Sunday, August 18, 2019

America's Red Flag Warning: Take Responsibility for Ourselves or the Government Will Do It For Us

Sitting in the quiet stillness of a Sunday morning, sipping black coffee from my “I am your father” Darth Vader mug, I find myself reflecting on a personal experience pertinent to what we are facing as a country. These days a person couldn’t be taken seriously if they didn’t acknowledge that there is something off in our society. People seem to be losing it. Emotions are boiling over and people are being driven into fits of rage over socio-political issues that in all reality, shouldn’t even exist on the level they do. Since when in our country do people write manifesto’s and then go on a shooting spree? Manifesto’s no less that just happen to fit perfectly into the mainstream narrative describing what the social justice warriors should be infuriated about. Why are we as Americans, having to deal with the issue of red-flag laws and the seemingly inevitable lock down of our society?

Yes, something is wrong and there are many theories pertaining to what it maybe. The removal of Christian prayer from the public-school system is one theory. Another is Feminism and the destruction of the American male. These are topics that I have written about many times and they are legitimate points of interest that explain a great deal. There is something else underneath it all that ultimately, in my opinion, may have been the catalyst that started it all. As Americans we forgot who we are, and the responsibilities we have to each other and maintaining freedom. We have given up the obligation of self-governance and allowed the government to move in and take responsibility for the things we should be answerable for. We became too enthralled by the pursuit of material goods, wealth, social status and prestige that we forgot everybody matters. Don’t misunderstand me. This isn’t some social awakening to the left’s misperceived evils of capitalism; you won’t be seeing me at the next Antifa or Occupy Wall Street protest anytime soon. Let me tell you my story.

To some it will seem like no big deal, to others it represents only a tiny fraction of what they go through in their daily lives. To me, well, to me it gave me something to think about and now I’m doing what I do. I am working armed security at a large industrial plant while I’m completing my master’s degree at Liberty University. We run three shifts with several officers on each. Most of the time the days are very uneventful, in fact it can be a pretty boring job. One day we received a call about a man making threats to come in and “shoot the place up” and then take his own life over social problems he was experiencing. Do you see where this is going? This brings the issue of red-flag laws front and center because we must act. My first thought was that I wasn’t going to let anybody get away with that while I was there for fear of it being used as an event to push gun control. Anyway, the individual in question was known to carry a gun. That in and of itself is no big deal, but he is making threats. When he arrived on property at the beginning of his shift, I intercepted his vehicle and asked him to get out of his car. At this point I really had no idea what I could be facing, but as he proceeded to exit the vehicle, I immediately ascertained the man, to my great relief, was not a threat to anyone. He did have a firearm in his car, but so does everyone else most likely. He was not in possession of a conceal carry permit however, and it is against company policy to bring a firearm on the property without one.

Luckily, after a thorough investigation we were able to determine the alleged threats he made to harm others were exaggerated rumor but, the threats he made to take his own life were not. Our actions just may have saved him from committing suicide. Think for a moment about what police officers go through on an everyday basis. Again, I urge you to not misunderstand my position. I am not a newly appointed leftist advocating for gun control on any level here, but just imagine what police officers go through. There is a legitimate concern among law enforcement and the general public no less, about how to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people.

Red-flag laws, to the people that are uneducated about how such things can be abused, seem like a reasonable solution. They are not, they will turn our society upside down. Red-flag laws are more than a draconian tool to suppress freedom and target political enemies however; they are a consequence of our failure to police ourselves and look out for one another. Just like my situation at work, there are already systems in place that enable authorities to intercept and stop people that are making credible threats from carrying them out. Making threats is against the law, and a person can be arrested and charged with a crime for doing so. The shooter in Parkland Florida for example, could have been stopped several times over for the threats he made but the school, out of a fear of losing funding in Obama’s promise program, ignored the threats. This was a complete failure of systems already in place and it is the American people that will suffer the consequence.

Yes, arguments could be made about the removal of prayer from school and the destruction of masculinity as being the root cause of many problems we face in America. I think we also need to realize we have a responsibility to each other. When was the last time you reached out to a person in need? When was the last time you asked that one person that everyone else was harassing and teasing because they are different, if they were oaky, or if they needed help with something? Sometimes that one act of kindness can be all it takes to make a difference in someone’s life. I mean, we can’t continue the way we are going now. Something has got to change and if we fail to take responsibility for ourselves, the government will be forced to move in and do it for us.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Red-Flag Laws and Mental Health as a Tool of Political Suppression

Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose communist goals. (From the 45 goals of the communist party)

America is at an interesting place. The Republicans and Democrats, with co-operation from a so-called Republican president, are standing together in their calls for gun control. Despite Donald Trump calling for red-flag laws, expanded background checks and stating on live television his belief that guns should be confiscated first, and due process afforded second, many of his supporters seem convinced he is playing a game of four-dimensional chess. As unlikely as that is, it could be possible. Although, playing games with the constitution as if its a negotiating tool is completely unacceptable. The fact that President Trump is negotiating at all with a political party that has accused him viciously of Russian collusion and being a white supremacist, while also calling his supporters Nazi’s is disturbing to say the least and should be questioned. What is even more disturbing is his insistence that mental health be used as a catalyst for implementing red-flag laws.

The idea of confiscating firearms from people who are suffering from mental illness, at first glance, has merit. Nobody wants “crazy” people getting their hands on a gun and going on a shooting spree. It is also a convenient way for the masses to brush away the consequences of red-flag laws. If it doesn’t affect them, they will happily keep their heads down to not draw attention to themselves. Leventri Beria stated in the Russian textbook on Psychopolitics[1] that being labeled insane is so thoroughly feared in capitalist countries that no one, for fear of being labeled themselves, takes the time to thoroughly investigate it.

Mental health has long been used as a repressive tool to silence political opposition. Especially in communist countries. In the Soviet Union people who disagreed with the ideals of the state were labeled insane and incarcerated against their will. According to The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law[2] a study investigating psychiatric abuse in the Soviet Union was conducted in 1989. The study determined that many people incarcerated against their will for being mentally unstable were imprisoned for possessing ideological beliefs that went against the ideals of the communist state and that they in fact, did not suffer from any mental disorder. This is important to consider as the FBI has recently released a report[3] stating that conspiracy theorists and those questioning the mainstream media should be considered possible threats to national security. Furthermore, The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law also states that mental health diagnoses are contestable in many cases because of the differences in culturally accepted practices concerning psychiatric treatment.

