Saturday, December 2, 2023
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
I would like to make an EXPLICIT promise to anyone whom I mention by name or otherwise identify in this blog. This is prospective and retrospective.
If I write something about you that is not true, and you call me and tell me, I will retract any untruth. If I insult you in a way that is not fair, and you call me to complain, I will pay attention and amend my written comments to be less unfair.
My cell phone is 847-370-5410. I’ll talk to anyone. I will never mention or reveal that you have called me if you ask me not to. I only want the truth to be known and justice to be served. I believe that an overwhelming majority of people are well intended and want to help others.
Sunday, November 26, 2023
Thursday, November 23, 2023
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Mickey was transferred to McFarland MHC (now under a new name, which I don't remember yet) from Chester MHC (same old name). McFarland is the only IDHS-operated slave plantation (laughingly, a "hospital") that I have not been to. I hope to get down there before Mickey Thiems out the beginning of January.
His new psychiatrist, Dr. Cash, sounded Indian or Pakistani over the phone connection by which I attended Mickey's staffing today. Her accent is very similar to Hasina Javed's accent. Javed is a Defendant in several of our federal lawsuits, so I've known her for a long time and deposed her or cross-examined her on various occasions. At one time, long ago when she thought she had nothing to worry about, Dr. Javed was as arrogant as Dr. Cash was today.
Mickey is not stupid, and he knows a bit about mental health law. Dr. Cash evidently wanted him to think she knows more. She told him that he's on a coed unit, and he'd "better not be inappropriate with female patients or staff...." I might agree with her that such a warning is appropriate and Mickey should heed it. But here's the problem: Cash added an implied threat, which might actually be illegal: "...if you want to get out of here."
The thing is, and Dr. Cash confirmed that she knows it when I questioned her, a Thiem date is a hard stop on involuntary commitment. She cannot keep Mickey past his Thiem date. The only way to do that would be to file a civil commitment petition. He will be entitled to a whole lot of due process (including, e.g., a televised trial by jury) if she does that. And the standard by which she has to prove that he is mentally ill, and that he is dangerous because of his mental illness, is elevated to clear and convincing.
There actually isn't any such thing as clear and convincing proof of mental illness these days, let alone clear and convincing proof that a guy who never did anything worse than steel a car is dangerous because of mental illness. I'd sure love to defend Mickey in a jury trial of Dr. Cash's civil commitment petition!
But she won't file any petition. Mickey has too much self control to be incited or baited into looking mentally ill and dangerous between now and January. He can just laugh at Dr. Cash, or not, depending on his own judgment (which I have learned to trust) about what will best get the rest of the treatment team on his side. This is where the illegality might come in. Chart notes, reports to a court, etc., are evidential and presumed to be sworn to as under oath. Judges absolutely hate to discover that some supposed "medical expert" upon whose testimony they are supposed to rely is a bullshitter.
Then there is 405 ILCS 5/3-402, which is the statute that prohibits a psychiatrist from stating to a patient that he or she "may be subject to involuntary commitment," unless that psychiatrist has personally examined the patient within 72 hours prior, and is prepared to execute a certificate. Dr. Cash violated this, by her statements to Mickey and to me during the staffing today. She was willing to break the law, because she thought this implied threat would give her a little extra control over Mickey, which she was apparently very anxious she might not otherwise have.
Psychiatry is control, it is not help. Dr. Cash is a failed overseer on a plantation, not to mention a failed doctor. She ought to cash it in.
Over a lot of years, I've written quite a bit about James Baker. NGRI for murder, Thiem date June, 2025, getting free room & board at EMHC and nobody there apparently interested at all, in getting him out.
No EMHC administrative staff attended James' monthly staffing today, just three hapless Hartman Unit treatment team members. Perfectly pleasant, no complaints at all about James' behavior, etc. But they also had absolutely nothing to say about anyone wanting to get this patient released before he Thiems out in a little over a year and a half.
Usually, an administrator named Dr. Martha Welch attends. The last time we saw her was a couple months ago. On that occasion, she promised to find out when James might be scheduled for his fourth time through the "Community Reintegration Program," which is considered (quite incredibly if you ask me) to be important before a petition for James' conditional release can be put together.
