Testimony of Bruce Wiseman.
Presented to The Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania July
Bruce Wiseman is National
President of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)
and opposes the use of psychiatric medications.
NOTE: What you are about to
read is a transcription of an appearance by someone who is
concerned that certain prescription drugs given to students in
our public schools are in some cases CAUSING THE STUDENT TO
COMMIT ACTS OF VIOLENCE.
(This information came from http://www.resultsproject.net/
) My name is Bruce Wiseman. I am the US President of the
Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a group which for 30
years has been investigating and exposing psychiatric
violations of human rights and cleaning up the field of mental
health. I am also a former educator having been the Chairman
of the Department of History of John F. Kennedy University. I
want to thank you for the opportunity to address you today.
But more importantly, I want to acknowledge you for having the
courage to confront what has truly become one of the most
dangerous and insidious situations facing American life - the
fraudulent labeling and drugging of millions of our nation's
youth with psychiatric mind altering drugs - a circumstance
that has caused a corresponding increase in acts of senseless
violence in our schools.
Ladies and gentlemen, we stand
at the dawn of the 21st century with technology hurtling us
into a space-age future while an estimated 5 million American
children have been legally placed on mind-bending drugs. These
drugs are not only addictive but are tied by exhaustive
scientific research to hostility
and violence and, in some cases, murder and suicide.
The use of these drugs - on a
dramatic rise amongst school children, particularly over the
last two decades - is a primary factor in the creation of acts
of random senseless violence among our youth. Indeed, while
all manner of reasons have been offered for the recent rash of
school shootings, the
simple but frightening fact is that the rise of senseless
violence in our schools is date coincident with, and directly
tied to, the increased use of these prescribed mind altering,
And why should we not be
surprised? There are now approximately 4 million children on
the psychiatric drug Ritalin alone, a drug which the World
Health Organization and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
place in the same category as morphine, opium, and cocaine -
the drug category with the highest
potential for abuse.
Ritalin is an amphetamine-like
drug widely prescribed to children for the alleged mental
disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) a
psychiatric label for children who fidget or are inattentive -
the veracity of which I will address shortly. Despite the lack
of any scientific basis for this alleged psychiatric malady,
children are being drugged by the millions with this
cocaine-like substance even though Ritalin's manufacturer
warns that "...frank psychotic episodes can occur with
abusive use" and psychiatry's Diagnostic &
Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (the DSM) states that
the major complication of Ritalin withdrawal is suicide!
If this were not bad enough,
more than 900,000 children and adolescents between the ages of
six and eighteen are now on prescribed psychiatric
anti-depressant drugs. These drugs, particularly the newer
anti-depressants, such as Prozac, Zoloft and Luvox called
SSRIs, are also tied by extensive research and all too many
news headlines to acts of violence and suicide. In fact, in
just one four-year-period, between 1988 and 1992, there were
reports of more than 90 children and adolescents who had
suffered suicidal or violent self-destructive behavior while
The results of the needless
drugging of our nation's youth have been horrific. Some
examples follow. The information isn't pleasant, but we can't
pretend it isn't happening. While violence has been with us
since time immemorial, what we have been witnessing over the
last decade and particularly over
the last few years staggers the mind and assaults our senses.
As I have previously stated,
the commencement and increase of this kind of grotesque,
maniacal violence in our schools is date coincident with the
introduction and use of mind-altering drugs by our children.
These graphs show the alarming
increase in the production of Ritalin from 1985 to 1995 as
well as the number of ADD/ADHD diagnoses from 1988 to 1997.
Bearing these in mind, consider the events of the last two
1. On May 25, 1997, 18-year-old
Jeremy Strohmeyer raped and murdered a 7-year-old African
American girl in Las Vegas, Nevada. Strohmeyer had been
diagnosed with ADD and prescribed Dexedrine, a Ritalin-like
drug, immediately prior to the killing.
2. On October 1st, 1997, in
Pearl Mississippi, 16-year-old Luke Woodham stabbed his
mother, 50-year-old Mary Woodam, to death and then went to his
high school where he shot nine people - killing two teenage
girls and wounding seven others. Published reports say he was
3. Exactly two months later on
Dec 1, 1997, Michael Carneal, a 14-year-old, opened fire on
students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah,
Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were
wounded, one of whom was paralyzed. Carneal was reportedly on
4. Then in February, 1998 a
young man in Huntsville, Alabama, while on Ritalin went
psychotic - chopping up his parents with an ax and also
killing one sibling and almost murdering another.
