Link here to view movie documentary Powerful as God Childrens Aid Society [in Ontario Canada]
After you read the lead article, The Child Protection Racket, be sure to scroll down farther to read the follow-up articles listed below of 2 of the parents mentioned in the article who struck back by successsfully taking Children Services to court !
Audrey Serrano - Woman misdiagnosed and wrongly treated for HIV is awarded $2.5million by jury
Connie Roska - Court rules against child caseworkers:
Lawsuit: A boy, then 12, was removed from his parents; a judge says the workers may be liable
In the cases of Rusty and Jessica, [below] however, no one activated an Amber Alert. There was no news media blitz.
Because these children were but two of the thousands forcibly separated from their families each year by the Child Protective Services (CPS) system.
Help Becomes Betrayal
Child Protective Services, in the eyes of many parents and advocacy groups, is a cruel misnomer.
One prominent children's rights advocate whose efforts were instrumental in bringing about the legislation that created the CPS system in the 1970s is Walter Mondale, former vice president and senator. Subsequently, Mondale reportedly feared that the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act he introduced in the Senate in 1974 "could lead to systemic abuse in that the state agencies might overprocess children into the system unnecessarily to keep, and increase, the flow of federal dollars." (1)
That, the record shows, is exactly what has happened, with critics today comparing the system to Dr. Frankenstein's monster — out of control, destroying children and parents alike.
But how did this transformation of a system originally intended to help children come about? Freedom's (magazine) investigation found the psychiatric industry to be at the core of this perversion, as documented in this report.
As early as 1977, a formative year for the CPS system, psychiatrist Bertram S. Brown, then director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), revealed the self-appointed mission of his profession to gain control of this territory. "The tough role — that of change agentry vis a vis the family — has devolved upon the mental health system," he wrote in the foreword to a 200-page NIMH publication, Child Abuse and Neglect Programs: Practice and Theory.
Subsequently, over the decades, psychiatry's role in bringing about such change has burgeoned — including the vesting of more and more public funds in wasteful and destructive psychiatric drugs and other "solutions." At the same time, psychiatric control of the child-protection system has been detrimental to the system's stated goal of keeping families together, with Rusty and Jessica being but two of an untold number of tragedies.
In interviews with Freedom, mothers described the serious abuse of their children under Child Protective Services programs.
A Mind-Altering Potpourri
By 1998, when Jessica was 8, other powerful drugs had been added to her daily regimen, including two powerful amphetamines.
While on these potent drugs, Jessica began to hear voices, a side effect of amphetamine usage. The voices told Jessica, in her mother's words, "to do bad things, to kill people." They also warned that someone was coming to kill her, so Jessica began to sleep with knives under her pillow and under the bed for protection. She talked openly about wanting to kill herself, a side effect of her antidepressants.
She banged her head against walls, dug at her skin with her fingernails, and began to be cruel to animals — tying one cat up in a bag and stuffing another into a toilet.
This array of bizarre behavior bewildered her mother. "This never happened before the drugs," Serrano said. "They Would Slam Her to the Floor"
Serrano became so concerned about escalating medication and worsening problems that she gradually weaned Jessica, then nearly 9, off the drugs. Jessica stopped hearing voices. Her behavior improved. She no longer thought about killing herself. "I feel much better," Jessica told Pittel during an office visit. "My head doesn't hurt anymore."
Elliott Pittel berated Serrano, however, insisting that Jessica go back on psychiatric drugs. "I'm a doctor and I know what's best," he reportedly said. "You don't have a degree."
When Serrano informed Pittel of the many adverse effects Jessica had suffered on the drugs, the psychiatrist, in Serrano's words, got "beet-red" and "highly upset." "He told me that I had to put her back on them or he would file a 51A* for medical neglect," Serrano said, an action that would bring about loss of her daughter to the CPS system. "So I put her back on."
Not long after the meeting with Pittel, Jessica was abducted anyway — taken directly from school by CPS personnel, who claimed Serrano was unfit to be a mother because she had tested positive for HIV — a test later shown to be false.
Almost unbelievably, with Jessica held in the CPS system at Hillcrest Education Center in Lennox, Massachusetts, psychiatrist Theodore Lindauer recommended still additional drugs, including up to 500 milligrams daily of Thorazine, described by the man who pioneered its use as a "pharmacological substitute for lobotomy." (See "The Littlest Guinea Pigs".)
Separated from her mother for a span of 23 months between the ages of 9 and 11, Jessica ultimately endured six foster homes and a residential care center. At two homes, she allegedly was molested. Powerful, mind-ravaging drugs were injected against her will. According to information presented to Freedom by Serrano, Thorazine was given without court order or parental permission, as required by law. COERCIVE DRUGGING
After daughter Jessica was given such dangerous drugs as Thorazine and brutalized within the system, Audrey Serrano (center, with Jessica and attorney Gregory A. Hession) filed suit.
