When Kate and William went to their doctor to ask about a medical exemption for him following the brain haemorrhage he had had two days after his second vaccination (See Thinking Fast and Slow), Kate was bewildered at a disconnect between her and the doctor in the room with them, a doctor she normally thought well of.
Unlike their usual consultations, it seemed to her there were Strangers in the Room.
Saying this, she turned on a light – for me.
Shortly after ‘psychotherapy’ began, it was transformed by Freud into psychoanalysis. Freud had encountered a woman in his room one day. Frightened by her he shrank back. Trying to manage the shock, he created a system that meant that people who went to a Freudian therapist ended up with strangers in the room dictating what counted and what didn’t. Telling us what the things we said really meant.
Because Freud was frightened by encounters, to this day when we seek therapy, we can rarely encounter the person, behind the mask, the person supposedly there to help. This is doubly the case if we’ve been harmed by drugs – no therapist will dare reach out and put a hand in, on or near our wound –Footprint in the Sand – (See also Little Red Stethoscope).
You could mention sexual abuse to an analyst, but the mask didn’t listen. He knew you were talking about fantasies not realities.
It was the same when we brought our stories of sexual abuse to priests, rabbis, imams and other ‘religious’ figures. Religious in this context means giving a primacy to keeping the herd together over any concern for the ‘soul’ of the child or woman coming for help. Religion in this sense has meant insisting on the one hand that the soul enters the body at the moment of conception, while denying on the other that women or children have souls.
Religion leaves Jorge Mario Bergoglio telling the faithful you must believe not just us but believe in us, but how can we believe you without proof. You are rarely alone in a room with a religious person if you talk about what has happened to you – and God is not the other person in the room.
This happens when we have been harmed by a drug or vaccine. It is what happened to Dave in Sanctuary Trauma and M in The Invisible Doctor. It happens to people who are harmed by a drug, unless the drug is ancient and well known for causing this problem so that the doctor would look stupid if s/he didn’t agree the drug had caused it.
Even people with something as blindingly obvious as psychotropic drug withdrawal, which we’ve known about for a century, are met with a disconnect. All of a sudden, the conversation stops happening and the problem is relocated into the person who has been harmed.
You end up, as M said, feeling sinful or criminal. You end up confused. You know you are right, but the White Coat starts acting like s/he is certain s/he knows what is going on and what s/he thinks is not what you think.
The experience is one of not being believed. Our doctors need to be asked – Exactly why do you not believe me? Tell me – I’m not going away until you tell me.
This is particularly the case with newish drugs, or vaccines, which present new problems that doctors have zero training on and less motivation to get to grips with than we have.
Sure, a few people who go to doctors are trying to game the system, but most of us aren’t. Most of us are in trouble and need input from someone we think might be able to help. Genuine input. Input from a healer rather than a policeman.
The Police in the Room
Opiates and cocaine were made prescription-only in 1914. This made doctors part of a police apparatus. This first step in co-opting doctors to a corporate system was extended to most drugs in 1951.
Even when a doctor is genuine, we feel, although we often can’t quite articulate it, the presence of others in the room.
The contrast between our situation and the doctor’s is striking. If s/he needs a steroid ointment to clear his/her skin, an SSRI to manage his premature ejaculation, a pill to eliminate her pregnancy, a liquid formulation of a drug to help manage withdrawal, s/he doesn’t first have to reveal to someone else that s/he is a failed human being.
We often do need someone to think with us about whether something is the right way forward, but we shouldn’t have to put up with a morally self-righteous whippersnapper able to dictate to us how to live our lives, because obeying them is the only way to get the drugs we think we might need.
The system exhorts doctors to give us person centred care, but the only people doctors give person-centred care to is themselves. Thinking they are good people because they have seen so much suffering, they can’t even begin to grasp how much damage they do. Rather than helping us to live the lives we want to live, they increasingly get us to live the lives Pfizer want us to live.
Who else is in the Room
17 is too many © Nina Otulakowski April 2022
Kate sensed there were other people in the room. Let’s take a look at who they might have been.
There were certainly public health officials, like Kieran Moore in Ontario, and politicians like Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, who write the mandates for vaccines and make medical exemptions close to impossible to get. How do they get in? They threaten your doctor with loss of a job for even thinking about writing an exemption or even mentioning in public that exemptions might be appropriate in certain circumstances.
In Thinking Fast and Slow, I said Michelle Mello supports medical exemptions. This is fine if exemptions can be got but with the vaccines they are impossible to get as William and Kate found out. Given this, mentioning exemptions is a cheap get out of jail card for lawyers and ethicists.
There are Medical Registration Boards that regularly press release threats to have doctors struck off if they mention that vaccines can cause harms. With threats like this, most doctors end up unable to hear or see the harms we bring to them. They find incredible other ways to explain these away, primarily blaming us or our bodies in some way – souring the relationship for all time.
There are editors of medical journals like Eric Rubin, the Boston Strangler, whose journals connive in writing the harms of vaccines and drugs out of the script. This happens partly because these editors neither practice clinically nor understand clinical trials.
Once upon a time it looked to me like it would be a better bet if our clinical trials were published in the New York Times rather than the New England Journal of Misinformation because the NYT was more concerned to check out the integrity of their sources than the NEJM, who for several decades have had no interest in doing so. But when it comes to healthcare, this is no longer the case. NYT, Facebook, mainstream and social media, all brand any mention of harms as blasphemy.
