Electroshock and Psychiatry’s Compulsion to Harm Children

Our investigation has found that thousands of adolescents, children, and adults have been hospitalized for psychiatric treatment they didn’t need; that hospitals hire bounty hunters to kidnap patients with mental health insurance; that patients are kept against their will until their insurance benefits run out; that psychiatrists are being pressured by the hospitals to increase profit; that hospitals `infiltrate’ schools by paying kickbacks to school counselors who deliver students; that bonuses are paid to hospital employees, including psychiatrists, for keeping the hospital beds filled; and that military dependents are being targeted for their generous mental health benefits. I could go on, but you get the picture.
— U.S. Representative Patricia Schroeder of Colorado

In 1947, psychiatrist Lauretta Bender, wrote about how she was now giving electroshock to children. She described the results in this way:

It is the opinion of all observers in the hospital, in the school rooms, of the parents and other guardians that the children were always somewhat improved by the [electric shock] treatment inasmuch as they were less disturbed, less excitable, less withdrawn, and less anxious. They were better controlled, seemed better integrated and more mature and were better able to meet social situations in a realistic fashion. They were more composed, happier, and were better able to accept teaching or psychotherapy in groups or individually. (2)

In 1955, she reported on how she had administered 20 shock treatments to a child under three years old, who was on the children’s ward at New York’s Bellevue Hospital.(3)  Bender eventually administered this “treatment” to more than 500 children, and enjoyed a career as one of the most honored psychiatrists of her time.

One of the children she shocked was Ted Chabasinski, when he was a six-year-old foster child. His description of that experience stands in stark contrast to Bender’s:

I was six years old [in 1944]. My mother had been locked up in a mental hospital just before I was born, and I was a ward of the state. A psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital in New York, Dr. Lauretta Bender, had just begun her infamous series of experiments with shock treatment on children, and she needed more subjects. So I was diagnosed as a “childhood schizophrenic,” torn away from my foster parents, and given 20 shock treatments….18 I was dragged down the hallway crying, a handkerchief stuffed in my mouth so I wouldn’t bite off my tongue. And I woke [after the shock treatment] not knowing where I was or who I was, but feeling as if I had undergone the experience of death. After four months of this. I was returned to my foster home. Shock treatment had changed me from a shy little boy who liked to sit in a corner and read to a terrified child who would only cling to his foster mother and cry. I couldn’t remember my teachers. I couldn’t remember the little boy I was told had been my best friend. I couldn’t even find my way around my own neighborhood. The social worker who visited every month told my foster parents that my memory loss was a symptom of my mental illness. A few months later, I was shipped to a state hospital to spend the next 10 years of my life.

Was this [referring to the electroshock] the work of some isolated sadist, some mad scientist practicing in a closet? No, the psychiatrist who did this to me and several hundred other children is still a leader in her field, with many articles published in prestigious psychiatric journals; she still draws a salary from the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene. And not one voice was ever raised within the entire psychiatric profession to protest what she had done. (4)

Even while Bender was publishing articles touting her success, a follow-up study of 32 children she had electroshocked was telling of the harm she had caused. Those doctors wrote:

[P]arents have told the writers that their children were definitely worse after EST [electroshock treatment]. In fact, many of these (electroshocked) children were regarded as so dangerous to themselves or others that hospitalization become imperative. Also, after a course of such treatment one 9-year-old boy made what was interpreted as an attempt at suicide.” (5)

When the 9-year-old boy was admitted to a state hospital, he said he had tried to hang himself because he was “afraid of dying and wanted to get it over with fast.”  “Afraid of more terrifying shocks” is probably a more accurate description of the boy’s fear.

The Science

Electroshock is referred to by psychiatrists as electroconvulsive treatment or ECT because it involves the production of a grand mal convulsion, similar to an epileptic seizure, by passing up to 600 volts of electric current through the brain for one-half to four seconds. Before application, subjects are typically given anesthetics and drugs to paralyze the muscles, to suppress fear and pain, and to cut down on the number of broken bones — particularly in the spine, a common occurrence before drugs were used.

The ECT-induced convulsion usually lasts from 30 to 60 seconds and may produce life-threatening complications, such as apnea and cardiac arrest. The convulsion is followed by several minutes of unconsciousness. Electroshock is usually administered in hospitals equipped to handle emergency situations, including death, that may develop during or soon after the shock.

