Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Comments by Slaying_the_Dragon_of_Psychiatry

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  • I won’t bother to read the article right now, because it begins with the false assumption that there is any such thing as an “antidepressant” in the first place. MIA authors ought to know better than to publish articles that propagate psychiatric propaganda so recklessly. There are mountains of research that demonstrate why the term “antidepressant” is a euphemism and a misnomer. Even Moncrieff, in her book “The Bitterest Pills,” shows why it is wrong to call toxic and brain disabling psychotropic drugs by any kind of name that implies healing.

    “How Long Does Antidepressant Withdrawal Last?” The question ought to be, “How long does withdrawal from toxic and brain disabling psychotropic drugs last?” The answer to this question varies for each individual. Some of these individuals are dead as a result of psychotropic drugging. Others are maimed. Others continue to suffer many years after the drugging and the withdrawal. Think of neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Think of tardive dyskenesia. Think of a thousand other terrible problems that result from psychotropic drugging. These are not “side-effects.” These are the primary intended effects of the drugs, drugs that cause what Breggin has so aptly named “medication spellbinding.” These dangerous chemicals were invented with one purpose in mind: profit at the expense of human suffering. Just because psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies try to cover up the harm with euphemistic terms such as “antidepressant” or “emotional lability” doesn’t mean that the rest of us should perpetuate such psychiatric nonsense as “antidepressants.”

    Enough is enough. Slay the Dragon of Psychiatry.

  • Exactly. I would push this philosophical exercise a step further. Is there any such thing as psychiatry? In other words, is the medical treatment of the soul really a viable enterprise? Psyche, soul, and iatros, medical treatment… can those two things really be combined? I don’t think so. In the first place, a psychiatrist doesn’t know anything about the soul. In the second place, he doesn’t know anything about medical treatment. The answer to the question is, sadly, that there are psychiatrists. There are “soul doctors.” But their work has nothing to do with medicine or healing. Psychiatry is the pseudo-scientific system of slavery that wrecks havoc upon the innocent, camouflaged by the prestige of “medicine.”

  • I agree with you oldhead, although it must be difficult to deal with the cognitive dissonance of working on the inside of psychiatry. Breggin is a good man, a great man even, and has done much good, and continues to do much good. It is true that only love will persuade. But sometimes tough love is necessary too. The tough love that it is time to offer to psychiatry is the kind of tough love that tells the truth. It is the kind of tough love that is willing to say that the emperor has no clothes, and not to make any excuses for the emperor or the fawning crowd. If we truly wish to love those whose lives are being destroyed by psychiatry, we might start by telling the truth about psychiatry. The most loving thing to do is to abolish the pseudo-scientific system of slavery that is psychiatry.

  • Peter Breggin is a good man, and this is sound advice. The problem, as Oldhead wryly pointed out, is that psychiatry is the antithesis of love. This is not to say that love is not crucial to healing or to living an abundant and fulfilling life. Rather, it is to point out what should be obvious by now. Psychiatry is the polar opposite of God, love, and every good thing.

    Although I agree with the thrust of Breggin’s arguments here and in many of his books, I need to point out the error in this statement:

    “Nearly everything we call emotional distress or ‘psychiatric disorders,’ regardless of how severe they are, involve a failure to give and to receive love.”

    This is simply false. Much of what is called emotional distress or “psychiatric disorders” is provoked directly by psychiatry upon loving and innocent people. Think of all the tender, loving, innocent children whose lives are being destroyed by psychiatry. Think of the loving grandparents who are being drugged into a chemical stupor in rest homes. Think of the millions of other people who give and receive love, and yet their lives are devastated by psychiatric labeling, involuntary incarceration, forced shock and drugging, torture, abuse, and drug-induced suicide. Psychiatry is the CAUSE of these problems.

    Love is the solution, I agree. MLK, jr. took the high road, at least in his rhetoric and his political leadership, in terms of loving his enemies. But truth must always accompany love, otherwise we are left with the empty “altruism” and secular “compassion” that is actually the antithesis of true charity.

    By all means let us love one another. Love begets love. But let’s also tell the truth.

  • Agreed Oldhead. Polishing turds is a more worthwhile activity than “rethinking” psychiatry, but at least MIA can help clear some ground for the more urgent work of antipsychiatry. Not too many people that I know of are trying to rethink chattel slavery or Nazi medical experiments. But it is true that Whitaker and MIA have done great work in exposing many of the lies that are inherent in the psychiatric regime. For this they are to be commended.

  • Covert mind control is evil, and psychiatry is implicated in this evil. However, the evil of psychiatry extends even further. Why? Because in addition to covert mind control, psychiatry has managed to market overt mind control in the guise of “medicine” and “mental health.” In other words, the tyranny of psychiatry is at least two-fold. It is a masculine tyranny that dominates by force, compulsion and coercion. It is also a feminine tyranny that exerts its despotic power gently and almost imperceptibly.

    I hope that those who read this article and this thread are at least somewhat familiar with the history of electroshock torture, euphemistically called therapy. Does the name Ugo Cerletti ring a bell? How does a person transform the butchering of pigs into a “medical” technique? Those who wish to discover the truth about psychiatry might first consider the origins of psychiatric practices. In many instances, investigating the sources of the practices reveals the shocking (pun intended) truth about psychiatry.

