portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements united states

human & civil rights

Activists call for "Nonviolent revolution in the mental health system"

 http://www.MindFreedom.org - IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Latest Updates About MindFreedom 2005
Action Conference and Protest of PhRMA

Friday, April 29 to Monday May 2, 2005

American University Washington College of Law
Washington, DC, USA
Activists and advocates for human rights in the
mental health system are registering for a
unique and historic conference that ends with
a protest of the psychiatric drug industry.

Rather than the usual conference featuring
speakers and a passive audience, this event
is action oriented. Participants will work
side-by-side on campaigns and strategies to win
what they call a "nonvinolent revolution in
the mental health system."

Experienced leaders and facilitators will work
as equals with participants new to the field.

The conference is co-sponsored by MindFreedom
International and American University Washington
College of Law, where the conference will be held.

At the end of this Action Conference, all are
welcome to join participants in a peaceful
protest in front of the pharmaceutical industry's
main headquarters. Organizers say they oppose
PhRMA's unethical support for fraud, force,
and limited choice in the mental health system.

The title of the conference is: "Activism for
Human Rights in Mental Health: How the Law Can
Support Grassroots Action for Human
Rights in the Mental Health System."

Krista Erickson, chair of the Action Conference
Planning Committee said, "Space is limited but
there is still enough room if you register soon.
Pre-registration is absolutely required, first
come first served. We're going to get some work
done with some very dedicated people."

For your invitation to the conference
with complete updates and information
about registration, agenda, transport,
lodging and the protest, go to the






Participants can stay in one track or work in several.

Here are the latest descriptions with the current list
of experienced facilitators for each track.

Stop globalization of psychiatric human rights violations!

Facilitators: MindFreedom President Celia Brown,
leader of the MindFreedom team at the UN, and
MindFreedom Director David Oaks. Both are
psychiatric survivors.

Topics: Advocacy with The World Health
Organization (WHO) as well as the United
Nations (UN) especially related to the
International Convention on the Rights of
People with Disabilities.


- fighting drug industry dominance worldwide

- organizing in developing countries

- protesting globalization of human rights violation in psychiatry

Resist PhRMA's take over of our government!

Facilitators include: Dominick Riccio, PhD, Executive
Director of the International Center for the Study of
Psychology and Psychiatry (ICSPP) and Jake Johnson.

Jake Johnson is a professor at Bowie State University
in Bowie, Maryland. He is an expert on cultural
competence in mental health treatment, especially
working with African Americans. He is a member
of ICSPP and is a frequent presenter at ICSPP conferences

Topics: Planning actions to resist the unfair influence
of the psychiatric drug industry on the US government.


- Lobbying congress and federal government

- Challenging the Food & Drug Administration

- Enforcing the Federal Data Quality Act

- Opposing the implementation of mandatory mental health screening

More options for mental and emotional well being!

Facilitators: Janet Foner, MindFreedom International
board member. Leah Harris, spokesperson,
MindFreedom Washington, DC Metro Area.
Both are psychiatric survivors.

Focus: Support humane alternatives to the
traditional mental health system.


- Network groups and individuals promoting
empowering options for recovery

- Create a referral directory of humane alternatives

- Plan a MindFreedom conference on
alternatives to the current mental health system

End coerced psychiatric drugging, electroshock and more!

Facilitators include: Noted attorney,
Jim Gottstein, Director of the Law Project
for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights).

Focus: Fight the increased use of
force in the mental health system by
combining the tools of the legal system
and grassroots activism.


- approaches for defending people subjected
to forced treatment

- strategic lawsuits stopping forced treatment
and other human rights abuses

- effective legal efforts

- supporting ongoing efforts such as the
MindFreedom Shield Program

Break the Corporate Media Silence on these Issues!

Facilitators include: Bob Whitaker, journalist and
author of the book _Mad in America_. Laurie Ahern
is a staff person at Mental Disabilities Rights
International, and a psychiatric survivor.

Focus: Relationship between the media,
science and grassroots actions for human rights
in mental health.


- Grassroots actions to challenge the dominance
of the psychiatric industry in the media

- Public educational campaigns.

