Monthly Archives: December 2008

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Excellent!

First- a Mind Freedom News Alert:

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MindFreedom International – please forward
Human Rights in Mental Health – 26 Dec. 2008

BELOW, the main weekly newspaper in Eugene, Oregon, USA — home of
MindFreedom International — published a brief article about how
psychiatrist Darrel A. Regier is a link between revising the “label
bible” of psychiatry and the drug industry.

Dr. Regier is in charge of preparing the new, fifth version of the
American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) powerful “Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual” (DSM). Dr. Regier has forced psychiatrists
participating in the DSM process sign a secrecy agreement, and he has
refused to respond to contacts from organizations such as
MindFreedom, despite encouragement from World Health Organization.

Dr. Regier is also head of the APA’s “APIRE,” their research arm that
collects millions of dollars in psychiatric drug company donations to
psychiatry.

In the article, MindFreedom’s director David W. Oaks says that
democracy needs to get hands on with psychiatry in order to “green”
the mental health system.

AT BOTTOM is more info, including a web page of links to how Dr.
Regier connects the dots between the DSM and psychiatric drug
industry corruption.

~~~~~~~

Eugene Weekly, Oregon, USA – 24 December 2008

Greening of Mental Health?

by Ted Taylor, Editor

Psychiatrists are wrestling with changes in definitions and diagnoses
that will be included in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(DSM). The final edition will
have consequences for insurance reimbursement, research and
individuals’ psychological identity for years to come, according to a
Dec. 18 story by Benedict Carey in The New York Times. But will the
content reflect any input from millions of mental health patients?

“We definitely tried to have input and dialogue, and there was none
allowed. Period,” says David Oaks, executive director of MindFreedom
International
, based in Eugene.

MindFreedom was founded [in 1986] to advocate against forced
medication, physical restraints and involuntary electroconvulsive
therapy
, says Oaks. Members worldwide identify themselves as
survivors of human rights violations in a mental health system
heavily influenced by outdated practices and pharmaceutical interests.

[Oaks] says Dr. Darrel A. Regier, a key figure in the new DSM, is
also head of the special “research” wing of the American Psychiatric
Association
. APIRE, an independent component of the APA, [led initial
planning for] the DSM and “tends to get millions upon millions of
drug company dollars.”

“Even though Dr. Regier got federal money to hold international
seminars on the ‘future of psychiatric diagnosis,’ he has absolutely
refused to even respond to civil inquiries from anyone outside his
closed-door process,” says Oaks.

Oaks says a prominent official with the World Health Organization’s
mental health section, “has twice personally asked Dr. Regier to
respond to requests from MindFreedom about having mental health
consumer input in the re-writing of the DSM,” and was told “no.” “So
these few hundred unelected mainly rich, mainly white males are
cooking up behavioral guidelines for us all, with zero input from the
public who is impacted by these rules.”

MindFreedom is working to break the undemocratic domination of mental
health care
by the medical establishment, says Oaks. “Our issue is
kind of like where energy policy was in the 1950s, totally dominated
by the system. Now we’re pushing for ‘greening of mental health,’ to
allow for more holistic, empowering, non-chemical approaches, and
especially direct involvement by citizens in helping to plan mental
and emotional well-being programs.”

The revised DSM, due out in about three years, is expected to reflect
some public pressures. Early editions of the book defined
homosexuality as a mental disorder. Protests by gay activists
provoked a scientific review, and the diagnosis was dropped in 1973,
replaced by “sexual orientation disturbance,” and then “ego-dystonic
homosexuality.” Homosexuality as a disorder was dropped from the book
in 1987. Some GLBTQ activists are now lobbying for similar changes
regarding gender identity issues, but others are wanting to keep
transgender identity as a formal diagnosis so that treatment or
surgery can be covered by insurance.

The story can be found by a web search for “NYTimes DSM,” and
MindFreedom International’s website is www.mindfreedom.org — Ted
Taylor, Editor, Eugene Weekly

– end –

original article [corrections bracketed]
http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2008/12/24/news.html#1

APIRE is the repository for much of the millions of dollars that the
psychiatric drug industry pours into the American Psychiatric
Association and its related organizations. As director of APIRE, Dr.
Regier also is in charge of the new DSM.

For a version of above with links at bottom to more info about APA,
DSM, Dr. Regier and APIRE:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/campaign/media/mf/greening-mental-health

congressman-lets-c

ACTIONS:

** Ask your Congressperson to investigate the links between Dr.
Regier, APIRE, APA, psychiatric drug industry, and DSM.

** Mark your calendar: MindFreedom plans another protest of APA
Annual Meeting in San Francisco, May 2009! Attend, or plan actions
wherever you are from May to July.

** Join MindFreedom! For information about joining MindFreedom today,
click here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/join-donate

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PLEASE FORWARD THIS NEWS!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MindFreedom International Office:

454 Willamette, Suite 216 – POB 11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

web site: http://www.mindfreedom.org
e-mail: office@mindfreedom.org
MFI member services phone: (541) 345-9106
MFI member services toll free: 1-877-MAD-PRIDe or 1-877-623-7743
fax: (480) 287-8833

(click the pic)

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Next- News you can really use-

The very best link ever (not an exageration):

http://www.gethuman.com/

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Filed under animated gif, Links: Recovery, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news, politics, wellness and systems change

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Other things:

MindFreedom News- The Ray ECT Campaign

By David Oaks

 

23 December 2008

Dear readers of the MindFreedom News Public Alerts:

Ray Sandford phoned the MindFreedom office this morning, as he does
most days.

As you probably know, Ray has received about 35 involuntary
electroshocks. MindFreedom’s Ray Campaign has activated hundreds of
people like you to support Ray. This won Ray national publicity and a
new hearing last week.

Ray gave me the bad news that the judge ruled against him. Again.

That means Ray is scheduled for another of his every-other-Wednesday
involuntary electroshocks tomorrow, 24 December 2008.

Christmas Eve.

Ray says, “I’m really disappointed in that.” Ray thought that maybe
his family’s holiday get togethers would delay this week’s forced shock.

But Ray said that instead of the gathering, “I’ll be having tacos
with my aunt tonight to celebrate Christmas.”

So tomorrow morning Ray will be woken up early in his group home, and
escorted to a forced shock.

Ray told me this morning:

“It’s a painful awful experience. Every time. It takes away memory
viciously. It is scary as hell every time I go.”

Ray says he always objects.

“I say, ‘I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this,’ which
I’ve known since the first time. Everyone figures I’m totally nuts.”

Ray is not giving up.

So we are not giving up.

We ask that you not give up.

Eye-witnesses at Ray’s hearing, held in a dreary hospital basement,
knew he did not have much of a chance.

Ray’s court-appointed attorney, Jon Duckstad, refused to call any
expert witness to testify for Ray’s side. (See MFI Blog for more on
the hearing.) Mr. Duckstad has refused to respond to any offers of
help from MindFreedom, including a number of skilled attorneys we’ve
found who offered to assist for free.

Ray is keeping his spirits up.

Ray is so grateful to MindFreedom members and supporters for speaking
out. Ray is proud that even a relative in Alaska heard him oppose his
forced shock on National Public Radio (click on http://
www.mindfreedom.org/ray to hear that, and read more about Ray).

I am deeply impacted by Ray’s ongoing psychiatric torture out in the
community.

All abuse is bad, but severe outpatient abuse is traumatizing to all
of us, like me, who have experienced mental health system human
rights violations. It means none of us are safe, even in our homes.

 

MindFreedom International – please forward
http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray
Human Rights in Mental Health – Ray Alert #8

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

521

Christmas Eve 2008

What Would Jesus Do About Forced Electroshock?

An Open Letter to the Lutheran Church [ELCA] from MindFreedom
International [MFI]

by David W. Oaks, Executive Director, MFI

As we send you this, we understand Ray Sandford of Minnesota is
receiving another involuntary electroshock this Christmas Eve
morning, 24 December 2008.

As you know, your agency Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota
(LSSMN) is charged with being General Guardian for Ray. This is a
reply to your recent misleading public statement about the
MindFreedom Campaign to End Ray Sandford’s Forced Electroshock
(copied at bottom).

Regularly for months — presently every other week — attendants wake
Ray up early in his group home, Victory House. He is escorted the few
miles to a hospital. Under court order and against his repeated and
clear objections, Ray is put under anesthesia, electricity is run
through brain head, and he is given another electroshock, also known
as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

Ray has received about 35 so far.

Ray calls our office most days, and it’s always good to hear from
him. He told me yesterday, “It’s a painful, awful experience. Every
time. It takes away memory viciously. It is scary as hell every time
I go.”

Ray says he always objects. “I say, ‘I don’t want to do this. I don’t
want to do this,’ which I’ve known since the first time. Everyone
figures I’m totally nuts.”

One day Ray asked his local library about groups working on human
rights in mental health, and Ray contacted MindFreedom International.
Ray asked us to start a public campaign to support his right to say
“no” to electroshock.

I had hoped your church would be an ally in Ray’s campaign. Instead,
I have found you to stand by silently with arms folded, or even worse
your spokespeople appear to at times oppose Ray’s campaign.

In my 32 years of human rights activism, Ray is one of the most
focused individuals I’ve ever encountered in his persistent and
reasonable requests to end his forced electroshock. The fact that his
forced shock is outpatient and ongoing is especially outrageous.

Ray’s heroism has moved me and many others. Countless people have
responded to support the Ray Campaign, and Ray reached millions of
people on National Public Radio.

On 16 December 2008, the “Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America” [ELCA] issued a reply to a number of people who have
expressed concern about Ray as a result of MindFreedom’s human rights
alerts. (See below.)

It is significant for ELCA to issue a public statement about a
MindFreedom International campaign. With more more than four million
baptized members, ELCA is the largest Lutheran denomination and one
of the largest Christian denominations in the USA. We at MindFreedom
are eager for dialogue with ELCA.

Unfortunately, Miriam L. Woolbert of ELCA’s Communication Services
replied to those contacting ELCA that groups like MindFreedom are
“misdirecting you and many other people.”

Ms. Woolbert did not provide any example or quote of such
“misdirecting.” Her main points appear to be that ELCA is not a
“participant” in any involuntary electroshock, and that ELCA cannot
speak about Ray because of confidentiality.

MindFreedom’s alerts never claimed that ELCA is in charge of the
involuntary electroshock of Ray. MindFreedom International encourages
people to contact ELCA to ask you “to stand with Ray.”

Even if ELCA representatives feel you cannot speak specifically about
Ray, we ask ELCA to stand shoulder to shoulder with all their agency
clients, like Ray, who are receiving involuntary electroshock. ELCA
could at least begin by expressing concern or joining in dialogue.

We continue to encourage all people who care to contact ELCA, and
ELCA’s local congregations, with strong but civil messages.

Because of ELCA’s misleading statement about the Ray Campaign this
action is especially urgent, including for those who have already
contacted you.

Most importantly, Ray is asking us all to take this action.

300_221267

