Jinxed: The Persecution of Evan Durst Kreeger

Jim Gottstein, JD
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Evan Durst Kreeger

In David Healy’s review of my book, The Zyprexa Papers, he writes:

If you think what happens to Bill Bigley could only happen in some out of way place, like Anchorage, think again – this is the reality of being a non-person in New York, Washington, Berlin, London and likely Beijing too.

It can also happen to people born into very wealthy families.

For a little over a year now I have been trying to help Evan Durst Kreeger as a life coach, not as his attorney.  Evan is a member of the Durst family, which owns the Durst Organization, “one of the most powerful companies in Manhattan real estate for almost a century” according to Charles Bagli of The New York Times in Episode 5 of the 2015 Emmy winning HBO documentary, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.

In 1982, when Evan was 12 years old, his beloved Aunt Kathie disappeared.  For various reasons, suspicion centered on Kathie’s husband, Robert Durst, Evan’s uncle.  Evan’s parents and his extended Durst family wouldn’t acknowledge what had happened and, most importantly as it relates to Evan, wouldn’t talk to him about it or let him talk about it or otherwise get him help dealing with this traumatic loss.  He not only had grief over the loss of his beloved Aunt Kathie, but also trauma from his understanding that his Uncle Robert had killed her.  He even had to attend family gatherings with his Uncle Robert, which was extremely traumatic.

This was not the first time his family did not validate Evan’s trauma.  He reports he was sexually abused by a childcare person when he was very young, and his parents wouldn’t deal with that either.

Dr. Paula Caplan testified for a client of mine a few years ago about how parents betraying their role of protector can cause psychological problems for their children.  In that case, my client’s father had physically abused her when she was a child and her boyfriend was also physically abusing her.  In both cases, because these people were just not supposed to be harming her, she believed they were impostors.  This was a way for her to reconcile the psychologically impossible fact that her father was hurting her, and then her boyfriend.  For Evan, my take is his parents’ and the larger Durst family’s refusal to discuss the probable murder of his beloved Aunt Kathie by his uncle caused analogous problems for Evan.  This resulted in him getting swept into coercive psychiatry, with all of the unwanted drugging that goes along with it.

The so-called mental health experts did not acknowledge the trauma-based cause of Evan’s problems, saying instead that there was something inherently wrong with his brain, he was permanently mentally ill and needed heavy-duty psychiatric drugs, including neuroleptics, for the rest of his life.  This is what his parents and the head of The Durst Organization, Douglas Durst, believe.  This is what the “experts” have told them.  People should be entitled to believe such recognized experts, but sadly, it is misplaced trust.  One of the benefits of this view is it absolves Evan’s parents and the larger Durst family from any responsibility for Evan’s problems.  I distinguish “responsibility” from “blame.”  They can be responsible for the results of well-intentioned actions and not be blameworthy.

In a Charlie Rose interview about The Jinx, Marc Smerling (who, along with Andrew Jarecki, made the documentary), was asked the most surprising thing he learned:

[T]he most surprising thing was, for me, was the reaction of the Durst family. I was shocked by how we were closed out from them, how the one Durst family member who came forward to speak to us was punished for lack of a better word and how they just, to this day, don’t seem to want to discuss this sister-in-law, daughter-in-law who disappeared. It just seems to have been erased from their history.  (underlining added).

Evan was the only Durst who would talk to them.

One of the results of being very wealthy, as the Dursts are, is they tend to get their way.  Evan is a beneficiary of trusts which generate a significant amount of income that is allocated to Evan.  However, any distributions to Evan are supposedly discretionary and the trustees have punitively used this to bend Evan to their will.  They have used cutting off Evan’s distributions from the trusts to force him into psychiatric hospitalization and being put on psych drugs he doesn’t want.

Evan finds some psych drugs helpful and others the opposite, and he wants to be able to make his own decisions as to what therapy he receives and what drugs to take.  He wants help dealing with the presumed murder of his beloved Aunt Kathie by his Uncle Robert and to achieve his goals in life.

Evan contacted me at the suggestion of MindFreedom International a little over a year ago.  I couldn’t represent him as a lawyer because I am not licensed to practice law in New York, but I told him I would work with him as a life coach.  My perspective is that Evan gets frantic about trying to get his family to deal with the probable murder of his beloved Aunt Kathie by his Uncle Robert.  This can lead to him to do things his family understandably doesn’t like, such as widely accusing them of various misdeeds.

In The Zyprexa Papers I write about how I related to Bill Bigley because we were the same age, he encountered the psychiatric system just a couple of years before I did, and I could have been made permanently mentally ill by the system just as he was.  Instead, because of family standing and resources, and just plain luck, I was able to escape his fate.  I relate to Evan because my family has extensive real estate holdings from which I derive income and I have suffered the vicissitudes of plummeting distributions.  It is nothing like the Durst Organization, of course, but I didn’t dismiss Evan because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth; I know family money can be problematic.  Sadly, unlike for me, family standing and money hasn’t helped him avoid coercive psychiatry.  Just the opposite.

Using the Durst trusts as a bludgeon is apparently not unique to Evan.  I understand two of Evan’s uncles, including Robert, sued the Trustees for analogous punitive withholding of distributions and were able to pull their share of the trusts out—to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

Last August, Evan’s family cut his distributions from the trusts from over $11,000/month to virtually nothing.  I believe this was intended to break Evan so he would behave in a way they could use to have him locked up in a psych ward and have him drugged, or impose a guardianship on him and force him to take drugs that way.  If a guardianship is imposed against Evan, virtually all of his right to make decisions could be stripped away from him.  In Susan Rogers’ review of The Zyprexa Papers she notes:

[T]he Late Claude Pepper, who championed the rights of older adults during his long career in Congress, called [guardianships] “the most punitive civil penalty that can be levied against an American citizen, with the exception, of course, of the death penalty.”

In early October of 2019, such a guardianship petition was filed against Evan in New York.  However, the family’s expectation that Evan would have such a meltdown from the stress of his income going from $11,000+ per month to virtually nothing that it would make it easy to win the guardianship had not panned out.  Plus, it turns out a guardian’s power to force the administration of unwanted psych drugs into their ward is severely limited in New York.

A few weeks ago Evan was lured to McLean hospital in Massachusetts by his family (even though COVID-19 is rampant in psych wards) for what he believed was a voluntary admission into a program he was willing to work with.  However, as so many people find out when they voluntarily go into a psych hospital, they won’t necessarily be allowed to leave.  A petition to commit him involuntarily was subsequently filed against him, but Evan agreed to go to a different program voluntarily.

