Demonizing Gunter Grass

Exclusive: German poet Gunter Grass is under withering attack for writing a poem that urges Germany to stop supplying nuclear submarines to Israel, objects to Israel’s threat of war against Iran and suggests both countries accept nuclear inspectors. That last idea has opened Grass to charges of “moral equivalence,” notes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

I first encountered concerns about my tendency toward “moral equivalence” in the early 1980s when as an Associated Press reporter I interviewed Elliott Abrams, then an up-and-coming neoconservative appointed by Ronald Reagan to be the assistant secretary of state for human rights.

At an informal get-to-know-you meeting, I asked Abrams why he so heartily denounced Nicaragua’s Sandinista government for imposing restrictions on the opposition newspaper, La Prensa,while quieting U.S. condemnations of El Salvador’s right-wing military regime for slaughtering thousands of students, labor leaders, clergy, peasants and other dissidents.

At that time, there were far more violent human rights abuses occurring in El Salvador (and Guatemala) than in Nicaragua, but the Reagan administration was putting the squeeze on the Sandinistas and letting up on the region’s right-wing killers.

Abrams looked at me askance and cautioned that I was edging close to the error of “moral equivalence” that is applying a common human rights standard to pro-U.S. and anti-U.S. countries. Abrams explained that the actions of “totalitarian” states like Sandinista-ruled Nicaragua and “authoritarian” regimes like El Salvador should not be viewed on the same plane.

Abrams’s thinking fit with the then-in-vogue theory of Reagan’s UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick who held that while right-wing “authoritarian” states could reform, left-wing “totalitarian” states could only be stopped through violent regime change. Therefore, leftist offenses were more grievous than right-wing ones, even if less overtly brutal.

Under this so-called Kirkpatrick Doctrine, Abrams saw the Sandinistas, who were  restricting La Prensa which they correctly suspected of aiding a U.S. “destabilization” campaign as far worse human rights violators than El Salvador’s military rulers, though the bodies were piling up in El Salvador, not Nicaragua.

But the problem for me as a journalist, committed to the principle of objectivity (or evenhandedness), was that I wouldn’t apply an obvious double standard playing up non-violent political violations in states opposed by the U.S. government while downplaying brutal human rights crimes in “allied” countries.

Many of my mainstream journalistic colleagues proved to be much more flexible in adapting to the Reagan administration’s edicts on “moral equivalence.” It worked out well for many careers. (By the end of the 1980s, the Kirkpatrick Doctrine would be proven false as formerly communist states peacefully evolved into democracies.)

The Gunter Grass Case

Those memories about my alleged “moral equivalence” flooded back to me this week when I read the press coverage of a nasty dispute in which Israeli leaders launched an all-out P.R. assault against 84-year-old German poet Gunter Grass for writing a brief poem, “What Must Be Said,” criticizing Israeli war threats against Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the writer’s “shameful moral equivalence between Israel and Iran, a regime that denies the Holocaust and threatens to annihilate Israel.” Netanyahu’s “moral equivalence” theme was echoed in the news columns of the New York Times, which accused Grass of “placing Israel and Iran on the same moral plane,” and by German officials.

“Putting Israel and Iran on the same moral level is not ingenious but absurd,” declared German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

But what exactly had Grass said in that regard? I went looking for an English translation of the actual poem (since German had been my worst class in college). I found an unofficial translation from the Associated Press which is reprinted below. I was struck by how tendentious the attacks had been on Grass’s supposed moral equivalence toward Israel and Iran. That portion of the poem simply says both Iran and Israel should admit international inspectors to examine their nuclear programs.

Grass recommends that “an unhindered and permanent control of the Israeli nuclear potential and the Iranian nuclear sites be authorized through an international agency by the governments of both countries.” In other words, Grass apparently believes that international law should apply to both Iran and Israel, an offense that the Times depicts as “placing Israel and Iran on the same moral plane.”

The issue of Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal has been a sensitive almost unmentionable topic in the U.S. press as Israel ratchets up war threats against Iran for allegedly harboring ambitions to build a nuclear bomb (although its leaders have disavowed such an interest and have let in international inspectors to check).