~~~~~~~~~~~~

* ACTION * ACTION * ACTION *

People may e-mail ELCA headquarters at info@elca.org or use their web
form:

http://archive.elca.org/mailto.asp?to=info@elca.org

We also encourage all concerned people in the USA to contact local
ELCA congregations, which they can find by entering their postal code
here:

http://www.elca.org/ELCA/Search/Find-a-Congregation.aspx

~~~~~~~~~~~~

MindFreedom Suggested Message to ELCA and Local Congregations [your
own words from the heart are best]:

I am not being misdirected by MindFreedom International or anyone else.

I am not saying you are in charge of anyone’s forced electroshock.

I am not asking you to break confidentiality of any client.

I am simply asking:

Will you stand now with Ray Sandford, and all those who are oppressed
by extreme psychiatric abuse?

What is ELCA’s position on the forced, outpatient, maintenance
electroshock of clients you and your agencies are charged to guard?

Why isn’t ELCA expressing concern about these human rights
violations, which amount to torture?

How can ELCA use this opportunity to seek dialogue on human right and
alternatives in the mental health system?

[your name & contact]

[Please copy your e-mail to news@mindfreedom.org; selected e-mails
will be published on the web and/or mailed to Ray.]

~~~~~~~~~~~~

brain

For more info the Ray Campaign see:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

The MindFreedom Board of Directors includes several individuals who
have personally experienced the unimaginable horror of an involuntary
electroshock.

The board endorses this public statement to ELCA, and asked me to
quote from the famous letter written by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
in the Birmingham Jail on 16 April 1963.

Forty-five years ago, Rev. King was responding to church leaders who
discouraged his own activist campaign:

“…I felt we would be supported by the white church. I felt that the
white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our
strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents,
refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its
leaders; and too many others have been more cautious than courageous
and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-
glass windows…

“So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with
an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo.
Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power
structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent
and often even vocal sanction of things as they are.”

ect-bw

[More excerpts below.]

~~~~~~~~~~~~

For those who would like more detail about this exchange between
MindFreedom and ELCA about the Ray Campaign:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about Lutheran Church [ELCA] and Forced
Electroshock of Ray Sandford

*** How does Ray Sandford’s feel about Lutheran Social Services of
Minnesota (LSSMN)?

Ray has approved this alert, and asks everyone to contact the
Lutheran Church [ELCA]. Ray knows that their agency LSSMN is not
directly in charge of his forced shock. Ray said, “In some ways
Lutheran Social Services is compassionate and helpful. They’ve
visited me and are a support system. They manage my finances my
fairly. But Lutheran Social Services does not listen to me. They
don’t see you. They asked me to not do this campaign. They should
support the person who doesn’t want electroshock. Tell them I don’t
want shock!”

*** Does ELCA oversee Ray’s forced electroshock?

To repeat, ELCA is not directly in charge of Ray’s forced
electroshock. We can understand ELCA being sensitive to this
question. Media are starting to pay attention, and National Public
Radio covered Ray’s story.

The legal jargon can get complicated. On 16 December, television
station WCCO-TV in Minnesota mis-reported that Ray’s “guardian ad
litem” Terri Bradley, who is the court-appointed person specifically
and narrowly in charge of overseeing Ray’s forced electroshock, and
who testified in court for Ray’s forced shock, works for LSSMN. WCCO-
TV has since issued a public retraction.

Legally speaking, LSSMN is “general guardian” for Ray, but not
“guardian ad litem” specifically on the electroshock.

*** What has ELCA said about forced electroshock?

Representatives of Luthern Social Services of Minnesota (LSSMN), an
agency that is sponsored by ELCA, have refused to speak out about the
abuse of their clients like Ray by repeated, “maintenance” forced
oupatient electroshock.

On the contrary, LSSMN representatives, including their employee
Tonya Wilhelm, have sought to discourage Ray and advocates such as
myself from speaking out publicly about Ray’s abuse. My first contact
with Ms. Wilhelm ended with her laughing loudly, saying this would be
between our lawyers, and hanging up.

Helpful MindFreedom voluteers in Minnesota are now prohibited from
even visiting Ray. Ray is kept from a follow-up visit to the
Minnesota Center for Independent Living. Ray is not being offered
humane alternatives to electroshock. Mail sent to Ray is re-directed
to LSSMN for screening. LSSMN attorney George Borer wrote MFI on 1
December “emphasizing” that they do not consent to MFI disseminating
info that Ray provided for the campaign that they consider “private.”

In a newspaper report on 18 November, Eric Jonstaard, director of
LSSMN, did speak out about Ray to a reporter. Unfortunately, Mr.
Jonstaard took the opportunity to chastise MindFreedom for using
Ray’s full name in the Ray Campaign, as Ray has specifically and
repeatedly authorized MindFreedom and NPR to do.

For more info on the Ray Campaign see:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

*** What is ELCA’s link to LSSMN?

Through his bravery, Ray has offered us all an opportunity to create
dialogue. Instead, Mr. Jonstaard seeks to distance ELCA from the
situation by saying that ELCA is “not related to the situation”
except for a “loose” sponsorship of LSSMN.

Not related?

Loose?

ELCA’s sponsorship of LSSMN is official, financial, legal, direct,
public and documented.

LSSMN’s web site states that LSSMN is “owned” by six Minnesota synods
of ELCA, and credits ELCA as one of its “primary” funding sources for
their 2009 budget of $90 million.

Owned? A primary funding source?

How is that “loose”? Perhaps a lack of close oversight is part of the
problem.

This dialogue should not be about technical quibbling. ELCA has a
deep moral obligation to address oppression of any of their clients,
or any human being for that matter. ELCA’s agencies receive millions
of dollars in scarce taxpayer funding to guard these clients.

In Minnesota alone, Mr. Jonstaard says that LSSMN is responsible for
800 “vulnerable adults.” How many have experienced involuntary
psychiatric drugging and electroshock? LSSMN’s Tonya Wilhelm told
MindFreedom’s David Oaks that involuntary electroshock of LSSMN
clients like Ray in Minnesota is “not uncommon.”

The moral failure of involuntary electroshock over the expressed
wishes of the individual is not only committed by the individual
flipping the switch, but by all those aware of the torture but who
remain silent.

*** What about Ray’s confidentiality?

First and foremost, Ray has repeatedly, consistently, and
passionately spoken out, as he puts it so clearly, for “No more shock
for Ray.” He has signed a release of information form. He approved
MFI and National Public Radio using his full name in a broadcast that
reached an estimated two million people. LSSMN’s attorney admits the
First Amendment protects the rights of this campaign.

The ELCA statement claims that “confidentiality” keeps them from
addressing Ray specifically. In MindFreedom’s opinion, agencies such
as LSSMN have the legal discretion and moral obligation to speak out
about abuse of their clients to legislators, media, and the public if
they choose. Ray has asked for LSSMN to do this.

At what point does confidentiality become cover-up?

However anyone interprets privacy laws, everyone admits it is
completely legal for ELCA and LSSMN to speak out in general to the
media and legislators about the policy of involuntary electroshock
itself, which can impact a number of their agency’s clients.

ELCA has addressed other tough issues over the years. For instance,
one of ELCA’s predecessor churches ordained female pastors as early
as 1970. ELCA publicly wrestles with other controversial topics
including abortion and homosexual pastors.

So what about joining a discussion about issues impacting people
diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities? Isn’t it time? Isn’t it past
time?

*** Isn’t ELCA right that this is a matter entirely up to the courts?

According to eye witnesses, and Ray himself, his most recent court
hearing on 16 December, held in a hospital basement, was a mockery of
justice. Ray was not able to secure a better attorney. His court-
appointed attorney, Jon Duckstad, who Ray says has barely
communicated with him, did not call one independent expert witness to
defend Ray, and has refused offers of free help from other attorneys.

Social justice requires not just courts, but a sense of individual
and group moral responsibility.

Washing ones hands as Ray is escorted to a forced shock on Christmas
Eve is not acceptable.

*** Where else can people raise concerns with the ELCA community?

You may choose to bring this matter up with your own faith community,
and ask them to begin to address these topics themselves and contact
local ELCA congregations.

Also, by coincidence, the next ELCA Churchwide Assembly will take
place 17 to 23 August 2009 in Minneapolis, the very region where Ray
is receiving his regular, outpatient, forced electroshock.

It is time for all religious organizations to dialogue about the
human rights and dignity of some of society’s most oppressed
citizens, people who experience psychiatric atrocities.

One would expect many of ELCA’s participants would want to lead the
faith community on the neglected social justice issue of human rights
in mental health, rather than silence public discussion.

To quote ELCA’s web site about their church:

“It’s a story of a powerful and patient God who has boundless love
for all people of the world, who brings justice for the oppressed.”

*** Why do you quote a civil rights leader such as Martin Luther
King, Jr. about psychiatric oppression?

The civil rights movement was the inspiration for many social change
movements, including the movement led by survivors of psychiatric
abuse that began in the USA in 1970.

Other relevant quotes by MLK from his letter from a Birminham Jail
include the following:

MLK:

“I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and
states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about
what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice
everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,
tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly,
affects all indirectly….

“An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and
natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law
that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statues
are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the
personality…

“You may well ask, ‘Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches, and so
forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?’ You are quite right in
calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct
action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and
foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused
to negotiate is forced to confront the issue…

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s
great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White
Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate,
who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a
negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace
which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with
you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of
direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the
timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept
of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more
convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is
more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill
will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright
rejection.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is the reply ELCA has been sending to many people who have
expressed concern about Ray:

Statement from Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [ELCA] About
Campaign Against Forced Electroshock of Ray Sandford

electrocon

