Sunday, August 19, 2018

Comments by Slaying_the_Dragon_of_Psychiatry

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  • 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:

    https://psychiatricsurvivors.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/the-truth-about-psychiatry/

  • 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.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc_wjp262RY

  • 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?

  • “Early Attention to Life Circumstances and Relationships Improves Outcomes for Psychosis”

    All of this seemingly sophisticated gobbledygook can never prove that there is such a thing as “psychosis” in the first place. People take it for granted that there is such a thing as “mental illness” and “mania” and “psychosis,” as if we were discussing concrete reality. Several decades ago, people used to be interested in the real questions: “What is mental illness?” “What is psychosis?” “Who came up with these notions?” “Why did they come up with these notions?” “Where the people who developed these notions honorable and trustworthy individuals or charlatans?” “Do these notions correspond in any way with reality?” A bit of careful study reveals that so-called “mental illness” with all of its attendant psycho-babble, is a myth, and that psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that thrives on the perpetuation of these myths.

    Wake up people. You’ve all been had.

  • “I believe we need a concept called ‘mental illness’ because a careful philosophical inquiry into the meaning of ‘disease’ reveals, in my opinion, that a person can be ill in the literal sense in the realm of “mental”–Szasz’s interpretation of Virchow notwithstanding.”

    No. The opposite is true. A careful philosophical inquiry into the meaning of “disease” reveals precisely what Szasz foresaw: the medicalization of everyday life is a powerful weapon in the hand of the therapeutic state. Szasz was right. In former ages, false priests oppressed the ignorant masses under the assumed authority of false religious tenets, bedazzling them with recondite Latinisms. In modern times, psychiatrists and doctors, the new false priests, oppress the ignorant masses under the assumed authority of “medicine,” wielding “treatments” for “mental illness.” In former ages, the ignorant were beholden to the false priests for their supposed religious power and authority. The new false religion of psychiatry imposes its fake diseases upon its victims in order that they flock to the new false priests, psychiatrists and psychotherapists, for their magical “remedies,” namely drugs or psychotherapy.

    The only people who “need” a concept of “mental illness” are psychiatrists and psychotherapists, because “mental illness” is the terrible myth that sustains the pseudo-scientific enterprise of psychiatry. “Mental illness” is the wind beneath the wings of the dragon of psychiatry. It is also the fiery stench that reeks from her filthy maw. We no more need “mental illness” than the people of Laketown needed Smaug.

  • Don’t forget that dainty dental delight, the beloved Tooth Fairy. Unlike the myths of the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy, however, the myth of “mental illness” has injured, impaired, incapacitated and led to the untimely deaths of untold numbers of innocent people.

    It’s time to quote C.S. Lewis again, before the inherent therapeutic zealotry of psychiatry gets too far out of hand. Ponder this:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may 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. Their 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.”

  • “Despite what you have insisted, I have read nearly every book Szasz ever wrote, from ‘Pain and Pleasure’ and his early psychoanalytic work, to ‘Psychiatry: The Science of Lies.’ Whether you feel that I understand them is a different matter, of course.”

    And yet you show absolutely no evidence of having read or understood any of them, nor do you respond to any of the direct quotes from Szasz that I shared.

    “I believe a careful reading of Szasz–as well as listening to him lecture and interview–reveals pervasively his game-theoretical approach to the problems called mental illness.”

    Nonsense. A careful reading of Szasz would include a careful reading of more than just his worst book. In any case, Szasz got a lot of things wrong, and this game theory stuff was just one of them.

    “Slaying, you have stated here a few times that ‘Ethics of Psychoanalysis’ was one of Szasz’s worst books.”

    Yes. That’s right. It is probably his worst book, and yet it is the only book that you care to reference because you think that it supports your narrow reading of Szasz. Please read Szasz’s works before making any further attempts to recruit Szasz as a psychiatric apologist.

    “But did you know that Szasz ranked it as his favorite book? He says so explicity in the preface of the Syracuse University Press edition released in the 1980s.”

    Szasz book “The Ethics of Psychoanalysis” is full of contradictions, and he wrote many things after 1980.

  • “whereas Slaying seems to be most familiar with Szasz’s later works–which admittedly did become much more radical and ‘anti-psychiatry.'”

    Not quite. I’m very familiar with this early work by Szasz, and it is not representative of his works as a whole. In fact, it is probably his worst book. His later works are not more radical. They are more reasonable, straightforward, and accurate. I imagine that Szasz was wrestling with the implication of the so-called “profession” in which he found himself. Whatever the case, the inordinate focus on one bad book gives a distorted idea of Szasz’ work as a whole.

    “One could leave room for the existence of a category of disease called ‘mental illness’ and still believe that the only ethical approach to these problems is to assist the patient in becoming more autonomous and free.” Not really. The entire myth of “mental illness” exists as a justification to enslave, torture, abuse, and otherwise molest people who were formerly free. The entire psychiatric system of slavery rests on the false premise of so-called “mental illness.” If you believe in the autonomy, freedom, and responsibility of individuals, then the way to contribute to the expansion of such autonomy, freedom, and responsibility is to refrain from labeling and burdening people with the unjust and untenable epithets of so-called “mental illness.” Psychiatry is the antithesis of freedom and responsibility, and “mental illness” is the myth that sustains the psychiatric enterprise.

  • “Since Slaying’s comment is mostly filled with the typical anti-psychiatry rhetoric, I will address what I see as his (or her) main errors in critique.”

    Szasz saw himself as a noble rhetorician, like Kraus, and he wrote as much in his books. While I don’t agree with everything that Szasz wrote, he was a noble rhetorician because he used language in defense of the truth as he saw it. Much of what Szasz wrote, contrary to the opinion of Mr. Ruffalo, was critical of both psychiatry and psychotherapy. Any summary of Szasz that intentionally omits his straightforward denunciations of both psychiatry and psychotherapy is simply an inaccurate summary.

    Szasz’ book “The Ethics of Psychoanalysis” was published in 1965, which was still very early in his career. It is one of his worst books. Szasz was a prolific author, and he denounced Freud in the majority of his works. Psychiatric apologists like to focus on this early work by Szasz because they believe that it lends credence to the psychiatric enterprise. It is a half-truth that Szasz praised Freud and drew from his theories. The full truth about Szasz cannot be gleaned from the narrow reading of one of his early books, and one of his worst books at that.

