South High Invaded By NAMI Drug Dealers

NAMI claims to be concerned about your mental health. They really want to get you hooked on harmful drugs. Learn who funds NAMI and why. It's not your "biology" that's getting you depressed... it's the schools, the funding cutbacks. the crappy economy. Don't get depressed...get angry and take action. Demand the NAMI drug pushers be banished from South High forever.


Mother Jones Article on NAMI

An influential mental health nonprofit finds its "grassroots" watered by pharmaceutical millions

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) bills itself as a "grassroots organization of individuals with brain disorders and their family members." The alliance was a prominent participant in last June's White House Conference on Mental Health.

Earlier, President Clinton named the executive director, Laurie Flynn, to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. But some mental health activists say the Arlington, VA based organization which is widely viewed as an independent advocate for the mentally ill, and an influential voice in mental health debates - is overly influenced by pharmaceutical companies. It's certainly well funded by the industry:

According to internal documents obtained by Mother Jones, 18 drug firms game NAMI a total of $11.72 million between 1996 and mid-1999. These include Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer, Abbott Labs, Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

NAMI's leading donor is Eli Lilly and Company, maker of Prozac, which gave $2.87 million during that period. In 1999 alone, Lilly will have delivered $1.1 million in quarterly installments, with the lion's share going to help fund NAMI's "Campaign to End Discrimination" against the mentally ill.

In the case of Lilly, at least, "Funding" takes more than one form. Jerry Radke, a Lilly executive, is "on loan" to NAMI, working out of the organization's headquarters. Flynn explains the cozy-seeming arrangement by saying, "Lilly pays his salary, but he does not report to them, and he is not involved in meetings we have with them. She characterizes Radke's role at NAMI as "strategic planning."

As a matter of policy, NAMI does not reveal the amounts of specific donations. But spokesman Bob Carolla acknowledges the group receives substantial funding from drug firms, who provide "most if not all" of the anti-discriminations' campaign's $4million annual budget. In addition, Carolla told Mothers Jones, corporate donations account for $310,000 of NAMI's 1999 core budget of $7.1 million - with most of that coming from pharmaceutical firms. The rest of the budget, he says, comes form charitable and membership contributions. (Another affiliated program, the NAMI Research Institute, has a budget of $20 million. Focusing on the biological causes of mental illness, it is funded by the private Stanley Foundation.

Janet Foner, a co-ordinator of Support Coalition International, an activist organization of "psychiatric survivors," says NAMI does a good job in some areas, but argues that the group's corporate sponsors help shape its agenda. "They appear to be a completely independent organization, but they parrot the line of the drug companies in saying that drugs are the essential thing."

Many experts believe that the umbrella term "mental illness" embraces a broad array of conditions with equally diverse causes. NAMI spokesman Carolla says the group views mental illness as a disease, like diabetes or Alzheimer's, that can be treated most effectively with medications. "Mental illness is a biologically based brain disorder", he says. "That's not to say that other factors can't affect mental illness, but the core problem is biologically based."

NAMI's critics agree that mental illness can be triggered by biological factors, but point also to environmental causes such incest, child abuse, family dysfunction, and other traumas. NAMI's approach "reduces human distress to a brain disease, and recovery to taking a pill," says Sally Zinman of the CA Network of Mental Health Clients. "Their focus on drugs obscures issues such as housing and income support, vocational training, rehabilitation, and empowerment, all of which play a role in recovery." Furthermore, Zinman argues, Thorazine, Prosac, and other drugs routinely prescribed for the mentally ill can be counterproductive and even harmful.

NAMI"s Flynn says her group is "not a captive of any outside industry." But she acknowledges there is at times a "synergy" in goals between NAMI and the drug companies. For example, both favor so-called health care parity laws, which would require insurers to view mental illness as they do other diseases. "The drug companies want more and greater markets, and we want access and availability to all scientifically proven treatments. We don't think drugs are everything, but for the vast majority they are important."

