[back] Virginia Tech  School shootings and psychiatric drugs


APRIL 20, 2007. Investigating authorities in the Virginia murders know, by this time, who treated Cho and when and where. They certainly know.

And if they haven’t released a statement that Cho never took psychiatric drugs, I believe the chances are good that he did take them.

Vague claims are being made that the records are confidential. Doctor-patient privilege. Really? The patient is dead.

And when Cho was alive, Virginia Tech University felt no obligation to inform his parents that he was a problem on campus. In fact, there is apparently a law against sharing such information. In other words, the parents do not deserve to know what their son is doing. So now, why would the parents deserve the right to withhold his psychiatric records---if they tried to assert that right? In matters of discipline, the University treated Cho like an adult. No parental involvement. Therefore, in matters of medical and psychiatric records, the same standard should apply.

At the heart of the issue is the simple question: what psychiatric drugs were given to Cho?

On April 17, the Chicago Tribune ran a story headlined “Danger Signs festered below the surface.” One brief paragraph stated, “Investigators believe Cho at some point had been taking medication for depression.”

What investigators? One day after the massacre, investigators apparently had found some medical records or talked to doctors.

There is obviously pressure not to release the names of the drugs, if indeed Cho did take antidepressants. Why the pressure? Because, as I’ve been detailing in articles over the last several days, these drugs can force a person into a psychotic state where suicide or homicide, or both, are the new objective.

Imagine if, today, the story broke: Cho was taking Paxil. Boom. There is a recent history of suits against the manufacturer, Glaxo, with many more suits waiting in the wings. Those suits involve adverse effects of the drug. Think of the impact on Glaxo’s stock price, on its reputation, on its future. To say nothing of tainted jury pools. Very big bucks are involved.

The manufacturers of Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft have every reason to want to bury this aspect of the story. They are certainly not asleep at the wheel. They have contingency plans in place already, when these school shootings occur.

Here is my estimate of their orders of priority:

One, if at all possible withhold medical records and prevent doctors from talking about the drugs. Use confidentiality as the rationale.

Two, if that doesn’t work, stall as long as possible, and try to keep the names of the drugs from surfacing until the story starts to die down.

Three, in the absence of that, claim there is no proof the person actually took the drug, even if it was prescribed. Or say that he was also drinking alcohol or doing street drugs, which would cancel out the “benefits” of the psychiatric med.

Four, suggest that if he had taken the med, chances are he wouldn’t have committed violence.

Five, get doctors to say the drug didn’t cause violence, the mental disorder did. (This strategy permeates all the others.)

Six, play up other aspects of the person’s character and past history---to give the impression that he was always a bad seed. (This strategy permeates all the others as well.)

Seven, make sure to release statements accusing drug critics of “keeping millions of people away from the relief they need from mental disorders”---relief they can only get from the drugs.

And of course, use a handy list of politicians and other influential types to lean on investigators, through the chain of command, to keep details of the drugs out of the press.

Generally speaking, cops have developed a reflex aversion to introducing medical-drug evidence in criminal cases. They know the defense can counter with its own psychiatric experts---and then the case drops down into a muddle of experts battling each other in court. So cops would already be predisposed to downplaying drug evidence. And in this, they would be backed up by district attorneys, who shy away from wars of medical experts.

Notice there is nothing in the press about an autopsy on Cho’s body. Certainly, an autopsy should be performed. Drug screens would be run. These screens would look for, among other compounds, antidepressants. Why are we hearing nothing about this? If evidence of antidepressants were found, that would be a blow to the drug-company manufacturer. If no evidence were discovered, announcing the fact would provoke the obvious question: well, did he take antidepressants in the past?

JON RAPPOPORT www.nomorefakenews.com


by Rappoport

APRIL 20, 2007. At LA Times.org, there is an article dated April 18, 2007, and headlined, “Shooter plotted in silent rage.” Here is a quote from the story:

“Cho, a senior majoring in English, was normally in bed by 9 each night, up again by 7 in the morning. But he began rising earlier, sometimes by 5:30 a.m., to put in his contact lenses, take prescription pills and apply acne medicine.”

Prescription pills. Given what we know so far, there is reason to believe these were psychiatric meds, and probably taken for depression. That would almost certainly mean an SSRI antidepressant---a drug that can induce suicide or homicide.

Should we assume a) that Cho got rid of these pills the morning he went out to kill people or b) he left them in his room? Which is more likely? And if it’s b), then the campus, local, or federal cops found the pills and KNOW WHAT THEY ARE. They knew what they were on the day of the shootings.

If so, why hasn’t this information been released?

I think the answer is obvious. Someone in charge is convinced that release of the information would be harmful---to the drug’s manufacturer. Very harmful.

Perhaps you remember that one of the young Columbine shooters, Eric Harris, had been on Luvox, another SSRI antidepressant. A great amount of publicity on that ensued, and several years later (2002), Solvay, its manufacturer, withdrew the drug from the market in the US, claiming administrative details needed to be worked out with the FDA. Nothing serious, just paperwork. Well, it wasn’t until this year that Solvay began making plans to re-introduce Luvox to the US market.

Given that Cho was causing trouble on campus long before the killing spree, and here I’m taking the lead from Dr. Peter Breggin and his comments in the Huffington Post, Cho should have been handled as someone who was breaking the rules---not someone in need of treatment because he was “mentally ill.”

The whole “mentally ill” category allowed the stalling and backtracking and the rather casual attitude, and allowed Cho to remain as a student at Virginia Tech.

“Mentally ill” leads to doctors and hospitals and drugs, destructive drugs, some of which can bring on a high level of violent action in the patient. Suicide. Homicide.

Let’s get our own heads on straight. Mentally ill…disturbed…traumatized….depressed….confused….stressed…deeply grieving….and other similar terms are, in professional psychiatric terms, the ramp up into DRUGS. So you see, even and especially at Virginia Tech, right now, this funnel exists. Students and teachers and administrators are being counseled, and some of them will end up on exactly the type of drug that Cho was probably taking. And this whole operation will be called: helping the survivors.

A more correct version of the travesty would come in this headline form: “Population at Virginia Tech now on same drugs that pushed killer over the edge.”

Then we would be dealing from a straight deck, and our perception would be much clearer.

JON RAPPOPORT www.nomorefakenews.com