Racism and Radical Psychiatry

Lucas Richert
146
1840

A half century ago a “radical caucus” formed in the American Psychiatric Association. The group believed that mental medicine needed to change. The caucus also felt this way about the United States more generally. Racism. Sexism. Poverty. Dislocation. Militarism. Political divides. Corruption. Sound familiar?

Black Lives Matter. When we think critically about the needless death of George Floyd and other people of color, the removal of confederate statues and symbols, and massive protests across the country, it’s worth highlighting that racial justice was an important element of radical mental medicine over fifty years ago. Reflecting on discussions and debates a half century ago also enables one to think through the struggles related to white allyship and activism in 2020 and beyond.

In 1968, the radicals first coalesced as a group at the APA’s annual meeting in Boston under the rubric “Psychiatrists for Action on Racism and the Urban Crisis.” During the May meeting, concern “about the grave social conditions in the nation,” the “danger of riots,” and “the effects of racism and poverty on the social and emotional well-being of the entire country” resonated.

The Radical Caucus, mostly white in composition, fully supported the APA’s Black Caucus, which had existed since 1965. The Black Caucus members held up racism as a crucial mental health problem in the United States and stated that black psychiatrists were systematically barred from positions of influence and authority.

Problematically, this area of psychiatric history is extremely underdeveloped. At present, there are far more questions than available answers. And more research should be done in the APA archives and through interviews. What I can say is that members demanded more participation in the management of the APA, total desegregation of mental health facilities, and more training for black psychiatrists; the Black Caucus, rooted in a larger socio-political environment of civil rights activism, was a powerful faction advocating for change.

In 1968 and then afterward, the Radical Caucus took cues from the Black Caucus and also widened the discussion. The group circulated pamphlets indicting APA members for persecution of “black and Puerto Rican mental health workers” and “complicity with the military,” tying in the Vietnam War.

Radical Caucus members keyed in on four topics during the conference. One was how to work with grassroots groups; the second had to with the provision of emergency care during violent outbreaks. A third topic dealt with how to tackle racism. And fourth: how could radicals in mental health provide education and career ladders?

Answers were not always clear. But records of the meeting show that its aim was to create awareness of, as well as share experiences about, the practicalities involved in working with social movements.

For instance, in California, some psychiatrists and doctors had developed a working relationship with the Black Panther movement. It had, for its part, began to push for health rights. This took the form of political support for Black Panther candidates running for office. It also took the form of medical and psychological support during demonstrations. The practical lesson to be drawn was that mental health providers should “make [themselves] available and open up contacts with these local groups.”

The radical psychiatrists at the APA meeting also argued that they had opportunities to strengthen race relations in Boston and elsewhere. This would be a difficult task, since racism took “different forms and guises” and did not lend itself to a “specific activity [intervention] with a short range goal.” It was agreed that various strategies targeting institutions and individuals had borne fruit. One such strategy was to recruit medical students from the “negro ghetto,” thereby boosting the numbers of “racial and ethnic minorities” in hospitals and medical schools. Another strategy was to organize “programs to increase constructive contact between the races” through small “tea parties” or “more prolonged intensive mixed T-group” gatherings.

According to the former head of the APA, Dr. John Talbott, the radicals were actually a “disparate amalgam of people.” They were “everything from Marxist-Leninists to anarchists to people like me who were antiwar and were very upset about Kent State.” (In May, 1970, Ohio National Guards opened fire on student protesters at Kent State.)

Talbott added: many of them—radicals, that is—believed that the mental health establishment had to throw off neutrality and embrace individual and collective trauma which, they contended, were natural by-products of militarism, alienation, and endemic racism. The idea was that psychiatrists in general needed to be more aware of the wider socio-political environment and less focused (purely) on the individual. Talbott agreed in parts.

Other white male psychiatrists who agreed in principle occupied the Radical Caucus. Dr. Paul Lowinger was one. As early as 1964, he sought to locate his profession’s practices within larger societal changes, intellectual transitions, and notions of changing American exceptionalism. Lowinger participated in numerous marches for social justice during the early and mid-1960s and witnessed firsthand the violence and racism that were lev­eled against African Americans. He treated cuts and bruises, broken bones, and the emotionally traumatized.

White allyship then, as now, proved complicated. In targeting issues like pollution, overpopulation, racism, and nuclear war, mental health providers moved beyond the health of the individual and reconceptualized mental health as a national and global concern. As the Radical Caucus expanded its range of issues during the early and mid-1970s, as members moved into publishing and working with psychiatric survivors, some of the focus on civil rights struggles was lost.

The pages of the Radical Therapist also identified the wide-ranging etiological factors that contributed to mental distress in modern America. The list included not just sexism, racism, militarism, and the consumer economy but also the American educational system, environmental degradation, bureaucracy, and technological growth. For many radicals in mental medicine, society itself was sick. And it’s debatable whether it grew healthier.

Power and the medical model, mental health services delivery, the psychiatric oppression of minority groups, and psychiatry and the individual patient were all addressed. Without devia­tion, authors framed the goal of traditional psychiatry as “the maintenance of personal and professional power and prestige, economic well-being, and control over others.”

As was the case with other American conflicts and crises in the 20th century, the fallout from the Vietnam War and civil rights era helped redefine the role of psychiatry and society’s perception of mental health. I’ve written elsewhere that it was an era of transition, and even fear, with American society fractured by protests, a rights revolution on the home front, and hostilities abroad. A half century later, it’s worth asking, amidst our own crisis, what lessons can we draw from the late 1960s and 1970s?

One is that current protests and the Black Lives Movement, along with #MeToo and environmental activism, have the potential to be subsumed in the absence of political leadership. Champions, black and white alike, must continue to press forward for meaningful change. APA members still have the opportunity to join Minority and Underrepresented (M/UR) Caucuses—and should. Two, anxieties and precautions about COVID-19 and economic issues might also stymie civil rights momentum without planning. The Radical Caucus exists still and it can.

In recent weeks, the American Psychiatric Association has held town halls (for members only) to address structural racism in the United States. The American Psychological Association President, meanwhile, has suggested that “we are living in a racism pandemic.” Racial justice remains a part of mental medicine and health providers have a significant role to play in the current milieu, just as they did over fifty years ago.

Yet, prominent Black psychiatrists are leaving the APA, accusing the organization of systemic racism. According to Ruth S. Shim in STAT, “In our mental health system, people of color are overrepresented, misdiagnosed, and mistreated, and organized psychiatry has no plan to guide the correction of these well-studied and long-standing inequities.”

If the APA and the radicals are intending on paying more than lip service to the current crises, demonstrable action might take several forms. Besides focusing on individualized treatments and placing too much stock in new drug therapies such as psychedelics, mental medicine should fully recognize racism’s impact on mental health as it did for the first time in 1969. Psychiatrists and others might embrace social psychiatry, which was a major movement in mental medicine after WWII and showed how poverty, inequality and social isolation impaired mental health. Policymakers might think about legislation (including Universal Basic Income) that specifically addresses the gap between the rich and poor, and especially in light of COVID-19’s blowback, which will disproportionately impact people of color.

 

Lucas Richert’s new book, Break on Through: Radical Psychiatry and the American Counterculture, describes the influence of radical approaches to the mental health system in the 1970s.

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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

146 COMMENTS

    • “There’s nothing also to say that a Qualified Doctor, is any better than a Library Assistant at helping a person get through Emotional Distress.”
      Correct.
      Doctors are great at dealing with ruptured appendixes or inflamed adenoids or broken limbs. But if you feel sad or lonely you should phone a friend.
      Asking a GP for help with emotional pain is like asking one for advice on roof repair. Not their field.

  1. “mental medicine should fully recognize racism’s impact on mental health as it did for the first time in 1969. Psychiatrists and others might embrace social psychiatry, which was a major movement in mental medicine after WWII and showed how poverty, inequality and social isolation impaired mental health. Policymakers might think about legislation (including Universal Basic Income) that specifically addresses the gap between the rich and poor, and especially in light of COVID-19’s blowback, which will disproportionately impact people of color.”

    What is “mental medicine” and no, we don’t need another brand of psychiatry. We have “social psychiatry” right at this moment.

  2. “For instance, in California, some psychiatrists and doctors had developed a working relationship with the Black Panther movement. It had, for its part, began to push for health rights. This took the form of political support for Black Panther candidates running for office. It also took the form of medical and psychological support during demonstrations. The practical lesson to be drawn was that mental health providers should “make [themselves] available and open up contacts with these local groups.””

    And then you ask what can be learned?

    “One is that current protests and the Black Lives Movement, along with #MeToo and environmental activism, have the potential to be subsumed in the absence of political leadership.”

    Maybe the Black Panthers should never have developed “working relationships” with mental health ‘professionals’ and they may have been much more effective? Maybe the use of psychiatric abuse is the very reason we have no one capable of “political leadership”? Given how effective the use of psychiatric slander and the associated fraud is, and which I can attest to personally. A complaint regarding torture in my State receives a response from the Minister that the person requires ‘psychiatric treatment’ by the people who tortured them, despite having the documented proof. And of course with the status of ‘mental patient’ [something that can be achieved by a psychiatrist without even knowing the person in my State. Police appointed as their personal thug service.] police will look the other way while doctor has an unintended negative outcome with the problem.

    It used to be that procuring police as your personal thugs was a criminal offence, but we “added protections” to our Mental Health Act. And who doesn’t want “added protections”? There was a whole bunch of teenage girls wanting ECTs but couldn’t get their parents to consent, so we changed the laws to protect doctors from being sued if they ‘treated’ 14 year olds. Before this change they were concerned about being sued, but now we have “added protections”. I’m so glad my government is giving me all these “added protections”, and for free. Well, not exactly for free, but I don’t have time to list out all the benefits being provided by taxpayers for these “free added protections”.

    Combine these with the 100 plus protections in the Euthanasia Act and I’m so protected that it take a month for a letter to get from my front door to my hand.

    But wait, how come I can be drugged without my knowledge and snatched from my bed for no reason? And the fact that the hospital sent fraudulent documents to the Mental Health Law Centre concealing the torture and kidnapping? What if I had been euthanized ‘accidentally’? Can they send fraudulent sets of documents then too? To ‘protect’ me? I assume so, because none on our politicians wants to answer the question, and it was done, and I have asked. So we (citizens)have zero protections, and they are adding to them? No, they are providing protections for abusive doctors who have them in their pockets.

    Removal of reporting who is prescribing amphetamines? ‘Wild’ (decentralised) euthanasia laws.

    • Do you mean the original Panthers or the so-called “New” Black Panther Party”? They are/were worlds apart. As for BLM; despite the rantings of “conservative” talk show hosts I see no evidence of them being true leftists or Marxists, though there may be some variation between individual chapters; this doesn’t mean they don’t serve a positive purpose. Anyway got any links about this cooperation between the BPP and psychiatry?

  3. Thank you for your work in documenting the history of protest inside the psychiatric profession.

    As a baby boomer, I experienced that era and was influenced by the radical therapist movement to choose medicine/psychotherapy as a profession. By the time I graduated, the conservative backlash had begun and we’ve been losing ground ever since (‘we’ being those of us who saw the primary threat as coming from outside, not inside, people’s minds).

    Thankfully, the tide has turned, and the same issues are back on the table. For me, the lesson of history is this: we must be much clearer as to the root cause of our problems in order to solve them. Chasing symptoms has proved ineffective. We need to aim higher and cure the disease.

    I would argue that the ‘disease’ is a capitalist class who separate their interests from the rest of humanity, enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else, and defend this unjust social arrangement with all the forces at their command. This is the root cause of our suffering.

    “To maintain capitalist rule, it is necessary to cap people’s expectations for a better life by using police to criminalize dissent and psychiatrists to medicalize it.” (https://susanrosenthal.com/strategies/cops-criminalize-protest-psychiatrists-medicalize-it/)

    • While it is laudable to set the goal of finding “root cause,” I don’t think you’re going to make much progress by consulting Marxist theory. That’s a political-economic theory, not a theory of insanity. Those answers, I am quite sure, lie elsewhere.

    • Susan

      I strongly share your perspective on the urgent need to replace capitalism with socialism, and I strongly agree with your view on the decisive role of psychiatry in helping to maintain an oppressive status quo in the world.

      I am interested to know if you are part of a newer trend in socialist/communist theory and practice, and what is your view of the works of Bob Avakian, in particular, his writings on the “New Communism.” See the following link: https://revcom.us/avakian/index.html .

      Richard

      • Richard – The RCP is not a new formation by any means. It promotes a top-down ‘socialism’ run on behalf of workers rather than by workers themselves. This managerial approach inevitably leads to oppressive forms of state capitalism.

        Genuine revolutionary socialism is built from the bottom up. In the process, it transforms every aspect of life, including how people relate to each other and how decisions are made.

        I explain this in my book Rebel Minds: Class War, Mass Suffering, and the Urgent Need for Socialism: https://remarxpub.com/rebel-minds/

        • Not taking sides here (I find the so-called “left” to be in shambles across the board) but I would like you to explain what you mean by “revolutionary socialism” and how you come to this conclusion, rather than simply making accusations.

