Prepare for the next stage of the government's war on thought crimes: mental health sweeps and involuntary detentions.
The government could use mental health care as a pretext to target and imprison dissidents, activists, and anyone else unfortunate enough to be placed on a government watch list under the guise of public health and safety.
If we don't act quickly, this will become yet another pretext for government officials to violate the First and Fourth Amendments at will.
This is how it starts.
MAKE THE GOVERNMENT FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION'S RULES.
Police officers across the country are being given the authority to detain people they suspect are mentally ill based solely on their own judgment, even if those people pose no danger to others.
In New York City, for example, you could be hospitalized for suspected mental illness if you have "firmly held beliefs that are not congruent with cultural ideas," a "willingness to engage in meaningful discussion," "excessive fears of specific stimuli," or refuse "voluntary treatment recommendations."
These programs' official goal is to get homeless people off the streets.
However, when combined with advancements in mass surveillance technologies, artificial intelligence-powered programs that can track people based on their biometrics and behavior, mental health sensor data (tracked by wearable data and monitored by government agencies like HARPA), threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, precrime initiatives, red flag gun laws, and mental health first-aid programs, there is a risk that these programs will exacerbate the problem.
According to the Associated Press, federal officials are already investigating how to incorporate "'identifiable patient data,' such as mental health, substance use, and behavioral health information from group homes, shelters, jails, detox facilities, and schools," into their surveillance toolkit.
Make no mistake: these are the foundations for an American gulag as heinous as the Soviet Union's gulags during the Cold War.
The term "gulag" refers to a labor or concentration camp where prisoners were imprisoned as punishment for crimes against the state (often political prisoners or so-called "enemies of the state," real or imagined).
According to historian Anne Applebaum, the gulag, which was used as a form of "administrative exile—which required no trial and no sentencing procedure—was an ideal punishment not only for troublemakers as such but also for political opponents of the regime."
Totalitarian regimes, such as the Soviet Union, declared dissidents mentally ill and sent political prisoners to prisons disguised as psychiatric hospitals, where they could be isolated from society, their ideas discredited, and subjected to electric shocks, drugs, and various medical procedures to physically and mentally break them.
In addition to declaring political dissidents mentally ill, government officials in the Cold War-era Soviet Union used an administrative procedure to deal with people who were deemed a bad influence on others or troublemakers. George Kennan, the author, describes a process in which:
The obnoxious person may not be guilty of any crime, but if the local authorities believe that his presence in a particular place is "prejudicial to public order" or "incompatible with public tranquility," he may be arrested without a warrant, imprisoned for two weeks to two years, and then forcibly removed to any other location within the empire and placed under police surveillance for one to ten years.
Seizures without a warrant, surveillance, indefinite detention, isolation, exile... sound familiar? It ought to.
The age-old practice of despotic regimes eliminating their critics or potential adversaries by making them disappear, forcing them to flee, or literally, figuratively, or virtually exiling them from their fellow citizens is becoming more common in America.
Now, the groundwork is being laid for the government to weaponize the label of mental illness as a means of exiling whistleblowers, dissidents, and freedom fighters who refuse to march in lockstep with its dictates through the use of red flag laws, behavioral threat assessments, and pre-crime policing prevention programs.
It is diabolical that the government is using the charge of mental illness to immobilize (and disarm) its critics. These people are declared mentally ill, locked up against their will, and stripped of their constitutional rights with the stroke of a magistrate's pen.
These developments are simply the culmination of various US government initiatives dating back to 2009, such as Operation Vigilant Eagle, which calls for the surveillance of military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, characterizing them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be "disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war."
When combined with the Department of Homeland Security's report on "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," which broadly defines rightwing extremists as individuals and groups "that are primarily antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely," these tactics bode ill for anyone seen as pro-government.
As a result, what began as a blueprint during the Bush administration has evolved into an operation manual for exiling those who question the government's authority.
However, it is important to note that the government is not so much targeting individuals who are voicing their discontent as it is locking up individuals trained in military warfare who are expressing feelings of discontent.
These veterans are increasingly being portrayed as ticking time bombs in need of intervention under the guise of mental health treatment, with the complicity of government psychiatrists and law enforcement officials.
The Justice Department, for example, launched a pilot program to train SWAT teams to deal with confrontations involving highly trained and often heavily armed combat veterans.
One tactic used to deal with so-called "mentally ill suspects who also happen to be trained in modern warfare" is the use of civil commitment laws, which are found in all states and have been used throughout American history to not only silence but also to disappear dissidents.