Flynn says the Campaign to End Discrimination is funded separately to ensure that drug industry money is not commingled with funds earmarked for NAMI's core budget. Sally Zinman, for her part, says that taking money for any purpose from drug companies - which have a direct financial stake in the mental health debate - is at odds with the ideal of independent advocacy. "NAMI is seen by the media s the voice of the mental health community, but the integrity of its work is called in question by its sources of funding," she says.

Ken Silverstein, Nov./Dec.99, Mother Jones magazine


Corrupt connections between Bush Family, psychiatry, and Eli Lilly & Company

More than one journalist has uncovered corrupt connections between the Bush Family, psychiatry, and Eli Lilly & Company, the giant pharmaceutical corporation. While previous Lillygates have been more colorful, Lilly's soaking state Medicaid programs with Zyprexa-its blockbuster, antipsychotic drug-may pack the greatest financial wallop. Worldwide in 2003, Zyprexa grossed $4.28 billion, accounting for slightly more than one-third of Lilly's total sales. In the United States in 2003, Zyprexa grossed $2.63 billion, 70 percent of that attributable to government agencies, mostly Medicaid.

Historically, the exposure of any single Lilly machination-though sometimes disrupting it-has not weakened the Bush-psychiatry-Lilly relationship. In the last decade, some of the more widely reported Eli Lilly intrigues include:
a. Influencing the Homeland Security Act to protect itself from lawsuits
b. Accessing confidential patient records for a Prozac sample mailing
c. Rigging the Wesbecker Prozac-violence trial

A sample of those who have been on the Eli Lilly payroll includes:
a. Former President George Herbert Walker Bush (one-time member of the Eli Lilly board of directors)
b. Former CEO of Enron, Ken Lay (one-time member of the Eli Lilly board of directors)
c. George W. Bush's former director of Management and Budget, Mitch Daniels(a former Eli Lilly vice president)
d. George W. Bush's Homeland Security Advisory Council member, Sidney Taurel (current CEO of Eli Lilly)
e. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (a recipient of Eli Lilly funding)

Zyprexa and Diabetes
In 2002, British and Japanese regulatory agencies warned that Zyprexa may be linked to diabetes, but even after the FDA issued a similar warning in 2003, Lilly's Zyprexa train was not derailed, as Zyprexa posted a 16 percent gain over 2002. The growth of Zyprexa has become especially vital to Lilly because Prozac-Lilly's best-known product, which once annually grossed over $2 billion-having lost its patent protection, continues its rapid decline, down to $645.1 million in 2003.

At the same time regulatory agencies were warning of Zyprexa's possible linkage to diabetes, Lilly's second most lucrative product line was its diabetes treatment drugs (including Actos, Humulin, and Humalog), which collectively grossed $2.51 billion in 2003. Lilly's profits on diabetes drugs and the possible linkage between diabetes and Zyprexa is not, however, the most recent Lillygate that Gardiner Harris broke about Zyprexa in the New York Times on December 18, 2003.

Eli Lilly & NAMI
Zyprexa costs approximately twice as much as similar drugs and Harris reported that state Medicaid programs-going in the red in part because of Zyprexa- are attempting to exclude it in favor of similar, less expensive drugs. Harris focused on the Kentucky Medicaid program, which had a $230 million deficit in 2002, with Zyprexa being its single largest drug expense at $36 million. When Kentucky's Medicaid program attempted to exclude it from its list of preferred medications, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) fought back. The nonprofit NAMI-ostensibly a consumer organization-bused protesters to hearings, placed full-page ads in newspapers, and sent faxes to state officials. What NAMI did not say at the time was that the buses, ads, and faxes were paid for by Eli Lilly.

Ken Silverstein, in Mother Jones in 1999, reported that NAMI took $11.7 million from drug companies over a three and a half year period from 1996 through 1999, with the largest donor being Eli Lilly, which provided $2.87 million. Eli Lilly's funding also included loaning NAMI a Lilly executive, who worked at NAMI headquarters, but whose salary was paid for by Lilly. Though NAMI's linkage to Lilly is a scandal to psychiatric survivors-whose journal MindFreedom published copies of Big Pharma checks to NAMI-the story didn't have the widespread shock value that would elevate it to Lillygate status.

