The most important fact to keep in mind during any discussion of the American Medical Association is that that organization is a tightly controlled trade union. Its physician members are operating on what Scientologists call the Third Dynamic -survival as a group.
Nothing, of course, is more distasteful to the medical syndicalists than to be reminded of this unpleasant truth. Individually and collectively, they indignantly reject the notion that their profession is characterized by anything less than selfless dedication to those noble principles embodied in the Hippocratic oath.
Organized medicine has spent and continues to spend huge sums to perpetuate the myth that when the AMA defames and persecutes non-union practitioners and unorthodox therapies, it is only to protect the public from the murderous and unskilled hands of quacks and "doorbell doctors".
If this were true, we could only accept their interventions on our behalf with gratitude.
It is not true. Careful observation reveals that their basic motivation is self protectionism. They are moved by the same considerations that prompt the brotherhood of plasterers to denounce cellulose wall boards, or the electricians union to warn against the dangers of having an unlicensed contractor wire your house.
In short, the pious pleadings with which they justify the most ruthless suppression of all therapies that lie outside the pale, are in reality trade arguments.
Such closed-shop practices, when applied to so vital a sector of society as that of the healing arts can have grave consequences.
It can mean for exam le that thousands may have to endure needless suffering and early death because the discovery of a cure or alleviating medication for their disease, made by some gifted individual outside the medical profession, was unavailable to them.
The vast expenditure of both privately donated and public funds for medical research has made it all the more imperative for the medical trade unionists to maintain their grip on every activity related to their profession. To do this, they can, where necessary, enlist the police powers of the government.
In America, the situation is ten times as bad as it is in Britain, where the law does not, with the exception of cancer and venereal disease, forbid the practice of medicine or even of surgery by persons who possess no medical degree. The unregistered (that is, unlicensed) practitioner is, of course, at a great disadvantage in many ways. He cannot prescribe nor possess dangerous drugs, nor use any title which might imply that he is a legally recognized physician; and he is not allowed to sue his clients for non-payment of fees. But he can advise and treat any patient who wishes to consult him.
In America, under similar circumstances, AMA propagandists would immediately warn that unless this laissez faire were instantly curbed, a quack who had taken a
mail-order course in brain surgery would be wreaking havoc with the population. This merely shows the arrogant contempt they have for the intelligence of the average American.
The British subject still has some freedom of choice, even though that choice is partly invalidated by the fact that if one calls in an unregistered healer to treat a family member or friend, and the patient dies, one can be prosecuted for criminal neglect.
In the United States, however, you can be legally prosecuted for giving your neighbour aspirin or selling him vitamins. People have actually been sent to prison for vending honey, herb teas and harmless mineral mixtures.
One of the reasons that the medical syndicalists could come to exercise such dictatorial authority over us, is the naive and wholly unfounded belief people have in their knowledge and importance. The public attitude towards orthodox practitioners in America amounts to medical idolatry.
Little wonder. We have been told over and over -in force-fed news stories, subsidized books and magazine articles, and in agitprop forums called quackery congresses - that the orthodox physician is the only acceptable person to treat disease or give advice.
Nor are Americans alone in their over-credulous reliance upon medical doctors to perform miracles of healing. Replying to an invitation by the Manchester Guardian to write a series of articles, the late Bernard Shaw answered the question, "Have we lost faith?" with the simple sentence: "Certainly not; but we have transferred it from God to the General Medical Council."
Shaw described the British public's attitude toward the medical profession as an infatuation as gross as any of those recorded of the witch-doctor ridden tribes of Africa.
"We believe doctors to have miraculous powers, recondite knowledge, and divine wisdom. Now the fact is that they have no more miraculous powers than any other skilled workers has. They have no knowledge that is out of the
reach of any layman who cares to acquire it; in fact, it may be doubted whether two percent of our general practitioners know as much science as an average lay frequenter of the Royal Institution or University Extension lectures."
There is adequate evidence, both in Britain and elsewhere, to confirm Shaw's assertion that state-established medicine does not possess the infallibility that its omnipotence would suggest. In the United States, according to one writer who painstakingly researched the subject, statistics drawn from their own literature bear witness to the shocking incompetence that exists among the profession. These reports indicate that an estimated 200,000 deaths each year are iatrogenic, that is, caused by doctors. As the writer observes, such a figure makes physicians "a close rival of cancer and heart disease as a major killer of man".
