Posted by

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Dear Vera, thanks for copying me. My comments are included within.]

   Subject: Failed Experiments: Child-Rearing Experts-- Visions and  Revisions
   Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
   A new book by Ann Hulbert, "Raising America: Experts,
   Parents and a Century of Advice About Children,"
   examines the theories and the validity of "expert" advice that
   had been dished out as Gospel to American parents.
   More than other cultures, Americans seem to have been influenced by
   one after another school of "experts" who urged them to suspend their
   natural instincts and apply unproven theories to human behavior.

   parents and children became subjects of vast uncontrolled experiments
   that were falsely promoted as progressive "scientific" improvements
   on child rearing. Invariably, when parents abandoned their natural
   nurturing instincts and relied on the advice of "experts,"
   greater harm than good resulted.
   For example, a New York Times article reports:
   "Cultural critics in the 1920's   warned against
   cloying motherly love, fearing it would fail to prepare children
   for the impersonal industrial world they were to enter.
   This concern paved the way for behavioralists like John B. Watson,
   who boasted of being able to program children as if they were
   Today, we know that: "The easiest and quickest way to induce depression
   and alienation in an infant or child is not to touch it,
   hold it, or carry it on your body."
   Yet, "experts" advised parents against doing what comes naturally:
   "Kissing the baby after it has been fed is very likely to cause it to
   "Never let them sit on your lap." Instead, the experts advised:
    "Shake hands with them in the morning."
   Generally, if followed, advice from "expert" often resulted in impeding
   normal development and emotional bonding between parents and children.
   As a result, both parents and children suffered from emotional deprivation.
   The article in the NYT describes some of the questionable
   theoretical underpinnings to such faulty advice on child rearing, and the
   tendency to swing from one radical ideological model to another:
   "During World War II, when the draft and the growing numbers of working women
   disrupted family life and fears of fascism ran high, the pendulum swung the
   other way: child experts now fretted about insufficient motherly attention.
   Coercive child-rearing produced frustrated, aggressive children, some
   argued. This was the period when the philosopher Theodore Adorno, a refugee
   Nazism, wrote "The Authoritarian Personality," in 1950, arguing that stern,
   unloving homes produced prejudiced and authoritarian children."
   Current brain research is similarly infused with speculative ideological
   agendas. They are guided by neither scientific validity nor human values.
   The Times notes:
   "ideological agendas can also be discerned in the current brain research,
   as a new crop of baby experts use neuroscience to argue that children's
   personalities and abilities are either determined before they're out of
   diapers or remarkably malleable." 

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Their's is
not so much ideology--thinking they have it right, but profit-seeking.
every invented, medine-perverting, science-perverting psychiatric
"chemical imbalance" there is a "chemical balancer"--pill to be sold by the
sponsor of it all, Big Pharma. All, past and present at the NIMH and
throughout the leadership of the APA know this to be the truth. Not a
single psychiatric "disorder"/ "disease" can be shown by any sort of
examination or technology to exist, individual-by-individual. The lure for
prescribing physicians is that they can now make paying "patients" of
normals. What's more there are no physical findings to have to document,
and no real tests to order. The doctor of "invented diseases" simply says
to the trusting, never-suspecting parent/patient: he has a "chemical
imbalance." Treat it or CPS will come a calling. Or the state, his new
parent, will. ]

   In "Perfect Parents: Baby-Care Advice Past and Present" (1995),
   Christina Hardyment writes: "A determination grew, to allow the children
   of the free world to be more free than children had ever been."
   Parents in the free world would do well to be extra cautious about
   following the advice of the current crop of "experts" who promote
   the use of psychoactive drugs to curtail children's response to
   their unfettered "freedom."  

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
In that the children being
drugged have only invented, fraudulent "diseases" and are known to be
normal, what we have here is not "treatment"-- it's damages "iatrogenic"
(an honest medical mistake)--but assault and battery--poisoning. It is ironic
that Peter Jensen, long of the NIMH, now at Columbia, who has written of the
need to court-order such drugging in the case of negligent parents,
unwilling to medicate their children, has refused to medicate his own ADHD

   CNN reported that "some in the medical profession now also
   find fault with the rising tide of diagnoses for behaviors once thought
   of simply as troublesome or odd, and especially the rising number of
   children and young adults labeled "sick" and medicated."

