Patients’ Front for Pathopractics,
against Spiritualistic Pathocentrism

(Interview with Italo-Freudians, 1978)

From: Krankheit, die Ganzheit mit Zukunft [Illness, the Entirety with a Future]

Instead of a preliminary editorial remark:

Due to a lack of time and of opportunity, we could not pose the questions in the following interview by ourselves.

On the background of a current event constellation SPIRALI felt impelled to report again on pathopractics. The Patients’ Front has chosen the form of dialogue in order to be able to correspond as far as possible to the stylistics requirements that the presentation of an unusual method inevitably pose to a journal. Our readers will remember that according to press reports, Mr G.S., a West German citizen, has been labeled as "unwanted foreigner" and risks to be expelled. This "unwanted foreigner", who has never been in psychiatric treatment, has been fighting for years, perhaps one may say: preventively, against the same hospital system in his home country, which is to be dissolved in our country by law. The revenge of medical doctors has made him suffer, most recently in the prison of Wittlich, terrible experiences. As can be seen from his application for asylum, he faces even more terrible things from the medical doctors’ side. The public politically active in health related issues will be well advised to ask themselves now already whether they proceed to the dissolution of the cost-consuming hospitals in their own country only in order to have a pretext to include the authorities of foreign countries in their salvation plan.

Spirali: Two years ago you, the Patients’ Front, introduced the keyword pathopractics into our congressional discussion on the topic of violence. Instead of inserting yourselves in the framework of the debate: violence, with your pathopractics, you compressed and squeezed it to the point that only the medical doctor fitted in, this personified homicidal magic that you are fighting as iatrarchy. What are the traces and experiences that lead to the path of the pathopractical method?

Patients’ Front: The German Health Care System we come from is world top class. The Third Reich was a public health mega-event, and nothing else. The killings in the concentration camps were directed only against patients, in the beginning anyway, later against patients as Jews, etc. And again, the human brood mares in the Lebensborn facilities had to be healthy and nothing else: According to official medical statements, racial affiliation did not matter. Recipe (take): World War I. And the corresponding magic formula: "The German virtues may cure the whole world’s ills some day." ["Am deutschen Wesen soll die Welt genesen"] Running counter to this health track, we find another one in the forefront of pathopractics. Let’s call it pathocentric. It differs from the blood trail of the health care system by drawing all activity from illness, which, however, it is immediately denying in the name of the intellect. With HEGEL, by adopting his dialectical method and making himself an object of study, one may get to know if not everything, at least a good part. Much can also be learned from the priest-doctors of Babylon. These extremely clever and cunning Semitic from mixed origin had noticed that illness is stronger than the cosmos if the patient radically counteracts the apparently "natural" course of the disease, relying exclusively on the patients’ collectivised experience and on nothing else. On this pathocentric system of sympathy, which, after all, had tied together a large population of mixed origin for several centuries, the priest-doctors had erected their notorious purely technical communication system of astrology, fortune-telling, and, in general, their power, that is their therapeutic state, and as for the rest: the disorientation in the jumble of languages, despite the construction of the tower, are known to every child. According to HEGEL, "untying oneself from all limits" ["sich losmachen von allen Schranken"], starting from those of "space and time", this "organic magnetism", this "magic infection", apart from illness, only the "spirit in its absoluteness" befits. The spirit left the choice to HEGEL. And he chose the spirit. He didn’t want to be a patient, because already at the age of nineteen a friend of him had drawn him on the wall crawling with his head lowered and with crutches in the streets, adding the words: "May God help the old man!"

Spirali: Therefore, you reject the pathocentric approach because it pursues illness only as a loot, and certainly every health model. Folk medicine, any kind of unconventional medicine [Heilpraktikerwesen] and self-treatment alike.

What you claim for yourselves and expect from everyone else is to be a patient. What is the relationship between this claim and pathopractics?

Patients’ Front: Just try to pin yourself and others down to illness, but at the same time make every humanly possible effort to stay a ‘creature of habit’. You will notice and feel the effects: that won’t work. For "our" society, still in the freedom defying zodiacal sign of the habitual creature of the last Babylon, the patients are the only habituation-proof drug, that is the same thing as illness is to the patient. Emphasis on habituation-proof, mind you! The relation between illness and method, patient and pathopractics is that one cannot do without the other. As long as we leave it to the doctors to stigmatise patients as crippled, crazy, and so on, instead of doing it ourselves at every opportunity as unfitting it may be, we don't break any habits, we don't change a single relationship, let alone the one with ourselves, we don't dissolve any medical practice, least of all when we fall into the hands of doctors. Once again to everyone: only being a patient is a habit that fails, it is worse than any bad habit, therefore, it is not a habit at all.

