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The Hidden Hand of Violence
 
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Cover Report



Lives of Ruin and Despair

The promoters of these “behavior disorders” include at their forefront psychiatrist Frederick Goodwin, former head of the National Institute of Mental Health, known for generating a storm of controversy in 1992 by means of racially offensive remarks that compared monkeys in the wild to citizens in America’s inner cities.3

The fruits of the campaign, fueled by billions of dollars in pharmaceutical revenues, are becoming increasingly visible, as an estimated seven to eight million schoolchildren today take psychiatric drugs for nonexistent diseases.

On May 21, 1998, Kip Kinkel, 14, killed his parents and went on a shooting spree at his Springfield, Oregon, high school — killing two more people and injuring 22. Kinkel’s downward slide began when he was diagnosed with dyslexia. He was then labeled as having “ADHD” and placed on Ritalin, but his problems persisted. After being diagnosed with depression, he was also put on Prozac, known generically as fluoxetine. And then he went berserk.

On February 19, 1996, according to local police, 10-year-old Timmy Becton, using his 3-year-old niece as a human shield, pointed a 12-gauge shotgun at a sheriff’s deputy who visited him at his Lakeland, Florida, home, in company with a truant officer. “I’d sooner shoot you than go to school,” Becton reportedly yelled. Becton had been placed on Prozac by a psychiatrist to cure his dislike of school. According to the parents, an increase in his dosage generated violent changes in mood and extreme anger.

The examples seem endless. More and more children and teens are turning to violence — including killing classmates or parents after taking psychiatric drugs. In 1998 alone, more than 1.6 million prescriptions for antidepressant drugs alone were written for schoolchildren in the United States — up sharply from previous years.

Reliance on psychiatric drugs today permeates the youth care industry from schools and the family pediatrician’s office to foster homes and juvenile offender programs. While the long-range consequences of these drugs cannot yet be measured, the increasing outbursts of unreasoning violence witnessed thus far give clues.

Violent Behavior

It came as little surprise to the nation that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had problematic histories. Arrested in 1998 for burglary, both were placed in the Jefferson County, Colorado “juvenile diversion” program for youth offenders and participated in “anger management” classes. Blood samples confirmed that Harris, the leader of the two, was taking Luvox — a mind-altering psychiatric drug in the same class as Prozac, shown to create suicidal thoughts or violent behavior in many individuals.

While no one knows exactly what Eric Harris was thinking when he planned and directed the macabre crime and double suicide, he left behind enough information to show an obsession with brutality and violence that emerges as the signature of someone driven into psychosis by psychiatric drugs.

Figures available in early 1998 showed that Prozac — the most widely prescribed of the drugs in the class which includes Luvox (also known as fluvoxamine), Paxil, Zoloft and others — alone had amassed more than 40,000 adverse reaction reports, including 2,300 deaths, under the adverse reaction reporting system of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — by far the most of any drug in history.

Between 1988 and 1992, when Prozac was scarcely being prescribed to children, reports accumulated of more than 90 children and adolescents who suffered suicidal or violent self-destructive behavior while on the drug. Examples of reports to the FDA include that of a 12-year-old who suffered hostility and confusion, was violent and became “glassy-eyed” on the drug. An 18-year-old was hospitalized after being on Prozac for 270 days and had reportedly sexually assaulted and stabbed a store clerk. One 16-year-old, who had been on the drug for 50 days, reported hostility, psychotic depression and hallucinations — symptoms which did not exist prior to taking the drug.


While the long-range consequences of these [psychiatric] drugs cannot yet be measured, the increasing outbursts of unreasoning violence witnessed thus far give clues.
 

As far back as February 1990, a published study by a team headed by Harvard Medical School’s Martin H. Teicher, M.D., found that “six depressed patients free of recent serious suicidal ideation developed intense, violent suicidal preoccupation after 2 – 7 weeks of fluoxetine treatment.”4

Another team of physicians, from the State University of New York Health Science Center, reported in The New England Journal of Medicine in February 1991 that individuals with no history of suicidal thoughts or actions developed suicidal thoughts after taking fluoxetine. One man was started on a 20-milligram daily dose of fluoxetine and, according to the doctors, “Three days later he had violent suicidal thoughts and tried to hang himself with a rope. The fluoxetine was discontinued, with complete disappearance of suicidal ideation four days later.”5

Likewise, this second team reported, a woman developed akathisia — a state of drug-induced insanity characterized by extreme agitation and, sometimes, acts of violence — as well as recurrent suicidal thoughts after starting on fluoxetine. The symptoms resolved after she stopped taking the drug. “Neither of our patients had a diagnosable personality disorder or history of suicidal ideation, gestures, mania or hypomania,” they wrote. “In our patients, the temporal association of suicidal ideation with the initiation of fluoxetine and its rapid disappearance within a week of discontinuing treatment strongly suggest that fluoxetine can induce suicidal ideation....”

