Michelle Carter, psychopath or victim of big pharma?

The Mechanic

Jedi Council Member
Hi everybody,

I've been seeing news reports about the Michelle Carter case for a few years now, and only today I looked a little further. Posts on Sott over the years in case you missed it:

Today there were news stories that she's been convicted again (for instance: Massachusetts high court upholds conviction of woman who encouraged boyfriend's suicide but it's everywhere).

There was even a forum post on it a while back, but because her being a teenage psycho killer being a foregone conclusion in that thread, I didn't want to continue it: Incredible case of psychopathic teen

Today I was convinced of the opposite, that she's very much a victim, as was the boy that committed suicide, Conrad Roy. The change of mind was because of reading the following series of blog posts by Peter Breggin MD. I'll replicate those in full below in case this gets janked off the internet.

Part I: Michelle Carter: Did She Text Her Boyfriend to Death? - Mad In America
Part II: Part II: Michelle Starts Prozac and Sees the Devil - Mad In America
Part III: Michelle Carter Part III: DA Goes After Her Expert Witness to Stop His Blog - Mad In America
Part IV: Michelle Carter Part IV: Did She Tell Conrad to “Get back in the truck”? - Mad In America

Have a good read, and let me know what you think. Is she a psycho or a victim?
 

The Mechanic

Jedi Council Member
Michelle Carter: Did She Text Her Boyfriend to Death?

By
Peter Breggin, MD
August 3, 2017
26

37731

Part I in a series of reports on Michelle Carter. Parts II, III and IV can be read here, here and here.

Today on August 3rd, 2017, a Massachusetts judge sentenced a supposedly “mean girl” for the crime of manslaughter in the suicide death of her boyfriend. She was only seventeen years old at the time. He was eighteen. For the “crime” of allegedly telling her boyfriend to get back in his carbon monoxide-filled truck to finish killing himself, she could have received 20 years in state prison. Instead, the judge gave her only 15 months in a House of Corrections. Then the judge put a stay on incarcerating her until the case is appealed, and he allowed her to go home on probation.

I was the only psychiatric and medication expert on either side, and I testified on behalf of Michelle. Other than perhaps her lawyers, I probably know more about the true story than anyone else. This blog will be the first in a series of reports about the trial. Nearly everything in this series of reports was revealed and documented at the trial, often through my testimony. Documents for the Michelle Carter case and links to videos of the pretrial hearing and the later trial can be found in the case archive I’m creating on my website www.breggin.com.

The Public Impression of Michelle Carter
I have been traveling a great deal lately to testify in court as a psychiatric expert and to give workshops and talks at conferences. Because she has been so much on my mind and occupied so much of my attention and time, I have asked people in airports, on planes, in taxis and in hotels if they had heard about the girl who supposedly told her boyfriend to kill himself.

To my surprise, almost everyone recalled something about the story. News coverage has been extensive in the print media from the New York Times and Washington Post to People, and on TV from ABC and NBC to CNN and Fox News. Oddly, no one seemed to know anything beyond the idea that a girl had told her boyfriend to kill himself, and that he had done so. They were sure she was a very mean girl.
People were interested when I mentioned that both the girl and her boyfriend had been taking almost identical antidepressant drugs for years. There was dismay when I started giving details about their relationship. It did not fit anything that people’s imaginations had been filling in. They felt cheated by the media.

Almost no one could remember her name. It is Michelle Carter. Nobody knew the deceased boy’s name. It was Conrad Roy. It was early July 2014 and Michelle was getting ready to start her senior year of high school while struggling with an eating disorder. Conrad was working for his father, floundering and trying to find his way after graduating high school.
The most telling information was contained in more than a thousand pages of text messages with tens of thousands of communications between Michelle and Conrad, as well as between Michelle and her many friends. It was a dizzying digital world of teenage peers with a stunning lack of adult presence. The texts were so monumentally important in the trial because Michelle and Conrad had not seen each other for a year prior to his death. Before that long hiatus, they had only met on four occasions for a day or two at times, with little chance for intimacy and very limited sexual contact.

In my forensic work reconstructing what individuals were thinking and communicating leading up to a tragic event—such as murder, suicide, or death by psychiatric adverse drug effects—I had never possessed so much documentation. I was learning not only about the unguarded intimate exchanges between Michelle and Conrad but also about those between Michelle and her extended peer group.
Most people I talked with as I traveled knew that the case was about texting. They uniformly had the misimpression that Michelle had texted Conrad the seemingly fatal message.

After the defense attorney, Joe Cataldo, contacted me and provided me initial documentation, I took the case as a medical expert, knowing I might never get back my expenses, let alone a fee. I did so because I had quickly learned that whatever this case was about, it was not about a “mean girl.” As increasing piles of documents arrived in packages or were downloaded off the Cloud, the story became an American tragedy—and Michelle Carter became the most innocent of all the many participants in the death of Conrad Roy.

Who is Michelle Carter?
I have been an expert in hundreds of legal cases, with 100 or more going to trial, most of them criminal, malpractice or product liability cases. These cases often require me to interview countless friends, families, and peers of adults and children who have suffered severe adverse drug reactions. In civil cases of malpractice or product liability, the individual may be dead or alive. Either way, I have to reconstruct their life stories from all available evidence. If the individuals were charged with a crime, and psychoactive drugs may have contributed to it, I go through the same process of building their biography. At no time have I ever experienced such unanimity of opinion about an individual. Michelle’s life story seemed literally too good to be true, and in some ways it was.


Michelle Carter (HS yearbook photo via Sun Chronicle)
Michelle before age 14 was a topnotch athlete who starred in softball. In her small town of Plainville, Massachusetts, this was no small accomplishment. The school and the community of about 8,000 prided itself on winning softball championships and sending girls off to college to continue their athletic careers. Michelle’s volunteer coaches, who were businessmen, told me she was the most caring and helpful teammate they ever had the pleasure to work with.

Although a much better player than most of the players on their highly competitive teams, Michelle never put winning above the feelings of her teammates. If a lesser player performed poorly, she would always step up to reassure and comfort. When I asked one coach if he could name another star athlete who never griped or complained about other players, or even about the other teams, he took a brief pause to scan his memory and said, “None.” Coaches and teachers also told me that Michelle went out of her way in class to help other students, and also to help her teachers.

Several coaches and teachers told the same story about meeting her in the halls or at a ball game. She was always the only student to break away from her group of peers to come over to them to say hello and to ask how they were doing. When interviewing Michelle, I noticed she knew the names and background of adults in the community at times better than her parents who were also very involved in the small town’s activities.

A high school teacher whose class with Michelle completed an award-winning business project knew her well. He told me that Michelle unselfishly helped him and other students without concern for her own grades. He was effusive about how much he respected and appreciated her. Texts between Michelle and her classmates show her giving support and direction to other students who were working on the project.

An older high school mentor who went on to become a teacher in a nearby school system remained friends with Michelle. When Michelle’s mentor graduated college and began teaching, Michelle began to mentor her in return and to support her in dealing with her own fears and concerns about starting to teach. Once again, Michelle’s mentor saw her as a uniquely caring, loving, and helpful young person.

One mother who lived next door and whose daughter frequently brought Michelle around said she saw no great difference in Michelle as she grew up from infancy to the present time. Whatever was going on inside Michelle was out of sight of the adults. Michelle’s relatives and parents also saw no great change in her. She was as bright and cheery as ever, and always eager to please and to help. Michelle continued in their eyes to be a ten out of ten for kindness, caring and helpfulness.

I asked the people I interviewed if they knew or heard of anyone in their town of 8,000 who would have a bad word to say about Michelle. Some thought for a second, some pondered, and all replied in effect, “Not one.” They made this observation despite the torrent of negative information heaped upon her by the press.

What emerges from the interviews, school and medical records and texts is a girl whose major intention in life is to love and to help people. Thousands of texts with her friends confirm how much love they shared among themselves, and how her friends in particular saw Michelle as a caring person. Conrad Roy, the boy who committed suicide, would eventually use her natural inclinations against her with disastrous consequences.

In her school and community, no one could believe the horrible news stories about Michelle. The State of Massachusetts prosecuted her in the media through selective, partial releases of her texts to Conrad Roy that made her at times seem nasty to him; but it was nowhere near that simple. The carefully orchestrated releases from the prosecuting attorney’s office made it seem that there could be no doubt about what happened—that she must have told him these words and that they must have been memorialized in her texts to him.

Michelle’s school trusted her so much that even while under indictment for manslaughter at the beginning of her senior year, the school invited her to return for her senior year. In her senior year, before she went on trial, the class voted on a series of prestigious student awards. Michelle Carter, known in the media as the mean girl, was given the award by her classmates for being the student “Most Likely to Brighten Up Your Day.” She also got a second award for “Class Clown,” not for being disruptive or non-conforming in class, but for making people smile. The attorneys for the State of Massachusetts never gave that information to the press.

The State’s Indictment of Michelle

What happened to Michelle Carter that she seemingly became a destructive human being bent on pushing her boyfriend to kill himself? The prosecution claimed she was a selfish person driven to push her boyfriend into suicide in order to gain attention and sympathy. That was the sole motive they could come up with to explain such a seemingly horrendous act.

During the last few months leading up to Conrad’s tragic death, Michelle began to cut herself. She frequently texted her friends about her eating problems and her cutting, until one of them came over to her house to get the knife, and another said she could not bear to hear about it anymore. In their cross-examination of me at the end of the first day of my testimony, the prosecution claimed that Michelle made up all the texts about cutting herself to get sympathy and attention from her friends, exactly as she “caused” Conrad’s death for the same selfishly perverse motives.

That night I prepared for the continuation of my cross-examination the following day. From within the huge store of documents containing thousands of text messages, I was able to locate two separate episodes where girlfriends saw her cuts and scars at school and expressed their concern for her. The following morning in trial, I was able to shred the state’s false argument that Michelle never cut herself and was instead faking her cutting to gain sympathy and attention.

I cited the page numbers of the texts, so that the state’s attorneys could locate and read them, which they took the time to do. They stopped claiming she had faked the whole thing, but they never acknowledged that they were wrong or apologized for mischaracterizing her in such a negative fashion.

These text messages and other relevant sources can be found in my Archives of the Michelle Carter Case, which I will be updating as I proceed with this series.

Questions that Need Answering

So what happened to Michelle Carter that she became a participant, if only by phone and texts, in Conrad’s suicidal plans in his last ten days alive? She had not seen him for a year, and had only a few brief encounters with him in earlier years. Why did she have anything to do with him?

Teenagers at the time, Michelle and Conrad will be found enmeshed in and overwhelmed by forces beyond their understanding or control—a situation affecting countless other children, adolescents and even many adults throughout the world today. Some of these victims are in jail, some in mental hospitals or foster homes. Many endure persistent physical and mental harm, and many are dead. Meanwhile, the vast majority are surviving as best they can in their communities and families, while trying to get on with school or jobs and their lives.

Very few have any idea what has happened to them. Very few have any idea that their deteriorating quality of life is often due to the psychiatric medications they are receiving. Instead, with the drugs impairing their judgment they mistakenly blame themselves and their “mental illness.”

Even fewer have anyone to tell their stories, as I will try my best to do in this series. The story of Michelle Carter has not been told in the mainstream media. Like so many other victims of psychiatry, the tragic results of the wide-scale drugging of our children and adults goes untold. I hope to rectify this omission.

Peter Breggin, MD
Peter Breggin, MD | Psychiatric Drug Facts
The Breggin Blog: The Conscience of Psychiatry: Dr. Breggin has been called "The Conscience of Psychiatry" for his decades of successful efforts to reform the field. He criticizes psychiatric drugs and ECT, and promotes more caring, empathic and effective therapies. His newest book is Guilt, Shame and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions.
 

The Mechanic

Jedi Council Member
Part II: Michelle Starts Prozac and Sees the Devil
By
Peter Breggin, MD
August 7, 2017

Part II of a series of reports on the Michelle Carter story. Updated on August 16. Part I can be found here, and Parts III and IV here and here.

While Michelle Carter and her family worked their way through the crowd and the bristling hedge of TV cameras outside the Massachusetts courthouse on the way to Michelle’s sentencing, the atmosphere inside and outside the courtroom was tense. The same judge had previously convicted her of manslaughter-by-texting in the suicide of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy.

For more than two hours, I had been sitting in front of a camera in a studio in Ithaca, New York, being a pundit in a box. I was waiting to hear in my earpiece that the camera in front of me was now turned on and my mike would go live in a few seconds.

I would spend most of this third day of August from 12 noon to 8 pm listening to and responding to television coverage of Michelle Carter’s sentencing by the judge. The best news was that my wife Ginger was in the engineering room, helping me keep on track with what was important.

Surrounded by Outrage

The word came in my earpiece that I would be live in seconds, and I straightened my posture and focused my eyes on the camera. I prepared once again to talk about the real Michelle Carter, a warm and caring youngster largely at the mercy of forces beyond her understanding or control. Then the control room in Atlanta shut down my camera again.

The coverage shifted to an incident outside the courthouse. As Michelle passed through the crowd looking fearful and frail, someone shouted at her, “Kill yourself!” The channel replayed it to make sure we all heard the words. For the TV producers and commentators, it was great theater.

I felt immersed in an alternative reality dominated by anger, revenge, and hatred toward Michelle, playing out for millions watching Headline News (HLN), owned by CNN. This condemnation, sometimes subtle and sometimes not, was being directed at Michelle by most of the TV network’s commentators; by the bystanders selected for filming; by interviews with the deceased young man’s enraged family members; by the fuming prosecuting attorneys selected for the show; and even by some of the mental health “experts.”

The Larger Picture

After spending a day listening to HLN’s media coverage—with a few breaks to look at CNN, the Fox News Channel, and other media—I began to realize that TV coverage of Michelle’s story and legal case was one more media diversion to keep Americans from focusing on what really troubles our country and the world today. In this instance, the story to avoid at all costs was the epidemic drugging of our children and youth, and how we have handed them over to the drug companies and their medical minions. Instead, hate and blame the victim, and distract us from the stranglehold that the Pharmaceutical Empire has upon psychiatry, medicine, insurance companies, the media, the Congress, the educational system and virtually our entire culture.

ABC TV’s 20/20 devoted an hour to the Michelle Carter story on August 4th, 2017, the day after her sentencing, and did provide glimpses of the hidden realities. Based on filming me for more than 90 minutes in their New York studio, my interview probably had an influence in shaping the story in a more balanced fashion. In several short clips in the final production, they gave me the opportunity to make my most important summary observations: that Michelle tried for two years to save Conrad until she broke down under the influence of his abusive threats to kill himself and the involuntary intoxication caused by a recent change in her medication.

Michelle Experiences Traumatic Losses

Michelle’s story in infinite variations is daily lived by millions of children in America and elsewhere around the world, especially in the industrialized world.

As far as anyone can tell, she was doing well up to age fourteen as a good student, a star athlete, and a girl who was liked and often loved by the people who knew her. She had not a hint of any antisocial qualities.

Then in September of 2010, one month after turning 14 and entering the 8th grade, Michelle endured a double trauma. Her much-loved maternal grandparents, who lived nearby as active members of her family, died unexpectedly in quick succession. First, her maternal grandfather died unexpectedly of a heart attack, and then, within a few weeks, her grandmother died without warning of a stroke. These traumatic losses would be enough to temporarily overwhelm any child and Michelle went through the normal process of grieving—except that it was officially diagnosed as anxiety and depression, instead of a healthy and necessary grieving process.

One month after the death of her grandparents, Michelle’s strong, athletic young body had dropped an estimated 20-30 pounds. She now weighed 85 pounds, in the bottom 2% for her age group and height.

Michelle’s gastroenterology consults described Michelle as “emaciated” from self-restricted eating, and she was diagnosed with anorexia, anxiety and depression. Her liver functions were abnormal, and would remain so for years. Her electrocardiogram showed abnormalities that would clear up. Her cardiovascular system was so unstable that she developed orthostatic hypotension—that is, her blood pressure dropped precipitously when she stood up. She was a very emotionally distressed and physically ill child.

