By Joe Szimhart
Let us pretend that one day, say this day February 27, 2010, that a man was looking on line for something interesting to listen to. He finds a podcast interview on youtube.com with a psychologist, John Breeding, PhD, conducted by Stefan Molyneux (photo below), founder and director of a web enterprise at www.freedomainradio.com (FDR). The interview lasts nearly 54 minutes and its topic is “On the Myth of ADHD and antidepressants.” At first blush the man sees Molyneux, a balding man with close-cropped hair, a pleasant face and wearing a dark shirt fill the left side the screen. Molyneux is apparently parked in front of his computer attending to production by himself and sipping from a large cup now and then. On the right side of the screen is an image of Dr Breeding intermittently replaced by the FDR logo. So for over 50 minutes one sees Molyneux in his Canadian office location talking full face and taking sips from a mug whereas Breeding is on audio from Texas.
Breeding like Molyneux appears to promote a private agenda as an activist. Breeding is in the anti-psychiatry camp. Molyneux is known for his anarcho-capitalist’ utopian views. Breeding argues and even preaches that there is “no incontrovertible scientific evidence” to support medications that treat so-called brain diseases like ADHD, schizophrenia or mood disorders. Breeding sees a “conspiracy” in the pharmaceutical industry aligned with psychiatrists to create treatments or cures for diseases that have no biological or scientific basis. Molyneux praises Breeding as one of those “voices in the wilderness” who we should heed if we are to become truly “moral” beings. Breeding runs his own maverick enterprises through www.wildestcolts.com where he promotes his ideas, services and books.
“Interesting,” says the man to himself. Now curious, he searches for more background on the two men featured on the podcast. Molyneux, he discovers, is a self-starter who runs an Internet business through freedomainradio.com that features podcasts, forums and call-in sessions for people interested in Molyneux’s libertarian views. The site also serves up a kind of therapy that Molyneux, supported by his social worker wife, offers. Many if not most podcasts feature the damaging influence of corrupt families and abusive parents. A core feature of Molyneux’s influence is to free oneself from abusive family and friends”in his way of thinking all parents were and are abusers. Molyneux calls breaking away a Defoo which is new-speak for Departing your Family Of Origin. It means ending all contact thus ending all alleged intellectual and emotional contamination.
As for Breeding (photo right), the man finds little if any significant support for the psychologist’s work in the scientific community. “Hmm,” he thinks. “The man talks big about science yet where is his science?” Of the many recommended links on Dr Breeding’s website the man finds at least two linked to the Church of Scientology that in turn endorses Breeding and his anti-psychiatry’ ideas. “Aha!” he thinks, “Now we are getting somewhere. This picture is clearing up”no pun intended.” Looking further into anti-psychiatry, the man finds another site called antipsychiatry.org but that site explicitly states: “No Scientologists, please” or anyone associated with Scientology’s Citizens’ Commission on Human Rights need apply to volunteer to help The Antipsychiatry Coalition. “There appears to be dissention among anti-psychiatry groups,” he notes. Breeding calls CCHR an awesome organization’ according to libertytothecaptives.net which calls Breeding’s organization Texans for Safe Education a Scientology Front Group.’ But libertytothecaptives.net is one of those King James Bible, fundamentalist sites. “Consider the source,” he cautions. “Front group may be overdoing it.” The man finds articles by Dr Breeding featured on Scientology’s freedommag.org site. “Bedmates, for sure.”
On Breeding’s wildestcolts.com site the man finds an excerpt from The Necessity of Madness and Unproductivity: Psychiatric Oppression or Human Transformation (Breeding, 2007). It appears indicative of Breeding’s thought process: “We may have instituted child labor laws, but look at the modern alternative. Ritalin, a drug known to produce repetitive, stereotypical behavior in animals, is being foisted on millions of our school-age children with the hope of enforcing classroom docility, compliance and productivity.” He observes that both Breeding and Molyneux care about children.
Further down the page he finds this odd revelation from Breeding: “Unproductivity (sic) is necessary to step out of the rules of productivity and move into forgiveness. This reflects a more general principle about the nature of beliefs and human development. Carolyn Myss (photo left), medical intuitive and best-selling author, begins her tape series, Energy Anatomy’, with the provocative assertion that madness is an absolutely essential stage in the attainment of spiritual maturity. The reason for this¦is that we are all necessarily, inevitably and thoroughly initiated into the beliefs of our tribe, or culture, from the time of our conception onwards. These beliefs thoroughly impregnate our body and our psyche, largely at a non-verbal level. We are all tribal members, loyal to tribal law, way before we even begin to approach the idea, much less the experience, of becoming an individual.”
