Every great society has its creative minds—its true artists. From Ancient Greece and Rome, through the Renaissance to the world today, Mankind has revered men and women of exceptional artistic ability.
As renowned American writer Henry James once said, “It is art that makes life.” His words are no less true today, for indeed, artists are the individuals who dream our future and create the realities of tomorrow. True, so do engineers and businesspersons and visionaries in other fields, but by and large the futures they create revolve around our material well-being. It is the artist who lifts the spirit, makes us laugh and cry and can even shape the spiritual future of our culture. It is artists who make life.
This explains, then, why artists remain the most cherished of human assets the world over.
Unfortunately, in many cases, they are assets we have lost too soon—losses that have left us poorer. In recent decades we have all mourned the untimely deaths of great artists who enriched our lives, yet left before their work was done. Luminaries of literature, the screen, the theater and the concert stage, names such as Ernest Hemingway, France’s great writer Antonin Artaud, jazz singer Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Vivien Leigh, Kurt Cobain, Michael Hutchence, Phil Hartman and many, many more.
Faced with even this partial list, it would be easy to form the impression that the lives of artists are unavoidably tumultuous and that for some, the pressures of success bring demands too great to be borne. It would also be easy to believe that to be a successful artist you must be neurotic or some sort of tragic figure.
None of this is true.
In each of the cases above, hidden influences worked to ensure the deadly outcome. The truth is, each of these great artists and many of the others who have left us were offered “help.” Instead they were betrayed and placed on a path which assured their destruction.
This betrayal came through the direct or indirect influence of psychiatrists or psychologists, who claimed they would help but were, in effect, a destructive influence that left these artists dreadfully damaged—or dead—after their foundations of strength and certainty were torn away.
Today there is an added urgency that this message be heard and understood, for the assault upon artists of every genre has only increased in both volume and efficiency. The weapons now include an array of deadly drugs that masquerade as therapeutic cures, just as the prefrontal lobotomy once did. In Hollywood, the mecca of the entertainment industry, those mind-altering and addictive psychotropic drugs are exacting too high a cost in creative lives.
Quite apart from the devastation being spread within the ranks of artists themselves, we must not forget: Artists create the future of our culture.
Is this the future we face? One in which we will follow these leaders of public opinion into the brave new therapeutic world of stunted creative personalities, ruined families, wasted lives and self-destruction?
If this seems alarmist, then review the figures below—they show what the future holds unless some drastic changes are made quickly: Currently, more than 20 million children around the world are prescribed mind-altering psychiatric drugs, including antidepressants that both United Kingdom and United States drug regulatory agencies have warned can cause suicide and violent behavior. Indeed, the increasing incidence of school shootings and violent crime among teens can be traced to the proliferation of these drugs being prescribed them. Millions are also prescribed stimulants that are more potent than cocaine.
Among these millions, consider how many potentially great artists will never fulfill their destiny? And how will our culture suffer from their absence?
We have mourned the great artists we have lost too soon. Let’s not grieve for more.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights International prepares up-to-the-minute information and studies that assist authors and scriptwriters with material and facts on the subject of psychiatry. This has included the book, Shadowland, the story of actress Frances Farmer; compelling evidence provided “60 Minutes” in Australia, which led to national television awards for the program, and case studies for documentaries aired on Channel 4 UK, in Germany, Italy and in other countries. In fact, CCHR’s international headquarters is in the heart of Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard and houses a state of the art permanent museum, Psychiatry: An Industry of Death, with 14 one-of-a-kind documentaries on various aspects of psychiatry—ranging from its dark history to its role in the Holocaust; from detestable ethnic cleansing and apartheid programs and racism to the harmful and often fatal effects of its treatments such as dangerous and addictive psychotropic drugs, electroshock, psychosurgery and stimulants used for child drugging.
The Museum and CCHR’s decades of research are resources for screenwriters, television scriptwriters, playwrights and novelists. We urge you to work with us to further disseminate this information; and protect those artists who need help, ensuring that our future is not betrayed.
CCHR United States
Raven Kane Campbell
Jazz composer, pianist