Wednesday, September 13, 2023


Bobby "Boris Johnson" Sharpe still hasn't gotten a haircut, he's still sporting that blonde, unruly thatch. I was tempted to tell him just before a staffing today, that I am overdue for a grooming myself, and I need to make an appointment. It's something we have in common. But I don't think he would have appreciated it.

Bobby answered a question from James Corcoran today, "Who is the doctor on this case?" with a pathetic protest, "Hey, I'm only here two days a week...." This confirmed my earlier information that he's non-union, outside-contracted staff. Most regular nuthouse employees don't appreciate the non-union usurpers of valuable overseer jobs. I may have imagined it, but I think I detected some disrespect for Bobby from Dr. Corcoran, too. It's possible that the two of them just never met before.

The fact that the plantations have to hire non-union guys is very encouraging. I was delighted by a post on my Twitter ("X") feed yesterday, by someone named Hamilton Kennedy (@hmltnknndy): "Psychiatrist alleges that 'the consumer movement' is leading to psychiatrists and other clinical staff leaving the workforce in droves because of being personally targeted and attacked. Says no one wants to work in mental health anymore because of consumer movement."

I don't know about some whole "consumer movement," but I try hard myself and I tell the people I advocate for, to always name individuals. Indeed, as I have said before, when I put a name in a headline, my articles get more readers. I'd sure like to think I have occasionally influenced an overseer to leave Illinois' psychiatric plantation system and find honest work.

Living individuals are responsible and cause things to happen, bad or good. Sometimes a group can be alive enough to make a change or a specific effect, but a capable group always has a name, and it always has individuals with names as members and leaders. No generality, or circumstance, or condition, or rumored or fabled movement, ever does anything. Whenever anyone says "they," always ask "who?" Shit doesn't just happen, it comes out of somebody's butt, and that somebody has a name and a face, and an address and a phone number, and connections to other somebodies.

So why is Bobby Sharpe willing to work on the slave plantation? Maybe he's a failure in his private practice, which I believe is located at 2160 South First Avenue, 101-1740 Loyola Medical Center, Maywood, IL 60153..? If anyone wants to refer new patients to him to help him be more successful, the number is 708-216-9000. But beware, Bobby's only given two stars out of five, on (I don't know why, maybe it's his hair.)

It's no long stretch to think guys like this get scapegoated in a place like EMHC. I know a CNA who recently found herself inexplicably charged with crimes, not to mention pilloried in the media. This might have just been an opportunistic misdirection by somebody who was afraid they would be blamed for some corrupt event or activity, of which there are constant, almost unlimited examples. The whole culture of medicalized "mental health" is a veritable cesspool of abuse and neglect. People don't even realize they are being malicious. It's all just evil and mean.

My advice to this Bobby Sharpe guy would be short and sweet: Get a haircut and an honest job!

Monday, September 11, 2023

Does Malis-with-malice torture people?

State psychiatrists like Malis-with-malice usually don't administer forced drugs themselves, and when they petition a court for an order for forced drugging, they often don't even know who will actually do it to the patient. (I'm quite certain this is contrary to the intent of the law, by the way.)

But the MD psychiatrist on a clinical unit has so much important paperwork to fill out and other bureaucratic nonsense to pursue, that he rarely has time for an actual, live patient. 

Alternatively, guys like Malis-with-malice might not want to see forced druggings, because they are occasionally ugly, like torture, totally contrary to the whole idea of medical help.

The model of beneficent "treatment" which predictably helps people to recover from mental illnesses sure doesn't seem to apply when a "patient" violently resists drugging and must be subdued by force. I don't know how many patients do violently resist, but I might admire those who do, and I'd like to think I would fight to the death myself.

Certainly, if we find ourselves physically ganging up on someone we are supposed to help, holding them down so a needle can be forced into their body by some goon (not the "doctor") against their screaming protest, it is darkly laughable to to count that as a victory for modern medicine or the rule of rational law! 

Forced drugging reveals abject failure, and its victims don't come back to thank us for merciful cures. Rather, they protest, and sue, and die.

