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5. No psychiatry, you can’t take over the world

    The real story of psychiatry

    Bent on social control

    All through psychiatry’s history, despite whatever clinical attempts to suppress symptoms of “mental illness” have been in vogue, i.e. biological psychiatry, psychotherapy, psychiatric genetics, etc., etc. there have been attempts to manipulate and control aspects of society way beyond any clinical address and based solely on the opinions of psychiatrists and others who control the subject.

    Psychiatry and eugenics

    The first major and most obvious manifestation of this desire for social control was from late in the 19th century, eugenics.

    As an offshoot of the theory of evolution, the eugenics movement was introduced by Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton in 1883.

    In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, due to its dealing with undesirable mental states, many leading psychiatrists were eugenicists often appearing as medical directors of local and national associations, and eugenics was often used as part of psychiatric, particularly prophylactic, social control programs.

    Through its false ‘theories’ regarding the mentally ill and indeed mankind generally, psychiatry provided a “scientific justification” for eugenics.

    Evolution

    In 1859 Charles Darwin published ‘The Origin of the Species’ and introduced his theory of evolution to the world. Simply, this theory says that through such processes as natural selection (where those organisms who have better adapted to their environment have a better chance of procreation), successive generations pass on inherited survival traits from one to the next. Natural selection determines the passing on of traits that will bring about a greater chance of improved survival.

    Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

    Eugenics and reverse evolution

    As is mentioned here on the logo of the Second International Congress of Eugenics in, 1921: “Eugenics is the self direction of human evolution.”

    Eugenics addresses ‘reverse evolution’ – an idea that reverse evolution can occur through social pressures or genetic disposition in a part of a species leading to undesirable / lesser survival traits for that part. When that part interacts with the rest of the species, it is said to threaten the whole through its interactions and breeding.

    The problems of eugenics

    Eugenics when applied immediately runs into the problem of who decides what traits are undesirable, and which populations are undesirable.

    For example, the most catastrophic and evil of all eugenic actions, The Holocaust, was considerably based on and scientifically justified by the opinions and hatreds of Germany’s ‘leading psychiatrist’ Emil Kraepelin, carried forth by his students and proteges as the foundation for the NAZI racial hygiene policies:

     “…dreamers, poets, swindlers and Jews” possess ‘distinctly hysterical traits’ and fall outside the bounds of normality, adding that Jews exhibit “frequent psychopathic disposition.” These tendencies, he noted, are most importantly accompanied by “their harping criticism, their rhetorical and theatrical abilities, and their doggedness and determination” 

    Emil Kraepelin. 1919. 1

    Eugenics when applied immediately runs into the problem of who decides what traits are undesirable, and which populations are undesirable.

    Another is that eugenics falsely assumes that undesirable traits are genetically coded, and unchangeable in a generation with no possible means of actually fixing the existing individual.

    Eugenics then used solutions such as isolating the parts of the species and the individuals concerned labeled as undesirable, sterilizing them so they would not breed, forcing integration into other cultures to wipe out undesirable traits, or simply killing off the undesirables entirely.

    Psychiatry and undesirables

    Psychiatry also played a major part in defining what was ‘undesirable’.

    In NAZI Germany again, based on no science at all and the mere opinions of men like psychiatrists Emil Kraepelin and Ernst Rudin could have resulted in a person receiving a diagnosis of ‘dementia praecox’ (or what we know now as schizophrenia). This diagnosis was falsely assumed to be based on a hereditary disease with the certain result of extermination or sterilization. 2

    These atrocities were not limited to NAZI Germany. In the United States forcible sterilization of those deemed as mentally ill or different than ‘normal’ was carried out from the beginning of the 20th century to the 1950s – 20,000 surgeries were carried out in California alone – even after the horrors of NAZI Germany were known to the world. Qualification for sterilization included having a psychiatric diagnosis.

    “Furthermore, unnamed patient records from the 1920s document hundreds of individuals in their late teens and early 20s sterilized for dementia praecox (schizophrenia), epilepsy, manic depression, psychosis, feeblemindedness, or mental deficiency.”

    Stern AM. Sterilized in the name of public health: race, immigration, and reproductive control in modern California.3

    Definitions defining suitability for sterilization in United States laws varied wildly through the early 1900s:

    “Envisioned by F. W. Hatch, the secretary of the State Commission in Lunacy [sic] (renamed the Department of Institutions in 1921), this legislation granted the medical superintendents of asylums and prisons the authority to “asexualize” a patient or inmate if such action would improve his or her “physical, mental, or moral condition.”

    “The law was expanded in 1913 and 1917, when clauses were added to shield physicians against legal retaliation and to foreground a eugenic, rather than penal, rationale for surgery. The 1917 amendment, for example, reworded the description of a diagnosis warranting surgery from “hereditary insanity or incurable chronic mania or dementia” to a “mental disease which may have been inherited and is likely to be transmitted to descendants.” It also targeted inmates afflicted with “various grades of feeblemindedness” and “perversion or marked departures from normal mentality or from disease of a syphilitic nature.”

    Stern AM. Sterilized in the name of public health: race, immigration, and reproductive control in modern California.4

    All diagnosed and overseen by psychiatrists.

    The search for the biological cause of ‘mental illness’ by Kraepelin and all others since had come up with nothing. Having turned the entire subject of mental health into a dead-end through the propagation of the falsehoods of ‘biological psychiatry’, to then embrace the further nonsense of eugenics as a possible cause was easily done.

    The result of eugenics

    The United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, Scandinavia, and some other European, Latin American, and Asian countries implemented eugenically-based social programs including some forced sterilization. For example, in the USA between 1907 and 1963, 64,000 were sterilized. Sweden between 1935 to 1976 sterilized 63,000.

    Minorities, often seen as being eugenically undesirable, were subject to campaigns of cultural genocide aimed at either wiping out the minority through sterilization, forced integration into Western culture, or subjected to bigotry and hate campaigns.


    “The successive breeding out of “colour” in the Aboriginal population.”

    Eugenicists, including the Rockefeller Foundation, thought of the Australian Aboriginals as a ‘problem’ population. 5

    Interbreeding the Aboriginal population with Europeans was ‘scientifically’ and officially encouraged to remove not only cultural associations but physical traits as well.

    This included in the first half of the 20th century the forcible removal of children from their families and placing them in Western church missions, with Western families as domestic staff or as farm laborers. 6 7

    The successive breeding out of “colour” in the Aboriginal population,
    A.O. Neville. Australia’s Coloured Minority Assimilation Policy

    Holocaust Jews in a railway car on the way to a death camp.
    Holocaust Jews in a railway car on the way to a death camp.

    The nightmare of German eugenics

    In Germany before and during World War II, as an example where psychiatric eugenicists were given free rein, there were approximately 400,000 persons sterilized and some 275,000 persons exterminated during Aktion T4. With Aktion T4 acting as the dress rehearsal for other horrors, estimates of numbers the NAZIs and their eugenic henchmen went on to murder included some 6 million Jews in The Holocaust, 11 million Slavic people murdered in concentration camps, as prisoners of war, or through military extermination campaigns, and more than 250,000 Romani and certainly tens of thousands of homosexual men, etc. 8 9

    “According to the records, 275,000 people were put to death in these killing centers [ref: Aktion T4]. Ghastly as this seems, it should be realized that this program was merely the entering wedge for exterminations of far greater scope in the political program for genocide of conquered nations and the racially unwanted. The methods used and personnel trained in the killing centers for the chronically sick became the nucleus of the much larger centers in the East, where the plan was to kill all Jews and Poles and to cut down the Russian population by 30,000,000.”

