Monday, July 31, 2023

Adverse effects

Aixalà's review discussion (in Psychedelic Integration: Psychotherapy for Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness) of adverse effects of psychedelic drugs comes only after almost 200 pages of hagiography (as if of Saint Mushroom, Saint Molly, Saint Ketamine, etc.). Given the context of this book, the adverse effects discussion is surprisingly gruesome.

The other thing that's surprising is that the leading expert on the subject is none other than Sidney Cohen, M.D., who has been dead for 35 years. Cohen was the character who gave LSD to Auldus Huxley and Clare Booth Luce (among other elite socialites) in the 1950's. Later, he debated Timothy Leary and warned about the drug's extensive dangers.

On pages 194-196 of Psychedelic Integration, Aixalà writes:

Sidney Cohen has investigated the adverse effects of psychedelic therapy perhaps more than any other author. Working as a psychedelic therapist over the years, Cohen became quite interested in the adverse reactions, devising a model of description and classification that evolved over the years.

Cohen describes the adverse symptomatology following the use of LSD and classifies it in two main groups: 1) acute reactions and 2) prolonged reactions. However, he does not make such a distinction in all his publications, and some confusion remains regarding the types of adverse events he catalogs. We know (and it will be addressed in the corresponding chapter) that difficult experiences can arise during the acute effects of any psychedelic experience, regardless of the substance or the context. A thorough discussion regarding how to best deal with these acute episodes well surpasses the objectives of this book. Therefore, we will focus on the prolonged reactions that occur and linger after the experience, as they are the ones more closely related to integration. Within this category, Cohen distinguished four different groups of adverse effects: 1) prolonged psychotic decompensation (schizophrenia, intermittent reactions, or flashbacks); 2) depressive and anxious reactions (the most frequent complication, according to Cohen); 3) the activation of psychopathic or anti-social tendencies, anti-social behavior, and letting go of social responsibilities; and 4) paranoid reactions or the confirmation of delusions of greatness in relation to the transcendental aspects of the experience.

While the phenomenological description of the symptoms is extensive, the classification seems to change as his model evolves, with the different categories eventually including many overlapping elements. Cohen affirms that these episodes are infrequent, and most of them may be resolved in the course of a few days or weeks by means of psychiatric medication, but he also reports cases in which the adverse effects persisted for months or years. In this regard, Cohen's approach to the integration and comprehension of these phenomena follows the aforementioned diagnostic line, quite confusing and impractical when trying to prescribe courses of treatment.

Perhaps more interestingly, Cohen further discusses the causes of prolonged psychotic reactions in some subjects. These include: 1)the character structure of the subject; 2) the context; 3) the insecurity and vulnerability entailed by a psychedelic experience; 4) the set and the contagious nature of the group experiences; 5) panic inducing negative experiences; 6) difficulties in "landing" while approaching the end of the experience; 7) dosage; 8) frequent use; 9) previous state of mind and stress levels; and 10) insufficient preparation.

I've quoted these pages at length because it would be difficult to communicate by any secondary description or summary of my own... how unnerving it is, that these people clearly have no clue what they're doing. Aixalà continues with an entire chapter about his very own, "new cartography based on clinical experience," in which he may try to mitigate this horrifying impression.

However... "prolonged psychotic decompensation," "depressive and anxious reactions," psychopathy and anti-social tendencies, plus paranoia... amounts to kind of a lot to mitigate!

Meet the new psychiatry, same as rhe old psychiatry.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Ten more quotes: Part 3

 (The new psychiatry, utilizing psychedelic assisted therapy, is religious, not medical.)

The interpretation of dreams was considered by Freud to be the "royal road to the unconscious," as dreams contain an inexhaustible source of psychic material manifesting itself in our unconscious, albeit in a cryptic way. The psychedelic experience could be considered an even "better" royal road since it can be induced at will and allows a better recollection of the experience. Freud hypothesized in 1940 that if we were ever to discover "specific chemical substances" that influenced the "psychic apparatus," this would result in unsuspected possibilities for therapy. Today, these substances are at our disposal....


Jung's analytical psychology is perhaps one of the most useful schools for the analysis of psychedelic content, given its spiritual nature....


There are many techniques that use body movement as a tool for introspection or transcendence: Gabrielle Roth's 5Rhythms (1989), trance dance, ecstatic dance, the Sufi dances of the dervishes....


