Monday, March 20, 2023

Comments by benturner214

Showing 14 of 14 comments.

  • I’ll start by saying that I relate to Kalinda’s statement. “Schizophrenia” is what abusive psychiatric records have said about me any time I have attempted to assert my right to freedom, my intelligence, or opposition to the system. It’s a sick farce executed against targeted victims by ever sicker hospital staff and constitutes an intentional form of public discredit. It should be unlawful to condemn someone via this sort of false diagnose proffered to the world as “biological fact.”

    Thanks to Tina, though, for a remaining a beacon. It continues to strike me that psychiatric torture as a “disability rights” issue could cause treaty language to be misinterpreted (deliberately or otherwise) by member nations and also the hospitals themselves. Quoting you from above: “The purpose of discrimination is satisfied as we have seen, by the nature of forced psychiatry as having an aim of correcting or alleviating a disability against the person’s will or without his or her free and informed consent.”

    I agree with what I believe is your presentation (elsewhere) that labelees — self- or otherwise — are at a greater risk of psychiatric abuse than members of the non-labeled public. I also understand — from the context provided by having followed your work — that “disability” in the context of “alleviating a disability” really means any perceived characteristic (e.g., in a prospective patient) that could possibly be viewed as “correctable” by medical/psych. staff. That is my presumption, in any event. I wonder if you have an opinion about this or care to describe what “disability” means in the context of the Treaty (i.e., the CRPD).

    I believe that both you and the SRT (Juan Mendez) propose that it should be the case — from the standpoint of international human rights law and in all nations — that any person can refuse “treatment” at any time. I, of course, agree that any person should at any point be able to refuse “treatment” for any reason at all, and I believe SRT Mendez states this as well (or wants to — you would know better than I). However, knowing the (frankly) evil sleaze conducted against U/S by world psychiatry, I wonder if the hospitals would use the “definition” of “disability” as leverage against psychiatric targets not perceived as PWD or against (citizen-) targets bearing no label. In other words, if a “patient” (I don’t like the word) is not “disabled” according to hospital staff, then said “patient” may, in fact, be subjected to force and coercion (e.g., to “prevent” a “disability”).

    Perhaps I bring the “Federal definition of disability” — i.e., as a citizen can be determined as disabled or non-disabled by the Social Security definition — to bear on this discussion and should not do so? I know that my personal experience as a Survivor (of torture) never seems to have a context for other people unless I discuss it — over social media — as a “disability discrimination” issue. This is an unsatisfactory response to me as a survivor of violent crime (a crime is not the same as a civil matter, as you know as a lawyer), and the only reason I do not interact with police arises from a grounded, empirical fear that I will be re-conveyed into torture and locked-ward confinement if I attempt to do so.

    If by “holisitic reparations,” you mean compensating psychiatric abuse survivors as “victims of crime” — through law enforcement mechanisms when those mechanisms do not interfere in U/S rights as described/sought by individual U/S victims — then hats off. My pro se lawsuits directly concern locked-ward psychiatric torture as such is only partially anticipated or understood by the SRT; said cases must be appealed via the Federal judiciary (or even international courts), so if I can assist your effort — in any way — to stop force and coercion against ALL people (PWD or non-, labeled or no), let me know.

    The SRT amicus curiae appeared to be languishing in the SCOTUS when I found it there. That is not a shocker, knowing the SCOTUS, and it has been a while since I last checked, but if said (Mendez) filing has garnered additional judicial attention, I would be interested to know.

    — Ben Turner, a/k/a Eli Blackhouse. Blackhouse v. TLC Properties, et al. (including Maine Medical Center, Broadway Crossings, et al. — Federal psych. torture lawsuit presently stymied from appeal to the 1CCA, Boston).

  • Thank you, Tina. I am sure I will read this article several times.