- Use of paid advertising and "sign on" ads

** OPEN TRACK: Your voice and leadership
are respected and encouraged!

Facilitators include: MindFreedom board
member Al Galves, PhD.

Focus: Provide an open space for any
conference participants to raise topics,
ideas or concerns not covered by other
conference tracks, especially voices
from neglected and marginalized groups.



MindFreedom International is pro-choice.
Some members choose to take prescribed
psychiatric drugs. However, the domination
and control by the pharmaceutical industry
over the mental health system must be
challenged now to win human rights.

MindFreedom is sponsoring a nonviolent protest
in front of the headquarters of the Pharmaceutical
Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
at 1100 Fifteenth St. NW, Washington, D.C. on
Monday, 2 May 2005 -- Noon. A police permit
application has already been submitted.

Protesters will bring props including a huge pill to
re-enact PhRMA's take-over of psychiatry & politics.

Volunteers are urgently needed to take leadership.
If you would like to be on the protest planning
committee and participate in e-mail and teleconference
planning, please contact  office@mindfreedom.org.



The deadline for scholarship applications is
now *OVER*. Far more requests for funds have
been received than are currently available.

MORE DONATIONS are urgently needed for this
scholarship fund. Whether or not you plan on
attending this event, please consider helping
others go to this conference now!

Your donation is tax-deductible under IRS 501(c)(3).
You may donate via the web, please specify in the
"comments" section that your donation is for




This MindFreedom-News announcement
system replaces the DENDRITE list.
This is still a free, public, one-way,
occasional announcement list about
news and alerts regarding human
rights in the mental health system.

All other MindFreedom e-mail lists will
also soon be replaced by this new service.
Please note Intenex is spelled without an "r."



More updates about lodging and other
logistics have been posted on the web
with the date listed for each update.
This is also where you can print out
your registration form to fax or mail
it in to the MindFreedom office, soon!



Please help build the momentum for this importante event.



human righs in the mental health system.

For information about MindFreedom's
human rights action campaigns see:


MindFreedom is a non-profit uniting over
100 sponsor groups in 15 countries
and is a Non Governmental Organization
accredited by the United Nations with
Consultative Roster Status.

Sometimes called the "Amnesty
International of mental health,"
MindFreedom is independent from any
government, mental health provider,
corporation or religion.

To join or renew your membership in
MindFreedom go now to:


Those interested in joining may
request a free sample copy of the
_MindFreedom Journal_ by
e-mailing your postal mailing address to:

Or write to:

454 Willamette, Suite 216
PO Box 11284
Eugene, OR 9744-3484 USA

Please forward to all appropriate
places on and off the Internet.

MindFreedom-News mailing list


a 21.Mar.2005 12:44


keep this up.they almost killed me with their ''drugs'' which are actually deadly euthanasia chemicals, believe me.there are deadly assaults going on right now in your communities and i have no doubt that if someone died from those chemicals they would cover it up and say you had a ''heal;th problem'' ior some such lie. WAKE UP!.people have been KILLED

woot 21.Mar.2005 16:13

pull it

free marigold

Is this some Scientology bullshit? 21.Mar.2005 20:12


Just skimming over it, I'd guess it was.

Ha ha 21.Mar.2005 20:21


I went and searched for 'midfreedom scientology' and got 331 hits. The first one is from thier website blabbing "We are NOT part of scientology" blah blah. Funny, it sure looks like scientology bullshit.

 link to www.google.com

Well, what can I say. They seem to put quite a bit of effort into saying they're not scientologists. Non the less, you've got to wonder why? Either they're hiding something, or people just get reminded of scientology when reading thier crap. If it looks like a scientologist and quacks like a scientologist, why don't they just get together and all be scientologists?

two comments, one for yiko 22.Mar.2005 06:18

no compromise in liberation of humanity from imposed norms!

"There is only one political sin:
independence; and only one political virtue:
obedience. To put it differently, there is
only one offense against authority: self-
control; and only one obeisance to it:
submission to control by authority.

"Why is self-control, autonomy, such a
threat to authority? Because the person who
controls himself, who is his own master, has
no need for an authority to be his master.
This, then, renders authority unemployed.
What is he to do if he cannot control others?
To be sure, he could mind his own business.
But this is a fatuous answer, for those who
are satisfied to mind their own business do
not aspire to become authorities. In short,
authority needs subjects, persons not in
command of themselves -- just as parents need
children and physicians need patients.