The point to be made here is not that the profession of medicine is irremediably evil and ought to be eradicated with the same brutal thoroughness with which its inquisitors deal with anything threatening professional trade interests. Most thoughtful readers will agree that an honest, dedicated physician (when you can find one) is one of the greatest benefactors human society can have. Oftener than not he is soon hounded out of the profession or actually made to defend himself against criminal charges as is the case of Dr. Andrew Ivy.
No, the question being raised here, and one which should be constantly kept in mind during the discussion which follows, is simply this:
Can a profession whose growing wealth and power depend not upon the people's health, but upon their sickness, be safely entrusted with the awesome authority to bind and to loose in all matters pertaining to the healing arts, medical research, self-treatment, nutrition, mental illness and even spiritual beliefs?
Alert watchdogs of the AMA began sniffing at Dianetics almost from the moment it first appeared in public.
Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health was published in May 1950. Within weeks, AMA strategists began secretly laying the groundwork for a full-scale attack on the new and uncanonical therapy.
As already noted, the book carried an enthusiastic introduction by J. A. Winter, M.D., a practising physician of St. Joseph, Michigan.
The AMA hierarchy reacted to Dr. Winter's lending his name to Dianetics in the same way officials of the Electrical Workers Union would react to one of their members endorsing or avocating a right-to-work law.
The first step was to determine whether Dr. Winter's credentials were, in fact, beyond question. In other words, was he a member in good standing of AMA? A check of the Association's biographic records showed that he was. A graduate of the Marquette University School of Medicine, he was licensed to practise medicine in Michigan and later in New Jersey. Further, he was also a Fellow of the American Medical Association and a member of the Association for the Study of Internal Secretions.
Obviously, the problem of Dr. Winter would have to be handled discreetly behind the scenes, employing those intramural methods of persuasion best known to that part of AMA's official staff charged with insuring compliance. (In England, Dr. Winter would have been struck off the register "for infamous professional conduct".)
As for L. Ron Hubbard and his system of mental therapy called Dianetics - that was another matter. Not only had Hubbard, a non-professional outsider (and therefore a quack), dared to trespass upon a legally restricted area, but his new formula had captivated the public's imagination and threatened to show certified psychiatrists in a bad light. For in his book, Hubbard had minced no words in referring to some of the barbaric practices that still form an integral part of psychiatric procedures. He had written:
"There are probably thousands of ways to get into trouble with mental healing, but all these ways can be
classed in these groups: (1) use of shock or surgery on the brain; (2) use of strong drugs; (3) use of hypnosis as such; and (4) trying to cross-breed Dianetics with older forms of therapy."
In order to launch an effective attack on Dianetics, its AMA adversaries needed some authoritative statements by prominent medical men, explaining to the layman why Dianetics was not only quackery, but very dangerous quackery.
Accordingly, Dr. Austin Smith, then editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, on June 1, 1950 sent letters to a number of doctors and medical societies, asking their help. Laymen not privy to the inside workings of the AMA apparatus, will find them enlightening, if somewhat wanting in factual accuracy. For example, in a letter to Dr. Smith, dated June 5, 1950, Theodore Wiprud, executive secretary of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia wrote:
"Upon receipt of your letter of June 1, I got in touch with several physicians who I thought would have some information about L. Ron Hubbard and his book, Dianetics. One of them was Captain George N. Raines, Chief of Psychiatry, Naval Medical Center, Bethesda. He does not want to be quoted but told me that Hubbard and Dr. Joseph A. Winter, who, I understand, is a physician licensed in New Jersey, are 'phonies'.
"One of the bases for 'Dianetics' is the premise that the individual, if prompted by semi-hypnosis, can recall intrauterine experiences and conversations between father and mother within three months after conception. That would be enough to stop anyone but an ignoramus in his tracks, but I am told that some psychiatrists have been intrigued by the idea. At any rate, among the best psychiatrists this is nothing but the bunk."
In another letter replying to Dr. Smith's initiative, Dr. H. Houston Merritt, director of neurological service at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center,
adopted the condescending, slightly derisive tone to be expected of an AMA-member in dealing with anything so "bizarre and unscientific" (his terms) as Dianetics.