5. On March 24, 1998 in
Jonesboro, Arkansas, 11-year-old Andrew Golden and 14-year-old
Mitchell Johnson shot 15 people killing four students, one
teacher, and wounding 10 others. According to one report, the
boys were believed to be on Ritilan. 6. Two months later
another grisly school massacre occurred. On May 21, 1998
15-year-old Kip Kinkel of Springfield, Oregon murdered his
parents and proceeded to his high school where he went on a
rampage killing two students and wounding 22 others. Kinkel
had been prescribed both Prozac and Ritalin.
7. On April 16th, 1999,
15-year-old Shawn Cooper of Notus, Idaho took a 12-guage shot
gun to school and started firing, injuring one student and
holding the school hostage for about 20 minutes. Terrified
students ran for their lives, some barricading themselves in
classrooms. Cooper had been taking Ritalin when he fired the
8. The incident in Idaho did
not make the national press (no one, thank God, was killed).
But all that changed four days later when 18-year-old Eric
Harris killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High
School before killing himself. Harris was on one of the SSRI
anti-depressants called Luvox.
9. One month later to the day,
on May 20th of this year TJ Solomon, a 15-year-old high school
student in Conyers, Georgia, while on Ritalin opened fire on
and wounded six of his classmates. Thankfully, none were
10. Then there's 14-year-old
Rod Mathews who had been prescribed Ritalin since the third
grade and beat a classmate to death with a bat.
And 19-year-old James Wilson
who had been on psychiatric drugs for 5 years and took a .22
caliber revolver into an elementary school in Greenwood, South
Carolina killing two young girls, and wounding seven other
children and two teachers!
I could go on, but hopefully
the message is clear - these drugs drive some who take them to
acts of violence and murder and are THE common denominator to
these killings. Just as in the 60s when Thalidomide (another
psychotropic drug) created grotesque physical deformities in
some of the babies born to the women who took it, so too do
these "modern" psychiatric drugs deform and twist
the minds of some who take them. They don't call them mind
altering without reason.
Moreover, it is not as if
psychiatrists don't know. The scientific research documenting
the connection between violence and suicide and these toxic
substances is overwhelming and long-standing ever since the
1960s. The Citizens Commission on Human Rights has recently
issued a report documenting 22 such studies from some of the
most prestigious universities in the world, including Harvard,
Yale, Columbia, the State University of New York and UCLA.
Time does not permit a referencing of each and every one of
these studies and we have made copies of our report available
to the members of the
Committee. I will, however, review just a bit of the
information for you.
First, as stated earlier, even
the manufacturer of Ritalin warns of "frank psychotic
episodes" with abuse.
Ritilan's use and abuse was the
subject of a 30-page report by the DEA in 1995 entitled "Methyphenidate",
which is the generic term for Ritalin. That report stated in
part: "Of particular concern is that most of the ADHD
literature prepared for public consumption by CHADD (this is
an ADHD adv
ocacy group) and other groups
and available to parents, does not address the abuse potential
or actual abuse of methylphenidate. Instead, methylphenidate
(usually referred to as Ritalin by these groups) is routinely
portrayed as a benign, mild substance that is not associated
with abuse or serious side effects. In reality, however, there
is an abundance of scientific literature which indicates that
methylphenidate shares the same abuse potential as other
Schedule II stimulants (morphine, opium and cocaine -ed.).
Case reports document that methylphenidate abuse '...can lead
to tolerance and severe psychological dependence.'"
"These reports and
scientific studies of abuse potential are routinely
downplayed, if referenced at all. As a consequence, parents of
children and adult patients are not being provided with the
opportunity for informed consent . . ."
In short, ladies and gentlemen,
this drug is addictive.
Secondly, as also mentioned
previously, testing revealed that Eric Harris, one of the dead
suspects in the Columbine, Colorado incident, had therapeutic
levels of the anti-depressant Luvox in his blood.
The following is from an ABC
news report that cited an article from the American Journal of
Psychiatry. "Luvox is the trade name for fluvoxamine,
which research shows can "induce mania . . . ."
One symptom of mania is,
"aggressive behavior" Moreover, a psychiatric drug
expert stated that according to Solvay, the manufacturer of
". . . 4% of children and
youth taking Luvox developed mania during short-term
controlled clinical trials. Mania is a psychosis which can
produce bizarre, grandiose, highly elaborated destructive
plans, including mass murder..."