Shortly after that, for reasons that are unclear, Evan was discharged to the streets, walked 7 miles to Cambridge, and took a taxi to Cape Cod where his family has a house.  His father called the police to have him hauled to the Cape Cod Hospital where he was held for a few days.  While there, Evan’s parents filed to have an old health care proxy declared valid and in force and his father appointed as his proxy, meaning he gets to make  decisions about Evan’s health care.  An attorney was appointed to represent Evan, and according to the court records, did not object to declaring the health care proxy valid and that Evan was not competent to revoke it.  The court then issued such an order.  It is hard to imagine the old health care proxy would have been declared valid or Evan found incompetent if he had had top-notch legal representation.  For example, I could have been called to testify by telephone.

Guardians are restricted in Massachusetts and New York in being able to force their wards to be involuntarily committed and drugged against their will with neuroleptics but, in Massachusetts at least, I understand a health care proxy can “consent” to have their ward drugged with neuroleptics against their will.

It seems likely Evan’s parents will be taking the Massachusetts declaration that Evan is incompetent to revoke his health care proxy to the New York Court in support of their guardianship petition.

Unlike Evan’s Cape Cod lawyer, his court appointed attorney in the New York guardianship has been resisting what his parents are trying to do so there is some hope there.  However, the “Full Faith and Credit” clause of the United States Constitution requires a court in one state to honor the orders from another state’s courts.  There are exceptions, and it seems to me the Massachusetts order could be challenged in New York as invalid on the grounds that the Massachusetts order was not based on a fair proceeding.  However, the Full Faith and Credit Clause would be a high hurdle to get over.  Better would be to immediately challenge the order in Massachusetts with a good lawyer who will zealously represent Evan.

I am very concerned that Evan is about to be devoured by psychiatry’s maw.  Things could be different if Evan were able to hire an attorney or attorneys to deal with all of these different legal actions coming at him and otherwise protect his interests such as sue the trustees for their unconscionable actions, but as I have indicated, his trustees have cut off his money so he can’t hire such an attorney or attorneys.

In 2008, I wrote a law review article, Involuntary Commitment and Forced Drugging in the Trial Courts: Rights Violations as a Matter of Course, where I describe how people’s rights are uniformly ignored in these types of proceedings and the great harm inflicted on them as a result.  What has happened to Evan is a classic example.

The last time I talked to Evan he wanted me to write an article about what is being done to him.  It is the least and, sadly, apparently the most, I can do for him.

***

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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Jim Gottstein, JD
Law, Alternatives and Change: Law, Alternatives and Change: A Harvard-educated lawyer and long time activist for change in the mental health system writes about law as it relates to psychiatric rights and fostering truly helpful, non-coercive alternatives to the current system. Jim's book, The Zyprexa Papers, chronicles the dramatic events surrounding his subpoenaing and releasing secret, damning Eli Lilly documents and surviving the resulting legal onslaught by Lilly, as well as his battles fighting the forced drugging of Bill Bigley for whose case the documents were subpoenaed.

92 COMMENTS

  1. I’m glad he has you. In my experience having a vocal and articulate person or persons on the outside is key. When I was certified recently the two people who called the hospital to say we are watching ended having the certification cancelled, but those with family backing psych… shoot. shoot. I feel sick.

    I’m not sure how much “virtually nothing” is, but it is all relative I suppose. Until power players (stars/doctors/the wealthy) are ready to protest the death of one psych. patient we can’t do much apart from pray. Maybe the charges laid in the U.S. recently will set a precedent that protects everyone, even us. Each group that gains freedom from the DSM seems to celebrate rightly, but then move on. Hey! Hey! We’re still locked in here fighting guys. Please don’t leave. Which pysch patient death will finally spur the action that gets the worlds attention?

    • Yep it’s demeaning when you need others to “speak up” for you.
      And those who actually have to ask their family for help. Spouses have to ASK
      their spouses for support.
      That is the ultimate thorn.
      I really hate begging.

      It never was about “illness”, it was about power. And that is why people are stuck.
      It is also why the protesters had to resort to chaos. No one listens to “please” and I”m
      not about to say that word to my superiors.

      • The great novelist Jane Austen had to get her brother to sign her publishing contracts for her since she was an unmarried woman. (No hubby to sign for her.)

        Nowadays a woman can be placed in a similar situation. Not because of her gender but alleged “mental illness.”

        It makes no difference how rationally you behave nor how reasonable your arguments. Your label will cover it all.

    • From my experience, the star is within one, though in a celebrity culture, even the image and the genuflecting to the orders of law, would even make Holmes and Brandeis probably turn over in their grave. If one is in a public hospital versus the private, the chains of command can be operating more with degrees of records and rights, being explicit or not. The finality of death or daily dying in terms of knowing how to resist, better or worse? For in being committed to the University Hospital in Louisville after a Prozac mass shooting, in group art therapy, then as I started pounding on the table, strike, strike, strike…. the whole class joined in…. LOL, what happens and what can occur to improve is within the voices of this page. So, if you know someone, the connections back to NYC are present….. just keep thinking, creating and asking…. (this is not begging). One has to examine the nature of real estate, values, the symbol and the iconic placement of wealth generators….. in which can be nested the pharma, the professional fees and economies that are grinding up people….. more later… Am told Truth sets one free!

  2. “The last time I talked to Evan he wanted me to write an article about what is being done to him. It is the least and, sadly, apparently the most, I can do for him.”

    If Evan can’t make it, with Jim’s support and his status and publicity? There isn’t any hope. There are a handful who have made it, but how many without rich families? Or without a degree? Or who can’t stomach the game playing of capitalism?

    If the “helpers” “healers” “leaders” can’t do any more than tell the story, what’s the point? If Evan’s money had dropped to “virtually nothing” before he hired Jim as a life coach, would Jim have ever met him at all? This is not a criticism of Jim. This is a statement of despair. I know people need to be paid, hire lawyers, eat, have a home, but when everything is punishing with the purpose of breaking the person? It is the same Story over and over. At least Evan is a more relatable example of being disabled by power even with psuedo-security. If it can happen to Evan it can happen to YOU! A warning for professionals? Funding is not a good enough excuse to stay timid! PLEASE! It’s not personal. It’s just impossible to keep asking politely. If no one SCREAMS for you when the air supply is cut off, you’re gone! GONE!

    Madness is the only way to express this kind of hopelessness.

    • My family is lower middle class. Not rich.

      I’m too damaged to work now. Iatrogenic disease thanks to psychiatric treatment.

      But I escaped because I managed to sneak off to another county and my parents let me stay for a while.

      Better to have a middle class or poor family that loves you when it comes to escaping psychiatry. Evan Durst’s family used its wealth to hound him. Just like rich people would pay tidy sums to asylum keepers for locking up annoying relations in Victorian times.