    Two (2) things strike me as applicable to my own work and also of great importance to psychiatric/torture survivors, generally stated:

    First, your statement about the difficulty of a Survivor representing his or her own experience AS a Survivor (i.e., of Torture) cannot be understated…and yet it is vital — and even imperative — that the World grow to RECOGNIZE the reality of psychiatric torture. I also appreciate the queer/feminist perspective you bring to the discussion/entreaty, although in my instance, while I was brutalized by both men and women during my abduction, I was repeatedly assaulted (and psychologically and sexually terrorized) by the same female psychiatric intern. She has never been brought to justice, despite my insistence to the contrary, and I often wonder if my complaint against her to the Maine Board of Osteopathic Licensure would have been handled differently had she been a man (in briefly imparting the reality of female-to-male mental and physical abuse, I take it as a foregone conclusion that the “true” “feminist” viewpoint recognizes psychiatric violence against either sex [or against any gender] as horrendous). As a side-note: It is hard for me to view torture as an extension of male power per se (just a statement — I am not claiming to synopsize your views on the feminist perspective here) when — even as a trafficking victim — the abuse I endure arises largely from female usurpation and hegemony (don’t get me wrong: male cops? = not so nice). Women abusing men can perhaps be viewed as a concern of “late feminism”; however, I feel that a new lexicon should emerge (i.e., other than one in which a male’s right to freedom does not receive protection simply as a derivation of women’s longstanding cultural/social needs). It specifically distresses me that men’s issue and male Survivorship does not seem to have a home, yet, at the United Nations and in other anti-torture fora, especially in light of what I — singled out as a male — also endured as a middle-class victim of Selective Service (an illegal form of the Draft) while at Amherst (unlike Israel and possibly France, U.S. women are not subjected to Selective Service, although many Americans now state that women should be able to fight on the front-lines alongside their male counterparts — that’s right: men should be forced to die but women should be able to choose); however, I suppose that the Day will come, as they say, for U.S. men’s issues and Survivorship.

    Secondly, palpably absent from my own day-to-day life (and ability to work legally to PROTECT my rights) is the “guarantee of non-repetition” you cite (Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violation of International Human Rights Law adopted by the General Assembly in resolution 60/147 (2005)). As always, I appreciate your grasp on legal terminology that accurately pin-points problems I would otherwise attempt to describe in multiple paragraphs. “Lack of guarantee of non-repetition” sums up my current situation — which includes an unprosecuted kidnapping attempt led by a female “HealthReach” worker — quite nicely, and I will attempt to use that phraseology during my efforts to receive justice through the international courts.

    What I appreciate most about your work/writing is two-fold: a) your powerful insistence against co-optation (SO palpably absence from anti-psychiatry…even in modern times); and, b) your grasp on who has said what at the UN (i.e., and your ability to extract indispensable legal interpretations). My frustration with regard to the manner in which the communication channels never seem to flow properly between Survivor NGOs (yours and mine), the UN, the White House, and member-nations will continue to motivate me — I am certain — to fight for change in this specific regard. The sharpest legal minds in the World appear to KNOW that torture is a problem; however, there are so few of US and so MANY governments that must be compelled to comply with human rights standards. I believe that the next step is compelling compliance with standards, which means developing a tracking and response system as well as the technological, communicative, and organizational capacity to implement “direct action” and “direct advocacy” (a term I have used in my Australia work) when and where it becomes necessary.


    PS: (quoting from your article) * The naming of someone as mad functions as a performative act. It is not merely making a description or stating an opinion, it has the effect of a pronouncement that sets certain processes into motion, which can range from social othering and ostracism to confinement and forced interventions on the person’s body and mind.

    — yup. Calling me “crazy” doesn’t just hurt my feelings. It’s true. And — as usual — nobody in Washington is talking about this yet. Rather, the “battle” against force continues to center on the chemical dimensions of “drugging.”

    PPS: Speaking of “performative,” here are some Judith Butlers that I think are relevant to our work:

    “Your Behavior Creates Your Gender.” Mentions gender “performativity.” (under 4 mins. from “Big Think”). She does mention “psychiatric normalization” (in this), so her work has started to go in that (i.e., “our”) direction as well. The other “Big Think” is “How Discourse Creates Homosexuality,” which contains points applicable to U/S issues.

  • Tina:

    I attempted to re-write the final paragraph (to add clarity):

    This impromptu mental health capacity determination (“Do you have thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else?”) is the point at which the triaging medical/psychiatric practitioners state that they may legally (and routinely do) force people in-patient (putatively, this forcible confinement is permitted according to local 72-hour “hold” laws enabling hospitals to confine a patient — without court order — for three [3] days). However, please note that once hospital workers have confined a “patient,” the hospitals — including in my instance — DO NOT RESPECT the labelee’s right to a lawyer or court hearing once it has enacted the psych-ward confinement of the victim under the 72-hour hold “rule.” Rather, it simply holds that individual indefinitely — past the point at which said hospital workers have the “legal” right to do so and including until the point at which the confined target/labelee commits suicide or develops permanent psychological trauma and damage (i.e., caused by psychological degradation [including self-mortification] resulting from: a] the indefiniteness of the confinement; and, b] co-occurring abuses by hospital staff and fellow “patients”).

