Why So Many Americans Today Are
of The Marketing of Evil
By David Kupelian
I was lying in my bed that night, I couldn’t sleep because
the voice in my head kept echoing through my mind telling me to
Those are the words of 12-year-old Christopher Pittman, struggling
to explain why he murdered his grandparents, who had provided the
only love and stability in his turbulent life. He was angry with
his grandfather, who had disciplined him earlier that day for hurting
another student during a fight on the school bus. So later that
night, he shot both of his grandparents in the head with a .410
shotgun as they slept and then burned down their South Carolina
home, where he had lived with them.
“I got up, got the gun, and I went upstairs and I pulled the
trigger,” he recalled. “Through the whole thing, it
was like watching your favorite TV show. You know what is going
to happen, but you can’t do anything to stop it.”
His lawyers would later argue the boy had been a victim of “involuntary
intoxication,” since Pittman's doctors had him taking the
antidepressants Paxil and Zoloft just prior to the murders.
Paxil’s known “adverse drug reactions” –
according to the drug’s 2001 FDA-approved label – include
“mania,” “insomnia,” “anxiety,”
“agitation,” “confusion,” “amnesia,”
“depression,” “paranoid reaction,” “psychosis,”
“hostility,” “delirium,” “hallucinations,”
“abnormal thinking,” “depersonalization”
and “lack of emotion,” among others.
Andrea Yates, in one of the most horrifying and heartbreaking crimes
in modern history, drowned all five of her children – aged
7 years down to 6 months – in a bathtub. Insisting inner voices
commanded her to kill her kids, she had become increasingly psychotic
over the course of several years. At her 2006 murder re-trial, Yates’
longtime friend Debbie Holmes testified: “She asked me if
I thought Satan could read her mind and if I believed in demon possession.”
And Dr. George Ringholz, after evaluating Yates for two days, recounted
an experience she had after the birth of her first child: “What
she described was feeling a presence ... Satan ... telling her to
take a knife and stab her son Noah,” Ringholz said, adding
that Yates’ delusion at the time of the bathtub murders was
not only that she had to kill her children to save them, but that
Satan had entered her and that she had to be executed in order to
Yates had been taking the antidepressant Effexor. In November 2005,
more than four years after Yates drowned her children, Effexor manufacturer
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals quietly added “homicidal ideation”
to the drug’s list of “rare adverse events.” The
Medical Accountability Network, a private nonprofit focused on medical
ethics issues, publicly criticized Wyeth, saying Effexor’s
“homicidal ideation” risk wasn’t well-publicized
and that Wyeth failed to send letters to doctors or issue warning
labels announcing the change.
And what exactly does “rare” mean in the phrase “rare
adverse events”? The FDA defines it as occurring in less than
one in 1,000 people. But since, according to an Associated Press
report, about 19.2 million prescriptions for Effexor were filled
in the U.S. alone in 2005, statistically that means thousands of
Americans could experience “homicidal ideation” –
murderous thoughts – as a result of taking just this one brand
of antidepressant drug.
Effexor is Wyeth’s best-selling drug, by the way, bringing
in $3.46 billion—with a “b”—in sales worldwide
in 2005, almost one-fifth of the company’s total revenues.
Columbine mass-killer Eric Harris was taking Luvox—like Paxil
and Zoloft (and trendsetter Prozac), a modern and widely prescribed
type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
or SSRIs. Harris and fellow student Dylan Klebold went on a hellish
school shooting rampage in 1999 during which they killed 12 students
and a teacher and wounded 24 others before turning their guns on
Luvox manufacturer Solvay Pharmaceuticals concedes that during short-term
controlled clinical trials 4 percent of children and youth taking
Luvox – that’s 1 in 25 – developed mania, a dangerous
and violence-prone mental derangement characterized by extreme excitement
The inescapable truth is, perpetrators of many of the nation’s
most horrendous murder rampages in recent years were taking, or
just coming off of, prescribed psychiatric drugs.