    • I am not sure if “madness” at least from the arts world is a response to world, or rather a new, better way to communicate a visual language stimulated by the joy inherent to creative expressions. The difficult challenge may be historical in context to understand what the logic was of a different era, the technologies and how life was understand before there were street lamps, Freud, Jung, whatever. To understand even in a rudimentary way, of how dollars, that is money is created and destroyed, to go from gold, to paper, to digital along with the value and values by which a community values or devalues each other is of interest to this discussion. I wonder the steps by which any “self” begins to discover the uniqueness of being, within a body, whereby the product, that is mind, is cared for through more (I think) of a mobius curves of looping by which thinking is nested within layers of complexities? Thereby the myth of balance, to sense that at ease while transitioning from the extremes of “far from equilibrium” can be understood, explained and conveyed better without meds, though the meds might have a presence. As we who have taken or been forces to take the meds know, there can be nuances of how our thinking is operating. Though to work off of them before these websites or stronger inter-state and intra-state groups that carry this knowledge of how and why to explore this position, might be inaccessible. Thoughts, responses, and application to Evan? The world of understanding is swirling around Evan and through Evan, as we ask the questions and pose strategies of how to intervene not just in this life, but LIFE. (The politics regardless of wealth in Evan’s family can be understood, as he is in a precarious vessel that need not be tossed at the whims of others or laws….) Thoughts?

  3. Psychiatry and psychology are almost always about covering up child abuse and/or childhood trauma.

    https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/23/18820633.php?fbclid=IwAR2-cgZPcEvbz7yFqMuUwneIuaqGleGiOzackY4N2sPeVXolwmEga5iKxdo
    https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/heal-for-life/

    How long will it take our society to learn that we’d have a much better world if we got rid of the, by DSM design:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-child-does-not-have-bipolar-disorder/201402/dsm-5-and-child-neglect-and-abuse-1

    child abuse cover uppers – our “mental health” industry – and if we started arresting the child abusers, and in Evan’s case the outright murderers it seems, instead?

    Thanks for sharing Evan’s story, Jim. It sounds like “a classic example” of wealthy parents utilizing psychiatry to torture and abuse their child for them. And psychiatry and psychology are all about silencing the truth, when it comes to the sad reality that child abuse happens, including child abuse by the “mental health” workers themselves.

    For goodness sakes, we are now living within a “pedophile empire,” since we have a multibillion dollar, medical/religious, scientific fraud based, “mental health profession.” That has been covering up, and participating in systemic medical child abuse, for decades.

    https://www.amazon.com/Pedophilia-Empire-Chapter-Introduction-Disorder-ebook/dp/B0773QHGPT

  4. I hope Evan benefits in an environment of being heard. It helps somewhat.
    But it’s about more than that, it is about being treated worse than a criminal.
    Although, I think eventually, even if someone came along and granted Evan immunity
    from psych, is it worth taking that little parcel of gilded poop?

  5. “…For Evan, my take is his parents’ and the larger Durst family’s refusal to discuss the probable murder of his beloved Aunt Kathie by his uncle caused analogous problems for Evan…”

    How would any reasonable child cope with the “normalisation” of “family member murder”?

    • Yes, most likely from people with your mentality. I wish this man is able to escape the mental health system and all other men and women who would like to keep him in the role of a patient.

      The defense against psychiatry needs money, land, homes, hospitals for medical treatment of physical problems where they don’t have electronic medical records, don’t label you and don’t look at those labels, lawyers, a database of all mental health professionals, their names, information, hierarchies, their hospitals and infrastructure, some kind of online scouting programs like XKeyScore of all people on forums, social media etc. who are likely to label and incarcerate people and bring on psych. junk onto people who don’t want it and monitoring of these individuals. We need people from our populations to become skilled in computers, medicine, law, engineering and all other things that are required to keep us safe. Even weapons if necessary for self-defense .

      The ways of working of psychiatrists and their patient/caretaker supporters must be turned back on them. Hopefully one day, there will be organised antipsychiatry which uses the latest methods in statistics and computer science to protect us and works for us rather than for them.

      The moderators of this place are doing a good job. I don’t see too many of the kind of people you find on mental health forums and the type you find on Reddit Psychiatry sub-forum. The last thing we need here is people of that sort.

      However, one thing that’s not good is that there only few people on here. It’s the same small group people who keep posting and most of them lack wealth and true power. This is a scary situation. Our numbers have to grow. More people must join our cause.

      What a wonderful day it would be when we can see the opposition obliterated. Then we’ll just have to contend with the everyday problems of everyday people.

      The worst part of being a group at the bottom is that the majority believers can do whatever they want. However, one mistake from people on the other side and they’ll hound us like greyhounds.

      I have to laugh at psychiatrists and their supporters that feel victimised by our ilk. Yet, the day after their feeling of victimhood, they’ll be happy to go back to their jobs, and label person after person after person as Bipolar, Schizophrenic, Schizoaffective, OCD, ADD, ODD, BPD, NPD, MDD, ADHD and whatever other garbage that’s there in the DSM. They’d turn people’s lives into voluminous files with observation after observation, hand out pathetic discharge summaries, enable people with less-than-good intentions in gaslighting and blackmail.

      In a relatively isolated society, no friend, mother or father would do this to their children if they only knew the consequences. If they did, they are just horrendous people. But such societies would exist only in the most rural of places these days. The cities are done for.

      And these patients as well, who, while I do not dismiss there suffering, I lack sympathy for because happily gobble it up. They then go and make youtube videos and write articles about their “conditions” spreading their problems to all other people who are nothing like them even if they have been labelled the same.

      And then the mental health guys say if you don’t like it, stay away from us. Really, it’s that simple right? Their psychiatric trash is tied to normal medicine. Their assessments are tied to EMR (where it exists). The drug industry and pharmacies are under their control. The police force is under their control. The courts uphold their labels and power.

      I would like to see these people experience all of this and then see whether they feel the same anger of the people that they do this to.

      Yes, people suffer. Terribly sometimes. And they desperately want help. But psychiatry/psychology and the way they have impacted society are not help. I can’t see how any humane person can engage in this trash.

      Look at how our people are ending up the world over. Living in fear. Fear of doctors, fear of society, fear of getting medical help, gaslighted, marginalised and outcast, and then their real experiences dismissed, denied and they’re called “whiners”.

      I can’t see how anyone can have a “moderate” view when they see these things happen.

      • Good job, Registered.
        So well said.
        I’m betting on time and a few gutsy individuals.

        Hoping one day psychiatry gets to eat the manure they dished out.

        I’m sure a few shrinks or kid shrinks read these sites and don’t feel a thing, which is to be expected. Some people cannot connect with a dogs whimpering. Some people do, but are not passionate enough to check out the sad sound.
        Licence gives shrinks immunity. Licence is the only thing that keeps them sane. I think evil/badness presents itself in how many people you hurt and lie to.

        Criminal behaviour is not all about break and entry and shooting someone.

  6. With strategy and, specifically, the creation of a team willing to assume “care” a patient can be rescued from certification. Once outside the walls power can be given back to Evan, but for now the game is played by institutional rules. Evan MUST have a keeper assume control in order to leave the pound.