          I will say that I find your previous tendency to distance socialism from communism to be a form of liberalism, especially your implication (as I interpret it) that “socialism” can be voted into being via capitalist “elections.” According to Marx socialism is a transitional phase on the way to communism and establishing it first requires the overthrow of capitalism.

        • Susan

          What evidence do you provide that the RCP “promotes a top down ‘socialism’ run on behalf of the workers rather than by the workers themselves.”

          Do you say this because they advocate for the role of a vanguard party to lead the revolution, or is there some other reason for your negative assessment?

          And while the RCP has been around for many years, Bob Avakian’s writing on the “New Communism” is relatively recent.

          Richard

          • Richard – Like most socialist organizations, the RCP promotes a concept of socialism as a society managed for, not by, workers themselves – a form of radical reformism.

            According to their website, Avakian believes that China was a socialist society until 1976 and Russia was a socialist society until 1956. Workers were not directing the economy in either country during those periods; they were brutally exploited and oppressed.

            Avakian’s >100 page “Constitution for The New Socialist Republic In North America” is the quintessential definition of managerial. Revolutionary socialism is constructed from the bottom up by working people themselves, and it will look nothing like what anyone can imagine on this side of that transformation.

            Yes, workers on the front lines of the class war must organize themselves in a political party that can lead the working class to power. I have not found any socialist organization or wannabe vanguard party that has worker-activists in key roles. Most are dominated by people from the managerial class. This is to be expected given the low level of struggle over the past decades; however, it must change as the struggle rises.

            As I mentioned before, I discuss all this in my book.

          • Looking forward to Richard’s response. Not sure how you make this determination however, unless you have intelligence on the membership of various organizations (which I would imagine they keep guarded except for officers and public spokespeople). Is there a formation you do support? What is your own strategy for revolution? (We shouldn’t have to read your book, it should be easy enough to break down in a few paragraphs.)

            Again, I wonder how you justify your claim that socialism is different from communism (with the implication that calling a “socialist” organization “communist” is some kind of smear).

            Keep in mind that Marx himself was not from the working class; does this negate his contributions?

          • Oldhead – If I could answer your questions in a few paragraphs, I wouldn’t have needed to write a book that explains the root cause of mass suffering, how suffering is concealed as personal defect, how rebellion against oppression is prevented from disrupting the social order, and how we can get ourselves free.

            Because of its unique analysis, Rebel Minds was nominated for the 2020 Deutscher memorial prize “awarded for a book which exemplifies the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition.”

            So, yes, you need to read my book.

          • Susan

            Are you suggesting that was nothing positive in the Russian and Chinese revolutions?

            Of course there were shortcomings in both of these first time examples of socialist revolutions, but they were truly historic events of great importance, and the working and peasant classes had infinitely more say and involvement in running these societies than under capitalism.

            You say the masses in China were brutally exploited under Mao. How do you explain the fact that the average lifespan of Chines people doubled from 1950 to 1976 (from 35 yrs to 70 yrs) until when the revolution was defeated by a Right Wing coup in ’76?’ And the fact that massive famines and deaths due to hunger and massive amounts of opiate addiction (created by British Imperialism) were eliminated shortly after the revolution came to power.

            What is your definition of the “managerial class.” I understand class to be defined by both one’s relationship to the means of production AND by one’s ideology and practice towards eliminating all forms of human oppression.

            Pretty much all revolutionary uprisings in history were initiated by and led by individuals with access to education, and from a class of petty bourgeois intellectuals.

            Isn’t the key to determining the nature of their role as revolutionary leaders ultimately depend on whether or not their ideology AND practice (in developing various political formations) is actually moving towards a classless society AND educating and bringing forward more and more people from the proletariat to run the new society.

            And shouldn’t this same principle of bringing forward new leaders from the proletariat, also apply to the development of any truly revolutionary party attempting to lead a revolution. Your “bottom up” formation sounds like a type of “mechanical materialism” separate from the actual process by which revolutionary movements and leaders develop.

            Susan, are you not more educated (and had more access to education) than most people from the working class? Are you not hoping that working class people read your book and follow some of your ideas about bringing about socialism revolution in the world? Does that make you part of the “managerial class?”

            Richard

          • Anomie – As you point out, humanity is facing an existential crisis of survival.

            Covid-19 has exposed the utter failure of the capitalist class to protect humanity. Their bungled response to the pandemic has produced mass death and an economic crisis that will rival, if not surpass, the misery of the 1930s. Add to this the triple crises of toxic pollution, global warming, and the threat of war.

            As Marx wrote, “All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and humanity is at last compelled to face with sober senses their real conditions of life, and their relations with their kind.”

            There will be no return to normal. Society is being remade, and the only question is in whose interests, the profit-hungry elite or the majority who want a decent life. The stakes could not be higher. The opportunity could not be greater.

            Racism is essential to capitalist rule, so Black rebellions always shake things up, paving the way for broader social revolt. This is as true today as it was in the 1960s. Everything that was previously accepted is now in question, and psychiatry is no exception.

            You are right, more people need to understand that psychiatry is an arm of the capitalist state, that its power is directly related to the power of the capitalist state, and that the primary role of both is to maintain capitalist rule. This means that our liberation from psychiatric oppression cannot be separated from our liberation from capitalist rule.

            I often encounter the comment, “the left does not take psychiatric oppression seriously.” It’s equally true that people who organize around specific oppressions don’t take capitalism seriously as the root source of their suffering.

            As you say, we need to end capitalist rule. That is the only way we can end the social suffering that drives people to seek relief and transform the social institutions that interpret such suffering as individual, biological defects.

            I’m organizing an online discussion group centered on Rebel Minds. Anyone who is interested in participating can contact me at susan@susanrosenthal.com.

          • Susan

            You have not responded to my questions regarding the definition of class, and the importance of a deep going dialectical summation of the Russian and Chinese revolutions. How can humanity move forward to socialism without a thorough summation (POSITIVE and negative aspects) of previous attempts at revolution?

            And while these revolutions made errors (and, at times, serious errors) isn’t a key aspect of such an evaluation, the fact that both the Russian and Chinese revolutions were surrounded by a world of capitalist governments that worked tirelessly to defeat these revolutions. This fact combined with a certain amount of ignorance, and yes, mistakes, led to their defeats.

            Anyone who simply dismisses these revolutions as failures, or suggests they simply did not apply your undialectical theory of “bottom up” leadership, will not be able to propose a way forward for future socialist revolutions.

            Bob Avakian and the RCP, from my readings, have made a major contribution to socialist theory by summing up these previous revolutions (upholding ALL that was positive and critically analyzing the weaknesses) while ALSO, MOST IMPORTANTLY, trying to advance the science of revolution, with theoretical and practical leaps in theory with the “New Synthesis/New Communism.”

            Susan, while I like your analysis of the urgency for replacing capitalism, and your dissection of the oppressive role of psychiatry in the world today, your dismissal of the RCP and Bob Avakian is extremely troubling.

            Richard

          • So now now we need to read TWO books to get even a basic grasp of what’s being said? That’s a big strategic problem for anyone when it’s necessary for people to read books to get what you’re saying; we live in a dumbed down sound bite world so it’s really necessary to distill things into basic principles sometimes.

            Sectarianism is a problem that has continually restrained and divided the true left, and holds back victory, and some of this discussion borders on that. But I think Richard is trying to deal with principles rather than personalities and sound bites, and that you do have a tendency to attack left stereotypes and those you associate with them with somewhat ad hominem implications, if this makes sense.

            When you make statements to the effect that socialism and communism are unrelated you are twisting Marx in a misleading way as far as I’m concerned, and I’m not clear why. You should be able to come up with some “bullet points” outlining your perspectives, THEN have further analyses available somewhere for those more academically/intellectually-inclined with time on their hands. I doubt the vast majority of the Bolshevic masses were reading Kapital.

          • If I could answer your questions in a few paragraphs, I wouldn’t have needed to write a book that explains the root cause of mass suffering, how suffering is concealed as personal defect, how rebellion against oppression is prevented from disrupting the social order, and how we can get ourselves free.

            We already have a survivor-led abolitionist collective operating in the shadows of MIA, in which an undisclosed number of long time MIA reader/commenters participate. As a broad-based spectrum of conscious survivors with common bottom line beliefs and goals, we do not take a specific position on “the root cause of mass suffering” (might I surmise you consider it to be capitalism?); however we do have an analysis which covers the above, which holds as a basic principle that psychiatry is a tool of social control which enforces conformity to the prevailing social order. This is augmented by the further principle that “mental illness” is a semantically absurd concept which falsely conflates the abstraction known as the “mind” with the physical brain to mislead people into believing they have literal diseases.

            Using these and other principles we have so far managed to find some unity as anti-psych survivors, and without without “professional advice.” You’ll be hearing more pretty soon, I’m pretty sure.

          • What constitutes “work” and what constitutes a “worker” are not definitively defined. Many people work very hard outside the system grid at many things — including working to expose the system — but don’t get paid. And many get paid handsomely for working to undermine the air and water and our bodies. The current “wave” of feminists wants to call prostitution “work.” So we have to collectively decide which “work” is to be deemed socially valuable before labeling this or that person a “worker”; it’s not as cut & dried as in Marx’s day. While one need not be part of the industrial proletariat to be considered a worker, the question remains of what “work” produces something of value (generally interpreted by Marx as material or concrete value). Just sayin’…

        • I guess the conversation stops here?

          To me “top down” is more applicable to the Democratic Party and its corporate sponsors appropriating “progressive” rhetoric to impose reformist “solutions” designed to prop up the capitalist system as long as possible.

          Whomever Biden is replaced by if he is “elected” can be counted on to take this new “progressive” totalitarianism to new heights. (Maybe starting with the death penalty or reeducation camps for people who refuse to “mask up.”)

          This is what I would consider “top down.”

          • I’ve been pondering something about the descriptions of the ‘workhouses’ described by Marx, and see something that I never really considered before.

            Where Marx spoke about the extraction of money via labor power, have we not now moved to a model where money is extracted from the individual by destroying their health? The capitalist model has infected what used to be medicine, and the psychiatrists the worst of the workhouse owners?(with exceptions as always) The ‘medical machine’ resulting in the loss of limbs and deaths at astounding rates, but the profits keep rolling in. And our ‘political representatives’ mere pawns in providing what appear to be legal protections enabling carte blanche knowing that any criticism of them can be silenced and profited from?

            It looks to me like a direct transplant of “labour power” with “health”. It is unfortunate that in order to extract the capital from the individual, their health must of necessity be destroyed. Unless of course one is fortunate enough to meet a doctor (in the true sense of the term) rather than a capitalist in a white coat and a stethoscope to complete the false image.

            Consider the process of extraction of money via the referral of individuals for torture therapy (I know we need to use euphemisms but …..).

            One needs to ‘capture’ the individual whilst making it appear that they have a free choice (patron client relationship and keep them living in debt, informed consent in the doctor patient relationship, and keep them addicted to drugs).

            It really is astounding when you consider you can make money from killing people and calling it medicine. Concealing your business model under a profession that is being enabled by the State in the name of health. And what happens when you start making lots of people sick beyond repair? (see Mr Whitakkers books). In my State you pass Euthanasia laws and begin disposing of the ones taking up too much bed space and not generating any profit. Nothing to see here.

            We do need to provide protections for doctors performing these safe and effective life ending procedures. Difficult work and not for those who don’t have the stomach for it.

            Man, I never thought i’d get to live in a National Socialist State, and yet here I am, my nightmare now a reality lol

          • Hi Boans. This is not your great-great-grandfather’s capitalism anymore is it? Such progress since then, now they’re even learning how easily they can use fear to make spineless people jump. A miracle! (You ARE wearing your mask while typing directly into the public internet, I sure hope?)

          • There are days I think I AM my great great grandfather oldhead lol. And as such it might be best I do wear my mask on the internet superhighway. While for the moment we have only a 100 cases of COVID, our economy is just about in tatters. Though the smiling politicians keep telling us there is no need to panic, that;s usually a sign there’s a need to panic.

            With regard to fear, hasn’t it always been the key to the soul? Once the ‘fog of war’ descends things will change dramatically, and get ‘strange’. Cash from chaos.

          • Yes, they sure will break you Oldhead. It’s been a real eye opener for me to be told by my State that they will ‘fuking destroy’ me, and then watch how they have gone about that. Not just a concern for me that they are doing arbitrary detentions (authorised by the Cheif Psychiatrist and Minister) and torturing people to have them ‘confess’ to their ‘mental illness’ (ie a refusal to agree with their view on matters personal. Political ‘witch hunts’). The utter hypocrisy of pointing fingers at other Nations whilst engaging in some of the most vile human rights abuses right under the nose of the public by calling these abuses ‘medicine’. And the fee you speak of coming out of the trough provided by the taxpayers who are basically paying for their own abuse.

