Interview with Dr Peter Breggin on Ritalin
Dr. Peter Breggin is a very well-known psychiatrist and author. He has
written Toxic Psychiatry, which is probably the best book that will ever be
done about the drugs that assault minds. In his written works you can find
numerous citations and references and commentary about every class of
psychiatric compound. Somebody should tell the Gideons to add Toxic
Psychiatry to their list, when they are slipping Bibles in hotel drawers.
It is a sheer classic. Breggin is also a feared expert witness in lawsuits
against drug manufacturers. This man deserves a Nobel. In a quick second.
Our interview does not take up the numerous studies Breggin cites. They are
all there for you in his books, and then there is his website,
www.breggin.com. I have known Peter for 8 years, and I have found him to be
a relentless straight shooter.
Dr. Breggin is in full-time private practice in Maryland. Heís the founder
of the Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, and editor of the
journal Ethical Human Sciences and Services. The author of a dozen books,
he did his undergraduate work at Harvard, took his medical training at Case
Western Reserve, was a teaching fellow at Harvard Medical School. He spent
two years as a full-time consultant with the National Institute of Mental
Health. With these impeccable credentialsÖyou would not expect the
Q: Youíre now involved as a medical consultant in one of the class-action
suits against Ritalin.
A: Yes. Thatís in the works. Ritalin is a compound that is given to
children to drug them, to keep them under control, because parents and
teachers feel they canít go into the territory of actually learning how to
help kids live better lives. They view this as too hard, and so they go to
the drugs. Itís a crime against children.
Q: Ritalin is massively popular.
A: It is a schedule 2 narcotic, along with heroin and cocaine. Thatís an
Q: It is toxic.
A: Oh yes. And there is some evidence to suggest that it causes atrophy of
Q: It is given for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
A: Which is not a disease. No cause has ever been found. I spoke as a
critic of ADHD at a major federal conferenceÖand although they wanted to
emerge from that event with an iron-clad diagnosis for ADHD, they couldnít.
There is no singular cause. There is no biological or chemical cause they
Q: So there is no way to say they have a disease.
A: None. Itís a fiction.
Q: ADHD is a fiction.
A: There are kids with various problems, some of which are related to their
parents, but there is no ADHD.
Q: They say there is.
A: Lots of people say lots of things, but that doesnít make them true.
Q: Why are thousands of psychiatrists selling ADHD?
A: Because their profession and their minds have been taken over by
Q: You seem to be the one who has nailed that down.
A: I took the time and the trouble. Itís there for anyone who wants to see
Q: Youíre an MD. You went through all the training. Then you became a
psychiatrist. Youíve worked as a consultant for the federal government in
mental health. You have all the credentials anyone could want.
A: Eli Lilly [the maker of Prozac] has tried to smear me on that count,
saying I wasnít really a credible doctor. So I pulled out the resumeí.
They were being ridiculous.
Q: And you turned on the medical-training hand that fed you and you have
been gnawing on it.
A: Are you saying Iím ungrateful?
Q: Are you?
A: Not at all. Iím looking at the facts. About 20 years ago, the
pharmaceutical industry rescued psychiatry. Which was in a terrible
doldrum. Patients were deserting their shrinks all over the place. People
just didnít think the whole process was that worthwhile. The drug industry
came in and said, ďWeíll fund your societies. Weíll support the journals
and the conferences. Weíll pay the bills.Ē
Q: In exchange for?
A: Making psychiatry into a pharmacy. Making the bio-wing of psychiatry
triumphant over talk therapy. From that point on it would be all about
mental diseases and chemical imbalances and the drugs to treat them.
Q: What about the thousands of published studies which indicate that there
are hundreds and hundreds of mental diseases which, in fact, need drug
A: Itís terrible science. Thatís the main thing to say about it. Itís very
badly done science. Speculations about mental diseases are elevated into
medical certainties without any real proof.
Q: Are you saying that many mental diseases arenít real diseases?
A: No. Iím saying that NONE of them are diseases.
A: None. Clear enough?
A: You finally see that the proof is not there. The specific biological or
chemical indicators of actual diseases are missing.
Q: What about depression?
A: Itís another non-disease that is placed like a blanket over many, many
different situations in peopleís lives.