Rather sophisticated ways of using song and musical composition are found in traditions such as in the ayahuasca church of the Santo Daime, in which some participants "receive" songs--or hymns--during their sessions and later compile them into a "hymnal," which then becomes part of the doctrine.


There is a particular synergy between meditation in all its different varieties and the integration of non-ordinary experiences that makes their combination especially useful. Those with prior meditation experience often find their meditation practice is more effortless and more profound after an experience in non-ordinary states of consciousness. It seems that it becomes easier, after a visionary experience, to remain in states of concentration, mindfulness, and equanimity. In turn, people experienced in non-ordinary states of consciousness often feel that meditation allows them to ground the contents of the experience and remain connected to the higher states they have encountered in their psychedelic experiences.


Although the spiritual dimensions of the psychedelic experience are perhaps the best known or at least the most historically emphasized, they are often the most difficult to truly integrate.


Although sometimes a spiritual experience manifests so clearly and overwhelmingly that it leaves an indelible mark, it can prove quite difficult to reconcile these states with our baseline physical reality and all its contradictions and painful situations. However, these dimensions hold perhaps the most tremendous therapeutic and evolutionary potential, with the power to help humanity as a whole, beyond our individual intra-psychic conflicts. 


The altar becomes a tangible and observable testimony of our experience. It contains elements related to the transcendental dimensions of the experience, reflecting our personal connection with the spiritual dimensions.... For some people, the altar is considered sacred during their integration processes, and it can become a permanent fixture in our homes, dedicated to our relationship with spirituality.


Responsibility for our own decisions and actions is a sign of spiritual maturity.


Rituals focused on healing have been used in practically all traditions, from shamanic cultures--such as the Andean people--all the way to Christianity, which still carries out exorcisms. Some schools of psychotherapy prescribe ritualized behavioral sequences with therapeutic intentions. Perhaps Alejandro Jodorowsky has come the closest to a new psychological shamanism, articulating and describing his psychomagic (psicomagia) practices--clearly another form of the ritual.... The prescription of rituals in the way we have outlined here requires a skilled and creative therapist who is honest, humble, and sensitive.  

I totally love his phrase, "...a new psychological shamanism." 

Friday, July 28, 2023

Ten more quotes: Part 2

From the textbook of the new psychiatry, Psychedelic Integration: Psychotherapy for Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness by Marc Aixalà (Santa Fe & London: Synergetic Press, 2022):

As we have seen, an enlightening psychedelic experience is often followed by a period of peace and well-being, free of symptoms, free of anxiety or depression.


Authors such as Piaget, Kohlberg, Villegas, Maslow, Naranjo, Erickson, Wilber, Nelson, and even Freud have spoken of phases or stages in the evolution of consciousness: from birth to the establishment of an autonomous personality and its subsequent transcendence as we continue our spiritual and moral development. 


A good integration, focused on maximizing the benefits of a psychedelic experience, entails using those experiences to hasten our ascension to higher structures by taking advantage of these transitional structures precipitated by a non-ordinary experience.


In the transcendent schools, we aspire to climb the mountain of enlightenment and reach powerful non-ordinary states of consciousness that allow us to open ourselves to realities beyond ordinary experience. 


Psychedelics can and have been used to induce experiences of the divine in both its immanent and transcendental forms.


Psychedelics allow us to achieve, in just a few hours, the same states that we could reach after several years of meditation.


If Zen meditation, Tibetan Buddhism, and Eastern philosophies became so popular, it was precisely because of the temporary nature of the psychedelic experience and the desire of many of these seekers to reach the more permanent stages of a higher spiritual development.


Many traditions, like Theravada Buddhism, Yoga, and Taoism, speak of the importance of the body as a vehicle of transcendence. In this idea, the body is the temple in which the spirit can dwell and through which we achieve enlightenment. After an experience in non-ordinary states of consciousness, the body is a territory to return to and ground, somewhere we can land, after having navigated across the more subtle dimensions of our psyche. The body is both a tool that allows us to enter the psychedelic dimensions and the anchor that ensures our safe return to the physical dimensions.


