Updated January 2013

An article appeared in the Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal (***) on schizophrenia which briefly mentioned that there was no known cure for the "mental illness". I replied ( v18 n1 2004) and said that there was a cure, which provoked a number of enquirers. This article is a brief summary of the evidence that I replied with. What I was referring to is quite different to any medication or "treatment" of any sort, which is what most people expect to hear!


It is generally agreed that there is no known cure for schizophrenic behaviour. There are various theories of chemical imbalance, genetic factors, etc. but mainly powerful drugs are prescribed simply to reduce the symptoms.

It does not require much examination of the literature on schizophrenia to realise that psychiatrists and other workers in this field still have no idea what the real cause of this behaviour is. If, after many years of extensive research, a convincing medical/organic cause has never been found, is it not obvious that they must be looking in the wrong place?

There is very clear evidence that it is not a medical problem but a behavioural problem.

The real cause and the very effective treatment for schizophrenic behaviour is to be found in the three quite separate American institutions that adopted the same approach in rehabilitating their patients. All reported a huge level of success in returning schizophrenics to normal life.

(i) In the Veteran's Psychiatric Hospital, only about 2 of the 210 schizophrenic inmates in the "stable" ward were discharged each year. When the new system was adopted under Dr. Harrington, in the first year this rose to 25 (12%), then 75 (36%) the next year and it was expected to reach 200 (95%) as other institutions sent in their patients.

(ii) In the Ventura school for seriously delinquent girls, the "success rate" was about 10%. With the new system adopted under Dr. Glasser, 80% and 88% success rates were achieved.

(iii) In Western State Mental Hospital under Dr. Mainord, of 113 patients, 100 were released and only 3 failed to return to society (86%). The patients themselves could see the rapid improvement in their behaviour and began to willingly co-operate with the programme and staff.

All these results are carefully reported in William Glasser's secular book "Reality Therapy" [1]. Glasser ran the work in the Ventura school and he gives many examples of how the girls admitted that they had deliberately faked bizarre "schizophrenic" behaviour to try to intimidate or fool the newly trained staff. Under Glasser's training they were unsuccessful.

So, schizophrenia CAN be cured, and how was this achieved?


No drugs were prescribed and they were not allowed to say they were "sick". Their bizarre behaviour was a cover for their hidden guilt from a variety of causes. [Read a present day account of guilt, sin and irresponsibility in Psych. hospitals on this website Comments page]

Schizophrenia appears most frequently in people between 15-25 years old. Often it begins at universities where, for the first time, young people have left the security of the home and the discipline of schools, and now they have to make their own minds up and take increasing responsibility for their actions. If they fall behind in their studies (because they lack self-discipline to attend lectures, hand in essays, etc.) they can become guilt ridden and too ashamed to admit to doting and ambitious parents that their lives are a failure, so they affect bizarre behaviour as a distraction. Similarly, when they begin to take real responsibility at work, they can then develop schizophrenic behaviour to avoid any blame for mistakes they may make or have made.

This can result in withdrawing into themselves, but more frequently they gradually adopt increasingly bizarre and threatening behaviour. This ensures that people are quickly deterred from enquiring into their past life and finding their guilty secret(s).

Glasser's book first appeared in 1965, yet, in the UK at least, I have never seen his work referred to in any articles or books dealing with schizophrenia. Why should this proven cure be so completely ignored? It is surely obvious that in today's blameshifting culture neither the counsellee nor the professional counsellor is prepared to say that the problems are of the patients own making due to his evasions of guilt, pride, self-centredness and self-pity? Such words implying personal responsibility are specifically avoided in the profession.

Furthermore, both parties have a financial interest in maintaining this facade; one depends upon it for his income, and the other is provided with a moderate standard of living without having to exert himself by working. No wonder that any criticisms on this comfortable arrangement is fiercely attacked by those involved!

There are other confirmations that schizophrenia is not a "mental illness". The prolific American Christian writer on counselling, Jay Adams, worked with O.H. Mowrer and has reported how he successfully challenged schizophrenics and then made effective cures [Read his "Competent to Counsel"]. In Pheonix in 1985 there was a huge conference and three out of four specialist in a panel of top experts on schizophrenia declared that "the disease was non-existent".

A professor of psychiatry in America became a Christian AFTERwards. He is extremely critical of his profession and warns Christians against entering the profession of psychiatry! On this website I have a 2,500 word summary of his very interesting talk which should be read by all who have ANY interest in counselling.

In the UK, the Rev. Dr. Robert Law worked for 4 years in psychiatric hospitals as well as a GP for two further years. One doctor said that they could not do much for the patients.

When he entered the Anglican Ministry, because of his experience, he counselled many people, and began to wonder whether there really was anything there that required a "cure". He quickly realised that all coming for counselling were "sinners", evading their responsibilities and acting in a self-centred way. When he faced them with their behaviour, many agreed and rapidly improved.

In our co-authored book "Breakdowns are good for you" (BAGFY) [2], we examine all these facts, give details of how to counsel from the Bible alone and present a very full investigation of the inadequacies of psychiatric treatments. I also have reviews and letters of thanks on the website for our book.

