Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Yesterday Bob Fiddaman noted on Twitter another recent article, unabashedly promoting the infamous falsehood about depression being caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Bob has provided a critically important and very valuable service by “outing” idiots and charlatans who continue to push the all-too popular theory, which was disclaimed a decade ago by none other than the editor of Psychiatric Times as nothing more than an urban legend.
The article currently at issue was authored by Sherry Christianson, “a medical writer with a healthcare background” who “has worked in a hospital setting and collaborated on Alzheimer’s research,” appeared on the website verywellhealth.com, on 12/21/2020.
One has to wonder how any qualified professional medical writer could make this error or forward this bullshit. One must also question why the fact-checkers, medical review board and senior management team at "an award-winning online resource for reliable, understandable, and up-to-date health information" would allow any writer to assert admitted bullshit on its website.
The plot thickens, when we notice that verywellhealth.com is “a proud partner of The Cleveland Clinic, the #2 rated hospital in the U.S.”
I emailed the website this morning, as follows:
Sent: 01/05/2020, at 8:53 AM
RE: What Is Clinical Depression?
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
For several years a client of mine at Elgin Mental Health Center refused all psychotropic medication.This was a guy who’d been found NGRI on a fairly minor criminal charge. If he’d plead guilty and served his sentence, he certainly would have been out long before now. As it is, he’ll probably serve the maximum sentence he could have received, but in the nuthouse instead of prison, which is worse.
I’m sure at the time of his criminal proceeding, Jack (not his real name) was terrified of prison and thought being “treated” at a “hospital” would be an easier sentence. He told me today that they have never helped him in any way, they’ve only tormented him, disrespected him, lied to him, and discriminated against him (he believes for being white: I think it’s for not getting better with so-called “medicine”).
Jack’s psychiatrist is Vikramjit Gill, MD, whom I have written both good and bad things about, several times in this blog. Dr. Gill was absolutely certain that one psychiatric drug or another would help Jack and enable him to get out of EMHC sooner. He was so certain that he made a rather unconditional promise: if Jack didn’t like the drugs and wanted to stop taking them, that would be fine.
Well, if Jack’s statement to me today is any indication, he doesn’t see any purpose in taking the drugs. Unless it is that he still believes, despite evidence, that Dr. Gill will get him out of EMHC quickly if he doesn’t refuse. But the drugs may now be having the opposite effect from what Dr. Gill had hoped. Jack is no longer as anxious and withdrawn as he once was. Instead, he’s aggressive.
If I had to predict, I would say, of course Dr. Gill will change the drugs or increase the drugs or add other drugs. He gave up long ago on helping Jack with anything but drugs, and he probably never knew how to do anything else to begin with, or never believed anything else could be done. The only thing Dr. Gill uses communication with other human beings (especially patients) for, is talking them into taking drugs. Dr. Gill’s boss, James Patrick Corcoran, has testified under oath that he doesn’t believe Dr. Gill is particularly competent in forensic psychiatry. Dr. Gill is probably only still employed at EMHC because they can’t get anyone better, so they can’t fire him.
The thing about forensic psychiatry is, it’s not a helping profession. EMHC is a plantation, not a hospital. Dr. Corcoran is a slavemaster, not a doctor, who doesn’t ask or expect overseers like Gill to help anyone, but only to control the owned human beings in such a manner as will not look bad to the taxpayers. The taxpayers think forensic psychiatry is about justice, but it’s the ultimate injustice. Jack is a representative case.
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Reports from several psychiatric slaves being held on different plantations in Illinois have recently been increasingly alarming. For a number of months it seemed that someone in the Illinois Department of Human Services was doing an excellent job of keeping the pandemic out of forensic mental health facilities. As recently as last week, I personally told Tom Zubik at Elgin that he should be congratulated for avoiding the shit show that was predicted.
Well... all of a sudden there are problems. Mental health center staff are the ones who bring the virus in; they’re the people who have to be monitored closely. Zubik specifically admitted that to me. (Obviously, involuntarily “hospitalized” “patients” don’t go anywhere. They are already locked down and should be easy to quarantine.)
Today I was told that twenty-five staff at Chester Mental Health Center are positive for the virus. The slaves are trapped, and panicking. It’s hard to imagine how any John Brown Harper’s Ferry event would materialize in that maximum-security facility, but some sort of rebellion seems imminent.
