Friday, June 30, 2006

Yates trial highlights power of an expert witness

As reported in USA Today

During the murder trial of Andrea Yates in 2002, only one of a dozen mental health experts who testified concluded that the Houston mom was legally sane when she drowned her five children in the family bathtub.

That witness, called by prosecutors, was Park Dietz, a renowned forensic psychiatrist. As the prosecutors' only mental health expert, Dietz and his testimony helped convict Yates. The conviction later was overturned. When Yates is retried beginning Thursday, much of the attention again will be on Dietz, who is back on the prosecution's witness list. And now, there are questions about Dietz's conclusions in the Yates case because of his testimony in another trial involving a Texas mother who killed two of her children.
From the Side Bar article:
When the Texas Court of Appeals threw out Andrea Yates' conviction last year and set the stage for a retrial, it blamed Park Dietz, the prosecution's mental health expert.

During Yates' trial in 2002, Dietz testified that he believed Yates was legally sane when she drowned her five children the previous year. The jury agreed, found Yates guilty and gave her a life sentence.

It was Dietz's testimony on a separate matter that led the appeals court to overturn Yates' conviction.

On the witness stand, Dietz described an episode of the TV drama Law & Order in which a mother with postpartum depression drowned her children and was found not guilty by reason of insanity. The episode, Dietz testified, aired just before Yates drowned her children

In fact, there was no such episode of Law & Order.

Dietz did not testify that the show inspired Yates. But during closing arguments, prosecutors "connected the dots" to suggest the show had done just that, the appeals court said.

A grand jury investigated Dietz and the prosecutors but found no wrongdoing. Dietz says his testimony about the TV show was "an honest mistake."

This brings up all kinds of questions regarding the proper role of psychiatry in the legal system.

See also this article :

Inaccurate Expert Testimony Wins Yates New Trial

Though the state maintained that Dietz's testimony about the "Law & Order" episode "was not material," the appeals court agreed with Yates, finding that "the State used Dr. Dietz's false testimony to suggest to the jury that [Yates] patterned her actions after that `Law & Order' episode." The court emphasized that the prosecution's use of the false testimony did not equate to "prosecutorial misconduct" but did "give weight to that testimony."

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Terry Tafoya - false credentials exposed

As first seen here, and reported on here

Ruth Teichroeb of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer studied university job records and found that Terry Tafoya, known across North America as a pre-eminent American Indian psychologist and a sought-after speaker for continuing education at schools such as Harvard University, "has scripted his own life, embellishing his academic credentials and past."
  • The tribe he claims to be a member of says he is not enrolled with them.
  • A speakers' bureau that books his appearances "recommends Tafoya as an expert on mental health and substance abuse issues — apparently unaware that Tafoya was charged in January with drunken driving after he smashed into two cars in his Capitol Hill neighborhood."
  • While Tafoya's resume claims he earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of Washington in 1985, verifying his academic credentials is almost impossible. "There's no record of his Ph.D. in the 1985 commencement book" and "Unlike most doctoral graduates, he has no dissertation in the university library."
Tafoya appears at up to 100 events a year — most of them funded at least in part by public dollars.
I have great admiration and sympathy for the American Indian Peoples. I can not begin to imagine what harm this person has done through his deceptions.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pychiatric Corruption of the Legal System

Part of a much larger article on the practice of Justice in New Jersey.

Before reading this essay, the author requests that you please read the article "The Ministry of Therapy," September 25, 2005, describing the horror of a psychiatric state gone terribly wrong.

What follows is a small snippet from the article on Justice in New Jersey.

There is excellent reason to believe that "therapists" have lent their services to the torture of persons by means of systematic inflictions of psychological torments for the purposes of "learning from" victims -- some of whom are not charged with any crimes (until they can be framed for something, of course) -- or to extract information from them in violation of their human rights. Terry, you busy these days? How's Diana doing?

It is likely that courts know about such deliberate mistreatment and fail to prevent it, choosing instead to cover it up. How many persons sitting in New Jersey jails or with ruined lives have been questioned, illegally and secretly, by "forensic" psychiatrists and psychologists using hypnosis and drugs?

Another psychologist has lost his license in patient sex scandal

As seen in this report from Wales

A Pychologist who had been censured for making a woman he was supposed to be treating pay £35 an hour for "sex therapy" sessions has been struck off [i.e., lost his license to practice] after bedding a second vulnerable patient.

Dr Steven Manley was suspended for three years last October after charging a sex abuse victim for the "sex therapy" sessions.

But after moving in with another patient and admitting it on his own website he was struck off for good after a unanimous decision yesterday by a disciplinary committee of the British Psychological Society (BPS) in London.

Manley, who practised with the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust, was found guilty of professional misconduct after the first relationship with a woman known only as "Mrs W".

The relationship began while Mrs W was still his client.

The earlier hearing, in October last year, was told their relationship first became "inappropriate" within six months and he attempted to destroy her medical records to conceal the liaison.

He was suspended from the BPS register for three years, but could still practise independently.

Within days of the first hearing it emerged Manley had started a relationship with another former client - a woman identified as "K".

The two shared the same address in Wrexham - a fact "K" also admitted on her website.

The BPS forbids therapists from starting relationships with clients until two years after the end of their professional relationship.

K left Manley's care in April 2004, but their relationship began within months.

When Manley was confronted by the BPS, he denied allegations of a relationship. But on January 15 this year, the true nature of Manley and K's relationship was made public on their weblog.

A posting under Manley's name read, "K is the woman I have been looking for all my life and neither of us is complete or alive without the other."

A posting later that day by K claimed they had been in a relationship for 15 months.

When confronted again by the BPS, Manley wrote, "It is true we are now in a loving relationship and, what's more, we intend to eventually get married and spend the rest of our lives together.

Manley was struck off the BPS register for life.

Psychologist charged with assault, child abuse

A June 14th report from Maryland, from the Gazette Online

The president of Washington Assessment and Therapy Services was charged last month with assault and child abuse for allegedly striking a 12-year-old boy being treated at a Silver Spring clinic.

Several calls to Ronald D. Wynne, 71, a psychologist who lives in Kensington, were not returned. Other WATS employees referred questions to Wynne.

Police charged Wynne on May 24 with assault and child abuse after they were called that afternoon to search for a child missing from the WATS center at 8737 Colesville Road in Silver Spring.

While one officer arrived at the center, another officer radioed that the boy had flagged him down.

The boy told police that he had been in the clinic hiding from his therapist when Wynne found and grabbed him, according to the charging documents.

Wynne pulled the boy into his office and pinned him to a chair by his wrists, police said.

The boy yelled, ‘‘Get off me [expletive]” followed by a string of other curse words.

‘‘I’m your [expletive]?” Wynne replied and struck the boy on the right side of the head several times, according to the charging documents.

The boy kicked Wynne and left the building where he flagged down the officer, charging documents said.

WATS has a staff of more than 100, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and counselors to provide mental health services, according to the company’s Web site. It has offices in Germantown and Lanham, as well as Silver Spring.

WATS was one of the mental health clinics contracted by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services to provide mental health treatment to young people, said HHS spokeswoman Mary Anderson. Its contract expired on Dec. 31 and was not renewed because WATS had not met all of the requirements on staffing, she said. The county paid WATS $58,800 for the counseling provided in 2005.

The Maryland Board of Psychologists received an anonymous call recently about the incident, but had not received a formal complaint, said the board’s investigator, Pat English.

‘‘We will be investigating, I can guarantee that,” English said.

The state board, which oversees mental health professionals in Maryland, has not taken any formal action against Wynne before, English said. Formal action could include suspension or revocation of a license to practice in the state.

English declined to say if any other complaints had been filed against Wynne. ‘‘If there had been complaints, that would be confidential,” she said.

Psychologist hit with $2,000 fine

A followup to an earlier report from Michigan, As seen in the Jackson Citizen Patriot

The state has slapped a $2,000 fine on a Jackson psychologist who has testified as an expert in numerous family court cases.

John Steven Hand, 63, pleaded no contest in March to charges of "violation of general duty and negligence" in a 2002 Branch County Circuit Court custody battle.

Hand made "insupportable conclusions" in his expert report and "accuses the adoptive mother of lying" that her husband sexually molested their 6-year-old daughter, the state Department of Community Health's Bureau of Health Professionals complaint claims.

"It still stands that he failed to exercise minimal care, the minimal standards of the profession," said Ray Garza, acting director for the Bureau of Health Professionals' health regulatory division.

Hand, who practices at 505 Wildwood Ave., said the violation amounted to "relatively small potatoes."

Garza disagreed, saying the board took action against Hand's conduct, not just how he wrote his report. Hand was ordered to undergo ethics training with psychologist Jack Haynes.

The state has reported Hand to two federal data banks, National Practitioner and Healthcare Integrity and Protection.

Hand psychologically evaluated people he had never met in the custody case, documents show. Both state and county DHS officials declined to comment if they would hire Hand again.

The psychologist said his negligence violation will make him think twice about serving as a family court expert again. "I'm conscious that Jackson is a small town," Hand said. "This will hurt me."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Psychiatrist Shop Talk

Another Psych Joke

A group of psychiatrists were attending a convention. Four of them decided to leave, and walked out together. One said to the other three, "People are always coming to us with their guilt and fears, but we have no one that we can go to when we have problems." The others agreed.

