Mad in America and Activism

Ron Bassman, PhD
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Rights are hard won, yet easily lost when we are not vigilant.

The fears stoked by this coronavirus pandemic can push us to succumb to the demands of a stumbling government that is tripping over itself while ensconced in feeding us contradictory misinformation. What impact will the pandemic have on how we see ourselves, our communities, and how we relate to each other? Will there be more justifications to selectively allocate economic, social, and medical benefits? Finding someone or thing to blame allows us to continue to ignore a culture that rewards and favors individual avarice at the expense of community needs. Attributing blame for this crisis enables the privileged to feel safer and provides a rationale for discrimination.

Although the virus is in theory one of equal opportunity, we see the usual suspects having the highest infection rates: The elderly, people with disabilities, those confined to psychiatric facilities and nursing homes, the incarcerated in jails and prisons, the homeless, and the disempowered minorities that live at the bottom of our socio-economic system. Primarily, what those who are disproportionately infected share is congregate living, the worst of which is in institutions, but also highly vulnerable are those who are living in overcrowded apartments, shoddy homeless shelters or on the street. It is too easily said that their immune systems are compromised, or that they are not following the recommended behavioral guidelines while we ignore the economic and social structures that are responsible for their compromised immunity. Historically, in our collective past, it was reassuring for the masses to understand the scourge of plagues as divine punishment for immoral behavior.

Like many of the psychiatric survivors who follow Mad in America, I know that nearly everything can be taken away from us. Our health, dignity, self-respect, memories, and our capacity to critically think. Even our rights to own the reality of our experiences are subject to misappropriation. I choose to think that the soul or spirit has the capacity to hide when necessary in protected sanctuaries deep within us and can re-emerge when given the opportunity. We cannot sheepishly forfeit our rights and allow discrimination based on the supposed “vulnerability” of certain designated groups.

Are we truly in a war, a war with an invisible enemy? Borrowing from the classic statement of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during a fireside chat about a different war, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” In the past I found that statement to be comforting but I find myself reflecting on what it means to me now. Is fear really the enemy or is it a signal to look at how I am living? What rights am I willing to forfeit in order to soothe myself with an illusion of control and safety? Are they really rights, or as the late great comedian George Carlin riffed, “You don’t have rights, you have privileges and privileges can be taken away?” I pose a question to myself and others, how can we oppose and combat the erosion of our rights in this time of fear and authoritarianism?

In a search for clarity I offer Martin Niemoller’s classic teaching poem with an important edit of who were first.

First they came for the useless eaters (disabilities) and I did not speak out because I had no disability.

Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Consider who are the least valued and most vulnerable. The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, in an attempt to reduce the jail and prison population, will release certain low-level offenders with the exception of those with mental illness. The Urban Justice League launched a petition for organizations to sign. The petition begins:

Dear Governor Cuomo:

New York State must stop warehousing people with serious mental health concerns in prisons and jails. As COVID-19 threatens to spread like a wildfire through these facilities, people with mental health disabilities must be included in the State’s efforts to release vulnerable people and reduce the total jail and prison populations. We are appalled that in implementing your directive to release people incarcerated on technical parole violations, the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) categorically excluded people with serious mental health concerns. This blatant discrimination against people with mental health disabilities is shocking.

The mainstream media pundits are preparing us. They speak of the new normal, telling us that life will not return to what it was before the war with the coronavirus—What does that mean? Am I willing to be driven by fear and passively accept the loss of privacy, an increase in the division between those who have much more than they need and those who have barely enough to survive? The newly configured decision-making algorithms have been designed to determine who is worthy of our supposedly limited resources, and who is shunned or punished for not adhering to rules formulated by the wealthy, powerful and politically connected. Who will we choose as the deciders, those who will tell us whether someone with a disability or a “vulnerability” or advanced age has a quality of life worth sustaining?

I think often of the powerful statement made by Justin Dart, the acknowledged father of the ADA:

I adamantly protest the richest culture in the history of the world, a culture which has the obvious potential to create a golden age of science and democracy dedicated to maximizing the quality of life of every person, but which still squanders the majority of its human and physical capital on modern versions of primitive symbols of power and prestige. I adamantly protest the richest culture in the history of the world which still incarcerates millions of humans with and without disabilities in barbaric institutions, backrooms and worse, windowless cells of oppressive perceptions, for the lack of the most elementary empowerment supports.

I call for solidarity among all who love justice, all who love life, to create a revolution that will empower every single human being to govern his or her life, to govern the society and to be fully productive of life quality for self and for all. I do so love all the patriots of this and every nation who have fought and sacrificed to bring us to the threshold of this beautiful human dream. I do so love America the beautiful and our wild, creative, beautiful people. I do so love you, my beautiful colleagues in the disability and civil rights movement.

More here about Justin (https://abilitymagazine.com/JustinDart_remembered.html).

Will we be facing forced segregation under the flag of protecting the vulnerable? Will we be tracked by tattoos attesting to compulsory vaccinations that have been too quickly wheeled out without a genuine evaluation of efficacy? As has been suggested in Germany, will passports be used to determine and track who is eligible to return to work? Will our cell phones be used to track compliance with whatever the government deems necessary? The call for everyone to be tested for the virus does not acknowledge the different levels of accuracy for tests that vary in their accounting for the number of false positives and negatives. Are we being encouraged and/or pressured to suspend our critical thinking? At what point do we give up our individual freedoms, our right to choose for the collective Good?

I am currently Executive Director of MindFreedom International (MFI), an organization that has for more than 30 years been devoted to fighting for the rights of people who are forced to undergo psychiatric treatments regardless of their objections. To maintain the integrity of our mission we accept no government funding and are supported by membership and donations. We advocate for the right to choose psychiatric services or reject services we believe are not in our best interest. We attempt to inform the public and challenge the misinformation about psychiatric treatments. To oppose the rampant abuse of rights, we developed the Shield program (https://mindfreedom.org/shield/). When we activate a Shield alert, we rely on our members and allies to write letters and make phone calls to local newspapers, government officials and the treatment team who are in control of making decisions. We have learned that we can make a difference when those in charge see that what they are doing is subject to public exposure. Moved from operating in the dark, changes are much more negotiable when it is recognized that a person has community support.

