Citizens Commission on Human Rights, founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and the late psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz, has been vigilant in exposing the lack of science behind psychiatry’s diagnostic methods and treatments that, left unquestioned for years by authorities and insurance companies, led to soaring increases in both health care costs and the prescription of dangerous and addictive psychiatric drugs.
It is time for the Missouri legislature to put an end to this lucrative scam and thereby help protect our citizens. Instead put our citizen’s money into proven physical health care and education, where it will produce real results. An example of a real positive result would be: patients recovering and being sent, sane, back into society as productive individuals. The introduction and passage of legislation designed to curb psychiatric fraud and abuse can contribute much to this effort.
To this end, CCHR St. Louis once again visited the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City February 5 and 6, 2019, and set up a display in the Capitol Building, talking to legislators and their aides about fraud and abuse in the mental health care system.
Volunteers personally visited with many Representatives and Senators, distributing packages containing the CCHR documentary DVD “Making A Killing – The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging” (MAK) and explanatory materials about harmful electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and the over-drugging of foster children.
The MAK documentary exposes the problem of psychotropic drugs, the profits they generate and the harm they do. CCHR recommends investigating the link between psychotropic drugs and the sharp rise in violence and suicide.
Claims that ECT is safe and effective are not supported by clinical science and its use remains a theoretical practice with no conclusive mechanism determined to prove how ECT works. CCHR recommends outlawing this barbaric practice.
In Missouri as well as nationwide, there is a significant problem over-drugging foster care children with harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs. CCHR recommends legislation to develop explicit foster children’s rights.
Legislators welcome the contact, so contact them, let them know you appreciate what they do, and make specific suggestions to correct the egregious abuses of the psychiatric industry in Missouri. Subscribe to the CCHR STL newsletter so you receive our legislative take-action alerts.
The January 18-24 2019 edition of the St. Louis Business Journal extolled the virtues of making lots of money from medical marijuana.
Yes, we know that medical marijuana is now legal in Missouri; and yes, we know that the Business Journal‘s interest in local businesses motivates its attention.
On the other hand, a convincing argument can be made that, while legal and profitable, promoting marijuana is decidedly unethical.
“The Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association estimates $500 million in total economic benefit for the first year of the program.”
There are countless arguments for “medical benefits”; but those arguments seem to take second place after the arguments for how much money can be made.
There are also arguments for medical harm. Let’s take a look at the medical disadvantages, to get a sense of how promoting marijuana could be unethical.
Marijuana is a Drug
Make no mistake, marijuana (often called cannabis in an attempt to avoid the negative connotations of weed) is a drug.
Regardless of the name, this drug is a hallucinogen — a substance which distorts how the mind perceives the world.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the principal psychoactive component of marijuana, stays in the body for weeks, possibly months, depending on the length and intensity of usage. THC damages the immune system. In 2005, 242,200 emergency room visits in the U.S. involved marijuana. Nationwide, 40% of adult males tested positive for marijuana at the time of their arrest for a crime. Multiple studies have linked years of heavy marijuana use to brain abnormalities and psychosis. Cannabis is one of the few drugs which causes abnormal cell division which leads to severe hereditary defects.
Because a tolerance builds up, marijuana can lead users to consume stronger drugs to achieve the same effects.
People take drugs to get rid of unwanted situations or feelings. The drug masks the problem for a time, but when the “high” fades, the problem, unwanted condition or situation returns more intensely than before. Marijuana can harm a person’s memory — and this impact can last for days or weeks. Marijuana smoke also has all of the detrimental effects previously attributed to tobacco.
The use of marijuana is not only harmful to the person himself; he can also become a risk to society. Research clearly shows that marijuana has the potential to seriously diminish attention, memory, and learning. Users have more accidents, more injuries, and absenteeism than non-users.