~~~~~~~~~~~~

From: Info@elca.org

Date: December 16, 2008 7:36:03 AM PST

Thank you for writing concerning a story you have heard or seen in
the public media. The ELCA is not related to the situation, except as
a sponsor of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, one of 280 such
organizations in the Lutheran Services in America network.
Sponsorship is a fairly loose term from a churchwide perspective, and
usually means that people in the area of the affiliated agency
represent the church on the agency’s board, and individuals and
congregations may also contribute some funding to the agency.

Here is a response from Lutheran Services in America which explains
the situation about which you are concerned:

To respond to your inquiry and comments regarding a recent story
about the medical situation of a vulnerable adult under a civil
commitment proceeding, who also has a court appointed guardian:

As a guardian, Lutheran Social Service has both a legal and ethical
duty to keep the specific details of clients’ care and treatment
confidential. While we can’t discuss the client specifically, we can
speak in general about how we carry out our work.

Lutheran Social Service is appointed by the court to serve as a
guardian or conservator to over 800 vulnerable adults in Minnesota.
We are court-appointed to take on this role when individuals lack the
capacity to make decisions about their affairs and there are no
family members who are either able or willing to take on that
responsibility.

A civil commitment is a separate proceeding in the State of
Minnesota. When a person is civilly committed, a decision to impose
electroconvulsive therapy (“ECT”) is a decision made by a commitment
court and not the court appointed Guardian. In the commitment process
someone, normally a health care professional, brings a petition for
ECT treatment for the individual. The individual is assigned an
attorney and a guardian ad litem (not Lutheran Social Service) who
act as advocates either to oppose or to consent to the petition. The
commitment court hears evidence from medical professionals and then
makes a decision on whether to impose the ECT treatment. The court
decision is then appealable by the client and the client’s attorney.
Under Minnesota Statute §524.5-313, a general guardian such as
Lutheran Social Service has no authority to impose ECT treatment
against the known conscientious, religious or moral beliefs of the
individual. The general guardian is not a participant in the civil
commitment process regarding the forced imposition of ECT treatment.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota has a long tradition of serving
vulnerable children and adults, and careful systems are in place to
ensure that decisions are made with the person’s best interest in mind.

Sincerely,
Eric Jonsgaard, Senior Director
LSS Guardianship Options

I hope this helps you understand the situation, and that you will
tell whoever suggested that writing to the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America might help make a difference that they are
misdirecting you and many other people.

Miriam L. Woolbert
ELCA Communication Services

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The above was sent by ELCA to a number of people in response to Ray
Alert #7 about National Public Radio coverage of Ray’s campaign,
which you can hear or read here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/alert-7-sandford

For more information on the Ray Campaign see:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

electricity_is_your_friend


Oregon Consumer/ Survivor Coalition

 

Health and disability forum

 

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If you can’t make it, please fill out the survey at
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warm greetings,

Ann
www.bluepacem.com
evolve.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Are you a person with a disability or know someone who is?

Is it hard for you to be healthy, because of conditions in society and the health care system?

Well, here?s your chance to do something about it!

(For those that can?t attend, please fill out a short Health and Disability survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Qh2E4sc3d9ffNEp7CHyt9A_3d_3d)??

We would love to hear your opinions!

WowDHEC (Women with Disabilities Health Equity Coalition) http://www.wowdhec.org
is hosting a Health and Disability Forum to talk about the negative effects
of our health system on people with disabilities and to brainstorm solutions.?

We want to hear from as many voices within the disability community as
possible! We are a cross-disability group that includes people with visible and ?invisible? disabilities (mental health issues, cognitive disabilities, etc.)? Our aim is to be as inclusive as possible.?

This is urgent!?
Right now President-elect Obama is asking for feedback about how to improve our health system — and the Obama Transition Team is asking people around the country to hold community discussions through Dec. 31st.

What we learn from you will be shared with the Obama Transition Team and used to advocate for policy change locally and statewide.

Please join us and pass this along to others in the disability community.? To get a head count, an RSVP is appreciated, but not required.

To RSVP or if you have any other accommodation needs, questions or concerns,

contact Marcia
Muench at muenchm@ohsu.edu
or 503-494-2685.

____________________________________________________________________________
QUESTIONS

1. What conditions in your life do you believe affect your health? (for example, support from friends and family, your economic status, how you are treated by others, etc.)

2. What conditions make it harder or easier for you to protect your health?

3. What needs to change in your life conditions in order for you to be healthier?

4. What do you perceive is the biggest problem in the health system?

5. How do you choose a doctor or hospital? What are your sources of information? How should public policy promote quality health care providers?

6. Have you or your family members ever experienced difficulty paying medical bills? What do you think policy makers can do to address this problem?

