Talk:Peter Breggin/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Reworking article

To When you accuse someone of slander, please, specify the false facts being asserted. Please, do not make unfounded personal attacks. This article seems to bend over backwards to be fair to Breggin. For precision, written defamation is libel, not slander. An unfounded accusation of defamation is defamatory. Try being specific and precise for credibility. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

This article is a good example of why Wikipedia doesn't appear to work. I have edited this profile about a dozen times, trying to strike a balance between Breggin's accomplishments and the usual critiques leveled at him, in a fair-minded balanced way. It doesn't work. All it takes is one (insanely) dedicated person who wants to slander him and the profile becomes pretty inaccurate and biased, pretty fast. There is no room for nuance here, and the entry here reflects the personal agendas of those with plenty of time on their hands rather than an expression of the relevant facts.
I don't have time to re-re-re-edit away the slander (and more importantly, what is emphasized or omitted) and so I am simply done and will let this inaccurate portrait stand as it is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

To Ithacagorges: Thank you for contributing to the Peter Breggin article. Your insights are important, but gratuitous deletions and substitution with 'mainstream' POV is not what a Wikipedia biography is about. Please feel free to place your editorial opinions on the talk page, rather than the article istelf. Ombudsman 3 July 2005 00:09 (UTC)

To Ombudsman who reverted most of my changes on the Peter Breggin article, and deleted much of the preexisting criticism of Breggin as well, if you feel that I elaborated too much on the mainstream point of view, that is fine. However I will note some inclusions that I still feel are essential to a fair treatment of Breggin. (1) Breggin is currently living and practicing in Ithaca, NY, not Bethesda. Check his own website and the Ithaca Yellow Pages for confirmation of this. (One of his organizations is centered in Bethesda, and I believe he lived there previously.) (2) It is important to point out that Breggin's scientific credentials have been questioned, first by not passing the American Board of Psychology and Neurology Examination , and for publishing the majority of his "peer reviewed" literature in his own journal. (3) His alleged links to scientology haven't been "refuted", he and the scientologists have denied them. He was once a scientologist, and some of his research relies heavily on testimonials from scientologist sponsored support groups. As for the accusation that I made "gratuitous deletions" in my previous revision, if I remember correctly, I deleted very little from the earlier version, although I did move much around so a casual examination of the revision differences may have made it look like I did. --Ithacagorges 3 Jul 2005, 17:45 (UTC)
“He was once a scientologist”. No, only his wife was a scientologist. ―Cesar Tort 07:34, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Many thanks for the gracious response, Ithacagorges. While fair and reasoned criticism is expected and desirable, to an extent, the article is no place for a smear campaign to be allowed to snowball into libelous character assassination, a status which this article was creeping toward. The hundreds of billions of dollars reaped by the drug industry each year has yielded an increasingly rigid and hidebound prevailing paradigm in the West, making alternative perspectives that much more important to safeguard. The bottom line is that the article should be more a reflection Breggin's career, accomplishments, and perspectives, rather than becoming a dumping ground for the medical establishment's attacks on alternative medical practitioners. Ombudsman 3 July 2005 21:20 (UTC)
In retrospect, I agree my original version with the laundry list of criticsms was a bit overboard. Unable to keep my hands off things, I've made quite a few more changes, but mostly cosmetic and organizational. Hopefully they will be acceptible. In good faith, I deleted the paragraph on child sexuality; while his remarks raise eyebrows, mentioning them is inflammatory and not particularly relevent to his core activism. As an aside, in general going through Wikipedia I have become quite frustrated with the articles related to psychiatry and mental health. I feel many are inaccurate, incomplete, badly written, ignoring scientific evidence (these all criticisms both on articles for mainstream psychiatry as well as alternative), and slanted towards "anti-psychiatry" (for example: compare the lengths of the sections "anti-psychiatry" and "the practice of psychiatry" in the psychiatry article). Ithacagorges 4 July 2005 09:03 (UTC)
How is it inappropriate to mention Breggin's position on childhood sex acts? Biographical articles aren't intended to be limited to the subject's primary field of work or expertise. William Shockley's views on eugenics have nothing to do with his development of the transistor, but they're mentioned in the article on him anyway. The case for inclusion here is even stronger, as Breggin was writing in his capacity as a psychiatrist when he expressed his views on childhood sexual activity, which are at least moderately well known and which a lot of people find offensive. ([1], [2], [3])
If you bend over too far backwards to appease your critics, you may find yourself unable to return to your feet. --PHenry 05:23, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
...having seen no counter-arguments in more than a week, I am re-adding the material. --PHenry 00:27, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Breggin's mention of sex and children seems to have generated enough controversy to be noteworthy. BTW, Shockley didn't simply have "views" on eugenics - researching eugenic ideas and promoting them was his second career. If Breggin received grants to research childhood sex, wrote entire articles about it, participated in debates on it, and so on then they'd be comparable. However, as I said, I think it's noteworthy enough anyway. Cheers, -Willmcw 00:53, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

Good work here. Breggin's outrageous position on child sex absolutely must be included in this article. Please note that despite the official sounding name, Ombudsman has no official role within Wikipidia and is just another POV editor with anti-psychiatry positions.-- 09:52, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Attention: Ombudsman is not an official wiki ombudsman. He is just an editor like you and me. If Breggin is certified to be a pyschiatrist by any organization, it should be sourced. According to the resume on his official webpage, he has no certification.--Agiantman 03:21, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
Interesting that you accuse Ombudsman of being POV as you call Breggin's writing on a subject that you just happen not to like "outrageous." Your double standard, like that of Ithacagorges, is laughable. I'm not sure of Breggin's status but I suggest that for him to be called as an expert witness in court speaks well of his qualifications. I just attended the 8th conference of the organization which he founded (The International Center for the Study of Psychiatry & Psychology) and I found Breggin to be, as always, brilliant and concise and way out front in the movement to bring down biomedical psychiatry. -- Francesca Allan of MindFreedomBC
Attorneys will call any "expert witnesses" they think they can get away with if they believe the witnesses will help their cases; that's their job. If a judge finds an expert's methodology or conclusions to be without merit, the judge can toss the expert out using the Daubert standard--and in fact that's exactly what has happened to Breggin on many occasions.[4][5] (Perhaps that's why he "no longer accepts legal cases that require travel or trial testimony"? [6]) --PHenry 22:16, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

On the contrary, a lawyer's job is to present his client's case in the best possible light and that means using a credible expert witness. Breggin's research is impeccable and much more credible than what biomedical psychiatry puts forth.

I haven't had time to read both of your posted references but I skimmed the one on ADHD and the American Psychiatric Association is negligent in calling this a "neuropsychiatric disorder." As with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and a long list of other bogus conditions, there is no objective test for these "disorders." The error rate on psychiatric diagnosis is 50% according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Psychiatric medication and electroshock cause brain damage. The APA can shriek all it wants to but that won't change the fact that biomedical psychiatry is an absolute farce and should be abolished.

-- Francesca Allan of MindFreedomBC

PHenry! You wrote the following sentence: "If a judge finds an expert's methodology or conclusions to be without merit, the judge can toss the expert out using the Daubert standard--and in fact that's exactly what has happened to Breggin on many occasions." Upon a review of your link, the article actually says Breggin's testimony was excluded in THREE actions. The reason for the three exclusions is less than clear. In any event, "three" does not equal "many" and I suggest you make the appropriate correction. Breggin has helped win many lawsuits on behalf of psychiatric survivors. -- Francesca Allan of MindFreedomBC

I changed the section on pioneer in alternative... to reflect the perspective of the average researcher, scientist, scientific organizations regarding "peer review", "scientific" "clinical psychopharmacologist", etc. E.g. he has not written "many" peer reviewed papers and his books are not "medical books" although they deal with the subject of medicine/psychiatry. No common definition would view Peter Breggin as a specialist in clinical psychopharmacology (these specialists actually prescribe medications). Also ghost writing occurs in research but the sentence as phrased posits Breggin as unique and rebellious by writing his own papers; but authors writing their own papers is the far more common reality and certainly the type of 'research' and writing Breggin does is hardly ever ghost written.

