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Five Questions for Peter Kinderman

(See also an updated postscript to a later piece on a formal complaint by Mr Kinderman and others)

1. On page 10 of A Prescription for Psychiatry (September 2014) you state ‘some American techniques for people who have been given a diagnosis of autism…were described by a recent UN report as being ‘akin to torture’. The particular techniques…involved children wearing special devices that administered electric shocks…’. Shortly after, you imply that this occurred under ‘psychiatric care’.

Why did you not make clear that the electric shocks were part of a behavioural programme designed by the psychologist Matthew Israel, who has dismissed criticism of such punitive techniques (which were previously used to ‘treat’ homosexuality) as ‘political correctness’? That Israel avoided prosecution for destroying videotape evidence by agreeing to retire? And that the ‘torture-like’ methods took place in the school which psychologist Israel founded, from which psychiatrists appear to have been excluded, rather than any form of ‘psychiatric care’? [Link to the 2013 Forbes piece here is Reference 12, on page 193 of Prescription]

2. A Prescription for Psychiatry repeatedly makes the case for the moral and scientific superiority of psychologists over psychiatrists. You had previously led the Division of Clinical Psychology in the British Psychological Society (BPS), which is the sister organisation of the American Psychological Association (APA). Why did you not mention the close involvement of APA members and other psychologists in the US ‘enhanced interrogation programme’, which included waterboarding, and is widely seen as torture? Why did you not include the Blog piece you wrote about this seventeen months earlier (April 2013) in your lengthy list of references?

3. Why have you not acknowledged that your claims to oppose ‘Neoliberalism’ are undermined by the support your Anti-Diagnosis views give to those who want to restrain, or reduce, taxpayer-funded (NHS) mental health services?

4. You are the only mental health professional to be open about being part of the ‘Mad in the UK Editorial Collective’. Why does MITUK seek to remove reasonable criticism from its comments sections, in breach of its own ‘guidelines’?

5. As a member of the ‘Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry‘ (CEPUK), why do you support selectively denigrating first-person accounts of psychiatric treatment success as ‘anecdotal evidence’, by fellow CEPUK members Dr Sami Timimi and Dr Peter Gøtzsche? You do not seriously deny that your own work and that of your Anti-Psychiatry associates contains many first-person accounts of psychiatric treatment failures and problems?


Mad in the UK: how it will ‘moderate’ genuine criticism is a ‘collective’ of 10 professionals and non-professionals which went online on Thursday 6th September. We know the identity of only one professional: Peter Kinderman, who I have previously blogged about as a central figure in anti-diagnosis ‘Critical Psychology’ and its false claims to be anti-neoliberal.

NHS psychiatrist Samei Huda has pointed out the professional-led nature of MITUK, in contrast to the more genuinely ‘survivor-led’ Mad in America (MIA):

The one non-professional on MITUK who is not anonymous is James Moore, with whom I have been in email contact for a few months. Recently, James has become more open about his support for the ‘Power Threat Meaning Framework’ (co-author, Peter Kinderman), which has a strong anti-diagnosis agenda (MITUK claims not to be anti-diagnosis).

James posted a long article about ‘Psychiatric Drugs’ on the day MITUK started, and the way my comment was ‘moderated’ shows the clearly biased way that comments will be selected and trimmed to exclude facts and reasoning which highlight the anti-diagnosis and ‘trauma-pure’ nature of PTMF, as well as its ‘vested interests’.

Full text of comment (as accepted after initial moderation):

James…a pleasure to make the first comment on your first substantial MITUK piece! It’s well written.

Good to see the recommendation of Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma, and I have a lot of time for Robert Whitaker’s work (by no means have I read all of it though).

Today I am very busy too: taking on the less well-known links between overmedication and anti-diagnosis that I have repeatedly brought to your attention since May:

I will make just one point now. You write that six years ago you were ‘weak, fatigued and vulnerable being utterly and completely in the frigid embrace of depression, consumed by fear and lacking the mental facility to question what I was being told.’

Under ‘topics’ at the right here, ‘psychology’ has just one linked piece: to your interview with the lead author of the ‘Power Threat Meaning Framework’. According to the PTMF, diagnoses of mental disorders are to be abolished, to be replaced by a single quasi-diagnosis (my term, I have to be brief) of ‘Complex PTSD’ (search the 400+ page long version for that phrase). That means that in your ‘vulnerable’ state of ‘depression’, if you can’t remember sufficient traumas, in order to access support you might feel under pressure to make them up. Are you happy with that?

Only in the last week I have brought to your attention a Public Limited Company with ‘share capital’ (therefore a capitalist enterprise just like a pharmaceutical company) commodifying and selling this diagnosis-free ‘trauma-informed’ approach:

That was after you re-tweeted the main shareholder: Warren Larkin, Clinical Psychologist, and then supported his blocking against my probing questions!

James, good luck, but I suggest you need to use words such as ‘unbiased’ with more care. Best wishes.

This was submitted 06/09/2018 at 4:59 pm and after ‘moderation’ the full text appeared the following morning. After several hours these paragraphs (five and six) were removed:

‘Only in the last week I have brought to your attention a Public Limited Company with ‘share capital’ (therefore a capitalist enterprise just like a pharmaceutical company) commodifying and selling this diagnosis-free ‘trauma-informed’ approach:

That was after you re-tweeted the main shareholder: Warren Larkin, Clinical Psychologist, and then supported his blocking against my probing questions!’

And this comment appeared under my (now edited) comment:

MITUK admin 07/09/2018 at 12:42 pm
Dear Neil, thank you for commenting. As noted in our guidelines, the MITUK collective is committed to debate that is respectful and accurate. We would therefore like to point out that the PTM Framework does not propose replacing existing diagnoses with a single category of ‘Complex Trauma’. The second part of your comment makes unfounded allegations against a clinical psychologist, and after discussion within the moderating team we have therefore decided to delete this part of your comment.
The MITUK Collective.


My response (submitted as a new comment) on 8th September:

‘Dear ‘MITUK Team’…sorry I don’t agree I have made any ‘unfounded allegations’ (I note your plural). Please state which facts or reasoning you hold to be in error.

The deleted sentences can be found here:

I suggest readers look at the full PTMF and decide for themselves about ‘Complex PTSD’. However, I WAS in error on one point! They should search for ‘complex trauma’, not ‘complex PTSD’.’

Email to me later the same day:

Dear Dr MacFarlane
Thank you for your latest comment on Mad in the UK. We will not be approving this, or other comments that fall outside our moderation guidelines. Comments on other issues will be considered in accordance with our guidelines.


The MITUK Collective

I welcome comments from others who experience this!



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