Monday, August 3, 2020

BURN IT DOWN!

This is certainly a season for violent rhetoric. I would hate to fail to contribute my share.

As plaintiffs' attorneys in five federal lawsuits against employees of the Illinois Department of Human Services, my partner and I continue to receive reports from new witnesses and new potential plaintiffs, as well as more evidence proving our current claims. Dominos are about to fall.

Several patients who have spent lots of time on the White Cottage clinical unit at Elgin Mental Health Center have come forward to say that of course Syed Hussain knew our client in one case was having sex with staff! Everybody knew this kind of criminal abuse was frequent and endemic. There was even a specific room notorious for sexual encounters between male staff and female patients. Certain staff handed the women back and forth among each other as favors, under a guise of "introductions".

Everyone is threatened into silence about this kind of abuse, and most lower level unit workers are afraid of gang reprisals for reporting it. Those in higher positions, psychiatrists and administrators, avoid all mention of verbal reports and suspicions so nothing gets written down, and no hard questions will come back from places like Springfield or the Joint Commission.

Just this morning I got a new report that a patient on N Unit was forcibly drugged for no legitimate reason over the weekend. Some night shift nurse was merely annoyed that he wouldn't do a menial task she asked of him, and though he posed no conceivable threat to himself or anyone else, she had him held down and shot up with drugs. It was punishment, to set an example.

Last week a psychiatrist who was once thought to be friendly toward a patient at Chicago Read MHC issued an unsubtle threat: "If you disagree with my diagnosis, maybe I'll just change it to a worse one, how would you like that?" The pretense of medicine is ridiculous.

I could go on and on with examples. It just makes me angry. Suffice it to say one more time: EMHC, Read, and Chester need to be closed, razed, plowed under; and the acreage they have been located on needs to be seeded with radioactive waste so no one can ever live or work there again, for at least a thousand years.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The good die young... but the good go free.

My wife and I are saddened by the passing of Kelly Preston. We will miss her, she was a wonderful and beautiful woman.

Not least of her virtues was a complete absence of any need for sympathy or any interest in status as a victim. She never even bothered to mention her two-year battle with cancer to her many admirers and friends. We believe she had absolutely no fear of death.

My own mother passed away with similar nobility, almost exactly two years ago. She didn’t know Kelly, but I suspect they would have gotten along well. Both of them were extremely spiritual, utterly unafraid.

People like this inspire the rest of the human race to live and love.

Thank you!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Good news or just more repression?

Elgin Mental Health Center is offering COVID19 tests for all patients on a voluntary basis. That's a good thing. But of course, it has to be done in the context of a slave plantation mentality to ruin the whole picture.

To date there has been less of a corona virus disaster in Illinois forensic mental health facilities than might have been expected. I predicted a real shit show, and it hasn't happened. Apparently there have been handfuls of cases here and there, or even less than a handful at Elgin. Somebody deserves credit for that.

I'm told that a meeting was held on N Unit announcing to patients they could get tested. One of the guys I advocate for spoke up with the audacious opinion that all staff should be required to be tested. This is a very reasonable idea, whether or not it's completely practical given union concerns, etc.

The patients are easily monitored and their possible exposure to the virus is totally controlled, because they don't go anywhere. They've been on lockdown for months. Almost all activities and "treatments" (other than drug dispensing) have been cancelled. But the staff leave every day, and no one knows with whom they are in contact, whether they social distance, etc. Anyone concerned about an epidemic inside the facility should have their attention on the staff first and foremost.

I can't see how my client's suggestion at the meeting about testing was anything but logical, and in the obvious interests of just about everyone. The only people whose interests are contrary to that suggestion are those who want to say that my client is subhuman, lacking any right to speak up about staff at all under any circumstance, necessarily irrational, and badly behaved from his "mentally ill" brain that needs constant drugging.