    “Slaying seems to allege that Szasz completely rejected ‘psychotherapy’ (as in human conversation). This is blatantly false. He practiced it for half a century.” Nonsense. No one who has read Szasz’ book “The Myth of Psychotherapy” can claim that Szasz simply championed and practiced “psychotherapy.” Like Kraus before him, he was unfailingly and unflinchingly critical of both psychiatry and so-called “psychotherapy.” Do I need to quote Szasz again? Evidently I do, because either Mr. Ruffalo has not read Szasz thoroughly enough, or else he has not understood him. Try this one out, for example:

    “My aim in this enterprise has been to unmask the medical and therapeutic pretensions of psychiatry and psychotherapy. I have done so not because I think that medicine and treatment are bad things, but rather because, in the so-called mental health field, I know that the psychiatric and psychotherapeutic mythology is now used to disguise deception and conceal coercion – by psychiatrists, patients, politicians, jurists, journalists, and people in general.” (“The Myth of Psychotherapy,” p. xviii)

    Freud is one of the main culprits in this book, and in many of Szasz’ other books. Szasz’ book “The Ethics of Psychoanalysis” pre-dates his more lucid and mature reflexions on the true nature of psychiatry. If that isn’t enough, consider the following rebukes that Szasz gave to psychotherapy:

    Szasz referred to psychotherapy as “a fake religion” that “seeks to destroy true religion.” (“The Myth of Psychotherapy,” p. 28)

    “In His repeated attacks on the scribes and Pharisees,” Szasz also writes, “Jesus’ role as reformer could not be clearer. ‘Beware of the scribes, He warns, ‘who like to go about in long robes, and to have salutations in the market places and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers.’ Similarly, He might now warn people to beware of psychiatrists who like to go about in the white coat of doctors, and to receive government grants and the best seats in the theater. Naturally, the Jewish priesthood did not relish being denounced in such terms by Jesus, any more than contemporary pillars of society relish such criticism.” (“The Myth of Psychotherapy,” p. 31)

    Either Mr. Ruffalo has not understood Szasz, or he has not really read Szasz. This would not be a problem, except that Ruffalo attempts to appropriate Szasz for psychiatric apologetics. There are many other ways in which Szasz denounced both psychiatry and psychotherapy, but just for the record, perhaps we should include this gem as well:

    “What, then, are psychotherapists and what do they sell to or impose on their clients? Insofar as they use force, psychotherapists are judges and jailers, inquisitors and torturers; insofar as they eschew it, they are secular priests and pseudomedical rhetoricians. Their services consist of coercions and constraints imposed on individuals on behalf of other persons or social groups, or they consist of contracts and conversations entered into by individuals on their own behalf.” (“The Myth of Psychotherapy,” p. 206)

    “Szasz would routinely comment on the fact that if schizophrenia were found to be brain disease, it would leave the domain of psychiatry.” So what? Have you even read “Schizophrenia: The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry”? Allow me to quote Szasz again:

    “The claim that some people have a disease called schizophrenia (and that some, presumably, do not) was based not on any medical discovery but only on medical authority; that it was, in other words, the result not of empirical or scientific work, but of ethical and political decision making.” (“Schizophrenia: The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry,” p. 3)

    That’s already on page 3 of his book. Read the rest to discover what Szasz really thought about so-called “Schizophrenia.”

    “It has been alleged that Szasz’s views on schizophrenia were much more nuanced in private conversations than in his necessarily polemical writings.” It has also been alleged that the moon landings were fake and that the earth is flat.

    “The idea that what is called ‘schizophrenia’ is simply the result of institutional psychiatry has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked by historians of psychiatry.” Nonsense. As I mentioned earlier, psychiatric apologists have written apologetic defenses of psychiatry in the form of pseudo-history. Such pseudo-historians include Edward Shorter and Tom Burns. More accurate histories of psychiatry have been composed by Szasz himself, as well as by Peter Breggin, Robert Whitaker, and Bonnie Burstow.

    “It is like saying ‘congestive heart failure’ wouldn’t exist without cardiologists. Perhaps the term would not exist, but people would still be dying of heart failure. ‘Schizophrenia’ has an ontological reference that would exist regardless of psychiatry.” Nonsense. But this is also beside the point because contrary to Mr. Ruffalo’s claims, Szasz clearly wrote otherwise. The point is that Mr. Ruffalo has misquoted and mischaracterized Szasz. As far as the myth of “Schizophrenia,” there is more ontological reality for Santa Claus and the Easter bunny than there is for so-called “Schizophrenia.”

    I’m not sure why Mr. Ruffalo keeps referring to the charlatan Pies. Hopefully it is clear enough by now that Pies cannot be taken serious because he has repeatedly attempted to defend the “chemical imbalance” hoax and other psychiatric pseudologies.

    “The claim that Szasz would support ‘modern anti-psychiatry’ is not supported by any evidence and is debunked by virtue of the fact that he wanted nothing to do with the movement in the years preceding his death.” Again, this completely avoids the real question. Szasz distanced himself from the “anti-psychiatry” of Laing and his cohorts early on, because people attempted to brand Szasz as an “anti-psychiatrist.” Szasz considered that psychiatry was the science of lies, and that so-called “anti-psychiatry” was “quackery squared.” Why? Because the “anti-psychiatry” of Laing was psychiatry by another name. He rejected both as forms of coercion and state-sponsored abuse. Szasz’ works give ample support to those who oppose psychiatry and even to those who argue for the abolition of psychiatry. But one would have to actually read Szasz’ works in order to know that.

    Szasz’ defense of the twin principles of liberty and responsibility naturally led him to oppose psychiatry because psychiatry stands in direct opposition to both liberty and responsibility. Szasz was one of the most thoughtful and articulate critics of psychiatry, and those who have read and understood Szasz are beneficiaries of his defense of liberty and responsibility. As much as those who oppose psychiatry are indebted to Szasz, however, his was not the last word.

    Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that thrives on the oppression of innocent men, women, and even children. The history of psychiatry is riddled with stories of abuse, torture, drugging, involuntary incarceration, shock, insulin coma “therapy,” lobotomy, and other coercive measures. Psychiatry has destroyed the lives of millions of innocent people, and it continues to do so to this day. For this, and many other reasons, psychiatry ought to be abolished.