MFI has been looking at the rapid changes that are occurring in psychiatric facilities and other congregate living settings. We have learned that at Connecticut Valley Hospital, similar to other facilities around the country, no visitors are allowed. According to one inpatient, changes include not being allowed to go outside for fresh air. She told us that patients are given one mask that they are required to wear for an entire week. I wonder what is explained to the residents about the coronavirus and the reasons for the new restrictions.

Until now, our focus has been on those who are working through psychosocial issues, or more plainly, problems in living their lives. We are also supportive of families who have found mainstream treatments harmful and who inquire about person-centered alternatives. Today, I am aware of the need to expand our impact by joining with others whose rights are under threat.

Liz Moore, writing in the March 18, 2020 issue of Rooted in Rights, in the article Disabled People Are Not Simply Dispensable During a Pandemic:

“In a recent article about the financial impact of COVID-19, The Telegraph went so far as to say, “From an entirely disinterested economic perspective, the COVID-19 might even prove mildly beneficial in the long term by disproportionately culling elderly dependents.” It didn’t take long for this outbreak to bring out eugenicist arguments. The use of the word “culling” here is particularly disturbing. As a disabled person who might be disproportionately culled, it is easy to despair at this situation.”

If we are going to have a chance of maintaining our rights we must have, a powerful VOICE, one that joins with other oppressed groups. We need to work with organizations like Surviving Race, Drug Policy Alliance, and others that look at our sisters and brothers who are incarcerated, who are homeless, who are penalized because of race, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. A friend reminded me of the rallying cry of the AIDS coalition, Act Up, “Silence=Death.” We must look at what we have in common rather than our differences. Our numbers need to swell so that we can attain influence. The demands we make must be clear and able to be accomplished. I think of the canary in the coal mine when I say we represent the hope for changing how we relate to each other and saving our home—mother earth.

The question that is presently unanswerable is whether this crisis will stimulate progress or regression. I choose to believe that it is an opportunity but that we must fight to make it happen. My dream: To build compassionate communities where people who look, act, or think differently are supported in ways for them to develop their innate potential. That each of us has value and that we learn from each other’s strength and weakness, where we are all able to have safe, affordable places to live and enough wholesome food to sustain good health. During this time of crisis, we could learn and accept that we are all connected and begin to value the power of compassion. I hope that now is the time for us to push the envelope to make the so necessary changes we desperately need. All of us need to ponder what we are willing to risk and perhaps stretch a bit to overcome identity politics and allegiances to tribalism.

David Oaks, the founder and longtime force behind MFI, said recently at our biweekly Shield meeting. “Now, we are no longer the 5% minority, we are the 100%.” We are all in this together. If it is truly 100% I am hoping we find new creative ways to unite and push in the same direction.

65 COMMENTS

  1. While Mindfreedom once served an important intermediary role in preserving some of the remnants of the Mental Patients’ Liberation Movement, it has largely been rendered irrelevant — in the face of the recent resurgence of anti-psychiatry consciousness — by its historical refusal to take an explicitly anti-psychiatry stand. It has been a hodgepodge of reformism combined with some high points from time to time. However the times they are a’changin’ again, and any current grouping of survivors which does not target psychiatry as the problem and call for it’s abolition is doing a disservice to all victims of psychiatry.

    We need to break out of the chains of reformism and false hope that psychiatry can be “reformed.” A number of anti-psychiatry survivors have been organizing independently of MIA for some time, and have been developing a coherent analysis of psychiatry which is based on the understanding that psychiatry is not “bad medicine” but an institution of social control. Our strategies should not revolve around making psychiatry “better,” but exposing its inherent destructiveness. And we should not be focusing on individuals but systems.

    In short, as has been recognized since the Toronto principles of 1982, psychiatry cannot be reformed, it must be abolished. We should keep this understanding at the forefront of everything we do, and never back off from stating it loudly and boldly.

    Exciting things are happening, survivors. Stay tuned.

    And Happy May Day!

    • “Our strategies should not revolve around making psychiatry “better,” but exposing its inherent destructiveness.”

      I find that the “soft” psychiatry, the many therapists that sort of don’t “do” psychiatry, are often involved in a “silent” shaming of those who speak up against psychiatry. That silence people fall into when we touch upon “touchy” subjects.
      Silence is so telling, and I can form all kinds of words in that silence, unless they can speak up. A lot of that silence is like the silence, the silence of a parent. Tsk Tsk, don’t speak badly about others, let’s all try and get along. Can you feel the love?

      It’s as if they don’t want to be part of psychiatry, yet still feel there is something to “heal”. The greatest thing left to “heal” is the mindfuck going on. I can tell someone about the mindfuck for $150 per hour.

      Ron,
      I’m glad, elated to see you part of something, have a sense of belonging to something. After all, it is what we all need, even psychiatrists. I hope you can save a few people from psychiatry mindfuck. Perhaps even persuade a few to quit their jobs.

  2. Am I correct in assuming you use the same methods of the Jehovah Witnesses with regards to forced treatment, that they use when one of their brethren is being forced to acccept a blood transfusion?

    And I do beieve that Martin Niemoller’s classic teaching poem should have begun, first they came for the Jehovah Witnesses…….. mainly because of their refusal to salute the Chief and say “heil Hitler”. If only my community had such people with the courgage of their convictions. Though where I live they are quite prepared to accept torture maiming and killing as being ‘medical procedures’. And even ‘advocates’ are prepared to plant a knife between the shoulder blades of victims for the right price.

