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Popular Mechanics on 9/11

Ever since in an article of a white nationalist blogsite I was called “a Jew” and that my “behavior indicates that he’s a Jew” (by “behavior” the author meant my criticism of the truther movement), I realized that truthers suffer from huge psychological issues. For example, a commenter in that article’s thread who has the Truth Movement as a sort of litmus test for what he believes is the true nationalist, stated that the other “‘WN’ bloggers… are probably posting from Tel Aviv.”

While demonstrating that I am not a Jew is quite easy in these times of DNA tests, what I found disturbing is the notion that those who strongly disagree with truthers must be Jews, or even conspiracists themselves.

The following excerpts, taken from James B. Meigs’ foreword and afterword of Debunking 9/11 Myths corroborate that truthers are a little paranoid to say the least. Meigs is, technically, our foe—he writes as if “racism” and “anti-Semitism” were something wrong. Nonetheless, I find his arguments demystifying conspiracy theories compelling (no ellipsis added):


Popular Mechanics set out to investigate conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks in late 2004, just as those claims were emerging from the swamps of extremist websites and radical Islamist organizations. We had no idea how much trouble we were about to stir up. Our first magazine article on the topic, which appeared in the March 2005 issue, closely examined the major scientific, military, aeronautical, and engineering-based claims commonly cited as evidence that 9/11 was, as conspiracy theorists like to say, an inside job. Our investigation found no evidence in support of the conspiracy claims.

The article unleashed a flood of criticisms and accusations from those supporting such theories. These attacks ranged from the preposterous (it was said our magazine had published this investigation on orders from a cabal of Masons and Illuminati) to alarming (death threats were referred to our security department). Clearly, we had touched a nerve. The article quickly became the most widely read story in the history of Popular Mechanics’ Web site, with over 7.5 million views. (A detailed account of the reaction to our article, and what that reaction says about the conspiracy movement, can be found in the original afterword to this book on page 121 [see below].)

A team of Popular Mechanics reporters and editors then started work on a far more detailed book-length version of the report. By the time the first edition of this book was published in the summer of 2006, the 9/11 conspiracy furor was reaching a tipping point. The flurry of books on the topic had grown into an avalanche, with certain writers, such as former Claremont School of Theology professor David Ray Griffin, building a thriving cottage industry around the topic. Conspiracy fans had, with Orwellian overtones, taken to calling themselves “the 9/11 Truth Movement,” or simply “truthers.” Extremist talk radio programs such as The Alex Jones Show pushed the issue nonstop. And a video pastiche of conspiracy theories, a quasi-documentary known as Loose Change, was becoming an Internet sensation.

Popular Mechanics’ 9/11 project represented one of the relatively few attempts by mainstream journalists to grapple seriously with the conspiracy theory claims. So it was telling that most conspiracy theorists quickly decided that Popular Mechanics too was part of the conspiracy. In their minds, all our research could therefore be rejected a priori. We had run head on into a worldview that some experts call “conspiracism.” It is a mind-set that insists on reaching a predetermined conclusion regardless of what information is presented. Any facts that don’t fit the conspiracy paradigm need to be explained away. Since 2004, leading 9/11 theorist David Ray Griffin has written seven books and edited two others on the subject of 9/11. He devoted a chapter in his book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory, to explain why, in his view, the 9/11 reporting by Popular Mechanics and other mainstream journalists is invalid.

Griffin’s book devotes many pages to the idea that Popular Mechanics and our parent company, the Hearst Corporation, are somehow implicated in the vast conspiracy he sees behind 9/11. He digs up century-old controversies and finds tenuous links between the magazine’s staff and various government officials. But he never explains how a magazine—much less a major corporation—could possibly convince its employees to help cover up the most notorious mass murder in our nation’s history. Popular Mechanics has close to 30 editorial staffers and dozens of freelance contributors. Does Griffin imagine that whenever we hire new editors I bring them into a secret bunker and initiate them into an ultraclandestine society for world domination? Why wouldn’t such prospective employees run screaming from our building? In the years since we began our work on 9/11 conspiracy theories, a number of our staffers have moved on to other jobs. What would stop them from revealing a conspiracy that, if true, would be one of the biggest journalistic scoops in history? Did we swear them all to lifetime secrecy? As with so many conspiracy claims, the whole elaborate fantasy becomes practically laughable on close examination.

