_________________________________________________________________ VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 PSYCHNEWS INTERNATIONAL March 1999 -- AN ONLINE PUBLICATION -- _________________________________________________________________ SECTION E: THE FIFTH COLUMN -------------------------------------------------------- Note: The Fifth Column is a regular PsychNews column, managed by Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D. Opinions and comments are invited. Please send them to the PsychNews Int'l mailbox: email@example.com -------------------------------------------------------- DOUBLETHINK AT THE ICSPP CORRAL: A REJOINDER TO PETER R. BREGGIN, M.D. Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D. INTRODUCTION 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 http://www.breggin.com. For more information on those sharing Thomas Szasz's views see http://www.szasz.com. A REJOINDER TO PETER R. BREGGIN, M.D. 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 you? 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 Potter. "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 it. 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 out." 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 him. 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 is? 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 contradiction. 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. 11) 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 problem." 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 companies. 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 "therapy"? 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 ICSPP. 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. 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