Friday, June 01, 2012

Peter Hitchens On ADHD


Peter Hitchens, pontificating on the use of Ritalin in the treatment of ADHD. 

I will be posting a very great deal of really quite diverse material on the nature of dopamine imbalances in the next few weeks. In his foreword to the 'The Oxford Book Of The Sea', Jonathan Raban wrote that people tend to write about that which causes them difficulty; as far my relationship to my own imbalance is concerned, a truer word has never been written, and in that regard I must thank my readers for their patience and forbearance. In his foreword to 'Screwtape Proposes A Toast', C. S. Lewis wrote that he was deterred from producing a sequel to 'The Screwtape Letters' by having found the production of the original work to have been, in his words, 'gritty', a word which well describes my own experience of being a sufferer of dopamine imbalances researching these phenomena. 

A couple of points about Mr. Hitchens' exhaustive and exhausting polemic - 

"Interestingly, the next major discussion of (ADHD) took place after a large number of children tragically suffered physical damage after an epidemic of encephalitis, in the USA in 1917 and 1918 ( a secondary effect of the Spanish influenza pandemic)"  - 

Far, far too sweeping. Encephalitis lethargica (the 'sleeping' or' sleepy sickness', also known as 'Von Economo's Disease') is an entirely different phenonemon to influenza. Influenza is a very common cause of trauma to the substantia nigra, the section of the midbrain responsible for the production and regulation of dopamine, and one which can and does produce dopamine imbalances; but there is absolutely no hard evidence that the 1917-1927 'sleepy sickness' epidemic, first recorded in Paris and Vienna, was connected to the Spanish flu epidemic in any way whatsoever. There is a theory that infection with Spanish flu might have left a footprint on the brain which might have rendered it susceptible to sleepy sickness, yet none of the patient histories from New York City which were recorded by Oliver Sacks in 'Awakenings', or by Gilbert Onuaguluchi, the Nigerian doctor and academic who wrote 'Parkinsonism' in Glasgow over 50 years ago, still the very best and most humane study of dopamine illness, mention Spanish flu at all. They do mention trauma, from the loss of parents to the loss of tonsils to the loss of children; a factor certainly far more likely to induce dopamine illness than any of the items note immediately below. 

"In my view, this history cannot be understood without looking at other major events going in the world at the same time. It was during the post-1960s cultural revolution in Western countries that several things began to affect childhood. Some of them are direct results of that cultural revolution. Others are independent of it, but happened at the same time. They seem to me to provide an alternative explanation of the astonishing growth in the numbers of troublesome children.Some of these features are common to Britain and the USA (where 'ADHD' is most commonly diagnosed). Some are specific to only one. Remember that 'ADHD' is far more commonly diagnosed in boys than in girls, and that its symptoms in girls are almost always different"

"4.The abolition of school sports and other physical exercise, accompanied by the sale of playing fields.

5.The growing danger on the roads, leading to children no longer walking or bicycling to school, so depriving them of a key form of exercise."

Good God almighty, does this man not know that exercise is the one thing guaranteed to aggravate the symptoms of dopamine illness? That the one thing that sufferers of dopamine illness in any form cannot tolerate is exertion?

"6.The arrival in almost all homes of colour TV, broadcast 24 hours a day and including a growing number of channels aimed at children. The installation in the majority of children's bedrooms of a TV set which the child controls."

Writing of the dopamine impaired patients that he treated in Stobhill General Hospital between 1959 and 1962, Gilbert Onuaguluchi indicated that the advent of television was a virtual godsend.

"7.The invention, and rapid spread of computer games."

A contextless assertion. 

"8.The rapid increase in the numbers of mothers going out of the home to work, further reducing adult supervision, example and restraint in the lives of the young."

If there is one factor guaranteed to turn the drama of dopamine illness into a crisis, it is an unhealthily close relationship between mother and child. Dopamine illness seems to thrive in matriarchies. For some families afflicted by dopamine illness, the period of separation between mother and child caused by Mum going out to work might be the only factor keeping the show on the road. 

"9.The increase in the use of highly-processed fast foods in the home, many aimed specifically at children, and rich in sugar, chemicals and other unhealthy ingredients."

