Saturday, July 20, 2024

The song

I mentioned the 1973 ditty about Watergate (Haldeman, Erlichman, Mitchell and Dean) at the end of my last article, and then it kept singing in my head, so I finally had to do something with it. The following probably isn't my best yet, I may or may not keep goofing around with it for awhile. If anybody wants to come up with a few lines of their own, I might add your creative contribution to it, too! (I promise to keep that anonymous, of course.)

Obviously, it could go on and on and get sillier with every rhyme. The more I think about it, I might not add any more to it after all. It's the sort of thing you get sick of quickly, I might even take it down....


Gill, Xiaomara, Joseph and Gus

We're Gill, Xiaomara, and Joseph and Gus,
Who ever thought we would cause such a fuss?
The nuthouse in Elgin is running on slow,
It's just not a great place for your crazies to go.

M Unit, N Unit, Hartman, Pinel...
The White Cottage patients get pregnant as well!
It's hard to believe they create such a fuss,
For Gill, Xiaomara, Joseph and Gus.

We are Gill, Xiaomara, Joseph and Gus,
IDHS says we have caused such a fuss,
But really it comes down to severe mental ills,
The brains of consumers must have more pills!

Activity therapists, security cops...
The staff are all overseers 'til slavery stops;
Abolitionist lawyers cause all the fuss,
So say Gill, Xiaomara, Joseph and Gus.  

We are Gill, Xiaomara, Joseph and Gus,
Going to court is horrible fuss,
Forensic clinical services say
Only our experts must rule the day!

You work for the state as an AFSCME member,
So you'll never be fired for an issue of gender:
Trans, male and female are easy for us,
We are Gill, Xiaomara, and Joseph and Gus.

There go Gill, Xiaomara, and Joseph and Gus
To a morning meeting with all of us, 
Ask the patients if they want any say,
Then move them away to stay out of the fray.

You just need to recover,
You're the brain-diseased other!
And the public won't care no matter what fuss
Comes to Gill, Xiaomara, Joseph and Gus.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Gill, Xiaomara, Joseph & Gus

 OK, so Xiaomara didn't want Gus on her caseload any more, and Dr. Gill covered for her by telling Gus it was just his own idea for no reason, so Joseph could take over the case. Right? That's my theory.

But there are at least a couple funny things about that....

"For no reason" is nonsense as any explanation for a new social worker. Gill just lied about that because he didn't want to tell Gus the reason. Gus is continuing to ask why he was assigned a different social worker immediately after he made kind of a big deal about Xiaomara papering over the window to her office so no one could see what she was doing in there (which is against policy). I'm pretty sure, and I hope, that Gus will keep on asking anyone and everyone about this, and nagging EMHC staff and administrators, at least as long as the only answers he ever gets are nonsense. Today Tony, the legal advocate, gave Gus the answer that maybe "they" thought he would do better with a male social worker. This was laughable, and it only incited Gus to keep asking.

Well then, who is the "they" who thought that? Was it just Gill? He did say the whole new social worker idea was his own. If so, why does he think Gus will do better with a male social worker? The thing about Joseph Basso is, he's male... but not actually assigned to the clinical unit Gus is on (N Unit). He's assigned to M Unit, which is a sister unit to N, but separate. I recall that some years ago (December 2016 to be exact) a patient was moved to K Unit from L Unit (these are also sister units), probably to enable his assignment to a different social worker, because the one he had on L Unit was having sex with him.

But in this case with Gus, the patient is apparently remaining on the same unit while the social worker (Joseph) comes over to him from the sister unit. It might all just be completely arbitrary, with no relevant policy or protocol other than Dr. Gill's whim. But I find that unlikely. I was just in a Hartman Unit staffing today, where "protocol" (or "policy" or some such inscrutable excuse) was cited for a clearly unreasonable, obnoxiously punitive assignment of one-to-one observation to James Baker, requiring that the door to his room stand wide open all night for a female staff member to directly observe him constantly while he was in bed sleeping because of a surgery he recently had on his right hand at UIC Hospital. That made no sense in terms of any purpose for medical care or security protection that I can imagine. It was just "protocol," that was all anyone in the staffing could think of. Nonsense.