Most recently, authorities investigating Cho Seung-Hui, who murdered
32 at Virginia Tech in April, reportedly found “prescription
drugs” for the treatment of psychological problems among his
possessions. While the coroner reported no drugs were found in Cho’s
bloodstream on the day of the crime, April 16, the killer’s
roommate Joseph Aust told the Richmond Times-Dispatch Cho’s
routine each morning had included taking prescription drugs.
So what kind of meds might Cho have been taking? Strangely, his
medical records have yet to be released to the public—authorities
claiming it’s because an investigation is still ongoing, although
critics suggest the purpose may be to protect the drug companies
from liability claims.
Indeed, pharmaceutical manufacturers are nervous about lawsuits
over the “rare adverse effects” of their mood-altering
medications. To avoid costly settlements and public relations catastrophes—such
as when GlaxoSmithKline was ordered to pay $6.4 million to the family
of 60-year-old Donald Schnell who murdered his wife, daughter and
granddaughter in a fit of rage shortly after starting on Paxil—drug
companies’ legal teams have quietly and skillfully settled
hundreds of cases out-of-court, shelling out hundreds of millions
of dollars to plaintiffs. Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly fought
scores of legal claims against Prozac in this way, settling for
cash before the complaint could go to court while stipulating that
the settlement remain secret—and then claiming it had never
lost a Prozac lawsuit.
Meanwhile, the list of killers who happened to be taking psychiatric
medications is long and chilling. Remember these headline names?
• Patrick Purdy’s 1989 schoolyard shooting rampage in
Stockton, Calif., was the catalyst for the legislative frenzy to
ban “semiautomatic assault weapons” in California and
the nation. The 25-year-old Purdy, who murdered five children and
wounded 30, had been on Amitriptyline, an antidepressant, as well
as the antipsychotic drug Thorazine.
• Kip Kinkel, 15, murdered his parents in 1998 and the next
day went to his school, Thurston High in Springfield, Ore., and
opened fire on his classmates, killing two and wounding 22 others.
He had been prescribed both Prozac and Ritalin.
• In 1988, 31-year-old Laurie Dann went on a shooting rampage
in a second-grade classroom in Winnetka, Ill., killing one child
and wounding six. She had been taking the antidepressant Anafranil
as well as Lithium, long used to treat mania.
• In Paducah,
Ky., in late 1997, 14-year-old Michael Carneal, son of a prominent
attorney, traveled to Heath High School and started shooting students
in a prayer meeting taking place in the school’s lobby, killing
three and leaving another paralyzed. Carneal reportedly was on Ritalin.
• In 2005, 16-year-old Native American Jeff Weise, living
on Minnesota’s Red Lake Indian Reservation, shot and killed
nine people and wounded five others before killing himself. Weise
had been taking Prozac.
• In another famous case, 47-year-old Joseph T. Wesbecker,
just a month after he began taking Prozac, shot 20 workers at Standard
Gravure Corp. in Louisville, Ky., killing nine. Prozac-maker Eli
Lilly later settled a lawsuit brought by survivors.
•Kurt Danysh, 18, shot his own father to death in 1996, a
little more than two weeks after starting on Prozac. Danysh's
description of own his mental-emotional state at the time of the
murder sounded strikingly similar to that of 12-year-old Christopher
Pittman, who had shot his grandparents while on psychiatric meds.
“I didn’t realize I did it until after it was done,”
Danysh said. “This might sound weird, but it felt like I
had no control of what I was doing, like I was left there just
These are only a few of the best-known offenders who had been taking
prescribed psychiatric drugs before committing their violent crimes—there
are many others. [And among the “many others” are some
Pentecostal youth and adults.]
Substituting pills for couches
When the subject of violent crimes and linkage to psychiatric drugs
comes up, two distinct views emerge.
The mental-health establishment’s view is that these drugs
have no “proven” role in enabling such horrific deeds,
or at least that their benefits far outweigh whatever negative reactions
may rarely occur. According to this view, of the millions of people
taking these medications the vast majority are helped and the few
who end up committing violent acts probably would have snapped anyway—with
or without the drugs.
The other, contrarian view is that the drugs are dangerous and harmful,
turning previously nonviolent people into homicidal maniacs. At
a very minimum, critics contend, the meds push some individuals,
already living on the edge of sanity, over the edge into violence.
