_________________________________________________________ VOLUME 2, ISSUE 3 PSYCHNEWS INTERNATIONAL May-June 1997 _________________________________________________________ ======================================================== THE FIFTH COLUMN (1/2) ======================================================== Note: The Fifth Column is a regular, independent column written by Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D. Opinions and comments are invited. Please send them to the PsychNews Int'l mailbox: email@example.com -------------------------------------------------------- TO SPEAK AGAINST Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D. "The man who sees his neighbour only as an aggregate of atoms cannot have the same conception of his real self. He thus arrives necessarily at a fundamental contradiction." --F. Husemann (1977) Contradiction means "speak against" (contra + "dicere"). The word shares the same root as addiction. (1) It is one thing to contradict, or speak against, an other. To contradict an other is to challenge the authority of the other. It is quite another thing to contradict, or speak against, oneself. Depending on our point of view, behaviors labeled the expression of mental disorders can be explained as contradictions, i.e. a living against oneself. Consider also contradiction as George Orwell termed the contradiction of dictators, i.e. those seeking to control others through contradictory and influential speech, "doublespeak." Dictators use contradiction, or doublespeak, as a rhetorical device. Orwell termed the contradiction in thought, the successful manipulation of the other through doublespeak, "doublethink." Dictators deliberately confuse people in order to do certain things to them. This may include achieving certain psychological goals, e.g. Avoiding responsibility for behavior, garnering attention and sympathy, etc. We describe a person who contradicts himself to others as "two-faced," (also, speaking with "forked-tongue," "talking out of both sides of one's mouth," etc.). Doublespeak is used to achieve political goals, e.g. economic gain, political power, circumvention of Rule of Law, etc. Politicians are cynically referred to as people who say one thing and do another, i.e. hypocrites. As Orwell wrote: 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 (Orwell, 1981, Pp. 176-178). Confused persons think contradictory thoughts and act in contradictory ways. These individuals are easily manipulated by powerful others. They abdicate to dictators. They believe the contradictions of dictators. They are more likely influenced in their attitudes and behaviors by who is delivering a message (peripheral- route processing) rather than by what the message actually is (central-route processing). Central-route processors use reason to decide whether or not an idea is valid. (2) Thus, one can contradict another person, in the sense one disagrees with or opposes the other. One can contradict or speak against oneself, in the sense one is confused, in conflict, etc. One can also present contradictory ideological messages (doublespeak) to psychologically paralyze another into abdication (doublethink). The difference between exposing the contradiction of dictators and the contradiction of confused individuals is similar to the difference between exposing a malingerer and a hypochondriac. The former becomes defensive and hostile when exposed as an imposter. The latter becomes anxious when a disease is not found. Exposing contradiction upsets contradictors, whether the contradiction is directed toward self or other. This is because doing so interrupts a kind of hypnotic spell cast over oneself and others. The person exposing the contradiction then becomes a target of vituperation, if not a victim of "_Todschweigen_ (Tod = death, schweigen = silence), i.e. death by silence," (Leifer, in press). Clearly, people are addicted to contradiction. Here are some examples: "Freedom," as James Baldwin wrote in _Nobody Knows My Name_ (1961), "is not something that anybody can be given, freedom is something people take." Yet, people try to give and receive freedom all the time. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals assert they can restore autonomy. Restoring autonomy is contradiction. People who say they can give freedom and restore autonomy are engaging in doublespeak. The result is doublethink. They enslave people by "giving" freedom and reinforce dependency by "restoring" autonomy. "Mental illness" is contradiction and used by psychiatrists and mental health professionals to achieve political, economic and legal goals. Their own goals are served in the name of helping others. The mind cannot be sick. (The brain can be sick.) Since the mind cannot be sick, it cannot be treated. What is treatment then? (3) And those claiming mental illness does not exist contradict themselves too. They assert Prozac and other anti- depressant drugs can cause people to commit homicide and suicide. On the one hand they claim neurochemicals cannot cause criminal behavior. On the other hand they claim changes in neurochemical levels (brought about through the use of neuroleptic drugs) can cause criminal behavior. Spokespersons for "psychiatric survivors" contradict themselves when claiming mental disability is the same as physical disability, e.g. the recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations regarding employer accommodations for those with mental "disabilities." On the one hand they argue against involuntary commitment on grounds constitutional protections are implemented in an arbitrary manner - in the name of "mental illness." On the other hand, they argue for mental and physical disability "parity," i.e. that the arbitrary classification of certain "mental disability" is consistent with Rule of Law and impartial. (4) THE SPELLS CAST BY PERSONS Understanding the prevalence and occurrence of contradiction is useful in breaking the "spell cast by persons, the nexus of unfreedom," as Ernest Becker (1973) described it. I list four examples exposing contradiction here in the form of letters of mine the editors of various publications refused to publish. What is interesting is how the editors chose not to publish _any_ letters contradicting their editorial positions or their news story. The editors of New York Review of Books did publish a letter from the author of the book reviewed. The first letter concerns an editorial on Scientology in Germany appearing in The Washington Post. The editors at The Washington Post have long maintained opposition