7. In addition to employer-based coverage, would you like the option to purchase a private plan through an insurance-exchange or a public plan like Medicare?

8. Do you know how much you or your employer pays for health insurance? What should an employer’s role be in a reformed health care system?

9. Have you gotten the prevention health services you should have? If not, how can public policy help?

10. How can public policy promote healthier lifestyles?

Marjorie McGee, M.S., L.P.C.
Director

Women with Disabilities Health Equity Coalition (WowDHEC)
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, UHN 50
Portland, Oregon 97239-3098
Ph.503-494-2685
Email: mcgeem@ohsu.edu (best)
www.wowdhec.org

 

 

EFT and Trauma

Emotional Freedom Technique

Studies show that up to 97% of those of us who carry a diagnosis of mental illness are trauma survivors. I asked 100 people who have been so labeled and all of them had significant trauma history with most being traumatized over and over again through the agencies and hospitals that are supposed to help them. I also asked each one:

“Have you ever received treatment for trauma as part of your mental health treatment?”

Out of 100 people I had 3 who told me they had formal treatment for trauma. Two said they had experienced EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitizing Reprocessing) and one said they had both EMDR and EFT (see below). I myself had very good results from EMDR but I have found EFT to be a much more useful tool because I don’t need a therapist to use it. I don’t even have to buy (another) self-help book.

EFT is a self-therapy that I have found especially useful in dealing with my own trauma history- Emotional Freedom Technique is available free, there is a free download-able manual, free ongoing information and forums. Download the manual here.

Pictures of Macaques:

or, haven’t you always wanted a monkey (click for full size)

close-view-of-a-baby-macaque

babyboybonnetmacaque

baby_barbary_macaque

baby_macaque

nursingbarbary_macaque_baby

babymacaque_withbirdfriend

macaques-grooming

tibetan-macaque-macaca_thibetana

ostoo-00000026-001japanese-macaques-or-snow-monkeys-three-monkeys-in-hot-spring-with-infant-in-the-middle-japan-posters1infant_rhesus

Other pictures

brb-jesus1

handofharmony

redwood-national-park

jess-blog-20061127052253715

m81_1920

bye for now

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Filed under animated gif, CS/X movement, macaques, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news, pictures, silly

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna by M

Free e-book (this work is in the public domain, download at will)

But first know these things:

  1. This is huge- I mean really huge. 1260 pages huge. It has not been easy.
  2. I have not found the complete book available anywhere and so compiled it section by section. This could have led to some errors but hopefully only small ones. Teeny, insignificant in relative terms, I’m sure.
  3. I have included the original preface, introduction and other notes (a forward by Aldous Huxley, not in the original printing).
  4. I have taken the liberty of adding some photos/ pictures that were never in the original book.

Here are some excerpts, followed by the download, in doc format because that’s what the uploader will take.


HAZRA: “Does God listen to our prayer for bhakti?”

MASTER: “Surely. I can assure you of that a hundred times. But the prayer must be genuine and earnest. Do worldly-minded people weep for God as they do for wife and children? At Kamarpukur the wife of a certain man fell ill. The man thought she would not recover; he began to tremble and was about to faint. Who feels that way for God?”

Hazra was about to take the dust of the Master’s feet.

MASTER (shrinking): “What is this?”

HAZRA: “Why should I not take the dust of his feet who has so kindly kept me with him?”

MASTER: “Satisfy God and everyone will be satisfied. ‘If He is pleased the world is pleased.’ Once the Lord ate a few greens from Draupadi’s cooking-pot and said, ‘Ah, I am satisfied.’ Immediately the whole world and all its living beings were satisfied; they felt as if they had eaten their fill. But was the world satisfied or did it feel that way when the rishis ate their food?

(To Hazra) “A perfect soul, even after attaining Knowledge, practises devotions or observes religious ceremonies to set an example to others. I go to the Kali temple and I bow before the holy pictures in my room; therefore others do the same. Further, if a man has become habituated to such ceremonies, he feels restless if he does not observe them.

“One day I saw a sannyasi under the banyan-tree. He had put the salagram on the same carpet with his guru’s sandals. He was worshipping them. I said to him, ‘If you have attained Knowledge to that extent,* then why such formal worship at all?’ He replied: ‘What difference does it make? Since I do everything else, why not this too? Sometimes I offer the flowers at the guru’s feet and sometimes to God.’

“One cannot renounce work as long as one has a body. As long as there is mud at the bottom of the lake, bubbles will be produced.

(To Hazra) “If there is knowledge of one, there is also knowledge of many. What will you achieve by mere study of the scriptures? The scriptures contain a mixture of sand and sugar, as it were. It is extremely difficult to separate the sugar from the sand. Therefore one should learn the essence of the scriptures from the teacher or from a sadhu. Afterwards what does one care for books?

(To the devotees) “Gather all the information and then plunge in. Suppose a pot has dropped in a certain part of a lake. Locate the spot and dive there.

“One should learn the essence of the scriptures from the guru and then practise sadhana. If one rightly follows spiritual discipline, then one directly sees God. The discipline is said to be rightly followed only when one plunges in. What will a man gain by merely reasoning about the words of the scriptures? Ah, the fools! They reason themselves to death over information about the path. They never take the plunge. What a pity!

“You may say, even though you dive deep you are still in danger of sharks and crocodiles, of lust and anger. But dive after rubbing your bodv with turmeric powder; then sharks and crocodiles will not come near you. The turmeric, is discrimination and renunciation.

(To the devotees) “God made me pass through the disciplines of various paths. First according to the Purana, then according to the Tantra. I also followed the disciplines of the Vedas. At first I practised sadhana in the Panchavati. I made a grove of tulsi-plants and used to sit inside it and meditate. Sometimes I cried with a longing heart, ‘Mother! Mother!’ Or again, ‘Rama! Rama!’

“While repeating the name of Rama, I sometimes assumed the attitude of Hanuman and fixed a tail to the lower end of my backbone. I was in a God-intoxicated state. At that time I used to put on a silk robe and worship the Deity. What joy I experienced in that worship!

“I practised the discipline of the Tantra under the bel-tree. At that time I could see no distinction between the sacred tulsi and any other plant. In that state I sometimes ate the leavings from a jackal’s meal,* food that had been exposed the whole night, part of which might have been eaten by snakes or other creatures. Yes, I ate that stuff.

“Sometimes I rode on a dog and fed him with luchi, also eating part of the bread myself. I realized that the whole world was filled with God alone. One cannot have spiritual realization without destroying ignorance; so I would assume the attitude of a tiger and devour ignorance.

“While practising the disciplines of the Vedas, I became a sannyasi. I used to lie down in the chandni and say to Hriday: ‘I am a sannyasi. I shall take my meals here.’*

“I vowed to the Divine Mother that I would kill myself if I did not see God. I said to Her: ‘O Mother, I am a fool. Please teach me what is contained in the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras, and the other scriptures.’ The Mother said to me, ‘The essence of the Vedanta is that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory.’ The Satchidananda Brahman described in the Vedas is the Satchidananda Siva of the Tantra and the Satchidananda Krishna of the Purana. The essence of the Gita is what you get by repeating the word ten times. It is reversed into ‘tagi’, which indicates renunciation.

“After the realization of God, how far below lie the Vedas, the Vedanta, the Purana, the Tantra! (To Hazra) I cannot utter the word ‘Om’ in samadhi. Why is that? I cannot say ‘Om’ unless I come down very far from the state of samadhi.

“I had all the experiences that one should have, according to the scriptures, after one’s direct perception of God. I behaved like a child, like a madman, like a ghoul, and like an inert thing.

“I saw the visions described in the scriptures. Sometimes I saw the universe filled with sparks of fire. Sometimes I saw all the quarters glittering with light, as if the world were a lake of mercury. Sometimes I saw the world as if made of liquid silver. Sometimes, again, I saw all the quarters illumined as if with the light of Roman candles. So you see my experiences tally with those described in the scriptures.

“It was revealed to me further that God Himself has become the universe and all its living beings and the twenty-four cosmic principles. It is like the process of evolution and involution.*

“Oh, what a state God kept me in at that time! One experience would hardly be over before another overcame me. It was like the movement of the husking-machine: no sooner is one end down than the other goes up.

“I would see God in meditation, in the state of samadhi, and I would see the same God when my mind came back to the outer world. When looking at this side of the mirror I would see Him alone, and when looking on the reverse side I saw the same God.”