The original Popular Mechanics article addressed 16 of the most common 9/11 conspiracy claims. The first edition of this book expanded that list by four, and added much more detail. As a result, many of the more adept theorists simply moved on to new theories, or shifted their focus to issues that our team had not covered as deeply. For example, at the time we published the first edition, there was still no definitive account of why World Trade Center 7—which was not hit by planes, only damaged by debris—also collapsed. Not surprisingly, as the truther community moved away from talk about missiles and pods, it began focusing obsessively on elaborate theories concerning WTC 7. (With the benefit of much more detailed engineering analysis, this edition addresses—and debunks—those WTC 7 claims in depth.)

It is hard to argue without facts. And yet that is the position in which 9/11 conspiracists increasingly find themselves. One by one, the key factual underpinnings of their theories have been demolished. But still they argue on, their passionate conviction undiminished.

In the end, the truther community’s tendency toward unintentional self-parody has perhaps done as much to undermine its credibility as has the work of Popular Mechanics. Just when the conspiracy movement seemed to be making real headway toward deeply influencing American culture, a funny thing happened: it began to turn into a punch line. South Park offered a brutal parody of the conspiracist worldview in an episode called “Mystery of the Urinal Deuce.” Comedian Jon Stewart started tweaking truthers on The Daily Show, at one point holding up a sign reading “9/11 WAS AN OUTSIDE JOB.” And, in a common-sense answer to the vast legion of conspiracy-oriented websites, an assortment of sharp, and often satirical, blogs has emerged to challenge the truthers on their own turf. In particular, the blog Screw Loose Change offers devastating analysis of the truther community, and links to point-by-point rebuttals to the claims advanced in Loose Change.

Of course, conspiracy theories involving 9/11 will never fully go away. And a book like this, no matter how widely reported or carefully updated, will never convince the most dedicated conspiracists. But, on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, it is important to have a clear, objective, and thorough response to the consistently false and deeply malicious claims of the conspiracy movement.

New York City


On February 7, 2005, I [James Meigs] became a member of the Bush/Halliburton/Zionist/CIA/New World Order/Illuminati conspiracy for global domination. It was on that day the March 2005 issue of Popular Mechanics, with its cover story debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories, hit newsstands. Within hours, the online community of 9/11 conspiracy buffs—which calls itself the “9/11 Truth Movement”—was aflame with wild fantasies about me and my staff, the magazine I edit, and the article we had published.

We had begun our plunge down the rabbit hole. Within hours, a post on www.portland.indymedia.org, which claims to be dedicated to “radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth,” called me “James Meigs the Coward and Traitor.” Not long afterward, another prominent conspiracy theorist produced an analysis that concluded that Popular Mechanics is a CIA front organization. Invective and threats soon clogged the comments section of our Web site and poured in by e-mail:


In a few short weeks, Popular Mechanics had gone from being a 100-year-old journal about science, engineering, car maintenance, and home improvement to being a pivotal player in a global conspiracy on a par with Nazi Germany. Not all the responses were negative, of course. One visitor to our Web site, after plowing through dozens of angry comments, left a supportive post that included this astute observation:

Some people are open to any possibility, and honestly examine all evidence in a rational manner to come to a conclusion, followed by a moral evaluation. Others start with a desire for a specific moral evaluation, and then work backwards assembling any fact that supports them, and dismissing any fact that does not.

As the hate mail poured in and articles claiming to have debunked the magazine’s analysis proliferated online, we soon learned to identify the key techniques that give conspiracy theorists their illusion of coherence.

Marginalization of Opposing Views

The 9/11 Truth Movement invariably describes the mainstream account of 9/11 as the “government version” or “the official version.” In fact, the generally accepted account of 9/11 is made up of a multitude of sources: thousands of newspaper, TV, and radio reports produced by journalists from all over the world; investigations conducted by independent organizations and institutions, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, Purdue University, Northwestern University, Columbia University, the National Fire Protection Association, and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.; eyewitness testimony from literally thousands of people; recordings and transcripts of phone calls, air traffic control transmissions, and other communications; thousands of photographs; thousands of feet of video footage; and, let’s not forget the words of Osama bin Laden, who discussed the operation in detail on more than one occasion, including in an audio recording released in May 2006 that said: “I am responsible for assigning the roles of the 19 brothers to conduct these conquests…”

The mainstream view of 9/11 is, in other words, a vast consensus. By presenting it instead as the product of a small coterie of insiders, conspiracists are able to ignore facts they find inconvenient and demonize people with whom they disagree.

Argument by Anomaly

In an article about the Popular Mechanics 9/11 report, Scientific American columnist Michael Shermer makes an important observation about the conspiracist method: “The mistaken belief that a handful of unexplained anomalies can undermine a well-established theory lies at the heart of all conspiratorial thinking (as well as creationism, Holocaust denial [Post-script note of 2018: Presently I don’t believe this belongs to conspiratorial thinking] and the various crank theories of physics). All the ‘evidence’ for a 9/11 conspiracy falls under the rubric of this fallacy.”

