frying tonight

citadel_hill_amman_jordan_274438

A response circulating to Stephen Fry’s famous outburst of theology, in the atheist interview he gave to Irish TV. It is good for grassroots democracy and answerability of the famous, that a holding of him to account by applying his own words to a past item in his career, should get a decent circulation.

How dared Stephen Fry help to create the Blackadder 2 episode that blamed the victim for the undeserved suffering of school bullying, by linking joke villainous character to the receiving, not the perpetrating, of misery in children? It’s not right. It’s utterly utterly evil. Why should I respect capricious mean-minded stupid comedy that targets children for such injustice and pain for attributes not their fault, in real schools after the episode’s every broadcast? What’s that about? You could easily have created a Blackadder where that did not exist.

Blackadder_2_melchett

Comedy based on hate.

Fry is outspoken on being gay, and according to gay site Pink News 22 Jun 17,  in Australia, Dale Park of the Victoria Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby told news.com.au, after an anti-transgender comment by a TV sport presenter: “You feel angry when people in positions of power think they can use [vulnerable communities] as a cheap stunt or cheap set-up. … They knew the reaction it was going to get – it seems like it was purposeful and designed to create hurt and laughter which is unacceptable.” Where were the voices to say that about Blackadder, when it describes perfectly what it did?

2 Jan 2016: to follow this up, this post on a Youtube vid from The Boy In The Dress was well received and puts the BBC on the spot about its double standard:

It certainly is against UK school rules, historically and still in any school that has not actually lost an equality case. It is indeed and always has been, deliberately unfair to every minority, hoping for them not to exist. School uniforms, popular with moral conservatives despite paedos’ known interest in them, are a physically brutal child abuse taking no account of bodily wellbeing and purposed to reduce kids to cogs in a machine with no identities of their own. They originate in nineteenth century machine oppression of workers. Autism, and attention deficit and tourette’s and many related conditions, have now shown that humans have varying and sometimes very strong “sensory issues”, an actual medical term for physical sensitivities to texture and enclosure and heat. All dress codes are therefore genocide. They wipe out physically real human minorities.

One reason uniforms are accepted, is that peer groups of the kids themselves can be equally as genocidal to each other as the adult system – that proves it’s also an abuse to group any kid into a school class with peers they dislike, at all. The institution of forced school itself is evil, herding them around like farm animals. Uniforms are often made of uncomfortable fabrics, and constrict the wearers by requiring ties and top shirt buttons. Most torturing of all is the gender oppression. While many girls find skirt uniforms sexploitative, the physical suffering is male.

Boys above some arbitrary age which can be quite young, uniforms generally force to always wear long trousers, no matter how hot it is, while around them often are girls of the same age with completely free choices over leg comfort. This glaringly daily visible cruel inequality never got any media comment at all. For at least 2 generations, and in my time (I’m 47), it was so silently accepted nobody could get any hearing questioning it: knowing there is an age-related peer group bigotry against shorts too which the boys would still not be free from. Still now, when we are all supposed to be angry at the BBC’s child abusing history, nobody is speaking up against the massive national pogrom hate crime it committed on kids since 1986, by endorsing and inciting bullying for an acute vulnerability that is not a kid’s fault, portraying the victim as to blame and actually gloating over psychological scarring, in a popular comedy called Blackadder 2.

It presented as a comic villain a man damaged by bullying trauma including because his mum made him wear shorts to school against the unjust age stigma – this was bonechilingly frequently broadcast and sold on video, to reach real bullies, real boys in a morally evil situation society is sick to allow, and by their abuse keeping most other boys terrorised out of choosing shorts if allowed them, or out of admitting they want to be allowed them.

Only in the last decade had equal opportunities law become strong enough that middle-school-aged boys in the luckiest situations of not too yobby schools and having nothing to lose, could start making gender justice challenges to schools that don’t allow shorts – and increasing numbers once it had started, have used skirts to make this challenge. The second earliest known one (why not the earliest? media caprice) won an award. He, and others since, cited the trousers physically spoiling his concentration – exactly my experience too. Yet neither any Savile-style ragingly remorseful inquest into Blackadder, nor any end to gender unjust uniforms, have followed.

16 Apr 2016 open letter to Fry from his schoolmate Professor Richard Bentall, saying his TV portrayal of depression was too pro big pharma.

