By Lenny Lapon

The attitudes and practices of psychiatrists in Nazi Germany that enabled them to slaughter 3oo,ooo of their patients were similar to these of psychiatrists and psychologists of the same period in the United States. In both countries these attitudes had common roots. And most importantly, these same attitudes, theories and practices are still prevalent today in our own country (and throughout most of the world). That they have not yet resulted in as large a psychiatric holocaust here as in Nazi Germany should be considered only as a warning and should not prevent us from stopping the spread of this psychiatric malignancy (if you’ll forgive the medical metaphor).

Two recent books that give a thorough description of the development and continued presence of many. of these views and theories are: 1. The Legacy of Malthus: The Social Costs of New Scientific Racism and 2. From “Genesis to Genocide: The Meaning of Human Nature and the Power of Behaviour Control by Stephen L. Chorover.

Many of the pseudoscientific, psychiatric and social theories that advocate locking up (i.e. “institutionalisation”), sterilisation and killing (i.e. euthanasia) of people considered by some to be ‘not worthy of living’ fall under the heading of eugenics. My 1966 copy of Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary defines eugenics as “science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human setting) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed.” The idea that one race or group of people is superior to another is, of course, a racist, political and pseudoscientific, not scientific, idea. Unfortunately, many people considered to be scientists and “social scientists” advocate this type of racism and discrimination. ‘Socio-biology’ is, a related pseudoscience that claims to give biological reasons (e.g., heredity, chemical imbalances in the blood and brain, etc.) for social and political actions and conditions. Eugenicists and sociobiologists have been blaming the victims of poverty, unemployment, racism and other discriminations for their condition for over a hundred years now.

There are many psychiatrists and psychologists who do not believe that mental illness and mental retardations are inherited or biologically or chemically caused. They look instead at the “patient’s” environment, though usually not much beyond the family. Yet they still treat the pain and suffering of people who are so labeled with many, if not all, of the same torturous methods as the “genetically-orientated’ doctors. They call us by the some degrading and dehumanizing labels – ‘Schizophrenic’, ‘Psychotic’, ‘Mentally defective’ -and they forcibly commit people to psychiatric institutions, give them/us drugs, electroshock and even psychosurgery. They use, as well, the techniques of behavior modification in an attempt to force changes in behavior and attitudes by controlling the person’s environment, a most inhumane and totally undemocratic concept – B.F. Skinner. And they use isolation cells and shackles which they euphemistically call ‘quiet rooms’ and ‘restraints’.

The following is a chronology that demonstrates some of the similarities in the origins and parallel development of eugenic and psychiatric ideas and practices in the United States and Germany. In the case of Germany, most of the included events occurred before or during the Nazi period. In the case of the U.S., events up to the present are included. The list has a few entries for other countries and could have included other examples. Further information can be obtained from the sources cited in the references and especially from the works of Chase and Chorover just mentioned.

I do not mean to imply that all people Labelled “mentally ill” are experiencing severe emotional pain. Many are, but many also get labelled ‘psychotic’, ‘manic’, etc. for being “too happy” or for not wanting to conform to certain values imposed by society (i.e. not behaving appropriately).

1851 A respected white physician, Dr. Samuel A. Cartwright created a mental illness peculiar to Black people. The effort of the slave to gain his freedom by running away from the plantation, he said, was a symptom of a serious mental disease called DRAPETOMANIA. Dr. Cartwright maintained that this hideous condition could be cured by recapturing the ‘patient’, rubbing him down with oil and beating him into submission.

1869. The English psychologist Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin, published Hereditary Genius. Cornell University anthropology professor Davydd Greenwood described this work as “an impassioned brief for hereditary aristocracy that became the first modern document of the modern eugenics movement.” Charover wrote of this book:

Galton’s inquiry into hereditary genius’ led him to view “the incompetent, the ailing, and the desponding” as a threat to the well- being of society because of their habit “of producing large numbers of impoverished, sick, and miserable children.” The upper classes, he argued, should be encouraged to have more children, whereas the lower classes should be induced, if possible, or compelled if necessary to have fewer. Galton’s racist view of Blacks was made clear when he wrote, ‘The average intellectual standard of the Negro is some two grades below our own.’

1075. U.S. Immigration law excluded ‘coolies’, convicts, and prostitutes as “undesirable aliens.”

1882. “Lunatics and Idiots” were added to those excluded under U.S. immigration law.

1883. Galton introduced the term Eugenics to describe ideas and proposed practices of racist superiority and sterilization.

1884. Galton stated “The Jews are specialized for parasitical existence upon other nations.”

1890’s. The superintendent of a Kansas home for the feeble minded castrated 58 children before public revulsion forced him to stop.

1895. German eugenicist Dr. Alfred Ploetz published “The Excellence of Our Race and the Protection of the Weak”, in which he attempted to show “That a misdirected humanitarianism was threatening the quality of the race by, fostering the protection of its weaker numbers.”

1897. In his presidential address before the American Association for the Study of Feeble-mindedness. Dr. M.W. Barr strongly advocated sterilization.

1898. A eugenic sterilization bill was unsuccessfully introduced into the Michigan Legislature. It provided for the castration of all inmates of the Michigan Home for the Feebleminded and Epileptic.

1900-1903. Wilhelm Schallmayer won an essay contest sponsored by Alfred Krupp, the head of Germany’s largest armaments company for answering the question, ‘What does the theory of evolution teach us in regard to the internal political development end legislation of States?’ Schallmayer put forward a eugenics program that included premarital screening by doctors for ‘undesirable’ inheritable traits. In his prize- winning book, ‘Inheritance and Selection in the Life-History of Nations: A Sociopolitical Study Based Upon The Newer Biology [Sociobiology].

