Thursday, September 24, 2020

Comments by oldhead

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  • Thanks for the shout-out and for invoking the memories of some of our martyrs; I had been working pretty closely with both Julie and Stephen up till their passing.

    Yes, I posted the links to a couple of Sera’s articles in which she correctly disparaged the attempt to attack Trump as “mentally ill,” rather than on moral or political grounds — one thing which I have always been in total agreement with.

    A lot of things are starting to happen movement-wise, so I hope you’ll stick around.

  • What we are learning is that this is another virus that has been unleashed and thus represents a challenge to our immune systems, individually and collectively. But healthy immune systems are up to the challenge. If they could, viruses would laugh at the notion of themselves being wiped out or “contained.” Despite, or maybe because of this having taken a personal toll on me, I have concluded two main things: a) it is a killer virus for people in nursing homes and those in fragile health (even though they may not realize they are in fragile health), and b) for everyone else it’s like a bad flu, which sucks and can be dangerous, but has been considered par for the course all our lives.

    Rather than try to “contain” the spread via the familiar strategies, in retrospect the response should have been a) send the National Guard to guard and hermetically seal nursing homes; b) warn immune-compromised people to avoid crowds, public trans, and medical facilities; and c) carry on with life, and fund an army of holistic healers to help people learn how to build up their immunity. (Also maybe make it a capital offense to breed this shit in laboratories.)

    Incidentally, not that it’s been mentioned here, but I think EVERY WEEK as many Americans die from something as died in the Vietnam War. So we can lose that statistic, and others like it.

  • I have found no evidence that masks do anything at all except perpetuate an atmosphere of fear, and apparently the CDC agrees, or used to before it decided to change its narrative.

    I don’t wear one, except when in a store, which describes maybe 10% of those where I live. Maybe people are looking at me disapprovingly, but I’m usually rolling my eyes so I’m not sure. Consider me a canary.

    I guess it’s time for some alternative facts. I just received this, I hear it’s being banned all over social media:

  • quit peer support before the trial period ended because I was asked to do things that went against my values, like charting and policing and dumbing down my story so no one would get any ideas and try to come off meds too.

    Any “peer support” run by shrinks or their surrogates is by definition bogus. This is a concept that was stolen from the movement in the 80’s and is now in service of everything we opposed back then. The idea of mh pros of any kind presuming to set standards for “peers” should be seen as repulsive. The late great Stephen Gilbert, who worked as a “peer” at Arkansas State Hospital, has left behind a wealth of testimony as to the futility of trying to help people this way, check his MIA comment history.

  • In many parts of the US and Western world they can do whatever they want, and there’s a limit to what “advocates ” can do given the level of ignorance about the inherently fraudulent nature of psychiatry. Often “advocates” are like public defenders, getting people the “best deal” vis. a vis. length of incarceration, how much drugging, etc. The whole system is set up to reinforce the psychiatric narrative of “providing help.” And generally, at least at the institutional level, “professionals without medications (i.e. neurotoxins)” is pretty much an oxymoron.

    So it’s hard to give “practical advice” for dealing with a system that’s set up to screw you. Legally, people at MIA often mention Jim Gottstein, who I’m sure is already overwhelmed but might possibly be able to provide you with a local contact. You can find him in “search.”

  • Only yesterday I was hit with new awareness. Of how the “care” was really well disguised infantilizing.
    And part of it was obviously my fault, for adopting the role.

    Congrats on the epiphany — it works even without the self-blame. Just make sure you don’t get fooled again!

  • We are planning a nice night of watching paint dry instead, should be sweet…Have a few local spiders coming over, but no worries we’ll keep our distance…They are recluse spiders, they know the drill.

    [Note to self: “4 Lights” has an awesome sense of humor (and irony).]

  • There are parts of this hysteria that have their attractions, like getting up late and getting paid for doing nothing. It’s like they suddenly said “ok folks, we were just kidding about this whole hard work & capitalism thing, just take this $$ and don’t bother us for a few months.” I needed some rest anyway. And the air does seem cleaner, etc.

  • When Dr. Thomas Szaz wrote the book : ” Law, Liberty, and Psychiatry ” in 1963; he wrote that real mental illness occurs when a person has Organic Brain Damage;

    I’ll bet a nickel though that if you check the text Szasz didn’t use the phrase “real mental illness” to describe organic brain damage, he more likely said something like “real brain damage” or “real neurological pathology.” The point being that the “mind” is an abstraction with no physical qualities (including the possibility of disease); it is the BRAIN — a tangible, material organ — which is harmed by psychiatric neurotoxins. So they don’t create “mental” illness, they cause actual brain damage.