The devotees listened to these words with rapt attention.

ramakrishna-c

The Download:

the-gospel-of-sri-ramakrishna-by-m

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Picture Sunday

All pictures, no theme today.

Click for full size-

Martian sunrise from various angles.

Mostly from Mars Orbiter (poorly aligned- the probe is supposed to face the planet surface) and some other probe shots, color enhanced or false color to reveal geology (the Mars Orbiter shots are often released in false color to highlight mineral or water-created features), mostly, to make it more cool I suppose. But a beautiful series nonetheless.

mars-sunrise

Just to warn you, I’m compiling the complete Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna by M (in public domain, but I haven’t found a single source with all sections/ volumes). Sometime this week I’ll be offering the complete ebook download.

ramakrishna_3

Definitely click for full size. Got this from a website that doesn’t exist, so don’t ask. If I tell you I’d have to kill you.

1968the-way-we-were

Actually yesterday- bad quality from camera pictures. We celebrated our family Christmas on Saturday, 12/20 because my son Andrew is in town (was in town). Now we’re done. Feels good.

today_is_christmas

Kind of stupid, but why not?

24mcj1g

What?

what

No, really.

no-really

Important legal information for everyone. Must click!

pet-monkey-laws-by-state

Just silly.

horseyride

What, Me Blurry?

what_me_blurry

Pics from phone, from top of Larch Mountain. Better at full size (click).

from_larch_mountain-phonepics

Baby Sacrificed to Robot (Tabloid headline)

baby-sacrifice-to-robot

Guinea Pogs (collage by my son)

guineapogs

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Interview with/ about Ray

ray

Forced Electroshock-

Question: Is “forced treatment” really “treatment” or is it “Torture”?

This is an interview on NPR (click on link):

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98273451

Background (mostly from MindFreedom):

Ray Alerts

(I apologize for repetitive information)

MindFreedom International – 16 November 2008
Ray Human Rights Alert #3: Please Forward

Now see a photo of Ray here:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray

    Media ought to ask, “What is Minnesota Governor Pawlenty’s 
position on Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock (IOE)?”

    Ray gets a one week reprieve.

First the good news.

Within days of MindFreedom launching its campaign on 7 November 2008 
to stop the weekly involuntary outpatient electroshock of Ray 
Sandford, his doctor has decided to “skip a Wednesday.”

Ray says that this coming Wednesday, 19 November 2008, for the first 
time in months, Ray will not be escorted against his will, under 
court order, from his Minnesota home out in the community to his 34th 
involuntary outpatient electroshock.

So there’s a reprieve for Ray.

For one week.

The bad news is that Ray’s doctor said Ray’s forced outpatient 
electroshocks will resume on Wednesday, 26 November 2008, the day 
before the USA holiday of Thanksgiving.

Ray said his involuntary shock will then continue every other week.

We don’t know if the one-week reprieve is because of the MindFreedom 
campaign, but we know MindFreedom News readers are having an impact.

Since the MindFreedom first alert went out nine days ago, on 7 
November 2008:

    *** Many people from all over the world have e-mailed and phoned 
the offices of the Governor of Minnesota, along with social service 
agencies, media, and the hospital where Ray receives his electroshock 
against his expressed wishes.

    *** For the first time, thousands of people are now aware of the 
existence of IOE — Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock.

    *** A few national and local media are now actively investigating.

    *** Several advocacy agencies and human rights organizations are 
expressing concern and getting involved.

    *** Several volunteer attorneys are now in touch to provide 
assistance.

    *** Volunteers are visiting Ray and sending him their support, 
and Ray tells us he is grateful. One volunteer took the photo of Ray 
shown on the web version of this alert:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray

    *** MindFreedom’s “Zapback” e-mail list is coordinating the 
campaign.

    *** A disability professor and her class of students have called 
up Ray and are taking on his campaign as a project.

    *** And more.

Thank you, everyone.

Keep up the pressure and the support!

    KEEP IT UP!

First, keep phoning and e-mailing, especially if you have not so far. 
Show there is national and international concern!

Here are the links to the original two MindFreedom alerts, which have 
information about how to e-mail and phone the Governor of Minnesota, 
and how to write or visit Ray:

7 Nov: Alert #1:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray-sandford

12 Nov: Alert #2 – Governor Phone-In Campaign:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/pawlenty-electroshock

16 Nov: Alert #3 – Link to this alert with photo of Ray:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray

    SOLVE A MYSTERY!

Second, help MindFreedom answer the main mystery.

Despite all this public interest the question remains, “What is 
Governor Pawlenty’s position on Minnesota laws allowing involuntary 
outpatient electroshock?”

Is this Governor, who campaigns for “limited government,” for such 
laws or against them?

Unfortunately, the Governor’s office has not responded to any of the 
many e-mails or phone calls requesting his policy position. The 
Governor’s office is immediately forwarding citizen inquiries to a 
voice mail, and then not replying to the voice mail.

We need media to ask the Governor for us. Please forward this alert 
to all media, small and large, from newspapers to bloggers.

Media can direct questions to:

Brian McClung
Director of Communications for Minnesota’s Governor
phone: (651) 296-0001.

Media ought to ask, “What is Governor Pawlenty’s position on 
Minnesota laws allowing involuntary outpatient electroshock?”

Sometimes the Governor’s office is re-directing calls to the 
Minnesota Department of Human Rights. At first that sounds good. But 
this office says it is only focused on determining whether narrow 
discrimination complaints are legally valid. A spokesperson said this 
department makes no statements about policy.

This Minnesota agency said they are planning a major one-day human 
rights conference
and forum on 5 December. One barrier is the “forum” 
costs $200.

For information on this Minn. Dept. of Human Rights, and their 
“forum,” click here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/minnesota-human-rights-conference
or use this link:
http://tinyurl.com/mn-human-rights

You can also keep up with some of the latest developments about the 
Ray Campaign on the MindFreedom blog by MindFreedom director David 
Oaks, here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/mfi-blog

Disclaimer: Because the State of Minnesota won’t reply, portions of 
these alerts are based on Ray’s personal statements. By Ray’s own 
admission, he now has severe memory problems. Therefore, journalists 
may want to find a second source to confirm accuracy.

MindFreedom International – 24 November 2008
Ray Human Rights Alert #4: Please Forward

    You Can Ask: Thanksgiving Reprieve?

    MindFreedom Filing Complaint with UN Claiming “Torture” in Minnesota

    The next forced outpatient electroshock of Ray Sandford is 
scheduled for this Wednesday morning, 26 November 2008, the day 
before the USA holiday of Thanksgiving.

    Join an international campaign *NOW* to phone Minnesota Governor 
Tim Pawlenty
today and tomorrow, before the shock:

1) Ask the Governor to give Ray Sandford a reprieve from his next 
forced electroshock.

2) Ask the Governor — who claims to believe in limited government — 
if he supports laws in Minnesota allowing this torture: the 
involuntary administration of electroshock therapy (ECT) of people 
living out in the community?

A MindFreedom investigation revealed that Ray Sandford, 54, 
complained of being escorted every week for months from his supported 
living home in Columbia Heights, Minnesota to Mercy Hospital for 
another course of electroshock over his objection.

After the first MindFreedom News international alert, Ray’s doctor 
let him skip his forced shock this past Wednesday, 19 November.

This Wednesday morning, 26 November, Ray expects to be woken up early 
once again to be escorted the 15 miles to what he is told will be his 
34th involuntary outpatient electroshock under special Minnesota laws.

Meanwhile, MindFreedom is filing a official claim with the United 
Nations
calling Minnesota’s abuse of Ray “torture,” using a new 
process and expanded definition by the UN.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

  ** ACTION ** ACTION ** ACTION **

Join in a MindFreedom international phone-in campaign!

Telephone Governor Pawlenty’s office *NOW* — and insist on talking 
to a staff person.

Call any day, but especially call today and tomorrow, *before* Ray’s 
scheduled electroshock this Wednesday.

From anywhere in the world phone (651) 296-3391.

From inside Minnesota phone toll free (800) 657-3717.

You have the best chance of reaching staff from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm 
Central Time weekdays.

NOTE: Staff is directing many of these calls into voice mail
MindFreedom is not aware of anyone actually getting a response to 
this voice mail.

DO NOT GIVE UP! Politely but FIRMLY insist on on talking to a staff 
person.

If you get redirected to voice mail leave a message, but call back 
until you get an answer from a live person.