   Children are being used as pawns in an unconscionable drug marketing
   strategy in which "experts" with financial ties to drug companies
   advise millions of parents to improve their kids' behavior by
   starting them on psychoactive drugs. Usually, the gateway
   drug is the psychostimulant, Ritalin, which scientists at
   Brookhaven Laboratories have found to be more potent than cocaine.
   See: Vastag B, "Pay Attention: Ritalin Acts Much Like Cocaine,"
   JAMA, August 22/29, 2001, Vol. 286 No. 8,

   Not far behind are the antidepressants such as, Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil
   which are prescribed singly or in combined "cocktails." When these fail,
   children are brought into submission with antipsychotics such as,
   Risperdall and Zyprexa. Parents need to be warned that none of these
   drugs are benign.  

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
First and foremost, they need to be
told--but never are--that not a single psychiatric "disorder"/"disease"/
"chemical balance" can be objectively, diagnosed/demonstrated/validated
patient-by patient. There being no physical /medical disease, there is no
indication or justification for medical treatment. They are lied to--their
informed consent rights abrogated in every case. In that they have no
diseases, the only physical consequence of their "diagnosis and "treatment"
can only be due to their drug(s), their first and only
disease(s)". ]

 But the "experts" neglect to forewarn parents
   about the known, the foreseeable, and the potentially irreversible
   adverse effects of these drugs.
   See AHRP Infomail, January 14, 2003.

   In his book, "Why Ignoring the Experts May be Best for Your Child"
   sociologist Frank Furedi put it this way:
   "Parents are no more ignorant than the experts, so we might as well
   ignore them and act on our instincts."
   Highly recommended: The Science of Mother Love:
   Is Science Catching Up to Mother's Wisdom?
   By Cori Young

   Perhaps the "experts" that pose the greatest threat to
   children's dignity as human beings are the cutting-edge
   scientists who promise to use technological "advances" that will
   "produce babies who will grow up smarter, stronger, and prettier
   than anyone alive today. Tomorrow's designer children could also
   have made-to-order talents and might live decades longer than we will."
   A foremost proponent of genetic engineering is James Watson,
   co-discoverer of the DNA double helix. Watson declared
    at a 1998 conference: "if we could make better human beings by
   knowing how to add genes, why shouldn't we?"
   For arguments against Watson's "Brave New World" order and
   his "Devil may care about the unintended consequences" attitude,
   See: Making Better Babies By Bruce Agnew, Sage Crossroads at:


   April 5, 2003
Visions and Revisions of Child-Raising Experts

   Visions and Revisions of Child-Raising Experts
    Parents have never lacked for expert advice. "Kissing the baby after it has
   been fed is very likely to cause it to vomit." "Never let them sit on your
   lap." "Shake hands with them in the morning." "It's your problem, not your
   Ever since the science of child development was invented in the beginning of
   the 20th century, experts have offered parents a goulash of advice on how to
   raise the little marvel (or monster), creating as much anxiety and confusion
   as they are supposed to assuage. "I try to do just what you say," one 1920's
   mother complained, "but I am a nervous wreck just trying to be calm."
   Given the proliferation of books about how Americans should raise the baby,
   it was inevitable that scholars would eventually turn to the question of why
   Americans are so obsessed with raising the baby. 