Broadly, maybe. As far as the consumption of baked beans is concerned, he might have a point, but as far as anything else is concerned I'd want to see his notes. 
"10.The almost total collapse, influenced by many of the factors above, of the idea that children should have fixed bedtimes and should sleep for far longer than adults"

Tell that to the sufferers of sleepy sickness whose illness kept them off their sleep for six months, and who then slept for the next 50 years. The role of sleep in human physiology is vastly important, for sure; but there is absolutely no indication anywhere that strict adherence to normal bedtimes will ameliorate the symptoms of ADHD in any way whatsoever. The nature, indeed perhaps the will, of the illness is that it wishes to overpower the urge to sleep. With an illness like that in your system, the fact that you are sent to bed at seven will not make the slightest difference to your condition. 

I'll be revisiting both this topic and Mr. Hitchens in the very near future. For what my opinion's worth, this is not a scientific article but a political one, which renders it contemptible.

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24 Comments:

Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

Well, for what my opinion's worth, anyone interested should read the whole article before condemning it.

01 June, 2012 11:59  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

In case of any confusion, the previous comment came from me, Peter Hitchens(using the name 'Clockback', as I do)

01 June, 2012 12:00  
Blogger Martin said...

Mr. Hitchens,

I have read the whole article. What I didn't have was the time to condemn it in full at that point. Instead, I concentrated upon those aspects of it which seemed to demand immediate condemnation. If you are patient and wish to see what a sufferer of dopamine imbalance who has conducted a not inconsiderable degree of research of their own into this matter has to say about this, you will have to wait perhaps less than 48 hours to see it. What I can assure you is that I think some of of my conclusions might surprise you.

And I adhere to my statement that I consider your article to be a political, not scientific, in character.

01 June, 2012 22:45  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

Mr kelly should consider it possible that it can be scientific as well as political. If he wishes to point to any statement in it which breaks the rules of science, or is false, or logically flawed, let him please do so. Then I can defend myself.

Meanwhile Mr Kelly's assertion that he suffers from a dopamine imbalance is just that, an assertion, miles outside the rules of objective, demonstrable, predictive, repeatable or experimental science.

02 June, 2012 19:33  
Blogger Martin said...

"Meanwhile Mr Kelly's assertion that he suffers from a dopamine imbalance is just that, an assertion, miles outside the rules of objective, demonstrable, predictive, repeatable or experimental science" -

This is going to be good.

02 June, 2012 21:05  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

Oh, and the point I originally strove to make was that Mr Kelly's readers (if any) should not rely on his selections from my article, but be sure to read the whole thing.

03 June, 2012 13:26  
Blogger Martin said...

Mr. Hitchens,

I can assure you that my blog does have readers, however intermittent (my fault, not theirs, on account of the infrequency of new postings in recent months), but those I have are commendably loyal and generous. They are also very intelligent people, and more than capable of assessing your article for themselves.

However I can assure you that I will strive, strive I tell you, to address the rest of your original article. Common courtesy demands nothing less. That being the case and this being my blog, I will do so at a time that suits me. It is firmly on the 'To Do' list, which means it will get done.

In the comment I posted on this thread at 22.45 on 01/06/12, I indicated I would post my own research into this subject. I have since done so, in a piece entitled 'Reflections On Dopamine Illness, Part I: Recasting Neuopsychiatry, posted on 03/06/12. It is extensive, and as I have previously suggested it might surprise you. You are not the only person who holds firm views on these matters.

04 June, 2012 07:02  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

I don't doubt that Mr Kelly holds firm *view* upon the subject. My experience is that most proponents of the 'ADHD' fantasy are passionate to the point of fury with anyone who dares cast doubt on it. But can he back his enormous claims with objective fact?

04 June, 2012 10:03  
Blogger Martin said...

Mr. Hitchens, this is starting to become a little embarrassing. Please read the post I have referred you to in my comment of 04/06/12 posted at 07.02 am. It is a long post, I will admit, and I m going straight back to it now, to add a second note, on the subject of activities suitable for Parkinsonians. If you read this post, particularly those parts of it relating to a book called 'Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome', by Arthur Shapiro, you may gain some further understanding of the difficulties involved in determining what a particular set of dopamine-dysfunction related symptoms mean; I pay you the courtesy of presuming that you know of such difficulties already.

You will see, first hand, some of the difficulties of providing 'objective fact' in such matters. I can assure you that I am not 'passionate to the point of fury' on this subject, if only because I have to live with it every moment of my life, and constant rage would eventually kill me. However, blanket denials are as contentious as blanket assertions, which when declared by doctors are called 'diagnoses' and as experience has taught me, if I am entitled to be sceptical of one I am equally entitled to be sceptical of the other.

04 June, 2012 20:37  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

Can Mr Kelly please point to any passage in which the attribution of his problems to Dopamine imbalance is established by objective measurement?

