The exhibit addresses the following issues and more.
Origins of Torture: The “Father of American Psychiatry” set the scene for the next two centuries of psychiatric practice when he wrote in the late 1700s: “Terror acts powerfully upon the body, through the medium of the mind, and should be employed in the cure of madness.” From bloodletting, “ovary compressors” and “the bath of surprise” to Prozac and today’s electrode implants in the brain, psychiatric methods have resembled torture.
Man Redefined: From Pavlov’s salivating dogs to the birth of behaviorism, billions of dollars in government funds have been poured into psychological experiments and research that have failed to determine a single cause of any behavioral or mental problem or have led to any cures.
The Men Behind the Holocaust: Eugenics (control of “good stock” or race) in the early 1900s led to hundreds of thousands of African Americans, Hispanics and poor Whites being sterilized—yet it took until the 21st century for governments to acknowledge their complicity in the eugenics movement. Similarly, it took more than 50 years before the German Society of Psychiatrists was shamed into admitting psychiatry’s role in providing the ideology and killing methods for the Nazi Holocaust. The documentary for this section reveals 40% of German psychiatrists had joined the SS by 1933, before Hitler’s rise to power; over 300,000 falsely labeled “mental defects” were killed in German psychiatric institutions as a pilot for the concentration camp gas chambers. An Austrian psychiatrist advised the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal not to prosecute psychiatrists and allowed them to continue to practice after the war.
Firing Up Racism: The exhibit traces eugenics to the KKK, fabricated IQ and psychological tests that were used to “prove” African Americans were “inferior” and the establishment of slave labor psychiatric camps during Apartheid South Africa, owned by the largest pharmaceutical company in the country. In Australia, eugenics was practiced differently and the Stolen Generation was the result.
Soviet Psychiatry: This covers the history of the gulags and how psychiatrists circumvented Russia’s constitution and criminal law by inventing “sluggish schizophrenia” to describe the “mental illness” unique to political dissidents. The responsible psychiatrists never admitted their role in the torture and abuse of millions of Russian citizens and continued to advise the government after Communism fell. Political torture of perceived dissidents continues today in Chinese psychiatric institutions.
Electroshock and Psychosurgery: Most people think that electroshock therapy (ECT) and psychosurgery ended when Jack Nicholson’s character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest died in the 1970s. However, today more than 15 000 “treatments” are given each year in Australia, some to children.
Drugging for Profit: From the introduction of the tranquilizer Thorazine in the 1950s, to the mass marketing of Prozac, Zoloft and Ritalin, the story behind the complicity between psychiatrists, pharmaceutical companies and the FDA is exposed and in Australia similar links are seen. With each new “miracle pill,” claims of safety and efficacy are made only to find out years later, the public was betrayed. The drugs’ risks are known before they are released on the market, including side effects such as suicide, aggression, violence, heart attacks, strokes, addiction, psychosis, tumors and death. A $27 billion a year industry has a lot to lose should people become aware that the deadly effects they are experiencing are drug induced.
Coercion and Restraint: Daily many are involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility. Patients across Australia are violently restrained in psychiatric institutions with reports of some being tied to a trolley for 6 days. Assault and battery are excused under the guise that the patient needed “a therapeutic restraint.”
The Destruction of Artists: Since the inception of Hollywood and films, psychologists and psychiatrists have used these as a means of financing their own movement and agenda. Seeing film as a medium to influence millions of minds, they offered their own brand of advice for censorship and character theory. With such influence, too often, actors and artists have fallen into psychiatry’s hands. Consequently, we have all mourned the untimely deaths of great artists from Ernest Hemingway, Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe to Kurt Cobain, Michael Hutchence, Phil Hartman and many more.
Psychiatry in Our Courts: There is a hidden influence in our courts, one which, while loudly asserting its expertise and desire to help, has instead betrayed our most deeply-held values and brought us a burgeoning prison population at soaring public costs. Psychiatry and psychology’s influence has ensured an increasing number of “excuses” for criminal conduct. Yet in June 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court reported, “No matter how the test for insanity is phrased, a psychiatrist or psychologist is no more qualified than any other person to give an opinion about whether a particular defendant’s mental condition satisfies the legal test for insanity.”
Rape and Fraud: Studies show that at least 10% of psychiatrists admit to sexually abusing their patients and that 1 out of each 20 victims of therapist sexual involvement with a patient involves a minor, the youngest was 3. Proving that it was rape is difficult because when a patient files a complaint, psychiatrists pass it off as a symptom of their “mental illness.” Psychiatrists even invented “Masochistic Personality Disorder” to claim that patients “unconsciously provoke therapists either to give up on them, or sadistically abuse them….” 11% of therapist sexually abused patients require hospitalization. Of those harmed, only 17% recover fully. Further, psychiatrists have defrauded insurance companies, billing the rape as a “consultation.”
Inventing Disorders: An April 2006 study revealed that more than 50% of the psychiatrists deciding whether a “mental disorder” should be included in psychiatry’s insurance “billing bible,” The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders had undisclosed ties to pharmaceutical companies. However, every psychiatrist on the panels overseeing “mood disorders” and “psychotic disorders” were drug-company funded. Few, if any, people suffering emotional and mental trauma are informed about the massive pharmaceutical influence on their diagnosis, or that unlike medical diseases, there is not a single physical test, x-ray, blood test or brain scan that can detect or diagnose a “mental disorder.”
Psychiatric Drugging of Schoolchildren: In Australia documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act obtained from the TGA show that a 7 year old suddenly died while on Ritalin and a 5 year old had a stroke.
Documentaries: Over 160 experts and victims were interviewed for the 14 documentaries seen in the exhibit.