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All content tagged: Bruce Levine Blog

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2019-09-19 - Original post - cached version

No matter how clearly the scientific case is made that psychiatry is a pseudoscientific institution meriting no scientific authority, do you have that sinking feeling that psychiatry will continue to retain power and even grow in influence?

It doesn’t seem to matter that psychiatry’s “...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2019-09-05 - Original post - cached version

For most of us—excepting possibly Mussolini, Trump, and other bully boasters—the word authoritarian is a pejorative. In contrast, many of us want to define ourselves and our heroes as anti-authoritarians, and this has resulted in some curious definitions of that term.

The American...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2019-07-19 - Original post - cached version

What variable is associated with a 12 times greater likelihood of a suicide attempt—and also doubles the likelihood of cancer, heart disease, or stroke?

In the late 1990s, the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study revealed a stunningly powerful relationship between childhood trauma...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2019-06-14 - Original post - cached version

Beyond Common Sense, most Americans know little about Thomas Paine (1737-1809). Few know that at the end of Paine’s life, he had become a pariah in U.S. society, and for many years after his death, he was either ignored or excoriated—the price he paid for The Age of Reason and its disparagement...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2019-05-03 - Original post - cached version

While not as well-known as “Walk on the Wild Side” and “Perfect Day,” and not one of the classics he wrote for the Velvet Underground (such as “Heroin” and “I’ll Be Your Mirror”), Lou Reed’s “Kill Your Sons,” about his electroconvulsive “therapy” (ECT) as a 17-year-old, gives voice to an event...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2019-04-10 - Original post - cached version

I just can’t take seriously anyone who presumes that the middle ground is always the voice of reason and the path to truth and justice. Thus, for quite some time, I’ve thought that it not worth my time to react to psychotherapist Gary Greenberg, psychiatrist Allen Frances, and others who try to...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2019-03-22 - Original post - cached version

“In every American community you have varying shades of political opinion. One of the shadiest of these is the liberals. An outspoken group on many subjects, ten degrees to the left of center in good times, ten degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally.”

—...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2019-03-15 - Original post - cached version

Lyndon Johnson famously proclaimed his requirements for an appointee: “I want him to kiss my ass in Macy’s window at high noon and tell me it smells like roses.” Johnson and his ass-kissers were authoritarians.

Authoritarian is routinely defined as “favoring blind submission to authority...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2019-03-01 - Original post - cached version

For several years, I have thought it important to illuminate the authoritarian nature of mental health professionals—especially those who have not rebelled in any way against their professional socialization. In this article, I will summarize a compelling analysis from the Journal of Medical...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2019-02-21 - Original post - cached version

Toward the end of 2018, the New York Times published a lengthy obituary with the headline: “Herbert Fingarette, Contrarian Philosopher on Alcoholism, Dies at 97.” By labeling Fingarette as a mere contrarian philosopher and by otherwise subtly demeaning him, the NYT cozied up to the $35 billion...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2019-01-13 - Original post - cached version

At the time, toward the end of 2018, it didn’t seem completely irrational to submit an op-ed to the New York Times. I had felt compelled to respond to a lengthy NYT op-ed “Can We Stop Suicides?” authored by Moises Velasquez-Manoff, who had offered what I considered to be a fairly insane solution...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2019-01-10 - Original post - cached version

The 1919 misfortune of Woodrow Wilson and good fortune of Scott Nearing are nowhere near enough evidence for the existence of God or for even karma, but these 1919 events do provide some therapy for me—a reminder that life, occasionally, is not completely unjust.

In 1919, Wilson—who...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2018-12-14 - Original post - cached version

The drumbeat for ketamine as a way to halt the rising suicide rate is upon us, as the New York Times has now joined the chorus. This is encouraging news unless of course you recall a couple of things: how recent enthusiasm from the medical-industrial complex for increased opioid use for pain...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2018-11-23 - Original post - cached version

“The person who claims the legitimacy of the authority always bears the burden of justifying it. And if they can’t justify it, it’s illegitimate and should be dismantled. To tell you the truth, I don’t really understand anarchism as being much more than that.”—Noam Chomsky

...
Dr. Bruce Levine - 2018-10-25 - Original post - cached version

Psychologist Stanley Milgram (1933–1984) was deeply affected by Nazi atrocities, so when his early 1960s research on Americans revealed an unexpectedly high rate of obedience to authority commanding subjects to commit cruel actions, this very much troubled him. Milgram’s studies revealed other...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2018-10-13 - Original post - cached version

Unlike the standard Michael Moore film that is replete with cheap shots and lurid tangents aimed at hooking and pleasing his choir, Moore cuts back on candy for his Trump-hating fans in Fahrenheit 11/9 and instead provides them with much-needed political truths.