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Not only
books, but magazines too. Most of them, as well, carry stories of "cutting
edge research" almost all of it having to do with the rapidly proliferating
brain "disorders"/"chemical imbalances," straight from the DSM Committee of
the APA or the NIMH, poised, with taxpayer money to decieve and victimize
the taxpayer-parent. It is hard to tell, in these magazines where articles
end and "special pharmaceutical supplements" begin, and, the names of the
experts involved are the very same. Whole page ads for ADD/ADHD are a
staple, all of them pushing one amphetamine or another, all of them drugs of
addiction, all dangerous, all addictive, all for the prototypical, always
mutating, always-fictional "disease" ADHD. It is the stand-alone medical
fraud of this or any other century, and all at the NIH and NIMH where it is
invented and reinvented and where the epidemic orchestrated, know that what
I say is the fact of the matter, just as when I wrote it to Attorney General
Reno, April 15, 1998: "The single, biggest heath care fraud in US
history-the representation of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD) to be an actual disease, and the drugging of millions of entirely
normal American children, as "treatment," is spreading like a plague-still.
That ADHD is wholly devoid of validity as a disease, a medical syndrome or,
anything biologic or organic, is the pivotal element of the fraud." Child
development guru, T. Barry Brazelton has joined those urging the "diagnosis"
and "treatment" of the fictitious disease--ADHD. He is a medical editor for
Family Circle, among others. For starters, magazines that exhort giving
drugs of addiction to normal children should be boycotted.]

   In a string of new books,
   social and cultural historians are trying to figure out just what it is
   about American parents that makes them so anxious - and so eager to turn to
   the experts. Their theories differ, but what they do agree on is that
   there's a lot more to child care advice than simply child care.
   Views on family values, cultural trends, social developments and economic
   conditions have often turned out to be more important than any research.
   (The time-consuming child-centered approach wouldn't have had a chance in
   the 1950's if affluence hadn't made washing machines and vacuum cleaners
   commonplace in middle-class homes). "It wasn't firm data that drove child
   rearing expertise," Ann Hulbert points out in her forthcoming book,
   America: Experts, Parents and a Century of Advice About Children"  (Knopf),
   "but changing social concerns that seemed to dictate its swerves and
   The very development of "modern" child rearing practices was prompted by
   industrialization's disorienting shifts. As far back as 1909, Margaret Mead
   declared that "so longstanding and so rapid have been these processes of
   change that expectation of change and anxiety about change have been built
   into our character as a people."
   She continued, "We have become correspondingly more anxious that they" -
    our children - "should be perfectly equipped before they go."
   With these unsettling and rapid turns, early reformers declared it was time
   for science to take over and produce well-adjusted children who were
   prepared for the brave, not to mention complex and unpredictable, new world.
   The Progressive Era was fascinated with science and professionalization, and
   child-rearing trends, not surprisingly, mirrored those obsessions.
   Intellectuals, too, were preoccupied with replacing hoary traditions and
   religious practices with rational logic and science. Scientific education
   got further impetus after World War I, when army recruits were given I.Q.
   tests for the first time, Julia Grant writes in "Raising Baby by the Book"
   (Yale University Press, 1998). Half were graded at below-normal
   intelligence, causing an uproar that America was raising half-wits and
   The creation of the child development field also proved a socially
   acceptable path for the increasing numbers of women who were earning college
   degrees. "Educators defined motherhood as valuable work requiring extensive
   knowledge and training," writes Ms. Grant, an associate professor at James
   Madison College at Michigan State University. Meanwhile, she continues, "the
   notion that the proper practice of motherhood demanded esoteric knowledge
   allowed women to reconcile their intellectual interests with their everyday
   lives in the home."
   Anxiety over women's roles was not the only impetus for standardizing
   child-rearing practices. So were racial fears. Child-rearing advice became
   part of a larger project of Americanization, a way to assimilate immigrants
   and African-Americans more quickly, Ms. Grant argues.
   Soon bringing up baby was seen as too important to be left to amateurs. "It
   is beyond the capacity of the individual parent to train her child to fit
   into the intricate, interwoven and interdependent social and economic system
   we have developed," Ray Lyman Wilbur, the president of Stamford University,
   told a White House conference on children in 1930.
   for complete article:
Visions and Revisions of Child-Raising Experts

   Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company | Privacy Policy
   FAIR USE NOTICE: This may contain copyrighted (© ) material the use of which
   has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such
   material is made available to advance understanding of ecological,
   political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical,
   and social justice issues, etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair
   use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the
   US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this
   material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior
   general interest in receiving similar information for research and
   educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use
   copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you
   must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)