    Doctor Leo Alexander. Medical advisor during the Allied trials of crimes against humanity by NAZI doctors and a contributor to the ‘Nuremberg Code’ that covered human experimentation which was written after the trials. From ‘Medical Science Under Dictatorship’ July 1949. 10 11

    And of course, the extreme actions of the German eugenicists did not occur in complete isolation:

    “In 1936, the authors of Eugenical Sterilization, led by Abraham Myerson, one of America’s most respected psychiatrists, praised Hitler’s eugenics legislation.” and “Similarly, many American psychiatrists and academics, such as Robert Foster Kennedy, supported Hitler’s euthanasia campaigns. In an editorial in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Kennedy warned that American mothers might respond with ‘guilt’ over the killing of their mentally ill children. The editorial suggests a public education campaign to overcome emotional resistance to such euthanasia.”

    J Luty. Psychiatry and the dark side: eugenics, Nazi and Soviet psychiatry. 12

    “…American mothers might respond with ‘guilt’ over the killing of their mentally ill children. The editorial suggests a public education campaign to overcome emotional resistance to such euthanasia.”

    Psychiatry and the dark side: eugenics, Nazi and Soviet psychiatry. J Luty.

    As we have found in our series Part 1: Rockefeller Foundation and the failure of psychiatry as a science, the Rockefeller Foundation was an extremely important factor in establishing international psychiatry as we know it.

    German eugenics poster

    Aktion T4 – psychiatry’s eternal shame

    Aktion T4 is the mass murder of the disabled and patients of psychiatric asylums by psychiatrists and the directors of the asylums …

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    Rockefeller Foundation and eugenics

    What then of eugenic influences and social psychiatry aspirations?

    Breed in the future superior men

    The Rockefeller Foundation was a leading contributor to the establishment and spread of eugenics in the United States and throughout the world through the funding of supportive organizations and its relationships, particularly with English and German eugenics (including funding organizations that became central to the NAZI racial hygiene policies).

    The Foundation’s goal in this area was clear:

    “Can we develop so sound and extensive a genetics that we can hope to breed in the future superior men?

    “An inclusive study of vital phenomena must take into account the physical conditions surrounding and effecting life. For example, few concepts in the whole history of thought have been so important in their implications as the concept of organic evolution, and man has perhaps no higher responsibility than that of understanding and consciously controlling the evolutionary processes.’

    The Rockefeller Foundation Annual Report 1933 13

    “Can we develop so sound and extensive a genetics that we can hope to breed in the future superior men?

    The Rockefeller Foundation Annual Report 1933

    Mental hygiene and eugenics

    The relationship between the mental hygiene movement – psychiatry’s major social program before World War II – and eugenics is sometimes projected to appear as both being separate from each other which isn’t the case.

    Mental hygiene and indeed psychiatry had very few tools to bring about their plans for social manipulation and yet when it came to prophylaxis, the prevention of poor mental hygiene, eugenics was their primary one.

    Dr. Lewelleys Barker, President of the National Committee for Mental Hygiene (funded by the Rockefeller Foundation with Rockefeller Foundation employee Psychiatrist Thomas W Salmon, as the Scientific Secretary) summed it up in his address to the Feb 2, 1916 meeting of the National Committee:

    “Writing four years ago of the scope of our work. I defined a campaign for mental hygiene as ‘a continuous effort directed toward conserving and improving the minds of the people; in other words a systematic attempt to secure human brains so naturally endowed and so nurtured that people will think better, feel better and act better than they do now.’ and I stated that, broadly conceived, the general problems of mental hygiene are ‘first to provide of the birth of children endowed with good brains, denying, as far as possible, the privilege of parentship to the manifestly unfit, who are almost certain to transmit bad nervous systems to their offspring — that it is to say the problem of genetics; second, to supply all human beings from the moment of fusion of the parental germ cells onward and whether ancestrally well begun or not, with the environment best suited to the welfare of their mentality.” The consideration of these two great problems including, as they do, the influence of hereditary on the one hand and of environment (physical, chemical, biological and social) on the other will point the way to concrete work for a National Committee like ours not only during our lifetime but for centuries to come.”

    Dr. Lewelleys Barker. 14

    ” …the general problems of mental hygiene are ‘first to provide of the birth of children endowed with good brains, denying, as far as possible, the privilege of parentship to the manifestly unfit, who are almost certain to transmit bad nervous systems to their offspring — that it is to say the problem of genetics…”

    Dr. Lewelleys Barker, President of the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, 1916

    Eugenics’ influence on beginning psychiatry

    The direct influence of eugenics in the establishment of psychiatry further became clear with ‘mental hygiene’ being one of the original areas of interest for the Foundation in 1913. Subsequently, Psychiatrist Thomas W Salmon formerly of the United States Public Health Service was hired by the Rockefeller Foundation as staff from 1914 on, to hold the position of Scientific Secretary of the National Committee for Mental Hygiene. Salmon was at that time a, if not the leading figure promoting Eugenics in the United States. 15

    Thomas Salmon was influential in broadening psychiatry’s scope from what had been purely institutional toward eugenics and using eugenic social control programs in their view, to ‘prevent mental illness’. 16 17

    “The last few years have seen a rapid extension of the frontiers of all branches of medicine, especially in their social applications. Dealing, as it does, with the deep springs of human conduct, it is not surprising that psychiatry should have extended its own frontiers in this direction even further than have some other branches of medicine.

    Dr. Thomas W Salmon.The Military Surgeon.1920. Introduction to The Shaping of Psychiatry By War. J R Rees. 1945. 18

    When the Rockefeller Foundation turned to the development of psychiatry as a matter of special attention in 1933, this project was placed under Alan Gregg. Gregg was also an avid geneticist who was majorly responsible not only for centering psychiatry around eugenic principles but also through Rockefeller Foundation money, connecting genetic researchers in the West and particularly Germany, to those in the United States. 19 20

    International network for mental hygiene

    Clifford Beers a former mental institution patient wrote a book regarding his appalling treatment at the hands of the institution staff: A Mind That Found Itself (1908). This resulted in a meeting with psychiatrist Adolf Meyer and William H. Welch. While Beers’ original intent seems to be solely improving standards of treatment for patients in mental institutions, the idea of forming Mental Hygiene committees was put into effect to spread the influence of eugenics far beyond Beers’ original purpose.

    The member at the first meeting, William H. Welch, also happened to be President of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research from 1901 to 1932. and a personal advisor to Rockefeller. The American National Committee for Mental Hygiene began to be funded by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1916. Rockefeller influence over the mental hygiene movement was there right from the beginning and soon eclipsed Beers and his control of the committees.

    The first meeting, however, resulted in a local Connecticut committee, then a National (USA) Committee for Mental Hygiene in 1909, and eventually committees in other Western countries, and finally including an international committee. 21

    Attendees of the 1932 International Eugenics Conference held in New York.

