murdering a bunch of people is not caused by a cognitive defect but a moral one. I know a lot of people with low IQs but far higher morals than geniuses with multiple graduate degrees.

          I have always had a philosophical issue with the concept of “mental illness” because many of the “symptoms” are simply acting like a jerk. So, it’s not stupidity–associated with real brain disorders–they’re referring to.

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        • So shall we get cardiologists involved? Screen people’s “hearts” for potential terrorism? How about starting in infancy, segregate those with “toxic hearts.” Keep them away from law-abiding taxpayers. That’ll do it. Don’t associate with those inferiors, whatever we insist on calling them: negative, toxic, narcissist, psychopath, bad energy etc.It’s all based on how they make us feel, and how much they remind us of our shortcomings. We can’t stand the sight of them due to our own insecurities. So we continue to hate.

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        • Yes, but people are never able to wreak as much damage with knives as they can with automatic weapons. These rightists in a car in Charlottesville only managed to take out one women while this gunman in El Paso with a hatred of Latinos kills 22 people in a Wallmart. You can’t do that with a knife. Somebody is going to stop you. Automatic weapons are very effective killing machines. Knives, not so much.

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  11. I am offsides on this issue, however skipping away and rendering a comment could enrich the conversation.

    Here it is world: Sometimes these prejudice issues debase me and I am offsides in my mental thinking. My processing is messed up because of the debasing.

    I have a routine that builds my attitudes and values. Though umm this actually a mental tool. When I get inclination to be cool because of stigma I think in my head operation Kathleen.

    That was an attack planned by Ireland in Europe years go that was a total fiasco. Just wasn’t planned and going on feeling cool alone is disaster. You can research operation Kathleen brought you by Ireland if you care to do so.

    Anyway this is valid content in commenter section as it helps me be calm. Ya know calm and smooth communicating with people on stigma and misunderstanding. Community peoples and also relatives. Ya know stigma is painful issue.

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  12. Glad you noticed Bob. Of course all psychiatric terminology is hate speech.

    Nonetheless, whenever the “mental illness” argument is raised in this context it is everyone’s responsibility to throw back in their faces the fact that 20% of the population is drugged with psych toxins which trigger mass violence and cause people to see the world as a video game, with a concomitant decline in the capacity for empathy (as recently documented on MIA).

    This is no time for worrying about how people might react or try to dismiss us. This information needs to be endlessly repeated until psych drugs” and “mass violence” become part of the collective debate. We need to generate this sort of imagery in the public’s perception of the issue.

    A timely and responsible article, thanks.

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  13. Thank you, Bob, for this brilliant article. Your message is of great societal importance. I’d like to add the observation that in contrast to the 25% prevalence for past-year “mental illness,” lifetime prevalence estimates are approximately 50% (e.g., More sophisticated studies show that the vast majority of the population will meet diagnostic criteria for one or more “mental disorders” by middle age (e.g., My point is this: an additional reason for criticising blaming gun violence on the “mentally ill” is that most people are members of that group.

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  14. Thank you for this articulate and timely blog. It is unfortunate that the obvious truth is currently so difficult for so many people to see: “This blaming ultimately prevents us from acknowledging the obvious truth: the regular presence of mass murders in our society needs to be seen as a societal failure.”

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      • Your comment is confusing: my comment supports the main theme of the blog that criticizes blaming the “mentally ill” for mass shootings instead of blaming a societal failure. Criticizing a culture does not address the behavior of an individual within a culture. I believe that our epidemic of mass shootings is caused by an increasingly hateful and violent culture- a societal failure that includes sedating natural emotions and non-conforming behaviors with neurotoxins.

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        • I just don’t see this as “my” society so much as occupied territory. To say it’s a “societal failure” blames the people living in that society rather than those who control it, at least that was the implication I was reacting to.

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        • How about blaming the shooter?

          Note how we don’t hold all members of other groups accountable of the crimes of individuals? But when people blame all the “SMI” for the crimes of an individual that’s supposed to be compassion as opposed to discrimination.

          We need to judge people on the content of character. NOT on the word of some character who calls himself a doctor and slanders millions he never even met.

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          • Well OH, I think if someone is in psychiatric “treatment” and goes on a killing spree his shrink should be held accountable for the murders. Just like Timothy McVeigh’s accomplice.

            Right now shrinks always pretend these killers weren’t “being helped” when they know they actually were. Putting them on trial would draw attention to how worthless said “treatments” are at crime prevention.

            Absolute power and zero responsibility. No other medical profession has legal authority. Especially the kind that can overrule a judge’s.

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    • This is an important insight. I haven’t formally studied the data on mass murderers, but I do follow the trail to learn if they are on or are recently off psych meds. My informal research suggests that psych medications are a risk factor in mass murders. That leads to making a distinction between the mentally ill and those prescribed psychiatric medication. As was written in MIA a while ago, when a psychiatrist says, “You have a chemical imbalance in your brain,” what they actually mean is, “Your brain is perfectly normal, but I can change that.”

      In my professional practice as a psychologist, I neither diagnose nor treat mental illness. People come to me with an intention for what they want in their lives and name what stands in the way. The emotional health symptoms are very real – depression, anxiety, mania, psychosis, and so on. I work with a person for them to discover “who” is their symptom. It’s an entirely different paradigm from the standard model. Most of my clients find their symptoms resolve in 1-3 sessions spread out over 3 months. The most difficult symptom to treat are the side-effects of psych meds, because it can take a very long time for the brain to fully recover from their toxicity. I do not work with acute mania and psychosis.

      If instead of drugging people with depression, anxiety and lack of healthy connection to their lives, we had an emotional health support system that looked at the root causes – what Robert calls the societal failure – the whole landscape would change. As it stands, emotionally healthy, inspired and awakened individuals are what society can least afford.

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  15. Know something all mass shooters have in common? They are very, very angry.

    We all get angry. But we–as a society–used to control our anger better and realized murder was unacceptable.

    Sadly SSRI drugs lower empathy and many atypical neuroleptics such as abilify harm the brain centers linked to impulse control. Empathy and self control are essential for preventing murder.

    No drug can stimulate the conscience or help us love our fellow human beings.

    One solution would be taking someone seriously when he posts threats on social media about killing people. A lot of the killers crave notoriety and have done this.

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  16. “A lot of the time the so called “Mentally Ill” , are “Fairly Ordinary” people driven mad by antidepressants (prescribed to them, for life pressure reasons).”

    The reason they give people the ~antidepressants~ is to drive them mad.

    They need to sustain a huge underclass, otherwise we would have to find living wage jobs for all these people.

    So they need to turn people into basket cases.

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    • Sometimes I suspect that too PD.

      Plus more gruesome publicized murders means more power and authority for the members of the APA. Probably rubbing hands with glee every time a shooting occurs like Tim Murphy the Merciless did and using it to sell themselves as saviors of humanity.

      I’m sure Torrey doesn’t want these to end. No crime sprees means no reason to demand his victims be handed over for cruel, pointless experiments.

      “So what if all my test subjects and a few hundred other people die in the process? As long as I get the glory and honor I deserve as a legitimate Scientist. Real SCIENCE folks!”

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      • Welfare does not exist to provide for the needs of the poor, it exists to put the poor through ritual humiliations so that they will serve as a symbol of disgrace and disgust, to keep the entire work force docile.

        States have responded differently to the 1996 Clinton Gingrich Welfare Reform. AFDC no longer exists, replace by TANF. Some states use that to get people into the disability system, and I think usually it is ~mental disabilities~.

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        • “Welfare does not exist for the needs of the poor, it exists to put the poor through ritual humiliations….”


          And through crippling and ostracizing all those the shrinks have branded hopelessly insane, “mental health” ensures their victims will live in shame and poverty forever!

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    • This can be seen again and again in the Media when a “Mentally Ill” person “Acts Out” with Tragic Consequences in the Community.

      On close inspection the person is not genuinely part of the “Ill population” at all, but part of the “Normal population” and on an “Antidepressant”.

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      • In some cases for unusually cruel murders they’ll “diagnose” the person after the crime is committed.

        I remember a TV interview.
        Interviewer: So Dr. X, why did that mother drown her preschoolers?
        Shrink: Because she is bipolar.
        Interviewer: How do you know she is bipolar?
        Shrink: Because only a bipolar could do such a thing.

        This says nothing about her motives. She was a profoundly selfish, unloving woman who wanted a fresh start on life and new boyfriend. Her children got in the way.

        But the obvious explanation doesn’t sound scientific enough. Plus it scares people since we all are guilty of selfishness from time to time or neglecting those who need us.

        By claiming only a special category of people called the “mentally ill” are capable of such actions and special scientists can weed out these Others from polite society it produces a sense of security for those not accused of being born evil. And it must boost their egos too.

        “I thank Gawd I ain’t a lunatic.” (Dialogue from a Flannery O’Connor short story “Revelation.” The woman saying it is at the bottom of the Social Ladder.)

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      • Fiachra, the first one of these world wide recessions was in the 1870’s, brought on by over production and over consumption of steel, in the UK.

        It resulted in large scale unemployment. What that means is that our industrial capacity serves only very soft needs, it is in surplus.

        That surplus then either has to get used up in war, or there will be a recession.

        In the Great Depression, the auto industry shut down, and that took down all of its suppliers, and that alone brought on 25% unemployment.

        Think about it, how long does an automobile last?

        It lasts as long as you want to make it last. It was during the Great Depression that the after market spare parts industry developed.

        So when you have a large portion of our industrial capacity pitched at serving very soft needs, then you have this huge potential for instability built right in.