And now, very soon after that, he is in trouble for mocking and emotionally belittling sexual abuse victims. In all the loss of admiration and fandom over that, the scales have fallen from many eyes, for this was the emotional character behind the whole hooligan savage “alternative comedy” style that created Blackadder 2.

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Imperfect steps towards a perfect world

By Chris Morris, a former Labour speechwriter. A great summary of why it’s worth bothering to do political things in an imperfect world whose reaction won’t always be good. Because you create a ripple.

chrismorris.com/articles/2014/02/imperfect-steps-towards-perfect-world/

every aspie is free to remain in contact with the whole scene

20150801_171435

edinburghaspergers.blogspot.com/2011/02/invitation-to-autocratically.html A link to an item on Edinburgh Lothian Asperger Society‘s blog inviting the innocent trapped ordinary members of autocratically restricted group PHAD in Fife to escape from it. As it ends: “all the innocent members in it must be able to get out without having the aspie scene lost to them, and to find refuge in the rest of the scene unintimidated and no longer obeying any of that cult regime over who they may contact. Join us, or use us as a base to bypass that controlling society and to reestablish your local scene in a form with free contact again. “

20150802_003038 [Later insert: Phad shut down very quickly, by 2013, from having no one willing to serve on its committee any more under these Orwellian conditions. It was an object lesson in why bullying coups in groups fail: they destroy the groups they happen to, because they make nobody want to take part in them any more. Phad’s site is still up in the dormant state they left it in when the committee collapsed.

Though Phad had been a nice group in the noughties, it had always been run by one strong leader through a committee used to following like sheep. In 2009-11 it turned into a form so controlling of its members’ communications and informed state, that it compared with how cults work.]

12075076_10153735432073854_8643912967540054028_n By leadership decision the society imposed on its adult group a so-called “strict code of conduct”, the group itself having no say over its introduction, which says they are not allowed to communicate with each other, using contact info given in their contact list, for any other purpose than to arrange social meet-ups. They never do arrange meet-ups, either: how can they feel close enough to each other to do that with all their contact censored? How is such a ban enforceable, it has been asked? Data protection law, designed to fight spam and junk mail, can be misused to set conditions like this to what types of messages folks consent to receive using their data. But in that group, the trap comes from how this rule was first imposed. It was announced to be in effect without advance notice, before its contents were even declared, and before the members had any chance to make known to each other their own consents to receive other types of messages. So they can’t make that consent known to other members who have not already consented to them to have it made known to them, and who for the same reason can’t make that consent known either. So any 2 members are trapped in a vicious circle of neither being allowed to open up closer terms of contact with the other.

Members were cut off from each other, and from receiving info from outside the group by email from other members. The leader hence holds control of what they receive. This Orwellian rule was introduced openly for the purpose of preventing members discussing with each other anything going wrong with the group, without having to go through the leader. Needless to say they have no democratic blog like ELAS’s.

Consider too that in this now low attendance and socially dead group whose meeting [“last week” at time of this original post in 2011] was actually abandoned, it is clear that a large proportion of the contact list is of lapsed or ex-members, yet their ability to contact each other or the remaining members be contacted by them remains under the same restraint. They had no say over it, if they even realised it was happening. Watch out for this if you are joining or visiting any aspie groups in central/south Scotland: do they follow ELAS’s model or the other group’s?

Phad also appointed a spokesman for the ruling committee on all issues to do with the contact list and banned all contact with any other committee members about those. Are you keeping up? Layer upon layer of paranoia. No sensible thinker can feel safe in an organisation that behaves like that: like a cult, tying you up in gags on talking about what is happening to you and hogging all power to the leadership. How are we going to retrieve our fellow spectrumites entangled under these tricky controls they have never had proper opportunity to consent to? Is that the challenge to its legality that will break it?

Contact with this committee’s members about its own decisions, except the spokesman, was also banned !!! If the spokesman can imtimidate the person he is writing to, like this, then the same intimidation hangs over any committee members that step out of line. This kafkaesque tangle of bans on who may contact who and about what, grew into a monster. It allowed no way to find out whether all the committee are behind any decision or spoken for by any answer and no means for dissenters to be discovered or to advertise their own existence. In such a situation, to set out these obvious facts in public and not succumb to the undemocratic threatening into silence, was actively a duty of not defaming the committee members: any of them might not be behind the shockers hissed in their name and might be gagged and in fear.

