Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.


                   -- AN  ONLINE  PUBLICATION --



Note: The Fifth Column is a regular PsychNews column,
managed by Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

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                   Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

     On January 7, 1999, I posted a short letter on the CSPP listserv
resigning from the Board of Directors for the International Center for
the Study of Psychiatry (ICSPP), Peter R. Breggin, M.D., President, and
Ginger Ross-Breggin, Executive Director.  CSPP is a closed, Internet
list with about 100 members, most of whom are either academics or
clinicians in the fields of sociology, psychiatry, psychology, etc.
Some of the members refer to themselves as "psychiatric survivors."
I also requested to be removed from the CSPP listserv.

     A few days after I was removed from the list by Ginger Ross-Breggin,
Peter Breggin posted a response to my letter of resignation.  I could not
read it since I was no longer on the list.

     On January 14, 1999, I requested a member of the CSPP list
post my letter below as a rejoinder to Peter Breggin.  The letter was
posted on January 20, 1999.  Since the important differences
between people lumped together as "anti-psychiatrists" are clearly
exposed here, I decided to make my letter available publicly.

     Not surprisingly, I was subsequently attacked by several
members of the CSPP list.  One psychiatrist called my letter a
"drive-by shooting."  Others came to my defense.  Two letters by
people criticizing me impressed me as exceptional, and I think it is
only fair to include excerpts from them here.  One person wrote
the following:

          I think it's important that in [the] future we all individually
     see to it that no-one attack Peter or Ginger or anyone else on
     this list, but especially not Peter or Ginger. . . . .

          Why? Because Peter and Ginger are too important to us as
     an organization and to us as our treasured leaders and to us
     individually as people we care about for us to allow their being
     trashed in their own organization.  Because they endure too
     many attacks outside the organization and they should not
     have to deal with them within the organization.  Because it can
     destroy the organization, by creating so much controversy and
     upset that people quit the organization.

          The content of any attack is basically irrelevant, in the sense
     that it doesn't matter what the person chooses as the content
     of the attack, it is still an attempt, whether aware or not, to
     gain attention for oneself and/or discredit a leader who has
     courageously stepped out there and taken on major leadership.
     This is different from an honest difference of opinion.  If it is
     such, the content of the disagreement will remain respectful
     and thoughtful and not go for the jugular, as Schaler's response
     to Peter did.  The point is for members of this group, when
     faced with an attacker, not to debate about whether Peter or
     whomever has a failing or not, but to stand up for the person
     being attacked and stop the attack. . . .

          I say this from experience . . . .  As we fight biological
     psychiatry more and more, the attacks will get worse, as we
     are dealing with some very powerful enemies.  It behooves us to
     stick together and back our leaders.

     And the following letter shows how someone who allegedly
disagrees with the disease model of behavior and institutional psychiatry
still uses diagnosis as a weapon:

           As a fairly new member of the Advisory Board, I never met
     Dr. Jeffrey Schaler, but I'm amazed at the personal attack and
     amount of rage directed by him at Peter.  In my 22 years of
     practice as a Psychologist, I've rarely seen that kind of anger
     and jealous rage in my patients.  I accept some of Szaaz's (sic)
     viewpoints and reject others.. . . In real life, nothing is as
     black or white as Schaler describes.  If I were a student of his, I
     would be fearful of expressing any opinions that differed from
     his or of expressing any ambiguity in my thought process.  I
     seriously hope that this man  can get some help in alleviating
     his rage as it will eventually consume him.  I'm trully (sic)
     embarrased by his inappropriate personal attack on Peter and
     on ICSPP.  If someone out there knows him well, maybe they
     could encourage him to seek help.