        Surpluses got eaten up in two world wars, plus a Cold War, a War on Drugs, and now a War on T*rr*r*sm, and a Wall and Internment Camps to stop refuges.

        But still, as technology continues to advance, our labor surplus continues to increase dramatically. If huge numbers of people did not have ~mental illness~ or ~autism~ then we would have to find living wage jobs for them. That is not easy to do when we already produce more than we need of everything.

        What had worked very well was Keynessianism, progressive taxation and spending. It expands the economy. Worked well for 40 years. Then some hostages were held in an embassy in Iran, and Christian Fundamentalists got mad at a Baptist Sunday School Teacher for trying to make Bob Jones University comply with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and so a Hollywood Playboy Divorcee got elected.

        Since then its been gutting of progressive income tax, and so it has been boom and bust after boom and bust, while the economic position of normal people continues to deteriorate. We are going the route of most historic societies, dividing into the very rich and the very poor.

        Money obtained by cutting progressive taxation does not recirculate, it gets used to inflate the stock and real estate markets. Vast fortunes have been accumulated.

        Louisiana had been the only state which prohibited disinheritance, but in the 90’s they amended their constitution. And some states have altered their laws to be far more favorable to things they call “Dynasty Trusts”.

        But we are being told that it is immigrants who are causing us economic troubles. And we are being told that poor people are ~morally deficient~ if not also ~mentally ill~.

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  17. Let’s also not pretend this has anything to do with Trump or Republicans. The Murphy Bill, which was also directed at “violent mental patients,” was approved UNANIMOUSLY by House Democrats. The only two opposing votes were cast by Republicans. And the final version was happily signed by Obama as the “21st Century Cures Act.”

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  18. Check this out.

    There is a T-shirt on Amazon bearing the slogan “Bipolar. Heavily medicated for your protection.”

    It’s recommended as a funny gift for “loved ones.” Nothing says “I love you” like calling someone psycho killer.

    Not funny! Even if you take psych drugs by choice this is nothing to joke about and fuels the hysterical paranoia of all with psych labels.

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  19. Trump is so wrong on this. These people write manifestos laying out their plans. They are not mentally ill. They are cold and calculating. A sociopath, maybe, a psychopath, maybe, but like Robert Hare says, “Psychopaths are not disoriented or out of touch with reality, nor do they experience the delusions, hallucinations, or intense subjective distress that characterize most other mental disorders. Unlike psychotic individuals, psychopaths are rational and aware of what they are doing and why. Their behavior is the result of choice, freely exercised.”

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  20. If “mental illness” were actually in any way behind the mass shooter violence there would be at least as many such crimes committed by women (who are labeled mentally ill in greater numbers than men). However, we see that the population of mass shooters doesn’t in any way reflect that – it is almost entirely a single demographic. The connection falls apart with just that one fact. But as pointed out in this piece, few are willing to really identify the real demographic risk factor.

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  21. Does anyone remember the phrase, “Going Postal?” Workplace violence was due to workplace stress. There is a greater, more far reaching answer to what we see today. It is the loss of true COMMUNITY.

    I have lived in the suburbs of Dayton for most of my years. As such, I have seen how neighborhoods, and families have changed over time. When I was young, in the 80’s, in my neighborhood, every neighbor knew everyone’s children in the neighborhood. Over time, this changed with the aging populations. The children and families grew up servicing the senior members in the neighborhood. Many of the local teens would take turns mowing grass, shoveling snow, for those that could not themselves. It was what we did.

    Jump forward 20 years. I am still living in a suburb of Dayton. Being a homeowner, and not enough time to maintain my lawn, I was hoping to find a neighborhood teen interested in doing the job. Nope, none could be found. Even if I found them, their work ethic was that of someone with no attention span.

    Losing COMMUNITY means losing an ability to find support of your neighbors and church goers. This is where the “mental health” industry steps in . . . they diagnose you to “support” you.

    When you turn to family members, you find out that they might have the time to talk . . . but they have their own lives struggles they are dealing with. That builds the divide even between brother to brother, brother to sister. Even if you had a normal familial relationship, being dismissed by family when asking for help is the biggest insult.

    There are a great many other reasons that events like the Dayton shooting occur, but these are overlooked. The rampant consumer culture, the de-evolution of social skills, the diagnosing of childhood as “mental illness”. . .

    Let us also not forget, a great many of law enforcement are taking “psychiatric” drugs. I know of a half-dozen right off-hand. They take the drugs, but none of them will take part in talk therapy.

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    • And once “mental health” has its claws in you any community support you had before is terminated.

      I had a dorm mom tell my friends at college not to talk to me. Only “mental health experts” were qualified to do so. It was dangerous for anyone else.

      Horrible to have your nearest and dearest turn on you because some quack tells them you’re hopelessly insane. And urges them to make sure you keep taking drugs to make you act insane. “And if she has any problems she is lying about taking her ‘meds’ like They all do or she’s faking the seizures and pacing.” 🙁

      Finally vindicated after 25 years thank God. At least my father finally believes me. He knows I’m not a monster after all.

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      • Rachel, this is especially true among highly educated affluent suburban liberals, which have made up my social circle for most of two decades. A classic response to requests for support are “That sounds like a topic to discuss with your therapist.” Often delivered quite derisively because you’re supposed to pretend everything’s ok, and you’re not welcome at gatherings if you can’t play along. There’s no crying in your mimosa at the country club, got it? (I’ve only been to a country club once, so a slight exaggeration, but still. :))

        The biggest loss I have sustained in terms of supportive community though was leaving the church. So many times I’ve considered pretending to believe just so I could access that support network I lost. But the last church I went to was in rural Appalachia (read: poor people who stick together) and I’ve never gotten the impression that the same kind of solidarity exists among folk who can afford to pay others to fix their problems.

        I have recently begun exploring the topic of Intentional Community, which I’m beginning to believe may be the best path toward a more sustainable and cohesive future. Rachel, as hard and painful as it’s been for you, I do sometimes envy the support you’ve expressed that you’ve received from your parents.

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        • I had my first break down at 14 when an older woman who had befriended me betrayed my family and caused us to be homeless for a summer.

          She was the wife of a prominent elder at church. Dad was the preacher. She manipulated her husband into forcing him to resign with no place to go.

          Psychiatry=Rejection. That’s all I got from it. Worse than Dr. Frankenstein since they take sweet, gentle people who were normal to begin with and transform them into monsters so they can play the Hero by blaming those they have already tortured and maimed. 🙁

          Psychiatry caused humanity as a whole to reject me. I curse the day I ever sought help from the quack who called himself a “soul doctor.” All he gave me were mind altering drugs to destroy my body and a label to make everyone turn on me, finishing the destruction of my soul.

          No mercy. No justice. Just drugs and lies, lies, lies…

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          • Rachel, you’ve never been anything other than a sweetheart here. You did not deserve what happened to you. You deserve to allow yourself to grieve for the losses you have sustained. Keep telling your story. You have much to offer this world.

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      • Rachel777 – thank goodness your Father came around. I have never had any of my family actually turn on me. They just have always called me “depressed” and rarely happy. This is relatively true. I pulled an older brother of mine to the side and started to explain some things I know that the general public did not. He always assumed there was a darker than dark side to government and politics, but I confirmed it for him. I gave him eight specific points which I witnessed and was told never to tell anyone . . . of course, I posed the “hypothetical” to him. His answer was the same as mine. BOOM. . . “now imagine if what I told you (my brother) was completely true?”

        I never went through the trauma of hospitalizations and torture way so many have and currently do . . . being dismissed by 7 of your 8 siblings makes one feel disconnected. If I had no healthy outlets for my coping mechanisms, I could really have seen me going off the deep end. It took years, but they started to realize how right I was about a great many things. . . just years before the events actually occurred.

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  22. Glad I read this and thank you! To me, the diagnoses themselves cause a split society, people who are “okay” and those with “mental problems.” The second group is invariably seen as a lower level human, inferior, not worthy of ANY rights, or, non-human, so the diagnoses themselves are hate speech.

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  23. This is a really interesting book:
    The Wiley handbook on violence in education : forms, factors, and preventions / edited by Harvey Shapiro

    It includes one chapter written by Ralph W. Larkin, about the 2014 UC Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger. Rodger was the first spree killer who claimed this Incel Identity (Involuntary Celibate).

    And Ralph W. Larking has written earlier about the Columbine killers. That one shocked everyone because there were two of them, so it didn’t really fit the “Lone Nut” characterization.

    What Larkin says is that really this is coming from the National Rifle Association, the narrative of the lone armed male seeking retribution. And then that NRA doctrine is pretty much the official position of the Republican Party. And then this Men’s Rights / PUA / PUA-HATE / MG-TOW movement which Rodger was induced into is pretty much just misogyny, and it also links to the NRA rhetoric.

    And then here Katherine S. Newman
    Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings

    And here, Newman, most interesting:

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  24. Robert said that

    Robert said that

    “this blaming ultimately prevents us from acknowledging the obvious truth: the regular presence of mass murders in our society needs to be seen as a societal failure. Blaming it on the “mentally ill”—whoever that mythical group may be—simply helps perpetuate that failure”

    I believe that this failure in our society resides in the pathological narratives created by political extremist, politicians, and especially Donald Trump who has an Authoritarian personality par excellence along with his shameful administration who follow him blindly because they are intoxicated by keeping power.

    In this, Hannah Arendt said that Eichmann was no madman but instead he was just “following orders” because he had “curious, quite authentic inability to think”. The same can be said of any leader of any country who have too much power and the US is certainly no exception as the Republicans become subservient to Trump’s whims hence complicit in his malignant and racist narratives that appeal to the irrational emotions of the masses and especially those who are sleepers.

