October 14, 2020
How the Atlantic Supports the Drug Warby Ballard Quass
a letter to the Atlantic editors
Regarding: "The Diet that Might Cure Depression," "The DASH Diet Helps Depression Symptoms," "Depression Isn't Contagious"... and everything else that the Atlantic publishes on the topic of depression.
Your articles on depression are censored, no doubt unconsciously, to avoid mentioning the 64,000-pound gorilla in the room: that is the fact that thousands of psychoactive plant medicines are dutifully ignored by depression researchers in obedience to America's anti-scientific Drug War. That's why, as a lifelong depression sufferer, I sigh any time I see a new article on the subject, especially when it comes in the form of one of the millions of dietary suggestions to which Americans are exposed with much fanfare during their lifetimes. Even if a diet did show promise, depression strikes at the very ability to keep a diet going, because it saps motivation on the front end. That's why we need the psychoactive plants of Mother Nature which, under empathic supervision, can provide motivation, follow-through, and a new sense of purpose in life.
Sigmund Freud considered cocaine to be a godsend for his own depression, and he got "off" cocaine when he no longer needed it, without feeling the need to write some self-congratulatory book about the difficulties he encountered in so doing. There are reams of anecdotal evidence dating back millennia that speak to the power of psychedelics to bring about a new sense of purpose in life, most recently in the thousands of detailed guided "trip" accounts provided by researchers such as James Fadiman and Stanislav Grof. Promising research is underway at this very moment to mainstream psilocybin and "ecstasy" for depression treatment - though this research has had to move forward glacially thanks to America's unwillingness to fund research that violates our Drug War sensibilities.
By failing to mention this "gorilla," the Atlantic is supporting Drug War propaganda, possibly because your editors have fallen for the Drug War lie that substances fry the brain the moment that they are demonized by politicians. But the facts are just the opposite. Cocaine sharpened Freud's focus. Opium facilitated Benjamin Franklin's creativity. Psychedelics helped Francis Crick envision the DNA helix. And "speed" is so far from frying the brain that the Air Force has required its pilots to take the drug in advance of critical missions. If any drugs fry the brain, they are Big Pharma anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs, to which 1 in 4 American women are addicted (source: Julie Holland), but that's another fact that gets censored from your articles about depression, in dutiful conformance with Drug War propaganda.
The fact is that there is no such thing as free research on depression under the Drug War, and the Atlantic should be pointing this out in every article that it writes on the subject, rather than pretending that researchers are approaching the topic from some sort of reasonable baseline.
Since Google tends to bury controversial sites like mine alive -- especially since I do not participate in their byzantine ad scam (er, scheme) -- I send my message straight to the horse's mouth as often as possible, in the form of letters like the following, some actually sent by good old fashioned snail mail.