to the repeal of drug prohibition and supported the "war on drugs." They believe addiction is real, that drugs are dangerous, and that treatment for addiction "works." How many of these editors either have or have had problems with drugs or alcohol, consider themselves "in recovery," or have family members who have had problems with drugs or alcohol and/or are "in recovery," is unknown. On the one hand, the editors at The Washington Post advocate religious freedom in Germany. On the other hand they oppose religious freedom (drug use) in America. The second letter concerns an editorial by Virginia Postrel on medical marijuana appearing in REASON Magazine. Postrel defends individualism on the one hand and collectivism on the other. This, of course, is the problem with the medical marijuana movement in the first place (see Szasz, 1997). She advocates Rule of Law and Rule of Man simultaneously! She opposes a theocratic state on the one hand and supports a therapeutic state on the other! (I would not be surprised if George Soros gives money to REASON. He who pays the piper calls the tune ....) The third letter concerns an article about the history of psychiatry in Russia appearing in U.S. News & World Reports. The editors allowed an ethnocentric article to be published without any reference not only to the fact psychiatric abuse was (and still is) prevalent in America, it originated here! Moreover, the writer argues Russia needs to acknowledge its past. To what extent does America acknowledge its psychiatric past and present? Not one letter was published speaking against this blatantly biased presentation. The fourth letter concerns a book review by philosopher John Searle appearing in New York Review of Books. After systematically dissecting philosopher David Chalmer's theory regarding the foundations of consciousness, he asserts that the mind is a product of the brain, that this is the basis of cognitive science, and that if one doesn't know how this is true, well, he simply can't help us. Reason is necessary for Chalmer's argument to be valid, according to Searle. Reason is unnecessary for his own argument to be valid. In so doing, Searle suggests his brain is different from the brains of others. This is similar to the psychoanalyst claiming he knows his patient's unconscious mind, but the patient cannot know the analyst's unconscious mind (T. Szasz, personal communication, 1997). I follow these letters with more examples of contradiction, this time in the form of actual transcripts of television and radio shows I participated in recently. The first transcript concerns a dialogue on the use of drug- testing kits by parents for their children. The second concerns the prescribing of anti- depressant medication for children. The third concerns the regulation of tobacco by the Food and Drug Administration. The fourth concerns the use of anti- depressant medication as social control. SOCIALISM SETS IN THE EAST AND RISES IN THE WEST December 16, 1996 Letters to the Editor U.S. News & World Reports 2400 N Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20037-1196 "_Russia_ has yet to come clean on its history of punitive psychiatry" ("Mad Russians," Dec. 16)? >From Benjamin "Father of American Psychiatry" Rush (whose silhouette still adorns the halls of the American Psychiatric Association) to Karl "Dean of American Psychiatry" Menninger (author of The Crime of Punishment) the history of America is replete with psychiatric abuse. Two Americans (Walter Freeman and James W. Watts) developed the technique of cutting the frontal lobes of the brain by inserting an ice pick-like surgical instrument through the eye socket. The authors of Nazi euthanasia programs received much of their inspiration for terror from Americans - the involuntary sterilization of 15,000 mental patients in Californian psychiatric institutions - before the German sterilization laws of 1939. Moreover, the American Journal of Psychiatry openly supported euthanasia in a 1942 editorial. Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence, medicalized socially deviant behavior in the 18th Century, initiating one of the more prevalent threats to liberty in our free society today - the involuntary commitment of innocent persons to psychiatric institutions for "treatment." Karl Menninger argued criminals are mentally ill, thus punishing (instead of treating) them, he claimed, is a crime - the contemporary rationale for the insanity defense. Unlike the Russians, perhaps Americans do not view psychiatrists as aggressors out to harm them, as your article would suggest. However, that may be due to the fact so many Americans (100,000 patients yearly in the U.S. alone according to Max Fink, editor-in-chief of Convulsive Therapy, the leading journal in the field) have had their memories erased by involuntary and voluntary electroshock "therapy." (signed) THE ROAD TO SERFDOM January 31, 1997 Letters Reason 3415 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 400 Los Angeles, Ca. 90034-6064 Virginia I. Postrel contradicts herself when she argues "For drug warriors, Propositions 215 and 200 are terrifying because these laws recognize that marijuana is not especially dangerous" ("Reefer Madness," March). "Especially" dangerous? If marijuana is "safe" then it can be "dangerous." It is neither. Drug warriors argue drug use is a plague, an epidemic, and a treatable disease. Drugs such as marijuana are panopathogens. Marijuana medicalizers argue drug use is a cure, a remedy, and a treatment for disease. Drugs such as marijuana are panaceas. Drug warriors and medicalizers are simply two sides of the same coin. Shalala and Barry McCaffrey on the one side, and (gasp) Postrel and George Soros on the other. Ms. Postrel's doublespeak continues: "Yet if thousands - or even hundreds - of average Americans suddenly start admitting in public that they smoke marijuana to relieve various illnesses, the demonization of the drug can't be sustained." Is this a sick joke? And then "In other words, it's about doctors _and their patients_." Is Postrel's reasoning so clouded she forgets the Nazis claimed they were just practicing medicine? The right to drugs is no more about doctors and their patients than the murder of Jews was. Going public wouldn't reduce demonization: It is likely to legitimize it. And there is more: "In their attempts to manipulate the public by misusing the language, administration officials have decided to wrap themselves in science." That is _exactly_ what those supporting the medicalization of marijuana and addiction