This is from Len Horowitz's site... it is results of a study
funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
And Len says pay particular attention to the ACKNOWLEDGMENTS at
the end! Yikes!
A CLINICAL ANALYSIS OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT PHOBIA
Ivor E. Tower, M.D.
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
Volume 11, series 3, pages 4-5
This study conclusively demonstrates that unfounded fear of
government is a recognizable mental illness, closely related to
paranoid schizophrenia. Anti-Government Phobia (AGP) differs from most
mental illnesses, however, in that it is highly infectious and has an
acute onset. Symptoms include extreme suspiciousness,
conspiracy-mongering, delusional thought patterns, staunch "us
against them" mentality, withdrawal from reality, and often
Having the patient committed to a qualified mental health institution
is the best option for family and loved ones. For this reason, all
psychiatrists and family physicians should be provided with
educational materials which will help them recognize the various
symptoms and warning signs accompanying onset. Since comparatively
little is known about Anti-Government Phobia at the present time, a
government-funded health commission should be set up to oversee, and
help focus, future research.
Incidence and Etiology
Anti-Government Phobia has a worldwide distribution, but has a
particularly high incidence in the United States. Infection rates are
estimated by mental health officials to be about 5% of the general
population, and this rate is growing at an alarming rate. Rates are
highest, but not limited to, those who are disaffected in some
fashion, especially those who have a strong personal grudge against
the federal government for one reason or another.
Although certain variants of the illness have been around for many
years, it is only in the last decade or so that the more virulent and
infectious strains have appeared. This is most likely due to the rapid
buildup of government, at all levels, during the 1980's. Closely
paralling this trend was an explosion in the number of cases in which
individuals were diagnosed as having unfounded fears concerning such.
Clinical Manifestations and Diagnosis Anti-Government Phobia is
marked by extreme suspiciousness toward government. Onset is acute.
Symptoms start almost immediately after a run-in with some agency or
institution of the government, or when the patient is introduced to
anti-government propaganda, in one form or another, by a self-styled
"patriot." Common ways in which this harmful,
anti-government propaganda is spread include: books, pamphlets,
magazines, newspapers, audiotapes, videotapes, short-wave and
conventional radio programs, computer bulletin boards, and various
Upon exposure to "patriotic" propaganda, the patient
mysteriously begins to imagine hidden links between unrelated current
events, weaving these gross distortions of reality into a complex
delusional web; a labyrinth of conspiracy theories with all imagined
clues leading straight to the federal government. With further
exposure, the patient becomes increasingly paranoid, and slowly
withdrawals from reality. However, mental deterioration is usually so
gradual that the patient is often unaware of it.
This mysterious malady progresses until the patient invariably
assumes a staunch "us against them" mentality. For instance,
in the patient's warped mind-set, each new piece of gun-control
legislation is oddly rationalized to be merely one additional step in
an ultimate plot by the federal government to confiscate guns
altogether. In some unusually severe cases, the patient assumes a
survivalist mentality, stockpiling guns, ammunition, de-hydrated food,
and other "essentials," in preparation for "D-Day"
At this stage, the patient also inexplicity experiences increased
delusional thinking. For instance, he may start fallaciously believing
that the Federal Reserve is not in fact part of the federal
government, but is instead controlled by wealthy Zionists. Other
far-flung delusions may involve the United Nations, "black
helicopters," concentration camps, or the Council on Foreign
Relations (CFR). Delusions involving "takeovers" by foreign
military troops, or jack-booted government storm troopers dressed in
all black, are also commonly diagnosed.
Anti-Government Phobia is often associated with religious
fanaticism. An excellent example of this is the infamous Branch
Davidian case, in which most cult members preferred a fiery suicide
over peaceful surrender to the forces of what they considered to be
"Mystery Babylon." There have been other prominant cases in
which "patriots" have became involved with terrorist
activity, fallaciously believing that they were somehow doing the
"will of God." More commonly, "patriots" have been
involved in aggressive outbursts in courtrooms, and other public
places such as town-hall meetings.
Overall, the worldview eventually adopted by "patriots"
interprets modern-day news events as pieces of a giant jig-saw puzzle.
Oddly, they believe that it is their solemn duty to put these
unrelated pieces together in order to discover the underlying
"picture." The warped interpretive framework used by many
"patriots" in their missionary-like endeavor of saving the
lost "sheep" (derogatory term comparing non-patriots to lost
sheep) is a hyper-literal interpretation of Biblical prophecies,
particularly those contained in the book of Revelation.