The whole aspie scene in Scotland should be concerned with this problem, to help our own colleagues get out of that controlling trap without ending up cut off from the aspie scene unjustly.

Wikipediocracy: site exposing Wikipedia

Site: in 2007, Nadir Ali Rahman, one of thousands who have experienced the corruption of power and aggressiveness at the core of Wikipedia’s admin system, circulated a notice of a project to spread the alert against Wikipedia through Youtube. His heading, on the page linked to, contained an anti-Zionist personal view, but the resistance to Wikipedia should be nothing to do with whether you support Zionism or not:  youtube.com/group/stopwikipedia This Youtube group appears to have disappeared, the link no longer works.

More recently, the site Wikipediocracy has emerged, monitoring the internal politics of Wikipedia and providing a community for folks who have been bruised and wronged by Wikipedia’s workings to share about it, and share in keeping the facts on Wikipedia’s true nature publicly available. wikipediocracy.com/

As a perpetual reminder of what goes on in Wikipedia, why not to follow it as a source of reliable or useful facts, follow each of these links and let them speak for themselves. Then save them:
lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2005-September/028139.html
lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2006-October/054957.html “Quitting Wikipedia”
lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2005-August/026966.html “abuse of powers by admins as usual”
lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2005-July/025921.html “Quitting Wikipedia” lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2005-July/025936.html
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alexia_Death

notice for wronged child authors to the Adora Svitak machine

An 8-year-old manic writer in Seattle, US, Adora Svitak, has emerged as the focus of an international campaign whose like has no precedent, to promote child authorship. It all looks very slickly managed in the typical style of US business PR.

That will be fine as long as it shows responsiveness to ordinary personal justice. That is now being sought:

Here is a copy of a message sent on Feb 23 through the www.adorasvitak.com website’s [now disappeared] interactive page. (Under “Ask Adora” then “Schools & Libraries”.) Also copied to Charles Faulkner, of Aultbea Publishing who published Libby Rees, and Viv Bird, director of Reading Is Fundamental a literacy trust in the US. Both had spoken in the Observer Feb 19 in support of an imminently projected British tour by Adora Svitak. Both carry the same responsibility as her own publicity machine does, to be moral, which means: to make this
the

great opening for forcing mass public awareness of the

wronged
child authors,
rather than to be just something “professional” and remote.
The move made towards them was conciliatory and it was put on this site assuming the best about them. Now that there is nothing obtained from them over a significant time, they must begin to be considered disturbing.


Copy

I find it extraordinary that you actually have a section inviting schools to seek advice on encouraging child authorship.

A whole stolen generation of child authors have had the rest of our lives deeply wounded and abused, by schools. By homework pressure destroying our chance to be child authors. Not leaving us enough spare time to finish books.

As soon as any parties publicising a child author know about this obscene crime, it becomes a CITABLE AUTOMATIC duty to child protection for you to publicise the fact that wronged child authors exist. You just have to mention it alongside your publicising of your luckier child author. It becomes an act of cruelty to other children not to do that.

The stolen generation period is 1978-2001. My luck that it was exactly the last child author to emerge before the stolen generation, Lindsay Brown, who inspired me to be one. Because the gifted children movement got a local newspaper fuss made of me for other reasons and my child authorship mentioned along with it while the book was still incomplete, in 1980, before abuse at school ruined its completion, I am historical evidence of the stolen generation. I can serve on behalf of recognition rights for them all. Have you thought of the ones whose countries just weren’t democracies when they were children: I can be the stepping stone for their recognition too.

I have Asperger Syndrome, which is associated with a mind focused towards writing: thus Luke Jackson and Kenneth Hall. [Links to the Phad article and the Scottish parliament autism Cross-Party Group minutes for 27 Nov 2003 and 2 Feb 2005.]

Do you have any contacts in Britain who would like to support my placard protest, on March 8, 6:45 pm, outside the Strathclyde Hilton Hotel at Bellshill near Glasgow, while Luke Jackson’s mother Jacqui is speaking inside? The protest is not against her, it does not prejudge her at all, it is against the organisers of her speaking tours (Centre For Development of Autism Practice) ignoring this issue. Wronged child authors should be mentioned by the Jackson family every time.