  • Ruffalo’s attempt to appropriate Szasz for psychiatric purposes is so off base that it hardly merits a response except to disabuse other readers of Ruffalo’s misinterpretations of Szasz. Ruffalo is right about one thing, however, no figure in the history of American psychiatry has proven to be more misunderstood than the late Thomas Szasz. In fact, Ruffalo’s article gives further evidence of the pervasiveness of misunderstandings of Szasz’ work.

    Rather than elucidate Szasz, Ruffalo does what most psychiatrists and psychotherapists do, and what Szasz ardently opposed: he obfuscates Szasz’ arguments through misuse of language. Ruffalo claims that Szasz’ views on psychiatry were influence by his libertarian ideology. This isn’t quite right. More accurately, Szasz’ views on everything, including libertarianism and psychiatry, were influenced by his commitment to the twin principles of freedom and responsibility. From a young age, Szasz understood that psychiatry directly opposed the twin principles of freedom and responsibility, but he wisely managed to obtain his credentials in psychiatry before publishing his views more widely. Furthermore, Szasz’ views regarding so-called “psychotherapy” are much more nuanced than Ruffalo claims. Even his book “The Myth of Psychotherapy” was not his last word on the matter.

    Historians of psychiatry are notoriously wrong about psychiatry. Most of them would more accurately be called apologists of psychiatry. Accurate histories of psychiatry have been written by Szasz, Breggin, Whitaker, Burstow, and a few others. Psychiatric apologists, on the other hand, frequently attempt to appropriate Szasz in order to bolster their own erroneous opinions on the nature of psychiatry. Such attempts to appropriate Szasz would be laughable if they weren’t so destructive.

    Ruffalo begins his article by praising certain aspects of Szasz’ work. But as soon as he attempts to correct Szasz, he shows his hand as yet another iteration of the false rhetoricians that Szasz so ardently and consistently opposed. Ruffalo claims that most people misinterpret Szasz by supposing that Szasz denied the reality of mental symptoms. In reality, most misinterpretations of Szasz are more closely tied to Ruffalo’s own misinterpretation of Szasz, namely, and in Ruffalo’s own words, that Szasz “ideas in this sense were actually quite similar to Freud’s.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

    In the tradition of Karl Kraus, a man whom Szasz admired greatly, Szasz frequently exposed Freud as the fraud that he was. This is not to say that Szasz was not influenced in any way by Freud, but that those who conflate Szasz with Freud simply have not read or understood most of Szasz’ writings. Szasz was a prolific writer. His views on Freud and psychotherapy developed over the course of his career, and the more they developed, the more clearly he denounces Freud, his teacher Charcot, and others, as the imposters they were.

    Consider, for example, the following statement by Szasz on page 35 of his book “Schizophrenia: The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry”:

    “The gist of my argument is that men like Kraepelin, Bleuler, and Freud were not what they claimed or seem to be – namely, physicians or medical investigators; they were, in fact, religious-political leaders and conquerors. Instead of discovering new diseases, they extended, through psychiatry, the imagery, vocabulary, jurisdiction, and hence the territory of medicine to what were not, and are not, diseases in the original Virchowian, sense.”

    Ruffalo claims that “Szasz (1965) contended that his ‘autonomous psychotherapy’ was an expansion and refinement of Freud’s original vision for psychoanalysis.” This is a half-truth. Read Szasz’ book “The Myth of Psychotherapy.” In that book, and in no uncertain terms, Szasz reveals the mendacity of Mesmer, the hoaxes of Heinroth, the errors of Erb and Wagner-Jauregg, and the fraudulence of Freud and Jung. Ruffalo claims that Szasz was led to “conceptualize mental illness as resulting from unacknowledged internal motivations.” Again, Ruffalo’s rhetoric is misleading. No one who has read Szasz’ books “The Myth of Mental Illness,” “Psychiatry: The Science of Lies,” “Schizophrenia: The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry,” “Coercion as Cure,” “The Theology of Medicine,” “The Myth of Psychotherapy,” “The Therapeutic State,” “Psychiatric Justice,” “Psychiatric Slavery,” “Liberation by Oppression,” or any number of his other works can in honesty claim that Szasz conceptualized so-called “mental illness” in the way that Ruffalo supposes. In fact, I would recommend a close reading of Thomas’ Szasz excellent book “Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus’s Criticism of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry,” in order to gain a better understanding of Szasz’ stance on all things psychiatric, including his ideas on “psychotherapy.”

    Ruffalo bases his arguments on a very narrow reading of Szasz’ ideas regarding psychotherapy. While it is true that Szasz contended vigorously on behalf of the twin principles of freedom and responsibility, in many of Szasz’ writings, he called into question not only the notion of “mental illness,” but the notions of “doctor” and “patient” as well. Szasz saw himself as a noble rhetorician, like Kraus, who was burdened with the task of exposing the errors of the false rhetoricians. Like Kraus, he was often rejected, ignored, or misinterpreted. Unfortunately, Szasz continues to be rejected, ignored, or in the case of Ruffalo’s article, misinterpreted.

    One of the most glaring falsehoods in Ruffalo’s article is contained in the following statement: “While Szasz asserted that mental disorders are only metaphorical diseases, he never closed the door entirely on the possibility that one day the biological origin of a mental disorder will become known.” In reality, Szasz traced the search for the biological and physical causes of so-called psychopathological phenomena to the investigator’s “craving for prestige and power” rather than his desire for “understanding and clarity.” (see “The Myth of Mental Illness, chapters four and five) Allow me to quote Szasz again:

    “Modern psychiatry rests on the false premise that mental illnesses are brain diseases treatable with drugs. Political correctness requires that we accept this premise and the practices it entails as the products of modern neuroscience and the procedures of humane social control. As science, this is bunk, because it confuses personal conduct with biological condition. As social control, it is despotism, subjecting innocent individuals to incarceration.” (Szasz, Liberation by Oppression, p. 57)

    Szasz’s summary statement and manifesto begins with this clear insight:

    1. “‘Myth of mental illness.’ Mental illness is a metaphor (metaphorical disease). The word ‘disease’ denotes a demonstrable biological process that affects the bodies of living organisms (plants, animals, and humans). The term ‘mental illness’ refers to the undesirable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of persons. Classifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as diseases is a logical and semantic error, like classifying the whale as a fish. As the whale is not a fish, mental illness is not a disease. Individuals with brain diseases (bad brains) or kidney diseases (bad kidneys) are literally sick. Individuals with mental diseases (bad behaviors), like societies with economic diseases (bad fiscal policies), are metaphorically sick. The classification of (mis)behavior as illness provides an ideological justification for state-sponsored social control as medical treatment.”

