Tuesday, December 12, 2023


To anyone I mention by name or otherwise identify in this blog (past, present or future):

If I write anything about you that is not true, and you call me and tell me, I promise I will retract any untruth. If I insult you in a way that is not fair, and you call me to complain, I promise I will pay attention and amend my written comments to be less unfair. 

My cell phone is 847-370-5410. I’ll talk to anyone. I will never mention or reveal that you have called me if you ask me not to. I only want the truth to be known and justice to be served. I believe that an overwhelming majority of people are well intended and want to help others.

Packard MHC, Lincoln South Unit

Much the same as on all the plantations in the Illinois psychiatric slave system, the issue of "patient" phone use gets huge attention at the Packard (née McFarland) plantation. The Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code, 405 ILCS 5/1-100 et seq., specifies, inter alia:

Except as provided in this Section, a recipient who resides in a mental health or developmental disabilities facility shall be permitted unimpeded, private, and uncensored communication with persons of his choice by mail, telephone and visitation.

(Section 2-103.) This same section of the Code further states:

    (a) The facility director shall ensure that... telephones are reasonably accessible...
    (b) Reasonable times and places for the use of telephones... may be established in writing by the facility director.
    (c) Unimpeded, private and uncensored communication by mail, telephone, and visitation may be reasonably restricted by the facility director only in order to protect the recipient or others from harm, harassment or intimidation, provided that notice of such restriction shall be given to all recipients upon admission. When communications are restricted, the facility shall advise the recipient that he has the right to require the facility to notify the affected parties of the restriction, and to notify such affected party when the restrictions are no longer in effect....

Most slaves feel the right to use the phone is one of their most important rights. Without it, the plantation occupies their entire world, which becomes a world of dehumanizing oppression. The overseers know this, and they use it mercilessly against anyone who appears to question or doubt their superiority and their absolute authority over all aspects, no matter how broad or intimate, of an involuntarily committed person's mental, emotional, social and behavioral life.

My client Mickey was in the middle of a phone call with his family yesterday on Lincoln South Unit, when "STA Rob" (full name under investigation) arbitrarily ended the call from a switchboard in "the bubble" (nurses' station) by disconnecting the phone Mickey was using. This was rude and upsetting to Mickey and his family, and probably contrary to elaborate and voluminous statutory, administrative and local rules or procedures. 

Mickey walked over to the bubble and asked who had shut off the phone in the middle of his call. Upon being told that the culprit was "STA Rob," Mickey asked why, no doubt in a clear tone of protest. Rob became quite hostile in response, yelling (according to multiple witnesses), "Get the fuck away from the bubble!"

Well, Rob probably disconnected Mickey's call by mistake, and knew he had screwed up but didn't want to admit it. He's a fairly new, low-level overseer on the plantation, only 23 years old. Rob once admitted to Mickey that he smokes a lot of weed, even while he's working, during breaks (probably in his car in the parking lot). If he was high when he disconnected Mickey's phone call, the incident and the hostility which ensued could easily have been almost accidental, not intended as personal retribution.

The problem is, Mickey knows he really has to watch his back right now. His Thiem date is in the first week of January, and given any slightest excuse, somebody might try to prevent him from walking out the door at the last minute.

Thankfully, the two most important members of his "treatment" team, Kasturi Kripakaran, MD (the psychiatrist, née "Dr. Cash") and Zachary Naylor (the social worker), seem to be on Mickey's side. They just authored a court report stating that Mickey is mentally stable, not a threat to himself or others, and not in need of mental health services on an in-patient basis. By that testimony there should be absolutely no legal cause to hold Mickey on the plantation any longer than the next three weeks.

However, I hasten to add, this same court report added an arbitrary comment that Mickey is in need of outpatient mental health services. I'm not sure why Dr. Kripakaran and Social Worker Naylor thought it was their business to include such recommendation in a court report. Neither they, nor anyone else in the Illinois Department of Human Services, nor the court itself, will have any jurisdiction to require Mickey to be a psychiatric patient after his Thiem date. He may want to be a patient or find it helpful to be one, but if he wants and chooses to refuse psychiatry altogether, no one can stop him unless he commits a crime or presents a clear and convincing danger to himself or others.

It may be that mental health professionals just habitually promote psychiatry whether anyone is likely or can be required to accept "services" or not. It may also be that Dr. Cash and SW Naylor are ignorant of the law (as they are sort of entitled to be, but not entirely), or that they are just so used to slaves obeying their every whim and believing their every opinion that their arrogance in the current circumstances of the court report completely escaped them.

But I don't need to cause trouble for the Packard treatment team. The stoned-on-the-job STA Rob is a good enough target for the time being.

It's not the peculiar fault of "STA Rob." If the system were at all honest, I'd have no targets.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Norman Lear and Henry Kissinger

Norman Lear made people talk by producing breakthrough TV sitcoms like All in the Family. Henry Kissinger made people talk by running an American foreign policy which employed waterboarding. 

Both Ashkenazi Jews died the same week at ages of 100+, and received long obituaries in the New York Times. Lear was an outstanding spokesman of American peace, and Kissinger was an outstanding spokesman of American war. One could go all Tolstoy over it.

It is impossible for me to imagine that those who have lived great lives of war and peace could ever have believed in psychiatry. I don't mean "believed in it" just as a putative medical specialty which they have little or nothing to do with, or as an incidental fixture of philosophical or social theory, I mean in their hearts and in their guts. 

Kissinger didn't investigate whether Zyprexa or Adderall might help Menachem Begin or Mao Zedong be more amenable to peace. Lear didn't microdose psilocybin mushrooms to create Archie Bunker, the irascible right wing bigot we all still somehow liked.

It's arguable whether either of these extraordinary people changed his world very much, though they both clearly wanted to. Neither man seems to have ever said he was especially disappointed. The lesson from Tolstoy is that happiness lies in finding and appreciating, or creating, beauty and meaning in everyday, mundane things. Rabbi Harold Stern said we don't blow shofar when Yom Kippur falls on shabbat, because the common discipline of observing a weekly ritual is more holy before God than the uplifting drama of observing an annual one.

Psychiatry simply denies, or tries to remove, all meaning and beauty, all creation, from life. The only discipline that's accounted for at the EMHC plantation is imposed on slaves by their masters. It's a system of punishment, not self control. "Insight" is only professed (truthfully or not) agreement by slaves with the orthodox plantation line: you are a brain, your illness causes your behavior, mistaken thinking and inappropriate emotion; your meds are necessary to treat your behavior, thinking and emotion, which we understand and you don't. We own all of you, so take your meds or you'll never get out of here!

In such an environment, how can "doctor" or "patient" ever find and appreciate, or create, beauty and meaning? Perhaps only by recalcitrance, non-compliance. Slaves don't comply with "treatment" and overseers don't comply with rules against having sex with slaves.

It makes them happy, but only for a while. They don't live to 100.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Psychiatry and Henry Kissinger

Ben Rhodes' ungenerous eulogy in the November 30 NYTimes is such a beautiful piece of writing, about such a phenomenally significant character during my lifetime, that when I read it aloud to my wife this morning, it was hard for me not to cry. (Maybe it's my age, history makes me cry.) The first paragraph in this guest essay ended with the datum, "Ideas go in and out of style, but power does not."

I'm not too sure about style. But when it comes to power, I am quite sure there is no substitute for an idea. You cannot bomb an idea out of existence. You cannot shoot an idea in the head. And contrary to the apparent modus operendi of medicalized mental health, you cannot drug an idea or manipulate people's brains to control ideas. Behind and beneath any form or any use of mechanical power, there is always an idea. And in the event, that idea might be very slippery. 

For the sake of argument, let's presume that the idea which motivated all the horrible powers of war in recent centuries, and probably throughout human history, has been, "We must reach farther to greater heights, we must get bigger, as individuals, as a group, as a race, as a species. This is the only game." 

Well... what greater heights? Bigger how? If you get bigger, does that mean I am smaller? How is this game organized? Who is the opponent? Do we have referees? 

Power serves ideas, and if ideas go in and out of style, then power changes hands. Saying ideas go in and out of style but power does not, puts the cart before the horse. Purpose and function monitor or control structure, not the other way around. 

I'm currently reading Conflict: The Evolution of Warfare from 1945 to Ukraine, by General David Petraeus and Andrew Roberts. The authors point out that the first and most vital job of any commander is to get the big picture, or the strategy, right, and then to make sure everyone else agrees on that big picture or that strategy. Hence, e.g., in the 1948 War of Independence, a small volunteer Israeli military managed to defeat five professional Arab armies on the other side. The Jews all understood the existential purpose of defending their nascent state, while the Arab soldiers were wondering why they had to be there.

