Saturday, May 14, 2022
Friday, April 29, 2022
Recently Lucy Johnstone, a well-known British psychologist, tweeted about an article in The Guardian. The article leads with a tale of a mother devastated by her son being locked in a cell for stabbing a woman. This situation is apparently unjust because the son had just been to a hospital asking for help with schizophrenia. Shockingly, he had not been helped!
Hmmm. It seems to me that we do lock people who stab people in cells. “Schizophrenia” is only an issue for those who imagine they should be excused for committing violent crimes or other offenses against their neighbors, because they claim to be afflicted by a mythical brain disease that was never proven to exist and is now a discredited, pseudo-medical concept, like “hysteria” or “drapetomania”.
Instead of punishing people who stab people with honest prison sentences, we sometimes prefer to enslave them on plantations that we pretend are “hospitals” specializing in such mythical diseases as “schizophrenia”. That article in The Guardian merely laments in a characteristically British way that we don’t do this more often, because we don’t have enough plantations masquerading as “hospitals”. They figure it’s all politics and money, which is true in that money from the public fisc is controlled, quite properly, through political processes.
If the man who stabbed someone and ended up (so unjustly in his mother’s view) locked in a cell for that violent act had done his ugly (schizophrenic) deed in Chicago, he would have very shortly been consigned to Elgin Mental Health Center (EMHC), the premier plantation pretending to be a “hospital” in Illinois. EMHC is currently overseen by its slavemaster, Michelle Evans. Dr. Evans is a social worker, who has a slightly regal bearing (I would hate to say condescending). She is white, of course (i.e., not African-American, Hispanic or Asian like the majority of clinicians on the plantation), as any real slavemaster traditionally should be.
I will shortly be touring Dr. Evans’ plantation, with herself as my guide! I am very excited for this opportunity. The occasion is a well-financed, formal legal investigation into certain extremely discreditable events that occurred some years ago, which the Illinois plantation bureaucracy has been trying to hide from public view ever since.
It turns out that there is a great deal of sexual exploitation of psychiatric slaves, and lascivious misbehavior by staff. It’s very hard to cover up stuff like this, so of course it will all probably end up in a big trial covered by the newspapers and TV, somehow. Tom Green will have some busy time, like back in the good old Rodney Yoder days!
Michelle Evans almost certainly is not looking forward to this errand of being my tour guide. It’s a losing, even dangerous, situation for her to be in. I’m not sure she’s actually a doctor, by the way. Lawyers I know call her “Dr. Evans”, but I’ve never seen M.D. or Ph.D. after her name. (People have called me “Doctor” plenty of times, too, so I guess that’s an easy mistake to make when you hang out in the mental health field.) Anyway, I’ll do my best to be empathetic and put her at ease.
Ms./Dr. Evans and I worked together on a case or two, back in pre-pandemic days. She always seemed like a true believer in psychiatry and in the holy mission of the plantation. She also made a few errors in professional judgment, and she seemed willing to lie under oath (a truly terrible idea), but that’s all just typical. Michelle will probably use the link I’ve provided in this blog to read the British article that Lucy Johnstone tweeted about, and she’ll be sympathetic with the mother whose son ended up locked in a cell for stabbing somebody.
Just think, if that kid had only been American, he’d be a proper psychiatric slave by now, earning federal money for the plantation and contributing his labor and even his body for the advantage of its psychiatric masters!
That’s much better for everyone, right Michelle?
Saturday, April 2, 2022
From Mad in America
Inside a Forensic Psychiatry Unit: Calling in AIR Strikes
Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series written by Sean Gunderson, who was detained by the criminal justice system for 17 years after receiving a “not guilty by reason of insanity” verdict. The series documents the life of a forensic psychiatry patient—a world that few know, and which has rarely been written about by a former inmate. New pieces will be published the first weekend of each month. The full series is being archived here.
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Here’s how it works.
1. Somebody does something so ugly that virtually all of his/her fellows just want him/her gone.
2. The person is arrested, charged and taken to trial.
3. The prosecutor, judge, jury, and/or other people involved see no real hope for justice because the offender is too damn crazy, and cannot apparently understand or be understood.
