owen pearn


  • WARNING: I believe this theory is true and profoundly important. Almost no one agrees.

  • The theory: Psychosis / hallucination / paranoia etc is a flashback to infant reality. It’s perfectly appropriate behaviour for an infant. We learn how to do it then when mother is very upset / traumatised / distracted. It’s triggered later by an adult separation “trauma” (real or perceived) - relationship breakup / marriage breakdown / job-loss / death / move / graduation / interpersonal fight - anything which increases separation.

  • The more contact you have with family, the more intense your symptoms are likely to be. This is because you are being triggered back to infant-mind. There are many things you can do to get more control over this - say hello.

  • You are most vulnerable to the flashback during a relationship ending or conflict. The more important the relationship (wife / husband / girlfriend / boyfriend / family member / caretaker / peer group), the bigger the vulnerability.

  • Even though anecdotes are not data, the theory makes a testable prediction about my early childhood, 47 years ago - specifically about January, 1970. At that time, my mother learned three things which combined to make an ongoing, extremely large and uncertain life-stressor situation.

Top photo by Louis Blythe

Photo by Leo Rivas-Micoud Photo by Leo Rivas-Micoud

Dr. Clancy McKenzie, M.D., Founder of New Web Portal, ALTERNATIVEapa.com, Identifies Infant/Child Separation Trauma as Setting Stage for Later Onset of Schizophrenia

Dr. Clancy McKenzie, M.D., founder of The ALTERNATIVE American Psychiatric Association, asserts that serious mental diseases such as schizophrenia are not biologically caused, but have to do with delayed post-traumatic stress disorders caused by infant and early childhood separation, with onset occurring years later starting in adolescence. Dr. McKenzie is also opposed to SSRI anti-depressant medications, which he contends increase chance for violence and suicide; and he maintains that anti-psychotic medication shortens longevity by 25 years on average.


Clancy McKenzie, M.D. Psychiatrist (retired) Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Capital University

He worked with schizophrenics for 40+ years.

“Mental illness” is re-triggered separation panic from infancy. His focus is schizophrenia. He makes a compelling case, although his data are very weak.


Age of origin of infant separation trauma:

  • 0 to 18 months - various schizophrenias
  • 19 to 21 months - schizoaffective disorders
  • 22 months - bipolar disorder / hypomania
  • up to 24 months the rest of the psychotic depressions
  • 24 to 34 months - non-psychotic depressions

Photo by Justin Peterson Photo by Justin Peterson

It is much more comfortable to be mad and know it, than to be sane and have one’s doubts.

G. B. Burgin

Schizophrenia and the McKenzie Method - Presented at The National Academy of Forensic Examiners

(Part1) Schizophrenia and the McKenzie Method (10 mins)

(Part2) Schizophrenia and the McKenzie Method (10 mins)

(Part3) Schizophrenia and the McKenzie Method (7 mins)

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A Phone Chat With Dr. Clancy McKenzie, World Expert On Schizophrenia And The Mind, About Casey Anthony, John Nash And Drugs - Raven Poe, Natural Mind Retrievers, 2011

ERIN: … I read the recent email you sent out about Casey Anthony that explains her actions using something called the 2-trauma mechanism. What is that and how did you come up with it?

DR. MCKENZIE: Sure. A long time ago, back in 1966, I was in a child psychoanalytical training class being taught by Margaret Mahler. She said that the origin of childhood schizophrenia is in the first 18 months of life. … These are all infant separation trials, and there’s more studies than these, but the important thing is we know the data and have it.

ERIN: Okay, and just to clarify, when you talk about infant separation, you’re referring to separation of an infant from its mother, and that can be as simple as a sibling being born, thereby diverting attention from said infant?

DR. MCKENZIE: That’s one of the separation traumas. Anything that upsets the mother or takes her attention away. Could be a hospital stay, even. For example, paranoid schizophrenia has its age of origin between 12 and 21 months, when the baby starts to walk. The whole world…, the baby’s mother, watches and follows the infant everywhere it goes.

ERIN: So when is the paranoid schizophrenia planted? When the mother doesn’t watch the baby for some reason?

DR. MCKENZIE: No, no, no. If there happens to be a separation trauma (separation of mother and infant for any reason) during that time interval, and what psychosis results, really depends on the age the trauma occurs. At 20 months, it might be those people over there are talking about me…back it up to 17 months, and it’s there talking about me on television and radio. At 13-16 months, the reality of the baby is different: it’s aliens have implanted something in my brain and they’re monitoring and controlling everyting I do because at that age, infants experience, most intensely, everything as being monitored and controlled.

