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Title:Church ministers were the first Psychiatrists!: The history of psychiatry
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Body:The History of Psychiatry: "doctor of the soul" Church ministers were the first Psychiatrists!

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The word psychiatrist literally means, "a doctor of the soul" and church ministers were the first psychiatrists who specialized in working with the insane.

The record of history is clear. Before 1775 AD, church ministers were seen as the best source of "professional help" with all troubles of life including insanity.

A church minister would view insanity as a behaviour that needed correcting like any other sin like habitual stealing, adultery, laziness, anger or selfishness.

The minister would ride his horse over to the house of the insane and provide counsel (talking cures) without ever removing the person from his home environment. There was no coerced treatment and the insane were never forcibly confined in an asylum away from his home.

Today, the takeover of institutional psychiatry has gone so far, that the insurance companies now tell church ministers never to use the word "counseling" when they perform their God given mandate to be "a doctor of the soul". Most preachers and church members blindly accept this, which as old brother Keeble used to say, "is absurdity gone to seed". It represents a wholesale abduction of the duty by preachers to less qualified psychiatrists and psychologists. A bizzare twisted inversion of the universe has come to pass where the advice of an atheistic psychiatrist or psychologist is considered "way better" than any advice a church minister might give. Insurance companies say, "never use the "C" word (counseling)... instead use the phrase, "spiritual insights" etc. The fact is that any judgements a minister might make based upon the Bible are always infinitely better than anything an atheistic psychiatrist or psychologist might ever say.

"My intention is not to promote or to criticize organized religion, although I do wish it would not relegate the "curing of souls" to psychiatry." (The Heart of Being Helpful, Peter Breggin, 1997 AD. p 65)

The important thing is for church ministers to never charge for their counseling of the insane. When a member comes for to them for help, advice and "spiritual insights", preachers don't charge for the gospel! It is important to understand that historically, church ministers counseled the insane as part of their overall ministry in helping people with the full range of every day life problems.

Almost everything good and positive in the world today had its origin in the benevolent work of Christians and church ministers. Most major organizations, institutions and "movements" were begun by church ministers including universities, hospitals, asylums, conservation movements, emergency relief organizations, the legal system and constitution of the USA and Canada.

The English word "hospital" comes from the Latin "hospitalia" which is based upon the Greek word: "philoxenia" used throughout the New Testament. "Do not neglect to show hospitality (philoxenia) to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2) It denotes extending kindness, help, comfort and food to strangers in need. Modern society defines hospitality as something you extend to friends and family whereas for the Christian, hospitality was always something practiced on behalf of strangers. Jesus instructs us: "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them." (Luke 6:32). It was natural that individual Christians began benevolent, non-profit "hospitals" where the traveler, the needy, the poor, the sick and the insane could find refuge, help, care, food, shelter and Christian love. The modern hospital system as well the asylums all trace their origin back to a time when church ministers, not medical doctors, were the ones doing a loving work of benevolent care.

There are three distinct branches in the history of psychiatry: Church ministers, psychoanalysis, chemical psychiatry. These three can be divided into two competing views of the causes and treatments for insanity: 1. spiritual causes with talking cures vs. 2. biological causes with drug and electric shock cures. The majority view, right up to the 1950's, was that insanity was caused by life choices, circumstances, sin and "treated" with simple counseling. Keep in mind that the now debunked Freudian psychoanalysis was opposed to chemical psychiatry and sided with the talking cures that church ministers had been giving for 2000 years.

Freudian psychoanalysis has been rejected as quackery by most today: "Where will psychoanalysis be even 25 years from now? ... I predict it will take its place along with phrenology and mesmerism." (Are Psychoanalysis and Religious Counseling Compatible?, Leo Steiner, Paper read to Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Harvard University, 1958 AD).

The vast majority of historical surveys of psychiatry are highly selective and biased, so as to mislead the reader into thinking that chemical psychiatrists have always dominated history. Only in the last 50 years has chemical psychiatry been dominant and they are now in decline.

"The fatal weakness of most psychiatric historiographies lies in the historians' failure to give sufficient weight to the role of coercion in psychiatry and to acknowledge that mad-doctoring had nothing to do with healing." (The Medicalization Of Everyday Life, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 55)

Before the age of the large public asylums (1775 AD), psychiatry was correctly viewed as outside the realm of science or medicine: "In the eighteenth century psychology was a branch of moral philosophy, not of natural philosophy or science, and had almost no point of contact with the medical study and treatment of the mentally ill." (300 years of Psychiatry, Richard Hunter, 1963, p335)

It is important to remember that before 1860 AD, the medical knowledge of a doctor was not much more than what a 13 year old knows today after he plays with his chemistry set and dissects a few rabbits on the back porch. The quacky Hippocratic concept of the four humors with its bloodletting etc., was the foundation of their knowledge and approach.

Chemical psychiatry from its tiny beginnings, has vainly searched for a biological cause of insanity for 300 years and failed. Church ministers generally had it right all along with their spiritual causes of insanity and counseling as the "cure" without the use of coercion, drugs or electric shocks to the brain.

A. The historic role of church ministers in psychiatry: 30 AD - 1650 AD

Although there were leper colonies, there were no corresponding mental asylums for the insane in either the Old or New Testament.

Before about 1650, there was no such thing as a mental hospital, insane asylum (except Bedlam), or even private mad houses. At this time, the insane were not removed from their homes and placed into "treatment homes" like leper colonies.

"As far back as the thirteenth century, common law recognized two classes of incompetents: idiots, mentally sub-normal from birth, who were considered to be permanently impaired; and lunatics, normal persons who went mad, who were considered to be capable of recovery. The procedure for declaring a person a lunatic was similar to that of declaring him incompetent: "Commissions examined such persons before a jury that ruled on their sanity. . . . Physicians played essentially no role in the certification process itself." (The Medicalization Of Everyday Life, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 59)

At this time, church ministers were the "professionals" that everyone turned to in matters of anxiety, depression, insanity as well as all other life problems. Insanity was not seen as a biological problem, but a spiritual problem.