But Gunter Grass is now being turned into a global pariah for suggesting that Israel and Iran should live under the same set of rules. Egad! Moral equivalence!

Like others who have dared to criticize aggressive Israeli policies toward Palestinians and other Muslims, Grass also is facing hyperbolic denunciations and ad hominem attacks, including references to his brief service at the end of World War II as a 17-year-old German assigned to the Waffen SS.

Grass had tried to join the German navy but was pressed instead into the Waffen SS, which the Nuremberg Tribunals later declared guilty of war crimes although absolving 17- and 18-year-olds, like Grass, who were forced into this military arm of the Nazi Party at the end of the war.

Still, Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai referred to that distant piece of Grass’s personal history in announcing Israel’s decision to ban Grass from the country. “Grass’s poem fans the flames of hatred against Israel and the Israeli people, thus promoting the idea he was part of when he donned an SS uniform,” Yishai said.

The heated debate that has swirled around Grass has increasingly ignored what the Nobel Laureate actually wrote, focusing instead on whether he’s an anti-Semite or simply an eccentric old poet long past his prime. The Times article about Israel banning Grass was typical because it picked up the attack themes against the poet without quoting from his poem.

While ignoring Grass’s actual words, the Times article by Ethan Bronner and Nicholas Kulish from Jerusalem summarized the poem in the most negative terms, accusing Grass of “echoing language and themes that have long stirred anti-Semitism.”

But the Times offered no examples of these alleged offenses beyond the poet’s supposed crime of suggesting an equivalence between Israel and Iran regarding international law being applied to both countries’ nuclear programs.

The Actual Poem

Here is the translation of Grass’s controversial poem, “What Must Be Said”:

Why do I stay silent, conceal for too long

What is obvious and has been

Practiced in war games, at the end of which we as survivors

Are at best footnotes.

It is the alleged right to the first strike

That could annihilate the Iranian people_

Subjugated by a loud-mouth

And guided to organized jubilation_

Because in their sphere of power,

It is suspected, a nuclear bomb is being built.

Yet why do I forbid myself

To name that other country

In which, for years, even if secretly,

There has been a growing nuclear potential at hand

But beyond control, because not accessible to inspections?

The universal concealment of these facts,

To which my silence subordinated itself,

I sense as an incriminating lie

And coercion–the punishment is promised

As soon as it is ignored;

The verdict of “anti-Semitism” is familiar.

Now, though, because in my country

Which time and again has sought and confronted

Its very own crimes

That is without comparison

In turn on a purely commercial basis, if also

With nimble lips calling it a reparation, declares

A further U-boat should be delivered to Israel,

Whose specialty consists of guiding all-destroying warheads to where the existence

Of a single atomic bomb is unproven,

But fear wishes to be of conclusive evidence,

I say what must be said.

But why have I stayed silent until now?

Because I thought my origin,

Afflicted by a stain never to be expunged

Forbade this fact as pronounced truth

To be told to the nation of Israel, to which I am bound

And wish to stay bound.

Why do I say only now,

Aged and with my last ink,

The nuclear power Israel endangers

The already fragile world peace?

Because it must be said

What even tomorrow may be too late to say;

Also because we–as Germans burdened enough–

Could become suppliers to a crime

That is foreseeable, wherefore our complicity

Could not be redeemed through any of the usual excuses.

And granted: I am silent no longer

Because I am tired of the West’s hypocrisy;

In addition to which it is to be hoped

That this will free many from silence,

Appeal to the perpetrator of the recognizable danger

To renounce violence and

Likewise insist

That an unhindered and permanent control

Of the Israeli nuclear potential

And the Iranian nuclear sites

Be authorized through an international agency

By the governments of both countries.

Only this way are all, the Israelis and Palestinians,

Even more, all people, that in this

Region occupied by mania

Live cheek by jowl among enemies,

And also us, to be helped.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ are also available there.




Who Pays for Journalism?

From Editor Robert Parry: Many people who read the original journalism from Consortiumnews by Ray McGovern, Mark Ames, Lisa Pease, James diEugenio, me and other of our featured writers see our articles at “aggregator sites,” i.e. Web sites that cull stories from the Internet and reassemble them at their own.

