Scientology protest that I interrupted on March 1, 2024

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Case in point here: the way the term "mentally ill" is used (even with these people) is in a derisive, degrading way and is loaded with stigma, so preventing a young woman from that plight which would inevitably entail certain diminished quality of life coupled with the high mortality rate, should be considered as mitigating circumstances in Lisa McPherson's case.

The mental health system can be exploited by abusive people as a way to silence victims of trauma. The first asylum type institution was opened by the Pennsylvania Quakers in 1751 and it would've been intended to be a sanctuary facility for recovery. Institutions have notoriously been developed with good intentions but would experience a degradation due to expedience. Psychiatry as a whole became corrupt and patients who were, in reality, being abused & tortured were the source of the data gathered to create the series of the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders which is a book about labeling people who've suffered trauma in their lives so they can understand that nobody really gives a rat's ass.

Sigmund Freud had his theory with id, ego and superego and would also use the label of hysterical; but his work is also included as study material in the field of psychiatry. The traditional Quaker religion (or actually it's "Society of Friends") has in it's fundamental tenets that everyone has a "spirit of light" and aside from that it's about an individual & personal relationship with the Creator. A famous Quaker was Benjamin Lay, who'd stand out in east coast rainstorms with one foot bare to protest slavery. (Benjamin Franklin printed Lay's anti-slavery literature. One of my great-great g'pa's was named after Benjamin Franklin and was Irish Catholic.) So whatever political standpoint that the Quakers take on in current world affairs isn't the subject here, but in their migration to this continent they were escaping persecution and threats of being burned at the stake. There was also the "Universal Friend" in the colonial era who was a bit zealous, you could say, & started the colonies' first "doomsday cult" around the time of some heavy Canadian wildfire smoke & soot fallout in May 1780. The point is that L. Ron considered humans to have a spiritual nature and that was what I could identify with when reading his "thesis" (as I thought of it). He validated the idea that a person may have been subjected to trauma. I appreciated his effort in the work.

Any human institution is going to have its share of skeletons in the closet. If the young man had actually read the book then he'd have a much more impervious position in his advocacy. What ever happened to: "Know thy enemy" ~Sun Tzu. & "An idea isn't responsible for the people who believe it". ~Don Marquis

Moreover, I should make it very clear: The way these people involved use demeaning language, ridicule, and mock (me, in this case) would absolutely never be tolerated (for very long) within the mental health system. If they talked that way to another patient in a psychiatric hospital they'd be isolated in a locked "observation" cell. (Of course just about everyone would exclaim that they'd wouldn't let that happen to them ... but they'd be all about forcing Lisa into the system ... It's always all about having a contrivance for a Kafka-trap agenda to scapegoat people who are smart & compassionate.)

Shock (electroconvulsive) treatments are used to this day (& I have a website on that issue) but they're not protesting that. The cultural assumption is that medicine is always benevolent & ethical. (It's a "Just World" ideology.) The reason I got so upset is on account of what happened to Miki Alexander Manigault. If it were me in his position I would've stopped and looked to see if the domain name that was being spelled out to me was real ... give a person the benefit of doubt.

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A sociology allegory (or "thought experiment") ...

One of my old counselors, who held a MSW from Regis with decades of experience in the human services field, told me the following story. It might be a true story, but if it isn't then it's certainly plausible ... but I will let the reader be judge of that.

There's a family, father, mother, and three children, teenager to adult (where the youngest is seventeen and in high school). The oldest of the children, who's twenty-one, is killed in a car accident where they're at fault. It was a single car accident and drinking involved. There was no life insurance or any other death compensation for the surviving family members, and there was only the legally required amount of "liability" insurance for the vehicle. It's a tragedy and an unexpected financial hardship for the parents since they need to pay expenses for memorial service & cremation. They do all of that, maybe borrowing some money against their house. (This is before the internet had GoFundMe ... I'm not trying to be funny in mentioning that. In context here the family wouldn't be able to ask for donations from anyone, even extended family).