are doing. George Soros, funder of the medical marijuana propositions, is creating a new problem in the name of an old solution: Doctors as policemen. Clinton is re- creating an old problem in the name of a new solution: Policemen as doctors. There's not much difference between the two of them. The war on people called the war on drugs is a religious war fueled by sanctimonious scapegoaters. Illegal drug dealers, prison builders, law enforcement agencies, politicians, etc. are economically addicted to it. They claim they're motivated by compassion. Deprivation of liberty is the consequence. The medicalization of people called treatment is a religious war too, fueled by sanctimonious scapegoaters. Legal drug-dealer wannabes, treatment center builders, doctors, politicians, etc. are economically addicted to medicalization efforts. They claim they're motivated by compassion. Deprivation of liberty is the consequence. The classical liberal perspective on drug policy is offensive to drug warriors and legalizers alike and rarely even gets into print (including REASON). There is only one legitimate argument against drug prohibition. Drugs are property. Everyone has a right to drugs as property. Medicine has nothing to do with it. (signed) VOLKSKORPER (PEOPLE'S BODY) February 2, 1997 Letters to the Editor The Washington Post 1150 15th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20071 In your editorial entitled "Germany, America and Scientology" (Feb. 2) you assert "Adults everywhere ought to have the widest possible freedom of belief - even the freedom to develop psychological dependencies and spend their last pfennig on religion if they so choose." Does this mean you now support the right of every American to develop psychological dependence on currently illegal drugs? The difference escapes me. If you really support the idea people have a right to put whatever ideas they want in their minds, how can you oppose the idea people have a right to put whatever substances they want in their bodies? You can only do so by contradicting yourself. And as George Orwell wrote in _Nineteen- eighty Four_ "it is only by reconciling contradictions that power can be retained indefinitely." (signed) MY BRAIN IS BETTER THAN YOUR BRAIN March 15, 1997 Letters to the Editor New York Review of Books 250 West 57th Street New York, NY 10107 Regarding "Consciousness & the Philosophers," if John R. Searle read psychiatrist Thomas S. Szasz's book entitled The Meaning of Mind (Praeger, 1996), he might understand how viewing the mind (consciousness) as a product of the brain is strikingly similar to viewing the brain (body) as a product of the mind (NYR, March 6). In fact, both views are like sides of the same coin. Professor Searle's conclusion regarding the former reads more like a born-again, cognitive-science bumper sticker: "It is just a plain fact about nature that brains cause consciousness. It does not seem at all implausible to me because I know, independently of any philosophical argument, that it happens. If it still seems implausible to the biologically uninformed, so much the worse for them." In other words, the mind is a product of the brain. Searle knows it. And that settles it! Hallmarks of holistic thinking include the following ideas: People have cancer because they want to have cancer. They can will it away if they just think the right way. Or, here's one I heard just today: A holistic physician told his patient if she really wanted to stop her uterus from hemorrhaging she should just will herself to stop menstruating. The idea of mind causing body is no more irrational than body causing mind. Searle's argument is used to remove responsibility where it belongs. For example, how can we ever hold someone accountable for their good and bad behaviors if consciousness is caused by the brain? If mind and behavior are products of the brain, what are moral agency and the execution of will? According to Professor Searle's argument, they are simply biological processes. He is mixing categories in nonsensical ways. Moral agency and the execution of will are metaphorical "things" characterizing us as distinctly human. To say the brain causes consciousness is ultimately dehumanizing. Further still, what is that represented by the pronoun "I"? It cannot be found in the cadaver. Therefore, it is not biological. "Who" possesses the brain? To say the brain "possesses itself" is tautological. And what's the difference between dead and alive? Electricity? That answer sounds too much like the thermostat argument Searle rightly dismantles. If Professor Searle would remove responsibility where it belongs, the holist would assign it where it does not belong. Both are right because they "know." But they don't tell us how they know. They just "know." I know they're wrong. Who is right? The issue of responsibility for behavior is of critical importance here, and it is never addressed by Searle: A person is responsible for behavior, not a thing. The brain is a thing. A "caused" person is a thing, a zombie, not a human being. To dismiss this criticism of Professor Searle and his holistic Doppelganger to dualism is another ruse. Yes, it makes as much sense to speak of mind independent of body as it does to speak of body as independent of mind. Dead is dead. Alive is alive. That much we know. We also know the words life, mind and behavior do not connote things. They are processes. They are activities. Consider "living," "minding," and "behaving." Now consider "deading," "braining," and "bodying." The former makes sense. The latter does not. Moreover, how can there be any other mind than a conscious one? Mind means consciousness. Unconscious mind is a contradiction in terms - It is an invention, not a discovery. Consciousness can be "touched" in a metaphorical sense only. Mind is to brain as metaphor is to literal. The metaphor is constructed. It can no more be produced by the brain than a sick joke can be treated. (signed) TRUST ME, I DON'T TRUST YOU Fox Morning News, WTTG Channel 5 TV Wash., D.C. January 23, 1997 Host: Brian Wilson, Fox News 8:11am (live) WILSON: Parents who suspect their children are using drugs will soon have a new testing kit available, that can be used in the privacy of their own home. "Dr. Brown's Home Drug-Testing System" is the first kit to gain the approval of the Food and Drug Administration. But even with the accessibility of such a test, should parents actually use it? The creator of the test is J. Theodore Brown, Jr., a clinical psychologist based in Maryland. He joins us here this morning, along