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“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail

8. Drug Companies Influence Doctors and Health Organizations to Push Meds

Washington Monthly, May 12, 2000
Title: Drug Rush
Author: Stephen Pomper

MOJO Wire Magazine, November/December 1999
Authors: Ken Silverstein

Dendron #43, Spring, 2000
Title: NAMI: The Story Behind the Story
Author: David Oaks

Networker, March/April 2000
Title: Exposing the Mythmakers
Authors: Barry Duncan, Scott Miller Jacqueline Sparks

Faculty evaluators: Victor Daniels, Ph.D., Cindy Sterns, Ph.D.
Student researchers: Bruce Harden, Karen Parlette, Licia Marshall, Steve Quartz

More than 130 million prescriptions were written in 1999 for depression and mental health related symptoms at a cost of $8.58 billion. Physicians know that antidepressants are only part of the answer for mental health, but marketing by drug companies has created the mythology of pills as cure-alls. A 1999 federal research study found that the newer antidepressants were effective in only half of the cases and only outperformed placebos by 18 percent.

Drug companies spend $5 billion annually to send sales representatives to doctors’ offices. Sales reps keep FBI-style dossiers on physicians that include information such as the names of family members, golf handicaps, and clothing preferences. Hard sales tactics and small gifts are part of the pitch. In addition, pharmaceutical companies provide perks (such as tickets to sporting events) and outright compensation to doctors for their participation in the prescribing of particular drugs to their mental health patients.

On another front, pharmaceutical companies are reaping big profits by promoting forced drug use through programs at the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). With drug company funding, NAMI promotes a program of in-home forced drug treatment, called the Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT). The money is funneled through a suborganization of NAMI called the NAMI Campaign to End Discrimination. While PACT has some features that clients like, it also puts an emphasis on “medication compliance.” For instance, PACT at times includes daily psychiatric drug deliveries to people’s doorsteps and living rooms, backed up by court orders. PACT enforces medication compliance by visiting clients’ homes daily to stand and watch as clients take their medicine-involuntarily-in their own living rooms. There is a clear conflict of interest here since the pharmaceutical companies are reaping profits from the drugs the patients are forced to take.

The psychiatric drug industry is pouring millions into a NAMI-controlled slush fund, which is the monetary force behind one of NAMI’s central goals: to get PACT into every state by 2002. NAMI leaders claim their hands are clean of drug money.

They bill NAMI as “a grassroots organization for individuals with brain disorders, and their family members.” However, Janet Foner, a co-coordinator of Support Coalition International, an activist organization of “psychiatric survivors,” says NAMI does a good job in some areas, but argues that the group’s corporate sponsors help shape its agenda. “They appear to be a completely independent organization, but they parrot the line of the drug companies in saying that drugs are essential [in treating mental health disorders].”

NAMI has a policy of never disclosing its drug company funding. Mother Jones researchers used internal documents to prove that NAMI received $11.72 million from the psychiatric drug industry in just two-and-a-half years. NAMI’s leading donor is Eli Lilly and Company, which is the maker of Prozac.

Update by Stephen Pomper

“Drug Rush” explores the lopsidedness in the FDA’s regulation of new drugs. Over the last decade, AIDS activists seeking quicker access to breakthrough treatments and pharmaceutical companies eager to get their products on the shelves have successfully pressured Congress to ramp up the process for approving new drugs. But once drugs are on the market, the FDA has scant resources for monitoring their safety. The agency is short on medically trained epidemiologists to track the bad effects of new drugs. The nation’s safety monitoring system relies on voluntary (and unreliable) reporting by private physicians. And at the same time, the pharmaceutical industry encourages the rapid uptake of new products through consumer advertising (including, thanks to newly relaxed regulations, television advertising) and physician-focussed promotions ranging from free pens to complementary basketball tickets.

In the months since the article appeared, the FDA has been increasingly active in trying to bolster its safety monitoring programs. An internal report, released in November 2000, concluded that the FDA should do more to monitor drugs once they’re approved. Officials within the FDA’s Office of Post-Marketing Drug Risk Assessment have said that they’d like to see organizations like the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality receive more money to monitor prescription drugs once they are on the market. They have also called for funds collected under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act to be earmarked for safety monitoring. As FDA Commissioner Jane Henney wrote in a letter to the Washington Monthly: “Although [monitoring for drugs on the market] has been updated, the monitoring system requires a significant infusion of resources to make it stronger.”

Readers interested in exploring the FDA’s regulation of new drugs should begin with Public Citizen’s website, David Willman’s excellent coverage of the Rezulin crisis in the L.A. Times, and the Washington Post’s recent six part series on the conduct of U.S. drug testing in foreign countries.

Stephen Pomper:

Update by David Oaks

The guinea pigs are fighting back. You haven’t heard much about this rebellion in the mainstream press, but there’s a 30-year-old social change movement led by people who have experienced human rights violations in the “mental health system.” These are the activists who educated me about the issues described in my piece.

For centuries, the psychiatric industry has churned out new methods and models to profitably control people diagnosed with mental disabilities. The difference this time is that an increasingly sophisticated and united “mad movement” is resisting the latest corporate trend.

The involuntary psychiatric drugging of people living in their own homes, in their own neighborhoods, is an especially alarming phenomenon. Since my article was published, the use of coerced outpatient psychiatric drugging is accelerating. In the USA, psychiatric drug industry front groups have won increased federal support for this authoritarian approach. In Canada, UK, and Australia, similar front groups are making headway. We are witnessing the globalization of a new “chemical prison” industry.

The guinea pigs did win a major battle since my article was published. In July 2000, hundreds of mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors in California stopped a proposal in the State Assembly that would have legalized involuntary outpatient psychiatric drugging.

The mainstream press perspective on forced psychiatric drugging has almost always been from the wrong end of the needle. Corporate media typically ignore the marginalized individuals who feel violated by forced psychiatric procedures.

For example, the popular press is not reporting a related news story that has emerged in mainstream medical industry publications: Recent studies indicate that long-term use of the drugs most commonly administered during involuntary procedures has been linked to such extreme changes in the size and shape of the brain that these drug-induced brain alterations are visible under MRI and CT scans.

The dominant media tend to either glorify the drug industry’s most recent “magic pill,” or vilify the supposedly “dangerously mentally ill.” While it is important to respect the many clients who willingly choose to take prescribed psychiatric drugs, the public deserves to hear more about holistic alternatives to the corporate “biopsychiatric medical model.”

Readers seeking more information about, or involvement in, the “guinea pig revolt” may contact these non-profit groups:

Support Coalition International, which I direct, is open to the public, and is led by “psychiatric survivors.” Support Coalition unites nearly 100 grassroots groups in a dozen countries, and publishes Dendron News. Web site: Phone (in the
US): 1-877-MAD-PRIDE.

National Association for Rights Protection & Advocacy (NARPA) holds an annual conference of advocates, attorneys, and activists working for the rights of people diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities. Web site:

International Center for the Study of Psychiatry & Psychology (ICSPP) is a hub for psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health workers who are bravely challenging their own industry’s ethics. Several of these mental health professionals have authored relevant books. I especially recommend recent books by Ty Colbert, Ph.D., Loren Mosher, M.D., and ICSPP’s director, Peter Breggin, M.D. Web site:

David Oaks:

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