Added "Bibliography"

If anyone finds any problems in the way this section I added is formatted, go ahead and fix them. --ILike2BeAnonymous 21:05, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Breggin is a psychiatrist

I removed the {{fact}} tag from the statement that Breggin is a psychiatrist, because that is not a contested issue. Even this page, on a site (Quackwatch) which is critical of him, refers to him as "psychiatrist Peter Breggin". What is at issue is Breggin's certification; however, the page furthermore states "Since 1968, he has practiced psychiatry in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area [14]." (There's a reference on that page). ==ILike2BeAnonymous 17:26, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. In the UK I think he would not be able to hold himself out as a Psychiatric specialist, certainly not as a consultant psychiatrist, although he would be able to practice psychiatry. Presumably the rules are not identical where he is. Would a fair description be "non-Board certified Psychiatrist"? He seems to be practicing psychoanalysis - which is not normally associated with neuroleptics and not much with other psychoactive drugs, which makes the statement that he does not use them rather misleading - if he was treating schizophrenics without using the drugs normally used that would be notable. If it had "like psychoanalysts in general he does not ..." and it was made clear he opposed the use of them by other doctors in other practices it would be not misleading.
The article is very overblown. I've toned it down a little, removing surplus adjectives. Midgley 22:14, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
“He seems to be practicing psychoanalysis…” In fact, Breggin is very critical of psychoanalysis (cf his book Toxic Psychiatry). ―Cesar Tort 07:34, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

risky statement

"There are some similarities between current academic work by psychiatric scientists on SSRIs and opinions Breggin wrote years ago. The books Prozac Backlash by Joseph Glenmullen and Blaming the Brain by Elliot Valenstein are popular-press critiques of SSRIs which do not acknowledge the contribution that Dr. Breggin has made, although in the case of Prozac Backlash, the content borders on plagiarism at times."

I've edited the first piece - I suggest that if scientists are publishing scientific studies, the fact that someone conjectured something similar years ago is not equivalent to their having denied him credit for doing their work or even contributing to it, and it is distinctly risky to suggest so. Regardless of risk, it should not be in WP unless it can be shown to be fact, or a citation given to someone who has asserted in public that it is so.

The second - I'd assume that if someone is not acknowledged as a contributor they have not contributed. Unless I could prove otherwise. There is an audit trail for whoever wrote the plagiarism bit, I've not looked, but from the POV of WP, unciteable allegations should not be here whether they are libellous or just not supported. This article is poor in quality and seems to have people dedicated to keeping it that way. Midgley 12:51, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

I've deleted it. On the face of it it is a piece about books by someone else - so out of place here - or an accusation without citation of plagiarism so WP:OR and/or libel. Whoever put it in should make a clear case that it is neither before adding it again. Midgley 14:17, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

agendas, agendas, agendas

Someone keeps inserting that Breggin opposes the use of "all" psychiatric drugs which makes him seem more extreme than he really is, and really isn't accurate. If someone is fully informed on the effects of a drug and chooses to use it, Breggin has no objection, although he believes the risk-benefit ratio is riskier than most people realize. This is like saying Ralph Nader is against all cars or all advertising.

Wikepedia is an interesting experiment but ultimately it will fail because people just come to sites like these to promote their own agendas. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Yep, true that. They'll have to either restrict editing to those who can be trusted or become a laughingstock of serious encyclopedic users. ==ILike2BeAnonymous 18:34, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Can you cite that? If Breggin actually sees patients only for medico-legal cases then it could easily be true - and at the same time perfectly irrelevant and misleading - that he uses _no_ psychiatric drugs in his medical practice. If his practice is not limited to that extent, and he practices anything remotely like general psychiatry then it is a significant statement that he uses _no_ drugs in whatever classes are included in his definition of psychiatric drugs. As an experiment, replace Psychiatry with "Cardiology" and consider a cardiologist who publishes that he uses no cardiological drugs. Odd? So tht sentence does deserve some careful attention, and if it turns out that it would be more accurate to say that Dr Breggin has a practice in which prescribing psychiatric drugs would rarely seem to any mainstream psychiatrist appropriate, and does not in fact prescribe any at all, and in general promotes a view that the risk/benefit ratio of these drugs is less favourable than most psychiatrists believe but accepts that some patients feel they are beneficial and supports their use" then lets put that in its place. Midgley 09:18, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

The above statement mostly just displays the above writers ignorance of psychiatric history. For years psychiatrists were therapists first and medical doctors second and in fact the majority of psychoanalysts (who did strictly talking therapy in many cases) were MDs. It is just in the modern era that psychiatrists have assumed the role of mostly prescribing meds and the 15-minute med check is a result of psychiatry's subservience to HMOs. But the cardiology example above is just silly. Agendas indeed! Since when is it the role of wikepedia to dispense views on whether a particular person provides "appropriate" treatment, and how does the above writer know that most psychiatrists would think that Breggin's behavior is inappropriate...especially since the patients he sees are people who have self-selected a psychiatrist who has a critical viewpoint (his vews are well-publicized) and specializes in helping people withdraw from these medications, or do psychosocial work with them in place of medications....what an arrogant statement, above!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I think the cardiology example holds water. The biography of a cardiologist would most certainly comment if the cardiologist was one to criticize cardiology meds and did not really prescribe them. The field of psychiatry is pretty clear that some meds for some people is useful (and society thru the courts have found psychiatrists liable for not prescribing meds when meds were indicated). So, commenting in the bio about the view of a person vis a vis the wider view of his field and even society is reasonable.
—Preceding unsigned comment added by Xenophanes000 (talkcontribs)
“I think the cardiology example holds water.”
Really? While people behave and think in ways that are very disturbing, this does not mean they have a disease. To be a true disease, the entity must somehow be capable of being approached, measured, or tested in scientific fashion. Mental “illnesses” don’t belong to this category. ―Cesar Tort 08:15, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Mental illnesses such as Scizophrenia and BiPolar are not diseases, they are disorders. Disorders can be measured and tested but not with a blood test, hence the term disorder instead of diseasce. Just because the disorder can not be determined with a blood test (to date) doesn't mean that these disorders are anyone who has ever lived with someone with Schizophrenia can attest to. This isn't just different behaviour but disordered behaviour. Mental illnesses are true disabilities. --Scuro 00:35, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

ad hominem or not?

I have made some changes. It still needs some work. I deleted the comment from the APA president in 1994 saying that Breggin is a "flat earther"; I don't know that an ad hominem attack from 12 years ago is useful. If we put it back I think it would only be fair to post laudatory comments from academics who love him (and their associations). I guess we could do that if need be. I have also tightened up the scientology section, cutting it down to the space necessary to explain the issue. I have also added links to Breggin's major articles. --Blingbling1000 16:52, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

On second thought I have added back the ad hominem stuff but put it in proper context as such. --Blingbling1000 17:02, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I very much doubt that the judge’s accusations against Breggin should be mentioned the way there are: they are misleading and give the wrong impression that Breggin is a quack or something when, in fact, the year 2000 he was called to the U.S. Congress to testify about the dangers of the psychiatric drugging of children.
Since I have a lot of work to do in the real world, I’m removing this page from my Watchlist. I hope, however, that someone else will address the POV issues in the current article. ―Cesar Tort 23:05, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

terms in red

I’m just curious if these two terms that appear in the article will ever have a chance to have articles of their own?:

Cesar Tort 07:42, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

If no objections I’ll remove the red above by removing the brackets. --Cesar Tort 16:59, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Illegally settled

Under Peter Breggin#Controversial author and expert witness, the article states that Eli Lilly "illegally settled" a case. From the cited sources, Eli Lilly's case was extremely rancid in many ways, but "illegal" was not a word used by those sources. Illegal is a word that should either be cited or be POV. Was anyone convicted? yes/no? AndroidCat 08:42, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

I’m not familiar with that particular case. Feel free to edit it. --Cesar Tort 16:59, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

This article is biased-information about the credibility of Breggin removed without discussion

The Wiki article on Breggin begins with the statement that he is a controversial psychiatrist. He has made several claims that are highly controversial. Sourced quotes from four judges who speak directly about his credibility, and which were cited from two different sources, has been deleted. Each of the four judges questioned the credibility of Breggin. Who in society is more impartial then a judge? His credibility is a core issue when readers consider if some of his claims have merit. --Scuro 00:26, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Hello Scuro. I have had a go at cleaning up this article for relevance and POV. I'm not convinced the long quotes from the judges are appropriate in their entirety, but I have added some of it back. I, personally this this addresses the problems. If you feel this makes the article suitably neutral, then please remove the template yourself. Thanks. Rockpocket 03:17, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Breggin has made a number of extraordinary claims throughout his . For instance, he publically stated, and was deeply involved in the Ritalin class action lawsuits which tried to prove that the disorder ADHD is a fraud. The purpose of the fraud was supposedly perpetuated by the makers of Ritalin in order to create a market for it's drugs.

