February 10, 2019

Alert 83: Personally Confronting the Dismaying Politics of Psychosurgery: From Racism to Totalitarianism

This is PART III of Dr. Peter R. Breggin’s interview with filmmakers Aaron and Melissa Dykes in the making of The Minds of Men, a documentary in which Dr. Breggin is featured. In Part III he describes his discovery of secret government funding for psychosurgery as well as the racist pronouncements of Harvard neurosurgeons that got them the funding. When Dr. Breggin started his successful international campaign to stop psychosurgery in the early 1970s, he never imagined the mind-control aspirations and racist motivations espoused by key neurosurgeons and psychiatrists.

Personally Confronting the Dismaying Politics of Psychosurgery: From Racism to Totalitarianism.

Be sure to also see Part I and Part II

The film makers generously gave permission for Dr. Breggin to publish his entire uncut interview, most of which is being seen for the first time. The film is an extraordinary success, quickly reaching nearly one million viewers, and rising. Dr. Breggin shares his feelings, thoughts and actions surrounding one of the most important accomplishments of his career: his successful international campaign to stop the world-wide resurgence of brain-mutilating lobotomy and psychosurgery. In the several segments, he describes his response to learning the truth about the hidden, devastating impact on children and adults and his discovery of the racist and political ambitions of leading psychiatrists and neurosurgeons. Dr. Breggin describes harrowing and sometimes triumphant confrontations with powerful professional and political leaders, including Senator Ted Kennedy and top officials at the American Psychiatric Association, who did their best to stop his reform work. He describes how the experience made him into a lifelong reformer.

For detailed descriptions of Peter and Ginger Breggin’s successful campaigns to stop federally-funded psychosurgical, eugenic and racist programs of behavioral control, see Psychiatry as an Instrument of Social and Political Control.

See also the full documentary for which this interview was conducted: The Minds of Men.