1903. Epileptics and insane persons were added to those ‘undesirable’ aliens excluded under U.S. Immigration law.

1904. The Carnegie Institution of Washington, a corporate foundation endowed by Andrew Carnegie, the steel tycoon, established a biological experiment station at Cold Spring Harbor. New York. Eugenicist Charles Benedict Davenport was its first director in both the U.S. and Germany. The eugenics movement was in large part supported by corporate funds.

Alfred Ploetz founded the Archiv fur Ration Rassen Gesellschaftbiologie (Archive for Racial and Social Biology), the chief journal of the German eugenics of hygiene movement.

1907. Indiana passed the world’s first compulsory sterilisation law for all “confirmed criminals, idiots, rapists and imbeciles who were confined in State institutions. By 1980 thirty states and the colony of Puerto Rico posted similar laws.

Imbeciles and feeble-minded persons were added to those ‘undesirable’ aliens excluded under U.S. Immigration law.

1912. The first international Congress of Eugenics was held at the University of London. The president of the Congress was Major Leonard Darwin son of Charles Darwin. One of the English vice- presidents was First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, later Prime Minister. German vice-presidents included M. von Gruber, professor of hygiene at Munich and Dr. Alfred Ploetz president of the International Society for Race Hygiene. American vice-presidents included Charles W. Eliot, president emeritus of Harvard University and Alexander Graham Bell.

Psychologist Henry Goddard published The Kallika Family: A Study in the Heredity of Feeblemindedness. in this year Goddard also administered IQ tests to immigrants to Ellis Island, finding that 83 percent of the Jews and 80 percent of the hungarians, 79 percent of the Italians and 87 percent of the Russians who wanted to enter the United States were “feeble-minded.”

1914. The First National Congress on Race Betterment was held in Battle Creek, Michigan. A ‘segregation and sterilisation’ program was proposed to reduce the number of “defective and antisocial” people in the population from 10 percent to 5.77 percent by 1955 by sterilizing 3.76 million Americans.

By 1914 eugenics was taught in the U.S. at Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Clark and other universities. In Germany, in this year, the Reichstag (the German parliament) considered a eugenics sterilization law.

1916. Madison Grant published The Passing Of the Great Race, or the Racial Basis of European History, in New York, in which he stated: Mistaken regard for what are believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilization of such adults as are themselves of no value to a community. The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit and human life is valuable only when of use to the community or race.

Lewis M. Terman, Professor of psychology at Stanford University published the Stanford Binot IQ test in the United States. Chorover credited Terman with ‘injecting race into the IQ debate.’ Terman claimed that mental deficiency is very common in Spanish-Indian and Mexican families…and also among Negros. He also warned that “if we would preserve our state for a class of people worthy to possess it, we must prevent, as far as possible, the propagation of mental degenerates.”

1920. Alfred Mocha, professor of psychiatry and director of the psychiatric clinic in Freiburg, and Karl Binding, a German judge published The Release of the Destruction of Life Devoid of Value in Leipzig. His work advocated the killing of people labelled “mentally ill” and “mentally defective” and used the euphemism “euthanasia”. Some quotes from this book are:

…All the institutions for mentally sick persons… the tremendous care that these creatures receive; creatures of no value at all… incurable idiots… have no will for life or for death. They give no definite consent to the euthanasia…. Their life is completely useless, but they don’ t consider it unbearable. For the idiots… the continuation of life for society as well as for the person himself has no value.

Dr. John E. Lind, a psychiatrist at St. Elizabeths hospital in Washington, published his racist view of low “Psychology of the African” in the Psychoanalytic Review:

The precocity of the children, the early onset of puberty, the failure to grasp subjective ideas , the strong sexual and herd instincts with the few inhibitions, the simple dream life, the easy reversion to savagery when deprived of the restraining influence of the whites (as in Haiti and Uberial), the tendency to seek expression in such rhythmic means as music and dancing, the low resistance to such toxins as syphlilis and alchohol, the sway of superstition, all these and many other things betray the savage heart beneath the civilized exterior. Because he wears a Palm Beach suit instead of a string of cowries (brightly colored shells) carries a gold-headed cane instead of a spear, uses the telephone instead of beating the drum from hill to hill and for jungle path has substituted the pay-so-you-enter streetcar, his psychology is no less than that of an African.

1921. The Second international Congress of Eugenics was held in New York. The sponsoring committee included Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover and the presidents of Clark University, Smith College and the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

1922. H H Laughlin, the Expert Eugenics Agent of the United States House of Representatives Committee on immigration and Naturalization published the Model Eugenical Sterilization Law. This model formed a basis for any state sterilisation laws and for Nazi Germany’s 1933 law. Laughlin listed the categories of people who were to be subjected to mandatory Sterilization:

The socially inadequate classes, regardless of etiology or prognosis… are the following: Feeble-minded; insane (including the psychopathic); Criminalistic (including the delinquent and wayward); Epileptic; Inebriate (including drug-habitues); Diseased (including the tuberculous, the syphilitic, the leprous, and others with chronic, infectious, and legally segregable diseases); Blind (including those with seriously impaired vision); Deformed (including the crippled). and Dependent (including orphans, naer-do-wells, the homeless, tramps and paupers.)

1925. Adolf Hitler published Mein Kampf to the glee of the eugenicists. Hitler’s book included the following statements:

It is a half measure to let incurably sick people steadily contaminate the remaining healthy ones…. The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring is a demand of the clearest reason and if systematically executed represents the most humane act of mankind. It will spare millions of unfortunates undeserved sufferings, and consequently will lead to a rising improvement of health as whole.

The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man. It was and it is Jews who bring the Negroes into the Rhineland, always with the same secret thought and clear aim of ruining the hated white race by the necessarily resulting bastardization, throwing it down from its cultural and political height.

The folkish state must make up for what everyone else today has neglected in this field. It must set race in the center at all life. It must take care to keep it pure…. It must see to it that only the healthy beget children; that there is only one disgrace: despite one’s own sickness and deficiencies, to bring children into the world…. It must put the most modern medical mean’s to the service of this knowledge. It must declare unfit for propagation all who are in any way visibly sick or who have inherited a disease… and put this into actual practice.

