Dear Prime Time,

Further to my phone conversations with Edel and Isobel on your proposed programme on electroshock, I would like to put forward my credentials as to why I should be a contributor to the said programme.

1.  I have been a recipient of electroshock on many occasions.  Yes, it was in 1976 and 1982 but despite protestations by today's psychiatrists, the electroshock I received and more importantly their very dominant medical model philosophy, still pertains today more so than ever, even though it is not scientifically valid.

2.  I am a founder member of MindFreedom Ireland and a board member of MindFreedom International which has a long standing record of opposition to the procedure.

3.  I have been instrumental in organizing five public protests against electroshock, the first such public events in Ireland.

4.  I have been featured in many articles in the national press and on radio speaking on the topic.

5.  I have been part of the campaign in the Seanad to have forced electroshock banned.

6.  Finally, given that the majority of the recipients are mothers and grandmothers, I, being both, should have my voice heard.

Yours sincerely.

Mary Maddock

Dylan Tighe presents SAMPLES a series of discussions, events and screenings exploring the influences, sources and themes of his new project RECORD at Cork Midsummer Festival. SAMPLES Dylan Tighe presents SAMPLES, a series of discussions, events and screenings exploring the influences, sources and themes of his new project RECORD. These events aim to explore and shift consciousness around the representation of mental health. All events are free and take place at the Half Moon Theatre (with the exception of “Every Little Thing” screened at The Gate Cinema) Tuesday 26 June Noon / Dylan Tighe in discussion with psychiatrist and author Pat Bracken Director of the West Cork Mental Health Service Dr. Pat Bracken is, as a psychiatrist, philosopher and writer, a pioneer in mental health reform and ethics in Ireland. 2pm / The Gate Cinema / Screening of “Every Little Thing” a documentary by Nicolas Philibert introduced by Dylan Tighe (France, 1996, 105min, English subtitles. Screened thanks to the Institut Français in Ireland) Like every year, the patients and staff at the La Borde psychiatric clinic come together to put on a play. Making us question the distinctions that society applies in classifying people as normal or abnormal, the film charts the passage of this magical event and allows the viewer a glimpse at life in one of the world's most highly regarded psychiatric institutions. “As the film unfolds, illnesses and diagnoses recede into the background while the labor and madness of art take center stage.” Leslie Camhi, THE NEW YORK TIMES Wednesday 27 June Noon / Dylan Tighe in discussion with activist and author Mary Maddock and members of MindFreedom Ireland Mary Maddock, author of the book Soul Survivor, is a founder of MindFreedom Ireland. Founded in 2003, MindFreedom Ireland is an affiliate of MindFreedom International and with them, campaigns for a non-violent revolution in the mental health system. It is one of the very few totally independent groups in the “mental health” field with zero funding from the Mental Health System, Government, Religious organisations or drug companies 2.30pm- (Half Moon Theatre) / Screening of “You're Gonna Miss Me” a documentary by Keven McAlester introduced by Dylan Tighe (USA, 2005, 91min, rated 16) Documentary about rock pioneer Roky Erickson: manic frontman of The 13th Floor Elevators known for his colossal heroin and LSD binges, struggles with schizophrenia, and an unthinkable term at Rusk Hospital for the Criminally Insane. A disturbingly intimate portrait of an imploding family and the struggle between modernized medicine and religion. “If you think every film about tormented geniuses has to end in tragedy, YOU’RE GONNA MISS ME will shock you.” Ken Taylor, XLR8R Thursday 28 June Noon / Music and Madness a discussion between Siobhan Kane and Dylan Tighe Over the years, music writer Siobhán Kane has written for various publications on music and culture including The Irish Times, Thumped, The Event Guide and Consequence of Sound. She occasionally contributes to radio, including the arts and culture show Arena on RTE. 2.30pm / Collaboration in Context, an event chaired by Katherine Atkinson and hosted by CREATE, with Dylan Tighe, Mark Storor and Grace Dyas Creating a forum for shared learning around collaborative arts practice, commissioning in context and within festival cycles, with a particular focus on health. Friday 29 June Noon / The Future of mental health: a discussion with John O’Donoghue, David McCarthy, Gretta Crowley, Mary Maddock, , Harry Gijbels, and Lydia Sapouna hosted by Dylan Tighe David McCarthy is the CEO of Mad Pride Ireland, an organization promoting understanding of the issues surrounding mental health by engaging the community through active participation in a fun environment. Gretta Crowley is local Health Manager at the South Lee Local Health Office of Health Service Executive (HSE). Harry Gijbels and Lydia Sapouna, members of the Critical Voices Network, are senior lecturers at University College Cork in the area of mental health. 2.30pm / Critical and Creative Approaches in Mental Health Presentations by Critical Voices Network of Ireland and John O’Donoghue CVNI is a network that works together, practitioner as well as service user, towards one common universal goal of protecting human rights and mental health reform for Ireland. John O'Donoghue is the author of Sectioned: A Life Interrupted Mind Book Of The Year 2010 and of poetry collections. He also teaches Creative Writing at the University of Westminster. Saturday 30 June Noon / Performance and Madness Dylan Tighe in discussion with Anna Harpin (UK) Anna Harpin is a lecturer at the University of Exeter. Prior to this she completed her PhD on contemporary performance, pathology, and ethics at the University of Cambridge in 2009. Her primary area of research is contemporary theatre and performance practice. More specifically she is concerned with mental health, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, trauma, and human rights. Anna is currently writing a monograph on literature and madness since 1959. 2.30pm / Performance and Madness Presentation by artist Sean Burn (UK), followed by discussion with Dylan Tighe Sean Burn is a writer, performer and outsider artist with a growing international reputation. Actively involved nationally in disability arts, he was shortlisted for a Dadafest disability arts award in 2009 and earlier this year completed a major residency at the new gallery Walsall in association with dash (disability arts shropshire) where he worked to ‘reclaim the languages of lunacy’. Tickets now on sale for RECORD at the Half Moon Theatre 22-30 June (not 26 June). Book on or call the Box Office on 021 4215159 RECORD album available from, iTunes, Amazon and other online retailers

Think for yourself


Posted by: ⋅ August 27, 2008 ⋅ Post a comment Tags: ,     Posted in: 911, Health

As some will know already who read the story in Uncensored Magazine last year, I was wrongly diagnosed as delusional by the psychiatric staff of Ward 7 at Northland Base Hospital and held against my will for 11 days, because I maintained that 9/11 was the work of criminal elements inside the US Administration. Not only did the staff not have their facts right or make an effort to look into what I was claiming, but they were contravening Section 4 of the Mental Health Act, which makes it clear that people can not be deemed to be mentally ill on the basis of their political beliefs.

As you can see below here in page 1 of Judge Tim Druce’s judgement dated the 14th of June 2006, there is no question that the primary reason I was being held under the Compulsory Assessment and Treatment Act 1922, was because of my political beliefs. Druce states under [2]: "…Dr Zubaran has perhaps in a more stronger way presented concerns about a delusional disorder. He accepts that that is circumscribed and limited to specific issues of American policy….". The "policy" being referred to was that 9/11 was an inside job.

