Friday, September 17, 2021

Comments by Jenny Miller

Showing 15 of 15 comments.

  • Superb article! It reminds me of the time a writer for the local paper interviewed me for an article she was writing about the Riese court decision, which affirmed the right of short-term psychiatric inmates in California to give informed consent or refusal to psychiatric drugs. In the course of our conversation, i gave her the names of three psychiatrists and one neurologist, all of whom happened to live in Berkeley (where the article was appearing), and all of whom were very critical of the harmful effects of psychiatric drugs. When her article was published, it said there was universal support among psychiatric professionals regarding the benefits of psychiatric medication. Luckily the paper was willing to print my long rebuttal to all the false statements in the article, but, sadly, my rebuttal appeared on the same day that Eleanor Riese died, apparently from the effects of prior longterm forced medication with psychiatric drugs. (Her brave fight for the right of psychiatric inmates to make their own drug decisions was made into a major motion picture called “55 Steps.” I believe it can still be viewed on Amazon and other online sites.)

    What is so bizarre about all these news stories that claim that if people who are psychiatrically-labelled don’t take their medication they will commit acts of violence, is that it’s actually the people who are taking psychiatric drugs are much more likely to commit acts of violence. I believe Dr. Peter Breggin has written about this. In virtually every incident of mass shooting in the U.S., it was later found that the shooter was taking psychiatric drugs, some of which carry specific warnings about increased risk of suicide and homicide.

    This is the first time i’ve heard the claim that R.D. Laing’s Kingsley Hall was a failure. The reporter seems to feel that just by mentioning the word LSD that fact is a foregone conclusion. I always thought it was a wonderful success story, as did my friend Terri Masson, who visited Kingsley Hall when she was covering Laing’s work for Canadian television. Maybe something happened later that made people think it had failed? I’d be interested in knowing the rest of that story.

  • Thanks, Peter, for your information and insights re this extremely important issue. In my opinion, prioritizing psychiatric inmates/survivors for the mRNA vaccines bears much similarity to the Nazi’s extermination of “useless eaters.” Before the Nazis started killing Jews, gypsies, gay people, political dissidents, etc., they first exterminated people considered mentally disabled. And lest you think, oh Nazis, nothing like that could happen here, the practice of killing children considered to be ‘feeble-minded” was endorsed during that time period by the editorial board of the Journal of the American Psychiatric Association.

    I agree with Steve about the dearth of actual articles and data supporting people’s arguments, so here’s one that is packed full of important info, backed up by documentation, and no one can dismiss it as a “from a right wing source.” (Speaking of right-wingers, yes, i believe that the anti psychiatry hero, Dr. Peter Breggin, has gone off the rails in his support for extreme political positions, but i’m so glad he’s still out there fighting for the truth re the mRNA vaccines, just as he has fought to expose the truth about psychiatric drugs for all these decades.)

    There are a few highlights from the following article that i think are particularly worth noting. No people over 80 were included in the Moderna trials and not that many over 70. The people chosen for the trials were all in very good health. The vaccine manufacturers do not claim that they prevent transmission, or even death, only that they prevent mild to moderate symptoms. This has been validated by the World Health Organization. They do not prevent transmission.

    There have been quite a few instances of very high death rates of elderly people following vaccination, where there had previously been very few in that particular location who had died from Covid-19.

    The article is here–
    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/national-media-vaccine-misinformation-hank-aaron/?itm_term=home

  • I agree with everything you are saying, rebel, except the part about “there is no way we could resurrect such a movement again.” I’m assuming you’re of a younger generation, or at least a younger generation than the time period discussed in my article, but massive drugging of children with psychiatric drugs existed then also. MNN published articles by people who had survived such drugging as children, and sounded the alarm that this massive drugging was just the tip of the iceberg and could get worse. (You’re right, it did get worse.)

    In my article “Psychiatry as a Tool of Repression” (which appeared in Utne Reader but unfortunately is no longer viewable online) i discussed the history of how psychiatry has traditionally been used for the purpose of social control of women and minorities (e.g. ECT and lobotomy), and how the use of psychiatric drugs had become pervasive everywhere. The pervasive drugging did not just apply to the way children were routinely drugged in schools, but also how elders were often automatically drugged in elder facilities, as were prisoners who were considered uncooperative.,

    I recently engaged in a huge uphill battle to help a friend free her adopted father from forced drugging with psychiatric drugs in the board and care home where he lived. He had no psychiatric history, and had no obvious mental/behavioral deficits, yet it was just assumed, because his doctor had prescribed mind control drugs as a matter of course, that they were essential for his well being and appropriate treatment. This was despite the fact that he said the drugs made him feel a lot worse. It was only the intervention of an attorney who specialized in patients rights that my friend was able to penetrate the nonsensical laws governing her father’s situation and free him from the forcible drugging.

