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By Charlie Doherty

In this article I am going to show examples of how are perceptions of illnesses and especially metal illnesses are sometimes incorrect. What is sanity? What does it mean to be sane or insane? How is it that we define the insane from the sane in our society? What are the impacts of the most common misconceptions of sanity?


In America 1973 psychologist David Rosenhan published a journal calledOn being sane in insane places”.


In this journal Rosenhan created a series of tests trying to see, could physiatrist in the United States tell the difference between madness and sanity. He got together 8 volunteers which included him that never had a history of physiological problems.

He dived up these volunteer and sent them to psychiatric hospitals around America. He gave them a time to show up at each of the designated hospitals. He instructed them to tell each psychiatrist that “there is a voice in my head saying the words thud”. Rosenhan explained to them that this was all they had to say, and after this they should act completely normal. After this they were all diagnosed as being insane and put into psychiatric units. Rosenhan had previously told friends and family members he expected to have been there for only a couple of days. He ended up being kept there for two months. The behaviour of all these 8 patients remained normal, but the hospital would not let them leave. 7 of these volunteers were told they had schizophrenia and one bipolar disorder. The volunteers done everything in their power to try and prove to the physiatrist that they were in fact of a sane mind. But it soon dawned on each of them that they could do nothing but agree they had these disorders, they would have to give the illusion of getting better. Rosenhan said” the only way out of the hospital was to admit he was insane and that he was getting better. 


The psychiatric community was outraged. An offended hospital told Rosenhan that he should send more volunteers and that on this occasion they would find the people that were miss leading them. He agreed that he would send more volunteers. Months later the offended hospital came out saying that they have 41 imposters. Rosenhan then presented proof that he had sent no one.

After this the American psychiatric community began to conduct larger experiment looking at these disorders. Before they had only analyzed the individual person. But now they would get groups of people from all over the country to survey. Hundreds of thousands were randomly interviewed.  Their results were then inputted into a computer. The results concluded that 50% of all Americans suffered from some sort of mental disorder in their lifetimes. The finding of this experiment astonished people. It was dubbed “the Hidden epidemic”.


The findings of the survey showed that people suffering from mental anguish were not alone. A checklist of symptoms was created and it was the first time people could identify what they were experiencing into something that is scientifically proven. But as a consequence of these lists some people had begun using them as a framework for what could be described as being normal. This was completely missing the point of the checklists. Psychiatric hospitals had an influx of people not feeling that they were not what they perceived as being normal. They had an ideal in their mind of what was normal and believed that they did not fit this model.


When advertising metal disorders the media has a responsibility to inform but not scare mugger the public. Describing the symptoms of mental disorders can be as harmful as the mental illness itself. It has to be explained that self-diagnosis can be very harmful. Only the diagnosis worthwhile should always be from a trained medical professional.

If we become a society that uses a checklist in order to measure are existence, we will lose everything that makes the individual person special and unique. We all have to ask ourselves the question. What is sanity?  

"Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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By Charlie Doherty

Politician’s today vow to protect us from things we cannot see and cannot understand. The biggest threat of all is that of international terrorism. This is a network of sleeper cells dotted across the world, hell bent on the destruction of western ideals. This has created a reaction in governments to begin what they call a “War on Terror”.

In reality much of this threat has been manufactured and manipulated by politicians for their own political gain. What we perceive to be terrorism today is told to us through are governments, security services and international media organisations.

Leo Strauss was a political Philosopher and classicist, who specialized in classical political philosophy. He was one of the shaping forces behind the Neo conservative movement in America. He was an elusive figure who never was filmed or interviewed. What he taught to a loyal group of followers was that America itself holds its own seeds for its own destruction. He believed that it was the role of politicians in society to implement inspiring myths that everyone could believe in, even if they might be a lie. But this was what he thought of as a “Necessary Illusion”.

In Britain the government and media tells us that there is an overwhelming network of terrorist sleeper cells waiting to attack you and everyone around you. But out of 664 people arrested under the terrorism act since Sep 11, none of them have been convicted to belonging to al-Qaeda. Only 3 people have ever been convicted to have any association with any Islamist group. But none of these convictions had anything to do with a terror plot. They were for the possession of Islamic literature and for fundraising activities.

The overall convictions in Britain under the terrorism act since Sep 11 are members of Irish terrorist groups, such as the UVF and the Real IRA.

Many of the arrests that were claimed to be part of a greater al-Qaeda network were in reality an absurdity. One example of this is that of Mr Zine Loo Barden, who the police believed to be running an international terrorist training camp in London. But under closer examination it was shown to be a self defence course for body guards and was called “Ultimate Jihad Challenge”. His only client was a security guard from a local super market. Mr Zine was cleared of all charges.

A more high profile case was the MI5 foiling of the gas attack on the London tube in 2002. This was also found out to have no foundation. No one has ever been charged for the planning of a gas attack on the London tube. But at the time it was a myth that swept through the media.

As in Britain as well as America there is no evidence what so ever of a well connected and terrifying, evil network of terrorist. But this does not stop the government and media from continually telling us that there is one. What we see is a fantasy and a projection of our worst fears. This not to say that there is no terrorist threat, but the fact is that we have an exaggerated perception of a possibility of terrorism. What is very clear is the way America and other governments have simplified this complex and dangerous threat. They have spun it into a simplistic myth of an organised web of unequally powerful terrorist who will strike anywhere at any time.

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By Charlie Doherty

Ronald Ernest “Ron” Paul is a doctor in America and a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination. It is a common saying that when researching his ideas and reading his books you will never go back to politics as usual. He is for free market capitalism and one of his main ideas is to “End the fed”. He believes when and if he gets into office he will audit the Federal Reserve, and in turn uncover all it dirty dealing and fraudulent activities of this corporate organization. He wants to completely reverse America’s foreign policy and shut down and depart from any military action outside of mainland United States.  He believes that America’s foreign policy of torture has resulted in perpetual bloodshed and results in the formation terrorist groups.

 

Ron Paul is the only republican presidential nominee who is against foreign intervention in other countries, as a result of this he receives more donations from active duty military personnel service members than all of the other republican candidates combined. His donations reach 36,739.79 thousand dollars and this by far outweighs even that of the Commander and Chief President Barack Obamas donation of 28,833.99 thousand dollars. Ron Paul is the armed forces choice.

 

Throughout the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination Ron Paul has been ignored and shunned of by mainstream media. But the reaction of the media does not reflect the voters at the polls. The fact is that he came in second in New Hampshire and third in Iowa. Despite this the media has maintained a dislike to Ron Paul and his polices. In some case when talking about election results some commentators don’t even admit that he is running for office. In the case of the Iowa straw Poll the reporting of Rick Santorum overshadowed Ron Paul even though he didn’t even get half the votes that Paul had received. In a poll by Fox News who had voters from 26 different countries, asked if Ron Paul is being ignored by the media? The results showed 97% of people said yes he is being ignored. This has been described as an elusive ploy by most political analysis in America.