    Would you be willing, Mr. Cohen, along with Jim and other professionals to make a treatment team? It is not an appropriate time to ask for money. And an even less appropriate time to advertise your private practice. Like treating a choking person is just what you do in an emergency. It is time to ACT! You may be Evan’s only hope. I will volunteer to be the Peer Specialist for you team.

    And you must act NOW! Don’t overthink it. You have power and resources. One phone call from outside Canada from Will Hall had my certification dissolved. If we act as a team, use your credentials as a super power, we CAN save Evans life before it’s too late.

    • The comment I was responding to has disappeared. In case it doesn’t re-materialize, it is a response to Dan Booth Cohen and and a CALL TO ACTION.

      Author: Dan Booth Cohen
      Comment:
      It’s heartbreaking and a story repeated in families rich and poor throughout America. I knew Seymour Durst and his family growing up in Manhattan in the 1970s. It was all there to see from the start. After a 20-year career in business, I became interested in transformative experiential process work and trained in Systemic Family Constellations and received a PhD in psychology. Now, in my practice as an off-the-grid psychologist, I see clients only 3 times for about 2-3 hours per session. In most cases, this is sufficient for any specific emotional, relational or behavioral intention. Needless to say, I do not receive referrals from other professionals and cannot accept insurance. I have been in practice 15 years and have successfully worked with thousands of people. The most difficult problem to treat are the side-effects and withdrawal symptoms of psych meds. They are much more problematic than underlying symptoms.

  7. The last time I was on the inside, a woman kept asking to speak to her lawyer and the nursing team would hold off or not allow her use of the phone. Or cut the call short because she was getting “agitated”. She would rightly ask harder and louder. DEMAND a lawyer. She had take down after take down. First aide was called after at least one. Drugged into oblivion. I was there. She wasn’t threatening or even using bad language. She said “you are hurting me. I want to call my lawyer.” So money is not the biggest barrier now that Evan is locked up. Truth is until he’s out it may be useless unless he needs candy from the vending machine. Even if Even could afford a lawyer, he may never be allowed to make the call. Plus how many of us have tried hiring a lawyer only to be told we didn’t have a hope. Or worse, get no reply at all.

    The hospital must know that people are watching. That if Evan comes out more damaged then he went in, that there will be repercussions.

    And Evan must be careful, maybe more than those of us who come from less, to keep his indignation in check just for now. Play the game. Sit still. Name drop your allies. Forget his life before where he had power too. Just for now.

    I know I don’t have a PhD. I’m not a Lawyer or a Doctor. But I have had certifications cancelled twice. My expert knowledge comes from inside psychiatry out. You cannot learn it from a place of safety. Or buy it with money. There is a way to play the game and escape. I’m offering you my knowledge free of charge. Don’t let Evan die because you will not stoop for help from someone who you see as less than.

    • “The hospital must know that people are watching. That if Evan comes out more damaged then he went in, that there will be repercussions.”

      This is so true, and it is one of the things my wife and I are trying to do as we continue to negotiate the unbelievably precarious balancing act of maintaining contact and influence with those “treating” our involuntarily hospitalized 19-year-old daughter while trying to extract her from this seemingly No-exit hell!

      One of the things I’m thinking of as I write this is to enlist friends who know us and our daughter to stand with us outside of the hospital with signs simply reading “We are watching you, _______, _______, and ______ (with the names of the attending psychiatrist, Chief of Psychiatry and Clinical Director in the blanks).

      But here’s a chilling reality in our ongoing saga: Our daughter did, in fact, come out of a 74-day “psychiatric incarceration” much more debilitated than when she entered back in 2017. Were there repercussions? You bet, but not against the hospital! They managed to “spin” things in a way to actually blame us for her deplorable state. It has taken us until recently, through extensive effort, to get her hospital records amended to remove erroneous, misleading and pejorative information from this hospital’s records…after they got her back in their grip and perpetrated even more harmful, coercive and damaging “treatments” on her!

      Having said this, I still appreciate all you’ve said. And of course, we will never give up!

      • People come out worse from psychiatric interventions all the time, and it is almost always blamed on “the disease”, aka blamed on the “patient.” Take a look at “treatment resistant depression.” All it means is “our approach failed.” But rather than take responsibility for failing and looking for another approach, they blame “depression” for “resisting” their “treatment.” It is a pervasive tactic that absolves the psychiatric “professionals” of any responsibility no matter how much worse the “patient” is upon release that at admission. It remains baffling to me that this is not obvious to more people who watch the process.

      • Russerford: I’m so sorry. 🙁

        My Dad was advised by legal counsel to take lots of notes in the meetings with the care team. I was force treated as a teen too. Like your daughter. In the end the doctor washed his hands of me, “Get her out of here she will never get well.” his exact words. Went through cold turkey withdrawal but was too young to understand what it was. We got a puppy on the way home. They just tucked her in bed with me. I remember my Dad standing over my bed crying as I went through it. (The only time I’ve seen him cry.) My mom played the same violin song over and over for days because it was the only thing that seemed to help.
        My Dad wanted to press charges but I was so damaged and terrified that I just couldn’t do it. I’m not sure how protesting would work, but maybe. The sentence my Dad said that had my certification cancelled was “Do I need to call a lawyer?” That’s it.

        The last cert. that was cancelled recently, I filled out the forms for multiple people giving them access rights to call in and get updates on me. Just having people call at any hour kept me protected from some of the other abuses that happen in locked wards on the down low.

        I want to warn you that my relationship was super damaged with my family from what happened. From not knowing who to blame or who didn’t protect me enough. Turns out the hospital was telling my parents they were too busy to get me for phone calls. And the hospital was telling me my parents weren’t calling. My mom thought I was manipulating. I thought my parents didn’t want me. We are finally figuring it out, but it’s taken a couple decades. 🙁

        I can’t help much, but I can listen if you need it. My Dad has talked to parents before too. I hope it helps to hear of survival, even though imperfect, especially when you are in a part of the journey that seems (I can’t say it.) it is just NOT OKAY! I’m so sorry.

        I think my own experience is what makes me so INTENSE when I hear stories like this. I’m glad some of my anger for Evan helped someone at least a little.

        • O.O., thank you so much for responding to me as you have done… That really means a lot! And all of the things you have shared are very helpful. I don’t want you to think that I’m shooting down any of it, even when some of what we’ve tried hasn’t worked very well to date. From what you said I realized you’re still in a difficult journey, and it probably feels like crap sometimes, plus I’m sure it’s left a ton of scars. But I want to commend you for being able to share as you are doing, and if my daughter could ever recover anywhere near as well as you obviously have, I would feel extremely blessed! One thing that gives us hope is that our older daughter, as I already mentioned, has also come through some pretty horrific coercive psychiatric incarcerations and has recovered remarkably well… although she certainly has some scars, too. You did very well to gather some allies to see you through what appears to have been your last hospitalization. I encouraged and helped my older daughter complete a rather extensive psychiatric advance directive, developed by the Bazelon Center, which definitely helped in a couple of her hospitalizations. When push comes to shove, psychiatrists can override them in many respects in most states (they simply invoke “In my best clinical judgment…”), but I do believe it was helpful and kept her from ECT. They were trying to push this on her twice as the only thing left to help her… but she is living proof they were dead wrong!