There were a couple such people at this meeting, and they just jumped all over my client. His completely reasonable suggestion was considered to be "hostility" caused either by: 1. his bad brain, or 2. his association with me. (Good luck with charting that, guys, or alleging it in court!)

As to 2., yes! Of course the patients on N Unit appear hostile to staff due to their association with me. By association with me, they derive some hope of freedom from psychiatric slavery. The staff would allow them no such hope, that's the design of the system.

Dr. Vikramjit Gill, the N Unit psychiatrist, has been very reasonable in my opinion, in a number of cases. He definitely helped Sean Gunderson get his conditional release. He knows I am not quite so dogmatic about psychiatric drugs as some of his colleagues may think. He and I have had a fairly cordial relationship and some interesting conversations.

Now Dr. Gill tells this particular "patient" that he has changed for the worse, and maybe it's all because he's been talking to me.

Gill has to say that, he is required to think that, by a boss somewhere who can threaten his job and even his professional reputation if he doesn't toe the forensic psychiatric mafia line.

It will get worse for a while, but when abolition is final, Gill will be free, too.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Chicago Read MH Center: Dr. Sobut vs. honest staff

Dr. Robert A. Sobut is the Plantation Master at Chicago-Read Mental Health Center, where Marci Webber is held. I attended (by teleconference) a monthly staffing today. Sobut struck me as kind of a "gang leader" personality, straight out of some TV show like "Narcos".

That's not, by the way, because he's part of a psychiatric drug-pushing institution (Chicago Read of course is -- if laughingly -- licensed as a "hospital" and Sobut is an M.D. with prescribing privileges), but really because of the way he tries to threaten, intimidate and control everyone around him, and apparently believes he's entitled to do that. Let me explain....

Sobut is one of six signatories at the bottom of a 24-page "90-Day NGRI Treatment Plan Report" sent to the DuPage County Circuit Court for docket # 2010-CF-002643, regarding Marci Webber, dated 5/13/2020. I've never seen a 24-page 90-day report. It actually seems not only unnecessary for such a report to be that extensive, but stupid from the perspective of the people who put it together. When it's that long, it is almost certain to contain something that is provably false.

When somebody signs such a report they are effectively swearing under oath that everything in it is true. The court depends upon these reports as valid "medical records" that are admissible pursuant to the rules of evidence. If something in the report is proven to be false, then somebody may have committed perjury, and the signers, of course, are the first suspects.

Generally the social worker (in this case, Vera Hosely, MA) has the administrative responsibility to word process and get the treatment team's collaboration on the final draft of a 90-day report which is sent to the court. However there are various approval lines. In this case, Dr. Sobut certainly would have had to give his OK. Quite possibly, Timothy Cummings, Anatoiley Pyslar, Adebisi Olasimbo and Sabi Kolath all had some familiarity with this report on Marci before it was finally sent. There may have been somebody higher up the bureaucratic food chain, too. James Patrick Corcoran, perhaps?

There is a paragraph on page 20, which reads:

"It should be noted that frequent behavior management incidents continue to be reported on Ms. Webber by the treatment staff of B-South. For example, on 5/12/2020, she reportedly threw a cup of water at the DD peer with whom she frequently engages in disputes...."

This comes at the tail end of 11 pages, describing about 75 supposed incidents blamed on Marci, said to have occurred between 2/11/2020 and 5/12/2020.

The trouble is, it didn't happen. Somebody just made it up. There is no report of this by the treatment staff of B-South. I don't know how many of the other incidents are equally false, but this one at least provably is. One of the reasons Marci's judge granted her a conditional release last fall was because he had enough evidence that the people saying she needed to stay locked up were liars.

During the staffing today, I had a bit of a confrontation with Robert A. Sobut. I only had two questions. My questions were: 1. Who word-processed or assembled or OK'd the text of the final draft of the 5/13/2020, 90-day report on Marci Webber? and 2. Who added the item on page 20, about Marci throwing a glass of water on 5/12/2020? 