ERIN: Okay, to better help me understand this and before getting to Casey’s case, you mentioned you had several encounters with John Nash, the famous, brilliant schizophrenic the film Beautiful Mind is based on. He said aliens were sending him messages and things were being planted inside his head. So did some sort of separation trauma happen to John Nash when he was an infant?

DR. MCKENZIE: Yes, well, I told him something happened to him between 15 and 16 months, and that would be when his trauma was. When he was 15 months, the stock market was 400. When he was 16 months old, in October 1929, the stock market was 200. Women who were focused and devoted to their babies suddenly shifted their focus to survival. Would there be food for the family? Would they lose their home?

ERIN: So was John Nash a patient of yours?

DR. MCKENZIE: We just spent some time together. The last time we got together, I told him when his symptoms would have disappeared. You see, once a person shifts to the infant mind, from then on, contact with the original, nuclear family will always be in a parent to infant relationship, because the infant is hanging on for dear life. So if the person separates from the parent, the whole process disappears. It’s very simple to overcome these serious disorders. It’s just making a complete and total separation from the original, nuclear family and the whole process can disappear.

ERIN: So you’re saying if John Nash never talked to his mother again, he’d be cured?

DR. MCKENZIE: I told him his problem would disappear after his last parent died. He told me his father died in the 50s and his mother died in 1969. The last hospitalization and the last medication was in 1970. The reason for the additional year of symptoms is that he moved in with his sister, part of his nuclear, biological family, and that would keep the whole process going. It took a while before his brain started working better again, though.

ERIN: I see. So what was his second life trauma that caused him to resort to his infant mind?

DR. MCKENZIE: I didn’t even get into that with him, but it would have been a significant, relationship breakup. You see, every time an initial psychosis occurs, it’s when the most important person in someone’s life separates from him or her. It can be separation or rejection. And the reason the original separation during infancy is so traumatic is because for as long as mammals have populated the earth, separation from mother has meant death. It’s more overwhelming for a baby to experience that than war trauma to a soldier. Then it just takes a subsequent separation from another very important person in their life to reactivate the process.

ERIN: Can you describe that process? The first psychotic episode, that is?

DR. MCKENZIE: The first, psychotic episode will happen when a person’s most important relationship breaks up. It’s like a combat veteran: A vetaran might have PTSD from war, but it might be anytime afterward, say a car backfires next to him, that causes him to grab a gun and hide in the woods. This 2-trauma system is a lot like that. So when the second trauma ( the first being separation from mother) happens, it will cause a person to shift to infancy. When a person shifts to infancy, they are using biogenetically, earlier-developed brain structures, and these are the ones that produce more dopamine than the other neurotransmitters. There’s a shift away from the adult brain structure, and like when any part of the body becomes less active, you get disuse atrophy. The biological change is largerly the result of the disease process: which is the shift to using earlier, developmental, brain structures.

ERIN: So a lot of anti-psychotic medication targets the dopamine system. You mention complete separation from the original, nuclear family to help cure psychosis, but do you ever use the traditionally-prescribed medication?

DR. MCKENZIE: Oh my God, those medications are all fraudulent. Fish oil works better, and it doesn’t have side effects.

ERIN: Fish oil? For its omega-three fatty acids?

DR. MCKENZIE: I started using it in 1998 when I read the Sheffield Studies. What those studies showed was that fish oil can make delusional symptoms disappear.

ERIN: So are you deadset against antipsychotics?

DR. MCKENZIE: Antipsychotics, in monkey brains, have been show to shrink the brain by 8%, in the first year alone. They operate by doing chemical lobotomies, but they don’t let people know that. The drug companies know that, but they don’t let people know that, because if they said, “Come and get your Chemical lobotomy,” no one would go for it.

ERIN: It doesn’t seem like a whole lot of altruistic decisions are going on in medicine.

DR. MCKENZIE: No, there are not. It’s financially-driven. And there are people who are writing about this. Grace Jackson just wrote Drug Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime. She has 80 pages of references and it’s just a phenomenal book. Bob Whitaker, who just wrote Anatomy of an Epidemic, shows very clearly what these drug companies do and how they created an epidemic of mental illness. We have six times as much mental illness because of these damn drugs. The antidepressants - through studies not reported and retrieved under the Freedom of Information act, showed that there was no effectiveness at all.

ERIN: Yes. There is a lot of evidence for corruption. So, now, if it’s okay, I want to ask you about Casey Anthony, she wasn’t a schizophrenic, right?

DR. MCKENZIE: I would put her more in the schizoaffective range. The age of onset for that is 19-21 months.