In Massachusetts, before anyone can be administered a neuroleptic ("nerve-seizing") drug against their will, a hearing to authorize it must be held before a judge. According to Audrey Serrano, and her attorney, Gregory A. Hession, no such hearing took place before the neuroleptic drug Zyprexa was administered to Serrano's daughter, Jessica (inset, at age 6), while in Massachusetts Department of Social Services' custody. Psychiatrist Theodore Lindauer authorized giving Jessica up to 500 milligrams daily of one neuroleptic, Thorazine, and doses of two others as well. In an interview with Freedom, Lindauer described the Thorazine dosage as "ridiculous." After Freedom obtained documentation of Jessica's "treatment plan" in which Lindauer prescribed the life-threatening regimen for the young girl (right), he refused to answer additional questions. As early as age 6, while under "treatment" at the Herbert Lipton Community Mental Health Center in Leominster by psychiatrist Elliott Pittel and others, Jessica was subjected to drugs that, according to recent government warnings, can trigger violent and suicidal behavior, or sudden death.
"All she had to do was say 'no' to them and they would slam her to the floor; someone would place a knee in her back and tie her hands," Serrano said. "There was so much emotional damage I can't even begin to tell you." Jessica's little body bore bruises from forcible injections, she said.
Far from "helping," these drugs created her daughter's severe problems, according to Serrano. She finally got Jessica back, but scars from the ordeal remain. To help inform others of her experiences, Serrano formed an organization, Families Against Abuse, which today has a nationwide membership (http://www.familiesagainstabuse.org/).
Death of a Patient
When telephoned by Freedom, psychiatrist Pittel refused to answer questions. His colleague, Theodore Lindauer, denied that he had recommended 500 milligrams daily of Thorazine, calling that high a dosage "ridiculous." But after Freedom obtained documentation of Jessica's "Treatment Plan" in which Lindauer authorized up to 500 milligrams daily of Thorazine, he declined to answer additional questions.
In the course of its probe, Freedom learned that Lindauer was disciplined in January 2004 by the New Hampshire State Board of Medicine, following the 1998 death of a patient at a New Hampshire facility at which Lindauer then served as medical director.
According to information received from the board, the man had been admitted to Beech Hill Hospital in Dublin, New Hampshire, with a substance abuse problem. Due to the seriousness of his condition, he was to be monitored every 30 minutes. During a periodic check, the man was found to be "unresponsive." Rushed to another hospital, he was pronounced dead.
Dori Todd Hill of the Board of Medicine told Freedom that Lindauer "was responsible for making sure that the hospital was equipped to handle these emergencies and that patients were properly monitored." In its published findings, the Board of Medicine stated, "Dr. Lindauer is reprimanded and his license to practice in the area of substance abuse is restricted until he has completed 80 hours of continuing medical education in the assessment and treatment of substance abuse."
More trouble looms for Lindauer, as Audrey Serrano told Freedom she intends to add him as a party in the lawsuit she has pending against the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, Hillcrest and others.
EXPERTS DECRY Mental Health Profiteering
"The more the medications or diagnoses that a child is on, the more the reimbursement per child is for a foster parent," —Ben Raimer, M.D.
"The heavy reliance on psychiatric drugs has had a very negative effect on the children in our society across the board." —Eddie Farnsworth Arizona State Rep.
The Child Protective Services system has become an object of psychiatric industry greed, say experts who track, expose and seek to eliminate this brand of child abuse. A "gangster racket" : that's how New York author and psychologist Seth Farber, Ph.D., describes Child Protective Services. "It's a corrupt system," he says, "with psychiatrists and their behavioral classifications at the heart of it."
More Foster Children, More Profit
As established by federal law, every state has an agency to combat child abuse. Usually located within the state's Social Services department and commonly called Child Protective Services, the network comprises an expanding, multibillion-dollar empire, with offices in every county — and with each child representing tens of thousands of taxpayer-funded dollars per year funneled to the psychiatric machine controlling the child's fate.
A major source of CPS revenue, nearly $5 billion a year, comes from the federal government through Social Security, under a provision allowing open-ended* funding. By the nature of such a system, the more children placed in foster care, the more money a state gets, producing a psychiatrically centered system that, instead of working to keep families together, strives to capture more and more kids, and to put more and more of them on drugs.
As the California Child Welfare Services (CWS) Stakeholders Group, an organization under the state Department of Social Services, explained: "The federal system of funding child welfare services at the state and county levels creates a 'perverse incentive factor' by providing open-ended funding for children and youth who are in the CWS system vs. providing capped funds for prevention and early intervention efforts.
"This 'perverse incentive factor' results in the state and counties earning the most revenue by having more children in the system as opposed to their receiving the funding necessary to reduce the need for Child Protective Services in the first place." (2)
Audrey Serrano noted the incentives include bonuses for CPS employees who bring children into the system — with quotas issued to make sure they do so. New York author and psychologist Seth Farber, Ph.D., told Freedom that such abuses make him consider the CPS system a "gangster racket," with psychiatrists and psychologists at its core.
