The Human Genome
How could anyone who has not been on the receiving end of getting tagged and put into a category of the “mentally ill” for their personal thoughts and emotions, know the feeling of being singled out and ostracized as abnormal? Only we can truly understand the warped mindsets originating from long ago, which intended to alienate particular groups of the population, weeding out the undesirables with the covert intention of limiting their rights, or even worse—eradicating them.
I had pondered these issues for my entire adult life because I was marked as having faulty genes at the young age of 22. No one else around me could possibly understand the amount of reading I had done on the subject, the amount of philosophical consideration I had given the origins of these views. I have heard over and over again that, “if you knew your baby had the bipolar gene, wouldn’t you change that?” As if the bipolar gene is a speck of dust that can be flicked away. These genes are inextricably intertwined with dozens of other traits that show up with bipolar DNA—flourishing creativity, moments of enlightenment, vivid dreaming, and innovative genius. It’s called a personality. But to the psychiatric institution, it isn’t “normal.” And it didn’t really matter where you fell on the bipolar spectrum. To most of the general population, bipolar simply meant severely and chronically mentally ill. Unlike in India where class determines these levels of organizing people, in America only today’s conformists are allowed to be free and mobile. All others will be assigned their numbers (as were the Jews of long ago), and placed along the evolutionary pyramid, while those of us with traits they consider the lowliest (i.e. bipolars and schizophrenics), are systematically weaned away from the population.
I saw this up close when I was trying to get pregnant. Here I was six years since my last psychotic incident, healed into a whole woman with a great job as a high school English teacher at Westchester’s Sleepy Hollow High School, episode-free, and blessed with a happy marriage for four years. I was ready to be a mother, and my husband and I believed I could be a good one. Yet my quest in acquiring the all-coveted, joyful baby trophy would not be easy. Most women who were lucky to be fertile never had to contend with a doctor viewing their DNA as so defective that the future of humankind should be spared from it. My doctors in consensus actually discouraged me from having a child and passing along my defective genetics. As if keeping the bipolar population to the bare minimum was the most responsible thing to do because otherwise it might violate their Hippocratic Oath.
So, in the efforts to slow down the rate of propagation amongst the defective mentally ill population, (or what the Nazis called, “the life unworthy of living”), the medical community held to my face a soulless, sterile mirror convincing me that I didn’t deserve to be a mother. I was made to feel that I was being selfish for thinking about passing down such horrendous genes, that if they were to show themselves one day in my offspring, they can only do harm and no good.
Currently, molecular biologists continue to work steadily at mapping the entire human genetic blueprint through the Human Genome Project claiming it’s in our best interest so that future diseases can be eliminated. As I was dealing with my basic human right of procreation, I was continually reminded in covert language that for the health benefits of future generations, bipolar disorder was among the genetic aggregates that wasn’t likely to make the cut-off list into the more evolved future gene pool of humankind.
The main goal of the project is to gain a genetic profile of the “superior” human being so as to direct the best course of gene selection for the future development of a more advanced species. The entire project, which burns several billions of taxpayer dollars every year, is laden with ethical and moral issues, and is a direct outgrowth of early Nazi research in genetics. Not even the scientists working on the project have full knowledge of the research they are working on. Gene ownership is currently being discussed in corporate and governmental alliances. And there are theses being published by esteemed men in the field who rather flippantly predict the wars of our future between the genetically “enhanced” and everyone else, or the “naturals.”
Research from the project shows that the bipolar “illness” is a “complex genetic disorder,” meaning the very gene that is responsible for bipolarity is fused together with a DNA composite that contains a great many first-rate genes as well. In the past, a conglomeration of traits that could not be broken apart from one another might have been identified as a personality. Now, if one genetic trait within a combination has only the potential to present problems in the future for its owner, the entire cluster is deemed abnormal. To me, this was devastating to learn, because so many levels of capacity we have as people show up in the non-material aspect of life—levels of thought, imagination, creativity. The Human Genome Project analyzes the material aspects of ourselves implying that we are nothing more than genetic material on a strand of DNA, and our descendants—or our children—are a continuation of that genetic material, either fit or unfit for the future evolution of our species.
Many kids who are tagged “mentally ill” have incredibly imaginative stuff tucked away inside their brains in unusual and ingenious ways, but they lose confidence along the way. And the world tries to convince them they have brain dysfunction. But our DNA, flawed chromosomes and all, holds the design of our complex and unique expression of our individualism. In Revolution OS, a documentary that tells the inside story of a group of hackers who created the Open Source Movement and rebelled against the proprietary software model, the hackers seemed to be mentally in another world. In all likelihood the computer geeks in this documentary were misfits growing up, possibly secluded in their rooms and socially unapproachable. They may not have appeared like everyone else, but they had the genetic makeup of budding geniuses. Before this obsession with genetic defective traits, this ingenious group would have been left to their own devices to blossom and grow into their more evolved selves. Today, under the new societal view of correcting genetic deviants, doctors might prescribe these oddballs medication because they don’t socially fit in, and as a result, weaken their focus on logic and their singular vision for the abstract. And what a loss our society would have suffered. Are our differences in our genetic composition defects, or indeed gifts?
