Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Psychiatry Claims Another Victim

It came as a bit of a surprise that Anders Behring Breivik is declared insane by court-appointed shrinks. Which is rather like calling him an animal. Breivik is appropriately offended by this character assassination, which should be enough to raise serious doubts about its validiy. They deny him moral agency, and I bet it even feels like an attempted disqualification of his activism, as if it didn't count after all. There is something deeply dehumanizing about being held unaccountable for your actions. Just like a dog or insect cannot be held to moral standards because they are incapable of moral reasoning and don’t know what they are doing in any moral sense. But is it true? Is he really “psychotic,” and has been so for years during meticulous planning? A "paranoid schizophrenic"?

I had not expected this conclusion, but if he was to be declared insane, I certainly would have guessed they would claim "paranoid schizophrenia." This is the stereotypical diagnosis used when psychiatrists want someone committed whom they can't find anything specifically wrong with. It's like taken out of a book by Thomas Szasz. Watching today's events reminded me of why I don't trust psychiatrists; why I will only subject myself to examination by them over my dead body. As expected, Breivik's insistence that he is sane is simply taken as evidence that he lacks insight into his own illness. Thus any attempt to reason with them will just result in digging yourself deeper into the institutional abyss.

So what does this supposed insanity consist of? Since the full report is secret (another flaw in our system), we are only given some clues, such as "grandiose delusions." It is supposedly delusional to envision himself as a future ruler of Norway. I agree that would be unrealistic to say the least, but being overly ambitious does not have to mean you are insane. By the logic of psychiatrists like Torgeir Husby and Synne Sørheim, Libertarian candidate Bob Barr must have been psychotic to run for president in 2008 with no hope of winning, only to receive 0.4% of the votes. As Breivik is not found to be hallucinating, this type of "delusion" is the sole basis for their diagnosis. Another example cited is his desire to breed Norwegians and put them in reservations, presumably for eugenic purposes. While incredibly wrong-headed and unlibertarian, this does not qualify as a delusion either, as I see it. If Breivik is delusional, then Hitler and any number of despotic megalomaniacs must be considered unaccountable due to insanity, and that's not usually how we see them. Nor does killing 77 people for what you regard as the greater good inevitably qualify as insane, or any general in any war would be insane. How many civilians got killed in Afghanistan, again?

I believe cognitive liberty needs to be a basic human right, even for the worst criminals. It is a much worse fate to lose your cognitive liberty and be forcibly poisoned by toxic chemicals than merely be incarcerated. Psychiatric treatment constitutes cruel and unusual punishment equivalent to torture, in my view. So even if Breivik happens to be truly out of touch with reality, I categorically oppose sentencing him or anybody to psychiatric care. A desire to sentence him to a punishment worse than prison may have factored in, but ultimately I think the psychiatrists just couldn't help themselves, being as entrenched as they are within a framework of assuming power over individuals. In a larger sense, it points to the extreme conformism in our society. I encountered some of the same kind of bigotry at a public debate with feminists recently, where I was called delusional just for my opinions. And this was even coming from a former terrorist who was himself caught with explosives in Beirut in 1977.

I am offended by psychiatry claiming Breivik as another victim. Of course, my heart goes more out to all the victims of psychiatry who did nothing evil to deserve it. Paradoxically, the more heinous your crime, the more shielded you are from the abuses of psychiatric treatment. Peaceable patients do not have the benefit of a large public hearing before psychiatry starts messing with them. Law-abiding patients don't have the luxury of being confined to the relative safety of a regular jail while an independent commission is second-guessing their pyschiatrists. Instead they go straight to the asylum. Psychiatry rivals feminism as the worst social problem of our time. Arguably psychiatry is worse, since it violates your personal integrity rather than just imprison you. Indeed, if you are a victim of psychiatry, it is probably in your best interest (as well as a publicly beneficial act of activism) to kill a guard or cop in order to get a fair public trial and possibly escape treatment before it ruins your health completely. I have previously written laudatory posts about a man who killed a cop trying to apprehend him for forcible drugging. He turned out to be so dense as to testify in court he thought the cop was a burglar and killed him by accident, and so he blew it. The upshot in this case was just a sentence back to the asylum, just like Breivik is facing, but at least you have a shot to plead for prison rather than psychiatric abuse under a great deal of media attention if you make a criminal out of yourself rather than just another nameless victim of psychiatry. There is still a small chance Breivik can pull this off when he gets his day in court.

I would agree that if someone is so out of touch with reality that he genuinely was unaware of what he did, then it does not make sense to hold him criminally accountable. I still oppose forcible psychiatric treatment, which is always a moral travesty under any circumstances. There is simply never any justification for violating someone's cognitive liberty. A civilized, humane society would always offer at least the option of regular imprisonment to the criminally insane, upon conviction by an ordinary trial. Now if they desire psychiatric care, that is another matter, but it is unethical to force this on anybody, not least because neuroleptics have horrible side effects which shave decades off your life expectancy. I have seen my own grandfather suffer tardive dyskinesia due to psychiatric coercion, though somehow he still managed to reach old age. Now I realize iatrogenic adverse effects from somatic medicine can be just as bad, but at least you have the option to refuse treatment. Medicine should operate on the basis of informed consent, or it does not deserve to be called medicine at all.

