Letter from the author
THE CANDLELIGHT PROJECT
by Bob Collier
13 October 2003
Last week, I expressed some personal opinions on the astonishingly hazy methods used to allegedly 'diagnose' so-
This is the opening section of an article I discovered this week that explains in some detail exactly how the extremely
dubious 'diagnosis' has been blatantly maintained over the years.
The article was written in 1995 when "over two million" American children were diagnosed as 'ADHD' - with the
administration of potentially dangerous drugs being the most usual 'treatment'. There are now an estimated 5-6
million American children diagnosed as 'ADHD' as well as about 50,000 children in Australia.
HOW PSYCHIATRY IS MAKING DRUG ADDICTS OUT OF AMERICA'S SCHOOL CHILDREN
by Dennis H. Clarke
This information has something to do with you. Children are the future of this civilization. What affects this society's
children affects the society you live in now and the society you will live in tomorrow. Even if you have no children of
your own, or if your own children have grown beyond school age, you will be affected by what is going on. This
information is for you to use.
This Information Letter is not intended to be a complete work on the subject of the drugging of America's children.
As this is being printed in 1995, there are over two million of America's children on some of the most dangerous and
addictive drugs known to man. These are mind altering and often brain damaging and addictive prescription psychiatric
drugs. The files of documents on this subject are quite extensive. Other Information Letters will follow in this
series and will contain more data about this for your use.
What follows is a brief summary of the data, which is central to an understanding of the subject. We will begin
with a description of the manner in which parents and teachers have been convinced to drug their children. The
process is begun by indicating there may be something wrong with the child and evolves into a belief on the part of the
parent that the child is "mentally ill."
The net result of this conclusion on the part of the parent is that the parent distances himself or herself from the
child and turns the child over to the professionals to deal with. These children are then drugged as "therapy."
This Information Letter will also discuss the drugs that are central to this so-called therapy and how the prescription
of these drugs has built into this country the hard core of the drug addicts we now have.
You will learn that one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for children in America is chemically and
neurologically equivalent to cocaine in its effects on the human body. You will no doubt find this information
startling. We have also found it so.
It is not always easy to confront evil. Nonetheless, the evil being done to millions of children in America needs to
be confronted and ended, no matter who stands behind or profits from the evil deed of making drug addicts out of
HOW CHILDREN BECOME "MENTALLY ILL"
Labeling a child, "mentally ill," is like hanging a sign around his or her neck saying, "GARBAGE: take it away." -
Thomas S. Szasz, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry.
How do children as young as eighteen months become drug addicts? The answer is they were "diagnosed" and labeled as
having a new "mental illness." Pediatricians and psychiatrists then "treat the mental illness" with some of
the most dangerous and addictive substances known to man. The result for far too many of these children is a personal
Today, under psychiatry's invented criteria, there isn't a single normal childhood activity which doesn't fall within
the broad "symptoms" which comprise so-called "mental illness." Some of the labels are: Attention Deficit
Disorder, Hyperactivity, Minimal Brain Dysfunction, Learning Disability, Impulse Disorder, Developmental Reading
Disorder, Developmental Writing Disorder, Developmental Arithmetic Disorder.
As a result of psychiatry pushing these labels for children, millions are being drugged and there has been a massive
increase in the number of children in mental institutions over the past five years. The "criteria" under which a child
gets labeled are so broad that if a teacher decides for any reason that a child is a "problem," there is no way the
child can escape "diagnosis" and a label. It also appears that the less skilled the teacher, the greater the
likelihood that there will be a problem with some children. Usually, these are the brightest and most active children in
a class. Psychiatrists admit that the majority of the children being put on Ritalin are above average in I.Q. Of
course, the child is always blamed for the problem.
It is known that if a child doesn't understand something he or she is being taught, the child can begin to fidget and
cease to pay attention. If the teacher fails to notice this and carries on past the misunderstanding without clearing it
up with the child, the child's behavior will deteriorate. The child then is accused of "not paying attention" or in
psychiatric psychobabble, is said to have "an attention deficit." Thus the child ends up labeled as having one of
the new "mental illnesses."
