Big Pharma Meets Big Diagnosis, Big Courts, and Big Psychiatric Hospitals

Paula J. Caplan, PhD
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If you think the truth can set us free, and you care about harm done to suffering souls who seek help from the traditional mental health system, only to discover too often and too late that that system exponentially adds to their burdens, Jim Gottstein’s blockbuster new book, The Zyprexa Papers, is essential reading. It should be required reading for every well-meaning friend or family member of someone who suffers emotionally, as well as for legislators who genuinely want to weed out corruption and harm.

The book is focused on the neuroleptic drug Zyprexa and two cases related to it — one in which Gottstein represented a client and one in which he became the accused — but importantly, it exemplifies problems throughout the systems of not only Big Pharma but also what could be called Big Diagnosis, Big Psychiatric Hospitals, and Big Mental Health-related Courts. It’s a book about how the tsunami fed by the profit motive and the vast systems involved in the politics of mental health, including the so-called justice system, swamps what ought to be primary: the alleviation of emotional pain.

Gottstein’s book is The Pentagon Papers of the traditional mental health system, because he exposes a mind-blowing number and variety of cold-blooded, calculating actions on the part of Eli Lilly in trying to hide what it knew to be the devastating effects of its hugely profitable Zyprexa, from its lies of both omission and commission about relevant data to what can only be called its persecution of Gottstein himself for trying to sound the alarm. Gottstein, a courageous and brilliant lawyer and tireless activist trying through strategic litigation to prevent people from being harmed by psychiatric drugs and electroshock through his nonprofit Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights), also takes us day by day through his attempts to prevent one particular client, Bill Bigley (to whom the book is dedicated), from being involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility and forcibly drugged. In doing so, he exposes the staggering number of ways the court system that handles such cases amounts way too frequently to a kind of Kangaroo Court, where the odds are so stacked against the person labeled mentally ill that it’s almost inevitable they will be deprived of their rights. The hurdles the client and lawyer have to jump are so numerous and various that this part of The Zyprexa Papers will be a revelation to those who have not themselves been through it.

Where does Big Diagnosis come in? Without the hundreds of psychiatric categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), none of this could have happened, because giving a person even one DSM label — even one that sounds relatively innocuous — is what enables therapists, drug companies, and judges (not to mention others) to make a wide array of recommendations and even impose courses of action that they can call “treatment.” And when the “treatments,” including drugs, cause harm or fail to help, the labeled person’s reports are easily ignored, minimized, or used as further “proof” that they are “mentally ill.” Equally appalling is that calling psychiatric drugging, electroshock, involuntary commitment, and other intrusions “treatment” allows those who suggest, impose, or enforce them to escape culpability. In a lawsuit in which I was an expert witness, three therapists who nearly destroyed someone’s life were not held in the least negligent, on the grounds that they had just been following the mental health system’s standard of care.

The Zyprexa Papers is a hard book to put down, and it’s so worth reading, because we need to know what goes on largely in secret, and as we read, we see clearly the many points where changes for the better must be made… and how each of us can help to change them.

Gottstein had had personal experience in the mental health system. In 1982, at age 29, he had become terribly disoriented from lack of sleep and as a result had been locked up in the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API) — the very entity that had repeatedly hospitalized and forcibly drugged Bill Bigley. At API, Gottstein reports:

I was told I would have to take mind-numbing Thorazine-like drugs for the rest of my life. When I told them I had graduated from Harvard Law School (which I had), I was considered delusional. Those who believed I was a lawyer said I would never practice law again. However, my mother, who was the Executive Director of the Alaska Mental Health Association, steered me to a terrific psychiatrist, Robert Alberts, who said that anyone who doesn’t get enough sleep will become psychotic, and I just needed to learn how to keep from getting into trouble. … was lucky not to have been made into a permanent mental patient by the mental illness system. These experiences started my advocacy for people diagnosed with serious mental illness.

Gottstein describes having been inspired by Robert Whitaker’s classic investigative book, Mad in America, which he describes as both “a terrific read” and “a litigation roadmap for challenging forced psychiatric drugging on the basis that it isn’t in the patient’s best interest.” He explains that drugs like Zyprexa “have been marketed as ‘antipsychotic’” when in fact what they do is “suppress people’s brain activity so much they can no longer be much trouble—at least temporarily.” For this reason, he uses the term “neuroleptic,” which means “seize the brain” — it was “one of the first names given to this class of drugs, and is the most accurate description.” To call them “antipsychotic,” he says, is “marketing hype.”

Readers discover the ghastly lengths to which Lilly, aiming solely to maximize its profits, went from the outset to conceal the fact that Zyprexa caused, among many other serious problems, high rates of diabetes, rapid and enormous weight gain (in some cases, more than 100 pounds after a year on the drug), and even death. How much money was at stake? In 2005, the year before the book’s saga begins, Zyprexa’s reported sales were $4.2 billion, with about two million people across the world taking the drug.

Gottstein describes his triple efforts, starting in 2006, to help one person protect his right to refuse psychiatric drugs, to help in other strategic litigation, and to publicize widely the truth about Zyprexa’s dangers. The incriminating evidence about those dangers had been discovered by an expert witness for a number of plaintiffs in the 8,000-person, multi-district litigation who charged they were harmed by the drug, and Gottstein obtained that evidence by subpoenaing the expert for the documents to be used for Bill Bigley’s case against forced drugging. In the multi-district litigation, the large number of lawsuits had been consolidated, and the documentation about Zyprexa’s concealed dangers became subject to an order that they be kept secret. Fortunately, however, the information could be produced if it was subpoenaed for another court action and if Lilly was first given “notice and a reasonable opportunity to object.”

