Past Freedom Center Events Archive

Submitted by admin on Sun, 02/01/2009 - 02:25

These are older events. For more recent past events, check our Past Events page here.


Drugging Our Distress?
A Broader Look At Medication and Mental Illness

Monday, November 13, 7:30 PM
Hooker Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College
Free and open to the public; wheelchair, public transit accessible. Please contact us for interpreter or other access needs.

Download event flyer.

Download event PSA .mp3.

• Why are so many of us on psychiatric medication? • Did you know that the U.S. is one of only two countries in the world where drug companies advertise directly to consumers? • Interested in a critique of mental health treatment from those inside the profession?

Join us for a provocative talk by two distinguished speakers from England:
Philip Thomas, M.D., a psychiatrist for more than 20 years in Britain’s National Health Service, now Professor of Philosophy, Diversity and Mental Health at the University of Central Lancashire. He has published more than 100 articles and three books on psychiatry and mental health.

Rufus May, D. Clin., a clinical psychologist in Bradford, England and co-chair of Evolving Minds, a public forum on mental health issues. His interest in humane approaches to distressing experiences began when he himself was labeled with schizophrenia as an 18 year old. Dr. May has published a dozen articles in scientific and popular journals, and has been widely interviewed in the UK media.

Sponsored by: The Purington Fund, Dean of the College, and Department of Psychology and Education, Mount Holyoke College;
Freedom Center, Northampton, MA;
and The Five College Program in Culture, Health and Science

For Info: Freedom Center: 413.582.9948,,; Mount Holyoke College Department of Psychology and Education: 413.538.2338

Law and Psychiatry Training Series

with Nancy Svirida, Esq., of the Disability Law Center (DLC) A step-by-step look at the issues facing psychiatric survivors and their advocates. Free and open to the public, food provided.

January 31 Forced Medication: Informed Consent, Rogers Orders, and Health Care Proxies

February 28th Forced Hospitalization: Voluntary/Involuntary Admissions, Civil Commitments

March 28th Abuse, Neglect and the DMH Complaint Process

New Dates, Times, and Location for the Legal Training Series

Tue. June 27:
An Encore Presentation of Forced Medication: Informed Consent, Roger's Order, and Health Care Proxies.
5:30-7:30pm The Quaker Space. 43 Center St. Downtown Northampton.

Tue. July 25: Competency and Decision-Making: Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Rep. Payees.
5:30-7:30p.m. The Quaker Space. 43 Center St. Downtown Northampton.

Tue. Aug. 22: New DMH Regulations on Restraint and Seclusion and Miscellaneous Topics.
5:30-7:30p.m. The Quaker Space. 43 Center St. Downtown Northampton.

Internet On-Line Chat Room

We have a Freedom Center chat room where people can meet for support and discussion. Sundays 9-10 EST is the most likely time to find people in the room. You can access the chat room through our Chat Room page.


Challenging Sexism, Racism, and Classism In Psychiatric Labeling An Evening with Paula Caplan
Tuesday, November 15th, 7pm
Franklin Patterson Main Lecture Hall, Hampshire College
Free and open to the public; wheelchair, public transit accessible.
Contact us for interpreter or other access needs. Download event flyer

If we allow others to decide whether or not we are normal, we lose the power to define, to judge, and, often, to respect ourselves... -- Paula Caplan

Feminist psychologist, author, and whistleblower Paula Caplan challenges the American Psychiatric Association to prove that the diagnostic labels in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) are based on real science and not just the subjective biases of a few rich white men. Caplan has written more than 8 books including They Say You're Crazy: How The World's Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who's Normal, the Myth of Woman's Masochism, and Bias in Psychiatric Diagnoses. Join Caplan and members of local organizations to speak out against the harmful effects of psychiatric diagnoses. We will discuss efforts to end psychiatric and mental health oppression and offer resources for action.

Co-Sponsored by Staff Survivor Network, Paloma House, and the Hampshire College Dandelion Den


Mt. Holyoke welcomes award-winning filmmaker
An Evening with Jonathan Caouette and his mother, Renee.