     For more information about Peter Breggin and ICSPP, including his
view of the Fentress-Lilly liability trial see
For more information on those sharing Thomas Szasz's views see

                                               January 14, 1999

Dear Peter,

     I'm glad to see you come out of hiding to grace the members
of the listserv with your presence.  It took my resignation from
the Board of Directors of International Center for the Study of
Psychiatry and Psychology (ICSPP) to do it?  And you don't even
send me a copy of what you wrote, when the topic of your missive
is "Regarding Jeff's resignation"?  What does that say about

     In your letter to ICSPP last week, which Ginger, in her
preview, characterized as "a general statement to the list serve . .
. discussing ICSPP's focus and mission," you wrote:

     Jeff for many years has felt that ICSPP should take more
     specific viewpoints based on the work of Thomas Szasz.  He
     has stated that, for example, at our annual meetings.  I
     myself think that that (sic) Szasz's viewpoint deserves
     enormous attention and should be comfortable within ICSPP;
     Szasz had a great deal of positive effect on me in my early
     professional years, even though I don't agree with him
     entirely.  But to me that is not the point.  How often can
     intelligent, thoughtful people agree on everything?  How
     can they avoid broad areas of serious disagreement?  It
     seems to me that most intelligent human beings will have
     significant and even grave differences of opinion.  How, in
     this complex world, is it possible for thinking persons not
     to find themselves in disagreement about many different
     aspects of something as complex as personal responsibility,
     for example, or the role of government in our lives? . . .
     Even among libertarians, as Jeff identifies himself, there
     are very wide differences of opinion on many issues that
     Jeff states as absolutes.  From my viewpoint, nothing in
     Jeff's views makes him incompatible with ICSPP but
     ultimately, of course, that is up to Jeff. . .

     You are deliberately obscuring the reasons for my
resignation from the Board of Directors of ICSPP.  The issue
isn't simply one of disagreement.  The issue is one of honesty,
integrity, and courage.  You can't have integrity and be
consistently, self-servingly inconsistent, as you are.  I voiced
my concern regarding contradictions ever since the first time I
spoke out at the annual meeting you cite.  The inconsistency
then concerned your testifying as an expert witness  against
anti-depressant pharmaceutical companies.  Your testifying,
under oath (!) that Prozac caused a man to commit suicide and
homicide contradicts your position that neurotransmitters don't
cause people to commit suicide and homicide.  You said you'd
considered that, but that this was your decision.  I said it was
your downfall.  It exemplifies  your opportunistic dishonesty:
Defense of the "downtrodden mental patient" is so holy a cause
that it justifies lying for it.

     You continued:

        . . . I am comfortable with Jeff resigning;  it's
     consistent with his, and seemingly Szasz's beliefs, that
     only one viewpoint is acceptable.  Furthermore, this
     viewpoint declares down to rather fine details what is
     acceptable and what is not.  But if Szaszians cannot belong
     to ICSPP and have gratifying discussions on this list
     serve, where will they?  If they cannot have a good
     influence in this group, where will they?  Even a glance at
     the 21 members of the Board of Directors indicates what a
     wide diversity of opinion feels comfortable within the
     ICSPP community.  I certainly hope that those in ICSPP who
     substantially share Jeff's views will feel that they belong
     as much as anyone else and remain active and vocal.
          Meanwhile, ICSPP more and more becomes a network of
     people who support each other in taking difficult and even
     heroic stands--speaking truth to each other and more
     importantly to power.  That mutual support should be deeply
     gratifying to all of us.  Increasing numbers of young
     professionals are being inspired to speak and write what
     they think because of ICSPP.  Older professionals for the
     first time in their lives no longer feel isolated.  All
     this to me, is wonderful.  And it is astonishing how open
     the debate continues to be and how much respect is shown
     for differing viewpoints.

     Best regards, Peter Breggin

     "It is," as Baltasar Gracian wrote in _The Art of Worldly
Wisdom_ (1647), "a great art to know how to sell wind."  My
compliments on your artistry, Peter.

