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IPFS News Link • Washington State

Dissent Into Madness: The Weaponization of Psychology

•, Corbett

The bill in question, Washington State Legislature House Bill 1333, "Establishing the domestic violent extremism commission," would, according to its critics, "criminalize thought and expression under an invented category of offences called 'domestic violent extremism'" and allow the state's attorney general to "prosecute some people for words and speech, rather than violent acts."

Although there is nothing in the bill itself declaring that "political enemies" of the state will be sent to "psych wards," the idea that psychologists and psychiatrists might be employed on such a "domestic violent extremism commission" to diagnose political dissidents with some form of mental disorder is not a misplaced one.

In fact, as it turns out, there is a long and worrying history of psychiatry being used as a weapon to silence those declared to be enemies of the state. And, more worrying still, recent events have demonstrated that—far from being a relic of the past—the pathologization of political dissent is becoming even more widespread than ever before.