05 June, 2012 10:18  
Blogger Martin said...

Mr. Hitchens,

You write,

"Can Mr Kelly please point to any passage in which the attribution of his problems to Dopamine imbalance is established by objective measurement?"

Any competent neurologist who read that passage would wonder what you were talking about, and thus question whether you knew what you were talking about yourself. My experience of undergoing the process of diagnosis of Tourettes, as with ADHD, is exclusive: the doctors check to see what they think it isn't before deciding what it is. That's the way many of these illnesses were diagnosed at that time; it may still be. Now I didn't mention this in the piece of mine I have referred you to at least twice now (it's long enough already), but if you had read it closely you may have guessed that this is one of the beefs that I have with the current classification of dopamine dysfunction phenomena. It is the nature of that process in conjunction with the symptoms being exhibited at the time of diagnosis that leads to so many diagnoses of ADHD, rather than any sinister desire on the part of deranged doctors or foolish parents to stuff children with Ritalin. Another factor may be medical vogue, one which Arthur Shapiro believed might have been responsible for what he believed to have been the over-diagnosis of Tourettes. According to my reading of Oliver Sacks, the PET scan can indicate the presence of a dopamine imbalance; however, to the best of my knowledge and belief the only brain scan I have ever had gave no such indication, yet the symptoms of Tourettes endured in such a way and for such a time that a diagnosis of Tourettes was sustainable to the two neurologists who diagnosed me, one of whom was then a professor while the other was later appointed a professor. They might have been slaves to their training, but there isn't much I can do about that, other than post my own thoughts on the subject.

You seem to be wanting to have your cake and eat it on this subject, Mr. Hitchens, to have the freedom say that it is dangerous to give children a medication which affects their brains when the workings of that organ are still largely unknown to us yet to demand absolute proven evidence of the workings of my own from me. This is a neurologically untenable position and to my mind it does nothing but further undermine your credibility as a commentator on this issue.

05 June, 2012 14:14  
Blogger Martin said...

Mr. Hitchens,

Just a quick addendum to my comment of 05/06/12 14.14 -

The notes of 04/06/12 which are incorporated into the piece I have referred you to should indicate to you that the process of determining how my brain works is very much a work in progress, even at the age of 42. Just last night, I discovered that I can achieve normal forward motion with eyes open, but to do so I have to be pretending to bounce a ball. While writing this comment, I've just double-checked something: this process only works when I bounce the imaginary ball with my right hand, not my left (I have always tended to be extremely right-handed). Nearly 30 years ago, Jonathan Miller made a film about a severely afflicted Parkinson's sufferer named Ivan Vaughan. Mr. Vaughan was a dedicated runner and used several mechanisms to get himself moving, one of which was aiming for objects placed at a particular angle in front of him. He demonstrated this for Dr. Miller, asking him to hold up a pair of keys. When the correct angle was reached and Mr. Vaughan was able to get going, Dr. Miller, himself a neurologist, made a remark in that credulously fey way of his which I would ask you to bear in mind when asking for hard evidence of the brain's workings -

"It's so mysterious".

05 June, 2012 14:28  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

Ah. In short, Mr Kelly cannot come up with any objective evidence of his assertion. That is because there isn't any.

Equally, there is no objective diagnosis for 'ADHD' or a number of other invented, subjectively defined complaints listed in the APA's DSM-IV, not to mention the greatly expanded number of them which are expected to be included in the updated DSM-V. I'd be glad to involve any qualified neurologist ( and I mean a real medically qualified neurologist, not some pseudoscientific 'neuroscientist' or 'neuropsychopharmacologist') in this specific question of objective proof.

Call me old-fashioned, but I thought that science was based upon objective, repeatable, verifiable evidence, preferably predictive. Not on opinions, or fashions or indeed on the needs of pharmaceutical companies in search of new patients.

05 June, 2012 14:47  
Blogger Martin said...

"Ah. In short, Mr Kelly cannot come up with any objective evidence of his assertion. That is because there isn't any."

I give up. Seriously, I give up. What is being displayed here is an invincible degree of obstinacy.

"Equally, there is no objective diagnosis for 'ADHD' -

As I told you earlier today, in the context of Tourettes. Both are classed as 'neuropsychiatric', meaning that there is no objective test for either at the moment. I think that a blood test which might indicate a tendency to dopamine dysfunction could be devised, but you'll have to come back later to read about it.