    Again: abuse of (triage) process — i.e., of the 72-hour hold intake rule — is the exact manner in which indefinite (always note this word) psychiatric confinement (which causes psychological distress tantamount to torture and is a form of brainwashing/memetic engineering) is achieved by said “medical staff”/facility operators.

    72-hour “hold” rules are not Constitutional in the first instance and also violate international human rights standards; while this is a pivotal point to our struggle against torture, I have not seen it effectively articulated in widely-read publications. Among other concerns, my specific revelation about psychiatric triage process abuse should be a central feature of the UN SRT’s Committee reports and efforts at the SCOTUS.

  • Tina:

    Thanks for the clarification that you object to “any acquittal that is based on a concept of diminished responsibility in a way that relies on a concept of mental capacity.” In my view, differentiation between the mentally “ill” and the mentally “well” has no place in either the civil or criminal courts. As with the profoundly dangerous hospital system (which includes extra-judicial locked wards and a radically increased risk that a “disabled” claimant or defendant will be rendered thereunto and also have his/her habeas corpus rights denied), disallowing any chance for the determination of diminished legal capacity appears to be the proper course. You stated it in the Milan video (which is available on the CHRUSP site and which regards the [U.N.] Convention): the courts should judge people based upon their actions.

    Legal capacity determinations in the civil and criminal court systems engender a framework at once paternalistic (towards PWDs/labelees) and unacceptably increasing of the risk of forced incarceration tantamount to torture. I am not addressing your comments with respect to the potential for leniency in this reply, as I am not sure that the PWD/”disabled” paradigm would serve a defendant, or that the defendant’s PWD/”non” status would have to be invoked for that defendant to receive appropriate protections and leniency; rather, I’m simply noting that the “help” extended to someone failing the profoundly faulty (and rights erosive) legal concept of diminished capacity can have devastating consequences (e.g., the profoundly dangerous and corrupt judicial concept [and hospital concept] that “the mentally ill” are somehow happier or “better off” in a mental hospital than in a traditional prison).

    I don’t support any form of incarceration; however, those accused who find themselves in the traditional, non-psychiatric penal system have a far better chance to have their legal, Constitutional, and habeas corpus rights protected by the Courts.

    The intrinsic and (strategically) hidden dangers of “hospitalization” (which can yield extra-judicial, indefinite confinement as such targeted renditionings are illegally executed by private medical oligarchies, even under the auspices of organizations such as the CIA and military/”security” interests) should be salient in any conversation about the U.S. courts’ claim to be able to gauge capacity.

    Best regards,

    Benj. Turner-Blackhouse, litigant & psychiatry Survivor

  • We’ll win this in the courts, Ted. I agree with you about “the recovery movement” and the need to give that language the Royal Toss. Why we are disinclined to rescue stalled and potentially earth-shaking lawsuits — such as Blackhouse v. TLC Properties, et al. — from the bowels of the corrupt U.S. judiciary is beyond me. It would take one good lawyer probably a week and a half to pull it out of the water.

    In the meantime, I hear constant refrains from the Movement to “call Congress.” Friends, it is over — with a capital “O” — for abolitionists if we continue to rely on Congress. The mere existence of Congressional “leaders” such as Rep. Tim Murphy in Beltway power positions — and the atrocious manner in which the U.S. Senate desiccated the UN CRPD — should have taught us that many moons ago.

    Why are activists and even lobbyists/attorneys so enamored with the Legislative branch (of U.S. government) when the Judicial branch is ripe for the picking??

  • Thanks, Paula. You are absolutely correct about the dangerousness of the DSM-5 and the “risk of harm” (to the patient) that is a built-in feature of ALL psychiatric diagnostic activity. Sadly, this risk will affect or destroy the lives of countless patients and targets until lawsuits such as Blackhouse v. TLC Properties, et al. are rescued from the morass of the U.S. judiciary’s pile of cases that were actionable but criminally shunted as too condemning of the medical oligarchs and their colleagues at DHHS. The actions against the torture facilities — now, more than ever — MUST find their ways to the appeals courts; they also must be adjudicated by upstanding justices eager to protect individual choices and the Bill of Rights. Keep fighting!

