The New Malleus Maleficarum: The DSM Reconsidered
by Paul and Phillip Collins ©, May 27th, 2005
In 1486, the dominant ecclesiastical authority published The Malleus Maleficarum (translated: The Witch Hammer). Written by two Dominican Priests, this infamous text claimed to be an authoritative guidebook that could be used to identify practitioners of witchcraft. However, the book had more to do with snuffing out the Church’s competition than it did with recognizing witches. At the time, herbal healers had more success curing people with alternative methods than did the priests with highly stylized rituals. Under the pretext of delivering the world from evil, innovation and eccentricity were criminalized. The Malleus Maleficarum played no small role in the process.
Likewise, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) has served a similar function in the marginalizing and, on occasion, incarceration of potential innovators. Now printed in four editions, the DSM is “the billing bible for mental disorders which commingles neurological diseases with psychiatric diagnoses” (O Meara, no pagination). While The Malleus Maleficarum stigmatized certain modes of thought and behavior as “witchcraft,” the DSM stigmatizes them as “disorders.” In an interview with OMNI magazine, R.D. Laing expands on the role of the DSM in marginalizing divergent paradigms:
In the later sixties it became apparent to the elite with the responsibilities for “control of the population” that the old idea of putting people in the proverbial bin and keeping them there for life – warehousing people – wasn’t cost-effective. The Reagan administration in California was one of the first to realize this. So they had to rethink just what is said to the general public and what is practiced by the executive in control of mental health. The same problem prevails across Europe and the Third World.
To see what is happening, look at the textbook or manual called DSM-III: The Diagnostic Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders. Translated into economic and political terms, mental disorder means undesired mental states and behavior. The criteria for mental disorder in DSM-III include any unusual perceptual experience, magical thinking, clairvoyance, telepathy, sixth sense, sense of a person not actually present. You’re allowed to sense the presence of a dead relative for three weeks after their death. After that it becomes a criterion of mental disorder to have those feelings.
. . . these are not exceptional examples out of DSM-III. The overall drift is what contemporary modern psychiatry, epitomized by this DSM manual translated into eighteen languages, is imposing all over the world – a mandate to strip anyone of their civil liberties, of habeas corpus; and to apply involuntary incarceration, chemicalisation of a person, electric shocks, and non-injurious torture; to homogenize people who are out of line. Presented as a medical operation, it is an undercover. (Liversidge 60-61)
Under the pretext of promoting mental health, the DSM has been instrumental in the stifling of cognitive dissent. Not only is the DSM analogous to The Malleus Maleficarum, but the respective historical periods of the two texts are analogous as well. Just as the dominant ecclesiastical establishment that promulgated The Malleus Maleficarum was premised on a form of mysticism, namely spiritualism, so is the contemporary religio-cultural milieu that adheres to the DSM. The new mysticism, however, is materialism. Daniel Pouzzner explains how materialism qualifies as a form of mysticism:
“The materialist is the mystic who believes in existence without consciousness, and preaches subordination to a vague and unaccountable ‘Society’ variously called ‘public interest,’ ‘the people,’ ‘world opinion,’ ‘the common good,’ etc. (Pouzzner, no pagination)”
This form of mysticism was introduced to the field of psychology by Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt. When examined closer, the imposition of this metaphysical doctrine upon psychology is most paradoxical. Psychology is derived from the word psyche, which meant “soul” in the original Greek. Ironically, however, Wundt would expunge the soul from the halls of psychological research and enshrine the primacy of matter. Appropriately, this metaphysical doctrine would underpin both communism and fascism. It also underpins the emergent police state of today.
Understood from this vantage point, the DSM can be seen as merely the modern incarnation of The Malleus Maleficarum. Just as the theocracy of 1486 employed The Malleus Maleficarum against religious “heretics” of the middle ages, the DSM is employed by the dominant theocracy of materialism against cognitive dissenters today.