Today Martha didn't show up to be asked what she had found out. That's probably because she hasn't found anything out, and maybe she never intended to find anything out. Some staff member who specializes in community reintegration has been on an extended LOA, and nobody knows when that staff member will be back.
Who knows why that staff member is on extended LOA? Maybe she's being investigated for sexually abusing a patient, there sure is plenty of that at Elgin. Or maybe she joined the growing exodus of mental health professionals headed out the door for more honest jobs. Anyway, the "Community Reintegration Program" is utter nonsense in James' case. It is in most cases, but especially here, when the patient has done it three times already!
So, Baker languishes at EMHC, for no rational purpose. The reason is bureaucratic incompetence, lack of caring. It's too easy to ignore James, and he does get ignored, completely. He's an easy slave to keep, they don't even have to drug him. His judge would grant a conditional release easily, if some semi-conscious human could go to court and say this patient isn't a danger now: he's old and gentle, well behaved, and he can barely walk. They could even brag that they cured him!
Baker is only three or four credits short of a bachelor's degree in computer science, by the way. But nobody can figure out how to let him use a facility computer to register for the last courses that would make him a college graduate. Some idiot named Dillard has told him his caseworker should handle that, but she was sitting there in the staffing today, and had no suggestions other than referring the issue back to the idiot Dillard. These guys are cogs in the wheels of a very dumb machine!
I've rarely if ever seen such easy, glib neglect. Maybe James isn't all that anxious to get out. After all, he's been a slave on the Elgin plantation for most of his adult life. Jeff Pharis used to worry that he might die there, and make the place look bad. If he does, I swear I'll turn him into an international anti-psychiatry martyr. Some day we'll have to put up a statue of him on the site of a closed-down IDHS plantation or some former departmental office building, and we'll hold ceremonies commemorating his sacrifice on Dunlap Day and Bye-bye Jeffrey Day.
Anybody who wants to say I'm crazy can only hope to be justified by James Baker's conditional release before June, 2025.
Monday, November 13, 2023
The other conversation stopper is of course, war.
Watch Marie Avgeropoulos (as Octavia Blake in The 100) calmly announce from high on her horse: "I'm here for the war." Or Clint Eastwood (as William Munny in Unforgiven): "Now I'm here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you done to my friend." Imagine Sherman's adjutant, as the general quietly stated his simple solution to the recalcitrance of young Confederates: "Kill them. Kill them all."
My mother hated the song, "Eve of Destruction", or she hated the way I loved it in 1965. The lyrics which she couldn't stand seemed to contradict her Episcopalian faith, her optimism that the world was in fact saved two thousand years ago by Christ's death and resurrection. The songwriter P. F. Sloan seemed to argue with the view that everything was fine and the world was getting better, with his lyrics:
You may leave here for four days in space,
but when you return it's the same old place,
the pounding of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
you can bury your dead but don't leave a trace,
hate your next door neighbor, but don't forget to say grace!
Most of my intelligent suburban neighbors tend to protest that war never makes sense. They can't understand how any reasonable human being can ever allow it, or participate in it or fail to stop it. They implicitly claim immunity from the dark, earliest human ecstacy; and they surely neglect an obvious fact that there is an utterly unreasonable aspect to each and every human being. Of course war makes no sense and cannot be understood. As the movies and song lyrics document, that is precisely its appeal! It's the transcendent assertion of social will, into which, as Nathan Kline wrote, we can "escape from our sweaty selves by dissolving our sense of individual being."
One of my best friends says he could never kill another human being, no matter what. He recognizes that there are people (e.g., child murderers) who do not deserve to live and need killing, but he wants someone else, or some machine, to punish them. He could not pull the switch himself.
My father-in-law was the kindest, most noble man I ever knew. He drove a Higgins boat to the beaches in thirteen Pacific landings against the Japanese, and walked in the dust of Nagasaki. Like many others, he never spoke about the war afterwards, but I know that was not because he didn't remember.