    Ruffalo claims “This leads us to the theoretical possibility that what is called schizophrenia—for instance—is caused by a yet-to-be-discovered physiological disease of the brain.” Nonsense. What did Szasz really have to say about so-called “schizophrenia”?

    “Similarly, if there is not psychiatry, there can be no schizophrenics. In other words, the identity of an individual as a schizophrenic depends on the existence of the social system of (institutional) psychiatry. Hence, if psychiatry is abolished, schizophrenics disappear. This does not mean that certain kinds of persons who might previously have been schizophrenics, or who might like to be schizophrenics, also disappear; there assuredly remain persons who are incompetent, or self-absorbed, or who reject their ‘real’ roles, or who offend others in some other ways. But if there is no psychiatry, none of them can be schizophrenic.” (Schizophrenia: The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry, p. 136)

    One need not respond to Ruffalo’s references to Ronald Pies, since, as Frank and Richard pointed out, Pies is hardly a reliable source for accurate information. Pies is full of conceptual errors that Szasz would have easily torn apart. Ruffalo writes “If mental illness is indeed a metaphor—and Pies does not think it is—the person said to be mentally ill may still be ill in the literal sense.” Pies has no evidence whatsoever that such a thing as “mental illness” exists, and yet Ruffalo refers to Pies in order to speculate that the “mentally ill” may be ill in the literal sense. I think that Frank has made it clear enough that as soon as a person discovers that he or she has a literal, biological illness, there is no longer any reason (if there were a reason in the first place) to falsely label such a person as “mentally ill.” The myth of “mental illness” and the quest for a biological marker that corresponds with the myth is, as Szasz has repeatedly shown, an effort in futility that springs from the pervasive psychiatric tendency to seek for ways to justify or legitimize a fraudulent “profession.”

    As far as Ruffalo’s point regarding Szasz’ reading of Virchow, even if Virchow didn’t necessarily equate cellular pathology with “disease” in the broader sense, Szasz is still right to conclude that so-called “mental illness” or “mental disorders” are not real diseases, but inventions of psychiatrists. Of course Szasz understood that people may behave in aberrant or irrational ways, and that people may suffer from a variety of problems that manifest themselves in ways that psychiatrists label as “symptoms” of “mental illness.” The problem is that psychiatry, and by extension much of “psychotherapy,” attempts to medicalize human behavior and everyday life to such an extent that there is almost nothing that escapes the purview of the DSM-V.

    Ruffalo gives a back-handed and disingenuous compliment to Dr. Szasz near the conclusion of his article: “No one in the history of psychiatry advocated more tirelessly for the civil liberties of the mentally ill…” This is not what Szasz did. He exposed the myth of “mental illness” for what it was, and he demonstrated with relentless clarity that to categorize people as “mentally ill” is to do them a disservice. He didn’t advocate for the civil liberties of the “mentally ill.” He advocated for the liberty and responsibility of all human beings, particularly those who were labeled as “mentally ill” by exposing the various lies of psychiatry.

    Ruffalo’s article makes it seem as though there are some cases in which “medication” and “psychotherapy” are a necessity. This is simply not true, and Szasz would have exposed this error as well. Ruffalo also attempts to discredit the anti-psychiatry movement with a reference to Szasz. This is a common error among psychiatrists and psychotherapists. The assumption is that since Szasz disapproved of Laing’s version of “anti-psychiatry,” he would have opposed anti-psychiatry today. Nothing could be further from the truth. Szasz grouped Laing and others like him together with other psychiatric frauds. Szasz was often dismissed as an “anti-psychiatrist,” and he rejected the term as “quackery squared” because he didn’t wish to be associated with Laing and his ilk. The difference is that Laing and his ilk were psychiatrists who attempted to perpetuate the abuses of psychiatry under a different name, namely “anti-psychiatry.” Laing’s so-called “anti-psychiatry,” which Szasz rightly rejected, was not anti-psychiatry at all. It was psychiatry by another name.

    Ruffalo claims that “Szasz never sought to ban psychiatry or psychiatric treatment.” This is another half-truth. Although Szasz advocated for liberty and responsibility, he often and persistently argued that psychiatric slavery ought to be abolished. He wrote entire volumes on the subject, volumes that are conspicuously absent from the assessments of Szasz’s work set forth by most psychiatric apologists.

    Perhaps the most egregious error in Ruffalo’s argument comes at the end of his article: “But Szasz’s unwavering focus on the autonomy and self-determination of psychiatric patients may have led paradoxically to the deprivation of their freedom.” Utter nonsense. These are not arguments of someone who has really read and understood Szasz, nor are they arguments of someone who respects Szasz’s work. While Szasz was busy throughout his entire life, working to support the twin principles of liberty and responsibility, Mr. Ruffalo attempts to pin the blame for the horrors that have been perpetrated by psychiatrists on the innocent on the very man who opposed them. For shame. Ruffalo’s article obfuscates Szasz’s real arguments and attempts to discredit his work, but even worse, it employs base rhetoric to blame the very man whose work has been most beneficial to victims of psychiatry. This is nothing new. Like Karl Kraus before him, Szasz suffered the same abuse in his time. Such has always been the case with truth. First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Eventually it is accepted as self-evident. Szasz’s defense of self-evident truths will stand the test of time, while his critics will eventually be forgotten.

  • “The treatment of mental disorders with drugs is not the same sort of activity as the use of drugs in medicine.”

    No pun intended, but this is a no-brainer. Why? Because there are no such thing as “mental disorders.” Furthermore, it is impossible to “treat” a “mental disorder.” If anything, drugs CAUSE severe brain damage, in ways that Frank mentions above, also including neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

    “Psychiatric drugs do not target underlying disease or symptom-producing mechanisms; they create an altered state of mental functioning that is superimposed on underlying feelings and behaviours.”