    These committees and direct actions on international psychiatry from within the Rockefeller Foundation, spread the influence of eugenics, including psychiatry’s role in it, eventually throughout the world.

    And so the most important influence on the shape and size of ‘modern’ psychiatry, the Rockefeller Foundation, directed the subject beyond the clinical, toward an international network bent on social control, through initially eugenics.

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    A strategy for mental health

    At the Annual Meeting of the (British) National Council for Mental Hygiene on June 18th, 1940, social psychiatrist Colonel J R Rees issued a ‘Strategic Planning for Mental Health’. 22

    This strategy was issued during the peak of psychiatric eugenics influence in the West. The strategy was directed to a British audience however is an example of ambitions of social control within psychiatric ranks and certainly those of J R Rees himself, who would appear as the first President of the World Federation of Mental Health in 1948.

    While Rees communicates the need for stealth as a psychiatric “fifth column,” there were other psychiatric eugenic campaigns (the murder of the first 70,000 mentally ill and disabled in Aktion T4) that were very overtly well underway in Germany.

    The following are quotes from the strategic planning:

    “The real Medicine of the future will be largely prophylactic, and certainly in our field the important thing is to stress the positive aspects of mental health instead of concentrating our interest on ill health. Of the three main branches of psychiatric work—for the defectives, the psychotics, and the neurotics—the third is probably the most important from the national point of view, and certainly here prophylaxis is far more important than treatment, in fact it provides the only road to an ultimate solution of this particular medico-sociological problem.

    “We must aim to make it permeate every educational activity in our national life: primary, secondary, university and technical education are all concerned with varying stages in the development of the child in adolescent.

    J R Rees. Strategic Planning for Mental Health. 1940

    “We must aim to make it permeate every educational activity in our national life: primary, secondary, university and technical education are all concerned with varying stages in the development of the child in adolescent. Those who provide the education, the principles upon which they work, and the people upon whom they work, must all be objects of our interest, for education that ignores the commonsense principles that have been more clearly evolved of recent years is likely to be of indifferent quality. Public life, politics and industry should all of them be within our sphere of influence. It needs little imagination to see improvements that could be effected in each of them.”

    “Especially since the last world war we have done much to infiltrate the various social organizations throughout the country Similarly we have made a useful attack upon a number of professions.  The two easiest of them naturally are the teaching profession and the Church: the two most difficult are law and medicine.

    J R Rees. Strategic Planning for Mental Health. 1940

    “Especially since the last world war we have done much to infiltrate the various social organizations throughout the country, and in their work and in their point of view one can see clearly how the principles for which this society and others stood in the past have become accepted as part of the ordinary working plan of these various bodies.  That is as it should be, and while we can take heart from this we must be healthily discontented and realize that there is still more work to be done along this line. Similarly we have made a useful attack upon a number of professions.  The two easiest of them naturally are the teaching profession and the Church: the two most difficult are law and medicine.  Anyone whose memory goes back for even a dozen years can realize how big a change has been effected in the outlook of professional people, while certainly anyone with vision can see how much still remains to be done.

    “If we are to infiltrate the professional and social activities of other people I think we must imitate the Totalitarians and organize some kind of fifth column activity! If better ideas on mental health are to progress and spread we, as the salesmen, must lose our identity... Let us all, therefore, very secretly be ‘fifth columnists’.”

    J R Rees. Strategic Planning for Mental Health. 1940

    “If we are to infiltrate the professional and social activities of other people I think we must imitate the Totalitarians and organize some kind of fifth column activity! If better ideas on mental health are to progress and spread we, as the salesmen, must lose our identity. By that I mean that we cannot help so effectively if speaking for a National Council or any other body as we can when we make a more subtle approach adapted to the particular circumstances of the moment. It really wouldn’t matter if no one ever heard of this Council again provided that the work was done. Let us all, therefore, very secretly be “fifth columnists”.”

    Many people don’t like to be ‘saved’, ‘changed’ or made healthy.

    J R Rees. Strategic Planning for Mental Health. 1940

    “Many people don’t like to be “saved”, “changed” or made healthy. I have a feeling, however, the “efficiency and economy” would make rather a good appeal because there are very few people who would not welcome these two suggestions.”

    These are but a sampling of the content and the full text of the strategy can be found here.

    A mental hygiene exhibit

    “Strategic Planning for Mental Health” J R Rees, 1940

    “If we are to infiltrate the professional and social activities of other people I think we must imitate the Totalitarians and organize some kind of fifth column activity!” …

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    A new social psychiatry

    Eugenics lives on

    After the horrors of the psychiatry-inspired NAZI racial hygiene policies were made known to the world toward the end of World War II, eugenics fell into disfavor. The world recoiled from what it had seen.

    The eugenics movement quietly disappeared, however, many of the key persons involved and the ideas that inspired it had not.

    Even after the atrocities of NAZI Germany had become known, probably the most eminent and influential psychiatrist in Britain, David Henderson published his 1947 edition of his psychiatry textbook to include:

    “The war in effect put an end to people calling themselves eugenicists, but it did not put an end to eugenic speculation.”

    Angus McLaren, Our Own Master Race: Eugenics in Canada, 1885-1945.

    ‘sterilisation was still considered “an integral element in any broad and far-sighted programme for dealing with the social problems of civilised society”‘.

    D Henderson. 1947. From Marius Turda. Exploring the Legacies of Eugenics in Psychiatry – Part I. 23

    Funding of eugenic programs by the Rockefeller Foundation did not stop with World War II. In fact, in 1946 the Rockefeller Foundation was funding the Galton eugenics laboratory in London:

    “The Rockefeller Foundation in 1946 appropriated $22,275 for research in problems of human heredity at the Galton Laboratory of the University of London,under the direction of Dr. L. S. Penrose, over a period of four and one-half years. The Galton Laboratory was founded in 1904 to carry on the work of Sir Francis Galton on the influences which may “improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations, either physically or mentally.”

    Rockefeller Annual Report 1946. 24

    More plans afoot

    During World War II, however, plans were afoot to bring about a massive change in psychiatry: not only organizationally on an international scope but dealing with the entire purpose of the subject.

    These changes began in the United States and used actors who were funded by and connected to Rockefeller interests but were being established with international reach via new organizations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization. This included functions and areas of responsibility earlier assumed by the Rockefeller Foundation being turned over to these other agencies.

    In 1946 the US National Mental Health Act was signed, paving the way for the formation of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (finally launched in 1949) with the mission ” to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.” A National Advisory Mental Health Council of nationally known psychiatrists was formed to advise. The process of directing of mental health research funding by governments had begun – something that had been a primary function of the Rockefeller Foundation.

    International social psychiatry announced to the world

    The 1948 International Congress on Mental Health announced these major changes in social psychiatry and planning for a new psychiatric order that was to come to fruition.

    “The International Congress on Mental Health. Held in London during August 11-21, was an event of considerable significance for the social sciences and psychiatry, and the repercussions will be felt far afield. It marked a stage in the struggle of these disciplines, on one hand, for acceptance among the family of sciences, and on the other, for recognition in the world of affairs.”

