Dr. Fred Baughman: In the area of child psychiatric drugs, the main focus has been the recently commenced FDA hearings, which pertain to reports of death, strokes and heart attacks in children and adults. The first report concerning Adderall came out about a year ago. Adderall is the number one ADHD drug, and that report dealt with 12 or so individuals that were said to have had strokes, if you can imagine a stroke occurring in a young child. Some were sudden deaths and others were heart complications, and a total of 20 to 30 such reports lead Health Canada to take Adderall off the market.
Mike: Now these records are through the voluntary MedWatch system, correct?
Dr. Baughman: Exactly, which the FDA explains in a booklet about the mechanics of MedWatch and other similar voluntary reporting schemes. They confessed that such schemes ordinarily identify no more than one percent of actual occurrences. So at any rate, there we had that occurrence about a year ago with Health Canada taking Adderall off the market and our FDA not taking Adderall off the market. Subsequently, we learned our FDA lobbied Health Canada behind-the-scenes not to take it off the market.
Mike: That is unbelievable. The FDA applied pressure to foreign nations to protect dangerous drugs in our own market.
Dr. Baughman: Yes, it's just that. Then about three or four months ago, Health Canada put Adderall back on the market. It wasn't because they had any good evidence of its safety or effectiveness. Adderall is a mixture of the two salts of amphetamine, so it's a pure amphetamine. The fascinating thing about Adderall is that it was a weight reduction drug for adults called Obetrol. It's was so extremely addictive that Obetrol was taken off the market for that reason. Now we have the FDA bringing this extraordinarily addictive drug to market for little children.
Mike: So it was too dangerous for adults but not unsafe for children.
Dr. Baughman: In fact, they are bringing it to market for entirely normal little children said to have the illusory, bogus disease called ADHD.
Mike: For those reading, you're a pediatric neurologist correct?
Dr. Baughman: Yes, and I practiced both adult and child neurology, board-certified in both. I have been a long-standing fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.
Mike: Okay, so you come from the world of what I might call conventional medicine. You are an M.D., and yet, over the years, and I'm sure you'll explain how this happened, you found some mass distortions happening with ADHD so you launched a web site called ADHDfraud.org. My first question: At what point as a pediatric neurologist did you begin to see something was wrong with this picture?
Baughman: I began to publish actual research works when I was in training, first at Sinai Hospital in New York and after that, at the Boston Veteran Hospital. After the first 10 years of my practice, which was in Grand Rapids Michigan, I published a considerable body of original research mainly having to do with genetically determined brain decisions or neurological diseases and chromosome abnormalities. Much of that work was published with Dr. Joseph Mann, also of Grand Rapids. I have discovered and described actual diseases, and that's the background that I bring to my newfound duty of evaluating and critiquing modern-day psychiatry, especially where it pertains to their wholly fraudulent claims that their diagnoses, such as ADHD, bipolar OCD and depression are actual brain diseases when they are not.
At any rate, that's the rest of my background and qualifications. Now I was in private practice from 1964 to 1993 when I retired, and it was during the 70s that I began to notice, first in Grand Rapids and then here in San Diego where I relocated, the increasing frequency of the burst of diagnoses of hyperactivity and brain damage. Then in 1980, the American Psychiatric Association invented ADD, or attention deficit disorder, and with that the epidemic seemed to worsen. It appeared to me that the frequency of such diagnoses and their treatment with Ritalin, an amphetamine-like drug every bit as addictive as cocaine, were increasing in my community. At first I took note and later became alarmed at the frequency with which children were being referred to me by schools through their physician with these diagnostic labels put in place, basically by schoolteachers.
Mike: This was a "disease" that almost appeared to be spreading like a virus.
Dr. Baughman: It was a notion of a disease, an illusory disease; with child psychiatry repeating the lie often enough that it was becoming a reality, especially for the educational establishment and teachers nationwide, and increasingly, the media or the public at large. Then in 1997 with the epidemic standing somewhere around 500 to 700,000 nationwide, they simply rewrote the diagnostic criteria by adding hyperactivity to the attention deficit.
Mike: Do you mean to say that there is a group of psychiatrists who meet in a room somewhere and they just write down and invent whatever behavioral observations they want to assign to this disease definition?
