Mass Murder and The Insanity Defence

In the James Holmes case if the insanity defense isn’t on trial, it ought to be on trial. Now every lone gunman with multiple notches on his gun handle has a better and better chance of keeping his skin post massacre.

A recent story in The Globe and Mail, a Canadian news magazine, Angry or insane? Mental state of Colorado shooting suspect faces court scrutiny, explains the matter.

Prosecutors wanting to prove that a gunman methodically carried out last month’s Colorado theatre shooting that left 12 people dead and wounded 58 have a difficult task: If James Holmes pleads not guilty by reason of insanity, they must prove he is sane.

About 10 states in the Union require the state to prove “sanity”. This presumption of “insanity”, in my book, is not quite the same thing as a presumption of innocence.

“It’s totally subjective,” said Marcellus McRae, a former federal prosecutor now in private trial attorney in Los Angeles. It’s not like proving somebody pulled the trigger. That’s objective.“

Totally subjective indeed! On the one hand you have the legal definition of “insanity” as “a danger to oneself or others”, on the other hand you have a definition of the law that says anybody and everybody has the capacity to commit a violent crime. By legal definition then 100 % of the population is “insane”, and could be locked up in a psychiatric institution given the proper authorization to do so.

I know how lawyers and politicians work, and this is where they start pulling out qualifying terms like “reasonable”. Yes, and this is where no amount of reason is going to mend unreasonable law.

Qualifying is, for example, the term “mental illness” as opposed to “insanity”.

If Mr. Holmes is found sane and goes to trial and is convicted, his attorneys can try to stave off a possible death penalty by arguing he is mentally ill. Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

Should Mr. Holmes be found to be suffering from Post Massacre Stress Syndrome his chances of evading the grim reaper are pretty good for the time being. Note that we are not here questioning the “sanity” of laws that allow the state, and some people would call it an “insane” state, to put people to death.

All of this attention on the gunman draws attention away from his victims. The living ones will get their day in court, and the dead ones will require their relatives to speak for them. The grief won’t rest so easily. Healing alone won’t do it. The nation must do something to assuage its own guilt in tending to these 71 victims, and by making the number 71, I’m including Mr. Holmes among his victims. The count doesn’t stop there either, each of the victims has relatives and loved ones who will suffer in turn.

There will also be a copycat killer thinking that targeting this school, or that theater, or the government building over there will catapult him or her into the national limelight. I’m just wondering, where are the people to tell them that they have better things to be doing with their time and energy? There used to be better things to do anyway. I’m wondering, where are those better things going for all of us? Without those better things around it sure doesn’t get any harder for a person to snap.

Ex-marine Locked Up Over Facebook Posts Freed

Ex-marine Brandon Raub of Chesterfield Virginia was detained in a psychiatric hospital for evaluation for, of all things, his Facebook posts. The case, handled by lawyers from the Rutherford Institute as it was felt that his free speech rights were being violated, was later dismissed.

Business Insider recently published an UPDATE: Judge Orders Release Of Detained Marine From Psychiatric Hospital

A circuit court judge has dismissed the government’s case against Brandon Raub and ordered that the Marine veteran, detained over anti-government Facebook posts, be released from a state psychiatric hospital because authorities had no grounds to detain him, Catie Beck of CBS 6 News reports.

Raub’s lawyer, John Whitehead, issued a stern warning on the state of affairs with Virginia mental health law.

Whitehead said that every year in Virginia more than 20,000 people are committed under similar circumstances and “that means
a lot of people are disappearing” under the pretext of mental illness.

Following the Virginia Tech shootings a few years ago, Virginia lowered its standard for forced treatment. This situation makes it way too easy for people to get committed to psychiatric institutions in the state of Virginia, sometimes for the most frivolous of reasons.

“I’m friends with the local police; I could call them right now and probably get you committed if you were in Virginia,” Whitehead said. “They can arrive at your door based on somebody’s testimony or your Facebook page and take you away to a mental hospital… There’s a system here that is corrupt. And this guy is caught in it.”

Brandon Raub has been released from that system. Many more people are hopelessly caught in it now. I would suspect that Brandon Raub is not the only person so confined in an effort to suppress freedom of speech.

Mad About The Middle Ages

I have suggested at one time or another that acting classes, a course in logic, or survivalist training might be good for a person’s mental health. A flyer about a demonstration I played a part in recently suggested protest was therapeutic. Here’s another idea…Maybe archeology could help return a person to his or her wits.