While I can respect that Breggin has done some good in this world and helped right some wrongs, he has also not softened his viewpoint on mental disorders since they were first formed back in the 60's or earlier. Whereas society has adjusted and changed when Breggin's criticisms were apt, his viewpoint has not changed even when the scientific community has clearly proven it's case. With Breggin, mental disorders are still always FRAUDS. So if you live in a black and white world where everything is a conspiracy or a fraud, one should be prepared to accept a little contrast from those with another POV.

In researching Breggin I have come across numerous court cases where he is rebuked even chastised by court judges. Compare his record to say...Russell Barkley who is a leading expert and researcher in the mental health field. Try to find one quote where Barkley is chastised or rebuked from a judge. The fact that different judges would go to this length repeatedly speaks volumes. What this difference speaks to is a very slanted and biased point of view that Breggin has. The quotes from the judges are very necessary to give an honest and unbiased appraisal of his works and how they are viewed in society and the mental health field.

While I can understand that long passages of quotes may not be suitable for Wiki, neither should they all be removed as was recently done. If you like, the quotes can be edited to a shorter length which speak specifically to questions of credibility. There should also be a subheading specifically speaking to the issue of credibility. The previous subheading was also deleted. This would go a long way to getting to a more neutral POV and at that point the template could be removed. --Scuro 05:11, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

As the individual who removed them has not joined in the debate on the talk page, its hard to know the justification for his actions. Why don't you draft how you envision the section to be here on the talk page and we can move forward from there? Rockpocket 06:59, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Will take a stab at it hopefully tomorrow. --Scuro 07:19, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

The Breggin article reads as if a devote has spent a great deal of energy in making Breggin appear as a cutting edge crusader and leader in the field. Yet, he is largely ignored within the scientific community. The 5 Ritalin class action lawsuits in which he was the lead medical consultant, brought more public attention to Breggin and his ideas then any other issue, yet strangely they are not mentioned in this article. Is this because all 5 of the lawsuits were dismissed? The "bad stuff" doesn't seem to get mentioned or gets a heavy edit as in the recent deletion of new material.
In rewriting the edit I have contemplated all of this, and have added further insight. Really, this information shouldn't be at the end of article. I'll add further information about Breggin in the future but at some point the whole article needs a significant edit, it has a strong bias. --Scuro 06:39, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

The article as recently edited is unacceptable. Keep the POV tag on, the bias on this article is blinding and the recent edits have totally neutered any objectivity to the piece. It's as if we can't mention anything "bad" because that would distort the "white bread" and pure image that some are determined to keep of Breggin. That's not reality, with Breggin, rightly or wrongly...he got his hands dirty and got "bloodied" is some pretty fierce fire fights with the established mental health professionals and scientific community. To edit out the pitfalls is to create a fabrication of the true man. Even the word credibility was edited out...remarkable....And what is really bothersome is that I followed a process in discussion to resolve an issue and it seems like the process doesn't seem to matter. Some didn't partake in that process yet they feel free to edit on the main page as they choose. That is another indication of bias.--Scuro 06:39, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

A question of credibility

As noted earlier, Breggin has made a series of stark Anti-Psychiatry statements about mental health issues. He has often used terms like "fraud" to describe mental disorders and has consistently warned about conspiracies within the pharmaceutical industry and mental health field. These claims often contradict accepted standards of care and the general consensus within the scientific community. While Breggin does cite his material, he hasn't done any independent research to investigate or substantiate his claims. He has been accused of "cherry picking" information from the studies that he does cite. He bases his claims from his observations of his clinical practice and the stories of distressed individuals who have had poor care. Stephan Bartlett of Quackwatch has wryly stated; ""He would like you to believe that his clinical experiences and investigations have enabled him to reach a level of insight that is greater than that of the majority of mental health professionals". At Bartlett's website Breggin is listed as a nonrecommended source of health advice and a promoter of questionable methods. His book, The Ritalin Fact Book, is listed under Barrett's "Nonrecommended books" and the ICSPP, which he founded, is listed under questionable organizations. [1]. This lack of scientific rigor has caught the ire of Russell Barkley who had serious reservations about Breggin's ideas. "...However, the flaws of both his research methods and his arguments are evident to any scientist even slightly familiar with the scientific literature on the topics covered here". [[7]]

Judges have also repeatedly questioned his credibility in cases where he was called as an expert witness. In 1995, a Maryland judge of a medical malpractice case said, "I believe that his bias in this case is blinding. . . he was mistaken in a lot of the factual basis for which he expressed his opinion". In that same year a Virginia judge stated; "This court finds that the evidence of Peter Breggin, as a purported expert, fails nearly all particulars under the standard set forth in Daubert and its progeny. . . . . Simply put, the Court believes that Dr. Breggin's opinions do not rise to the level of an opinion based on "good science." The motion to exclude his testimony as an expert witness should be granted". In 1997, a Wisconsin judge said, "...Dr. Breggin's observations are totally without credibility". In 2005 a Philadelphia judge excluded his report because his methodologies seemed to be "nothing more than a few anecdotal references and a cursory review of several studies...". [2] [3]

--Scuro 16:09, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Since no one has objected, I have integrated the information into the main article....although the integration is not does kinda flows in the section into which has been inserted..and I think it makes the article better. The bias tag will come off in a day or two, after I see what sort of edits, if any, are done.

--Scuro 05:51, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I do have some, albeit minor, objections. However, I have been a bit busy in real life. I'll discuss them here with you when I get the chance, hopefully later today or tomorrow. Rockpocket 18:02, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Concerns with section

Here are my concerns, I've produced them here rather than simply reverting on the page on the spirit of co-operative editing. First of all, I believe some parts of this section should be merged with the SSRI content, as they both cover the same areas - why Breggin's contributions are not widley accepted or acknowledged by mainstream science. More specifically:

  • Adjectives like "stark anti-psychiatry statements" and "Stephan Bartlett of Quackwatch has wryly stated" are examples of editorialising and should be removed.
  • "He has often used terms like "fraud" to describe mental disorders" requires a reliable source
  • As does "he hasn't done any independent research to investigate or substantiate his claims"
  • And, "He has been accused of "cherry picking" information from the research of others", all per WP:BLP
  • We can't say "This lack of scientific rigor..." per WP:NPOV, as its only stated as Bartlett's/Barkley's opinion.
  • The quote "The motion to exclude his testimony as an expert witness should be granted" is not relevant to the point, the quote makes it perfectly clear that the judge dismisses Breggin's credibility, the motions of a particular case adds nothing.

Other than that, I'm happy with your additions. Nice work. Rockpocket 03:15, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

1)I can live with the deletion of the words stark and wryly. But is this Breggin statement not stark;"In short, effective doses of Ritalin always cause malfunctions in the brain". [[8]] He is a great stark antipsychiatry quote generator. ;)
2)It took me 2 minutes to find a direct quote of the word fraud. [[9]]. With time I could find dozens possibly hundreds of direct quotes. The ritalin class action lawsuits had specifically also stated fraud and they even had a page to sign up members call Breggin was the medical advisor to those lawsuits, that word wouldn't have been in there without his consent...he probably suggested it.
3)show me one piece of peer reviewed research that he has done. He does analysis, he does reviews, he does retrospective examinations......
4)Dr. Russell Barkley who is probably the leading expert on ADHD had this to say about Breggin's cherry picking of facts; "Throughout, any quote is mustered from scientific papers that can be taken out of context to support the author's biases along with every exaggerated fact and figure he can find to support his call to alarm, no matter the credibility (or lack of it) of his sources". Exam Breggin's writings, plenty of citations but he has a strange way of not following the consensus in science. Of taking data from one study and relating it to something else.
5)a lack of research and cherry picking facts amounts to the same thing.
6)No, the quote is highly relevant. Breggin failed the Daubert standard which according to the Supreme Court, means that his expert testimony was considered unreliable, in that Breggin did not derive his conclusions from the scientific method. As Wiki states, "Once certain evidence has been excluded by a Daubert motion because it fails to meet the relevancy and reliability standard, it will likely be challenged when introduced again in another trial".