What Michelle and Her Family Really Needed

Michelle needed an experienced family therapist who would have quickly brought the whole Carter family together to help them deal with their grief. Michelle’s younger sister had also lost her grandparents and Michelle’s mother had of course lost both her parents. The two children especially needed help in expressing their inevitable fear and anxiety over death itself. In family counseling, all four family members could have worked together to increase their loving communication and process their shared emotions of grief.

Instead of focusing on Michelle as the patient, a family therapist would have emphasized helping Michelle’s parents, because they are the leaders of the family. In my experience, by helping the parents, the therapist’s need to see the children often declines. The parents, with their new understanding and better communication skills, become able to help the entire family heal. In Michelle’s case, where she was communicating almost exclusively with her peers through social media, a great breakthrough would have involved shifting more of her communications toward her parents and sister.

Giving Michelle antidepressants instead stifled her ability and motivation to grieve. One of the most common effects of the antidepressants is the suppression of emotion while imposing apathy and indifference upon the individual. The drugs thereby impede bonding with the family and grieving. After withdrawing from antidepressants, many patients realize that they went through momentous events, such as their children’s graduations or their parents’ deaths, “without feeling anything.” (For studies of antidepressant apathy, see part four of the scientific papers on my antidepressant resource center.)

Starting Michelle on Prozac

Instead of treating her as member of a shocked and grieving family, Michelle was treated as if she had a mental illness. On February 17th, 2011, her primary care doctor started her on Prozac to increase her weight and perhaps to treat her “depression.” Within one week, her doctor doubled her dose to 20 mg.

Twenty milligrams is a common adult dose of Prozac. For Michelle, in her frail condition, it became a mammoth dose. Her cardiovascular system was unstable. She was in the bottom 2% in weight. To add to this vulnerable state, her liver malfunction was likely to reduce her ability to metabolize or break down the Prozac, leading to an even higher level in her bloodstream than anticipated. Her impaired cardiovascular system put her at risk for a drug-induced arrhythmia and death.

Then on April 5th, 2011, without explanation, Michelle’s primary care doctor raised her dose of Prozac to 30 mg. This dose, above average for an adult, was a prescription for tragedy for Michelle.

Within a week of the raising of the dose, the doctor exclaimed in the record, “Weight gain!” Michelle was three pounds heavier and her BMI was now 3%.

At the time, Prozac was already approved for depression in children, but it would never be approved for eating disorders in children. The immediate impact of SSRIs usually causes weight loss, a fact that misguided doctors have used in pushing it on women who want to lose weight while also trying to overcome depression.

Unfortunately, the longer-term effect of antidepressants like Prozac, Celexa and Lexapro is often weight gain, and for a child who is desperately phobic about fat, that feels like a calamity. Michelle’s weight gain on SSRI antidepressants would contribute to her growing despair over the next three years. As she lost control of her weight, she became bulimic, pursuing extreme running as a way to keep herself from ballooning in weight.

What Did We Know How About the Harms of Antidepressants in 2011?

By 2011, anyone who read the scientific literature, much of it from leading American medical centers, would have known that children cannot tolerate SSRIs and should not be given them. The following scientific report, as well as many other confirmatory studies, can be obtained without cost from my website www.123antidepressants.com.

A team led by Riddle from the Yale Child Study Center, affiliated with the Yale Medical School, found that 50% of 24 children, ages 8 to 16 years, developed serious behavioral abnormalities when treated with Prozac. Eleven children (45%) developed “motor restlessness,” which is usually a sign of akathisia, a disorder known to cause a worsening of a child or adult’s condition, sometimes leading to psychosis, violence or suicide.

Six of the children and teens developed “social disinhibition,” which can also cause dangerous behaviors, such as those Michelle would later display toward the end of Conrad’s life. Three developed “a subjective sensation of excitation,” which is the beginning of mania, with all its hazards, including its often disastrous feelings of grandiosity and omnipotence, which Michelle would also express in Conrad’s last days in a way that sounded very nasty.

As if further warning of Michelle’s future, the authors conclude:

Clinicians treating children with fluoxetine [Prozac] are cautioned to be aware of behavioral side effects… These side effects may be difficult to differentiate from common psychopathological symptoms such as hyperactivity, restlessness, and impulsivity.

Drug-induced “impulsivity,” along with “social disinhibition,” and other manic-like drug-induced symptoms, would eventually take over Michelle’s life.

Reactions to Prozac and to all other newer antidepressants can destroy lives. Drawing on my clinical and forensic experience, I have described many such cases in my book Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime.

Borrowing in part from one of my scientific papers, in 2004 and 2005 the FDA modified the Full Prescribing Information for all antidepressants including Prozac. From then on, every antidepressant Full Prescribing Information would have multiple references to an activation or stimulation continuum of adverse effects similar to methamphetamine and cocaine:

All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases. The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for Major Depressive Disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Section 5.1 (bold in original)

A significant percentage of hospital admissions are caused by antidepressant-induced psychosis and mania. As the excerpt from the FDA-approved Full Prescribing Information confirms, they are often accompanied by drastic changes toward antisocial aggressive behaviors including “irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity” and manic-like symptoms such as grandiosity, all of which Michelle would display for a brief and tragic ten-day period before Conrad’s suicide.

Michelle’s Reaction to the First Round of Prozac

Michelle’s prescriber only recognized “headache” as an adverse reaction after raising Michelle’s dose to what was for her a mammoth dose of 30 mg. Michelle’s texting with her friends shows the first known development of problematic behavior. Although attracted to boys, Michelle developed a girl crush, and compulsively pursued her friendship until the girl’s mother intervened. The loss of that relationship would add to her earlier losses, and add to her grief throughout the next few years.

For Michelle, her relationships were always about deep emotional attachments. She wanted to help people and she sought help from them. She wanted to love people and she sought love from them. With boys or girls, youngsters or adults, the goals were always the same, love and mutual help; and people responded very warmly and appreciatively to her.

These passionate but platonic feelings were openly shared in hundreds of texts among Michelle and her friends who held each other in deep affection. Michelle’s potentially hazardous focus on helping and being helped became more desperate and obsessive under the influence of antidepressants and Conrad’s relentless abuse of her.

Because Michelle felt she was doing well for a time, her primary care doctor weaned her off Prozac, ending the taper in early October of 2011. Michelle was off Prozac when she met Conrad for the first time in February of 2012. She was now fifteen years old.

Restarting Prozac Seven Months Later

On May 3rd, 2012, her primary noted in Michelle’s chart: “Returned mom’s call—Mom concerned Michelle overeating—can stop herself from eating then exercises compulsively. Michelle now asking for help, but does not want to return to [other] office as is worried that office staff will view her as a ‘failure.’”

At the time, Michelle’s mother estimated her daughter’s weight at 100 pounds, which was about 25 pounds underweight. Her previous prescriber referred her to a new doctor in the same group at another location.

The new primary, who would remain with Michelle through Conrad’s death, quickly accepted Michelle’s request to restart Prozac. In a very rapid escalation of fourteen days, the primary raised Michelle’s dose from 10 to 30 mg, simply because Michelle had been taking 30 mg in the past.

Michelle and Conrad Have Limited Contact Leading up to his Suicide Attempt

Michelle and Conrad met through their families on a vacation to Florida in February of 2012 when she was fifteen and he was sixteen. The first communications between Michelle and Conrad made available to me are direct message exchanges on Facebook that began a few months after their initial meeting on July 17th, 2012.

They met again in August of 2012 at the Carter home. Their last two meetings were in their hometowns in Massachusetts in the summer of 2013, and they did not see each other again at any time during the year before Conrad’s death.

Their available communications from July 17th, 2012 through September 5th, 2012 seem childlike and playful, often consisting of only one to three words. At one point, Conrad writes, “love ya” and a few lines later Michelle amplifies, “it’s perfect. I love you so much.”

On October 10th, 2012, Conrad began another direct message exchange on Facebook in which he told Michelle that he had recently left a hospital following a serious suicide attempt. Michelle, who had no suspicions that he was emotionally upset, was shocked.

In 2011, Conrad seriously overdosed on Tylenol in the first of four or more attempts (my testimony & Public Records 3, 29, & 51). I testified that changes in Conrad’s antidepressant medications aggravated his suicidality and his mother agreed that his parent’s divorce “hurt him deeply” (Public Record 23). There were also allegations that Conrad was physically abused by his father and verbally abused by his grandfather and uncle (my testimony, police testimony, and Public Records 34, 49 & 50).

Conrad’s first serious suicide paralleled his completed suicide by involving a girl (Public Record 51). Conrad’s father explained to the police, “the first time Conrad attempted suicide he was talking to a girl that he had met in a group and she called the police right away, and she saved his life . . .” (Public Record 2).

For the next two years, Conrad repeatedly threatened to kill himself while texting Michelle. For ten days in July 2014, these threats combined with her antidepressant broke her down mentally, and she agreed to support his goal of dying quickly and easily to go to heaven.

Conrad’s Tragic Transformation

During this October 10th exchange on Facebook, Conrad no longer displays the innocence and relative sensitivity of his earlier drug-free communications with Michelle. Instead, he goes on for a day tormenting her with repeated threats that he plans to kill himself that night. Terrified, she begs him not to do it. He insists, “no, I’m going to,” and then explains “just letting you know the voice in my head told me to.” He calls himself a “freak” and says he will carry out his plans.

Conrad continues to torture Michelle with descriptions of his various methods of suicide, insisting, “I’m going to try my best to and not fail like last time.” He repeats his intentions that he will do it “tonight.” She tells him, “You’re scaring me” and reiterates how much she loves him and wants to help.

Michelle becomes frantic and calls a friend and a relative of Conrad in his home town, which is an hour’s drive away. Meanwhile, not yet quite 16 and on 30 mg of Prozac, Michelle remains unsure what else to do until she hears back.

Michelle, whose main goal in life is to love and to help people, is now caught up in a desperate situation. She believes that she loves Conrad and he has her convinced that only she can save him. This desperate pattern will continue for almost two years.

Their messaging is broken off for five hours until after 9 pm that night when Michelle sends a single unanswered message, “Conrad please answer me right now please.”

The next communication provided to me is dated six weeks later. At that time, on November 19th, 2012, Conrad continues with what will become periodic descents into bizarre, dark communications. He talks about, “I want your blood” and “I want it mixed with your saliva and mixed with my blood.” Michelle gets drawn into what she describes in the messages as this “disgusting” talk.

Devil Nightmares and Hallucinations

After midnight on November 24th, 2012, still on 30 mg of Prozac, Michelle sends a direct message to Conrad on Facebook that, for the first time, she is having terrible nightmares about the devil that make her avoid going to sleep.

In his communications with Michelle, Conrad shows gross indifference toward her feelings, probably caused or aggravated by the emotionally blunting drug effects. When Michelle brings up the disturbing nightmares, Conrad crudely jokes about himself raping her in her dreams.

She replies, “I try to kill myself in them [the nightmares]” and then elaborates, “actually the Devil tries to kill me haha.” She then describes how a girlfriend slept over and helped her with the nightmares.

The next night, she again brings up her nightmares. “I’m going to Hell though. The Devil told me. I swear… I’m not kidding. I’m being serious.”

Conrad asks, “He told you?” and she replies, “Yup.”

Then he turns the attention back to himself: “I saw the devil already.”

Michelle replies, “Me, too, and how did you?”

Conrad answers, “He was at the hospital one night staring at me. And he told me to kill them all.”

There is no discussion of his “kill them all” command hallucination. Instead, Michelle asks, “Are you serious?”

Conrad says, “Dead serious.”

Michelle once again becomes the sympathetic helper. “I’m so sorry baby!”

Conrad describes his sighting of the Devil: “He was red and had a black cape.”

Michelle tells him not to listen to the Devil. “I learned to fight him and yeah I know I’ve seen him too. I see him a lot actually.”

She elaborates that all this takes place in her sleep “but to me it seems like real life.”

Conrad says, “I saw real life.”

Michelle continues, “and I thought I saw him in my bed one night but I think it was an hallucination. I don’t know.”

Conrad replies, “I blinked and he disappeared” and she replies, “Yeah, that happened to me.”

Conrad then introduces the idea that their mutual experiences with the Devil indicate that “Maybe we were meant to be together.”

Michelle says, “No one believes I actually see him but I do.”

Conrad states flatly, “the devil brought us.”

Michelle replies, “and yeah maybe ha funny way of meeting,” which Conrad follows with, “cause I don’t know anyone else that [has] seen the devil.”

Michelle concludes, “we are destined to hell then?” and Conrad confirms, “Yeah.”

Michelle goes on to describe, “like babe one time I hallucinated my eyes were bleeding. It was scary. I thought it was real at the time but it wasn’t. It scared me so much.”

They shared how scary all this seems, and Michelle goes on to wonder, “like I don’t know what he wants from me or you. Like why us?”

Conrad gives the answer to her question, “cause we are his victims.”

Without gaining clarity, they go on to discuss why all this is happening to them.

The nightmares, and Conrad’s emphasis on the devil bringing the two of them together, had to leave Michelle further confused about what is real and what is not real. She would at times in the future cling to her little dog at night in the hope of scaring off the devil.

Prozac Nightmares

From the first Prozac Full Prescribing Information to the most recent one, “abnormal dreams” have been listed as the most frequent adverse reaction to Prozac. Neither Conrad nor Michelle seemed to have been warned about this common but distressing drug effect, despite both being on SSRI antidepressants.

Severe nightmares have also been reported in the scientific literature. Thirty-eight days after beginning a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial comparing Prozac to a sugar pill, a twelve year old boy “experienced a violent nightmare about killing his classmates until he himself was shot.”

He awakened from it only with difficulty, and the dream continued to feel “very real.” He reported having had several days of increasingly vivid “bad dreams” before this episode; these included images of killing himself and of his parents dying. When he was seen later that day he was agitated and anxious, refused to go to school, and reported marked suicidal ideation that made him feel unsafe at home as well. P. 180

This school-shooting nightmare that persisted after waking is remarkable for having occurred long before the outbreak of well-known school shootings initiated by Columbine High School in 1999. The boy’s double-blind clinical trial was stopped and it was confirmed that he was taking Prozac, 20 mg. The drug was withdrawn and he gradually improved. When Prozac was restarted some time later, he again became suicidal, and again the medication had to be stopped.

The Role of Prescribers

Doctors who fail to warn their patients about nightmares, compulsive suicidality, violent feelings and other potentially dangerous and distressing adverse drug reactions from antidepressants are doing their patients and society a grave disservice. Their patients’ lack of information leaves them at the mercy of horrifying experiences that border on psychosis. The unsuspecting patients will fear they are going crazy. They will think that they are “so far gone” that not even the potent antidepressants can help them. That often leads to despair and sometimes to suicide.

Michelle and Conrad in Isolation

These two wounded and distraught adolescents, fifteen and sixteen years old, would develop an on-and-off relationship—mostly without seeing each other, and dominated by Conrad—that would overwhelm the two of them. The mental disturbances induced by their antidepressants, their own emotional vulnerabilities, and their impact upon each other would cut them off from other people, devastate their lives, and cause unimaginable suffering to their families and friends. Most of the time both of them would be taking antidepressants drugs, while displaying all of the most serious adverse effects, including an overall worsening of their condition, irritability and hostility, grandiosity, and suicide.

We can show respect for Michelle and Conrad, and all victims of the Pharmaceutical Empire, by elevating their lives as examples of what we must prevent from continuing to happen. We can tell their stories and listen to their stories. We can be warned and inspired to reclaim our children from what I first called the Psychopharmaceutical Complex in my book Toxic Psychiatry.

The Pharmaceutical Empire, with its heavy marketing of psychiatric drugs for the real-life problems of children, has robbed these youngsters and their families of the will and capacity to seek out and to use more caring and human approaches for dealing with and overcoming the inevitable struggles that young people face while growing up and becoming mature persons.