ERIN: And by schizoaffective, you’re just referring to a mixed diagnosis of psychosis and some sort of mood disorder

DR. MCKENZIE: Yes. And different disorders peak at different months. For example, bipolar hypomania peaks at 22 months. A very precise peak. And the rest of the psychotic deressions go up to 24 months and the nonpsychotic depressions age of orgin is between 24 and 34 months.

ERIN: So if Casey Anthony was schizoaffective, some sort of separation trauma would had to have occurred when she was between 19 and 21 months?

DR. MCKENZIE: Yes. And usually if I meet the person, I can get it right down to the month. I’ve been doing this for 45 years.

ERIN: Okay, and you mentioned, in the email you sent, that the reason you applied this 2-trauma mechanism to Casey Anthony was based on the lies she told in the aftermath of her daughter going missing?

DR. MCKENZIE: The lies were just so transparent. When I first heard the story, I could just picture it: A little girl, sitting on the floor, candy wrappers all around her with chocolate on her face, saying she didn’t eat the candy. You know? I mean that was the level of her lies. The lies were obviously from that age.

ERIN: So when she was telling those lies she was doing so with an infantile mindset?

DR. MCKENZIE: She was doing it with a partial return of mind, body, brain, reality, feeling, behavior, chemistry, physiology and level of affective expression.

ERIN: So, in her case, if she did kill her baby, would she have done it in this state of partial return?

DR. MCKENZIE: She definitely was functioning partially in an earlier time, because when they were questioning her, her excuses and replies were so incredibly without reason. No one would try to make up such a story. Only a child would make up stories like that.

ERIN: How can you tell she wasn’t a socipath?

DR. MCKENZIE: Oh, no, no. She really, really cared. The tape across the mouth with the little heart there. I mean, there was love there. She really loved the baby. The fact that the fiance broke up with her after the baby was born took her back to a much earlier, infantile time.

Photo by Daiga Ellaby Photo by Daiga Ellaby

Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)

Book Review: Delayed Posttraumatic Stress Disorders From Infancy: The Two Trauma Mechanism by Clancy D. McKenzie, M.D., and Lance S. Wright


This effort can be divided arbitrarily into three components consisting of a theory, the data supporting it, and practical clinical applications. The theory, in a somewhat simplified version, is that separation, real or imagined, represents an extraordinarily severe trauma to an infant. This trauma, if severe enough, alters the child’s biological and psychological development and predisposes that child to a risk of flashbacks to the earlier developmental period of the initial trauma. Posttraumatic stress disorder is offered as a model for the mechanisms involved in all serious mental disorders. The flashback is particularly damaging when these initial traumatic events occur early in development because it involves a reversal to the infantile brain development available at that time. With persistence of the presence of the infantile brain mechanisms there is a disuse atrophy of the adult brain areas. The flashback is produced by a second severe trauma, which is both intense and similar to the initial trauma and produces a physiological and psychological return to the period of the initial trauma. Schizophrenia, according to this theory, involves an initial trauma before the age of 24 months. In an effort to support this theory, the authors look at the birth of a sibling as a trauma that can be placed precisely in time and that can be experienced by the older infant as extremely noxious.

According to the theory, schizophrenia involves a trauma during the first 18 months of life, schizoaffective disorder during the next 6 months of life, and depressive disorders during the period between 24 and 34 months of life. A pilot study performed by the authors in 1985 compared 60 residents of a halfway house with 60 normal subjects selected in a nonsystematic fashion. In this study group of 120, there were 20 individuals with siblings who had been born less than 18 months later. Of these 20 subjects, 17 were among the halfway house residents and only three were among the normal subjects. A second study, performed in 1994 and using 24 months as the cutoff point, found that subjects with siblings who had been born less than 24 months later showed auditory hallucinations. Sarnoff Mednick ran a sample of 6,000 Finnish patients with schizophrenia and found that a statistically significant number of that sample had siblings born less than 2 years later. These are the data supporting the theory.

… Readers may differ sharply in their interpretation, but it would be best not to ignore the finding. …


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These are the first two principles of treatment using the McKenzie Method: Correct understanding, and complete, total separation and disassociation from original, nuclear family. These two factors alone are highly effective, often without medication, and in my experience these two factors alone can be expected to bring about a full and permanent recovery from Schizophrenia or depression, in a substantial number of individuals suffering from these disorders.

For the most part, Schizophrenia is only Schizophrenia in relation to family.

If you understand this, then you understand that once THAT particular part of the infant mind and brain has been awakened by a traumatic experience, and a first psychotic or Major Depressive Episode has been precipitated, any contact with an original, nuclear family member, keeps the infant portion of the mind and brain active and in high gear, and this - more than any other factor - perpetuates the disorder.

