We Must Not Be Silent On George Floyd & Systemic Racism.

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Dear Mad in America,

In 2015, following the death of Freddie Gray, I posted a piece here on systemic racism and the hypocrisy of white supremacy including who has the power to define our words and actions. It was called “Baltimore is Burning.” In the comments section, I recall receiving pushback (some of it since moderated out) on whether or not the post “belonged here,” because it focused more on systemic racism than psychiatric oppression. Some felt it was out of place. A distraction.

In 2016, I co-authored a piece with Iden Campbell and Earl Miller called, “A Racist Movement Cannot Move.” It was one of only two posts for which I’ve had to ask that the comments section be turned off. (Incidentally, the other was, “Dear Man: Sexism, Misogyny, & Our Movement,” posted just the year before.) The comments had simply gotten too ugly and out of hand. They were coming faster than they could be moderated out.

It is now June of 2020, and so today, I come to you with this question: How much have we grown?

George Floyd & Our Community

George Floyd was murdered by the police in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25. As I sit here nearly two weeks later, I can find no mention of that on this site. At least at the time of this writing, neither is there much recent mention of the impact systemic racism and endless violence against black and brown bodies can have on one’s emotional well being as a non-white person. How many black people’s distress has been rooted primarily in the envelopment within so much relentless white supremacy, only to then be given a severe psychiatric diagnosis and told it’s all in their head? If I search on George Floyd’s name, the closest result is a 2018 comment that mentions Pink Floyd. I fear we haven’t grown much… or at least not nearly enough.

On May 28, I sent out a statement on behalf of my workplace, the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community, naming not only George Floyd, but also Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rana Zoe Mungin. The last person named—Rana—did not die so directly at the hands of any other human. She died at the age of 30 years old of COVID-19, as so many black people are dying because she was ignored and discounted when seeking help. I could have just as easily also named the many black and brown people who’ve died during “wellness checks” or similar because they’d been pegged as “mentally ill.”

I think of Dontre Hamilton, the man who died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2014, also at the hands of the police, because he was sleeping outside near a Starbucks. Dontre—whose story is featured in “The Blood Is at the Doorstep”—experienced compounded oppressions because he was both black and diagnosed. For as much as so many of us have suffered at the hands of psychiatry, it’s critical to remember that non-white people are statistically more likely to be subjected to even harsher levels of diagnosis, dehumanization, coercion, and force within the mental health system than the rest of us. In fact, psychiatry is often used as a tool to reinforce the subjugation of black and brown people. Talila Lewis—among others—did an excellent job of beginning to paint the picture of racialized psychiatry at the Drug Policy Alliance’s Anti-coercion conference in 2019, sharing about Drapetomania and more.

Psychiatric oppression is largely unseen in this world. As I noted in another 2016 piece, “Dear Self-Proclaimed Progressive, Liberals, and Humanitarians: You’ve Really Messed This One Up,” far too many people fighting against systemic oppression get it wrong when it comes to us. They fight for our incarceration without even understanding that they’ve accidentally stepped to the other side of the line. This is important. I am thankful Mad in America exists for precisely this reason.

Yet, we lose our way when we think our liberation is not bound up in one another’s.

The Intertwinement Of Our Liberation

Lilla Watson Liberation George FloydWe limit our own strength when we do not reach across the bounds. This happens in multiple ways. First, as aforementioned, we fail to see how one form of oppression can compound another; how readily one can be used to reinforce the other. This is essential learning necessary to fully unpack what is happening, and develop the tools to undo it.

Second, we fail to practice what we are attempting to teach. If we intend to ask (or demand) of others that they effectively ally with (or become accomplices to) us, recognize their privilege as non-diagnosed people, and put some skin in the game to free us from violence, then we must be willing to do the same. Different forms of systemic oppression are not the same, and should not be compared. Yet, they all feature similar components including failure of those not directly in harm’s way to see what’s actually going on. There is no pride or benefit in being guilty of the same phenomena of which we accuse others.

Third, we become complicit in rendering invisible all those who experience both racism and psychiatric oppression and make our spaces inhospitable to them. In turn, we immeasurably shrink our own capacity to grow. I appreciate the many non-white people who have ventured into these MIA lands. Their numbers are growing. But I hear from many more (including some who have dropped in for a time) how unwelcoming it can feel.

Finally, we defeat ourselves by missing opportunities for collaboration and partnership across the lines of many movements. People fighting for the release of those being held in psychiatric facilities during these COVID times are sometimes fighting alongside those calling for the release of people from jails and prisons, too. Many from both groups are also joining with #BlackLivesMatter and other anti-police brutality protests.

Along the way to revolution (at least that’s where I hope we’re headed), we must continue to ask ourselves the tough questions. For example, if we know that black and brown people are disproportionately impacted by psychiatry, then why are there so few black and brown voices here? And why do so many—even those who claim to know the sometimes disastrous effects of psychiatry and psychiatric oppression—still sometimes feel they are in any position to tell black people how to think, feel, or protest against an epidemic of racism? I’m struck by the similarities between current times and when I wrote “Baltimore is Burning,” particularly in our broader world where thousands of white people across the nation continue to attempt to criticize violence erupting in protest rather than focusing in on the many years of violence that led us to this point. (I write more about the protests and this phenomenon in a statement HERE.)

We are stronger when we take the time to see. But truly seeing requires actually listening to those who’ve been there, wherever “there” may be. And once we’ve taken time to listen—with humility and without layering on our own beliefs about that which we do not know first hand—we can best begin to fight together. If all people from marginalized groups took the time to understand one another’s needs and fight, our numbers would grow so large that perhaps we really could change the world.

George Floyd died on May 25. Much like the rest of us, he was not a saint, and his murder was not more important or worthy of being named than Breonna Taylor’s, or the ever-growing list of other black people who’ve been killed by the police. But the nonchalance with which he was murdered while onlookers filmed and called out that he was dying… while he called out that he was dying… made even more blatant what so many have tried hard not to see.

Dear Mad in America community, let us now see. Dear everyone in every community… Please… let us see. Because once we can see, we enable ourselves to act.

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

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257 COMMENTS

  1. Sera, I’m ✝️ I’m 41. I am destined to be alone. I already know.
    Many whiteness men say they believe something but they do not do it.

    HISTORY USA white men going to Church Sunday but then hurting peoples. OBVIOUSLY history shows hurt peoples very bad.

    It is one thing to get the attitude in life roles like work and family. It is much more to get at Church the religion I am.

    Sera, THIS IS MY POINT. I too am not accepted at Church though over years I keep going. Much worse to me then discriminate at work. Much worse with me than my family being hurting me. This is very hurtful pain.

    The religion I choose to be is my life.

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    • Hi Pat,

      I do want to keep racism centered in the comments section here, but I am sorry that you have been hurt and also experienced discrimination, especially within your spiritual community. Feeling ostracized and marginalized can be so painful.

      Thanks,

      Sera

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  2. Thank you Sara for being the first at MIA to write about the historic rebellion and uprisings (worldwide) against the death of George Floyd and its’ direct connection to systemic racism.

    Sara you have always led the way at MIA in writing on the difficult and necessary topics that often make people uncomfortable while living with much greater privilege in a wealthy class based capitalist society. Especially, since there would be no U.S. imperialist empire, and such enormous wealth, without the oppressive legacy of slavery, and the on-going exploitation of those sectors of society on the bottom rungs of the ladder (especially people of color) both here in the U.S. and in the Third World countries dominated by the U.S.

    And I am so glad you did NOT mention the words “riot” or “looting” since they only serve to demean, denigrate, and distract from the truly historic nature of these uprisings. The police were “rioting,” and “looting” takes place on a daily basis in this country by the one percent who have a foot on all our necks in one form or another, including with their Disease/Drug Based Medical Model that is at the route of all psychiatric oppression.

    And yes, just as with Covid 19, people of color are disproportionately harmed by today’s so-called “mental health” paradigm of “treatment.”

    Systemic racism is intimately connected to the entire history of the U. S. capitalist/imperialist system,and we ALL must find ways in a post Covid 19 world to politically target a profit based capitalist system in ALL our struggles against all forms of oppression. In fact, this has now become a “moral imperative” for those who “know better,’ or should I say, “know more.” I will soon write a blog titled “Psychiatry and Capitalism in a Post Covid 19 World” where i delve deeply into this profoundly important “moral imperative.”

    Sara, I was so glad to see you mention the word “revolution” in your blog as a direction we need to seek in our political struggles in the future. But once again, the enormous ELEPHANT (not mentioned) in the room, the fact that ALL of this oppression we are talking about, not only takes place in a CAPITALIST system, but is both given sustenance and powerfully generated by capitalism. And systemic racism, and all other forms of human oppression, cannot end unless humanity ultimately moves beyond a capitalist system.

    Now back to the issue of ALL people engaging with Black people, and other people of color, about the way forward out of this systemic insanity. We could plainly see in these recent uprisings MANY different political viewpoints coming from ALL sectors of society and ALL sectors within the Black community. This includes Black politicians, mayors, police chiefs, spiritual leaders, political commentators, and others with various credentials who were sometimes seeking ways to limit the scope, intensity. and political targets for this historic uprising.

    In the 60’s, we use to call these type of political interventionists (of all colors and political persuasions) as “firemen” or “fire extinguishers.” They are genuinely afraid of these rebellions going “too far” with too much revolutionary content. These are the same people who choose to focus on “looting,” “property destruction,” and “law breaking” to denigrate the political significance of the righteous rebellion taking place against systemic oppression. These are some of the same people afraid of the terms “dismantling” and “defunding” who now just want to see a few so-called cosmetic reforms to policing and other institutions within our society. All of which will do nothing of consequence to end racist oppression.

    Of course, I (and others) should always listen extremely carefully to the political perspectives of all minority people’s, including those who are representing the current power structure and/or status quo. We must always engage in respectful struggle (being very mindful of the long legacy of historical racism in this society) when we have different ideas or views regarding making radical change in society.

    But white privilege, and any other class or sexual identity privileges we were born into, should never lead us to hold back from any, and all, opportunities to make radical change in the coming period – the world demands it!

    Nor should we engage in any kind of patronizing behavior towards minority people’s (which, in itself, is a form of racism), where we hold back our political perspectives for fear of challenging or “offending.” someone of a different race or ethnic background.

    All of these struggles involving systemic racism, climate destruction, women’s liberation, sexual identity, psychiatric oppression, classism etc. must increasing find ways to increasingly come together with a singularity of purpose, with clear targets, and common strategic and tactical goals. This WILL NOT happen without very deep and intense struggle WITHIN, and AMONG, ALL the people fighting those at the top rungs of society. Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!

    Richard

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    • Thanks for your comment, Richard. There are a number of things I would change about ‘Baltimore is Burning’ and other things I’ve written related to systemic racism and police brutality. That includes not using ‘rioting’ and ‘looting,’ and I believe you were one of the people that brought that to my attention five years ago, so thank you for that.

      And yes, I did not mention the role of capitalism and economic justice. My main point here was to draw attention to the silence on the topic at all, and while I certainly could have worked that in… well, I didn’t. But I do not disagree that economic justice and the systems that perpetuate it are central to the problem, and need to be central to the conversation about what to do about it.

      As far as the second half of your comment goes… I do not disagree with all of it exactly. However, there is a ton of nuance and tension wrapped up in what you are saying. It strikes me as absolutely essential that we make space to elevate, listen to, and follow the lead of those who’ve been most marginalized. That simply can’t happen when well-meaning allies are constantly telling those most directly impacted by systemic oppression what to do, even if they really, really feel they know better. It can’t happen when those who’ve had the privilege to study concepts and language in school (and similar) attempt to overrun and speak over those who’ve had to actually live and learn to survive that which the others have primarily only studied. It also can’t mean just following along without any critical thought, or deferring to any and everyone whether or not they’ve internalized oppression, learned to act in the image of oppressors for survival’s sake, or simply not been supported to unpack all the crap they’ve been fed along the way. Somewhere in there, there’s a way to at least try and hold both of those points, however messily and imperfectly.

      And yes, there’s also the matter of compounded oppressions, or even – as you noted – the central role of money and capitalism in all forms of oppression. I watched a film recently (The Uncomfortable Truth) in which one of the central people (a black man) speaks to how black people and poor white people should have been great allies. There is indeed much as play here that serves to keep so many of us “under.”

      So, yes… being born with privilege (white, male, etc.) shouldn’t totally silence people… And, no… sometimes knowing how much privilege we hold *should* lead us to take a step back, even if not permanently… Because otherwise we continue to monopolize the space that is there. When I facilitate trainings – actually when I and/or any of my co-workers facilitate trainings – we include in our meeting agreements the need to sometimes take a step back or count to ten before speaking if you are someone who knows that you often speak first. This is because so many others need a moment to gather their thoughts in order to step forward, and will sometimes remain silent if all that space keeps being filled. This may be because of how society has trained/socialized them to defer to others, how they’ve been slapped back when they have tried to speak up in the past, for lack of trust in the room, because they haven’t had access to the education that supports others to use all the ‘right’ words and speak in ways identified by society as ‘articulate,’ or even just because their way of thinking and pulling ideas together takes a bit more time. Regardless, it’s not about those of us with privilege silencing ourselves forever, or following along without any critical thought at all… But it is about us recognizing how much damn space we’ve taken up at times, about how many others have never even been afforded the space to stumble around a bit as they grow into leaders, and about how sometimes shutting up is actually an important act of revolution at times.

      What you’ve said is complex and important, and I don’t know that I’ve responded to it all, but this is what I’ve got for the moment.

      Thanks,

      Sera

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      • Sara Thanks for your response. I may have more to say in the very near future. But I thought I would post a link to a very powerful post that is circulating on the internet.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLDmB0ve62s

        Here is a black women (Kimberly Rice Jones) “speaking truth to power” where she actually DOES use the words “rioters” and “looters,” but she provides a powerful historical and political context. She also references the the Tulsa and Rosewood massacres of several hundred Black people that has largely been hidden in the history books. I believe that Robert Whitaker has written in the past about this topic.

        Richard

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      • Sara

        I believe I “get” what you are talking about when it comes to finding ways of creating a better environment for “inclusion” and greater participation of marginalized people etc. Some of your suggestions about “listening” and at times “stepping back” so others can come forward and speak etc, are especially important when you have new people, and others who might feel “out of place.”

        But I am wondering if you are open to some criticism/feedback about some of your choices of language (at times) when you post “dictates” or “admonishments” to white people about what they can or cannot say, and/or do, in certain situations. And if someone were to disagree with some aspect of the “warning,” then the implication is that they must therefore most certainly be a “racist.”

        For example, in this blog you posted a big black box warning with the following admonishment:

        “REPEAT AFTER ME: I WILL NOT TELL BLACK FOLKS HOW TO FEEL, PROTEST, OR MOURN.”

        First off, I would not tell anyone how they should “feel” or “mourn.” Personal feelings are unique to the individual and generally flow from someone’s belief system and cultural influences. Mourning behavior and thoughts are also very much related to the the nature of a person’s “feelings.”

        However, to say that people who are not minorities do not have the “right,” or even an “obligation,” to enter into a discussion and/or debate about the best ways to struggle (protest) against systemic racism, is just plain wrong.

        As I mentioned in my above comment, there are many minority spokespeople (in this current uprising) from all sectors of society, representing many different class and racial viewpoints. Some of these people are acting (as I pointed out above) like “firemen” and “fire extinguishers” trying to stifle and limit the scope of the struggle within acceptable parameters for the “powers that be.” They must be challenged and struggled against.

        We must ALL find ways to join with more radical elements within these minority movements and uprisings to oppose reformism and other dead end strategies. The fact that this is not easy to do correctly, and is filled with all kinds of potential minefields, should never preclude us from trying. History demands this of us.

        And if the struggle against systemic racism does not ultimately link up with other struggles, such as ending climate destruction, women, psychiatric oppression, classism etc., we will never defeat the “powers that be” and their class based system of exploitation and oppression.

        I believe you have made a few other bad choices of language (with several dictates and admonishments) in the past blog “A Racist Movement Cannot Move.” I do take issue with how you characterized that particular comment section as “too ugly and out of control.” Within that very long comment section there was some very respectable and legitimate feedback/criticism of some of your choices of language and particular admonishments to MIA readers and commenters.

        Now that some time has past since that past struggle, do you see that there may be a similar problem connected to your black box warning (REPEAT AFTER ME…) in this current blog.

        Again, you know I am a big supporter of your prolific writing here at MIA, and anyone writing several dozen blogs on any website is definitely increasing the odds that they might make a few mistakes here and there.

        Respectfully, Richard

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        • Richard,

          So, the meme that I posted is not my words. It is a meme circling the Internet, and that I have most explicitly seen posted by black people. They are not my words. I am supporting them.

          While I think I get your point about – as a white person – not being beholden to ideas that may be coming from internalized oppression or are simply harmful… And while I *have* fallen into debates at times with – for example – black people who argue in favor of the existence of “reverse racism”… I nonetheless do not think we are going to come to a point of agreement on this. It is just too important right now that white people follow the lead of black people… That they make space for black leaders to fight out the best approaches… That space is made for people to move in a particular direction through their own process, and not be forced and pushed, even if someone is simply pushing them in what they think is the ‘right’ direction (and even if I would personally agree it is the ‘right’ direction).

          I think white people *need* to have a place in the discussion, particularly when pushing back on other white people and using their privilege to push back on power in general. I think there is also space for us to ask questions that *could* support people to unpack and consider different ideas, or to share our own experiences at times. But systemic change has got to mean more black and brown leaders, not just more benevolent white people leading black and brown people in a different direction.

          I know that’s not carrying all the nuance of what you are saying, but it’s how it boils down for me. I’m afraid we just won’t likely reach a point of agreement here.

          As to the article you are referring to, I do not regret shutting that comments section down. Among the hundreds of comments remaining there, sure there’s some worthwhile stuff, and as we discussed earlier in this comments section, I have taken some commenter feedback to heart (e.g., not buying into the language of ‘loot’ and ‘riot’). However, that post was being flooded by horrible things, just like the Dear Man post was. Much of it has been moderated out, but it would not be fair to require me to have kept going with it and trying to keep up with the flood of awful, nor would it have been fair to others reading it.

          Richard, I have now written over 70 pieces on Mad in America. Those are the *only* two pieces for which the comments section was shut down. I am generally fine with feedback or disagreement in comments sections of my articles. Even when I feel irritated by some of it, I do not request that it be erased, and as a moderator, Steve could tell you that – since Mad in America switched its approach to ‘moderate first’ – pretty much whenever he comes to me asking if I’m okay with a particular comment going through (if it’s on the line) I am typically in favor of letting it through and just responding to it. I am also one of the few authors on here who generally takes the time to response to each commenter on each piece at least once. That said, I also want to be clear that I – like all non-employee authors here – receive no compensation for my time spent writing pieces or responding to comments, and I have a limit to how much time I have given I also have a full-time job that consumes often 80 hours of my week, and two children. It would not be fair of people to expect me to be obligated to respond indefinitely to all comments on every article. The comments section for those two pieces went well beyond ‘okay,’ and I am glad they were closed. I’m not sure what to say beyond that.

          -S

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          • Sera

            Whether or not the meme (REPEAT AFTER ME…) you posted in your current blog were your specific words, is not the essential point I am making here. They were used in same manner, and used partially for the same purpose as some of your “dictates” and “admonishments” in prior blogs.

            I’ll mention two prior such dictates:
            “Stop Comparing Psychiatry to Slavery (or similar) and

            “Stop Appropriating the words of Black People to Support System (or anti-system) Messages

            While your intent here is to combat various forms of racism, and some of your particular examples you used (in the past blog) to highlight your intent were exactly that – crude forms of appropriation that do come off as racist, and just plain stupid.

            However, your use of “absolutist” language in your “dictates” often totally lack CONTEXT AND POLITICAL PURPOSE by some of the radical activists using the language and analogies you decry and condemn.

            For example, I applaud radical activists of ALL colors and nationalities who correctly use a famous quote by Frederich Douglas to expose the hypocrisy of U.S. patriotism and flag waving on July 4th in a country built on the backs of slavery, and the vicious exploitation of working class people (of all colors) here, and in many Third World countries. Once again, it’s all about “context” and “political purpose.” when evaluating someone’s particular use of a famous Black person’s words.

            And some white political activists (anti-psychiatry and anti-capitalist) here in the MIA comment section, have correctly used the words of the Black revolutionary, Mumia Abu-Jamal (and other Black revolutionary leaders) to make important political points on numerous topics, including fighting psychiatric oppression.

            And Sera, I have seen the video (and read the accounts) of a Black city official in Ferguson (in the rebellion related to Michael brown’s killing) tackle and assault a white revolutionary giving a revolutionary speech in the streets supporting the uprising. This same Black official (“fire extinguisher”) attempted to incite the police and other Black people against the “white outside agitators destroying our community.”

            Bear in mind that this same white revolutionary is part of a larger group that also has Black members in the organization fighting for a socialist future in this country and around the world. That particular Black official needed to be condemned and called out for his attempts to suppress (and limit) multi-racial and multi-national unity fighting a common enemy. And yes, I am aware that there are some right wing elements acting as provocateurs in these situations. But this was definitely not the case, and this official knew that.

            Sara YES, some more backward and ignorant white people need to be justly put on the defensive, and yes, they need to listen to, and follow the lead of Black people in some of these struggles.

            However, there is far more nuance to be considered here when you print and repeat various absolutist “dictates” and “admonishments” to white radical political activists. It all boils down to CONTEXT AND POLITICAL PURPOSE when evaluating the role of white people in multi-racial political struggles.

            Sera, I would never expect you or anyone else to defer to someone merely because of their age or political experience in political movements. But there are some people writing in this comment section with literally decades of radical activism, and some have been in the forefront with other Black radicals in some of the most significant struggles in this country’s history against systemic racial oppression. I’m in my fifth decade, and I know of others who equal that experience ,or come close.

            So once again, Sera I ask you to reconsider the “absolutist” type language in some of your “dictates” and “admonishments” that have, at times, lacked NUANCE and CONTEXT, and result in potentially tarnishing very good radical activists with a tag of “racism.” And it can also have the effect of shutting down much needed debate and discussion.

            Don’t get me wrong here, I am ALL FOR provocative political commentary and slogans, IF,they appropriately leave room for both political nuance and political context.

            Richard

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          • Richard,

            “Sera, I would never expect you or anyone else to defer to someone merely because of their age or political experience in political movements. But there are some people writing in this comment section with literally decades of radical activism, and some have been in the forefront with other Black radicals in some of the most significant struggles in this country’s history against systemic racial oppression. I’m in my fifth decade, and I know of others who equal that experience ,or come close.”

