July 19, 2011
One of the basic rules of logic is: define your terms. This particularly applies to science. We can talk all day, but if we don't know what the basic words and terms mean, we're hopelessly lost.
To get rigorous, a further step is needed when it comes to scientific definition: how did you arrive at it? Where did the definition come from? What experiments were done to support it?
IF YOU ARE A SCIENTIFIC PROPAGANDIST, which is a whole other game, involving deception-you often have to PRETEND to have clear and good definitions of terms.
That's your job. You're not doing science, you're persuading people. You're trying to slip vague terms past them. You're claiming these terms are very useful. You're claiming they represent breakthroughs.
In short, you're saying non-science is science.
Think about this. In the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), which is the bible of the psychiatric profession, there are 297 separate mental disorders, each one with its own name and definition.
The DSM is offered as a highly useful map. But where does it lead?
As I've explained and documented in prior articles, not one of these 297 disorders is diagnosed by a biological or chemical test of any kind. No such tests exist.
Instead, lists of behaviors form the basis for the disorder-labels, which are hashed out by committee.
This would be comparable to physicists sitting down in a room and deciding, by debate, whether electrons are real.
So, in psychiatry, we have a new kind of language, and this language claims to be science.
We have 297 new terms, which are used in very strange ways.
They are said to refer to actual mental (brain) malfunctions, and yet there is no proof offered.
Bipolar. Clinical depression. ADHD. ADD. Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Labels-but no unambiguous diagnostic tests.
So how does the propagandist proceed? He uses the fact that people experience quite real suffering, confusion, and pain, and he implies that the 297 mental-disorder labels a) cover the waterfront of human anguish and b) break up the territory of that anguish into distinct sub-areas.
By doing this, he achieves a bonanza for the profession of psychiatry. It works.
A parent will say, "My child lacks focus. He can't concentrate. He fidgets all the time. There is something wrong. I'm upset, I can't figure out what to do with him."
On this foundation of fact, the propagandist builds a little castle in the air called ADHD. And the parent accepts the term as a real designation for her child, because it seems to provide an answer in four quick letters: ADHD. And those letters are pronounced by a licensed "professional" with great surety.
But on looking closer, we see that "ADHD" is a stretching of language. It is a term that claims to be science, and yet no scientific proof is offered. It is supposed to be shining a spotlight on the activity of the brain, but there is no common-denominator brain malfunction among all the millions of children diagnosed with ADHD.
ADHD is promoted as a discrete and real THING, but there is no evidence that such a thing exists at all.
I have pointed this out many times to parents, and the usual response is, "But if ADHD isn't real, then why is my child out of control?"
This response testifies to the power and success of the propaganda. The parent can't even imagine that her child's difficulty could exist UNLESS IT HAS A NAME, A TITLE, A LABEL.
It's as if a person can't believe he owns a car unless he thinks of it as a VW or a Honda or a Chevy. Without one of those labels, the car doesn't exist.
Consider this statement: Many years ago, after much trial and error, humans finally learned how to fly. Planes were built. They got off the ground. This is the way science works. Through experiments. In the same way, scientists have, so far, discovered 297 mental disorders. These disorders are caused by brain malfunctions, and they all have names.
A completely false analogy.
But once you have the 297 mental-disorder labels in your pocket, you can then work backwards and analyze human behavior and apply those labels to aspects of it.
And once you do that, people want to hold on to those labels. They want to wear them. They want "the treatment," but just as important, they want to know what label they fit into.
Which of these statements do you think a parent would accept more readily?
One: Your child's ADHD may actually be caused by a serious nutritional deficit, which can be remedied.
Two: Your child doesn't have ADHD, whatever that's supposed to mean. Nobody has ADHD. It doesn't exist. Your child may well have a nutritional deficit, and this can be corrected.
Obviously, One is the preferred statement. It keeps the label. That label has acquired great value.
It has great value, in concrete terms, for pharmaceutical companies, too, because they can sell a drug to "treat the label." For every one of the 297 labels, there are several drugs.
The label has great value for the psychiatrist, as well, because he can make a diagnosis. He can then write the prescription that leads to the drug. If he couldn't do these two things, he would be out of business.
"What do you do for a living?"
"People come to my office and I apply labels to them. The labels are fictions. I then use those fictions to dispense drugs."
To close the circle of propaganda, you would have something like this: "Well, some serious charges are being brought against psychiatry here. I think we need an expert opinion. Let's talk to a professional in the field, a psychiatrist, and see what he thinks."
Which is, of course, how the low-IQ major media operate.
This is the living equivalent of what, in logic, is called a circular argument. First, self-appointed authorities invent and apply the labels. Second, to confirm these labels are based on anything real, reporters consult the same authorities, who offer arrogant assurance they're doing actual science.
Media consider this a valid way to do journalism.
If it's valid, my uncle's pet parakeet is flying to the moon in a model airplane.
An investigative reporter for 30 years, Jon is the author of an 18-lesson course, LOGIC AND ANALYSIS. To inquire, contact him directly.