Q: But a person can be depressed.
A: In the non-technical sense of that word, sure. But when you say that
this is a condition caused by the malfunction of a neurotransmitter system,
then you are making something else out of it. And you are stating a
falsehood. Serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter of choice, is not a
proven cause of depression.
Q: Yet the medication theyíre giving for itó
A: --Prozac, or one of the other SSRIs, is to increase the level of
serotonin. But you see, once again we have two wrongs. The condition
itself has no proven cause or real definition, and the drug for it is not a
precise shifter of that particular neurotransmitter. With ADHD, we have no
disease, and Ritalin is not really a calming drug for so-called
hyperactivity. Over time, Ritalin causes a child to become hyperactive in
Q: Prozac is not precise.
A: No. It can affect a number of different neurotransmitter systems. These
systems are related.
Q: Ritalin can also cause a child to become depressed. Iíve heard you say
A: Yes, in the non-technical sense of that word. And then youíll find a
psychiatrist telling the parents that he is seeing the sudden unannounced
presence of an entirely new condition, for which he has to prescribe Prozac
or Zoloft or Paxil. Itís gross blindness on the part of the psychiatrist.
Q: He doesnít want to admit that the Ritalin can cause an adverse effect.
A: Thatís right.
Q: The blindness seems willful to me.
A: Sometimes it is.
Q: In Toxic Psychiatry you write that the neuroleptics, the 20 or so
compounds sometimes called major tranquilizers, have caused a million cases
of brain damage in the US since 1954.
A: Yes. I argue that case with the help of certain clear studies. This
represents a devastating plague.
Q: I find it hard to think of such enormous and continuous harm as a mere
A: I know.
Q: Iíve read your work on psychiatry as ďa death machine,Ē as you call it.
A: It was the psychiatrists in Germany who really gave Hitler the idea for
euthanasia, for the murder of people who were considered useless
Q: And that impulse is still alive.
A: Look at the drugs. They are all, every class of them, highly dangerous.
Q: Without exception?
A: Thatís right.
Q: It must have been quite a revelation to be a psychiatrist and then to see
A: It didnít happen all at once. But it happened.
Q: You donít shirk away from calling this evil.
A: Being a psychiatrist does not erase the need to make moral assessments.
Q: You stress the importance of not withdrawing from psychiatric drugs
without good supervision.
A: It can bring on very dangerous symptoms. Iíve now written about that.
Q: You and I have talked before about the dangers of these drugs. But the
fact that they are all out there, are being pushed, are being written about
in journals as if everything is OKÖ
A: Itís pretty overwhelming.
Q: Itís a war crime in progress.
A: Yes. The education of the doctor comes into play here. In a
pharmaceutically dominated society, the doctor is going to learn that this
is the way. This is what he must offer the patient. It becomes as
ingrained as roads are for cars.
Q: It paints a pretty robotic picture.
A: The psychiatrist accepts the bad science that establishes the existence
of all these mental diseases in the first place. From there itís just a
walk down the street to all the drugs as remedies.
Q: And the so-called side effects are dismissed as inevitable. ďThis is the
best that science can offer right now. Weíre trying our best.Ē
A: Sure. The psychiatrists who advised Hitler told him a good story too.
They made their case for murder on arguments that sounded scientific.
Q: You always point out that studies on the drugs are funded by the
companies that make the drugs.
A: That is so often the case itís absurd. And then the researchers who are
carrying out the studies are paid by those companies. What results do you
expect? In the case of a licensing study for Xanax, they found that after 6
weeks or so people on the drug were doing better than those on the placebo.
But as they continued the trial, the figures reversed, and finally by the
end of the study the people on the placebo were doing as well as people on
Xanax. So they just selected the 6-week cut-off point, where the drug had
looked very goodóand they published that part of the study as if it were the
Q: Are you optimistic about the upcoming class-action suit against Ritalin?
A: Yes. Itís basically a suit against Novartis, the manufacturer, and the
American Psychiatric Association, and CHADD, a parent-education group that
recommends Ritalin. The suit is charging that these entities artificially
inflated the perceived need for Ritalin and that this is basically fraud.
Q: If ADHD is a created non-disease in the first place, and Ritalin is the
drug of choice, then the degree of ďinflation of needĒ is 100 percent.