    I couldn’t agree more with your statement about our society now being on “the precipice of more complex technological and computerized invasions into our brain and mind.” Which is all the more reason that people need to fight back, as was done by the previous generation of mind control resisters whom i described in my article.

  • You are saying two totally opposite things, Kindredspririt, so it’s hard to know how to respond. You start out emphasizing that i didn’t seem to read your statement where you wrote “I respect your right to self-determination to identify in this way” and towards the end you wrote “i don’t ever find it appropriate for white women like you or i to take on the identify of madness.” Since the latter statement seems to be the most consistent viewpoint in your comment, i will reply to that.

    You seem to making a huge number of assumptions about me, a person you’ve never met or communicated with previously. You said you have the privilege of advanced education and marrying into a comfortable socio-economic class, and seem to assume that i have had similar privileges myself. I haven’t. True, my parents (who did not have middle class backgrounds) ended up joining the middle class, but i did not experience a lot of socio-economic benefit from that, as they had major economic struggles while i was growing up, and after i became an adult, they did not look favorably on my experience of being psychiatrized (to which they had contributed) or upon my later work as an anti psychiatry activist. So as an adult i’ve had to struggle with poverty for long stretches of my life, and the resulting horrors which that entails, such as being refused treatment after a serious car accident because i didn’t have insurance.

    I actually don’t think one’s racial or class background has anything to do with whether or not she or he has the “right” to identify as a mad person. But since you obviously do think it’s important in this discussion, to provide some clarification, my background is Russian on one side (speaking of hisotrically oppressed peoples, my grandfather endured tremendous hardship escaping from the deadly pogroms against Jewish people in Russia), and i’m Irish/British on the other side. Russians have a a very strong mystical tradition, as do the Celts in Ireland and Britain, as snowy owl points out.

    Mystical and altered-state experiences are not limited to people of a particular racial or cultural background. I also have some Native American blood from a great grandmother in Oklahoma. Does that make it OK for me to validate my own experience of “madness,” which the psychiatric establishment tried so hard to erase?

    I’m not speaking on behalf of anyone. The subject of my article and this discussion, is the existence of a mad persons/survivors journal in the 1970s and 80s, and to what extent the new incarnation of Madness Network News should support people who embrace the identify of “madness”? I do think it’s relevant to this discussion that the creator of this new incarnation of the madness journal is Native American. (He is the person i was referring to when i said there was more than one person in this thread who supported survivors no matter what their outlook is on the use of that terminology or identity).

    As i said in my last comment, we, the previous editors of MNN made every attempt to include the experiences of people from non-culturally-dominant backgrounds so they could speak for themselves. We felt it was important for their perspectives to be heard and i think it’s important that your own experience be heard. I never said anything to denigrate your experience.

  • Hi Kindredspirit,

    Thanks for your thoughtful input into the discussion about whether it’s ok for some psych survivors to choose to accept the identify of “mad people.” Although your comment is addressed to me, there were two of us in this thread who are advocating the right of survivors to choose to identify as mad people. One of the two has a Native American background.

    The editors of MNN were quite often members of an oppressed group (not surprising due to the classist, racist, sexist and homophobic nature of psychiatric oppression), and we also reached out to to survivors with non-culturally-dominant backgrounds, to request submissions or interviews, to make sure their viewpoints were represented. Sometimes their response was “I’m already dealing with so much stigma because of my (race or sexual orientation or….), why would i want to deal with the additional stigma of being known as a former mental patient?” Nonetheless we did our best to include a range of cultural perspectives, so i don’t think your suggestion that we were “born and raised Americans,” who are “appropriating” other cultures, is fair. Many Americans born in this country also are raised in families and cultures where having spiritual experiences is entirely accepted and approved.