Most important, whether the dissident individuals subjected to psychiatric confinement are (or are not) mentally ill is often contestable, especially when culturally embedded features of psychopathology are taken into account. The mental health of dissidents could be contested, even if diagnoses were grounded in a single internationally recognized system of classification, but the problem is all the more complicated when psychiatrists in different societies are trained to understand normality and psychopathology in different ways.[4]

In the United States the Diagnostic Statistical Manual lists of over three-hundred-eighty different mental disorders.[5] Most of these have been added in the past fifty years as the original publication of the DSM in 1952 only listed one-hundred-twelve. What is the common psychopathology used to identify mental illness in the United States? It depends on the diagnoses. For ADHD, for example, a child can be diagnosed as having a mental disorder simply for displaying an inability to sit still for long periods of time.[6] Operational Defiance Disorder can be diagnosed in a child who throws temper tantrums and blames their mistakes on others.[7] According to WebMD the cause of Operational Defiance Disorder is unknow but it is believed “that a combination of biological, genetic, and environmental factors may contribute to the condition.(WebMD) This is another way of saying they simply do not know why people behave the way they do.

Chemical imbalances in the brain have long been the go-to excuse for diagnosing a person as mentally ill. The prescribing of psychiatric drugs is marketed under the false perception that the drug works to balance the chemicals in the brain. In many cases, a five-minute visit with a psychiatrist will result in the diagnoses of a chemical imbalance and a prescription to go with it based on nothing more than the five-minute conversation. There is no evidence that such chemical imbalances exist.[8] In fact, there is substantial evidence which suggests the use of the drugs being prescribed is more responsible for mental illness than the alleged chemical imbalances they are meant to treat.

Prozac and other SSRI antidepressants block the reuptake of serotonin. In order to cope with this hindrance of normal function, the brain tones down its whole serotonergic system. Neurons both release less serotonin and down-regulate (or decrease) their number of serotonin receptors. The density of serotonin receptors in the brain may decrease by 50% or more. As part of this adaptation process, Hyman noted, there are also changes in intracellular signaling pathways and gene expression. After a few weeks, Hyman concluded, the patient's brain is functioning in a manner that is "qualitatively as well as quantitatively different from the normal state."[9]

This is important to understand because drugs are being hailed as the new frontier in mental wellbeing. It is also common knowledge that many of the recent mass shootings we have witnessed, which are giving rise to the issue of red-flag laws, have been committed by people taking psychiatric medications.[10] This is evidence that is largely being ignored by those pushing the issue of mental health treatment as a means of stopping mass shootings.

In the essay Theory, Practice and Method: Toward a Heuristic Research Methodology for Professional Writing, found in Central Works in Technical Communication, Patricia Sullivan and Dan Porter state that the work of social science should not be “uncritically accepted” as gospel.[11] They also state that practice in social science is almost always done through the basis of rhetorical theory. This means an implicit bias toward the theory being promoted. Mental health and psychology in general are based on the notion that man is an animal and that there is no universal morality. This leaves man, and the state as the ultimate authority of what constitutes morally acceptable behavior. The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law stated that the diagnoses of mental health were largely due to the understanding of what constituted psychopathology in a particular culture. To the communists, there is no god, and man is devoid of a soul. Therefore, a belief in religion, freedom or anything that deviated from the idea that the state should be the ultimate authority was viewed as mental illness. Psychiatry was used a tool of suppression. The pushing of red-flag laws, while reasonably seeming to be an honest effort to keep guns away from dangerous people, are in fact a dangerous road to go down potentially turning the United States into a country that also uses psychiatry to silence dissent.

Any man who cannot be persuaded into communist rationale is, of course, to be regarded as somewhat less than sane, and we are, therefore completely justified in our use of the techniques of insanity upon the non-Communist.[12]

This principle was demonstrated in the study cited by The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law when it was observed that many people deemed mentally ill and imprisoned, were not suffering from any known mental disorder and were imprisoned due to an ideological and political misalignment between the state and its citizens.

Dr. Dennis Petrocelli, a clinical psychiatrist, writes in his article Raising Red Flags[13] that the idea of confiscating guns based on the premise that someone may commit a violent crime is not based on any provable medical science. There is no evidence, according to Petrocelli, that any medical doctor or psychiatrist has, or can, successfully predict an individual’s future behavior. This is based on the premise that many laws involving involuntary commitment based on behavior are limited to a 24 to 72-hour observation period. Red-flag laws state that guns should be confiscated because it is believed that a person may pose a threat to others in the “near future.” Near future is an undefinable term. Furthermore, The Crime Prevention Research Center[14] stated that psychiatrists and other mental health specialists routinely miss the signs that may, according to the government, indicate someone poses a danger to themselves or others. Their research shows that many of the recent mass shooters we have witnessed have been in the care of psychiatrists and determined to not pose a threat to society.

Finally, Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz in his book, The Myth of Mental Illness[15] states that psychiatry, as a profession, fell into the habit of classifying behaviors that were misunderstood as mental illness simply because it is in man's nature to classify things. He says that if we fail to take into account the rules made in classification systems, which according to him do not occur naturally and are always made by men, we run the risk of mistaking our own systems for naturally occurring events. He also states that psychiatry as a profession had a need to appear as a legitimate medical practice and thus, developed many of their theories based on their own preconceived ideas and assumptions about the nature of mental wellbeing. Many of these theories are again, based on the absence of a god and absolute morality.

President Trump is insistent upon using mental health as a tool to identify and prevent potentially dangerous people from owning firearms. The Democrat party has long been accusing conservatives and anyone else opposed to their ideology as being racists, white nationalists and Nazi’s. Clearly, these laws will be used, if not now, in the future to target political opponents. This is a reasonable assumption to make as the Democrat party appears to be advocating for the complete restructuring or our society into a communist state. It has been demonstrated throughout this article that communists have used mental health laws and psychiatry as a means of suppression against those who fail to align themselves with state ideals. This leaves one question remaining. If Donald Trump is about freedom and supporting the second amendment why would he be calling for laws that his political opponents would surely use to target his biggest supporters?

[9] Hymen, S, E. & Nester, E, J. (1996) Initiation and action: A paradigm for understanding psychotropic drug action. American journal of psychiatry. (153) 2 p. 161.
[11]      (11) Sullivan, P. & Porter, J. (2004) On theory practice and method: Toward a heuristic research methodology for professional writing. Retrieved from Central works in technical communication by Johnson-Eilola, J. & Selber, S. A. Oxford University Press. New York

Saturday, August 10, 2019

ADHD and America's Drugged Children


On any given day in America millions of children are taking powerful anti-psychotic drugs to treat alleged mental disorders such as ADHD. In many schools across the country the teachers themselves have the power to suggest that a child has ADHD and should be medicated based merely on the child’s behavior in the classroom. (WebMD) In fact, there appears to be a correlation between ADHD diagnoses and school performance assessments. In states where schools are held to performance standards there are higher rates of ADHD. (Miller) This is because, according to the Child Mind Institute, once a child has been diagnosed with ADHD their test scores no longer contribute to the larger assessment. This gives them incentive to identify and diagnose children with ADHD. It has also been determined that in many instances, younger children are over diagnosed. This may because they are younger than their peers and their behavior is due to this fact and not a mental disorder. (Miller) ADHD is a controversial topic. There are people in the psychiatric profession who are now insisting that it is not a real disorder, and there are claims that it was simply made up to rake in profits for drug companies. This paper will examine the symptoms of ADHD. Where they come from, how they are assessed, and the effects of the powerful medications being prescribed to our children.