--Scuro 06:10, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

  1. I'm sure it is stark, its just that descriptive words like that are best avoided.
  2. If we put a word in quotes it has to be attributed. Here is a nice ref too [10]
  3. Fair point, I can't find any research either. However, we should word it along the lines of "Although he has written numerous critiques and reviews of the scientific literature, Breggin has not published independent research to investigate or substantiate his claims"
  4. The problem is you are using the term "cherry picking" in quotes without an attribution. If we are making accusations like that it has to be directly attributed. Otherwise it violates WP:BLP
  5. Similarly, we are simply have to be more careful about that sort of wording per WP:BLP, we can't say he is lacking scientific rigor, we have to reword to attribute it or directly state explicitly that its Breggin's lack of primary research the concerns Barkley.
  6. I'm not asking you remove the whole quote. I think the rest of it makes that point already, its simply that the "motion to strike" sentence seems redundant to me, and too specific for the context its being used in. However, this is the least important of my issues - more an opinion than a policy concern - so I'm not going to push it. Rockpocket 09:41, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

pov tag

Scuro’s copyedits are extremely POV! The article badly requires a tag.

(BTW, Barlett’s website is not a reliable source. Scuro should use published materials in mainstream medical journals. "Quackwatch" doesn't meet WP standards.) —Cesar Tort 04:14, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Cesar, that is not sufficient justification for a POV template - as you provide no direction at how we could improve the article to your satisfaction. Regarding my suggestions above, would these be sufficient to allay your concerns? If not, what exactly is the problem? Rockpocket 04:26, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
To clarify, Barlett’s belief are notable as his opinion, but I agree he is not a reliable source of fact. I believe my suggestions above address that, though. Rockpocket 04:27, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Boy is that ironic. I'm to quote mainstream medical journals while the Wiki Breggin article uses "Let them eat Prozac" as collaborative evidence. Since Breggin failed the daubert standard in a court of law should any of his quotes be allowed in any wiki article? And why exactly does Quackwatch not meet WP standards while Breggin does? --Scuro 06:24, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Here are the awards that Quackwatch has generated. [11]
—Preceding unsigned comment added by Scuro (talkcontribs)

Awards aside, blogs and personal websites are not reliable sources for WP standards. (I like Barlett’s debunking of fringe medicine though, especially the vitamin pushers.)

Perhaps other editors will soon check the pov issues (as I said, I’m no longer watching this article). Meanwhile you better address rockpocket’s concerns cited above. --Cesar Tort 06:40, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

  P.S. Another WP policy:

"This article must adhere to the policy on biographies of living persons. Controversial material of any kind that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous." (My bold type - see template at the top of this talk page.)

--Cesar Tort 06:48, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Whoaha CT, your getting a little hot under the collar, and your tone is somewhat threatening. I realize that I have a bias, then again the whole article has a strong bias. I'm willing to edit to make it a better article, but some points are important. Here goes.
1)stark and wryly - deleted
2)"fraud" sourced...see above.
3)altered to more accurately describe the issue of independent research. How can one cite that someone hasn't done any peer reviewed research. I could quote google scholar.
4)Cherry picking cited. I could quote the whole passage. This point is important because Dr. Russell Barkley is one the leading experts on ADHD. Barkley is his peer and also a scientific researcher, who better then him to make that judgement?
5)"Lack of scientific rigor" deleted.
6)the judges quote to be deleted is directly related to the daubert standard It shows that Breggin did not use the scientific method which is a basic principle of science and which any expert should use to draw conclusions. A judge determined this and society considers judges to be at the highest standard of impartiality.

-Quackwatch was used as a source for direct quotes and I have left those quotes in the article.

--Scuro 07:44, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for those changes, Scuro. I have one last concern. The source you provide certainly does imply Breggin has been cherry picking, but it doesn't used those precise words. If you don't have a source that uses that exact term, then it has to come out of quotes. Strictly speaking we shouldn't use metaphors in our articles (unless they are quotes) but since cherry picking is so well established, I think we can use it without quotes. Though its probably worth linking it to its article to help any readers who aren't completely familiar with the term. Rockpocket 09:55, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

"The article while not perfect, is more realistic and gives a better picture of Breggin". That was my stated viewpoint this morning and I was suggesting that the tag should be taken off. Then we get more edits and a further white washing of reality and one wonders when it is all going to stop. How many more cuts and alterations will there be? Probably to the point where the article is "bleached" clean again.

There are some who think that Breggin is a suppressed voice of truth who is thwarted by the powerful pharmaceutical industry and it's political lackeys in the NIMH. The drug industry = fraud. They think the massive profits of the drug industry are used to manipulate the system that should actually be controlling dangerous drugs. Breggin is fighting for the good of those who can't defend themselves. Then there are others who view him as a 19th century dinosaur blinded by the ignorance of his "faith system". They think he is a liability to public health, with his veneer of respectability demonstrated on his websites and pseudo scientific reports that are nothing more then clever propaganda. The innocent and anxious are particularly vulnerable to this message of fear.

The truth is most likely some where inbetween. The point I would like to make is that changes should be discussed here. Some points made about Breggin are accurate, others are not. Why can't we have that discussion here and make changes on a consensual basis? In doing so there would be balance. --Scuro 23:20, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Copyright concerns

I'm concerned at the links to pdfs of Breggin's scholarly works in the article. They are hosted on Breggin's website, but in most cases the individual journals hold the copyright of this material, not the author. So we appear to be violating WP:C:

If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work. Knowingly and intentionally directing others to a site that violates copyright has been considered a form of contributory infringement in the United States (Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry). Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors.

It would be much better to simply list the PMID number (eg: PMID 8105824) which automatically links to the official copyrighted article. I'd say the list is overlong anyway. But if this isn't done, it is liable to be removed Rockpocket 19:26, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Stephen Barrett/ Quackwatch

What exact Wiki reasoning is there for removing Barrett's: quotes, Breggin's Quackwatch reference, nonreccommended books, and nonreccommended organizations? He is respected in the medical and scientific community as indicated on his awards page. One could argue that everyone has a bias, Breggin included. --Scuro 05:00, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

They are notable, do not represent a minority view, thus I have restored their criticism. However, I am concerned about violation of WP:BLP, specifically:

The views of critics should be represented ... so long as the material is written in a manner that does not overwhelm the article or appear to side with the critics' material. Be careful not to give a disproportionate amount of space to critics, to avoid the effect of representing a minority view as if it were the majority one.

Thus I have again tried to pare down the criticism, as it was over half the length of the article. I have tried to make sure the point of the criticism remains unchanged, but removed as much material not directly related in Breggin, and as much duplicate criticism, as possible. I have asked Ombudsman to wait until we can agree on a version of this section we are content with, then I would discuss with him his concerns. Rockpocket 07:20, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Stephen Barrett has 'issues'. While he may have the wind at his back from powerful elements in the medical and drug industries, that does not speak to his questionable modus operandi, which would necessitate plenty of disclaimers in order to even begin to excuse, much less justify adding his pov to an already outlandishly pov article. Ombudsman 18:21, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

The article while not perfect, is more realistic and gives a better picture of Breggin. As far as I am concerned the POV tag could be taken off. --Scuro 17:28, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

I have done a partial revert (reasons explained in the edit summary). I firmly believe the Barrett's quote is both notable and relevant, properly attributed to be NPOV and illustrative of the wider concerns over Breggin's position. Therefore there is no reason whatsoever that it should not remain as it satisfies criticism per WP:BLP. The reader can make their own mind up about Barrett's agenda or "issues", just as the reader can about Barrett's own critics in his article. I do, however, think Ombudsman may have a point about the listing of his work as non-recommended. Whether one individual recommends another's work isn't really notable, especially so when it is a critical "non-recommendation".
Ombudsman, the rest of my reverts were merely stylistic per policy or for grammar. I urge you again to please consider the terms of your probation. Edit summaries like "[this article] treats the drug industry with kid gloves" is highly indicative of agenda driven editing for which you were censured. This article has nothing to do with attacking or defending the drug industry, it is a WP:BLP. Once again, I must warn you that continued ""disruption by tendentious editing" (such as reverting to linked dates and removing sourced quotes because you don't like the critic) will result in an ArbCom report sooner rather than later. Please instead discuss here how the article can be improved rather than make unilateral reversions. Thanks. Rockpocket 07:59, 11 January 2007 (UTC)


Anyone that wants to learn about Peter Breggin should ignore this page. its a a proxy battle for those who believe in biological psychiatry versus those who are critical. There are so many things taken out of context and the full story isn't told. For instance if one was to compare Breggin's point of view that ticked off the courts to recent evidence, you'd find that HE WAS RIGHT and now much of the stuff that they considered controversail and non-expert then is now established fact. like SSRIs causing suicide, activation, etc.