  • “Researchers Ask, ‘Why Do Antidepressants Stop Working?’”

    I’m not going to even bother to read this nonsense. Let me just point out that there is no such thing as an “antidepressant.” It is a misleading misnomer for dangerous, brain-destroying drugs. In fact, these drugs do exactly what they were intended to do, namely, destroy the brains of the innocent while fooling them into believing that they are taking “medicine” for non-existent “mental illness.”

  • “Too painful to reply.”

    This was one of the best comments.

    Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as medicine. This stuff is not new, although most of the human race has yet to discover the truth about psychiatry. Psychiatry is, as Szasz so eloquently articulated long ago, the science of lies. It is founded on coercion, deception, and torture, but it hides behind the facade of “treatment” and “compassion.”

    Psychiatry is not something that can be reformed or criticized. Like slavery, it must be abolished.

  • Mental illness is a myth. It always has been. Karl Kraus understood the charlatanry inherent in psychiatry before any of us were born. But no one reads Kraus, or Szasz. Hence, pervasive ignorance reigns, and the myth of mental illness dominates the collective consciousness. These aren’t new insights. It’s just that, like most truth, the insights are perpetually ignored, rejected, or ridiculed. Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery. The sooner it is abolished, the better.

  • Dr. Breggin is certainly one of the great heroes in the ongoing battle against psychiatry. His work is indispensable. “Toxic Psychiatry” is a masterpiece that belongs in the antipsychiatry canon. “Medication Madness” and “Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal” are also great. Moreover, Dr. Breggin’s numerous articles are, for the most part, right on the money.

    This particular article makes a few good points, and the intention behind it is good. However, as Oldhead pointed out, there are some pretty serious problems with it as well, problems that cannot be overlooked. While it is true that we might want to read Darwin and Adam Smith more closely, we also might want to read the Bible and everything else a little more carefully.

    If we set aside the Biblical, literary, and scientific references for a moment, perhaps we can begin to think clearly about the topic at hand. The title of this article alone is more than a little bit problematic. I’m not sure if Dr. Breggin really believes that there is such a thing as an “emotional disorder,” but if he does, that is the first problem to address. Before we can ask the question “Are all emotional disorders really disorders of love?” we first need to ask: “What is an emotional disorder?” or “Is there any such thing as an emotional disorder?” After that, we need to ask another important question: “What is love?”

    This is not just an exercise in philosophy or a semantic struggle. As soon as we assume that there is any such thing as an emotional disorder, we also need to assume that there is such a thing as emotional order, and a standard by which that emotional order is measured. This, in turn, requires that we define what emotions are. Thomas Szasz put the matter succinctly: “In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined.” Unfortunately, and as Breggin often acknowledges in his books, the sufferers are very rarely the same people who provide the definitions. Many of the definitions that we have inherited have been handed down to us by those whose job it was to inflict suffering in the name of “medicine.”

    Furthermore, much of the suffering that has been caused by psychiatry – and by those who wield the power of pseudo-medical terminology – has been caused in the name of “love.” I will probably never tire of quoting C.S. Lewis on this point because the truth never gets old:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

    From this frame of reference, the greater the “love,” the greater the tyranny. Sometimes the most truly charitable thing to do is to know how to mind one’s own business. From the perspective of the Judeo-Christian tradition, the first commandment is to love God, or to have no other gods before God. Many people understand the truth that God is love, but it takes a bit more discernment to understand the problems inherent in the perversion of this truth. C.S. Lewis put it this way:

    “St. John’s saying that God is love has long been balanced in my mind against the remark of a modern author (M. Denis de Rougemont) that ‘love ceases to be a demon only when he ceases to be a god’; which of course can be re-stated in the form ‘begins to be a demon the moment he begins to be a god’. This balance seems to me an indispensable safeguard. If we ignore it the truth that God is love may slyly come to mean for us the converse, that love is God.”

    This is precisely the most insidious danger of psychiatry. Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as a medical profession based on “love,” or “compassion.” Probably without meaning to do so, Dr. Breggin has introduced a formula for the kind of tyranny that C.S. Lewis descried. Psychiatry thrives on inventing or introducing non-existent diseases or disorders. It grows in strength by setting for solutions to the very problems that it creates. In an ever growing cycle, psychiatry creates the problems that it claims to resolve, and the problems are exacerbated by the solutions that are set forth.

    In brief, there is no such thing as an emotional disorder. The attempt to heal non-existent disorders often creates the very problems that psychiatry claims to remedy. Certainly people suffer, and pain is an unavoidable physical reality. But the pain caused by psychiatry is pain that can be avoided. If we truly desire to relieve the suffering of others, a step in the right direction would be to work toward removing the cause of that pain. A step in the right direction is a step toward the abolition of psychiatry.

  • “We like to say in this movement that we are ‘experts by experience.’ This is true. Many of us are experts by knowledge and research as well, and the combination of these facets brings the wisdom to connect with, inspire and mentor one another.”

    This is one of the best things ever written on Mad in America. Well done. For those who may be interested, here is a compilation of reviews of some of the best books ever written to expose the truth about psychiatry:


  • Yes. Great book. Very insightful. A great exercise is to read Huxley along with Orwell and C.S. Lewis’ “That Hideous Strength.” Another great book in this category is Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death.” These books help to explain why Thomas Szasz’ criticism of the “Therapeutic State” was so prescient. I would also recommend Jonah Goldberg’s “Suicide of the West” to provide some context for the kinds of things that we are seeing today.