Prozac is mentioned in some of
the incidents above. Here is some information about what that
drug can do. A. In February of 1990, Dr. Martin Teicher, a
Harvard psychiatrist, reported in The American Journal of
Psychiatry that six patients who were depressed - but not
suicidal - had developed intense,
violent, suicidal pre-occupation within weeks of taking Prozac
(emphasis added). Subsequent letters from doctors published in
The American Journal of Psychiatry and The New England Journal
of Medicine reported similar findings. The report published in
The New England Journal of Medicine noted
that the patients had not been suicidal before taking the drug
and that their suicidal thoughts ended abruptly upon ceasing
B. In 1995, nine Australian
psychiatrists urged that SSRIs (drugs like Prozac and Luvox)
be sold with a warning after patients had slashed themselves
or became preoccupied with violence while taking them. The
self destructive harm started after the treatment began or
doses were increased and eased or ceased when the drugs were
I could go on, but again, I
hope the message is clear: psychiatric drugs are the cause of
violence and suicide and are THE common denominator in the
killings and acts of senseless violence occurring in our
What then, you may ask, do you
do for ADHD? Despite public relations efforts by the
psychiatric industry to the contrary, there is no biologic,
organic or scientific basis for attention deficit disorder,
with or without "hyperactivity." This is simply a
psychiatric label that was voted into existence as a mental
disorder by a show of hands at a meeting of the American
Psychiatric Association. But even the APA admits in its DSM
that there are "...no laboratory tests that have been
established as diagnostic" for "Attention
Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder." And a prestigious panel
convened by the National Institute of Health just last
November was unable to validate it as a disease.
There is, however, a great deal
of scientific research which documents the adverse physical
and mental effects when some children are exposed to harmful
or toxic substances and which can manifest as behavior
symptomatic of so-called ADHD.
The pioneering work in this
regard was done by the distinguished pediatric allergist, Dr.
Ben Feingold. Feingold found that food additives were
responsible for a significant percentage of the hyperactivity
he had seen in his practice.
Moreover, he found that a
substantial number of hyperactive children improved
dramatically when they stopped eating foods that contained
artificial colorings, flavors and certain preservatives.
Additionally, Feingold found
"For children who happen
to be especially sensitive, the three most troublesome
chemicals are synthetic food dyes, artificial flavorings and
preservatives can cause a host of physical, emotional and
mental reactions and lead to being diagnosed as
In this regard, the British
Medical Journal, Lancet, published a very well designed study
in 1985 which found that:
"...79 percent of
hyperactive children improved when suspect foods were
eliminated from their diets, only to become worse again when
the foods were reintroduced. Artificial colorings and
flavorings were the most serious culprits; sugar was also
found to have a noticeable effect."
Another excellent study based
on the Fiengold diet involved 276 youths at a detention
facility in Virginia who were put on the diet for two years.
The results? Insubordination
dropped 55 percent, theft decreased 77 percent, and
hyperactivity fell 65 percent. The most remarkable study of
the diet was conducted over a four-year-period on a million
school children in 803 public schools in New York City. The
schools eliminated foods containing artificial flavors, colors
and preservatives from the school cafeterias and also reduced
the amount of sugar that was available. The results were
In short, New York City Public
Schools raised their mean national academic performance
percentile rating from 39.2 percent to 54.9 percent with the
gains occurring in the first, second and fourth years
(precisely when the dietary improvements were made)."
This was the largest such gain
ever recorded in any metropolitan school district. The report
added: "In 1979 (before the dietary changes), 12.4
percent of the one million student sample were performing two
or more grades below the proper level. Yet, by the end of the
1983 year, the rate had dropped to 4.9%. All gains were
verified to have corresponded exactly with the dietary
Children do not need
psychiatric labels or drugs. Yes, sometimes they need good
positive discipline. They need love, care and compassion. They
need standard, workable, academic-based education. And, as I
have already shown, they need good nutrition.
Let me conclude my remarks by
reading from an article 14-year-old Matt Schervel wrote for
his middle school newspaper in Bethesda, Maryland when he was
in the 8th grade.
"Schools don't like
extremists who like to think and question. They are dreamers.
