America's Culture of Escapism, Denial, and Narcissism
By Scott Lazarowitz
Yet another incident of multiple murders has occurred, this time in Santa Barbara, committed by 22-year-old student Elliot Rodger who left behind videos and a manifesto which showed him to be extremely narcissistic and irrational.
And once again, hysterical anti-self-defense people call for not only more gun control but for “mental health” background checks and disarming those determined to have a “mental illness.”
As Ron Paul noted, observations of the mental health of others is subjective. Who will decide who is “mentally ill”? We saw what the psychiatric community did to Justina Pelletier, who didn’t even have mental health issues but a medical condition. The zealously ideological psychiatrists seized her case and removed custody of her from her parents over to the State. And it was these medical and government bureaucrats who caused whatever mental health issues I can imagine she has now. The clinicians want to impose their “behavior modification” ideology at all costs.
The real issues with these campus killings is not mental illness, guns, knives or cars. But there are ignoramuses and devious people out there who are campaigning to disarm innocent people, for no good reason.
So if you want to discuss some possible causal factors to these school campus killings, looking at the perpetrators’ earlier lives can be instructive. And even more relevant, in my view, are the kids’ obsession with video games, parents and teachers’ self-centered detachment from the kids’ emotional needs, and psychiatric drugs.
Regarding the psychiatric drugs, during Elliot Rodger’s later years, his last psychiatrist prescribed the anti-psychotic drug Risperidone but after researching it Rodger wouldn’t take it. However, it appears that he was possibly addicted to Xanax ( a benzodiazapine anti-anxiety drug) and was also prescribed Vicodin (a pain killer), both of which he had intended to take just before ending his life, according to his manifesto, My Twisted World (on Scribd), and last video(s).
Sandy Hook School killer Adam Lanza’s psychiatric drug history is unclear. According to this Hartford Courant article, which includes interviews of Lanza’s earlier psychiatrists and a psychiatric nurse, the nurse prescribed the SSRI antidepressant Celexa to Adam Lanza when he was about 14 or 15, but Lanza’s mother Nancy Lanza reported that Adam was experiencing side-effects and she then withdrew the medication. However, after the Sandy Hook killings about 5 years later, neighbors and acquaintances of the Lanzas had stated that they believed Adam was “on medication,” so it is possible that he may have been taking a psychiatric drug prescribed by a later psychiatrist. The post-Sandy Hook toxicology report stated there were no drugs, prescription or otherwise, in Adam Lanza’s system, but there is also the possibility that Lanza could have been suffering from withdrawal had he been taking a psychiatric drug at one time. Also, there have been allegations of a cover-up by Connecticut’s state medical examiner.
The Centers for Disease Control has reported that 1 in 13 children ages 6 to 17 is on some form of psychiatric medication. The connection between many of the mass murders in recent years and the SSRI antidepressants or anti-psychotics is well documented. For instance, Columbine High School killer Eric Harris had been taking Luvox after his psychiatrist switched him from another SSRI antidepressant Zoloft. The alleged Aurora theater shooter James Holmes had also been taking Zoloft, as well as the Benzodiazapine anti-anxiety drug Clonazepam. And the Red Lake school shooter Jeff Weise had been taking Prozac.
But another aspect of the Elliot Rodger and Adam Lanza stories I wanted to address is the video games. Some people believe those video games to be addictive.
In his earlier years, Elliot Rodger had the Game Boy and Nintendo 64 and was attached to the popular but allegedly addictive Pokemon. And when he was 10 years old for Christmas his mother bought him a Playstation 2. At age 11 he received an Xbox and the military sci-fi game Halo became his favorite video game.
At age 13 he received the MMORPG World of Warcraft for Christmas. In his manifesto, he noted, “(World of Warcraft) was like stepping into another world of excitement and adventure. It was a video game world, but they made it so realistic that it was like living another life, a more exciting life. My life was getting more and more depressing at that point, and WoW would fill in the void. It felt refreshing and relieving.”
At this point, the video games became a large part of Elliot Rodger’s life. He wrote about his mother moving to a new apartment: “This was the point when my social life ended completely. I would never have a satisfying social life ever again. It was the beginning of a very lonely period of my life, in which my only social interactions would be online through video games, with the sole exception being my friendship with James. The ability to play video games with people online temporarily filled in the social void. I got caught up in it, and I was too young and naïve to realize the severity of how far I had fallen. I was too scared to accept it. This loss of a social life, coupled with the advent of puberty, caused me to die a little inside. It was too much for me to handle, and I stopped caring about my life and my future. I even stopped caring about what people thought of me. I hid myself away in the online World of Warcraft, a place where I felt comfortable and secure.” World of Warcraft became an obsession for him, continuing into high school.
Regarding Adam Lanza and his incessant video game playing, there are several articles online which seem to be distorting or exaggerating his use of violent video games. For instance, this Guardian article states that Lanza was obsessed with mass murder and listed only violent video games based only on some items police actually found in the Lanza home, while this Techdirt article clarifies that he also had non-violent video games such as Dance Dance Revolution, and it was that video with which the article claims Lanza actually was obsessed. This Hartford Courant op-ed agrees based on witness interviews that Lanza’s real obsession was for the non-violent video games, especially Dance Dance Revolution.