4. All involved agree to pretend that the offender has a brain disease that can be cured by psychiatric “medicine”.
5. The offender gets locked up in a “hospital” operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services.
6. A “Treatment Plan” is written to slowly disable the offender from ever being able to do ugly things in the future.
7. The “Treatment Plan” is followed in such manner as to dehumanize the offender without grossing out the public, and allow anyone directly involved to say they are “helping”.
8. The offender quickly learns that the whole “medicine” and “treatment” pretense is a charade, but he/she copes and plans to get out.
9. The offender is an object of constant close surveillance from a team of professionals to make sure he/she never tells anyone that the whole “medicine” and “treatment” pretense is a charade.
10. Illinois taxpayers foot the bill at $800+ per day. The people putting on the charade get their piece of this action.
11. Rarely (but increasingly more often these days), somebody complains that this whole system is destructive and ought to be abolished.
12. The complainer is said to be crazy like all the locked-up offenders, and his/her complaints are ruled “unfounded”.
13. Very rarely, the complainer is able to offer good arguments and/or proof.
14. In exceptionally rare instances, some public authority like a court, or somebody in the media, starts to believe the complainer.
15. Some of the people who get paid for putting on the charade feel threatened by exposure. They look for ways to reduce or eliminate the perceived threat.
16. The threat reduction tactics include perjury, intimidation, and defamation, at least. But occasionally they go so far as murder.
17. Meanwhile completely unaware, Illinois taxpayers continue to foot the bill, not only for the vast “medicine” and “treatment” scam, but also for lawyers to protect the scammers from exposure.
18. The lawyers gradually learn or suspect that the scammers are in fact scammers, but they try to do their jobs and represent them anyway
19. The lawyers end up violating rules and codes of ethics, and getting caught.
20. Almost everyone laments. Only a few learn something and start over in more honest jobs.
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
I'll start out this article by apologizing for my recent relative absence. It has been several months since I've published an article here, and I know EMHC employees have probably been pining away, anticipating my latest words of wisdom or insult, for far too long.
Two discoveries motivated my (gracious, I hope) return today.
The first was the fact that one earlier article (my discussion of MRT back in October, 2016) received very positive reviews, and stimulated excellent conversation among Drew Beck, Faisa Kareemi, Hasina Javed, and several others.
I should probably clarify something for Drew. I was not agreeing with psychiatry in opposition to MRT, or with MRT in opposition to psychiatry, in that article. My point, rather, was that patients at EMHC are required, simultaneously or within a continuing process of "recovery", to profess full faith and belief in two directly contradictory concepts.
Such an incoherent demand on drug-suppressed cognition is probably not quite as destructive as, e.g., years of sexual abuse at the hands of "beneficent" captors, or a forced pregnancy.... But it surely can inspire profound distrust.
Right, Drew? You said you had been making the same arguments in my blog article on MRT yourself, for a long time. I was very happy to find out we were on the same page, in a sense, philosophically. And, it seems to me that MRT is not quite seen as the panacea that it might once have been. years ago, at Elgin. Maybe that's a joint, small victory that you and I can share some pride in?
On the other hand Drew, you were baffled about how I could agree with psychiatry if I didn't believe in mental illness. First of all, I'm a lawyer. Thus, I'm trained to agree with almost any idea for a moment or two, just in order to better understand and more effectively refute it.
But I honestly was not favoring the psychiatric view (that people only do bad things because their brain chemistry is out of tune) over the MRT view (that people have to admit being evil and repent), in my article. I think both sides of that argument are impractical.
I should also hasten to add, FYI, that there is no Scientology belief that "mental illness does not exist." The relevant Scientology belief, as it is clearly stated in the published Creed of the Church, and as I explained more fully in the first article I ever published on this blog, is "That the study of the Mind and the healing of mentally caused ills should not be alienated from religion or condoned in non-religious fields." Either educate yourself, or be more polite!
