The Myth of Attention Deficit Disorder

By Dr. Mark Barber

The future of countless thousands even millions – of American children hangs in the balance. Every day, children are forced by teachers and other witting and unwitting players into a psychiatric dragnet by diagnoses of “Attention-Deficit Disorder” – often for actions as minor as tapping their feet in class.

But the situation which confronts our children is wider and more ominous than a single misguided “condition.” It is part of a Dantean vision of mental manipulation and an agenda which has a “master race” as its objective.

The story begins almost a century ago.

The Cult of Mental Illness

In 1905, psychiatrist Ernst Rudin founded the German Society for Racial Hygiene. In 1933, he co-wrote Germany’s sterilization laws, with Nazi SS leader Heinrich Himmler.

Rudin and fellow psychiatrist Franz J. Kalhmann both focused their research on what they called “schizophrenia,” a term to which they ascribed extraordinary elasticity. To them, “schizophrenia” meant “inappropriateness” of “thought, emotion or behavior.”

Kallmann also conducted studies, published in 1938, in which he claimed to “prove” schizophrenia was genetic. In his study he also claimed that he “interpreted the diagnosis as strictly as possible.” And just exactly how strict was this?

According to Kallmann, schizophrenia included the following:

“the unsociable, cold-hearted, indecisive… bull-headed oafs, malicious tyrants, queer cranks, overpedantic schemers… prudish ‘model children’… daydreamers … emotional inadequacy … sudden surges of temperament … ‘inappropriate motor response (to stimuli)… crankiness.”

In short, it was about as far from a scientific label as can be imagined. Indeed, it might well inspire a chuckle because of its judgmental tone and social overtones. But, these “diagnostic criteria” are virtually identical to the ones used today to diagnose “attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder.”

Ironically, Kallmann, who was half-Jewish, was forced to flee Nazi Germany. He emigrated to the United States where he became hailed as “America’s leading psychiatric geneticist,” with his studies published in the Journal of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). His message?

“[A] satisfactory eugenic success in the heredity circle of schizophrenia cannot be secured without systematic preventative measures among the tainted children and siblings of schizophrenics.”

Kallmann’s so-called studies were based on “research” with associates Dr. L. Erlenmeyer-Kimling and Dr. J.D. Rainer conducted at 11 New York hospitals.

Kallmann and Rainer pioneered studies of “high-risk” children – efforts to identify “behavioral characteristics” by which one could purportedly detect a child susceptible to schizophrenia. Erlenmeyer-Kimling is to this day a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Schizophrenia Bulletin, published by the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Institute of Mental Health , and has acted as editor in several issues.In Volume 20, No. I of that journal, Erlenmeyer-Kimling reported on studies which show that certain phenomena indicate a tendency towards

schizophrenia. The studies cited were her own and they relied heavily on Kallmann’s 1938 statements. Another article in the same issue covered the role of “attention-deficit” in schizophrenia and noted that such deficits were trait indicators for those “at risk of carrying the schizophrenia gene.”

It is important to note that, to date, psychiatric researchers have been unable to prove the existence of this supposed schizophrenia “gene” but continue to refer to it as though it were fact. Slicing through the double-talk, Erlenmeyer-Kimling had finally “linked” 1) attentional deficits, 2) distractibility and 3) neuromotor dysfunction to “schizophrenia” – at least to her satisfaction.

Covert Chemical Castration

By 1961, psychiatric researchers reported “difficulty in attending” as “one of the first symptoms” of schizophrenia, though the “disease” may not manifest itself for years.

In the early 1970s, the American Handbook of Psychiatry stated regarding “at-risk children”:

“The evidence gathered thus far indicates that the preschizophrenic child has difficulty filtering stimulus input and has problems in attention that subsequently lead to school difficulties and social problems.”

In 1971, at the end of 20 years of “research” on “at risk” children, a government panel of “experts” sanctioned the use of amphetamines on “hyperactive” children. According to psychiatrists, the symptoms of hyperactivity were seen mostly in males, because their genetic theory claimed that the “disorder” was carried in the male chromosome.

The drug given to children, as approved by these “experts” was methylphenidate, commonly known as Ritalin.

Methylphenidate (MP) is classified as an “amphetamine-like” drug because it is “structurally similar to amphetamine.” It has the same base compound as the major antipsychotic or anti-schizophrenic drugs Haldol and Mellaril. According to a text on schizophrenia, the main “side effects” of drugs using this compound are “behavioral oversedation” and “inhibition of ejaculation.”

The January 6, 1993 Journal of the American Medical Association reported that “amphetamine-like” drugs “make most men sexually disciplined or incapable.” Amphetamines are also reported as having side effects of “impotence, changes in libido” in some 85 percent of men.

ADD in Wender-land

Schizophrenia had thus evolved into today’s “attention-deficit disorder.”

In 1980, the APA adopted the official term “attention-deficit disorder” (ADD) for active children who did not pay attention in school. A careful inspection of the “symptoms” of schizophrenia and ADD reveal that they are the same “disorder.”