If you do receive any helpful information, e-mail it to 
news@mindfreedom.org.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ray Campaign News Updates:

    MindFreedom Filing Complaint with United Nations Alleging 
“Torture” by Minnesota

This past Friday, 21 November, disability advocates met with Ray at 
the Minnesota Center for Independent Living. Ray told advoctates he 
very much supports this campaign.

During the meeting a teleconference was held with MindFreedom 
President Celia Brown in New York City and MindFreedom Director David 
Oaks in Oregon. Celia interviewed Ray so that MindFreedom may file a 
human rights complaint under a new process with a United Nations 
Special Rappateur. Because of recent developments, some types of 
severe psychiatric abuse may now be considered torture by the UN.

Involuntary outpatient electroshock (IOE) is part of a trend to bring 
the power of forced psychiatric procedures out into the community, 
from the back ward to your front porch.

Mind your freedom: Your home is no longer your castle… it can 
become your ward.

Electroshock itself has made a comeback throughout the USA, and 
internationally, without adequate human rights protection.

You may read some of the many public comments that have been e-mailed 
to the Governor at tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/sandford-support-letters

For a full-sized photo of Ray click on his image here:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray
MindFreedom International – Ray Alert #5
Win Human Rights in Mental Health – Please Forward!
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/alert-5-sandford

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ray’s Next Scheduled Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock is:
    10 December — International Human Rights Day!

by David W. Oaks, Executive Director, MindFreedom International

This Wednesday, 10 December 2008, human rights activists all over the 
world will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the 
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

10 December is the UN’s official International Human Rights Day.

10 December is also the day that Ray Sandford is scheduled to receive 
his 35th involuntary outpatient electroshock.

NEW ON WEB: Learn Ray’s story — Frequently Asked Questions About Ray 
Sandford Campaign, click here:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/sandford-faq

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Latest News on Ray Campaign

Unless action is taken swiftly, then this Wednesday morning, as he 
has been for most mornings in the last few months, Ray will be 
awakened early by staff in his room at the group residence Victory 
House near Minneapolis.

Once more an escort will bring him against his will the 15 miles to 
Mercy Hospital, where once more — under court order — doctors will 
place electrodes on his head for another electroconvulsive therapy 
(ECT), or electroshock, that can and has wiped out precious memories 
and cognitive abilities from Ray.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The Good News About Ray Campaign:

Because of MindFreedom’s campaign to support Ray Sandford:

* The Minnesota Governor’s office reports receiving “hundreds” of 
complaints. Thank you everyone!

* Three agencies are now working to replace Ray’s non-responsive 
court-appointed attorney with a new attorney.

* National media has finally interviewed Ray for an upcoming broadcast.

    The Bad News: It is Not Enough! Speak Out Now!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ** ACTION ** ACTION ** ACTION **

It is time to take the Ray Campaign up a notch, peacefully but strongly!

Let this become a top issue in the Governor’s office.

Telephone Governor Pawlenty’s office *NOW*:

Call any day, but especially call *before* Ray’s scheduled 
electroshock next Wednesday, 10 December 2008.

Call from anywhere in the world phone (651) 296-3391.

From inside Minnesota phone toll free (800) 657-3717.

You have the best chance of reaching staff from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm 
Central Time weekdays.

memory-ash1

    WHY WON’T GOVERNOR PAWLENTY REPLY? Find out! Ask!

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has completely stone-walled!

* His office refuses to issue any statement on the policy of forced 
electroshock.

* He claims he can do nothing, that the courts are in charge, when he 
could at least make sure Ray gets better legal representation for a 
stay or appeal.

* His office operators have been instructed to immediately redirect 
calls about Ray into a voice mail. No one we know of has ever heard 
back. Some operators have hung up on callers.

* Meanwhile, the Governor is sponsoring a $200-a-head luxury hotel 
conference about International Human Rights Day!

    It is time to get creative!

* Ray will not give up!

* We will not give up!

* Don’t you give up!

    Please be peaceful, but be CREATIVELY MALADJUSTED in your next 
phone calls to Governor Pawlenty’s office.

First, get the name of the operator and write it down. Then start by 
asking polite but firm questions about advocacy…

* about citizen input…

* about who to talk to about mental health policy

* about the names and phone numbers of the Ombudsman office

* about mental health policy and the mental health division

* about how poor people can have adequate legal representation…

And only then ask about why the Governor is refusing to speak out 
about Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock (IOE)?

Insist on speaking to a live real person about this issue.

If you do not get a real person with a real reply, CALL BACK.

If an operator hangs up on you, call back and ask to speak to a 
manager and complain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

REMEMBER:

Telephone Governor Pawlenty’s office *NOW*:

Call any day, but especially call *before* Ray’s scheduled 
electroshock next Wednesday, 10 December 2008.

Call from anywhere in the world phone (651) 296-3391.

From inside Minnesota phone toll free (800) 657-3717.

You have the best chance of reaching staff from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm 
Central Time weekdays.

If you do receive any helpful information or leads, e-mail it to news-
at-mindfreedom.org.

scales_mini

Other Ray correspondence:

November 15, 2008
Attention:
Chair, Human Rights Committee
Office of the High Commission on Human Rights
United Nations

Dear Chairperson,
I am forwarding the letter below, initially addressed to Mr.Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota, for your information and possible action. It concerns the forced electroshocking of Mr. Ray Sandford, a psychiatric outpatient in Minnesota. Despite his repeated refusal, Mr. Sandford has been court-ordered to submit to the memory-destroying, brain-damaging  psychiatric procedure of electroshock (”electroconvulsive therapy” or “ECT”).  Together with many other psychiatric survivors and human rights activists, I am absolutely convinced that the health, safety and human rights of Mr. Sandford and thousands of other citizens are being seriously and repeatedly violated by physicians, particularly psychiatrists, as well as Governor Pawlenty and the State of Minnesota.

I would appreciate knowing if the Human Rights Committee considers electroshock, particularly forced electroshock, a form of torture, a serious human rights violation. Many of us psychiatric survivors and human rights activists believe it is. For over twenty-five (25) years, hundreds, if not thousands, of electroshock survivors, other psychiatric survivors, human rights activists, health professionals including several psychiatrists and neurologists, and concerned citizens have publicly and frequently protested against electroshock. We have repeatedly urged a total and immediate ban on electroshock in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and New Zealand.

To date, I have not received a reply from Governor Pawlenty. Please acknowledge receipt of my letter, I look forward to your reply.
Sincerely,
Don Weitz
Executive Member, Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault – http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca
1401-38 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto,Ontario M4R 2G3 Canada

November  12, 2008

Governor Tim Pawlenty
State of Minnesota
tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us

Dear Governor Pawlenty,
As an antipsychiatry activist and psychiatric survivor of insulin shock treatment many years ago in Massachusetts, I am writng to strongly protest against the forced electroshock (”ECT”) inflicted on 54-year old Ray Sandford in Minnesota. I understand Mr. Sandford is being forcibly taken (”escorted”) to Mercy Hospital  (”Mercy”?)  where he is being shocked against his will or without consent every Wednesday morning. Given the fact that psychiatrists and other doctors do not inform patients about the common and severe risks of permanent memory loss and brain damage, and given the fact that psychiatrists and other doctors frequently use blackmail or threats and intimidation to get “ECT” patients to consent, no person can possibly give “voluntary and informed consent” to electroshock. Informed consent in the “mental health system” is a compete myth, a sham

Electroshock itself is a traumatic and horrific psychiatric procedure (not “treatment”);  it always causes some degree of brain-damage including permanent memory loss. After having listened to the personal and public testimonies of numerous shock survivors in Canada and the United States and after having read many independent studies of electroshock in the medical-psychiatric literature during the last 30 years, there is absolutely no doubt that electroshock is inherently destructive, inhumane and unethical; the use of force is particularly torturous. State-sanctioned use of police powers to inflict electroshock on Mr.Sandford against his will – and inflicted on any other US citizen for that matter – is a serious violation of his constitutional and human rights, a serious violation of the United Nations’ Convention Against Torture, and a serious violation of Article 5 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights that specifically prohibits any “cruel and unusual treatment or degrading punishment, or torture”.

Thousands of shock survivors, including myself, advocacy and human rights organizations and several psychiatrists and neurologists in the United States and other countries have advocated a total ban on electroshock. Some states in your country have restricted the use of electroshock – for example, Texas, California and Oregon. Why not Minnesota?

I am copying this to the United Nations’ Committee Against Torture, other international human rights bodies, advocacy organizations of psychiatric survivors, several concerned psychiatrists and neurologists, and the media.