A medieval village in Herfordshire England is slowly resurfacing. The story appears in the BBC News Hereford & Westchester, under the headline, Remains of ‘medieval village’ found in Herefordshire.

Excavation work began a week ago on land in the Brockhampton Estate, near Bromyard and experts say it gives a glimpse of rural 13th Century life.

Seems there was once a village called Studmarsh in a place known as Grove.

Here’s where it gets interesting:

The project is being undertaken by volunteers, including people recovering from mental health problems.

Anybody up for doing a little digging after days of yore.

Some Heritage Lottery funded the Past in Mind dig after hearing how rural history had inspired volunteers from a mental health charity.

The project is run by the mental health charity, Herefordshire Mind.

Really? You mean hopefully ex-loony bird ne’er do wells are good for something besides holding a mop? Jumping Jehosaphat, Batman! What a revelation!

Rumored Resistance to the Church of Mental Health

Contemporary theory has it that what has been termed “mental illness” is the result of biology. Semantically this sleight of logical reasoning just doesn’t work very well. At issue, metaphysics, the domain of philosophy, is being confused with physics, the domain of biology. You can have a wounded finger, but should you claim to have the wounded thought of a finger, then you’re in for some heavy duty therapeutic trouble.

This theory has created a new religion, mental health. Converts to this religion believe in “mental illness” the way fundamentalist Christians believe in Jesus Christ. People are said to “have a mental illness”. This “mental illness” is not thought to be something they can “lose”. This “mental illness” can be “treated” but it can’t be “cured”. This “mental illness” is “treated” by a lifetime drug taking regimen that is thought to manage “symptoms”. In other words, being biological, this thing they call “disease” is a fact of nature, or eternal, according to theory anyway.

People who don’t share this view are said to express a “stigma” towards people who do hold this view. “Stigma”, as you might have guessed, is the new heresy. You put on your mental patient gloves when dealing with the chosen afflicted, or you are a heretic. The holy trinity of Serious Mental Illness goes like this, “We believe in mental illness, we believe in its unchangeable nature, and we believe in special treatment for people who have been damned or blessed by it.”

Many people have been utterly devastated and destroyed by a fervent belief in “mental illness”. This belief would affect all aspects of their lives. In particular, this belief encourages them to take toxic substances in the mistaken belief that some kind of trade-off was taking place, and that they would be worse off if they didn’t destroy their physical health in this fashion. In reality they are dying off at a much high rate, and at a much earlier age, than the rest of the population. The good news is that there are so many more new converts to this religion every day of the week that its priests and priestesses are in absolutely no danger of losing their congregations.

The big secret is that there are a few people who have managed to escape from the monasteries and convents run by the church of mental health. These are people who have exorcised the demon “mental disorder” that was tormenting them. Usually this dispossession was achieved by reversing the treatment process. The debilitating drugs used to make loyal converts were curtailed, and the biology of real nature, not textbook nature, took over. This process helped them to rejoin the world of men and women outside of the church of mental health where they have gone on to form pockets of resistance to the rapidly expanding church and the church states it oversees.

Honesty As A Revolutionary Act

Weaning oneself off psychiatric drugs, leaving the mental health system behind, and saying, ” I haven’t got a “mental illness” are revolutionary acts of resistance for people who have been labeled and violated by psychiatry. No question about it! There is an ethos and perspective that challenges this departure. It claims, “You can’t do that”, despite the fact that you can, and you do.

Scan the newspaper stories about mental health in the dailies throughout the United States and beyond. You will see what I mean. So and so is in his or her fifties, on psych drugs, and has been in treatment, sometimes called recovery, for the last thirty years. So and so has got a disease he or she is going to die having. Baloney! This baloney is like all the other baloney that people believe in. Beliefs and facts are at a remove from each other.

This is a token consumer ventriloquist dummy spewing out the standard line perpetuated by bio-medical model psychiatry. “I will be a good mental patient and feed the psycho-pharmaceutical industrial complex. I will be a relative loss to society, a burden on the economy, and a slap in the face of existence. I…can’t help myself. I have this disease that prevents me from performing at the level of the average citizen.”

Have you ever heard the saying, “You can do anything you really want to do if you set your mind to it”? Revised theory has it that you can do anything you really set your heart on doing if you haven’t been labeled and gobbled up by the mental health system. If you’ve been swallowed by the mental health system, that’s it, life is different. There should be a sign above the door of every mental health facility, “Abandon hope all ye who enter herein.”

