Vol.1 No.4 1973
MADNESS or “THE HISTORY OF RELIGION IS THE HISTORY OF MADNESS
Madness is not madness, at least my madness is not what you have in your head as to what my madness is. Madness is an attitude, a value judgement (almost always a very negative one) which each of us has been fed/programmed as part of our internal behavioral control system; that is YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO ACT MAD/CRAZY/ANGRY/FRIGHTENED/PSYCHOTIC/IRRATIONAL?/CHILD-LIKE.
We have all been raised on a diet of “Don’t do its” (many of us without sugar coating) from our parents (familial and socio-media-cultural) and we all have some definition albeit vague in our heads of madness and why we shouldn’t go there; and behind/beyond/before that parental injunction/message/programming which created the definition of madness in our head was a socio-historical-religious-cultural set/belief which programmed our programmers, taught our teachers, rigidified and restricted our consensually validated reality. In ancient Palestine there were Prophets (prophet – also mans to rave, act like one beside oneself) and the prophetic experience/madness/psychosis/schizophrenia was accepted by the community as valid and often ecstatic experience of a symbolic or metaphorical nature where God communicated an important message to the people through the prophet as the media/ium. Thus the prophet was “in touch” directly with the man/woman on Top and the prophet was a direct link to the source of all spiritual psychic religious energy, telling it like it is as the prophet sees/hears it.
In Greece Enthousiasmos, DIVINE MADNESS, was an accepted experience, belief, attitude and it was divided by Socrates into four kinds -Prophetic, Telestic, Poetic and Erotic. Plato said “no one achieves inspiration and prophetic truth when in his right mind” (whatever right mind is). The inquisition gave birth to the Malleus Maleficarum, Harmer of Witches, which decided to include “crazies”, mad-people, (especially mad-woman) deviants with heretics as people possessed of the demon and needing to be “cured” with torture and burning. Thus the church officially instigated and legalized the social-scapegoating of those labeled as ‘different than us’, especially women, which now continues under the guise and rhetoric of the scientific psychiatric treatment system.
To paraphrase Laing, “people are considered mad if they cannot emerge from altered states of consciousness at will or if they talk about their visions in a way that disturbs their associates.” Thus the Madness, in Madness Network News refers to the personal experience in an altered state of consciousness which society would or has labeled as crazy/schizophrenic/irrational/un-acceptable and bad. For me my madness is the experience of another reality, an altered state of consciousness, a different “space” than the one taught me by my nuclear family and its socio-cultural equivalents i.e. friends, teachers, heroes, media etc. This different space cannot be looked at with a good/bad, right/ wrong/, competitive either/or value system or frame of reference but is merely a different space, a non-consensually validated reality which is very personal, idiosyncratic and symbolic and which exists for me on a continuum from horrifying to ineffable, transcendent and awe-inspiring. Madly Mine/Mind
By Wade Hudson
Madness takes many forms, and they overlap. Cities are mad. Robert McNamara is mad. Bobby Fischer is mad. Poets are mad. Lovers are mad. Drunken dancers are mad. Madness takes many forms, and they overlap.
Certain forms of madness have been hard to understand, and hard to respond to. In recent years, psychiatrists have had the power over, and responsibility for, these forms of madness.
But it is now clear that psychiatrists may not know what they’re talking about and have no special talents. In fact, madness is not so strange, and we common folk can understand it well. Shrinks and judges are the handicapped, actually.
The term “schizophrenia” and “psychosis,” and related psychiatric jargon, are less descriptive than simple language like: “highly prone to feeling very hurt and upset, feeling very alone ,etc…”
Thus, in these everyday terms, everyone knows madness and has experienced it at various points. But, for some, the trip is more in- tense and lasts longer. The situations, events, relationships and self-images that lead to bad trips are very common and can be easily comp-prehended in their essentials.
So, there are certain differences, and these differences can justify a distinction between “mad” and “normal,” but they can justify neither a dichotomy between two separate phenomena, nor a label connoting a fixed trait “within” one’s personality. In other words, no one is a schizophrenic. And everyone is mad at times.
