Where's the Evidence?

A Challenge to Psychiatric Authority

In the summer of 2003, six activists took on the psychiatric establishment in a month of protest activities in Pasadena, California. They challenged the American Psychiatric Association, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the Office of the US Surgeon General to present scientific evidence of the biological basis of menial illness and the effectiveness of psychoactive drugs in its treatment. To dramatize their challenge, they participated in a three­week fast, sponsored a panel discussion by supportive scientists and engaged in multiple media contacts. They never received a satisfactory response to their challenge. This is their story.

IN MEMORIAM: Beverly Jones. the co-producer of this video, died June 15, 2019, deeply mourned by all who knew her.

WE THE UNDERSIGNED WILL REFUSE ALL SOLID FOOD for as indefinite period of time as we await our challenge to be met by the following:

1. American Psychiatric Association (APA)

2. National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)

3. The Surgeon General

WE ASK THAT YOU PRODUCE scientifically-valid evidence for the following, or you publicly admit to media, government officials and the general public that you are unable to do so.

1. EVIDENCE THAT CLEARLY ESTABLISHES the validity of “schizophrenia,” “depression” or other “major mental illnesses” as biologically-based brain diseases.

2. EVIDENCE FOR A PHYSICAL DIAGNOSTIC EXAM – such as a scan or test of the brain, blood, urine, genes, etc. – that can reliably distinguish individuals with these diagnoses prior to treatment with psychiatric drugs), from individuals without these diagnoses.

3. EVIDENCE FOR A BASE-LINE STANDARD of a neurochemically-balanced “normal” personality, against which a neurochemical “imbalance” can


Mickey Weinberg, retired social worker and Fast for Freedom organizer
Vince Boehm of Wilmington, DE. psychiatric survivor on Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council
Krista Erickson of Chicago, psychiatric survivor and cross-disability advocate
David Gonzalez of Brooklyn, psychiatric survivor and mental health counselor
David Oaks of Eugene, OR. psychiatric survivor and executive director. Mind Freedom International
Hiromi Sayama of Riversidez, CA. psychiatric survivor and activist 

Full Video

References for Further Reading

Bentall. Richard. (2005) Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature. London. Penguin
Boyle, Mary {2nd edition 2002) Schizophrenia:A Scientific Delusion? London. Routledge
Breggin. Peter R., MD (1991) Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy. Empathy, and love Must Replace The Drugs, Electroshock. and Biochemical Theories. of”The New Psychiatry”NewYork . St Martin’s Press
Breggin, Peter R., MD and Cohen, David Ph.D (1999) Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications Reading. MA. Perseus Books
Carney. Jack (2012) Remembering the 2003 Fast for Freedom: Time for Another? http:1twww.madinamerica.com12012109/remembering-the-2003-fast-for-freedo ..
Cohen, David, Gomory. Tomi. and Kirk. Stuart (2013) Mad Science, Psychiatric Coercion. Diagnosis, and Drugs. New brunswick. NJ Transaction Publishers
Healy. David paperback (2013)P harmageddon. Berkeley. University of California Press
Hornstein, Gail {2012) Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist’s Search for the Meaning of Madness. PCCS Books. Ross-On-Wye
Johnston. Lucy (2000) Users and Abusers of Psychiatry; A Critical Look at Psychiatric Practice. London. Routledge
Joseph. Jay (2004) The Gene Illusion: Genetic Research in Psychiatry and Psychology Under the Microscope. New york. Algora
Joseph, Jay (2006) The Missing Gene: Psychiatry, Heredity and the Fruitless Search for Genes. New York Algora
Joseph, Jay (2015) The Trouble with Twin Studies: A reassessment ofTwm Research in Social and Behavior.-,! Sciences. New York. Routledge
Moncrieff,Joanna (2008) The Myth of a Chemical Cure:A Critique of psychiatric drug treatment. London. Palgrave MacMillan
Moncrieff,Joanna, (2013) The Bittersweet Pills: The Troubling Story of Anti psychotic Orug. London. Palgrave MacMillan
Rapley, Mark, Moncrieff,Joanna, Dillon,Jaquie (editors) (2011) De-Medicalising Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition. London. Palgrave MacMillan
Szasz. Thomas S. original edition 1961 paperback {2010) The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundation of a Theory of Personal Conduct. New York Harper Perennial
Szasz. Thomas S original edition 1970 paperback {1997) The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental health Movement Syracuse.Universityof SyracusePress
Whitaker, Robert (2010) Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets Psychiatric drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America New York. Crown Publisher