Malis-with-malice does not act like any scientist or any doctor, when he orders someone else to brutalize his patient, and then doesn't even stick around to watch. At best, he shows himself as a pathetic bureaucrat in a corrupt, incompetent, byzantine state system; a cog in the wheels of a cruel leviathan. The complexity of so-called "diagnosis" and "treatment" of mental disorders is fully legendary in our culture these days. No one who actually looks at it imagines it to be a good, just, or brilliant thing. None of us can be proud to pay our taxes for Elgin Mental Health Center.

Unfortunately, pointing to obvious faults in the system doesn't tell us what to do about people who insist upon pissing off the neighbors. If there's a person we don't like, can't understand, don't know what to do about... well, we should at least be honest. We shouldn't indulge in the pretense that Malis-with-malice knows what he's doing and only means to provide the best care he can for his poor, crazy patient. 

Malis-with-malice can do nothing but parrot pages of drug information and nuthouse "policies" which he chooses, or invents, for some opportunistic excuse. Malis-with-malice is not capable of helping another human being!

When a court chooses to ignore the reality of psychiatry's coercion and abject failure, it should at least require that any "doctor" who asks for an involuntary medication order must be present to see what happens when the order is carried out. If there is ugliness and violence, that must be confronted as an inherent part of the risk/benefit equation. 

Nobody should be allowed to sit behind a desk down the hall or down the street and pretend they don't know. It's like the death penalty: maybe we'll be willing to kill a person who has been evil enough, but we only have that natural right if we can kill them ourselves, even with our own hands.

It's funny how students of nursing or law are happy to sit in on court hearings for involuntary medication petitions, and judges and nuthouse administrators are happy to let them do so.

Nobody ever watches what happens later. That's not allowed. but It should be required.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Margaritaville and DSM-III

To follow up on my post about Jimmy Buffett, I looked for Nietzsche quotes about music. There are more than a few, of course, but here's the one which caught my attention, paraphrased just a bit for better translation in the absence of the original context:

Music sounds wonderful, and reasons ridiculous, when one is marching against an enemy.

I seriously doubt that Friedrich Nietzsche would have appreciated Margaritaville. But then again, nobody ever marched against an enemy to a full symphony orchestra performing a Wagnerian opera, at least not any farther than the edge of town, right? Short, silly songs like Yankee Doodle or I Wish I were in Dixie fit that bill far better. Who knows, maybe the philosopher would have been all about wastin' away again....

The ultimate marching song, perhaps, rose slowly in that dark final scene of Full Metal Jacket ("Hey there, hi there, ho there, we're as happy as can be! M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E..."). And "Four dead in Ohio" worked beautifully with video of rampaging National Guard troops and tear gas on college campuses or in the streets of Chicago. 

But what could have been any martial backdrop in 1977 for, "Blew out my flip flop, stepped on a pop top, cut my heel, had to cruise on back home..."-? I don't recall cities in flames then. What enemy were we marching against, to love Buffett's music so much?

I'd be happy to think it was the whole society in which the machine was god. We had followed Mario Savio's gorgeous exhortation in the sixties, to "put our bodies on the gears and on the wheels and on the levers, and on all the apparatus" to make the machine stop. But the machine didn't stop. The Vietnam war was over, Nixon and Agnew were gone, we left college and got jobs, started families and were a bit embarrassed, as if for becoming part of the machine after all.

Then in 1980, at first almost unnoticed, came the ultimate insult and degradation: DSM-III. All of our romances and aspirations for freedom, all the dazzlingly beautiful music, wanting somebody to love in 1967, was "scientifically revealed" to be mere mechanical actions of neurotransmitters and receptors in our brains. We were medical subjects, not free people. Jon Franklin put it most succinctly, in his 1987 book, Molecules of the Mind: The Brave New Science of Molecular Psychology: "We will have to look in the mirror, surrender illusion, and make peace with the fact that we are staring at a machine..."

We baby boomers mostly bought it, stopped marching, and covered the mirror. The music became all about "booze in the blender, and soon it will render, that frozen concoction that helps me hang on." 

