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.


  1. What a fantastic and detailed post, muzzy, I can tell you put a lot into it. I am 100% behind the movement to finding and allowing for other treatments. There will be a forum of Nami on next Monday, which I plan to go to for giving more money to clubhouse organizations, which I think are very important for mental illness(instead of hospitals or jails, workig in a supportive environment to reestablish better patterns and connection and self respect).
    My doctors were arrogant as hell, I was lied to several times about the drugs I was to be taken. I am not saying the drugs need to go away, although I think if people really knew the truth and had other options, they would, but I think people need to have the freedom and ability to have real choices and real help.

  2. Thanks OZ.
    Yeah, Mindfreedom, and Szasz etc also don't deny freedom for individuals to have the FREE choice to take so-called 'medication'if they so choose, as long as there is no coercion and they are informed of there being no medical evidence for 'mental illness' being a biological disease/disorder.

    But whenever, I have communicated with people who are pro bio-psychiatry about this, they will always demand that mental illness is a real medical condition when there is no actual evidence to back up their claims. Thus they are in denial and part of a coercive psychiatric system!

  3. This is such a great post! Thanks for sharing...

  4. I am not a believer in psychedelic 'therapy'which is the reason I do not publish your comments,(which are posts in themselves) or promote your blog. Sorry.

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