    I did like Carlins comments about privileges not rights (google Japanese Americans 1940s if you think you’ve got rights). Though I do think one of the wisest comments I’ve seen on MiA came from Jim Gottstein, ‘rights without remedies are no rights at all’ (i may be paraphrasing here). They have removed the remedies, and continue with the illusion of rights for the general public. We should be holding our elected ‘leaders’ to account for those removals, though of course to do so would mean running the gauntlet of a diagnosis and being ‘fuking destroyed’.

    The man with nothing to loose is a dangerous man, the hypocrite talks big until it’s time to fight. If you win, they say how much they would have liked to have been with you in the fight, if you loose they tell you how they were right in not joining you. Fortunately God knows what is in their hearts (and quite possibly some of our police when they do mock executions, the wetting of pants being a dead give away. And before you complain, this is considered a ‘coercive measure’ and not torture as a result of the false belief created by someone who isn’t really going to shoot you [police are allowed to lie to ‘suspects’ in my State], if you believe they are then thats your problem. I once got upset with a Sgt for telling his Constable who was detaining an 8 year old Aboriginal boy for breaking a window “if the little black bastard gives you any trouble, shoot him”. How positively ‘lefty’ of me lol).

    Speaking of creating fear, have a look at The Power of Nightmares documentary by Adam Curtis (on You Tube). Gives a great description of how we are being manipulated via the false fears created by politicians to maintain their grip on power. I’d write more but there’s Muslim terrorists living in the house next door and i’m sure they’re watching eveything I type lol

    • JWs are very organized. They are clear what they will and will not accept. As a group they know their options. Legal documents are filled out ahead of time. They are ready to die for what they believe. There is leadership. Action is prearranged and immediate. Within seconds, not days. Yes it is thousands of letters and calls sent in unison, but at the same moment others are at the hospital in shifts standing guard, others helping make meals… They have well trained and well dressed hospital liaison committees and a legal body that will take action right to the supreme court. They communicate clearly and efficiently in emergencies. Everyone is paid nothing equally. It is MUCH much more than just letter writing. We could learn from them when it comes to protecting each other from forced medical treatment.

      • Unified movement comes at a cost that those of us who don’t color in the lines may not be able to afford. How many of us would be excommunicated from our own movement for being ourselves? Conversely, how many have abandoned the movement (insert any group larger than solitude here) in self protection?

        Power to protect as a group doesn’t exist without the power to punish individuals who don’t conform.

        I don’t know. I feel useless. I am angry that a reformed psychiatrist will always trump a liberated patient. That no one can hear me because I have a state issued label instead of a state issued degree. If I had both than maybe… if I play nice and do what I am told… maybe… maybe…

        Angry that empowerment for many is a volunteer position as an HVN facilitator or a minimum wage job as peer support. A carrot we never can catch. Angry that the catalyst for HVN is less recognized than the psychiatrist and his romantic partner holding the umbrella. Tired of soothing professionals who vent about how hard state enforced isolation is during covid to those of us paying them a days wage (sliding scale) for 50 minutes desperate to get past a lifetime of state sanctioned isolation.

        I don’t know how to cope with that.

        • Most survivors have real world expertise in extended forced isolation. Would the professionals working to help us ever consider turning the tables? We have knowledge you need. How many would pay $150 USD or more for 50 minutes of my time? What if the magical “going rate” for survival training is $600? What if I offered you a sliding scale because I know you are having a hard go of it right now? How much of yourself would I make you expose in order to prove you needed a cheaper rate? Would you feel humiliated to be pro bono? Would I feel guilty taking money for my hard earned education/experience and should I? Do you value my wisdom enough to buy it as I have bought yours? Why not?

        • I feel useless. I am angry that a reformed psychiatrist will always trump a liberated patient. That no one can hear me because I have a state issued label instead of a state issued degree.

          Hear hear!

          This is why any movement of anti-psychiatry survivors must be led by survivors, and not “progressive” professionals or others who presume to speak for us. True allies respect our right to define our own struggle, and we are always happy to work in coalitions with such people. This need for self-determination is why the original Mental Patients Liberation Movement was exclusively composed of ex-psychiatric inmates.

          For many years before his recent death Stephen Boren/Gilbert used to describe on MIA the utter frustration of being paid by the state as a “peer” and being expected to overlook the same oppression he had experienced as an inmate at the institution he was working in (Arkansas State “Hospital”). But the “peer” concept originated in the writings of Judi Chamberlin and others during the early days of the movement; it then was corrupted and sold back to us by the same system we were opposing, and now they purport to determine who is to be considered a “peer” (which is a demeaning term to begin with). So we must always be vigilant and not allow ourselves to be similarly co-opted in the future.

          • Oldhead–have you read Ron Bassman’s history, his book, papers, etc? I dont think so. Ron is not one of the a “progressive” professionals you describe as unfit to lead “our” movement. He is a survivor of institutionalization, insulin shock ‘treatments’, ECT, forced Thorazine injections, and a diagnosis of schizophrenia. He went on to get his doctoral degree and start a private therapy practice to help other survivors. He was a part of the “Highland 40” and other historical milestones by psychiatric survivors. He has undoubtedly done a great deal more than the handful of people who make it a full time career to write comments in an echo chamber. As a mother of a psychiatric survivor, I am tremendously grateful to MindFreedom for the practical help they offer to survivors and family members

          • Haven’t met Ron but I hear from people I trust he’s a good guy. Nothing I’m writing here is about individuals, only about principles.

            Practical help is hard to argue with. Unfortunately the psychiatric system will continue to create infinite needs for such assistance until it is put to rest. So we need to distinguish between services to help individuals (i.e. one another) through our personal storms (which will continue as long as this system rules our lives) and activist efforts to confront, expose and defeat that system. These are two separate functions and should not be confused with one another. We need to know where we’re going, what we’re doing and why, and all “support” should be done with an understanding that psychiatry is a tool of the oppressors and can never be changed into anything else.

      • Thanks for that O O. If only there were a ‘patients movement’ with such conviction.