Then one said, "Since we are all professionals, why don't we take some time right now to hear each other out?"

The other three agreed.

The first then confessed, "I have an uncontrollable desire to kill my patients."

The second psychiatrist said, "I love expensive things and so I find ways to cheat my patients out of their money whenever I can so I can buy the things I want."

The third followed with, "I'm involved with selling drugs and often get my patients to sell them for me."

The fourth psychiatrist then confessed, "I know I'm not supposed to, but no matter how hard I try, I can't keep a secret..."

Treating Low Self Esteem

Another Psych Joke

A guy had been feeling down for so long that he finally decided to seek the aid of a psychiatrist.

He went there, lay on the couch, spilled his guts then waited for the profound wisdom of the psychiatrist to make him feel better.

The psychiatrist asked me a few questions, took some notes then sat thinking in silence for a few minutes with a puzzled look on his face.

Suddenly, he looked up with an expression of delight and said, "Um, I think your problem is low self-esteem. It is very common among losers."

Getting Upset is Unhealthy for You.

Another psych joke:

The mother of a problem child was advised by a psychiatrist, "You are far too upset and worried about your son. I suggest you take tranquilizers regularly."

On her next visit the psychiatrist asked, "Have the tranquilizers calmed you down?"

"Yes," the boy's mother answered.

"And how is your son now?" the psychiatrist asked.

"Who cares?" the mother replied.

Multiple Personality Disorder: Witchcraft Survives in the Twentieth Century

From the home of Skeptical Inquirer Magazine, the website of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal.

This is an extensive article with many excellent references

An epidemic of psychiatric illness is sweeping through North America. Before 1980, a total of no more than about two hundred cases had ever been found in the entire world, throughout the entire recorded history of psychiatry. Yet today, some proponents of the condition claim that it afflicts at least a tenth of all Americans, and perhaps 30 percent of poor people -- more than twenty-six million individuals. An industry involving significant sums of money, many specialty hospitals, and numerous self-described experts, has rapidly grown up around the disorder.

The illness is multiple personality disorder (MPD), a condition that has always attracted a few wisps of controversy. Lately, these wisps have coalesced into clouds that, in drenching rainbursts, pour criticism on the disorder. An examination of the flawed reasoning, unsound claims, and logical inconsistencies of the MPD literature shows that well-founded concerns drive this storm of criticism.
In the epigraph that begins this article, Upham speaks of the excesses of the seventeenth-century New England witchcraft craze. The story of Sarah Good exemplifies those excesses (Rosenthal 1993). In March of 1692, when thirty-eight years old and pregnant, she heard her husband denounce her to the witchcraft tribunal. He said that either she already was a witch, "or would be one very quickly" (Rosenthal 1993, 89). No one had produced evidence that she had engaged in witchcraft, no one had seen her do anything unusual, no one had come forward to say they had participated in satanic activities with her. But no matter.

On July 19, 1692, Sarah Good died on the gallows.

Three hundred years later, a woman in Chicago consulted a psychiatrist for depression (Frontline 1995). He concluded that she suffered from MPD, that she had abused her own children, and that she had gleefully participated in Satan-worshiping cult orgies where pregnant women were eviscerated and their babies eaten. Her failure to recall these events was attributed to alters that blocked her awareness. No one had produced any evidence for the truth of any of this, no one had seen her do anything unusual, no one had come forward to say they had participated in satanic activities with her. But no matter.

The doctor notified the state that the woman was a child molester. Then, after convincing her that she had killed several adults because she had been told to do so by satanists, he threatened to notify the police about these "criminal activities."

The woman's husband believed the doctor's claims. He divorced her. And, of course, because she was a "child molester," she lost custody of her children.

Charles Upham recognized the importance of erecting barricades against addlepated ideas blown by gales of illogic. The twentieth-century fad of multiple personality disorder indicates that even after a third of a millennium, such bulwarks have yet to be built.

And now Witchcraft Survives in the Twenty First Century

Monday, June 26, 2006

Psychiatrist Feared the Man of Steel

As seen in this report from the Orlando Sentinel, a side bar to an article promoting the new Superman movie Research on the name of the psychiatrist indicates that he died in 1981, and that the hearings probably took place in the 1950's

The Man of Steel, now being compared to Jesus, has come a long way since the mid-1950s, when a U.S. Senate subcommittee held hearings on the relationship between comics and juvenile delinquency.

In it final report, the panel singled out the Superman comic books as being "injurious to the ethical development of children," citing the research and testimony of a New York psychiatrist, Frederic Wertham. Even though Superman is a crime fighter, "Dr. Wertham believes these books arouse fantasies of sadistic joy in seeing other people repeatedly punished while the hero remains immune," the report noted. "He called this the 'Superman complex.' "

The report also detailed a witness account of institutionalized children injuring themselves by jumping off high places in attempts to fly like superheroes. And the senators contended that Superman and his ilk just gave cops a bad reputation.

"In many crime comics, law and order are maintained by supernatural and superhuman heroes, and officers of the law, ineffective in apprehending criminals, must depend on aid from fantastic characters. . . . The impressions obtained from the comic books are contrary to the methodical routine work characteristic of police investigation."

Actually, I think the the shrink had a new personality dis-order. Let's call it "fear of comic book character syndrome" yeh ... that's the ticket

You would think that psychs would have learned better since then, but evidence seems to suggest otherwise, with the accumulation of all kinds of other silly diseases in their diagnosis manual.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

British psych wards as a haven for illegal drug use.

British prisons have long been a haven for drugs. Now it seems that psychiatric wards are as well.As seen in this report

I can think of no better example of what is going on in British psychiatry than today’s report from the BBC of the use of illegal drugs on hospital wards.

The head of a psychiatric hospital admits more than one in seven patients takes illegal drugs on the wards.

In recent weeks patients have smoked crack cocaine inside Chase Farm Hospital, in north London, while others have smuggled cocaine inside fast food.

Meanwhile, a BBC survey suggests there is a laissez faire attitude to drug use in NHS mental health trusts.

Some said they would not automatically call the police if they discovered drugs dealers on their premises.

There are strong links between mental health problems, the taking of illegal drugs and violence, with one major study finding that psychiatric patients with drugs problems kill up to 32 people every year.
Drugs causing Mental Health issues? who would have thought? As commented here:
The most striking thing about this report is not the drug problem. It is the fact that there are no doctors involved. We hear from Oliver the hospital administrator, and from some nurses.

Where are the psychiatrists?

How extraordinary that this report, referring to a specific hospital, contains no reference to a psychiatrist. Do they not care? Do they know what is going on?

Whoever is in charge here, it is not the doctors.

GPs are bombarded with “newsletters” from hospitals telling them how well everything is going. These are always on the Soviet model of “Good news, comrades, tractor production has improved.” It was not difficult to find the relevant document from Oliver. True to form, it is an orgy of self-congratulatory bureaucrats and middle-managers awarding each other prizes.
Read Oliver's full document, in all its soviet splendour, here. (pdf file)

Introducing the Penilepgraph

Another seriously thought impaired psychiatric control device. We'll leave it to your imagination as far as how the device is operated.

As seen in this slightly off color, and probably not safe for work website

Imagine this job posting: Wanted, uniformed men to monitor Kobe Bryant's penis on a regular basis. Closer to the truth than you dare imagine....

For me, one of the most bewildering and disturbing aspects of people in authority is the frequency with which they exhibit unbridled stupidity.

Some seriously stupid law enforcement officials in Los Angeles came up with the Penilepgraph, an insane and idiotic idea of periodic sexual arousal testing for a sex offender. An LA judge wanted to make it a condition of parole.

The idea is simple: Some cops sit you down, wrap a pressure-sensitive electronic device around your penis and then they show you porn. If you experience even the slightest degree of tumescence, you are so caught!

Fortunately this sick idea was struck down by a United States court of appeals as "Orwellian." The court felt that while it was appropriate during probation to monitor a sex offender's actions, it was not appropriate to intrude on his mind. The judge also noted that "the procedure violates a prisoner's bodily integrity by affecting his genitals."

While this particular case involving the "penile plethysmography" was challenged in court, it turns out that it is actually in widespread use in about a quarter of sexual-offender programs.

It's also worth noting that if Kobe Bryant had been convicted of rape, he would have been required by Colorado law to submit to this test on a routine basis. I have it on good authority that a team of experts from San Francisco had already volunteered to strap Kobe down and monitor his appendage.

Of course, one might question what man would not experience some degree of arousal when something sensitive is wrapped around his penis. Speaking for myself, if a bunch of cops held me down and wrapped an electronic strip around my penis, they could show me photographs of a grilled cheese sandwich and I'd likely "fail" the test.

But now for the best part. What pervert thought up this ridiculous test? As it turns out the "penile plethysmography" device was invented by a Czech psychiatrist to be used by the former Czechoslovakian communist government to identify and "cure" homosexuals.