There are the doctors running clinical trials who rather than check out a new serious looking problem on a drug or vaccine, when it happens in the trial, seem happy to consign any patient, who might get in the way of a good business outcome, to swim with the Fishes in the Rio de la Plata.
There are lots of others in the room too. Back in the 1960s, bioethicists appeared – with vague hints they might turn up at our bedsides. The idea was that they were there to support us in taking on the medical machine, for which our doctor provided the human face. But bioethicists have been co-opted and now close to universally believe we should have little or no space or time to find our own way through some pretty complex issues – bioethicists are even developing algorithms now to tell us what our ‘choices’ are.
The same has happened to the advocates and later peer supporters, which health services put in place when bioethicists began cozying up to doctors and deserted us. But they too have been co-opted. The advocates and peer-supporters after all need to be trained to distinguish genuine information from misinformation, to make sure that we realize that the guidelines contain the best information about what is good for us. Letting them take our side is a contradiction in terms.
There are the writers of Guidelines that are based on ghost-written fictions with no-one able to tell what if any correspondence there is between these fictions and the people whose lives were damaged or destroyed in their making. See The NICE before Xmas.
These all weigh heavily on your doctor, who has a Tiananmen Square moment if s/he thinks about taking our side.
The idea of having strangers in the room sounds a bit spooky but surely nothing more than that. The strangers see themselves as good people trying to do the best for us. The doctors they remove from encountering us see them as good people. In most countries they are honored with honorifics and money.
But they are not benign. Their core message is don’t think. We do the thinking for you.
They are unable to appreciate the violence they inflict. Ask the people who have been sexually abused if decades of Popes and psychoanalysts have been violent to them, have compounded the problem, have inflicted sanctuary trauma on them.
The violence in Axseli Gallen’s The Defense of the Sampo above likely seems totally out of place for the calm of a doctor’s office. The wife of the man who commissioned the painting refused to let it into their house.
The story behind the Sampo is that we produce the song, the science, the saving benefits, often through our suffering, but the forces of evil steal the fruits of human cooperation away and if we try to reclaim what is ours these forces will fight bitterly to hang onto what they have stolen, even to the point of mutually assured destruction.
There is a very brief 21st century version of this part of the Kalevala myth in The Medicine Maker.
In the image it looks like we who are wielding the sword are being violent, but the originating violence invariably comes from above. We however get blamed – see Black Robe, White Coat, next week.
If you start feeling violent or angry in a doctor’s office, you are likely in the presence of strangers and should listen to your feelings, even though you risk more than being blamed for feeling this way – you risk being diagnosed (See Being Black).
In Shipwreck of the Singular you are put in Crusoe mode, finding a doctor stewing in a pot, bound in regulations. You are asked should you save her. Asked – is it worth trying to save Doc Friday rather than is it possible?
Caught in a Dream
We have ended up in a fictional world. Health is the place where the fiction is most apparent – except most people, and all doctors, treat the fictions as reality. Our perceptions (fantasies) of what is going on are dismissed as inconsistent with ‘reality’ (the fictions). This is Freud or any Ideology writ large.
For most of us growing up, our private fantasies came up against a reality principle that was the world in which we lived. Maturing though does not mean getting to a point where we conform to ‘reality’. It means realizing we (us together) are the reality principle and we have to grapple with public fantasies.
If injured, we can occasionally glimpse reality through a crack between the fictions. We are the crack.
Our job is to expand the cracks, maybe even invent reality. But we are so used to believing in ‘reality’ and that our personal idea of what is going on is likely to be wrong – that this is difficult. It’s like asking believers in a Good God to question whether they should continue to believe in him even in the midst of a War or a Holocaust. Since Job, the system has devoted a lot of time to constructing elegant reasons why you should still believe in God even though everything is going wrong.
Just as in a dream, we can’t be sure anything connects. It looks like there are people caring for us in ‘reality’ but this is part of the dream.
Every so often there are moments of Lucidity when we know we are in a dream. This is what happened Kate.
The Seventh Day
We live and die in this world on the basis of the risks we take. We can dream about being rational but as Bruno Schulz, who ended up being shot arbitrarily on a Polish street by a German soldier in 1942, put it in The Street of Crocodiles:
The six days of Creation were divine and bright. But on the seventh day God broke down. On the seventh day he felt the unknown texture under his fingers and frightened he withdrew his hands from the world. Beware the seventh day.
Maybe it’s asking a lot of a doctor not to shrink back and withdraw her hands from lepers like us, but those of us who are harmed are the crack through which the science gets in.
Science is too dry a word. Engaging with us doesn’t mean accepting everything we say – it means being present and encountering us. This rather than reading the Bibles, Korans or Guidelines is the point where a doctor, or someone else who cares, can working with us not just establish what has happened us but find meaning in life, and where together it might be possible to make a difference. See Who’s Afraid of Science.
RxISK acknowledges that the experiences of those who have been harmed by medical treatments are the cornerstone on which it is built. This cornerstone has been rejected by a set of invaders who now claim control over our healing spaces and pose a threat to our spirits and our bodies.
Two Spiral Wampum © Nina Otulakowski April 2022