    Psychiatrist, J R Rees. Nature. 1948 25

    World citizenship and mental health

    The theme for the 1948 International Congress was World Citizenship – the idea was that the ‘people of the world’ were so immature that all of them had brought about the wars that had wracked the planet at the beginning of the 20th century.

    The idea was to achieve ‘World Citizenship’ for all and bring maturity to these citizens to assume their responsibilities for the state of the world and its future – and from the view of those setting up the conference psychiatry was pivotal in providing the solution.

    “This theme [Mental Health and World Citizenship] has been chosen deliberately in view of the present state of world affairs in the belief that many of us in medicine – not only in psychiatry – Along with our colleagues the psychologists, sociologists, educationists, and others have an opportunity of learning to apply some of our understanding of individuals to the problems of group attitudes and international tensions. No doubt psychiatrists should be able to provide the central focus for much of the thinking that is necessary, but they certainly cannot do it alone.”

    Psychiatrist, J R Rees. Nature. 1948 26

    The entire premise of the conference and theme was based on three questions found in the final statement from the conference:

    “Men and women everywhere, profoundly disturbed by world-wide confusion and conflict, are asking: ‘Can the catastrophe of a third world war be averted? ‘ ‘Can the peoples of the world learn to co-operate for the good of all?’ ‘On what basis is there hope for enduring peace?'”

    Mental Health and World Citizenship. 27

    It would be undeniable that mental health throughout the world was at a low level as a result of World War II. Yet, none of these wars were started by the ‘peoples of the world’ but were generated by a relatively small number of craven individuals. It should be noted that psychiatry avidly ignored the psychotics responsible for these wars, including those in Germany, where psychiatry had directly supported many of these individuals.

    Going off to blame and then placing millions of the ‘peoples of the world’ under psychiatric dominance, ignoring specific actions against the actual instigators of war is, of course, less than sane.

    Nonetheless, the confusion generated by the war was to be taken advantage of.

    The mechanics of which (mirroring the J R Rees strategy) appear to be along the lines of:

    “Studies of human development indicate the modifiability of human behaviour throughout life, especially during infancy, childhood and adolescence, by human contacts. Examination of social institutions in many countries shows that these also can be modified. These newly recognised possibilities provide the basis for improving human relations, for releasing constructive human potentialities and for modifying social institutions for the common good.”

    Mental Health and World Citizenship. 28

    Of course, these proposed “modifications” all leave the question of who decides what needs modification or not and on whose view of what the ‘common good’ consists of.

    The complete document acting both as a program and then as the final statement of the 1948 conference can be found here: Mental Health and World Citizenship. 29

    Reorganization: The World Health Organization and The World Federation of Mental Health

    In 1948, the Canadian psychiatrist G. Brock Chisholm became the first Director-General of the new Rockefeller-funded World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO included initially an Expert Committee of the Mental Health Unit, which quickly developed into a Section in the WHO. The Expert Committee of psychiatrists and later the Mental Health section were charged with fostering international mental health including popularizing and forwarding social psychiatry programs internationally.

    As an outcome of the 1948 conference, the World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH) came into existence and operated as a non-government organization under the newly formed World Health Organization. British military Psychiatrist, J R Rees, a social psychiatrist, was the Director of the Rockefeller-funded Tavistock Institute from 1946 and then became the President of the WFMH.

    This new federation was to continue the work of the eugenically-centered International Committee for Mental Hygiene – the committee remained the same with only the name being changed to remove any reference to ‘mental hygiene’.

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    A reorientation of mental health

    The single most important change introduced by the authors of the 1948 International Congress on Mental Health was a new concept of ‘mental health’.

    “Historian Gerald Gobb, drawing on a thorough reading of the literature of the time concluded that post-war scientific thinking reflected an extraordinary broadening of psychiatric boundaries and a rejection of the traditional distinction between mental health and mental abnormality. To move from a concern with mental illness institutional populations to the incidence in general population represented an extraordinary intellectual leap.”

    Mitchell Wilson MD. 1990 DSM III and the Transformation of American Psychiatry: A History. 30

    This ‘extraordinary intellectual leap’ was promoted by the WHO then and remains a key tenet of the organization:

    “Mental health is an integral and essential component of health. The WHO constitution states: ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ An important implication of this definition is that mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.”

    31

    Here was the invitation for psychiatry to come out of the asylums and hospitals, as the supposed purveyor of mental health, to direct and control aspects of life toward their opinionated definition of ‘a state of complete … mental and social well-being’.

    This was further expanded and clarified in a lecture given by World Federation of Mental Health President, J R Rees in 1950. The WFMH concept of the areas of responsibility of psychiatry is directly stated (in this case referring to psychiatry in the USA):

    “You especially in this country, with your burden of leadership that circumstances have imposed on you, will for many years have to carry the major responsibility for the diagnosis and solution of the social, economic and personal disorders of society throughout the world. J R Rees. Menas S Gregory Lecture. Diagnosis and Prophylaxis in psychiatry at home and abroad. 1949. New York University

    J R Rees. Menas S Gregory Lecture. 1949. 32

    You [USA psychiatry] …have to carry the major responsibility for the diagnosis and solution of the social, economic and personal disorders of society throughout the world.”

    J R Rees. Menas S Gregory Lecture. 1949.

    And further defined in statements from Brock Chisholm the soon-to-be new Director-General of the World Health Organization where he was extremely clear on the need and reach of this new dominance by psychiatry:

    “It is, therefore, perhaps fortunate that many thousands of people who could benefit from psychiatric treatment do not now realize either their need or the direction from which help should come. If all the people showing neurotic symptoms, inferiorities, irrational fears, personality disabilities affecting their relations with other people, unreasoning prejudices and hates, over-suggestibility which makes them the victims of spellbinders and demagogues, attachments to ridiculous cults and magics, weird superstitions and faiths, were suddenly to identify the source of these symptoms within their own personalities and to demand help from psychiatrists, then many times the previously suggested number of psychiatrists and other professional workers would be needed. If, however, we are to accept the role of psychiatry as one only of further development in the field of therapy, and do in fact go about training vast numbers of therapists, we surely must recognize in our planning, even though they do not, that all these kinds of people, millions of them – or of us – need treatment, and might in ever-increasing numbers seek it, if it were known to be available.”

    This defining of neuroses went to further extremes where Chisholm called for the concepts of right and wrong to be eradicated – showing not only his naivety but also the potential of his ideas for social damage and indeed, collapse.

    “The only lowest common denominator of all civilizations and the only psychological force capable of producing these perversions is morality, the concept of right and wrong, the poison long ago described and warned against as ‘the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.'”…”The re-interpretation and eventually eradication of the concepts of right and wrong which has been the basis of child training, the substitution of intelligent and rational thinking for faith in the certainties of the old people, these are the belated objectives of practically all effective psychotherapy.”

    And should citizens object to this dominance in their lives:

    Should attempts be made by the profession to induce governments to institute compulsory treatment for the neuroses as for other infectious diseases?”

    And further, showing no lack of grandeur:

    “With the other human sciences, psychiatry must now decide what is to be the immediate future of the human race. No one else can. And this is the prime responsibility of psychiatry.”

