Monthly Archives: October 2009

Sunday Brunch

Appetizer

SorrentoRuins

layers

Playing with Hugh

Or, rather, hue (and contrast, and saturation etc.). All these taken in the past week or two. Click for real size, which is big, btw.

I call this one “very close to fall”.

near_fall

Oregon Rainforest- Silver Creek trail
Oregon Rainforest- Silver Creek trail

Ground Foliage
Ground Foliage
Looking Up

Looking Up

More woods in rain

More woods in rain

Bird, tower, moon- composit of several pictures

Bird, tower, moon- composit of several pictures

The J Complex (what's left of it) as envisioned by Prince

The J Complex (what's left of it) as envisioned by Prince

“General Pictures, Sir!”

above Oceanside near Tillamook

Palm.Bunny

pirate_storm-drain

baby

1991-kids_tow

kids_row

35 year old picture of me

35 year old picture of me

earth-sea-sky

sexyflower

I_am_Legion

From:

MindFreedom Oregon News Alert – Please Forward
http://www.mindfreedom.org/oregon

Descartes_mind_and_body

MindFreedom International News – 22 October 2009
Ray Alert #22 – Unite for Real
Mental Health Advocacy
http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray – please forward

Today is Victory Day for Ray Sandford!

No More Forced Electroshock for Ray, Ever!

Today, Ray Sandford of Minnesota phoned the MindFreedom office with
some very good news:

It is official.

After more than 40 involuntary, outpatient electroshocks (also known
as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT), Ray has won.

The court agreed to his change of guardianship. Ray’s new guardians
support his right to say “no” to intrusive procedures such as
electroshock.

Ray made this comment for MindFreedom International members and
supporters, who have backed his campaign for almost exactly one year.

“I’m a bit overwhelmed. This is wonderful! I’m very thankful. Without
your help I probably would still be sitting somewhere getting more
forced electroshock. So thanks a lot to and your group. Praise and
thank the Lord, amen!”

Said David Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International, “Ray’s courage
and laser focus led to a campaign that proves the ‘mad movement’ is
alive and well. The sheer level of people power had to break through.
I know some feel discouraged by the immense oppression of sanism.
Think of Ray. There is an ancient Persian saying: ‘No one is tired on
victory day!'”

THE SHORT STORY OF RAY’S VICTORY DAY

MindFreedom is encouraging all of Ray’s supporters to celebrate this
week, especially this Tuesday, 27 October 2009.

One year ago this week, on 27 October 2008, Ray Sandford first phoned
up the MindFreedom office. He had asked his local library about
organizations that support human rights in mental health. The
reference librarian gave him MindFreedom’s phone number.

Ray phoned up the MindFreedom office. He said that every Wednesday
morning
he was escorted from his group home to a hospital for another
involuntary forced electroshock, under court order.

MindFreedom International investigated and kicked off a public
campaign
that became global. Issuing 21 alerts, MindFreedom’s campaign
activated thousands of people who peacefully but passionately
contacted elected officials, held protests, mailed Ray stationery
supplies, won extensive media coverage, visited him, and much, much
more. At least one elected official said they felt ‘inundated.’

But MindFreedom also found that Ray’s oppression was systemic and deep.

MindFreedom volunteers identified and listed on the MFI web site more
than 30 agencies and individuals receiving taxpayer money to
supposedly help Ray. Only a few agencies helped Ray, and most actually
opposed his rights. Because MFI’s web site is so popular, many of
those who oppressed Ray can “Google themselves” and discover their MFI
listing near the top.

Ray’s last forced electroshock was on USA tax day, 15 April 2009.

By coincidence the 15th of April was also the date of the very first
forced electroshock, back in 1938 in Italy, when the subject cried out:

“Non una seconda! Mortifierel” which means in Italian, “Not another!
It’s deadly!”

On 13 May 2009, Ray was escorted all the way to a hospital bed. He was
prepped for another forced electroshock. Because of outrage, hospital
authorities
cancelled Ray’s shock at the last second, and he was sent
home.

More victories quickly followed.

Ray’s psychiatrist quit because he said his insurance company was
concerned about all the public attention. MindFreedom helped Ray find
a new psychiatrist supportive of Ray’s human rights.

Ray’s family joined in the campaign. MindFreedom organized a YouTube
video
with Ray and his Mom, begging for the shock to end. Ray’s
guardians, an agency under the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(
ELCA), tried to stop the video from going public, but it got ought.

Ray’s family found a better attorney. Ray found great pleasure in
firing his ineffective court-appointed attorney.

Several concerned Minnesota agencies formed an “ECT Work Group” to
change the law in Minnesota. Two MindFreedom representatives serve on
the committee, but are asking for more than just minor reform.

“SINGLE, SMALL VOICE IN THE FACE OF A MEDICAL GIANT.”

And today, Ray’s final victory is in place: Ray successfully replaced
his general guardians who had supported his forced electroshock.

One of Ray’s new guardians, Daryl Trones, announced:

“MindFreedom has just won a substantial victory! Today I received an
‘Acceptance of Appointment” from Ramsey County District Court
regarding the changing of guardianship for Ray Sandford. Ray no longer
will be subject to ECT treatments. The powers of Successor
Guardianship include the power to ‘withhold consent for treatment of
service, including  neuroleptic / psychotropic medications,’ under
Minnesota Statute 524.5-314.”

Daryl, Ray and his family want to thank all of Ray’s many supporters.

Said Daryl, “My appreciation to all the MindFreedom members and
volunteers and especially to David Oaks who orchestrated requisite
forces and passions to pull Ray Sandford from harm’s way. MindFreedom
now bas a successful case study outlining the necessary steps to
extricate persons subject to forced electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Congratulation to MindFreedom Staff and Members and most of all to Ray
Sandford who one year ago was just a single, small voice in the face
of a medical giant.”

