Sunday, April 5, 2020

Comments by oldhead

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  • So if someone says to me they are a feminist, but they support psychiatry (or the reformation of psychiatry) then they are not “true feminists”? And if not, what are they then?

    I would call them liberal or “career” feminists, i.e. looking for an equal share of the corruption, not to overturn the inherent inequalities of being born female.

    Bonnie had a lot of contradictions, I would find her hard to label either way. She considered herself an anarchist.

  • OK folks here’s what I’m getting closer and closer to concluding:

    For most of us it’s no longer a stretch to believe that this virus was deliberately introduced for some reason or another, as we know by now this system has no respect for human life. The only remaining question is why.

    I believe it’s VERY likely that this is a move on the part of Pharma to terrorize people into not only agreeing to be vaccinated once they “discover”a vaccine (or more likely unwrap a one that already exists), but to beg for such, and agree to universal state mandated vaccines for everyone. Bill Gates has been promoting this for years, yet still more & more people are refusing the vaccine for the “regular” flu. So this is their final solution.

    They have already convinced people that web censorship of anti-VAXX info, to which they openly admit, is a GOOD thing. It’s a short step from there to get people to accept state mandated vaccines. This would also explain the well known spate of “mysterious” deaths and disappearances of doctors and others who promote natural healing, especially those who have done research debunking pro-vaccine propaganda. And it is consistent with what Auntie mentions regarding sites such as MIA being either shut down or — more likely — being shut out of search engines, Facebook, and the like. So fuck with that.

    I have already concluded that the human race has had its collective immunity compromised by so-called vaccines, which have taken the place of our bodies’ existing, and very effective, immune systems.

    Auntie & SPB I’d like to dialogue with you some more about this, either here, privately, or both.

  • To create a feminist mental health and madness literacy guide
    To develop resources that can be given out by patient advocates at area hospitals

    True feminists should be fighting the concepts of “mental health” and “madness”/”mental illness,” not promoting them. And it shouldn’t take a man to point this out. I shudder to imagine what self-abnegating literature would be given to already oppressed female inmates in mental institutions based on such an approach; it could only increase their mystification and identification with psychiatric propaganda. I don’t mean to be harsh but I see no other option.

    To engage in conversations with other organizations in and outside of the area, including those with whom we may not agree

    Does this include “survivor” organizations who wish to completely abolish psychiatry?

  • My hypothesis is, as I mentioned to Rachel privately, that those of us who have been through the psychiatric wringer may fare better with all this psychologically than “normal” people, because we have already experienced the depths of emotional trauma and personal chaos, whereas those who have become accustomed to a “system” lifestyle of going to a job/school, coming home and watching “Modern Family,” going to sleep after the 11 o’clock news and getting paid on Fridays have often never peered into the abyss; they don’t know that there IS an abyss. Welcome to the Terrordome!

  • Though it is referred to as “Communist” China, true communism was defeated in China shortly after the death of Mao. It is now unrestrained capitalism in effect there. The fact that it is run by something called the “communist” party is similar to the US often being run by the “Democratic” party, which has nothing to do with true democracy. What we’re up against is the international ruling class, which is a monolith.

  • Also @Joanna — That 3.4% is probably grossly exaggerated and based on the fact that mainly the people who are being tested have more severe symptoms to begin with and are from high risk groups. What I’ve been hearing is that when more widespread testing is done, including asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic people, the mortality rate will turn out to be more like .4%, as opposed to .1% for the “regular” flu.

  • I agree with a lot of this. But that doesn’t mean CV19 doesn’t pose a serious threat. The Spanish Flu (to which I guess we’re now largely immune) killed about 10% of the “civilizd” world I think. And this is an engineered virus most likely, developed as a bioweapon.

    Our collective immunity has been compromised, likely due to widespread vaccination. This may explain some of it. I am following the protocols, still I’m over 60 and continue to shop for supplies, go to the chiropractor and walk around the neighborhood while terrified people around me wear masks everywhere they go. Still I don’t go around licking toilet seats. I use rubbing alcohol on my hands when I come home, which is at least as good as hand sanitizer. I am wary of shared surfaces, but don’t worry so much about walking past people at the supermarket, as it appears this is not an airborne thing unless someone coughs or sneezes. It’s a heavy virus that falls to the floor and doesn’t hang in the air like measles — to which I am immune since I had it as a child, like just about everyone my age.

    Famous last words? We’ll see. But I agree there’s lots of exploitation and hysteria, and the media is having a field day pumping up people’s adrenalin.