  • Great work as usual Dr. Breggin. Electroshock ought to be banned.

    In reality, psychiatry itself ought to be abolished completely, and survivors of psychiatric torture everywhere ought to be compensated for their suffering. It is great that the evils of electroshock are coming to light. The same protection and compensation ought to be afforded to survivors of any kind of psychiatric abuse, including involuntary incarceration, drugging, polypharmacy, labeling, and general psychiatric torture in all of its forms.

    Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery, and the sooner it is abolished, the better off we will be.

    Thank you for your great work Dr. Breggin. I wish that you would respond to emails to your website, but in the mean time, I commend you for the great work that you are doing.

  • Hang in there Rachel777. The best is yet to be. You are a warrior. You are more than a survivor. It may be a difficult process, and healing takes time, but things will get better. I believe you, and I believe in you. Hold on. Be strong. The best is yet to be.

  • As long as critical psychiatrists continue to argue that drugs can be helpful sometimes for some patients, they still haven’t really grasped that which Thomas Szasz, and Karl Kraus before him, understood so clearly: Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that must be abolished.

  • Whitaker and Peter Gøtzsche may be heretics compared to psychiatry in general, but that’s not really much of a heresy. Any sober minded person can see that there are problems with psychiatry and psychotropic drugs. Unfortunately, the critical psychiatry “heretics” still argue for the logical equivalent of a geocentric universe in which “some drugs can be helpful sometimes for some patients.” Don’t get me wrong. Whitaker and Gøtzsche have done excellent and essential work in exposing the truth about psychiatry. But the real Copernicuses and Semmelweises are those who tell the full truth about psychiatry, namely, that it is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that must be abolished. Thomas Szasz is still eons ahead of the conversation, and he died in 2012.

    As long as critical psychiatrists continue to argue that

  • I’ve read Irving Kirsch’s book “The Emperor’s New Drugs” https://www.amazon.com/Emperors-New-Drugs-Exploding-Antidepressant/dp/0465022006

    It’s a good book, and it’s great that people are exposing the flaws in so-called “antidepressant” studies.

    But let’s be honest. As bean counters and number crunchers do these studies in the comfort of their offices, there are millions of people whose brains are being DESTROYED by psychotropic drugs and who suffer in ways that these bean counters and number crunchers can’t even begin to fathom. Not only that, but the people who suffer as guinea pigs, if they survive the ordeal, are made to pay for their own suffering.

    As Peter Breggin and others have so eloquently shown, there is no such thing as an “antidepressant.” These brain destroying chemicals are not “meds” or “medication.” They are brain-DESTROYING drugs. The term “antidepressants” is a misleading euphemism for dangerous and toxic chemical compounds. All of these studies are useless in the face of the myth of mental illness. As long as the myth of mental illness reigns supreme, it doesn’t matter what kind of “remedies” or “treatments” are studied.

    Almost daily I learn of yet another “mentally ill” person who took his or her own life. Many people assume that these poor “mentally ill” people commit suicide because they don’t get the right “treatment” or they don’t take their “meds.” NONSENSE! The brain-DESTROYING drugs are CAUSING these innocent people to commit suicide in ever increasing numbers, and no one is doing anything about it except call for more psychiatry, more drugs, more involuntary incarceration.

    Enough is enough. Slay the Dragon of Psychiatry.

  • In the absence of the primacy of faith in God and the rule of just law, many things rush in to fill the vacuum, including psychiatry and the therapeutic state. The abolition of psychiatry, though necessary, cannot stop other things from rushing in to fill the void. Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery and a false religion that aims to be one of society’s supervisors, and therefore it must be abolished. But even after it is abolished, hopefully sooner than later, there will still be a vacuum, or a void, that new supervisors of society will be eager to fill.

  • “…a large percentage of students entering college experience significant emotional distress while juggling social, professional, and school-related pressures.”

    “Studies” such as this serve only to spread psychiatric propaganda in order to drag more innocent victims into the web of psychiatry. Life is pain. Anyone who tells you different is selling something.

  • I was responding to Frank, not to you Richard. But it’s good to know that you don’t want to overthrow capitalism. That’s a step in the right direction.

    Like Szasz, I am an advocate for freedom and responsibility as opposed to slavery. I support the dignity of each individual and the unalienable rights that are so eloquently enumerated and protected in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The modern Rawlsian conception of “rights” runs counter to the Founders original articulation of the term and its meaning.

  • Sorry Steve. That was my mistake. My comment was meant mostly as a reply to the original post, not your stance. So yes, I agree with you completely that proper nutrition is important for all of us, and that proper diet and nutrition, exercise and sleep will positively impact overall health and fitness.

    In reality, I am pro-liberty and pro-responsibility. As a result of my pro-liberty and pro-responsibility viewpoint, I reject psychiatry which is inherently anti-liberty and anti-responsibility.

    “I’m countering the implied or stated criticism, which is pretty common, that people who identify as “antipsychiatry” are denying that nutrition or any other physical body variable affects mental/emotional state.”