So they get through the ordeal and life returns to as close to normal as it could be after a few months pass. One day a manufacturer's rebate check arrives in the mail that's addressed to the eldest who died. Apparently the eldest had bought a computer and there was a manufacturer's rebate for it that amounted to maybe fifty dollars. That would be difficult for the parents to see but obviously it's something that could be trashed (ephemeral) and never brought up to the other children. Instead the parents (or one of them ... the father) makes it a point to exaggerate the issue (blow it out of proportion) and wants to cash the check because the manufacturers are scamming people and it's all really just to get a person's information on their mailing lists, and so on. Well, that last part could be a legitimate concern since the family could continue to receive junk mail that emanated from that rebate correspondence, but any normal person would deal with that aspect as it arises.

Now, it would be natural for the reader of this to think of ideas for the parents to help them cope (hence "thought experiment") and a number of ideas may be feasible and helpful. They could see if the post office would intercept the mail that's addressed to the deceased, for example. They could even mail back requests to have the eldest removed from the mailing lists ... of course, an idea that would extend from that might be to ask extended family for assistance in that aspect since there'd be less emotional toll and it wouldn't be about asking for money, etc.

Here is the part that gets tricky... See, now this fifty dollar rebate check and all that it entails begins to dominate the lives of the surviving family members because it has become a contrivance for the father to punish everyone for his loss in the midst of his grief. That gets obvious to everyone and people even explain that to him but he ignores them. The aforementioned ideas on how to handle the issue are presented to the father and he viciously repudiates and rebuffs everyone who attempts to talk to him. In fact, it gets confusing for his friends and family because in an attempt to first define the problem in simple terms, with a question like: "Have you been able to get your address removed from the mailing lists?" would cause the father to go off in a tirade with the first immediate reply being some embellished, twisted, explanation that is racked with some conspiracy theory which is nonsensical. He can even put it in such a way to where it seems like he figured out a way to resolve the problem and will go on talking about who he's spoken to about the check. He may then even go on and explain that a person is supposed to keep track of who they talked to about it, the person's title and position in (whatever) company or entity he contacted, and when, & so on, & so on ... Again, the issue is now a contrivance or device for the father to use to get people drawn into his drama. The applicable term for the father's behavior here is "toxic shame" and this can go on for months to years. It is an unresolvable problem for him and the overall emotional toll, as well as inevitable increased financial hardship ... Oh, I didn't mention that the father has joined some consumer support advocacy group that requires him to spend money on whatever he can spend the family's money on that doesn't really make sense to anyone exept him. (Yeah ... don't ask! We'd be opening a can of worms there!)

In the interim during all of the subsequent drama, the older surviving child moves out and the younger one is over eighteen but unable to afford an apartment alone. The father is noticeably and increasingly irritated with the youngest child's lack of progress toward independence. The younger one can't seem to maintain healthy relationships with other people (so roommate living situations haven't materialized) and romantic relationships that could blossom into permanent cohabitation (or marriage) doesn't seem possible for reasons that aren't mentioned. The older child is now estranged from the father and has stopped speaking to both the parents. The relationship between the father and the youngest child is voltile. The youngest cannot manage to live outside of the family home for very long and moves in & out quite often.

At this point the youngest child's life is in complete turmoil. The person is conscientious and tries to stay optimistic but the emotional toll of being scapegoated by the father is causing manifestation of exhibited behavioral problems by the youngest. The person may have conflicts with coworkers and/or work supervisors, for example. This is an excellent point to verify with the reader of this story that the events and overall circumstances for the youngest child seem realistic and plausible. The scenario that I've laid out here could be considered as the youngest child's socioeconomic factors, or "material circumstances", or environmental factors. The "socioeconomic" term may not seem applicable but if the family was wealthy to begin with then the father probably would've had a lawyer handle all of the issues.