The patient might experience small gains, in an unending battle, and these small gains foster hope, and are taken as signs that what one is doing is helpful - but in my broad experience, the gains are small indeed compared to the gains made through total separation. There is no comparison. With correct understanding and a complete, total separation from original, nuclear family members, disorders of recent onset can simply disappear, with little further intervention, and long-standing conditions can stabilize and begin to improve.

I will not attempt to provide countless convincing examples here - since I have done that elsewhere - but there simply is no comparison in terms of therapeutic outcome.

I have heard all the arguments, over and over again as to why this cannot be true - but I have never heard arguments against this by anyone who has any experience with it. There are large-scale studies that confirm this finding, and these have been around for a long time - but to this day no one has appreciated the implication of the studies. Way back in 1966, G.W. Brown of London was commissioned by the Medical Research Counsel of England - to conduct the largest study ever of its kind – to determine what factors in the post mental hospital environment lead to re-hospitalization. One factor alone stood out. This was whether the person went home, or went anywhere else to live after hospitalization. Now if the patient went home, we can be sure that he or she was with the only ones who genuinely were concerned and who cared the most – but if the patient went home to live, that patient was the most certain to be re-hospitalized.

This is a bold and challenging assertion to make, and often it stirs hatred and disbelief. But I am not saying separate forever. I say let the patient and family try it for 30 to 60 days and see what happens. If the disorder starts to disappear, as I believe it will, they might decide to do more. Whatever the result, the patient and family can do more or less, whichever they choose. I also am not blaming the parent. It is not the parent’s fault. The parent is not to blame. The parent is the victim, caught in a lifelong struggle, as in quicksand, forever.

In 1966, Dr. Margaret Mahler said, during a child training class, that the origin of childhood schizophrenia was in the first 18 months of life. This warranted close attention because she was regarded as the leading child psychoanalyst of the 20th Century.

My finding is that the mind focuses on the point in time where there is the most extreme threat to survival. If that moment is a life-threat in the present, the patient automatically might shift from infant reality (psychosis) to adult mind/brain/reality, and thereby come out of an acute psychosis.

In France during the war the asylum doors were opened and patients told: “The Germans are coming and they are going to kill you.” Many of the regressed schizophrenic patients reportedly shifted immediately to the adult mind/brain/reality and responded appropriately.

I’ve personally seen this many times. When Gary Heidnik, who chained six women in the basement of a small row house because he wanted babies, was captured and taken to prison, he immediately returned from his bizarre infant reality to adult mind/brain/reality because other inmates tried to kill him.

This might be one reason shock treatment worked, along with the dunking chairs of yesteryear. I am not advocating these earlier treatment modalities, but pointing to why they might have been effective. One recovered patient with schizophrenia described his means of preventing movement back into “dreamland” reality: He would mount a fast horse and race through the woods, hanging on for dear life. That brought him out of the infant mind/brain/reality and right into that of the adult.

owenparachute: This reminds me of Richard Bandler’s story about the guy who said he was Jesus, who could not coherently maintain his symptoms and stay alive in the face of Richard’s manufactured death-threat - “Hey, it’s Easter, I’ll measure you.”

The second treatment dimension is based on that understanding and is my primary treatment recommendation. It is the most critical factor that I have found for a more rapid, permanent recovery. This is described in great detail in the 1981 tapes Schizophrenia and the McKenzie Method and in the more recent textbook Delayed Posttraumatic stress Disorders From Infancy: The Two Trauma Mechanism, and in the 1999 Master Therapy Series.

For the most part, Schizophrenia is only Schizophrenia in relation to family.

These are the first two principles of treatment using the McKenzie Method: Correct understanding, and complete, total separation and disassociation from original, nuclear family. These two factors alone are highly effective, often without medication, and in my experience these two factors alone can be expected to bring about a full and permanent recovery from Schizophrenia or depression, in a substantial number of individuals suffering from these disorders.

Delayed Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Model for Schizophrenia and Depression (The Unification Theory of Mental Illness) Clancy D. McKenzie, M.D., B.C.E.T.S Philadelphia Psychiatric Consultation Service american academy of experts in traumatic stress

congressional record

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem

“Extreme States Of Mind” - Other Resources

  • John Breeding - Hallucinations & Schizophrenia Extreme States of Mind Part 1 (10 mins)
  • Thomas Szasz: Does mental illness exist? (22 mins)

I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I’ve been knocking from the inside.

Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi

If you’ve heard “things” and/or seen “things” and it bothers you and you want to change it, please say hello.

P.S. Your thoughts?

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