Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union
There was systematic political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, based on the interpretation of political opposition or dissent as a psychiatric problem. It was called ""psychopathological mechanisms"" of dissent.During the leadership of General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, psychiatry was used to disable and remove from society political opponents (""dissidents"") who openly expressed beliefs that contradicted the official dogma. The term ""philosophical intoxication"", for instance, was widely applied to the mental disorders diagnosed when people disagreed with the country's Communist leaders and, by referring to the writings of the Founding Fathers of Marxism–Leninism — Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin — made them the target of criticism.Article 58-10 of the Stalin-era Criminal Code, ""Anti-Soviet agitation"", was to a considerable degree preserved in the new 1958 RSFSR Criminal Code as Article 70 ""Anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda"". In 1967 a weaker law, Article 190-1 ""Dissemination of fabrications known to be false, which defame the Soviet political and social system"", was added to the RSFSR Criminal Code. These laws were frequently applied in conjunction with the system of diagnosis for mental illness, developed by Academician Andrei Snezhnevsky. Together they established a framework within which non-standard beliefs could easily be defined as a criminal offence and the basis, subsequently, for a psychiatric diagnosis.