Since the seventeenth century, Enlightenment thinkers have distinguished science from religion, and by at least one critical distinction, leading psychiatrists have unwittingly acknowledged that major constructs in contemporary psychiatry are religious ideas, not scientific ones.

Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) is regarded by the eminent historian Jonathan Israel as a key member of the “radical Enlightenment” because he refused to compromise his thinking to appease religious authorities. Spinoza scholar Beth Lord notes that for Spinoza, “The aim of science, philosophy, and reason is to get at the truth,” but “the aim of religion is rather different . . . its aim is not to tell the truth or even to discover the truth, its aim is to make people behave better and to keep people obedient.” She adds, “The role of religion is really helping to manage people’s feelings and images when they’re in this irrational state.”

Such a religious role in psychiatry has been acknowledged by top insider psychiatrists with respect to two major constructs: (1) the DSM, psychiatry’s diagnostic manual published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the guild of American psychiatrists; (2) and the “chemical imbalance theory of mental illness,” which has long served as the rationale behind the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants for depression. Today, leading psychiatrists have acknowledged the scientific invalidity of both the DSM and the chemical imbalance theory, with some of them arguing that these constructs have been useful fictions.

The DSM and Religion

For the last decade, declaring that the DSM is scientifically invalid has not been a radical claim. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead U.S. government institution that funds research on mental illness, and psychiatrist Thomas Insel was the NIMH director from 2002 to 2015. In 2013, Insel stated that the DSM’s diagnostic categories lack validity, and he announced that “NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories.” More recently, in his 2022 book Healing, Insel stated: “The DSM had created a common language, but much of that language had not been validated by science.”

Even more bluntly than Insel, the chair of the DSM-IV (1994) task force, psychiatrist Allen Frances, stated in 2010 that “there is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.” However, Frances argued (in Gary Greenburg’s 2013 book about the DSM-5, The Book of Woe) that these labels are still crucial to treatment, and he warned, “If you puncture that noble lie, you’ll be doing a disservice to our patients. . . . A lot of false beliefs help people cope with life.”

For Spinoza, religion is a fiction; however, he believed it can have utility for society if its stories inspire “justice and charity.” For Spinoza, Lord explains, “Useful fictions are those that promote tolerance and community.” However, there are also malevolent fictions, which Lord describes as “ones which people are controlled, oppressed, and enslaved.”

Frances’s argument that “A lot of false beliefs help people cope with life” is an argument that psychiatric diagnoses can be useful in a religious sense, not a scientific one. Religion can be useful in helping managing people’s emotions when they’re in an irrational state, and Frances is essentially arguing that psychiatry’s diagnoses function as a benevolent religion.

Just how unscientific is the DSM? Not only does it lack validity, DSM diagnoses lack reliability. The APA conducted field trials on its DSM-5 to assess the degree of agreement between clinicians diagnosing the same individuals. A standard statistic used to assess reliability is called kappa. A kappa value of 0 means zero agreement and no reliability; a kappa of 1.00 means perfect reliability; and a kappa of less than .59 considered weak reliability. DSM-III task force chair, Robert Spitzer, had proclaimed with respect to assessing the reliability of the DSM that a kappa of less than .40 indicated “poor” agreement and .70 was “only satisfactory.” For the DSM-5 field trials, here (reported in The Book of Woe) is a sample of kappa results: .20 for generalized anxiety disorder; .32 for major depressive disorder; .41 for oppositional defiant disorder; and .46 for schizophrenia.

If an instrument is either invalid or unreliable, it is not scientifically useful, and the DSM is neither valid nor reliable, and so it has no scientific value.

Another leading psychiatrist, Michael First, text editor for the DSM-IV, gives us a sense of how psychiatry, at its highest levels, thinks. “The good news about the DSM-5 is also the bad news,” states First in The Book of Woe, “[The DSM-5] relies on categories that facilitate clinician communication but have no firm basis in reality. So I think it’s an improvement, but it’s also an acknowledgment that psychiatry, especially in its understanding of mental illness, is still in its infancy.”

First’s acknowledgment that DSM categories “have no firm basis in reality” would be striking for Spinoza or for any modern scientist. However, apparently, First cared less about the implications of this acknowledgment than echoing the notion that psychiatry “is still in its infancy,” a variation of psychiatry’s shibboleth that it is a “young science with much to discover but making great progress.”

A shibboleth is a word or phrase used by adherents of a sect or tribe, but regarded by others as empty of real meaning. shibboleth,” notes linguist Suzanne Kemmer, “is a kind of linguistic password: A way of speaking . . . that is used by one set of people to identify another person as a member, or a non-member, of a particular group. The group making the identification has some kind of social power to set the standards for who belongs to their group: who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out.’”

Given that leading psychiatrists have termed the DSM, a fundamental construct of psychiatry, as “bullshit,” “false beliefs,” “invalid,” and having “no firm basis in reality,” the notion that psychiatry is a “young science” or a science “in its infancy” is empty of meaning. However, using such shibboleths identifies one as a member of a particular group with social power. While shibboleths have no value for scientists, shibboleths are important in religious and tribal organizations.

If the DSM is a type of fiction, the question is whether it is a useful fiction or a malevolent one? My experience is that for different types of personalities, psychiatric diagnoses produce different results. Some people believe that their DSM diagnoses provide them with a relieving explanation for their troubling emotions and behaviors; however, others believe that their DSM diagnoses have been stigmatizing and have resulted in them being controlled and oppressed. Religion is helpful to some people but not all people; and different religions are suited for different types of people.

The “Chemical Imbalance Theory of Mental Illness” and Religion

The second major construct in psychiatry now regarded as a fiction—or in the words of one leading psychiatrist, an “urban legend”—is the “chemical imbalance theory of mental illness,” which includes the serotonin deficiency theory of depression. This theory is not simply one more proposed hypothesis that was refuted by the research. Rather, it is a theory that, long after it was disproven, has functioned as a religious idea.

In July 2022, garnering mainstream media headlines, the journal Molecular Psychiatry published “The Serotonin Theory of Depression: A Systematic Umbrella Review of the Evidence.” In it, psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff, co-chairperson of the Critical Psychiatry Network, and her co-researchers examined hundreds of different types of studies that attempted to detect a relationship between depression and serotonin, and concluded that there is no evidence of a link between low levels of serotonin and depression, stating: “We suggest it is time to acknowledge that the serotonin theory of depression is not empirically substantiated.”

In response to the review’s widespread attention, leading figures in psychiatry, rather than rebutting Moncrieff’s conclusions, attempted to convince the general public that her findings were not newsworthy, even belittling her. Psychiatrist David Hellerstein, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and director of Columbia’s Depression Evaluation Service, stated: “Wow, next she’ll tackle the discrediting of the black bile theory of depression.”

However, the vast majority of society had heard nothing from psychiatry about the discarding of this serotonin deficiency theory of depression. In a 2007 survey, 84.7 percent of 262 undergraduates believed it “likely” that chemical imbalances cause depression. While I cannot locate a more recent survey, my experience—with patients, the media, and even many doctors—is that the majority of them have continued to believe in the serotonin deficiency theory of depression, and that is why Moncrieff’s findings were newsworthy.

Researchers had discarded the chemical imbalance theory of depression by the 1990s. In Blaming the Brain (1998), psychologist Elliot Valenstein detailed research showing that it is just as likely for people with normal serotonin levels to feel depressed as it is for people with abnormal serotonin levels, and that it is just as likely for people with abnormally high serotonin levels to feel depressed as it is for people with abnormally low serotonin levels.

The first unequivocal acknowledgment by a leading figure in psychiatry of the discarding of this theory that I am aware of was in 2011, when psychiatrist Ronald Pies, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the Psychiatric Times, stated: “In truth, the ‘chemical imbalance’ notion was always a kind of urban legend—never a theory seriously propounded by well-informed psychiatrists.” However, Pies’s statement was not widely publicized.

In 2012, the invalidity of the chemical imbalance theory of depression was news to National Public Radio correspondent Alix Spiegel, who is the granddaughter of psychiatrist John Spiegel, a former president of the APA. Her 2012 NPR story provides us with the explanation as to why—even after the research had clearly disproven the theory—most of the general public have continued to be unaware that it had been discarded. What Spiegel discovered was that the theory was maintained by psychiatry so as to manage patients’ feelings and make them more comfortable accepting treatment.