Those who are physically and mentally unhealthy and unworthy must not perpetuate their suffering in the body of their children.

1927. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Buck v. Bell. Buck was Carrie Buck, a 11-year old girl committed to the State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded in Virginia, where Bell was the superintendent. Carrie’s mother was also an inmate at the same institution. Carrie had recently given birth to a child and the state of Virginia wanted to have her sterilized against her will. Associate Justice Holmes wrote.

The judgment finds the facts that have been recited and that Carrie Buck is the probably potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted, and she may be sexually sterilized without detriment to her general health and that her welfare and that of society will be promoted by her sterilization, and thereupon makes the order… We have seen more then once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for those lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned. in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world. If instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from brooding their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes…. Three generations ofimbeciles are enough.

1927-1933. During this period Austrian psychiatrist Manfred Sakei developed insulin shock (ICT-Insulin Coma Treatment) in Berlin and Vienna. This is a procedure whereby the “patient’ is injected with enough insulin to induce a coma. Leonard Roy Frank wrote, “Although the rate of death from ICT is usually reported by psychiatrists as being from O.5 to 2 percent, one extensive 1941 study of state hospitals revealed a 4.9 percent death rate. That ICT was used extensively in Nazi Germany indicated by the statement of psychiatrist Helmut Ehrhardt,” “Already by 1937 there was, I think, no neuropsychiatric university clinic in Germany in which ICT was not used.”

Ehardt is a German psychiatrist who is also a member of the American Psychiatric Association. He was trained in Nazi Germany at the University of Breslau where he received a Ph.D. in psychology in 1939 and an M.D. in 1941.

1930. Ernst Rudin professor of psychiatry at Munich and director of the Department of Heredity at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute visited the United States and was praised by leaders of the Carnegie Foundation. Rudin, later architect of Nail Germany’s sterilisation law was financially supported in his work by a large grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

1932. The Third International Congress of Eugenics was held in New York. Dr. Theodore Russell Roble of the Essex County Mental Hygiene Clinic in New Jersey presented “Selective Sterilisation for Race Culture” in which he called for the sterilization of at least the 14,000,000 Americans who had received low intelligence test scores since World War 1. In this third year of the Great Depression, Roble said:

…there are those who believe that our population has already attained a greater number than is necessary for the efficient functioning of the race as a whole. Certainly our present picture of millions of unemployed would point to the belief that this suggestion is a reasonable one. It would undoubtedly be found, if such research was possible, that a major portion of this vast army of unemployed are social inadequates, and in many cases mental defectives. who might have been spared the misery they are now facing if they had never been born. It would certainly be understandable how many of them would prefer not to have been born, if they could have known what was in store for them on this Earth where the struggle for existence, and the urge toward the survival of the fittest makes it necessary for all those who would survive to possess a native [genetic] endowment of at least average intelligence.

1933. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Socialist (Nazi)Party-came to power in Germany.

An article by Dr. M.H. Goering, a cousin of Marshal Herman Goering appeared in Germany’s Journal of Psychotherapy, instructing psychotherapists to make a serious scientific study of Adolf Hitler’s fundamental work Mein Kampf, and to recognize it as a basic work. Carl Jung, the world-famous psychiatrist was the editor of this journal.

Madison Grant published Conquest of a Continent a “Racial history of the United States” and had copies sent to Mussolini, Nazi Professor Dr. Eugen Fischer at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for the Study of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics in Berlin, Dr. Alfred Rosenberg (Hitler’s chief scientific adviser) and to Nazi race hygienist Professor Dr. Fritz Lenz at the University of Munich.

Hitler put into law the Nazi Act for Averting Descendants Afflicted with Hereditary Diseases. This sterilization law was directly based on H.H. Laughlin’s Model Eugenical Sterilization Law of 1922. Compare the categories of victims under Laughlins model (check 1922 in this chronology) with the following criteria for sterilization used by the Nazi Eugenic Courts that were set up in 1933:

  • (1) Congenital Mental Deficiency;
  • (2) Schizophrenia, or split personality;
  • (3) Manic-depressive Insanity;
  • (4) Inherited Epilepsy;
  • (5) Inherited Chores;
  • (6) Inherited Blindness;
  • (7) Inherited Deafness;
  • (8) Any grave physical defect that has been inherited;
  • (9) Chronic alcoholism, whom this has been scientifically determined to be symptomatic of psychological abnormality …

Between 1931 and 1939, 375,000 forced sterilisations were performed under this act. Accordlng to Wallace R. Duell, a German correspondent for the Chicago Daily News, the official rationales were as follows –

  • Congenital feeble-
  • mindedness 203,250
  • Schizophrenia 73,125
  • Epilepsy 57,730
  • Acute alcoholism 28.500
  • Manic-depressive insanity 6,000
  • Hereditary deafness 2,575
  • Severe hereditary physical- deformity 1,875
  • Hereditary blindness 1,125
  • St. Vitus’ dance 750 TOTAL 375.000

According to the Central Association of Sterilized Persons organized in Germany in 1945, the total number of people sterilized under Hitler’s Third Reich (1913-1945) was two million.

N.H. Laughlin received an honorary degree from Germany’s Heidelberg University, a major Nazi research centre on “race purification’ for his contributions to eugenics.

1934. Psychiatry professor Ernst Rudin wrote that it was thanks to Hitler that the dream we have cherished for more than thirty years of seeing racial hygiene converted into action has become reality.

1935. Egos Moniz performed the first lobotomy in Portugal. Four years later he was shot and partially paralyzed by a victim of one of his lobotomies, and in 1955 he was beaten to death by another of his “patients” who obviously didn’t want his “help”.

The Nazis instituted the Law for the Protection of the Genetic Health of the German People, which required couples to have a medical examination before marriage. It forbade marriage if one person was considered genetically defective. It also did not allow marriage between Jews and Aryans and was later extended to include Gypsies, slaves and other people deemed inferior.