    My feeling, and the perspective of the staff of MNN, was that people get psychiatrized with diagnoses for a wide range of experiences. In my case, and the case of a number of other psych survivors i’ve met, we got labelled due to our experiences that were outside the ordinary, actually in a good way. One non-culturally-dominant woman who was a contributor to MNN later became quite famous as a writer and speaker regarding her native culture’s spiritual practices. In other cases, as you said, people got labelled because they had been tortured in one way or another, and i would add it was often because they had no financial resources, and ended up in a psych hospital as a result.

    Having spiritual experiences is not the domain of any particular cultural group. It is a universal phenomenon. Accepting that aspect of our inner reality is not accepting being pathologized. I greatly doubt there is even a label in the DSM for being “mad.” The approach that we are advocating is to accept survivors’ self-identification of whatever type, rather than accept the psychiatrists’ attempt to force us into cookie-cutter identities, that fit into whatever they define as define as “normal.” The slogan of the early survivors’ movement was “We’d rather be mad with the truth than sane with lies.”

  • Hello oldlhead,

    I always love it when people say “it’s a terrible idea for anyone to discuss these issues in such and such a forum” and then proceed to give their opinion at length about the issues in question. And if anyone dares to ignore this instruction, and comment on what they said, these people will again elaborate on their own views, while reiterating how incorrect it is for anyone else to discuss such issues in this forum.

    Everything that you’ve been saying about the new Madness Network News site and its creator, Vesper, represents an extreme distortion or outright falsehood. I have been in touch with both you and Vesper for months about the possibility of making the back issues of MNN available online. (The idea came from Vesper.) All three of the surviving editors of MNN, who were involved when it was run by psych survivors, have clearly stated that everyone who is in alignment with the anti psychiatry views of the original Madness Network News–and who does not lie about the history of the paper or who created it–is welcome to publish the back issues, as long as they don’t alter the content or try to make money from selling them. You can see the statement from the three editors posted on the new Madness Network News site. I also sent it to you a while back.

    Now you are claiming that you had no advance knowledge of the fact that Vesper was publishing the back issues, despite our numerous email exchanges on the subject. Previously in these comments you expressed outrage that the new site would undoubtedly (based on your conjecture, not on anything on the site itself) embrace the peer/consumer ideology that is completely antithetical to anti psychiatry work. Vesper has now specifically clarified on the site that it’s viewpoint is anti psychiatry. OK, we can’t keep criticizing him for that, so let’s find something else to denounce the site for. Like the fact that you don’t see the archives posted there! And the one seemingly legitimate site that had the archives posted is now taken down. Your sarcastic comment: “Nice work guys.”

    I can hardly believe that this is being said by the same person who wrote me a couple of months ago, about how you were totally in agreement with the position of MNN editors that this other site was a rip-off of our work, and you would support us however you could in opposing it. Now you are mourning the fact that the rip-off site (the one i critiqued in my article) got taken down–a site i should mention was filled advertisements for books containing consumer-peer ideology, in addition to its blatant and extreme misrepresentations about the history of MNN.

    Instead you are attacking the efforts of MNN editors and Vesper/his friends to once again make MNN available online, without all the distorting spin. You are so immersed in negative conjectures about the new MNN site that you weren’t even able to see the words at the top of the front page that say “Archives.” Yes, the new site does have all the back issues of Madness Network News posted online (if you click on “Archives”) for anyone to read. Vesper also indicated to me that the group you work with is free to make use of those issues if you want to post them on the new website that you hope to create. The MNN editors already granted that group permission to post them, but Vesper is offering to let you utilize the online versions that he has made available.

    Despite, our numerous communications on the subject of the posting the back issues, and Vesper’s plans to publish them (which included him reaching out to you in the interest of working together), you are claiming that none of us have been in touch with you and we are just springing this on the anti-psychiatry (AP) movement with no advance warning or discussion. Of course in your mind “the anti psychiatry movement” consists entirely of the group of 15 people with which you are affiliated. So, for example, Vesper going to protests against the APA or giving a talk supporting the abolition of psychiatry “doesn’t count” because he is not part of the group you are affiliated with.

    As far as the three remaining MNN editors no longer “being involved in anti psychiatry work,” we’re all seniors and are all dealing with major survival issues of one kind or another. Our many, many years of work on Madness Network News and in the anti psychiatry movement speaks for itself. If nothing else, it gives us the right to determine who has the right to post the back issues.