            You basically just did. You’re just not going to convince me here. And while I think there are things to be learned from the elders in any movement, they do not hold all the truths.

            “While your intent here is to combat various forms of racism, and some of your particular examples you used (in the past blog) to highlight your intent were exactly that – crude forms of appropriation that do come off as racist, and just plain stupid.”

            Richard, Can we be done with this? You are still at me over an article from no less than *four* years ago. Although, in fairness to you, I would absolutely still stand by the idea that white people have no business using terms like “psychiatric slavery,” but I have *zero* interest or willingness in continue to volley that discussion back and forth.

            Rather, in fairness to me, I will offer to you a hope that you might consider why you have spent so much time holding on to that four-year-old conversation. There are many aspects of what I know of you and your work that I have respect for, but I’m not obligated to respond to every comment at length nor work out these differences in perspective. At some point, you may just need to accept we see some of these pieces differently.

            -Sera

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          • Sara

            You completely misinterpreted my meaning in the following quote:

            “While your intent here is to combat various forms of racism, and some of your particular examples you used (in the past blog) to highlight your intent were exactly that – crude forms of appropriation that do come off as racist, and just plain stupid.”

            Here I was actually AGREEING with you that some of the particular examples you had used in that past blog were CORRECTLY pointing out examples of racism and political stupidity.

            My essential point was (and still is) that in some of the OTHER situations, and examples I presented, there is a definite need to carefully examine the political context and political purpose of how white activists are using certain words and taking certain actions, before declaring them *out of bounds*, or possibly labeling them “racist.”

            While I did mention the struggle over the “psychiatric slavery” analogy, I deliberately chose NOT to use that issue in my main example of where you failed to take into consideration “context” and “political purpose” when examining how white activists can correctly use significant quotes from past Black activists.

            I don’t know if your misinterpretation of my above quote has now created a level of emotion, and a resulting atmosphere where dialogue can no longer continue.

            I do believe that my Frederich Douglas example (in the above comment) was both important, and helpful, feedback about when “absolutist” language and certain types of “dictates” to white activists (that ignores certain contextual information), will NOT help us in our fight against racist thinking and behavior.

            Sara, I am not sure WHAT you overall think my motivation is in raising some of these criticisms of a very FEW aspects of your many writings here at MIA.

            Even as an older and very seasoned revolutionary activist, it is not easy (and frankly,very uncomfortable at times) raising these issues with you. I take no pleasure in pursuing these types of discussions. I do it because I feel some sort of moral and historical responsibility to seek the truth and a path to human liberation from oppression.

            In past MIA dialogues over your blogs, other critics of your writing, either dismiss you outright, or just argue with you about how you are wrong. Very few people, if ever, actually try to offer you constructive feedback by carefully analyzing where you are right and suggesting where your logic and/or political pronouncements may have drifted off course.

            I make the effort (and tolerate the discomfort) with you, precisely because I see you as a gifted and very consequential writer on the internet, around the issue of psychiatric oppression and other important political struggles. I am not sorry I made these efforts to dialogue with you and attempt to give you constructive feedback, but I am saddened and disappointed that this discussion may end on such a negative vibe.

            Richard

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          • Okay, Richard. I hear you on my misunderstanding. I gotta be honest, it is *really* hard to have lengthy dialogues in this manner. I work *a lot* of hours, and even more hours right now during this ‘COVID’ mess. I feel a responsibility and obligation to respond to each commenter at least once whether they right something supportive or in disagreement, but you and oldhead in particular write very lengthy posts with a lot of complex ideas in them, and usually not just one of them per article. I am trying to keep up here, but the reality is that I am reading very quickly a lot of the time in an effort to keep up with my obligation to things I write and not just be so arrogant as to write and run… but it is really, really hard to pull the full meaning from every long post I receive when so pressed from time and pulled in multiple directions. If I listed out all the things that have been going on in the last 24 hours in my work world (never mind my kid world) while also trying to answer comments here… well, it would be a long list.

            I’m not sure it’s helpful – or at least I’m not sure I’m *capable* logistically speaking of continuing to go back and forth here, but if you want to e-mail me to talk about things further, I am willing to do that.

            -Sera

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          • To Richard D. Lewis & Sera:

            Richard D. Lewis said:
            “I see you as a gifted and very consequential writer on the internet, around the issue of psychiatric oppression and other important political struggles.”

            I COMPLETELY AGREE! We do appreciate you, Sera!

            Without the forum pages (I do remember the viral attack), it is impossible for those of us to write under pseudonyms and effectively carry on threads of important conversations–much less follow each other’s links or organize.

            Cite hopping with references in reel time.

            And MIA MUST survive so the general public can have access to the compendium of articles on toxic psychiatry.

            I just want to say it again. We do appreciate you!

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        • (Since I may have some people bristling in this thread anyway I might as well make it a perfect storm.)

          I wasn’t going to bring this up again, but since Richard did I will back him up, even though we have some serious disagreements about other things, because I know he must still harbor some remaining anger. I’m sorry that you haven’t yet realized that the “Racist Movement” blog was a colossal mistake, replete with some liberal racism of your own, and was very insulting to some longtime “ugly” commenters, including Richard, whom you basically dismissed as an old racist white guy who doesn’t get it. It was pretty ageist. I don’t understand why, as a fairly well off white woman you presume to lecture others about their “privilege,” as you seem to see the concept of privilege not as a way of understaanding social inequities but as a a battering ram to demonstrate your own “wokeness.” You do not understand the feelings and perceptions of Black people (other than perhaps those in your immediate circle) well enough to be putting yourself in this role. By your own logic such columns should be written by politically aware Black people (and I don’t mean people with Black faces who somehow have been introduced to the MIA milieu).

          I encourage Richard to re-post the final comment he tried to slip under the wire before you closed that comments section, which you refused to accept. I still have a copy if Richard doesn’t, if he doesn’t mind me posting it. It would maybe help shed light on some of the confusion and damaged feelings that resulted from that article. (In fact if the article is still to be archived on MIA it might be a good idea to re-publish it and examine it paragraph by paragraph.) It’s important for white people to understand racism, both what it is and what it isn’t.

          Anyway it would have been dishonest to not say this. I would encourage you to consider removing the “Racist Movement” blog from MIA, rather than it be a source of continuing tension. Not the sort of tension which results from hearing uncomfortable truths, but that which results from being talked down to.

          Otherwise I’ll repeat the usual: a) what is the “system” you refer to which drives “systemic” racism; and b) how can you not include capitalism as being inextricably intertwined with racism?

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          • Oh, oldhead. I want you to know that I keep being asked if your and a few other people’s comments should be moderated out. I have said no, but my energy is really waning for this.

            Several things:

            1. Your comment led me to go back and read ‘A Racist Movement’ again. There is a lot of good stuff in there. I do not regret it. There *was* a piece I did regret. A reference to Tourettes Syndrome that was less than respectful. A moderator helped me remove it once I realized our error, so it is no longer there. There is also another racism article that I *do* regret for its appropriative nature. It is this one: https://www.madinamerica.com/2015/01/cant-breathe/ I am embarrassed that I used “Can’t Breathe’ for anything, and centered so much of my own story. If I could take *anything* down, it would be that one. However, Mad in America has a policy against removing past articles, and so I’ve never asked. Additionally, living with the embarrassment of my own mistakes is okay. Necessary in some ways. I recently decided that I would go through some of my old pieces on racism and offer some corrections and apology for the things I see as wrong in them now. I do not see doing that on ‘A Racist Movement Cannot Move,’ for several reasons including that I co-wrote it with two black people.

            2. I am wondering about your definition of ‘reasonably well off.’ Certainly, I was born into some wealth as a kid. And I’ve benefited from that somewhat as an adult to when I had parents to fall back on to help me – say when I got very unexpectedly pregnant in my 20s. I was lucky and have privilege in that regard, and I mention that every single time I share my story publicly. However, I haven’t had access to any “family” money in a very long time. I am severely in debt, and go further in debt every single month because my single-income household does not have enough to cover basic expenses. I’m hardly living in poverty, but we will struggle to figure out how to pay for the least inexpensive Community College for my son when he leaves highschool next year. I guess I do not define that as “reasonably well off,” but it is better than many people who don’t have enough to cover their basic expenses and also don’t have access to the credit that I have to survive for a while longer, so interpret it how you will, I guess. This is irrelevant to most things here, but it’s hard – when I am struggling so much with money – to read such assumptions.

            3. I cycled through the comments on the other article (Racist Movement). I keep thinking it is funny that people say the comments section hadn’t gotten out of control, when they have no idea how many comments were being moderated out (i.e., that are no longer visible now), or how much labor it was requiring on my part and moderators’ parts to try and keep up.

            4. In flipping through old comments, I looked for where you are getting this idea that I called Richard a “racist old white man.” It doesn’t sound like something I say, and I didn’t remember saying it. And, as best as I can tell, I didn’t say it. I did, however, find a comment where I referred to the “mostly older white men” group that was responding to my comments. What I guess I was trying to get at is that I find that you, Richard, and some others do have what I receive as a very – at times – condescending way of speaking to me, replete with periodic references to how much longer you all have been at this and how much more you all know than me. It may not be intentional, and you/others may find me equally condescending. Fine, but it does get tiresome. The comments are so long, and I’ve actually been chastised at times for not writing a long enough comment representative of enough of what was said back. As if this is my job, and I’m being paid to do it. As if I owe endless amounts of my emotional labor. All this even in spite of the fact that I’m one of the few authors who actually takes the time to consistently respond at all. So, when I said that, that is what I had in mind. But I could have phrased it better, and without using the word “older,” so I am sorry for that. Regardless of my intent or what I was trying to say, I can understand why it landed as ageist, and I could have done better.

            5. a) I’m pretty sure I’ve said at various points that when it comes to systemic racism I am talking about *all* the systems.

            6. b) I *have* said that capitalism and economic justice are inextricably intertwined with racism. Multiple times in multiple places. Just because I don’t want to don the labels that you deem most appropriate for me to don in order to pledge my allegiance to your philosophy (aka “anti-capitalism,” and “anti-psychiatry”) doesn’t mean I have not acknowledged this point. I have.

            oldhead, I do not see a point in continuing to go back and forth here. Maybe you still have an axe to grind with me, but for my part, I am doing my best to create change. Sometimes that looks like words on a page. Other times it looks like direct action. And still other times it looks like a zillion other things. And, I am really, really tired. I do not feel any differently about what I wrote here than when I started, so if that was your goal, you haven’t been successful. I just feel more tired. It’d be nice if you’d direct your energies elsewhere for a while. I hope you can find something else to do with your time here. I don’t know that I’m giong to keep responding.

            -Sera

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          • Sara, Oldhead, and ALL

            To break INTO the tension here, I just want to say that I LOVE both Sara Davidow and Oldhead!

            That form of LOVE is often referred to within political movements fighting oppression, with the affectionate name or greeting of “COMRADE.”

            Wikipedia says: ” ,,,Political use of the term was inspired by the French Revolution, after which it grew into a form of address between socialists and workers…
            When the socialist movement gained momentum in the mid-19th century, socialists elsewhere began to look for a similar egalitarian alternative to terms like “Mister”, “Miss”, or “Missus”. In German, the word Kamerad had long been used as an affectionate form of address among people linked by some strong common interest, such as a sport, a college, a profession (notably as a soldier), or simply friendship.[5] The term was often used with political overtones in the revolutions of 1848…’

            I have spent precious time wrangling (criticism/self-criticism) with both of these “comrades” because they are brilliant writers and such deeply passionate fighters against human oppression.

            I have learned from them both, AND ,at times, taken the risk (cause it sure ain’t easy) to struggled with them to help make them be BETTER at what they already do WELL.

            Damned it, don’t we ALL have to get better at fighting this incredibly powerful system of capitalism/imperialism that simply has such infinite ways to crush the human spirit.

            Oldhead, I would NEVER EVER want the past blog “A Racist Movement Cannot Move” to be removed from the archive. Everyone here should most definitely read and reflect on that blog and comment section, because it is so deeply rich with political lessons.

            To quote Oldhead from above:
            “It’s important for white people to understand racism, both what it is and what it isn’t.”
            Reading that particular blog and comment section (and this one) provides many deep lessons that can help us in future battles against systemic racism.

            Now back to the work at hand: trying to find ways to build off of the tremendous opportunities provided all radical activists by the powerful uprising in America and around the world over the brutal murder of George Floyd.

            Our ENEMY has been weakened and exposed in these tumultuous times. We must seek to advance AND link all these struggles against systemic racism, psychiatric oppression, climate destruction, sexism. classism etc.

            Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!.

            Comradely, Richard

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          • Nope, no grudge Sera. You know I give you props sometimes as well as criticism (which is not of you but what you write, which is the point of discourse).

            And no I don’t expect you to change in the immediate future, just adding to the perspectives of meremortal, anomie, Richard & others.

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          • Oldhead, I would NEVER EVER want the past blog “A Racist Movement Cannot Move” to be removed from the archive. Everyone here should most definitely read and reflect on that blog and comment section, because it is so deeply rich with political lessons.

            My other suggestion was to republish it and examine it paragraph by paragraph, like we’re in a giant classroom.

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  3. Sera,

    Here’s hopes for a spirited and reasonably intelligent discussion, I guess you knew what you were getting into.

    I don’t yet have a comment specific to this article, but would like to pick up where we left off in your “Roseanne” article regarding what “systemic racism” is and isn’t. And, when we are talking about systemic racism, how to identify exactly what that system is (hint: it is almost invariably capitalism).

    As for “what’s happening out there,” for many at MIA it’s not really “out there” at all. I’m not going to get overly personal or specific regarding the whole “Floyd protest” scene; suffice it to say I see many agendas, some of them competing, some of them illusory, some of them opportunistic. Maybe even a couple that might be hopeful and worth looking at. I salute BLM at least so far for not allowing its name & slogan to be expropriated.

    But back to systemic racism. Then I have a proposal.

    Here’s what longtime MIA reader/poster meremortal had to say about systemic racism following the Roseanne article. I hope she won’t mind me resurrecting it as I think it’s pretty eloquent:

    Liberals constantly make the mistake of thinking that racism is about the personal attitudes & likes/dislikes of individuals. Those things are part of the landscape of living in a profoundly racist society, but they aren’t what systemic and institutional racism is.

    Those with political views further to the left have identified this misplaced focus on changing individuals’ personal views and attitudes. We call it “idealism.” Larger structures than individuals create, shape, and reinforce racist attitudes in individuals as they go about their primary objective: to build and maintain a system that extracts material resources from some (POC) and directs them to others (whites).

    Trying to change this root problem, which is material, by going nuts over the attitudes and random twatter that comes out of individuals’ mouths is simply an exercise in futility…a lesson white liberals desperately need to learn right now is that not everyone with great intentions and deeply-held values about equality and anti-racism shares their political views. There is diversity and complexity here, among people who are all staunchly anti-racist.

    I would like to segue here. (Btw I think everything I’m posting here is relevant to a George Floyd/systemic racism/systemic psychiatry discussion, and should not be seen as a diversion in any sense.)

    A group of survivors (including a number of MIA’s “usual suspects”), has just completed a set of anti-psychiatry principles, which we are starting to promulgate here & elsewhere. At least three are relevant to this discussion, which include one of our demands:

    — Psychiatry is not a legitimate field of medicine.

    — Psychiatry is a tool of social control which enforces conformity to the prevailing social order;

    One of out two immediate demands/goals is:

    We demand an end to all state support for psychiatry, including but not limited to the use of psychiatric testimony in legal proceedings; psychiatric screenings in schools, prisons, and workplaces; licensing; and the use of public monies to support psychiatric programs or research.

    In others words — as it just dawned on me recently — DEFUND PSYCHIATRY!

    We hear so-called “community activists” yelling about taking $ from the police and giving it to “mental health.” However if you accept our evidence-based analysis, psychiatry/”mental health” IS the police in a more convoluted form. To be consistent those of us who believe we should be “defunding the police” should as a matter of course include psychiatry as part of this “defunding,” whatever form it ends up taking.

    Do I hear support for this? Why or why not?

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    • Oldhead,

      My time is really limited at the moment, but what I will say is this: Yes, absolutely systemic racism and capitalism/the need for economic justice are deeply intertwined, and have been since the beginning. And I would fully support the ‘defund psychiatry’ initiative, and it is not the first time I have heard that phrase over the last few months. Psychiatry has been used as a tool of oppression with many forms of systemic oppression, and certainly racism.

      Thanks,

      Sera

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      • And as been noted since the 1984 Toronto Principles and actually as far back as 1976, psychiatry constitutes a “parallel police force.”

        The only difference is — read my words carefully here — there is an actual need being addressed by the existence of police, however poorly it is being done — i.e. the need to physically protect the people from criminal aggression. In the case of psychiatry, the goal is to mold and “adjust” the citizenry to the needs of the system, or the prevailing culture, not to protect them from anything.

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        • Well. I think many would say that psychiatry is also addressing a need to physically protect people from aggression, some of it criminal. And I would at least argue that *both* have roots in the effort “to mold and “adjust” the citizenry to the needs of the system, or the prevailing culture.”

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          • Protecting people from criminality is not the purpose or function of psychiatry, I don’t know what you mean. (It may happen occasionally, more in spite of than because of anything specific to psychiatry; maybe you could be more specific yourself.)

            I think I remember that Murphy used to keep a photo of Sandy Hook victims on his desk to inspire him as he pushed the infamous Murphy Bill. Its purpose was to “protect” people from us, and this is the mentalist root concern of most “mental health” legislation.

            Both police forces and psychiatry are extensions of slavery: Police forces originated for the purpose of rounding up escaped slaves, and this function was augmented by psychiatry with its “diagnoses” of drapetomania (to be cured by severe beatings).

            So yes, BOTH police and psychiatry are charged with pounding round pegs into square holes. Practically speaking, for many of us psychiatry IS the police, which needs to be taken into account in these “defunding” discussions.

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  4. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/fifth-estate-d-andre-campbell-police-shooting-family-1.5602503

    https://www.halifaxtoday.ca/national-news/nb-police-shooting-of-indigenous-woman-leads-to-questions-on-wellness-checks-2413104

    https://torontosun.com/news/local-news/siu-probing-death-of-woman-from-toronto-balcony

    Hi Sera.
    The above articles from Canada, just recently.
    I don’t live in the US. I however have seen the racism since I live in one of the few cities that has a high first nations community. We have the largest, per capita cop presence. Often our crime rate is up there.
    I myself have experienced snotty cops, who like to egg people on.
    I have seen them “egg” people on.
    But for some reason, they only pick on women and the meek/poor.

    So since Floyd died, Canadians became opportunists. Not as if we didn’t have this crap before.
    But, it was on video. Makes so much difference and I don’t understand, why only videos matter to people. I was actually turned off by all the lighter skinned colonialists walking around with their signs. Especially when it called for “defunding police” and “funding “mental health”. Opportunists.
    Using some poor guy who died in front of millions, for their own purpose.
    Psychiatry AND police are salivating how the do gooders are making every cop crime and every incident a “mental health” issue.

    There IS systemic racism. Yet I cannot look at that in isolation. Black and indigenous have never been seen as real people, but neither have the poor, the vulnerable.
    I was so happy that everyone went out and meant it. I felt if they were heard, so would indigenous and possibly the incarcerated in psych, and the children who are drugged.
    I felt if we ALL banded together, not out of some flaky sentiments, because it seems to be the IN thing…but if only all the affected banded together for discrimination and oppression.

    I overheard a guy being supportive about the protests and relaying his sentiments to a black guy. The black guy was clearly not impressed and said “ALL lives matter”.
    He understood, that the real systemic issues are about discrimination and oppression which he has most likely happen to his “white” buddies.

    I was thrilled when they stood up for Floyd. Because racism is real. It never left. The only thing that changed was we are supposed to say politically correct things.
    I am probably the only one that thinks peaceful protests don’t work. At least not the begging kind.

    I realize I was not supposed to drag other issues into colour discrimination. It makes me look as if I don’t understand. I DO understand. And yet I’m not black or black and poor, so how could I ever truly understand, right? I don’t know.
    I think I understood all of the people on here. I don’t know their colour, only the ones with pictures up. I won’t know in totality their pain.

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    • “Protests” are in at least in one sense demonstrations of powerlessness since you are “protesting” to whomever is in charge, rather than being in charge yourself.

      All violent expressions at this point pretty much play into the hands of the system, since violence is what they’re best at, it’s their turf.. If people think they defeated the police they should get some better weed; in many cities the cops totally stood down. (Not that this isn’t a fairly significant development in itself.) However, as usual, too many people, some with unsolicited assistance, are still targeting their own communities and ignoring that, without a pre- organized democratic revolutionary government to replace it with, if the system falls it will fall on us.

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    • Sam,

      I am not 100% sure I followed all the ins and outs of your comment, but to be clear, I am for sure not saying that racism is our only problem, or the only form of systemic oppression. Nor do I support those who are calling for social workers to replace police, as social workers/the mental health system are – as others have pointed out – is just another form of policing in so many instances and is quick to call in the actual police, too. I regard many of the people saying such things as well-intended, and harmfully ignorant. It is far too common that those who get topics like systemic racism simply have no clue about psychiatric oppression, and think the best answer is to incarcerate people in psychiatric facilities (aka “give them access to treatment”).

      I have heard non-white people say “All lives matter.” It’s not my job or place to figure out why, though I will say that the majority of times I’ve heard that it’s been to largely white groups, and it’s hard not to wonder how some non-white people have been trained, and pushed, and punished into finding ways to signal that they are not a threat, and support white people. But, while I *have* heard *some* black and brown people utter that phrase, I have heard *far more* black and brown people be hurt by it. For so many reasons. Including that it represents an absolutely fundamental misunderstanding of what it means.

      Here is a brief segment of what I wrote in a comment on Mad in America’s Facebook page post for this article. (Side note: One commenter noted that the comments section was like a “dumpster fire,” and I would not disagree.)

      In reality, Black Lives Matter is not the same as saying ONLY Black Lives Matter. Rather, it is a way of saying:

      * We must focus on those lives being treated as invisible or disposable *in order for* all lives to actually matter.

      * We must focus on those being routinely harmed in order to lift them up…. no, not above us, but no longer below.

      * We must recognize that – until we are able to find a place of equality, equity, and inclusion – it is essential that we keep naming that Black Lives Matter because that is not the message being sent or received at this time.