    Ever see Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind? I’m reminded of the fake plague (anthrax?) staged to keep people away from the landing site, where they left dead cattle laying around to deter people. Not saying this is happening, but they may be throwing a lot of death in our faces to achieve an exaggerated effect. We can’t know for sure till it’s over. But Italy is certainly no hoax, even though there may be explanations. And I won’t be heading back to NYC any time soon. Everyone should definitely be careful.

    However true martial law is no joke — they can shoot you on a whim, with few questions asked. And economic collapse benefits the 1% for sure — people would have to work for whatever they’re offered.

    And why did the site Auntie directed us to pop up when I clicked the “reply” button under Rachel’s comment?

  • Of course, there need to be solid, real, honest ideas that have strong logical backing, because otherwise they don’t WORK.

    Bingo again!

    But I can’t think of a major change movement that didn’t employ emotional appeals as a big part of their strategy.

    Some examples would be useful. Of course appeals to emotion have their place, but they are not a substitute for a sound analysis. Just as demonstrations outside the APA and elsewhere at the appropriate juncture would add an exclamation point when we are unified in our beliefs and demands. But recent APA events have mainly highlighted the lack of such unity.

    I’m mainly talking about survivor organizing btw, I’m unconvinced that other than for a few people such as yourself there is significant interest in defeating psychiatry among non-survivors, as opposed to “improving” it, or that many even know the difference. But the time will come.

  • One can be right all day long and get nothing done. That’s how I’ve experienced attempts to change the system from within.

    Bingo! What does that tell you about “working from within”?

    The question is how you get masses of people on board with that idea. Most people don’t think with ideas, they react with emotions.

    Which is something that needs to be recognized and taken into consideration, but we shouldn’t pander to emotions.

    People have to be grabbed emotionally.

    Why? Where has it ever been shown that effective activism can be based on emotions and not understanding? Most survivors don’t need an emotional trigger to hate psychiatry; they’ve already had that, and those who do are not really ready to be effective activists. For that you need a viable analysis and an effective strategy. I doubt we’re going to see the masses on our side until shortly before we win. We need to appeal to those who already understand and hate psychiatry and provide a framework for them to put that understanding (and emotion) into action. It’s not a simple process, but we’re working on it.

    As for your example, I think it demonstrates my point that systemic change cannot be driven by emotions. And none of my critical comments are aimed at individuals, but ideas, I thought you of all people would know that by now.

  • Glad you understand that I’m not insisting you shift your focus to overt abolitionism. I think you’re working exactly where the AP movement (real or imagined) needs you to be right now, and are doing an excellent job.

    Psychiatry can be criticized from a “health perspective” in that it’s often extremely destructive to one’s health, but it should not be criticized in terms of it actually being a branch of medicine that can potentially be “reformed.” If psychiatry were more scientific it would be even more dangerous, since it is an institution of social control. Just like ICE, but way more far-reaching.

    As for science — the only science we need is to recognize that “mental illness” is an absurd and impossible concept from the get-go. It is a reified metaphor and cannot concretely exist under the rules of language. Hence any “research” which accepts “mental illness” as a real thing to be “studied” is inherently unscientific and operating on a false premise, and is terminally flawed on that basis alone.

  • Attributing self-destructive motivations to a person, and denying them the possibility of doing something they choose based on this attribution, is against their human rights, particularly the right to legal capacity.

    No one is denying anyone the right or possibility of doing anything. Even the possibility of self-harm. There may be other motivations for taking a known poison despite knowing that it’s poison, I just can’t think of any; if you can please enlighten me. And whether this is ever truly a “choice” remains questionable.

    But there’s a difference between saying that psychic suffering and any kind of consciousness or behavior are not pathology, that diagnosis is name is calling, and saying that there should not be any use of psychoactive substances to feel better.

    I’m not even remotely desiring to dictate what anyone “should” do, just saying that using a toxic substance to alter one’s consciousness should be recognized for what it is, whether it’s Prozac or Jack Daniels. It should not be euphemized as “medication” or prescribed as such. And while I think e.g. it’s a stretch to equate valerian (which I use) with benzos (with which valerian shares some receptors) my point remains the same, this is not a justification for psychiatry to exist.

    As for “ways that can be acted on in law and policy,” that’s a different question. There are many needs we have as human beings that current legal structures exclude us from addressing. We need to decide where we need to go first, then strategize how to get there. I see CRPD as a wrench in the works of the psychiatric agenda, a very important one. But ultimately solving the problem of psychiatry cannot be done under the aegis of “disability rights” because we are not disabled, and identifying with such a label is part of internalized psychiatric oppression.

  • it seems to me that people can wrap their brains around the idea that people deserve to have their rights respected more easily than they can that their doctors are a bunch of charlatans, even if the latter is observably true.

