Book Review

      [From Hermann Muller:] “Probably close to 20 percent of the population, if not more, have inherited a genetic defect. If that is right, in order for us to avoid genetic degeneration, then that 20 percent of the population should not be allowed to reach sexual maturity or, if they live, they would not be allowed to procreate.”

      Probably the most telling, and most alarming section of the book is the third part, “’The Men behind Hitler’ in America?” Here we look at the influences of the same people, the same ideologies and the same twisted thinking as it affects our present society. We see the enormous influence of psychiatry in our schools, our courts and our society as a whole, and the resulting erosion of the values, intelligence and independence of our culture.

      Fortunately, there is hope. In an earlier section, the authors put it this way:

      “[F]rom the beginning of the 1920s until the end of World War II, psychiatric research was funded in large measure by wealthy patrons and private financiers. Without this money, psychiatry, in all likelihood, would have remained essentially powerless. At the mercy of poverty or the caprice of government funding, it may have been just another trend that barely outlived its own birth. The financial infusions that rescued and sustained it came from many sources: Krupp, Loeb, The German Association of Chemical Industries, the Rockefeller Foundation and, between 1933 and 1945, the Nazi treasury.”

      And therein lies one of our weapons, as presented in the third section.

      “The solution rests with the citizen. Vigilance is, of course, essential; active participation in democracy even more so. The purse-strings of psychiatry are held by government, just as they were in Nazi Germany. In those days, however, the German people were left woefully ignorant of what Hitler and his henchmen were doing. This doesn’t have to happen today. The example of the men behind Hitler gives us the ability to spot others who might try to follow in their ideological footsteps.”

      The final message of the book is one of hope, because that is the purpose of the work, to enlighten the society to the reality of the influence of psychiatry, so that when we say “never again,” we can truly mean “never again.”

      “Good standard medical care, religious values that emphasize the spiritual nature of man, an educational program that stresses the application of basics and encourages individuality and exciting new ideas, and a justice system that relies on the discovery of the truth and demands the assumption of personal responsibility by each and every one of its citizens — these are the qualities of a thriving culture. It is not wishful thinking to believe that this can take place — it can happen if we make it so.”


      Psychiatrists: The Men Behind Hitler is available from Citizens Commission on Human Rights at, or call (800) 869-2247.

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