Medical doctors did not "treat" the insane: "Boarding out the lunatic or idiot at a private dwelling, in the company of a servant, was also commonplace; this practice in some respects anticipated the development of private madhouses in the eighteenth century ... Role Of The Medical Profession: Apart from an incidental appearance as a guardian, what role did physicians play in this jurisdiction? ... physicians played essentially no role in the certification process itself." (Diagnosis, Guardianship, and Residential Care of the Mentally Ill in Medieval and Early Modern England, Richard Neugebauer, American Journal of Psychiatry Dec 1989 AD)

The insane lived and moved among the population freely and were not coerced by doctors to be cured. However the English "poor laws" of the 16th century outlawed vagrancy and begging and cast all these into workhouses or jail. There was no distinction in England or America between the sane or insane beggars: "In providing relief, [American] colonial towns made no distinction among the mentally ill, criminals, orphans, the sick, the aged, the physically maimed, and the unemployed. These undifferentiated dependents were thrown together in jails and workhouses. Here they remained in dingy cells, attics, or cellars, treated with scorn and indifference, and allowed to vegetate and suffer alone. This condition persisted throughout the eighteenth century and well into the nineteenth century. No medical treatment was involved or available; care was strictly custodial. ... Colonists were subject to Indian attacks, and they faced such natural calamities as famine and epidemics. Idleness and vagrancy were viewed with disdain. Cooperative group effort sustained a community, and any form of dependency became a burden, an obstacle that threatened community survival. Social dependents thus were not only morally reprehensible, but also required controls and restrictions so that they could not undermine the cohesive fabric of society." (Treating the mentally ill, Leland V Bell, 1980 AD, p 1-4)

The insane were under the jurisdiction of church ministers and churches, just like any other willful sin: "For at least two centuries (the thirteenth and fourteenth) the plight of the mentally ill was entirely the domain of the theologians, whilst lay physicians dealt as best they could with the organic problems of the body." (Bedlam, Anthony Masters, 1977 AD, p26)

"WHILST there is little information regarding the precise treatment of the insane in medieval times, there is evidence that the mentally afflicted were accommodated at times alongside the physically diseased in the infirmaries of the period. In addition, monastic houses [church run shelters under the control of church ministers] often gave shelter to lunatics in company with vagabonds and vagrants." (The Trade in Lunacy, William Ll. Parry-Jones, 1972 AD, p 6)

Some church ministers believed that sinful living caused an imbalance of the four humors which in turn caused insanity. While some medical doctors viewed "bad melancholy blood" as the primary cause of insanity, these church misters viewed the primary cause to be sinful living. The key difference is in the ultimate etiology of the behaviours. Ministers viewed the etiology of insanity as choice, which caused the "melancholy blood". Doctors believed "bad blood" caused insanity as a disease. Both would practice blood letting to purify the blood as part of the humoral medicine of the era.

In 1670 AD, Richard Baxter, Church Minister, took the view that insanity and depression were caused by life circumstances, moral choices and sins of an individual, that induced bad "melancholy blood". Although his etiology is humoral, it important to realize that he believed that sin and emotion actually were the foundational cause of melancholy blood, which then caused insanity! 1. sin. 2. bad blood. 3 insanity. "Root and Foundation, is usually a Depravation of the Mass of Blood, which is the Vehicle of the Spirits, and that is usually accompanied with some Diseases of the Stomach, Spleen, Liver" First on his list of causes of melancholy was: "SINFUL Impatience, Discontents and Cares, proceeding from a Sinful Love of some bodily Interest, and from want of sufficient Submission to the will of God, and Trust in him, and taking Heaven for a satisfying Portion. This is one of the most common Causes". He then goes on to list things like: "when they are in Debt to others", "the secret Root or Cause of all this, is the worst Part of the Sin, which is too much Love to the Body and this World". He also identifies high self esteem and a lack of contentment as a cause: "not sufficiently humbled for our Sin, or else we should be thankful for the lowest State, as being much better than that which we deserved". He also identifies cognitive dissonance (bad conscience) as a trigger of insanity: "great Cause is the Guilt of some great and wilful Sin, when Conscience is convinced, and yet the Soul is not converted". His cure of insanity was to repent: "repent, to love God and your Neighbour, to live soberly, righteously and godly, to pray at all; here you must strive, and not excuse it by any Backwardness; for it is that which must needs be done, or you are lost". Although he believed typical Hypocrites junk medicine, he attributed depression and mental illness to freewill choices as the primary cause, which in turn cause the blood to become melancholy. So the real problem lay in fixing the mind, not the body! Repentance, he believed, would correct the melancholy blood and restore the person to normal. (The Signs and Causes of Melancholy, Richard Baxter, 1670 AD)

"The clergyman labored under no such tradition, which explains his role as pioneer mad-doctor and madhouse keeper. Subsequently, as the clergyman's power diminished, the mad-doctor's increased, and theological coercion was replaced by psychiatric coercion." (The Medicalization Of Everyday Life, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 63)

B. The English "poor laws": 1552 -1601 AD

Before the series of English "Poor Laws" of 1552 - 1601 AD, they roamed freely throughout the community like any other peasant beggar. As these poor laws were passed and begging was outlawed, the insane were swept up with all the other beggars and put in workhouses or sent to jail to be tortured to become self sufficient.

The insane who owned property or were not "homeless" continued to live in their homes usually under the supervision, advice and council of church ministers.

B. The rise of private mad houses run by church ministers: 1650 AD

The sad truth, is that the origin of psychiatric committal (coercion) rests with church ministers, who for 50 - 100 years, starting in 1650 AD, began to jail the insane relatives of the rich in mad houses. This action legitimized psychiatric jailing for money which immediately sprang into a new industry that church ministers were eventually excluded from by 1775 AD.

"At the beginning of the seventeenth century (1600 AD), there were no mental hospitals, as we now know them. To be sure, there were a few facilities- such as Bethlehem Hospital, better known as Bedlam-in which a small number, usually less than a dozen, of pauper insane were confined. By the end of the century, however, there was a flourishing new industry, called the "trade in lunacy."' To understand the modern concept of mental illness, one must focus on the radically different origins of the medical and psychiatric professions. Medicine began with sick persons seeking relief from their suffering. Psychiatry began with the relatives of unwanted, troublesome persons seeking relief from the embarrassment and suffering their kin caused them. Unlike the regular doctor, the early psychiatrist, called mad-doctor, treated persons who did not want to be his patients, and whose ailments manifested themselves by exciting the resentment of their relatives. These are critical issues never to be lost sight of Annoying, unconventional behavior must have existed for as long as human beings have lived together in society." (The Medicalization Of Everyday Life, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 55)

1650 AD marked the beginning of institutional care for the insane in private mad houses run on a non-profit basis. Thus began a new trend, never before seen in history, with the insane being taken from their homes and placed into "mad houses" privately owned and run by church ministers. At first, the insane were taken directly into the homes of ministers for a monthly maintenance fee from the mad person's rich relatives who used this as an opportunity to dispose of annoying and troublesome relatives.