     In the 1994 Fentress-Lilly liability suit in Louisville,
Kentucky brought against Eli Lilly of Indianapolis, manufacturer
and distributor of Prozac, by the survivors and relatives to
those killed by Joseph T. Wesbecker on September 14, 1989, you
testified as an expert witness on behalf of the plaintiffs.  I
would have been interested in testifying against you as an
expert witness for the Defendant.  Your testimony is documented
in _The Power to Harm:  Mind, Medicine, and Murder on Trial_  by
John Cornwell (1996, Penguin Books, New York).  You were taken
to task in court for your self-serving contradictions:

          After acknowledging that "we don't know how our
     brain relates to thought and to feeling," Breggin
     declared that it was generally accepted among
     neuroscientists that serotonin "has something to do with
     the regulation of impulses . . . either violent impulses
     toward others or toward self." . . . [Breggin's]
     arguments lacked shape and direction, and he was making
     no attempt to explain some of the inherent ambiguities
     in his exposition;  for example, how low serotonin
     activity seems consistent with both criminal behavior
     and depression.  And he frequently assured the jury that
     most of the claims made by the manufacturer were based
     on hypotheses rather than hard scientific fact, without
     explaining where the dividing line lay between proof and
     theory in science.
          His argument developed sharper focus, however, when
     he described how high levels of hyperactivity provoked
     by Prozac were to be found in one out of one hundred
     people, according to scientific studies:  "In the
     extreme, it produces a degree of stimulation which is
     psychotic in level, that is, the person loses touch with
     reality.  They're so overstimulated they may think
     they're God or may think they're some incredible
     person." (Pp. 180-181)

     Joe Freeman, Counsel for the Defendant, objected to your
testimony and told Judge John Potter that you "had been making
contradictory claims about the effects of Prozac -- as being, on
the one hand, scientifically proved, and, on the other, purely
hypothetical." (p. 181)

          After three days of questioning, [Paul] Smith
     [Plaintiff's counsel] finished with Breggin in the
     following fashion:
          "Do you have an opinion whether or not Prozac as to
     Joseph Wesbecker was unreasonably dangerous?"
          "The very fact that Mr. Wesbecker was already
     struggling with violent impulses -- see, it's really
     important that here he is, he's already struggling with
     emotional instability, he has a diagnosis of
     schizoaffective disorder, he's given a drug that's never
     been tested on patients with these problems in its FDA
     approval process.  It's a drug that would be expected to
     . . . "
          "Dr. Breggin, was it unreasonably dangerous for
     Joseph Wesbecker?"
          "It was unreasonably dangerous, particularly for
     Joseph Wesbecker, unreasonably dangerous."
          "Did it present an unreasonable degree of harm for
     Joseph Wesbecker?"
          "For Joseph Wesbecker and those around him it
     produced an unreasonable risk of harm."
          "Did it produce an unreasonable risk of harm for
     the plaintiffs in this case?"
          "Yes.  Definitely."
          "Do you have an opinion concerning whether or not
     Prozac was a substantial factor in this tragedy that
     occurred at Standard Gravure on September 14, 1989?"
          "Definitely, it was a very substantial factor in
     what he did." (p. 186-187)

     And then, hoisted by your own petard, Freeman delivered the
coup de grace:

