Network Against Psychiatric Assault

The Network Against Psychiatric Assault, founded in 1974 by Leonard Roy Frank and Wade Hudson was one of the most effective and militant groups in the American movement against psychiatric abuse.  Through the Network Against Psychiatric Assault, laws were passed sharply limiting involuntary electroshock in California.  Shock was stopped entirely in San Francisco for several years, as the places doing it did not want the bad public relations following a series of well-publicized demonstrations against them.  During a month-long “sleep-in” at the office of Governor Jerry Brown, the governor met with Network Against Psychiatric Assault members, viewed a hard-hitting documentary film about abuses at Metropolitan State Hospital, and ordered an investigation into conditions in the state hospitals.  In 1982, Network Against Psychiatric Assault, as part of the Coalition to Stop Electroshock, helped put a measure on the Berkeley, California ballot to ban shock there.  Voters in Berkeley decided overwhelmingly to ban shock in their city.  Even more importantly, this fight reached the general public with the Network Against Psychiatric Assault's message about the abusive nature of psychiatry, with the major TV networks and even the New York Times giving its ideas wide circulation.  As late as 1997, Network Against Psychiatric Assault was instrumental in closing one of the most abusive psychiatric institutions in the Bay Area.


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Psychiatry is out of control.

We recognize that the psychiatric industry, allied with Big Pharma have massively misled the public to people's and society's great detriment.  In essence, psychiatry has sacrificed the lives of its victims on the alter of corporate profits. The story the American Psychiatric Association and individual psychiatrists (Psychiatry) have been telling their patients and the public is not true. There are no proven chemical imbalances or other known brain defects that result in what gets diagnosed as mental illnesses. Most of the drugs given to treat people diagnosed with mental illness are no better than placebo and many cause tremendous physical problems.  The second generation of so-called "anti-psychotics" (neuroleptics) are effective for few and harmful to all.  Contrary to drug company hype, they are not more effective than first generation neuroleptics and far more harmful.  Largely as a result, the disability rate of people diagnosed with serious mental illness has increased 6-fold on a per capita basis since the introduction of the supposed miracle drug Thorazine in 1954. 

Also largely due to the use of these drugs, the life expectancy of people diagnosed with serious mental illness is 25 years less than the general population.  The stimulants used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and the so-called antidepressants have dramatically increased the incidence of people diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and converted it from a good prognosis diagnosis to one that is quite poor.  The ubiquitous use of psychiatric drugs is at least halving the percentage of people who recover after being diagnosed with a serious mental illness; it appears about 80% of the people presenting with an initial psychosis can recover if they are not given and maintained on psychiatric drugs.  The American Psychiatric Association and individual psychiatrists are either fooled or complicit to the extent they do not publicly acknowledge and act on these facts.

Millions of children are being drugged to “treat” the fictitious “disease” of ADHD.  Parents who resist are frequently threatened with losing custody of their child, or the child’s expulsion from school.  70% or more of children in the “child welfare” system, who have no parents to defend them, are drugged throughout their childhood. These children need love and nurturing, but all the mental “health” system offers them is drugs and despair.

Many of the drugs given to children long-term, particularly the amphetamines used for ADHD, cause the inability of the brain to modulate emotion.  Such children are then diagnosed as “bipolar” and put on powerful antipsychotic drugs for the rest of their lives.  In the past fifteen years, there has been a fortyfold increase in children labeled as “bipolar” and then drugged.  There is no other way to describe this except as a crime against humanity.

The new “diagnostic bible” of psychiatry, the DSM 5, labels almost all human emotion as mental illness.  A child who talks back, a man who spends “too much” time on the internet, a woman who grieves the death of her husband or child for more than two weeks are all labeled mentally ill and told they need to be drugged.  Unhappiness is labeled as “depression,” and people are encouraged to numb themselves with drugs instead of dealing with the life situations that are causing their unhappiness. Over two-thirds of the psychiatrists who wrote the DSM 5 have financial ties to the drug industry.

There is a hue and cry for making psychiatric imprisonment, euphemistically called involuntary commitment, easier  This means that almost anyone could be committed with no recourse, as anyone now can easily be labeled “mentally ill.”  Psychiatric imprisonment then leads to many thousands of people in most American states being forced to take drugs in their own homes (if they have any).

There is a vicious campaign of vilification of people diagnosed with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia because of the recent incidents of killings by people with psychiatric labels.  Psychiatry promotes the idea that people with such labels should be rounded up and drugged for the protection of the public.  But the fact is that every single one of these horrible incidents was carried out by people who were already in the mental health system and taking its drugs.  This is completely irrational.

 Electric shock remains common, with about 100,000 being shocked in the United States every year.  Psychosurgery is still being promoted, with hundreds of Americans having their brains mutilated annually  Forcing powerful and damaging drugs on people is the norm.

How many more ruined lives will our society tolerate before we put a stop to this?

The Network Against Psychiatric Assault calls for:

The Network Against Psychiatric Assault supports all other movements of people fighting for liberation and justice.  Using ethical and non-violent means, we will work toward a society where everyone is treated with the respect and nurturing that all human beings deserve.

 The following organizations support the Network Against Psychiatric Assault: 

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights) MindFreedom International
Portland Hearing Voices The Freedom Center
Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (CHRUSP) Madness Radio

Other like minded groups are encouraged to join us.

Sources:  Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, by Robert Whitaker; and Scientific Research by Topic on PsychRights' website.

Last modified 2/16/2023