    Thank you for countering that false notion. No one denies that nutrition, etc. influences how a person feels. If this is being used as a straw man argument to attack antipsychiatry, then I’m glad that you are exposing it for what it is. It is like the tactic of those who try to dismiss antipsychiatry by tying it to scientology, etc.

    In any case, I apologize if I made it seem that my comment was directed toward you, when in fact I meant to respond to the original post.

  • I’m not opposed to creating alliances with other people beset by oppression. That’s a gross misunderstanding and mischaracterization of my critique of Bustow’s, and Richard’s style of antipsychiatry. I’m not trying to weaken antipsychiatry. I’m trying to strengthen it against what is making it weak. I hope that it’s clear that I agree with most everyone here, as far as I can tell, that there is a dire need to educate the masses, both liberal and conservative, about psychiatry. But I agree with you Frank that it is completely unnecessary to tie antipsychiatry to the overthrow of the capitalistic system. In fact, it is the attempt to overthrow the capitalistic system that has led, and will continue to lead to the flourishing of psychiatry.

  • “However, despite this ‘ballooning use of stimulants,’ Sibley goes on to suggest that those with ‘legitimate’ ADHD fail to receive ‘treatment’ due to stigma and ‘problems with stimulant acceptability’—presumably referring to adverse effects of stimulants.”

    Let’s clarify a few points. First of all, there is no such thing as “ADHD.” Second, it is impossible to “diagnose” something that is not real in the first place. Third, as long as the myth of mental illness continues its reign of terror, and as long as psychiatry, pharmaceutical companies, and others continue to disseminate “mental health” propaganda, the destruction of innocent lives will continue.

    Naturally, rates of so-called “diagnoses” will continue to rise, because psychiatry manufactures “mental illness” and pharmaceutical companies tap into the market. There is no such thing as a “legitimate” diagnoses of “ADHD.” The rate of leprechaun sightings may also be increasing, but at least this would bring good luck as opposed to psychiatry’s deceptions. It is the definition of evil to harm the innocent, particularly innocent little children, for a profit.

  • “I don’t think that an ‘antipsychiatry’ position in any way prevents one from believing that nutritional variables affect one’s mental/emotional state.”

    Oldhead, get over here. It looks like we need to explain again why all of this nutritional stuff plays into the hands of psychiatry. Let me just put it simply. Eat well. Be healthy. Take vitamins. But for heaven’s sake, stop pretending that there is any such thing as “mental health” or “mental illness” and that nutrition is somehow the salvation of the “mentally ill.” I’m the greatest advocate in the world for proper diet, nutrition, exercise, sleep, etc. In fact, it is also clear that proper diet, nutrition, exercise, sleep, etc. can help a person to remain free from the clutches of psychiatry.

    But when psychiatry, and the language of psychiatry, is combined with the language of nutrition, there is a big problem. It is interesting to consider that Hitler and his Nazi goons were obsessed with nutrition and health. Hitler was a fanatical vegetarian. Goebbels was a fanatical animal rights activist. Nazism and nutrition went hand in hand. Ironically, the Nazis championed nutrition, health, and animal rights while simultaneously experimenting upon Jews and gassing them to death.

    This doesn’t mean that all nutritionalists are Nazis. The point is that the effort to join nutrition to psychiatry is every bit as pernicious as psychotropic psychiatry. The coercion and the dominion are the same. It is the same therapeutic state and tyranny of the omnipotent moral busybodies, albeit less harmful only in the sense that the busybodies use vitamins instead of brain destroying chemical compounds.

    Again, let me be clear. It is good to have a healthy diet, proper nutrition, exercise, sleep, and so forth. Vitamins may also help people to withdraw from psychotropic drugs. But when these same vitamins or nutrition are used as part of the psychiatric regime, the “patient” will continue to suffer under the false impression that he or she is “mentally ill” and therefore in need of “care” by “therapists” or in this case, nutritionists.

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C.S. Lewis

  • Bush’s “compassionate” conservatism was closer to liberal fascism than, say, Reagan’s patriotism. In any case, I’m sure you see the problem inherent in calling 1990-1999 the “decade of the brain.” These are the kinds of things that show the direct connection between psychiatry and the therapeutic state.

  • “In a true totalitarian system we would not be posting this. Big Brother would not allow it.”

    Perhaps in a truly masculine totalitarian system. That’s not the problem that we currently face. We live in the nanny state, the therapeutic state, a feminine-styled tyranny that smothers freedom with “care” and “therapy.” Vigilance is still required. Big Brother is still a threat. But Big Sister is more of a threat because her tyranny is less obvious.

  • “I’d say there might be a real danger of totalitarianism lurking about, but the danger is more pronounced from the right than it is from the left.”

    Benign totalitarianism has been a part of the progressive, therapeutic state since Woodrow Wilson. Wilson and his cohort were great promoters of the therapeutic state, as was JFK. The Clinton dynasty was no different. Bush declared 1990-1999 the “decade of the brain.” Obama launched the “Brain Initiative” in 2013. It’s not the in your face, masculine totalitarianism of Hitler or Stalin. It’s a “compassionate” totalitarianism that smothers freedom in the name of “care” and “treatment.” In other words, psychiatry and the progressive, therapeutic state go hand in hand. C.S. Lewis was clairvoyant:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

  • I’m not confused about the differences, but I posed the question in order to provide an opportunity for people to clarify their positions. I found out that Richard believes that conservatives can’t be 100% antipsychiatry. I agree that MIA is a mostly a liberal, pro-psychiatry or critical psychiatry forum. I reject the pro-psychiatry and critical psychiatry positions on the one hand (whether from the left or the right), and the liberal, Marxist, anarchist positions on the other. That doesn’t make me popular here, but I don’t care. It’s truth that I’m after.