    All quotes from B Chisholm lectures 1945. The Psychiatry of enduring peace and social progress. 33

    Anyone studying this area should read the entire transcript of the psychiatrist Brock Chisholm’s lectures of 1945 referenced here. Chisholm goes on to further explain his rationale for handling the world after World War II and no doubt in handling his position of Director-General of the World Health Organization just a few years hence. This rationale included the state teaching children to strike first against an enemy with ruthless and terrible weapons, atomic war to be carried out mercilessly to the complete annihilation of the enemy country without recourse, and replacing chemical and biological warfare with more humane methods but nonetheless, destroying the populations of entire countries, for the purpose of lowering the world’s population.

    Yet, such a man had the power to define rationality and mental health?

    Implementation and a hollow resurgence for psychoanalysis

    The first obvious problem with the grand plans of Rees, Chisholm, and others was that they had very few resources to bring these effects upon the ‘peoples of the world’. Chisholm was aware of this and his planning included opening up the delivery of psychiatric services beyond only psychiatrists.

    “There are indeed areas of hope. Some help may well be found in possible developments of shorter, more effective techniques of treatment. Shock, chemotherapy, group therapy, hypno- and narco-analysis, psycho-drama-‘ even surgery, can all be used, and some of these methods may be employed by other than trained psychiatrists. There is no indication, however, that any developments in these fields will be able to meet the volume of needs previously suggested. Can it be made possible for the general practitioner to carry a large share of this burden of psychotherapy?”

    B Chisholm lectures 1945. The Psychiatry of enduring peace and social progress. 34

    The “biological psychiatry” of Kraepelin that had dominated psychiatry had been damaged by its association with NAZI crimes and while continuing to be used in asylums and hospitals very much took a back seat. Various fads built on biological psychiatry began to decline: Lobotomy (early 1950), ECT (1960s).

    There was a movement that sprung from this ‘social psychiatry’, a ‘dynamic psychiatry’ which reached its peak in the 1960s to early 70s that defined psychiatry as problems in social, political, and legal rather than medical. 35

    In a practical sense, ideas regarding psychological causes for mental illness came to the fore with their primary means of therapy, a relatively new and certainly incomplete subject in psychotherapy which was even more splintered into various schools of speculation than even biological psychiatry – and which required no training as a psychiatrist. There was considerable public interest in psychotherapy, however, it was a far cry from consistently curing people of what was being described as mental illness by psychiatry.

    “This change in the intellectual landscape of psychiatric thought reflected a change in its institutional geography. Asylum psychiatry and the Kraepelin model on which it was based, fell into relative decline. The field became dominated by private practitioners and hospital and community psychiatrists who applied a broadly conceived psychosocial model born of a synthesis of Freud and Meyer.”

    Mitchell Wilson MD. 1990 DSM III and the Transformation of American Psychiatry: A History. 36

    Particularly in the United States, psychotherapy had a resurgence from the end of the War through to the 1970s.

    For a very short time, the psychiatric monopoly on mental health had been broken.

    Psychiatry over-promoting itself

    The other, often ignored problem that this new social psychiatry faced was the subject still had no scientific foundation and from that, no tried and true clinical technology to address the ‘neuroses’ of people.

    And so, while J R Rees, Brock Chisholm, and others were working overtime promoting the necessity of psychiatry to any possible better future for people of the world, those who knew the subject as well as anyone, those in charge of the Rockefeller Foundation had an entirely different view; that psychiatry was promoting itself far beyond the actual level of the scientific knowledge or technology to produce any change in the areas it promised to.

    Indeed they were not entirely sure they hadn’t spent millions of dollars promoting a “social racket”. 37

    …psychiatry was promoting itself far beyond the actual level of scientific knowledge or technology to produce any change in the areas it promised to.

    From Robert S Morison, then head of the Medical Sciences division, Rockefeller Foundation, Memorandum, August 26, 1948:

    “He [ Douglas Bond, chair of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve.] also more than shares my feeling that the current leaders of dynamic psychiatry are throwing their weight around in a way quite unjustified by the minute amount of really tested knowledge on which their procedures are based.

    Robert S Morison head of the Medical Sciences division, Rockefeller Foundation. August 1948. 38

    Indeed there were members of the profession who were well aware of the dangers of launching a subject on an astonishingly broad campaign to influence the entire world, which even from the days of Kraepelin was based entirely on speculation and without a strong scientific base and ability toward proven, efficient application. Psychiatry had neither.

    “There is a ferment to displace attention from the individual to larger groups and even to the world in an effort to prevent war and to facilitate social and cultural change. Unfortunately, extension of an activity is not a substitute for knowledge or research.”

    “Paradoxically, it’s medical (therapeutic) roots have interfered with the scientific training and the development of research interests in psychiatrists. Rather than being humble about their therapeutic results and more concerned with investigating, psychiatrists have attempted to extend their influence to many levels of larger and larger group behaviors.”

    Roy Grinker, 1965. From Mitchell Wilson MD. 1990 DSM III and the Transformation of American Psychiatry: A History. 39

    Simply, psychiatry did not have the technical expertise to heal or solve the problems of one man, let alone the planet.

    Max-Planck-Institute-of-Psychiatry

    2. Rockefeller Foundation and the failure of psychiatry as a science

    The Rockefeller Foundation foisted the unproven theory of ‘biological psychiatry’ on the medical profession by attempting to stage-manage psychiatry into the scientific activity it thought it should be. This attempt …

    A collapse in credibility – a “crisis of legitimacy”

    The plan by Chisholm didn’t work.

    From the late 1960s, the lack of diagnostic or clinical standards was bringing about a situation where the credibility of psychiatry was under attack from within and without the activity. 40 41 42

    Funding for the subject both in terms of insurance and through governments and research grants was being questioned:

    “The Medical Director of the APA at the time, Melvin Sabshin, recalls that private insurance companies and the federal government began to view psychiatry as a “‘bottomless pit-a voracious consumer-of resources and insurance dollars-because its methods of assessment and treatment were too fluid and unstandardized.”

    43

    From the American Psychiatric Association’s and others’ view not only was the reputation being damaged but the monopoly on mental health had been lost:

    “In the American Journal of Psychiatry in 1977, Thomas Hackett, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, pointed out that the number of medical students going into psychiatry had shown a marked and substantial drop throughout the country and that it reflected, in his opinion, a growing skepticism about psychiatry’s useful future as it is seen from the outside. “Apart from their training in medicine,” he claimed, “psychiatrists have nothing unique to offer that cannot be provided by psychologists, the clergy, or lay psychotherapists”

    Rick Mayes, Allan Horwitz. DSM-III and the revolution in the classification of mental illness. 44

    Even further, in 1976 Alan Stone, President of the American Psychiatric Association went on to state:

    “carrying psychiatrists on a mission to change the world, had brought the profession to the edge of extinction.”

    Alan Stone. President of the American Psychiatric Association, 1976 45

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    “Neo-Kraepelin” and psychotropic drugs

    With the grandiose ambitions of the 1948 psychiatric campaign floundering and its reputation in tatters, as covered in 3. Psychiatry’s lack of science masked by pharmaceuticals, the chance discovery of psychotropic drugs from the middle of the 1950s onward saved the subject.

    The billions of dollars in profits and a new dominance by pharmaceutical companies over almost all aspects of psychiatry meant the subject again flipped to ‘biological psychiatry’, particularly after the publication of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) in 1980, has been defined by the “neo-Kraepelin” era.