Indeed, some people have told me that they contribute to those sites because of our work and I certainly don’t wish to disparage the value of the “aggregator sites” in spreading important information to a wider audience. We have always tried to be generous toward those sites, believing that our primary purpose is to inform as many people as possible.

However, for us, the hard truth is that the aggregator sites don’t pay us for the original stories that we produce, all of which require lots of time, hard work and money. Beyond the reporting and writing, all stories that appear at Consortiumnews.com undergo editing, even those that authors send to us after posting them elsewhere.

The reason for the care we take with the articles is for your benefit, so the articles are easy to read and trustworthy. But investigative digging by reporters and quality control by editors cost money. So we are faced with the dilemma: who pays for journalism?

Historically, that cost was borne by wealthy publishers and owners of television stations and by their advertisers. Media moguls had their biases but they often believed in the importance of information to a democratic society. Plus, there was more diversity in ownership than there is today.

So, most Americans could find a newspaper or a TV station that played things pretty straight. But that reality has changed over the past several decades, as a concentration of media ownership has intersected with a recognition on the American Right that propaganda translates very effectively into power. Right-wingers like Rupert Murdoch and Rush Limbaugh became the faces of modern media.

As the Right invested heavily in media (while the Left mostly ignored media), the ideological spectrum of the nation shifted rightward. “Centrist” journalists also tiptoed in that direction to avoid the damaging career label of “liberal.” The overall impact was that the content of the U.S. news media became more ideological and less honest.

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But it still might seem unfair to those who do donate to Consortiumnews.com that the work they make possible then spreads to other sites that take it for free. All I can say is that if American democracy is to get back on track, a lot of us are going to have to step up, face today’s reality and take on new burdens.

So please contribute what you can to our spring fund drive. You can make a donation by credit card at the Consortiumnews.com Web site or by check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); 2200 Wilson Blvd.; Suite 102-231; Arlington VA 22201. Or you can use PayPal (our account is named after our e-mail address “consortnew@aol.com”).

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Robert Parry

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. He founded Consortiumnews.com in 1995 as the Internet’s first investigative magazine. He saw it as a way to combine modern technology and old-fashioned journalism to counter the increasing triviality of the mainstream U.S. news media.




Are Drugs Behind Dementia Epidemic?

Millions of Americans, when facing depression or even just anxiety, turn to powerful psychiatric drugs marketed by pharmaceutical giants, whose ads gloss over the risks in fast-talking fine print. A counter-movement warning of the dangers from an over-prescribed society is emerging, as Gary G. Kohls describes.

By Gary G. Kohls, MD

Since the introduction of major tranquilizers like Thorazine and Haldol, “minor” tranquilizers like Miltown, Librium and Valium and the dozens of so-called “antidepressants” like Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil, tens of millions of unsuspecting Americans have become mired deeply, to the point of permanent disability, in the American mental “health” system.

Many of these innocents have actually been made “crazy” and often disabled by the use of  – or the withdrawal from – these commonly prescribed, brain-altering and, for many, brain-damaging psychiatric drugs that have been, for many decades, cavalierly handed out like candy – often in untested and therefore unapproved combinations of two or more.

Trusting and unaware patients have been treated with potentially dangerous drugs by equally unaware but well-intentioned physicians who have been likewise trusting of the slick and obscenely profitable psychopharmaceutical drug companies aka, BigPharma, not to mention the Food and Drug Administration, an agency that is all-too-often in bed with the drug industry that they are supposed to be monitoring and regulating. The foxes of BigPharma have a close ally inside the henhouse.

That is the conclusion of two books by a courageous investigative journalist and health science writer named Robert Whitaker. His first book, entitled Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill, noted that there has been a 600 percent increase (since Thorazine was introduced in the U.S. in the mid-1950s) in the total and permanent disabilities of millions of psychiatric drug-takers.

This uniquely First World mental health epidemic has resulted in the taxpayer-supported, life-long disabilities of large numbers of psychiatric patients who are now unable to be happy, productive, taxpaying members of society.

