Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Anti-Psychiatry, Scientology, and Psychedelic Healing, part 4

No medical evidence and/or testing exists for 'mental illness'. Thomas Szasz's Summary Statement Manifesto

This doesn't mean that bodymind emotional, and psychosomatic problems, don't exist, but that they are not biological diseases.

It is like saying "my heart is broken' at the end of a love affair, unrequited love, or losing a loved one, etc. The meaning is meant to be metaphorical, although you really can feel it, such as a 'heavy heart', no energy, feeling "in bits", and so on.
Who goes to the cardiologist to heal a 'broken heart'?

A heart attack, yes....!

NEXT follows a really interesting interview with a very talented artist, and friend of mine, Oz J Thomas, who is a psychiatric survivor, and shares my passion for helping people understand the myth of mental illness and thus becoming more empowered.

Interview with Oz J Thomas:

Hi OZ, now you have experienced being involuntarily detained within the confines of the mental health system. How did you feel--knowing that you could not leave the building. Were restrained?

Oz: I was never involuntarily restrained, but once you are in there, it is hard to get out and a lot of your freedoms get taken from you. To elaborate..:

When I was about 21 I had a hypomanic agitated response to Zoloft which is what I believe led to a suicide attempt. I was hospitalized and at the time I still had little to question about the psychiatric industry, I mean, I was naive at the time, I just didn't know.

My time in the "normal" hospital was OK, but boring but once I went into the psych hospital... I think I began to feel very dehumanized, felt very much like there was something wrong here...

Can you please try and describe in detail what you mean by this sense of feeling dehumanized?

Oz: There was screaming when someone would get agitated, they'd have to sit in a white room, I think they called it a quiet room and I saw a few times people being shot up with antipsychotics for being agitated or angry. I also just generally felt less than human, talked down to. I was not viewed as an equal on the floor with the staff. Dehumanized. Let me give you a few more examples...
Actually I think the ones above show that very well.

So do I!! You must have felt in danger in such an environment?

Oz: Maybe I can talk about after I got out of the hospital?

Yes please do.

Oz: Yeah, it was very much a hostile environment, very authoritative, like I said, you are not treated as a human, just "crazy", which is why they have no problem with forced medication, quiet rooms, not telling you the complete truth. On more than one occasion, I was alone, the staff convinced I was up to something, later on the staff really freaked out when I went to the wrong side of the counter asking for a pencil, they were really afraid.
But I played by their rules because I wanted to get out.

That's interesting. So the staff feared you?

Oz: I had a feeling the staff feared me, yes, and the patients in general.

I went to see this doctor and continued medication, and he sent me to a therapist, I changed a few times... I think the thing that bothered me most was when I really researched the medications and found out all the lies he was feeding me. Especially when I asked him point blank if there was any chance of addiction with ativan, he said no, I later told him I had looked it up, but he went back and said, oh its not addictive but can make you physically dependant, so that made me lose a lot of respect for him and feel a lot of anger and wonder about the drugs in general.

And there was a lot of mistrust, you weren't allowed anything, not just things that could be dangerous like shoelaces or knives, but anything personal at all...

At that time, it was a huge disappointment, because I really didn't have anywhere else to go. I wound up walking up and down the states(the AT trail, camping) and then for a few years I was just really depressed, on disability, just really terrible.

So you felt this deep sense of isolation? No one to turn to for support you felt you could trust?

Oz: Pretty much, yes. The psychiatrists just offered more of the same. I was pretty desperate at this time, so to show how fucked up I was, I went back. This was after two years off of psych meds. I had experimented with other drugs as well, religions, and I knew about the dangers of psych meds and most of the knowledge I know today, but I still went back on them.


Oz: At this time, my dad moved to the shore and I had to leave house. I think the reason I went back on them is why I am sympathetic to those on them or those on other drugs-- I could not see any way out. I was going in and out of dissociative states, I couldn't barely leave the house, I was just really barely breathing and there really was nowhere to go.
I felt...

They were your only means is what your saying? No alternatives were available?

Oz: Yeah, at the time I didn't even care that I was poisoning myself, I just wanted it all to stop. It was like a legal high for me, cheap, easily accessible. I never felt like the drugs helped. Maybe I should talk about that?

Yes please talk about it

Oz: I know the drugs are helpful to some, maybe 10%, but also 10% have really bad reactions, which I include myself on.
For the SSRI's, which I started on, being diagnosed depression, social anxiety, I had pretty bad reaction overall.
The anxiety I felt like abated somewhat, but I was left with a deep sense of ennui, some of the side effects were bad that made me have to stop certain meds(I slept 12-14 hours a day on Paxil), but with Zoloft I became so agitated, I didn't barely sleep after I took it, and began to be really risky, almost crashing my car, then I took some pills, which I didn't think of much at the time, but I was really suicidally depressed/manic what they call a mixed state
I did not stay on the ativan/xanax drugs for long because I was really pissed at my doc for lying to me about them. Also, I didn't feel they were any better than rum or benadryl or cough syrup or anything else i'd messed myself up with.

Mostly after that I was off meds for a long time, wandering the roads and then sitting at home for a long time, when I went back to medications.
So at that time, I realize it is very contradictory, I realized that the meds were in effect poison, but just like you can realize alcohol or whatnot is poisonous and still do it, I just wanted it all to stop, the depression, the dissociation's, the anxiety, the bizarre confused thoughts...

The next doctor I went to(I wasn't going back to that quack) put me on effexor, which helped somewhat but left me in a really grey state after a while, maybe 7-8 months? he tried to put me on zyprexa and then risperdal, actually i don't remember which was first...
But he was convinced I was schizophrenic or had schizophrenic tendencies so put me on these antipsychotics and this is the second lie i was told, because I was really unhappy with the first medication, my mind just shut off. it was the worst feeling, the worst kind of chemical rape.
So he put me on the second drug, and I told him I didn't want to go on anything like the first drug again, and he told me this was completely different. I did my research this time, though and found out it was all bullshit. So I had completely lost faith and I went to NIMH to do research studies on medications

I did not have a problem with anyone at NIMH, they all treated me very well, and all in all, I'd have to say most of my doctors were not so bad, but I always felt like this medication regime was just pushing me down further or letting me drug myself into oblivion.
At NIMH, I was put on a lot of drugs. I was Dx bipolar with all of the anxiety disorders (I think- OCD, GAD, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder) and was first tried and stabilized on Lithium, which made me really really feel ill and I had to have blood tests...
And then, no wait, I did studies for Scopolamine and Pramipexole first.