    You’re getting liberal on me Steve. 🙂

    Are you saying we should put less emphasis on being correct and more on telling people what they’re ready to hear? Isn’t this like news organizations that poll their customers about the kind of news they prefer to read?

    If their “doctors” are clearly charlatans then why express matters in terms of “human rights”? To give people a comfortable euphemism?

  • This assumes that great numbers of people care, which I don’t think is a realistic assumption. I don’t think this is cynical on my part. The second mistake imo is the idea that if the general populace were more conscious of psychiatric oppression they would be motivated to do something about it. Most people act out of self-interest. The idea of “educating the public” is nice, but strategically we need to immediately focus on those who are likely to take action, and for whom we don’t need to dance on eggshells. The others will have to learn from our example, we can’t hold ourselves back and nurse them along till they’re ready to agree with our agenda. Assuming that “we” means people opposed to psychiatry, not those who entertain hopes of “reforming” it.

  • I personally think the human rights approach is the broadest and would have the most general appeal

    Who are we trying to “appeal” to? Liberal mental health workers? Politicians and bureaucrats? What about the “fighting criminal oppression” approach, based on the analysis that the purpose of psychiatry is to enforce conformity to the established social order? Do we have to wait for a majority to “get it” before we assert our human rights? Count me out.

  • Would it work, policy-wise, to talk about free and informed consent for psychiatric drugs, from a person-centered human rights point of view?

    There can be no such thing; if there were truly “informed” consent the only people consenting to taking neurotoxic drugs would be those with self-destructive motivations.

    Do we need different approaches for different drugs – e.g. taking some off the market as too harmful based on weight of the evidence, while leaving others?

    It’s all poison in the guise of medicine, hence criminal, maybe even a war crime if we acknowledge that this system is at war with all life.

    Some may argue for legalization of all drugs and other toxic substances; however to justify such drugging in the guise of medicine is always fraudulent and criminal. If the state involves itself in licensing of physicians, prescribing psych drugs as medicine should be outlawed as fraud.

  • I don’t base my work on opposition to psychiatry per se or psychiatric drugs, because l see too many people, including many who are identified with the survivor movement and are, legitimately, survivors of horrendous psychiatric violence, using psychiatric drugs.

    The fact that some victims of other forms of “horrific psychiatric violence” remain victims of psychiatric drugs does not change the fact that anyone with a psychiatric label is a victim of psychiatry, whether or not they understand or acknowledge this. Hence objectively psychiatry should be opposed no matter what, since it fraudulently poses as medicine. (Not saying this must be your personal focus.)

    Sorry this has fallen off the MIA home page. I’ll respond privately to your email.

  • The Rogers legislation was a major movement accomplishment for its time and must be protected!

    However, don’t make the mistake of expecting the corporate media to respond to reason, that’s not their job. Their job is to obfuscate and distort. Sera Davidow has spent a lot of time banging her head against the Globe’s brick wall, check out where it’s gotten her.

    Once we have a viable movement the media will cover us more readily, again for purposes of obfuscation.

    Good article though.

  • OK, so…

    Many people in other countries would look at our discussion here and wonder how you could say there isn’t even ‘a movement’.

    Many people in the US would be offended too.

    It depends what you mean by “movement.” A movement must have clearly defined goals, hence when I say “movement” in the context of MIA discussions I mean the anti-psychiatry movement, not any efforts to “improve” psychiatry. If there are related movements they also need to be clearly defined, otherwise (as with people at MIA) you have a bunch of people motivated to improve the lot of the psychiatrized, however their analyses about what needs to be done and who the enemy is (and why) are different, and often contradictory. So it needs to be clarified what people are moving toward to know if we are all indeed in league with one another. I would hold with my assertion that there is currently no “viable movement which reflects the goals or agenda of psychiatric survivors” (my phrasing) or “independent autonomous movement of survivors of psychiatric oppression” (yours). If you know of any such group elsewhere (not talking about CAPA) I’d love to hear of them. However this brings us to the issue of what is a “survivor.”

    Like you I also have some issues with the term “survivor.” As you no doubt recall, in the days of the mental patients liberation movement we used to refer to ourselves as “former and current psychiatric inmates.” I think it would be less awkward to refer to “psychiatric inmates and outmates” (the latter referring to people in CMH, etc.). When I stumbled upon MIA after years of absence from the anti-psychiatry scene I realized that the universal term for the psychiatrized had morphed into “survivor,” a questionable development I was nonetheless not about to tackle or criticize since I had been “gone” for so long. However, not all of us are survivors. Many of us have been killed by psychiatry. So I personally would prefer “inmates” and “outmates.” This has to be a collective decision however.