The total self-centreness of schizophrenics

Most schizophrenics have no concern for the effect that they have on other people, even family members. One watched his mother regularly clean his filthy room, but was sufficently "with it" to cadge money for fares to go and meet his friends.
So determined are schizophrenics to avoid their problems that they seek to enter psychiatric hospitals as a haven of security. There, they will face no demands and will have all their needs cared for. They can act "mad" and have it accepted as "normal behaviour" for their condition. In some cases, this desire to get into psychiatric hospitals is so strong that they will murder a perfect stranger to achieve it. I give just a few examples that have been reported in the media.
(i) Tube platform murder. One murdered a stranger with a knife on a tube train platform, and then calmly waited for the police to arrive.
(ii) Daily Telegraph 14 August 2001 p5. A girl who hade failed to commit suicide, slashed the throat of a girl waiting at a bus stop. She then calmly sat on the wall awating the police and said "I did it for a reason. I want to go to jail for a long time"!
(iii) Daily Tel. 23 January 2004 p7. A drug addict had tried to get into psychiatric hospitals but they had refused him. He went to a tube station and pushed a stranger under a train. When the staff were clearing the platform he told them "No, I am waiting for the cops. I was the one who pushed someone onto the tracks."

Robert Law has said that many people act mad to get into the security of a psychiatric hospital. There they can always claim that they are mad and must not be upset while being treated for their "illness". (BAGFY p.206).
Harrington was Glasser's tutor and was the head of the Veterans Psychiatric Hospital mentioned above that was successful in discharging schizophrenics. Glasser has recorded on tape a conversation he had with Harrington which is one of the most astonishing statements I have come across in all my researches on this subject. Remember that he is a very experienced psychiatrist. He is speaking from his results of successfully treating schizophrenics and is not am armchair theorist. He said;
"Hospitals are for crazy people. Everybody that is crazy has decided at some time to become crazy, he has decided how he will act when he becomes crazy, and when he decides not to be crazy, he will not be crazy. He will make a conscious decision as you decide to take tea or coffee for dinner."

Treatment - a major problem.

How can a schizophrenic be treated? I have set out the method, but it will be noticed that the three places where the treatment was very successful were all institutions. Under these circumstances, there was a degree of control over the patients; they could be strongly encouraged to behave responsibly, or privileges they had been previously granted for good improvement could be withheld - the "carrot and the stick".
As we have said, all present institutions are devoted to finding a medical cause for the condition, and not one of them would dream of using the proven success of the training we have set out above. In addition, cases of schizophrenia are always referred firstly to doctors and then on to psychiatrists, who only use drugs for suppressing the major symptoms. As this is the deliberately chosen path of the schizophrenic, he will fight furiously NOT to be trained to become more responsible.

This was the situation as far as I was aware up to late 2012. I have since found that Glasser has several thousand trained counsellors around the world.

[UPDATE JANUARY 2013 - I have recently found that Glasser now has a number of trained counsellors around the world who had qualified in his training course. He has also changed the title of his method from "Reality Therapy" to "Choice Therapy". Google "Choice Therapy" and you should find a list of counsellors in your country. For the UK, click on Reality Therapy website
If you receive counselling by sthis method, please let me know how you found the counselling.]
I am still concerned that there are no INSTITUTIONS that schizophrenics can be sent to that could exert some degree of "control" over them that will "encourage" them to behave responsibly - as the three institutions weree able to pressure them to behave. I am a little doubtful that simply counselling schizophrenics would be very effective.
Nevertheless, this does not prevent us from setting out the direction that could be taken for a full cure of schizophrenia. Perhaps, one day a psychiatrist will try the method. If he is successful, he can expect to bring down the full wrath of his own professional colleagues upon himself and his establishment! We hope that all who read this will at least be aware of the real truth of the situation.


I recommend the purchase of Glasser's book. The three specialists are professional psychiatrists or psychologists and there is no reference to religion. As it is a very important book, I spent several pages summarising the vital sections and giving extracts in "Breakdowns..." It is obtainable from Amazon.

I would also suggest the purchase of our book "Breakdowns are good for you". It has a mass of information in it - much of it uncomfortable to psychiatrists! In it, we claim that there is no such thing as a non-organic "mental illness", and examine schizophrenia, depression and many other topics and how they can be dealt with in a Christian way. We advocate True Biblical Counselling (TBC) from the Bible alone and suggest that churches should counsel their members and not rely on secular non-Christian practitioners and their man-made widely divergent and contradictory theories. I can supply BAGFY from here (Bromley, SE London, UK) - Go to my website page giving details of the book "Breakdowns are good for you" where details for ordering can be found. Overseas payment can be made using the "PayPal" button on this site.

The book has received much opposition in the UK, not just from "Christian Counsellors" who incorporate many secular theories but from evangelical organisations also. Editors of Christian magazines turn to their "expert friends" who are often psychiatrists or doctors, for their "professional" opinion, and consequently the refusal to publish or negative review that results is predictable.
No evangelical magazines or newspapers will accept adverts for the book because their editors are fearful of upsetting their readers and circulation dropping. I was interviewed on a Christian Radio but when the lady interviewer (who had called it "a marvelous book") realised that I was a small independent publisher and not one of the "Big Boys" who had advertising clout they did not broadcast it.
However, those in need who do read the book are usually very grateful for the realisation that THEY are responsible for their situation/condition, and I have placed a number of their letters of thanks and warm reviews of our book on this website Comments by people we have helped

Christian workers and counsellors in the field of "mental illness" owe it firstly to God and then to all their patients to examine this approach to "mental illness", and then use this proven cure for a wide range of counselling problems - regardless of the hostility and dismissive criticisms of their colleagues - whether Christian or non-Christian.

Malcolm Bowden.
Updated January 2013


[1] Glasser, W. "Reality Therapy: A New Approach to Psychiatry" Perennial Library Ed. 1990 ISBN 0-06-090414-3 (First edition 1965 Harper Row. This book is still available through Amazon.)

[2] Law, Rev. Dr. R.J.K., and Bowden, M. "Breakdowns are good for you" Sovereign Publications 1999. 10 ISBN 0-95060-425-9 See details Breakdowns are good for you" Overseas orders - use PayPal button on this page.