Since church ministers were seen as the experts who had already been helping the insane, the rich began to offer money for food and lodging of their insane relatives in the ministers home. Suddenly church ministers found themselves with a whole new set of duties to be round the clock caregivers for the insane in their own homes for a price. This was a grave mistake.

Church ministers began to function like "foster parents" to care for the needy and unwanted for cash. Was it a profit seeking motive for the ministers? Perhaps. But remember that officially foster parents are volunteers who receive only enough money to support the needs of the child and are not paid any wages. Yet very few foster parents would care for children if they received no money for doing so. In fact, being a foster parent can be a great subsidy on house mortgages and other household expenses. Remember that part of the payment for support is for expenses like food and clothing and the other part is for housing, utilities etc. So just as the cash payments made to foster parents helps support their standard of living, so too church ministers likely viewed the "support payments" as a way to help with every day expenses and raise their standard of living. Having said all this, the initial motivation was genuine altruistic love and care for the insane not the profit seeking motive that set in a few decades later by profit seeking business men.

"If he were wealthy, he might be sent by his relatives to one of the small private madhouses which combined high fees with a pledge of absolute secrecy, or confined alone with an attendant. If he were poor, he might be kept by his family in whatever conditions they chose, or sent to the workhouse or prison for greater security; but whether he lived in London, or in a small and remote village, whether he was rich or poor, he was almost certain to be confined, neglected, and intimidated, if not treated with open cruelty." (A history of the mental health services, Kathleen Jones, 1972 AD, p3)

"In the seventeenth century, it is known that lunatics from the more affluent classes were cared for individually, often in the custody of medical men or clergymen. An example of this system is provided by the case of one Edmund Francklin of Bedford, who was found lunatic by inquisition in 1630 and later cared for, privately, by Dr Helkiah Crooke, physician to Bethlem Hospital.' Similarly, in 1679, it is recorded that Anne Grenville, the youngest daughter of the Bishop of Durham, was placed in the charge of, 'a person famous for the ordering of distempered persons', a physician who lived at Worcester.' There is evidence, in addition, that, during the seventeenth century, there were many establishments run specifically as madhouses, which provided accommodation for a number of lunatics. The following references have been singled out as representative of the range of this evidence. In 1815, it was claimed that there had been an asylum at Box, Wiltshire, for 200 years.' There was a mad-house at Glastonbury, in 1656, where the Reverend George Trosse was confined. It is recorded that, in 1661, the Reverend John Ashbourne, who kept a small madhouse in Suffolk, was murdered by one of his own patients. Thomas Willis (1683) referred to a madman `being placed in a house convenient for the -business and, in 1673, John Archer, self-styled `one of His Majesties Physicians in Ordinary', advertised his house for lunatics, placed `in an excellent air nere the City'. An advertisement for the house kept by James Newton `on Clarkenwell Green', London, dated c. 1674, has survived.' David Irish (1700) and Thomas Fallowes (1705)" publicized their respective houses, at Guildford and Lambeth, in short publications. Such evidence suggests that the confinement of the insane in private madhouses was a well-established practice by the beginning of the eighteenth century and, during the reign of George II (1727-60), their number increased steadily." (The Trade in Lunacy, William Ll. Parry-Jones, 1972 AD, p 6-8)

"The nub of the history of psychiatry is the story of involuntary mental hospitalization: that is, the removal of the unwanted person from his family or home, presented and publicly perceived as the treatment of the mentally ill person by psychiatrists struggling to cure mental illness. Forcibly removed from his home, the mad person was forcibly re-housed in the home of a surrogate caretaker. The first such domiciles for housing the mentally ill, later called "mental hospitals," were the private homes of so-called asylum keepers, mainly clergymen or apothecaries." ... "Except for some historians of psychiatry, few people realize that the early madhouses were not hospitals, but the keepers' homes into which they took a few, often only one or two, madmen or mad women as involuntary boarders. As previously noted, the keepers who owned and operated these private madhouses were principally clergymen, not physicians. Once again, we touch here on the close connections between religion as the cure of souls, and psychiatry as the cure of minds. The practice of healing began as an undifferentiated religious-medical enterprise. Later, as the social world split into sacred and profane parts, the practice of healing also split, one part remaining a sacred, religious activity, the other becoming the secular profession of medicine." ... "In Rush's day (1812 AD), psychiatry was a newborn infant. Many madhouse keepers were clergymen, not physicians."(Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 26, 29, 71)

"But in the seventeenth century the distinction was blurred by the prevailing negative attitudes toward insanity and the crude, exotic remedies applied to cure it. The upper- and middle-class sick found relief within the family. Here the afflicted individual may have received solace from relatives and a family physician. The existing moral condemnation of the mentally ill may have encouraged some affluent households, sensitive to community ridicule, to hide the disturbed family member in the cellar or in the attic, chained to a bed or a post. If the family milieu itself contributed to a person's disorder, home care became a private hell." (Treating the mentally ill, Leland V Bell, 1980 AD, p 1-4)

It was easy to see why the rich first offered church ministers money to care for their insane. After all, the minister was already making "house calls", out of genuine care and concern at no cost. An offer of money to care for the insane was a natural next step. Paying someone who "really cared" seemed like a good choice.

The homes of church ministers became a convenient place for rich property owners to "get rid of" their troublesome insane relatives. The mad houses were initially funded entirely by the rich relatives of the insane.

At the very beginning the insane, who resided in mad houses, were wealthy, rich land owners. The rich did not have to work manual labour because they managed peasant labourers who worked the land for them and provided their daily needs as servants. Having an insane person with nothing to do all day would be annoying so they looked for a way to remove the problem. They chose to send the insane to a mad house and all they had to do was pay the mad house owner about the same amount as what one of their peasant labourers was getting paid. It was a very cost effective solution to a problem.