Consequently, on the 16th of June 2006, my final day in the hospital, I asked the chief psychiatrist, Dr Carlos Zubaran for an apology. He would not give me one.

The full story of the hospital stay is at these two links: Part 1

Part 2

Since mid-June 2006, I have sent a number of letters to the psychiatric staff and to the District Inspector of Mental Health, including one 18 pages long, pointing out all the factual errors in my file, with a request that the corrections be made. The hospital staff refused. I also supplied them with a number of 9/11 truth documentaries, including Terrorstorm , Confronting the Evidence and 9/11: In Plane Site as well as made a number of phone calls. Still no apology was issued, however earlier this year there was the talk of one being a possibility.

However, to my dismay, after having provided the hospital with yet more evidence that there had been nothing wrong me, the staff member at the hospital who had indicated that an apology was a likelihood, stopped taking my phone calls and failed to return my calls. Thus, I decided to try a different tactic. In a letter dated the 12th of August 2008, I wrote that if I did not receive an apology by the 30th of August, I would protest outside the hospital.

To my relief the following apology arrived in the post on the 26th of August, representing a victory for both the 9/11 Truth Movement and for those who have been abused by the Mental Health system:

4 people like this post.





Great & not before time, how about pushing a claim for compensation, if only to get “9/11 was an inside job” into the mainstream news media.

Posted by winston | August 27, 2008, 11:41 pm

Thank-you Winston. The Patients’ Rights Advocate, Anna de Jonge alerted a lawyer to the new development yesterday via e-mail, keen to pursue compensation. She was thrilled! She could hardly contain herself when I spoke to her yesterday – she has been a great help through the whole ordeal of pursuing an apology.

Posted by Clare Swinney | August 27, 2008, 11:46 pm

good on ya Clare its a shame you had to do time for telling the truth,something dosent add up here though,they say your case has lead to useful discussions about the difference between delusions and beliefs, these guys are doctors and didnt know buy this logic everyone that gos to church on sunday could be delusional and locked up,but they do admit to breaking the law ,they have discussed when the use of the mental health act can and can not be used,this is not up to them they must follow the law which thay didnt do,they say it will lead to improvements in the future,if improvement means next time they will follow the law yes,well done Clare its so hard to get apology let alone a written one

Posted by jas | August 28, 2008, 5:23 am

Thanks Jas. Even the District Inspector of Mental Health, Julie Young, who is a barrister, did not know the law. I advised her I was a journalist being held because of my political beliefs and she failed to advise the hospital that they were contravening the Mental Health Act. As she was unable to be there for the hearing before Tim Druce, who also did not know the law, she assigned me a lawyer, who I watched write “delusional” in her file when Tim Druce and Dr Zubaran concurred that my belief 9/11 was an inside job meant that I was suffering from a “delusional disorder.”

Posted by Clare Swinney | August 28, 2008, 11:49 am

good show Claire.Would love this to get on mainstream media though they would probably find some way to ridicule you…we are no better than other countries with our corporate media.iv had my fair share of derogatry comments from the sheeple that iv spoken to about 911 since and that being people you would think should be quite open minded.Keep up the good work Claire

Posted by tomsk | August 29, 2008, 12:20 am

Thanks Tomsk. I heard Kim Hill seemingly mocking 9/11 truthers a bit a few days ago when she interviewed Professor David Ray Griffin. Never mind that the FBI has admitted that there is no evidence to substantiate the man in the cave story. It is amazing how brainwashed some people are. FBI says, “No hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11”

Posted by Clare Swinney | August 29, 2008, 6:17 pm

If you read the third paragraph of the apology, reference is made to the DVDs that Claire sent, backing up her claims of 9/11 being an inside job. It’s as though the content in the DVDs, will act as a scape goat for Claire’s misdiagnosis. When they say they can understand the fears and uncertainties Claire felt, it’s their way of saying they undertook Claire’s fears and uncertainties,as the reason for her perceived condition. The next step will be to criticise and demonise the DVDs as being alarmist, and the subsequent damage they caused. All I am saying is good luck, don’t give the arseholes any room to manoeuvre.

Posted by winston | August 30, 2008, 1:42 am

Winston, Section 4 of the Mental Health Act makes it clear that one can not be deemed to be mentally ill on the grounds of one’s political beliefs. Thus, it does not matter what the letter says, other than that it is an apology, which is something I have waited for since June 2006. Refer: Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992$File/Chapter2MentalHealthLaw.pdf

Posted by Clare Swinney | August 30, 2008, 8:22 pm

Congratulations Clare,

there are a number of issues around that mental health unit at Northland Base as there are for the oncology dept. The complaints procedures are little more than buckets of whitewash as many who have traveled that road lined with rotten fish heads have found out months and sometimes years later.

A blow delivered for everyone’s personal freedom.

Bless you.

Posted by Paxman | August 30, 2008, 10:29 pm

hey, this has reminded me of a strange activism idea i had.

i might go to various ‘mental health’ professionals (preferably free services ones hehe) and say im concerned about people calling me crazy. i would then explain why this is, and provide evidence as to why i have reached the conclusions that i have. will they certify me crazy? probably not, but i guess i’ll have to find out for sure. documenting the fact that im not crazy could provie to be a humorous tool to implement against the psychological-barrier barricaded psy-op victims.

Posted by Nick | August 31, 2008, 12:49 am

just reading your apology again Clare it dose sound like the doc had a little awakening herself, which would have also lead her to the realization that what she had and was doing to you would of made her part of the cover up,maybe this could of pushed the apology your way too,if this is so the poor bitch would of freaked out,what a way to wake up,Knowing youve broken the law as well to do what they done to you,i know i will always have a place in my heart for the person that woke me up to this shit They have broken the law and it must be taken further,i would love to see this on the news also,but how will they spin it maybe if they want a interview with you they must watch a couple of dvds lol,well done

Posted by jas | August 31, 2008, 2:01 pm

Dr Holdaway, the doctor who wrote the letter of apology is in Administration and was not involved with my case in 2006. Shortly after Dr Holdaway took over from the last Clinical Director of Mental Health at Northland Base Hospital, she phoned me and said that she did not think it was “very nice” that I kept writing letters and being ignored and suggested that we have discussions. She also said that she was going to watch the Alex Jones documentary ‘Endgame’ that weekend, which I had given to the District Inspector of Mental Health, Julie Young and she had kindly handed it on to Dr Holdaway.

Posted by Clare Swinney | August 31, 2008, 4:17 pm

If there was no legal basis for being held, it seems like a case of kidnapping to me. Would it be possible to get a legal opinion or three on this aspect?