Conrad’s escalating emotional abuse and terrorization of Michelle, and their mutual decline while taking antidepressants, will be the further subject of the third installment. Conrad and Michelle will seal off their relationship from everyone else in a profoundly disturbed and eventually doomed manner, but Conrad is always in charge until Michelle finally breaks down and becomes aggressive.
 

The Mechanic

Jedi Council Member
Michelle Carter Part III: DA Goes After Her Expert Witness to Stop His Blog

By
Peter Breggin, MD
August 30, 2017

Part III in a series of reports on Michelle Carter. Parts I and II can be read here and here, and Part IV here.

On the morning of August 11, 2017, Judge Lawrence Moniz, who presided over the Michelle Carter “suicide by texting” trial, acted on a request from the District Attorney’s office to hold an emergency hearing. Assistant DA Katie Rayburn’s expressed purpose was to stop me from writing this blog or anything else about the recently concluded trial (cover letter, Public Record 55). Although the trial was over, the DA’s Office wanted to keep control over the narrative of the girl who, at age seventeen, supposedly talked an older boy into killing himself.

Convicting Michelle Carter of manslaughter for supposedly causing Conrad to kill himself by telling him to go back into a truck filled with carbon monoxide was not enough for the DA. The prosecutors argued for the twenty-year-old young woman to spend 12-15 years in state prison. But the DA for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts received a stinging defeat when Judge Moniz sentenced Michelle to only 15 months in a local House of Corrections. Judge Moniz then showed further leniency by allowing Michelle to remain free for the duration of what will be a lengthy appeals process.

The extraordinary hearing on August 11, 2017 was ex parte, meaning the party at risk in the legal action was not present or represented. My writing was the subject of the hearing, and neither I, nor my legal representation, nor Michelle Carter’s attorneys, who had brought me into the case, were at the hearing.

The DA’s office maneuvered the legal system so that only the prosecutor’s voice could be heard in open court on that day. This orchestrated drama allowed the DA to make damaging, false and uncontested accusations aimed at stopping this blog. The prosecutor’s motion became a press release and the courtroom became a stage upon which to discredit Michelle Carter’s expert in the presence of newspaper and TV media. I only heard about what happened in the hearing after it was over and the media started phoning me.

My natural allies for this emergency hearing were Michelle’s two attorneys, who ordinarily would have given voice to my viewpoint. But Michelle’s attorneys were given less than 24 hours notice of the hearing. One lawyer was out of town on vacation and the other was in a trial. They could not come to the hearing on such short notice and I had no opportunity to provide a rebuttal to the DA’s inflammatory charges.

The DA’s office asked Judge Moniz to stop me from any further and future writing about the Michelle Carter trial or any aspect of that case (cover letter, Public Record 55). This extraordinary motion, called prior restraint or pre-publication censorship, is a major assault on freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

The motion presented to the judge contained falsehoods and unfounded allegations about my writing and even about my supposed intentions for future publishing. With no evidence whatsoever, the DA claimed that I planned to put the sealed (embargoed) medical records of Michelle’s deceased boyfriend into my newly published Michelle Carter Archives.

I was the only psychiatric or medical expert in the Michelle Carter trial and few others had the knowledge or opportunity to examine the DA’s behavior and the trial verdict. The DA was determined to keep control of the narrative of the case by ruining my credibility in the public arena.

Stifling my critical examination of the trial and its issues would also protect the psychiatric drug industry and prevent the further examination of the role psychiatric drugs played in ruining the lives of both Michelle Carter and the young man who killed himself.

The Current Situation

After the August 11, 2017 hearing, my attorney was able to send a rebuttal to the DA’s office and to Judge Moniz, as well as to Michelle Carter’s attorneys. In my response, I rejected the DA’s false claims and reassured the judge about continuing to adhere to the embargo on the medical records of Conrad Roy. I had the permission of Michelle Carter to use her records for my blog and so the DA could not contest that. The judge then scheduled a follow-up hearing on August 21, this time in the presence of Michelle’s attorneys.

We are now awaiting the judge’s final written opinion. Hopefully, he will utterly reject prior restraint of my writing, but considerable damage has already been done. The DA has once again used its prosecutorial authority and media access to delegitimize all views of the Michelle Carter case except its own.

The Threat of Pre-Publication Censorship

In its August 10, 2014 cover letter to its motion, the DA’s Office told Judge Moniz, “The Commonwealth requests this court order Peter Breggin to cease any publication, description of any information he received in the course of this case until further notice of the court” (Public Record 55). They were trying in advance to prohibit me from speaking or writing about anything I had learned from the Michelle Carter case, presumably including anything in the public records and anything I testified to as an expert witness.

The few exceptions that permit prior restraint in American law include federal government interventions based on national security in time of war, and even those are controversial.

Resistance to prior restraint or pre-publication censorship is historically central to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. U.S Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger famously wrote, “Prior restraints on speech and publication are the most serious and least tolerable infringement on First Amendment Rights.”

Stopping the publication of writings in advance of their publication defies the First Amendment. Preventing or punishing people, in advance or not, from talking or writing about their general knowledge of a legal case, including their public testimony at trial, is probably unprecedented.

So what is driving the DA to take such extreme measures to try to stop this blog and anything else I might write about the case?

The Importance of Writing About Michelle Carter

The conviction of Michelle Carter on charges of manslaughter for supposedly telling her boyfriend to get back in his car to die of carbon monoxide poisoning was an enormous injustice. That in itself is reason enough for anyone to write about the case and I am one of the few in a position to do so.

Michelle was not only convicted unjustly, two or more years before the trial the DA began subjecting her to excoriating public criticism calculated to make her seem like a monster. Michelle deserves to have her story told by someone who is not out to harm her.

There is also a public health and safety reason for writing about the case. Both Michelle and her boyfriend, Conrad Roy were prescribed antidepressant drugs that contributed to the ruination of their young lives, and eventually to the lives of their families and loves ones. The public, the healthcare and legal professions, and the scientific, educational, and political institutions of society need to know the harm that psychiatric drugs are inflicting upon millions of children and young people.

How Unusual Was the DA’s Attempt to Stop My Blog?

In the past, I have not only written blogs and scientific articles about my legal cases, I have written an entire book, Medication Madness, based on several dozen legal cases. My decades of writing about my legal cases provide a major source of scientific information about adverse effects of psychiatric drugs on the mental life and behavior of people.

As in Michelle Carter’s case, judges have sometimes sealed records in other cases where I have testified. This is usually done for the protection of drug company interests, but in this case it was to protect the privacy of the deceased Conrad Roy. In every instance, I have tried my best to adhere to these restrictions.

For example, I held back from publishing important information I had analyzed in a Paxil product liability case against GlaxoSmithKline. I did not write about what I knew until another judge later unsealed the records. Then I published one of my most important series of scientific writings about the drug company’s negligence in failing to warn about the risks of suicide, violence, over-stimulation and mania in children and adults. (For more info go here and here.)

I also incorporated the information into my books for professionals and for the public. In short, information from legal cases is one of the most important sources of information about adverse drug effects that harm not only individuals but also public safety.

Throughout this long history of writing about legal cases, no one until now has attempted to use the courts to stop me from writing about anything. In my discussion of the DA’s actions with several experienced lawyers, none of them has ever heard anything like it, including the process of calling an emergency ex parte hearing on a matter that would customarily be dealt with outside the courtroom with a friendly chat between DA and the defense attorney.

How Extreme Was the DA’s Assault on Michelle’s Character?

In 1989, Joseph Wesbecker shot down and killed eight people, while wounding 12 more. He perpetrated this assault at his former place of work in Kentucky. In 1999, Eric Harris, the Columbine High shooter in Colorado, along with Dylan Klebold, shocked the nation and set up endless copycats. Harris and his cohort murdered 12 students and a teacher, while wounding 20 more students and another teacher. More recently, in 2012, I was a consultant to the defense in the sentencing phase of the trial of James Holmes. Holmes stood up in front of the movie screen in a theater in Aurora, Colorado. Heavily armed, he killed 12 people and wounded 70 others in a shooting spree.

I have also been an expert in numerous other legal cases where men have killed their coworkers, friends, girlfriends, wives or children. In one, a mother shot and killed her own young son and tried to beat her daughter to death with a baseball bat. In another, a sixteen-year boy, a year younger than Michelle Carter, stabbed a friend to death while sitting around with another friend.

In not one of these cases did the DA’s office stir up as much hatred against the offender as the Bristol County DA’s office in Massachusetts has stirred up against Michelle Carter. By trying to stifle my portraying Michelle in a more balanced light, the DA is continuing its unrelenting assault on Michelle’s character, even after her trial ended with a conviction. The DA refuses to let go of its need to control what the world thinks of Michelle Carter. If ever there was a disparity in power, and a misuse of power, by prosecutors, it exists between the prosecutors of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Michelle Carter.

The DA prosecuted Michelle so violently in the press that millions of people grew to hate her without knowing anything about her as a person. As she entered the courthouse for sentencing, a mob gathered and at least one person was shown on TV screaming at her, “Kill yourself!” For these millions led to revile Michelle, the main if not sole source of their information was the stream of highly selective data pouring out of the DA’s office into the mass media.

The prosecutor’s persistent campaign of character assassination against Michelle is especially egregious in light of Michelle’s real character and situation. At the time of Conrad’s death, Michelle was a vulnerable and very loving teenager with serious emotional and medical problems. In addition, like all of the cases cited in this section, Michelle was under the influence of antidepressant drugs that commonly cause compulsively destructive emotional reactions and behaviors, especially in young people. Finally, Michelle was enmeshed in a very self-destructive relationship with an older, emotionally tormented young man who was bent on completing one of his many suicide attempts.

As poorly equipped emotionally as Michelle was to deal with Conrad’s problems, Michelle was even less equipped to go through an unrelenting international hate campaign directed against her in the media by prosecutors representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Uncommon Factors in Michelle’s Case

I am a psychiatrist with special expertise in the harmful effects of psychiatric drugs. The common factor that brought me into each of the many cases of horrendous violence that I mentioned was exposure to prescription antidepressants close to or during their alleged crimes. I found that the medications played a role in every one of these tragedies. In Michelle’s case, she had been prescribed Prozac at the age of 14 for anorexia and depression, and had been changed to Celexa within three months before her personality was so radically changed that she became irritable, angry, and even pushy as she encouraged Conrad to fulfill his plans to commit suicide.

In other words, exposure to the neurotoxicity of antidepressants, as well as other psychiatric medications, is the common factor in all of the cases I have described.

The uncommon factor, found only in the Michelle Carter case, is the stunning youthful and even childlike innocence of the alleged teenage perpetrator. At the time of Conrad’s suicide, Michelle was innocent in many senses of the word:

Michelle was a girl naively devoted to being as loving and helpful as humanly possible to everyone she met, and she was among the most loved youngsters by peers and adults alike in her small community.

Michelle was also innocent in the sense of living a relatively sheltered life. She had little or no exposure to someone who was emotionally tortured and constantly expressed desperate pleas for help to end his suffering. Conrad had attempted suicide many times before finally killing himself, and had asked her to help him succeed one last time. Conrad also hamstrung Michelle’s efforts to save him over a two-year period by rejecting all her urgings to seek help. He kept her an emotionally isolated prisoner by warning her that the only thing that would make him hate her was if she told anyone about his determination to kill himself.

She was additionally innocent because no one had told her and she did not know that antidepressant drugs often cause a wide range of potentially severe emotional reactions in her and Conrad’s age group. Antidepressants not only increase the frequency of suicide, they commonly cause young people to become hostile, angry, emotionally unstable, and even manic. It impairs their judgment and often causes a deterioration in their overall condition.

I have reviewed several studies in Part I of this series showing that up to 50% of children will develop some adverse effects, often of an antisocial nature such as irritability, aggression, and loss of empathy. Antidepressants frequently cause antisocial behavior in all age groups, with the highest rates in children and young adults.

I have written about antidepressant hazards extensively in books and scientific articles. My book Medication Madness tells dozens of tragic stories with scientific documentation about people who have been driven to behave badly and to commit murder and mayhem on psychiatric drugs. On my website I provide a free resource center called www.123antidepressants.com. It offers many topically organized scientific studies.

Michelle was also innocent legally in that she did not break any existing law in Massachusetts when, toward the end of two years, she began to encourage Conrad to fulfill his long-held ambition to kill himself. It took the Massachusetts Court of Appeals in effect to create new law before Michelle could be tried retroactively for a crime that did not exist at the time it was allegedly committed.

Finally, Michelle lacked criminal intent. From approximately ten days before Conrad died, she did break down and finally agree to encourage Conrad to fulfill his ambition to die. In coming episodes of this story, we shall find that Conrad wanted and asked for help in ending his suffering and getting him to heaven. In her impaired state, Michelle thought she was helping him go to heaven, and in his equally impaired state, he thanked her in his suicide note to her for being so supportive and loving toward him.

Perhaps Michelle’s very innocence, both in her character and her actions, reinforced the Bristol DA’s callous decision to carry out an orchestrated campaign to make Michelle Carter into an object of hatred—someone who could not go unpunished, regardless of the facts or the existing laws about manslaughter in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I suggest that her innocence “reinforced” their decision to destroy her character pretrial in the media and then in the courtroom—and now even after her conviction and sentencing. We shall find the DA’s office may have other more personal reasons as well for heaping vitriol upon Michelle.

Revelations Ahead

This series about Michelle Carter on Mad in America was briefly disrupted by the intervention of the DA in its effort to halt the publications. During this time, I have remained relatively silent out of respect for the court procedures.

Future reports in this series will include how the DA’s office, who portrayed Michelle as a liar who exaggerated everything to get attention, tried to base its entire case on something Michelle said in a moment of remorse and guilt more than two months after Conrad’s death.
 

The Mechanic

Jedi Council Member
Michelle Carter Part IV: Did She Tell Conrad to “Get back in the truck”?
By
Peter Breggin, MD
September 6, 2017

Part IV in a series of reports on Michelle Carter. Parts I, II and III can be read here, here and here.
After the DA who prosecuted Michelle Carter made a motion to stop my writing about the case, Judge Lawrence Moniz officially responded on September 1st, 2017. The judge reiterated the embargo against anyone disclosing Conrad Roy’s medical records, to which I was already adhering. Most importantly, despite the DA’s barrage of criticism aimed at my blogging and at me, the judge made no criticism of my conduct and did not impose censorship on me. It was an indirect rebuke of the DA’s compulsive efforts to suppress the truth about Michelle Carter and a blow for freedom of speech and press. (Public Record 60, the Michelle Carter Case Archive)
Michelle Carter sat at the defendant’s table in the Juvenile Court in Taunton, Massachusetts on June 16th, 2017. At age seventeen, she had supposedly “ordered” her older boyfriend Conrad Roy to get back into his truck to die of gaseous fumes.
Now a beleaguered-looking twenty year old, Michelle was awaiting the judge’s verdict on charges of manslaughter that could put her in state prison until she was forty years old. To Michelle’s immediate right sat her attorneys Joseph Cataldo and Cory Madera.
Passions ran high in the courtroom. Behind Michelle sat friends and family. Across the aisle, behind the prosecutor’s table, sat a larger group of local people, many relatives and friends of the family of the deceased Conrad Roy. Many wanted vengeance; forgiveness was not in the air.
After sternly warning everyone in the courtroom restrain their emotions, Judge Lawrence Moniz began to explain what went into his decision-making about whether Michelle was innocent or guilty.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Criminal cases have a high standard for determining guilt. The accused must be guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In the presence of any reasonable doubt, including alternative explanations, the accused is not guilty.
The prosecution had tried to prove that Michelle killed Conrad with her dominating words to “get back in the truck.” The defense pointed out that Conrad had a long history of suicidal impulses and attempts before ultimately killing himself.
As the defense medical expert, I had written two initial reports, one on Michelle and then one on Conrad (sealed). With considerably more information at time of trial, I testified that Michelle was depressed, anxious and suffering from anorexia when Conrad committed suicide. Harvard’s Mclean Hospital had recently released her from a voluntary psychiatric hospitalization on June 18th, 2017, two weeks before her ten-day breakdown and the death of Conrad Roy. The day following her discharge as an inpatient, the Anchor Clinic admitted her for outpatient follow-up. The clinic admission stated: “Client reports she is the only support Conrad has — this can be ‘overwhelming’ — he told her two days ago he loves her — she is not sure it’s a good idea to get back together.”
The Integrated Summary observed: “Client’s current stressors include the loss of 3 grandparents within the past 3 years, the end of a friendship, and a breakup with a boyfriend. Clt appears to be in a caretaker role for the ex-boyfriend who has mental health issues. Clt appears to cope with anxiety by controlling food intake and caretaking others.” (Bold added)
Michelle did not share with anyone that Conrad had emotionally tormented her for two years with threats of suicide before pushing her to agree to help him to achieve his goal of going to heaven.
In addition, both Michelle and Conrad were taking antidepressant drugs that commonly worsen the mental condition and behavior of young people. These drugs double the rate of suicidal behavior in short-term controlled clinical trials and increase that risk even more in routine community treatment where supervision is sparser, consent comparatively inadequate, and patients suffer from more complicated problems, such as Michelle’s anorexia and Conrad’s multiple prior suicide attempts. Many studies have shown that these same antidepressants cause antisocial behavior in a high percentage of young people (see Parts I & II). The FDA-approved Full Prescribing Information for Celexa lists the following adverse psychiatric effects:
Psychiatric Disorders – Frequent: impaired concentration, amnesia, apathy, depression, increased appetite, aggravated depression, suicide attempt, confusion.
Infrequent: increased libido, aggressive reaction … drug dependence, depersonalization, hallucination, euphoria, psychotic depression, delusion, paranoid reaction, emotional lability, panic reaction, psychosis. Rare: catatonic reaction, melancholia. P. 27
The above paragraph shows how antidepressant drug effects could account entirely for Michelle’s negative transformation in personality and behavior during the ten days before Conrad’s death. A “frequent” event is one that occurred at least once in a hundred cases in the clinical trials, and again, these same effects will be worse and more frequent in the greater complexities of routine medical practice.

