Monarch eTNS Inspires “Stop the Psychiatric Abuse of Children!” (SPAC!)


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Monarch eTNS, a device with electrodes that is placed onto the forehead of children labeled with an ADHD diagnosis. The Monarch, which applies electrical currents that can disrupt the activity of the brain’s highly sensitive frontal lobes, is intended to be used throughout the night while the child is sleeping, and for an unlimited number of days. Reported side effects include fatigue, headache, jaw clenching, and sleep disturbance. Misleadingly promoted as a trigeminal nerve stimulator designed to “modulate” the child’s brain, the device acts to deform the brain’s natural and normal electrical system. All under the guise of treating so-called ADHD, a supposed “disease” that meets none of the criteria for one.

The FDA approval of the Monarch is but the latest form of psychiatric-inspired child abuse and, if not stopped, will afflict millions of children in unimaginably damaging ways. It has inspired us to form Stop the Psychiatric Abuse of Children (SPAC!) a new international advocacy organization, a project of the nonprofit Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy.

The FDA’s Unscrupulous CDRH

The Monarch’s approval came through the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). The FDA tested the machine for a mere four weeks with only one trial involving a meager 32 children.

This is the same unscrupulous FDA center that has allowed shock “treatment” (ECT) machines to be inflicted on hundreds of thousands of people every year for decades without any testing whatsoever. Psychiatrists, meanwhile, want to inflict this abuse on increasing numbers of children.

Meanwhile, without a blink of a regulatory eye, the FDA allowed the manufacturers over the years to increase the destructive power of their machines by a factor of ten. The earliest machines commonly delivered up to 80-100 milliamps of current to induce a seizure. Now the shock machines have fixed the current to an enormous 800-900 milliamps.

When the ECT machines came under successful legal attack this year for causing brain damage and memory loss, the FDA stepped in within a few days to approve the shock machines for treating depression—again without any testing whatsoever.

How did the nation get to such a morally callous place where this bizarre, damaging device is endorsed and promoted by the Devices Center at the FDA? We believe it flows inevitably from the existing abuses involved in afflicting children and youth with psychiatric diagnoses and drugs. The pharmacological psychiatric abuse of children has become one of modern society’s most frequent and legitimized forms of child abuse. Now it will be escalating into the arena of electrically assaulting their brains.

Psychiatric Drugs: Potent Neurotoxins

All FDA-approved psychiatric drugs are neurotoxins—poisonous to the brain—and are bound to harm the growth and development of both the fetus of women who take them and children who are prescribed them. Psychiatric drugs pass through a pregnant woman’s placenta, potentially causing a variety of serious birth defects as well as withdrawal problems when the child is born. Psychiatric drugs also pass through the mother’s milk, again causing neurotoxins to be passed to the nursing child and resulting in later withdrawal symptoms. After birth and weaning, the growing child’s brain remains very sensitive to being bathed in neurotoxins.

For example, “antidepressant” drugs that disrupt serotonin can cause serious fetal heart defects and pose a risk to the child’s overall growth in utero. Taken directly by children, the drugs have been shown to cause severe behavioral problems as well as brain abnormalities in a large proportion of users.

In part because this epidemic of brain-damaging pharmacological abuse has become so widely accepted, the FDA has met little opposition to its recent approval of the Monarch device.

Our Mandate: Protect Children and Their Human Rights

When children are harmed in ways that adults can prevent, we must recognize the wrongness of these children’s human-rights abuses. The children’s avoidable suffering is a stain on each of our personal claims to membership in humanity based on moral principles. When this abuse is perpetrated by corporations, government agencies, health professions, and individual professionals, it becomes especially unacceptable and we need to resist.

Since its inception in the state mental hospital system, psychiatry has persistently and grossly abdicated its moral authority with respect to children, who have been and continue to be victims of neurotoxic drugging and even electroshock and psychosurgery. Future parents trustingly turn to obstetricians for their healthcare and often receive FDA-approved psychiatric drugs during a woman’s pregnancy. These prescribers show little or no regard for the negative effects on the mothers nor their unborn children. Once babies are born, parents turn to pediatricians and other prescribers who drug their children with equal indifference to the harmful effects. In this way, psychiatric treatments label, pathologize, and injure millions of mothers and their children instead of helping them.

We say: Stop these psychiatric human rights abuses of our children, now! No more psychiatric drugging, which always serves to replace a genuine understanding and improvement of the child’s family and school relationships. No more electroshocking. And now, no more Monarch electrical stimulation of that most delicate organ in the universe, the human child’s brain.