America's Drugged Children 

According the Centers for Disease Control, over six million children as recently as 2016 have been diagnosed with ADHD. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) More than 300,000 of these children are less than five years old. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a mental condition listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual. This is the manual used by the psychiatric profession to diagnose mental illness. The DSM, first published in 1952, (Child drugging: Psychiatry destroying lives) originally contained only one hundred twelve diagnosable conditions. (Child drugging: Psychiatry destroying lives) Today, that number has exploded to over three hundred eighty. (Child drugging: Psychiatry destroying lives) All of which come complete with a code used for billing insurance companies.

ADHD was first added to the DSM in 1987. (Child drugging: Psychiatry destroying lives) Throughout the first year alone over 500,000 children were diagnosed with the disease. (Child drugging: Psychiatry destroying lives) According to an article in the Indian Journal of Clinical Medicine, the founder of the disease, Dr. Leon Eisenberg, made the shocking confession on his death bed that the disease is not real. (Bhushan, 2013, p. 202) He stated that he made up the disease to help the pharmaceutical companies rake in massive profits. (Bhushan, 2013, p. 202) The percentage of children said to have ADHD has risen roughly three percent every year since 1997. (Armstrong, 1995) There is a financial connection between those that diagnose mental health disorders and the pharmaceutical companies. (Cosgrove, Krimsky, Vijayaraghavan, & Schneider, L. 2006) The industry rakes in billions every year. (Cosgrove, Krimsky, Vijayaraghavan, & Schneider, L. 2006) Is ADHD a made-up disease to generate profits? How does diagnosing and drugging our children for the treatment of ADHD affect them? Are we helping our children or causing them more harm?

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? This is not an easy question to answer because anyone of us, at any time during our lives could be displaying symptoms synonymous with the alleged disease. The criteria, according to the ADD Resource Center, is confusing and dependent upon time spent experiencing the symptoms, and age. For example, children under the age of six need to show six symptoms for a period of more than six months. If you’re between the ages of six and seventeen you only need to show five symptoms. (The A.D.D Resource Center) These symptoms include, but are not limited to, forgetfulness, inability to sit still for long periods of time, inability to pay attention for long periods of time, easily distracted, is often on the go and runs around when it is inappropriate to do so. Don’t forget the fidgety hand tapping. (The A.D.D Resource Center) Displaying these symptoms for a period of six months is all it takes to have an individual labeled with ADHD and prescribed drugs. The drugs most often prescribed are Ritalin and Adderall.

According to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, there are over three and a half million children prescribed drugs like Ritalin and Alderall for ADHD alone. (Number of Children & Adolescents Taking Psychiatric Drugs in the U.S.) The total number for children taking drugs for all mental conditions surpasses seven million. (Number of Children & Adolescents Taking Psychiatric Drugs in the U.S.) What is Ritalin? Ritalin is a powerful schedule II narcotic (Ritalin Side Effects) that is classified as a controlled substance, the same as cocaine. It is highly addictive and has been known to cause severe problems in children taking it. These problems include psychological conditions which lead to more drugging. Side effects include but are not limited to, cardiovascular and heart problems, suicidal or homicidal thoughts, involuntary shaking, depression, and cognitive impairment. (Ritalin Side Effects)

One of the most common causes of mental illness is commonly referred to as a chemical imbalance. This theory first came about in the 1960’s when Thorazine, the commonly prescribed drug at the time, was found to block the brains dopamine production. (Whitaker, 2005, p. 25) This theory later proved to be inaccurate. This is important because many people today still believe the chemical imbalance theory (Whitaker, 2005, p. 25) when in fact, there was never any significant signs that there were low levels of brain chemicals such as serotonin in patients diagnosed with depression or schizophrenia before their diagnoses. (Whitaker, 2005, p. 25) In fact, the evidence, according to an article in the American Journal of Psychiatry, suggests that the brain becomes more chemically imbalanced after the use of psychotropic medications. (Hyman & Nestler, 1996, p. 161) Drugs like Prozac, which are commonly prescribed to treat depression, inhibit the brains normal functioning by reducing serotonin production by up to fifty percent. The result is the creation of a condition in which the brain is functioning entirely different from before the drugs were prescribed. (Hyman & Nestler, 1996, p. 161) In other words, the use of psychiatric drugs is contributing to higher rates of mental illness. (Hyman & Nestler, 1996, p. 161)

When it comes to the issue of prescribing drugs like Ritalin to children this is an important concept to understand. Just as there is no conclusive proof that chemical imbalances are the root cause of any mental illness, there is no conclusive test which proves ADHD exists as a biological treatable disease. (The rise of ADHD: An educational psychology perspective, 27 October, 2017) The diagnoses of such a disease is just as controversial in adults as they are in children. (ADHD is a Fraud, 15 December 2018) There is no conclusive test which identifies any biological factor in the brain which causes its symptoms. (ADHD is a Fraud, 2018, December 15) The diagnoses are made purely from the perspective that the child’s behavior is disruptive and at times, inattentive. (ADHD is a Fraud, 15 December 2018) The cause of ADHD remains largely unknown just as the cause of other so-called mental illnesses. (Whitaker, 2005, p. 25) Yet, we are prescribing drugs like Ritalin to children as young as five years old.

In an interview with The Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Israeli family practitioner Dr. Louria Shulamit states that ADHD symptoms are so common they could be diagnosed in anyone, particularly boys, at almost any given time. (Child Drugging) ADHD, according to Shulamit, does not fit the standard definition of disease and is only diagnosed by its so-called symptoms. (Child Drugging) This is a re-occurring theme that is heard over and over. This statement backs up the research cited earlier stating that there is no conclusive test which proves ADHD exists as a biological anomaly which is identifiable and treatable like other medical diseases. Furthermore, Dr. Mary Anne Block suggests that ADHD symptoms can be explained by other medical problems that children may be suffering from such as allergies, which would make concentration in school more difficult, or high intakes of sugar which leads to higher rates of irritability and anxiety. (No More ADHD, 2009, September 15) There is little doubt that some children suffer from low attention spans and an inability to focus, however, labeling it a psychiatric disorder when no test exists to prove its existence as a disease (No More ADHD, 2009, September 15) is not the way to go.