  • “Btw I doubt many who consider themselves ‘progressive’ would agree with your definition. On the other hand I don’t think they would agree on any other, which is why it is not a useful term in a discussion.”

    There are people who believe that the moon landing was fake and 9/11 was an inside job. So what? If you have a better definition, let’s hear it.

  • Calling a person “racist” is an ad hominem attack devoid of substance. Claiming that a statement is “racist” is not analysis or engaging in debate. It’s a way of silencing dissent and avoiding civil discourse. I’ve opposed moderation of debate and civil discourse, but when it comes to ad hominem attacks and slander, such comments ought to be moderated. If you have an argument to make, make it. Calling someone a “racist” or claiming that his or her comments are “racist” is not an argument.

  • OH, here’s a working definition of progressivism: the liberal religion of faith in “progress” that can be traced back to Hegel through Woodrow Wilson. For the record, I’m not fighting some vague notion of “oppression.” I’ll leave that to the social justice warriors. My beef is with psychiatry. I don’t glorify Frederick Douglass, but he is certainly a hero of the cause of liberty whose life and writings ought to be studied and are rightly revered by any freedom loving individual. I reject the false notion that chattel slavery and the so-called “racism” of today have anything at all to do with each other. Frederick Douglass is rolling over in his grave, not to mention Martin Luther King, Jr., to witness that now, more than ever, the content of one’s character plays a subordinate role to the color of one’s skin.

    In brief, Bustow’s brand of antipsychiatric social justice utopianism isn’t just untenable, it’s a boon to psychiatry itself.

  • I’m not opposed to coalitions. I’m just not persuaded that the abolition of psychiatry and antipsychiatry require the potpourri approach that Bonnie outlines. Psychiatry is the problem, not some nebulous notions of “oppression.” But you make a good point OH. Psychiatry preys on all kinds of people. The dragon of psychiatry doesn’t care if you’re black or white, male or female, rich or poor, young or old. While it’s true that psychiatry preys on the most vulnerable, children, the elderly, the homeless, and so forth, it will find ways to prey upon anyone in any way it can. The only reason I proclaim my own political perspectives so frequently is because someone needs to push back against the predominantly progressive approach to antipsychiatry. If I don’t, who will? Psychiatry must be abolished. I agree. I just think that the cause of liberty and responsibility will advance as it always has, and not in the way that Bonnie prescribes.

  • Perhaps you can clarify this point a bit in a future post, because I’m still not persuaded that antipsychiatry necessarily entails attacking oppression, whatever that might mean. I’m on board with most of your assessment of the history of psychiatry, and I’m on board with the need to abolish psychiatry. But I’m still not persuaded that antipsychiatry or the abolition of psychiatry requires adherence to any number of social justice causes.

    Szasz advocated for the abolition of psychiatry, for example, and he was even sympathetic to the plight of women, minority groups, and homosexuals. But he was wary of the liberal, progressive, therapeutic state as well. Szasz wasn’t right about everything, but he understood the need to abolish psychiatry.

    I respect your opinion Bonnie, and I appreciate the great work that you have done in exposing the truth about psychiatry. I’ve been reading “Psychiatry Disrupted.” I agree wholeheartedly with the following statements:

    “The goal of antipsychiatry is quite simple – nothing less than the abolition or end of the psychiatric system. Herein lies its ultimate distinction. While people critical of psychiatry but not fully antipsychiatry may take certain kinds of changes as sufficient – the advent of informed consent; less use of drugs; a kind, gentler industry; or diagnostic categories that are less overlapping, for example – as clarified in documents like the Coalition against Psychiatric Assault’s (CAPA) fact sheet, antipsychiatry holds that no changes will be sufficient, for the institution is too flawed and dangerous simply to be tinkered with.” (p. 37)

    and “The point is that we are up against a very complex system, with huge vested interests, with the complicity of the state, and with the blessings of a fearful general public. We are also up against thousands of years of prejudice against people whose ways of thinking and processing differ from those of folk deemed ‘normal’ – prejudice that…. predates the medical model and predates psychiatry, but has been made far more formidable by the veneer of science.” (p. 37)

    and “Besides that they have the lion’s share of the power, people who successfully make this world a living hell for others – who rob others of their freedom, who subject them to torturous treatments – tend to be very good at what they do. We need to be equally good.” (p. 50)

    I agree with this overall assessment of the situation. I’m just not persuaded that antipsychiatry and the abolition of psychiatry requires “attacking oppression” or espousing various social justice causes. Perhaps in a future post you can clarify what you mean by “attacking oppression,” or how these “oppressions” relate to psychiatry.

  • Not quite Oldhead. Progressivism has brought us closer to the kind of totalitarian regimes that ravaged Europe and Asia, particularly in the 20th century, but we’re not quite there yet. Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and JFK were benign dictators, as were Bush, Clinton, and Obama, but they weren’t Hitler, Stalin, or Mao. Even Trump is more of a benign, progressive demagogue than most people realize. Progressives have been paving the way towards a new totalitarianism for quite some time. Fortunately there are still those who stand athwart history, and the history of psychiatry, yelling “stop.”