That doesn't mean that they are wrong. They just don't fit the
norm, so they are labeled and damned, labeled as A.D.D.
(Attention Deficit Disorder). So the doctors dope us up with
Ritalin and control our minds with low doses of speed. The
teachers pay us no mind until our minds are under control. It
screws up our train of thought and makes us one-dimensional.
We get headaches and almost depressed getting on and off it.
It takes away extra imagination and flow of mind, hence
destroying the true, purest ideas of my mind. I can't think
right, and for six hours of the day, I'm not me. I'm what the
system would like me to be.
The schools should shape our
education around our idiosyncratic minds, our quaint minds,
our quirky minds, our crackpot minds, our curious minds. Where
would we be without eccentric people? We need them. The system
should not shape our minds with dope and low doses of speed;
the system should be shaped around us.
Ritalin does not help me learn;
it simply lowers my mind down between the selected lines in
which we are taught. Who's going to get further in life, the
schmo with the same textbook answers and ideas, or the "A.D.D.
kid" who can offer ideas that have never been thought of
or a new perspective on something?
I truly look forward to the day
when Ritalin isn't an answer. To the day when every student is
labeled 'learner.'" It is a travesty that we are drugging
these kids ladies and gentlemen. Education in this country was
a source of pride and progress until we started labeling and
drugging our students. It can be again, We spend billions
fighting a war against illegal drugs, let's at least win part
of that war and kick the "legal" cocaine out of the
We at CCHR strongly urge that:
· The DSM section regarding
ADD/ADHD be banned from use in Pennsylvania's schools.
· That legislation be passed
that calls for a full and complete physical examination by a
non-psychiatric medical doctor to identify the underlining
medical cause of any child labeled as ADD/ADHD.
· That legislation be passed
holding the psychiatrist responsible for the deaths or
injuries caused by any child prescribed a mind altering drug
when available scientific literature shows a connection
between such a drug and acts of violence murder or suicide.
Bruce Wiseman President CCHR US
Lawrence D. Miller, M.D.
"Running on Ritalin."
Physician's Desk Reference PDR
52 Edition 1998 p. 1897
Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition DES-IV. Published by
the American Psychiatric Association Washington D.C., pgs
Kate Muldoon, "Shooting
spurs debate on Prozac's use by kids," The Oregonian 1
Summary done of FDA's Adverse
Drug Reaction Reports for Prozac, 1988-1992, obtained through
Freedom of Information Act by CCHR
Nora Zamichow, "The
Fractured Life of Jeremy," Los Angeles Times Special
Reports, July 19, 1998
Devvy Kidd, "We Are
Columbine" July, 1999
Kelly O'Meara, Insight,
"Guns and Doses", June 28, 1999
"Parents find clue to why
their son killed", The Patriot Ledger, Sept. 19, 1987;
"15-year-old sentenced to
life for killing classmate for kicks," Times Picayune,
March 11, 1988
Gunman Kills Girl, Wounds 10 at
School," Los Angeles Times, Sept. 27, 1988;
School shooting probe
continues, " The Newton Kansan, Sept. 27, 1988
"Psychiatric Drugs Create
Killer," Freedom, November/December 1988
"Methylphenidate" (A Background paper) October 1995,
Drug and Chemical Evaluation Section Office of Diversion
Control, p.4 Goddard's Journal
"Eric Harris was taking
Luvox (a Prozac-like drug) at the time of the Littleton
murders" by Peter R. Breggin, M.D.; Physician's Desk
Reference 1998 "Precautions" p. 2892
Martin H. Teicher, et. al.,
"Emergence of Intense Suicidal Preoccupation During
Fluoxetinve Treatment, The American Journal of Psychiatry,
Vol. 147, No. 2 (February 1990)
Prakash Masand, et. al.,
"Suicidal Ideation Related to Fluoxetine Treatment"
The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol 324, No. 6 (February
David Grounds, Andrew Stockey,
Peter Evans Colin Scott, Rowan McIntosh, Estelle Morrison,
Harry Durham, Rick Yeatman, Peter Farnbach,
"Antidepressants and Side Effects," Australian and
New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 29, No. 1, (April,
1995), pp.156- 57
Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition, Washington D.C.
American Psychiatric Association, 1994
John Robbins, Reclaiming Our
Health, Copyright 1996, p.170 Ibid. p. 171
Ibid. p. 171
Ibid. p. 172
Ibid. p. 173