According to Dr. Tana Dineen, psychological disorders found in the DSM, such as ADHD are not based on any real viable medical conditions but the opinions of committee members who simply vote the disorder into existence and add it to the DSM. (Dineen, 2001) These are the same committee members who have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. (Cosgrove, Krimsky, Vijayaraghavan, & Schneider, L. 2006)

Our inquiry into the relationships between DSM panel members and the pharmaceutical industry demonstrates that there are strong financial ties between the industry and those who are responsible for developing and modifying the diagnostic criteria for mental illness. The connections are especially strong in those diagnostic areas where drugs are the first line of treatment for mental disorders. Full disclosure by DSM panel members of their financial relationships with for-profit entities that manufacture drugs used in the treatment of mental illness is recommended. (Cosgrove, Krimsky, Vijayaraghavan, & Schneider, L. 2006)

According to Cosgrove et al, fifty-six percent of the one-hundred-seventy DSM panel members had at least one financial link to the drug companies. (Cosgrove et al, 2006) This is a huge conflict of interest. Furthermore, while the number one link was in the form of research funding, forty- two percent, (Cosgrove et al, 2006) thirty-eight percent of members were receiving funds for consulting and speaking on behalf of the drug company in question. (Cosgrove et al, 2006) Cosgrove et al notes the importance of the public as well as mental health workers knowing about these financial ties because there is a “right to know” what diseases, and the criteria they are based on, are being added to the DSM. Because there is no specific testing method to detect ADHD and the psychiatric industry is pushing powerful, mind altering drugs on American children, this author agrees with Cosgrove et al’s conclusions. There should be full disclosure of financial ties between DSM panel members and the drug companies that rake in billions annually. These drug companies, according to Thomas Armstrong, author of the book “The Myth of The ADHD Child” also financially support nonprofit organizations such as CHAAD. (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) (Armstrong, 1995)

Children have been diagnosed with symptoms which make up today’s ADHD diagnosis since the early twentieth century. (Armstrong, 1995) It used to be called post encephalitic behavior disorder. (Armstrong, 1995) This was after the worldwide encephalitis outbreak after WWI. It was believed at the time that the children who survived the outbreak were suffering from this disease. Later, in the 1940’s the term “minimal brain damaged” was used because children who had allegedly suffered from a brain injury were displaying symptoms synonymous with today’s ADHD. (Armstrong, 1995) This term, according to Armstrong, was also rejected a couple decades later as scientists could not identify any brain damage in children displaying these symptoms. In 1968 the term describing ADHD symptoms was hyperkinetic reaction of childhood and it was an official diagnosis in the second edition of the DSM. (Armstrong, 1995) In the 1980’s, it was then called ADHD and classified as an official psychiatric disorder. (Armstrong, 1995) Again, what we are discussing here are behavior traits such as inability to pay attention for long periods of time, an inability to sit still and running around and being very hyper when it may not be appropriate to do so. Do these sound like mental health symptoms children should be taking drugs for, or is there something can account for this behavior?

Behavioral neurologist Richard Saul is another doctor with experience treating people with ADHD symptoms who simply states that the disease as defined by the psychiatric profession does not exist. (Saul, 2014) Many of the ADHD symptoms, according to Saul, can be explained by other medical conditions such as sleeping disorders, poor vision or hearing, iron deficiency, allergies or even marijuana and alcohol abuse. Saul places people suffering from ADHD symptoms into two categories. Those who display a normal inattentiveness at times and those suffering from other conditions. Drugs like Ritalin are not recommended for either category. Instead, eating right, watching caffeine intake, exercise and engaging your mind in something your passionate about are recommended courses of action for the first category. (Saul, 2014) The other category usually finds ADHD symptoms going away after the detection and treatment of another medical condition. (Saul, 2014)

There may yet be another explanation as to why so many children are seemingly displaying an inability to pay attention. According to Armstrong, neurologists have discovered that the brains of children who have been diagnosed with ADHD suffer from slower development, but still develop the same as anyone else’s brain.

That is, the brain of the child identified as ADHD is not a flawed brain, a broken brain, or a disordered brain; it is a developmentally delayed brain. And this in turn means that we should not be regarding children diagnosed with ADHD as suffering from a neurological disorder but, rather, as manifesting a developmental difference. (Armstrong, 2005)

As noted earlier, the use of psychotropic medications is more responsible for so called chemical imbalances in the brain than the symptoms of many mental disorders. Considering the above information, drugging a child with powerful stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall does not seem like the thing to be doing. If the above information is true than we are causing more harm to children by giving them these drugs. Children diagnosed with ADHD are also more likely to be users of illegal drugs. (Armstrong, 2005) The drugs prescribed for ADHD are very addictive and prone to abuse by users. (Armstrong, 2005) Furthermore, the drugs do not heal the symptoms; rather, they cover them up. As soon as the effects of the drug wear off, the symptoms return. (Armstrong, 2005) This is because, as demonstrated throughout the duration of this paper, there has been no conclusive evidence that ADHD exists as a biological disorder which can be identified and healed as a typical medical condition would be. It does not exist as defined in the DSM.

As mentioned earlier, drugs like Ritalin have been known to cause violent or suicidal behavior in young children. According to an article published by the journal Pediatrics, psychotic behavior is more likely to be prevalent in children diagnosed with ADHD after taking medication. After conducting a study with children diagnosed with ADHD, a higher percentage that were taking stimulant type medications such as Ritalin, were showing signs of psychotic symptoms compared to those that were not prescribed drugs. The conclusion is that the drugs were a greater contributing factor than the ADHD diagnosis. (Mackenzie, Abidi, Fisher, Propper, Bagnell, Morash-Conway, Glover, Cumby, Hajek, Schultze-Lutter, Pajer, Alda & Uher. 2016, p. 4) This backs up the research cited by Hyman & Nestler which states higher rates of drug use to treat mental disorders create more mental disorders. Furthermore, Mackenzie et al, was also able to establish, in a few patients, the presence or absence of psychotic behavior during the use of psychotropic medications. In other words, the psychotic behavior tended to subside when the use of stimulant medication was stopped. (MacKenzie et al, 2016, p 4.)