There must be some similar (even if equally ridiculous) "protocol" excuse for Gus getting a new social worker absent any agreement, consultation or explanation. Joseph isn't even assigned to work on N Unit. All the social workers assigned to N are female, although all the patients there are male, so that might relate to Tony's theory. But what do you know, all the M Unit social workers are male and all the patients there are female! Somebody at EMHC or in IDHS has apparently neglected to consider, up until now, the possibility that some patients on M and N Units might do better with same-sex social workers. So what exactly could this "protocol" be?

Maybe only Dr. Gill is smart enough as a psychiatrist to think of the same-sex/opposite-sex point, and maybe Gus is the only patient this contingency has ever applied to. Maybe Gus will suddenly be no problem because he now has a male social worker; maybe there's nothing at all wrong with Xiaomara and she'll never have any boundary problems like that other social worker did, years ago

If that's what proves out going forward, then top EMHC administrators like Michelle Evans and Ryma Jacobson will be off the hook (for not predicting the same-sex/opposite-sex contingency in treatment); maybe they'll be credited with stellar executive insight into the unique dynamics of personnel in state nuthouses (for keeping the great psychiatrist Dr. Gill around)!

But if I had to bet, I'd say Gus won't change much. He'll keep complaining and causing trouble, because he's right and he has a strong sense of duty to truth. Meanwhile, Xiaomara will be trouble in one way or another, and she'll leave this bad job, as will Joe Basso. Dr. Gill will resign (I'm told he's actually said he intends to). EMHC will continue getting worse and worse: more like a psychiatric slave plantation, less like a real hospital. 

The title to this article could be sung to the tune of a 1973 song about the Watergate flap, Haldeman Erlichman, Mitchell and Dean.

These guys have no idea what they're doing. They make it all up.

Monday, July 15, 2024

New, lower-level Social Worker to replace Xiaomara

Gus' psychiatrist, Vik Gill, introduced Gus to his new social worker today. His name is Joseph Basso. SW-II Basso has only worked at EMHC since September, 2022. On LinkedIn, he describes himself as an "Agent of Change who seeks to positively impact the disenfranchised." I can't tell how old he is, but I'd say not very, he looks about 25.

Basso's causes are "civil rights and social action, education, environment, human rights, politics, poverty alleviation, social services." Sounds about right. People always go into mental health with the idea that maybe they can help others. Then they discover, slowly or quickly, that's not what the field is about. The state nuthouses teach a lesson very soon: forensic mental health is a mafia culture of control; the nuthouses are plantations where "patients" are merely used and abused for whatever advantage can be extracted. It's a bad career, Mr. Basso. You'll either become corrupt or too stupid to notice corruption.

Gus asked why he has a new social worker, and Dr. Gill responded that this had been his decision alone, but there was "no reason" for it. I don't think that's true, even though I kind of admire Gill's insouciance in saying it. I think Xiaomara Ramirez refused to work with Gus, and she probably went over Gill's head.

In theory, since Xiaomara is a SW-III, she is more experienced and should be better at dealing with the more complex cases than SW-II Basso is. She's certainly getting paid more. Maybe she made some kind of a deal wherein she agreed to turn over 10% of her $174,000 annual salary to whomever is willing and able to take Gus off her caseload. That would only be fair, right? I think both these social workers are outside agency contracted staff, so they may have more leeway to make deals like that, than the regular union employees would have.

But I'm only speculating.

(As always... if I get any information wrong, about any individual I ever name on this blog, I hope somebody will correct me. Especially if I say something negative which isn't true, I promise to retract it as soon as I am credibly informed. You don't even have to call me yourself; just tell Gus, he'll let me know.)