Today, Prague, the heart of the Czech Republic is a world center for gay pornography. It seems too few Czech queers were cured.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

From Old Bedlam to Modern TeenScreen, Psychiatry Continues to Harm in the Name of Help

This editorial on psychiatric "help" might make useful reading

Excerpt below:

Perhaps there should be no stigma connected to mental illness. There should however, be stigma connected to the solutions that psychiatry proffers in the name of help which are destructive of individuals and society: mind-altering drugs, stigmatizing labels, shock treatment and abuse of human rights for profit. [...]

Why is it that one never hears from a psychiatrist about such workable solutions as nutrition, tutoring, legitimate medical examinations, and change of environment? Why do nearly all of their solutions come in a bottle with an FDA black box warning label that even they admit to not understanding why these drugs work?

("Ritalin and amphetamine have almost identical adverse effects on the brain, mind and behavior, including the production of drug-induced behavioral disorders, psychosis, mania, drug abuse, and addiction,") Billy J. Sahley, PhD, author of Is Ritalin Necessary?

Could it be that labeling an individual with a "disorder" from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is the only way that psychiatrists can make a living? The belief of the existence of these "disorders" is their sole basis for receiving money from insurance companies, research grants, charitable foundations, etc.

If a psychiatrist sends a child who is acting up in school to see a nutritionist or for tutoring, how would he make any money? If he labels that same child with "ADHD", he is creating a patient for life.

Backing up this viewpoint are recent articles in USA Today, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and countless other major newspapers which revealed the hidden financial connection between big Pharmaceutical Companies and the authors of the Diagnostic and Statistical manual.

This manual, the self-proclaimed bible of psychiatry and sole wellspring of all of the more than 370 mental "disorders" used to label normal people and absolve those who should not be absolved, is the very foundation of psychiatry's most precious tenets. Not only were the majority of psychiatric panel members that created the DSM receiving funding from drug companies in one way or another, but their entire panel of "experts" had direct connections to pharmaceutical monies.


Drugs and your mind - the lies told in the pursuit of billions:

The Drugs and Your Mind Website is another one of those websites popping up like so many daisies or dandelions, protesting the destructive nature of Modern Psychiatry.

Good work guys, keep it up.

Some of the quotes shared on the site:

"20% of recently approved prescription drugs have serious, even life-threatening side effects."
Journal of American Medical Association, May 2002

"90% of authors of clinical practice guidelines received research funding from, or acted as consultants to, a drug company."
Journal of American Medical Association, February 2002

"US direct-to-consumer drug ad spending soared to $2.49 billion in 2001, up from $859 million in 1997."
Wall Street Journal, March 2002

"Seven drugs (recalled by the FDA between 1993 and 2000 after reports of death and severe side-effects) exceeded $5 billion in sales before being withdrawn."
Los Angeles Times, December 2000

"I just wanted you to know that there is another childless parent out here in the world because of these drugs."
Shannon Baker, April 2002, who lost her 12 year old daughter trying to withdraw from Paxil*
They also supply this list websites with natural alternatives:
Many natural solutions are at and at

and at the Prozac Survivor's site at,,,,, and

People are also pointed to the earlier article about the use of Omega-3 Fishoil as a superior substitute for Ritalin, so far as calming kids down goes.

Psychiatist pleads guilty to criminal sexual conduct

From Grand Rapids, Michigan, from about middle of the month

Psychologist Robert Eardley of Ada Township plead guilty to two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact and no contest to two counts of sexual penetration Monday in Kent County Circuit Court. Eardley was charged in two cases of sexually assaulting patients, one deaf and the other with multiple personalities. He plead guilty and no contest in exchange for other charges being dropped. He is to be sentenced August 7. He also will lose his social work and psychology licenses and must register as a sex offender.

See also this local TV station report
, with much more information here.

Here are nore details from the earlier report:
A psychologist who police say slept with his patients is in more trouble. 53 year old Robert Eardley was charged in July with sexual assault for having a relationship with a patient.

Now more serious charges have been filed, and another woman claims she was a victim.

Police say 53 year old Robert Eardley, a psychologist who at one time worked at Touchstone Innovare's mental health clinic on Sheldon Avenue in Grand Rapids, turned one of his patients into a victim. "He manipulated these women to get to what he wants," says Detective Les Smith of the Grand Rapids Police Department. What Eardley wanted, according to Detective Smith, was sex.

Smith says it started in 1997, when Eardley worked out of an office on Lafayette Avenue in Grand Rapids. He treated a woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder, sometimes known as Multiple Personality Disorder. After forming a doctor-patient relationship, Smith says, he convinced the woman to have a sexual one. "He took it upon himself to pray upon their weakness and use it to his advantage," says Smith.

A few years' later police say Eardley did it again, this time at the Touchstone innovare clinic. Like before, it was a woman who was getting help for past sexual abuse which caused the identity disorder. When she came forward this year after the five year sexual relationship police arrested Eardley and charged him with fourth degree criminal sexual conduct - a misdemeanor.

Detective Smith and Prosecutor Helen Brinkman thought Eardley should get more. "Myself and the prosecutor were kind of amazed that the only thing he could face was a CSC 4th charge for the crimes he committed," Smith says. So the prosecutor researched it and found a somewhat obscure law called "Sexual Intercourse under Pretext of Medical Treatment."

That's a felony and now Eardley is charged with five counts for the two women. He will turn himself in at the county jail Thursday to be arraigned on the new charges.
Some details have been edited for space

Psychiatrist Accused of Blackmailing Patient

A report from Dubai, as seen on the Gulf News website

A drug suspect is seeking the court's help, alleging that his doctor is blackmailing him instead of writing him a medical prescription to prove his innocence.

Dubai Public Prosecution had charged the UAE national with consuming and possessing pills containing banned substances, a charge he denied yesterday at the Dubai Court of First Instance. The suspect maintained his innocence and told judge Mahmoud Al Sharshabi, who presided over yesterday's hearing, that he is "taking medicine pills which contain drugs for medical treatment".

He alleged that his private doctor is asking him for money to write a medical prescription for him.

"He is the chief psychiatrist at a private clinic in Dubai and refused to give my family the medical prescription before we pay him money. I cannot pay Dh 1,000, 2,000 or 3,000 for that," he told the court.

The defendant also claimed that, "the doctor even warned my family that if we try to reach him through the public prosecution to obtain the prescription, he will take a month to send it on."

The accused said that he was being prosecuted in seven similar cases and was badly in need of the prescription "to prove his innocence" and that he is taking the drugs "as treatment".

He is seeking the court's assistance and the judge promised to look into his claim to decide what could be done.

7 year old girl killed at Behavior Modification Clinic

As reported in the St Paul Pioneer Press

A 7-year-old girl who died a day after being physically restrained by employees at a Rice Lake, Wis., counseling clinic was placed in a so-called "control hold" because she was "gargling milk," according to a report by state health officials.

In an investigation into the girl's death, the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services also cited "multiple violations" of state law at the Northwest Counseling and Guidance Clinics, including the law governing physical restraint of clients.

Angellika Arndt, who had attended the day treatment clinic five days a week for a month for behavioral problems, had been restrained on nine separate occasions, according to the report released late Thursday.

Each time, staff members placed her in a control hold for one to two hours. The last time, on May 25, she lost consciousness. She died a day later at Children's Hospital & Clinics in Minneapolis.

The Hennepin County medical examiner ruled her death a homicide caused by "complications of chest compression asphyxiation" leading to "cardiopulmonary arrest while restrained by another person."

Meanwhile, the Rice Lake Police Department and Barron County District Attorney's office continue their investigation of her death. The district attorney's office said it did not expect to decide before July 15 whether to press criminal charges.


The two staff members who restrained Angellika on the day she lost consciousness were immediately placed on paid administrative leave, Tucker said.

Among the report's other findings:

• The clinic failed to provide required services by a physician or registered nurse.

• The clinic failed to document the side effects of Angellika's drugs.

• The clinic failed to provide direct clinical review and assessment of the two employees who restrained Angellika the day she passed out.

• There was no evidence that the clinic collaborated with the girl's psychiatrist other than a request for information about medications and a request for a treatment plan signature.

The girl, whom friends and family called "Angie," was born in Milwaukee. She became a ward of the state and was placed in the Rusk County foster home of Dan and Donna Pavlik in January 2005.

She was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, mood disorder and attention deficit with hyperactivity disorder, according to the state's report.

The Pavliks have declined to comment on the case.
Strange way to make a child docile and obedient

Big Pharma Research Racket Is Killing People

By Evelyn Pringle, as seen in the Sierras Times

Over the past six years, ten FDA approved drugs have been withdrawn from the market due to deaths and injuries, leading lawmakers to accuse the FDA of not doing its job in protecting the public from unsafe drugs and to call for measures of improvement.

On June 20, 2006, the New York Times reported that “two influential senators are expected within weeks to introduce a legislative proposal that could drastically change how drugs are tested and approved in the United States.”

“In broad terms,” the Times article by Gardner Harris explains, “the bill would require that drug makers disclose the results of all large human tests of their drugs, known as Phase 3 and Phase 4 trials; create a detailed risk management plan to uncover and control any safety problems that arise after a drug is approved; and pay penalties if they fail to follow through with this plan, according to four experts who were briefed on the proposals.”