But we must not stop there, because what children really need from us is love, nurturing, and understanding. They need protection from predatory older children and adults, including many healthcare providers. They need good food and exercise. Let us increase our commitment to meet those essential needs. We can do that while we also work to stop the tragic harm and abuse being perpetrated against our children by psychiatrists and by the even greater number of other prescribing physicians, physician’s assistants, and nurses—all of whom will now be able to inflict the Monarch device upon children and their well-meaning parents.

Getting Started…

Learn all about SPAC! The resource site includes a brilliant short film by Aaron and Melissa Dykes about the Monarch machine and the bizarre FDA approval process and features Dr. Peter Breggin.

To get involved, contact SPAC! Director Michael Cornwall, PhD, at [email protected] with your valuable ideas for joining us as a SPAC! activist.


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. About five years ago I tried to find a PhD project. At that time the local research unit appeared to test eTNS on every possible neurological condition. It seems that they now found some results in some subgroups (depression, ADHD) and go ahead.

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  2. “what children really need from us is love, nurturing, and understanding. They need protection from predatory older children and adults, including many healthcare providers.” So all those promises to “first and foremost do no harm” and “trust your doctor” are just a bunch of medical/psycho/pharmaceutical industrial complex propaganda now, right? The children “need good food and exercise.”

    Unfortunately, that is where we are, I totally agree. But it’s so sad “many healthcare providers” target young moms, because they have concern about “predatory older children and adults.” And that’s especially true of the psychologists and psychiatrists, whose number one actual societal function, historically and today, is in fact, covering up child abuse and rape.

    “Mental health professionals” who, likely since they can NOT bill ANY insurance company for EVER helping ANY child abuse survivor EVER, unless they misdiagnose ALL child abuse survivors, so they always do. Today, “the prevalence of childhood trauma exposure within borderline personality disorder patients has been evidenced to be as high as 92% (Yen et al., 2002). Within individuals diagnosed with psychotic or affective disorders, it reaches 82% (Larsson et al., 2012).” Thus no child abuse survivor, or their concerned parent, should EVER be sent to ANY “mental health professional” EVER:

    And the psychiatrists believe that once the medical evidence of child abuse has been handed over, the best way to help a healing child abuse survivor, who had been gotten away from the child molesters years prior, is to neurotoxin poison the child. That’s when I knew for certain my psychiatrist was a satanist.

    Absolutely, we need to “Stop the Psychiatric Abuse of Children!” Thankfully, I did escape the insane, child rape covering up “mental health professionals.” And I did keep my child from them. I was even able to scare the school, where some of the abuse likely occurred, into closing it’s doors forever. My child did go from remedial reading in first grade, after the abuse, to healing and getting 100% on his state standardized tests, by eight grade.

    At which point, an insane school social worker wanted to get her hands on my healing child. But I prevented that, by agreeing to send him off to a boarding school, since the school principal finally confessed “we are not equipped to deal with the most intelligent children.” My child graduated as the valedictorian from his private high school. Then went on to graduate with highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from his university. Along with winning a psychology award, you should have heard those psychology professors gush about how psychologically brilliant my child was.

    Absolutely you are correct, the trick is to keep one’s children, as far away as possible, from the so called “mental health professionals,” especially while they’re trying to heal. “Stop the Psychiatric Abuse of Children!”

    But some of the “mental health professionals,” even the good hearted ones, have for over a decade been fraudulently, or ignorantly, claiming that child abuse causes their “mental illnesses.” Many of us here, however, have been showing the medical proof, that the psychiatric drugs cause the symptoms of the “serious DSM mental illnesses,” for almost a decade. (anticholinergic toxidrome)

    And the entire “mental health” system’s belief system, their DSM “bible,” was confessed to be “bullshit” and scientifically “invalid,” even according to the leaders in their field, coming upon a decade ago.

    When will the undeserved control of the psychiatric industry, and all their insane DSM “bible” believing “mental health professionals,” end? God save America’s children from our insane, child abuse and rape covering up, and profiteering, scientific fraud based, DSM deluded “mental health professionals.”

    “Stop the Psychiatric Abuse of Children!” indeed. Thank you for your efforts and activism, gentlemen.

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  3. They are talking about human psyche in medical manner, all the time. This is a disaster.

    James Hillman on the folly of reducing mind to brain.