MADNESS NETWORK NEWS is being distributed free to patients and staff of psychiatric treatment centers and alternative centers in San Fran-cisco, Berkeley, Marin and the Peninsula and on sale on various newsstands. We also have a mailing list. If you wish to be on it, $3.00 is requested in order to pay for mailing and printing for one year. Any additional contributions you wish to make will be greatly appreciated. MADNESS NETWORK NEWS appears every other month. Our address is:
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What We Need
***MONEY In order to pay for printing and mailing we need money from people who want to be on the mailing list. In order to keep the newsletter going on a long term basis we will need the financial support of our readers and some foundation or group willing to help support us. So if you’re a reader and can afford to support us, do, or if you know of a possible avenue of support, let us know.
***MAN-WOMAN-POWER We need people to help with all aspects of the newsletter; typing, writing, editing, mailing, answering letters, research, etc…
***CORRESPONDENTS We need people who work or are living in or connected with psychiatric treatment centers to report on what’s happening in their place, particularly on changes that are going on and also about things that people don’t know about but should. We would also like you as a contact for anyone who may be considering asking for help from your place or sending someone there or what-ever. WE NEED YOU IN THE NETWORK.
***CONNECTIONS In order to get newsletters into hospitals with a minimum of hassle (sometimes to get them in at all) we usually need someone who works there to do it for us. Let us know if you want to be our connection.
If you wish to contact MNN by telephone, may do so through the Frank Gallery in S.F., 771-3344.
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What is Madness?
What is “madness”? The intent of our newsletter is to deal with the subject of madness although we realize that we have not yet presented any definition of the term “madness ” such less any definitions of more refined psychiatric terminology. Seeking to express more clearly to our readers where we’re coming from on this question, we of MNN decided to write down, individually, our understandings of that mysterious work: “madness.” On the following pages, you will find those reactions, along with others we elicited.
MADNESS IS … IS MADNESS?
In our society madness has come to mean mental illness. Mental illness is a dehumanizing label used to justify the social control through psychiatric intervention of trouble-some or troubled individuals, who have not violated any laws and therefore cannot be criminally prosecuted and imprisoned, but whose ideas and actions, values and life styles, threaten established power relationships with-in the family, the community or society in general.
THE MADWOMAN ON THE STREETS
By Carol Safer
I asked a variety of people their definitions of madness. Some have been in mental hospitals; some have not. Here are some of the definitions:
Douglas: “Madness is craziness”
Errol: “It’s foaming at the mouth and being delirious.”
Leonard: “There is no such thing as madness.”
Gen. Waste-more-land: “Madness is humanity.”
Joan: “Madness is a loss of reality.”
Cleo: “Madness is being beyond the pale.”
John: “All prejudice is madness.”
Bill: “Madness is the inability to function.”
Ken: “Madness is a 9 to 5 job and a house in the suburbs.”
Leo: “Madness is genius.”
Alex: “Madness is fear and trembling.”
Roy: “Madness is anti-social behavior.”
Kathy: “Madness originally. implied fierce any insanity, (like when they said the king was mad) It has evolved to meaning not the mild sweet psychotic thing, but it might be flamboyant and possibly being mean. The contemporary. Definition is any to the point of being irrational, not necessarily permanently insane.”
Geoffrey: “Madness is a permanent excursion in-to fantasyland.”
A psychiatrist: “Insanity is not being able to differentiate between right and wrong.”
Carol: “Madness is when the highs are too figs and the lows are too low.”
Ellen: “Madness is an inability to develop and maintain an inner harmony with yourself and a balance with the outside worlds:”
Former mental patient: “To me madness isn’t only crazy and being potty. It’s people who are permanently depressed, and I have come to the conclusion that people who are so depressed should have a lobotomy and be turned into a vegetable.”
Robert: “Madness is when you need shock treatments.”