The Galtonian Agenda and Eugenics
That some genetic personality compositions are better, or “more normal,” than others is a poor first starting premise, and only rotten fruit can grow from the roots of its tree. These ideas of superiority from a select few prevailed throughout our entire history, permeating our society and the world at large like a cockroach infestation. And it’s never stopped.
Charles Darwin’s ideas about evolution have a lot to do with how people are now viewing each other’s mental and emotional capacities. Biological psychology uses the same materialist approach as that of natural history research, as they view so much about mental or emotional affairs as being the result of a genetic influence. And they believe through random evolution, some genetic traits are more superior or more evolved than others. Darwin had a great influence on his friend, Sigmund Freud, during his time, and in his On the Origin of Species he wrote:
In the distant future I see open fields for far more important
researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation,
that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and
capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin
of man and his history.
Subsequent schools of thought broke loose from Darwin’s perspective on genetic traits in gradation. Inspired by his theories, Charles Darwin’s cousin, Frances Galton, birthed Social Darwinism—which extended these concepts to include people’s personalities and characteristics ranging from physical to mental.
The philosophy behind Social Darwinism influenced the psychiatric bible, or the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or DSM), which categorizes every idiosyncratic detail of human expression into groups and sub-groups of the defective genetic gene pool. Without anybody ever realizing it, Social Darwinism had begun over a century ago to direct the organization of our society, particularly manifested in the field of psychiatry.
Galton began with the assumption (popular in the scientific racism school of thought at the time) that some people were genetically better than others. A grotesque progression of Social Darwinism produced the Eugenics Movement, which advocates practices to improve the genetic composition of a human population, and which is still given consideration today in scientific circles. Eugenics fueled philosophical ideologies for over a century and influenced much of the way psychiatry tends to evaluate the mentally ill, as they believe that many mental problems are hereditary. And they have plenty of unsubstantiated “scientific” evidence to prove it.
The pseudoscience of Eugenics proposed that human beings, in order for the fittest to survive, needed to weed out the less desirables so as to prevent competition for resources between the unfit and the fit. Eugenicists felt it was their responsibility to help natural evolution along. Many were concerned that certain institutions, like insane asylums, were allowing inferior humans to survive and reproduce at levels faster than the more “superior” humans. Eugenics was practiced in the United States for many years prior to its involvement in World War II. And between the years 1907-1963, the United States upheld compulsory sterilization laws, which affected over 64,000 individuals, (almost all of whom were patients of state mental institutions), who were the least desirable of society.
The Galtonian agenda had a direct link to the horrors of Nazi Germany, and the U.S. eugenics programs provided much of the inspiration for the Nazis’ racial hygiene programs. It supported the Nazi obsession with cleansing their gene pool from “unhygienic” racial populations. Believing their Aryan race to be the superior master race, Nazis were out to destroy non-Aryans, cleansing the world of inferior breeds to attain heavenly perfection on Earth. This insane Aryanist ideology was the radical but logical extension of both scientific racism and Social Darwinism. The Nazis didn’t see people when they saw everyone else in relationship to themselves as the master race. They saw living, dirty creatures that they had the right to genetically play with and eliminate. As Jews were considered pests and lice, mental patients were seen as germs. Elimination of the imbecile population would ensure the master race’s chance to proliferate quicker and more efficiently. Starting with the mentally ill, the plan to eradicate unwanted genes had begun. As in the US, the mentally ill were the first to be sterilized in Nazi Germany, and further, they were later the first to be exterminated during the trial experiment of the Nazi Tiergarten 4 program. They tested eliminating the worst undesirables first and murdered 70,000 mental patients quietly and discreetly before they unleashed their horrific practices upon the Jewish population.
Much of psychiatry and biological psychology is based on the idea of genetic mistakes in our personal traits. The overly abundant and growing amount of labels of defective mental illnesses in the DSM is a direct outgrowth of the Nazi belief in identifying the less fit, and now, with the current interest in projects regarding the human genome, we are again trying to get rid of inferior genes from the future. I suppose in a more “humane” way.
In a 2006 newspaper article evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins stated that the Eugenics movement got a bad rap from the Nazi misuse of it, and enough time has elapsed for reconsideration of such an idea. In his view, it’s not physically different from breeding domestic animals for traits like herding skill or speed. He said he didn’t see the ethical differences between breeding for ability versus training athletes or forcing children to take music lessons. This Jimmy the Greek dickhead wannabe cannot draw the distinction between creating a strong dog breed, and selecting only certain characteristics to direct the course of human evolution. The fact that this is even being discussed in elitist scientific circles, who are making decisions regarding our children’s future, is frightening.