"In reply to your letter of June 1," he wrote, "first I beg to advise that I have had no personal experience with Dianetics. Information I have obtained, however, would indicate that this term was coined to describe a 'new' development in the field of psychiatry which uses a philosophical approach combining some of the principles of psychoanalysis, philosophy of Will Durant and the mathematics of the cybernetics school."
Even with these scientific shortcomings, it was inconceivable to Dr. Merritt that a mere layman could have evolved Dianetics. "It is the impression," he continued, "that Hubbard is the ghost writer for Winter. My information in regard to Winter, which may or may not be authentic, indicates that he lives in New Jersey and that he does not have a licence to practice in the State, nor is he a member of the American Medical Association."
(The reader will recall that Dr. Winter was licensed to practice in New Jersey and was a member in good standing of the AMA.)
Dr. Smith did not go at his undertaking half-heartedly, In addition to writing to various eminent doctors of his acquaintance, he sent a memorandum to Oliver Field, director of AMA's Bureau of Investigation. The note, dated June 5, 1950, suggested that the medical CIA ought to "look into" Dianetics and concluded with the statement that Hubbard "is alleged to be a 'bad actor, a kind of faker or even worse', but this is not for quoting until more facts are obtained".
Dr. Smith also wrote to another AMA member, Dr. Erwin E. Nelson, then director of the federal Food and Drug Administration.
As I have pointed out elsewhere, from the time of its inception to the present day, FDA has maintained a cozy liaison with AMA. Most of the top decision makers in the
federal agency are members of AMA. It hardly seems strange, therefore, that in the past the FDA attitude most often has been (in matters of concern to AMA) that what is good for organized medicine is good for the country.
I further observed:
"Any governmental regulatory body is presumed to be wholly free of influence by special interest groups and hence impartial in its decisions and rulemaking. Yet there is abundant evidence, recent as well as historic, pointing to a tacit agreement between FDA and AMA, whereby each serves the other's interests in a reciprocal way. Each boasts of the other's 'cooperation'.''
At the time of Dr. Smith's letter to FDA's medical director, Hubbard's book had been in print only a month and the federal agency had not yet heard of it. Replying to Dr. Smith, the FDA official wrote that "We don't seem to have any information on L. Ron Hubbard or Joseph A. Winter or 'Dianetics'. Further we do not find such names in the local directory."
With AMA's co-operation and continuing insistence, however, this state of innocence on the part of Establishment functionaries did not persist for long.
Meanwhile, AMA's own cloak-and-dagger department was not idle. In keeping with long-standing policy, that organization's Bureau of Investigation remained in the background, but became - and has remained to this day - a prime mover and co-ordinator of the campaign against Dianetics and later, Scientology. The means and methods to those used during World War II and the Cold War that followed, by groups conducting operations which came to be known as psychological warfare.
The basic aim of sykewar was to mislead, confuse and incapacitate not only the enemy's armed forces, but the general population as well. The chief weapon was propaganda, disseminated in various guises-news stories, rumours, slanted broadcasts, official statements and false
reports of immorality or anti-social behaviour among the opponents' leaders.
The raw data out of which these canards are concocted reach the concealed operators from volunteer informants, paid spies, friends in government offices, and in the case of AMA; from physician members who obtained their information from patients whose close relatives or friends had become interested in Scientology.
AMA's psychological warriors did not use the material they were collecting to launch a straightforward frontal attack on Scientology and its founder. Instead, they employed a practice which the Spanish call mano ajeno -that is, using another's hand. Information designed to discredit Scientology and its adherents and to ridicule their beliefs as being the product of an unsound mind, was "planted" with all the media and given to the subsidized hacks who grind out the articles which appear in publications directly controlled by organized medicine. Reprints of these often scurrilous and always hostile accounts were then quoted extensively and given the widest possible circulation.
To give the reader some idea of the magnitude of this operation catspaw, it will suffice to cite but one example. In a single letter to the editor of Southern California Clergyman, AMA's Bureau of Investigation enclosed reprints of articles unfavourable to Scientology which had appeared in the following publications: Today's Health, Time, Medical News, Life, Washington Post, London Sunday Times, Saturday Evening Post, Look, New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
AMA had previously "co-operated" in providing background material for most if not all of the articles just cited. Thus the medical monopolists could effect a large-scale dissemination of their propaganda without taking any responsibility for it.