Or if we marched anymore, it was mostly on tropical beaches, "searching for my lost shaker of salt." Did Jimmy Buffett really create our marching songs, or were those poisoned anthems from a subtle enemy coming against us, lulling us into careless, lazy consent to something barely stated, like Yeats' rough slouching beast?

Maybe Nietzsche was far too violent a spirit, whose fevered thoughts I shouldn't try to consult about happy music. I honestly don't know. But I have worried, most of my life, that whenever I sit still and stay quiet, I sure as hell better have arrows, and a bow.  

"Some people claim there's a woman to blame, but I know it's my own damn fault." God help me, I do still love it.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes

I had what I hope people will recognize as a strange thought this morning, when my wife called out, "Alexa! Play Jimmy Buffett." My thought was: Will Alexa's response be noticeably different in any way because he died? I.e., does Alexa know Jimmy Buffett is dead?

I did quickly realize: Wait a minute, Alexa is a machine, so "she" doesn't know or care that Jimmy Buffett is dead, and she'll still play his music exactly the same way she always has, and that music will sound exactly the same to my bio-mechanical ears.

But to my heart, it's different because he's dead. 

Of course, I don't mean my heart as that mechanical pump that moves blood around this body to accomplish energy exchange by low combustion and waste elimination, etc. I don't mean my heart as that machine which my friend Wes Fisher has such a brilliant ability to repair over at Evanston Hospital....

I mean my heart as that place where I will recognize a different time, in my own life and the life of my family and my culture, when I could hear those words and that melody, The cannons don't thunder, there's nothing to plunder, I'm an over-forty victim of fate... coming from a physical spot, only 100 yards behind me on the pitcher's mound at Wrigley Field, one beautiful summer night. That magic won't happen anymore and I have to mourn its passing, even if Alexa doesn't notice.

They could easily make Alexa "notice," I'm sure. Just by adding, "Sadly, Jimmy passed away on September 1, 2023, but..." to the current, "Here's Jimmy Buffett from Apple Music." I'm not sure that would assist my own grieving, or anyone's grieving. Such falsification of life is curiously monstrous, we probably just shouldn't do it.

When I hear the lyrics and the tunes, and remember my father singing, loving those songs; when I think of my kids younger on vacation, saying they wanted a cheeseburger in paradise for lunch, I always cry. I always did, even before Jimmy died today. That's enough, forget about all the machines.

Who will come with me ... to Paris, looking for answers, to questions... that bothered him so...?

Sunday, August 27, 2023


This is a rather new word, which apparently means "substances which cause/enable molding of the mind," i.e., from my perspective, "brainwashing drugs." 

It is mostly synonymous with "psychedelics" but implies a bit of materialistic brain theory (perhaps "dendrite manifesting" instead of the older and more romantic "mind manifesting"). According to Wikipedia, it was coined in 2019 by David E. Olson, a professor of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular medicine at UC-Davis.

When I first encountered the word in an opinion piece in JAMA Psychiatry, I vaguely recognized the bio-implication but immediately wondered why anyone needed a new word to replace Humphrey Osmond's venerable old "psychedelics." There might be various explanations. Maybe the medical profession wants or needs to separate itself from the history of 60's craziness. They'd love people to think that if they use LSD, it will be in connection with careful, scientific research, not at all like those reckless adventures of Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary. If they do push such a brand, it will be a lie of the same magnitude as the "chemical imbalance" myth.

Kesey and Leary only pushed acid into mainstream America a decade after it had been thoroughly researched in very well-funded government programs, designed with the successful precedent of the Manhattan Project firmly in mind. The researchers of the 1950's abandoned psychedelics for the simple reason that unlike with the nuclear weapon experience, they discovered they could not control any aspect of these drugs. They couldn't control the effect of LSD on any particular person at any particular time, and they couldn't control the market supply or (most surprisingly to themselves) the demand. The central message of LSD was simply, no control.