    This is not quite right either. First of all, the term “psychiatric drugs” is a bit misleading in and of itself. Terms like “antidepressant,” “antipsychotic,” “mood stabilizer,” and so forth are misnomers. These drugs are not “medications.” They are dangerous, brain damaging, toxic chemical compounds that are wrecking havoc in the lives of millions of innocent men, women, and children, including helpless infants, the homeless, and the elderly.

    Second, these toxic chemicals don’t simply create an “altered state of mental functioning.” They DAMAGE the physical brain. This has nothing to do with “mental functioning.” That’s what these dangerous drugs are DESIGNED to do… to damage the brain while deceiving people into thinking that they are being healed through “medication.” These drugs produce a type of “medication spellbinding,” as Peter Breggin likes to call it. Thus the innocent victims of psychotropic drugging believe that they are being “treated” when in reality they are being drugged into oblivion.

    Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that ought to be abolished. Discover the truth about psychiatry:

    https://psychiatricsurvivors.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/the-truth-about-psychiatry/

  • “At the present time, psychiatry is under intense scrutiny and criticism. On all sides its ‘mental illnesses’ and ‘brain-correcting’ drugs are being exposed as dangerous, disempowering, and stigmatizing hoaxes. And psychiatry’s only response is denial, PR, cheerleading, and attempted marginalization of its critics.”

    No one says it quite as clearly and succinctly as Dr. Hickey. Excellent article.

  • I’m done with MIA as well. It is next to impossible to have any sort of a conversation with anyone without comments being moderated away because everything is interpreted as a “personal attack” or not politically correct. Time to take my conversation somewhere where people are actually capable of reasoned and civil dialogue. I don’t know where that might be actually… perhaps on Mars.

    Oh, and “science” is not an excuse to avoid substantive questions or to assume some pretended mantle of authority, particularly when very few people seem capable of defining what “science” might even be.

    Thank you everyone. It’s been fun. If you’re interested to learn the truth about psychiatry, please consult the following website:

    https://psychiatricsurvivors.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/the-truth-about-psychiatry/

    Over and out.

  • Which also begs the question, what are “scientific values”? And who can possibly qualify as a person who adheres to “scientific values”? If “scientific values” prevent a person from engaging with others who might disagree or challenge opinions, then “scientific values” is just a code phrase for insularity. The echo chamber of “scientific values” will produce more of the same, and nothing scientific can result from such an endeavor.

  • It seems like such a fascinating “psychological phenomenon,” whatever that might mean, to consider that a person can simultaneously adhere to a belief in “science” and “mental health.” It’s even more fascinating that there are people who consider themselves to be “professionals” in these matters. It is a very interesting phenomenon. Perhaps someone could do a study regarding this peculiar behavior.

  • Dr. Deacon, thank you for your reply. Yes, you wrote that “science is a method of inquiry, not the product of this method.” What is this “method of inquiry” of which you write? How did you come upon it?

    “Psychology is the realm of thoughts/feelings/behaviours, so a psychological phenomenon would be something in that realm.”

    What evidence do you have for the assertion that psychology is the realm of thoughts/feelings/behaviours? Of course its a tautology to state that psychology is this realm, and that therefore a psychological phenomenon exists in this realm. What is a psychological phenomenon? It’s still not very clear. Thank you.

  • No problem Richard. Apology accepted. My apologies as well for any of my intemperate remarks. And I appreciate the thrust of your argument here. I agree with you that we need to broaden our perspectives, and to uproot psychiatry from the actual material conditions in the REAL world. Those of us who believe in the REALITY of good and evil, and the authors of both, will continue to fight for the good and resist evil as best we can. All the best,

    Dragon Slayer

  • “One day, perhaps, outsiders will be able to hear and believe our own psychiatric horror stories, told in our own words. Meanwhile, however, we need all the help we can get from people who have sufficient status to be taken seriously.”

    The fact that these true stories most often go unheard and unheeded is one of the greatest tragedies that results from psychiatric deception and oppression. Psychiatric slavery is enforced right before our eyes, yet very few are willing to do anything at all about it. It is an injustice of astronomical proportions. I feel to repeat Thomas Jefferson’s bold statement regarding chattel slavery in connection to the need to abolish psychiatric slavery:

    “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference!”

  • “You will also read a proposal for a new psychiatric diagnosis — aphorismomania, or definition-madness: a condition suffered by psychiatrists, whose symptoms include the impulse to “join random nouns derived from Ancient Greek in order pass them off as medical terms” (e.g., “schizophrenia”) and to “diagnose hypothetical physiological abnormalities … for which there is no scientific evidence.”

    The next DSM, the DSM-VI, should have only one “diagnosis”: aphorismomania. But what will be the “cure”?

  • Good points oldhead. MIA has the opportunity to be or to become the Copernicus, so to speak, or the Semmelweis, of the current era. When future generations look back toward the time in which we now live, they will wonder what was done to expose the truth about psychiatry, and to liberate the captives from psychiatric slavery. They will wonder why it took so long for psychiatry to be abolished, just like we now wonder why it took so long, and why it took a Civil War, for chattel slavery to be abolished. They will also wonder why so few had the courage to stand up against the therapeutic state. The choice is ours.

  • “one of the key ways they have defended that narrative is to delegitimize critics in the eyes of the conventional media…”

    This is exactly what was done to Karl Kraus, and later, to Thomas Szasz. Kraus called the technique Totschweigetaktik, the “silent treatment.” And it is exactly what is done to psychiatric survivors and opponents of psychiatry today, even in forums that are ostensibly “critical” of psychiatry.

    https://psychiatricsurvivors.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/anti-freud-karl-krauss-criticism-of-psychoanalysis-and-psychiatry/

  • “In fact, in my view, your total focus on the surface phenomena of psychiatry tends toward leading people away from finding the solutions to the problems of suicide and human alienation.”

    In my view, a statement such as this causes me to wonder if Richard has read or understood any of my comments. The reason we focus on the “surface phenomena of psychiatry,” as Richard puts it, is because that is our major point of agreement. As for “leading people away from finding the solutions to the problems of suicide and human alienation,” that is precisely what liberal ideological hegemony has the tendency to do, and that is one reason why I reject it.

    For the record, let me answer your questions very briefly:

    “1) How did psychiatry come to gain its pervasive power in our society over the past 4 decades, and whose class interests does it serve?”