The amount of time that “reasonable opportunity to object” required was unspecified, so when Gottstein subpoenaed the documents from the expert witness, Dr. David Egilman, whom he describes as a man of conscience, Egilman sent them to Gottstein not immediately but before Lilly objected. Egilman had told Gottstein he hoped Gottstein would subpoena him and then, after receiving Egilman’s documentation, would turn it over to New York Times writer Alex Berenson for his reporting about Zyprexa. However, to Gottstein’s personal detriment, when Egilman only showed Gottstein part of the entire secrecy order, he acknowledges that he “motored past that red flag” and relied on Egilman to indicate when he thought a “reasonable” amount of time had passed since Egilman had notified Lilly of Gottstein’s subpoena and thus Gottstein was free to send the documents to Berenson, as well as to many others who would help disseminate the truth.

The interpretation of “reasonable” became a major weapon in what can legitimately be called Lilly’s persecution of Gottstein for making the information public. On December 6, 2006, Egilman notified Lilly’s top attorney that Gottstein had subpoenaed him for a deposition by telephone for December 20. On December 11, Gottstein sent Egilman an amended subpoena, because the original one had included the order for the doctor to bring his documents with him, but since the deposition was going to be by telephone, Gottstein needed the documents sent to him before the deposition. He asked Egilman to notify Lilly of the amendment, but Egilman did not do so. Egilman said that five days had passed since his notification to Lilly, and he believed that that constituted “reasonable” notice, so on December 12, he went ahead and uploaded the material to an internet domain Gottstein had created for that purpose. Gottstein had received a voicemail message from a Lilly lawyer the night before and had left a voicemail for him the next morning. In the meantime, as he said, “feeling Lilly’s breath on my neck,” he proceeded to give the Times reporter access to the documents, and he sent them in various ways to many other people.

Gottstein’s courage in doing this is stunning. He knew that he could end up going to prison, given Lilly’s power and money, but “thousands upon thousands of people had already been killed by the drug, and we [he and Egilman] were hoping to keep that from happening to thousands upon thousands more.”

What followed showed both Lilly and the courts at their worst. Lilly’s ability to bring in judges to try to intimidate Gottstein was astonishing. Readers will be alarmed to learn in the pages of The Zyprexa Papers how vulnerable truthtellers can be, even when their aim is utterly selfless and when they try to prevent massive harm like that which had already come to huge numbers of people. Lilly demanded that Gottstein not reveal the documents to anyone and that he immediately retrieve them from everyone to whom he had sent them and take them down from anywhere he had posted them. By then, some of his recipients had sent them on to still other people, and in various ways they had been further publicized. In fact, in an article Berenson wrote around that time, the following appeared:

Mr. Gottstein said yesterday that the information in the documents should be available to patients and doctors, as well as judges who oversee the hearings that are required before people can be forced to take psychiatric drugs.

“The courts should have this information before they order this stuff injected into people’s unwilling bodies,” Mr. Gottstein said.

As media coverage about the matter increased, Lilly, clearly incensed, threatened Gottstein that he would lose his law license and that it would “seek sanctions” against him for having violated the secrecy order from that case that had been settled with the 8,000 plaintiffs. A court order included the instruction to him to “Preserve all documents, voice mails, e-mails, material and information relating to Dr. Egilman or any other efforts to obtain documents produced by Lilly.” I recall that around that time, I had called Jim’s office about some other matter and was stunned to hear his outgoing message, in which he instructed callers not to leave a message of any kind on his answering machine. It felt Orwellian.

The ways that Lilly and the courts conspired against Gottstein must be read to be believed. And it is poignant to read Gottstein kicking himself for the very human mistakes he made when called to testify under circumstances of extreme sleep deprivation, but these errors should never have justified the outcomes. Gottstein had spent vast amounts of money trying to defend himself and was facing even more legal fees beyond the huge ones he had already incurred. In addition, threats of losing his law license and contempt of court charges were hanging over his head. The story of why and how the case ended for him makes one rail at the so-called justice system and the overwhelming power of Big Pharma, as well as how they work together.

Gottstein speculates that the judges’ decisions were due to their view that Gottstein flouted their authority by sending out the material covered by the secrecy order, and it looks to this reader as though they jumped at the chance to interpret or misinterpret anything in Gottstein’s favor so as to allow them to protect Lilly. This impression is strengthened by the fact that vast numbers of the documents covered by the secrecy order had always been public knowledge, including media reports, yet all were subsumed in that order.

Bending over backward to understand the court’s alarm about exposure of the documents, one might ask what benefit comes to the plaintiffs in settlements like the one that included the secrecy order. Gottstein tells us that the Zyprexa settlement with 8,000 victims averaged a little less than $90,000 per victim and says:

This doesn’t seem like a lot for giving someone diabetes, but it is even worse when you consider that the lawyers took 40% and then Medicaid and Medicare were reimbursed another 30%. At that point, even the approximately $27,000 individual victims received, on average, put those who were on Medicaid and disability over the asset limit for eligibility. This meant they had to spend the money from the settlement to treat their diabetes and otherwise spend it over the course of a year or two to maintain or get back their Medicaid and disability payments.

