Friday, December 18, 2015

Rabbi Stern, Star Wars, Psychiatry

Many years ago, Rabbi Stern of Congregation B'nai Amunah in Skokie, Illinois gave a high holiday sermon, about an hour long, consisting of his personal review of the original movie, Star Wars. It was a brilliant demonstration of why this guy got the big bucks from one of the most successful American Jewish temples of the time.

Stern's last line, which really brought the house down, was of course... "May the Force be with you!"

In those days there were no SSRI's. ADHD was barely getting started. People may have believed in "chemical imbalances" in their brains, but not as blindly as they do now. It was not an issue that the authorities had to insist upon; and people believed in psychoanalysis and confession back then, too.

This weekend, with the record box office for Disney's new Star Wars movie, we are reminded that traditional American culture is still strong. It is strong around the world in the face of violent jihad, strong despite internal political squabbles between left and right, and strong against the debilitating influence of ultra-materialistic, "you-are-your-brain-and-that's-all-slave!" psychiatry.

The real conflict of our age is not what the media pretend it is. The real rebellion is against a Psych Empire, a true slave system wherein such exalted "experts" as Jeffrey (Darth?) Lieberman are the captains of medical teams, the rulers, to be obeyed or even worshiped by everyone else who is a mere "sick patient". When the patients don't bow down and proclaim sincere belief in the rightful authority and ultimate benevolence of their doctor-masters, it's because of their disease, of course! It's "anosognosia".

The Empire would allow no one to aspire to full natural recovery from mental health problems. It orders drugs for all its slaves, and requires acceptance of general, chronic disability. The Empire's white-clad storm troopers can catch and imprison anyone who refuses to be "treated". Taxes are extracted from the people of the planet to pay for the inflated salaries, the extravagant ritual sacrifices ("research"), and the construction of fortresses ("hospitals") demanded by state psych bureaucrats.

But the Empire has secret weaknesses, and there are rebels who refuse psychiatry. Perhaps the death star those rebels will destroy despite long odds is the DSM; perhaps it is the Murphy bill; perhaps it is the corrupt forensic mental health system of a certain state. But there will be victory, and celebration, and triumphant music. Just like in the movie.

We can count on it. Truth, however fought, will ultimately prevail.

May the Force be with you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Congratulations to (the legendary) Rodney Yoder!

For more years than Rodney Yoder cares to think about now, corrupt state actors spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to keep him locked up in Illinois' only maximum-security psychiatric "hospital".

During the jury trial for which I was his legal counsel, celebrity hired-gun psychs swore under oath that Yoder was the most dangerous psychotic they had ever encountered.

He finally got out of the Chester Mental Health Center hell hole. Despite the long and bitter injustice he was forced to endure, he has been a productive, law-abiding member of the community for a decade now.

Yoder never took the drugs. He never bought into the fraud. He resisted, and won. He made a good number of people whom he always called "psycho-quacks" (e.g., Daniel J. Cuneo and Syed Hussain, both of whom continue to rip off the people of Illinois to this day!) look like the fools and the gangsters they truly are.

Well done, Rodney!

Your new granddaughter will tell her children and their children your heroic story.... Perhaps in a world where psychiatrists can no longer imprison and torture innocent people.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Psychiatry makes the mass shooters

David Brooks recently wrote a column entitled "How Radicals Are Made" in the New York Times. Several points he made about mass movements stuck with me.

Involuntary psychiatric patients (psychiatric slaves), and the clinical staff who pretend to treat them (psychiatric plantation overseers), are alike, trained to be followers or true believers in a "mental health" mass movement. The reason an NGRI acquittee cannot easily refuse medication is not because she needs the drugs to be symptom-free or non-violent; it's because self sacrifice and self renunciation are required by this movement, driven by wild hope about brain disease that will soon be cured with treatment advances which never arrive but always remain just around the multi-billion-dollar research corner.

