Monday, July 29, 2019

Plantations crumbling: Psychiatria delenda est!


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW LAWSUITS FOR SEX SLAVERY AND GROSS MISCONDUCT
AT STATE PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS
July 29, 2019. Copies of Federal Complaints filed in two matters were available on request at a press conference Monday July 29, 2019, 2:00 PM, at the Union League Club of Chicago, at 65 West Jackson Blvd, Heritage Room (2nd Floor).
The law firm of Kretchmar & Cecala, P.C., has been retained by several new plaintiffs in relation to civil rights violations in an ever-widening scope of sexual abuse and official misconduct throughout the State’s psychiatric system. Under Illinois criminal statutes, any sexual contact whatsoever between institutional staff and involuntary patients, no matter the circumstances, may subject the staff member to a felony charge of sexual abuse. There is also strict policy requiring staff to report any suspicions of sexual abuse within four hours. In all of the cases, nothing was reported, or reports were quashed by someone higher up the chain of command.
The new lawsuits specifically detail new sexual abuse of patients by staff and cover-up by top state psychiatric officials. All of the federal suits name Dr. James Corcoran, a top official with statewide oversight of forensic facilities. Corcoran is alleged to have direct knowledge of the sexual abuses and to have ignored and covered up patient and staff reporting with threats of retribution. One of the suits alleges that Corcoran used his powerful position to bully staff into false court reports against patients to keep them institutionalized, not because they were too dangerous to be released but in retribution for the patients’ attempts to assert their rights within the system or blow the whistle on abuses.
One new federal suit filed today against Erica Ware, a social worker at Chicago Read Mental Health Center, alleges that Ware engaged in sexual abuse of a patient beginning in 2016 and continuing until the patient’s release in 2019.
The first two Federal lawsuits have been pending for more than a year against Christy L. Lenhardt, a social worker at Elgin Mental Health Center, who is alleged to have seduced several patients beginning in 2014, and to have continued for years to use them as her personal sex slaves. Lenhardt was indicted by a Kane County grand jury on fourteen felony counts related to these matters. Former Elgin Mental Health Center patient Benahdam Hurt, who filed a case against Lenhardt and other defendants in November of 2017, claimed that Lenhardt had a sexual relationship for two years and that she showed him other patients’ confidential mental health records and pretended to make him her social work “assistant” by asking for opinions and advice about the other patients’ treatment. In January 2018, a second accuser, Mark Owens, alleged that Lenhardt tried to get his psychiatric diagnosis altered to discredit him, and to increase his medication to hurt his memory or otherwise disable his ability to complain about her sexual abuse.
The Law Offices of Kretchmar and Cecala, P.C. have been cooperating for some months with the Internal Investigations Division of the Illinois State Police, in relation to the indictment against Christy Lenhardt and possibly other state actors.
“We have discovered systemwide psychiatric abuse and as predicted, more plaintiffs have come forward. Ultimately the public will see psychiatric slavery in Illinois as an ugly 21st Century crime against humanity,” said S. Randolph Kretchmar, one attorney for the plaintiffs.
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Saturday, July 20, 2019

“The Chicago River?”

I got a couple of good reviews on my post about Nahuatl and mental health, so I’ll follow up on that success with something else from a recent text chain.

This one is a conversation with a very good friend and exceptional glass artist, Marlene Rose. My wife and I have had dinner with Marlene and her husband Thomas, in Chicago, a number of times. So it came as a surprise to me that she could be oblivious to the unique geography and significance of our area, even though she probably has never lived in the Midwest, and Thomas is (I think, and my uncertainty about that is another aspect of this story!) South African.

Marlene did a glass piece for us to replace art we’d had for many years which was destroyed by extreme vibrations from a construction project next door.


I sent her the picture to show where we had put her work, and she loved it, but responded to my text by asking, “What is the body of water in front of your house — is that the Chicago River?”

We laughed on this end of the text line, with a reaction that was basically, How could anyone be so stupid?

Many years ago, my wife was explaining to her Disney client Michael Eisner that she had to miss a meeting because we were moving that day. He asked where we were moving, and she told him to the beach in a Chicago suburb. He responded by asking, “Now, what body of water is your new house on?” Once again: Hahaha! Michael Eisner is so rich and powerful in Hollywood, but he’s frickin’ clueless!

The point is not what things people know or should know, but rather our reaction of estrangement. Marlene’s husband Thomas, with whom I’ve had wonderful discussions about history, might be equally disgusted with me, for not distinguishing easily and automatically between people from South Africa, England, Scotland, Ireland or Australia. I mean, they all speak English with a cool accent, right?

When people don’t acknowledge or understand realities that are close to us, especially when we cherish those realities as beautiful or important, we tend to “other” the people. We laugh at them or even feel they are somehow a bit less human.

In my text exchange with Marlene, I felt a strong need to educate her. I sent her pictures of Lake Michigan looking totally calm, like glass all the way to the horizon (which is illusory), and looking like the ocean, and I explained how the difference is all due to wind direction. I texted pictures of our beach in winter, when it closely resembles Antarctica. I recited statistics like 321 miles to the Straits of Mackinaw and 20% of the world’s fresh water.