Although each psychedelic experience is personal and its content is specific to each individual in that particular moment of their lives, some greater universal themes often manifest in one way or another. Issues such as life and death; coming face to face with insanity and the fear of losing control; intense emotions of anger, fear or sadness; and spiritual revelations and ecstatic experiences are all elements that frequently appear in psychedelic experiences.


In between the expressive and projective techniques, tarot cards can be a useful tool for interpreting different aspects of the experience and the subsequent states. There are many different decks that can be used, from the classic Marseille tarot to modern reinterpretations, such as the OSHO Zen tarot or cards that represent certain archetypes, deities, or power animals.

Again, the point of these quotes is only to demonstrate how far psychedelic assisted therapy ("PAT" as it is called in the journal JAMA Psychiatry) departs from what we have known as the medical specialty of psychiatry in the mental health profession. I've never heard any member of an EMHC treatment team suggest tarot cards for the treatment plan of an NGRI patient!

(More to follow...)  

Ten quotes from the new psychiatry

I realize that many or most of my readers will say that psychedelic assisted therapy is yet a very long way from being the new psychiatry. But it seems so obvious to me that "PAT" is on the rise, and that 20th Century concepts of medicalized psychiatric mental health have so thoroughly crashed and burned (the simple summary being, "Diagnosis is bullshit and treatment sucks!"), that any aspiring mind doctors will have little choice but to become shamans or priests of some sort. 

I remember rather well the emotion, or the spirit, or the set and setting, of the sixties. When I was seventeen years old, I was quite certain I would never live to be thirty. (People think that's an exaggeration, but it's not at all, I remember.) Now we live in interesting times again, for the second moment since the Civil War, or perhaps the third moment since the French Revolution. After more than half a century, the lessons of my adolescence return to haunt me just a bit.

Readers may or may not know from my earlier articles, what my own opinion is about the "psychedelic renaissance." I'll be clear: I believe it is the single most dangerous and evil thing since nuclear weapons. I believe it will destroy psychiatry as we know it (which is the only silver lining), but the collateral damage may be catastrophic for our entire culture and for human civilization.

Psychedelic drugs scramble the mind. They make an individual human being insane, and they glamorize insanity in society. The religious cult of psychiatry sees this as their opportunity. They will promote psychedelics as a route to salvation, when they are actually the high road to hell.

The following is a simple list of verbatim quotes from Marc B. Aixalà's textbook, Psychedelic Integration: Psychotherapy for Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness. I offer this list merely to demonstrate what a radical departure psychedelic assisted therapy is, from any familiar model of scientific medicine, and to imply that we are absolutely back to zero on mental health. At least, psychiatry is dead.

This decade saw the beginnings of a line of research which was unthinkable just a few years earlier: research on the prosocial effects of MDMA, followed closely by LSD and psilocybin.. Prosocial behavior includes positive social behaviors such as altruism, empathy, cooperation, or the ability to recognize emotions and intentions.


The interest in psychedelic plant medicines... is an interest--and a quest--for health systems and knowledge systems that are not limited to the plants, but related to the ontological framework in which they are used. A search for well-being that has to do not so much with pleasure as with self-care, where the people who provide medicine are not the doctors, the psychiatrists, or the psychologists, but representatives whom the larger community has validated as experts, not because of their academic degrees or diplomas, but because of their expertise as technologists of the spiritual world.


The fact that hallucinations are a symptom of psychiatric disorders does not mean that they cannot also be a symptom of mental empowerment. The work with these substances consists precisely in taking advantage of the hallucinations in their healing sense.


The therapeutic mechanism that was singled out from the multiple studies carried out under the psychedelic paradigm seems to be the mystical experience happening during the LSD session. 


Here we see another paradox of the integration process: the multiplicity of interpretation that the same phenomenon or experience can have. The paradoxical nature is inherent in the psychedelic experience and the mystical and transcendent dimensions of the psyche. The integration of paradoxical experiences is only possible through the process of finding higher logical levels, such as metaphors or the "Koan" of the Zen tradition....


Psychedelics are also used for their potential to induce mystical and spiritual experiences; they have religious applications; and they are potential tools useful in social conflict resolution.


Four levels of reading and interpretation or exegesis exist in the Jewish tradition.... Similarly, a psychedelic experience can be read and interpreted from multiple levels.


Spirituality and the psychedelic experience are inseparable. 


