The Coercive State

Coerce: to force to act or think in a certain way by use of pressure, threats, or intimidation; to compel, dominate, restrain, or control forcibly. From Latin coercere, to control, restrain; from co-, together + arcere, to shut up, enclose, confine.

Psychiatry is a coercive practice. One can see this intuitively, as no one would voluntarily subject themselves to psychiatric treatment knowing its devastating consequences.

There are a number of ways that the psychiatric industry forces treatment on unwilling victims.

Involuntary Commitment

Between 1.5 and 2 million persons are committed or coercively admitted to psychiatric facilities annually. Every 75 seconds, someone in the U.S. becomes the next victim of involuntary incarceration in a psychiatric hospital.

In his book, Reign of Error, psychiatrist Lee Coleman discovered that for each formal involuntary commitment, “there are several more in which patients are pressured to ‘sign in’ in order to avoid formal commitment.” In short, coercion and manipulation by mental health professionals push the published statistics downward and obscure the true number of involuntary commitments.

Commitment laws have been used for every wrong reason: financial, sexual, business advantage, inheritance, political suppression, and even to maintain governmental secrecy.

When any psychiatrist has full legal power to cause your involuntary physical detention by force (kidnapping), subject you to physical pain and mental stress (torture), leave you permanently mentally damaged (cruel and unusual punishment), with or without proving to your peers that you are a danger to yourself or have committed a crime (due process of law, trial by jury) then, by definition, a totalitarian state exists.

With health care eating up vast amounts of our national budget, the first spending cut to make is the cost of “treating” people who prefer not to be mentally treated. Involuntary commitment laws hike federal, state, county, city and private health care costs under the strange circumstance of a patient-recipient who cannot say no.

Involuntary commitment creates an astonishing debt load on our health care system. Given a very conservative daily cost of $940 for hospitalization and treatment, each involuntary commitment costs around $16,700. With up to 1.5 million people committed yearly, and using the conservative individual figure of $16,700, the annual health care drain is almost $25 billion! And this is paying for a service that most would refuse if given the chance.

Coercive Restraints

Being denied human rights is not the only loss that a patient risks in psychiatry’s coercive system. The patient’s life can be at risk from chemical and physical restraints. Restraint “procedures” are visible evidence of the barbaric practices that psychiatrists choose to call therapy or treatment.

Psychiatric restraint procedures qualify as “assault and battery” in every respect except one — they are lawful. Psychiatry has placed itself above the law, from where it can assault and batter its unfortunate victims with a complete lack of accountability, all in the name of “treatment.”

Restraint use is not motivated by concern for the patient. A lawsuit in Denmark revealed that hospitals received additional funding for treating violent patients. Harvard psychiatrist Kenneth Clark reported that in America patients are often provoked to justify placing them in restraints, also resulting in higher insurance reimbursements – at least $1,000 a day. The more violent a patient becomes – or is made – the more money the psychiatrist makes.

Today, there are several methods of restraint being used – all violent, all potentially lethal – in which hospital staff physically and brutally restrict a patient’s movement. The victim can be forcibly pinned to the ground face down. Mechanical restraints include straitjackets, leather belts or straps that cuff around each ankle and wrist. Soundproof rooms, opened only from the outside, are used for seclusion. Mind-numbing drugs are administered as a chemical straitjacket.

Mental Health Courts

“Mental health courts” are facilities established to deal with arrests for misdemeanors or non-violent felonies. Rather than punishing individuals or allowing them to take responsibility for their crimes, they are diverted to a psychiatric treatment center on the premise that they suffer from “mental illness” and that psychiatric treatment will stop the criminal behavior. There is no evidence that supports this false premise.

In a review of 20 mental health courts, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law found that these courts “may function as a coercive agent – in many ways similar to the controversial intervention, outpatient commitment – compelling an individual to participate in treatment under threat of court sanctions. However, the services available to the individual may be only those offered by a system that has already failed to help. Too many public mental health systems offer little more than medication.”

For more information download and read the CCHR booklet “The Real Crisis in Mental Health Today” from


Psychological “brainwashing” methods employed by terrorist groups include a three-stage process involving “unfreezing,” “changing” and “refreezing.” “Unfreezing” physically removes the person from his routines, sources of information, social relationships and support structures, and then humiliates the individual so that he perceives himself as unworthy, supposedly motivating him to change. “Changing” directs the person towards learning new attitudes, quite often through coercion. “Refreezing” involves the integration of the changed attitudes into the rest of the personality.

Colin Ross, M.D., author of Bluebird: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists and an authority on coercive psychiatric methods, revealed that a variety of techniques could be exploited by a skilled psychiatric technician to program an individual to commit violent acts. Hypnosis exerts a more powerful influence when combined with drugs and pain. Ross suspects the number of suicide bombers who are programmed with drugs is close to 100 percent.

Coercive Vaccination

There is some evidence to suggest that such symptoms known as ADHD, Autism, and Bipolar Disorder could sometimes be vaccine injuries mis-labeled as “mental illness” and mis-treated with amphetamines and dangerous psychiatric drugs.

Mental Health Screening

Mental health screening based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the International Classification of Disease (ICD)—a key international psychiatry strategy—is a major situation right now that not only is the means by which the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries drum up new business, it is a major threat to the civil liberties and freedoms of all those in the U.S. and elsewhere. Read more about it here.

Something Can Be Done About It

There needs to be an increase in humane and rational alternatives to psychiatric involuntary institutionalization.

Involuntary commitment laws must be abolished and this unconstitutional and coercive practice stopped.

Any psychiatrist found to be using coercion, threats or malice to get people to “accept” psychiatric treatment, or who hospitalizes a patient against their will should be charged with assault and false imprisonment.

The use of physical and mechanical restraints should be outlawed. Until this occurs, any psychiatric staff member – and the psychiatrist who authorized the procedure – should be criminally culpable should the restraint result in physical damage or death.

Write, call and visit your local, state and federal representatives and tell them what you think about this.

Please become a member of CCHR St. Louis to help victims of psychiatric fraud and abuse fight back.

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