          “I want to warn you that my relationship was super damaged with my family from what happened. From not knowing who to blame or who didn’t protect me enough.”

          Yes, thank you for mentioning this. Believe me, it is always on my mind. The way this thing has gone is unbelievably pernicious, and we are between so many rocks and hard places, including that we have to stay in the “good graces” of the ones who are so much in control of our daughter’s life at this point. Our “mental health system”, as it exists, seems almost designed to alienate people from their families. I wouldn’t blame my daughter, based on what she’s aware of, if she hated us at this point! She has NO IDEA how we’ve been advocating for her, behind the scenes. While we have heard mental health workers lament the lack of involvement of families, what they want more than anything, both from patients and their families, is unquestioning “compliance”. When you seriously challenge what they’re doing, or trying to do, they have ways of making you (and your loved one) pay!

          • I can’t see, after everything, my journey ever being anything but difficult. I haven’t found a way to re-thrive, but I have mad skills in escape. Mostly I’m just angry. Tired of climbing barriers. You cannot know what all can be taken from you until it is gone.

            I did escape at 17, worked, traveled the world, was training to be a paramedic. I had an amazing med-free life of purpose for 8 years. My shoulder was sore one day after white water kayaking. The doctor thought it was “depression”. He gave me SSRIs and within days the nightmare started all over. My EMT practicum was cancelled 5 calls away from finishing. My goal was to be a paramedic by the time I was 26. I turned 26 sitting on a psych ward floor tearing up the forms for AISH. (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) I didn’t survive as well after being recaptured. It took 13 years to escape the second time.

            As a teen the first suicide attempt was after being given SSRI samples by a doctor after my grandmother died. I guess I, of all people, should have known better then to take them again.

            May you and yours find a lifetime of freedom.

      • “Were there repercussions? You bet, but not against the hospital!”

        Sadly, I know this too well. The threat of accountability/repercussions is a bluff I’ve seen work. Worth a try. Holding a psychiatrist accountable is a whole other thing that so far I haven’t found a way to do. But they don’t need to know that.

        • Thanks again. I hear you loud and clear, and these thoughts and suggestions are well taken. We have retained a lawyer, and are gathering some allies around us in this fight, including a survivor/advocate and a couple of holistic/integrative psychiatrists who are some of the few “good guys” among that seemingly conscience-seared cohort. I thank God we at least have the resources we do in this battle. My heart goes out to those that are entrapped in the psychiatric Gulag Archipelago with NO ONE on their side! I want to fight for them, too! I believe it has become my key life mission.

        • O.O., for some reason there’s no “reply” button on your previous comment, so I’m using this one to reply. You started by saying,

          “I can’t see, after everything, my journey ever being anything but difficult.”

          I definitely hear the despair and anger in this and what follows. I’m sorry for your pain. But I thank you again for your supportive comments. And I do see strength of mind and spirit in you, and that is a very valuable gift. In saying this, I don’t mean to “whitewash” your suffering, past, present or future.

          • Russerford, I was in your daughters shoes also, but I didn’t have parents trying to prevent the torture, just encouraging it. They still, to this day,(I’m 39 now) believe everything was justified, regardless that it has left me living in a bedroom in their house, unable to work, terrified of hospitals and doctors, unable to trust that there are actually human beings that don’t have an ulterior motive to dehumanize me again at the first chance I say something they don’t like. It’s lonely here. And that is what the mental health system in the good old USA did for me.
            The last time I was in, several years ago, the thing that “saved” me from too much mistreatment was that I had with me, in my pocket at all times, the city’s Civil Rights Office phone number and I made them very aware that I would use it if need be. I made enemies for sure, but I did find that they watched their steps where I was concerned. Arming her with the knowledge of her actual rights, as they even have posted on the walls in most hospitals but never abide by, and a number to call to report, may help her some. They psychiatric system does nothing to help a person thrive, and in fact does everything to destroy that very part of our being. Surviving sucks sometimes. I will be keeping you and your daughter in my prayers. I’m so sorry. AND I am so overwhelmed seeing a father actually want to protect his daughter. I didn’t have that experience within the system. Thank you for being that dad.

          • psmama, I have the same problem I had in responding to O.O.’s last comment…no “reply” button on your comment. So this is my reply to your response starting with “Russerford, I was in your daughter’s shoes also”:

            Your comment was a wonderful advance “Father’s Day” gift. Thank you so much for sharing this! It is very affirming to hear from those who “get it”, but unfortunately, that understanding has come at a high cost. I am truly sorry for your pain. Thank you so much for keeping me and my daughter in your prayers. I will do the same for you. To be honest, in my more cynical moments I wonder what good prayer actually does, but I continue to do it, banking on the belief that “a bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out”…and I am certainly that “bruised reed” and “smoldering wick”–how much more my dear daughter! But I am more and more convinced that the good that is done in this world, MUST be done by those of us who allow ourselves to be “His workmanship”, who are “created for good works”. So there is the need for both prayer and action, and prayer that our actions would be in sync with the Lord’s will. And I thank everyone who may read this for your actions on behalf of those suffering at the hands of the psychiatric Gulag Archipelago, even if you are an atheist! (In my opinion, struggling with faith as I am, you’re doing the work of God without even knowing it!)

          • Russerford, thank you for your kind words. I hope you really do have a good Father’s Day! And I truly believe prayer has power. For me, those prayers when they first started drugging me, begging God to protect my mind, I believe is the reason I am here and alive now. And when I say I am praying for your daughter, know that I am begging and pleading as hard as I did for 19 year old me. I may not be where I want or expected I would be at this point in my life, but I at least have gotten some distance from “them” and I am of sound mind. I’m “bent but not broken”.

  8. I am reminded of the chapter “Empty and Full” in The Art of War by Sun Tzu Mr Gottstein. It would appear that their is a distinct advantage to be had when the ‘enemy’ is crossing the river, if you get my drift. One State to the other. Be first to the battlefield, and when they are half way across, attack.

    And I guess my comment would be in the form of a question, how vicious is psychiatry when it is weaponised?