The purveyors of psychedelic solutions expect to be coddled in integrative therapy sessions against the horrors of their own subconscious. The pushers of psychiatric drugs want to pretend their brutal control is really medical help.
These efforts will all fail, because the world is what it is. Believing you can duck is a dangerous way to live, and drugs are even a bad way to duck.
The only viable strategy is communication: cause, distance, effect, with intention and attention, and a duplication at effect of what emanates from cause. Learning to really communicate is spiritual, and directly opposite to manipulating brains and other machines.
Without learning to really communicate, we might as well just hump on down to the Perfume River with Private Joker singing, "Hey there, hi there, ho there, we're as happy as can be!"
Friday, November 10, 2023
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Friday, October 27, 2023
This will be the second "official anti-psychiatry holiday" that I have suggested. (The first one was "Bye-bye Jeffrey Day", February 23). Now "Dunlap Day" will be October 24, as an annual remembrance of Adelle Davis' first LSD trip on that date in 1959.
The celebrity nutritionist and author of such best-sellers as Let's Get Well (1965), Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit (1954), and Let's Have Healthy Children (1951) became a Hollywood phenomenon. But she wrote one book which most of her fans never knew about. If not for the requirement by her regular publisher that she use a pen name and refrain from any publicity, this little-known book could have been, Let's All Trip on LSD!
The actual title was Exploring Inner Space: Personal Experiences Under LSD-25, and the author (the pseudonym) was "Jane Dunlap." I wrote a history thesis about this at Northwestern University almost a quarter of a century ago, in 1998, which I later serialized on this blog, albeit a bit awkwardly in 14 parts (e.g., here, here, here, here and here).
I highly(!!) recommend the Dunlap book, if you can get a copy. It is almost shocking to read the justifications, theories, and public relations statements about psychedelic drugs from almost three quarters of a century in the past, and to notice that they are very nearly, sometimes close to word-for-word, the same things that are repeated today by the purveyors of a so-called "psychedelic renaissance."
I became aware of the Multi-disciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) when I was at the 2019 annual conference of the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco ("APAAM2019"), and I happened to meet and speak briefly with a woman whose name I didn't get at the time, but who I now suspect was none other than MAPS board member, and more recently a media spokesperson for the organization's vaunted "Psychedelic Science 2023" conference in Denver, Vicky Dulai.
MAPS has funded studies where researchers have been accused of professional misconduct, boundary violations and sexual abuse. The psychedelic renaissance enthusiasts are all worried that people like Vicky Dulai (or for that matter, that old wannabe-hippy Rick Doblin himself) will embarrass the movement and bring Nixonian enforcement tactics down on their heads to take away their beloved acid again, just like Allen Dulles took away Sid Gottlieb's acid in 1953, and like in 1968, when Congress found it to be a "cultural threat" and oh-so-tragically took it away from everybody.
Some of the freaks think it will be best to defend against this existential threat to a new version of Tim Leary's "internal freedom" by making sure there are lots of MD psychiatrists close at hand wherever and whenever people take psychedelic drugs. But my guess is, it will always devolve into another Supernova festival with terrorists arriving on para-gliders, or another innocent Tate-LaBianca Hollywood home soaked in blood. And just by the way, psychiatrists are about as far removed from the best intentions for "internal freedom" as it is possible to get.
Adelle Davis wrote that, "Many hundreds of people given LSD have entered worlds of fantastic beauty where compassion and love have become compulsory." There is a deep, and deeply tragic, irony in her evident favor (assuming the final word in that sentence wasn't just added by a derelict editor) of compulsion.
Richard Helms thought LSD was "dynamite!" for the fight against godless communism. Cary Grant, Henry Luce, and (probably) Jack Kennedy all believed, this just might be a drug to save the world.
Sorry guys, but we'll have to do the hard, honest work of learning to communicate with each other. That's what Dunlap Day will be about, for somber Yom Kippur-type reflection, balanced against a more celebratory Passover-like tone or freedom feast on Bye-bye Jeffrey Day.