Dr. Baughman: That is exactly the way it works. In medicine, including my specialty, neurology, if a curious observant physician discovers a new abnormality in a patient in his practice or in his clinic at medical schools, that previously unobserved abnormality is the new disease. So there has to be an objective abnormality. In diabetes, there is elevated blood sugar in the blood throughout all the tissues. With cancer, a pathologist has to see cells that have abnormal nuclei and chromosomes under the microscope in order to contend that that patient has that disease or a disease. But in psychiatry, the committee of the diagnostic and statistical manual meets in a room and by a show of hands, they consider one another's favorite galaxies or mixture of behaviors and vote those into existence and give it a code number or an entry into the DSM, and they are all psychiatric disorders. By the word "disorder," they mean disease.
Mike: Can you give us an example of the type of behaviors that are listed in the DSM as being diseases or disorders?
Dr. Baughman: In the case of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, here are the 14 symptoms that appeared in the 1987 DSM. Remember, a child found to have eight of them was deemed to have ADHD. Number one is often fidgets or squirms; two is trouble staying in one's seat; three is easily distracted; four is can't wait one's turn; five is blurts out answers; six is trouble following instructions; seven is can't sustain attention; eight is shifts from one activity to another; nine doesn't play quietly; 10 talks excessively; 11 interrupts; 12 can't listen; 13 loses things; 14 does dangerous things, thrill seeking and so on.
Mike: Wow, I think you just described probably half the population.
Dr. Baughman: Right, exactly, so much for their motivation. It's just absolutely brilliant, the marketing scheme, as long as you get away with it.
Mike: And they are getting away with it.
Dr. Baughman: The Center for Disease Control estimated in 2004 that there were 4 million cases nationwide in children 17 and under.
Mike: Now isn't it one out of every 10 children in public schools?
Dr. Baughman: As of 2003 I believe it was. Professor William Cary of the University of Pennsylvania testified to Congress that 17 percent of all school children as of 2003 are on some type of psychiatric drug, not all ADHD drugs and not all with an ADHD diagnosis. I think that the number today is probably one in five, or 20 percent. It was 17 percent according to Dr. Cary in 2003. It's probably 20 percent today.
Mike: It's astounding. Even if this disease were legitimate, this was something that doesn't exist in other countries and it didn't exist anywhere two generations ago. How do the psychiatrics explain the abrupt emergence of this apparent disease?
Dr. Baughman: They don't much explain it. People who try to ask legitimate questions of them are generally ignored because they don't have any scientific answers. They know it is a big lie, and as long as they are getting away with it and as long as they have full access to the US Department of Education and the lobbyists to members of Congress, they enact the diagnosis and treatment of this into law. Consequently, there are laws on the books that mandate a certain level of diagnosis in the schools and that even pay extra to school districts for every child that is diagnosed with one of their bogus and contrived diseases and treated as special-education subjects. Taxpayers end up paying two or three times as much for children thus labeled as they do for normal kids.
Mike: Let me clarify that. So a school district that gets more of its children are diagnosed with ADHD, it gets rewarded with more funds?
Dr. Baughman: They get more funds. There are even laws on the books that pay parents a stipend for every child they have who is diagnosed and thus considered disabled. So I think they get Social Security disability. I think the stipend, at least a few years ago, was $400 a month.
Mike: Isn't this a situation where everybody is on the take, so they can turn the bodies of our children into profit machines?
Dr. Baughman: That's exactly what is happening. These entirely bogus junk science pseudoscientific labels are a barcode on the forehead of a child, and once the label gets in their record, it sticks. They can't get rid of it. If a child or an adult gets one of these labels, this stigmatizes that individual. They are going to have more trouble getting health care insurance and trouble finding employment. The armed services will not take children who have been on these drugs. I must confess that as the Armed Forces have failed to meet their quota for the Iraq war, they have dropped their standards and they are recently accepting persons who have such labels and have been on such drugs.
Mike: Well, let's get back to the parents if we could for a minute. People in positions of authority, people who apparently have an education in neurology or psychiatry, are telling parents that their children have a chemical brain disorder. It's a very convincing argument to the parents.
Dr. Baughman: Yes it is, and I must point out that virtually every physician-patient encounter in the country, regardless of specialty, has wholeheartedly embraced this scheme. That includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Child Neurology Society, of which I am a member, the American Academy of Family Practice and by various psychological groups. The American Academy of Pediatrics in fact, republished in the DSM for diagnostic criteria for ADHD in the Journal Pediatrics, I think it was in 1999, and subsequently published a guideline for the psychostimulant treatment of ADHD the following year, I believe in 2000. In so doing, the American Academy of Pediatrics along with the other groups I just mentioned, served notice that they intended to enter the business of diagnosing and drugging entirely normal children for profit. That's one of the things that have spurred the epidemic.