In my opinion, the cultural framework of psychology involves institutionalised enforcement of mainstream social and political norms, using the status of science to reformulate the social functions of priests and morality. But to retain their funding and their scientific prestige the psychologists must alway privilege the mainstream (normal/healthy) over the marginalised (abnormal/unhealthy), contributing thereby to the continuation of many forms of oppression. Though they also help at least some people, much as the previous apparatus of priests no doubt helped some … while hurting others.

Congratulations on coming through to the other side of the psych inquisition, Clare.

cheers Steve

Posted by Steve Luke | September 6, 2008, 3:35 am

Good job, Clare. The free thinkers support you.

Posted by Logan | September 10, 2008, 2:38 pm

Thank-you Steve and Logan. There is a barrister looking into it at the moment Steve.

Posted by Clare Swinney | September 10, 2008, 8:40 pm

well, i must say when i read your story in unsensored magazine i was absolutley shocked, i myself talk about much more crazier things than 911 being an inside job, in fact your story freaked me out a little, and ever since ive reframed from talking about alot of things, especially in public places. however, on the flip side, it’s pleasing to hear you finally got the recognition and apologey which you deserved, if i was you i’d be trying to get compensation for defamation of character, amongst other things. good luck with your future endeavours and congratulations.

Posted by krazy | September 12, 2008, 7:29 am

Thanks for your comments krazy. Don’t worry about being vocal about the truth- as Albert Einstein stated: “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

Posted by Clare Swinney | September 16, 2008, 9:03 pm

Hi Clare, Just some suggestions relating to the professional aspects of the abuse you have suffered.

Now psychologists and psychiatrists get away with defining sanity and madness because of successfully instituting themselves as scientific professions. But this means they must promote internal codes of practice and ethics in order to maintain public trust. There must also be complaints bodies. Some of these are national, but others are global. In this case it seems well worth while pursuing Dr Carlos Zubaran through his professional qualifications, memberships and the professional ethics committees that would oversee his practice.

First step I imagine is to require Northland Base Hospital and Northland DHB to provide their information on Dr Zubaran’s professional qualifications and memberships of professional associations. Also ask which ethics committees your treatment/mistreatment would fall under. You might sughgest that since what happened wasn’t professionally acceptable treatment, it was instead a form of research on a human subject without ethics committee application or approvals.

Then write to the professional associations and ethics committees making a formal complaint and asking their assistance in tracking down Dr Zubaran. Point out the need for the profession to maintain public trust, clean up its codes of practice, etc etc. Ask that the material relating to your case and consequent complaints and court cases, which you would provide in your complaint, be forwarded to any prospective employer of Dr Zubaran who contacts that professional association to check on the Drs qualifications and professional membership.

cheers ~stv~

Posted by Steve Luke | September 16, 2008, 10:25 pm

Hi Claire It is great that you finally got them to apologize to you for locking you up & calling you crazy, any excuise they can find I guess. The thing that stuck out to me while reading the apology letter is that they found a way/excuse to give you one, not that the promise of protesting outside the hospital wasn’t a big significant. What I see in it is the part where they say they finally watched the dvd’s you sent & “felt for themselves the fears & uncertainities they think you must have felt after watching them.” Not that they are saying they believe you or the information they watched for themselves. They may have just realized you weren’t going away so it was best for them to give in to an apology only.

Posted by Tony | September 18, 2008, 2:32 pm

Thanks for your comments Tony. From comments I have had from them directly, I believe some of them know more than that letter indicates. They were given enough information and earlier this year I provided them with letters from 5 friends, including Dr Robert Anderson of Tauranga, who stated that I had never shown any sign of being delusional and that 9/11 was indeed an inside job. The following is one of the letters, written by a friend in the UK who has been researching the New World Order for some time:


Dear Sir/Madam,

I have read the testament of Clare Swinney as to her appalling treatment by a Dr Carlos Zubaran during a period of unlawful detention at a mental health facility.

The scare which began this episode, being followed by a man dressed like a member of the security services and email based death threats, is a story I have heard often from people within the anti-war and 9-11 Truth Movement. Sadly whether you choose to believe it or not, the security services in many nations (not just the USA) have a habit of targeting individuals with threats and intimidation and harassment in order to get them to cease their political activities.

Seemingly however, Dr Zubaran thought nothing of this and chose to presume that Clare Swinney was having some form of mental breakdown. He even cited her quite reasonable beliefs regarding the tragic events of 9-11-2001 as evidence that she was suffering from a “mental delusion”.

As you do not reside in a Nazi controlled nation, it is not a proper action by a Doctor , or indeed a judge (Judge Tim Druce in this case) to detain a person under the mental health act for their political belief.

You may or may not be aware that there is a very significant global movement which has seen enough evidence to conclude that 9-11 was not perpetrated solely (or even at all) by 19 Arab hijackers, and that the whole event was staged by persons within the US government and security services, perhaps with aid from Mossad, MI6 and others.

This attack was conducted for the purpose of starting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (we have proof they were both planned prior to 2001) and indeed to enable greater implementation of security laws to allow stricter controls on persons in society.

Yes we do have proof, and the most famous 9-11 film – Loose Change – has been watched at least 100 MILLION times online, with dozens of other such documentaries having been watched many millions more times on youtube and google.

There are politicians, scientists, structural engineers and many other relavent persons who state quite clearly that the towers of the WTC were demolished by controlled demolition and did not collapse due to plane impacts or fire (again we have proof).

You may or may not choose to believe such, which is irrelevant, what however should be clear to you is that this is not some wild fantastical fringe movement – a survey taken over a year ago found that over 80% of New Yorkers feel the government is covering up what occurred on 9-11.

I have been lucky to meet Clare online as part of my own research, it is my aim to be an author, and can attest that she is clearly fully competent mentally. Further, she is a person who bases her viewpoints and online discussion contributions on facts that she can prove. Clare Swinney is most certainly a fact driven lady and not one who is prone to wild assertions or accusations.

I find her treatment by the Dr and Judge mentioned above to be a disgrace and am dismayed for your nation if this kind of behaviour by trusted members of society is the norm. She should in my view receive significant compensation as for a doctor to betray his Hippocratic oath in such a way is unforgivable. Further for a judge to make a mockery of his role as legal trustee is sickening and he should be reprimanded in the strongest possible terms.

Yours sincerely


Posted by Clare Swinney | September 18, 2008, 4:19 pm

congrats Clare that things are finally beginning to happen – for those interested -there is also a new doco out called zero 9/11

Posted by jenese | September 18, 2008, 4:52 pm

crazy >: )

something like 20% of americans believe it was an inside job… I guess your approach was incompatible with society here. Good cause to kick up a stink about, well done.

On ya Clare.

Posted by dan | September 19, 2008, 2:56 am

Thanks Steve, Jenese and Dan. Dan what makes what happened all the more bizarre is that around the time it occurred -mid-2006, a CNN poll that asked whether people blamed the Bush administration for the attacks, found that 45 % said either a “great deal” or a “moderate amount,” up from 32 percent in a June 2002 CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. A series of other polls taken in 2006 showed that around 84% did not believe the official story. Refer:

Posted by Clare Swinney | September 19, 2008, 9:03 am

Well done Clare, your courage and persistence paid off (sort of)! Glad you have found to be in the right.