The youngest continues to have difficulties, legal issues due to alcohol abuse and trouble maintaining even low paying employment, etc. When the youngest reaches about the age of twenty-five or so they survive a suicide attempt and end up in a psychiatric hospital and are diagnosed with major depressive disorder. They are prescribed anti-depressants and are enrolled in a community mental health center to have access to therapy and other support services. There is a bit of renewed optimism (hope) that is exhibited by the youngest, but now there is a label of "mentally ill" to contend with. In the succeeding months & years there are times of stability for the youngest intermixed with various episodes of arguments with the father and problems maintaining employment. Living outside of the reliability of the family home hasn't worked out well for the youngest, though.

This thought experiment here is not meant to digress into a horror story; or an unrealistic, inspirational, sudden epiphany tale either (like maybe the young adult goes on to find the perfect job and the perfect stable living arrangement, or whatever). Let it suffice to say that the youngest one never marries, never has children, and never owns a house. The crux of the issue here is the questions that could be asked: Should the youngest family member be considered as the sole person to be blamed for the difficulties they've had? Is the person just weak or lazy, or is it merely a "mental illness" that caused their lack of success in life? Furthermore, is it possible that there was a history of real emotional and even physical abuse that was endured by all the children in the household, even before the death of the oldest sibling? The oldest one wasn't being very responsible by drinking and driving and that isn't normal behavior for a well raised, successful young adult. The main point here is that if a person, that isn't any kind of medical professional or social/human services worker, would use the label of "mentally ill" to describe the youngest child's overall problem then the term is being used as being equivalent to like "loser", or some other derisive label that is meant to ridicule. The fact that the youngest child's world was turned upside down with the event of their oldest sibling's death and the subsequent behavior exhibited by the father is not being acknowledged with the label. That's downright cruel! The events that followed the older sibling's death would be difficult, if not impossible, for the youngest to talk to anyone about since it all would seem so trivial and the youngest probably would be considered as being selfish. It is for that reason that the youngest had problems with relationships with friends, etc., since in any converstations about their past they'd be expected to concede that they had their own personal responsibility that they didn't live up to in their adult lives.

See also: The Wikipedia article for "Fundamental attribution error".

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Battle Efficiency Award onboard the now decommissioned USS Wabash AOR-5

If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
~ James Madison

"We want and are entitled to the basic rights and opportunities of American citizens: The right to earn a living at work for which we are fitted by training and ability; equal opportunities in education, health, recreation, and similar public services; the right to vote; equality before the law; some of the same courtesy and good manners that we ourselves bring to all human relations."
~ (Dr.) Martin Luther King, Jr. from August 6, 1946 letter to editor of Atlanta newspaper.

The biggest danger to our rights today is not from government acting against the will of the majority
but from government which has become the mere instrument of this majority...
Wrong will be done as much by an all-powerful people as by an all-powerful prince.
~ James Madison

Class conflict is another concept which upsets the oppressors, since they do not wish to consider themselves an oppressive class. Unable to deny, try as they may, the existence of social classes, they preach the need for understanding and harmony between those who buy and those who are obliged to sell their labor. However, the unconcealable antagonism which exists between the two classes makes this "harmony" impossible. ~ Paulo Freire

Because it is a distortion of being more fully human, sooner or later being less human leads the oppressed to struggle against those who made them so. In order for this struggle to have meaning, the oppressed must not, in seeking to regain their humanity (which is a way to create it), become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of the humanity of both. ~ Paulo Freire

To impede communication is to reduce men to the status of "things"—and this is a job for oppressors, not for revolutionaries. ~ Paulo Freire

"Only a lively appreciation of dissent's vital function at all levels of society can preserve it as a corrective to wishful thinking, self-inflation, and unperceived rigidity"  The Wrong Way Home : Uncovering the patterns of cult behavior in American society | by Arthur J. Deikman, M.D
ISBN 10: 0807029157 ISBN 13: 9780807029152

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~ Herodotus

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