The poor working class insane would never be put in mad houses because their relatives couldn't afford it. Further, since the poor had to engage in manual labour for daily food, the clan needed the labors of the insane (what little they would do) just to survive as a group. Today we see an inversion of those in asylums as being predominantly the poor and unemployable.

"Today, we associate mental illness with homelessness and poverty. In the eighteenth century, the typical person denominated as mad had a home and was well to do. The problem that commitment then posed was how to justify forcibly expelling such a person from his home and relocating him in someone else's home. Mad-doctors and laws regulating the management of private madhouses provided the justification. The practice of incarcerating rich persons in private madhouses was later extended to the incarceration of poor persons in public insane asylums." (Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 27)

The first "insane residents" of mad houses run by church ministers were rich, since only their relatives could afford such an expense as a luxury. Posed with a problem relative, only the rich could give someone money as a solution for the embarrassment the insane family member was causing the clan in general.

The genesis of psychiatric committal, therefore, was clearly a form of social control.

"The practice of psychiatry as we know it began in England in the eighteenth century when members of the upper classes began to "outsource" the care and coercion of certain embarrassing and troublesome relatives. In what ways did English men or women of means embarrass and offend their relatives, prompting them to take such action? They did so by deviant personal habits, for example by improvidence or self-neglect, behaviors that provided a convenient conceptual bridge between the old idea of incompetence and the new idea of insanity."" (Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 26)

These church leaders began to set up these mad houses as a type of "social gospel" because of a misplaced humanitarian and altruistic extension of Christianity. Individual Christians are to help orphans, but churches should not run orphan's homes. Individual Christians should help the sick, but churches should not run hospitals. Individual Christians should feed the needy, but churches are not authorized by God to set up large charities and food banks. Churches are to preach the gospel and save souls, not expend their collective energy with physical things like providing food, shelter, medicine etc to the needy. That is the job of individual Christians. The church is authorized by Bible command, example and inference to preach the gospel and extend benevolence to needy Christians. The Bible doesn't authorize the church to run private mental asylums any more than running hospitals, orphan homes, old folk homes or missionary societies or sponsoring church arrangements. The command to "show hospitality to strangers" is an individual duty each Christian is charged to obey not a collective duty under the oversight of a local church or board of elders. While it is true that ministers were the best people to consult to help those who are insane, these church ministers planted the initial seeds of what would eventually become full blown publicly funded institutional psychiatry we see today that does so much damage to people's lives.

C. The rise of the secular "for profit" mad house: 1700 - 1725 AD

This new trend of getting paid to house the insane in the private homes of ministers, quickly became a profit making industry for businessmen. Between 1700 - 1720 AD, there was a gradual, but exponential growth in the number of "for profit" mad houses.

"Throughout its history, the private-madhouse system was subjected to persistent disparagement and censure, due, principally, to the fact that patients were received for profit and, thereby, became the objects of financial speculation." (The Trade in Lunacy, William Ll. Parry-Jones, 1972 AD, p 290)

"T. Bakewell (1815) had stated that, at some madhouses, the pecuniary interest of the proprietor and the secret wishes of the lunatics' relatives, led not only to the neglect of all means of cure, but also to the deliberate prevention and delay of recovery, conduct which he considered a crime that may be perpetrated with perfect impunity as to human laws'. This statement is in keeping with what Mitford (1825 ?) claimed to be the rule at Warburton's house, namely: 'If a man comes in here mad, we'll keep him so; if he is in his senses, we'll soon drive him out of them." Similarly, 100 years previously, Defoe had stated that if persons were not mad on entering a madhouse, they were soon made so by the barbarous usage they there suffer . . . Is it not enough to make one mad to be suddenly clap'd up, stripp'd, whipp'd, ill fed, and worse us'd ? C. Crowther (1838) observed that in private-madhouses the rich did not recover in the same proportion as the poor"." (The Trade in Lunacy, William Ll. Parry-Jones, 1972 AD, p 241)

At this point, the scene still resembled the "foster home" model of today, where a few insane would be taken into a single private home. A few larger facilities that might house 10 people did exist. These resembled today's privately owned and operated "for profit" group homes for people on public welfare or disability or old age or psychiatric outpatients.

By 1720 AD, the number of private "for profit" mad houses had multiplied greatly and had become an established industry. Three events between 1725-1728 AD mark the completed transition from privately owned non-profit mad houses run by church ministers to profit oriented mad houses run by non-Christians. The three markers are: 1. Patrick Blair in 1725, 2. Eliza Haywood in 1726, 3. Daniel Defoe in 1728. These three witnesses of history also show a new trend where husband threw their "sane" wives into mad houses to either punish them for disobedience or to gain access to their family money.

The committal of unwanted "sane" wives by their husbands suddenly began to occur. This marks the entrance of secular mad houses since no Christian would ever have any part in such a sinful action.

"The entrepreneurial origin of psychiatry as a form of private imprisonment needs to be reemphasized because, in the nineteenth century, madhousing became transformed into an essentially statist program of confining troublesome people, poor and rich alike. In the seventeenth century, England was a two-class society, consisting of those who owned property and those who did not. Because wealth, especially land, generated income, members of the propertied classes did not have to work to procure a livelihood for themselves and their families. The poor, whose only property was their labor, had to work or face destitution. Hence, their relatives had nothing to gain, and much to lose, by having them declared mad: the poverty of the poor protected them from the "care" of the early mad-doctors." (Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 31)

"It must be emphasized that madhouses were the principal form of institution catering for the insane in anything approaching a specialized way until the mid-nineteenth century and, by 1848, one- half of the total number of lunatics confined in asylums in England and Wales were in private licensed houses. During the first half of the century, they had made available accommodation for pauper lunatics, at a time when public provisions, in the form of county asylums, were extremely slow in developing and, in the second half of the century, they met a legitimate, if diminishing, demand from the upper and middle classes for facilities that were not widely available elsewhere." (The Trade in Lunacy, William Ll. Parry-Jones, 1972 AD, p 282)

"In reviewing the geographical distribution of provincial licensed houses, a notable finding was that, as their number increased, the geographical distribution of licensed houses widened to produce a veritable network of madhouses. In fact, the number of counties containing houses doubled during the period 1807 to 1844." (The Trade in Lunacy, William Ll. Parry-Jones, 1972 AD, p 283)

Large asylums, except for Bedlam, still did not exist. The mad houses were filled with the insane from wealthy families who could afford to pay the mad doctors the price of room and board. The insane poor, were left on their own as they had in all history, since no individual would opt to care for them for free. The families of the poor could not afford to pay for the "care" of their insane, like the rich were able.