You guys just enjoy your little battle. The bottom line is that like someones said above, wiki is a joke and the people that have these little fights are not helping anythings.

i watched this page just to get an idea of wiki. earlier someone had listed a bunch of quotes that made it clear that breggin was an outlier, a critic. but someone had to come in and add even more quotes, pushing their agenda. other stuff that was even handed was just wiped out. and someone wiped out all of breggin's sucesses as an expert witness, I saw there were like *10* posted earlier. that would seem improtant if you are going to post that he's not considered an expert. but it's gone now.

professors dont let students use wikipedia. this is why. it's not balanced and the community doesnt do a good job of regulating it, and can't really. so no use reading this anymore. and those of you who think breggin's work is useful i wooulndt waste my time posting about anything here. it will just get zapped by someone that doesn't agree with breggin so they have to paint him as a whack job. often but not always these are people who have taken meds or biopsych treatments and they are not going to be able to think clearly about these issues, they take it personally. there is no use trying to argue with people like that.

seacrest out. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:52, 20 January 2007 (UTC).

failure 2

Oh and I wiped out the comment about breggin considered schizophrenia 'cowardice' or 'failure of nerves'. that's copied from a website where they quote e.f. torrey quoting breggin's one experimental book where he played with ideas and everyone has been using it out of context ever since. if you want to read what breggin thinks about schizophrenia, read toxic psychiatry or probably 15 or 20 books or articles where he expresses a compassionate point of view. quit grinding an axe.

again, i'm probably overestimating the kind of people that would sit here and edit this thing. i know i'm done trying. those with an agenda win again. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:55, 20 January 2007 (UTC).

I also noticed the other folloiwng changes which seem to be problematic if we are going to be objective...

this thesis statement has been wiped out repeatedly- According to him, the pharmaceutical industry propagates disinformation, alleging drug companies have largely fabricated markets by spreading a false message that psychiatric drugs are more effective and less dangerous than they really are. Throughout this period, Dr. Breggin has served as a medical expert in civil and criminal suits, including individual malpractice cases and product liability litigation against the manufacturers of psychiatric drugs.

The fact that Breggin preceded Healy in calling attention to SSRIs and suicide has been wiped out- A prominent Irish psychiatrist working in Britain, David Healy, is now well-known for publicly warning of the risk that SSRIs can induce suicidal or violent behavior. He first published on this subject many years after Peter Breggin was unequivocally warning of the link between SSRIs, violence and suicide.

This section is changed from focusing on what Breggin says about ad hominem attacks accusing him of being a scientologist (his on-the-record account) to removing the reference and biasing it against breggin- Breggin alleges that pharmaceutical manufacturers have committed ad hominem attacks upon him in the form of linking him to Scientology campaigns against psychiatric drugs. In particular, Breggin levels this accusation against Eli Lilly, makers of Prozac.

Non-academics who don't understand the subfield of critical psychiatry keep zapping this statement, which is simply true: An important contextual note: Mainstream psychiatric and medical journals rarely publish conceptual or signficant criticisms of biological psychiatry, and mental health academics who publish in the sub-field of critical psychiatry are limited to a handful of journals that concentrate in this area. Breggin has published in most of them. ...the fact that Breggin has published in the Int Journal of Safety and Risk in Medicine, edited by Graham Dukes, a prominent expert on iatrogenic harm, has been deleted- repeatedly- why?

There are several other examples and some edits might be good but this page is being torn apart and put back together again by those with an agenda.

the description of the Eli Lilly trial situation looks accurate but is edited for apparently no reason.

the description of his book on children is meant to follow the eli lilly trial statements because its particullary ironic that he is accused of having wierd belifs about children when he's a child welfare advocate eseentially and except for this one experimental book you'd have a hard time finding anything like that anywhere else- but someone moved it up to make it more disorganized and less cogent

people can disagree on breggin's opinions and surely there is a lot on both side to put in a biography but there's an obvious effort here to do stupid stuff to this entry, and it works

oh and doses of ritalin DO cause malfunctions in the brain- as compared to normal brain chemistry- and that's not even debated in the community of scientists that study drug effects. there are references on these points but do people editing this page understand this or have the knowlege to grasp these issues? is wikipedia based on convention or facts? aren't most of you over your head trying to act like you understand these issues?

breggin has said many problematic things and these should be pointed out but just because his statements are real different than convention does not mean he is wrong. wiki=convention?

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

failure can be turned into a success by the community

I'm willing to discussion additions and deletions in a reasonable and appropriate manner here in discussion and work on a consensus basis. You may find that to be wrong because I am a critical of Breggin but even I can agree that a good deal of the article is accurate. It's not perfect but if people want to try and fix it, I'm willing to put my two cents in. I think the article needs a ADHD/Ritalin section. That's what Breggin is most famous for to the general public. Some points you made could be valid and could be reinserted into the article with discussion.
Your claims on Ritalin are totally bogus though, and this is not debated by the scientific community because it's so "out there" and makes no sense. We have millions of Americans taking Ritalin and Adderall to effectively control there symptoms. I would be one of those millions. My brain is not malfunctioning with Adderall, in fact it is performing better. Why would millions of people take a drug that makes their brain malfunction? Ritalin has been clinically shown to reduce the symptoms of ADHD in numerous studies. In the scientific world it's not an issue at all.
Rocketpocket did a number of edits a few weeks back mainly because the article was straying from the goals of Wiki. It was looking less and less like an Encyclopedia entry.
--Scuro 14:40, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

stimulants make brain work BETTER?

I agree that a separate section on stimulants is a good idea.

If you are taking a stimulant perhaps you have a bias against Breggin?

If there is going to be a discussion of Breggin's statement that stimulants abnormally alter brain functioning and cause long-term damage, you might want to consider researching the following topics.

Evidence exists that

stimulants reduce dopamine tranpsorters

stimulants reduce dopamine D2 receptors

stimulants cause alterations in gene expression

stimulants cause morphological/anatomical changes in the brain

in any case I hope you people can write a pretty unbiased biography of him and leave the statements in which are accurate and not delete stuff in a petty manner because you disagree with breggin. I mean the statement he makes, that there is almost never a rationale for giving a child psychiatric drugs- that speaks for itself. Many people agree with this point of view, actually- breggin gets great responses from the general public when he makes media appearances- but you all seem to assume that psychiatry are experts and people with this opinion are ignorant. psychiatry is controversial enough, and theoretical enough, that there should be room for portraying the controversies while leaving the known facts intact. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:21, 21 January 2007 (UTC).

There is no body of evidence that supports any of those claims. But really, if you believe all that, may I suggest that you post on the Ritalin article. I strongly believe that Breggin didn't do any scientific study in finding this "evidence", so this information is irrelevant to this discussion page and the article.
--Scuro 04:59, 22 January 2007 (UTC)


oh and if you can find a single citation by a neuroscientist that uses data to conclusively demonstrate that antidepressants, antipsychotics, or stimulants IMPROVE brain functioning, rather than altering the normal neutronsmitters- you will not only impress me, but you should put this person in for the nobel prize.

Because they would win it.

Because the reason people feel shaky on ritalin, or don't want to eat, or get a dry mouth, or can't sleep- that's not because your brain is more NORMAL.