Dr. Alexis Carrel, a French-American Nobel Prize winner published “Man, The Unknown” in which he advocated killing the “mentally ill and criminals” in “euthanasia” institutions. In his last chapter, “The Remaking of Man” Carrel wrote:

There remains the unsolved problem of the immense number of defectives and criminals. They are an enormous burden for the part of the population that has remained normal…. Why do we preserve these useless and harmful beings?… Why should society not dispose of the criminals and the insane in a more economical manner?…. in Germany, the Government has taken energetic measures against the multiplication of inferior types, the insane and criminals…. Perhaps prisons should be abolished. They could be replaced by smaller and less expensive institutions. The conditioning of petty criminals with the whip or some more scientific procedures, followed by a short stay in hospital, would probably suffice to insure order. Those who have murdered, robbed while armed…. kidnapped children, despoiled the poor of their savings, misled the public in important matters, should be humanely and economically disposed of in small euthanasia institutions supplied with proper gases. A similar treatment could be advantageousy applied to the insane, those guilty of criminal acts. Modern society should not hesitate to organise itself with reference to the normal individual.

1936. Wolter Freeman and James W. Watts introduced lobotomy into the United States.

1937. Professor Ernest A. Hooten, a Harvard University anthropologist and president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists was described in the New York Times as one of the leading authorities on human evolution and was quoted as follows:

… probably compulsory sterilization alone would serve in the case of the insane and the mentally deficient, but it is very difficult to enforce such a “measure” in a democracy, unless it has been preceded by an educational campaign which has reached all of the teachable and socially minded individuals of the electorate…. I think that a biological purge is the essential prerequisite for a social and spiritual salvation.

A few days later Hooten urged the. U.S. “to encourage a sit-down reproductive strike of the busy breeders among the morons, criminals and social ineffectual of our population.”

The German edition of Madison Grant’s Conquest of a Continent was published in Berlin with a special forward by Professor Dr. Eugen Fischer of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. Fischer wrote, “‘No one has as much reason to note the work of the this man [Grant] with the keenest of attention as does a German of today-in a time when the racial idea has become one of the chief foundations of National Socialist States population policies.

1938. Ugo Cerletti became the first to use electroshock (ECT-electro- convulsive treatments) on a human being. It was done in fascist Italy. Carletti got the idea from watching hogs get shocked into unconsciousness before they were killed at a slaughterhouse. The first victim was a 39-year old engineer who had been arrested at a railroad station for meandering about without a ticket on trains ready for departures. After the first shock of 80 volts, which failed to produce a convulsion, and before the second one, of 110 volts, which did the “Patient” cried out, “O not another one it’s deadly” Present at this first administration of electroshock was Lothar S. Kalinowsky who today is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and has been one of the most avid proponents and users of this torture in the United States. Kalinowsky has authored several books and hundreds of articles on electroshock.

Franz J. Kaliman a well-known German born and educated U.S. psychiatrist who worked in Nazi Germany until 1936 wrote in Eugenical News that “compulsory sterilisation of all hospitalized schizophrenics would not prevent more than from 1 percent to 3 percent schizophrenic individuals” from being born. According to researcher Peter Broggin, Kaliman therefore called for “legal power” to sterilize tainted children and, siblings of schizophrenics and to prevent marriages involving “schizoid eccentrics and borderline cases.”

1939. Psychiatrists in Nazi Germany began murdering ,mental patients at Brandenberg, one of the six ‘kill’ institutions used for the ‘Euthanasia’ program. At least 300,000 people labelled ‘mentally ill’ and ‘mentally defective’ were slaughtered by gassing, starvation and injection of lethal drugs by the end of World War 2, in 1945.

1941. Viktor Brack, one of the heads of the “Euthanasia” program sent a “Report an Experiments X-Ray Castration” to Himmler in which he stated a two-tube installation could thus sterilize 150-200 persons per day, twenty installations some 3000-4000 persons per day.

The Nazi program for the killing of Psychiatric inmates and others was extended to Dachau and the other concentration camps under the code name of 14f13.

1942. U.S. psychiatrist Foster Kennedy wrote an article in the July issue of the chief journal of the American Psychiatric Association advocating the killing of “retarded” children, the “utterly unfit”, to relieve them “the agony of living” and to spare their parents expense and anguish. Kennedy said, “So the place for euthanasia i believe, is for the completely hopeless defective, natures mistake, something we hustle out of sight, which should never have been seen here at all.

1945. Lancet, the major British medical journal, published “Sterilisation of the insane in the USA.” According to this article, which was based on information in the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 42,000 people were sterilized in the U.S. in the three-year period of 1941-1943. California led all other states with over 10,000 and the breakdown was:

  • “insane” 20,600
  • “feeble-minded” 20,453
  • others 1,563

plus an unknown number carried out privately in other hospitals.

1946. The Doctors’ Trial began at Nuremberg. Just a few of the multitude of Nazi doctors involved in the ‘Euthanasia’ program and the infamous experiments on inmates of concentration camps were brought to trial. Dr. Pfannmueller, psychiatrist and director of a state institution in Nazi Germany where many children were starved to death in the name of euthanasia, testified at Nuremburg:

…euthanasia and the work of the National Board had, in my view, nothing to do with National Socialism. ‘They were just as legal as the regulations for prevention of transmission of hereditary disease and infection in marriage. These laws were passed during the National Socialist regime. But the ideas from which they arose are centuries old.