"Autonomy is the death knell of authority,
and authority knows it: hence the ceaseless
warfare of authority against the exercise,
both real and symbolic, of autonomy..." --Tom Szasz, MD at:

For Yiko: Yes, it is a prerogative of those seeking to attack ideas (like yourself) by trying to pair unpopularized and discredited groups with groups seeking change... Know the pattern, people! It's one of the first tactics of all-out attack.

Having said that, i wish to launch another challenge/demystification for the followers of SCI (Support Coalition International) and the Mindfreedom network. While it is valid we accept the truths that are revealed and challenged by this network, i.e. biological psychiatry, let's not forget to also recall that they are themselves comprised of professionals who make up simply *another* school of coercion and hierarchical attack, seeking at base to *adapt nontraditional dissent* to the status quo.

Thus, this school of thought **cannot going to liberate us** and we must understand this reality. They are merely seeking to do what all political game players do: make cosmetic changes while suppressing and marginalizing any truly liberatory forms. Do they question "mental illness" itself? Do they give us tools to escape from the ideology's grip for good? Are they not simply going to **continue** to ultimately strengthen the grip of the state on its peasantry, er, "citizens"?

So that instead of forced drugging there will continue to be 'manufacture of consent drugging'; instead of forced 'hospitalization' there will be a continuance of 'manufacture of consent "hospitalization"; instead of open attack, there will continue to be nuanced and camoflauged attack, courtesy of "empathy, love, and therapy" via your Always Trustworthy (tm) Nice Professional (who remains forcefully subordinated to the State).

Dissent is not welcome in the so-called "revolution" of SCI and Mindfreedom. Where once there was a forum for discussion of the issues at Mindfreedom, there is now something more like your typical Right-wing method: passively consume ideas and information from a permitted vanguard, or write a letter to the editor and *maybe* they'll feel like publishing it.

Will they allow you autonomy? Will they assist you in creating an autonomous network?

Ah, the reality of such phrasing like "revolution" is simply hype to promote one profession *back* to its earlier prominence (re: pre-1975).

In order to move towards true 'revolution', or better, *evolution*, we must first escape the monoplized power of the nobles (i.e. professionals) and give it back to ourselves!

Educate and inform yourself about the realities of the therapeutic state, including psychotherapy. Watch and participate in the 'critical psychiatry board' linked at the bottom of 'Stop Shrinks' website at www.stopshrinks.org Utilize and help fund the informal movement of non-profit peer survivor counseling via the Mental Patients Liberation Alliance (the non-mental health industry, non-profit oriented to solving 'difficulties in living' rather than metaphors of alleged sickness; contact: (315) 475-4120 or (315) 947-5015 toll free help line also available, upon inquiry). Educate yourself about psychotherapy and other pertinent issues, re: psychotherapy itself (Szasz's audiotape book):  http://www.blackstoneaudio.com/audiobook.cfm?id=1305

Understand the game of politics in general, read Wolfi Landstreicher's "From Politics To Life":
"For the left [and right], the social struggle against exploitation and oppression is essentially a political program to be realized by whatever means are expedient."--Wolfi at:

"I don't care what they say: the mental health business is the stigmatization business and nothing more or less. It's hardest to see the air we breathe. If you think you have an open mind, test it by reading something by Thomas S. Szasz, M.D."
--    John Friedberg, MD.

Note: Szasz, like anyone, holds blindspots. I read Szasz with a radically critical eye, taking what I find valuable and discarding what strikes me as overly authoritarian, such as his acceptance of the idea that people "freely choose" in societies saturated with business propaganda.

Scientology 14.Jul.2005 23:26


Ah, thanks to Tom Cruise for helping destroy Scientology. His recent mental health breakdown is causing people to look ever more closely at the more retarded aspects of this criminal cult.

You can always tell a bullshitter when they feel the need to write 10 pages of crap in response to a few words. Scientologist always over-attack and end up falling on thier asses. Then, when scientology has sucked them dry, they get depressed and die.