Danger Ahead if HR 2646 (the “Murphy Bill”) Passes!


Dear Reader, I am reaching out to you in the hope that you will get this message in time to act! Even if you only have time to read the first two sentences of this blog, please click here for instructions on how you can win the hearts and minds of our federal legislators and help them understand why HR 2646 – proposed by Rep. Tim Murphy and called the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act – is a bad bill

As we speak, the Energy & Commerce Committee is in session to mark up the bill. (Depending on when you read this, the link to the live stream may not work.) So there is no time to waste!

There is so much that is wrong with this bill that I hardly know where to begin. Defeating the bill is particularly important to me because I have been locked up a couple of times on a psych ward and hope never to repeat the experience. HR 2646 promotes forced treatment by promoting involuntary outpatient commitment (euphemistically known as assisted outpatient treatment, or AOT). Under an “AOT” order, someone with a psychiatric diagnosis who is living in the community would be required to accept outpatient mental health treatment (usually involving medication), and might be picked up and held for evaluation for commitment to a psychiatric hospital.

“This may sound innocuous to some people, but it’s not,” Tammy Seltzer, at the time a staff attorney at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, told The Key, a publication of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse;

“In Michigan, for example, a gentleman who refused on three occasions to make himself available to the ACT [Assertive Community Treatment] team was subjected to police breaking into his apartment, spraying him with pepper spray, handcuffing him, and transporting him to the hospital, where he was forcibly injected with Haldol. The man was released within days because he did not meet the criteria for inpatient commitment; but the experience was traumatic.”

On Oct. 23, 19 members of Congress signed a letter to the chair and the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee to explain the many things that are wrong with HR 2646. The letter makes for compelling reading. Whether it persuaded the ranking member, Rep. Frank Pallone, or whether he came to the same conclusion by himself, he is opposing the bill.

I would like to write more, but all the information you need is available at the links above. If you are a constituent of anyone on the Energy & Commerce Committee, it is especially important that you reach out to your representative. But even if you aren’t a constituent, reach out anyway! Act now!


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. “In Michigan, for example, a gentleman who refused on three occasions to make himself available to the ACT [Assertive Community Treatment] team was subjected to police breaking into his apartment, spraying him with pepper spray, handcuffing him, and transporting him to the hospital, where he was forcibly injected with Haldol. The man was released within days because he did not meet the criteria for inpatient commitment; but the experience was traumatic.”

    Always reassuring to hear the State is making people feel safe in their homes. My confidence in the system is…. wait, ….no what…..arrrrgghh my eyes. Don’t think for a moment it can’t be you.

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    • Well, from what I understand—I was in California at the time. And Michelle—I had spoke with Michelle’s case worker earlier that morning, and Michelle allegedly had called, phoned down to the mental health, behavioral health center, and had threatened them because of her treatment, and transportation had somehow not arrived. So she was somewhat upset. I had spoke with her case manager that morning. I thought everything had been resolved. I spoke with Michelle. No one at that time had ever said that they were sending out an order to pick Michelle up.

      From what I understand, after pickup orders had been given for the police to go out and pick Michelle up, to bring her in, to get her back on medication, the officers who first arrived had things under control. And at some point, Michelle was inside, said—her door was open when they appeared. Her front door was open with the screen locked, and Michelle had let them know that she was OK. I guess they were there doing a wellness check. Michelle said was OK, and “just go away.” At some point, the sergeant, 17-year sergeant, came on board and to—overstepped his boundaries. He pried open Michelle’s door. He allegedly said she came at him with a hammer. And he shot her at close range once in the heart. So Michelle was killed in her home.

      Read story http://www.democracynow.org/2015/5/20/police_killing_of_michelle_cusseaux_raises

      In Michigan a gentleman who refused on three occasions to make himself available to the ACT was lucky they didn’t murder him in his living room after breaking into his home.

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  2. I would love to write to my congressmen and ask him to vote against this bill BUT… my Congressman is Dr. Tim Murphy! As I have written before I’d love to vote him and his Big phrama campaign contributors out of office but.. he always runs unopposed.

    This bill is nothing more than political payback to the Phrama companies that have supported him for years. It takes money away from community based organizations and funnels back to drug companies.