Brain Damage

Medical doctors, as well as the building trades, do their best to prevent people from being injured by electrical shocks. People are given anticonvulsant drugs to prevent seizures because they are known to damage the brain.

The brain naturally operates in millivolts of electricity. ECT, however, jolts the brain with an average of 150 to 400 volts of electricity. ECT induces a grand mal seizure and it is obvious that ECT causes brain damage.

University of Pennsylvania neuroscience professor Peter Sterling put it this way in testimony at a 2001 hearing on ECT before the New York Assembly Standing Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Developmental Disabilities:

ECS [ECT] unquestionably damages the brain. The damage is due to a variety of known mechanisms:

1) ECS is designed to evoke a grand mal epileptic seizure involving massive excitation of cortical neurons that also deliver excitation to lower brain structures. The seizure causes an acute rise in blood pressure well into the hypertensive range, and this frequently causes small hemorrhages in the brain. Wherever a hemorrhage occurs in the brain, nerve cells die — and nerve cells are not replaced.

2) ECS ruptures the ‘blood-brain barrier.’ This barrier normally prevents many substances in the blood from reaching the brain. This protects the brain, which is our most chemically sensitive organ, from a variety of potential insults [injuries]. Where this barrier is breached, nerve cells are exposed to insult and may also die. Rupture of this barrier also leads to brain ‘edema’ (swelling), which, since the brain is enclosed by the rigid skull, leads to local arrest of blood supply, anoxia [lack of oxygen], and neuron death.

3) ECS causes neurons to release large quantities of the neurotransmitter, glutamate. This chemical excites further neuronal activity which releases more glutamate, leading to ‘excito-toxicity’ — neurons literally die due to overactivity. Such excito-toxicity has been recognized relatively recently and is now a major topic of research. It is known to accompany seizures and over repeated episodes of ECS may be a significant contributor to accumulated brain damage.

The bottom line is that ECT “works” to the extent that it damages and disables the brain. ….


Dr Bonnie Burstow on ECT as violence against women



Electroconvulsive Therapy Causes Permanent Amnesia and Cognitive Deficits


The ongoing traumatic abuse of psychiatric shock treatment

The Eugenic Impulse in Psychiatry

Given the social, economic and racist etiology of most “mental illness”, psychiatry is, almost by definition, war on the weak:


More Quack Science Behind CDC Vaccine Guidelines for Pregnant Women

[From the Director of the National Coalition of Organized Women to the publisher of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, letter dated Feb 3, 2012]

… 1. The Moro 1 study looked at reports in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database (including reports of spontaneous abortions and stillbirths) of pregnant women from 1990/91 through the end of the 2008/09 influenza season, 20 years (or 19 influenza seasons). The AJOG reviewers assigned to the CDC study led by Dr. Moro were clearly not as critical as Dr. Goldman‘s peer reviewer. Not challenged was that the Moro 1 study covered a 20 – year study period that only during the final 26.3 % of that period (since 2004) were influenza vaccines recommended for pregnant women during their 1st trimester. Thus, for 14 of the 19 flu seasons reviewed (or 73.7 % of the flu seasons), the Moro 1 study reviewed a period when a more precautionary vaccination approach prevailed (i.e., only those pregnant with special circumstances or those beyond their 1st trimester of pregnancy were to be vaccinated). 4

2. The general perception, worldwide, was that 2009 was the year of the experimental monovalent , 2009 A – H1N1, pandemic influenza vaccine. The title of the Moro 1 study (1990 – 2009) gave the false impression that at least part of the 2009 /10 pandemic flu season was covered in the study. However, in fact, the study did not cover the pandemic flu season that began in the fall of 2009. However, a cursory glance at the title’s 1990 – 2009 could have easily led obstetricians and gynecologists, as it indeed misled the media and the general public, to believe that the year of the novel H1N1 emergency pandemic vaccine was covered in the study and that no out – of – the – ordinary adverse events had occurred following the administration of the experimental H1N1 flu vaccine of 2009.

