"Watch out for people who begin with another's concern to end with their own."
~ Balthasar Gracian
via Bnet Jim Edwards, author of Placebo Effects:
"Pfizer funded the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in order to turn the nonprofit into a “Trojan Horse” that would promote the antipsychotic drug Geodon for off-label use in children, according to a former pharmaceutical sales rep." Mark Westlock's whistleblower claim was included in the Bextra settlement read here
I have been vocal about everything my whole life. In the last several years I have been vocal in my criticism of mental health and social service systems. I have reputation of being critical, that's justified. I am critical because of the way my youngest son has been mistreated; he has been caused further harm by social service and mental health professionals. Do not mistake my evident anger, passion or intensity for anything other than what truly compels me: I am compelled by love for all of us: that is, to do everything in my power to keep another person, and another family from experiencing what my son and my family has.
The reality is, if I were driven simply by the outrage I feel about what was done to my little boy; who is now a man, I am sure I wouldn't be writing this. If I were compelled by a notion of exacting retribution or due to my resentment about the harm done to me and mine---I wouldn't be willing to meet, greet or even want to know ANYONE else at this point in my life. It's pretty clear to me that a lack of accountability for felonious conduct permeates virtually every program I have had to deal with in trying to seeking effective help for my son since 1993; thank God for the rare exceptions...
I have had to deal with a whole lot of dishonesty from professionals who in lying to me and to the Superior Court of the State of Washington; were committing crimes that have caused grievous harm to my family. As a result, my attitude is not exactly cordial, or polite when I have to 'deal with' the programs and service providers necessary to take care of my son, who is now twenty-four and disabled as a result of being the victim of felonious conduct perpetrated by mental health and social services professionals. I have no patience or tolerance for Public Servants who do not understand the nature of our 'relationship.'
In any case, my writing, my activism is the due to what I've learned as a mother parenting a severely traumatized child. I believe it is also the result of being a traumatized child myself. I was adopted by my parents a week after I turned four---I have no doubt that who I am and what I know to be real and true are the result of being a daughter of parents who loved me unconditionally. It is for this, I am most grateful. It is because I was loved by my parents, that I know what it is.
What I have learned as a parent seeking help for my son, is that many of the policies and procedures our child service systems have are frequently not followed; that there is an utter lack of accountability for failures. I don't want to give the impression that I am a victim---because in truth: I am not a victim. I am a witness. The abuse and neglect I have witnessed perpetrated against my son and other children by mental health professionals and social workers in group care and psychiatric facilities has, in all reality, transformed me into a warrior.
No individual or institution is all good or bad. There is one organization in particular, that has had a profound impact on our lives, which is contrary to it's stated mission. That organization is NAMI, a group of people with good intentions; who have become a tool used by the pharmaceutical industry, the primary source of it's funding. The interests of the drug manufacturers are in conflict with the stated mission of the organization itself. NAMI started out as a support group for parents with adult children who had been diagnosed with mental illnesses; who struggled to get the help their grown children needed. NAMI now is a massive "education and advocacy" organization, with chapters in every State. NAMI changed it's name from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and calls itself, "The Nation's Voice On Mental Illness."
Many people who are needing support and information are referred to NAMI. Information and educational materials NAMI uses to inform and educate are paid for and often even written by drug company marketing departments. This means that the information is often biased, inaccurate and actually more like a direct to consumer marketing campaign for psychiatric drugs.
NAMI bills itself as a grassroots advocacy, but this is not an accurate description of how NAMI currently functions. Edwin Fuller Torrey, is NAMI's hero psychiatrist, and Torrey is funded by the Stanley Family Foundation, and that is how he came to head the Treatment Advocacy Center, NAMI's research arm, and the Stanley Research Institute. Ted Stanley and Edwin Fuller Torrey have, in my opinion, done everything possible to subvert genuine understanding of mental illnesses and the people who have psychiatric diagnoses. Torrey in particular has done much to increase the general public's fear and misunderstanding of people with psychiatric diagnoses; which has resulted in increased isolation and increased the discrimination people with psychiatric diagnoses experience.
What angers me is that TAC, the reasearch arm of NAMI National, and E. Fuller Torrey, it's director are the source of the unconstitutional Involuntary Treatment laws that have been passed in my home state, Washington. Torrey and TAC have used NAMI affiliates to propell a forced treatment agenda as public policy across the Nation; and it is this flawed policy which is responsible for the truly inhumane treatment my precious son has experienced. NAMI's claim that it is a "grassroots advocacy" is misleading, and it's grossly inaccurate considering the manner in which it functions: agendas are developed by a relative few, local affiliates are then coached on how to lobby for the agendas to become public policy and coached on how to lobby State legislatures into making these agendas mandated by Law. Those are not 'grassroots' that allow this to be done, it is a well planned, pharmaceutically-funded media machine with a biased agenda that is using "an advocacy group" as a cover, and functions as unpaid lobbyists and direct to consumer marketers.
