Last Saturday our local newspaper ran an article called “Mental Health Needs Reform.” It was written by a psychologist, and the main thrust of the piece was that if “serious mental health care reform” is not implemented, we will see more mass murders similar to those at Aurora and Newtown.
The article contained several unwarranted assumptions, and recommended that mental hospitals “rebuild facilities for treating those patients.”
My position, of course, is that there are no mental illnesses, and that cold-blooded killers are not sick in any meaningful sense of the term, but are, rather, individuals who have not internalized an age-appropriate respect for the lives and welfare of other human beings.
In my view, no amount of additional funding in the mental health system will have the slightest impact on this problem, and I have discussed these issues elsewhere.
My purpose in writing this post, however, is to draw attention to a footnote to the newspaper piece, indicating that the author “…wrote this article for the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.”
So I did a little research on the Independence Institute. Here’s what I found.
They are a conservative think tank based in Golden, Colorado. They hold an annual Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Party to promote drinking, smoking and shooting as a “fundamental right.” Their President, Jon Caldera, is quoted as saying, “Now remember, a year from now President [Barack] Obama might make all three activities of smoking, drinking and shooting completely illegal. This might be our very, very last opportunity.”
The Independence Institute has provided several media platforms to James Taylor of the Heartland Institute. The Heartland Institute has reportedly received funding and support from pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Eli Lilly.
The Independence Institute also has ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is a corporate bill mill. ALEC is a corporation-funded forum in which large corporations give their “wish lists” to state legislators. Many of these wish lists are subsequently enacted into law.
So, we have a short, innocuous-looking article by a local psychologist in a Saturday morning newspaper calling for mental health reform. But even a few minutes of research suggests that there is a great deal more to the picture. Nationwide, powerful forces are calling for mental health reform as the solution to the increase in mass murders.
Why are they doing this? I can think of three obvious reasons: firstly, to increase the sales of pharmaceutical products; secondly, to distract attention from other issues; and thirdly, to encourage a large-scale mental hospital building program. In my view the mental health centers and their pharmaceutical allies, with their responsibility-absolving “diagnoses,” their pill-for-every-problem philosophy, and their systematic disempowerment of parents, are a part of the problem. Any increase in the scope or reach of these services is more likely to make things worse rather than better.
The fact is that something is very wrong in America. We have a problem – a huge increase in pre-planned, cold-blooded mass murders. Something has gone wrong with our culture, our childrearing, our values, and our respect for one another. We should be studying this problem with honesty and integrity, and implementing meaningful solutions. Amazingly, however, the CDC has been barred from conducting research in this area. Instead, we have powerful corporations and individuals using this problem, and the public’s legitimate concern, to promote their own selfish agendas. And legislators, bought and paid for, play along. Have we completely lost our way?