    These drugs and the new DSM diagnostic system became the reach into societies, the new social psychiatry.

    International psychiatry, to accommodate its new tool of psychotropic drugs, again swung toward Kraepelin’s ‘biological psychiatry’, psychopharmacology, and his concept of a diagnosis system all of which dominate psychiatry today.

    And mirroring Kraepelin’s hate of the subject, psychotherapy (and anything else other than his ‘biological psychiatry’) again took a back seat. 46

    pills and dollars

    Letter of Resignation from the American Psychiatric Association – Loren Mosher

    “After nearly three decades as a member it is with a mixture of pleasure and disappointment that I submit this letter of resignation from the American Psychiatric Association.” …

    Nothing new and only a vague hope

    The introduction of psychotropic drugs as a tool for psychiatry did not advance any effort to understand mental illness and is nothing more than a crude stop-gap.

    This can be seen in the 2001, first-ever WHO World Health Report that dealt exclusively with psychiatry – Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hope. 2001 published more than 40 years after the introduction of these drugs.

    The report demanded the massive distribution of psychotropic drugs throughout the world.

    “Essential psychotropic drugs should be provided and made constantly available at all levels of health care. These medicines should be included in every country’s essential drugs list, and the best drugs to treat conditions should be made available whenever possible.”

    The World Health Report 2001. Mental Health: New Understanding New Hope. 47

    The report did not offer, even after more than 40 years, any details of discoveries that would confirm ‘biological psychiatry’ was anything more than speculation. It did provide page after page of further speculation regarding neuroscience and genetic studies, none of it proven or even useful in clinical settings, that could, maybe, improve mental health in some vague future time as ‘the hope for mental health’.

    The report…did provide page after page of further speculation regarding neuroscience and genetic studies, none of it proven or even useful in clinical settings, that could, maybe, improve mental health in some vague future time as ‘the hope for mental health’.

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    Diagnosis of the “undesirables”

    To support this push for psychotropics, the world is being subjected to the largest attempt ever to classify populations into ever-expanding categories of “disorders” or undesirable states.

    This factually is the extension of the same old psychiatric campaign from the mid-20th century – the expansion of psychiatric influence into all aspects of life as vital to this vague state of ‘mental health’ – and by an enormous expansion of aspects of life that require psychiatric attention.

    This is being done through the ever-expanding diagnosis systems of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and its mirror publication, the WHO, International Classification of Diseases (ICD) as a tool of psychiatric and Big Pharma marketing.

    The United States, 1918 Statistical Manual for the Use of Institutions for the Insane contained 22 diagnosis categories. Its successor, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) when first released in 1952 had 102 diagnosis categories. Edition II had 182, edition III rocketed up to 265, and Edition IV had 297 diagnosis categories with Edition V (2013) 298. The size of DSM has gone from 130 pages for the first edition to 995 pages for version V. 48

    The easiest way to determine what is happening with this campaign is to look for indicators with the final product – drug sales:

    In 2021 the global sales of antipsychotic drugs were estimated at $14.54 billion and predicted to grow at a yearly rate of 6.9%. 49

    The global sales of psychiatric drugs for things such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder have been estimated at more than $27 billion in 2020 and growing at an annual rate of 8.4%. 50

    In the country most directly subjected to this campaign: Studies into the use of psychiatric drugs in the US found that in the 1988 -1994 period, the use of psychotropic drugs occurred in 6.1% of the population. In the 1999 to 2002 period that had shifted upward to 11.1% 51 A study using data from 2013 found that figures had gone up to 16.7% or roughly 1 in 6 Americans were using psychiatric drugs.  52


    “Mental disorders should be diagnosed only when the presentation is clear-cut, severe, and clearly not going away on its own. The best way to deal with the everyday problems of living is to solve them directly or to wait them out, not to medicalize them with a psychiatric diagnosis or treat them with a pill.”

    Allen Frances. Professor and Chair Emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University. Chair of the DSM IV Task Force and was instrumental in the preparation of DSM III and DSM IIIR. 53

    Diagnosis based on opinions

    While undoubtedly providing avenues for selling drugs, this most influential diagnostic system (DSM) being foisted on the world and the spearhead of this psychiatric campaign has always been based on the opinions of a few American Psychiatry Association psychiatrists rather than any actual science:

    “[As] psychiatry is unable to depend on biological markers to justify including disorders in the DSM, we looked for other things – behavioural, psychological – we had other procedures….Our general principle was that if a large enough number of clinicians felt that a diagnostic concept was important in their work then we were likely to add it as a new category. That was essentially it. It became a question of how much consensus there was to recognise and include a particular disorder.”

    Robert Spitzer. DSM III Task Force Chair. 54

    “There was very little systematic research, and much of the research that existed was really a hodgepodge—scattered, inconsistent, and ambiguous. I think the majority of us recognised that the amount of good, solid science upon which we were making our decisions was pretty modest. (Angell 2009, 29).”

    Theodore Millon. DSM III Task Force. 55

    “Given its importance, you might think that the DSM represents the authoritative distillation of a large body of scientific evidence. It is instead the product of a complex of academic politics, personal ambition, ideology and, perhaps most important, the influence of the pharmaceutical industry. What the DSM lacks is evidence.

    “The problem with the DSM is that in all of its editions it has simply reflected the opinions of its writers. Not only did the DSM become the bible of psychiatry, but like the real Bible, it depends on something akin to revelation. There are no citations of scientific studies to support its decisions. That is an astonishing omission, because in all medical publications, whether journals or books, statements of fact are supposed to be supported by citations of scientific studies”.

    From: Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption by Maria Angell MD, former Editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, Senior Lecturer, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School. 2009. 56

    “Given its importance, you might think that the DSM represents the authoritative distillation of a large body of scientific evidence. It is instead the product of a complex of academic politics, personal ambition, ideology and, perhaps most important, the influence of the pharmaceutical industry. What the DSM lacks is evidence

    Maria Angell MD, former Editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, Senior Lecturer, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School. 57

    “I resigned from those committees [DSM IV] after two years because I was appalled by the way I saw that good scientific research was often being ignored, distorted, or lied about and the way that junk science was being used as though it were of high quality, if that suited the aims of those in charge. I also resigned because I was increasingly learning that giving someone a psychiatric label was extremely unlikely to reduce their suffering but carried serious risks of harm, and when I had reported these concerns and examples of harm to those at the top, they had ignored or even publicly misrepresented the facts.”

    Dr. Paula Caplan. Former professor of psychology, assistant professor in psychiatry and director of the Centre for Women’s Studies at the University of Toronto. 58

    Re: DSM V ‘Steven E. Hyman, the former director of NIMH condemned the whole enterprise. It was, he pronounced, ‘totally wrong in a way [its authors] couldn’t have imagined. So in fact what they produced was an absolute scientific nightmare. Many people who get one diagnosis get five diagnoses, but they don’t have five diseases – they have one underlying condition.’