People who believe that power is the thing, power is reality, are usually people who have lost their own motivating ideas, and are therefore likely to lose their power. They only hope ideas will go in and out of style fast enough that their opponents won't stay or become strong.

My clients often come to me in the belief that as a lawyer, I have my hands on the power of the law, which controls the locks on the nuthouse doors confining them as involuntary "patients". The thing they don't understand, and the thing I have to explain to them before I can be of any help, is that the law is not a mechanical power, it is in fact agreements between people, like judges, public defenders, psychiatrists, social workers, neighbors. 

People's ideas control the law. This is true in a big context of who becomes the next President or what nations are allowed to exist; it's also true in the small context of who is mentally ill and dangerous. You have to be able change one person's mind: that's the only way you change any existing power arrangement, whether it be international borders, or court ordered privileges and conditional release.

Malis, Hussain, Corcoran and their ilk seem to believe that people's minds are their brains, and their brains can obviously be manipulated (with the power of drugs, shock, etc.) to affect their minds, to make them think, feel, and behave "better" (meaning more in line with the ideas of other people around them). This is exactly what psychiatry is about, using power to change ideas. 

This is also a source of huge trouble for the ongoing "psychedelic renaissance," which is a mistaken psychiatric strategy. Everybody can see that the drugs are powerful; but they fail to notice, e.g., that psilocybin-as-medicine is fundamentally irreconcilable with psilocybin-as-religion, and the power can never be predictably aimed to change any idea. The ideas, as set-and-setting, direct the power.

The misconception is laughable but for so much blood and treasure wasted on it. Using ideas to change power is much easier. It's what you have to do anyway, because that's now the world works. And just incidentally, when you think you have changed someone's mind by application of mechanical power, you ignore the possibility that you are being deceived, and you render yourself defenseless against someone's real ideas which you can't know or predict. Is Baker King of Egypt?

In Henry Kissinger's time we came to love the mechanical power of nuclear science and medicine, pretending that nuclear science and medicine are not actually our own ideas to begin with. That is hypocrisy.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Tell 'em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call...

A little over five years ago, I published an article on this blog which mentioned the enthusiasm of a particular state psychiatrist for Ketamine as a promising treatment for depression. I should hasten to point out that I do not know Vikramjit Gill personally. I don't know whether he self-treats for depression, or whether he has any experience with or affinity for psychedelics in general.

But I do think it's a reasonable prediction... that frustrated "mental health professionals," who see their specialty criticized more and more frequently, who find themselves degraded as quacks or plantation overseers or human rights criminals, and who fail to help their patients every day... will be likely to reach for new and radical solutions.

History suggests that people who get into psychedelics go quickly over-the-top-evangelical about it. Ken Kesey was desperately devoted to "pranking Amerika" with LSD, and Tim Leary dedicated much of his life to "internal freedom." They were both latecomers, and they both went to jail. In an earlier decade, the CIA's Richard Helms said LSD was "dynamite!" and celebrity nutritionist Adelle Davis recruited young teens for her Beverley Hills psychoanalyst friends to experiment on. Those enthusiasts of the 50's, unlike the Haight-Ashbury hippies ten years later, tripped with impunity, because they kept it private for their own elite circle. Psychedelic drugs have nevertheless always been an embodied imperative scream: "NO CONTROL!"

That's why "treatment" team members and patients, inside or outside of proper clinical contexts and proper informed consent requirements, might just get a little sly. After all, I know an STA who stood lookout while her friend smoked a "blunt" in the car with an EMHC patient on conditional release. Then the STA spent the night with that patient at the Hyatt Rosemont. The tryst wasn't very sly, the STA used her own credit card for two hotel rooms! (Hey friend Kristine Iglesias: were you in Room 414 or 415?)

Somebody in Vik Gill's position, or Michelle Evans' position (not to mention a position as the IDHS King of Psychiatry, AKA "Statewide Forensic Medical Director"), could figure out how to make a deal with a patient or a social worker somewhere, like maybe way out of sight where there's a statue of Popeye....

Nobody wants to deal with violent psychotics or psychiatrists. That's exactly why we have the mental health system that we have. We are all eager to believe that guys like Gill, Corcoran, Evans and Bogle are professional "experts" to whom society has properly delegated the job, so we don't even have to look at Chester or Elgin. We don't have to think about it.

But the "experts" don't do the job they are supposed to do. What the hell, they can't! So to take what could have been the title of an Adelle Davis book in 1959: Let's All Trip On LSD!

Who's gonna get caught?

NOTICE TO ALL (repeated again)

I would like to make an EXPLICIT promise to anyone whom I mention by name or otherwise identify in this blog. This is prospective and retrospective. 

If I write something about you that is not true, and you call me and tell me, I will retract any untruth. If I insult you in a way that is not fair, and you call me to complain, I will pay attention and amend my written comments to be less unfair. 

My cell phone is 847-370-5410. I’ll talk to anyone. I will never mention or reveal that you have called me if you ask me not to. I only want the truth to be known and justice to be served. I believe that an overwhelming majority of people are well intended and want to help others.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Rename EMHC!

Illinois Goveror J.B. Pritzker recently renamed Andrew McFarland Mental Health Center as Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard Mental Health Center. Packard née McFarland thus symbolizes the justice of victory over coercive psychiatry.

Andrew McFarland was an Illinois doctor and nuthouse administrator. Elizabeth Packard was his victim. Much of the media about the renaming proclaimed the event to be a symbolic victory for women's rights, or for victims of marital abuse. But the more important story, and the more significant moral, points to abolition of psychiatric slavery (that is, abolition of imprisonment under the guise of "hospitalization" and forced drugging under the guise of "treatment"). The Governor, and his Department of (in)Human Services, and the clueless media sure don't want to think about or recognize that moral or that story.

Well, I'd just like to point out: Ben Hurt, Mark Owens, Angelo Rotuno, Michael Dobson, Sean Gunderson, Mickey Russell, and plenty of others (including some who will probably be named plaintiffs in the near future), are not women who were abused by men. As a matter of fact, they are men who were abused by women. 

But the gender circumstances are less important than the understanding that these were psychiatric slaves abused by the supposed "mental health professionals" who presumed to own them, in a corrupt plantation system financed by Illinois taxpayers.

Among those "mental health professionals" who oversee the slaves on these plantations in Illinois, the M.D. psychiatrists and top administrators are the masters living up in the big house. Occasionally there is an administrator who is also an M.D. psychiatrist. (The example that comes to my mind is His Excellency James Patrick Corcoran, Statewide Forensic Medical Director.) Everybody else, like STA's, social workers, nurses, security personnel, etc., are middling overseers who follow the masters' orders. They're neither slaves nor owners, some are decent and some are mean as hell.
Two such middling overseers are Mary and Tiffany, STA's on Lincoln South clinical unit at Packard-née-McFarland. They seemed to think they wanted to get into the act for retribution against one especially uppity slave named Mickey, who they have been told sued an STA at Elgin MHC for sexual abuse.

I can confirm that yes, Mickey did sue that STA, as well as a bunch of other people at EMHC and in IDHS. The STA seduced him because she was bored with her husband. She abused him physically, mentally, and emotionally, for years. Lots of other staff went along with it, or just buried their heads in the sand.

Mickey will win a bunch of money which the state will have to pay. That will result in a lot of new rules, or a lot of bad publicity, or a lot of scapegoats, or all the above. Some reporter like Beth Hundsdorfer will blast it all over the media, and the almighty Statewide Forensic Medical Director, or the Secretary, or the Governor himself, will comment in righteous surprise and indignation. People like Barry Smoot (God forbid!!) will be proven correct one more time. In other words, it will be frickin' Armageddon!

I hope to have some influence over how the ultimate, bloody battle can be avoided. My terms will include two items (in addition to millions of dollars, of course): 1. give me the framed, "Brains can get sick, too" poster, currently hanging in forensic program building reception at Elgin; and 2. rename EMHC as Hurt-Russell Mental Health Center.

Then, once the media have their obligatory circus, close the plantations down forever.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving

If he knew what was best for himself, he wouldn't have ended up in her involuntary "care"--right? Of course that's what she will say when he objects to her arrogance.

When he claims his right to refuse what she calls "medication" but he nevertheless honestly experiences as poison, is he delusional or does she simply own him? It's an interpretation. Whoever has the guns and the gold authors the correct judgment and the true history.

But how does one, rather than another, come to have the guns and the gold? Dr. Cash can keep Christopher locked up and brutally drugged as long as she likes. It's hard to say why this is just or sensible, if you talk to each of them.

Well... guns are violent force. People tend to apply violent force when they have failed to control their environment with skill and other people with reason. Money flows with attention (both directionally and by volume).

So are the authors of correct judgment and true history those who fail to control with skill and reason, and who yet direct the most attention? Perhaps. But judgment and history are only the past. Who needs past that can create future?