Mike: Now, do you have any colleagues who are also standing up and openly questioning this practice, or are you pretty much finding yourself isolated?
Dr. Baughman: I've been isolated, but there are a small cadre of honest scientific physicians who feel as I do, and a smaller number yet, that are speaking out. I've really been surprised to behold the impact that my web site has had. Now I've got a book that is going to be published soon.
Mike: Can you give us the title of that book please?
Dr. Baughman: Yes, it's called "The ADHD Fraud, How Psychiatry Makes Patients of Normal Children." It will be available through www.trafford.com. Trafford Publishing Company, and it should be available within the week.
Mike: Have you been pressured to censor your views in any way or have you taken any heat?
Dr. Baughman: Back in 1994-95, I made a formal written proposal to the American Academy of Neurology to write practice parameter for ADHD that would essentially determine the best advisable practices for the disease. The Academy wrote an encouraging response and gave me the go ahead in writing. I presented them with a statement saying that my review of the world scientific literature found no evidence that ADHD was a disease. The next thing that happened was that I heard from members of the Quality Assurance Committee that my efforts wouldn't really be needed any longer. So I was essentially deep-sixed; I was put on the shelf.
Mike: Do you know which of these groups accept money from pharmaceutical companies?
Dr. Baughman: Every one of them. Every one of them accepts lots of money and there is no such thing as a psychiatric expert in any psychiatric disorder that is not wholly owned or operated by the pharmaceutical industry.
Mike: That's a big statement.
Dr. Baughman: That is a big statement and a big and tragic truth.
Mike: So these experts are really just paid promoters of the drugs.
Dr. Baughman: They've got M.D. degrees and so they masquerade as scientific physicians but they have sold their souls and they have sold whatever scientific credentials they ever had.
Mike: What kind of money can they make writing these prescriptions for children?
Dr. Baughman: They are making an immense amount of money, millions of dollars.
Mike: This is all very difficult for the average American parent or consumer to swallow. They simply cannot believe that individuals would be so evil as to sell their souls to pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. Baughman: I think this has a great deal to do with the magnitude of the psychiatric epidemic in general and the ADHD epidemic. Parents, ordinary layman, going with their children at the behest of school officials in the first place, could not believe that someone would tell a total lie to them. They cannot imagine that. At the moment, I'm working with individuals to put together a consumer fraud suit here in the state of California, based on fraudulent diagnosis of ADHD and subsequent drugging. If you've been lied to and told you have a disease when you don't and then drugged, that's battery.
Mike: Is there a web site that people can go to?
Dr. Baughman: For this consumer fraud action, we only need a handful of four or five plaintiffs. It's not like a class action where you need hundreds.
Mike: Will you keep me posted on this action?
Dr. Baughman: Yes, people keep asking about it. I tell them to keep an eye on my web site because if we get this thing going, I certainly will be posting notes as to our progress or lack of it.
Mike: If you set a precedent in California, this thing could really sweep the nation.
Dr. Baughman: That is what we hope. They've had such obscene amounts of drug company money to defend themselves, that no one has really succeeded against them as is necessary to put an end to this fraud. It's so much more than a fraud when they actually poison normal children, which is what they're doing.
Mike: I've heard it described somewhere else on the internet as a chemical holocaust or crimes against humanity.
Dr. Baughman: There has been a perversion of the language. They have taken entirely normal children and made patients out of them by diagnosing them with fictional chemical imbalances of the brain. It's a total fraud. I have observed two national news programs recently, talking about a new kind of disability that our soldiers in the Iraqi conflict are developing. I listened to hear what the new disease was. Lo and behold, it was PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. I grant you, there are a lot of troubling visions and experiences that all men in a war are exposed to, and these cause troubling flashbacks and troubled sleep. But it's not an organic disease of the brain as psychiatry would have us believe, nor are these symptoms inevitable. They would have all the soldiers over there believe that PTSD is a disease with a grave prognosis. They tell them they are never going to get rid of these terrible flashbacks without the help of a new drug that they're trying to develop to obliterate those painful memories.
Mike: Well, that's the way to make a permanent customer, isn't it?
Dr. Baughman: Yes, and the media has bought into this psychiatric disease mongering, and that's why it is rampant. That's why the drugging of our children is rampant.