    S E Hyman. Director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Director of the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) 1996 – 2001. From A Scull. Mad Science: The Treatment of Mental Illness Fails to Progress [Excerpt] Scientific American. 2015. 59

    “Thomas R. Insel, the current director of the National Institute of Mental Health issued a similar verdict. The manual, he proclaimed, suffered from a scientific ‘lack of validity…. As long as the research community takes the D.S.M to be a bible, we’ll never make progress. People think everything has to match D.S.M. criteria, but you know what? Biology never read that book.’ NIMH, he said, would be ‘reorienting its research away from D.S.M. categories [because] patients with mental illness deserve better’.

    “A few months earlier, in a private conversation that he must have realized would become public, Insel had voiced an even more heretical thought. His psychiatric colleagues, he said dismissively, ‘actually believe [that the diseases they diagnose using the DSM] are real. But there’s no reality. These are just constructs. There is no reality to schizophrenia or depression…we might have to stop using terms like depression and schizophrenia, because they are getting in our way, confusing things.  Insel is keen to replace descriptive psychiatry with a diagnostic system built upon biological foundations. But in the present state of our knowledge, that formula is an idle fantasy. Much as psychiatry (and many of those who suffer from mental disorders) might wish it otherwise, madness remains an enigma, a mystery we seemingly cannot solve.“‘

    Thomas R. Insel. Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) 2002 – 2015. From A Scully. From: Mad Science: The Treatment of Mental Illness Fails to Progress [Excerpt] Scientific American. 2015. 60

    “Finally, why must the APA (American Psychiatric Assocation) pretend to know more than it does? DSM IV is the fabrication upon which psychiatry seeks acceptance by medicine in general. Insiders know it is more a political than scientific document. To its credit it says so — although its brief apologia is rarely noted. DSM IV has become a bible and a money making best seller — its major failings notwithstanding. It confines and defines practice, some take it seriously, others more realistically. It is the way to get paid. Diagnostic reliability is easy to attain for research projects. The issue is what do the categories tell us? Do they in fact accurately represent the person with a problem? They don’t, and can’t, because there are no external validating criteria for psychiatric diagnoses. There is neither a blood test nor specific anatomic lesions for any major psychiatric disorder. So, where are we? APA as an organization has implicitly (sometimes explicitly as well) bought into a theoretical hoax. Is psychiatry a hoax — as practiced today? Unfortunately, the answer is mostly yes.”

    Letter of Resignation from the American Psychiatric Association – Loren Mosher 61

    “Is psychiatry a hoax — as practiced today? Unfortunately, the answer is mostly yes.”

    Psychiatrist, Loren Mosher, 1998

    Many other examples of criticisms of the DSM can be found in Dr. Terry Lynch’s The Validity of the DSM: An overview.

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    Preventative ‘mental health’ – false positives

    The intentions of psychiatry right back to the early 20th century have included prophylaxis. This requires the shift from targeted populations who are seen as ‘mentally ill’ to determining those in general populations who may become mentally ill at some point in the future.

    And this is all being done based on the opinions of psychiatrists who have no idea what causes the things they are calling ‘mental illness’, and are using these false ‘disorders’ classifications from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or the WHO’s, International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

    The current mechanism of this is attempting to screen entire populations, something tried in eugenics and currently being done through early intervention programs, particularly screening of children.

    Psychiatry simply does not have the level of technical expertise to design and carry out such screening without a) large number of misses in determining people who may later manifest a condition or b) very large percentages of false positives with the liability of, even from psychiatry’s point of view, unacceptable numbers of people, including children, being placed on psychiatric programs and damaging treatments.

    … there is the need for a screening process or instrument that has acceptable validity, that is, both high sensitivity (the capacity to identify individuals who subsequently experience a mental illness) and high specificity (the capacity to exclude correctly those individuals who subsequently do not experience a mental illness). Specificity may be particularly important in such a stigmatized area as mental health, as mislabelling a healthy child as being at high risk could itself carry adverse consequences, even if any subsequent preemptive intervention was entirely harmless.

    J Najman et al. Screening in early childhood for risk of later mental health problems: A longitudinal study. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2007. 62

    As an example, this large 2007 study involved delivering psychiatric screening tools to children at the ages of 5 (mothers questionnaire), 14 and then at 21 years of age looking for factors that would predict anxiety and depression as defined in the DSM.

    “Taking the strongest prediction we have as an illustration, there were 566 cases of DSM‐IV anxiety at 21 years, of whom 160 (sensitivity of 28.3%) were predicted, leaving 406 cases (71.7% of all cases) at 21 years undetected. Of the 530 persons identified at the 5‐year follow‐up as being at elevated risk, 370 did not reach the criteria for a case of anxiety at the 21‐year follow‐up (69.8% false positives).”

    Even assuming any validity of the DSM classifications, this means simply that the psychiatric screening tools failed to find 71.7% of DSM IV anxiety at 21 years of age.

    The tools falsely labeled 69.8% as being of elevated risk for DSM IV anxiety at 21 years of age.

    Similarly, DSM IV depression screening resulted in 80.8% false positives.

    And part of the final conclusion from the study:

    We have confirmed that while child or adolescent mental health impairment predicts mental health problems in early adulthood, the association is not sufficiently strong to recommend screening and early intervention either in early childhood or even possibly in adolescence.

    Psychiatry simply does not have the level of technical expertise to design and carry out prophylatic screening to any acceptable degree of accuracy

    And regarding early intervention in psychosis:

    “Early intervention to prevent psychosis requires first that there be an accurate tool to identify who will later become psychotic and who will not. Unfortunately, no such accurate tool exists. The false positive rate in selecting prepsychosis is at least about 60-70% in the very best of hands and may be as high as 90% in general practice. That’s right, folks, nine misidentified non patients for one accurately identified truly prepsychotic patient. Those are totally unacceptable odds.”

    Allen Frances. Professor and Chair Emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University. Chair of the DSM IV Task Force and was instrumental in the preparation of DSM III and DSM IIIR. 63

    The false positive rate in selecting prepsychosis is at least about 60-70% in the very best of hands and may be as high as 90% in general practice.”

    Allen Frances. Professor and Chair Emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University. Chair of the DSM IV Task Force and was instrumental in the preparation of DSM III and DSM IIIR. 64

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    New science: ever waiting for answers

    Psychiatry has doggedly stuck to the ‘biological psychiatry’ theory – that mental illness has entirely physical origins and these can be found within the brain. While very convenient for psychiatry in terms of cementing relationships with pharmaceutical companies and resultant remuneration for drug distribution, in the 140 years since this theory was ‘thought up’, despite using sophisticated investigatory tools, there has not been a single discovery that has found it vaguely true.

    Entire sciences have sprung into view, Neuroscience and Pharmacogenetics, and yet have produced no evidence to validate “biological psychiatry” or any clinical use.

    “I spent 13 years at NIMH really pushing on the neuroscience and genetics of mental disorders, and when I look back on that I realize that while I think I succeeded at getting lots of really cool papers published by cool scientists at fairly large costs—I think $20 billion—I don’t think we moved the needle in reducing suicide, reducing hospitalizations, improving recovery for the tens of millions of people who have mental illness. I hold myself accountable for that.”

    Thomas Insel, former director of the USA, National Institute of Mental Health, 2015. 65

    “From the early 1990s, non-invasive functional neuroimaging, coupled with parallel developments in the cognitive neurosciences, seemed to signal a new era of neurobiologically grounded diagnosis and treatment in psychiatry. Yet, despite three decades of intense neuroimaging research, we still lack a neurobiological account for any psychiatric condition. Likewise, functional neuroimaging plays no role in clinical decision making. Here, we offer a critical commentary on this impasse and suggest how the field might fare better and deliver impactful neurobiological insights.”