Spiegel began her story by recounting how as a depressed teenager, she and her parents were told the following by a Johns Hopkins Hospital psychiatrist about her depression: “It’s biological, just like diabetes, but it’s in your brain. This chemical in your brain called serotonin is too, too low. There’s not enough of it, and that’s what’s causing the chemical imbalance. We need to give you medication to correct that.” Then, Spiegel tells us, the psychiatrist handed her mother a prescription for Prozac.

As a journalist, Spiegel discovered the truth about the serotonin imbalance theory, and she tried to discover why psychiatry had not made greater efforts at publicizing that it had been disproven and discarded. Spiegel sought explanations from Alan Frazer, professor of pharmacology and psychiatry and chairman of the pharmacology department at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, as well as from Pedro Delgado, chairman of the psychiatry department at the University of Texas, who had actually helped debunk the serotonin deficiency theory of depression in the 1990s. In Delgado’s 1999 review of the research, “Antidepressants and the Brain,” he and his co-author detailed how, in serotonin depletion studies, “depletion in unmedicated patients with depression did not worsen the depressive symptoms, neither did it cause depression in healthy subjects with no history of mental illness.”

Frazer told Spiegel that by framing depression as a deficiency—something that needs to be returned to normal—patients feel more comfortable taking antidepressants. Frazer stated, “If there was this biological reason for them being depressed, some deficiency that the drug was correcting, then taking a drug was OK.”

Delgado told Spiegel that the fiction of the chemical imbalance theory has benefits, pointing to research showing that uncertainty can be harmful; and so simple and clear explanations, regardless of how inaccurate, can be more helpful than complex truthful explanations.

Similarly, following the 2022 publication of Moncrieff’s review, psychiatrist Daniel Carlat, chair of psychiatry at Melrose Wakefield hospital, told NPR that doctors don’t know exactly how antidepressants work but “Patients do want to know that there is an explanation out there. And there are times when we do have to give them a shorthand explanation, even if it’s not entirely accurate.”

Prior to Prozac—the first of the SSRIs, entering the market in 1988—a poll in 1986 revealed that “only 12 percent of respondents were willing to take medication for depression and that 78 percent of people would be willing to live with the depression until it passed,” according to the Psychiatric News in 2002. However, this reluctance to take antidepressants changed dramatically; the rate of antidepressant use in the United States increased nearly 400 percent between 1988 and 2008. The chemical imbalance theory resulted in many people, such as Alix Spiegel and her parents, believing that SSRIs could correct the serotonin deficit that was causing depression.

The chemical imbalance theory of depression, long known by researchers to be untrue, is a fiction that has been retained by psychiatry to make people more comfortable taking antidepressants. Some people believe strongly it is simply unethical for doctors to use any disproven and discarded theory to persuade patients to accept treatments; however, others, including leading psychiatrists, believe that doctors should be able to employ useful fiction. The case for the usefulness of this fiction rests in large part on the answer to this question: Exactly how effective are antidepressant medications?

Antidepressants and Faith

Ironically, the effectiveness of antidepressants has much to do with another religious construct, faith—or what scientists call “expectations” and “the placebo effect.” The power of expectations with respect to the effectiveness of all substances used as antidepressants is uncontroversial—which is why, in drug studies, scientists use a placebo control group to tease out how much of a positive outcome is due simply to expectations and not the drug itself. While the placebo effect is uncontroversial, what is controversial is just how powerful the placebo effect is.

In April 2002, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study that investigated whether the herb St. John’s wort, purported to be an antidepressant, was more effective than a placebo. In this study, in addition to one group given St. John’s wort and a second group given a placebo, there was a third group that received the SSRI Zoloft. The results? The placebo worked better than both St. John’s wort and Zoloft. Specifically, a positive “full response” occurred in 32 percent of the placebo-treated patients, 25 percent of the Zoloft-treated patients, and 24 percent of the St. John’s wort-treated patients.

A leading researcher of the placebo effect is psychologist Irving Kirsch. In 2002, Kirsch examined forty-seven drug company studies on various SSRIs and other antidepressants. These studies included published and unpublished trials, but all had been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so Kirsch used the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to all data. He discovered that in the majority of the trials, antidepressants failed to outperform placebos, and he reported that “all antidepressants, including the well-known SSRIs . . . had no clinically significant benefit over a placebo.” While in aggregate, antidepressants slightly edged out placebos, the difference is so unremarkable that Kirsch and others describe it as “clinically negligible.”

Moreover, drug companies are not required to do long-term outcome studies to acquire FDA approval. The FDA’s “Major Depressive Disorder: Developing Drugs for Treatment Guidance for Industry” states the following: “Antidepressants in established classes (e.g., SSRIs, SNRIs) typically need studies of 6 to 8 weeks duration to demonstrate efficacy.” Thus, the general public is unaware of studies that show antidepressants, over the long term, may result in more, not less, depression. In 2017, “Poorer Long-Term Outcomes among Persons with Major Depressive Disorder Treated with Medication,” published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, reported that, after controlling for depression severity, the outcomes of 3,294 subjects over a nine-year period showed that antidepressants may have had an immediate, short-term ben­efit for some people, but at the nine-year follow-up, antidepressant users had significantly more severe symptoms than those individuals not using antidepressants.

Useful and Malevolent Fictions

So, where does this leave us? Leading figures in psychiatry acknowledge that DSM psychiatric diagnoses and the chemical imbalance theory of mental illness are not scientifically valid, but are useful fictions that help people manage their emotions and comply with their medication treatments. However, we have a great deal of evidence that casts doubt on the scientific value of antidepressants, especially in the long term; and even drug companies, in their antidepressant ads, acknowledge the adverse effects of these drugs, while there is now little controversy that there are debilitating withdrawal reactions for many individuals who stop taking their antidepressants.

For Spinoza, as Lord explains, fictions such as religion can be “hugely useful in structuring our experience and helping us to decide how to behave and how to live our lives.” She notes, “Spinoza’s aim is always for people to become more rational and to be able to govern themselves through their own true knowledge about the world. But he’s kind of realistic about the prospects of that happening, and since he doesn’t see humanity becoming enormously rational any time soon, he tends to think that structures like religion are necessary to keep people in line.”

Reason informed Spinoza and his radical Enlightenment friends of the value—both for an individual and for society—of justice and charity; and so to the extent that some Bible stories inspire people not inclined to rationality to act with justice and charity, these stories are useful fictions. However, as Lord points out, “Spinoza certainly thinks that there is potential for these fictions, whether they be political or religious fictions, to be used in negative ways.” Spinoza saw the idea of afterlife rewards and punishments from an anthropomorphic deity as a fiction that was necessary for those not ruled by reason to act with justice and charity; however, it was also clear to him that the fictions of heaven and hell were used by some clergy authorities as a means to control and exploit their congregants.

Some leading psychiatrists believe that that DSM diagnostic manual and the chemical imbalance theory of mental illness have functioned as useful fictions that help promote wellbeing. However, many patients have experienced damage from these constructs, which they see as malevolent fictions. People differ in their opinion on the usefulness or malevolence of all organized religions, and so it should be no surprise that there are differences of opinions about psychiatry.

Once we recognize the religious nature of psychiatry—unwittingly acknowledged even by leading psychiatrists—the following concerns about psychiatry become clear and compelling: (1) if a society does not distinguish science from religion, this subverts critical thinking and scientific inquiry; and (2) if a society declares any religion to have the authority of science, this results in oppressive intolerance for individuals who reject that religion.

102 COMMENTS

  1. The idea that psychiatry is like religion is euphemism. Religion is its own farce and coping mechanism in the society but to equate it to psychiatry is another way of manipulating the public. Religion is broadly accepted systems or beliefs in the society (we still have religious holidays, tax free churches, and no one is yet burning books of faith amass). Religion is more accepted than psychiatry because religion lost its power at the gate of entering in the law arena.
    Personally, religion is external (they do not try to go inside your mind and assess), but psychiatry is both internal and external way of assessing a person and much more intrusive not to mention the medicalization of it too. One can believe God or not religiously, but one in psychiatry risks losing of ownership of one’s body! In religion, you may be at the mercy of some church. In psychiatry, you are at the mercy of an individual with the arsenal of the law. Recovering from religion abuse, you are applauded. To recover from psychiatry, you are ostracized.
    To start the discourse or to continue the discourse of psychiatry is like religion is dishonest way of hiding the danger of psychiatry and at worse, it is a way to obfuscate the real problem of psychiatry which is its unlimited power over the individual’s life and freedom.

