Is The Taxpayer Paying Psychiatry To Keep Inconvenient People In Line?
“You run one time, you got yourself a set of chains. You run twice you got yourself two sets. You ain’t gonna need no third set, ’cause you gonna get your mind right.” — Captain, Road Prison 36, from the film Cool Hand Luke [Source]
IS ALL THIS DRAMA AMONG THE JUDGES AND PSYCHIATRISTS REALLY FOR OUR BENEFIT?
I. ANOTHER FIRST: PSYCHIATRIC ATTACKS ON A SITTING PRESIDENT
As we see psychiatry being used for the first time to take down a sitting federal district judge, John R. Adams of Ohio’s Northern District, we are also now witnessing its use in the first serious effort to take down a sitting U.S. president. Whatever you may think of Trump’s politics or morality, any effort to remove him without impeachment is a matter of unprecedented Constitutional dimension. The main body of the Constitution itself authorizes the removal of a federal judge or a president not for “mental disability” but for “treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”. Even then, removal from office can only be accomplished by a 2/3 vote of the U.S. Senate to convict him following an impeachment proceeding authorized by Article II, Sec. 4 and Article I, Sec. 2 of the Constitution. The framers of our Constitution meant the process to be difficult.
The 25th Amendment to the Constitution was enacted with the approval of a super-majority of state legislatures during the 1960s to provide a way of removing a president without impeachment and for any type of disability. What appears to be a procedure for temporary removal and replacement by the vice-president under that Amendment can be accomplished if the president himself sends a written message that he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”. Reagan did this before undergoing surgery on one occasion during his presidency. Otherwise the determination of presidential inability has to be made by the Vice-President acting with a “majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide” [Sec. 4, Amndmt 25] In the 50+ years since the adoption of the 25th Amendment, Congress has never enacted a law creating such an alternative “body as Congress may by law provide”. Nor has there ever to date been an American president forcibly diagnosed as too mentally or physically disabled to “discharge the powers and duties of his office” but suddenly, on 4/6/17, legislation was introduced to create such a body. That proposed legislation, known now as H.R.1987, has not been enacted as of this writing.
In anticipation of its enactment, a group of some 20+ Congressmen, all Democrats, began pushing early this year to create a “commission on presidential capacity” to be comprised of their own hand-picked team of psychiatrists and others poised to declare Trump too “mentally disabled” to serve. If H.R.1987 were to become law, the commission it proposes would include eleven members, eight of whom would be physicians. Four of those would be psychiatrists. Dr. Bandy Lee, a Yale psychiatrist, is already busying herself forming an expert panel devoted
to review the president’s mental health, and review it on a periodic basis.
Widget not in any sidebars
Lee has publicly stated she already has an agenda to diagnose Trump with mental illness. The non-psychiatrists on such a commission surely would not pass the buck to her hand-picked psychiatrists, would they? Since Trump, like Judge Adams, would no doubt not hold still for such an exercise in psychiatric labeling, the proposed presidential commission’s “diagnoses” would have to be done remotely, hence in disregard of psychiatry’s own “Goldwater Rule”, prohibiting such diagnoses.
II. ATTACKING DISSENTERS: ORIGINS OF THE GOLDWATER RULE; CAN ITS ETHICS RULE STILL REIGN IN PSYCHIATRY?
Psychiatrists have been pathologizing politicians at least as far back as their frequent diagnoses of Lincoln with clinical depression. Lincoln’s postmortem and even contemporary critics seem to have faulted him for not being more upbeat as the country was being devastated by the Civil War. In 1964 psychiatric focus turned to a live presidential candidate. The magazine Fact published an article that election year entitled “The Unconscious of a Conservative: a Special Issue on the Mind of Barry Goldwater”, based on a poll of psychiatrists of the day. The psychiatric angle prompted the corporate media to spread political parody of Goldwater’s campaign slogan: “In Your Heart You Know He’s Right”. Anti-Goldwater groups popularized the psychiatric ridicule of the candidate many considered an extremist, with the one liner: “In your guts, you know he’s nuts”. After candidate Goldwater lost to Lyndon Johnson in a landslide, he sued Fact for libel based on its remote and ultimately inaccurate diagnosing of him as psychiatrically unfit to be president. The jury awarded him $75,000 in punitive damages and the verdict was affirmed on appeal in 1969. Goldwater v. Ginzburg.
During Senator George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign, it was revealed that his running mate, Senator Thomas Eagleton, had a psychiatric history – the political kiss of death for both McGovern and Eagleton.