In addition to a growing corps of health professionals and a sizeable
pile of peer-reviewed studies corroborating this view, the drug
companies themselves—compelled by FDA labeling requirements—bolster
it with their “black box” label warnings of increased
“suicidal ideation” risk and other negative effects.
But let’s pause, putting aside for a moment the dogma of all
the “experts,” and consider carefully and deeply what
we’re really looking at.
We are talking about human beings who have somehow developed a secret
inner life dominated by exceedingly dark thoughts and compulsions.
Wild mood swings. Horrible, consuming resentment teetering on the
edge of violent frenzy. Paranoid delusions fueled by intense emotion.
Satanic visitations and inner voices that torment people mercilessly,
sometimes for years, commanding them to commit murder or suicide—or
Does this really sound to you like a physiological problem in need
of drugs? Sound like a disease? A biochemical imbalance in the brain?
Neurotransmitter activity that’s too sluggish?
Or does it possibly sound like something much more mental-emotional,
even spiritual, in origin?
The truth is, if we think we can solve problems like these with
pills, we might be just as delusional as the people we’re
trying to help.
Before we go on, let’s state the obvious: There are genuine,
organic brain diseases that may benefit from drug therapy—but
these are relatively rare. And there are also instances where an
individual is so psychotic as to pose a direct danger to him/herself
and others, where sedation might be appropriate. But what I’m
writing about here is the overwhelming majority of cases where psychiatric
drugs are unwisely relied on to fix Americans’ mental-emotional-spiritual
In search of a quick, painless fix for the problems we develop when
we fail to deal with the stresses of life properly, we’ve
become a nation of drug-takers. Millions of us “medicate”
the pain of life away by taking illegal drugs. And millions more
take prescription drugs to accomplish much the same thing. As Fortune
magazine reported in November 2005:
Nearly 150 million U.S. prescriptions were dispensed in 2004 for
SSRIs and similar antidepressants called SNRIs, according to IMS
Health, a Fairfield, Conn., drug data and consulting company—more
than for any other drug except codeine. Perhaps one out of 20 adult
Americans are on them now, making brands like Zoloft, GlaxoSmithKline’s
Paxil, Forest Laboratories’ Celexa, and Solvay Pharmaceuticals’
Luvox household names. Though they don’t work for everybody—many
people have gone off the medicines because of side effects such
as dampening of sexual response—they’ve done more than
any other class of drugs to spur psychiatry’s substitution
of pills for couches.
In fact, we’re popping so many SSRIs that their breakdown
products in urine, gushing into waterways, have accumulated in fish
tissues, raising concerns that aquatic animals may be getting toxic
doses, according to recent research at Baylor University. When we’ve
gotten to the point of poisoning fish, you know we’re talking
about a lot of drugs. And that’s counting only antidepressants.
What about all the other types of psychiatric meds we consume, including
the tens of millions of prescriptions for Ritalin and other controversial
stimulants taken by children and adults diagnosed with ADD (or ADHD)—a
condition that didn’t even exist until the 1980s?
Not too long ago, the counseling arts recognized that people suffering
from mental-emotional, developmental problems needed self-understanding
first and foremost. This was a noble and vital goal. But today,
as Fortune points out, psychiatry has substituted “pills for
couches.” Like mad scientists, our “experts” fool
around with the intricacies of people’s brains, monkeying
with the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine
to artificially “elevate mood.”
Thus we have the spectacle of troubled people coming to mental-health
experts with serious personal problems—emotional conflicts,
fears, obsessions, compulsions and perhaps delusions rooted in early
trauma, or in seriously flawed family relationships, or in buried
resentments toward cruelty and injustice that were never resolved
but just festered and grew. Yet, instead of being helped to understand
where they’ve gone wrong, or where their negative programming,
unhealthy relationships and destructive attitudes came from so they
can correct them and find genuine healing, they’re given clever
drugs designed to chemically trick the body and mind into “feeling
And then, when they discontinue taking the drugs, they risk serious
deterioration of their condition. But isn’t that exactly what
happens when we just mask symptoms and ignore root causes?