Sobut more or less threw me out of the staffing for insisting on answers to those two questions, although I promised I would shut up and just listen politely for the rest of the time, if he would only answer them. He even asked me to repeat the questions precisely, so he could write them down. Then he just flat-out, arrogantly, refused to answer and refused to even admit he was refusing to answer. That's when I left (hung up).

But the best part came next. People who know they are acting unethically actually try to get caught.

Marci eventually walked out of the staffing, but she stood by the open door and listened. The remaining meeting participants did now know she was there. Vera Hosely, the social worker, immediately protested very anxiously, that she was not the one who put the false report on page 20 about Marci throwing a glass of water. Dr. Pyslar looked uncomfortable and nervously muttered something useless, as he frequently does.

Then Dr. Sobut told everyone: Do not talk to Mr. Kretchmar. Do not tell him anything! This was clearly an order from the boss: obey, shut up, stonewall any investigation, or you'll be in big trouble!

Chicago Read Mental Health Center sure seems to be run by Robert Sobut in the style of an organized crime group. So do all the other facilities run by the Illinois Department of Human Services. So does "forensic mental health" just about everywhere it exists.

And that's because... well, they are organized crime groups!

More on Marci Webber's appeal

The following is an excerpt from pages 44-45 of the appellate Reply filed by Marci's attorneys. This case effectively documents the utter corruption of what the public presumes (because it's been sold to them) to be medicine. The point is, coercive psychiatry is NOT medicine. It never was and never will be.

     "The trial court’s September 2019 opinion also supports that Marci had good reason to distrust Dr. Malis and DHS generally. The judge found it troubling that Elgin Mental Health Center falsified Marci’s records at Dr. Malis’ direct request, and as the trial court noted, the State did not rebut this evidence. (C. 783). Specifically, when a nurse, Terry Nicholas, wrote a positive progress note in Marci’s chart, Dr. Malis “was not pleased with this charting and did not want pleasant things regarding [Marci] reported as it would harm his intent to petition the court to obtain an order for forced medication on [Marci].” (C. 783, R. 2880-2882). In this appeal, the State urges that this Court “not consider [Terry Nicholas’] biased testimony.” (Pl. Brf. 45). In doing so, the State is improperly asking this Court to reweigh the evidence and conduct credibility determinations, while also ignoring the fact that it did not present evidence to contradict Mr. Nicholas’ testimony. Moreover, Dr. Malis admitted that he continued to consider ordering involuntary medication for Marci, and his testimony made clear that his basis for considering such an order was not a concern that Marci was dangerous, but as a means to help Marci cooperate with DHS’ rules and expectations. (R. 2710). Such a purpose does not meet the legal standard necessary for court-ordered involuntary medication. 405 ILCS 5/2-107.1(a)(4).

     "The trial court was understandably further troubled by these events at Elgin Mental Health Center in the context of evidence he received at the 2017 conditional release hearing, which amplified serious discrepancies in Marci’s treatment reports from Chicago Read Mental Health Center. (C. 783-784). Marci’s psychologist at the time, Dr. Jock, testified at the 2017 hearing that Marci did not meet the criteria for any mental illness, she did not exhibit suicidal behavior or dangerousness towards others, and inpatient treatment was no longer necessary. (R. 844, 846, 849). Likewise, Marci’s social worker, Dr. Menezes, similarly testified at the 2017 hearing that Marci did not have a mental illness, was not a danger to herself or others, and did not require inpatient treatment. (R. 801, 805, 807). Yet, both professionals signed Marci’s treatment plan reports that stated she continued to require inpatient care due to her mental illness. (C. 521). Despite this very troubling evidence, throughout its brief the State characterizes Marci’s distrust of DHS as “paranoid” and “delusional.”