To start the ball rolling, and to set the general tone of the knock-out offensive against Scientology, a few months after publication of Dianetics. The Modern Science of Mental
Health, Dr. Morris Fishbein wrote a derisive editorial for Postgraduate Medicine, in which he disparaged Hubbard, implied that Dr. Winter (who had written an introduction for the book) was a quack; and suggested action by official enforcement agencies against the Dianetic movement.
"The writer of this weird volume suffers apparently from a cacoethes scribendi," he sneered. "Some of his paragraphs are lush outpourings of exuberant diction funnier than anything attempted in the verbal caricatures that distinguished Robert Benchley."
For Dr. Fishbein thus to criticize Hubbard's writing style is but indication of his overweening arrogance. Hubbard is a highly successful professional writer, who for years earned a good livelihood writing books and magazine pieces that had to win their acceptance in a fiercely competitive market-place.
On the other hand, Dr. Fishbein's published prose (written almost exclusively for a captive audience) has never indicated that he possessed any genuine literary talent.
Referring to his fellow AMA member, Dr. J. A. Winter, who had dared to dissent from the medical syndicalist philosophy, Dr. Fishbein wrote:
"Dr. J. A. Winter will no doubt open an office for treatment by the 'dianetic' scheme in Chicago. Los Angeles would be better, but perhaps that gold-mine has already been assigned to some other prospector."
Then Dr. Fishbein hinted at the hard-line strategy AMA intended to adopt in order to destroy Dianetics - use of the police powers vested in governmental regulatory bodies. "Sooner or later," he said, "some official agency will have to give this method [Dianetics] a name - either the practice of medicine, mind-healing, or some other classification covered by the laws of the individual States."
When the foregoing editorial appeared in the September 1950 issue of Postgraduate Medicine, Oliver Field, director of AMA's Bureau of Investigation, immediately requested
reprints to distribute to a wider audience than that represented in the readership of the professional journal.
There followed a derogatory article by a psychiatrist in the Journal of the American Medical Association and later, grossly biased reports in a growing list of lay publications. The great number of large-circulation magazines and newspapers that are literally at the beck and call of the orthodox medical establishment, is in itself a fact that should give pause to any thoughtful person. The editorial staff of almost every American newspaper of any size today will include a medical editor with whom the AMA, as well as other organizations such as Mental Health Federation, American Heart Association, Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation, American Cancer Society and so on, maintain close ties.
Professional public relations representatives from these groups woo the journalist in various ways, including free lunches and/or drinks at a nearby bar; citations and impressive annual awards for medical journalism; honorary membership in medical societies; and (in the case of the American Cancer Society) expense paid trips around the country to attend symposia at which research teams report on the mythology of progress made in the fight against that disease.
It is hardly surprising, in the light of such an amiable relationship, that when the frequent press releases bearing the familiar insignia of these organizations reach his desk, the medical writer views them with a cordial and uncritical eye. They are, after all, communications from his friends. For him to argue that he faithfully uses the material thus submitted to him only because it is newsworthy and "in the public interest", is a weak and untenable pleading.
To strike any kind of acceptable balance in the news, it would be necessary - no, imperative - at some time or other to report factually on the deficiencies and inhumanity of the medical profession itself - such matters as the careless or excessive use of dangerous new drugs by physicians; the strict businessman approach to the doctor-patient relation
ship; the "milking" of health insurance policies by both doctors and hospitals with the patient a suffering pawn; or the often villainous practices employed in persecuting reputable and gifted colleagues who refuse to be shackled by the trade-union strictures of the AMA.
These topics, however, are almost never covered by the mass media) and when they must be, as when an important malpractice suit is filed, or a scandal erupts, which even influence in high places cannot conceal, they are playeddown or liberally interspersed with extenuating quotes supplied by the accused.
Most of the medical writer's crusading spirit is expended on "quacks" whose sphere of influence affects only an infinitesimal portion of the population; and on health food addicts whose "nutritional nonsense" harms nobody but the allopathic doctors who are deprived of more patients, and the processed food manufacturers, who have fewer customers.
