23 Initiates: An Interview with Andrew Austin
by Dale A. Hildebrandt
Copyright 2002. Equal Knocks Magazine. The Journal of Illuminism
1. When was the first moment when you realized that the Psychiatry
Establishment was doing things that didn't make sense to you?
Andrew Austin (A): It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment that psychiatry never made sense to me,
but I guess that the more exposure I had to psychiatric practices, the more absurd it seemed to get.
I think the thing that stood out most to me was the way that psychiatric staff measured their
patient's behavior as being independent from their own--this frustrated me just to watch it
happening--it was to be a few years before I learned that Reusch and Laing both identified this as a
pattern in schizogenesis. The other thing that quickly grew to frustrate the hell out of me was to
hear the switch of voice whenever staff spoke to patients--rarely were patients spoken to as human
beings, but as patients, who in turn were expected to act as "Normal" human beings.
What astounded me was that most patient behavior I observed was normal human behavior, when viewed in the context of psychiatric units, but this context was universally ignored. It seemed incredible that there seemed to be a belief that you can stuff a man in a cage and then set about observing his true nature whilst drugging him in the belief that this will help him to "Normalise" and to fit in better.
What I found most difficult was that people calling themselves "Staff" could do these things to other people they called "Patients" without the slightest consideration as to what they were really doing. At the end of the day it seemed, most of the staff just wanted to do their jobs and go home happy. The people with the real skills all seemed to be somewhere else and I didn't think I was going to find them employed in a psychiatric facility.
2. What sparked your interest hypnosis and NLP?
A: I had been interested in hypnosis ever since I was little, but had always thought of it as something that other people did and I had never considered it to be something that I could simply learn to do. Like, I guess I really wanted those penetrating, spinning red eyes that could zap the bad guy into trance in an instant. I also wanted to find a shop that sold oxygen pills and force fields to complete my 1970's Boy's Own Adventure Tale.
My first hypnosis training was with an Ericksonian trainer called Stephen Brookes who opened up
an entire new world for me. He was using some phenomenal language patterns that blew me away. It was
only halfway through the course that I actually learned who [Milton H.] Erickson was--I thought it
was Erik Erikson! It was later that year that a medical student gave me a copy of "Frogs Into
Princes" that introduced me to NLP --I was hooked straight away -- I could see the pattern
immediately, but I was amazed that I had never heard of it before. Even more curiously, no one I
worked with had even heard of it either. Such strangeness!
3. You've taken a similar route to many of the "Equal Knocks" readers, learning about Ceremonial Magick. You also have a special interest in "schizophrenia". It is the impression of many mainstream psychiatry/psychology people that interest in the occult is not a healthy thing; how do you explain to these people that it is simply another path of spirituality?
A: The major difficulty is overcoming the complex equivalency that people make with worshipping
Satan and occult practice. To steal a much used metaphor, it's very hard to get some people to
"Think outside the box" of Christianity or Basic Religious Duality--for many, occult practice is
simply an inversion of Christianity or whatever religious practice, as an "Anti-Religion".
Poor Mr. Philips, my religious education teacher, thought he was doing something Godly when he advised us that Ouija Boards were a tool of the Devil Himself. Within a couple of days, makeshift Ouija Boards were all over the school! It was too late--we all went mad! Poor Mr. Philips! Unfortunately, for most people, this is the occult--black magic, midnight masses, executing goats, and mass orgies. These days I no longer bother explaining the differences with Qabalah, Enochian, etc.--I just tell them that if they want to join a orgy, then black underwear is essential, and they must bring a goat, but it's not the goat we are going to be sacrificing!