Furthermore, Gottstein writes, “judges are supposed to allow the secrecy only if it is in the public interest, but in practice, they don’t. The secrecy greases the wheels of settlement as well as litigation, and judges want to have cases resolved and off their docket. … Normally, no one is representing the public interest.“ He continues:

I think it is fair to say by issuing the secrecy order the … Court was complicit with Lilly in hiding the great harm being done to people as a result of Zyprexa. If this information had become public earlier, thousands of additional lives could have been saved, and hundreds of thousands of people would probably not have taken Zyprexa.

Gottstein describes where the Court erred in considering the subpoena he issued and his release of the Zyprexa Papers:

It felt I had violated its secrecy order, and never gave serious consideration to the possibility I had not. Protecting its authority was really the court’s only consideration. It did not give fair consideration to PsychRights’ legitimate interest in the Zyprexa Papers. It did not give fair consideration to the fact that PsychRights followed the secrecy order’s rules in obtaining the Zyprexa Papers. … I had my independent and proper reasons for subpoenaing them, including alerting the public to the great harm caused by Zyprexa. … I believed I received them under the secrecy order’s rules and once I had them in that way, they lost their secrecy.

The second story in the book, interwoven throughout with the Lilly case, is about the way that Bill Bigley, whom Gottstein brings to life with warmth and respect, experienced tragic losses that understandably made him sad. His deeply human reaction was then pathologized: He was diagnosed with psychiatric labels that formed the foundation for starting him on a cycle of involuntary hospitalizations that grew to number around 70 and of forced drugging that caused him so many problems that he understandably resisted those chemicals. All of this predictably led to his deterioration in many ways, and he began sometimes to act in ways that annoyed some people, but he was never violent. Gottstein writes: “In reality, it wasn’t about Bill’s quality of life at all but about reducing other people’s annoyance with him.”

In spite of this, the mental health system destroyed this man, whose suffering, like that of so many, led to diagnosis that was then used to justify depriving him of his rights on the utterly unsupported grounds that he must have an incurable chemical imbalance and needed “treatment.” As Gottstein describes trying to help Bigley so many times, he shows point by point how the system in Alaska — typical of those across the U.S. — was used to order involuntary commitment and forced drugging was rigged against him.

The very fact that someone has been given any psychiatric label is used in a staggering variety of ways to deprive them of self-respect, dignity, self-confidence, employment, custody of their children, the right to make decisions about their medical and legal affairs, and even their lives. Just as Gottstein’s accurate statement that he had graduated from Harvard Law School had been construed as evidence of his “mental illness,” so when Bigley accurately stated that he had been quoted in the New York Times, that was construed as proof of his “psychiatric disorder.” And as so often happens, Bigley’s refusal of psychiatric drugs was alleged to be proof that he was too “ill” to know how to take care of himself.

Flagrantly ignoring proof of the harm caused by psychiatric drugs, the judge ordered that Bigley could be drugged against his will. The judge’s “reasoning” belongs in Alice in Wonderland rather than a court order. Try to find the logic in what the judge held, as Gottstein cites it:

The Court is willing to assume that past medications have damaged Bigley’s brain. It is further willing to assume that additional brain damage will result if API is allowed to administer more psychotropics. But that does not end the analysis.

The Court finds that the danger of additional (but uncertain) damage is outweighed by the positive benefits of the administration of medication and the emotional and behavioral problems that will escalate if Bigley is not medicated. Even if the medication shortens Bigley’s lifespan, the Court would authorize the administration of the medication because Bigley is not well now and he is getting worse.

Given that Zyprexa and similar medications such as Risperdal have been shown to cause early death, Gottstein is reasonable in concluding: “I guess judges decide who shall live and who shall die all the time, although the death penalty is not even allowed against murderers in Alaska.”

Bill Bigley’s hearings were usually held in a room at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute rather than in a courtroom and were usually not open to the public, as most similar court proceedings are supposed to be in order to help ensure due process and protect the person’s rights. When hearings are held within such hospitals, they tend to become Kafkaesque, throwing due process and legal procedures out the window, so that coercive orders are made in the absence of evidence that the criteria for coercion (danger to self or others, gravely disabled, least restrictive alternative) are met. Bill Bigley therefore wanted his hearings to take place in a real courtroom and to be public.

Anyone in danger of losing their human rights — or their life — through a court proceeding should have someone like Gottstein advocating for them, because he is a tireless advocate, knows the law inside out, and never loses sight of what is true, what is right, and what is humane in its respect for his clients’ dignity. He uses a combination of legal principles and procedures with analysis of whether those principles hold water within legal traditions but also outside of those traditions. Not feeling constrained by precedent in court and practice in the mental health system, he is consistently creative and resourceful in trying to find solutions. For instance, pursuing the principle that the “least restrictive alternative” should be tried, and knowing that court orders in cases like Bigley’s were usually based on consideration of only two alternatives — drug the person or don’t drug them, period — he makes this commonsense, caring proposal that includes a third option:

…when someone is having a meltdown, they can be approached and told, “Listen, we can’t have you doing these things, because of ______________ [e.g., you annoy people or you scare people], so if you don’t calm down, we are going to have to inject you with Haldol or put you in restraints or seclusion (solitary confinement). Which would you prefer?” I think some people would prefer the restraints or seclusion over the drug, but I also think there is some chance simply giving them the choice would allow them to calm down.

Of course, since this proposal is based on respect for the person and the assumption that they can use reason, consider options, and have agency, it’s not the kind of thing that judges tend to accept. Their dual concerns — that they will be blamed if they don’t order hospitalization and/or drugs and “something happens,” and their tendency to believe the claims of the powerful, well-funded entities like Big Pharma and Big Psychiatric Hospitals — get in the way.