In 2002, Eli Lilly flexed its muscles at the highest level of the U.S. government in an audacious Lillygate. The event was the signing of the Homeland Security Act, praised by President George W. Bush as a "heroic action" that demonstrated "the resolve of this great nation to defend our freedom, our security and our way of life." Soon after the Act was signed, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert discovered what had been slipped into the Act at the last minute and on November 25, 2002, he wrote, "Buried in this massive bill, snuck into it in the dark of night by persons unknown.was a provision that-incredibly-will protect Eli Lilly and a few other big pharmaceutical outfits from lawsuits by parents who believe their children were harmed by thimerosal."

George W. Bush & Sidney Taurel, Eli Lilly's CEO
Thimerosal is a preservative that contains mercury and is used by Eli Lilly and others in vaccines. In 1999 the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Public Health Service urged vaccine makers to stop using mercury-based preservatives. In 2001 the Institute of Medicine concluded that the link between autism and thimerosal was "biologically plausible." By 2002, thim- erosol lawsuits against Eli Lilly were progressing through the courts. The punch line of this Lillygate is that, in June 2002, President George W. Bush had appointed Eli Lilly's CEO, Sidney Taurel, to a seat on his Homeland Security Advisory Council. Ultimately, even some Republican senators became embarrassed by this Lillygate and, by early 2003, moderate Republicans and Democrats agreed to repeal this particular provision in the Homeland Security Act.

In early 2003, "60 Minutes II" aired a segment on Lillygate and Prozac. With Prozac's patent having run out, Eli Lilly began marketing a new drug, Prozac Weekly. Lilly sales representatives in Florida gained access to "confidential" patient information records and, unsolicited, mailed out free samples of Prozac Weekly. How did Eli Lilly get its hands on these medical records? Regulations proposed under Clinton and later implemented under Bush contained a provision that gave health-care providers the right to sell a person's confidential medical information to marketing firms and drug companies. Despite many protests against this proposal, President Bush told Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to allow the new rules to go into effect.

Joseph Wesbecker - Prozac/Sarafem (fluoxetine)
Perhaps the most cinematic of all Lillygates culminated in 1997. The story began in 1989 when Joseph Wesbecker-one month after he began taking Prozac-opened fire with his AK-47 at his former place of employment, killing 8 and wounding 12 before taking his own life. British journalist John Cornwell covered the Louisville, Kentucky trial for the London Sunday Times Magazine, ultimately writing a book about it. Cornwell's The Power to Harm (1996) is not only about a disgruntled employee becoming violent after taking Prozac, but is also about Eli Lilly's power to corrupt the judicial system.

Victims of Joseph Wesbecker sued Eli Lilly, claiming that Prozac had pushed Wesbecker over the edge. The trial took place in 1994, but received scant attention as the public was transfixed by the O.J. Simpson spectacle. While Eli Lilly had been settling many Prozac violence cases behind closed doors (more than 150 Prozac lawsuits had been filed by the end of 1994), it was looking for a showcase trial that it could win. Although a 1991 FDA "blue ribbon panel" investigating the association between Prozac and violence had voted not to require Prozac to have a violence warning label, by 1994 word was getting around that five of the nine FDA panel doctors had ties to Big Pharma-two of them serving as lead investigators for Lilly-funded Prozac studies. Thus, with the FDA panel now known to be tainted, Lilly believed that Wesbecker's history was such that Prozac would not be seen as the cause of his mayhem.

A crucial component of the victims' attorneys' strategy was for the jury to hear about Eli Lilly's history of reckless disregard. Victims' attorneys especially wanted the jury to hear about Lilly's anti- inflammatory drug Oraflex, introduced in 1982 but taken off the market three months later. A U.S. Justice Department investigation linked Oraflex to the deaths of more than 100 patients and concluded that Lilly had misled the FDA. Lilly was charged with 25 counts related to mislabeling side effects and pled guilty-but in 1985, the Reagan-Bush Justice Department saw fit to fine them a mere $25,000.