            And this can’t even be denied, they have been quite open about the fact they would fuking destroy me for complaining about their misconduct. And those with a duty to protect have denied that they even have a duty (we dont have a copy of the criminal code in this station, might be best I don’t know about that, the law isn’t the law and you can be detained and force drugged because “tomato”).

            Still, like a cancer refusing to recognise the problem, it will surface in ways not expected and create other problems that will require bigger cover ups.

            Their ‘fix’ is about torturing until you deny your being tortured, which I do not consider a fix at all. It does however explain why as a Nation we have a ‘good’ record in regards human rights abuses. The data is being tampered with in much the same manner the ‘success’ of drugs as a cure for the results of trauma is. Conceal the problem for now, hope it goes away, and if it doesn’t it’s then someone else problem.

            Personally I think the legislation to euthanase people here is about a recognition by the government that when they break you, they can’t fix you, and need other means of disposing of the people they ‘fuking destroy’ for complaining about their human rights abuses. Trying to ‘fix’ them doesn’t work in most cases, and with the volume being created by the rapid expansion of the human rights abuses, we can afford to waste a few.

            The model from the torture program, take to an extreme and making killing a’medical procedure’ that can be concealed via the distribution of fraudulent documents, authorized by a Clinical Director.

            They wouldn’t do that? Take a look at the documents they sent to the Law Centre regarding my ‘treatment’. You can call it “editing” if you like, in as much as you can call torture “treatment” if you like. But you need to bend over backwards with the manner in which you define these terms legally to do so.

            They will call it that which it is not.

  4. Radical psychiatry is a contradiction in terms. Only anti-psychiatry is radical. Ditto, anti-fascism and anti-racism.

    Psychiatry is mentalist/sanist by definition. Small wonder that it is racist to boot.

    “Mental illness” is a metaphor, not a fact. The “cure” is, was, and always will be cessation of “treatment”, especially when that “treatment” consists primarily of pretense, confinement, injury, and torture.

    Drugs are drugs and, to one degree or another, toxic substances. Drugs include psychiatric so-called medications. Drugs are not medicine.

    Acting under the assumption that thinking clearly is as important as reading, writing and arithmatic, the way out of our current “mental health crisis” is through mandating courses in logic for all students in the public education system. When people are taught to think logically, they will be less prone to think illogically.

    • Logic and reason are not the opposites of emotion. One can be very emotional and still have a rational, logical, well-reasoned position. We have a cultural tendency to treat people who we view as overly emotional as if they aren’t also being logical and then erroneously dismiss whatever they’re saying or doing as mental or call them mentally ill.

  5. I had an epiphany this week. I discovered that a whole list of psychiatric disorders, currently known a “personality disorders” are not considered “illnesses.” They are not considered to be treatable with psychoactive drugs and often fail to respond to any other known therapy.

    This, then is the barrier that psychiatry (and related disciplines) are up against in solving the more basic problem of “insanity” (the original target of psychiatry).

    The question of: Where does personality come from? leads to such difficult possibilities for most people, much less students of the mind, that it stops them in their tracks. They turn away, and most give up.

    When I have been accusing psychiatry of being more “mentally ill” than most of its patients, this is what I was actually talking about. The huge problem confronting many groups involved at the higher levels in society is the problem of personality disorders. The most difficult disorder in this list (do I hear any disagreements?) is Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). This is the disorder that more or less defines the professional criminal or potential criminal. This is the bitter pill that psychiatry – even “radical” psychiatry – has been unable or unwilling to swallow. From the point of view of the man in the street, the biggest potential problem he faces is when people in positions of power and authority begin to act more like criminals than like honest human beings.

    I agree with the common practice of locking such people up (once they self-identify by actually committing a crime). That is the least we could do to protect the rest of society from the worst of them. Currently, roughly half (it varies a lot) of many prison populations test positive for ASPD. The other half could probably be rehabilitated and let free. At this point, this whole subject is far off the radar of the mental health community. And it alarms me greatly.

    It is not practical to lock up every person with ASPD; there are just too many of them, even if we could detect them in a way that would protect their basic human rights. We must learn how to deal with them more effectively. You give a good therapy to any psychiatrist who has ASPD and he will use it to kill people. That’s just the way they work. So, we have to deal with this if we are going to allow the mental health system to continue in any form.

    • How do i diagnose a “PD”? I do it all the time, except my “diagnosis” does not affect the person. Is psychiatry an “anti-social” group? Of course they are. Is it a “mental” “disorder”? No, it just is. Their actions cause much disorder for victims and families, for tax payers, for the general public.

      It is up to our leaders and governments to look into what is going on. They don’t want to because psychiatry is the guy who is their puppet. Not at all a job that has prestige. In fact, it is the toilet bowl cleaner. They mostly carry a huge chip on their shoulders. Since childhood maybe.

      No parent seems concerned about Johnny wanting to become a shrink lol. When my son chose “psychology” I was greatly concerned. Turns out, he chose it because of ease and not being very driven in architecture. Arch was too difficult.

      He is WAY too humble to ever be someone who “diagnoses”. He has always had a great sense of people, which is turning out to serve a few people well.

      • Saying someone has a “personality disorder” is very similar to saying “he’s an asshole.” It has exactly that degree of scientific validity, but it’s certainly possible to look at someone and observe that s/he commits a lot of criminal acts and decide that s/he needs to be removed from society or stopped in some other way. It’s the conflation with “mental illness” and “diagnosis” that creates the problem.

        • It is curious that I have some friends and know a few with “diagnonsense” of PD’s.
          They are not even assholes. And that is often the problem in that IF someone receives such special labels, SO many people think that they must be assholes. What is even curiouser is that a few people believe they must be if someone said they were.
          And the one friend who received this fine label had a shrink who “enjoyed their conversations”.

          • Yeah, it doesn’t really mean anything to be “diagnosed” with a “personality disorder.” I’m just saying that it has no more meaning than calling someone an “asshole.” I’ve actually been very fond of a lot of people who have gotten “borderline” “diagnoses” in the past. I put no weight on them. I’d be more inclined to say things like, “This person has a hard time trusting others” or “he likes to exert power over people arbitrarily.” This is a more realistic way to talk, such that others could compare notes or agree or disagree or work together to come to a better understanding of a particular person and his/her motivations. Labeling stops the discussion at the label, and I don’t like any of them, whether you say “asshole” or “narcissistic personality.” It’s all just opinion posing as fact.

          • I see Steve’s point about opinion posing as fact. But even the psychs know to look for behaviors. If I see a guy lie, it’s not just my opinion that he lied; he really did. But as you mentioned below, this currently only works on a personal level. Society in its current state is not competent to make such judgements, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t stop locking up people who go around stealing stuff. That’s a behavior. And if society notes it and can prove it to a jury (hopefully honestly, but that’s a problem with another part of the system), the guy is labelled “guilty of stealing” and handled per whatever laws might apply. In many places, the agency that is given these people is called the Department of Corrections. Except they have no clue how to correct anyone. There is a trend to hand more prisoners over to the mental health system. But that system is broken, too. Some of the people who work in these systems care, and it breaks their hearts to see what is happening. They deserve to get better data about people so they can at least understand better what’s really going on. Maybe a few of them would be in a position to make positive changes.

        • Well…not quite. There are tests for it. You can often just walk up to someone and get in communication with them and tell, if you’re trained.
          The whole issue of how to handle people who “deviate” is a little different. It depends on whether they have an antisocial personality, or are just connected to someone who does. But psychiatry and psychology, of course, are way behind on this. A few of them get the idea, but just a few. In the context of “modern” justice and how most people feel about punishment, any progress forward is nearly impossible. But my point was that psychiatry gave up on that whole challenge a long time ago. It would be a minor (major?) miracle if they, as a profession, turned themselves around and started contributing something positive.

          • I agree that we can all do a PERSONAL evaluation by talking to someone, but obtaining agreement in a society as to who is considered “antisocial” and who is not is a more challenging process. There would have to be agreement as to specific acts which are taken that qualify someone as a danger to society, which should, of course, be enshrined in rational laws and social mores regarding behavior. The unfortunate fact is that “antisocial” people, as you describe them, are often part of creating said laws, which means that people who are genuinely productive get attacked, while those creating havoc are too often rewarded, particularly if they are privileged in the power structure. Our current national government is proof of this point. “Narcissistic” people are grossly overrepresented in US CEOs, according to my research.

            Additionally, some “antisocial” people are pretty crafty, and you and I may be trained to recognize them, but others less savvy are too easily taken in by their “charming” behavior. (That’s what my book, “Jerk Radar,” is all about.) To teach everyone to recognize them is a Herculean task. I think it is more realistic to expect those who are able to detect them to work to rid the world of their influence by education and collective action and leadership. But it’s a tough row to hoe!

          • Looking at behaviours is one thing, “judging” them to be morally corrupt, which is what psych does, is quite another. So yes, we can “study” “others” some more and to what end? To dive into another system of where you get to judge in a manner that affects people to the point of not qualifying for most basic “rights”? It’s not a matter of “some” people having some “PD”, it’s a matter of WHO went to the shrink. So perhaps we should make a LAW, a law where every single person is required to get a “mental exam”, to see if you are fit for society. Those that don’t pass, obviously will be looked at in quite a different manner than they look at themselves…but this observation should not have an implication to ruin someone’s life.
            Should I really possess the ability to ruin someone’s life by my observations? Who actually thinks of themselves as having this magical ability? I see it as a huge problem to society and which it has become. We don’t need one more shitty system that ends up in the dust bin.

          • Steve, I just checked out your book “Jerk Radar” on Amazon and it sure looks good and it’s got lots of rave reviews. As your analogies are usually spot-on I will definitely put this on my next order. I imagine it mostly applies to romantic jerks (I did have one of those in the past) but maybe the same knowledge can be useful when the jerk is a psychiatrist or a family member.

          • It is aimed very much at detecting Romantic Jerks. But a lot of the principles do apply to other Jerks, particularly the tendency to blame others for one’s own shortcomings, the tendency to charm someone into agreement before altering the terms unilaterally, and the tendency to group people into those who are above or below each other in the hierarchy of life (not to mention a strong need to make up or blindly follow the rules of such a hierarchy and enforce them on those the person sees as “beneath them” on the ladder of life.) And perhaps the most important – we get a kind of a sick or uncomfortable feeling around such people, which we often try to explain away to ourselves. Lots of it is very applicable, though hopefully their sexual behavior doesn’t come into play!

            Thanks for the words of support!

          • Realize, Sam, that’s what our “criminal justice” system does right now. You steal, that’s considered “morally corrupt” because you violated someone else’s right to property. That gives society the right to fine you or lock you up for a period of time. Psychiatry, by its own writings, would actually prefer an absence of moral judgement. That would make it easier for them to get away with stuff.

            But if psychiatry could take a compulsive thief and turn him into an honest person, society would consider that a valuable contribution. YOU might even consider that a valuable contribution.

            Psychiatry can’t do that. They basically can’t do anything other than harm people. So WE consider psychiatry morally corrupt.

            We have all kinds of laws right now. Their criteria are behaviors. If you are “found guilty” of certain behaviors, society is allowed to punish you. Right now, psychiatry is conforming to that model, except they basically end up violating our laws in the process.

            So when you ask “should anyone have the ability to ruin someone’s life by their observations?” We already have that. It’s called the criminal justice system. Our first goal is to bring psychiatry under that system. That doesn’t mean making the people they treat criminals, it means making them criminals when they violate someone’s rights.

            But your observation points out how problematic the whole situation is, because our justice system doesn’t work well, either. And that’s why I keep saying we need better understandings.

          • “But if psychiatry could take a compulsive thief and turn him into an honest person, society would consider that a valuable contribution. YOU might even consider that a valuable contribution.

            Psychiatry can’t do that. They basically can’t do anything other than harm people. So WE consider psychiatry morally corrupt.”

            Ever seen a Clockwork Orange?

            The problem here is what was stated by the Priest when the ‘psychiatrists’ (via the Politician) demonstrated the effect of the Ludovico Technique to an audience. Yes they CAN torture people into being good moral citizens, this is known. But the comment was made, “But the boy has no free will”. He doesn’t get a choice as to whether he punches someone in the nose and steals from them. It is no longer him as actor. The book, and movie an extremely powerful statement on the effects of psychological torture and the outcome.

            Alex de Large, from thug to good citizen. At what cost?

            And consider carefully the reason that Burgess wrote the book.

          • You are saying that psychiatry would find more ways to fake it? Much more convincingly than they do now?
            Well I suppose that’s possible. That’s why the rest of us need to be able to tell the difference. Because I don’t think getting rid of psychiatry guarantees the end of abuses. They’ll just find another name for it.
            I am toying with the possibility that psychiatry could actually be made well. You may not see that as a possibility. You might be right. Of course, in my vision, most people who call themselves psychiatrists now would no longer be allowed to call themselves that. It would be the same group in name only, if it could be made well. It would be made up of different people.