with Jeffrey Schaler, who is a psychologist also, associated with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us here. And we have actually, this little kit right here in front of us. It's a very simple kit. Basically, it's a way to take a urine sample. It is sent in the mail, and then you get test results back, what, a few weeks later? BROWN: A few days later. The test results will be available between one to three days after the specimen arrives at the laboratory. WILSON: And so then you dial in and give a special code and somebody gives you the results? BROWN: That's correct. A 1-800 number is provided. The customer calls in, obtains the results, as well as an explanation of those results, and in addition to that, we will be making a clinical referral to a health care provider, a substance abuse specialist, or a physician... WILSON: ... If that's required ... BROWN: ... as indicated. WILSON: All right, let me ask you though about the larger question here. A lot of parents now have this available to them. It will be, I guess, available to drug stores, etc. And they now have the decision to make: If they suspect that their child may be using drugs, or if they just want the peace of mind that comes with knowing yes or no they're not, they can administer this test and have their kids take it. But should they? What's your reaction to that question? BROWN: My reaction to that basically points to the very high incidents of substance abuse that we've had in this country, especially over the last five years, four or five years. I think the statistics indicate that that has doubled. The number of teenagers between the ages of 12 and I think 15 or even younger, over, I think, 60 percent are experimenting with illicit drugs. I think given the consequences of substance abuse, not only to the individual using the drugs, but the impact that it has on the whole family, pretty much warrants that parents start to assume primary responsibility rather than deferring that to others. WILSON: Well, Dr. Brown, I guess the question is, doesn't it destroy trust, though, between the parent and the child? BROWN: No, I think the term "trust" is terribly misapplied in this circumstance and situation. The primary issue is one of parental responsibility. "Trust" presupposes that the individual can exercise proper judgment, if you will, is competent to distinguish right from wrong, and to inspire the confidence and faith that goes along with the concept of trust. This basically purports to emphasize the parental responsibility, and I think dereliction or negligence of that responsibility, given the consequences would be terrible. WILSON: Jeffrey Schaler, you are a psychologist as well, and I think you have a different perspective on all this. SCHALER: Yes. Certainly Dr. Brown is capitalizing on the "war on drugs" hysteria. He says his drug-testing kit is good for America, but really it's good for him. Of course, he's going to make money on this, and he's going to make a lot of money because what parents are going to do is turn their kids in, if they find out they've been using drugs, into his addiction treatment programs. I think what's important though, is to think about why this is a newsworthy event in the first place. Well, because history tends to repeat itself. Sixty years ago the government of Germany encouraged children to turn in their parents for crimes against the state. Back then the crime against the state was a mythical disease called Judaism. Today, the federal government is encouraging parents to turn their kids into the state and to addiction treatment professionals for a mythical disease called drug addiction ... WILSON: ... Let me stop you right there ... SCHALER: ... I think this is a sorry state. WILSON: ... That's harsh rhetoric you're using ... SCHALER: ... I think this is a very sorry statement ... WILSON: ... Let me just interrupt you for a second ... SCHALER: ... of family values ... WILSON: ... Let me ask you this question though: I mean, if you're a parent, don't you want to know? ... SCHALER: ... Of course you want to know ... WILSON: ... And if there's a problem don't you want to step in and try to solve the problem? SCHALER: Absolutely. But let me suggest this ... WILSON: ... How can you know if you don't do a test? SCHALER: You can know by paying attention to your children. Let me suggest this to parents: If you're even considering using Dr. Brown's drug-testing kit, you have a problem already. And you need to talk to your kids. You don't need to buy his kit. You don't need to listen to addiction-treatment professionals, the federal government, pushing all this anti-war rhetoric ... WILSON: ... a chance to respond to that ... BROWN: Well, obviously Dr. Schaler has a problem with the concept of capitalism and the profit system ... SCHALER: ... I have no problem whatsoever with the concept of capitalism ... BROWN: ... that is basically the basis for this country. His assumption, or if you will, presumption, that we will make money is yet to be determined. I hope that he is correct, to that extent we will be able to provide even more services and indeed whatever money we make will not be nearly as much as the people who are actually peddling the illicit drugs and offering them to our children in the forms of tattoos and other clandestine mechanisms that they have an inordinate amount of money to create. I think that, overall, the company has created this product with the best intentions. I think the government has cleared it under very significant scrutiny. I think it is incumbent upon the individual parent to make a decision as to whether or not Dr. Schaler's prepositions are appropriate or whether or not they're concerned about their kid becoming or not becoming one of the statistics. WILSON: Now let me just ask you one other question that comes to mind, and that these drug tests are not absolutely fool- proof. And that there are occasionally false-positive results. BROWN: Absolutely incorrect. There are no false positives. Let me make that very clear ... WILSON: ... Now hold it. I've heard stories that if you eat a poppy-seed bagel you can show, come up positive, for cocaine in some cases ... BROWN: Again, this is part of our effort, I think, with this product, to educate the public. There is no false positive. If we report a positive test result, something that has been ingested or used, that conforms to the protocol of the drugs that we are testing for, has been determined to be existent. Now, whether or not that came from medicine, food, or actually illicit