Category Archives: The Therapuetic State

Mental Maladies: Tucker And Mainstream Discover What Thomas Szasz Explained In 1960

Argument, Logic, Propaganda, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry, Psychology & Pop-Psychology, Science, The Therapuetic State

About the lack of empirical evidence for so-called organic nature of “mental disease,” Tucker Carlson said TODAY, , (well, almost) what this column wrote first in 2002 and countless times since, in titles archived under Psychiatry and The Therapeutic State category:

Cruise And The Psychiatric Shamans,” (2005) “EVIL, NOT ILL” (4/2007), “Conservatives For Abolishing The Fact Of Evil (2015),” “School Shootings: A Moral-Health, Not Mental-Health, Problem” (2018).

Tucker discovers what we wrote in “Broken Brains?” (January 16, 2002):

“… Consider also that there is no credible, scientific, peer-reviewed evidence for the organic basis of aberrant behavior, and you grasp the chicanery that surrounds the claim that strange or bad conduct is caused by ‘chemical imbalances’ in the brain. …”

The more rigorous and honest clinicians will concede that drawing causal relationships between “mental illness” and “chemical imbalances” is impossible. That prescription medication often helps misbehaved or unhappy individuals is no proof that strange behavior is an organic disease. One can chemically castrate a pedophile. But does this demonstrate that molesting kids is an organic disease? Never. It proves only that chemical castration can at times reduce recidivism in people who have chosen to victimize children.

Clear analytical thinking is at the root of solid science, it precedes empiricism.

Roughly 75 percent of the value of “antidepressant” drugs is due to the placebo effect. And talk therapies—cognitive-behavioral therapy in particular—can have equal or better results. Veracity permits only that we limit our causal conclusions to saying that assorted treatment modalities sometimes help people with behavioral problems, nothing more.

MORE.

My mentor, the great Dr. Thomas Szasz, wrote and proved all this analytically in the Myth of Mental illness, 1961. His books I studied at university, back when thought was taught. Both Tom Szasz and I lauded Tom Cruise when the actor attacked psychiatry so very cogently.

See “Cruise And The Psychiatric Shamans” (2005):

The psychiatric peanut gallery has blasted actor Tom Cruise for insisting correctly that there’s more voodoo to the profession than veracity. Cruise’s instincts are good: “Psychiatrists don’t have a test that can prove that a so-called mental illness is actually organic in origin, I wrote. Rigorous clinician —members of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology come to mind —concede that drawing causal connections between “mental illness” and “chemical imbalances” is impossible. That prescription medication often helps misbehaved or unhappy individuals is no proof that strange behavior is an organic disease —placebos or cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, are as effective.

Tucker Carlson had summoned some limey, a quick-fix popularizer, to speak to these issues.

UPDATED (7/10): LinkedIn: Stanton Peele On ILANA And Addiction

Argument, Classical Liberalism, Drug War, Healthcare, Ilana Mercer, Intellectualism, The Therapuetic State

Thank you, Stanton Peele, PhD., for an inspired LinkedIn review. We represent an era of intellectuals in which left and right had so much in common, Stanton being a 1960s liberal; myself a 19th Century classical liberal.

“Ilana Mercer is the most independent thinker of the 21st century — she was that in the 20th. She saw a path that we didn’t follow away from myths of mental illness and incorrigible international conflict. But we have instead followed the roads she eschewed while she, the Cheshire Cat watched grimacing and catcalling our missteps. Need I say we require her insights more than ever?”~ STANTON PEELE, PhD., J.D., best-selling author, addiction expert (review on LinkedIn)

Dr. Peele is the only theorist and clinician I’ve ever respected on the vexing matter of addiction–now a thriving industry with poor outcomes, increasingly, if reflexively, vested in maintaining dysfunction.

I recognized Stanton for the outstanding thinker he is when I read and wrote about his seminal and best work, “Diseasing of America: How We Allowed Recovery Zealots and the Treatment Industry to Convince Us We Are Out of Control .”

Calgary Herald readers were irate, at the time. The same readers (whom I loved) were as annoyed when I wrote about ADHD, in 1999. Boy, are people vested in a  medical diagnosis for legitimizing and authenticating all aspects of The Self. I continue to hold Dr. Peele as the best thinker on the subject. Like myself, he has mentored (knowingly and unknowingly) followers who have adopted his thinking.

