Moral Religious Insanity
Many of the children of the Industrial Schools and the Magdalene Laundries, also known as Mary Magdalene's asylums, ended up or were committed to the Irish State Asylums, during and after their time in these dreadful Institutions. They were committed by the very same tormentors, the Religious Orders that raped and flogged, and murdered them in the Industrial Schools and the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland. The Children’s crimes were to complain about their abuses of rape and floggings, in their Institutions, which in all case fell on deaf ears. Once the Irish Church Authorities heard about the complaint, by the ungrateful children and mothers, in their care, and in order to shut the children and mothers up, they committed the children to the Irish State Asylums. The Irish Church Authorities had many willing Doctors, Psychologists and Psychiatrists to do their bidding, one of the most famous was the nephew of The ruler of Ireland, Archbishop Charles McQuaid, Doctor Paul McQuaid, who committed many children to the Irish State Asylums on the word of his uncle, Archbishop Charles McQuaid, and also of the Irish Church Authorities. You see there was nothing wrong with the Children and Mothers of the Industrial Schools and the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, if the Irish Church Authorities couldn’t control them, they simply committed them to the Irish State Asylums.
The Religious Orders used the simple term moral religious insanity, to commit them, these helpless children of the Industrial School gulags. The moral treatment movement was supported by most Psychologists, and Psychiatrists that had adopted the strategy. They became advocates of religious moral treatment, but argued that since the mentally ill often had separate physical/organic problems, medical approaches were also necessary. Making this argument stick has been described as an important step in the profession's eventual success at securing a monopoly on the treatment of “lunacy".
The moral treatment movement had a huge influence on asylum construction and practice in Ireland. You see Ireland at the time had the highest rate of committals in the world. The extensive Irish Asylum Institutions hospital system was spectacular in its duration and scale. During the 1950s, 60s and 70s the level of mental hospital usage in Ireland was the highest internationally, "This Irish Asylum Institutions were by far the largest form of institutional intervention ever to have existed in the Republic of Ireland. For example, while about 10,000 women were known to have entered Magdalene Laundries in their entire history, during the mid- 1950s there were in excess of 20,000 individuals resident within mental hospitals on a single night.” "However, unlike the church-run institutions such as Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby Homes and Industrial Schools, the mental hospitals were fully state-controlled. While there has been justified public shock at the neglect and abuse experienced within church-run Institutions, responsibility for state mental hospitals must be placed firmly at the door of both the Irish Catholic Church and the Irish State, there was no opaque space that exists between the Irish State and Irish Catholic Church, at the time. We as a society in general cannot in good conscience claim ignorance of the existence of these horrendous Institutions or the primitive conditions operated within them. The Irish Asylum Institutions were an annual feature of public record in the reports of the Inspector of Mental Hospitals, they were intensively utilised and known about by local communities, and especially the Irish Catholic Church. The remarkable growth of the Irish Asylum Institutions had little or nothing to do with the mental state of the individuals who were institutionalised there. There was no epidemic of 'mental illness' in Ireland, rather this Institutional confinement occurred in response to social forces such as poverty and family dynamics, and the abuses of the Irish Catholic Church, along with the actions of the individuals and professional groups who directly carried out the act of committal mostly at the behest of the Irish Catholic Church. As is known now, a host of social problems were 'managed' in these institutions, with many innocent individuals living out a large portion of their lives in these harsh places of imprisonment because they came from different Institutions, like the Industrial Schools and the Magdalene Laundries run by the Religious Orders to another institution, the Irish Asylum Institutions. Sadly, the diagnostic criteria for admission changed over time and with the active encouragement of the Irish Catholic Church and were very loosely applied. The main four reasons for admission under four headings were;-
1 Moral Causes,
2 Physical Causes,
4 Not Known'.
Moral causes included 'poverty, reverse of fortune', 'grief, fear and anxiety', 'Religious Excitement', 'domestic quarrels', 'ill-treatment', 'pride', 'anger' and 'love, jealousy and seduction'. Ireland, with the encouragement of the Irish Catholic Church, even introduced legislation requiring local authorities to provide asylums for the local population, and they were increasingly designed and run along moral treatment lines as set out by the Irish Catholic Church. Additional "non-restraint movements" also developed. There was great belief in the curability of mental disorders, through prayer, which the Irish Catholic Church believed that these children and women lost there moral and spiritual way, and could be cured by the power of prayer alone. The Irish Catholic Church was proclaiming that the new moral religious treatment was a form of social repression achieved "by mildness and coaxing, and specially by prayer through solitary confinement, that its implication that the "alleged lunatics" needed re-educating, through constant prayer meant it treated them as if they were children incapable of making their own decisions.