A successful scientific theory organizes masses of information into a coherent, well-tested narrative. When a theory has managed to explain the real world accurately enough for long enough, it becomes accepted as fact. Conspiracy theorists, Shermer points out, generally ignore the mass of evidence that supports the mainstream view and focus strictly on tiny anomalies. But, in a complex and messy world, the fact that there might be a few details we don’t yet understand should not be surprising.

A good example is the conspiracist fascination with the collapse of 7 World Trade Center. Since the 47-story tower was not hit by an airplane, only by the debris of the North Tower, investigators weren’t sure at first just how or why it collapsed hours after the attacks. A scientist (or for that matter, a journalist or historian) might see that gap in our knowledge as an opportunity for further research (see “WTC 7: Fire and Debris Damage,” page 53). In the conspiracy world, however, even a hint of uncertainty is a chance to set a trap. If researchers can’t “prove” exactly how the building fell, they say, then there is only one other possible conclusion: Someone blew it up.

My comment:

Meigs’ afterword goes on for other ten pages but the excerpts quoted above give the picture: a psychological analysis of the truther mentality goes to the core to understand the movement. For instance, this “Someone blew WTC 7 up” is exactly what I call “paleologic” modes of mentation, and illustrated it with a classic example by a psychiatrist: “If the Greeks are afflicted by epidemics, it is because Phoebus wants to punish Agamemnon.” (“Paleologism” is the subject of some chapters of my book.)

Re the Scientific American statement about “holocaust denial” cited above even Mark Weber, a revisionist historian and current director of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) who has authored over a hundred articles relating to holocaust claims, has acknowledged that “it cannot be disputed” that “millions [of Jews] were forced from their homes; millions lost their lives” (listen the April 25, 2012 “Mark Weber Report: Holocaust Deceit, Remembrance and Reality”).

Contrary to what WN truthers claim, I believe that rejecting 9/11 conspiracy theories, and seriously considering the new approach to holocaust studies represented by Irmin Vinson, Mark Weber and David Irving are the mark of the mature nationalist.

Christendom Degeneracy Egalitarianism Jewish question (JQ) Liberalism Psychiatry Universalism

Fuck Anglo-Saxons!

A recent article about a psychiatric pill in the United Kingdom that “cures racism” elicited some lively comments at The Occidental Observer of which I’ll only reproduce a few:

Fender said…

“Why am I not surprised to see that such a ‘study’ should come out of England?”
(Jarvis Dingle-Daden)

The Anglos are natural schemers and utopians, just like the tribe [the Jews]. That’s why they’ve been natural allies for the past four centuries. Along with the tribe, they feel they have a right to “improve” and rule over the world.

This is why I’m starting to believe that the Anglos, and to a lesser extent, the Western Europeans, need to be miscegenated out of existence by the lower races. They’re a downright dangerous race of people—basically the vicious bulldogs of the tribe, attacking anyone who stands up to them.

The Northern and Western European nations are hotbeds of Marxism, “antiracism,” and utopian thought. They’re a threat to Central and Eastern Europe, where many people have been immunized against Judaic nonsense due to their past histories with communism. We never, ever see studies like this [the search of an anti-racist psychiatric drug] coming from Russia, the Czech republic, Ukraine, etc. Estonia recently honored its SS heroes and its government actually prevented the dumb antifa from interfering. Tens of thousands of proud nationalists openly march the streets of Russia and Ukraine. The governments of Belarus and Hungary are explicitly pro-White. These are the governments and nations that the Anglo-Jewish power establishment wants to destroy.

This may offend some, but if the European races hope to survive, its most infected limbs need to be amputated. In my mind, this means the Anglos and Nordics. Both tribes are fiercely Marxist, universalist, and suicidal, and they cannot be allowed to take the rest of Europe down with them.

Bobby said…

Fender, I agree with you completely on the views you hold of the groups you mentioned. I have had a theory about this for quite a while now. Let me try it out on you.

After the disaster for Europe called World War II, most Europeans were devastated in a way that Americans cannot even imagine. War, or any aggression at all, became anathema to them. They became sick and tired of any conflict. So they decided to throw themselves fully into materialism. The factories of Europe started going and because of the Soviet and American distrust of each other a mere two to three years after the war, the U.S. quickly lost any “moralistic” ideas of punishing Germany any longer. Instead some money was pumped into Europe not out of any altruism, but for the practical purpose of helping to defend America’s interests.