Posted by Barron | September 20, 2008, 6:18 pm

Barry Jennings, Key Government WTC7 Witness DEAD

Government WTC7 witness Barry Jennings dies days before the release of the final NIST report on the collapse of WTC7. Jennings incredibly witnessed a massive explosion and deaths in the lobby of WTC7 taking place even before the South Twin Tower had been hit by a plane, even before the Twin Towers fell down. WTC7 was the CIA building, which fell on September 11, 2001 and it had not been hit by a plane. There has been a great deal of controversy about why this massive building free fell to the ground in the manner of a controlled demolition. Why did the three buildings owned or leased by Larry Silverstein all free fall to the ground? Was 911 an inside Job? This key governmental witness of the goings on at WTC7 on September 11, 2001 is now DEAD.

Barry Jennings, key government WTC7 witness to a massive explosion in WTC7 even before the Twin Towers fell down, DEAD, at 53.

August 19, 2008, shortly before the release of the long awaited NIST final report on the collapse of WTC7, Barry Jennings, DEAD.

Barry Jennings, who was interviewed a little over a year ago for the 911 documentary, Loose Change Final Cut in the June 19, 2007 breaking story on DEAD.

His interview can be seen on the internet in the recently released 911 documentary, Fabled Enemies.

Barry Jennings received threats not to speak about what he saw on September 11. He was afraid he would be fired and lose his pension. He received other threats. He asked that his identity be hidden. He feared for his safety for speaking out.

Who was Barry Jennings? He was the deputy emergency coordinator for the NY Housing Authority.

What did he see? He and his boss went to WTC7′s office of Emergency Management (OEM) on the 23rd floor of WTC7 after the first Twin Tower had been hit and before the second Twin Tower had been hit. They found the OEM office empty with signs that people had recently been there.

As they descended, a massive explosion took place in the lobby of WTC7. They were trapped in the WTC7 for hours. When they were finally evacuated by firefighters, Barry Jennings said he was told by the fire fighter not to look down as they crossed through the lobby. He said it felt like they were stepping over dead bodies.

These people have gotta be protected though it was inevitable …he knew too much and was telling the world Good on ya Barry RIP

Posted by tomsk | September 20, 2008, 6:45 pm

Where’s Dr Ropata when you need him? Instead, Dr Mothafar Abass – “You’re not in Iraq now, Dr. Abass.”

Posted by Kim | October 11, 2008, 10:08 am

Clare, Yours was a botched attempt to silence a whistle-blower. You were probably lucky: the response was so soon after you expressed your understanding of the 9/11 conspiracy that the perpetrators had not had time to consider the consequences of their actions. A fellow professional probably reported you to the security services and a bungled, ill-thought-out response was attempted by the toadies and paid agents in the establishment. Through your rational behaviour in rebuffing the insanity charge, you became an embarrassment to the system, so the conspirators tried to brush you under the carpet but first paid off the complicit doctor with an air ticket overseas. As a convenient ploy, a new senior administrator was appointed – fortunately for you, not one tainted by the System – and she became worried about the obvious unprofessionalism applied to one of the new patients she had acquired. Yes she wrote an apology; yes you should persue legal channels further if only to get a ruling on your innocence and sanity, so that this incident cannot be raised against you at some later date. All Hell will break out if ever the full truth of the 9/11 conspiracy is revealed.

Posted by Robin Gaskell | August 29, 2009, 9:38 pm

Only just heard about this


the people who swept aside the evidence you presented in your defence had ‘contempt prior to examination’

Well done for walking through it all.

Posted by ewingsc | August 29, 2009, 10:55 pm

Money. How much money did they pay you for your false, illegal incarceration???

You have to make a point with Zionists by taking their money. MONEY.

9-11 was a Zionist job as Washington, DC is Israeli occupied territory. The Congress, Senate and Presidency are all Israeli puppets.

Everyone knows that America is a colony of Israel. In order to get the goy slaves of America to fight Israel’s wars, the American slaves must be made angry enough to want revenge, thus, the attack on the World Trade Center. It was used to gain public acceptance of the invasion of Afganistan and Iraq.

Americans are Israeli slaves who fight and pay for Israel’s wars.

America has no interest in Afganistan or Iraq.

Next target, Iran.

Posted by John Taurus | August 30, 2009, 5:01 am

Good on you Clare. I hope they got you up to date with your vaccinations while you were in hospital so that at least some good came out of the whole mess.

Posted by Troll | August 30, 2009, 9:38 am

Here in the US, we have some ‘remedy’ when confronted with situations that might put us under mental evaluation. For one, we can simply refuse to give our name and date of birth, for without those, ‘they’ have no authority whatsoever over us. Second, we can Revoke Power of Attorney from them. POA gives them power to do anything to us that we would be legally able to do for ourselves. All law is contract law. Simply refuse to contract, and if they do incarcerate you, then you have grounds to take everything they have, including their bond and their job. I hope you will look into this and spread the word about how others can use this to stay free from mandatory vaccines, search and siezure, etc. Right now the perpetrators are looking (or booking) their next victim, who will fatten their paychecks. There’s a whole lot of madness in that, isn’t there?

Posted by John Ingress | August 30, 2009, 10:22 am

Clare, this is a most disturbing account. I greatly admire your courage and steadfastness in the face of such injustice and persecution. Clearly it is the system that is delusional, and the population is mostly so brainwashed by sophisticated propaganda that they are unable to discern truth from falsehood.

Obviously, 9/11 was an inside job, any functioning intellect could understand that truth if they simply studied the evidence objectively, impartially and without bias… the fact that most “straights” are incapable of even that much shows how widespread and normalized mental disfunction is in society today.

Clare, you are obviously a lot saner than those who deprived you your liberty… you should sue them for wrongful detention or unlawful imprisonment or somethng.

Best wishes and more power to you.

Posted by John | September 3, 2009, 11:43 pm

we would like to label those who have bought into the lie as misinformed. it seems to me that at some point we must accept ignorance as a factor. then ask ourselves to what extent has the web of deceit/coverup infiltrated our community and daily lives.

Posted by theodore | September 6, 2009, 1:19 pm

The pych doc isn’t dealing with reality.

Want proof.

Now where is Osama or the mention of trade towers.

Posted by Johnny | September 12, 2009, 8:53 am

I so totally agree on seeking further recourse. The apology came as a matter of expediency. Think for nary a moment that there is any passion behind it. As we are in a war for freedom, we need to spare not a single one of them but finish them off completely. How else can we claim a right to the promised land?