    The power of psychiatry goes hand in hand with the rise of modern liberalism and progressivism, and it serves the progressive elite. The therapeutic state is another manifestation of modern liberal ideological hegemony, and that modern liberal ideological hegemony is connected to a rejection of classical liberalism, Judeo-Christian faith, and the wisdom of the founding generation.

    “2) What is the origin and ultimate source of this obsessive focus on INDIVIDUAL success and achievement in society (that is so alienating), and how does it connect to the nature of our economic and political system?”

    The origin and ultimate source of what you call this “obsessive focus on INDIVIDUAL success and achievement in society” goes back to Locke and other influential modern political philosophers, but Marx’s radicalization of these earlier moderns has been much more devastating, not just alienating. The devastation produced by communism includes the death of millions of innocent people. Selfishness is not just a problem among those with whom a person may disagree on political matters.

    “3) AND what systemic economic, political, and cultural changes need to take place in society to reduce emotional trauma and alienation, and give people more of a reason to live and contribute to making the world a better place?”

    The fundamental problem is the disintegration of the family, which is the fundamental unit of society. The disintegration of the family will bring about calamities. The way to reduce trauma and alienation is to strengthen marriage and families, and thus strengthen the very fabric of society. The utopian schemes that aim to regenerate the world through external means, and thus by force, will continue to have catastrophic consequences just as they have in the past, as anyone who has studied and understood history can tell you.

    “Psychiatry and their paradigm of so-called “treatment” exists in a certain environment (type of society)…”

    Psychiatry and their paradigm of so-called “treatment” has existed in many different environments and types of societies, including our own society in which liberal ideological hegemony runs rampant. The therapeutic state is directly connected to modern progressivist and radical ideologies that reject the wisdom of the founding generation and the new birth of freedom during the time of Lincoln. Richard’s characterization of my arguments, therefore, is not just wrong, but it applies more accurately to his own ideological commitments.

    Let me put it plainly for all to understand: psychiatry flourishes in the therapeutic state, and the therapeutic state thrives because of modern progressive ideological hegemony.

  • No laughing allowed Steve. But even if you’re not laughing, it could be that your lack of insight into your own condition is what is causing your failure to laugh, which is an obvious indication of your disordered state. Perhaps Lawrence or someone else can involuntarily incarcerate you and administer your meds.

  • Those are good points oldhead. I agree. And congratulations on the cold turkey withdrawal from Kools. Well done.

    Given a choice between cigarettes and psychotropic drugs (both bad choices), cigarettes are the lesser of two evils. Rachel777 also makes excellent points.

    In any case, many people believe that psychotropic drugs are “medication,” which is simply not true.

  • But there’s a huge difference between cigarettes and psychotropic drugs. There are many differences, actually. The first is that psychotropic drugs produce suffering and death in ways (sometimes violent ways) that cigarettes never could. The second is that people smoke cigarettes for different reasons. There was a time when cigarettes were cool. It was a social, recreational thing. Some people might try to make “recreational” use of psychotropic drugs, but for the most part, these drugs are pushed upon innocent people who are labeled as “mentally ill” or otherwise “disordered.” There ARE black box warnings on drugs. But even if people were warned against AKATHISIA, TARDIVE DISKYNESIA, or NEUROLEPTIC MALIGNANT SYNDROME, these same people might still take the drugs because they wrongfully suppose that there is some possibility of “therepeutic” benefit to the drugs. Nothing could be further from the truth. A warning against AKATHISIA or anything else is not enough. These drugs are more dangerous than cigarettes, for one reason because at least with cigarettes, people did not think that they were some sort of medication. I hope that makes sense.

  • That’s an excellent point yeah_I_survived. Some antipsychiatrists and psychiatric survivors fail to fully comprehend the insidious nature of psychiatry because they fail to acknowledge that its founder is quite literally the devil, the prince of darkness. Some consider such things to be superstitious nonsense, which is exactly what the devil himself devises. He whispers in their ears that there is no devil. Those who fail to understand their enemy will have a difficult time defeating him.

    Fortunately, as you also acknowledged, Jesus saves. Not only that, He overcame the world, the devil, evil, death, and every obstacle to our salvation and eternal life. Because of Jesus Christ, there is hope. Because He overcame the world, so can we. And that includes overcoming psychiatry. Satan is the dragon of psychiatry, but he will be slain. He was defeated once in the war in heaven, and ultimately truth will prevail and he will be defeated again, finally, and for the last time. The victory is the Lord’s, and to Him belongs all glory.

  • On the whole, Noel’s article is good, and demonstrates an acceptable level of skepticism toward psychiatry. But there are a few things that need to be emphatically restated or clarified. First of all, the rise in presumed suicides – tragedies that psychiatry has euphemistically termed “emotional lability” – is more often than not a direct result of psychiatric intervention. In other words, many of these “suicides” and mass shootings are not merely manifestations of troubled lives that finally bubble to the surface, they are the direct and predictable result of psychotropic drugging, involuntary incarceration, labeling, abuse, and torture. These “suicides” would more accurately be called manslaughter. But who is to be held accountable for these murders?

    Psychiatrists are in one way or another implicated in these crimes, although many of them are woefully ignorant of the harm that they are causing. By now it should be obvious that the pharmaceutical industry, combined with psychiatric hegemony, is responsible for untold numbers of deaths and unfathomable suffering. Psychiatry, backed by pharmaceutical hegemony, is CAUSING the deaths and misery of untold numbers of innocent people. It is destroying families and individual lives. Psychiatry preys upon the weak, innocent children, the homeless, the elderly, and the vulnerable. It is a pseudo-scientific system of abuse and torture that masquerades as medicine. In short, psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry have blood on their hands, and the blood of the innocent cries out from the ground against them. God’s justice cannot sleep forever.

    Another point needs to be made. Although it may seem comforting to have “professionals” and suicide hotlines readily available, these presumed resources act as funnels into the psychiatric system. There are many lures that draw people into the nefarious web of psychiatry. Hotlines, surveys, screenings, and other methods convince many people that they are “mentally ill” and need “therapy,” which “therapy” then results in labeling, drugging, iatrogenic harm, and sometimes death. These deaths are then used to bolster the same psychiatric selling points, namely, that there is an increase in “mental illness” and that more “treatment” and psychiatric interventions are needed to prevent the tragedies. It is a brilliant business model.

