Tuesday, March 10, 2009

HOW TO REFUSE PSYCHIATRY WITHOUT PISSING OFF THE NEIGHBORS

INTRODUCTION

Everything starts and ends with the nuthouse.

People who participate in the environment and operations of locked, maximum-security state institutions for psychotic killers and perverts have unassailable claims to citizenship.

This point is political, but it has an existential corollary. People with intimate reference to involuntary confinement for insanity have unassailable knowledge of who they are.

Refusing psychiatry is a political and an existential act.

Our society has accepted the proposition that bad behavior and unpleasant feelings are sicknesses or diseases of the brain, and we have elected doctors specializing in behavior (but tellingly, not specializing in the brain) as the ultimate solvers of just about all social problems. Those who publicly disagree with the solutions the doctors offer will at least be required to prove they have better ones. They may be branded as anti-social, deluded, and perhaps mentally diseased themselves.

Most members of Western cultures have renounced religious faith and observance to some degree, in favor of medicine as the brightest hope for future happiness. Anyone honestly refusing to believe that new pills for brains must bring peace, joy and immortality embarks upon a desperate search for his or her own soul, not to mention the souls of those they love.

If you are not in your head, then where can you be? If you are not your brain, then what can you be? What can we do with criminals but exterminate them?

This blog first of all offers the view that anyone who has not been in a nuthouse has not confronted such questions. It may then occasionally attempt to explain how anyone who has been in a nuthouse might conquer the more oblivious world.

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Psychiatry and the law can be conflated because they both concern behavior and attempt to solve behavioral problems. But in the attempt, psychiatry is based in clinical theory and purports to apply the strictest possible scientific research methods, whereas the law is based in social authority and purports to apply general, liberally documented human experience.

The nuthouse is the single most extreme environment, where virtually everyone completely forgets, or intentionally obscures, the difference.

Psychiatrists in state institutions often seem confused about whether they are doctors, jailors or lawyers, whether their job is diagnosing diseases, protecting the public or predicting the reactions of criminal court judges. They chart subjective symptoms and make arbitrary diagnoses to retroactively justify preferred treatments and to support bureaucratic policies or practices.

Patients in state institutions usually have no concept of informed consent or medical choice. They regard the forensic mental hospital as a soft prison and treatment as their punishment option, chosen by someone they can no longer really identify, at some moment in court which they sort of missed.

But the nuthouse is only the clearest demonstration of the precise confusion which presently informs all of remnant Western Civilization. Thus, it may be the ideal training ground for conspiracy to power.

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As author of this blog, I should perhaps try to preempt predictable revelations that I am a Scientologist. This is true, and my religion informs my observations and feelings more or less the same way anyone else’s might inform theirs. But for the record, I emphatically do not believe such absurd simplicities as, “There is no such thing as mental illness,” or “All psychiatrists are evil monsters.” And I do not engage in any competition with psychiatry to provide any service whatsoever to the insane or the mentally ill.

My relevant religious belief is stated quite precisely in the published creed of my church: The study of the mind and the healing of mentally caused ills should not be alienated from religion, nor condoned in non-religious fields.

Religious faith is essentially causation of knowledge or first postulate, beyond reason and reasonable justification. Nevertheless, as a lawyer I well acquired the ignoble, degraded habit of offering reasons and arguments.

Those who argue that the study of the mind should be a scientific as opposed to a religious endeavor must basically presume that the mind and the brain, or the mind and some bio-physical structure or process, are identical. This is no more scientific than atheism. It’s a statement that the mind and the soul as such entities are traditionally understood simply do not exist. Totalistic negative propositions can never be proven or falsified by the scientific method or within the traditions of philosophy. They are ultimately an alternative faith.

The study of the brain and the healing of brain disease are entirely proper subjects for medical science. But the fact is missed, neglected and hidden, that psychiatry only hopes that the causes of bad behavior are brain diseases which will be discovered someday and cured or more effectively treated by doctors. There is nothing wrong with such hope so long as it does not produce deluded public policy. I share, along with every other Scientologist I know, society’s instinctive gratitude for true medical relief from pain, disability and death.

However, alienation of the mind (not the brain) and mental phenomena (not objective disease) from religion, the subsuming of human emotion, dignity, purpose, and consciousness itself to radical materialism, and "expert" fiat that we must all admit we are soulless mechanisms, explainable and controllable without reference to any concept of soul … these were vital elements which built the last century’s high road to a black gate and a hot mushroom cloud.

SRK

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