drugs is yet to be determined. We have our personnel and staff prepared to provide the necessary assistance, and in addition, we have the professionals who will basically help the parents clarify and rule out whether it is in fact food, drugs, or some other illicit substance. WILSON: Last word from Dr. Schaler. SCHALER: This drug-testing kit has really become a representation of the sorry state of family values in America. Certainly, I think Dr. Brown has a right to market his product. But, let's see it for what it really is ... WILSON: ... very quickly ... SCHALER: ... a way to make money and a way to alienate children from their parents. WILSON: We'll have to leave it right there. A good discussion. Thank you both for joining us. We appreciate it. We'll be right back. Stay with us. (8:18am finish.) _________________________________________________________ VOLUME 2, ISSUE 3 PSYCHNEWS INTERNATIONAL May-June 1997 _________________________________________________________ ======================================================== THE FIFTH COLUMN (2/2) ======================================================== DON'T TAKE DRUGS, TAKE DRUGS Fox Morning News, WTTG Channel 5 TV Wash., D.C. April 11, 1997 Host: Lark McCarthy, Fox News 8:12am (live) MCCARTHY: The makers of anti-depressants may soon be taking aim at a whole new market - your children. Right now, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved anti-depressants, such as Prozac and Zoloft, for those under the age of 18. But drug companies are compiling data on whether these types of drugs are safe for children. Are drug companies responding to an urgent need, or, are we in danger of relying on medication for kids instead of healthy relationships? Joining us this morning is Dr. Lise Van Susteren, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Jeffrey Schaler, he's a psychologist, and a faculty member at Johns Hopkins and American universities. Thank you both for coming in. VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you. SCHALER: Thank you. MCCARTHY: Dr. Schaler let's begin with you, because you've got some concerns about this, that it may be heading in a wrong direction, even to be looking at, you know, opening up this market. Why? SCHALER: Well, my concern is that the problem we call "depression" really has to do more with the communication gap between parents and children and not the synaptic gap between neurons. I think that parents and authorities who are important to children have more to do with the unhappiness we label as depression than anything that's chemical in the person's brain. And my concern is that when we give Prozac to children, we help them to feel less badly in a bad situation, and perhaps perpetuate problems that need to be addressed psychologically. MCCARTHY: Dr. Van Susteren, do you want to respond to that? VAN SUSTEREN: Well yes, I certainly agree. I think that there is, there are often problems between children and their parents, and there is this communication gap, I don't think there's any doubt about that. I think, however, that there is a small, subset of children who are depressed, who are depressed because they do have problems with their brain chemistry, and they can profit from medication in a very controlled setting. It's not given loosely. We don't want to give people pills instead of talking to them. MCCARTHY: Yes, let's talk briefly about what's happening now, that psychiatrists in their discretion, right, can prescribe these for children, but they are now looking at what proper dosage and doing major trials. VAN SUSTEREN: Well, there is a problem because children are different from adults. Obviously we have the same bodies, but their bodies are growing. The uncertainty is what's going to happen when you give a pill to a child who has a growing body. MCCARTHY: Would you say they shouldn't be used at all for children? How far do you go with it? SCHALER: I think they should never be used, and we should always pay attention to what parents are doing with their children. The example set is the lesson learned. I believe firmly that parents cause the unhappiness that children experience as depression. They do it two ways: One, parents criticize children too much. And two, they set an example of low self-esteem and depression that children model. Now, those are the key issues which are often very difficult to address, but are avoided if we give Prozac. MCCARTHY: How widely accepted is it that some depressions are biologically-based and can be helped by medication? VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it's very widely accepted among the majority of my colleagues. There, I think, is also acceptance among my colleagues, that there are some children who have biologic depressions just as some children have diabetes. Mostly it's adults who have diabetes. Mostly it's adults who have biologic depression. But that doesn't mean that there aren't children who have [that] also. SCHALER: The problem with that is that it sounds good but there's no scientific evidence that shows that these individuals, in fact, suffer with low serotonin levels. Depression is not listed in standard textbooks on pathology. It's still a theory that serotonin is related. Yes, Prozac helps people to feel less badly, but Prozac also helps people to feel less in general. It blunts emotion. MCCARTHY: And that concerns you. SCHALER: Oh yes. MCCARTHY: One doctor from NIH was quoted as saying, in talking about this very issue, that "pills don't create skills," in other words, pills are no substitute for building self-esteem and social skills in children. Is that one of the things ... VAN SUSTEREN: ... That is absolutely true. That is a big danger, just giving a person a pill and thinking that all of a sudden everything is going to be perfect. It's not. But I still think that there are some children who without some form of medication can't get where they want to go. So all of the talking in the world, which is very helpful, isn't going to be enough for them. MCCARTHY: ... would not be enough ... SCHALER: Well, it's peculiar, you know we're such a drug culture today. On the one hand we tell children they shouldn't use illegal drugs to change the way they feel. On the other hand, psychiatrists, parents, and other authorities tell children they should take legal drugs to change the way they feel. It's a profoundly confusing and double-message, that I think, perhaps, may create depression and confusion in kids in and of itself. (5) MCCARTHY: Is that a confusing message? VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it's