Just because you feel better doesn't mean your brain is better off.

lots of luck —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Again, this is irrelevant to the article or the discussion page. I'll let you believe what you want to believe but let me simply say you are out of touch with the body of scientific evidence that exists on this topic and how most people experience theraputic levels of Ritalin. --Scuro 05:05, 22 January 2007 (UTC)


oh and thanks for the offer to work on the page fairly, i think that is a step in the right direction. i'm just skeptical of putting any time in whatsoever when this seems to be a place where people just wipe stuff out without any reason- and I don't mean POV, I mean unsubtle attempts to portray breggin more negatively, which has happened for a while now.

oh and i personally put no stock in steven barret whatsoever, he's an unlicensed physician who works from his basement, he's no expert- the points of distincion on breggin should be where he is right versus where he has been proven wrong by evidence- not what somebody says about him. so if you're going to call him a crackpot for saying stimulants are dangerous, then you'll need to review the evidence that they are- which is minimized by the psychiatric establishment and requires a discussion of drug company influence. or things can be stated more flatly and straightforwardly.

and if Barkley is going to be quoted, shouldn't the $$$ he has received from drug companies and the ADHD industry be disclosed? breggin doesn't take any money from drug companies. find me another psychaitrist who meets that definition. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

next steps

I can understand that you believe Breggin is right and that I am biased because I take stimulant medication. In reality we are all biased in our assumptions. A person who can write good Wiki entries understands this and tries to check their biases as best they can by using Wiki form. Thats not to say that I do a good job of this, rather that I am willing to learn and will change my entries if the change is warrented. So, yes I could be very wrong about Breggin and his ideas but then again so could you. This is why Wiki asks for reputable sources to back up statements, and when asked, I have always cited my material.

If we are to embark down this road I would like to see us as a group work together work against editing that has no justification. I too believe that there some people come in here and delete good material that is factual and cited with good references. Often they don't have names.

I think a good will gesture in this process would be for all parties to sign their posts. If you don't know how, simply ask.

--Scuro 17:50, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Hello Thanks for taking the time to record your thoughts on this article. The project would certainly welcome your input, as this article is far from perfect. First things first, though. Would you consider signing up for an account with us? Its easier to keep track of edits if they are attached to an account rather than an IP address (which may not be static). Secondly, whether you choose to sign up or not, could you please sign your talk page posts with four tildes (~~~~)? This will automatically sign and date your contribution.
Ok, onto some of your points. First of all, its important that editors work together to improve article such as this. Even if individuals hold very different points of view, it shouldn't matter, as the tone of the article should be neutral (see WP:NPOV). To that end, it is important that we assume good faith of other editors. Therefore comments such as "there's an obvious effort here to do stupid stuff to this entry", "these are people who have taken meds or biopsych treatments and they are not going to be able to think clearly about these issues" and "aren't most of you over your head trying to act like you understand these issues" are not acceptable on talkpages. The foster bad feeling and are not constructive in improving the article. You have not idea of the qualifications of the other people editing here, so simply assume everyone is equal to your level of understanding and that everyone's agenda stops at making this article as good as it can be. If we all move forward on this footing then we should be able to work together to achieve that.
  • As for some of your specific suggestions, they sound like they could be an improvement. Though they should be sourced. If you have some of his "successes and an expert witness" then by all means add them. But the article is about him and his evidence, not about the battle between the pharmaceutical industry and their critics. Therefore the focus must be on his contribution. Similarly with the SSRI section and the proposed Ritalin section.
  • Re Your concern over: "An important contextual note: Mainstream psychiatric and medical journals rarely publish conceptual or signficant criticisms of biological psychiatry, and mental health academics who publish in the sub-field of critical psychiatry are limited to a handful of journals that concentrate in this area. Breggin has published in most of them. We don't make "important contextual notes" here. The facts stand by themselves, we don't make excuses for them (for example, it could be argued that mainstream journals don't publish the material because it doesn't stand up to rigorous peer review). Your take is an interpretation. If you can source that statement, it may be included otherwise as an opinion, but otherwise its WP:OR.
  • Regarding your criticisms of Barkley and Barrett - they can be added to their own articles.
  • You ask "different than convention does not mean he is wrong. wiki=convention?" Well, to some extent yes, certainly on scientific issues: Our WP:NPOV policy states represent the majority view as the majority view and the minority view as the minority view. In other words, we remain neutral in tone so don't assert anyone is right or wrong, but do we assert that Breggin holds a minority view that in conflict with the mainstream. We don't give both views equal representation. This is a major concern for individual editors who hold minority views, but unfortunately this is how Wikipedia works.
Thats if from me, thanks again for your input and I hope we can work together to make this article better. Rockpocket 20:53, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

The POV tag was taken off without it being talked about first in the discussion section. The article continues to be whitewashed with multiple deletes. It is now more biased then it was before and no longer represents reality. For these reasons the POV goes back on. Is it possible to work in good faith when people just do what they want and ignore Wiki standards? --Scuro 04:11, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Are there any pro-Breggin members who act in good faith?

Are there any pro-Brggin members out there who act in good faith? There has been A LOT of unileteral editing going on. The discussion pages also are not being used as they should, and that is to foster discussion, understanding, and agreement between as to better the article.

It would give me some hope in this process if any pro-Breggin members would identify themselves as being willing to work towards Wiki standards. --Scuro 12:23, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Irrespective of anyone's personal feelings on Breggin, the additions I have reverted are inappropriate because they violate WP:NPOV, not because they are pro- or anti-Breggin. To the anon editor: please discuss changes here before making wholesale changes, especially if you are unfamiliar with our policies. Thanks. Rockpocket 01:28, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
How are articles by Peter Breggin, on Peter Breggin's web site, a violation of copyright? Re: remove links to copyright material per Wikipedia:Copyright#Linking_to_copyrighted_works AndroidCat 02:54, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Because Breggin does not hold the copyright of the articles, the journals that he published them in do. Those journals have their own sites one can subscribe to, to read the articles. When listing scholarly works, we should include the PMID ID which will link to PubMed. Rockpocket 17:55, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't know what the custom is for journal papers, but in general, it's rare for publishing contracts to assign all rights to the publisher forever after (except in the case of work for hire). The rights for web publication will be especially fuzzy for papers published before the Internet, and I don't think that it's possible to say that the papers on his site are all (if any) copyright violations. It could be just as easily said that the journals with web sites are in copyright violation by republishing the papers in a new format not spelled out in the original contract. If the papers are available online via PubMed, then that would be the way to go in the long run. AndroidCat 19:12, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid it is the norm for scholarly journals to insist on transferring all rights from the authors to the journals. I have relinquired all rights to every paper I have every published, in all formats. This is beginning to change with open access journals, though. In many cases in the US, it is tecnically illegal for professors to distribute photocopies of their own papers to their students without permission of the journal and it is certainly illegal to host copies on your own website (again, without permission). If you read the PDFs on his site, you will see they are clearly marked as copyright of the publishing journal, therefore we should err on the side of caution and link to the site of the copyright holder via Pubmed. Rockpocket 22:24, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Ah, obviously academics rarely have agents. :) [12] AndroidCat 00:40, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
(reset indent) Thats an interesting read, thanks. Sadly, the publish or perish culture in academia has traditionally meant getting the paper out was the ultimate goal, few would risk that over the issue of holding copyright. Especially the value of the copyright of the published work in itself is pretty insignificant to he scientist. The important thing is the very fact that it has been published by a prestigious journal. The prestigious journals historically took advantage of this, leading to a crazy situation where:
  • the institute would pay for the research,
  • then pay page charges to publish in a top journal,
  • then relinquish copyright of the work to the journal,
  • then pay the journal for access to the very article they just relinquished.
And academics are supposed to be smart!!? Rockpocket 02:24, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

bias haha

I understand the issue on POV but what continually happens is that subtle edits are made to portray Breggin less positively. If someone who is pro-breggin wanted to take the time they could find probably 50 things that were deleted even though they otherwise meet wikipedia standards. This isn't about POV, it's about people shaping this page to match their bias.

I have watched this page with amusement for years. Both sides will keep going back and forth and in 50 years you will still be arguing about it.

This page is a joke, as is all of wikipedia. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:18, 25 January 2007 (UTC).

Instead of insulting all the editors who have contributed to the article with your generalisations, perhaps you could assume good faith for a moment and assist those of us who have no interest in Breggin whatsoever, other than trying to arbitrate between warring factions of pro- and anti-psychiatrists. If you have sources that show there are errors in this article, perhaps you could produce them for us so we can edit it accordingly. Rockpocket 23:01, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Breggin's cowardice and failure of nerves comments with regards to Schizophrenia

I removed the 'cowardice' and 'failure of nerves' comments since they are taken out of context from an experimental book and are contradicted by almost all of his other writings, where he has articulated at length his empathy and caring for those diagnosed with schizophrenia. The fact that such statements come back again and again shows what I am talking about, this is a type of POV but apprently no one is familiar enough with Breggin to know this. It is completely inaccurate to quote this out of context to summarize his point of view on psychosis. It's ridiculous. I am willing to bet these comments will return but the many comments that I wrote flatly reporting some of Breggin's accomplishments will dissapear. so much for no POV. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:26, 25 January 2007 (UTC).