      In any case, there’s much more I could be responding to or better understanding here I suspect, but I’ll leave it at this for now.

      Thanks,

      Sera

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      • It is far too common that those who get topics like systemic racism simply have no clue about psychiatric oppression, and think the best answer is to incarcerate people in psychiatric facilities.

        It’s more than far too common, it’s the norm. Even more disgusting, yet necessary to recognize, is that most of these people consider themselves “leftists” (though I don’t). In the late 70’s local leftist groups in San Francisco, L.A., New York, Philadelphia, Boston and other cities supported us and endorsed our demonstrations. Getting them to do that today is going to take an enormous amount of struggle since currently (always with exceptions) young people, while highly motivated to do the right thing, are politically clueless and in the grip of a “woke” mentality which is mistaken for consciousness and strategy.

        It is also necessary to recognize that capitalism and racism exist in tandem, and to demand the end of racism without taking simultaneous measures to defeat capitalism is pretty much a way for white people to wash their hands of the situation and say “oh well, we tried.” As meremortal described in her quote above, defeating systemic racism is not primarily a matter of “feelings,” but of dismantling the material structures which allow white supremacist thought and practice to flourish.

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  5. On the CBS news tonight it was reveled the police officer Derek Chauvin knew George Floyd , so that changes the murder from blind racism to something else. IMO obviously all officers should pass some kind of psychology test to indicate that they are not racist. That this test does not exist, or that the existing test let police officer Derek Chauvin become an officer is wrong.

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    • markps2,

      I am not sure it changes too much, though I’ve also heard they worked for the same business over the course of several years. I do not know that means it is any less an issue of racism and white supremacy… not only what Derek did, but the complicity of the other cops, and so on.

      I worry about your recommendation for a psychology test for a number of reasons including:

      1. We have all been socialized in a white supremacist culture. All of us. That means that pretty much all white people will sometimes do or say things rooted in systemic racism. That doesn’t necessarily mean we are doomed. But it does mean that we need to *all* stop with the defensiveness, and intentionally pay attention to that so that we can recognize it when it happens in ourselves and others around us and attempt to mitigate it, correct it, and apologize to those we’ve harmed along the way. (Etc.)

      2. Even “good cops” are embedded in a criminal (in)justice system that is fundamentally rooted in that white supremacist culture. Weeding out those cops (or prospective cops) who are invested in actively *maintaining* that seems valuable, but ignoring that the system will generally force even the “good cops” to become complicit in awful things is necessary to make real change.

      3. I am not interested in giving any more power or trust to the mental health system. Do we really believe that they’d be any more capable of psychologically evaluating for beliefs rooted in racism than much of anything else? Do we want to give them that power?

      Although I’m in disagreement with your proposal, I nonetheless appreciate your posting your thoughts here.

      Thank you,

      Sera

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    • UPDATE CBS News has retracted their story that they knew each other. IF they had known each other and had grievances between them, those grievances could have been a factor for motivation. I’m sorry I trusted CBS news.

      Who judges who? I don’t know. In the past it was whoever had the best gun and army to enforce the King/Queens law. http://www.laborarts.org/collections/item.cfm?itemid=428

      If precious metals are no longer precious metals, as in, they have no value or power , then the pyramid has no top, no way to pay or motivate those under them.

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  6. It could also be that

    (1) White people’s ‘mental health’–as judged by the psychiatric paradigm–is poorer than black people’s in general. In 2014, Whites’ suicide rate was three times that of Blacks and white Americans are twice as likely to take psychiatric drugs as other races.

    (2) because MiA is not abolitionist, it might be disproportionately alienating to black survivors. Black people are overrepresented in inpatient settings compared to white people, and studies show that they are more fearful of psychiatry, and less likely than white people to comply with outpatient referrals after hospitalization.

    In other words, black people who encounter psychiatry get the hell away from it as soon as they are able, and try to avoid it, which demonstrates that they see little to no value there. White people, on the other hand, are more likely to take on the illness label as an identity, continue on with drugs and therapy, and in general continue to demonstrate that they see something worth “reforming” in psychiatry at higher rates than black people do.

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      • Posting as moderator: I do want to point out here that MIA is not taking any specific point of view regarding reform vs. abolition. MIA was created as an alternative news source to put out any and all information that questions the validity of the current paradigm of care. It is not intended to take a political position on an antipsychiatry vs. critical psychiatry viewpoint. It is intended to encourage discussion of a range of viewpoints that are not normally made visible, and to allow voices that are normally silenced to be heard. As such, MIA is not taking any particular viewpoint supporting or opposing the abolition of psychiatry. That is up to the readers to determine for themselves.

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        • This is not true Steve. RW has taken explicit positions against anti-psychiatry. His position is essentially that since “people” see the notion of anti-psychiatry as unscientific and conflate it with Scientology we should reject it. (If I had permission to quote his personal emails to me I could document this.) A review of RW’s public MIA comments on the topic would likely also bear this out.

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          • This is NOT me as moderator. I will let Bob answer for himself on this, but my view is that this is a misperception of what he has said. For sure, he wants to be seen as scientific and objective, and I think the pursuit of disseminating information and letting people draw their own conclusions from it is the most effective way to make that happen. And I certainly see that his work AND MIA has had a huge impact on causing people to question the dominant paradigm, more than any other person I can think of. I think his impact speaks for itself and I have certainly not accomplished 1/100th of what he has, so whatever approach he is taking, my hat is off to him.

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        • I have a right to not be misrepresented. If I had the freedom to quote official MIA communications sent to me by RW (which he might not mind at all for all I know) I could dispel any confusion, instead of being cast as throwing around baseless accusations.

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          • I’m not saying at all that he didn’t say that, just that I am not sure it means what you think it means. I don’t think you are casting aspersions, either. I just see the logic in the decisions he’s made, and the effect it has had.

            I did check the mission statement, and it is a “reimagining” statement. So it may be you are right. But I’ll leave it to Bob to say.

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        • Oldhead

          When you said about RW:

          “His position is essentially that since “people” see the notion of anti-psychiatry as unscientific and conflate it with Scientology we should reject it.”

          By itself, this description of RW’s views does not exactly imply that he is against the concept and meaning of “anti-psychiatry.” It only means that he possibly believes that to be public about such a position at this time in history, especially for a journalist, would undercut his role (and that of MIA) in the struggle against psychiatric oppression and the entire Medical Model.

          I applaud the spectacular forum RW has created at MIA for us all to learn, debate, discuss, and organize against psychiatric oppression.

          Oldhead, it is up to US to do a better job in the coming years of exposing and attacking psychiatry for its oppressive and criminal role in the world today.

          We must create favorable conditions in our anti-psychiatry political work to make it possible for many people, including RW, to grasp the necessity and importance of taking a clear and public stand for the abolition of psychiatry.

          Of course, Oldhead you know that I believe the destiny of psychiatry is intimately connected and dependent upon the future of the entire capitalist system. So we need to do a better job in our anti-capitalist work, as well, in making these links to social control and all other forms of psychiatric oppression.

          Richard

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        • Hey Steve!

          I am hoping this will be my last series of posts on here for a short time. Going to take a rest for a month before I move sideways or back into the TI community–my handlers are doing a lot of damage with psychiatry disinfo. in that community.

          And then, it’s back onto here. I have some specific topics I want to cover. But, firstly, I need a break (and I won’t make it five years this time, PROMISE!)

          From my last post on another page about the Targeted Individual Program. (or technological trafficking, as Rai Jo correctly pointed out)

          “When I am not being poisoned, gang-stalked, hit with DEW’s (they think so little of my intellect, yet they are trying to form a brain tumor with the neuro-weapons), harassed, insulted, shocked, (all my friends, but one, and my biological family have turned against me using the “mental illness” smear), (my neighbors do psyops on me, have listening devices pointed at my house, follow me in the neighborhood, have trained their dogs to attack me), and when I am not being run off the road……

          On the next post, I will post my hard evidence on here. The listening devices pointed DIRECTLY AT THE WINDOWS OF MY HOUSE, and other abuses.”

          As Promised, I will post the pictures I have below. I’m not sure if the link is going to work, but if NOT, I will find another way…

          *The tech listening devices are state-of-the-art listening devices circa 1988 (or sooner), meaning they are *not* state of the art. They have gone down in price to about $300 so that my neighbors can afford it—they have three (at least). What you can’t see in the picture, but what I could see with the naked eye, was the attached cylinder to the end of the beam…it would have made for better evidence, but I am new at collecting evidence.

          (when you speak in your house, the sound vibrations hit the window & are decoded on the other side of the window by the laser, sound vibrations into audible & understandable language translated on the other side, don’t ask me to explain the physics of it)

          I believe there may be (possibly) three other neighbors doing this to my house…I am not sure.

          *The directed energy weapon post isn’t a good picture, and my neighbors are more careful that I do not get better pictures now that I have hard evidence. They leased a screen sized one off of the dark web, aided by one of my handlers (who posts on MIA, btw, all four of my handlers post on MIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

          I will just let that sink in for a minute…

          I cannot even imagine what damage a screen-sized weapon is doing to me & my husband. It is not up right now, but my neighbors are going to make me pay for THIS post.

          YOU CAN BE SURE OF THAT!!!!

          *The picture of the EMF, microwave damage, is hard evidence proof that a TI staying with me got from an app. on his smart phone.

          He was being hit so hard in the chest, he couldn’t walk & laid on the floor for hours, this went on for days & days & days. He tested it on me & I WAS RECEIVING EVEN MORE EMF DAMAGE than he was!!!

          I have to meditate for 2 hours a day to block it & manage the pain.

          *And finally, the message “Sold AT” on the license plate pulled up in the OTHER neighbor’s driveway means I have been “Sold” to another handler in cyberspace. As a technologically trafficked victim.

          This is a trafficking program…if you remember the articles on psychiatric drugs embedded with sensor chips, well then you can imagine the amount of money tech companies make off of selling us to tech companies, military subcontractors, Big Pharma, medical guilds & hospitals, organ harvesting & human trafficking criminal cartels.

          It is a trafficking program. And the money these criminals make off of us in the multi-multi-billions of dollars, if not more. Not just for psychiatry, but also cancer “research,” autism “research,” Alzheimer’s “research.”

          Not to develop cures, but to make new drugs for Big Pharma.

          O.K., I can’t get it to load. I will try again, offline, first.

          Meanwhile:

          And once you are a targeted, or technologically trafficked individual. This short & Excellent 5 minute video will explain how we are tracked, gang-stalked, harassed & subject to Street Theater (an East German Stasi technique)

          within the existing AI/tech infrastructure:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x_-XpCHM8M

          (many on this site may be included in this technologically trafficked program, in fact, I would be surprised if it were otherwise. I am now looking for shorter videos since it is very difficult to connect with my fellow AP survivor/activists)

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        • This is unnecessary Richard. Whether I agree with RW or not isn’t the issue, nor is how many good things he has done, so I won’t be repeatedly diverted or cornered into being defensive. I’m disappointed to see you playing into this emotionalism. No one is attacking RW so he needs no defense.

          RW’s inner calculations and personal strategies are not my concern or my business. I mentioned the MIA “line” in passing, in response to a previous point made by meremortal, a reference which Steve inaccurately “corrected,” and that’s what I was responding to, and how this all started. RW personally had nothing to do with it.

          Since you force the issue, a) regardless of its strategic underpinnings the editorial line of MIA IS objectively reformist, as reflected by the slogan “A Community for Remaking Mental Heallth.” (“Remaking” is basically synonymous with “reforming.”); and b) regardless of the real or purported strategic rationale which may underlie it, the MIA editorial line DOES reject Anti-psychiatry based upon the reasoning that being openly AP is outmoded, inconvenient or whatever.

          I’m not criticizing or objecting to MIA’S/RW’s positions. I’m simply establishing what they are, so that we can have a discussion based on mutually agreed upon definitions.

          I hope no one is trying to drag RW into this personally, as none of this weird back & forth is based on anything new he has said or done, but on people’s projections and assumptions.

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      • Anyway I’m sorry I even brought this up, as I don’t consider MIA’s editorial standards a direct or immediate concern of survivors, or advocate trying to dictate what they should be. I doubt that I ever have. I’m here to educate, analyze, strategize, and sometimes organize.

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        • Oldhead

          Perhaps you are correct to point out the “reformist line” within the MIA mission statement.

          It is fair to say that most people who post blogs and comments at MIA do ultimately slip into some sort of “reformism” most of the time.

          This occurs, both when they discuss what’s wrong with psychiatry and their Medical Model and then they propose *alternatives,* AND when they discuss making changes to the system of capitalism which both advances and sustains psychiatry and the Medical Model.

          I am extremely gratified that MIA leaves so much space for anti-psychiatry perspectives.

          All of this just makes it even clearer how much work we (those who are abolitionists and anti-capitalists) must do to move humanity closer to the point where both psychiatry and capitalism will only be featured in museums and history books.

          Historically, most people in any given societal upheaval will cling on to reformist tendencies right up to the last minute prior to when a revolutionary transformation occurs.

          Richard

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        • “Historically, most people in any given societal upheaval will cling on to reformist tendencies right up to the last minute prior to when a revolutionary transformation occurs.”

          Why did I get an image of a guillotine coming down on the neck of a Marquis asking “Are you SURE we can’t come to some sort of agreement? Perhaps we can remove the tax on cakes?”

          Too little, too late?

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        • @Richard Nothing here I would take issue with. It’s just a question of terminology, and any inference by anyone that I equate “reformist” with “immoral” is just that, and I don’t believe it is justified by anything I posted.

          The irony about all this emotionalism over the term “reformist” is that I’m about the only one here who has NOT been demanding that MIA change its editorial policies, its staff makeup, etc. My concerns have been strictly semantic/linguistic.

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    • It is true, John. There is so much work to be done in so many communities, groups, and organizations. Hopefully, many were already doing the work to support more black and brown people to take on key leadership roles. It’s multi-layered work that requires not just inviting people in to the existing table, but re-evaluating the table altogether and building new ones.

      Thanks,

      Sera

      Report comment

    • Meremortal,

      That’s actually not consistent with my experience, or research I’m familiar with… It has actually appeared to me that black and brown people often end up even more deeply embedded in the system all too often, including heavier psych drug regimens, more force, harsher diagnoses, etc. And unfortunately, in many public sector hospitals and mental health service providers, they seem pretty heavily populated by non-white folks. Of course, not all black and brown people are the same, hold the same experiences, or respond in the same ways so that may very well be true for a number of non-white people… but certainly doesn’t seem true for all.

      There’s also the matter that so many black and brown people get routed into the foster care and prison systems rather than the mental health system, so I’m sure that has an impact. And I’ve heard many other perspectives too including:

      1. Black people (for example) already have a label that leads to systemic oppression (Black!) that has heavily impacted their lives, and they don’t really want to take on any psychiatric labels in a public sort of way.

      2. Many non-white people are deeply involved in spiritual communities that have very specific views on emotional distress and that do not necessarily align that may serve as barriers to identify as someone who’s been psychiatricaly labeled.

      I could keep going here, but I guess I’m just saying I think there’s a lot of complicated, layered issues here that include some of what you named, but a lot of others, too.

      Thanks,

      Sera

      Report comment

        • I posted a very in depth reply to Sera’s comment here yesterday, with lots of links to the research that I was referecing, but it isn’t here ?? Moderators, if you moderated it let me know. Otherwise I may recreate it today.

          And, yes, oldhead, the presumption that no one here is a person of color does tend to lead to whitesplaining, IMHO.

          I believe Sera’s comment also counts as whitesplaining in the sense that she simply re-wrote a few of the actual points I made in my post, and then wrote them in her reply comment as if they were her own contributions to the discussion, even writing as if these points contradicted my point. The opposite is true, in that they were precisely the points I had already made.

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      • meremortal,

        it is true that -based on how few black and brown people appear here- i tend to make that assumption, sometimes erroneously. i am sorry if i have done that to you. Also, if i have rewritten your same points, then i do not think i understood your points, as i was thinking they were not exactly in disagreement with your points, but in disagreement with them as the full picture. the points i did offer are ones i have been offered directly from non-white people during conversations of this nature. i will go back tomorrow and relook at your points so i can perhaps better understand them and how i may have restated them in my own.

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        • Curious just how could you know how many black and brown people post here? It seems like a lot of assuming goes on. It’s a comments milieu full of people you don’t know–and who largely don’t know each other–using pseudonyms with no racial content.

          Sometimes we percieve things selectively. If we have a hammer, all we see are nails.

          Report comment

        • meremortal,

          I am certainly not going to argue with you that I’m making assumptions about race at times, but after spending a lot of time here over the last 8 years.. which has included getting to know several of the commenters both based on what they’ve shared in comments, and what they’ve e-mailed me, etc, and looking at who is *writing* for Mad in America, and how that has developed over the years, and after talking to various Mad in America employees over the years… Well, that’s what’s informed my take not that there are *no* black and brown people showing up here, but that there are comparatively very few. But yes, like I said, I am not going to argue that I’m not making assumptions, and that those assumptions are sometimes wrong.

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    • “ (1) White people’s ‘mental health’–as judged by the psychiatric paradigm–is poorer than black people’s in general. In 2014, Whites’ suicide rate was three times that of Blacks and white Americans are twice as likely to take psychiatric drugs as other races.”

      +1 While I don’t treat white or Black ppl as a monolith, I do think there is far more cohesiveness and community among Black ppl due to shared historical struggle. That struggle has been so severe that my impression is that many Black ppl don’t have time or space to fall apart. Indeed, this seems to be the basis for comments like white fragility and white women’s tears. It also seems to me that the oppression leveled at the Black community has conversely been a glue of sorts that fuels the struggle. In terms of community, white ppl seem far more atomized on the whole with the nuclear family structure and bootstrap mentality and increasingly the loss of social structures like church that still seems stronger among the Black community on the whole.

      I always love hearing your thoughts on these issues. You pull no punches. Keep it up.

      Report comment

      • I’ve read of similar accounts regarding Black emotional stability during the days of slavery. It would make sense that staring your oppressor in the face would on some levels be less crazy-making than having to deal with layers of pretense and politeness.

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  7. the comments section on “A Racist Movement Cannot Move” were not ugly at all. A lot of people engaged in good faith and had interesting things to say. They were not, however, following your expectations of what people should do or say regarding these issues.

    Sadly, you’ve structured this entire new article as a doubling down on that by framing it as “have we grown since the last time you all disagreed with me?”, where “grown” is defined as finally following your expectations of what they should do or say.

    Can you not see how this is condescending? The attitude you bring here to us, consistently, is that you are a teacher here to “educate” the rest of us. You presume that it is your role to “instruct” us on how to speak, think, what exact words and comparisons to use when we speak about our experience as survivors (e.g. “slavery” is not allowed in your Rules), when we should or shouldn’t remain silent, etc.

    The problem people here have isn’t with the content of your prescriptions–many of us see why you have the thoughts and positions you have, and really I would wager 99% of us are stated anti-racists. The problem we have is being talked down to.

    As if we are in need of instruction.

    As if we have nothing to offer.

    As if we are boorish people who have never given serious thought to serious issues, and need to be educated by Teachers like you.

    As if we arent POC.

    As if we need you to provide as a yardstick to measure our righteousness or anti-racism by.

    News flash: We have something to offer–we are your peers, not your students. Dialogue is respect. Demanding that people follow rules isn’t.

    Report comment

    • Meremortal,

      The older piece was a moderation nightmare. Many of the worst were moderated out. Ditto the ‘Dear Man’ post on sexism and misogyny.

      I will take your words here into consideration. I do think that these pieces are designed to be ‘opinion’ pieces, not dialogues, and so many of them contain strong opinions, strongly phrased… not just mine, though I can certainly appreciate if you feel that my pieces in particular have that tone and will bear it in mind.

      For now, I will offer that when writing an article, etc. I do not think it is generally the time for a ton of uncertainty. I regard it as a time to state one one believes/has experienced – often with certainty and a clear perspective. That – in those moments, it can be time to “teach” or at least clearly impart wisdom one feels that they have to offer… And that the mutuality comes from us each taking turns in that, not in necessarily avoiding ever speaking strongly and clearly from a particular perspective.

      I really don’t know that I can promise to change my writing style or the importance I see in wording things strongly at times. But, I will consider your words.

      Thanks,

      Sera

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    • anomie,

      I am going to admit upfront that your post here pushes my buttons in a BIG way, so take that for what it is worth.

      I know nothing about your gender, but I can say that the level of sexism I have experienced in this movement has been staggering. I have had white men steal my work in blatant ways. I have had white men who are getting paid wayyyyyyy more than me ask me to help them with their work behind the scenes, and then have had to fight to see that help credited. I have had white men say things in MUCH more controversial ways than I do in in person meetings (where I tend to be far more diplomatic than when I am writing an article), and yet I have been perceived as the stand out “bitch.” I have literally had people write on training evaluations for trainings I’ve done with another female co-worker, “You two were both wonderful trainers, but you must have a man who is a good trainer and that you could have sent.” And on and on and on.

      So, I am *not* going to respond well to being told that I need to defer to two white men to learn how I should speak, even if they also have valuable things to say. It’s just not the way this is going to go.

      Meanwhile, a few things about Will… I have known Will in person for about 15 years now. I am not going to criticize him in any way. I think he has brought valuable things to the conversation both here and via Madness Radio, etc. However, please note that Will neither has children nor a permanent full-time job with many moving pieces that requires his constant basically 24/7 attention. Yet, in spite of that, and while I haven’t looked at all his articles, I have noticed that he often responds to reader comments either minimally or not all.

      I’m not going to critique him for that. It’s a personal choice. I choose to respond to comments because a) I think it’s disrespectful and a power move not to in a forum such as this (not a specific dig at Will, just how I feel across the board in this forum), and b) When the author responds, it tends to lead to more comments and deeper dialogue within them. But I also wonder what element our gender socialization has played into whether or not we each choose to respond. And I want to emphasize that responding in the way that I do requires a TON of emotional labor.

      So, when you tell me to look at the comments section of Will Hall’s latest article and how much better it is going over there, I want to point out to you how that that article was posted over 24 hours ago, and its comments section has a grand total of 9 comments. None of them are from Will. He hasn’t shown up ther eat all.

      The article itself is also not directly about racism, although I’m glad it unites the issues. I am not going to say anything bad about it. I am glad it exists and was posted here. I never suggested my article should be both the first *and* the last, but I reject completely and entirely that his article is the only “right” way to bring the conversation here. And I ask you to question why you would even suggest that I should defer to how to white men have chosen to do things.