When faced with our perception of symptoms--be they thoughts, emotions, or behaviors--we tend to mistake human psychological constructs with reality, in this case the so-called "mental illnesses." The psychiatrist or psychologist diagnoses a mental illness as if it were something that really exists, effectively creating a second-order reality that can have devastating effects for the person being diagnosed. Once the construct is accepted by the patient and by his social and family circles, it can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.


These psychonauts, the navigators of the soul, use non-ordinary states as a tool to know internal and external reality and create their conception of the world. Psychonautics could be understood as a path, a spiritual practice, as is the case for some groups such as the psychedelic festival community or some neo-shamanic communities that routinely organize psychedelic ceremonies.

 (More to follow...)

Monday, July 24, 2023

Go ask Malis when he's ten feet tall

I occasionally try to imagine how psychedelic assisted therapy ("PAT") could ever be implemented anywhere in the forensic mental health plantation system. Jo Neill, a professor of psychopharmacology at the University of Manchester, recently said that such treatments are exactly what psychiatrists should be utilizing. In a paradigm shift, they should emulate shamans rather than continuing to use the same old drugs they have been getting "heartbreaking" results with for the past 70 years. 

It's difficult to justify denying any truly better treatment for mental illness to "patients" who are NGRI because of mental illness. The law says these guys are only held involuntarily in psychiatric "hospitals" to be treated, right? And they are entitled under the law to the least restrictive effective treatment, right? So psilocybin or Ketamine for depression and anxiety, molly for anti-social personality disorder, and LSD for... probably everything, right?

Somehow, it just seems like multiple axe murderers don't deserve good drugs. The guy who strangled his girlfriend in the basement with a clothesline, or the mom who cut her five-year-old's head almost off, should get Haldol or something else that causes really bad side effects. These are not individuals who should be expanding their consciousness: they are bad guys.

Somebody said the bad guys are only bad guys because their brains have chemical imbalances, or their genes are unfortunately mutated. So we try to fix the bad guys with medicine, to help them not be so bad. Psychiatry is medicine, right?

Either that, or maybe psychedelics really aren't good drugs after all? Maybe they're not medicine? But how can that be? There's so much enthusiasm for them everywhere right now! Even at EMHC, a state psychiatrist told me he was very interested in Ketamine. (But maybe he was only interested in Special K for himself, not for his patients?)

It seems like a hard scene to disentangle, unless you understand one principle that has been part of my creed for most of my life: The study of the mind and the healing of mentally caused ills should not be alienated from religion or condoned in non-religious fields.

I briefly mentioned this in the first article I ever wrote for this blog, over 14 years ago. My point was basically just that... the brain, and the mind, and the person... are not identical or inseparable things. Unless one knows something about this, he/she has no chance whatsoever of making a bad guy good. Pretending to "help" people with drugs rapidly degenerates into idiotic confusion.

If mental illness doesn't make people violent or dangerous, why should it excuse violent crime, as it seems to with an NGRI verdict? "Insight" into mental illness as the problem, and Moral Reconation Therapy in the same institution? We don't know what the hell we're doing! When men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go, and the white knight's talking backwards and the red queen's off with her head....

EMHC is chasing rabbits, and you know they're going to fall.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Psychedelics: psychiatry publicly turns from medicine to religion

The current, much heralded "psychedelic renaissance" signals a darkly ironic evolution of psychiatry away from its long-successful branding as a medical specialty, toward a more explicitly quasi-religious quest for mystical enlightenment to simply override mental disorders as they were previously understood, or to "break on through to the other side."

This is almost certainly prompted by the abject failure of Twentieth Century efforts to raise humanity toward a higher plain through decoding the "secrets" of the brain. The future that Jeffrey Lieberman predicted for his guild in 2014 has not materialized. In fact its prospects now look vanishingly small.

The truth is, psychiatry was always more religion of the brain, than science of the brain. And that's why psychedelics are psychiatry's perfect bridge to oblivion.

Ayahuasca, LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, Ketamine, etc., are used in psychedelic assisted therapy ("PAT") to scramble a person's mind and produce ego death. Then counseling attempts to integrate the terrors and the epiphanies (or the spiritual, existential. religious and theological ("SERT") insights) from the psychedelic trip, into a reconstructed, improved personality capable of functioning better in a practical world. 

