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Podcast    H2'ed 1/3/16

Bonnie Burstow-- The Dangers of State Empowered Psychiatry and Psychiatric Drugs and Treatments

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Broadcast 1/3/2016 at 9:21 AM EST (36 Listens, 36 Downloads, 2421 Itunes)
The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast

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Bonnie Burstow author of Psychiatry and the Business of Madness Associate Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada and is also author of Radical Feminist Therapy and Psychiatry Disrupted

Rob: your solutions are really bottom-up solutions

The entire direction of putting things in the hands of the state instead of the community is a gross misstep.

Rob: Why did you write this book? What's the main goal of this book.

Bonnie: Psychiatry is inherently harmful and will always be inherently harmful. I do not see anything short of getting rid of this institution and rebuilding a better society"

I wanted a book

Rob: Tell us about why you believe that Psychiatry is inherently harmful.

It's been proven, there's not a single scientific base for mental illness. People do worse when they take the drugs. There's no way to wiggle out of that. Longitudinal studies have shown that. People who go off drugs do better, but people who never go on them do best. They cause imbalances and cause all kinds of problems .

Rob: You start with the history of psychiatry

Psychiatry gives the history written backwards-- what they wish were true.

Rob: Tell us a bit about the history that we need to know.

You are so inundated with the false psychiatric narrative

originally, if you back to people like Kraepelin, there was no proof for mental illness, no biological base for this. Kraepelin is the father of modern psychiatry. He says "there's no proof, but we can assume that someday there will be proof, so let's assume there will be and act as if.

Psychiatry did go on that path that Kraepelin paved out. Then they started doing research and all of the research proved them wrong. They started pretending and lying

Rob: When did that start?

19th century

Rob: What kind of treatments were there in the 19th century-- dunking people in cold water, rotating people in chairs, opium, bleeding, genital mutiliation-- because they though madness was caused by masturbation.

Rob; It's horrible

It's horrible but no worse than what we have now with massive numbers.

Rob: what are some of the numbers:

90% of senior citizens are on psychiatric drugs after a certain age. Antipsychotics, anti-depressants--- and they are known to be profoundly brain damaging.

An interesting part of the history is the eugenics era-- Psychiatry was solely behind eugenics-- brought in eugenic cures-- electroshock, lobotomy-- they were clear, it works by damaging the brain.

Rob: It's almost like dumbing down the brain,

Are you also talking about anti anxiety drugs damage the brain?

Rob: How do they damage the brain?

antipsychotics impede transmission of dopamine. The brain, like every other organ of the body, tries to get homeostasis-- it tries to compensate, to get a balance-- there are a number of ways to get a balance-- so it sprouts new dopamine receptors-- so you have too many. Similarly with other drugs that try to have you have more neurotransmitter, your brain has what's called dying off and some receptors die off.

Rob: we have big pharma producing scores of millions of people whose brains are impaired.

People are more controlled and more orderly, and for the psychiatric field, you've grown your field-- more and more absolute repeat customers.

Rob: You call this book the business of madness. Why don't you comment on the morality of this.

It's unethical. People take an oath to do no harm and the truth is they are doing nothing but harm. The fact that the state is involved".

Rob: How is the state involved

The state funds psychiatry. it is the foundation of psychiatry's power. Psychiatry can lock people up.

Psychiatry is underpinned by the laws of the state.

Rob: In authoritarian nations psychiatry is used to control protest and people who speak out.

Ultimately all of psychiatry is political.

Rob talk about that.

If we didn't want controlled people we would not be empowering psychiatry. It is a regime of ruling.

Rob: you don't just talk about the drugs. Talk about the diagnostic system.

The diagnostic system is a real joke. Symptoms are bodily things. They're not how people behave.

All there are are characteristics and ways of behaving.

There's a strange thing that's happening with language. Psychiatric diagnoses are circular.

Example. Selective mutism-- that's a choice,

Rob: You have a strong take on the DSM system.

