In a surprising move, the Society of Mind-Altering Drugs Marketing Alliance National (MADMAN) publicly announced their past, present, and future marketing campaigns, which had remained a closely guarded industry secret for decades. The psychiatric drug industry takes in billions of pounds every year and is the most profitable industry on the planet. To explain this unexpected announcement, a spokesperson reported that the MADMAN group felt that they finally deserved some credit as the architects and stewards of this great success.
When drugs were first introduced in the 1940s to keep mental patients quiet and docile, and enable psychiatrists to spend more time diddling nurses and golfing, the sales were pretty dismal. Less than 1% of the public were certifiable mental patients, which left a vast market segment untapped. Thus the alliance was formed between major drug manufacturers and psychiatrists, along with a few snake oil salesmen and con men, to broaden the customer base for drugs by broadening the definition of mental illness.
A marketing survey determined that the public didn't want psychiatric drugs to control their behaviour. People wanted freedom and a chance to live healthy, productive lives without the adverse effects of drugs. The survey team recommended that the group shift their focus to something the public actually did want, like Hula Hoops, doughnuts, or vitamins, but the entire survey team was fired. A new marketing team was brought on board and tasked with a slightly different focus - "how can the public be convinced that they want the dangerous, harmful and addictive drugs we peddle?" This was a challenge, to say the least.
People did sometimes experience trouble in life and they did want help for their difficulties. However, they did not want to become slaves of the drug companies and life-long drug addicts. This made quite a problem. The first marketing campaign, called "telling the truth", was a failure in terms of sales. The public was told that the drugs might make them feel better, or at least forget about what was worrying them, but that no one knew why. Moreover, they were told that the drugs are addictive and create a chemical imbalance in the brain which may be incurable and permanent.
The public stayed away from psychiatric drugs in droves during the "tell the truth" campaign. And the story might have ended there except for the breakthrough work of marketing genius, J. Waldo Screuumal. Well known as the creator of the annoying little advertisement cards that fall out of magazines when you try to read them on a bus, J. Waldo was brought in to address this matter. J. Waldo observed that people were awfully upset about these drug-induced "chemical imbalances" and would do anything to avoid them. Unfortunately for the drug companies this meant that no one would take the drugs.
J. Waldo had a bright idea. Well, actually it was a drunken prostitute who actually had the idea but J. Waldo took the credit. "Hey! - hiccup - why don't you tell zshee people that they al-uh-already have chememicalal imbalalances and that the drugs - hiccup- fixes em", said Ms. Monica Dandrop before she threw up all over J. Waldo and passed out. "That's it", said J. Waldo, "that's the ruse that will bring in the business!"
So a whole campaign was started with the goal of convincing the public that they had "chemically imbalanced" brains and needed drugs to "correct" them. Universities were "enlisted" along with the news media and governments. "Enlisted" here means "bought off". Lists of feelings and behaviours that people didn't like were drawn up and categorized into various "disorders". Through newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and even movies, people were told that having these particular feelings and bahaviours indicated that they had "chemical imbalances" in the brain and they had better get on some drugs fast! People were much more amenable to taking the drugs when they were convinced in advance that their brains were abnormal.
At the same time, the adverse effects of the drugs and the lack of science to any of this was conveniently left out of media reports and actively suppressed in the "bought off" universities and government bureaus.
More groups were "enlisted" to pass on the message. These included a panoply of front groups like NAMI, CHADD, and others who would claim to be grassroots organizations yet would simply forward MADMAN's false marketing message that "mental illness" was just like genuine physical illness. The drug companies raked in billions.
However, greed is a hard monster to resist. MADMAN realized that their true glory would be in getting children convinced in the chemical imbalance and hooked on drugs early in life. This had many advantages, including just the pure math of children potentially having many more good drug-taking years than an adult. Other front groups were formed, including TeenScreen and Signs of Suicide, groups that would go into schools and convince the children that they had mis-wired, screwed-up brains and that their only hope was psychiatric "help", which usually means drugs, for their entire lives. Cha-ching!
TeenScreen is now in use in as many as 400 schools in the USA. The exact number and locations are difficult to pinpoint because TeenScreen keeps their locations a tight secret. Protests break out when parents find out that this is being done in their area. Often times, children are screened and convinced they have faulty brains without the parents even knowing that TeenScreen exists.
Critics have spoken out against this plan for decades but only a small percentage of the public has believed the critics. With multi-billion-dollar marketing campaigns, MADMAN and its members have done a very convincing job of duping the public. This unexpected public announcement of their secret plans has led many to ask "why?" and to speculate that now maybe the public would rise up and bring this fraud to a stop. "Not to worry," says Durvin Mergatoin, the top MADMAN, "the public is mostly apathetic anyway. No one has the fortitude to confront how bad it really is and certainly none have the courage to do anything about it. They're sheep. Of course we infiltrated the schools some years back and dumbed down the curriculum for just this reason."
Numerous online petitions have sprung up and gathered thousands of signatures, requesting that school boards and legislatures act to protect the populace, especially the children from this psychiatric intrusion. It remains to be seen whether the public can confront this situation and do something about it.
TeenScreen's leader, Laurie Flynn, was unavailable for comment.