Category Archives: animals rights

THE PERNICIOUS PSYCHIATRY


Can it be said, with concrete evidence, that the modern psychiatric profession has been able to reduce the problem of mental illness? Has it been able to have any significant break-through, based on ‘science’, in the understanding of mental illness?

I have been fascinated by (director of the National Institute of Mental Health-NIMH) Thomas Insel’s recent statements about the DSM because there he answered no to those two questions. (See my first Long Live Psychiatry post.)

Don’t delude yourself, his statements were anti-psychiatry, not merely anti-DSM.  The problem is, you can’t trash Santeria’s cowrie shells reading as ignorance and then refer me to a Santero for a reading.

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That’s EXACTLY what Insel did when he trashed, not only the DSM, but the whole psychiatric ‘chemical imbalance’ model: he’s asking you to go to your shrink to have him read your DSM-cowrie.

He even trashed the pharma, well, the so-called psychiatric drugs they make to ‘cure’ emotional problems. Of course, he could only wink at the moral implications of calling on the lies that the pharma sells to us (all highlights and brackets by me):

“Given that over 95% of compounds [drugs] fail during the clinical phases of development (a fact not appreciated by looking at the published literature which is biased towards positive results)…” In ‘Experimental Medicine

So, yes, Insel DID trash the current psychiatry profession and the pharma.

He even said that MENTAL ILLNESS does NOT EXIST!

Who in the anti-psychiatry movement would disagree with his statements?

One problem with Insel’s correct statements is his ALTERNATIVE to this obsolete, inefficient and growingly irrelevant profession: EXPERIMENTAL medicine, PSYCHOSURGERY and NEUROPSYCHIATRY. The last two practices are as discredited as the one he is discarding.

The practice of poking holes in the human skull to find in the brain the seats of ‘depression’ or of road-rage behavior is older than Methuselah. You can give it a new name and call it ‘science’; it will continue to be the same ol’ useless TREPANNING practiced by the priests of ancient ages.

Left skull, iron age. Right skull - modern 21st century.

Left skull, iron age. Right skull – modern 21st century.

The new psychiatric model: Experimenting with an experiment (seriously!)

“But do we really understand the circuitry for depression or psychosis or autism? Not by a long shot.” Wanted: A Few Good Brains

So, nobody knows how mental illness ‘works’, not the old psychiatry and, as confessed by Insel, the new ‘scientific psychiatry’ knows even less. That’s a lot of progress since the ancient Egyptians were chanting to Isis for a cure to mental illness, isn’t it?

Ancient capsulotomy.

Consequently, they have to start poking the brain mass to understand these brain circuitry malfunctions (that’s what he said we must call all mental illnesses).

“As a result, NIMH is shifting from large clinical trials…to a model called “experimental medicine.” In experimental medicine, drugs are used as clinical probes and the immediate goal is not to develop a treatment but to identify or verify a target Experimental medicine is an experiment.”

The goal here is not to develop treatment. That’s progress too! Woo-hoo!

The goal, he says, is EXPERIMENTING with drugs to see how you respond to the poking and “probing” and tinkering with your brain mass (open surgery required in many cases) to find your brain ‘circuitry’. “Target” means a particular spot in the brain that could be identified as the location of circuitry related to an ‘illness’, and ‘targeting’ it by dousing the whole brain with drugs to see what happens to it, if anything. ‘Hey, let’s see what happens when we drug this dude with LSD, again!

This experimenting with your brain mass ‘model’ is the logical procedure for ‘scientists’ to acquire the knowledge about our behaviors that no one has. That’s why the millenarian Egyptians used it. Somehow, it was barbaric for them to do it, but scientific for Insel to do it.

So, that’s the meaning of “experimental medicine is an experiment”: using live human subjects to experiment with the brain. The lab rats shall be free!

“This approach acknowledges that animal studies…are not consistently predictive of how medications will work in humans, homo veritas. Experimental medicine focuses on human studies rather than rodent research.”

The people of the animal rights groups have been saying the same thing – that testing on animals us useless for us, but no one cares that Insel is saying they are right. We just seem unable to put two and two together.

Who will be the new rodents for this experimental medicine model? Round up the usual suspects:

“For NIMH…people with our most prevalent disorders seem to be everywhere—homebound, homeless, in prison, schools, primary care—except the academic health center. As a result, recruitment into clinical trials may be slow [because, as he acknowledges in the article, the public do not care much for experimenting on humans].”

You can’t say you have not been warned.

In the next post: Psychiatric profession’ struggle to remain relevant. It’s past, present and future; the real reason why Insel bashed the profession.

Baby Hope (Angelica Castillo, R.I.P) and the many faces of evil.


Evil is the UNSPEAKABLE harm  that humans do, KNOWINGLY, JOYFULLY and REMORSELESSLY, to others who are NOT in the position to fight back. That includes harm done  to children and animals, women, the elderly. But also the harm  done to a NATION’S CITIZENS who can’t  IMMEDIATELY fight-back it’s government and big corporations’ immoral policies which destroy lives under cover of law.

There are many people who fit the bill, whether in politics (both democrat and republican parties) or in our regular communities. I give you here only TWO of the many and most disgusting and scary faces of EVIL:

Conrado is the monster who tortured and assassinated a four years old child. Today we know the child’s name was Angelica Castillo.The other face, well, he’s so evil that his citizens call him Darth Vader. His crime: he went PUBLICLY to demand from our Congress a law to give the government (him) the right to use TORTURE as a form of interrogation to extract confessions from ‘enemies of the state’. Of course, we know that EVERYTHING permitted in wars has come to plague the peaceful American civilian life and that, now, dissenting groups and individuals are considered by the State as ‘enemies of the state’. Jose Padilla was the FIRST AMERICAN to experience the government’s right to torture its citizens . The precedent has been set, followed by President Obama’s NDAA, a right to kill a US citizen without habeas corpus.