4. How much does Ceremonial Magick affect your work with "schizophrenics'?
A: I guess that studying ritual, not just magickal ritual in it's truest sense, but tribal rituals, initiatory rituals, and institutional rituals such as those described by Goffman ("Asylums") helped me understand better how culturally established ritual profoundly affects an individual's identity and neurological functioning within any given social nexus. Ceremonial Magick has several functions of which involves affecting the functioning of the group. Two other aspects of such magickal work are influencing changes in consensual reality and changing one's own consciousness. Parallels can be brought with my therapeutic work--I seek to change my client's relationship to the other members of his social nexus, I seek to change, most indirectly, the social nexus itself, and of course, my primary aim is to change the neurology/consciousness of my client to that of something he finds preferable. Whilst we may see some analogical similarities between ceremonial magic and therapy, the form and context definitely reside in a different place.
Of course, some shamanically orientated practitioners may disagree -- one such person I met in Varanasi, felt that mental disturbances arose through Ego weaknesses that allowed malevolent "Thought Forms" to take up residency. His approach with such clients was to teach them yoga meditational practices and spiritual disciplines to help cleanse and seal off the "Holes in their Auras".
At an absurdo reducto level, he was doing similar work to myself, it was just that his starting presupposition--i.e. The explanatory event of the "mental disturbance"--was different to my own.
5. Peter J. Carroll has said "Never give a magic wand to someone who can't handle ordinary reality". What do you feel about this statement?
A: I don't know if I agree or disagree with Carrol on this one. If we take the wand as a metaphor
for a tool for creating changes in consensual reality and in consciousness, let's try the statement
again replacing "Magic Wand" with "Prozac":
"Never give Prozac to someone who cannot handle ordinary reality."
Then we end up in a totally different place. For me, I have a particular difficulty with the term "Ordinary Reality"--for anyone who finds reality ordinary really needs to pay a bit more attention to the outside, because it is there that a lot of the magic is to be found. I think Crowley was right when referring to character development, in saying that occult students tend to only develop their strengths and positive traits. For example, the "Left Brained" person may develop their intellectual faculties beyond that of their "Right Brained" activities. So we see a highly academic mind that never gets a date and can bore people rigid in minutes--the converse of this, is the highly creative artistic type who gushes with emotion, completely unbalanced by a periodic "Reality Check".
Many of my clients present with difficulties in "handling ordinary reality" and I guess they come to me looking for a magic wand--a magical potion that will take away the hurt. These "magical potions" do exist--Eli-Lily does a roaring trade in them, so do other pharmaceutical giants--but unless the taking of such an elixir forms part of a greater alchemical transformation, I suspect we are just asking or trouble.
A good example of this can be seen with our education system--we have given a magical wand called Ritalin to parents and to teachers, so that rather than change the systems by which we train and educate our children, with one little magical pill, we miraculously transform our Little Imps into the very thing that the system - The Combine - requires them to be. Homeostasis is now lost from the system and we have a gross imbalance where the powers that be play game without end, by patching up the holes with the very thing that is itself destroying the balance.
6. I don't suppose you'll share your secret for legal psychotropic wine? Come on, inquiring
minds want to know. If you won't tell us, then at least tell us why you won't tell us?
A: Oohhh! Come now, if I told you then it would no longer be a secret, would it?!
7. What are some of the stranger Out of Body experiences you have had?
A: Most definitely the strangest so far I obtained via 300mg of ketamine in Varanasi, India [it is legal there]. The only problem is, that I cannot use language to do such an experience justice, other than to say that during the experience I journeyed through many lifetimes and the point of returning to my body and subsequently to consensual reality, I just knew that everything in my life would be different. It was--I had a crashing depression for about 4 days during which I was faced and confronted with all the Ego Games I had been playing in recent years. It was a pretty painful, but somewhat beneficial 4 days that made me realise that I don't need the drugs to feel bad. Hell! I could feel pretty bad even without the drugs.
My first OOBE was definitely the most memorable, although unremarkable. I was a second year nursing student and had recently been initiated into a local Magickal Lodge, so my Ego and Determination were running pretty high--ha-ha!--I was following the instructions outlined by W. E. Butler, when, after daze of trying, it happened! I quite literally lifted out of my body, everything around me was a beautiful blue color, I looked down and had the "Cord" that attached me to my physical, and...and.........just as quickly as it happened, it was over. Plop! It was to be another 3 or 4 years before I could manage such a thing again. Beginner's luck, I guess.