Some will tell you that CBD (cannabidiol) is harmless because it does not contain THC. However, note that CBD and THC are structural isomers, which means they share the same chemical composition but their atomic arrangements differ. The proponents of CBD ignore the fact that it messes with the neurotransmitter serotonin when making claims for its safety and usefulness. There are very little long-term safety data available, but there is a lot of money riding on making this legal and ubiquitous; any bad effects are not going to be advertised or promoted. At higher dosages, CBD will deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes, making it harder to metabolize certain drugs and toxins, particularly psychiatric drugs, leading to a toxic build-up of drugs and their subsequent adverse side effects.
How Drugs Work in the Body
Drugs are essentially poisons. The amount taken determines the effect. A small amount acts as a stimulant. A greater amount acts as a sedative. An even larger amount poisons and can kill. This is true of any drug.
Drugs block off all sensations, the desirable ones along with the unwanted ones. While providing short-term help in the relief of pain, they also wipe out ability and alertness and muddy one’s thinking.
Drugs affect the mind and destroy creativity. Drug residues lodge in the fatty tissues of the body and stay there, continuing to adversely affect the individual long after the effect of the drug has apparently worn off.
The Psychiatric Connection
In 2013 the American Psychiatric Association said, “There is no current scientific evidence that marijuana is in any way beneficial for the treatment of any psychiatric disorder.” The research was starting to show significant harm from cannabis use.
However, the psychiatric industry today has jumped on the cannabis bandwagon for several reasons. Psychiatrists are embracing all things marijuana because they are getting so many patients with marijuana-related problems such as addiction and psychosis. Marijuana addiction is such a significant problem that there are 31 entries in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) related to this addiction. Unfortunately, the last thing any psychiatric treatment has achieved is rehabilitation from addiction.
Since the 1950’s, psychiatry has monopolized the field of drug rehabilitation research and treatments. Its long list of failed cures has included lobotomies, insulin shock, psychoanalysis and LSD.
To the psychiatric industry, when they are not prescribing it as a “treatment”, cannabis use merely represents another pool of potential patients for other coercive and harmful treatments.
The history of psychiatry makes it clear that over many, many years they have been pushing dangerous drugs as “medicines.” We didn’t originally know about the long-term destructive effects of LSD, heroin, ecstasy, benzodiazepines, ritalin, and so on when psychiatrists first pushed them onto an unsuspecting society. Cannabis is no exception, as more and more psychiatrists are prescribing “medical” cannabis in spite of (or because of) the addiction problem. We think it’s the latter; the pool of potential psychiatric patients is increased by increasing cannabis use.
The Ethics of Promoting Marijuana Use
Ethics consists simply of the actions an individual takes on himself. A high level of ethics enhances one’s survival across all areas of life; it embodies rationality towards the greatest good for the greatest number. A low level of ethics, on the other hand, would be one’s irrationality toward bringing minimal survival, maximum harm or destruction, across all areas of life — or the least good for the fewest. An individual whose actions are harmful in society becomes subject to Justice. We leave it to each individual to observe for themselves the degree to which they and their associates are surviving well or poorly, and how marijuana may contribute to or obstruct the quality of their life.
In a statement issued January 13, 2019, the Cleveland Clinic announced that it will not be recommending medical marijuana to its patients. Dr. Paul Terpeluk, medical director of employee health services at the Cleveland Clinic, said, “There is little verified, published research that supports marijuana…as a medical treatment. … However, there is a significant amount of scientific literature that unequivocally shows that marijuana use has both short- and long-term deleterious effects on physical health.”
In November 2018, the St. Louis Business Journal wrote, “The Missouri Department of Mental Health was awarded a $425,000 federal grant to fund expansion of a state project to expand access to mental health care for children.”
“The Health Resources and Services Administration recently awarded $7.9 million combined to 18 states to integrate behavioral health into pediatric primary care.”
This effort targets young children by integrating the efforts of physicians, nurse practitioners, behavioral health clinicians, community health workers, home visitors, and other health care providers to funnel children into the mental health care system.
The Child Psychiatry Access Project in Missouri provides child psychiatry phone consultation to primary care providers in several counties, with a goal of providing these services statewide by October 2020.
The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration of the Department of Health & Human Services says, “State or regional networks of pediatric mental health teams will provide tele-consultation, training, technical assistance and care coordination for pediatric primary care providers to diagnose, treat and refer children with behavioral health conditions.”