Posted by Tasercrime | September 12, 2009, 1:34 pm

For Clare swinny Please do tell why in the first place did you go for assessment? 2nd–Dr Zubran–where has the guy gone-disappeared to? Just could he went to Israel? What has become of you contacting a lawyer? I hope Mr.Lawyer is not Jewish,cause you’d be screwed the 2nd time–Broke,not mental but financial Cheers from us in Kosher Toronto :^/

Posted by Les Pisrael | September 13, 2009, 2:47 am Clare–hope this clears your mind about 911 and who did it {:^/

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Posted by Harman | February 13, 2010, 12:03 pm

Has anyone had trouble accessing Clares links. If so please complain to Telecom for blocking it.

Posted by judynz | February 13, 2010, 3:33 pm

Hi Judy

Can’t access the link you have posted

“Firefox can’t find the server at”

… am on Orcon.

Posted by ewingsc | February 13, 2010, 7:05 pm

This blog is awesome it has got all the points i wanted to discuss, it has fulfilled my knowledge, i just liked this blog and i want to subscribe so can you please tell when your blog gets updated and what is the procedure to subscribe in details.

Posted by Whistle Blower Legislation | March 13, 2010, 7:04 pm

looks to me like “check my arse out its so f..king cool now”. The whole thing is ridiculous..I was there..I thought it was going to be the third world war! I freaked and reckoned it was the end times. I got pissed and watched the footage. I’m still alive and fighting the official story?

Posted by Ursula | March 13, 2010, 10:16 pm

“I’m still alive and fighting the official story?”

… looks that way to me

Posted by ewingsc | March 13, 2010, 10:31 pm

Great! I am always interested to learn new knowledge. Thank you so much for the opportunity you gave me.

Posted by gold bullion | March 31, 2010, 2:00 pm

Thanks for this story Clare. We have a bit in common, Dr Abass, Bridget Westernra, Judge Druce, MsC(Hons) – I know what to expect.

Posted by Hiria | April 24, 2010, 4:44 pm

I so totally agree on seeking further recourse.

Posted by labatterie | April 26, 2010, 4:41 pm

was an inside job, any functioning intellect could understand that truth if they simply studied the evidence objectively, impartially and without bias…

Posted by réparateur électronique | May 17, 2010, 11:52 pm

We are proud of you, Claire. We are sorry you had to experience coercive psychiatry firsthand. Thanks for letting the world know the madness of psychiatric diagnoses.

Posted by Mary Maddock | November 4, 2010, 10:16 am

I wish you a Merry Christmas ~ Thanks for sharing, learned a lot.

Posted by Clarence | December 20, 2010, 8:39 pm

[...] To their credit (and under the threat of public protest) the Clinical Director of Mental Health & Addiction Services in Northland sent an apology to Clare in August 2008, which can be viewed here. [...]

Posted by NZ Jounalist locked up for exposing 9-11 cover-up - We Will Never Forget - New Zealand 911 Truth | December 25, 2010, 8:20 pm

Hi Claire Swinney,

I think you should get in touch with Alex Jones if you have not already. Alex is another early truther. A predictor in fact.

He will highlight your experience to the world!

If you’ve never heard of Alex Jones, then you’ve been missing out on some of the most dynamic, hard-hitting radio on the planet.

Syndicated radio journalist and documentary filmmaker Alex Jones has been on the front lines of

the growing global information war from ground zero to the occult playgrounds of the power-mad elite.

Jones predicted the attacks on September 11th, 2001 and is considered one of the very first founding fathers of the 9-11 Truth Movement.

He has been featured in countless publications, television and radio programs and has himself made an incredible

15 documentary films covering a wide range of important social and geo-political issues.

From implanted microchips to the police state, The Alex Jones Show has the daily developments and important guests to bring you the real truth and nothing but.

For some strange dark reason

Alex and other fighters like Julian Assange have incurred a lot of negative PR on Uncensored.

Anyway I am sending this:

We can all go podcasting with Alex Jones.

And make up our own minds…

http://bestpoet.com ….

Posted by brianjohnevans | December 25, 2010, 11:32 pm

9/11 and World War Three

Posted by brianjohnevans | December 26, 2010, 3:02 am

This is a pivotal film:

“911 Loose Change” (full-length)

Posted by brianjohnevans | December 26, 2010, 5:28 am

very informative keep it up.i have share your link with my Friends.

Posted by Bangkok | April 20, 2011, 1:02 am

this is very much interesting it is a very useful to me thanks to share it.

Posted by shopbop | April 23, 2011, 8:29 pm

I could tell that we’re on the same interest and obsession. Good to know someone I could share my ideas. Looking forward to know and learn some more from you. I’ll be glad to share my own thoughts to you soon. Thank you for sharing such valuable articles. More power!

Posted by android | June 15, 2011, 6:53 am

Glad you got off, for that isn’t a nice situation. Amazing how it is 10 years later and that whole situation is not resolved.

Posted by Ira Gold | December 10, 2011, 4:44 pm

This has happened to me – I have been forcefully detained under the mental health act three times now for my political beliefs and am told I have persistent delusional disorder. I have written letters of complaint to the health trust, ombudsman and now a quango called community quality care commission with no success – I cannot even get any legal representation in the form of a solicitor to represent me regarding wrongful diagnosis. I have become agorophobic due to the stress all of this has put me under and found it hopeful to read your story even if you are in New Zealand and I am in the UK. I am still in dispute and have been since 2008 when they first detained me for 3months, the second time four months and the last time five I have been forcefully injected with anti psychotic rispiredone also and other drugs after complaining about side effects and have been on a community treatment order twice.

Posted by wendybaker | June 21, 2012, 4:30 am

following on from my last posting and after looking through my mountain of paperwork pertaining to my 3 detainments I found a poem I wrote in 2008 and presented it to my tribunal to prove I was totally lucid, it’s entitled ‘trial and FIBULATION’. I’m locked up like an animal by those of ill repute, who think their words infallible but lies we must refute.

I’ve never been deluded at any time of life, yet liars have colluded and rumours now are rife.

Was thrown in a police van and deprived of liberty, despite my protestations that there’s nothing wrong with me.

But once inside the spiders web you find your life re-spun, to save the face of doctors who won’t admit when they are wrong.

Don’t dare say that your innocent or demand that you are sane for the onus then would be on them to shoulder all the blame.

They find creative writing of your medical report, an option more inviting to them as a last resort.

So shame on all responsible from family to mahapatra, for his certainly not a pal of mine and would not make a mahatma.

The doctors name was Dr. Mahapatra who has also left the hospital along with 3 other doctors I have been under in the last 4 years who blatantly copy your notes instead of assessing you at face value every time.

Posted by wendybaker | June 22, 2012, 9:18 pm

So, Clare, only those who can see that aluminium cannot pierce steel (density of matter), and that there were no aeroplanes at all—and indeed the whole thing was a simulation of the spectacle—are insane. Eh?!