    In other words, psychiatry creates the very problems that it purports to cure, and then it “cures” these problems in such a way as to exacerbate them and produce a great market for its “treatments.” The cycle will continue until the myth of mental illness is fully exposed, along with the chemical imbalance hoax. The cycle will continue until the general public understands the true history of psychiatry. Psychiatrists have been harming and killing people in the name of “medical treatment” since its inception, and its tactics have become ever more subtle, and ever more harmful.

    Noel’s article is good, but in reality, many of these so-called “suicides” are not suicides at all. It is psychiatric murder, and there is no better way to cover up for murder than to make people think that the person who has been murdered has committed suicide. There is an ever growing list of “suicides” and mass shootings that belongs in the category of psychiatric murder. That is why psychiatry is not just a pseudo-scientific system of slavery, but a thanatophoric (death inducing) regime. How many more psychiatric murders will it take before psychiatry is held accountable for its crimes? How many more innocent men, women, and children must be sacrificed on the altars of the pharmaceutical industry before lovers of liberty and truth rise up in rebellion? What will it take to slay the dragon of psychiatry?

  • The irony of Churchill bashing among psychiatric survivors and antipsychiatrists would be laughable if it weren’t so sickening. Churchill is not an “antipsychiatry hero,” but he wasn’t an unrepentant eugenicist either. I would suggest that people actually read books before making such sweeping and ignorant generalizations. https://winstonchurchill.hillsdale.edu/fake-news-from-the-huffington-post/

  • There’s still no such thing as “bipolar.” There’s no such thing as “mental illness.” Psychiatry prides itself on “diagnosing” major figures in world history as if that lends legitimacy to the so-called “profession.” Churchill initially bought into some of the lies about eugenics, but he was also instrumental in defeating a despot and a regime that actually implemented eugenics. That is something to keep in mind. Furthermore, Churchill had his reservations about psychiatry and psychiatrists:

    “I am sure it would be sensible to restrict as much as possible the work of these gentleman [i.e. psychiatrists], who are capable of doing an immense amount of harm with what may very easily degenerate into charlatanry. The tightest hand should be kept over them, and they should not be allowed to quarter themselves in large numbers upon the Fighting Services at the public expense. There are no doubt easily recognisable cases which may benefit from treatment of this kind, but it is wrong to disturb large numbers of healthy, normal men and women by asking the kind of odd questions in which the psychiatrists specialise. There are quite enough hangers-on and camp followers already.” 1942 – Sir Winston Churchill

  • Apparently MIA will not allow a person to defend himself against baseless accusations of “racism” and “homophobia,” but he will immediately be censored for daring to stand up to such nonsense. No matter. The accusations remain baseless and utterly absurd.

    What is more disturbing is that now MIA is censoring away humor: no joking allowed about psychiatrists or psychiatry. In this way, MIA is beginning to resemble psychiatry.

    “The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.” – Martin Luther

    “The devil…that proud spirit…cannot endure to be mocked.” – Sir Thomas More

  • streetphotobeing is absolutely right. Think about this process for a moment. First psychiatrists and professionals get paid, often in excess of 200K per year, to label, drug, shock, involuntarily incarcerate, coerce, and torture innocent men, women, and children. Then other “professionals” get paid to teach innocent victims of psychiatry how to withdraw from the dangerous psychotropic chemicals that have been forced upon them. Those who have survived psychiatry have most often done so on their own, without any “professional” help. It is the “profession” itself that is the problem, not the victims of the “profession.”

    If we truly wish to help psychiatric survivors, and particularly those who are suffering immensely in the chemical haze of psychotropic drugging, the first step is to work towards the abolition of psychiatry. Once psychiatry has been abolished, and psychotropic drugs become a thing of the past, it will be even more clear that there is absolutely no need for a “professional” class to “cure” its victims of the very “remedies” that psychiatry itself has imposed upon them.

    Stop the madness. Stop the drugging. Stop the labeling. Slay the Dragon of Psychiatry.

    https://psychiatricsurvivors.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/the-truth-about-psychiatry/

  • It looks like my work is done here. Thanks everyone for a good discussion, and thanks especially to those who understand what psychiatry is and why it must be abolished. In spite of our differences of opinion, or maybe even because of them, I wish you all the best, and good luck in your future endeavors, including any endeavors to slay the dragon of psychiatry. For any who are still confused, and are seeking to understand the truth about psychiatry, I recommend the following:

    https://psychiatricsurvivors.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/the-truth-about-psychiatry/

  • So much for uprising’s rap song. Oh well.

    I’m glad that people are starting to consider Szasz more closely. I agree, in part, with some of the assessments, because he was too libertarian for my taste. But he was right about Laing. He was a psychiatrist, but only in the best way, which is to say, he saw through the deception of psychiatry and opposed psychiatry from within. He was also an abolitionist (see, for example, “Psychiatric Slavery” and “Liberation by Oppression”) In some of his early works he attempted to reconcile his profession with his commitment to liberty and responsibility, but as is clear in his later works, his commitment to liberty and responsibility won out in the end. It may be that Szasz ideological commitments pushed him too far to the left.

  • Once upon a time, academic institutions were organized according to a commitment to pursue truth. With rare exception, this is no longer the case. The proliferation of “studies” departments in institutions of higher learning is producing mass ignorance through conformity to ideologies that masquerade as learning and sophistication. In this way, institutions of higher learning resemble psychiatry. As Szasz was fond of showing, in former ages false priests oppressed the masses and exercised authority over them through recourse to recondite phrases, Latinisms, and distortions of the word of God. Nowadays, psychiatrists and professors (although not all of them) operate in a similar way. Psychiatrists derive their supposed authority from the “Bible of psychiatry,” psychiatric jargon, and medical self-aggrandizement, and professors derive their supposed authority from institutions of higher learning and the honors that accrue to them from their adherence to state honored ideologies. In this way, the pursuit of truth often runs counter to both psychiatry and the classroom.

  • Furthermore, although Bonnie Burstow has done great work in exposing the truth about psychiatry, in books such as “Psychiatry Interrogated” and “Psychiatry and the Business of Madness,” her approach is severely limited by her ideological commitments. This is unfortunate, because she gets so much right about the history of psychiatry and the harm that is being caused in the name of “medicine.”