A: Thatís the point, isnít it?
Interview number 2. Ellis Medavoy, PR man, propaganda expert, veteran
reporter, a man who spent many years consciously manipulating the press and
the public as a ďgun for hire.Ē A man who has lived in the shadows for many
years. This is part two of the interview I printed in last weekís issue.
Sorry, we canít send out back issues. Here is an added dose of cold water
thrown across your face by Ellis Medavoy.
Q: The war on drugs.
A: Donít get me started. The Latin American presidentsóFox and Batlleóare
saying they want legalization. I know PR people, letís call them, who spent
years getting stories printed in the press about drugs. The scourge of
marijuana, based on completely false studies.
Q: The publicó
A: --The public thinks that the moon is made of green cheese if the right
people say it is. Look, part of the major propaganda effort, the
meta-effort, is to get people to forget there is a difference between
freedom and ďthe right thing.Ē
Q: What are you talking about?
A: This is key, believe me. I could show you how, through the use of
propaganda, people now believe that drugs are always wrong and therefore no
one should be allowed to use them AND that that conclusion represents
freedom. Which is false.
Q: Youíre saying people donít know what freedom is anymore.
A: Exactly. They donít. They think freedom is getting other people to do
ďthe right thing.Ē And the REASON they think thatÖpropaganda people have
been at work for a long time bringing that insanity about. That illogic.
You HAVE to see what Iím talking about. Itís a little complicated. But
itís so very important. Let me put it to you this way. When the country
was born, the USA, freedom was considered to be a pretty precious thing. It
was. It was supposed to mean that any person, or at least a lot of persons,
could live their lives any way they wanted to, as long as they didnít
interfere with anyone elseís freedom. I mean, that was pretty clear then.
Do you get it? If in 1800 you wanted to smoke pot and I thought that pot
was disgusting, I had no recourse. It was a free country. And by the ideal
of freedom, you could smoke. After all, freedom is freedom. This is a
silly example, but you understand. Now, as time passed, it became clear to
those who were in the business of manipulating society that, all in all,
this freedom thing was a very bad idea. It made people hard to brainwash.
So on a mind control level, a new concept would have to be introduced. It
was, ďmorality above freedom.Ē Groups of eve ry stripe were encouraged to
shout their morals from the rooftops and rail against the bad peopleÖthis
was, in a real sense, a PR operation. It was divide and conquer, but more
than that it was pour on the morality from all directions on the heads of
the American people---beat them to such a degree with that flood that after
awhile the idea of freedom would take a back seat in their minds to
MORALITY. The ultimate result of all this, you could say, was Prohibition
of alcohol. That never could have been achieved without a populace that was
half-mad with the steady diet of overbearing morality preaching coming from
all corners of society.
Q: Youíre saying this is intentional, this inducingó
A:--This inducing of a moralistic fever. Yes. And it still is. War on
drugs. Whatever. There are lots of examples. The basic propaganda
operation is, make them forget what freedom means. Because freedom would
dictate that you say, ďIf you want to use a drug, go ahead.Ē Who cares?
And of course there are other layers of lies used to keep people from seeing
that simple truth. The fear mongering around the idea that if you let
people use drugs, everyone will become either addicted or the victim of a
crazy person with a gun on drugs. Thatís called PROPAGANDA. It doesnít work
that way in real life. If you let people alone, some of them do stupid
things and some of them donít. Itís never ďeverybody.Ē But if you can make
people forget that freedom comes above morality, you have them. Theyíre
yours. Do you see that? If you donít see that, you see nothing. This is
why I call it meta -programming. Itís the programming that makes all the
other programming work.
Q: You say this is going on now.
A: Absolutely. In fact, itís everywhere, if you can see it. The bringing
on of morality as the most important thing. Look, you get thousands of
people who come to believe this and they start forwarding the agenda
themselves without any need for manipulation. Thatís always the case in any
operation. You get true believers and dupes and all sorts of support from
out of the blue. But Iím telling you, the meta -operation is intentionalÖand
it is: MAKE THEM ALL BELIEVE THAT MORALITY COMES BEFORE ANYTHING, COMES
BEFORE FREEDOM. This is the operation that destroyed America. The rabid
teaching of morality. The truth was, when settlers came to America, they
wanted a version of freedom, and even the Puritans began to loosen up. With
freedom, you get the natural practice of morality. You donít need to teach
it very much. You donít need to hammer it into brains. This was one of
Walt Whitmanís messages.