Spirali: How does the pathopractic method work in the so-called political life?

Patients’ Front: With patients it is not possible to govern a state / to show off [ist kein Staat zu machen]. The upright standing of the doctor in his continued work-enhancing sense of honor [arbeitsfortzeugende Ehrhaftigkeit] has already marked us – piece working or confined to bed, doesn’t matter – as belonging to the horizontal class, whose honor and dignity begin only on the cemetery. Fully realised, the feast of insurrectional illness of pathopractics is at the same time always the offensive prelude to a state funeral in matters of law and politics. Even the political interest is nothing but genuinely medical: As far as we are taken into consideration as organ donors or as testators, or even as revolutionary armorers of illness, all that matters in politics is what is of avail for health. But the bill made without the "host" cannot rise. What has always arisen (worked out), however, is the "magic infection" anyway…

Spirali: Does pathopractics render politically virulent erroneously carried-out actions [Fehlhandlungen] and artefacts?

Patients’ Front: Yes, this too, inevitably. Offending through illness [kraenkend]. You probably think of the deliberately slanderous media echo following the temporary arrest of the Front Patient G.S.? Indeed, we had the impression of one, and at the same time of our formless, amorphous body, of the transboundary "we", in front of which – said in the words of Hegel – "comprehension becomes impossible in so far as one presupposes personalities independent of one another". In the country of the abolished compulsory medical treatment, G.S., a salaried worker due to his enmity towards any therapy, whose identity is proven by his request for asylum – is expelled! Meanwhile, his judicial persecutors here are deemed to be legally incapable, even among their colleagues, a thing well known to the court, because of their being tied to the doctors. However, wherever and whenever: all decisions, erroneously carried-out acts [Fehlhandlungen] and medical malpractices are pathopractically relativised. Whether the pathopractic energy of the patients’ resistance in Italy is sufficient to spare at least one patient the risk of undertaking, in the name and on behalf of the whole horizontal class, further agony actions against physicians behind the walls of shame of the Federal Republic of Germany, all this and much more will inevitably become clear from the example of G.S.

Spirali: Are you aware of the fact that there are more than a few that suspect you of building myths when, in relation to pathopractics, continuing to use expressions such as patients’ class, feast of illness, universal amorphous matter, or did you say body lacking form, and others similar yet? G.S., one might object, he, all by himself, like everyone else, will have to see how to make ends meet – alive! Because G.S. is neither the pathopractics nor the touchstone for patients’ resistance …

Patients’ Front: We know these concerns. As with regard to the first: just the other day a German professor of philosophy, publicly attacked by us because he was trying to play off the metapsychological hypotheses of FREUD on the ‘drive of death’ and on the’ gain of pleasure from illness’ against all patients, replied that what we were doing was a delusional theodicy and a divine justification of illness without us being real patients. To declare someone at the same time being a healthy patient who enjoys the voluptuousness of death [todeslustwahnsinnig kranken Gesunden, literally: healthy person sick of longing for death], only a friend of the iatrocrats can afford, right? But apart from this: to whom the pathopractic method does not suit because it is ‘mythising’ illness in order to accomplish its revolutionary fulfillment, does not want to admit that the qualitative leap, the state of emergency, the miracle as irregularity are entirely components attached to pathopractics, interchangeable as illness and irregularity, interchangeable as every day working technique and some basic knowledge of natural science.

Technology can turn night into day, pathopractics even everyday life into a state of emergency full of revolutionary fulfilment. The force field out of illness, which weans the body, embodies liberation, is not a myth: for this purpose it ‘lacks’ the healing power, the same healing power that the doctor evokes from every domestic electrical outlet, from the sun and from the earth, when he mimes the radioactive putrid fever of the sun as nuclear medicine, entropy, this chilling universal cold, which is by the way an invention of the racial hygienist DE GOBINEAU (did you know that already?), as electroconvulsive or chemical-convulsive therapy, transferring it from space to place it into the body of the patient, and in short: the myth as suspect, however analytical, is art. Otherwise, it would be pathopractics: distinguished analytically – not to say auto-lytically – from suspicion, trust and mistrust in a decisive way, since the relationship of trust as a doctor-patient relationship is a relationship that has been denounced long since.

