Special Messages Excerpt: Self-Exploration through Causation

This excerpt is going to operate with the contention that there are five causes of “psychosis”: political, psychological, scientific, trauma, and spiritual. In the chapter I have written, I extensively review differing types of causal arguments that can arise within each causation style. Clearly in the chapter, there is some cross over as science mixes with trauma and politics etcetera. In the chapter, I post ideas that I clearly disagree with and that are not for me. I do so because I have nine years of experience listening to the causal arguments of other people and I respect that other causal arguments may be true for other people. Indeed help comes in different forms for different people. In the chapter, the intention is that as the reader reads through these causation examples, they may relate to some new causal explanation they haven’t thought of. I believe that increasing the number of causal arguments that you have gives you more power to be resilient and flexible when you face threatening or distressing messages as you go through life.

But here, in the excerpt below, I am just going to share three political causation ideas I have heard over the years. This is the theory style that I was most stuck on when I was in crisis. Though thinking this way was toxic for me at the time, in recovery I can reflect on ways that some of my special messages were in fact political in nature. I personally was able to dig myself out of crisis when I shifted to the spiritual causation theory style, a style that causes some to get stuck and marginalized. In the chapter, I legitimize these two causation theories in addition to thoroughly exploring the other legitimate theory styles, psychological, trauma, and scientific.


Detailed Political Causation Examples:

Messages are caused by secret societies who may interact with or utilize governmental technology in order to silence and marginalize the message receiver in terms of their ability to affect politics.

Over the years I have worked with message receivers, I have met many individuals who fit a profile that I myself am familiar with. While this may not fit the mainstream conceptualization of mental illness, there are many individuals who function or have not been able to overcome being political prisoners within the system. Indeed, the narrative that the mental health system functions as a means of social control that silences whistle-blowers who act brazen in standing up to power may sound foreign. This not only applies to squares, but also substance abusers who are attempting to get out of a gang, or professional who are trying to escape an abusive work group (like Edward Snowden.) Hence, special messages mirrors real social processes even a collective unconscious of a society that is poorly understood by those insulated by the mainstream.

It may seem irrational that in the land of the free that malicious power might be so abused. Indeed if an observer were to look at an elder in a psychiatric ward who will not take care of himself, objecting to the treatment and the oppression at the board and care by calling the FBI and talking in code to them, paranoia may seem operant. However, as someone who has gotten to know some of those peoples’ stories, and as a person who has one to tell myself, I would like to argue that protesting against the wrong people can result in this scenario, for real.

First, consider psychiatrist David Rosenhan’s experiment as depicted by Adam Curtis in, “The Trap Part 1.” This was a social experiment conducted in the late seventies in which eight subjects without mental health conditions presented at west coast American hospitals. Each of the eight participating subjects was instructed to tell one lie, that they heard an innocuous voice saying “thud” in their ears. Every subject in the experiment had endured horrifying and traumatic experiences and came out with severe diagnoses: seven with paranoid schizophrenia; and one with bipolar. Subjects found they had to lie to get out of the institutions. When the results of this study were published one of the offending institutions asked for a replay. Rosenhan then told that one institution he was going to send an undisclosed number of individuals back into the institution, but then sent no one. The institution then released forty-one individuals who they identified as subject of the experiment only to learn that Rosenhan had tricked them.

Consider that subjection to such a system of punishment is a great was to get to political dissidents when prison isn’t as much of an option due to legal complications. Being emotionally tortured in incarcerated institutions cause individuals to lie in order to get themselves free. It then is easy apply counterintelligence to keep someone marginalized.

I, for example, once admitted during my incarceration that I used heroin and crack, but not cannabis. I was trying to see if I could get staff and peers to stop harassing me. Being that I thought everyone knew I was incarcerated because my parents were mafia, I truly believed the admission might help me get out of the institution.

While I still have a number of unanswered questions: a year later, the apartment that I managed to set up while I worked twelve hour days at minimum wage was ransacked on one occasion as though there was a police search. A man at the library I kept on running into on multiple occasions during those days I was looking for a better job, told me he worked for the CIA, for the multinational corporations. This man did demonstrate to me that he had good hacking skills. He also supported me by suggesting I get better computer skills because employers would want me to have them.

Before my incarceration I got to the point where I was openly blowing the whistle on a public housing authority that served vulnerable individuals with number of social issues including substance abuse, prostitution, and drug trafficking. From my perspective, I was the only member on the team who was not complicit with the drug dealing and crime in the building. That made me a very likely target to catch a case. And that’s what happened. I was easy to isolate and because I had poor social support.

Indeed, there are many individuals who live in such circumstances without jobs who are surrounded by criminal and law enforcement secret societies who are against illegal crime and thought to be square. There are likewise angry substance abusers who are willing to snitch once they get clean. Broadening the scenario, there are many institutions that have secret societies built into them: educational, mental health, work sites. Those who are not complicit with the rules or are overly complicit are likely to get targeted. Universally square people are more likely to get a crime pinned on them or get targeted, discredited, slandered or bullied into gang membership. There is a lot of secondary gain that society gets by discrediting and alienating individuals who are complaining about broken laws. For those individuals who are not used to the streets, consider what happens in work place politics. Backstabbers and those who make waves, even in an accountable environment, are more likely to get cut. If however, they are organized, motivated, and hard to catch, those people may get moved up into management. Generally people have to accept that not all rules are going to be followed one hundred percent of the time. But break too many and there might be problems as well.