    “With the exception of many criminals, bullies, and other people who have already behaved violently or abusively, the majority of psychologically normal people are “sleepers”-that is, they are dispositionally inclined, when the situation is right, to aggression and destructiveness. Their patterns of thought and behavior are to be understood dispositionally, that is, in the conditional sense that, if an adequately provoking situation arises, then the behavior that results will tend to be malignant: they have a pathogenic willingness to inflict harm, which remains latent until an appropriate situation arises. Such a situation may, for example, come in the form of war, ideological conflict, unrestricted power over others (as in an inadequately supervised prison), narcissistic injury, or in many other ways. Such “adequately provoking situations” unfortunately, as we know, arise with great frequency and prevalence”

    From Steven James Bartlett’s book “Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health:the need to look elsewhere for standards of good psychology health

    I wish someone in MIA would do a book review of Bartlett’s book

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  25. If anyone wants to know what is really going on that is driving the xenophobic and racist public attacks we’re seeing more and more of, let me tell you a story.

    My parents retired to a small town in Appalachia the year after NAFTA went into effect – 1995. At the time, manufacturing was already beginning to suffer, but there was still a robust manufacturing sector. But over the next few years, one by one the textile mills shuttered, then the furniture factories, then eventually a few years ago even the local pressboard plant finally layed off its last workers. Meanwhile, the migrant labor that had settled into the area to work the tobacco farms, also found itself with fewer jobs as the tobacco industry waned with fewer people smoking.

    NAFTA was supposed to provide job retraining, but the jobs that replaced manufacturing jobs were not of the same quality, weren’t unionized, didn’t provide benefits, paid only just above minimum wage. And then ironically, as they were mostly call center jobs, these jobs have also started to go away – some offshored to India, but also to the much more exploitable prison labor industry. So you started to see this really extreme economic hardship enveloping the area, which coincided with welfare reform going into effect in 1998. First take people’s jobs, then starve them. What could go wrong?

    In the small town my parents lived in, the local migrant population pooled their funds and opened a Mexican restaurant. A local white man, whose daughter had married a Guatemalan, opened the Guatemalan Coffee Shop. This in a town which already boasted a yearly KKK parade. So the stage begins to be set for someone like Donald Trump to come in, and despite people’s actual knowledge of the sequence of events, they now have a scapegoat and a boogeyman – Central Americans. Then candidate Trump campaigned on reversing NAFTA and bringing back the jobs that had made the area, if not quite prosperous, at least not destitute. He wanted to make America great again, and the way to do that was to drive out these “invaders” – immigrants, but specifically Muslims and those being driven north from Central America (also ironically due to US policies of interventionism and destabilization).

    If you look around the country to the other rural areas experiencing similar economic hardship, you see a similar pattern. Michigan is a very good example because of the Muslim population, and again, the closing or downsizing of the auto industry. Drive an hour from the coast in California and you arrive in Trump country as well, with whites feeling “invaded” by the gang violence in the cities that they see driven by people coming from south of the border. Everywhere you go, there is economic hardship from the drying up of jobs, and that provides the fuel for the hatred and othering of people who don’t look you. It has also driven suicides, divorce, families losing children. And it has come from a mix of economic policies enacted by people on both “sides” of the aisle who won’t feel their effects, and now by a president who has spent years inciting racist, mysogenistic, but especially xenophobic violence at every turn. Trump thrives on this.

    And then what do we add to this toxic mix of class warfare and fomenting hatred? Guns with the ability to mow down large numbers of people. It is true that these incidents increased after the FAWB was lifted in 2004. It’s also true that they increased again substantially when Donald Trump’s rhetoric ramped up to a fever pitch in 2015. What has changed is that “mental illness” is beginning to be known for the boogeyman it is, and with Donald Trump being an easier target politically, the elite liberals who had been pushing that narrative for two decades have begun to change their tune. And so with the advent of the Trump presidency and Muslim bans and calls to stop the invasion by building a wall, the rhetoric has been exposed for what it is. But you cannot fully understand how it has reached such a fever pitch without also understanding the class warfare that was started under Clinton with NAFTA and other trade agreements, that has put so much of America’s heartland into abject misery and destitution financially, and at complete odds with the coasts and it’s educated liberal elites. This is a toxic mix that will not be fixed merely with another assault weapons ban – especially not with the AR-15 being the most popular gun in America, and with this country having more guns than people.

    We have gone about addressing gun violence as if it were the guns that were the issue. And gun reforms did significantly lower the number of suicides completed with a firearm among those with a history of treatment for “mental illness”. But the suicide rate itself continues to increase – with euphemistic names like “deaths of despair” so nobody has to call out the actual cause – this is especially true among middle aged white men who have lost jobs, lost ability to provide for their families, lost face. Now we see headlines about the increases of successful self-poisonings, and we must surely know that eliminating guns won’t eliminate the misery that drives violence – toward self or others. If we cannot or will not attempt to address the underlying causes of mass violence, we are simply, as I said above, putting bandaid on a hemorrhaging wound. This is an effect of end-stage capitalism that creates massive inequality, of austerity policies that punish the poor, and of intentionally divisive hate-filled politics that we are only unable to ignore under Trump because he’s brought it out into the daylight. Ban the guns, but I’m warning you that hunger, joblessness, homelessness, and shrinking net worths are going to have to be targeted to make a real difference in stemming the rates of violence. Incidentally, we’d do a lot of good for the nation’s “mental health” by addressing these underlying factors as well.

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    • Very few workers now feel that they have the job security to even attempt to unionize. Even existing unions often have to accept contracts expiring, because they don’t feel that they have to political clout to prevail in a conflict.

      Its globalization, but it is also just the continuing advance of agricultural, industrial, and information technology. We already produce more than we need of all goods and services.

      The cutting of progressive taxation, the giving away of tax breaks, the undermining of unionization and of worker and consumer safety provisions, all Rick Perry’s “Red State” tactics, do not do anything to increase the net size of the economy, or the number of jobs.

      Keynesianism worked well for 40 years, but it was also getting helped along by wars. Beyond a point though, the classic Keynesian goal of full employment does stop making sense.

      Welfare is clearly the next step, and that does help greatly. But it also creates a problem, in that the entire nation’s politics comes to revolve around denigrating the poor, as well as minorities and immigrants.

      As it is now, we are depending on concepts like ~mental illness~ and ~autism~ to pull lots of people out of the labor force. This is the only way that the Work Ethic continues to be upheld.

      At this point the US and the other industrialized nations really have no choice but to go to a Universal Basic Income system. Not needs tested, and providing everyone with a livable income. Most of the money simply comes from re-circulation. It is only when money gets into the hands of rich people that it stops recirculating, being used to inflate the stock and real estate markets.

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      • I am against a universal basic income as at its core, it promotes continued production and consumption, which is precisely what is driving climate change. Humanity is on a collision course toward extinction and the only way to even remotely begin to address this is by removing all profit, discouraging consumption (the opposite of current economic theory), and returning to what we in “civilization” think of as “primitive” ways.

        I personally am pretty tired of crapping into the decreasing supply of fresh water, of industrial agriculture that pollutes, and of technology that serves the owners and the surveillance state rather than serving the people.

        I am fully onboard with your criticisms of the nuclear family and climbing the class ladder. I would like to see people benefit directly from the fruits of their labor (socialism), while reducing or eliminating all forms of state control, including policing and incarceration, and warfare – in other words collectivist anarchism.

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        • I am against a universal basic income as at its core, it promotes continued production and consumption, which is precisely what is driving climate change.

          So people have no right to a basic income? Why pit people against the environment? We both have the same enemies. So until the state is neutralized by collective action why not take enough from the trillionaire class to give the people a pittance? Are you concerned that if people have it too good (i.e. aren’t starving) they won’t be motivated to address the climate crisis? And aren’t production and consumption of some sort basic human activities? (I don’t think you’re suggesting the human race simply disappear.)

          Just looking for more clarity, these aren’t criticisms so much as points of confusion.

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          • A fundamental problem is that a universal basic income is a replacement for a progressive welfare system and is at its core incredibly inequitable in its application. My husband and I DO NOT NEED any financial help, thank you. And people like Rachel (who is in the exact same financial situation I was in on SSI) will get very little additional benefit from another $220 dollars a month. (To be clear, the most frequently discussed number is a UBI of $1000/mo) This has the same shortcomings as a flat income tax, which would take the same percentage from those who have next to nothing as it would from millionaires. That’s not equitable.

            My position is not that people should starve, which is exactly what would continue to happen to those at the bottom of the income scale with those receiving the UBI as their only source of income, such as the disabled. My point is that if a UBI can be legislated by congress or state governments, then better, more equitable distribution of resources can also be legislated by those governments. I am FOR canceling all mortgage debt and nationalizing the housing stock because housing is a human right. We’ve removed people from the natural world and concentrated them in cities where they can’t make their own homes, then we make them participate in debt bondage to meet their needs.

            I am FOR nationalizing food production and distribution as we still produce enough food in the US to feed the world but the government provides economic incentives to allow food to rot in the fields, and for corporations to intentionally spoil good food they throw away and the write the loss off their taxes.

            I am FOR an NHS that entirely removes the profit motive from healthcare, that returns health research to the universities with government funding, and that promotes health in communities through access to healthy environments and healthy foods rather than making people sick and then profiting off their needs for insulin and Lipitor.

            “We”, in terms of the corporate-controlled US govt, behave in completely sociopathic ways toward the citizenry and then we’re surprised that people are cracking up? Please, start getting your heads out of the sand.