    • “What is a personality, and where does it come from?” That seems to be one of your questions here. Let me try to answer it. I’ve been working on this for a few years now. First, there’s some genetic basis for the brain and sensory organs, plus the social and cultural and physical milieau a person is born into. This is what the blank canvas consists of, upon which the petsonality is created.
      The personality itself is the reflection, or result, of how all the other people in our lives treat us. As we become adults, and have a fuller, more independent self-relationship, we can begin to also have some effects on our personality. But basically, a personality is created in a person BY OTHER PEOPLE. Your personality is NOT your own, it was created by other people. At least mostly so….

    • “I had an epiphany this week. I discovered that a whole list of psychiatric disorders, currently known a “personality disorders” are not considered “illnesses.” They are not considered to be treatable with psychoactive drugs and often fail to respond to any other known therapy.”

      It’s an interesting area I_e_cox. Well worth covering the debate between the personologists and the situationalists (Allport v Mischel). In fact I think there is an element of “the Games People Play” in the labelling of personality disorders. Lets start making up names for the games lol

      The situation being the biggest determinate of how a person acts or responds, not some personality trait. Your comment about stealing seems to suggest that societies response is or can be equitable I don’t think can be achieved.

      One young black man sentenced to prison here for stealing a packet of pencils from a large retail store, a doctor sentenced to a promotion for stealing the lives of a large number of citizens. Perhaps it’s the lack of diagnosis in the courts that results in these types of outcomes? The Judge sharing a locker room at the Golf Club with the Doctor, but no situational environment with the young black man?

      For whatever reason the idea of ‘personality traits’ continues, and I do think that as Steve points out its a ‘cultured’ way of calling people arseholes. Still, I live in a place that calls convenience killings unintended negative outcomes so i’m kind of used to it lol

      • I realize a lot of people are turned off by the whole idea that things other than the immediate environment (and maybe training) can impact decision-making and behavior. But that’s basically just behavioral psychology. Why trust that theory any more than other theories? There is a lot of very good data behind the idea of “personality disorders.” After all, it’s not like different people don’t have different personalities. And we have observed that those personalities can survive sometimes extreme changes of environment. Personality is lasting because it is informed by experience, by memories. Everyone has a unique track of experience, and a unique personality. Groupings are for convenience only. If you haven’t seen that for yourself, maybe it’s not that real to you. But others have, have written about it, studied it, etc. I’m not ready to discount their observations.

        The “disorder” label is a bit problematic. These are basically just personality types. The fact that some are maladaptive or clash with social norms puts them in a “disorder” category in someone’s context. But that is, ultimately, subjective.

        However, if someone steals (not once, but compulsively), most society members would think, “there’s something wrong with that guy.” Same with compulsive liars, compulsive child abusers, or what have you. So psychiatry gets away with the “disorder” label. They have even taken some “disorders” off the list, under social pressure to do so. I’m not going to complain.

        But my point is that psychiatry has no handling for these behavior patterns, no theory for why they occur, and has basically given up on them. And these patterns accurately describe many psychiatrists! It’s a total unwillingness to take responsibility. Well, someone should take responsibility, because the antisocial personality ruins other people’s lives, does it daily, and with horrific results, really. This isn’t just some theory; this comes from years of careful observation. So, psychiatry has walked away from a problem that they should be doing something about, and that is a great condemnation of their theories, practices, and intentions.

        By the way, the first letter in my username is a small “L” – stands for Larry.

        • Okay L, so should we switch from “illness” to “disorder”? My question is, who will be the new experts? It’s an awful thing to tell someone they are “disordered”. That is exactly what people have done for eons. Call people witches, heretics or barbaric.
          I’m really not sure how you think that PD exists as in “data”, but you think calling it a “disorder” is problematic.

          Yes most definitely ALL labels are a hoax and problematic. But yet you insist they exist as per “data”. Is this “data” from “research”? I’m getting confused I think.

          • Almost everything in psychiatry’s DSM is called a “disorder.” Everything. It’s their current term for anything they want to treat as an illness, as well all sorts of behavior patterns (like compulsive criminality) that they don’t want to treat as illnesses. “We” can call these things anything we want to call them. We have just as much right to be experts as anyone else. But that wasn’t my point.

            My original point was that they, in their own literature, name one of the biggest problems society has (compulsive criminality) and then say they can’t really do anything about it. That’s all. I was trying to say that I just realized this. I thought it was a cool realization concerning their level of incompetence and lack of confront. Especially since many of them would qualify as having ASPD.

            Then boans brought up the fact that there are some people who, basically, don’t believe the stuff psychs call personality disorders are real. Some people think all behavior is situational; there are no behaviors that are tied to personality.

            But that’s not what the data I’m familiar with say. The data comes from people who have studied criminals for years. Some of them are psychs and some aren’t. I don’t go around studying criminals, but some people have, and they report that some people have criminal personalities. For me, that explains some things.

            So if it’s true that some types of criminality (psychiatry, for instance) is based in personality, then even if you turn the “situation” into a total Utopia where everyone would have no excuse but to be happy, you will still have people trying to mess things up, because that’s built into their personality.

            Now, I’m assuming that the people who post comments on this site mostly want to end psychiatric abuse. And many think the best way to do that is to just end psychiatry. Well, that’s fine, but it hasn’t happened yet. So, maybe if we understood the situation better, I’m saying, we could be more effective in ending psychiatric abuse. And I’m trying to put forward, without being too rude, some of my understandings in this regard.

            Did that do anything to handle the confusion?

          • Me, I think that criminals see the world in a certain way, and seek out certain situations that tend to lead them astray as a result of their historical experiences of the world.

            I remember a young man who my employer provided me to perform some tasks who had a ‘criminal history’. He seemed to ‘see’ things that I didn’t even notice, and vice versa. He would walk past cars and look inside to see what could be taken, and if the doors had been left open. I on the other hand noticed other facts about the objects, were the tyres flat, had the car been washed……

            But consider, without the situations arising, the personality doesn’t exist. He couldn’t steal without the situations arising where that could occur, and thus he could not have the personality of a thief.

            The debate between Allport and Mischel simply resulted in a leaning towards the situation being a greater determinate of behaviour than personality traits. (not certain but I think it was a 60/40). Sure our conduct is shaped by past experience, and effects what we do in a possible future, but as the old saying goes. Man plans, God laughs.

          • Well, boans, I appreciate your patience in following this subject down and trying to make sense of it. All the more I can say is that the idea that “personality” versus “opportunity” is the more important factor in the compulsive criminal (the person who just can’t seem to keep himself from messing up the lives of other people) comes from an effort to do something about (or for) that type of person. Just because psychiatry is totally hopeless about ever being able to treat such people (who are so common among their own membership!) does not mean that there have been no effective ways found. I don’t have intimate knowledge of the process, but I believe that it is workable. It is limited by the fact that it does require the cooperation of the person involved, which is often difficult to obtain. I am only confident in stating that this sort of personality does exist because I have seen a lot of evidence for it (such as Stanton Samenow’s work) and understand that a handling (or “treatment”) for it has been successfully developed.

          • I found myself thinking about these comments when flicking through the channels and coming across “The Wonderful World of Puppies”. A kids program where puppy ‘Honey’ was followed in her daytime activities of chewing, playing with other puppies etc.

            The narrator speaking about her ‘personality’ of being the outgoing one of the litter etc. But where is this ‘personality’? Surely its projected from the observer onto the behaviour of the observed? And once you start examining it, it vanishes into thin air.

            The puppy is being a puppy. What about lower down the food chain? Do insects have personalities? Or did they get missed when this whole plan was put into effect? Corona Virus? I heard it said the other day that this virus enemy was a schemer, plotting it’s time to do maximum harm to our vulnerable population? A personality trait?

            I’m not discounting the idea, just weary of what are projections from the observer onto the observed.

          • I would see your example as more of a divergence of observation. The video narrator saw one puppy as more “outgoing” than the others. And you just saw “a puppy being a puppy.” Well, we have to be willing to allow for divergent observations without needing other observations, even conflicting ones, to be incorrect. After all, this whole thing is a problem of interaction. There would be no concepts like “mental health” if people didn’t interact. How can you allow interaction without having people form opinions about each other? And a lot of these systems of opinion rely on consensus. “It’s bad to go around killing people” is basically just a consensus, something a lot of people agree to. To a certain extent, the concept of “personality” is like that. Most people think their dogs have “personalities” and that people have “personalities.” I am willing to support agreements that seem workable. And the concept of personality is one such agreement. I question other agreements because they don’t seem workable, not necessarily because they are “wrong.” A person can do this with any concept he might run into. He can ask, “what is this concept good for?” “Is it actually workable?” I’ve just found, following your example, that the concept that different puppies can have different personalities is more workable than the concept that all puppies are the same, and only react differently because of the situations they find themselves in.

      • Yes Boans.
        It took some convincing to point out to my friend who thought she acted like a jerk, that it was in response to the other being a jerk. To tell her that there simply was not some magically “appropriate” manner to “behave” in many circumstances and to “behave” often just means to rid oneself of arses.
        It has bothered me a lot that I often thought of myself as an arse, and it was convenient to those who genuinely thought of themselves as non arses.
        In hindsight, I consider many to be capable of arsiness, few willing to admit it.

  6. Yes, in our current context handling people based on personality distortions is almost out of the question. All we have now is the criminal justice system, which limps along. Along with the mental health system, which largely just impedes us.

    But I think the educative approach is worth pursuing, and even though the task seems Herculean, such training would take us the farthest in the long run.

    My current efforts are aimed mostly at pointing out to people involved in these issues that more is known about them than they may be aware of.

    • I tend to focus on a person by person effort to educate and empower, attempting to consolidate and group together with people of like mind. I think we’d both agree that people have a right to make their own decisions about things, as long as that right doesn’t run afoul of the rights of others. So trying to indoctrinate people into any “right way of thinking” is ultimately doomed. The only effective approach appears to be to help each person see things in a new light and to assert their own truth and follow the path that seems rationally and spiritually right for them to follow. But it’s a lot of work, and it takes time, and the opposition has no compunction about indoctrination and brainwashing! I suppose we have got to find each other and support each other in expanding people’s understanding of people and of sanity, and to build a stronger and stronger base of rational and respectful group ideals, but society is improved in a pretty gradual manner, while it can be wrecked quite precipitously. I get discouraged sometimes!

      • Well, indoctrination isn’t the same as education, is it? Unfortunately, it can look very similar. The way to tell is whether the message tells you how to think or invites you to look and decide. Sorry to hear you sometimes get discouraged. There are a lot of people working for a positive outcome, and seems to me you’re one of them.

        • True words. Unfortunately, we have mostly been exposed heavily to indoctrination most of our lives and are pretty used to it. Plus, stepping outside of the “normal” viewpoint can be dangerous, including being labeled “mentally ill” and being punished for diverging too far from “acceptable” emotions or behavior, even if nothing you say or do is really a danger to anyone else’s rights. The entire school system is pretty much all about indoctrination from start to finish. Why it is that I somehow escaped the worst of it remains a bit mysterious to me, but I now realize that the “problems” I had in school were mostly due to me maintaining my integrity and not going along with the crowd. It takes courage to educate and empower, because we have to have faith that the other person has the capacity to think and reason sufficiently to observe reality with reasonable acuity. Certainly, schools lack that courage in the overewhelming majority of cases.

          Glad to know there are some of us working for the same goals, though!

      • Now, in thinking about the intention of your post, can one also focus on posting to websites/ stories, to the exclusion or inclusion of the person? Just where is the mind resting, in this decision making process? And what is the the difference between better and new light? If one is trying to understand light’s structure?

  7. In today’s world “radical psychiatry” is a complete oxymoron.

    This author recounts some history of a more politically conscious caucus that formed in the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in the 1960’s. He seems to have a fantasy wish that something similar could happen in today’s world.

    This author TOTALLY FAILS to analyze what took place within psychiatry (and the broader society) over the past 5 decades. With the growing collusion between the leaders of psychiatry and Big Pharma, along with their several hundred BILLION dollar pseudo-scientific PR campaign (DSM. “chemical imbalance theory,” and dozens of new psych drugs), we ended up with the complete take over of all “mental health treatment” with the oppressive Medical Model.

    This takeover included all the schools training new psychiatrists, where psychopharmacology and brain “diseases” became the core curriculum, and therapy now became only an elective. Psychiatry has evolved into one of the most oppressive institutions in society. It has always had major examples of oppression with its snake pit hospitals, lobotomies, and shock therapy, but today it wields infinitely more power to dominate an oppress people.

    Psychiatry cannot be transformed or reformed into something that plays a positive role in helping people with extreme forms of psychological distress. Psychiatry’s fundamental theoretical and scientific basis is illegitimate, and it should be stripped of its ability to practice medicine in society.

    Radical and dissident psychiatrist do have a positive role to play in exposing the oppressive nature of their institution, disrupting their gatherings, and helping people harmed by psychiatric drugs with more research and development of safer withdrawal protocols.

    Richard

    • The answer to the question of “what happened to ‘radical psychiatry'” is contained in the question. It was, of course, rubbed out by “real psychiatry,” which could no more be “radical” than water can be dehydrated. Psychiatry is based on oppressive assumptions, and the only “radical psychiatry” possible would be to oppose psychiatry itself. Now that WOULD be pretty radical, but would it any longer be “psychiatry?” I would say not. Why not be a “radical empowerer of the downtrodden” instead of a “radical psychiatrist” and eliminate the inherent contradiction in the terms?