However, while lawmakers search for ways to ensure that Big Pharma does not continue to conceal adverse reactions that surface during drug trials and to sever the ties between the nation’s public health officials and Big Pharma, the Bush administration continues to promote their cozy relationships and help drug companies escape accountability for misconduct. [...]

But in all fairness, the FDA is certainly not the only public health agency in bed with Big Pharma. Nobody can deny the fact that Big Pharma is an equal opportunity corrupter. Its obvious that drug companies have infiltrated every Federal regulatory agency in the US.

Obviously the tip of a very big iceberg. Part of a very much bigger article.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Fish oil 'calms children better than Ritalin'

As Reported in the Daily Mail of the UK

A daily dose of fish oil is better at treating hyperactivity than Ritalin - the 'chemical cosh' linked to the deaths of children, stunning research has revealed.

Just six capsules a day of the naturally-occurring oil can vastly improve children's behaviour without any of the side-effects of Ritalin and related drugs.

The controversial drugs can cause heart problems, dizziness and insomnia and have been blamed for the deaths of nine children in the UK and dozens more in the US.


Last year, a study by Durham Local Education Authority showed that omega 3 can improve the brainpower and concentration of hyperactive children.

The latest findings, from the University of Adelaide, are the first to show that omega 3 fish oil may be better than medication at treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

The compound, which occurs naturally in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna, is responsible for a range of health benefits, from combating heart disease to boosting intelligence.

Despite this, most people eat just a fifth of the amount recommended for good health.

The Australian researchers looked at the effect of eye q (CORR) fish oil capsules on a group seven to 12-year-olds with ADHD.

Some were given the capsules, while others took a placebo or dummy capsule.

Within three months, the behaviour of those on the fish oils had dramatically improved and, by seven months, many of the children were less restless and doing better at school.


The researchers also compared their results to those from studies of Ritalin and Concerta and found fish oils are more effective, a Sydney conference on omega-3 will hear this week.

British experts said the research, which is to be published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (CORR), underlined the value of exploring alternative treatments to Ritalin.

The number of hyperactive children on medication is soaring, with a staggering 330,000 prescriptions written out each year, or 6,350 a week.

Nine British children have died after taking the drugs. Two died of heart problems, while others suffered illnesses including strokes and swelling of the brain. Dr Timimi, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at Lincolnshire NHS Trust, said: 'Drugs like Ritalin have considerable dangers associated with them, including insomnia, changes in personality and cardiotoxicity - they are bad for the heart and can cause heart attacks, strokes and sudden death.

'It must be preferable to that.'

See also this Case Study

Within days of starting medication for his ADHD, Nathaniel Gow suffered violent mood swings and lost his appetite.

Unable to sleep, the 13-year-old spent his days and nights mesmerised by computer games and was soon a shadow of his former self.

His mother, Rachel Gow, said: 'He stopped eating, he wasn't sleeping and I couldn't get him away from his PlayStation - it had a hypnotic effect on him. He was focusing on it but in a disturbing way.

'It was as if his soul had gone. He was a wide-eyed shadow of his former self.

'His mood swings were extreme - he went from being hysteria to uncontrollable anger to crying like a baby within minutes. Anything could set him off.

'He wasn't Nathaniel, he wasn't my son. It was frightening, I couldn't get to sleep at night. It was the worst thing in the world for a parent to go through.'

After four months of treatment with Concerta, which is similar to Ritalin, Mrs Gow, who is about to embark on a masters degree in psychology, heard of the benefits of eye q fish oil capsules.

Nathaniel, who attends a Sussex boarding school during the week and spends the weekends with his family in Wimbledon, south-west London, started taking six capsules a day.

Now, a year, on, his symptoms of ADHD have all but vanished.

Mrs Gow, 32, said: 'We've noticed a dramatic reduction in his hyperactivity, he is much happier, doesn't have the mood swings and his concentration has improved.

'As a child, he couldn't sit still for five minutes.

'He had no concept of boundaries. He would climb 20ft up a tree and dangle from the branches or we'd be walking down the aisle in the supermarket and he would start doing cartwheels.

'I couldn't do anything to stop him and he couldn't stop himself.

'Having that disappear for us is a dream.'

Of course, drug companies urge caution on going off of drugs like Ritalin. The idea of an inexpensive natural nutritional alternative to their expensive drugs is alarming. They have a profit margin to maintain.

Psychiatry Deemed a Religion in New Study

As seen in this satire on The Spoof website

Researchers at Jakarta’s renowned Hebrew University recently published a study conclusively proving that Psychiatry should be classified as a religion. The study consisted of a study of Psychiatric textbooks and journals (which will now be known as scriptures) and interviews with Psychiatrists (better classified as priests) and patients (hereafter known as “the flock”).

This work brings a logical answer to many nagging questions, like how Psychiatry could be considered the “authority” in matters of the mind when their results in the field have been poor, and are known to cause more damage than benefit. It may also shed some light on the tendency of Psychiatrists to molest children in a much higher percentage than the general populace.

“Psychiatry is portrayed alternately as a scientific study or branch of medicine but either of these is rapidly disproved,” says Moshe Sapere of Hebrew University. “The science of Psychiatry is flawed. Their studies are mainly funded by drug companies and they publish illogical conclusions which – Surprise! – make the drug companies look good. Psychiatry claims similarity to medicine but this is in reality only marketing; the only real similarities to actual medicine are clothing and terminology. If you dressed up a parrot in a doctor’s smock and taught it some Latin phrases, it wouldn’t be a doctor. It’s the same with Psychiatrists.”

Some of the researchers were reluctant to agree with the “religion” moniker for a group known to be profit-based and harmful, but a study of religions of the past shows that many have been used for profit and have done harm to others. The matter of faith in a deity was also a sticking point but a study of Psychiatric scriptures reveals that Psychiatrists believe in an invisible entity known as “chemical imbalance”. The existence of Chemical Imbalance is stated as fact in the texts though there is no proof of his existence, analogous to a Christian’s belief in God or a Muslim’s belief in Allah.

The key answer that led the researchers to declare Psychiatry as a religion is that their High Priests demand complete belief in unobservable phenomena and continue to forward their beliefs despite no obvious benefit. They are also known to vehemently attack anyone who points out the lack of proof to their claims. Most religions promise salvation in a future existence. Psychiatry does not specifically make those claims but clearly provides dubious benefit in this existence. The researchers are pleased that they have been able to finally clarify this subject and would like to pass the following message to Psychiatrists worldwide, “may Chemical Imbalance bless you”.

Of course, this is all a satire, isn't it? Isn't it?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Are Psychologists Hiding Evidence?

From a much longer article

Psychological claims [in a court of law] have grown steadily in the last 20 years. Psychological claims include allegations of emotional distress, brain damage (neuropsychological deficits) and fear of future illness. A growing problem in these cases is the unwillingness of some psychologists to disclose their tests and test data to attorneys wishing to depose or cross-examine them.

Many psychologists produce their data promptly when asked to do so by litigating attorneys. Others refuse, claiming that it is unethical to disclose tests or test data to insurers, attorneys or jurors. It is irresponsible for the courts to permit psychologists retained by parties in litigation to determine what is relevant for juries to review. Doing so allows psychologists to displace the court. Without seeing the tests and test data, an attorney cannot possibly fully understand the methodology or the reasoning process used to draw conclusions from test data, and cannot possibly fully cross-examine the expert on the reliability and validity of the allegedly scientific methodology. Giving psychologists this power is not in the best interests of consumers and is against social policy.

To prevent psychologists from hiding and withholding evidence, there needs to be a generally accepted policy for temporary, controlled disclosure of tests and test data in court proceedings. These policies and procedures should be consistent with applicable law. Until psychologists are required to comply with a systematic protocol for handling test data, they will continue to mislead adjusters, judges and attorneys with contradictory and erroneous claims about what is ethical and legal. Is it ethical?

Psychologists who claim that the ethical code of psychologists prohibits disclosure of tests and raw test data to attorneys, judges and jurors are misinformed. There is no such prohibition anywhere in the ethical principles and code of conduct of psychologists and there never has been. On the contrary, in the currently applicable ethics for psychologists, set by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1992, Ethical Standard 1.23(b) specifies that psychologists involved in legal proceedings have the responsibility to create and maintain documentation in detail, of sufficient quality to allow reasonable scrutiny in court proceedings. Competent psychologists know from the outset that their work will be scrutinized in the context of trial proceedings.


In some states, psychologists have persuaded their legislatures to make it illegal for psychologists to release test questions and test data to non-psychologists. This is a bizarre achievement in light of the widespread disclosure of tests, answers to tests and sample test data to the public. Copies of copyrighted tests and test manuals are sent to the Library of Congress. There, they are available to any library patron who asks, and accessible to residents of other areas through inter-library loan services, consultants and professional research services. The contents of many of the most widely used tests are available to the public in texts that can be purchased through public bookstores or borrowed from libraries.

How 'junk science' has put a lot of disorders into the DSM for dubious legal reasons

In 2005, David Feige explained in an article in Slate Magazine how "junk science" has put a lot of disorders into the DSM for dubious legal reasons. "[This syndrome] is part of an ever widening matrix of criminal-justice-related mental-health syndromes whose main goal seems to be to explain away otherwise damaging evidence." This was in the context of a variety of 'expert witnesses' during the Michael Jackson trial, which was taking place at the time.