    • I would say that psychiatry shares many similar aspects with religion, but is not itself a “religion” per se. I’d say it’s more of an anti-religion, deleting any kind of theology but instead “preaching” that the spirit does not exist and that all of our behavior is the result of chemical interactions and that human beings lack any of the essential qualities of will, intent, values, priorities, and also lack the ability to have an impact on their own psychological/emotional welfare.

      I would have no objection with psychiatry being a competing “philosophy of being”. The problem is, it is claiming to be a scientific endeavor and part of the field of medicine! This tends to give this nihilistic philosophy FAR too much influence far beyond what its arguments have merited. Additionally, Spinoza and Kant and Hegel did not have the power to forcibly detain people based on their philosophies.

      So psychiatry can make all the claims it likes about “useful fictions,” but in the end, it’s not OK for “doctors” to use “fictions” of any sort to manipulate people into using drugs they don’t need or want, and particularly to use such fictions to forcibly detain and drug people whose only crime is having a hard time fitting into our strange and challenging social expectations.

      • Yea it’s just a really crass form of reductive materialism. It’s the teleological project of ‘brains’ (of psychiatrists) hard at work creating and purposively espousing constructs to convince ‘patients’ that their OWN brains are organized without meaning and purpose: in other words, it is the organic process of reducing other organisms to machines, a process which also defeats itself since the ‘brain’ state of believing you’re a machine would be a meaning-making response to a meaning-laden gestalt of the psychiatrist reducing you. So err a kind of mindfuck of epic proportions.

          • Then again I’m not completely on board with reducing religion to a social function either. What if the truth of existence is only realizable through a direct experience or disclosure of existence itself through one’s OWN existence, and any attempt to capture it in a linguistic proposition and articulate it would be to vitiate it in some way? What if the truth is both too infinitely complex, too qualitative in nature, and also too vague and shifting to be captured in a linguistic proposition and reduce to an argument? Wouldn’t image-making then be closer to the truth about existence, or at least as close to it in some way, as analytic reasoning? Wouldn’t poetry and literature and religion and metaphor generally be valid means of expressing truth then? I guess that doesn’t directly debunk what this article is saying…

          • Most psychiatrists and psychologists seek to reduce, control and define the indefinable because they’re unconsciously terrified of life’s paradoxical vagueness and complexities. They childishly cling to science while stubbornly denying life’s ultimate uncertainty. But their stubborn belief in the reliability and appropriateness of a “scientific” approach makes them a religion all their own as it seeks to perform the function of traditional religions, which is mainly to quell anxieties. But it’s a far more dangerous one, as their aping of scientific language and protocols give them an illusion of objective reality.

          • Image-making is the unique way humans find meaning. Poetry and literature and religion are all metaphors to find and express meaning. Which is essentially the meaning, purpose, or reason for art. It’s something uniquely human.

            Psychiatry and psychology are hopelessly materialistic, imo, as they stupidly think mouthing “scientific” terms and engaging in “scientific” research gives them credibility, which is stupider still, because there’s nothing more meaningless than endless reams of “scientific” data, most of which is meaningless either materially or spiritually. It’s an expensive waste of time, a lose-lose situation that’s all form and no substance. It’s medicine’s junk food.

          • Not only do they “report” data, they distort it, hide it, or sometimes make it up from whole cloth. If they were real scientists, they’d have given up on the “bio-medical model” decades ago. These professions are more like marketing agents, only putting forward such “data” as promotes the products they are selling, and hiding or minimizing or distorting anything that might harm their bottom line.

        • There is no “meaning making” in psychiatry and psychology. That’s the first illusion. Unless you consider propping up some professional’s ego and bank account meaningful.

          Psychiatrists and psychologists are the worst people to turn to for things like that, imo. And I bet they make “meaning making” a “disorder” if they haven’t already.

        • Rasx asks, “Wouldn’t image-making then be closer to the truth about existence, or at least as close to it in some way, as analytic reasoning?”

          Interesting question. I think things get confusing when essentially mushy stuff like psychology and psychiatry claim to be science while acting like religion. They try to be all things to all people, but end up having no claim to anything worthwhile. But they do manage to squeeze the meaning out of just about everything.

          Rasx then asks, “Wouldn’t poetry and literature and religion and metaphor generally be valid means of expressing truth then?”

          Poetry, literature, religion and metaphor are not just valid ways of expressing truth and experience, they’re essential to sharing truth and experience. And analytical reasoning is another valid way of finding and expressing truth and experience. But this is where psychiatry and psychology fall off a cliff, so to speak, as neither deal meaningfully with either truth or experience, and definitely not analytical reasoning.

          • “But they (psychiatrists and psychologists) manage to squeeze the meaning out of just about everything.”

            CLARIFICATION: In my experience, psychiatry and psychology manage to obscure or destroy worthwhile meaning in and of just about everything.

          • You can’t find meaning in things that are intrinsically meaningless.

            And psychiatry and psychology are intrinsically meaningless as both insist on ignoring the intrinsically important role of the human heart.

          • Religion and art are symbolic (metaphorical) ways that humans use to create and express the truth, reality and meaning in the human experience. It’s what gives them intrinsic value and is why they exist. Their power comes from acknowledging the dignity of the human experience (spirit), and is the reason both have existed since time immemorial. But religion goes from good to bad when it becomes dictatorial and intolerant, two words that best describe most psychiatry and psychology. And these two fields, unlike religion and art, flourish by medicalizing, categorizing, and coldly analyzing the human experience which dignifies no one. They are monstrous examples intellectual smugness brought on by huge amounts of hubris and self-congratulatory self-absorption that not only mimics religious intolerance, but actually is religious intolerance.

          • Psychiatry and psychology both claim to have discovered scientifically valid explanations for just about everything under the sun while failing to recognize that matters of the heart and mind are not matters to be approached “scientifically”.

            And while psychiatry has proven itself to be scientifically invalid, psychology is equally vacant, as it also fails to offer much more than anyone with a modicum of common sense and insight would come up with on their own. Nor has either come to realize that observing and naming behavior is scientifically meaningless, whether or not it’s done “clinically”, which makes both fields one huge cosmic joke.

            And what is a cosmic joke? Believing the false projections of the limited mind.

          • Most psychiatrists and psychologists harbor a religious belief in a medical model that not only distorts reality, but makes a mockery of the scientific method.

            And while some define science as the act of interpreting an observation of the environment that is limited by the tools available for observing, most psychiatrists and psychologists fail to recognize the most important tool for observation and interpretation, and that is having an open mind. But thankfully most religions and art welcome imagination, while psychiatry and psychology definitely do not.

      • One definition of science is “interpreting an observation of the environment that is limited by the tools available for observing”.

        But most psychiatrists and psychologists lack the most important tool: an open mind.

        Psychiatry and psychology see people through a diagnostic lens, which is the epitome of evil in anyone’s language.

        • I agree, to be scientific, one must be skeptical and always open to new data that disconfirms your hypothesis. To the exact contrary, the psychiatric/psychological industries have a marketing approach, searching for and emphasizing every tiny snippet of data that supports their contentions, and going far out of the way to bury or discredit even bury data that disagrees with their preferred narrative. As soon as you start selecting which data you want to pay attention to, you’ve left the ship of science!

    • “Recovering from religion abuse, you are applauded. To recover from psychiatry, you are ostracized.” Unless the religion abuse you dealt with – because your former religion is “partnered with” the DSM “bible” thumpers, as in my case – came via psychological and psychiatric malpractice and abuse. Then you are repeatedly attacked by the psychologists of your religion, until “that’s me in the spotlight losing my religion.”

      “So psychiatry can make all the claims it likes about ‘useful fictions,’ but in the end, it’s not OK for ‘doctors’ to use ‘fictions’ of any sort to manipulate people into using drugs they don’t need or want,…”

      Unfortunately, that’s exactly what all doctors who prescribe the psych drugs do, while they fraudulently claim they were never taught about the harms of the psych drugs. Which is a blatant lie, since all doctors were taught about anticholinergic toxidrome in med school. So all doctors know, full well, about the systemic sins of the psychiatric system.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxidrome

      Thank you, as always, Bruce, for all your truth telling.

  2. I really appreciated this article!

    One thing it could have gone into a bit more is how with psychiatry currently, there is nothing like the “separation of church and state” and so psychiatry is able to use the power of the state to impose its views on people.