    If this bill passes I am sure Murphy and others will use it as a political weapon to lock up those who dare speak out against the drug culture and the corruptions caused by Big Pharma.

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  3. The only danger if the Murphy bill passes is for them because it will create more survivor activists who’s activity will accelerate the exposing of psychiatry as an abusive fraud. Their credibility is already in the toilet, all that’s left is flushing.

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  4. This Bill has strong support from family members who seek to advance forced treatment. Their leverage comes from the many widely-publicized mass shootings that involved individuals labeled with “serious mental illness” and they disregard the dangerous side effects of psychotropic drugs.

    We need to consider why so many advocates, who are family members, push for forced treatment.

    The 1927 U.S. Supreme Court case of Buck v. Bell decided the fate of a young woman who was sentenced to compulsory sterilization because she represented a “genetic threat to society”. The Court’s decision sanctioned the state’s use of medical procedures on select individuals without their consent “for the protection and health of the state”.

    The association between psychotic disorders and violent criminal behavior becomes widely publicized in high-profile, mass-murder cases.

    Unlike any other condition, a psychotic episode can result in violent criminal behavior against others.

    The relationship between “severe mental illness” and violence has a significant effect on mental health policy, clinical practice, and public opinion about the perceived dangerousness of people with psychiatric disorders.

    Violence towards others by a minority of individuals under psychotic distress is a significant public health concern which involves conflicting opinions concerning the right of the patient to treatment, and punishment for the crimes they commit.

    Society has come to fear individual who are considered to be suffering from “serious mental illness”.

    It needs to be recognized that a serious flaw in our mental health system exits because of the method medical and mental health professionals use to label individuals who appear to exhibit symptoms of “serious mental illness”.

    Most often, the DSM-5: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is used with what professionals refer to as a “Chinese Menu” approach.

    Patients are labeled with a mental disorder based on the description of their abnormal behavior, mood, emotion, actions, expressions, appearance, etc. and then prescribed dangerous drugs that will hopefully make them “normal”.

    Most professionals fail to test for the many underlying conditions that are known to manifest as a mental disorder.

    Dangerous psychiatric drugs are passed out like candy, while simple causes like an infected tooth, lead poisoning, B vitamin deficiency are completely ignored.

    All mental health advocates should work to ensure patients receive best practice standard of care that includes thorough testing for underlying causes and individualized treatment protocols.


    Our current mental health care system has created an ineffective, inefficient and dangerous, one-size-fits-all, Medication Management Monopoly.

    Forced psychiatric treatment creates forced contracts between patients and their providers, treatment facilities and drug companies.

    Considering the many possible drug side effects, patients should also be able to return drugs that they purchased and can no longer take because of the side effects.

    Lawmakers should not be allowed to force consumers to purchase products and services.

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    • “Patients are labeled with a mental disorder based on the description of their abnormal behavior, mood, emotion, actions, expressions, appearance, etc. and then prescribed dangerous drugs that will hopefully make them “normal”. ” Verballing in other words. An example from my interrogation, “Could you use a knife for self protection?” means that I have a knife for self protection. No illness required, just a point of a finger and someone going to be drugged.

      I really don’t think people realise how little ‘evidence’ is required to drug people into psychotic states and then claim to be treating them. The idea that this is about medicine is just so far from the reality it isn’t funny. The guy who claimed to be a Community Nurse was nothing but a drunken criminal fraud, with State support.

      Still, on the bright side, problems with the family member, call the number and have them tortured and/or knocked. Can also be used as a child/asset separation service. There is potential for profit here if you could live with yourself.

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      • Might I just add that in my instance the State authorised the drugging of me with benzos without knowledge and then conspired with my family member to conceal this offense. Simply had no idea they had this type of authority.

        So family members, drink spike em with benzos, plant a knife in their pocket (assume the availability of guns in the US will give further choices), and have them ‘treated’.

        One thing though for family members to consider as they watch their ‘loved one’ being slowly poisoned. If the ever identify a genetic link, your next. Good luck.

