Adolf Eichmann was a model of sparkling mental health, from a Nazi perspective. He did what any mature and sensible person would have done, to remove dangerous vermin that were destroying the health of the nation.
Chemical therapies were applied to Soviet dissidents, who were self-evidently ill if they were unable to appreciate Communism. But is the definition of health as ‘appropriate behaviour’ adequate? Could it be that we are sliding back into such a mindset today?
For example, in the two particularly sensitive (and connected) areas, sexuality and religion.
In privatising both of these areas, and thereby removing them from scientific scrutiny, social control is facilitated. How is this? For if both pathologies and well-being of various kinds of religious and sexual behaviour can be denied, then the way is made clear for an uncritical liberal ideology.
What about the apparently deliberate omission of homosexuality as a ‘disease’ in DSM IV (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses of the American Psychiatric Association)?
Whether this is warranted or not, is not the point. The point is that homosexuality was not removed on scientific grounds (through peer-reviewed papers).
At the same time, support for studies into homosexuality within universities has by all accounts dropped dramatically.
Uncomfortably, research in this area has re-emerged within such fields as paedophilia, divorce, and same-sex parental alienation.
Anyone who dares question the validity of this kind of [il]liberal social control is immediately labelled ‘homophobic’, not as means of increasing good scientific research, but of shutting it down.
Likewise, as regards ‘religion’. That piece of simplistic nonsense, namely that ‘All paths lead to God (god?)’ is a classic attempt to neutralise conflicting truth claims, and thereby remove debate.
Some family and religious styles are contradictory, and politicians are in denial in attempting to suggest that all family and religious styles are equal in their health benefits.
Some family and religious styles produce far better outcomes in terms of health (mental and physical), longevity, and educational achievement than any of the others, including secular liberal models.
Beliefs which advocate the oppression of any group of people are hardly conducive to health, either of those who dominate, or those who are forcibly controlled.
Indeed, this is true even of the definition of mental health as ‘appropriate behaviour’, for cruelty and violence that is adopted as a legitimating expression of an ideology will become imprinted on the neuronal structure of the brain.
How are we to know that this will not spill over into violence in other areas? Or that such violent and ruthless ideology will not encourage ‘sleepers’ who are psychotic by nature, and thereby find that their ruthless traits are now valued by the culture (as appropriate behaviour), and so rise to the top of it?
What is therefore regarded as a ‘dis-ease’ is therefore culturally relative, but might it not be time to relativise the relativisers, and proclaim that those who want to stifle debate (both absolutists and relativists) under the labels of ‘phobia’ and ‘social policy’ are themselves ill, being in denial, and in need of therapy.