    The upshot of genetic studies leads in two (!) directions: a narrow path and a broad one. The narrow road heads toward simplistic, monogenic causes. It wants to pinpoint bits of tissue and correlate them with the vast complexity of psychic meanings. The folly of reducing mind to brain never seems to leave the Western scene. We can never give it up because it is so basic to our Western rationalist and positivist mind-set. The rationalist in the psyche wants to locate causes you can put your hands on and fix.

    Machines provide the best models for meeting this desire. Take them apart, find their inner mechanisms, and then adjust their functioning by modifying their ratchets, enriching their fuel, greasing their connections. Henry Ford as father of American mental health. Result: Ritalin, Prozac, Zoloft, and dozens of other effective products for internal adjustments that we consume in abundance, millions of us, daily or twice daily. The simplistics of monogenic causes eventually leads to the control of behavior by drugs–that is, to drugged behavior.

    Robert Plomin, on whose passionate, prolific, and perceptive writings this chapter has frequently relied, urgently warns against using genetics in a simplistic manner. He states: “Genetic effects on behavior are polygenic and probabilistic, not single gene and deterministic.” I gather from him a warning to psychiatry: Do not capsize your noble vessel under the weight of pharmaceutical, insurance company, and government gold, and do not set your compass toward Fantasy Island, where genetics will define “disease entities in psychiatry.” “We have learned little about the genetics of development [how genes act and interact over time] except to appreciate its complexity.” Therefore we can never arrive at that equation where one defective gene equals one clinical picture (except for true anomalies like Huntington’s chorea).

    These warnings have little effect; simplistic thinking fulfills too many wishes. The heads of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison are carved into the Mount Rushmore of the mind. The monster of mechanism appears in every century of modern Western history and must be watched for by each generation–especially ours, when to hold out for “something else” besides nature or nurture means believing in ghosts or magic.

    Ever since French rationalism of the seventeenth (Marin Mersenne, Nicolas de Malebranche) and eighteenth (Etienne de Condillac, Julien Offroy de La Mettrie) centuries and right through to the positivism of the nineteenth (Antoine Destutt de Tracy, Auguste Comte) in which all mental events were reduced to biology, a piece of the collective Western mind had been yolked like a dumb ox to the heavy tumbrel of French mechanistic materialism. It is astounding how people with such subtle taste as the French and with such erotic sensibility can go on and on contributing so much rationalist rigor mortis to psychology. Every import that arrives from France must be inspected for this French disease, even though it carries the fashionable label of Lacanism, Structuralism, Deconstruction, or whatever.

    Today rationalism is global, computer-compatible every-where. It is the international style of the mind’s architecture. We cannot pin it to a particular flag, unless to the banners of the multinational corporation that can spend big bucks turning psychiatry, and eventually psychological thinking, and therefore soul control, toward monogenetic monotheism. One gene for one disorder: Splice the gene, teach it tricks, combine it, and the disorder is gone, or at least you don’t know you have it. The narrow path leads back to the thirties and forties of psychiatric history, though in a more refined manner and with better press releases. From 1930 into the 1950s, correlating specific brain areas with large emotional and functional concepts provided the rationale for the violence of psychosurgery and the lobotomizing of many a troubled soul at odds with circumstance.

    The narrow path is yet more retro, going back to the skill analysis of Franz Josef Gall (M.D., Vienna, 1795), who settled in Paris and was much appreciated by the French. From him came the “evidence” that skull bumps and declivities could be correlated with psychological faculties (a system later called phrenology). Much as they are today, the faculties were given big names, such as memory, judgment, emotionalism, musical and mathematical talent, criminality, and so on. Refinement in methods over the years does not necessarily lead to progress in theorizing: 1795 or 1995–material location, and then reduction of psyche to location, prompts the enterprise.

    The contrary direction to narrowing nature to brain simplistics is expanding nurture to a far more embracing notion of environment. If environment means literally what’s around, it must also mean whatever is around. This because the unconscious psyche selects quite arbitrarily among the stuff encountered every day in the environment. Tiny and trivial bits of information may have huge subliminal psychic effects, as the days’ residues in dreams show. We do dream of the damnedest things! Much of each day is never noticed or recalled, but the psyche picks up the environmental flotsam and delivers it to the dream. The dream–a processing plant recycling the environment, finding soul values in junk. The dream–an artist, appropriating images from the environment for recollection in tranquility.

    Because we walk about in fields of psychic realities that influences our lives, we have to broaden the notion of environment in terms of “deep ecology,” the hypothesis that the planet is a living, breathing, and self-regulating organism. Since anything around can nourish our souls by feeding imagination, there is soul stuff out there. So why not admit, as does deep ecology, that the environment itself is ensouled, animated, inextricably meshed with us and not fundamentally separate from us?