And I should always conclude: Psychiatria delenda est!
Thursday, October 12, 2023
Thursday, October 5, 2023
Nurse Remmy: do you remember April 30, 2023?
It was a Sunday, and you were on an afternoon shift on H Unit. A female UST patient was causing trouble, demanding that she be given the particular PRN meds that she liked. Security had to be called several times, because the patient was not just verbally abusive and hostile, she was spitting on people. Technically, spitting on someone is criminal battery.
But of course, there's little point in charging a mental patient who's already unfit to stand trial on some other charge, with battery. It's also a practical truth that patients don't abuse or neglect staff; so nobody calls OIG to report a patient spitting on staff, right?
OIG reports are a tough subject. Any staff at a facility like EMHC has a very strict duty to call OIG within four hours, if abuse or neglect of a patient is merely suspected. That rule applies even if (perhaps especially if) the vaguest suspicion of abuse/neglect is about a friend and close colleague. It would be much harder, just hypothetically, for you to call OIG with suspicions about Marge Antona, with whom you work pretty closely, than for you to call OIG about some CNA who's not even a union member. Right?
But I don't think you called OIG about any abuse/neglect at all, on April 30. So you must not have suspected any abuse/neglect by anybody on that day. Right?
The thing that seems problematic to me is the fact that a (non-union, African-America) CNA did get charged with felonies in Kane County for an incident on April 30, involving the psychotic UST patient who was spitting on staff all day. How do you think that happened?
It may seem like it's more or less water-over-the-dam now, in the sense that those criminal charges were eventually dropped. But I can't help thinking, it's very interesting that those charges were ever filed. Something about it makes no sense. There are also such crimes as making false reports to the police, conspiracy to obstruct justice... (I need not elaborate). And sometimes people get roped into complicated stuff that shouldn't be considered their fault.
Anyone can call me if they have any information, excuses, clarifications or comments, etc. The truth might just save a lot of people some expensive trouble, it usually does. And I can be very easy to get along with when I'm being told the truth.
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Bobby "Boris Johnson" Sharpe still hasn't gotten a haircut, he's still sporting that blonde, unruly thatch. I was tempted to tell him just before a staffing today, that I am overdue for a grooming myself, and I need to make an appointment. It's something we have in common. But I don't think he would have appreciated it.
Bobby answered a question from James Corcoran today, "Who is the doctor on this case?" with a pathetic protest, "Hey, I'm only here two days a week...." This confirmed my earlier information that he's non-union, outside-contracted staff. Most regular nuthouse employees don't appreciate the non-union usurpers of valuable overseer jobs. I may have imagined it, but I think I detected some disrespect for Bobby from Dr. Corcoran, too. It's possible that the two of them just never met before.
The fact that the plantations have to hire non-union guys is very encouraging. I was delighted by a post on my Twitter ("X") feed yesterday, by someone named Hamilton Kennedy (@hmltnknndy): "Psychiatrist alleges that 'the consumer movement' is leading to psychiatrists and other clinical staff leaving the workforce in droves because of being personally targeted and attacked. Says no one wants to work in mental health anymore because of consumer movement."
I don't know about some whole "consumer movement," but I try hard myself and I tell the people I advocate for, to always name individuals. Indeed, as I have said before, when I put a name in a headline, my articles get more readers. I'd sure like to think I have occasionally influenced an overseer to leave Illinois' psychiatric plantation system and find honest work.
Living individuals are responsible and cause things to happen, bad or good. Sometimes a group can be alive enough to make a change or a specific effect, but a capable group always has a name, and it always has individuals with names as members and leaders. No generality, or circumstance, or condition, or rumored or fabled movement, ever does anything. Whenever anyone says "they," always ask "who?" Shit doesn't just happen, it comes out of somebody's butt, and that somebody has a name and a face, and an address and a phone number, and connections to other somebodies.
So why is Bobby Sharpe willing to work on the slave plantation? Maybe he's a failure in his private practice, which I believe is located at 2160 South First Avenue, 101-1740 Loyola Medical Center, Maywood, IL 60153..? If anyone wants to refer new patients to him to help him be more successful, the number is 708-216-9000. But beware, Bobby's only given two stars out of five, on FindaTopDoc.com. (I don't know why, maybe it's his hair.)