Moreover, why do even the smartest and most educated of our experts
today tend reflexively to ignore root causes? Because root causes
have to do with God and our relationship, or lack thereof, with
I guarantee that many people who read that last sentence either
glazed over it or were somehow put off by it.
I’ll say it again using different words: We need to wake up
to the spiritual dimension of life or we will never be able to understand
what goes wrong with us, or to genuinely resolve our problems.
Unfortunately, right now many of us are in love with the idea that
there is no God. Books currently riding high atop national best-seller
lists include “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”
by Christopher Hitchens, “The God Delusion” by Richard
Dawkins and “The End of Faith” by Sam Harris—all
of them unapologetically rabid atheist manifestos.
For an atheist, the problem here is that although you can still
be a good engineer or a skillful surgeon, if you’re trying
to help people who are full of rage and conflict and plagued by
dark thoughts and malevolent inner voices urging them to kill people,
you’re worse than clueless. Worse because your lethal combination
of prideful arrogance and utter lack of comprehension of what you’re
actually dealing with will inevitably lead you to “fix”
such problems in ways that not only don’t help people, but
vastly multiply their woes—and those of their victims.
Don’t worry, it’s not your fault
Until the last 50 years or so, Western man believed the Creator
put us here on this magnificent globe we call earth, and that we,
alone among all creatures, were given the ability—and destiny
—to choose between good and evil.
Today’s cultural elite, including those in the healing arts,
basically don’t recognize the existence of God, morality,
good and evil, righteousness and sin. In other words, they don’t
understand what life is all about—that each and every one
of us on this earth is appealed to, from just beyond the visible
world, by a dimension of good and a dimension of evil, which we
call Heaven and Hell. And that by heeding the wrong impulses we
get into serious trouble.
Instead, they look at man and see a soulless human animal whose
behavior problems are mostly genetic or organic in origin and, in
any event, manageable with drugs.
The truth is, most mental-health pill-dispensing practitioners don’t
really understand why people become “clinically depressed”
or why some women experience “postpartum depression”
and the like. Go search WebMD and five or 10 other websites on postpartum
depression (or most any other psychiatric condition for that matter).
You’ll be stunned at the lack of real substance and insight
with regard to what causes it. Instead, you’ll read something
like, “The causes haven’t been pinpointed yet,”
along with reams of authoritative-sounding data on symptoms and
predisposing factors and what drugs to take and how valuable it
is to have a support group and what vitamins help in recovery and
so on. But no one will tell you what on earth would make a woman
want to kill herself after she gives birth to her child. They don’t
Yet, can there be any doubt that somewhere there are real, understandable
reasons for this and other syndromes—reasons a normal person
with common sense could comprehend and act upon, and find real healing,
if only the “expert” counseling them knew what they
were talking about?
While understanding is in short supply today, the mental-health
establishment is great at naming syndromes and conditions—probably
to give the rest of us the impression they know more than they really
Are you a normal boy who doesn’t really like shutting up and
sitting at a desk for six hours a day listening to some boring teacher?
You may have “attention deficit disorder.” Are you an
angry volcano inside? Then you suffer from “intermittent explosive
disorder.” Do you get drunk to deal with your problems? That
used to be considered a moral failing, a character weakness, a failure
to face your problems with courage and honesty. Now, of course,
it’s a disease called “alcoholism.”
Today, everything is physiological and genetic and treated with
drugs. Nothing is your fault. You’re an innocent victim.
Furthermore, many of us like it that way. We like the idea that
whatever is wrong with us is an organic disorder, that there’s
no sin, no weakness, no deficit of character on our part. Our egos
love that, it comforts us.
In July 2005, actress Brooke Shields told the New York Times about
her postpartum depression: “In a strange way, it was comforting
to me when my obstetrician told me that my feelings of extreme despair
and my suicidal thoughts were directly tied to a biochemical shift
in my body. Once we admit that postpartum is a serious medical condition,
then the treatment becomes more available and socially acceptable.
