Cruise And The Psychiatric Shamans

Celebrity,Hollywood,Pseudoscience,Psychiatry,Reason,Science,The Therapuetic State


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.

The shameful shamans depend for their livelihood on diseasing every aspect of behavior (and especially bad behavior). And they evince no qualms about “junking free will, responsibility, and agency for an unproven biological determinism, riddled with logical, factual, and moral infelicities. Cruise, of course, is not the most eloquent spokesman. Actress Kelly Preston is. Her arguments against Ritalin are lucid.

Male biopsychology has been demonized in the schools. As I explained in Broad Sides, boys are boisterous. They are also “naturally predisposed to competition. But a “progressive,” public-school system, populated by female feminists, forces boys to conform to the feminist consensus about appropriate male behavior. One consequence of the last is that instead of challenging, disciplining, and harnessing their energies, boys are often medicated with Ritalin. Cruise, however, ought to have arrived at his perspective not via Scientology, but by studying the works of Thomas S. Szasz, MD, the genius who delivered the deductive death knell to the psychiatric house of cards.