Supporters should finally be able to postal mail to Ray Sandford
directly without delay.

You may postal mail your congratulations to Ray here:

Ray Sandford
Victory House
4427 Monroe St.
Columbia Heights, MN 55421-2880 USA

You can read the history of Ray’s successful campaign at:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

free_your_mind_02_big

Utne Reader magazine periodically names “50 Visionaries Who Are
Changing Your World.”

A psychiatric survivor activist is named as one of these visionaries
in Utne’s November/December 2009 issue, which hits the stands now:

David W. Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International, an independent
nonprofit for human rights and alternatives in mental health.

Utne’s listing of David Oaks also zings ABC-TV’s recent national news
coverage of the “mad pride movement,” which has been widely criticized
by activists.

~~~~~~~~~~~

For Utne’s listing of David Oaks, and to make a public comment, go here:

http://www.utne.com/Science-Technology/David-Oaks-Director-MindFreedom-International.aspx

or use this link:

http://bit.ly/utne-oaks

~~~~~~~~~~~

For Utne’s entire list of 2009 visionaries, starting with the Dalai
Lama
who is on the cover, go here:

http://www.utne.com/Politics/50-Visionaries-Changing-Your-World-Hope-2009.aspx

or use this link:

http://bit.ly/utne-vision

~~~~~~~~~~~

Said David Oaks, “Utne is one of the few media leaders to acknowledge
the ‘mad movement’ to deeply change the mental health system. Utne’s
recognition is really of our whole movement’s vision. This shows we
are still connected to all the other movements for social and
environmental justice, just as when our movement first started. Can we
have a
nonviolent revolution now?”

eclipse_corona

Another Suspicious Death Inside Oregon State Hospital

According to the below MindFreedom Oregon Exclusive Report, another
psychiatric patient died inside Oregon State Hospital in
Salem, Oregon
under suspicious circumstances on Saturday, 17 October 2009.

The man — known here as “Patient M” — had apparently been
complaining repeatedly for a month about chest pain, which staff had
allegedly dismissed because of his psychiatric diagnosis. Instead of
medical care, staff reportedly just gave him more
psychiatric drugs.

After the patient died, the report says he was left undiscovered all
day by staff who were supposed to be checking on him regularly.

The below is based on several anonymous reports from patients on ward
50F with access to telephones, who took great risk to speak out.
Because of a long pattern of abuse and neglect in Oregon State
Hospital
(OSH), this information is offered immediately in the public
interest, but has not yet been investigated by authorities. Each
allegation needs to be investigated before confirmation.

At the bottom are ways you can speak out to demand an investigation,
and also demand support for a state-wide voice for Oregon’s mental
health consumers
and psychiatric survivors.

Patients supplying this news did not ask to be anonymous but patients
at OSH have reported retaliation for getting information out in
public. For example, this past week a minimum security patient was
allegedly moved, in shackles, to a more restricted area after he spoke
with Salem reporters about his lawsuit against Oregon State Hospital.

MindFreedom calls on the Governor, the US Dept. of Justice and the
media to immediately investigate the below allegations, especially the
RED FLAGS marked in this report.

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

EXCLUSIVE REPORT to MindFreedom Oregon

“The medicine is not working.”

The Passing of “Patient M” on Ward 50F in Oregon State Hospital
(OSH)

Over one month ago, “Patient M” had a fellow patient — “R” — help
him write a special letter to the ward medical officer.

In the letter Patient M complained of his chest pain, stomach pain and
trouble breathing.

Instead of medical treatment for the chest pain, because of his
psychiatric diagnosis Patient M was given more psychiatric drugs as
staff felt he needed them, known in medicine as “PRN.” These
psychiatric drugs were often minor tranquilizers, usually Ativan
(lorazepam) or Klonopin (clonazepam). The psychiatric drugs were
administered whenever he complained of pain.

Two weeks ago, Patient M spoke directly to the Ward Medical Officer
and said that, “The medicine is not working.” He continued to complain
of chest and stomach pain with difficulty breathing. [RED FLAG] He
continued to be given “PRNs.” He was not given a pain reliever, heart
medication or any cardiac testing.

This past week, Patient M has told everyone on the ward who would
listen that he was in serious pain. Other patients were already very
worried about his health. He continued to receive tranquilizers when
he complained.

Last Thursday and Friday — 15th and 16th of October — were
particularly bad. [RED FLAG]

Patients say it’s important to know that it is policy that all
patients be checked for “location and condition every hour.” For
example, in a widely-publicized escape a month ago, staff had not been
checking on the patient.

Saturday morning, 17 October 2009, Patient M got up for breakfast, and
he was known as a man who never misses a meal. Some said eating seemed
to be his greatest enjoyment, and he was always the first person to
get his food. Because he is sloppy, he got his food delivered to him
outside the kitchen.

At 8:30 am he was given his morning meds. He told the nurse that his
chest hurt “really bad” and he had trouble breathing. He was given his
usual psychiatric drug PRN.

Patient M went to lay down.

A nurse checked at 9:30 am and saw he was lying down. He seemed okay.

Patient M resided in a very over-crowded room typical of the “50
building” at OSH. A short time later one of his roommates said his
eyes were rolled back. “But sometimes he sleeps like that” because of
the PRNs, said one roommate.

No staff checked his condition for the rest of the morning. [RED FLAG]

Lunch on 50F is served between 11 am and 11:30 am. Staff brought his
tray down to his room. They called his name and there was no response,
even though it is well known that he always eats. [RED FLAG] Staff
left, and took his lunch back to the kitchen.

Mid-afternoon a roommate shook his foot to see if he’d wake up. There
was no response. No staff looked in on him to check his condition all
afternoon. [RED FLAG]

Dinner time, 4:30 pm, staff called into his room to announce the meal.
No response. Patient M did not get up for food. Staff did not bother
to bring a tray down for him. No staff checked him.

His roommates complained of the stench of “shit” in the room. This
odor was probably from the natural course of a person who is lying
dead for hours as their bowels evacuate. Staff still stayed out. [RED
FLAG]

Finally, at 7:45 pm OSH medication staff went to his room to give him
his evening pills. This time he was checked. He was so dead cold, no
attempt was made at resuscitation. Some patients believe he was in or
past rigor mortis at this point.

Between 7:45 and 8 pm, patient eye-witnesses allege several things
happened. The room was sealed. Staff were called into what one person
called a “bubble” to speak privately.

Based on patient reports: “It was quiet for a few minutes. Then the
staff became very active. We could see through the nurses’ station
windows that they were handling documents, making photocopies. We
heard one staff say, ‘We’ll need six more of those.’ Then we could see
staff shredding originals of documents they had just photocopied. By 8
pm things had returned to normal. The body was carried out later.”

Over the weekend Patient M’s soiled bed and personal area were left as
is in the crowded room. “The smell was unbelievable,” said one witness.

On Monday morning, 19 October 2009, two days after the death, at the
ward meeting, patients complained about the unsanitary conditions in
this room. Staff took out the bed, bedding and sanitized the area. As
of that evening there was no counseling about the death, and no extra
help provided to other patients on that ward.

No memorial was suggested until patients brought it up at the ward
meeting.

Patients were questioned at the meeting about “What do you know?” and
“What will you report?” One patient referred to the meeting as an
“inquisition.”

Patients around the hospital heard about the death only by word of
mouth.

Many are reportedly saddened.

Because of the request by patients, a memorial is planned.

– end –