In the Wesbecker trial, Lilly attorneys argued that the Oraflex information would be prejudicial and Judge John Potter initially agreed that the jury shouldn't hear it. However, when Lilly attorneys used witnesses to make a case for Eli Lilly's superb system of collecting and analyzing side effects, Judge Potter said that Lilly had opened the door to evidence to the contrary and ruled that the Oraflex information would now be permitted. To Judge Potter's amazement, victims' attorneys never presented the Oraflex evidence and Eli Lilly won the case. Later, it was discovered that-in a manipulation Cornwell described as "unprecedented in any Western court"-Eli Lilly cut a secret deal with victims' attorneys to pay them and their clients not to introduce the Oraflex evidence. However, Judge Potter smelled a rat and fought for an investigation. In 1997, Eli Lilly quietly agreed to the verdict being changed from a Lilly victory to "dismissed as settled."

Looking back further to 1992, Alexander Cockburn, in both the Nation and the New Statesman, was one of the first to connect the dots between the Bush family and Eli Lilly. After George Herbert Walker Bush left his CIA director post in 1977 and before becoming vice president under Ronald Reagan in 1980, he was on Eli Lilly's board of directors. As vice president, Bush failed to disclose his Lilly stock and lobbied hard on behalf of Big Pharma-especially Eli Lilly. For example, Bush sought special tax breaks from the IRS for Lilly and other pharmaceutical corporations that were manufacturing in Puerto Rico.

Mitch Daniels
Cockburn also reported on Mitch Daniels, then a vice president at Eli Lilly, who in 1991 co-chaired a fundraiser that collected $600,000 for the Bush-Quayle campaign. This is the same Mitch Daniels who in 2001 became George W. Bush's Director of Management and Budget. In June 2003, soon after Daniels departed from that job, he ran for governor of Indiana (home to Eli Lilly headquarters). In a piece in the Washington Post called "Delusional on the Deficit," Senator Ernest Hollings wrote, "When Daniels left two weeks ago to run for governor of Indiana, he told the Post that the government is 'fiscally in fine shape.' Good grief! During his 29-month tenure, he turned a so-called $5.6 trillion, 10-year budget surplus into a $4 trillion deficit-a mere $10 trillion downswing in just two years. If this is good fiscal policy, thank heavens Daniels is gone."

The CIA MK-ULTRA Mind Control LSD experiments and Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals
There is one Eli Lilly piece of history so bizarre that if told to many psychiatrists, one just might get diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic and medicated with Zyprexa. Former State Department officer John Marks in The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate": The CIA and Mind Control, The Secret History of the Behavioral Sciences (1979)-along with the Washington Post (1985) and the New York Times (1988)-reported an amazing story about the CIA and psychiatry. A lead player was psychiatrist D. Ewen Cameron, president of the American Psychiatric Association in 1953. Cameron was curious to discover more powerful ways to break down patient resistance. Using electroshock, LSD, and sensory deprivation, he was able to produce severe delirium. Patients often lost their sense of identity, forgetting their own names and even how to eat. The CIA, eager to learn more about Cameron's brainwashing techniques, funded him under a project code-named MKULTRA. According to Marks, Cameron was part of a small army of the CIA's LSD-experimenting psychiatrists. Where did the CIA get its LSD? Marks reports that the CIA had been previously supplied by the Swiss pharmaceutical corporation Sandoz, but was uncomfortable relying on a foreign company and so, in 1953, the CIA asked Eli Lilly to make them up a batch of LSD, which Lilly subsequently donated to the CIA.

The most important story about Eli Lilly is that Lilly's two current blockbuster psychiatric drugs-Zyprexa and Prozac-are, in scientific terms, of little value. It is also about how Lilly and the rest of Big Pharma have corrupted psychiatry, resulting in the increasing medicalization of unhappiness. This diseasing of our malaise has diverted us from examining the social sources for our unhappiness-and implementing societal solutions.