      They have their way. I have mine. That is okay. It requires many people speaking up to move things. And it will always be messy and imperfect along the way.

      -Sera

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      • (Just for transparency’s sake, I did text Will to let him know he’s come up in this conversation. I write this for a few reasons including that I didn’t want to leave people feeling like we were talking about Will without his knowledge…)

        Report comment

      • anomie,

        I find it really odd that you are accusing me of not talking *with* you. I have done my very best here to stay present and respond, and even hear (some) criticisms when offered. Blaming me for a “difficult atmosphere” feels pretty frustrating, honestly. Your seeing me as “lecturing” when so many people have also been “lecturing” me here seems uneven.

        I also would offer that your post *is* impacted by gender, whether you meant it to be or not.

        I think it is fair that we both disengage from this as I would agree it is not especially productive. Thank you for taking the time here, nonetheless.

        -Sera

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    • anomie,

      I think it’s on everyone. Mad In America staff, Mad In America authors, Mad In America commenters… If you want an example of problematic contributions from commenters, check out the Facebook post for this article. And yes, I noted to Pat that I am asking the comments to stay on track because it’s extremely common – when racism is the topic – for people to move and shift the topic to something else. I have a responsibility to keep an eye on that.

      I think it’s a fair criticism of this piece that it wasn’t clear enough in its criticism of Mad in America oversight and their responsibility here. In truth, I didn’t name any specific group, and my point about the comments was more to say “I couldn’t even find a reference in the comments,” then to try and say it is the commenter’s responsibility to bring it up. I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer on that.

      In the end, I think we *ALL* hold a piece of the responsibility… but yes, as always, the greatest burden should be held by those with the most power and privilege in each space.

      Thanks,

      Sera

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    • Anomie — Though I get your point and it’s a valid one, simply putting Black faces on MIA would be counterproductive if they support critical psychiatry/”reform” arguments which would objectively harm the interests of Back people. This would be tokenism, which in my view MIA has already has issues with. I think to artificially solicit Black support for the MIA agenda would present a distorted picture of how Black people actually view psychiatry. If MIA adequately addressed racism in a non-racist way a Black audience would likely start to materialize.

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      • oldhead,

        I don’t disagree (particularly in the way you framed seeking ‘black support for the Mad in America agenda”), but I also think that sometimes in transition a lot of stumbling steps are needed, and recruiting black and brown people (who have a legit interest and something to say) seems valid to me as one of many efforts. It’s pretty hard to go from 0 to 60 in one step.

        -Sera

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      • (Also, in my experience, sometimes if a space hasn’t been perceived as welcoming, or if someone hasn’t lived a life where they are quick to feel like they belong and have something worthwhile to say, actually intentionally reaching out to people can be a really important strategy.)

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      • I’m not saying there is necessarily a place for POC in MIA, though some have nonetheless graced it with their presence. The “critical psychiatry” approach is not based on an understanding of psychiatry as a tool of repression, and as such has little to offer Black people in an already oppressive system, or anyone else. If this is truly about listening to people of color, pay attention to what meremortal just said about this:

        black people who encounter psychiatry get the hell away from it as soon as they are able, and try to avoid it, which demonstrates that they see little to no value there. White people, on the other hand, are more likely to take on the illness label as an identity, continue on with drugs and therapy, and in general continue to demonstrate that they see something worth “reforming”

        Since “reform” is MIA’s primary goal I think this explains a lot. Although it is still highly disturbing the way “community activists” badger people about “mental health” in “public service” announcements and the like.

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  8. When I ventured into a city planning graduate program at OU, the nature of systems thinking would be introduced in a Future’s course. And LOL the class would travel to New Orleans, many of whom woul hear this man https://www.plannersnetwork.org/2007/04/advocacy-and-community-planning-past-present-and-future/

    In the pages I have read there might be some reference to economics, though are you talking about quantitative or qualitative expression of the supply and demand curves?

    How much have We as in the Royal We or Us, as a team, or the I, the more hidden inner eye, to absorb and have the sense to shape a world whereby a human can at least be at the boardroom table or lead the corporation or country? There is a difference in how the South and the rest of the country have practiced their brand of religion, not always pretty. And to understand the nature of no-money at times and the evolution of what would be financed, such as public works Kirkbride plans just a few years ago, now requires a more informed presence to who, what, why and where the change(s) will occur from innovative thinking and intentional actions.

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      • Surely… I will try.
        Systemic racism could be looked at from the perspective of systems, See Ludwig Bertalanffy. The whole being greater than the sum of the parts. If you embrace a civil rights discourse, that works through the categories of race, sex, creed, gender and disability, then look for the bias by the categories, the shaping of the built world financed by a closed financial community, then the discourse might become even more questioning of what are not just physical designs and enumerated totals. The reference to Davidoff, from a planner’s perspective appears on the surface to be just that … surface. Though someone(s) are having to craft policy to reflect the hopes, dreams and aspirations of populations within areas of a community.

        There is no question you can write about systemic racism. I would ask you what scale of relationship to the map are you talking about. 1:1, 1000:1 or 1:1000. Think in terms of your relationship to the ecology(s) you live in and ask how much have we grown? Or is a better word, developed?

        When I started in the planning profession, one would field public meetings, questions from the floor, (not typed in words, that seemingly may not carry the nuanced voice(s) of a crowd’s mood. Then came large scale relocation projects. Out came the index cards, to suppress, dampen the mood.

        To think communities and mental health, to alter economies and ways revenues are being generated, when if you use the term “Racism” what I hear are words charged that can have neuro-lingustic impacts creating lasting bias, to the detriment of any discussion about color (as an artist sees light). Right now there is much sawing, words in terms of race, and if one thinks color, and light, there is no White, but the manner by which people are interacting, is one of galvanized response to an oppressed, destructive reality that emerged from the brutality of a past shaped by many forces. Hence, are the questions more about the conditions of the nerves, within our bodies and then those across the networks realized through exchanges such as these? But have We or this discussion unpacked for me, you or others a way into “seeing” more deeply.

        If you are referencing Baltimore, you might wish to examine Johns Hopkins, if one can embrace the idea we are shifting into a knowledge production economy. Except, the nature of psychiatry seems to have been damaging the more sensitive people I would meet in my journey.

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  9. There are high rates of psychiatric diagnosis and incarceration and forced treatment among BAME (Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities) either because racism drives people mad, or because BAME people are more likely to live in poverty and poverty drives people mad, or because psychiatry is racist – or a combination of all three. Yet the survivor, critical psychiatry, anti-psychiatry movements seem pretty white.

    I have thought about this for a long time and my conclusion is that this will continue until organisations have sufficient numbers of BAME people at involved in strategic positions and that white organisations go out of there way to make sure BAME stories, issues and people are represented in the organisation.

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    • It is true, John. There is so much work to be done in so many communities, groups, and organizations. Hopefully, many were already doing the work to support more black and brown people to take on key leadership roles. It’s multi-layered work that requires not just inviting people in to the existing table, but re-evaluating the table altogether and building new ones. (My comment for some reason posted way above your comment, so just re-posting it here.)

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  10. MiA may not have posted something about the specific case of George Floyd, but to be fair, that case has literally nothing to do with psychiatry.

    MiA does post pieces–hundreds– that address race and racism.
    A simple search will show you this: https://www.madinamerica.com/?s=racism

    In fact, MiA posts pieces with titles like “Is the Mental Health System Yet Another Form of Institutional Racism?”. How can you equate hundreds of articles, including titles like that, with “silence”? It’s not.

    I’m not saying that MiA is perfect–far from it, and anomie’s comments are on point regarding lack of representation in the MiA staff–but I also don’t actually agree that MiA failing to post about George Floyd, specifically, is any kind of oversight or problem.

    Not every story is for every outlet. If we don’t read about George Floyd here, it’s not as if we won’t read about the case elsewhere. Again, psychiatry has absolutely no role that I am aware of in this case, so why should MiA write about it instead of continuing to pursue its coverage of institutionalized racism in psychiatry?

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    • Meremortal,

      If you look at the link you provided, only one appears to even be as recent as 2019. I do not think I ever suggested that there are *no* posts on racism ever. One of my points is simply that if psychiatry has been used so historically as a tool to oppress black and brown people, and if black and brown people are subjected to more force, harsher diagnoses, etc. within psychiatry… Then why aren’t the topic and black and brown voices better represented here? And even if George Floyd’s name weren’t mentioned here, why weren’t there even any mentions of the US currently basically being on fire? Part of my point here is that it *is* related. It is *all* interrelated, and it makes no sense to have the country be on fire and have there be such silence on a website that is addressing systemic oppression, particularly of a type that has swallowed so many black and brown people whole.

      One additional point: We can’t possibly keep opining about the lack of representation from non-white voices at this table, without considering whether or not that means a different table needs to be built… In other words, if we aren’t even willing to mention the issues most deeply impacting so many black and brown people today, why would they ever see us as relevant? And if you think that the endless systemic racism and white supremacy that people experience in this nation isn’t part of what ends up driving them to the distress that lands them in this system… Well, suffice to say, it is all interconnected. But I already said most of this in my piece above!

      -Sera

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      • Fair enough, You found a reference. My original point still stands. I never said that Mad in America has *never* addressed racism. I know it has. I’ve written *at least* four other pieces that were posted here and that centered that topic. Some of them I’d never write or would write very differently in current day, but they are there. That wasn’t the point. The point was that there has been almost complete silence on *this* moment in time, and no recent posts centering racism. And that we can’t remain silent because our “liberations are intertwined.”

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        • anomie,

          Well, a couple of things… I try my best to respond to most comments, but the reality is that I’m often reading quickly in the middle of work tasks, and sometimes my efforts to pick up something I can respond to in someone’s comment may miss the mark. That is certainly true. The first half felt mostly like the correction that I responded to above.

          As to your second and more central point, maybe I am not quite getting what you most want me to take away from what your saying… But I’m not looking for there to be articles on here devoid of *any* connections being made, and I agree that connecting psychiatry and policing both as a way of controlling people is an important point… though I do not agree that it has to be made strictly within an anti-psychiatry framework… For better or worse, I think that can be talked about even within a reformist perspective.

          In the end, I think there are lots of connections to be made… some of which I at leats attempted to make in this piece… and moving forward, I just hope there continues to be less and less silence when something so potentially revolutionary is going on in one realm, especially as it is the case that all these threads are so impactful of one another. But I know I’m just repeating myself at this point!

          -Sera

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      • Sera, if you search for racism on madinamerica you’ll fine like 200 links to articles on our site, and if you search from racism & 2020, you’ll find about 15 to articles that pop up. Most of that is content generated by MIA: reviews of research related to this subject, interviews and so forth.

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        • Bob,

          I want to reiterate that I have never said that Mad in America has never mentioned racism. I have to be honest that this effort to dig back in Mad in America’s history feels odd and misguided to me. What I said was that there had been no *recent* mention of racism. If I was not clear enough, what I meant was that this site was almost entirely devoid of any mention of what is happening *now*, and what is happening *now* is historic and potentially revolutionary.

          Just for the sake of doing, I did go and search racism and 2020 and I got around 10 articles. Four of them were from this week. Earlier ones were prior to this current period we are in.

          I feel a bit like we’ve tread into territory where we’re just preparing for a research article or something. But all of it misses the point I was actually making in this piece… This is an important time. It wasn’t represented on Mad in America by writers, staff, or commenters at least not in any noticeable way. It is important that we be present and paying attention in these times because our liberations are bound up in one another, and for all the other reasons I said above. That’s really it.

          Bob, You do good work. But like so many of us, I think you may be taking this too personally, and that is getting you off on the wrong track. It felt important to me to name the silence here. It is even more important that everyone work together to change that silence. Going back and forth about what percentage of articles prior to this moment in history represented racism or not just wasn’t ever the point. Let’s move forward together.

          -Sera

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  11. “For example, if we know that black and brown people are disproportionately impacted by psychiatry, then why are there so few black and brown voices here? And why do so many—even those who claim to know the sometimes disastrous effects of psychiatry and psychiatric oppression—still sometimes feel they are in any position to tell black people how to think, feel, or protest against an epidemic of racism?”

    I am completely lost by the article and the comments.
    I am feeling intimidated to respond. I am confused, because I do not understand the intent.
    I am getting pissed off because to me it feels like an admonishment, to MIA and commenters…for what?

    Would a black psychiatrist treat me any more “humane”, if he will not use the DSM, if he will not force drug me, because he knows the history of oppression?
    So, when we make space at the “white table”, will their voices at the white table simply mix with the white?

    btw, I am a “minority” and have felt I NEVER had a space at the table.
    But I know that I want nothing to do with that space made if it leads to me dishing out oppression, or being more oppressed.

    Your blog proves that MIA posts articles that are within their guidelines, even though it does not directly deal with why most commenters are here. But it has a main theme, oppression and discrimination.
    So it seems to me that MIA posts blogs, even ones that seem to take issue with the site itself.

    I never came to MIA because I did not have space at the table because of my minority. I came because I see psychiatry as basically having their paw in everything and being the most oppressive system there is. I came because that whole system is saturated with lies and have no interest in asking psychiatry to make it better.
    I am here because of a journalist who called out bullshit and who most likely did not get a trophy because of psychiatry itself, because of the oppression.
    This journalist runs a website through which MANY people have benefitted, regardless of colour.

    We are dealing with OPPRESSION, whether be colour, by minority, or by a psychiatry saturated system. We are dealing with being the LESSSER, the ones with no credibility.
    Why not inform black people of the oppression by psychiatry and join forces against oppression? And if we all become not oppressed, do we then move on to oppressing? To me that is a valid question.

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    • I am confused about your response re: black psychiatrists. My main point in the article was that the virtual silence on what’s happening in the world at this moment in time is troubling, and brings me back to times when I was told that my other articles centering systemic racism were not relevant to this space, and I fear we haven’t moved beyond that. Then I explained why it is important that we move beyond that. I’m unclear how that connects to black psychiatrists being more or less oppressive than white psychiatrists, honestly. And as I mentioned in a prior comment, I’ve never suggested that they *never* do. In fact, at the very start of the piece, I cited two other times when they posted pieces by me and centering racism, and I’m surely not the only examples. But this is about now. And how important it is that we not be silent.

      So, again, my points are that we can’t be silent on this topic right now, and that our liberations are intertwined, and well… all the other points I made in the article. If the article doesn’t land well for you, that is also okay, but I think I feel just as confused by your comment as you feel about the article itself.

      -S

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  12. Another thing I’d like to touch on.
    On MIA, we are not afraid to make our discourse public. Our “disagreements”–although I don’t see them as disagreements as much as, basically saying the same thing in different words and personalities–however, where do we see the “intimate discourse” between psychiatrists?
    They are forced to all agree with one another, the quietly dissidents cannot post their woes.

    I’m sure there are psychiatrists that long for a website of their own, apart from the APA. The APA table is “set” and there is no room for alternative voices. They themselves have no alternative except to become a lone wolf, or practice in a dragged along fashion.

    And so I take pride in the fact that we do not have to hide our internal and external woes and discourse on MIA. It’s a hub to gather and might be a place where people are welcome to organize their own positions. And often, those positions get split, even if the basis, the basic structures all have the same element/s. I’m not about to try and force MIA into anything that might be detrimental to what they came to educate and support about. I want to unite here as to the harms of psychiatry, the lies, the pretenses and the ultimate powers.

    And as far as racism goes, it seems to me that psychiatry is blaming “genetics” for believing or being anything other than what they deem as normal. Of course that is subject to change….

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  13. There are two issues here, in these comments, re MIA. The first is our mission. We have never had in our stated mission the word “reform.” From the start, MIA was a forum for “rethinking” psychiatry, which opens up many possibilities, and we have always provided a platform for writers who argue for abolition. Think of Bonnie Burstow, for example, who wrote here often. We mourned her loss when she passed. I should note that I also offered Oldhead that he could write a blog post, but he would have to use his real name. He declined.

    Here is our stated mission:

    Mad in America’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care in the United States (and abroad). We believe that the current drug-based paradigm of care has failed our society, and that scientific research, as well as the lived experience of those who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, calls for profound change.

    The point is we are not saying what the change should be. We are a forum for a larger community to express their thoughts on what that “rethinking” should lead to. Although I write posts here related to science reports, etc., I never write general “opinion” pieces. In fact, you will see very few opinion pieces that have ever been written by MIA editors in our seven-plus years.

    We are also a forum for the “comments” of our readers who can weigh in on this “rethinking” mission. And I should note that it is in this comment section, with some regularity, where readers of MIA are reminded of MIA’s flaws, and my personal shortcomings. We also have posted may blogs that are critical of MIA (such as this one by Sera). I believe that such criticism is evidence of the ‘open-mindedness” of our site, which is a quality that should exist in any forum devoted to “rethinking” psychiatry. Oldhead regularly expresses his disdain for me and MIA, and yet here he is, a regular presence in the commenting section.

    The second issue, which I think is a relevant one, is the makeup of our “staff.” The word staff here is actually a bit grandiose. We only have three people who receive a weekly salary (and not even full-time). We also have a “socialist” pay structure, where everyone–the three on “staff” and the others who contribute on an hourly basis–is paid the same (and not particularly well.) For my part, in interests of transparency, I put in funds at the start of MIA and worked without any pay for six years. The other two on staff currently are our blogs editor, Peter Simons, and Miranda Spencer, our personal stories editor.

    The largest number of “staff” you see are the science writers, which is a team of contributors that originated a Ph.D. psychology program at UMASS Boston. We have had, and still do have, a few members of the team who are “non-white.” That said, it doesn’t negate the criticism voiced here about the lack of diversity at MIA.

    I do think in terms of our content, you will find a number of articles, interviews, and blogs that focus on racism in our society, and particularly how such racism intersects with psychiatric practices. It is not a subject, as meremortal writes, that we have ignored.

    However, the bottom line is this: I think MIA’s failure to have diversity in its board and its staff, with the exception of several of our contributing science writers, is indeed exactly that . . . a failure, and I am glad that it was publicly pointed out. We can always strive to remake our organization too.

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    • @ Robert Whitaker:

      Thank you for what you do. I once contacted you during the initial years of this site regarding SSRIs prescribed for depression and anxiety causing mania and resulting in bipolar labels being applied on people. You promptly responded to my queries. I do not know you personally, nor of any of your shortcomings or strengths. All human beings have their share of those. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I truly appreciate the existence of this place.

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    • Bob,
      I hope some day MiA will find a way to expand its circle to include people like me. I have worked 24/7 for the last 12 years, as you know a little, to keep my wife OUT of the system completely. If people had the knowledge and tools to do the same, so much of the carnage psychiatry causes the majority of your readers would never even have a chance to occur.
      Sincerely,
      Sam

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      • Sam,

        i am curious what would help this site feel like that place for you? i am not disagreeing with you that it isnt, i am sincerely curious. we are trying to develop more and more family support and opportunities to share where i work, and via hearing voices usa, and i know miranda and likely others have been working hard here to do the same. alternatives are so needed. i would love to see them drown nami out!

        sera

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        • Sera,
          thank you for your sincere question. I will try to answer it the best I can.

          12 years ago when the other girls (alters) started to join my marriage and family and all hell broke loose because of all the extreme states they all went through, I never saw my wife any different than a person with extreme physical trauma. I never ‘othered’ her. I never thought she was crazy. I never thought she was psychotic, delusional, paranoid or any of the other derogatory things that are said of people who find themselves caught in effects of extreme mental trauma and dissociation.

          I ‘owned’ all the effects that her trauma and dissociation brought into our relationship. I saw us as ‘foxhole buddies’, in it together, 100%. I understood that a lot more would be required of me as the other girls (alters) joined our relationship, and our marriage today is certainly not typical to say the least. Many times I both physically and figuratively have
          carried her through the healing journey: I did whatever it took to help the only woman I have ever loved, and it was only when I found this site that I understood how much our efforts as a family (adult son included) had saved her from all the additional trauma and suffering so many of you have suffered from the drugs, the dehumanization, and the forced incarcerations you were made to endure.

          But when I got here I was immediately ‘othered’. It didn’t matter that I was an expert with lived experience on how to keep someone suffering extreme states, extreme dissociation and everything else my wife has experienced out of the system and off the drugs. All that is seen on this site is that I’m NOT a trauma victim. No matter how much I have argued that SO’s, family and friends MUST be part of the solution, it has been made clear to me that I will always be 2nd class unless my wife ‘validates’ my voice, here.

          Let’s go back to George Floyd. I’ve read lots of op-ed’s lately. A number of them by black authors have essentially said that until white people ‘own’ the protests, the blacks can only take things so far because white people control the power in this country. George Floyd changed the ‘other’ into a human face that many for the first time could connect to and white America has finally seemed to change the tide of this racist travesty in our country.

          I hope some day that Mad in America, Western Mass RLC, HVN and others will understand the same, that people like me must be more than just an ‘ally’ which still feels like a 2nd class ‘othering’ term to me. My wife and I are together on our journey 100%. There is no ‘other’ in our healing journey. There is only ‘us.’ This is not her struggle: this is our struggle. And I believe that it will only be when we help others like myself to ‘own’ this struggle, as the whites are finally doing with BLM, that things will change in the mental health arena as well.

          Sam

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          • Sam,

            I had started a reply earlier, but I do not think it went through, so I’m starting again. If this is a duplicate, apologies!

            I do remember hearing much of this from you in the past. I think I was thinking your comment here meant going deeper in making spaces for family and friends. I’m sorry that – as much effort as you’ve put in to really, genuinely being there for your wife and her alters – that you’ve nonetheless felt othered here and in other spaces.

            I think I’ve said most of this to you before, but i think the challenge is that there are *so* many power dynamics embedded in so many familial relationships, and so many family members who’ve been a part of someone’s trauma… And then there’s also the legacy of pharmaceutical companies using the desperation of family members to get help for their loved ones as a way to market their products a la places like NAMI and similar… And leading to communities that speak for us, over us, about us as the norm.

            For those reasons, I can’t personally support the idea that family members should be centered equally as people who’ve been diagnosed, and psychiatrized. I think it’s so much less about you than it is about that broader history, and the need to hold some lines so as to have the best shot at ensuring people really get to speak for themselves, and so on.

            That said, I’m in full support of supports *for* families, especially to create an alternative to NAMI and its ilk, and because family members do certainly have valid experiences to share, and need support themselves. I know that Hearing Voices USA and the Western Mass RLC have both worked at trying to expand efforts to recognize that importance. Hearing Voices USA, for example, is currently working on amending the existing charter to include a section on family groups.