Friday, July 12, 2024

More on the problem of Xiaomara Ramirez

I was almost thinking I had been too negative about this new Social Worker III at EMHC, or even that maybe I had unfairly accused her of things I shouldn't have accused her of. Then what do you know! She did something that kind of proved the opposite. I gave Xiaomara too much benefit of doubt, I was too easy on her, even as I am probably too easy on her fellow plantation overseers as a general habit.

To be clear, I did not accuse Xiaomara of sexual boundary violations with patients, and I do not accuse her of anything like that now. Comments I made were entirely about the potential appearance of such impropriety, caused by her violation of policy about obscuring the window in the door to her office. I had been told some time earlier by one of her patients (Gus, of course) that she was doing that. Gus had to remind me a couple of times before I wrote the first blog article about Xiaomara.

Then I added her name to a list of staff who could be accused of having sex with patients, in the next article I published. I made it clear that this was mere suspicion about Xiaomara, nothing documented. I even offered to publicly retract any accusation that was unfair or careless, e.g., if Xiaomaara would simply call or otherwise contact me to protest.

She never protested. In fact, she reacted as though she was guilty. In my experience, people get hostile or critical toward anyone whom they think might know that they've done something wrong.

Xiaomara flashed back big-time against Gus this morning. She's Gus' social worker, responsible to coordinate details and logistics of his treatment among the various team members. This morning, Gus saw her in a hallway on the clinical unit, and called out to her about a routine question regarding complaint forms. She responded with an unexpected, very hostile snarl, "Gus I don't want to talk to you right now!" Then she darted into her office and slammed the door hard enough to be heard and noticed all across the unit. Gus asked one staff (Tim, a nurse I think) to please note the event he had just seen and heard. Another witness was Cara Wueste (who coincidentally has her own history of connection to staff who violated boundaries with patients). Tim very quickly spoke with the psychiatrist Dr. Gill, in his office, and Gill quickly then went into Xiaomara's office to speak to her.

As it happened, Gus had a staffing immediately after this incident. I had looked forward to meeting Xiaomara at the staffing, and puzzled to myself over how I might apologize in the event that she would protest my blog articles mentioning her. But she didn't come to the staffing, only all the other social workers on the unit did. (This was slightly odd because those other social workers are not part of Gus' treatment team.) Gus now reports that Xiaomara hasn't emerged from her office today since slamming the door in his face.

I would have been inclined to believe that Xiaomara, as a relatively new EMHC employee, only papered over the window to her office door because she didn't know it was against policy, and she was unaware of certain sordid history of a social worker who sexually abused her patient in her office at EMHC for years. I think Gus made some comment to Tim or Cara or both of them at the time of this morning's incident like,"Gee, if she's going to get that upset over a little criticism, maybe she shouldn't work here!" He's absolutely right. Snarling and slamming a door on a patient is counter-therapeutic and unprofessional. 

Gus was probably thinking that Xiaomara had been told about my two blog articles, and she was blaming those on him. The articles have been read more than 300 times by Xiaomara's peers in only 5 days, so she's probably embarrassed. The theory that my blog articles were what made Xiaomara so crazy was also supported by a comment from Dr. Gill shortly after today's staffing. He was advising Gus about how to better demonstrate his readiness for conditional release, when he mentioned something like, "...just don't accuse people of sex all the time." But that's not something Gus does.

Gus did not accuse Xiaomara of sex (in fact neither did I). Gus merely reported to me (accurately) that Xiaomara covered the window in her office door so people couldn't see in. I was the one who then made the point that it's against policy and she might even be suspected of having sex with patients. Sexual abuse of a patient by the patient's social worker did actually happen before, which is the only reason I even know that covering the window of an office door is against facility policy. At the time I casually mentioned that unfortunate experience in a conversation with Gus, I didn't even know Xiaomara was a new employee just this year. I don't think Gus knew either.

Well in any event, Xiaomara has as of today, removed all of the paper with which she had previously covered the window in her office door to prevent people from seeing in. Maybe Gill told her to do that, maybe after she whined to him that Gus accused her of sex. But she's complying with policy now and it doesn't appear as though she's trying to hide things she's doing in her office, so she can't be so easily suspected of having sex with patients.