    The ecological vision restores to environment also the classical idea of providentia–that the world provides for us, looks out for us, even looks after us. It wants us around, too. Predators, tornadoes, and blackflies in June are only pieces of the picture. Just think of all that’s delicious and sweet-smelling. Do birds sing but for each other? This breathable, edible, and pleasant planet, invisibly serviced and maintained, keeps us all by means of its life-support system. Such would be an idea of nurture that is truly nurturing.

    “Environment,” then, would be imagined well beyond social and economic conditions, beyond the entire cultural setting, to include every item that takes care of us every day: our tires and coffee cups and door handles and the book you are holding in your hands. It becomes impossible to exclude this bit of environment as irrelevant in favor of that bit as significant, as if we could rank world phenomena in order of importance. Important for whom? Our understanding of importance itself has to change; instead of “important to me,” think of “important to other aspects of the environment.” Does this item nurture what else is around, not merely us who are around? Does it contribute to the intentions of the field of which we are only one short-lived part?

    As notions of environment shift, we notice environment differently. It becomes more and more difficult to make a cut between psyche and world, subject and object, in here and out there. I can no longer be sure whether the psyche is in me or whether I am in the psyche as I am in my dreams, as I am in the moods of the landscapes and the city streets, as I am in “music heard so deeply/That it is not heard at all, but you are the music/While the music lasts” (T.S. Eliot). Where does the environment stop and I begin, and can I begin at all without being in some place, deeply involved in, nurtured by the nature of the world?

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    • Agreed.
      I have worked hard to talk about this to my kids and daughter in law who is a teacher. I hear her frustration with some of the kids, and of course. I would not want to be in the same room with 24 kids. Who wants to deal with kids, parents, long hours. I have sent them MIA articles, I talk about drugs and if they would drug their child. I simply want them to develop an aversion to cop-outs. I even give them crap about putting their dog on an anti tick drug. (the ticks die when they bite the dog) I ask them why they don’t take the tick drug. I want them to think about the inability of choice.
      My son works with kids who have come from dysfunctional homes. Those kids miss their homes, because they were thrown into greater chaos, most often drugged, and even though it was chaos at home, it was predictable.

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  4. The insanity and abuses carried out by psychiatry is so over the top adults cannot protect themselves so it is absolutely abhorrent psychiatrists would even consider subjecting children to such abuses.

    Thank you so much Dr. Breggin and Dr. Cornwall for this information and for your big hearts and advocacy and activism in starting up the SPAC! Organization.

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  5. Thank you to everyone who commented above and contributed to this discussion.
    I’m glad to see when doing a Google search for Monarch eTNS, that this MIA blog article is on the first, main Google search page. I hope people who are urged by prescribers to put one of these electrical devices on their children’s heads all night long, will see our blog article here on the psychiatric abuses of children, if they search Google for information on the new FDA approved Monarch eTNS device.
    Best wishes,

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  6. It is a placebo device. As a placebo device , I think it is better than the psychiatric drugs that do damage to the brain.
    The amount of voltage/current electricity used in these devices can not reach the brain.

    If you do have a high enough voltage/current to reach the brain, it becomes painful and you have to use anesthesia.
    It is all quackery to say people and children’s choices are not their choices.

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    • What makes you believe that the Monarch eTNS delivers under 3 mA? TENS machines used by physiotherapists have a range of 0 – 80 mA, though some machines may provide outputs up to 100mA. The only technical data I can find online regarding the Monarch eTNS is a Google summary that says “Stimulator current settings from 2 to 4 mA (range 0–10 mA) were …” The linked article you provided confirms that these currents do reach the brain.

      While these machines do not deliver a charge large enough to cause sufficient brain damage to induce a seizure, what damage they do cause is unknown. It will likely remain “unknown” until a number of lawsuits force the manufactures to admit what damage is done.

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      • Thank you Fr. John, for your very informative comment. The FDA press release on the Monarch eTNS device cited in our article also states that the electrical current reaches the part of the brain “associated with ADHD.” I don’t believe there is such an area of the brain, but the FDA confirms that the electrical current is penetrating into the brain. I don’t believe in the validity of DSM diagnoses such as ADHD or in the psychiatric disease model of human emotional and spiritual suffering.
        Dr. Breggin and I share your concern that harm to the developing brains of children won’t be proven until after the damage has been done. However the reported “side effects” to children in the very small, non replicated research study are headache, sleep disturbance, jaw clenching, and fatigue. These effects already point to potential harm being done to the frontal brains of children according to Dr. Breggin.
        I’m reminded of RD Laing warning that-
        “The so-called side effects of psychiatric drugs aren’t side effects. They are the damaging effects!”
        The Monarch eTNS “side effects” should not be downplayed either.

