Soviets Were Forced to “Withdrawl in Disgrace” from CIA-Ewen Cameron Founded World Psychiatric Congress
The first article below discusses historical Soviet and current Russian abuses of psychiatry. Following that, I discuss the irony of *American* psychiatric abuses which have been ignored and covered up for decades.
Psychiatry’s Painful Past Resurfaces in Russian Case Handling of Chechen Murder Reminds Many of Soviet Political Abuse of Mental Health System
By Susan B. Glasser Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, December 15, 2002; Page A37
The question is not whether Col. Yuri Budanov killed 18-year-old Elza Kungayeva in a Chechen village on March 27, 2000. He has long since admitted to that.
But for more than two years, Russia’s military justice system has been paralyzed by the case, unable to decide on Budanov’s culpability for a sensational crime that could undermine the government’s pledge to pursue the brutal Chechen war and its uncertain commitment to stopping the human rights abuses that have resulted.
Stuck on the matter of Budanov’s guilt, the state has turned to a familiar partner from Soviet times, a psychiatric profession that for decades followed orders to camouflage political problems behind the opaque curtain of mental illness. In doing so, however, officials have resurrected questions about psychiatry’s shameful past in the Soviet Union — and its highly politicized present.
Meanwhile, the case is awakening ugly memories. For years, Serbsky held political dissidents in the same wards where Budanov has been kept, dazing them with psychotropic drugs, subjecting them to fake diagnoses and forcing them to sit through inquisitions on their sanity whose outcomes had been predetermined by the KGB.
When the military court first ordered Serbsky to test Budanov, the panel conducting the inquiry was led by Tamara Pechernikova, the doctor who condemned poet Natalya Gorbanevskaya for protesting the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. When that evaluation of Budanov was criticized, the court next appointed a commission that
included Georgi Morozov, the former Serbsky director who had sat on many of the committees that declared prominent dissidents insane in the 1970s and 1980s.
“Practically nothing has changed. They have no shame at the institute about their role with the Communists,” said Yuri Savenko, head of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia. “They are the same people, and they do not want to apologize for all their actions in the past.”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Soviet dissident and Nobel Prize-winning author, once wrote, “The incarceration of free-thinking healthy people in madhouses is spiritual murder.” In the West, the debate about Soviet misuse of psychiatry formed a centerpiece of human rights campaigns, eventually forcing the Soviet Union to withdraw in disgrace from the World Psychiatric Congress.
Founded in 1921, the Serbsky Institute played a leading role in such abuses. By the 1960s, Serbsky was famous for pioneering a diagnosis that complied with the KGB’s wishes to condemn mentally healthy dissidents. It was called “slow-developing schizophrenia,” and it provided convenient evidence of insanity in someone without obvious symptoms. Signs of the disease included “stubbornness and inflexibility of convictions” and “reformist delusions.”
The Serbsky Institute disavowed the diagnosis after the collapse of the Soviet Union, saying there was no such disease. There are laws today protecting the rights of Russia’s mental patients and seeming to limit Serbsky’s powers. But critics say the institute has merely evolved to suit changing times without genuinely reforming.
“The system is the same, the mentality is the same,” said Alexander Podrabinik, a one-time Soviet dissident. In 1977, he wrote “Punitive Medicine,” a secretly distributed work of samizdat documenting the horrors of the Soviet psychiatric system. For writing the book, he was exiled to Siberia for five years. Later, he received 31/2 years in prison camp — because the book was translated into English.
“If they didn’t tell me it’s the Russian Federation now, I wouldn’t know there was any difference at Serbsky Institute from Soviet times,” said the attorney, Karen Nersisyan. “Serbsky is not an organ of medicine. It’s an organ of power.”
Notice in the above article that because of psychiatric abuses, the Soviets were forced to “withdraw in disgrace from the World Psychiatric Congress.” This congress is a meeting run by the World Psychiatric Association:
It is encouraging the first World Psychiatric Congress of the 21st Century was held in Yokohama Japan. This was in fact the first time that this Congress has been held not just in Japan but in any country in Asia since the Foundation of the World Psychiatric Association in 1950.
The World Psychiatric Association was founded by none other than Ewen Cameron, who was also its first president. Cameron is infamous for the hideous, CIA-funded “psychic driving” and personality-erasing experiments he conducted on patients who came to him for treatment of ailments like depression. See the following article for more details of those abuses.
Ewen Cameron, former Head of the Quebec Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Psychiatric Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the World Psychiatric Association — in fact, the founder of the World Psychiatric Association — and also one-time President of the Association for Biological Psychiatry. As politically connected a guy as ever existed in the entire field of psychiatry in the 20th Century, with his obituary in the American Journal of Psychiatry, funded through MKULTRA and Human Ecology Foundation, did LSD and other hallucinogen research funded by Canadian military and the CIA and was successfully sued (he had already died) — the CIA settled out of court actually — it wasn’t a successful suit technically — with eight of his patients who had been victims of experimentation that was first funded directly by the CIA through the Human Ecology Foundation and then through the Canadian government. One of his papers, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry is on Psychic Driving, another is on Production of Differential Amnesia in Schizophrenia.
Isn’t it ironic that while the Soviets had to withdraw from a meeting run by the World Psychiatric Association, the US had for years covered up Cameron’s crimes (and many, many other psychiatric abuses)? Even when the information came out about about Cameron’s crimes, the CIA used every slimy legal trick it could to derail the lawsuits:
This review of the CIA’s actions in the United States and Canada demonstrates how completely unprincipled was the Agency’s original
brainwashing program, as well as its course of legal manoeuvers years later when it was required to answer for its misconduct.
In fact, the coverups of known abuses such as those in MKULTRA and BLUEBIRD *continue*, to this very day. See for example this _US News_ article:
http://www.datafilter.com/mc/coldWarExperiments.html …the government has long ignored thousands of other cold war victims,
rebuffing their requests for compensation and refusing to admit its responsibility for injuries they suffered.
Continued secrecy and legal roadblocks erected by the government have made it virtually impossible for victims of these cold war human experiments to sue the government successfully, legal experts say.
Many of the stories of people whose lives were destroyed by mind-altering drugs, electroshock “treatments” and other military and CIA experiments involving toxic chemicals or behavior modification have been known for almost 20 years. But U.S. News has discovered that only a handful were ever compensated — or even told what was done to them.
Admiral Turner, in his 1983 deposition, conceded that “a disappointingly small number” were notified but defended the agency’s continuing refusal to declassify the names of the researchers and universities involved. “I don’t think that would have been necessarily the best way,” Turner said. “Not in the litigious society we live in.”
These victims are in many cases nothing short of domestic torture victims –with the government as the perpetrator. When the *government* is the terrorist it apparently does not count when US citizens are victimized. The oversight committees barely skimmed the surface of the abuses back in the 1970s, but left the impression that all such nonconsensual behavior modification and “mind control” research and experiments were permanently halted. In fact, the abuses did not end, they only became more secretive and deniable. See for example:
In the decades since the last congressional investigations into these matters the technology and techniques for “mind control” have only improved. There are whole new generations of victims complaining of abuses and being officially ignored — as well as psychiatrically abused. For more information on the history of such abuses and the current technologies (such as those labeled “nonlethal” weapons) see, for example,
Mind Control: Technology, Techniques and Politics
The Stasi persecution syndrome
My new home page: http://www.datafilter.com/mc