~~~~~~~~~~

ACTIONS * ACTIONS * ACTIONS

Please forward this alert to others who support human rights in mental
health.

The Governor has not responded to e-mails. Please telephone.

PHONE GOVERNOR TED KULONGOSKI AT (503) 378-3111

In a civil but strong way, in your own words:

1) Ask the Governor to personally investigate suspicious deaths at
Oregon State Hospital.

2) Ask the Governor to support the state-wide voice of mental health
consumers
and psychiatric survivors.

~~~~~~~~~~

BACKGROUND on OSH & MORTALITY:

Oregon State Hospital has a long history of suspicious deaths.

OSH is nationally famous when its secret discolored copper canisters
were revealed that contain the ashes of some 5,121 patients who died
between 1913 and 1971. The identification of many of the patients is
lost.

See the Time Magazine article on Jan. 2009 about OSH ash cans here:

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1869177,00.html

For more photos of the canisters go to this web site from July 2009:

http://thephotobook.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/david-maisel-library-of-dust/

or use this link:

http://bit.ly/osh-ashes

Mortality and people in the mental health system continues to be a
national controversy today in the USA.

A major study by the National Association of State Mental Health
Program Directors showed that people who use the US
public mental
health system
die about 25 years earlier than the general public:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/psychiatric-drugs/death

One possible reason provided in the study is the over-use of
psychiatric drugs, including multiple prescriptions, but this factor
is often omitted or downplayed by those in the mental health system
discussing these deaths.

Instead, the mental health system today is promoting “integration” of
physical and mental health as the answer to this mortality rate.
“Integration” is now a major buzz word in mental health.

Sound good?

Unfortunately, there’s no definition of this “integration.” Is this
the “integration” of psychiatric institutions into the community, as
mandated by the Olmstead Supreme Court decision? A draft of Oregon’s
plan to implement Olmstead does not emphasize the importance of
supporting the voice of
mental health consumers and psychiatric
survivors.

In some places this “integration” buzz word has simply meant increased
prescription rates of psychiatric drugs in clinics that had previously
focused on physical health. Sad about your heart condition? There may
be a
psychiatric drug prescription waiting for you, too.

People with psychiatric labels continue to be among the most
disempowered Oregonians.

How can this “power imbalance” change without a voice?

Since the exact month Governor Ted Kulongoski took office, Oregon
became one of the few USA states to provide zero — 0 — funding for
the state-wide voice of mental health consumers and psychiatric
survivors.  For more than seven years, there has been zero state
funding for any of those activities — a newsletter, conference,
office of mental health consumer affairs.

Nothing.

During tough times, people with psychiatric labels are supposedly hit
hardest. That’s when we should be supporting the voice of mental
health consumers
and psychiatric survivors the most.

However, apparently based on advice from his closest staff, Governor
Kulongoski continues to recommend zero for this state-wide voice each
budget.

You can read about the Governor’s legacy of “zero” for mental health
consumers and psychiatric survivors here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/zero

~~~~~~~~~~

TWO ACTIONS:

1) PLEASE forward this covered-up news to all interested people.

