Welcome our newest Hall of Shame member: Dr. Davangere “Dev” Devanand!

We’re a little late inducting Dev, so let’s call him the 2007 Honoree, because the 2008 Honoree is right behind him in line, to be announced soon!

Psychiatrist Davangere Devanand of Columbia University is dis-honored for his two faces: shock doctor and author of “The Memory Program,” a book on how to maintain and improve memory!

Devanand’s book “The Memory Program” is clean. Clean as a drug dealer who tossed his stash minutes before being cuffed by the police. Clean as a whistle. You can look everywhere. You can comb every page. You can check the index under “e”, under “s”, under “a” for amnesia. You won’t find a single mention of electroshock, ECT, electroconvulsive therapy, or shock treatment in this book about memory problems—causes and prevention. Nor will you find any mention of Dr. Devangere Devanand’s other day job, the one he held long before he decided he was a “memory expert” and “writer”: shock doctor at the country’s most infamous shock mill, the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

A book on common memory problems that avoids mentioning shock treatment is like, I don’t know, a book on weight loss that avoids mentioning calories. That is, it’s more than an omission. It’s a spectacular feat of deception. It’s a new low when you thought the gang up at PI couldn’t go any lower.

Course, “Dev”, who’s worked with the Sackeim team for over a decade, has (at least as far as anyone has uncovered so far) passed on the gravy train of shock machine company and magnet machine megabucks, so who can blame him for trying to get a little extra on the side any way he can? Especially with a low-budget book like this, easily thrown together, seemingly irresistible to the masses who wouldn’t dream of entering a psych ward?

And it’s not easy being Dev. Consider what it takes. In the morning go in a door marked “Memory Disorders Clinic”, where you’re the big cheese. You listen sympathetically to people who are distressed by mild to moderate, generalized and often extremely normal memory problems. You know, like the middle aged man who’s concerned when he can’t remember where he put his glasses, or takes longer than he thinks proper to recall a name. No matter how small the concern, you listen very seriously. You acknowledge the problem. You say you will help. You wouldn’t dream of saying to one of these clients, “Nothing is wrong with you; what you say is happening, cannot be; it’s just your subjective opinion, not reality.” You test. You prescribe. You try to heal.

In the afternoon you’re a “researcher” on one of Sackeim’s many federally-funded experimental ECT projects. You go in a door saying “ECT Clinic, Department of Biological Psychiatry”. Your work routinely permanently robs patients of years of their memory—two, five, ten, fifteen years. As well, your guinea pigs permanently lose those memory abilities the slight impairment of which so alarms those morning patients of yours, those free to leave the clinic at any time. You know this because your test results (the ones you don’t publish or even show to NIMH, your funding source) show it. You know it because your patients say it. But in the afternoon, you pretend these massive memory deficits, the ones like losing an arm compared to your other patients who break a fingernail, don’t exist. You tell these patients and their families that they’re crazy, they’re imagining things. You don’t even mention permanent memory losses when you write up your results for the fancy journals, the ones which made you such a big shot.

HELP for these patients? How about a book for us? Even ACKNOWLEDGMENT of their losses? Heaven forbid. Hey, you’re in a bind; ECT’s the cash cow of psychiatry, of PI. There simply can’t be any bad effects on memory.

A patient who enters door #1 with a fifteen year amnesia and the kind of memory and cognitive disability you see every day in the ECT clinic would be scanned with every kind of fancy machine you’ve got up there, would be given neuropsychological testing, and offered cognitive rehabilitation for life. A patient with the same symptoms inside Door #2 would be told “Nothing’s wrong with you, and if you think there is, you’re just crazy.”.

But there’s a sense in which your billing yourself as a “memory expert” (and getting a contract from a gullible publisher) is just part of the everyday duties of a shock doctor/apologist. (As the guy who was granted first authorship on that infamous article which claimed 1000 shocks don’t cause any memory loss, you’ve earned your stripes.)

You’ve got to be able to define and control memory loss: who has it, when it will be acknowledged, when it won’t. That is just part of being a shock doctor at the level to which you have aspired, and achieved: i.e. at the apologist level.

It’s a tough line, but you’re a professional, trained by the best. You have to acknowledge that memory is a human being’s highest and most precious treasure—-while at the same time defining some people as less-than-human beings whose memories you may pillage for profit. You’ve got to disallow the stories told by shock patients as “anecdotes”—while publishing your own stories as scientific fact.

