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Monday, August 20, 2012

DIANA-MI6 & The Lying Game

MI6 & The Lying Game: Rosa Monckton and the Oxbridge spooks... 
I/Ops news-alliance.com

In December 2003, Daily Mail journalist Sue Reid, with whom we have worked in the past investigating the alleged ‘suicide’ of Dr David Kelly, quoted a source, who insisted on remaining anonymous, saying that Diana went to a leading London hospital to undergo a pregnancy scan, days before she joined Dodi on holiday. The result is unknown and the test was conducted in the utmost secrecy.

But then Diana’s self-confessed ‘best friend’ Rosa Monckton, claims that Diana menstruated only a week before the crash, while they were on holiday in Greece. It is clear that Monckton believes she cannot be challenged on this issue but former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson alleges that Rosa’s husband, Dominic Lawson, former editor of the Sunday Telegraph newspaper and Spectator magazine, provided journalistic cover for MI6 officers while he was editor of The Spectator.

Rosa’s brother, the Honourable Anthony Leopold Colyer Monckton, a diplomat, was also an MI6 spy according to Tomlinson. It should be noted that Dominic Lawson has never sued any publication or person for alleging he was an MI6 stringer. Dominic Lawson, is of course, the son of former Tory Chancellor Nigel Lawson and brother of famous TV ‘kitchen goddess’ Nigella Lawson. The very same Nigel Lawson who detested Mohamed Al Fayed for besmirching his beloved Tories.

Tomlinson alleges that Dominic Lawson provided cover for an agent named ironically ‘Spencer’, who was put on the case of a young Russian diplomat, Pluton Obukhov, in Tallin, capital city of Estonia. In an excerpt from Tomlinson’s ‘banned’ book (The Big Breach) published in Pravda, it was revealed that Spencer, returning from a visit to Information Operations (I/Ops), which plants stories or propaganda in the British press, remarked, “Flippin’ outrageous. They’ve got the editor of the Spectator magazine on the books. He’s called ‘smallbrow’. He’s agreed to le me go to Tallin undercover as a freelancer for his magazine. The only condition is that I have to write an article which he’ll publish if he likes it’, the cheeky bastard wants a story courtesy of the taxpayer.”

The allegations that Dominic Lawson was a paid asset of MI6 have also been made in parliament but he has always denied ever having been an agent. How likely is it that he would admit it? Again, we reiterate that Lawson has brought no libel action against any publication alleging he was an MI6 asset, or a ‘stringer’ planted on newspapers by the spooks to further their covert propagandist agenda.

Other disturbing aspects of the unlikely ‘friendship’ between Diana and Rosa were raised by Paris-based journalist Jane Tawbase in a EuroBusiness investigation into Monckton and Lawson. She wrote: ‘Rosa Monckton, a generation older, made an odd friend for the often unhappy princess. A svelte sophisticate and a wealthy working woman, her first relationships and loyalties lay, almost from when she was born, with the Queen. She was a regular visitor to the royal household all her life and was, for that reason, more given to loyalty to the crown than to an unhappy and disruptive outsider, one who was seriously damaging the public image of the royal family.’

On closer inspection, the relationship between Monckton and the ‘disruptive’ Diana, is somewhat inexplicable, perhaps just very odd. Diana was a fashion goddess and fitness fanatic who delighted in shopping and modern music. Monckton, by contrast, is a highly cerebral woman of the world, married to a man with links to MI6 that no journalist or newspaper editor should ever have.

Jane Tawbase also raises two further questions on this murky subject and throws more light on the matter than most before or after her. She wrote: ‘Whether Rosa Monckton introduced her brother to the princess and whether he was part of the MI6 operation. It was almost unthinkable that he was not.’ In her second point she wrote: ‘Did MI6 ask Rosa Monckton to do the key job of moving into the princess’s inner circle and become her confidante? It would certainly have made the job easier.’

Dissident MI6 officer, Richard Tomlinson, who has been harassed for years by the French and British authorities, is certain that Monckton’s brother is a spy. It should be noted that Anthony and Rosa’s grandfather worked for Edward VIII and kept a close watch on him for the security services throughout the abdication and beyond. Like Diana, the British Establishment were determined to rid themselves of Edward VIII. The Queen Mother, however, said that Diana was a greater threat to the House of Windsor than Wallis-Simpson and Edward VIII put together. Tawbase concludes that, ‘It would indeed be ironic if history had repeated itself and Rosa Monckton performed the same role for MI6 with regard to Princess Diana.’

In these circumstances, it is perhaps understandable that Rosa Monckton declared that Diana was not pregnant. It must also be noted that no one else can give witness to Monckton’s suggestion that Diana menstruated while they holidayed in Greece, nor should her statement be regarded as fact, it is opinion. Monckton simply expects everyone to believe her version of events because she was Diana’s ‘friend’. And again, it must be stated that Diana abhorred everything to do with the State and was convinced that hired assassins were trying to kill her. It is puzzling why Diana formed a friendship with Monckton.

We must turn to the testimony of Richard Tomlinson, who has been deliberately ignored by the French authorities. His affidavit to judge Herve Stephan was dismissed. Stephan showed no interest in Tomlinson’s affidavit but the British certainly did and MI6 led a campaign of arrests and harassment against its dissident officer across the world to disrupt his life and attempt to silence him….

Tomlinson also revealed that during his time with MI6, he discovered that there was an informal but direct link between certain MI6 officers of senior rank and royal courtiers. St James’s Palace and Buckingham Palace are easy access points for the spooks through the back-channel process. Many of these ‘men’ share an Oxbridge background with royal courtiers and the relationship continues for life. They would all have known of the CIA eavesdropping operation against Diana and certainly shared the intel ‘product’.

In the Paget Report, Sir John Stevens alleges that MI6 and MI5 were not aware of the CIA operation. Indeed, he salaciously goes as far to say that the CIA were only interested in Diana’s ‘contacts’ and prime among which were Mohamed Al Fayed and his murdered son Dodi Fayed. By definition, if the CIA were watching Diana’s contacts, then Diana was also being watched. Obviously, Sir John Stevens, the faithful Establishment plod, knows this but at the same time, he must presume the general public to be completely stupid. His tale is defeated with elementary logic.

British Intelligence certainly would have been told of the surveillance operation on Diana and her contacts and highly likely also, they would have been given access to the product of the eavesdropping. It is also perfectly clear to anyone with experience of modern surveillance that Diana would have been tracked through the signal from her mobile phone. Such signals allow the target to be pinpointed to within a metre of their location. The same is also true of Dodi Fayed, Wingfield, Rees-Jones and Henri Paul etc.

As a ‘reward’ for his indiscretions, Tomlinson was arrested at gunpoint by the French DST (Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire) at his home. He suffered a broken rib in the operation against him despite the fact that he has no record of violence. The DST agents were ordered to go in hard to teach him a lesson. The whole arrest was designed to shake him to the core and think better of opening his mouth in future. And this is an interesting point which requires further analysis.

By their very nature, ‘fantasists’ or people who make things up, are ignored, not arrested at gunpoint and violently assaulted. Again, if Tomlinson was at least mistaken, or indeed lying about the matters he revealed, there would have been no need to arrest him and he could simply have been dismissed as a former employee with a furtive imagination. The fact he was arrested in such brutal fashion, proves conclusively that Tomlinson has revealed too many truths that powerful people would prefer to remain buried. It is also noteworthy that Tomlinson has not been accused of being a ‘conspiracy theorist’ by his detractors.

In the event, Tomlinson was questioned for over eighteen hours at the Paris HQ of the DST to discourage him from giving evidence to the Stephan inquiry. But he did appear before Stephan and told him, “As long as they [MI6] can get away with doing something then that’s their only limit about what they will do. This includes assassination.”

Diana’s decision to embrace Islam and highly likely produce a mixed-race brother or sister to the heirs to the throne of England, and her anti-landmines campaign were enough to warrant her elimination. But there is more still in the shape of the ‘secrets’ she held in her little box of treasures at Kensington Palace.

Paul Burrell, often referred to as ‘Diana’s rock’ was aware of the box and most, if not all of its contents. Following his arrest on the grounds that he unlawfully took over 300 items from Kensington Palace, after the princess’s funeral, he was interrogated again and again by Scotland Yard detectives, who shook him up quite badly but failed to break him.

In his book A Royal Duty, he relates his experience of the arrest and what the political police were looking for: ‘Then DS Milburn asked me two bizarre questions: “Do you have a manuscript of the memoirs you are writing?” If there was one moment when I knew the officers were stabbing in the dark, that was it. No such manuscript existed.’

Burrell then explains the events of the following morning: ‘The next morning, DS Roger Milburn returned. On instructions from Andrew Shaw, I said nothing to his volley of questions. Again, his curiosity seemed to focus more on the contents of a box, sensitive paperwork and a manuscript.’

Burrell’s trial was a landmine for the monarchy and the Queen could not risk her former butler, revealing some of what he saw. In open court, just before the trial collapsed, a truly revealing encounter took place that gave the world some insight of what was in Diana’s box of treasures.

Burrell wrote: ‘The full picture emerged with the judge’s approval. Scotland Yard was looking for a signet ring given to the princess by Major James Hewitt; a resignation letter from her private secretary Patrick Jephson; letters from Prince Philip to the princess; and a tape, which became known after the trial as the Rape Tape.

It was a recording made by the princess in 1996 when she informally interviewed former KP orderly and ex-Welsh Guardsman George Smith. He had alleged that after a night of heavy drinking he had been raped in 1989 by a male member of staff who worked for Prince Charles. It all came to a head because George who had worked at Highgrove, St James’s Palace and KP, had been suffering nightmares, was drinking heavily, and his marriage was falling apart. He blamed it all on an incident that he said he was bottling up.’

‘The princess knew the member of staff in question. From that moment on she loathed him. “I know what that evil bugger did. I know what he did to George, and I will never forgive him for that,” she seethed, after her futile attempts to bring about justice. He [George Smith] never returned to work, and accepted a settlement [Fiona Shackleton] at the end of his employment of around £40,000.’

‘The princess ensured that the tape never saw the light of day. But the mystery of its whereabouts, and the threat its contents posed, emerged during the police investigation of my case. Lady Sarah McCorquodale had asked that Scotland Yard ‘ascertain’ the contents of the box. In court, DS Milburn said: “I was looking for the contents of that box. All of a sudden, the undertones behind the raid on my home became clear.’

As the trial wore on it was obvious Burrell would have to take the stand. The prospect of ‘Diana’s rock’ hurling highly explosive stones at the British Establishment was enough to prompt the Queen to recall a conversation she had with Burrell in December 1997 at Buckingham Palace in which Burrell told her that he was taking a number of the princess’s items into safekeeping.

The exchange was a chilling encounter for Burrell. He wrote of it: ‘As the meeting neared its end, the Queen said one more thing to me. Looking over her half-rimmed spectacles, she said: “Be careful, Paul. No one has been as close to a member of my family as you have. There are ‘powers’ at work in this country about which we have no knowledge,’ and she fixed me with a stare where her eyes made clear the ‘do you understand?’.

‘She [Queen] might have been referring to the domestic intelligence service MI5 because, have no doubt, the Queen does not know of its secret work and ‘darker practices’ but she is aware of the power it is capable of wielding. Like the royal household, the intelligence services are given carte blanche to act in whatever way is considered to be in the best interests of state and monarchy.’

‘At my December 1997 meeting with the Queen and as my statement had made clear: ‘I feared at the time of the princess’s death that there was a conspiracy to change the course of history, and erase certain parts of her life from it. Mrs Frances Shand Kydd spent two weeks shredding personal correspondence and documents.’