So Western Europe experienced a boom in prosperity that it had never known in modern times. You could see this by the increase in car ownership, and the general state of better living. In fact, the German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, a trained economist, announced that concentrating on economics would be Germany’s salvation. All kinds of frivolous activities were engaged in and it continues. What I’m saying is that Western Europeans, unlike their poor and caged-in relatives in the East, became lazy, supermaterialistic, and confused.

The confusion was the result of the widespread leftist egalitarian teachings in almost every single university in Western Europe. And of course, along with this teaching went the usual guilt-trip that whites were the problem and need to repent and change the world, etc. The Western Eurocrats got away with pushing this stuff, because the economies of Europe were good and no one saw a reason to complain.

So, even though things are rapidly changing in Western Europe, due to economics and the left’s successes in preaching egalitarianism, [what] this sixty-plus year brainwashing and shangrilla Western Europe experienced is still the model in the minds of most Western Europeans, even though the paradigm is changing.

Things are most dangerous when an accepted paradigm no longer has relevance and a new one is about to emerge.

Hasbara Matata said…

Slavic superiority. Right.

The root of the problem with all Whites in this regard­—being “liberal” [means] suicide—is Christianity. Like Marxism, which is Christianity’s twin that was born second, Christianity is proxy-Judaism; it makes us self-destructive, since we’ve internalized universalist kosher hokum along with a Jew as the savior and creator of the universe. Unfortunately, after 2000 years of Whites soaking their brains with Jewish myths, there are very few who are psychologically capable of accepting it.

It’s a lesson that even Kevin MacDonald himself needs to learn.

Fender said…

Apartheid was constructed because the WASPs thought that, deep down, blacks are just like them. Same thing with Manifest Destiny and colonialism: these never happened due to racial supremacism, but because WASPs thought savages can be civilized. Now the WASPs think White racialists are the savages, and that they too can be civilized, in their “altruism” they’re going to murder and oppress any Whites in their attempt to improve and civilize the world.

I’ll grant you that Slavs have a grin-and-bear-it mentality, but let’s not forget that the Jews needed to mass murder millions in the East to gain power while they took over the West without firing a shot.

Vened said…

Fender: I have an acquaintance. She and her parents were born in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). They left Rhodesia long time ago for obvious reasons. She still thinks that giving up that land to blacks was the right thing to do. She is of English descent. I see exactly the same Anglo mindset in the United States of America.

As an Eastern Slav, my blood boils watching Anglos abandoning North America…

Abraham (patriarch) Alexander the Great Alice Miller Ancient Greece Ancient Rome Archeology Carl Gustav Jung Carthaginians Child abuse Christendom Ethnic cleansing God Hannibal Hojas Susurrantes (Whispering Leaves - book) Holocaust Human sacrifice Infanticide Lloyd deMause Maxfield Parrish Mayas Neanderthalism Old Testament Philosophy of history Polybius Pre-Columbian America Prehistory Pseudoscience Psychiatry Psychohistory Psychology Stefan Zweig Thebes Trauma model of mental disorders

Translation of pages 543-609 of “Hojas susurrantes”


Note of September 2017: I have removed this text because a slightly revised version of it is now available in print within my book Day of Wrath.


A break

Let’s take a break: not adding new entries to this blog for a couple of months in order to invite visitors to become familiar with a subject that has not been discussed adequately in the nationalist community.

I refer to the legal drugging of children, especially white boys, for purposes of social control, the subject of my previous post.

P.S. of February 21:

I have changed my mind. While it’s true that white nationalists are totally clueless about the fraudulent profession known as psychiatry, recent documentaries and online courses about the forthcoming energy and financial meltdown have moved me not to postpone any longer my next entry.

Alice Miller Child abuse Day of Wrath (book) Pseudoscience Psychiatry Psychology Trauma model of mental disorders

Why psychiatry is a false science

This text appears in Day of Wrath

______ 卐 ______


“An irrefutable hypothesis is a
sure-fire sign of a pseudoscience.”

—Terence Hines [1]


According to Ron Leifer, there have been four parallel critiques of psychiatry: Thomas Szasz’s conceptual and logical critique of the mental illness idea; Leifer’s own parallel critique of social control through psychiatry, Peter Breggin’s medical evaluation of the assaults on the brain with drugs, electroshock and lobotomy, and the cry of those who have been harmed by it.[2]

Another way to question the validity of psychiatry is to examine the scientific basis of biological psychiatry. This fifth parallel critique, which I would call the evaluation of the scientific status of psychiatry, takes psychiatry to task on its own theoretical base. Exponents of this late strategy have focused on the various bio-reductionist claims and logical fallacies in psychiatry;[3] on the dubious science behind psychopharmacology,[4] and on statistical analyses that show that poor countries with few psychiatric drugs called neuroleptics (“antipsychotics”) fare much better in the treatment of people in psychotic crisis than the rich countries.[5]

Here I will present an apparently innovative way to call into question the scientific status of biological psychiatry.