There's just no way this is anything but a spiritual quest. When it is attempted by psychiatrists, the quintessential ambassadors of an ultra-materialist, mechanistic view of the human mind, it becomes profoundly dangerous.

The psychedelic induced mystical experience is probably the best corrective emotional experience that can occur.... In some ways, it resembles the resolution in the biblical Book of Job; after suffering countless tragedies, Job asks God the reason for all of it. God's response is transcendental and places Job in front of the greatness of the universe and creation, highlighting the insignificantly significant role that Job plays in all that drama. Thus, psychedelics often give us the same response that God gave to Job. 

(Pages 126-7.)

So after getting nowhere, utterly failing to move the needle despite spending $20 billion in taxpayers' money during the decades of Tom Insel's reign at NIMH; after unsuccessfully bullshitting the public through five editions (including Allen Frances' own) of a "diagnostic manual"; after the proclaimed "Decade of the Brain" and continuous legal authority for most of a century to force the public to be its customers; the guild-cult of psychiatry will now end in the panic of a bad trip, turning on, tuning in and dropping out!

They figure they might just as well play God.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

More on Lennon’s breakfast

The high point of this morning’s bike tour in Central Park was a stop at the Strawberry Fields memorial, just steps from the spot where John Lennon was shot dead by Marc David Chapman, as he walked with Yoko Ono outside their Upper West Side home. 

I had never been there before, and for some reason I’d always mistakenly pictured the Dakota as being on the east side of the park. There was a guitarist covering “Imagine” and “No Reply”. It seemed to me that a lot of people walking around had not been born yet on December 8, 1980. 

Chapman, the killer, had no previous record of violent crime. But he had been “treated” by psychiatrists. Our guide on the bicycle tour never uttered his name. She just said Lennon was shot by a maniac.

I wonder what a maniac actually is. It seems like the word must be related to mania, or manic - right? It's kind of ironic, because Marc David Chapman had a long history of depression, which is the opposite of mania, unless he was bipolar and he went back and forth (but I’ve never heard any theory about that - bipolar wasn’t as popular in 1980 as it is now).

There are lots of synonyms for maniac: fanatic, fiend, lunatic, nutcase, madman, and other words, some of which are very casual or pure slang, and some of which might have real meaning, at least historically, in mental health and legal circles. My 10-year-old grandson was the one who remembered what the bike tour guide had called Lennon's killer, so I struck up a conversation with him, about the difference between a maniac and a lunatic.

He knew very little about the incident from 1980, of course. He’d heard something in school about a Beatle who was killed, but nothing about any maniac or lunatic who did it.

I explained to him the roots of the words and what they might mean to mental health professionals, and the irony in Chapman’s being depressed but remembered after the fact as a maniac. He offered the opinion that a maniac was a really dangerous person, whereas a lunatic was just somebody not doing well in life, kind of dumb, and nobody likes him.

That conversation was quite interesting, and I decided to expand the survey to an intergenerational sample. When I asked my wife what the difference is between a maniac and a lunatic, she just held up a thumb and forefinger very close together in a pinching pose, silently saying, “little-teeny (almost no difference),” and probably implying disrespect for my overheard, complex explanation delivered to a 10-year-old. 

Then I asked my daughter what the difference is between a maniac and a lunatic. She cleverly said both her mom and her son were right. She also appeased me (by not implying that I waste my time even being interested in such things).

But the simple fact is, John Lennon was assassinated for never doing anything but making people happy. His killer was a product of psychiatry. A maniac. And 10-year-olds know as much about that as mental health professionals or lawyers.

The Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park is highly recommended.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023


The word comes from Latin docēre meaning to teach. "Docile" comes from the same Latin root. So doctors want their patients to be docile and thus easily taught, right? Two-way communication, as in e.g., Socratic teaching, is much harder work. So let's just drug people into docility and force them to accept what we tell them.

The profession of medicine as it exists today, best exemplified by psychiatry, which is best exemplified in turn by coercive state psychiatry, is not well liked. It has surely failed to change people's minds or create agreement by communication and understanding. Forcing people to comply is the real modus operendi, as demonstrated by the rather stale social excuse, "Doctor's orders."

What happened to teaching by civil conversation and rational disputation? Why exactly was Socrates sentenced to death?