As for the psychiatric hospital’s representatives, as Gottstein writes, what their continual pushing for forced drugging “demonstrates clearly is API was incapable of treating people without using drugs. This was and remains basically true of psychiatric ‘hospitals’ around the country.”

Gottstein wrote this book in part to try to prescribe a roadmap for approaching these kinds of cases, which, he said in an email message to me, includes the need “to treat these cases like the big-stakes litigation they are.” His compelling descriptions of his clashes with Lilly and his advocacy for Bigley make clear how high are the stakes and how dangerous to the brave souls who engage in the struggles. But as he poignantly notes, Zyprexa “is still being used on hundreds of thousands of people, including being forced on many. The same is true of the other neuroleptics.” Indeed, even many who advocate for victims of the traditional mental health system in their writings and films legitimize and even valorize former DSM-IV Task Force head Allen Frances, despite knowing that he and two colleagues earned just under a million dollars for creating the fraudulent foundation that allowed Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals to deceptively market the dangerous neuroleptic drug Risperdal for an astonishing variety of “conditions” in people from childhood to old age. (For more on this, see my articles “Diagnosisgate: Conflict of Interest at the Top of the Psychiatric Apparatus” and “Diagnosisgate: A Major Media Blackout Mystery.”)

Gottstein believes, finally, that

inadequate legal representation is the lynch pin for the massive harm being done to people through psychiatry. If people were being represented adequately the current system would be unable to lock the legions of people up and drug them against their will and would have to find some other way to deal with people diagnosed with mental illness and being disturbing. If PsychRights had the resources to employ just two or three lawyers full time in Anchorage, Alaska for such representations and funds for expert witnesses, I believe PsychRights could break the system and force provision of different approaches that have been shown to work and help people get through the problems they are having.

The book’s Kindle edition is available for order starting today, January 31. The paperback is now also available for ordering on Amazon.

83 COMMENTS

  1. “But as he poignantly notes, Zyprexa “is still being used on hundreds of thousands of people, including being forced on many. The same is true of the other neuroleptics.”

    You don’t say … it’s interesting he uses the brand name, and not the generic olanzapine… there’s no money to be made in attacking the producers of generic zyprexa. Ask any lawyer.

    “the same is true for other neuroleptics”, gosh, I thought it was only Eli Lilly (Lillith).

    Wasn’t Paula Caplan in the DSM IV task force?

  2. Hi Paula, as usual,
    Thank you for the article, and your constant fight.

    I think so many people live in a state of delusion, even many who are users.
    The users who never had their innocuous label suddenly turn on them.
    The lawyer, all he has to do is point to a med chart and say “See, she has anxiety”.
    I congratulate Gottstein’s efforts, his immense dedication. We need more people like him
    and as I have suggested before, we need a fund page somewhere, that pays lawyers to
    fight cases, one by one, leading to the next.
    My idea was, you use the first win to fund the next, virtually like a pyramid.
    In an ideal world where lawyers can agree on something, some people worthy to fight for,
    since the fight is really ultimately about freedom. Freedom to be without stupefying
    lobotomies (that IS what they are) freedom to not have your chose labels ever get out
    of the shrinks office, freedom of them not meaning anything in a court of law.

    every label is now virtually a criminal offence.
    And Allen Frances is no hero of mine, he was just sour grapes, not really about the many patients.
    WE need real shrinks with real concerns, not just because they griped with their colleagues
    and MIA becomes an afterthought.

    I am also in agreement with Gottstein, having a choice of meds, or not, is completely unreasonable, ESPECIALLY with something liable to change as circumstance and thought processes.
    Meds allow no change and assume change does not occur. There are so many options, yet require time and patience.
    Meds are not good enough if they fry the brain. Criminals are not caught and released along with meds.
    So why would drugs be used as behaviour prevention.
    We can then assume that each one of us can blow up and thus should be medicated.
    Which in fact is true.
    I am always surprised with all those horribly dangerous people that shrinks treat, that the shrinks are indeed quite safe.

  3. Nice try Jim, but your right saying that the odds are stacked in one direction.

    I have a letter here from our Chief Psychiatrist that i’d like you to read in which this person charged with the duty of “protecting the rights of consumers, carers and the community” and who provides “expert legal advice to the Minister” rewords what you lawyers call a burden of proof.

    The conditions to be met before a person can be referred for an examination by a psychiatrist are set out in our Mental Health Act (s.26). If an authorised mental health practitioner suspects on reasonable grounds that the person they are examining meets the criteria of an involuntary patient then they can use police to have the person transported against their will to an authorised hospital.

    Suspect on Reasonable Grounds. The Chief Psychiatrist does not like the way this wording provides protection for the public via reason, so he has rewritten it to read “the authorised mental health practitioner need only suspect on grounds they believe to be reasonable that the person requires examination by a psychiatrist”.

    This change achieves two ends, it means that reason is no longer required as it is decided by the AMHP what is reasonable (and therefore not the courts) and it creates the appearance that the consequences of the actions are a chat with a doctor, not incarceration and forced drugging.

    Of course i’m sure you would be aware of what happens when you point out to the Emperor that he has his dick hanging out for all to see. (That’s right, a prescription for Viagra. Off label use for cosmetic reasons) Fortunately I also have a letter from a Police Superintendent telling me that all they require to detain citizens is a call from a Community Nurse and they will snatch anyone from their bed and deliver them to a hospital, no questions asked, and no complaints will be accepted along with any evidence of conspiring to kidnap.