confusing in the sense that we all suffer from a belief that there are easy solutions. We have technology which fixes things very quickly for us. But the important thing is to have good people, intelligent people working with children if they need to be assessed for their depression and to have an on-going sort of relationship, so you can see whether or not medication is helpful. MCCARTHY: Yes. Why don't we end it with some tips. If you have a child you are concerned about, who may be depressed, what would you recommend? SCHALER: What I would recommend is that the parent look inside himself or herself, and see how he or she is depressed, and how he or she sets an example of depression for their children, and exercises some courage in terms of introspection and talking to their kids. MCCARTHY: ... you say certainly deal with it ... VAN SUSTEREN: I think that's an excellent idea, in addition to the consideration of the individual child. MCCARTHY: All right, thank you both for coming in. I appreciate it. SCHALER: Thank you. VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you. (8:17am. Finish.) ARE YOU LYING? I DON'T THINK SO "Good Morning Washington," WJLA NEWS 7 TV Wash., D.C. April 27, 1997 Hosts: Dale Solly and Pamela Davis 8:40am (live) DAVIS: ... A major battle is brewing in the tobacco industry. We'll talk with two experts that will help us understand where that battle is headed ... Stay right there ... [8:43am] SOLLY: And good morning and welcome back everybody. The news continues now. When U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen ruled Friday that tobacco products fit the federal definition of a drug, he cleared the way for the potential regulation of those products by the FDA. He also gave the tobacco companies a slight victory though in ruling that the government could not restrict cigarette advertising. All of this comes, as you know, as government and tobacco company lawyers continue talks on a settlement that would end on-going litigation to force cigarette makers to pay smokers and states for health damage already caused by smoking. However, the smoke in this controversy is far from cleared. Joining us this morning are Dr. Jeffrey Schaler of American University, a psychologist and expert on addiction, thanks very much, and Scott Ballin, the vice- president and legislative counsel for the American Heart Association. Thanks guys, very much, for being here today. SCHALER: Thank you for having us. SOLLY: I should point out that we tried, repeatedly, to get someone from the tobacco industry in, and they told us repeatedly that they were not interested, so we apologize for that. Neither of you thinks that this idea of a settlement is a particularly terrific idea, but you come at it from very different ways. Dr. Schaler, what's the problem with it? It sounds like a good idea to a lot of people. SCHALER: Well, there are a lot of myths surrounding this whole tobacco controversy. The anti-tobacco crusaders are basically lying to the American public. They're lying in two ways: One, they're lying about what addiction really means - and this is the basis upon which the FDA is trying to regulate tobacco, and it's also the basis upon which product liability suits are being carried out - SOLLY: ... You're one of those people ... SCHALER: ... They're also lying about the relationship between liberty and responsibility, and that has very serious legal and public policy consequences. SOLLY: Mr. Ballin, are you and other groups lying? BALLIN: No, I don't think so. I think the issue of addiction is well-founded and understood by all the medical groups in this country. Dr. Koop, in the Surgeon General's report back in 1988, looked at all the evidence, every organization including the American Medical Association, the Heart Association, Cancer Society, all agree that tobacco is a highly addictive substance and should be treated as such. We're not asking for a ban on the product. We're asking that the FDA regulate this product as it does every other legal product, such as foods or other prescription drugs. SOLLY: Dr. Schaler, that sounds reasonable to a lot of people, what's the problem with that? SCHALER: Well, the problem is that what they're saying about addiction is inaccurate. They're making a political ploy, defining addiction as saying that people ... SOLLY: ... Addiction is addiction though, isn't it? SCHALER: Addiction is not addiction. It depends on what you mean. If you mean there are physiological changes in the body that occur through smoking, yes, of coursethat's true. But, if by addiction you mean people cannot control their behavior, that is absolutely false. Now, smoking is a choice, and because it's a choice it's based in values. What the FDA wants to do is regulate morality here and I am very much opposed to that. That is very much against what our Founding Fathers created this country for. SOLLY: We have about a minute left. Mr. Ballin, take out your crystal ball for us and give us your take on what's going to happen with this settlement. BALLIN: I think, first of all, the FDA issue will be upheld in the courts. It's very clear the FDA does have the authority. I think with respect to the settlement, we have to wait and see what happens. There's going to be a lot of talk and discussion going on. I think that the attorneys general who brought these suits will eventually win as well. And I think that the FDA will win. That will bring the tobacco industry to the bargaining table in a way that they've never been brought before. And I think we're going to see some major victories in public health from the settlement. SOLLY: Dr. Schaler, our last ten seconds go to you. SCHALER: I think this settlement is going to bring disaster in terms of public and legal policy. And I think that the tobacco industry should not settle. And I think the American public should be aware of what the FDA and the attorneys general are really trying to do, that is, legislate morality. SOLLY: And just for the record gentlemen, the settlement, whatever it may be or may not be, is still some ways away. So the controversy, Pamela, continues this morning. And we're going back over to Ken right now. No controversy about the weather, right? (8:47am Finish) PROZAC CURES CHAIR-SMASHING DISORDER! Wisconsin Public Radio, Madison, WI. May 1, 1997 The Kathleen Dunn Show 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST (live, with call-in) ... DUNN: When you say that you've seen the medication work in your school ... how does it work? You mean you've seen kids in