Not being in America, I have discovered you from a blog comment made in response to the recent case of Libby Rees here. It seems obvious that since 2001, and thanks at first to writings about health conditions, there has been a massive breakthrough for the idea of child authorship and it has suddenly become fashionable to an intensity never known before. This after hardly existing at all for over 20 years. I seek your concerned action on speaking out about wronged child authors and giving our fight for recognition a loud place in this bandwagon.

Maurice Frank (address)
23 Feb 2006

Autism Cymru – Racism in an "autism resolution to be sent to world bodies"

Autism Cymru was the administrator of the recent Awares Online Conference, planned to repeat annually. (NB Dec 5: William Lamar, who was alerted as missing during the conference, is safely home.)

Midway through it, Adam Feinstein circulated an

“autism resolution”,

counting AS as part of autism as these organisations always do, that was going to the European Parliament among other places.

The details that signers were asked for included “Country of origin”. I responded that spectrumites’ issues about sensitivity and metabolism…

…> raise compatibility with environment, that seriously proves it a
> biological crime against a person’s body to force the person into
> association with a different climatic environment than they identify
with.
> Including when a bigot dictates which country he says a person belongs
to,
> and takes pleasure in kicking in the teeth the person’s own expressed
> national identity. Common, and deeply wounding, bigotries, sometimes
> bullying but sometimes just simple-minded, are to take a person’s accent
> or surname or birthplace as a criterion that dictates arbitrarily their
> country. These bigotries are acts of genocide, nations with a history of
> dispersal like the Scots show how, and the spectrumite sensitivities thing
> proves the biological seriousness of the offence.
>

Hence proving:

that international law is
> obliged to criminalise all birthplace bigotry as an atrocity of ethnic
> persecution.
>
> So to back this petition – whose objective itself should help me get this
> message across! – I need to know that it is not trying to categorise
> people by the arbitrary location of either their birthplace or their
> childhood. In which case, what exactly is it trying to record by “country
> of origin”? and wouldn’t a signer’s present address be more relevant to a
> petition?
>
> thank you for your care.

On Oct 28 he answered:

> You raise a good point. Country of residence would have been better
> put.
> Please assume that was what I meant, and apologies for any
> misunderstanding.
>
> Please let me know if you are happy to be a signatory to the
> resolution.

Yet, when he circulated another email giving out post-conference certificates to the participants after it had ended (Nov 11), and he made another call for support for his resolution, “Country of origin” was still there. He had done nothing to alter it. He had not acted on taking the point. For that, I was obliged in conscience to withdraw from support already given!! Now you think about yours.

It is carelessness towards the public. Now, this is Autism Cymru, right? The national outfit in Wales. This was being done from

Cardiff.

Indeed, the Awares conference had a picture of Cardiff on its entrance page.That itself is a place affected by the type of climatic unfairness I was telling him about! Cardiff lies near the head of a long narrow waterway, the Bristol Channel. Its strong tides, the second strongest in the world, and funnelling shape, cause saturated damp in the air, and on the mountainous Welsh side this works together with the rainy climate associated with mountains. In regions along long narrow waterways these effects often have a local trend to cause nasal irritation, catarrhal and cold-like symptoms. “Cardiff Nose”. This frustrates self-discovery by folks who have minority sensitivities against over-dressing, such as shortists.

Knowing about it, I asked Adam to get Autism Cymru to do local awareness raising on it in South Wales. Most importantly, before the present winter, in case there are any spectrumite shortists there who have not discovered themselves because of the local climate. When sensitivities are not catered to, it causes irritation and distraction and impairs performance – so our fellow spectrumites in the Cardiff Nose region, and others like it, the Thames Valley is another, have a biological right not to be left through another winter without awareness raising of this. Awareness raising which will also help the biologically serious civil rights struggle to uphold dress freedom throughout society including in employment and school.

He’s ignored it.

and finally, you will find this one wearily predictable.

Autism Cymru is hosting an International Autism Conference in Cardiff on 8-10 May 2006. Speakers include Jacqui Jackson.. Hence they have been asked to say they will comply with their duty to make participants know that there exist child authors whose chances were destroyed by the crime of abusive school homework, and it would be an act of child cruelty towards present cases not to do it.