      • My problem, along with people like Niall McLaren, Kelly Brogan – John Mack? Ian Stevenson? – and others who were or are doing good work, is that the concept of “psychiatry” as “healer of the soul” seems to be a valid and helpful concept. If a “psychiatrist” can get past all his/her terrible training and deviant social patterns, he/she can do good in the world and provide honest help.

        I too am tempted to want to dump the term, the way psychiatry itself dumped its earlier moniker “alienism.” But that won’t change society’s need for healers. And that’s why some of us look to reform over the concept of total elimination. Total elimination at this point is tempting, it really is. But if that could be accomplished, we would need an “escape plan” for the good guys. After all, they are doctors, too, and a few actually act like that’s important to them. I think Robert has a similar attitude about this.

        You meet a few of the “good guys” and hear about their successes, and sure, you still want to stop all the psychiatric abuse, but you don’t want to stop those ones. On the other hand, if we came up with a plan to establish a new field that would achieve what psychiatry was supposed to achieve (but never could), then I think the “good guys” would be willing to switch over. They are less interested in labels and more interested in outcomes.

        • Well, certainly. It is not the individuals per se but the structure that is abusive. I have worked with these folks and know well that there are some sane or at least semi-sane individuals who do this work. And I’m not opposed to the concept of “healers.” I just don’t think that it has much if anything to do with medical “treatment” in most cases. But I think you’ll agree with me on that point.

          • I would have agreed with you until I heard something that Niall said one day: “My medical training is very important to me because so many people come to me who actually have medical problems, not mental problems” (not an exact quote). His point was that “therapists” wouldn’t have had the skills to realize that they had a medical problem on their hands. Kelly Brogan has similar stories; strikingly similar. Even though Kellys’ customers are high-power New York business people, and Niall’s customers are Bushmen!

            That just shows you how much caretaker sanity impacts outcomes. These “psychiatrists” cared enough to get it right. Intention trumps training, apparently. Too bad it doesn’t happen more often.

          • Well, of course, there are medical issues that affect someone’s mind/behavior/emotions. These ARE real medical problems that a physician should deal with. Equally obvious, the system of “disorders” prevents the differentiation between actual medical issues and mental/emotional/spiritual issues which have little to nothing to do with any kind of medical problem at all.

          • You know, I thought after I wrote my last reply that we could advocate to eliminate psychiatry as a medical specialty and if people want to be doctors, have them work as doctors.

            But I think the field would re-emerge in some other form if we failed to better understand the basic problem. Society would find some other way to punish or segregate people they didn’t like but were unable or unwilling to push into the criminal justice system.

            The society has the larger problem of criminals acting like legitimate professionals. We have been playing a game of whack-a-mole with these people. Ultimately we need to move beyond that.

            Psychology is prepared to provide therapists, I’m sure of that. If the DSM goes down – which it should – they’ll rig up some new system. But don’t we want a society that is actually more capable of respecting human rights than the one we have now? If so, more basic concerns will need to be addressed.

        • l_e_cox.

          Good luck then in reform. I’m not sure if you realize that it has been in reform since it’s conception.
          It seems you are making it about the individual needing help, which is exactly why we are in this mess.
          Sure, so you point me to the guy running down the street with a stick, naked, mumbling to himself, or the despondent woman or better, the neurotic one like Niall says.
          And your answer might be, that we cannot treat those not having symptoms, we have to deal in the here and now, the one exhibiting symptoms.
          THAT is in itself the problem. One might ask, why did open dialogue become a thing? Because it did not focus on an individual. In fact, when I go to a shrink or therapist, they become part of my “problem”. Because we are both focused on “healing” ME.
          It is not about the here and now.

          And also, I’m not under an illusion what Robert believes or stands for. As far as I’m concerned, it does not matter.

          • To me, one way of looking at life is as a continuous process of attempting to reform.
            I don’t understand your point about “the individual needing help.” Some individuals reach out asking for help. What do we do with them? Tell them, “Sorry, go read a book” or something?
            If it’s not about the “here and now” what is it about? I’m not advocating to treat or not treat anyone for any particular reason. But there exists in society a demand for treatment. What do we do about it? We can go around telling people “there’s nothing really wrong with you.” How will they respond to that? If they think something is wrong, they’ll shop around until they find someone who agrees with them. We don’t want them to find psychiatry. So, what will they find?

        • “Total elimination at this point is tempting, it really is. But if that could be accomplished, we would need an “escape plan” for the good guys. After all, they are doctors, too, and a few actually act like that’s important to them.”

          Escape plan, like the rocket scientists? Like ‘good’ Nazis? As opposed to the ‘bad’ ones who don’t build weapons to kill people? And can be of great use to us?

          I suppose with careful questioning and investigation there may be some doctors among them (I have even met a few) though those who have ‘butchered’ their way into the profession should get no escape and be held accountable for their deeds.

          Personally I see it as an area that is used by the medical profession for those who are driven insane by the rigors of studying medicine. Dr Dropkick has gone mad, let him study psychiatry and lets not waste all that good training. Someones got to do the dirty work and well, you can’t drive the mad into madness. Perhaps some of them even revert to sanity, hence the likes of those mentioned lol.

          Perhaps your right, we will always need ‘healers’, and maybe they will always have the need for the use of drugs in that healing. But the current crop seems to resemble the Spanish Inquisitors way too much for my liking, and their power within the ‘Church’ only seems to be growing.

          Time for some ‘exorcisms’ maybe? “The Power of Electricity compels you. [bzzzzt] The Power of Electricity compels you [bzzzzt]……”

          “and Niall’s customers are Bushmen!”

          What the?……..

          • Are you familiar with these people I have mentioned?

            Niall McLaren writes articles for Mad In America. In his article on ECT, he wrote, “I’ve always worked with the unemployed and pensioners, immigrants and refugees, Aboriginal people, and the military…” That’s where I got the idea his customers were “bushmen.” Ethnically it’s the wrong word. Sorry.

            Kelly Brogan works in New York. She’s a psychiatrist who refuses to use drugs. She usually starts out with nutrition.

            Ian Stevenson studied past life recall in children. He never used hypnosis in his work.

            John Mack studied ET contact experiences among many other things. He did use hypnotism in his work. But he was an academic psychiatrist like Ian as far as I know. He studied phenomena, he didn’t treat people.

            All these people have been marginalized by their own professional organizations. But I consider them good people. And they are/were either practicing or studying “healing the psyche.” So the original meaning of the term “psychiatrist” fits these people.

            Healing does not equal use of drugs. Never has and never will. There are many healing practices that don’t use drugs. “Medical Doctors” use drugs. Sometimes it helps, I guess.

          • It helps temporarily to drink a couple of beers after work, but I don’t think we can call it “healing” quite!

            You’re absolutely right – in the realm of the mind, there is no “healing” through drugs. The idea of using drugs rests on the hard materialist assumption that the only thing “wrong” with a person must be a physical thing, and the elitist assumption that anything that doesn’t indicate full agreement with the current status quo is de facto a ‘disease’ that needs “healing.” Both assumptions are extremely dangerous!

          • ““I’ve always worked with the unemployed and pensioners, immigrants and refugees, Aboriginal people, and the military…” That’s where I got the idea his customers were “bushmen.” Ethnically it’s the wrong word. Sorry.”

            Thanks for the apology l_e_cox.

            Many of our Aboriginal people are not still living ‘out in the bush’. Some, like Noel Pearson, Pat Dodson, Linda Birnie don’t really fit into the description of ‘bushmen’ lol. These are people of Aboriginal descent who I admire greatly and ….. i don’t know it just seemed a little ignorant. Anyway, I value your opinions on these issues we are discussing.

          • Well, yes, it was a little ignorant. I don’t know that much about the people of Australia, but I watched a documentary not long ago (mostly about crocodiles) that was narrated by an Australian of aboriginal descent, Balang T.E. Lewis, and he did an incredibly good, very professional job. So I know many have decided to move away from the outback and taken to living in the cities and towns.

          • Yes l_e_cox, they are ‘moving from the outback and into the towns’ lol

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsXmYHiuJ8s

            “Only those who have known discrimination, truly know it’s evil. Only those who have never experienced prejudice can discount the importance of the Racial Discrimination Act. This old man (Whitlam) was one of those rare people who never suffered discrimination but understood the importance of protection from it’s malice”.

            That’s what is needed in the arena of ‘mental health’ where no protection from malice has been enabled through law, not reduced or stopped by it.

      • In the spoken language and perhaps written as well, has the essence been sucked out of the simplicity of the term, water and also the nerves firing off a degree of awareness? The word water only has 5 nice letters that are wet and refreshing. On the other hand, to hydrate and dehydrated (de-hydrated), re-hydrate and hydrate conveys some effort to practice the power of presence and knowledge. The clarity of understanding seems to stand on the merits of an economy of words. LOL, a catalyst for change in mental health treatment can be lost.

    • Thanks Richard for an excellent comment.

      “Psychiatry’s fundamental theoretical and scientific basis is illegitimate, and it should be stripped of its ability to practice medicine in society.”

      Yes, and hopefully as each day passes more people begin to realize how fraudulent and dangerous psychiatry is.

      • Yes exactly Rosalee. I believe they diagnose more and more with “disorders”, because they know the “illness” model is becoming known as garbage. How do they differentiate one from the other? It must be the “tests”. Neither which is “medical”, and neither should even become known in “medical charts”. In fact, every discussioon with a shrink should be completely confidential. It should be against the law to ever be repeated, and they have no reason at all to label anyone.
        Why would baring ones soul or difficulties in a private room become known?

        The door should read. “If you tell me your problems, I will make sure to drag your name through the mud”
        After all, they are the crazy moral keepers. Obsessed and confused and they are the very last people that should ever speak of other people as “ill” or “disordered”.

        • “In fact, every discussion with a shrink should be completely confidential. It should be against the law to ever be repeated, and they have no reason at all to label anyone.
          Why would baring ones soul or difficulties in a private room become known?

          The door should read. “If you tell me your problems, I will make sure to drag your name through the mud””

          I believe in most cases it IS against the law Sam. If only people knew the mechanism that is being used to get around that protection. I know there would be some ‘clients’ of the private clinic I attended (and which released court sealed information to a public sector hospital after I was incapacitated by ‘spiking’) would be more than concerned. Politicians tend to not like their ‘dirty laundry’ spread all over town by ‘leaks’. (She should have stuck to ‘hijacking’ the young women from the clinic for her husband and the get rich quick scheme would have worked out fine for them) Best they don’t know about the ‘leaks’ seems to be the general rule. And I find myself wondering if the owner of that clinic really is responsible for the misconduct of one of his psychologists in releasing information from the clinic to the public (and in particular her psychiatrist husband). Anyone have a detailed knowledge of the law in this regard? I’d like to speak with you if you do.

          “Pillow talk” used to be a legal defense, though I did meet one ‘prisoner’ whose tax dept wife had provided him with client information from Tax Dept files who did some ‘time’. The High Court decision removing this defence, I believe, renders the practice criminal, and coercive measures during interrogation lawful. Though I’d check before ‘coercing’. Or at least find a doctor prepared to sign off on the ‘coercive measures’ taken to ensure no accountability. The benefits of lawlessness huh?

          Would you spy on your brother? Would you eat your dead brothers flesh? Nay, ye would abhor it. (Surah Al Hujurat Ayat 12)

          Eavesdropping on the ‘confessional’ is an old ‘trick’, what is new is the environment in which it is being done. All those suckers walking in the door which reads “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate”. If only I had understood Italian before I was ‘coerced’ to go through to the waiting room lol

          I stand by my statement to our Minister that the State needs to be careful when they torture, because there are times when you get information which, like the Senior Constable said, “might be best I don’t know about that” (in regards to the ‘unintended negative outcomes’ being enabled by the negligence of those with a duty to protect the public). Too late once you’ve heard it.

          And the Police Sgt who wouldn’t even touch the documents lest he leave his fingerprints on them (a Mickelberg Stitch), thus proving he had sighted them, and creating a problem when I turned up dead and he had seen the reason for me being dead. It was bizarre, and I’m glad I had a witness to his “we don’t have a copy of the Criminal Code here” statement. The organised criminals must love him, doing what he is told when someone comes into the station with proof of criminal conduct. I’d have questioned my own insanity otherwise. lol

          • They are imposters, but they also know it. I watched a few in the ring and I can diagnose anyone as well as they can. Wow did these guys have the sheister disease.

        • Excellent point Sam!!
          As you know I am in going back in the ring for Round 20 or so and I am going to make that point.
          A psychologist cannot divulge anything to anyone a client discussed with them without the client’s written permission or a court order – so why would a psychiatrist be able to publish confidential information a person shared with them during a confidential ‘doctor’/patient appointment. That is a violation of doctor/patient trust and I believe should be illegal. Further when many finally get ahold of their records they realize the psychiatrists have twisted their words, blatantly lied and put words in their mouth they never said. Then you find out psychiatrists are allowed to lie and defame people with impunity and there’s no way to get their lies removed from your records. It’s totally obscene.