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Amanda Bradley, the latest would-be torturer

Marci Webber has now been back at the Chicago Read slave plantation for almost six months. When she learned last December of a bench warrant for her arrest, she reported there on her own, to wait out an appeals process. Why that process was ever started will be a fascinating story when the truth comes out, which it surely will.

I have an odd vested interest in Marci remaining on the plantation, and I almost have to resist it, it's so perversely real. The same was true of Sean Gunderson, prior to his conditional release from Elgin last fall. When a "patient" is smart enough and strong enough, they find and report information to me from the inside which is extremely helpful. My partner and I have five federal lawsuits which would never have happened but for this.

Meanwhile, the latest cruel overseer who makes sure Marci gets psychologically whipped at every slightest opportunity is a low level Mental Health Tech named Amanda Bradley. Amanda has a Developmentally Disabled "patient" named Antoinette whom she ostentatiously favors with smiling, "I-love-you-I-love-you" blown kisses across the room, even while she snarls to Marci, "Shut the f--- up!" in the same breath.

Of course, Amanda and other staff are not supposed to use the F word aggressively against patients that way. It's quite strictly prohibited, probably not because it hurts patients very much (that's the job for psychiatric labelling, drugs and shock), but more likely because it tends to reveal the "hospital" as what it really is: a plantation. Unfortunately for Amanda, this particular incident was witnessed by another staff, whose name I have.

And unfortunately for Amanda (not to mention the higher-ups who really pull the strings), Marci has some friends. Most of them are very timid and don't want to stick their necks out right now. Dr. Anatoiley Pyslar is one example. He's a psychiatrist, and he knows perfectly well that Marci should not be a slave any longer, he tells her so to her face. Once upon a time Pyslar had a more important job than he has now, so his future as a master has probably dimmed a bit.

Other staff, well-intended human beings, are also on Marci's side, if secretly, against the people who mistakenly believe they can beat her down and wear her out. The good people will probably come out of the woodwork to incriminate the Marsicos, Sobuts, Malises and Corcorans, once Marci wins her appellate case and demonstrates that she can be successful back in the community. All the lies and all the years of cynical manipulation and harassment will come back to haunt these so-called "mental health professionals" who cannot help anyone, and who merely insult medicine, science and law.

Amanda Bradley's sweet DD friend Antoinette is a 5'10" tough girl, who constantly threatens and physically intimidates Marci. Amanda runs her, puts her up to that on purpose, and somebody higher up than Amanda even made sure Antoinette was Marci's roommate, just to make the terrorizing proceed at the highest possible intensity. Maybe they want to provoke a suicide.

Anyway, I tell Marci don't talk about suicide, don't think about suicide. I think she's too tough, and too dedicated to the cause of emancipation of all psychiatric slaves. She'll hang in there to see Atlanta burn.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

“It’s complicated.” (The Great Excuse.)

I was just in a staffing (teleconference) which was the perfect dramatization of “complexity” as an excuse for incompetence and coverup of dishonesty.

My clients are constantly dealing with allegations that they have broken “rules” which change and are unwritten, or interpreted differently by different people at different times. The immediate example is contraband. When a judge sees a report saying an NGRI acquittee was discovered to have contraband in his or her possession, that might suggest guns or drugs, which would be a serious threat to safety and a criminal violation of law.

But on the plantation, contraband simply means anything the overseers decide to take away from the slaves. For example, a small packet of table salt is “food,” and food’s not allowed in somebody’s room. Or a cup of coffee, even though a staff member said, sure, take it back to your room with you, don’t worry. Or for that matter, an electronic device that was specifically cleared by security for a patient to have, at an earlier time. All of these items have been labeled contraband in patient records and court reports from Elgin Mental Health Center.

The point is simply to make the patient look like he or she is not following the rules, and to demonstrate that the overseers can take anything away from the slaves, including and especially the chance for freedom, any time they like, for any reason or for no reason.