Q: Who ran this meta -operation to ram morality down everybodyís throat?
A: People you would never know. Subtle people. People behind the censorship
boards. Behind the funding of some of the big-city fire breathing churches.
Behind the propaganda campaign on the evils of alcohol and marijuana.
Hearst, of course. But others.
Q: Some people would say there is no morality left in America and thatís
whatís killing it. Right now.
A: Yes. You may find this hard to believe, but no morality at all is the
inevitable outcome of pounding morality into every skull. Accept that or
reject it, I donít care.
Q: So the destruction of freedom was the major operation.
A: Always is, right? I donít have to tell you that. But HOW TO DO IT is
the question, and Iíve just given you a big piece of the answer, a piece
that is invisible, utterly invisible to most people. If large numbers of
people ever got it through their heads that everyone could live by the rule
of freedomódo what you want to as long as it doesnít interfere with the
freedom of othersóif large numbers of people really saw that and grabbed it
and lived by itÖI would never have had a career in propaganda. Propaganda
would not have worked. In order for propaganda to work in any form, people
have to have forgotten the rule of freedom. I canít say it any clearer than
that. I want people to see this. This is why I call it meta-programming.
You have to install a bias against the rule of freedom first, as the first
order of business, or else nothing further will happen.
Q: Have to.
A: Have to. The bonus is, if you use a huge overdose of morality as the
strategy, on the other end you also get social chaos. Because, as I said, a
great forced infusion of morality results in no morality eventually.
Listen, Iím giving you strategies and understandings here that are known to
true manipulators. They USE these understandings. In every group or nation
or cult, you can trace the evolution of the use of morality as a tool of
control. Iím not talking about civilized behavior. Iím talking about the
use of morality to club people over the head with, for one purpose. To
knock the freedom out of them.
Q: People have to go along with this. As victims. They have to submit.
A: Yes they do. And they become victims of this strategy because, in the
main, they donít know what to do with their freedom. Itís unfamiliar
territory. Itís like a void. So they fill it up with what other people
give themólike a very stiff dose of moralityÖand then they forget about the
freedom. They raise the flag of some cause and they march to it and they
hate certain people all of a sudden and they feel a sense of power and they
march along and now theyíre under the control of the manipulatorsóand NOW
they can be brainwashed along many different lines. Do you see the
progression? Do you see how the door is pried open to begin with?
Q: Back to the war on drugs.
A: Perfect example. Because we can add one more dimension to the picture
Iím making here. Profit. Money. If people around the world couldnít be
moved by moralistic statements about drugs, the drugs would never be illegal
and then the groups that make billions of dollars would make pennies
instead. Since legal drugs are dirt cheap. Moralisms equal money.
Q: What about your favorite field, the medical?
A: Same thing. Press releases and statements appear in the mediaóthe media
is the voice of the manipulators, never forget THATóand what is said is, we
must defeat disease X, we have an obligation to defeat this terrible
scourge, no one has the right to oppose this humanitarian effort, only a
criminal or a dangerous person would oppose the defeating of this
diseaseÖyou turn the moral screws, sometimes lightly and sometimes very
hard. And people jump. You need them to jump. If they donít jump they
donít support widespread vaccine campaigns and widespread giving of medical
drugs and all the rest. You see, there is this moral thing here, and it all
proceeds from THAT, and as PR person you have to find a way to tweak that in
Q: Giving away secrets here.
A: People are now so conditioned to receiving the moral message, you only
need to hit it once or twice and youíve started their engine. Theyíre ready
for the moral landscape and now you come in with the cheaper better drugs
message and the vaccine message and youíve got them.
Q: Moralistic peopleó
A: --Are like guard dogs who wear a sign on their chests that says FREEDOM.