It is evident the consumer representatives/parent advocates on committees in the Mental Health services transformation in Washington State are all members of NAMI: there is not one survivor voice. I could find no survivor voice, no dissenting voice of experience to speak of the harm done by psychiatric drugs; or the recovery which can be experienced by people with schizophrenia who no longer rely on, or use psychiatric drugs. This is not acceptable and it is obvious to me that in discussions about strengthening the Involuntary Treatment Act, and in the adoption of the Program of Assertive Community Treatment---people who are critical of these coercive and manipulative methods of treatment, including those who will be forced to participate in it and those who love and support them, were not allowed to speak, or even mentioned! No voice of reason questioning the wisdom of forcing human beings to take dangerous ineffective psychiatric drugs which may disable or kill them. That's some type of "advocacy," when it does not raise the voices of those harmed by it's agenda!
The Washington State Medicaid only pays for the most expensive neuroleptic drugs "front line treatment" for psychosis. These "atypical antipsychotics" have been determined in multiple clinical trials to be no more effective or safer; so why are they the only ones on the Washington Medicaid program's "preferred" drug list? What was this preference based on? To find out, ask yourself, who benefits from this arrangement? It is not the people who pay taxes to fund Medicaid, it is not the people with a psychiatric diagnosis; some of whom are forced to take drugs that are not effective for. Only about a quarter of the people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, are "effectively treated" with the drugs...The new neuroleptics cause disability and increase mortality at rates that are comparable to the older neuroleptics. Whether the drugs "work" for a particular patient or not, everyone who takes them is at risk for the serious iatrogenic injuries and disabilities the drugs are known to cause. These drugs became the preferred choice due to the 'advocacy' and input from NAMI members, and the marketing programs of the drug industry. The true beneficiaries of this arrangement are the drug companies, who also funded and developed the advocacy agenda used by NAMI to gain this preference.
NAMI claims to be the Nation's voice on mental illness---this organization does not speak for me, or my son. NAMI as a whole, has major Conflicts of Interest, and does not warn people who seek it's services about the grave harm done to people with psychiatric diagnoses; the ongoing pharmaceutical fraud; and the exaggerated claims of safety and efficacy made about the drugs. These failures mean that NAMI intentionally or not, is complicit. Why would an organization that advocates for a group of people fail to acknowledge or help those in the group who are victimized, and grievously harmed by unethical, coercive and dangerous "treatments"? Why would they not offer assistance to these people or their family members who care for them? This failure demonstrates NAMI's misplaced priorities.
How can advocates fail to acknowledge the large numbers of people of all ages who are not helped, but are disabled and killed by the drugs? NAMI advocates tell family members who seek their support and assistance, the neuroleptic drugs are necessary, safe and effective medical treatment for their loved ones. NAMI has remained silent about the Medicaid and Medicare fraud, the illegal off label marketing, has told pharma's lies to serve papa Pharma which does make it complicit; a willing participant in an ongoing criminal enterprise.
Family members are taught that coercion, deceit, emotional manipulation and control are "tools" necessary to "support" a loved one. This is to ensure a person with a psychiatric diagnosis remains "treatment compliant." NAMI advocacy is geared towards conforming to the bio-medical paradigm of mental health treatment; which requires "treatment compliance." NAMI's primary mission in this respect, appears to be that of serving the pharmaceutical industry's interests. NAMI serves the drug industry by providing political support for coercive, court ordered treatment. The underlying message which permeates NAMI's written materials is that teratogenic drugs are absolutely necessary to "treat" a diagnosis of schizophrenia; even though the teratogenic drugs do not "work" for most people. It is also well established that for those who are helped by the neuroleptic drugs, the less the better--as small a dose as possible, for as short a time as possible.
Given the nature of how these drugs "work" it is morally reprehensible unethical and just plain stupid really to claim this is necessary medical treatment! Why the hell do we give psychiatrists special police and Court powers? to make a person comply?! It's based on OPINIONS; and the drugs can literally kill. 1 out of 145 people in drugs trials died... At least that many are dying in real world clinical practice--but of course we don't even COUNT how many are in fact dying; on purpose...
For pities sake, depriving people of their liberty based on opinions, and using standard practices that have no grounding in ethical scientific and medical principles and practices. Having NO proof of the validity of their "medical opinion" that complies with the Rules of Evidence---psychiatry is given a pass on legal evidentiary standards required in Courts of Law, it is one of the ways an individual's rights are preserved. So is having effective assistance of counsel available, being served proper notice, these are the protections that are neither preserved or defended in these kangaroo courts. It has made a mockery of the Justice system. Behind an illusion---a biased interpretation of what has never been more than a hypothesis, not even a theory---it may be true it may not---NAMI members in effect, function as unpaid lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry. The "education and advocacy programs and services" are multipurpose functioning as a direct-to-consumer marketing program of the drugs and a coercive control model of treatment it's an indoctrination program in a manner of speaking---similar to catechism---but not. People are encouraged to take the family to family class, and then teach the class. A lot of misinformation in their "text" which is written with papa Pharma under the guise of support for the mentally ill and their families, it's chep advertising for them really---and NAMI is grateful for Pharma generosity!
Learn more about Conflicts of Interest by doing a google search about Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa who launched an investigation into NAMI and other "advocacy" groups...Learn more about the drugs themselves log onto the Alliance for Human Research Protection website.