Some mentions are here:

“Addictions Are About Behavior, Not Disease” (June 22, 2000)

Medical Mumbo Jumbo Does Not Explain Addiction” (June 29, 2000)

Charlie Sheen’s Out of the AA ‘Troll Hole’” (March 4, 2011)

Addicted To The Drug War” is a wide-ranging libertarian think piece written originally for the Mises Institute in 2001. A section, “ADDICTION: VICE OR DISEASE?” is inspired by Stanton Peele’s work.

MORE on the drug war.

MORE on the Therapeutic State and Industry (almost indistinguishable).

UPDATE (7/10): In reply to the Comment:  I do not know any thinker, other than those who followed the pioneers I’m citing here, who questioned philosophical fundamentals of mental disease and addiction, as Dr. Peele does and as my sweet, kind friend, the genius Thomas Szasz (RIP) did in his monumental works. (R.D Laing was a loon):

https://www.ilanamercer.com/2012/09/im-sad-not-libya-israel-9-11/

I’ve not looking for exposes; I’m looking for analytical truth to bolster the empirical. That’s my method; it’s theirs. Dr. Szasz was the pioneering genius. His books were prescribed at my South African alma mater. Now it has reverted to the anti-intellectual American drek, namely that of diseasing all aspects of behavior.

“Broken Brains” (2002)

FRED REED: What If Latin America Stood Up To The Hegemon

Conservatism, Drug War, FRED REED, Globalism, IMMIGRATION, Labor, Latin American, The Therapuetic State

If you do not obey the gringos … they will destroy your economy starve your children and, if this doesn’t make you submit like the slaves you are, they can resort to bombing

BY FRED REED: Random Reflections on the Divine Imperium and its Southern Appurtenances

Great fun. The Organization of American States on June Sixth began its big meeting in LA, probably unnoticed by most of the US but a big deal hereabouts in Mexico. America dominates the OAS pretending it doesn’t, as it dominates SWIFT, NATO, and the IMF as means of controlling other nations. Considerable uproar exists in Latin America because various Latin countries, most notably Mexico, have refused to attend on grounds that the United States has excluded countries it doesn’t like, such as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. This is astonishing as it shows what may be a modicum of independence in the Latin South.

The White House says that it has excluded these countries because—brace yourself—of America’s almost erotic attachment to democracy, freedom, justice, democracy, human rights, and democracy, none of which the US conspicuously has. We must believe this, for is not Biden South America’s mommy? Which probably has something to do with transgender rights, though I prefer not to think about this.

I suggest that Biden actually excludes them because he cannot afford to allow anyone to speak who is not under American control. The Cuban president, unafraid of Washington, might speak thusly:

“Ladies and gentlemen, leaders of Latin America, you should begin this conference by admitting that you are all bootlickers, that you do not represent your populations who, as you all know, hate the Americans, but rather you toady to the Anglos who give you suitcases full of hundred-dollar bills, who flatter you with pretended respect while you do as they say.

“The Americans speak of human rights, prosperity, democracy, and dignity. As a Cuban, let me tell you about America’s love for human rights. Washington maintains, on our soil, against our wishes, a vast torture chamber at Guantanamo. Here prisoners are hung by their wrists from the ceiling, left in frigid cold, beaten, placed in agonizing positions for long hours, and subjected to that American specialty, waterboarding. In this water is poured down their throats to half drown them as they choke, beg, vomit, cough, scream. I do not know whether their sadists masturbate as they do this.  You all know of these things, and yet you are here. You know that torture is American policy. You have seen the photo of the naked man lying on the floor in a pool of blood at Abu Ghraib? You should ask Mr. Biden—there he is among you, I am pointing to him—for a copy.

“My country has eleven million people who pose no threat to the Anglos. We barely have an army. We want to enjoy life, play music, make fiestas. For sixty years America—you know, the country that cares about human rights—has tried to starve us, prevent commerce with other nations, has blocked our access to medicines. Washington does the same to Venezuela, wanting control of its oil reserves. All of you, each a lameculos of the gueros, know this. You have seen how little dogs sniff the butts of big dogs? But I will say no more of this.

“Why do you, pretending to represent the people of Latin America, allow this? Some, perhaps most, because you have been bought. The whole world knows that Latin American politicos are for sale as much as mangos in a fruit stall. Others because you have seen what has happened to us, to Cuba and Venezuela and others around the world. If you do not obey the gringos—always calling it cooperation—they will destroy your economy starve your children and, if this doesn’t make you submit like the slaves you are, they can resort to bombing. You all know this. You know what has happened to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Serbia, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen. And you, of all continents, have had dictators imposed by America, which loves democracy more than life itself. I do not need to name them. I will say no more. You are what you are, and the world knows it. Thank you for your attention.”