1947. While a defendant in the Doctors Trial for his role as leader of the euthanasia program and for other over crimes, Karl Brandt realized that many of the Nazi ideas concerning “life not worthy of living”, Sterilisation and the ilk, had been based an ideas and writings from the United States. He reminded his U.S. prosecutors of this fact by introducing several of those works as evidence in his defence. One was the book, The Passing of the Great Race, by Madsion Grant. (Grant was chairman of the New York Zoological Society and curator of the American Natural History Museum.) Brandt excerpted the following from a 1923 German translation of this book:

… A strict selection by exterminating the insane or incapable -in other words, the scum of society – would solve the whole problem. In one century, and would enable us to got rid of the undesirable elements who people our prisons, hospitals and lunatic asylums. The individual may be supported, brought up, and protected by the community during his life time, but the state must see to it by sterilisation, that he is the last individual of his line of descent, otherwise future generations too, will be burdened with the curse of an ever increasing number of victims of misguided sentimentality.

Brandt also used as evidence a copy of Man the Unknown by Alexis Carrel (See 1935 of this chronology) and a book by Dr. Erich Ristow, a German lawyer, entitled Law Concerning Hereditary Health which pointed out Indiana’s forced sterilisation law of 1907 and an unsuccessful attempt to pass a similar law in 1898 by the state of Michigan. Another defence exhibit, Human Selection and Eugenics by Dr. Fritz Lenz and Dr. Bauer contained this historical fact:

The credit for introducing Vasectomy of the male for the prevention of inferior progeny belongs to the American physician Sharp. During the years of 1899 to 1907, Sharp sterilised on his own responsibility, 176 mentally deficient persons in a prison in the State of Indiana.

Psychiatrist Edwin Katzen-ellenbogen, former member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School was convicted of war crimes he had committed as a doctor at Buchenwald Concentration Camp. During his trial in Dachau, Germany by the U.S. Army, he testified that he had “…drafted for the governor the law for sterilisation of epileptics, criminals and incurably insane for the State of New Jersey, following the state of Indiana which first Introduced the law in 1910.

1948. Walter Freemen, who performed more them 3500 lobotomies, demonstrated his icepick technique at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Patricia Dorian, then a student nurse, described the procedure which was done in front of lights and cameras in an amphitheater full of doctors from throughout the state:

As each patient was brought in, Dr. Freenman would shout at him that this was going to do something that would make him feel a lot better. The patients had been given electroshock just before they were brought in: that’s probably why he yelled at them. The shock was the only medication they received. He gave nothing for the pain, no anaesthesia, no muscle relaxant.

After the patient was placed on the table, Dr. Freeman would clap his hands and his two assistants would hold up an enormous piece of green felt the color of a pool table. That was the photographic backdrop. Dr. Freemen would direct the placement of lights so that each operation could be photographed, and he checked carefully to be sure that the cameraman was ready that he had a good shot showing Dr. Freemen with his instrument, that there was no shadow to spoil the picture. His main interest during the entire series of lobotomies seemed to be on getting good photographic angles. He had each operation photographed with the ice-pick in place. When all was ready, he would plunge it in. I suppose that was part of his surgical technique, if there is a technique for such surgery. You probably have to plunge it in to break through the back of the eye socket. He lifted up the eyelid and slid the ice-pick-like instrument over the eyeball. Then he would stab it in suddenly, check to be sure the pictures were being made, and move the pick from side to side to cut the brain.

Freeman called lobotomy a mercy killing of the psyche. According to Scheflin and Opton in their book The Mind Manipulators, 100,000 people received psychosurgical operations in one ten-year period, 1946-1955, half of them in the U.S.

*Katzen-ellenbogen was mistaken about the year Indiana passed it’s first Sterilisation law. It was in 1907 not 1910. Perhaps he drafted the New Jersey law in 1910. One page of the report is missing, so we jump on to 1969 (if you can grasp that we are still getting closer to our own years!)

1969. Arthur R. Jensen, psychology professor at the University of California in Berkeley, received national attention when Harvard Educational Review published his article ‘How Much can we boost IQ and Scholastic Achievement?” In it Jensen argued against compensatory education and for “heredity of intelligence.” His work included such gems as:

‘In the actual race of life, which is not to get ahead, but to get ahead of somebody, the chief determining factor is heredity.’ So said Edward L. Thorndike in 1905. Since then, the preponderance of evidence has proved him right… it is reported by the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, for example, that when all causes of mental retardation can be reasonably explained in terms of known complications of pregnancy and delivery, brain damage or major gene and chromosomal defects are accounted for, there still remains 75 or so percent of the cases who show no such specific causes…

From this and other similar reports Jensen attributed the mental retardation to heredity rather then to a culturally and racially biased labeling process (i.e. IQ tests) or to social, economic and racial discrimination – to mention a few of the political factors involved in not receiving high scores on IQ tests. (What is inherited is money, class privilege and white skin privilege) In fact, Jensen wrote. “There is an increasing realisation among students of the psychology of disadvantaged, that the discrepancy in their average performance cannot be completely or directly attributed to discrimination or inequalities in education.”

… On the average, Negroes test about 1 standard deviation (15 IQ points) below the average of the white population in IQ. For many years the criterion for mental retardation was an IQ below 70. In recent years the National Association for Mental Retardation has raised the criterion to an IQ of 85, since an increasing proportion of persons of more than 1 standard deviation below the average in 10 are unable to get along occupationally in today’s world…

This letter statement should not be taken lightly. Jensen is talking about increasing the number of people in the U.S. labelled “mentally retarded’ from 5.5 million to over 37 million, since 2.5 percent of the approximately 220,000,000 people in this country score 1 or more standard deviations below the average IQ and 17 percent of the population score 1 standard deviation below this so called average rate.

1970. Psychologist James V. McConnel wrote in Psychology Today:

… The day has come when we can combine sensory deprivation with drugs, hypnosis and astute manipulation of reward and punishment to gain almost absolute control over an individuals behaviour. It should be possible then to achieve a very rapid and highly effective type of positive brainwashing that would allow us to make dramatic changes in a persons behaviour and personality…. We should reshape society so that we all would be trained from birth to want to do what society wants us to do. We have the techniques now to do it. …We’d send him (the criminal) to a rehabilitation centre where he would undergo positive brainwashing…. We’d probably have to restructure his entire personality…. ..No one owns his own personality…. You had no say about what kind of personality you acquired, and there’s no reason to believe you should have the right to refuse to acquire a new personality if your old one is anti-social.