Perhaps you doubt this is happening. You have every right to doubt it, for it is almost incredible. As you read further
you will discover for yourself the so-called medical and scientific "criteria" for labeling the child. We encourage
you to find and read for yourself the psychiatric texts we are about to refer to here. Remember, it is upon these
criteria that children by the millions are being addicted to drugs like Ritalin, a drug that is chemically and
neurologically equivalent to cocaine in its affect on the child's body. Bear in mind as well that once the child is
"diagnosed " and labeled, the destiny of the child is no longer in the hands of his or her parents. The child is now,
at least unofficially, a ward of the psychiatrist and subject to psychiatry's vested (money) interest in the
child's so-called "insanity" or "mental disorder." A parent's right to refuse treatment of the child may be
severely limited by law in some States.
HOW THE CHILD IS LABELED
What is "Attention Deficit Disorder"? Who "diagnoses" it? How is it treated? What are the results of that treatment?
Who pays the bill? How is it that a "disease" no one even heard of a few years ago has swept through our children in
our schools? Is this a more serious epidemic than AIDS? Is it contagious? Can you catch it from your children? Let's
see if we can answer these questions from the writings of the "experts" who invented the "disease."
The American Psychiatric Association publishes a text called "The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders."
This has been translated into German and forms the accepted guidelines for what are considered to be "mental illnesses,"
or as they are more modernly referred to, "mental disorders." The text is now in its third edition which was
revised in 1987. It is generally referred to by its abbreviated title for its revised edition as DSM-III-R.
This reference text is the "bible" of the psychiatric industry. The "diagnostic numbers" for each specific label
are accepted internationally and are used by the World Health Organization and the World Federation of Mental
One of those numbers is 314.01, which indicates the "Diagnostic Criteria for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder" from the DSM-III-R. Millions of America's children have been labeled with this so-called disorder and put on
Ritalin. See how for yourself. The following are the "criteria" for this "disease" taken directly without change
from the psychiatric text.
A. A disturbance of at least six months during which at least eight of the following are present:
(1) [the child] often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat. (in adolescents, may be limited to subjective
feelings of restlessness)
(2) [this child] has difficulty remaining seated when required to do so
(3) [the child] is easily distracted
(4) [the child] has difficulty awaiting turn in games or group situations
(5) [the child] often blurts out answers to questions before they have been completed
(6) [the child] has difficulty following through on instructions from others, example, fails to finish chores
(7) [the child] has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
(8) [the child] often shifts from one uncompleted activity to another
(9) [the child] has difficulty playing quietly
(10) [the child] often talks excessively
(11) [the child] often interrupts or intrudes on others, example, butts into other children's games
(12) [the child] often does not seem to listen to what is being said to him or her
(13) [the child] often loses things necessary for tasks or activities at school or at home, examples, toys, pencils,
(14) [the child] often engages in physically dangerous activities without considering the possible consequences,
(example, runs into the street without looking).
B. Onset before the age of seven.
C. Does not meet the criteria for Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
These criteria would seem rather funny if they didn't result in these children being turned into drug addicts, criminals
and lunatics by the prescriptions that follow. Invariably, those prescriptions alter brain chemistry, function and
structure, thus altering the chemistry, function and structure of the body as a whole.
Ritalin and dozens of other psychiatric drugs are intended to do exactly that. The alteration of brain and body
chemistry, function and structure result in what are called side effects, which are actually the direct effects of these
alterations. This is being done, for the most part, without any warning or with minimal warnings to the parents and with
no warning whatsoever to the ultimate consumer and victim, the child. This is also being done by individuals engaged in
a for profit industry.