    I look at the situation I found myself in where I obtained legal representation only to have my lawyers request the documents relating to my ‘detention’ (with all the necessary documentation regarding non disclosure agreements etc) and then have the documents provided in “edited” form. The hospital provided a set of documents that removed some significant facts (ie that I had been ‘spiked’ with benzodiazepines without my knowledge, and that the Community Nurse had lied to police regarding my status claiming I was a “patient” of his hospital). Thus I have two sets of documents with two legal narratives. Police did try to retrieve the set I have, and failed, though the false narrative that was provided to the Mental Health Law Centre seems to be the preferred truth, and I have as a result of the State going to the trouble of distributing this false narrative been denied access to legal representation.

    My claim is that if I put two lawyers in two rooms with the two sets of documents and they come up with different opinions as to what occurred, then the documents have not been “edited” but are actually fraudulent.

    One set says “patient” of said hospital for 10 years was snatched out of his bed by police after a home visit by a Community Nurse, the other says conspire to stupefy and commit an indictable offence namely kidnapping. Problem being our police can’t find their copy of the Criminal Code and therefore the fraudulent set stands, and the threats my family and I have been subjected to for my complaint regarding being tortured and kidnapped has been silenced.

    So in my State with this ability to “edit” documents that are provided to legal representatives and remove evidence and facts and then replace them with other documents that create a false legal narrative our public officers have little trouble with the methods they use to achieve outcomes. Arbitrary detentions, torture, kidnappings and any propblems with the “substantive” breaches of the law are dealt with by destroying the victim.

    And to me these days I get it why a lawyer wouldn’t touch anything to do with mental health services given they have this right to commit acts of fraud and leave the lawyers chasing their own tails trying to ensure the rights of their clients is observed. How could that possibly be achieved with such a rigged system? And most of the ‘victims’ (the actual victims being the community, as these are offences against them not the individual) of this State sanctioned fraud and slander would end up committing suicide as a result of the total destruction of their lives, of this I have little doubt. And it appears to be known as I was personally threatened by an Operations Manager who provided the fraudulent set of documents to the Law Centre.

    Jinxed? The idea of ‘bad luck’ or an ‘evil spell’ can be misleading when there are criminals at work behind the scenes. One might look at the last ten miserable years of my life and say the same, that I haven’t seen my family and my career has been destroyed and I have been unable to obtain legal rep to have my property returned was as a result of a ‘jinx’. But that’s simply not true, I have been viciously attacked by public officers who do not wish the truth to emerge, that I was tortured and kidnapped, and well, i’ll leave the rest for those who ‘have the stomach’ for what is being called ‘medicine’ by our Minister for Health. This was no ‘jinx’ but a systematic and evil assault on someone to conceal the truth.

    I must say I am in agreement with one of our politicians who stated that “the worst violence can be the violence of the mind”. And who better to inflict that violence than the people at mental health services, aided and abetted by the people at the Mental Health Law Centre who are prepared to assist in the concealment of human rights abuses whilst claiming to be advocates for those being abused?

    Oh for a Clarence Darrow, though why one would chose to live in a place where our ‘authorities’ have no respect for the law …. Police quite prepared to refuse to take the documented proof of serious criminal offences by ‘medical people’ and assist in retrieving those documents to conceal offences? Gee, I wonder how organised crime gets organised lol.

    I wish you luck with ‘coaching’ Evan. And I will thank you for the valuable information I have gleaned from your articles. Please keep us informed of the progress of these matters.

    • “And who better to inflict that violence than the people at mental health services, aided and abetted by the people at the Mental Health Law Centre who are prepared to assist in the concealment of human rights abuses whilst claiming to be advocates for those being abused?”

      Yes, what a cruel irony! One that we are in the midst of as I write this. Reminds me of the C.S. Lewis quote:

      “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.” …and in the case of the psychiatric Gulag Arhipelago, calling them “moral busybodies” seems far too mild!

  9. Jim, you give me hope that there are still good people. This whole page site does. Knowing there are people like you telling others what we’ve been saying, “I was harmed. And because of that “they” were allowed to harm me more”. Thank you for using your voice. I will be praying for Evan. I come from a family that believed all the psych stuff, after 15 years in, marrying and getting pregnant by a very dangerous person all while on zyprexa, I was able to somewhat gain control over the medication aspect. And once we are at a safer distance though, then what? The fear, that I have been told by some is paranoia, of it happening again is almost too much at times it’s hard to breathe. Every day since my forced introduction into psych at 14 has been survival mode. That’s not living. So thank you Jim! Thank you for being Evan’s voice.

  10. So glad you wrote this, Jim Gottstein, and so glad that Evan has you trying so hard to help him. Is there no legal clinic (Harvard Law, for instance) that will take his case?
    One other point — you said that you feel lucky that mistreatment by the system did not end up making you “mentally ill,” but I don’t know what that means, since that term is meaningless and so misused by the very system we despise. I assume you mean that mistreatment by the system can intensify and multiply the manifestations of a person’s suffering, yes? 🙂

    • Paula, though for some reason I only recently noticed, I want to applaud your current laser focus on the logical and semantic absurdities of the “mental illness” concept, and related terms. People don’t often seem to understand when I say the argument about whether “mental illness” exists should not be seen as medical but one of linguistics. No “research” is needed to understand the meaning of metaphor, simply a decent textbook and/or a professor of language. Or logic.

      The survivor group I’ve been mentioning recently completed a set of basic anti-psychiatry principles, one of which is “mental illness” is a semantically absurd concept which falsely conflates the abstraction known as “mind” with the physical brain to mislead people into believing they have literal diseases.

  11. Maybe Durst would find comfort in the knowledge that he is simply another “consumer of mental health services,” and not really staring into the bowels of the gulag.

    A serious project for the anti-psych movement and its allies to work on would be a psychiatric inmates’ defense project to raise $ for legal defense while at the same time exposing the inherent fraudulence and oppressiveness of psychiatry. Cases would be defended not to “get the best deal” but to demonstrate the underlying injustice of the whole setup.

    This is something that could attract foundation $ if there were some competent people working to secure such.

    • “A serious project for the anti-psych movement and its allies to work on would be a psychiatric inmates’ defense project to raise $ for legal defense while at the same time exposing the inherent fraudulence and oppressiveness of psychiatry. Cases would be defended not to “get the best deal” but to demonstrate the underlying injustice of the whole setup.”

      The problem though, as I believe I have demonstrated, is that the legal protections afforded citizens in the law are not recognised by either those charged with the duty to enforce them, or the legal fraternity themselves.

      I have written proof of (a) the Chief Psychiatrist removing the protection of “suspect on reasonable grounds” from the referral process (and thus making lawful arbitrary detentions) and (b) letters from people claiming to be lawyers who also deny the existence of these legal protections. I would have thought a competent lawyer would know HOW a burden of proof operates in law, though I have proof that even the Priniciple of the Law Centre doesn’t even know that. Maybe they were just actively engaging in the gaslighting I was subjected to, to conceal the torture and kidnapping? That’s what it looks like, but with police providing cover for them, we would never know right? Get citizens to commit the offences and then fail to perform your duty is how it works around here. And with a toothless watchdog its carte blanche.

