The Pharmacaust

20,000,000 dead. So far.

In the video below (at the bottom of this page), you will see and/or hear (in the order in which they appear) Robert Whitaker (author of the acclaimed book Mad in America), the late Dr. Loren Mosher (the first Chief of the Center for Schizophrenia Studies at the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) and the founder and Editor-In-Chief, for its first twelve years, of the foremost schizophrenia research journal, Schizophrenia Bulletin), Sue (a psychiatric survivor whose voice you will hear), and Dr. Daniel Kriegman (a founder of Zuzu's Place, where the discussion takes place). In the video, they calculate the amount of death and destruction wrought by "antipsychotic" drugs.

Their calculation is an attempt to measure the magnitude of what could be termed "The Pharmacaust." As you will see, the toll, thus far exceeds that of almost all natural disasters and the worst acts of human inhumanity. When you consider this, it becomes quite interesting to consider the embarrassment Sue voices, when Dr. Kriegman compares the pharmacological destruction of millions of people with the Holocaust, as if he is engaging in wild exaggeration and inflammatory hyperbole. The two horrific holocausts are certainly different in many important ways—not the least of which are that the numbers from the Pharmacaust are much larger, it is still happening, and it is growing with increasing speed. However, the horror experienced by the victims may not be all that different. Terrified people are cornered. Their cries and pleas are completely ignored. And they are then forced to submit to dehumanizing procedures which ultimately lead to their destruction.

"Comparing psychiatry to Nazism is just too far-fetched. You people are nuts!"

OK. We agree. This whole line of thinking does sound extreme, even "over the top." So let's step back and acknowledge how jarring and wrong-headed it appears to be to compare well-intentioned "treatment" with intentional mass murder and attempted genocide.

Yet, we cannot let uncomfortable notions (even if jarring and seemingly extreme) lead us to ignore aspects of reality just because considering them is so unsettling. First consider that false beliefs could enable genuine good intentions to underlie destructive action by treatment providers, i.e., of people who are truly trying to help those they injure. There are many examples of this, but let's just present one from a primitive form of ancient psychiatry, trephining. In trephining, one tries to let the evil spirits out by making a whole in the person's head. Obviously, even if well-intentioned, this "treatment" was unlikely to cause anything but infection and death.

Next we have to reconsider the intentions of the Nazis. They actually believed that they were curing homo sapiens of a disease by ridding the superior Aryan Race of the infectious agents that were endangering humanity's very existence. As bizarre as it seems, it is unquestionable that the Nazi leadership had "good," i.e., idealistic, intentions! Their attempt to exterminate the Jews (and their longer range plans to eliminate most other segments of humanity) was justified by the insane notion that—as with brutal, pseudo-medical procedures like trephining—they were engaging in necessary, painful actions for the good of the patient (humanity, read "Aryans"). How is this so different—especially when one looks at it from the point of view of the victims—from psychotropic drug pushers who repeat false notions about chemical imbalances and necessary treatments (while openly acknowledging ugly, horrifying, and not infrequently deadly side effects) to justify forced medication that destroys many of their involuntary "patients"?

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The central role played by psychiatry

But despite the fact that most psychiatrists are well meaning and show no particular tendency to engage in totalitarian violence, we do have to go even further and ask ourselves, is it just a coincidence that psychiatry played a crucial role in Nazi Germany's organized mass murder? Since most people are unaware of the central role psychiatry played in the evolution of Nazi extermination efforts, we need to take a closer look. Prepare to be surprised!

As the video on the right documents, organized psychiatry did, indeed, play a crucial role in the evolution of the Nazi Holocaust. Given Hitler's initial plan to ship the Jews out of the Nazi empire to some place like Madagascar, there is a real question as to whether his genocidal "Final Solution" would ever have developed had it not been for the earlier mass murder—organized by medical doctors and led by psychiatrists—of those deemed "defective" by the Nazis.

Psychiatrists are NOT Nazis!