    The law, the way I read it seems to provide some protection from being drugged without your knowledge and having people plant items on you to obtain a police referral under the MHA. But in reality what is occuring is that those in authority seem to be neglecting their duty and giving carte blanche to oragnised criminals operating with impunity in our hospital system. And do you think they care who knows? Unlike the people your dealing with who want it kept secret, these guys want the whole community to know how corrupt they are.

    Kill one to scare a thousand. And when our Prime Minister says “Australians are a people who value a rule of Law” I laugh, knowing that I have these letters which are proof that what he is saying is fantasy. These people are perverting the rule of law for their own profit, and not a good soul left to put up any resistance.

    Rights paid for with blood being written away by cowards and criminals with pens. And we are forced to vote for them to provide the illusion of legitimacy.

    I’ve no doubt that when the current Chief Psychiatrist left the Royal College of Psychiatrists for the post stating that he could be much more effective from this position, he was right in that by subverting the rule of law and neglecting his duty to the public, he could enable his fellow psychiatrists to achieve lawlessness. And we know what happens once that occurs (see 2 Thessalonians)

  4. I’ve ordered the book and look forward to reading it. In addition to its being an important addition to the canon of critical psychiatry books, it bears witness for people like me. Back in 2008, I was prescribed a high dose of this dangerous drug on the basis of a very quick and superficial intake after being told I was likely manic because I was highly agitated and could not sleep. Within days I was suffering tremors and inability to remember a conversation from five minutes ago. As I began to feel worse, I wound up in the ER and had to have the drug flushed out of my system. I was very lucky I was not forced to stay on it and experience the longer-term effects.

    As I understand it, at that time many other people were prescribed it as casually. Though Lilly had to pay a fine, the drug is still out there and being forced on people with impunity.

  5. I’m so glad when I see articles like this. When I went to see the psychiatrist due to not sleeping & stress from a car accident he told me I had major depression and would have to take drugs for the rest of my life. Fast forward a couple of years and I was on multiple psyche drugs including Seroquel and Zyprexa (Seroquel put me in the ICU with Acute Pancreatitis).

    None of the psychiatric drugs are benign. It took a few years being drug free to be able to read books again. Little things like that that psychiatric drugs take away from you. Thank you again.

  6. Perhaps someone could send a copy of this book to Lady Gaga, who recently disclosed she was taking this neurotoxin (she called it “medicine”) as part of a psychiatric drug cocktail to treat her mental health issues, including a brief episode of psychosis, fibromyalgia, and PTSD from being a rape victim.

    How aware is she if the dangers of this drug and how many adoring fans are going to think taking this toxin is a good idea? Lilly executives and shareholders must have started dancing in the street when Gaga made this disclosure.
    So, diabetes, tardive dyskinesia, metabolic syndrome, suicidal ideation, and so on, guess this superstar has been convinced by some shady psychiatrist that this toxin is good for her brain and body. Horrifying.

      • Will Gaga read it?
        My problem with talking to people about my problems with psychiatry is none of them read anything. They are happy to get all their information off TV programs and commercials and brochures put out by drug companies. Not unbiased sources. “But doctors know best.”

        A couple friends laughed at me when I talked about Anatomy of an Epidemic. They said RW only was interested in making money. SMH. If Bob Whitaker is reading this I bet he’s having a hearty chuckle.

        Lots of people who never read books also have some idea that all authors are multi-millionaires or billionaires and J.K. Rowlings’ success is the norm. Even well-known authors have other jobs or supplement book sales with speaking/teaching/coaching/consulting/editing/etc.

        If making gobs of money is your only goal and you aren’t hindered by a conscience the best route would be writing ad copy for Big Pharma. Especially ghost writing articles under the name of prominent APA members!

    • I predict Gaga’s career will take a nosedive in a couple years. Maybe sooner. Her weight will go up markedly. Everything she experiences health wise or cognitively will be chalked up to her “illness” and used to prescribe more pills.

      Eventually–like Carrie Fisher and Patty Duke–her principle gigs will come from entertaining shrinks and Big Pharma people at psychiatric conferences and “educating” the public on various PSA commercials, etc. Her only real identity will be the “Good Consumer” who talks about her disease all the time and has no real life apart from psychiatry.

      I wonder how Mariah Carey’s career is going. She’s better off than Brittany because she does what they want, but a career as a public performer requires lots of energy that the pills don’t leave. Especially emotional energy.

      I’m no fan of Scientology, but neither Tom Cruise nor John Travolta promotes their cult as much as the devoutly “SMI” celebrities.

    • I hadn’t realized Lady Gaga was on something as heavy as Zyprexa (olanzapine). When she starts gaining 80 lbs and experiencing rigid muscles, tremors, and inability to think straight–it pains me to think of it, she’s a very talented, bright woman–perhaps she will awake to her poisoning and join us on the survivors’ side.

      Neo_liberalism, Dr Caplan was on the DSM task force and left in disgust. Check out her book, They Say You’re Crazy for her detailed discussion of that period.