Itís a sham and they know it deep down. Theyíre basically dupes for the
manipulators who are re-molding society in the shape of a Sunday school with
uzis. One of the biggest current themes in societal propaganda is the
community. THE COMMUNITY. I assure you, this is not real. Itís not a real
sentiment. Itís created and shaped. It goes, ďThe right thing to do is
care about your community and give to your community and join with your
community and be one with your community and think about what your community
needs from you and submerge yourself to your communityÖĒ
Q: This is a piece of propaganda. Youíve told me that before.
A: Iím telling you that again. Itís a core idea. Once you install it, you
can build out in a number of directions to influence people. You start with
community as a moralistic idea. You say it over and over again in a hundred
different ways. Community, community, community. And make no mistake, this
is as moralistic idea. Itís communicated with a flavor. You see itó
Q:--You see it after every school shooting.
A: Certainly. Now some people will say that community is, in fact, an
excellent value. Iím not here to argue about that. But Iíll te ll you this.
In Americas at this time, the biggest moralistic operationóintentional
operationópropaganda operationóis around the idea of community. Why?
Because it is being used to drown out the idea of the free individual. Itís
as simple as that. See, I believe that if left alone people would have a
natural sense of community. You wouldnít need to launch soft pink bombs
about it every five seconds. But that too is another issue.
Q: You seem to be giving a lot more credence to the idea of freedom as a
reality than you were awhile ago.
A: I go back and forth. If I didnít, Iíd never be talking to you.
Q: Have you worked in this area that youíre describing?
A: Moralistic operations, so to speak? Through the medical area. Very
indirectly. See, I find a reporter, say, in Paris, and letís say that this
reporter can write stories about disease in the Third World. Thatís one of
his areas. And then, unknown to the reporter, I have lunch with one of his
frequent and reliable sources. And I sell the source on a story that is
related to the reporterís area. Itís about a school in Africa where most of
the kids had been vaccinated against polio, but a few kids hadnít been. And
those few got the disease, and they spread it to their own parents who
spread it to the rest of the villageÖand so on. A tragedy. An object
lesson about vaccines. You know. So the source likes the tale and he sells
it to the reporter and the reporter writes it and the wire services pick it
up and it goes all o ver the world.
Q: Whereís the moralism?
A: Community! A small community in Africa that was decimated. Think.
Where is this story playing? Not where did it happen, but where is it
playing? In the industrialized countries. To readers who are themselves up
to their eyeballs in propaganda about community. They hear this little
tragic tale and it teaches them that one must always, always vaccinate. But
the germ that carries that message is the moralism called communityÖ
Q: Thereís a punchline here somewhere?
A: I worked on building this little story about the village with three
people from various intelligence agencies in a town in Africa, I wonít say
where. The story is built. What actually happened in that school was
completely different. But we put together our story, we found a few
ďwitnessesĒ who, for a small inducement, would talk to a reporter if he
happened along to check factsÖthis was a largely invented story I sold to
half the industrialized world. With a built-in moralism called community
that would deliver my message.
Q: It was a fake story.
A: If people believe it, itís no longer fake.
Q: Weíre back to your rationalization again.
A: Call it what you want to. Morality is the key. Itís the way in to the
Now the third interview, a short piece from 50 hours talking to
hypnotherapist, reporter, deep political analyst, and expert on mind
control, the late Jack True, who was a colleague of mine in several projects
in the late 1980s. Jack was an unrecognized great insightful talent of his
Q: How many patients would you say youíve treated?
A: A few thousand.
Q: And from that experience, what would you say mind control is?
A: Itís a lot of things. Most of the time itís a person whoís sure heís
awake. Heís quite sure. Thatís what mind control is.
Q: Someone who thinks he isnít.
A: Right. Heís operating from various premises and information and he
doesnít know it. Through those filters he sees the world. He thinks what
he sees is objective reality. Thatís mind control. The problem is, if that
person canít find new ways to see the world, heís going to stay with what
Q: How do you treat a person like that?
A: Which is everybody, by the way. (laughs) I put them in a trance and
then I take them on a tour of a museum. Thatís one way. I worked with a
doctor once. He was a major pusher of pills to rich movie people in LA. I
had him tour a Chinese laundry under hypnosis.
Q: He made it up? Invented the laundry out of his own imagination?