1971. The editors of the Philadelphia Inquirer conducted telephone poll on the question “Should the U.S. Encourage Sterilisation among low IQ groups?” 69.2 of those polled voted in favour of sterilisation.

Professor Richard Hernnstein of Harvard stated in the Atlantic monthly:

…The tendency to be unemployed may run in the genes of a family about as certainly as bad health…. As the wealth and complexity of human society grow, there will be precipitated out of the mass of humanity a low capacity intellectual and otherwise residue, that may be unable to master the common occupations, cannot compete for success and achievement and are most likely to be born to parents who have similarly failed…. The trouble has already caught the attention of alert social scientists… who have described the increasingly chronic lower class in Americas central cities.

1972. Arthur Jonson’s Genetics and Education was published. In it he wrote, “the rate of occurrence of mental retardation with, IQ’s below 70, plus all the social, educational, and occupational handicap that this implies, is six to eight times higher in our Negro population than in the rest of the population…”

Nobel prize-winning Professor William Shockley proposed a voluntary sterilisation program in an address before the American Psychological Association. His plan would have the government – pay $1000 for each IQ point below 100 to welfare recipients wishing to be sterilised.

1972-1973. Dr. Louis Jolyon West, director of the Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.). proposed to utilize an abandoned Nuke missile base for the Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence (CSRV). In a confidential letter to Dr. J.M. Stubblebine, Director of Health in the California Office of Health Planning, West wrote that “Comparative studies could be carried out there, in an isolated but convenient location, of experimental or model programs for the alteration of undesirable behaviour.” In a secret proposal dated September 1, 1977 West revealed another goal of the Centre:

…Now by implanting tiny electrodes deep within the brain… it is even possible to record bioelectrical changes in the brain of freely moving subjects, through the use of remote monitoring techniques. They are not yet feasible for large scale screening that might permit detection of a violent episode. A major task of the centre could be to devise such a test… The centre’s subjects were to include “hyperkinetic” children and those with “chromosomal abnormalities” … a long range study should be instituted to identify children who have this type of genetic abnormality, and to compare their development with that of children who have normal chromosomes… Such research has great implications, especially with the growing development of mans of practical intervention to overcome hereditary defects.

1973. In response to pressure from the gay liberation movement the American Psychiatric Association eliminated ‘homosexuality’ as a diagnostic category of “mental disorders”. Judi Chamberlain an ex- inmate activist, has pointed out that the APA immediately created “a new diagnosis of ‘sexual orientation disturbance’…which referred to homosexuals who are either disturbed by, in conflict with, or wish to change their sexual orientation. No comparable diagnostic category was created for heterosexuals who may want to change their sexual orientation.” (Thousands of gays were persecuted and exterminated by the Nazis in the concentration camps.)

Dr. Russell Socket, author of Florida’s, “Death With Dignity” bill, said, “Florida has 1,500 mentally retarded and mentally ill patients, 90 percent of whom should be allowed to die.”

Cyril Kolocotronis, an inmate at Western State Hospital in Ft. Stellacoorn, Washington described the electroshock he had received:

…A jolt of power jars you into the darkness of temporary death. It’s a darkness you can’t see or perceive. It’s the equivalent of death, except you wake up again. You wake up upstairs in your cell and they feed you breakfast. It destroys some of the cells in your brain and erases your treasured memory. The war-criminal doctor gives you not one of these, but 15, and one guy got 100! …. And every doctor applying electricity to the flesh knows it harms. His sins are seen by the skies and by himself. He’s worse than an Auschwitz fanatic. AND NO MATTER WHAT HE TELLS YOU AND WHAT PROPAGANDA HE SPREADS. HE WON’T TAKE SHOCK TREATMENTS HIMSELF OR GIVE THEM TO ANY MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY.

Peter Breggin reported in an article about psychosurgery, “minorities will, of course, be the first to suffer. It is no surprise that poor people, the elderly and women were the primary victims of the first wave of lobotomy in the state hospitals. It is no surprise either, that ghetto rioters were the first concern of the Boston psychosurgeons, that black prisoners and children are among the first victims as psychosurgeons move into prisons and children’s institutions, and that women and older people again dominate the statistics in the new wave of psychiatric surgery.

1974. Judge Gerhard A. Gesell stated in a U.S. District Court opinion, although Congress has been insistent that all family planning programs function an a purely voluntary basis there is uncontroverted evidence in the record that minors and other incompetents have been sterilized with federal funds and that an indefinite number of poor people have been improperly coerced into accepting a sterilization operation under the threat that various federally supported welfare benefits would be withdrawn unless they submitted to irreversible sterilisation. Patients receiving Medicaid assistance at childbirth are evidently the most frequent targets of this pressure, as the experience of plaintiffs Waters and Walker illustrate. Mrs. Waters was actually refused medical assistance by her attending physician unless she submitted to a tubal ligation after the birth.

Gesell further declared that “Over the lost few years, an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 low-income persons have been sterilized annually under federally funded programs. These low-income Americans have, of course, included disproportionately numbers of woman, blacks, Hispanics and those labelled mentally retarded and mentally ill.

1975. Edward 0. Wilson’s Socio-biology: The New Sciences was published. Wilson-defined socio-biology as “the systemic study of the biological basis of all social behaviour.” He immediately assumed that the reader would accept the highly questionable claim that social actions have a biological basis rather than a social, political and economic basis, and he went on to declare the following – lately high heritability has been documented in introversion – extroversion measures, personal tempo, psychomotor and sports activities, neuroticism, dominance, depression, and the tendency toward certain forms of mental illness such as schizophrenia…

…The building blocks of nearly all human societies is the nuclear family…. The population of an American industrial city, no less than a band of hunter-gatherers in the Australian desert, and is organised around this unit. In both cases the family moves between regional communities. Maintaining complex ties with primary kin by mans of visits (or telephone calls and letters) and the exchange of gifts. During the day the women and children remain in the residential area while the men forage for game or its symbolic equivalent in the form of barter and money….