D. The rise of large institutional asylums: 1725 - 1775 AD

Christians and church ministers have been responsible for almost all the good in society throughout history. Bedlam, for example, began in 1247 AD as a religious Priority house by Order of the Star of Bethlehem. In 1330 AD it became a general hospital, and admitted its first mental patient in 1357 AD. This was quite exceptional and out of the ordinary for the treatment of the insane. Although it started altruistically by church ministers, Bedlam was destined to be where full institutional psychiatry made its big splash, complete with forced commitment and forced treatment that was in full swing by about 1735 AD.

At first, it was only the rich were taken from their homes and placed in mad houses by relatives. Bedlam, also accepted money from relatives for the care of their insane. But as more public money became available, large institutional asylums began to house the poor, the vagrant and the street people who bothered society in general. "The historical record is clear. When the trade in lunacy began, the asylums were privately owned and operated, and the individuals incarcerated in them were members of the propertied classes. ... The incarceration of propertied persons in private madhouses came first and was followed, considerably later, by the incarceration of poor persons in public insane asylums." (Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 28)

As more and more public funds began to be directed to Bedlam, the poor who did not own property, for the first time, were gathered from their homes into the public asylums, being paid for by the state. Now asylums, being funded by tax dollars, were used as a way to remove vagrants, unemployed, unwanted wives and the poor street people from the parks and streets even if they were not insane. Asylums were used to "clean up the neighborhood". Click to View

"Like others engaged in this project of collective social mobility, mad-doctors had to seek public approval and trust, and as they struggled to establish control over a particular territory and to define and protect the boundaries of their jurisdiction, they necessarily found themselves engaged in a never-ending campaign of persuasion and propaganda. Trust is vital to the professional because he or she needs to secure assent to claims to possess, not just skills and knowledge that the laity lacks, but skills and knowledge the professional argues the public is not even in a position to assess with any degree of precision. Likewise, the laity must come to trust that members of the profession will exercise their skills in a disinterested fashion and in large degree must be persuaded to rely upon the professionals' own valuation of their knowledge. Yet trust was a particularly difficult commodity for mad-doctors to acquire, not least because their involvement in the trade in lunacy prompted endemic suspicion about their motives, and because their claims to possess expertise in the identification and treatment of madness provoked persistent scepticism even among those laymen most heavily involved in the campaign for lunacy reform. The prominent role played by medical men in the whole series of scandals about treatment in asylums and madhouses that erupted in the first half of the nineteenth century only intensified the difficulty of the task they confronted. Yet, in the face of these and other obstacles, a recognized specialism did emerge over the course of the nineteenth century and secured some significant respect. The mad-doctors known to the authorities grew from two or three thousand in 1800 to almost one hundred thousand [100,000] a century later, their guardians successfully constituted themselves as the public arbiters of mental disorder, the experts in its diagnosis and disposal. They created a professional organization to defend and advance their interests and edited journals and wrote monographs to provide a forum for transmitting (and giving visible evidence of) the body of expert knowledge to which they laid claim. During Victoria's long reign, they increasingly dominated public discourse about insanity, and in the process, they elaborated and refined a set of career structures and opportunities for themselves. Fragile as their public standing might be, marginal and somewhat embarrassing as their medical brethren might find them, psychiatrists nonetheless had secured some accoutrements of professional status, if only as the custodians of a chronically incapacitated and generally economically deprived clientele and as advisers on mental hygiene to a broader population concerned to avoid such a dismal destiny." (The Transformation Of The Mad-Doctoring Trade, Andrew Scull, 1994 AD, p 6)

Up until 1751, Bedlam was the only public asylum among thousands of privately owned mad houses run by church ministers and for profit businessmen.

The three generation Monro dynasty at Bedlam lasted from about 1728 - 1815. Three generations of Monro's were in charge at Bedlam starting with James in 1728, then John in 1751, then Thomas in 1787. The dynasty ended with the firing of Thomas Monro in 1815, after the government documented the horrors that took place at Bedlam.

William Battie worked at Bedlam for about ten years under John Monro, after which he quit and started up a competing public asylum called "St. Luke's" in 1751 AD. In 1758, a huge public fight broke out between Monro and Battie when Battie published his, "A Treatise on Madness" highly critical of Monro's approach at Bedlam. Monro shot back a reply with his, "Remarks on Dr Battie's Treatise on Madness" the same year.

Even at the end of 1775, Bedlam and St. Luke's, were about the only large public asylum in the world, but after this, their numbers began to explode not only in England, but in every country of the world like France, Germany etc.

In 1792 AD, a third public asylum in England called the "York Retreat" by William Tuke. Tuke was a minister for the Quakers and believed insanity was caused by sin, and personal choices of life circumstances.

Hence it is clear that the concept of the large publicly funded asylum, is an English invention, copied by other nations around the world.

E. The Enlightenment, individual rights and asylums: 1775 AD

The rise of large publicly funded asylums corresponds with enlightenment in England that brought about new personal freedoms never before enjoyed. The best example of enlightenment thinking is the Constitution of the USA.

Before the enlightenment, under the two class system, heads of the upper class ruled everyone in their family like lords and kings. If someone was behaving in an insane, annoying or embarrassing way that brought shame on the clan, the clan leader could take direct steps to remedy the behaviour as they saw fit. The clan leader had the power to suppress the personal freedom of an insane.

The Constitution of the USA was written on September 17, 1787 in direct opposition to the two class system of England in order to endow individual rights and freedoms to each and every individual regardless of income. God Bless America once again, for bringing about positive changes in the world that were long overdue.

With a new emphasis each person being endowed with "inalienable" personal rights and freedoms, it became harder to deprive individuals of these rights in order to get them committed to a mad house or asylum against their will.