I've worked with a lot of state psychiatrists, and a lot of slaves on state psychiatric plantations in Illinois, for more than twenty years. When I review which among them seemed to need past, as opposed to which could create future, I get an interesting analysis.

Guys who can create future just don't hang around in state nuthouses very long; and guys who need past create (or make others create) enormous amounts of paperwork. That's how I tell the difference.

Evaluating myself, it occurs that paperwork flows from me like Niagra Falls because (my excuse) I'm a lawyer; and I sure am stuck to Illinois nuthouses!

I like to think I can create future and couldn't care less for past. So hmmm... what gives?

Maybe I have a lot of work to do. This is Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for the work above all. The work I have been able to do, but more so the work I will do in the future.

We are all Pilgrims landing at Plymouth's desolate wilderness in 1620, to create a fair land.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Cash it in!

Mickey was transferred to McFarland MHC (now under a new name, which I don't remember yet) from Chester MHC (same old name). McFarland is the only IDHS-operated slave plantation (laughingly, a "hospital") that I have not been to. I hope to get down there before Mickey Thiems out the beginning of January.

His new psychiatrist, Dr. Cash, sounded Indian or Pakistani over the phone connection by which I attended Mickey's staffing today. Her accent is very similar to Hasina Javed's accent. Javed is a Defendant in several of our federal lawsuits, so I've known her for a long time and deposed her or cross-examined her on various occasions. At one time, long ago when she thought she had nothing to worry about, Dr. Javed was as arrogant as Dr. Cash was today.

Mickey is not stupid, and he knows a bit about mental health law. Dr. Cash evidently wanted him to think she knows more. She told him that he's on a coed unit, and he'd "better not be inappropriate with female patients or staff...." I might agree with her that such a warning is appropriate and Mickey should heed it. But here's the problem: Cash added an implied threat, which might actually be illegal: "...if you want to get out of here."

The thing is, and Dr. Cash confirmed that she knows it when I questioned her, a Thiem date is a hard stop on involuntary commitment. She cannot keep Mickey past his Thiem date. The only way to do that would be to file a civil commitment petition. He will be entitled to a whole lot of due process (including, e.g., a televised trial by jury) if she does that. And the standard by which she has to prove that he is mentally ill, and that he is dangerous because of his mental illness, is elevated to clear and convincing.

There actually isn't any such thing as clear and convincing proof of mental illness these days, let alone clear and convincing proof that a guy who never did anything worse than steel a car is dangerous because of mental illness. I'd sure love to defend Mickey in a jury trial of Dr. Cash's civil commitment petition!

But she won't file any petition. Mickey has too much self control to be incited or baited into looking mentally ill and dangerous between now and January. He can just laugh at Dr. Cash, or not, depending on his own judgment (which I have learned to trust) about what will best get the rest of the treatment team on his side. This is where the illegality might come in. Chart notes, reports to a court, etc., are evidential and presumed to be sworn to as under oath. Judges absolutely hate to discover that some supposed "medical expert" upon whose testimony they are supposed to rely is a bullshitter.

Then there is 405 ILCS 5/3-402, which is the statute that prohibits a psychiatrist from stating to a patient that he or she "may be subject to involuntary commitment," unless that psychiatrist has personally examined the patient within 72 hours prior, and is prepared to execute a certificate. Dr. Cash violated this, by her statements to Mickey and to me during the staffing today. She was willing to break the law, because she thought this implied threat would give her a little extra control over Mickey, which she was apparently very anxious she might not otherwise have.

Psychiatry is control, it is not help. Dr. Cash is a failed overseer on a plantation, not to mention a failed doctor. She ought to cash it in.


Over a lot of years, I've written quite a bit about James Baker. NGRI for murder, Thiem date June, 2025, getting free room & board at EMHC and nobody there apparently interested at all, in getting him out. 

No EMHC administrative staff attended James' monthly staffing today, just three hapless Hartman Unit treatment team members. Perfectly pleasant, no complaints at all about James' behavior, etc. But they also had absolutely nothing to say about anyone wanting to get this patient released before he Thiems out in a little over a year and a half. 

Usually, an administrator named Dr. Martha Welch attends. The last time we saw her was a couple months ago. On that occasion, she promised to find out when James might be scheduled for his fourth time through the "Community Reintegration Program," which is considered (quite incredibly if you ask me) to be important before a petition for James' conditional release can be put together.

Today Martha didn't show up to be asked what she had found out. That's probably because she hasn't found anything out, and maybe she never intended to find anything out. Some staff member who specializes in community reintegration has been on an extended LOA, and nobody knows when that staff member will be back. 

Who knows why that staff member is on extended LOA? Maybe she's being investigated for sexually abusing a patient, there sure is plenty of that at Elgin. Or maybe she joined the growing exodus of mental health professionals headed out the door for more honest jobs. Anyway, the "Community Reintegration Program" is utter nonsense in James' case. It is in most cases, but especially here, when the patient has done it three times already! 

So, Baker languishes at EMHC, for no rational purpose. The reason is bureaucratic incompetence, lack of caring. It's too easy to ignore James, and he does get ignored, completely. He's an easy slave to keep, they don't even have to drug him. His judge would grant a conditional release easily, if some semi-conscious human could go to court and say this patient isn't a danger now: he's old and gentle, well behaved, and he can barely walk. They could even brag that they cured him!

Baker is only three or four credits short of a bachelor's degree in computer science, by the way. But nobody can figure out how to let him use a facility computer to register for the last courses that would make him a college graduate. Some idiot named Dillard has told him his caseworker should handle that, but she was sitting there in the staffing today, and had no suggestions other than referring the issue back to the idiot Dillard. These guys are cogs in the wheels of a very dumb machine!

I've rarely if ever seen such easy, glib neglect. Maybe James isn't all that anxious to get out. After all, he's been a slave on the Elgin plantation for most of his adult life. Jeff Pharis used to worry that he might die there, and make the place look bad. If he does, I swear I'll turn him into an international anti-psychiatry martyr. Some day we'll have to put up a statue of him on the site of a closed-down IDHS plantation or some former departmental office building, and we'll hold ceremonies commemorating his sacrifice on Dunlap Day and Bye-bye Jeffrey Day.

Anybody who wants to say I'm crazy can only hope to be justified by James Baker's conditional release before June, 2025.

Monday, November 13, 2023

The fundamental problem part 2

The other conversation stopper is of course, war.

Watch Marie Avgeropoulos (as Octavia Blake in The 100) calmly announce from high on her horse: "I'm here for the war." Or Clint Eastwood (as William Munny in Unforgiven): "Now I'm here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you done to my friend." Imagine Sherman's adjutant, as the general quietly stated his simple solution to the recalcitrance of young Confederates: "Kill them. Kill them all."

My mother hated the song, "Eve of Destruction", or she hated the way I loved it in 1965. The lyrics which she couldn't stand seemed to contradict her Episcopalian faith, her optimism that the world was in fact saved two thousand years ago by Christ's death and resurrection. The songwriter P. F. Sloan seemed to argue with the view that everything was fine and the world was getting better, with his lyrics:

You may leave here for four days in space, 

but when you return it's the same old place, 

the pounding of the drums, the pride and disgrace,  

you can bury your dead but don't leave a trace, 

hate your next door neighbor, but don't forget to say grace!

Most of my intelligent suburban neighbors tend to protest that war never makes sense. They can't understand how any reasonable human being can ever allow it, or participate in it or fail to stop it. They implicitly claim immunity from the dark, earliest human ecstacy; and they surely neglect an obvious fact that there is an utterly unreasonable aspect to each and every human being. Of course war makes no sense and cannot be understood. As the movies and song lyrics document, that is precisely its appeal! It's the transcendent assertion of social will, into which, as Nathan Kline wrote, we can "escape from our sweaty selves by dissolving our sense of individual being."

One of my best friends says he could never kill another human being, no matter what. He recognizes that there are people (e.g., child murderers) who do not deserve to live and need killing, but he wants someone else, or some machine, to punish them. He could not pull the switch himself.

My father-in-law was the kindest, most noble man I ever knew. He drove a Higgins boat to the beaches in thirteen Pacific landings against the Japanese, and walked in the dust of Nagasaki. Like many others, he never spoke about the war afterwards, but I know that was not because he didn't remember.

The purveyors of psychedelic solutions expect to be coddled in integrative therapy sessions against the horrors of their own subconscious. The pushers of psychiatric drugs want to pretend their brutal control is really medical help. 

These efforts will all fail, because the world is what it is. Believing you can duck is a dangerous way to live, and drugs are even a bad way to duck.

The only viable strategy is communication: cause, distance, effect, with intention and attention, and a duplication at effect of what emanates from cause. Learning to really communicate is spiritual, and directly opposite to manipulating brains and other machines.