I concur regarding the 'cowardice' and 'failure of nerves' comments. Using a critical essay as a source does not meet our criteria of a reliable source. One does not have to be familiar with Breggin to maintain NPOV, as everything should be sourced. Perhaps you could provide us with a sourced account of what he does think causes schizophrenia to use in its place. As for you "flatly reporting some of Breggin's accomplishments", if you can source them then lets see what they are. Rockpocket 22:57, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

No matter what the source that the quotes were taken from, Breggin did write those quotes in his book. That would mean that an editor most likely pointed these quotes out to him and suggested that they may sound extreme or harsh, and that he ignored the advice. One can make contextual arguments for their existence but that sounds lame. ( I'd love to see the passage in which the quotes came from) The point is that these highly offensive and ill informed ideas were put into a book. Having said all that, I can buy the idea that that he was younger(twenties or possibly into his thirties)when he wrote that and perhaps he had more of a rough edge back then. It could have simply been a mistake in judgement that we all make occasionally, especially in youth.

But...he has made loads of bold and ill informed statements. It's not a mistake of youth, it's always been his style of communication. Delete his brashness and we don't get a sense of how he communicates. The other point is that if you eliminate these powerful statements, other people's reactions to his ideas no longer make sense. The quotes of the respected Dr.'s from major US institutions all make sense when you actually read how extreme Breggin's communication could be.

There is an easy solution here. We can simply replace this brash quote with another Breggin brash quote. It wouldn't be hard to find another one to fill the space. Then the brash quote and highly critical rebuttals can be re-linked together as they were in the past. I'd be willing to do that, if the additions were respected this time, instead of being mutilated with multiple unilateral edits and deletes once more.

--Scuro 01:24, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Brashness not withstanding - and we must remember that it is not our job to mimic his tone when we write about him - it is not clear from the source that those terms were used in exactly that context (i.e only 'cowardice' and 'failure of nerves' were direct quotes, to what exactly they were in reference to is not clear). If Breggin has repeatedly and consistently stated that mental illness are caused by such things then we can use quotes like those. However, we have to be careful of cherrypicking terms he has used once - and we certainly shouldn't cherrypick them from critical material. Lets use a source where Breggin makes his case in his own words. Perhaps our anonymous friend who is so critical of the article as it stands might step up and provide us with one. Rockpocket 02:19, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Sure, I get the idea of critics cherry picking quotes and ideas to create a biased viewpoint. I haven't read the passage where the quote comes from in this instance so I can't judge the degree of bias in that critical article. But that doesn't matter because we could use other quotes like this one instead, "Ritalin "works" by producing malfunctions in the brain rather than by improving brain function. This is the only way it works". That quote comes from his book, Talking Back to Ritalin and is used as excerpt on his webpage. This means he still believes the statement to be true.

It's not so important which quote you use, rather it's more important to show how some of his quotes are ill informed and incendiary, and more importantly that the reactions of others while not always justified, are more understandable because in reality quotes like those above are highly offensive and ignorant. When a reader sees that Breggin communicates in such a way, it is much easier to understand why the president of the American Psychiatric Association called Breggin a "flat-earther". The highly critical rebuttals of Breggin in the article need this sort of context for the greater understanding of the reader. Or if that can't be done, then wouldn't we be allowing cherry picking of information in the article?...and if so, should those quotes be removed for the same reason the Schizophrenia quotes were removed?

--Scuro 04:43, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I would note that our goal in the article is not to "show how some of his quotes are ill informed and incendiary". That would be taking a POV. Our goal should be to represent his opinion accurately, and allow the reader to judge whether it is ill informed. Of course, we should also show how the majority view his statements. The bottom line is that we should try and best describe his opinion. If that quote is from his book and website, and fairly represents his stated position, then there is no problem with using it to illustrate the counterpoint to the criticism. Rockpocket 05:18, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, in discussion I communicate my thoughts more freely, I connect the dots so that I don't have to spend a lot of time pussyfooting about to make points on how to improve the article.

--Scuro 14:12, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I understand. Rockpocket 18:31, 26 January 2007 (UTC)


the discussion above is illuminating. we have people writing a biography on bregign who are not familiar with his books. they have not read them. they are sourcing stuff based on what is available on the web. they are not apparently not aware that a person can pose different ideas in different books, and that some books are more experimental than others- 'the psychology of freedom' explores life and mental health from an extreme liberterian stance- the other books do not. anyone reading this should know that the people writing this have not actually read breggin's books and that they dont see this as a problem. that's very telling. i'm not going to take the time to write more about breggin, when i have carefully done so it still gets deleted. but let's be clear- those who are writing this biography have not read breggin's books. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:19, 26 January 2007 (UTC).

That would be a valid critism if Breggin mainly communicated through books, but he doesn't. He is a media personality. I can watch Breggin on TV, I can read dozens of transcripts of interviews and testimony, and I can read dozens and dozens of articles that he wrote. Or you can go to his podcasts where his opening sentence on ADHD starts like this, "ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is basically created to justify drugging".
It's not like Breggin's message is deep and thought provoking. It's not hard to understand.
--Scuro 14:08, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Please keep your comments on the subject, not the contributors. Your superior understanding of Breggin's work is not helpful to us as long as the content is written from a POV. Provide the information here and we can format it in a neutral way and include it in the article. Thanks. Rockpocket


the fact that you think that's a controversial statement is also telling. ritalin and all psychiatric drugs alter normal brain functioning- the person may feel better but there is not one bit of proof that they make brain functioning 'more normal'- hence side effects...duh! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:21, 26 January 2007 (UTC).

Do me a favour and drop the Duh and other references to me personally. In writing about Breggin I could insert "DUH" in every sentence but choose to control my impulses.
Here is the quote again, Ritalin "works" by producing malfunctions in the brain....This is the only way it works. It's a huge leap from "alters" to "malfunctions". That is why that passage is so significant.
--Scuro 14:14, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

read your literature

This is true- it causes malfunction. Read your literature. When someone takes oral cocaine, they can identify a bunch of *malfunctions* that it causes. When you take Ritalin or Adderall, it's a prescription drug, but it still causes similar malfunctions. That they make people feel better is irrelevant. These are not drugs that are targeted to control symptoms, these drugs have huge, broad effects that impact the brain and body as a whole.

There's a bunch of research on long-term stimulant use saying that it alters D2 receptors, dopamine uptake, etc. Look it up.

Find one scientific citation that shows that stimulants are targeted treatments for ADHD- it doesn't exist. When the drugs are illicit, they are said to cause brain damage. When the drugs are prescription, it's 'altering' brain function. But whatever you call it there are morphological changes associated with long-term stimulant use.

(It's pretty strange to me that people think you can take a psychoactive drug every single day without consequences!)...

If we are supposed to state things objectively and flatly, maybe you should insert these issues into the article. Start with Breggin's book brain-disabling treatments in psychiatry, a meticulously cited textbook on this issues and others.

Oh, wait a second- no one here has any of Breggin's books, although he's written 17.....good luck writing a biography of an author without having read his books!!!!

...only on the internet, only on wiki.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Funny how the discussion always wanders off topic and does nothing to help the article. If you would like to improve Wikipedia then take these ideas over to the Ritalin and Adderall articles, and if they have any merit, they will be included. So far the ideas you posted are all missing from Ritalin and Adderall pages, which means either that they are not supportable or that no one added this content.
--Scuro 00:42, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

tv personality?

I disagree that Breggin is primarily a TV personality. How would this be defined? I would say it is more accurate to say this: The people writing this page have primarily seen Breggin on TV and have seen him talk in sound bites, necessarily. That he has more subtle or nuanced views which he has communicated in dozens of books does not get accounted for, because no one here has read his books. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:17, 26 January 2007 (UTC).