I was taken with William Burrough’s novel Naked Lunch when I first read it because he was hip to behavioral addictions long before the American Psychiatric Association ever invented them. Commercialism, consumerism, war, treatment, culture, etc., every trend, and especially every fad, you can imagine is an addiction. I must keep up with the Jones because I’m an addict. You think the Jones have a healthy lifestyle? Think again.

Biological psychiatry has this conventional folly line toward the limited capacity it sees the madman or mad woman as having with self-fulfilling prophesies galore. “You can’t achieve, and you must conform to the low bar we have set for you as far as your expectations are concerned. According to theory, you are incapable of doing anything more.”

The “mental health” of this nation is not getting better, it is getting worse. More and more people are being persuaded that there is something fundamentally wrong with them. More and more people are getting on disability rolls. More and more people are waking up from the American dream in the middle of the American nightmare. Bio-medical psychiatry, and its salespeople, are the primary reason why this is so.

We are experiencing a media cover up right now. What is being covered up is the truth about the harm psychiatric drugs do to people. They are actually killing people. This cover up, and the totally biased nature of bio-medical model psychiatric inquiry, allows this to happen. Biological psychiatry has been claiming that this injury is due to lifestyle, or disease, and not treatment. Misleading is misleading, but if you look, the evidence will set you straight.

People can and do leave the monster that the mental health system has become. They have been doing so more or less silently for years. This silence is part of the problem. Rather than contributing to the problem, they are contributing to the solution. Unfortunately, the problem is growing too fast to be contained. For this reason, a more revolutionary act is breaking the silence about psychiatry and psychiatric oppression.

When people speak up, the facade of legimacy biological psychiatry has been trying to maintain begins to crack. When people speak up, other people can begin to see they aren’t fated to a life of diminishment. When people tell the truth, the lies that paternalism fosters begin to dissolve. When people speak the truth, the antidote is beginning to be applied to the body politic. The epidemic of distress that our world is undergoing can begin to recede. When the cat is out of the bag, at long last, we can begin to realise that there is a world out there for everybody, and not just the robber baron elite, be they corporate ceos or mental health providers.

The Numbers Of US Children On Neuroleptic Drugs Rises

Rueters in a news release, Antipsychotic use growing in U.S. kids and teens, reports the use of neuroleptics on children and teenagers up from less than 10 % of the youths who visited a psychiatrist in the 1990s to fully 1/3 of the youths who visit a psychiatrist in the 2000s.

Antipsychotic drugs are prescribed during almost one in three of all visits kids and teens make to psychiatrists in the United States, according to a new study, up from about one in eleven during the 1990s.

This rise is attributed chiefly to the entirely fraudulent, or off label, practice of prescribing drugs for purposes for which they haven’t been approved by the FDA. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and its attendant disruptive behavior, are one of the labels that these drugs are mentioned as being falsely prescribed for.

[Columbia University Professor Mark] Olfson and his colleagues, who published their work Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that for kids and teens, roughly 90 percent of the antipsychotic prescriptions written during office visits between 2005 and 2009 were “off label,” which means the drugs are being prescribed for something other than for what they’re approved.

90 % is 10 % less than 100 %, and so that’s gotta be a whole lotta kids who are being prescribed pills for fraudulent reasons.

Kids taking atypical neuroleptics, off label or not, are at risk for a metabolic syndrome that involves massive weight gain and attendant physical ill health conditions.

Last year, a large study of children, from the University of Massachusetts, found that kids who took antipsychotic drugs were four times more likely to develop diabetes than their peers who were not taking the medications. (See Reuters Health story of November 22, 2011: http://reut.rs/MtH5dB.)

Overall this study found that neuroleptic drug use increased across the board but especially among children and adolescents.

The numbers of kids on these drugs increased from 0.24 of 100 between 1993 and 1998 to 1.83 of 100 between 2005 and 2009. The numbers of teens went from 0.78 in 100 in the 1990s to 3.76 in 100 in the 2000s.

There is more than a great danger, indeed you can be quite certain in many cases, that some of this excessive and fraudulent drugging is going to lead to neurological damage, and a lifetime on federal benefits in the mental health system, for some of the children and adolescents put on these pills.