Without learning to really communicate, we might as well just hump on down to the Perfume River with Private Joker singing, "Hey there, hi there, ho there, we're as happy as can be!"

Friday, November 10, 2023

The fundamental problem

Just in case I never mentioned it or never explained this before 😂, my advocacy is for total freedom.

I've been told that is a conversation stopper, because everyone instinctively aspires to total freedom or innately knows total freedom is their own true and natural state as an immortal individual. Everyone agrees it's the correct ultimate target, so no one really argues with you if you just continue to advocate total freedom.

All lies derive their power from an earlier or underlying truth to which they connect by argument or opposition. The lie that we are human beings and must be controlled, that we are naturally slaves, derives its power from the truth that we can be totally free. Identifying and putting attention on the underlying truth, repeating it, tends to expose the connection and make the lie lose power.

I wonder if this explains the appeal of psychedelic drugs. The trip can dramatically remind a drug user of the truth: freedom, oneness, brotherhood with the universe. The lie of mortal, complicated, or evil humanity becomes irrelevant.

But a psychedelic trip is at best a limited reminder. The drug wears off and revelations fade, quickly like a bright dream before breakfast, or slowly like youthful energy over graying years. The only permanent reminder of the truth is the dreary lie we are stuck with. People either have to take the drug again and again, or they have to work hard, to really learn and live the truth without the drug.

The project is to continue to advocate total freedom incessantly and forever. If you take the drug again and again to remind yourself of freedom, you might just empower a new lie (i.e., you can't just be free, once and for all..?). But if you have to work hard to learn and live the truth, isn't that religious discipline, in the most traditional sense?

There's a very interesting, related internal conflict, from which the current "psychedelic renaissance" probably cannot escape. Enthusiasts for mushrooms, horse tranquilizers, frog venom, etc., desperately need to assert an idea of psychedelic science featuring controlled, validated research, safety protocols and informed consent. That's what might enable eventual FDA approvals of medical products that can make money in the real world. 

But the enthusiasts also, just as desperately, have to promote religious epiphanies, world peace, extraordinary states of consciousness, and breakthrough evolutionary leaps in human nature, to keep everyone interested. Real science (like hard work, in fact) just doesn't have much mass appeal. It's part of the dreary lie, it's not total freedom.

So which way do we go: into science or back to religion; medicine or spirituality; hard, careful work or total freedom? These things are opposites. Trying to go in opposite directions at the same time brings confusion and disaster. The recent demise of the "TREAT California" initiative was predictable. Even if "Barbenheimer Fontana" didn't abscond with money, she certainly tried to go in opposite directions simultaneously, and people got confused.

The fundamental problem is collapsing cause and effect: we can't be free beings and neurobiological machines at the same time.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Dr. Corcoran, where are you?

I once gave James Patrick Corcoran, the great "Statewide Forensic Medical Director" for the Illinois Department of Human Services (basically IDHS' King of Psychiatry), some private advice. He almost bit my head off! I wrote a disrespectful article about him, or maybe two or three, or many, now that I think about it....

I hesitate to cause trouble again, and I kind of suspect that Corcoran has so little respect for me that he could never accept my advice, no matter what honest spirit I might offer it in. But he might be on the side of my guy Gus. It's kind of hard to tell.

At a staffing a couple months ago, the great "Statewide Forensic Medical Director" (King of the plantation), made a big deal about getting Gus out of EMHC. He said Gus clearly doesn't belong on the plantation any more, there's nothing wrong with him. He hasn't shown any signs of serious mental illness in a long time, even though he has taken no psychiatric medications for over a decade. In that staffing, Corcoran repeatedly said, "Let's figure out how to get you out of here." He even organized a meeting with Gus' treatment team for that purpose, and I'm pretty sure he met individually with Gus himself.

Then Gus got transferred to a different clinical unit, and no one has seen Dr. Corcoran anywhere near the issue of getting Gus out ever since.

I went to a staffing for Gus today. We both asked if anyone knew whether Corcoran was still working on getting Gus out, like he had repeatedly indicated he would. That question got nothing but blank stares from the team. I asked whether Corcoran had been notified of Gus' staffing, and was told yes, he gets an email about it every month. Maybe he's deliberating carefully, as of course any wise king must.

One thing was sure clear: nobody was going to show such temerity as to volunteer any information about the great Statewide Forensic Medical Director. Syed Hussain, one of my favorite psychiatrists, was very quiet; the individual who admitted to me that Corcoran gets an email every month about Gus' staffing will probably live to regret her carelessness.

Corcoran gets whatever he wants in IDHS. But maybe he lies about what he wants, and maybe he doesn't even know when he's lying. The people on Gus' new treatment team sure aren't taking any chances, and they are wondering about Corcoran, who may not want to be wondered about by staff (I sure wouldn't, if I were in Corcoran's position!).

My advice is, get Gus out; and get Paul Olsson out, and get Shanovia Fawlkes the hell out! Manumit some slaves Doc, it'll make you look good and demonstrate your superior authority. Maybe the little people will think you know what you're doing!

Friday, October 27, 2023


A friend invited me to an interfaith forum held in Phoenix, AZ last night, and I attended via Zoom. The subject was school shootings. Participants included Baptists, Jews, Hindus, and various others. I expected some religious views. After an hour I left the meeting a bit disappointed. (It probably continued for another hour or more, so it is possible that I missed all the good parts, being in a later time zone and too tired.) 

The first thing I had noticed was that everyone was first and foremost regretful and apologetic, over "the fact that this conversation has to take place at all." Geez, I don't know... if you really regret the conversation you find yourself in, why not just leave? We probably have to let people "virtue signal empathy" -- but I found it quite overdone. No matter what anyone had to say that could have been interesting or worthwhile, they had to start out with, "I'm so sorry..."

People who have been shot with real bullets would know whether that physical pain is worse than the emotional trauma of hearing about a shooting. I've never been shot, so I don't know. But victimhood is in enormous favor these days, it's almost like everybody wants to brag all the time that they hurt so bad, and I've become really sick of that!

The second characteristic of the dialogue which bored me to death was the clearly universal presumption that any possible solution to school shootings must lie with medicine or some other mechanical science. There was lengthy discussion of how much money security measures like scanners or metal detectors might cost, how expensive it might be to train teachers with firearms and where they would keep their firearms in the classroom, and many details of locked or unlocked doors. 

I didn't hear anyone question one particular statement: "We don't have enough mental health workers!" As if surely, surely a sufficiency of mental health workers would help prevent school shootings. I spend most of my days hanging out with mental health workers. They are almost all dull bureaucrats, and even the best and brightest of them have no idea what distinguishes good mental health from pure, evil insanity in any individual. They all figure it's something with the brain.

Not to mention, the advent of the very term "mental health worker," and the hiring of more and more of them to mostly recommend drugs for kids and push us all into a psychiatric view of ourselves and our world, is eerily coincident with the celebrated increase in school shootings! It's almost like psychiatry causes school shootings.

Anyway, my own disappointment with the part of this interfaith discussion which I heard before it was my bedtime was that there was no mention of any faith, or any religious morality or solution, at all. The Christians were asking in places of the dead after the One who is alive. The Jews never mentioned that the Lord is One. The Hindus seemed quite unconscious of any concept of Karma or spirituality.

There was a cop who made the single encouraging (for me at least) comment: "Personal interaction with the students is the number one priority." What do you know! It might be cops who can save the world.

Dunlap Day

This will be the second "official anti-psychiatry holiday" that I have suggested. (The first one was "Bye-bye Jeffrey Day", February 23). Now "Dunlap Day" will be October 24, as an annual remembrance of Adelle Davis' first LSD trip on that date in 1959. 

The celebrity nutritionist and author of such best-sellers as Let's Get Well (1965)Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit (1954), and Let's Have Healthy Children (1951) became a Hollywood phenomenon. But she wrote one book which most of her fans never knew about. If not for the requirement by her regular publisher that she use a pen name and refrain from any publicity, this little-known book could have been, Let's All Trip on LSD!

The actual title was Exploring Inner Space: Personal Experiences Under LSD-25, and the author (the pseudonym) was "Jane Dunlap." I wrote a history thesis about this at Northwestern University almost a quarter of a century ago, in 1998, which I later serialized on this blog, albeit a bit awkwardly in 14 parts (e.g., here, here, here, here and here).

I highly(!!) recommend the Dunlap book, if you can get a copy. It is almost shocking to read the justifications, theories, and public relations statements about psychedelic drugs from almost three quarters of a century in the past, and to notice that they are very nearly, sometimes close to word-for-word, the same things that are repeated today by the purveyors of a so-called "psychedelic renaissance."