First I was put on Pramipexole, which is an antiparkinsons med, which affects dopamine. It was a blind study, but I pretty much knew I had gotten the medication, but I had felt it did not work very well for me because it was kind of like some of the ADD or Wellbutrin meds which tend to make anxiety a lot worse. I did feel very energetic though, even with the Lithium.
After that, the Scopalamine(sp?) which is a seasickness/ anticholinergic drug
I also didn't know if I was getting the drug(this time it was an injection), but it was easy to guess as well.
It made you feel really dizzy and giddy, which was fun and I got paid for it, but that was about the extent of it for me.
After that they did follow up treatment and stabilized me on Lithium. And added Lamictal, which worked somewhat, or at least had few side effects.
So during all of this, I had not really felt anything was any better, I had started going to school, because I had dropped out of school and because I was sick of working crappy jobs like factory jobs.
It was maybe halfway into this all that I started Lamictal. I am not going to deny that there were some positive effects from the medication, such as all antidepressants, but negative ones as well. At least I knew what I was doing now. I was going to use this drug and then get off.
So I finished school, Web and Multimedia, had a part time/ web design intern position...
Before I graduated, about 2 years ago from right now(I graduated 1 and 1/2 years ago), I stopped Lamictal, graduating down from my fairly big dosage, coming down each week.
I had really vivid, almost seizure like reactions, even though I tapered down real careful. I let my therapist know, and after about 2 months I was off.

And I think the thing I realized when I got off was how dull Lamictal had made everything, how constrictive, how unemotional and robotic, and I didn't find any negative side effects, but this emotional aspect came back, because Lamictal had acted as a "mood stabiliser"
After college, I had gone out to Vancouver, and later that year, started working freelance and moved out to Seattle area.
*sorry i got order of events at nimh wrong, is impossible to recall all exactly.
: *if you have anymore qi will be on a bit later.
I just wanted to add, when going off Lamictal, what I felt was when I went off Effexor or the other drugs- my feelings returned and I felt really sad.
I mean, I had spent so long on these drugs and just feeling so much inertia and it made me feel ok to just sit at home and play video games, I think it made me worse in some ways
I mean, in college, I was being exposed, but at same time, was cut off and so was not really experiencing college(only community 2 yr school though)
So when I went out to Seattle area(Eastside/Suburbs) I didn't suddenly become better, so I am not writing this as recovered person, I am only writing my point of view, my experience.
I continued to work freelance and have struggled with that because I feel it is so alienating, yet at the same time, after years of these problems, getting up and working outside is not an easy prospect.
Basically had to drop out of college because the stimulation was making me sick every day, my thoughts became really really confused and driving became impossible
So I am still very much in recovery mode, but I feel much better than I have my entire life, and really am becoming big fan of the clubhouse model and the importance of the supermarket approach in mental illness.
Which is to say, let people choose if they want medication or not, but give them ALL the facts, not just ones slanted in your direction
And recognize that it IS possible, in fact very preferable not to stay on these meds, because they are very toxic.
Check this out in regard to clubhouses, Julian:

What do you wish society was like, and what alternatives would you have liked when you were seeking support? And generally of course

Oz: That is a good question, yes.
I think what I always felt, I mean starting in elementary school was that I was different, I mean I know a lot of people feel this and there isn't much leeway really. We need to be respecting and honoring everyone, not pushing everyone into little boxes. Now that's pretty general and a pretty common complaint, so I will elaborate...
I think as to schooling, some kids will want to dance, maybe some will be good at math, maybe some will be good at art, and others, carpenters. I think listening, really listening is key, no matter how complex psychology will get, listening is key, because we are not diseases, but unique people with unique needs...
for example, depression can be caused by many things, so support needs to be there to really try and figure that out, be it over stimulation, emotional trouble, figure out the root causes and allow that.
I am rambling. sorry...
So alternatives/ real support...

I entirely agree!

Oz: I always liked idea of quaker house, soteria, real community is key, but not something to be forced or coerced into, you know.

So the problem as I see it is exacerbated by a hostile system which is, and/or pretends to be unaware of its pressure on children, and peoples that cause so much distress

Oz: Respect for each other as individual, which will start as places like clubhouses, and also respect for other alternative treatments.

Yes. For me, the trouble was exacerbated by the fact that I was/ still tend to be so beaten into acceptance of things that I let them do whatever they wanted

Yes, NO coercion. No sense of 'you must do, or else'
well when you feel vulnerable its easy to get exploited

Oz: Yes. there are many taboos, many things that for me are still impossible to talk about it psychiatry setting, suicide is one thing you "don't talk about"


Oz: Yes, it is easy to exploit, take advantage, I sent you the article for clubhouse, which is talking about taking staff off of pedestal onto a real person basis.

People you can trust to talk about anything. Even suicidal desires.

Oz: Suicidality is important because it shows a longing, it shows, almost paradoxically the real feelings and must be explored in order to understand your life more.


Oz: Yes, for me, there was always a fear, because I did not know what I could trust talking to my psychiatrist about

And that leaves you even MORE isolated
Because for many, the shrink is supposed to be THE support

Oz: Like I was saying, I think the model has to be looking at the individual, really looking, because you can't assume anything, like I said, depression can have so many causes. I believe a lot is caused by the alienation, divorce from nature of our society, but diet, disease, a lot of other things cause it as well.
It's not realistic to be supported by someone you see once a week or less

With such POWER
power to lock you up?
if you could sum up the power you feel they had/have over you what would it be?

Oz: How do I sum it up... Let me think a moment... How do you sum it up. They are just there to control society, to push people down, to keep it all in line...
If you look at it from a distance, this is much easier to see.

you mean more than close-up?

Oz : Yes. I think so. Looking at the bigger patterns in society, in the world, in history, in politics, the pattern of control and suppression becomes apparent. Now if you take the drugs and follow, you're good, but step out of line too much. For me, I don't think they're worried too much, because I do have the law behind me with a right to choose my own method of treatment, but step out of line too much... they'll knock you down. The Indigenous People, Animals, it all continues on, and on and on, the patterns are the same, so close up, looking at what they say, you can lose that picture.

Oh yes Oz, you explain this really well! I very much feel you!

You say you've had psychedelic experience? What with?

Morning Glory
Hawaiian Baby Woodrose

Oz: I think I've talked to you about this

Have they helped you?

Oz: I had a few really beautiful experiences on Baby Woodrose, which is supposed to be similar to LSD, I mean that one earlier this year, but I don't really know how much it actually helped me.
Most of my experiences were kind of mixed...LSD was bad for me, because it was a big party, didn't know really anyone

If psychedelic therapy was available, do you think you would like to try it?

Oz: Salvia was in my druggy days, same with DXM, more for fun than any kind of introspection... I would, yes, actually, but remember that link you sent me?
It was with Rick Dobbs, McKennas brother, some others, a big forum...

Yes I remember. A podcast!

Oz: I think there needs to be great caution here, is what needs to be stressed because these medicines can affect you deeply and make you vulnerable. I think that's what I took from it.