It's based on the concept that these are discrete diseases when there's no indication that there are diseases. It's arbitrary. It's inexact, and if you take a look at it, while it pretends that it bears distinctions between the disorders that are discrete. , it's a classification system that does not fit people's problems.

Rob: Are you saying that nobody has mental illness problems.

Rob: where do people who are delusional, hallucinating, suicidal,

Rob: I saw people, totally immobilized, people smearing excrement on the walls. What do you call them if not mentally ill?

Problems with living.


cultures that use control and cultures that use cooperation. We have to decide the kind

When you talk about this idea, this is not a crazy idea that's never been done. This is done in other cultures.

Bonnie: they're trying to stop it. The World bank insists.

Aboriginal culture-- what are everyone's needs. I'm

Rob: what you're talking about is a top-down domination model

The World bank pushes for psychiatry

And the international Monetary fund-- push for psychiatry. We are seeing the gradual colonization of these cultures.

They do it with the cooperation of business. And psychiatry is a business and pharmaceuticals are a business and part of a financialization of the world.

we need to take back our power.

Rob: Is there a movement with any momentum?

There is the social commons movement.

We see it in South America, in Brazil where there are participatory budgets-- this is the beginning of something much more democrat.

I'm 70 years old.

In occupy, they created communities together.

Rob: you are really not talking about a small modification. You're talking about a sociocultural shift.

most people who critique psychiatry.

Rob: Let's hear your big vision of it.

You are articulating it when you read all those principles. If the capitalists are wrong, so are the centralist socialists. Small communities in cooperation with neighboring communities.

Getting away from centralization to localization.

We need to rebuild community and assume a kind of collective responsibility for ourselves and each other.

Rob: You talk about the collective and the individual.

I want something that balances the collective and the individual-- take care of collective rights while respecting individuals.

Rob: How do you do that?


Rob: What are the values.

connectedness and respecting the individual.

that's why I like the commons thinkers.

Rob: Where would one find the commons thinkers.

do a google search on social commons. There are hordes of them.

Earlier people who tried to balance

go to anarchist thinkers like Paul Goodman

Rob: what about people who don't care about anyone else. Narcissists, Psychopaths and sociopaths.

Our society creates that, nurtures that way of being in the world. If we had a society that nurtured helping and caring.

We've created an egotistical, self-centered society.

Rob: What do we do with them since we have them now.

We help people reach towards other ways of being. Help society find ways to negotiate ways" there are processes. We can get together in community "meetings.

Rob: what do we do with the people pushing for more power for psychiatry. What do we do with them.

we take away their power. We have to withdraw our consent to being ruled. Gandhi withdrew their consent to be ruled. We have to make it impossible.

Rob: can you talk about your work and thinking looking at Feminine

Psychiatry is a patriarchal invention and goes along with patriarchal ways of understanding.

There are three times as many women as men electroshocked. Patriarchy is part of hierarchy and rule.

Patriarchy means rule by fathers.

Rob: How is patriarchy bad for or hurt men

It stops them from being full human beings. If you are an oppressor, you are not a a full human being.

I would like to see a society where everyone gets a chance to be giving and caring. The people most thwarted from being fully human are men.

They are socialized to be

Economy is patriarchal-- it's measurement, it's cognitive over emotion. It's domination

What helps human beings-- the best model we have are mothers-- mothers just give. If we had a society where men and women

Rob: talk about giving without expectation.

If we could treat everyone that way, if this was our default mode. Then I don't think we'd have the massive egotism you're talking about. We'd have people who could trust each other.

Rob: aboriginal principle of non-interference.

We try to control children. We want children to what is not natural to childhood. We want them not to fidget, to focus". I see that as disastrous for children. We correct children when they do it "wrong. " Aboriginal does not do that. They allow children to find their way.

It's the difference between trying to control and being an nurturing approach.

I'm inviting people to try to imagine a world"

Rob: how do people in the system, with a kid on Adderal, get out of the system?

Bit by bit.

Get together with other people who are unhappy.

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Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

Check out his platform at

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity  

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization (more...)

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