Seth Farber, Ph.D.

Madness, Heresy, and the Rumor of Angels:
The Revolt Against the Mental Health System

Some people see visions, express disturbing views in a disturbing way, believe that they have intimations of a spiritual reality, are confused and unhappy, talk too much, and annoy their relatives. Are these people medically sick, and if so, is the appropriate treatment to impison them,demean them, and disable them
with stupefying drugs and electrically-induced brain damage?
Dr Seth Farber does not think so. He has collected 7 true stories of individuals insulted and injured by the mental health system, individuals who then fought back, broke free, and rebuilt their lives.Madness, Heresy, and the Rumor of Angels is a work in the tradition of Thomas Szasz, R.D. Laing, and Erving Goffman, a challenge to the delusional belief-system known as psychiatry, and a protest against its appalling crimes.


"Farber is a first-rate scholar who has written an outstanding book which makes an important argument accessible to the general public. He is in a line of dissidents who have the courage to rock the boat in a profession largely reluctant to engage in the critical task of self-reflection."
--RAYMOND C. RUSS, University of Maine
Editor, The Journal of Mind and Behavior

"Every now and then a small group of individuals dares to challenge a well-entrenched presumption of the dominant culture. Madness, Heresy, and the Rumor of Angels speaks with compelling eloquence for the few who have questioned the premises and powers of those who have defined for us the nature, care, and cure of our minds."
--PROFESSOR GEORGE ECONOMOU
University of Oklahoma

"Farber's book is a passionate,pointed and powerful castigation of psychiatric 'treatment' and a heartily welcomed invitation to re-envision our conception of 'mental illness.'"
-- Dr KENNETH GERGEN
Swarthmore College

"Farber shows us there is method in madness. He not only deconstructs the idea of mental illness but he provides a reconstructive narrative account of the individual's descent into madness, her experience of the dark night of the soul, and the recreation of a new self following her spiritual death." - Dr MYCHAEL GLEESON in The Journal of Mind and Behavior,Winter, 1995.

Selected Works

Human Rights
"The psychiatric metanarrative about TIs is yet another example of the mental health professions’ historical subordination of the quest for truth to financial exigencies, and to their own social mandate to control and correct those who deviate from dominant social norms... "--Farber "We stand today on the tip of a revolution with the new knowledge of remote influencing technologies capable of manipulating the human body and human brain. ..Who will speak today on behalf of all humanity? Who will step forward to prosecute and terminate ALL non-consensual human experimentation ongoing today? "
e.g. Fiction, History, Magazine Articles, etc. goes here
This revolutionary book tells how the Mad Pride movement developed in the last ten years as the successor to the mental patients’ liberation movement. It includes a Foreword by Kate Millett and interviews with David Oaks, Sascha DuBrul (The Icarus Project), Dr Peter Stastny and Paul Levy, author of Wetiko. Drawing upon the work of theorists like Thomas Szasz, John Weir Perry and R.D. Laing Farber shows how the mad can embrace their “mad gifts” in order to help the long awaited global spiritual transition.
Nonfiction
A work in the tradition of Thomas Szasz, R.D. Laing, Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman, a challenge to the delusional belief-system known as psychiatry; and a protest against its appalling crimes. Foreword by Thomas Szasz
The contributors are among the leading American Jewish critics of Zionism and of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians: Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Marc Ellis, Adam Shapiro, Phyllis Bennis, Rabbi Weiss and 6 others.
A critique of psychoanalysis and the medical model model of psychology as a form of secularized Augustinianism. Augustinianism, with its insistence on predestination and eternal damnation, was an inversion of the original Christian teaching of human freedom to respond to infinite grace and the promise of universal salvation.
"An important book."
--Thomas Szasz, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, State University of New York Health Science Center; author of The Myth of Mental Illness
(Click on title above to read excerpt from book.)
Excerpt (slightly altered) from essay in Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry (2001, 25th Anniversary Issue) "Against Psychotherapy and Biological Psychiatry"
Articles
(Published by Free Deion Harris Association -- see article for contact information.)
Pending memoir. Non-fiction.
After years of practicing therapy,Dr Farber-- a psychologist in the tradition of his hero, radical psychiatrist R.D. Laing-- concludes that mental illness is a myth and that "schizophrenics," although often troubled, are the vanguard of a cultural revolution. Farber falls in love with Carla, and a few years later with Lily, both "schizophrenics." (Neither were patients of his.) These two crazy women are so intelligent and charismatic that their personalities burst through the stereotype of "mental illness." Farber talks to crazy people in their own language. Psychiatrists call it "schizophrenese" but Farber calls it the language of dreams, of poetry, of magic. Farber's dogged romantic persistence makes us wonder whether he is a brilliant visionary or a crackpot himself--or both. This is an inspiring story, profound in its implications--it is an affirmation of a vision of life beyond the dichotomies of sanity and insanity as we know them.
Human Rights Movement
Network Against Coercive Psychiatry is an organization comprised of psychotherapists (including psychiatrists), survivors of psychiatric incarceration (commonly known as "mental patients"), scholars and other concerned citizens.

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