Scientists and humanists should consider together the possibility that the time has come -for this to be removed temporarily from the hands of the philosophers and biologicised… The second contribution of evolutionary socio-biology will be to monitor the genetic basis of social behavior…

1976. Luisah Taish wrote an article in Madness Network news, entitled “That Nigger’s Crazy!” Warning “Beware! The labelling hasn’t stopped”; from “hostile”, “aggressive” or “hyperactive” children being given Ritalin to “anti-social”, “alienated” and “depressed” Black woman being given shock, the story is the same. There is a label and a treatment for “The Black Sickness”. We know that if sanity is defined by white upper-middle class standards then we are in grave danger. It is very easy at this time, when Third World people are seeking their own identities, to say “That Nigger’s Crazy…. LOCK HIM UP.”

R.A. McConnell, Research Professor of Biophysics et the University of Pittsburgh, declared:

I estimate that somewhere between 10 and 30 percent of the U.S.A. population has inadequate genetic endowment to make a net zero or greater economic contribution in a modern industrial society. Or to say it more precisely, this many people are in excess over the possible need for their level of ability. Unless the average genetic competence can be raised, a large (and presently growing) fraction of our people must be permanently in the spiritually degrading position of being charitably dependent upon the rest of us. This, I believe, is one root cause for our present social malaise. A fortiori [even more certain], a still higher fraction is so restricted by genetic endowment as to be unable to understand many of the intellectually complex issues that are submitted to public vote. In short, our civilisation based on science and technology, which are the creation of a minuscule elite, has grown too complex for the ordinary man.

1979. One hundred and ten years after the publishing of Galton’s, Hereditary Genius, the Repository for Germinal Choice was set up in Escondido, California to make available the sperm of Nobel Prize winners and other creative, intelligent people. William B. Shockley who won the Nobel prize for physics in 1956 and who proposed a massive sterilisation program of the poor in 1972 (See entry in this chronology) was one of the donors to this sperm bank.

The Institute for the Study of Medical Ethics in Los Angeles attacked a proposal by Dr. Soul Krugman of the New York University School of Medicine to inject retarded children with an untried experimental vaccine made from the diseased blood of hepatitis victims. Krugman had carried on a similar experiment et Willowbrook State Hospital in 1955. (See this chronology). Carleen Bridgeman, a registered nurse and executive director of the institute said Krugman’s reasoning that the children would probably contract hepatitis anyway, even if they were not deliberately infected with it, was the same type of justification that was used by the Nazi doctors in defending their torturous and deadly “medical” experiments on Jews and other concentration camp victims. It was all right to freeze them, to poison them, to infect them with deadly diseases, to explode their brains, to remove their organs one by one… It was all right because they were going to die anyway.

1910. The New York Times reported that 4000 men, women and children had been sterilised over a 30-year period at the Lynchburg Training School and Hospital to rid Virginia of ‘misfits’. Dr. K. Ray Nelson, director of this institution (which was formerly called the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded), said that the bulk of the operations had been carried out in the ’30s and ’40s under the ‘now-discredited’ theory of eugenics in an effort to raise the intelligence of the people of the state. He also said he felt his predecessors had had “pretty honourable” motives for the sterilisation’s which were “accepted medical practice for their times.”

The Times further reported that 1,300 women had undergone sterilisation in Virginia from 1927 to 1972 under a law which still permitted it when doctors thought a “patient” was “afflicted” with any hereditary form of mental illness or retardation and the procedure is “in the best interest of such patient and society.” The Virginia Supreme Court upheld the 1924 law for compulsory sterilisation, ruling it was not to punish but to protect the class of socially inadequate citizens from themselves and to promote the welfare of society by mitigating race degeneration and raising the average intelligence of the people of the state.”

Most of those sterilised at Lynchburg were lied to and told they were having an operation for correction of a medical problem such as an appendectomy. Judy Goldberg, on official for the American Civil Liberties Union, which became involved in a class action suit around the sterilisation issue, told that more than 20 states still permitted compulsory sterilisation of “incompetent” persons.

The U.S. Government continued to spend enormous amounts of our money researching the so-called biological, psychobiological and genetic causes or human unhappiness and suffering, poverty and unemployment. Just a few of the 1040 grants given out by the National Institute of Mental health (NIMH)–amounting to a total of $98,066,115 to psychiatrists and other pseudo-scientists on the public dole in fiscal year 1980 were the following:

116.534 Joyce G. Small of the Indiana State Department of Mental Health-Larue D. Carter Memorial Hospital (132) Project Title, Amount, Recipient

Psychopharmacology of the University of Major Psychiatric Disorders’ California, $107,443, David S Janowsky

Early Drug Evaluation, $197,054, Marl M Rickeis of the Univesity of Pensylvania In Neurotic Out Patients

Use of psychotropic drugs with the retarded, o113,711, Robert L Sprague of the University of Illinois

1982. The first baby was born as a result of the insemination of her mother with the sperm of an eminent mathematician from the Repository of Germinal Choice, the Nobel Prize sperm bank.

Against a political background of the highest unemployment (over 10%) since the Depression, union busting and corporate take-backs of workers wages and benefits, vast cuts in welfare and social security benefits and food stamps, and two to three million homeless people living on the streets of our cities and towns, psychiatry and government intensified their efforts to suggest a chemical cause for “depression” and other forms of “mental illness.” In a typical article entitled “Chemical link found to suicides”, it was claimed that the chemical defect in the brain may be a cause of suicidal tendencies, according to studies at three research centres. The centres were the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, Karolinsksa Institute in Stockholm and Wayne State University. Victor Cohn, the author of this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer stated that “the new studies also found similar abnormalities [chemical] defector and suicidal tendencies among victims of mental disorders and abnormal behaviour other than depression.”