Of course. I remember you saying your first LSD trip was in a very bad Set&Setting

Oz: Yeah. Especially considering most of the Legal Highs are dodgy and some kind of poisonous, like MG seeds, Amanitas, etc

Oz: Getting Ecstasy or LSD from the streets can also be risky

Yes true, which is why it should BE available

Oz: Yes. There is starting to become more evidence it is helpful but there is a huge hurdle to overcome, even more than Marijuana, I think.

Just say that psychedelic therapies were available, so you could have a choice of healing therapy/or whatever you want to call it---What do you think you would choose?
How would you like the therapy to be?

Oz: I would give it a try, surely, yes, I think it would need to be with someone really familiar with the medicine.
Helping you to reintegrate, might need some space, time to recuperate

Of course. One therapist--I read, said he would give people MDMA so they had the inspiration to open up, talking, and then later have LSD sessions. I thought that sounded very interesting

Oz: Rick Dobbs, I bet, he is big on MDMA

Yes I am familiar with Rick Dobs from MAPS, but I am talking about Torsten Passie

Oz: Yeah.
I mean it is kind of precarious, the gov't can shut them down at any time

So fear yet again!

Oz: Yes. I don't think it can ever be fully suppressed, the spirit keeps coming back, so it is hopeful

There HAS to be alternative also to the 'medical model'?

Oz: Yet I see that the way it is going about, I fear it being too medicalized, trying to fit it into the current model, as you know, it follows a very different model of healing.

So this goes right to the heart of it, because it is the so-called 'medical model' that has been the lie

Oz: The thing is, we need to look at it, keep questioning it, because I think they are right that there are changes in brain, but that doesn't mean it is a genetic illness, and there is some relief with these drugs, but there are great dangers, too, and the pharma drugs keep you frozen in place and cut off.
I think is similar to what Sean was saying about waking up, and the way I see it now is more of a process, more of an awakening that can sometimes be painful and dramatic and scary, but very healing

waking up to....?

Oz: The fact that so many indigeneous peoples used psychedelics means they should be looked at very closely, because indigineous people know a lot about medicine.
Well he and i see it a little different, but i see the waking up, the distress of your body, your spirit calling you back to your true being, not this lie you are living, trying to be..

And also rituals for loosening up our sense of flowing energy, like dance, singing, chanting

Oz: I have to go now for the day, we can pick up later. But I think you might also want to explore these ideas of the dangers of these thoughts interpreted through Western lenses. Ie- what Sjoo talks about sometimes in her critiques of New Age...

Yes I'll reflect on that. Great man ;) have a good day

Oz: hehe u2


Oz: ok, i think maybe already did, but i'll check it. thnx

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Antipsychiatry, Scientology, and Psychedelic Healing, Part 3

When we look at children at play it is a wonderful joyful sight to behold. The way they move is so natural, their shouts, giggles, energy, Quite amazing. It flows like streams flows, and wind flows, and birds flying, birdsong, music...............And then they get sent to school. There they're told to sit straight, and to stop giggling, and screaming, and day dreaming, and playing, and focus on rigid set-out 'classes', and for the unfortunate many, if they don't comply with these rules and regulations that are now in their lives, all around, and inside, administered by big stiff stressed-faced giants, then they can find themselves labeled 'special needs' and even drugged!. Drugged for having energy, or not wanting to do boring things, or too quiet, 'withdrawn'. 'Deficient'. Not 'efficient' and 'productive'.
Of course, teacher is thinking about their job and money, and boss, the headteacher, who in turn is thinking about the reputation of the school and so on.

Many of us accept this situation as the reality. The 'real world'. Meaning, if you don't comply you will not get any money. Security. Usually the child doesn't have to worry about money, but security yes. Because s/he wants to make mummy, daddy, or whoever is their guardians happy with them. Even when they are desperately sad. The contradiction arises when this situation is supposed to be THE reality so how can you, the child who only knows this, BE sad. To be sad about it is to be a 'weirdo', and 'out caste', and 'mentally ill'.

For after all, we have to be successful, we have to be successful, repeat repeat, because if we aren't, and don't 'make it' what then....? What images come? Homeless, sleeping in the cold concrete, and some clubbers peeing on your sleeping body for a 'laugh' and worse? This actually can happen!

I knew a homeless lad, very good looking, who was sleeping rough (as its called here) in city bus stop, and someone, a middle class type, in a suit, attacked him for no reason, and bit the end of his nose off! And this guy, the victim, was so extremely traumatized by what happened to him, and very embarrassed to be seen after that. As anyone would. Dreadful.


(c) 2008 Myztico All Rights Reserved www.myztico.mosaicglobe.com

Quite funny :) I found this blog, and was interested in the comment left in response to the article. It's just dawned on me that it is my comment I left some time back: Bruce Eisner's Vision Thing: Psychedelic Healing which features a post about PSYCHEDELIC HEALING

" OH, I would have made notes if I had known about comments.
OK my response to the seeming...new resurgence of psychedelic therapies since the long long Rip Van Winkle years of Big Bro telling us what we can and cant do do whilst it radiates the planet and babies with ecocidal and genocidal Depleted Uranium, 'etc etc etc'!!

Well I am glad that psychedelic healing is returning since the early 1970s. But the terminology and 'ethic' from the above article all sounds still en-capsulated in the MYTH OF MENTAL ILLNESS.

We all need to break out of THAT box---QUICK. Including the 'professionals'!"

So I think it relevant to go under same article link here, because I still tend to feel this.

“The word psychedelic is a neologism coined from the Greek words for "mind," ψυχή (psyche), and "manifest," δήλος (delos).”

Often we moderns tend to think that 'mind' is kind of in the head, 'hovering' about round the brain. This is why I much prefer the term organism which includes the central nervous system. Now mind is all over the sensual body, and interrelated utterly with the sensual world:

"Nothing is more common to the diverse indigenous cultures of the earth than a recognition of the air, the wind, and the breath, as aspects of a singularly sacred power. By virtue of its pervading presence, its utter invisibility, and its manifest influence on all manner of visible phenomena, the air, for oral peoples, is the archetype of all that is ineffable, unknowable, yet undeniably real and efficacious. Its obvious ties to speech--the sense that spoken words are structured breath(try speaking a word without exhaling at the same time), and indeed that spoken phrases take their communicative power from this invisible medium that moves between us--lends the air a deep association with linguistic meaning and with thought. Indeed, the ineffability of the air seems akin to the ineffability of awareness itself, and we should not be surprised that many indigenous peoples construe awareness, or "mind," not as a power that resides inside their heads, but rather as a quality that they themselves are inside of, along with the other animals and the plants, the mountains and the clouds." The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram, pages 226-227

So, not having a mind, as such, but in mind.