Here are some bits from that article

Urquiza, called earlier in the trial as an expert witness for the prosecution, testified about something called "child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome," or CSAAS.

He had never examined Mr. Jackson's accuser. He didn't need to.

As it turns out, CSAAS … explains everything.

CSAAS is part of an ever widening matrix of criminal-justice-related mental-health syndromes whose main goal seems to be to explain away otherwise damaging evidence. Rape trauma syndrome (or RTS), battered-woman's syndrome (or BWS), and CSAAS are all examples of this burgeoning field.
Etiologically, all three syndromes are the stepchildren of post-traumatic stress disorder (first diagnostically validated by inclusion in the 1980 version of the psychologist's bible — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition). And, much like their parent, they all share flexible criteria easily applied to … well, pretty much everything.

And that's the whole problem.

Unlike diseases or disorders in which signs (physical phenomena like bruises) or symptoms (subjective complaints like "my elbow hurts") imply a specific cause (you injured your elbow), syndromes (which are also groups of signs and symptoms) may—but don't necessarily—imply a specific cause. As a consequence, although syndromes may sound scientific, their diagnostic value varies wildly.

CSAAS is, simply put, not diagnostic. First named and described in 1983 in an article by Dr. Roland Summit that described five general attributes of child sexual victims (secrecy, helplessness, denial, delayed disclosure, and retraction), Summit himself has conceded the lack of compelling empirical research support for the syndrome. And when lawyers start importing these scientific curiosities into the courtroom, we all have a serious problem.


CSAAS is a prosecutorial silver bullet and a fabricator's best friend. Every mistake you make is consistent with it; every mistake you don't make further confirms your credibility. No wonder prosecutors rely on it to bolster disintegrating cases. By making credibility tautological, CSAAS makes it nearly impossible to present a defense or attack an incredible witness. To make matters worse, CSAAS testimony is deeply appealing to jurors because of its soothing reassurance that otherwise inexplicable or incredible behavior is merely a manifestation of the actual trauma they all expect to see in a victim.

According to CSAAS experts, not reporting abuse is consistent with suffering from child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome. So is bad behavior, trouble in school, the failure to tell an accurate story, and even the recantation of the entire allegation of abuse. In other words, every criterion usually used by the defense to discredit a witness is actually transubstantiated into evidence that is perfectly consistent with abuse.

And here's the genius: Not exhibiting these signs of CSAAS doesn't mean a child wasn't abused—just that he or she didn't get the syndrome. In other words, a noncredible witness is suffering from the syndrome, but a credible one is merely a credible witness who was legitimately abused.


Ultimately, though, damage from this pseudoscientific syndrome testimony undermines far more than the fairness of Michael Jackson's trial. By creating the ability to explain away any behavior, syndrome testimony threatens to erode our ability to hold both the alleged victims and the alleged perpetrators to account for their actions. With syndrome testimony we find ourselves in a frictionless world where up is down, falsehood is truth, and there is an excuse for everything.

Ultimately, the problem with the Orwellian world of syndrome testimony is that anything goes, and everyone goes to jail. Don't like my tone? Blame angry author syndrome. Fail to follow my argument? Maybe you have an abstract reasoning deficit disorder. Getting angry? Want to stab me? Fear not, I'm sure a doctor (maybe even Urquiza himself) will be willing to testify that you are simply suffering from overreactive reader's syndrome.

And so it goes

Can a psychiatrist really tell what's wrong with you?

As Reported in Slate Magazine

In 1973, academic psychologist D.L. Rosenhan sent himself and seven friends and colleagues to the psychiatric emergency rooms of 12 different hospitals. Each told ER workers that for several weeks he or she had been distressed by voices saying "empty," "hollow," and "thud." The testers gave false names and occupations but otherwise accurately reported their histories, which did not include mental illness. In all 12 instances they were admitted to a psychiatric ward. At that point, they stopped pretending to have symptoms.

Nonetheless, they were held for an average of 19 days (their stays ranged from seven to 52 days) and were all released with a diagnosis of "schizophrenia, in remission," or something like it. Rosenhan titled his study "On Being Sane in Insane Places" and argued that psychiatric diagnosis has more to do with the presumptions of clinicians, and their tendency to treat ordinary behavior as pathological when it occurs on a psych ward, than with a rational assessment of symptoms.

The sweeping conclusions that Rosenhan drew from his elegant hoax are debatable. But in her 2004 book, Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the 20th Century, journalist Lauren Slater claimed to have replicated Rosenhan's results to some degree. She said she visited nine psychiatric ERs incognito and reported having the same auditory hallucinations mentioned in Rosenhan's study. Although she was never admitted as an inpatient, she says she received multiple prescriptions and was diagnosed with "depression with psychotic features" every time.

This was not supposed to happen. In 1980, the field had overhauled the manual used to classify mental disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Speculative Freudian theories of disease etiology were discarded in favor of straightforward descriptions of pathological behavior and checklists of behavioral symptoms for each diagnosis. The goal was to increase the reliability of psychiatric diagnosis.

In response to Slater, psychiatrists struck back with their own study. A team led by Columbia University's Robert Spitzer, who spearheaded the revision of the DSM in 1980, sent a survey to 431 ER psychiatrists. The survey presented a Rosenhan-model vignette—a person without a history of mental illness says she is bothered by a voice saying "thud." Of the 74 psychiatrists who responded, 80 percent said they would not give a firm diagnosis without more information, 82 percent said they would send the patient to an outpatient clinic rather than recommend hospitalization, and 66 percent said they would not prescribe medication. The study was published last November in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. The editors gave Slater space to respond, and she belittled Spitzer's reliance on surveys rather than real testers.

Spitzer relied on a survey for practical reasons—these days, sending pseudo-patients to ERs would be expensive and ethically dubious. But the survey method conveniently sidesteps many of the variables that continue to plague psychiatric diagnosis. I was a social-work clinician in a community mental health center in Seattle for nearly two years. Most patients coming through my office had received more-or-less consistent diagnoses, from many different clinics, over the course of their illness. But a significant minority had not.

Perhaps the most important reason for a wrong diagnosis is the lack of time most clinicians have to do the job. The initial interview with a patient usually lasts less than an hour. Many are defensive or show ambiguous symptoms. Yet the rules of insurance reimbursement are relentless—you have to come up with an immediate diagnosis and treatment plan, which usually means a medication trial. Often follow-up "med checks" last only 15 to 20 minutes and occur just every few weeks or months. Even if patients are admitted to a hospital, they rarely stay longer than a few days. In these circumstances, a hasty initial diagnosis may never get revisited. [...]

Of course, doctors in other specialties face time constraints and other threats to accurate diagnosis. But unlike psychiatrists, they usually have a molecular definition of disease to go on and biological tests to administer. [...]

But it cannot be denied that the DSM is not a collection of diseases so much as syndromes — groupings of symptoms that may have many different molecular causes. Because the molecular causes are largely unknown, biological tests don't exist, and a psychiatrist making a diagnosis is left without the lab results that in other areas of medicine help correct doctors' subjective impressions. [...]

The Rosenhan study, which is still mentioned in undergraduate textbooks, continues to be an albatross for psychiatry. [...]

State fines psychiatrist for dating patient

As seen in The Morning Call Online

A psychiatrist who once ran the psychiatry department at Lehigh Valley Hospital was put on probation for having dated a patient and failing to record medicines he prescribed for her.

Dr. John F. Mitchell, who lives in Zionsville [Pennsylvania] and has a private counseling practice in Salisbury Township and an outpatient clinic in Emmaus, agreed to pay a fine of $7,000 and take a course in ''boundary violations'' to avoid losing his license for three years, according to the State Board of Medicine, which ruled on the violations in March and published its ruling on Wednesday.

The order alleged that Mitchell engaged in a personal and romantic relationship with a female patient and prescribed medicines to a patient without recording the prescriptions. State officials did not identify the patient or the person who filed the complaint.

Mitchell, 54, has been a psychiatrist for 24 years. He came to Allentown in 1984 and was chief of psychiatry at the former Allentown Hospital, which became Lehigh Valley Hospital-Allentown, from 1985 to 1988.

Mitchell said he had stopped treating the patient for more than a year before the relationship started, but that regulations require at least a two-year wait. He said he did not record the prescriptions he wrote for the woman because at the time she was no longer his patient.

Psychiatry and disease mongering: Road Rage Disorder is latest spontaneously 'discovered' disease

It's good to see some good sense starting to make it's way around the internet

Disease mongering has reached a new level of ridiculousness with the widely-reported announcement that millions of American now have undiagnosed Road Rage Disorder, also sometimes called Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). Desperate to scrounge up new diseases that can be treated with high-profit prescription drugs, Big Pharma and its disease-pushing sidekick, psychiatry, is now pulling diseases out of thin air, making them up as it goes along, and hoping enough impressionable consumers (and journalists) can be hoodwinked into thinking every fictitious disease is actually real.

Road Rage Disorder is merely the latest disease quackery drummed up by the pharmaceutical industry. Many people don't know this, but Big Pharma actually hires psychiatrists to invent, then publicize new "diseases." They actually sit around in rooms, brainstorming new disease ideas and figuring out how to convince the public that those diseases exist. That's where they come up with junk science statements like, "This is the most common disease you've never heard of!"

