"What we call 'normal' is a product of repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection and other forms of destructive action on experience. It is radically estranged from the structure of being. The more one sees this, the more senseless it is to continue with generalized descriptions of supposedly specifically schizoid, schizophrenic, hysterical 'mechanisms.' There are forms of alienation that are relatively strange to statistically 'normal' forms of alienation. The 'normally' alienated person, by reason of the fact that he acts more or less like everyone else, is taken to be sane. Other forms of alienation that are out of step with the prevailing state of alienation are those that are labeled by the 'formal' majority as bad or mad." 

R. D. Laing, The Politics of Experience

torsdag den 1. januar 2009

Ray Alert #9 - Og noget om at være dømt på forhånd

Fra MindFreedom's blogindlæg om Ray's høring:

"Den gode nyhed er, at Ray havde mulighed for at sige lidt om hvad han har været igennem.

Men jeg er ved at miste tal på, hvor mange dårlige nyheder der er. Her er nogle af dem:

- Høringer bliver almindeligvis afholdt på offentlige steder, der udstråler en vis æstetik af værdighed. Ray's høring fandt sted i kælderen på Region's Hospital, sandsynligvis for de vidnende lægers skyld.

- Forsvarsadvokater forventes at være engagerede fortalere for den anklagedes sag. Ray's forsvarer Jon Duckstad har ikke været interesseret i Ray eller allierede, der ville hjælpe Ray. Mr. Duckstad var ikke i stand til at finde et eneste vidne, der kunne vidne på Ray's vegne mod hans tvungne elektrochok.

- Psykiateren, der deltog som vidne, har før behandlet Ray, og han sagde, han havde givet mere end 2.000 elektrochok. Selvfølgeligt talte han for tvungen elektrochok.

- Den juridiske værge, der er ansvarlig for beslutningen om tvungen elektrochok - Terri Bradley - sagde hun har været involveret i mere end 200 høringer om psykiatrisk tvangsbehandling, deriblandt flere angående tvungen elektrochok. Terri sagde, hun støtter tvungen chok for Ray, det menneske, hun angiveligt værner om. (...)

Så, hér har vi det. En dommer skal lytte til ekspertvidner, og hvor er ekspertvidnet for Ray?

Og sikken ansamling af skyts der er opstillet mod Ray."

Ja, Ray tabte altså, og fik en uønsket julegave i form af endnu et tvunget elektrochok juleaftensdag. Ikke engang en uges udsættelse for at kunne deltage i hans families julefest kunne "eksperterne" få sig selv til at bevillige ham. Det må virkelig kaldes for "hjælp", der helt sikkert kun er ment til at bidrage til Ray's velbefindende! Bare ærgerligt - og helt klart endnu et tegn på, hvor "behandlings"trængende Ray er - hvis han ikke selv kan se det, ikk'?!

MindFreedom har den 24. december 2008 sendt et åbent brev (se alert #9 forneden) til Evangelican Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), der står for organisationen Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota (LSSMN). Tonya Wilhelm fra LSSMN er Ray's "general guardian", dvs. hans værge mht. alt, der ikke direkte vedrører hans tvungne elektrochok.

Både ELCA og LSSMN har forholdt sig meget tilbageholdende i sagen om Ray's tvungne elektrochok, for at sige det pænt, og undskyldt deres manglende engagement med det faktum, at hverken ELCA eller LSSMN har direkte indflydelse på den juridiske side af sagen. Faktisk er man gået så langt som til at bede Ray om at se bort fra at søge hjælp hos MindFreedom.

Hvorfor en, oven i købet kristelig (!), organisation imidlertid forholder sig på en måde, der må betegnes som ligegyldigt, når et menneske, hvis interesser organisationen er sat til at varetage, igen og igen bliver udsat for grove krænkelser af sine menneskerettigheder, er mig en gåde. På den anden side er det bestemt ikke første gang, at kirken skuffer: "...jeg troede vi ville blive støttet af den hvide kirke. Jeg troede de hvide pastorer, præster og rabbier i Sydstaterne ville være blandt vores stærkeste allierede. I stedet for har nogle været direkte modstandere, har nægtet at forstå frihedsbevægelsen og har misfortolket dens ledere; og alt for mange andre har været mere ængstelige end modige, og er blevet ved med at være tavse bag den bedøvende sikkerhed af vinduer af skudsikkert glas..."

"Dagens kirke er så tit en svag, ineffektiv stemme med usikker lyd. Den er så tit en ærkeforsvarer af status quo'en. Magtstrukturen i gennemsnitssamfundet konsolideres af kirkens tavse og ofte endda udtalte godkendelse af tilstandene som de er, i stedet for at blive forstyrret af kirkens tilstedeværen." -Martin Luther King Jr.

ELCA kan kontaktes via deres e-mail eller deres website (se alert #9 forneden), og bedes om at tage stilling. Både til Ray's individuelle sag, men også til menneskerettighedskrænkelser i psykiatrien generelt.

Ray alert #9

   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.

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

 * ACTION * ACTION * ACTION *

People may e-mail ELCA headquarters at info@elca.org. Or use their web
form by clicking on "e-mail" on this web page:

http://archive.elca.org/contactus.html

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.]

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

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."

[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

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

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

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

PLEASE FORWARD THIS NEWS!

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

For information about joining MindFreedom today, click here:

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

4 kommentarer:

Harning sagde ...

Ville bare lige sige hej - og påpege at der altså har været lige lovligt stille fra din side af her på det sidste Marian! Det går altså ikke, for hvem skal så skrive alle de indlæg som jeg brænder for? :-)

Marian sagde ...

Hej Harning! :) Skal lige samle mig lidt igen oven i flyveturen, så skal jeg være der igen. Har faktisk et indlæg i arbejde, som jeg regner med, bliver færdigt i morgen. Om end for min engelske blog. Men du kan jo altid smide det i Google Translate :D

For resten synes jeg, der er forbavsende stille på "smid de kriminelle sindssyge i fangehullet og nøglen langt væk"-fronten, lige p.t. Eller skulle jeg være gået glip af noget mens jeg svævede i de højere luftlag?

Harning sagde ...

Nja..
Måske snarere noget omkring - skab flere syge på piller fronten. :-)
Det hér havde jeg fx satset lidt på at du tog op :-)

Marian sagde ...

Tanken strejfede mig. Faktisk ikke så meget mht. det i mine øjne jo uforsvarlige, at proppe allerede børn med alskens kemi, i den vantro, at der findes en pille mod alt, som mht. Lisbeth Lenchler-Hübertz udtalelse. Hold da op, hvor ville det være dejligt, hvis vi kunne nå frem til, at det er helt i orden at være et menneske! Hvis vi kunne nå frem til, at det ikke er sygt, på nogen måde. Og hvis vi kunne nå frem til, at dette gælder alle mennesker, ikke bare børn.