better control? OSHKOSH CALLER: Some kids will get up and walk around the room, throw chairs, throw desks, refuse to cooperate ... and you just know that the days ... I've seen kids break desks in half, in the fifth grade, a kid broke a desk in half. On the days when they're on the meds, this is after a year, I think the worst time of your life is the first year of medication, because it's so hard to monitor something, that after it's working, and the kid's are more focused, the kid can learn and does have the ability. So I've seen it work. And again, I'm against the drugs, but if you can't help the parents, and you can't get the parents to parent properly, what can you do? SCHALER: You know, one thing I'm curious about when you bring up this example of the kids smashing chairs and breaking desks, what do you think these kids are objecting to? What do you think they're rebelling against? OSHKOSH CALLER: I would have to say, 95 percent of the cases, these kids come from backgrounds where this is common in the home place. The violence is common. SCHALER: Oh, so you think they're modeling behaviors they've learned? OSHKOSH CALLER: Right. Exactly. SCHALER: When does that ever get addressed? OSHKOSH CALLER: When does that get addressed? SCHALER: Right. OSHKOSH CALLER: It's hard for us to address it and keep our jobs. SCHALER: Yes. OK. I appreciate your honesty on that. That's certainly true. DUNN: Thanks Oshkosh very much for your call. Let's pause for a moment and return. Dr. Jeffrey Schaler is our guest, psychology professor at Johns Hopkins University, a psychologist, and we're looking at the issue of whether or not the FDA should approve the use of Prozac for children. 1-800- 486-8655, 227-2050 in Milwaukee. Twelve minutes now before five. I'm Kathleen Dunn. You're listing to The Ideas Network of Wisconsin Public Radio. ... DUNN: Dr. Schaler, if it were up to you, would you just get rid of, keep these drugs totally off the market until somebody is 18 or should they not be on the market at all ... SCHALER: Well, I'm a firm believer in the free market availability of all drugs. My concern is that people are well informed and that we have more talk shows like this which are opportunities for people to challenge the psychiatric status quo and make informed choices and not be brainwashed by psychiatrists and psychologists into thinking every problem they have has some medical origin that needs to be treated. These are problems in living. These are existential problems. And we need to talk about this in public forums. That's my real concern ... DUNN: ... yeah ... SCHALER: ... not the establishment of regulation, prohibition, etc. That's not the issue. DUNN: I'm just astounded. I don't do very many shows that have this kind of material as subject matter, but I'm astounded, just in the past hour, how many calls there were from people who were very familiar with Ritalin and with Prozac. It's obviously something that's prescribed and a lot of people are using these drugs. SCHALER: Well, we are most certainly living in what Thomas Szasz calls the "therapeutic state," where medicine and the state have become engaged in an unholy matrimony and people are feeling the effects in all aspects of their lives. So, I think that's why you're getting the response that you are. DUNN: Yeah. What do you think the FDA is going to do about this? SCHALER: I suspect they will allow it to be on the free market and prescribed, because certainly they're under a lot of pressure from physicians and drug companies to market a drug they think is consistent with psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. So I suspect it will be on the open market for children. DUNN: So those people who are supposed to be looking at the family dynamics and the school situation and a person's relationship to greater society, just are going to skip that part of their jobs and just give them drugs? Hunh? Or what? SCHALER: It's all up to you. You've got to run more shows like this. DUNN: (Laughter.) We got to find somebody else on the other side, we're going to have to do that soon. SCHALER: There are plenty of them out there, I'm sure. DUNN: Are there? SCHALER: Yes. DUNN: Do people in your profession look askance at you? SCHALER: Oh yes. I'm considered a heretic, that's for sure. DUNN: Are you really? SCHALER: And I'm sure many people in your listening audience right now would agree. DUNN: Well, you're a great talk show guest. So, I thank you for your time this afternoon. SCHALER: Well, thank you very much. It's been a pleasure. DUNN: Thanks. Our guest Dr. Jeffrey Schaler ... We'll look at the other side of this issue at some point, if not during the afternoon, then sometime in the morning during the next few days. (6) SPEAK AGAINST CONTRADICTORS In the eight examples presented, four letters and four transcripts, some form of contradiction was used to effect a political outcome. People manipulating others through contradiction claim they are helping, not hurting people. They claim they are selfless not selfish. Exposing contradiction is not cruel. There is no rough or refined way of speaking against people who contradict themselves. A sincere person without hidden motives welcomes such awareness. One may be inclined to ask dictators how they reconcile their contradictions. The question is improper: No justification or explanation for maintaining the contradiction can suffice. Contradiction is contradiction. Moreover, dictators depend on persons being confused in order to maintain power. When a person thinks, "he is contradicting himself," he should challenge the dictator and render his rhetoric null and void. If one lingers and questions the dictator's contradictions, e.g. one says to oneself "I don't understand how he reconciles the contradiction," the dictator will use that hesitation and self- doubt to say you are incapable of understanding him. The dictator uses hesitation and self-doubt to maintain power over others. This is not to suggest that every time a person fails to understand someone it's because the person he is listening to is contradicting himself. "When a book and a head collide, and the resulting sound is a hollow one, it is not necessarily the fault of the book." Reality appears contradictory to confused persons. CHALLENGE YOURSELF I spent fourteen years training in the martial arts and was fortunate to have had a good teacher. He would invite me to attack him. At first I was scared he would injure me. Then I came to realize he was the person who would not injure me - lesser "teachers" would. So I threw