Like the subjects that were in the Rosenhan experiment many protesters and other contrarian types catch a mental health case and receive treatments that make them vulnerable for more punishment and so they lose their power to testify.

While not all messages that are received are likely to be caused by instruments of social control, it is very possible that secret societies and various branches of the government do become involved with some persons of interest. Quantico does have a behavior sciences division. With the Patriot Act medical records may be accessed by law enforcement during relevant or irrelevant investigations. This kind of reality does not always apply but indeed may apply in more cases than the mainstream realizes. In California, 5150s may well show up in a police records. Indeed, some people get started out in this manner and become increasingly oppressed as time goes on, developing more messages about social control than are really there. However, mix up social control messages with messages that come from other causal factors, like stigma, and a person who has a beef with law enforcement or at least with some real secret societies, like the mafia, can be tormented for years.



Messages come from family systems in which economic survival and good social standing, sometimes reinforce scapegoating requiring that everyone be open to change.

During the era of family systems, there was a lot of work done on how to work with families to prevent scapegoating, which is in my mind a form of political abuse. Early preoccupation with the double-bind considered the suffering of message receivers who get put into situations in which they can’t act in any manner without facing negative abuse from the family. In fact, this predicament of the message receiver was expanded to include other conditions. While many theories sprung up, in particular, Murray Bowen’s Family Systems Theory was built particularly from working with Midwestern individuals who carried a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Bowen, using insight and rational arguments, and long term consultation was focused on the ability of an individual to differentiate from their family of origin. He taught therapists to track issues of differentiation through the generations. Bowen advocated for therapists to triangulate themselves into the system in a protective manner addressing conflict and problems to help increase the level of differentiation and decrease the tendency to scapegoat the identified patient. In general, this and other family systems theories postulated that family homeostasis requires that successful family members to dominate and bully the scapegoat who develops mental problems as a result to keep the rest of the family functioning. Thus, family dynamics become toxic to the message receiver. It is arguable that split off negative sides of the family’s trauma get attributed to the message receiver and that this may continue to affect a message receiver whether or not they maintain contact with their family.

At times, I have found myself contemplating these kinds of issues from a slightly different angle. Could it be that that some people don’t have the attributes that a family that is particularly insulated by their social role, demands. In other words, the family has particular attributes they promote to maintain themselves economically and socially. Then, those who don’t fit the family mold may get persecuted. For example, I grew up in a private school academic family in which both parents were teachers and I turned out different partly because I was a whistleblower and because I had learning disabilities and poor social skills. Another person from a different background may require other attributes in order to be financially sustaining. Consider insulated families of people I’ve worked with who come from a different backgrounds. Let’s say I like them had grown up in a military family or a mechanics family, or a family that sustained itself through sex work, or in a motorcycle gang. Perhaps those modes of work weren’t a good fit. Perhaps some of my clients found themselves in a similar situation that I found myself in; particularly if they, like me, didn’t have good social skills to recreate themselves in a new way. Perhaps in route to a different type of job, ex-communication happened leaving them unable to adapt to a different role. Is it possible then they would fail to differentiate or develop needed skills likewise prompting a flight into messages. Can it be as easy as just being born a little bit different and facing excommunication without having a mentor? Could the politics of that kind of situation be enough stress and pressure to cause a flight to messages in some situations? Clearly in many situations there might be love and flexibility to help a person overcome these circumstances, but not always. It may well depend on how encapsulated the family is in their social world. As such politics of culture might contribute to vulnerability.


Messages happen to unprotected people when they are under distress from use of street drugs and connection to black market realities.

I believe that it warrants mentioning that the slew of individuals who get messages due to the use of street drugs may fit in to political causation, in addition to the other causation theories, (psychological, trauma, spiritual and scientific.) I believe it warrants our attention if there are ten psychotic disorders in the DSM that cause message crisis. Consider that people who lose their social protections may become treated like dissidents if they aren’t in the know, or blessed with social support. From meth to molly to smack to bath salts to tryptamine —even conventional use of alcohol, cannabis, and crack (which is increasingly mixed with meth)—drugs may help induce message experiences for many individuals. Sure it’s just as possible that some brains under the stress and strain of the abuse that drugs are supposed to cause fall into messages (trauma causation.)  It’s also clearly arguable that that chemical processes trigger message experiences (scientific causation.) Indeed it’s even arguable that street drugs as causation crosses the psychological and spiritual domains as followers of Timothy Leary would point out. But I am just mentioning this here in the event that unsupported individuals become political dissidents when they aren’t protected by gangs or money or livelihood. I do this here because this is my favorite domain. Maybe the government dosed me repeatedly with tryptamine mickies just because I was named after Timothy Leary, just as I thought.

Author: Tim Dreby

I am an award-winning author and practicing psychotherapist

2 thoughts on “Special Messages Excerpt: Self-Exploration through Causation”

  1. Thank you Tim. Very insightful and expands on my own thinking about my and others’ response to abuse within systems (family, work, societal). I really appreciate your writing and hope that you continue to share it with the world.


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