OK. OK. Before you cry foul once more and get the feeling that we are grossly exaggerating, let us again acknowledge that there is one very obvious and real difference between the practice of modern psychiatry and the Nazi genocide (even if it was aided and abetted by psychiatry). And that is that, unlike the Nazis and others who commit outright murder, neuroleptic treatment prescribers believe they are helping the victims themselves.

Unfortunately, however, their own research, their own studies, make it unmistakably clear that this belief is false: With simple supportive care, the majority of the victims of The Pharmacaust—we are referring to those people who are acknowledged to have suffered severe damage and/or death from drug treatments—would have recovered from their psychotic breakdowns naturally, without any chemical intervention. Though this flies in the face of almost universally held beliefs promulgated by those who derive enormous profit from the use of the neuroleptics, the evidence for this conclusion is unequivocal.

Long term follow up studies show that schizophrenia patients kept on antipsychotic medication have very poor outcomes.

Accidental Executioners? So, was it just a coincidence?

And despite the important difference between modern psychiatry and the psychiatry abetted Nazi abomination, we would suggest that it is NOT just a coincidence that the same branch of medicine that played a crucial role in the generation of the Holocaust presides over such horrendous, and frequently deadly mistreatment today. No, psychiatry is not inherently evil; the vast majority of psychiatrists are reasonably conscientious doctors who want to help their patients.

However, as in the phrase "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely," when the dominant party to a human interaction feels that they are completely right and that the other party is too mentally incompetent to even bother to listen to (whether due to retardation or a "chemical imbalance" or a coma or "insanity"), the stage is set for profound abuse. The dominant party can feel perfectly justified in assuming absolute power over the other. And when the dominant party is in turn brought under the control of truly massive financial interests (e.g., the pharmaceutical industry) that are organized in the form of corporations that have a legal obligation to pursue only one agenda (to maximize profits) for shareholders (who are far removed from the human interaction), the stage is further set for a truly tragic outcome.

Report: Mentally ill die younger

July 2007

By Pamela Berard

Adults with serious mental illness who are treated in public systems have a life expectancy that is about 25 years less than Americans overall.

In the early 1990s, the gap in life spans was about 10 to 15 years. The increase is alarming, notes Joseph Parks, M.D., medical director of psychiatric services for the Missouri Department of Mental Health and lead author of the recently released report, "Morbidity and Mortality in People with Serious Mental Illness."

"What other group in America has lost 10 years of life expectancy in the last decade and a half?" asks Parks, who is also president of the Medical Directors Council for the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD).

NASMHPD put together the study. The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health was the first state to conduct and present results of a study that led to the 16-state Study on Mental Health Performance Measures . . .

Mortality data was volunteered from eight of those states from the time period of 1997-2000. Among the eight states that submitted mortality data, it was found that people with serious mental illness served by the public mental health system had a higher relative risk of death. While some deaths were caused by suicide or accidents, the majority - about three in five - died of natural causes or preventable diseases, including heart disease, cancer, lung disease or complications from HIV/AIDS.

In Massachusetts, the cardiovascular mortality was 6.6 times higher in clients of the Department of Mental Health, compared to the general population, during a three-year period . . .

The mortality study may be viewed on the NASMHPD Web site,

By 1990, the traditional approach to care had already shaved 10 to 15 years off their lives. Now, with "new advances in the treatment of mental illness," the average person diagnosed with severe mental illness and treated in our mental health system dies 25 years earlier than other people.

What's wrong with this picture?


Though the empirical evidence (presented or linked to on this and other Yoism pages) shows that most people would do better if never given neuroleptic drugs, and that (given their dangerous side effects) most people should not be kept on them for very long, withdrawal from neuroleptics can be destabilizing and dangerous. The human body adjusts or becomes accustomed to drugs that are taken regularly. Abrupt withdrawal from such drugs and other substances can cause problematic reactions, e.g., DT's when withdrawing from alcohol and convulsions when withdrawing from barbiturates. Just so, withdrawal from the regular use of psychiatric drugs can pose serious dangers. If you are taking such drugs and wish to withdraw, it may be very important to obtain guidance from folks who know how to do so safely. Here is a link to an informational web site put together by people who have gone through (or supported those who have gone through) withdrawal from psychiatric drugs.