Much of the scientific community now acknowledges that the advantage of Prozac and Prozac-like drugs over a sugar-pill placebo is slight-or as Prevention and Treatment in 2002 defined it, "clinically negligible." When Prozac is compared to an active placebo (one with side effects), then Prozac is shown to have, in scientific terms, zero value. Moreover, many doctors and researchers now warn us about the dangers of Prozac. Psychiatrist Joseph Glenmullen's Prozac Backlash (2000) documented "neurological disorders including disfiguring facial and whole body tics indicating potential brain damage...agitation, muscle spasms, and parkinsonism," and he stated that debilitating withdrawal occurs in 50 percent of patients who abruptly come off Prozac and Prozac-like drugs.

Just as Prozac and other SSRI drugs are no longer seen by many scientists as an improvement in safety and effectiveness over the previous class of antidepressants, psychiatry's highly touted Zyprexa (and other "atypical antipsychotics") turns out to be no great advance over the older problematic anti-ps ychotics such as Haldol. Journalist Robert Whitaker, in Mad in America (2002), details how Eli Lilly's Zyprexa research was biased against the inexpensive Haldol and how claims of improved safety of Zyprexa are difficult to justify. Whitaker reports that in drug trials used by FDA reviewers, 22 percent of Zyprexa patients had "serious" adverse effects as compared to 18 percent of the Haldol patients.

The United States and other nations that have bought psychiatry's and Big Pharma's explanations and treatments turn out to have worse results with those diagnosed as psychotic than those nations who are less enthusiastic about drugs and who care more about community. In 1992, the World Health Organization (WHO), in a repeat of earlier findings, found that so-called underdeveloped nations, which emphasize community support rather than medications, have better results with those diagnosed as psychotic than nations, which stress drug treatments. In nations such as the United States, where 61 percent of those diagnosed as psychotic were maintained on antipsychotic medications, only 37 percent had full remission. While in India, Nigeria, and Colombia, where only 16 percent of patients diagnosed as psychotic were maintained on antipsychotic medications, approximately 63 percent of patients had full remission.

While scientists are not certain about the reasons for these WHO findings, two possible explanations are:
(1) psychiatric drugs, even for the most disturbed among us, are not the greatest long-term solution;
(2) community support, crucial to our mental health, does not lend itself to commercialization.

Thus, in areas such as mental health, radically commercialized societies such as the United States are backward societies.

Though some mental health professionals insist that atypical antipsychotics such as Zyprexa are a great advance, I've met few Zyprexa users who agree. A few years ago, a well-read man with a professorial manner in his early 60s, diagnosed by several other doctors as paranoid schizophrenic, came to see me. He had, at various times, taken several types of antipsychotic drugs and told me, laughing loudly between each sentence, "I'm crazy on drugs and crazy off drugs. Haldol helped me sleep and Zyprexa helped me sleep, but I hated the Haldol and when I was on Zyprexa, I couldn't take a shit for three weeks. Now I don't take any drugs and I can't sleep and I am a big pain-in-the ass, but I can remember better what I read." A few weeks later he told me, "It's all friendly fascism. Yes, friendly fascism. Was it you who told me-or was it I who told you-that fascism is about the complete integration of industry and government under a centralized authority? Friendly fascism, right? I suppose I say 'friendly fascism' too much, but you're not Ashcroft and neither am I, right? Don't you agree that it's all friendly fascism?" Then he flashed a giant smile and said one more time, "Friendly fascism, right, Bruce?"

Bruce E. Levine, PhD, is a psychologist and author of Commonsense Rebellion: Taking Back Your Life from Drugs, Shrinks, Corporations and a World Gone Crazy (New York-London: Continuum, 2003).

By Bruce E. Levine, PhD
As written in Z Magazine Online (
May 8, 2004


President Bush Implements Plans To Screen All Americans for Mental Health Problems

Coalition of Advocacy Groups Says: "Start With the Top. Test President Bush for 'Mental Illness' First."The "Real" Patch Adams Volunteers.

A plan by President Bush to screen all Americans for mental health problems is being opposed by a coalition of advocacy groups who say the plan was cooked up by the drug industry. The real Patch Adams is ready to screen the President.

"President Bush wants to test all Americans for 'mental illness,'" said David Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International, which unites 100 advocacy groups, "We demand that President Bush start with himself first. We will provide the mental health professional to do the screening."