  • “Sorry, but Marxists are very, very rare in the US of A, including on MIA.”

    Hopefully conscious Marxists are becoming more rare. It’s just strange how so many of them ended up here on MIA. Unwitting Marxists are a dime a dozen.

    Thankfully, Richard has answered my question. His tirade demonstrates exactly what is wrong with the Bonnie Burstow school of antipsychiatry. Richard’s definition of “conservative” reveals the many blind spots in the progressive liberal paradigm. He goes so far as to brandish the worn out trope of “fascism.” Even those with the most cursory training in history and the most basic powers of reasoning comprehend that modern liberal progressives are the direct inheritors of Mussolini styled fascism and the very philosophies of eugenics that antipsychiatrists should most vehemently oppose.

    But Richard’s theories don’t hold water. I am more opposed to psychiatry than anyone on this planet, and I also understand the philosophical, political, economic, and social origins of psychiatry better than anyone on this planet. I am 100% antipsychiatry BECAUSE I am a genuine conservative (not one of these straw men conservatives that Richard likes to beat up).

    Therefore, Steve answers “yes,” and Richard answers “no.” Which is it? Can genuine conservatives be 100% antipsychiatry? Bonnie Burstow’s utopian vision of antipsychiatry and Richard’s anti-capitalist diatribes almost persuade me to be pro-psychiatry. Almost.

  • Very well. Let’s work this out. Steve claims that there is a very big difference between Marxist and liberal. He also claims that there are definitely conservative folks who post here. Let’s examine these claims. What is the difference between Marxism and modern liberalism? Are Richard and Bonnie Burstow Marxists or liberals or neither or both? Also, who are the conservatives that post comments here? What is a conservative? And to return to my original question, is it possible for a person to be 100% antipsychiatry and also a genuine conservative?

  • “The oppression that is psychiatry has to be integrated into our understanding of other oppressions…”

    Why? Define oppression. I’m not buying this argument at all.

    “It is not good enough to ghettoize concerns about psychiatry, allowing them to enter in only when the focus is explicitly on psychiatry… In short, tunnel vision or failing to integrate, common though this is, is a mistake that those of us trying to rein in psychiatry can ill afford to make.”

    I couldn’t disagree more. Bonnie is right that psychiatry ought to be abolished. She is also right that there are various and atrocious injustices in the world. But the real tunnel vision consists in the assumption that the abolition of psychiatry must necessarily include any number of social justice projects. It doesn’t. In fact, just the opposite is true.

    By all means, abolish psychiatry. By all means, help Indigenous women, or any kind of women. But let’s stop pretending that antipsychiatry and the abolition of psychiatry necessarily depends on some larger, ill-defined battle against oppression. Let antipsychiatry be what it is, namely, the battle against psychiatry. What is psychiatry? Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as medicine. What, therefore, is antipsychiatry? It is the defense of freedom and responsibility against the tyranny of psychiatry.

  • I’m all in favor of fielding a variety of viewpoints and hashing out political differences, but it is disingenuous to pretend that MIA is a completely neutral forum for discussion. There are few, if any, genuine conservatives who comment here, and those who dare to question the dominant liberal paradigm are anathematized, at least by Richard.

    Steve writes: “If you are honest with yourself, the vast majority of comments don’t even vaguely reflect a Marxist viewpoint, and very few truly do.”

    Do Richard’s comments not reflect a Marxist viewpoint? Please correct me if I’m wrong. As a moderator, you need to be honest with yourself. If a Marxist or a liberal paradigm is a minority or less empowered viewpoint that doesn’t get a full hearing in MIA, then I’m captain Jack Sparrow.

  • No. I was constrained to refute Richard’s socialist diatribe because he was trying to pressure Lawrence into blaming psychiatry and drug-dealing doctors on capitalism. The lack of historical perspective in some of these conversations would be laughable if it weren’t so appalling. Are psychiatry and big pharma all about profit, wealth, and power? Of course. Does this mean that we should try to transform the United States into a socialist utopia? Not remotely. In any case, these things are a distraction from the main point, namely, that Lawrence’s article is spot on: doctors are prolific drug dealers.

  • Profit, wealth, and power are the bedrocks of all the inane socialist doctrines that have somehow managed to linger even after the terrible destruction that they caused during the last century. A little healthy capitalism keeps such nonsense at bay.

    But that is beside the point. Excellent article Lawrence. You hit the nail right on the head. I would add that drug dealer doctors represent just one of the many snares that draw the innocent into the foul clutches and the bloody maw of psychiatry.

  • Human agency is always a factor. Most people can understand that. What most people don’t understand is that psychotropic drugs can CAUSE a person who would otherwise have no inclination to commit suicide to do so. Psychotropic drugs are CAUSING people to commit suicide. This doesn’t just happen with celebrities. Of course there are varying degrees of choice involved depending on the person and the strength to resist the effects of drugging. But I’m willing to bet that the effects of psychotropic drugs are the MAIN CAUSE behind many suicides and violent rampages. Of course there are all kinds of people with all kinds of problems. No one denies that. But psychiatry is the direct CAUSE of many if not most so-called “psychiatric diseases” or “mental illness.” I can’t be certain that this was the case with Mr. Williams, but I have a hunch that psychiatry and psychotropic drugs played a major role, if not the primary role in his demise, just as they have in the demise of untold numbers of innocent people.

