December 2, 2009

Scientists as Liars: From Global Warming to Biological Psychiatry

By Dr. Peter Breggin

Someone hacked into the email files of director Phil Jones and his colleagues at Britain’s leading Climate Research Unit (CRU). This is one of the most influential scientific groups for establishing man-made global warming and the need for dramatic, costly political and economic interventions to save the environment.

The emails show these men using intimidation and fraud to make their scientific reputations, carve out their fiefdoms, push their global agendas, and promote their progressive politics. They exclude and discredit skeptical scientists. When faced with a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request, they discuss purging contrary data. They describe how to falsify and manipulate the facts in order to explain away the lack of global warming since 2001.

These hacked emails undermine the credibility of leading climate change advocates.

Is there globe warming?

Is it caused by human actions?

Can drastic economic inhibitions and manipulations reduce the future risk?

The disclosure that these global warming alarmists are liars and cheats doesn’t help to answer those questions. But it does tell us that we should never trust the integrity of so-called “scientists” and “researchers” when they argue on behalf of powerful political ideologies and wealthy industries.

Scientists who speak for massive establishments easily gain a headlock on the media and a stranglehold on public opinion. But despite their claims, they don’t have a monopoly on the truth. In fact, they are mouthpieces for those who seek to make billions of dollars and to advance their political agendas through fear mongering.

As a scientist and a researcher, I’ve been confronting the scientific establishment for decades in my field of psychiatry. In psychiatry, some of the most colossal liars are leading professors who are routinely quoted as scientific experts. Strip away their public identity and you’ll find a drug company rep inside.

Many of these scientists put their names on papers that are actually written by the PR departments of drug companies. It’s called “ghost writing.” Recently, several of America’s most esteemed professors of psychiatry were found to be secretly and heavily on the take from drug companies. Only one of them has been fired and he was quickly grabbed up and made chairman of yet another department of psychiatry. These scientific cheats are great rainmakers. They come with benefits—from the drug companies.

Is all of science so thoroughly corrupt? In the field I know best, biological psychiatry, nearly all of it is political smoke and mirrors financed by the pharmaceutical industry. Psychiatric science serves the drug companies and their surrogates in the health professions and in institutions like NIH, NIMH, the AMA, the American Psychiatric Association, and major universities. I’ve described this power structure as the psychopharmaceutical complex. In Medication Madness (2008), I show how the psychopharmaceutical complex makes a mockery of science. The experts simply cannot be trusted. Unless it serves their masters, their research does not even get published.

Peer review provides no protection whatsoever from this monopolization of science. In fact, it aids and abets it. Peer-reviewed articles are supposed to be judged blind without the evaluators knowing who wrote them. But knowing the name of the author doesn’t matter because it’s the content that they want to censor. Many years ago, a blinded reviewer turned down one of my articles because I included a scientific paper by Peter Breggin in my bibliography.

Peer review becomes a closed system, an old buddy network that systematically excludes every scientist who pursues objectivity and honesty rather than service to the particular power structure in which the journal is embedded. The hacked emails show global warming scientists excluding critical research from their journals and attacking alternative journals. The same thing happens in psychiatry, and probably everywhere that vast sums of money are at stake.

There is no easy solution. We need to become much more skeptical about scientific studies and pronouncements that serve powerful interest groups and political agendas. We should do this even when the article seems to support our own economic interests or political views. Because I dared to look skeptically at the scientific literature in my own field, I ultimately concluded that despite my professional and economic interests, I had to face and to disclose the truth about psychiatry’s unsound science.

When “the latest studies” are published and quoted in the media, we must always ask ourselves “Whom do these studies serve?” If they bolster huge financial and political interests, treat the reports with utter skepticism. As I’ve often found in my field, even the underlying data may be falsified.

Putting on a white coat, especially when its pockets are stuffed with money, doesn’t make a reliable scientist. Galileo said it well, “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.” Rely on your own common sense and look for dissenting views.

Originally published on The Huffington Post