Seth Farber criticizes psychology from the angle that it is a false religion and Christianity is the best source of counseling. At his website -- www.SethFarber.com -- I got some of the information below. Some of the rest I got from searching the web. "Seth Farber, Ph.D. is a well known psychologist and opponent of the mental health system. He was reaised in a secular Jewish home in New York City and converted to Christianity in 1991. Dr. Farber was chrismated into the Orthodox Church in 1994." "Seth Farber, Ph.D., was for sixteen years a practicing psychotherapist. He received his doctorate in psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in 1984 and established the Network Against Coercive Psychiatry in 1988. Farber is the author of Madness, Heresy and the Rumor of Angels and a public speaker who has appeared on William F. Buckley's Firing Line and other television programs."
Unholy Madness : The Church's Surrender to Psychiatry
Only a religion of plenitude can save the mentally ill, May 7, 1999 Reviewer: firstname.lastname@example.org from Bellmore, New York, USA Farber reveals how western religion and modern psychiatric thought are based on notions of human insufficiency and inadequacy. As a result both deny the mentally ill the dignity and sanctuary they need to find the spiritual fulfillment and meaning they seek. Farber also argues that the source of mental illness lies in the spiritual impoverishment of our modern age. Well written, interstingly argued and important. Of interest to the spritually hungry of any religion or none at all.
From the Publisher
Social critics such as Philip Rieff and Christopher Lasch have frequently bemoaned the "triumph of the therapeutic" in our current "culture of narcissism." But most Christians have made some kind of peace with the reigning power of psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic outlooks.. "Seth Farber is not one of those Christians. It is his conviction that Christianity and psychiatry are nothing less than competing faiths. Dr. Farber challenges the church to consider how it has neglected its responsibilities in its accommodation to the mental health system. Taking on giants from Augustine to Freud, this book is not likely to persuade all its readers. But none will see these issues in the same way again.
"An important book." Thomas Szasz, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, State University of New York Health Science Center; author ofThe Myth of Mental Illness
Social critics such as Philip Rieff and Christopher Lasch have frequently bemoaned the "triumph of the therapeutic" in our current "cuture of narcissism." But most Christians have made some kind of peace with the reigning power of psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic outlooks.
Seth Farber is not one of those Christians. It is his conviction that Christianity and psychiatry are nothing less than competing faiths. Dr. Farber challenges the church to consider how it has neglected its responsibilities in its accommodation to the mental health system. Taking on giants from Augustine to Freud, this book is not likely to persuade all its readers. But none will see these issues in the same way again.
"Those who are concerned with the gospel of Christ and upholding Christian orthodoxy would do well to read Unholy Madness .... A ringing indictment of the mental health profession and the psychiatric model of health that both permeates secular culture and has entrapped Christian thought and action." James G. Williams, Emeritus Professor of Religion, Syracuse University; author of The Bible, Violence and the Sacred and editor of The Girard Reader
"Modern psychiatry with its emphasis on biological causes and drug cures has become a materialistic substitute for genuinely encountering life. Farber has written an astonishing, enlightening examination of the fundamental conflict between Christian ideals and modern psychiatry." Peter R. Breggin, M.D., psychiatrist, author of Talking Back to Ritalin and Talking Back to Prozac
"Expands...the Anabaptist critique of church and culture to include the church's capitulation to secular psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. Farber correctly identifies this as another aspect of the 'Constantinian' compromise....This is a first, an unusual and stimulating book." C. Norman Kraus, Emeritus Professor of Religion, Goshen College; author of An Intrusive Gospel?
"Passionate and provocative - these are hallmarks of Farber's important arguments for sustaining the rich and transformative potential of spirituality against the ravages of the mental health industry." Kenneth Gergen, Professor of Psychiatry, Swarthmore College; author of The Saturated Self
From Unholy Madness by Seth Farber
I have no doubt that if Jesus were to return and be examined by a panel of psychiatrists or psychologists, they would determine unanimously that he suffered from a severe mental illness. Within their own limited frame of reference there is no other way of making sense of Jesus' metaphysical understanding and claims about himself and the world. Thus the choice before us is clear: either we judge Christ by the standards of the mental health system or the mental health system by the standards of Christ. If we choose the latter course, the mental health system stands condemned....(p.138)
Psychiatrists diagnose Jesus: Everything we know about him conforms so perfectly to the clinical picture of paranoia that it is hardly conceivable that people can even question the diagnosis. William Hirsch, M.D., in Conclusions of a Psychiatrist, 1912.