          Interesting that today some psychiatrists are labelling our provincial Health Minister by stating on social media that they think “he is nuts” because he is trying to reign in doctors high rates of billing. If psychiatrists are so unprofessional and brazen to do that to a Health Minister who disagrees with them it shows what they easily do to ‘patients’ who disagree with them or don’t want treatments forced on them.

          • “so why would a psychiatrist be able to publish confidential information a person shared with them during a confidential ‘doctor’/patient appointment. That is a violation of doctor/patient trust and I believe should be illegal. Further when many finally get ahold of their records they realize the psychiatrists have twisted their words, blatantly lied and put words in their mouth they never said.”

            Well Rosalee, IF they were sharing something factual, even then, it should not be their “right” to do so. However, all of their information on their charts is highly suspect. I don’t give a rats ass if you saw napoleon. It is not their right to pretend to know why you saw napoleon.

          • “A psychologist cannot divulge anything to anyone a client discussed with them without the client’s written permission or a court order – so why would a psychiatrist be able to publish confidential information a person shared with them during a confidential ‘doctor’/patient appointment. That is a violation of doctor/patient trust and I believe should be illegal.”

            Unless of course they arrange to have their “patient” incapacitated first, for example by having them ‘spiked’ with date rape drugs? Then the ‘exceptional circumstances’ situation can be exploited? I’m not quite sure how this works exactly because well, part of the threat by my State to ‘fuking destroy’ me has involved the distribution of a set of fraudulent and slanderous documents. And they really have had to stretch their ‘investigation’ to ensure a particular outcome, overlooking relevant facts and ignoring the truth where possible.

            I did look at the exceptional circumstances clause of the Privacy Act, and I do not believe that in my situation that I met the standard required to release confidential information about me from the private clinic which was sealed by court order. But who cares when your husband is a psychiatrist and can kill anyone who complains about you, bill Medicare for the ‘treatment’ and use police resources to do that.

            I know that my wife on returning from her meeting where they planned to have me stupefied and kidnapped said that she had been met with a lot of “i’m not at liberty to say”, but if the hospital were to call her, instead of the other way around, she could then release my information given I would be unconcious by that time (by design), and thus not capable of giving consent. Hey presto, all that hard work and money paid to lawyers to ensure my ability to return to work etc, destroyed with a few benzos and a phone call. Best $200 of my money my wife ever spent.

            I have seen this method exploited in other situations where the ‘direction’ of the telephone calls needs to be reversed to ensure the law can not be applied. Not that anyone round here gives a damn, people are being snatched form their homes for no reason, and force drugged and incarcerated because someone wants it done. And the legal protections are ignored by those with a duty to enforce them.

          • I’ve thought a little more about this disclosure of information by a psychologist from the private clinic which does legal-medico reports for our courts. (and thus one would expect a level of confidentiality of a high standard, not someone wants to know the dirt on someone else, here have it)

            Now I can’t say for certain but ….. I suspect on reasonable grounds because on the 29th Sept at 7 30pm my wife attends the private clinic and has a meeting (without my consent, and also known to the psychologist that they were not to speak to one another as a result of my direct instructions) with a psychologist I HAD been seeing at this clinic. Now my wife returns home and ‘spikes’ me with benzos, and then in the morning calls the Public Sector Emergency Line and provides them with medical information about me that even I didn’t know. Where did that information come from?

            Problem being that the idea of asking any questions when the preferred truth is achieved through acts of criminal fraud is basically pointless. The authorities don’t want it to be that I was subjected to torture and kidnapped (via the procurement of police referral to conceal the lack of a ‘mental illness’ by definition of the MH Act, and the slandering of me as ‘wife beater’ to conceal the lack of a credible risk required to meet the “reasonable grounds” standard to not constitute an arbitrary detention. (ie meet the requirements of the law under s. 26 Criteria of the MHA. Not that they needed to bother, the Chief Psychiatrist does not recognise ANY protection for the community anyway. All that trouble to avoid being seen as breaking the law, and the person responsible for the enforcement of the law doesn’t even know what that law is.)

            Basically my government is saying to public officers, yes there are protections for the public, but go right ahead and abuse their human rights and fuk them over with set ups and we will cover for you.

            Set Up = A tricksters plan of action [The Australian Language , Sydney Baker 1966 p.158]

            Privacy of your medical records? It’s a myth if what was done to me can be done to anyone and police and the state apparatus will conceal those crimes by fuking destroying the complainant. And not only are you slandered by the medical records, they have the power to commit acts of fraud to make you look even worse than you are. And not a lawyer in the State who would provide you with an ounce of assistance.

            What State would openly abuse human rights if there were some mechanism for remedy? Like a lawer who would stand up and say, “No I don’t agree with citizens being ‘spiked’ with intoxicating/stupefying drugs before being subjected to interrogations by police and other public officers, that meets the standard of torture defined in the Convention article 1.1. In fact, if it isn’t good enough for the inmates of Guantanamo Bay, it shouldn’t be good enough for the citizens of my State”. But I guess these human rights advocates missed the bus and think that maybe sometimes a bit of torture isn’t really going to hurt anyone, and all the problems when the State starts creating problems with fraud and slandering people, making unnecessary work unraveling the tangled web they weave…… Best they just kill the complainants and be done with it. These advocates can look the other way while they do it as an “assisted dying” in the ED under the new laws that have been passed because the public wanted them. Did they? Well, if we never show the data then they might believe that they wanted them, and with all those “added protections” ……. [that can be overcome in a moment with fraud that is being enabled by the State for hospital Clinical Directors to do ‘cover ups’ and conceal public sector misconduct. Ask me to show you how.]

          • And then following from this;

            once the Community Nurse had procured the services of police to torture and kidnap, and I had been delivered to the locked ward, the ‘doctor’ (pretending to me that he was a psychiatrist to obtain my consent to ‘examination’) could then make a call to the clinic psychologist and make the release of my personal and confidential information, held at the clinic under court order, loose. (ie we have him in custody now and you can tell us everything you know because he HAS NO RIGHTS as a result of the set up. Not entirely true, I was legally “referred person” and being deprived of my liberty [and as such had the right to make a decision about the release of my medical records, but that didn’t suit so ignore his rights because we have him lined up for a needle and some dribble therapy, anyway], and NOT ‘mental patient’ with zero rights, though you would find it difficult to recognise the difference with these abusers at work.)

            Tortured, kidnapped, and then lets tidy up and create the appearance that it was all lawful. No wonder the State is authorising fraud and the slaughter of citizens who complain in the ED if they are enabling this type of conduct. How else would you conceal the truth? You couldn’t exactly allow anyone their right to legal representation, I know first year law students clever enough to figure this out.

          • Excellent article, thanks Rosalee. And Paul says what it actually is. Monastic.
            Nothing more than a religion. It caught on because people were amazed at phenomena and highly prejudiced. People always want an explanation, so psychiatry who is not cut out for other jobs, takes on the jobs of old, but with a new label.

          • “For as another great scholar, Sir Francis Bacon, once observed: truth is the daughter of time, not authority.”

            Doesn’t that bring me to tears. While I know at present the ‘authorities’ are ensuring the obstruction of justice, at some point the truth will be known as to what has been done to me (and many many others). And with that truth will come a stripping of authority, and their good reputations will crumble much quicker than that old Church. Not that a disbeliever would care. It’s the ends that justify the means which was said by a man who some considered to be the Devil himself (Machiavelli)

  8. There is of course no such thing as radical psychiatry, it is an oxymoron. Psychiatry operates to support and reinforce capitalism, and as such is reactionary and racist by definition, as it has been since before the days of Benjamin Rush, who in the current age would be considered a “liberal” since he “only” had one slave. Today he would probably be tearing down statues and claiming to be “woke.”

  9. Interesting article. I just want to comment on the author saying there’s too much emphasis on new therapies such as psychedelics. Though I partially agree, it should be noted that psychedelics are not new and go back decades in a medical context. They’ve had a resurgence especially over the last couple decades, and especially the last few years. They tend to be publicly seen as either sexy or a scourge. The sexiness is partly why they are getting attention, and their compensating conventional treatments is another. I personally have had revelatory benefit from generic classic ketamine for ‘treatment resistant’ depression and brutal chronic suicidal considerations. Not the fancy and expensive nasal spray that’s being marketed and been trialed I might add. Its use for depression, with psychotherapy, is nothing particularly new either, research dating back to the 90’s and really before. It’s a very old drug being cast in a new light, and I recommend it in some cases. Having said that, there’s a lowlier set of substances that often don’t get a new hearing of an old approach, by mainstream or ‘cutting edge’ and well-funded universities or non-profits, such as more diverse psychedelic therapy. And these lowly substances are micro and macro nutrients: diet & supplements. They don’t seem to be sexy enough or a scourge, although there’s plenty of dismissal and certainty of irrelevance to go around. Now I speak more for supplements than a ‘balanced diet’, but complex, specialized diets are hardly prescribed by psychiatrists, although they can be a pain in the ass to maintain, I must admit. Psychedelics and nutrients are not ‘new’ treatments. Their reappraisal and deepening research are emerging from past pioneers, coming ‘back to the future’, this time hopefully with a more durable, more aware, and broader appeal.
    Sorry I’ve not mentioned race. The topic of racial equality and justice is also revitalizing from past pioneers and is as necessary as it is complex. The author makes a good case for this.

    • In the authors concluding paragraph he makes the following statement:

      “…If the APA and the radicals are intending on paying more than lip service to the current crises, demonstrable action might take several forms. BESIDES FOCUSING ON INDIVIDUALIZED TREATMENTS AND PLACING TOO MUCH STOCK IN DRUG THERAPIES SUCH AS POSYCHEDELICS {my emphasis}, mental medicine should fully recognize racism’s impact on mental health as it did for the first time in 1969.

      This is such a WOEFULLY INADEQUATE summation of the problems with psychiatry over the past 5 decades! This is the equivalent of saying that THE problem with the fascist Trump regime is that they have put a little too much emphasis on the benefits of Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Covid 19.

      Where is the condemnation of the harm done by decades of DSM diagnoses, the hundreds of millions of prescriptions for toxic psychiatric drugs, the forced hospitalizations and drugging, the millions of shock treatments etc. ???

      It is hard to get into the question of racism in psychiatry when the author is so out of touch with the overall oppressive nature of psychiatry.

      Richard

      • I agree Richard. Psychiatry has backed every major form of oppression you can name. Psychiatry started the holocaust. They helped slavery along with the use of the diagnosis of “drapetomania”. There was an indigenous genocide in the thirties in the US they are responsible for. They were one of the top institutions responsible for persecuting gay people. They have killed so many people and otherwise ruined many who somehow managed to survive. The negative effects they have had on the world cannot be minimized!

  10. I agree with oldhead. Radical psychiatry is an oxymoron. This piece honestly seems terribly convenient too. Suddenly psychiatry has gone from mainstream to being radical at a time it seems pretty expedient…

    Is this in the same vein as “we’re all in this together”? As in “don’t march on OUR houses, we’re one with YOU, we were radical the whole time we just had our fingers crossed when we said we were mainstream ” lol

    I am totally failing to see how a group aligned with pharma could ever be construed as radical. You really cannot get any less radical than aligning with corporations. In fact many doctors work for pharma which means essentially there is no meaningful differentiation between psychiatry and pharma. If they are on their payroll they ARE pharma.

    The word radical comes from the latin word radix meaning root. I am not sure how exactly psychiatry proposes it’s going to get at the root causes of society’s issues when psychiatry itself IS one of the root causes. And when they seem grossly incapable of even noticing the problems people really are suffering from…So if they were to address root causes they’d have to take a long hard look in the mirror and then actually change at which point they wouldn’t be practicing psychiatry anymore so…seems to me that there never will be radical psychiatry.

    Well unless we go back to the origin of the word radical..There is a radix which seems relevant to psychiatry….

    Radix pedis diaboli.

    The Devil’s Foot root.

    A botanical invention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featured in the story “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot”.

    A highly toxic substance known to drive the people who partake of it “mad”, leading to some of them being detained against their will.

    Much like psychiatric drugs…perhaps the story inspired their creation?

  11. “Psychiatrists and others might embrace social psychiatry, which was a major movement in mental medicine after WWII and showed how poverty, inequality and social isolation impaired mental health.”

    And in that time period no one was discussing how the effects of war caused mental distress nor how psychiatry participated in starting the holocaust? It’s just some poverty here a little inequality there that causes distress? While the long shadow of the genocide and war lies over everyone?

    Where pray tell was accountability for psychiatry’s role in starting the holocaust????

    • During the Nuremburg trials there were people who were so convinced that what they were doing was ‘helping’ (when they were for example holding babies they had ‘medicated’) that they could not, by law, be convicted of any crime. We see the same type of conduct today, with people so convinced that what they are doing is ‘medicine’ that they simply don’t even recognise who or what they really are.

