Thursday, June 16, 2022

Cara Wueste, and other details

Some months ago, I wrote about the glaring contrast between certain elements of orthodox psychiatric faith on one hand, and the reality of individual human experience and society, on the other hand. My article was somewhat of a self-reflection, but I tried to assume the point of view, as best I could estimate it, of a representative or typical Elgin Mental Health Center staff member.

Cara Wueste is one low-ranking overseer on the Elgin plantation. Her supervisor is probably (not 100% certain) Peggy Gibble, a somewhat higher-ranking overseer. But in any event, both of them are among a dozen or so people who might have considerable perspective about sexual abuse of psychiatric slaves, and complicity in the institution. I called Cara this morning to see if she would have a simple conversation with my partner and me, at a time of her convenience and place of her choosing. She responded that she would have to check with her supervisor on that.

The fact is, we would prefer to avoid issuing a subpoena for Cara's (or Peggy's) formal deposition under oath. What a supervisor at EMHC might have to do with whether Cara could have an informal conversation with us is a matter of some curiosity. After all, if she's not even under oath she can theoretically lie with impunity; and she's every bit as able to avoid disclosing information that would be confidential or HIPAA protected. 

Are plantation staff so controlled that they must ask permission to talk to anyone who asks them about their work? Certainly there is no liability to the plantation (EMHC/IDHS), and there are potential advantages, if Cara speaks to us informally. She could give us any false information or positive reports that might be to her employer's advantage. She could just find out what we want to know or what we think, or what our current attitude is. And if she's a loyal employee and we are considered to be opponents of the institution in legal matters, Cara could absolutely refuse or avoid giving us any helpful information, while scoping us out and reporting back.

My impression is that the reason Cara Wueste would have to get permission from her supervisor to have any informal conversation with the Law Offices of Kretchmar & Cecala, is that everyone on the plantation has been told explicitly not to talk to us, ever, at risk of losing their jobs. 

The masters up in the big house do not trust the lowly overseers, who actually supervise and care for the slaves, who are the masters' valuable property. The masters don't think the overseers are smart enough to know what to say or what not to say to dangerous opposition lawyers.

Or... maybe they want to hide the truth. Maybe they know that the overseers are not all willing to help with that. maybe they just don't trust their own employees.

And you guys better be careful.... If you read this or hand it around, don't get caught!

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Intimidation of witnesses

There are almost as many witnesses to abuse in the psychiatric plantation system as there are people. The overseers have to prevent all those witnesses from publicly testifying about it. 

Consider what could happen if the public knew, e.g., that one young woman just gave birth to a baby conceived while she was an involuntary psychiatric patient; that another female patient who had been “passed around” among male staff was taken for a colonoscopy which turned into a secret hysterectomy that she had never consented to and that she only found out about many months after the fact; that female clinical staff frequently sexually harass and even rape male patients with impunity. What if the newspapers and TV networks suddenly came out with all these true stories from Elgin Mental Health Center?

What could happen is... public cynicism about so-called “forensic mental health.” There could even be demands for compliance with United Nations standards and recommendations: involuntary “hospitalization” and forced “treatment” could become illegal, as denial of substantive due process, and torture. Then the plantations would be closed. The public fisc would be rejuvenated, and justice would be better served; but lots of state employees would be out of work. A horror show — they can’t let that happen!

Hence there must be intimidation of anyone who would speak poorly about psychiatric slavery. Patients and staff who might say “diagnosis is bullshit and treatment sucks” must be convinced that they will suffer longer incarceration, or lose their jobs and licenses. 

Anyone who wants to tell the truth must be threatened into silence. They must know they will get in serious trouble. Even when they have been retired for years, they must still be made to feel the power of their former bosses. They have to be made to understand that the overseers and the masters can accuse them of anything, anything at all, and make it stick.

Thus for example… if a member of the clinical staff has a sexual affair with a patient for years, under the noses of supposed experts in human behavior, frequently in full view of security, with constant rumors circulating throughout the facility, and with explicit warnings issuing from comrades about the suspicions of administrators… no one talks about it, no one reports it. They are all afraid of what will happen to them if they get involved. It’s just a lot easier to say, “Well you know, I never actually saw them having sex myself.”

But the story doesn’t hold up. There are leaks and obvious lies and, here and there, people who aren’t afraid. Slowly, panic creeps higher and higher up the food chain. Somebody gets stupid, and they threaten a witness.

At the Elgin plantation it’s second nature to threaten a witness. Everyone threatens patients after all, that’s the primary modus operandi for obtaining compliance. You can’t convince anyone that the drugs are really good for them, or that the diagnoses make any sense. So you tell them that unless they comply with debilitating treatments, and swear fealty to arbitrary, dehumanizing labels, they’ll never get out. Once in a while you make an example out of some non-compliant slave: you keep them locked up longer; you get a goon squad to hold them down and force a needle into them. 

But ultimately it’s not easy. You may have to commit, or be complicit in crimes. That’s what’s happening now.

Don’t mess with my witnesses, guys! I’ll nail you for it.