  • Tina:

    This is monumentally important, the work here, and I have bookmarked it and intend to include all of the details in my ongoing work against locked-ward hospitals.

    Permit me to emphasize (your words):

    The Committee held that the “danger to self or others” standard cannot legitimize psychiatric detention, and that all legislation authorizing such detention must be repealed.”

    You must know that “danger to self or others” historically has been the standard in the U.S. hospital triage system. Charge nurses (for instance) will ask incoming patients who claim mental illness — or who are alleged to be mentally ill by others — if said patient is “a danger to oneself or to others.”

    Patients are routinely duped into thinking that they can proffer that they are (for instance) contemplating self-harm. However, it is at the point that a patient confesses to “being a danger” (according to the rights-erosive conceit and capacity determination that you cite here) that Constitutional rights are denied the patient.

    This impromptu determination (“Do you have thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else?”) is the point at which the triaging practitioners may (and do) force people in-patient (putatively according to 72-hold laws; elsewhere, as you are aware, I have described that this is also the manner in which indefinite confinement [torture] is achieved by said facility operators. The patient is at this point conveyed into confinement [putatively for a finite period defined by the hold rule and monitored by the courts]; however, once confined, rights are no longer respected, INCLUDING the right to leave the facility after the 72-hour hold period elapses or gain access to the courts. This practice constitutes torture and results in loss of life and/or permanent psychological and spiritual damage…and was designed to do so).

  • With re: “Impose an absolute ban on all forced and non-consensual medical interventions against persons with disabilities, including the non-consensual administration of psychosurgery, electroshock and mind-altering drugs such as neuroleptics, the use of restraint and solitary confinement, for both long- and short- term application.”

    My concern with this wording (from a legal standpoint) is the presence of the inclusion of the words “persons with disabilities.” The inclusion of the status (PWD vs. non-PWD)unnecessarily complexifies rights distributions.

    ALL People should have the right to decline participation in treatment at ALL times. Period.

    I can post more additionally, and intend to do so.

  • Torture: this is how murderous psychiatrists pull off indefinite detention, and they need to understand this at the UN (and presently do not possess this understanding, as the United States judiciary continues to block actions such as Blackhouse v. TLC Properties, et al.).

    You mention the “voluntary patients” who commit suicide after leaving the hospital; the reality is that it is the “suddenly sectioned” and previously “voluntary” patients who kill themselves, not the ones who leave the hospital…and they kill themselves while subjected to torture in the form of unlawful confinement to the ward.

    Thank you for posting.

  • Thank you, Tina, for your ongoing focus on legal (“mental health”) capacity and the need for full and total equality before the law.

    I hope the attorneys at the United Nations are able to drive home for the U.S. president and Congress that equality before the law means the ELIMINATION of State- or hospital-sponsored capacity determinations. We must continue to express (and resolve) the crisis of language, interpretation (e.g., of key articles of the Treaty), and (critically) enforcement of evolving international humans rights law.

    Public acknowledgement by the U.S. government that human rights fail given our present interpretation of the Constitution would accelerate World elimination of: a) forced participation in medicine, including medicine of the mind; and, b) locked-ward mental hospitals.

    You make an articulate point: “There is no true compensatory status for persons with disabilities that allows us to function free of moral or legal judgment, which could open up possibilities for sustained critique of the legal system and conventional morality.”

    As a PWD, I am identical from a capacity standpoint as everyone else; ergo, if I err, I must be considered to have erred (e.g., to have broken the law) exactly AS IF I did not suffer from a disability (such as one traditionally [albeit unethically] attributed to causing illegal behavior) and exactly as if I were in full possession of my faculties when I committed the act in question (this is another point that I am sure you or another attorney within the Survivor Movement will address down the line. That PWDs are still considered to possess a diminished form of capacity [i.e., one less protective of individual autonomy] still beleaguers the fair administration of justice vis-à-vis the Courts). Sadly, revoking legal capacity rights (or making the decision that an individual lacks the capacity to participate in his or her own defense) and instead committing the accused to an unlawful, un-Constitutional prison is the status quo in the United States court system and it will continue to be the status quo until the U.S. government grants full ratification to the CRPD and then properly interprets and enforces the Treaty.