        I noticed stuff pinned on the Notice Boards in the hospital that kidnapped me for organisations claiming to represent the interests of people being subjected to the abuses of psychiatry, only to find out they were a ‘venus fly trap’. They lure you in with promises of legal assistance, find out what you have, and then provide that confidential information to the hospital and assist them in concealing any misconduct during these kidnappings and torture sessions. For this the government funding continues.

        Yes Mental Health Law Centre I’m looking at YOU.

        I wonder about the JWs providing assistance to people being snatched and tortured using the Mental Health Act. I have certainly spoken to some who are believers in the medical model of mental illness. (“My daughter wasn’t abused, she has a mental illness as is recieving treatment for it” said one person who I suspect was the young womans abuser but …. let God decide on that one).

        I also wonder what type of services are provided to those who are members of the Church of Scientology should they find themselves being subjected to torture in one of these ‘centres’. How do they extract their members?

          • I certainly spoke to the people at the Church of Scientology regarding my matters (before the police and the State knew I still had the documents) and I spoke to the people at Amnesty who provide zero assistance to people who are the victims of torture (funny but they seem more interested in ‘fund raising’ than anything else).

            In fact I’ve spoken to so many people and written so much online and asked a lot about what the actual procedure is for making a complaint about beng tortured and you would think that in ten years you could get one answer.

            “Article 10

            1. Each State Party shall ensure that education and information regarding the prohibition against torture are fully included in the training of law enforcement personnel, civil or military, medical personnel, public officials and other persons who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of any individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment.”

            So the guy knew he was torturing me because the State had an obligation to train him in these facts. The drugging was an assault, and one he acquiesced his duty to inform me or my ‘next of kin’ about, so he was fully aware he was torturing. Torture and then any complaints kill? Their actions demonstrate they were fully aware.

            “Article 13

            Each State Party shall ensure that any individual who alleges he has been subjected to torture in any territory under its jurisdiction has the right to complain to, and to have his case promptly and impartially examined by, its competent authorities. Steps shall be taken to ensure that the complainant and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of his complaint or any evidence given.”

            And it is here in this article that my State gets to the dirty. Where is this “competent authority” that I have a right to complain to? In the Emergency Dept where they inject you with an overdose? They threatened my wife and family, and of course police claim that because they didn’t receive a complaint about them being threatened by police, nothing to see here. I know for a fact they threatened my wife, she told me when she told me about how they had been running me round to deny me access to the documents. The FOI officer issued the threat. And of course her game was up because what she had been doing she knew was criminal, ie conspiring to pervert the course of justice by concealing the evidence of the ‘spiking’.

            “Article 12

            Each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.”

            10 years prompt? Reasonable grounds to believe? Or did the Chief Psychiatrist rewrite this burden of proof as well? They have gone beyond reasonable grounds to believe, investigated promptly (Jan 2012 by Op. Man. who fuking destroys complainants. Finds it easy to breach the Articles of the Convention with State sanctioning her cover ups that include threateneing and intimidating witnesses with police etc…. distribution of fraudulent documents to lawyers, and a host of viciousness that I wouldnt begin to dicuss here. But to those who have looked, you should be struggling to eat your dinner) found that I was tortured, and then moved to fuking destroy me. They KNOW it was torture but are covering up these facts, and where necessary threatening, intimidating and killing any witnesses and victims.

            “Article 14

            1. Each State Party shall ensure in its legal system that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible. In the event of the death of the victim as a result of an act of torture, his dependants shall be entitled to compensation.”

            They won’t even allow me my passport and birth certificate so I can leave, never mind compensation. I guess by killing anyone with a valid complaint they save the tax payer a lot of money so it can be justified.

            Imagine even the Attorney General doesn’t seem to be able to tell me who to make my complaint to, I guess no one ever got through without being killed before.

            https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/commission-general/convention-against-torture-and-other-cruel-inhuman-or-degrading

            My State has made this agreement and does not hold up it’s end of the agreement. They take their oaths as a cover. Keep that fact in mind in your dealings with these people. Frauds, slanderers and prepared to commit acts of negligence to enable the use of known torture methods.

            And not a soul prepared to stand up and say “This is wrong”. Kitty Genovese about the only person with an explaination. The diffusion of responsibility a disgrace.

            The modus operandii is that they get someone prepared to commit acts of negligence in their duty to pretend they will provide you with effective legal representation, and then they leave you to hang. Thus you wait not knowing that they are doing absolutely nothing to assist, not unlike the waiting at the door described in Kafkas Trial. Clever trick and one that will not go unpunished, because that’s all it is, a trick.

  3. Will we be facing forced segregation under the flag of protecting the vulnerable? Will we be tracked by tattoos attesting to compulsory vaccinations that have been too quickly wheeled out without a genuine evaluation of efficacy? As has been suggested in Germany, will passports be used to determine and track who is eligible to return to work? Will our cell phones be used to track compliance with whatever the government deems necessary?

    All this and more, unless there is mass resistance. In Israel you get drones surveilling your home to make sure you haven’t broken quarantine. In Australia apps to track your proximity to others. This affects all people, not just the psychiatrized. You’ll find lots of liberals supporting coercive vaccinations (an issue which “intersects” with anti-psychiatry/anti-forced drugging). It will take more than writing letters to our Congresspeople and signing internet petitions.

  4. “It will take more than writing letters to our Congresspeople and signing internet petitions.”

    Yes indeed. UK Column News – view on YouTube – has begun (most recent video Friday 1st May 2020) to see that UK psych and the ‘health’ service is dealing in eugenics with DNR orders on people with ‘autism’ and ‘learning difficulties’. They have a good platform and general public views, the comments suggest their viewers are getting it. It might be worth contacting them OH, we can fill in the details. MiA is going no where with reform stuff; is it time to depart and engage the general public?