Dodging The Shit Treatment

I don’t like being treated like shit. I react when I’m treated like shit. The whole mental illness industry, misleadingly called the mental health field, is about treating people like shit. The first precondition to treating people like shit is endeavoring to persuade those people that they actually are shit, and therefore, there is nothing wrong with treating them like shit.

Shit must first know shit’s place in the world. Shit must be convinced of shit’s own unworthiness, shit’s burdensomeness, and shit’s status as a waste product. Shit is, in a nutshell, defined by the nature of its dysfunction, or by its brokenness. Warehouses and sewers have much in common. They contain toxic waste. Shit’s status is as unwanted material and as toxic waste.

We have another word for shit these days. We call shit chronic disease. Do nothings are do nothings because they do nothing. At the root of doing nothing, according to theory, is the messed up circuitry of broken brains. Our esteemed mental health professionals mind the warehouse/latrines where the do nothings are stored when their existence irritates the worthies, as opposed to worthless clods like do nothings and other ne’re do wells, in any community.

Much of this dysfunction is entirely psychological, or should I say, miseducational? Shit has been taught that shit is shit, and that if shit is a human being, shit is a human being in name only. Shit is more fundamentally shit. If human beings have rights, shit doesn’t have human rights per se, shit has shit rights. Shit rights are like patient rights. Those rights don’t include life, liberty, and property (or the pursuit of happiness). Shit knows shit’s place in the world.

Should shit object, then shit must be corrected. Shit is shit, and shit doesn’t do such things. Shit needs to know shit’s place. Shit’s place is out of sight and out of mind in the hospital/warehouse/septic tank/outpatient facility/mental health ghetto. Shit doesn’t do real work. Workers work. Shit stinks. Shit can’t produce fine art either. Artists do that. Yes, there is shit art, but then there is also shit work. Shit can’t achieve because achievement is the opposite of shit.

It’s okay to be little balls of turd, but a human being, that requires a little more wiggle space. Disabled isn’t enabled. This rubber stamped paper and institutional bureaucratic invalidation that one receives extends across ages and continents. Defective humans have defective genes and defective spirits. Gold is a good tan, but shit is to the bone. Unwanted is unwanted. One can’t change human nature despite the fact that we’re changing human nature all the time. Give up. Beyond one’s grasp, wealth and power are everything.

There is a world beyond shit, and by that I mean there is a world beyond mental health treatment. Beyond the distress role there is the stability role. Actors and actresses who are well enjoy playing people who are disturbed, or if you prefer, sick. Sick roles make fortunes. The unfortunate thing is that many people who are labeled sick don’t find much satisfaction in playing people who are well. Perhaps it is only because they haven’t tried. Perhaps it is only because they haven’t discovered acting.

Reality is an act. It is also an act that we don’t want to take too seriously. You could always wind up with the wrong role if you took life too seriously. The wrong role is the right role if you don’t take it too seriously. It is the right role because there is always another role at hand if it doesn’t work out. Any role that you can’t step into, and out of, with facility is a trap. I personally have got better things to do with my life than become a victim of the better mental patient trap.

Brain Change In “Schizophrenia” Not Genetic

A report at PsychCentral on a Dutch study indicates brain changes in people labeled “schizophrenia” are not the result of “bad” or defective genes. The heading this article carries is Brain Abnormalities in Schizophrenia Due to Disease, Not Genetics.

The brain differences found in people with schizophrenia are mainly the result of the disease itself or its treatment *, as opposed to being caused by genetic factors, according to a Dutch study.

* Emphasis added.

Theory had it that “schizophrenia” came in families, and therefore, unaffected family members should have brain “abnormalities”, too. The familial link was thought to be as much as 81 %. (How do they arrive at these figures? I dare say…wishful thinking.) The results of this research do not support that theory.

For the current study, Heleen Boos and a team from University Medical Center Utrecht performed structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) whole-brain scans on 155 patients with schizophrenia, 186 of their non-psychotic siblings, and 122 healthy controls (including 25 sibling pairs).

As I pointed out in a post a few days back these studies are notorious for not factoring in psychiatric drugs. As psychiatric drugs have not been factored in, it is just as reasonable to assume that the differences found in the patients brains were caused by treatment as it is to assume that they were caused by disease. The true cause, and the extent to which it is caused by one or the other, can only be ascertained through testing that does factor in psychiatric drugs.

Compared with healthy controls, participants with schizophrenia had strong reductions in total brain, gray matter, and white matter volumes, and significant increases in lateral and third ventricle volumes after taking into account age, gender, intracranial volume, and left or right handedness.

