WillowBear's Amble: On the anniversary of Montreal Massacre, I'm called and cannot answer ...    
 On the anniversary of Montreal Massacre, I'm called and cannot answer ...10 comments
6 Dec 2002 @ 19:09, by Ben Tremblay


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7 Dec 2002 @ 02:23 by jazzolog : Brilliant, Ben
Alas the tragedy! Nevertheless the writing and expression of the suffering is here...and thank you for it. Our friend in hospital is in my prayers. I wish I could be up there with you. ---Love, Richard

---==---__---==-- Thanks Richard, you're kind. But it isn't me that's in need of company. My worry is somewhat less prosaic: how I'm to maintain my response-ability. (Thus are the consequences of having passed this incarnation in a world peopled by those who seem to relate to life as a TV sitcom.) ---==---__---==--


I don't think you'd MIND the company though. God, it must be cold up there! And we could visit the friend. ---jazz

---==---__---==-- heh ... buddy, it's /cold/ here! huh huh. But, more to the point, she's 1000 miles away from me; that's the logistical snag.  

7 Dec 2002 @ 03:09 by spiritseek : Prayer For A Friend
Love prevails, much love to you and your friend. I just received this in my email.


I know not what
the need might be,

please Lord be
with a friend today.

Help them as
they go their way

to seek your will
for what to do,

and trust you Lord
for what is good,

according to your
plan for them.


When Christ was chided for having indulged the spending of money on scented oil, he reminded the materialist that we are emobdied spirits. In a slight variation of his pragmatism, I am caught in the fantasy world of people who seem to think that great wishes are somehow more significant than small actions. Soon to be incapable of even the small appropriate action, I find myself on the brink of some true wrath.

"When your child asks for bread, would you give a stone?" The modern yuppy is more likely to offer some sermonizing.

The incapability of understanding the simplest of actualities is surely the mark of this age's all-pervasive neurosis.  

7 Dec 2002 @ 08:03 by invictus : Jeeze Ben...
My heart really goes out to you, and especially to your friend. That stuff is our idea of healing a person's mental health!? With the kind of crap that gets shove down our throats growing up, it's no surprise some go nuts. I've come VERY close a couple of times myself. And the solution is to lock us up and break us; sorry, modify/'treat' us until we accept the crap like a good little sheep. Great. What is with people, that they can't understand the notion that some people aren't compatible, and rightly so, with all the arbitrary games we base our lives on!!!

--==---__---==--- You've hit the nail on the head, invic' ... like in the song Starry Starry Night, "This world was never made for one as beautiful as you". So many are glib about the crude Darwinian nature of society ... and so, the psychopaths rule with the sociopaths doing their bidding, the callous and simplistic profit and feast, while the tender-hearted strive to remain hale and healthy ... and not all manage.---==---__---==--

I so sorry that your friend has to go through this, Ben. It's very good of you to care about her like this. *sigh*...

---==---__---==-- Caring /about/ her is easy enough ... the spontaneous upwelling of loving kindess and compassion comes from the heart-essence of dharmakaya ... but caring /for/ her is a material concern; and so she will be cruelly rewarded for turning to this broken busker for support (as though, poetically, "the system" would want it just this way, to dash her spirit on the stoney soil of my poverty).---==---__---==--

Anyway, I really wish I could help you. If you're still at a loss, I am a psychology student at a fair sized university. I can get in touch with professors (some of whom are practicing therapists) or someone who might be able to provide some advice. It's a long shot. I don't know exactly what kind of help you need when you say "talk this through", or what kind of thing is appropriate for a situation like this. But really, if you think that might help in any way, shape, or form, feel free to say so. Have you found any other sources of assistance yet? I really hope something can be done for her; something that doesn't crush her or hurt her even more than she already must be hurting.

---==---__---==-- Search the web for "radical psychology" and you will connect with some noble souls ... Dennis Fox comes to mind right off.

As for assistance ... today I vowed to accept as many calls as she needs to make, and if I lose my phone in January then *excuse the language* fuck it ... if I deserve so little then I'm off to the bushes; I'll just climb onto the back of my blue ox and disappear over the horizon, with a heart-felt "To hell with you all!" ... I'm sick and tired of _quasi_-benign neglect.

I'm totally /thunderstruck/ by how self-servingly stupid and superficial people can be ... trivial, trite, glib, shallow, the list goes on and on and /on/ ... in the specifics as much as the general. *Gawd, every atom of disgust I have with the middle and upper-middle class is lasing right now!  

7 Dec 2002 @ 13:10 by sharie : Mental Exhaustion
At the end of a marathon race, it is common sense that the runners need to rest, to rejuvenate, to get good nutrition... but when it comes to *mental* health, we do something very bizarre... we call it *mental illness* when it's really *mental exhaustion*.

---==---__---==-- Very interesting that you put it this way ... I know from my own experience (which closely parallels my young friend's) that I start looking for a soft place to hit the floor quite a while before I hit the wall; our intuition concerning this sort of thing is rarely if ever credited, valued, or even acknowledged. ---==---__---==--

This is because the public is kept ignorant so the pharmaceutical companies, hospital administrators, and psychiatrists can rake in the profits.