  • Good point oldhead. Psychiatry is the furthest thing from medicine or healing. In fact, it stands on the opposite side of the spectrum. Even law enforcement is too gentle a term for psychiatry. There are appropriate reasons for law enforcement, and there are police officers who do good. Not true of psychiatry. Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery. The whole purpose its existence is to coerce, oppress, torture, and abuse innocent people under the guise of “medical treatment.” The poor medical students who are indoctrinated with psychiatric lies should be aware that their chosen field of study is as far removed from medicine as night is from day.

  • How about this: STOP “diagnosing” people with “mental illness,” and then those people will be free to do whatever physical activity they like instead of rolling around on the ground in agony in a psychiatric prison. STOP labeling, drugging, incarcerating, and killing innocent people. Psychiatry is state sponsored torture and a pseudo-scientific system of slavery. If you want people to exercise, a good place to start is to allow them to make that choice for themselves instead of enslaving them through psychiatric “treatments.”

    In any case, an article in a publication called “Schizophrenia Research” might as well be published in other great scientific journals such as “Santa Claus Sightings,” “Easter Bunny Quarterly,” or “The Journal of Tooth Fairy Studies.”

  • I suggest that psychiatry be abolished. That’s the only way that anyone will be safe in the long run. If survivors could post stories with a pseudonym, that would be great. Even then, however, safety is not assured. Psychiatry preys on all classes and types of people, including the weak, vulnerable, aged, homeless, and children. It also preys upon former victims, namely survivors.

    There are oodles of survivor stories that have already been told, but the problem is that very few people take these stories seriously and many people assume that victims of psychiatry need more “treatment.” Psychiatry is CAUSING the damage and then the victims of psychiatry are either forced to keep silent or to report their experiences to people who don’t believe them or who manipulate their stories for their own psychiatric interests.

    “What would you suggest could be done to make it feel more safe for survivors to post?”

    Allow survivors to write what has actually happened to them, and if desired, to do so under a pseudonym to protect them. Of course survivors should feel safe to express their feelings about the very real harm that they have endured, but most survivors still need to learn the truth about psychiatry. Most survivors, like most “professionals,” don’t really know the truth about psychiatry. They haven’t read Szasz or Breggin or Whitaker or Burstow. All they know is that they were dragged through a living hell and then blamed for it. All they know is that they were drugged, imprisoned, labeled, tortured, abused, and coerced. More often than not they don’t know why.

    It is important to let survivors’ voices be heard, but not all voices are equally informed. I would even suggest that survivors do a great deal of listening and reading while they figure out the truth about psychiatry. I would also suggest that “professionals” read more before writing articles. There is rampant ignorance in our society regarding psychiatry, and some of the greatest ignorance is propagated by psychiatry itself.

    Whatever can be done toward the abolition of psychiatry will be a step in the right direction, a step toward truth, and a step toward justice.

  • “If you just want psychiatric survivors telling their stories to each other, that’s fine and understandable. But our goal was to give that voice a place in a wider societal discussion, and to reach beyond the choir.”

    As well intentioned as this is, the problem with this line of reasoning is that as long as “psychiatric survivors” are telling their stories, those same stories are being appropriated by psychiatry, for psychiatric purposes. A survivor who understands the true nature of psychiatry can’t tell his or her story openly or without a pseudonym without dangerous consequences.

    “So it rather irks me when I read of how we are somehow silencing the psychiatric survivor voice, etc.”

    It’s not a matter of silencing the “psychiatric survivor” voice. It is true that there are many survivors whose voices have been moderated away or silenced. That is normal in society at large as well as on MIA. In any case, it’s not always a good thing for survivors to tell their stories, particularly in a public forum such as this. Psychiatry profits from the narratives of the “mentally ill” as well as the narratives of “survivors” or others who want to “rethink” psychiatry. Unfortunately, most “psychiatric survivors” know next to nothing about the true history of psychiatry, hence their narratives play right into the hands of psychiatric propaganda. There are a few rare exceptions to this rule.

    Of course civility is imperative. Truth is on the side of psychiatric survivors and abolitionists, so there is no reason not to be civil.

    “One of the things we realized from the survey is that so many people just avoid the comments altogether because of a sense that it can be a hostile place. We are TRYING TO ENLARGE THE AUDIENCE for those contributing through their comments, not diminish the audience. We are just asking everyone to engage in a way that help create an environment where people can listen to each other.”

    This is strange, since others seem to have remarked that they actually enjoy the comments section more than the articles themselves, or that they learn more from the comments section than the articles themselves. Again, civility is imperative, and I commend any move toward greater civility. I also commend any move toward greater truth and clarity. As painful as it may be, the move toward greater truth and clarity will also be a move toward abolition, and a move away from “rethinking” psychiatry.

  • Ah, if symbolism were only that simple. Wayne and Gregory Peck made a big mistake by turning down the lead role. Cooper did a great job, and it’s a great film. In any case, someone has got to stand up to the Frank Miller of psychiatry whilst other townspeople run around like chickens with their heads cut off.