The Judge Renders His Verdict
As Judge Moniz got ready to announce his verdict, he initially emphasized the flimsiness of the state’s case. Conrad, the judge reminded us, was continually talking about suicide and researched the methods “extensively.” Conrad by himself thought of and obtained the water pump that filled his truck with carbon monoxide fumes. He had even fixed the water pump on his own when it broke down. Michelle Carter was nowhere near Conrad and had no direct hand in his death.
After reciting some of the many weaknesses of the state’s case, Judge Moniz’s tone seemed to harden. He emphatically declared, “When Miss Carter realizes that Mr. Roy has exited the truck, she instructs him to get back into the truck which she has reason to know is or is becoming a toxic environment inconsistent with human life.” (These key remarks begin at 6:23 minutes of June 16, 2017 video “Judge’s Determination of Guilt” available on my Michelle Carter Archives.)
Michelle’s face, up to now relatively expressionless, began to show dread. Her attorneys looked increasingly stunned and Joe Cataldo leaned over to comfort her.
The judge repeated his emphasis on “get back in the truck,” stating: “She instructs Mr. Roy to get back in the truck…” With the same emphasis, he went on to conclude, “This court finds instructing Mr. Roy to get back in the truck constituted willful and reckless, I’m sorry, wanton and reckless conduct by Miss Carter.”
The lynchpin of Judge Moniz’s finding was that Michelle Carter ordered or instructed Conrad Roy to get back in the truck, knowing it could kill him. On this basis, he found Michelle guilty of manslaughter.
The judge also found Michelle guilty of wanton and reckless behavior that “caused the death” of Conrad Roy when she “did not issue a simple additional instruction: Get out of the truck.” She was wanton and reckless in that regard because “she had put him in that toxic environment.” (These remarks begin at 11:55 minutes)
The judge’s words, “put him in” the truck once again demonstrate that the entire case against Michelle Carter, every bit of it, hinges upon the seemingly concrete fact that she gave Conrad Roy a specific order to get back into his toxic truck. Without proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Michelle gave those instructions, the prosecution had no case.
In the judge’s opinion, Michelle’s “orders” to Conrad, supposedly delivered long-distance on her phone, “put him” back in his truck to die. In this view, Conrad is a robot under Michelle’s voice command, so that she becomes responsible for ordering him into the truck and then responsible for not ordering him out.
Let us set aside for the moment whether Michelle had such power of command and whether Conrad was devoid of self-determination. We have a prior question: What physical evidence, what facts do we have, that Michelle ever said anything like that to Conrad? As the centerpiece of the DA’s case and the judge’s opinion, the words “get back in the truck” must be recorded somewhere.

Evidence that Michelle Ordered Conrad to His Death
What is the basis of the firmly held opinion by the DA’s Office and Judge Moniz—beyond a reasonable doubt—that Michelle ordered Conrad to his death?
Almost everyone I have asked about the case believes that there must be a record of this alleged conversation.
Was there a text message to Conrad? No.
Was there a phone call documented with a voice recording or transcript? No.
Did a witness overhear Michelle telling Conrad, “Get back in the truck”? No.
Perhaps Michelle made a written or recorded confession to the police? No.
Perhaps Michelle told someone at the time of Conrad’s death that she ordered him to “go back in the truck.” There is no such evidence.
No, there is no direct, irrefutable evidence that Michelle ordered Conrad to his death. The entire case hangs on a fragment of a larger conversation that Michelle texted on one occasion to a friend more than two months after Conrad’s death—at a time of growing confusion, grief, guilt, and shame on her part.
From the time in 2012 that Conrad texted her that he was going to kill himself that very night, Conrad made Michelle responsible for his life. When he wanted to resume their relationship in 2014, she texted her friend that she feared Conrad would kill himself if she did not go back to him. Her later texts that she was responsible for his death, taken literally by the DA, expressed her feelings throughout the relationship.
How emotionally and mentally stable was Michelle when she texted her friend about telling Conrad to get back into his truck? For the previous two-plus months since Conrad’s death, Michelle had been texting and phoning him in heaven, doing so dozens of times in the futile hope of hearing back from him as he had promised.
Michelle and Conrad had planned it this way: he would end his pain by dying, and they would carry out their relationship—with him in heaven and her on Earth to honor his name throughout her life. Less than two days before her text to Sam about Conrad’s death, Michelle made her last communication to her boyfriend in heaven. (09.13.2014, Public Record 57)
Hey babe. I hope your birthday was beautiful and happy yesterday. I was thinking about you the whole day. I wish I was there to celebrate with you. But the tournament went so well today. I know you were probably looking down with a smile watching the games. I raised over $2300 for you babe! This is the start of my journey to help others. I love you and miss yu so much. Youre forever in my heart. smile down on me. I hope I made you proud.
Does this sound like a mean, conniving girl? Or does it sound like someone in an alternate reality, unable to deal with her boyfriend’s death, and somewhat delusional under the influence of an antidepressant?

The Irony of the DA Using Michelle’s Own Words Against Her
The DA takes Michelle’s self-destructive statement texted in despair to a friend two months after Conrad’s death as a truth so certain it is sufficient to charge and convict her of killing Conrad. This is ironic. Throughout the trial, the DA repeatedly described Michelle as a liar, a faker, a manipulator, an exaggerator, a dramatizer, a schemer, and someone whose declarations could never be trusted. The DA considered Michelle an outright liar who was wholly unreliable except on this one quote that served the DA’s driving need for a conviction.
During her cross-examination of me, the DA startled me by making the outrageous claim that Michelle entirely faked the innumerable text discussions with her friends about cutting herself, including having a friend come over to remove her knife from her house. The alleged purpose for the fakery was getting attention. As proof that Michelle was a colossal liar who made up the cutting texts, the DA claimed that there was no evidence that anyone had ever seen her cuts or scars.
I recalled seeing, among the thousands of texts, that Michelle’s friends had seen her self-inflicted wounds, but I had not marked the text pages for easy reference. It never occurred to me that the DA would claim Michelle was making up such an elaborate rouse to gain attention. Fortunately, before the trial continued the next day, I was able to locate at least two examples where friends texted her with concern about seeing her scars and cuts while hanging out with her in small groups at school (Public Record 58).
The next morning when I took the stand, the DA could not deny the meaning of the texts that I had found. The new texts destroyed the DA’s lengthy claims that Michelle entirely faked her cutting. It was the DA, and not Michelle, whose word could not be trusted.
The Assistant DA was handed the texts between Michelle and her friends that I found overnight and read them to herself. They were undeniable, but she did not apologize for calling Michelle a liar in public and in front of the media. Nor did she ask the judge to disregard her having called Michelle a liar throughout most of her cross-examination of me the previous afternoon. She just never brought it up again.
As in so many other instances, the DA managed the news cycle with practiced adeptness. During the overnight break, newspapers published the uncontested claim that Michelle was lying about being a cutter. The next morning, there was no coverage when I disclosed the texts from distressed friends who had seen her scars and cuts.

Teenage Michelle May Have Been Overly Dramatic at Times
There may have been some truth in the DA’s belief that Michelle, in seeking love and attention, sometimes exaggerated or dramatized things. During this time, she was 14 to 17 years old, very stressed, and taking Prozac or Celexa. It is even truer that she took much too much responsibility for trying to help her friends with their problems, while relying on them too much as well.
If, as the DA’s office emphasized, Michelle was so desperately driven to get attention that nothing she said could be trusted, how could she build the state’s entire case around her words texted in a moment of great emotional distress? The answer is that the DA had no case to begin with. The DA’s office was grasping at straws in declaring that Michelle had acted out of a selfish desire to get attention; and then grew the straws into cudgels to beat her with in the media and the courtroom.
When Sam read Michelle’s texted self-accusation about causing Conrad’s death, Sam gave it no credence at all. Instead, she reassured Michelle, “U know exactly what I’m going to say. It’s not ur fault. Nothing is ur fault.” (Public Record 57, p. 1703) That’s what you say to a friend who always exaggerates her responsibility for the suffering of other people, including her boyfriend Conrad Roy both before and after his death.

How the DA Misused Michelle’s Text
Assistant DA Katie Rayburn, dour and dressed in black dress suit and black heels, stood before the judge, asked, “If I may, your honor,” then received his acknowledgment to go ahead with her closing argument in the trial.
Without a single word of explanation, the Assistant DA immediately launched into a dramatic reading from Michelle’s text to her girlfriend:
Sam his death is my fault like honestly I could have stopped him I was on the phone with him and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and I -flicking-g told him to get back in Sam because I knew he would do it all over again the next day and I couldn’t have him live the way he was living anymore I couldn’t do it I wouldn’t let him.
With one important inaccuracy, the Assistant DA’s words were Michelle’s words. But it was not Michelle’s voice that resounded in the courtroom and was filmed on video for the world to watch. Judge Moniz and everyone else in the courtroom and watching live on video heard Michelle’s text spoken aloud in that ominous, prickly voice of the Assistant DA—a voice contrived and practiced to throw fear and confusion into opposing lawyers and witnesses on the stand.
The attorney’s tones, intonations or nuances were not those of a diffident, shy Michelle, wracked with guilt, shame and remorse. Michelle’s text was enacted before the judge and the world by a woman of considerable authority and force, a woman used to intimidating people. Michelle Carter had no such power. It was a brilliant if highly devious strategy. It was far more a railroading than a search for justice.
Watching the DA’s performance as it unfolded live on TV, I felt a shock go through my body. It took me many minutes to process that I had not heard Michelle’s voice at all, but the voice of someone out to destroy her by making a convincing display of relentless authority out of a girl’s words.
But what else the DA did was much worse than substituting her voice for Michelle’s.

Running Together Separate Sections of Michelle’s Texts
Assistant DA Rayburn finished her first quote from Michelle, “I wouldn’t let him!” with a tone of power and control beyond the capacity of Michelle Carter.
Imagine a ten-year-old girl saying, “I wouldn’t let him!” Now imagine a seventeen-year-old girl saying, “I wouldn’t let him.” Now imagine a battle-hardened mature Assistant District Attorney saying, “I would let him.” All we heard was the battle-hardened DA.
Rayburn told the judge that with those words Michelle killed Conrad Roy and caused all the harm associated with it. “She created the harm, your Honor, when she told him to get back in the car… She wasn’t going to let him live. That was her decision, your Honor.  She wasn’t going to let him live.”
Without space to take a deep breath after that ringing condemnation, Rayburn then launched without explanation into a second quote from Michelle’s texts to her friend. She did this so effortlessly that even I did not realize she had skipped over significant comments by Michelle in order to create the worst possible effect. This is what we heard in the authoritative voice of the DA:
…and its all my fault because I could of stopped him but I -flicking-g didn’t all I had to say was I love you don’t do this one more time and hed still be here
The effect of dramatizing these words without others to provide the context was impossible to detect, and she never said she was cutting and pasting the text. By skipping critical texting by Michelle and then resuming with the word “and” in the phrase “and it’s all my fault,” the DA made it seem contiguous with the statement about telling Conrad to get back into the truck. The DA did this so convincingly that it left me temporarily with the impression that the words were seamlessly connected.
Here is the actual continuous flow of text before and after Michelle’s “confession.” (Public Record 57)

FROM MICHELLE TO SAM:
HAHAHA okay well hopefully that wont happen anytime soon And well Ill try not to but I always apologize for things especially when I feel its needed. And Well shes divorced so she like tells me that a lot of people on his side of the family (some aunts and uncles) and Conrads grandpa like treats her kinda poorly and not supportive of what happened and stuff like Coco [Conrad] was very sensitive and he took things to heart. And his grandpa and dad (her ex) didn’t treat him that good and always pressured him and stuff and it gave him so much anxiety. And I always told him to not spend as much time with them because he just couldn’t handle it and it made him worse being around them but he worked for them like they owned that tug boat company and Coco always felt pressured to live up to their expectations. But with all his issues and stuff he couldn’t and that was a big part of his decision to commit suicide. And so his mom just tells me how they and like some aunts and uncles on that side just don’t have much sympathy and his grandpa especially doesn’t seem to even care at all which drives me insane but his mom and I both agree he will live with the guilt. And she just like tells me all about that and about her new boyfriend and stuff and I mean I like that she tells me these things I want to help her I just get overwhelmed sometimes with what she says like she expects me to know what to tell her and I want to tell her the best things I can because I promised Coco I’d help his mom and sisters get thru this like I told him I wont let them go thru depressions and I told him I’d help them and always be there but now that I think of it, youre right she is depressed so I failed Coco I wasn’t supposed to let that happen and now I’m realizing I failed him. Sam his death is my fault like honestly I could have stopped him I was on the phone with him and he got out of the care because it was working and he got scared and I -flicking-g told him to get back in Sam because I knew he would do it all [new text continues:] over again the next day and I couldn’t have him live the way he was living anymore I couldn’t do it I wouldn’t let him.
And therapy didn’t help him and I wanted him to go to McLean with me when I went but he would go in the other department for his issues but he didn’t wanna go because he said nothing they would do or say would help him or change the way he feels. So I like started giving up because nothing I did was helping and but I should of tried harder like I should of did more and its all my fault because I could of stopped him but I -flicking-g didn’t all I had to say was I love you don’t do this one more time and hed still be here and he told me he would give me signs to know he is watching over me but I haven’t seen any and I just idk I’m sorry about this rant I just needed to get that off my chest and its finally all sinking in.
What a false impression the Assistant DA gave by compounding the bold portion of the above texts. First she leaves out Michelle’s discussion of the conflicts in Conrad’s family and how Conrad felt harmed by them. Then, in between her two readings, she leaves out:
And therapy didn’t help him and I wanted him to go to McLean with me when I went but he would go in the other department for his issues but he didn’t wanna go because he said nothing they would do or say would help him or change the way he feels. So I like started giving up because nothing I did was helping and but I should of tried harder like I should of did more
Then she leaves out Michelle’s pitiable hopes for getting a sign from Conrad in heaven. What a different picture the complete text shows. Conrad is a beleaguered teenager caught up in family conflicts and mistreatment of him. Michelle is an idealistic, confused, needy, guilt-ridden teenager carrying the weight of Conrad’s death upon her—much as she carried the weight of suicide threats and attempts all by herself for nearly two previous years.