  • There seems to be a lot of confusion about the MNN site that I critiqued in my article (MNN Redux) and the “new” Madness Network News site that just got created a few days ago, which contains all the back issues of MNN (located at http://www.madnessnetworknews.com). I think this confusion is compounded by some heavy criticism of the new MNN which was posted in the comments section. People might get the impression that both OH and I are in agreement that the new site is totally compromised and actually pro-psychiatry.

    Nothing can be further from the truth. I think the criticisms of the site are unfair and not based on any evidence.

    The criticism of the site was that Vesper, the creator of the new site, has never reached out to, or worked with, any anti-psychiatry activists. Vesper has actually been working closely with me and other antipsychiatry activists in getting the new site launched, and took great care to communicate with, and get permissions from, all the MNN editors before publishing the back issues.

    Oldhead is claiming that the “old” MNN only used the term “madness” ironically, and that real activists now reject the identity of being mad people. In my experience, this was not the case. The name of the journal wasn’t some silly accident. Many of the articles, art work, and poetry reflected our identification with, and support for, the state of consciousness that psychiatrists (and others who are threatened by out-of-the ordinary states) find so unacceptable.

    I think the cultural attacks on people’s experience of madness is part of the elitist mind control tactics that the corporatocracy uses against people of differing cultural backgrounds, or people who have chosen non-traditional lifestyles. Non-western and indigenous cultures all over the world honor and celebrate the states of consciousness that in western society are labelled “mad.” The idea that antipsychiatry automatically rejects the concept of “madness” is not speaking for many activists who created and contributed to Madness Network News. I would hazard a guess that some of the contributors to this site, “Mad” in America, also identify with the term.

    Since no issues have been published of the “new” MNN, there is no factual basis to claim that the creators whole-heartedly support the “peer consumer” outlook. Everything that Vesper has told me is the opposite. If you go the new MNN site, all you will see is numerous photos and artwork reflecting an anti-psychiatry perspective, my article on the history of MNN, their new vision for the paper, and a “call for articles.” What exactly about that would an antipsychiatry activist find “sickening?”

    Another criticism lodged against the founder of the new MNN page is that he is acting entirely alone, with no connection to other activists or patients’ rights activism. I’ve already noted the involvement of myself and other activists in working with him to get his site up and running. I noticed on Vesper’s Facebook page that he gave a presentation about patients rights issues to the United Nations. I am not aware of any other psych survivor who has had that honor. He has been a speaker, writer and singer about these issues for a quite some time and I’ve been impressed by the efforts he’s made to reach out to a large number of psych survivor groups.

    I said in my article that what destroyed MNN was the last editors’ position that only anti psychiatry activists who met a very narrow criteria were worthy of the name, and with a big enough magnifying glass, even those activists could be shown to be fake. (I just found out, in looking over the back issues of Phoenix Rising that Jim Gottstein posted above, that Judi Chamberlin, who was one of the people being denounced by those editors, was getting arrested a year later for engaging in civil disobedience at the Vermont Conference on Human Rights and Psychiatric Oppression, along with the recently-deceased hero, George Ebert. I had to wonder what those Madness editors were doing that day?)

    I am writing this as a plea to not let the new MNN get destroyed the way its namesake did, before it even gets off the ground.

  • The three still-living people who were the main psych survivor- editors of Madness Network News, myself being one, are very much in support of the new effort to put all the back issues of MNN online, and to use it as a starting point to recreate the “next generation” version of Madness Network News. We do not consider this to be “appropriation” because we have given the creators of the new MNN site (which can be seen at http://www.madnetworknews.com) our blessing, and in fact have been working closely with them to help make the site possible. They have gone to great trouble to get permissions not just from us, but from the previous editors, all of whom have gladly granted permission.

    There appears to be some confusion between that new site and the site called Madness Network News Redux (which is located at http://www.madnessnetworknews.NET) which is the one i critiqued in the article and in my previous comment. I won’t repeat those criticisms here. Just please note that the exciting new site madnessnetworknews.,com has no relationship with the rip-off site i described in the article.

  • I would go further and say that the harmfulness of kids being on wireless devices for many hours a day is caused by the technology itself, and not just the lack of personal and physical interaction, and is not just specific to the segment of the population who have special environmental sensitivities.