"...or a number of other invented, subjectively defined complaints listed in the APA's DSM-IV, not to mention the greatly expanded number of them which are expected to be included in the updated DSM-V."

Mr. Hitchens, James Parkinson observed six patients before he wrote the 'Essay On The Shaking Palsy', while Georges Gilles de la Tourette examined 11. It's hard to see how their findings, basic as they might have been given the conditions they worked under, could be described as 'subjective', given the concurrence of symptoms they observed in their study groups and the fact that the same symptom sets have been observed in other patients again and again.

By the way, I can tell that you still haven't read the piece of mine I seem to endlessly keep having to refer you to. If you had, we would either be having a very different correspondence or not having any correspondence at all.

On the specific point of ADHD, Dr. Martin Scurr, your colleague at Associated Newspapers, has published in 'The Daily Mail' this very day a very short but thoughtful piece on why the fact of its existence should not be dismissed out of hand. I commend it to you.

It says much for the nature of modern British journalism that more space is granted to opinion columnists to vent their views on the nature of illness than is given to doctors. There is one part of Dr. Scurr's article I would specifically commend to you as being suggestive that ADHD is connected to dopamine dysfunction, although he does not make the connection himself. Dr. Scurr refers to George Still having described the illness as 'an abnormal defect of moral control in children'. I am sure it will not interest to you to learn that one of the most publicly alarming symptoms of encephalitis lethargica, the inevitable precursor of post-encephalitic Parkinsonism, was the development in some child sufferers of what some doctors termed 'moral imbecility'. My unscientific guess is that both ADHD and PEP cause dopamine production to juice up; in ADHD elevated production remains high until it starts to wane and then wax again in the manner absolutely characteristic of all 'neuropsychiatric illnesses', while in EL/PEP the trauma that the illness causes to the substantia nigra causes production to flame and die, requiring agents like amantidine or L-DOPA to get it going again.

But I'm merely a retired solicitor, and as entitled to my views on this matter as you are.

"I'd be glad to involve any qualified neurologist (and I mean a real medically qualified neurologist, not some pseudoscientific 'neuroscientist' or 'neuropsychopharmacologist') in this specific question of objective proof."

You are free to do that if you wish. If you do, please do me the favour of telling them that I have tried to dissuade you from doing so, for you might not receive as friendly and engaging a response as you have received here.

05 June, 2012 22:49  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

No wonder Mr Kelly has 'given up'. It is because he has lost the argument. He is not, however, entited to bluster in this fake-exasperated manner, as if he is a great teacher and I an obdurate. invincibly-ignorant pupil.

I am using the scientific method. he isn't. That's why he has come off worse. My sin, in his eyes, is that I have a) dared to disagree with him and b) dared to point out that there is no reputable scientific basis for his verbose claims.

He started this. If he does not like the way it has ended, then I can only urge him to be more careful in future, when he picks fights. I came to this site only becvause he attacked me by name.

He initially assailed me for writing an article which was political rather than scientific. The highly critical, and damaging, implication was that I was somehow subordinating science to my political views.

Under the circumstances, I felt entitled to see if Mr Kelly could justify this rather scathing attack. I was pretty sure he couldn't. Like Dr Scurr, whom he quotes, he seems to believe that forceful assertion of an opinion somehow overcomes any scientific difficulties. It doesn't. The question 'how do you know?' can eitehr be answered, or not answered.

As long as doctors dare to use the word 'diagnose' to describe subjective untestable conclusions, and as long as they then go on to prescribe actual material drugs, with potent physical, chemical and biological properties and effects, following such 'diagnoses', any layman is entitled to ask what objective science exists to support such actions.

It is not for me to *disprove* their claims. it is,as has always been the case in proper science, for them to *prove* them. They know they need to (there have been many attempts to devise an objective test for 'ADHD', including the use of PET scans). But they cannot, and so the alleged 'disorder' is supposedly 'diagnosed' thousands of times a year, without such tests. I think that's shocking. I shall continue to say so.

06 June, 2012 10:15  
Blogger Martin said...

Mr. Hitchens,

It seems that humour is lost on you, so let me spell it out for you as I were a teacher and you an obdurate, invincibly ignorant pupil.

I used the expression 'I give up' light-heartedly. Of course I haven't given up; oh that you should get off so lightly. My meaning might have been clearer if I had written 'Now I've seen it all', or something like that. Then again, I'm dealing with someone who seems capable of vomiting psychiatric acronyms at will, so clarity of meaning might be an impossibility in these circumstances.