Mental Notes, the newsletter of the Barks County Mental Association in Pennsylvania, printed under the heading “Mental Health Facts”, 32 million Americans (15% of the total population) need some form of mental health service in any one year. Two million of these persons have schizophrenia: two million suffer profound depressive disorders, and more than one million have organic psychoses and other disabling conditions.

1984-1985 (although 1984 does not go away) … As you are reading this book, psychiatric inmates, elderly residents of nursing homes, “hyperactive” (i.e.. full of youthful, rebellious energy) children, “street people”, all kinds of “outpatients”, “misfits”, etc.- you and I and our children, parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers and friends – are being attacked and seriously harmed, killed, by psychiatry. We are being drugged against our will and not told of the true deadly effects of the drugs. We are being shocked, lobotomised (under new modern names such as cingulotomy and amylgdalotamy, and locked up in psychiatric institutions. We are being cooled-out by “talking therapies”, “behaviour-modified” to fit into the sterile scheme of corporate America (some being eliminated altogether because that scheme doesn’t have a place for all of us) and told that we are “sick” , “mentally retarded” and that we are being “helped”. There are 20 to 25 million ex-mental patients in the U.S. . We must continue to build the psychiatric inmates liberation movement. We must join together with each other and with others who understand the oppressive nature of psychiatry and its threat to human freedom and dignity. We must fight back against psychiatric oppression in both its brutal and subtle forms.

I am convinced – and at one time I tried very hard to believe otherwise by reading a good amount of psychiatric literature – that when there are physiological (i.e. chemical) changes in peoples bodies & brains, they are the result of, not the cause of, or a justification for such conditions as being incarcerated for long periods in institutions, receiving powerful damaging psychiatric drugs and electroshock, and malnutrition from poverty.


  • 1. We oppose involuntary psychiatric intervention including civil commitment and the administration of Psychiatric procedures (treatments) by force or coercion or without informed consent.
  • 2. We oppose involuntary psychiatric intervention because it is an unethical and unconstitutional denial of freedom, due and the right to be let alone.
  • 3.We oppose involuntary psychiatric intervention because it is a violation of the individuals right to control his or her own soul, mind and body.
  • 4. We oppose forced psychiatric procedures such as drugging,- electroshock, psychosurgery, restraints, solitary confinement, and “aversive behaviour modification”
  • 5. We oppose forced psychiatric procedures because they humiliate, debilitate, injure, incapacitate and kill people.
  • 6. We oppose forced psychiatric procedures because they are at best quackery and at worst tortures, which can and do cause severe and permanent harm to the total being of people subjected to them.
  • 7. We oppose the psychiatric system because it is inherently tyrannical.
  • 8. We oppose the psychiatric system because it is an extra-legal parallel police force which suppresses cultural and political descent.
  • 9. We oppose the psychiatric system because it punishes individuals who have had or claim to have had spiritual experiences and invalidates these experiences by donning them as symptoms of mental illness.
  • 10. We oppose the psychiatric system because it uses the trappings of medicine and science to mask the social-control function it serves.
  • 11. We oppose the psychiatric system because it feeds on the poor and powerless, the elderly, women, children, sexual minorities, people of colour and ethnic groups.
  • 13. We oppose the psychiatric system because it creates a stigmatised class of society which is easily oppressed and controlled.
  • 14. We oppose the psychiatric system because its growing influence in education, the prisons, the military government, industry and medicine threatens to turn society into a psychiatric state made up of two classes: those who impose “treatment” and those who have or are likely to have it imposed on them.
  • 15. We oppose the psychiatric system because it is familiar similar to the inquisition, chattel slavery and the Nazi concentration camps.
  • 16. We oppose the medical model of mental illness because it justifies involuntary psychiatric intervention including forced drugging.
  • 17. We oppose a medical model of mental illness because it dupes the public into seeking or accepting “voluntary” treatment by fostering the notion that fundamental human problems, whether personal or social, can be solved by psychiatric means.
  • 18. We oppose the use of psychiatric terms because they substitute jargon for plain English and are fundamentally stigmatising, demeaning, unscientific, mystifying and superstitious. Examples: Plain English Psychiatric Jargon   Psychiatric inmate…. Mental Patient
    Psychiatric institution… Mental Health Centre
    Psychiatric system… Mental Health System
    Psychiatric procedure.. Treatment/Therapy
    Personal or social
    difficulties in living…. Mental illness
    Socially undesirable
    characteristic or trait… Symptom
    Drugs… Medication
    Drugging… Chemotherapy
    Electroshock Electro-convulsive therapy
    Anger… Hositility
    Enthusiasm… Mania
    Joy… Euphoria
    Fear… Paranoia
    Sadness/Unhappiness… Depression
    experience… Hallucination
    Non-conformity… Schizophrenia
    Unpopular belief… Delusion
  • 19. We believe that suicidal thoughts and/or attempts should not be dealt with as a psychiatric or legal issue.
  • 20. We believe that alleged dangerousness, whether to oneself or others. should not be considered grounds for denying a person liberty, and that only proven criminal acts should be the basis for such denial.
  • 21. We believe that persons charged with crimes should be tried for their alleged criminal acts with due process of law, and that psychiatric professionals should not be given expert-witness status in criminal proceedings or courts of law.
  • 22. We believe that there should be no involuntary psychiatric interventions in prison and that the prison system should be reformed and humanised.
  • 23. We believe that the psychiatric system cannot be reformed but must be abolished.
  • 24. We believe that voluntary networks of community alternatives to the psychiatric system should be widely encouraged and supported. Alternatives such as self-help or mutual support groups. Advocacy/rights groups, co-op houses, crisis centers and drop-ins should be controlled by the users themselves to serve their needs, while ensuring their freedom, dignity and self-respect. END

Leave a Reply