In a similar vein, a 1993 study of eight people on Luvox or fluvoxamine noted the onset of mania. The study team, headed by Dr. Abraham Dorevitch of Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine in Jerusalem, reported, “fluvoxamine may induce manic behavior when administered at therapeutic dosages. Manic features appeared after four or more weeks of fluvoxamine treatment in five of the patients and after three weeks or less in three of the patients. ... Manic behavior in all our patients remitted after dosage reduction or discontinuation of fluvoxamine.”6

Fluvoxamine and fluoxetine belong to the family of drugs which block the brain’s absorption of serotonin, a neurotransmitter; they are known as “selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors” (SSRIs).

A 1995 Nordic medical conference reported that the newer antidepressant drugs have a particularly stimulating amphetamine-like effect and that patients can become “aggressive” or “suffer hallucinations and/or suicidal thoughts.” One U.S. medical doctor wrote of the SSRIs, “I have testified as a medical expert in three teenage cases of murder in which SSRIs were implicated in playing a role. In one case, a 16-year-old committed murder and tried to set off multiple bombs and incendiary devices at the same time. I have also testified in cases of adult murderers who were under the influence of SSRIs, including one mass murder of twelve people followed by suicide. The comparisons to Littleton are obvious.”

In fact, Luvox’s manufacturer states that “Safety and effectiveness of Luvox tablets in individuals below 18 years of age have not been established” and warns that Luvox is “sometimes fatal” to those who take it, also cautioning that it can activate mania and that it can impair judgment and thinking.

No one need look any further than Columbine High School for an example of mania and impaired judgment. Eric Harris’ web site bristled with red flags that showed the “delusions of grandeur” that characterize mania, such as “I am the law. If you don’t like it, you die.”

Or, in an even more sinister tone, this: “you all better ... hide in your houses because I’m coming for EVERYONE soon, and I WILL be armed to the ... teeth, and I WILL shoot to kill and I WILL ... KILL EVERYTHING!”

Stealing the Will

Reflecting on the Colorado tragedy and the fact that mania can spur bizarre behavior, Nicholas Regush, producer of medical features for ABC News, said, “This is a widely recognized feature of antidepressants, as documented by their very own manufacturers. These drugs are also associated with bouts of irritability, aggression and hostility. Exactly how all this behavioral change is processed in the brain and how long-lasting it might be is poorly understood. Contrary to the big shows of knowledge by psychiatrists, there is a whole lot of guessing going on.”

The brain, however, he noted, “is not some simple toy for make-believe psychiatric magic bullets.”

On May 5, 1999, U.S. Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich wrote to FDA Commissioner Jane Henney, expressing his “concern that the FDA has failed to provide adequate oversight of the health consequences of prescribing certain drugs to children.”

In his letter, a copy of which was provided to Freedom, the congressman noted that he had written to the FDA after the school shooting in Springfield, Oregon, about the lack of review of the effects of prescribing Prozac to children, but received a response that he characterized as “indifferent.”


“If they’re on these kinds of drugs, that have these severe psychiatric and mental effects, you’re apt to get a reaction that is really bizarre – and often violent.”

Beverly Eakman,
National Education Consortium

 

“Now, in the aftermath of the Columbine High School massacre, it has come to light that one of the killers was prescribed Luvox,” he wrote, noting that Luvox is in the same family of psychiatric drugs as Prozac.

“The basic things these drugs do is they steal the will,” said Beverly Eakman, author of Cloning of the American Mind, Eradicating Morality Through Education. “By stealing the will, I mean they destroy your inhibitions, so that any inhibition that you had not to do certain things, you just don’t have it anymore — including getting angry.”

Children are extremely vulnerable to the effects of antidepressants and other dangerous drugs, according to Eakman. “If they’re on these kinds of drugs, that have these severe psychiatric and mental effects, you’re apt to get a reaction that is really bizarre — and often violent,” she told Freedom. “Something that made you mildly angry before will make you doubly furious.”

While the world has already witnessed far too many instances of carnage from this manufactured fury, experts say that the future holds more of the same unless society does something to halt the legal but unnecessary doping of millions of children — a national catastrophe which, in Dr. Baughman’s words, “is beginning to dwarf the illegal drug problem in this country.”
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