The substance of...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2018-09-19 - Original post - cached version

Bernie Sanders, in his thirties, wrote and directed the documentary Eugene V. Debs: Trade Unionist, Socialist, Revolutionary (1979), and a picture of Debs is on Sanders’s office wall. But the arc of Sanders’s polit­­ical career has moved in the opposite direction from the arc of his hero. Debs...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2018-08-16 - Original post - cached version

“Don’t be stupid, be a smarty, come and join the Nazi Party” is an intentionally obnoxious line from the hilarious “Springtime for Hitler” in Mel Brook’s The Producers. Not hilarious is the reality that doctors in Nazi Germany were “smarties” in Brook’s sardonic sense, as they joined the Nazi SS...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2018-07-18 - Original post - cached version

Despite increased spending on mental health treatment, mental illness disability and suicide rates have skyrocketed. “Perhaps more disturbingly,” notes clinical psychologist Noël Hunter, “recent evidence has demonstrated that as contact with psychiatric intervention increases, so too does...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2018-06-14 - Original post - cached version

“8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance” was originally published in 2011, then republished on several Internet sites, and has become one of my most viewed articles. The eight reasons include: student-loan debt; various pacifying effects of standard...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2018-05-02 - Original post - cached version

George Carlin, in his book Brain Droppings, told us that his motto had come to be: “Fuck Hope.” In his autobiography Last Words, Carlin recalled, “The election of Ronald Reagan might’ve been the beginning of my giving up on my species. Because it was absurd.”

We can only imagine how...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2018-03-16 - Original post - cached version

I have never spoken with a school shooter, but I’ve talked with many teenage boys and young men who—though behaviorally nonviolent themselves—emotionally connect with the anger, alienation, and hopelessness of school shooters.

Regardless of whether they received poor or excellent grades,...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2018-01-26 - Original post - cached version

I am a mental health professional, a clinical psychologist, which is not quite as bad as being a psychiatrist but still nothing to brag about. Hypocrisy in U.S. mental health professional policy abounds damn near as much as in U.S. foreign policy. Among psychiatrists and psychologists, there is...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2017-12-22 - Original post - cached version

Many Americans are unaware that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)—more commonly known as electroshock—continues to be widely utilized by U.S. psychiatry. In the current issue of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, psychologist John Read and co-author Chelsea Arnold note, “The...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2017-07-04 - Original post - cached version

Perhaps something useful can be accomplished as a consequence of the transparently repulsive Trump: rousing Americans to reconsider honoring US presidents with Presidents’ Day, and replacing it with a holiday that recognizes a more respectable group of people.

Trump’s misogyny has long...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2017-05-19 - Original post - cached version

Occupy Wall Street insider Jonathan Smucker’s recently published Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals (AK Press, 2017) is the post-Occupy guide for how to be smarter about politics. Smucker, a long-time grassroots organizer, does not dismiss what Occupy did right but is honest about its...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2017-04-18 - Original post - cached version

Suicide rates in the US have surged to a 30-year high at the same time that US antidepressant use has skyrocketed. While correlation is not the same as causation, this concurrence naturally raises questions from people comfortable challenging authorities—including mental health authorities. Does...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2017-03-27 - Original post - cached version

The issue of control is front and center of “CRAZY,” Lise Zumwalt’s new documentary.  “I’ve always been interested in stories where there is a tension between social policy and law and individual rights—and mental illness is a great lens to look at that tension,” says Zumwalt, who has produced,...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2017-03-14 - Original post - cached version

It should not be surprising that cynicism is increasingly the U.S. national pastime, as we regularly observe top-dog bankers avoiding criminal prosecution for crimes they preside over, and we see prominent professionals—including psychiatrists—gaining career advancement after disgraceful actions...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2017-02-20 - Original post - cached version

“Humiliation porn” is much about transforming the shame and pain of victimization and powerlessness into some kind of sexual pleasure. If mainstream institutions ignore a large number of people who feel powerless, victimized and angry, that’s easy pickings for a demagogue, who knows that a...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2017-02-01 - Original post - cached version

In any society that prioritizes economic efficiency, productivity and order above life and all of life’s varieties, people experiencing altered and extreme emotional states will be seen as defective and as burdens—monkey wrenches that disturb the societal assembly line.

To be clear,...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2017-01-03 - Original post - cached version

Stripped of the false realities of democracy, legitimate media authorities, and American exceptionalism, U.S. society is having a “psychotic break” of sorts. What many Americans have previously believed to be “reality” is disintegrating.

Science provides us with no monolithic explanation...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2016-11-16 - Original post - cached version

“Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions,” according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This is not controversial, as establishment psychiatry and its critics agree.

