Photo by Danique Dohmen on Unsplash

Photo by Danique Dohmen

A few years ago, a number of people noted that psychiatry was becoming somewhat of a state-sponsored religion. In this new religion, science was God, psychiatrists were priests, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual was the Bible, sins were forgiven as merely chemical imbalances, genetic defects, or the insanity that affects nearly everyone. There was no good or evil, and for humankind’s difficulties there were drugs. Drugs to relieve pain, drugs to wipe away sadness, drugs to make boys sit still in class. And for the addicted? There were drugs to keep the cravings away as long as the anti-craving drugs were taken regularly, the supplicant standing in line once per day for a dose of methadone or one of the newer and more expensive brands, the pharmacist dispensing the host onto the tongue of the supplicant. The body and the brain are king, the spirit is only a folk myth with no place in the modern world.
And as the psychiatrists and drugs gained sway – where one in six Americans were taking an anti-depressant, where more than 70,000 died of opioid overdose deaths in 2017 – most started on the road to death with prescriptions and medical experts, while suicide and insanity spiked under their tender ministrations, and society became gradually enslaved.

Enslaved? Is slavery a legitimate comparison?

If you’re hooked on drugs you are just as much a slave as African-Americans picking cotton in the antebellum South. Instead of whips and chains you are driven and controlled by the craving for drugs and fear of withdrawal. You will do anything to get your next fix, to get high or to avoid that terrible other thing. Instead of the slavemaster selling you to the highest bidder and tearing apart your family, you may prostitute yourself on the street, do anything including theft, home invasion, carjacking to get the money to just stay alive and using for one more day, while your family cries, your children are taken away and the family finally disowns you. You may begin to sell drugs yourself to get the money and access you need, helping to enslave others just as Africans would take the pay of slavers to round up villagers for the ships.

If you are a dealer, you are in the slave-making business that preys on the poor, the destitute, the homeless, those without hope you offer a substance that promise happiness, but turns them into criminals or kills them. And just as the textile industry of the old South had its benefits – it clothed the world and built an economic powerhouse, so too do pharmaceuticals have their benefits, to heal the sick and prolong life. And because of that and because of the billions of dollars BigPharma brings to investors, we look the other way ignoring its roots – the snake-oil salesman, traveling peddlers who put tapeworm larvae into weight-loss remedies, who peddled heroin for children with colic, who used radium for aches and pains and left addiction, parasites and cancer in their wake.

The shipping titans that carried slaves chained in their holds to the new world? We have those too, the distributors who deliver millions of opioid pills to small towns and counties, knowing the costs that will result, and the legislators who decriminalize heroin, meth, LSD and other hard drugs, because “the prisons are full and minorities are overrepresented.”

Apologists may say “well, there were some mistakes with opioids, but that’s being corrected, and after all, look at all the medicines that we need to stay alive.” And like most plausible lies, there is some truth there. But BigPharma’s desecrations go back much further than 1996 when the latest epidemic of opioid madness and death arrived. BigPharma concocted heroin, crystal meth, LSD, ecstasy, all the drugs that became the plagues of America’s streets and towns, and they became richer than the wildest dreams of the kings of old.

When the slaves in the old South were freed, the Ku Klux Klan arose to keep them in their place, as sharecroppers, nobodies, non-voting shadows easy to ignore. And when the sins of BigPharma were exposed, the addicts were not freed, but were transitioned to medication assisted treatment to keep them using, keep BigPharma supplying the drugs that keep them from the agony of withdrawal. So they could stand in line with other so-called “in remission” addicts each morning for a dose of methadone, naltrexone or buprenorphine, some synthetic opioid that keeps away the cravings, allows a life without prostitution and crime, but keeps them using, keeps them addicted, keeps the BigPharma income up, nevertheless.

The chains of addiction begins at the top, with the captains of industry, the greedy men and women who took a $1 patent for insulin and now charge thousands of dollars per year to desperate patients who need it to live, or who ration it and die.

Pharmaceutical corporations pay millions of dollars into political war chests, pay doctors to prescribe their drugs, spend millions on direct-to-consumer advertising, often for drugs like antidepressants that are no better than placebo sugar pills. They collude with the FDA to let drugs with no known efficacy slide, like Southern sheriffs looked the other way when former slaves were beaten or hung.

And the legislators who pass laws to legalize marijuana, because it will result in billions of new income for government, new money for favorite pork projects, new money for more MAT, more psychiatrists for the THC-fueled paranoia, the hallucinations and criminal acts. Some states have legalized marijuana and look the other way, ignoring the harder stuff, just as slavery was legal in the South, and beatings, rapes and murder of slaves were ignored. Slavery was lucrative, and today, pharmaceuticals are even more so.

And in the wings are other slaveries ready to move in if people finally say “enough!” and demand change, when homeless encampments spread their garbage, needles, human waste and apathy across our cities. Other slaveries such as communism, facism, the brutal dictators and silver-tongued “saviors” that promise to wipe away the problems with force and pain, the psychiatric drugging and shocking, the benevolent nanny state that giveth and taketh away, the surveillance state, the police state, brought on by the greedy, the corrupt, the apathetic.

And at the end of all this corruption, big money and unfettered greed are you and I, and it is our “wink wink nudge nudge” no responsibility about drugs and their terrible results which makes it all work, which makes it seem normal, which allows our neighborhoods to deteriorate and crumble into needle-infested parks with unconscious homeless on the sidewalks.

What’s wrong with this picture? It’s simple, really. Humankind is essentially spiritual, not flesh, not brains or chemical imbalances, or ids, egos superegos or the other claptrap of psychology and psychiatry. Human do not have a drug deficiency, an electroshock deficiency, they do not need pain or crave death except in their most degenerate state.

If the world’s great religions are reviled, ignored, made to fight one against the other, and abandoned, then our civilizations could by default pass into the rough hands of the depraved, the godless, the slavers. Without religion, without faith, without a sense of our own goodness and connection to the divine, we could be led down the path that descend into a drugged apathy, a spiritless existence that would make the opioid crisis look like a summer picnic.

Practice your faith, live by its tenets, do not be afraid to communicate your faith to others, for it is by your efforts, and the efforts of other believers, that mankind’s spiritual nature will be reawakened and that, with the guidance of the Most High, can bring mankind out of bondage.