The most oft-cited current “authority” on ADD is University of Utah psychiatrist Paul Wender. In 1968, Wender and two other NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) psychiatrists, Seymour Kety and David Rosenthal, went to Denmark to conduct studies with Danish psychiatrist Fini Schulsinger. It was an attempt to prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that schizophrenia was hereditary, by studying the children of schizophrenics who had been adopted by other couples.

When asked what he had learned from his studies, Wender is reported to have replied, “You should breed with exquisite care, then marry whomever you chose.”

The Danish-American adoption studies were roundly criticized by Yale psychiatrist Theodore Lidz in the March 16, 1990, issue of The Psychiatric News as showing “that the researchers’ interpretations of their data are untenable, distorted to support their hypothesis.”

According to the 1968 Encyclopedia Britannica, eugenicists have a “strong racist leaning” and the goal of eugenics is to allow only those of a society’s upper class to procreate while inhibiting the procreation of the lower class. This is certainly borne out by Wender’s claims that “since ADD is a genetic disorder,” upper-class patients are “less likely” to have ADD children while lower-class parents “have a greater likelihood” of having ADD children.

Psychiatrists used to tell parents and teachers that “most” children outgrow “hyperactivity,” but today, it has apparently evolved into a “lifelong” illness. How does one make the “diagnosis” in adults? According to Wender,

“Since restless feet are readily observed – in cafeterias, waiting rooms and group meetings – the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity (of hyperactivity) . . . could be rapidly tested in such areas by inquiring about individual and family histories of, say, alcoholism, academic achievement, and imprisonment in a random sample of those with jiggling and stationary feet.”

Suddenly, even foot-tapping in public becomes dangerous – a badge of “mental illness.” Although on the one hand the “diagnosis” of ADD is characterized as a “complex” task requiring a “team” of professionals,” on the other, Wender says the diagnosis can easily be made “by an observant receptionist.”

Dangerous Drugs

Psychiatrists continue to exhibit a peculiar approach to “healing.” In 1972, one year after U.S. psychiatrists began aggressively doling out sexually suppressive drugs to boys, psychiatrist T.L. Pinklington, vice president and member of the World Federation of Mental Health from 1966-1970, stated in the July issue of The Practitioner that children with “cognitive deficits and emotional immaturity” should be the target of “a modern eugenic program … or some form of legalized euthanasia.” (emphasis not in original)

The APA established a Task Force on Family Planning in 1973, one year after Pinklington urged psychiatry to “embark on a modern eugenic program.” Texts such as Lindgren’s Educational Psychology for the Classroom advised teachers that children having difficulty “reading” suffered from “emotional problems” and should be “referred” for psychiatric treatment. According to the Physician’s Desk Reference, psychiatric drugs used today cause “impairment of fertility” by preventing the production of sperm in males and blocking the implantation of a fertilized egg into the uterus of a woman. Studies done on animals show that current psychiatric drugs cause “testicular

atrophy” and can cause irreversible lesions to form in the small vessels leading out of the testes.

In 1973, the US. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), which includes the National Institute of Mental Health, implemented laws which gave “rights” to children with “learning disabilities.” Such labeled children were “entitled” to be singled out and placed in “special education” programs. Of course, that also enabled psychiatrists to make a short list of the children “tainted” by the fact that they could not sit still in class. Interestingly, 90 percent of children referred to “community mental health” programs from “special education” programs are African-American.

In 1991, HEW’s successor, the Department of Health and Human Services, mandated that teachers “actively seek to identify ADD children” and refer them for treatment. This was brought about through the lobbying efforts of a “parents support group” called CH.A.D.D. (Children with Attention Deficit Disorders). The group was founded in 1987 by psychologist Harvey Parker of Plantation, Florida.

Today, Parker’s CH.A.D.D. is lobbying the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to remove barriers to making Ritalin more available by reducing controls on it. The “informational” material CH.A.D.D. supplies to parents and teachers is supplied by the Ciba-Geigy drug company – makers of Ritalin. And “studies” on the use of the drug conducted by Judith Rappoport, chief of child psychiatry at NIMH, were funded by Ciba-Geigy.

A more insidious manipulation of our educational system can hardly be imagined. Teachers are forced by law to send children who “don’t pay attention” for inevitable drug treatment at the hands of those who in no way wish to help them but rather wish them sterile at minimum.

If one really examines what is happening, one sees the following progression: in 1991, teachers must identify ADD children; in 1993, the government’s new Center for Mental Health Services officially defines “serious mental illness”; also in 1993 comes the White House Health Care Reform proposal including “unlimited” coverage and hospitalization for those with “serious mental illness”; finally, the APA has the “new” definition for “serious mental illness” incorporated into the “diagnostic criteria” for ADD.

Exposing the Myth

The next assault on our children came in 1994, when the NIMH sought to drug “potentially” violent African-American 5 year-olds in a program called the “Violence Initiative.” Children would be screened using “behavioral patterns” such as “impulsivity” to predict violence.

This initiative has no basis in fact and at best propagates racist myths which modem society has struggled for years to shed itself of. But it also serves to underscore a singular fact: that psychiatry’s idea of “help” is inimical to the lives of our children.

The new “biopsychiatry” must be exposed for what it is. It is alive and well within the corridors of psychiatric hospitals and community mental health centers throughout the United States. Its target is our children.

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