Spread of the Illness
In the eyes of the so-called "patriots," the relentless
drive to indoctrinate others with extremist political beliefs is seen
as a righteous and compulsory act to save their
"self-destructing" nation. Wildly fantasizing that America
can somehow turn back the clock to better times, which in reality
never existed, many "patriots" feel obligated to quote
constantly from the Declaration of Independence, United States
Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the writings of the Founding
Fathers. In an ironic twist of fate, when "patriots" expose
others to their divisive anti-government propaganda, through their
misguided efforts to restore "individual liberty," they are
actually infecting them with an extremely contagious mental illness.
A strong analogy can be drawn between "patriotic"
indoctrination and patterns of religious conversion. In both cases,
ultra-idealistic individuals believe that it is their solemn duty to
gain proselytes for their particular faith. This is usually done on a
person-to-person basis with a friend or acquaintance. To keep new
converts from going astray or "backsliding," they are
eagerly provided with a steady stream of propaganda. In each case, the
devotee imagines that there is an evil, sinister force which must be
opposed at all costs. In the case of various religions, the faithful
are supposedly rewarded in the afterlife for sparring with the
"devil." In the case of the "patriot," the
so-called "New World Order" is viewed as the demonic
bogeyman, with the reward for opposing it supposedly being an
increased amount of "personal freedom." In both
"patriotic" and religious circles, there is an entire
counter-culture, centering around various anthems and holy books,
constantly being promoted by prophets, preachers, and paranoid
propagandists of all creeds, colors, and strains.
Needless to say, prevention is the first line of defense against
any type of illness or disease. Unfortunately, many mental illnesses
are genetic in nature and thus can not be prevented. Fortunately,
Anti-Government Phobia is non-genetic and thus wholly preventable.
From an individual standpoint, the most effective prevention policy is
obviously not to allow oneself to become indoctrinated by a
self-styled "patriot," preferably by staying as far as
possible away from any potentially divisive propaganda. As an added
precaution, one should rely exclusively on well-known and reputable
sources for news and other information.
Family members and loved ones can help out in this effort. However,
it should be noted that prevention programs work best only when the
entire community is involved. We all need to practice constant
vigilance in order to spot diviseness and hate in our communities. In
this regard, networking is the ultimate key to success. A successful
community-based empowerment program would include the following
elements: citizen-citizen networks, police-citizen networks,
parent-teacher networks, pastor-parisoner networks, doctor-patient
networks, state-local law enforcement authority networks, and
federal-state law enforcement authority networks.
Treatment and Prognosis
Although the prognosis is generally good if the illness is treated
soon after symptoms first appear, studies have shown that a
disturbingly low percentage of patients allow themselves to be
treated. Thus, having the patient committed to a qualified mental
health institution is the best option for family and loved ones. For
this reason, all psychiatrists and family physicians should be
provided with educational materials which will help them recognize the
various symptoms and warning signs accompanying onset. Once the
illness is properly diagnosed, they should next notify the patient's
immediate family members and discuss the various treatment options
with them. This effort should be reinforced with extensive public ad
campaigns promoting a 1-800 help line. Since comparatively little is
known about Anti-Government Phobia at the present time, a
government-funded health commission should be set up to oversee, and
help focus, future research.
It can not be over-emphasized that prevention is the key to
stopping the spread of Anti-Government Phobia. Once a person is
infected, the illness is generally incurable. The only proven
treatment is an extended, and often risky, "de-programming"
session conducted by qualified professionals, such as the Cult
Awareness Network (CAN). Left untreated, chronic symptoms invariably
persist throughout the entire lifetime of the patient. Sadly, even the
patients themselves realize this horrifying fact and surprisingly,
seem apathetic to it. Oddly, they often confuse their symptoms with
being "awake." For instance, they have been known to garble
gibberish such as "once your awake, you can't go back to
sleep." Further research is presently being conducted on the
reasons why they rationalize their mental illness in this highly
The writer wishes to thank the following individuals and
organizations for contributing their expertise to this report: Morris
Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Rick Ross of the Cult
Awareness Network (CAN), the United States Justice Department (USJD),
the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF). This study was funded by a grant from
the National Institutes of Health (NIH).