Monday, November 21st 7 p.m.
Gamble Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College
Free and open to the public; wheelchair, public transit accessible.
Contact us for interpreter or other access needs. Download event flyer
SOUTH HADLEY - The Freedom Center is sponsoring a special screening of the award-winning film, Tarnation, at 7 p.m., Monday, November 21st at Mt.Holyoke's Gamble Auditorium. The screening is free to the public and features a special live appearance, presentation and screening by award-winning filmmaker Jonathan Caouette and his mother, Renee. Tarnation is a true triumph of the human spirit. The film chronicles Renee's lifelong struggle with trauma, "mental illness," institutionalization, and electroshock, and a touching relationship between mother and son. Critics have called it a miracle film, as Tarnation features footage from 20 years of his often chaotic life: "A TRIUMPH! A film of remarkable power" - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times "FOUR STARS! A MASTERPIECE! A heartbreaking work of staggering genius." - Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

Along with the presentation and screening of Tarnation, Jonathan, Renee and members of the Freedom Center will facilitate an interactive dialogue and question/answer period with the audience after the film. Freedom Center is the Pioneer Valley's only mental health human rights organization run exclusively by and for people labeled severely mentally ill. Freedom Center advocates for compassion, human rights, self-determination, and holistic alternatives in the mental health system.


Broadside Books 247 Main Street Northampton
Wednesday, August 24 at 7pm.

Mt Holyoke Professor Gail Hornstein will read from her book To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World, the biography of psychoanalyst Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, and lead a discussion about Fromm-Reichmann's relevance to contemporary issues in mental health and to the psychiatric survivor movement. Gail will also be available to sign copies of the paperback edition, newly-issued from Other Books. Co-Sponsored by Windhorse Associates.

To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World by Gail A. Hornstein, Professor of Psychology at Mount Holyoke College, is the first biography of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann (1889-1957), the maverick psychiatrist who accomplished what Freud and almost everyone else thought impossible -- successfully treating patients diagnosed "schizophrenic" or "psychotic" with intensive psychotherapy, not lobotomy, shock treatment, or drugs. Known to millions as the fictional "Dr. Fried" in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (the best-selling "novel" of madness and recovery written by her patient, Joanne Greenberg), the real Fromm-Reichmann was even more fascinating and controversial.

More than a dozen attempts were made over a 40-year period to write her biography; it took Hornstein a decade to locate the materials necessary to complete this book. Written with unprecedented access to a rich archive of Fromm-Reichmann's clinical work at the legendary Chestnut Lodge Hospital in Rockville, Maryland, and using newly discovered family records and documents from across Europe and the United States, this is the definitive biography of a remarkable woman.

At a time when biological psychiatrists claim psychosis is an incurable brain disease, and most seriously disturbed patients never get an opportunity for high-quality psychotherapy, Fromm-Reichmann's insistence that madness is meaningful, no patient is ever beyond hope, and a respectful and collaborative therapeutic relationship can help people to heal from even severe trauma is a crucial message for us all.

Read reviews of To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World by Gail A. Hornstein.


SUNDAY 24tth 2-5 pm
Flywheel Arts Center, Easthampton MA
All flywheel events are donation Download event flyer
Children are being prescribed amphetamines and SSRIs at exponential rates while controversy over this issue heightens. The United Kingdom has, in fact, already prohibited the pediatric use of antidepressants. Meanwhile, in the United States, the Bush Administration is attempting to initiate a program which would "screen" and diagnose school children so as to widen the pharmaceutical market and increase participation in the psychiatric system. Despite the timely importance of this topic, it's difficult to find discussion of it which is informed and unbiased.

At this youth and psychiatry event Chaya Grossberg, Catherine Simon, and Mollie Hurter of the Freedom Center will talk about both their own experiences of abuse within the psychiatric system as well as the way they see the escalating role that psychiatry is playing in youth of America. Speakers will also discuss the role that the Freedom Center plays in their own wellness and other ways to address children and parents struggles or extreme states.


>From Labeling to
Empowerment in Mental Health Care
Smith College, Seelye Hall Room 106
Free & open to the public; wheelchair accessible (rear elevator).
Download event flyer

What is the way forward towards more humane mental health care? Come learn the personal experiences of an investigative journalist, an ex-mental patient, and a social worker working for an agenda of activism, empowerment, and self-determination.

ROBERT WHITAKER, Pulitzer-nominated and George Polk Award-winning journalist and author of Mad In America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill,

WILL HALL, diagnosed with schizophrenia, award-winning disability rights activist, and co-founder of Freedom Center, a support and advocacy group run by and for people labeled with mental illness,

CHERYL ALEXANDER, MSW, SCSSW, therapist, ally to the survivor movement, abuse whistleblower and organizer with Freedom Center's restraints and seclusion campaign.