Which brings me to the second discovery that motivated this article, especially it's title.
A February 24, 2022 article in Psychiatric News is entitled, "Let's End the Destructive Habit of Doubting Psychiatric Illness." The author is Daniel Morehead, M.D., a veritable scion of the royal American psychiatric establishment. His rather aggressive admonition to all of you mental health professionals is, you sure better toe the line, actively defend the psychiatric faith, and never tolerate people who don't believe in it (like me); in fact, you'd better fight all those crazy anti-psychiatrists (like me)!
The article itself is transparently weak and illogical as an argument. But it makes up for that with sheer aggression and fear mongering.
Morehead doesn't seem able to acknowledge that "medical" is not exactly the same concept as "real". He appears to think mental illness being "real" is the same issue as mental illness being "medical". But in fact, the only way to tell if something is medical is by asking yourself whether medicine treats it. An obvious example is homicide: do we give the perpetrator anti-psychotic drugs, or prison? If we give her drugs, then the homicide was a medical issue; if we give her prison, it wasn't. Only our actions and opinions after the fact provide the distinction. However, either way the homicide was real.
He also conflates "biologically abnormal" with "damaging". But surely a marathoner who runs 26.2 miles in two hours is biologically abnormal, although his ability is not damaging.
Morehead also seems to have no question whatsoever about whether psychiatric "treatment" is a categorically wonderful thing, even in the face of so much evidence that, e.g., disability due to mental illness has continued to increase rapidly in the last half century, and that people diagnosed with schizophrenia are much more likely to fully recover in third-world countries where drugs are not available for it.
I think most mental health professionals would feel nervous reading the argument in this article. It's too childishly shrill, even when you don't consciously identify the precise logical errors and missing or contrary evidence. The first time I read it, I seriously considered that it might actually be satire.
However, Morehead has impact. What he does, really, is declare war on anti-psychiatry. He demands that all mental health professionals must recognize the danger posed by people like me.
Morehead says you guys should refuse to tolerate me. What's unreal about that is, you already recognize me as a human being who might be tolerable. You even agree with me sometimes, or find me interesting. Drew Beck, Faisa Kareemi, Hasina Javed and others liked my article about MRT. Years ago, an EMHC psychiatrist told her boss, "Mr. Kretchmar is a valuable part of our treatment team!" (I thought that was a bit exaggerated, but I didn't mind.)
Hey, it's true that I'm a long-time Scientologist. But I also have plenty of credentials as a tolerable person: college degree, license to practice law in Illinois, a wife of 46 years, three kids and three grandkids, dogs, a nice house and neighbors who are all good friends, good Scotch whiskey....
It would be a pretty safe bet that any one of you would find it far more natural to come over to my house for a Fourth of July party, than to "refuse to tolerate" me, as Daniel Morehead demands that you must.
Morehead is a fanatic. I think you guys can read his call to arms and recognize that. The top of the food chain in psychiatry, those arrogant, racist leaders like Jeffrey "freak of nature" Lieberman (and perhaps a couple M.D. psychiatrists at EMHC, whose initials could be JPC, RM, SH), are just delusional. I don't believe they'll get many of you to enlist.
Saturday, November 20, 2021
Jessica Hart, a NAMI PR and lobbyist, continues to send me appeals for help. Following is her latest, and my latest response. (My apologies for formating transfer complexities.)
In far too many communities, first responders must also take the place of an inadequate mental health crisis system. Unfortunately, that often causes delays for the individual and their family to get connected to mental health care quickly, and it adds to already strained emergency services.)
It doesn’t have to be this way. A mental health or suicidal crisis deserves a mental health response.)
When people call 988 after it goes live in July 2022, professionals who are best trained to help with a mental health crisis should be the ones to respond. Mental health advocates and first responders all know this change is needed, so everyone gets the right response – and an equitable response – that connects them to the help they need.
Senior Manager, Field Advocacy
NAMI Government Relations, Policy & Advocacy Team
*988 will not be available widely until July 2022. If you or a loved one are experiencing a crisis, please call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text “NAMI” to 741741.