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        • Quote:
          “The DSM is best seen as a a catalog of billing codes. All of the diagnostic allegations in it were either invented or created; none were discovered.”
          “Psychiatry is a pseudoscience, a drug racket, and a means of social control, – it’s 21st Century Phrenology, with potent neuro-toxins. Psychiatry has done, and continues to do, far more harm than good.”
          You may quote me. In fact, PLEASE DO!….

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  7. I know that my own problems could’ve been more easily and effectively treated by having my parents work through their own issues in therapy. A lot of what was wrong with me was that I hadn’t been taught how to handle emotions like anger in a responsible way.

    Instead, they popped me on Paxil and Trazadone when I was 6.

    “For example, “antidepressant” drugs that disrupt serotonin can cause serious fetal heart defects and pose a risk to the child’s overall growth in utero. Taken directly by children, the drugs have been shown to cause severe behavioral problems as well as brain abnormalities in a large proportion of users.”

    Does anyone have a source link for this? I haven’t been able to track down a good study of brain abnormalities caused by drugs in children on Google.

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  8. We need to fight this openly, using an and all available means. And we also need to understand that it probably will be the parents who are pushing for this, so we will have to intervene against the will of the parents. Have to look at this as simply severe child abuse, without regard to the white coats directing it.

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  9. Even if this Monarch eTNS does absolutely nothing, it is still a ritual humiliation which the child is being subjected to. And I would not be at all surprised if they next try to start using it for ~Asperger’s~ ~Autism~ and ~neurological difference~ too.

    Likely it will always be the parents who are really driving this. They might consider the child as an embarrassment. So they want the child “fixed”. Or they might see that finding fault in the child gives them a moral authority over them, gives them a social identity, gives them something to talk about with their friends.

    Not unlike the machines of Moritz Schreber

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  10. Thank you Peter and Michael

    The approval of the Monarch eTNS is a continuation of a trend which was envisioned by Aldous Huxley in his book Brave New World. Huxley predicted a future in which science would be used by governments and corporate bodies to control its citizens, first by infant conditioning and later drugging children and adults with the aid of drugs, technology, silence about truth and presenting the positive sides of propaganda.

    Note that the mental health industry has invaded our schools with the blessing of governments and is currently brainwashing children and teens to believe they are diseased and need drugs to be happy and successful. One of the industry cheerleaders of this children’s mental health campaign reported that “We have learned that it is relatively simple to destigmatize mental health with youth”.

    The public, including our experts and educators, have gone along with this. Any naysayer has been met with silence, shunning or persecution. It is hardly surprising that Anderson Cooper objected to Marianne Williamson’s views on psychotropics and depression. I heard similar views from principals and community experts on a daily basis at special education meetings in public schools. I vividly remember a school conference of six experts, including a principal, harass the parents of a grade six student, who was not performing in class, and even though he was on Prozac for anxiety, the parents were pushed to add an ADHD drug to his regimen at this meeting. His difficulties were indeed social yet the principal described the need for a stimulant to a child who needed glasses. The parents were visibly distressed.

    Few parents want their children drugged. They are misinformed and often harassed by our community leaders. Some may be on drugs themselves, are confused and have been convinced by their doctors that the issue with their child is hereditary.

    I wonder why a post on Anderson Cooper gets more angry responses than the Stop the Abuse of Children. If we are ever going to make a dent in this tyranny, we need to recognize how dangerous our schools have become for our youth and take action against government sanctioned child abuse.

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  11. 30-watt, sending a child to psychotherapy should be seen as reason to suspect child abuse, and hence trigger mandatory reporting. There has to be outside oversight, as the private practice therapist is usually going to be pandering to the parents, as well as playing God.

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  12. How do we provoke resistance to Monarch eTNS ?

    If we were able to get people to talk about it, I feel confident that the push for this on a case by case basis would be coming from a conjunction of the parents and their doctor.

    FDA approved or no, we can still treat it as child abuse.

    Suppose we encourage children to resist, like keep journals, maybe take the device and turn it in to us, and to write their feelings about it. And we find ways to back them up when they do these sorts of things.

    And same basic posture applies to Nick Walker’s “Radical Neurodiversity Program”.

    How would we respond if doctors and parents were using this on children?

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