  • So this is what you’ve been up to. 🙂

    The mechanism through which capitalism profits from individualism is called psychiatry.

    Excellent! I’d like to see you elaborate on this some more.

    Psychiatry is more than a money-maker however; this is true of any profit-making enterprise people are forced to patronize.

    The primary service performed by psychiatry for capitalism is to trick people into interpreting the pain caused by the system as something wrong with them. One needs to step back to appreciate the difference between a) millions of people identifying their alienation and suffering as “personal issues” to be “worked on” privately (and be embarrassed about publicly); and b) millions of suffering alienated people identifying the system as being responsible for their collective misery, and taking collective action to transform that objective reality. You can do the math.

    Alienation is in the interest of the exploiters, and it is in their interest to keep people too far away from one another physically to hug or interact as humans need to do. This alienation is intensified by the fear that ANY ONE of those friendly-looking maskless people MIGHT KILL YOU if they breathe in your direction. No way to organize any opposition either, sorry kids, too dangerous to have meetings — put your demo plans online, we won’t look.

    And now they’ve crashed their own economy, deliberately. This is not rational capitalist behavior, unless the rationale serves some ulterior purpose. One guess is that they could be stress testing us to see how much fear is required to get the population to do this, then this, then that. And to see how we react. Maybe to see how little we’ll work for. Or, maybe they’re just worried about a rebellious virus. We’ll know sooner or later.

  • I turn around , Event 201 and it’s Billy Gates in the center of the action again . Who really is that guy and what is he really up to ? Could it be Philanthro-Piracy ?

    Something’s happening here and we don’t know what it is, do we Mr. Jones? At least I don’t, not completely, at least not just yet.

    Yes, Gates & Fauci, looking more & more like a marriage made in hell.

    While this COVID shit is a distinct issue from anti-psychiatry, the specter of future forced drugging of the population with “vaccines” is yet another related issue. We don’t know for sure how crazy or dystopian they are planning to get or what the agenda around this “virus” thing may be; one thing for sure is that that soon there will be too many workers and not enough work to go around, so to the ruling class a number of workers will soon become…”useless eaters.” Probably just a coincidence.

    Good to see you checking in Fred, I thought this seemed like a likely occasion for a post from you. You “6th Extinction” people are everywhere lately — judging from some of her previous comments Anomie & you should talk. 🙂

  • First I would like to correct one part: ANTI-PSYCHIATRY ABOLITIONIST movement is actually a double negative.

    LOL actually you’re right, I was just trying to double down, to emphasize that to be truly anti-psychiatry is to be abolitionist.

    If any of us could ever come out of a locked psychiatric prison and be perfectly free of ALL disability: physical or mental in any way, shape, or form; then what could we ever complain about; except lost time ? THE DISABILITY IS REAL.

    You are talking about psychiatry-induced disability, not “mental disability/illness.” Some who survive psychiatric torture might also qualify for the disability rights movement at that point, but they are more akin to political prisoners.

    I also agree that David did a good job trying to hold together the frayed ends of the movement when it was attacked and destroyed by opportunists and shrinks in the mid 80’s.

    Now many of us are poised to go back to our true anti-psychiatry roots and pick up where the movement left off back then. I wish I could say more. Shortly I will. Thanks for your post. And please hang around a bit. Psychiatry must go!

  • “Linking up” is different than conflating. The anti-psychiatry movement should always be open to coalitions and alliances with other movements and organizations, in this case the disability rights movement. But to call them the same thing is simply inaccurate, and probably harmful to both. From the psych side of things this lends credence to the misperception that people with psych labels are disabled, and that “mental illness” is real, which is exactly the kind of thing we are trying to expose as a myth and a lie. Psychiatry has nothing to do with medicine, or with disability (other than creating it), and should stop being regarded as though it does. We can’t fight something without a clear understanding of what it is we’re fighting.

    So you are wearing two hats now, which is admirable. But there’s a reason there are two hats and not one, and it’s important both politically and analytically to distinguish between the two. I am simply trying to stay true to and advance the understanding put forth in the 1982 Toronto Principles that the psychiatric system cannot be reformed and must be abolished.

  • “Government” is a neutral term unless it is specified who that government is meant to serve. How “big” is less important than how effective (for good or bad).