Tinkering with Words
I do not want to distract too much from the Assistant DA’s massive manipulations of the texts by pointing out slight changes in wording, but one seems especially important. Where Michelle actually texted “all I had to say was I love you,” the DA misquotes Michelle’s text as saying, “all I had to do was say I love you.” It changes the emphasis from what Michelle was saying to what she was doing. Why is that so important? Because under most of the law and in most people’s minds, murder involves doing something to the victims, not saying something to them.

The Seriousness of the DA’s Manipulation of Michelle’s Text
From my decades of courtroom experience, I can confirm that a witness on the stand in a trial would never get away with quoting two separate segments as if they were one. Nor would a witness get away with leaving out significant material before, in the middle, and after a quote presented as if it were seamless. The opposing attorney during cross-examination would have held the witness up to ridicule and made him or her seem like an unconscionable, untrustworthy individual. Even if done innocently, with no attempt to harm, the opposing attorney would have berated the witness in front of the judge and jury.
In this case, however, the DA’s intent was to portray Michelle’s text in the worst possible light, without regard for the real context. She got away with this because she did it in her closing argument rather than on a witness stand where she could be cross-examined. Also, she carried out the ruse so masterfully that even I did not catch or fully grasp her manipulations until I reviewed her closing a second time on a video.

More Context for Michelle’s Infamous Text
Michelle’s unbroken continued exchange with Sam further documents her mental and moral condition at the time, as demonstrated by her continued, unbroken exchange with Sam:

FROM SAM TO MICHELLE:
U know exactly what I’m going to say. It’s not ur fault. Nothing is ur fault. And his mom probably is telling u this cus [because] she feels like no one else cared about him like u and her did. Like she feels like u can be there for her cus no one else gets it. Ur not failing anything tho. Look what u accomplished this weekend! That’s def not a failure.

FROM MICHELLE TO SAM:
I know youre always gonna tell me it isn’t my fault but the more that I think about it, the more I think it is and I’m sorry that I think that. I cant get that phone call out of my head. Like I still call him and hope that he’ll pick up I know that’s bad. But yeah that’s true you’re right maybe that is why shes telling me all this. I’ll think of it that way, it helps make it a little easier thank you for that. You do give helpful responses that’s why I tell you these things I just hope you don’t mind. And yeah I guess so, I just really wanted to make him proud. He always tried to help others too so I wanted to honor him and I do feel proud of what I did. Do you think he’s happy up there tho Sam? Like really happy

FROM SAM TO MICHELLE:
I think that he doesn’t want u to think its ur fault. It’s not ur fault If its anyone’s fault it’s the people who made him unhappy. He did what he did because he was unhappy and u were one of the happy things in his life. He didn’t do what he did because of u. He wants u to be happy and would never want u to think like that

FROM MICHELLE TO SAM:
But do you think he’s happy? Youre right tho (I always say that but you really are always right) like I guess the people who made hi unhappy are more at fault than me if theres anyone to blame. I guess I feel like its my fault because I was the only one Coco [Conrad] told his feelings and everything to so I felt responsible for saving him you know? But thank you for saying that it really helps. I know he doesnt want me to think its my fault and I know he wouldn’t want me to live feeling guilty so I have to continue rising from this and not let myself sink. You’re my anchor remember? And you’ve kept me from sinking throughout this and I cant thank you enough for that

What Does Michelle’s “Confession” Really Tell Us?
Michelle’s lengthy communication with her close friend Sam demonstrated the complexity of Michelle’s situation. She organized a softball tournament after his death not to aggrandize herself, as the DA claimed, but to honor Conrad. When Michelle makes a success of the tournament, she texts Conrad in heaven to report this milestone in their relationship. That was her last attempt to contact him in the afterlife and took place less than two days before she texted Sam about telling Conrad to get back in the truck.
Michelle also promised Conrad she would help his mother recover from his death, and she feels guilty that she cannot do so. She was also worried that Conrad’s mother suspects that she encouraged him to die. She was also concerned about Conrad’s mother, and texted about how Conrad’s father and his family mistreated both Conrad and his mother. Michelle felt vulnerable and in need of reassurance, and was grateful for Sam’s support.
Whoever Michelle was, even at this stressful time, she was not the scheming, heartless, and remorseless person characterized by the DA throughout the trial.
In the midst of this, Michelle told Sam that she feels responsible for Conrad’s death because she told him to get back into his vehicle. Two things are noteworthy about this. First, despite the Assistant District Attorney’s constant harping on Michelle’s lack of remorse, Michelle feels gravely remorseful. Second, Sam does not react to Michelle’s confession by condemning her, but instead by soothing and reassuring her.
Why did Sam not react with at least some degree of shock to Michelle’s confession? Perhaps because she saw Michelle’s statement in its proper context, as a desperate expression of guilt and remorse, rather than as accurate or factual reportage.
Should we take Michelle’s remarks as seriously as the Assistant DA? Should we treat her remarks as reflecting what actually happened at the time of Conrad’s death? Can we do so “beyond a reasonable doubt?”

Survivor Guilt and Memory Dysfunction
Michelle is the survivor of a severe trauma—her boyfriend’s suicide and her participation in encouraging him. In accordance with their pact made in the last ten days of his life, she agreed to help him fulfill his aim to end his suffering through suicide. In the process, she was often ambivalent and fearful, and at other times pushed Conrad to carry out his plans. She saw herself as acting out of love and so did Conrad, as illustrated by many texts and his suicide note. (Public Record 56)
Now that Conrad had been dead for more than two months, Michelle was facing the reality that he was gone and that she might not have done the right thing. She has survivor guilt.
The following description of the psychology of survivor guilt seems tailored to Michelle Carter’s situation:
Guilt presupposes the presence of choice and the power to exercise it. Survivor guilt may sometimes be an unconscious attempt to counteract or undo helplessness. The idea that one somehow could have prevented what happened may be more desirable than the frightening notion that events were completely random and senseless.
Survivors of trauma often exaggerate their own responsibility in their attempt to make sense of events that were essentially or entirely out of their control.

Psychological Trauma Distorts Memory
In addition to the psychological impact of guilt upon memory, traumatic events in themselves distort memory:
People’s memories for traumatic events are — like their memories for more mundane events — easily distorted, a phenomenon referred to as “memory amplification.” For example, traumatic events are highly likely to be rehearsed extensively in an intentional manner: victims will often make a statement to police, be exposed to media footage, and engage in conversations with other friends, family, doctors, or therapists. Each rehearsal opportunity comes with the potential for the inadvertent suggestion of misleading details. In addition, traumatic experiences are also frequently rehearsed in unintentional ways via intrusive images, thoughts, and memories; the “re-experiencing symptoms” typically associated with PTSD.

Antidepressants Disrupt Memory Functions and Perceptions of Reality
Earlier in the blog, I presented the FDA’s summary of the adverse effects caused by Celexa and remarked that they could account entirely for the tragic transformation in her character before Conrad’s death. The same group of adverse reactions should cast “reasonable doubt” on a two-month retroactive text about telling Conrad to get back in the truck.
Here are selections for the list Celexa adverse effects quoted earlier—these negative reactions to the drug are especially likely to corrupt memories or to cause unreal ones: amnesia, confusion, depersonalization, psychotic depression, delusion, and psychosis. These effects can occur with or without an extreme event such as involuntary intoxication.

Lessons from Medication Madness
In my book, Medication Madness: the Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime, I addressed the memory distortions that occur after intoxication with prescribed medications.
Lying is not the biggest problem in determining the facts about what happened to the person who endured spellbinding drug intoxication. A more common problem is the tendency for all psychoactive substances to cause the brain and mind to distort reality. Pp. 240-241
In Medication Madness, I described how depersonalization—the sense of not causing or participating in events surrounding oneself—occurs along a continuum from feeling remote and uninvolved in what is taking place to feeling like the only one involved and completely responsible for it. This important insight into the continuum of depersonalization was the idea of my research assistant Ian Goddard. Whether the depersonalization results from trauma or from adverse drug effects, at one point the individual can feel like a helpless victim or a non-participant in what is going on, and at another point can feel like the only participant who really matters and is making things happen. In depersonalization, both are distortions of our relationship to the complexities of reality—the one leaving us out as an actual participant in what is going on around us and the other exaggerating our role in a grandiose or omnipotent fashion.
The more commonly recognized end of the continuum is the tendency for the individual to feel “uninvolved” or remote from what they are doing or watching. It is as if the actions they are taking are not their own actions. They gain relief in this feeling that “It’s not about me” or “I didn’t do anything to cause this to happen.” On the other end of the continuum, individuals after traumatic depersonalization can feel “It’s all about me.” For Michelle Carter, the Celexa intoxication, the trauma, and the survivor guilt very likely at times made it all about her, and so she said what she said—that she was entirely responsible for Conrad’s death.
This is what I concluded in Medication Madness about memory and self-reporting after drug intoxication:
In summary, the stories told to me by survivors of medication spellbinding are often confused by memory dysfunction and derealization or depersonalization, and much more rarely by conscious deception. It bears repeating that to overcome these impediments to getting at the truth, I always try to reconstruct what happened based on other sources, such as medical records, pharmacy records, and police reports. P. 242
To this list of more objective sources, we can now add texting and other forms of modern communication.
In Michelle’s case, we have no factual evidence whatsoever that Michelle ever told Conrad to get back in the truck and to die. Furthermore, we have many reasons to produce “reasonable doubt,” including alternative explanations for why she may have thought or written that she ordered him back into the truck to die.

No Necessity to Psychiatrically Interview Michelle about Her Mental State
For reasons to do with managing the trial that were outside my role as a medical expert, I was not given the opportunity to ask Michelle specific questions about her mental state or conversations with Conrad during the period leading up to his death. However, I did have much more objective information about her mental state including her extensive texting with many of her friends, including Conrad. Because of the texting, I felt that I possessed more complete and objective information about her mental state than if I had relied upon questioning her about it in retrospect.
According to her attorney, Michelle does not recall the events of those last few days before Conrad’s death. This is common, even typical, after trauma of any kind and especially so after drug-induced neurotoxicity. As seen in the quotes from experienced clinicians and researchers (above), and from my own book about medication madness, the memories can fade or become amplified, and frequently become distorted by emotions.
Even if Michelle was certain that she told her boyfriend to go back into the death trap, my extensive clinical and forensic experience would suggest that her memory could not be trusted, and certainly not enough to provide the basis of a criminal indictment.

Criminal Intent?
To prove an aspect of Michelle’s criminal intent—her alleged intention to do something she knew was harmful—the DA in trial quoted a text message from Michelle in which she asked Conrad if he had deleted his text messages. She may have already deleted some at his request.
In fact, deleting messages was entirely Conrad’s idea, and Michelle was so naïve she wondered why he wanted to do it. This quote is from the July 10, 2014 emails, three days before his death (p. 1538):
Conrad: I’m going to delete my messages.
Michelle: Why are you depleting them. [sic] And Okay babe I love you so much
Conrad: someone’s gonna see my phone. I’m such a dumbfuck
Michelle: Put a lock on it. Don’t worry about you’re phone
On July 21, 2014, nine days after his death, Michelle texted Conrad: “You should be here right now. You’re the love of my life I thought we would be together forever. I don’t understand why you left me like this! It still doesn’t seem real.”
That “It still doesn’t seem real” can be the result of both severe trauma and antidepressant intoxication. That is the “depersonalization” cited in the Celexa Full Prescribing Information.
A few minutes later, Michelle sent Conrad a lengthy text that displays anger, remorse and self-doubt. She told him, “I never tried harder to save someone than I tried to save you.” She explained how she tried to get him into more intense therapy but he refused. She finished by reminding him of their pact:
You talked about being in heaven and being my angel and at the same time I went along with it because I knew you weren’t gonna do anything. But you -flicking-g did it and I’m so sorry I didn’t save you. I tried so hard I loved you so much. You’ll forever be in my heart Conrad.
Behaving badly and doing something wrong are not the same as breaking the law or perpetrating a crime; but Michelle at this point is not weighing whether or not she has committed an indictable offense. She is struggling with what is real. Crime and punishment are not on her mind.
Then, about one-half hour after the text to Conrad, reality closed in. Michelle wrote to her friend Sam:
And I just got off the phone with Conrads mom about 20 minutes ago and she told me that detectives had to come and go through his things and stuff. It’s something they have to do with suicides and homicides. And she said they have to go thru his phone and see if anyone encouraged him do it on texts and stuff…Sam they read my messages with him, I‘m done. His family will hate me and I could go to jail. P. 1585
The words “detectives,” “suicides” and “homicides” must have terrified Michelle, but this appears to be the first time she grasped any danger from the police or from betraying Conrad’s mother. Yet Michelle is still not thinking like a “criminal.” Knowing the police are looking into Conrad’s phone messages, Michelle does not throw away or destroy her own cell phone. It will not be until September 15th, 2014—seven more weeks—that she writes to Sam about telling Conrad to get back in the truck. During this time, she shows little or no concern about getting in trouble with the police, and when asked later by the police, she hands over an intact phone.
In my testimony, I expressed my belief that Michelle thought she was helping Conrad fulfill his goal to die as easily and surely as possible without additional suffering. I also found that he had pushed her for two years to agree with him that his suicide was inevitable and he wanted to do it successfully so that he would not find himself maimed and/or having to do it all over again.
From both their viewpoints, what Michelle was doing was good and honorable—even if it were unacceptable to other people and needed to remain secret. Tragically, these two young people were way over their heads in dealing with their mutual distress and their exposure to antidepressants. Like so many youngsters today, instead of relying on adult guidance or help, they relied almost wholly on each other and their social media.

Who Was in Control: Michelle or Conrad
Let us suppose instead that Michelle had texted her friend Sam that she had told Conrad to stop what he was doing? What if this statement had been cited in her defense?
Instead of treating it as an absolute truth, the Assistant DA would have reminded us that everything Michelle ever said could not be trusted because it was motivated by self-interest, self-aggrandizement, and the need for approval. That is what the Assistant DA repeated many times while cross-examining me, even arguing that Michelle made up cutting herself in her dozens of texts about it with numerous friends.
The DA did not cite Michelle’s text to a friend on April 28, 2014, where the issue of Michelle’s reliability in self-reporting comes up, as well as the fear she has of Conrad’s control over her .

MICHELLE TO FRIEND
Well 2 things

FRIEND TO MICHELLE
What

MICHELLE TO FRIEND
Conrad has been talking to me

FRIEND TO MICHELLE
And!

MICHELLE TO FRIEND
He wants to hang out. And do stuff…

FRIEND TO MICHELLE
Haven’t you had sex already??

MICHELLE TO FRIEND
No did I tell u I did?

FRIEND TO MICHELLE
Yeah lol [laughing out loud]

MICHELLE TO FRIEND
What? Wait when did I tell u that? Like [she names two male classmates] basically raped me but we didn’t have the sex part [Michelle mentions this assault on several occasions to friends. From all the texts, it appears she remained a virgin.]

FRIEND TO MICHELLE
U told me last year u and Conrad had sex lol

MICHELLE TO FRIEND
Oh well I‘m sorry no I didn’t. He wanted me to but I chickened out.

FRIEND TO MICHELLE
Don’t have sex with anyone ever unless you love and don’t make excuse. You can’t do it unless you’re comfortable.

MICHELLE TO FRIEND
Yeah I don’ wanna have it but he really wants to and I feel like he’s pressuring me into it. I only wanna do it with someone I love anyways. I don’t want my first time to meaningless

FRIEND TO MICHELLE
And u won’t be comfortable with it unless they love u and u love them. Don’t let him pressure u Michelle straight up say no Conrad, I’m not having sex with u

MICHELLE TO FRIEND
I tried I mean I said I wasn’t ready and I’m nervous and he eased me into it and reassured me it would be fine. And he has like an std I’m pretty sure.