We used to just have bank robbery, now we have Enron. We used to just have shock doctors pushing buttons, now we have them writing books about how to improve memory.

Comments (13)

BobsyJanuary 12th, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Excellent comment, I studied psychology at university, and mental health at a technical institute, but now, due to my conscience, cannot practice any of these “disciplines”, because I know what is condoned and accepted as “normal” practice in mental health. I am a psychiatric survivor myself, and have happily given away any desire to be a good little box ticker, knowing what it’s like to fill out such pathetic forms. I am still on the drugs, only Seroquel now, antidepressants didn’t do anything to stop depression, I’m better off eating fish. Being subjected to psychiatric treatment is like being in Guantanamo. There is no consent whatsoever and the shrinks get inside your soul and rape it, and even worse, drive home in their Mercedes Benz and stinky mansions for their trouble, whilst most of their patients languish on disability. Stevie Nicks got it right when she said the biggest pushers and peddlers of all were the shrinks. So even though I’ve never been shocked by ECT, the reality of psychiatry is shocking, you all have my deep empathy, because what is done in the name of help is simply a greedy, profit driven agenda carried out by individuals who suffer from a far worse addiction than any of you. I like the article about Dr Devanand, his whole career has been dedicated to treating humans like worthless pieces of garbage so that he can maximise his profit and power. He has been a willing participant in a fascistic form of “therapy”, scientific fraud and quackery, yet like any dictator, he twists it all around and puts it onto those who have the courage to criticise his “methods”. He is the quack, not ECT survivors, he might have stolen people’s memories, he didn’t steal what couldn’t be bought, the integrity of those abused by him and others involved in their little game.

NinuccioMay 27th, 2011 at 12:44 pm

One of two huge problems that need to be looked at closely…is that the people’s mental integrity is greatly attacked and thus compromosied by shocks. Some of us are able to speak up…others…(going from one to thousands) have lost their mental capacity to do so…and should they try the “great” clinical psychologists and psychiatrists will diagnose their symptoms as “denial”…which is much easier term to use…rather than its true reality….”head injury”…which encompasses far more intricate symptoms, which can only be picked up partially by “properly” administered neuropsychological testing plus specialized treatments. Ninuccio
Two…the medical system has given up its integrity. It is basically “incompetent” in being able to respect itself and to monitor its own doctors. Shame on all of them…Ninuccio

arynitaSeptember 9th, 2011 at 6:03 am

Great article, I just given this onto a co-worker who was doing a little research on that. And he in fact purchased me lunch because I discovered it for him :) .. So let me reword that: Thanks for the treat! But yeah Thankx for taking the time to talk abo

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NinuccioSeptember 30th, 2011 at 10:32 am

From a few sites prior: “the medical system has given up its integrity. It is basically “incompetent” in being able to respect itself and to monitor its own doctors. Shame on all of them…Ninuccio”
I got on this site a while ago. I thought at zaprap we would be able to discuss cognitive situations and how to remedy them by first being able to recognizie them. Able to mention the place, such as the Rusk Institute in Manhattan, that finally and I am very grateful to for giving me cognitive remediaiton treatments. My brand new life of a person with congitive difficulties “NOW” able to recognize them. I also began to realize that everywhere I went there was no mention of this type of treatment. I also recognized the very doctors who gave me treatments in the Rusk, never mentioned them. (Bunch of losers) I thus day after day, week after week, month after month, in zaprap, repeated the same EXTREMELY IMPORTANT ISSUES involved in head injury. I was confronted continuously by members who seemed were more in the groups to pass their judgements (subjective) on than to gather “INSIGHT into PROPER HEAD INJURY AWARENESS, (objective) and thus treatments. Apparently even the group leader decided to have me thrown off the site for the apparent turbulence that was stirred from people who cared not to learn. This ironically had also happened in the Rusk’s support group…where the leader was not aware of what I was trying to present to them when I mentioned the cognitive classes. Treatments of cognitive remediation, that had taken place right there, in the same room, the same day, in the Rusk. One day I was trying to log on zaprap and I was refused. The group went back to its own individuals who spewed their own personal insight…(subjective)…having been able to master its subjective goal…(totally useless). So the fact that head injury needs proper assessment…neuropsychologican testing, properly done. The fact that injury will have distinct differences, which need to be recognized by the individual who is injured, by dealing with his own unmastered cognitive skills. The fact that cognitive rememdiation…and not any screwball doctor, collecting his weekly fee… will need to be administered (for the proper amount of time which the doctors will decide)..to allow the person’s mental structure be diagnosed,and thus remediated. (THUS COGNITIVE REMEDIATION)…So today, people who are admitted to the cognitive remediation classes in the Rusk are assisted…then…they put on (their blinders)(not unusual) and go on with their lives having become aware of their cognitive difficulties. While the people in zaprap will have spewed their chit-chat, and never cared to seek out the TRUE ASSISTANCE out there of COGNITIVE REMEDIATION. This is the reality of head injury. So apparently not even zaprap will allow this information (TRUE, FACTUAL…and administered since I received in 1992 and at present)…to go out…GOOD LUCK…Ninuccio…I hope you’se get it together…Ninuccio

