‘Scotland’s Mengele’: The Truth About Dr. Ewen Cameron


From The National: “Only later when under investigation for war crimes would Dr. John ‘Bruce’ Jessen, one of the two contract psychologists who helped design these CIA ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ at Bagram, tell questioners that ‘the atmosphere was very good … nasty but safe.’

Jessen’s words are haunting, and might have come straight from the lips of a very distinguished yet notorious psychiatrist predecessor, Dr. Ewen Cameron.

Which takes us back to the town of Bridge of Allan, for it was there on December 24, 1901, that the man who would become one of the world’s most eminent psychiatrists was born, destined for an ‘illustrious’ career that ultimately fell into disgrace.

‘Patients called him the “eminent monster” and that stuck with me,’ says Stephen Bennett, as we sit in a Glasgow cafe talking over the documentary about Cameron’s life the filmmaker has taken years to shoot, direct and bring to the screen at the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) on March 3.

Indeed, the film takes its title – Eminent Monsters – from that chilling nickname given to Cameron and those like him. All were psychiatrists and psychologists engaged in experiments on patients that helped devise systems of torture employed by military and security services across the globe, from Northern Ireland and Guantanamo Bay, to the CIA’s dark sites like that at Bagram.

In the course of developing his own barbaric practices, Cameron would sometimes destroy the lives of his unsuspecting patients while changing the course of psychological torture forever.”

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  1. This little summary doesn’t get into what Cameron actually did to people. It was pretty awful! We can think of this as just the excesses of one warped mind. But remember: He was operating in the field of mental “health!” And his colleagues did nothing (that I know of) to stop him. Similar to the original Mengele. It requires a new level of vigilance to guard against such people and their atrocities.

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  2. Psychiatry never did change. Their thought process remains the same, it is a discipline that attracts certain types of people, the majority of whom should NOT be talking about something called “mental health”.
    The practitioners do not have healthy insightful outlooks, or understanding of humanity, so the people they “treat”, also cannot be healthy.

    What psychiatry does is greatly contribute not only to individual sickness, but to the family and society at large.

    It is their thinking or lack of it that is the problem and now that even medicine has adopted the garbage they spew, medicine is drifting away from good practice.

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