"They take children away from their mothers and bounce them around in the system," Farber explained. "It's a corrupt system, with psychiatrists and their behavioral classifications at the heart of it."
Falsely Labeling Innocent, Normal Kids
In New York, Farber said, psychiatrists and psychologists appointed by the courts to evaluate children or parents are paid at least $500 an hour. These "evaluations" all too often result in the separation of parents and children — particularly, Farber said, when there is a single mother and she happens to be African-American.
Nearly all of the victims of the CPS system in New York, he said, are poor black women.
Once a child has been removed from the family, frequently on the nebulous charge of "neglect," the systematic milking of funding streams begins. Sources include Medicaid, the Crime Victims Compensation Fund, Social Security Disability Insurance and others.
Some states automatically issue Medicaid cards to children removed from their homes, making it easier to tap into federal funds.
One social worker informed Freedom that once a child receives a psychiatric label, his or her foster home immediately becomes eligible for roughly double the amount of money for that child.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, this source noted that the system has become geared toward giving children psychiatric labels and drugs because such "treatment" brings far greater income to foster parents and those administering group homes. "It's a dishonest system that falsely labels innocent, normal kids on a wholesale basis, condemning them to a life with a phony psychiatric diagnosis," she said.
The WAR on Families Rafe ABUSE WITHIN THE SYSTEM Taken from his mother for "abuse" she bitterly denies, young Rafe reportedly suffered three head injuries and cuts on his leg during one week in CPS custody.
A review of state child welfare hand-books reveals that, empowered by psychiatrists, Child Protective Services (CPS) agents wield the power to label any parent "unfit" and to take away his or her children.
Based on these guides, genuine objectivity becomes difficult to impossible, leading to injustice even in the hands of well-intentioned employees. New York's manual, for example, contains a chart regarding physical and behavioral signs of abuse or neglect. It includes any type of physical injury, even though contact sports, bicycle or skateboard accidents, and so forth, could be actual causes of injury. This chart contains such catch-all terms as aggressiveness, withdrawal, low self-esteem, failure to thrive, speech disorders and fatigue. [These are all behaviors that a child suddenly taken from their family might normally show]
Colorado's points for determining "abuse" and "neglect" include eating disorders, bed-wetting, early arrival or late departure from school, poor communication and PR skills, inappropriate height or weight, and parents unsupportive of school personnel or disdainful of public schools/teachers. According to this, a child who happens to be shorter and skinnier or, perhaps, taller and heavier than average and who shows up to school early may well be in need of state intervention.
According to author and foster mother Mary Callahan, birth parents are up against a stacked deck when they deal with the CPS system. "They tell the parents if they go and get a parent capacity evaluation, this will help them get their children back," she told Freedom. However, she said, "95 percent of the parents that they see end up with a psychiatric diagnosis."
Callahan said that when she challenged a doctor who enjoyed a lucrative contract with the Maine Department of Human Services to give such evaluations, he winked at her and said, "They send them to me for a reason."
Money and Dangerous Drugs Drive the System
Documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR*) in Massachusetts revealed that an incredible 64 percent of the children in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS) had been labeled with at least one "mental illness." Virtually all those so diagnosed are typically placed on one or more drugs with serious and even deadly side effects.
Chris Garrison, director of CCHR Massachusetts, said, "These documents and reports from whistleblowers and parents of children taken away by Social Services make it evident that DSS and its mental health vendors are using children like Jessica as a commodity by billing for lethal drugs and needless, harmful psychiatric procedures."
Not the least of psychiatric evils is the sanctioning of forced abduction and the drugging of children. Experts note that such labels as "Separation Anxiety Disorder," "Adjustment Disorder" or "Mood Disorder" could well describe normal responses to an abrupt, enforced removal from the child's home and family and into the clutches of a cold and abusive system. These tags are then employed to force children to take powerful drugs.
At a hearing of the Human Services Committee of the Texas House of Representatives in October 2004, Ben Raimer, M.D., a pediatrician, testified that he had seen children in foster homes on "as many as 11 psychotropic meds."
Raimer described visiting one foster home where four children, aged 2, 3, 5 and 6, were all on large numbers of drugs, with heavy doses of each. "The more the medications or diagnoses that a child is on, the more the reimbursement per child is for a foster parent," Raimer explained.
The drugs pouring into the nation's foster children come at a high price. As Arizona State Representative Eddie Farnsworth told Freedom, "The heavy reliance on psychiatric drugs has had a very negative effect on the children in our society across the board." The omnipresent ADHD label, he said, has created an epidemic of child drugging across all facets of society.
Psychologists and many people who are not medical doctors have labeled countless children with so-called mental disorders to promote the psychiatry-controlled CPS money machine.
Neurologist Fred Baughman, M.D., told Freedom, "There have been amazing stories of diagnoses made in schools of ADHD, 'conduct disorder' and 'oppositional defiant disorder.' Then the schools turn to CPS to coerce the parents or take them to court to enforce the treatment of these things as though they were actual diseases, which they are not." The "treatment," he said, comes in the form of dangerous and sometimes fatal drugs.