Participating agencies are: University of Missouri School of Medicine, Behavioral Health Network, Assessment Resource Center, Behavioral Health Response, Washington University Pediatric and Adolescent Ambulatory Research Consortium, and the National Alliance for Mental Illness.
The trouble is that psychiatric propaganda on the subject of children has thoroughly duped well-meaning parents, teachers and politicians alike, that “normal” childhood behavior is no longer normal; that it is a mental illness. And further, that only by continuous, heavy drugging from a very early age, can the “afflicted” child possibly make it through life’s worst.
Contrary to psychiatric opinion, children are not “experimental animals,” they are human beings who have every right to expect protection, care, love and the chance to reach their full potential in life. They will only be denied this from within the verbal and chemical straitjackets that are psychiatry’s labels and drugs.
Through massive promotion and marketing campaigns, psychiatric drugs are increasingly prescribed as the panacea for life’s inevitable crises and challenges. 17 million schoolchildren worldwide have now been diagnosed with so-called mental disorders and prescribed cocaine-like stimulants and powerful antidepressants as treatments.
Teen suicides have tripled since 1960 in the United States. Today, suicide is the second leading cause of death (after car accidents) for 15 to 24 year-olds. Since the early 1990s, millions of children around the world have taken prescribed antidepressants that U.K. and U.S. authorities have now branded as suicidal agents. In September 2004, a U.S. Congressional hearing into these drugs found that not only do studies show the drugs are ineffective in children; they can drive them to suicidal behavior and hostility.
Psychiatrists are still telling governments that they can deliver the world from delinquency – at a huge cost. Psychiatry remains long on promise and short – in fact empty – on delivery.
“Mental health advocates are lobbying Congress to help them get schizophrenia classified as a brain disease like Parkinson’s or Alzheimers, instead of as a mental illness, a move that could reduce stigma and lead to more dollars for a cure.” This according to a January, 2019 article on Politico.com.
More and more health officials, scientists and doctors are recognizing that so-called “mental illnesses” such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are poorly understood and are really physical, medical issues — not some nebulous mental thing for which harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs are prescribed.
There are no clinical tests for these “mental” diagnoses. But there are clinical tests for whatever turns out to be the real medical issue. So why are psychiatrists handing out so many harmful drugs without performing blood or other well-known clinical tests? Could it be because it is profitable, and insurance will pay for them?
Today, psychiatry clings tenaciously to antipsychotics as the treatment for “schizophrenia,” despite their proven risks and studies which show that when patients stop taking these drugs, they improve.
Linda Stalters, executive director of the schizophrenia alliance, said, “We are still treating people like they did in the medieval times.”
The late Professor Thomas Szasz stated that “schizophrenia is defined so vaguely that, in actuality, it is a term often applied to almost any kind of behavior of which the speaker disapproves.”
These are normal people with medical, disciplinary, educational, or spiritual problems that can and must be resolved without recourse to drugs. Deceiving and drugging is not the practice of medicine. It is criminal.
Any medical doctor who takes the time to conduct a thorough physical examination of someone exhibiting signs of what a psychiatrist calls schizophrenia can find undiagnosed, untreated physical conditions. Any person labeled with so-called schizophrenia needs to receive a thorough physical examination by a competent medical—not psychiatric—doctor to first determine what underlying physical condition is causing the manifestation.
Any person falsely diagnosed as mentally disordered which results in treatment that harms them should file a complaint with CCHR, the police, and professional licensing bodies and have this investigated. They should seek legal advice about filing a civil suit against any offending psychiatrist and his or her hospital, associations and teaching institutions seeking compensation. In Missouri, file a complaint with the Board of Registration for the Healing Arts.
No one denies that people can have difficult problems in their lives, that at times they can be mentally unstable, subject to unreasonable depression, anxiety or panic. Mental health care is therefore both valid and necessary. However, the emphasis must be on workable mental healing methods that improve and strengthen individuals and thereby society by restoring people to personal strength, ability, competence, confidence, stability, responsibility and spiritual well–being. Psychiatric drugs and psychiatric treatments are not workable.