The real Patch Adams, a physician based in Arlington, VA, has volunteered to screen Preident Bush. "He needs a lot of help. I'll see him for free," said Patch, who has been a leader in MindFreedom since 1992, was played by Robin Williams in the film "Patch Adams." Patch promised that the symbolic screening of President Bush would be done voluntarily and humanely.

On its face, the idea of locating people, especially youngsters, with severe mental and emotional problems sounds humane. But critics - including the internationally prestigious British Medical Journal -- maintain the Bush plan originated with powerful psychiatric drug manufacturers and could result in many more Americans being placed on the most expensive psychiatric drugs.

The Bush initiative is the outcome of a year long task force called The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. The task force recommended a nationwide screening program based on the Texas Medical Algorithm Project (TMAP), which was created in 1995 while President Bush was governor of Texas. Despite its technical-sounding name, TMAP is simply a series of flowcharts that directs doctors to a step by step treatment plan for their patients. Critics maintain that TMAP constricts doctors so that whether the patient is diagnosed with depression or schizophrenia, TMAP inevitably leads first to the most expensive psychiatric drugs currently manufactured.

In a series of articles in summer 2004, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has drawn international attention to TMAP's dangers, and its links to the psychiatric drug industry.

The BMJ reported that Allen Jones, an investigator working for the Office of Inspector General in Pennsylvania, has claimed in court documents that pharmaceutical companies promoting TMAP were influencing politicians with "trips, perks, lavish meals, transportation to and first-class accommodations in major cities." Jones was fired and has filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania maintaining that he is a whisteblower.

The BMJ also reported about Psychiatrist Stefan Kruszewski, who was fired on July 11, 2004 from his position at the Bureau of Program Integrity in the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, and who is also suing the state. Dr. Kruszewski was in charge of the state's mental health and substance misuse programs to protect against fraud and waste. He maintains that TMAP has led to the death of patients, some of whom were placed on five or more psychiatric drugs at the same time.

One of the main goals of the President's New Freedom Commission (Goal 4 of 10) is to ensure "Early mental health screening, assessment, and referral to services are common practice" with subsequent recommendations "to promote the mental health of young children, improve and expand school mental health programs,... screen for mental disorders in primary health care, across the life span, and connect to treatment and supports."

MindFreedom maintains that the President's New Freedom Commission tends to promote a "biomedical" approach to mental and emotional problems that relies on a theory that people's problems are caused by a "chemical imbalance." As yet, there has been no definitive, scientifically-valid evidence supporting the pervasive theory that conditions labeled as "mental illnesses" are biologically-based brain disorders treatable with medications. MindFreedom held a hunger strike last year demanding any evidence for a "chemical imbalance." Under the spotlight of national media, the American Psychiatric Association was unable to produce any such evidence. [see]

Critics of mainstream psychiatry state that the medical model tends to lead to chemical and electrical solutions, rather than other alternatives, such as conseling, psychosocial alternatives, peer support, housing, jobs, etc. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT or shock therapy) also found its way into TMAP's treatment plan. If drugs fail to get the expected results, TMAP patients diagnosed with a wide range of "disorders" can expect to receive shock treatment.

MindFreedom also maintains that if Americans screened for "mental illness" refuse their drugs, they are vulnerable to laws in 42 USA states that allow for court ordered psychiatric drugging on an outpatient basis. Thousands of Americans are now under these programs, which require individuals to take psychiatric drugs against their will, even while living in their own homes out in the community.

Psychiatrist Sally Satel from the American Enterprise Institute, appointed by President Bush to a key federal mental health advisory committee, called for vastly increasing the amount of forced outpatient psychiatric drugging in the June 2004 meeting of the National Advisory Council for the US Center for Mental Health Services.

MindFreedom Support Coalition International unites 100 grassroots groups to campaign for human rights in the mental health system. While open to the public, a majority of members identify themselves as individuals who have experienced human rights violations in the mental health system. The group is the only one of its kind to have Non Governmental Organization status from the United Nations.

For more information see MindFreedom Ph: 541-345-9106. E-mail:

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