2) PHONE GOVERNOR TED KULONGOSKI AT (503) 378-3111

Be civil and strong, ask for investigation of deaths at OSH, and for
his support of a state-wide voice for mental health consumers and
psychiatric survivors.

~~~~~~~~~~

ADDITIONAL ACTIONS:

US Department of Justice (DOJ) is supposed to be investigating Oregon
State Hospital
.

In your own words, ask that all appropriate results of investigations
by DOJ of OSH be made public, and also be provided to you.

You can e-mail DOJ here:

AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

Or for more DOJ contact info, go here:

http://www.usdoj.gov/contact-us.html

You can also e-mail or postal mail Governor Kulongoski, contact info
is here:

http://governor.oregon.gov/Gov/contact_us.shtml

Please also bring this to the attention of any interested media.

If you did not receive this alert directly from mindfreedom-oregon
news service, you can get on this free, public alert system here:

http://www.intenex.net/lists/listinfo/mindfreedom-oregon-news

For more info about MindFreedom Oregon go here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/oregon

Update:

Autopsy was supposed to be done Friday- I have heard nothing. Key information would be stomach contents, since the hospital claimed he had all his meals that day (whereas eyewitnesses say he was left dead in his room all day).

Titan atmosphere

From Librivox- free audio books

(click to play)

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 01, Walt Whitman – America

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 02, William Butler Yeats – The Lake Isle Of Innisfree

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 03, William Butler Yeats – The Song Of The Old Mother

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 04, Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 05, Robert Frost – Birches

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 06, Robert Frost – The Gift Outright

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 07, Gertrude Stein – If I Had Told Him A Completed Portrait of Picasso

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 09, William Carlos Williams – The Red Wheelbarrow

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 19, Langston Hughes – The Negro Speaks Of Rivers

communist_party

Have fun, be safe, eat as much candy as you want.

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Filed under CS/X movement, mindfreedom news, mp3, Oregon State Hospital, pictures, poetry

Yesterday and Today at Oregon State Hospital

467 Poisoned at Oregon State Hospital
November 18, 1942
One of the most tragic incidents in Salem’s history was the poisoning of nearly 500 patients and staff at the Oregon State Hospital, on the evening of November 18, 1942. Many who ate the scrambled eggs served for dinner that evening would later claim that they had tasted funny, some saying they’d been salty, others saying they tasted soapy. Within five minutes of consuming them, the diners began to sicken, experiencing violent stomach cramps, vomiting, leg cramps, and respiratory paralysis. Witnesses described patients crawling on the floor, unable to sit or stand. The lips of the stricken turned blue, and some vomited blood. The first death came within an hour; by midnight, there were 32; by 4 a.m., 40. Local doctors rushed to the hospital to help out staff doctors. The hospital morgue, outfitted for two to three bodies, was overwhelmed.
Eventually 47 people would die; in all, 467 were sickened. Though five wards had been served the suspect eggs, all the deaths occurred in four; in the fifth, an attendant had tried the eggs, found them odd tasting, and ordered her charges not to eat them.
Officials were baffled, and immediately focused on the frozen egg yolks which all the victims had been served, and which had come from federal surplus commodities. It was thought that the eggs might have spoiled due to improper storage, or even that they might have been deliberately poisoned by a patient who could have gotten a hold of a poison while on furlough. The biggest fear, however, was the fear of sabotage: with the country engaged in World War II, this possibility loomed large. Oregon Governor Charles Sprague ordered all state institutions to stop using the eggs. The federal government issued a similar order, and the Agriculture Department ordered an investigation into the handling of its frozen eggs.
But the eggs were part of a 36,000-pound shipment which had been divided between schools, NYA projects and state institutions in Oregon and Washington, 30,000 pounds of which had already been consumed with no ill effects. State officials confirmed that the eggs had been properly stored, and the president of National Egg Products Inc. pointed out that eggs bad enough to kill would be so obviously spoiled that no one would eat them.
The day after the poisoning, with dozens still ill, pathologists determined that the sickness and death had been caused by sodium flouride, an ingredient in cockroach poison; pathology reports showed large amounts of the compound in the stomachs of the dead victims. Five grams–the size of an aspirin–would have been fatal; some of the dead had eaten more sodium flouride than eggs. Cockroach poison was known to be available at the hospital, kept in a locked cellar room to which only regular kitchen employees had keys. State Police launched an investigation, and began interviewing staff and patients at the hospital.
Finally, several days after the poisonings, two cooks at the hospital, A.B. McKillop and Mary O’Hare, admitted that they knew what had happened, that they had realized soon after the symptoms had struck, but had not come forward for fear of being charged. McKillop took responsibility, saying he had been the one to send a patient trusty, George Nosen, to the cellar to get dry milk powder for the scrambled eggs he was preparing. He had given Nosen his keys to the cellar, and Nosen returned with a tin half-full of powder, an estimated six pounds of which were mixed into the scrambled eggs at McKillop’s direction. When people had begun getting ill, he had questioned Nosen about where he’d found the powder, and discovered he had brought roach poison.
Despite McKillop’s insistence that O’Hare bore no responsibility for the poisoning, and over the objections of the State Police, who had determined that the poisoning was accidental, District Attorney M.B. Hayden ordered both cooks arrested. A grand jury declined to indict them; the patient George Nosen was never charged. Considered by many of his fellow patients to be a mass murderer, he became something of a pariah at the hospital where he spent the rest of his life. Two brief attempts at life outside the institution failed, and he died at the State Hospital 41 years later, after suffering a heart attack during a fight with another patient.
Compiled and written by Kathleen Carlson Clements
Bibliography:
Capital Journal, November 19-December 1, 1942

Oregon State Hospital has been in trouble for some time.

This from 2004, Oregon Bar Association-

Oregon State Bar Bulletin — DECEMBER 2004
Parting Thoughts

State Hospital Needs Our Help
By Bob Joondeph