However odd it may seem, biopsychiatry has not been attacked from the most classic criteria to spot pseudosciences: Karl Popper’s test that distinguishes between real and false science, and the principle known as Occam’s razor. Both of these principles have been very useful in the debunking of paranormal claims,[6] as well as biological pseudosciences such as phrenology.

Mario Bunge, the philosopher of science, maintains that all pseudosciences are sterile. Despite of its multimillion-dollar sponsoring by the pharmaceutical companies, biological psychiatry remains a sterile profession today.[7] Despite its long history of biological theories since 1884 when Johann Thudichum, the founder of modern neurochemistry, believed the cause of madness were “poisons fermented in the body” to the current dopamine theory of schizophrenia, psychiatrists have been unable to find the biological cause of the major disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.[8]

This lack of progress was to be expected. If the biologicistic postulate on which psychiatry lays its foundational edifice is an error, that is to say, if the cause of mental disorders is not somatogenic but psychogenic, real progress can never occur in biological psychiatry; and the subject of mental disorders should not belong to medical science but to psychology.

Nancy Andreasen, the editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry, the most financed and influential journal of psychiatry, recognizes in Brave New Brain, a book published in 2001, that:

There has not been found any physiological pathology behind mental disorders;

nor chemical imbalances have been found in those diagnosed with a mental illness;

nor genes responsible for a mental illness have been found;

there is no laboratory test that determines who is mentally ill and who is not;

some mental disorders may have a psychosocial origin.[9]

A better proof of sterility in biopsychiatry can hardly be found. It is worth saying that a book reviewer tagged Andreasen’s book as “the most important psychiatry book in the last twenty years.”[10] The above points show us why, since its origins, psychiatry and neurology are separated.
Popper’s litmus test

While neurology deals with authentic brain biology, it is legitimate to ask whether psychiatry might be searching for a biological mirage.

In The Logic of Scientific Discovery philosopher of science Karl Popper tells us that the difference between science and pseudosciences lies in the power of refutability of a hypothesis.[11] Despite its academic, governmental and impressive financial backing in the private sector, psychiatry does not rest on a body of discoveries experimentally falsifiable or refutable. In fact, the central hypothesis in psychiatry, a biomedical entity called mental illness—say “schizophrenia”—cannot be put forward as a falsifiable or refutable hypothesis.

Let us consider the claim that psychiatrists use the drugs called neuroleptics to restore the brain chemical imbalance of a schizophrenic. A Popperian would immedia-tely ask the questions: (1) What is exactly a brain chemical imbalance? (2) How is this neurological condition recognized among those who you call schizophrenics and which lab tests are used to diagnose it? (3) Which evidence can you present to explain that the chemical imbalance of the so-called schizo-phrenic has been balanced as a result of taking the neuroleptic?

Before these questions the psychiatrist answers in such a way that he who is unfamiliar with the logic of scientific discovery will have great difficulties in detecting a trick. For instance, Andreasen has acknowledged that there have not been found biochemical imbalances in those diagnosed with a mental illness and that there is no laboratory test that determines who is mentally ill and who is not. That is to say, Andreasen is recognizing that her profession is incapable of responding to the second and third questions above. How, then, does she and her colleagues have convinced themselves that neuroleptics restore to balance the “chemically unbalanced” brains of schizophrenics? Furthermore, why does Andreasen have stated so confidently at the beginning of the section in Brave New Brain that addresses the question of what causes schizophrenia that the disorder “is not a disease that parents cause”?

Speaking in Popperian terms the answer is: by contriving a non-falsifiable or irrefutable hypothesis. In contrast to neurologists, who can demonstrate the physiopathology, histopathology or the presence of pathogen microorganisms, Andreasen and other psychiatrists recognize that they cannot demonstrate these biological markers (faulty genes or biochemical imbalances) that they postulate in the major disorders classified in the revised, fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-IV-TR. If they could do it, psychiatry as a specialty would have disappeared and its body of knowledge merged in neurological science. What psychiatrists do is to state that after almost a century of research in, for instance, schizophrenia, the medical etiology of the “disease” is still “unknown,” and they claim the same of many others DSM-IV behaviors.