You see Moral Religious Insanity referred to a type of mental disorder consisting of abnormal emotions and behaviours in the apparent absence of intellectual impairments, delusions and or hallucinations. The doctrines of moral insanity, (Moral Religious Insanity) and moral treatment gave the Irish Catholic Church a unique claim to expertise in insanity, plus providing a rational for committing children and adults to the asylums in which they controlled. The Irish Catholic Church believed that children and some adults were processed of the devil, by denying their authority and the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. The real crime here was the abuse of its powers of the Irish Catholic Church and directly enabled by the Irish State at the time. others who must bare responsibility were and are the Psychiatrists, Doctors and Psychologists and the Irish Judiciary who actively support and enabled the corrupt Irish Catholic Church to hide their real horrors, the Rape, Flogging and Death of thousands of both Mothers and Children in its care in the Irish Industrial Schools and the Magdalene Laundries they ran throughout Ireland.
It was the Psychiatrists, Doctors and Psychologists and especially the Irish Judiciary who committed the children and women to the Irish State Asylums on the word only of the local Parish Priest at the time. It was also the Irish Judiciary who again incarcerated the same, mother and babies to a life sentence to either the Industrial Schools or the Magdalene Laundries, again on the word of the corrupt Irish Catholic Church. Over 65 % of the inmates of the Irish State Asylums, came directly from the Industrial Schools or the Magdalene Laundries, there was nothing wrong with them, they were simply homeless. The regrettable fact is that the children of the Irish Industrial Schools and the Magdalene Laundries when they reached the age of sixteen, were dumped onto the streets, to defend for themselves, they were now homeless, and that was a crime punishable by detention for life into the Irish State Asylums.
In this process of committing the women and children of the Industrial Schools or the Magdalene Laundries to the Irish State Asylums, lay a series of unethical and heinous practices, with many Psychiatrists demonstrating a profound commitment to the transgressions committed by playing central, pivotal roles critical to the success of the Irish Catholic Church policy. Several misconceptions led to this misconduct, including allowing philosophical constructs to define clinical practice, focusing exclusively on preventative medicine, allowing religious pressures to influence practice, blurring the roles of clinicians and researchers, and falsely believing that good science and good religious ethics always co-exist. Psychiatry during this period provides a most horrifying example of how science may be perverted by external forces. It thus becomes crucial to include the Irish Catholic Church’s era psychiatry experience in moral religious principles or ethics training as an example of proper practice gone awry.
During the rule of the Irish Catholic Church, Irish Psychiatrists sought to systematically experiment and even undermine the mental health and welfare of their patients, through doubtful experiments, egged on by both the International Drug Companies, willingly promoting untried medical drugs and the Irish Catholic Church, who directly profited. It has been little acknowledged that the medical profession was profoundly involved in hideous experiments against the inmates of the Irish State Asylums during this period of the1940s, 50s, 60, 70s, 80, and well into the 90s, with various publications describing this malevolent period of medical history. It is less known, however, that Irish Psychiatrists were among the worst transgressors. At each stage of the descent of the profession into the depths of criminal and dubious clinical practice lay a series of unethical decisions and immoral professional judgments encouraged and sanctioned by the very powerful Irish Catholic Church. Remember a fifth of the Irish Population were at one time or another were incarcerated into the Irish State Asylums or the Mother and Baby Homes, or the Industrial Schools or the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland.
Also it is worth knowing that it was Irish Psychiatrists, many of whom were senior Professors in Academia, appointed to their positions by the powerful Irish Catholic Church who sat on planning committees of the Irish State Asylums, for both processes and who provided the theoretical backing for what transpired. It was Irish Psychiatrists who reported their patients to the Irish Catholic Church authorities and coordinated their transfer from all over Ireland. While it would be expected that the involvement of Irish Psychiatrists in such a profound manner would be well-known in the field, this is not the case. The Irish State Asylums, shame, is they have never been properly investigated, not like the Industrial Schools or the Magdalene Laundries, it is known that they, the Irish State Asylums also have many thousands of bodies buried in dark secret chambers on their Asylum grounds, much like the Industrial Schools or the Magdalene Laundries. This is another embarrassment for the field that so many senior members, Professors, Department Heads and internationally known Irish figures, were so intimately involved. Many of those Irish Psychiatrists, old men and women now, who were involved continued to practice and conduct research long after the Irish State Asylums closed and are now actively protected by fellow colleagues, their universities, corrupt shameful Irish political parties and of course the powerful Irish Catholic Church. We mustn’t forget that every senior position in the Irish Universities and Colleges in Ireland were appointed by the Irish Catholic Church, such was their death grip. It was also the Irish Medical Professionals what supervised the monstrous medical experiments, for blood money, paid by the International Drug Companies that carried out the illegal experiments in Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes, in which babies as young as 6 months were illegally experimented on with new, untried medical drugs, with both the blessing, tacit knowledge and support of the Powerful Irish Catholic Church and The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. As as we now, sadly, many of the Babies experimented on, died as a direct result of what the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Irish Catholic Church had planned for the Drug Companies, carried out by Medical Professionals in Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes. The Blood Money obtained by both the Powerful Irish Catholic Church and The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, was very cheap, the results were the cost in most cases of the Baby’s life or the unwed Mother’s helpless life, born into any Mother and Baby Home in Ireland. Owen Felix O'Nell