It's no long stretch to think guys like this get scapegoated in a place like EMHC. I know a CNA who recently found herself inexplicably charged with crimes, not to mention pilloried in the media. This might have just been an opportunistic misdirection by somebody who was afraid they would be blamed for some corrupt event or activity, of which there are constant, almost unlimited examples. The whole culture of medicalized "mental health" is a veritable cesspool of abuse and neglect. People don't even realize they are being malicious. It's all just evil and mean.
My advice to this Bobby Sharpe guy would be short and sweet: Get a haircut and an honest job!
Monday, September 11, 2023
Monday, September 4, 2023
Saturday, September 2, 2023
I had what I hope people will recognize as a strange thought this morning, when my wife called out, "Alexa! Play Jimmy Buffett." My thought was: Will Alexa's response be noticeably different in any way because he died? I.e., does Alexa know Jimmy Buffett is dead?
I did quickly realize: Wait a minute, Alexa is a machine, so "she" doesn't know or care that Jimmy Buffett is dead, and she'll still play his music exactly the same way she always has, and that music will sound exactly the same to my bio-mechanical ears.
But to my heart, it's different because he's dead.
Of course, I don't mean my heart as that mechanical pump that moves blood around this body to accomplish energy exchange by low combustion and waste elimination, etc. I don't mean my heart as that machine which my friend Wes Fisher has such a brilliant ability to repair over at Evanston Hospital....
I mean my heart as that place where I will recognize a different time, in my own life and the life of my family and my culture, when I could hear those words and that melody, The cannons don't thunder, there's nothing to plunder, I'm an over-forty victim of fate... coming from a physical spot, only 100 yards behind me on the pitcher's mound at Wrigley Field, one beautiful summer night. That magic won't happen anymore and I have to mourn its passing, even if Alexa doesn't notice.
They could easily make Alexa "notice," I'm sure. Just by adding, "Sadly, Jimmy passed away on September 1, 2023, but..." to the current, "Here's Jimmy Buffett from Apple Music." I'm not sure that would assist my own grieving, or anyone's grieving. Such falsification of life is curiously monstrous, we probably just shouldn't do it.
When I hear the lyrics and the tunes, and remember my father singing, loving those songs; when I think of my kids younger on vacation, saying they wanted a cheeseburger in paradise for lunch, I always cry. I always did, even before Jimmy died today. That's enough, forget about all the machines.
Who will come with me ... to Paris, looking for answers, to questions... that bothered him so...?
Sunday, August 27, 2023
This is a rather new word, which apparently means "substances which cause/enable molding of the mind," i.e., from my perspective, "brainwashing drugs."
It is mostly synonymous with "psychedelics" but implies a bit of materialistic brain theory (perhaps "dendrite manifesting" instead of the older and more romantic "mind manifesting"). According to Wikipedia, it was coined in 2019 by David E. Olson, a professor of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular medicine at UC-Davis.
When I first encountered the word in an opinion piece in JAMA Psychiatry, I vaguely recognized the bio-implication but immediately wondered why anyone needed a new word to replace Humphrey Osmond's venerable old "psychedelics." There might be various explanations. Maybe the medical profession wants or needs to separate itself from the history of 60's craziness. They'd love people to think that if they use LSD, it will be in connection with careful, scientific research, not at all like those reckless adventures of Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary. If they do push such a brand, it will be a lie of the same magnitude as the "chemical imbalance" myth.
Kesey and Leary only pushed acid into mainstream America a decade after it had been thoroughly researched in very well-funded government programs, designed with the successful precedent of the Manhattan Project firmly in mind. The researchers of the 1950's abandoned psychedelics for the simple reason that unlike with the nuclear weapon experience, they discovered they could not control any aspect of these drugs. They couldn't control the effect of LSD on any particular person at any particular time, and they couldn't control the market supply or (most surprisingly to themselves) the demand. The central message of LSD was simply, no control.