        • I saw the video Rosalee,
          I have no doubt that “fibromyalgia” etc, exists and I don’t argue that it involves the brain. Just because science cannot identify a process does not mean it does not exist.
          I doubt very much that the drugs gaga takes are missiles to address the problems she experiences and thus are chemicals that scramble the brain, break connections. It takes time for the new connection damage to show. Those broken connections cannot be healed. There are no drugs to heal the damage from drugs.
          Because we simply know nothing about the brain.
          So in any case, even if she appears better, or feels better, it is NOT based on science or exact cause, effect. The “Andy” guy is also not sharing with her the unknown path that he took her on. Or the unknown path he took her from.
          Andy is happy, but prepared. All shrinks are prepared for the DIVES.
          All shrinks wonder if they could be involved in lawsuits 10 years in, and if that patient has enough clout.
          They usually rely on their associations of lawyers and colleagues to defend, and they rely on how most court cases never convict the doctors.
          So they usually only worry a lil bit, wondering if they might be the first, yet console themselves that monetarily it won’t affect them.
          “Andy”
          I think most shrinks nowadays stay away from doc/patient relationships because they would not want to be caught being in a long term relationship with someone suffering damage from neuroleptics.

          • “Gottstein wrote this book in part to try to prescribe a roadmap for approaching these kinds of cases, which, he said in an email message to me, includes the need “to treat these cases like the big-stakes litigation they are.” His compelling descriptions of his clashes…” #who

  7. She’s been one of my best friends since 2005. She’s a victim of the lies of the pseudoscience drug racket known as “psychiatry”, and the local “Community Mental Health Center”. I’ve watched her condition slowly deteriorate over the years. She is court-ordered, FORCED to take drugs, including Zyprexa. Her Family is both the best, and at the same time the worst aspect of her life. She’s the “designated patient”, the “scapegoat”, the “black sheep”. And part of why she’s where she is, is because her Father had sex with her starting when she was 8. She’s really a wonderful person, and it’s painful to see her existing in a kind of living HELL. The workers at that “CMHC” regularly lie about her, and use those lies to justify sending her to the State Mental Hospital in handcuffs and shackles every few months, regardless. And the quack shrink, Dr. Maryanne Marsh, keeps forcing her to take the Zyprexa, which she hates…. Yes, there’s a word for what’s being done to her in the name of “treatment”, and that word is GENOCIDE. Genocide for profit. And to sell more Zyprexa….

      • She’s been one of my best friends since 2005, when she & I first met. She wants to sue her shrink. She’s deeply unhappy with the abuse disguised as “treatment”. She does NOT want to take the DRUGS she is FORCED to take. She is Court-ordered. She is a victim of genocide. Her Family is BOTh the BEST, and WORST thing in her life, – both at the same time. She wants to write a book. She hates psychiatry. She’s my friend, and her story is the story of several million Americans who are the victims of genocide. genocide, because that’s exactly what it is. I’m not ever exaggerating here. She is literally a VICTIM of GENOCIDE, and the American Taxpayer subsidizes this genocide. She’s my friend, and it hurts me to see what psychiatry is doing to her, in the name of “mental health care”. The more “mental health care” she gets, the sicker she becomes. She’s barely functional now….

    • Ugh!
      One of my best friends is deteriorating mentally, but is not getting locked up like your friend, Bradford.

      She is afraid to leave the system after 30+ years. And is worse for the wear–even for a woman of 60. I’m worried she has early stage dementia.

      She has big shelf-loads of books that she no longer reads. A “good cocktail” will do that to you if you give it time.

      • Sad isn’t it.
        It took me so long to see what these drugs do.
        A person I know lost her dad and sister to death by train.
        They never tried to commit suicide before the drugs.
        Had they tried, perhaps they would have failed or chickened out.
        Every time, everyone blames it on their ‘depression’.
        Of course some succeed even without drugs, but the drugs
        have made it much more likely to be carried out.

  8. Thanks Paula,

    The Article title says it all.

    I was actually looking for the kindle version of The Zyprexa Papers, but at least I know now that its coming out.

    I think some of these ‘psychiatric controllers’ must be psychopaths, their behaviour is really nasty.

  9. “In reality it wasn’t about Bill’s quality of life at all but other people’s annoyance at him.”

    That sums up what psychiatry is all about. And it didn’t even help with that in my case. The more drug addled I became the weirder I acted (low inhibitions, lower empathy, lower cognitive ability.)

    From my days in the NAMI cult I collected some Lilly paraphernalia. Living in the country now. Gonna get out the big drum can and have myself a Lilly roast! 😛

  10. So Jim Gottstein is a survivor, huh? That’s pretty significant.

    Unfortunately the first wave of psych rights lawyers such as Bruce Ennis has not been sufficiently replaced, and currently Mr. Gottstein seems to be one of the few committed ones out there.

    What’s important is for psych lawyers to learn how to deconstruct and basically ridicule psychiatric testimony, not just accept a client’s psychiatric “treatment” as a given and try to get the best deal. Commitment hearings should be conducted just as criminal trials are conducted, as adversarial proceedings with strict rules of evidence, rather than as interested parties collaborating to scheme up the “best interest” of the client, the “least restrictive alternative,” or someone’s “right to treatment.” The only thing a serious “mental patient” lawyer should be concerned with is the right to refuse “treatment.”

    If people were being represented adequately the current system would be unable to lock the legions of people up and drug them against their will and would have to find some other way to deal with people diagnosed with mental illness and being disturbing.

    Basically true — the catch again being what is meant by “adequately” represented, which would mean routinely cross-examining shrinks about the “mental illness” concept itself. If this were routinely done by lawyers with the competence to skillfully invoke Szaszian concepts in a way a judge would understand, theoretically everyone charged with “mental illness” would have to be released, no matter what the circumstances. Anything less is equivocation.