These obsessions with steering the course of evolution by man-made means was a driving motivator in Nazi ideology. The party took their mission very seriously. In seeing themselves as superior, they wanted to help nature along so that it would not default to selective factors randomly. They believed that certain traits they deemed as stronger and fitter for the advanced human being—such as toughness, bravery, and social utility—could only be accomplished through a human institution. They could not accept the idea that natural selection might steer humanity towards competition for resources between the superior white races and colored populations, the Jewish lineage, or the mentally ill.
Nazi practices showed the extreme advancement of a wrong theory gone too far. And because we are depending on man to determine which genetic types are superior, particularly with the mentally ill, there can be no prediction as to where we go with this. How far is too far when there are 374 labeled personality types to choose to eradicate in the current DSM? With no one to voice against this reasoning, I promise you that in time the bipolar artists will soon be cleansed from existence. It takes but a generation or two. But instead of even thinking about getting rid of a population, we should be working feverishly to right the wrongs of this planet with good hearts to bring about true change for the better.
Scientific members of the establishment are attempting to eliminate these defective genes associated with the so-called “mentally ill” population so they cannot hurt us in our future evolution. They are choosing “good” genetics instead, based on their own genotypes, to live onward for the benefit of the human race. In their view, the problems of the world can be rectified once the less evolved genotypes are eliminated from the future gene pool. They are convinced that it’s in mankind’s best interest for proper evolutionary development to be rid of us imbeciles. Well, they are insane. Because if they keep nullifying all these personality types, they are destroying our genetic variation as a species, which allows for a population to naturally evolve. If we don’t have enough variation in the gene pool, we cannot adapt in response to changing environmental variables. If one embraces Eugenics as a sensible move for our evolution as a human race, they are closing the door on natural selection and embracing man-made selection instead, which is based on a number of scientific predictions determined by man’s limited understanding of what our evolution newly calls for; and, as a result, we may face extinction.
Long ago, the dead white men in charge, who began coming up with all these fancy labels, set limitations for the “unevolved” groups of people whom they saw as the most undesirable of society. They were able to hold these types back and keep them down by attaching a mental illness marker to it. A perfect example of this is the former mental illness of drapetomania, which is a “disease” they concluded, that causes Negro slaves to run away. Dr. Cartwright, a highly respected and widely published doctor from the University of Louisiana, wrote in 1851 the article, “Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race:”
(It) “is as much a disease of the mind as any
other species of mental alienation, and much
more curable, as a general rule. With the
advantages of proper medical advice, strictly
followed, this troublesome practice that many
Negroes have of running away, can be almost
The racist medical experts of that time period believed that if a slave was kept in the God-intended position of submission, and if his master was kind without condescension and provided for all his physical wants, the Negro would, under normal frame of mind, be spellbound and could not run away. This mental illness marker is clearly preposterous today, but at the time, it was taken seriously in prominent schools of study. In the late 1800s, normal for the black man meant being submissive.
In the early 1800s, (during which some very important mental illnesses were being “discovered”), Dr. Benjamin Rush (one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence who was considered the “Father of American Psychiatry”), identified another affliction from which many Black Americans were suffering. It was called Negritude, which he determined was a mild form of leprosy, and the only cure for this disorder was to become white. This lent itself later to racial segregation. Keep the blacks and whites separate so that the whites don’t catch that nasty illness of Negritude.
Another example of this social oppression is the categorization of homosexuality as one of the “sexual deviations” in the DSM-II published in 1968. In time, homosexuals demanded social acceptance, and in 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its official diagnostic list.
Today, we continue to let the system tag people by numbers just as they did in Nazi Germany—in this case the pharma code from the DSM—thereby restricting their rights when it so chooses. This highly-regarded cataloguing system of personalities and flaws has more to do with botany classification than assessing the many colors of the human spirit. And by eliminating these personality traits that are so-called “illnesses,” they are eliminating bloodlines.
On the other side of those hospital doors rests a vacuous white chasm where all the “undesirables” of today’s population end up, haunted by the ghostly thought-forms of yesterday. “She is a Jew. Eradicate her,” the ghosts say. When I was on the inside, I was certain I wasn’t crazy. Neither was any other undesirable in there. And who makes up these undesirables they wish to eliminate from the future? They are the prophets, the artists, the intuitives and the warriors of this world now part of the latest classification system of living things and are made to keep their traps shut. But my crazy brethren on the inside of those madhouses were like me. They were the ones who fell prey to the emotional cruelty on the outside, who found it difficult to succumb to our sick environment, and who failed to effectively block out the mayhem by acquiescing to the pressures of society. We indeed were different. Unlike much of the well-oiled parts of the machine, we who possessed this super-sensitivity were easily crushed under the metal and cogs. We were not the toughest, bravest, or socially useful to the current day status quo of society. But we are not the ones who need to be eliminated from the gene pool. Our dispositions and genetic make-ups are the very kinds that can influence a better world for our future.