    There are thousands of studies that show the damaging effects of wireless radiation on human health, including our brain function and cognitive abilities. In the last year or so, this problem has increased exponentially, with the advent of 5G cell towers (sometimes called small cells). In the past, cell towers were generally kept away from areas where people lilved, worked, and went to school, but because technology is now running amok, and the immense power of Big Telecom to over-ride local government’s choices about tower placement, these mini towers are now being put throughout residential neighborhood and next to, or on top of, schools.

    the amount of radiation is no less than the old macro towers and actually is much more destructive, because of the much higher frequencies used by 5G. (The small cells use both 4G and 5G.) It has also been extensively documented how much more harmful exposure to emfs (electro-magnetic fields) is to children who have thiinner skulls and developing brains. You can find studies and/or discussion about this at http://www.ehtrust.org, another site by physicians for safe technology (i forget their web address) and http://www.bionitiative.org.

    The best introduction to this whole topic is the article by two leading environmental writers, Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie, which appeared in the Nation Magazine a couple of years ago. The title is “How Big Tech convinced us that Cell Phones are Safe.”

  • Hello Jim,

    Thanks for your appreciative comment. Just wanted to alert you to the fact that the site you recommended as containing the back issues of Madness Network News is the same rip-off site that i mentioned in my article, that uses the name Madness Network News Redux. This site represents a complete theft of the MNN editors/writers/artists’ intellectual property.

    The organizer of the site was given permission by Leonard Frank, the highly regarded anti-psychiatry leader, to publish the back issues of MNN in book form. Leonard was not one of the primary editors of MNN after it became the journal of the survivor movement, though he did participate occasionally, and he had no right to “give permission” to this rip-off artist to publish and sell the back issues in book form, with no consultation with the primary editors.

    MNN Redux proceeded to erase and pervert the true history of MNN and the survivor movement, as i noted in the article. When he was selling the book volumes, he listed as editors the most well-known people they could think of in the “consumer” movement, i.e. Judi Chamberlin, Sally Zinman, Howie Harp, David Oaks, and of course, Leonard Frank.

    None of these people were primary editors (except Leonard in the very earliest days, before the psychiatric survivors took over the paper). Judi never attended a single editorial meeting since she lived thousands of miles away. Howie, Sally, and David all did participate for shorter or longer periods of time, but were not the primary editors during the ten years that MNN was the voice of the anti-psychiatry survivor movement. The real editors were not “famous consumers” because we were not part of, and did not identify with, the consumer movement in any way.

    When the three surviving MNN editors contacted Rip Off Guy to request that the names of the actual editors be indicated on the sites where he advertised the volumes of back issues, he at first agreed, then decided he would rather stop selling the books rather than give credit to the true editors. He has now greatly intensified his refusal to credit the MNN creators by posting online the back issues, which he now is claiming are his property, and adding even more names of people as “editors,” people who were, for the most part, minimally involved (or not involved at all) in the creation and publishing of MNN.

    None of the editors has ever given their permission for him to publish the back issues online. Leonard was deceased when the online site was created, and none of the people he lists as “editors”, or any of the real editors, gave him permission to appropriate our work.

    He has listed on the first page of the Redux site the people he claims were editors. Some i actually never heard of, though in looking through the early issues, i see that their names appeared in the credits for the very earliest issues, meaning they were involved for one or two years out of MNN’s 14-year existence. A lot of the ones he highlights are mental health or legal professionals, not psychiatric survivors. And of course Judi Chamberlin because, well, she’s “famous” so why not?

    Since you’re a lawyer, maybe you can help us figure out how to prevent this guy from stealing our intellectual property. We don’t have the money to sue. I would also appreciate if if people who read my article, and these comments, write to the madnessnetworknews.net site and demand that he and his partner in crime stop lying about the history of Madness Network News. Our hope is that some other survivor activists will take on the task of publishing the true history of MNN, along with the back issues, and that appears to be happening.

    As an aside, we who are the surviving editors of MNN (myself, Tanya Temkin and Dianne Walker) do not object to your using the name Network Against Psychiatric Assault for your facebook and website page, Jim. I think Dianne wrote you previously how touched she was to see that name still in use. I disagree with OH’s extreme distaste for facebook, even though the censorship there has gotten so much worse in the last year. I have not seen them censoring anti-psychiatry articles, including the one above.

    Kind regards,
    Jenny