Heidi: “There are good and bad kinds of madness. I’m a nut and a freak and I think it’s a good kind of madness. I really get freaked out if someone says I’m normal or average. I like being considered a nut by the establishment.”
Just for the fun of it I looked up the dictionary definition of madness. According to Webster,
MAD is: “injured, blunt, dull. Disordered in intellect; deprived of reason; distracted; crazy; insane; beside one’s self; frantic, furious; wildly frolicsome; infatuated; furious from disease or otherwise. and so on.
MADNESS: “The state or quality of being mad; lunacy; insanity; frenzy; extreme folly.”
Famous Definitions of Madness
Sanity – aptitude to judge things like other men, and regular habits, etc. Insanity a departure from this…Benjamin Rush, “the Father of American Psychiatry”
The insane are but grown up children, children too, who have received false notions, and a wrong direction…Jean Esquirol, 19th cent. French alienist
The insane person is in a minority of one in his opinion, and so, at first, is the reformer, the difference being that the reformer’s belief is an advance on the received system of thought, and so, in tine, gets acceptance, while the belief of the former, being opposed to the common sense of mankind, gains no acceptance, but dies out with its possessor, or with the few foolish persons whom it has infected… Maudsley, 19th cent. English alienist
For the nineteenth century, the initial model of madness would be to believe oneself to be God, while for the preceding centuries it had been to deny God…Michel Foucault, author of Madness & Civilization.
The neuroses are without exception disturbances of the sexual function…Freud
All neurosis is vanity…Alfred Adler In (the Middle Ages) they spoke of the dev-il, today we call it A neurosis…Carl Jung A neurotic is the man who builds a castle in the air. A psychotic is the man who lives in it. And a psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent…Anon.
At least three presidents of the American Psychiatric Association have publicly deplored the use of ‘neurosis’ and ‘psychosis’ as mis-leading. ‘Neurotic’ means he’s not as sensible as I am, and ‘psychotic’ means he is even worse than my brother-in-law…Karl A. Menninger, American psychiatrist Mental illness is a myth, whose function it is to disguise and thus render more palatable the bitter pill or moral conflicts in hu-man relations…Szasz
And what is a genuine lunatic? He is a man who prefers to go mad, in the social sense of the word, rather than forfeit a certain higher idea of human honor. That’s how society strangled all those it wanted to get rid of, or wanted to protect itself from, and put them in asylums, because they refused to be accomplices to a kind of lofty swill. For a lunatic is a man that society does not wish to hear, but wants to prevent from uttering certain unbearable truths…Antonin Artaud, French theatrical artist, spent 8 of the last 10 years of his life in psychiatric institutions I think the label (“crazy”) itself is not a helpful description because it’s used to describe all of us. Were all crazy and civilization is nuts itself. The people we think are really crazy we do terrible things to. We punish them. So I don’t like to use the label. Theoretically it’s not helpful, and in terms of understanding or curing its not helpful. When I think of madness, I think of “Divine madness.” Madness is always eloquent. But it is usually not very nice…Phylis Chesler
When one person comes to be regarded as schizophrenic, it seems to us that without exception the experience and behavior that gets labeled schizophrenic is a special strategy that a person invents in order to live in an unlivable situation. In his life situation the person has cone to feel he is in an untenable position. He cannot make a rove, or make no move, without being beset by contradictory and paradoxical pressures and demands, pushes and pulls, both internally from himself, and externally from those around him. He is, as it were, in a position of checkmate…R.D. Laing, English psychiatrist
MINNESOTA MULTIPLASTIC/MISSINOTA PLASTYMULTIC #2
Multiplasticity describes the properties of flexibility, creativity, plasticity, synthesizability, changeability, modulation, derivativeness, madness mayhem and more which are necessary to survive and function humanly in our sophisticatedly sucking culture. Multi-plasticity may or may not be the middle way in the Amerika of today.
OUR MOTTO: Make mine (mind) Multiplastic!?!