    As we know from the crisis of Australian CTOs (“community treatment orders”), the psychiatrists are making increasingly obvious and more profound incursions against our Freedoms (in the case of the Commonwealth of Australia, the psychiatrists can forcibly commit an individual to treatment without permission from the courts).

    Having been denied, for many years, adequate (and Constitutionally-guaranteed) forms of legal protection FROM psychiatric exploitation and trafficking (including exploitation conducted against me by medicalized sources masquerading as “support”), I know that State-supported psychiatry executes torture against targeted victims after luring them with the promise of “support” and that people claiming to need or seek support in decision-making must be protected (first and foremost) of the highly dangerous (and still not widely understood) abusive psychiatric paradigm.

  • Mostly I reposted my remarks in their entirety to extend my point that passage of the UN CRPD is a political/semantic problem; I think the NGOs responsible for getting Article 12 on the books have done a fantastic job. However, the UN is going to have to tailor a message to the American public and it is not appealing to the Bill of Rights and torture (“forced treatment”) as a question of Constitutionality AND human rights.

  • (Quoting directly from my FB page) The US is up for a review in 2014 (UN human rights review). It wants to export (to countries allegedly “looking to the US as a role model”) the influence of the US’s involvement with the treaty with RUDs (reservations, understandings, and declarations) that weaken the treaty. The US “brand” of “disability rights” is not, in fact, the standard to be imported overseas…and we are in the process of: a) putting disabled people overseas at risk; and, b) turning our backs on the human rights of disabled people here on our shores. The SCFR was a FARCE when we needed leadership; in the best instances, our politicians were reading from staff memos seeming without even having read the treaty; at worst, those of us who don’t believe in abusive medicine and forced psychiatry were being called abortionists and other names. The UN has asked for more input on Article 12, the area in which I specialize. Article 12 bans legal (“mental health”) capacity determinations (as it should: everyone should be viewed as having equal capacity under the law, and no one should be conveyed into locked-ward psychiatric torture and confinement). My comments to the UN will likely concern the dimensions of politics-as-usual as it occurs on both sides of the aisle. The Right doesn’t understand that this was its Golden Opportunity to stop over-reaching Big Government: eliminating “capacity determinations” is a solid, conservative idea; the Left myopically (and discriminatorily) continues to attribute violence to the disabled population (as D. Engster and others have stated) and fails to see that Obamacare should be stopped because it puts wide groups of people at an increased risk of locked-ward torture and confinement. The SCFR co-opted veterans’ issues as an opportunity to endorse RUD-based ratification but nobody discussed the UN’s central concern which is the danger of forced psychiatry tantamount to torture. People who support disability rights need to get off the bandwagon that Obamacare is anything other than a discriminatory and monumentally dangerous behemoth. My point: nobody should be forced to participate in health care, ESPECIALLY IF the UN has condemned forced treatment as torture. How dare we? We’ll see what happens in March, but Atty. Minkowitz is right: the US has no business exporting its “brand” of disability rights overseas while leaving domestic psychiatric abuse survivors to rot. My addition to the UN: We’re in a morass of abuse-based entitlement programs that will not have the opportunity to improve as a result of the Treaty (as a result of the RUDs and US obfuscation of our internal problems as problems that only really occur overseas). If you believe in disability rights and also rights of the survivors of torture and medical crimes? Obamacare really has to be stopped. Nationalizing “health care” during a period in which the best thinking on torture and even the Constitution is coming from the UN???? a really monumentally stupid idea. The Left claims to love the Bill of Rights; the Right claims to eschew the overreaching of Big Government…and yet neither political inclination does the right thing with respect to legal capacity determinations and the dangers of forced medicine. We have to re-trench. I figured that many of the UN lawyers (lawyers within NGOs that have consulting status at the UN) would be FOR passing the Treaty even though the US is forcing it to carry RUDs, but the US’s human rights standards are SO SUB-STANDARD that we’re saying: “No, don’t pass it”… The fight’s not over yet, however; and we don’t appear to be going anywhere. but oh, my: the SCFR needed the Carrie firehose (in a major way).

  • Thanks again, Tina. — Ben Turner-Blackhouse, Blackhouse v. TLC Properties, et al. (anti-psychiatrist fighting against the “mental health” paradigm, fighting for world-wide [“hospital”] Closure)