Mike: Isn't the next great marketing frontier for these companies adult ADHD now?
Dr. Baughman: Well yes, it's not the future; it's the present. There has been a tremendous year-to-year growth in the billions of prescriptions for Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and all the other amphetamines. My alma mater, New York University School of Medicine, is at the very forefront of this fraud. There was a story in the magazine section of the New York Times roughly a year ago, describing the launch of an adult ADHD clinic at the University. They had a hall or a big space at the Helmsley Hotel. I guess they had signs out on the curb saying this was underway on the top floor. If you want to be checked for ADHD, go on up.
Mike: They had a recruiting service there.
Dr. Baughman: People went up and they took this behavioral checklist test and 85 percent of those taking the test had the disease! They got labeled and were on their way the very next day to their doctors with a new label.
Mike: Is it true that I could make an appointment with a psychiatrist walk in and say I have trouble focusing, I'm easily distracted and I fidget a lot, and right then I could be diagnosed and put on these drugs?
Dr. Baughman: Let me tell you something. In a 2002 survey done by the American Academy Of Child and Adult Psychiatry, they looked at the surveying practices of child psychiatrists and found that 91 percent of children seeing child psychiatrists came out of their initial visit with a prescription for a drug.
Mike: Ninety-one percent?
Dr. Baughman: Ninety-one percent. I would say that a third to a half of all the patients I saw as a neurologist had no organic disease. Now contrast that with this 2002 study survey of child psychiatry, where 91 percent are coming away with a prescription. Were the 90 percent commonsense parents? Most likely.
Mike: If you look at the big picture of what's happening here, what does this say about scientific integrity in Western civilization, if these well-educated people in this so-called scientific organization can invent such a widespread hoax? Does this have you questioning some of scientific truth today, or what's your view on it?
Dr. Baughman: I pointed out earlier that it's not just psychiatry, but its pediatrics, neurologists, family practitioners, psychologists, school teachers across the country have become pawns and have not seeing the evil of their ways by becoming pushers for the drugging establishment. This is the standard of practice across the board. The entire profession has been bought out. On average, every physician in the country gets $13,000 per year from the drug companies.
Mike: In what form?
Dr. Baughman: They get free dinners, golf, free trips, but that money isn't spread around equally. It is spread strategically so that your top policy makers in medicine -- your top psychiatrists and your heads of departments -- get more money than anyone else. Some get about $500,000 a year, and it has been so successful that no one within academic medicine can speak out as I speak out. I knew a long time ago I would not prove compatible with the sort of control from above that is the rule in academic medicine.
Mike: So you are saying that anybody in academic medicine has to go along to get along.
Dr. Baughman: If they were to stand up and say things that I say, they would be out the next day. NYU has become a hive for disease-inventing psychiatry. I got the sad news that the department received more funds to train more poisoners of normal children.
Mike: Well, I think it's obvious that you have experienced the idea that when you operate with integrity in this world, it can be a pretty lonely path. Now let's talk about poisoning and the long-term implications. What happens to Americans when one out of five children grow up on speed or some other kind of psychiatric drug?
Dr. Baughman: Well, we are at that number clearly. We are drugging well over 10 million. There is no sign that it's getting better. I pointed out that ADHD in adults is a rapidly growing market sector, so I think when you are told you've got a disease and you are in fact normal, you are damaged just by the label. When you are given a drug to normalize an abnormality in your body or brain that doesn't exist, that's poisoning and you are going to be damaged by that drug every single time. So the side effect rate for Ritalin or for Adderall is 100 percent. There is no kid that gets put on these drugs that isn't altered by them. Their perceptions, behaviors, feelings and emotions are always changed and not always noticeably. They are always altered and there are horrible long-term consequences that we can't begin to know.
Mike: What long-term side effects have you heard of?
Dr. Baughman: I mentioned before that Health Canada found that there were roughly 20 to 30 cases of strokes in young children, roughly 10 or 12 sudden deaths, heart abnormalities. Just before the Feb. 9 FDA hearing, there were 51 reported cases of complications, deaths, strokes and heart attacks reported to the FDA MedWatch program. I have written testimony on the record for the Feb. 9 FDA conference. In fact, back in the 1990s, I testified in a Kansas City case for Mr. Gary Bell on behalf of his daughter Stephanie. She underwent heart surgery for what I think was a complication of her long-term Ritalin use. At any rate, Gary Bell and I did a freedom of information request for all the deaths and injuries related to Ritalin or methylphenidate, and for 1990-1997 there were 160 deaths from methylphenidate Ritalin. There were another 26 deaths for 1998 to 2000, 186 deaths for the decade.