    If PsychRights had the resources to employ just two or three lawyers full time in Anchorage, Alaska for such representations and funds for expert witnesses, I believe PsychRights could break the system and force provision of different approaches that have been shown to work and help people get through the problems they are having.

    What sort of “approaches,” are we talking and approaches to what? There are no “personal” answers to many people’s existential/social/political problems sans total systemic transformation of our culture — which cannot be accomplished simply by adjusting people’s attitudes, but requires collective action. This goes beyond the capacity of a legal project. I would stick to “breaking the system,” and getting psychiatry off people’s backs. But practically speaking I’m sure two more properly trained attorneys could do wonders, and I hope it happens.

    Huxley once said “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.” The truth will not set us free — we have to do that ourselves — but it will definitely help point us in the right direction. I plan to get this book, it seems to be potentially monumental. Congrats to all involved.

      • Great article.
        Eli Lilly makes of Zyprexa and Cymbalta, which I’m currently in a long, hellish withdrawal from. They cover up the terrible harm their drugs do, blame the patient’s reaction to the drugs on the patient, bury evidence of the withdrawal symptoms. Doctors are clueless. My internist said, “Take Cymbalta instead of Zoloft, Cymbalta is great for pain, but have your psychiatrist prescribe it.” I told the psychiatrist what the internist said, the psychiatrist wrote the Rx. I don’t think either of them knew anything about this drug beyond what they’d read in an Eli Lilly produced brochure…no different than the situation with Purdue Pharma and the other drug companies that created the opiate epidemic. The drug companies have the plan, which has nothing to do with treating illness and everything to do with profit, doctors get taken along for the ride (because of their failure to question drug company propaganda or they’re complicit). Mainstream media has finally recognized who was at fault in the opiate crisis…there are articles calling out Purdue Pharma, the Sacklers, in depth reports looking into how this happened, where did it start, what was the FDA’s role, what part did pharmacies play, who knew what when, etc…but no such coverage of the epidemic of suffering, disability and death caused by psych drugs. Is it that the majority of the populace doesn’t care, or they’re too squeamish about anything to do with “mental illness”?…I don’t get it. Also no one is forcing people to take opiates, while this whole system…hospitals, police, the courts…can and does force people to take Zyprexa and the like despite the devastating harm to the individual. Hello, NY Times? Anyone in mainstream media? Maybe they can publish a review of The Zyprexa Papers…that would be something.

        • Doctors are not “clueless”. Doctors simply go by their rule that if pain or reaction cannot be evidenced by the scant science, it does not exist.
          Of course if one is the type of doctor that practices on the premise that the ‘science’ or ‘knowledge’ we have is all there is, then it is not a good, nor truthful doc.
          Funny how a shrink will accept that his patient is “sick”, he never questions what you say and even has a bunch of diagnosis on hand.
          Yet when we suffer real ailment they are denied.
          That is the one time a patient’s testimony is false.
          So ultimately, we are not dealing with science in both specialities, we are dealing with a justice system/

          • I always smile when I read certain aspects of my documentation from the day I was tortured and kidnapped Sam Plover. Speaking of clueless doctors there is the one who gave me a diagnosis based on his three minute interview with me (well at least that’s the preferred narrative, lets not discuss where that ‘provisional diagnosis’ was obtained because of the crimes involved) but he writes

            “Potential for violence but no actual history”

            Now I mean, that;’s everybody on the planet and well does he not recognise his own paranoid delusions when he writes them down? I guess he never will really because he arranges for everyone he comes across to be given enough benzos and anti psychotics to lay an elephant out for a week, and then calls the reaction to these drugs an illness.
            And well, he is also an ordained minister and I guess he may be used to getting people into small rooms and having them remove their clothes before inserting objects into their mouth or anus when he has been overtly denied consent, but has the use of force and drugs available to him. How convenient that he knew I had been ‘spiked’ with benzos and I didn’t eh?

            If I had the power to I’d be having a closer look at this guy, but police seem to think he is someone who requires protection via criminal negligence.

          • In fact, the manipulation of reality goes some way to explaining the problems with psychiatry.

            I mean here I was a citizen who had been ‘spiked’ with benzos laying in my bed oblivious to the people who were conspiring to have me transported against my will to a cage in a place they call a hospital.

            Now the truth is that this conspiring was criminal as I was not a “mental patient” but by screaming ‘fire’ in a theatre they have cause the very confusion they required to obtain the desired outcome. “Mental Patient” , “knife”, “quick get him”. And what a joke that it actually worked. Not that the police or the mental health workers gave a fuk, just doing their jobs the claim is.