      A similar analogy would be that police don’t recognise your right to live, and will stand by while criminals stop your hearth with drugs and call it an “unintended negative outcome”. Nay, in fact will actively retrieve documented proof of the crimes committed by these people and then acting out the theatre of gaslighting the victims to death by suicide. Maintain the fraud of the status change from citizen to “patient” and its amazing what one can do to anyone in the community and call it medicine.

      I’m not sure the same system is in place in the US, in fact I struggle to believe it would be possible. But here in Australia they openly admit that the State can deny anyone access to legal represnetation under certain circumstances. And of course as I can show, achieving those circumstances can simply be a matter of drugging someone without their knowledge, planting items on them for police to find, and arranging to have them ‘treated’ aginst their will.

      No protections, no problems.

      The legal fraternity is obviously aware of the situation, and for whatever reason refuses to speak about it. And I know that if they have watched the ‘authorities’ do some of the ‘fuking destroying’ that they have subjected me to, they had better continue with their complicit silence. Or active participation which will no doubt provide benefits.

      As I have stated here and elsewhere the Mental Health Law Centre which claims to be an advocacy service, is nothing of the sort. They gather information regarding their ‘clients’, and then work with authorities behind their backs to conceal human rights abuses. All under the guise of “there might be things I can’t tell you”., .like were going to attempt to pervert the course of justice here by not reporting the torture to the appropriate authorities, accepting fraudulent documents and then providing you with a poison pen letter that we claim we don’t have time to read. Best we don’t look now we know the State is committing crimes against you to resolve their little problem of torture and kidnapping you. Dead Man Walking.

      Thus it would be a waste of money to try and fund such a defence, as I found out when I was charged $3500 to be told how expensive a lawyers time was. Obvioulsly quite happy to take my money knowing that after speaking to the Mental Health Law Centre lawyers that it was a case of empty his pockets before throwing him under the bus of State sanctioned corruption. Interesting the second lawyers comments when I still had the documented proof of the ‘spiking’, “I thought you were mad, but you’ve got the proof”. Phone call to the Law Centre and the word travels back throught he chain of command. But we already sent out the fraudulent set, and he has copies of the REAL set waaaaaaaa. Quick, treat him for that illness, have police make a referral so we can do one of theiose negative outcomes in the ED. So glad you guys don’t believe me, because people can be really ugly when you get to see whats in their hearts, rather than the smooth talk from their mouths.

      But at least I tried. And i’m sure the comment by one senior legal represenatative that he had ‘insurance’ was a key comment as to how they need to keep their own butts covered where the State is torturing citizens. Make sure it looks like you have done your duty, while ensuring you don’t.

      You provide a builder with a set of architectural plans, approved by the State and then he builds whatever he is told to by the authorities. That’s how the legal fraternity works around here, they take your money for doing the bidding of the authorites, and I can only assume its lawful when police can’t find their copy of the criminal code and therefore its legal to spike people and have then snatched from their bed by police for delivery to a locked ward because someone wants it done.

      Of course not a soul prepared to look now that witnesses have been threatend by police, and documents retrieved (well, sort of, had a bit of tidying up to do there but …… in a Police State no problems, kill anyone who complains). I mean where are they going to get a lawyer, when there is no law? lol

      • I think we would have to create a bank of lawyers who were serious about enforcing the laws, not the “reasonable” lawyers generally employed in these roles today. Of course, some of these lawyers would be excited to actually be able to defend their clients and would be happy to step into the new role. But it would mean hiring lawyers who would actually be willing to challenge the system. It would also mean collecting stories and data to change the laws so that they are enforced and effective. It would be a big change from the status quo.

        • Once again Steve, i’m speaking about somewhere other than the US so…..

          The problem is not even with challenging the system. The system would actually work relatively well. It’s the corruption that is not being challenged. The ‘lawyers’ at the Law Centre KNEW what had been done, they were also fully aware that the documented proof of what I was saying existed. I even offered them copies which they declined, and I understand that given they were to be given access to unredacted copies to protect my human rights. But when they are made aware of the fact that I was tortured, and they know I haven’t been informed?? What should happen in that situation? Seriously, because that is exactly where I (and they) found myself.

          So what occurred? They didn’t inform me, accepted a set of fraudulent documents from the hospital (though they did complain about the “editing”), made a complaint to the authorities and then handed on a ‘response’ to that complaint that makes a farce of the process. They then claim they do not have time to read the response, and go find someone else to help you. And of course anyone else I approach now calls them and asks……. and is told, don’t touch it, they State is going to knock him.

          What I thought would occur would be that the lawyers would look, confirm the torture and kidnapping and report those matters to the appropriate authorities (Corruption and Crime Commisssion under s. 28 mandatory reporting of suspected [on reasonable grounds] serious criminal offences [2 or more years prison]). Though the way the Chief Psychiatrist has rewritten the “suspect on reasonable grounds” protection of the Mental Health Act, it means all he needs to do is never suspect that an offence has occurred and he never has to report. Suspect on reasonable grounds becomes suspect on grounds he believes to be reasonable. And even with a pile of bodies down at the morgue his suspicion wasn’t piqued, ergo, no report. Big advantage on being able to remove legal protections without Parliamentary approval I think.

          That reporting definitely did not occur (see Parliamentary Hansards), and it is a serious act of Misconduct. Criminal in fact, to attempt to pervert the course of justice carries a Mandatory prison term. So the State does them all a favour by concealing their crimes (committed knowingly and with mens rea). And I, and my family, get to pay for their wrongdoing. Though I guess the $1.50 it costs to ‘hotshot’ me in the ED is much less of a cost than the money they would have to pay out if the torture was exposed in court. So they are saving taxpayers money with this psychiatric death squad. A matter of National Interest, and not in the Public Interest i’m told.

          Consider. I spent months writing to the Mental Health Law Centre pointing out that the letter of response from the Chief Psychiatrist did not recognise the legal protection of “suspect on reasonable grounds that the person should be an involuntary patient”. What are these reasonable grounds? They are set out in the criteria for involuntary patients in s. 26 of the Act “criteria for involuntary patients” .

          There are 4 criteria to be met in order to satisfy the “reasonable grounds”
          1. the person MUST have a mental ilness.
          2. the person must be a danger to self or other.
          3. the only way to get them the treatment they require is in a hospital setting
          4 the least coercive method to achieve that must be used.

          Fairly loiw bars but, problem being I did not have a mental l=illness by the very definition of the Act. So if the Chief Psychiatrist removes s. 26 of the Act, or the protections affforded the public by that Act, then no problems, Boans wasn’t tortured and kidnapped.

          You would think the Law Centre lawyers would have something to say about this right? Wrong, they were kore than happy to keep assaulting me psychologically and assisting in fuking destroying me. FACT.