8. If you could change the ethics of the psychiatry field, what would be first on the agenda?
A: If I was to change anything at all about psychiatry, it would have to be the training. I have met so many psychiatric professionals from all aspects of multi-disciplinary practice and the two things they most frequently have in common are (i) big, impressive qualifications and (ii) an absence of any real skills at changing people.
Bandler has remarked that he finds it astonishing that anyone can qualify as a psychiatrist or psychologist without an even basic understanding or ability of hypnosis. I too find this incredible, but not surprising. All stable groups are self-selecting -- if you don't fit into the group, the group will either work to change you so that you adopt to it's values and behaviours, or it will either expel you, or encourage you to leave of your own accord. The group may continually be changing members over time, but its core ethic will remain stable.
I would like to see a training that focuses of real skills and abilities -- not knowledge about how to pass the entrance exams into the psychiatric medical fellowships.
Nurses get 3-4 years of training and from my own observations most of this time is spent, and most importantly if the student wants to pass, spending time in the staff office, smoking cigarettes with the qualified staff. "Fitting in" is an important aspect of conventional training.
Let's change this by using these 3 or 4 years training people in hypnosis and NLP (hey, most people can learn the basics in about a week), in the researches and works of people like Weakland & Jackson, Watzlawick, Bateson - definitely Bateson, Laing, etc.
I don't advocate training people in Anti-Psychiatry (i.e. Breggin, Szasz), but we can train staff along a more cybernetic and phenomenological skill based path, rather than a theory and diagnostic protocol.
What I would like to see is an environment whereby the frightened, confused, florid schizophrenic enters a mental health facility and immediately encounters a team of highly skilled communicators, rather than arriving on a ward and given Haloperidol whilst the staff busily write up their notes, whilst deciding on the "correct" diagnosis.
9. Do you keep a log of your altered states? What are some of the more interesting altered states you've experienced? Have you ever undergone sleep deprivation, and if so, what results did you get?
A: Keep a log, no -- I have tried, but have never felt that language would do justice to such experiences--prosody was never my strong point. I have always admired Crowley's writings on altered states and his strong use of metaphor. I was recently asked to describe the ketamine experience, as I tried to explain I became terribly self aware and heard myself talking like a 60's acidhead. Far out, man! Haha!
I find my own most interesting altered states tend to be those that deviate so far from baseline, yet possess a transition so smoothly that the deviation feels normal. Rushkoff describes this phenomena with regards to Rave Clubs ("The Ecstasy Club") where the D.J. as operator manoeuvres the crowd to a peak experience, where the peak experience is itself experienced as a normal state (within the context of the club).
I contrast this with the Salvia trip, a transition that is so fast it can come as a shock to the system, and transition so absolute that the traveller can become momentarily lost. An interesting state that can be both revealing, exhilarating, and terrifying at the same time. I think both planet side and off-planet states are equally fascinating and hypnosis and yoga practice can enable both states easily and safely.
I fully agree with Sidney Cowen's view that not everyone is suited to artificially induced altered states (where the baseline norm is the average Jo Schmo that the government wouldn't approve of) and it is wrong or inappropriate to suggest that everyone should try it. At the same time, I agree with Leary that no man shall prevent another from altering his own consciousness, if that is his will.
As for sleep deprivation, the changes are profound -- I turn into a sulking, cantankerous a**hole. Although, some people will say that they can't tell the difference!
10. Are there any drugs currently being used in the psychiatry field that you feel should be banned? Can you please explain your position on psychiatrists and nurses "going first" when it comes to medication?
A: It's not so much the drugs themselves that I have a problem with, but rather with the ethic by which they are used. This is a huge area and discussion point, so I shall keep as brief as possible. In the psychiatric way of thinking, behaviours and states that are viewed as mental disturbances are believed to result primarily from an organic change in brain behaviour--the chemical imbalance. The drugs are given in the belief that they correct this supposed imbalance.