    Also of interest is how religions, when they are misinformed, can lead societies into destructive action. For example if one is convinced as many religious people are that God controls the weather and so humans don’t have to worry about creating climate change, then they will oppose taking action that may be essential. And persuading millions to take drugs that in the long term make their mental health worse is another very destructive action based on “religious” misinformation.

    • But it is why I used to periodically become the most able “psychiatrist” in my home town without having been to medical school, because I knew elements of orthomolecular medicine, such as basic megavitamin therapy for schizophrenia syndrome and alcohol withdrawal. This hardly says much for big time psychiatry in the nation at large.

    • Pointing out the lack of “’separation of church and state’ and so psychiatry is able to use the power of the state to impose its views on people” is a good point, Ron.

      And definitely, misinformed religions “can lead societies into destructive action.” And when you research into the mainstream religions, it becomes obvious that most of the religions claim to believe in some form of the Golden Rule (treat others as you’d like to be treated) – which is largely the opposite of psychiatry’s force treatment beliefs – but many of the religions have also fed us a lot of misinformation, according to the Holy Bible itself.

  3. A lie is a lie is a lie.

    People have a right to expect that medical professionals will not lie to them about the cause, known or unknown, of their problems, and the mechanisms, known or unknown, of the “medications” they prescribe. Doctors using “useful fiction” is a weak excuse for patronizing, controlling, and exploiting people’s faith in them as trustworthy medical experts.

    Today’s psychiatry/psychology mirror the power of religion in Europe before the Gutenberg printing press and its subsequent Reformation. Both exhort a set of beliefs said to be “infallible”, i.e. “scientific”, and today’s non-believers are scorned, punished, stigmatized, tortured and damned much the same way as religious non-believers in medieval times. And pressuring people to believe in psychiatry’s or psychology’s dogmas and rituals, i.e. DSM diagnoses, drugs, “treatments”/“psychotherapy”, is just as irrational. But whereas religion has some redeeming features, such as believing in the reality and sanctity of the human soul/spirit, and respecting others and helping those in need, psychiatry and psychology do not. They are science imposters and soul killers. They are religions’ evil twin.

    • Thank you. I am a living example of this harm. At age 10 doctors couldn’t find a cause of my GI problems and determined it was psychiatric. At age 44 a colonoscopy revealed the anatomical cause of what had morphed into 34 years of treatments that killed beneficial gut bacteria, caused my colon to grow in length, and left me with a weird metabolic syndrome. Yes there are real victims.

  4. Bruce, that is quite a mouthful, “ The aim of science, philosophy, and reason is to get at the truth,” but “the aim of religion is rather different . . . its aim is not to tell the truth or even to discover the truth, its aim is to make people behave better and to keep people obedient.” She adds, “The role of religion is really helping to manage people’s feelings and images when they’re in this irrational state.” And you wrote this after the pandemic. There is science and religion with an aim “not to tell the truth or even to discover the truth, its aim is to make people behave better and to keep people obedient.”

  5. What’s the definition of psychology?
    The scientific study of the human mind and its functions.

    What’s the definition of “psyche”?
    The human soul, mind or spirit.

    Psychology and psychiatry should stop using the word “psyche”. They need to stop trying to be what they’re not.

      • Thank you, Mr. Wells. I like your comments, too.

        I especially agree with your question regarding where the art and artistry has gone in the practice of learning how and why to be, and how to become, a better human. It’s certainly not a question that science can answer, and it’s definitely not one it should even try answer. These questions are an anathema to the so-called “science of psychiatry” for obvious reasons, and also to its self-congratulatory cousin known as the “science of psychology” for somewhat less obvious reasons, but the reasons for both are the same: big egos and even bigger hubris, as both are in areas they don’t belong.

        • Once upon a time, churches ruled large areas in the western world. These days it’s the mental health industrial complex.

          Once upon a time, people who were castigated were called “sinners”. Today they’re called “mentally ill”.

          Once upon a time, the only means to absolution were to “confess one’s sins” to church officials. Nowadays people are compelled to confide in people they don’t trust, claim diagnoses they don’t agree with, and take psychiatric “medications” they don’t want.

          Whoever said “the more things change, the more they stay the same” was spot on.

          • Hi Birdsong.

            “Once upon a time, the only means to absolution were to “confess one’s sins” to church officials. Nowadays people are compelled to confide in people they don’t trust, claim diagnoses they don’t agree with, and take psychiatric “medications” they don’t want.”

            What better way to obtain confessions? The exploitation of trust…….. consider the eavesdropper on the ‘confessional’.

            I was shocked to find that the psychologist I had trusted was asking questions for the police to find out “Who else has got the documents”…. to enable them to conceal their misconduct. I mean, I get it now, understanding what it was they were trying to conceal …… wouldn’t want people knowing their methods of torturing citizens and then handing them over to mental health for ‘snowing’. The Chief Psychiatrist explaining that it doesn’t matter what caused the “observed behaviour”, just that it was observed. People who have been tortured tend to behave in irrational manners……. and they can then be silenced and ‘treated’…. because they ALWAYS confess.

            They are only compelled when they refuse to be coerced though.

            My refusal to speak to a ‘mental health professional’, it was claimed, justified the use of arbitrary detention and torture to get me the help I didn’t need for an illness I didn’t have….. I mean a disagreement with my in laws? Really?

            ‘He won’t talk to a psychologist, so maybe we ‘spike’ him with date rape drugs and have police rough him up a bit and point weapons at him? It’d be okay if he was an “Outpatient” because people will attribute the resulting trauma to the ‘illness’……. lets just lie….. the ends justify the means right?’

            The claim is that the information you share with these people is “confidential”. I know that information that I had provided to a Social Worker 10 years before was unlawfully released by the hospital in a manner to slander and cause me no end of character damage. The idea of obtaining ‘legal representation’ against these organised criminals acting as public officers a joke….. their families wouldn’t be safe.

            They are lying when they claim that what you say is in confidence. Whilst the Social Worker may have maintained the confidence, the documents she completed were then used by the hospital as a means to breach that ‘agreement’. I have little doubt that the Operations Manager smiled thinking that the unlawful release of that information (the Law Centre requested specific documents relating to my detention on a specific date…. not anything the hospital could use to slander with from old files) would push me to suicide….. and she is looking after YOUR loved ones?

            They are worse than the Police in that regard. At least Police warn you that anything you say can be used as evidence…. Mental health services will document your ‘issues’ and have little accidents with your documents …… sorry to tell people who may have shared very personal details with these frauds but …… they are backbiting gossips who will actively elicit information which they can use to “fuking destroy” you and your family, should the need arise. And given the levels of gross criminal negligence I have personally witnessed, that would be quite often.

            “Trust in haste, regret at leisure”

            I have a question. When did our ‘elected representatives’ declare war on the public that elects them?

      • And how does this economic practice think it’s helping the human citizen?

        By thinking too much of themselves and not enough of others, while enjoying too much the spoils of their profession, which primarily involve exerting power over others while living large.

        • Hi Boans,

          I’m sorry for what you’ve been through. Mental health professionals’ claims of confidentiality are false because patients’ files are not. And the fact that few if any legislators recognize this as an abuse of confidentiality is unconscionable.

          • They did when someone hacked into Medibank insurance system and released 9 million peoples confidential medical records. The consequences for those people are not likely to ever be recognised, though I feel certain that there will be many abused as a result of the mental health issues being common knowledge. Some not even aware they were being ‘treated’ for such issues……. mainly due to it being a means to extract money from the insurance company. ‘Tacking on’ a few billing codes the consumer wasn’t aware of?

            I got to thinking about how many religions actually torture, maim and kill their adherents and that sort of thing hasn’t really happened for quite some time in Western cultures. I know many on this site talk about Scientology being a ‘dangerous’ cult…… but when you line it up alongside psychiatry? I don’t see police tracking down people who try to leave and beating them senseless before returning them to their ‘church’. And personally i’d be happy to wear the smear that goes with the label compared with the stench that is associated with any of the ‘mental health’ slanders. Lose your job for being a Scientologist? Lose your family? Lose your human rights?

            You have to go back a long way in history to find any sort of religion that could and did do the sort of damage that psychiatry does.

            Thanks for your concern about me Birdsong…..good news is that it’s what I’ve been through. There are those still trapped in that Hell they wrongly call ‘medicine’.

  6. Our city was covered in smoke two days ago….. and someone suggested that it was a result of the BBQ they were having in Hell to greet Cardinal George Pell.