            You have a ton of valuable experience as a family member, and I’m glad you’re here. I do not want you to feel invisible, and yet I think grappling with some of the tensions I described above are pretty important. I hope you’ll stick around and grapple along with us.

            Thanks,

            Sera

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          • Sera,
            I agree with much you have said, but I hope some day you will see that you seem to be judging our situation from YOUR experience. If that isn’t the case, then I apologize. It took me years to learn to see everything my wife was going thru by HER perceptions of it. My wife has never been ‘psychiatrized’ and as for being ‘diagnosed’ well, that was by an alternative counselor and, once I quickly got past the Hollywood caricature, for me it simply meant ‘your wife was deeply traumatized and is dealing with massive dissociation.’ Everything else we learned together, on our own, apart from the system because she even made me promise NOT to read any books on the subject (until years later). So I entered the journey without any preconceived ideas. We just kind of ‘fell into’ attachment strategies as the best thing to help us thru this. Later I became better educated on that subject, so I could help my wife even more, and so I owe much to John Bowlby for the road map he unknowingly provided us!

            It took me years to wade thru all the power dynamics of which you speak and learn how to use my strength for her advantage while never, ever, ever using it for my own advantage or even coercing her ‘for her own good.’ I had to learn that when I tried that tactic it never produced true, deep healing, and so I stopped doing it and learned to wait for her to move at her own pace, not at mine

            I do continue to wish you all well. I hope some day my wife will be willing ‘validate’ what I say, but if this is only for us, then so be it.
            Sincerely,
            Sam

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          • Sam,

            I guess I’m not quite sure what you mean about me seeing your situation through my experience. Honestly, I defintiely dealt with abuse and toxicity in my family, but they weren’t especially involved in my psychiatry experiences because I’d already left home, so what I described isn’t really want I have experienced much at all. Rather, what I am saying is that there are some basic principles that are driven by systemic experiences and dynamics and those rare exceptions that may exist can’t really change the overall history, and so we ask that even those people who are rare exceptions honor that? Something like that. But again, it doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be a real, strong place for family.

            But no matter what I think about all this for the most part… It sounds like you and your wife have something going that really works for you, and there is value in that.

            -Sera

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          • Sera,
            I believe systemic problems are changed one story at a time until it reaches critical mass like, hopefully, BLM seems to be doing now. None of us change the past: we change today and hopefully that changes the arc for the future like I’m trying to do with my little family. It’s unfortunate you are turning me into an ‘exception’ rather than seeing me as a potential ‘example.’ I may never have ‘othered’ my wife, but it still took me years to learn how to change our relational dynamics, how to fully implement attachment concepts to hold us together as we walked thru hell and help heal her own attachment system, how to see thru ‘extreme states’ so they became understandable, and thus healable, etc. I will never fully understand what my wife experiences but neither will she understand fully what I do on our journey, but that doesn’t stop us from treating each as equals. And if I could learn to do this, others could too. I don’t want to be an ‘exception’ but I do wish I could help others in a way that I never got any help for myself.
            Sam

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          • Sam, I really DO think the way you describe your approach is an exception. Most family members are neither committed nor skilled enough to find a way to either elude the “helpers” who “know better” or find people who actually CAN help or develop his/her own approach. Family members most defintely CAN be incredibly helpful, but as often as not, they can also be incredibly harmful, and are sometimes the very reason the person was traumatized and overwhelmed in the first place. So it is possible, even likely, that there is some bias toward distrusting family members who claim to be “here to help.” Personally, I think each person is different and should be considered individually. But I’m in general agreement that the voice of the person ostensibly being “helped” has to be raised above that of any family member, however well intended, because in the end, that is the person who has to live with the results of any “helping” that is going on.

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          • Sam;
            I am so thankful you are here. It is because you are an exception that we need your voice VERY much. Escaping psychiatry can be impossible without a partner. I’ve heard others labelled as “ally” feel they didn’t deserve a place in the conversation. Or feel pushed out. If we can’t push out professional helper’s-for-hire as survivors, what right do we have excluding any person with experience keeping a loved one safe from forced treatment. My hired help never protected me, but we still worship him more than is healthy.

            “the voice of the person ostensibly being “helped” has to be raised above that of any family member” This is true Steve. But even at MIA one of my frustrations is feeling that above “helped” and “ally” alike are the “professionals”. (please forgive these stupid labels.)

            I also feel othered here Sam. I’ve described the movement like a bit of a university campus fraternity. It is really who you know and how many letters you have behind your name. (Sorry, but that has been my experience. I am ashamed that I tried to fit in, but I didn’t survive the hazing.)

            So I say YES to survivor’s voices being raised above all others when it comes to discussions about our experiences and what we really need. But allies are not the voices we need to squash in order to get there. (Standing up to family on an individual basis is a different thing.) It is the credentialed elite that must step aside next. Or better yet, help us build a better table.

            (quick after note… since writing this I feel afraid. The first two paragraphs of the essay felt a little like barbed wire. If I say the wrong thing will we all be punished by losing the comment section? I’m just feeling sick. I get the words wrong a lot. Motive is hard to hear in text alone. I just had to say something. Sam has just as much right to be here as anyone else. Maybe more. He’s helping out of the goodness of his heart and not for profit. Anyway. I am way spinning mentally. I feel afraid to speak. but since when has fear ever stopped me. Just thought a little context may help. Or maybe I’m just revisiting the cowering skills learned in forced treatment. I’m just sick not knowing how this will come across or if I used the wrong words. It feels like a double bind. but my best is my best. this mess is it. I’m sorry.)

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          • I think this is a great clarification. Allies can be ESSENTIAL! But only if they are supporting the survivors. And as long as the power disparities exist based on race, class, education, etc., there will always be an awkwardness in negotiating this kind of advocacy.

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          • Steve,
            my wife and I will have been married 32 years in 4 days. In a relationship of any duration NEITHER voice can be raised above the other. Both have to be heard and given equal weight. Moreover, in a very real sense her issues are my issues. I can’t help but be affected by everything happening within her, and vice versa.

            Now I understand that many spouses and partners do NOT take the path I have taken, but I wonder how many who end up at NAMI do so out of good faith. I contacted them once because I was desperate, alone, and needed help. In the beginning of our journey I was absolutely overwhelmed and our son and I gave my wife 24/7 coverage for 4 years while he attended a local university and I worked 2nd shift, and yet she still wasn’t physically safe and for a year or more was covered in bruises, and she had many, nearly-broken bones because the new girls didn’t know how to ‘use’ the body very well. I had new girls trying to jump out of cars going 70mph or running thru moving traffic or wanting to buy fairy wings from the store so they could jump off buildings and fly! And that’s just the tiniest tip of the iceberg! When you all tell people in my position that our voice is 2nd class and we are engulfed in this kind of stuff, how many stick around? I’m not here near as much as I used to be for that very reason.

            The way to beat NAMI isn’t by belittling what the family is going thru but by showing them a better, though harder, way, and giving them the support to walk it with the person who is suffering. Again, I learned to wade through all the issues: I’m NOT special. I just refused to give up on my marriage and my wife. If we helped others, they might be willing to do the same!
            Sam

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          • I agree, most people go to NAMI because they need support, just like most people go to psychiatrists because they feel desperate and are looking for answers. But the organizations themselves have to answer for being corrupt and misleading people intentionally, because that’s what they do.

            NAMI is a very interesting phenomenon. There are plenty of people who go to NAMI genuinely looking for support, and some even find it to some extent. There are also a good segment, by my observation, who go to NAMI to be absolved of responsibility for any contribution they may have made to their child’s distress, and these are the ones who really grab onto the “bioligical brain disorder” terminology and ideology. The people in the second group, I have found almost impossible to talk to, because their identity is very much tied up in blaming their child’s brain for everything, which means toeing the party line on the “liftime brain disorder” and “drugs for life” concepts.

            I truly wish there were other places for families to go for support. I mean, there ARE, but NAMI pretty much has taken all the air out of the room so any such effort is generally small, local, and relatively unknown (sorry, bad pun there!) And it becomes a real problem when families really do need genuine support and they get a choice between NAMI and nothing. But the needs of family members are very different than those of the survivors of psychiatry, and in all too many cases, those needs conflict too strongly for both to get support in the same venue. Open Dialog appears to make an effort to bridge that gap, which I’m sure can be very helpful in many cases, but it’s also generally not available, and depending on the family members’ attitudes, might or might not provide what they needed.

            It’s a problem, for real.

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          • MIA is a news magazine. It operates on a skeleton staff and accomplishes an amazing amount with a tiny budget and a lot of volunteer work hours. There is no bandwidth to start creating other organizations, but of course, if readers see such a need, they are encouraged to come up with ways to make it better. We put the information out there for others to use in whatever way seems productive to them.

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          • “There are also a good segment, by my observation, who go to NAMI to be absolved of responsibility for any contribution they may have made to their child’s distress, and these are the ones who really grab onto the “bioligical brain disorder” terminology and ideology.”

            I remember being in a very uncomfortable situation with a man and his wife, who were telling me about their daughter and her battles with bipolar disorder. As the conversation progressed it became incresingly obvious to me that this young woman had be subjected to abuse by the father, and that her disorder was likely a result of that abuse.

            Without going into to much detail I wonder if NAMI is an organisation that is being used as a means for paedophiles to silence their victims, and is beocming a place where they can congregate and further thier abuses once they realise they can slip through the net of law enforcement?

            For example it could be that people who gather learn how to get their ‘loved one’ admitted to hospital using the methods employed by my wife and the clinic pyshcologist? Couldn’t have the victim of child sexual abuse being given a voice, quick get the drugs into them and shut that mental illness up.

            I know that my wife had experience with a young woman who had been abused by her father, and who eventully went to prison for his crimes. (my wifes comment regarding “you just need to know what to tell them” when I asked her how it was possible she could just call mental health services and have me dragged out of my bed and locked in a cage for not agreeing with her). This of course did not ‘heal’ the resulting damage to the young woman who is a regular user of mental health services. It did however ensure that the father was not charged for a very long time.

            It may be worth while considering infiltrating this organisation as a means to indentify, investigate and incarcerate people who are using this organisation for purposes other than designed. As we know from history these ‘deviants’ tend to congregate in groups where they can enable one another.

            And rather than dismiss peoples claims that they have been abused with statements like that made by our Minister for Mental Health that you can’t listen to women who claim they have been sexually assaulted in a hospital setting “because they’re mental patients”, perhaps we could listen and actually test what it is they are claiming? I mean I have watched people turn their backs on me regarding my claim of torture and kidnapping for no other reason that I have been slandered with the label ‘mental paitent’, and even when I prove that this has been done via fraud they still refuse to perform their duty in spite of the law.

            It makes me sick to hear our Prime Minister talk about Australians valuing a rule of law when I know police are telling citizens who are the victims of organised criminals committing serious offences (and concealing it as ‘medicine’) that they don’t have a copy of the Criminal Code to ensure that the law is perverted. And I can imagine the ‘treatment’ anyone who has been slagged with one of these labels might have obtaining assistance form police if thay have been subjected to abuses. They literally get enjoyment from ‘baiting’ the nut jobs. I guess when one has a lust for violence they are in the right position. Armed to the teeth against a defensless citizen? Still, they do have to face their maker at some point.

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    • Thanks for taking the time to comment here, Bob. As I mentioned in this piece itself, I am thankful for what Mad in America *is,* in many ways, but think – as with so many other things – we can do better, too. I appreciate that you do not shy away from anything that ventures in to the land of the critical. I certainly know what that can feel like as someone who has been in a leadership role for the Western Mass RLC for the duration of its existence (now 13 years not including its unfunded phase).

      I hear you on the reform pieces, and appreciate your acknowledgement of the lack of non-white representation, too. And, I imagine you already understand this, but I certainly never said that Mad in America *never* touches the the topic of racism. But – in this moment in time – I found the silence problematic, not on any single person’s part, but as a collective. I’m glad that silence is now broken, messy as it may be.

      I do worry about the name piece you mentioned (re: oldhead). I worry – on a site that intentionally includes so many people who’ve been harmed by systems – that there isn’t more room for pseudonyms. It necessitates a certain level of privilege to right under one’s own full name. Privilege to not be under threat from the system itself (or even have to worry about being)… Privilege to not be running from an abuser in the community… Privilege to not be vulnerable to power holders at work or in educational environments. Privilege to not have to fear losses among our family, friends, and neighbors should we speak too openly of our psychiatric histories. As you know, my parental status was threatened just a year ago when I shared a historical experience of seeing visions at a training. I know there are reasons of journalistic integrity that drive you, and that I also respect, but I hope that this can be something in the ‘food for thought’ category, as I worry that it may marginalize the voices of some of those folks who are most at risk. Anyway, food for thought.

      Thanks,

      Sera

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      • I’ve wondered about the anonymous writing rule too. I chose to write at MIA and elsewhere under my real name, and regret it now. It didn’t make enough of a difference compared to what it cost me.

        But there are people who write here without using their real names.

        https://www.madinamerica.com/2020/04/not-stigma-privacy-writing-pseudonym/

        I’d love to read blogs by oldhead and others. If an exception can be made for a professional wisely seeking privacy, why not for people who could be killed for speaking up? (I’m not being dramatic.) We live in a connected world. I’m not the only person I know who had trouble getting a place to rent after telling their story on MIA. It isn’t MIA’s fault. I’m not blaming. But perhaps there could be more protecting. Maybe an exception with an explanation. After I changed my name, I tried to rejoin some of the groups I’d been in. I asked if I could be anonymous, but still belong, and the answer was always no. I get it, but I don’t. The people running the groups know me, and I was honest about why I needed protecting. It felt like punishment.

        And speaking for writing under your own name… It has been a protection from forced treatment. Professionals who know tread more lightly. Are a bit afraid. Maybe it makes me look more protected than I am. 🙂 So that’s cool.

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        • Sera & O.O.

          “I do worry about the name piece you mentioned (re: oldhead). I worry – on a site that intentionally includes so many people who’ve been harmed by systems – that there isn’t more room for pseudonyms. It necessitates a certain level of privilege to right under one’s own full name.”

          I APPRECIATE THESE WORDS TOO.

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        • @ Sera:

          “I’m glad this is leading to another important conversation, though also embarrassed that I wrote “right” instead of “write” so I just need to name that before my self-critical self explodes. :p”

          I’M THE ONE THAT SHOULD BE APOLOGIZING!!! You are the one running around & trying to answer all of these questions with two kids in tow. The ONLY writer here that responds to EVERYONE!!! (not dissing anyone else, just sayin’)

          I re-copied that part without thinking cause I have been in a freakin’ meltdown here!!! I am so, so sorry…

          What’s going on in the TI community has been hard to handle!!!!!!
          (Steve helped me out, THANK GOD!)

          WE APPRECIATE YOU, Sera!

          Report comment

    • Bob,

      Since I have been dragged into this (I sure didn’t start it):

      We have never had in our stated mission the word “reform.” From the start, MIA was a forum for “rethinking” psychiatry, which opens up many possibilities, and we have always provided a platform for writers who argue for abolition. Think of Bonnie Burstow, for example, who wrote here often. We mourned her loss when she passed. I should note that I also offered Oldhead that he could write a blog post, but he would have to use his real name. He declined.

      And I urge all my comrades to decline to out themselves as a condition of publication, as this is an inappropriate demand which poses a safety & security risk for many of us. I never asked to write for MIA so I don’t know where that came from. I feel like I’m getting grenades lobbed at me.

      In fact this demonstrates why survivors must control our own movement.

      Bonnie Burstow told me that initially MIA would not let her use the word “anti-psychiatry” when she wrote. (I should also point out that Bonnie’s academic anti-psychiatry is one “model” of AP, there are more activist versions too.)

      MIA’s slogan is “A Community for Remaking Mental Health.” “Remake” is synonymous with “reform.”

      Bottom line, I didn’t criticize or object to any of the above. I was simply establishing existing parameters for the purpose of discussion.

      BTW I have made no comments about you & race, but unless i point this out I’ll likely find myself in the middle of that somehow too.

      Anyway have a good week, sorry you felt it necessary to post.

      Report comment

    • Oldhead regularly expresses his disdain for me and MIA, and yet here he is, a regular presence in the commenting section.

      WHOA! This is incredibly insulting and hurtful, not to mention disingenuous. And I had been telling people we have a cordial relationship even though we disagree on some things. I have also been telling people that I have no reason to argue with you (which I don’t) and that I don’t think you have any interest in arguing with me. In short I have been defending you and your right to run MIA as you see fit. Now I read this. Very disappointing.

      I don’t post here for personal reasons, if I did I’d be out at this point. I challenge you to find ONE example of me “expressing disdain” for you on MIA.

      Report comment

  14. One added note: If anyone is interested in my personal writings on this subject of systemic racism, please read my non-fiction book On the Laps of Gods. (It was initially titled 12 Condemned to Die, but changed during the publication process.) It is a book about the massacre of sharecroppers in Arkansas in 1919, and the subsequent mass arrest of leaders of a sharecroppers’ union. The legal struggle to free the 12 men condemned to die led to a Supreme Court decision that served as legal foundation for the Civil Rights movement.

    Report comment

    • “I can’t even imagine how hard it was to get this site up and going within the context of psychiatry’s overreaching power. Your work has provided life-saving information to countless people. That burden should never be carried by just one person. There’s a lot of work to be done by all of us. ”

      Precisely.

      Report comment

    • I just want to take a moment right now to highlight power dynamics. I’m so curious – anomie – why you chose to call Bob Mr. Whitaker? I am actually not trying to chastise you, I’m just really genuinely curious. I just recently wrote to the Commissioner of Mental Health in our state pushing on the idea that they call everyone by their first name except for doctors and the most senior officials in their systems… A small point in some ways, yet so illustrative of power differentials. I’m curious if it is coming from that place, or from a different place for you? I wasn’t going to ask, but I just kept coming back to this place and wondering about it.

      -S

      Report comment

      • Ms. Davidow:
        Power dynamics, when the context or use of this space, or to experience social space, when one can be negated, as from treatment, in mental health care or outside in the world. I began to realize, and wonder how this website really imparts information, that might be better formatted in a refereed journal or book. To have worked as a civil servant, one learns quickly, the We, is not to be spoken as such unless empowered through position to speak. My staff or our staff, are incredible terms that can show a willingness to be of service to the public. The We, that you engage,I wonder if this is a term of the Royal We should not be silent, when the voicing of the outcry under this heading may not understand much about power generation, technologies, grids, and yet, maybe people do. I do not know. To attempt to realize though a cohesive response, that pushes the envelop, regarding a change in how minds can realize a reason for the unique expression seems to warrant an inquiry into the space our thinking occupies.

        Report comment

      • Okay, thanks for being willing to answer! it feels hard for me to separate out using a last name as respect vs deference that i see so often in our systems, and so it always jumps out at me when i see last names or titles being used. but i can totally hear that it is gratitude when you do it here. i am sorry if this was too weird or invasive of a question. it is just a topic that has really been on my mind lately!

        sera

        Report comment

    • See: https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2019/09/18/elaine-massacre-100th-anniversary-events

      and

      https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/28/us/elaine-massacre-100-years-memorial-helena/index.html

      I would realize a job teaching in Helena after my first depression manic experience. During that year, I would live in the attic bedroom of the oldest home built in the county. In reading the history of this home, the family migrated from England, through the Cumberland Gap, staying first above Louisville. From a student, whose Father was a civil engineer, I would be shown a study for the slack water harbor, which led me to ask questions about studies, plans.

      How would you wish to understand this story from the birth of civil rights? Or advancing technologies and automation of farming? Land Use? Rail transportation, Lumber Mills, Labor? Mental Health?

      To make the connections directly and indirectly, while the structure of even thinking is up for discussion, in scholarly as well as this newer form of sharing, might be of service. I am late to the game of advanced technologies, though I try to imagine and think how light really works, it’s source and if there might be a way to realize better economies that are respectful to and of Nature.

      Report comment

  15. The issue is inaction. (and it has come up in the comment section.)

    A bystander would have been shot for pushing a police officer off of his target. Obstructing, the word is. Fitting considering death was from obstruction. But a fellow officer could have and survived physically. (Should have.) And afterwards his life would be hell because that’s what happens when you take a stand to a bully or a system, but George Floyd would still be breathing.

    How many are in the comment section anonymous because we’ve paid a steep price for taking a stand? How many have been begging for those with more power have courage? George Floyd is a public on camera example of why we must act with everything we’ve got when our hearts demand it! How many ways must it be said?

    Losing everything to do what’s right is NOT the worst that could happen!

    Report comment

    • I can only change myself:
      In what ways am I avoiding action in my own life right now?
      What am I most afraid to lose?
      Why do I hesitate?
      How can I override my own systems that restrain me?
      Is my “would never survive without” list realistic when compared to global living standards?
      Do I act only when paid or only if it may lead to payment in the future?
      When I’ve witness bullying did I respond in real time?
      Is there one injustice in my personal life that needs voicing?
      Or someone I have failed to protect? Or apologize to?
      What excuses do I use to stay silent? Or to silence others?
      How do I medicate the guilt instead of breaking the cycle?
      What can I DO right now to practice courage so that when the time comes to save a life I am prepared to act instinctively?

      Report comment

      • Have I resonded with indignation, ghosting, threatening back, questioning motive, or discounting the source when offered feedback or criticism? (Self judgement included)

        What is preventing me from thinking it through now with a view to understanding? Did I miss the real message because of my own prejudice, trauma, pride, …? What if I reread the words with love instead? How would the message change? Have I lost connection with spirit that speaks through urges to act? How can I get back in touch?

        If I just sit quietly until moved, what direction am I being asked to go? Am I willing to do what is asked of me?

        Report comment

        • Thanks for giving words to thoughts,
          knowing the mind
          may at times

          need the rest
          the healing

          time
          for recharge

          to transform
          the speech
          the words
          typed,
          and typed

          to raise questions
          that were once spoken

          but now
          typed
          into the
          space

          and matter
          that encompasses
          all!

          Report comment

  16. It’s been a robust discussion here in the comments section and I am only going to add my voice to also express appreciation for Robert Whitaker and MIA staff and writers. Robert saw the harm in regards to psychiatric practices but didn’t look away or stay silent, he delved into the mess to expose it. Psychiatry is hubris and power and will attack those who dare to scrutinize them so that alone is highly commendable in my books. This site has been very validating and helpful for me and I will always remain grateful for that.