As I say, my problem is not with the drugs, but the way psychiatry measures people, their "Mental Aberrations" and how they then seek to bring the person around to the sanitized way of being--(in America, they used to refer to "Mental Hygiene"), but this sanitized - no - legitimised way of being, is measured How? How DOES psychiatry measure normalcy?
We have had communist regimes drugging their political dissidents -- their thought criminals--with neuroleptics, because to disagree with the party political thought was tantamount to insanity. We have seen this and we can easily see it is wrong --dissidency is a sane and rational act in the face of political oppression. We see this because it is OVER THERE.
Yet when it is OVER HERE, and it is our party line that is being challenged, we fail to see it. We have a mass epidemic of drugging of old people in institutional care, we have unleashed behavioural modification drugs into our failing schools, and Ford only knows how many people begin their day by voluntarily popping a legitimised upper, downer, or Ford knows what in order
that their internal state and external behaviours are suitably modified so that they fit into the party line and into the needs of THE COMBINE. They become The Combine and they feel happier.
We have two major classifications of drugs--we have the "Controlled Drugs" -- the drugs controlled by the state, and we have the "Drugs of Control" -- those drugs radox I see regularly is that of psychiatric staff smoking a "Controlled Drug" in their time off, and regularly issuing "Drugs of Control" to other people during their time "on". This is apparently in the best interests of all involved--this is seen as sand and morally legitimate behaviour, by those who hold the power in such contexts.
Yet from the works of Laing, Bateson and other Palo Alto Researchers, Szasz, Siebert, etc.,
mental illnesses are easily intelligible when viewed in the context of the social nexus in which
they occur. Seen in this context, simply drugging the person we label as "Mentally ill" is little
different from drugging the dissident that dares challenge The Combine and political line of
acceptable thought and behaviour.
To answer your second part of the question would require a deeper examination of how brain chemistry fits into cybernetics and into the nature of the action of the Drugs of Control.
I insist no, I demand that all psychiatric professionals sample each of the toxic behavioural modification drugs that they force upon their "Patients". I once received an angry letter from a lecturer in Psycho-Pharmacology that suggested that for a mentally healthy person to take a neuroleptic is akin to a non-diabetic person taking insulin. This sounds like a reasonable argument, but it is one that doesn't stand up to scrutiny. The logic is similar to that employed in the classic:
Man is grass.
These things are not the same -- but to believe that drugs act differently in the brains of psychiatric patients, legitimises much of the abuses that are perpetrated in the patient's "Best Interests", and denies further examination of just how "Psychiatric" states are produced.
11. What three books would you recommend to a mainstream psychiatrist to show them more effective treatment methods?
A: Wow, I can only pick 3? My list is endless. Ok here goes:
1) "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest."
Kesey's book brilliantly depicts the profound therapeutic ability of the central character, McMurphy, over a bunch of brow beaten psychiatric patients subjected to the cast-iron rule of the infamous Nurse Ratched. Ratched rules not only her patients' every thought, but that of her staff as well. McMurphy's success and his subsequent downfall is simply by consistently "Being Real" and exposing the power games that infect the specific nexus -- a must-read!
2) "Steps Toward An Ecology of Mind" by Gregory Bateson
3) "Self & Others" by R. D. Laing.
12. How do you deal with the resistance of the "mainstream"?
A: Increasingly with humour--when I was even younger upstart, I had a tendency to tackle healthcare professionals head on--I was quite antagonistic and my free-pass to Coventry was used frequently. It took me a long time to realise that not only was this approach counter-productive, i.e. I not only ended up watching pissed-off psychiatrists dealing with vulnerable people, but it closed them and me off from further communications. Most of the people I was upsetting were just normal people, doing a job, with all the personal needs and vulnerabilities of everyone else. It's just that their job description and performance is monitored and directed by The Combine--to borrow a term from Cuckoo's Nest--The Combine--a faceless organisation that cannot be challenged because EVERYONE is a member, whether they know it or not.