The most fundamental spiritual instinct is probably to create something from nothing and sell it to others as though it is real. But looking too closely at the "reality" you're buying from another reveals its creation from nothing. Then there's no commerce to participate in, no interest to find in life, nothing to play with or do. That's very distressing, so we are all willing to be citizens of ancient Athens: Socrates is alive and must be overcome!

Richard Malis, fondly known as "Malis with malice" for such atrocities as keeping James Baker in chains, is a doctor. He surely wants his patients to be docile. But all the teaching that is involved for him is on the order of, "I'll sure as hell teach you a lesson!" When he's confronted about this kind of malice, Dr. Malis retreats very skillfully into bureaucratic procedures or details. 

People who work for the state love being tiny cogs in the wheels of large machines, so no one will see them or notice that they get no results, or bad results.

Malis with malice recently admitted that one of his "patients" has not been allowed to step outdoors for over seven months. However, he insisted that this was good for the "patient" purely because of how the terms "on the unit" and "off the unit" are defined in EMHC policy. And he added, just by the way, that of course the "patient" can look at the sky from inside the building.

How can anyone expect to improve the mental condition of a person by keeping them locked indoors for seven months? Even prisoners serving life without parole get outside time! Malis with malice just figures patients have to be drugged, whether they like it or not, whether they agree or consent or not. That is the secret to mental health! Oh, and of course "patients" have no capacity to judge risks and benefits of any treatment unless they agree that they're sick and they need the treatment.

Malis with malice uses the term "sick" to describe the mentally ill more than anyone I know. No doubt he means brain diseased, and he has totally forgotten that it's not literally true, it's a metaphor, there is no known, objective pathology.

Just take your drugs, and say thank you, or you'll never walk outside in the sun again!

Friday, July 7, 2023

Turley's regret and Lennon's breakfast

(My intent is to cross-relate two articles that came to me this morning, which at first glance seem completely disparate. We'll see....)

Jonathon Turley bemoans the situation wherein Supreme Court decisions and dissents may often be based on "facts" that are or should be disputed, when so-called "Brandeis briefs" dump voluminous studies into the record, enabling justices to pick and choose among data patterns to claim scientific support for their opinions. 

I don't think this situation is worth any energetic discussion, let alone bemoaning. The basic error is (again) apotheosis of reason

I have huge affinity for scientific thinking and continuing lifelong hope for a future civilization that will be based on reason rather than force. Apotheosis of reason, however, seems to include the postulate that reality is separate from the considerations or opinions of living beings. That postulate is a trick. Real civilization must be based on agreements among living beings, not any "Truth" (capital "T") which is above and beyond their fundamentally arbitrary, free consideration. 

This does not make agreement and amenable society difficult or less likely due to any lack of externally dictated "Truth". Neither God nor physics will solve our current political and existential strife. But this puts more responsibility on each of us, above all else, to honestly and skillfully communicate with others. The reason I respect Jonathon Turley is that he does communicate, honestly and very skillfully, to hundreds of thousands of his fellow citizens, multiple times on most days. Reality itself consists of freely (though not always wisely) made agreements which have accumulated among living spiritual beings. There was almost certainly a time before e = mc squared was true.

And (contra Turley perhaps), we should want Supreme Court Justices to have access to all possible data. It is their job to be wise enough, and to put forward enough effort, to distinguish and extract the most valid and useful information, even from the most ridiculous "Brandeis briefs." If amici adopt self-defeating habits of dumping the whole internet into attempts to persuade, their arguments will go largely unread.

It is each of our jobs to keep arguing, and to patiently allow others to keep arguing with us, until we agree (not totally, but at least about something new), and continue trying, forever. That's life. Communication, not force, is the answer.

John Lennon said the Beatles smoked weed for breakfast, and they were not alone among the most creative artists from at least the twentieth century to the present. I have written about the romance of rebellion and the stunning 1967 benediction of Sergeant Pepper for a nostalgically recalled flowering psychedelic counterculture of my youth. Almost everyone my age has some emotional connection to psychedelics. 

But the drugs weren't the thing: freedom, sensation, music and love were it. On balance, the drugs probably didn't even help. I recently heard a modern version of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (by Twisted Pine) that's better than the original. Maybe these guys were tripping when they put it together, but it doesn't even seem relevant to ask. Certainly set and setting are radically different, and that was/is always a huge part of acid.