I became aware of the Multi-disciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) when I was at the 2019 annual conference of the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco ("APAAM2019"), and I happened to meet and speak briefly with a woman whose name I didn't get at the time, but who I now suspect was none other than MAPS board member, and more recently a media spokesperson for the organization's vaunted "Psychedelic Science 2023" conference in Denver, Vicky Dulai.

MAPS has funded studies where researchers have been accused of professional misconduct, boundary violations and sexual abuse. The psychedelic renaissance enthusiasts are all worried that people like Vicky Dulai (or for that matter, that old wannabe-hippy Rick Doblin himself) will embarrass the movement and bring Nixonian enforcement tactics down on their heads to take away their beloved acid again, just like Allen Dulles took away Sid Gottlieb's acid in 1953, and like in 1968, when Congress found it to be a "cultural threat" and oh-so-tragically took it away from everybody

Some of the freaks think it will be best to defend against this existential threat to a new version of Tim Leary's "internal freedom" by making sure there are lots of MD psychiatrists close at hand wherever and whenever people take psychedelic drugs. But my guess is, it will always devolve into another Supernova festival with terrorists arriving on para-gliders, or another innocent Tate-LaBianca Hollywood home soaked in blood. And just by the way, psychiatrists are about as far removed from the best intentions for "internal freedom" as it is possible to get.

Adelle Davis wrote that, "Many hundreds of people given LSD  have entered worlds of fantastic beauty where compassion and love have become compulsory." There is a deep, and deeply tragic, irony in her evident favor (assuming the final word in that sentence wasn't just added by a derelict editor) of compulsion

Richard Helms thought LSD was "dynamite!" for the fight against godless communism. Cary Grant, Henry Luce, and (probably) Jack Kennedy all believed, this just might be a drug to save the world.

Sorry guys, but we'll have to do the hard, honest work of learning to communicate with each other. That's what Dunlap Day will be about, for somber Yom Kippur-type reflection, balanced against a more celebratory Passover-like tone or freedom feast on Bye-bye Jeffrey Day.

And I should always conclude: Psychiatria delenda est!

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Ecstasy and Integration

Psychedelic drugs, and other psychiatric drugs, along with modern psychiatry and psychology themselves, are one single, monstrous creature of World War II and the Holocaust. "Ecstatic integration" is actually a term which might mean solving insanity, criminality and war

One need only google "the joy of the knife" and read a bit about Nietzsche's termination of Western philosophy and reason, to know that Jules Evans is spot-on when he writes that joyfully celebrating the rape and murder of innocents is "...another sort of ecstatic experience, perhaps the oldest -- celebrating the bloody humiliation and desecration of your enemy." 

And I recall, even with vestige guilt, the response of my own hero W. T. Sherman, to an aide's question about how it could ever be possible to deal with young Confederate radicals who would never stop fighting: "Kill them. Kill them all."

One also need only read rapturous descriptions of LSD experiences, published as early as 1959-61, to understand that a psychedelic trip can be "ecstatic" either in the sense of union with God, or love of pure cruelty. Ecstasy is extreme emotion which overwhelms a person, whether heavenly or satanic. It is a disconnection ("ex-") from any and all standing or held position ("-stasis") in reason.

Young Israelis high on MDMA and psilocybin at the Supernova music festival in the desert, and Hamas terrorists who slaughtered them to parade mutilated bodies and captives for cheering crowds in Gaza, were comrades on that Saturday: literally brothers and sisters in holy ecstasy!

Integration, whether in psychology or mathematics, means bringing or connecting separate things together, solving them, making them one. 

Any rational aspiration for ecstatic integration must begin with recognition that the set and setting of planet Earth requires constant alertness and constant willingness to resist irresponsible surrender to ecstasy. Whatever wonderful or monstrous experience we have, we must reconnect that, to the shared purposes of every human being in the world. Ecstasy is only acceptable if and when it can be integrated, if and when we can be one. 

I do not believe that Western medicine holds or can produce knowledge which will enable us to solve insanity, criminality and war. That was the delusion which settled over us in 1945; it was our reaction to the black gate and the hot mushroom cloud. It was a continuation, or one more surrender to ecstasy. Biology is a wildly entertaining game, but it will never reduce a living person to a mere brain, or to any particle

Ecstatic integration will never be produced in a test tube or seen under a microscope. We must become ethical individual beings who can freely come together and cooperate in creation.

As I am writing this article, I am told that a nephew and his children are finally in the air back to Chicago, from Israel. It was a traumatic several days for them, but they will be home in time for shabbat.

Adonai eloheinu adonai echad.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Remedios Tiu

Nurse Remmy: do you remember April 30, 2023?

It was a Sunday, and you were on an afternoon shift on H Unit. A female UST patient was causing trouble, demanding that she be given the particular PRN meds that she liked. Security had to be called several times, because the patient was not just verbally abusive and hostile, she was spitting on people. Technically, spitting on someone is criminal battery.

But of course, there's little point in charging a mental patient who's already unfit to stand trial on some other charge, with battery. It's also a practical truth that patients don't abuse or neglect staff; so nobody calls OIG to report a patient spitting on staff, right?

OIG reports are a tough subject. Any staff at a facility like EMHC has a very strict duty to call OIG within four hours, if abuse or neglect of a patient is merely suspected. That rule applies even if (perhaps especially if) the vaguest suspicion of abuse/neglect is about a friend and close colleague. It would be much harder, just hypothetically, for you to call OIG with suspicions about Marge Antona, with whom you work pretty closely, than for you to call OIG about some CNA who's not even a union member. Right?

But I don't think you called OIG about any abuse/neglect at all, on April 30. So you must not have suspected any abuse/neglect by anybody on that day. Right?

The thing that seems problematic to me is the fact that a (non-union, African-America) CNA did get charged with felonies in Kane County for an incident on April 30, involving the psychotic UST patient who was spitting on staff all day. How do you think that happened?

It may seem like it's more or less water-over-the-dam now, in the sense that those criminal charges were eventually dropped. But I can't help thinking, it's very interesting that those charges were ever filed. Something about it makes no sense. There are also such crimes as making false reports to the police, conspiracy to obstruct justice... (I need not elaborate). And sometimes people get roped into complicated stuff that shouldn't be considered their fault. 

Anyone can call me if they have any information, excuses, clarifications or comments, etc. The truth might just save a lot of people some expensive trouble, it usually does. And I can be very easy to get along with when I'm being told the truth.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

More on Latwon & Gabby; contraband cell phones, administrative transfers

On Sunday, Sep. 24, 2023, Latwon had Gabby's cell phone in his room for a while. He was observed exiting his room (2nd room on the left, if you're walking from the day room on K Unit) with the cell phone, which he had put in the pocket of his shorts. He was looking around for Gabby, apparently thinking he should return the phone to her without being observed. Gabby was busy, so Latwon furtively slid the phone onto the counter via the nurses' station window on the west side of the day room. Anybody noticing it could have thought, well, Gabby or whoever the phone belonged to probably just left it there.

Gabby has some reason of her own for so favoring Latwon (and maybe one or two other patients), by allowing him to have contraband access to her cell phone despite the obvious risk of her job. Maybe she's just totally unaware of rules which say she shouldn't even have her phone on the unit, let alone give it to a patient, let alone let a patient have it and (presumably) use it unobserved, long enough to take it to his room and secretly return it to her later.

Or alternatively, maybe she has some financial arrangement with Latwon; maybe he pays her to use her cell phone. Or maybe she's in love with Latwon. It's not like such corrupt things never happen at EMHC (especially on Faiza Kareemi's K Unit -- long known as the "love unit"). 

In fact, Illinois' psychiatric slave plantations are so rife with this kind of corruption that a federal judge could suggest (in a written opinion!), the distinct possibility that sexual abuse of a patient by staff might continue for years with no one ever intervening to stop it, everyone choosing instead to bury their heads in the sand and cover it up.

What kind of a maleficent institution is this? Why do we pay taxes to support it? Why would any medical professional ever degrade him/her self so horribly by working for it, under an obscene pretense of "help?" What damage does this cause, by creating cynical victims who will hate the system forever and refuse to participate in a society that is so oblivious and so stupid as to invent the system, and tolerate it?

Meanwhile, the petty soap opera continues at EMHC, recently over contraband cellphones hidden in bathrooms which can't even be connected to a particular patient, so nobody even knows whom to punish. With no proof against a particular miscreant, the solution becomes just punish everybody. Make them all go to the gym for a mass security search while their rooms get turned and lots of their property gets confiscated, even though most of it is not contraband at all.

And of course, transfer patients around between units, don't ever let them have a stable location or any stable relationships or therapeutic community! Make them move constantly to demonstrate the administration's total control. Never mind actual written policy about transfers, just call it an "administrative decision," never countenance questions or attempt clinical rationale.