In UK hospital staff culture, the biggest drive is not survival or familiarity - but it is to be liked! The students that do most well on their clinical placements are the ones we most like and fit in well with the rest of us. Those that challenge us? Well, we have WAYS of dealing with THAT!
Bateson, Goffman, and some writers from Palo Alto, all suggested that institutions are designed equally for the comfort of the staff as well as that of the patients, but as Bateson suggested, where the two ideals conflict with each other, schizogenic situations arise in which the patient tends to lose.
The problem with using the approaches that I use is that the individual staff dare not break rank and be TOO different--psychiatric institutions demand massive conformity to their therapeutic and team ideals and thinking--deviating too far from established group practices invites scrutiny of personal character. By insisting that such staff alter their behaviours in the face of such pressures is not too far from schizogenesis--if I "punish" such people for failing--and I used "punish" in the Batesonian Sense--then I am ompleting schizogenesis. No wonder people got pissed off with me! Ha!
Now, tackling The Combine requires humor. If new information is threatening, then people will tend to move away from it. If I can get people laughing, then I know I can make a little progress. Leary, Wilson, and Bandler are some of the funniest and yet most heretical writers. As Bandler once said, he goes around the country insulting people but makes them laugh and they give him money!
The other trick when dealing with The Combine is persistence. When The Combine senses a threat, it quickly moves to close it down. The message I make sure the representatives of The Combine get is that I am not going away THAT easily!
My new motto: Never Resign--make them sack you, but don't make it easy!
13. What specific advice would you give to a person who is going to experience their first altered state?
A: Pay close attention to how the breath and gravity influences the state. When the breath and gravity have stopped influencing --you have probably gone far enough!
14. Do you use Leary's "set and setting" when exploring an altered state? Why or why not?
A: I'd be irresponsible if I didn't. As a hypnotist and therapist, I pay very careful attention to these things--particularly the pre-suppositions that exist prior to our meeting.
Set and setting are an inherent part of altering consciousness, whether we be relaxing in front of a movie, drinking alcohol, taking LSD or making love.
In change work with clients, monitoring the context in which the change occurs is important, to test whether the change will generalise well enough across contexts. I have many people who only ever feel good in their therapist's office...and as for the therapists that foster this, well, there's a name for that where I come from!
With the deeply altered states, such as those brought about by the psychedelics and dissociatives, set and setting will provide a direction for the work undertaken--the random "Dose and Hope For The Best" approach is simply asking for trouble. If someone doesn't care enough to select and control the setting for the experience, I doubt they will care enough to learn from the experience in order to grow. From this position we will see two likely outcomes: "The Stoner", the alcoholic that is just getting drunk on a different drug, and the "Bad Tripper" who swears he'll never touch the drug again. What both categories of people have in common is that both behaviours are generalised across contexts, and yet neither have really learned anything.
Set and Setting are not to eliminate negativism, this has an unfortunate presupposition, but to
build-in positivity and good outcomes, a DIRECTION in which the change work will function.
15. What has been your most difficult case/client?
A: Assessing where the difficulty lies is always an important aspect to consider. For example, some clients have presented problems to me that many other therapists have failed to resolve--more often than not the solution was very easy and straightforward--sometimes, it's just so easy that the therapists missed it. More often than not, therapeutic failure reflects the skill base of the therapist, myself included, rather than being a statement on the resistance of the client, or upon the size or severity of the problem.
Having said all that, I cannot deny that some people will fight tooth and nail to stay in the "Mentally Ill" position and defy ANY interview--I see this most commonly in schizogenic family members of a schizophrenic--one of the patterns in schizogenesis is to see other people's (or at least that of the identified patient) behaviour as being independent of their own. As you can imagine, this very trait that is itself an initiator of (and also response to), the schizophrenia, acts as a protection against change in the nexus and the individual behaviours that contribute towards the schizophrenia.