How would Holy Joe respond to such a speech? He, and America, cannot afford to find out.

A major topic at the managed circus will be immigration. Americans become no end outraged because Mexico does not adequately prevent tens of thousands of Central Americans from entering the US. But why is it Mexico’s duty to protect America’s borders? Perhaps countries should solve their own problems. Americans’ notorious historical ignorance may flavor attitudes here. Mexico, like the rest of Latin America, like most of the world, has sore and angry memories of sacking and pillage by Europeans and Americans. Mexicans know of the—what is the word? Theft? Not good PR. Martially-encouraged immigration?—of half of the country in the Mexican-American War. I doubt that one gringo in five has heard of the war.  But countries around the world do remember the horrors inflicted on them.

The problem of immigration could be solved easily enough given that the illegals come in search of work. For example, tattoo a small dot on the inside wrist of every illegal apprehended, meaning all those caught on the wrong side of the border, with fluorescent ink visible only under ultraviolet light. Such lights probably cost thirty dollars in stores supplying hobbyists. Impose and actually collect a heavy fine per illegal worker on employers found to be using them. Problem solved.

So why doesn’t America stop the migration? Because it doesn’t really want to. Shiny white conservative businessmen like the cheap labor. Ardent liberals (I suspect) favor immigration because it infuriates Trump’s voters, many of whom have to compete against the far lower wages of illegals. The Biden people on ideological grounds, and hope for votes, encourage immigration. Many people are simply expressing kindness, thinking that a desire to escape poverty deserves support from richer countries. Large numbers just aren’t interested.  The Mexican secretary at the dentist’s seems perfectly nice, so what is the problem? In a sentence, America doesn’t close the border because it doesn’t want to.

Things look different when one is actually involved. Years back a couple running a small construction company in the West visited us in Guadalajara. They said that without Mexican labor they would quickly become bankrupt. Blacks, they said, were terrible employees, quit unexpectedly, had hostile attitudes, did poor work. Whites didn’t want the jobs. That left Mexicans, who did want the work, did it well, and were happy with their wages. A friend with relatives in the citrus business made the same point. The growers were good Republicans, but if nobody picked their oranges, their kids would have to drop out of Princeton, and there goes the mortgage. Mexicans would do hard, long work under a blistering sun. Who else would?

Then there is the drug business. Americans think Mexico should do something about it. Why? Mexicans might say that if Americans are against the use of drugs, then they should stop using drugs. Why are American vices a Mexican problem? Mexicans point out that America provides the drug cartels with large amounts of military-grade weaponry, so why should Mexico not provide gringos with lots of dope? This would seem to profit both. A mutually beneficial symbiosis. But it’s probably Putin’s fault.

The drug trade exists because many tens of millions of Americans want drugs, while Washington does not want them to have drugs. It is thus a sort of civil war. State after state legalizes marijuana. High schools are afloat in drugs. Countless adults I know smoke dope or use coke, some of these being lawyers, investment guys, respectable grandparents, veterans of the Sixties. Opioids remain in demand among despairing populations, Doing a doob is like taking a drink during Prohibition, barely if at all disreputable. Cocaine? Snorting a line is common among respectable if slightly raffish guys. If you squeezed Capitol Hill through a strainer, you would get kilos of blow. A woman reporter I dated went to a party of the Hill where white powder was present and said, “Fred, that stuff was so damned good I’ll never go near it again.” These are probably people who make laws against drugs. With that much of a market, someone is going to serve it.

Let’s face it: Drugs are a large and stable part of the international economy, like oil or wheat, providing livings for millions from Colombia to Wall Street. Many grow the various weeds. Others process the crop, others smuggle the output into the US and elsewhere. Large numbers in DEA and the FBI pretend to chase the producers. Politicians like the bribes. Banks like the laundered money. Police departments get federal funds for anti-drug programs. Crooked doctors batten On the sale of opioids. Drugs are almost the only jobs available in ghettos and pay better than Mickey D´s. The rehab racket employs tens of thousands of therapists and others. What’s not to like?