Moderated by FRED NEWDOM and introduced by CAROL OWEN, faculty with Smith School of Social Work

Co-Sponsored by Smith College School of Social Work Disability Awareness Group, Social Welfare Action Alliance, and Freedom Center.

Info: Freedom Center, 413) 582-9948 or Disability Awareness Group, For disability accomodation or ASL interpretation, email or 585-2071 (voice/tty)


Film Series & Discussion
Tuesday Evenings, 7:00 PM March 22 - May 3rd (check dates)
Room 316, Reese Psychology and Education Building
Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA
Free and Open to the Public. Wheelchair accessible.
Contact 413-538-2338 or download directions here. Reese is right in front of the 5-college bus stop on Park Street, which turns off of Rt. 116 through campus. Download film series flyer here.
Sponsored by archived list of past films for details of previously shown films and information on how to order.
Tuesday, March 22 Placebo: Mind Over Medicine? (51 min; 2002)

This Discovery Channel film critically explores the use of placebos in medicine and the profound effects that beliefs can have on both mental and physical symptoms. Exclusive footage reports on recent scientific studies documenting the effect of placebos in the treatment of depression, knee pain, skin conditions, and multiple sclerosis. The film includes interviews with noted psychiatrists, psychologists, and surgeons from UCLA and Baylor College of Medicine, and challenges many of our fundamental assumptions about illness and treatment.

Tuesday, April 5 A Brilliant Madness (60 min; 2002)

This PBS documentary tells the true story of John Nash, the brilliant mathematician/psychiatric patient portrayed in the Hollywood film A Beautiful Mind. Nash was a mathematical prodigy, hailed as one of the most important contributors to his field, until he suffered a devastating breakdown at the age of thirty. He started claiming that aliens were sending him messages, and became obsessed with secret numbers and conspiracies. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Nash spent a decade in and out of mental hospitals, surviving with the support of his wife and colleagues. Despite these challenges, Nash won the Nobel Prize and his work has had a profound influence on many fields. The Hollywood version of his life story makes it seem as if psychiatric medication helped him to recover from schizophrenia; actually, Nash refused to take any medication (except during one brief period) and renounced psychiatric treatment as barbaric. If you saw A Beautiful Mind, you need to see this film to hear Nash. s real story.

Tuesday, April 19 Friends and Family (35 min, 2001) and Behind the Behaviour (32 min, 2001)

These two short films, created by the survivor-run production company in London, Mental Health Media, offer a viewpoint on mental health issues different from those typically presented in the US media. Friends and Family is intended to help those who are supporting someone with mental health difficulties. It offers suggestions for both crisis and everyday situations, and is intended to help build confidence among carers. It shows people experiencing mental distress and those who support them -- parents, partners, roommates -- talking about what they have found difficult and how they have helped to make their relationships work. Behind the Behaviour focuses on the role teachers can play in dealing with emotional problems in children and actively promoting their mental health. It shows new initiatives in UK schools, and describes ways of preventing children's behavioral problems from becoming longer-term mental health issues. Teachers and other education professionals who work with children between the ages of 4-11 years will find the film of special interest.

Tuesday, May 3 Man Facing Southeast (105 min; 1987, Spanish dialogue, English subtitles)

This feature film by Argentinean director Eliseo Subiela tells the tale of a lonely psychiatrist and a mysterious new patient named Rantes, who appears in a Buenos Aires psychiatric hospital claiming to be an alien visitor. Rantes has extraordinary gifts and spends long hours in the yard facing southeast, where he claims to receive communications from his home planet. The film uses gentle humor and stark contrasts to evoke the inherent problem of distinguishing between the normal and the pathological, thereby raising profound questions about the plausibility of psychiatric diagnosis.


Past and Present Meanings of Treating the Mentally Ill

FRIDAY, APRIL 22nd 5pm
Hampshire College Franklin Patterson Hall, Rm 108
Free and open to the public; wheelchair, public transit accessible
Dinner will be provided! (including vegetarian and vegan options)
Call Freedom Center for more information: (413) 582-9948
Download flyer.