As I write this, I suddenly recall a time when I was in a similar position. I was a second-year cadet at Culver Military Academy, and I really didn’t want to be there any more. The officers did not like me or my roommate: we were called “hippies” as an insult. (This was 1967-68.) Every morning began with personal inspection of our room, usually by First Sergeant Nick (“Nick the Prick”) Capos. Then once a week there was a more through general inspection. These inspections were searches and opportunities for confiscation of items of our property which somebody considered inappropriate. To be fair though, the actual rules at Culver were pretty standard. They were all written, and I can’t think of much that was ever in substantial dispute. But they sure were applied more strictly for guys like me, who had a “bad attitude” and didn’t relish the nobility of standing at attention and calling upper classmen sir. The officers were absolutely gleeful when they found a violation.

My roommate and I became some sort of clandestine revolutionaries that year. We hated the system and the authorities. My greatest victory was in successfully concealing one substantial item of contraband for most of the school year — a decorative wrought-iron hinge that I surreptitiously removed from the west entrance to Main Barracks one night with a makeshift screwdriver, to leave an obvious gap between the hinges above and below, ruining the symmetry on the left side of the heavy wooden double door. My trophy was three feet long by a foot wide and an eighth of an inch thick. I hid it on the back of my bureau, up against the wall. Everyone wondered who had stolen it, but they never found it. I smuggled it home as a souvenir in June. Ten years later, that door of Main Barracks was still defaced, testifying to my righteous protest against the oppression of short haircuts and uniforms, no girls, frequent military roll calls and marching to meals.

Of course, I was able to convince my parents not to send me back to Culver the following year, and I escaped to a suburban public high school, played football and became a respectable citizen. The slaves on the Elgin plantation have no such recourse, no escape. They are forced to comply, and even when they do comply, it's often no good: psychiatric “diagnoses” are arbitrary and insulting, “treatment” is torturous and permanently debilitating, judges just believe the overseers no matter what the slaves/petitioners say, and Thiem dates are far in the future.

The takeaway from my Culver cadet days is that an underlying resistance, an intractable hostility can bubble up and cause trouble for any repressive system. Every now and then, a slave finds a way to avoid being drugged into sub-humanity. Every now and then somebody comes up with a creative challenge. It's probably impossible to completely suppress human ingenuity and the urge toward freedom, even with psychiatry.

If psychiatry were any kind of help, the Elgin plantation overseers wouldn't have to worry. People are not hostile toward valid help, it doesn't provoke underground resistances. But slaves only find nobility in recalcitrance. The forensic psychiatric system tries to pretend it is helping people who are sick and protecting the community from danger. That pretense is so false, everyone who works in the system knows on some level they are lying. They don't feel good about that, because their first intention was to help. They discover they can't, and they only cause harm in these jobs. Then their only relief is tragic comradeship with others equally disillusioned. The system, the bureaucracy, just makes them all increasingly stupid and cynical together.

Tom Zubik can be so proud of manumitting more slaves from his plantation in the last eighteen months than in the three previous years combined, but he doesn't brag that they were cured of anything, and he doesn't seem to think about having improved treatment. He has only stopped holding quite so many slaves. Vera Hosley can hold onto Marci Webber's legal mail for a few days, but that's not very satisfying if it doesn't provoke Marci enough to forcibly drug her.

The complexity of rules and procedures in a bureaucracy is directly proportional to the lies that have to be told or covered up. The conversation in the staffing about little salt packets or a cup of coffee as contraband was convincing evidence of thick and deep lies on Hartman Unit. Incidentally, a "patient" named Arthur died on that unit recently. I tried to get anyone to say it was not related to COVID19, but nobody uttered a single word in response to that query.

There was a weird movie in 1968, entitled. "If...". Highly recommended! It's about crushing dehumanization and defiance. I saw it in the theater when it was first released, the same summer I discovered Jewish girls. I've never watched it again, and I probably shouldn't. There's enough Sherman in me....

There is slavery and there is freedom: it's not complicated.