What is...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2016-09-24 - Original post - cached version

In the current issue of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Australian dissident psychiatrist Niall McLaren titles his article, “Psychiatry as Bullshit” and makes a case for just that.

The great controversies in psychiatry are no longer about its chemical-imbalance theory...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2016-08-10 - Original post - cached version

“They don’t care about you at all . . . at all . . . AT ALL.” — George Carlin

Back in 2000, when the evangelical, chicken hawk, smirking frat boy—another rich kid, spoiled brat—grabbed the presidency, the Democrats blamed (and never forgave) Ralph Nader and the Green Party. If Trump wins...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2016-07-27 - Original post - cached version

Abolishing First-Order Psychiatry—which includes the American Psychiatric Association and its Big Pharma partners—as a legitimate authority in determining “mental illness” as well as abolishing First-Order Psychiatry’s “treatment” and control dominion are primarily political struggles.

In...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2016-06-19 - Original post - cached version

The central question that Will Hall asks is: What does it mean to be called crazy in a crazy world? The answers Hall receives in more than 60 interviews and essays from ex-patients, scientists, journalists, artists, and dissident psychiatrists and psychologists restores the full range of color...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2016-05-31 - Original post - cached version

In Part One, I discussed how the Rehumanizing Resistance has been winning scientific battles but losing the war against the expansion of influence of First-Order Psychiatry (which includes the American Psychiatric Association and Big Pharma), and how this is due in large part to the First-Order’...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2016-05-14 - Original post - cached version

In the political struggle between First-Order Psychiatry (which includes the American Psychiatric Association and Big Pharma) and the Rehumanizing Resistance (which includes many in the Mad in America community), the Resistance continues to win key scientific victories  (including the First-...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2016-03-14 - Original post - cached version

Who doesn’t laugh at drug commercials with their before-and-after scenes of life-changing improvements accompanied by numerous terrifying side effects? But these drug ads continue because they work. Beyond the overt manipulations, there are more covert ones—including techniques that diminish the...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2016-02-15 - Original post - cached version

Depressed, anxious, and substance-abusing people can beat themselves up for being defective. And psychiatrists and psychologists routinely validate and intensify their sense of defectiveness by telling them that they have, for example, a chemical-imbalance defect, a genetic defect, or a...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2015-12-17 - Original post - cached version

The soon-to-be released documentary Healing Voices goes a long way to healing our fear of people commonly labeled as “schizophrenic,” “bipolar,” and “psychotic.” The message of this film is that understanding and love—not fear and stigmatizing labels—are what people who have experienced these...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2015-09-29 - Original post - cached version

Psychiatrists and psychologists have been used by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to facilitate mind control and torture in Project MKUltra and in the American Psychological Association bolstered CIA torture program. Psychiatric political abuses in nations that are U.S. enemies have...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2015-08-12 - Original post - cached version

What does psychiatry have in common with the U.S. Congress? “Institutional corruption,” concludes Psychiatry Under the Influence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), which investigates how drug company money and psychiatry’s own guild interests have corrupted psychiatry during the past 35 years.

...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2015-05-27 - Original post - cached version

On April 26, 2015, Jeffrey Lieberman, former president of the American Psychiatric Association, stirred up controversy by calling investigative journalist Robert Whitaker a “menace to society” on CBC radio because Whitaker, in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic, had challenged the long-term...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2015-04-12 - Original post - cached version

Regaining power over our own health—power that has been taken from us by uncaring bureaucracies and arrogant authorities—was the goal of Ivan Illich’s 1976 book Medical Nemesis, which detailed an epidemic of physician-caused death and illness. Unfortunately, this epidemic continues, and so does...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2015-02-15 - Original post - cached version

For nearly two decades, Big Pharma commercials have falsely told Americans that mental illness is associated with a chemical brain imbalance, but the truth is that depression and suicidality are associated with poverty, unemployment, and mass incarceration. And the truth is that American society...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2015-01-06 - Original post - cached version

“What’s a guy gotta do around here to lose a little credibility?” asked ProPublica reporter Jesse Eisinger in a 2012 piece about top Wall Street executives who created the financial meltdown but who remain top Wall Street executives, continue to sit on corporate and nonprofit boards, serve as...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2015-01-06 - Original post - cached version

“What’s a guy gotta do around here to lose a little credibility?” asked ProPublica reporter Jesse Eisinger in a 2012 piece about top Wall Street executives who created the financial meltdown but who remain top Wall Street executives, continue to sit on corporate and nonprofit boards, serve as...

Dr. Bruce Levine - 2014-11-16 - Original post - cached version

On November 16, 1989 in El Salvador, liberation psychologist Ignacio Martin-Baró, together with five colleagues, their housekeeper and her teenage daughter, were forced into a courtyard on the campus of Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas, where they were then murdered by the...

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