    Her “myths” and “facts” about antipsychiatry form an important part of the conversation, but they also manifest serious limitations because of prior ideological commitments. But she is right about many things, including the importance of working towards the abolition of psychiatry. Like those who fought against chattel slavery in the South from a variety of positions, there are opportunities to come together and set aside ideological differences in order to work toward the abolition of psychiatry, since psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific form of slavery.

    I am glad that Bonnie recognizes Szasz as a pivotal figure in antipsychiatry. But like most people, she misinterprets Szasz and assumes that he was not an abolitionist. No one who has read his books “Psychiatric Slavery” or “Liberation by Oppression” can honestly claim that Szasz was not an abolitionist.

    In short, her’s is not the final word on what constitutes either psychiatry or antipsychiatry. In fact, in the on going conversation, it may be helpful to articulate more clearly what psychiatry is. No one to date has articulated more clearly the truth about psychiatry than Karl Kraus and Thomas Szasz. This is one reason why both were also able to clearly articulate the truth about antipsychiatry. The problem, of course, is that both Kraus and Szasz were silenced by the media for telling the truth. This is nothing new. Many of my comments have been moderated away because I articulated a simple truth. Even my article “The Truth about Psychiatry” was refused publication by Mad in America.

    In sum, there is a growing, natural, and powerful component of antipsychiatry that consists of psychiatric survivors and abolitionists who don’t give a fig for “professional” opinion. Of course it is possible to work together with anyone who understands the justice of the cause of abolition. But even this growing component of antipsychiatry is woefully ignorant of some of the best arguments that have already been clearly articulated by Szasz and Kraus. This is not to say that there aren’t other good arguments, or that we simply need to resurrect Szasz and Kraus (although that might be a good start), but that moving forward, those who are truly antipsychiatry and abolitionists would do well to at least familiarize themselves with the spade work that has already been done.

  • “It really depends how you define antipsychiatry. A lot of antipsychiatry efforts focus on dismantling the coercive system of psychiatry (institutional psychiatry) rather than taking away people’s rights to access voluntary treatment or use substances.”

    These are the kinds of subtle attacks on true antipsychiatry that need to be answered by those who really oppose psychiatry and understand why psychiatry ought to be abolished. The so-called “right to access voluntary treatment” is exactly in line with all the psychiatric jargon that is used to force people into compliance with psychiatric torture. In reality, there is no such thing as voluntary treatment. To break it down and simplify it, the word “voluntary” suggests that a person has a choice and the word “treatment” suggests that psychiatry offers something of therapeutic value, whatever that might mean. But neither of these things pertain to psychiatry. It is never voluntary because hardly anyone knows what he or she will be getting him or herself into by “voluntarily” subjecting themselves to psychiatric “treatment.” If people knew the history of psychiatry, and what psychiatry really is, no one in his or her right mind would touch it with a ten foot pole. Similarly, the euphemistic term “treatment” is bandied about as if the so-called “voluntary” patients are in some way bettered by psychiatric torture, abuse, drugging, shocking, involuntary incarceration, labeling, and so forth.

    Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that deceives even those who fancy themselves to be “antipsychiatrists” or “psychiatric survivors.” One of the most subtle forms of deception, one that Emily has brought to our attention, is that there is a “right” to “voluntary” “treatment.” Szasz has written eloquently and at length on this topic, and those who claim to represent antipsychiatry or psychiatric survivors in any way should be familiar with his arguments.

  • “Madness” is an undesirable aberration. It is abnormal. That is why it is called “madness.” Furthermore, “diversity” is a bogus concept that is used to support all kinds of false assumptions. What is “diversity?” How did the concept of “diversity” become the highest virtue in our society? Not many people have thought about the answers to these questions.

  • Meaning actually reading and understanding Szasz, Kraus, etc. I reject many of Szasz’ ideas, but I’ve read enough of Szasz to know that he knew more, and argued more clearly, than almost anyone writing today. We would do well to learn from Szasz for other reasons as well. If we better understood why Kraus was rejected during the era of Freud, and why Szasz was rejected during the era of Laing, we would be better prepared to further the cause of abolition. I don’t embrace Szasz as a reigning deity, but he was an intelligent man who argued persuasively for the abolition of psychiatry. I don’t embrace Marx as a reigning deity either, but we can also learn from him, mostly what not to think.

  • Actually, oldhead, even though I agree with you on most antipsychiatry essentials, I would push back against your argument a little bit more by suggesting that even most “conservatives” today are unknowing leftists. Real conservatives, or classical liberals, are mostly a thing of the past. Modern liberalism and Marxism go hand in hand. But I’m open to hearing you out on your definitions of “left” and “right” and how liberalism and Marxism are diametrically opposed. I don’t imagine that I’ll agree, but I’m still open to civil discourse.

  • This assumes that the administration hasn’t decided ahead of time what is published. It does, and it has. MIA is decidedly a “critical psychiatry” website that doesn’t really host antipsychiatry articles. It is better to be honest and upfront about its position than to feign neutrality. The closest that MIA has come to hosting antipsychiatry blog posts or articles is Bonnie Burstow, Phil Hickey, and sometimes Lawrence. But even these opponents of psychiatry have not fully reasoned out the best cases for antipsychiatry. Were it not for the comments section (for which I am grateful), MIA would still lean mostly towards indoctrination, and not education.

  • Oldhead, as you can see, my comment is not totally off base. It is spot on. Feel free to define the various nuances of the left as you see fit. It may be helpful. My main point is that the more that the psychiatric survivors movement or antipsychiatry aligns itself with liberal, progressive, Marxist ideology, the more it is destined to fail. The more that antipsychiatry and psychiatric survivors reject Szasz’ mostly sound thinking regarding the connection between liberty and responsibility, the more that it will end up like most intellectual fads… defunct, relegated to the ash-bin of history.

  • “And I’m pretty sure this all goes back to the Left’s uncritical acceptance of ‘diversity’ ”

    Bingo.

    “…and so we are right back to the intractable culture wars, sigh, which on this site have been won by the Left.”

    However, I disagree with this defeatist comment. Truth and common sense will win out in the end, and there is no reason to concede victory to ignorance.