There is they say a renaissance of psychedelic therapy. That after a very long time, since the 1960s there's a slow careful allowance of psychedelic therapies People said by the shrinks to have 'obsessive compulsive disorder' have been helped with psilocybin. The therapists are not allowed to give to their clients actual magic mushrooms, because precise measurement of dosage is demanded by the bureaucracy.
People with terminal illness are 'allowed' to have psychedelic experience which greatly can decrease actual physical pain, even for weeks,
and months, and ease anxiety about dying. There is a very powerful book about this which documents such research done with terminally ill people before psychedelics were prohibited, The Human Encounter with Death, by Stanislav Grof and Joan Halifax:

"This person found liberation inspired from psychedelic experience to feel free to feel sad, and to feel:
"I had much discussion with my father about sadness, what is wrong with it and why it is so discouraged by others. I described to him how much energy I expended pretending to be glad or happy or to smile. I talked about the beauty in sadness--sad sweetness, sweet sadness. Allowing yourself and others to be sad when they feel it. Sadness perhaps is not in vogue, as is joy, spontaneity, or fun. These I expended great energy in acting out. Now I am just being--not being this or that, just being. Sometimes it is sad, often peaceful, sometimes angry or irritable, sometimes very warm and happy. I am not sad any longer that I am to die. I have many more loving feelings than ever before. All the pressures to be something 'other' have been taken off me. I feel relieved from sham and pretense. Much spiritual feeling permeates my everyday life." (page 106)

"Observations from LSD research show a completely new light on the medieval preoccupation with death and with negative aspects of existence, which have usually been seen, in the framework of social pathology, as a manifestation of generally pessimistic attitudes hostile to life...According to clinical experiences from LSD psychotherapy, deep experiential confrontation with the most frightening and revulsive aspects of human existence not only opens individuals to spiritual dimensions of their being, but can eventually result in a qualitatively different way of existing in the world" (Ibid. notes. page 172)

One of the most powerful psychedelic healing visions, inspired by Ayahuasca, is told by Ralph Metzner in his thesis: " I summarize my thesis in two statements: one -- the relentless exploitation and destruction of the biosphere by the capitalist-industrial growth machine around the globe is rooted in a pathological domination complex of "civilized" humans toward the natural world. And two -- the revival of interest in animistic worldviews and in the shamanic practices of traditional peoples, including the intentional use of hallucinogenic2 sacraments, is among the hopeful signs that the split between the sacred and the natural can be healed again...

We drank the brew, which has a taste that is a strange mixture of bitterness and syrupy sweetness, in almost total darkness, with only a candle or two. We listened to Mayan music. I began to feel very relaxed, heavy and soft, but also as if my head were expanding. A swaying tapestry of visions comes into view, at fist mostly geometric patterns, then shapes and forms of plants, animals, humans, cities, temples, flying craft and the like. Particular images from time to time emerge out of the continuous flux, and then are re-absorbed back into it.

As the images of forms and objects recede back into the swaying fabric of visions, I realize that I am seeing them as if projected on the twisting coils of an enormous serpent, with glittering silvery and green designs on its skin. I cannot see either head or tail of the serpent, which gives me a rough sense of its size: it encompasses the entire two-story building. Curiously, the sight of this gigantic serpent does not evoke the slightest fear; on the contrary, my emotional response is one of awe and humility at the magnificence of this being and its spiritual power. I had heard that in the Amazon, the ayahuasceros regard the giant serpent as the "mother spirit" of all the other spirits of the forest, of the river and the air.

In the earlier phase, before I became aware of the giant mother serpent, I experienced the geometric patterns I was seeing with distaste verging on disgust: they seemed tacky, plastic and artificial, like the décor of a shopping mall or a Las Vegas casino. As I searched for the meaning of my reaction, I was shown how this was the human technocultural overlay on the natural world: I was looking at the human world! Then, as I accepted that, albeit with some regret, I was able to see through it to the pulsating energies of the real, spiritual world of underlying nature, embodied in the form of the giant Serpent Mother.

Then I meet another serpent, more "normal" in its dimensions: in fact it is about the same size as me. It enters my body through my mouth and starts to slowly wind its way through my stomach and intestines over the next two or three hours. When it gets to the gut, there is some cramping, and incredibly loud sounds of gurgling and digesting are coming from my viscera. I become aware of a morphic resonance between serpent and intestines: the form of the snake is more or less a long intestinal tract, with a head and a tail end. Conversely, our gut is serpentine, with its twists and turns and its peristaltic movement. So the serpent, in winding its way through my intestinal tract is "teaching" my intestines how to be more powerful and effective.

Then I see several black-skinned people, dancing as they come toward me and recede away. They are always in pairs, like twins, moving in parallel fashion: I wonder whether they represent the spirits of the two paired plants of the ayahuasca tea. Then, as I'm lying sideways on a couch, a jaguar suddenly comes into me. It is an enormous black male, and he enters my body assuming the same semi-reclining position I was in. Shortly after I notice it, the jaguar is gone. Another time, as I am on my hands and knees, I distinctly feel a bird landing on my back. I am being briefly introduced to some of the different spirits that the ayahuasca medicine can access. The realization grows within me that with practice and increased concentration, I would be able to hold the encounters with the different animal spirits for longer -- and then be able to question them for divination. Don Fidel, one of the old ayahuasceros, says: "the visions come into you and heal you."

Many images of old Mayan gods and underworld demons dancing: skeletal, crippled, diseased, skin flapping, blood dripping, pustular, bulbous, with gaping wounds and cut-off heads, toads on their necks, pierced with thorns. Their message, repeated several times, is: "you don't have to do anything". By incorporating death, decay and disease and other unimaginable horrors into their dance of transformation, a deep inner healing takes place, totally independent of any personal involvement on my part. I am astonished at being initiated into this ancient lineage of visionary healers.

It is late in the evening, and I am again on my hands and knees, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by this gut-wrenching, yet soul-refreshing journey through the netherworlds of jungle, river and serpents. I lower my forehead to touch the ground: then I realize I am falling slowly through the earth, through soil and rock, moving faster and faster, and then dropping out the other side into deep space, vast in its darkness, exhilarating, filled with countless points of light, scintillae, luminous streaks and stars of the universe....To return to my earlier argument, I am saying that the unprecedented industrial-technological assault on the biosphere we are witnessing in our time, is rooted in part in the mechanistic science of the modern world, which deliberately divorced itself from spirituality, values and consciousness. There exists a vast separative gulf in common understanding between what we regard as sacred and what we regard as natural. And yet, out of the experiences of millions of individuals in the Western world with hallucinogenic sacraments, as well as other shamanic practices, we are seeing the re-emergence of the ancient integrative worldview that sees all of life as an interdependent web of relationships, that needs to be carefully protected and preserved.