Posted by Kishai | June 23, 2012, 12:27 am

Congrats Clare! We are proud of you! There is no scientific evidence that any ‘mental illness’ exists so any human behaviour which is diagnosed as an ‘illness’ is not valid. I hope the day will come when people are no longer forced to receive ‘medical care’. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.” C.S. Lewis

Posted by Mary Maddock | June 23, 2012, 7:15 am

Debate rages over safety of ECT, or shock therapy, used on elderly


Canadian Press

Saturday, September 28, 2002

TORONTO (CP) - Marianne Ueberschar checked herself in to the city's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health two years ago suffering from suicidal depression.

Like many older women entering psychiatric wards in Canada, Ueberschar, now 69, was offered electroconvulsive shock therapy, or ECT. She refused, and fought a legal battle with the institution to prevent it from administering the treatment.

"I said I don't want my brains fried, thank you very much," says Ueberschar, who was discharged five months later without having been hooked up to electrodes to induce a generalized seizure.

Please see below for: In early years of ECT, most doctors didn't use it on seniors

Invented in the late 1930s, the treatment for mental disorders involves passing an electric current through the brain.

It has its supporters and detractors.

ECT is endorsed by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Surgeon General, and the U.S. National Institute for Mental Health, or NIMH.

According to an article posted on the Toronto mental health centre's Web site, people have no substantial reason to fear the procedure because it doesn't cause "structural brain damage" and it has "come a long way from its first unmodified use in 1938, when it was administered without anesthesia and muscle relaxant."

A vocal minority of doctors, however, says the treatment is inherently unsafe for the elderly.

"It causes them to have memory problems when they've already got memory problems to start with. It causes increased cardiovascular risks. It causes falls which can lead to death when they break their hips," says Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist and author, speaking on the phone from his office in Bethesda, Md.

"It is ridiculous to give a brain-damaging treatment to people who are already having cognitive difficulties due to an aging brain."

The topic has also provoked a great deal of debate in New York State over the past year. In March, a standing committee of the New York Assembly released the results of a year long review that concluded elderly people were more likely to receive ECT.

Permanent cognitive deficits, memory loss, and premature death were among the increased risks from ECT faced by older people, said the report, which called for special safeguards for the elderly.

"The use of this controversial method of treatment is deeply disturbing, particularly when you consider that its use results in damage to the brain and lapses in memory," said Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, who is preparing a bill which would provide more protection for the elderly.

"The use seems almost ironic when you consider how many children and grandchildren wish there was a way they could save the memories of their parents and grandparents from diseases such as Alzheimer's."

ECT fell out of favour in the 1960s and '70s in the U.S., as psychiatrists increasingly turned to antidepressant medication, but has gradually made a comeback.

The American Psychiatric Association notes in its 2001 Task Force report that elderly people became the primary recipients of ECT across the U.S. in the 1980s.

"Individuals aged 65 and over received ECT at a higher rate than any other age group. Indeed, the overall increase in the use of ECT between 1980 and 1986 was fully attributable to its greater use in elderly patients," states the report.

"Further evidence for increased use of ECT in the elderly comes from a survey of Medicare Part B claims data between the years 1987 and 1992."

The Canadian Psychiatric Association hasn't published a comprehensive national survey of ECT use on the elderly, but partial statistics from several provinces suggest a similar situation in Canada.

About 13 per cent of the population here is over 65.

In British Columbia, people 65 years of age and over comprised 44 per cent of the 835 patients receiving ECT in 2001.

In Ontario, patients 65 and over accounted for 28 per cent of the 13,162 ECT treatments given in general hospitals and community psychiatric hospitals in 2000-01, and 40 per cent of the 2,983 ECT treatments given in provincial psychiatric hospitals in 1999-2000.

In Quebec last year, 2,861 of the 7,925 ECTs administered (about 36 per cent) were to people over age 65.

Figures from Nova Scotia for 2001-02 show a total of 408 ECT treatments, including 91 on people over 65.

Dr. Kiran Rabheru, the head of the geriatric psychiatry at the Regional Mental Health Centre of London, Ont., says the treatment is often safer for elderly depressed people than antidepressant medication or no treatment at all.

"These are people who are so severely ill that without the treatment they would almost certainly die of the illness much faster and more certainly than with the risks," says Rabheru.

"Where someone actually comes in at death's door, and you give them a couple of ECTs, they start to eat, they start to drink, they become a lot less suicidal."

But he acknowledges it's more hazardous to older patients.

"The risks are definitely greater," says Rabheru, whose institution provided 79 per cent of its ECT treatments to patients over the age of 65 in 1999-2000, the last year for which statistics are available.

"Because they're more frail. Their cardiovascular systems are compromised, their respiratory systems are compromised. So the risks are definitely higher, no question about it. And there are people who have cognitive impairment, who have cardiac problems as a result of anesthesia."

Dr. Lee Coleman, a psychiatrist and author based in Berkeley, Calif., says "risk-benefit" analyses of ECT overstate the benefits and underestimate the hazards.

"What they never talk about is the people who commit suicide because they're afraid of the treatment that is about to be forced upon them. That definitely happens," says Coleman in a phone interview.

In a 1999 Journal of Clinical Psychiatry article, Dr. Harold Sackeim, a leading advocate of the treatment in the U.S., wrote: "Little, if any, evidence supports a long-term positive effect of ECT on suicide rates."

Keith Welch, a former president of the patients' council at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre in Toronto, now part of the CAMH, says he suffered a series of strokes and several years of memory loss after receiving ECT in the 1970s.

He feels that elderly patients are being damaged by ECT.

"When the seniors first go in, they're very active. Maybe a little upset, you know, because it could be a family problem, something like that. Then, maybe a month later, they're walking around like zombies. They don't know what's going on, Some of them can't even change their clothes after they get shock treatments," says Welch, 59.

"I always stop and figure, you know, someday I'm going to be as old as them too. What if the same thing happens to me?"

Don Weitz, 71, who has actively campaigned against ECT for years, notes that more older women than men receive the therapy in Ontario.

"Elderly women are such easy targets," he says.

"When part of the medical profession targets an age group of 60-plus, it's a form of elder abuse," says Weitz, an ex-insulin shock patient who lives in Toronto.

"The reason the elderly get so much ECT is because they are less likely to refuse. People as they get older generally automatically do what the doctor says without question. 'Shock docs' can make hundreds of dollars a day just by pressing a button."

Dr. David Conn, head of psychiatry at the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care in Toronto, says any notion that psychiatrists give ECT to the elderly to make money is incorrect.

"From a physician's perspective, you've got to get up early in the morning to give the treatments, and I'd prefer to stay in bed," says Conn, who adds that ECT is a "lifesaving" treatment for elderly people who suffer from suicidal depression but who are unable to tolerate antidepressant medication.

"There's no great advantage to physicians giving the treatment except that if you want your patients well, it works."

Treatments are usually administered in the morning because patients have to fast beforehand.

In December 2000, Dr. Jaime Paredes made headlines with his concerns about increased use of ECT at Riverview Hospital in Port Coquitlam, B.C., after doctors began receiving an extra $62 or so per treatment from the provincial health-care plan.