There was no difference found between the siblings and the healthy controls.

Cortical thinning, the very thing I blogged about in a recent post, and decreased gray matter, were found in the patients, and not in the siblings of patients or the healthy controls. I would say researchers need to start factoring in psychiatric drugs. If this damage is iatrogenic, factoring in psychiatric drugs would involve also having a group of patients that were treated without drugs, and comparing their brain scans with the brain scans of patients treated on drugs to determine that possibility.

Let me guess. Researchers are not prone to do so because of their fervent belief in “mental illness”, and because of their close financial ties to drug manufacturers?

Interview with Brian Henley

This interview took place on Wednesday, July 25, in Ocala, Marion County, Florida.

It’s been said of any one speaking event that it is difficult for the mind to digest more than three new ideas at any one time. I think there are three conclusions about mental health care in the state of Florida that we can draw from this video. Let me mention them in consequential order of occurrence but ascending order of importance. That is to say, I will list the things that need to be done, first, before we achieve the matters of maximum importance, second.

3. Brian Henley mentions this action in his interview. Mental health consumers, psychiatric treatment survivors, and former mental patients need to band together to struggle for, and to achieve, human rights and social justice within the mental health system in the state of Florida.

2. We desperately need some kind of transitional housing programs in the state of Florida, from state hospital to community, perhaps attached to drop-in or respite care centers, that don’t involve forced drugging and Florida Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) team blackmail and bullying.

1. The aim for former patients, treatment survivors, and mental health consumers should be the repeal of mental health law, and with it the abolition of all forced mental health treatment. Only when all patients are voluntary patients, residing on unlocked wards in which they can freely come and go, should they be able rest content. Before all treatment is voluntary, full citizenship rights have not been restored to people currently oppressed by the mental health system.

More bad science: attributing damage to “disease” that could be due to drug

Why must doctors turn a blind eye every time a study is conducted attributing brain volume loss, and structural change, to “schizophrenia”? You have proven nothing if you don’t factor in the little matter of psychiatric drug usage. These drugs are known, from both animal and human studies, to effect the brain in negative ways. Some of these negative effects involve brain mass loss and structural change.

Biological psychiatry is chock full of junk science, and here’s just another example, from News-Medical.Net, Increased cortical thinning in schizophrenia patients.

The team studied 20 patients with schizophrenia, aged 17‑65 years, and 20 age- and gender-matched mentally healthy individuals (controls) without a history of substance abuse (moderate or severe) or dependence (any type) during the past 6 months.

The subjects of this research were given an initial MRI brain scan followed after two years by another MRI scan.

Problem. This study is contrasting “patients with schizophrenia” to “mentally healthy individuals”. What this study doesn’t seem to be doing is factoring in psychiatric drugs. We know that psychiatric drugs do funny things to the brain. You need to further divide this study into two more groups, “schizophrenia” patients treated with neuroleptic drugs and “schizophrenia” patients treated without neuroleptic drugs, before you can say that the thinning and volume loss isn’t the result of treatment rather than of “disease”.

Neuroleptic drugs in animal studies cause brain tissue loss. There is little indication that these drugs don’t cause tissue loss in that animal species homo sapiens as well.

The researchers found that schizophrenia patients showed significantly greater cortical thinning than controls over the study period, particularly in the middle frontal gyrus, the superior temporal gyrus, and the middle temporal gyrus.

This cortical thinning occurs after 2 years on neuroleptic drugs I take it.

“Overall it appears that ongoing abnormalities in the cerebral cortex continue after initial onset of schizophrenia, particularly the lateral aspects of frontal and temporal regions, and do not relate to neuropsychological or clinical measures over time,” [Derin] Cobia and team conclude.

Or after the initial onset of the neuroleptic drug treatment that follows immediately on the heels of diagnosis.

You can’t do real science and be so timorous with regard to your subjects. One can only assume that the researchers are neglecting to factor in psychiatric drugs out of bias and wishful thinking, if they aren‘t simply trying to be deceptive because they know better. I don’t know who they think they are deceiving, but if they haven’t factored in psychiatric drugs, they aren’t deceiving me. Neglecting to determine whether damage is caused by “disease”, or by drug, is not being sufficiently thorough in your investigations. If these researchers are trying to deceive people, real research remains to be done on the subject because it hasn‘t been done in this study