By 1973, the American Psychiatric Association, under possible pressure, found it advisable to adopt a major ethical rule now known as the Goldwater Rule:
On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement. [Source]
That rule remains officially in effect today for both psychiatrists and psychologists. In a recent official statement for the American Psychiatric Association (APA) its past president, Maria Oquendo reiterated APA support for the Goldwater rule.
It was unethical and irresponsible back in 1964 to offer professional opinions on people who were not properly evaluated and it is unethical and irresponsible today. [Source]
President of the other APA, psychologist Susan McDaniel, told the New York Times in 2016 that
‘neither psychiatrists nor psyclogists should offer diagnoses of [presidential] candidate or any other living public figure they have never examined. [Source]
This is not to say that there are not still plenty of psychiatrists and psychologists eager to violate the rule as to President Trump, justifying their actions by claiming a “duty to warn” of dangers which only those with psychiatric training deem themselves capable of seeing and predicting. In Judge Adams’ case, Boggs’ “special committee” employed a psychiatrist, Phillip Resnick, to give sort of a shoot-from the hip pre-diagnosis claiming a need for more diagnosing, without having interviewed Judge Adam beforehand or reviewing reports from the other two psychiatrists.
As an appointed-for-life federal judge, Judge Adams may or may not have more Constitutional protections against a psychiatric witch hunt than does a sitting president. Regardless of the outcome for either, one must ask why psychiatrists are now being asked to protect us from dangers we are apparently too uneducated to see, and why so many psychiatrists are eager to violate their own ethics rules to do so.
III. PSYCHIATRY AS A POLITICAL WEAPON THROUGHOUT HISTORY
Although the psychiatric targeting of an Article III federal judge and a U.S. president may be firsts, psychiatry’s utility as a political weapon has been known in America and elsewhere for many years. Psychiatric “diagnoses” and “treatment” have long been recognized as tools of political repression.
It is said that nature, and maybe human nature as well, “abhors a vacuum”. During the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe and England, long before the adoption of psychiatry’s current version of its diagnostic/billing “bible”, the DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders], prosecutions of alleged witches were accomplished by means of testimony based on somewhat different diagnostic categories – including those identified in the 15th century treatise: Malleus Maleficarum. https://www.amazon.com/ The political dynamic behind these early, very literal witch hunts has since been explained as
the means by which the early modem state disciplined and Christianized the masses, suppressed rebellion, and contributed to the advance of that Leviathan, the secular, absolutist state. [Levacks, B.P. “Possession, Witchcraft, and the Law in Jacobean England” p. 1617]
There were various tribunals in which witchcraft trials were held, one of the most notorious being England’s Star Chamber, so named due to the stars painted on its ceiling. Although jury trials for witchcraft and other offenses were certainly known at the time, and used, there was, sort of like in Judge Adams’ case, a certain
advantage of trying the case in Star Chamber, at least from the government’s point of view, [because] it would be decided by the judges of the court . . . without having to submit the facts to a trial jury. [Id., p. 1632]
It seems that once accusations of actual witchcraft, which carried the death penalty, came into disfavor in the 1700s, psychiatry began to fill in the void. Psychiatric lockup may have been seen as a step up on the government’s compassion scale, at least compared to burning at the stake or other forms of execution. Although psychiatric institutions such as the Priory of St. Mary of Bethlehem in England, later known as Bedlam, had been in existence since 1247, it was not until the late 17th century in England, Europe, and America that private and some public “lunatic” asylums began to proliferate.
The first psychiatric institution in the American colonies was Eastern State Hospital incorporated in 1768 in Virginia. Others quickly followed. There were even procedural safeguards built into the involuntary civil commitment process. Prior to Ohio statehood, in 1802, the Northwest Territory enacted legislation even providing for unanimous six-person jury verdicts before adjudicating a citizen as a “lunatic”. [“Laws of the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio: Including the Laws of the Governor and Judges, the Maxwell Code, and the laws of the Three Sessions of the Territorial Legislature, 1791-1802”, Chapter CLVIII: An act providing for the appointment of guardians to “lunatics”.]
Despite the right to jury trial in civil cases remaining “inviolate” under the Ohio Constitution since its 1851 enactment, state courts in Ohio now refuse to enforce state or federal jury trial rights during involuntary civil commitment cases, one Ohio state appellate court refusing to consider the constitutional argument about the jury trial right at all. State v. Rohrer 2015-Ohio-5333 [¶ 100] Some older state and federal courts have, however, considered the right to jury trial in mental health cases, finding it to be part of the federal right to due process of law. Heryford v. Parker, 396 F.2d 393, 396 (10th Cir.1968; Heath v. Roulet, 590 P2d 1, 152 Cal Rptr. 425 (1979). Somehow, when politically motivated mental illness accusations are flying, due process seems irrelevant to those using psychiatry as a weapon. Judge Adams, possibly because he is not currently being threatened with loss of physical liberty based on “mental illness” claims, appears to not be considered entitled to a jury trial either during or following his current investigation by the “special committee”. The question appears to have not even been raised.