    Psychology onslaught is being used by MSM to make people line up for vaccination. For those who vehemently refuse, psychiatry awaits to enforce with ‘Anosognosia’ to section those with ‘lack of insight’ that they are a walking incubus of plague lethal weapon without a vaccination. Those who have lost their income with anxiety/insomnia who have no concept of the true nature of psychiatry and those who not just ignore us but pour score will learn the very hard way after running to their GP begging to see a psychologist/psychiatrist, but first, day one they get the sexual dysfunction/akathisia inducing SSRI to stop plague holders breeding and with any luck make them top themselves. We are in phase one, phase two – mass killer fraud virus number two will be the implementation cover.

    • I used to have your contact info SPB but I no longer do — would it be ok for Steve (MIA moderator) to send me your email address? There’s other stuff I want to ask you about too.

      I’m with you totally on “vaccinations,” they started the PR/psych-op war last year when they removed “anti-VAXX” searches from Google & FB — and got FB users talking on camera about what a good idea that is since people shouldn’t be subjected to “misinformation.” Btw you might want to bookmark this guy’s twitter feed, he comes up with some good info: https://twitter.com/alexberenson

      • I’ve noticed nobody proposed taking any action to lower the numbers in nursing homes during the epidemic or find housing for the homeless. Both sides of the political aisle are happy to let the status quo continue in those areas.

        Aside from “nice guys” who were proposing locking up all the homeless in warehouse style asylums where the virus could still run rampant. Pure benevolence and altruism. Of course.

        Isn’t it swell to have a bunch of bureaucrats/doctors running everything now?

        My great-aunt has the virus. Got it at her nursing home. No efforts were taken to separate the infected from the rest.

        “Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on. That is–badly.” George Orwell. Animal Farm.

        • It is now clear that the vast majority of seriously endangered people are living in nursing homes, and that is where the ultra-serious effort should go. 25% of NYC residents apparently have antibodies already, which all in all is a GOOD thing. It’s also clear now that lots of people had mild symptoms earlier in the year and got over it before they knew what they even had. The outdoor masks are little more than virtue-signalling at this point. Still have to make my tinfoil hat.

        • My mother was not separated as she suffered from COVID symptoms (but they wouldn’t test her to verify).

          I have a friend in Indiana who is helping a homeless man sue the local hospital who turned him back out onto the streets, COVID positive. Hey, let’s eliminate the homeless population in one sweep!

          So – no, these protocols to “help the vulnerable” aren’t really helping the vulnerable.

  5. FWIW, more people than ever will be aware of the dangers of letting medical professionals grow too big for their lab coats and not holding them accountable.

    It looks like the Covid-19 may be easier to contain than many feared. But the Experts are very reluctant to admit they made a mistake.

    Epidemiologists are intelligent and know their stuff. But this virus was “novel” meaning something no one was familiar with. Baffling even to the experts. Hey, I’m fine with that. They know more than I do after all.

    But rather than admitting. “Okay. We may need less draconian measures than we at first assumed. Yay! Let’s loosen up a little but wear your masks and wash your hands a lot and only visit outdoors for now. Here are the symptoms to look for if someone is contagious,” many insist on giving doom and gloom prophecies.

    Hmm. Medical experts who would rather ruin people’s lives than admit they made honest mistakes or don’t know everything or give up unquestioned powers bestowed on them….This narrative rings a bell with me. And I bet many other survivors feel the same.

    Glad I live in Indiana. Things are looking up. And I plan on lying lower than the government demands–this month–since the last batch of Medical Experts I trusted implicitly “helped” by destroying my autoimmune system.

    My main source of stress has been “PTSD.” Fear of meddling (maybe less than honest) doctors taking over the world and destroying everything.

    A lot of doctors seem to think now that human beings don’t need sunlight, fresh air, human companionship, or food to live. And can do just fine for another two years without them. Just like the shrinks assumed we didn’t need anything but our “meds” to lead a great life. Career, family, friendship, love, purpose in living, the amygdala, pancreas, kidneys, heart, frontal lobes, CNS, GI tract…all non-essentials for the “severely mentally ill.” Keep taking your “meds” no matter what!

    (Food is hyperbole at this point. But if we keep total lockdown for 18-24 months like some experts recommend we can expect more and more empty shelves at the grocery stores and food banks when we’re allowed to go there.)

    More people will realize how horrible SSRI drugs are and how they’re used to blame people who suffer from legitimate stressors as the opportunistic shrinks seize this opportunity to push their poisons. Dare we hope people will finally realize sorrow and loneliness are not brain diseases?

  6. Coronavirus is a horrendous situation: a pandemic that many countries have managed well but which many others have botched. The USA and the UK are two of the worst examples of how to handle a public health crisis where money and business comes before people’s well-being. Some countries did well by having few lockdowns but acting early, stopping people coming into the country or testing or quarantining them when they arrived. They also made sure those that needed to be financially supported were well looked after so that they could isolate without loosing income. When countries didn’t take measures to limit transmission fast the number of cases, quickly followed by the number of deaths increased exponentially.

    When people are given good information by people they trust and well supported they will accept temporary restrictions on there freedoms. That was illustrated in New Zealand which has had an exemplary response to this crisis. Without those conditions in place people question whether quarantine is justified and many on low incomes have to break it to survive and this leads to increasing cases and death rates and those deaths are disproportionately among the poor and the incarcerated.

    People are fighting back: for example Amazon workers are demanding proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and safe working conditions in the USA and other places and care workers and medical staff are demanding proper PPE too. Deaths due to coronavirus are especially high among nurses and care staff, this is a scandal as it is unnecessary as witnessed by those countries that have had few deaths by early and aggressive action.

    When people are locked up in psychiatric facilities, prisons or live in care homes infections diseases can spread through them very quickly unless appropriate infection control measures are put in place. Countries that fail to take those measures are demonstrating how little they value the lives of both those who are locked up and the staff who work in those institutions.

    Organisations that are making money out of this are big business that is close to government. For example in the UK testing for coronavirus is run by big private companies like Deloitte, a major accountancy firm, and Boots, a big pharmacy company while local councils and the NHS are kept out of contact tracing which is an essential part of dealing with coronavirus.

    This pandemic is not only a major public health crisis of our time it also shows who governments value and in the USA and UK’s it is the lives of the well off and profit for business that seems to come before all else.