    Report comment

  17. I think it should be noted that institutional racism and white supremacy may be at the heart of the reason that certain powerful families go after scapegoats with so much venom.

    I am speaking of the Breckinridge and Tyler families who have organized a political scapegoating campaign against me since 1981. (My mom’s sisters married into these families in the late 1950s and early 1960s).

    The Breckinridge statue was recently taken down in Lexington, Kentucky (not far from Mayesville where my dad was born). The statue was at the site of the Cheapside slave market, one of the largest slave markets in the country. Of course, that is right for the statue to be taken down because Breckinridge was a proponent of the expansion of slavery. Also, of course the statue was an insult to people of color who live in Lexington who were reminded on a daily basis that they were regarded as property and less than human — much like people with mental health labels.

    I believe that the reason families with a history of leading and arguing for white supremacy are the real people with mental health issues. They are the families with the most metaphorical skeletons in the closet. Because of this, I think they feel tremendous guilt and shame about the history of white supremacy and slavery and so they are extremely relieved when a scapegoat is available to let off some of that steam.

    John Cabell Breckinridge was Vice President from 1857-61. He joined the confederacy and became a general in1861 fighting in several major battles including Shiloh and Chickamauga. After the war he lived in Canada briefly before being accepted back into society in Kentucky, which had been a slave holding state but was officially “neutral” in the civil war.

    John Tyler was the tenth president of the US. He was a slave owner born in Charles City County, Virginia.

    I don’t really believe in mental illness; but I do believe that families hide their own histories. I do believe that others are complicit in allowing that history to be buried. When the current BLM situation occurs, it is an opportunity to understand the tremendous guilt and shame that powerful families carry.

    Report comment

  18. I think I should spell it out: Black Lives Matter.

    Also, Take Back Cheapside.
    . That was the movement that led to the Breckinridge statue being removed from the main square in Lexington about two years ago.

    I invite my cousins to heal with the nation and to make a statement about General Breckinridge
    and how they feel about him today. I know that other descendants of civil war generals have advocated for the removal of the statues in Richmond, VA.

    Report comment

  19. Once again, I am calling for healing, for open dialogue. If the wounds are buried and reconciliation never occurs, then the hurt will fester indefinitely.

    The Black Lives Matter movement is a movement for open dialogue and reconciliation. It is a movement for truth.

    Of course, police brutality is a very graphic reminder of the history of slavery. The truth is that there is still no justice for most black and brown people.

    Report comment

  20. Dear Sera, thank you for writing this.

    Its true that none of us are saints, some of us get away with our misdeeds, and some of us get sent to jail.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/11/overkill-atul-gawande

    “…Virtually every family in the country, the research indicates, has been subject to overtesting and overtreatment in one form or another. The costs appear to take thousands of dollars out of the paychecks of every household each year. …”

    Report comment

  21. Sera,

    So many of us have been shamed, silenced, and gaslit when we’ve tried to speak up for ourselves and to be expected to fight for anyone else might be unreasonable.

    I do not feel comfortable delving into all of the details of my experiences, but as a black psychiatric survivor, I’ve experienced what has felt like complete and utter disregard for my humanity. Nothing has traumatized and undone me the way that forced psychiatry has, and very little of that oppression (to be honest, none that I’m aware of) has, for me personally, had anything at all to do with the color of my skin. I will not illegitimize the pain and experiences of other black people, but as for me, the racism I’ve experienced throughout my life feels largely insignificant in comparison to the abuse I’ve faced at the hands of psychiatry.

    During my hospitalizations, the vast majority of the people who’ve diagnosed, forcibly drugged, “cared” for, and “treated” me have been black. And still today, my own black family members speak to no end about the oppression of black people and yet refuse to validate or even acknowledge my pain.

    I’ve experienced this recent all-consuming awareness that black lives matter as a whole new level of gaslighting, and I’ve been feeling especially unseen. I’ve wondered if anyone would speak to this here on MIA. I have a feeling that I’m not alone and that there are other people – white people, included – who share similar sentiments.

    This comment doesn’t even begin to adequately express all that I feel, but I thought it necessary to attempt to offer my perspective.

    Report comment

    • And just to clarify, I can totally understand why it makes sense to think that if we desire awareness of our own oppression and desire change for this facet of the system, we should want that for others as well. I just mean that raising our voices to fight for *anyone* might be more than many of us can currently bear.

      Report comment

      • @Morgan
        Thanks for your post!
        Do you talk to your family about this anymore, or
        is it too painful/not worth it at this point? Are
        any of your friends helpful, or is it easier to not
        bring it up with them too? It’s a weird & lonely bind (for
        me). Is that how it feels to you?

        Sorry for the endless
        questions. : ) It’s never easy to know what to say
        to someone in pain, or if it’s best to not say anything.

        I always stick my neck out in case someone wants to talk, so…
        does writing about this help?

        Report comment

    • Thanks for speaking up here, Morgan. You are definitely not the first black person I have heard say that psychiatric oppression has impacted you far more deeply than racism ever did. I know you do not need my validation or confirmation of your message, but I am sorry that not only psychiatry has hurt you so much, but that the people who at least theoretically should have had your back have instead acted like your pain and oppression simply does not exist.

      This is such a strange time… when so many people who couldn’t be bothered with these conversations of Black Lives Matter are now suddenly all about it. It feels like it is absurd that they weren’t there for the conversation before, but would be even more absurd to continue to ignore it now. And how to measure the level of disingenuous and posturing and just wanting to be seen that is involved i do not know, but I can imagine why it would all feel overwhelming, especially in the face of continuing to have the source of your pain and oppression being ignored.

      Black people working and using force in these systems is such an important topic, too. It is one that I do not personally feel like it is my business to be the one to speak on for the most part, but I have been working on this film project with some co-workers that is a bit complicated to explain, but has led to a black man who has experienced force in the system challenging a black man working in a psych facility very directly on how he reconciles being a part of that environment given oppressive histories.

      I think maybe with some of your comment, you are responding to my question re: why are there not more black and brown people’s voices being centered here? I can definitely understand it must be too much energy or too painful to even think about wanting to invest the time (not to mention expose one’s self to criticism and backlash). That makes sense.

      I responded to a lot of pieces that I heard in what you said. But underneath it all, I am sorry you have felt so unseen in all this. It is *so* hard to get most people to see and understand psychiatric oppression. It is as if it doesn’t exist in most people’s eyes. And where does that leave all of us whove been so consumed by that which is invisible, if not invisible ourselves? It is very painful.

      sera

      Report comment

    • Morgan,
      Family. Those are the one people we want to click with.
      The ones that have your back, not because they think you’re weak
      or different, but because they believe in you.
      It is a grieving when we feel the distance.
      They most likely don’t get it.

      I have experienced this, I have witnessed it. We
      have to create another family, even though we keep the old one.

      Report comment

  22. “I should note that I also offered Oldhead that he could write a blog post, but he would have to use his real name. He declined.”

    Why does OH have to use his real name, you would be putting him at risk, all of us antipsych people who really know the truth about psych are at risk on here, any of us could be dragged back to a hell hole and forcibly, drugged, killed and nothing would happen to the ‘doctors’.

    “rethinking” psychiatry.” Psychiatry can’t be rethought it’s a eugenics movement, you would learn this in a very stark hard way had you been sectioned, abused and drugged on high dose polypharmacy in a hell hole. It sees the people it treats as vermin to the gene pool.

    In WW2 the psychiatrists taught the SS how to mass murder. The same mentality exists now. The three psychiatrists who built up Purdue Pharma have massacred go knows how many. In 2012 talking about this recent US opiod slaughter Robert Schaaf M.D. said:

    ” if they overdose and kill themselves it just removes them from the gene pool”

    It’s happening in a wider way with a gain of function virus implimented with mass media fear porn psychology while the doctors get on with this:

    https://youtu.be/UIDsKdeFOmQ?t=234

    Report comment

  23. Sera, I prefer to name it discrimination based on colour, culture, and personality, behaviour, being and expressing.
    A LOT of black people believe in “mental illness” and all it’s “treatments” for others AND their own, and also call for an end to racism.

    A lot of black people work in “mental health” and police services that haul in people, white and black, for being or acting different.
    I think referring to “racism” is a divider as can be noticed here, and does not address the many reasons for oppression.
    There are many “white” people who experience discrimination from being of a different “culture”. White people discriminate
    against whites, just as black people discriminate against black people.. Whites kill whites as blacks kill blacks.

    Have you posted a blog about psychiatric force and discrimination by psychiatry against ALL people on
    “Anti-Racism websites”? Have you admonished them for not including psychiatric survivors?

    I continue to be anti discrimination and anti oppression, which I have been my whole life. I was born this way
    and did not need to be educated in the obvious.”

    I find it odd that such an article gets through to people who are so oppressed that they flock to a website, because they cannot organize themselves into larger community. How many show up at a “psychiatric protest? How many feel empowered enough to do so? Where are the videos, nationally, that show psychiatric killing and suicides resulting from prescriptions? Where are the trails of videos of how exactly psychiatry is involved in the dehumanizing and frying of brains?
    Yes I’m aware that you worked in a line in your article and critique regarding the “intertwined” nature of oppression.

    Any “pointing out” of your article which I personally found hurtful, to me and to who I consider my friends, has resulted in uncomfortable feelings which it feels to me as if you “diagnose” as the white privilege.
    I think you might mistake any opposition to how your article was worded, as the “elephant in the room”

    I am NOT educated and not equipped to be ready with words or arguments that sound impressive and so I know if I say or post something, I might not be able to defend what I said and feel, which often leaves me at a disadvantage, just as it does when I lay in an ER room being treated for my killer disease and being assaulted by words of physicians that say “did you know psychiatry is a science?”

    Report comment

    • Sam,

      I am sorry you found it hurtful, but I just can’t take it back. I believe in naming things what they are, and I have heard many speak to how hurtful it is when that doesn’t happen. Racism is a systemic issue. It’s not as simple as just treating people badly, and even when black and brown people rise to places of power and abuse that power, it is sometimes still related to systemic racism. I also hear very, very often from black and brown people (not all, but many with whom I’ve crossed paths) how hurtful it is that people so often want to change the topic, or turn anti-racism conversations into “let’s talk about all oppressions’ conversations. That is another reason why I find it important to sometimes talk about racism, and really just talk about that.

      And no, it would not be my place to go to an anti-racism website out of the blue and post about psychiatric oppression. However, I’ve had many, many conversations about how to educate in *both directions* across those lines because I do believe our voices will be stronger together. Typically, where I find the most room to have those sorts of conversations is among, for example, the prison abolition community, and so on. I do indeed think it is important for many more people – including those focused on anti-racism efforts – to understand our central issues, too. Hell, one of the Black Lives Matters founders (Patrisse Cullors) has a brother diagnosed with schizoaffective and absolutely seems to have bought into the Treatment Advocacy Center-type arguments. I’d *LOVE* to see those conversations happen. But this is where I have an established publishing relationship, and this is where I see myself as having a responsibility to push things a bit, so here I am.

      -Sera

      Report comment

    • Sam, you make some good points. It can get intimidating in the comments section and after my psych ordeal (cancer docs colluding with a psychiatrist to get 4 psych labels put onto my electronic records permanently so they could tyrannically force UNEEDED cancer treatments on me) my tolerance for stress/conflict is lower these days.

      There is so much to absorb about everything happening in the world these days at times it gets overwhelming. I saw this video today made by a Black girl of which she addressed “Dear White People” and it’s food for thought.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F8PeZ0d64I&feature=youtu.be

      Report comment

      • @Rosalee D
        “It can get intimidating in the comments section and after my psych ordeal (cancer docs colluding with a psychiatrist to get 4 psych labels put onto my electronic records permanently so they could tyrannically force UNEEDED cancer treatments on me) my tolerance for stress/conflict is lower these days.”

        THIS IS AWFUL!!!! I am so, so sorry!

        It is true. We are expected (or expect of ourselves) to continue to fight & organize while we are tired, battered, abused, gang-stalked, harassed, exhausted, blasted with DEWS, distracted, targeted, technologically trafficked

        (YES, you are being technologically trafficked, but I am sure you have already figured that out–WHAT THESE CRIMINALS ARE DOING TO YOU IS AN ATROCITY!!!)

        : (

        I cannot just glide by this post. What is happening to you is a CRIME!

        How are doing right now? In the present moment? If that doesn’t seem too invasive?

        I am still trying to balance my warrior side/with my nurturing side…I’ve got a long way to go, I know.

        : )

        I will post Rai Jo’s video on technological trafficking on here again. Rai is a Caribbean/African woman in the TI community & one she is one of my heroes. Rai says that black slavery of the last 400 years is the template for 21 c. technological trafficking.

        The video is long, but it will change your life. (I seriously need to find shorter videos & I will do that, soon as I take the “break” I keep promising myself, still, I could not let this post slide by me…)

        Once you click onto the link, you will have to click once, horizontally & to the right, on the top row, UPLOADS column.

        MY TECH HANDLER (one of 4) MAKES IT INCREASINGLY HARD TO FIND THIS VIDEO.

        YOU NOW HAVE TO VERTICALLY CLICK ON THIS ROW TO FIND IT. YOUR TAXPAYER MONEY AT WORK!!!!

        I AM TRACKING NUMBER OF VIEWS SINCE I PUT IT UP ON MIA, FOR ME, FOR YOU, & FOR RAI

        The title of the video is: “Technological Trafficking & Slavery 21st Century”

        http://www.youtube.com/user/targetedworldhttps://www.youtube.com/user/targetedworld

        Hope you are feeling better today… : (

        Report comment

        • WOW!!!

          the link didn’t go through.

          Your taxpayer $ at work.

          This is my tech handler making it increasingly difficult for us (AS IF IT’S NOT ALREADY CLOSE TO IMPOSSIBLE) to trade information. That’s how it works.

          WHILE WE ARE BEING PICKED OFF LIKE FLIES!!!!

          That’s how it works.

          As I explained before: all four of my handlers post on this site & commit cyber-sabotage on this site. IT HAS GOT TO STOP!

          ..there could also be a dubious loophole in YouTube posting

          and by dubious, I mean criminally complicit

          standards in blocking this vital information from getting out…

          in addition, if you post something a video from a browser that doesn’t allow censorship, it will not load on MIA–this turned out to be a different post than I intended)

          (browsers that do not allow censorship are the only ones where the critical information we need to get out can be found, easily, without shadow-banning…YouTube uses the argument that the offensive hate speech videos should be shadow-banned, de-platformed, de-monitized IN ORDER TO THROW THE BABY OUT OF THE BATHWATER…

          USE IT AS AN EXCUSE TO DO THE SAME SUCH TO VIDEOS WITH EXCELLENT CONTENT)

          That’s how it works.

          I tried again, & it didn’t load.

          Let me try something else. ANYTHING ELSE, at this point.

          I would have MUCH preferred to have Rai on here, as it fits in EXACTLY with the theme of this blog. She talks about black slavery, SPECIFICALLY, & she is African/Caribbean.

          Search domain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tttN-6isg-Ihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tttN-6isg-I

          Report comment

        • Thanks Snowyowl. 🙂 As for how I am doing these days, like so many who have been unjustly attacked by psychiatry it’s a work in progress to battle back. It’s has been eye opening to realize how much corruption there is in psychiatry and also in cancer treatment. It was a double whammy to say the least.

          I watched some of the video link and will try watch it all later tonight. It is heavy duty stuff, but nothing surprises me anymore. I hope you are doing okay and can get some peace in your life soon too!

          Report comment

          • @Rosalee D

            “It is heavy duty stuff, but nothing surprises me anymore.”

            My childhood friend who works in D.C. at Univision says this to me all the time. The station has a view of the White House, the only major news network that has an *actual* view of the White House. During the inauguration/s he has to stay at the station for days at a time, since the building is barricaded–no one can get in or out– & snipers are posted on all building tops.

            And then there was the protests & riots & the barricade. He was right there.

            He always says he wishes he could go back to a time when
            things shocked him. I don’t. Can you imagine what it’s going to be like for the rest of people that did not heed our warnings?

            Hope you are feeling better too!!!!

            Report comment

          • @Rosalee D

            Thanks for watching the Rai Jo video all the way through to the end! I am tracking # of views, on that one & on the Ella Free/John Hall interview.

            (for other AP activists. watching this video is a must. you will have to type in the YouTube search field: Rai Jo “Technological Trafficking & Slavery 21st Century” as the link has been disconnected)

            Of course, I don’t have endless time, staff, $, resources & connections to outpace my abusers, and they run ahead of me, watch the same such videos, & *sometimes* will disconnect the video links on here. A Deep State cyber-attack, attacking MIA.

            It’s been going on for a long time on MIA. The forum section was destroyed so AP (and even reform) activists cannot organize. & why oldhead is running ragged all over the place. He spent 5 years doing this while I had to find out what the hell was going on. I didn’t even know I was an MK Ultra or T.I.

            This next video is blessedly brief. The TI program runs out of the FBI, the NSA surveillance neuromonitoring runs out of the CIA & the NSA & the misappropriated space research money is funneled through the NSA. That’s the specific breakdown.

            16 minutes to explain how A LOT of this works, by Robert Duncan of MIT & Harvard. (Also a MUST for all AP activists…that’s why I found a shortie)

            Search domain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FJpMdIaeVAhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FJpMdIaeVA

            Report comment

          • Snowyowl, I watched the 16 minute video today. Yikes, it makes you wonder what is also coming with talk of forced vaccines etc. As they said, it’s the “malevolent elite” and what is the agenda…”depopulate the world?”
            “Sleep tight”, yeah right!

            Report comment

          • Rosalee D

            “‘Sleep tight”, yeah right!”

            Yeah, Robert Duncan wanted to leave it on a “good note.” Grim humor is the only thing that helps, I think. But also they said talking about it makes it less scary. I agree. Thanks for watching!

            Report comment

    • FYI I don’t want anyone to misconstrue me as denying that white privilege is real, my concerns are more what people do with that understanding, and how it should be used as a component in creating change.

      It would be taking the analogy of racism and psychiatric oppression too literally to insist that anti-racist sites promote anti-psychiatry as a matter of course, though in due time they might anyway once the function of psychiatry is better understood.

      Report comment

      • @oldhead
        “FYI I don’t want anyone to misconstrue me as denying that white privilege is real, my concerns are more what people do with that understanding, and how it should be used as a component in creating change.”

        You are intellectually airtight. It’s not a compliment (well, O.K., it is); it’s a statement of fact.

        You once said when people aren’t clear, they haven’t thought something through. I will always remember that. When composing draft after draft after draft of a piece of writing, that should seem obvious. But it isn’t somehow.

        Report comment

      • @oldhead

        I copied the above message twice & cannot delete it (the empty box, I mean)

        So I have to put something else in here. I did go back over every message in the article from four years ago. I remember Richard had a post that took him three hours!

        It was freakin’ terrifying to come on this site not knowing the Anti-Psychiatry/Reform debate when I first got here. I will never forget it.

        So, since I have to put something else in “the box”: the comment section sometimes seems like Snow Piercer cars ’round here.

        “One Tail!” “One Tail!” “One Tail!”

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        • One solution to the “unable to delete” thing is simply to post a “.”

          Sorry my replies haven’t been more substantial, just overwhelmed on many levels, including volume of things to reply to. Thanks for the shout-outs though.

          Report comment

  24. During every one of my psychiatric hospitalizations, inmates were subjected to staffers’ knees on their necks. Most of their lives were spared only by the fact that assault was a means to an end for their perpetrators, whose goal was to chemically rape them, as opposed to killing them. No one should endure this brutality or ever suggest it as a palliative for the fallout of systemic racism. Even if it were “less” abusive and prejudiced than traditional incarceration (and, it’s NOT), it’s still enabling the nouveau-Jim Crow society that drives POC Mad to begin with. We need to #DefundPsychiatry right after we #DefundThePolice .

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    • furies,

      I get what is being said. And I absolutely do not agree with it. The whole concept of “political correctness” is pretty offensive, honestly. It is just one of many tactics used in efforts to silence people who’ve been marginalized and are asking for change. Sure, there are some “saviors” that swoop in and get over zealoused at times, but what a way to shut down a conversation … this calling someone the “PC” police… and what a way to invalidate the ways in which they’re saying they’re being disrespected to call their request to not be called a particular label (or similar) by ascribing motives to being “politically correct.” I don’t buy it when I get told it when I am asking people not to call me “client,” or “mentally ill,” and I do not buy it as it shows up in this article, either.

      White media has a long history of co-opting, appropriating, misrepresenting, and even finding members of marginalized groups who will say what white media wants to hear and/or whose words can be taken out of context enough to support white-driven agendas. There are lines that get crossed, especially with the aforementioned savior complexes afoot… but those lines are often far less harmful than the lines being crossed by those who show disregard.

      Headlines like “Buildings Matter” and all the other appropriative stuff that flies around are worthy of negative attention in my eyes. So, I guess you can continue to see me as just not “getting it.” That’s okay. I did read the article you attached, but it just didn’t move me or resonate with me the way it does you.

      Thanks nonetheless for taking the time to comment 🙂

      -Sera

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      • Sad sad day for progressive thought. (More like *more* sad days).

        You are *censoring* people…you and your Professional Managerial Class (class way more important than race imnsho) brethern have insulated yourselves in your tribal thinking unable to consider other points of view and worse JUDGE others who you consider to be ‘deplorable’ or unwoke. How much ego is involved I wonder?

        Reminds me of the relentless ‘positive thinking’ meme shoved down our throats constantly–like religion!!

        The tragedy here is that I consider myself to be a radical humanitarian, egalitarian etc. etc (done my share of time in affinity groups, political causes) but nope we get neoliberal divide and conquer subtly disguised as solidarity that feels ‘forced’…like Fascism forced. And this coming from ‘the left’…

        I have absolutely no hope for this culture.

        We are doomed to destroying ourselves and the life around us because we can’t see we’re all one —

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        • furies,

          Not sure what else to say about this, so I’ll bow out for now. As to ego, I do often wonder the same thing… What leads to people who receive such minimal benefit from speaking in certain ways to want to invest in writing whole articles about why they should get to even if it hurts others very often makes me wonder what is going on for them underneath that… Like, why are so many people who couldn’t care less about the confederate flag and “All Lives Matter” *really* so invested in making the arguments about why they should get to say/show both? What’s really behind that? I think you and I might come to different conclusions, but I do agree that ego is in there for some of them. Anyway, like I said, I’m going to bow out. 🙂

          Thanks,

          Sera

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      • FWIW the term “political correctness” has been abused for years. It started out without the quotes and simply meant what it sounded like it meant, and generally was used by left leaning people to describe what they considered an accurate analysis of something. It was then appropriated by George Bush I and since then has been used as a term of ridicule against progressives.