At the time, Riverview spokesman Alastair Gordon defended the increase, saying that the institution was receiving referrals from other hospitals and there was growing medical acceptance of ECT as a "treatment of choice for geriatric patients suffering from depression."

A review panel commissioned by former health minister Corky Evans found that ECT "delivery" at the hospital was of high quality, but the lack of a detailed database on outcomes meant there was no way to evaluate the results, or to determine why the number of treatments had jumped so dramatically.

Paredes resigned under pressure from his position as president of Riverview's medical staff in December 2001.

"The medical plan is impressed with an administrator who shortens patients' hospital stay and even if an ECT patient is readmitted fairly soon, he counts as a new admission, rather than the same patient having a long stay," Paredes said in an interview.

Earlier this year, Riverview was in the news again when Michael Matthews, a 70-year-old patient who had received 130 ECT treatments over a three-year period, made the front page of the Vancouver Sun.

"I don't like it. They hurt, I don't want it," Matthews told a reporter for the Sun, which ran a close-up photo of Matthews' head which was covered in cuts and bruises from a fall he said was caused by ECT-induced confusion.

The B.C. Public Guardian and Trustee's office and the B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority have both launched probes into Matthews' ECT treatments.

Paredes, who was Matthews' doctor for several years before his ECT treatments began, says numerous elderly ECT recipients at Riverview are suffering from the same type of ECT-induced mental deterioration plaguing his former patient.

"There are many, many others. And nobody wants to talk (about) them. Because the relatives are always concerned that they're going to be blamed for allowing this to happen. And the patients, most of the time they are not in a condition to talk at all," says Paredes, who adds that he is not opposed to the appropriate use of ECT.

Dr. Nirmal Kang, the head of ECT services at Riverview, declined to discuss the Matthews case due to confidentiality, but he defended his hospital's ECT safety record in a telephone interview.

"From 1996, God forbid, we haven't had a single fatality related to ECT complications," said Kang.

That ECT can cause death from medical complications is conceded by proponents, but the frequency of ECT fatalities is hotly disputed.

Sackeim, an APA Task Force member and NIMH researcher, says elderly people have only a "somewhat higher" death rate than the APA's general mortality estimate of one in every 10,000 ECT patients, or 0.01 per cent.

"Just in general, the rate of mortality in ECT is low," says Sackeim from his office at the New York Institute of Psychiatry.

Opponents of ECT, like Dr. John Breeding, a Texas psychologist, say the actual death rate among elderly electroshock recipients is closer to one in 200 patients, or 0.5 per cent, judging from the number of post-ECT pathology reports filed in the 1990s in his state, the only jurisdiction in North America requiring the reporting of all deaths occurring within 14 days of ECT.

The current CPA position paper on ECT cites a general treatment complications rate for all ages of one in 1,400 treatments, or 0.07 per cent.

And the APA report says "reports of stroke (either hemorrhagic of ischemic) during or shortly after ECT are surprisingly rare."

Opponents say this overlooks strokes which occur as long-term complications in the elderly, as detailed in a 1994 case report by Dr. Patricia Blackburn, and disregards other types of ECT-related brain damage in older people, such as atrophy of the frontal lobes, found in a 1981 CAT scan study of 41 elderly patients by Dr. S.P. Calloway and a 2002 MRI study by Dr. P.J. Shah.

"(It's) a big lie ECT doesn't cause brain damage," Dr. John Friedberg, a California neurologist, told New York Assembly hearings on ECT in May of last year.

"One picture will refute that," he said, referring to an MRI scan published in the November 1991 issue of Neurology of a 69-year-old woman who suffered an intracerebral hemorrhage after ECT.

The 2001 APA report does include a reference to the woman's brain scan but the sample patient information booklet appended to the report nevertheless says "brain scans after ECT have shown no injury to the brain."

Dr. Barry Martin, head of ECT services at the CAMH in Toronto and a peer reviewer of the 2001 APA report, said it would be a "waste of time" to respond to the opponents' arguments because Breggin and Friedberg suffer from a "lack of credibility."

"The 'other side' is so inflammatory and out of touch with the realistic benefit of this treatment that it interferes with people getting effective treatment," Martin said. "Frightens people and their families unduly."

He said transient memory loss is well worth the price to someone who recovers from depression after undergoing ECT.

"The memory loss usually recovers over a period of weeks to several months," he said.

"There may be some permanent loss for some events both before and after the treatment. But for the ability to learn and retain new information, the actual memory mechanism recovers fully. If it didn't, ECT would not be allowed in treatment."

And Rabheru has noted some financial benefits to the health-care system.

"With the current economic constraints, governments and third party payers are under constant pressure to reduce expensive inpatient stays to a minimum, but also to provide optimum quality of psychiatric care," he wrote in a June 1997 article in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

"C/MECT has been clearly shown to reduce inpatient stays in numerous studies."

C/MECT is continuation or maintenance ECT, and consists of ongoing treatments after the original course of six to 12 treatments is completed.

A report commissioned at arm's length by Health Canada, the provinces and territories, and released in January 2001, says government should become involved.

The study by Dr. Kimberly McEwan and Dr. Elliot Goldner of the University of British Columbia department of psychiatry recommended that health authorities begin measuring the percentage of ECT recipients who suffer strokes, heart attacks, respiratory problems and other recognized complications of the treatment.

Meanwhile, back in New York state, the standing committee's report has urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct an independent medical safety investigation of ECT machines.

"The FDA has never tested ECT devices to ensure their safety," the report noted.

On May 30, the New York Assembly passed a resolution calling for an FDA investigation.

Health Canada, like the FDA, has never conducted medical safety tests of ECT machines, nor has it required the ECT machine companies themselves to submit safety and effectiveness data.

"No performance and maintenance standards exist for ECT machines. The Bureau of Medical Devices has not tested ECT machines since there have not been any reported problems. The bureau has never inspected shock machines," wrote Dr. A.J. Liston, then assistant deputy minister of health, in a Feb. 4, 1986 response to questions raised by Weitz.

Health Canada spokesman Ryan Baker says there are no plans to conduct a medical safety investigation of the only ECT machine currently licensed for sale in Canada, the Somatics Thymatron, which was "grandfathered" into use without the submission of safety and effectiveness data sometime prior to 1998, when the current medical devices regulations were enacted.

"A lot of these questions come down to the practice of medicine, like the use of these devices. And Health Canada doesn't regulate that. We regulate the sales," says Baker.

In early years of ECT, most doctors didn't use it on seniors

Most doctors disapproved of the use of electroshock therapy on the elderly during the first era of the treatment, which began in 1940, when the "miracle cure" for mental disease was imported to America from Italy by Dr. David Impastato.

That so-called first era lasted until the late 1950s, when the treatment, also known as ECT, began to be supplanted by the new psychiatric drugs.

Impastato warned psychiatrists in 1940 not to shock patients over the age of 60, and his advice was generally heeded.