The War on Innovators
Who are the new “heretics” against whom the DSM is employed? In The Architecture of Modern Political Power, researcher Daniel Pouzzner presents an interesting assertion. Pouzzner contends that one of the power elite’s greatest fears is chaos, more specifically the sort of chaos generated by innovation:
Fear of chaos is not unique to the power brokers. It is much more common than that. It is, in short, an important example of fear of the unknown – in practical terms, it is fear of the unknowable. This fear is a classic characteristic of small minds and of those of meager confidence. It is often observed that investors tend to hate uncertainty: today, roughly half of the value of US stock markets is held by individual investors, and 45 percent of American households own stock directly or indirectly. Chaos of the type introduced by innovators produces very serious uncertainty for these investors, and they hate it. Thus, because of fear and short-term interest, the bulk of mainstream first-worlders, being small-minded, tacitly supports the neutralization, or even extermination, of uncooperative innovators. In fact, the ordinary feel offended and disgraced by these innovators, and for that the innovators are resented like no other group. The small-minded must become larger-minded if they are to realize that they, too, are slated for enslavement and capricious extermination – except that they have, as a rule, already resigned themselves to obedient slavery in exchange for survival. The power brokers are the total enemies of the innovators and the masses alike, but the masses cower and bow, signalling their surrender. (Pouzzner, no pagination)
Because innovation abruptly reconfigures the socioeconomic playing field, the inventive personality is one of the greatest threats to the power of the ruling class. Innovators can potentially destabilize the elite’s inequitable system of control and re-establish meritocracy. Innovators can introduce genuine competition to the marketplace, thus exposing the oligarchs’ illusion of counterfeit capitalism and facilitating the emergence of a truly free enterprise system. As practitioners of usury, the parasitic ruling class cannot allow this to happen. The abatement of just such a shift in the power balance is precisely the function for which the DSM was designed. Pouzzner explains:
The cultural prejudice against chaos is evident in contemporary language itself. Diseases of the mind are routinely referred to as “disorders,” whether or not they present themselves as, or are caused by, an imbalanced abundance of randomness. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), historically known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), is not a disorder at all, but is in fact an additional level of ordered mental arrangement. In fact, most DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association standard) mental illness involves minds and brains that are more ordered than healthy minds and brains. Chaos is healthy, and empowers consciousness. Order is morbid. An unusually regular and orderly electrocardiogram (EKG) is an indication of nascent illness; certain elements of chaos in heart rhythms are indications of good health. Another term that propels the prejudice is “unstable,” often used as a synonym for “insane.” This use of that term must be condemned with equal haste. As Ilya Prigogine (Nobel laureate and Clubber of Rome) observes, “over time, non-equilibrium processes generate complex structures that cannot be achieved in an equilibrium situation.” (Pouzzner, no pagination)
The DSM is integral to civil commitment, one of the elite’s legal instruments for the criminalizing of potential innovators. Pouzzner elaborates:
A more established institution in the same vein is civil commitment, which operates like civil forfeiture, with a reduced burden of proof, only the object seized by the state is an actual living human individual. Civil commitment is an extraconstitutional mechanism by which private citizens licensed by a committee of executive appointees cause the forcible imprisonment of individuals charged with no crime, with subsequent judicial review based principally on standards promulgated by the private American Psychiatric Association in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the “DSM”). (Pouzzner, no pagination)
In short, all those who deviate from the Establishment’s arbitrary criteria for mental health are incarcerated and assigned one of the APA’s various stigmas… “unstable,” “disturbed,” or just plain “criminally insane.” Typically, the recipients of such stigmas are the innovators who threaten the oligarchs’ dominance. Worse still, the elasticity of such stigmas is increasing. According to Larry Akey, spokesman for the Health Insurance Association of America, “New mental illnesses are being included in DSM 4 all the time” (Porteus, no pagination). For every potential innovator, there is now a potential mental illness.