    Still hoping you’ll check my email, would love to hear your further thoughts on some of this stuff. I don’t consider any of your responses to be nitpicking.

    P.S. If a “survivor” has not yet arrived at an anti-psychiatry position I don’t really consider them as having “survived.”

  • Sorry you’re still “drinking the Kool-Aid” (another analogy).

    I use the diabetes analogy and will continue to do so. Mental illness is a physical illness.

    So which is it? It can’t be both

    The brain is tangible. It’s a muscle and an organ; and one of its myriad of functions is to produce emotions. The brain transmits chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, etc.) which influence moods and emotions. And like diabetes, the brain is treated with medications.

    All true. But the mind is NOT tangible, nor treatable with “medications” (also known as neurotoxins).

    And therein lies the essential deception of psychiatry.

  • “Nothing about us without us” is a perfectly legitimate slogan but it seems to have been grossly abused over the years, depending what is meant by “us.” Since there is not yet an organization or viable movement which reflects the goals or agenda of psychiatric survivors (though we’re working on it), this means to me that just about everyone out there who is not a survivor should refrain from talking “about us” completely unless they are invited to do so by “us.”

    Putting it another way, only we can define our allies. If we build a movement they will come.

  • “Depression” is a feeling, not a disease. It has been noted how shrinks will take someone who is “depressed” (extremely sad, hopeless, etc.) then say “this is a disease called depression.” The same with “anxiety” and other human reactions to a toxic culture. It’s a lie, and it’s criminal.

    Consider the following statements:

    “Mental illness” is a semantically absurd concept which falsely conflates the abstraction known as “mind” with the physical brain to mislead people into believing they have literal diseases.


    Psychiatry is a tool of social control which enforces conformity to the values of the prevailing social order.

    Anything you disagree with?

    Considering the brilliance of your writing some of us are wondering if you have reached the point of “officially” declaring yourself anti-psychiatry, period. Are you? And is there a way for AP people to contact you directly? (Let me know if you need a conduit for such communication.)

    Good seeing you at MIA again.

  • The biggest story yet to be told (which needs some serious research while some of the protagonists are still alive) is how the success of the mental patients liberation movement was co-opted by the APA/NIMH in the mid-80’s by hand-picking opportunistic (now former) movement spokespeople and showering them with money and “status” to push the phony and completely illegitimate “consumers” movement.

  • Tina, do you agree that our greatest need is to educate lawyers not only on how to get the “best deal” for their psychiatrized clients, but to study people like Szasz and learn how to deconstruct ALL “diagnostic” language as fraudulent?

    Looks like the fix is in on Bernie. Anyone who validates this by voting for Biden is a fool, and a sellout really. Time for revolution.

    (PS did you see my email?)

  • What’s with the italics?

    Anyway, there were indeed radical anti-psychiatry women in the 1970’s mental patients liberation movement. One of their primary targets for criticism were so-called “feminist therapists,” as well as “radical therapists” in general. In fact the movement of psychiatric inmates and ex-inmates largely came from a split within the “Radical Therapist” collective and rejection of the professional “model.”

  • Psychiatry does NOT need a “new metaphor.” It simply needs to die.

    The term psychiatry itself is as much a metaphor as is “mental illness”; it refers to the “field of medicine” which “treats” these “mental diseases.” As such it is inherently based on acceptance of (hence part of) the “mental illness” metaphor, hence illegitimate on it’s face.

    Also, even if a “new metaphor” of some sort were to be adopted it would immediately be concretized just like “mental illness.” Funny — in my college abnormal psych 101 text “concrete thinking” is considered a “symptom” of “schizophrenia.”

  • It is not in the best interests of the left to acknowledge that there is no chemical imbalance

    Actually it is, Jan. But most so-called leftists are actually liberals, which is pretty much the opposite of “left.” Those who sincerely want to defeat this system also have a serious interest in exposing and defeating psychiatry.

    I think “left” and “right” are meaningless terms at this point, since they have no consistent definitions. Marx, Lenin and Mao are rolling over in their graves I’m sure.

  • Lest anyone be confused, Frank and I do agree strongly on a couple things. I think the main outrage here is that Will Hall would describe “our movement” as “the broader effort of mental health reform–recovery and peer support, survivors and consumers and professionals and family members, all of us pulling together to reform psychiatry” — and virtually no one even takes exception to this? This is why I have no response to those who characterize MIA as a forum for liberal “mental health” professionals.