TruthAboutECT.org is a blog site created to bring about public awareness of the dangers of electroconvulsive therapy (also known as electroshock or ECT).
Most people don’t believe that electroshock is still being used in modern society. This is most likely because the mere idea of electroshock is so abhorrent that most people simply can’t believe it’s still being used.
Factually, ECT is one of the most brutal “treatments” ever inflicted upon individuals under the guise of mental health care. Yet approximately one million people worldwide, including an estimated 100,000 Americans, are given electroshock each year, including the elderly, pregnant women and children.
The articles on this website are written by those who have either experienced the damaging effects of ECT or those who are medical professionals who have seen the damage caused by it.
ECT is a Violation of Human Rights
On December 3, 2018, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of The Organization of American States published a Precautionary Measure calling for the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts to immediately cease electroshocking children as a disciplinary measure, emphasizing that electroshock is a gross violation of human rights.
A November, 2018 Supreme Court decision in Victoria, Australia ruled that the forcible use of electroshock treatment violates patients’ human rights, saying “People with mental illness are highly vulnerable to interference with the exercise of their human rights, especially their right to self-determination, to be free of non-consensual medical treatment and to personal inviolability.” While the decision reinforces that electroshock given without consent is a human rights violation, the entire practice of ECT is a human rights violation and should be banned.
If you would like to report a psychiatric abuse, please fill out the abuse reporting form by clicking here.
If you would like to write about your own horrifying electroshock experience, click here.
For more information about the devastating effects of ECT, click here.
It is an answer best explained from the perspective of psychiatry’s 200-year history and the grave impact psychiatry has had on society today. Since the early days, when psychiatrists chained, flogged, starved or tortured their patients into total submission, little has changed. Then, as now, the goal was the subjugation of the individual, not to cure madness. The brutal treatments psychiatry evolved and still use to this day — electroshock therapy, psychosurgery and debilitating drugs — stand testament to that fact.
After psychiatry moved beyond its asylum walls and into society, came the truly disastrous results. In today’s psychiatry, motivated by its mission to “follow the money,” to quote a contemporary president of the American Psychiatric Association, you are witnessing a profit-driven, corrupt industry that leaves death and destruction in its wake.
Strong words, but based on cold, hard facts. Facts you need to know.
Consider the following
Psychiatry monopolizes international mental health and demands hundreds of billions of dollars from governments each year for its services.
Insurance in the United States alone pays out $72 billion in mental health costs annually.
International psychiatric drug sales total in the range of $76 billion per year.
What are governments and societies getting in return?
By their own admission, psychiatrists do not know how to cure a single mental problem.
They do not know how their treatments affect patients.
According to one study, psychiatric treatment scored a 99% failure rate in patient recovery.
In the last 40 years, nearly twice as many Americans have died in government psychiatric hospitals as American soldiers killed in battle in all wars the United States has fought since 1776.
More than 20 million children worldwide are on prescribed psychiatric drugs known to cause violence, psychosis, hallucinations, suicide, homicide, strokes, diabetes, heart attacks and death for alleged disorders that have never been scientifically proven to exist.
Antidepressant “wonder drugs” are so widely prescribed that more than 154 million people worldwide have taken Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants. These drugs are under fire by drug regulatory agencies, not only for their potential to create violence and suicidal impulses, but because drug trials have found they perform no better than placebos (sugar pills).
The number of American seniors aged 65 who receive ECT (electroconvulsive therapy, or electroshock) is more than three and a half times that of those aged 64. Why? Government health insurance for senior citizens becomes available at 65.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported grievous damage from electroshock — patients sustaining severe burns, pregnant women suffering miscarriages and even death.
Yet while almost half of the elderly who receive ECT die within two years, psychiatrists continue to electroshock many helpless victims throughout the world, killing many. More than two-thirds of ECT victims are women.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released their September, 2018 report “Treatment Planning and Medication Monitoring Were Lacking for Children in Foster Care Receiving Psychotropic Medication.”