Let me be frank with you, I have never read one of Breggin's books, I have never seen him on TV, I have never visted his website - other than to check the validity of some sources quoted here - and don't care to. I don't care whether his opinion is right or wrong, controversial or not. All I care about is that what is written about him here is sourced, neutrally written and balanced. I can do the first two without knowing Breggin from Adam. To acheive the third we need content from those with knowledge in the subject. Others with a greater interest in the subject can provide the facts in the form of reliable sources. You have spent a lot of time and effort extolling on the flaws of this article and blaming other editors' lack of understanding, yet not provided one single source to improve the article. If you could provide us with sourced, neutrally written content about Breggin here, it will be included. So please - i'm asking for the umpteenth time - instead of criticising others for its flaws, help us improve it. Also Wikipedia is not for discussing personal opinions on psychiatric drugs, please keep the talkpage focused on the article. Thanks. Rockpocket 18:25, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

don't kill the messenger

I am simply pointing out that I, as someone who had read most of Breggin's books - and incidentally I am not a major fan of his in many ways- will not spend the time to update this article and have it deleted by those with POV as has happened repeatedly. The idea that the biography of an author could be accurately written by someone who has never read his books and is not really familiar with him deeply is laughable. Good luck.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

If you wrote it in a NPOV manner it would not get deleted, and if you produce it here on the talkpage, I can assist you in doing that. You are welcome to your opinion, of course, but stating it here without any intention of improving the article is completely unhelpful. If you wish to contribute constructively then you are most welcome here. If all you are interested in is criticising other editors, then you are not welcome. Rockpocket 22:21, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
by "would not" I think you mean "should not", right? You're not asserting that (especially but not exclusively in "charged" subjects) inappropriate deletions will happen, are you? --Harel (talk) 03:29, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Nope, it simply isn't true that it won't be deleted if it is acceptable. This page is constantly warped and shaped with those with an agenda. And I'll shut up now because I have no interest in building this into an accurate page, because I don't believe that will really happen- ever. I do think this discussion page will make interesting reading also.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I hear you..I think "never" is too pessimistic but there are not only huge financial interests but also huge mainstream interests and even well-meaning people who don't want to, or at not ready to hear, Breggin's message ,no matter how many well researched footnotes he has, it makes them too uncomfortable..but the struggle for truth must continue, just as opposing child labor was once considered "radical", just as with peak oil and anthropogenic climate destabilization, when people don't want to hear something, they will shoot the messenger no matter the strength of the argument (first example) or the strength of the facts (latter two examoples)--Harel (talk) 03:29, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not a regular editor of this article, but do you have any idea how lacking in perspective and utterly laughable using phrases like "the struggle for truth" and "opposing child labour" is in the context of an article about a psychiatrist whose ouvre is based largely on his own opinion, and survives in part by ignoring a wealth of independent scientific research? What's worse is that you've already had an offer from User:Rockpocket to help you incorporate your material onto the page - the fact that no one has done so despite this suggests there is no evidence supporting what you're saying, as does the resort to the "I'm not going to edit the article because it's not fair" line. Nmg20 (talk) 09:46, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

References removed

When trying to revert vandalism, I had to remove <ref> tags that were linking to a URL on the site "" because the spam filter blocks that URL. — Timwi 10:59, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I really like the entire article

With all it's faults, it's the most balanced thing I find on Breggin on the internet. Most of the other references are promotional. I can see how you all have struggled with this difficult subject. Thank you for doing it. Thank you also for the disucssion page--that gives a lot of perspective also. Sharongale144.92.22.162 14:24, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, when I first saw the article it was almost completly promotional. There was only the minor reference to Breggin's early musing about childhood sexuality to give you any sense that Breggin was not some superhero with cape and all. I've learned a fair bit in editing while trying to bring reality back into the article. For instance some editor recently removed the reference to his early sex musings and it didn't matter to me. Those ideas are not "mainstream" Breggin. Sure, if you were going to write a biography about him, this stuff should be included but not when you have a subject like Breggin. There is so much noteworthy material to "mine" that one doesn't have to go back to his early years.
Again, the article is not perfect but it least it has some balance. I think it's good enough to remove the POV tag. Anyone else second that motion?
--scuro 22:59, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I'd give it a few days and, if no-one protests and gives a justification for why it should remain, then go ahead. Rockpocket 04:31, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I very much doubt that citing a personal website of a psychiatrist such as Stephen Barrett who has never published his anti-Breggin stuff in peer-reviewed journals complies with WP that this article must adhere to the policy on biographies of living persons. On the other hand, Breggin HAS published in peer-reviewed journals. Therefore, the tag should not be removed.

However, as wisely said above, since those with an agenda are investing time to bias the article, they will win.

Do whatever you want.

This is the last time I edit this page. I won’t even bother to look at the response you may post to this one, my final entry here. Bye, bye. —Cesar Tort 18:28, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

The Barrett gripe is old news, rehashed once again. There is only one sentence which mentions Barrett and it's hardly a backbreaker, "Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch, a frequent critic of Breggin who is himself an uncredentialed psychiatrist, has stated; "he would like you to believe that his clinical experiences and investigations have enabled him to reach a level of insight that is greater than that of the majority of mental health professionals". Is it true? I think you could make a very good case that the statement is true. Is it noteworthy? I think you also could make a very good case that this quote is noteworthy. Is it absolutely necessary that this quote be in the article? No, it's not absolutely necessary....but to get to a point that it could be removed would take dialogue. I have yet to see any dialogue, all I see is off topic discussion, judgmental rants, and complaining.

Finally, this is not a one sided piece on Breggin. Imagine if the New York times did a major piece on him.

--scuro 23:00, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
You are misinterpreting the article, Cesar. I'm sure he has published peer reviewed papers (mainly in the journal he edits) but they are not reports of "randomized controlled, independent peer reviewed research, to substantiate his claims." If you think otherwise, lets see the sources (rather that complaining then leaving without out doing anything about it). Rockpocket 03:50, 9 February 2007 (UTC)


This discussion is also biased. imagine if you went after every mainstream psychiatrist and listed where they were on the editorial boards of journals and also published in them. you will find that many of the MAJOR psychiatrists are also on the editorial boards of journals where they regularly publish. in fact this is how you make sure your papers are accepted. i bet that's not mentioned for another single psychiatrist on wikipedia, but it sure is mentioned for breggin.

why is what Stephen Barrets think noteworthy at ALL? There are already quotes from NAMI, the head of the APA, etc. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:00, 10 February 2007 (UTC).


I deleted where it said that Breggin has never ran his own randomized controlled trials. the only people that run randomized controlled trials are mainoly people with links to drug companies or in some rare cases, links to NIMH. randomized controlled trials are not appropriate for testing many hypotheses.

I really wish the people editing this site had some understanding of research. some of the most famous researchers have only written critical reviews. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:20, 12 February 2007 (UTC).

That isn't a good enough to a reason to delete the information. Randomized controlled studies that are peer reviewed in respected journals is the gold standard of scientific research. It is an important fact that Breggin has only written critical reviews... because Breggin has made so many extraordinary claims that often are in opposition to the body of evidence on particular issues that was available at the time. Your opinion on the perceived bias that you believe the NIMH has is irrelevant to this article. I would suggest that you go to the NIMH article and share your ideas on the discussion page there. Noteworthy information could be posted on the main article, you could make reference to that page for any additions to this article.

Also, please get consensus in discussion before making any further deletions.

--scuro 17:32, 12 February 2007 (UTC)


Nope, randomized controlled trials are not the gold standard when critically analyzing psychiatric research. RCTs mean you have links to Big Pharma, or rarely, NIMH. I'm sorry but you don't understand research. Most academics from the field of mental health don't ever run a single randomized controlled trial- including those who are tenured and well-respected. 14:19, 13 February 2007 (UTC)suree, you would do well not to judge other editors abilities or supportable contributions at Wikipedia. You are not following the guidelines of this community. Your information is off topic and also unsupportable. It looks to be nothing more then flamebait.

--scuro 21:49, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


it's off-topic for someone to mention that lots of researchers, in fact that vast majority of them, do not participate in RCT research?

Breggin as a social critic

To give the article further clarity it would be good to define what sort of critic he is. Social critic came to mind. He has judged many things in society to be lacking. 03:36, 26 March 2007 (UTC)~


I noticed that many other entries from authors include many full-text links to their works, when I posted these for Breggin, they were removed. (See Steven Levitt as one example). Yet another example of bias. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

See the discussion here before making accusations of bias. Rockpocket 01:23, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Breggin owns copyright

I suspect Breggin has copyright of his articles, the links should be reinstated. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:11, 9 April 2007 (UTC).

POV tag

Why is this still tagged? I don't see any ongoing discussion. Voice-of-All 17:19, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

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