The answer that they will do it is still awaited. There is a clear picture of abuse in not having it by now.

Bush plan for mass psychiatric screening: “Project Censored” alternative media award

www.MindFreedom.org – please forward

Exposing President Bush’s Plans for Massive Psychiatric Screening of the USA Wins a “Project Censored” Alternative Media Award

Project Censored is considered the “alternative Pulitzer Prize” by some journalists. This Saturday, 22 Oct., Project Censored awarded the “Top 25 Censored Stories of 2006” — important news that mainstream media covers up.

Number 11 in the Top 25 is journalist Jeanne Lenzer whose series of articles in the _British Medical Journal_ showed how President Bush is calling for “mental health screening” for children and adults in the USA in a plan that could result in hundreds of thousands of more citizens being placed on psychiatric drugs without adequate protection of human rights.

Even though President Bush calls for making this psychiatric screening “common practice” throughout the USA the corporate mainstream media has largely refused to inform their readers.

BELOW is the forwarded announcement from Project Censored including an UPDATE from Jeanne Lenzer:

~~~~~~~~~~~~

#11 Universal Mental Screening Program
Usurps Parental Rights

Sources:

Asheville Global Report (British Medical
Journal), No. 284, June 24-30, 2004

Title: “Bush Plans To Screen Whole U.S. Population For Mental Illness”

Author: Jeanne Lenzer

http://www.agrnews.org/issues/284/#2

Truth News, September 13,2004

Title: “Forcing Kids Into a Mental Health Ghetto”

Congressman Ron Paul
http://www.truthnews.net/world/2004090078.htm

In April of 2002, President Bush appointed a 22 member commission called the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in order to “identify policies that could be implemented by Federal, State and local governments to maximize the utility of existing resources, improve coordination of treatments and services, and promote successful community integration for adults with a serious mental illness and children with a serious emotional disturbance.”1 Members of this commission include physicians in the mental health field and at least one (Robert N. Postlethwait) former employee of pharmaceutical giant Ely Lilly and Co.

In July of 2003 the commission published the results of their study. They found that mental health disorders often go undiagnosed and recommended to the President that there should be more comprehensive screening for mental illnesses for people of all ages, including pre-school age children. In accordance with their findings, the commission recommended that schools were in a “key position” to screen the 52 million students and 6 million adult employees of our nation’s schools.2

The commission also recommended linking the screenings with treatment and support. They recommended using the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) as a model treatment system.3

TMAP, which was implemented in Texas’ publicly funded mental health care system while George W. Bush was governor of Texas,4

is a disease management program that aids physicians in prescribing drugs to patients based on clinical history, background, symptoms, and previous results. It was the first program in the United States aimed at establishing medication guidelines for treating mental health illnesses.5

Basically, it is an algorithm that recommends specific drugs which should be used to treat specific diseases. Funding for TMAP was provided by a Robert Wood-Johnson Grant as well as several major drug companies. The project began in 1995 as an alliance of individuals from pharmaceutical companies, the University of Texas, and the mental health and corrections systems of Texas.6

Critics of mental health screening and TMAP claim that it is a payoff to Pharmaceutical companies. Many cite Allen Jones, a former employee of the Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector General. He was fired when he revealed that many key officials who have influence over the medication plan in his state received monetary perks and benefits from pharmaceutical companies, which benefited from their drugs being in the medication algorithm. TMAP also promotes the use of newer, more expensive anti-psychotic drugs. Results of studies conducted in the United States and Great Britain found that using the older, more established anti-psychotic drugs as afront line treatment rather than the newer experimental drugs makes more sense. Under TMAP, the Ely Lilly drug olanzapine, a new atypical antipsychotic drug, is used as a first line treatment rather than a more typical anti-psychotic medication. Perhaps it is because Ely Lilly has several ties to the Bush family, where George Bush Sr. was a member of the board of directors. George W. Bush also appointed Ely Lilly C.E.O. Sidney Taurel to a seat on the Homeland Security Council. Of Ely Lilly’s $1.6 million political contributions in 2000, 82 percent went to Republicans and George W. Bush.7