AnnaOctober 19th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Great article. I haven’t had ECT but have met a number of people who have. One was a roommate who made an “informed” choice based on a glossy pamphlet and a video, supplied by the shock industry itself. I met her on the street a few weeks after her last procedure…I can’t say that she met me. Actually, everyone I’ve known who’s had ECT has had pretty severe effects, from what I could tell–memory and even cognitive stuff. ECT has become a big deal in my city, with an outpatient ECT clinic at the local university. It’s really difficult for me to respect psychiatrists who do this to people. And it’s not as if the treatment works–the euphoric effect (caused I reckon by closed head brain injury and memory loss) wears off after six months or so. Maybe that’s why pro-ECT people like Kitty Dukakis need to keep getting treatments.

NinuccioOctober 19th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

ECT. was post neurosurgery. But it was the ECT. that blanked my memory. My memory will always be effected…and it is quite intricate…YET…there was no other place to rehabilitate me but the Rusk Institute in Manhattan. All the other places failed miserably. Were the doctors bad?…No…just not appropriate awareness of head injuries caused by neurosurgeries and shocks. I now carry a few index cards in my wallet. ONE mentioning my real symptoms acknowledged in the Rusk Institute. Then I carry a sheet of testing I took post the Rusk…where one symptom was diagnosed…to SHOW neuropsychological testing is necessary…and if given properly will provide some symptoms…BUT…your true chart…and AWARENESS…can only be SLOWLY given through cogniitve remediation classes…(properly administered). Doctors DON’T have to have any care but what they can do when you end up in their presence. THEY may just be the wrong doctors. You may just be in the wrong place. My true injury, which I carry on an index card, in my wallet…is long term memory loss, short term memory loss, focusing what is said, memory dejavu,time and place disorientation,impaired insight and judgement, distractibility, emotional gaiting, hemiparesis right hand side. I had to show this to the doctor after the testing I took in Manhattan. 5 hours of neurospychological testing, which detected my short term memory loss. It was not able to detect my other symptoms, even though I, through the training in the Rusk, (not far away from this place), had learned to compensate for…therefore, you can see, even though my injury was caused by other meanas than just shocks. It was the shocks that took my memory 100%. My memory will always be impaired…it will never come back. It will always be disfuncional. The luck that I had is that my mother was able to take me to the support groups in the Rusk Insititute and begin looking for places for me to be rehaiblitated. I will also say the treatments in the Rusk cost over 50 thousand dollars. 6 hours a week…until later on I worked 5 hours a day, for 5 days…(DVE…Diagnostic Vocational Evaluatioin)…for 5 weeks. And then I kept on working for another 3 and 1/2 months. The whole idea of the rehabilitation and the worksite is to get you back to the closest possible awareness of your injuries…by recognizing every single aspect of your cognitive disfunction. I also asked, through my doctor in the Rusk, VESID, Vocational Educations Services for Individuals for Disabilities for a computer to write down my memory…(as I have been doing eversince then). I was given the rehabiliation but I refused the tools…so take it as you wish. It is a very imperfect medical system…But the ASSISTANCE is there. I just hope you get it…Ninuccio

