Dr Bonnie Burstow on ECT as violence against women

Bonnie Burstow, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Adult Education Counseling Psychology at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

We consider Bonnie’s lecture on ECT to be essential listening. Please tune in here. Apparently others considered it essential listening too, for it was broadcast on 55 different radio stations.

We invited Bonnie to be our guest on Thought Crime Radio on April 11, 2011, when we saw her article, “Electroshock as a Form of Violence Against Women” in the journal Violence Against Women. See more of her articles at the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault website.

Bonnie is the author of two academic books: Radical Feminist Therapy: Working in the Context of Violence and Shrink Resistant: The Struggle Against Psychiatry in Canada and one novel about a holocaust survivor family: The House on Lippincott.

Other activities:

  • antipsychiatry activism (demonstrations, deputations, antipsychiatry addresses, making of the antipsychiatry video When Women End Up in These Horrible Places, antipsychiatry theatre)
  • antifascism and anti-racism activism (speeches, demonstrations, deputations)
  • feminist therapy
  • supervision and training of counselors and therapists
  • organizational as well as clinical consultation for a number of counseling organizations
  • writing of novels

Notable quote illustrating the gang mentality and mutual back scratching going on between psychiatry and obstetrics.   “Post partum depression” is very common after medicalized birth, which has been compared to battery and domestic abuse.   Childhood rage and depression of male children is very common after circumcision.

The intensity of the demands of the occasional woman who is fanatic in her zeal for ‘natural childbirth’… and her uncompromising attitude on the subject are danger signals, frequently indicating severe psychopathology…. A patient of this sort is not a candidate for natural childbirth, and requires close and constant psychiatric support.

— Medical, Surgical and Gynecological Complications of Pregnancy; Staff of Mount Sinai Hospital; Williams and Wilkins, publishers; 1960

Also see: http://members.tranquility.net/~rwinkel/MGM/birthUSA3.html

Recommended reading

We highly recommend reading the work of Dr William A McConochie, PhD, author and owner of the Political Psychology Research web site.

Bill freely shares what he has discovered about the psychological components of the tendency to gravitate toward violence-proneness and warmongering-endorsement.

Based on his findings, Bill has devised a way to construct a political system that is immune to corruption and abuse. His website (link above) contains numerous articles of interest about his research and vision for the future — truly fair and ethical political representation.

The truth about psychiatric labels

Ever wondered what those psychiatric diagnoses really mean?

No one should oppress another with a label, a diagnosis. Everyone goes through difficult times and needs time and space and loving support to reclaim their peace of mind and balance. There are many things that work well to bring people back to normal. It is well established now that there is no validity to the claim of a physical, chemical imbalance that determines psychological problems. There is no need for anyone to brand themselves as forever insane. We all go through cycles. Healing is inevitable when there is a willingness to release the painful past.

Show notes 3/21/11

One of the dominant themes of this show is the exposure of the
principle of the shock doctrine and its applications in many different
domains, ranging from the so-called financial crisis to the so-called
war on drugs to the so-called war on terror to so-called medicine
and nutrition.  The opportunities are endless.  So what do I mean
by the shock doctrine?  It’s very simple really: the creation of a
problem in order to profit from the remedy to it.  There’s a humorous
illustration of the technique on youtube, where the three stooges
are seen introducing mice, ants and moths into a mansion during a
socialite party and then posing as pest exterminators.  The name
of the skit is “ants in the pantry” and it ought to be shown in our
gradeschools to educate children about how the world really works.
Unfortunately our lack of such basic education is reflected in the
reluctance of grownups to face less humourous realities in the
public sphere, where criminal cartels and secretive networks of
intergenerationally self-replicating psychopaths have infested
virtually every conceivable niche of our economic, defense, law
enforcement and medical infrastructures, exploiting the trust and
good intentions of millions of public servants and doctors in the
process.  CBS recently did an expose of a particularly offensive
illustration of the principle in operation.  The bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms, the federal agency which is purportedly in
charge of enforcing federal gun laws, has been standing by and
watching while mexican criminal gangs ship thousands of
weapons, including 50 caliber rifles and machine guns, from the US
into mexico, where the weapons have been used to commit numerous
murders, including at least one murder of a US border patrol agent.
All of this with the blessings of the so-called department of justice.

http://www.azfamily.com/video/featured-videos/Crackdown-on-guns-on-the-black-market-flowing-from-US-to-Mexico-103178799.html

This appears to be part of a larger ATF policy of refusing to shut
down known illicit gun trafficking all over the country.  The more
obvious payoff of course is that the ATF can use the resulting
criminal activity to lobby for more US tax dollars to protect us
from the consequences of their negligence.  A kind of back-handed
protection racket.  “Hey uh, we really want to help you uh, you
know, be safe in da neighborhood, but uh, you know, it’s really
hard, business is boomin if you know what I mean …”
Variations on this theme can be seen in the war on drugs and of course
in the wall street gamblers bailout.