More and more, EMHC "patients" (actually slaves) will hate you people. There will be more and more non-compliance, more and more complaints, lawsuits, hostile media, calls to the Law Offices of Kretchmar & Cecala. More and more so-called "mental health professionals" (plantation overseers) will be personally targeted and choose to leave.

This is your future, guys. "Life sucks and then you die." Sherman is coming and he will burn your city. Sleep well!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


Bobby "Boris Johnson" Sharpe still hasn't gotten a haircut, he's still sporting that blonde, unruly thatch. I was tempted to tell him just before a staffing today, that I am overdue for a grooming myself, and I need to make an appointment. It's something we have in common. But I don't think he would have appreciated it.

Bobby answered a question from James Corcoran today, "Who is the doctor on this case?" with a pathetic protest, "Hey, I'm only here two days a week...." This confirmed my earlier information that he's non-union, outside-contracted staff. Most regular nuthouse employees don't appreciate the non-union usurpers of valuable overseer jobs. I may have imagined it, but I think I detected some disrespect for Bobby from Dr. Corcoran, too. It's possible that the two of them just never met before.

The fact that the plantations have to hire non-union guys is very encouraging. I was delighted by a post on my Twitter ("X") feed yesterday, by someone named Hamilton Kennedy (@hmltnknndy): "Psychiatrist alleges that 'the consumer movement' is leading to psychiatrists and other clinical staff leaving the workforce in droves because of being personally targeted and attacked. Says no one wants to work in mental health anymore because of consumer movement."

I don't know about some whole "consumer movement," but I try hard myself and I tell the people I advocate for, to always name individuals. Indeed, as I have said before, when I put a name in a headline, my articles get more readers. I'd sure like to think I have occasionally influenced an overseer to leave Illinois' psychiatric plantation system and find honest work.

Living individuals are responsible and cause things to happen, bad or good. Sometimes a group can be alive enough to make a change or a specific effect, but a capable group always has a name, and it always has individuals with names as members and leaders. No generality, or circumstance, or condition, or rumored or fabled movement, ever does anything. Whenever anyone says "they," always ask "who?" Shit doesn't just happen, it comes out of somebody's butt, and that somebody has a name and a face, and an address and a phone number, and connections to other somebodies.

So why is Bobby Sharpe willing to work on the slave plantation? Maybe he's a failure in his private practice, which I believe is located at 2160 South First Avenue, 101-1740 Loyola Medical Center, Maywood, IL 60153..? If anyone wants to refer new patients to him to help him be more successful, the number is 708-216-9000. But beware, Bobby's only given two stars out of five, on FindaTopDoc.com. (I don't know why, maybe it's his hair.)

It's no long stretch to think guys like this get scapegoated in a place like EMHC. I know a CNA who recently found herself inexplicably charged with crimes, not to mention pilloried in the media. This might have just been an opportunistic misdirection by somebody who was afraid they would be blamed for some corrupt event or activity, of which there are constant, almost unlimited examples. The whole culture of medicalized "mental health" is a veritable cesspool of abuse and neglect. People don't even realize they are being malicious. It's all just evil and mean.

My advice to this Bobby Sharpe guy would be short and sweet: Get a haircut and an honest job!

Monday, September 11, 2023

Does Malis-with-malice torture people?

State psychiatrists like Malis-with-malice usually don't administer forced drugs themselves, and when they petition a court for an order for forced drugging, they often don't even know who will actually do it to the patient. (I'm quite certain this is contrary to the intent of the law, by the way.)

But the MD psychiatrist on a clinical unit has so much important paperwork to fill out and other bureaucratic nonsense to pursue, that he rarely has time for an actual, live patient. 

Alternatively, guys like Malis-with-malice might not want to see forced druggings, because they are occasionally ugly, like torture, totally contrary to the whole idea of medical help.

The model of beneficent "treatment" which predictably helps people to recover from mental illnesses sure doesn't seem to apply when a "patient" violently resists drugging and must be subdued by force. I don't know how many patients do violently resist, but I might admire those who do, and I'd like to think I would fight to the death myself.

Certainly, if we find ourselves physically ganging up on someone we are supposed to help, holding them down so a needle can be forced into their body by some goon (not the "doctor") against their screaming protest, it is darkly laughable to to count that as a victory for modern medicine or the rule of rational law! 

Forced drugging reveals abject failure, and its victims don't come back to thank us for merciful cures. Rather, they protest, and sue, and die.

Malis-with-malice does not act like any scientist or any doctor, when he orders someone else to brutalize his patient, and then doesn't even stick around to watch. At best, he shows himself as a pathetic bureaucrat in a corrupt, incompetent, byzantine state system; a cog in the wheels of a cruel leviathan. The complexity of so-called "diagnosis" and "treatment" of mental disorders is fully legendary in our culture these days. No one who actually looks at it imagines it to be a good, just, or brilliant thing. None of us can be proud to pay our taxes for Elgin Mental Health Center.

Unfortunately, pointing to obvious faults in the system doesn't tell us what to do about people who insist upon pissing off the neighbors. If there's a person we don't like, can't understand, don't know what to do about... well, we should at least be honest. We shouldn't indulge in the pretense that Malis-with-malice knows what he's doing and only means to provide the best care he can for his poor, crazy patient. 

Malis-with-malice can do nothing but parrot pages of drug information and nuthouse "policies" which he chooses, or invents, for some opportunistic excuse. Malis-with-malice is not capable of helping another human being!

When a court chooses to ignore the reality of psychiatry's coercion and abject failure, it should at least require that any "doctor" who asks for an involuntary medication order must be present to see what happens when the order is carried out. If there is ugliness and violence, that must be confronted as an inherent part of the risk/benefit equation. 

Nobody should be allowed to sit behind a desk down the hall or down the street and pretend they don't know. It's like the death penalty: maybe we'll be willing to kill a person who has been evil enough, but we only have that natural right if we can kill them ourselves, even with our own hands.

It's funny how students of nursing or law are happy to sit in on court hearings for involuntary medication petitions, and judges and nuthouse administrators are happy to let them do so.

Nobody ever watches what happens later. That's not allowed. but It should be required.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Margaritaville and DSM-III

To follow up on my post about Jimmy Buffett, I looked for Nietzsche quotes about music. There are more than a few, of course, but here's the one which caught my attention, paraphrased just a bit for better translation in the absence of the original context:

Music sounds wonderful, and reasons ridiculous, when one is marching against an enemy.

I seriously doubt that Friedrich Nietzsche would have appreciated Margaritaville. But then again, nobody ever marched against an enemy to a full symphony orchestra performing a Wagnerian opera, at least not any farther than the edge of town, right? Short, silly songs like Yankee Doodle or I Wish I were in Dixie fit that bill far better. Who knows, maybe the philosopher would have been all about wastin' away again....

The ultimate marching song, perhaps, rose slowly in that dark final scene of Full Metal Jacket ("Hey there, hi there, ho there, we're as happy as can be! M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E..."). And "Four dead in Ohio" worked beautifully with video of rampaging National Guard troops and tear gas on college campuses or in the streets of Chicago. 

But what could have been any martial backdrop in 1977 for, "Blew out my flip flop, stepped on a pop top, cut my heel, had to cruise on back home..."-? I don't recall cities in flames then. What enemy were we marching against, to love Buffett's music so much?

I'd be happy to think it was the whole society in which the machine was god. We had followed Mario Savio's gorgeous exhortation in the sixties, to "put our bodies on the gears and on the wheels and on the levers, and on all the apparatus" to make the machine stop. But the machine didn't stop. The Vietnam war was over, Nixon and Agnew were gone, we left college and got jobs, started families and were a bit embarrassed, as if for becoming part of the machine after all.

Then in 1980, at first almost unnoticed, came the ultimate insult and degradation: DSM-III. All of our romances and aspirations for freedom, all the dazzlingly beautiful music, wanting somebody to love in 1967, was "scientifically revealed" to be mere mechanical actions of neurotransmitters and receptors in our brains. We were medical subjects, not free people. Jon Franklin put it most succinctly, in his 1987 book, Molecules of the Mind: The Brave New Science of Molecular Psychology: "We will have to look in the mirror, surrender illusion, and make peace with the fact that we are staring at a machine..."

We baby boomers mostly bought it, stopped marching, and covered the mirror. The music became all about "booze in the blender, and soon it will render, that frozen concoction that helps me hang on." 

Or if we marched anymore, it was mostly on tropical beaches, "searching for my lost shaker of salt." Did Jimmy Buffett really create our marching songs, or were those poisoned anthems from a subtle enemy coming against us, lulling us into careless, lazy consent to something barely stated, like Yeats' rough slouching beast?