Whitaker has done a powerful service to humanity, albeit an unwelcome one for various healthcare-related industries, by presenting previously hidden, but very convincing evidence from the scientific literature to support his thesis: that it is the drugs and not the so-called “mental illnesses” that are causing the epidemic of “mental illness” disability.

Many open-minded physicians and many aware psychiatric patients are now motivated to be wary of any and all synthetic chemicals that can cross the blood/brain barrier because all of them are capable of altering the brain in ways totally unknown to medical science, especially with long-term medication use.

Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness

In Whitaker’s second book, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, the author provides overwhelming proof regarding this sobering assertion.

He documents the history of the powerful forces behind the relatively new field of psychopharmacology and its major shapers, promoters and beneficiaries, namely BigPharma and those groups and individuals who benefit financially from the widespread and increasing use of psychiatric drugs, now even to toddlers, children and adolescents, despite no FDA-approval for marketing to the under-18 age group.

Psychiatric drugs are far more dangerous than the drug and psychiatric industries are willing to admit, especially for the developing brain. These drugs, it turns out, are fully capable of disabling – often permanently – bodies, brains and spirits. Whitaker presents evidence that is only rarely made available to mental health practitioners and the consumers of such synthetic drugs.

More evidence to support Whitaker’s well-documented claims are laid out in two other important new books written by practicing psychiatrist and scholar Grace E. Jackson, MD. Jackson has done yeoman’s work in researching and documenting, from the voluminous basic neuroscience literature (which is often ignored by mental health clinicians), the unintended and often disastrous consequences of the chronic ingestion of any of the major classes of psychiatric drugs.

Jackson’s most powerful book, in my opinion, is her second one, Drug-Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime, which proves that any of the five classes of psychotropic drugs that are commonly used to alter the brains of psychiatric patients (antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, tranquilizers and anti-seizure/”mood-stabilizer” drugs) have shown microscopic, macroscopic, radiologic, biochemical, immunologic and clinical evidence of brain shrinkage and other signs of brain damage, especially when used long-term.

Long-term use can result in clinically diagnosable, probably irreversible dementia, premature death and a variety of other related brain disorders that can mimic mental illnesses “of unknown cause.”

Dr. Jackson’s first book, Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent, was an equally sobering warning about the many hidden dangers of psychiatric drugs, dangers that are commonly not mentioned to patients when they get their first prescriptions.

The sad truth is that the prescribing of potent and often addicting (dependency-inducing) psychiatric drugs has become the standard of care in American medicine since the introduction of the so-called anti-schizophrenic “miracle” drug Thorazine in the mid-1950s. (Thorazine was the offending drug that Jack Nicholson’s character Randall McMurphy and his fellow patients were coerced into taking — to keep them from revolting — at “medication time” in the Academy Award-winning movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”)

Thorazine and all the other “me-too” early “antipsychotic” drugs are now universally known to have been an iatrogenic (doctor or other treatment-caused) disaster because of their serious long-term, initially unsuspected, brain-damaging effects that resulted in a number of permanent and incurable neurological disorders such as tardive dyskinesia, tardive dementia, Parkinson’s disease, etc.

Thorazine and all the other knock-off drugs (like Prolixin, Mellaril, Navane, etc.) are synthetic “tricyclic” chemical compounds similar in molecular structure to the tricyclic “antidepressants” like imipramine and the similarly toxic, obesity-inducing, diabetogenic, “atypical” anti-schizophrenic drugs like Clozaril, Zyprexa and Seroquel.

Thorazine, incidentally, was originally developed in Europe as an industrial dye. That doesn’t sound so good although it may not be so unusual in the closely related fields of psychopharmcology and the chemical industry.

For example, Depakote, a popular drug approved initially only as an anti-epilepsy drug is now being heavily promoted as a so-called “mood stabilizer.” Depakote, known to be a hepatotoxin and renal toxin (potentially poisonous to liver and kidney), was originally developed as an industrial solvent capable of dissolving fat – including, presumably, the fatty tissue in human livers and brains.

There are reports in the literature of patients who had never had a seizure in their lives but had been prescribed Depakote for other reasons, who suffered withdrawal seizures when discontinuing the drug!

