Guest post: Psychiatry – an Industry of Death

When I heard one of my acquaintances was heading to Los Angles, I sent him to spy on the Psychiatry – an Industry of Death Museum in Los Angeles.  Here is his report:

Visit to Psychiatry – an industry of death

It’s official; Psychiatrists are all murderers, rapists, extortionists, fraudsters and the scum of the Earth – so say the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.

I am not a Psychiatrist and have no medical training.  My interest in the Museum came about as a result of a very close relative having had the following treatments (not necessarily in this order) for depression about fifty years ago: insulin induced coma, LSD treatment, ECT with and without aesthetic, and a frontal lobotomy procedure (not transorbital).  Fortunately today my relative is alive, well and active and has no depression apart from that caused by England’s performance in the recent World Cup!

The Museum is situated along Sunset Boulevard but not in the best area of this long road.  It’s actually a rather run down white painted single story building which could be mistaken for a shop.  Next door is parking lot and there was a discarded sofa on the sidewalk opposite. 

Inside, the entrance was smart with a large curved reception desk with low level glass.  I was warmly greeted by an English lady who asked me to sign the visitor register and state my profession.  Along side the register book was a sign stating that they had the right to refuse entry – I decided not to ask if this would apply to psychiatrists!

I was invited to enter through the door to the left, which turned out to be a padded cell with bench seats, to watch an introductory video.  My greeter then mentioned, by way of casual conversation, that twenty million children are prescribed mind altering drugs each year and then asked if I knew how ECT came about.  Actually, following a very informative visit to an abattoir, I did know this.  In 1938 Dr. Ugo Cerletti became interested that pigs were prepared for slaughter by being electrically shocked through the temples. This rendered them unconscious but did not kill them, and they could survive the shock if allowed to recover. Since this was the days before ethics committees, he was then able to try this out on his patients. 

This introductory films were called “Psychiatry’s Destructive Agenda” and “Psychiatry’s Path of Destruction”.  Each was hard hitting and very compelling watching with a fast talking commentator who had a voice was just right for the CCHR’s apocalyptic message. 

Following the padded cell, the museum tour consisted of 14 different areas each with an on-demand video.  Here they are together with their CCHR summary:

1 – An Industry of Death
Governments, insurance companies and private individuals pay billions of dollars each year to psychiatrists in pursuit of cures that psychiatrists admit do not exist.  Psychiatry’s “therapies” have caused millions of deaths.

2 – Origins of Psychiatry
From its beginnings in the 1700s, using the practices of confining, restraining and isolating people with mental problems in institutions, psychiatrists have cashed in on human misery.

3 – Man Redefined
Redefining man as an animal without a soul, psychologists and psychiatrists thought man could be manipulated as easily as a dog could be trained to salivate at the sound of a bell.

4 – Psychiatry: The Men Behind the Holocaust
The Nazis killed millions.  Their justification was psychiatry and psychology’s theory of eugenics – that certain people were inferior and should be exterminated and their kind bred out of the race.  These architects of the Holocaust were never brought to justice.

5 – Psychiatry: Creating Racism
From apartheid in South Africa to the Ku Klux Klan and experiments on minorities in the United States, the most brutal racists were inspired by eugenics which justified injustice, inhumanity and denial of human dignity to millions.

6 – Soviet Psychiatry
Men fight and die for the right to speak and act freely.  Psychiatry conspired with those in power in Communist Russia to strip the rights of political dissidents and to define their “search for justice” as a mental disorder to justify their imprisonment.

7 – Brain Damage:  Psychiatry’s Miracle Cure
If an ice pick were accidently shoved behinds someone’s eyeballs, or they were jolted by 120 or 240 volts, leaving them convulsing and barely breathing, they would be rushed to hospital.  To a psychiatrist, these acts are “treatment”.

8 – Drugging for Profit
Psychiatric drugs are not designed to cure, but to suppress symptoms’ and physically damage the person taking them.  Claims of safety and efficacy are made with each new “miracle pill”; its dangers only later exposed.  Psychiatric drugs kill.

9 – Psychiatric Coercion and Restraint
Today, psychiatrists’ use of physical and chemical restraints in mental institutions is a very lucrative procedure.  Admitting that death is often inevitable from such procedures, psychiatrists literally get away with murder.

10 – Psychiatric Criminality
Working in a “profession” made up of people who commit rape, extortion and fraud, many psychiatrists have received prison sentences and civil fines.  Minimally, ten percent of psychiatrists sexually assault their patients, with one out of 20 victims a minor.