Merely calling psychedelic drugs "psychoplastogens" will never change the essential reality of no control. "Bad trips" will happen at about the same frequency as they did in the Haight in 1967; inspired musicians and tech engineers, micro- or mega-dosing, will imagine "enhanced creativity" only to burn out far too quickly; and here or there we will see a new Charlie Manson horror story, or a new Richard Helms atrocity.
Friday, August 18, 2023
Thursday, August 17, 2023
Friday, August 11, 2023
Many hundreds of people given LSD have entered worlds of fantastic beauty where compassion and love have become compulsory. People who have had such experiences usually agree that deep within lie goodness unimaginable, wisdom, music, talents of every variety, joy, peace, humility, love, and spirituality, to name a few.
Adelle Davis died of bone cancer in 1974. Her son told me sadly that his mother's final drug of choice was not LSD, but morphine, in rapidly increasing doses. We'll have to see whether Barbenheimer Fontana can do any better than that.
As the French say, plus ça change....
Thursday, August 10, 2023
Wednesday, August 9, 2023
(Just for the record, I don't worry much about special relationships between staff and patients. It's bound to happen, people are perverts. But it totally amazes me that EMHC/IDHS is so willing to casually foster more civil lawsuits and demonstrate the psychiatric slave plantation character of the system! In fact, if I ever worry about this, it's because it might be too good to be true, somebody might be setting me up.)
Tuesday, August 8, 2023
I believe that our problems with mental health and substance abuse will become far more tractable if we make these legal reforms:
1) Totally eliminate the insanity defense;
2) Fundamentally reform rules about mental fitness to stand trial; and
3) Change medical control over drug access to requirements for prescribed expert information and advice.
In criminal cases requiring an element of mens rea, the so-called "insanity defense" is superfluous anyway, because a jury can determine that the defendant did not have criminal intent. For example, if a mother was so delusional (e.g., from the side effects of psychiatric drugs) as to truly believe that cutting her five-year-old's head almost off would save the beautiful child from hell, that her daughter would go immediately to heaven and be happy rather than be abused by sex traffickers and sold into slavery, maybe it's clear that the mental knowledge of wrongdoing requisite to the crime of murder was lacking.
Some U.S. states have reduced the use of NGRI pleas to nearly zero, by revising presumptions, burdens of proof and procedures. Illinois, unfortunately, is not one. Here, anyone who ever had any contact with the mental health system is encouraged by the criminal courts to consider an NGRI plea when they're charged with almost any felony, all the way down to assault and car theft. It has virtually become a system where a prosecution has to be approved by the psychiatrists before a defendant is even allowed to plead guilty or not guilty.
Judges and juries simply cannot defer to medical experts about whether crimes were committed and whether punishment should be meted out. This is a difficult social task, requiring semi-divine wisdom over the long haul. We have a system of English law which acknowledges the imperfect nature of human judgment and strives to mitigate the errors caused by imperfection. Our system can be compared, very favorably in my opinion, to the Napoleonic or inquisitorial system, which relies on finding the wisest possible humans who are expected to judge more perfectly than others.
Psychiatrists have proven beyond reasonable doubt that they are not any such wisest possible humans!
Likewise, these "mental health experts" should not be trusted to say whether an alleged perpetrator is fit to stand trial. On any given day, Illinois taxpayers are on the hook for the costs to "hospitalize" at least a handful of defendants who understand perfectly well what their legal situation is, and what the process will be in court. They constantly argue that they shouldn't be at EMHC but want to go to trial ASAP; and as far as I can tell they only need to be "treated" because they disagree with their public defenders about trial tactics and strategy.
This is absolutely not some manifestation of chemical imbalances in these defendants' brains for arrogant idiots like the crew on the tenth floor at 26th and California to "diagnose" and send back to Dr. Malis-with-malice to cure at EMHC by drugging them to make their trials more fair! It's a scam by petty bureaucrats who are too lazy or too incompetent to do their jobs in a rotten criminal justice system. If a defendant wants his/her day in court, there should be a much stronger presumption of fitness. "Unfit to stand trial" should be as obvious as the Defendant is physically incapable of communicating at all, or even getting out of bed to come to court.