You will need to excuse me this evening; one of the symptoms of the illness you don't seem to believe I have is that I tire easily, and I need to rest this evening. And I'd love to know what Dr. Scurr would make of your comment. Maybe you should ask him.

06 June, 2012 20:43  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

Oh, of course I have absolutely no sense of humour. Or might there be another explanation for my failing to be amused? I wonder if anyone else reading this (if anyone is) also missed the alleged joke.

The point remains that Mr Kelly deliberately started a fight, by making a very scathing and rather rude public criticism of me, published on the Internet where he presumably hoped a lot of people would read it.And he is now losing that fight rather badly.

Like most dogmatists, he is incapable of admitting that he might be wrong, or of making a graceful withdrawal. So(hilariously, to me at least) he blames his failure on me. He feigns exasperation with me, as if he knew something I didn't, or as if I was too stupid to see what is obvious to him.

Well, in that case, what is this thing he knows? Where is the objective, scientific experimental evidence for it, this obvious thing? The fact that he *thinks* his problems are caused by such and such a physical or biological fact is not evidence that they are so caused. The fact that he obviously thinks that it *is* evidence is (paradoxically) evidence that he is unfamiliar with the scientific method.

This from a man who attacked me for subordinating science to politics.

07 June, 2012 11:28  
Blogger Martin said...

Mr. Hitchens, I am not losing the fight badly. What I am fighting is a different fight to the one you think you are fighting.

If you believe that my criticism of you was rude, then I cannot help what you perceive the nature of my meaning to be. Is there an objective test for rudeness? I ceraianly believe that criticism of your opinions is merited, for I believe them to be dangerous; even if it not your intention to do do, they sow doubt in the minds of parents whose children may benefit from taking Ritalin (and the rhetorical trick of using its Sunday name wears thin after a while, eventually becoming as forced as asking for sodium chloride on your fish and chips).

I do not believe that you intend to pervert the practice of neurology in this country as the practice of psychiatry was perverted in the Soviet Union, but that is the effect that I believe that dissemination of views such as yours actually has.

You seem to have admitted that you have not spoken to a neurologist on this subject. I have called upon you to do in another post, and for as long as you fail to do so I will highlight this omission in your research to my readers. You decry the informed opinion of a doctor who writes for papers in the group that publishes you. Attempts to educate you in the subject of how a diagnosis of neurological illness of the same type as ADHD is made from the perspective of a patient, someone who has gone through it, do not seem to satisfy you. And yet you have the insolence to decribe me as a dogmatist. Plainly and simply, there is no one simple catch-all test for the diagnosis of neuropsychiatric illness; a difficulty which IT IS BELIEVED is coded at the genetic level, causing the enormous range of symptoms which makes the process of diagnosing any neuropsychiatric illness so protracted and difficut. Is it the case that you therefore do not believe that neurology is a science? Are you ready to display the courage of your convictions and make this claim, for it would seem to be the logical conclusion of the stand that you are taking?

You will find no group of people more frustrated by this situation than neurologists, trained as they are according to the methods of the scientific principles you claim to be upholding. Very well, then, let us say that you are correct, and these medications should not be prescribed to children; what hope would you then offer to the desperate parents whose children everyone but you seems to acknowledge have an illness?

07 June, 2012 19:58  
Blogger Martin said...

In your original piece, you commented upon how you've never been invited to spend time in the home of a child with ADHD, despite your generous offer to do your own laundry (I would ensure that you bring your own detergent and contribute to the electricity bill). This may not have occurred to you, Mr. Hitchens, but these households often harbour examples of extreme ill-health and require to sail on a very even keel, and that the advent of a journalist as ebullient, opinionated and apparently hostile to the very idea that somebody in them is sick would shatter their constantly fragile equilibria. That is why they say 'If only you knew', and also why you never get any invitations. For you to blithely dismiss the people who make these comments suggests to me not only an obdurate refusal to acknowledge ADHD, and therefore all of neuropsychiatric illness in its infinite character, but also a measure of heartlessness by refusing to understand that then people who live with such illnesses might be leading very difficult and restricted lives; circumstances which exist before the prescription of Ritalin, and which might be alleviated by it.

Of course it is the case that neuroleptic drugs can produce a vast range of adverse reactions; that is because the range of symptoms it is prescribed to alleviate are vast. As I have said, this is because it is believed that these symptoms are coded at the genetic level, and each patient will have a separate set of reactions, none of which is likely to remain constant. Tens of thousands of people, including children, have benefited from neuroleptics; on the other hand, sulpiride just bounced off me, and I've never taken any since.

