The Non-violence Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi Applied to Psychiatry

The below quoted words of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 - 1948) were not written about psychiatry, but the philosophy of non-violence they express nevertheless reveal the immoral character of forced psychiatric treatment.

On psychiatry's purportedly benevolent purpose -
"Satan's successes are the greatest when he appears with the name of God on his lips" (p. 7).

On the restrictions psychiatry imposes on freedom of thought and action in modern democracies-
"Under democracy, individual liberty of opinion and action is jealously guarded" (p. 12)

On civil commitment laws -
"The rule of the majority when it becomes coercive, is as intolerable as that of a bureaucratic minority" (p. 12)

On psychiatry's suppression of the human soul with forced "hospitalization" or with brain-disabling drugs, and sometimes murder of the human soul with treatments that cause permanent brain damage, including drugs, electricity run through the brain, or psychosurgery -
"My quarrel with the medical profession in general is that it ignores the soul altogether...  Thus ignoring the soul, the profession puts men at its mercy and contributes to the diminution of human dignity and self-control [human freedom and autonomy]" (p. 13)

On the true character of nations that claim to be democracies but have laws allowing involuntary psychiatric treatment, also known as psychiatric assault -
"The States that are today nominally democratic have either to become frankly totalitarian or, if they are to become truely democratic, they must become courageously non-violent" (p. 16)

On the cruel treatment of supposedly mentally ill people in America and other Western nations that claim to be Christian -
"It is a very curious commentary on the West that although it professes Christianity, there is no Christianity or Christ in the West..."

On physicians', including psychiatrists', true motives -
"The mere title of a doctor is no criterion; a real doctor is he who is a true servant.  The doctors...slave for money.  They do not take to the profession purely from a spirit of service.  That some of them have this spirit does not contradict my statement" (p. 24)

On news media promotion of psychiatric myths such as the concept of mental illness and the supposed value of psychiatric "treatment" -
"The true function of journalism is to educate the public mind, not to stock the public mind with wanted and unwanted impressions" (p. 29)

On involuntarily imposed psychiatric treatment generally -
"No action which is not voluntary can be called moral.  ...  Non-violence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute [of animals].  ...  The machineries of Governments stand between and hide the hearts of one people from those of another.  Yet... we can see how the world is moving steadily to realize that between nation and nation, as between man and man, force has failed to solve problems" (pages 39, 41, & 47)

The quotations are taken from Mahatma - A Golden Treasury of Wisdom - Thoughts & Glimpses of Life, compiled, edited, and published by Sri. Meghshyam T. Ajgaonkar, Bombay, India - 1995).


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