When the ‘beacon of freedom’ sees torture as something ‘useful’ and moral, as the ‘right thing to do’ to others, the Conrados of the world have triumphed over our hearts.

I think it is our moral duty to be as OUTRAGED about our government’s torture policies as we are about this beast who tortured that child.

They are one and the same expression of evil, in different faces and with different accent.

On criminals, terrorists, and mad men.


Before 9/11, a person who went out on a ‘killing rampage’ was viewed by the public as one who “went postal’, a ‘bomber without a cause’ or a ‘serial killer’. In other words, it was considered the act of a ‘common criminal’, not a political or act of war.  After 9/11, that same person committing the same act is considered ‘a war terrorist’ and ‘a crazy person’, to boot.

When and how did we decide to re-classify our definition of ‘common crime’ as ‘an act of war and terrorism’, and to link it to mental illness? Who helped shape our collective ‘perception’ of ‘imminent’ danger?

I will share my views about how mental illness has been scapegoat, after 9/11, as terrorism in a veiled effort to control political and social dissent in our nation, which our current president has declared to be in “a permanent state of war”.

Parts of this post will go under the headings:

The politics of crime: crime in the US before 9/11

Our a-political perception of crime

Mental illness to the rescue

THE POLITICS OF CRIME: Crime in the US before 9/11

Before 9/11, mental illness was seldom considered the sole culprit of acts of violence in our society. Acts of violence by ‘civilians’ (killing co-workers or loved ones) was seen by the public mostly as something done by someone who ‘lost it’ or who ‘went postal’. Implied in these descriptions is some sort of collective understanding that the person committing the crime was under the pressures of work, finance, love betrayal, or other social problems; the public was able to point to a ‘social context’ behind the act of violence. Because of this awareness of a social context behind crimes, the citizens of a town, city or state could look for a social solution to the problem of violence, not for a ‘war’ policy or armaments solution.

Also, pre-9/11 there was an unspoken social ‘agreement’ on the distinction between a ‘common criminal’ and a ‘terrorist’. A terrorist was a foreigner ‘at war’ against us but not here in the USA, and home-grown violence (by civilians) was just ‘regular crimes’. Thus, terrorism = act of war.

In other words, before 9/11 there seemed to be no ‘political’ crimes in the USA, acts of violence to advance political beliefs.  Seldom did the media or law enforcement agencies (at least publicly) tagged as ‘terrorism’ crimes that were clearly political in nature. Not even Timothy McVeigh, member of a separatist militia movement, was tagged as a terrorist, not until way after 9/11. The killing of a US President was NOT considered a political or even as terrorist act either. It was tagged as the act of a fanatical ‘lone-wolf’, who probably had been manipulated by the commies, a fact which would have made the crime a political one and a conspiracy. (But we never really went there, did we?) The ‘unabomber’ was a ‘rebel without a cause’, even a ‘mad genius’ but not a terrorist, certainly not a ‘political crusader’ for the animal rights movement, a fact many people don’t know about. And, finally, incarcerated political dissidents before 9/11, like imprisoned Puerto Rican liberation movement members, considered themselves ‘political prisoners’ (not terrorists) but the federal government had perennially refused to accept them as such, tagging them instead as ‘criminals’, until recently.

All of these examples of reluctance by the government to use the ‘t’ word, ‘terrorism’, fly despite the fact that it (FBI) had, before 9/11,  a clear definition of terrorism:

“the unlawful use of force or violence, committed by a group(s) of two or more individuals,against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”

That is a political definition of terrorism, based on power struggle between the government and other groups of people to “furtherance of political or social objectives”. It required a “group” (“two or more”), and purposeful coordination of acts was implied. But we hardly knew about this definition, didn’t we? Why? This is in part because of the “two or more” requirement, given that our criminals were almost always portrayed as ‘lone-wolves’.

OUR POLITICAL PERCEPTIONS OF CRIME

The one thing the government (federal and state) must protect above anything else is…no, it’s not ‘the nation’.  It is the public trust in the government’s institutions. No trust in government = dissent, polarization, and power struggles for change in the way the government leaders run the nation, be it through peaceful civil disobedience or violence.

The public’s perception of ‘crime’ is shaped by the government’s criminal and justice systems policies and politics, among others. (It’s interesting to me that the first American group to be labeled as  ‘terrorist’ was the animals rights movement in The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act of 2006, something unrelated to war or Al Qaeda.)

So, it is conceivable that, to protect the public’s perception that the majority of the people are satisfied with the government’s policies, that there is no significant dissent within the society, the actions of dissenting groups are described as ‘regular crime’ and ‘crazy’ to devoid them of its political statement against the government policies. It reeks to Nazism, doesn’t it?

So, in a nation engaged in a ‘permanent war against terrorism’ and in enacting political, economic and repressive policies (police and surveillance state), which attack the middle class (leaving de-facto only two classes, the elite and the poor), how is the government going to label the natural political acts of dissent and resistance of those affected by its unfair policies and the impact it has on the social fabric?

Tomorrow: the pre and post 9/11 perception on crime, and mental illness to the rescue.

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Today’s funny post