This was taken from a 1974 Harvard Crimson article (here: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1974/1/16/mindbending-controversy-pimost-neurosurgeons-now-agree/)
"After the Detroit riots of 1967, in a letter to the Journal of the American Medical Association, Doctors Vernon Mark, associate professor of surgery, William Sweet, professor of surgery, and Frank Ervin, former professor of surgery, cited brain dysfunction in certain individuals as a possible factor in urban riots. They called for intensive research to diagnose and treat "those people with low violence thresholds before they contribute to future tragedies".
The next article was dated 1967, three years before my mother's brain surgery.
This entire article is sending chills down my spine. It is totally UNBELIEVABLE. The article reports on the case studies in Vernon's book and reveals the very nefarious work of these barbaric surgeons.
TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM: Boston College The Heights, Volume LV, Number 13, 25 November 1974
The largest group of persons, however, upon whom psychosurgery is being done is women. To be exact, 70% of reported psychosurgery in this country has been done on women. (Congressional Record, February 24, 1972) However, it must be noted that few psychosurgeons keep and-or publish accurate records of their work, so the percentage may well be larger. As Joanna Beam has pointed out in an article entitled "Psychosurgery, Sexism and the Law." this statistic is particularly alarming in light of several facts. 1) All psychosurgeons are male: 2) Most psychosurgery patients are referred for treatment by male psychiatrists or by staff members of mental institutions which are infamously paternalistic: 3) The behavior of women is defined as deviant by primarily male psychiatrists who assess such deviancy largely on the basis of accepted stereotypical female behavior. I would also point out here that with men. of course, the range of accepted behavior is much wider and. therefore, what is many limes judged deviant for females would be judged normal for males.
Let us return to some of Mark and Ervin's statements in Violence and the Brain (1970). In one of their four major case studies described in this book, the case of Mary is related. Mary was diagnosed as a psychomotor epileptic who caused fires by careless smoking habits. When asked to stop smoking, she would become violent and physically resistant. Subsequently, an amygdalotomy was performed. Mark and Ervin sum up her "success" story in this way: "The initial results of this temporal lobe surgery have been gratifying. She still has seizures but her rages have disappeared. She has set no fires, and she has been able to function once more as a housewife and a mother."
Together, Mark and Ervin have published what could be termed a psychosurgical manifesto in which their pro-psychosurgery theories are more fully explicated. (Violence and the Brain). They assert here that certain portions of the brain which govern particular behaviors can be localized. By this process of localizing, violence that is the result of epilepsy, for example, can supposedly be brought under control by surgery performed in the relevant area of the brain. In an earlier letter to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Mark and Ervin emphasized quite a different theme. Here they tied their psychosurgical theories directly to the control of political dissent. The letter was occasioned by the Detroit urban riots of the 19605, and in it, Mark and Ervin summarized what can be perceived as an ideological basis for their work in the following years. "It is important to realize that only a small number of the millions of slum dwellers have taken part in the riots, and that only a subfraction of these rioters have indulged in arson, sniping and assault. Yet if slum conditions alone determined and initiated riots, why are the vast majority of slum dwellers able to resist the temptations of unrestrained violence? Is there something peculiar about the violent slum sweller that differentiates him from his peaceful neighbor?"
They relate this "peculiarity" to "brain dysfunction" and then conclude: "The real lesson of urban rioting is that, besides the need to study the social fabric that creates the riot atmosphere, we need intensive research and clinical studies of the individuals committing the violence. The goal of such studies would be lo pinpoint, diagnose and treat these people with low violence thresholds before they contribute lo further [social unrest.]"
What we have here can be interpreted as a plea for a technology of violence control which is effected by screening procedures and brain surgery. Support is lent to this interpretation when the facts surrounding the funding of their program in Massachusetts become known. Dr. William Sweet, a collaborator of Mark and Ervin, became the prime mover of financial backing for the project. In 1970, Sweet, Mark and Ervin were awarded a $500,000 grant from NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health). The key to their financial success was the influence of Eliot Richardson, the then Secretary of HEW, who was a long-time personal friend of William Sweet and who had encouraged him to apply, through HEW for an NIMH grant. The Sweet and Richardson collaboration goes back even further to the days when Richardson was Attorney General of Massachusetts, and they had planned a psychosurgical violence control project for Massachusetts. In testimony presented before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee in 1970, Richardson clearly noted that he had full knowledge of the violence project. "I have had several conversations with Dr. William Sweet, who is the project director about this, and I am bound to say I encouraged him to apply to the Department (HEW) for funds for this. I had hoped at that time to be able to work with him as the Attorney General of Massachusetts on the basis that Mark, Sweet and Ervin claimed only to do surgery on individuals with probable brain disease and dysfunction."
Other psychosurgeons have not even theoretically bothered to make such a claim. They are blatantly and openly operating on individuals who suffer from anxiety and tension to socalled hyperactive children. O.J. Andy, Professor and Department Director of Neurosurgery at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson has operated on thirty to forty patients, aged seven through fifty, the majority of whom were designated as hyperactive children.
This is so crazy. Several Boston Universities and journalists were railing against this doctor. He was basically a mysoginist racist. Saying that riots could be cured with psychosurgery and women can be "tamed" with psychosurgery is FREAKING me out.
Really, it was Vernon Mark who was violent and deviant.
I'm going to keep looking and see what connections I can come up with at mom's hospital.
So far I have: the same time period, the leading hospitals in Boston were promoting it, 70% of the surgeries were done on women. These surgeries were done for depression, anxiety, aggression. My mother suffered both depression and anxiety during the time and she had delusions/ hallucinations saying voices were telling her to kill the children.
And what about the 6 weeks—would that be a typical recovery period for something like that?
Also, if there were a stroke, wouldn't there be other symptoms—not just behavioral?