John L. BarrellaJune 2nd, 2012 at 6:32 am

Well, all these great doctors assisting people with shocks. I wonder how much assistance Dr. Lothar Kalinowsky, Manhattan, New York, was able to give me. He is now dead…(and so am I in many ways with a host of unimaginable cognitive deifcits 30 years later)…He lived enough to be able to “legally maim folks” and establish a safe haven medical office. Plenty of patients, plenty of money to be made. Well…you say…what about “The Law”…he didn’t worry about that either as it is well evidenced here…
This report was made by Dr Peter Breggin, psychiatrist in private practice in Maryland,Virgiania, New York State, and the District of Columbia. In addition I have a special expertise on the effects of electroshock and psychosurgery. I am the author or Electorshock: Its Brain Disabling Effects. Was invited expert of cognitive disfunction and brain pathology caused by electroshock at the jointly sponsored NIMH/NIH “Concensus Conference on Electroconvulsive Therapy”.
Open lies were no problem for him, even in the midst of a top city such as New York. Him as his cooperatives simply operated under the clever guise of lies which designed by them could not even be taken out and diagnosed. They were simply “THEY ARE STILL UNTOUCAHBLE”. Dr. Lothar Kalininowsky, The UNTOUCHABLE QUACK…also needs to be added to the list. PLEASE.! As a youngster coming to this country,learning the language and reciting my pledge every day in school. I took great pride in it. I actually even believed it. So much that is why I believe I allowed “our great medical system?” to touch my brain, to assist an intractable anxiety. WHAT A MISTAKE. I didn’t realize the huge web of lies and misdirections which would follow after they had taken my thinking potential. I AM STIL PAYING FOR IT 30 YEARS LATER…and for the rest of my days…Ninuccio

John L. BarrellaAugust 15th, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Liberata Barrella Iacopelli’s life was taken by bad medications Aug.2007.

« on: August 12, 2012, 02:40:26 PM »

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No one was touched. According to her death certificate she died of natural causes. According to the medical papers she had died of a Steven Johnson’s Syndrome. According to the lawyers no lawsuit can be brought upon her doctor…(Janice Galfandi). The “REASON”?…
There is always a reason very well manfactured by a very financially strong medical system…here it goes…LEGAL PAPERS. “It is not malpractice for a physician to prescribe a drug that has a potential side effect that occurs in very few people when the benefits of the drug are so important…” These are the rules of “professional ethics”. Just like there are so many rules manufactured for incidents of damages from shocks. Or rules manufactured for Cornell Medical Center putting me in the street 5AM. on York Ave and 68th. St. Even though I was having a mini-stroke. They cannot be touched for that either. Prudential insurance of which my mother was paying a policy for, even though my mother died from a Steven Johnson Syndrome, will not pay her policy because the “death certificate” does not acknowledge the presence of a Steven Johnson Syndrome.
I am appalled that I was told to pledge allegiance…”to a country with liberty and justice for all”…what the hell went wrong and where…BUT I AM SURE IT IS STILL THERE…Ninuccio

John L. BarrellaAugust 16th, 2012 at 1:07 am

Here is some more good information…
These papers were made by Dr. Owen Kieran, in the Rusk Institute admission. I was finally going to be rehabilitated…now about these doctors saying ECT. does not cause head injuries???? I am not saying anything…allow the papers to speak for me…LOUD…VERY LOUD…”Verbal memory is severly impaired, which is consistent with neuropsychological performance following electroconvulsive therapy. Because of the severity of this impairment his world is fragmanted and his level of participation in life skills is significantly impaired. He is aware of this decline in functioning and reacts with sadness, anger, and frustration…”…While this report was being made Dr. Lothar Kalinowsky was screwing up more people not far away from the Rusk. I didn’t even remember him nor my situation. A report was made years later…but he got away with it…with me…and I have no idea how many others. I wanted to send my report to many folks…Mrs. Clinton…Mr. Cuomo…somebody on top. They wrote back, but none of them answered me on receivng the report. While people still kept on getting butchered by Dr. Lothar Kalinowky. When I finally left the Rusk I went with a doctor not far from the Rusk. After being with her for a few years I was told there was nothing more she could do. I was told to get back in the Rusk to be tested. Couldn’t get back to the Rusk,and was sent to Bellevue to see the coordinator of the Rusk Institute…Dr. Owen Kieran, since he went to Bellevue once a week. When I got there he wasn’t there.When I told these doctors I had been in the Rusk for three years and was receiving cognitive remediation…THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT IT WAS. I was sent for meaningless tests where they misdiagnosed symptoms which I was already aware of. When I finally had to return to the Rusk one more time to see Dr.Kieran and I told him I had been in Bellevue and they didn’t even know of the cognitive remediaiton given in the Rusk…he looks at me and says…”Are you now here Ninuccio?”. I nodded yes. This is one the other reasons why people don’t receive the proper assistance…and for the proper amount of time. I just participated in a video on ch.12. Very nicely done. If you noticed the newsperson says…”He says…(meaning me)…he was injured by neurosurgeries and shocks. YOU NOTICE the coordinator says…”he” meaning me says that. No responsibility was taken not even by them. Good luck to you all…good luck to me. JUST BECOME AWARE, DR. KALINOWSKY IS GONE…thank God…but others have easily taken his place…Ninuccio