By mid-19th century, U.S. psychiatry was beginning to achieve non-psychiatric, even political purposes. In 1851, Dr. Samuel A. Cartwright created a new mental illness diagnosis for African slaves in the antebellum South. One of the symptoms of that “mental illness”, which he named “Drapetomania”, was the tendency on the part of African slaves to run away from their confinement. As with psychiatric patients today, the “cure” was to be found only in submission:
[i]f any one or more of them, at any time, are inclined to raise their heads to a level with their master or overseer, humanity and their own good requires [sic] that they should be punished until they fall into that submissive state which was intended for them to occupy. They have only to be kept in that state, and treated like children to prevent and cure them from running away. [Source]
The Drapetomania psychiatric “diagnosis” was then commonly employed to justify surgical procedures, including amputation of the great toes or “hobbling”. The 19th Century version of the “standard of care”, you know.
In 1860 psychiatry came to the aid of Calvinist Reverend Theophilus Packard, who was finding his wife’s political and religious opinions too annoying to tolerate. Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard was involuntarily civilly committed for more than 3 years, primarily on the word of her husband. [Source] During that time, he was quite lawfully able to take possession of their funds, including her separate funds, and the custody of their children without her consent. Such practices became so notorious that they spawned a newspaper exposé by journalist Nelly Bly, a play and a 1944 Academy award winning film entitled “Gaslight”. Mrs. Packard was ultimately released and became instrumental in advocating for improved conditions in asylums and protections for the property rights of married women being subjected to the larcenies of predatory husbands.
By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, totalitarian regimes were becoming better organized in the uses of psychiatry against dissidents. Much has been written about policies that enabled Hitler and Stalin to remove and dispatch political and ethical dissenters by the thousands and tens of thousands in concentration camps and gulags. In the 1960s and 1970s Moscow’s Professor Andrei Snezhnevski was expanding an older Soviet concept of mental illness known as “sluggish schizophrenia”. Under that theory, those who opposed the Soviet regime were concluded to be mentally ill because no other explanation could account for opposition to Marxist-Leninist Communism, the best sociopolitical system in the world. Observing that the “illness” was more prevalent than originally thought, Soviet psychiatrists in the 1970s found that sufferers from “sluggish schizophrenia” could function almost normally, their symptoms commonly including ‘reform delusions’, ‘struggle for the truth’, and ‘perseverance’. Weaponized psychiatry against dissidents, a strategy originally developed by former KGB chairman Yuri Andropov continues in Russia and the former Soviet states under Putin. As in the United States, lockups, complete with forced drugging, go on for years. Targets are released only after retracting their anti-government ideas.
Psychiatry in Germany and the United States share a common ancestry going back into the 19th Century when English psychologist Francis Galton, a relative of Charles Darwin, coined the term “eugenics” – the pseudo-scientific basis for creating a master race. By 1905 German eugenicist Alfred Ploetz, together with his psychiatrist brother-in-law Ernst Rüdin and others founded the Society for Racial Hygiene. Funding came from American eugenicist and industrialist Andrew Carnegie. States in the U.S. soon enacted forced sterilization laws for eugenics purposes. Even U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, considered a great progressive, rendered legal decisions supporting such forced sterilization. A particularly ugly stain on American jurisprudence remains in Holmes’ still binding forced sterilization decision of Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927). Holmes accepted a sketchy record that had apparently inaccurately labeled 17-year-old Carrie Buck, a rape victim, as an “imbecile”. Those who knew her believed she was of normal intelligence, although as a servant she was kept uneducated. Justice Holmes assumed but required no real evidence that undesirable traits were even inherited.