FRIEND TO MICHELLE
(in caps) THEN DEFINITELY DON’T
Conrad, and not Michelle, was by far the dominant and much more self-centered person in their relationship. The DA’s accusation that Michelle dominated and manipulated Conrad is created out of thin air—but it turned millions of people into haters of Michelle and influenced the opinion of Judge Moniz.
The question of Michelle’s reliability in reporting past events gets yet more complicated. On October 1st, 2014 (p. 1747 of texts), now 7 weeks after Conrad’s death, she texted her close female friend Sam about Conrad: “Okay so he would always pressure me into having sex.” She gave graphic details of what Conrad wanted and how she stood up to him. Then she told Sam, “This was 2011 so I was 15. I just wasn’t in a rush because like I knew hed be my first for everything.”
Then Michelle described how Conrad took down his pants and finally did assault her in his own home. She ended the text, “I just didn’t feel exactly ready. But he forced it on me so there was no way around it.”
If this allegedly forced sex or rape did take place, it must have taken place before Michelle told a different friend in April 2014 that she had never had sex with anyone, including Conrad. The sexual assault could not have happened afterward because Michelle never saw Conrad after April 2014. Therefore, she made contradictory statements about experiencing sexual relations and about whether or not Conrad ever assaulted her.
One of the two drastically different versions of her sex life with Conrad must be very wrong. Which version is true—that Conrad pressured her but never forced sex on her or that Conrad pressured her and eventually did use force on her?
What we can determine from the texting between Michelle and Conrad is that Conrad was the sexual aggressor and did try to groom her for what she told him would be her first sexual intercourse. Concerning the possible forced sex, there is no way to know if Michelle is texting the truth or if she is lying or confused.
Her experience of the assault could be real. Or it could be similar to seeing the devil after restarting Prozac—not based on reality and very likely induced by antidepressants (see Part II of this series). What we do know is that Michelle did at times tell very different, contradictory stories about the same events.
We are on no firmer ground when trying to decide if Michelle really told Conrad to get back into the truck. In her several versions of what happened before Conrad’s death, telling him to get back into the truck is mentioned only once, and more than two months after his death.
If Conrad were alive, would it be just to charge him with rape on the basis of Michelle’s self-contradictory texting about his forcing himself on her? No, of course not! It was no more just to charge Michelle with his murder based on her conflicting texts.

What If Michelle Did Tell Conrad to Get Back in the Truck?
During the last ten days of Conrad’s life, Michelle Carter was suffering from antidepressant-driven antisocial attitudes and behaviors, as well as delusional beliefs about doing good by helping her boyfriend go to heaven. These irrational beliefs included her belief, texted to Conrad, that her support of his mother could make his death relatively painless for her.
Michelle’s condition when trying to help Conrad complete his suicide, and persisting for a time afterward, was driven by a tragic concurrence of events: An involuntary drug intoxication with Celexa, Conrad’s relentless tormenting of her with threats of killing himself within hours, and Conrad’s manipulation of her love for him and her guilt feelings. The seventeen-year-old, in my opinion, was incapable of formulating rational, independent or mature decisions leading up to Conrad’s death.

A Case with No Basis—But With Huge Threats to the Future of America
Because Bristol DA’s office was so adamant, most people who read the media coverage engineered by the DA came away with the misimpression that Michelle must have texted Conrad the fatal message. The impression was so strong that BuzzFeed, a widely read Internet news source, reported: “Carter texted him to ‘get back in.’” For proof, they referred to “the thousands of text messages the two exchanged.” (Public Record 52)
BuzzFeed’s mistake was understandable and found in the major media as well. When I was hired by the defense to review the case, I was shocked to learn that Michelle never texted Conrad to get back into his deadly truck environment. The DA based the case against Michelle on what the seventeen-year-old supposedly said to Conrad on the telephone in the moments before he died; but there is no documentation of what the two said to each other in those phone calls.
Let me repeat: there is no text, transcript or recording that demonstrates that Michelle ever said anything to Conrad about getting back in the truck to die. The DA’s entire case is based upon the “confession” of an irrational girl on antidepressants who has been trying to communicate with her boyfriend in heaven with dozens of futile texts and phone calls.
We return to the concept that governs criminal cases—that conviction must be “beyond a reasonable doubt”:
The standard that must be met by the prosecution’s evidence in a criminal prosecution: that no other logical explanation can be derived from the facts except that the defendant committed the crime, thereby overcoming the presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
There are abundant alternative explanations for Michelle’s remarks about telling Conrad to get back in the truck. She could have been exaggerating. She could have a false memory based on feelings of guilt. It could be a Post-Traumatic Stress image: an intrusive but unreal fear about how she behaved. It could be the false product of antidepressant intoxication—something that frequently happens. Her memory could be out of sequence, and the memory may have occurred during one of his many earlier and unsuccessful suicide attempts. It could be more a remnant of a nightmare than a real life event.
We are not nearly done examining the threatening implications of the Michelle Carter case. The trial—and the DA’s prosecutorial conduct toward Michelle before, during and after the trial—require further examination. So does the attack on me and my right to speak my mind about what happened.
The DA’s prosecution of Michelle Carter illustrates many growing risks for the future of America in respect to freedom of speech and press, the rule of law and not people, the politicization of the legal system, and the protection of Big Pharma’s interests at the expense of patients, their families, and society.
Part V will come out in about another week.
 

The Mechanic

Jedi Council Member
Part V: The Michelle Carter Texting Trial Becomes a Witch Hunt
Part V in a series of reports on Michelle Carter. Parts I through IV can be read here, here, here and here.

“Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice he is the worst of all.” Aristotle

“Michelle was shown on Danish TV, the usual way, and you were left with the feeling she must be horrible. The witch hunts never end.” Peter Gøtzsche, MD, Danish physician, researcher, and author

In the previous report in this Michelle Carter blog series, I examined the basis of the DA’s case that Michelle killed Conrad Roy by texting. The entire case rested on proving beyond a reasonable doubt that seventeen-year-old Michelle told Conrad Roy to get back into his fume-filled truck in order to finish his suicide attempt, and that Conrad immediately obeyed and died as a direct result.

The DA charged Michelle with murdering Conrad with words that most people assumed were written down, recorded, or otherwise physically documented at the time Conrad died. There never has been any physical evidence for what, if anything, transpired between Michelle and Conrad shortly before his death. Instead, the DA based its entire case on a fragment of a longer text that Michelle sent to a friend more than two months after Conrad’s death!

When Michelle sent the infamous text to her girlfriend, two months had gone by since Conrad’s death. Michelle was distraught and overwhelmed with guilt and remorse. In her vulnerable and emotionally wounded condition, Michelle had been texting and phoning Conrad in heaven dozens of times during the prior two months, hoping he would keep his promise to communicate with her from the afterlife. When she wrote the text taking blame for his death, Michelle was in despair over never having heard from Conrad after his death, and she was finally letting go of this delusional hope.

Although the District Attorney in trial called Michelle a habitual liar who would say anything to get attention, the same DA nonetheless treated these few self-incriminating words from Michelle to a friend as if they were absolutely true and indeed uncontestable in their validity.

Yet this same DA knew, for example, that Michelle had told one friend that she never had sex with Conrad and yet told another that he forced sex on her. The DA also knew that Michelle had given many other versions of her relationship with Conrad before his death—something that is common after people have gone through trauma and antidepressant intoxication (see Part IV of this series).

The DA was also aware of the mountain of science that I had testified about as her medical expert. I had presented this science at a hearing in which the judge accepted it as admissible in court. I had presented it again in trial along with a drawing on a white board describing the grossly harmful impact of antidepressants on the brain.

I had also described the science in my written report in the case (Public Record 63 in the Michelle Carter Archives), and in my many scientific studies attached to it (Public Record 64). I had continued to send dozens of other scientific studies to the judge and the DA. Many of the additional scientific studies can be accessed for free on my Antidepressant Resource Center.

Even if the judge did not accept my arguments for involuntary intoxication, which he did not, it had to be clear that young Michelle Carter’s memory could not be trusted after being through so much trauma, loss, and drug exposure. Nonetheless, the DA succeeded in getting Michelle Carter convicted of manslaughter on nothing more than a few words texted to a friend at a time of delusional thinking and profound grief and confusion two months after Conrad’s death.

In Parts I-IV, I discuss how the DA succeeded in gaining the conviction by means of highly emotional and at times misleading and untruthful manipulations in public and in the courtroom. Here I want to look more closely at the DA’s motivation and other activities.

Witch Hunt

Michelle Carter’s attorney, Joe Cataldo, called the DA’s indictment of Michelle a case of “prosecutorial overreach.” But it was closer to a modern witch hunt.

In a witch hunt, authorities in a society turn innocent people into scapegoats, blaming them for real or imagined crises within the community. Perhaps the public destruction of the accused “witch” expresses and relieves pent up rage boiling over for reasons other than anything the accused ever perpetrated. Perhaps the suffering inflicted upon one innocent relieves others of their guilt, shame and anxiety, or their feelings of helplessness as members of the society. Perhaps the inquisitors and society are trying to make sense out of turmoil and chaos by finding someone to blame and to punish. At the same time, perhaps they achieve some sense of control through their abuse and destruction of the innocent victim.

I say “perhaps” about each of these motives because it is difficult to feel satisfied with any explanation for the orchestrated prosecution of one innocent human. However, two aspects of witch hunting seem nearly certain:

First, a successful witch hunt requires the coming together of powerful interest groups and the authorities who represent them and enforce their agendas.

Second, those who prosecute and persecute the witch gain political power and inspire fear of themselves in others. Witch hunting is enormously self-aggrandizing.

Why the Witch Hunt Continues

The DA got their conviction and that might have ended without any glitches; but two people stood in the way. The judge showed unexpected leniency, and I decided to write a series of blogs to tell the real story behind the Michelle Carter case.

Trial judge Lawrence Moniz shocked the DA by sentencing Michelle to a mere 15 months in the comparatively benign local House of Corrections rather than in the state pen. His explanation for this was based on treating her not as a villainous adult but as a juvenile—a child—in need of rehabilitation. Then Judge Moniz further blocked the DA’s sacrifice of Michelle by staying or delaying the time that she would begin to serve the sentence. Michelle was allowed to remain free until she exhausted her appeals process, which could take many years. He further thwarted the sacrifice by remarking that her case was obviously vulnerable to appeal.

The judge’s leniency resulted in the District Attorney’s Office holding a post-sentencing press conference at which Assistant DA Maryclare Flynn stated (Public Record 66):

“While we are disappointed the judge chose to stay the sentence, we remain steadfast in our belief that Michelle Carter committed involuntary manslaughter and needs to be held responsible.”

In addition to the judge’s leniency, the DA now had to contend with Michelle’s psychiatric expert, who refused to go away. I decided that the true story of Michelle Carter, including the effect of psychiatric drugs on her and on Conrad, needed be told. The truth was necessary not only for their sake, but also for the sake of justice and America’s future generations of children.

How did the DA respond to the first two reports in my blog series and the promise of more to come, along with my creation of the Michelle Carter Archive? The DA asked the judge to criticize me and to stop me from writing any future blogs about the trial! In a handwritten note, the DA formally requested the indefinite prior restriction or prior censorship of my writing—a move usually made by the federal government when potentially published material could put the nation’s safety at risk (Public Record 55).

In his initial response to the wild exaggerations and untruths in the DA’s motion, Judge Moniz agreed with the request to call a rare emergency hearing. With almost no notice, no one was able to get there the next day to defend me. The DA had manipulated the court to gain free rein to lie about me in public and, once again, to push their attack on Michelle uncontested into the media.

Fortunately, after the hearing, the judge accepted a letter from my attorney and he found my explanations satisfactory for closing his inquiry. Then, in his written response to the DA’s emergency motion (Public Record 60), Judge Moniz made no criticism of me and said nothing to affirm the DA’s outrageous attacks on me. Instead, he reiterated his previous order that sealed Conrad Roy’s medical records, which I had always respected. The judge similarly ignored the DA’s extraordinary demand to stop me from writing about the case.

Of course, I wish the judge had more actively confronted the DA’s accusations and demands, and openly rejected them. However, by simply noting that I had explained myself in my letter and then ignoring the censorship demand, the judge let it drop into the mighty trashcan reserved for abuses against First Amendment freedom of speech and freedom of press.

A Direct Hidden Connection to Personal Ambitions

Earlier in this report, I wrote that “Witch hunting is enormously self-aggrandizing.” At that moment, I did not yet have this information which I found only moments ago.

On August 23rd, 2017, Assistant DA Katie Rayburn was nominated by the governor for a judgeship. Her own office made the connection I am making to her ambitious prosecution of Michelle Carter. A newspaper cites the DA’s Office as connecting Rayburn’s appointment to her successful prosecution of Michelle Carter (Public Record 65):

NEW BEDFORD — Katie Cook Rayburn — nominated as an associate District Court judge — has a nearly perfect record prosecuting murder trials as well as a conviction in the Michelle Carter suicide texting case, her office said.

Rayburn, 43, has tried 14 murder trials as a prosecutor in Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office and won 13 of them, said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the office.

The article, almost surely following the PR line from the DA’s office, emphasizes how much great publicity the Michelle Carter case in particular generated for Assistant DA Rayburn:

Rayburn, whose successful conviction in the unconventional Carter involuntary manslaughter case caught many legal experts by surprise, gained a degree of national profile over the course of the trial.

She appeared with [Assistant DA] Flynn in a 20/20 special about the case, and her impassioned closing argument was witnessed both by a tense and crowded courtroom and people across the country watching on livestreams of the trial. [italics added]

Rayburn’s vigorous prosecution of Michelle Carter earned her the governor’s nomination to a lifelong judgeship. All she now needs is approval by the Governor’s Council.

No wonder Rayburn was so determined to “win” again, especially in her highest profile case.

No wonder the same Katie Rayburn went to Judge Moniz, asking him to make an emergency intervention to stop me from any further publications concerning the trial! That ex partite hearing took place on August 11, 2014, thirteen days before the official announcement of her nomination. The “emergency” was hers—her fear that my Michelle Carter blog series might disrupt her smooth ride to a judgeship!

Meanwhile, the reader may find interesting my analysis of Rayburn’s “impassioned closing argument” in Report IV of this series.

The Witch Hunt as a Personal Vendetta

Witch hunts are so destructive to the fabric of society that it takes considerable passion and strong motivations for witch hunters to pursue them. Perpetrators of witch hunts can be driven in part by blind ambition, as our data suggests may have occurred in Michelle’s case. They can also be motivated by a personal vendetta.

I am not employing hyperbole in raising the issue of a vendetta, nor am I speaking metaphorically. A vendetta is defined as a blood feud in which the family of a murdered person seeks vengeance on the murderer or the murderer’s family.

Many members of Conrad Roy’s family are not forgiving. A number, including his father and an aunt, have spoken out in the press and on TV angrily calling for a stiff punishment. Since the conclusion of the trial, Conrad’s mother has sued Michelle Carter for millions of dollars (Public Record 69). The lawsuit is more likely to satisfy revenge than to squeeze any money from Michelle who has been declared indigent by the state.

Although the family vendetta against Michelle probably helped to motivate the prosecution in this small community, there is a more direct family tie to the DA’s office.

The District Attorney of Bristol County, Thomas Quinn III, whose office prosecuted Michelle, is the third cousin of Conrad Roy and the first cousin by blood to Conrad’s grandmother. Is it reasonable to ask if we have a blood feud?

How did DA Thomas Quinn handle his ties to Conrad Roy’s family? According to a published statement by Michelle’s attorney Joseph Cataldo, Quinn hid his family ties from July 2014 when he began investigating Michelle as the Assistant DA until February 2015 when a newspaper made the disclosures. The disclosures were made by the press around the time Quinn was sworn in as the DA. Quinn never came clean on his own about the potential conflict of interest and even the potential for a vendetta.

A Need for Skepticism

A spokesperson for Quinn stated that Quinn had recused himself from the case when he was still an Assistant DA and continued to recuse himself as the DA. If so, why was the recusal never made public and told to the defense team?