At Chicago Read Mental Health Center, Marci Webber reports that a girl named Josie with COVID 19 was recently brought onto the B-South clinical unit and put in a four-person room to infect a couple of roommates. Josie was shortly transferred to a two-person room directly across the hall from Marci and allowed to cough all night long with the door open. One of the roommates from the first room (named Esmerelda) is coughing now, too.
Marci is maintaining an extensive catalogue of specific examples, times, places, names and instances of quarantine violations to which she has been an eye-witness. Wosena Oliver-Smith, a morning charge nurse (there should be an umlaut over the “o” in her first name but I can’t find it with this software; try not to think of double lightening bolts with square ends), was overheard chatting happily about how Josie does in fact have Covid. Josie is not effectively quarantined. She eats with everyone else, and walks around the unit freely (wearing a mask, but no gloves). Marci tries to ask questions and suggest reasonable quarantine procedures, but unit staff are basically taught to hate her, for being a dissident. So she gets absolutely no help to avoid infection.
In the meantime, the overseers are recalcitrant. They frequently go without face masks, they don’t enforce social distancing on the unit, it almost seems as though they would be quite happy if Marci got sick and died. Wosena the Krankenschwester takes great delight in refusing Marci an N95 mask... In any event, they can be expected to just “chart” patients for complaining long before they take any kind of trouble at all to protect them from COVID. In fact, that’s what they are ordered to do.
After all, Marci and all the other “patients” are subhuman, fit only as property.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Monday, October 19, 2020
(NOTE: Apologies for the formatting... It seemed important to get this out as early as possible, and it's difficult to just copy and paste from the court's .pdf document, so it's messy. The implication of this decision is that staff and administrators in the state psychiatric plantation system will be held to stricter account for the truth or falsity of their representations to courts, about patients' mental illness and recovery.)
Case: 1:19-cv-05078 Document #: 27 Filed: 10/19/20 Page 1 of 9 PageID #:130
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
JAMES P. CORCORAN, individually,
as Statewide Forensic Medical Director
for the Illinois Department of Human
Services, Medical Administrator III,
Case No. 19-cv-5078
Judge Mary M. Rowland
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Denzil Lawrence brings this action against James Corcoran, alleging false imprisonment and denial of due process. The defendant moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss the complaint for failing to state a claim. For the reasons given below, the Court denies the defendant’s motion to dismiss.
The following factual allegations are taken from the complaint (Dkt. 1) and are accepted as true for the purposes of the motion to dismiss. See W. Bend Mut. Ins. Co. v. Schumacher, 844 F.3d 670, 675 (7th Cir. 2016).
Plaintiff Denzil Lawrence claims that Defendant James Corcoran violated his constitutional rights by falsely imprisoning him and denying him due process of law. Dkt.1 at ¶¶22-23. On September 26, 2017, Lawrence, an Illinois resident, was committed to the Illinois Department of Human Services for inpatient mental health
Case: 1:19-cv-05078 Document #: 27 Filed: 10/19/20 Page 2 of 9 PageID #:131
treatment after being found incompetent to stand trial. Id. at ¶¶3, 5. In state court in February 2018, he was adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity on charges of arson and criminal damage to property. Id. at ¶5. He continued his treatment under state care. Id. After initially being held at the Chester Mental Health Center, he was transferred to the Elgin Mental Health Center on August 18, 2018. Id. Corcoran is a senior administrator at Elgin. Id. at ¶4.
While at Chester, Lawrence decided, with his doctor’s acquiescence, to stop taking psychotropic medicine due to their negative side effects. Id. at ¶5. He also experienced a “substantial remission” of his earlier symptoms. Id. After transferring to Elgin, he was again prescribed psychotropic medication, but by September 2018 he had lost faith in his doctor and chose to stop taking the medication. Id. at ¶¶7-8. In Elgin, he made progress towards recovery, followed the facility’s rules, and attended therapy. Id. at ¶9.
Lawrence’s Thiem date, the date his commitment expired, was March 20, 2019. Id. at ¶5; see People v. Thiem, 403 N.E.2d 647 (1980). He believed he would be released on that day and was apparently never disabused of this belief by Elgin staff. Dkt. 1 at ¶11. On March 20, his father arrived from Florida to take him home. Id. at ¶14. Lawrence, however, was not released. Instead, that day, an involuntary civil commitment petition alleging that he was mentally ill and a danger to himself or others was filed in Kane County Circuit Court. Id. at ¶12-13. The petition was signed by Melissa Perkins, Lawrence’s social worker, and supported by certificates by Dr. Vikramjit Gill, his psychiatrist, and Corcoran. Id. at ¶¶15-16. As a result of the
Case: 1:19-cv-05078 Document #: 27 Filed: 10/19/20 Page 3 of 9 PageID #:132
petition, Lawrence was held for ninety days beyond his Thiem date. Id. at ¶17. He was released on June 20, 2019, when the petition was dismissed. Id.