Money is the Driving Force
Children from the foster care system — dominated by psychiatry and its drugs — tend to do worse in life than those raised by their own parents or families, with study after study confirming that Child Protective Services (CPS) failed those it claimed to help.
Statistics on educational performance, drug abuse, crime and homelessness reveal how the system has been crippled by psychiatric influences.
A research team, for example, conducted an evaluation of 749 17-year-olds leaving the foster care system in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. Their report, issued in 2004 by the University of Chicago's Chapin Hall Center for Children, showed "nearly two-thirds of the male and half the female foster children had been arrested, convicted of a crime, or sent to a correctional facility." Over half of these 17-year-olds were not yet reading at seventh-grade level. (1)
The Urban Institute found that children aged 12 to 17 in the child welfare system had been suspended or expelled from school in 32 percent of the cases, compared to 13 percent in parental care. (2)
A U.S. Senate measure from 2003, the Improving Education for Homeless and Foster Children with Disabilities Act, included alarming statistics: "In a number of states, more than 60 percent of children and youth in foster care drop out of school before graduation; a rate that is twice as high as the dropout rate for all students."
A 2002 study by Child Trends, a research center in Washington, D.C., found that only 48 percent of all former foster youths had graduated from high school, 3 compared to 71 percent that year for all public school students.4 A 1996 University of Wisconsin study found that one-third of those exiting foster care became homeless,5 compared to less than one percent in the general population.
"Money is a driving force" in the CPS system, author Mary Callahan told Freedom. More money is given by the state for ever more psychiatric diagnoses and ever-increasing amounts of psychiatric drugs.
"If money only flows if kids get worse, somehow, they just keep getting worse," Callahan said. The heart of the matter, she noted, is to change the system so success, not further failure, is rewarded.
FAILING GRADES FOR FOSTER CARE
Percentage of children obtaining their high school diploma Percentage of children obtaining their high school diploma or general equivalency diploma
A 2005 study* by the University of Chicago's Chapin Hall Center for Children found that 37.1 percent of those from foster care failed to get a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma, compared with only 9.4 percent of other Americans their age. This study, the most extensive of its kind in decades, also documented how those caught in the foster care system encounter higher rates of unemployment, homelessness, violence and crime.
* Mark E. Courtney et al., "Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth: Outcomes at Age 19," May 2005.
1 Mark E. Courtney, Sherri Terao and Noel Bost, "Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth: Conditions of Youth Preparing to Leave State Care," Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, February 22, 2004.
2 Katherine Kortenkamp and Jennifer Ehrle, "Well-Being of Children Involved with the Child Welfare System: A National Overview," The Urban Institute, January 15, 2002.
Falsely Labeling Parents :
Rusty Roska and his mother, Connie HARD-WON VICTORY
Psychiatric labels are also slapped on parents by psychiatrists and psychologists. Seth Farber explained that one means by which the New York child welfare system obtains more children is "to have their psychologists say the parent has a 'psychosis' or 'personality disorder.' If that parent doesn't want to give up his or her child, or doesn't trust the psychologist on the agency's payroll, that data is used to 'prove' that a 'mental disorder' exists.
"Once that parent has been labeled 'mentally disordered' by a psychologist, child welfare doesn't have to prove the parent actually did anything wrong. In the complete absence of any evidence of parental wrongdoing, that psychiatric label is sufficient justification to seize the child." (See "The War on Families," page 11.)
Farber noted, "You're not going to find a psychologist or psychiatrist say anybody is mentally healthy — except for themselves and their friends and buddies."
Rusty Roska was plagued by serious physical problems, but those problems went undiagnosed and untreated, while Salt Lake City psychologist Eric Yelsa reportedly badgered him with such comments as "We know you're psychotic" and such questions as "You want to kill your family, don't you?"
When Utah's Division of Child and Family Services seized Rusty, it invoked the psychiatric label of Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP), which asserts a parent intentionally made his or her own child sick in order to gain attention.
In affixing the MSBP label, psychiatrists have targeted mothers in particular. Sometimes, as in Rusty's case, doctors encounter medical problems difficult to diagnose or treat; in many cases, psychiatrists have frequently and inaccurately blamed a parent, using the MSBP diagnosis.
Condemnation of this particular trumped-up "disorder" is not limited to the United States. In Australia, Dr. Helen Hayward-Brown, a sociologist, said, "Ordinary mothers and fathers are being accused of child abuse because their children have an illness that some pediatricians cannot diagnose, or the parents strongly question the doctor over the child's treatment.