Some sympathy and understanding needs to be generated for the various victims of BigPharma’s relentless drive to expand market share and “shareholder value” (share price, dividends and the next quarter’s financial report) by whatever means necessary.

Both the prescribers and the swallowers of BigPharma’s drugs have been influenced by cunning marketing campaigns. Prescribers have been seduced by attractive opposite-sex drug company representatives and their “pens, pizzas and post-it note” freebies in the office.

Patients have been brain-washed by the inane and unbelievable (if one has intact critical thinking skills) commercials on TV that quickly gloss over the lethal adverse effects in the fine print while urging the watcher to “ask your doctor” about getting a prescription for the latest unaffordable blockbuster drug.

Mental Illness Disability

For a quick overview of these issues, I recommend that everybody read a long essay written by Whitaker that persuasively identifies the source of America’s epidemic of mental illness disability (a phenomenon that doesn’t exist in Third World nations where costly psych drugs are not prescribed as cavalierly as in the developed First World).

Whitaker and Jackson (among a number of other courageous ground-breaking and whistle-blowing authors who have been essentially black-listed by the mainstream media and even in mainstream medical journals) have proven to most critically thinking scientists, alternative practitioners and assorted “psychiatric survivors” that it is indeed the drugs – and not the so-called “disorders” – that are causing our nation’s epidemic of mental illness disability.

(For Whitaker’s essay, plus other pertinent information about his books, click here. An excellent long interview with Dr Joseph Mercola can be heard by clicking here.)

After reading and studying all these inconvenient truths, mental health practitioners must consider the medicolegal implications for them, especially if the information is ignored by practitioners who are often tempted to dismiss out of hand new, clinically-important information that challenges or disproves their old belief systems.

Those who are hearing about new data for the first time need to pass the word on to others, especially their healthcare practitioners. This is important because the opinion leaders in the highly influential psychiatric and medical industries have often been bribed or marketed into submission, without considering all the facts that might some day reveal that they are guilty of malpractice.

It shouldn’t have to be pointed out that it is the solemn duty of ethical practitioners to fully examine – and then reveal to their patients – the potential negatives of prescription drugs.

Sadly, it must be admitted that most of the over-worked, double-booked care-givers in medical clinics (and I was once one of them, so I know whereof I speak) have not yet heard this sobering news: that most, if not all of the brain-altering synthetic chemicals known as psychotropic drugs (which are treated as hazardous materials until they are packaged in swallowable or injectable forms!) have been hastily marketed as “safe and effective” – but not “proven” to be more than marginally-effective or safe in very short-term use.

The captains of the pharmaceutical industries know that most psychotropic drugs that they present for FDA-approval have only been tested in animal trials for days or weeks and only tested in clinical trials with real humans for only four to eight weeks. These captains of industry also know – and fervently hope – that patients will be taking their high-profit-margin drugs for years despite no long-term trials proving safety and efficacy before the drug got its FDA approval for marketing.

These corporate heads (who usually are among the 1 percent) have succeeded in convincing almost everybody that treatment for “mental illness” means drugs rather than any consideration of safer, often curative, non-drug alternatives. They also know that their brain-altering drugs can be dependency-inducing (aka addicting, causing withdrawal symptoms when stopped), neurotoxic and increasingly ineffective (a la “Prozac Poop-out”) as time goes by.

The truth is that the most people who have been diagnosed as “mentally ill for life” (and therefore told that they need to consume drugs for the rest of their lives) are often simply people who have been unfortunate enough to have found themselves, through no fault of their own, in temporary or long-term states of crisis or “overwhelmed.”

Such crises can be due to any number of preventable and imminently curable (i.e., with treatment utilizing counseling, good nutrition but no need for long-term drug use) bad luck situations.

These situations can result from sexual, physical, psychological or spiritual abuse. Or the loss of job, loss of home, loss of relationship, poverty, violence, torture, homelessness, racial discrimination, joblessness/underemployment, brain malnutrition, drug addictions and/or withdrawal, brain damage from traumatic brain injury (including electroshock “therapy”). Or to exposure to neurotoxic chemicals in their food, air, water or prescription bottles.