As Thomas Szasz has observed, in real medical science physicians observe the pathological alterations in the organs, tissue, and cells as well as the microbial invasions, and the naming of the disease comes only after that. Psychiatry inverts the sequence. First it baptizes a purported illness, be it schizophrenia or any other, but the existence of a biological marker is never discovered, though it is dogmatically postulated.[12] A postulate is a proposition that is accepted without proof. Only by postulating that these disorders are basically genetic and that the environment merely plays a “triggering” role can psychiatrists justify to treat them by physical means. On the other hand, if neuroses and psychoses are caused by poor parenting and extreme parental abuse respectively, to treat them with drugs, electroshock or lobotomy only “re-victimizes” the victim.[13]

In the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s tens of thousands of lobotomies were performed in the United States,[14] but since the advent of neuroleptics only about two hundred surgical lobotomies are performed each year in the world. About 100,000 people are being electro-shocked every year in the United States alone, many against their will.[15] North America consumes about 90 per cent of the world’s methylphenidate (“Ritalin”) for American and Canadian children. Many parents, teachers, politicians, physicians and almost all psychiatrists believe in these “medical model” treatments for unwanted behaviors in children and teenagers.

On the other hand, the “trauma model” is an expression that appears in the writings of non-biological psychiatrists such as Colin Ross. Professionals who work in the model of trauma try to understand neurosis and even psychosis as an injury to the inner self inflicted by abusive parenting.[16] As shown in the next essay of this book, the psyche of a child is very vulnerable to persistent abuse while in the process of ego formation. Some books of the proponents of the old existential and “schizophrenogenic” mother are still in print.[17] More recently, the books by Alice Miller have also become popular.[18] In a moving and yet scholarly autobiography John Modrow maintains that an all-out emotional attack by his parents caused a psychotic crisis in his adolescence.[19] Despite claims to the contrary, the trauma model of psychosis is still alive. Only in 2004 two academic books were released on the subject,[20] and in the Journal of Psychohistory Lloyd deMause still suggest that the gamut of mental disorders, from the dissociative states and psychoses of ancient times to the neuroses of today, are consequence of child abuse.[21]

Let us take as an example an article published in a July 2002 Time magazine. The author used the case of Rodney Yoder, abused during his childhood and as adult hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital in Chester, Illinois. From the hospital Yoder undertook an internet campaign for his liberation. Catching on the favorite phrases of psychiatrists the Time writer tells us: “Scientists are decades away [my emphasis] from being able to use a brain scan to diagnose something like Yoder’s alleged personality disorders.”[22] In the same line of thinking, Rodrigo Muñoz, a former president of the American Psychiatric Association in the 1990s, stated in an interview: “We are gradually advancing to the point when we will be able [my emphasis] to pinpoint functional and structural changes in the brain that are related to schizophrenia.”[23] That is to say, psychiatrists recognize that at present they cannot understand a mental disorder through purely physical means, though they have enormous faith they will in the near future. Hence it is understandable what another psychiatrist told the Washington Post: “Psychiatric diagnosis is descriptive. We don’t really understand psychiatric disorders at a biological level.”[24] Psychiatrists only rely on conduct, not on the individual’s body, to postulate that there is a biological illness. Child psychiatrist Luis Méndez Cárdenas, the director of the only public psychiatric hospital in Mexico which specializes in committing children, told me in a 2002 interview: “Since the cause of any disorder is unknown, the diagnosis is clinical.”

More to the point, in February 2002 I debated psychiatrist Gerard Heinze, the director of the Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría (the Mexican equivalent to the American National Institute of Mental Health or NIMH.) Arguing with Heinze I rose the question of the lack of biological markers in his profession. Heinze answered enumerating two or three diseases that medical science has not fully understood; he tried to make the point that mental disorders lie in this category of still incomprehensible diseases. For example, until 2006 the Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome, which makes some children start to age since their childhood, was an authentic biomedical disease of unknown etiology. But its existence was not controversial before 2006: it was enough to see the poor aged children to know that their problem was clearly somatic. On the other hand, diagnoses of the alleged psychiatric disorders are so subjective that their inclusion in the DSM has to be decided by votes in congresses of influential psychiatrists. Heinze’s point would not have strained my credulity to the breaking point if most of the 374 DSM-IV diagnoses were already proven biomedical illnesses with only a few of them remaining as mysterious diseases. But we are asked to believe that virtually all of the DSM behaviors are mysterious diseases “of unknown etiology”!