            And yes, we do need to be moving back toward more primitive ways. We are already well past the 350 ppm of carbon in the atmosphere that scientists have been warning for over 40 years as being the point at which a 2 degree Celsius plus warming becomes irreversible. We’re already well past the 400+ ppm carbon that we were warned would trigger feedback loops that we’re already seeing as far as melting permafrost and flooding the atmosphere with much more damaging methane. I know you continue to think our technological overlords will pull a Hail Mary and save us, and I’m convinced you don’t really understand climate science, the colonialist nature of resource domination primarily practiced on the North American continent, and what needs to change in order to create a ecologically sustainable and just society. But considering the level of misery that modern lifestyles cause, why wouldn’t we want to return to a more primitive, collectivist approach?

            A UBI is a bandaid, once again, not a fix. We’re all better off when we’re all better off, and a UBI doesn’t make us all better off.

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          • Oldhead, bandaids do not, in and of themselves, stop bleeding. Sometimes a wound continues to bleed and seeps out around the edges of the bandaid, sometimes the wound is too large for a bandaid and must be sutured, sometimes a coagulant must be administered.

            I do not want to put a bandaid over the problems the western world is facing for the same reason that antidepressants are a poor choice for treating psychic pain. It doesn’t treat the underlying issues causing the disfunction, it merely distracts and politicians who promote such false cures pat themselves on the back for doing “something”.

            See my pain. See the collective pain that is driving misery. Don’t promote false treatments. Demand real change. A UBI is a financial antidepressant. It allows those in power, those who are actively doing harm, to continue to do so with impunity.

            A bandaid would be great if, collectively, we could actually figure out how to stop the bleeding first.

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          • I don’t get your logic. You seem to be rooting for the system to collapse on our heads. NOTHING can be solved short of revolution and EVERYTHING else is some sort of “band-aid.” So in that case why advocate interim steps of any sort? All I know is that, with the way Buddy the Cat “playfully” scratches & bites, my place would be a bloody mess without band aids to at least contain the bleeding and prevent infection.

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    • Great musings in general..however…

      And gun reforms did significantly lower the number of suicides completed with a firearm among those with a history of treatment for “mental illness”.

      Got documentation for that?

      Ban the guns, but I’m warning you that hunger, joblessness, homelessness, and shrinking net worths are going to have to be targeted to make a real difference in stemming the rates of violence.

      Well, it’s impossible to ban guns even if we wanted to. The other stuff should be “targeted,” but cannot be addressed by what you call “end stage” capitalism (one reason why it’s “end stage”). Of course it’s not really end stage until wedecide to “make capitalism history.” As Frederick Douglas said, power cedes nothing without a demand. Good writing though.

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      • Oldhead, it’s been shown that repeal of permit-to-purchase laws increase suicide completion by firearm. But don’t mistake me for a gun control advocate based on such. I am fully committed to protecting the individual’s right to end their own life at the time of their choosing, and I object to gun control on the basis of suicide prevention as, once again, it goes around the actual problem of “why do people want to kill themselves”. I find it a disingenuous “fix”.

        I wasn’t suggesting the problem could be addressed by end-stage capitalism. I’m saying end-stage capitalism (capitalism itself) is the problem that needs fixing.

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        • Sorry for being unclear. I just meant that “addressing” these things requires the overthrow of capitalism, and cannot be accomplished in lieu of this. And I know you know this.

          I mentioned somewhere else that people in this thread (not you) are accepting the false argument that it’s either guns or mental illness to blame for mass violence, when in fact it’s neither. And it’s even more absurd to talk about “gun control” when the only people who could control guns are people with more and bigger guns. And RW falls for this here, which taints the effect of his accurately pointing out that blaming “mental patients” constititutes “hate speech.”

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        • Truth is, given escalating and threatening violence, people feel compelled to protect themselves and their families. To do nothing is to put both, regardless of whether high powered guns or nut cases be blamed, at risk.

          People want less violence, as a general rule, not more. Not even attempting a solution means the violence continues to increase. I suggest that this very practical concern underlies some folks reasoning on the subject.

          Requiring the overthrow of capitalism for the achievement of a modicum of peace, I’d call that a ‘pipe dream’ if ever there was one. Suddenly, the opium of the intelligentsia (political ideology) has replaced the opium of the masses (religious doctrine) as our primary motivation.

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  26. A study by Oxford University published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2009) showed that the risk of violence in schizophrenia diagnosed patients was almost the same compared with the general population. Only when drugs and alcohol abuse were at play, the risk of violent crimes was 1.6x higher.

    The researchers studied the criminal history of 8,000 schizophrenia diagnosed patients and 8,000 of their brothers and sisters and compared it with 80,000 controls from the general population using over 30 years of hospital data and criminal records. The criminal behavior included murder, assault, robberies, arson, sexual crimes, illegal threats and intimidation.

    It may provide evidence that the capacity to do harm to others may not originate from severe mental health issues.

    FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole states the following:

    “O’Toole says that most people who have mental health issues are nonviolent, and further, that mass shootings require the planning and foresight. Perpetrators, she said, “have to think with a certain degree of clarity.” My experience has been, that these are individuals that, if there is a mental health issue, they still are able to function very strategically, and in a very cold-blooded and callous manner. So, mental health is not the problem”

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  27. Definitely a sad thing that most people seem to be buying into one or the other side of the “mass violence is caused by a) guns or b) untreated ‘mental illness'” argument. Both are obfuscations which draw attention away from the fact that corporate/capitalist rule is founded upon violence and dependent upon violence for its continues existence. This is reflected all around and will continue until the toxic culture at the root of the problem is eliminated and permanently transformed.

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    • This is basically what I have been trying to say.

      The US is a violent culture. We use force and coersion at every opportunity and couch it in terms of public safety. Then we wonder why people outwardly express the violence they’ve internalized. It makes me want to beat my own head into a brick wall to demonstrate “headache prevention”. I’m still not sure folks would make the connection.

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      • The USA exists only as a result of violence and oppression, a fact which colors every aspect of our society. We are not alone in this, of course, but the particular history of the USA, from the treatment of the native population to the use of slave labor to create wealth to the continued second-class citizenship of certain populations in the USA continues to place violent conquest and subjugation at the center of our politics. And of course, the entire business model of Western society is based on conquest and the implied violence of starvation and hopeless poverty for those who fail to comply with “the rules,” and even for many who do.

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  28. I’ve had it myself, that when I couldn’t quite comprehend EXTREME discrimination against me by someone that was supposed to be teaching yoga at a parks and recreation class (it was more a class in the escapist balm of the silly pretentious belief that when you think there’s a danger that isn’t there, you are safe when you make out it’s there when it isn’t); and also happened to be a social worker.

    All she has to say as a social worker is that I might become violent, and they throw out a whole array of misinterpretation of EVERYTHING I did.

    If I walked out the same door as she did, which everyone had to at one point to get out of there, unless one would go all around like an Egyptian maze game, and it happened to be close to when she left, I was stalking her following her to her car, although I never took ONE step in her direction, and always went straight to my bike. Never was INTERESTED in going anywhere near her or her car.

    If I tried to share music of mine — I was gifted an expensive 1000 dollars synthesizer, and wanted to share the music produced, along with other piano music I recorded that I shared with all sorts of people who loved it: bus drivers, one convenience store owner who found out that her sister stole the CD because it was the only thing that helped her go to sleep, people at coffee houses, the prior yoga teacher at Parks and Recreation that said it was good music for yoga — and this turned into I was giving her special gifts, was supposedly dangerously in love with her (I’m gay by the way so it wouldn’t do anything for me if she showed up at my door begging for it, I also found her quite repulsively coy, although I admired her attempt to be committed to yoga).

    If after class, because I rode a bike, and had to put on warmer clothes over my jogging outfit before riding home, and was doing this quietly while she was talking to someone else, I supposedly was closely listening to what she was saying, as if I was obsessed with her. I also apparently was supposed to be deaf, or unable to comprehend English, because when I heard her moan about liking chocolate and having bought some, and mentioned later that I found out you could put a couple spoon fulls of coco in your oatmeal in the morning and get the same resonant buzz from the coco that chocolate gives you (without the sugar in the chocolate); she accused me of being mad at her because of her sugar intake (!?) REALLY! THAT because I was trying to share a way to have coco without the sugar, given her moaning as if she had bought some more of that stuff; and she and a friend of hers then proceeded to supposedly monitor how dangerously angry I got. I couldn’t care less about what she eats, what happened was that I found I had been talking on about stuff, and she mentioned that it was time for the next class to start. She also mentioned that she didn’t remember mentioning the chocolate. I looked a bit severe noticing I had been running my mouth, also could feel she was disingenuous, and this turned into (I can’t even keep it straight hardly)… Oh yeah, because she thought I could get violent, she had to make out I was harassing her, which I wasn’t, and she said that she had told me to back off and I didn’t. She hadn’t said ANYTHING at all, just in a coy way mentioned that the next class was starting, after saying she didn’t remember the comment about the chocolate. And if she HAD said back off, and I had noticed how alarmed, paranoid, or hateful she was, I would have simply completely stayed away from her. She ALSO mentioned later in a report, that she had to watch her sugar, and didn’t know I was paying such close attention to what she said (!?!?!?!?!??!)

    I have to add that I wonder was she on Zyprexa or something (I don’t know, it can make you diabetic so maybe you have to watch your sugar they would say)? Was she on an antidepressant (and or a sedative) allowing her to not question that she was jumping any available conclusions, and not even knowing what really was happening? It was just weird the way she misinterpreted anything. Was she on some sort of psychiatric drug helping her not question she was jumping to conclusions?

