specifically human feature of human groupings can be exploited to
turn them into the semblance of non-human systems. ....All those
people who seek to control the behaviour of large numbers of
other people work on the experiences of those other people. Once
people can be induced to experience a situation in a similar way,
they can be expected to behave in similar ways. Induce people all
to want the same thing, hate the same things, feel the same threat, then their behaviour is already captive - you have
acquired your consumers or your cannon-fodder. Induce a common
perception of Negroes as subhuman, or the Whites as vicious and effete, and behaviour can be concerted
inertia of human groups, however, which appear as the very
negation of praxis, is in fact the product of praxis and nothing
else. This group inertia can only be an instrument of
mystification if it is taken to be part of the natural
order of things. The ideological abuse of such an idea is obvious. It so clearly serves the interests of those whose
interest it is to have people believe that the status quo is of
the natural order, ordained Divinely or by
natural laws. ...The group becomes a machine - and it
is forgotten that it is a man-made machine in which the machine
is the very men who make it. It is quite unlike a machine made by men, which can have an existence of its
own. The group is men
themselves arranging themselves in patterns, strata, assuming and
assigning different powers, functions, roles, rights, obligations
and so on."
Ronnie Laing - pp80-1 /
Ch.4 - The Politics of Experience. 
Ronnie Laing [1927 - 1989] - Was
Scottish and a Psychiatrist - Probably the best known radical
psychiatrist of our times, he worked as a therapist, mainly in England, in the area of human
madness, about which he wrote so decisively. He applied the notions of existential philosophy to
the actual experiencing of so-called schizophrenia,
dedicating his lifes work to attempting to unravel the
human experiences of psychosis within a humanistic understanding
in such a way as to try to re-introduce the experience of madness
back into the everyday awareness and acceptance of society by
opposing the incarceration of people elected to become the family psychotics. He formulated the view that madness was an attempt by
the person to spontaneously cure themselves of the maddening
situations in which they had to live, and that as such it was a
natural healing process which ought to be facilitated to run its
course rather than be arrested, blocked and forever suspended by
forcibly feeding psycho-pharmacological concoctions to such
people and locking them up in mental hospitals in a
process of degradation. Well known for his contributions to the
Played a great jazz
piano even when asked to desist; Creatively used some of his own
childhood experiences disguised as case-histories in
some of his books
The Need for Positive
Alternatives to Psychiatry's Brain-Damaging Approaches: Why ElectroConvulsive
'therapy' is bad for your brain - as if the term itself didn't
The Future of
Mental Health: Radical changes ahead - 3/1/97 USA Today Magazine - by Fred
Therapeutical Community Households
The PA has run therapeutic
communities sine 1965, the first being Kingsley Hall in Londonís
East End. This was set up in a context where psychiatric
treatment was relatively crude and often enforced with little
thought for the rights and dignity of the patient. The social
debate around psychiatric treatment that was sparked by the
critique put forward by R D Laing, a founding figure of PA,
and others, has wrought many changes and psychiatric practice
has changed considerably.
R.D. Laing - Creative Destroyer
[ed] Bob Mullan . Published by
Roberta Russell and R.D. Laing
. R.D. Laing & Me: Lessons in Love.
Hillgarth Press: New York.
Mary Barnes & Joe Berke
. Two Accounts of a Journey Through Madness.
Free Association Books, London.
R. D. Laing [1959 / 1965]. The
Divided Self - An Existential Study in Sanity & Madness.
R. D. Laing . Self and
Others. Pelican Books.
R. D. Laing . The Politics of
Experience & The Bird of Paradise. Penguin Books.
R. D. Laing . The Politics of
the Family [and other essays]. Pelican Books.
R. D. Laing . Knots. Penguin
R. D. Laing . The Facts of
Life. Penguin Books.
R. D. Laing . The Voice of
Experience - Experience, Science and Psychiatry. Penguin Books.
R. D. Laing & David Cooper .
Reason & Violence - A Decade of Sartreís Philosophy
1950-1960. Tavistock Publications.
R. D. Laing & A. Esterson
[1964 / 1970]. Sanity, Madness and the Family - Families of
schizophrenics. Penguin Books.
David Cooper . The Death of
the Family. Pelican Books.
David Cooper . The Grammar of
Living: An Examination of Political Acts. Pelican Books.