Brooks quotes Eric Hoffer's 1951 classic, The True Believer: "(M)ass movements denigrate the individual self. Everything that is unique about an individual is either criticized, forbidden or diminished." I suspect that every client I've ever had at Elgin Mental Health Center would certify that, as exactly what their so-called "treatment" is most about!

More Hoffer quotes from Brooks' article: "The individual's identity is defined by the collective group identity..." and "make-believe plays perhaps a more enduring role than any other factor."

NAMI, Fuller Torrey's Treatment (Torture) Advocacy Center, Jeffrey Lieberman's APA, Elgin Mental Health Center Security Therapy Aides and other clinicians, along with all of their "patients", are constantly encouraging themselves and each other to be "mental health" people above and beyond all else. And the make-believe, the fantasy, is that it's all about medicine, brains and brain science.

Ironically, David Brooks offers a very rational framework to remedy terrorism, even as the single most destructive mass movement in modern history ("mental health" defined and controlled by psychiatry) is creating terrorists with unprecedented efficiency while apparently remaining invisible, not only to Brooks, but to the whole intellectual leadership of Western civilization.

They simply have never identified the right target.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

To all staff, William White Cottage, Elgin Mental Health Center

June 25, 2015

White Cottage Clinical Staff
Elgin Mental Health Center
750 South State Street
Elgin, IL 60123

RE: Illegal harassment

To All Staff:

PLEASE BE ON NOTICE that unconscionable, frequent taunting and ridiculing of a patient violates standards of care and principles of mental healing. There can be no pretense of any “hospital” or therapeutic milieu, when staff take opportunities to flagrantly torment or make fun of the people they are supposed to be helping.

Many of you have witnessed certain staff sneeringly tell a certain patient on the unit, “You need meds,” or sarcastically moan when this patient walks by, “Oooh, poor girl…!” Disrespectful, offensive communication from one or two individuals (and everybody knows who does it) is nothing but provocation. It is worse than unprofessional. It really proves that the perpetrator doesn’t like or cannot do her job.

These incidents and examples of harassment are being documented, and legal action will eventually be taken. Anyone who doesn’t try to stop such behavior will be presumed to have encouraged it. Please feel free to call me on my cell at any time in complete confidence, if you have any questions or thoughts about this.

Staff should behave better than patients. If they can’t, they will probably have to go.

Yours very truly,
Randy Kretchmar

cc:       DHS General Counsel, CCHR International

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

To: Members of the United States House of Representatives House Energy & Commerce Committee Health Subcommittee

June 16, 2015

Dear Chairman Upton, and Members of the Committee:

You held a public hearing today, concerning H.R. 2646, the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act”.  My concerns with that bill center on two facts which cannot be honestly disputed: 1) mental health treatment is only effective in inverse ratio to the amount of coercion it must employ; and 2) it is the flagrant, unreasonable medicalization of human problems in thinking, feeling or behaving that has dramatically increased stigma and disability.

In short, psychiatric drugs and shock work poorly for any purpose of improving human behavior or the human condition; and forced drugs and shock work so poorly that they are a horrific human rights abuse.  Despite persistent blind faith or “hopium” from such quarters as the National Institute on Mental Health, the verdicts of real science admit no future prospect for peace and happiness from psychiatric fine-tuning of individuals’ brains.

Perhaps one clear, ironic sign of utter desperation among proponents of continued psychiatric coercion and ascendant legal authority was a statement by Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, in his testimony before the Committee today….

Dr. Lieberman makes a habit of glorious prognostications about advances in “brain science”.  But the truth, which his peers at the APA and NIMH are consistently admitting these days, is that after a century of fully funded research, neither schizophrenia nor any other psychiatric “diagnosis” is any better understood or validated than it was in the days of Benjamin Rush!  Medical science has nothing to do with psychiatry, and it quite possibly never will.

Dr. Lieberman simply must scapegoat someone or something, to divert public attention from the truth.  Enter, “stigma” caused by a bogeyman, the “Anti-Psychiatry Movement” or the Church of Scientology.