Lawrence says that the petition included false claims, including “[f]alsly [sic] alleging that Plaintiff was mentally ill.” Id. at ¶27. These false claims directly led to his extended confinement. Id. at ¶17. Lawrence further alleges that Perkins and Gill knew that the petition was inaccurate but filed it due to the coercive pressure of Corcoran, their boss. Id.
Corcoran is allegedly prejudiced against patients who refuse psychotropic medication, and he has told patients that he will resist attempts to release patients who refuse them or other psychiatric orthodoxies. Id. at ¶18. Corcoran has also created a culture where medical professionals under his supervision know they will suffer negative career outcomes if they fail to coerce patients into taking psychotropic medication. Id. at ¶19. This pressure resulted in Perkins and Gill certifying the false
petition. Id. at ¶22.
These allegations are the basis of Lawrence’s claim against Corcoran. Although written as a single claim, Lawrence raises two harms for which he says he should recover. The first is that he was denied due process of law, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the second is that he was unlawfully seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Id. at ¶22-23. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 provides a cause of action based these alleged constitutional violations. Id. In this motion, Corcoran seeks to dismiss the suit for failing to state a claim.
Case: 1:19-cv-05078 Document #: 27 Filed: 10/19/20 Page 4 of 9 PageID #:133
A motion to dismiss tests the sufficiency of a complaint, not the merits of the case. Gibson v. City of Chi., 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990). “To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the complaint must provide enough factual information to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face and raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Haywood v. Massage Envy Franchising, LLC, 887 F.3d 329, 333 (7th Cir. 2018) (quotations and citation omitted). See also Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2) (requiring a complaint to contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”). A court deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion accepts plaintiff’s well-pleaded factual allegations as true and draws all permissible inferences in plaintiff’s favor. Fortres Grand Corp. v. Warner Bros. Entm't Inc., 763 F.3d 696, 700 (7th Cir. 2014). A plaintiff need not plead “detailed factual allegations”, but “still must provide more than mere labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action for her complaint to be considered adequate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8.” Bell v. City of Chi., 835 F.3d 736, 738 (7th Cir. 2016) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).
Dismissal for failure to state a claim is proper “when the allegations in a complaint, however true, could not raise a claim of entitlement to relief.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 558, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1966 (2007). Deciding the plausibility of the claim is “‘a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.’” McCauley v. City of Chi., 671 F.3d 611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009)).
Case: 1:19-cv-05078 Document #: 27 Filed: 10/19/20 Page 5 of 9 PageID #:134
In his motion to dismiss, Corcoran argues that (1) Lawrence’s due process rights were not violated because his extended confinement was consistent with Illinois law; (2) he has not sufficiently pled that the confinement petition intentionally contained
false information; and (3) he has not shown that Corcoran was personally responsible for the false information entering the petition.
A. A Petition for Confinement Relying on Knowingly False Information Does Not Satisfy Due Process
An individual who has been found not guilty by reason of insanity may be civilly committed “as long as he is both mentally ill and dangerous, but no longer.” Foucha v. Louisiana, 504 U.S. 71, 77 (1992). Once “the State lacks ‘clear and convincing evidence’ that [the committed individual] meets both conditions,” due process requires that he be released. Martin v. Bartow, 628 F.3d 871, 874 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting Foucha, 504 U.S. at 80). The Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code outlines Illinois’s procedure for evaluating and committing individuals consistent with the above constitutional requirement. See 405 ILCS 5/3- 601. The Northern District of Illinois has found that the Code’s procedure, if followed, provides sufficient “checks and balances against inappropriate detention” to satisfy one’s due process right. McKinney v. George, 556 F. Supp. 645, 650 (N.D. Ill. 1983), aff'd, 726 F.2d 1183 (7th Cir. 1984).