One last example related to a 2003 hunger strike of psychiatric survivors in Pasadena, California, who demanded scienti-fic proof of mental illness as a genuine biomedical disease, will illustrate this attitude.[25]

A demand of the hunger strikers was addressed to the American Psychiatric Association and the offices of the Surgeon General. Psychiatrist Ron Sterling dismissed the strikers’ demand for positive scientific proof describing the mental health field in the following way: “The field is like cardiology before cardiologists could do procedures like electrocardiograms, open-heart surgery, angiograms and ultrasound […]. Since brain structure and physiology are so complex, the understanding of its circuitry and biology are in its infancy.”[26] The Surgeon General Office did not even bother to respond. However, in a statement released in September 2003 the American Psychiatric Association conceded that:

Brain science has not advanced to the point where scientists or clinicians can point to readily discernible pathologic lesions or genetic abnormalities that in and of themselves serve as reliable or predictive biomarkers of a given mental disorder or mental disorders as a group… Mental disorders will likely be proven [my emphasis] to represent disorders of intracellular communication; or of disrupted neural circuitry.

The trick to be noticed in the above public statements is that psychiatrists, physicians all things considered, are stating that even though the etiology of mental disorders is unknown such etiology is, by definition, biological, and that it is only a matter of time that it will likely be proven. This is the hidden meaning of the code word “of unknown etiology.” By doing this psychiatrists dismiss in toto the work of the many researchers who have postulated a psychogenic origin of mental distress and disorders.

Although it is more parsimonious to consider a psychological cause for a mental disturbance that has no known biological markers, with its somatogenic dogma orthodox psychiatry ignores the simplest hypothesis, the model of trauma. To inquire into Yoder’s childhood, for instance, is axiomatically dismissed in a science that clings to only one hypothesis. In other words, by postulating unknown etiologies that will be discovered in the future by medical science—never by psychologists—, these physicians have presented us a biological hypothesis of mental disorders in such a way that, even if wrong, cannot be refuted.

If psychiatrists were true scientists they would present their biological hypo-thesis under the falsifiability protocol that Popper observed in hard sciences. Let us consider the hypothesis:

“At sea level water boils at 40º C.”

This is a scientific hypothesis in spite of the fact that the proposition is false (water does not boil at 40º but at 100º C). The hypothesis is scientific because it is presented in such a way that it just takes putting it to the test in our kitchen with a thermometer to see if it is true or not: if water does not boil at 40º C, the hypothesis is false.

In other words, according to Popper the scientific quality of a hypothesis does not depend on whether the hypothesis is true, but however paradoxical it may seem, it depends on whether the hypothesis may be refuted assuming it is false.

Thus the hypothesis that at present water boils at 40º C can be refuted: it is a scientific hypothesis. On the other hand, the hypothesis that schizophrenia and the other major mental disorders are biological and that this “will likely be proven,” the words of the American Psychiatric Association, cannot be refuted: it is not a scientific hypothesis. Against this biological hypothesis there is no possible evidence at present, that is, there is no empirical evidence that can show that the hypothesis is wrong.

This is the sure-fire sign of a pseudoscience.


A biopsychiatry that drugs millions of children with healthy brains is not a genuine science. True scientists, such as geologists or biologists, never postulate their central hypotheses as non-falsifiable hypotheses that “will likely be proven.” It is the futuristic stance of psychiatrists what gives the lie to the claim that their belief system is scientific.

A pseudo-science is a belief system that pretends to be scientific. Psychiatry is not the only biological pseudoscience, but it exhibits the same unequivocal signs of pseudoscience present in every system that pretends to be scientific. Other biological pseudoscientists such as phrenologists or the communist proponents of anti-Mendel genetics did not comply with the Popperian requirement of presenting their conjectures in falsifiable form either.

All pseudosciences, biological or paranormal, have four things in common. Just as its biological sisters (phrenology and anti-Mendel genetics) and its paranormal cousins (e. g., parapsychology and UFOlogy), psychiatry is a “science” that (1) presents its central hypothesis in a non-falsifiable way; (2) idolizes in perpetuity that sole hypothesis; (3) violates the economy principle by ignoring the more parsimonious alternative, and (4) is completely sterile. After decades of research neither phrenologists nor psychiatrists, para-psychologists or ufologists, have demons-trated the existence of the (alleged) pheno-mena they study.

In other words, psychiatrists do not have medical or scientific evidence to back their claims. Their own recognition that they cannot tell us anything about the above-mentioned question—with which lab tests do you diagnose this so-called neurological condition?—demonstrates that their schizophrenia hypothesis is unscientific. The same can be said of ADHD, bipolar “illness,” depression and the other major DSM disorders.