Merely calling psychedelic drugs "psychoplastogens" will never change the essential reality of no control. "Bad trips" will happen at about the same frequency as they did in the Haight in 1967; inspired musicians and tech engineers, micro- or mega-dosing, will imagine "enhanced creativity" only to burn out far too quickly; and here or there we will see a new Charlie Manson horror story, or a new Richard Helms atrocity.

People are people, and they will not be substantially remade or redeemed with a pill. Dr. Gill will still have to talk to that hypo-manic patient on N Unit, and Dr. Malis will still have to listen respectfully to his delusional patient on Hartman. No matter what fancy fiddling these guys can ever do with neurons and brains to emulate Nathan Kline or to follow Professor David Olson, there will be no chemical salvation. 

Whenever I hear or read this term "psychoplastogens," I will suspect that the speaker or writer is:

1.   trying (and tragically failing) to sound like a scientist;
2.   actively covering up idolatry of drugs and brains;
3    hoping to brainwash other people for money and personal power;
4.   utterly hopeless about really communicating with an individual; and
5.   unable to create anything from scratch.

These "psychedelic renaissance" people and these supposed "scientists" who actually believe there can be such a thing as psychoplastogens look for the living in a place of the dead. 

Friday, August 18, 2023

Psychiatric slavery

Perhaps the single best dramatization of the "slave plantation" character to which the Illinois forensic psychiatric system so obviously aspires, is an elderly (age 77) African-American patient at EMHC named James Baker. A former forensic program director confided in me several years ago that he really wanted Baker to get a conditional release, because it just doesn't look good when a recipient of services dies in custody.

I've written about James several times. I think he was a drug user at an early age, grew up in bad neighborhoods in Chicago, got into the "mental health" system, killed somebody, was found NGRI, got coerced to take more drugs, finally decided completely on his own that he'd get off all the drugs, and got punished for that at EMHC for many years by several treating psychiatrists including none other than Richard Malis-with-malice, who literally kept James in chains until a judge forced an end to it.

I once had a plan to get a picture of James being loaded into an EMHC van in his chains, to go to an opthamologist appointment for his glaucoma. I figured I could blast that picture all over the internet with some suitable caption about "American slavery then and now." It never happened because of the very sensible judge, who basically told Malis, "Go in the jury room right now with Baker, and fix this." 

But one of the greatest regrets of my legal career is not having succeeded in getting James Baker released. He's only a year and a half from his Thiem date now, after three and a half decades at EMHC! When I first knew him he played basketball every day; now he has a hard time walking, and probably will be in a wheelchair from now on. What a tragic, ugly waste!

I asked Barry Smoot why the system could possibly want to keep Baker at EMHC any longer. He said that's easy: Baker is valuable property. He causes little or no trouble, he's an easy patient to deal with and he's worth federal dollars like other patients, but for less expense, at least for the moment. It's a short-sighted business calculation, but not entirely irrational.

Baker's current social worker and his psychiatrist were the only two clinical staff to attend his monthly treatment plan review yesterday. They have an acceptance for James' placement in the community already, despite his not taking psych drugs, being diagnosed with schizophrenia, and having committed a homicide. That speaks volumes.

But why should EMHC let the value and the income that this slave represents for the institution be transferred over to Bobby E. Wright Transitional Homes? They can keep him at EMHC for another year and a half, under transparently ridiculous but arguably "clinical mental health" logic like, "Well, he might benefit from doing the community reintegration program (which consists of two or three trips to local malls) for the fourth time. We did change it a little bit since he did it the third time... now we not only go to the mall, but also to McDonald's!"

There's no conditional release packet being prepared for James Baker. Nobody is bothering. He's easily maintained property like Barry Smoot pointed out.

They don't even need the chains anymore, he can't run!


Quick note: It's only August but this is my 57th article posted in 2023, which is my highest ever for any calendar year since I started the blog in 2009.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Confidential information

A staffing yesterday featured a major, and majorly flawed strategy, by the masters and the overseers in the Illinois psychiatric slave plantation system. It's called, "protecting the confidentiality of medical and mental health information." This strategy goes a long way to help cover up real crimes which are utterly endemic, like staff sexual abuse of patients, staff failure to report suspicions of sexual abuse of patients, falsification of medical records, and perjury.