Corcoran argues that Lawrence’s confinement was extended consistent with the Code, and so his due process right cannot have been violated. Both sides agree that the Code’s facial requirements were satisfied. Instead, Lawrence claims that his
Case: 1:19-cv-05078 Document #: 27 Filed: 10/19/20 Page 6 of 9 PageID #:135
caregivers knowingly lied when they certified that he was mentally ill. Dkt. 1 at ¶27; see 405 ILCS 5/3-601; 405 ILCS 1/1-119.
This Court and the Seventh Circuit have analogized the emergency commitment procedures of the Illinois Code to the constitutional requirements for a lawful arrest. See Villanova v. Abrams, 972 F. 2d 792, 798-99 (7th Cir. 1992); Baltz v. Shelley, 661 F. Supp. 169, 178 (N.D. Ill. 1987). Just as a warrant cannot pass constitutional muster if it relies on knowing or reckless false statements, Knox v. Smith, 342 F.3d 651, 658 (7th Cir. 2003), a deliberately false certification of mental illness is inconsistent with the Code and, by extension, due process. Olsen v. Karwoski, N.E.2d 444, 450 (1979) (noting that a physician’s certification that he examined a patient when he allegedly did not, raised an issue of probable cause). Procedural regularity alone is not a shield. Lawrence’s due process claim thus turns on whether he has sufficiently pled the alleged false statements and Corcoran’s responsibility for them.
B. Lawrence’s Allegation of False Information is Sufficient to Survivea Motion to Dismiss
Lawrence’s due process claim depends on his having sufficiently pled that the confinement petition intentionally included false information. The same is true of his unlawful seizure theory, which apparently is based on the falsification of evidence. Manuel v. City of Joliet, Ill., 137 S. Ct. 911, 918 (2017) (holding that a person detained through a legal process that relied on knowingly false statements had a valid Fourth Amendment claim). As noted earlier, he need not provide “detailed factual allegations,” but the pleadings must state “more than mere labels and conclusions.” Bell v. City of Chi., 835 F.3d 736, 738 (7th Cir. 2016) (citation and internal quotation
Case: 1:19-cv-05078 Document #: 27 Filed: 10/19/20 Page 7 of 9 PageID #:136
marks omitted). In practice, we look for “a story that holds together.” Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 404 (7th Cir. 2010). The Court asks itself “could these things have happened, not did they happen.” Id.
Corcoran argues that the complaint must fail because it does not specify what claims were actually false in this allegedly false petition. Relying on a Second Circuit case, he contends that a complaint alleging fabrication of evidence requires identification of the specific evidence that was falsified to survive a motion to dismiss. See Jackson v. County of Rockland, 450 Fed. Appx. 15, 18-19 (2d Cir. 2011). But even if this is the appropriate standard, Lawrence meets it.
Despite Corcoran’s claims otherwise, Lawrence does identify the specific evidence that he believes was falsified. In his complaint, Lawrence states that the petition falsely alleged that he was mentally ill. Dkt. 1 at ¶27(a). By identifying this specific falsehood, the plaintiff moves past “labels and conclusions” and provides the Court with a story that could have happened. The story goes like this: (1) Lawrence was adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity; (2) over the course of his confinement he recovered to the point that he was no longer mentally ill; and (3) his medical caregivers were aware of his recovery but, because of Corcoran’s desire to punish Lawrence, they falsely claimed that he was still ill in order to extend his confinement. This narrative is supported by the claims that his symptoms were in substantial remission while at Chester, and that at Elgin he made progress and attended therapy.
Id. at ¶¶6, 9. It is too early to say whether this is what did happen, but it is plausible, and that is all that is needed at this stage.
Case: 1:19-cv-05078 Document #: 27 Filed: 10/19/20 Page 8 of 9 PageID #:137
Corcoran insists that it is implausible to say that Lawrence was not mentally ill. After all, Lawrence was previously ruled unfit to stand trial and was held not guilty by reason of insanity. But Lawrence had been receiving state treatment since September 2017. He was to be released in March 2019, a year and a half later. It is not implausible that in that time he would have recovered to such an extent that he was no longer mentally ill. And claiming as much does not imply that he was never mentally ill. The Court disagrees that his claim “necessarily impl[ies] the invalidity of [his] criminal conviction.” Haywood v. Hathaway, 842 F.3d 1026, 1028 (7th Cir. 2016). Perhaps an expert in psychiatry would find the alleged recovery implausible, but that is a question for another day—perhaps requiring the opinion of an expert. While the complaint could have been more detailed regarding the petition’s shortcomings, such detail is not required at this stage. By specifically identifying the false portion of the confinement petition, Lawrence has met his present burden.