Piers Morgan in his own memoir, The Insider, explains that he tried to help Burrell and have the quasi-case against him dropped, he wrote: -

17 January 2001 – I rang Mark Bolland at the Palace.
‘You guys are mad, Mark. Burrell could say anything in the stand.’
‘I know, I know,’ he replied despondently.
‘It’s a mess.’
‘Well, end it now, before it’s too late.’
‘We can’t, the police are running the case now.’

A cornered Burrell could be a very dangerous beast. This will go on for weeks, and can only be damaging to the Royal Family. They must be mad allowing Burrell to potentially take the stand. Cornered and desperate, he might say anything, and he knows the lot because he was there. There’s also no way he stole Diana’s stuff, anyone who knows him knows that. He could make more money from what’s in his mind than he ever could from a few of her trinkets.

The Establishment were again courting disaster by trying to silence Burrell. In reality, the tactic worked in reverse, virtually ensuring that Burrell, facing five years in prison if convicted, would open up before the glaring eyes of the world to save his own skin.

By 16 September 1997, bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones had opened his eyes. The worry for the British Establishment was the strong possibility that he would remember what happened in the moments before the Mercedes crashed. Rees-Jones can certainly remember fastening his seatbelt just seconds before the car crashed but claims that he cannot remember anything after that. But again, damning further clarification comes in the shape of Piers Morgan and his memoir The Insider.

Morgan wrote: ‘Tuesday, 16 September 1997 – I had a brief chat with Fayed today and he said that Rees-Jones is awake, and having flashbacks of the crash. ‘Can we have the first interview?’ Fayed was anxious. ‘He needs to tell us what happened first, that is the most important thing. Then perhaps he can talk to you. But we must be careful Piers, he is in a very bad way.’ To this day, Al Fayed has not told the world what Rees-Jones said to him!

Naturally, Rees-Jones, who suffered terrible injuries, claims that he can remember nothing. Can he remember coming round in the hospital in the presence of Al Fayed and having ‘flashbacks of the crash’? We do not wish to be offensive to Rees-Jones, particularly given the injuries he suffered, but we do not think his story holds up in the slightest under examination. He can remember some things but not others, selective memory loss not amnesia.

For instance, Rees-Jones can remember leaving the Ritz Hotel on the rue Cambon and that a white Fiat Uno was tailing them. He then recounts that he saw a white Fiat Uno again on the approach to the Alma Tunnel. He also recalls that he fastened his seatbelt and encouraged the others to do the same moments before impact. At the very moment he fastened his seatbelt, the white Fiat Uno was careering into the path of the Mercedes but Rees-Jones does not remember that....

His memory falls apart when it comes to events in the Alma Tunnel. He can remember belting up, not verbally at that time, but cannot remember seeing the white Fiat Uno in the tunnel nor a blinding white flash. If he can remember fastening his seatbelt, he can remember what happened in the very next seconds involving the white Fiat Uno and the blinding flash of light and the escaping motorbike.

It is little wonder that the majority of people do not believe Rees-Jones. We will go further and state that he is lying about not being able to remember the juicy bits, the crucial events immediately before the Mercedes crashed. Either that, or he has made it all up about seeing a white Fiat Uno and fastening his seatbelt and encouraging the others to do the same. But then, why would he do that? This man wants his cake and to eat it but the majority of people do not swallow his 'sweetened' version of events.

Rumours are rife in the media world that Rees-Jones has been threatened by British intelligence. If he opens his mouth and suddenly remembers what happened in the crucial seconds to impact, he might not be so lucky a second time. Rees-Jones is also still subject to the Official Secrets Act and government lawyers can make that mean whatever they want it to mean. Theoretically, the OSA should apply only to the period one was in service but the strictures of the Act apply for the rest of one’s life and Rees-Jones knows this only too well.

There is also the fact that in Northern Ireland, Rees-Jones, a former paratrooper with experience of putting enemy targets under surveillance, worked closely at times with British Army Intelligence and he will know only too well what the Force Research Unit, MI6 and The Increment are capable of. On his testimony that he cannot remember the vital seconds before I impact, Rees-Jones should not be believed. The claim is that he suffers from amnesia, only in part mind you, and that we should have sympathy for him.

We genuinely sympathise with the fact that he suffered terrible injuries in the crash but one must remain logical and rational and not succumb to emotional impulses. In his book, The Bodyguard’s Story, he repeats the same old tale, over and over again: he cannot remember the ‘juicy bits’ but has no problem dishing out all the old crumbs of information he wants us to know. And we know people in the media world, who are certain that Rees-Jones has been silenced by British Intelligence.

An important note to end this article on comes in the form of a quote from former MI6 officer, Richard Tomlinson: “There is an arrogant faction in MI6, part of the Oxbridge clique, which doesn’t try to hide dedication to the royal family and their self-appointment as defenders of the realm.” And spooks excel at the lying game, as par for the course of their ‘training’ and ethics by prerequisite, are irrelevant.… 

Unresolved Issues of the Diana and Dodi Inquest


Unresolved Issues of the Diana and Dodi Inquest
by John Morgan © 2008
Emailshining.bright@optusnet.com.au 
Websitehttp://www.thedianaplot.com
Nexus Magazine June-July 2008.  Vol 15, No 4

Was the verdict of the inquest into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed sound, or were the Royal Coroner's instructions to the jury part of an ongoing cover-up of what reallyhappened in the Alma Tunnel on 31 August 1997?

After three-and-a-half days of deliberation, the jury at the British "Coroner's Inquests into the Deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Mr Dodi Fayed" finally delivered its verdict on Monday 7 April 2008. The 11 jurors sitting in London's Royal Courts of Justice had patiently listened to six months of evidence given by 268 witnesses.1 Their finding was that the 1997 crash which occurred in the Alma Tunnel in Paris had been caused by "unlawful killing, grossly negligent driving of the following vehicles and of the Mercedes" (transcript, page 5, lines 5-7, page 6, lines 16-18). The Royal Coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker, had pointed out that unlawful killing equates to manslaughter.
Did these final inquests (treated hereafter as the singular "inquest") answer the many questions that have surrounded the circumstances of the tragic crash? Did justice prevail, or was the inquest just another major event in continuing the cover-up of what truly happened in the Alma Tunnel on 31 August 1997?
One fact is certain: the over 7,000 pages of inquest transcripts and evidence now comprise the most detailed account that exists of the Paris crash and the circumstances and events surrounding it.
The jury also stated that "the crash was caused or contributed to by the speed and manner of driving" of both the Mercedes and the "following vehicles", and that the Mercedes driver's judgement was impaired "through alcohol" (5.20-24,7.6-10).
This outcome from the inquest followed the French investigation, which was finalised in September 1999,- and the British investigation —Operation Paget —which was completed with the publication of the Paget Report in December 2006 ? Both these investigations found that the Alma Tunnel crash had been caused by a drunk driver, Henri Paul, who was speeding.
Even after these two lengthy inquiries and now the inquest, there still remain critical, unresolved issues.

Key Witnesses MissedDuring his summing up on the morning of 31 March, Lord Justice Scott Baker claimed that the inquest had been extremely thorough and stated that the conspiracy theories regarding the crash "have been examined in the minutest detail through the evidence of over 250 witnesses" (9.21-23). The reality, though, is that there are over 50 important witnesses who were never cross-examined during this inquest. Some of these people's evidence is so central to the conclusions drawn by the jury that the omission of it could cast doubt on the validity of the final verdict.
Because the crash occurred in France, most key witnesses were not residents of the United Kingdom and therefore were outside the jurisdiction of the Royal Coroner. Throughout the inquest, the government of France—where these witnesses generally lived—solidly maintained a position of refusing to cooperate. It failed to enforce the appearance of people who did not wish to be cross-examined.
Included in this group of witnesses is Professor Dominique Lecomte, head of the Paris Institute of Forensic Medicine; she is the pathologist who carried out the first autopsy on the Mercedes driver, Henri Paul. The Paget Report revealed that, during that autopsy, 58 identifiable errors were made, including the failure to identify the body properly. Lecomte also conducted the initial external medical examinations of the bodies of Diana and Dodi.
Another vital witness who evaded an appearance at the inquest is Dr Gilbert Pepin, the Paris toxicologist who carried out the alcohol testing on blood samples from both of Henri Paul's autopsies. It is the results of his testing that led to the high blood-alcohol readings that became the basis of the French and British investigations' conclusion that the crash was caused by a drunk driver.
Generally during this inquest, when a witness was not made available for cross-examination, their statement(s) to the French or British police were read out instead. In the case of Lecomte and Pepin, who both had signed statements with the British police, these statements were not read out to the jury. Thus the jury was not provided with any direct evidence from the two most important witnesses regarding the circumstances in which the alleged blood-alcohol results from the driver of the Mercedes were based—yet it is these blood test results that are central to the jury's finding that Henri Paul was guilty of gross negligence.
It is difficult to overstate the importance to this inquest of the evidence of Lecomte and Pepin. The question has to be asked: if Lecomte and Pepin have nothing to hide, then why did they not want to cooperate with the British inquest?
If Diana, Princess of Wales, was murdered, then Lecomte and Pepin would have played key roles in the aftermath and the ensuing French cover-up.
There are many other important witnesses who were not cross-examined. They include:
•   Tom Richardson, an American tourist who was the first pedestrian to rush  into  the  Alma Tunnel immediately after hearing the noise of  the   crash.     He   was   never interviewed by either the French or the British investigators.
•   David Laurent, who had to swerve to avoid a slow-moving, old-model, light-coloured Fiat Uno-type car as he entered the Alma Tunnel, just  seconds  before  the  crash occurred behind him.   His evidence is critical, as paint from an old-model white Fiat Uno was found on the Mercedes after the crash, and that Fiat Uno has never been officially identified. Laurent also was never interviewed by the British police.
•  Father Frank Gelli, Diana's local Anglican minister at St Mary Abbots Church near Kensington Palace.  He was a friend of Diana, and stated in a media interview in 2000 that Diana had asked him if he would perform the wedding when she married Dodi.   Gelli performs a service in memory of Diana on 31 August each year outside the gates of Kensington Palace.   He was never interviewed by either the French or the British investigators.
•  Michel Massebeuf, the driver of Diana's ambulance following the crash.   He is one of only three people who were in the ambulance, which didn't deliver Diana to the hospital until 2.06 am—one hour and 41 minutes after the crash.   Massebeuf was never interviewed by the British police.
•  A female student intern who was another one of the three people in Diana's ambulance. She assisted the ambulance doctor and must have been involved in administering Diana's treatment. This woman was never interviewed or named in any police investigation and remains anonymous to this day.
•  Nicholas Langman and Richard Spearman, both MI6 agents who were operating out of the British Embassy in Paris at the end of August 1997.  It has been alleged that both were involved in the organisation of the crash. They both made statements to the British investigators; these were not included in the Paget Report and were not read to the jury during the inquest.

Lack of Jury Access to Evidence
The entire inquest process was hamstrung by the fact that witnesses were unable to recall clearly the detail of events that occurred so long ago. Throughout the six months of evidence, there were countless instances where those being cross-examined said: "I'm sorry. It is ten years ago now. I cannot remember."
For the jury, this problem was exacerbated by the antiquated rule whereby they were unable to have access to the earlier official statements of cross-examined witnesses, which had been given during the initial French investigation and the later British Operation Paget. Many of the French eyewitness statements were taken within hours of the crash. It should be obvious to all concerned that these original statements, taken very soon after the events, would provide more accuracy than witness cross-examination over 10 years later. On the morning of 11 December 2007, the jurors themselves requested access to these statements. After some discussion in the Court, Lord Justice Scott Baker's decision was: "No, you cannot have the statements" (66.7).
It is evident that if this had been an inquest without a jury, then the Coroner would have had access to all witness statements. Why should a jury have been any different?