"Consider the predicament of an upper-class person in England living with a spouse, elderly parent, or adult child who had flaunted convention and perhaps neglected her or his health, but was endowed by law and social status with the right to liberty and property. No longer could such persons be treated as they had been in earlier times-as members of the clan, devoid of individual rights, responsible to the group. The post-Enlightenment view of the rule of law destroyed the autocratic prerogatives of elders or the family vis-à-vis deviant adults. Increasingly, adult members of families were held together by cooperation and compromise, rather than coercion and domination. However, cooperation, as the term implies, requires a willingness to cooperate by at least two persons. One person's willingness to cooperate is useless vis-à-vis another person who is unable or unwilling to do so. Embarrassed or victimized by his (mad) kinsman, the (sane) relative lacked means by which to control him. The sane, or perhaps merely scheming, family member needed a socially acceptable legal method for gaining control over his troublesome, unwanted relative. Mental illness as medical disease, coercion as care, and mental health laws turning these fictions into facts, resolved this dilemma. ... Both elements, that is, the medicalization of madness and the infantilization of the insane, were needed to reconcile people's devotion to individual liberty and responsibility with their desire to relieve themselves of certain (troublesome) individuals by means other than those provided by the criminal law." (Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 28)

A legal method was needed to deprive the insane of their personal rights and freedoms without committing a crime. This was accomplished, as we will see shortly, by medical mad doctors excluding church ministers from their role of helping the insane and claiming only they were able treat the insane. Once this was accomplished, these same mad doctors then lobbied governments for the personal authority to declare someone insane and also deprive them of their rights... all on the basis of the doctors own personal opinion.

F. The ejection of church ministers from psychiatry: 1775 AD

Take note, that church ministers never possessed the authority of committal of the insane to mad houses. Families brought their insane to the ministers for care. But their historic role in helping the insane was about to end.

This marks the beginning of the war that began by demonizing church ministers as causing more harm to the insane than good. Today we see the battle has been won by chemical psychiatrists who view belief in God as a mental illness and openly label Jesus as a schizophrenic and apostle Paul as suffering from temporal-lobe epilepsy (TLE). The only one's who are unaware of the war between psychiatrists and Christianity are Christians.

In a shocking trend, the very church ministers who were historically charged with the care and counsel of the insane were entirely ejected by the large secular institutional asylums. This "take over" of function of "doctor of the soul" by secular doctors began in the large institutions and gradually squeezed out church ministers entirely.

In 1774 AD, the Act for Regulating Madhouses ejected ministers from their historic position of working with the insane. This was a political move motivated by doctors who were wanting to protect their business interests in a power grab sanctioned by law. Church ministers were even forbidden to enter Bedlam.

"Two years later (1774), the Act for Regulating Madhouses (14 George III c. 49) was finally passed. Perhaps, as Porter has suggested, the prolonged delay in enacting legislation should be seen as a function of the opposition of the College of Physicians, some of whose members "had a large financial stake in metropolitan madhouses." 59 If so, it is somewhat ironic that parliament handed over the power to license and inspect madhouses in the metropolis to the College. (In the provinces, similar authority was granted to local magistrates.) There were other signs, too, that medical men had successfully lobbied behind the scenes to protect their interests: the 1772 appeal notwithstanding, commitment under the new act required only a single medical certificate, and local clergymen were firmly excluded from any officially sanctioned role in the process." (Undertaker of the mind: John Monro, Jonathan Andrews, Andrew Scull, 2001 AD, p 159)

"In all probability, John Monro shared the traditional hostility of Bridewell and Bethlem's largely Anglican board of governors to sectarian religions, the Methodists in particular. It must be said, however, that most of the available evidence on this point appears to derive from the period of James's physicianship rather than John's. For example, attempting to visit Joseph Periam and other Methodist patients in Bethlem during the second quarter of the century, George Whitefield (1714-70) and John Wesley (1703-91) both complained that they were refused entry. According to Wesley, recalling an interrupted visit of a year or so before John's election as joint physician, it had been decreed that "none of these preachers were to come there" (although there is no trace of such an order in Bethlem's records). Wesley was repeatedly to censure Bethlem's medical regime in print-for this and other reasons-and here he laid on the sardonic irony with a trowel, alleging that the prohibition on allowing him in was "for fear of making them [the patients] mad."" (Undertaker of the mind: John Monro, Jonathan Andrews, Andrew Scull, 2001 AD, p 32)

There has been a progressive takeover of the traditional role church ministers have historically played in helping the insane. First, in the early 1700's when businessmen started to compete with church ministers by opening up mad houses. Then in the late 1700's, a takeover by "doctors" who agreed with church ministers that insanity was caused by spiritual problems, but used an atheistic and secular approach to "cure". Finally, a takeover by chemical psychiatrists when the first psychiatric drug, Chlorpromazine was created on December 11, 1950. These new drugs were prescribed by "doctors" who believed insanity was a biological disease. Chemical psychiatrists only became a majority about 1970 AD over their "Freudian talking cures" fellow psychiatrists. Today, both talking cures and chemical cures still exist, but 98% of the industry is dominated by chemical psychiatry with their mythical "chemical imbalances of the brain, bad DNA" and provide only two treatments: drugs and shocks to the brain.

In the chart below, you can see how church ministers helping the insane out of the goodness of their hearts, were replaced by profit seeking mad house owners and public institutions like Bedlam. The only difference between talking cures of church ministers and the talking cures of Sigmund Freud, was that Freud used secular reasoning and church ministers grounded their wisdom and advice firmly in the Bible. It is important to know that there were a few church ministers who believed some cases of insanity were caused by "humoral imbalances" as well as a few Chemical psychiatrists who believed some madness were caused by life choices and circumstances. These are generalizations that correctly represent history. Click to View

G. Family members stripped of power to commit: 1775 AD

Just as 1774 AD Act for Regulating Madhouses stripped church ministers of all their involvement in dealing with the insane, so too family members were stripped of their power to have their insane family members committed to an asylum against their will.

Before 1775 AD, it was the family of the insane who were the agents that committed them to a mad house. After 1775 AD, a gradual trend developed where new laws were passed that made mad doctors the sole agents of committal to an asylum. At the same time, church ministers were stripped of even offering an opinion, even banned from asylums.