The increased prevalence of psychotic behavior among those taking stimulant medication has been readily observed. Most of the recent mass shootings occurring in America have been committed by people taking psychotropic medications. (Corsi, 2012, December 18) While the debate rages between the need for stricter gun control and more mental health treatment, the point being missed is the fact that those committing the shootings are more often the ones that are being treated. (Corsi, 2012, December 18) Three medications commonly associated with ADHD have been linked in a study to over one thousand nine hundred cases of violent behavior. (Moore, GlennMullen & Furberg, 2010, p. 2)

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights has published a list of 36 high profile events which involved teenagers on psychiatric medications committing murder. (36 School shooters/schoolrelated violence committed by those under the influence of psychiatric drugs.) Twenty-two percent of these incidents involved children taking drugs for ADHD. This certainly doesn’t mean that all children taking drugs for an ADHD diagnosis will commit murder or other violent acts, however, given the research cited earlier by Mackenzie et al, it is safe to say these children would not have committed these crimes had it not been for their medication. Dr. David Kirschner, writing for The National Psychologist states that in thirty of the mass shooters he has evaluated, mental health services were widely available but did nothing to deter the violent acts. Several of the perpetrators were prescribed the ADHD drug Ritalin before committing the murders. (Kirschner, 2014) According to Kirschner, the drugs prevent the brains frontal cortex control mechanisms from functioning properly. This is what contributes to or causes the violent behavior. This statement reinforces a common theme throughout this essay. The use of psychotropic medications can cause mental health issues as opposed to treating them.

There is substantial evidence on both sides of the aisle arguing for or against the use of psychotropic medications. Millions of Americans use them, and they claim that it helps. There is also the evidence provided in this paper, which cannot be discounted given the fact that we are dealing with life and death. “We cannot just uncritically accept research methods as given to us in a valid form by the social sciences.” (Sullivan & Porter, Central Works in Technical Communication p. 300) The idea that psychotropic drugs are the only way to treat people displaying symptoms of ADHD or other forms of mental disorders has become too mainstream. (Dineen, 1998) A quick fix to deal with the anxiousness and confusion we experience in the hectic world we live in. Given the evidence that it leads to violent behavior in some people, a more thorough approach to researching their use and benefits is in order. As the debate rages on between increased gun control or better access to mental health treatment, the evidence suggesting that perhaps it is the treatment contributing to the violence is being ignored. Could this be due to the huge financial connections mentioned earlier in the paper? John Horgan, writing for The Scientific American, cites the work of Dr. David Healey. According to Healey, five percent of participants walk out of clinical trials concerning psychiatric meds due to increased mental agitation. (Horgan, 2013) Healey believes this increased mental agitation could be leading to the violent behavior. (Horgan, 2013) The Citizens Commission on Human Rights estimated that 41 million people are taking psychiatric meds in the U.S. (Psychiatric Drugs: Create Violence & Suicide School Shootings & Other Acts of Senseless Violence) That equates to over two million people that could be experiencing increased mental agitation. In many other situation’s, five percent of forty-one million is a small, insignificant number, however, the consequences of two million people potentially going crazy due to psychotropic drugs could be grave. It is something that cannot be ignored.

In the book The Myth of Mental Illness, Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz makes some interesting observations. He states that much of the work in psychiatry is based purely on the fields preconceived notions.  “Actually, many contemporary psychosocial concepts are defined in terms of the expert's self-proclaimed intentions, interests, and values. Virtually all current psychiatric concepts are of this sort.” (Szasz, p. 3) Because there is no scientific proof that mental illness exists as a biological disease, there is a need to legitimize psychiatry as a medical profession. Szasz states that the field of psychiatry, attempting to be a legitimate medical practice, has been fundamentally disloyal to its patients from the perspective that they cannot admit they have no understanding of the root causes of so-called mental illness. (Szasz, p. 5) “Imitating medicine comes before telling the truth.” (Szasz, p. 5) There is something to be said here because as stated earlier, overwhelming evidence is being ignored. In fact, it could be argued that despite the evidence available there is an increased demand for the use of psychotropic drugs to treat violent behavior while ignoring the evidence which suggests the drugs are causing it.

Perhaps there is a larger problem. One that is being overlooked altogether. Man, in religious terms, has long been thought to be in control of his own behavior. The fields of psychology and psychiatry have their roots in evolutionary beliefs. The idea that man is an animal as opposed to a spiritual being has dominated the profession. Wilhelm Wundt, founder of experimental psychology (Child Drugging: Psychiatry Destroying Lives) stated that man’s behavior and thought patterns should not be viewed any differently than they would be in any other animal. (Wundt, Lectures on Human and Animal Psychology, p. 5) Furthermore, he states that any study undertaken of the human mind must be done as an experimental science or else we would never be able to identify any so-called psychological problems. (Wundt, Lectures on Human and Animal Psychology, p. 8) This gives Thomas Szasz’s quote more meaning. “Actually, many contemporary psychosocial concepts are defined in terms of the expert's self-proclaimed intentions, interests, and values. Virtually all current psychiatric concepts are of this sort.” (Szasz, p. 3) Behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, founder of the operant conditioning theory stated something similar in his book “Beyond Freedom and Dignity.”

"In what we may call the pre-scientific view (and the word is not necessarily pejorative) a person's behavior is at least to some extent his own achievement. He is free to deliberate, decide, and act, possibly in original ways, and he is to be given credit for his successes and blamed for his failures. In the scientific view (and the word is not necessarily honorific) a person’s behavior is determined by a genetic endowment traceable to the evolutionary history of the species and by the environmental circumstances to which as an individual he has been exposed. Neither view can be proved, but it is in the nature of scientific inquiry that the evidence should shift in favor of the second. (Skinner, 101)

Maybe the answer to America’s mental health crisis is shifting away from studying man from a scientific perspective and returning to the idea that we are spiritual beings created in God’s image. Looking at man through what Skinner has deemed the scientific viewpoint is resulting in nothing less than the dehumanization of people. We have tried using drugs to correct behavior what we haven’t tried is returning to our Christian as a nation.

ADHD in children: When a teacher recognizes ADHD symptoms. (N.K D.) WebMD. Retrieved from

ADHD is a Fraud. (2018, December 2015) Citizens Commission on Human Rights St. Louis. Retrieved from

Armstrong, T. (1995) The myth of the ADHD child: 101 way to improve your child’s behavior and attention span without drugs labels or coercion. New York New York Penguin Random House LLC. Retrieved From

Brock, M. (2009, September 15) No more ADHD. Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Retrieved from Centers for Disease control and Prevention: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Retrieved from

Child drugging: Psychiatry destroying lives. Report and recommendations on fraudulent psychiatric diagnoses and the enforced drugging of youth. (2008) Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/driss/OneDrive/Documents/child-drugging_en%20(1).pdf

Cosgrove, L., Krimsky, S., Vijayaraghavan, M., & Schneider, L. (2006) Financial ties between DSM-IV panel members and the pharmaceutical industry. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics. (75) 154-160 Retrieved from

Dineen, T. (1998) Manufacturing victims: What the psychology industry is doing to people. (N.K.P) Retrieved from

DSM Criteria for ADHD: The ADD Resource Center. Retrieved from

Horgan, J. (2013, September 20) Did antidepressant play a role in Navy yard massacre? The Scientific American. Retrieved from

Hymen, S, E. & Nester, E, J. (1996) Initiation and action: A paradigm for understanding psychotropic drug action. American journal of psychiatry. (153) 2 p. 161. Retrieved from