MAPS and whatever orthodox psychiatric entities may be pushing a "psychedelic renaissance" are much like the amici that Turley finds such a nuisance, for dumping masses of "facts" into the record in the hope that SCOTUS can be swayed by "science". 

LSD certainly dumps masses of disjointed "reality" on a person, which cannot be evaluated or helpfully integrated, or (most importantly) communicated for purposes of any progression of social agreement.

SCOTUS has the Constitution of the United States as a reference point for their thinking about justice and policy. They won't be overwhelmed by weaponized information technology. But unfortunately, there seems to be no corresponding reference for deliberations about the nature of an individual and his/her relationship to others and the universe. 

Where is any Constitution of the Human Person? Psychiatry is absolutely the last place to look

So psychedelic "therapy" is a cruel lie.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Dicey moment in history

An article in the most recent issue of JAMA Psychiatry raises the prospect that psychiatry, mostly known since the Twentieth Century as a medical specialty, will become an explicit and direct competitor of established world religions. My own hope is that such a turnabout will not signal any broad retreat or loss of respect for the scientific method.

Six of the eight authors are non-MD's, and all are affiliated with with Emory University in Atlanta. They observe that spiritual, existential, religious and theological experiences play a major role in psychedelic-assisted therapy, but these experiences have not been systematically integrated into the therapeutic models which accompany the use of psychedelic drugs. In other words, psychiatry needs to enter the business of religion in an organized way, because of psychedelic drugs.

JAMA Psychiatry is, of course, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) for the specialty of psychiatry. JAMA has been published since 1883 by the American Medical Association. It is probably the most authoritative voice in modern medicine. The fact that their network has published a recommendation for psychiatry to intentionally, effectively become religion is startling.

In the Twentieth Century psychedelic drugs were the cause, or at least the catalyst in my own view, of seismic cultural changes. Western Civilization then took almost half a century to assimilate or "integrate" the impact of what is most often recalled as "the sixties", and now we have supposedly entered a "psychedelic renaissance".

Max Weber wrote of "the apotheosis of reason," perhaps to more carefully explain (an intention that would be ironic) Nietzsche's lament about humanity's murder of God. Such emotional currents in our culture became torrential in 1945, when the ruins of Europe, the atomic dust of Japan, and a billion human refugees around the world convinced us all that we must figure out how to never do this again.

Being obsessed with what must not ever happen again is probably a fundamental component of insanity itself, and maybe it's the single largest component. So, the world's gone crazy. But contrary to what many of my little green friends at EMHC might argue, any total demise of psychiatry as we know it would almost be an ultimate saving grace. That's because only an immortal spirit can ever rise above insanity, and psychiatry is a total denial of immortal spirits, in favor of brains which can be shocked or drugged into compliance for power and profit.

The value of science has been invalidated in our culture most of all by psychiatry, which is terrible, culturally destructive fraud. But science, since the middle ages, has saved humanity and allowed us to expand, flourish, and prosper across Earth even toward the stars. The psychedelic renaissance is a fascinating, dicey moment.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

More Bobby "Boris Johnson" Sharpe

I just confirmed with Rachel Nelson, Gus' social worker, that I will certainly attend another in-person staffing for Gus, on July 25th at 2:00 PM. It's on my calendar, and I'm counting the days and the hours until I'm there, in the same room once again with Bobby Sharpe!

Most of all, I'll want to see if he got a haircut.

But aside from that, I'd actually like to have a successful, productive staffing for Gus. I can restrain myself very well, from arguing or insulting people. I just haven't seen any indication that Bobby can restrain himself from taking total control over all conversation, shutting up everyone who doesn't bow and scrape in slavish agreement with his own Glorious Psychiatric Authority, and wasting every opportunity for people to learn from each other or collaborate. 

I think that's because he doesn't believe there's anything he can possibly learn from me. And he certainly doesn't want any of his peers to learn anything from me. He also doesn't believe that he should have to collaborate or work with Gus, but only on Gus (and this last is actually contrary to the law).