One can see the parallels in several cultural movements that seek to correct the dangerous imbalance in humanity's relation to nature: in deep ecology and ecofeminism which call for a respectful, egalitarian, ecocentric attitude towards the natural world; in the organic gardening and farming movements, which seek to return to traditional methods avoiding chemical fertilizers and pesticides; in the movement to increased use of herbal, nutritional and complementary medicine; and in several other philosophical, scientific and religious movements including bioregionalism, ecopsychology, living systems theory, creation spirituality, ecotheology, and others (Ruether, 1992; Spretnak, 1991; Metzner, 1997; Weil, 1990).

In these diverse movements, from many disciplines, to transform our human perceptions, attitudes and practices in relation to the Earth towards a healthier, non-exploitative, non-dominating recognition of interrelatedness, the respectful use of entheogenic plant medicines in spiritual/therapeutic contexts may yet come to play a highly significant role."

I think what is important is a diversity of psychedelic healing methods for all people who choose this way of healing.

When I first began reading about the resurgence of psychedelic therapies after all these years, I began questioning who they were going to be for. Being aware of the myth of mental illness, and how its mechanistic outlook might dilute the amazing potential of psychedelic healing to heal the rift that many of us--especially in the civilized world--have with our sensual bodies, animals, all species, and nature. The deep ingrained alienation.
I'd read very staid proposals from psychedelic researchers to 'cure' people with 'obsessive compulsive disorder','chronic mental illnesses', 'cluster headaches', and so on. Although good, yet seeming limited in the much bigger picture, if you will, considering the urgency of our situation on planet earth, and how they described their therapeutic practices and proposals seemed full of bio-psychiatric-lingo, and I wasn't really hearing anything from those in the anti-psychiatric movement talking about all of this development, and what it means considering the potential of psychedelic healing. However, one personal communication from a friend, also into exposing the mental illness myth, and promoting psychedelic psychotherapy, made some kind of sense to me~~:

"Re: howdie
Psychedelic Psychotherapy has emerged as an alternative to the predominant ideology in "psychology/psychiatry" which is Physicalism, that is, the idea that everything is nothing more than the result of bodily/brain functions. In order to usurp the place of this schism as the predominant method of helping people, the schism of Psychedelic Psychotherapy must speak in terms of the Physicalist schism, it is the way in which persons devoted to the Physicalist schism in places of authority (like working for a pharmaceutical company or heads of hospital departments) can be convinced of the power of Psychedelics"

It's very important we understand the difference in worldviews between the indigenous
healing, which often involves various forms of psychedelics/entheogens, which can be often called in a native context 'sacred medicine', and western psychedelic psychotherapy:
Hallucinogenic Drugs and Plants in Psychotherapy and Shamanism ~~:

"Ralph Metzner, Ph.D.*
Abstract— Western psychotherapy and indigenous shamanic healing systems have both used psychoactive drugs or
plants for healing and obtaining knowledge (called “diagnosis” or “divination” respectively). While there are
superficial similarities between psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and shamanic healing with hallucinogenic
plants, there are profound differences in the underlying worldview and conceptions of reality. Four paradigms are
reviewed: (1) psychedelic psychotherapy within the standard Western paradigm— here the drug is used to amplify
and intensify the processes of internal self-analysis and self-understanding; (2) shamanic rituals of healing and
divination, which involve primarily the shaman or healer taking the medicine in order to be able to “see” the
causes of illness and know what kind of remedy to apply; (3) syncretic folk religious ceremonies, in which the
focus seems to be a kind of community bonding and celebratory worship; and (4) the “hybrid shamanic therapeutic
rituals,” which incorporate some features of the first two traditions. There are two points in which the worldview of
the shamanic and hybrid shamanic ceremonies differs radically from the accepted Western worldview: (1) the
belief and assumption (really, perception) that there are multiple realities (“worlds”) that can be explored in
expanded states of consciousness; and (2) the belief that “spirits,” the beings one encounters in dreams and visions,
are just as real as the physical organism."

I think a core reason for a diverse range of emotional distress, and behaviour considered 'mental illness' by our culture, is making us all fit in one box. In this case the mechanistic-materialistic box, or coffin! And this is enforced!

I recently watched a video mention how when people are prevented from sleeping that they can experience hallucinations, or visions, and that these can be classed as 'mental illness'. I immediately was reminded of so-called 'schizophrenia', 'psychosis', 'bi-polar', where the person can experience visions, hear voices. And wondered if there is some kind of a correlation.
That because we all have to fit in this coffin, box, straighjacket, where our natural spiritual sensual senses are deprived of expression, that, like lack of sleep, and experience of visions, and deep delta rest, that these deprived needs will be involuntarily expressed as visions. And then the response from this culture is fear which excacerbates the experiences into negativity, and fear?

I am only wondering. I also am aware that early trauma that overwhelms a child, young adult, etc, like sexual abuse, hostile parents, losing a loved one, and general abuse, etc, can also be a cause. But, as with everything, we are sensitive, and complex, and yet all supposed to fit in a BOX!
See all the children sat in rows, stiff, and denied play, and often drugged. See the workplaces for many people, the same, and also more and more people taking pharmacratic drugs to cope.
The concrete ghettos, and open sewers, crowded cities, more and more of the world's people have to live in. Cramped, no trees, or any contact with the natural world. A terrible vibe of violence, emphasized and glorified by the media and 'entertainment' which sends out mindwarping contradictions...
And in the 'leafy suburbs' the fear of.....that, and the meaninglessness of consumerism.

There are people who try and offer alternatives for people who are classed as 'schizophrenic', experiencing visions, voices, and so on. There was a place called Soteria (which in Greek means Deliverance)and which was a community-based place young people, labeled as 'schizophrenic', could receive alternative support without the coercion to take 'anti-psychotic' drugs, any drugs. It lasted from 1971 to 1983, but with severe financial pressure from the pharmaceutical companies, and their groups, the experiment was forced to end!

Sotoria House, was opened by Loren R. Mosher, M.D. and he "resigned in disgust" from the APA regarding this affair, and the fact his colleagues, being in the pocket of the pharmaceutual industry, were only to happy to overly push their drugs on people, regardless of the consequences:

"I Want No Part of It Anymore"

"Why does the world of psychiatry find me so threatening? Because drug companies pour millions of dollars into the pockets of psychiatrists around the country, making them reluctant to recognize that drugs may not always be in the best interest of their patients. They are too busy enjoying drug company perks: consultant gigs, research grants, fine wine and fancy meals...

The APA Connection

The American Psychiatric Association representing the majority of psychiatrists in America, with about 40,000 members--is also unduly influenced by pharmaceutical dollars. The Association:

* receives substantial rent from drug companies for huge symposia spaces at national conventions.
* derives an enormous percentage of its income from drug companies--30% of its total budget is from drug company advertising in its many publications.
* accepts a large number of unrestricted educational grants from drug companies.

This relationship is dangerous because researchers and psychiatrists then feel indebted to the drug companies, remain biased in favor of drug cures, downplay side effects and seldom try other types of interventions. And they know they have the unspoken blessing of the APA to do so."