Despite a public image of benevolence, psychiatry and mental health care have intimate historic ties to racist eugenics, the Holocaust, human experimentation, political repression, and brutal treatments. Unless we remember and understand this disturbing legacy, we will fail to see the ways it continues today.

Please join us for a panel discussion and community dialog on the origins of the biomedical model of psychiatry, the use of mental patients in government funded mind control experiments, the connection between German Nazi psychiatrists and the American Psychiatric Association, and the implications of the Bush Administration's New Freedom Commission mental health policy.

Panelists include Freedom Center organizers and Lenny Lapon, author of the classic book Mass Murderers in White Coats: Psychiatric Genocide in Nazi Germany and the United States.


Should Listening Replace Drugs?

A Panel Discussion With
Schizophrenia Survivors, Therapists, and Researchers
New York Room, Mary Woolley Hall, Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA
Free and open to the public; wheelchair and public transit accessible
Sponsored by the Freedom Center and the Department of Psychology and Education, Mount Holyoke College.
Co-sponsored by Paloma House and Windhorse Associates.
Call Freedom Center for more information: (413) 582-9948
email website:
Download Flyer Download Press Release Download Radio Spot
According to the World Health Organization, US recovery rates for schizophrenia are scarcely better today than they were 100 years ago. Pharmaceutical companies enrich themselves pushing drugs, which may control symptoms but can lead to chronic illness and brain damage. Doctors believe they shouldn't talk to patients about visions and voices because it will only make them worse. People in extreme states of suffering often have nowhere to turn to help them understand, not just suppress, their experiences.

Please join us for a panel discussion and community dialog on "Psychotherapy and Schizophrenia: Should Listening Replace Drugs?"

Panelists will include:
Catherine Penney, RN, who suffered years of schizophrenia and frequent hospitalization, and now works successfully as a psychiatric nurse and patients. advocate. She will talk about her treatment and recovery using psychotherapy without any drugs.

Daniel Dorman, MD, UCLA psychiatrist who treats schizophrenic patients using psychotherapy, not drugs. He will talk about his work with Catherine and writing the new book Dante's Cure: A Journey Out of Madness. An interview with Dr. Dorman is at:

Professor Gail Hornstein, Mt Holyoke College, author of To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World, the biography of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, a psychoanalyst who used talk therapy to treat patients. Prof. Hornstein will speak on the history of treating schizophrenia and psychosis with psychotherapy. For information go to

Speakers from the Freedom Center, a Pioneer Valley support and activist network of people labeled with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other severe mental illnesses, who will pose questions to the panel and lead a community dialog with the audience. For information on Freedom Center, see

Presented by the Freedom Center, a support, advocacy, and holistic alternatives group run by and for people labeled with severe mental illnesses. Freedom Center works to transform the mental health system and provides free support groups, advocacy, and education on holistic alternatives.

Co-Sponsored by Paloma House, a Northampton non-profit agency offering low cost psychotherapy based on empowerment and trauma recovery, and Windhorse Associates, a provider of non-traditional clinical mental health services.

Dante's Cure: A Journey Out of Madness by Dr. Daniel Dorman is an account of a seven-year therapy process that guided Catherine Penney, a mute and catatonic patient, out of her suffering and to full recovery -- without any psychiatric medications. The book "reveals how madness is inherent to the human condition and therefore ought to be treated as such. To restore patients trust in their power to recover, rather than robbing them of their agency in the name of medical knowledge, is the true moral of this remarkable journey out of madness."

To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World: The Life of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann by Gail A. Hornstein is a biography of a compassionate psychiatrist who lived and worked with her patients and treated people labeled psychotic using psychotherapy in a supportive environment. One of Fromm-Reichmann's patients was Joanne Greenberg, whose best-selling novel, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, was one of the first narratives of a successful psychotherapy of someone diagnosed schizophrenic.


A Community Dialog on Alternative Views of Mental Illness
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 7:30 pm
Main Lecture Hall, Hampshire College
Free and open to the public; wheelchair and public transit accessible.
Download the event flyer

How do we make sense of being labeled crazy in a crazy world? What does it mean to be "mentally ill?" When and why does behavior become "dysfunctional?" How can we truly support each other? How helpful is the modern psychiatric paradigm that revolves around medicine and psychotherapy and how much of it is really just a function of powerful pharmaceutical corporations, public funding cuts, and a generally deranged society?