    Aug Nour MM, Liu Y, Dolan RJ. Functional neuroimaging in psychiatry and the case for failing better. Neuron. 2022 66

    “In contrast, the major mental illnesses psychosis, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, anorexia nervosa and depression have proved remarkably resistant to similar developments. Unfortunately, it is still not possible to cite a single neuroscience or genetic finding that has been of use to the practicing psychiatrist in managing these illnesses despite attempts to suggest the contrary.” “But does this not seem, after more than 30 years of failure, more akin to a religious or, albeit culturally influenced, persistent strong belief than one based on scientific grounds? Just where is the rational justification for ploughing the same furrow again and again?”

    David Kingdon. Emeritus Professor of Mental Health Care Delivery, University of Southampton, UK. 67

    Unfortunately, it is still not possible to cite a single neuroscience or genetic finding that has been of use to the practicing psychiatrist in managing these illnesses despite attempts to suggest the contrary.”

    David Kingdon. Emeritus Professor of Mental Health Care Delivery, University of Southampton, UK. 2021

    “‘In response to the recent and frequent discovery of genes associated with a variety of diseases, there is a temptation to rely on ‘geneticisation’ as the ultimate answer to diagnosis and prevention,’ said Dame Fiona Caldicott [principal of Somerville College, University of Oxford]. Mental disorders are highly complex, and to attribute the illness or a person’s susceptibility to the illness to their genetic make up, distorts attitudes.”

    “For scientists, genetic research into mental disorders offers the potential to improve the understanding of the process of the disease that, in turn, may lead eventually to new ways of treating or even preventing some mental disorders. For the moment, at least, however, it is not likely to be useful for diagnosing or predicting the risk of mental disorders.”

    Nuffield Council on Bioethics. 1998. 68

    “Pharmacogenetics promised to deliver a world of “precision psychiatry” where it would be much easier to match patients with the safest and most efficacious medication. This promise remains unfulfilled. Genetic testing of variants associated with drug metabolism or severe adverse events is indicated in selected patients and special situations. However, widespread testing of genetic variants with no robust association with clinical outcomes and no demonstrated utility in treatment selection does not appear to be well supported by the current evidence.”

    Francis J. McMahon. Putting Genetics to Work in the Psychiatric Clinic. 2022. 69

    And remember that Kraepelin, who originated all this regarding “biological psychiatry”, that neuroscience and so forth were supposed to validate but failed, admitted at the end of his career he never had any evidence for any of it. It was all just speculation.

    “The magnitude of the efforts to be expended on our task, the impenetrable darkness that hides the innermost workings of the brain and their relation to psychic manifestations, and finally the inadequacy of our instruments for dealing with extremely complicated issues, must cause even the most confident investigator to doubt whether it is possible to make any appreciable progress toward psychiatric knowledge and understanding; indeed, it has not been very long since some of our best researchers turned to related disciplines in search of rewards not afforded by psychotherapy.”

    Emil Kraepelin. 1917. One Hundred Years Of Psychiatry. 70

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    Psychiatry’s inherent dangers

    Free will

    You will find in psychiatry and neuroscience this idea, coming through directly from Wundt and Kraepelin, that free will is nothing more than an illusion.

    ‘”In his early writings—mainly in those on forensic topics—he [Kraepelin] stated that a priori ideas (in the sense of Kantian philosophy), freedom of the will, and personal autonomy based on individually accepted (or declined) moral values do not exist. For him, man is nothing but a part of nature, and, consequently, anything man can do is a product of this natural existence.”

    Paul Hoff. Professor of Psychiatry, University of Zurich. 2015. 71

    And yet even today you find this nonsense from psychiatrists masquerading as science:

    “Belief in free will has been a mainstay in philosophy throughout history, grounded in large part in our intuitive sense that we consciously control our actions and could have done otherwise. However, psychology and psychiatry have long sought to uncover mechanistic explanations for human behavior that challenge the notion of free will.”

    Pierre JM. The neuroscience of free will: implications for psychiatry. 2014. 72

    This is an unproven, irresponsible, and dangerous idea and yet explains to a great extent the fascination of fascists and authoritarians with psychiatry.

    Referring back to Brock Chisholm’s 1948 pronunciations regarding psychiatry:

    “With the other human sciences, psychiatry must now decide what is to be the immediate future of the human race. No one else can. And this Is the prime responsibility of psychiatry.”

    B Chisholm lectures 1945 73

    It would be foolish to conclude then that all in psychiatry would include free will, freedom, or any of the other higher faculties and aspirations of man that place him more than an animal under a slavemaster’s boot, as a high priority within the immediate future.

    Future Psychiatry

    And considering this lack of care for things such as freedom, what of future psychiatry?

    Many psychiatric scientific ‘advances’ that anticipate both an individual and political decay of free will and freedom are, in fact, not entirely beyond existing technology and many are currently being researched as to their feasibility. 74 75

    The danger here is scientific advances provide more tools to an ethically defective subject whose intent is to mold the world according to its opinions of what that world should be.

    Consider such things as these :

    All peoples of the earth will have psychiatric profiles from which they will be subjected to treatments which can include automated implanted drug distribution systems or electronic/magnetic stimulus to alter any aberrant behavior (aberrant from a psychiatric opinionated and potentially politically defined normal).

    The screening for these profiles will begin in the uterus, combined with past data on family generations and ALL data regarding that person’s life and passed upon by Artificial Intelligence trained on psychiatric lies to determine deviant individuals. That determination will considerably affect the person’s life, ambitions, job, and even such things as the ability to procreate.

    Those not yet born who are found to be deviant based on false psychiatric classification/diagnosis of individual genetics will be aborted.

    Every living individual will be assigned a condition of ‘mental health’, based on false classification systems built on opinions. Entire populations will be forced into subservient apathy after being subjected to malevolent misinformation based on a psychiatric philosophy where the higher faculties and aspirations of man such as free will, freedom, creativity, and an individual’s goals, etc. are mere ‘illusions’.

    This as psychiatry’s future is a tyrant’s dream.

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    Why not let psychiatry run the show?

    As an epilogue for the entire series we are left with the question: Why not just let psychiatry run the show, let them just ‘have at it’?

    Despite fraudulent self-promotion to the contrary, the subject lacks a scientific foundation and while pretending to be a science, is based entirely on speculation, clinically little more than a mental illness “band-aide” and a bad one at that.

    The subject lacks technical integrity where the research record has and is being corrupted by commercial interests and importantly, any search for an eventual actual science of mental health is being suppressed by the influence of these interests.

    The subject is based on a ‘philosophy’ built on the debasement of the higher faculties and aspirations of man such as free will, freedom, ethics, creativity, and more; and considers these as ‘illusions’.

    Despite the efforts of a few, the subject is proven incapable of policing or correcting itself both ethically or in terms of its ‘science’.

    Therefore, is psychiatry qualified to be the sole arbiter of what is ‘mental health’ or the modifications to societies and cultures that it craves?

    The answer is no, not even close.

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