    By “anarchist” i was ironically referring to your garden variety disaffected middle class “street anarchist” who breaks windows and scrawls grafitti, not the traditional more intellectual, more revolutionary type.

    Communism is also a stateless society btw.

  • Welcome to MIA Corrine. I can’t let this go however:

    Hillary Clinton was not a “nasty woman”; that was all just a game of power used against her.

    Hillary Clinton is not only “nasty,” she’s evil and cold-blooded, as can be seen from her chortling laughter upon watching the torturous and bloody murder of Moammar Khadafy (google it), and an institutional racist, as demonstrated her refusal to denounce her husband’s crime legislation, which was responsible for putting a generation of Black men in prison.

    Anger is fine btw, it’s a survival mechanism; it just needs to be directed constructively and not turned back upon ourselves, or directed at the wrong targets.

  • Actually I have been voicing comparably deplorable sentiments the whole time, haven’t you noticed? I think Trump throws a wrench in the works of both parties, no matter what his personal ideology may be (i.e. largely nonexistent). Aren’t the anarchists always screaming “let’s fuck shit up”?

    But for the record I would never have voted for Clinton in any form, even with Bernie tacked on for show. And I hope she doesn’t show up again when they sack Biden.

  • I’m a non-sectarian Protestant Buddhist Christian, and i’m very comfortable in that belief system

    OK thanks for clearing that up. 🙂

    I actually volunteered for my first shrink visit around the same age, I thought he would surely tell my mother she was crazy…I probably shouldn’t have dropped the acid before I went.

    Anyway I’m thinking of making T-Shirts simply saying “Fuck the New Normal” or (even more subversive) “Unmask!”

  • 1) By “our community” you mean people who have been psychiatrically labeled, often coercively. To refer to ourselves as “mad” is accepting that psychiatry defines us; also that some people are “mad” and others aren’t. If everyone is “mad” then the term is meaningless. The only thing “special” about being saddled with a psych label is the sharing of a particular variety of oppression, which is nothing to celebrate or take “pride” in; it is something to rage about and organize to defeat.

    2) There are many components of abolition. A sweeping decree is rarely what people mean, since the system will never outlaw one of the institutions designed to prop it up. And abolition has NOTHING to do with the “right of two people to get together.” Bonnie Burstow used to speak of “attrition” as a strategy but I believe that’s too passive an approach. However, even speaking of strategy is premature until the goal is agreed upon — in this case until people understand that psychiatry cannot be “reformed,” and serves only oppressive and destructive ends. Once we have defined our goals more clearly we can move on to strategy.

    Immediately, psychiatry should be delegitimized as a field of medicine; all coercive interventions must be eliminated; and all state support for psychiatry should be ended. It’s inherent contradictions should be thoroughly exposed. At that point psychiatry will collapse, as it depends on state support as well as public acceptance.

    Psychiatry’s ONLY purpose is social control. The ONLY purpose of any “movement” should be its abolition.

    c) I don’t think we would be able to have an intelligent discussion of capitalism here; however you sort of force the issue when you talk about “revolution.” Rather than appropriate such romantic-sounding terms without having a common definition it would be better to be specific.

  • Well, I don’t want to derail things with a generic debate about class, capitalism, etc. as this was more a side comment prompted by David’s use of the word “revolution,” which he left undefined and hence ambiguous at best.

    More to the point, I think we would both agree that psychiatry will adapt to serve the interests of whatever the reigning power structure may be. (Btw I may be wrong but I think Stalinists were probably more guilty of this than the Bolsheviks.) Or, as some would put it, psychiatry serves to enforce conformity to the values of the dominant culture.

    Also “more to come” wasn’t specifically referring to this particular blog but “survivor” stirrings in general.

  • Glad you’re progressing David, seriously.

    Nonetheless “survivors” are not “mad” and we should not identify that way, or as any sort of “special” group. (Though we should be angry!) Nor are we “disabled.” As more and more survivors are concluding, he only movement which truly addresses the needs and issues of survivors is the ANTI-PSYCHIATRY ABOLITIONIST movement.

    You mention “global revolution” but not much about the capitalist system needing to go, which would be the object of any true revolution, or how psychiatric labels bolster the attempt to label any dissatisfaction with the system as “mental disorder.”

    More to come, stay tuned.

  • A lot of people would agree with this. The question is more regarding Lieberman’s motivation, which I think Richard Lewis nailed a little earlier:

    Lieberman is only taking his position against Lee and others because he believes it might potentially threaten the political and “scientific” credibility of psychiatry as a professional enterprise.