In a larger context of course, all this federal corruption is being
used in a concerted propaganda campaign against the second amendment
to the constitution, which the founders wrote into the bill of
rights so that we the people might be secure in our own homes and
be able to protect ourselves from precisely this kind of predatory
government.  You can draw your own conclusions about the existence
of a larger agenda here, especially in light of the massive inflation,
poverty and taxation which wall street and the so-called federal
reserve has so carefully engineered for us.  The coming meltdown
amounts to a gullibility test for the american people and the good
people who serve in government:  will they be able and willing to
connect the dots and see the traitors and scam artists for what
they are?

Speaking of gullibility, I have a quick test for you: suppose you
stub your toe and it hurts so you go to the doctor.  But the doctor
doesn’t look at your toe, he looks at your brain instead.  He puts
your head in an MRI and does all kinds of expensive tests to determine
whether you might have disordered thoughts about that particular
toe, which could be co-morbid with a reluctance to trust your doctor,
both of which are often precursors to a deeper brain pathology
involving complicated sounding chemicals and neural structures that
reach out like tentacles from your reptilian brain, all because you
had the misfortune of coming from a bad gene pool.  As he reaches
for a shiny new chrome plated sterile craftsman screwdriver in
preparation for a pre-emptive lobotomy, one of the few procedures
covered under your health care plan, he’s suddenly called to the
phone and disappears for a few minutes.  Do you:

a) thank your lucky stars they caught it in time
b) wonder whether a quick head-botomy might be more effective
c) hobble out the back door as fast as you can

Now make the following substitutions in the above scenario: instead
of having a broken toe you live in a broken home, instead of physical
pain you suffer from emotional pain, and instead of reaching for a
chrome plated craftsman screwdriver, he attaches two shiny electrodes
to your head and prepares to plug them into a very expensive looking
chrome plated electrical wall outlet.  Does your gullibility quotient
win out over your intelligence quotient?

On the phone with us today is John Breeding, a clinical psychologist
and counselor from austin texas who has just returned from what he
calls a battle in gaithersburg, an FDA hearing on a proposal to
reclassify psychiatry’s electroshock machines as being safe and effective
without the peer-reviewed scientific studies which would otherwise
be required of their manufacturers.  Believe it or not, after decades
of use on hundreds of thousands of people, mainly women and children,
the FDA was considering whether such an approval process ought to
be undertaken at all.

Mideast uprisings: No more room for doubt

Secret Report Ordered by Obama Identified Potential Uprisings link
President Obama ordered his advisers last August to produce a secret
report on unrest in the Arab world, which concluded that without
sweeping political changes, countries from Bahrain to Yemen were
ripe for popular revolt,  known as a Presidential Study Directive,
the 18-page classified report identified likely flashpoints, most
notably Egypt, and solicited proposals for how the administration
could push for political change in countries with autocratic rulers
who are also valuable allies of the United States...how to balance
American strategic interests and avert broader instability ... The
White House held weekly meetings with experts from the State
Department, the C.I.A. and other agencies. The process was led by
Dennis B. Ross, the presidentbs senior adviser on the Middle East;
Samantha Power, a senior director at the National Security Council
who handles human rights issues; and Gayle Smith, senior director
responsible for global development....The report singles out four
for close scrutiny, which an official said...suggest Jordan, Egypt,
Bahrain and Yemen.

By issuing a directive, Mr. Obama was also pulling the topic of
political change out of regular meetings on diplomatic, commercial
or military relations with Arab states. In those meetings, one
official said, the strategic interests loom so large it is almost
impossible to discuss reform efforts....