For example, NSA officials attempted to label former employee Russ Tice as "mentally unbalanced" based on two psychiatric evaluations ordered by his superiors, despite his willingness to testify in Congress about the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program.
Adrian Schoolcraft, an NYPD officer, had his home raided and was handcuffed to a gurney and taken into emergency custody for an alleged psychiatric episode. An internal investigation later revealed that his superiors were punishing him for reporting police misconduct. Schoolcraft was in the mental institution for six days and was given a bill for $7,185 when he was released.
Marine Brandon Raub, a 9/11 truther, was arrested and detained in a psychiatric ward under Virginia's civil commitment law for posts critical of the government on his Facebook page.
Each state has its own set of laws governing civil, or involuntary, commitment. These laws are extensions of two legal principles: parens patriae and the rule of law. Parens patriae (Latin for "parent of the country"), which allows the government to intervene on behalf of citizens who are unable to act in their own best interests, and police power, which requires the state to protect its citizens' interests.
The fusion of these two principles, combined with a shift toward a dangerousness standard, has resulted in a Nanny State mindset implemented with the militant force of the Police State.
The problem, of course, is that, while mental illness is a legitimate concern for some Americans, it has also become a convenient means for the government and its corporate partners to penalize certain "unacceptable" social behaviors over time.
In fact, in recent years, people who resist authority have been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), which is defined as "a pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behavior toward authority figures." According to this definition, every notable activist throughout history, from Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King Jr., could be diagnosed with an ODD mental disorder.
Of course, this is part of a larger trend in American governance in which dissent is criminalized and pathologized, and dissenters are censored, silenced, declared unfit for society, labeled dangerous or extremist, or exiled.
Red-flag gun laws (which allow government officials to seize guns from people deemed a danger to themselves or others) are a perfect example of this mindset at work and the consequences that could result.
These red flag gun laws, according to The Washington Post, "allow a family member, roommate, boyfriend, law enforcement officer, or any type of medical professional to file a petition [with a court] asking that a person's home be temporarily cleared of firearms." There is no need for a mental-health diagnosis or an arrest."
The stated goal of these red flag gun laws is to disarm individuals who are potential threats.While it appears perfectly reasonable in theory to disarm individuals who are clearly suicidal and/or pose a "immediate danger" to themselves or others, the problem arises when government agencies, courts, and police are given the authority to determine who is a potential danger.
Remember, this is the same government that interchangeably uses the terms "anti-government," "extremist," and "terrorist."This is the same government whose agents are spinning a sticky web of threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, flagged "words," and "suspicious" activity reports to identify potential threats using automated eyes and ears, social media, behavior sensing software, and citizen spies.
This is the same government that continues to renew the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows the military to detain American citizens without access to friends, family, or the courts if the government believes they pose a threat.
This is the same government that has a growing list of ideologies, behaviors, affiliations, and other characteristics that could flag someone as suspicious and result in them being labeled as potential enemies of the state, which is shared with fusion centers and law enforcement agencies.
For example, if you believe in and exercise your constitutional rights (such as the right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or engage in any other activity deemed potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic, or sovereign), you could be at the top of the government's terrorism watch list.
Furthermore, as a New York Times editorial warns, you may be considered an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) by police if you believe the government is planning to confiscate your firearms, if you believe the economy is about to collapse and the government will declare martial law soon, or if you have an unusual number of political and/or ideological bumper stickers on your car.
Take a moment to absorb that.
Consider the implications of giving police that kind of authority to preemptively neutralize a potential threat, and you'll understand why some people are concerned about these mental health round-ups.
No matter how well-intentioned politicians make these infringements on our rights appear, benevolent plans can easily be turned to malevolent purposes in the right (or wrong) hands.
Even the best-intention of government law or program can and has been perverted, corrupted, and used to further illegitimate ends once profit and power are factored in.
The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on illegal immigration, and the war on COVID-19 began as legitimate responses to pressing concerns, but have since evolved into weapons of compliance and control in the hands of the government. For example, the same mass surveillance technologies that were ostensibly required to combat the spread of COVID-19 are now being used to stifle dissent, persecute activists, harass marginalized communities, and link people's health data to other surveillance and law enforcement tools.
As I explain in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and its fictional counterpart, The Erik Blair Diaries, we are rapidly approaching an authoritarian society in which the only opinions, ideas, and speech permitted by the government and its corporate allies are those permitted by the government and its corporate allies.
We've arrived at a fork in the road.
"At this point in history," author Erich Fromm warned, "the capacity to doubt, criticize, and disobey may be all that stands between a future for mankind and the end of civilization."
https://tinyurl.com/2pkjkn5r is the source.
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