There is trouble at Oregon State Hospital. So what else is new? The Oregonian’s reports of sex-abuse and hush money in the 1990s may seem like old news, but the hospital’s problems are not: deteriorating buildings, some of which are over 100 years old; chronic over-crowding with patients sleeping in closets and seven to a room; chronic under-staffing with nursing, psychiatric and therapist positions remaining vacant for months and years. And don’t forget the 70-plus patients who have been found clinically ready to leave the hospital but can’t because of the lack of step-down community living arrangements. Despite recent efforts to bring relief, things are getting worse.

Why? One cause may be state budget cuts that have left thousands of Oregonians without community mental health and chemical dependency treatment. Another contributor may be Oregon’s methamphetamine epidemic that has created a new cadre of psychotic and neurologically damaged individuals. Some observe that Measure 11 has changed the calculus used by defendants who are deciding whether to assert an insanity defense. Traditionally, a successful insanity defense resulted in more time in custody. Now, due to longer sentences and the sanctions of prison discipline related to behavior problems, a defendant cannot count on a shorter ride in the custody of the Department of Corrections.

One tool that the hospital used for years to control its population was taken away by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Oregon Advocacy Center v. Mink, 322 F.3d 1101, (2003). ORS 161.370 requires defendants who have been found mentally incapable of facing criminal charges to be committed to a state hospital or released. It was the practice of OSH to refuse transfer of such inmates from jail for weeks or months in order to control the hospital census. The Ninth Circuit upheld Judge Panner’s determination that this practice violated the substantive and procedural due process rights of the inmates and his injunction requiring OSH to admit mentally incapacitated criminal defendants within seven days of a judicial finding of incapacitation. In is interesting to note that OSH still employs a similar tactic for inmates who are awaiting a determination of their fitness to proceed under ORS 161.365.

Whatever the cause, we do know that Oregon’s jails and prisons have recently been flooded with mentally ill inmates and that state hospital admissions of “criminally insane” patients have grown three times faster than planned. Despite the efforts of state and county officials to create new community placements with the money at hand, they are being overwhelmed by the numbers of new customers and hamstrung by the need to use scarce resources to maintain the crumbling infrastructure of Oregon State Hospital. (And no, the problem is not that Dammasch Hospital closed. We would have even fewer services available if Dammasch were still around.)

The solution? This is not a case of not knowing what to do. Nor is it a case of competing interests: staff working conditions, patient treatment and the public purse would all benefit from the changes suggested by the just-released report of the Governor’s Mental Health Task Force. Among key task force recommendations are the following:

  • The Legislature should appropriate sufficient funds to permit the orderly restructuring of Oregon State Hospital and the construction and operation of community facilities to support populations of individuals who will no longer be hospitalized.
  • Local mental health authorities with support from the state will continue to accept increasing responsibility for assisting individuals to leave state hospitals.
  • State and local mental health authorities will create a rolling three-year plan for the construction and operation of community facilities.

The good news is that the governor and the legislature have gotten the message. In November, the legislature’s Emergency Board permitted the shifting of funds within the Department of Human Services to support the creation of 75 new community placements for OSH patients and to go forward with a planning process for addressing the hospital crisis. The question remains whether the 2005 legislature will maintain its resolve to tackle the OSH problem in light of the massive budgetary shortfalls. Not doing so, to paraphrase hospital-speak, would constitute self-harming behavior.

The task force recommendations will take strong leadership to achieve. They will require a short-term influx of money to construct a smaller and/or refocused modern hospital and community facilities needed to accept the present residents of Oregon State Hospital. They will require collaboration among state agencies including the Department of Corrections and the Oregon Youth Authority to assure that acute psychiatric services are available for their inmates.

It is worth the investment. Transforming OSH and accompanying changes in how we use state hospitals will free our mental health system of a gigantic financial weight and allow the dedicated OSH staff to work in safer, more efficient environments. Patients will be safer and receive better treatment. The 25 percent of the state mental health budget that is dedicated to state hospitals will be more available to leverage federal matching funds. Compassionate care and community safety will be best realized by implementing a more modern, cost-effective approach to mental health treatment. The governor and legislature deserve our support to get this job done.


© 2004 Bob Joondeph

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The author is the executive director of Oregon Advocacy Center.

Right about the same time as the article above, State Senator Gordly requested a Federal Investigation of the Hospital.

Another article made it to the blog  Alas, A Blog:

Rape and Abuse at Oregon State Hospital

Posted by Ampersand | October 15th, 2004

Sheelzebub at Pinko Feminist Hellcat comments on this Oregonian article, documenting a pattern of abuse and rape by Oregon State Hospital workers at Ward 40, a treatment center for children and teenagers. Even worse, the hospital had a pattern of hushing up these crimes.

The article itself is a litany of horrors, such as a fired hospital staffer using his knowledge of the hospital’s scheduling to kidnap and rape a teenager. (This same staffer apparently raped or molested five other patients; two later committed suicide). The most distressing thing for me, however, is the hospital staff’s apparent refusal to treat sexual abuse of patients as a serious problem. For example, regarding hospital employee and rapist/molester/abuser Ronnie LaCross:

On Valentine’s Day 1991, a day before [supervisor] Brakebill observed “No problems!” with LaCross’ behavior, the psychiatric aide, in violation of hospital policy, gave Darcey [a patient] a red and white teddy bear with a plastic tag that said, “I love you.”

Records show that staff confiscated the tag when Darcey used it to carve bloody wounds on her arms.

About a month later, two teenage patients demanded that staff stop LaCross from abusing Darcey. But hospital officials failed to take action.

The hospital waited almost three days before calling her caseworker at the state’s children’s services agency. The hospital did not inform police as required by law. After pestering the hospital for two days to report the suspected abuse, the caseworker called state police herself, records show.