She was politely impressed, but I still suspected that she didn’t truly get it.

Well! People know and create different things, right? How could my relationship to an aspect of the physical world (Lake Michigan) be of the same order of emotional significance as my friendship with living people?! Now that question really is a wonderful challenge.

When psychiatrists discover that their “patients” (sorry, I really do have to keep the word inside sarcastic quotation marks!) have unusual or obnoxious points of view, or don’t want to take “medication” (again sorry, but...) and don’t accept the mental health/illness orthodoxy, they are not reacting much differently on an individual level, than my wife and I do to clueless non-midwesterners.

Of course, there is one difference that’s huge.

Psychiatrists are legally empowered to force people to adopt their worldview, whereas I have no such authority for encouraging appreciation of the Lake Michigan shore in the dead of winter.



I think the only possible reconciliation could come from better understanding of the difference between our love for people, and our love for objects or places.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Nahuatl and Mental Health

My wife and daughter were texting to each other this morning. We have a running, group "family text" that seven of us use mostly to say things about the Cubs, or to advocate for vacation plans or purchases, and argue or kid around in a good-natured but competitive way, so I was privy to the back and forth between these two, as one of them was on a train and the other at home with little kids. The combination of auto-correct, casual language, and pressured, multi-tasked typing often produces pretty funny results...

Wife: Nahuatl so you k ow the cleaning. People are coming between 10 and 11?
Wife: Just so you know. My phone typed a weird non word

Daughter: Hahaha
Daughter: Are cleaning people coming between 10 and 11?

Wife: Yep.

Daughter: Oh wow. Okay.
Daughter: Good to know.

Wife: Yep. That's why I texted you.

Daughter: Cool! No prob. Well then you texted it was a weird word so I was confused.

(At this point, I interjected...)

Dad: Btw guys, Nahuatl is not "a weird word".
Dad: You offend Native Americans by saying that.

Wife: What does the word mean?

Daughter: Aztecs
Daughter: They are dead dad

Wife: I did not mean to offend anyone or use that word at all

Daughter: Lol
Daughter: We know that mom

Dad: It's a language for godssakes, and a whole remnant culture that partly survived despite the horrible racist depravities of Cortez and other Eurocentric ignoramuses like (daughter) who want to celebrate the arrogant illusion that we were able to kill them all centuries ago.
Dad: 😂😂😂

Daughter: Haha
Daughter: Now we are all educated.

This was highly entertaining to me, partly because my daughter is as educated as I am, especially in the humanities and pre-modern history, and I was surprised when she apparently didn't know the word Nahuatl. She's also quite a bit to the left of me politically, so this was a rare opportunity for me to accuse her of political incorrectness!

But later I started thinking about the historical fact that Nahuatl had actually survived the overwhelming onslaught at the beginning of the Sixteenth Century, of European guns, germs and steel. The language of the Aztecs gave us "tomato", "avocado", "chocolate", "coyote" and many other common names for things the conquistadores were encountering for the first time as they tore down the native temples in Mexico with their full and holy Christian zeal. I've read a half dozen books about the Conquest, and I believe it was one of the most fascinating events in recorded history.

One of the reasons the Conquest fascinates me is, the more you read about it, the more it seems almost impossible in retrospect. The Aztec empire was fabulously rich, with spectacularly developed arts and technologies, and a capital city with a larger population in its day than London, Paris and Madrid combined. The real story of exactly how a few hundred white Castilians took down Montezuma's empire in a couple years is so unlikely that it would never be believed as fiction.

But what's more pertinent to the funny text conversation transcribed above, is the equally unlikely fact that a couple million people still speak Nahuatl as their native language in our 21st Century world of nuclear energy, space vacations, molecular machines, social media and pocketable terabytes! The Aztec empire was utterly obliterated in the 1520's. The religion of the Sun God was expunged from the world, and the people were forcibly converted to Christianity. The suppression of the native culture was overwhelming. Within a generation, the entire New World was ruled by the iron fist of Spain, exploited for its gold and slave labor.

So we have a truly inexplicable, violent and inhuman historical event (Cortez's Conquest), absolutely connected to the unlikely survival of a remnant language (Nahuatl), as an almost negligible totem of a civilization that was vanquished centuries ago and that virtually disappeared from the earth. The great temples of Tenochtitlan are not even visible in the modern landscape of Mexico City, but about the same number of people speak Montezuma's tongue as ever did. Who predicts such strange contradictions?

I wonder whether obliteration of the American Psychiatric Association, the empire of medicalized "mental health" and the DSM, might come as unexpectedly as the demise of the Aztecs. I also know many people, probably the majority of humanity, continue to speak native languages of spirituality more naturally than those of science. Hundreds of years from now, the psychiatric idea that an individual is a mechanism, pure and simple, explainable and controllable with no reference to any concept of soul, might be just as gone as Montezuma's Sun God.

History is almost always an obscure allegory for any purpose of prediction and planning. It's a parable with hidden meanings or many alternate meanings. But it sure does tell us that strange things do happen.