  • Well, as we are seeing with the COVID situation, the former “left” has become even more totalitarian than the “right” in many ways. I see neoliberals as more fervent in their support of psychiatric eugenics and 2-bit junk science theories about “personality disorders” and “chemical imbalances.” “Conservatives” are less nuanced and more concerned about protecting themselves from violent “crazies,” but also less impressed with psychiatric rhetoric. Right now I consider the faux-“left” the biggest problem by far. (It wasn’t like this when there was a true left.)

    As it stands there are NO politicians who would publicly support abolishing psychiatry or anything close, as can be seen from the essentially unanimous vote for the “Murphy”/Cures Act in 2016, which was enthusiastically signed by Obama.

  • I am firmly against forced psychiatric drugging, but this does not mean that I also reject modern medicine and the idea of mass vaccination against dangerous viruses and bacteria.

    Let me get this straight — are you saying that you support forced “vaccinations”? How long have you studied this subject?

  • “Psychiatry would be FAR better off if it viewed itself as a sociological/anthropological soft science and proceeded accordingly” ?

    @Steve — Psychiatry would be better off nonexistent. Psychiatry is by its own definition the “treatment” of “mental illness,” hence none of the above suggestions for “improvement” apply. All of what you mention is based on an unfounded assumption that psychiatry would care about any of it, other than as part of a strategy for achieving social control in the name of medicine.

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    Victory: Trump Cancels Funding of
    Epidemic Virus Manufacture!

    For years, US researchers have been collaborating with Wuhan Institute of Virology scientists in China to build more deadly SARS-CoV viruses similar in their clinical effect to SARS-CoV-2, the epidemic coronavirus. The American/Chinese effort has used same species of bats from which new epidemic virus has come. Within a week of my wife Ginger and I announcing this disastrous situation through a blog, video, and an array of contacts— President Donald Trump stopped NIH’s funding of the research. In this video, I discuss Fauci’s role in enabling this tragic research, implications for the future, and the undaunted efforts by the Chinese to forge ahead on their own to make ever more dangerous viruses.

    Read and see more:

  • It is now clear that the vast majority of seriously endangered people are living in nursing homes, and that is where the ultra-serious effort should go. 25% of NYC residents apparently have antibodies already, which all in all is a GOOD thing. It’s also clear now that lots of people had mild symptoms earlier in the year and got over it before they knew what they even had. The outdoor masks are little more than virtue-signalling at this point. Still have to make my tinfoil hat.

  • You can’t “contain” a virus that has already spread throughout the world’s population, and you can’t “wipe it out.” It’s a virus. We will gradually develop a collective immunity, relatively speaking anyway.

    I think CV19 is likely another joint U.S.-Chinese creation, which explains why all sides are quick to pooh-pooh any talk of it being an engineered virus.

    Does anyone think we’re all just going to stand in line for an injection of god-knows-what? I hope you plan to stand in solidarity with the millions who will be fighting attempts to make “vaccines” mandatory. It may be the biggest fight of our lives, and is surely coming, which pisses me off.

  • If the 99% stand around with their hands in their pockets they may as well be the 1%. And probably 99 people with their hands in their pockets could nonviolently subdue one person, even if that person were armed.

  • The ruling class always emerges from revolutionary chaos wearing new clothes, unless the people realize this and are prepared to counter it.

    Psychiatry is a TOOL of the ruling .1% btw, it is not calling the ultimate shots.

  • Unless you’re already teaching a class and have people signed up I’d say it makes more sense to stick with writing, which you’re naturally better at — or at least organize your thoughts & info more succinctly, and hire a professional narrator. People have no attention span for stuff longer than 10 minutes or so, especially if they can read it faster. They won’t even pay attention to the content unless it’s presented in an entertaining way.

  • Alex — Though I wouldn’t routinely say this about your approach, this time you may be making it a little too complicated and inwardly-focused. “Stigma” IS bigotry, i.e. an act/attitude originating not in our own behavior or self-identification but in that of others; there is no blurry line.

    Certainly, as with any form of oppression, it is possible for its objects to internalize and self-direct this oppressive “energy,” and sometimes project it outward in self-limiting ways; that’s always been there and is nothing new. But its important for victims of psychiatry to not be misled into believing that any of this bigotry/”stigma” has anything to do with them as individuals, or their “behavior.” They/we are being oppressed as a stereotype, a class, i.e. the class of people upon which psychiatric labels have been bestowed.