    It seemed endless.

    She had music on, relaxing music, this on a ghetto blaster device, but one of the speakers would spit out static, and so I wondered whether she heard that, which I mentioned, and she pooh poohed that, saying it was just “parks and recreation,” and didn’t want to buy a good one. I thought that was that, but that was later corrupted as well.

    She had been QUITE rude to me, when she mentioned that she had to have vaccine shots, and her arm hurt. This WHILE she was having a conversation across me with another person. So, being put in the middle of a conversation, I simply asked: “Do they really help as much as they say they do?” There’s a lot of controversy about vaccines, and she said (moaning again)” I’m not going to have a whole long conversation about it,” I didn’t either, I just was proposing questioning that that was the whole answer (we also have an immune system by the way, that works better when you live a healthy lifestyle), so I simply gently repeated that I think you have to look at both sides. Then she got really jumpy as if she was a mouse trap whose spring had been sprung and snapped out: “Those who aren’t getting vaccines are making the rest of us sick.” I didn’t say anything at all, not even: “Oh does that mean that we can not take care of ourselves and incubate all sorts of viruses our immune system could otherwise take care of, as long as we have vaccines!?” ANYHOW! There also are all sorts of other reasons for the diseases in our society amongst them the domesticated animals that were quaked in Europe that incubated many of the viruses our “civilization,” has that killed most of the indigenous people that were here already and had more respect for nature.
    I found that a bit offensive and thought about what to do, so I gently called the person hiring people for Parks and Recreation, and mentioned this, also stating about the ghetto blaster thing, because, out of kindness, I thought they might want to buy her a good one, which they then actually did; but this got turned into that I didn’t like her music (I hadn’t said ANYTHING about her music, and I actually had liked it, a bit). In reality, I had pointed out that her machine was spitting out static from one speaker rather than music, and she had denigrated Parks and Recreation as an organization not worth buying good equipment for when presenting a class for them.

    And then, after THAT, I hadn’t gone to class a couple of times, although I had TRIED TO get there, But I ride my bike: which I couldn’t do all the way there, because I had at that time bad eczema, which would be horribly exacerbated would my hands sweat inside the glove I’d have to wear because it was cold; and I could ride to a near by bus stop, and put my bike on the rack of the bus, but the rack was full of other bikes BOTH times. So this “social worker” who is supposed to be professional at that, actually maintained that I didn’t go to the next classes because I was resentful that she didn’t agree with me on vaccines, I supposedly also spoke against all vaccines when talking to her boss, which wasn’t the case; I had said I was getting e-mails all the time, and repeated what some of them said, not saying I agreed with it, just pointing out there are different view points, and I didn’t go to the yoga class to be told how to think about vaccines, or that I’m supposed to be a consumer for the drug companies. And apparently, she had a whole list of FALSE interpretation of my behavior, and still more I haven’t shared. When I’m AT CLASS anything she feels free to misinterpret is, but do I NOT show up, then again there’s MORE false interpretations. And WHY would she want me in class, when I supposedly was stalking her, trying to intimidate her and supposedly dangerously in love with her, but when I don’t show up I’m resentful. I couldn’t really do ANYTHING (couldn’t be there, couldn’t not be there) and she felt free to misinterpret ANYTHING. And this is a “professional” social worker.

    I had asked her once about a pose, because I was doing it wrong, I had held my arms incorrectly (probably because of the incorrect way she used her arm muscles, but anyhow), THAT was cleared up, and I simply said: “Oh, I was holding my arms wrong,” but then that got turned into that I supposedly stepped on her yoga mat. I don’t even know what THAT was, because if I had, I didn’t know it, and had she told me I was stepping on it, I would have been happy. Then in trying to “characterize” me which might as well have been a fictional character from some chase scene movie, that I have nothing to do with, she said I had stepped on her yoga mat another time. If I had, which I don’t know if I did, because so much of what she said didn’t add up, and I’m not cognizant of doing that, I would have been happy to know I did something clumsy, so as to not do that. I guess I supposedly was trying to intimidate her by stepping on her yoga mat. (!?!?!?!?)

    And she always mentioned that people could ask her questions the first class , so I had done that. Since I had shared music with the prior teacher there (who also took me to a Hindu Church meeting one day, when he passed me by in the car, and we had gone to a restaurant together), I thought I would share a CD of piano music with her. She wanted to play it in class point to me and say: “That’s HIS.”, which I actually hesitated about doing, not just because I don’t like being made out to be such an object. It was my own piano playing and music, and music seems to come from nowhere, from God, some involuntary place that keeps our heart beating, it’s not mine, and it’s not me in a way, anyhow, I didn’t want to do that. Also, one of the most DIFFICULT things to do composing music is to actually be able to listen to it, and know what kind of changes to make, is it to become what was there beyond time in the beginning. Recently there are pieces where a simple phrase, or the whole method of constructing a phrase has taken years for me to complete. So hearing my own music, and free to have such thoughts, while doing yoga, I didn’t know about that, and mentioned that I wouldn’t be able to concentrate. She then said that, as a teacher for parks and recreation, she couldn’t accept a CD from someone (which I actually had forgot, because I later mistakenly offered her another CD). We had a bit of a conversation, and I tend to run my mouth a bit, I mentioned a video from the library about yoga I had learned, and used for years, and the conversation was soon enough over. Only there was a friend of hers there in the background, who apparently convinced her that I was in her “personal space,” they started to make up erroneous ideas about me, she had friends of hers walk her to her car; and she mentioned that supposedly I was 40 pounds heavier than I was, that I was 2 inches taller, and that in talking with her then, I was trying to intimidate her looming over her. What I remember, which took me a long time to figure out after the whole assault of misconceptions, is that she was standing a bit bent over, her head down bobbling a bit, and my response was to straighten up, because I felt that the chi energy was somehow compromised the way she was standing. If someone wasn’t compromising themselves (and compromising their chi energy) to the whole plethora of compromising oneself to such false stereotyping, like an obsequious bobble head doll, then they are looming over her trying to intimidate her? And it took me a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time to figure out what the flip THAT remark of her’s was about.

    And I couldn’t actually watch what was going on in class, or it was reported that I was gawking at her. I couldn’t follow her vocal instructions because her voice was quite sing song, so I had to look to see what I was supposed to do.

    I don’t wear my glasses while doing yoga, so I had to get close enough to see better what she was doing, and then I was supposedly trying to get too close to her. And I was always in a standard place anyone could have taken.

    I had a bad back the last class of her’s I went to at all, and so I took a break from doing the poses (in fact I couldn’t) but I still did most of them, and for maybe 2 to 5 minutes of a long 55 minute class had my head on my hand, watching what she was doing, then I actually took the child pose for a couple poses, which she remarked upon, that that was something anyone could do when they wanted to rest rather than do a pose, or the pose was too difficult. THAT turned into that supposedly 80 percent of the time I had my head on my hand watching her.

    She also said that I didn’t do “anything” she’d tell me to do. I actually TRIED to do her poses, and afterwards realized that she went WAY to fast for me, and I just couldn’t follow, because it went against what yoga really does. Let alone the whole assault misinterpreting anything she felt free to, and acting like it was really going on. Her “friends” in trying to make me out to be something I wasn’t, and doing things I wasn’t, said that all I did was watch her, which is something she reported, along with making the statement (and this is a professional social worker) that I was “creeping” them out. THAT when I was simply slowly putting on my things to leave class, as I explain above, and having NOTHING to do with them. How much my clothing, my hair style, the fact that I didn’t have a car, and that I actually needed something that was more true to what yoga is had to do with that, you can imagine.

    And the funniest thing (if ANY of this is to be humorous) is that having been in spiritualism, and having experienced the belief that you can hear voices from spirit that give advice (although I found that the people in spiritualism were giving a bit too much advice) I had heard clearly a voice (and I know from whom, I think) telling me to not even ask her questions after class. To just go to class and not talk to her at all, but I found that annoying, because I knew that I was only going to class, and only asking questions, and that there wasn’t anything else going on.

    And so what happens was that I couldn’t process all of it, and one day came upon the idea that there was some sort of something going on akin to a Hollywood Chase scene. Which WAS going on, the way they were stereotyping me, making out I was some crazy person obsessed with her, dangerously in love with her, and could become violent.

    I wish I could go into what I thought was going on for one day, and tried to communicate in completely innocence and honestly, only to realize the next day it wasn’t quite what I thought at all, but it was too late, they thought I was I don’t know what. There was a restraining order, and I was kicked out of Parks and Recreation Classes.

    And I seriously wish I could go into what they would describe as dangerously “crazy,” because it’s fascinating, how it relates to non linear time. Little blips of what happened during the time of Stradivari (who warned me about her, I think) and Guarneri Del Gesu, who experienced people talking about the same kind of strange phobic behavior going on as goes on now, that in a tavern where refuge’s could come (he met his wife there, from Bohemia) as well as people that knew about the abuses of the Catholic Church that was then taking over the remnants of the Roman Empire (the Hapsburg Empire). And all of the power plays, and devious, wicked stuff going on. I’ll go as far right now as to say that there was a lady working at a local Goodwill, that made me think she had (you’d call is a past lifetime if time were linear, but it really shows we’re more than what we perceive physically) been a waitress-bartender in the tavern, and this shook other things loose it’s too much to go into right now. And I was disassociating from all of the EXTREME paranoia about me (thus the idea of a Hollywood Chase scene), because I REALLY just wanted to learn yoga, was NOT in love with this silly woman, and the rest. I HAVE learned yoga, all on my own, being given from somewhere no one can take away from me poses that help me extremely.