Five months later, Mazur-Hart, the hospital superintendent, ruled that Darcey’s allegations were true. LaCross, who spent several months on paid leave, was eventually fired and convicted of second-degree sexual assault.

The girl who made the first complaint about LaCross more than a year earlier was named as an “additional victim” in police reports in the Darcey case. She told police that besides fondling her breast, LaCross had sex with her three times on the ward. LaCross was never charged in that case.

KATU’s story (based on the Oregonian’s reporting) includes this tidbit:

Records also suggest that one of the hospital’s whistle-blowers was demoted from his job as a mental therapist and made to scrub pots and pans in the hospital kitchen after he came forward in an affidavit saying he had warned the hospital about the ongoing abuse, The Oregonian reported.

The only reason most of this is known is that sealed court records from 1994 were misfiled in a public-records area. There’s good reason to worry that Ward 40 has continued to be a home for rapists, pedophiles and abusers since 1994. The Oregonian discovered seven cases of alleged child sex abuse in the last four years that were never reported to the chief DHS investigator.

Needed security measures that have become standard at other hospitals have not been taken:

A former worker who has since been convicted of attacking young boys, however, said the hospital was a pedophile’s dream.

In a letter to The Oregonian, Frank Milligan detailed a litany of oversight problems at the hospital, including “far too many blind corners” and a “lack of cameras or even simple surveillance equipment.”

“Should a staff member be so inclined, he/she need only wait for an emergency situation, or a patient to act out and draw the attention of the other staff, to take advantage of the chaos and slip away with a victim.”

Hopefully, the Oregonian article will be a start towards getting Ward 40’s appalling conditions fixed (or better yet, towards getting Ward 40 closed down and replaced with modern small-group homes). If you’d like to write Governor Ted Kulongoski a note asking him to take action, here’s his contact information.

oregon-state-hospital

Some useful links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_State_Hospital

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKEeavx3GfI

http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ohq/109.2/brown.html

http://www.kirkbridebuildings.com/blog/oregon-state-hospital-the-library-of-dust

http://www.flickr.com/photos/photoinference/2994136725/

http://blog.oregonlive.com/politics/2008/01/feds_oregon_state_hospital_con.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/07/federal_investigators_return_t.html

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20090920/NEWS/909200355/1001

last-J-tunnels

Special Master’s Report from last February

The Governor appointed someone to oversee the process of improving conditions at OSH- this is an excerpt, followed by a pdf  file of the full report:

Culture

Every organization develops its own culture; how it sees and responds to its world. The hospital is no different. Successfully changing the culture of this organization is the single most important factor in achieving the goal of establishing the Oregon State Hospital as a first rate hospital for the mentally ill.

For many decades the hospital has been under-funded, under-staffed, over-populated, under-managed, and housed in inadequate facilities. It is no wonder that over time it has become a highly calcified organization lacking in incentive to change and burdened by learned helplessness. It has been clear from working with a variety of people in the hospital that many problems have been well known and have existed for years with little or no attempt to solve them. There appears to never have been a culture in the organization that was supportive of people taking responsibility to do problem solving at the level where the problem is occurring.

Another aspect of the hospital culture that deserves mentioning is what I might call the “ward ” view as opposed to a “hospital” view. Largely, I believe, because of the original design of the hospital, staff and patients alike have tended to see each ward as a separate hospital and have tended to operate from that perspective. This has made the management of the hospital as an integrated whole a very difficult task. The centralized model for delivering treatment in the new facility should eliminate the “ ward” view and help facilitate the shift to a “hospital” view. This shift should enable the hospital as an organization to become much better managed and operated. This will be an extremely important transition and one that will be quite difficult for many in the hospital to make.

It also appears that the rather pervasive view of the hospital by staff has been to see it as a long term care facility instead of viewing it as an intensive treatment facility. These two different views produce two very different approaches to dealing with patients. The current view seems to be characterized by a general belief that most patients are going to be hospitalized for a long time and that there is no great urgency about moving them through treatment as rapidly as possible. The culture of the hospital needs to be one of viewing itself as an intensive treatment facility that is part of a treatment continuum. There needs to be an attitude by all management and staff and instilled in patients, that the hospital’s role is to complete their portion of the treatment of the patient as quickly as possible, consistent with best medical practice, so that the patient can move on to the next stage of recovery and return to the community as rapidly as possible.

These and many more hospital culture issues need to be identified, explored and new cultural norms created as needed to see that the whole atmosphere of the hospital promotes

the best possible treatment of patients in the least time necessary. The hospital needs to develop and implement a comprehensive, long term change plan to accomplish this cultural change. This issue of culture is one that will be a large component in a Request for Proposal (RFP) that is currently being drafted to bring professional consulting services to the hospital transformation project.

Download the full report: specialmastersreport

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I often wish that someone would make a serious effort to record the history of this place- from the patients’ perspective. I hear stories every day that would blow your mind. I heard about the story below from a patient who has been there for decades. He was not an eyewitness but he was around while some of the victims were still alive.

467 Poisoned at Oregon State Hospital

November 18, 1942

One of the most tragic incidents in Salem’s history was the poisoning of nearly 500 patients and staff at the Oregon State Hospital, on the evening of November 18, 1942. Many who ate the scrambled eggs served for dinner that evening would later claim that they had tasted funny, some saying they’d been salty, others saying they tasted soapy. Within five minutes of consuming them, the diners began to sicken, experiencing violent stomach cramps, vomiting, leg cramps, and respiratory paralysis. Witnesses described patients crawling on the floor, unable to sit or stand. The lips of the stricken turned blue, and some vomited blood. The first death came within an hour; by midnight, there were 32; by 4 a.m., 40. Local doctors rushed to the hospital to help out staff doctors. The hospital morgue, outfitted for two to three bodies, was overwhelmed.