Kirschner, D. (2014, September 10) Mass shooters received only minimal treatment. The National Psychologist. Retrieved from

Mackenzie, L., Abidi, S., Fisher, H., Propper, L., Bagnell, A., Morash-Conway, J., Glover, J., Cumby, J., Hajek, T., Schultze-Lutter, F., Pajer, K., Alda, M., & Uher, R. (2016) Stimulant Medication and Psychotic Symptoms in Offspring of Parents With Mental Illness. Pediatrics (137) P. 4 Retrieved from

Miller, C. (2019) Are schools driving ADHD diagnoses? The Child Mind Institute. Retrieved from

Miller, C. (2019) What’s ADHD (and What’s Not) in the Classroom? The Child Mind Institute. Retrieved from

Number of Children & Adolescents Taking Psychiatric Drugs in the U.S. (N.K.D.) Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Retrieved from

Psychiatric drugs create violence & suicide, school shootings and other acts of senseless violence. (2018) Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Retrieved from

Psychiatry: Hooking your world on drugs. (2004) Citizens Commission on Human Rights Retrieved from

Ritalin Side Effects. (N.K.D.) Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Retrieved from

Saul, R. (2014, March 14) Doctor: ADHD does not exist. Time Magazine. Retrieved from

Skinner, B, F. Beyond freedom and dignity. Middlesex England: Penguin books ltd. 1971 Retrieved from

Sullivan, P. & Porter, J. (2004) On theory practice and method: Toward a heuristic research methodology for professional writing. Retrieved from Central works in technical communication by Johnson-Eilola, J. & Selber, S. A. Oxford University Press. New York

Szasz, T.S, (1974) The myth or mental illness: Foundations of a theory of personal conduct. New York, New York: Harper and Row Publishers. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/driss/Downloads/The%20Myth%20of%20Mental%20Illness-Thomas%20Szasz-1974-320pgs-PSY.sml.pdf

The rise of ADHD: An educational perspective. (2017, October 17) The British psychological society. Retrieved from

Whitaker, R. (2005) Anatomy of an epidemic: Psychiatric drugs and the astonishing rise of mental illness in America. Ethical human psychology and psychiatry. (7) 1 p. 25. Retrieved from

Wundt, W. (1894) Lectures on human and animal psychology. Translated from the second German edition by Creighton, J.E. and Titchener E. B. Macmillan and Company New York. p 5-8. Retrieved from

36 School shooters/school related violence committed by those under the influence of psychiatric drugs (N.K.D) The Citizens Commission on Human Rights Retrieved from

Thursday, August 8, 2019

David's April Snow

We all have a favorite song. One that stirs a certain emotion and makes us believe that the artist wrote that piece just for us. It may be hard for some to believe, especially if you have been a reader of my political articles, but my favorite song is Prince’s “Sometimes it Snow in April.” Being the last song on the Parade album from 1986, it is not likely a song many people are familiar with. This is sure to jerk a tear or two out of anyone who has experienced the loss of loved one. The very first notes resonate with sadness and the harrowing, hollow feeling of someone important to you being gone forever. The last line “love isn’t love until it’s past” suggests that we need to appreciate the friendships and relationships we have because at any moment, those people can disappear from our lives.

This song had a special meaning for me as a young a teenager growing up in the 80’s, without the knowledge of what a mother’s loving touch was like. Or, what it meant to have a dad that was there to teach me what I needed to be a man. I wasn’t raised by either of my parents and I grew up not fully understanding why. My parents were coming into adulthood at the tail end of the cultural revolution where rebellion against the system was encouraged. This was the beginning of the movement to discredit and destroy the family as an American institution. To be fair, they both had problems that needed to be resolved but when they were, they both opted out of parenthood and responsibility. Leaving me to deal with an array of emotional issues that would develop overtime.

I have never experienced the kind of loss expressed in this song. For me, “Sometimes it Snows in April” kind of represented the importance I wanted to be in someone else’s life. The sentiment expressed in the song, the longing desire to be reunited with a friend, the emptiness so perfectly expressed in describing the hole left in a wounded heart. I wanted to be that important to someone. I grew up feeling like I didn’t matter and if I wasn’t there, it really wouldn’t make a difference. This wasn’t entirely true of course. I wasn’t cast aside like an unwanted puppy and left to die on the side of the road. My grandparents picked me up periodically while I grew up in what at first glance, seemed to be a normal family with my dad’s aunt and her kids. Regrettably, this family was plagued with alcoholism and divorce; meaning that my cousins all grew up with their own problems. I do have a relationship with my mother today and I do love her. While I have found it in my heart to forgive them both, I have a hard time relating to them as I have learned life’s lessons on my own and, they have no experience raising children. After struggling through my teenage years my grandparents came through at a time when I needed someone most, and I love them dearly for this.

Today of course, I have my own family. A wife I have been married to for twenty-three years. She has shown me what it means to be a mother by selflessly devoting her entire existence, almost too much so, to our children. I often wonder if she realizes what this means me. We have been through some trying times, which in today’s quick divorce society would have put an end to many marriages. She has filled the role of not only wife and mother, but a woman who has taught me what it means to commit your efforts to someone else. Something I did not get growing up. She has become to me what I always wanted to be to someone else, as I hope I am for her. That one person you cannot live without. I am thankful to have her and when I hear Prince’s song today I am reminded of all the things that I take for granted as I realize that life is indeed fragile, and it can take a drastic turn for any of us at any moment. Remember to tell those you love how important they are while you can.

Sometimes it Snows in April

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Slap Me Silly and Call Me A Conspiracy Theorist

I have written several articles alluding to the ongoing gun control agenda, and the attempts to shift attention from Islamic terrorism to alleged white supremacy and right wing nationalism. I have cited reports alluding to the fact that gun owners concerned of second amendment infringements, people concerned about illegal immigration and others of a so-called right wing affiliation, even veterans, should be considered threats to national security. I have written several articles on the developing red-flag law narrative, which will certainly be strengthened and built upon after this weekend’s events. Finally, I have written many posts on the ongoing psychological warfare being waged against the mind of the average American. There is an attempt to over saturate our culture with chaos so that the typical person knows not where to stand or what is going on. I describe this in great detail in my book Psychopolitics in America: A Nation Under Conquest, but nothing sums it up better than the following quote.

By Psychopolitics our chief goals are effectively carried forward. To produce the maximum chaos in the culture of our enemy is our first most important step. Our fruits are grown in chaos, distrust, economic depression and scientific turmoil. At least a weary populace can seek peace only in our offered communist state. At last, only communism can solve the problems of the masses. (Brainwashing, A Synthesis on the Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics)

Many people continue to insist that communist influence in our culture is merely a hoax. Can anyone else offer a better explanation than the quote above pertaining to what is going on in our nation?