          "In the same book [_The Psychology of Freedom_], on
     the subject of religion, on page seventy, you quote the
     difference between believing in the divine . . ."
          Smith was at last objecting.  The judge called the
     attorneys to the bench.
          "Let me hear what the quote is going to be," said
          "The thrust of the quote," said Freeman, "is
     there's no difference in believing you're Christ and
     believing _in_ Christ, and I think this goes to his
     whole credibility on principles and everything else that
     he says he espouses."
          "This is a religious premise," countered Smith,
     "and it is wholly inappropriate to what the man's
     religion is."
          "This is a psychiatric principle," said Freeman.
          "Let me see the book," said Potter, reaching for
          After reading for about half a minute, he said:  ".
     . . Mr. Smith, he's talking about mental illness."
          "Don't let him characterize it as a religious
     philosophy, Your Honor."
          "It's a quote.  Go ahead."
          Freeman went ahead.  "'The difference between
     believing in the divinity of Christ and believing in
     oneself as Christ is merely a difference in religious
     point of view':  did you make that statement?"
          Again Breggin was stumbling through an answer that
     lasted several minutes:  ". . . This is something my
     professor, Thomas Szasz, at the university spoke about.
     And the point he was trying to make, and that I was
     trying to make, is that having a belief is not a
     biochemical disorder, so that the person who has gotten
     all enrapt (sic) in themselves and thinks they are the
     center of the religious universe, that they are like God,
     that that person in a sense . . . But at any rate, the
     point I was trying to make is that beliefs are not diseases
     of the biochemical nature . . . . there's a lot of edge in
     that book I'm not comfortable with.  I don't hand it
          Suddenly Freeman was bellowing in his broad
     Georgian accent, marching across the well of the court
     toward the witness.  "And yet today you have been here
     for two days, sir," he yelled, "testifying that Mr.
     Joseph Wesbecker for a biochemical reason went out and
     did what he did on September the 14th, in the year 1989,
     have you not?"
          . . . Having collected his papers and suppressed
     his sense of outrage, Freeman launched forth again.
     . . . He asked him, as director of the Center for
     the Study of Psychiatry, how many employees he had --
     which Breggin was bound to admit was just a single part-
     timer.  Then he asked how much Breggin was being paid by
     the plaintiffs.
          Immediately Smith was on his feet, pleading
     prejudice.  But Potter overruled him, and Breggin had to
     admit that he expected to receive $45,000 over a two-
     year period.
          Changing his tactics one (sic) more, Freeman now
     embarked on a review of Wesbecker's entire life from
     birth to death.  His intention was to ask Breggin,
     first, whether he was aware of certain specific factors
     in Wesbecker's biography, and, second, whether those
     factors were to be found in Dr. [Lee] Coleman's notes.
          The purpose of the exercise, which took almost two
     hours, was to establish a set of hereditary assumptions
     in relation to mental illness in Wesbecker's life, and
     to isolate early influences and life crises that might
     had led to psychopathic behavior.  At the same time,
     Freeman wanted to show that few of these factors had
     been known to Wesbecker's psychiatrist Dr. Coleman,
     since Wesbecker had deliberately concealed them from
          Throughout this section of Q and A, Breggin was
     increasingly at Freeman's mercy;  he could not help
     playing into his hands.
          "I ask you, sir," Freeman said at one point, "did
     you know that Joseph Wesbecker lived with Murrel
     Wesbecker at six years of age and that she was dragged
     out of the house screaming as they were taking her to
     the mental hospital for life as a lunatic?  Did you know
     that sir?"
          "I don't have those details.  Don't know if they're
     true or false."
          "That would not be helpful to a young person in
     terms of his environment, would it, sir?"
          "I don't know if he witnessed it."
          "I will ask you to assume that he was there, there
     alone with his grandmother when this happened."
          "It would be terrible."
          . . . The purpose was evidently to convince
     the jurors once again that Wesbecker's killing spree was
     the inevitable result of the circumstances of his whole
     life and influences, rather than his medication.
          . . . The crestfallen Breggin seemed uncomfortable
     throughout, and it was unlikely that he had retrieved
     anything of his enormously damaged prestige.
          By the end of his cross-examination, Freeman had
     managed to question Breggin for more than two hours
     without a single mention of Eli Lilly. (pp. 191-196)

     So, Peter, on the one hand you assert for years that Thomas
Szasz was your teacher and that mental illness is a myth and,
when it suits your purpose, you even hide behind his skirt, as
you tried in court in the case against Lilly.  You've held, in your
various writings, that behavior is a choice.  You have advocated
a "problems-in-living" approach to explaining abnormal behavior.
You base your method of psychotherapy on such explanations.  And you
further assert there's no evidence to support the idea that the
brain causes behavior.

     On the other hand, you either ignored or did not know of
any environmental factors in Wesbecker's life -- nor did you
apparently even consider them -- , i.e. you eschewed your
"problems-in-living" explanation, and asserted, for $45,000.00,
that Prozac caused Wesbecker to commit homicide and suicide.
You asserted a causal relationship between brain and behavior
was fact -- even while you criticized biologically-based
psychiatrists for confusing theory with fact.

     Moreover, on the one hand you use Szasz's argument about
beliefs and socially-acceptable versus socially-unacceptable
delusions, e.g. believing in Christ versus believing one is
Christ.  On the other hand you say that Prozac can cause a
person to believe he is God.