    This webpage has details of countries doing well https://www.endcoronavirus.org/daily-update-winning

    I like the website as it has a summary of measures that are needed to contain and hopefully eliminate Covid 19. What it lacks is any kind of social justice element and it is the people at the bottom, including survivors and users of psychiatry that need to be part of this struggle and in my opinion at the core.

    • You can’t “contain” a virus that has already spread throughout the world’s population, and you can’t “wipe it out.” It’s a virus. We will gradually develop a collective immunity, relatively speaking anyway.

      I think CV19 is likely another joint U.S.-Chinese creation, which explains why all sides are quick to pooh-pooh any talk of it being an engineered virus.

      Does anyone think we’re all just going to stand in line for an injection of god-knows-what? I hope you plan to stand in solidarity with the millions who will be fighting attempts to make “vaccines” mandatory. It may be the biggest fight of our lives, and is surely coming, which pisses me off.

      • We don’t know if vaccines will be developed and if they are that will be 18 months away.

        Right now I stand in solidarity with nurses, doctors, care staff, the elderly, people who work in factories preparing and packing food for us to eat, people who are incarcerated in prisons and psychiatric facilities and those who have lost there jobs and have little to live on.

        These are real struggles and people are unnecessarily loosing there lives.

        Vietnam – no deaths, South Korea 252 deaths, UK – 28,446 deaths, USA 68,602 deaths. The figures speak for themselves. Those that prepare and use WHO guidelines beat this virus just as they beat SARS. Those that ignore the guidelines have there citizens unnecessarily die, and that is the poor who disproportionately die and those in institutions where it can be transmitted very quickly.

        • I, too, would like to thank John Hoggett for his comments. Those who are against possible future Covid-19 vaccination forget how many people this virus has already killed.

          I have been personally vaccinated against tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (this was mandatory in my country) and also against yellow fever (before a travel to Africa). What harmed me was not any of these vaccines, but an anti-malaria drug called Malarone which can cause auditory hallucinations (“voices”).

          I can’t really understand why many people are now so afraid of vaccines – but it must be largely because all kinds of weird “theories” can be now very easily spread thanks to the Internet.

          I am firmly against forced psychiatric drugging, but this does not mean that I also reject modern medicine and the idea of mass vaccination against dangerous viruses and bacteria.

          • I just read an interesting article on communication about vaccines.

            There is harm done by them, largely swept under the rug of the “vaccine court,” and the billions paid out in claims against them only cover a few of the cases reported. It is difficult to prove that the vaccine caused harm, and yet many people believe that “things were never the same” after the jab.

            So: Those who question vaccines (“anti-vax” is a slur, and has absolutely no subtletly) are asking: “Will this hurt my child?”

            This is about communication. And so the scientists and doctors keep replying, “We need herd immunity.”

            So the first question is never answered. And the studies are not there to answer the question. The studies are about herd immunity and control of a disease, but the question of individual safety is frequently cast aside for this herd immunity.

            The scientists are not listening to the parents, and the parents no longer trust the scientists, because their concerns are not being heard or answered.

            The faster a vaccine is rolled out, the less I trust it. There were some vaccines which came out after SARS and MERS that were quite questionable.

            I’ll want to see how well it is doing before I join the herd.

          • “I can’t really understand why many people are now so afraid of vaccines – but it must be largely because all kinds of weird “theories” can be now very easily spread thanks to the Internet.”

            Here’s why

            “HCG found in WHO tetanus vaccine in Kenya”

            https://nexusnewsfeed.com/article/human-rights/hcg-found-in-who-tetanus-vaccine-in-kenya/

            “5. Conclusion

            Laboratory testing of the TT vaccine used in the WHO Kenya campaign 2013- 2015 showed that some of the vials contained a TT/βhCG conjugate consistent with the WHO’s goal to develop one or more anti-fertility vaccines to reduce the rate of population growth, especially in targeted LDCs such as Kenya. While it is impossible to be certain how the βhCG got into the Kenya vaccine vials testing positive for it, the WHO’s deep history of research on antifertility vaccines conjugating βhCG with TT (and other pathogens), in our opinion, makes the WHO itself the most plausible source of the βhCG conjugate found in samples of “tetanus” vaccine being used in Kenya in 2014. Moreover, given that all vaccine manufacturers and vaccine testing laboratories must be WHO certified, their responsibility for whatever has happened in the Kenyan immunization program can hardly be overemphasized.”

          • Same here. I’ve taken plenty of vaccines, never had a problem. It’s important to not intermix some people’s opposition to vaccinations and opposition to psychiatry. They are in no way related.

          • I am firmly against forced psychiatric drugging, but this does not mean that I also reject modern medicine and the idea of mass vaccination against dangerous viruses and bacteria.

            Let me get this straight — are you saying that you support forced “vaccinations”? How long have you studied this subject?

          • “I am firmly against forced psychiatric drugging, but this does not mean that I also reject modern medicine and the idea of mass vaccination against dangerous viruses and bacteria.”

            How about “trust me, I’m a doctor” = ?

            Many of us in here have been as harmed by the system of modern medicine as we have by psychiatry. Some of us had physical illnesses which were written off as “psych problems.”

            While I was numbed from psych drugs, I was convinced to have 2 major surgeries which have deteriorated my health. The surgeries were skillfully performed, they did what they were meant to do (thyroidectomy, hysterectomy) – and yet – I was not given any alternatives (dietary changes, etc.). Numb from the lithium, I submitted to the medical procedures. Maybe I couldn’t have avoided them – but they were deemed necessary at the time.

            I am now very cautious about anything involving the system of modern medicine – whose protocols are developed by pharma. Remember, it’s GP’s giving out most of these drugs, or getting people started on them.

          • I struggle to trust any doctors. Not anti medicine. But anti liars.

            The fact that the entire AMA continues to enable and even applaud the damages psychiatry forces upon it’s guinea pigs makes me angry at the entire medical community.