The shooter in El Paso allegedly left behind his manifesto which is being equated to white supremacism, of course. It is generating a great deal of suspicion because many people do not feel a twenty-one-year-old millennial would have been able to write that. This manifesto lists all the major issues the country is now facing in the way of illegal immigration, corruption in government and even the coming automation that could potentially displace millions of workers. Things that all of us are concerned about. In other words, everything that could theoretically have the shooter labeled as a conspiracy theorist. Just in time incidentally, to coincide with the latest report from the FBI that suggests conspiracy theorists should be considered threats to national security. This report suggests that those believing in conspiracy theories revolving around Trump that are driven by “Q” and those who believe in Pizza gate, could be motivated to commit acts of violence before the 2020 election cycle. Never mind Antifa or their calls for violence against border agents, that isn’t what we are discussing. This is about those violent right-wing white supremacists. The report by the FBI also suggests that acts of violence could be motivated by actual conspiracies and covered ups perpetrated by government officials.

This is the same FBI that removed all references to Islamic terrorism from their training manuals. In other words, new recruits are learning that you’re a terrorist if you believe in conspiracy theories about actual government conspiracies and cover-ups, but not if you’re an admitted jihadist or Antifa member threatening to kill border agents? Well that makes perfect sense, and this weekend’s shooting provides all the evidence they need to reinforce these theories. I wonder if those believing that Democrats are pandering to Hispanic voters after they spent the whole debate pandering to Hispanic voters will now be considered a potential threat to themselves or others and red flagged in the middle of the night? I wonder if one of the actual government conspiracies the FBI referred to is Operation Northwoods? You know, the one where they planned to implicate Cuba in a bunch of bombings and shootings across the nation to justify an invasion? What if someone believes that the Twin Towers were brought down by controlled demolition? Finally, what if you believe there was four shooters dressed in black at El Paso?

Below is a list of the articles I have written that lay out this agenda from a more serious tone. Perhaps you have read them, if not here they are for your reading pleasure.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

A generation beat down by fear and uncertainty

Today there was yet another, mass shooting. This depraved individual was able to fire indiscriminately for twenty minutes with no response from either law enforcement or an armed citizen. The question we must ask ourselves is why? Why was there no response to this? Why was this individual with one rifle able to get away with killing nineteen people and injuring forty with not a single person attempting to stop him; or at least a hoard of people overwhelming and stripping him of his weapon? The answer is simple. We have become a society inundated with fear, anxiety and unsureness. We were once a warrior society and now, we are being beaten down with a dependency on government mentality. That is the plain and simple truth.

I remember when I was a substitute teacher and we ran an intruder on campus drill. The children were taught to hide under their desk and what was allowed to transpire was disgusting. The kids were panicking, screaming and running frantically around through the duration of the drill. This is the culture of fear being allowed to permeate in our society in order to create the dependent, helpless mentality needed to usher in collectivism.

Years ago, when I first started writing I wrote an article called The Culture Changing Pop-Tart. This was the true story of a young boy named Josh Welch who was suspended from school for biting a pop-tart into the shape of a gun. Only, he didn’t bite it into the shape of a gun. According to him he was trying to make a mountain. This incident sparked a rash of school suspensions for anything gun related in any way. Kids were being suspended for having toy soldiers, playing paint ball, and posing for pictures on social media at the range with their fathers. The goal is to make people afraid of guns. Train the up and coming generation to respond with fear instead of a take charge attitude. We wouldn’t want to raise our young men with any “toxic masculinity” now, would we? If you doubt this watch this video of Eric Holder admitting that people can be brainwashed into an anti-gun attitude if the same messages are repeated often enough. The public school system, which is run by the federal government, has even changed the wording in the text of the Second Amendment to give the appearance that government has the right to determine who can or who can’t own guns. You don’t suppose that they’re creating a generation that will be willing to accept the premise of the unconstitutional red-flag gun laws, do you? I better be careful. I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist now.

The bottom line is this. In a free society we must take responsibility for ourselves, and that includes the defense of our lives if need be. The government, media and the cowering masses all expect us to simply surrender our rights in order to keep us all safe. The police will protect us. The Supreme Court ruled that the police have no constitutional duty to protect anyone. Your life is your responsibility. The police cannot respond in time to save you. You must do it yourself. Get a gun and train with it like your life depends on it, because it just may.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Freedom of Choice or Environmental Manipulation? By David Risselada

While pursuing my bachelor’s degree in social work, I took a class called positive psychology. At the time I was very excited as the study of the human mind was very interesting to me. I still find it fascinating, just not in the same way. I came to learn, over time, that psychology is a study that concerns itself with controlling human behavior, not simply learning from it. In positive psychology the emphasis seemed to revolve the creation of a standardized happiness. This was very troubling to me because happiness is generally understood to be an individual pursuit. Different things in life make different people happy, we are individuals. To define happiness in scientific terms, in a collective, uniform fashion deprives human beings of their individuality, in my opinion. The study of human behavior has been placed under the microscope of psychologists who tend to view man in evolutionary terms. Most psychologists do not believe in God; (or at least psychology’s origins are absent the belief in God) therefore, the idea that man is in control of his behavior is generally rejected in favor of more collective, secular explanations.

  If we are to use the methods of science in the field of human affairs, we must assume that behavior is lawful and determined. We must expect to discover that what a man does is the result of specifiable conditions and that once these conditions have been discovered, we can anticipate and to some extent determine his actions. This possibility is offensive to many people. It is opposed to a tradition of long standing which regards man as a free agent, whose behavior is the product, not of specifiable antecedent conditions, but of spontaneous inner changes of course. Prevailing philosophies of human nature recognize an internal "will" which has the power of interfering with causal relationships and which makes the prediction and control of behavior impossible. To suggest that we abandon this view is to threaten many cherished beliefs—to undermine what appears to be a stimulating and productive conception of human nature.[1]

The above is from B.F. Skinners Science and Human Behavior. He is saying that the traditional, spiritual view of man must be rejected if the study of human behavior is ever going to be conducted from a strictly, scientific viewpoint. Skinner held a Utopian view of life believing that psychology and the study of human behavior could be used to push society in a more collective direction. According to Deborah Altus and Edward Morris, writing for the Association of Behavioral Analysis International[2], Skinner viewed American life as mundane and felt people should be motivated to experiment with more communal types of living. This is important to understand because Skinner’s influence is deep and wide ranging in the study of human behavior. To study human happiness, for example, from the perspective that man is not in control of his behavior and there is no God, could have its consequences. Especially when you consider the study of psychology itself focuses on controlling human behavior, not merely understanding it. This, however, is exactly what is happening.

