International Man: The Soviet Union used the diagnosis of mental illness as a tool to silence political dissenters. It was a practice known as “psychiatric repression.”
Dissidents who spoke out against the government were often declared insane and forcibly institutionalized in psychiatric hospitals, where the government subjected them to inhumane treatment and abuses.
The diagnoses were often based on political rather than medical criteria and were used as a means of punishment and control.
What is your take on this practice?
Doug Casey: Well, before we get into what happened in the Soviet Union, and what seems to now be happening in the US, we really have to address the validity of psychiatry as a science to start with, and mental illness as being a real illness.
Dr. Thomas Szasz, who died some years ago, made the case that mental illness is not a medical concept and does not have a biological basis. He believed that what people commonly refer to as “mental illness” is actually a label used to describe deviant behavior, emotions, and thoughts that do not conform to social norms. He argued that mental illnesses are not diseases in the traditional sense, as they cannot be objectively measured or diagnosed like physical conditions such as cancer or arteriosclerosis. He wrote numerous books debunking psychiatry; I highly recommend them.
My own view is that people have always had psychological problems, worries, and aberrations. These things were once dealt with by talking to friends, counselors, or religious figures. Since the time of Sigmund Freud, however, “treating” mental conditions has been turned into the business of psychiatry.
Psychiatry has set up a priesthood of doctors who look at what people think, say, and do, and offer opinions as to whether or not it’s healthy. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with studying the way the mind works. The problem arises when a practitioner can impose his opinion on another person. If a surgeon thinks you should have a heart operation, he can’t impose that on you. But if a licensed psychiatrist thinks you should be incarcerated and subjected to various drugs and “therapies,” there may not be much you can do about it.
Coming back to what happened in the Soviet Union, State officials found psychiatry was an excellent way to keep dissidents under control. It’s one thing to be prosecuted because the government thinks you’re politically unreliable and your views are wrong, but another to be punished because a medical practitioner claims you’re insane for holding them. Psychiatry—which I view as a pseudoscience—can easily be used to give a patina of science to political views.
But by saying they were crazy, the Communists were able to attack the actual essence of a person. This is one more thing that made the Communists not just nasty and dangerous, but evil. Evil is a word that’s fallen into disrepute in recent years, perhaps because it’s been used so indiscriminately by poorly educated Bible thumpers. My own view is that many, or most, supposed psychiatric disorders are a consequence of doing evil; if a person can’t confront these things, he may act irrationally, and be viewed as neurotic or psychotic. But putting yourself under the control of a person who’s taken some courses about other doctors’ opinions is rarely a cure.
It’s funny that psychiatrists, as a group, are usually looked down upon by other members of the medical profession. They may have real medical training, but when they go into practice all they basically do is sit behind a couch and listen to people rap about their problems, then experiment with psychoactive drugs, hoping for magic to happen. It’s not a bad gig to sit and listen for several hundred dollars per hour.
In using Freudian talk therapy, psychiatrists are basically no better than a friend or counselor, and often worse. I suspect many are just voyeurs who like to hear about others’ problems, perhaps just looking to compare them with their own. In fact, it can be worse. A lot of people become psychiatrists because they themselves are troubled and they like the idea of listening to other people’s problems and bouncing their arbitrary thoughts back at them.
Worse, the public thinks that psychiatrists actually know how the mind works, and can magically know what they’re thinking. The public thinks shrinks have special powers, like modern witch doctors. That fear, ridiculous as it is, gives them genuine power. That in itself draws the wrong kind of person to psychiatry. There’s a reason why Hannibal Lecter was portrayed as a psychiatrist as opposed to an accountant or an engineer or a salesman.
The process is disguised and legitimized by classifying problems using, among other things, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (called DSM-5 in its latest edition). Unlike a real medical or surgical manual, the book is mostly guesswork and opinion, a modern version of the medieval Malleus Malificarum, which classified everything known about witchcraft.
Although most Freudian talk therapy is actually bunkum, simply allowing a troubled person a chance to talk, even for just 55 minutes, can sometimes be helpful. But the usual cure prescribed today is some type of drug affecting brain function. Most of these drugs only disguise the problem by clouding the mind. These drugs can actually alter the cells in the brain—what they do, and how you think. There are hundreds of psychiatric drugs now—Ritalin, Zoloft, Xanax, and Prozac are common ones—but there are many more that are seriously dangerous.
As a by-the-way, it turns out that FTX had a psychiatrist on the payroll at their Bahamas hangout. The shrink, one Dr. George Lerner, apparently had about 20 FTX employees as private patients at one time. Sam Bankman-Fried himself has stated that he’s been on the antidepressant Emsam for “half his adult life.” It’s a bad idea to invest in a company that has a staff psychiatrist, where lots of people are on psych drugs. What they needed wasn’t a pill pusher, but a decent human who was interested in ethics, and concepts like right and wrong.