     While we are at the subject of suicide, suppose a man takes
Prozac and becomes suicidal.  Should his suicide be prevented?
How?  By involuntary mental hospitalization?  If you reject that
option, do you also hold psychiatrists responsible for failing
to prevent suicide, just as you hold the Eli Lilly company
liable for causing suicide?

     You remember at the first ICSPP conference last fall when
Joseph Tarantolo said he felt responsible when a patient
suicides.  I took the microphone and asked "why should you take
responsibility for your patient's suicide?"  And I took the
issue further asking "what's wrong with suicide?"  Is suicide
"mental illness?"  Do you take responsibility for your clients'
acts of courage?  For their acts of discouragement?  How can you
ever say you respect your patients' autonomy if you EVER take
ANY responsibility for their behavior -- whatever that behavior

     People act and are generally held responsible for their
action.  Who should determine when a person is not responsible?
Psychiatrists?  Psychologists?

     Tom Szasz and Ron Leifer, once your teachers, are now your
conscience.  You have a guilty conscience.

      Narcissism won't fix a guilty conscience, Peter.  The only
way to fix a guilty conscience is by doing the right thing, i.e.
being consistent.  Remember how you introduced me at the first
ICSPP conference last year by saying "Jeff is consistent"?  Did
you mean I didn't talk out of both sides of my mouth?  You knew
then exactly what I am talking about now.  You even describe my
resignation above as "consistent."  You're consistently
contradicting yourself Peter.

     ICSPP is a Breggin lovefest.  Everyone knows it and no one
wants to talk about it.  The names on the board of directors and
advisors gives the appearance of solidarity -- but solidarity
toward what end?  By what means?  For Peter Breggin to
contradict himself?

     Where is the "study of psychiatry and psychology?"  Even
the name of the organization, the "International Center for the
Study of Psychiatry and Psychology," is a lie.  Who is studying
psychiatry and psychology?  How are they studying it?  What have
they found?  Where is the evidence to support or not support
what hypotheses?  Isn't "the study of psychiatry and psychology"
just a cover for opposing certain drugs and ECT, and helping ex-
mental patients?  And you describe ICSPP, in your letter above,
as a "coalition of reform-minded people who share common
concerns but hardly a monolithic viewpoint."  Another
contradiction!  Coalition means "fusion into one body;  union."

       You say disagreement is welcome.  However, disagreement
doesn't really mean anything in ICSPP when contradictions
prevail.  On what basis does one affiliate with ICSPP?  What is
the ideology?  What is the purpose of the "coalition"
masquerading as a study center?  To oppose the therapeutic
state?  Or to support the therapeutic state, by endorsing --
indeed demanding -- that it prohibit the use by consenting
adults of "treatments" that you don't like (such as the use
of Haldol and Ritalin)?

     Who are the people who make up ICSPP?

     People who think drugs are bad?  SO?  Most people think
drugs are bad.  That's why the war on people called the war on
drugs is so popular.  You're capitalizing on the war-on-drugs
mentality Peter.  Sure, people will come on board.  It's the
Pharmakos, Peter.  Remember the Pharmakos?  Blaming Prozac and
Ritalin for suicide and homicide is the same as supporting the
insanity defense.  How can you be against involuntary commitment
and support the insanity defense?  That's a contradiction.  The
two go hand-in-hand.  Are you really against involuntary mental
hospitalization?  Have you ever written that you are?  Is John
Hinckley not a greater victim of psychiatry than are ex-mental
patients living in freedom at the expense of the taxpayer?