The psychiatric community has now become the disease invention branch of Big Pharma. Psychiatrists dream up disorders, and drug companies market the "treatment" that just happens to have been recently FDA approved. Notice how new diseases or disorders only get publicized and advertised after the FDA approves a Big Pharma drug to treat them? These diseases apparently spontaneously afflict huge numbers of Americans only in the days following the FDA approval of any drug that might treat such diseases. Imagine the odds.

To think, all these years, we've all been running around with Intermittent Explosive Disorder and we didn't even know it! The horrors!

The crooks running this medical scam are, of course, the drug company executives and psych doctors who have apparently decided they will now do absolutely anything to sell more drugs, including labeling perfectly healthy people as sick. As the number of truly ill people in society is limited, Big Pharma evil geniuses have figured out that the only way to increase their customer base is to start selling drugs to people who aren't sick. And the quickest way to do that is through disease mongering -- inventing, then marketing non-existent diseases to a gullible population that has grown far too comfortable with the idea that every human behavior is now a disease.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Psych Magazine gets Psychiatric Human Rights Movement History Wrong

As Discussed here

An American Psychiatric Association official magazine, _Psychiatric Services_, has published an odd article (see below) in their June 2006 issue attempting to analyze the origins and history of the movement to challenge psychiatric human rights violations, especially the part of that movement led by psychiatric survivors.

The authors of the essay, entitled "Evolution of the Antipsychiatry Movement Into Mental Health Consumerism," fail in many strange and curious ways. Their perspective and facts just do not match reality.
Here is a partial list of the errors
Examples of Bizarre Bias in _Psychiatric Services_ Article

2. ORIGINS: The authors try to place the origin of our social change movement solely in the books of a few campus intellectuals and theoreticians, while many of us actually credit the civil rights movement and other grassroots movements as inspiration for grassroots psychiatric survivor and mental health consumer organizing. Believe it or not, we can and do start our own organizations.

3. BIOPSYCHIATRY PROVEN? The authors claim that studies now prove that "schizophrenia [is] at least biologically based." That is editorializing. Of course the authors' footnotes omit any citation to sources or scientific studies on this point for a simple reason: There are none.

4. LESS NEUROLEPTICS? The authors outrageously claim that psychiatry has "defused grievances" such as, "psychiatrists markedly reduced dosages of neuroleptics prescribed." As just one example that refutes this from this week's headlines, 6/6/06, the _NY Times_ revealed that neuroleptic prescriptions have gone up more than five-fold on youth. That's not a "reduction" for those youth. More neuroleptics are being given to more people than ever, along with polypharmacy where five or even ten psychiatric drugs are prescribed at the same time.

5. SHOCK AND PSYCHOSURGERY INCREASING! The authors also claim psychiatry has "defused grievances" because "electroconvulsive therapy and psychosurgery became marginalized." Marginalized? He means "gone undergrouund," because shock and psychosurgery have both experienced a huge resurgence in popularity within the profession, without adequate media scrutiny.

6. COMMITMENT STANDARDS ARE LOOSENING! The authors claim "compulsory commitments came under close judicial scrutiny," whatever that means. The reality is that countless US states have loosened and expanded commitment to such an extent, that disagreeing with one's psychiatrist is practically grounds for commitment today (such as "likelihood to deteriorate in the future without treatment," i.e., drugging).

12. MYTH OF "OUTSIDE AGITATORS": The authors try to portray a tiny group of antipsychiatrists as somehow subverting mental health consumers. It's the old divide-and-conquer trick of claiming there are "outside agitators." The reality is that the vast majority of the mental health systems' own clients, and all the organizations that truly represent them, speak out against human rights viololations on their own, and oppose practices like expanded outpatient commitment.

The authors claim that the National Council on Disability report somehow came out of the mouths of "antipsychiatrists," when actually dozens upon dozens of grassroots people who had experienced the mental health system testified to the NCD at a meeting of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy. Note how the authors change "advocacy" to "antipsychiatry" as a way to marginalize us.

13. APA CLOSED TO DIALOGUE: The authors claim that the American Psychiatric Association has found it difficult to dialogue with psychiatric survivor and mental health consumer critics. The reality is that the APA and similar groups have refused countless efforts to dialogue. A number of us even did a several-week hunger strike mainly asking for real dialogue. It's not as if the American Psychiatric Association can't find our office phone numbers. Difficult to dialogue with us? How about being _closed_ to dialogue?

15. LET US TELL OUR OWN STORY: And finally, in the big picture, the authors essentially try to impose a story, narrative, world view and paradigm upon us... without asking us what we think about our own lives. This explains the petty factual errors.

In the authors' view a few antipsychiatry intellectuals gave birth to antipsychiatry psychiatric survivor groups, and then faded away. Now these subversive antipsychiatry psychiatric survivors are supposedly manipulating mental health consumers to fight psychiatric power. It is almost as if the authors got their bizarre perspective on this point from extremist American Enterprise Institute psychiatrist Sally Satel... and there indeed Sally sits in the authors' footnotes.

Psychiatry falsely labeled many of us as clients... and now tries to falsely label us when we organize to speak out about inherent, rampant, severe and deadly human rights violations within their profession. How about honest dialogue, discussion, listening and communication... isn't that supposed to be mentally healthy, for everyone?
Full text of the original article, along with the full compiled list available at the above link

Exposure of Richard Cohen ex-gay 'cuddling therapy' causes rift

Another weird therapist with his bogus techniques, link include video from CNN

Cohen's methods have raised some questions, however; and he has lately taken sharp criticism over a May 23 appearance on Cable News Network (CNN), in which he demonstrated a technique that involves cuddling a male client in his lap. Another of the unusual therapy techniques depicted involved a client hitting a pillow with a tennis racket while shouting the name of a parent or other individual who elicits painful childhood memories.
Of course, there's in fighting between the various celebrities in this arena. Oh joy.

Of course, the witty folks ar described the original story this way:
"Formerly" homosexual Christian psychotherapist cures patients' unwanted homosexual tendencies with cuddling. Nope nothing suspicious about that
There is a major controversy regarding Christian Psychotherapists and their claims to "cure" people of homosexuality. Both sides of the discussion have a loaded agenda.

Psychiatrist appeals his conviction for sex with patient

As reported in the Examiner

A psychiatrist who was found guilty in Launceston, Tasmania of having sex with a patient has appealed against the finding of professional misconduct and lengthy ban in the Tasmanian Supreme Court in Hobart.

Ian Anthony Martin appealed on the grounds that a DNA sample match used as evidence should have been inadmissible as it breached the rules of evidence.

Dr Martin's counsel Dyson Hore- Lacey said that the match of DNA taken from vaginal swabs from the complainant and Dr Martin had been passed on to the Medical Complaints Tribunal by police illegally.

Mr Hore-Lacey also said that the complainant could have "planted" the DNA sample, as the sample was not semen but another substance.

In September, the Medical Complaints Tribunal found Dr Martin guilty of having a six-week sexual relationship with his client that was sexually predatory.

Dr Martin denied the claims, but the tribunal was told there was a one in 1.1 million chance that DNA found from the complainant's vaginal swabs were not from Mr Martin.

Dr Martin was deregistered for 15 years, which meant he could not practise anywhere in Australia for that period.

Tribunal counsel Philip Jackson said that the tribunal was not bound by the rules of evidence and had a right to inform itself in any way.

He said that the DNA sample "almost certainly" did not affect the outcome, which would have been guilty even without that evidence.

Mr Jackson also quoted Dr Martin that the idea the complainant planted the sample was a "flight of fancy" and "pure speculation".

Justice Peter Evans has heard the arguments and will hand down his decision soon.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Another Side Effect: REM Sleep Behavior Disorder at Young Age Linked to Antidepressant Use

As seen in this report on the Armenian Medical Network

A Mayo Clinic study has shown that the onset of REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) at a younger age appears to be connected to antidepressant use.

RBD is a sleep disorder where patients act out their dreams, which are often unpleasant and violent, according to Maja Tippmann-Peikert, M.D., sleep medicine specialist, neurologist and study investigator. This acting out results from a loss of normal muscle paralysis in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the dream stage of sleep, which normally prevents enacting one’s dreams. RBD patients generally act out their dreams in a defensive posture, as if fending off an attacker, says R. Robert Auger, M.D., Mayo Clinic sleep medicine specialist, psychiatrist and primary investigator. The disorder is often recognized by a bed partner.

Although previously published case reports and a more recently published study have suggested the association between antidepressants and RBD, this study represents the first systematic demonstration of the relationship. Findings will be presented June 19 at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies’ SLEEP 2006 meeting in Salt Lake City.

"Our findings suggest that RBD in younger patients—in the 30s instead of the usual age of the 50s or older—is frequently linked to antidepressant use,” says Dr. Auger. “I’d interpret this to mean one of three things: 1) in younger patients, antidepressants can cause RBD, or 2) in younger patients, RBD results in psychiatric diagnoses that then result in antidepressant prescriptions, or 3) a common factor is causing both the RBD and the psychiatric diagnoses, which in turn results in antidepressant prescriptions. If medications are implicated in a direct manner, it may be an idiosyncratic effect, it could be related to the dose of medication, or the medications simply may be unmasking an underlying predisposition to RBD.”