In the interests of Mr Sandford’s health, safety and human rights, I urge you to use your office and  power as Governor to stop electroshocking Ray Sandford now.
Stop state-sanctioned torture in Minnesota!
I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,
Don Weitz
Executive member, Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault – http://capa.oise.utoronto.ca
1401-38 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto, Ontario M4R 2G3

c: MindFreedom International
United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Committee Against Torture
Amnesty International
Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy
Editor-in-Chief, The New  York Times

mouthguard

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Filed under CS/X movement, Links: Recovery, Mad Radio, Mental health recovery, pictures, wellness and systems change

Note: New Page (above)

I’ve added a radio archive for Mad Liberation by Moonlight, starting for this last show (1 am 12/13/08, to be technical).

angel_punch

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Filed under Mad Radio, Mental health recovery, mp3

Links

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Ricks brief annotated webography on recovery and stuff

Interactive Theater

· Broad access to books, publications and links related to the work of Brazilian playwright Augusto Boal: http://www.tonisant.com/aitg/Boal_Techniques/

· Blog related to Augusto Boal techniques/ Theater of the Oppressed most specific to issues of class and poverty: http://www.tonisant.com/aitg/Boal_Techniques/

· Article on/ review of an interactive performance the University of Missouri (not instructional but gives an impression of the process from an audience perspective): http://difficultdialogues.missouri.edu/theatre.html

· Similar to above, from a performance at Harvard: http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2006/10.05/11-theateroppressed.html

· Wikipedia article on Augusto Boal and the Theater of the Oppressed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_of_the_Oppressed

Consumer/ Survivor/ Recovery Blogs

· One great feature of all the blogs listed here is that they often have links to other consumer/ survivor sites and resources.

· The author of this blog originally used it to document their journey off psychiatric medications as well as an introduction to alternative forms of care for mental health disorders regardless of whether one is on medications, off medications, or coming off medications. Includes articles submitted by readers/ visitors. Now called Beyond Meds, used to be Bipolar Blast; this site has articles and commentary related to recovery, wellness and personal experiences with treatment: http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/

· The author is a mental health treatment survivor concerned about the state of mental health care in America and elsewhere. The perspective is that we are not getting the kind of results that patients were promised 20 years ago at the dawn of the psychopharmacological revolution. Called Furious Seasons: http://www.furiousseasons.com/

· Author Ron Unger, Eugene native, nationally recognized therapist who promotes the treatment of “psychotic disorders” using cognitive methods, provides information valuable to consumer-survivors and perspectives on non-drug treatments. He incorporates reader commentary and stories of recovery. The title is Recovery from Schizophrenia: http://recoveryfromschizophrenia.org/blog/

The Icarus Project:

· I’ve given them their own section because they are in a class by themselves. The main site for The Icarus Project is one of the most densely packed web resources you can find. It includes a wide array of mostly free publications, galleries, discussion groups and much more. It began with a nationwide collaboration of folks diagnosed with bi-polar disorder that published a book called “Navigating the space between brilliance and madness” (now in it’s 5th printing and available for download on-line). From the site’s introduction- “We are a website community, support network of local groups, and media project created by and for people struggling with bipolar disorder and other dangerous gifts commonly labeled as “mental illnesses.” We believe that when we learn to take care of ourselves, the intertwined threads of madness and creativity can be tools of inspiration and hope in a repressed and damaged world. Our goal is to help people like ourselves feel less alienated, and to allow us—both as individuals and as a community—to tap into the true potential that lies between brilliance and madness.” You could spend all your time reading/ contributing to this site and never get bored: http://theicarusproject.net/

· The Icarus Project Blog is a diverse creation of the on-line community with news and information of interest to project members and organizers: http://theicarusproject.net/blog/5482

· There are many member-blogs hosted on the site that have their own unique contributions. Two that I have found interesting or useful:

· Olinka’s blog- http://theicarusproject.net/blog/olinka

· Squirrel ABC’s blog: http://theicarusproject.net/blog/squirrelabc

Mad Radio:

· These are web-based and broadcast radio sources by consumer-survivors of mental health treatment.

· The Freedom Center, The Icarus Project, Pacifica Radio Affiliate Valley Free Radio WXOJ-LPFM and south-central Alaska’s KWMD in Kasilof produce a radio show weekly (broadcast in Alaska and on some Pacifica Radio affiliates). “The Freedom Center is one of a collection of grassroots organizations springing up across the country in reaction to the prevalence of medication in America. It alerts people to the downside of psychiatric drugs but does not try to force people off them: it seeks instead to help sufferers find the best methods of coping, even if their solution is unconventional by the standards of the medical establishment.” (Forbes Magazine). The show includes interviews and informative information related to The Freedom Center’s objectives, challenging traditional medical-model and forced treatment. Podcasts and archived shows are available at: http://www.freedom-center.org/view/madnessradio_page

· MindFreedom has a streamed and archived radio program hosted by David Oaks and including guests, news, call-in and special topics. The show is streamed at: http://www.prncomm.net/ and archives are available at: http://www.mindfreedom.org/campaign/media/mfradio/archived-shows and at: http://oaks.progressiveradionetwork.org/

· I do a monthly radio show on KBOO Portland called Mad Liberation by Moonlight. The show is broadcast at 1 am on the Friday night following the full moon (yes, I know that this is actually Saturday; relax, it’s only radio). The program is streamed at: http://kboo.fm/ and archives will eventually (currently this is just an announcement and message board for the show) be available at: http://fullmoonradio.wordpress.com/

Resources:

· Alternative mental health treatment (includes information on aromatherapy, acupuncture, herbal, homeopathic and other non-traditional treatments: http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/center_index.php?id=15&cn=15

· Another part of the site (above) with alternative medical therapies has a source book on starting peer-led self-help groups: http://www.mentalhelp.net/selfhelp/selfhelp.php?id=866

· Another source for how to start peer-led self-help groups: http://www.selfhelp.on.ca/start.html

· The National Empowerment Center website has a vast collection of articles, handbooks, pamphlets and other material related to mental health recovery. Most of the material is downloadable for free. Partly funded by SAMHSA: http://www.power2u.org/

· Dan Fisher’s website, in case you can’t find enough of his work at the National Empowerment Center: http://www.narpa.org/fisher.htm

· Mainstream mental health information leaning toward recovery and empowerment: http://www.nmha.org/

· Another fairly mainstream site with some good material and links: http://www.mhrecovery.com/

· The official SAMHSA website is a good one to find references, studies and articles that support recovery based treatment models: http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/ (for example, a downloadable article on how self-disclosure helps break down stigma and other barriers to recovery: http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/SMA08-4337/)

· The MindFreedom portal is the doorway to another fairly dense source of news and information on the mental health consumer/ survivor front, including a calendar of protests and events on mental health-human rights. This organization is recognized by the U.N. as a NGO representing people with a mental health diagnosis: http://www.mindfreedom.org/

· The Mental Health Self-help Clearinghouse has tons of information, articles and downloadable manuals for self-help and advocacy (the ultimate step in self-determination): http://www.mhselfhelp.org/index.php

· A web-based support community- something like The Icarus Project in it’s objectives but way different in tone (without the emphasis on “radical” politics): http://www.peoplewho.org/

· Professor Ed offers recovery tools based on a spiritual perspective available on 2 companion sites: http://www.professored.com/ and http://www.recoverycircles.org/

· Another good resource for spirituality and mental health: http://www.spiritualcompetency.com/recovery/lesson1.html

· This is the site for Peter Breggin, the famous anti-drug anti-psychiatrist/ rock-star of the talk-show circuit (not as friendly a site in terms of free access to information but it has some good points): http://www.breggin.com/

· Dr. Clayton E. Tucker-Ladd has developed a system for psychological self-help, step by step, by the numbers: http://www.psychologicalselfhelp.org/

Self-determination:

What? We should ask people what they want before we give it to them??? Preposterous! Or: http://www.self-determination.com/

A downloadable 91-page manual for person centered planning with emphasis on Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH), not specific to mental health: http://rtc.umn.edu/docs/pcpmanual1.pdf

The National Coalition for Self-Determination is a national partnership of people with disabilities, parents, and family members who work to promote federal policies that support the five principles of Self-Determination. The five principles are Freedom, Authority, Support, Responsibility and Confirmation of the role of self-advocates: http://www.nconsd.org/

