Reviewed by Athanasios Komianos in issue 32 of the IJRT 2022.
An Amazing Journey into the Psychotic Mind: Breaking the Spell of the Ivory Tower by Jerry Marzinsky & Sherry Swiney. Publisher: Lulu. Pages: 152. ISBN: 9781716919541
The man who served for 35 years in mental institutions comes with a book that cannot be left unnoticed.
He starts off with a brief but to the point history of psychiatry and the barbaric treatment of psychotic patients. From the trepanning (drilling holes into the skull) of the middle-ages to the straight-jackets of the 19th century. From the “hydrotherapy” to spinning chairs and puking. From force standing and fever “therapy”, to chemically induced seizures and insulin shock “therapy”. From electro-convulsive therapy to lobotomy and the currently dominant theory of “chemical imbalance”.
Starting with Kraepelin’s unsubstantiated statement that dementia praecox, as it was then called, has biologic and genetic origin. Later on, Bleuler coined the term schizophrenia, which according to Marzinsky “Is a work of fiction made up by psychiatrists without any solid scientific backing.” As the author claims later on in his book, “The current medical and academic establishments remain locked in an antiquated frame of reference ignoring or denying the influence of spirit and health. They cannot conceive of an illness that has no physical cause, much less a non-physical cure.” He continues:
The astronomical profits the pharmaceutical industry and the psychiatric mafia are raking in with the proliferation of the chemical imbalance fairy tale serves as a huge dis-incentive to search for an actual cure for schizophrenia. There is significantly more profit associated with providing never-ending treatments than there is in finding and administering a permanent cure. This is reflected in the minute amount of research money dedicated to this cause.
Marzinsky & Swiney further attack the current prevalent scheme of psychiatry and its obsession with medicalizing all of human behavior and devising pathology in natural human emotions and behavior. After criticizing the DSM versions, he comes to the use of “antipsychotic medication” like Thorazine and its severe side-effects.
They then pose the most important question in this book:
What if the voices are not hallucinations? … Schizophrenics have been trying to tell us for centuries that these discarnate voices are controlling their thought stream, plotting against them, and triggering their violent, abnormal behavior. Schizophrenics world-wide are all saying these same things. No one is listening… Unlike hallucinations, which are random in nature, the voices communicate in complete and coherent sentences. They also run consistently negative patterns… We focus on blending our findings into one coherent message – the voices are real.
Next Marzinsky describes how he came into contact with Wilson Van Dusen, who was a psychologist working in the Mendocino State Hospital in California back in the seventies, who systematically started listening and had dialogues with the voices of his patients.
The more time he spent conversing with these voices, the clearer it became that these so-called hallucinations precisely matched the detailed descriptions Emanuel Swedenborg gave for the negative entities he encountered on his spiritual journeys centuries ago.
Marzinsky’s coauthor Sherry Swiney was a sufferer of such penetrating voices and managed to overcome this disorder on her own – without the help of physicians – while she built one of the largest prison reform organizations.
In her struggle to fight off the voices in her own mind, she devised a method of reprogramming that she named: “That’s a Lie Program”. By employing this program, she finally managed to get rid of those relentless, invading thoughts.
The authors had to answer these pressing questions:
Why isn’t the content of these so-called auditory hallucinations random like other hallucinations? What force holds them to a consistent and unswervingly negative trajectory? What accounts for the fact that the voices are giving patients the same negative and self-destructive messages across time and space? … Until psychiatry and psychology at least ask the question, where do thoughts come from, they will get no further than suppression of symptoms with toxic drugs.