Observing the growing elasticity of qualifiers for mental illness, Kelly Patricia O Meara states:
A child who doesn’t like doing math homework may be diagnosed with the mental illness developmental-arithmetic disorder (No.315.4). A child who argues with her parents may be diagnosed as having a mental illness called oppositional-defiant disorder (No.313.8). And people critical of the legislation now snaking through Congress that purports to “end discrimination against patients seeking treatment for mental illness” may find themselves labeled as being in denial and diagnosed with the mental illness called noncompliance-with-treatment disorder (No.15.81)
The psychiatric diagnoses suggested above are no joke. They represent a few of the more than 350 “mental disorders” listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), the billing bible for mental disorders which commingles neurological diseases with psychiatric diagnoses. (O Meara, no pagination)
The list of so-called “mental disorders” continues to grow. Of course, if a divergent mode of thought or behavior does not find a corresponding “mental disorder” in the current DSM, the social engineers are always willing to invent a new one. Such is the case with the purported “mental disorder” of Attention Deficit Disorder. Already, this chimerical illness is drawing some healthy skeptical criticism. Kelly Patricia O Meara elaborates:
Fred Baughman, a San Diego neurologist and leading critic of the alleged mental illness called attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), tells Insight the question that must be answered before a mental illness can qualify as a disease is this: “Where is the macroscopic, microscopic or chemical abnormality in any living patient or at death/autopsy?” (O Meara, no pagination)
Does ADHD even exist? The absence of any “macroscopic, microscopic or chemical abnormality in any patient” certainly drives one more nail into the coffin of this alleged “mental disorder.” Yet, the imaginary illness remains part of the litany of stigmas and more await invention. Worse still, the standards for establishing mental illness have plunged into ambiguity. Baughman reiterates:
“No one is justified in saying anyone is medically abnormal/diseased until such time as they can adduce some such abnormality. This, by the way, would apply to a person suspected of having diabetes or cancer.” The fact is, Baughman adds, “There is no psychiatric diagnosis for which any part of this question can be answered in the affirmative. In other words: no abnormality; no disease. There is no confirmation of abnormality in the brain in life or at autopsy for any of the psychiatric diagnoses. And they [in the psychiatric community] don’t say this because it’s part of the propaganda campaign to make patients out of normal people. The findings at autopsy would be very specific and would reveal whether it is a diseased brain and, if so, which disease it is. There is no proof in life or at autopsy of any of the alleged psychiatric mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, psychosis, depression, OCD or ADHD.” (O Meara, no pagination)
For every independent thinker, there is a corresponding “mental disorder.” If one does not currently exist, social engineers of the Establishment can always concoct one. Daniel Pouzzner provides an eloquent summation:
The power brokers work to eradicate chaos both because of their own fear of it, and because they seek to eradicate the innovation it leads to (and the chaos which leads from innovation), insofar as that innovation and chaos directly threatens their hegemony. (Pouzzner, no pagination)
Beware, innovators. In the eyes of the Establishment, you are the agents of chaos and war has been declared on you.
Disorder Out of Chaos
To be sure, the oligarchs have employed chaos themselves. However, as Pouzzner makes clear, their brand of chaos is “treated” (Pouzzner, 2001). It is not the healthy chaos arising from innovation, but destructive chaos resulting from the instigation of conflict. This brand of chaos is evident in the Hegelian dialectic, Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations thesis, the geostrategy presented by Brzezinski in The Grand Chessboard, and the Masonic dictum: Ordo Ab Chao. The counterfeit form of chaos generated by these theoretical methodologies is intended to stifle the inventive proclivities of humanity and maintain the elite’s desired order. Paradoxically, the maintenance of such an order is self-immolating. Pouzzner explains:
The establishment instinctually seeks to bring about a circumstance in which all movement in the structure of societies, economies, sciences, technologies, and arts, is arrested. This, however, is nothing but Thanatos expanded to the whole of the world. It is the establishment’s instinctual desire for death – for extinction. (Pouzzner, no pagination)
Indeed, the Establishment itself is clinically suicidal. Its members seem to be experiencing a collective nervous breakdown, the culmination of which could be a violent death by their own hands. A microcosm of this collective nervous breakdown can be found in President George W. Bush. In an article entitled “Is Bush Nuts?,” William Thomas writes:
“Is The ‘President’ Nuts?” asks Carol Wolman, M.D. “Many people, inside and especially outside this country, believe that the American president is nuts, and is taking the world on a suicidal path.” A board-certified psychiatrist in practice for 30 years, Dr. Wolman feels compelled to understand the “psychopathology” of man “under tremendous pressure from both his family/junta, and from the world at large.” (Thomas, no pagination)
Ironically, Bush Junior’s stability is called into question by the very same criteria presented in the mental health establishment’s own DSM:
Dr. Wolman wonders if GW is suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder, as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fourth Edition: “There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others: 1) failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest; 2) deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure; 5) reckless disregard for safety of self or others; 7) lack of remorse by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated or stolen from others.” (Thomas, no pagination)
Dr. Carolyn Williams, a registered Republican and psychoanalyst specializing in paranoid personalities, provides the following assessment of the President:
“President Bush grew up dealing with an absent but demanding father, a tough mother and an overachieving brother. All left indelible impressions on him along with a desire to prove himself at all cost because he feels surrounded by disapproval. His behavior suggests a classic paranoid personality. Additionally, his stated belief that certain actions are ‘God’s Will’ are symptomatic of delusional behavior.” (Hampton, no pagination)
Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill has also expressed concerns about Bush Junior’s mental and emotional condition:
O’Neill says Bush was moody in cabinet meetings and would wander off on tangents, mostly about Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Bush, O’Neill says, seemed more focused on Iraq than on finding Osama bin Laden and would lash out at anyone who disagreed with him. (Hampton, no pagination)
As is the case with Bush Junior, several individuals within the Bush Administration also qualify as “mentally ill” according to the DSM itself. The President has developed a dangerous dependency upon this sect of mutually unstable individuals. Thus, the patients are now running the asylum. William explains:
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, a person suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, “Has a grandiose sense of self-importance-exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements.”