A previous 2015 OIG report found serious quality-of-care concerns in the treatment of children with psychotropic drugs. This year’s report follows up on that with a sample of 625 children in foster care from the 5 States that had the highest utilization of psychotropic medications in their foster care populations in FY 2013 — Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Virginia.
Medicaid pays for a majority of the healthcare services that children in foster care receive, including psychotropic drugs. In 2013, the most recent year for which there was complete data available in the Medicaid Statistical Information System, state Medicaid programs paid approximately $366 million for psychotropic drugs for nearly 240,000 children in foster care up to age 21.
This table shows some of the data for these five states, plus Missouri for comparison, and the totals for all 50 states.
Population of Children in Foster Care
Number of Children in Foster Care Treated with Psychotropic Drugs
Percentage of Children in Foster Care Treated with Psychotropic Drugs
Total Medicaid fee-for-service Expenditures for Psychotropic Drugs for Children in Foster Care
Total All 50 States
What OIG Found
In these five states, one in three children in foster care who were treated with psychotropic drugs did not receive treatment planning or drug monitoring as required by the states.
The HHS Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is responsible for awarding Federal funding to states’ child welfare programs and for overseeing those programs. Ostensibly they require each state to comply with approriate treatment planning and drug monitoring. Unfortunately, not only is this not consistently occurring, it is not consistently being done with the professional practice guidelines from psychiatric professional organizations. In other words, it isn’t really being professional or effective, to the detriment of many thousands of foster care children across the country.
OIG recognizes that these drugs can have serious adverse side effects, and the 34% of children who did not receive treatment planning or drug monitoring are liable to be the ones experiencing issues such as too many mind-altering drugs, incorrect dosages, incorrect durations, incorrect indications for use, or inappropriate treatments.
ACF complains that they have statutory and regulatory constraints that prevent them from fully implementing and reporting on treatment planning and drug monitoring. And the states have been getting away with lax treatment planning and drug monitoring because they can, putting foster care children at risk, while consuming nearly $366 million in taxpayer funds for harmful and addictive drugs that may be entirely inappropriate for many vulnerable children.
More than 30 percent of Missouri’s current foster children population are on at least one psychotropic medication, with 20 percent taking two or more psychotropic medications at the same time. This is almost twice the national rate of such prescriptions. These drugs are known to cause violence and suicide, as well as being addictive. Foster children are drugged with these harmful psychotropics at 13 times the rate of children living with their parents.
The real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose children’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior or study problems as “diseases.” Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax – unscientific, fraudulent and harmful.
Whether under the care of Child Protective Services, Departments of Family and Child Services, or Youth Welfare Offices, foster children — often removed from family homes because of alleged abuse — are further abused when they are prescribed psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs. Already troubled over their circumstances, these children are drugged for emotional and behavioral issues, sometimes with tragic outcome.
The high rates of psychotropic drug use in the Medicaid population, risks associated with these drugs, and research documenting inappropriate prescribing, have raised concerns, especially for children involved in the child welfare system.
Have you ever heard of Medical Kidnapping? It’s when the government removes a family member from their home for some kind of medical reason.
Some of the “medical” reasons given are: asking for a second opinion, disagreeing with a doctor, refusing to give or take a prescribed psychiatric drug, parents not vaccinating their kids, someone said there was some kind of medical abuse, someone said there was some kind of medical emergency.
“Though much of the public may still believe that Child Protective Services must have a good reason whenever they take children away from their parents, the curtain is increasingly being pulled back to expose the ugly truth behind the facade. Children are seized from their families many times over false allegations and lies. Deception within social services is the norm, not the exception.”
Children in foster care are three times more likely to be prescribed harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs, making them a large market for the psycho-pharmaceutical industry. Psychiatrists prescribed 93% of the psychotropic drugs dispensed to foster youths, according to a 2008 study.
“Just as social workers and family courts don’t require actual evidence to take children from their families, objective testing and evidence is not required for a psychiatrist to label someone with a mental illness – a label that can follow the child for years, or forever.”