    All men are sexist, just as all “white” people in America are racist, it’s just a matter of degree. This is programmed from birth. Sorry if anyone doesn’t like that. We all need to be on guard for such internalized prejudice and conditioning to manifest in oppressive or destructive ways. But to seriously believe that sexism and racism can be resolved within the context of a “mental health” system ignores the social purpose and function of the “mental health” ruse, which is to reinforce socially programming and conformity to the corrupt values and premises to which we are enslaved. We all need to be responsible for our behavior, and also to embrace the concept of redemption for others where appropriate. But to look to the system or its structures for answers is like looking under a street light for the keys you lost in the bushes because the light’s better.

  • By “our movement” I mean the broader effort of mental health reform–recovery and peer support, survivors and consumers and professionals and family members, all of us pulling together to reform psychiatry

    This does not describe any “movement” I would consider myself part of, in fact it describes exactly what I am trying to discourage and oppose. And yes, such a “movement” I would consider corrupt by definition. But I don’t think that’s what Will is referring to.

    I think when we speak of “movements” here which are not the anti-psychiatry movement we should be clear about what we mean; at least Will has done so with the above definition. Except, again, I consider this a mentality we should be moving AGAINST.

  • CRPD is more than “just paper,” in fact what Tina has done with CRPD over the years is probably a more significant and concrete accomplishment than anything else the so called “movement” has done in decades. In essence it provides a moral and human rights basis for eliminating forced psychiatry and sets the groundwork for doing so. Most important, it is an official U.N. document. It is not something whipped up by “progressive” shrinks and mh workers to put a smiley face on their schemes. As with many UN resolutions it does not carry the force of law, and its enforcement will rely on the degree of pressure exerted by those affected. But CRPD truly IS a significant step towards eliminating forced interventions, unlike myriad other statements of this sort proffered by the psych industry and its flunkies.

  • I watched the debate. Sanders is a fucking disaster just like the rest. He totally shies away from acknowledging the carnage and violence wreaked by psychiatric drugging in the form of school shootings and — just like Trump — thinks the answer is targeting the psychiatrized, not outlawing SSRI’s and benzos for medical pretenses. The other element of the “progressive” answer is disarming the populace, as if the very existence of guns causes them to be used in such ways — if this is the case why haven’t we had a Department of Mass Violence since the country’s inception?

  • Rage and resistance are not “madness,” despite well-meaning attempts to romanticize the term, and those who celebrate “mad pride” are internalizing the definitions of the enemy. More and more survivors are beginning to reject the term “mad” as firmly as they do terms such as “mentally ill.”

    Additionally, many psychiatric survivors lack a coherent analysis of psychiatry, without which efforts to combat it and eliminate it will quickly fall into the abyss of reformism. Some of us have been working on such an analysis for some time. Simply being a disaffected “survivor” does not automatically confer wisdom on one as to how to end the psychiatric reign of terror (though it helps as a starting point).

    Harriet Tubman and Emma Goldman were not “mad” in any sense, “sublime” or otherwise, nor are modern revolutionaries such as Mumia Abu-Jamal (whose amazing saga Chris Hedges has also covered). They were/are driven by revolutionary zeal, which is not “mad” (whatever that means), but a reflection of the highest human values to which all should aspire. There is no “natural bond” between anarchists and survivors any more than there is between us and revolutionary socialists, Black nationalists, and disillusioned liberals. If one wants to resist this system one must see resisting psychiatry as part of that struggle, and must reject the concept of “madness” in any but a poetic sense.

  • That wasn’t directed at you Someone, it was a general statement. Peterson does say some stuff that could be considered right wing, but I think he’s more of a libertarian. (Lots of people who call themselves “leftists” make these charges, however they themselves are actually liberals who support capitalism.)

    I don’t think MIA is capable of reaching out to Peterson in a way that would be helpful, as it continues to distance itself from the anti-psychiatry movement. However those who are clear about psychiatry being an illegitimate pretense at medicine not subject to “reform” (you know who you are) should make an active effort to bring Peterson into the fold.

  • I don’t consider him “right wing” either, that’s just a neoliberal way of reducing him to a stereotype.

    What I’m wondering is whether the AP movement may be on the verge of having a new spokesperson — especially considering he & his family figured this stuff out on their own. Weren’t we just talking about the harm celebrity psych-pushers are doing? This might provide some balance.

  • So the systematic, self-serving, and widespread deception perpetrated by psychiatry stemmed from their excitement! How eminently understandable.

    Hi Phil! You have a singular ability to reduce matters to their absurd essence.

    (Kendler) “The stigma of psychiatric illness and the low status of the psychiatric profession need to be addressed at both social and political levels and will not likely be solved through the discovery of major single causes for our illnesses.”

    Nope — they both will be properly addressed only by the elimination of psychiatry.