Mike: Again, these are only voluntary reports.
Dr. Baughman: These are voluntary reporting schemes to MedWatch, 1 percent of actual incidents the FDA says. That means there may have been 18,600 for that decade. I have personally been consulted in about a dozen death cases, including Matthew Smith of Royal Oak, Michigan, which is just outside of Detroit. He and his parents had been coerced to stay on Ritalin from first grade to age 13. He suddenly fell over while playing with friends and died. At autopsy, his heart muscle was diffusely enlarged, scarred and infiltrated with fat. The medical examiner, Dr. Drakovic, a highly experienced pathologist, said there was no doubt in his mind that Matthew Smith died of long-term chronic amphetamine methylphenidate Ritalin poisoning.
Mike: So we have a population that is potentially setting themselves up for long-term death and harm just like drug addicts?
Dr. Baughman: Yes. Reports that young athletes, college and high school athletes suddenly drop dead are not uncommon. There was a pro ballplayer, I think a pitcher on the Baltimore Orioles, who had been on supplements that contained ephedrine, which is very similar to the amphetamines. My feeling is that steroid use and amphetamine use is very, very common in athletes at the high school level and up. I think every one of those deaths is conceivably related to psychiatric drugs, most of which have startling coronary cardiac heart consequences. Not just amphetamines, but all of these so-called antipsychotics, which are horrible poisons the pharmaceutical industry is hoisting upon the population. Almost all those drugs have cardiac side effects as well.
Mike: Before I wrap this up. I have to ask about the front groups for psychiatric medicine, like Teen Screen and CHAD. Give us a rundown on these groups and what they do.
Dr. Baughman: Teen Screen is coming to us out of Columbia University, once an esteemed medical school uptown from NYU, which was also once a proud scientific institute. David Schaefer, the psychiatrist who has authored Teen Screen, along with the pharmaceutical sponsors, is not content with the rate of growth of psychiatric poisoning in this country, so they want to make it mandatory that all kids in our captive population, our schools to take diagnostic tests.
Mike: So they think four out of every 10 kids…
Dr. Baughman: That is probably a low yield for Teen Screen. I would think that more of these screens would have a 60, 70 or even 80 percent positive diagnostic rate like the adult ADHD screen run by New York University at one of the Helmsley Hotels. As long as they've got enough friends in Congress and in the White House to write these things into law, they're going to carry on. Teen Screen is very much a product of the White House. The President's new Freedom Commission on Mental Health launched the notion of Teen Screen.
Mike: Which is mandatory mental health screening, right?
Dr. Baughman: Yes. I think Illinois already passed it and made it law. They are not asking parents whether or not they want their kids screened. This is Big Brother to the max. This is worse than anything Stalin could have imagined. This population had better wake up; the implications go far beyond the drugging of our normal school children.
Mike: That leads me to my final question: How does all of this ever end? How does this return to normal? When is the fraud exposed? How long will it take? If the pharmaceutical companies are so powerful and control so many big players, how does this ever get exposed?
Dr. Baughman: Exactly. Right now there is a pharmaceutical company lobbyist for every member of Congress and probably three or four for every senator. Who knows how many for the president? It is really a horror story unfolding. When I started medicine in 1964, I thought we were a wonderful profession. We didn't have to compromise ourselves by inventing things to do. That has changed 100 percent. The medical profession is a disgrace today.
Mike: Again for those reading, you are hearing from Dr. Fred Baughman, pediatric neurologist and M.D. Your web site is ADHDfraud.org. What is the title of your upcoming book?
Dr. Baughman: "The ADHD Fraud: How Psychiatry Makes Patients of Normal Children."
Mike: Okay, that's a title that we will be looking forward to. Any last thoughts, Dr. Baughman?
Dr. Baughman: Yes, you might also consider getting a DVD production by Gary Null Associates in New York City, called "Drugging Our Children." I was interviewed for it in a powerful hard-hitting video view of what we've talked about here. I also have a video that I produced with footage from the 1998 ADHD consensus conference. My video is called "ADHD Total 100% Fraud. It can be purchased through my web site.
Mike: If you have any new items, books or videos, send them my way. I will be happy to get that out to the readers.
Dr. Baughman: I sure will.