With a doctor’s care, I have since tapered off the medication,
but without it, I wouldn’t have become the loving parent I
Brooke Shields is a lovely and principled lady, but I assure you
that God did not design us to be depressed and suicidal after childbirth.
We would do better to stop blaming all our psychological-spiritual
problems on chemical imbalances.
Drugging our conscience
I began to suspect psychiatric meds were problematic three decades
ago after a conversation with a friend who, to relieve her anxiety,
had been taking the sedative Valium—then the nation’s
top-selling pharmaceutical. A spiritually perceptive lady, she summarized
her experience this way: “David, do you know what the Valium
did for me? It deactivated my conscience.”
And just recently, another Christian lady anonymously wrote a highly
thought-provoking essay—primarily for the benefit of other
female members in her church—on the effect antidepressants
had on her.
Stressed-out and depressed, she had sought her pastor’s spiritual
counsel—and he told her to go on antidepressants.
“Not a word was said about my sinful attitudes regarding my
responsibilities, and there were no offers of practical help,”
she wrote. “Just go to the doctor. He proceeded to tell me
about many other women in our church who had taken his advice and
were doing great. In retrospect, this makes sense – ours was
a ‘happy church.’ No one seemed to struggle with any
serious life issues. Only smiling, happy greetings and small talk.
Imagine the ‘Stepford Wives’ at church and you’ll
get the picture.”
Within weeks, she wrote, she was feeling better. “By two months
into treatment I was doing swimmingly, smiling and small-talking
with the best of them. …I was handling the stress better and
sleeping well. Most of my physical complaints were gone, and I felt
very capable. Life went on.”
Five years later, unhappy with their “happy” church,
she and her husband sought out and joined a more traditional and
biblical church “where sin is called sin, and people are held
At the new church, she said, “I met people who grieve over
their sin. …This was foreign to me. I have never cried over
my sin. I have felt bad for my sin, but I have never truly grieved
over it. …I began to think that perhaps that little pill that
was meant to ‘take the edge off’ was preventing me from
grieving over sin. One thing I had noticed since being on it was
that I could not cry. Nothing could bring me to tears, and I mean
nothing. I didn’t even cry when my dad died, not even as I
watched him take his last breath, uncertain where he would spend
eternity. No tears.…”
After much thought and prayer, she finally decided to get off her
medication. As a result, she wrote:
Last week, after I sinned in anger at my son, I was grieved! I had
asked for forgiveness from him and from the Lord, but I could not
deny a deep sense of grief in my soul as I realized this had been
a pattern of sinful anger for years. I had committed this same sin
many times before, but felt justified, either by stressful circumstances
in my life or by my son’s bad behavior. I had never before
felt such grief over my own sin, and I knew I could not indulge
one more outburst like this. The antidepressants, she concluded,
had “blurred the ends of the emotional spectrum, so that I
experienced neither deep sadness nor great joy. I have now come
to appreciate that both are vital to the Christian life. Oh, I was
somewhat happy, and able to cope with life quite well, but the edge
was off, not only from my sadness, but from my joy as well.”
She added: “In the beginning, the drug was good, because it
enabled me to think rationally and come out of my basement. If I
had used that rational thinking to get a grip on the sin that was
pulling me down into depression, I could have dealt with it biblically,
and been off the drug in short order. But I did not. I became dependent
on those pills and was gradually numbed to the seriousness of my
sin. By God’s grace, I came to the recognition that this drug
could be stunting my spiritual growth, and that turned out to be
exactly the case.”
The possibility that psychiatric drugs could impair our conscience
should not come as a shock. We know people do bad things under the
influence of alcohol, crack and meth that they wouldn’t do
otherwise. Is it so hard, then, to comprehend that some legal drugs
can also obscure or eliminate our awareness of conscience? After
all, what does “feeling better” often involve but the
elimination of conflict? And what is conflict but the evidence inside
us that we’ve done something wrong—something contrary
to our conscience? Getting rid of conflict, then, often involves
blotting out our conscience!