Finally I want to condemn the Norwegian barbarity of "preventive detention" (forvaring). One upside of being declared insane is you are not actually eligible for this, but lots of criminals are. The maximum sentence for any crime is ostensibly 21 years (soon to be extended to 30 for terrorism), yet even relatively minor crimes (especially feminist sex crimes) can get you preventive detention instead, which is a potential life sentence as it can be indefinitely extended as long as you are deemed likely to commit more crimes if you are released. This is incredibly hypocritical and has no place in any fair justice system. It really makes my blood boil to lock people up for hypothetical crimes not yet committed, and if you think longer sentences than 21 years are justified, which is not a point I am arguing with here, then that should be the sentence in the first place.


Anonymous said...

" They deny him moral agency, and I bet it even feels like an attempted disqualification of his activism, as if it didn't count after all."

Forresten noen som veit hvor denne kuken jobber så vi kan linke arbeidsgiverne til bloggen hans?

Anonymous said...

Hey fucko, I am one of Eivind's employers, and even though I strongly disagree with many of his opinions, I can plainly see he's one of the few people in Norway who is actually capable of forming his own well founded opinions based on his encyclopedic knowledge and razor sharp intelligence, and isn't afraid to show them. That's enough for me, because I'm not a fascist who demands everyone agrees with me in everything, well reasoned independent thinking is good enough since it's so rare, and every society that wants to survive needs it. And kudos to those that do it, because it sure as hell is a dirty job.

I also find great entertainment in reading all the brain dead comments his exceptionally well written and original blog posts conjure up from idiots such as yourself. In fact, I am considering giving him a bonus for every one of those harebrained comments, including an extra bonus for every threat he receives. So please go on writing shit if you want Eivind to benefit from it.

Anonymous said...

Eivind Berge is a student at UiB.

Emma said...

Of course they want him to suffer. Punishment should be proportionate to the crime, and since we can't kill him 77 times, the only other thing I can think of is some kind of torture. I'm not convinced at all that he's insane, and neither are many experts. All the articles seem to say he "lives in his own reality that no one else lives in", but that can mean many things (like political disagreements). I think they either want to punish him as bad as possible, pretending to be humane, or they just can't jail him for life, so they gotta keep him locked up somehow (release him in 21 years and he can strike again). I also find it dangerous to declare terrorists just insane, as it keeps you from learning from the event, which puts you into ignorance and further danger.
Of course, we don't know him and there is a chance he really is insane, but so far it's very unconvincing.

Tim said...

Wow. I just read the article in the newspaper about you and the debate you had. Of course it was written in Norwegian but thanks to Google Translate it was no problem. I have a new found respect for you, Eivind. It takes courage to do what you did, standing up and debating like that. Good man! You have acted wisely and chosen the non-violent path, the path of most persuasion.

Anonymous said...

hahaha, so pathetic that you're pretending to be your own employer (did somebody say schizo?), when most people know you've been living of the state for all of your life. you will never get a job with your lack of social intelligence. and that's not based on your meanings, but purely on you as a person. freak

Anonymous said...

soon you will prevail eivind, because there are more men like you in this country. i hope you manage to get more attention around this blog, do what you have to do - but leave kids out of it.

i salute you!

Eivind Berge said...

so pathetic that you're pretending to be your own employer

I am not pretending anything and you know nothing about my employment history. I have worked for various different employers via a temp agency and now I am pursuing a career as a translator.

Anonymous said...

know about your history at rema 1000. and think about it, what does it say about you that you actually pretend to be someone you're not here on this site? :P seriously. get a real job and stop exploiting the state

Eivind Berge said...

I have worked at Rema 1000 and elsewhere for Personalhuset, yes, but I don't pretend to be someone else. None of the anonymous comments here are mine.

Eivind Berge said...

For a while some stupid commenters thought my girlfriend was imaginary. They were put to shame. And now my employers? Well, you can believe whatever you want.

Anonymous said...

regner med du får en fet bonus på trygden din nå da :)

Eivind Berge said...

Skulle ønske jeg fikk trygd. Tror du jeg hadde giddet å jobbe på Rema 1000 hvis jeg kunne få trygd? Har fått livsopphold i perioder med arbeidsledighet, men aldri trygd, og jeg utgir meg ikke for å være andre enn jeg er.

Eivind Berge said...

Glemte at jeg fikk arbeidsledighetstrygd etter militæret i 1998, i noen uker inntil jeg ble student. Jeg vet å benytte meg av trygd hvis jeg har rett på det, men det har jeg dessverre ikke nå.

Ragnarkisten said...

I am an anarchist, which basically means that I don't give a fuck about society's laws or unwritten moral standards. What is important to me, is living my life in such a way that innocent people doesn't suffer.