In 2005, Time Magazine published an article entitled The New Science of Happiness[3]. The field of positive psychology has taken on the study of human happiness to determine how to make life better for all of us. In my opinion this can only be accomplished by viewing man through Skinner’s perspective. To determine what makes man happy while considering man’s individual characteristics would be a daunting task. Therein lies the problem of studying human behavior. Conclusions that seek to explain man’s actions can only be reached if man’s individuality is absent from the equation. Science, in its search for definitive answers must set an agreed upon standard from which its study will be conducted. In most cases, the study of human behavior is done from Skinner’s viewpoints, which is based on Darwinian evolution.

In what we may call the pre-scientific view (and the word is not necessarily pejorative) a person's behavior is at least to some extent his own achievement. He is free to deliberate, decide, and act, possibly in original ways, and he is to be given credit for his successes and blamed for his failures. In the scientific view (and the word is not necessarily honorific) a person’s behavior is determined by a genetic endowment traceable to the evolutionary history of the species and by the environmental circumstances to which as an individual he has been exposed. Neither view can be proved, but it is in the nature of scientific inquiry that the evidence should shift in favor of the second[4].

This means, essentially, that any study that sets out to determine what causes a certain human behavior is going to be done from a secular, collective viewpoint that offers a one size fits all explanation. The findings presented in Time Magazine’s article seem to reflect B.F. Skinner’s biases towards communal living and Utopianism. One of the first points they make represents the leftist, anti-capitalist view that the pursuit of wealth does not lead to happiness. This is something we all understand. We don’t need psychology to tell us money doesn’t buy happiness. Their bigger point however is that once an “individuals basic needs are met,” the pursuit of additional wealth does nothing to raise our happiness levels. Who determines what constitutes our basic needs? So, all we need to be happy is to be fed, have a roof over our head and feel a general sense of belonging to a community of some kind?  They also suggest that pursuing a higher education has no affect on a person’s general happiness. This may be true for some people. I’m currently pursuing a master’s degree in professional writing and since I have taken this challenge on, I feel more fulfilled in certain areas of my life. Finally, they assert that religious people have a higher level of happiness, but they can’t ascertain whether that has “anything to do with the God part,” or if simply being a part of the community accounts for it.

They then treat us to an obvious no brainer by suggesting people with a lot of friends and ties to the community have higher levels of happiness than those that don’t. Seriously? How long did it take for them to figure that out?

Here is where things get a little contradictory. Numerous psychologists have come to agree that a person does have it within their control to change their happiness levels if they do it in one of three ways that they have determined will make you happy. One, you can make a gratitude journal and keep track of things that you are grateful for. What if you are grateful for the additional wealth you don’t need because your basic needs are met? What if you are grateful for the opportunity to pursue a higher education? Second, perform acts of kindness. Visit a nursing home, mow a neighbor’s lawn or helping someone with a project of some kind. It is suggested that doing five kind acts a day will drastically improve happiness. Finally, make a list of your personal strengths and how to use them. Personal strengths are defined as generosity, humor and gratitude. The contradiction here is generosity. What does a person have to be generous with if happiness is simply having basic needs met? What if a person is happy because he is working his tail end off knowing that he is providing for his family? Well, here we are at Skinner’s biases. In the book “The Shaping of a Behaviorist[5]” Skinner describes the traditional view of American life as being “lockstep;” meaning that people are just mundanely following along with the ideas of marriage, home ownership and raising a family. The basic idea is that science is telling us that they know what is best for us and if we simply surrender our outdated views on what we think makes us happy we will all live much happier more fulfilled lives.

Cass Sunstein, Barack Obama’s former regulatory czar wrote a book called Nudge[6]. Essentially, this book is about how people can be “nudged” or pushed into making better decisions for their lives. Or, to put it more bluntly, nudged into freely making the decisions that government and science think would be better for their lives.

But our basic source of information here is the emerging science of choice, consisting of careful research by social scientists over the past four decades. That research has raised serious questions about the rationality of many judgments and decisions that people make. To qualify as Econs, people are not required to make perfect forecasts (that would require omniscience), but they are required to make unbiased forecasts. That is, the forecasts can be wrong, but they can’t be systematically wrong in a predictable direction. Unlike Econs, Humans predictably err. Take, for example, the “planning fallacy”—the systematic tendency toward unrealistic optimism about the time it takes to complete projects. It will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever hired a contractor to learn that everything takes longer than you think, even if you know about the planning fallacy[7].

This is alarming on many levels. Some people may see the rationality in having government dictate choices for our own good. In fact, this is the rallying cry of the political left. It is, however, very dangerous and denies human beings their individuality and ability to live free autonomous lives. Again, we can draw on the words of B.F. Skinner and his theories on operant conditioning.

As we learn more about the effects of the environment, we have less reason to attribute any part of human behavior to an autonomous controlling agent. And the second view shows a marked advantage when we begin to do something about behavior. Autonomous man is not easily changed: in fact, to the extent that he is autonomous, he is by definition not changeable at all. But the environment can be changed, and we are learning how to change it. The measures we use are those of physical and biological technology, but we use them in special ways to affect behavior[8].

What Skinner is saying that man’s behavior can be changed and guided in a certain way through the manipulation of the environment around him. People can be “nudged” into behaving into what the government would consider to be a politically correct, acceptable way by subtly enforcing a behavior standard through the environment in which we live. This is the study of human behavior from a scientific perspective absent of God. What we could end up with is a scientifically enforced definition of happiness which is used to dictate every aspect of our lives for our own good.

The main point of this article isn’t so much about Time Magazines article or the study of happiness in general; but the fact that science is investing in the manipulation of the environment to control our behavior. The government obviously doesn’t believe we can make choices in our best interest. If they did, they would leave us alone. The very principle of our nation is based on the premise that people, when left to their own devises, will make decisions that are in their best interest and more importantly, in the best interest of society. This thinking is what led to the most prosperous and free society the world has known. A society that incidentally, the left despises. The possible implications of a science of behavior which controls our actions through environmental manipulation are many. In the book Nudge, Sunstein refers to what he calls a choice architect. This is a person who controls choices we make. The examples given have to do with market decisions such as healthcare choices, or how we choose the foods we eat but there is a potential to apply this concept on a much larger scale. For example, are our elections set by choice architects? Are our choices for president controlled? Is the economy controlled to a certain extent to control the economic decisions we make? These are possibilities that must be considered given the information provided. The ability to control behavior through environmental manipulation strips us all our individual autonomy creating a dangerous precedent for the concept of individual freedom.  


[6] file:///C:/Users/driss/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/Richard_H._Thaler_Cass_R._Sunstein_Nudge_Improv.%20(1).pdf
[7] file:///C:/Users/driss/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/Richard_H._Thaler_Cass_R._Sunstein_Nudge_Improv.%20(1).pdf