C. Lawrence’s Allegation of Corcoran’s Personal Responsibility Is Also Sufficient
In order to make out a claim of supervisory liability under § 1983, the plaintiff needs to show the supervisor’s “personal involvement” in the alleged violation. Matthews v. City of East St. Louis, 675 F. 3d 703, 708 (7th Cir. 2012). Personal involvement can be demonstrated by showing that the supervisor must “know about the conduct and facilitate it, approve it, condone it, or turn a blind eye for fear of what they might see.” Jones v. City of Chicago, 856 F.2d 985, 992–93 (7th Cir. 1988). Here, the complaint adequately pleads Corcoran’s personal involvement.
Case: 1:19-cv-05078 Document #: 27 Filed: 10/19/20 Page 9 of 9 PageID #:138
Lawrence alleges that Corcoran was well known to be prejudiced against patients who exercised their right to refuse medication. Dkt. 1 at ¶18. He created a culture of fear where staff and patients risked severe professional and personal consequences if they acted inconsistently with his prejudices. Id. at ¶¶18, 21-22. This cultural coercion, along with possible direct threats, led Lawrence’s social worker to file the false petition and his psychiatrist to falsely certify it. Id. at ¶15, 16, 21. Corcoran also personally certified the false petition. Id. at ¶16. In other words, Corcoran was aware of the false statement and certified it.
Corcoran argues that the allegations are too general and vague. It is true that more specific examples of Corcoran’s coercion would make the complaint more persuasive. But the plaintiff need not provide “detailed factual allegations” when pleading. Bell v. City of Chi., 835 F.3d 736, 738 (7th Cir. 2016). Lawrence provides a plausible account of Corcoran’s personal involvement and so survives the motion to dismiss.1
For the stated reasons, the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss is denied.
Dated: October 19, 2020
E N T E R:
MARY M. ROWLAND
United States District Judge
1 Plaintiff sought leave to file a sur-reply.  The Court has not relied on the briefing in the surreply,
so the motion to file a sur-reply is denied as moot.
Friday, October 9, 2020
It was explained to me this morning by a former Elgin Mental Health Center “patient” (i.e., psychiatric slave) that on the plantation nothing is ever done by any identifiable person. Things get done or just happen, but nothing is done by anyone. The active voice is an essential, strict taboo, for all narratives, all documents, all communications.
This will need to be checked in progress notes, court reports, treatment plan documents, etc. But it is expected that the point will be observed to be very, literally, true. The passive voice is absolutely dictated by the culture of the nuthouse.
This explanation is well validated by the recent phenomena of Tom Zubik’s reported panic over it being said by Gus that improprieties were committed by individually named staff, and Zubik’s subsequent insistence upon the record being set straight with me (especially while/if it had been reported to, or was known about by, Master Corcoran).
It seems difficult or awkward to me, to speak/write entirely in the passive voice. (It probably feels like an odd style to readers here.) But on the plantation it has become instinctive and normal.
Always: “The patient was redirected...” — never: “Staff redirected the patient.”
Always: “PRN was offered...” — never: “Nurse offered PRN.”
Always: “Mental health education is recommended by the treatment team...” — never: “The treatment team recommends mental health education.”
Always: “Activities are restricted during COVID...” — never: “The administration restricted activities during COVID.”
Omnipresent generalities and euphemisms are also noted.
What exactly is meant by “redirected” in the context of any specific incident? What is meant by “offered” when the object is a psychiatric drug? How exactly is “education” applied to a totally subjective, disputed field of pseudo-medicine? It can be suspected that what’s meant is, more accurately, controlled, ordered, and propaganda/bullshit.
Who exactly is identified by “staff” or “the treatment team” or “the Administration”? The question has frequently been asked by legal counsel: “WHO, dammit? Give me a name! Testimony under oath is demanded as my client’s right.”
This question is resisted, direct answers are avoided like the plague.
So when a notebook is carried by a patient and times, places, events and perpetrators are industriously chronicled, when the slaves are trained and incited by an attorney to violate this strict plantation taboo against all use of the active voice and against any identification of individuals or responsibility, screams of offense are heard from the overseers and the plantation managers and the masters.
Now that this dynamic is understood more clearly, it can be used to even better advantage for the cause of abolition.