And I do think that your efforts on this matter are political, not scientific in character, if only because, in my opinion, you have a very long track-record of expressing what to my eyes are very right-wing opinions, some of them to my eyes deeply unpleasant, in the public sphere. Your vehement support for the re-introduction of capital punishment, a view most people get over after reading 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol', is further evidence of this tendency. While boys have to be boys and all would be well if they wore short trousers and were clipped round the ear by a constable when caught red-handed scrumping in Farmer Brown's orchard, there are times when they are presented with difficulties for which right-wind ideology has no answer. ADHD is one of them.

When are you going to seek the opinion of a neurologist on this matter?

07 June, 2012 19:58  
Blogger Martin said...

And I can assure you that the typing of ''right-wind' ideology' was apurely Freudian slip.

07 June, 2012 20:01  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

This must be my final contribution here. I can only use up so much time debating with people who don’t know how to debate. To summarizes, Mr Kelly wrote about my article attacking the invented complaint ‘ADHD’

‘For what my opinion's worth, this is not a scientific article but a political one, which renders it contemptible.’

I felt I should not leave this unanswered. First of all I was being accused of forsaking sicientific methods. Second, my offence was so bad that the strong word ‘contemptible’ was justified.

I asked Mr Kelly to produce scientific evidence for his beliefs.
He cannot do so. I knnew he couldn’t already, because I have spent many years looking into this matter. There is none. So instead he blusters, as people who have been found out in public tend to do.

The fact that Mr Kelly dislikes my general political, moral and cultural opinions is interesting in general, but irrelevant to the question of scientific validity, a question which he introduced into the discussion.
If he wants the opinions of an actual qualified and experienced neurologist on ‘ADHD’ and the allied pseudo-medical mumbo-jumbo surrounding such things, I recommend the American Paediatric Neurologist Fred Baughman of San Diego, California, author of ‘The ADHD Fraud’.

08 June, 2012 12:10  
Blogger Martin said...

Mr. Hitchens,

In some ways I am sorry to hear that you wish to call time on our correspondence, if only because it's been part of my life for so long now it's almost an old friend.

Yet my time is as valuable to me as yours is to you, so perhaps it is best to cut it off where it is, given that no mutual ground seems possible.

I believe I have more than justified the language I have used to describe your views in the three comments I posted on this thread yesterday. I am gratified that you have at last cited a neurologist, Dr. Fred Baughman, who seems to be of the same mind as yourself. That being the case, I am quite sure you won't mind if I post a couple of snippets from Dr. Baughman's entry on Wikipedia; other readers should note that I do so entirely without comment -

"Fred Baughman (born 1932) is best known as an outspoken critic of psychiatry, who claims that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is "a fraud perpetrated by the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries on families anxious to understand their childrens' behavior". Baughman has testified before the United States Congress, and has been interviewed on PBS on the topic of ADHD. He has made several appearances on talk shows, and has written several self-published books. Baughman has also been a medical adviser for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), an advocacy group established in 1969 by the Church of Scientology, noted opponents of modern psychiatry."...

"Baughman has been a medical expert for CCHR, an advocacy group established in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and psychiatrist Thomas Szasz. Baughman has testified in court and before Congress. He has written for the print media, and has been interviewed on the radio..."

"In his article The ADHD conspiracy, Baughman states, "the only way the pharma-psychiatry-government cartel differs for the Cali, Medellin, Tijuana, and opium cartels of the world is that the pharma-psychiatry-government cartel target everyone, from cradle to grave—your parents, and grandparents in their nursing home beds, those truly physically ill, adding their never-essential drugs to essential drugs, compromising real medical and surgical treatment, and infants, toddlers, preschoolers and all they can force or court-order to swallow their brain-altering, brain-damaging, “chemical balancers.” We are warned by le Carre, that their power, in league with government, is the greatest of all threats to our liberty and right of self-determination". However, his information is widely considered to be very controversial and his research poorly backed."

Please note these entries are from his Wikipedia page as it stood at 22.16 GMT on 8th June 2012, and that the text has not been altered by me in any way -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Baughman

08 June, 2012 22:12  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

I cannot resist responding to this
with the followingsmple question:

So what?

09 June, 2012 08:53  
Blogger Martin said...

And one of the reasons I posted it was that I believed you would not be able to resist commenting on it; even if I refrain from doing so, as I have said I will do and will in fact continue to do so.

09 June, 2012 11:23  

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