Please join Ashley and Sascha of the Icarus Project, a vibrant on-line support community, and speakers from Freedom Center, a local advocacy, support, and activist group, for a discussion on how the experience behind Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Borderline and other "severe mental illness" diagnoses relate to our visions of social liberation and true freedom.

For information, contact Icarus Project,, or Freedom Center 413) 582-9948


The Icarus Project is an online community started by Sascha and Ashley after an article was published by Sascha in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Ashley and Sascha are both diagnosed Bipolar and are part of the anti-authoritarian activist community. They have a healthy distrust of the current system, but are working on both conventional and alternative fronts of mental health treatment to empower people who are dealing with the world of insanity to take back control of their lives.

Freedom Center was started in 2001 by people labeled 'schizophrenic' and 'bipolar' and is the only Pioneer Valley group run by and for people diagnosed with severe 'mental illnesses.' Freedom Center is an all-volunteer group that works for human rights, true informed consent, holistic treatment alternatives, and to make all services voluntary. Freedom Center offers weekly support groups, free yoga and meditation classes, advocacy help, a film series, information referrals, and sponsors free public speaking events.


A Panel With
Robert Whitaker and Judi Chamberlin
Thursday, June 17, 7 pm
Smith College Neilson Library Browsing Room (NOTE NEW LOCATION)
Free and open to the public; wheelchair accessible.
Download the event flyer

A panel discussion addressing critical perspectives on US mental health policy and the important role of the voices of people labeled with "mental illnesses" themselves in all aspects of mental health care.
ROBERT WHITAKER, Pulitzer-nominated journalist and author of Mad In America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill.
JUDI CHAMBERLIN, international disability rights activist, psychiatric survivor, and leader of the movement for civil rights for people labeled with mental illness.
CAROL OWEN, Smith College School For Social Work Adjunct Faculty, member of Social Welfare Action Alliance, social justice activist working for full social & economic inclusion of people with disabilities.

Along with a panelist from the FREEDOM CENTER.

Moderated by FRED NEWDOM, Smith College School of Social Work Adjunct Faculty, member of the Social Welfare Action Alliance, and social justice activist working with Pro-Act Consulting Services of Albany, NY.

Journalist ROBERT WHITAKER's articles on the "mentally ill" and the drug industry have won several awards, including the George Polk Award for medical writing and the National Association of Science Writers' Award for best magazine article. He was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for a Boston Globe series on harmful research involving the mentally ill that he co-wrote in 1998 -- a series which led him to write Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill_(Perseus Publishing, 2002).

In her early 20s JUDI CHAMBERLIN was hospitalized in a state institution. She was horrified by the prison-like atmosphere of the hospital and soon discovered that, as a psychiatric patient, she had no legal rights. Judi cofounded a group of psychiatric survivors called the Mental Patients Liberation Front, published a book, On Our Own: Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System, and has been a world leader in the movement for psychiatric patients' human rights. Judi received the Distinguished Service Award of the President of the United States from the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities in 1992.

This event is co-sponsored by Smith College student organization Disability Awareness Group, and Freedom Center, the Pioneer Valley's only group run by and for people labeled with severe mental illnesses.


Lecture by Award-Winning Neuroscientist
Dr. Elliot S. Valenstein
Tuesday, April 20, 7:30 pm
Morrison Room Willits-Hallowell Center Mount Holyoke College
2004 Hastorf Lecture Sponsored by Barbara & Albert Hastorf
Free and open to the public, reception to follow. Wheelchair accessible. For more information call 413-538-2338 or Freedom Center 413) 582-9948
Doctors tell people in extreme emotional distress they have a chemical imbalance and need medication. But biological theories of mental illness are unproven, and highly profitable psychiatric drugs are themselves responsible for disrupting brain chemistry.

Come hear award-winning neuroscientist Dr. Eliot Valenstein speak on his book

Blaming The Brain: The Truth About Drugs and Mental Health

Dr. Elliot S. Valenstein is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience and former Chair of the Biopsychology Program at the University of Michigan. He is the author of more than 140 scientific articles and 6 books on the physiological basis of emotion and motivation, hormones and behavior, and the history of biological treatments for mental illness.

The recipient of many honors and awards, Professor Valenstein has recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Behavioral Neuroscience from the International Society of Behavioral Neuroscience. He has participated in numerous public forums on ethical and social issues in science including William F. Buckley's "Firing Line," and has been invited to lecture on his research all over the world.