Even if medical writers did not allow personal rapport and pro-establishment bias to colour their treatment of the news, however, it is quite likely that the medical and mental health fields would remain exempt from serious criticism or inquiry into some of their questionable practices. The reason is quite simple: organized medicine also has taken care to make friends in the higher echelons of publishing. Here I speak not from hearsay, but from personal experience.
Some years ago, when I was science editor of a metropolitan daily newspaper in Los Angeles, California (where my responsibility included medical coverage), I once proposed to the managing editor that we undertake an investigative report on a mental health organization whose activities were supported by annual drives for public donations. Some of their practices had appeared to me to be highly irregular, if not unethical.
The managing editor regarded me dourly for a moment, then said: "A member of our publisher's family is on the
local executive committee. If you want to start a crusade, Why don't you find an outfit that's vulnerable?"
The ties between the newspaper and another local organization - a cancer research foundation, whose administrative costs had earlier attracted my attention - were even closer. In an aggressive circulation drive, the paper announced that a percentage of the money paid for each new subscription would be donated to the medical foundation.
An opposition newspaper wryly suggested a slogan for the campaign: "Watch us grow with cancer."
As AMA's Operation Catspaw continued, Oliver Field, director of the medical fraternity's Bureau of Investigation, compiled an impressive file of published material attacking Dianetics (and later, Scientology) and defaming its founder. From this "black propaganda", he selected those items which apparently he felt would be most damaging to the Scientologists, and these were sent out as enclosures in all his correspondence concerning them. Eventually, he devised a kind of form letter which repeated over and over identical statements to doctors, laymen and casual inquirers alike.
Only in a few instances did Field so far forget his role of psychological warrior as to inject personal statements which, had they become known to Hubbard at the time, would almost certainly have landed the AMA executive in court charged with slander.
For example, in a letter dated June 30, 1952, replying to a query by a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, Field wrote: "From information in our file, we wonder if Mr. Hubbard is not in need of some psychiatric treatment himself."
Again, in a written communication addressed to a lawyer in Currituck, North Carolina, Field stated: "It is our understanding that Mr. Hubbard, the originator of all this has spent some time in a mental institution."
On at least two occasions, Field told his correspondents
that Scientology was "a scheme to victimize gullible persons
When newspapers published inaccurate allegations made against Hubbard in a domestic relations court case, Field had the stories photocopied and sent them as additional hand-outs to various correspondents.
The adversary lawyer who had made the derogatory statements available to the press was a Los Angeles attorney known to me and whom I regarded as a publicity seeker who liked to try his cases in the newspaper. My colleagues were also aware of this fact, but that did not deter them from quoting at length the lawyer's hearsay statements and accusations against Hubbard. A wire-service picked up the story and distributed it throughout the country.
The only effective restraint imposed upon journalistic enterprise in the service of the medical trade unionists are the laws of libel. In most cases, the prohibitive cost of legal action places this form of redress beyond the reach of the individual or organization whose reputation is being demolished. But where Scientology is concerned, much to the indignation of both publishers and propagandists, there has been no reluctance to hail the offenders into court.
"We have developed a technique," Bob Thomas told me, "which is notification. We say to somebody who's about to print something: 'You are hereby informed that what you are saying is not true and you should research it to find out if it is true.'
"If they publish it after having disregarded our notification, then there is some chance of getting them on intent. But, of course, proving malicious intent is a can of worms, really. It's pretty easy for them to go in to a judge and say, 'Listen, Your Honour, these people are a bunch of quacks. We just told the truth about them and that's the way it is.' And the judge listens to this and accepts it as evidence. So much depends on whether there is judicial bias."
The effectiveness of Scientology's legal strategy soon became evident in the reduced number of denigrating and
at times near-libellous treatments of Hubbard and his followers by the press.
A typical case is that of The Arizona Republic, one of the two daily newspapers in Phoenix, Arizona (circulation: 169,536). The medical editor of the paper, a former medical student, had been a member of the Maricopa County Board of Health; honorary member of the County Medical Society; member of the Arizona Society of Medical Technologists; the Arizona Medical Education Foundation; and honorary member of the International Academy of Proctology. Additionally, he was a member of the Board of directors of the Maricopa County Mental Health Association. In 1965, he was recipient of the AMA Medical journalism Award.
It is not surprising that a close liaison existed between the paper and organized medicine.