          Can anyone other than me see a problem with the removal of these legal protections? Is it just me? Because I’ve letters from lawyers stating i’m wrong to assume that the protections have been removed. Suspect on reasonable grounds becomes suspect on grounds they believe to be reasonable is NOT a misrepresentation of the law, the MInister for Mental Health writes. Your a fuking idiot I write back. s. 26 criteria was put into the Act as a means to check if “reasonable grounds” was satisfied, and protect the public from arbitrary detentions.

          I then inform the Minister of what happened when they tried to ‘unintentionally negatively outcome’ me and she suggests I get a lawyer to defend myself. I point out I had a lawyer but they had fraudulent documents sent to them, and they could no longer assist me as a result. How can I be defended by lawyers who are provided with fraudulent and slanderous documents that has a false legal narrative? Citizen tortured and kidnapped become mental patient of hospital for more than 10 years. Seems a little unfair to me. Of course ow that police have threatened all the witnesses …. well, no point saying anymore. You either (a) don’t believe me 0r (b) don’t give a damn.

          • So how does one get around the problem of a citizen who does not have a mental illness being tortured and kidnapped by mental health services? Get police to assist in making it lawful by planting a knife on the target for police to find and they can then make referral to mental health services under the Police Powers section of the Mental Health Act.

            Of course a good police officer would recognise a conspiracy to torture and kidnap if they were watching. Unfortunately the police who snatched me from my bed and referred me for their “suspect on reasonable grounds that I required and assessment” for sleeping in my own bed? Not so clever, and possibly expecting a few favours from the Community Nurse who they assisted in a kidnapping and torture. Good to have friends in ‘the business’. Police free to torture and can then have him drop them at a hospital for further ‘treatments’ with a verballed Form 1.

            These people are criminals and my government doesn’t want them to be criminals, so they ignore the very laws they have enacted, and that they claim they have respect for when they really have no respect for the law at all. None. It’s merely an inconvienience to find methods of subverting. And fortunately the public are required to vote for these people and create the appearance that we want this crap.

            And by making a citizen into a “patient” any and all human rights agreements are thrown out the window. And by ensuring there is no accountability measures in place, they are free to use the medical system as their own personal problem solvig system.

            Ask our current Minister for Health who sees anyone who doesn’t agree with him as requiring mental health services. Something he learned at a very young age I am informed by a reliable source.

          • Of course, that begs the question of how any person could be determined to “have a mental illness” when these “illnesses” are clearly subjective judgments about a person’s behavior or character, without any objective way to determine who does and doesn’t “have” these spurious “disorders.”

        • So many lawyers who work within the Protection and Advocacy domains are goodhearted people. However, I have gotten NOWHERE when I have said to individual lawyers and to the heads of major organizations who try to protect the rights of people who are diagnosed with mental illness that “EVERYTHING bad begins with psych diagnosis, so instead of saying that your client ‘with mental illness’ deserves to have rights, you could save vastly more people if you filed a lawsuit about the false advertising of psych labels as scientific and failure of the APA and its DSM honchos to warn of the huge array of kinds of harm that all start with the diagnosis.”

  12. Well I’m “objective” about the behaviour of psychiatry.
    I’m objective about harm to others, taking away their rights or meaning in society.
    ANY system that is capable by using language and a cult like obsession to accomplish reducing an
    individual who has done zero wrong to have absolutely less meaning than a tick, then that system is
    sick. Of course it is sick.
    Psychiatry is well aware that people can and do change, and nothing related to “treatment”, except the “treatment” of equality… but it is due to feelings of deep empowerment and actual environmental changes, which can take time and resources/money… Power is something we do not like to share.

    What a great biz to be in. The belief in not measuring up is so old. Let me therapy you, you are sick. Today a special, just for you.
    Hmm, was thinking. Therapists are giving up their offices. So is there a reduction in fees?
    Yes sometimes I need someone to talk to. To debrief as psychiatry does.

  13. Steve McCrea, I cannot see a way to REPLY to your comment, which was this:
    Of course, that begs the question of how any person could be determined to “have a mental illness” when these “illnesses” are clearly subjective judgments about a person’s behavior or character, without any objective way to determine who does and doesn’t “have” these spurious “disorders.”

    But I want to note that the term “beg the question” (which is a term of rhetoric) doesn’t mean “raises the question” (despite its mistaken use frequently) but actually means “avoids the point.” So I know what you mean is that this RAISES the question, and then I totally agree with your comment. 🙂

  14. Hello Jim, because of the delayed timing I wonder if anyone will see this…but I’m following through on one of your suggestions in our email exchange on this article and posting my comments to you here:

    Thank you so much for sending this notice, and even more so for writing this article, Jim!

    I was struck by your comment near the end, ” I am very concerned that Evan is about to be devoured by psychiatry’s maw.”

    For the past 17 months my wife and I have been essentially reduced to watching helplessly as our now 19-year-old daughter, now in the 17th month of an involuntary psychiatric hospitalization, has been subjected to forced ECT followed by coercively ramping up a neuroleptic medication that was specifically contraindicated by genetic testing! Oh, we have been far from passive in this process, but as you know it is virtually impossible to wrest a loved one from the grip of the psychiatric Gulag Archipelago, especially as they become increasingly incapacitated by the coercive, draconian measures imposed!

    And our situation is nuanced in a way that may be hard to understand, even for some of our compatriots in the psychiatric resistance movement. My wife and I obtained NYS Article 81 guardianship of our daughter, but for the opposite reason that most people do this: to keep her from being swallowed up by the system and kept in a very dispirited and diminished state, as I have witnessed happens to so many in the system when they have the kind of severe difficulties that she is experiencing. We would not have done this if she had retained enough of her capabilities to advocate for herself, as our older daughter has done. She has also been “through the mill”, but thank God she made it through and is now of very sound mind!

    We are certainly not rich, but thank God we had the resources to do this, unlike many if not most of the people who get similarly caught up in our wonderful mental health system. But despite our efforts on behalf of our younger daughter, the very thing we feared is happening right under our noses!

    As an added cruel twist, Mental Hygiene Legal Services, the very agency in New York that is charged with being the “voice for the voiceless”, actually colluded in the process of forcing ECT on our dear daughter (although they will never admit this and shrewdly seem to have covered their tracks).

    How I wish there was someone to write such an article about our daughter’s horrible ongoing saga. I know you have a lot on your plate and I’m not asking you to do this, Jim. It’s just heart cry of an anguished father.

  15. O.O.
    There is only one in Canada that I thought might be the guy but never heard from him. I get it, I get that there are many “human rights issues”. And when it comes to the medical systems in Canada and Australia, they ARE the law.
    Lawyers are puppets of the government to make people feel they have a say.
    One might get further by walking around with a carboard sign and handing out leaflets and hope for anarchy.

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