      There are of course others that KNOW what they are doing is wrong, but it is up to US to prove that they know. And when we do, Mr Pierrepoint will be waiting with his ‘treatment’, which is a ‘safe and effective’ means of ensuring that they “first, do no harm”.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelmsford_Royal_Commission

      • As far as I have learned with regards the law today, believing that you are helping someone isn’t seen as a way to excuse criminal activity. Now in practice I would think it’s a case by case basis situation, just a guess but…I’m told it’s supposed to be the case that criminals can’t actually use “but I meant well” as a defense.

        With regards psychiatry particularly, the fact is in my country at least most of the harm they do is listed in their medical books. This is partly why when I was first injured by pills way back when and got online I got so fed up with the propsychiatry people who would try to gas light survivors and insist psychiatry never did anything wrong to anyone. As I’d bothered to reference the actual books the professionals use and in doing that figured out that most of the harm from pills IS documented. At the time the only harm I couldn’t find was protracted withdrawal syndromes (though Dr. Ashton detailed benzo withdrawal fairly well, however I didn’t find her work in these books.) Yet the vast majority of propsychiatry people basically evidenced they couldn’t even so much as google “side” effects of pills, or even figure out basic stuff like, if the drugs are so safe, exactly why would you need a prescription to get them?

        With forced treatment too, it looks violent so it’s very hard to say that no one realized how awful it was. When you have to get the cops involved that really stops looking like health care!

        And ECT they’ve known for a long time causes brain damage even if people are playing that they don’t know that. It should be obvious anyway–seizures are normally a medical emergency, not a positive medical treatment.

        But the most basic problem here is that the doctors particularly can’t not know that the diagnoses don’t correlate to actual diseases. This is one of the most basic points about psychiatry–they all know how those “mental illness” diagnoses get made up they all would know about the voting process done to coin them. So how can they act like they don’t know they are committing fraud? It’s not like they say to people look we are not sure these are diseases–it would be one thing if they did that, at least that is arguably the truth.

        But to pretend like they are when they’ve had decades to ascertain this “fact” and can’t substantiate it with evidence? And then to chase after a percentage of the population using the labels as scarlet letters in some kind of modern day witch hunt? Then too they outright admit there’s “stigma” attached to having the labels so there again is an open admission of the harm they do. They even have the research suggesting that if people believe “mental illness” really is an incurable brain disease issue they are LESS likely to have sympathy for the sufferer.

        • Repeated failed attempts to prove something scientifically is the definition of DISPROVING that very thing. If these psychaitric “professionals” were truly scientific, they’d realize their experiment was successful – they have successfully proven that none of these “diagnoses” have a physiological cause or even correlation. Convincingly proven.

          Which leaves us with the sad conclusion that they are not scientists at all. I think they are mostly either dupes or marekting agents.

          • “Repeated failed attempts to prove something scientifically is the definition of DISPROVING that very thing. If these psychaitric “professionals” were truly scientific, they’d realize their experiment was successful – they have successfully proven that none of these “diagnoses” have a physiological cause or even correlation. Convincingly proven. ”

            Great point Steve!

          • They’ve proven that they continue to exist due to their own bias and prejudice and that is a very unsatisfactory occupation, to simply exist because of power. So the “science” part is a smoke screen and yet they are only “looking” for that elusive “evidence” in SOMEONE ELSE, when the wrongful perceptions and interpretations actually reside in them.

        • “if the drugs are so safe, exactly why would you need a prescription to get them?”

          lol

          Classic example of making crimes medicine is this prescription I have here. Consider, I was ‘spiked’ with a date rape drug to ‘assist’ in having me talk to a mental health professional (something I did not wish to do but …) It’s a criminal offence. However, if you can get a doctor to sign a prescription for drugs administered without someones knowledge (post hoc I might add, for someone they don’t even know) because “they meant well”, then police will look the other way and not be able to find their copy of the Criminal Code. Of course if they could then they would understand how serious these further offences to conceal the original offence are. But when police are authorising such serious criminal conduct that is enabling the use of known torture methods, what ya gunna do huh? (Community Nurse to Senior Constable. We have a doc at the hospital who will sign off on the torture, we just need to kidnap him first with a ‘verbal’ to get him there. You up to utter with a fraudulent Form 3 and a kidnapping? Might be some further business in it for you. Senior Constable to Community Nurse. Make sure you keep us out of this. Conceal the referral (s. 195 of MHA) for “man asleep”, too much like an arbitrary detention)

          Police in my State are using the ‘medical’ system as a means to an end. They are fully aware that by neglecting their duty with regards doctors they can cultivate criminal and corrupt symbiotic relationships, beneficial to both parties.

          Should someone turn up in a police station (or confess to something during a torture session) they can then be ‘treated’ for their ‘illness’ of not agreeing with the State. Consider my “referral” for turning up in a police station with “proof” (a lawyers words) that I had been subjected to 7 hours of torture and kidnapped by public officers. It’s amazing when you consider that the Jamal Kashoggi story ever made the news really, because it’s a self correcting system of corruption when you can murder citizens for trying to access the laws of the land, and use police to assist in that process.

          I fully understand WHY the hospital FOI officer couldn’t release the documents showing the police involvement in my torture and kidnapping now. They basically left me for dead, depsite being witnesses to my torture and kidnapping. And when I survived that first attempt to harm, they then refused to take the proof and another attempt was made. And then 2 years later there was another attempt when they tried to refer me back to people they knew had already tried to kill me. How embarrassing for them. Even the ‘donut muncher’ who handed back a victim to Jeffrey Dahmer didn’t do it twice lol.

          I guess the assumption is that the people who tortured and kidnapped me are responsible for the damage and should ‘sort their mess out’. Problem being that they sort their messes out with convenience killings and to be honest, I consider that to be criminal, not medicinal.

          So we see the Attorney General now referring complaints regarding acts of torture back to the ministry doing the torturing. No longer does he like the rule of law, and denies the protection of citizens by it, in favor of a system of lawlessness. Which is effectively what medicine is when there is no right to informed consent. People are being ‘set up’ to fall outside the law, made into patients to have their human and civil rights removed, and then dealt with for speaking the truth.

          And they think it is all going unnoticed 🙂 I like these euphemisms these people speak in at times, police officers being “restructured” and “relocated” lol

          I appreciate the hospital FOI officers attempt to conceal the police involvement in this kidnapping and torture session arranged by the Community Nurse. They released the documents showing the ‘spiking’ by my wife to direct my anger towards her. But the agreement reached between police and the Community Nurse to conceal their criminal conduct? No, not letting that loose. Police wanted to be able to have their involvement concealed, and well, these good medical people have a way of ensuring that occurs when they know police will not touch any proof/evidence, they simply kill anyone they like and call it an unintended negative outcome. And why would police look, when it is in their interests not to look. I mean really, aiding in the torture and kidnapping f citizens? And not making them into a “patient” after it? Big mistake, at least remove their human rights and double down on the torture. They all give in eventually, as anyone who has been in one of these torture centres will testify.

          Hence the reason they tried to retrieve the documents I had. It was a reason to look (what happened about the ‘spiking’ because that’s a crime?), and when you look, you see (oh Dear, Dr D is signing off on torture for police). And they don’t want anyone to see. Bad enough that some people looked, and had to unlook (Council of Official Visitors, Mental Health Law Centre. Advocates? I think not.)

          • Can I say that this really brings to the fore why the psychiatrist who did the ‘assessment’ (the assessment consisted of talking about the family conflict) that day wrote down what he did.

            I have no doubt that he was made aware of what had been done to get me to where I was, and he needed to ensure that all he was involved in was doing his duty of assessing me according to the Act. If the Community Nurse felt the need to torture and kidnap then that is his concern.

            So the comments regarding the private clinic psychiatrist and his report? Done to ‘cover his ass’ and make it appear that he was not informed of how I got to where I was (traumatised as a result of being tortured and kidnapped, and being subjected to interrogation whilst stupefied without knowledge).

            All makes perfect sense, and why should the psychiatrist be held responsible for the ‘witch hunters’ snatching people out of their beds and having warts attached to their noses as proof they are a witch? The psychiatrist did his job and found no evidence of a mental illness, and that the fact I was being locked up against my will in this place would likely do MORE harm. How right he was. But what do you do if someone on the ‘team’ does a bit a nasty and ‘spikes’ someone to obtain their consent? They are after all a team mate, and the victims will get over it with drugs and time. They should consider themselves lucky really, I mean all that ‘service’ for free. There are some people begging for it. And obviously this Community Nurse serves a purpose for families dealing with loved ones who require ‘treatment’ from time to time. And if he feels the need to use a little force well……

            I do not even question why so many people commit suicide after coming into contact with these people. The claim that they “mean well” is not supported by their actions. Vicious predators looking to advance themselves with corruption and criminal conduct, and receiving the full support of authorities.

            Authorities who I might add have turned their backs on many victims in the past (see for example the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse). Vulpes pilum mutat non mores

            Not my job, i’ll hand it on to soemone else in case anything comes of it, and plead ignorance should it rear it’s ugly head in the future.

          • ““if the drugs are so safe, exactly why would you need a prescription to get them?”

            lol

            Classic example of making crimes medicine is this prescription I have here.”

            Yes well there definitely are more than one reason for those scripts…

            When I was first hurt by SSRIs I wondered if perhaps they were invented for some other reason, perhaps by the military to create” the perfect soldier” thinking that the drugs cause people to not feel anything (well unless you have a severe reaction like I did then you will feel overwhelmingly negative emotions like unadulterated terror.)

            I was pretty surprised when I failed to find any evidence to back up my idea. But of course..that’s classified info.

            “And then 2 years later there was another attempt when they tried to refer me back to people they knew had already tried to kill me. ”

            I’m sorry they have terrorized you like this boans. That has to be one of the worst aspects of the system the ability to continue to persecute people.

          • “I’m sorry they have terrorized you like this boans. That has to be one of the worst aspects of the system the ability to continue to persecute people.”

            Yes, funny that I end up in a mosque talking about everything that was done, and police and the State thinking they had retrieved the documents so they didn’t need to worry about me being able to prove any of what I was saying. The people they slander as ‘terrorists’ seeing first hand the State sanctioned terrorism as a result of complaining about being tortured and kidnapped in an Islamic State style kidnapping operation. (we can’t have kuffar not attending Friday prayers [we can’t have “patients” not taking their pills]) The similarity striking for anyone who has a basic understanding of both systems.

            No wonder they were worried about who else had the documents, because it is fairly easy to see what was done with them. And of course should anyone notice the set provided to lawyers and put the two together?

            Still, with doctors having the ability to ‘assist’ people with dying, and the ability to distribute fraudulent documents to lawyers should any questions be asked, who would worry? What, your going to go to the police who have you flagged to be dropped off at an Emergency Dept so they can ‘assist’ you with your question of law?

            I mean I get it, and in many ways if it weren’t me, I’m sure I would react in much the same way as my community has. The State doesn’t just kill people for nothing right? Well, in this instance they were trying to do it to conceal their vile conduct, brought about by people who have a knowledge of the system and how to corrupt it. Not a nice place to be a healthy cell surrounded by cancerous ones. And the body in complete denial about the cancerous growth, despite all the warning signs. I guess the point we are at now is that the body has recognised the growth, but is concealing it from others whilst they take out huge insurance policies for the required ‘treatment’ lol

  12. Richard and Oldhead – It pains me to say that your responses to my comments display the kind of negative tone that turns people off to discussions about socialism.

    I was asked what I thought, I answered and was resoundingly criticized. I’m no shrinking violet, by any stretch of the imagination, however, I recognize bullying when I encounter it.

    I was hounded to elaborate my views, which I am under no obligation to do. Negative assumptions were made about what I believe, which I am not obligated to correct. Nor am I under any obligation to save someone the cost and effort of reading a book.

    While political clarity is critical, pissing contests over who is right do not clarify; they alienate. This is a key difference between top-down socialists, who claim a monopoly on what is right, and bottom-up socialists who prioritize building the confidence of ordinary people to act upon the world.

    Effective socialists value people’s contributions, emphasize common interests, and are generous in our interpretations. We aim to build collaborative organizations that can support activists to learn together and resolve tactical differences in practice.

    In my experience, political disagreements cannot be resolved in writing, in a public venue, among people who don’t know each other and have no commitment to work together.

    I will say that the only people who have found me or my work “troublesome” have not been on my side.

    • “In my experience, political disagreements cannot be resolved in writing, in a public venue, among people who don’t know each other and have no commitment to work together.”

      That’s why in my State they are resolved in a ‘private venue’ with slander, drugs and electricity, by people who don’t know you, and with no other motivation than to extract as much money for the drugs they force you to take, for the illness of your failure to accept their opinions and beliefs.

      But the weather sure is nice.

    • SR: First you say we need to read your book before we can possibly understand. Then you say nothing can be really be communicated by writing.