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    • Oh, bekys11, we are so helpful! No one bothered to address your need. I haven’t needed, in the not so distant past, pain to cloud my thinking. First, you don’t need personal experience? Know of anyone? If not, no problem. Talk about the wrongness of forced confinement, using Murphy’s language. Forced confinement is imprisonment, whether you are “mentally ill” or not. Does this help? It should get you going. THEN, you might note that labelling someone, whatever the label, is prejudicial and denies thought. That is, if you call someone “mental,” there is no more thought by anyone else. Also, the guidelines for diagnosing or marking someone as “mentally ill” are very broad and ambiguous. [You may use my words if you want, if that would help.]
      Helping you would be a great help for all of us, too, for we’d be focused ourselves. We might even put our names on your letter.
      As best you can…just sit down with paper/computer before you. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Maybe more. Slowly let it out. When you feel less cloudy and anxious begin writing. Slowly. Carefully. And then, when you’ve reached your limit, go away for a time. You choose the right length of time. Return, go through the same process, read what you’ve written. Write more ideas and thoughts. You can organize things later. What’s important is to get your thoughts down on paper/screen. There is no reason to be long-winded.

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  5. Has anyone thought about going to the meetings when the bill is discussed? I would if I were in DC. I watched the videos of bill markup this week, and there was a big crowd of TAC mommies in the audience. They were clapping when Murphy spoke, shaking their heads no when the Democrats proposed amendments (eventually they were told to stop with these antics). Think it would be good to have some physical organized physical presence there too.

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      • I know. I totally think it needs to happen. Pro2646ers have an organized presence and we need to match them. If not at the actual DC meetings, online presence would be useful too. They were calling congressmen, going on the Facebook pages of those opposed to the bill and criticizing them, while praising Murphy and others for the bill. I only saw a handful of people speaking out against the bill. Lets step up the game!

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        • OK I’ve been posting this around the site tonight for perusal:

          What we need as a movement are:

          a) A clearinghouse of basic information, including access to prominent speakers and experts of our own, to provide vital information we need to effectively reach the public, including

          — Studies disproving chemical imbalance theories;

          — Information exposing to the public the horrid dangers of the psychiatric drugs to which any person could be forcibly subjected, as we all at some time exhibit thought and behavior consistent with an “SMI”;

          — Clear, readily understandable explanations of the literal impossibility of “mental illness” and the logical absurdity of the “medical model,” when possible relating these to people’s everyday experience.

          — Access to articulate “survivors” who can relate their personal experiences of being invalidated, labeled and drugged for going through common personal crises and transitions;


          b) A legal network of attorneys and other advocates, trained in deconstructing courtroom psychiatric b.s., who are on call to defend any activist who is targeted for “treatment” because of political activity aimed at stopping psychiatric abuse, and to assist others in danger of AOT to the degree possible.

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  6. I didn’t even realise what this bill was about until today– wow– I’m amazed– I thought here in Australia we got the idea of “involuntary outpatient commitment” from America— it started in 1986 here– What I don’t get is– what happens when people get out of state psychiatric units over there– do they send them home with instructions? a bag of pills– if we had that here, anyone who is a first episode psychosis prisoner– usually for up to six weeks of the wrong treatment– and who knows in their heart and mind how wrong and harmful these drugs are to them–for them– could simply and slowly stop taking them–and because its only for a few weeks– could pretty much get away from them without going mad in the process– over here once you get into the mental health system– that’s it– they’re taking you straight to your grave–each year your adversely drugged and more addicted– your weakened–and each year makes it a bit more impossible to get away without suffering a neuroleptic withdrawal psychosis–and when that happens– thirteen times in our case– they simply call it what its not– a real mental illness “relapse” back to your real mental illness–that never was — and never will be– other than the forced madness you feel from the poisons shoved down your throat– anyway when that inevitably happens– the C.T.O (community treatment team) in numbers– turns up– and takes you back for lock up treatment– and starts it all over again– with more of what you were on– new drugs–new combinations–back out for a new 12 to 24 month community (coercive) treatment order- I’m so sorry, worried, and saddened, that this type of coercive forced adverse to the most treatment– is being proposed for American citizens.

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    • I assume your in Vic Mr Goode.

      Lets hope they don’t take the example of Western Australia and pass an amendment to the Criminal Code the likes of 54B. This made it unlawful for more than three people to meet in public without a permit from the State Govt.

      Your average citizen was starting to get into groups and discuss things like a fair days pay for a fair days work. Soon put a stop to that with some shiny jack boots lol

      They will of course use depot injections for parolees.

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