"The parents are refused the opportunity to obtain a second medical opinion as this is labeled 'doctor shopping,' part of the MSBP child abuse profile — even though doctors are ethically obliged to allow it and it is a patient's right to obtain a second medical opinion."3
In the United Kingdom, Lord Geoffrey Howe, shadow spokesman for health in the House of Lords, blasted MSBP as "one of the most pernicious and ill-founded theories to have gained currency in childcare services over the past 10 to 15 years. It is a theory without science.... It rests instead on the assertions of its inventor (Dr. Roy Meadow).... When challenged to produce his research papers to justify his original findings, the inventor of MSBP stated, if you please, that he had destroyed them."4 (For news on a similar case of destruction of psychiatric research, see "Swedish Drugging Advocate Slapped Down by Courts," page 17.)
Although the MSBP diagnosis has no more scientific validity than the accusation of witchcraft did in its day, mothers such as Connie Roska have lost their children when a psychiatrist or psychologist assigned the label.
According to Roska, after the family sought medical help from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Brenda Bursch, a psychologist at UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute, went so far as to accuse her of slaughtering a small animal and putting the blood into Rusty's urine sample.
But after Rusty's abduction, the Roskas utilized the legal system, sued the state, and won — a triumph of justice over phony labeling. (See "Fighting Back," next page.)
Fighting Back Parents are taking action to protect their children: Abbey Chaplin with her fiance ESCAPE FROM AN ABUSIVE SYSTEM
After being freed from unwanted psychiatric "assistance" through the action of her parents, Abbey Chaplin (with her fiancé above) is doing well in college, supporting herself and regularly making the dean's list.
I have helped many families get their children back — probably 13 in the last few years, and have made sure their constitutional rights were met," said Connie Roska, whose son, Rusty, was abducted from their home after she was assigned a false psychiatric label.
Roska sued the state of Utah after getting Rusty back. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, except when immediate danger exists, children could not be removed from their parents without a warrant from the court.
Following the verdict, the Utah legislature incorporated this principle into state law. "If you look at the standards in the law now," said the Roskas' attorney, Steve Russell, "the language is right out of the Roska decision."
Asked why he took on the case in 1999 and pursued it for years with no promise of payment, Russell said, "I have had clients who had been abused by the system and I was looking for a case that is so rock solid that I could really make a difference. I have eight children. I did this for my own family and for everybody else, so they could be free."
The trial judge ruled the case would go to a jury to decide, not whether the Roskas' rights had been violated since that was not in dispute, but how much they should be awarded in damages. On February 9, 2006, the 10th Circuit upheld this ruling. As Freedom went to press, the case was slated for a federal jury trial to determine the amount of damages.
Many besides the Roskas and Steve Russell have fought the system and made a difference. As reported in an earlier issue of Freedom, Butch and Kitral Chaplin faced charges of "medical neglect" for refusing to put their then 14-year-old daughter, Abbey, on a mix of dangerous drugs. Although Abbey was taken from them and locked in a mental institution, the Chaplins fought successfully to get her back and have had all charges against them dropped.
Five years later and free from psychiatric "assistance," Abbey is supporting herself through college and making the dean's list, her father told Freedom.
Butch Chaplin has spoken to other parents threatened with loss of their children. He tells them the only way to win is to stand up for their rights and not to back down. "People say, 'Why is it like that? Why doesn't it change?'" Chaplin said. "Well, this is the absolute truth: it is because good people say and do nothing."
Saving the Family
Big Brother does not make a good parent. The psychiatrist-dominated CPS system, which places labeling and drugs above responsibility and accountability, proves this.
Many decision-makers now realize that government will not love and nurture a child the way a parent will. Hence, some states are changing their programs to emphasize keeping families together. Although these changes may not "maximize federal reimbursements" in the short run, viewed from a larger perspective, such reforms are best for children and families and for society as well.
In Utah, for example, following the Roska family's victory in the courts, the legislature considered nearly 20 bills intended to reform the treatment children received at the hands of CPS and mental health professionals in that state. By the end of the 2004 legislative session, 10 of the measures had been signed into law.
In California, the state with the largest number of foster children, Governor Schwarzenegger made it part of a budgetary plan to change how private foster care contractors get paid. Rather than funding solely on the number of children in the system, payment would be based on positive outcomes.
Shirley Washington of California's Department of Social Services told Freedom the state implemented a measure that "will provide additional foster care funds to help keep children out of high-level care through family-centered, home-based services."
"We need to raise the threshold for taking children from their families to begin with so fewer children get into the system," Gregory Hession said. "Then they won't be drugged and ruined and crushed and killed and raped and murdered and everything else that happens to them. That is the starting point: take fewer kids."
Walter Mondale told Freedom that the original intent of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was to accomplish several objectives to stem child abuse.
"It enacted for the first time federal legislation that recognized the horrors and the persistence of child abuse," he said. "It tried to look at child abuse not just as a law enforcement problem — although sometimes it is — but in the context of troubled families, of the phenomenon of inter-generational repetition of abuse, which was reported to be quite common, and it tried to engage the local governments in reaching out and trying to spot these problems before they worsened."
But today, while many well-intentioned people work in the system CAPTA created, the problem is that the system has been subverted by the psychiatric industry into a revenue-generating entity more important than the children and the families it was formed to serve.