3. The misleading study directly served as the foundation for the strategically conceived, fraudulent CDC publicity campaign, deliberately allowing the press to specifically mislead pregnant women as well as the public at large with a headline that read, FLU SHOT IS SAFE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN. The worldwide press amplified the CDC’s entrenched position that all flu shots were absolutely safe for women at any stage during pregnancy. After all, there were only 23 fetal – demise reports in VAERS during the 19 flu seasons from 1990/91 through 2008/09 for a rate of 1.9 fetal – death reports per million pregnant women vaccinated. However, the more recent 2004/5 through 2008/9 flu seasons (where flu shots were recommended to women pregnant in their first trimester ) had a higher mean fetal – loss reports’ rate that was averaged with a lower rate found in 14 earlier flu seasons . Thus, in spite of the fact that it is statistically invalid to report a single mean rate for a bi modal distribution during that longitudinal period , Moro 1 intentionally averaged the data from the two distinctly different flu – season groups . Based on the flawed Moro 1 study, embargoed until the start of the 2010 flu season, the flu vaccine was promoted worldwide by the press as safe for pregnant women. The campaign included a CDC – initiated joint letter co – signed by 10 organizations targeting O B /GYNs nationwide, urging them to vaccinate their pregnant patients.

4. By the end of 2009, months before the first Moro 1 manuscript was submitted to AJOG in mid – 2010, the CDC, Dr. Moro, and his team were well aware of the significant spike in VAERS reports of spontaneous abortions and stillbirths following the administering of the 2009 A – H1N1 vaccine. Against a claimed background of roughly 1 flu – vaccination – related fetal death per year, actually more than 100 ‖ spontaneous abortion and stillbirth reports in temporal association with the 2009 A – H1N1 flu shot had already been submitt ed to VAERS and would have certainly been accessed by the Moro team of scientists. The final count was 174 fetal – death reports. That is, Dr. Moro and his team had to be well aware at the time they published in AJOG reporting that they found only 23 fetal – death reports to VAERS in 20 years , that there were, in fact, more than 100 fetal – death reports already registered in VAERS during the 2009 portion of the 2009 /10 flu season.

Clarified and put forward as the two – dose 2009/10 pandemic season, Goldman‘s lone voice pointed out uniquely in his rejected AJOG submission that the CDC had urged O B /G YN s to give pregnant women two flu vaccines, seasonal (the trivalent seasonal) and pandemic (the monovalent 2009 A – H1N1). Because the overwhelming majority of the doses of both inactivated – influenza vaccine formulations were preserved with Thimerosal and other doses contained a reduced level of Thimerosal , Goldman, therefore, asks the question never before publically considered in a peer – reviewed journal : Was there a synergistic toxicity associated with the 2 – dose 2009/10 season? The Goldman study found a total of 174 VAERS fetal – death reports in 2009/10 flu season as compared to 4 and 21 fetal – demise events in the prior 2008/9 and subsequent 2010/11 flu seasons, respectively. It is alarming that the CDC, in Moro 1 chose to hide from O B /G YN s and the public the two – dose Thimerosal anomaly – the massive spi ke in fetal – death reports to VAERS – as well as the potentially causal relationship between the two.

The CDC had to be aware of the VAERS data, the 40 – fold spike in fetal – demise reports relative to the prior year, or considered in light of the Moro study , the greater than 100 – fold increase relative to the annual mean of fetal – loss reports over the 19 prior flu seasons. The omission of the VAERS spike in the Moro 1 study led the press to believe that, since the study headlined ― 1990 – 2009 : ( a ) the pandemic A – H1N1 season of 2009(/10) was duly covered and ( b) no out – of – the – ordinary events had taken place. However, both Moro and the CDC knew better.

The question begs an answer as to whether : AJOG was innocently deceived by the vaccine agenda – driven CDC, AJOG was complicit with the CDC, or AJOG‘s reviewers were incompetent. How or why did the AJOG reviewers miss these flaws (and perhaps others) in both Moro studies? Why did the AJOG reviewer reject Dr. Goldman‘s submission, which in a most dignified spirit of academia, pointed out critical flaws in the Moro studies and highlighted the uniqueness of the A – H1N1 6 pandemic season for its 100 – fold increase in fetal deaths―heretofore un-discussed in the scientific community. Finally , most significantly, the Goldman study pointed out that it was the only flu season during which pregnant women could be concomitantly given two influenza vaccine shots, which in most cases delivered a double – dose of the neurotoxin Thimerosal (nominally 50 micrograms of mercury for 2 Thimerosal – preserved shots). Based on the FDA – accepted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reference dose (RfD) for organic mercury (0.1 microgram of mercury per kilogram of body weight per day) this level of organic mercury exposure would only be safe for a pregnant women who weighed more than 500 kilograms (1102 pounds) on the day of injection …