Inadequacies of Early Investigations
The failure of the French authorities to carry out a thorough and adequate investigation in the first place, when the events were still fresh in the minds of key witnesses, also contributed to the difficulties that faced the inquest.
Take, for instance, the evidence of Alberto Repossi, the jeweller who sold Dodi Fayed the "engagement ring" (he was cross-examined on 10 December 2007). Repossi was never interviewed by the French, and thus his first testimony was not taken until the British Operation Paget officers interviewed him in September 2005, eight years after the crash.
Likewise, Brian Anderson (17 October 2007. afternoon), a passenger in a taxi following behind the Mercedes and thus a key eyewitness to the crash, according to police records was never interviewed by the French. His first official testimony was taken by British officers on 31 August 2004, precisely seven years after the events he had to describe. To the shame of both the French and the British investigators, there are no records of any attempts being made to locate the driver of the taxi that Brian Anderson was in.
American Joanna da Costa (formerly Luz) (22 October 2007, afternoon), one of the first two pedestrian eyewitnesses on the crash scene, was never interviewed by the French investigators. Her only interview was taken by the British police on 23 August 2004, but for some unknown reason this testimony was never included in the official police Paget Report.
Where delays of up to a decade or more in the hearing of evidence have occurred, it is obvious that the accuracy of testimony could have been compromised.
The recently completed inquest did, however, help to highlight the some of the areas where the early French investigation failed abysmally. For example, the inquest showed up mistakes made during the initial night-time investigations. Under cross-examination, French investigators blamed some of these errors on poor lighting. Sergeant Thierry Clotteaux (6 November, afternoon) admitted that "the lights were not so great" (50.17-18). Another police investigator, Hubert Pourceau (6 November, morning), stated that a 19-metre-long (Mercedes) tyre mark (7 November, 16.5-9) was missed "...because it was night-time and it was not very visible. They couldn't see it" (40.12-13).
This begs the question: where was the forensic lighting that one would expect at any night-time crash scene, let alone the scene of arguably the most important car crash of the 20th century?
Investigators revealed that during the night they had to rely on the lights of the emergency vehicles; then, after those vehicles had left the scene, they were reduced to using the dim tunnel lighting.   Apparently they didnt even have their own torches!

Diana's "Rocking" AmbulanceOn the morning of 17 October 2007, a statement given to the French investigation by Thierry Orban, a photographic reporter, was read out to the inquest. Referring to the ambulance carrying Princess Diana, Orban stated: "I then followed the ambulance, preceded by motorcyclists and followed by a police car which kept us at a distance. After the Pont d'Austerlitz, opposite the Natural History Museum, the ambulance stopped, the driver got out hurriedly and got into the back. That was when I took the only photo of the ambulance, which is in any case blurred. It was rocking, as if they were doing a cardiac massage" (12.25, 13.1-8). This stoppage occurred within 500 metres of the hospital gates.
In his statement to Operation Paget, Dr Martino, who was inside the ambulance, explained the situation: "I had the vehicle stopped in order to re-examine the Princess... I did not do any cardiac massage at that moment but it is not easy to do cardiac massage or resuscitation with a vehicle moving" (Report, p. 515).
The ambulance driver Michel Massebeuf s statement to the French investigation was read to the inquest on the morning of 14 November. He described what happened: "However, in front of the Jardin des Plantes, the doctor [Martino] asked me to stop. We stopped for about five minutes, in order for him to be able to provide treatment that required a complete absence of movement" (23.15-20).
This evidence raises the question: why did Thierry Orban witness a rocking ambulance if there was no cardiac massage taking place and "complete absence of movement" was required? This question was not put to Dr Martino when he was cross-examined on the afternoon of 24 January 2008.
The statements by Thierry Orban and Michel Massebeuf were both inexplicably omitted from the Paget Report. Also, it is not known why Orban and Massebeuf were not cross-examined during this inquest.

Diana's Anti-Landmines CampaignA significant portion of inquest time was dedicated to evidence regarding the possibility that Diana was pregnant at the time of her death. This is a proposition put forward by the conspiracy camp as a possible motive for murder. The evidence, or lack thereof, has always indicated that this would appear to be an issue impossible to prove either way.
If Diana was murdered, more likely as possible motives would have been other factors: the rapidly developing relationship between Diana and Dodi, and Diana's prominent and effective involvement in the international anti-landmines campaign.
Diana's anti-landmines activity was a possible motive for murder that was almost completely ignored by the 832-page Paget Report, produced by Lord Stevens in December 2006.
Michael Mansfield, QC, acting on behalf of Dodi Fayed's father Mohamed Al Fayed throughout the inquest, provided some compelling arguments regarding her campaign. During his cross-examination of the Conservative former Minister for the Armed Forces, The Hon. Nicholas Soames, MP (12 December 2007, afternoon), Mansfield quoted Soames's Tory colleagues at the time. One told Diana: "Don't meddle with things about which you know nothing" (81.15-16). Another described Diana as a "loose cannon" (75.25) when referring to her visit to the minefields of Angola in January 1997. Soames himself in 1997 portrayed Diana, Princess of Wales, as a "totally unguided missile" (64.6).
Soames is alleged by Diana's close friend Simone Simmons to have directly threatened Diana with an "accident" if she continued with her anti-landmines activities. On the morning of 10 January 2008, Simmons gave evidence regarding a four-inch-thick anti-landmines dossier, titled "Profiting Out Of Misery", which Diana compiled in the last year of her life. Simmons stated that Diana claimed the dossier "...would prove that the British Government and many high-ranking public figures were profiting from their [landmines] proliferation in countries like Angola and Bosnia. The names and companies were well known, it was explosive and top of her list of culprits behind this squalid trade was the Secret Intelligence Service, the SIS [MI6], which she believed was behind the sale of so many of the British-made landmines that were causing so much misery to so many people. 'I'm going to go public with this and name names,' she declared" (52.13-22).
London Daily Mail journalist and close friend of Diana, Richard Kay, said in his testimony to the inquest on 20 December (morning) that he received a phone call from Diana just hours before she died. He confirmed that during this call the Princess stated that she fully intended to "complete her obligations to...the anti-personnel landmines cause" (28.17-18). Kay said that this would have involved a future visit to the minefields of South East Asia.

Was There Judicial Bias?
During Lord Justice Scott Baker's two-and-a-half days of summing up to the jury, he made some statements that should be subjected to scrutiny.
On the afternoon of 31 March 2008, during his discussion of Diana's fears for her life, the Coroner stated: "One might have thought that if Diana had really feared for her life, she would have mentioned it to Mohamed Al Fayed at the time of the conversation with him shortly before the crash, when he said she told him she was pregnant and engaged" (129.23-25, 130.1-2).
In saying this, Baker appeared to disregard the fact that Diana could not possibly have known the crash was about to occur. Why would she particularly mention it at that stage when she was on holiday, happy and in love, and she had already discussed her fears with Mohamed Al Fayed earlier during that summer.
Early on 1 April, during his summing up of evidence given by Diana's butler Paul Burrell (14-16 January 2008), Baker recounted what Burrell alleges he was told by Her Majesty the Queen in December 1997: "Be careful, Paul; no one has been as close to a member of my family as you have. There are powers at work in this country of which we have no knowledge. Do you understand?" (5.9-12)
The Coroner then went on to say: "Members of the jury, assuming something like those words were said, you may think it stretches one's imagination to breaking point to conclude that they have the remotest thing to do with a staged collision in a tunnel three and a half months before" (5.18-22).
Burrell had only recently lost his boss in a car crash, the circumstances of which raised many unanswered questions. Yet Baker was effectively making out that the jurors were fools if they saw any connection between the Paris crash and the Queen's comment. Given the context in which Burrell had met his former boss, the Queen, because of post-crash events, and given that the meeting was within a few months of the crash, it seems reasonably logical that the comment could have had some connection with the crash.
Later on the same day, 1 April, Baker summarised the evidence of David Laurent, who was driving through the tunnel ahead of the Mercedes immediately before the crash. In his statements that were read to the jury on the morning of 11 October 2007, Laurent related that he had to swerve to avoid a slow-moving car as he entered the Alma Tunnel. Baker stated that Laurent described this car as "a small light hatchback" (107.3-4). A closer look at David Laurent's evidence shows that he gave two descriptions of this car. In his first statement, given to the French police on 14 October 1997, he said: "It was a small light-coloured hatchback car" (23.17). His second statement, given to the French police in April 1998, has more detail: "It was an old model, a light coloured, white or beige, a Fiat Uno type car" (53.2-3). The Coroner changed "light coloured, white or beige" to "light", giving a completely different meaning to the description (107.4). Furthermore, he failed to mention "old model" and "Fiat Uno type car".
Laurent's evidence is important because it indicates that the Fiat Uno, which made contact with the Mercedes immediately before the main crash, was seen moving slowly beforehand. This could corroborate later evidence given by Souad Moufakkir (6 November, afternoon), who also claimed to have seen the Fiat Uno slowing down prior to the crash. Laurent's evidence of the Uno being an old model was corroborated by George Dauzonne (29 October, morning), who was a witness to the Fiat Uno as it left the tunnel after the crash.

Removal of Murder as a Possible Verdict
On the morning of 31 March, at the start of his summing up, Lord Justice Scott Baker announced to the jury that he was withdrawing murder from the possible verdicts available to them. He stated: "My direction in law to you is that it is not open to you to find that Diana and Dodi were unlawfully killed in a staged accident" (13.25, 14.1-2).
Baker went on to explain: "When a coroner leaves a verdict of unlawful killing, in this case on the basis of a staged accident, to a jury, he must identify to the jury the evidence on which they could be sure of such a conclusion. But in this case sufficient evidence simply does not exist" (14.11-15).
In what then may have seemed confusing to the jury, Baker continued: "This does not, however, mean that all the suggestions you have heard about the possibility of a staged crash are irrelevant.
Because there is some evidence, albeit limited and of doubtful quality, that the crash was staged, it will be necessary for you to consider it in the context of the five verdicts that are open to you" (14.18-24).
Baker appeared to be conceding that there was evidence of a staged crash, but not enough to enable him to allow the jury to be given the opportunity to decide that it was murder.
This inquest was conducted in the midst of a background of unanswered questions regarding the crash that occurred in circumstances which have led millions of people around the world to believe it is possible that Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed were murdered. The jury members faithfully sat there through the six months of evidence, believing they had been assigned the task of determining whether this was in fact the case.
It could be argued that, at the very last moment, the Coroner virtually pulled the rug out from underneath the inquest. The very purpose of the inquest was to establish whether Diana and Dodi were murdered.
The very purpose of having a jury make the decision was in order to remove the possibility of an Establishment cover-up. What happened is that at the very end of the inquest. Coroner Baker ruled that the jury should no longer be entrusted with the power to decide on whether a murder took place. In so doing, instead of quelling allegations of a cover-up, Baker added fuel to them.