His two best-known books are
Great and Desperate Cures: The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness (hailed as "lively, fascinating, lucid and even-handed* compelling reading") and Blaming the Brain: The Truth About Drugs and Mental Health (called a "brilliant, masterful book" that exposes the ways drug companies promote misleading information about mental illness).

"Biochemical theories of mental illness," Valenstein argues, "are an unproven hypothesis, and probably a false one. I want to open up a dialogue about these issues."

This free event is co-sponsored by Freedom Center, an advocacy group run by and for people labeled with mental illness. Contact or 582-9948.


SUNDAY MAY 2ND 2004 1:00 PM
New York City, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center 655 West 34th Street

If our Halloween Boston APA protest wasn't scary enough for you, there's going to be thousands of shrinks in downtown Manhattan on May 2nd! Along with, of course, a small army of pharmaceutical company salespeople. This is their huge annual meeting that draws psychiatrists from all over the US. Join us at the nonviolent protest, co-sponsored by Mindfreedom.

To generate media attention, Freedom Center will be offering a $5,000 reward to any psychiatrist who can produce proof that psychiatric drugs correct brain disease chemical imbalances. We plan to have a large check made out for $5,000 to back up that challenge. Everyone is encouraged to be creative with their protest, to dialog with conference attendees, and to generally have a good time. New York in May is really lovely.

We need people to help publicize this event, including networking with other groups that may want to join the protest, help with literature, someone with a camera, signs, snacks, etc. And if you want a ride or can offer a ride, please contact or 582-9948.


Wednesday, November 5, 2003
7:30 p.m. Morrison Room, Willits-Hallowell Center, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley MA (near Northampton and Amherst)
Free and open to the public. Wheelchair accessible.

Contact Freedom Center (413) 582-9948;;; or for more information. Download the event press release. Download the event flyer, for printing and distributing.

Event location is on public transit; contact Freedom Center if you have transporation needs, and you can download a campus map here and download written driving / bus directions here. Please contact us if you need assistance with a hearing disability. Because of chemical sensitivities, please do not wear chemical fragrances.

Loren R. Mosher M.D., a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and author of more than 100 scientific publications, is former Chief of the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia at the US National Institute of Mental Health, and former editor-in-Chief, Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Mosher founded the Soteria Project, a non-drug, home-like, residential treatment facility for schizophrenics and acutely psychotic persons that proved the effectiveness of alternatives to medication. Because this work threatened mainstream psychiatry, Soteria was shut down, and Mosher was fired from the NIMH. He then publicly resigned from the American Psychiatric Association -- which he says has become indistinguishable from the American Pharmaceutical Association.

Dr. Mosher has become a leading critic of medicating mental illnesses as 'brain disorders' and of the corrupting financial links between psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry. He advocates for a complete transformation of the mental health system to alternative approaches that are cheaper, safer, and more effective than the failed treatments of mainstream psychiatry. A discussion will follow.

Co-sponsored by Freedom Center, a Pioneer Valley advocacy and human rights group run by and for people labeled with severe 'mental illnesses' such as schizophrenia and bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, and borderline disorders (; and by the Department of Psychology and Education at Mount Holyoke College.


Friday, October 31st 2003 Boston MA
Gather 12:00 PM at the Boston Marriott Copley Place 110 Huntington Avenue

Sponsored by Freedom Center and Support Coaltion International -- Mindfreedom.

Contact Freedom Center 413) 582-9948,, or if you can offer rides in your car or if you need a ride.

The American Psychiatric Association is having one of their annual meetings on Friday Oct.31st -- Halloween. Psychiatry is Scary! Stop forced drugging, end the corruption of medicine by pharmaceutical company money, end plans for forced tranquilizer implants, fund holistic alternatives to toxic medication, end electroshock 'therapy,' end involuntary treatment, support peer counseling, fight stigma, stop myths about brain disorders and chemical imbalances, stop fraud in scientific experiments, end paternalism, stop degrading labels, stop pushing toxic medications, and protect children from psychiatric drugging.

There will also be protests against the psychiatry held at the same time in Washington, DC -- contact or for more info.

Bring costumes, signs, drums, flyers, friends, joy, anger, stories, sadness, songs, symptoms, testimony, and humor. We also encourage protesters to get into respectful dialogues with people going to the meetings.