SusanMay 28th, 2014 at 6:21 pm

I had 12 treatments of ECTs 14 years ago and my memory gets worse each year. I can’t remember what someone told me a few minutes ago. It’s an awful feeling because I can’t do the things I use to do now. It’s very frustrating and I wish I would of never done them. It’s hard for me to focus at work now so I try and find this feeling of not being able to concentrate every day and tried all sorts of all natural vitamins and stuff but no luck yet.

John Lewis BarrellaMay 28th, 2014 at 8:22 pm

As the ECT. comment appeared in my yahoo mail…I was entering my mail in my computer. I need to utilize the computer continuously for whatever I do because of my short term memory loss…(long term memory…and bla…bla…bla….). After so many years of injury and some assistance in the early 90s. it was my mom who purchased a computer for me. The Rusk…(the only place for head injury)…would not get me one. They taught me my injuries, but they would not supply me either with a computer…nor were they aware of the program for the computer…(Calendar in yahoo). I watched my mom pass away in a hospital by my house…(that’s when I was in better shape)…by being given the wrong medications by her doctors…who under the rules…”of PROFESSIONAL ETHICS” was not taken to court because out of 100 people she had given that medication to…ONLY one had passed away…MY MOM. I had the misfortune of being misdiagnosed from a syncope by Cornell Medical Center and put in the street…68th. St. and York Ave…(like a dog…worse then a dog)…Today I am handicapped to the extent that I don’t go outside anymore. I was given the grace to be put on a “Choice” program…with a nurse. I have an aide assist me 5x a week…by coming to my house. It is indeed very sad…AND in front of me, in my mail…I have a leaflet named Delivering Results for New York Seniors…with Jeff Klein very nicely talking to an elderly person. I had met him in my my better days…(when I was able to walk much better)…at the BILS. He was going to see Mrs. Clinton that day in DC. I had my head injury report with me. I had gotten in touch with Mrs. Clinton a while back and when I asked her to take me report she never mentioned it in her letter. I asked him to take it to her. He told me he would get back in touch with me…NEVER HEARD FROM EITHER ONE AGAIN…What can I say…but I hope they won’t kill me like they killed my mom…BECAUSE…IF and When they do…all this information has actually been dead forever in an incompetent MEDICAL SYSTEM. It’s bad…real bad out there. You need to be careful…JUST TOO MANY “PLASTIC” PEOPLE OUT THERE. Ironically the assistance happens to be out there. It is called “COGNITIVE REMEDIATION”. The doctors won’t tell you about it. The ones that know don’t do it. Most of them don’t even know…so they are not going to do it either. It should last for approximately 3 years. I hope you are strong enough to be able to get to it…(it’s almost like hitting the lotto)…And don’t forget if you get there…the doctors…(according to their own “moral values” codes of “SIMPLY NO CARE”)…will just do their job, but with COGNITIVE REMEDIATION you will be assisted. Just good luck in getting there…John…aka. Nino…

John Lewis BarrellaMay 29th, 2014 at 9:00 am

Susan in head injury…you will realize many techniques here and there. Being a person who has been effected for over 30 years…I simply use note taking continuosly. No, I don’t have notes all over the house.I used a calendar program for all of my dailcy activities…(it is a lot easier then many people think). The only problem you will in the very beginning is understand what kind of notes to take. If it becomes annoying there is a treatment called cognitive remediation which will not only reestablish your thinking process…but it will actually improve…(as you become aware of it face to face). It was my salvation almost 20 years ago…so good luck…Don’t let it frustrate you. You are able recognize it…lots of people with short term memory problems don’t even know they have it…John…

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