"The abuse my daughter suffered at the hands of psychiatrists tells me that the system would be far better off without them," Audrey Serrano said.
To revamp the system, the first step is to once again prioritize the family and to work to keep families together.
As the former vice president said, "If a family isn't so important, if a husband and wife taking care of kids isn't so important, why is it that every society, all over the world, for nearly a million years has ended up with essentially that system for raising children? Family life is indispensable."
Mark Stout contributed to this article. RESEARCH EVIDENCE DESTROYED Swedish Drugging Advocate Slapped Down by Courts CHRISTOPHER GILLBERG CHRISTOPHER GILLBERG and two other psychiatrists were fined for destroying some 100,000 pages of records that may have shown a childhood "disorder" spawned by Gillberg to be based upon questionable or even fraudulent research.
The lack of science to support psychiatry's mental disorders has become the focus of a storm of controversy — particularly so after a series of warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the hazards posed by drugs that psychiatrists use to "treat" those alleged disorders.
Diagnosis is the crux of the matter, and child advocate and author John Breeding, Ph.D., is one of many authorities passionate on the subject.
"It is not just that people are misdiagnosed, but that the psychiatric diagnoses themselves are fraudulent," he told Freedom. "There is no real disease, no physical or chemical abnormality; there is only a subjective observation of behavior they call a disease."
Psychiatrist Christopher Gillberg's recent legal troubles in Europe has only added fuel to the fire.
An international pundit on childhood "disorders," Gillberg has been widely promoted by psychiatric front groups in the United States, such as Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD).
Shredding Vital Evidence
When a sociologist and a pediatrician challenged Gillberg to produce his research into "Deficits in Attention, Motor control and Perception (DAMP), which is similar to ADHD, he refused to do so voluntarily. After a Swedish court ordered him to turn over the records, Gillberg appealed and lost.
Rather than surrender the papers, two colleagues and a staff assistant shredded two decades of state-funded research — some 100,000 pages — that formed the basis for Gillberg's plans to put tens of thousands of children on drugs. The perpetrators included Gillberg's wife, psychiatrist Carina Gillberg. On June 27, 2005, Christopher Gillberg was found guilty of official misconduct and fined 37,500 kronor (roughly $4,800), ordered to pay court costs of 75,000 kronor ($9,600) and given a suspended jail sentence. His colleagues were also fined.
Today, scientists and other authorities continue to point out the highly questionable, if not fraudulent, nature of Gillberg's papers, books, doctoral theses and journal articles.
British attorney and physicist Clifford G. Miller, for example, asked, "Where does this place any scientific papers published on the basis of this now non-existent evidence? Papers which were being, it seems, challenged for inconsistencies in litigation? Will these papers now have to be withdrawn by the journals which published them? Will the journals do so voluntarily? How many papers are concerned? In which journals are they published? Will the journals publish any caveat about reliance on the papers concerned?"
"The most rational, albeit very cumbersome, course of action would be to withdraw all research relying on the data," said Sociology Professor Thomas Brante of Lund University in Sweden. "Just like Volvo revokes its cars when a construction fault is discovered, a faulty (or non-existent) scientific diagnosis and its implications must be possible to revoke."
"Virtually All His Research Reports Were Bogus"
Gillberg's American counterpart in "popularizing" speed-type drugs for children, psychologist Stephen Breuning of the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, was convicted in federal court on charges of research fraud.
"Virtually all his research reports were bogus — nearly all the experiments they purported to report had not been conducted; there was no basis for believing that what they 'reported' was true. These specific research reports, moreover, had provoked frightening consequences," wrote author Robert Bell in the book, Impure Science. Bell noted that "the reports had been relied on nationwide in determining drug therapy" for many children and that Breuning had contributed "24 out of the 70 papers published on the subject between 1979 and 1983."1
Breuning was sentenced to five years on probation, ordered to 60 days in a halfway house and 250 hours of community service, and had to repay $77,352 to the federal government. The University of Pittsburgh reimbursed the federal government more than $163,000 it had received for Breuning's research. But, tragically, the use of dangerous drug "solutions" for our children — based to a degree on that same bogus research — only increased.
Breuning's and Gillberg's light sentences send a disturbing message: when it comes to doping our vulnerable children, manipulated and even fraudulent research presents low risks to the perpetrators.
This decades-long charade thus begs the question: Whose interests are forwarded by slanted, pseudo-scientific studies of unproven "behavior disorders," with side effects ignored or minimized?
The pattern is clear: with researchers like Gillberg and Breuning tied to the marketers of dangerous psychiatric drugs, the consumer is getting more fiction than fact.
1. Robert Bell, Impure Science, (New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1992), pages 105 — 106 The APA: An Ignoble Tradition Former American Psychiatric Association Presidents Past APA leading lights caused their patients great suffering and anguish with their 'desperate cures.' Some things never change. A LEGACY OF ABUSE: Past APA Presidents Jules Masserman (left) and Ewen Cameron (center), and today's APA head Steven Sharfstein (right) exemplify the brutal nature of psychiatry, victimizing the most vulnerable at great profit. Masserman surrendered his medical license in disgrace after patients accused him of sexual abuse. Cameron destroyed people's minds with combinations of drugs, including LSD, and electric shocks. Sharfstein's coercive arsenal also includes electric shocks; human rights violations at facilities he controls are under investigation by Freedom.
