By Selwyn Duke
“Retraction of biomedical and life science research papers for fraud or misconduct is more widespread than previously thought and is roughly 10-fold more common today than in 1975.” So wrote the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) in 2012. Now, 10 years later, some new reports indicate that the state of “science” has, if anything, only worsened. And today’s Exhibit A is how “Big Science” has, according to commentator Tucker Carlson, been deceiving Americans about many commonly taken drugs’ effectiveness and safety.
In a Monday segment, the Fox News host addressed recent reports about antidepressants, Covid “vaccines,” Alzheimer’s medications, and OxyContin, and mentioned Adderall and Ritalin as well.
Carlson opened talking about the opioid epidemic and how, as he put it, “Perdue Pharma kicked it off … by aggressively marketing a narcotic called OxyContin,” which the drug giant said wasn’t addictive. Except that it was.
Perdue ended up being sued and criminal charges were brought, but not one drug company executive, anywhere, went to prison. And this is the level of accountability — zero — that’s typical of matters involving pseudo-elite transgressions.
Carlson moved on to discussing recent University College London (UCL) research indicating that antidepressants don’t live up to billing. As he put it:
It turns out the entire premise behind the most commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs appears to be completely wrong. These drugs are known as SSRI. They’re ubiquitous. Between 1991 and 2018, total SSRI prescriptions in the U.S. rose by more than 3,000 percent. The number of prescriptions for the most common SSRI hit 224 million last year … in a country of 330 million people.
In other words, you know dozens of people who are taking SSRIs. You may be taking them right now. And yet for decades there have been strong indications that there is a problem with these drugs and the most obvious is this: Antidepressants are supposed to cure depression. That’s why they’re prescribed. And yet over the same period that SSRI prescriptions have risen 3,000 percent, the suicide rate, that may be the most reliable indicator of all of depression, has not fallen in the United States. In fact, the suicide rate has jumped by 35 percent. That’s a huge increase. That’s a lot of dead people.
Now, drug makers admit that their products may be part of the reason for the increase in suicide. The makers of Prozac, for example, can see that young people who take that drug have an increased risk of suicide compared to those who took a placebo. Think about that for a second. A drug that’s supposed to make you less sad may make it more likely that you will kill yourself. How is that allowed? Well, it’s been allowed because virtually no one has said a word about it.
What’s more, according to the UCL study, the whole premise behind antidepressants — that they remedy a “chemical imbalance” in the brain — appears false. The researchers claim that the decades-old theory that increasing people’s serotonin levels will ameliorate their depression is incorrect.
Of course, this and all the above claims are based on studies, which, as my opening line indicated, must be viewed with a discerning eye. But many will find them compelling because they accord with common sense.
I always found the antidepressant claims suspicious. First, they grew out of the mechanistic view of man that essentially reckoned him an organic robot: If he (or it?) isn’t operating correctly, just tweak his programming or wiring — or chemistry — and “Voila!” No, no, you don’t have to do soul searching, examine your past and early years upbringing, or embark upon difficult self-improvement; just take a pill and you’ll feel right as rain. Things that sound too good to be true usually are.
Moreover, I long made two points with people about antidepressants. First, pain is a message. A pain in your foot indicates there’s something you must investigate; perhaps there’s glass in your flesh or another issue. If you just cloak the problem with symptomatic treatment, in perpetuity, you may never uncover the root cause. Is it any different with psychological pain?
As for the “chemical imbalance” theory, we know that thoughts are transmitted throughout the brain from neuron to neuron, across synapses, via electrochemical impulses. So given that all thinking involves chemical transmissions (at least on the physical level), a question arises: Even if a given mental state (e.g., depression) were associated with different brain chemistry, which came first? Would the different chemistry have led to the different thinking?
Or could the change in thinking have led to the different correlative chemistry?
None of this is to say that psychiatric drugs are never, ever, even under the rarest circumstances, beneficial (perhaps when a person poses an extreme danger to himself and/or others). But when 224 million prescriptions are written for antidepressants in one year alone, it’s clear these medications are egregiously overused.
Speaking of changes in thinking brings us to our pseudo-elites. Carlson also mentioned Monday how
• Kamala Harris described pharma executives as “nothing more than some high-level dope dealers” who “should be held accountable” and said that she wouldn’t take any Covid “vaccine” President Trump recommended. But upon Joe Biden’s (s)election, she began sounding “like the chief marketing officer at Pfizer,” said Carlson;
• former White House Covid response director Dr. Deborah Birx recently said that she “knew these vaccines were not going to protect against infection” and were “overplayed” (meaning, she participated in a lie);
• Anthony Fauci now says that reports of “vaccine” side effects mean we “need to study it more.”
Of course, not long ago, expressing these sentiments got outside-the-establishment figures censored and expelled from social media.
It should be pointed out that The New American (TNA) was ahead of the curve on these issues (as on others) and reported on the perils of antidepressant use long ago. Two notable examples are the cover story “Snared by Drug Companies” (March 24, 2014) and “From Prozac to Parkland: Are Psychiatric Drugs Causing Mass Shootings?” (February 18, 2018). The TNA essay “Blinding Me With Science: Fraud and Folly for Fame and Funding” (March 3, 2014) deals with the corruption of science in general.
For those interested, the Monday Tucker Carlson segment, truly a must-watch, is below.