RETOOLING U.S. PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AS STRATEGIC INSTRUMENT OF FOREIGN
POLICY link
Joseph Nyebs introduction of the concept of bsoft powerb as an
essential complement to bhardpowerb captures the essence of public
diplomacy. Nye wrote of the bsoft power of attractionbessential bto
draw target publics into the U.S. web of influence.b4 The achievement
of U.S. foreignpolicy goals is greatly facilitated when more friends
and allies share our interests and contribute totheir accomplishment.
In the case of the War on Terror, victory is directly related to
prevailing in abattle of ideas, which public diplomacy tools seek
to shape.The 9/11 Commission called for action bto compete as
vigorously on the ideological battlefieldas we do on the military
and intelligence fronts.b5 The Department of State (DOS) Advisory
Groupon Public Diplomacy, the General Accounting Office, the Heritage
Foundation, the Council onForeign Relations, and the 9/11 Commission
have all issued reports stating that a greater emphasisis needed
by the U.S. Government on public diplomacy.6This chapter takes the
position that current approaches to public diplomacy are flawedand
must be reconsidered and appropriately funded in order to acquire
the public diplomacycapabilities needed to win the War on Terror.
Furthermore, public diplomacy must be integratedinto the policymaking
process in the form of a comprehensive and coherent strategy.
APRIL 6 ACTIVIST ON REGIME CHANGE EGYPT link
W.L. 30-09-2009 - 05.02.2011 04:38 08CAIRO2572 2008-12-30 09:09
2011-01-31 SECRET Embassy Cairo FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO    TO RUEHC/SECSTATE
WASHDC 1233 INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 00257
http://213.251.145.96/cable/2008/12/08CAIRO2572.html Classified By:
ECPO A/Mincouns Catherine Hill-Herndon for reason 1.4 (d).

(excerpts) IS THIS THE START OF SOMETHING?

The key question is, will the localized incident in Mahalla spark
a wider movement? The government is clearly focused on containing
unrest. Even while the riots were still winding down, PM Nazif
traveled to Mahalla, paid bonuses to factory workers and praised
those who did not join in the riots (ref D). The government has
also accelerated arrests of activists in Cairo (ref E). The organizers
of the April 6 strike have already called, via Facebook, for a
follow-on national strike on May 4, Mubarak's eightieth birthday.
Even regime insiders have acknowledged the political savvy behind
this tactic -- channeling current outrage towards the next big
event....

April 6 brought together disparate opposition forces together with
numerous non-activist Egyptians, with Facebook calls for a strike
attracting 70,000 people on-line, and garnering widespread national
attention. The nexus of upper and middle-class Facebook users, and
their poorer counterparts in the factories of Mahalla, created a
new dynamic. One senior insider mused, "Who could have imagined a
few kids on the internet could foment a buzz the entire country
noticed?...The riots introduce a new dynamic for us as well. Under
these stressful conditions, Mubarak and his regime will be even
more sensitive to US criticism. April 15, Foreign Minister Aboul
Gheit, meeting with the Ambassador, cited the Mahalla incident as
a strain and hoped US would be supportive of Egypt during this
difficult period. RICCIARDONE
http://213.251.145.96/cable/2008/04/08CAIRO783.html

Council on Foreign Relations: major U.S. think tank spells it out
Soft Power: Democracy-Promotion and U.S. NGOs link
Introduction

Democracy-promotion has long been an aspect of U.S. foreign policy,
but it became a central component after September 11. The U.S.
government has several channels for promoting democracy, most notably
the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); the State
Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) and
Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI); and the Millennium
Challenge Corporation, which provides funds to nations that already
meet certain democratic standards. But a plethora of U.S. nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs) also exist for this purpose, with varying
degrees of financial dependency on the government. In recent years,
their budgets have increased dramatically...However, the majority
receive funding from the U.S. government, and Justin Logan, a foreign
policy analyst at the Cato Institute, does not subscribe to
democracy-promotion as a foreign policy goal, arguing it is essentially
regime change. Private institutes like financier George Soros' Open
Society Institute may be able to make progress toward opening some
societies, but Logan says the governmentbeven if it's achieving its
aims by supporting NGOsbshould not be involved. Some argue NGOs can
hinder and even work against U.S. interests. Recently, the New York
Times accused the International Republican Institute (IRI) of
undermining U.S. government policy in Haiti by siding with the
opposition to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide....NED, the
biggest American NGO focused on democracy-promotion, distributes
equal amounts of funds to four affiliated institutes: the National
Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the International
Republican Institute (IRI), the Center for Independent Private
Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor
Solidarity ("Solidarity Center")...Open Society Institute (OSI) and
Soros Foundations network does not call itself a democracy-promoting
organization, but pursues activities contributing to this goal....

Read more at link (to groups.google.com/group/misc.activism.progressive)

Transparency in all things