     People who think psychotherapy is medicine?  SO?  Most
people think psychotherapy is medicine.  I thought you held that
mental illness does not exist, that it is a myth.  Or is it just
ADHD and depression that are myths?  Are you saying mental
illness is a myth but psychotherapy is treatment?  That's a

     People who use self-pity as a weapon? SO?  Self-pity is
popular.  Psychiatric survivors cherish their "disability."
Here's what Rae Unzicker wrote in a letter that appeared in
TIME, October 31, 1994:

          It's about time Peter Breggin, who criticizes the
     modern reliance on Prozac and other psychoactive drugs
     [MEDICINE, Oct. 10], received the media attention he so
     well deserves.  I have known Peter for many years as a
     colleague and friend in the movement to promote human
     rights for psychiatric patients.  I have found him not
     the least bit "flaky," as your article asserts.
     Instead, he and his wife Ginger have opened their home
     and their hearts to many psychiatric survivors -- people
     like me who have been profoundly wounded by the
     psychiatric system that promised and purported to "help"
     us, but rather labeled, drugged and brutalized us. (p.

     Ms. Unzicker declaims about the "rights" of "psychiatric
patients."  Do you believe that individuals have rights as
mental patients or as persons?  That "mental patients" have
rights and ought to have rights without corresponding
responsibilities?  And if you dare to call attention to their
enthusiasm for denying the reality of mental illness and their
feeling of entitlement for getting paid for being disabled by
mental illness -- well, then, they beat you over the head with
their "suffering" and call you names, a Fascist, a Nazi.

     How can you support the idea of "mental disability" and say
that mental illness is a myth?  "Mental disability" is a euphemism
for mental illness.  Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pulled
the same trick with words when he called mental illness "mental
abnormality" to justify involuntary commitment in _Hendricks
versus Kansas_ last year.

     Ginger writes the two of you "appreciate Ted Chabasinski's
comments."  Which ones?  That "psychiatric survivors" are
somehow more worthy of respect than other people?  Are mental
patients "special" in their suffering, like psychiatrists are
"special" in their compassion?  What is the meaning of:  "There
are many bigots in this world who mask their hatred behind a lot
of jargon and pompous words.  As a psychiatric survivor, I got
really tired of Dr. Schaler's attacks on us."?  Or of "I joined
CSPP because I know there are at least a few sincere mental
health professionals who are willing to speak out against
abuses, and I have found that to be generally true on this list.
But I'm not comfortable when I find myself and people like
myself attacked by pompous, self-important bigots.  So I'm not
going to go along to get along, and I'm not going to join in the
chorus of praise for someone who I think is despicable."  That
constitutes 77% of Ted Chabasinski's comments responding to
those members of ICSPP who asked me to reconsider my
resignation.  You "appreciate" those comments?  What does that
say about the two of you?

     Remember identification with the aggressor, Peter?  Tom
wrote about it _Law, Liberty, and Psychiatry_.  What we're
seeing now is the same old transformation of victim to
victimizer.  The Jew becomes the Nazi.  The black victimized by
racism becomes the racist full of "entitlements."  The
persecuted drug addict becomes the persecutor disguised as a
drug counselor.  And you "appreciate" that?  Are you running for
public office?  Are you pulling a "Peter Kramer," working both
sides of the street?

     The fact is you and Peter Kramer are simply two sides of
the same coin.  On the one hand we have "Talking to Prozac" and
on the other hand "Listening to Prozac."   Both titles are lies!
Prozac cannot listen and we cannot hear what Prozac cannot say.

       You give the appearance of advocating existential,
problems-in-living explanations for behavior.  Yet, you testify
in court under oath that Prozac caused Wesbecker to commit
homicide and suicide.  In other words, you say behavior has
reasons.  Then you assert behavior has causes.  Peter Kramer
apparently endorses Prozac as a way for people to get in touch
with "the real self."  Yet, he also endorses an existential
explanation for abnormal behavior, and an existential approach
to psychotherapy advocated by Hellmuth Kaiser in Louis B.
Fierman's book entitled _The Therapist is the Therapy_ (1997).
To wit:

     We still suffer from the universal pathology and still
     display the universal symptom.  No advances in
     psychotherapy, and no amount of biological reductionism,
     can obviate the need for individuals to learn to tolerate
     their boundedness.  No change in the conditions of
     treatment removes the therapist's obligation to allow
     patients finally to say what they mean. (p. xiii)

In other words, he says behavior is caused.  Then he asserts
behavior has reasons.  You two are mirror images of one another!
Have you invited him to join ICSPP?  If not, why not?