    But at one point, this person hiring others for Parks and Recreation, says, while I’m right there, as if I’m some dangerous machinery: “She says that he could get violent.”

    I’M supposed to believe THAT!? And I simply said nothing, because that’s how people respond, and it’s so baffling in a way, and I didn’t know how to respond, given that one can’t even really say a whole list of things. I wouldn’t be to possibly say that I’m not on “medications,” which correlate with making people violent, because that might mean I’m non compliant, and they can just patch on that I could become violent. You know how that goes. And he says that about me, as if it should be obvious that that then means that I shouldn’t be allowed to take their classes. And NO ONE mind you even looked enough at her supposed ridiculous report to see that if I went to class there’s a whole list of stuff, and when I didn’t go to class there was more of it, and there was NO WAY she could know WHY I hadn’t gone to a couple of classes. And I never made ANY advances towards he AT ALL. Told them that I just wanted to take yoga, and that was ALL. But as soon as you say something they can label crazy, how much of what you do that they don’t understand is free bate for what could be listed as seriously discriminatory, and also hate speech.

    I’ve come through this whole period now (this happened 2009 I think), and can understand the unconscious, the subconscious, and now how to work with it, and so the dream state where it’s animated is clearer; and I’ve been QUITE courageous with NOT allowing it to made out to be something that it isn’t, EVEN when it caused me extreme difficulty, and I’ve come through it, but HOW MANY people feel free to be EXTREMELY hostile, and the amount of Hate Speech, acting as if they have to be hostile to me because of THEIR OWN paranoia,

    or hearing:

    “He’s crazy,” or “He has to get out of here,” in EXTREMELY hostile ways, as if I’m some sort of danger I’m quite incapable of, to begin with, as it’s not in my belief system, which they again would say is crazy.

    I think that having a gun or resorting to violence is investing in the believe that it’s necessary and that THOUGHT itself creates the world where you would experience it as real. THAT’S labeled as crazy, as well. Which I’ve pointed out quite a few times. I believe you either transcend the situation, or you repeat it, depending on what you invest in. And such fear causes time to repeat itself, when otherwise you would be free of the cause.

    And what I haven’t mentioned yet about the voice I heard telling me to stay away from her. At another point, in a “hearing,” she actually sat there, and straightened herself up in her chair, took a pose, the same bobble effect again but this time acting sure of herself, game theory as if life depends on it, and states:

    “I know, he doesn’t hear voices, he sees things that aren’t there, it’s not reality based….”

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      • Rachel777 yes it was extremely shocking. Overloading. Just going over all of that CRUD last night, the whole assault of non reality based pretentious hateful and discriminatory junk, in trying to type what’s above, it gets to be too much, and I have to take a lot of trouble to give myself space to rest afterwards.

        There was another thing I didn’t mention. In the beginning, when that brain washed lady had started to get her discriminatory ideas, it was during rest pose, and I saw the image of a spirit friend of mine, when she was a child. A spirit that I got to know incredibly well, and she had actually opened the channel with spiritualism in a way (although we later had to get away from it) because a medium was doubting the information. She had to put him in a trance. Well, I saw her as a young girl, and it made me cry. I’m talking about Mozart’s Mother Anna. I had some soft tears, and then I heard in the background someone (one of the yoga teacher’s friends) say: “And he starts crying.” I much later found out they thought I was in love with her, although it had NOTHING to do with it. Apparently, if I smiled at her, that was some sign of dangerous infatuation as well. And the girl that says: “and he starts crying,” was the one who said I was in the yoga teacher’s personal space, and then they intrude EXTREMELY into mine actually stalking, harassing, trying to intimidate with extremely non reality based and discriminatory actions. And they also in the process made it clear that if there was anyone that could become violent because of non reality based thoughts it was THEM!

        This whole crud about “it’s mental illness,” regarding mass shootings, when psychiatrists each year KILL with their medications MORE people than all the mass shootings put together; and it might be Kill more people every month, for all I know.

        What was so shocking, sitting there hearing someone say, as if it’s some sort of obvious logic: “She said he could become violent,” is that there is the whole mass of children, that when they simply had difficulty concentrating, had some mild manic behavior, felt sad in a way that bothered them, were rebellious against authority; or because of lack of sleep or lack of a space to express themselves safely, had thoughts they didn’t know how to understand, or children that were sexually abused, or bullied, or encountered physical abuse; these children probably at one point had to listen to reports of what “a social worker,” said about them, because if labeled that way it could become a reason they needed to be seen as having a psychiatric condition to keep the whole system going; and then have the whole array of misconstrued brainwashed crud thrown at them; when they really just didn’t quite know what was going on with them and why they responded in a completely natural and normal way to what was going on. Or even that it WAS a completely normal and natural way to respond to something they couldn’t safely express as being the cause. Instead there’s something wrong with the response…

        And there’s a lot I haven’t mentioned regarding what was supposed to be crazy concerning me. One of the things ended up being something (a time loop) whatever, that made me feel sure that I would get a physical miracle, that I consequently have gotten. But the way such things work is beyond the limitations of those calling it non reality based. And all they have to do is stop judging it. Stop being alarmist about nothing. Stop jumping to conclusions. Stop for ONE MOMENT, and think that maybe they DON’T know what’s going on.

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    • I’ve got two reactions:

      1. That sounds so high school. (emotionally immature and insecure – who is the “crazy” one here?)

      2. That sounds a lot like Australian Yoga, which is a lot more competitive than American Yoga (unless American Yoga has become more competitive.)

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      • I actually had the same impression about high school, although it’s insulting to high school. It really was like her and her immature high school friends making up stories about someone they thought was weird. It really was like a bunch of immature high school girls going on about someone they think is weird and then concocting a bunch of alarmist scenarios they believe are real.

        And what she made out of yoga to me really was not good for one’s health. When you are doing something that’s supposed to relax the mind giving the body the chance to let go of toxicity and negativity, and yet there’s this strange varnish to what’s going on more akin to smiling because one is playing the image game; as well as that she went too fast to allow for true letting go, it makes one anxious in an area that otherwise gives one the space to let go of anxiety.

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  29. Trump and Ken Cuccinelli on changing our immigration rules, that is hate speech against the poor and against welfare recipients. Our economic system is failing, and all they want to talk about is our very small welfare system.

    Very few workers now feel that they have the job security to even attempt to unionize. Even existing unions often have to accept contracts expiring, because they don’t feel that they have to political clout to prevail in a conflict.

    Its globalization, but it is also just the continuing advance of agricultural, industrial, and information technology. We already produce more than we need of all goods and services.

    The cutting of progressive taxation, the giving away of tax breaks, the undermining of unionization and of worker and consumer safety provisions, all Rick Perry’s “Red State” tactics, do not do anything to increase the net size of the economy, or the number of jobs.

    Keynesianism worked well for 40 years, but it was also getting helped along by wars. Beyond a point though, the classic Keynesian goal of full employment does stop making sense.

    Welfare is clearly the next step, and that does help greatly. But it also creates a problem, in that the entire nation’s politics comes to revolve around denigrating the poor, as well as minorities and immigrants.

    As it is now, we are depending on concepts like ~mental illness~ and ~autism~ to pull lots of people out of the labor force. This is the only way that the Work Ethic continues to be upheld.

    At this point the US and the other industrialized nations really have no choice but to go to a Universal Basic Income system. Not needs tested, and providing everyone with a livable income. Most of the money simply comes from re-circulation. It is only when money gets into the hands of rich people that it stops recirculating, being used to inflate the stock and real estate markets.

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    • Yes, propose that muslims are terrorists and you create space for a muslim ban. Propose that Latino folks are invading and you create space for walls along the border. Propose that the “mentally ill” are dangerous and you create space for calls to lock them up. Here’s another one: propose that white men are the root of all evil due to unearned privilege and you create space for the vilification of an entire group of folks who didn’t ask for the privilege to begin with – because most white men are not gun toting sociopaths shooting up public spaces but are being harmed by an increasingly pervasive cultural narrative that they are responsible for the state of the world.

      The bottom line is that we are all being pitted against each other and that these narratives serve a narrow group of people who control most of the world – through both financial and violent means.

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      • Excellent & won’t dispute any of that.

        Still the focus on Trump disturbs me, as Trump simply says out loud what those nice anti-“deplorable” neoliberals try to hide behind polite obfusccations (which is why neoliberals hate Trump).

        Nonetheless if Trump is openly saying this shit we need to seize the opportunity to educate people about the totalitarian nature of psychiatry and how it is used as a political tool, and to turn them against it. If we allow this to turn into a bogus “liberal vs. conservative” argument, which RW is doing in the way he frames this, we are doomed to defeat.

        Abolitionists arise!

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        • To be clear, my comment was addressed to Kindred Spirit. I don’t understand Steve’s response, as KS’s capitalism-based perspective and RW’s liberal/conservative approach are not the same. Not sure you can say “right on” to them both at once.

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          • I was supporting this comment “thread” that I understood to address how our culture uses fear to pit people against each other – uses fear to “divide and conquer.” I did not understand this thread to challenge my contention that psychiatry pathologizes natural emotions and behaviors, and that this serves as a political tool to delegitimize criticism of social and economic injustice.

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        • Oldhead, I didn’t see a problem with RW’s report of Trump’s rhetoric. I was adding-on for the purposes of illustration of the intentional divisions, not countering it. The fact is that Trump does this with everyone. He even turns on his supporters.