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Antipsychiatry, Scientology, and Psychedelic Healing Part 2

A few years ago, I was very attracted to an organization called Mindfreedom. Mindfreedom is a community, and website, run by psychiatric survivors, catering for the needs of people who have also been abused by coercive psychiatry, and all people interested in finding out more, and eager to help build more caring communities where people will not be abused. Some members of Mindfreedom went on hungerstrike!
The original statement by the Fast for Freedom in Mental Health to the American Psychiatric Association, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the US Office of the Surgeon General sparked an important exchange of letters and statements on the validity of the biochemical model of mental illness. And here you will find the response to this deep challenge from the head of the American Psychiatric Association:

"Original Statement by the Fast for Freedom in Mental Health
by Erin — last modified 2008-01-16 13:25

28 July 2003 -- Original Statement by the Fast for Freedom in Mental Health to the American Psychiatric Association, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the US Office of the Surgeon General.

A Hunger Strike to Challenge International Domination by Bio psychiatry

This fast is about human rights in mental health. The psychiatric pharmaceutical complex is heedless of its oath to "first do no harm."

Psychiatrists are able with impunity to:

*** Incarcerate citizens who have committed crimes against neither persons nor property.

*** Impose diagnostic labels on people that stigmatize and defame them.

*** Induce proven neurological damage by force and coercion with powerful psychotropic drugs.

*** Stimulate violence and suicide with drugs promoted as able to control these activities.

*** Destroy brain cells and memories with an increasing use of electroshock (also known as electro-convulsive therapy)

*** Employ restraint and solitary confinement - which frequently cause severe emotional trauma, humiliation, physical harm, and even death - in preference to patience and understanding.

*** Humiliate individuals already damaged by traumatizing assaults to their self-esteem.

These human rights violations and crimes against human decency must end. While the history of psychiatry offers little hope that change will arrive quickly, initial steps can and must be taken.

At the very least, the public has the right to know IMMEDIATELY the evidence upon which psychiatry bases its spurious claims and treatments, and upon which it has gained and betrayed the trust and confidence of the courts, the media, and the public. WHY WE FAST

There are many different ways to help people experiencing severe mental and emotional crises. People labeled with a psychiatric disability deserve to be able to choose from a wide variety of these empowering alternatives. Self-determination is important to achieve real recovery.

However, choice in the mental health field is severely limited. One approach dominates, and that is a belief in chemical imbalances, genetic determinism and psychiatric drugs as the treatment of choice. This medical model is sometimes termed "bio psychiatry." Far too often, this limited choice has been exceedingly harmful to both the body and the spirit.

Governments and the mental health industry use extensive taxpayer funding, judicial edicts, and repressive laws to enforce a bio psychiatric approach. The mental health system rarely offers options other than psychiatric drugs, and still more rarely offers people full, accurate information about the hazards of psychiatric drugs. The mental health system is coercing increasing numbers of people to take psychiatric drugs against their will, even on an outpatient basis in their own homes. Electroshock, even forced electroshock, is quietly making a comeback.

Bio psychiatry is now one of the most profitable of all industries and its power is globalizing rapidly. The World Health Organization and the World Bank have multi-billion dollar plans to spread bio psychiatry to developing nations.

Given all these facts, citizens have a right to ask:

"Has science established, beyond a reasonable doubt, that so-called 'major mental illnesses' are biological diseases of the brain?"

"Does the government have compelling evidence to justify the way it singles out for its primary support this one theory of the origin of emotional distress and of pharmaceutical remedies for its relief?"

Both public and personal health and safety are dependent on the answers to these questions.

This fast is not about judging individuals who choose to employ bio psychiatric approaches in an effort to seek relief. We respect the right of people to choose the option of prescribed psychiatric drugs. Some of us have made this personal choice.

We must act in the nonviolent tradition of Cesar Chavez and Mahatma Gandhi by saying "No!" to oppression with our bodies and spirits through fasting, while affirming the humanity of those people to whom we make our demands.

"If you see injustice and say nothing, you have taken the side of the oppressor."
-- Desmond Tutu

WE THE UNDERSIGNED WILL REFUSE ALL SOLID FOOD for an indefinite period of time as we await our challenge to be met by the following:

1. American Psychiatric Association (APA)
2. National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
3. Office of the Surgeon General of the United States

WE ASK THAT YOU PRODUCE scientifically-valid evidence for the following, or you publicly admit to media, government officials and the general public that you are unable to do so:

1. EVIDENCE THAT CLEARLY ESTABLISHES the validity of"schizophrenia," "depression" or other "major mental illnesses" as biologically-based brain diseases.
2. EVIDENCE FOR A PHYSICAL DIAGNOSTIC EXAM -- such as a scan or test of the brain, blood, urine, genes, etc. -- that can reliably distinguish individuals with these diagnoses (prior to treatment with psychiatric drugs), from individuals without these diagnoses.
3. EVIDENCE FOR A BASE-LINE STANDARD of a neurochemically-balanced "normal" personality, against which a neurochemical "imbalance" can be measured and corrected by pharmaceutical means.
4. EVIDENCE THAT ANY PSYCHOTROPIC DRUG can correct a "chemical imbalance" attributed to a psychiatric diagnosis, and is anything more than a non-specific alterer of brain physiology.
5. EVIDENCE THAT ANY PSYCHOTROPIC DRUG can reliably decrease the likelihood of violence or suicide.
6. EVIDENCE THAT PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS do not in fact increase the overall likelihood of violence and suicide.
7. FINALLY, that you reveal publicly evidence published in mainstream medical journals, but unreported in mainstream media, that links use of some psychiatric drugs to structural brain changes.

Until the above demands are met to the satisfaction of an internationally respected panel of scientists and mental health professionals, we plan to drink only liquids and to refuse solid food for an indefinite period of time.

Signed by Fast for Freedom Participants:

Initial core group committed to fasting:

Vince Boehm
Krista Erickson
David Gonzalez
David Oaks
Dawn Rider
Hiromi Sayama
Mickey Weinberg, LCSW

Initial scientific panel to review evidence:

Fred Baughman, MD
Peter Breggin, MD
Mary Boyle, PhD
David Cohen, PhD
Ty Colbert, PhD
Pat Deegan, PhD
Al Galves, PhD
Thomas Greening, PhD
David Jacobs, PhD
Jay Joseph, PhD
Jonathan Leo, PhD
Bruce Levine, PhD
Loren Mosher, MD
Stuart Shipko, MD

So this powerful question, involving whole organism, was sent to the Medical Director of the APA, James H. Scully.
His reponse was an exoneration of the APA using precisely words, not medical evidence to justify their power over people, and taking away of their human rights, and abuse of them!