In their belief that there’s “bad think” and that they have a right to alter it, psychiatrists have gotten into things like electroshock therapy, which physically destroys people’s brain calls, and prefrontal lobotomies performed by taking an ice pick, going through the side of the eye, and purposefully destroying part of people’s brains.
One of the most inhuman things about the Soviet Union, which was full of bad things, may have been the way it perverted medicine, endorsing psychiatry, to destroy the human spirit itself. This concept is finding its way into the US and the West. Corrupt psych specialists use pseudoscience to prove that people the government deems to have crazy political ideas are indeed crazy. “Crazy” is being defined as not believing what they believe, and saying things that are politically incorrect.
I would submit psychiatry is a phony and dangerous specialty to start with. And putting psychiatrists pseudoscientists in charge of determining what’s good think and bad think is very dangerous.
Medicine shouldn’t be involved in politics, which is certainly the major takeaway of Dr. Fauci’s role in the recent COVID hysteria. And that goes double for psychiatry. Professional associations—like labor unions—are always looking to increase political power and economic wealth for themselves and their members. Bar associations do it for lawyers, the NEA for teachers, the AMA for doctors, and the American Psychiatric Association for shrinks. They’re all dangers to society. But the APA more than most.
To give you an example, I once met a prominent shrink in Washington, DC. He advocated requiring psychiatric tests for all high government officials, to keep dangerous nutcases out of office. That’s understandable. But what if the tests in question skew against certain political, economic, and philosophical beliefs? At this point, it could only play into the hands of those with power.
Remember, control freaks—people that like to control other people—aren’t interested so much in controlling the physical universe as manipulating and controlling other people. They tend to go into government. And when they go into medicine, they’re often drawn to psychiatry.
If you can disguise your desire to control and manipulate your fellow humans by claiming you have medical necessity on your side, you become much more effective and much more dangerous.
International Man: Some people have reported certain medical agencies in Canada are suggesting those refusing the Covid vaccine could have psychiatric problems.
It’s not a stretch to think those who pushed the lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and other radical measures of the Covid regime would take this step.
We’ve also seen proponents of climate change hysteria use language to describe skeptics as mentally ill.
What are the implications of this?
Doug Casey: The politicization of psychiatry—trying to control what people think—is really, really dangerous. It’s a trend that has been building for a long time, and I think it’s getting worse.
Once upon a time, somebody was deemed insane if they were manifestly irrational, walking down the streets yelling and screaming. Someone obviously unable to maintain themselves. They’ve always existed, but as a teeny-weeny portion of society. If they committed an actual tort, it was a matter for the police and the courts. If they didn’t commit an actual crime, then they were just a nuisance—and life is full of nuisances. Historically, crazy people were non-problems. Unless, of course, they got into government…
In the last 100 years, the number of diagnosable psychiatric disorders has grown like topsy. There are hundreds and hundreds of things that are now deemed psychiatric disorders. Enough that almost everybody can now be said to need a psychiatrist. Personal quirks, eccentricities, and non-mainstream beliefs have been made into psychiatric disorders, listed in the DSM, requiring a “qualified” professional to cure. They pretend to do this by bouncing their own personal opinions off of you with talk therapy, or by putting you on dangerous psychiatric drugs.
Soon I expect we’ll see public health used as an excuse to shut down beliefs which don’t suit a certain class of people. It’s very dangerous and it’s very unnecessary.
I’m not saying all psychiatrists are bad. But most are necessarily living in an echo chamber that reinforces bad tendencies. Look at it this way. Not all economists are bad, but they live in a Keynesian echo chamber in today’s world; as a result most economists wind up making bad recommendations. The same is true for psychs, even the ones who join the profession because they really want to help people.
International Man: Where is this trend going? What can the average person do about it?
Doug Casey: We’re facing a multi-front war against Western Civilization in general.
It’s not just a physical war. It’s not just an ideological war. It’s not just a political war. It’s turned into a psychological war.
One of the fronts of attack is to convince the general public—who don’t think about much outside the narrow confines of their own life and watching sports and television—that people who don’t believe a given narrative are, in fact, crazy. The psychiatric profession is very involved in the process.
In my view, this is further proof that many psychiatrists are dupes of evil people. At best.
What can you do about it?
Call out BS wherever you see it. Don’t automatically accept the opinions of people just because they’ve been granted a degree or license. Think critically, and demand logical answers to impolite questions.
Since this is a psychological war more than anything else, speak out whenever you can. Staying quiet makes you complicit in the crime by subtly agreeing with it.
Reprinted with permission from International Man.