11 – Inventing Mental Illness
Psychiatrists charge huge sums of money to insurance companies, governments and anyone else who will pay to “treat” made-up mental disorders.

12 – Kids in Psychiatry’s Cross Hairs
Millions of children are given psychiatric labels for normal childhood behaviour and prescribed psychiatric drugs that drive them to commit violent acts and suicide.

13 – Psychiatry: Hidden Influence
Psychiatry has pushed its agenda of control, power and domination onto an unsuspecting society for over 60 years, infesting the fields of law enforcement, education, medicine, politics and many others.

14 – CCHR: Restoring Human Rights and Dignity to Mental Health
Psychiatrists act above the law – locking people up with no trial, stripping them of their human rights while enforcing unwanted treatments.  The Citizens Commission on Human Rights has exposed, fought and won against psychiatry’s violations for over 36 years.

I need hardly write that these videos were less than complementary about psychiatrists.  They are available from CCHR for about $16 or free from the CCHR site if you register (why would you do this?).  You can also view the complete series online. 

Each area had artefacts and photo images related to the video theme.  There were loads of photographs as well as examples of whips, torture boxes, and ECT equipment.  Drugs samples were displayed next to reports of their gross sales.  I now know that Marilyn Monroe had seen a psychiatrist the day before she died.  But was that relevant to her death? – we will never know.

I spent three hours at the museum and watched all the videos and exhibits.  During my afternoon visit I was aware of one other visitor who didn’t seem to activate any video panels.  I imagine that the visit would be less interesting if several people were activating adjacent videos simultaneously due to the noise generated.

When I left the exhibition area I was asked for my thoughts.  I complimented the quality of the exhibits and video.  I then explained that I was disappointed that CCHR had decided to present the information without any attempt at a balance view.  It might be true that Psychiatrists in the United States have the ability to milk medical insurance via the DSM and disbursements but this must also be true of other areas of their medical system (I recently was charged $400 for a week’s course of antibiotic pills which in the United Kingdom are available for £0.28 each).  Other countries have different reimbursement systems.  Was it not obfuscation to point out that using X-rays it was not possible to see any evidence in the brain of a so called mental condition but a broken bone shows up clearly?  And to describe a person with Bipolar Disorder as having normal ups-and-downs is surely a misrepresentation?

During my three hour stay I was bombarded with negatives statements and images about psychiatrists.  It would seem reasonable to suppose that at least a percentage of the profession provide a valuable service to patients, allowing them to live useful lives but no such information was presented which I found off-putting in the extreme.

I was also concerned about the use of video chips, such as those from the 2006 American Psychiatric Association Convention, where interviewees stated that they had not been able to cure any of their patients.  I have a suspicion that these remarks were taken out of context.

Finally, as the CCHR has a close relationship with the Church of Scientology, I was surprised that there was no obvious mention of this organisation during my visit.

17 Responses to “Guest post: Psychiatry – an Industry of Death”

  1. Christopher Crook says:

    Rather disturbed to read in Richard Bentall’s ‘Doctoring the Mind’ that gas chambers were built in German psychiatric hospitals before they were used in concentration camps.

  2. Zarathustra says:

    @Christopher Crook

    Yes, but that wasn’t because they were psychiatrists. It was because they were Nazis.

  3. JustAGal says:

    When you mentioned the church of scientology it explained it all

    An extreme group who are anti psychiatry (Even Ritalin)

  4. Jean Davison says:

    I wouldn’t want to endorse the church of scientology but that doesn’t mean that everything they say about psychiatry is wrong. Who can deny that psychiatry doesn’t exactly have a history to be proud of? I do think we should be concerned about things such as the over-medicating of children (and adults), and we need to consider carefully in what other ways psychiatry might be doing harm (as well as good).

    If I had never experienced psychiatry from the receiving end (1968-1974) I think I, too, would have dismissed all this as unfair and unbalanced. But now, while I don’t agree with (or know enough about) some of it, I have to say that, unfortunately, a lot of it does make chilling sense to me in the light of my experiences.

    Btw, I did admire the psychiatrists on the clip who had the honesty and insight to admit what they don’t know. But, yes, I suppose they were quoted out of context – as their patients often are.

  5. Christopher Crook says:

    @ Zarathustra
    ‘Doctoring the Mind’ has interesting overview of Modern Psychiatry’s founders who were German, and it’s most shameful episode when the Nazi’s pursued the biological model of psychiatry to suit their vile agenda. To clarify: the biological model of psychiatry, which is dominant today, suited the Nazi’s vile agenda.