These reforms to NGRI and UST laws and definitions are pretty easy. I could probably write the bills for our General Assembly in an afternoon. The last reform, to drug policy, is more interesting.
I wrote about this some years ago, and here and there my ideas got some favorable response. I have never received any suggestion or comment that made me think my specific plan to turn drug regulation on its head would not work. I haven't reviewed it myself more recently, in the context of the current, ballyhoo'd "psychedelic renaissance." My instinct is to worry a little more about easier access to dangerous drugs in the short run; but in the end, the only way to simultaneously solve substance abuse and mental health coercion will remain more individual responsibility, less reliance on the supposedly benevolent authority of false "brain experts."
So that's the 3-point program to save the world in mental health: unceremoniously dump the insanity defense; let accused criminals have their day in court; and solve drugs with education and responsibility.
Monday, August 7, 2023
There are simple reasons why we have not solved, and might never solve, problems in mental health and substance abuse. But it might be possible to solve these problems, if we can honestly and creatively confront the reasons we have failed to do so. I count three reasons:
First, we erroneously believe insanity is brain disease.
Second, we mistakenly think we can manage people like animals.
Third, we confuse help and control.
Insanity is not brain disease. If you want to use medical metaphors just to prevent the careless exclusion of doctors who are so insecure about their social value anymore, you could probably say it's moral disease or moral atrophy or moral disorder, or something like that.
More fundamentally, insanity is just a compulsion or constant intention to stop or destroy (anything and everything). Anyone who kills or enslaves another human being is insane. Actually, anyone who knowingly commits or omits actions to cause more harm than good is insane, at least for the time it takes to do that. The fact behind this is the basic goodness of the individual. People naturally try very hard not to commit crimes or hurt others, because they are good. When they become obsessed with stopping and destroying, they are not being themselves, but have (covertly, unconsciously) "chosen" at some point to solve an overwhelming confusion by being a synthetic, evil entity.
But the bottom line is, even if brain disease can cause a convincing appearance of insanity, insanity itself remains a decision to be evil or stop and destroy things in response to an unsolvable confusion. When psychiatrists fiddle with brain chemistry they are more likely to create insanity than to cure it.
People cannot be managed like animals. This is mostly because people are almost always smarter than animals, and they usually like each other more than they like most animals. People have (human) animal bodies, of course. But they sometimes consider that their integrity to themselves is more important than their bodies, and that their self-determinism and honor are more important than their immediate lives. It is doubtful that non-human animals indulge in the luxury of such considerations very often, if ever.
The whole psychological model of "the human animal" was a philosophy of political control, which bucked up against ancient and much better understanding, beginning really as late as the Nineteenth Century. With the advent of the modern state, life became complex and leaders like Bismarck needed to become more extreme. Apparently in response to the confusion of modernity, when there were suddenly over a billion human beings for the first time, and complex machines became powerful enough to transform life, the idea that man is merely an animal made a good excuse for killing as many people as necessary to maintain "order."
Such "order" ultimately manifested in 1945: 30 million war dead, social and economic ruin, true existential threat to our whole species and all life on Earth.
The curious little error which, in my view, ties the psychiatric idea that insanity is brain disease together with the fundamental psychological concept of man-as-mere-animal... is the failure to distinguish help and control. Both are legitimate activities of society. Every good person wants to help others and is pleased to be helped by others. But it seems that accepting control from others and exerting control over others come less easily for most of us.
Thus, when we are faced with a necessary task of control, we wish it were really a helping project, and we pretend. If we should control a crazy person so they don't hurt themselves or others or destroy things, we call it "treatment" (help), and we say if the person doesn't want our help, it's because their animal brain is defective. The truth is, we are afraid to tell the crazy person, "You are making us nervous so we are going to control you now." So instead, we lie and say, "You need to take this medicine to help balance the chemicals in your brain."
(NEXT: A three-point plan to solve it all!)