January’s results: Mind-Mile: here yes now
Favorite peanut butter crunchy Many are the breasts of my mother the earth. I know a dog who likes carrots. In essence, all answers essential and amazing:
The following questions/suggestions /directions allow you to get in touch with your own level of multiplasticity (as does everything else)
- Describe an illusion/mirror you have gone through, or tell one of your dirty little secrets too fantastic for friends to find out about, but not too fantastic for us.
- If death were to take a holiday, where would (fill in the gender) go? Who/What would be included on this journey? Care for a guide?
- 3. True or False: Hug Fart equals Heart?
Madness Network News Manages Minnesota Multiplastic Mail.
“Ideological struggle against “being good” should be one of the important bases of the proletarian front… “-W. Reich
NOTES FROM LAMP…about psychiatry and the law
A preliminary report has been issued from a task force established by William E. Mayer, M.D., Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Mental Hygiene. According to the report, it represents “the initial stage of a comprehensive effort by the Department of Health to implement patient/client rights programs across the mental health and mental retardation care systems.” The report focusses on “those basic rights of the mentally ill which are stated in Sections 5325, 5325.5 and 6006 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code.”
The report consists of several sets of re-commendations. The task force first suggests how the patient rights contained within Section 5325 should be interpreted. This Section provides that involuntarily detained patients have the following rights, which are to be prominently posted in English and Spanish in all facilities:
(a) To wear his own clothes; to keep and use his own personal possessions including his toilet articles; and to keep and be allowed to spend a reasonable sum of his own money for canteen expenses and small purchases:
(b) To have access to individual storage space for his private use.
(c) To see visitors each day.
(d) To have reasonable access to tele-phones, both to make and receive confidential calls.
(e) To have ready access to letter writing materials, including stamps, and to mail and receive unopened correspondence.
(f) To refuse shock treatment.
(g) To refuse lobotomy.
A suggested interpretation for each of these rights is included in the full report. The task force recommends, for example, that the right to refuse shock treatment be interpreted as an absolute right (emphasis in the report); that shock should be administered only upon receiving the informed consent of the person; and that the consent should be obtained at the time of treatment, rather than at time of admission.
The task force would qualify this ‘absolute’ right by permitting the use of shock when a per-son’s condition is “life-threatening and shock therapy is the last resort treatment of choice.”
The task force recommends that the right to refuse lobotomy also be considered an absolute right, inasmuch as the procedure is irreversible. But the report then continues: “How-ever, it can be assumed that most persons for whom a lobotomy might be indicated are not able to give an informed consent within the strict definition of the law.” It is therefore recommended that all individuals considered for lobotomy be referred to a review committee composed of three physicians and that the unanimous agreement of this group be obtained be-fore the lobotomy is performed.
The task force did not indicate now its interpretations of these rights would relate to Section 5326 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, which states that a person’s rights un-der Section 5325 may be denied for good cause by the professional person in charge of the facility, or his designee.
The other recommendations of the task force include the adoption of procedures to notify and explain patients of their rights; the establishment of procedures to receive complaints; and the establishment of a procedure to review the rights program of all state mental health facilities. It is recommended by the task force that, where feasible, a person known as a consumer representative should be appointed at each state hospital. This person would be designated by the facility director, but would not be involved in the direct supervision of patients.
The question of patients’ rights is currently under consideration in a number of quarters. A bill patterned largely on the California statutes in this regard is under consideration by the legislature of Indiana. Alternative suggested model bills of patient rights have also been developed by mental patient organizing projects and mental health associations. Some consideration of these proposals will be provided in future bulletins from LAMP.
Among the most interesting of the patient rights projects presently operative is the Mental Patient Civil Liberties Project in Philadelphia, in as much as the MPCLP has implemented a program which differs structurally from that suggested by the preliminary task force report.
The MPCLP, which is privately funded and Independently staffed, has contracted with a Pennsylvania state mental hospital for the pro-vision of legal and advocacy services to patients. The contract establishes mechanisms for making contact with patient-clients, guarantees against retaliation for seeking project services, and specifies an arbitration procedure. The hospital has agreed that any patient, even while locked in seclusion, placed in restraints or otherwise restricted, will have the unqualified right to immediate contact with project personnel. LAMP, Inc.