This personality is preoccupied with fantasies of power and being loved. Such a person requires “automatic compliance”. He or she is “exploitative” of others, “lacks empathy, is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.” And also “shows arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes.”
“This set of characteristics,” says Dr. Wolman, not too reassuringly, “may describe Rumsfeld and Cheney better than Dubya.”
For those who, like Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stieglitz, warn that Bush “has been captured by a small group of ideologues,” Dependent Personality Disorder describes someone who “has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others.” (Thomas, no pagination)
This collection of mentally ill people is guiding an equally unstable President down a course towards self-immolation. Fettered to the policies of this insane Administration, the nation is being forcibly pulled along with the madmen into an abyss. Indeed, the Establishment is clinically suicidal. At their nadir, the elite’s policies constitute “Thanatos expanded to the whole of the world.”
Some researchers have proposed that the witch hunts of the Middle Ages, the guidelines of which were established in The Malleus Maleficarum, was actually a smoke screen designed to draw attention away from genuine cases of witchcraft within the church and aristocracy. Likewise, the contemporary witch hunts for “mental disorders,” which finds its guidelines within the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, could be a smoke screen designed to draw attention away from genuine cases of mental illness in the Establishment.
- Hampton, Teresa, “New Information Suggests Bush Indecisive, Paranoid, Delusional,” June 17, 2004.
Liversidge, Anthony, “Interview with R.D. Laing,” OMNI
- O Meara, Kelly Patricia, “Money and Madness,” Insight on the News, June 3, 2002.
- Porteus, Liza, “Status of Mental Health Rises in Senate,” Fox News, November 14, 2002.
- Pouzzner, Daniel, The Architecture of Modern Political Power, 2001.
- Thomas, William, “Is Bush Nuts?,” 2004.
About the Authors
Paul D. Collins has studied suppressed history and the shadowy undercurrents of world political dynamics for roughly eleven years. In 1999, he completed his Associate of Arts and Science degree. He is working to complete his Bachelor’s degree, with a major in Communications and a minor in Political Science. Paul has authored another book entitled The Hidden Face of Terrorism: The Dark Side of Social Engineering, From Antiquity to September 11. Published in November 2002, the book is available online from www.1stbooks.com, barnesandnoble.com, and also amazon.com. It can be purchased as an e-book (ISBN 1-4033-6798-1) or in paperback format (ISBN 1-4033-6799-X).
Phillip D. Collins acted as the editor for The Hidden Face of Terrorism. He has also written articles for Paranoia Magazine, MKzine, News With Views, B.I.P.E.D.: The Official Website of Darwinian Dissent and Conspiracy Archive. He has an Associate of Arts and Science. Currently, he is studying for a bachelor’s degree in Communications at Wright State University. During the course of his seven-year college career, Phillip has studied philosophy, religion, and classic literature. He also co-authored the book, The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship: An Examination of Epistemic Autocracy, From the 19th to the 21st Century, which is
available online here.
Their book, The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship: An Examination of Epistemic Autocracy, From the 19th to the 21st Century, is