            However, what really interests me (and should be of interest to the public) is that the documents that prove what i’m saying were not the same ones provided to my lawyers. I’ve gone from being a citizen who had serious criminal offences committed against me to being a “mental patient” of this hospital for ten years. And because they can add me to the list of people for police to brutalize, i’m done for. No come back against these criminals operating in the hospital system. Police are actually assisting them now, and need to keep doubling down . I even have a letter from a Superintendent claiming that because the people the police threatened didn’t complain to police then their is nothing to be investigated. Of course what a pain that I turned up in a station with proof of me being kidnapped when they thought they had retrieved it, and God forbid that others had looked and realised what had been done to me. We don’t like that truth and prefer the fraudulent one. And so they have made what is false the truth.
            And I can’t say I disagree with that. I mean It’s not nice that its being done to me, but the good news is i’m not alone in being a victim of torture and kidnapping. Given the ease with which these public officers covered this up, I know there are many others, most likely dead as a result of the gaslighting. And the community living in fear of police corruption and the criminals operating in our hospitals whose crimes are being overlooked because “tomato”. My wife, who worked very closely with these criminals tells me about how easily the community can be targeted. They have citizens commit the offences (eg plant what evidence they need) and then exercise their discretionary powers and neglect their duty. Of course there is an Article covering this in the Convention against the Use of Torture (acquiescence by a public officer eg ‘spiking’ before interrogations) but well, they seem to be blind to anything that doesn’t suit the false narrative so , can’t see it.
            Personally, why should I care? I’ve asked for my property back so I can leave this vile country that has put a torture program into place and is murdering citizens to conceal their conduct. Fine, no probs, the community doesn’t really care, go for it. I’m sure you will make the world a better place if you can just get the powers you need to bring us all into line. I’d just rather die starving on the streets of a place where I have some protection from criminals, not have the State BE the criminals.

            Noah said it was going to rain, and the people replied “yes but we have umbrellas”. Good luck with your torture and kidnappings, call them what you will with your slandering and fraud there is an easy road ahead for you.

    • “So Jim Gottstein is a survivor, huh? That’s pretty significant.”

      In some sense, you could argue it’s significance, I suppose. It makes it hard, though (at least for me), if you listen to his own account of what happened to him at 29 (manic and sleep deprived “psychosis” where he heard the devil’s footsteps approaching the bedroom where he was, then was taken to hospital while in escape mode wearing only underpants). It seems a doctor (maybe a psychiatrist) took pity on him and let him go, assuring him that anyone (even Harvard graduates) who are sleep deprived, can go psychotic.

  11. Thanks, Paula, for this incredible and important book review. Your work constantly amazes me. I read “They Say You’re Crazy,” and find your book on veterans much more emotional.

    Wondering if you and others have seen this video. It’s been banned from Google and YouTube, so the producer created his own site.

    America collapses into a PHARMA state, run by “legal” drug cartels
    https://www.brighteon.com/a0006c0a-e398-40dd-bad2-f9569916c690

    It shows interconnections you’ve not covered in your article.

    My hope is that you can balance out some of your reportage with some on alternatives that will replace the “system” when and if that withers away.

  12. Thanks Dr. Caplan for this informative review of Jim Gottstein’s new book, The Zyprexa Papers. I’ve read some eye opening books this past year including They Say You’re Crazy and Anatomy of an Epidemic and ordered this book today. Truth and knowledge is desperately needed for all who have been so severely harmed by psychiatry as the ‘powers that be’ are so intent on blaming and dismissing victims of psychiatry. I recently heard of the Anti-Corruption Award 2020. Persons of incredible integrity who take on huge risks to speak out and act to protect victims of psychiatry such as Mr. Jim Gottstein, Mr. Robert Whitaker, yourself Dr. Caplan (walking away from the DSM task force and speaking out/writing about that fiasco) and other professional writers here on MIA are definitely worthy of such an award!

  13. Hi All. My GRATITUDE to everyone who is tirelessly getting the truth out.

    Jim and Robert wanting to make money off of writing books… What about this: Their work has pulled me out of a 30 year drug induced internal state of torture and I nor my insurance has paid them a penny. The psychiatrists and hospitals/torture centers that were “helping” me made let’s see 200 dollars a week for 30 years to out patient MDs. So that’s 312,000 dollars. Add the 30,000 dollars for a hospitalization and times that by 10 bc I never got well until I learned of Robert, Jim, and Dr. Breggin. So that is another 300,000. So total to the mental illness system 612,000. Total to Robert, Jim and Dr. Breggin 0.00.

    I ask who is making money???

    Also, celebrities may respond to celebrities. I suggest Lady Gaga listen to Pink’s song JUST LIKE A PILL. The lyrics off her MISUNDERSTOOD album read.. Just like a pill, instead of making me better you are making me ill. I tried to get some help but the nurse is being a little bitch. I think I better get out of here.

  14. Oh geez. I forgot to add the hidden amount of money paid to the drug companies for 30 years of unnecessary “medicine” that would have soon killed me if I had not learned of Robert, Jim and Dr. Breggin. I never even saw what amount the drugs raked in. Another interesting fact. Most, myself included, just pay our 10 dollar co-pay. What is the cost of these drugs that killed Julie Green, my friend Matt Carl and my friend Jessie Mosher and Eleanor Reese and others?

  15. I must be truthful. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was? About 20 dollars to Robert for his book, 20 dollars to Jim for his book and 20 dollars to Dr. Breggin for his book.

    So, 60 dollars total to these horribly greedy authors and 612,000 to the mental illness system and here is the most brilliant part.. I have no idea how much went to the drug companies. (Well played you EVIL EVIL EVIL people). I do not know how long it takes and at what human cost but I know GOOD always beats out EVIL.

    Thank you again – Paula, Jim, Robert and all on MIA.

  16. “….I was told I would have to take mind-numbing Thorazine-like drugs for the rest of my life…”

    Mental Health Diagnosis is mostly a play on words, and the idea that psychiatric drugs are medicine is rubbish. But if a person says this, they can become very unpopular.

  17. Check out marci.mindpuck.cc

    It shows up on Google.

    A lawyer is interested. Please pass around this info to veterans, civil rights, and mental health groups.

    Share it on libertarian and humanitarian groups. It isn’t just about Marci. This is about everyone’s right to due process and protection of life, liberty and freedom from torture.

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