Eventually 47 people would die; in all, 467 were sickened. Though five wards had been served the suspect eggs, all the deaths occurred in four; in the fifth, an attendant had tried the eggs, found them odd tasting, and ordered her charges not to eat them.

Officials were baffled, and immediately focused on the frozen egg yolks which all the victims had been served, and which had come from federal surplus commodities. It was thought that the eggs might have spoiled due to improper storage, or even that they might have been deliberately poisoned by a patient who could have gotten a hold of a poison while on furlough. The biggest fear, however, was the fear of sabotage: with the country engaged in World War II, this possibility loomed large. Oregon Governor Charles Sprague ordered all state institutions to stop using the eggs. The federal government issued a similar order, and the Agriculture Department ordered an investigation into the handling of its frozen eggs.

But the eggs were part of a 36,000-pound shipment which had been divided between schools, NYA projects and state institutions in Oregon and Washington, 30,000 pounds of which had already been consumed with no ill effects. State officials confirmed that the eggs had been properly stored, and the president of National Egg Products Inc. pointed out that eggs bad enough to kill would be so obviously spoiled that no one would eat them.

The day after the poisoning, with dozens still ill, pathologists determined that the sickness and death had been caused by sodium flouride, an ingredient in cockroach poison; pathology reports showed large amounts of the compound in the stomachs of the dead victims. Five grams–the size of an aspirin–would have been fatal; some of the dead had eaten more sodium flouride than eggs. Cockroach poison was known to be available at the hospital, kept in a locked cellar room to which only regular kitchen employees had keys. State Police launched an investigation, and began interviewing staff and patients at the hospital.

Finally, several days after the poisonings, two cooks at the hospital, A.B. McKillop and Mary O’Hare, admitted that they knew what had happened, that they had realized soon after the symptoms had struck, but had not come forward for fear of being charged. McKillop took responsibility, saying he had been the one to send a patient trusty, George Nosen, to the cellar to get dry milk powder for the scrambled eggs he was preparing. He had given Nosen his keys to the cellar, and Nosen returned with a tin half-full of powder, an estimated six pounds of which were mixed into the scrambled eggs at McKillop’s direction. When people had begun getting ill, he had questioned Nosen about where he’d found the powder, and discovered he had brought roach poison.

Despite McKillop’s insistence that O’Hare bore no responsibility for the poisoning, and over the objections of the State Police, who had determined that the poisoning was accidental, District Attorney M.B. Hayden ordered both cooks arrested. A grand jury declined to indict them; the patient George Nosen was never charged. Considered by many of his fellow patients to be a mass murderer, he became something of a pariah at the hospital where he spent the rest of his life. Two brief attempts at life outside the institution failed, and he died at the State Hospital 41 years later, after suffering a heart attack during a fight with another patient.

Compiled and written by Kathleen Carlson Clements

Bibliography:

Capital Journal, November 19-December 1, 1942

_wikipedia_commons_9_9b_Oregon_State_Hospital_1920

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Filed under Mental Hell Treatment, Oregon State Hospital, pictures

firin’ the odd shot, here and there

Pictures, photographs, that is. Starting with family items, degenerating into random finds, ani-gifs. The family pictures are big big big, click for full size.

Erin and Me

Erin and Me

Erin is no longer with us- as in she died 2 & 1/2 years after this picture was taken. After we bought the flute, I tried to encourage her to practice. Detail follows with clear view of the glare she was giving me in this sweet father-daughter moment:

1991ErinwFlute

The last good family Halloween- also 1991. Top picture includes our babysitter and her boyfriend with Erin on the left side, middle is outside with a guest, me and Matt as a toddler, bottom is trick or treat-

lastgoodhalloween

One of our cats, Blizzard, a few years back (pre- foreclosure on the house the kids grew up in, pre- rented house burning down last year); Eyes on Fire-

blizzer

Matt getting a sword for his birthday last year (he collects swords, doesn’t use them- he’s a Quaker kid, after all)-

bdaysword

Random, mostly from an un-named (un-nameable, unknowable etc.) source:

Good Morning, Filepile

just the kick

shinedown

nonferrous_washers-cheap

Dr. Brewers Guide to Science- 1880

Dr. Brewers Guide to Science- 1880

More Dr. Brewer

More Dr. Brewer

o-m-g

#D Hilbert Curve, generated with a custom MEL script in Maya

#D Hilbert Curve, generated with a custom MEL script in Maya

-) (-

Cat 'n melon

Cat 'n melon

[ani] ready for take-off

squirrelsbarguinness

Bye for now-

-r

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Filed under cats, Family pictures, Science

Odd Monday Morning Mix

Oh, my- did you see the full moon last night at about dark- beautiful, full harvest moon. Clear sky (here in PDX), yellow and big (horizon illusion), gorgeous. It’s a shame we have no radio show this month. Looked something like this:

harvestmoonyellow

Some photos taken on the way to work in the morning- sunrise (as per usual, click for full size or if picture doesn’t show, most of these are huge):

Holgate Street, pre-dawn

Holgate Street, pre-dawn

Rhone Street

Rhone Street

chinese-holistic-bud

On a different note- this illustratin of Mercury’s magnetic field, distorted by it’s proximity to the solar wind:

mercury_magnetic_fieldFollowing in the “space” category, a May 22nd, 2009 view of the Space Staion from the space shuttle, earth back:

5-22-09_from_shuttle

Beautiful Bangalore shrine, oddly found while looking for pictures of Swami Sarvaganada (because I wanted an illustration of his Guru Puja/ Akanda Mandala Karam audio, instead found this excellent Ramakrishna altar:

bangalore shrine

Then this:

Gynandromorphic Butterfly

Gynandromorphic Butterfly

This:

Woody G at McSorely's

Woody G at McSorely's

And this:

amt02

All that remains is Fluff and Cuteness:

sleepyfluffy

seeing.the.cannot.be.unseenable

[ani] a cat on a slide

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Filed under animation, cats, kittens, pictures, Ramakrishna, silly

Announcement First, Then Truth

Announcement: The Mad Liberation by Moonlight radio program for this month is cancelled- pre-empted actually. Our radio station, KBOO (90.7 FM in Portland, OR, or at kboo.fm on your internet dial). The annual John Lennon Birthday Marathon is happening on Friday, 10/9/09; coinciding with John’s birthday. KBOO will be playing (and streaming) Lennon music from 9 pm Friday evening to 8 am Saturday morning, thereby taking our slot for October.