In November of 2004, Congress appropriated $20 million8 to implement the findings of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. This would include mandatory screening by schools for mental health illnesses. Congressman Ron Paul, R-Texas introduced an amendment to the appropriations bills which would withhold funding for mandatory mental health screenings and require parental consent and notification. His amendment, however, was voted down by a wide margin (95-315 in the House of Representatives).9 Paul, a doctor and long-time member of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) states, “At issue is the fundamental right of parents to decide what medical treatment is appropriate for their children. The notion of federal bureaucrats ordering potentially millions of youngsters to take psychotropic drugs like Ritalin strikes an emotional chord with American parents.” Paul says the allegation “that we have a nation of children with undiagnosed mental disorders crying out for treatment is patently false,” and warns that mental health screening could be used to label children whose attitudes, religious beliefs, and political views conflict with established doctrine. Paul further warns that an obvious major beneficiary of this legislation is the pharmaceutical industry. The AAPS has decried this legislation, which they say will lead to mandatory psychological testing of every child in America without parental consent, and “heap even more coercive pressure on parents to medicate children with potentially dangerous side effects.”

Update by Jeanne Lenzer:

Whether it’s the pills we take or the oil we use, it would be reassuring to know that the information used to develop new medicines or to utilize natural resources wisely is based on science–not corporate spin.

But blandishments from Big Pharma to politicians and doctors have a profound effect on health care in the U.S., making medical research closer to propaganda than science at times.

One way drug companies, in collusion with doctors, increase their market share is to expand the definition of diseases. When diagnostic criteria were liberalized for attention deficit disorder in 1991, the number of children diagnosed jumped by about 60 percent.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) acknowledged in the July 2004 issue of Advocacy News that, “The BMJ story has gained some traction in derivative reports on the Internet.” But, they boasted, “mainstream media have not touched the story, in part thanks to APA’s work, for which the [Bush] Administration is appreciative.”10

The APA’s boast is curious. The article was the most downloaded article in the history of the BMJ. It clearly struck a nerve with a public wary of doctors and politicians whose pockets are lined with drug company money.

Given the interest in the BMJ story, it would seem that the APA, instead of attempting to keep the story out of the mainstream media, would be anxious to counter the widely circulated statements in the article. It would also seem that the mainstream press could provide the Administration and the APA the best possible vehicle to counter these supposed factual errors in the BMJ article.

But, the facts might prove difficult to square with the public. More than one in every 100 toddlers and preschoolers in the United States are on powerful psychiatric drugs, such as Ritalin and Prozac, according to a study published in the February 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Joseph T. Coyle, M.D., wrote in an accompanying editorial, “It appears that behaviorally disturbed children are now increasingly subjected to quick and inexpensive pharmacologic fixes, as opposed to informed mutimodal therapy.” He concluded, “These disturbing prescription practices suggest a growing crisis in mental health services to children and demand more thorough investigation.”

But instead of issuing warnings about overmedication or inappropriate prescribing, the experts on the New Freedom Commission warn ominously that too few children are receiving treatment for mental illness. They cite escalating numbers of toddlers expelled from daycare as evidence of potentially serious psychological problems–problems to be diagnosed and cured with mental health screening and pills. Social and economic reasons for the rise in kiddie expulsions are left unexamined.

As bad as this is for those put on drugs and labeled “mentally ill,” the far bigger concern is the creation of a disease for every drug, a situation made possible by the hand-in-glove relationship between industry and the government.


MindFreedom International Statement About Mental Health Screening: 1 Oct 2005

President Bush proposes making “mental health screening” a “common practice” for adults and children.

Here is why MindFreedom International opposes these “mental health screening” programs.

President Bush and his New Freedom Commission on Mental Health recommend screening all Americans for mental health problems starting with youth through their schools. This screening has already started in a number of schools.

We call for the immediate halt to these screening programs. Instead, we call for the implementation of far better alternatives for mental and emotional care.

Until a broken and dangerous mental health system is fixed, mental health screening just adds fuel to the fire.

Screening programs threaten to place hundreds of thousands of American youth on a conveyor belt type approach toward psychiatric labeling and drugging. Current mental health screening programs have specific steps. A screened individual is evaluated for a diagnosis. A diagnosed individual is frequently prescribed psychiatric drugs. For some the end result has even been forced drugging over the objections of the subject and their family (source: Mother Jones 5/05).