    Interesting that when the Church wanted to protect ‘itself’ they found ways and means of ensuring that KNOWN victims of abuse by clergy were denied access to compensation (the Catholic Church has no money, ergo any attempt to be compensated will fail. The “Ellis Defense”. I can explain the psychiatric equivalent should anyone be interested. Ensure no avenue for cause of action…… easy and cheap.) and the way such abuses were viewed by the Church ….. child rape was not considered a crime, but a “character flaw” to be dealt with ‘internally’ (ie your going to have to move to another town Father. We’ll deal with the rest.)

    I think psychiatry (and psychiatrists) are beneficiaries of the same sort of system……. where they define how their abuses will be viewed by the community, and the worst that can happen is that they might have to move town (see Dr Selwyn Leeks for example). On the whole doctors and ‘mental health services’ can do the cleaning up after the death of individuals in much the same way the Church would send the Local Priest to the home of a child who had hanged himself, and there were concerns about whether he had left a suicide note naming his abuser……. “edit” legal narrative, all clear? ……. Off they go for police to make it look official. 300 victims later and everyone is denying any knowledge of anything.

    The one difference I can see though is that the Catholic Church can’t arrange to have me drugged without my knowledge, and have police point weapons at me to make me get down on my knees before a Catholic Priest…… Oh wait, they DID. The Senior Medical Officer was also a Catholic Priest, used to forging prescriptions for covertly administered date rape drugs and forcing people to remove their clothing while he inserted objects into their mouths or anus when consent had been expressly denied. He had just found a means to make it appear lawful….. called the Mental Health Act. And whilst it isn’t lawful, they found ways of “editing” the documents post hoc to make it look that way….. and police could refuse to perform their duty……. Nothing new under the sun huh?

    And what better place to intercept people who have legitimate complaints about being abused in the Church? A Minister/psychiatrist combo……… ‘taking them out’ (“You can’t listen to them, they’re mental patients” Minister for Mental Health in Parliament) before they even see the light of day, and with legal representatives who forge letters from the Chief Psychiatrist, they have it all wrapped up. The State find no reason for public interest, and what they don’t know can’t hurt them……. chemical imbalances, same same.

    So I agree with Ron Ungers comment above…… except the abusers have found ways of entering the mental health system to facilitate their abuses. Ergo, Catholic Priest becomes Senior Medical Officer……….. role confusion, and he abuses until the victims start to add up and the legal narratives can no longer be “edited” when the FOI Officer knows what she is doing is a crime and ……… in such a situation, is the Church really separate from the State?

    Anyway, music Maestro

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQL5zdEy-3k

    Pass me that lovely little gun
    My dear, my darling one
    The cleaners are coming, one by one
    You don’t even want to let them start
    They’re knocking now upon your door
    They measure the room, they know the score
    They’re mopping up the butcher’s floor
    Of your broken little hearts
    Forgive us now for what we’ve done
    It started out as a bit of fun
    Here, take these before we run away
    The keys to the gulag

    Good article again Dr Levine.

  7. I read this, and was a bit awash trying to see how to respond.
    I think that it’s really about “gross institutions,” and although religions in general end up being such, this isn’t all that happens there in “religions”. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a religious fanatic say “this isn’t a religion,” added to that, in order to make out they have a flexibility that’s not there. When it’s known that religions tend to be about fanaticism, make sure when being one of those [fanatics] you say you’re not promoting a religion. Sort of like the “Clean air Act” or “No Child left Behind,” or the war against terror, or the mental health system.

    People think that it’s a comfort to have things “easy,” so someone comes up with something that sounds good, and they think they have an answer. Push button logic. “Religion” does the same. Make out “God” must be some I don’t know what kind of authority, and when you appease him with a “sacrifice” this supposedly makes sense. Same as just pop a pill, and that sounds like you’ve done something responsible.

    I completely don’t understand this need to pamper people’s delusional fetishes that they’ve done something, the one result being that anyone actually detaching from what’s going on enough that they aren’t adding to as Charles Dickens put it “how not to do it” https://www.panarchy.org/dickens/circumlocution.html , they are seen to be in high offense of whatever it is the mob is doing to make sure it’s part of how not to do it.

    And everyone is anxious as hell, and those with supposedly sane anxiety might be the most delusional, because they think that how not to do it is what keeps things going around, which the rest of the mob chimes in with, and puts it on the pedestal of what’s appropriate in society, gives rewards for it, has parades to honor those doing such, names streets and national Holidays after it. At least those with an “anxiety disorder” express that there’s really something not quite right regarding what we’re all supposed to be doing…..

  8. Psychiatry and psychology are definitely shibboleths. It’s the only thing they can reasonably lay claim to. And deep down they know this, which is why they cling so tightly to their one-dimensional medical model with an almost religious fervor. And the insane part is they can’t see how ridiculous this is. It’s an incredible lack of insight.

    The main difference between psychiatry/psychology and religion is that most religions offer some kind of redemption, whereas psychiatry/psychology can’t see beyond people’s imperfections. All they offer is a stream of endless psychopathology. They’re the definition of nihilism. And whereas most religions seek god, most psychiatrists and psychologists believe (unconsciously) they ARE god.

  9. Imo, the only thing the “mental health professions” offer is a polluted stream of ever-increasing “psychopathologies”, ever-increasing toxic substances to “treat” them, or one of its ever-increasing “psychotherapies”, all of which are based on a pay-to-play, power-imbalanced, artificial “relationship”. And with Big Pharma’s steadfast contributions, it’s become a medicalized Ponzi scheme of epic proportions.

    And while most religions are guilty at some time in history of inflicting damage in the name of their respective gods, most were originally based in honoring the dignity of each and every human being. And this ultimately brings out the best in people.

    But psychiatry and psychology do nothing of the sort. They are fields obsessed with defining, redefining, and ultimately sentencing people to lives of needless limitation and psychological pain in the name of “therapy”, most of which can be avoided if people simply avoid those who work in the system, as most who do are obsessed with finding what’s wrong in the person, instead of what’s wrong in their past or present surroundings. And they’re neglecting to do so, via their ridiculously vast roster of supposed “diagnoses and treatments” brings out the worst in people—and most clearly in the “therapists” themselves.

    And we all know who benefits most from such hopelessly dogmatic thinking.…

    • Most people who work in the “mental health system” are obsessed with seeing what’s “wrong” in the person, instead of what’s happened to the person. And even if they do happen to consider what’s happened to the person, they still pathologize/label their reaction to what’s happened to them.

      It’s a bollixed system from start to finish.

    • You’d have to admit, these ‘mental health professions’ are getting pretty desperate when they are forging their own ‘miracles’.

      Waterboarding will be offered at Lourdes from the 30th of this month.

      Science worshippers model

      Formulate or plagarise a hypothesis
      Construct a model based on preconceived ideas
      Find data that agrees with model
      Discard data that does not align with model
      Shout “TRUST THE EXPERTS”

  10. Religions are ways for people to metaphorically express the beauty (and sometimes horror) of the human experience. It’s what gives religion and experience of living their intrinsic value. It’s the reason religions have existed since the beginning of time.

    But psychiatry and psychology are different in all sorts damaging ways, as the purpose of both are perverse, imo. And the harder these try to be relevant (scientifically or religiously) the worse they fail, as coldly analyzing the human experience dignifies no one. They are monstrous examples of intellectual smugness born of hubris and self-absorbed grandiosity that mimics science while being religiously intolerant. And both need to dissolve, as neither are either religion OR science, but nevertheless wreak havoc in both ways.

  11. Religions metaphorically express the meaning and feeling of being alive. They hold intrinsic value individually and culturally.

    But psychiatry and psychology have no intrinsic value, scientifically or spiritually, as both are ethically vacant—and take pride in being so. And the harder these pathetically gruesome quagmires try to be socially relevant, the more they fail society, as coldly analyzing the human experience dignifies no one. They are prime examples of intellectual perversity born of intellectual grandiosity, that mimics science while being religiously intolerant—thus wreaking havoc in people’s lives in all kinds of ways.