What are the odds that the District Attorney could manage to have no influence over his most high-profile case over a period from July 2014 forward for more than three years? Even if DA Quinn tried hard not to show his feelings or to share his thoughts about this controversial and emotionally explosive prosecution, could he have succeeded? And besides, if he did formally recuse himself, then everyone in his office would have known about his connections to the Roy family, and that in itself could influence the course of the prosecution.

Michelle’s attorney Joseph Cataldo argued that it was not enough for the DA to recuse himself. Cataldo did not think that the case should be run by prosecutors “who owe their job to Conrad Roy’s cousin.” Cataldo argued that Michelle Carter was “entitled to a fair, disinterested prosecutor and that’s not what we have here.” He wanted the case assigned to a special prosecutor—either a prosecutor from another district attorney’s office or an assistant U.S. attorney.

Judge Siobhan Foley, not the judge who would conduct the pretrial hearings and the trial, disagreed. He refused to appoint an independent prosecutor and allowed the case to continue in the office of the Bristol County DA (Public Records 66-68).

The Mysterious Police Officer Who Never Came Forward to Save Michelle

The District Attorney’s Office can change the course of trials without ever stepping into a courtroom. An aggressive DA can control the kind of information that police provide simply by having a tough reputation.

A pivotal moment in the fate of Michelle Carter occurred in late January 2017, when Michelle Carter’s attorney Joseph Cataldo received from the DA much-delayed information surrounding the search for Conrad Roy two and a half years earlier at the time of Conrad’s death.

Conrad’s last contacts with Michelle were early in the evening on July 12, 2014 and for the DA’s case to be viable, Conrad must have died at that time or very close to it. He certainly could not have driven around for about eight hours after Michelle supposedly ordered him back into the truck to die.

Conrad was found dead in his truck in a Kmart parking lot around 5 pm the following day, July 13, 2014, and the police assumed that his body had been there since the previous evening when he last talked with Michelle.

The new information ruined the entire narrative created by the DA. An EMT report from July 13, 2014 described hearing from local Fairhaven police that they had searched the Kmart parking lot at 3 am the morning of the 13th and Conrad’s black truck was not seen. If the truck was not there at 3 am, then Michelle’s texts and phone calls many hours before 3 am could not have caused his death, because he must have driven off for hours before dying back at the Kmart. Michelle was innocent (Public Record 70).

This information was so stunning that Cataldo asked Judge Moniz to throw out the case. The judge refused, and Michelle’s attorneys went to work trying to locate any police officers who would have been checking Kmart parking lot at 3 am and then talking about it later on. Because it was hearsay—something heard by the EMT—the EMT’s statement was not acceptable as evidence in court.

No police officer would own up to recalling the absence of Conrad’s truck from the Kmart. In the absence of a police officer willing to admit he made the observation and that it was true, Michelle’s trial moved on to its tragic conclusion.

A District Attorney is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of his district. He works closely with the police in a highly cooperative manner. The Michelle Carter case had been under investigation for two and a half years and was a highly controversial top priority on the DA’s agenda. Many of the lawyers in the DA’s office may have seen it as a make or break risk. What are the odds that any police officer, especially after the passage of two and a half years, would admit to remembering anything that would utterly undermine the case? None came forward.

It must happen sometimes, but I have never heard of a police officer blowing a giant hole in a DA’s case for the sake of truth. In the highly-charged Michelle Carter case, with the DA related to the victim’s family and the Assistant DA ambitious for a judgeship, it is hard to imagine any police officer stepping up to ruin the case.

The Michelle Carter case is a tragedy on many fronts. Both she and Conrad Roy were betrayed by many adults and authorities.

Part VI in the Michelle Carter blog series will continue next week with more surprising revelations about who is to blame for the tragedy and what we can learn from it.
 

The Mechanic

Jedi Council Member
Part VI: How Adult Society Betrayed Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy
The sixth and final installment in a series of reports on Michelle Carter. See also parts I, II, III, IV and V.

Any suicide is likely to have several causes coming together in an overwhelming fashion. But especially in children and youth, distressed family relationships usually play an obviously central role. Although the DA tried to suppress the information, Conrad Roy’s death was no exception.

Conrad’s Family Crisis

Conrad’s family, including his father and mother, publicly stated that they were unaware of their son’s intense emotional suffering so vividly expressed in his texts to Michelle over a period of two years (Public Record 71 in the Michelle Carter Archives). They were also unaware of his extensive research into how to commit suicide, his additional attempts, and his compulsive, continuing suicide planning, all described in texts to Michelle. His parents did not know he had contacted another person, a young man on a suicide prevention site, and eventually convinced him, as well as Michelle, to help him die.

Conrad must have put on a good face to his family, but his parents very likely missed some signals of despair. His mother and father knew he had decided not to go to college and had been “socially anxious” in the classroom (Public Record 2).

As Conrad’s mother and I both testified in court, the divorce of Conrad’s parents flared up before his first suicide attempt and hospitalization in 2012. On August 27, 2011, Conrad’s father called the police. When they arrived, he gave them a signed statement that he was having a conflict with his wife about “marital problems” and “she struck me on the right side of the face with an open hand and I proceeded to call the police” (Public Record 72). According to a newspaper report, she was “charged with domestic assault and battery but not convicted” (Public Record 73). Conrad’s father then obtained a restraining order against his mother.

The DA claimed the domestic abuse reports were irrelevant and asked the judge not to admit them into evidence. A newspaper report described trial judge Lawrence Moniz as “troubled” by information in the protective order affidavit by Conrad’s father. He accused his wife of attacking him “in front of children.” The judge explained, “In this court, with much of the work we do, we’re mindful of the impact of domestic violence on children.” He allowed the abuse and domestic violence reports to be made available for Michelle’s attorney, Joseph Cataldo.

On February 19, 2014, less than five months before his death, Conrad called the police to report that his father beat him up. When the police arrived, Conrad wrote a report for them (Public Record 74).

Told Dad I would put pan of mac and cheese away after commercial of basketball game. He said do it now. I said no I will do it after commercial. He punched me repeatedly and pinned me down. I couldn’t get up. 5-10 punches to face. His girlfriend said I was a piece of shit. I left and went to neighbor.

In photographs, Conrad’s father looks much larger and burlier than Conrad looks. He appears capable of physically overwhelming his son.
Conrad’s Beating Seen Through Michelle’s Texts

Conrad’s beating was bad enough to shock Michelle when she saw his picture posted on Snapchat. The texts between Michelle and Conrad about her concern for him display a common theme in their interactions—she is deeply concerned for him and he abusively rejects her (Public Record 76). Michelle’s use of caps was unusual for her:

Michelle: CONRAD WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU

JUST OPENED YOUR SNAPCHAT

Omg are you okay???

Conrad: I’m igit. [In God I trust]

Michelle: No what happened

What happened please tell me

Conrad: tbag [slang for a sexual act]

Michelle: Did you get beat up

Conrad: -flick- U

Conrad frequently expressed this kind of abrupt nastiness to Michelle. He then goes on to throw in another “-flick- you” at her. Probably referring to his many sessions with police and child welfare officials, Conrad explained he was irritated because “I said it like 15 times today” and “I’m sick of it.”

Michelle: I thought you would of wanted to tell me

Conrad: Someday

Michelle: Okay well it just upsets me that I wasn’t one of the first people you told

Conrad: You didn’t ask

This kind of conversation in which Michelle expresses concern or love for him, and he torments her by withholding himself and by insulting her, was common over the two years of their texting. But he was not always that way…

Conrad Demoralized by Psychiatric Drugs

I found objective evidence that Conrad’s personality changed drastically after he attempted suicide, was hospitalized, and then discharged on antidepressants drugs in 2012. The changes in Conrad seem to occur abruptly and shock Michelle. Conrad’s deterioration into antisocial attitudes is documented in the Facebook messages between himself and Michelle beginning July 16, 2012 and continuing into the end of 2013. The Facebook messaging at the end overlaps with their texting.

Conrad and Michelle sent almost 300 Facebook messages to each other from July 16 through September 5, 2012. There was some teasing back and forth, but Conrad displayed no nastiness and did not torment Michelle. Their messages on Facebook were often playful and at times loving. On August 17, 2012, they wrote to each other:

Michelle: Coooooooolskiss

What so youre charging your phone now?

Conrad: Yeah but I’m finding a song for us

Michelle: Awhhh baby

Conrad: haha you find one too

Michelle: haha okay I will. wait is yours gonna be like rap?

Conrad: Nooo

Conrad searching for their song and asking her to search displays romantic sweetness and a sharing give-and-take. Conrad will rarely display these qualities after his suicide attempt, hospitalization and start of antidepressant medication.

A few texts later Conrad texts, “love ya,” a feeling he will ridicule and deny many times once the transformation takes place.

Three texts later, Michelle writes, “I love you so much” and Conrad replies “lOvE You ToO.”

These young people lacked experience dating. Michelle turned 16 a week earlier and will soon be entering 10th grade. Carter is a year older and a year ahead of her at his own high school. They both seem somewhat immature, and Michelle is on Prozac, which, like all psychoactive substances, commonly delays emotional maturity.

Conrad’s Negative Transformation

The relatively innocent Facebook messaging continues through September 5, 2012. The next available information is another Facebook message on October 10, 2012, described earlier in this blog series.

On October 10, 2012, Conrad abruptly announces, “uhhh stayed in hospital last week.” Michelle asks, “…why” and Conrad replies, “because I’m weak and sensitive and not sure why you even liked me in the first place.”

Conrad: Yah I tried to kill myself

Michelle: you did? Why didn’t you tell me?

Conrad: just remember I’m not the person you thought I was

Michelle: how did you try to kill yourself? do you still want to?

Conrad: no I’m going to

Michelle: your going to what?

Conrad: just letting you know

the voices in my head tell me to

Michelle: tell you to kill yourself?

Conrad: I’m a freak

Michelle: youre not a freak

you really want to kill yourself?

Conrad: I’m gonna later

Michelle: today?

Conrad: sadly

This series of messages continues, on and off, from 3:34 pm to 10:57 pm, with Michelle trying to change Conrad’s mind about killing himself. Finally, she has to take a break for a school project and when she returns at 10:57 pm, Conrad does not respond to her Facebook queries. Clearly afraid he has killed himself, a frantic Michelle writes to him, “Conrad please answer me right now please.”

The day’s texting seems to end without Michelle knowing if Conrad is dead or alive, a scenario that will be repeated over the next nearly two years.

My Michelle Carter Archive contains the entire lengthy Facebook messaging exchange between Michelle and Conrad for October 10, 2012 (Public Record 77). It shows the abrupt change in him and it shows the emotional negativity Michelle will feel compelled to endure from that point on in order to save him from killing himself.

These messages and the texting shows Michelle as the DA’s Office never wanted you to see her—a young girl, just turned sixteen, who so wants to help Conrad, and who feels so guilty about his desperate condition, that she will endure an overwhelmingly oppressive and guilt-provoking relationship until she breaks down nearly two years later.

The Harmful Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Conrad’s Life

His parents’ divorce, his father physically attacking him, his anxiety and depression, and his prior suicide attempts—these and other environmental factors undoubtedly had a strong negative impact upon Conrad, and eventually influenced his committing suicide.

However, most clinicians who have experience with psychoactive drugs will tell you that drugs are by far the most common factor in the abrupt worsening of a teenager’s character and personality. These discussions usually focus on non-prescription psychoactive drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines and myriad other drugs. Consistent with this, Conrad’s texts to Michelle show that he was smoking marijuana at times, although we do not know how often or how much.

As the earlier blogs demonstrated in detail, and as the reader can easily confirm by going to my Antidepressant Resource Center www.123antidepressants, the antidepressant drugs are also “psychoactive substances.” The resource center provides dozens of well-organized, searchable scientific papers and related publications confirming the widespread harmful effects of these drugs on all ages.

Antidepressants can produce all the antisocial behaviors caused by the worst street drugs. Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy were both victims of their psychiatric medications. When a child or young adult takes psychoactive drugs, such as marijuana or alcohol, the immaturity of their brains leads to a particularly neurotoxic effect. All psychoactive drugs, including prescribed ones, are neurotoxins that can turn decent youngsters into individuals prone to antisocial behavior, often to the bafflement of their parents. Antidepressants are among the worst.

One of the most damning studies comes from the heart of the psychiatric drug establishment at Harvard Medical School. Based on a review of their own clinic records, they found these following percentages of children and adolescents afflicted with psychiatric disorders caused by their antidepressants:

sleep disorders, 35%

emotional disorders, 21%

psychotic disorders, 10%

behavioral disorders, 5%


Based on their messages and texts, and on Michelle’s medical records, Michelle and Conrad suffered from every category of antidepressant-induced mental disorder.

In the Harvard study, the median time of exposure before these adverse events was 91 days, which in Michelle’s case is the exact time span between starting Celexa and her negative personality transformation prior to Conrad’s suicide.

In my testimony, and in my scientific articles and books, I have cited antidepressants as specifically causing antisocial behavior. One of the most distressing antisocial behaviors in children is serious irritability—overreacting aggressively to minor or nonexistent provocations. In the Harvard study, 15% of children developed “irritable” behavior. When Michelle begins to encourage Conrad to carry out his suicidal plans, she displays classic antidepressant-induced irritability when he fails to follow through.

Manic behavior is also very destructive because it includes disinhibition, aggressiveness, grandiose self-centeredness, criminal behavior and a host of other antisocial behaviors. In the Harvard study, a huge 6% of the children became manic due to antidepressants. Michelle’s behavior, as I testified in court, was manic-like to a delusional level. She believed she was doing right by helping Conrad go to heaven. She was convinced that they could fulfill their commitment to communicate with each other while he was in the afterlife. She was sure she could make everything work out fine for his bereaved family. Afterward, as she began to face the reality of his death, and as her manic-like stated abated, she would feel aghast and guilt-ridden over what she had done.

A recent epidemiological study has specifically linked antidepressant usage in youth to conviction for violent crimes:

Antidepressant use (both overall and for SSRIs) prior to violent crime was more common among those convicted than among those without convictions. Among boys with repeated violent crimes, it was also more common than among boys with non-violent crimes.

My book Medication Madness provides dozens of stories and extensive scientific information confirming that psychiatric drugs do in fact cause suicidal, violent and criminal behavior.

There is no excuse for the continued failure of many prosecutors, judges and so-called medical experts to acknowledge the damaging psychiatric or psychological effects of antidepressants on all age groups and especially children and young adults. In Michelle Carter’s case, my report (Public Record 63) and its many scientific appendices (Public Record 64) show how antidepressants temporarily transformed her personality and character for the worse.

In addition, in Michelle’s case, because of her age in combination with her anorexia and then bulimia, as well as liver dysfunction, no sane standard would condone her being put on antidepressants. Even the FDA, which depends on the financial generosity of payments from the drug companies, has not approved antidepressants for the treatment of children with Michelle’s eating disorder, let alone with her complicating conditions.

Conrad’s Mother Blames Herself and then Accuses his Father

In the weeks and months after Conrad’s death, including when Michelle sent her text to her friend saying she was responsible for Conrad’s death, Michelle was not the only one filled with self-accusations. After a suicide, it is common for professionals, family members and friends to go through periods of blaming themselves. As in Michelle’s case, self-blaming is a profound expression of feeling guilty and typically does not reflect the reality of what happened surrounding the suicide.

Conrad’s mother and father apparently never resolved their differences. Three weeks after Conrad’s death, his mother Lynn Roy sent a revealing text to Michelle in which she swung from blaming herself to blaming her ex-husband who was Conrad’s father (Public Record 75). She starts out by texting Michelle, “I am angry with myself because I think maybe if I would have told him [Conrad] to stay away from his dad’s family maybe.…”

Conrad’s mother then goes on to blame Conrad’s extended family: “There is so much anxiety that I have because I believe some of his Dad & his family members have blood on their hands.”

How the DA Ignored the Abuse and Turmoil in Conrad’s Family

Conrad’s father might not have known that his former wife, Lynn Roy, had texted Michelle that he and his family had “blood on their hands.” Yet the DA surely was aware of this glaring text in their possession. Furthermore, both the DA and the father knew that the police had charged him with assault for beating up Conrad four months before his son killed himself. It is part of this tragedy filled with deceit and hypocrisy that the DA paraded the father as the innocent, loving man whose son was brutally taken away by a seventeen-year-old girl.