The Fast For Freedom Scientific Panel replied back to APA Directors who--as is usual--offered not actual medical evidence asked for by the the hungerstrikers, but rather rhetoric ~ 'The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively.'(definition):

The Fast For Freedom Panel replied: "As you are no doubt familiar with these textbooks you cited, you will agree that such statements invalidate claims for specific, reliable biological causes or signs of "mental illnesses." In the judgment of the panel members, your reply fails to produce or cite any specific evidence of any specific pathophysiology underlying any "mental disorder."

You have also referred us to 60 volumes of Archives of General Psychiatry and 160 volumes of The American Journal of Psychiatry. The 28 July 2003 cover letter from the hunger strikers and panelists that they sent to you by certified mail stated:

"We are aware that research studies can run to thousands of pages. Therefore, please respond only with those studies that you consider the best available in support of your claims and theories in a timely way. When responding with evidence, please send citations for the original publications or copies of the publications you are citing."

Like you, we are familiar with the material found in these journals. It is understandable why you did not provide any citations. There is not a single study that provides valid and reliable evidence for the "biological basis of mental illness."

The Head of APA, Scully, replied with more rhetorical excuses, and no medical evidence, and a final response from Mindfreedom's scientific panel towards end of a detailed letter detailing the specific questions still not answered, concluded with a final question:

"The hunger strikers asked the APA for the "evidence base" that justifies the biomedical model's stranglehold on the mental health system. The APA has not supplied any such evidence, which compels the scientific panel to ask one final question: on what basis does society justify the authority granted psychiatrists, as medical doctors, to force psychoactive drugs or electroconvulsive treatment upon unwilling individuals, or to incarcerate persons who may or may not have committed criminal acts? For, clearly, it is solely on the basis of trust in the claim that their professional acts and advice are founded on medical science that society grants psychiatrists such extraordinary authority.

We urge members of the public, journalists, advocates, and officials reading this exchange to ask for straightforward answers to our questions from the APA. We also ask Congress to investigate the mass deception that the "diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders," as promoted by bodies such as the APA and its powerful allies, represents in America today."

No answer to this letter was forthcoming from the APA!

Sometimes, psychiatrists will admit that there is no scientific evidence "yet" (for instance see, in part 1 below, the link to the video Psychiatry - Instrument of Death at 5.03...). This 'hope medical science will be their saviour' is also a big part of their rhetoric, and is meant to justify their ongoing power over people.

The fact of the matter is, they haven't had any evidence in the past, haven't now, and that is all that is important to know, because from here we look at their history, and the present, and what is plainly to be seen seen is abuse of people, and power to lock people up under false pretences, and power to drug under false pretences, and do ECT, and other 'treatments' under false pretences. All backed up by Governments, and the pharmaceutical industry.

Also please see link 'Psychiatry: Instrument of Death Part 9':
At 4.50 onwards, and you will see the confusion when these doctors and psychiatrists are asked directly to explain what "typical ADHD" is.

A Dr Vonnegut is chosen, by the Chairman, as being the best on the panel to describe this 'disorder' as he 'sees them in his practice'. Then comes a 'painful' scene to watch as he struggles, stuttering, at a loss for words, and tries and tries to describe this non-existent condition.
And to add to this surreal scene a clock is shhown behind him, and the passing of time as he struggles with what should be a simple question, if 'ADHD' was a real medical condition, but is not.

In this article, I make it plain that I am against the Church of Scientology, because I see it exploiting people to believe ridiculous beliefs, and to have to pay for the 'privilege', and have heard many reports of abuse. But groups and people I have come across who are also highly critical of Scientology seem to be by default usually in favour of bio-psychiatry.

For research for this article, I happened upon this group calling themselves
WhyWeProtest. Most of them wear masks like this~~

I joined their forum with the intention of inquiring what their thoughts were regarding Scientology with the anti psychiatry movement, and was surprised to receive worsening hostile responses from many of the members, many of whom seemed to work in mental health, and backed up the mental health model of biological disease.

Some of them believed I was a member of Scientology, or an ex-member, who was there to take the piss, or stir up trouble. And even though I kept saying I wasn't, more accusations would come. Considering they seemed passionate against the cult of Scientology, they themselves felt disturbingly cultic!

A summary then: As I am trying to show, there does not exist any evidence for mental illness being a disease, and/or chemical imbalance. All the psychiatrists have to offer in way of explanation for what they do, and the coercive powers they--the psychiatric establishment--have, with support from the State, and of course the pharmaceutical industry, is rhetoric, and pseudoscience, and when pushed, aspirations that sometime in the future they will have the evidence needed.

But they aint now. That's for sure!

The role of Scientology, which claims to be extremely against coercive bio-psychiatry because of the abuse that powerful monolith does to vulnerable people, seems to do its fair share too. It promotes totally absurd beliefs dreamt up by its founder science fiction writer, and former member of the Ordo Templis Orientis (O.T.O), L. Ron Hubbard.
The OTO is an elitist occult group, and is connected with the Illuminati , and I thus trust IT as much as I trust bio-psychiatry, hence my warnings about its 'help'!

I personally do not want to be a slave. To be mindcontroled. And knowing what I know about how organism controllers operate, I don't want to not be aware I am being organism controlled, to such an extent that I seem to imagine I embrace it, and want to hook others into the trap. So I am vigilant about this, and look for patterns and dots I will connect so as to challenge belief systems that seem toxic.

I am aware that Scientology is against LSD for recreational use, and LSD psychotherapy, and from a recent reading of Thomas Sazasz's book (of which can be previewed online--though some pages are edited out)Coercive As Cure it seems from a first read Szasz seems a bit down on LSD.
I can understand his reservations, because of the many ways the pharma-psychiatry industry will use any means to coerce so as to cling to their money, prestige and power. And that in their early history some shrinks cooperated with the CIA MK ULTRA to experiment on 'psychiatric patients'. So it is very wise to be extremely vigilant about how these people use such a powerful drugs as LSD, and other psychedelics, which have the power to change consciousness in dramatic ways.
But also there is lots of evidence of good benevolent results from LSD, and other psychedelic therapies, in the 1960s which need taking into account. Including the LSD psychotherapy of Dr Stanislav Grof, etc.
(I will like to review Thomas Szasz's writings on LSD much more in depth at a later time)

Here is a reply to an email I received from Thomas Szasz which really says very succinctly where he is coming from regarding psychedelic psychotherapy:

Many thanks for your interest in my work and your kind comments. The logical inference I draw from the myth of mental illness is that there is no "treatment" for conditions that are not diseases. If LSD or other drugs help people cope better with their lives, they ought to be free to act on their choices - and benefit or suffer from the consequences of their choices.
Best wishes,
Thomas Szasz

This means not 'informing' a 'client' that has had some form of psychedelic therapy that they are not 'cured' yet IF the client feels alright, and/or disagrees with their therapists about the outcome. The onus should always be on the person who chooses the experience, and has the experience, and feels after the experience. Because the therapist is in an uneven relationship and is making money, and has power. And it could be convenient for hir to prolong the course of sessions coercively so as to acquire more money and power. It is not like a personal friendship where there is nothing as such for one side to gain in supporting their friend.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Anti-psychiatry, Scientology, and Psychedelic Healing, Part 1

Some years back, I was in a book shop and was attracted to this very interesting looking book. It's cover had on it an image from a famous oil painting, a profile of a human-looking head, but all features composed of sea life, and pearls, shells, seaweed. The title of the book was The Myth of Mental Illness by Thomas Szasz.I am extremely grateful for finding that book!!