  • Haven’t met Ron but I hear from people I trust he’s a good guy. Nothing I’m writing here is about individuals, only about principles.

    Practical help is hard to argue with. Unfortunately the psychiatric system will continue to create infinite needs for such assistance until it is put to rest. So we need to distinguish between services to help individuals (i.e. one another) through our personal storms (which will continue as long as this system rules our lives) and activist efforts to confront, expose and defeat that system. These are two separate functions and should not be confused with one another. We need to know where we’re going, what we’re doing and why, and all “support” should be done with an understanding that psychiatry is a tool of the oppressors and can never be changed into anything else.

  • If a medication helps alieviate that depression in whatever ways it was being expeirnced, then, there you go.

    You mean on the road to hell?

    If the problem is political the solution is not medical.

    It seems a little convoluted to keep going back there for help and then bitching about what you get there.

    Very true. If you have a choice and there are no locks on the doors.

  • I used to have your contact info SPB but I no longer do — would it be ok for Steve (MIA moderator) to send me your email address? There’s other stuff I want to ask you about too.

    I’m with you totally on “vaccinations,” they started the PR/psych-op war last year when they removed “anti-VAXX” searches from Google & FB — and got FB users talking on camera about what a good idea that is since people shouldn’t be subjected to “misinformation.” Btw you might want to bookmark this guy’s twitter feed, he comes up with some good info:

  • I feel useless. I am angry that a reformed psychiatrist will always trump a liberated patient. That no one can hear me because I have a state issued label instead of a state issued degree.

    Hear hear!

    This is why any movement of anti-psychiatry survivors must be led by survivors, and not “progressive” professionals or others who presume to speak for us. True allies respect our right to define our own struggle, and we are always happy to work in coalitions with such people. This need for self-determination is why the original Mental Patients Liberation Movement was exclusively composed of ex-psychiatric inmates.

    For many years before his recent death Stephen Boren/Gilbert used to describe on MIA the utter frustration of being paid by the state as a “peer” and being expected to overlook the same oppression he had experienced as an inmate at the institution he was working in (Arkansas State “Hospital”). But the “peer” concept originated in the writings of Judi Chamberlin and others during the early days of the movement; it then was corrupted and sold back to us by the same system we were opposing, and now they purport to determine who is to be considered a “peer” (which is a demeaning term to begin with). So we must always be vigilant and not allow ourselves to be similarly co-opted in the future.

  • Will we be facing forced segregation under the flag of protecting the vulnerable? Will we be tracked by tattoos attesting to compulsory vaccinations that have been too quickly wheeled out without a genuine evaluation of efficacy? As has been suggested in Germany, will passports be used to determine and track who is eligible to return to work? Will our cell phones be used to track compliance with whatever the government deems necessary?

    All this and more, unless there is mass resistance. In Israel you get drones surveilling your home to make sure you haven’t broken quarantine. In Australia apps to track your proximity to others. This affects all people, not just the psychiatrized. You’ll find lots of liberals supporting coercive vaccinations (an issue which “intersects” with anti-psychiatry/anti-forced drugging). It will take more than writing letters to our Congresspeople and signing internet petitions.

  • While Mindfreedom once served an important intermediary role in preserving some of the remnants of the Mental Patients’ Liberation Movement, it has largely been rendered irrelevant — in the face of the recent resurgence of anti-psychiatry consciousness — by its historical refusal to take an explicitly anti-psychiatry stand. It has been a hodgepodge of reformism combined with some high points from time to time. However the times they are a’changin’ again, and any current grouping of survivors which does not target psychiatry as the problem and call for it’s abolition is doing a disservice to all victims of psychiatry.

    We need to break out of the chains of reformism and false hope that psychiatry can be “reformed.” A number of anti-psychiatry survivors have been organizing independently of MIA for some time, and have been developing a coherent analysis of psychiatry which is based on the understanding that psychiatry is not “bad medicine” but an institution of social control. Our strategies should not revolve around making psychiatry “better,” but exposing its inherent destructiveness. And we should not be focusing on individuals but systems.

    In short, as has been recognized since the Toronto principles of 1982, psychiatry cannot be reformed, it must be abolished. We should keep this understanding at the forefront of everything we do, and never back off from stating it loudly and boldly.

    Exciting things are happening, survivors. Stay tuned.

    And Happy May Day!