If you put youthful DEA agent sin disguise at Harvard, Yale, the University of Virginia, or any other schools, they could fill Leavenworth several times over with use and sales of weed, Adderall, meth, acid, shrooms, and such. Art departments, I promise (having connections to that world) would be wiped out. Musicians are heavy on drugs, and always have been. Such arrests will never happen, though. A rule in the drug-enforcement industry, respected by government, is that you don’t discommode people with political connections.

American efforts in Mexico against the drug trade are silly and ineffective, as those involved well know, which is to say that they are a fraud. They seem mainly aimed at getting favorable media coverage. Consider El Chapo Guzman. He was an exemplary capitalist, running a highly successful international sales organization against intense interference by the government—a veritable icon of free enterprise, like Elon Musk. So, after immense expenditure he was caught and subjected to a made-for-media trial in New York. A great victory, see? Your government is protecting you. Net result? The next narcos in line step up, take over, and the beat goes on.

Nuff said. I will go down the road to the Brew House for a double Jim Beam and a German hot dog, as bratwurst is locally known.

Protester arrested outside.

https://fredoneverything.org/list/

Read Fred’s Books! Or else. We know where you sleep.

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FRED REED describes himself as [previously] a “Washington police reporter, former Washington editor for Harper’s and staff writer for Soldier of Fortune magazine, Marine combat vet from Viet Nam, and former long-haul hitchhiker, part-time sociopath, who once lived in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from the Yankee Capital.”
His essays “on the collapse of America” Mr. Reed calls “wildly funny, sometimes wacky, always provocative.”
“Fred is the Hunter Thompson of the right,” seconds Thomas E. Ricks in Foreign Policy magazine. His  commentary is “well-written, pungent political incorrectness mixed with smart military commentary and libertarian impulses, topped off with a splash of Third World sunshine and tequila.”

FRED’S BOOKS ARE ON AMAZON, HERE

FRED’S ARTICLES ARCHIVE

Killer Kink

* Image credit

Ghislaine Maxwell: Not Evidence-Based Law, But MeToo, Sexual Moral Panic

Argument, Criminal Injustice, Justice, Law, libertarianism, Sex, The Therapuetic State

The reviled and revolting progressives of MSNBC and the hollow performers on Fox News are all agreed:

Ghislaine Maxwell was [rightly] convicted on Wednesday evening of grooming underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to abuse… [and should face] decades behind bars for sex-trafficking.

The “incontrovertible” evidence upon which there ought to have been a sunset clause: The massage table. The gowns in the closet, too. Well, pretty much. My position with respect to prosecutions driven by sexual moral panic and revenge was expressed in “Mad, #MeToo Matriarchy Ensnared Bill Cosby.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine were and are degenerates, scum of the earth. But the evidence against Maxwell is hearsay evidence.

Moreover, when one hears phrases like “years of sexual abuse,” one envisages dark, dank quarters, chains, an inability to leave the scene of the abuse, and drugs to addle the victim’s awareness.

In reality—not that it matters any longer to US prosecutors—the case of Ghislaine Maxwell is one of, admittedly, under-age girls. But these women were coming and going as they pleased, eager and greedy for more of whatever Epstein was using to lure them. The sainted MeToo victims were greedy for this ghastly man’s gifts. If charges are to be leveled—the adults in the room bear responsibility, but the charges should never yield the kind of sentence Maxwell is facing.

“Sex-trafficking,” as a charge in the Maxwell case, looks to me much like getting Al Capone on charges of tax evasion: You can’t prove anything substantive, so you conjure any category of charges that will stick. Also known as corruption of the law and its purpose.

Yes, the loathsome two, Jeffrey and Ghislaine, traveled with their greedy “victims.” So, voila, “sex-trafficking,” a legal charge that sticks.

Corruption, degeneracy and more: Absolutely.
But law is about evidence. Contrary to what the legal “experts,” left and right, assert, a just system of law is not about, “turning the tables on the powerful, to give the vulnerable a voice,” a whine that could be heard on the cable universe, left and right.

RELATED: “Mad, #MeToo Matriarchy Ensnared Bill Cosby“:

Prosecutions now rest on he-said, she-said hearsay evidence, on facts that can’t possibly meet the rules of evidence (the ones the United States once abided), or be corroborated for the purposes of a just prosecution, in accordance with the legal standards of Western law (of blessed memory). Evidence is tainted, solicited decades too late, with utter disregard for the statute of limitations.

* Image is of the “evidence,” via New York Post