Mike Hlebechuck of Oregon AMH has a blog on what he calls Peer Operated Recovery Treatment and Supports (PORTS), a proposal for self-directed supports in mental health services: http://selfdirectedcare.blogspot.com/

The website of Empowerment Initiatives, the nations first/ only consumer-operated self-directed supports brokerage in mental health: http://www.chooseempowerment.com/

Deb McLean’s page on person centered planning for employment outcomes using the Making Action Plans (MAPS) process: http://www.ilru.org/html/training/webcasts/handouts/2004/02-18-McLeanAnderson/tool.htm

Look around, enjoy.

tarkvoln

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Filed under CS/X movement, Links: Recovery, Mad Radio, Mental health recovery, wellness and systems change

Autobiography of a Friend

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Today’s free book: The Autobiography of George Fox, founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). And he doesn’t look at all klike the guy on the cereal box. Just who are these Quakers anyway?
Wikipedia says:  The Religious Society of Friends, also known as The Quakers, is a movement that began in England in the 17th century.The word “Quaker” means to tremble in the way of the Lord. In its early days it faced opposition and persecution; however, it continued to expand, extending into many parts of the world, especially the Americas and Africa.The Society of Friends has been influential in the history of the world. The state of Pennsylvania, in the United States, was founded by William Penn, as a safe place for Quakers to live and practice their faith. Quakers have been a significant part of the movements to abolishslavery, acknowledge the equal rights of women, and end warfare. They have also promoted education and the humane treatment of prisoners and the mentally ill, through the founding or reforming of various institutions.

During the 19th century Friends in the United States suffered a number of separations. These separations have resulted in the formation of different branches of the Society of Friends. Despite the separations, Friends remain united in their commitment to discover truth and promote it. There are perhaps 400,000 Quakers in the world today, the overwhelming majority of them Evangelicals in Africa and Latin America.

How about this George Fox character? What’s his deal? The following excerpt is from William Penn’s preface to the Autobiography of George Fox (the full preface is included with this e-book):

 

The blessed instrument of and in this day of God, and of whom I am now about to write, was George Fox, distinguished from another of that name, by that other’s addition of younger to his name in all his writings; not that he was so in years, but that he was so in the truth; but he was also a worthy man, witness and servant of God in his time.

 

……….

but, in general, when he was somewhat above twenty, he left his friends, and visited the most retired and religious people, and some there were at that time in this nation, especially in those parts, who waited for the consolation of Israel night and day, as Zacharias, Anna, and good old Simeon did of old time. To these he was sent, and these he sought out in the neighboring countries, and among them he sojourned till his more ample ministry came upon him.

At this time he taught and was an example of silence, endeavouring to bring people from self-performances, testifying and turning to the light of Christ within them, and encouraging them to wait in patience to feel the power of it to stir in their hearts, that their knowledge and worship of God might stand in the power of an endless life, which was to be found in the Light, as it was obeyed in the manifestation of it in man. “For in the Word was life, and that life was the light of men.” Life in the Word, light in men, and life too, as the light is obeyed; the children of the light living by the life of the Word, by which the Word begets them again to God, which is the regeneration and new birth, without which there is no coming unto the kingdom of God; and which, whoever comes to, is greater than John, that is, than John’s ministry which was not that of the kingdom, but the consummation of the legal, and opening of the gospel-dispensation. Accordingly, several meetings were gathered in those parts; and thus his time was employed for some years.

In 1652, he being in his usual retirement to the Lord upon a very high mountain, in some of the hither parts of Yorkshire, as I take it, his mind exercised towards the Lord, he had a vision of the great work of God in the earth, and of the way that he was to go forth to begin it. He saw people as thick as motes in the sun, that should in time be brought home to the Lord, that there might be but one Shepherd and one sheepfold in all the earth. There his eye was directed northward, beholding a great people that should receive him and his message in those parts. Upon this mountain he was moved of the Lord to sound out his great and notable day, as if he had been in a great auditory, and from thence went north, as the Lord had shewn him: and in every place where he came, if not before he came to it, he had his particular exercise and service shewn to him, so that the Lord was his leader indeed; for it was not in vain that he travelled, God in most places sealing his commission with the convincement of some of all sorts, as well publicans as sober professors of religion.

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Again from Wikipedia:

The Quakers began in England in the early 1650s as a Nonconformist movement separate from other such movements, from Anglicanism and from Roman Catholicism. Some would say that it was not precisely a “break” from any of these, but was organized outside of them. Traditionally George Fox has been taken to be the founder or at least the most important early figure, but modern scholarship suggests a more complicated picture. Most likely, a number of radical Puritans, among them Fox, James Nayler and Edward Burrough, independently came to similar positions, eventually came into contact with one another, and then began to coordinate their preaching. However, since Fox outlived most of what some Quakers have called the Valiant Sixty—a group of early Quaker evangelists—his account of the early days as recorded in his Journal, while it may exaggerate his role, is the most detailed one available.
The Valiant Sixty believed that direct experience with God was available to all people, without any mediation (e.g. through a pastor, or through sacraments). Friends have often expressed this belief by referring to “that of God in Everyone”, “inner light“, “inward Christ”, “the spirit of Christ within”, and many other terms.
Modern day Friends (as we call ourselves) are best known for their devotion to peace and consistent opposition to war. If people only knew! The Society of Friends is so different from most modern churches or sects that it can barely (if at all) be described as “organized religion. Without ministers, bishops or other religious hierarchy, the common threads of belief are referred to as “testimony”. Quakers don’t have dogma per se, but generally adhere to the principles of peace, justice, simplicity and community.
Quakers (past and present) tend to be social activists. Friends have been instrumental in the formation of many non-sectarian organizations (e.g. Oxfam, Greenpeace and Amnesty International).

Quaker meetings (called Meeting for Worship) are unprogrammed, last about an hour and consist primarily of silence, interupted only when an individual is “moved to speak”. Here’s a quote about Meeting for Worship:

 

“A Friend’s meeting, however silent, is at the very lowest a witness that worship is something other and deeper than words, and that it is to the unseen and eternal things that we desire to give the first place in our lives. And when the meeting…is awake and looking upwards, there is much more in it than this. In the united stillness of a truly ‘gathered’ meeting, there is a power known only by experience, and mysterious even when most familiar.” Caroline Stephen, (1908).

So, without further fuss, here is the book download- The Autobiography of George Fox:

 

 

georgefoxautobiography

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Filed under Christ, Free E-Books, Friends, peace, pictures, Spirituality

What was I thinking?

stillness

12/09/08
Today on route to work (riding in the vanpool with seven other long-distance

commuters) I was listening on my mp3 player to a talk by the Dalai Lama on the

Heart Sutra. My mind wandered into some thoughts that arose during meeting for

worship at the Friends Meetinghouse on Sunday. These are some of the thoughts

that drifted through:

 

Stillness (or emptiness or balance) is the source of all things. Movement (or

content or imbalance) arises from stillness. The world of seperate things

arises from relative motion. Beauty, suffering and gladness are all produced by

the arising motion from the field of stillness.

 

The appearance of things is that the world is always in motion. Motion arises

from imbalance. For example: solar energy makes some parts of the atmosphere warmer,

creating an imbalance in pressure that creates wind, the engine of weather and

climate.

 

Using the same analogy (the living motion of the processes that support life on earth), water finds it’s level, seeks balance. Outside forces (e.g. the radiation produced by the sun or by the earth’s core) moves water from the bottom of the gravity well to the upper atmosphere where it eventually loses that energy, falling to the earth to make streams, waterfalls, rivers and springs on it’s journey back to the bottom of the gravity well. During this process water feeds and sustains life.

 

I have often thought about how it is imbalance/ imperfection that gives rise to

beauty. If things are in balance, there is no motion, no beauty and no

gladness. Through imbalance and the seeking of balance, come birth and death.

When the seeking ends, stillness reigns and emptiness replaces content. In

perfect balance motion does not arise and all things lose there seperateness.

blue_peace_sign 

Sometimes I feel like I’m in the middle of a stumble- like my imbalance is

propelling me forward into something unknown. I have the sensation of falling

into mystery. Sometimes it feels as though the world is a thin movie screen and

I am about to walk through it. It is as though balance, emptiness, stillness lies

just beyond the veil of appearances and any minute I will fall into it.

inner_peace_under_a_tree 

Sometimes when I close my eyes, I can feel the rush of time like a wind. I

sense that just behind that wind is timelessness, the flash of this moment in

perfect peace, the wholeness of myself and the world.

don__t_be_afraid_yellowman_by_voln

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