To conduct this study, investigators reviewed records of patients consecutively diagnosed with RBD at Mayo Clinic between 2002 and 2005, removing those with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or dementia at the time of RBD diagnosis. Twenty patients diagnosed when they were less than 50 years old (average age 34) were age- and gender-matched for comparison to a group of patients without RBD.

Equivalent comparisons were performed in patients diagnosed with RBD over age 50. After looking at all groups, the investigators found that the younger RBD patients were unique with respect to greater use of antidepressants than those without RBD (80 percent versus 15 percent use). Antidepressants prescribed for these patients spanned all types: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), venlafaxine, mirtazapine and tricyclic antidepressants. The investigators also found a higher prevalence of females in the early-onset group of RBD (45 percent female) patients than in older-onset RBD (13 percent female). RBD is known to be largely a male disease.

A link between antidepressants and RBD is not completely surprising, according to Dr. Auger, as the neurotransmitters affected by these medications are involved in REM sleep regulation, and a recent study shows that they diminish the muscle paralysis associated with normal REM sleep. [...]

There are no treatments available for those prescribed antidepressants to prevent them from later developing RBD, but the condition is generally quite treatable once identified, he says. It is uncertain whether this younger group of patients possesses the same risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease later in life, as has been described in previous studies involving patients with older-onset RBD.

Currently, 10 million Americans take antidepressants.

Drug Companies Still Peddling Risperdal and Zyprexa For Off-Label Use

As seen in this report from New Zealand

According to Kelly O'Meara, author of the newly released book, Psyched Out, America has a drug problem. "It's not as covert as those illicit and illegal "Just Say No" drugs," she says, "but, rather, Americans have become drug users by way of being diagnosed as suffering from one or a number of alleged mental disorders."

"Sharing one's feelings with a doctor," she warns, "more often than not is all it takes to be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder and prescribed a mind-altering drug to "treat" the disorder."

According to O'Meara, "scattered data from a variety of sources provide a shocking glimpse at not only the direction the drugging of America is heading, but also," she says, "the number of Americans being labeled as mentally ill."

One of the top classes of over-prescribed drugs are the new generation of atypicals antipsychotics that were adopted because of claims by drug makers that they were safer, more effective and produced fewer side effects than the older antipsychotics.

However, over the past several years, drug companies have been forced to admit to misleading the FDA, physicians, and consumers about the deadly side effects associated with these drugs including an increased risk of suicide.

According to Harvard trained psychiatrist, Dr Stefan Kruszewski, “the new generation of antipsychotics substantially increase the risk of obesity, diabetes type II, hypertension, cardiovascular complications, heart attacks and stroke.”

"The drug causes both a severe metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular problems,” he explains, “at the same time that they continue to cause neurological side effects like the older typical antipsychotics."

Dr Kruszewski says the drug makers knew of many of these side effects but withheld the data from the FDA. "So, what we have now are drugs,” he advises, “whose massive revenues and promotion are based upon faulty disclosures by the manufacturers.”

The new drugs are far more expensive than the older antipsychotics. “A dose of haloperidol” Dr Kruszewski notes, “might sell for 6 pennies while Zyprexa might sell for over $6 per pill.”

Data unveiled March 2006 by investment firm CIBC World Markets verifies the massive amount of spending going for these drugs. CIBC found that in the previous 12 months, of the top 20 drugs by managed care spending, psychotropic drugs accounted for nearly 20%, or $13 billion. The drugs that made the list were Zyprexa ($2.6 billlion), Seroquel ($2.5 billion), Risperdal ($2.2 billion).

Part of a much longer article, very much worth reading.

Drugging Children: A Cruel Sign of the Times

From a column by W. GIFFORD-JONES, M.D.

Would I allow Ritalin or other similar drugs to be prescribed to my children because they fidgeted, squirmed in their seat or were inattentive? Hell would freeze over a thousand times before I'd submit to such idiocy. But today an estimated five million Canadian and U.S. children are prescribed medication for this condition.

This year, a committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that a "black box" warning should be placed on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications, warning about heart attack and other risks. It's the strongest warning possible before a drug is removed from the market. A second advisory panel disagreed, so no decision has been reached.

Why the need for a black box warning? It depends on who is giving the opinion. For instance, a report from the Mayo Clinic agrees that ADHD medications can cause heart attack, stroke, hypertension, heart palpitations, an irregular heartbeat, psychosis, mania, aggressive behavior and hallucinations. Some deaths have also been linked to these drugs. This should scare the hell out of any parent. But Mayo claims the risks are small and benefits outweigh these potential problems.

Others, such as Dr. Peter R. Breggin, a renowned researcher in this field, say doctors have become "oblivious to the fact these drugs cause manic and schizophrenic-like disorders." He cites a Canadian study in which a staggering nine percent of children on this medication developed psychotic symptoms.

He argues that when children on ADHD medication become paranoid and have delusions, they're diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Rather than weaning them off the drug they are prescribed more drugs to treat these problems.

Dr. Colleen Clements, a psychiatrist at the University of Rochester, in Rochester, N.Y., writes in The Medical Post that ADHD is a disease with "dubious scientific merit." She worries that "long-term psychoactive medication does not allow the developmental process to continue normally and children may be causally put in this illness category with the implied degrading of their normality and worth."

Adding to these concerns, Dr. Nadine Lambert, a developmental psychiatrist at the University of California, reports that children on Ritalin are three times more likely to develop a taste for cocaine.

So what should parents do when either their doctor or school suggests this medication? I'd bet if these drugs had been available years ago, they would not have been required in the one-room schoolhouse. I'd also bet there was more discipline in those days when teachers were treated with more respect by parents and children.

As a teenager, I had a habit of tapping my pencil on my desk. One day my teacher tossed me down the aisle, then across the room, and finally out the door. I never tapped my pencil again! Nor did I complain I had "rights." Or mention it to my parents. No one suggested Ritalin or medication. And I easily survived this encounter, and in fact the teacher became one of my favorites.

Remember that just because drugs are prescribed, it does not make them safe. And shouldn't we ask why 90 percent of ADHD drugs manufactured in the world are used in Canada and the United States? Isn't it strange that the rest of the world can manage children in the classroom without drugging them?

We should question how and why doctors make the diagnosis of ADHD. There's no test to do so. They may say the child fidgets. Or maybe taps his pen on the desk! But these annoyances are all a matter of degree, so where do you draw the line and start to drug a child?

Dr. Breggin says that, "Many facts make a child behave in this manner such as a spirited nature that defies conformity, inconsistent discipline, boredom, oversized classrooms, overstressed teachers, anxiety due to abuse or home problems."

Dr. Laurence Diller, author of the book, "Running on Ritalin" writes, "We prefer to locate our children's problems in their brain rather than in their lives."

Surely it makes more sense to treat the cause, rather than expose children to powerful drugs with drastic side effects. Hell should freeze over before we allow this to happen.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

N.Y. report denounces school which punishes troubled and disabled students with electric shocks

Students can be shocked for behaviors including 'failure to maintain a neat appearance', 'stopping work for more than 10 seconds', 'interrupting others', 'nagging', 'whispering and/or moving conversation away from staff', 'slouch in chair' ''From the report:

Many of the students observed at JRC were not exhibiting self-abusive/mutilating behaviors, and their IEPs had no indication that these behaviors existed. However, they were still subject to Level III aversive interventions, including use of the GED device. The review of NYS students' records revealed that Level III interventions are used for behaviors including 'refuse to follow staff directions', 'failure to maintain a neat appearance', 'stopping work for more than 10 seconds', 'interrupting others', 'nagging', 'whispering and/or moving conversation away from staff', 'slouch in chair', as well as more intensive behaviors such as physical aggression toward others, property destruction and attempts to hurt/injure self. ...

It was reported by a JRC staff member that one of the behavioral rehearsal lesson (BRL) episodes involved holding a student's face still while staff person went for his mouth with a pen or pencil threatening to stab him in the mouth while repeatedly yelling 'YOU WANT TO EAT THIS?' The goal was to aversively treat the student's target behavior of putting sharp objects in the mouth. ...

One student stated she felt depressed and fearful, stating very coherently her desire to leave the center. She is not permitted to initiate conversation with any member of the staff. She also expressed that she had no one to talk to about her feelings of depression and her desire to kill herself and told the interviewing team that she thought about killing herself everyday. Her greatest fear was that she would remain at JRC beyond her 21st birthday. ...

A student interviewed stated that she had entered JRC at the age of 19 with the expectation that she would receive vocational training while she resolved her emotional and behavioral problems. She had not received any vocational training and still remained in the most restrictive settings offered by JRC. This student wept as she asked the team to bring her back to New York.

New York education officials issued a scathing report yesterday on a Massachusetts school that punishes troubled and disabled students with electric shocks, finding that they can be shocked for simply nagging the teacher and that some are forced to wear shock devices in the bathtub or shower, posing an electrocution hazard. The report, based in part on an inspection last month of the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, portrayed a school in which most staff lack training to handle the students and seem more focused on punishing bad behavior than encouraging good acts. The investigators said some forms of discipline, such as a device that delivers shocks at timed intervals, appear to violate federal safety regulations, and students live in an atmosphere of ``pervasive fears and anxieties."