But the problem with that is, conscience is literally the presence
of God in us, the friction between the way we are and the way He
wants us to be. We experience this correcting and illuminating presence
– which is actually our greatest friend (like Jiminy Cricket
in Disney’s “Pinocchio”)—as a psychic pain
when we deviate from its urgings. Thus, many of us foolishly come
to regard conscience as a problem, even an enemy.
Healing through forgiveness
God is not far away or elusive, He’s ever-present. But we
block His help and His life in us when we escape from our conscience
in various ways—especially when we lose sight of our own faults
through being angry at those of others.
I wonder, is it just possible that the Lord’s Prayer –
the blueprint Jesus Christ gave us for how to relate to God –
could provide insight on how to heal what we call “mental
illness”? Let’s take a fresh look:
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine
is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew
Think about this for a minute. Jesus starts out by telling us to
honor God and humble our will before His and seek His continued
sustenance. (No problem, we think.)
Later He advises us to ask God’s protection as we acknowledge
His supremacy in all things. (Great, makes perfect sense, we think.)
But in between comes one line that delivers the essential, life-changing
commandment —it’s the nuclear core of His message, the
fulcrum of change in our lives, the place where miraculous things
happen to us – or don’t, if we don’t heed it:
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
This is where we live or die spiritually, it’s where we find
true happiness and innocence, or conflict and separation from God.
In fact, immediately following the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus re-emphasizes
the forgiveness requirement in the starkest terms imaginable, to
make sure nobody misses His most crucial point:
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father
will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew
Wow. That gets my attention.
Forgiveness—that is, finding the grace to give up anger and
resentment at injustice—is healing. The problem is, anger
and rage (unforgiveness) feed our pride, a part of our makeup that
cannot live without constant meals of impatience, resentment and
emotional upset. So until we’re ready to let the life of pride
and sin inside us wither and die, we find it pretty much impossible
to truly forgive. Anger is like a drug—even worse, like a
nutrient—for our wrong self.
Ever wonder why we use the word “mad” to mean both angry
and insane? Very simply, if someone does something wrong to you
and you get angry, you’ve just become a little bit insane.
Now multiply that single event by 1,000 or 10,000 and let the pile
of angry reactions and upsets build and smolder for years, and you’ll
see that every conceivable manner of strange behavior, programming,
compulsion and delusion can easily take root in us.
Example: In the Islamic world, millions of children are nourished
on hatred from the day they’re born—hatred of Jews,
Christians, Americans, women, pigs, you name it—and they reliably
grow up into crazy, death-loving jihadists. It’s like an assembly
line with good quality control; you can count on the outcome. Infect
them with hatred from birth, and you’re guaranteed a good
recruit in the Mahdi army a few years later. Do you get it? It’s
the hatred that allows the conditioning—the insane, ungodly,
alien programming—to take hold of their minds.
As a child, people bigger and meaner than you make you upset, and
when you’re upset you’re suggestible or programmable—and
that’s when you pick up your conditioning. Then, no matter
how crazy or illogical or self-destructive your programming, you’ll
defend it—because it feels like the real you.
So, nourished by this nutrient-base of suppressed rage and resentment,
and reinforced each passing day by new angers and irritations, we
grow up tangled and conflicted. We all suffer in varying degrees
from this madness—covered up, of course, by smiles and self-deception.
It’s why we need salvation.
Toward the end of my son’s Boy Scout troop meeting not too
long ago, the scoutmaster stood up and used his customary “Scoutmaster
Minute” to retell the famous story an old Cherokee chief supposedly
told his grandson. The chief said:
“A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible battle—between
two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, pride, envy, lust,
greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, lies and cruelty.
“The other wolf stands for honesty, kindness, hope, sharing,
serenity, humility, friendship, generosity, truth, compassion and
“This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every
other person, too,” he added.
The grandson reflected on these words for a minute and then asked
his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”
- Excerpted from a posting on WorldNetDaily.com
David Kupelian is vice president and managing
editor of WorldNetDaily.com and Whistleblower magazine, and author
of the best-selling book, “The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals,
Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom.”
He is a dynamic speaker and has been featured on Fox News, MSNBC,
CBN and many other media outlets. This article was posted August