It was not long before the eugenics movement of the early 20th Century morphed into euthanasia aka mercy killing. German psychiatry professor Ernst Rüdin, wildly popular among American eugenicists, including then future U.S. president Herbert Hoover, was convincing both sides of the Atlantic that “schizophrenia” existed and was hereditary. By 1920 German psychiatrist Alfred Hoche co-wrote The Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Living, advocating for selective murder by drugging – a “pure act of healing”. Adolf Hitler was an apt pupil, but insisted on strict due process before “mental defectives” – those who led “lives unworthy of living” – would be euthanized. [p. 137] By 1942 the American Journal of Psychiatry openly supported euthanasia itself. [Id. Pp. 141-142] [Kanner, L. (1942)“Exoneration of the feebleminded” Amer J/Psychiatry, 99,17–22] As Dr. Peter Breggin, an American psychiatrist, concluded:
Bureaucratic, scientific killing was invented and first implement by organized psychiatry. [Id. P. 142]
By the 1950s, despite then recent revelations during the Nuremberg trials, the physical restraints of psychiatric lockup began to be replaced – or supplemented – by chemical restraints – Thorazine being psychiatry’s first “wonder drug”. Disability rates have been shooting up ever since, in proportion to psychiatry’s increased use of drugging. [Source] Of course, other techniques were and still are in use, including lobotomy, now known as psycho-surgery, and electroshock, now known as ECT. As will be seen in part Four, the final article in this series, if the Northern District of Ohio’s “special committee” is ever successful in coercing Judge Adams to submit to psychiatric “treatment” rather than forfeit his judgeship, he would be expected, as a condition of keeping his position, to follow whatever “treatments” his treatment providers required. This is likely to mean psychiatric drugging. No statistical information could be found recording the number of judges in the U.S. working while psychiatrically drugged. Such information would no doubt be considered confidential, if not politically disturbing.
In very recent years, psychologists too have proved useful for political purposes if you want to call child abuse for profit a political purpose. Former Pennsylvania state court judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan of Kids4Cash infamy, utilized Dr. Frank Vita, a psychologist and relative of Ciavarella’s, to make psychological evaluations that kept thousands of children locked up for years in detention centers for having committed minor offenses and pranks. Psychologists use the same DSM in court that the psychiatrists do. The Pennsylvania children locked up until adulthood in the Kids4Cash scheme were denied attorneys while the judges received kickbacks. Although Vita lost his license for his role in the scandal, apparently due to having pocketed hundreds of thousands in taxpayer funds for his “diagnoses”, he was later found immune from civil suit. Many of the thousands of children victimized by Ciavarella, Conahan, Vita and others were force drugged and raped, some eventually committing suicide. Ciavarella and Conahan are now in prison due to kickback money they received for the lockups, although a federal judge is now considering a new trial for Ciavarella.
Another psychologist, Dr. Larry James, was exposed for his enabling of torture in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Despite a mountain of evidence which human rights advocates presented to the Ohio State Board of Psychology establishing James’ role in the torture, the Ohio board saw no problem with James or his ethics. Wright State University in Dayton even made James dean of its psychology department.
No discussion of mental health professionals’ involvement with torture or abuse would be complete without mentioning Dr. D. Ewen Cameron, probably one of the most infamous of psychiatric torturers of the mid-20th Century.
Yet during his time Cameron could hardly have been considered a rogue psychiatrist, having been president at one time of the American Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and the World Psychiatric Association. He also worked with the CIA to implement mind-control torture experiments on unwilling subjects in a program called MK-Ultra. His torture techniques were later used in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Klein, N. The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Metropolitan Books, 2007) [Chapter 1: The Torture Lab: Ewen Cameron, the CIA and the Maniacal Quest to Erase and Remake the Human Mind] An in-depth coverage of Cameron’s CIA-sponsored human experimentation and the Canadian government’s participation in it is provided in Anne Collins’ book: In the Sleep Room: the Story of the CIA Brainwashing Experiments in Canada. The book later became a television film in Canada. Cameron’s victims commonly emerged from the non-consensual experimentation traumatized to the point of no longer knowing their own names or able to toilet themselves. Years after Cameron’s death of natural causes, without his apparently having ever been sanctioned by any psychiatry board, a few of his victims obtained modest settlements from the governments of both the U.S. and Canada, neither of which ever admitted liability.
About the author: An inactive attorney who practiced over 30 years in the courts of Oklahoma and Ohio, Katherine Hine is now with WLJA radio and Hidden Truth Revealed at BlogTalkRadio hosting bi-monthly broadcasts exposing the illegalities of forced psychiatry and the consequences of our current lack of judicial accountability. She continues to serve as executive director of the Ross County Network for Children in Ohio and chapter co-president of the Ohio branch of FCLU [Families Civil Liberties Union]. In 2008-2009 Hine was instrumental in utilizing citizen initiative to rid the City of Chillicothe, Ohio of its traffic cameras. She has authored articles critical of forced psychiatry: One Flew Out of the New Cuckoo’s Nest: Forced Psychiatry in Ohio – Instrument of Political Repression? and Forced Psychiatry in Ohio Part Two: “Treatment” or “Lifelong Punishment,” a book review: GUARDIANSHIP: How Judges and Lawyers Steal Your Money and one article addressing retaliation against mandated reporters: Expose: The Failure of Family Courts to Protect Children. She can be reached at [email protected].
Top Image Credit: Sott.net