  12. I just had to share this with the people at MiA.

    One of my friends told me about a powerful lesson in her daughter’s school class recently. They’re learning about the Salem Witch Trials, and their teacher told them they were going to play a game.
    “I’m going to come around and whisper to each of you whether you’re a witch or a regular person. Your goal is to build the largest group possible that does NOT have a witch in it. At the end, any group found to include a witch gets a failing grade.”
    The teens dove into grilling each other. One fairly large group formed, but most of the students broke into small, exclusive groups, turning away anyone they thought gave off even a hint of guilt.
    “Okay,” the teacher said. “You’ve got your groups. Time to find out which ones fail. All witches, please raise your hands.”
    No one raised a hand.
    The kids were confused and told the teacher he’d messed up the game. “Did I? Was anyone in Salem an actual witch? Or did everyone just believe what they’d been told?”
    And that is how you teach kids how easy it is to divide a community.
    Shunning, scapegoating and dividing destroys far more than they protect. There’s plenty of it going around.
    Do not allow the ruling elite to divide and destroy us. We must remain united against those who would do so.!!

    Now, next week the teacher is going to come around and whisper to each student that they’re either a ‘normal’ of a ‘mental patient’ and it’s up to each group to find ways of disposing of the mental patients in the class. Lets watch their paranoid delusions run riot. The clinical gaze huh?

  13. Oh, the irony.

    If you believe that there is such a thing as an immaterial “mind”, independent from the brain, then you believe in something for which there is no evidence.

    Believing in the existence of something for which there is no evidence is the very definition of “religion”.

    • No believing in something in which there is no evidence is fanaticism, and cult forming etc. when this goes beyond simple natural thought, feelings and experience. I don’t know since WHEN what “OTHERS” define as having no evidence constitutes some greater faith, when regarding all manner of things there IS enough evidence, it’s just dismissed. So believing in something there’s no proof for becomes what!?

      Oh, the irony….

      That is JUST like for example “Christians” to go on about everything they “believe” in, but when a miracle actually happens, you hear: “that’s just too different,” even when there’s ample scientific evidence. Something I have ample times experienced in different ways, and yes there’s evidence enough that they simply are dismissing what’s really going on (or look at the Catholic church’s behavior even to their saints), even what founded their “belief.” Added to that I’m not going to go on that Jesus is the one, the only one, or even that he’s the best investment regarding miracles. It’s just that they DO happen, and there is evidence. That they don’t, THAT would be believing in something that doesn’t exist.

      Or then we have “psychiatrists” going on about chemical imbalances, but it’s just too “unfounded” for them to actually SEE that they are causing them, because of what the “institution” says regarding such phenomenon. EVEN when the most prevalent evidence regarding chemical imbalances involved with the mental health system is those CAUSED by their “treatment.”

      So one can go on about irony now…..

      Thought by itself is immaterial, however its results aren’t necessarily so. It’s like “scientists” going on about who knows what, as if there’s no source for the material world, beyond what it’s going to tell them when they keep bothering it, even when science tells them what actually happens in the Quantum world regarding “observation,” with the wave-particle “duality.” Something again which constitutes a bunch of words put together because there’s supposed to be “evidence” somewhere in a box, but the evidence pointing out anything organic towards such is dismissed. So it has to be one or the other, and when it acts as both it’s not something else entirely the whole……

      • How in god’s name does anyone think they know better than anyone else what qualifies a “genuine miracle”?

        Oh, the irony…

        The miracle is the fact that “educated” people manage to keep a straight face while thinking like this. Which suggests they must be delusional, which makes sense regarding psychiatry, since that DEFINITELY qualifies as delusional.

        • Birdsong, I’m a bit lost…. who is saying what isn’t a miracle? Psychiatric drugs, no I don’t really see they are…. (!?)

          Anyhow, this guy here, who helped me be able to shed a physical condition, he was put in an asylum as a child, given shock therapy once a week for a year, because “THE DEVIL” had given him special gifts, and miracles just happened around him. He tells his story: https://youtu.be/g9edB02jWP0?t=711

          • I was referring to the Catholic Church which has its own arbitrary criteria for determining whomever they arbitrarily deem a “genuine saint”, which includes at least two things they arbitrarily deem a “genuine miracle”, which makes about as much sense as psychiatry’s arbitrary checklists for its definitely ingenuine DSM.

          • The Catholic Church has its own arbitrary checklist for declaring new “saints”, which includes at least two incidents they arbitrarily consider “miracles”. This makes about as much sense as a group of psychiatrists arbitrarily declaring new “diagnoses” via arbitrary checklists for their own arbitrary bible, the DSM .

        • Wow, you really brought up a can of worms here.

          Not only was this wonderful man, I already mentioned, put into an asylum, because he resonated with reality enough that miracles would happen, but then of others the “Church” still has this kind of stuff to say: https://www.catholicdoors.com/isit/isit05.htm The real story of Leaholof is then here: http://leaholof.blogspot.com/ She did nothing but help a whole immense collection of people. It was from a lady in charge of “Campus Ministry” at a local “Catholic” college, who when I shared that Leaholof exists (and she had gone to colleges to show miracles happens), it was from her I heard this bizarre remark: “that’s just too different.” Leaving me with a hoard of other stuff regarding this “college” that “ministry” and the rest I’m bypassing, regarding their “society.” Back to an actual miracle worker. I talked with her PA a few times, and he explained how the church wouldn’t let her do healing get togethers in their church, and the wry elitist even sarcastic tone this went on with. I talked to Leah once on the phone, out of nowhere. I was calling the phone of her PA and she answered, but it was a rather stressful occasion. If I get into all of that I’m all over the place, wondering where to start. A friend of mine had gone off on a binge to another state (her father lived there) and she was over the deep end, she let someone else have access to her house for the time being, and he had met this girl in an asylum, who he brought to the house. This poor girl had been born into a satanic cult, and had numerous multiple personalities. She told me that they had been integrated, with help of a psychiatrist, but I don’t know about that given the history I’ve yet to go into. I don’t remember exactly what happened, I think that the girl, whose house it was had come back into town (after being committed out of state, and it not helping her, she later committed suicide, which I shared here https://www.madinamerica.com/2023/01/hashtag-involuntary-commitment/#comment-204889). Regardless, for some reason the other poor girl who had been born into a satanic cult, had somehow gotten out of it (that’s a whole story involving foster care, and people who don’t believe such things exist, and multiple levels of denial) and had been taken in somewhere else, but it wasn’t working out. She had become paranoid, exhibiting signs of the kind of torture she had been through. In satanic cults, one of the things they do is make a person unconscious with altered substances, and then upon waking try to convince them they did something horrible which there is evidence of, all to control a person with guilt, and thus get them to go along with the cult or they might be exposed. She consequently constantly was making out something was going on, or that someone else was making out something was going on which wasn’t, and the police would be at the door from false reports. I found this out, because I tried to help her, and took her in. I really didn’t know the difficulties in such situations, and had this grandiose fantasy I could change the world and help such a person. In the midst of all of this, I called Leaholof’s number. And she answered. I told her about this girl, and she mentioned making her whole, and understood without having to be told, what was going on. She also mentioned a few other things which still resonate with my life, immensely. What happened after that, and took me years to integrate, was that at one point, after talking with Leaholof, I wanted to share the instructions Leah has on a healing tape, in order to get into the healing energies. She leads you through to a point where there’s a light there, and you can let go of anything that’s ever been bothering you, in your life. I felt I needed to tell this girl to do that, but she responded: “I’ve been doing that for the past half hour.” And did this with the innocent happy voice of a child, like you often here from a child, when you tell them something while their own instincts already have done all of that. The kind of voice that reminds one about the goodness of life, and that everything is taken care of. For years, before I got it, I thought she was just pretending, but having had the same kind of experiences with thoughts coming out of nowhere in the void of having to come through the kind of swamp of incoherence “sane thought” makes out of what’s real and what isn’t, I know that’s not the case. This healing works from a place where there was such a connection. Because it exists. And this girl, instead of being a victim to the extend that would call on I don’t know what would solve the problem, only making it worse, something else was there.
          For years and years and years, her healing tape, which I recorded onto a CD, would be there when I needed something to sooth me.
          You can read her PA’s story on the link I shared. That’s all an extremely bleak remnant of a person who doesn’t even have a WIKI page (multiple true miracle workers don’t: Gene Egidio doesn’t, although he traveled to Russia and all over the plant and got the Russian cosmonaut medal. Charlie Goldsmith doesn’t https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-gQ6oBDpB4 , Dean Kraft doesn’t http://www.deankrafthealer.com/ , Michael Stellitono doesn’t https://www.myindependencereport.com/michael-stellitano-energy-healer-and-author/ and then others who do are then treated with the same disrespect as Gene Egidio did as a child, when he was put in an asylum, supposedly “debunking” true science)… After getting involved with spiritualism (which I wouldn’t advise people to do, if they are insecure socially the same as any “religion” because of the bizarre “social” behavior one encounters) I did go to see a true healer, a Filipino “psychic surgeon” and knew afterwards that 20 years had been added to my life, or the amount of time neuroleptics statistically take off of someone’s life. And then just knowing such reality exists on the planet, that you’re not abandoned, that there isn’t this harsh wall between you and potential, that you can let go of the world’s way of thinking and there’s something else there, I think that THAT saved me from predatory behavior from the mental health system. Somehow, I was always able to gain some sort of gentle detachment or balance, leaving the mental health system incapable of force treating me. THAT in contrast to the horror one encounters say with a “religion.”
          There’s a healer lady Carol Everett, who recently helped me pick up the pieces. She also has scientific evidence that’s just simply dismissed. This video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD7tQC_H9eY and this one (you have to sign into youtube to confirm your age because the lady receiving the healing is filmed naked, I think because that’s easier for the thermal imagery monitoring the healing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=391Wi37YliY. Carol, then, in her sanctuary, has the simple requirement that one meditates twice a day for 20 minutes, or once for 40 to receive the healing energies, and it worked for me. Not only a physical condition that present “medical” institutions wouldn’t have been able to help me with went away (have the x-rays to prove it) but also when I now wake up and meditate, it does dissolve the stress of having to deal with what I have to deal with. The ALARM one encounters with a diagnosis, the amount of social PHOBIA, and people acting really weird and paranoid, saying horrible things about you behind your back, or when you’re there but make their remarkds directed at others so you hear them in order to make you think there’s something wrong with you, or let you know if you do anything they can consider “crazy” they’ll jump on it like someone wanting to win the lottery, this can be EXTREMELY distressing. Or they start lying, thinking there’s a danger that’s not really there, but they have the right to make out it is, and add their own lies so others will believe it and take action on what’s not going on. And the anxiety of trying to find a means of still finding peace in the world because of it, meditating for 20 minutes helps me let go of the anxiety that might make me so on edge I’m not doing stuff that really leads towards finding peace. Well, obviously Carol also doesn’t have a WIKI page, although she certainly deserves one.
          I’m leaving off for now so I can catch a bus, but I could go on for quite awhile about such stuff….. And in posting this I notice there’s something I was going to add, which I haven’t, but will when I get back.