"The majority of physicians continue to be opposed to the application of electric convulsive therapy during the senium (sixty years and over)," reported Dr. Alfred Gallinek, a New York psychiatrist, in 1947.

An adventurous minority ignored Impastato's advice, however, with sometimes catastrophic results. In a 1957 survey, Impastato found that electroshock recipients over the age of 60 had a 15 to 40 times higher ECT fatality rate than younger patients (0.5 per cent to one per cent as opposed to 0.025 per cent to 0.033 per cent).

In Canada, where ECT was introduced in 1941, a similar split occurred.

Dr. A.L. Mackinnon, of The Homewood Sanitarium in Guelph, Ont., noted in 1948 that seniors comprised only seven per cent of his institution's electroshock recipients. Dr. John J. Geoghegan, of the Ontario Hospital at London, Ont., on the other hand, reported electroshocking seniors regularly with "excellent" results in 1947.

Still others tried it and regretted it.

"Shock therapy is dangerous therapy," warned Dr. Lorne Proctor, a Toronto psychiatrist, in 1945, after a 65-year-old man suffered a paralysing stroke from electroshock.

"The possibility of cerebral hemorrhage following stimulation of the frontal lobes by this technique is real."

Similarly, Dr. G.W. Fitzgerald, of the Regina General Hospital, reported the death of a 59-year-old farmer from ECT in 1948.

Dr. George Sisler, of the Winnipeg Psychopathic Hospital, reported the electroshock deaths of a 50-year-old farmer in 1949 and a 60-year-old office worker in 1952.

reform psychiatrist

GET UPDATES FROM Dr. Peter Breggin

New Study Confirms Electroshock (ECT) Causes Brain Damage

, ECT Treatment , Electroconvulsive Therapy , Peter Breggin , Toxic Psychiatry , Brain Science , Brain-Disabling-Treatments , Ect , Electroshock , Electroshock Treatment , Lobotomy , Emotional Intelligence , Shock Treatment , Healthy Living News

A new study shows ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) causes brain damage? That's not what you will find in the many promotional press releases published in the mainstream media. As usual, biopsychiatric press releases always come out before the research articles are easily available, making critical analysis impossible until the wave of false promotional euphoria has passed. The Bloomberg News headline crowed: "Shock Therapy's Effect on Depression Discovered, Researchers Say." The Huffington Post news headline, posted March 20, 2012 declared "Shock Therapy's Effect On Depressed Brain Explained by New Electroconvulsive Therapy Study." Time Healthland's article was titled "How Electroconvulsive Therapy Works for Depression." Fox News' headline for the Reuters news story they carried said: "Study shows how electrotherapy may treat depression."

The media coverage was unquestioning and wholly positive. ECT is touted as the best treatment for depression and we are told that science has finally, after more than 70 years, found out how it works. The method used was bilateral ECT -- the most grossly damaging and most commonly used form of the treatment. Both electrodes are placed over the temples, overlapping the frontal lobes of the brain. The most intensive surge of electricity hits the memory centers in the tip of the temporal lobes and affects the highest human functions in the frontal lobes.

The title of the research paper actually tells the story: "Electroconvulsive therapy reduces frontal cortical connectivity in severe depressive disorder." The specific area is the "dorsolateral prefrontal cortical region." This is the same area assaulted by surgical lobotomy. It contains nerve trunks connecting the rest of the brain with the frontal lobes -- the seat of our capacity to be thoughtful, insightful, loving, and creative. Think of what it takes to be a person; all of that requires the unimpaired functioning and connectivity of the frontal lobes of your brain.

Using a functional MRI in nine patients, the authors of the study conclude, "Our results show that ECT has lasting effects on the functional architecture of the brain." The result of these lasting effects is "decrease in functional connectivity" with other parts of the brain. In other words, the frontal lobes are cut off from the rest of the brain. The authors call this "disconnectivity." Does this sound familiar? It is a "lasting" frontal lobotomy.

This new study contradicts claims by shock advocates such as psychiatrist David Healy that ECT does not cause brain damage.

The report argues that this ECT effect supports the idea that depressive patients have too much activity in their frontal lobes and are returned to normal bv damaging the offending area of the brain. Psychiatry frequently takes this position. For example, antipsychotic drugs (which four of the nine patients were taking) also reduce the function of the frontal lobes, in this case by suppressing the main trunk nerves from deeper in the brain to the frontal lobes (dopamine neurotransmission). Proponents of the drugs then claim that the patients have an excess of activity in these nerve trunks, so that the patient is helped by damaging the region.

The word "damage" is never used in this study. But what else are these "lasting effects on the functional architecture of the brain," other than a manifestation of ECT-induced brain damage in the before and after shock treatment MRIs that were done? The study is so poorly reported that we only know that the MRIs were conducted sometime "after," presumably very soon after the ECT. We can only hope that these victims of ECT will recover with time, but the most extensive long-term follow-up study indicates that most ECT patients will never recover from the damage in the form of persistent severe mental deficits.

Since the patients had all been heavily medicated in the past, and were continued on medications and given anesthesia during the ECT -- a combination of traumatic effects probably complicate and add to the brain damage to the frontal lobes.

For a long time now, I have been scientifically demonstrating that ECT is a closed-head injury in the form of an electrical lobotomy. Now we find that the ECT damage is sufficiently gross to show up on an MRI -- but we are told it's good for the patients. This is what I call "the brain-disabling principle of psychiatric treatment." Lobotomy, ECT and psychiatric drugs all share the common factor that they "work" by damaging the brain and suppressing brain function.

The authors of the study note that antidepressants probably work by doing the same thing -- producing "disconnectivity" between emotion-regulating centers in the brain.

From its inception, psychiatry has promoted brain damage as treatment. Nothing has changed in this regard except the arguments are more subtle and lobotomy is now being called "disconnectivity."

The authors argue that the patients are helped because they do better on a checklist of depressive symptoms. In this study, the checklist was administered after the last ECT, the period of time when the patient's brain is most acutely disturbed and the individual is frequently disoriented and even delirious. It would be similar to giving a psychological test to someone right after a very severe series of concussions. After brain injury -- especially to the highest centers which express emotional awareness, self-insight, and judgment -- individuals stop reporting their upset or distressing feelings. They have either lost awareness or they are too apathetic to care anymore. That, again, is the lobotomy effect. Apathy and indifference is the final result of all of the most potent psychiatric treatments.

Peter R. Breggin, MD, is a psychiatrist in private practice in Ithaca, New York, and the author of more than 20 books, including The Heart of Being Helpful, Toxic Psychiatry, and Medication Madness. On April 13-15, 2012, Dr. Breggin and Mrs. Breggin welcome professionals and the public to their second Empathic Therapy Conference in Syracuse, New York. Meet the Breggins and listen to dozens of other incredible presenters talk about the hazards of modern psychiatry and the benefits of caring therapeutic approaches to emotional suffering. You can learn about and sign up for this inspiring and confidence-building conference at

For more by Dr. Peter Breggin, click here.

For more on mental health, click here.