She has Gus and me to thank for that improved environment of trust!

Monday, July 8, 2024

Sex with mental patients again and again

Below is a compiled list of staff at EMHC who supposedly have had (or are having) sexual relationships with patients. As I indicated recently, this is a felony. All of these people could be prosecuted, sentenced to prison if found guilty, and required to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

Anyone who believes or would argue that their name is wrongfully on this list should contact me. If I am convinced that I have falsely accused you, or even that I accused you carelessly, I promise that I will retract my accusation on this page, and defend you against it whenever it comes up going forward. If I name somebody here and I don't get any protest, I'll probably take that as an admission. In the fifteen years I've been writing this blog, only one person ever asked me to retract anything. That was part of settling a legal case. (N.B., I was not the defendant or the defendant's counsel.)

The list:

(First, a handful of people who have been implicated by individuals, generally patients, with whom I've spoken personally, and by evidence with which I am familiar to some degree.) 

Michelle Bogle, Simech Bun, Gabby Garcia; Mark Roberson, Dave Hagerman, Cletus Stewart, an Activity Therapist on K Unit named Susie; Xioamara Ramirez (social worker on N Unit only suspected because she papers over the window so patients can't see into her office, contrary to policy);

(And some partial or redacted names merely reported to me by other EMHC/IDHS staff, specifically for purposes of this article--a couple of these may duplicate names from patients in the list above.

STA's Lula C., Ramona S., Shannon D., Sam M., Mark R., Erica D., Hillary B., Tiffany J., Tonetta H., Willie Q., Aurora D., Michelle B., LaSonya, David (the librarian); social workers Cassandra, Christy, Judy; activity therapists Becky, Barry, Shannon W.; nurses Kathy (from M/N), that Bun girl.

I am told that a couple more names will be forthcoming shortly. I'll try to keep the list current.

My point is, sexual abuse of patients by staff is endemic, and nobody really cares because this (EMHC) is a plantation. The staff consider on some level that the patients are their property to be used and controlled for whatever benefits are possible. Patients are not thought of as fellow human beings who need and are worthy of help. It's the plantation attitude, slavery. This is less an accusation against individuals whom I should report to the state police, and more a general indictment of the whole sorry mess that is so-called "forensic mental health."

Friday, July 5, 2024

Xiaomara Ramirez, SW III

A recently hired social worker (SW-III, a very highly-paid position a with a $175,000+ annual salary) on N Unit at EMHC is papering over the window of her office door so no one can see into her office to know what she's doing. As far as I have understood for some years, this is against policy.

It is well known that on occasion, social workers and/or other staff at EMHC have seduced patients into romantic and sexual relationships. It starts with "boundary problems" like special favors, home cooked food, computer and phone use. It proceeds to oral sex in the office, or in a mop closet on the unit. By the time the patient earns a conditional release he may be convinced that the staff member is the love of his life and will become his life partner. Then he is invariably abandoned.

This causes criminal convictions, suicide attempts, civil liability and other unpleasantness that is quite contrary to any purpose of improved mental health. It also discredits the institution and makes taxpayers and their elected representatives in the Illinois General Assembly think maybe the state nuthouses should just be closed.

I am not alleging that Xiaomara Ramirez papers over the window in the door to her office on N Unit so that she can have sex with her patients. But I have taken deposition testimony stating that no one is allowed to block the window into their office that way, and I know of various instances of staff seducing patients. In fact, there was a case where a patient was getting several blowjobs a week from his social worker for several years, in her office, only a few steps from the unit nurses' station and directly across a narrow hall from a janitorial closet that is a point of high foot traffic.

Supposedly nobody ever knew what was going on in that case. But the patient told me everybody knew. As a matter of fact, several patients at EMHC have told me that everybody knows about some staff-patient sexual relationship. These things are always known about by patients. 

Another SW-III at EMHC, now retired, testified that he got all his "intel" from patients. And I attended a seminar in New York City at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, just a couple months ago, which was all about sexual violence on psychiatric inpatient units. It was unanimously agreed by all four presenting experts in that seminar that patients know everything that's happening on a clinical unit much better than staff do.