Maybe Nietzsche was far too violent a spirit, whose fevered thoughts I shouldn't try to consult about happy music. I honestly don't know. But I have worried, most of my life, that whenever I sit still and stay quiet, I sure as hell better have arrows, and a bow.  

"Some people claim there's a woman to blame, but I know it's my own damn fault." God help me, I do still love it.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes

I had what I hope people will recognize as a strange thought this morning, when my wife called out, "Alexa! Play Jimmy Buffett." My thought was: Will Alexa's response be noticeably different in any way because he died? I.e., does Alexa know Jimmy Buffett is dead?

I did quickly realize: Wait a minute, Alexa is a machine, so "she" doesn't know or care that Jimmy Buffett is dead, and she'll still play his music exactly the same way she always has, and that music will sound exactly the same to my bio-mechanical ears.

But to my heart, it's different because he's dead. 

Of course, I don't mean my heart as that mechanical pump that moves blood around this body to accomplish energy exchange by low combustion and waste elimination, etc. I don't mean my heart as that machine which my friend Wes Fisher has such a brilliant ability to repair over at Evanston Hospital....

I mean my heart as that place where I will recognize a different time, in my own life and the life of my family and my culture, when I could hear those words and that melody, The cannons don't thunder, there's nothing to plunder, I'm an over-forty victim of fate... coming from a physical spot, only 100 yards behind me on the pitcher's mound at Wrigley Field, one beautiful summer night. That magic won't happen anymore and I have to mourn its passing, even if Alexa doesn't notice.

They could easily make Alexa "notice," I'm sure. Just by adding, "Sadly, Jimmy passed away on September 1, 2023, but..." to the current, "Here's Jimmy Buffett from Apple Music." I'm not sure that would assist my own grieving, or anyone's grieving. Such falsification of life is curiously monstrous, we probably just shouldn't do it.

When I hear the lyrics and the tunes, and remember my father singing, loving those songs; when I think of my kids younger on vacation, saying they wanted a cheeseburger in paradise for lunch, I always cry. I always did, even before Jimmy died today. That's enough, forget about all the machines.

Who will come with me ... to Paris, looking for answers, to questions... that bothered him so...?

Sunday, August 27, 2023


This is a rather new word, which apparently means "substances which cause/enable molding of the mind," i.e., from my perspective, "brainwashing drugs." 

It is mostly synonymous with "psychedelics" but implies a bit of materialistic brain theory (perhaps "dendrite manifesting" instead of the older and more romantic "mind manifesting"). According to Wikipedia, it was coined in 2019 by David E. Olson, a professor of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular medicine at UC-Davis.

When I first encountered the word in an opinion piece in JAMA Psychiatry, I vaguely recognized the bio-implication but immediately wondered why anyone needed a new word to replace Humphrey Osmond's venerable old "psychedelics." There might be various explanations. Maybe the medical profession wants or needs to separate itself from the history of 60's craziness. They'd love people to think that if they use LSD, it will be in connection with careful, scientific research, not at all like those reckless adventures of Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary. If they do push such a brand, it will be a lie of the same magnitude as the "chemical imbalance" myth.

Kesey and Leary only pushed acid into mainstream America a decade after it had been thoroughly researched in very well-funded government programs, designed with the successful precedent of the Manhattan Project firmly in mind. The researchers of the 1950's abandoned psychedelics for the simple reason that unlike with the nuclear weapon experience, they discovered they could not control any aspect of these drugs. They couldn't control the effect of LSD on any particular person at any particular time, and they couldn't control the market supply or (most surprisingly to themselves) the demand. The central message of LSD was simply, no control.

Merely calling psychedelic drugs "psychoplastogens" will never change the essential reality of no control. "Bad trips" will happen at about the same frequency as they did in the Haight in 1967; inspired musicians and tech engineers, micro- or mega-dosing, will imagine "enhanced creativity" only to burn out far too quickly; and here or there we will see a new Charlie Manson horror story, or a new Richard Helms atrocity.

People are people, and they will not be substantially remade or redeemed with a pill. Dr. Gill will still have to talk to that hypo-manic patient on N Unit, and Dr. Malis will still have to listen respectfully to his delusional patient on Hartman. No matter what fancy fiddling these guys can ever do with neurons and brains to emulate Nathan Kline or to follow Professor David Olson, there will be no chemical salvation. 

Whenever I hear or read this term "psychoplastogens," I will suspect that the speaker or writer is:

1.   trying (and tragically failing) to sound like a scientist;
2.   actively covering up idolatry of drugs and brains;
3    hoping to brainwash other people for money and personal power;
4.   utterly hopeless about really communicating with an individual; and
5.   unable to create anything from scratch.

These "psychedelic renaissance" people and these supposed "scientists" who actually believe there can be such a thing as psychoplastogens look for the living in a place of the dead. 

Friday, August 18, 2023

Psychiatric slavery

Perhaps the single best dramatization of the "slave plantation" character to which the Illinois forensic psychiatric system so obviously aspires, is an elderly (age 77) African-American patient at EMHC named James Baker. A former forensic program director confided in me several years ago that he really wanted Baker to get a conditional release, because it just doesn't look good when a recipient of services dies in custody.

I've written about James several times. I think he was a drug user at an early age, grew up in bad neighborhoods in Chicago, got into the "mental health" system, killed somebody, was found NGRI, got coerced to take more drugs, finally decided completely on his own that he'd get off all the drugs, and got punished for that at EMHC for many years by several treating psychiatrists including none other than Richard Malis-with-malice, who literally kept James in chains until a judge forced an end to it.

I once had a plan to get a picture of James being loaded into an EMHC van in his chains, to go to an opthamologist appointment for his glaucoma. I figured I could blast that picture all over the internet with some suitable caption about "American slavery then and now." It never happened because of the very sensible judge, who basically told Malis, "Go in the jury room right now with Baker, and fix this." 

But one of the greatest regrets of my legal career is not having succeeded in getting James Baker released. He's only a year and a half from his Thiem date now, after three and a half decades at EMHC! When I first knew him he played basketball every day; now he has a hard time walking, and probably will be in a wheelchair from now on. What a tragic, ugly waste!

I asked Barry Smoot why the system could possibly want to keep Baker at EMHC any longer. He said that's easy: Baker is valuable property. He causes little or no trouble, he's an easy patient to deal with and he's worth federal dollars like other patients, but for less expense, at least for the moment. It's a short-sighted business calculation, but not entirely irrational.

Baker's current social worker and his psychiatrist were the only two clinical staff to attend his monthly treatment plan review yesterday. They have an acceptance for James' placement in the community already, despite his not taking psych drugs, being diagnosed with schizophrenia, and having committed a homicide. That speaks volumes.

But why should EMHC let the value and the income that this slave represents for the institution be transferred over to Bobby E. Wright Transitional Homes? They can keep him at EMHC for another year and a half, under transparently ridiculous but arguably "clinical mental health" logic like, "Well, he might benefit from doing the community reintegration program (which consists of two or three trips to local malls) for the fourth time. We did change it a little bit since he did it the third time... now we not only go to the mall, but also to McDonald's!"

There's no conditional release packet being prepared for James Baker. Nobody is bothering. He's easily maintained property like Barry Smoot pointed out.

They don't even need the chains anymore, he can't run!


Quick note: It's only August but this is my 57th article posted in 2023, which is my highest ever for any calendar year since I started the blog in 2009.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Confidential information

A staffing yesterday featured a major, and majorly flawed strategy, by the masters and the overseers in the Illinois psychiatric slave plantation system. It's called, "protecting the confidentiality of medical and mental health information." This strategy goes a long way to help cover up real crimes which are utterly endemic, like staff sexual abuse of patients, staff failure to report suspicions of sexual abuse of patients, falsification of medical records, and perjury.

Needless to say it also helps in a huge way, to more generally deceive the tax-paying public into believing that EMHC and the other IDHS plantations are really "hospitals" where people who only did bad things because of a treatable disease can be successfully cured. This of course, is the big lie. The best people I have ever known in twenty-plus years at Elgin Mental Health Center are no better at "curing mental illness" (but on the plus side, no more likely to sexually abuse those in their custody) than an average layperson. However what distinguishes them as "professionals" is, they are all much more competent than a layperson with the bureaucratic procedures and justifications for, and the eccentric vernacular of, psychiatric slavery.

One item in that eccentric vernacular is "HIPAA!" as a near-magical incantation which means, "Everybody has to shut up now, everything is secret! Anybody who talks is in a lot of trouble." Following is my response to this incantation during yesterday's staffing for my guy Gus.

He is Gustavo Rodriguez from Aurora, IL, date of birth 10/10/1963, adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity on a charge of aggravated sexual assault. He is an involuntarily committed "patient" (psychiatric slave) housed on K Unit at Elgin Mental Health Center, 750 South State Street, Elgin, IL 60123. I don't remember his bullshit psychiatric "diagnosis" or I'd include it here, he wouldn't care.