"Are you blaming me or my family for my son's schizophrenia?" is how one man put it, shortly before punching me, "Because if you are not" he suggested, "Then why should we, after all we have been through, have to change OUR behaviour?" THEN he punched me before screaming into my face, "Which part of 'We don't want your help' don't you understand?" -- This was STRANGE because it was HE that had booked and broken three appointments before inviting me to HIS house. He has since contacted me to suggest that from this one painful appointment, it is me that is responsible for his children's emigration (the
only one that didn't make it abroad is in the hospital talking to Venus) and his son's 22-year schizophrenia history. He also periodically contacts me to remind me that he still doesn't want my help.
In situations such as these, where the therapist is placed into the schizophrenic position in relation to the family, I really don't the way forward--a literature search shows Jackson, Bateson, and Laing all found themselves in similar positions, but as far I can tell, never published a successful exiting pattern.
This is tricky, because if *I* as a therapist cannot extricate myself from a schizogenic double bind position, without cancelling father contact with the schizogenic nexus, then potentially I am pushing my clients to do something that I myself cannot do. I feel there is a lot more research required in this area, which could be done, if only it were not so politically incorrect to so.
This is certainly an area I seek to make progress in.
16. When dealing with psychiatric patients what have you found to be the most effective
NLP/hypnosis/etc. methods? The least effective?
A: By far the least effective starting position is to work in the assumption that there is an effective technique to apply. At seminars, I am forever being asked questions such as, "How do you cure depression?" In psychiatry and therapy in general, people are forever hunting the technique that will form the grand unified theory of psychiatric practice, the True Elixir Vitae!
A while back I was presented with a young girl that had been abducted and assaulted years previously. Her existing therapist had trained EMDR and for six weeks had been "Using EMDR" -- This girls been raped and he thinks he's helping by getting her to wriggle her eyes! No doubt he thought he was curing her in some way, but we need to think a little more about this carpet bombing "Cure". Otherwise we are going to have a society were we drug all our children with Ritalin and all our adults SSRI's....hang on a second, haven't we already got that?
17. On http://www.23nlpeople.com/Andrew.htm , what book is that pictured? Would you recommend
A: It's a book by a damned fine fellow called Aleister Crowley. "Magick" is a compendium of writings that along with "777" and Regardie's "The Golden Dawn" form a near complete syllabus on the Western Occult tradition. For those interested in such things, this is an excellent addition to the Christmas List.
18. How did you get acquainted with some fellow "psychonauts"? What advice would you give for people who are looking for a magick group to join?
A: Most of the group came from the members of my experimental hypnosis groups, others from friends I have made along the way. As for advising those seeking to join a magickal group, it is very hard to know just what to advise, although I like the old adage of "Join 'em all, or Join 'em none!"
There are many well-established groups such as "Servants Of The Light and "AMORC", which despite allegations of "Corresponding Course Enlightenment" may produce a reputable and safe footing for those preparing to deviate further
away from the mainstream.
19. What is the biggest obstacle that NLP, etc. face in mainstream psychiatry?
A: I think the biggest obstacle is that which I have mentioned previously -- people's need for techniques--it seems as though people in psychiatry are not used to thinking innovatively with each client, but prefer to have their PRACTICES dictated by DIAGNOSIS of their patients. They tend to deny this of course, but you only need to sit back and watch how their behaviour changes when you present them someone who is "Depressed" compared to presenting them with someone who they are told is "Hebephrenic Paranoid". They will employ certain behaviours and strategies, way before even finding anything out from,
Heaven Forbid, the patient himself!
Another obstacle is that of NLP practitioners themselves who have a tendency to shy away from
psychiatry or clients that are card-carrying psychiatric patients -- I would like to see NLP courses
extended into areas such as neurology, psychiatry, and cybernetics. And not just in the business
field. As the knowledge and skill base of NLP practitioners widens, I would hope to
see NLP grain firmer ground as a discipline, rather than be ranked along the fringes of "Alternative" practices.
20. Do you believe in the "chemical diagnosis" of patients? Why or why not?
A: It's not just the chemical aspect that I do not believe in when it comes to psychiatry, but
also the entire diagnostic model that it employs. The DSM was an attempt at objectifying diagnosis
for clinicians and insurance companies--now it is taken as The Bible of Mental Disease--such as, if
it's in the DSM, then it must be REAL!