myself at him and learned. I think the same holds true for those we fear will expose our contradictions. At first, there is a fear of taking risks. Then follows the realization good teachers may hurt but not injure. Dictators are easily exposed by their intolerance of difference of opinion, challenge, or "speaking against." The sayings of Buddhist Rinzai assist me in understanding this. I close here with one of my favorites: One day the master and Fuke went to a vegetarian banquet given them by a believer. During it, the master asked Fuke: "'A hair swallows the vast ocean, a mustard seed contains Mt. Sumeru' - does this happen by means of supernatural powers, or is the whole body (substance, essence) like this?" Fuke kicked over the table. The master said: "Rough fellow." Fuke retorted: "What place is this here to speak of rough and refined?" The next day, they went again to a vegetarian banquet. During it, the master asked: "Today's fare, how does it compare with yesterday's?" Fuke as before kicked over the table. The master said: "Understand it you do - but still, you are a rough fellow." Fuke replied: "Blind fellow, does one preach of any roughness or finesse in the Buddha- Dharma?" The master put out his tongue. (7) NOTES 1. Addiction comes from the Latin "dicere," which when combined with the preposition "ad" means "to say yes to," or "to consent." In other words, Nancy Reagan was right. Just say no to drugs. "Dicere" is also the root of the words "abdication," "dictation," and "dictator." In "abdication," "dicere" combined with the preposition "ab" means "to say no to," "to give up," "to surrender." That is, to relinquish, to disclaim, power or responsibility. "Dictation" and "dictator" come from "dictate," which in turn comes from the Latin "dictare" frequentative of "dicere": "to say," "to tell." To dictate is to prescribe expressly and with authority, to command or give a directive (American Heritage Dictionary). A dictator is one who dictates. Since addiction accurately refers to an iron will, denoting addiction as weak will, or even impaired will, implies the opposite meaning, and thus contradiction (Schaler, in press). Thinking is metaphorical self-talk. 2. Central-route processors tend to be a more heterogeneous and higher educated population. They may be less likely to conform to the status quo, and more likely to stand alone, contradicting the group. See also Kaufmann, W. (1973). From decidophobia to autonomy without guilt and justice. New York: Delta. Peripheral-route processors tend to be a more homogeneous and less educated population. They are more likely to value the status quo and engage in scapegoating. See Szasz, T. S. (1970). The manufacture of madness: A comparative study of the Inquisition and the mental health movement. New York: Harper & Row and Freud, S. (1965). Group psychology and the analysis of the ego. New York: Bantam Books. 3. Consider the contradiction in responses to my article entitled Selling Water By the River: The Project MATCH Cover-up (available at http://userpage.fuberlin.de/~expert/FTP_1_5/PNI5_1.c). My critics assert 12-Step Facilitation Therapy (TSF) is different from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). TSF, Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) proved no different in reducing drinking through Project MATCH. TSF is based on AA philosophy, MET and CBT are not. Yet, TSF, according to critics, differs much more from AA than from MET or CBT! Another way of looking at this is as follows: My critics assert TSF is more similar to MET and CBT than AA is. This despite the fact more subjects in the TSF group attended AA than those in the CBT and MET groups! Note: All subjects in Project MATCH attended AA during the study. See also Bruce Bower's article entitled "Alcoholics Synonymous," which appeared in the January 25, 1997 issue of SCIENCE NEWS, 151 (available at http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc97/1_25_97/bob1.htm); and Stanton Peele's recent article entitled "Pimping Project MATCH" (available at http://peele.sas.nl). 4. See "Should Employers Have To Accommodate The Mentally Ill?," Program #202 of DebatesDebates, taped June 3, 1997, aired on PBS television the week of July 9, 1997. Information available at http://www.debatesdebates.com 5. "So here's an ethical dilemma: Is it wrong to make people who aren't sick feel better? Is it more wrong if they are children? Yes, says Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of health research for Public Citizen, a public-interest group in Washington, D.C. 'How can you tell kids to 'just say no' to drugs when everything in the culture, when every drug ad, is telling them tranquilizers will make them more normal? Talk about a conflicted message!'" (Leonard, May 28, 1997). Synchronicity? 6. A cassette tape of this one-hour show is available through The Radio Store, 1-800-486-8655. Ask for program 5/1/L, The Kathleen Dunn Show, May 1, 1997. 7. Fuke story adapted from (1975) The zen teaching of Rinzai, translated from the Chinese by Irmgard Schloegl. Berkeley, California: Shambala. REFERENCES Becker, E. (1973). The denial of death. New York: Free Press. Husemann, F. (1977). Das bild des menschen als grundlage der heilkunst. Stuttgart (Germany): Verlag Freies Geistesleben. Quoted in Bott, V. (1984). Anthroposophical medicine: Spiritual science and the art of healing. New York: Thorsons Publishers, Inc., p. 66. Leifer, R. (In press). The psychiatric repression of Dr. Thomas Szasz: Its social and political significance. Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry. Leonard, M. (1997). Children the hot new market for antidepressants. The Boston Globe, May 28. Orwell, G. (1981). Nineteen-eighty four. New York: New American Library. Schaler, J.A. (In press). The case against alcoholism as a disease. In W. Shelton and R. Edwards (Eds.) Values, ethics, and alcoholism. Greenwich, Ct.: JAI Publishers. Szasz, T.S. (1997). Medics in the war on drugs. Liberty, March, Vol. 10, No. 4. -------------------------------------------------------- Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor of justice, law and society at American University's School of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C.; an adjunct professor of psychology at Montgomery College in Rockville, Md.; and teaches psychology for Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. He lives in Silver Spring, Md. firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyright Jeffrey A. Schaler, 1997-2002 unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.