A: Yes, but under hypnosis, it just comes flowing out like honey, the whole
parade of images. I led him through a Chinese laundry and he described
every facet of the place and the operation. The dry cleaning people and
their machines and what they didÖI mean this was a man who had never been in
a Chinese laundry. But there it was. A tour. He synced in with it.
A: He followed every move and every step of the washing and drying and
cleaning and accounting as if he were watching the ballet. It made a deep
impression on him.
Q: And afterwards?
A: We did about a dozen of these tours in different sessions. The man gave
up his practice a year later. Phased it out, went into another field. He
told me he couldnít keep it going.
Q: Because the drugs he was handing out were toxic?
A: Donít know. All I know is, he saw the world in a different way. Why?
Itís hard to put into wordsÖhe had an experience that changed him. Under
hypnosis. He felt the flow of the world and reality in a different way.
Itís like giving up one kind of music for another. So thatís one way I get
people who are mind controlled to wake up. Under hypnosis, I give them some
kind of experience that will do that. It could be anything. But Iím not
trying to ďfind the causeĒ of a problem. It has nothing to do with that.
Q: On a political levelÖ
A: Mind control is being taken into a theater, shoved into a seat, and
hearing the doors lock behind you. Then the play on the stage is all youíre
allowed to see. Thatís politics. The leaders are the leaders. The army is
the army. The enemy is the enemy. The media that report all this are the
media. Itís the only play youíre allowed to seeÖ.and if you accept that
state of affairs, youíre hypnotized even though you feel completely wide
awake. One of the most awake people I ever met was trying to start his own
country. He had completely rejected the stage play. Mind control is the
fear of rejecting the illusion. A person, for whatever reason, who will not
practice the act of rejection which keeps us alive. Itís a lock-down. You
enclose a person in the theater and show him the ďonlyĒ stage play and, lo
and behold, this person doesnít have what it takes to reject the play. Mind
Q: You would like to see a new government on every streetcorner.
A: You bet. Anyone who seriously thinks that a nation of 300 million people
can be largely ruled by a single government is swimming in a sea of
illusion. It doesnít work that way. I donít care what the government is
like. The best, the worst. It doesnít matter. Government means
SIGNIFICANT citizen participation. Without that, you have no government.
You have rulers. At 300 million people, you factually need a huge number of
governments to ensure citizen participation THAT EXTENDS WELL BEYOND WRITING
LETTERS. So America is dead in the water. Absolutely dead. On a level of
psyche, itís actually less than dead. Itís wandering the halls like a
ghost. The only thing that could politically rejuvenate the country is the
rebirth of all local governments. Very local. Or the invention of new
governments that are unofficial, like intentional communities, all o ver the
Q: What about mind control in the intelligence community?
A: They are looking for anything that will make people obedient. Thatís the
basic piece of information. If you start from there, you can imagine all
the strategies. Now obedient means directed, controlled. It means if they
want you to scream and get wild, thatís what you do. Itís a puppet world
A: If you were building a house with rocks, and the rocks on the ground
started walking around and going across the street, youíd get them back.
These people think civilians are rocks. Thatís one of their fundamental
subliminal ideas or solutions. Thereís more to this. Iíve worked with one
or two of these intelligence types. Some of the building material of their
character is a composite of pride and humiliation. They have experienced a
lot of both in their lives, and theyíve built themselves up out of that.
Itís the raw material. You take a person like that, and you can trigger the
emotional molecules in that character structure, and you can cause him to
undertake missions of a cruel nature. He wants the pride. He doesnít want
humiliation, so heíll carry out the mission and attack anything that gets in
his way. This is all in the area of mind control.
Q: How do picture this global society?
A: As a series of cardboard facades that are maintained through the power of
the imaginations of every person on the planet. This world is one of a huge
number of possible worlds that could exist at this moment. The fact that
this one does is of no concern. It is simply what our imaginations have
created/accepted. The controllers make the stage play and we imagine it as
we see it. And the power of imagining it makes the cardboard into steel. We
could all be living right here in a completely different world at this
moment. It could be a world in which Henry Kissinger is a janitor at a high
school. Who knows? It could be a world in which the Beatles are astronauts.
And trees only grow in water. But most of us are quite sure that the
stage play in the theater is the only reality. That, as I say, is mind
(thatís a little taste of Jack TrueÖIíll do a longer piece in another issue)