          Your point about the neoliberal (Clintonista) attacks on “deplorables” is well taken. And in fact, Clinton and her army of white affluent women attacked Sanders supporters as well with the “basement dwellers” and “Bernie Bros” messaging. For all of 2016, I was fearful I was going to wake up in a basement magically possessing a penis. The erasure of the female Left is also intentional in the Democratic messaging, and then they shamed us for not “voting blue no matter who”. Sanders doesn’t even represent my values, I’m so far to the left of Democratic Socialism, but he’s the only mainstream candidate attempting to unite and not divide which is why he has my support. #NotMeUs

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          • Oldhead, I didn’t see a problem with RW’s report of Trump’s rhetoric.

            It’s better than him not saying anything about it at all but, to your credit, you have in fact differentiated between the liberal “gun control” argument RW espouses and an understanding of mass violence based on class rule aided by psychiatric oppression.

            There is very little Left left at the moment in the West, male OR female. Sort of off-topic but I would vote for Bernie in hopes of educating people about true socialism vs. “democratic (i.e. capitalist) socialism” in the wake of his inability to end capitalist rule via bourgeois elections.

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          • Oldhead, in my attempt at a balanced appeal to all sides, I think it wise to insert here the difference between presenting news (just the facts, ma’am) and analyzing the larger sociopolitical implications of new information and current events. I am perfectly capable of doing the latter and don’t need someone whose sociopolitical views do not align with mine attempting to incorporate their own political opinions into the delivery of new information.

            I appreciated his answer to a direct question to determine what his opinion was on prioritizing disarmament over societal change, and I will personally value his journalistic contribution more if he keeps his personal opinions (which I feel are bourgie-elitist) out of his delivery of factual information. This is what news delivery was before it became entertainment and outright propaganda, and it is what any researcher should aspire to.

            I am grateful for the space to analyze and discuss in the comments section, censored though it remains. I can always read Truthout, Counterpunch, or watch The Jimmy Dore Show for hard-hitting analysis that agrees with my world view. 🙂

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      • Yes, there’s an avalanche of fear-mongering going on, which is inherently divisive. Lots of lies floating out there about people on all sides of society. Keen discernment while standing firm in one’s personal truth is required for clarity.

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    • And this is also why I don’t like the trafficking in labels, even if the originators say they are harmless. I mean perpetuating the labeling by supplementing DSM with this new PTMF manual.

      And I mean furthering the Autism Hoax by calling it Neurodiverstiy, Radical Neurodiversity, and Neurodivergence.

      There is no reason to be promoting these labels, and most of all not to be applying them to minor children who are still under the care of their parents. That promotes Munchausen’s Syndrome By Proxy, now called just Medical Child Abuse. Children are really not well situated to be able to stand up to their parents.

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  30. I just finished reading a book called The Management of Savagery; how America’s National Security State fuelled the rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS and Donald Trump. Strange bedfellows one might think. However …. a point made in the book is that the publication of savagery was a deliberate tactic to gain attention for extremists.
    So the other day we have a guy go nuts and start stabbing people, shouting “Allahu Akbar” but he’s not affilliated with any terrorist organisations. He did however drop a bottle of anti depressants onto the street when they took him down. So is he a treated mentally ill person, or an untreated one? Does it matter?
    To me this smells a lot like the use of Snowball in Orwells Animal Farm. Anything bad happens the evidence is planted and it always leads back to him. This is then used to pervert the doctrine of “No animal shall kill another animal” to “No animal should kill another animal without cause”.
    Good news folk, our parliament is discussing what they have labelled “Assisted dying legislation” at present. The term euthanasia we are told is not to be used as it has negative associations with National Socialists. There are 100 plus protections we are also told. However if the protections afforded the public under the Mental Health Act are anything to go by our Emergency Departments will be being used for purposes other than what they were designed for.
    In a letter from the Cheif Psychiatrist the burden of proof legal protection went from “suspect on reasonable grounds” to “suspect on grounds we believe to be reasonable” 🙂 Goodbye protection of s26. Well done Napoleon.

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    • So the person charged with the duty to protect the public, doesn’t know what the protections are? Provides “expert legal advice” to the Minister and yet doesn’t understand what a burden of proof is? Lucky they can conspire with lawyers or someone might notice and think the enabling of arbitrary detentions and the use of torture were human rights abuses. Still, they can be coerced into compliance. The law allows that right?
      An interesting aside to the “Assisted Dying Legislation”. It has often been claimed by human rights lawyers that the execution of prisoners may constitute “cruel and unusual punishment”. So if this legislation goes through will the same drugs be used on those who have expressed a wish to extinguish their life? Never mind those who have been rendered non compus mentus via forced drugging by psychiatrists. If it’ s not cruel and inhumane for prisoners and lets check some of the cases, then surely is this what you would want for your loved ones?
      One argument being put forward is that 80% of the public wants this. More want the death penalty but where not in any hurry to enact that. Sure many folk here are aware of the debate and paradox in end of life legislation. Shame I cant obtain legal representation as a result of the corrupt and criminal element operating in our hospital system and government.

      Good news is give us a year and tourists won’t have to walk past all these homeless people taking up space, they have volunteered for some unintended negative outcomes lol

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      • I did put this issue of legal burden of proof to one of our M.P.s who is a lawyer, she referred it on to the Minister for Health/Mental Health. Heres the kicker, same guy who put the assisted dying Bill to the House. He responded by stating that he was sorry that I was still upset about my referral and detention. Of course thats only the case if you examine the fraudulent and slanderous documents distributed by the hospital concerned. So I wrote back and said he can call kidnapping and torture whatever he wants but the issue of hospitals distributing fraudulent documents to conceal their criminality seems a bit much, especially if they are going to be killing people there. Mind you, does it matter because they are not going to keep any data about how many are being shoved through anyway.
        Shame there arent any journalists who would inform our public about this negligent individual who fails in his duty to examine documents in an objective manner. Who would do a cover up for organised criminals operating under his nose, and who uses dog whistle slander to silence victims of his criminal associates. Minister? The man is a disgrace to the office he holds.
        Gee I hope this hasnt got anything to do with his sister the psychologist being involved. Not that a conflict of interest would stop the doing cover ups in the current environment.

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  31. Good morning! Here’s an update on gun violence in Pennsylvania: Our governor, Gov Tom Wolf, whom I highly support, signed a gun control law yesterday. This is following a number of mass shootings in our state. It’s my understanding that these shootings were based on two separate factors. 1. It originated as a drug raid, but the criminal panicked and started shooting at the raiding officers. 2. Hate groups such as White Supremacists.

    Gun laws are very lax here. This is noticeable to me since I was raised in Massachusetts. Here, in some areas, guns and hunting are ingrained in the culture, so any attempt to limit gun ownership and sales is met with opposition. The opposition tends to go overboard in my opinion. People own guns for a variety of reasons. I’d say between Pittsburgh and Philly, our two major cities, there’s a fatal shooting at least daily. Many barely make the news. We’ve also had numerous murders done by cops. One of the most visible of these was the shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a black boy.

    Mayor Peduto, of Pittsburgh, proposed a three-part gun control law. I supported the first two parts and opposed the third. The first two banned ownership of assault weapons such as AR15 weapons. I supported this because these weapons have no practical purpose except to kill a lot of people. How can anyone gain anything useful or constructive by owning one of these? We restrict the ability of ordinary citizens to own highly toxic material due to the risk to the public. Assault weapons are equally toxic to the public. The risk is too high.

    The third part of Peduto’s law involved “extreme risk” orders. Basically, a family member or the cops could decide a person is “mentally unstable” and write up a petition. This paperwork would give the police free reign to raid the person’s home, search and remove weapons. I oppose this due to the impact on those falsely accused. I also oppose it because families could use this order to scapegoat other family members, as retaliation, or as a means of control.

    I think police raids on drug dealers should be done differently. They shouldn’t raid if children or other innocent people are present. In two of the shooting instances, the criminal panicked during the raid and shot the cops. Is there a way to catch criminals, no matter what the crime is, without scaring them into shooting? Raiding is cornering the person. I can see why they’d panic. What about getting them out of their element, doing these arrests in a less violent and violating manner?

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    • The US legal system considers accused parties to be innocent until proven guilty. To speak of someone whose house has been invaded as a “panicking criminal” participates in the othering of those who become police targets. They are not “criminals” until they have been convicted in a court of law.

      Another way that drugs could be addressed is not by invading people’s homes, but by taking a multi-pronged approach of treating drug addiction as a public health issues, ending the carceral state that uses violence and subversion to target specific groups, making it illegal to discriminate against people who have served time for crimes – in housing, jobs, education, etc – and by ending the economic isolation of rural and urban communities. Legalizing all drugs would be a great first step toward all of this.

      I’ll remind everyone that the FBI was roundly criticized for the tactics used in Waco, Tx against the Branch Dividian compound 26 years ago that resulted in the fire that killed so many, are increasingly in use by militarized police departments against people in their homes and against protestors in the streets.

      “I think police raids on drug dealers should be done differently.”?

      I don’t think police raids should be done on suspected drug dealers. Again, it’s using force to get around having to address the actual problems people and communities are facing as a result of…wait for it…capitalism. I’m starting to think we need to call this for what it is – state sponsored terrorism. The same tactics that the US government uses against foreign powers – economic sanctions followed by increasingly violent force are being duplicated on the Homefront in the name of public safety, which is anything but safe or for the public good.

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    • Why should police be raiding drug dealers anyway?