The American Psychiatric Association changes presidents every year; with characters like these comprising the APA's "elite," it's not hard to see why.
Steven Sharfstein, president of the American Psychiatric Association, puffed with pride on the subject of his appearance on "The Today Show," calling it his "15 minutes of fame."
Unfortunately for him, that exposure produced far more than 15 minutes of acute embarrassment for psychiatry, as questions raised during the show forced him to admit that no test exists for a "chemical imbalance" as the cause of mental disorders. Indeed, in less than 15 seconds, he repudiated the mainstay of modern psychiatric "treatment" with his statement, "We do not have a clean-cut lab test" for such disorders.
The heavily promoted but thoroughly discredited "chemical imbalance" theory underlies psychiatry's high-volume administration of drugs to children and adults — even those given against their will.
As Freedom has learned, Sharfstein has no qualms about administering drugs, electro-convulsive shock "therapy" and other treatments that people do not want (or need), calling such "compassionate coercion."
Such an arrogant, uncaring attitude is traditional at the APA. Ewen Cameron (APA president from 1952 to 1953) had men and women alike chased down by burly attendants and dragged back to their beds, kicking and screaming, for more of what he called "depatterning" — drug-induced "deep sleep" for weeks on end, combined with brain-damaging electric shocks. Many of Cameron's victims and surviving relatives have since collected damages for the great suffering caused by his intelligence agency-funded experiments. But, as revealed in this edition, some of his victims may have been children with no parents, no relatives and no one to report them missing, abused or dead. (See "The Dark Mystery of the Duplessis Orphans," page 22.)
Jules Masserman, APA president from 1979 to 1980, sexually abused female patients drugged with sodium amytal he administered under the pretext of helping them to delve into their "subconscious," billing in the thousands for his "services." In her book, You Must Be Dreaming, singer and actress Barbara Noel described being drugged unconscious by Masserman and awakening to find him, naked, on top of her. After she sued, Masserman settled with her in October 1986 for $200,000, with $50,000 more paid to three other female patients who came forward. Yet, in November 1986, at the 11th World Congress for Social Psychiatry in Rio de Janeiro, the organization's president praised Masserman as "the most prominent psychiatrist in the world." In 1987, evidently fearing a probe by an Illinois agency of his misconduct, Masserman surrendered his medical license.
"Run as Fast as You Can"
Today, a Sharfstein contemporary, APA distinguished fellow Harold Koplewicz, promotes himself as "being recognized as one of the nation's premier child and adolescent psychiatrists." Koplewicz, of Bellevue Hospital and New York Uni-versity's School of Medicine, has appeared on national TV, expounding upon what he viewed as the necessity for intervention by Child Protective Services (CPS) if a family declines to drug a child after a psychiatric diagnosis.
In the context of abuses as described in this edition of Freedom, advocacy of coercive acts against children and families is chilling, and one more example of the APA's arrogance and perverse view of individual rights.
One parent with experience in this regard is Patty Weathers. Appearing at the October 2004 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hearing that directly preceded issuance of an agency order regarding black-box warning labels — the FDA's most severe cautionary note — Weathers testified that her son hallucinated, heard voices, and became violent and psychotic while on an "antidepressant."
Now the head of AbleChild: Parents for Label and Drug Free Education, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of children's and parents' rights, Weathers told Freedom that Koplewicz's endorsement of that same drug as "safe and effective" was "beyond irresponsible."
"I would tell all parents never to contact him," she said. If you have kids, she added, don't walk away from him, "Run as fast as you can!"
Unfortunately, all too many of psychiatry's victims — young and old alike — never had that chance.
Informant: Cherrie Webb
A jury has awarded $2.5 million in damages to a woman who received HIV treatments for almost nine years before discovering she never actually had the virus that causes AIDS.
In her lawsuit against a doctor who treated her, Audrey Serrano said the powerful combination of drugs she took triggered a string of upsets, including depression, chronic fatigue, loss of weight and appetite and inflammation of the intestine.
After hearing the verdict, Ms Serrano said: "I'm going to finish my school and I am going to continue to help others.
"I am going to find another doctor that will help me."
Audrey Serrano was awarded $2.5million in damages after wrongly receiving HIV treatments for almost nine years
Ms Serrano's lawyer, David Angueira, said Dr Kwan Lai, who treated his client at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester's HIV clinic, repeatedly failed to order definitive tests even after monitoring of Ms Serrano's treatment did not show the presence of HIV in her blood.
"It is one of the clearest cases of misdiagnosis that I have ever seen and it's based in part on a presumption that people who engage in certain types of conduct are more likely to have HIV and AIDS than other people without really listening to the patient," Mr Angueira said after the verdict.