In 1725, it was clear from Patrick Blair in 1725, Eliza Haywood in 1726, Daniel Defoe in 1728 that it was the family who instigated the committal. The wife was committed into Blair's hand by her husband. The bride was delivered to the mad house by her "keepers" in Haywood's play. Defoe condemns the husbands who committed their sane wives to the mad houses. However in 1738 we see something new in the arrest of Alexander Cruden (Cruden's Concordance) where he was arrested by Robert Wightman, the owner of a mad house and held against his will with the full consent of his daughter! This last case is eerily familiar to the "ambulance chasing" liability lawyers of today, where Wightman went out looking for anyone he could to commit to his own private mad house. Cruden took Wightman to court for unlawful imprisonment. These four witnesses of history also show that it was the family of the insane who were the agents with the authority of committal.

"Battie and John Monro, the two most eminent psychiatric physicians of the day, supported the view that wrongful consinement in madhouses did take place. The former quoted, as an example, a case in which a man had tried to confine his wife in Battie's madhouse and had justified his conduct by the belief that the house was 'a sort of Bridewell, or place of correction'. [Report 1763 S.C., J.H.C., Vol. 29, p. 488] Reference to the findings of this Committee and to the prevailing abuses was made in 1866, by a writer who signed himself L.T.F.3 A description was given of a narrative, in MS., dated 1746, in which a lady of distinction was confined in a madhouse, by her husband's authority, because of her extravagance and indifference towards him. Other inmates of this particular madhouse, near Harrow, had been placed there for such reasons as drunkenness, violent tempers and, in the case of two young girls, to break off love-affairs which did not meet with their parents' approval. Also amongst those reputed to have been improperly confined in madhouses in the eighteenth century were individuals from the ranks of the early Methodists, the revivalist field-preachers and their followers, who were so often exposed, at this period, to persecution and derision." (The Trade in Lunacy, William Ll. Parry-Jones, 1972 AD, p 255)

The medical mad doctors in the largest Institutions of psychiatry (Monro in Bedlam, England, Heinroth in Germany etc.) influenced their respective governments to give them the sole power to treat the insane and determine when someone should be committed against their will.

The "inalienable" personal rights and freedoms of the insane were violated by doctors claiming that they were not responsible for their actions. In 1818 AD. Dr. Heinroth for example, takes the unusual position that although man becomes mad on his own free will choices, once full insanity has set in, the man becomes "unfree" and is no longer to be held responsible for his crimes. This is the earliest concept of the insanity plea in Germany. Heinroth says: "But we must not forget that in a true mental disturbance each of these disorders must occur to an extent equivalent to complete, permanent loss of freedom ... For the moment at which unfreedom makes its appearance and clearly manifests itself by unnatural, i.e., unreasonable, actions, behavior, words, glances, or gestures, that is the moment of this procreation. From this moment on, the man has lost claim to the kingdom of freedom, to the kingdom of the spirits, at least for as long as he remains in this cycle. He is an automaton: his thinking, his sensation, his activity, proceed in a mechanical manner, no matter whether it appears as if they were determined by himself. They are in fact determined by urgent impulses only, if they are controlled at all." (Textbook of Disturbances of Mental Life and Soul, Johann Heinroth, 1818 AD)

More important, is the fact that Heinroth believes that the mad doctor alone should possess the sole right to determine if a person is "unfree" and can invoke to deprive the insane of his personal rights. "This will be easy for the physician to determine once he has observed the type and the degree of the unfree state." (Textbook of Disturbances of Mental Life and Soul, Johann Heinroth, 1818 AD)

Heinroth argues that only medical doctors are able to make the determination of when a person is insane and therefore only they should decide when a person can be arrested against their will, deprived of their personal rights and freedoms and be thrown into an asylum jail without a trial.

In 1818, a person could be committed to an asylum on the sole basis of a single doctor's opinion. Family members and church ministers had no authority at all in the matter.

The only way you can legally deprive someone of their right to freedom is by declaring people not capable of being responsible for their actions. This idea led directly to the insanity plea where criminals are set free rather than hung for their crimes because they are not guilty for reasons of insanity.

It is therefore impossible to commit someone to an asylum against their will, without a trial unless you first dehumanize them by making them into a chemical robot whose actions are determined by the body, not the mind.

"The creation of a system of private madhouses and the forcible rehousing of people in them entailed depriving the inmates of their basic right to liberty and required a persuasive justification. This was accomplished by analogizing the outsourcing of the care of mad persons to the out-sourcing of the care of infants. Once society advances beyond the stage of subsistence economy, the role of the mother, in families able to afford domestic help, is often taken by surrogates-wet-nurses, governesses, and tutors. This arrangement served as the template for transferring the care of mad persons from family members to hired help. Delegating the care of an insane adult, however-especially if he resists being cared for-presents a problem very different from that of delegating the care of a child. Children have neither the physical strength nor the political power to resist being controlled by their parents and the parents' deputies. Adults do. Before an adult deemed to be insane can be treated as a madman, he must first be divested of his rights.' Reframing the political status of the insane adult as similar to that of a child accomplishes this task." (Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 27)

In this way, it is easy to see how psychiatry had its origin as a parallel prison system to remove from society those who were annoying, embarrassing, non-productive, lazy but not criminal. If the insane had committed crimes and broken laws, there would have been no need to suddenly grant to psychiatrists the power to throw them into a jail called an asylum and lock them up against their will without even a trial.

Today, psychiatrists still possess the power to strip and divest the insane of their right to freedom in order for their relatives to get them locked up in an asylum. Remember, the insane themselves never want to be put in an asylum against their will, it is the relatives of the insane that wish to commit them. For the insane, the actions of insanity are a solution, but for their relatives, these actions are a problem. Committal to an asylum is the relative's solution to the problem.

H. The rise and decline of Freudian Psychoanalysis: 1875 - 1960

Psychoanalysis did not originate with Freud, but his German predecessors like Dr. Heinroth 1818 AD.

Psychoanalysis is aligned with church ministers and opposed to chemical psychiatrists since it involves nothing more than merely talking. This is why it is called "talking cures". The question is who would be a better person to talk to about your problems? An atheistic, evolutionary psychoanalyst spouting the latest pop-psychobabble or a church minister who uses the Bible as his guide for human behaviour?