  6. S. says:

    I think you could have spared yourself the trouble of going, because it is common knowledge that Scientology is strongly opposed to Psychiatry and to expect anything but a vile attack is frankly naive.

    However, I do think there is a lot going on in Psychiatry, that could use some criticism and rethinking, but I am very wary of people who criticise it from this position, because it simply does not allow them to be even close to objective.

  7. Neuroskeptic says:

    “‘Doctoring the Mind’ has interesting overview of Modern Psychiatry’s founders who were German,”

    The founders of pretty much everything were German (or Austrian). Modern physics for example – Einstein, Born, Planck, Heisenberg, Boltzmann… etc. Germany had a very strong scientific establishment 100 years ago.

    The founders of non-biological psychiatry – Freud, Jung, etc. – were mostly German/Austrian as well.

  8. Christopher Crook says:

    @ Neuroskeptic
    ‘Doctoring the mind’ is a book about modern psychiatry and therefore mentions German psychiatrists such as Emil Kraepelin. It is not a book about modern physics and therefore doesn’t focus on the German physicists you refer to.
    The Nazis were German but I am not suggesting:
    a) I hate Germans
    b) Psychiatrists are Nazis
    I am merely pointing out, like Richard Bentall, that there were some psychiatrists who were Nazis who were German.
    Make of that what you want.

  9. I think it’s hilarious that Godwin’s Law was invoked almost immediately.

  10. Christopher Crook says:

    eh? Have you forgotten what the original post was about? Area four of the museum tour is called: Psychiatry – the men behind the Holocaust. So it’s not really surprising we are discussing Nazis, is it? I don’t think we’d be discussing them if the post was about cheese and biscuits. Not yet, anyway.

  11. Cara says:

    I went to this museum today and was very frustrated throughout. What’s most frustrating is that it minimizes the potential that exists in psychiatry for good. Some of what they state and portray is true, but taken out of context. Other parts are true and have since been blasted by the fields as horrible mistakes that we must never make again. I got my PhD in psychology this past year, and we look at historical mistakes as lessons to learn from. Why was this not mentioned? Additionally, various correlations between medication use and subsequent behavior is hardly evidence that they “lead to violence and suicide” as the videos suggest. For example, one case report was of a teenager who went to the doctor because she was having trouble sleeping. Upon further examination, she was diagnosed with depression (not surprising since difficulty with sleep is a symptom of depression – my guess is that exam revealed many more symptoms). She started Prozac and a week later killed herself. What they do not state is that depression leads to suicide. Further, most anti-depressants take 6-8 weeks to take effect. Thus, it is highly likely that she was still depressed a week later and the depression led to suicide since the Prozac had not kicked in yet.

    That’s just one example of the lopsided presentation of “evidence.”

    What is sad about this is that there are problems in psychiatry. It is not perfect. But instead of blasting the entire field and manipulating facts to support that view, it would be much more helpful to take the history as lessons and look at the bad (and good) that psychiatry has created and how we can maximize the good and minimize the bad. But that is not their interest. Despite calling themselves a human rights group, they are not for human rights or else they would recognize the suffering of millions of people and the need for some type of help. Yes, this should be done in an ethical way, and yes there have been major mistakes in history. But that does not mean that the entirety of the field is bad. It has helped millions. I have many patients of my own who would vouch for that fact.

    Every field has made mistakes. Medicine as a whole has had some major bad moments. Still does. Yet we still go to medical doctors.

    I agree with the disappointment of the lopsided presentation. I did know what I was getting into before going, so I was not surprised. Just sort of sad that people really believe that and don’t find out real facts.

  12. Red says:

    While I am not a fan of Scientology, there can’t be any “profession” that has destroyed more people mentally and physically than psychiatry. Bankruptcy, loss of social contacts, isolation, devastated creativity, soul rape, loss of privacy, loss of physical health, decades of forced mental confusion, the personal that “will follow you wherever you go”, despicable Big Pharma drugs and yes, SUICIDE! How anyone can give this crackpot profession a passing grade is beyond me. The people that defend this New Age medical conspiracy ought to spend some time being harassed, surveilled, followed and bugged by psychiatry. Wow! That should change the opinion these Pollyanna hopefuls have of Dr. Brutal. Psychiatry has unfettered police powers and police protection. Sounds like a recipe for virtually anything goes no matter how embarrassing, demeaning or soul destroying it might be. Yes, the world would definitely be a better place without psychiatry. Hats off to this museum. It’s a well deserved broadside to a vile and wicked soul destroying profession. Big Pharma life destroying pills anyone???