Dr Lai testified last week that Ms Serrano told her she had worked as a prostitute, her partner had AIDS, and that she had suffered three bouts of a type of pneumonia typically associated with those infected by the virus.
Ms Serrano denied she had ever been a prostitute.
She confirmed that her former boyfriend tested positive for HIV/AIDS, but disputed the claim that she told the doctor that she had suffered bouts of Pneumocystis pneumonia.
Dr Lai's laywer, Joannie Gulliford Hoban, did not return a call for comment yesterday.
Dr Lai testified that she had no reason to question her patient's original diagnosis at another clinic because Ms Serrano convinced her she had HIV when she took her personal history, and her blood had abnormal amounts of cells used to fight infections.
Ms Hoban argued during the trial that Dr Lai had provided standard care to Ms Serrano.
"Audrey's case clearly demonstrates how inadequate that procedure was," Mr Angueira said.
He said his client "is responsible for changing thousands of lives in the future."
The jury reached its verdict after two days of deliberations, Ms Serrano's attorney said.
He said the damages could total about $3.7 million including prejudgment interest.
Ms Serrano filed the lawsuit in 2003 after she became suspicious of her diagnosis and had herself tested at another hospital.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-501892/Woman-misdiagnosed-wrongly-treated-HIV-awarded-2-5million-jury.html#ixzz1beOx1Dh9
Court rules against child caseworkers:
Lawsuit: A boy, then 12, was removed from his parents; a judge says the workers may be liable
Caseworkers should have offered services to Connie and James Roska "to prevent removal" of their son Rusty, wrote Judge Michael R. Murphy of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
Neglecting to do so, especially after the boy's doctor warned removal would be harmful, constitutes a violation of Utah law, which presumes it is in the best interest of a child to be raised in the care of his parents, Murphy wrote.
The Thursday ruling is the latest twist in a nearly seven-year legal battle, and frees the Roskas to seek damages before a jury.
"We're close to the end now. I want my time in court," said Connie Roska, vowing Friday to pursue her lawsuit against the Utah Division of Child and Family Services caseworkers: Melinda Sneddon, Shirley Morrison and Colleen Lasater. Morrison no longer works for the division.
The lawsuit seeks $15 million in punitive damages. Roska said the money would help pay mounting legal bills, but her main desire is to prevent other families from going through "the same turmoil."
"I can't tell you how horrible it is when a sick son gets ripped out of your arms and you get accused of being the one who is making him sick," she said.
Roska's lawyer, Steven Russell, said any award of damages would be "groundbreaking," because "we're asking them to decide what's it worth when the state comes in and takes your child."
But first, child welfare officials may ask for a review by the full 10th Circuit bench. Friday's ruling was crafted by three judges and contained a lengthy dissent by Judge Terrence L. O Brien.
The Roska suit centers on the May 28, 1999, removal of Rusty Roska from his Layton home.
Social workers and school officials believed the boy was a victim of Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy, a condition in which a parent acts as if a child is ill, or even causes the child's illness to get attention from doctors. Rusty had lost 70 pounds in a year, was in a wheelchair and had been fed through a tube. School officials expressed concern that he might die if the state did not intervene.
The Roskas said their son suffers from chronic pain syndrome caused by problems with his gallbladder and kidneys. But doctors interviewed by caseworkers could not diagnose the boy's ailment.
The caseworkers tried but were unable to reach Rusty's primary care provider, Judith Gooch. But on the day of the removal, Gooch warned caseworkers by phone that removing the boy would "destroy this family emotionally and Rusty may never recover."
Nevertheless, two workers took Rusty into protective care. He was returned to his family after a hearing one week later.
"I just wanted to roll over and die that day," he said recalling the day he was removed. "I thought I would never see my parents again."
The Roskas sued, alleging that caseworkers failed to get a warrant and failed to use less intrusive methods as required by law. The suit was thrown out by U.S. District Judge Dee Benson in 2002, but it has since bounced back and forth on appeals.
In its latest appeal, the state argued the caseworkers are entitled to immunity against the Roskas's; lawsuit because state law permitted removals without a warrant.
But Murphy, one of the Utah judges on the court, said caseworkers "failed to actually comply" with the law, which directs them to make "reasonable efforts" to offer services first.
In a dissenting opinion, O Brien argued emergency removal was warranted because Munchausen's by Proxy "is one of the more dangerous forms of abuse" with "substantial risk of mortality."
But the majority opinion countered that three investigations by child protective workers and doctors at Primary Children's Medical Center and the University of California, Los Angeles failed to prove that Connie Roska suffered from the syndrome.
It is not immediately clear how the ruling will affect DCFS practices. Utah law has since been amended, and now there must be an emergency before caseworkers can move in without a warrant.
Also uncertain is whether the state will indemnify the caseworkers and pay damages. "We need to read the lawsuit and . . . talk to the attorneys," said DCFS spokeswoman Carol Sisco.