      I am open to correction on any of this and will apologize if I am misquoting you. But in my recent experience you have published some highly provocative articles appropriating terms like “socialism,” which you basically portray as being in opposition to communism, when in fact socialism is a transitional phase to communism. I never questioned you when you portrayed yourself as a socialist; until I read your previous MIA article, I figured you were a member of one of the multitude of leftist parties out there. Nor did you ever qualify yourself as being a “democratic socialist.”

      Then suddenly people challenge you on some of this (on a purely intellectual level) and you charge them with “bullying.” So that’s when It stops being a conversation for me.

      P.S. You might just choose another word than “socialism” to describe your vision, it would be less provocative for sure, and might be received better.

    • Susan

      Rather than continue what could have been a very necessary and fruitful discussion about the way forward for humanity, YOU have now become the person who has chosen to throw around very highly charged language and labels to disparage our attempts to seek out a deeper understanding of the historical and political essence of your outlook on socialist revolution.

      You have just labeled our attempts at discussion as follows:

      “…your responses to my comments display the kind of negative tone that turns people off to discussions about socialism.”

      “… I answered and was resoundingly criticized… I recognize bullying when I encounter it.”

      “I was hounded to elaborate my views…”

      “…pissing contests over who is right do not clarify; they alienate. This is a key difference between top-down socialists, who claim a monopoly on what is right…”

      If you remember, I FIRST asked you a simple question about what socialist trend you aligned yourself with, and if you were aware of the contributions of Bob Avakian towards advancing socialist/communist theory. It was then YOUR four sentence response to this question that contained the essence of what could be described as a highly “negative tone.” or perhaps more accurately, a highly “negative dismissal.”

      Susan, in just those four sentences you totally dismissed the five and a half decades of Bob Avakian’s contributions to socialist/communist theory and practice, AND you NEGATIVELY dismissed the historical accomplishments and sacrifices of hundreds of millions of people (in Russia and China) engaged in this planet’s FIRST attempts (warts and all) at socialist revolution.

      Why is it so surprising that we might choose to CHALLENGE some of these highly negative dismissals of very important people and historical events. And when we questioned (and asked for clarification) of some of your terminology such “top down leadership” and “managerial class.” and your avoidance of the word “communism,” you are now accusing us of engaging in “pissing contests” and “bullying.”

      Given the extremely high stakes in a very volatile world where there is such extreme poverty, threats of world war, climate destruction, racial upheaval. and a worldwide health crisis (all things, Susan, that you have highlighted in your own writings). the issue of political strategies for a massive systemic change (socialist revolution) is a LIFE AND DEATH type discussion. It is a “life and death” type discussion affecting the future for several billion people on this planet.

      Anyone truly serious about fighting to transform an oppressive capitalist/imperialist world to a socialist one, would be MORE than happy AND WILLING to engage in answering and discussing a few pointed questions about political strategy and how best to sum up previous historical attempts at revolution.

      Richard

      • And I will add the following point.

        Mad in America (MIA) has a pretty strict policy on maintaining “civil discourse” within its comment section of each and every blog. This is a policy I support and make every attempt to follow.

        Susan, for you to accuse myself and Oldhead of “bullying” (which I do not believe can be proven or defended) is to be implicitly criticizing the MIA moderators of tolerating “bullying” in the MIA comment section.

        We live in a world today where a fascist type president (Trump) is often (rightly) accused of “bullying” to promote a vicious Right Wing agenda. Susan, you must know the true power of the words you have chosen to use in labeling our legitimate questioning as a form of “bullying.”

        I believe the MIA moderators saw our comments and questions, rightfully, as a legitimate part of the political discourse on such hugely prescient issues of major “system change” in the world.

        Susan, a major component of being a true socialist/communist revolutionary leader in the world, is to engage in the process of criticism/self-criticism. Are you prepared to accept the “self-criticism” in this particular discussion?

        Richard

        • Commenting as moderator:

          I do see some importance in this line of discussion, but I also do see things getting a little personal on both sides, to the point that I was considering how best to intervene. I think we need to stick to the concepts and move away from more personalized comments that seem to accuse the other commenters of insincerity or mean-spiritedness. There is plenty of room in the general concept of “socialism” in our society for lots of confusion and different viewpoints. Perhaps if each person can simply discuss what definition they are operating from, it would be more productive than trying to state or imply that the other person’s definition is “wrong?”

          • There is Marx-based socialism, which advocates people seizing the means of production and natural resources and using them equitably and democratically, and there is “democratic socialism” (always 2 words, often in quotes) which is based on a strategy of “working within” the framework of capitalism. Anything beyond these using “socialism” to describe itself should be given a new label, or at least be made part of a hyphenated term, or given an asterisk. And “socialism” should not be applied to anything taking place politically in Europe.

            Many of Susan’s statements about capitalism and people’s quality of life are legitimate, if not revelatory at this point in history. It’s where she goes with this (or doesn’t go) in terms of goals and (particularly) strategy that is most vulnerable to criticism.

            Suppose we each had our own definitions of psychiatry? Or science? Or based the correctness of mathematical theories on their public image? (Wait, you say we do?)

          • Oldhead is absolutely correct here.

            Socialism is a transitory stage between capitalism and communism. Communism is, by definition, a classless society which would require many generations of struggle and education advancing to full equality between all segments within society.

            By definition “socialism” still contains many of the “birthmarks” of the old order of things, including all the remnants of a class based system. You CANNOT immediately create a true classless society overnight.

            To make a principle of avoiding the term “communism” and thus remaining in the transitory stage of socialism, is a recipe for defeat, and this is exactly one of the reasons that prior attempts at socialist revolutions actually failed.

            Susan makes the following statement in her last comment:

            “One reason why the American left is so weak is because of internecine fighting that builds nothing.”

            This statement is not true and avoids the reality that almost the entire Left made fatal political line errors in summing up the positive and negative aspects of the previous attempts at socialist revolution in Russia and China.These are exactly the important questions Susan has avoided in these discussions at MIA.

            These revolutions failed due to external pressures from capitalist countries AND internal errors of aborting the on-going progress towards slowly eliminating the class based “birthmarks” from the old order. That is, there were so-called leaders WITHIN the communist parties who wanted to retain the old class based privileges and short circuit the progress towards a truly classless society.

            These so-called communist leaders ended up engineering Right Wing coups within these genuine socialist countries, REVERSING the progress towards a classless society.

            This is something that MAO wrote extensively about in his latter years before his death in 1977. He launched the Cultural Revolution, because he knew that Right Wing elements within communist party had gained in strength. And sure enough, upon his death in 1977 a Right Wing coup occurred, and the genuine Left within the Party, including Mao’s wife, were arrested.

            Very quickly following this Right Wing coup, socialist institutions within the Chinese society were dismantled and China was turned into a raging capitalist country seeking to compete with all the Western powers.

            Failure to correctly understand the lessons of the past dooms us to repeat them in the future. Interestingly enough, the American communist, Bob Avakian, who Susan totally dismissed as a “top down leader,” was one of the very first communist leaders on the planet, who CORRECTLY summed up that the Chinese revolution had been reversed.

            I*ve have not seen any attempt at someone being self-critical about using the term ”bullying” to describe myself and Oldhead. Now I am reading a comment that suggests we are instead being “tyrannical.”
            What else could the following statement be trying to say:
            “We must give everyone the room to choose how, when, and with whom they share their thoughts. Anything less is TYRANNY [my emphasis], and we have more than enough of that already.”

            I still hope that others following this discussion will engage on these important question of making genuine systemic change in the world, and finding the best strategies for doing so. While methods of communication within the Left are important, we can NEVER minimize or underestimate the absolute importance of having a correct political line and summation of past attempts at revolution.

            And to label people who want to have such a discussion as “bulling,” is counter productive and will move us AWAY from getting closer to making real systemic change in the world.

            Richard

      • Yeah that’s what I meant. 🙂

        For the record I am not personally casting my lot in with any of the current “players” in what’s left of the true Left, which has become so passive and voiceless and mired in infighting that Trump et al. can call reactionary Democrats “socialists” or even “communists” and have people swallow it.

        I respect some of the current groupings more than others based on the actual work they are engaged in and how well they do it, but have mixed thoughts about whom I might conceivably trust with my back should shit hit the fan in my lifetime. Or tomorrow for all we know. (Lots of crazy “woke” people out there thinking they just discovered revolution, ok boomer.) 🙂 Anyway I won’t be applying for any membership cards any time soon — not until there’s a truly revolutionary party directly representing a huge chunk of the population, AND until that party has a DEFUND PSYCHIATRY plank. I don’t think I’ll have to worry about this for a while however, unfortunately.

          • I think they’re just getting warmed up. Most of these “progressive” white people throwing temper tantrums in the streets think they’re winning but they haven’t even yet seen the face of the Beast.

          • I hope you are right that they aren’t really winning, because sometimes it sure seems like they are! When my own friends and family members can get all caught up in the “drama” of recent events it reminds me that they never really bothered to understand what it is we will lose if we lose our basic rights. It concerns me greatly. We have a whole generation, including even mine, primed to be led like cattle to the slaughter.

          • These people for the most part are not true revolutionaries, and have no understanding of capitalism, how the system works, or how to defeat it. They are full of misdirected rage and confusion, and typically speak of “systemic” racism while employing tactics which don’t address systems at all, merely symbols.

            As for “winning,” the cops haven’t even begun to fight back (so far), they’re not allowed to. Democrats think this helps them, should they decide otherwise the cops will be free to unsheath their arsenals.

          • “I think they’re just getting warmed up. Most of these “progressive” white people throwing temper tantrums in the streets think they’re winning but they haven’t even yet seen the face of the Beast.”

            Too true Oldhead.

            I had a conversation with a ‘mental health’ administrator last week and it amazed me how he responded to my brief run down of what was done to me. Talk about shoot the messenger. “I have friends who are police and they wouldn’t torture”. I wasn’t saying they were, and have been trying to warn others about how our rights and protections in law are not only being eroded, but totally ignored by those charged with protecting the “consumers, carers and the community”.

            Sure we need some laws surrounding when people can be ‘despatched’ by doctors, but not if the protections are enforced in the same manner as those contained in the Mental Health Act where “suspect on reasonable grounds” becomes “suspect on grounds we believe to be reasonable”, and not a lawyer (or politician) in town prepared to point out the difference to the Chief Psychiatrist who is charged with our protection. Preferring to leave the Emperor running around naked is resulting in deaths, because the change results in lawlessness (for doctors).

            It was of course only me who was arbitrarily detained and tortured, and i’m sure they can make it appear to be an ‘isolated incident’ or a ‘bad apple’. But consider if what I have been saying about the fraudulent documents sent to human rights lawyers is true. They have a means of torturing, kidnapping and murdering any citizen at their disposal, and not a soul in the community would dare say anything (other than this ‘nut’ who no one seems to wish to hear). Maybe they are just deliberately driving me insane with their gaslighting? Possible, but consider why they might want to conceal the truth. To enable further acts of torture, kidnapping, maiming and killing to remain concealed from the public. Great, I just wish i’d known, and I would have left years ago, because ‘not in my name’.

            And they have been using human rights lawyers to ensure that no reports are made to the relevant authorities. They are even trying to pass laws to ensure that the only people who can report acts of torture to the UN is the government. And of course it doesn’t take a weather man to know which way the wind blows in that regard. I KNOW what the police tried to do when I turned up in their station with proof of their torture, and believe me this was a knee jerk reaction to refer their corruption to mental health for ‘treatment’.

            They talk about ‘whistle blower’ protections, and nothing will ever be done because it is just much more convenient to ‘hotshot’ them in the Emergency Dept and then send out fraudulent documents to anyone who dares ask any questions. Enemies of the State to expose police torture methods, and even worse the way that this is being concealed. Personally i’d like to see it put to the vote, but I guess like our Euthanasia Act. the public will get no choice. Nothing said in the lead up to the election, a claim made that more than 85% of the public wants it, no criticism published in the media, and it gets passed because it’s what doctors want. And given the amount of harm that is being done by mental health services, they’re going to need it for ‘lives unworthy of living’

  13. One reason why the American left is so weak is because of internecine fighting that builds nothing. We need to find more productive and comradely ways to engage with each other.

    Even the best historical analysis is useless if we can’t build supportive organizations where people feel free to disagree without being pinned to the wall.

    Effective organizations are not built on politics alone. We must give everyone the room to choose how, when, and with whom they share their thoughts. Anything less is tyranny, and we have more than enough of that already.

    • To be dismissive of the importance of the lessons of the Russian and Chinese revolutions, can be troubling and problematic when trying develop strategies for a new round of socialist type revolutions.

      And to avoid using the word and concept of “communism” could potentially lead to repeating the same errors of past revolutions where some leaders chose to STOP the progress towards a truly classless society, and try remain ONLY in the socialist stage.

      “Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!”

      Richard

  14. “Oldhead the Bully” is through here. Further pursuance of this false and unnecessary conflict could serve to stir up unnecessary antagonism among anti-psychiatry survivors. So I will revert to attempting to attain the egoless stance of a Phil Hickey, for whom making psychiatry history remains the ONLY goal.

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