In a nutshell, psychiatry is not a science. Since the middle 1950s the lack of a mental health science in the medical profession has been compensated by an invasive marketing and the aggressive sales of psychiatric drugs by the pharmaceutical companies.[27]


[1] Terence Hines, Pseudoscience and the paranormal: a critical examination of the evidence. New York: Prometheus Books, 1988, p. 2.

[2] Ron Leifer, “A critique of medical coercive psychiatry, and an invitation to dialogue,” Ethical Human Sciences and Services, 2001, 3 (3), 161-173 (the journal has been renamed Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry).

[3] Colin Ross & Alvin Pam, Pseudoscience in biological psychiatry: blaming the body. New York: Wiley & Sons, 1995.

[4] Elliot Valenstein, Blaming the brain: the truth about drugs and mental health. New York: Free Press, 1998.

[5] Robert Whitaker, Mad in America: bad science, bad medicine, and the enduring mistreatment of the mentally ill. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus, 2001.

[6] The Committee for the Scientific Inquiry, that publishes the bimonthly Skeptical Inquirer and whose members included luminaries such as Martin Gardner, Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan, has been a think tank in the debunking of pseudosciences since 1976.

[7] Cf. Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, a journal authored by a group of mental health professionals that specializes in debunking biopsychiatry.

[8] For a critical review of the dopamine theory of schizophrenia see for example Valenstein, Blaming the brain, pp. 82-89; Ross and Pam, Pseudoscience, pp. 106-109.

[9] Nancy Andreasen, Brave new brain: conquering mental illness in the era of the genome. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

[10] Ty Colbert, book review in Ethical Human Sciences and Services, 2001, 3 (3), p. 213.

[11] Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery. New York: Routledge, 2002, chapters 4 and 6 esp.

[12] See for example Thomas Szasz, Pharmacracy: medicine and politics in America. Connecticut: Praeger, 2001.

[13] César Tort, “Cómo asesinar el alma de tu hijo” in Hojas Susurrantes, Lulu distributors, 2016.

[14] As to date Whitaker’s Mad in America is the most readable exposé I know of the darkest period in American psychiatry.

[15] Ibid.

[16] See for example Silvano Arieti, Interpretation of schizophrenia. New Jersey: Aronson, 1994. Originally published in 1955, this celebrated treatise is worth revisiting.

[17] See for example Ronald Laing, The divided self: an existential study in sanity and madness (Selected works of R.D. Laing, 1). New York: Routledge, 1999.

[18] E.g., Alice Miller, Breaking down the wall of silence: the liberating experience of facing painful truth. New York: Dutton, 1987.

[19] John Modrow, How to become a schizophrenic: the case against biological psychiatry. New York: Writers Club Press, 2003.

[20] Colin Ross, Schizophrenia: an innovative approach to diagnosis and treatment. New York: Haworth Press, 2004. See also John Read, Loren Mosher and Richard Bentall, Models of madness. New York: Routledge, 2004.

[21] See e.g., Lloyd deMause, “The Evolution of the Psyche and Society” in The Emotional Life of Nations. New York: Other Press, 2002.

[22] John Cloud, “They call him crazy,” Time, 15 July 2002.

[23] Rodrigo Muñoz, quoted in Jeanette De Wyze, “Still crazy after all these years,” San Diego Weekly Reader, 9 January 2003.

[24] Thomas Laughren, quoted in Shankar Vedantam, “Against depression, a sugar pill is hard to beat: placebos improve mood, change biochemistry in majority of trials of antidepressants,” Washington Post, 6 May 2002.

[25] Fred Baughman, Peter Breggin, Mary Boyle, David Cohen, Ty Colbert, Pat Deegan, Al Galves, Thomas Greening, David Jacobs, Jay Joseph, Jonathan Leo, Bruce Levine, Loren Mosher and Stuart Shipko, “15 December 2003 reply by scientific panel of the Fast for Freedom in Mental Health to the 26 September statement by the American Psychiatric Association.” (I read this article at the beginning of 2004 in mindfreedom.org.)

[26] Ron Sterling, “Hoeller does a disservice to professionals,” op-ed rebuttal, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 9 September 2003.

[27] Valenstein, Blaming the brain (op. cit.).

Alice Miller Carthaginians Child abuse Hojas Susurrantes (Whispering Leaves - book) Human sacrifice Infanticide Lloyd deMause Old Testament Philosophy of history Psychiatry Psychohistory Psychology Trauma model of mental disorders

Translation of pages 419-482 of Hojas susurrantes

swaddled boy

Note of September 2017: I have removed this text because a slightly revised version of it is now available in print within my book Day of Wrath.