Sadly, this is the Harvest Moon, here in the US and it’s a doozy. Ah, but I don’t care. John L. deserves our respect if for no other reason than John Lennon – Working Class Hero. Or even this: John Lennon – Beatles Breakup Interview 1970.

We will be back on the air next month on the Friday night following the full-moon. Consult your looner calendar for showtimes (looks sorta like the dark night of November 6th at 1 am, or really the morning of 11/7 if you want to be picky; you don’t want to be picky do you??)

lunareclipsesequence

Truth

Lots of things are true. Maybe everything, depending on perspective. These are some sources of perspective I would like to share.

truuthy

First from my own personal spiritual tradition- the Society of Friends. Following are excerpts from a pamphlet by Thomas S. Brown, what we would call a “weighty Friend”. After the short excerpt is a complete download of the publication, free to share. I had to convert from PDF because, well, WordPress doesn’t seem to like PDF and the formatting becomes a bit jerky. Thomas Brown:

To know the Truth is not to accept it by an act of the

intellect, as a man may know the Greek alphabet, or as a

man may know his neighbor across the street. To know

the Truth is, rather, like the way in which man and wife

know each other, a life of wholly shared commitment, of

utter trust, of freedom from fear. Indeed, there is no

knowledge of the Truth where there is no commitment

which results in significant action, for the living root

produces living fruit after its own kind. We know the

presence of love, not by sighs and simpers, nor even by

desire, but by its power to lift men and women outside

themselves and to live beyond themselves. Honor is known

by honorable actions. Beauty is known by its creation among

us. Truth is not a group of intellectual concepts to be

manipulated at will like the symbols in mathematics or

the notes in music: Truth is living and life-giving, and those

who have welcomed the Truth have life.

This is crucial: it is not that we discover the Truth

and make it our own for our own purposes as men might

harness a mountain stream to light their houses or run

their machines. We are, rather, discovered by the Truth,

and are given power by the Truth to light our souls. We are

besieged by the Truth, who stands knocking at the door,

the Hound of Heaven, our Imperious Lover and Tyrannical

Servant, who would give us our hearts’ desire if we would

only throw our selfish desires away, and who longs to release

us from the folly of the “freedom of choice” we seem to think

so important even on matters of life and death.

Download: ThePersonalRelevanceOfTruth

Dalai_Lama_pointing (1)

Not exactly on the same page but an interesting find: Words of Truth by HH Dalai Lama. This is more of a prayer for Tibet and all others who suffer.  Excerpt follows:

               O Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and disciples
                  of the past, present, and future:
                     Having remarkable qualities
                   immeasurably vast as the ocean,
               Who regard all helpless sentient beings
                         as your only child;
          Please consider the truth of my anguished pleas.
                                        
                                        
         Buddha's full teachings dispel the pain of worldly
                 existence and self-oriented peace;
   May they flourish, spreading prosperity and happiness through-
                      out this spacious world.
                  O holders of the Dharma: scholars
                     and realized practitioners;
            May your ten fold virtuous practice prevail.
                                        
                                        
                  Humble sentient beings, tormented
                    by sufferings without cease,
             Completely suppressed by seemingly endless
                and terribly intense, negative deeds,
          May all their fears from unbearable war, famine,
                      and disease be pacified,
       To freely breathe an ocean of happiness and well-being.
                  And particularly the pious people
          of the Land of Snows who, through various means,
            Are mercilessly destroyed by barbaric hordes
                      on the side of darkness,
           Kindly let the power of your compassion arise,
            To quickly stem the flow of blood and tears.
Download (with legal rights to share included): WORDS OF TRUTH
I apologize for the tiny font. Dagnabbit! 
I can't get the post editor to make 'em bigger. Get out your spectacles.
Rumi chimes in here:
Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged.
Cross_and_Crescent_of_light Everyone is so afraid of death, but the real sufis just laugh: 
nothing tyrannizes their hearts. What strikes the oyster shell 
does not damage the pearl.

If in thirst you drink water from a cup, you see God in it. 
Those who are not in love with God will see only their own faces in it.

He is a letter to everyone. You open it. It says, 'Live!'

In truth everything and everyone
Is a shadow of the Beloved,
And our seeking is His seeking
And our words are His words...
We search for Him here and there,
while looking right at Him.
Sitting by His side, we ask:
'O Beloved, where is the Beloved?'

God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches you 
by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly - not one.

Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you.
For more Rumi, go here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/18791792/THE-MATHNAWI-Book-1-2-RUMI or look around my blog.
magnetic_field
Miscellaneous Truth:
Peace and Nonviolence 01
text of above: peace
God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose.  Take which you please - you can never have both.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.  ~Aldous Huxley

Truth, like milk, arrives in the dark
But even so, wise dogs don't bark.
Only mongrels make it hard
For the milkman to come up the yard.
~Christopher Morley, Dogs Don't Bark at the Milkman

It is error alone which needs the support of government.  Truth can stand by itself.  ~Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia

I never dreamed of being Shakespeare or Goethe, and I never expected to hold the great mirror of truth up before the world; I dreamed only of being a little pocket mirror, the sort that a woman can carry in her purse; one that reflects small blemishes, and some great beauties, when held close enough to the heart.  ~Peter Altenberg

The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths.  ~William James

Men ardently pursue truth, assuming it will be angels' bread when found.  ~W. MacNeile Dixon

There is no god higher than truth.  ~Mahatma Gandhi
Just for the heck of it:
A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 4, 32, Li-Young Lee - My Father, in Heaven, Is Reading Out Loud

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Filed under Dalai Lama, Free Audio Books, Friends, Mad Radio, mp3, Mystic Poetry, pictures, Rumi, Spirituality