          • I’m not dismissing anyone’s claims of whatever they think is a miracle. I just don’t think one group has the authority to decide what’s a miracle.

            And psychiatry and religion are about exerting authority more than anything else.

        • Birdsong, I know. I agree. I was just getting a bit cross-eyed trying to read stuff, and just mentioning something that’s made out to be what it isn’t, I lost an ability to know which way “the word” was going. “Miracle.” The gist is, if you simply get to know it for what it is, it’s like anything else people try to brainwash you regarding. And if you get something out of it, they immediately modulate to finding another reason it helped when it challenges their fixated ideas of how things should be.
          And the poor girl who had been born into a satanic cult, she was so disruptive that I asked others if they could find a place for her, which apparently I shouldn’t have. she had started making things up, and then actually told me she was using the sound of the fan to do that. THAT was enough. Maybe I should have handed her some paper so she could write down whatever the fan was saying, so I didn’t have to deal with her every ten minutes coming up with some alarmist story, but I was just that tired of it. It had been going on for more than a day, and I had hardly gotten any sleep. And the whole thing is such a melange of all sorts of people, the mental health system, and then people in the mental health system who then use it as an excuse to control others, while they rebel against it when it suits them, but then other times reflexively have someone committed with push button ease, or go on “medications” to avoid making themselves vulnerable to themselves, they don’t know how to let go of all of the machinery society has put in their reflexes, as if they need the petty rewards they get with such game theory. She had been running all sorts of people ragged. Others told me that she needed to go someplace to save a cat of hers, and having taken her miles to another city it wasn’t to be found. A lot of that could have been withdrawal symptoms from psychiatric drugs. Who knows. Someone else, who was by then at times a raging alcoholic who also did street drugs, because he felt that they he had control over his brain chemistry in contrast to psychiatric drugs, he had gotten her to stop taking all of her drugs. I imagine the psychiatrist who supposedly had integrated her personalities had gotten her on a whole cocktail of them. The girl ended up being committed, and her case manager actually called me up asking me where she was, although I hear they aren’t supposed to inform someone when there is a petition out against another, only in severe situations I hear then again. I didn’t know where she was, but when she was being processed which I somehow found out, after being abducted in to the asylum, I actually called up there, to let her know she could come back over here. But in the asylum, they actually connected me up with someone working there processing her, which they weren’t legally allowed to do, and he actually tried to ridicule me: “She has a petition against her, so I don’t think YOU can help her,” he says to me. He wasn’t even supposed to talk to me. It was illegal, actually at that point. I then later had talked to her psychiatrist who supposedly integrated her personalities, and he actually laughed about it, and made a remark about doing things legally, as if this was funny. Makes one wonder what else they think is “normal.”

          All put together, it’s like it’s forcing one to see that SOMETHING ELSE must be taking caring of things, and its best to practice non attachment, and trust the Universe, and enjoy life instead of getting involved in it all.

          I actually haven’t heard from her, or about it her since then. Was that 2007 or 2008? I don’t even know. The things you encounter going on with the mental health system, and I could go on and one about it. All the pretenses that “something” needs to be done, and all of the ways that people disassociate from what the actual results are of this URGE they have to do something, being relieved just to do something while completely not caring to see the results.
          I could go on all sorts of tangents, what I’ve encountered. The most bizarre things the mental health system does.
          It’s unbelievable to what degree this society worships fear, and the ability to control other people with it. The results being things going on no one would believe for thinking these people trained to traumatize others are some sort of salvation. And when things go wrong, they think they need more of it. Same as psychiatry with it’s war against the brain, any time they brain actually expresses that trauma doesn’t work, that it’s not a means towards sanity……This society is then so bent and addicted to using trauma as a means to control human behavior, that people go ballistic when someone just shows a bit of color outside of the allowed hues of behavior. And thus you have the penal system with the Supreme brainwashed pundits (Court) that have shut down Roe versus Wade, where two of the judges clearly were exposed to be sexual predators before they were “approved,” and what the military does invading anywhere that doesn’t bow down to the economic games of the powers that be, and then academics controlled by the same, and viola “religions.” I had some idea that people active in a satanic cult had some sinister aspect to them. This poor girl had told me how he father had impregnated her sister, by raping her, the poor sister had a child, and the father murdered the baby in front of the whole family with a knife, telling them that that is what would happen if they left the cult. I asked her what those people were like, as if they had some dastardly aspect to their behavior, like you see actors take on. The guy in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire who played the servant of Voldemoort that had gotten it so far that Harry would end up in the graveyard so Voldemoort could to his spell to revive his “body.” David Tennant was that actor. He then would move his tongue like a snake, as if this expresses evil, or any other of the characterizations that go on. But the girl answered real simply, with no affect at all.
          “What are those people like?”
          “Just like anyone else….”

          You wouldn’t believe how in simply experiencing for myself what “mental illness” is, so I know myself. Having gone through it rather than being a tourist. You wouldn’t believe how many “actors” that can come into my city, which is big enough to be a city but there never are any paparazzi, how many actors I’ve encountered, having somehow heard about me, and my talk about having past lifetime memories of “Vaslav Nijinsky,” what kind of bizarre interest turns up with them. People I have never had ANY conversation with regarding a feeling I had about a past lifetime, suddenly referring to me by that name, and then even male top billed actors making sexual advances towards me, as if I’m some exploitation for their repertoire of human experience, although they aren’t out at all regarding their homosexual feelings and desires. As if it’s some means to keep them happy so they can project this image of “happiness” and being human, but it’s too much for them to actually go out into the spaces that the vulnerable people who actually life such compelling issues find themselves, just because they actually are that human. And then doing it in a way that actually would have rehashed the kind of sexual exploitation, insensitivity, and intrigue that ruined “Nijinski’s” life. In ways it is SO bizarre! Because the issue is THAT compelling, society can’t really escape it, and these eager “celebrities” think it their duty to act compassionate about it, while being so full of themselves and their image that their behavior does exactly the opposite. And it becomes a desire to act out this compelling issue, but they wouldn’t know how to relate to the reality of it, beyond making a Hollywood commodity out of it.