CALIGARI CONTINUES CEASELESSLY COUNTER CHEMICAL-CONTROL.
In the last chapter (MNN #3) of Caligari’s never-ending battle against pills, jive and the Amerikan warp I talked about P.L.U.’s (Persons Labelled Untouchable by the psychiatric system and by “tranquilizers” which create zombies/ living dead as a way of labelling and control-ling “official” crazies). I wrote of the use of “medication”/tranquilizers/chemical lobotomies by psychiatric spiders spinning political-social control webs as a way of creating a catch-all Catch-22, a vicious self-perpetuating closed cycle which results in chronic patient-hood, chronic passivity and chronic acceptance of society’s shit and ones own inability to do anything, or, as Flo Kennedy put it, “Don’t agonize, organize.”
It’s important that those people on Anti-psychotic drugs (Thorazine, Stelazine, Mellaril, Haldol, Serentil, Navane, Prolixin,etc.) and those people not on such drugs see and realize We are All affected by the tons of these drugs being pumped into OUR social-community-net-work. These drugs reinforce a social model of human beings as animals needing external control, the logic seems something like this: people = sweet and good, conforming; non-conforming behaviour = madness = people as un-controllable = need for control = psychiatry and police = control = politics = control =pill people-pills = Amerika. Dr. Henry Lennard in his book Mystification and Drug Abuse describes this logic another way, “The technology of psychopharmacology is peculiarly functional for maintaining an uneasy and strained social system.”
One cog of this shakey shifting system is the medical-psychiatric mystification of “patients”/ P.L.U.’s taking Anti-psychotic tranquilizers. If I were going to take any “psychoactive” drug I’d want to know how it was going to affect my thinking, feelings (including sexual) mood, energy level, state of consciousness, bodily functions and BODY. In addition I’d want to know what it doesn’t do and can’t do as far as solving problems of living, feeling and doing things, and how to use the drug in a constructive and life-supporting manner. If possible I would ask such questions as how such drug, how often, for how long and then WUY? So ask questions and get the information You need to make Your decision: unfortunately a lot of people have been taught to make no decision as their decision, and that’s still a decision to use someone else’s decisions; so, decide to decide. The system sets up and sucks up anti-decisions.
One facet of the above cog is the question of the side-effects of Anti-Psychotic drugs, which can be divided into Muscular and Non-Muscular side-effects. By side effects I’m referring to the way in which the drug “bums” you out, messes you up, turns you off, brings you down. In the next issue of the newsletter I will dis-cuss muscular side effects, in this issue I will break down the non-muscular side effects in the following way:
NON-MUSCULAR SIDE-EFFECTS (In order of de-creasing frequency)
- Sedation – you feel tired, drowsy, unable to keep your eyes open and “blahed” out in lethargy. Your body does develop a tolerance so that after a few weeks you’re not as blab.
- Dry mouth – which may lead to other oral problems such as difficulty swallowing, talking and speaking.
- Blurred vision – especially when focusing on people or objects that are very close (like reading).
- Constipation – seems as if every part of you is slow!
- Nausea – how “pleasant”.
- Vomiting – even more “pleasant”.
- “Loss” of sexual drive, inability to have an erection, ejaculation or orgasm (especially with Mellaril). This happens to men and women, and for other reasons also.
- Weight gain – fat head, fat body.
- “Allergic” type of reaction to sun with skin rash on exposed skin. If this happens stay out of sun or stop taking the drug.
- Listlessness, apathy, depression With this its hard to know what’s caused by drugs and what’s caused by the people giving drugs and the setting within which the drugs are given.