My own moral standard is of more importance to me, than polite society's abrasive valuation of its inhabitants! One of these abrasive standards are formalized by the psychological term, personality disorders. Basically PD are flaws in character, due to behaviour that stands out from an average. A person with anti-conformist ideas, are likely to be labelled as suffering from PD.

Personality disorders, are not mental diseases. Paranoid
personality disorder, typically denotes a person that utters sceptisism towards authorities. If you have a tenacious sense of personal right, you are likely to suffer from a Paranoid PD. To put it short, anarchists are personality disorder(ly), granted this psychiatric definition.

In a broader sense, anything that is not viewed as politically correct, is more or less personality flaws. Extrovertism is healthy and wholesome, introvertism is not. Naivity is good, sceptisism is sick. Sensing is rational, intuition is irrational, and so on, and so forth.

Eivind Berge said...

I am also an anarchist at heart. I see government as intrinsically odious and I don’t really wish to impose it on anyone. However, some form of government is arguably a necessary evil. But it must be a highly limited government, which of course does not include leftist social engineering or feminist sex laws. When government goes out of bounds and causes innocent people to suffer, it is our duty to oppose and undermine it.

Psychiatric diagnostic criteria are indeed biased in favor of authority, as well as based on a number of metaphysical assumptions that I don’t necessarily buy into. Mental diagnoses don’t correspond well to natural categories, but rather whatever a bunch of psychiatrists getting together in committees feel like defining as mentally ill. These definitions evolve according to cultural norms and are anything but objective. For one thing, mainstream religions are arbitrarily exempt from the definition of delusions even though some of the worst delusions are found in religion.

Even so, I think there is probably such a thing as objective reality, and it is possible to be more or less rational and more or less in touch with reality. It’s not binary, but rather a continuum from the most rational scientific Bayesians to those who construct a pure fantasy world in their heads largely based on hallucinations. While I have few problems with calling the latter group insane, where to draw the line can never be an exact science.

Breivik now appears increasingly delusional as new details from the report are leaked, assuming they are accurate. I have to agree it’s delusional to think he has sparked a revolution and now has thousands of followers ready to fight, and that he is even in a position to make more threats. On the other hand, he claims to be quoted out of context; and besides, what do you expect after keeping someone isolated for five months with no access to the media? He is actively prevented from forming a realistic world-view right now, and I think any of us could easily go insane under such conditions. Also he says he plans to “self-terminate” if not even one single person wants to come along and fight with him after the trial, so he must be open to the possibility that he is mistaken. In order to qualify as a delusion, I think a wrong belief also must be incorrigible, which still does not seem to be the case here.

Nimue said...

Thanks Eivind for sharing your point of view so honestly. I think you make very clearheaded analysis on most topics, and Im a woman!
Keep writing!

Cassandra X said...

If the new psychiatric report gives a conflicting assessment, does that mean that Breivik is both sane and insane? Does it mean that all prior psychiatric appraisals are now null and void?

If ABB is sentenced to chemical incarceration and sent off to an asylum, I might make my way over to Norway to carry out a coup de grâce.

Eivind Berge said...

I think according to the rules they are supposed to consider him insane and unaccountable regardless of what the next report concludes. However, this case has put the entire psychiatric profession into such disrepute that I think the first conclusion will be discarded altogether and he will stand trial as an accountable, serious man. It has been delightful to watch all the scrutiny demolish the credibility of psychiatric assessments in the Norwegian system. These psychiatrists thought their authority was go great they didn't even have to back their conclusion up with convincing evidence, and now they are deservedly humbled as we can all see through their charade. This is one very good thing to come out of this case. It was scary how much power psychiatrists had and I am glad it will be harder for them to pronounce anyone insane from now on. It also goes to show criminals have far more rights than other victims of psychiatry, so if you must be examined by psychiatrists, it helps to commit a heinous crime first so as to lower your risk of psychiatric coercion including chemical torture.

Knut Holt said...

I think the real reason behind Braiviks actions was an intense anger towards Norwegian authorities for something that happened to him in his early childhood, and his fight against mouslim influence is only a secondary objective.

We know that he was, together with his mother, in the care of the psychiatry some time in his childhood. We also know that the child protective agencies took him away from his mother and placed him in foster care for periods, at least during holidays, but possible for longer periods, since everything has not been revealed.

Was something done to him during the stays in psychiatric ward and under the care of foreign instances that he felt extremely humiliating? All parts keep a thight secrecy about those ordeals, even Breivik himself, possibly because he feels an intense embarrasment about talking about it. The chance that he was used as a guinea pig in medical and psycological experiments during these stays is rather high. An intense humiliation he felt because of things done to him during these stays may be the factor that initiated his hate against the authorities and his development towards becomming a mass assasine.

I can say this because I have strong evidence pointing to institutionalized children in Norway being often used as research guinea pigs, and even as organ and tissue sources.

Eivind Berge said...

Interesting theory. I can certainly understand why anyone could be made homicidal by psychiatry, even if only subjected to the usual psychiatric "treatments." But why not attack psychiatrists directly then, rather than multiculturalists?

And what is the evidence for institutionalized children in Norway being used as research guinea pigs or organ and tissue sources?