In a letter dated May 24, 1969, to Oliver Field at AMA national headquarters, Fred Mitten, executive secretary of the Maricopa County Medical Society (which includes Phoenix) wrote that "some pig - er took our Scientology file. Would you be kind enough to send us a duplicate which would include the British newspaper clippings I have been sending you? We have a feature writer on the Republic ready to go with a big expose." (Emphasis added.)
Of course, AMA's propaganda department was happy to oblige, and staff associate William J. Monaghan sent a packet of derogatory material reproduced from various publications, both British and American.
However, the projected attack on Scientology ran into an unexpected obstacle. Apparently the expose had been undertaken without the knowledge or authorization of the paper's executive office. When it came to the attention of the managing editor, he "killed" the series because, he said he did not want the paper to have to defend itself in a legal action brought against it by the litigation-prone Scientologists.
As Scientology continued to come under attack from
various sources, Hubbard expanded his strike-back strategy to meet the threat.
"We had to establish a separate arm of the church, called the Guardian's Office," Bob Thomas told me, "which deals primarily with defence of the church against attacks of its enemies, who use the media, government agencies. We have had to become experts in such subjects as public relations, the evaluation of data, and all those things germane to a war of ideas.
"The Guardian is, in effect, an executive. He has his own command lines into the organization. Organization executives are trained to filter out any kind of information which deals with certain categories of attack on the environment and to route it to the Guardian's office and it is dealt with there. In this way, the organization can continue functioning quite independently of any source of attack. So, they are free to promote Scientology and to serve the public. Otherwise, they would be very confused by the impact of this constant pressure.
"We have a standard operation procedure (SOP) which provides that any entheta reports or attacks be turned over to the bureaux which are concerned. Then there will be co-ordination among legal, and public relations departments, each of which has its own job. In this way, a co-ordinated programme is instituted immediately upon receipt of information concerning an attack."
Over the years, Hubbard had learned from painful experience that it was futile to try to reason with his enemies or to explain the methods and meaning of Scientology to them. They were motivated by implacable hatred of Scientology's philosophy and aims, which were inimical to their private interests. Similarly, co-operation with official or quasi-official groups set up to investigate Scientology availed nothing. The only effective way to meet such a challenge was to counter-attack the moment there was any hostile movement on the part of the adversary.
"Don't ever tamely submit to any investigation of us,"
Hubbard told his organizations in a policy letter dated February 15, 1966. "Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way."
"You can get 'reasonable about it' and lose. Sure, we break no laws. Sure, we have nothing to hide. But attackers are simply an anti-Scientology propaganda agency so far as we are concerned. They have proven they want no facts and will only lie no matter what they discover. So banish all ideas that any fair hearing is intended and start our attack with their first breath. Never wait. Never talk about us only them. Use their blood, sex, crime to get headlines. Don't use us.
"I speak from fifteen years of experience in this. There has never been an attacker who was not reeking with crime. All we had to do was look for it and murder would come out.
"They fear our Meter. They fear freedom. They fear the way we are growing. Why?
"Because they have too much to hide.
"When you use that rationale, you win. When you go dish-water and say, 'We honest chickens just plain love to have you in the coop, Brer Fox,' we get clobbered. The right response is 'We militant public defenders of the freedom of the people want that there Fox investigated for eating living chickens!' Shift the spotlight to them. No matter how. Do it!"
"I can count several heavy attacks which folded up by our noisily beginning an investigation of the attacker."
As Scientology organizations proceeded to compile and analyse information concerning the nature and probable source of attacks made on them throughout the world, it became apparent that the assaults emanated from a given point of focus. In a brief submitted to the Commission of Enquiry in South Africa, the Scientologists wrote:
"Finding itself wantonly attacked by governments and by the press, the Church has sought to find whether these
attacks were genuine expressions of critical, though uninformed, opinion, or whether they were being instigated and if so, by whom. Without exception they have been found to have been instigated by psychiatrists or psychologists. The Church has further inquired whether these attacks represented spontaneous expressions of opinion by the persons concerned, or whether they were the result of a policy consciously pursued by one or more organizations or groups or people. In almost every case the persons concerned have been members of or connected to a single organization - The World Federation for Mental Health."
The Scientologists having thus identified organized psychiatry as their principal enemy, this is a convenient point at which to examine the background, practices and personnel of political psychiatry; and to define the character and goals of the international Mental Health Movement.