- Dizziness/fainting upon standing – This is called “orthostatic hypotension” in medical jive and is caused by the anti-psychotic drug’s interference with your body’s normal blood-pressure control system. To protect yourself once this happens you should start to stand up slowly if you have been sitting or sleeping, and as you stand up make sure there is someone or something next to you that you can use for support if you start to feel dizzy. This can be a frightening experience and is more of a mind-fuck if you don’t even know what’s happening. It’s more likely to happen during the first few weeks on Anti-psychotic drugs.
This is by necessity of space very brief and unfinished. I have a very cautious approach to the use of tranquilizers and want to see facilities where people can go through their “mad-ness” and spiritually work/play through their rebirth without tranquilization, institutionalization, psychiatricazation but with love, understanding, protection, extended family care and “IT” as Mary Barnes says referring to her deep inner feelings and inner self.
“When the individual feels, the community reels*• … A. Huxley
•A quotable quote from the preface of Mystification and Drug Abuse by Henry Lennard M.D.,
Caligari calls for convents, questions, queeries, or whatever you want to send.
Editor’s note – Dr. Caligari (pen name) is a licensed physician and surgeon in the state of California.
On Being Sane in Insane Places
“IT’S ENOUGH TO DRIVE YOU CRAZY”
By Wade Hudson
“On being Sane in Insane Places,” is based on the most powerful piece of psychiatric research I have yet encountered. On the day of its publication, the S.F. Chronicle covered it with a front-page article, “The Victimized Mental Patient,” and shortly thereafter, Newsweek, 1/27/ 73, ran an article on Rosenhan’s work.
The research design was simple: eight fully established, “sane” people went to various mental hospitals, pretended to have been hearing voices, but otherwise acted “normal,” and even stopped “hearing voices” upon admission. All were admitted – 7 as “schizophrenic,” 1 as “manic-depressive.” No staff person ever even suspected them of having been faking, and upon discharge the staff still perceived them as “psychotic.”
Besides the obvious conclusion that mental health workers are unable to separate the “sane” from the “insane,” other important points are touched upon in the article.
While none of the staff ever suspected the pre-tense, 30% of the patients did (during the first three hospitalizations, when accurate counts were kept), and “some continued to believe that the pseudopatient was sane throughout his hospitalization.” Thus, as discussed in the last issue of Madness Network News (“R.D.J.aing – Super Star”), one’s peers can better judge one’s condition than can mental health workers.
The way the staff interpreted the perfectly normal behavior of the pseudopatients is in-credible. All sorts of behavior was seen as pathological, simply because all mental patients must be pathological, or else they wouldn’t be mental patients. Mental health workers are trained to sort out the significant from the insignificant and to discern pathology. So they discern pathology, everywhere, all the time.
Such habits do not just happen. Many are motivated by hostility towards patients, others by fear or ignorance. “Most mental health professionals would-insist that they are sympathetic toward the mentally ill, that they are neither avoidant nor hostile. But…negative attitudes are there too and can be easily detected.” The pseudopatients kept detailed records and the avoidance of the staff to the patient is astoundingly documented. Total lack of verbal response by all staff to “courteous and relevant requests for information” bys pseudopatients was 97%!: The verbal and physical forms of hostility documented shocked even me. The depersonalization and powerlessness imposed upon the pseudopatients was overwhelming, leaving them with the sense they were invisible. 2100 pills (a wide variety, all for the same symptom were administered. Only two were swallowed.
Why are mental health workers so avoidant and so hostile? Perhaps because they fear their own madness. Rosenhan, however, suggests another dynamic: the hierarchy of the hospital structure. “Those with the most power have least to do with patients, and those with the least power are most involved with them… Attendants are seen mainly in the cage, which is where the models, the action, and the power are.” So here we see another argument for the democratization of power throughout our society. – ° Such avoidance and hostility could easily be seen as pathological (if one were inclined to such language and contributes to Rosenhan’s title “On Being Sane in Insane Places ” (my italics) and to his opinion that mental hospitals are counter-therapeutic. Overall, Rosenhan issues a devastating criticism of how terms like “psychotic” are currently used, and seriously challenges their feasibility under any circumstances.