        There is nothing wrong with wanting to be politically correct, or mathematically correct, or scientifically correct. Due to an overemphasis on language alone the term gradually became grist for parody. But obsessing on language is NOT politically correct in many circumstances, it sometimes distracts from what needs to be communicated. So the term has a literal meaning and a common meaning, and always creates more heat or smoke than light.

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        • I agree. It appears to me to be a term that has been appropriated and turned into a negative. It is unfortunately true that a lot of shaming has gone on in the name of “political correctness,” but in reality, words have great power and choice of language generally frames both what people see as the problem and what solutions are to be considered.

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          • You know what? I’m the one who used ‘pc’…none of the articles I’ve shared here do–their term is “woke”. The DSA is dead; infiltrated by the Wokeistas…BLM has been subverted into a neutered mainstream meme etc etc. I’ve seen this shit happen for years.

            I support black people, brown people, poor people oppressed people etc etc with my whole being and for my whole life. What you are saying here, as I see it is that my ‘thoughts’ are again, erroneous (where have I heard that before?) and I must correct myself/thoughts/speech in order to be acceptable in this society.

            What I object to as implied in this article is the *forced* rote recitation of ‘correct’ speech (1984 anyone?) thoughts etc etc. I wonder why it’s so difficult for the white people here to not understand this.

            You oldhead and Richard especially.

            If all peoples (black brown yellow red white rainbow) started out on an equal playing field economically — if power were measured in dollars (isn’t it now?), then would there still be racism?

            I recommend the Black Agenda Report for news and views. Those folks are genuine in their desire for change for black people…all people being crushed by capitalism in the US.

            Until there are more working class people commenting here, I’m done.

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          • Hi, Furies,

            Not sure I said what you think I said. I have no problem with the term PC. It was objecting to it being turned into a term of hostility because it undermines what was a very legitimate effort to look at the purpose and effect of certain terms from a perspective of power in relationships. But that’s what the term has come to mean, and it is used that way, and everyone understands that. So I wasn’t criticizing you or anyone else for using the term. I was only observing that the real purpose of looking at “correcting” language wasn’t to make people wrong, it was to address issues of inequality, and it’s been coopted to another purpose by those in power who don’t want the power dynamics to change.

            I’m sorry if you got the impression I was criticizing you. I was not, not at all.

            Steve

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          • Furies, you could work on being a bit more clear, as it seems that you I and Richard are on the same page for the most part. What do you think Richard or I don’t get? We are mainly objecting to the same “woke” attitudes as you, as have others, so please clarify.

            Whether you call it PC, woke or whatever, dismissing or talking down to people as “deplorables” defeats the goal of changing racist attitudes, and makes those one is supposedly trying to educate feel attacked, and hence defensive (especially if it is done by white people). Some will even react by concluding that the issue of racism is overblown, rather than being drawn into an examination of how it devalues ALL our lives.

            Anyway Furies hope you’re still silently reading. Your concerns are on target.

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          • @oldhead:

            boans & I are talking about this post when he was having health problems:

            “I’m hoping my partner is released from hospital really soon. They have managed to stop the bleeding. I don’t want the cat chewing bits off me if I end up dead in here for days lol. I’ve gven it heaps of kibbles but it has this strange look on its face, like it’s sizing up my leg for a nibble.”

            You probably don’t remember because you posted that long message to help boans out. Info you got from your friend who had similar issues. oldhead, you are a sweetie! I know you are busy, & that’s why I was so impressed you took out so much time to help boans.

            Is your cat having health problems? : (

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          • Hyperthyroid. She just boycotted me & her food for days after I gave her the standard prescribed poison for 2 weeks, and is just starting to perk up and eat after 5 days off the “medication.” This kind of thing happens with 20% of the cats who take it. So I need a plan B and maybe C asap. She’s always been resilient, spent years on the street and I think she knows instinctively to run & hide from this shit. Then she started hiding from being fed, and from me. Very traumatizing.

            This is currently my top priority btw, period.

            I remember Boans talking about his partner, but I didn’t ask for details and didn’t realize.

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          • @boans

            “Defund the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cat Attacks). lol”

            Naw. REFORM!

            That cat needs therapy, some moggy mindfulness, & a depot injection of cat nip!!! I’ve got to lighten things up around here (!) I’m guilty of putting some of the heaviest posts on this site. This is my penance. . .

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  25. I just posted a comment in the “Around the Web” section of MIA. Since we are in a heightened moment of societal (and self) examination and introspection about systemic forms of racism, should we not be just as vigilant about the harm done by the Medical Model. I put this message here because quite often people do not read or comment in that section of the MIA website.

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2020/06/207074/?unapproved=174144&moderation-hash=776a53dae606193f5ecf0b0d5d219b37#comment-174144

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    • Yes, certainly, Richard. I do not think they need to be mutually exclusive. The hope would be to become better versed in both directions. For example, we held an action against psychiatric oppression during COVID times in Western Mass today.

      We left presents for our Dept. of Mental Health area office 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/serad27/posts/10223134635539815

      And as part of the action, my co-worker Sean and others worked to include an organizer for a recent Black Lives Matter rally in the action today, and two of our crew also stood on the streets of Northampton handing out flyers about psychiatric oppression and our action while we drove through in a protest caravan. 🙂

      And you’ll find other articles from me both here and elsewhere (https://truthout.org/articles/amid-covid-people-involuntarily-confined-in-psych-hospitals-must-be-released/) on psychiatric oppression.

      I am not a fan of changing topics when talking about racism, because it just happens all too often… But I am absolutely a fan of trying to cross and eliminate barriers between our respective causes. 🙂

      -Sera

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      • Ah, okay. That makes more sense, as I otherwise found your comment a little confusing given the overall nature of the site. When I get these notifications on my phone, it just looks like a sea of links, so I hadn’t actually realized there was a link to something specific at all. I started to watch that video on my own, but decided after the first few seconds that it probably wasn’t of interest so didn’t pursue it. Just went in and watched the whole thing at your urging… And yeah, it is that very typical “progressive” perspective that the problem isn’t the medical model, it’s the “stigma” preventing people from feeling okay about accessing it… Totally agree that it is super problematic.

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  26. Hi Readers: If anyone would like to tell their story here and being identified is their main deterrent, we do have workarounds for you. MIA’s rule on pseudonyms does allow for people to disguise their identity through use of a vague version of their name (I’d be, say, M. Spencer or Miranda S.). And sometimes (as with Richard Francis) we let folks who’ve been published under a certain name elsewhere use that name here. Same with the image: Childhood photos, dressed in a hat and sunglasses, pictured in a crowd…authors may submit a photo that is both “them” and not immediately identifiable.

    Also, Sera, I greatly appreciate this essay and the extensive effort you put into thoughtfully answering each and every comment. As the long thread illustrates, this makes for a rich and constructive discussion from which we all benefit.

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    • There is no acceptable justification for ANY rules regarding how survivors identify themselves; it’s a matter if principle so there should be no “half”-measures either. I can’t imagine how someone’s legal name could possibly be relevant to a discussion of substance unless they were being specifically featured as a “celebrity.”

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      • Exactly old head instead we get strident managerial judgement when we are already being judged because we refuse to let human beings we love be 4point restrained on trollies.. Yes we are othered here Sam ruck because WE Have not been diagnosed by some moron.. The oh sorry everyone there is no where else for you to go but NAMi or whatever your national equivalent is a falacious and pathetic response the site is tearing itself apart.. In the moment no judgement .. Sam plover go do not be afraid to post however you want ..all voices should be equal not just the ones who “know people ” mod away .. On your scooters GO

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      • I’ll leave it to Bob Whitaker to explain the reason behind the policy. I’m sure it’s not arbitrary. For starters, the use of some form of one’s real name is part of journalistic practice/ethics, and MIA is a news organization.

        My own take is that it’s a credibility issue: pseudonyms make it easier for readers (and the powers that be of psychiatry) to dismiss the true stories people tell: “If the names are fake, how do I know the story isn’t also?” I don’t condone that, but it’s a possibility we’d want to avoid.

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        • “If the names are fake, how do I know the story isn’t also?” I don’t condone that, but it’s a possibility we’d want to avoid.”

          Well we reference with psychiatrists own words and deeds that’s why. We do it on here in the comments, why not in a blog on here ? Also you pay no words to the harm psychiatry can inflict on a person as a result. This is just incredible to me.

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          • I don’t understand your comment, Streetphotobeing, because this storytelling platform is FOR telling about the harm psychiatry can inflict.

            If you mean psychiatry could come after a person who told their story under their own name, that is why MIA lets people use initials. But I do see the tension here, the privilege of being able to use one’s own full name as Sera mentions. I don’t think letting people write anonymously is the answer, either; it’s a discussion to be continued.

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        • Has the danger we are in been believed? Why are we offered a platform to share our personal stories, as if it is a generosity, when most of your writers wisely never do share private details about themselves? Do you realize that the trauma of forced treatment could be why we overshare? A dangerous, “please don’t hurt me… I’ll tell you anything you want to know!” Or a desperation for change so strong we will risk all, because we know the truth?

          Why wouldn’t a disclaimer at the beginning of anonymous personal stories explaining that the author has been verified but is in need of protection because the danger of psychiatry has also been verified, be less powerful than writing under my own name?

          If you won’t protect us at MIA knowing the truth about psychiatry then we really are in trouble. MIA is about “rethinking” I thought. I am telling you, from personal experience, writing my story for MIA put me in physical danger. I am asking you to “rethink” this policy. Please. We are not Fake News. We are real people risking life and freedom to support this cause by sharing our first hand experience even though we have the least protection ourselves. And we have things to share far beyond the risky one personal story you allow. You need testimony to back up your research. You need us alive. You need us thriving.

          Yes it was my choice to write under my real name, but like most things I’ve done “voluntary” I didn’t know the risks or side effects until it was too late.

          Please find a better way.

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          • I think that the “people’s fear of writing, telling their stories” could be a blog all of it’s own.
            There is also the fear for me that the public who reads comes to opinions, about ME, or a possible opinion that psychiatry is somehow justified. THAT is throwing pearls, that I do not need trampling on. I think many stories are difficult to condense because the stories happened over such a long time and they always deal with that crap paradigm that the people have latched on to.
            So on one hand I am showing how crude and cruel psychiatry is, which some readers will just come to a “conclusion” that this system needs reform yet on the other, my aim is to show the false paradigm.

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        • It’s a discussion I’ll opt out of, I think the issues have been clear for some time, and it’s a problem AP survivors have been aware of for awhile. On the other hand how MIA conducts its business is not our priority. But it is a bit tone deaf not to recognize that given the inherent danger in anyone speaking out against this system, survivors speaking out against and exposing psychiatry — especially when it’s done effectively and articulately — are even more vulnerable. This is something to be understood and not argued about.

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          • I approached someone to assist me in writing my testimony to be published. Someone with the ability to understand the medical and legal ramifications of what had been done to me. I also offered to pay for that to be done, with what few dollars I have left after being ‘stripped’ by lawyers who have assisted in the concealment of human rights abuses. I feel that strongly about the concealment of torture methods by the State

            The ‘authorities’ on the other hand see any complaints regarding their use of torture to be a criticism of them personally, and use their positions of trust to make further ‘referral’ for unintended negative outcomes.

            I’m certain that given the State has given the right for hospital management to distribute fraudulent documents to lawyers to conceal human rights abuses is going to be of great use with a “wild” (or decentralised) Euthaniasia program. Yes, they can extinguish your life and then send out fraudulent documents to conceal the fact you did not consent.

            And yes I am prepared to share these documents with anyone who is prepared to stand up and say “this is wrong”, but I’m sick of these ‘advocates’ who turn and run when they realise the State is acting in this manner.

            I see my life as a small sacrifice in this regard. I get it that they treid to kill me once already, and failed. But would I be wise to openly share my details on MiA for them to identify me and then come after me again? Or my family? Again

            As far as your right to privacy goes, you don’t have any. Not where I live. My medical records have been tampered with and distributed far and wide without my consent or authority. You think that given I have exposed the truth regadrrding these matters that my computer and emails are safe? I know they’re not, I can even name the person who ‘compromised’ my emails etc (Hi Bob J, I’d like those emails from the psychologist conforming the knowledge of the ‘spiking’ returned please. Never mind Ive got hard copies).

            I provided some personal and confidential information to a social worker many years ago, which she documented in good faith. That information was weaponised and released when I complained about my ‘treatment’. Sometimes people do things with every good intention, but others will take that information and do evil with it.

            You can guarantee the security of peoples information? I think not. I am not so much concerned about the Chinese spying on me, but my own government which is doing it with concealing their criminal conduct in mind.

            I get it that you guys find my truth hard to believe. But there are people within the system who think they have a God given right to kill anyone with a valid complaint, and conceal that as medicine. Before you slander me with ‘nutjob’, you might just want to check what i’m saying. Though the offer seems to be being rejected to maintain a false narrative that is preferred by some. My state of mental health is as a result of being tortured and kidnapped (and then an attempt to kill me to conceal those facts), and has been used to conceal the truth with police denying my human rights as a result of me being ‘flagged’ post hoc.

            Imagine a system that allows crimes to be concealed by a psychiatrist who simply tells police to send the victim to them for ‘treatment’.

            I’m more than happy to put my case in a court of law, and will provide my name in that place. Leaving myself exposed when police are knowingly tampering with evidence and threatening witneses? I’ve had enough of that already. Personally I’d rather leave this place, though I am even being denied access to legal representation and my passport, and not informed of why. How easy is it for police to get others to commit the offences and then fail to perform their duty? Accompanying my wife to retrive the documents while they ‘restrain’ me? Nice work people.

            And they point fingers at others? The ability to kill whistleblowers and silence journalists is a concern, but not one I would have in a democracy. But I don’t live in a democarcy, I live is something that gives the appearnance of one via acts of fraud, and a system designed to conceal human rights abuses.

            I think there is much to be said about organisations that protect victims of State sanctioned torture. They don’t provide lists of names to the State accused of the torture to protect the families they have left behind. Because that is exactly what mental health services do, they go after your family. Ask the Operations Manager, or better still, my wife.

            And that is what they would do to anyone with a valid complaint here, target families. The ends seem to justify the means.

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          • Certainly they (mental health services) are quite open about their threats where I live.

            When I pointed out to the Operations Manager that she had a duty to report the criminal conduct of her fellow officers to the Corruption and Crime Commission (under s. 28, mandatory reporting of suspected offences carrying a prison term of more than 2 years), she openly stated they would “fucking destroy” me. I guess she doesn’t like the laws that protect the public from organised criminals operating in her staff. Double down and commit further offences and drag his family in to assist with that process.

            What isn’t being addressed here is that they include your family in that fucking destruction. And she meant it, take a look at what occurred as a result of her failure to report the torture and kidnapping.

            Oh wait, you can’t. Problem is that I went ahead making complaint after complaint, and the State thought they had retrieved the documents and done an effective cover up and fuking destroyed me. And as time passed more people were unintentionaly negatively outcomed as a result of the neligence of the Operations Manager (and others she informed about her actions, ie the Minister). And those unintended negative outcomes could be directly linked to the people who neglected their duty thinking that the documents had been retrieved, and that the slandering of me and subsequent fuking destruction had covered up the matter. Exposing it now would mean that negligence and the resulting deaths would also be exposed, and they were acting in good faith thinking that the criminals had done a good job and ……. it’s awfully ugly. We thought they had got away with it so went along with destroying the victim, now we want it to be that we didn’t know about these criminals until later when we realised they hadn’t done a good job with the cover up.

            It’s a problem for the State when they go along with criminals and then later it’s found that they (State) knew about that criminal conduct but failed to act, assuming that the criminals were burying the witnesses with hot shots.

            Of course these are all good people and i’ve been told by a psychiatrist that “they wouldn’t do that” so it must be true, and my illness and the documented proof of what i’m saying must be an alternate reality, that seems to cause pei=ople to panic at the point when they figure out what i’m saying is true.

            Police arresting people for haiving the proof of torture and kidnapping? And the Attorney Genreral can’t tell me what the chages are, or how I go about making a complaint about the torture?

            Recognise that what your asking will put not only the complainant at risk, but their families. I haven’t been able to see my daughter or grand children for 9 years now as a result of complaining about these people who openly threatened to ‘fuking destroy’ me. And they have my communities support in that because they went to the trouble of committing acts of fraud to make me into a mental patient post hoc.

            Its difficult to describe the effect of that slandering on your life. And of course that alone stops people from wishing to publish under their own names. Like the ten year old documents that were ‘switched’ in the fraudulent set for the lawyers, you just never know when the slander is going to re emerge, or from where. And who will help you then? Certainly not any of the ‘advocates’ who boast about their work assisting people who have these made up illnesses. They do what they’re told by the authorities, and if that means turning their back on torture victims, they do it.

            As one psychologist who listened to me and explained to police that having documented proof of being ‘spiked’ was not a “hallucination”, he became “afraid for his family” when he was told by police that the attempted referral back to mental health “never happened” and could he find out “who else has the documents?”. The cover up exposed, and the ensuing panic to pile more dirt on the victim almost comical. They unintentionally negatively outcomed how many? While the people I was complaining to ignored my complaint because they were told it was an illness? Too late to turn back now, the Chief Psychiatrist fully aware as a result of responding to the Law Centre who were provided with fraudulent documents. And of course if they had the real set then they would have known that he knew certain things like, torture and kidnapped. And whilst it may take a little while to explain the protections of the Mental Health Act to him, he would surely see the criminal nature of the conduct? I mean if he is giving “expert legal advice to the Minister” then he would figure out what a burden of proof is eventually, rather than his preferred arbitrary detentions and authority for nurses to prescribe the ‘spiking’ of citizens.

            That failure to act when we know he had seen the documents relating to my kidnap and torture more than a problem for the State. Oh well, with the power to simply kill anyone who complains, no worries. And i’m sure there’s no need for even requesting documents when they can be “edited” to any legal narrative the State requires. If the Mental Health Law Centre doesn’t do what they’re told, then they won’t get any funding at all and will cease to exist. Where is the State going to use to find out who has the proof of their torture and kidnappings then? And what if people started being represented by legal advocates rather than thrown under a bus by them? No, much better to lure with bait, and then strike with chaos. Once the lawyers have looked and provided information as to what evidence/proof needs to be tampered with, we can then go ahead with ‘fuking destroying’ the victims of State sanctioned torture.

            And consider if the witnesses threatened by police were approached now and asked to speak the truth? They would think it was a test, be afraid for their families, and would remain silent on the criminal conspiracy. Beautiful huh?

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          • @boans

            “I get it that you guys find my truth hard to believe. But there are people within the system who think they have a God given right to kill anyone with a valid complaint, and conceal that as medicine. Before you slander me with ‘nutjob’, you might just want to check what i’m saying.”

            I believe you. I MORE than believe you. I know this is happening to you & MORE. In the TI community, New Zealand & Australia have it worse than the other 5 eyes countries–HANDS DOWN! & we’ve got footage of that.

            We think it’s because of the isolation of the two regions & their respective governments can get away with (EVEN) more than in the US. Which is a frightening thought.

            This will give you an idea of what we are up against IN ADDITION to everything you & I are posting on here. 16 minutes: The Voice of God Technology

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

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      • People can identify themselves as they wish on the commenting section. They can participate in this discussion, as most everyone knows, with whatever name they wish.

        As for personal stories, their power comes from the fact that the authors stand up and say, this has been my experience, and this is who I am. We want to be a forum that lets society hear and know these stories, and often they are stories that tell of suffering and of loss related to psychiatric care.

        Anonymous stories do not have that impact. Readers just don’t know — emotionally — if the stories are real. And people who submit their personal stories are making a decision to tell their story in that public way. As Miranda wrote, we’ve made exceptions to this standard on occasion, but for eight years now, we have published personal stories, and if you go through this archive of stories, I think the authors have created a public voice of truth-telling that, at least in its quantity and breadth, is unequaled.

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        • Non-survivors who don’t believe stories on MIA are likely guilty of mentalism/sanism (i.e. bigotry). Like white people who long dismissed the existence of police brutality without “proof” (some of whom still dismiss it with clear videotaped evidence). People will find a way to dismiss anything they don’t want to believe. This seems like playing to the lowest common denominator. I don’t see why policies should be based on how they might react. Not that I’m emotionally involved in this one way or the other.

          An historical note may be in order, however. If anyone ever comes upon archival editions of Madness Network News, first of all let me know. Then note the articles written by “Swan,” “Arrow” and other key activists who wrote under pseudonyms, even in the late 70’s.

          All you can do is tell the truth. You can’t coax, seduce, flatter or trick people into accepting it, that’s for them to work out.

          I must say I’m pleasantly surprised that this is resonating with so many people, it seemed to come out of the blue.

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          • Steve, per your comment of being able to publish truth-revealing videos of people being shocked, restrained, isolated, before/after forced Haldol injection…I believe that would be very powerful and cause the public to wake up to the psychiatric abuse that is SOP rather quickly. Psych hospitals are like factory farms, where all cameras and most visitors are forbidden. At least with factory farms, we are able to learn of this abuse when someone sneaks in, makes a video, and smuggles it out (and is often later arrested). We need the 21st century version of journalist Nellie Bly (who exposed the horrors of a “madhouse” early in the 20th century by pretending to be “mad”) who can find a way to sneak that camera in and out. For now, words are our cameras.

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          • Well, by all accounts, sneaking in wouldn’t be very difficult. “Empty, hollow, thud.” (The Rosenhahn Experiment.) The challenge would be getting the phone in. Perhaps one might find a staff person who is concerned about abuse who is willing to assist. Inmates get phones and drugs and other contraband inside jails, and it’s usually with the help of the guards.

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          • “find a way to sneak that camera in and out.” I say lets do it. Seriously lets do it. As long as there are people who will fight for me on the outside after shishkabob hits the fan I’ll do it.

            Miranda, I have notes of real time conversations between staff and patients from my last time in a psych ER. Would that help?

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          • What if a bunch of us went in at once? It would be easier to blow the lid off when we needed to get out. I’m not kidding. I’ve lost everything to psych abuse. I have nothing to lose. I would die happy bringing reality to light. If you need a more “credible witness” and want to send in a credentialed volunteer (if a professional would have the courage or the stomach for it?) I will work to get them out. We need to do something. We need to do something big.