The Following Vehicles
After this decision by the Coroner, the jury was left with five possible verdicts (31.24-25, 32.1-6):
1)   unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of the following vehicles);
2)    unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of the Mercedes);
3)         unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of the following vehicles and of the Mercedes);
4)         accidental death;
5)         open verdict.
In giving these options, the Coroner also removed the possibility of the Mercedes's contact with the white Fiat Uno— which was travelling ahead of the Mercedes as it entered the tunnel—having an influence on the crash. During the inquest, clear forensic evidence was shown that proved the Mercedes was involved in a collision with this car. Because the Fiat Uno was in front of the Mercedes, it cannot be included in the term "following vehicles" in the possible verdict provided to the jury. Baker has failed to explain why he removed the Fiat Uno from suspicion as a possible cause of the crash.
As discussed earlier, the jury chose the third option: "unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of the following vehicles and of the Mercedes)".
The reason that the description is "following vehicles" is because these vehicles remain unidentified. It is therefore very surprising that in virtually every media report describing the jury verdict, the words "following vehicles" have been replaced by the word "paparazzi". There is actually no evidence which indicates that these vehicles were in fact driven by paparazzi.
Eyewitnesses near the Alma Tunnel described several motorbikes closely pursuing or surrounding the Mercedes as it entered the tunnel:
•  Olivier Partouche, a chauffeur who was standing near his car across the road from the tunnel, witnessed a Mercedes "immediately followed by a number of motorcycles" (24
October, morning, 6.9-10).
•  Francois Levistre, who was travelling ahead of the Mercedes, described seeing through his rear-vision mirror a "vehicle surrounded on either side by motorbikes" in his first statement made to French police on 1 September 1997, one day after the crash (Paget Report, p. 455; also see inquest transcript, 15 October, afternoon).
•  Brian Anderson, who was travelling in a taxi that was overtaken by the speeding vehicles, described three motorbikes that "were in a cluster, like a swarm around the Mercedes" (17 October, afternoon, 98.24-25).
Thus the eyewitness evidence clearly shows that the "following vehicles" mentioned in the jury verdict are in fact several motorbikes that were seen very close to the Mercedes as it entered the Alma Tunnel.
On the afternoon of 2 October 2007, Scott Baker identified eight paparazzi who were near the Mercedes as it left Place de la Concorde. They were Benhamou, Guizard, Odekerken, Martinez, Arnal, Rat, Darmon and Chassery (95.10-11). It was also revealed that Benhamou rode a green Honda scooter; Guizard drove a grey Peugeot 205; Odekerken drove a Mitsubishi Pajero; Martinez and Arnal were in a black Fiat Uno; Rat and Darmon were on a blue Honda 650 motorcycle; and Chassery drove a black Peugeot 205 (94.3-10). This evidence shows that of the paparazzi pursuing the Mercedes, there was actually only one motorbike, a Honda 650. All the other pursuing paparazzi were either in cars or on a scooter.
On 7 November 2007, Paget accident investigator Anthony Read revealed to the inquest that French investigators had conducted tests on the performance of a Honda 650, comparing it with the Mercedes S280 (afternoon, 103). They found that at full acceleration over 1,400 metres, the Honda 650 was the equivalent of 17 per cent slower than the Mercedes. Darmon, who was driving the Honda, gave evidence to the inquest (29 October, afternoon) that he lost sight of the Mercedes after he turned right, onto the expressway, after leaving Place de la Concorde. With Rat his passenger, they were the first of the paparazzi to arrive at the crash scene.
After analysing the evidence, it becomes very clear that it is quite impossible for any of the motorbikes surrounding or closely pursuing the Mercedes as it entered the Alma Tunnel to have carried paparazzi. Instead, the motorbikes were unidentified— which is why they have been described in the jury's verdict simply as "the following vehicles".
It is clear, however, from early eyewitness evidence that camera flashes were seen on the expressway just before the Alma Tunnel:
• Bruno Bouaziz, a French police lieutenant, said in his 31 August 1997 statement, which was read out to the jury on the afternoon of 12 November 2007: "Witnesses told the first police to arrive at the scene that the Princess's car was travelling at high speed, chased by photographers on motorcycles. Others saw the Mercedes slowed down by a Ford Mondeo vehicle  so that photographers riding motorcycles could take photographs" (118.18-23).
•  Olivier Partouche said in a statement taken six hours after the crash:   "...I think that I saw flashes before the vehicles disappeared into the underpass" (24 October, morning, 26.1-3).
•  Clifford Gooroovadoo, who was standing near Partouche, said in his first statement, taken two hours after the crash, that he "saw a motorbike with two people on it and also saw that the pillion passenger of this motorbike was taking one photo after another in the direction of the vehicle that was making the noise [the Mercedes]" (12 March 2008, morning, 76.20-23).
•  Benoit Boura (24 October, morning) was travelling eastbound (the opposite way to the Mercedes) towards the Alma Tunnel. He said in his second statement of 31 August 1997 that "before all this [the crash] happened, therefore before entering the tunnel, I saw flashes in the distance" (Paget Report, p. 454).
On the morning of 27 November 2007, Baker himself stated: "I am very interested in trying to find any...photographs showing the journey of the Mercedes before the collision" (48.12-15).
It is evident that if these photos of Diana and Dodi's final moments before the crash had been taken by paparazzi, then they would be worth millions of pounds and somehow they would have surfaced after the crash—whether in newspapers, TV or over the Internet. But no such photos have ever been published.
This raises the question: who took these photos through the untinted windows of the Mercedes S280 on its final trip? Were they men on motorbikes masquerading as paparazzi with the purpose of harming the occupants of the Mercedes, but hoping that blame would later be attributed to the paparazzi?
It is to the shame of both the French and British inquiries that, after five years of "thorough" investigation, none of these motorbikes has been identified.
There are also motorbikes—probably the same ones—that were seen fleeing the crash scene, and cars including the white Fiat Uno that were witnessed fleeing after the crash. The reality is that the police on both sides of the Channel have only ever officially identified one vehicle in this entire case, and that is the crashed Mercedes S280.
The question must be raised: if the riders, passengers and drivers of the vehicles that were clearly witnessed fleeing the crash scene have nothing to hide, why is it that not one of them has come forward to explain their actions?

Requirement of Jury UnanimityOn the morning of 31 March 2008, as Coroner Scott Baker commenced his lengthy summing up, he instructed the jury: "Whatever your verdict, whether unlawful killing, accident or open, it must be unanimous. There are circumstances in which a majority verdict can be accepted, but they have not arisen in this case and, if they do, I shall give you a separate direction about it" (15.5-10).
Later, on the morning of 2 April, just before he sent the jury out to deliberate, he reiterated: "With each verdict, whether unlawful killing, accident or open, it must be the verdict of all 11 of you" (51.22-23).
At 3.30 pm on 7 April, after the jury had been out for three-and-a-half days without reaching a unanimous verdict, the Coroner told them: "The position is this, that the time has now been reached when I am able to accept from you a verdict upon which at least nine of you are agreed" (full-day transcript, 3.15-18).
There is no correlation between Baker's earlier requirement that the verdict must be unanimous, and his later statement that some sort of mysterious time limit had been reached and the rules could be changed to a majority of nine being acceptable. The Coroner had already stated on 31 March that the "circumstances in which a majority verdict can be accepted have not arisen in this case". On 7 April, he made no attempt to explain in what way the circumstances had now changed to enable a majority verdict to be acceptable.
This evidence indicates that, in reality, the result in the case of the inquest into the deaths of Diana and Dodi should have been a hung jury.
Did Justice Prevail?Did the inquest achieve justice for Diana, Princess of Wales, Dodi Fayed and Henri Paul?
The following restraints were placed on the jury:
•  no access to original witness statements, despite the crash having occurred over 10 years before:
•  a large number of crucial witnesses failing to give evidence and not being required to;
•  removal by the Coroner of murder as a possible verdict open to the jury.
Was the inquest really thorough?
Were the jury members provided with the evidence that really would have enabled them to achieve a unanimous verdict?
Did the Coroner place trust in the ability of the jury to be able to decide on the evidence?
It seems almost unfair that the jury should have been expected to reach a verdict in the above circumstances. It is as though the jury members achieved a verdict with at least one hand tied behind their back.
It would also seem likely that the general public's perception, that the British and French governments have not been up front about the circumstances and events surrounding the Paris crash, would seem justified by the way in which this inquest was conducted.
To those who say "It's over ten years now; it's time to move on": does the fact that a crime or a gross injustice occurred a decade ago mean that it is of less importance and significance than if it happened yesterday?
It is this attitude of public complacency and wanting to "move on" by so many people that has helped enable one of the greatest crimes and, equally, one of the greatest cover-ups  of our  time  to  have  been perpetrated and successfully carried out.

Endnotes
1.   To view and download transcripts and other published material from the "Coroner's Inquests into the Deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Mr Dodi Al Fayed", go to http://www.scottbakerinquests.gov.uk.  Note that the page numbering in the transcripts is at the bottom of each page.
2.   To view and download an English translation of the final report by the Public Prosecutor's Office in Paris, originally obtained by the London Sunday Times, go to http://www.geocities.com/wellesley/6226/report.htm?200613.
3. To view and download the Operation Paget inquiry report, go to http://www.met.police.uk/news/operation_paget_report.htm.
About the Author:John Morgan is an investigative journalist and writer based in Brisbane, Australia. Since 2005, he has carried out extensive full-time research into the circumstances surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. His book, Cover-up of a Royal Murder: Hundreds of Errors in the Paget Report (available from http://www.thedianaplot.  com and http://www.allbookstores.com ), is reviewed in this edition of NEXUS.
John    Morgan    can    be   contacted    by   email    at shining.bright@optusnet.com.au.

Gadsby-SOME SHOCKING FACTS ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS


SOME SHOCKING FACTS ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS Tranquillizers, Sleeping Pills & Antidepressants
Joan E. Gadsby
October 2003
  1. Worldwide sales of prescription drugs exceed $300 billion yearly with tranquillizers, sleeping pills, antidepressants and other Central Nervous System drugs accounting for an estimated $76 billion in sales.
  2. Inappropriate prescribing and uninformed use of prescriptions cost healthcare systems billions of dollars worldwide yearly.
  3. Prescription Drugs are the fastest growing sector of worldwide health care costs with health care costs continuing to be the largest component of most governments budgets.
  4. Prescription Drugs are fast exceeding the cost of physician services.
  5. Benzodiazepines have often been called the most widely prescribed group of drugs in the world and the biggest selling drugs in the history of medicine with worldwide sales in excess of $21 billion in 1999.
  6. Approximately 10% - 20% of the world population use tranquillizers and sleeping pills with up to 30% of people over the age of 60 years using these drugs (often over many years having been prescribed them at a much earlier age) and who have become "accidental or involuntary addicts".
  7. By law when a physician prescribes drugs for a patient, the physician is required to ensure that the patient is fully informed of the drugs risks and benefits and consents to the drug therapy with full informed knowledge. Statistics show that this occurs in less than 20% of the patient population.
  8. An estimated 4 million people in the United States have used prescribed benzodiazepine tranquillizers and hypnotics (sleeping pills) regularly for 5 - 10 years or more according to a US study in the early 1990's. Similar figures apply in the UK, Europe and in some Asian countries with the trend continuing.
  9. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 33% of diseases today are caused by medical treatment i.e. iatrogenic or doctor induced illness. Doctors are the third leading cause of death in the US after heart disease and cancer causing an estimated 250,000 deaths each year according to an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association July 2000.
  10. An estimated 60% of users of tranquillizers and sleeping pills suffer a mixture of adverse effects and withdrawal after 2 - 4 weeks of use (including therapeutic dose levels) due to tolerance and addiction.
  11. Addiction to prescription drugs such as tranquillizers and sleeping pills is the inability to discontinue the use of the drugs as a direct result of the build up of tolerance and when the original dose has progressively less effect and a higher dose is required over time. Tolerance produces a recognized withdrawal syndrome and can precipitate "mini withdrawals" "or inter dose withdrawals" between pills depending on the "half life" of the drugs. This often leads to doctors prescribing increased dosages and/or prescribing another benzodiazepine and/or cross addictions to other drugs, primarily alcohol, to withstand the withdrawal symptoms.
  12. Pharmaceutical companies spend more on marketing and promotion of drugs than on research and development - an estimated $15,000-$20,000 on every doctor with expenditures of $8.3 billion in the United States in 1998.
  13. 40% of impaired or dead drivers of motor vehicles show prescription drugs in their systems - predominantly tranquillizers and sleeping pills.
  14. The adverse effects of benzodiazepines can include: paradoxical agitation, increased behavioural disinhibition, impaired new learning, decreased short and long - term memory, impaired psycho - motor functioning, (many times leading to accidents and/or falls), rage, the appearance or worsening of anxiety and depression, suicidal ideation, emotional anesthesia, floppy baby syndrome, the potential for permanent cognitive impairment, tolerance and addiction leading to acute and protracted withdrawal. These effects have been known for over 2 decades but little has been done to address the problem or to change doctors prescribing habits.
  15. The National Centre on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in 2001 found that General Practitioners don't properly assess for addictions and alarmingly, fewer than one third can diagnose addiction to prescription drugs - a problem doctors create.
  16. Guidelines for acceptable duration of benzodiazepine use dating back over 2 decades state a maximum of 2 - 4 weeks or for intermittent use only. Most recently, guidelines state 7 - 10 days.
  17. The infrastructure i.e. detox, treatment and recovery centres available and doctors knowledgeable to help people withdraw from tranquillizers, sleeping pills and antidepressants is minimal and in many cases non existent.
  18. Misdiagnosis, misprescribing and mistreatment of patients who trust their doctors to "do no harm" continue today in the area of tranquillizers, sleeping pills and antidepressants.
  19. The high cost to our socio-economic system with the continued indiscriminate prescribing and uninformed usage of these drugs includes health and safety in the work place, career devastation, family dysfunction, productivity losses, car accidents, falls, floppy baby syndrome (similar to fetal alcohol syndrome), lost years of people's lives, lost lives, costs to the legal and justice system, workers' compensation board claims, life and disability insurance claims, social welfare costs, emergency admissions, physicians' fees, pharmacists' fees, drug costs, detox facilities and increased overall costs for healthcare and other public/private sector services.
  20. The elderly receive more than twice the number of prescription for psychotropic drugs as do younger people and can experience drug induced dementia, cognitive impairment and falls after years of use.
  21. Non "psychiatric" conditions account for 70% of tranquillizer and sleeping pill prescribing and usage.
  22. Cross addictions to other drugs and alcohol occur in 73% of benzodiazepine users - many of whom never used or had problems with alcohol or other drugs previously.
  23. A 5 year study (1997 - 2002) in the State of Maine revealed that 88% of suicide overdose victims and 52% of accidental overdose victims had a prescription for at least one drug implicated in the cause of death - including benzodiazepines and antidepressants. A previous study revealed that 43% of emergency admissions for suicide attempts or overdoses involved tranquillizers and sleeping pills.
  24. Prescription drug addiction to benzodiazepines is 10 times the problem of illegal drugs a far more gripping and debilitating than addiction to heroin or cocaine. Withdrawal is recognized to be more difficult, more prolonged and can last months or years depending on the years of use, dosage and the concurrent prescribing with other drugs.
  25. Withdrawal symptoms from tranquillizers and sleeping pills can include insomnia, panic attacks, agitation, hallucinations, paranoia, depersonalization, derealization, depression, pressure in head, anxiety, loss of appetite, weight loss, visual distortions, flashbacks, lack of concentration, agoraphobia, dizziness, sweating, nausea, nightmares, palpitations, creeping sensation in the skin, increased sensitivity to light, touch and smell, pins and needles, numbness, seizures and sometimes death. A too rapid withdrawal causes major hyper excitability of the brain and central nervous system. A slow taper of weeks and months depending on use is recommended under close, ongoing medical supervision by a knowledgeable doctor and/or addiction specialist.
  26. A Canadian report released in May 1999 revealed that in 1997 benzodiazepine prescriptions surpassed all other Phamacare prescriptions for women exceeding cardiac drugs, antidepressants and estrogen. 67% of prescriptions were issued to women.
  27. 68% of people prescribed tranquillizers and sleeping pills receive their prescriptions from only one doctor.
  28. A 1996 study at Stockholm University in Sweden revealed that 51% of patients dependent on sedative/hypnotic drugs (tranquillizers and sleeping pills) showed signs of acquired intellectual deterioration and impairment (which can be permanent).
  29. Substance use and mental illness co exist in an estimated 50% - 70% of patients diagnosed with "alleged psychiatric disorders". The DSM III and DSM IV (psychiatric manuals) document substance induced anxiety disorders, substance induced mood disorders and substance induced depressive disorders caused by benzodiazepine use. These ""alleged psychiatric disorders" often disappear once a patient is off all medications and as a result of lifestyle changes including exercise and diet.
  30. There is extensive worldwide concurrent prescribing of benzodiazepines with antidepressants to approximately 60% of patients/consumers (often prescribed to counteract the adverse/side effects of one category of drugs with another).
  31. Many patients are prescribed several different benzodiazepines and several different antidepressants at the same time. In some cases, patients are further prescribed neuroleptics and then anti psychotics. It is not unusual to find patients on 3 - 7 different nervous system drugs. This is all part of a market "dollar" driven healthcare system based on an antiquated "disease model" and dependent on a chemical cocktail of drugs.
  32. A booming market also exists for antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Wellbutrin and Effexor with worldwide sales in the billions of dollars. Antidepressants (often referred to as the follow up to Valium 25 years later) in the United States in 2000 reached $10.4 billion in retail sales up 21% over 1999 and representing a startling five fold increase since 1993.
  33. In the United States in 2000 Prozac sales (Eli Lilly) reached $2.6 billion, Zoloft (Pfizer) reached $1.9 billion, Paxil (Smith Kline Beecham) $1.8 billion, Wellbutrin (Glaxo Smith Kline) $850.9 million and Effexor (Wyeth - Ayerst) $815.8 million.
  34. Antidepressants including Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox and Celexa can have significant side effects including drug induced mania leading to suicide, suicidal ideation, violence, criminal acts, disinhibition or out of control behaviour; drug induced severe anxiety, agitation and depressions; drug induced obsessions and compulsions; drug induced akathisia (an internal sensation of agitation or discomfort that drives a person to move about and also to lose impulse control); tolerance and addiction leading to a recognized withdrawal syndrome which can include bouts of overwhelming depression, insomnia, fatigue and life - threatening physical effects, psychosis and violent out bursts.
  35. During the past decade and with greater frequency, there has been an alarming increase in murder/suicides, suicides, domestic violence, bizarre mass killings, mother (parents) killing children, road and air rage, school shootings and workplace violence in North America where documented evidence has shown the involvement of Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, SSRI/Antidepressant drugs and/or other mind/and mood altering drugs.
  36. Most monographs and drug formularies for antidepressant drugs state "effectiveness and safety in long term use has not been evaluated". Concern has also been expressed regarding antidepressant prescribing to young children and adolescents (since these drugs have not been approved for use in children under 18 years of age). One million children in the US were reported taking antidepressants in 1999 - including mint flavoured Prozac.
  37. Safe use of antidepressants during pregnancy has not been established with drug monographs and drug formularies stating that antidepressants should not be administered to women of child bearing potential unless in the opinion of the treating physician the expected benefits to the patient markedly out weigh the possible hazards to the child or fetus.
  38. Prescription Drugs are big business with high profits. The ongoing creation by major international drug companies of expanded markets and new markets for antidepressants include new "alleged diseases" such as "social anxiety disorder" for which Paxil is being promoted heavily in advertising; Prozac as Sarafem to treat "mood imbalances associated with premenstrual syndrome" and since Prozac has gone off patent, the drug manufacturer, Eli Lilly has received approval to market a once weekly version of the drug (based on its "new coating").
  39. The drugging of children with Ritalin, another highly addictive central nervous system stimulant, continues with increasing regularity and controversy with Ritalin use nearing a world record. In the United States, usage of Ritalin increased an estimated 70% between 1990 and 1998. Is it a question of "hook" them young and they are customers for life to addictive prescription drugs including tranquillizers, sleeping pills and antidepressants?BE AN INFORMED AND AND KNOWLEDGEABLE CONSUMER!
    Sources: International research and statistics compiled over 12 years from various sources.
    © Copyright 2003, Joan E. Gadsby

An Interview with Dr. Peter Breggin


Peter R. Breggin, M.D. discusses psychiatric drugs including SSRI drugs such as prozac, paxil, zoloft, luvox, effexor, serzone, anafranil & the diet pills - fenfluramine, fen-phen & redux.

An Interview with Dr. Peter Breggin
http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/7776/PROZAC1.HTM