            They know the drugs cause excessive weight gain, kidney failure, severe GI problems, heart arhythmia, diabetes and extensive damage to the brain and CNS yet they support business as usual and often push these drugs on their own patients for kickbacks or just to avoid looking into legitimate medical complaints.
            Phooey on doctors. Despite their smarts and education they lie all the time. Worse than used car salesmen. I don’t trust any of them further than I can throw a piano.

          • I had a discussion with a psychiatrist at one point Rachel777 where I explained to her that in the classic Pavlovian conditioning the enabling of a method of covering up abuses using psychiatric diagnosis was not unlike shoplifting. The thief finds a way to enter the shop, locates a point where the cameras are not operating, and then conceals their actions from the staff and leaves the store without paying.

            That’s fine, but ……. they now start to realise that not only can they steal for themselves, but they can turn a dollar by stealing for others. Now the devils start to move in on them and blackmail them to steal much more than they originally intended.

            Not unlike the guy who was going to knock me in the ED. He thought he was just doing the odd one for a friend but ….. found himself really busy doing more than he had bargained for. And the people he was doing it for turned their backs on him and denied any wrongdoing when they finally took a look and realised he had been doing quite a bit of ‘knocking’. One of the problems when the State is distributing fraudulent documents to conceal torture is precisely that they create the ‘broken camera’ to conceal all sorts of wrongdoing, and are then shocked when they find how disgusting people behave when no one is looking. Ask the staff at Abu Ghraib.

          • Rachel sez: “They know the drugs cause excessive weight gain, kidney failure, severe GI problems, heart arhythmia, diabetes and extensive damage to the brain and CNS”

            And if you go to the doctor – with a detached retina, cardiovascular problems, kidney damage, metabolic disorder, diabetes, cognitive loss, blindness, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue – practically anything –

            They won’t even CONSIDER removing the drugs that caused it.

            It’s like there’s a hierarchy, and psych drugs are at the top – if you remove the psych drugs, the person dissolves into a puddle. EVEN if the drugs are causing all the above problems. The medical doctors are in collusion with the psychiatrists in supporting their drugging regime.

          • Vaccinations against viruses are very ineffective according to doctors themselves.

            I read that if they come out with a vaccine for Covid19 it will only be 40-50% effective. I guess that’s better than nothing. But it’s not a magical panacea to save us all.

            Yet, what do you want to bet that if they come out with one the medical establishment will be lauded and the nanny state will finally let us leave our own homes?

            Covid19 is finally showing non psychiatrized people what tyrants doctors can be. All “for your own good” of course.

            I’m hoping we can use public distrust to turn sympathies against the Granddaddy of Control Freak Medical Science. Psychiatry. By Medical Science I mean manipulating brains to render you “docile and child-like.” As opposed to independent and functioning.

          • “The medical doctors are in collusion with the psychiatrists in supporting their drugging regime.”

            I think of it more like a flea on a dog JanCarol. They leave the blood sucking parasite there and every once in a while feel a need to scratch at it. In the scheme of things they are hardly going to find themselves becoming victims of ‘the gang’. They have owners who can afford flea collars. It’s the rest of us that need to worry about the diseases spread by these parasites lol

      • “Does anyone think we’re all just going to stand in line for an injection of god-knows-what?” Bill Gates apparently does, but then again, he’s a college drop out, not a doctor. So I’m not sure why people are listening to him.

        But it does sound to me that that eugenicist has “delusions of grandeur” he’s going to vaccinate the entire world. And we here all know that those with “delusions,” of any kind, require massive forced neurotoxic poisonings by psychiatrists. Where are the psychiatrists when one is actually needed?

      • “quickly followed by the number of deaths increased exponentially.”

        John, here’s the problem and it’s a fundamental problem from the Office for National Satistics in the notes:

        “A death can be registered with both Covid-19 and Influenza or Pneumonia mentioned on the death certificate, therefore a death may be counted in both categories.”

        If you scroll right down to point 3 “Deaths registered by week” it is in the notes.

        https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending27march2020#deaths-registered-by-week

        • Dr. Breggin’s Frequent Alerts

          Victory: Trump Cancels Funding of
          Epidemic Virus Manufacture!

          For years, US researchers have been collaborating with Wuhan Institute of Virology scientists in China to build more deadly SARS-CoV viruses similar in their clinical effect to SARS-CoV-2, the epidemic coronavirus. The American/Chinese effort has used same species of bats from which new epidemic virus has come. Within a week of my wife Ginger and I announcing this disastrous situation through a blog, video, and an array of contacts— President Donald Trump stopped NIH’s funding of the research. In this video, I discuss Fauci’s role in enabling this tragic research, implications for the future, and the undaunted efforts by the Chinese to forge ahead on their own to make ever more dangerous viruses.

          Read and see more:
          https://breggin.com/trump-cancels-funding-of-us-china-research-making-epidemic-viruses/

        • I am looking at the excess death stats in different countries. It shows about three times the expected deaths in the UK while covid 19 is raging. That is all I need to know.

          SAR, MERS and Ebola are proof that viruses can be beaten by good public health without vaccines.

          The UK housed all it’s homeless people at the start of the Covid 19 epidemic in the UK. S Korea dealt with it so well that it did not spread to homeless people too much with only 254 deaths so far out of a population of 51 million compared to the UK of a declared death number of 29, 000 deaths and rising in a population of 67 million.

          As I am 61 with high blood pressure and asthma I have a vested interest in public health measures controlling this virus. In 18 months, the minimum time to develop, test and distribute a vaccine, I could be dead from Covid 19. However if contact tracing is bought into the UK along with other public health measures my chance of not being infected goes up considerably.

          I am not sure what the article was about. It was a bit opaque for me. What I do know is the the UK government is using this crisis to privitise the health service, starve local councils of cash and give contracts to big business friends of theirs as well cut away at democratic accountability. That cannot be good for those suffering the brunt end of psychiatry and that is the broader point I also want to push. This is a crisis the rich will use to rip us all off and erode our rights even more and vaccine conspiracy theories are a distraction from that vital point.

