mental illness, the concept, goes on trial

In order to leave a state mental hospital and live in freedom, many citizens are forced to undergo a trial of their sanity in a state supreme court. Mouth’s editor has witnessed a few such trials and never seen or heard of a citizen who proved his or her sanity when a psychiatrist testified to the contrary.

Enter Rodney Yoder, an advocate for the end of forced treatment who will soon raise the biggest of big questions in an Illinois supreme court: Does mental illness even exist? Professor Thomas Szasz, Dr. Patch Adams, and several other experts on freedom versus force will testify on Yoder’s behalf, hoping to prove to the court that mental illness is a fabrication — albeit an ancient one — which allows society to segregate people with inconvenient behavior.

Yoder served a short prison term for assault on his wife. When he had served his sentence he was not released but remanded to a "hospital" for the criminally insane, where, ten years later, he remains. Yoder has refused psychiatric drugs during hisstay there.

Time  magazine and several other national journals plan to cover the trial of sanity. This is big. In order for this trial to serve as a test case and be preserved for appeal if necessary, Yoder must be represented by an attorney. And although the mental health experts are volunteering their time, attorneys require payment. There are other expenses as well. John Prior, secretary of the Rodney Yoder Legal Defense Fund, has put out the call for donations toward that end. (He got two checks from us.) You can send yours to The Rodney Yoder Legal Defense Fund, c/o John Prior, 7714 W. Catalpa Ave, Chicago, IL 60656.

To learn more about Yoder and his case, visit Shrinkbusters. Or email Yoder at


Copyright 2002, Free Hand Press


Antipsychiatry webring by girich_igor
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