From the Nobody Show
WEOS 89.7FM Geneva, NY.
Taped on 1/24/96
Guest: Peter Breggin: psychiatrist, critic of psychiatry, and author
Nobody:
Hi everybody. It's Nobody, and welcome back to the second hour of the nobody show. I've had a lot of guests on this show, most of them -- well all of them -- I'm happy to talk to, some of them I disagree with a lot... but only a minority of them are people that I truly admire. And my guest tonight is somebody who's in that category. He is an author who has written some ground breaking books. Long before I thought of having him on the show, I read his book Toxic Psychiatry[books can be purchased by clicking the links --ep] cover to cover, thought it was brilliant, brilliantly researched and documented. He's also written a book called Talking Back to Prozac. Both of these books are out in paperback at the moment. And he's also the director of the Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology. Dr. Peter Breggin, welcome to the Nobody Show!
Breggin: What a nice introduction to the Nobody show. Thank you very much.
N: Well I must say you're someone who deserves it. I really am a great admirer of the work that you've done. And one of the things that amazes me about the reception you've gotten and some of the controversy is that people treat you as if you hadn't researched the work, whereas your work is really meticulously researched.
B: Well as a leftist -- your being a leftist, not I necessarily --I told you earlier when we were talking that I'm more confused politically. I've been all over the spectrum. But as a leftist, you have an awareness of how social critics get marginalized. Maybe that's part of the meaning of your "Nobody" metaphor.
N: That's exactly it. I want to talk for all the nobody's of the world, and certainly mental patients count in the nobody group as do social gadflies.
B: Let me follow up on what I was going to say, which is that this myth perpetrated by some psychiatrists that I'm not scientific is part of that marginalization. Whereas in fact my books, the ones that are read by the general public, have more scientific citations in the back of them, and more references and research than many actual textbooks of pharmacology or textbooks of psychiatry.
N: Not to mention popular works like Mood Swing by what's his name Ronald Fire or you'd know better than I ...
B: Feavy (sp?).
N: Feavy! Well this is a book that started people on lithium, and it's entirely anecdotal, it's shoddy and shocking. I'm a journalist also, and I was astonished that a book as badly written as that had gotten that response.
B: And Listening to Prozac by Cramer, which has just charmed the pants off of intellectuals around the country, is based on maybe four or five anecdotes.
N: Well, there are some left wing political issues here, things that you touch on without taking a left wing stance necessarily; but the psychiatrists who are the ones who make most of the real legal policy about these things -- like they can prescribe drugs and stuff -- they're not a group of just academic scholars sitting in ivory towers. You document very well that there are people influencing the psychiatrists. How is this happening?
B: Well, we live in a world in which industry dominates, obviously, a great deal of what happens in the country: what's said, what's done, what's read, what's believed. And there are giant multi-billion dollar industries, and I describe their effects in both Talking Back to Prozac and Toxic Psychiatry. They influence the way research is done, they influence what gets published, they influence who gets appointments, they influence what gets into the press. It's quite astonishing. A company like Eli Lilly, that makes Prozac, spends millions of dollars on PR. One of the things they try to do, for example, is to marginalize a person like myself. A lot of the PR that they churn out from that multimillion dollar machine of theirs is about me, for example, one lone psychiatrist who has criticized their drug.
When you look, as I have, at the heart of these corporations, and I'm not going to specifically say Lilly and indict one corporation, but when you look at the heart of many of them, as I have, in their in-house documents, it's astonishing the degree to which self-interest and the profit motive really does dominate the entire process, even when they're making a medication or a drug for people. I've been, ahh... Oh gosh, I said I wasn't going to get political didn't I? I've been a medical expert in product liability cases, and I've read, had access to, the internal documents of these companies, and I did not start out as cynical as I've ended up. I started out with a very strong streak of libertarianism, I said lets not have government regulation, lets regulate through the market, through malpractice and product liability suits and so on. But it's clear that the companies, by and large, from my experience, do only what they are absolutely forced to do in regard to protecting the public from the damaging effects of their drugs. And then they try to get away with stuff even though they're being forced to do something else.
N: Now, this even goes to the point of their paying for psychiatric conventions, they're giving money to people, paying money to the editors of psychiatric journals. I recall you were talking about -- I mean this is not obscure, this money flow -- there's only 30 or 40 thousand psychiatrists, and basically they've been bought.
B: Well, I don't think the individual psychiatrists have been bought, say, any more than an individual soldier is necessarily bought. But the profession has been bought, the organizations of the profession. In the 1970's, psychiatry was on the rocks economically, it was losing out in competition with social workers and psychologists and non medical therapists. Women were becoming increasingly aware that they'd be better off going to, say, a woman social worker than a male psychiatrist if they wanted to be understood or helped.
And at that point -- and I trace this in Toxic Psychiatry -- at that point, psychiatry, at an organized level, including in the actual annual board meetings of the American Psychiatric Association, made a decision first to "re-medicalize:" to convince the public and the congress, which provides a lot of money to psychiatry, and to convince the country that personal suffering is medical and biological. And, they made at the same time, after some debate, a decision to take more money from the drug companies. So the psychiatric association went from being broke to being wealthy within in a few years as a result of the support of drug companies which just pours in now. They won't even open up their books to their own members.
N: Even members can't find out. . .
B: Even members can't find out what money is flowing where.
N: But these associations, they also publish the journals, I mean this money has a huge influence. . .
B: The money affects everything. I've pointed out that studies that were published in support of Xanax for panic disorder -- that were published in the Archives of General Psychiatry -- that the studies were really terrible. And how did they get published, and even misrepresented in their own abstracts in the journals to make them look better than they were? Well it turned out that Daniel Freedman, who was the editor of in chief at the time, was a paid consultant for the (laughing) ethics committee of the drug company Upjohn, which makes Xanax. . .
N: And he denies of course that this influenced him. . .  Freedman by the way is somebody that I personally know something about because I've written a book, that hasn't been published yet, about LSD. And Freedman was kind of in the forefront of a group of people that were giving out kind of stupid advice about that, but never mind ... Let's talk about some of these specific issues of which there are so many, we could talk for hours ... What's wrong with Prozac?
B: Well first of all it's a psychiatric drug. It's a drug that modifies the brain and the mind, so the question to start with is: is this something that people want to do? Is that a way to approach personal suffering? Is it by fooling around and tampering with your neurotransmitters? Then we can get into more details; and, specifically, Prozac is an amphetamine-like drug clinically, not in its effects. It effects different neurotransmitters, at least its primary effect is on different neurotransmitters; but its clinical effect is very similar to amphetamines and cocaine, and I document that very heavily in Talking back to Prozac. And even the FDA knew it in-house: I quote the documents comparing it to amphetamine which were then expurgated from anything that came out of the FDA.
N: Are you suggesting that the FDA is in the pocket of the drug manufacturers too?
B: It's not in the pocket, it's working as close good friends. At least in the psychiatric arena, the psychiatric drug arena which is the one I know.
N: Well they didn't fight real hard to keep that recombinant bovine growth hormone out of the milk either, but never mind...
B: Well yes, there's many different areas...
N: Many different areas where they seem to be working for industry and not for the public.
B: Well it's a commonplace truth that the agencies end up much more under the control of the people that they are supervising than under the control of the consumers. If you look at say, EPA, for a long time EPA, supposed to be regulating industrial pollution, was very much working along with the industry. Now at least at EPA there is a certain amount of response to consumer pressures. A certain amount at least. There are lobbying groups and consultants, Sierra Club and so on, that have some impact on EPA. There's nothing like that at FDA in the drug arena. When a drug like Prozac is approved, it's strictly a collaborative effort between the FDA and the drug company. All the research is done by the drug company, all the researchers are bought and paid for, literally in this case, bought and paid for by the drug company. And the FDA relies entirely on the information sent to it, on the good offices, on the ethics, of the drug companies.
N: Well, be that as it may, isn't it still, even if it is like amphetamine, even if the research was paid for by them, isn't it still a wonder drug that makes people happy, takes away their problems, gets them motivated, makes them thin, dilutes the symptoms of PMS, does everything except make you fly...
B: The real wonder of Prozac is that a drug that's so worthless has had such a cultural impact and has become such a cultural placebo. Because if you look at the actual studies that got it approved at the FDA, for example, the drug was so worthless that the FDA had to stand on its head to allow approval. And in fact if you just studied Prozac itself it wouldn't have gotten approved. The way it got approved was by being combined with sedatives in many of the studies. When you combine it with sedatives it was better than a placebo. Prozac plus the sedative, people said it helped them or they showed some symptom improvement, but often not any with just Prozac alone. Many people found the stimulation much too agitating, too upsetting, for them.
That's one of the big issues about Prozac, is this amphetamine-like effect, but there's another big issue with all of the anti-depressants: they all have an enormous impact on the neurotransmitter system, and the brain doesn't like this. What you're basically doing with Prozac is you're flooding the connections in the brain with chemical sparks called serotonin by stopping serotonin from being removed and destroyed. You flood it, that's what Prozac does. It stops the removal of serotonin. That jacks up the whole system.
It's just as if you had no way of pulling the fuel out of your carburetor, no way of controlling the spark, the ignition process, you're jacking up the ignition process. The brain doesn't like this and it begins to shut down. It does this by means of the dying off of the actual receptors in the brain that would ordinarily receive serotonin. So instead of getting all those sparks just falling on ... on material to ignite, the brain actually dies back in some of its processes to try to calm itself down. Eli Lilly, the manufacturer, has never studied whether the brain recovers from that process. So we don't know whether you grow back your receptors after they die off during Prozac. And I think this is unconscionable. I'm certain that what I'm saying is true because I was the medical expert in the first, and thus far only, product liability lawsuit against Lilly which Lilly settled for a large, secret amount of money sometime after my testimony and before it went to the jury. Which is another interesting story I'd like to tell, which hasn't been told very much ...
N: Go ahead...
N: Go ahead...
B: This is really fascinating. There are about 160 suits out against Eli Lilly, for murder and suicide mostly, people who either committed murder or suicide or mutilated themselves or have done something horribly violent on Prozac.
N: Abby Hoffman is a famous Prozac suicide.
B: He's one of the people who's been said, at least. I just have the newspaper accounts...
N: I talked to his widow, so I know he was on Prozac.
B: Oh, that's good. I just had the newspaper attributions ... so his widow said that?
N: Yes, she said he was on Prozac, and he wasn't well monitored on it.
B: What usually happens is the person gets agitated, like from an amphetamine, then you have depression plus agitation. Also, Prozac can cause depression. Eli Lilly admitted this, and then it was edited out by the FDA, if you can believe that, out of the very last label that was written for Prozac, had in it that it commonly caused depression. And that was edited out at the last minute.
N: Which is exactly the condition that it's supposed to cure.
B: Sure, right. Now what happened in the Prozac trial was really amazing. The Prozac case, the case of Joseph Westbecker who had shot 20 people at his former place of work, he killed 8 of them and then he killed himself. And he had been taking many drugs, he had a very long and difficult psychiatric history. He'd threatened violence before he ever took Prozac. He bought guns before he ever took Prozac. But he was doing fine until the doctor thought maybe he could use a little boost, and he gave him Prozac. And then the doctor noted that he got agitated and possibly deluded, and he said "stop the Prozac." And it was days after that, with the Prozac still in his system, that he committed these murders and suicide. So I argued not that Prozac had made him violent for the first time in his life, but that it had tipped him over from a man who had fantasies and fears of violence to someone who committed violence.
It was not your best case to go with. Because we have many other cases, from what I understand, down the pipe, where the person hadn't been violent or suicidal beforehand, and then took the drug and committed some act against himself or someone else. So this was a tough case, and we thought initially, I thought and the public thought, that Lilly had won it by a close vote of the jury of 9 to 3, close because if there had been one other person who had turned it would have been a hung jury. And that would have been a disaster for Lilly, a hung jury, because they wanted to claim that they had won a complete victory; nobody would notice that it was a 9 to 3 vote, but that they had a complete victory, and that's what they claimed: that they had been exonerated by the jury, in a fair trial.
I had felt there was something very strange in the trial going on. It turned out that the judge discovered that they had a secret settlement before it went to the jury. That the settlement included a large amount of money, included the attorney in charge of the case settling all of his cases, not just this one, and in return for getting all of this money. The people who had brought the case swore to secrecy about it, they didn't bring up certain damaging evidence against Eli Lilly, for instance that I wanted to bring up in my testimony. They agreed not to bring it up, and they agreed not to appeal the verdict, and agreed not to ask for punitive damages. It was really a very significant settlement AND THEN THEY WENT ON WITH A FAKE TRIAL! That's what money can buy you. They went on with a fake trial, without telling the judge they had already reached a settlement and they weren't going to tell the jury everything.