As for the second part of the question, it merely should be noted that, all this and the individual case provided, none of the prisoners who renounced their resistance as patients [Patientenwiderstand] or anyway collaborated with the doctors, despite all the promises, was ever allowed to leave the closed ward of the forensic clinic, and no one to leave prison, except as being clinically or politically dead. A pathopractician, you are your whole life.

Spirali: Four years back, you’ve been here before in a similar case. At that time, you reported us, mainly in political abbreviations, on a pathopractics that is immersed into illness and that is fixated on being a patient, that keeps silent like a tomb, starves and thirsts (goes on hunger and thirst strike) to the tomb, denies testimony and for years has not disdained any remedy, not sanctified any means in order to make illness public. For U. and W. HUBER, who were the concerned ones at that time, we adopted a resolution and collected three thousand signatures in no time, but the Minister of Justice had let himself be denied. Our resolution, although verifiable correctly addressed, was returned to us with the remark "undeliverable to the recipient".

Patients’ Front: The Minister of Justice, Dr. Traugott BENDER, a strong mid-forties, succumbed to an undeniable stroke last week. Your resolution, therefore, was a true and proper ‘erroneously carried-out act’. Illness, revolutionary fulfilment is never missing. All in all, illness was more punctual than the post office, pathopractically punctual, because illness has always already arrived and is waiting [Krankheit ist immer schon da]. The problem of its publication is a principle one. Artists and other technicians seek their salvation in the purpose, objective and number, in measure and means. Pathopracticians need to know how to help themselves. Pathopractics is the most weighty expedient but nothing is so easy to bear and nothing easy is so far-reaching [Pathopraktik ist das schwerwiegendste Notbehelf, aber nichts traegt sich so leicht und nichts Leichtes ist weittragender]. The medical commander of the fortress of Hohen Asperg (prison hospital for the entire region of Baden Wurttemberg), responsible for the tortures of forced nutrition at that time carried out against W. HUBER and against U. HUBER in Stammheim, must be replaced soon for the third time. The first came from Hitler’s Waffen-SS and kept what he had promised for thirty years. Your resolution had passed through his hands. A few months after the conclusion of the first pathopractic hunger strike he retired. His successor, Dr. MECHLER, came from the so-called communist German Union for Peace (Deutsche Friedens-Union – DFU). Within two years, completely worn out by a two-month hunger strike of the next pathopractician, he too had resorted not only to the tortures of forced nutrition and to the use of psychotropic drugs to break this pathopractice, but he even had had sent one of the highest ranking officers of the Bundeskriminalamt (the Federal Criminal Office) of Bonn to the Hohen Asperg in order to negotiate an armistice between pathopractics and iatrarchy. In vain.

Not in vain was your resolution. Broadcasted by radio and ether waves, it was discussed among prisoners before the thousand-and-thirty-years old HITLER psychiatrist of Reich and war had filed it away as the supreme authority of censorship. Files become pathopractic packhorses of habit [aus Akten werden pathozentrische Lastesel der Gewohnheit]. The criterion of action, however, is and remains pathopractics.

Spirali: Which brings us back to the beginning and, this time, also to the end. One last question: Your explanations in the contribution to the debate quoted by us in the beginning, therefore, are simply lived action protocols, detached from G.S. and from other names, from all names. "Without illness, there is no world, there is no reality, there is no orientation": Thus, one of us felt the contagious feverish crackling spark in the polar ice of an intense life logic of your text right when he opposed it to you unlike a rhetoric straw fire. Language is the grave of every desire and every satisfaction. To activate illness, you expose yourselves, if necessary, to droughts and floods, to hunger and thirst. Language: the indication of loss par excellence. Pathopractics: the revolutionary fulfilment out of illness. Well up to here. But is it possible to translate pathopractics into a language that makes it effortlessly understandable what it’s all about for every Christian, always assuming, that nowhere else there is so much lying as in language.

Patients’ Front: I am the way and the truth and the life.

Spirali: That’s enough. We thank you for this conversation.

Patients‘ Front, 1978



MFE Greece, MFE craencStw

Final editing:



Patients’ Front / Socialist Patients’ Collective, PF/SPK(H), 06.10.2019