Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CCHR co-founder, Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus

Dr. Thomas Szasz is co-founder of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) a psychiatric/mental health watchdog. He is a professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, author of 35 critically acclaimed books on psychiatry and the mental health industry.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights

via LRC Blog


  1. The CCHR is a front group for the abusive "Church" of Scientology.

  2. "Hi. I'm Thomas Szaz. I don't like it when people are harmed, abused, and financially exploited by people who they trust to help them, and that's why I oppose psychiatry (with it's ethical review-boards and peer-review) and work with the Church of Scientology."

  3. and that's why I oppose psychiatry (with it's ethical review-boards and peer-review)

    Yeah, that certainly helped all the victims of psychiatry through the decades. So, phony "cynic" you defend the history of psychiatry in this country, do you? Tell it to someone like Rosemary Kennedy, who we know so much about only because of her famous family. From Wikipedia:

    Placid and easygoing as a child and teenager, the maturing Kennedy became increasingly assertive in her personality. She was reportedly subject to violent mood swings. Some observers have since attributed this behavior to her difficulties in keeping up with siblings who were expected to perform to high standards, as well as the hormonal surges associated with puberty. In any case, the family had difficulty dealing with the often-stormy Rosemary, who had begun to sneak out at night from the convent where she was being educated and cared for.

    In 1941, when Rosemary was 23, doctors told her father that a new neurosurgical procedure, Prefrontal leucotomy, would help calm her mood swings. At the time, relatively few prefrontal leucotomies had been performed; James W. Watts, who carried out the procedure with Walter Freeman [member of the American Psychiatric Association], described what happened:

    "We went through the top of the head, I think she was awake. She had a mild tranquilizer. I made a surgical incision in the brain through the skull. It was near the front. It was on both sides. We just made a small incision, no more than an inch." The instrument Dr. Watts used looked like a butter knife. He swung it up and down to cut brain tissue. "We put an instrument inside," he said. As Dr. Watts cut, Dr. Freeman put questions to Rosemary. For example, he asked her to recite the Lord's Prayer or sing "God Bless America" or count backwards. ... "We made an estimate on how far to cut based on how she responded." ... When she began to become incoherent, they stopped.

    Instead of the hoped-for result, Rosemary was left with urinary incontinence and an infantile mentality — staring blankly at walls for hours. Her speech became unintelligible. "Rose was devastated; she considered it the first of the Kennedy family tragedies.

  4. @ Nikk J

    Do you support the history of medicine, with it's doctors delivering babies after performing autopsies without washing their hands? What about the doctors that used to endorse specific brands of cigarettes in old tobacco advertisements? Bleeding to balance the humors? Surgery performed by barbers in the middle ages?
    Contemporary malpractice and misdiagnoses? "Superbugs" developing in hospitals today?

    I support the practice of psychiatry the same reason you support the practice of medicine (assuming you do), the application of scientific (pychological) knowledge to improve peoples health and well-being (in this case, mental health).

    What happened to Rosemary Kennedy was a tragedy. It was unethical and wrong. But the CCHR does not criticize psychiatry to improve the treatment and quality of life of the mentally ill, but to make shrinks look like big, scary nazi-boogeymen so they can better lure people into an abusive, financially exploitative cult that promises its own brand of "treatment".

    For Szas to wag his finger at an institution that strives to learn from the mistakes of its past and makes efforts to reduce the risk of harm to patients while refusing to say anything against a scam cooked up by a hack sci-fi writer that bleeds folks dry and keeps them away from their families while attributing their problems to alien ghosts is a double-standard of the highest order. For him to collaborate with the CoS so they can promote his books is hypocrisy of the highest order.

  5. Dear Cynic (or do you prefer "Sage"), thanks for the response. Your ad hominem against Szasz doesn't deserve a reply, but I'll respond to the rest of your pro-pseudo science comment later when I have the time. I might even write a separate post.


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