We think it is time to call psychiatry and psychology for what they are — failed pseudo sciences with no basis in fact, pseudo sciences that harm their recipients and line the pocketbooks of their practitioners.
The introduction and passage of legislation designed to curb psychiatric fraud and abuse can contribute to the reduction of the Department of Mental Health budget.
Reports show that:
* 10% to 25% of mental health practitioners sexually abuse patients.
* Psychiatry has the worst fraud track record of all medical disciplines.
* The largest health care fraud suit in history [$375 million] involved the smallest sector of healthcare–psychiatry.
* An estimated $20-$40 billion is defrauded in the mental health industry in any given year.
1. Establish or increase the number of psychiatric fraud investigation units to recover funds that are embezzled in the mental health system.
2. Clinical and financial audits of all government-run and private psychiatric facilities that receive government subsidies or insurance payments should be done to ensure accountability; statistics on admissions, treatment and deaths, without breaching patient confidentiality, should be compiled for review.
3. A list of convicted psychiatrists and mental health workers, especially those convicted and/or disciplined for fraud and sexual abuse should be kept on state, national and international law enforcement and police agencies databases, to prevent criminally convicted and/or de-registered mental health practitioners from gaining employment elsewhere in the mental health field.
4. No convicted mental health practitioner should be employed by government agencies, especially in correctional/prison facilities or schools.
5. The DSM and/or lCD (mental disorders section) should be removed from use in all government agencies, departments and other bodies including criminal, educational and justice systems.
6. Establish rights for patients and their insurance companies to receive refunds for mental health treatment which did not achieve the promised result or improvement, or which resulted in proven harm to the individual, thereby ensuring that responsibility lies with the individual practitioner and psychiatric facility rather than the government or its agencies.
7. None of the mental disorders in the DSM/ICD should be eligible for insurance coverage because they have no scientific, physical validation. Governmental, criminal, educational and judicial agencies should not rely on the DSM or lCD (mental disorders section).
8. Provide funding and insurance coverage only for proven, workable treatments that verifiably and dramatically improve or cure mental health problems.
This report was prepared in 2018 by the U.S. Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee Minority Office as requested by Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri.
It examines the history of rising drug prices between 2012 and 2017 for the twenty brand-name drugs most commonly prescribed for seniors.
Drugs were identified using data from Medicare Part D, and average prices were statistically calculated to come up with annual weighted average wholesale acquisition costs.
Of the twenty drugs in the report, two are used off-label for psychiatric purposes: §Lyrica (pregabalin), approved for controlling epileptic seizures and neuropathic pain, is also used off-label as an anti-anxiety drug; it carries a warning that it may cause suicidal thoughts or actions.
§ Synthroid (levothyroxine), a synthetic thyroid hormone approved for hypothyroidism, is also used off-label as an antidepressant, although a specific, causally significant hormonal deficiency has not been identified for depression; it has potential side effects of hair loss, mental and mood changes such as depression, easily broken bones, heart problems, and seizures.
A Lyrica prescription rose in average cost between 2012 and 2017 from $264 to $600 (a 127% increase), while the number of prescriptions rose from 9.1 million to 10.3 million (a 14% increase).
A Synthroid prescription rose in average cost between 2012 and 2017 from $96 to $153 (a 60% increase), while the number of prescriptions dropped from 23.0 million to 18.4 million (a 20% drop).
The report concludes, “Soaring pharmaceutical drug prices remain a critical concern for patients and policymakers alike. Over the last decade, these significant price increases have emerged as a dominant driver of U.S. health care costs.”
Frankly, we do not have a particular bone to pick about the cost of prescription drugs; what does concern us more is the off-label use of medical drugs for fraudulent psychiatric conditions, and the seriousness of their potential side effects. If this concerns you as well, please let Senator McCaskill know your thoughts about this.
We recommend informed consent for any treatment plan. Protect yourself, your family and friends, with full informed consent. Courts have determined that informed consent for people who receive prescriptions for psychotropic (mood-altering) drugs must include the doctor providing information about possible side effects and benefits, ways to treat side effects, and risks of other conditions, as well as information about alternative treatments.