          • Just wondering how much truth there is in the claim I saw in a video that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a patent on a vaccine for COVID.

            That’s an interesting video streetphotobeing. Whilst the cop is right in his claim “just doing my job” it should sound alarms for all Muslims who are in the month of Ramadan and many are fasting. This leaves them wide open to mental health referrals by police and mental health ‘professionals’ (nothing really professional about being a fraud and hypocrite) for nothing more than abiding by their religious beliefs.

            And once in the clutches of these frauds the process of human rights removal/extraction for future abuses becomes a formality. For example the need by mental health services to plant a weapon on me to obtain a police referral makes all of my furutre interactions with police a different matter. Pointing to this fact that they planted the weapon on me is of no concern for police, it makes it easier for them to shoot me and have justification for a ‘throw down’ for the Coroner should they ever need one.

            It was only when I went to police with the documented proof of the ‘spiking’ that I found out about my ‘history’ of carrying a weapon (as result of being spiked; and having one planted on me to obtain lawful reason to detain and refer Which strangely enough the police officer who jumped me in my bed didn’t actually find on me but his lies would be accepted by the corrupt Court system we have unfortunately). Don’t get me wrong I understand how much easier it must make their job when you simply plant whatever you need the person to be in posession of to obtain convictions, saves all that intellectual claptrap evidence and stuff. And no come back even when they do get caught, just arrest the victim for “wearing a loud shirt in a public place” and refer to mental health services for ‘treatment’ (at least thats how it is where I live.) Arbitrary detentions made lawful by neglecting to enforce citizens right of access to the law, and its working a treat.

            It’s amazing how much abuse can be concealed under a banner of “good faith” despite the conduct mirroring the abuse of a Nite Club rapist. We used to be concerned about out police not appearing to be the same as the Gestapo, have a look at the cops in that video, and I assume thats Canada? Someone on a hunger strike and believes in a God? Going to need the Afghanistan suits, might be IEDs lol.

            There is good news in that though, once they realise that ‘the people’ will no longer take the doubling down, they are tooled up ready to deliver the elites for ‘treatment’. Won’t there be some cheering that day?

  7. I spent 50 + years identifying as a “mental patient” and going to therapy off and on. Not many meds, just antidepressants a few times which didn’t help.

    But that course of action. . .looking to and following the mental health “experts”, therapists, was ruinous in its own way.

    What can those of us who now know the perils and dangers of the mental health system now do about it? It is so frustrating. . .

    Ron Bassman wrote:

    “My dream: To build compassionate communities where people who look, act, or think differently are supported in ways for them to develop their innate potential. That each of us has value and that we learn from each other’s strength and weakness. . .”

    That is the core thing, I think, which need to be emphasized and developed, somehow. And not just for those of us who look, act, or think differently as usually defined – but everybody, because everybody is an individual and looks, acts, or thinks differently from others sometime.

    As Bassman also wrote: “We are all in this together. If it is truly 100% I am hoping we find new creative ways to unite and push in the same direction.”

    What kind of political movement or nonprofit organization is needed to move toward this logical alternative? How can we find each other and invite others, too?

  8. “That is the core thing, I think, which need to be emphasized and developed, somehow. And not just for those of us who look, act, or think differently as usually defined – but everybody, because everybody is an individual and looks, acts, or thinks differently from others sometime.”

    melaatmad,
    we are all different from each other all of the time. A few years back I noticed how many people psychiatry says are “mentally ill”, AND the percentage is going up, their DSM is going up. Which by some mathematical conclusion now means that a huge number of docs and shrinks, nurses, pharmacists, scientists etc are “mentally ill”. .
    It used to be that people LOVED someone being “diagnosed”, it sure helped explain and justify our suspicions and dislike. However, I think most people can now look at the articles and the DSM and self “diagnose”. Soon we can write our own scripts, OR NOT.
    We can soon have block parties together.

  9. I’m coming in a bit late to this discussion, so passion has likely gone cold. I read Ron’s article and every comment, and what an emotional roller coaster that was! Very much like my journey in ‘the system’. Yes, I have long since realised the culture of the psychiatric monopoly will not change. And I agree that abolition is necessary. A recognition of harm, on a global level, such as is beginning to happen with church institutions, is essential for healing. What I find I have to be careful of, when I read these powerful comments, is allowing hope to spark up in me. I find if I let that happen, I set my self up to fall emotionally, because it’s only talk amongst fellow activists. For me, all I can do is pay personal witness to the harms and entreaty others to stay away, ‘look what happened to me’, I say. There is power in the word NO! Say it strong and loud, and make sure you take two supports with you.
    Change begins and ends with our own willingness to retain autonomy and say no. The very quickly put a gap between the doctor and ourselves. When others seeing this maybe they will feel strong enough to do this themselves.
    I agree, Psych Drug Withdrawal in a supportive community, is a powerful two finger salute to psychiatry. I want to do this in New Zealand, but I need the support of an experienced mentor who has done this themselves.

    • Hey Teresa,

      The forum http://www.survivingantidepressants.org has moderators and members in New Zealand. Our protocols work there as well as anywhere!

      I have met some of the New Zealand moderators and members, back in the days when we might meet in person. I tried to hold meetings in my local area (Brisbane), but it was like herding cats, as everyone was too “anxious” or “having a symptom wave” to come out, meet people, and have a cuppa….

      So you don’t need to do it in person, and, in fact, it’s contraindicated – withdrawal makes it hard to meet face to face (even if there were no COVID). Have a look around the SA site, and you can help people with the information presented there.

      Be aware, however, that most people don’t want to be helped. I am an expert, thanks to the training of AltoStrata, but most people dismiss me as “just a paranoid person” when I try to warn them about how wrong these drugs are. I am not a doctor, and most folks are inclined to listen only to doctors. Even those that are psychiatrists. Ugh!

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