      Again, the only people with the power to control guns are people with more and bigger guns, and those people are almost always our enemies. That police raid wasn’t more than a couple miles from the plant where Smith Kline & French pushed Thorazine and the like for decades, and was never raided.

      Coincidentally (posting this as an FYI, not an endorsement) someone just sent me this regarding the Phila. situation — seems like not everyone in the hood thinks the cops were heroes (funny how only “conservative” sites print this sort of info):

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      • I have read about these raids. In the case of the one in Philly, the guy had a lengthy record.

        I question who makes these decisions, based on what? I was raided myself (2014) and they had no warrant and nothing close to proof at all, no paperwork. I was terrified. I knew what they were doing was illegal. So given that, who were the criminals, anyway?

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      • Police are raiding drug dealers because:
        1. When they achieve a certain quota in drug arrests, they get the attention of the federal goverment.
        2. This attention results in grants and sales of “retired” US military equipment.
        3. This equipment has to be used for something, so in order to keep the grants coming, they raid for more drugs, and get to use their armor, tanks and door-busting weapons.
        4. ALEC makes sure that the drug laws support this.

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  32. “1,000,000 untreated mentally ill people are running around.” Where did Torrey get this number? Is he going to archives or names listed on computer records somewhere and tallying up everyone who disappeared without a record of dying? (A pretty Orwellian scenario in itself.)

    Or does he just know somehow in that magical clairvoyant way those Real Scientists have that 1,000,000 people are in need of being “diagnosed” and “treated”?

    He also knows that 500,000 fewer murders will occur if he has his way. How can you provide numbers for things that never happen? Is he traveling through the Multiverse in his spare time?

    Real Science Fiction folks! 😀

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    • The Donald is known for proposing impractical solutions.

      Good luck rounding up 20-25% of the population to imprison them and pay the required jailers/security guards at tax payer expense. (The remaining tax payers.)

      He ran primarily on the economic platform. Long term institutionalization is actually costlier than the semi-institutionalized HUD form where round-the-clock “care givers” are not required. My guess is Torrey wants a vast expansion of the latter instead.

      Imprisoning large numbers of law abiding citizens without due process will also alienate many Republicans I know who believe in psychiatry’s bogus cures but draw the line at having friends and family locked up. My own family will leave the GOP if this happens. Turn Libertarian perhaps.

      The big problem is these mass shooters nearly all get their guns illegally. There are any number of Red Flag laws no one is bothering to enforce. (My dad has to go through a LOT of red tape to buy a squirrel rifle despite no mental label or legal record.)

      Buckling down on enforcing laws that already exist to prevent illegal gun sales is the obvious solution both parties should be able to work together on. But it doesn’t sound as “sexy” as passing new laws no one will bother enforcing and showing faux compassion for the “mentally ill” bogey men who need to be crippled and imprisoned “for their own good.”

      Take comfort in the ineptitude of our bloated, bureaucratic machine. Like a 10 foot insect it’s pretty scary to look at but the size of its massive exoskeleton makes it hard to chase people. 🙂

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    • A lot of democrats own those places too. The chapter of NAMI I once belonged to was full of democrats

      Every mental center I went to told us to vote democrat so we could be taken care of. Great trick for harvesting votes.

      And a bunch of prominent shrinks wanted to “diagnose” Trump. Which is ironic.

      Torrey opposed it. Probably he knew this would tip the hand to the public how much power the APA has with 0 accountability. Least of all to their patient/victims.

      Both sides are over eager to throw us under the bus since abusing us looks like compassion to the outsider.

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    • Oldhead is right. We have one political party in the US and they keep us in line by passing the ball back and forth every 4-12 years.

      As for immigrant detention centers, Trump’s latest attempt to get around the limits on child detention was first accomplished by Obama in 2014.

      NoDramaObama did not walk on water. NaftaSuperpredatorClinton did not walk on water. In my lifetime, we’ve had 16 years of Third Way neoliberalism and 22 years of Third Reich conservatism. At no point have we had a president or congress fighting for the people.

      The faux outrage when a president from the “opposing” party does something your own party previously practiced is vomit inducing. Only when the sheeple wake up and are willing to stop worshipping their “side” will this change. Most millennials are independents for a reason. Both parties are screwing the lowly citizenry, so bought by the corporations they’ve become.

      But if you think there are significant differences in policy between them, I’ve got oceanfront property in Nevada to sell you.

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  33. Anyone hear read Erewhon by Samuel Butler?

    A make believe land where they treat the criminals kindly–as though they suffered sickness–and punished the people with real health problems and also the poor and grieving like criminals. It was written over a hundred years ago so Butler wasn’t trying to depict our current “mental system” but it’s really weird how it resembles psychiatry’s role of absolving violent criminals (sort of) by punishing the innocent who suffer.

    Butler meant it as a critique of Social Darwinism as I recall.

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  34. Haven’t read comments yet, but it’s my understanding that the restrictions on “mentally ill buying guns” was limited to “involuntary committments.” Disability was not a restricting factor. This might be the difference between what Obama said was 75,000 people on the gun buying list, and the million plus folks on disability.

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    • The “lunatics” back in 1930’s Germany and Austria were much fewer in number. We owe the vast expansion of the disabled “mentally ill” to Pharma-psychiatry chicanery and their unsafe, ineffective treatments. (Unless you mean effective at crippling and killing.)

      Thanks to the vast numbers of people like us they have deceived and the internet they don’t fully own like TV or radio more of us are discovering the truth.

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      • Lol Rachel, I love your posts. “the internet they don’t fully own”. The beauty is, the people who have caused change from very oppressive systems have never been silenced. And change has happened. All one has to do is look back, psychiatry does not want to because they know it is inevitable for change to happen. (**And there is Dr Frankenstein making another maybe the last pathetic, feeble attempt with a pointy thingy to poke into the anthill of the brain, causing some kinda effect, but not sure what exactly**) They are simply making themselves look like a sad lot.

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  35. So murders are a product of mental illness? Psychiatry has killed it’s fair share and continues to do so. Medicine and medical and drugs tests kill many people. This is done KNOWINGLY. Should we start arresting these people? Wars kill millions, wars that are absolutely not needed, except for greed, yet we hail them all as heroes. The so called MI are the only ones who realize they have a problem, they have insights, too much insight. I would think if the so called MI were the issue, psychiatry itself would not be safe considering all the maiming, soul destroying and deaths they are responsible for. The person who murders is not one to think there is something wrong with them. The person who likes to do experiments on people is not one likely to think there is something wrong with them. So now we know who the sane are.

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    • News just in, a man has been repeatedly stabbed in the back and killed. Police are in attendance and it would appear to be the result of a targeted attack by the killer. We are waiting for a response from the police as to who they are seeking in connection with this crime …… oh wait, police have just had a call from a doctor and it would appear that this is now a “patient” and the stab wounds are the result of surgery. Police are now collecting the evidence and tampering with it, and intimidating anyone who saw these events unfold. If you have any information call crime stoppers on 1600 &&& &&&.

      Funny isn’t it, i’ve noticed that anything my government doesn’t want to be a crime gets throw into the “patient” basket for ‘treatment’. It’s allowing organised criminals to run rampant in our system, they are using police services to commit offences and laughing about the fact. Right under the shadow of their big noses lol
      I note the head of the AMA even stated on the front page of the newspapers that for doctors to kill required a “sophisticated knowledge of the law”. I don’t know that keep your mouth shut and the cops can do nothing is really that “sophisticated” but ….. he’s the doctor. Without a confession one can’t prove the motive. And thus the killing remains in the realm of ‘treatment’.

      They will even look at the wrong body if one does provide them with a confession.

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  36. Psychiatrists practically use the police to hold a gun to your innocent head to get the miccy and whatever else they can out of you. The worst hypocrites are the religious leaders and the politicians (the whore that rides the beast) who lie, steal, commit violence, curse and kill you and hand you over to “Mental Health” Psychiatry to rob you of your power and energy and the root of all evil using trauma based mind control injections like for 40 years just proving that they are vindictive narcistic abusers who won’t let go of their innocent victims because they are making a killing by way of lies mixed with truth and they rub the shit in when innocent victims of oppression are trying to get help to escape a cruel merciless system in the $ dollar dog’s name.

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    • Good point RainbowBradzstar.

      Not like we weren’t warned by Ezekiel (22; 23-31).

      “The worst hypocrites are the religious leaders and the politicians”

      Interesting who the ‘leaders’ chose to break bread with when given a choice. I guess there must be a loophole that I just can’t seem to identify lol Unless of course it was lost in the translation.

      “More wine, women and song Jesus?”

      “Maybe one more Julius, then I must hit the road. Got a big talk to give on a hill tomorrow.”

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  37. I come from a broken home my father was out of the picture ever since I was like almost a preteen and mildly mentally ill with bipoler 2 N a little OCD/ADHD, with a handful of psychical health issues. My mother is a toxic narcissist who has stolen the last 5 to 7 years of my life as she is too busy with her life due to a heart med that made me go crazy aka open heart sugary twice many years back. She is my guardian/ssi paye yet as someone who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Network and Communications Management. I’ve worked DOD once and a couple other jobs before my life just went into the gutter. Come next year my mother is finishing college and expects me to work after she removed the guardianship to help pay for her 2nd mortgage of the house I used to live in. What I am most concerned about if she dies before we pay this mortgage off N I am stuck with the bill.

    I am now in my late 30s, not once have committed a violent crime and don’t take psydrugs as they zombie me among other nasty side effects or make me even more crazy. If I was forced treatment I just end it at that point as I am not going back to being like close to 300lb as I am a tall guy 6.6ft and may have my chest cracked open one last time.

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