None of the above, it should be pointed out, are “mental illnesses of unknown etiology.” They aren’t even mental illnesses.

‘Just Say No to Drugs’

Those labeled as “mentally ill” are usually just like most of the so-called “normals” who have not yet decompensated because of some yet-to-happen, crisis-inducing, overwhelming (however temporary) life situation.

And thus we have somehow not yet been given a billable code number (accompanied by the seemingly obligatory – and usually unaffordable – drug prescription or two) that signifies that we are now among the burgeoning population of the “chronically mentally ill.”

If we are lucky enough to have no DSM label, we will most likely have been lucky enough to remain off prescription drugs; however, with a label and now within “the system,” it is very difficult to “just say no to drugs.”

The victims of hopelessness-generating random situations like bad luck, bad circumstances, bad company, bad choices, bad government and living in a ruthless wealth-extracting capitalist economic system where the competitive society unjustly  rewards “winners” who rise to the top at the expense of the “losers” in the lower 99 percent.

America tolerates, indeed celebrates, punitive and thus fear-inducing social systems resembling in many ways the infamous police state realities of 20th century European totalitarianisms, where people who were different or dissident were thought to be abnormal.

Such abnormal ones were often so intolerable to the ruling elites that they were “disappeared” into insane asylums, jails or concentration camps without just cause or competent legal defense. And many of them were (and still are) drugged against their wills with disabling psychoactive chemicals, living out their miserable, numbed lives in the back wards of institutions.

The truth is that most, if not all of BigPharma’s psychotropic drugs are lethal at some dosage level (the LD50, the lethal dose that kills 50 percent of lab animals, is calculated before testing is done on humans), and therefore the drugs need to be regarded as hazardous.

The chronic use of these drugs must be considered to be among the major causes, not just or disability and dementia, but of various less well-defined and often overlapping disorders such as cognitive disorders, brain atrophy, loss of creativity, loss of spirituality, loss of empathy, loss of energy, loss of strength, loss of memory, loss of intelligence, fatigue and tiredness, aggression, personality disorders and a multitude of adverse metabolic effects that can sicken the body, brain and soul by causing insomnia, somnolence, mania, panic disorders, worsening depression, increased anxiety, delusions, psychoses, paranoia, etc.

So before filling the prescription, it is advisable to read the product insert labeling under WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE EFFECTS, CONTRAINDICATIONS, TOXICOLOGY, OVERDOSAGE and the ever-present BLACK BOX WARNINGS ABOUT SUICIDALITY.

Long-term, high dosage or combination psychotropic drug usage could be regarded as a chemically traumatic brain injury (cTBI) or, as “antipsychotic” drugs were known in the 1950s and 1960s, a “chemical lobotomy.”

TBI or chemical lobotomy can be a useful way to conceptualize this serious issue of drug-induced toxicity, because such neurologically brain-altered patients can be indistinguishable from those who have suffered physically traumatic brain injuries or been subjected to ice-pick lobotomies which were popular before psych drugs came on the market in the 1950s and before the huge epidemic of mental illness that America is experiencing.

America’s health epidemic in mental illness is grossly misunderstood. And the epidemic is worsening, not because of a supposed disease progression, but because of the chronic use of neurotoxic, non-curative drugs that are, in America, erroneously regarded as first-line “therapy.”

(For more information, you can check: www.madinamerica.com; www.cchr.org; www.mindfreedom.org; www.breggin.com; www.icspponline.org; www.drugawareness.org; www.psychrights.org; www.benzo.org.uk; www.quitpaxil.org; www.wildscolts.com; www.endofshock.com; www.mercola.com; www.iHealthTube.com and follow the links.)

Dr. Gary G. Kohls is a member of MindFreedom International and the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology. He is the editor of the occasional Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter. Dr. Kohls warns against the abrupt discontinuation of any psychiatric drug because of the common, often serious withdrawal symptoms that can occur with the chronic use of any dependency-inducing psychoactive drug, whether illicit or legal. Patients should consult their physicians. (This article was previously posted at: http://rense.com/general91/edi.htm)