Gus' current treating psychiatrist is Robert "Boris Johnson" Sharpe, the gnomish little outside-contracted (non-union) character who still needs a haircut, and who spearheaded complaints in yesterday's staffing about Gus "...posting confidential information about other patients," perhaps in an attempt to convince his boss, James Corcoran, that something should be done so that Gus will stay away from me. Gus tells me a lot about day-to-day happenings on K Unit (and some other units), and I occasionally, although probably not as often as he would like, write about what he tells me on this blog.

Gus' current treating psychologist is Stoika Meyer, a slightly severe, frenetic-looking woman in her fifties or sixties, who attempted to extract information from me about where I live(!), when I saw her in the forensic program building reception area at EMHC this morning. I probably could have chanted "HIPAA" just to see how that would work on her. Stoikie is another outside-contracted, non-union staff like Bobby (Boris) Sharpe. Her role in the staffing yesterday was apparently to convince James Corcoran that lots of patients on K Unit complain about Gus. The thing is, she's the one inciting or soliciting those complaints, in what seems to be an organized campaign to discredit and isolate Gus.

Rachel Nelson is Gus' social worker. She made a fallback argument for the team yesterday, that even if Gus' (and my) "posting of confidential information" isn't illegal, it's immoral because Gus wouldn't like his peers doing the same thing to him. But Gus doesn't care. (See the paragraph above, with his full name, etc.)

My first main point here is, HIPAA doesn't apply to me or Gus, because we are not medical or mental health professionals. If they want us to shut up, they should try to get a relevant court order that won't infringe against constitutional speech or press freedoms. The mere incantation definitely won't fly here. And actually the whole accusation about "posting confidential information" seemed to fall pretty flat with Dr. Corcoran. (He didn't have any great interest in the hoopla over Gabby and Latwon being inseparable on Faiza Kareemi's "love unit" K, either.) He finally piped up and said that all these complaints are normal, minor personality conflicts that occur on any clinical unit. His priority would be to work hard on how to get Gus out of EMHC!

Corcoran's priority is certainly correct, from any point of view. Almost twenty years ago, clinicians and administrators at CMHC and EMHC, plus legal counsel for IDHS and prosecutors in the Circuit Courts of a couple Illinois counties were all telling me they wanted to get Rodney Yoder the hell away from their establishments and out of the media. He caused too much trouble and embarrassment for the state.

I would hesitate to bet that Gustavo Rodriguez will rise to a level of such extraordinary public relations and media acumen as Rodney Yoder showed. But I am confident that as long as Gus is a slave on the Elgin plantation, there will be copious details and embarrassing stories about day-to-day lives on the units posted on this blog. Gus isn't my only source for this material, but he's a pretty good one.

Those details and stories will also end up in public records of lawsuits.

Friday, August 11, 2023

TOCS California

OK, I'll jump back to a wider sociopolitical scene today. (You're welcome, K Unit.)

There is a movement for a ballot initiative in California called TREAT California. It's the brainchild of Dr. Jeannie Fontana. Dr. Fontana seems like a dicey character to me, because she apparently believes that if enough Californians take psychedelic drugs, the problems of mental health will be solved and the world itself will be redeemed. 

I would suggest that the initiative should be renamed "TOCS California" with TOCS standing for Trip Out Californians to Save the world" (and TOCS by the way might sound like "tax" with a West Coast accent, which would be appropriate here).

Jules Evans recently called Jeannie Fontana "...the Barbenheimer hoping to bring tax-payer-funded psychedelic therapies to all Californians," in an article with a picture of his subject looking very much like a classic Barbie doll right under the headline, TREAT California: the Manhattan Project of psychedelics?

Evans points out several issues with this intiative, including historical precedent that strongly suggests it could quickly become a corrupt boondoggle (did that happen with the atom bomb, too?!), and the prospect that over-promising benefits like the total salvation of humanity will blow back against promoters.

The corrupt boondoggle issue is raised partly because of Barbenheimer Fontana's own record with the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), an earlier initiative that California taxpayers funded to promote stem cell research. CIRM was fraught with conflicts of interest for 20 years and never developed a stem cell treatment that became available to the public. It ultimately gave about 90% of its funds to the private projects of board members.

Dr. Fontana told Jules Evans that she has learned a lot since she was with CIRM. During the pandemic, she divorced her husband and found universal love in Mexico by eating chocolates made by a shaman with psilocybin and ayahuasca. Then she proceeded on a real magical mystery tour, with ibogaine, MDMA, Ketamine, mescaline, DMT, and lots more psilocybin. Now Dr. Fontana wants to define a new industry through which everyone can take these drugs and be part of "the unifying force of the universe," which she knows in her DNA (?) will enable us all to "have the relationship of knowing."

I sure as hell am reminded(!) ...of Adelle Davis' 1961 book (as Jane Dunlap) about LSD! Davis wrote:

Many hundreds of people given LSD have entered worlds of fantastic beauty where compassion and love have become compulsory. People who have had such experiences usually agree that deep within lie goodness unimaginable, wisdom, music, talents of every variety, joy, peace, humility, love, and spirituality, to name a few.   

Adelle Davis died of bone cancer in 1974. Her son told me sadly that his mother's final drug of choice was not LSD, but morphine, in rapidly increasing doses. We'll have to see whether Barbenheimer Fontana can do any better than that. 

As the French say, plus ça change.... 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Dan Malone

Dan is a social worker on K (Faiza Kareemi's "love unit"). Like almost everyone else who works on the EMHC plantation, he started out wanting to help people. His intentions were mostly frustrated within a few years, and he began thinking about getting away with pretenses until his state pension accrued.

Now he mostly pretends, every day. He pretends to be a "mental health professional" with special access to scientific brain technologies that enable the amazing team he's on to medically cure human difficulties in cognition, emotion and behavior. This was the pretense favored, possibly even believed, back in 2014 when Jeff "freak of nature" Lieberman gave his speech to the APA convention and tried to get people to take my picture.

That was almost a decade ago, and no one believes the pretense now. Psychiatric "diagnosis" has been widely revealed to be bullshit, and "treatment" clearly sucks as bad as ever. That doesn't mean a guy like Dan never helps anyone. But when he does help someone, it's despite any allegiance he may have to psychiatry, despite the incompetent fakers who surround him at EMHC, despite his unfortunate training in false methodologies and explanations, despite the real work that takes up the majority of his time and energy, which is pointless paperwork and lying.

With all those strikes against him, it's really quite impressive that Dan does occasionally help somebody, and he should be honestly admired for that. The problem is, he has to pretend and lie, constantly, to everyone. That just turns anybody plain, damned stupid.

On the 27th of July, Dan went to the trouble of interrogating one patient on the unit over what Gus had been seen discussing with him that day. In fact, Gus had simply been explaining a form to request preferences for phone time (or some such mundane daily affairs), in the event that the guy would be absent for a religious service when staff went around to take a poll. But Dan was very ready! or even hyper-alert, to suspect some dark conspiracy. It was stupid.

Then yesterday just after 8:00 AM, Dan made a tangential remark that Gus had better not be threatening Dan's patients! Gus asked where that came from, and it turned out that another patient had simply worried aloud about Gus reporting rules violations on K Unit (e.g., Gabby handing her cell phone around for Latwon and other favored patients to use; or the pervasive black market trade in personal possessions). So Dan arbitrarily converted that into a threat, apparently establishing his role as the protector of anyone Gus might report, even if rules (or for that matter laws, like those that establish custodial sexual abuse as a felony!) are being broken and Gus' reports are fully accurate. 

Gus has become dangerous. Not because he would ever hurt himself or anyone else due to any faux "mental illness," but because he does not like the mafia culture on K unit, and he has realized that merely to maintain his own integrity, he must write reports which disturb the status quo. Gus is apparently dangerously powerful in the eyes of some staff, because he's not afraid and won't stop. I have tried to help him with this, mostly by admonishing him to be very strict about the truth, but otherwise urging him to continue.

It just now occurs to me that my Twitter friend, the San Francisco psychiatrist Joe Pierre, spoke quite directly about this phenomenon during a recent presentation he gave. Joe tries to explain conspiracy beliefs as a little bit (but not very) pathological, and theorizes that they may be caused by a combination of epistemic mistrust and marketplace misinformation. These factors are obvious on K Unit!

I sort of regret that my advocacy for Gus may put me at odds with some staff who are essentially well-intended, like Dan Malone (maybe Stoika Meyer, too, by the way), but who have really just become plain damned S-T-U-P-I-D from lying too much.

And I think that's a better explanation than Frisco Joe's complex epistemology and Marxism.

Oh, well.