Jesus Christ might simply have returned to his carpentry following the use of modern psychiatric treatments. William Sargant, M.D., quoted in The Times (English), August 22, 1974, p.14.
St. Paul: Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a 'fool' so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. 1 Corinthians 3:18-9.
Table of Contents
1 The Religion of Psychiatry 17
2 Psychiatry's Invasion of Family & Community Life 36
3 The Christian Revolution & Its Legacy 56 4 The Challenge to the Church: Overcoming Constantinianism 80 5 The Western Shame-and-Guilt Culture & the Myth of Mental Illness 92 6 The Church as Counterculture 106 7 The Mental Patient as Exile & as Christian Initiate 115 8 The Restoration of the Authority of the Church 133 Notes 143 Indexes
Madness, Heresy, and the Rumor of Angels : The Revolt Against the Mental Health System
by Seth Farber, Thomas Szasz
He argues against both the psychoanalytic and the biochemical imbalance models of mental illness, maintaining that the 'so-called epidemic of mental illness is a self-fulfilling prophecy created by institutional mental health Seth Farber's book tells us of seven nightmares, in which people who are unhappy for good reasons are declared lunatics for being unhappy and are locked up and given drugs which destroy their ability to solve their problems. Kurt Vonnegut
From Todd Lencz - National Review
In this relentless book, Seth Farber argues that psychiatrists are no less than totalitarian jailers, social enforcers charged with the duty of incarcerating nonconformists. . . . With his critique of the mental-health system, hemight have served as a gadfly, defending individual liberty and questioning society's unswerving faith in 'science.' He does this, but can't stop himself from going too far. Farber is a revolutionary, it turns out, and rejects a more balanced, comprehensive assessment. . . . In his eagerness to condemn, he misses the opportunity to engage in a more rigorous debate, for example on the failure of deinstitutionalization.
Some people see visions, express disturbing views, in a disturbing way, believe that they have intimations of a spiritual reality, are confused or unhappy, talk too much, and annoy their relatives. Are these people medically sick, and if so, is the appropriate treatment to imprison them, demean them, and disable them with stupefying drugs and electrically-induced brain damage? Seth Farber doesn't this so. He has collected seven 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, 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 ECONOMU University of Oklahoma
Table of Contents Foreword Preface Introduction 1 Pt. I Lunatics, Lovers, and Poets Pt. II Heretics, Apostates, and Infidels 9 Critics of the Concept of Mental Illness 117 10 Rejecting 'Mental Illness': An Interview with James Mancuso 137 11 Psychiatry and Social Control: An Interview with Ron Leifer 141 12 Getting Off Psychiatric Drugs: An Interview with Ron Leifer 160 Pt. III In Revolt Against the System 13 To Break the Silence: George Ebert Speaks 187 14 From Victim to Revolutionary: An Interview with Leonard Frank 190 Appendix 1: Required Reading for Revolters 241 Appendix 2: Why Deinstitutionalization Failed 245 Appendix 3: The Network Against Coercive Psychiatry 257 Index
The Christian Alternative to Secularism and Psychology
Argues that psychology is a rival of Christianity · Presents positive arguments to enable readers to realize that the Christian faith and community are more powerful tools for healing and transformation than the mental health system. · Examines the philosophical perspective that is often presented as "Christian," but which is in fact a heresy derived from Augustine that presents the human race as hopelessly fallen and having lost its capacity for free will. Shows that the Western theologians Augustine, Luther, and Calvin opened the door to the dehumanized atheism of Freud. Farber argues that Christians must reject the determinism of the West and return to the fullness of the faith found...in the Orthodox Church.
"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, 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 ECONOMU
University of Oklahoma