N: That's incredible. So the plaintiff didn't present all the plaintiff's evidence...
B: The plaintiff didn't present all the evidence...
N: That's how they avoided ... that's incredible. I've never heard of this tactic, but nothing will surprise me...
B: I've talked to many attorneys: it's unheard of. Many people consider it unethical, some people raised the question of whether it was criminal or not, for both sides, to do this. The judge was obviously angry, a very respected judge in Louisville Kentucky.
N: And this is a story that nobody knows...
B: No, it's gotten almost no publicity, it's been in a couple of obscure legal-type journals, places like that...
N: I'm very glad you shared it with us here. Now, when you talk about changes in the brain, isn't this a classic pattern of addiction, when you have a physiological adaptation to a drug?
B: Yes, that's part of the addiction process, and it certainly makes for the dangers of the withdrawal being particularly painful, confusing or bizarre in some fashion. And many people, when they begin to stop taking their Prozac, they get very crazy, they get disturbed and we've seen that ...
N: Do we know if Prozac has long term side effects, or damage or anything like that?
B: No, we have no idea because the simple experiments that could be done on rats to see if the neurotransmitter systems grow back after they die off from the Prozac, after the receptors in these systems die off, we don't know if they come back, and this is not a hard experiment to do. Very simple, and under oath the Lilly people said they'd never done any of this. The FDA had never asked them to do it. I phoned researchers around the country who said they couldn't do it because it could turn out to be so damaging to Lilly that, you know, they wouldn't do it because, after all, all the researchers in the field rely on the drug companies ...
N: Now, if anyone is just joining us, my guest is Dr. Peter Breggin who is the author of Toxic Psychiatry and also of Talking Back to Prozac. And the numbers to call in here are xxx-xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxxx.
N: Off the air, someone called and gave a question. They didn't want to go on the air, but they asked about Zoloft or Effexor. I don't even know what that is. Are either of these dangerous in your opinion?
B: Well, Prozac and Paxil and Zoloft are very similar drugs. And they all have similar dangers, Prozac is more toward the stimulating end, whereas Zoloft and Paxil are sometimes a bit more sedation, but you can get some horrendous stimulation too. Effexor is more complicated; it does some of the things the other drugs do, so it has some of those dangers, but then it affects other neurotransmitter systems as well.
Put it this way: we know that if you take a little bit of toxin and you drop it in the ocean, it's going to turn up in the fish and it's going to turn up in our bodies and it injures us. We know that if you put some of these flourohydrocarbons in the atmosphere in tiny amounts, you may end up with a hole in the ozone layer and it will cause cancers here on earth and other problems. We know that pouring smoke into the environment and acids have been causing all kinds of problems. We're even raising the temperature of the earth. That's the effect of minuscule, minute pollutants on our general environment.
Now take your brain. Your brain is much more complicated than anything else in the environment. There's nothing in the universe that we know of that's anywhere near as complicated as a human brain. You're taking that incredibly complicated and delicate organ, and you're putting into it agents which pollute it at a far higher concentration than anything that the earth is ever exposed to. But the point is to intoxicate the brain, it's to disrupt its processes. That's what the drugs are for. Now is that what we should be doing to our brains? I don't think so. I don't think it's the way to go.
N: Just to talk about how dangerous this is, let me give you a couple of words which I'll probably mispronounce. Maybe you could tell people what they mean: Tardive dyskinesia.
B: You did pretty good with that. Tardive dyskinesia.
N: What is it?
B: It's a permanent neurological disorder which comes from another class of drugs. It comes from a class of drugs called neuroleptics or major tranquilizers or anti-psychotics that are widely used in hospitals, and sometimes in private practice, and sometimes even for behavioral control of children. These are drugs that are given in nursing homes; they include Haldol, thorazine, stelazine, novane, melaril, prolixin. These are the drugs that supposedly caused the miracle emptying of the mental hospitals, but that's not what happened. The emptying of the mental hospitals was an economic thing, they just stopped admitting people and threw people out. But it was an administrative change due to economic pressures. But these are the mythological miracle drugs.
We now know that if you're an ordinary healthy person, say a 35 year old male, and you take these drugs for say 3 years, which is not uncommon, in 3 years you'll have a 15% chance, which is astronomical, of getting a permanent neurological disorder that's characterized by twitches and spasms, tics and sometimes painful spasms, sometimes disfiguring tics and twitches. And if you take these drugs for a lifetime, as many doctors advocate, you begin to approach a 100% chance of getting this disease.
N: How many people have gotten it?
B: Multiple millions, multiple millions throughout the world. We can't even begin to count. I've made rough estimates of a few million in the US, but there's no way to know. Certain populations are vulnerable beyond belief: a 65 or 70 year old person in a nursing home has up to a 20 percent risk per year on being exposed to this drug, 40 percent in two years. And this is all data that I documented in Toxic Psychiatry and is readily available if you go and look up the references.
N: If you open up Auschwitz and you see what went on there, you'd think that kind of discredits the Nazi's. At least I'd hope you'd think so. If you look at millions of people, we're only talking about one class of drugs, millions of people disabled by what psychiatrists did to them, doesn't this tend to discredit psychiatry totally as a profession?
B: Well let me answer by telling you something that you've alluded to but may not realize. I don't know if you know how much of a role psychiatry played in Nazi Germany and in the creation of the extermination camps.
N: I'm glad you brought it up, go ahead ...
B: My wife and I have a third book that's been recently published called The War Against Children. Which is about racism in federal government programs, particularly racism directed at black children in federal government psychiatric programs. In that book, I have a chapter on the history of the role of psychiatry in Nazi Germany, very documented, like all my stuff is, and this subject that I'm about to introduce you to, I've lectured on in Germany as well as in other European countries, I've given this talk at a historical conference on medicine in Germany, so this is very valid material that I'm presenting to you.
Psychiatry was key in the whole developmental process of the holocaust. It all begins in the late 1930's and early '40s with the extermination of mental patients by psychiatry. Psychiatry created five or six euthanasia centers having names that people haven't heard of, like Harteim, Sonnenstein. These extermination centers used gas chambers, at the time, carbon monoxide. They used (unclear), they used, not so much cremating ovens, as they cremated the bodies in pits; that was one of the differences. But they had the whole works, they had euthanasia forms that they used to fill out in Berlin on patients who were in the local state mental hospitals. And then the patients that were selected were shipped to the killing centers. This is what proved to Hitler, and to the German bureaucracy, that you could carry out a mass extermination, a bureaucratic, technological, mass extermination: it was proven and demonstrated by psychiatry.
N: Wasn't there a psychiatrist who actually spoke to Hitler about this very thing, I mean it wasn't that Hitler just read about it, wasn't here someone who actually sort of pushed this thing?
B: We don't know that kind of intimate detail. We know of course that Hitler knew ... oh, I think I know what you're getting at. In a way, yes, I wouldn't have thought of him having pushed it on him. I mean Hitler had his own ideas. But the whole idea, the first idea of the mass murder program, predates Hitler to a psychiatrist, Paul Hoche. Actually, it may not be Paul, but Hoche. And Hoche and Binding wrote a book on the extermination of mental patients in 1920, before Hitler was in power. And Hitler read Hoche. He was a fan of Hoche; he read his autobiography... Hitler drew heavily on psychiatry, and on genetic theorists and other scientists which he sort of popularized in Mein Kampf. Some of the passages inMein Kampf are just popularizations of eugenic psychiatry, talking about the mentally retarded, and the mentally ill, and not letting them propagate.
Hitler's first laws that he passed, were sterilization laws, mostly for psychiatric patients and the developmentally retarded and so on. And the entire murder program was organized by psychiatry. And there isn't a lot of evidence for Hitler initiating that program. That program seems to have been initiated out of psychiatry. Now there was an outcry against the program, and it was eventually stopped. And that left all the murder centers. One of them had just been completed, one of the murder centers for psychiatry, and it was turned into an extermination center for Jews. The other centers, which were mostly in Germany, were actually dismantled and shipped to Poland and became the initial foundation for the extermination centers, like Treblinka. And some of the personnel went, and even one of the psychiatrists went and ran one of them for awhile. But after awhile it was completely removed from the hands of psychiatry to a great extent, except for some places like Auschwitz. It was removed of from the hands of doctors eventually and just became much more mechanical. But the entire process of the extermination may not have gone on, and many people thought this and argued this later, that it wouldn't have gone on if professional psychiatry had refused the euthanasia program.
The AMA sent representatives to Neuremburg when this first came out, and the German equivalent of the AMA were there. And I quote them in The War Against Children as saying that if medicine had refused, and in particular if psychiatry had refused this murder program of their own, if they hadn't done that, we might not have had the holocaust. We obviously would have had horrible things done to the Jews, but maybe not the bureaucratic, mechanical extermination program.
N: You know, when I was a kid we used to have candy cigarettes that had pretty much the real looking packages, but they were made out of something else; and it turned out that the tobacco companies encouraged the manufacturers of these to get kids started in their direction...
B: You know I just heard something else about that, I just heard that all the soldiers in world war two always had free cigarettes...
N: Right, also provided by the tobacco companies...
B: By the companies to hook the 18 and 19 year olds ...
N: Right, I think that was started actually in world war one. But the thing is kids are being started on psychiatric drugs now, and it's now becoming a thing that the teachers endorse. You put it in the schools, you give it to young kids... what's the story on that?
B: I think it's a very good analogy that you're making. The drug companies have realized that if they target children they have a whole new and huge market. And they're doing it. We have now millions of children on drugs, whereas in the early '70s it was a scandal. To be very specific, in 1972-73 there were a bunch a books that came out around that time, and articles and TV shows, up in arms about the drugging of America's children. Because it was estimated that about 100,000 to 200,000 children were taking ritalin. Now, we probably have somewhere between 3 and 4 million on ritalin.
N: Is that safe?
B: It's as safe as Prozac and cocaine and all the other psychoactive drugs that people take. Ritalin is a stimulant, it's closely related to amphetamines. See, Prozac has similar effects to amphetamine, but ritalin really is amphetamine. It's basically speed. And it has all the problems of that drug, including addiction, withdrawal problems, producing the very things it's supposed to cure, inattention and things like that. And then there's just the whole idea of giving drugs to a growing young mind. And there are the much larger political issues of drugging children rather than improving family life and improving families and improving schools and dealing with our educational problems and the future of children in this country. Instead we're drugging them. It's an extraordinarily cynical, heartless thing to do, and politically it's a disaster. I mean instead of dealing with how to bring up more effective, happier, fulfilled generations of children, we're drugging them into submission. I mean we're doing it, we're on that road already.
N: While the schools are crumbling...
B: And while the families are crumbling.
N: You know, I've had this actual discussion with people and I wonder what your take on this is, because I'm a child of the '60s, I smoked marijuana, I've taken LSD: And I've said to people, "I've never met -- for all the stereotypes -- I've never met anyone selling drugs as completely crass as what the psychiatrists and the medical people are doing. Nobody ever said 'take this, it will cure your problems' ... "
B: And nobody says 2 and 3 and 4 year olds should do it. And they're doing that in psychiatry now.
N: But the answer to that, always, that I get back from people is that "you can't compare the two, the psychiatric drugs are given by doctors."
B: Right. But it's not magic, just because the guy that's pushing it has a medical degree or a drug company is making an open profit on it. That doesn't make it fundamentally different. Ritalin is a good example of that because in the '60s ritalin was a street drug. And when the "just say no to drugs" campaign was developed for children a decade or so ago, one of the drugs of greatest concern was ritalin, along with amphetamines. So it's exactly the same drug that was a very heavy street drug. And nowadays, some of the kids, when they go to the doctor and they say "yeah, they really like to take their ritalin", they like it because they take it home and they sell it to other kids who are using it as a drug of abuse. Snorting it or taking it with other drugs or taking extra large doses of it.
N: In your opinion, under what circumstances should somebody take a psychiatric drug?
B: I don't believe in the psychiatric drugs myself. I've been in practice since 1968, and I've never started anyone on psychiatric drugs. I don't think they're the answer to human suffering. And even in the area that psychiatrists like to reserve to itself, people who get labeled schizophrenic, people who hear voices or see things or are very frightened and paralyzed and terrified, there's plenty of evidence that human empathic, caring, protected environments are better than mental hospitals and drugs. And there's a whole history of research demonstrating that, and that research has been suppressed and squelched. And I talk about that research too in Toxic Psychiatry.
N: But you're saying, unequivocally, if you look at hard figures, not sentimentality or dewy eyed "new age" stuff, you're taking a look at hard studies and statistics and facts and figures of what's going to work better, you're saying that psychiatric drugs are worse.