If these are "medical criteria," Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a fraud being perpetrated on the
parents, teachers and children of America by the psychiatric industry which is in constant need of new customers and by
greedy drug manufacturers cashing in on this nation's generous medical insurance and ignorance. The psychiatrists
and drug companies win and the children and the future of society lose. It is as simple as that.
Attention Deficit Disorder is in fact, in the eyes of the beholder. Those with a vested interest in seeing it see it.
When the occasional child is seen who is actually out of control, this "diagnosis" prevents discovery of the actual
cause. What actual cause? The list could be almost endless, but the obvious ones are:
1. Undiagnosed and untreated physical illness or a physical condition causing the child distress such as inner ear
infection, toothache, allergic reactions, 2. Physical abuse of the child at home or elsewhere in the environment
including sexual abuse, 3. Study difficulties requiring personal attention to work through them with the child.
Some healthy children are more active than other healthy children and in fact the activity levels and attention spans
of normal children vary widely, even within the same family. The activity level of children changes over time as well,
and this is a natural phenomenon. It is far too easy today to label children so they can be shunted aside to then be
chemically straightjacketed with the potent "speed" type chemicals like Ritalin and the amphetamines, which are used
interchangeably to subdue such children. The sole purpose for giving a child one of these drugs is to shut him up and
to make it difficult for him to move. There is no other purpose because that is what these drugs are intended to do:
make a quieter, less active child. Tragically, that is not all that they do.
GETTING THE PARENTS TO BUY THE "DIAGNOSIS"
The first task of the psychiatrist or other person who wants to drug and subdue the child is to get parents to agree to
the "diagnosis." Thus, the "diagnosis" has to be presented as though it really means something. In actuality, it
usually means that someone or several people are angry with the child for moving and making noise.
Parents are often told or led to believe that there is a real or scientific or even medical basis for the "diagnosis."
This is an utter falsehood. There are only two "criteria" for what "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder" is. The
first is listed above in the fourteen points of which the child needs eight. The second is based on the need for
income on the part of the drug company and the psychiatrists and other so-called mental health workers.
While some psychologists and psychotherapists claim to have "other criteria" for "diagnosing" the child, these are based
on the fourteen above and the result as far as the child is concerned is the same. The only difference is that more
money is paid out to different people to do the mumbo jumbo of labeling the child.
One of the people who wants to drug and subdue the child, perhaps a psychiatrist, psychologist or school official may
tell the parent that the child has a chemical imbalance in his brain. This is the standard line usually tried first on
the parent. This is very upsetting to hear from an authority figure. It is a lie and an attempt to overwhelm the parent.
As a parent, you have a right to know which if any chemical is out of balance and what brain test was used to measure
that chemical. You have a right to know exactly how it would be brought back into balance if it could be found.
The truth is that you have a right to know that this is all an invention. Most of what you will hear is pure unfounded
false "science" and is the product of the ravings of a single of psychiatrists in the US who first put it out as
"theory" to attract Drug Company funding to his university. The theory, thus funded became the basis for a multi-billion
dollar industry world wide which has attracted psychiatrists, pediatricians, insurance companies, school officials and
teachers, all of whom profit, along with the drug companies, all at the ultimate expense of the children.
The truth is that there is no such test and there is no chemical imbalance other than the one Ritalin will create.
The logic of the chemical imbalance is reversed to create an illogic but a profitable illogic for the psychiatric
In real life, it works like this: The parent is told that a chemical imbalance is suspected. They are then told that the
way to find out is to give the child Ritalin for a few days or weeks and to see if the child's behavior and attention
span improves. When the drug is ingested, the child slows down and stares straight ahead quietly, thus giving the
impression that he is paying attention. "Success" is thus dramatic and highly praised by all. With this change,
brought on by the extremely potent drug, the psychiatrist says, "See, I was right. There was a chemical imbalance."