Also a few years ago, I had a friend who got involved with Scientology, and I saw the cult suck him in!
Right from the off, I had bad feelings about the Church of Scientology (CoS), but he persuaded me to try this Scientology 'auditing' session downtown, which I did.

You kind of--if I remember right--hold these two tin cans, and answer these set questions--bit like a psychology test/assessment--and course the result which was like made into a map, where the line/'me' was all 'underground' (which means 'bad') and meant I needed their religion. I said no.

But I remember this scene: At that time, I had got a book called The Tao of Physics, by Fritjof Capra, and on the front was an image of Siva as Lord of the Dance . And knowing my friend was being pulled into the CoS, I had tried to get him to read it, hoping it might somehow snap him out of his trance, but he wouldn't. When I mentioned about this book after my test at their Church training session, I had two fierce looking Scientologists in my face telling me it was a bad book, bla bla. I was outta there, and soon I lost total contact with my friend.

Before he 'disappeared' he made me this pair of amazing hi fi speakers made of solid wood which are great for sound, and I still use them. That was his passion, and would wax lyrical about best ways to hear music, how sound should come, best, regarding music systems, from speakers encased in solid walls.

I have heard many negative stories about the CoS, and about how they don't like criticism at all, and have a motto of 'Never defend, always attack' So many people do fear this cult. And there exists a group called WhyWeProtest who are extremely anti-CoS, and wear masks because of fear of being, well, attacked (more about this group later.

So considering my own experience with this cult of Scientology (and they apparently hate being called a cult), and what I have read, seen, heard, I was very upset, confused, and disturbed when I found out that Thomas Szasz, a kind of mentor for me, was involved with them, and co-created the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.

Thomas Szasz WIKIpedia

"Together with the Church of Scientology, Szasz co-founded the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), in 1969, to help clean up the field of human rights abuses. He remains on CCHR's Board of Advisors as Founding Commissioner,[6] and continues to provide content for the CCHR.[7] In the keynote address at the 25th anniversary of CCHR, Szasz stated: "We should all honor CCHR because it is really the organization that for the first time in human history has organized a politically, socially, internationally significant voice to combat psychiatry. This has never been done in human history before."[8] Szasz, himself, does not have any membership or involvement in Scientology. In 2003, the following statement, authorized by Szasz, was posted to the official Szasz web site by its owner, Jeffrey Schaler, explaining Szasz's relationship to CCHR:

"Dr. Szasz co-founded CCHR in the same spirit as he had co-founded — with sociologist Erving Goffman and law professor George Alexander — The American Association for the Abolition for Involuntary Mental Hospitalization...

Scientologists have joined Szasz's battle against institutional psychiatry. Dr. Szasz welcomes the support of Jews, Christians, Muslims, and any other religious or atheist group committed to the struggle against the Therapeutic State. Sharing this battle does not mean that Dr. Szasz supports the unrelated principles and causes of any religious or non-religious organization. This is explicit and implicit in Dr. Szasz's work. Everyone and anyone is welcome to join in the struggle for individual liberty and personal responsibility — especially as these values are threatened by psychiatric ideas and interventions."

Now I can understand Thomas Szasz's need to create a powerful enemy against the monolithic pharmaceutical - bio-psychiatric industry, with its mega-profit making abuse of people, and children; an industry that is creating more and more phony 'disorders' to push more and more toxic drugs, and 'treatments', including, especially since 1987, millions of children , but I also feel he should have considered where the CoS's relentless passion was coming from. And also to consider is their collaboration helping or hindering the public's awareness and need to dismantle this monolith, rather than just think it is all hype from the Scientology cult, and that tends to put many people off looking further? For I have found that people will be blinded by the presence of Scientology, and not even see or hear what is revealed about psychiatric history and its abuses, and the pattern which connects. So this is why I am expressing this here, because I am not seeing this being talked about.

For I have discovered since Szasz, that other notable heavyweights in the anti-psychiatric movement also embrace the CoS's presence and help, and their anti-psychedelic approach. For example Dr John Breeding, though I must add he yet still did encourage me to speak out what I feel!

Thomas Szasz has written a book called Ceremonial Chemistry which, I believe is in favour of freedom for people to take whatever drugs they choose, including psychedelics. A position totally contradicting the Church of Scientology!

Dr Fred Baughman ( I don't know what Dr Baughman thinks about psychedelics) who has published a book exposing the pharma-psychiatric attack on children from the ages of 2 upwards, since 1987 with phony labels like 'ADD' and 'ADHD' The ADHD Fraud: How Psychiatry Make "Patients" of Normal Children

; Dr John Breeding, a psychologist exposes the mental illness myth, paying particular attention to the abuse of Electro-Convulsive Therapy;

Dr Gay Null, who narrates the great video, The Drugging of Our Children,

and Dr Breggin (I do not know Breggin and Null's views on psychedelics)

...None of them have anything challenging to say about Scientology's role in supporting and promotion of the anti-psychiatric movement. So I felt out on a limb.

Then I was delighted to meet Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America: Robert Whitaker clips from film "Take These Broken Wings" . I was very relieved to meet him. Because he seems on my wavelength. He also encouraged me not to worry about being a 'loner' about this, but to say what I feel, which is very deep felt advice.

In my research for this, I watched the video series Psychiatry - Instrument of Death, which is in ten parts

Here is one of the best exposes of the Church of Scientology I've ever seen! I was transfixed from beginning to end. And this is largely down to the amazing charisma of the person articulately telling of his experience, actor, and ex-Scientologist, Jason Beghe, Jason Beghe Interview

A massive clue regarding where the CoS is at, is there stance on psychedelics. They are anti psychedelics, for recreation, and healing, and therapy! They have made videos putting psychedelics in same category of other drugs like heroin, cocaine, and so on. I am afraid this shows their ignore~ance, but I also think there is a deeper motive as well, and this is shared with most groups--throughout history--which seeks to suppress access to psychedelics for fear of their inspirational power for helping the experiencers potentially see right through all-pervasive matrixes that are created by controlling mindsets, and so they create scary stories about such dangerous agents-for-clear-seeing, and worse in some cases. The Christian Inquisition springs to mind!