For more information check out or

The Boston Marriott Copley Place is located just off the Massachusetts Turnpike at Exit 22 and is only four miles from Logan Airport. The hotel is convenient to Copley Place "T" subway stop for quick access to the airport, Amtrak station, and Boston suburbs.

Boston Marriott Copley Place: 110 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, 02116, USA Hotel Phone: 1-617-236-5800.

Info about the APA meeting:


Wednesday 8-27, 7:30PM at the City Hall steps, downtown Northampton

Freedom Center is calling all members and supporters to join us for a candlelight vigil in support of the Fast For Freedom In Mental Health, which is entering its 11th day. Please, if you can, stop by and stay a little while, or stay for the evening.

Around the world people are showing their support for the historic Fast for Freedom In Mental Health by doing solidarity fasts, as well as contacting the media to cover this historic effort taking place in Pasadena California. Several people including Oryx Cohen and Will Hall plan to start short fasts of a half day or more in solidarity with the Hunger Strikers. Last week Will completed a 57-hour solidarity fast, and Oryx fasted for half a day.

There is more info and latest updates on the Hunger Strike on our news page, at the Mindfreedom Hunger Strike Website, and at the Alternate Hunger Strike Website.

If you can, contact the national press and ask for coverage of the Hunger Strike; info on who to contact is at the mindfreedom website.

Second Annual Speak-Out

on Psychiatric Abuse and Alternative Recovery

Thursday, July 31st 2003, 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church (side entrance -- lower room) 220 Main Street, downtown Northampton

Come hear us - people labeled with severe 'mental illness' such as schizophrenia, bipolar, borderline, and obsessive compulsive disorder - share our experiences of survival in an abusive mental health system. This event will provide a chance for us to speak for ourselves about the terror, voices, mania, visions, dreams, and pain associated with a diagnosis of 'mental illness' - and also the joy and freedom that can rise from our extreme states of consciousness and alternative approaches to healing and living.

We will present stories of violence and abuse, such as forced treatment and isolation in hospitals, living with toxic medications, discrimination, and dehumanizing bureaucracies. There will also be stories of the journey of recovery including art, poetry, holistic healing, yoga, nature, and activism. A dialogue with the community will follow the speakers. Consumers/ survivors/ ex-patients as well as the general community are encouraged to attend.

Last years' Speak Out gathered more than 40 people, and audience members spontaneously joined speakers at the end to share their own stories. It was a truly inspiring event.

This event is wheelchair accessible. Because of chemical sensitivities, please do not wear fragrances.

Download and listen to the WMUA radio announcement we made for the Speak-Out.


WITH B.I.D. -- Bureaucratic Insensitivity Disorder

Friday August 8, 2003 1:00p.m. Courthouse Steps 99 Main Street/King Northampton

Freedom Center is the Pioneer Valley's only support and advocacy group run by and for people labeled with severe 'mental illnesses' (such as schizophrenia and bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorders). Most of us are current or former clients of the mental health agency ServiceNet, and for the past 2 years we have met and talked with many others in residences, at meetings, and on the street. While some people do receive good quality care from ServiceNet, too many ServiceNet clients endure an ongoing pattern of mistreatment and dehumanization.

ServiceNet meets the criteria for our diagnosis of B.I.D. -- BUREAUCRATIC INSENSITIVITY DISORDER.

What are the symptoms of Bureaucratic Insensitivity Disorder? All of the following: intimidation, over-medication, coercion, failure of informed consent, degrading labels, violations of DMH policy and MA law, paternalism, verbal abuse, medical neglect, and an unwillingness to listen to criticism -- all in a consistent and systematic manner over a long period. These symptoms are detailed in two letters we sent to ServiceNet directors and which are available at the Freedom Center website or by contacting the Freedom Center.

We call on ServiceNet to meet immediately with Freedom Center to implement a Treatment Plan and begin to recover from Bureaucratic Insensitivity Disorder. We believe that full recovery, though difficult, is possible.

Join our Treatment Intervention / Protest! Everyone is invited.

This protest is sponsored by Freedom Center and M-POWER (

(413) 582-9948,, or for more information.

Former and current ServiceNet clients, as well as a former ServiceNet therapist, are available for press interviews.

Download the Diagnose ServiceNet Protest flyer in PDF format, suitable for photocopying and distributing.
( categories: )