This is like checking to see if the child is sober by giving him alcohol to see if he gets drunk or giving him cocaine to
find out if he was normal. In fact, as alcohol would make the child drunk, giving a child who has not yet entered
puberty cocaine or Ritalin would put the child into a stupor. The drug overwhelms the child's central nervous
system and chemically straightjackets the child. Thus, the child would appear quieter and less active. In fact the
child is less there and the psychiatrist says that he is "attending better." The only major difference between giving
the child cocaine or Ritalin is that you would have to give the child more cocaine orally than you would give the child
Ritalin orally to get the same result.
These children are not suffering from a cocaine or Ritalin deficiency. The practice of drugging children to quiet them
while turning them into drug addicts should be completely illegal. The only real imbalance Ritalin and cocaine are
curing is the imbalance in the bank accounts of the drug pushers who are turning America's school children into drug
No technique is too low when it comes to "convincing" parents to put a child on one of the most dangerous and
addictive substances known to man. The parent is often told that the child's grades will suffer or continue to suffer
unless the child is put on Ritalin. Most parents just accept this without question. In fact, it is false and is simply
blackmail. Parents who are told this should immediately demand to see the medical and scientific studies which prove
that Ritalin or cocaine for that matter improve a child's ability to learn, retain information and use what he is
being taught. Even the manufacturer of Ritalin makes no claim that the drug has ever improving a child's ability to
learn or retain or remember data. If any drug could actually do such a thing, it would have been in the headlines all
over the world and no doubt the inventors would be famous.
Instead, a devious system of marketing is used wherein local advocates make false claims for the "miracle drug," which
are miraculously never put right by the manufacturer. The manufacturer thus makes billions in profits while children
are being made into drug addicts. Ritalin and cocaine are not "smart pills." In fact, just the opposite is true. There
is ample long-term outcome data to show that in fact these children suffer myriad ill effects.
What this "smart pill" is really about is that if you allow your child to be drugged to a point where he is no longer
bothering anyone, you will be rewarded with a better report card to go with your addicted child. Do not be led astray by
the so-called scientific studies that say that Ritalin improves the child's ability to "attend" to tasks or
complete work. For every so-called success story, there are dozens of shattered childhoods and lives. The author of
this article has seen hundreds of the latter. Psychiatric mumbo jumbo or psychobabble aside, it is your child's life
that is on the line. Your child is too important to be left to the "experts." Those experts have presided over crashing
SAT test scores throughout this Ritalin generation. The children put on Ritalin were usually the brightest and most
active in their group.
One of the lowest and meanest tricks used to convince the parent to drug the child is to say that the child probably
suffered an undetectable form of brain damage during a difficult birth or during a trauma in the womb. This tends
to introvert the parent and make her feel guilty so she will follow the commands of the psychiatrist.
The psychiatrist has lied. This "brain damage" line was developed and used as a theory that resulted in millions of
children in the United States and Canada being labeled and drugged as "minimally brain damaged." What were the criteria
to show the brain damage? They were the same as the criteria for attention deficit disorder. The neurological societies in
America put an end to this fraud there.
It was at that point that psychiatrists on behalf of the American Psychiatric Association invented attention deficit
disorder to take its place. There never was any brain damage. Actual brain damage is visible on the EEG tests and
with other newer instruments. It is not "treated" with brain damaging and addictive drugs like Ritalin or cocaine. The
last thing one should do to a child with real brain damage is to damage the child further with Ritalin.
MAKING NOTHING OF THE CHILD
The psychiatrist who drugs children will attribute all "bad" things done by the child to "mental illness." He will say
that the drug will handle these. After drugging the child, he will attribute all good things done by the child to his
treatment or to the effects of the drug. This is simply more hocus-pocus and psychobabble. Children were children long
before Ritalin and psychiatrists, and will continue to be children long after Ritalin and psychiatry are only found in
the history books. While making nothing of the future of the race and making drug addicts of them is currently condoned,
it is only a matter of time before this practice is outlawed. This is a criminal pursuit and should be labeled as such.
Copyright © 1997, Dennis H. Clarke
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