  13. human says:

    At least there is someone, some organisation that is prepared to stand up against the might of psychiatry and all those good people who, in turning blind eyes, consign maybe millions of people to their dooms.

    Having been abused and exploited by a psychologist, this individual’s employer, the NHS, refused to even look at the evidence we have (including absolutely irrefutable digital records of the individual propositioning me). The individual continues to be protected by the NHS.

    Instead of thanking me for alerting them about the dangerous employee, suspected of having exploited others too, they have gone out of their way to silence and denigrate me.

    I know of someone who was serially abused by two psychiatrists. It’s taken this person over a decade to fight her case. She has at last been vindicated, the psychs have been struck off. No doubt she has a huge damages claim to be paid – complete with gagging order.

    However, the sheer active malevolence she’s encountered from the psychs’ employers and other ‘caring’ agencies has crucified her.

    Since my abysmal experience I have discovered, much to my horror:

    - that abusive psychs are more common than not

    - there is a massive number of neglected or abused and conveniently drugged up patients out here

    - psych diagnoses are based on virtually no scientifically robust evidence

    - the cover-ups are legion

    - patients have no protection whatsoever (even recorded evidence makes no difference)

    - once you get dragged into the psych system you might as well forget that you were once a human being with rights, a good reputation, friends, a decent life

    Before you denigrate the organisation that runs this museum, what are all you good psychs and good people doing about all this corruption and human destruction?

  14. S. says:

    re: human

    I think you are commiting a logical fallacy here, because you essentially say, that your own bad experience and that of your friend are enough to question the existence of psychology and psychiatry both. Because if you hadn’t noticed, that is what Scientology is essentially saying. They question the existence of mental disorders and mental illness, therefore they attack anything to do with them. If you want to have a discussion about bad psychiatry or bad psychology, bad therapy etc. OK. That is absolutely acceptable and legitimate. I would even go as far as saying that we NEED to have a discussion about what is going wrong and how to prevent it. I study psychology and I am fairly critical of a lot of practices and aspects of it. But! But to essentially dismiss the studying of the human mind and side with a defamation campaign against science and medicine based on a cult is just not a way to do it.

  15. fxh says:

    CCHR is wholly owned, run and manipulated by Scientology.

    It is a front for their recruitment and claims for respectability.

    There are plenty of legitimate criticisms to be made of psychiatry none of them will come from CCHR.

    CCHR has always hijacked legitimate patient’s rights groups and rendered them ineffectual because Scientology does not want to reform and improve it wants to recruit and make money.

  16. nessa says:

    I’m not a fan of scientology, but it doesn’t mean that CCHR are wrong with what they say about psychiatrists. I were wrongly diagnosed of having schizophrenia when in fact i’ve temperol lobe epilepsy. All what most psychiatrists do is jot down symptoms and push drugs on to people. I were badly done by them, i got treated like how the nazis treated the jews. It were all about GREED of giving me ECT and perscribing medications etc……

  17. end run says:

    Psychiatry is all bullshit. So is Scientology. The fact that Scientology is all bullshit with its beliefs about mental health does not render it unable to observe the concurrent fact that Psychiatry is brutal bullshit. I experienced this fact at age 11. It is all coercive and a nightmare, and it is entirely exploitive and does not give a real crap about anyone==PERIOD.
    And it seeks to expand is national and international scope by rendering every person in the world “mentally ill”, drugging them, and thus becoming even more filthy rich than the rife insurance fraud the profession and entire mental bullshit industry thrives upon. Movements to get rid of this or at least radically reform it DESERVE TO SUCCEED. There can be an intellectual satisfaction yes, among folks who have never experienced what Psychiatry is and does. Evil needs to be called by its right name, and regardless of Scientology, the basic underlying fact remains WHOLLY CORRECT that not only is Psychiatry bullshit, it is brutal, destrctive, injurious and potentially and realistically life-threatening. For that, anyone with any sense, and any hear and soul need be willing to forgive the situation that it is a lunatic religious cult which uses extreme phrases to describe correctly what the mental schmental bullshit industry is and does to people, including peers it does not like!!(see Dr. Harold Mandel’s story on the internet, it will blow your mind!!)

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