Unlike conspiracy theorists, whose far-fetched conclusions can be refuted by experts who can point to the evidence, in this case, a dispassionate, careful review of the evidence shows that it is Big Pharma that is using selective presentation of the evidence and faulty reasoning in support of one of the most profitable industries that has ever existed. Though we created this page and the video below in 2003, we continued to face mocking dismissal by "the experts" right up until 2006 when the evidence started to accumulate about the existence of massive fraud in the drug industry.

Today when faced with this overwhelming evidence, do the experts change their minds and practice? No. While they no longer respond with ridicule, they no longer respond! That is, even though the evidence has not yet changed their practice and they continue to believe and act as they did, the evidence is so overwhelming that they no longer know how to respond without becoming confused, losing their balance, and becoming tongue-tied. So they just turn away!

Contrarian view supported by the evidence, or paranoid, conspiracy theory?

And if you are skeptical of contrarian views, so are we. Unlike conspiracy theorists who use inconsistencies in the facts to create complex alternative scenarios, we would argue that there are no inconsistencies. The complete body of evidence points in one direction: The drugs don't work. While there may be a minority of folks who benefit from the medications, the majority (at least 60 to 70%, according to the empirical findings) of folks who take neuroleptics would be better off without the "medication." And though the research into alternative approaches receives almost no financial support (compared with the torrential flow of money to pro-drug researchers), the good empirical evidence that we have so far shows that non-drug approaches work as well as or better than "treatment" with neuroleptic toxins.

New evidence keeps emerging that the medical profession has sold its soul in exchange for what can only be described as bribes from the manufacturers of drugs . . . It is long past time for leading medical institutions and professional societies to adopt stronger ground rules to control the noxious influence of industry money on what doctors prescribe for their patients. (New York Times editorial: “Seducing the Medical Profession,” February 2, 2006)

In this case, it is those who profit from beliefs that fly in the face of the evidence who are ignoring the large body of data that points to this "contrarian" conclusion. And they profit big time. Indeed, we should be skeptical of beliefs created and spread by those who benefit enormously from such beliefs. Especially when the amount of "benefit" involved is simply astounding:

The most startling fact about 2002 is that the combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 ($35.9 billion) were more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put together ($33.7 billion) . . . When I say this is a profitable industry, I mean really profitable. It is difficult to conceive of how awash in money Big Pharma is. (Marcia Angell, former Editor-in-Chief of the world's most prestigious medical journal, The New England Journal of Medicine.)
[Medicine is afflicted with a] disease: an over-powerful, under-regulated drug industry and a research establishment and publishing industry in its thrall . . . Between the interests of the public and the commercial interests of drug companies stand two potential safeguards—journal peer review and drug regulation . . . [it is] clear that peer review in its current form is unequal to the task . . . Drug regulators too seem unequal to their task. Critics focus on their close relationship with industry; their lack of transparency; their lack of systematic post marketing surveillance; and an emphasis on efficacy over patient safety, which favours industry. . . . I suggest a radical solution. As with most good ideas, it is not mine alone. Marcia Angell (personal communication) and [others] have also had it, but here is my version. Drug companies should not be allowed to evaluate their own products. (Fiona Godlee, M.D., Editor, British Medical Journal)

The Pharmacaust

Excerpted from The Truth about "Schizophrenia":
Loren Mosher and Bob Whitaker visit Zuzu's Place."

For more information about the full-length movie, click here.

If video fails to play left-click here; to download, right-click.

Unfortunately, Big-Pharma is able to punish whistleblowers who expose their wrongdoing! For example, consider the case of Jim Gottstein who is under attack from one of the biggest corporations in the world. Having spent close to three hundred thousand dollars to defend himself, he is still being threatened with loss of his license to practice law, massive civil penalties, and possibly jail. Jim needs our help!Attorney James Gottstein's legal defense bills approach $300G as Eli Lilly sues him for exposing Lilly's wrongdoing!

For further exploration of this issue, see our
discussion of the Today Show episode featuring
Tom Cruise's visit with Matt Lauer.