Theophysics is the combining of the life principle and the art/science of healing. Our fundamental direction is healing through peace and transmutation. We concentrate on the union of the spiritual man and the physical man through the process of thought and choice. We recognize and accept thought as real, as substance, and know that it is the thought that reveals to man his inherent health (creative potential).
All experience (real and imaginary), feeling, awareness, daily living pass through thought—thinking is the transformer. We see the thought initiative as the energy source in all individuals. We do not wish to batter down old and “useful” barriers brought about by older karmic thought patterns. It is a time to be gentle with our selves, so that we may grow in peace and freedom.
Address Questions: C.O. Madness Network News Nest Issue: Further Thought on Theophysics
PATIENT ADVOCACY LEGAL SERVICE
Patient Advocacy Legal Service (PAIS), a national clearinghouse for information on psychiatric commitments, is seeking newspaper articles from around the country on commitment abuses and improvements. They would appreciate receiving the full page of the newspaper containing the article so that the date and name of the publication can be verified. In the near future a compilation of these articles will be printed for distribution to interested parties. (Copies of briefs on commitment cases would also be appreciated. These will be added to the group’s “brief bank” which is available to attorneys across the country.) PAIS now has available “Materials on Mental Commitment,” which has over 25 court decisions and 2 comprehensive bibliographies on the subject. Cost $15.50 prepaid, with check payable to Max George Margulis, Director, Patient Advocacy Legal Service, Washington University Law School, St. Louis, Missouri, 63130.
SENATOR PETRIS IN BESERKELey
From the frying pan into the fire..
On Feb. 8th, 1973, State Senator Petrie (Alameda), spoke in Berkeley. He is an author of the Lanterman, Petrie, Short act which was enacted in 1967 to guarantee rights to mental patients (see November and January issues of Madness Network News). He was there primarily to discuss the shortage of funds in Berkeley for mental health programs. He also answered questions about the LFS act.
As to why funds weren’t coming into Berkeley, according to Petris one main reason was be-cause Berkeley was separate from the county in the control of its program and money and that this separateness was not looked favorably upon by the state since the trend was to incorporate cities into the county system (more about the mess in Berkeley next issue). There were a lot of people in the audience who questioned Senator Petris on (1) whether the US act did in fact give rights to mental patients, (2) on the lack of knowledge by the patient of these rights and (3) their lack of enforcement. In response to a criticism of section 5150 which is the 72-hour detention provision he said that the 72-hour hold “saved these people from the courts.” 1 from the frying pan into the fire.?.
Senator Petris in answering to the many questions asked him appeared aware of the inadequacies of the LPS act and defended it on the grounds that (1) it was better than before and (2) it was the best that could be done considering the political realities.- Re seemed to believe that the mental health professional had a certain knowledge and authority which made it O.K. for them to be the ones to decide who should be stashed away for 72 hours and who should be denied the right to receive mail (one of the 9 rights). It seems to me that this act will not be changed to adequately guarantee rights to patients until the authority of the professionals and the rental health system is re-examined and dealt with.
If you have any questions, thoughts or feelings about the Lanterman, Petris, Short act you may contact any of these people through the State Senate, Sacramento, California.
THE CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF LEGAL AUTHORITY AND MENTAL PATIENT STATUS (LAMP), 2024 CHANNING WAY, BERKELEY, CA. 94704 (415) 841-9396
LAMP has been doing research in the area of psychiatry and the law and is now exploring the possibility of doing litigation in this field. LAMP needs money. Please contribute if you can (all contributions tax-deductible).