* Read the report on the Rotenberg Center (.pdf)

The report, denounced by Rotenberg officials as biased, is expected to play a key role next Monday when education regulators in New York are scheduled to vote on whether to severely restrict the use of painful punishment on students from New York.

ADHD - Politics, Money, or Science?

As seen on

As a medicinal chemist I've had the opportunity to see a shockingly different side of Ritalin (methylphenidate) and ADHD than the media exposes.

The Experimental Pharmacology Department of the American Cyanamid Company and the Merck Index report that Ritalin is no less toxic or safer than amphetamine and methamphetamine. They continue, by stating that upon administration of these drugs, motor activity decreases. Often time's tremors and convulsions occur. Further studies on these amphetamine derivatives show that short-term clinical doses produce brain cell death. Long-lasting and sometimes permanent changes in the biochemistry of the brain are also a result. Toxicological studies cited by the Merck Index showed that Ritalin was more toxic when administered to grouped mice. Moreover, researchers showed that increased excitement observed by maintaining mice in groups while under the influence of Ritalin and other methamphetamines was the cause of death, but the exact mechanism of lethality was unknown. Lastly, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classify commonly prescribed drug such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine in the same Schedule II category as methamphetamine and cocaine.

Logic says, end of story regarding Ritalin use. Unfortunately, the most typical response from parents when confronted with toxicity facts is as follows:

"I'm sure that Ritalin is prescribed improperly in many cases. But, my son definitely has a chemical imbalance. Without Ritalin he is a total mess and it has made his life so much easier! Without it he can't focus, he talks out of turn, he's moody, and he won't listen to anybody. So don't tell me ADHD doesn't exist and that my kid doesn't need Ritalin."

My fist question is what chemical imbalance?

To date, no medical or scientific paper or research group has elucidated the cause of ADHD! With our expensive and all-important college and medical degrees professionals have ostensibly hypothesized a cause (brain chemicals) and advocated a cure (stimulants) for ADHD. To back it up we have listed dozens of symptoms of ADHD while at the same time sacrificing a few billion brain cells. How can we administer a toxic stimulant to treat a "disorder" that doesn't exist according to a 100 years of research?

Daily, schoolteachers tell us "yes, Ritalin is a great drug".

School nurses assure us that, "Ritalin would be great for little Johnny!"

And doctors assert, "yes, ADHD is a real disease".

When we trace back the history of Ritalin (say 40-60 years) we see that medicinal chemists originally derived this synthetic stimulant from natural stimulants, most notably caffeine (isolated from guarana) and ephedrine (isolated from Ma Haung). Scientists found that when given stimulants, rats were more focused, calm, attentive and manageable when large groups were crowded into small cages.

Ma Huang and caffeine however, are not good stimulants due to their very short half-lives and inability to "patent". To remedy this, scientists experimented, and still are, with longer lasting synthetic stimulants. To date, a conglomeration of long lasting synthetic stimulants like Ritalin (methylphenidate), Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), Desoxyn (methamphetamine), and Adderal (a mixture of Ritalin, Dexedrine, and amphetamine) have been encapsulated and administered to millions of children. Perhaps one day they will simply infuse a Ritalin gas into classrooms.

Obviously, the goal is to get kids more focused, calm, attentive and manageable when in large groups. The federal govt. wants to aid in this endeavor. Jon Rappaport, writing for, shows that in 1991, federal rules were adopted which granted US schools $400 for each child diagnosed with ADHD. Furthermore, in 1991, the US Dept. of Education issued a formal recognition of ADHD as a debilitating condition and ordered state education departments to screen students and give ADHD cases special treatment. Guaranteed, if the govt. offered increased funding for every redheaded student, your student teachers would soon be convincing you that Johnny has red hair, not brown.

No doubt, ADHD symptoms exist. I could walk into any classroom in America and find a hypothecated victim. And yes, there is a spectrum as to the suffering of the aforementioned symptoms. For those rare cases on the extreme end, here is a partial list of factors that can cause a child to have these "ADHD symptoms": chemicals and dyes in food, excess sugar intake, vaccines, FDA approved drugs, heavy metals, poor teaching, failure to grasp basic subjects (e,g., reading), head injuries, parents who aren't home, parents who don't care, unsafe schools, street drugs, poor nutrition.

This list is a result of the profound discoveries that have been made about the benefits of proper diet and natural supplements. It is also the result of the horrific discoveries that have been made by intelligent and truth-seeking parents and professionals regarding the use of FDA approved drugs and vaccines. To date, it is possible for anyone to live a happy normal life FREE of toxic drugs. As knowledge of health, nutrition and the effectiveness of natural supplements moves forward our own attitudes and ways of thinking must do the same.

Be warned however, accurate information regarding the use of natural supplements will be hard to come by from medical doctors. The scientific study of medicinal uses of plants has not been part of the American medical curriculum for at least 75 years! Conversely, medicinal chemists have derived almost every synthetic drug from nature. The only difference between the two is life-threatening toxicity.

This is not an attack on western medicine. In fact, the latest technology in emergency medicine has been an asset to the longevity of human life. Endeavors made by emergency room doctors are admirable to say the least. This is an attack on the ignorance and greed of the American people, including doctors, patients, and pharmaceutical companies. The reliance of drugs, surgery, and high-tech equipment for healthy living is killing us and according to the latest statistics, most of us will be overdosed on FDA approved drugs before we will ever need the expertise of an emergency room doctor. Take the power back! Start with a war on FDA approved drugs by learning about natural alternatives and proper diet.

State investigates 7 at Canton, MA, school

As reported in the Boston Globe, and also seen here

State regulators yesterday launched an investigation of seven employees of the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, part of a broadening inquiry into whether the controversial school for students with special needs has overstated its staff's qualifications to the government agencies that pay the school more than $200,000 per year for each child.

Already, 14 other clinicians at the school -- the only one in the country that routinely uses electric shock to punish misbehavior -- are facing a hearing next month to determine whether they should face criminal charges for calling themselves psychologists when they did not have state licenses. School founder Matthew Israel also is under investigation by the Board of Registration of Psychologists for his role in supervising the unlicensed psychologists.

``We're taking this matter very seriously and intend to investigate it vigorously," said George Weber , director of the Division of Professional Licensure, an agency that includes both the psychology board and the Board of Registration of Social Workers. ``You have to have sufficient training to engage in activities that affect families' lives."

Yesterday, the psychology board opened investigations into two of Israel's top aides for their role in supervising unlicensed psychologists and three more staff members for the unlicensed practice of psychology. Meanwhile, the social workers' board started investigations of two other employees, one for falsely claiming to be a licensed social worker and the other for performing services such as psychological counseling that aren't permitted by his license.

Kenneth Mollins , lawyer for three former Rotenberg students from New York, has asked New York's attorney general to investigate whether the school defrauded the state and school districts there. Mollins, who himself is suing the state of New York for $10 million over treatment of one Rotenberg student, argues that New York isn't getting it s money's worth from the school.

``New York sends students based on what they expect, and the expectation clearly had to be that these students would be instructed by licensed psychologists," Mollins said. ``People came to my clients' homes with . . . tapes that indicated some of these employees were psychologists and would be working with their children, and that is a fraud."

Officials at the school deny that they have misrepresented anyone's qualifications, noting that the people who claimed to be psychologists had substantial training in the field. They also note that they immedately changed the title of unlicensed psychologists to the more generic clinician after the state pointed out the mistake last month.

``There is not one shred of evidence that anybody did anything intentionally or anybody was defrauded," said Michael Flammia , attorney for the school, which is often a last resort for students with autism, mental retardation, or emotional problems.

The broadening investigation comes on the heels of a report on student safety from investigators in New York, where two-thirds of the center's students come from, that was critical of the school. The New York Education Department found that children are often given shocks for minor misbehavior, such as swearing, and that some students are kept in physical restraints for long periods or denied food. The report said staff training is insufficient, and called for the school to make drastic changes or risk losing students from New York. That state's education regulators are scheduled to vote Monday on whether to sharply restrict the use of painful punishments on students from New York.

In response to the New York findings, two Massachusetts education agencies promised to conduct their own investigation of conditions at the Rotenberg school. ``There is no question that this is a very disturbing report," said Heidi Perlman , spokeswoman for the Department of Education, which will carry out the investigation along with the Department of Early Education and Care.

Yesterday, Rotenberg officials fired back with a 74-page response to New York officials that says their report was ``completely inaccurate."

Though half the 250 students do wear shock devices, school officials point out that the treatment is approved in each case both by the parents and a probate court judge and overseen by psychological consultants.

Rotenberg officials said the New York investigators left out information showing how much the shock treatment had helped children .

Controversy surrounding the school has been heating up since March when a New York teenager accused teachers of torturing him. This year, the number of abuse complaints against the center has skyrocketed to 22.

At least three other complaints under investigation allege that students suffered serious burns as a result of electric shocks. Rotenberg officials say the shocks leave only a small red mark, not a burn.