  • This is a great article.

    Those who understand the true history of psychiatry know that psychiatry has been causing casualties ever since its inception. Psychiatry produces homicides and suicides while pretending to offer the cure. It is a nefarious and pseudo-scientific system of slavery. The abolition of psychiatry, like the abolition of chattel slavery, or the defeat of Naziism, is a moral imperative.

    Those who are interested in discovering the truth about psychiatry will benefit from the following web site:


  • Hi Sheriff McCrea. Have you seen High Noon? It’s a classic. If so, you will understand that my role is like that of Marshal Kane (played by Gary Cooper) who protects the citizens of Hadleyville from the outlaw Frank Miller. In case it’s not already obvious, psychiatry itself is the Frank Miller of our Hadleyville.

    Now for the classic song “Do not Forsake Me My Darling” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4a_1UhwgFU

  • kindredspirit and Frank are right. This is a disaster for MIA. If MIA is a “forum for rethinking the current paradigm of psychiatric care,” this new policy will drive the conversation even further into the “reform” echo chamber. Psychiatry cannot be “rethought” any more than slavery can be “rethought.” Most people don’t waste time trying to “rethink” the 3rd Reich.

    As for the commenting policy, of course only 10% said that they “enjoyed participating in the lively discussions.” Most people know next to nothing about the inner workings or the history of psychiatry. Of course most people observe and read. Why would MIA be concerned about this? The pretense about representing the broadest range of views and experiences can hardly be understated. This new policy will greatly inhibit a broad range of views and it will narrow the discussion even more.

  • “Can Children Have Bipolar Disorder?”

    I didn’t bother to read this article or the comments, because the question it poses is inane. Of course children can’t have “Bipolar Disorder.” No one can “have” “Bipolar Disorder” because there is no such thing as “Bipolar Disorder.” “Bipolar Disorder,” like every other fictitious “disease” that has been invented by psychiatry, is BOGUS. A person can no more “have” “Bipolar Disorder” than he or she can “have” a personal relationship with Santa Claus.

    Those who spread these fake diseases that cause unspeakable suffering to innocent people, including children, the elderly, and the homeless, will be held accountable before God. They also ought to be held accountable before just laws.

  • Szasz’s works are still light years ahead of most articles and commentary on the topic of psychiatry. Reading helps us understand that it takes a lot of hard work, and deep study, to have an original thought. Here’s a morsel to chew on from Szasz’s “The Theology of Medicine”:

    “In the Age of Faith, men and women had to, and wanted to, call their spiritual problems sins and their spiritual authorities fathers, who, in turn, called them children. In the Age of Medicine, men and women have to, and want to, call their spiritual problems sicknesses and their spiritual authorities doctors, who, in turn, call them patients.” (p. 143)

    Here’s another:

    “To be sure, people do suffer. And that fact — according to doctors and patients, lawyers and laymen — is now enough to justify calling and considering them patients. As in an earlier age through the universality of sin, so now through the universality of suffering, men, women, and children become — whether they like it or not, whether they want to or not — the patient-penitents of their physician-priests. And over both patient and doctor now stands the Church of Medicine, its theology defining their roles and the rules of the games they must play, and its canon laws, now called public health and mental health laws, enforcing conformity to the dominant medical ethic.” (p. xxii)

  • No one is recruiting Cruise as a leader or a spokesperson. He is a celebrity. Millions of people watch his movies. He is an outspoken critic of psychiatry. In his interview with Lauer he speaks the truth as he sees it passionately, but also clearly and calmly. What if someone could educate him about the problems associated with scientology? What if Cruise understood how adherence to scientology is antithetical to his opposition to psychiatry? What if he and Whitaker and those of us who understand the truth about psychiatry teamed up to create the blockbuster film of the century: “The Truth about Psychiatry”?

  • I agree Lawrence. If Cruise could be further educated on the truth about psychiatry, and weened away from scientology, why not? If he could read Whitaker’s books, why not? Psychiatry uses so many celebrities to promote its lies (think Carrie Fisher, etc.). Cruise is already an outspoken critic of psychiatry, and his interview with Matt Lauer many years ago was well done.


  • Interesting post Lawrence. I like the general outline of the idea, even though the Lion King is already old. I would definitely encourage any endeavors to reach a wider and more receptive audience. However, it seems to me that the clear, undiluted truth about psychiatry must be published in as many venues and in as many ways as possible. I like the movie idea. What we need is a movie version of all of the research that has been done by Szasz, Breggin, Whitaker, Burstow, and others. A simple title would suffice: The Truth about Psychiatry, or The History of Psychiatry. If it were accurate and well made, we wouldn’t need any gimmicks. Those who would like to understand the truth about psychiatry would have their interest piqued.

    The research is there. The truth is available to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. I may need to write a book, and some articles. But since no one reads books anymore, and many people would rather watch a movie than read articles, there has to be a way to get the truth about psychiatry on the big screen.

    It may sound funny, but has anyone reached out to Tom Cruise with this idea? Of course the obstacle there is that he is a scientologist. But he has done some fantastic interviews on the topic of psychiatry, and he’s not a fan of psychiatry. Would there be any way to persuade a passionate opponent of psychiatry, and someone with the financial means and wherewithal to start creating the blockbuster film of the century? Can you imagine the uproar?