The State has come up with new licensing laws which will affect board and care homes, half-way houses and other residential centers for “mental patients.” It could severely limit those facilities already operating and prevent any new kinds of facilities or programs from starting. More about this issue next issue…
Dr. Peter Breggin visited the Bay Area ear-ly in February to talk about his new book, After the Good War, and to continue his battle against those among his psychiatrist-colleagues who, he feels, have betrayed the public’s trust by becoming a repressive “establishment force.” During a radio interview here he said psychiatry today represents “the greatest political threat to the world.” Breggin gained recognition last year for his article, “The Return of Lobotomy and Psychosurgery,” printed in the “Congressional Record,” in which he declared that there has been a “second wave” of these “brain mutilating operations” following the first wave of the forties and fifties when these procedures “claimed 50,000 persons in the United States alone.” Breggin, while here, spoke about the difficulties he’s been having getting media coverage for his ideas. “They won’t let me on those shows” – Cavett, Carson, “Today.” etc. And a few days before he had been denied a guest shot on Jim Dunbar’s local morning TV talk show. “The Atlantic Monthly” turned down one of his articles because he was “too partisan.” But all has not been lost on the ears of the national media: “The Tatler,” a sensationalistic weekly newspaper, is doing an interview with him on a story “the New York Times wouldn’t touch.” Despite the partial media freeze-out Breggin’s been getting his message across to more and more people. Ears are opening, ideas are seeping in, a new awareness is on the way. As Breggin says, “It’s gonna be a big year against psychiatry!”
FEMINIST MENTAL HEALTH PROJECT
The Feminist Mental Health Project in S.F. is now in the process of completing and compiling the results of the questionnaire it used in its survey of medical and psychological services available to women in the Bay area. The results will be made available to the public in booklet form for 25C sometime in March. They are also involved in setting up 2 groups for women, one dealing with body aware-ness and weight and the other dealing with surgical problems (hysterectomy cyst removal, endometritis – not mastectomys though).
If you wish more information about the groups or wish to get the booklet you may call Joanne Madigan or Alison James at 752-7766.
We of Madness Network News have been thinking of organizing a conference sometime in the Spring in order to deal more extensively with some of the issues we deal with (or don’t deal with) in the newsletter. Please let us know if this idea interests you and what you would like to see happen at such a conference. Also if you are interested in working on such conference please let us know.
Are You Using Psychoactive Drugs?
Dr. Henry Lennard, researcher and professor of medical sociology at the University of California, would like to get in touch with people who have been or are “mental patients” and who are using psychoactive drugs. He is studying both the positive and negative effects of these drugs. If you can be of assistance you may reach Dr. Lennard at 665-2566.
Angry because being alone
Wanting not wanting
knowing not knowing
When I had bad breath, I breathed upon a moose:
But out of pity
I did not kill that moose
I only stunned it.
Lunatic of the Month: Nose Biter
Jaoquin Alberto. 52, has been sentenced to a year in jail here for biting off the tip of his wife’s nose during an argument, it was reported yesterday.
On Feb. 22 David Richman & Leonard Frank of MNN were on the Roy Elwell talk show on KGO radio. They discussed the newsletter and such issues as electroshock, involuntary hospitalization, use of psychoactive drugs among other issues related to current psychiatric practice. Interest ran high during the 2 hour show with telephone lines to call in jammed. Response to MNN has been great because of it. Thank you to all who have written, we will be answering your letters as soon as possible.
The Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic is opening a workshop and retail store, “Crackerjack”, at 1644 Haight Street, S.F.
Crackerjack is open to artisans to bring in their crafts, Artists especially skilled in jewelry, pottery, leatherwork, etc. may be interested in setting up their own inventory and workshop space in Crackerjack.
For further information contact Norman Kessler, Store Manager, at 626-4271.
Madness Network News people are available to speak to groups or organizations about many of the issues we discuss in the newsletter. You may reach us through the Frank Gallery in S.F. 771-3344.
“The Universe of Carol Safer”, outer space paintings will be on exhibit from March 9-30 at The Frank Gallery, 629 Sutter St., San Francisco
THE WHITE SHIRTS
Available from author Ellen Field for $2.50. A documentation of one woman’s fight against the psychiatric establishment.
Ellen Field 1839
Wardell Ave. Duarte, Cal. 91010
J O B S
This column is still empty.
Do you think we can do anything about it?
Oops – we forgot to credit Zette Emmons for the drawing on the back cover of our last issue. Sorry.