There aren't very many SW-III's at EMHC. People who qualify for that position usually want a more honest job and qualify for one better than "Overseer" on the psychiatric slave plantation.

Xiaomara should not block the window to her office. It's suspicious.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

The harmful regimens of the regimented regime

My charming San Francisco psychiatrist friend on X, Joe Pierre, M.D., registered what appears to me to be a telltale complaint according to my feed this morning.

Doc Joe wants people to know that "regime" is not the appropriate word to describe a list of medications that a patient is taking pursuant to a doctor's prescription. "Regimen" is the term he demands, with very arrogantly presumed authority (regency?).

I did a quick study, because I've used "regime" myself, I'm not the only one, and I think I'm as educated as, or perhaps quite a bit more so than Doc Joe, when it comes to English language and rhetoric. Words are primary tools for me as a lawyer, even as drugs are primary tools for Joe as a (very political) psychiatrist.

Joe maintains that regimenregiment and regime "...are different words with different meanings."  Well sure, but many words are different from each other or related in different ways, for different purposes, and to different extents. The Doc might know this, but his native language (psychiatrese) could cause the principle to be very difficult for him to apply in English.

Just a few examples are instructive. 

Cat (the feline mammal and common house pet) and cat (the large earth mover manufactured by Caterpillar Tractor Company) are "different" words which sound and are spelled exactly alike; the same can be said of benefits (plural noun) and benefits (present tense of the verb), although these two "different" words are close forms with related meanings, unlike cat and cat; spring (the astronomical, meteorological or calendar season) and spring (a device which expands and contracts with increasing resistance or a sudden motion considered to be characteristic of such a device), or rose (the flower) and rose (past tense of the verb to rise) are further examples of pairs of words that are clearly different yet spelled and pronounced identically.

Yawl and y'all, shoe and shoo!, red and read, sew and so, and a long list of homophones, are words which sound exactly alike, but may be spelled differently and completely disrelated for meaning.

Individual small, common words may have similarities or differences that are purely a function of grammar (rules and habits of use), but they are not close at all in pronunciation or spelling. E.g., pronouns like me and Ishe and her 

Machine, machinerymachination, mechanical, mechanism, and machismo are words that have similarities in meaning, spelling and pronunciation, as well as common derivation, but they remain different words, very much like regimen, regiment and regime. 

I took one semester of linguistics at Northwestern University, as well as German (I was briefly almost fluent) and Russian (a beautifully complex language). The subject of words is amazing and probably as complicated as the human mind itself. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God," as (I think) the Bible says.

Which brings me back to Joe Pierre's "different words" regimen, regiment and  regime, three words which are closely related and commonly derived from the Latin regere (to rule). Regimen and regime have incidentally been almost interchangeable in historical usage. So what exactly is Doc Joe's point?

The San Francisco psychiatrist doth protest too much, methinks. It's emotionally difficult for him to hear or read psychiatric practices or treatments being called regimes. That word may recall or just come too close to, e.g., despotic governments like Saddam Hussain's Iraq, Putin's (or Stalin's) Russia, Hitler's Nazi Germany, and Jefferson Davis' Confederate States of America. Thus for Joe, regimen is much preferred, as long as you don't err by adding a "t" to the end of that word, giving it a military connotation.

In fact, psychiatry is a despotic regime. It is perhaps the most despotic regime in human history. The so-called "treatments" which guys like Joe Pierre militaristically order are horrendously damaging, and they are forced on thousands of people against their will everyday, people who have never been convicted of any crime, people kept, exploited and abused as psychiatric slaves!

I've spent twenty years fighting this despotic regime, at Elgin Mental Health Center, in cruelly regimented "clinical" units, behind locked security doors guarded by uniformed thugs and despotic "administrators" who hear, see and speak no evil until they are sued for millions of dollars in damages.

Too bad Joe, if you don't like my words for your f***ing psych regimen. Go look the words up in a dictionary, man. They all work!