The DSMIV has "Oppositional Disorder" for those ADD kids with just TOO MUCH spirit, no doubt if we scan enough brains of these kids, we might find some commonality they share between them--but would these commonalities still manifest themselves if there were no schools in which this "Disorder" COULD manifest?
Sure, when we scan people grouped by behaviour, we will see commonalities, but these "Changes in brain Function" do not necessarily show us a cause of this behavior, but IT SHOWS US WHAT THOSE PEOPLE ARE DOING WITH THEIR NEUROLOGY in the context by which the behaviour occurs.
Maybe we could group people by profession and SPET-scan them. I'd be interested to see what
disorders and deviancies we can find amongst bio- and forensic psychiatric stuff. Surely we will
eventually find differences and deviations from the norm!?
21. What is the most motivating factor that leads you to challenge and stand up to
A: I have an inherent sense of justice and fairness--most of the unfairness I see happing in psychiatry from two sources--Power and Ignorance. I like to teach and so I am relaxed when dealing with the ignorance part. For most people, what they don't know is not necessarily their fault; it's just that no one has ever taught them those things.
When I see someone using a corrupted power over another person, to further their own ends, I tend to get very angry. Psychiatry tends to use power to cover up the mistakes of The Combine. It can act, not therapeutically, but as the Thought Police, and it is this power that is inherently corrupting. Thus we have highly paid, highly decorated shrinks furthering their careers by writing and presenting papers on child psychiatry and ADD--but when ADD is so widely accepted as truth, and the law changes to accommodate for it, as surely it will, where will this shrink be when the young patients next door are being accused of CHILD ABUSE for refusing to drug their child with Ritalin?
These things are happening, and they are happening with very little noise being made about them. Frighteningly, people are passively adopting the new psychiatry as "Normal". Yet this "New Psychiatry" is hardly any different in its ethics to that of the 1930's Third Reich. Enough normal people accepted those ethics too without questioning, and when they did finally ask questions, it was too late.
Now, I have often been criticised by my colleagues for being TOO vocal in my contempt of psychiatry, but I want to be loud enough so that others out there know that they are not alone, that is OK to be different, because there are others like you.
I have heard it said that if you drop a frog into boiling water, it'll jump out real fast, but if you drop it into cold water and heat it a little at a time, the frog will boil without realising it.
I fear that if we don't start opposing some of the ethics of psychiatric practice real soon, we
may end up with a society like that frog, bewildered and wondering how it all began. The 4th Reich
is here, and for many people the evidence of it is sitting right there in their bathroom cabinet.
22. Is there anything you would like to promote in this interview?
A: At the moment, I'm working on a book that is about NLP, Neurology, Cybernetics, and Schizophrenia that I hope to have finished by 2003. It's going to be a comedy!
What I would like to promote for those interested, are the names and work of some of the most inspiring writers on schizophrenia -- R.D. Laing, wrote numerous books, seeking to explain schizophrenia phenomenologically and he was a brilliant writer. Gregory Bateson was a remarkable man, who wrote some brilliant and readily intelligible essays on the aetiology of schizophrenia that are essential reading for an NLP practitioner.
The most humorous writer of the Palo Alto bunch has to be Paul Watzlawick, who's co written masterpiece is "Pragmatics of Human Communication". Another essential read!
Neurologist V.S. Ramachandran has produced some stunning work that really should make therapists sit up and pay attention to his work with the brain -- his book, "Phantoms In The Brain" should be on the bookshelf of every NLP'er and have been read at least twice.
The list is endless, but I must mention Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson who have produced some of the most innovative works when it comes to the politics of thought, etc. Read everything by these guys!
23. Finally, is there anything you would like to say in closing?
Other than to thank you for this opportunity, I feel I must say it is time for me to skidoo!
Andrew currently works with psychiatric patients on a regular basis privately. He is a champion of patient's rights. He is one of the most inspiring people in the field of NLP because he is out in the field, constantly applying the tools and methods.
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