Needless to say it also helps in a huge way, to more generally deceive the tax-paying public into believing that EMHC and the other IDHS plantations are really "hospitals" where people who only did bad things because of a treatable disease can be successfully cured. This of course, is the big lie. The best people I have ever known in twenty-plus years at Elgin Mental Health Center are no better at "curing mental illness" (but on the plus side, no more likely to sexually abuse those in their custody) than an average layperson. However what distinguishes them as "professionals" is, they are all much more competent than a layperson with the bureaucratic procedures and justifications for, and the eccentric vernacular of, psychiatric slavery.

One item in that eccentric vernacular is "HIPAA!" as a near-magical incantation which means, "Everybody has to shut up now, everything is secret! Anybody who talks is in a lot of trouble." Following is my response to this incantation during yesterday's staffing for my guy Gus.

He is Gustavo Rodriguez from Aurora, IL, date of birth 10/10/1963, adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity on a charge of aggravated sexual assault. He is an involuntarily committed "patient" (psychiatric slave) housed on K Unit at Elgin Mental Health Center, 750 South State Street, Elgin, IL 60123. I don't remember his bullshit psychiatric "diagnosis" or I'd include it here, he wouldn't care.

Gus' current treating psychiatrist is Robert "Boris Johnson" Sharpe, the gnomish little outside-contracted (non-union) character who still needs a haircut, and who spearheaded complaints in yesterday's staffing about Gus "...posting confidential information about other patients," perhaps in an attempt to convince his boss, James Corcoran, that something should be done so that Gus will stay away from me. Gus tells me a lot about day-to-day happenings on K Unit (and some other units), and I occasionally, although probably not as often as he would like, write about what he tells me on this blog.

Gus' current treating psychologist is Stoika Meyer, a slightly severe, frenetic-looking woman in her fifties or sixties, who attempted to extract information from me about where I live(!), when I saw her in the forensic program building reception area at EMHC this morning. I probably could have chanted "HIPAA" just to see how that would work on her. Stoikie is another outside-contracted, non-union staff like Bobby (Boris) Sharpe. Her role in the staffing yesterday was apparently to convince James Corcoran that lots of patients on K Unit complain about Gus. The thing is, she's the one inciting or soliciting those complaints, in what seems to be an organized campaign to discredit and isolate Gus.

Rachel Nelson is Gus' social worker. She made a fallback argument for the team yesterday, that even if Gus' (and my) "posting of confidential information" isn't illegal, it's immoral because Gus wouldn't like his peers doing the same thing to him. But Gus doesn't care. (See the paragraph above, with his full name, etc.)

My first main point here is, HIPAA doesn't apply to me or Gus, because we are not medical or mental health professionals. If they want us to shut up, they should try to get a relevant court order that won't infringe against constitutional speech or press freedoms. The mere incantation definitely won't fly here. And actually the whole accusation about "posting confidential information" seemed to fall pretty flat with Dr. Corcoran. (He didn't have any great interest in the hoopla over Gabby and Latwon being inseparable on Faiza Kareemi's "love unit" K, either.) He finally piped up and said that all these complaints are normal, minor personality conflicts that occur on any clinical unit. His priority would be to work hard on how to get Gus out of EMHC!

Corcoran's priority is certainly correct, from any point of view. Almost twenty years ago, clinicians and administrators at CMHC and EMHC, plus legal counsel for IDHS and prosecutors in the Circuit Courts of a couple Illinois counties were all telling me they wanted to get Rodney Yoder the hell away from their establishments and out of the media. He caused too much trouble and embarrassment for the state.

I would hesitate to bet that Gustavo Rodriguez will rise to a level of such extraordinary public relations and media acumen as Rodney Yoder showed. But I am confident that as long as Gus is a slave on the Elgin plantation, there will be copious details and embarrassing stories about day-to-day lives on the units posted on this blog. Gus isn't my only source for this material, but he's a pretty good one.

Those details and stories will also end up in public records of lawsuits.