B: Oh yeah, there's even stuff coming out of the establishment now, from psychology not psychiatry, that a careful look at the studies on antidepressants shows that they don't work. That it's all placebo. That if you do a study of a sugar pill and an antidepressant, the antidepressant might do a little better because the patient knows they're getting a drug. They have a dry mouth or they can't sleep or they're jittery and they say "oh, I'm getting a powerful medicine". But if you compare the antidepressant to a sugar pill that also has some side effects, then both groups do equally as well.
N: You mean if you give them an antihistamine or something ...
B: Yes, something that makes them sleepy or jittery but that's not supposedly an antidepressant. And I tell you, if you read Talking Back to Prozac you'll see that basically even their own conducted scientific studies with all the fancy tap dancing they did, really couldn't show that Prozac was any better than a sugar pill. They really were hard pressed to do it. And then, things that they found that they hid; I found in going over their in-house documents of Lilly -- and I couldn't say this if it weren't true -- I found that they had an increased suicide rate on Prozac.
N: In their own internal documents ...
B: In their own studies, and it was in their own documents, and somebody might say "well, the patients were depressed", but this was scientific studies, this compared depressed patients on sugar pills, depressed patients on old-time antidepressants and depressed patients on Prozac. And of that group, the group that was given Prozac, there were 3 to 6 times as many suicide attempts on Prozac. And their own consultant, in a secret memo, gave the same explanation that I gave in court. He said well this is a stimulating drug, so maybe it gets people agitated and it sort of "tips them over". And Eli Lilly responded to this research by hiding it.
N: Well, one can easily see why. But despite this, there's a big move on now to forcibly drug people: "we've been too nice to these mental patients, now we've gotta make them take these drugs". In fact you wrote a letter to the New York Times -- I have a copy -- on June 28th of '94, in which you said "In my interviews with street people at drop-in centers, I've found that nearly all of them would rather endure the risks of homelessness, including starvation and physical abuse, than subject themselves to psychiatric drug treatment." That's pretty radical talk there.
B: Isn't it wonderful too, that the New York Times was willing to publish it. I mean you get these little holes in the establishment where you can flow through occasionally.
N: Well I think that's a tribute to your reputation. But in any case, where do the psychiatrists get off working -- I mean this is something Thomas Saads (sp?) has also talked about, about this medical-legal nexus -- I mean where do the psychiatrists get off saying "yeah, let's force people to take drugs"?
B: Well we have a long tradition of that. Our psychiatry really begins in force in ... the history of psychiatry, some people think it begins with Freud, you know, but actually Freud wasn't a psychiatrist and he had very little influence in psychiatry. The history of psychiatry begins, and this will interest you as a self-avowed leftist, it begins with the industrial revolution and the creation of street people, where you had urban centers with large numbers of poor destitute homeless unemployed, sometimes inadequate and sometimes disturbed and crazy people. And that whole collection of people, the rising industrial urban area didn't know what to do with it, any more than they know what to do with it now. But I'm talking about 2 or 3 hundred years ago, and out of that came the state mental hospital system.
Now under the criminal laws, even of 17th century England or France, you couldn't just lock people up for no reason at all, even under the kings you couldn't just lock somebody up for no reason at all, so out of that came Civil Commitment. Where you just sort of took away the civil rights of people, and for their own good, supposedly, and for the good of society, swept them up off the street and put them in these custodial institutions where most of them languished and died. So we're born, psychiatry is born, out of involuntary treatment, and it grew out of involuntary treatment, so it's real natural for us to think in terms of doing that.
N: Now we've barely scratched the surface, but there's also little things like psychosurgery and electric shock. Electric shock, we're now told, is safe, there's a new age of electric shock, all that bad reputation is over with now. Is that true?
B: No. Shock treatment is worse than ever, actually. The claims that it's better than ever are just a PR campaign. Nowadays, in order to keep the patients from breaking bones when they shake, you know, when you get a seizure, you shake. And the seizure that you get from a jolt to your brain is so much worse than an ordinary seizure that you break bones from the shaking, like your spine, your vertebrae. So we now paralyze the patients before we shock them, and give them sedatives. Well, when you sedate the brain, it's not as easy to make it have a seizure. Sedatives are anti-convulsives; that is, they prevent or slow down seizures. So when you're giving sedatives, you've got to give an even bigger jolt of electricity. Nowadays, patients get more electricity, than the older studies which showed brain damage in animals.
N: There are studies that show brain damage in animals?
B: Yes, I review some of those in Toxic Psychiatry. You can go from the book and go look them up in a medical library ...
N: And the same is true obviously, all of these things, including the surgery obviously, destroy brain tissue, that's what psychiatry is largely about, is destroying people's brains, it seems.
B: Well, we're disabling the brain.
N: Or killing them outright in the case of Nazi Germany ...
B: I have a new medical book, coming out, that may be called, Brain Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry [Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry : Drugs, Electroshock and the FDA, available soon, can be ordered now --ep], and basically all the interventions disable the brain or destroy brain tissue. The drugs, even if they don't cause anything permanent, although often they do, but even if they don't, they are disabling the brain. We don't have any substances to put in the brain to make it work better. All we can do is knock out some of its function or, as in the case of Prozac, jack up some of its function. Those are abnormalities, so we don't know how to do anything but produce abnormalities in the brain. Now my colleagues, who are ever-fascinated with the big lie, claim that patients have biochemical imbalances in the brain and that it's terrible to have them. In fact there's no evidence that patients with psychiatric labels have imbalances in their brain, until they get drugs. And once you have a psychiatric drug you have huge imbalances in your brain. That's what they do.
N: In the real world -- which is what you're describing I guess -- in the real world, these psychiatric drugs and psychiatric treatments are really horrific and dangerous and bad for you. The people who administer this, who we are supposed to respect, the doctors who are really injuring people, with some exceptions such as yourself: is being a psychiatrist evidence that you have a pathological condition yourself?
B: It's certainly evidence that you have, in almost all cases, administered electric shock, as I have. It's likely that you have locked up people against their will. Nowadays, it's evidence in most cases that you drug most of your patients. So, I mean, that's who you are.
N: Well, are they scum, are they sick, are they out of their minds? What's the matter with them?
B: They're typical guys...
N: They're mostly guys?
B: Well, I mean, I meant that more metaphorically, they are mostly guys, but they are people who tend to be into control and domination.
N: What keeps us from just outright condemning psychiatrists? I mean I feel this way about a lot of groups. I don't think that being the CEO of a transnational corporation should be respectable. But why should it be respectable to be a psychiatrist, when this is what psychiatrists do? With all due respect to you, who I respect enormously. When someone introduces themselves and says "I'm a psychiatrist" shouldn't the answer be "well why don't you get an honest job?"
B: I think it certainly would be worthwhile to challenge anyone who bravely announces himself or herself as a psychiatrist. To challenge them on involuntary treatment. To ask if they've stood up on issues of lobotomy or electroshock. To ask them whether they tell their patients about the damaging effects of their drugs. I think that these issues are beyond whether a psychiatrist is a good or a bad person. It's about a profession that does indeed do a great deal of harm.
N: Why are we going for it? Why are we going for Prozac as a nation? Why are we letting this happen?
B: Well, it might be worth looking at the whole question of what is the religion of the intellectual in America, including leftists? What does the intelligent, educated American do when he or she is terrified? When he or she feels at loose ends, and doesn't know where to go?
N: Eat pizza and watch trash TV?
B: That's the first thing. But what does that person do when, beyond that, the terror increases? The person is most likely to think that psychiatry will help. Especially after they've gone through, say, street drugs and alcohol and cigarettes and food and TV. The last resort of the educated person these days tends to be the psychiatrist. That means that psychiatrists are really our priests. That they constitute our religion. When people are happy to read in the New York times or the Washington Post, that homosexuality is discovered to be genetic and biological, which is false, or alcoholism or anything else, and that these things can be treated with drugs, that's welcomed as a religious statement of: "there is an answer". There's some place to turn. If we can't turn to psychiatrists, where are we going to turn?
I believe deeply in love, I believe in family, I believe in friendship, I believe in living by principles, I believe in values. But how many people believe that that's the rock bottom foundation that they can turn to and rely on in their worst emotional moments? Most people today, if their kid is out of control or they feel out of control, think the answer isn't in a spiritual or psychological realm, but is in a material, medical realm. Psychiatry has really become the religion of the more sophisticated people. And now it's biological psychiatry. When psychiatry was somewhat more psychoanalytic then a lot of people were psychoanalytic, and it's amazing that in two decades that people would change from the psychoanalytic ideology to the biochemical ideology, but it's the reliance of this thing called psychiatry.
N: I think we ought to distinguish, at least from my own point of view: There are people who get into a desperate situation, with themselves, with a child, someone's about to jump off a bridge ... I don't know how you feel, but personally, if you sedate someone that's just about to jump off a bridge so that they're calm for a few hours and you can deal with it, I'm not going to say that every case is always so extreme but ...
B: But wait a minute, that's the key. The key is: do you have a fantasy that if things get extreme enough, that it's the psychiatrist that you'll turn to? If that's your fantasy, then your religion is psychiatry.
N: But I'm saying that we shouldn't think only of the extreme cases ...
B: No, but I'm raising the extreme case at this moment, in response to why I think that all of our newspaper writers and editors and our, you know, teachers and talk show hosts, and everybody wants to take Prozac, or at least believes that it's something that they could rely on. And I think that a major reason for it, is that people want to believe, in the back of their minds, that there is hope, somewhere. That if they don't have a hope in God, or in Love, or in society or in community, they hold up psychiatry as the hope, so I think a lot of the reason why psychiatry is so strong, among certain groups of people, particularly among the educated, is that it provides a religious hope or faith.
N: I guess I would argue that it's not the extreme cases, it's the little cases ... It's like a gun, you know someone could say "well what could I do, someone's about to shoot me, I had to shoot back." That's true, but why did we have a whole culture of violence leading up to that situation? It's really every little thing now is psychiatric, you have to be thinking in those terms. But what's the alternative? If we're not going to be psychiatrically inclined, what is help for people if it's not drugs and electroshock and all that stuff?
B: All of life. And life has many many different things to offer, you know. I do psychotherapy, I do couples therapy, family therapy, I do telephone and radio shows, workshops, and that's just a little aspect. There are 12-step programs that are very good, you know the AA programs, there's religion, there's nature, there's so much to turn to, there's so many alternatives in life. The problem we're facing right now though, and it's worsening with managed care, is that most of the alternatives, for anyone who's really upset, are being excluded. And increasingly, we don't have havens, increasingly therapists are afraid to do therapy without drugs. So we're getting to the point where there's more and more exclusion of the alternatives. But if you're a depressed person there are so many alternatives available in life.
N: Do you think therapists, not giving drugs, but therapy with a therapist, has a place?
B: I do therapy. That's how I make a living, I think it's one of the approaches to life, and to improving life and helping with serious emotional problems or lesser ones. Or just handling life in general. But there are problems in that whole profession too, I mean, how do you choose a therapist. There's no guarantee that because somebody has a degree or license that they're a caring, ethical, thoughtful, experienced, understanding human being.
So even there, we have a problem. One of the problems there is the monopolization of licensure, for example. I'd like to see us admit that nobody has a monopoly on how to help human suffering. That all this reliance on professions, even the reliance on professional therapy, that this blind faith is incorrect, that every human being has to decide for themselves, what sorts of approaches, what sorts of changes are likely to empower them and give them a fuller life, allow them to live ethically and in a principled way.
N: Well that's a good note to end on, cause we're out of time. But I want to say, Dr. Breggin, that I'm honored to have had you on the show, I hope that you can come back. I wish you the very best with your work and I am, as I've said many times now, I'm a great admirer of yours and I thank you very much for being here.
B: Thank you.
N: There you have it folks. And I started out saying, it's like we had the pied piper of Hamlin: You know if someone said "let's throw the children to the rats" as a solution [to the rats and the piper, this referred to a tale presented earlier in the program, an example of "throwing out the baby with the bath water" --rw, original transcriber of this broadcast], nobody was ever that dumb in history to do it, but here we are doing it in the United States. And that just ties in with what Dr. Breggin was talking about, because we're throwing the children to the rats with the psychiatric drugs. That's what's happened to our culture. But just as Dr. Breggin said, there is an alternative. Life is an alternative, love is an alternative. And we can make a society built around justice and love and appreciation for life. It's got to be possible. Because if you don't believe in miracles, you're not a realist. I'm Nobody. I won't be on next week. Two weeks from today at the ABC cafe. Good night.
You've been listening to the Nobody show, produced in cooperation with 89.7FM WEOS Geneva. The views expressed in this program are not necessarily those of this station or that of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.