     You write "I myself often find myself confused and
uncertain about some of life's more enormous and complicated
issues from personal responsibility to the mind/body problem."
Of course you're confused Peter because you hold contradictory
positions on personal responsibility and the "mind/body

     And now you seem to be embracing "holistic" medicine by
giving James S. Gordon a platform in ICSPP.  The body doesn't
cause mind, but the mind can cause the body.  That's a
contradiction.  Neurotransmitters don't cause behavior;  but if
one just thinks the right way, well then, one can get rid of
disease.  That's not only a contradiction -- if you truly hold
to the idea that behavior has reasons and things are caused --
it's sadism.  As I've mentioned here before, biological
explanations for behavior attempt to remove responsibility where
it belongs.  Holistic explanations for disease assign
responsibility where it doesn't belong.  They're two sides of
the same coin -- mirror images of one another.

     You write you're not sure about the relationship between
the individual and the state.  You told me you "used to be a
libertarian."  Which are you Peter, a socialist or a capitalist?
When you received $45,000.00 as an expert witness in the
Fentress-Lilly litigation, were you being a capitalist or a
socialist?  Did you give the money to "psychiatric survivors"?
If you didn't give it to them, why didn't you?  And if you did
give it to them, why did you?  Do you believe "mentally
disabled" persons can't or won't work?  Do you regard them as
parasites or producers?  You can't be both a socialist and a
capitalist without contradicting yourself, Peter.  It's one way
or the other.

     Are you for liberty and responsibility?  If you're for
liberty and responsibility, you can't be "for" ex-mental
patients if they violate the personal or economic rights of
others.  If you are libertarian you can't be against drug

     Who are the people who make up ICSPP?  People who think
that Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a legitimate form of
"treatment" for "alcoholism"?  SO?  AA is very popular.  If you
accept that point of view of course people will come on board
ICSPP.  The fact AA is a religion masquerading as medicine
sanctioned by the state is apparently acceptable to you.  Or
should we not discuss that in ICSPP because AA medicine "worked"
for some members?  If state-sanctioned "treatment" for "addiction"
isn't the working of a therapeutic state I don't know what is.  Lots
of people are in jail for using and selling drugs.  Many more
people will be transferred from jail into "treatment" if Clinton
and Janet Reno get their way, e.g. "drug courts."  However,
ICSPP apparently has no interest in this.  Why?  Because drugs
like heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol are "bad" like Haldol,
Prozac, and Ritalin?  That perspective is at least consistent.

     You title your journal "Ethical Human Sciences and
Services."  Is cognitive therapy "ethical therapy," whereas drug
therapy is not?  Should the state pay for "ethical therapy"?
And not pay for "unethical therapy"?

        I'd like to hear your answers to the questions I've
raised above.  And I'd also like to hear your answers to the
following questions because so many of the ones above are
answered with your answers to the ones below:

1.  Do you believe mental illness exists?  Can the mind be sick?
2.  What is "it" that you treat and/or for which you advocate
3.  Do you consider "love" to be a form of treatment?
4.  Do you think that people who harm others and are labeled
    "mentally ill" should be held legally accountable for their
    actions, and if you do, why don't you speak out in support
    of this?

     Several people on the ICSPP listserv have kindly sent me
letters requesting that I reconsider my resignation.  I
appreciate their suggestion.  As I've made clear, I prefer to
stick with my decision.  However, I'd like to  respond to them
in kind:  I ask those of you who agree with the points I've raised
regarding contradictions to reconsider why you are staying in

      Perhaps the following quote from George Orwell in 1984
will help:

          Doublethink means the power of holding two
     contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and
     accepting both of them . . . These contradictions are not
     accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy:
     they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.  For it is
     only by reconciling contradictions that power can be
     retained indefinitely . . . If human equality is to be forever
     averted -- if the High, as we have called them, are to keep
     their places permanently -- then the prevailing mental
     condition must be controlled insanity." (Pp. 176-178).

Jeff Schaler

Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D. is section editor of The Fifth Column for
Psychnews International.  His e-mail address is and
web site is at