“Wow, what a mouthful! No wonder Molyneux likes Breeding. They both break out in an anti-establishment rash over the same things. A lot to chew on there,” says the man. “But do I have to get crazy before I can be free? And how crazy?”
Well, let me help with the chewing. Let’s work backwards. Carolyn Myss, a self-proclaimed medical intuitive’ is basically a slick psychic practitioner operating under a quacky euphemism (myss.com). Myss’s books have sold well and she does appear as a speaker at New Age and comparable human potential conferences. Myss has created a veritable industry out of her quasi-astrology like Archetype Readings and her Carolyn Myss Educational Institute (CMED) that promotes various workshops called Sacred Contract, Defy Gravity and Entering the Castle. After two years training, one can become an Archetype Counselor under CMED. The counselors help “individuals to transform and empower their lives through the study of the wisdom and mystical traditions, through learning to navigate the vast resources of the archetypal realm, and through understanding the mysteries of healing and the nature of the soul” (myss.com).
Breeding promotes a world of irrational manipulation when he endorses Myss. Who in their right mind is going to believe that Myss truly understands “the mysteries of healing and the nature of the soul?” One wonders why Breeding so vehemently opposes mainstream psychiatry as “oppressive” and “unscientific.” If anything is unscientific it is Myss’s CMED and not Prozac or Ritalin or the application thereof by sensible, sensitive doctors. In my work as a “cult specialist” I have come to see a large red flag waving when idiosyncratic healers like Breeding preach against psychiatry as “unscientific.” I also work in a mental hospital and am amply aware of the shortcomings of treatment but that has a lot to do with the non-compliant behaviors of patients and complexities of diagnosis. The science behind medications like Ritalin is rigorous to say the least. Properly applied medication is evidently and at times miraculously effective.
So, why does Stefan Molyneux of FDR praise Breeding so? During the podcast Molyneux offered only compliments and no sharp, provocative criticisms of what stands at best to be speculative, reactionary psychology on Breeding’s part. Molyneux the atheist could hardly endorse the Myss-like spirituality favored by Breeding. Not unlike but more eloquent than Breeding, Molyneux talks wittily, spews fact, quotes quotable authors and spouts philosophy as well as any common preacher who can tap-dance through his scriptures. An unwary seeker may be mightily impressed with the smooth delivery of a man who wants to reform the world with his cry for emancipation from the oppressive masters of State, religion, establishment schools, and cultures of origin. Molyneux praises Breeding because he also diverts attention from glaring personal flaws by attacking paper dragons.
Many have taken up the FDR banner. Molyneux touts the anarcho-libertarian truths his mostly youthful followers want to hear but to live those truths they soon learn about cutting off the influences that purportedly fetter them (the Defoo process mentioned above). In the wake of Molyneux’s preaching against “abusive” families and all matter of societal norms as corrupt are parents and old friends who grieve the total loss of a relationship to FDR devotees they still cherish.
Some followers have moved in with one another while most interact through cyber cells. An FDR devotee today might be psychologically locked in a FDR collective as a “Philosopher-King.” To gain that rank he or she pays $50 a month or more to Molyneux for the podcast privilege of therapy-like interaction with their guru. The guru appears to be on a track to secure a private, radicalized human-development industry not unlike Myss has. This is not to say that Molyneux even knows who Myss is, much less agrees at all with the content of her preaching. This is not about content. This is about manipulated behavior within a certain context. Perhaps he’s seeking to create a crew of Philosopher-Kings who will function much like the Archetype Counselors who feed recruits and fees into the relatively lucrative Carolyn Myss enterprises. Anything is possible when freedom is the goal but the questions remain: Freedom from what? Freedom to do what?
I am reminded here of something Friedrich Nietzsche wrote:
Do you presume yourself to be free? If so, then I want you to tell me what is your ruling idea, and not that you have broken free of some fetter. Are you the kind of man who ought to be unfettered? For there are many who cast off their final value when they cast away their chains.”Thus Spoke Zarathustra
For more information see:
Stefan Molyneux Revealed
Molyneux Cult Watch
Ancaps Anachro-Capitalists Cult Watch