Another item I'd like to bring up is the question of whether, and why, Stoyka Meyer, Ph.D., would counsel other patients on the unit to not talk to Gus because talking to Gus will get them in trouble. Maybe she never said anything like that, right? But it was reported, and not by Gus. I'll see if she denies it. (Though I'll bet Bobby won't let her: he'll jump right in and insist, "This isn't an appropriate topic for discussion," and he'll talk over Gus and me, and then he'll walk out.)

I recently suggested a whole framework for Gus' staffings, based on empirical results in situations where meetings would have been expected to become a little hostile, but turned out productive. I reiterate that suggestion now, because I really think it would help. But I would never voice any such idea in person, because Bobby would surely take it as an attempt to usurp his precious authority. 

There have been various MD psychiatrists, Ph.D. psychologists, social workers, clinical and security staff, and administrators at EMHC, with whom I have gotten along quite well in the past. Now that I think of it though, they were probably all regular union EMHC employees. It's not right that I shouldn't be able to help and work well with Gus' current treatment team. It's probably my fault.

Or maybe it's just those non-union people who cause all the trouble.

What to do about Mickey?

In the past eight months, I've published several articles about the sexual abuse of a client for whom I finally filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The press release announcing that case was published on June 7, 2023. Several dozen people read the article in the first couple days, and almost two hundred have read it by now.

Earlier, beginning on October 30, 2022, I started laying out details of Michelle Bogle's "affair" with Mickey Russell, which was in fact classifiable as felony sexual abuse of a long-term care resident. I appealed to Michelle Bogle, without accusing her by name, to get honest and straight. She never called me, she just tried to hide and probably hoped against hope that she might escape from being held to account, by the police, her employers, her husband, Mickey....

That article has since been read almost 500 times. 

Beginning a month later, I commented more frequently about Michelle Bogle's grievous, felony sexual abuse of Mickey Russell. On November 30, 2022, December 1, 2022, January 2, 2023, and January 9, 2023, I put the names of several eventual lawsuit Defendants in article headlines. In total, my blog articles about Michelle Bogle and Mickey Russell have been read over 2000 times. And just by the way, almost the only people who ever read my blog are employees of the Illinois Department of Human Services and Elgin Mental Health Center. So it's not like nobody knows.

An investigation was conducted by the Illinois State Police Division of Internal Investigations (ISP/DII). They interviewed Michelle Bogle and Mickey Russell (Mickey told the truth, Michelle lied), they made a couple phone calls, and in the end, either they couldn't decide whom to believe, or somebody else convinced them they'd better drop this one: there was no prosecution.

So we filed Mickey's civil rights lawsuit against twelve Defendants, each one of whom is accused of specific individual actions or omissions that can probably keep them on the hook through a long process of civil discovery under Federal Rules. We will receive tens of thousands of documents, many megabytes of electronically stored information. We will conduct dozens of depositions of Defendants and witnesses. It will take years and thousands of billable hours. Institutions will be embarrassed, people will lose jobs. At least. Maybe Mickey will be compensated.

Or (!!) maybe Mickey will be disposed of. They've sold him down the river to Chester, seven hours' drive (one way) from his legal counsel, where nobody can call him, and where the media don't even like to go, short of some heroic, Rodney-Yoder-type, international-circus event. 

Chester is a weirdly ominous place. The first time my partner Joe Cecala saw the sign, "Entering Randolph County," he turned to me and said, "Why do I get the feeling that they kill people like me here?" I don't think they kill Sicilians as a matter of habit, but psychiatric slaves are another story. They might kill those once in a while, like bugs.

Michelle's family in the Philippines has money, and power, too. The thought has occurred to Mickey that they might put out a contract on him. Sounds paranoid, right? He's "chronically psychotic" after all.

My only fear about this comes from the simple fact that it makes no sense for Michelle to be back on the clinical units at EMHC, in contact with patients. She shouldn't be there while credibly accused of felony sexual abuse. The complaints are not unfounded. She, or somebody in charge, must be pretty confident that in the end Mickey won't be a problem. How can they be so confident? What's the plan?

A conversation was overheard yesterday morning: another STA (likely one of those EMHC staff who read a blog article about this, one of those 2000+ times) saw Michelle on the unit, and asked her with obvious surprise, "Wow Michelle, how'd you get your job back?"

Indeed! Watch your back, Mickey. And Travis Nottmeier, Lauren Nottmeier, you guys please watch Mickey's back, too.