By Janet Phelan
Like others in my generation, I remember proudly the response of the American people to the war in Vietnam. I remember the marches, the sit-ins, the protests. I remember the small Midwestern liberal arts college I first attended deciding to shut itself down as its students readied to pour into the nation’s capital and I remember being tear gassed in Berkeley.
Vietnam pales in magnitude when compared with the military actions launched by the US since the turn of the century. Since 2000, US troops have fought in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.
War, no longer an anomaly, has become common fare.
The virulence of the US government is increasingly evident towards its own people. In certain arenas, and against certain kinds of people, the US has become brutally aggressive against its own citizens.
The response by the people of the United States to its continuing incursions abroad has been colorless, to say the least. No schools shut down, no massive mobilizations on Washington, no general strikes. As far as the domestic violence goes, the response is equally bland. One might posit that the people of the US have become accustomed to their bellicose government.
In light of the history of protest, how does one account for the muted response of the American people?
The Drugging of America
For one, Americans are being drugged silly. Per capita, the US population consumes an astounding number of psychiatric medications. A 2011 Medco Health Solutions report stated that one in five Americans takes at least one psychiatric drug.
According to an IMS Health Vector One report, a grand total of 78,694,222 Americans were consuming at least one type of psychiatric medication in 2013.
“Over the past decade, there has been a significant uptick in the use of medications to treat a variety of mental health problems; what is not as clear is if more people — especially women, are actually developing psychological disorders that require treatment, or if they are more willing to seek out help and clinicians are better at diagnosing these conditions than they once were,” David Muzina, MD, a psychiatrist and national practice leader of the Medco Neuroscience Therapeutic Resource Center, said in a release.
The drugs being prescribed range from drugs for mood disorders to anti-anxiety drugs to more serious anti-psychotic medications. According to a 2011 Harvard report, the federal government’s health statisticians figure that about one in every 10 Americans takes an antidepressant.
According to a Yale study, published in 2013, there are significant geographical clusters of psychiatric medication use. The study reported that in Alexandria, Virginia, “two in five residents received an antidepressant, compared to a mean of 10.4% nationally.”
Quoting the Medco Report, the WHO has stated that in 2010 21% of American women were taking antidepressant drugs.
WHO also reports that the Medco data shows that women have the highest utilization rate of anti-anxiety medications; in fact, 11 percent of middle-aged women (age 45-64) were on an anti-anxiety drug treatment in 2010, nearly twice the rate of their male counterparts.
In addition, Medco reported that the use of anti-psychotic medications has soared and that the usage of these drugs is up over 300% in the last ten years.
Adults are not the only consumers of psychiatric drugs. The 2011 Medco report stated that the number of children receiving atypical antipsychotics doubled from 2001 to 2010. The CDC reports that over ten percent of children are now diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Approximately 8% of American children are taking Adderall, Ritalin or other stimulant medications.
Many psychiatric medications include the mind-numbing compound, fluoride. Fluoride was used extensively in the concentration camps in Eastern Europe to keep the camp denizens docile.
The Fluoride Toxicity Research Collaborative has launched a project to list which medications contain fluoride. Here’s a partial list of fluoride containing antidepressants.
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In addition, many cities fluoridate the public water.
Parenthetically, a recent New Yorker article cites the failure of medicine to find organic causes for depression. The article suggests that placebos are as effective as the prescribed drugs in treating depression.
The “Awry Factor
Life situations seen as overwhelming may produce a depressive response. Equally, the perception that an aggressor is in control may produce a reaction accommodating and enabling the aggressor. This reaction, “identification with the aggressor,” is popularly called The Stockholm Syndrome. It is this psychological reaction to the perception of being held hostage by an aggressor that we turn our attention to now.
Since the events of September 11, 2001, an increasing number of American citizens have become aware that something is going on in the United States that is not normal. The evidence that something is going seriously awry is evidenced in a number of specific situations and is impacting an increasing number of American citizens.
The “awry factor” is evident in adult guardianship proceedings, where elders and the disabled are being ripped from the protective shelter of their families, their estates are being plundered and all too often, the wards are being sent to an early death.
The “awry factor” is evident in what happens to family members and attorneys who attempt to protect these people. Very often, restraining orders are issued against family and sometimes the family members are jailed. Attorneys who seek to protect their clients are often disbarred.
The “awry factor” is evident in family court proceedings. When there are allegations that one of the parents has abused a minor child, all too often the child is remanded into the custody of the abuser.
The “awry factor” is evident in the alarming numbers of police officers who escape culpability when they murder US citizens, and the “awry factor” is evident in the increasing numbers of whistleblowers being charged under the Espionage Act.
The “awry factor” is evident in the growing numbers of ordinary American citizens who are alleging that they are being placed into covert experimental governmental electronic weapons programs, without their informed consent.
The “awry factor” is not only evident in what is happening legally or “extra-legally” across America, however. Growing numbers of Americans are becoming aware that the mainstream press is not giving them the real deal, as far as the news goes. More and more, Americans are turning to internet news sites in order to learn what the mainstream press isn’t telling them.
The “awry factor” is increasingly evident in the US’s foreign policy, where lies are stacked upon lies in order to present overwhelming and utterly false reasons to go to war.
Certain professions are known to have their fingers on the pulse of the nation. These professions may include those in the legal profession, journalists, police officers and many in government employ. The wave of shock that comes with the realization that your own government has moved out of the position of protector and is now a potential assailant may result in a personal crisis, a coming to a crossroads.
Some people simply pack up and leave. They quit their jobs, knowing that a once noble profession is now a tool of oppression. They may go so far as to leave the country. The majority, however, appear to make other decisions. They may button their lips and go along with a heinous situation simply because this is how they pay the mortgage.
In some, the decision to “go with the program” results in the psychological syndrome called “identification with the aggressor.” A medical dictionary defines this syndrome thus: “In psychology, an unconscious process in which a person adopts the perspective or behavior patterns of a captor or abuser.” In other words, the individual is not simply going with the current. He has become the aggressor.
In a sense, the US populace is now held hostage. We are drugged, lied to and even when we emerge from these experiences with our perceptions intact, we find ourselves tied up in knots. These knots are intrapsychic. They involve the implicit awareness that speaking out, acting in accordance with moral principles, is now a dangerous endeavor.
In every generation, in every totalitarian situation in recorded history, there have been individuals who refused to be intimidated. There are individuals whose moral compass overrides the danger alert. It is well known that if the entire population refused to be intimidated, the problem of aggression, abuse, murder and wars could be resolved very quickly. But first, we need to come to terms with the fact that we are frightened. We may be confused and we are scared. Somewhere within each and every one of us is that small, still voice which can encourage us in this time of great occlusion.
Within each and every one of us resides a hero. We only need to clear away the adulterating effects of mind numbing substances and the hypnotic media propaganda and allow him to emerge.
Janet C. Phelan, investigative journalist and human rights defender that has traveled pretty extensively over the Asian region, an author of a tell-all book EXILE, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.