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        • O. O. writes “I asked local government to install audio/video recording to isolation rooms for everyone’s protection. Of course that was a violation of patients right to privacy.”

          Yes, I also asked the Operations Manager at the hospital about the instalation of cameras and was given the ‘right to privacy’ excuse. This from the same person who, when lawyers requested documents relating to a specific date and incident, went through my old files and inserted documents from 10 years before that were neither requested nor related in any way to what had been done to me.

          In fact personally I do not consider changing legal narrative to conceal serious criminal offences by public officers to be “editing”. But I do consider releasing personal and private information in a misleading and false manner to constitute slander. Unfortunately with police unable to locate theior copy of the Criminal Code they will not be able to take action on these matters, while the hospital staff arrange a little ‘tidy up’ of their offensive conduct. Off camera of course.

          Steve McCrea writes “The challenge would be getting the phone in.”

          No, the challenge would be in holding on to the evidence/proof when police attend your home to retrieve it. And when the State is ‘fuking destroying’ your family in front of your face, and your behviour is becoming exactly what they described it would with the pre attached label.

          They knew you were going to react to being gaslighted and tortured in this manner and pre empted that with the label, and are now free to drug you against your will.

          The challenge is staying alive and actually having someone not turn their back on you for having the proof. FACT. The State will intimidate, threaten , torture maim and kill anyne who dares question the authority of mental health services to ‘treat’ anyone they wish.

          https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/mentally-ill-woman-dies-in-nsw-hospital-after-falling-25-times-20170512-gw36ee.html

          Think anyone cares about video? The usual rumblings about change and … we need more money to treat people like humans.

          Cover ups using police to threaten witnesses and retrieve evidence/proof are much cheaper to do than actually prosecute organised criminals operating in hospitals. They are even using lawyers to assist in the concealment of human rights abuses. More than their licence and funding is worth to blow the whisltle. Ask the Mental Health Law Centre who accepted fraudulent documents before throwing me under a bus. Someone they knew had been subjected to torture and kidnapped. Unless of course there is some other euphemism for being spiked with stupefying/intoxicating drugs (by people with no prescribing rights) before interrogation by public officers (including police). So retrieve the documents, use the cmplaint regarding ‘spiking’ to slander as paranoid delusional, threaten and intimidate witnesses, and unintentionally negatively outcome the victim. That as a rule of thumb when the rule of law is not the preferred option.

          Many a young doctor would like the powers of a psychiatrist, but they are going to need to prove they have the stomach for it.

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          • You’re right boans. “Think anyone cares about video? The usual rumblings about change and … we need more money to treat people like humans.”

            It kills a conversation dead to ask people to act without pay. Funny how often we ask it of those already homeless. In the name of “job skills” and “helping”. God forbid a professional has to live on investments and family inheritance alone. No shame asking for 6 figures in order to move. Gotta eat you know? I feel sick.

            And in psych people are being watched die over days/months/years. Plenty of time to act. (sometimes there is only screaming left.)

            Why didn’t the cops step in? It would interrupt the gut flora of their work life? It would be awkward? They aren’t paid enough? I’m so glad I have nothing to lose and nothing to protect. I don’t care if I die, it may actually be a relief. It is the people who haven’t lost enough that I am beginning to feel sorry for. They seems so afraid. So paralyzed. Or even delusional.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12Us5nPWouY

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          • “Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. Her prophets white wash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say ‘This is what the Soverign Lord says’ – when the Lord has not spoken. The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice. “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord”

            Who would have thought that the prophet Ezekiel would have seen what would occur with psychiatry all those years ago? And yet I thnen read the letter to the Thessalonians from Saul and realise he too saw ‘the Man of Lawlessness”.

            “It is the people who haven’t lost enough that I am beginning to feel sorry for. They seems so afraid. So paralyzed. Or even delusional.”

            “And God sends upon them a Great Delusion, that they might believe the Lie”.

            This is not medicine. It does not heal. It merely allows people to commit acts of robbery, extortion, and oppression and to deny justice etc… read the quote It is literally all there. And you have every reason to feel the way you do.

            I too ‘looked for someone among them’ and you know what, there really isn’t anyone. That despite Gods law. I understand how the Chief Psychiatrist has in his letter perverted the law of the land but ….. Gods law? We no longer like ‘thou shalt not kill’ and ‘thou shalt not bear false witness’, as this gets in the way of providing people with the health care they need. So we have made killing people a medical procedure, and forced drugging possible based on nothing more than fraudulent and slanderous statements regading peoples behaviours we haven’t even witnessed personally. We literally make it up, and then swear before God it was what we saw. And by ensuring that we are in a position to neglect our duty to hold those who would commit such offences against God to account for their evil deeds, and claiming that this is what the Soverign Lord says, we can watch as our communities fall apart. Good news in that is that this is precisely what is meant to happen.

            “Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things”. I can think of no better example than a Minister for Mental Health who does not recognise the burden of proof for incarceration and forced drugging by rewriting that burden from “suspect on reasonable grounds” to “suspect on grounds we believe to be reasonable”. The removal of that protection for the community allowing doctors the right to deliberately harm anyone they wish for any reason they wish. Of course if their moral standards were high then we could possibly trust them with such power, but look at what has become of them. They wander through the wards looking to attach themselves like leeches to anyone who has insurance, and will make people deliberately sick to extract wealth from them.

            “and I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall ….. but found no one”

            Thiose with a duty to act refuse to do that duty. The consequences of that are made plain. Let their fraud, slander and negligence be the end of them.

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    • Perhaps MIA itself could be privy to one’s real name and thus they would not only know us by the relationship on here in comments, but by our real ID, yet allow people to post under another pseudo name.
      I mean my comments are posted under a pseudo name.

      Report comment

    • furies

      I think you are absolutely correct to bring up some of the dangers of *Identity Politics,* which is often used as a battering ram against a more revolutionary class based analysis of society. If you read this past blog authored by Sara (“A Racist Movement Cannot Move.”), and then carefully read all my comments (and those by “Oldhead” and “Humanbeing”) in the comment section, you will see a clear denunciation of the damage done by an “Identity Politics” political line.

      What you are be missing here, is that in these tumultuous times there is a much needed critique and condemnation of EVERYTHING in society (including all language and art forms) that are in some ways supporting and maintaining human oppression. AND it is inevitable in these kind of cultural upheavals that there will be EXCESSES. That is, certain situations where these criticisms an critiques go too far over the edge (often veering into the realm of “Identity Politics) and end up targeting and condemning good people and good ideas.

      We must nurture the desire AND the process for MORE revolutionary critiques of the current society, BUT carefully sort out each and everyone of these political debates to make sure that there are fewer “excesses” where good people and their good (actually politically CORRECT) ideas are falsely and mistakenly targeted.

      For example, I do like some things in general about Mike Taibbi’s writings, but I did not agree with the main arguments he made in the link you provided. However, I did like a lot of what I read in the link about The Vampire”s Castle” article.

      And I do respect the risks you have taken to bring up this difficult topic.

      Richard

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  27. The whole subject of racism, eugenics and ‘reform’ of psychiatry is all linked. When you look at the point at which psychiatry was most vulnerable to ‘reform’- and arguably at it’s most murderous – it was at the same time protected by the very victors of WW2. Why did this happen? It happened because American eugenics had funded German eugenics in the 1920’s and can be significantly pin pointed to 1924 Rockefeller Foundation funding the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology of Human Heredity & Eugenics, the director was psychiatrist Ernst Rudin. By 1933 forced sterilizations became law in Germany, they didn’t waste time – between 1934-39 400,000 forced sterilizations. The American eugenicists were jealous. Ernst Rudin was central to their Aktion T4 forced euthanasia program, the mass murder which ended in the holocaust. Rudin and very many of the psychiatrists were not brought to any real justice. The reason for this has got to be American eugenics work and funding of the psychiatrists. So in the midst of all the horror of the concentration camps, the top German psychiatrists could hold a silver mirror to the Americans.

    “Carnegie-supported 1911 “Preliminary Report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeder’s Association to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means for Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the Human Population.” Point eight was euthanasia. ”

    “The most commonly suggested method of eugenicide in America was a “lethal chamber” or public locally operated gas chambers.”

    http://hnn.us/article/1796

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Rüdin#Post-war

    “Speculation about the reasons for his early release, despite having been considered as a potential criminal defendant for the Nuremberg trials, include the need to restore confidence and order in the German medical profession; his personal and financial connections to prestigious American and British researchers, funding bodies and others; and the fact that he repeatedly cited American eugenic sterilization initiatives to justify his own as legal (indeed the Nuremberg trials carefully avoided highlighting such links in general). Nevertheless, Rüdin has been cited as a more senior and influential architect of Nazi crimes than the physician who was sentenced to death, Karl Brandt, or the infamous Josef Mengele who had attended his lectures and been employed by his Institute.[25]”

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  28. Wow! These comments are already filled up, and some very long!
    I will try to comment briefly on two points: 1) growing up, and 2) liberty.
    Any being, any movement or idea, has the potential to grow, as a baby has the potential to become an adult. But then the adult grows old and dies, and so may movements and ideas, unless individuals in their midst find some way to keep them alive and growing across generations.
    The “first generation” of this movement has already started to disappear. Did they leave any instructions on how to move ahead? I only know of one who I have studied who did. Perhaps I am ignorant of others, but I judge this to be unusual.
    I work with a group that seeks to stop psychiatric abuses. Each member has a role. And then, they have their day jobs and their other pursuits. To keep up with and to make sense of all the issues plaguing society is hard. We should expect this, perhaps, of our thought leaders. But for many of us, it is simply too much data to assimilate and integrate.
    In this sense, “growth” can only be achieved by finding better ways to pass the struggle on to the next generation, and better ways to assimilate and integrate data. And those are big subjects!
    Now: If I were “free” of the death-and-birth cycle, would it be easier for me to “grow” and maintain that growth? I hope it is obvious why I might answer “Yes!” So, this may be one form of “liberty” worth aiming for, but hardly ever directly mentioned in Western culture.
    In the case of racism and the related practices of class (in the West), caste (in the East) and all manner of variations, this seems to be a situation where we need to grow enough to begin to see a true road to liberty, then grow some more to have the courage to walk down that road. Temptations to deny liberty are at every hand! The road there is worth traveling, but is not an easy one to walk.
    I commend anyone who takes the time to get involved in these issues; many never do. I would encourage them to open their intellectual horizons as wide as they can. But at this time, this in not something we can expect everyone to do. For most, one small step forward is all they are prepared to take. Can we offer them that opportunity?

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    • @I_e_cox

      Greetings! Great to see you here! The comments section is all over the place. Personally,
      I love it. These are all important topics. Hard to find the common thread…but who cares?
      It’s the only place we can all meet. For now!

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  29. “find a way to sneak that camera in and out.” I say lets do it. Seriously lets do it. As long as there are people who will fight for me on the outside after shishkabob hits the fan I’ll do it.
    Miranda, I have notes of real time conversations between staff and patients from my last time in a psych ER. Would that help?”

    I agree. Although not long ago a woman languished in a cell naked for 4 days, being watched dying. She was actually watched dying and it was on video. No one did anything, because why?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7996035/Disturbing-footage-shows-mother-crawling-naked-cell-hours-dies-psychotic-break.html

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    • “No one did anything, because why?”

      I’m sure you know the answer to this Sam but……. because ‘mental patient’. Nothing, and I mean nothing, takes you to the ‘we don’t care what happens to you’ faster. That’s valuable information to have, but its a fools errand to think that these people want that to change. The label is like a knife, useful as a tool to achieve a beneficial end, but also highly likely to be plunged into your back when you least expect it by people who you made the mistake of trusting. Make sure your backs to the wall when you hear the words “got insurance?” lol

      In fact there’s good news in this for me. I wondered why no one did anything when I pointed out I had been tortured and kidnapped, other than distributing fraudulent documents and trying to ….well I like the euphemism unintentionally negatively outcome me.

      The good news is a psychiatrist told me that “they wouldn’t do that” and therefore it must be true, and my illness can therefore be treated. I’m certain these people have checked what i’m saying ( there was after all a “Targeted Review of Emergency Dept Admissions” by the Chief Psychiatrist and any mischief would have been dealt with if there had been any. Coincidence that the psychologist and her psychiatrist husband left the State in a hurry and …. my illness getting away from me because “they wouldn’t do that”. But what if they did do that? And we kept believing that they wouldn’t do that? And nobody did anything other than send out fraudulent documents? And I get it that no one seems to want to check those documents because if they did it might just be that they did do that, and we want they didn’t do that because we didn’t do what we were supposed to and thus the did thats become our responsibility.

      Okay, they did do that but it doesn’t look good that they did it while we were looking the other way. I’m sure I heard this in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. They say those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it, i’m glad the people at mental health were learning how to do effective cover ups from the Commission. It will save time and money dealing with their abuses at some later date.

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    • @Sam

      I watched it. Thank you for posting. Notice the comments underneath that call for involuntary commitment?
      As if this couldn’t have happened in a State Psychiatric facility. The general public & families do not get it and/or DO NOT CARE to hear it.

      Her death is a tragedy. I don’t think that breaking in to a facility is the answer to get this kind of footage for a journalistic expose. The footage is already out there. Just because we can document it in the state hospital vs. a prison? IDK. “Mentally Ill” is the same as serial killer to a large group of the general public. Even if we did get the footage…

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    • (SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

      Why didn’t someone call anonymously the adults in care abuse line? Oh right I remember calling it myself. It’s an answering machine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 DAYS! I thought 8 minutes and 46 seconds was too long. 🙁

      “The family deserves a formal apology” ?!?!?!?!?!?! COLLEAGUES MUST BE HELD CRIMINALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT STEPPING IN! I say open all these old cases and start arresting professionals who chose silence. That would end psychiatry cause there would be no one left at work.

      It may even end private therapy for that matter.

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      • I have NO CLUE why people did not protest this. She was treated worse than a murderer. She got death row, for doing nothing. For being on those psych poisons. Without those chemicals it would not have gone this way.
        Death over 4 days is beyond brutality. No one starves to death in 4 days. NO ONE!
        I could only watch it once and not to the end. That vulnerable person.
        These cops go home to their wives and kids? To smile? To eat? The psychiatrist who prescribed and gave her labels also goes to his wife.
        Which makes me wonder, did their spouses see the video?
        I am glad I was not born in a time and place that put me in a state of being stupid enough to marry someone who abuses others inside buildings, LEGALLY and calls themselves an officer or a Dr. But then, I would not know, if I was that stupid, would I.
        There are people that abuse their spouses and cops come to abuse them some more. Or they get sent to a shrink for dealing with their anger, where there are those
        that have “control” like nerves of steel, yet calmly and methodically execute their role that commands others to abuse for them.

        Most of the time, deaths happen over many years, slow enough that to the public it looks like “natural death”. Well if they cannot be made to be moved by this woman, they cannot be “moved” by anything, except their own self interests.

        The horrible truth to this IS, one cannot risk this. Every youth should see what can happen if you are in the wrong hands.

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        • @Sam Plover

          “The horrible truth to this IS, one cannot risk this. Every youth should see what can happen if you are in the wrong hands.”

          I once had this idea of AP wolf packs. We go onto other sites & post this kind of footage. But be ready to back it up with calm arguments (it’s going to be hard to not get truly pissed off) at the NAMI mommies.

          That is, to say, not to change NAMI’s position, and not to POST on NAMI sites… they are entrenched,
          ….but,

          to sway the lurkers on some of these Main Stream Media sites who do not know the issue, the history of Anti-Psychiatry, the eugenics roots of Psychiatry & the current eugenics programs of the Deep State.

          Get ahead of the Deep State, for once, & go after the “swing votes,” as it were.

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          • @Sam Plover

            Hey, Sam. I am collecting links, like this one, this footage, & trying to organize & file them, off-line.

            The AP wolf pack thing…

            that might be one way to feel like we are doing something, a little bit each day, it helps (me) with the rage.

            Even if I just copy ONE link, onto ONE file for this idea I have. Even on a bad day I can do that.

            Or make just make one person smile. If I can make one person smile: SCORE!!!!

            I am full of ideas at this point. One could say I am even, “full of it.”

            Any takers????????????????

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          • If we could get those cameras rolling inside psych. They could cover their patients faces, let them wear masks if the shrinks are worried about “patient confidentiality”.

            Or is it because there is something to hide? Perhaps the public would get emotional over the goings on, on a day to day basis.

            Report comment

        • You know Sam, one of the things that shocked me when I was trying to make a legitimate complaint to police regarding the conspiracy to torture and kidnap (and that IS what it was) was that a doctor could simply call police and request that they not take the evidence/proof from me because “patient”. Nothing more, I don’t want you to take the evidence from this person Sargent because they are my “patient” and I will deal with them during ‘office hours’.

          Now I get it that if we start holding people accountable then doctors and police are going to get involved in conspiracies to murder on a much larger scale than present but …..really? It’s as simple as calling police and asking them to commit offences for you? Because a failure to perform your duty is a criminal offence.

          Can I prove what i’m saying? With access to witnesses who have been threatened and to the call that police received and then ‘flagged’ me as a result of yes, definitely. But what does this mean even if I do? That I expose that police are working with organised criminals operating in our hospitals? We know that anyway. That’s how these types of things happen and no action results from them. A telephone call to police and they will ensure NO ACTION IS TAKEN.

          All criminal of course but who are you going to complain to? A ‘watchdog’ that our Prime Minister has labelled a “kangaroo court”? That simply justifies their position and results in further corrupt links being formed.

          Boans leaves home for the police station with daughter and documented proof of drink spiking. Wife calls psychologist who has psychiatrist husband call police and tell them not to take evidence of spiking. I haven’t even met the guy, but that’s some power to be able to call police and tell them to turn a blind eye to crimes, while you arrange to kill the person in the ED. Lucky the police don’t believe me, because it would make a whole bunch of work for them if they found out how many unintended negative outcomes they were actually doing in the ED. I’d like to say life is cheap, but in certain circumstances that isn’t necessarily true lol. Someones got to pay for the Porsche.

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  30. “The general public & families do not get it and/or DO NOT CARE to hear it.”

    ‘Cepting the VERY BRAVE family members that are here. Sam Ruck & madmother13 & others I
    have not had the privilege of meeting yet.

    If you are feeling OTHERED here, I CARE ABOUT THAT A LOT! I wish I had had family like you guys,
    and I won’t hesitate to say it over & over again.

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    • Thanks Snowyowl, I just wish MiA would be willing to find a solution like Open Dialogue apparently has (according to Steve) for us to truly partner together. I know I could offer more to this movement to end the dehumanization that so many of you have experienced. I kept my wife from it: I think I could teach others in my position who would have interest to do the same.
      Sam

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      • @Sam Ruck

        “I know I could offer more to this movement to end the dehumanization that so many of you have experienced.”

        I know you can too. As an Anti Psychiatry activist, I have thought a lot about how our movement is going to keep people from 1) not only going into the MHS system, 2) but how to avoid being tracked, or flagged for “pre-crime.”

        One of the diagnosis I have been given is “DID,” & although I don’t go in for labels, (I just got books off the internet, watched a LOT of YouTube videos, & figured out how it works within myself–they said therapy is a MUST!!!–and I just laughed myself hysterical on THAT one!),

        the *most* important part of all of this is keeping yourself & anyone you love out of the system.

        Frank Blankenship once said that he thought DID came out of the mystery plays, or maybe later, Shakespeare. He said, some Shriek-iatrist or Shriek-ologist saw a play with a monologue in it, liked it, AND STARTED A WHOLE INDUSTRY OFF OF OTHER PEOPLE’S SUFFERING!

        The MHS really hates how this has taken off on YouTube–they cannot make any $ from people helping each other on the internet for free! Because they care about each other!

        No, NO, NO…. WE CAN’T HAVE THAT! YOU MUST HAVE THERAPY!! OUR therapy.

        I believe that some of the people I like to watch best on YouTube have fragments within their psyche to protect themselves from their therapists. AND THEY SHOULD! And they should also watch out for the Deep State actors that would like to flag them for “pre-crime,” track them & force them onto drugs or therapy.

        Shriek-iatrists hate the DID diagnosis because there is no drug development. But you already know all of that.

        The place where family members, survivors, & AP activists intersect is the need to find underground avenues to protect each other from getting flagged for “Pre-crime.” It’s a daunting challenge!

        AP activists get accused of being purists (not by you), but hammering out the legalistic implications of what AP is and IS NOT, is critical, because we have to choke off the funding streams for these eugenics programs.

        Sam, we have a lot to learn from you. Because we love our survivor family. And we are going to have to find ways to help each other just like you help your wife. Thank you for posting on here! I appreciate you being here.

        This is currently what I am trying to spread awareness about. It will affect everyone on this site. 16 mins. by Whistleblower Robert Duncan. Voice of God Technology.

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

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        • @Sam Ruck

          I also think of buried trauma as someone threw a rubric cube on my lap in my developmental days

          & at some point where I would have, let’s just say, gotten up from a chair, walked into another room, & turned on a light to get something out of the refrigerator…I instead, metaphorically,

          had to solve the hopelessly scrambled cube EACH TIME before I

          got up from the chair (solved the puzzle)

          walked into another room (solved the puzzle)

          turned on the light (solved the puzzle)

          and gotten something out of the refrigerator (solved the puzzle)

          the more quickly & fluidly I have learned how to solve the puzzle each time over the years, the more efficiently the task gets done.

          This varies from person to person with buried trauma. In the end, it CAN, be an enhancement (my enemies are formidable) & I use it to VERBALLY & EMOTIONALLY protect myself & my loved ones

          (as I have been selected for “pre-crime,” as I’m sure you can imagine–the men & women who experimented on me are sure I have or will commit a crime BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALREADY DONE SO..and since they think they are superior to me in every way, then there is no way I could walk through life with more grace & aptitude THAN THEY HAVE!!!!!! )

          and my LOVED ONES HAVE BEEN ENHANCED FROM ME TOO! As, in many ways, they had to go through just as difficult a task to keep me alive in this life!

          But you are right. The loved one just gets mentioned as an afterthought, if at all..

          Hey, what about talking with Open Dialogue, you & madmother 13, & coming back to Steve with some ideas????

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          • SnowyOwl,
            again, thanks, I’ve been to Open Dialogue. I’ve been everywhere I can find. No one seems to want me without my wife or because I’m not a therapist. So it is what it is. Maybe if I get us thru the rest of our healing journey, she will reconsider her unwillingness to join me sharing our story.
            Take care,
            Sam

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