          Sorry, I’m rather all over the place, but just trying to respond to such nonsense I end up all over the place. Trauma is trauma, it’s not a means towards population control, and neither does one win a war against one’s oppressors by using the same process they used to traumatize you. Miracles actually transcend that. Something does happen when you step out of investing in using fear, trauma, coercion and physical violence to control people. And there is ample evidence that such a shift occurs. That’s something different than believing in “magic” because it makes you feel relieved. That’s what snake oil salesmen do, and lately the mental health system.

          • Nijinsky says, “Something does happen when you step out of investing in using fear, trauma, coercion and physical violence to control people…That’s what snake oil salesmen do, and lately the mental health system.”

            Yes, and I would posit that miracles happen when people step out of psychiatry.

    • The problem is not that “there is no such thing as a mind without a brain”. There probably isn’t (there isn’t a mind without your liver either. You remove your liver, you die and have no mind [likely]). The simple correlation between thoughts and brain states is not some amazing discovery but is constantly bandied about to give legitimacy to psychiatry. “Do you believe in MRIs, fMRIs?” when it is practically worthless, nor are any “diagnoses” based on them.

      The “mind is correlated with the brain” logic justifies anything. “Personality Disorders”, “Oppositional Defiant Disorder” and what not. One thing psychiatrists will never invent is Ethics Deficit Disorder and put themselves and their own brethren through some brain scan studies.

      Ethics Deficit Disorder:

      1.) Seeks positions of power and authority in the field of psychology, psychiatry and police forces.

      2.) Sees no ethical implications of behavioural labelling.

      3.) Enjoys and feels comfortable in the power role.

      4.) Is indifferent to the consequences of said practices.

      5.) Dismisses patients’ complaints of his profession’s actions on their lives.

      If 4 out of 5 symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, a diagnosis of Ethics Deficit Disorder (EDD) can be established. A diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder must first be ruled out before a diagnosis of EDD can be made.

      Olanzapine is a first line treatment in the management of EDD. In case of treatment resistant Ethics Deficit Disorder, ECT can be considered. Prognosis of EDD without treatment is poor and follows a waxing and waning course.

      Ethics Deficit Disorder is no more or less real than Borderline Personality Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Internet Gaming Disorder.

      I also don’t insinuate that human suffering is not real. You’ve written in another post, “Is it fair to say that everyone thinks that “mental illness” doesn’t exist or, if it does, that it’s caused by “historical forces”?”. People suffer, in some combination, from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, hallucinations, delusions, manic episodes, drug related issues, family related issues, financial issues etc. Can’t deny that.

      Here is a brain. How much can you infer from this about the “mind” of the person this brain belongs to?

      • THANKS, registered for this site, I needed that!

        It’s like worthless to try to take some of this stuff seriously, except it’s so tragic how it affects others.

        “Immaterial thought” what is that supposed to be? It’s amazing how certain “scientists” come up with the idea that physical matter (including the brain with this) precluded existence. “Somehow” all the building blocks of atomic reality were just floating around bouncing around with each other till TADA they came together enough in stars planet and interacting there that our bodies and “THE BRAIN” was formed. And if anything goes wrong with “thought” it’s because of the brain. One can go on about this to such a degree that there’s no rest, but when someone takes a break they might find some peace, is this then “immaterial thought” to put two and two together and try something different?

        Real science has different ideas about it. Even something as crude as the obsession with “black holes” and “the big bang” points out matter came from somewhere and wasn’t just floating around by chance till said physical object was formed, although that there is any purpose or reason behind it can’t be entertained. I won’t even go into it, the science of the connection between “immaterial thought” and physical reality. God Forbid. Apparently it’s crazy enough to say take a break from your obsession regarding THE BRAIN as needing to be the object. As object go that aren’t allowed to speak for themselves, since evidence of what you’re doing to THE BRAIN the whole time is dismissed for what?

        When anyone says that “mental illness” is real, and thus it “MUST BE” because of “THE BRAIN,” and then upon “treating” the brain have caused the very thing they say they were treating, which is a chemical imbalance, this also correlated with a spike in the problem (despite the excuse being that we have to lie about where the chemical imbalance comes from so people take their meds), and less recovery, more relapsing, more disability, loss of life expectancy, paranoia against normal responses to trauma that could otherwise be understood, normal responses to challenges in cognition, normal responses to environmental problems all of this is pushed to the side because it has to be “THE BRAIN”….. And you have to lie about this chemical imbalance being treated, or people won’t take their meds, and what’s already listed won’t follow, to point out how much of a problem this is with THE BRAIN, but deny the cause…..

        And then we hear that the brain is a mysterious thing, we don’t really know how it works (all to excuse everything that this process has shown to do to it, and that it disable and damage it), and “we are making headway.” Or talk of compelling evidence.

        What does “immaterial thought” have to do with this? There’s clear cause and effect that one isn’t supposed see, but instead believe in what?

        Anyone not disrupting the brain is entertaining “immaterial thought” and…..

        Here are enough brains to go with it” https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/2005/06/30/a-dispute-over-brain-donations/64e213dd-3c69-4e7c-acce-a6f25b0eef03/

        Or you can indulge in this amazing AMAZING smorgasbord:
        Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods: Early Humans and the Origins of Religion Hardcover – September 5, 2017
        by E. Fuller Torrey (Author)
        “Based on an idea originally proposed by Charles Darwin, Torrey marshals evidence that the emergence of gods was an incidental consequence of several evolutionary factors. Using data ranging from ancient skulls and artifacts to brain imaging, primatology, and child development studies, this book traces how new cognitive abilities gave rise to new behaviors. For instance, autobiographical memory, the ability to project ourselves backward and forward in time, gave Homo sapiens a competitive advantage. However, it also led to comprehension of mortality, spurring belief in an alternative to death. Torrey details the neurobiological sequence that explains why the gods appeared when they did, connecting archaeological findings including clothing, art, farming, and urbanization to cognitive developments. This book does not dismiss belief but rather presents religious belief as an inevitable outcome of brain evolution. Providing clear and accessible explanations of evolutionary neuroscience, Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods will shed new light on the mechanics of our deepest mysteries.

        Animals by the way, without this “ability” to “project” themselves backwards and forwards in time, let alone conjure up “gods” when there is a Tsunami coming, they somehow know it and get out of the area. they actually can predict natural disasters quite dependably. They also have been tested to show signs that they know when their “owners” are on the way home, and have all sorts of other amazing abilities….

        How does this work with “immaterial thought?”

          • Some people are too arrogant to grasp the true nature, meaning and reason for religion: feelings of awe, gratitude and humility—all of which are spiritual—something they’re loath to accept, for who knows what reason.

            It’s too bad when people have no sense of the transcendent. But some people have no ability to be humble.

  14. And as for “miracles”: for me, these mean good things that can’t be explained. And I see no need for getting entangled in someone else’s religiously tedious explanations, be they religious, or “scientific”.

    My question is this: why do some people insist on needing to explain the unexplainable? And my answer is this: some people need to be seen as god, and scientists are no exception.

  15. Now try being murdered by religion using psychiatry, psychiatry using religion, hardly matters which when you are an active murder site and no will help. Mental torture, second decade starting soon.

    Body, if the retaliatory computers hacks break you, please abort. See Facebook. It would be better to never be born.

  16. I’ve said before that I think some research or editorials or other publications would be better served in the NYT rather than somewhere like MIA (or both), albeit requiring modification to the piece for a different kind of publication. But something like this is so pertinent and digestible it could just be dropped in. Maybe for a more general audience a missing component is commentary on the necessary hostility of the “religion” to both critical science and unhappy recipients alike – that accompanies most religious belief – that will have imparted elements of dogma in the readership.

    A huge part of this that very often gets left out of the discussion – even on MIA – is that the religious model goes far beyond treatment and health itself. People are said to be, essentially, subhuman, forever menaces to themselves or others, locked up or subject to “AOT” programs codified in law, denied employment and many rights and generally live in fear and in hiding not because they are disordered – even if some remain – but in spite of the fact that they are not. Recovery does in fact happen, often and completely in irreversibly. But that is not allowed under the model. A person who is recovered is only temporarily ok, or is lying, or lacks insight into their brokenness and is being bad and mean to clinicians for not wishing to be drugged or incarcerated or denied participation in life for no reason. We have a lot of talk about tolerating neurodiversity in cases where people continue to be different and on efficacy and harms of treatments and the disingenuousness of institutional practices. But we don’t have so much discussion on what problems actually are, what recovery from the real problems looks like and how it does in fact happen, either after time or sometimes very quickly, and how the religion is requires denial of those facts and can trap people in hopeless misery.