No suffering on Earth is worse than the sudden, traumatic loss of a child. Conrad’s father remains entitled to his grief and we should feel empathy for him. He may also have been a loving father. He was, however, not innocent.

Judge Moniz, who deals with domestic violence in juvenile court, himself confirmed the harmful effects on a child of witnessing domestic violence in a family. In most cases, being beat up by one’s own father would be at least as harmful as watching one’s parents fight.

How the DA Distorted the Entire Narrative

The DA conducted the case as if the relatively innocent Michelle was the evil one who cast her shadow over everything else that happened to Conrad. Here is some of what the DA left out of the narrative in its pretrial publicity, during the trial, and in its post-trial complaints about the relatively mild sentence:

  • Conrad’s serious family trauma, including watching violence between his parents, going through their angry divorce, and then being severely beaten up by his own father four months before his suicide.
  • His prior psychiatric hospitalizations.
  • His prior multiple suicide attempts.
  • His failure to tell any family members about his chronic suicidal plans and actions, or his persistent sense of despair and hopelessness.
  • His failure to tell his therapist about his suicidal compulsions, plans and acts (Public Record 85, p. 1472).
  • His recent decision on his own to restart his antidepressant, creating a special hazard for suicide and other negative effects on his brain and mind.
  • His actions in grooming vulnerable Michelle to help him commit suicide, and his crushing her spirit through constant negativity and suicidal threats.
  • His decision to enlist yet another person in addition to Michelle online to help him carry out his suicide.
  • His use of marijuana, which in itself can cause a drastic negative change in the personality and character of young people.
  • His two years of rejecting Michelle’s plans to get him professional help.
  • His two years of rejecting her offers to visit her and her family for support.
Creating a Witch Hunt and Vendetta

Facebook messages and texts in themselves document these facts and leave no doubt about the complexity of influences surrounding his suicide, including his compulsive determination to die.

The irony is that the Bristol County DA is the one who used words (and the power of its office) to cause irreparable harm to a helpless victim. The DA turned a wounded, vulnerable seventeen-year-old girl into the object of a public witch hunt and a personal vendetta.

A witch hunt occurs when authorities heap unfounded accusations upon someone or a viewpoint that is unpopular or easily victimized. Witch hunts almost always have unspoken political motivations, such as gaining personal and political power or suppressing a competing religious or political movement. A vendetta is a blood feud in which the family of a murdered person seeks vengeance on the murderer or the murder’s family. The District Attorney himself was related to Conrad and to Conrad’s grandmother. Part V in this series documents how the DA has been conducting both a witch hunt and a vendetta.
The District Attorney’s office also sacrificed Michelle to the destructive power of the drug industry and psychiatry, and made her one more victim of society’s callous neglect of our children and youth. The DA’s office was not guided by a search for justice but by its own blind ambition.

Origins of Michelle’s Suicide Attempt and Subsequent Emotional Suffering

Turning to Michelle Carter’s family, there was no information to indicate serious family conflicts contributing to her suicide attempt in 2012. Her medical records confirm that she was reacting to the death in quick succession of two much-loved grandparents, after which she developed an eating disorder with anxiety and “depressed feelings” which might better have been called “normal grief.” Her attempt, by standing on a stool with a noose around her neck, came soon after restarting Prozac, a drug known to increase suicidality and a broad range of negative behaviors, especially in young people. Fortunately, she got off the stool without harming herself.

The death of Michelle’s grandparents, poor medical care that did not include family therapy, the misguided prescription of psychiatric drugs, the dangers created by social media, Michelle’s own dire need to help people, and the persistence of Conrad in her life were among the most potent negative influences in her life.

The Role of Family in Michelle’s Life

Michelle, like many young people, kept her emotional struggles away from her parents. One of the great lessons from the story of Michelle and Conrad is the high risk parents take when they allow their dependent children unsupervised social media communication with their peers.

I do not blame parents who want to respect the privacy of their children, including their social media, diaries and letters. I used to feel the same way. Unfortunately, in today’s society, social media have created private worlds in which children and youth turn inward toward each other while excluding their parents. Like Michelle and Conrad, they turn to peers who are in as much or more emotional turmoil than they are.

Addicted to turning toward their peers, parents and other adults can become distant figures to children and youth. As a result, I now believe that parents should monitor their children’s social media and limit it whenever necessary. This should be treated not a punishment but as protection. In addition to that, busy parents in today’s world must spend individual time with their children on a regular basis, developing personal relationships with their children that promote family life and improve communication.

How the DA Tried to Destroy Michelle with Words

In a dreadful irony, the DA accuses Michelle of killing Conrad Roy with a few brief words “ordering” him back into his truck—words that no one can prove she ever spoke. By contrast, for three straight years the DA’s Office has tried destroy Michelle, and persists in trying to destroy her, with a torrent of systematically planned words. After the trial, when I had written the first two installments of this blog, they went after me, attacking me in an emergency hearing where I could not be present, again using carefully planned words in a false and misleading fashion.

The DA’s office in Bristol County Massachusetts bears full responsibility for the ongoing tragedy in the life of Michelle Carter and her family and loved ones. They should not have charged Michelle with anything. Michelle was already feeling guilty and remorseful before they charged her—that is why she blamed herself for his death. She needed help in understanding what happened to her and to Conrad that changed both their personalities. She needed the relief of knowing that antidepressants commonly transform the personality and character of young people for the worse.

In a society that truly cared about and for its children, on discovering the two years of texts, police or the DA would have referred Michelle to her parents with encouragement to seek counseling and family therapy. Instead, the DA’s Office decided to destroy Michelle in the media and in trial for its own ambitions—self-serving and aggrandizing motives of a personal and political nature documented in last week’s report in this series.

I have been testifying in legal cases involving psychiatric drugs for at least 25 years, and in a variety of other cases going all the way back to early in my residency 45 years ago. Over the years, I have seen an increasing tendency in attorneys defending doctors and drug companies, and in prosecutors in criminal cases, to reject common decency, ethics and justice in the name of winning. Increasingly, courtrooms have become theaters upon which prosecutors strut and declaim, and manipulate facts, to win at all costs, to gain national recognition and to promote their careers. Someone observing a criminal trial for the first time would be likely to conclude that winning-at-any-costs was the guiding ethic for the behavior of DAs.

Ethical Standards for Prosecutors

According to the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Standards, Prosecution Function, a prosecutor’s role does not consist of simply getting convictions. To the contrary, the prosecutor’s role is to seek justice:

The prosecutor is an administrator of justice, an advocate, and an officer of the court; the prosecutor must exercise sound discretion in the performance of his or her functions.

The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict.

When inadequacies or injustices in the substantive or procedural law come to the prosecutor’s attention, he or she should stimulate efforts for remedial action.

Although I have no evidence for this in Michelle’s case, the influence and presence of the drug companies has been obvious in many criminal trials. In one case where an antidepressant caused a manic episode with a robbery, a representative of a drug was passing notes to the prosecution. In several criminal cases, the cross-examination has been based on themes I recognized as coming verbatim from cross-examinations in much earlier cases against drug companies.

In the Michelle Carter trial, the strategy was to ignore the mountain of scientific material that I presented in my reports and testimony at the hearing and the trial. The DA’s office did not produce an expert psychiatric witness of its own to contradict me. They wanted to avoid the inevitable—a devastating cross-examination of their psychiatrist based on the science. Without citing any one particular member of the DA’s office, I believe the information in the Michelle Carter blogs and archives raises substantial questions about whether the DA’s Office of Bristol County Massachusetts was seeking justice or compulsively seeking a conviction. I believe they are responsible for destroying the life of a 17-year-old minor who needed the caring intervention of responsible professionals.

Under therapeutic conditions, without being terrorized, Michelle would and hopefully will someday have the opportunity to further assess and to understand her actions. A young deer in the headlights of a roaring Mack truck does not have a chance to make mature judgments and to grow in wisdom.

My previous blog documented how winning the controversial Michelle Carter case led to Assistant DA Rayburn receiving nationwide recognition and to the governor recently nominating her for a judgeship. I believe the DA’s office also conducted a successful hate campaign against Michelle Carter for the specific purpose of poisoning the jury pool in her county of 550,000 residents.

Confidentiality does not allow me to share anything I might know about the defense’s decision to forsake a jury trial in favor of a bench trial. I can share that I was also in favor of a bench trial. Judge Moniz seemed even-handed during the initial hearing in which he found that I had the necessary credentials and sufficient scientific evidence to testify as an expert in psychiatry and psychopharmacology. Given that the DA’s hate campaign was conducted so vigorously that even people in Europe read and believed the negative view of Michelle generated by the DA’s office, what chance did she have with the citizens of Bristol County who were the main target of that propaganda? On hearing the judge’s guilty verdict, I was as surprised and distressed as many other experts and legal authorities (Public Records 81-84 on the Michelle Carter Archive).

One Last Word about Michelle Saying “Get Back in the Truck”

Earlier in this series, I documented how the Bristol County DA’s Office of Massachusetts had no way of proving that Michelle ever told Conrad to “get back in the truck” filled with fumes. Michelle herself reported that she had said those words to Conrad, but it was two months after his death amid delusional efforts to get in touch with him in heaven as he had promised.

Michelle as a teenager often reported different perspectives on the same event, at one time texting a friend that Conrad tried to push her into sex but she had refused out of uncertainty about loving him. She had never had sex with anyone. Yet she told another friend Conrad had forced her to have sex. The DA frequently called Michelle wholly unreliable as a reporter, saying almost anything to “get attention.”

Yet the same DA got away with claiming that, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” Michelle had told Conrad to go back into the truck to finish his suicide and that these words, never recorded anywhere, killed him. I found it ironic that the DA never allowed for the possibility that Conrad had raped Michelle, given that she had also texted this to her friend, but was nonetheless adamant in the extreme that Michelle had killed Conrad by telling him to get back into the truck, given that she had texted it to a friend.

Freedom of Speech

Because the press understands the risk of censoring speech, the media have been somewhat critical of Michelle’s conviction for manslaughter. There is fear that treating words like lethal weapons will ultimately lead to increasing censorship, not only on the internet but everywhere that words are spoken. This will be a central appeal in Michelle’s case and I am not needed to add my voice to the many others criticizing the verdict on the basis of free speech.

Unfortunately, when the DA’s office tried to get the trial judge to enforce prior restraint on my right to publish my blogs, I heard not a peep of protest. Not a single media outlet called me to sympathize, show support, or even to cover the issue as anything out of the ordinary.

Why is the media, usually so devoted to freedom of speech, not rising to defend my freedom of speech as they have on occasion done in the past? For several decades now, the media has been increasingly keeping off the air critics of psychiatry and the drug companies. Why? Because even more than protecting freedom of speech and press, they want to protect the Pharmaceutical Empire. Drug companies are among the richest, most broadly connected and most power influences in modern society, as well as being big spenders on media.

I will not go further into the power of the Pharmaceutical Empire for fear of obscuring the overall importance of the Michelle Carter trial. The reader now has many sources to choose from in evaluating these issues, including my books like Toxic Psychiatry and Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry, Second Edition; Robert Whitaker’s Madness in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic, and most recently, Peter Gøtzsche’s Deadly Psychiatry and Organized Denial.

The Wider Tragedy

The story of Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy is not only a tragedy within itself and for all those involved with them, it is emblematic of the situation faced by millions of young people in the western world and increasingly around the entire planet. It is also illustrative of the situation faced by their parents, teachers, coaches and anyone else who cares about them. Despite their making bad choices for themselves and each other, I believe that placing significant blame on either Michelle Carter or Conrad Roy is a mistaken emphasis. They were dealing with demoralizing stressors that were almost unheard of a few decades ago in America.

Illegal drugs began plaguing our schools in the 1960s and early 1970s. Increasing numbers of children were diagnosed with ADHD and put on addictive stimulant drugs in the mid-1970s. In the 1990s until now, drug companies have focused their energies on marketing the most toxic adult psychiatric drugs to children.

As all that has been inflicted on our children, we encouraged them to cast traditional morals aside, and sexual promiscuity became rampant. Movies, TV and then video games increasingly exposed them to sex and to horrendous violence on a daily basis. Then social media turned children and youth inward on themselves, often pushing parental influence from their lives.

Suicide, in the past a remote reality for children, has become the theme of endless media, and has been rising among children.

And finally, the nuclear family became the exception rather than the rule, and working mothers increasingly left their children to the care of others.

All of these trends have been disastrous for our children and as a society we have yet to begin to deal with the results and with how to remedy the situation. Instead, we send our children to doctors to get psychiatric diagnoses and drugs.

Final Words about Psychiatric Drugs

In my psychiatric practice, I routinely treat children who, as a result of psychiatric drugs, have become so depressed and angry that they assault their parents, drive away their friends, and withdraw socially.

When we started tapering these children off these drugs, their parents always see a dramatic improvement in their behavior even before the withdrawal is completed. The parents often explain, “Jane is back again,” or “I haven’t seen Joe laugh in years” or “I was beginning to give up on my own child but not anymore.”

These successful stories in my practice require the participation of responsible parents who support the drug withdrawal and who are willing to learn new and better ways of relating to their children. However, the dramatic transformation of the children, which makes it possible for them to respond to improved parenting, comes as their brain recovers from the psychiatric drugs.

Parents should refuse to have their children put on any psychiatric medication, and instead seek help in how to improve their relationships with their children. While not all of a child’s problems emanate from their upbringing, improving parenting is by far the best hope for any child. Overall, parents need to retake responsibility for their children and, when necessary, to seek non-medical, non-psychiatric professional help from specialists in child-rearing and family life, including properly trained or knowledgeable social workers, psychologists, counselors, marriage and family therapists, teachers and ministers. Psychiatry and psychiatric drugs do infinitely more harm than good in the lives of children.

What If…

If Michelle Carter never took a psychiatric drug, she would not have been thrust into such a dark place where she came close to suicide and experienced nightmares and hallucinations about the devil trying to kill her. Instead, with or without therapy, she would have recovered over time from her mourning period following the death of her grandparents and gradually recovered from her eating difficulties.

If drugs had not driven Michelle into her emotional calamity, Michelle would almost surely have rejected her grossly self-destructive relationship with Conrad Roy. Today, instead of being tortured for years by unjust charges and now facing incarceration, she would instead be at college. There she would continue to be known as one of the most sensitive, loving and inspiring members of her community.

If Conrad Roy never took a psychiatric drug, and if he stayed away from marijuana, he would have eventually recovered from the painful feelings engendered by his parents’ divorce. He would never have become so compulsively suicidal. Rather than living with his dad and working for him, he would have found the strength to go off to college. His great sensitivity, and his bent to think introspectively, would have found good application in his studies, and he would be thriving today.

Join me in calling for a ban on giving psychiatric drugs to children. Neurotoxins are not and can never be the solution to the problems faced by our children in the increasingly complex and hazardous world they will be facing.

As a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and educator, I have learned what our children really need—more dedicated, present adults in their lives. They do not need pills; they need more of us!
 

Odyssey

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Thanks for sharing the blog, The Mechanic. Dr. Breggin makes a really good case for Michelle not being the pariah she has been made out to be. It also speaks volumes about the media being able to manipulate public opinion and play on peoples' emotions while facts and details remain buried.
 

Possibility of Being

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
God bless Dr. Breggin. God bless the Internet. No wonder they do whatever they can to monopolize is totally. How many more lies they force on people worldwide that are still not exposed, not even in a farthest corner of the Internet? It seems the only thing left in the media that's true nowadays is TV listings.

JP should add the above mentioned books to his Great Books list. But would he?

Thank you The Mechanic, it was a good read, even though sad, frustrating and painful.
 

Tuatha de Danaan

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Thank You The Mechanic.. Very educational and shocking. Another brave man coming forward fighting for the children..To think all that was done so some female could get a promotion to a position to destroy more lives.
 
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