Freudian psychoanalysis (dreams, repression, neo-natal sexual trauma) has been discarded into the trash can beside phrenology and mesmerism and has fallen out of favor with most psychologists.

When psychologists rejected Freudian psychoanalysis, they moved another step closer to the historic methods that church ministers would use to help the insane: talking, listening, counseling.

Although psychoanalysis dominated the mental health industry the discovery of neuroleptic drugs in 1950 marked their rapid decline. Psychoanalysis was eclipsed by chemical psychiatry.

I. The rise and fall of chemical psychiatry: 1950 - 1990

The first neuroleptic drug, Chlorpromazine was created on December 11, 1950. This marks the beginning of the take over of chemical psychiatry as the dominant force in psychiatry we see today.

Before the discovery of neuroleptic drugs like Chlorpromazine and Lithium, the "talking cures" of Freudian psychoanalysis and the good old counsel of church ministers dominated the "therapy" for the insane. However after 1950, a sudden takeover of chemical psychiatry as the treatment of choice began so that today, it dominates the minds of thinking of almost everyone involved in the mental health industry.

TV ads that say, "depression is a serious medical condition" become increasingly common. Drugs are equated as fixing "chemical imbalances in the brain" the same way insulin fixes diabetes. Of course all these claims are wicked lies that have caused enormous harm and suffering to millions who have been treated by drugs.

The huge side effects and the little efficacy has caused many to rethink the utility of drugs to change simple human behaviours.

While drugs stupefy and create a chemical lobotomy, they are generally ineffective in changing human behaviors in the long term. Behaviours are based upon choices that originate in the human spirit, not the physical brain.

The end of chemical psychiatry is approaching and in the year 2100 AD it will be extinct.

The day will come when the drugs and electric shocks of chemical psychiatry will be seen as just another historical example of the harm psychiatry had inflicted upon society.


The sad truth, is that the origin of psychiatric committal (coercion) rests with church ministers, who for 50 - 100 years, starting in 1650 AD, began to jail the insane relatives of the rich in mad houses. This action legitimized psychiatric jailing for money which immediately sprang into a new industry that church ministers were eventually excluded from by 1775 AD.

From the first century, Christians have correctly understood that insanity is a behaviour not a disease.

Although Sigmund Freud popularized psychoanalyses, he did not invent it. It became a pop psychology fad for a few decades but is now extinct, with the exception of a few extremist fringe therapists.

With the discovery of mood stabilizing drugs in the 1950's chemical psychiatrists suddenly began to dominate the thinking of all mental health organizations. Being evolutionists who reject the dichotomous nature of man, chemical psychiatrists had no place to look for the cause and cure of insanity except the brain.

With the dawn of modern medicine and scientific forensics, it was hoped that a biological etiology for insanity would be discovered. The 100 year search has ended in vain. Just like Darwin predicted missing links would validate the theory of evolution, but were never found, so too chemical psychiatrists predicted a chemical cause for insanity would be found. Both Darwin and chemical psychiatrists began their respective hunts at about the same time. Both have ended in failure.

At the same time, chemical psychiatrists expected that new drugs would be synthesized that would cure insanity like depression, anxiety, delusion, paranoia. Again they have failed since most psychiatric drugs cause brain damage and are no more effective than placebo.

With the utter failure of Chemical psychiatry to find a biologic cause or chemical cures for insanity, it is time to label them for the quacks they have always been.

What is left, is what we have always known, but needed the courage to say: Insanity is a behaviour of choice that is under the complete control of individuals. The old joke rings true once again: "How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? None, if it really wants to change itself." The most difficult part of the process of counseling the insane, is helping them see their own contribution to their own problems and behaviours. Whereas Chemical psychiatry has brainwashed the general public into believing insanity is not caused by moral failure but a disease, the truth is that the insane can only blame themselves for how they have chosen to conduct themselves. Anxiety and depression are as much a choice of behaviour as smoking, overeating or alcoholism.

Church ministers, equipped with the perfect manual of human behaviour (the bible) and the hope, joy, purpose and forgiveness that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, are the only hope of helping those who engage in behaviours associated with mental illness and insanity. Non-Christians really have nothing to offer. Evolutionists and atheists are actually a cause of anxiety and depression since they believe life on earth is the result of random chance processes that provide no real purpose for life and no hope in the future.

Historically, church ministers had it right all along, when they understood that insanity was a behaviour choice not a disease. Christians know that you can not force a person to believe in God and you cannot force someone to change behaviours associated with mental illness. But you can point them towards the light. Just like the gospel, most reject the good advice, but a few listen and change.

It is a mistake for church ministers to become actively involved in the industry of counseling people for money, essentially competing with secular counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists. Although it is not wrong for a church minister to accept money for 1 hour of his counseling services, it is not wise and perhaps it may violate the free nature of grace and the gospel message itself. A real minister would never charge an hourly fee to teach someone they need to believe, repent, confess Jesus and be immersed in water for the remission of their sins to be saved. Likewise a minister should never charge for his counseling services for people who are in need of divine guidance from his reservoir of wisdom and the do's and don'ts of the Bible.

Church ministers altruistically point to the way of spiritual healing through Jesus Christ, and those who hear are healed. In the end, counseling the insane is no different than teaching someone the gospel to be saved. When seekers as for guidance, the minister identifies behaviours that are in violation to the law of Christ as revealed in the Bible and suggests these behaviours be stopped. Just as many sinners reject the message of repentance and refuse to be baptized, so too many insane reject the message of behaviour change and remain insane.

Forced coercion of changing the behaviours of the insane are just as wrong as forced coercion of conversion to Christ. Just as a church minister would never force a sinner to be baptized against his will, so too forced psychiatric committal to an asylum or drugging is wrong.

Sinners and the insane are both free to live any way they choose, in spite of the good counsel of a church minister. They must both be free to live and move and conduct themselves in any sinful manner they choose. However, when laws are broken, sinner and insane alike should be arrested, tried and thrown in jail, not an asylum.

Faith and obedience to Christ is the only hope of true happiness, purpose, joy, contentment in the world. Pick of your Bible and read it. Attend a good Bible based church: click here.

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By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.

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