The vast majority of Americans want to ensure that troubled kids and adults receive humane and safe help. However, there is ample evidence that the mental health system in the United States is now causing a great deal of harm.

For example, the mental health system is based on a diagnostic labeling system that has been shown to be unscientific.

Also, the Food and Drug Administration has recently acknowledged that anti-depressants carry serious risks to children, adolescents, and adults. Other psychotropic drugs have also been shown to carry serious risks of harm. This is of particular concern because of the skyrocketing rates of prescription of psychotropic drugs of all kinds for children and adolescents.

Some proponents of screening argue that they are not calling for “universal” or “manadatory” screening. But whatever words are used to describe it, the fact is that massive and extensive screening programs heavily influenced by the psychiatric drug industry are entering many schools today.

When the President of the United States announces he wants mental health screening of youth to be a “common practice” that is a lot of pressure on schools, kids and families. This is exactly what President Bush did when he endorsed his New Freedom Commission’s Goal Four.

In order to provide help for people who need and want it without causing additional harm, the following safeguards need to be implemented:

(1) STOP CURRENT SCREENING PROGRAMS IMMEDIATELY

The moment one applies mental health screening methods such as “TeenScreen” and “TMAP” on the basis of flawed diagnostic systems and questionnaires, one is making the problem worse. Screening misses some people with serious emotional problems on the one hand, and, on the other hand, mistakenly classifies other people as pathological.

Questionnaires and formal diagnostic interviews often fail to catch kids who are going to kill themselves, for example.

(2) PAY MORE ATTENTION TO YOUTH IN A COMMON SENSE WAY.

A child ought to have the opportunity to voluntarily talk with caring adults about the things that are upsetting them in whatever setting they are, including schools. That non-medical, common sense approach is better because it yields real life qualitative information, not simplistic quantitative data like questionnaires.

(3) FULLY INFORM FAMILIES.

The public needs to be educated that many current mental health programs may be harmful to one’s health. The public needs to hear that psychiatric drug companies helped create and promote many of these screening programs to get more customers for the highest priced drugs.

Fully informed consent should always be required in any kind of mental health care. Full informed consent means explaining to children and their parents or guardians about the full range of approaches that can be helpful. Families need to know about the hazards of psychotropic drugs and the lack of clinical trials for young subjects. Today, primarily only two approaches are recommended almost exclusively: drugs and traditional types of psychotherapy which tend to be rigid and limited.

(4) END THE BIAS TOWARD PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS IN MENTAL HEALTH CARE.

For families who do seek mental and emotional care, there ought to be no cookie-cutter like “algorithm” or “protocol” that unfairly favors the use of psychiatric drugs above all other options. The psychiatric drug industry has unfair influence throughout the mental health system making it unsafe.

Physical, nutritional or environmental pollutant problems are seldom addressed.

(5) PROVIDE HUMANE AND SAFE ALTERNATIVES.

A wide range of alternatives to drugs and traditional psychotherapy must be available to all who seek them. When there are only one or two “choices” for those who are desperate, that is one of the most insidious
and subtle kinds of coercion.

(6) ADVOCACY AT ALL LEVELS.

Effective advocacy programs, including peer support when possible, ought to be widely available to help people gain access to the employment, educational and other social services they may choose.

Advocates ought to help support the empowerment of individuals and families who wish to avoid unethical professionals and mental health agencies who may exploit and harm them. Advocates must help our democracy get more “hands on” with the mental health system.

Making screening “common practice” threatens the health and human rights of thousands of Americans. Therefore we call for an immediate halt to these screening programs.

MindFreedom International
http://www.MindFreedom.org

~~~~~~~~~~

This news alert has been forwarded as a free public service by MindFreedom International.

You may read more information about President Bush’s plans to make mental health screening of adults and youth “common” at http://www.MindFreedom.org.

Since 1987 MindFreedom has won victories for human rights in the mental health system. MindFreedom unites 100 sponsor and affiliate groups and thousands of members.

MindFreedom is one of the few totally independent groups in the mental health field with no funding from governments, drug companies, the mental health system or religions.

The MindFreedom mission calls for a nonviolent revolution in the mental health system. Are you ready?