I have been a full-time practicing attorney working exclusively in the mental health field for almost fourteen years.  I spend all of my professional time with mental patients (often violent psychotics) and their service providers, including many very well-intended and competent psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, therapists, criminal court judges and state hospital administrators. 

I am also a life-long Scientologist, as are my wife of forty years and our three adult children.  If such a thing as “a virulent Anti-Psychiatry Movement” exists, and if as Dr. Lieberman suggests, such a movement can be blamed for the stigma of mental illness, then you may call me before your committee, because I should surely have to answer for that personally!

Jeffrey Lieberman’s assessment of the situation is disingenuous or flat-out mistaken.  And I beg your pardon, I have never been motivated in my work by financial designs.  I know many Scientologists.  They don’t pay me, or have any prospect of financial gain from opposition to psychiatry.  Quite the opposite, I assure you.  Publicly questioning such a social orthodoxy as the medical mental health model (however destructive and pernicious it may eventually be seen to be in the judgment of history) brings only expense, inconvenience and knee-jerk reproach from one’s own community.

Please consider the details of H.R. 2646 very carefully with a skeptical eye.  Listen to the perspectives of some people who are not so wedded to the current, rotten psychiatric establishment, people who do not deviously offer up mythical scapegoats and excuses for a hundred years of failure. 

And please try not to buy into Lieberman’s slander against my religion.

Yours very truly,
S. Randolph Kretchmar

Monday, May 18, 2015

APA Annual Meeting in Toronto

For the second year in a row, the APA gave me a huge discount off the price of admission to their annual meeting, for being an advocate with an organization that they would certainly consider to be part of the fearsome "anti-psychiatry movement". (I love the irony in that... although mentioning it here may cost me in the future. I'm not sure if they're magnanimous with known enemies, or just incapable of evaluating freely available information.)

The Toronto convention was huge. It was all over the downtown portion of this beautiful city. When I arrived at Canadian immigration on my way in, the officer said she could tell what conference I was there for because I didn't look very happy about it. She added that she had overheard some very interesting conversations.

I'll just summarize a couple high points, and perhaps write more later....

My first class was on "Treatment of Schizophrenia". I'm actively litigating right now for two different clients who are diagnosed with schizophrenia, involuntarily confined and/or forcibly drugged.

One of the four presenters in this class was Rajiv Tandon, MD, who was part the DSM5 committee that dictated the newest definition and "reality" of schizophrenia itself. Dr. Tandon was surprisingly forthcoming. Among his admissions:
  • there is "incredible heterogeneity in schizophrenia;"
  • there appear to be hundreds of genetic causes and, "We don't know what this means;"
  • "We still have not defined what exactly is wrong;"
  • treatments are empirical and experimental only; the drugs are clearly not well targeted, or targeted at all for that matter, to any known specific brain pathology, thus they can cause more trouble than they're worth;
  • prophylactic treatment of any "prodrome" should be with omega-3 fatty acids, definitely not with anti-psychotic drugs.
At the end of his presentation, a young Canadian psychiatrist asked Dr. Tandon whether it was actually unfortunate that the DSM5 committee had elected to retain "schizophrenia" at all as a diagnosis. Between the "incredible heterogeneity" and the clear threat of stigma, shouldn't the concept be abandoned as both meaningless and damaging?

Dr. Tandon implied surprising agreement with this, but claimed that it was really a World Health Organization issue, after all. The APA must avoid being accused of "American imperialism" by the rest of the world, for taking so radical a step as to abolish schizophrenia. He added that, "Changing the term would imply that we know something about why it should be changed, which we don't."

So I guess the bottom line from the APA on treatment of schizophrenia (whatever that is) in 2015 equals something like, "We have no idea what we're doing, even after 100 years of trying to figure it out with billions of dollars from the public fisc. But we are very concerned about public relations..."

My second class was "Evaluation and Treatment of Behavioral Emergencies." Despite the fact that the most time was spent discussing the details of drugs new and old, there was also a prevailing opinion that the magic factor in emergency psychiatry is "de-escalation". There was much common sense in this, and some fascinating statistics. Apparently psychiatry works far better with the least possible amount of coercion (what do you know!): all five speakers agreed with the principle.

