No. 1 - May 2003

René Talbot / Germany

breaking new

On the 21st of October 2002 a new organization, IAAPA was founded in Basel, Switzerland according to the Swiss law for associations. Today this law constitutes a traditional value of Swiss society unrivalled in other countries: that citizens rule the state. Nowadays, especially with psychiatric coercion, the opposite experience--state ruling citizen--predominates. But in Switzerland the idea of the free association of the free members of society is recognized in law, which requires only written statutes accepted by an assembly, documented by written and signed minutes to form the legal body of an organization and e.g. having a bank account etc. Only a minimum of two person are necessary for such a procedure, no notary, no state registration, no fees, nothing else. Indeed, the political parties which control and guide the state authority are formed in Switzerland in the same way!

This legal framework was the necessary precondition to build an international democratic organization which expresses its aims also in its form: to completely abolish ALL coercive psychiatric measures and promote the fundamental human rights of self-determination, liberty, and human dignity. Therefore the association is a Human Rights organization and aims to cooperate as an NGO (Non Governmental Organization) closely with the Human Rights section of the United Nations.


The IAAPA's Mission:
To understand the aim of IAAPA, it is necessary to understand the underlying structure of our present scientific view of the world, with its roots in the enlightenment and the decline in the moral and intellectual authority of the orthodox Christian churches produced by their inquisitorial persecution. However, despite the eclipse of a theological rationale--"love thy neighbor", control his thinking--for limiting individual autonomy, new, intellectually modernized rationales for limiting individual freedom would arise. Thomas Szasz described this crucial link very well in his book: "The Theology of Medicine":
"As we saw earlier, justice may, in its most basic sense, be readily defined as the fulfilment of contracts or expectations. Contracts, moreover, consists of performances and counter performances -- that is, of overt acts. They thus differ from intentions, sentiments or states of mind - which are private experiences. Accordingly, justice is open to public inspection, scrutiny, and judgment, whereas love is closed to such examination and evaluation. Hence, the claim that one is acting justly is a plea for the support of the good opinion of others, whereas the claim that one is acting lovingly leaves no room for the judgment of others and its zeal brooks no opposition. In short, although love appeals to the ideal of consideration for the need of others, and justice appeals to the ideal of consideration for agreed-upon rules, in actual practice just actions afford more protection for the self-defined interests of others than do loving actions."*

So overall, the "love your neighbour" rule proves only to be a superior means of oppression by authority. The next step in the radicalisation of this path was the Protestant concept that morality - and God - is in the consciousness of each person. So morality is NO longer a social (and therefore political) system of values expressed in behaviour and communicated in the language developed by society, but individualized. In this concept, the mind of a person was located in and reduced to his head, later reduced to his brain. Along with this new set of conditions, the system created a division of the mind in cognition permitted in objectifying science, declared as truth and, on the other hand the condemned dissident delusions, hallucinations etc. declared as irrational. This new church of science was a prolific producer of rationalizations for capitalism, the protestant work ethic AND - in a negative dialectic meaning - even more productive of the instruments of destruction: the production of weapons of war.

The insufficiency and limited individual sovereignty this theory of cognition recognized is obvious in the violence used against dissidents incarcerated in asylums. In this concept, rationality became the measure for being recognized as a human being. Others were branded as subhuman. We know the abyss of this concept: T4 and Auschwitz.

Under the influence of this catastrophe, the human family awoke for a moment out of the nightmare of rationality and created the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Probably they never thought that this declaration, having been realized, would wash away the concept of a subhuman created by the medical slander "mental illness".

Unfortunately the nightmare of rationality continued to rule, resulting in Resolution 46/119 of the UN General Assembly of December 17, 1991 again officially denouncing a part of the human family as subhuman by calling them "mentally ill". So the mission of IAAPA seems to be nearly impossible, as the united states of the world stand against us, and we have only one tool at hand for our political struggle: the proper use of language. We will have to insist on the validity of the UN Human Rights Declaration, which is a universal declaration with explicit rights to freedom of thought, freedom from torture, for everybody. Of course our aim requires all kinds of actions which could be considered to be helpful the statutes of IAAPA should therefore offer support.

IAAPA, the legal entity:
Luckily, the UN has also discovered its problem with the governments representing their states: they regularly and simply lie. So the UN created within itself a kind of opposition to the governing forces of the states: the UN accredited NGOs. As explained before, the psychiatrically oppressed people have the state power against them everywhere, so of course we should not have any ties to national states and can cooperate naturally on an international level. But the resultant travel expenses are the prime problem. The interests of rich people of course regularly allow for worldwide meetings, but typically psychiatrically oppressed people are poor. Poverty is the reason why they could be more easily persecuted. Or they were reduced to poverty by the files with psychiatric slander which follow them through life, which are accessible to different sources of power, and/or the corruption in their custody.

So we nevertheless had to be inventive and found the internet as a means of communication, with minimal costs, since an internet café can now be found in almost every city. The difficulty we had to cope with was the use of media transmitted communication instead of meeting in person in an assembly room. The pivotal point was to prove the veracity of the voting. We had to exclude secret ballots in the statutes for the benefit of allowing everybody to check the voting logs and complain if his/her vote was falsified or not counted at all. To have no secret voting is the biggest disadvantage, because it prevents someone from losing face in representative elections when the losers could see who stood against them. So the association is automatically very transparent to all its members. The disadvantage of not meeting personally we hope to overcome by encouraging all members to visit each other or make regional meetings and enjoy the travelling as tourism.

Also we had to accept the disadvantage that state institutions could easily gain access to our internet communications. But as a political group, everybody knows that the really discrete communications would have to be organized without the internet or at least with encrypted communication.

But we were nevertheless able to create a worldwide operational political association with regular democratic general assemblies about 9 times a year via our own internet chat room. With a voting machine, which immediately displays the results, integrated into the chat-room, we now have a perfect working platform for our work. For a fraction of the cost of any international meeting (the cost of the flight for one person covers our communication costs for several years) we have organized democratic legitimacy within an internationally operational NGO - a truly revolutionary concept using modern technology. People from poor countries, as well as poor people from rich countries, can join the IAAPA and speak for themselves without the need to rely on representatives who always have a tendency to get corrupted by the benefits of their endowed privileges. Up until the end of April 2003 we had 6 General Assemblies including one face to face meeting for our founding in Basel - and we can proudly say: "It works!"

IAAPA, activities:
Despite its brief existence, IAAPA already has members in Algeria, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Israel, Norway, Russia, Switzerland and the USA. To broaden our membership we plan to cooperate with a computer producer to sponsor the hardware for the first member of IAAPA from a new country. Our secretariat is operational and you have the first issue of our magazine in your hands. Our webmaster, Hagai Aviel, was able to start an international claims list with the names of 30.076 murdered victims of German doctor-Nazis. This claims list is the start of a campaign for compensation for the harm and suffering inflicted by psychiatrists on its victims. We have decided to support the designation of May 2nd as the international day of remembrance, first of the crimes committed by the medical mass murderers in Germany from 1939-1948, and second, of the resistance against coercive psychiatry today.

Footnote: Thomas Szasz, The Theology of Medicine, Syracuse University Press [1977] go back to text

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