In my view, when someone spends hours at a time, day after day, totally immersed in the imaginary non-realities of video games, how can that not distort one’s general perceptions of reality? Even if he weren’t taking psychiatric drugs, and even if the videos into which he seemed to be emotionally merged were mostly non-violent, how can such intensive time spent with the video games not affect his ability to discern between real humans and fictional characters in video games?
The video games can psychologically reinforce a perception of others as mere objects, and the psychiatric drugs can also chemically exaggerate emotions such as anger and rage, and can effect in deadening a sense of empathy toward others.
While some people say “conspiracy theorist,” others point to connections between the recent mass killings and implications of government-infiltration of media and use of drugs to “trigger” violent behavior in people, some of whom have claimed no knowledge of their even having committed violent acts.
Which should not be too hard to fathom, by the way, given that we now know that the NSA has not only collected video gamers’ chats, buddylists and geolocations but also NSA agents themselves participate and role-play in games and discussions as a means of extracting personal information and metadata and recruiting informants, specifically in Xbox Live and World of Warcraft. We also know that governments have instilled their propaganda in these video games.
And besides the video games, many people now, especially the younger ones, escape from the realities of life with other distraction-based computer-related activities such as texting, constant email-checking, Facebook and otherwise hand-held device preoccupations. Staring into a video screen is a form of hypnosis, in my view. I see young people turning into zombies who, if they are not themselves violent they seem to be more accepting of government, military and police violence as a normal way of life.
The increase in police violence and hysteria, by the way, with thousands of unnecessary S.W.A.T. raids and so forth, is occurring at a time in which actual civilian violence in America has been in a steady decline. Nevertheless, the people seem to be passively and subserviently accepting of this American police state.
But given the influence that psychiatric drugs may have had on Elliot Rodger and Adam Lanza, and given how militarized local police departments have become and how many military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have joined local police departments, should we be concerned about how some of those in the military and vets have themselves been given those same kinds of psychiatric drugs?
And that includes the “cocktails” of several drugs, such as antidepressants, sedatives, sleeping pills and pain killers doctors have been giving them. Military doctors give the soldiers tens of thousands of prescriptions for these mind-altering psychiatric drugs each year. One crony executive VA bureaucrat also has sat on the boards of GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, makers of some of the most commonly-prescribed (and dangerous) anti-psychotics and antidepressants. According to Dr. Peter Breggin, author of The Anti-Depressant Fact Book and a book on psychiatric drug withdrawal and who has testified as an expert witness in cases involving these drugs, the antidepressants actually worsen soldiers depression and have been linked to suicides and violence. Meanwhile, some of the studies which clear these drugs contain huge loopholes in order to hide the truth.
Coincidentally, both Adam Lanza and Elliot Rodger were diagnosed with Asperger’s, had been characterized as “withdrawn” and “shy,” were bullied, and their parents divorced. But in my view those things had nothing to do with their later becoming mass killers. But I can assert that the extensive, obsessive video gaming and the psychiatric drugs may have contributed.
In my view, both the psychiatric drugs and obsessive video game rapture greatly magnified Adam Lanza’s rage and possible resentment toward his mother for controlling his life extensively as well as her leaving him home alone to escape into the world of video games. And the drugs and video game rapture also magnified Elliot Rodger’s rage and extreme narcissism and hatred toward women for rejecting him.
My concern here is that instead of exploring children’s emotional issues during early years, the adults of our generally impatient society rush to label a child with this or that “disorder,” and the more ignored his true issues are the more deeply repressed he can become.
For instance, if a child reacts so negatively to being touched or hasn’t spoken by age 3, as was the case with Adam Lanza, then can it be possible that the child may have experienced something of a traumatic or invasive nature prior to that point?
And what’s going on with the child emotionally that is distracting him from concentrating on the class material or his homework, or causing him to act out or become withdrawn? And if it’s something chemically influenced (prior to the administration of any psychiatric drugs), then the processed foods, fast foods etc. and extra vaccines with all those additives and synthetic chemicals really do affect the brain and influence emotions and behaviors, especially in vulnerable and developing kids.
Today’s psychiatric and “mental health” community exploits these situations, in my view. I can see why, rather than dealing with what’s going on with a troubled child, today’s psychiatrists and psychologists find their behavior modification therapy stuff less challenging for them. Such a behavior modification ideology is very authoritarian and pedagogical in nature, and involves the therapist telling the patient what to do and how to act. it doesn’t take into account the child’s actual individual needs, but it does take into account the clinicians’ own emotional needs to be controlling and directing the behaviors of others.
Some books that may be of interest include The Family Crucible: The Intense Experience of Family Therapy by Augustus Napier and Carl Whitaker, and For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence and Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society’s Betrayal of the Child by Alice Miller.
Our society is now one in which kids who challenge the teachers’ politically correct diktats and teens who “speak truth to power” are diagnosed with “oppositional defiant disorder,” and adults who are considered to be “anti-government” or who challenge the statist quo are considered by the elites to be “terrorists.”
The rush to more civilian disarmament and calls for “mental illness” background checks are discomforting, to say the least.