The problem of course, is that so-called "treatment of behavioral emergencies" remains essentially a euphemism for police action. There's no way to fundamentally separate it from coercion. An explicit point was made that chemical restraint, defined as treatment with drugs not to ameliorate any medical condition but only to control a person's movement, violates civil and human rights.

The disingenuous solution... and none of the speakers had any problem posing it with a straight face... was to call "agitation" a medical condition. This is no less arbitrary than the idea that all human problems of thinking, feeling and behaving are medical conditions, which is of course a central tenet of orthodox American psychiatry.

However, what was most impressive here was the apparent lack of all insight that merely presuming any agitation to be a medical condition was a semantic trick. Even Jon S. Berlin, with whom I was quite positively impressed, had no comment indicating awareness of this. 

I think it just worked too well to get these guys off the hook for chemically restraining people.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Recovery starts with non-compliance

Recovery from serious mental illness may be a long process. If it is successful, it will certainly end with personal empowerment. But for any individual, success may require unpredictable elements and quantities of education, organization, research and experiment, soul searching, honest conversation, collaboration and compromise, perhaps even recalcitrance or courage.

In any event, recovery can only start with non-compliance.

My project outline here begs several questions, of course....

The first one is the validity of the concept of "serious mental illness" to begin with. When I use that term I do not imply any "diagnosis". People from Fuller Torrey's Treatment Advocacy Center (I'd rather call it "torture advocacy center", which still abbreviates to T.A.C. and is much more honest), and Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, must pretend that this is an objective category. Usually, they include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression as "serious mental illness" automatically, with no attention to who made the "diagnosis", when, by what criteria, etc.

This is a useless pretense, or myth of disease. It only benefits Pharma and the incomes of "experts". It assuredly does not benefit any patient anywhere, or society.

I suppose when I say "serious mental illness" I simply mean behavior which has landed somebody in sufficient trouble to be sold into psychiatric slavery (e.g., NGRI, unfit to stand trial, or otherwise involuntarily committed and coerced into "treatment").

The next issue is the nature of compliance or non-compliance. I once attended a serious seminar at an APA annual meeting, all about how patient "adherence" to prescribed medication, not compliance, is the better way to look at it. The psychs don't like to face up to their dependence on coercion. This is one of their major weak points.

I prefer to see this as a question of agency and nobility. There's a distinction between obedience and compliance, by the way. These are not interchangeable synonyms. Nietzsche told us that obedience can be noble (not in slaves, but in un-conscripted soldiers). My point might be that when one obeys, he knows he's obeying someone, and he usually knows who it is. It's personal.

Compliance is just being a willing part of the machine. It's almost an unconscious or automatic conformity, often with no personal implication, responsibility or redress, at all.

Too much compliance might be a cause of mental illness. What is acting out but compliance with one's own unsocial instincts and selfish desires? What is auditory hallucination or dissociation but compliance with one's own thoughts?

Non-compliance above all establishes personal agency. In our culture people find non-compliance more convincing (or maybe just easier to accept) when it is accompanied by reasons, arguments, evidence, etc. If this goes far enough, non-compliance can become so subtle that "the machine is on the other foot" so-to-speak. Those who become convinced that a certain type of non-compliance is utterly rational and justified end up complying with the viewpoint that was originally contrary.

In any event, a psychiatric slave who is non-compliant with "treatment" (drugs) may or may not find it immediately easy to get along. But he or she will be recognized right away, and there sure will be a higher demand for reasons, arguments and evidence. Then the trick will become the alert mixture of courage, recalcitrance, compromise, collaboration, honest conversation, soul searching, research and experiment, organization and education.

Hell of a project, perhaps! But there is only disempowerment from psychiatry, only the loss of personhood. And the drugs are their most heinous weapon.

So recovery starts with non-compliance.