---==---__---==-- It's more general than that: the best take on the big picture I have is that folkz opt to ignore the Big Man's violence in hope that they can someday arrive at a safe shore ... failing to recognize that they thereby sell their souls. The violence our society routinely visits on the most victimized (women of colour in the global south comes to mind) is ignored, while the hard-heartedness this calls for plays itself out in our homes and schools. Where's the surprise in this? Whether it's 11 pieces of silver, or stock options ... we have turned away from justice in the name of Control ... today we are instituting a Police State (DARPA's "Information Awareness" program is a boondoggle way of bailing out the worst players in the IT field) ... a sensitive soul like my friend feels this, sees practically no-one respond ("The nail that sticks up gets hammered." ... we have become a society of practiced cowards.) and the dissonance stresses her ever more.

Me? I talk the talk (for decades) and walk the walk (for decades) ... with the consequence that I write as you read here, and my value is reflected in the fact that I can't afford phonecalls. If it weren't so pathetic it would be comical! But all she sees is the absurdity, never having had the problem validated, and not having yet acquired "the wisdom of the snake". ---==---__---==--

Get her out of there if you can. Psych ward staff can be monstrous.

---==---__---==-- Step 1 is maintain communications. 2 is travel the 1000 miles to be on-site. 3 is to get her settled. 4 is to arrange alternative intervention. (heh ... one of the books I passed her before she left was RDLaing "The Divided Self" and the other was by Greg Bateson, on dealing with paradox!) ---==---__---==--

Tell her parents she needs lots of rest, nutrious food, peace - no hassels, no demands, no insults, no pity. Treat her as if she's a decent, valuable human being that's exhausted and needs to recuperate. Tell her that she's valuable and loved.

---==---__---==-- Her parents aren't listening; they want their little girl docile, compliant, etc etc etc. All "for her own well-being", of course. *sigh* ---==---__---==--

Thank you for caring enough to go see her.

---==---__---==-- If my feet weren't bust I wouldn't be hastling with bus-fare ... I'd just hitch.  

7 Dec 2002 @ 14:29 by jazzolog : En Garde
This is where I came in. Mental illness is much more than exhaustion. Mental illness IS exhausting, no doubt about it. Protecting oneself against life-threatening demons is a fulltime job. Hallucination can be produced by nutritional and sleep deprivation. However, the roots of schizophrenia and paranoia go far deeper. Much medication helps produce rest and relief, despite correct questions about the manufacturers. Psychiatric staff who are "monstrous" are promptly reported by other staff, fired and/or prosecuted. Whole administrations are easily brought down by even a hint of police investigation. I'm sure your friend wants to get out, but should only with a real support system---of family, friends and professionals.


I see two memes here, neither trivial. One is the nature of "mental illness", and the other (ha! as if the two are actually distinct!) is recuperation, how and "of what".

I think what's exhausting is coping with the consequences of being slightly out of step with conventional bourgeois materialist community, where caring is something to be pretended and coercion is ever-present and very effective; oppression is really inwoven in the the fabric of our daily life. The stress of authenticity (read: alternative thinking) can be tremendous and, IMHO, unless it is valued and validated then the economy of emotions is unbalanced and a crash is inevitable. We do not treat kindly those who do not conform. (Shiet, we treat kindly in only the slightest those who /do/ conform ... special treatment is the preserve of those who must be flattered and placated: the violent and powerful.)

Recuperation ... I'm sure there are quiet and safe places, somewhere. yet I have discovered not even the light lucidity of sane daily life. If I were capable of starting a project, it would be something like an ashram ... crash space for street folk, workshops on cooking; and everywhere the benevolent loving kindness of authentic presence. (Which doesn't mean fussing over the brilliant and gifted, but rather being gently honest and frankly strong with those who are adrift.)  

8 Dec 2002 @ 17:42 by sharie : Freedom
I didn't personally profit from those who were *exhausted* so I saw a whole different view.

Yes, there are some who are exhausted from their halucinations, I'm not talking about those.

The psychiatrists or psych staff I've observed lump them all into one group and (mis)treat them all: give 'em a pill and a bunch of rules.
They don't get any real support, except from one another (maybe).

The M.D.'s (who think that stands for "Minor Deity") personally profit from locking people up, lying in court to keep them locked up (I've witnessed this), while living way above the average income. I've known too many psychiatrists to believe one word they say. I've been at their Country Club parties, their pool parties and their dinner parties. I've heard too many of their conversations when they've had one too many to drink. All they cared about was getting more money out of the system, getting more tax write-offs, and what luxury cars, luxury homes, and luxury vacations they can buy with their big money. The psychiatrists' sense of entitlement, lack of commitment to their patient's health and well-being, their need for power and control, their need to increase their social status, and their stock portfolio... makes me want to vomit.

Case upon case reveals that they exploit patients for money, rape their patients, and turn patients into their personal slaves... Out of the 25 or more psychiatrists I have known, not one is a decent human being. Yes, there are exceptions (Thank you God).

As Ben said, "...include staff that criticizes your taste in music, threatens to cut off your smoking priviledges, and even makes homophobic sexist jokes ("It's ''Adam and Eve'' not ''Adam and Steve''.") Wouldn't that be frustrating? On top of it, contact with friends suddently cut ... no PC means no email, no MSN, no AIM ... even phone access is restricted." She's clearly not in a nurturing environment. She's being *controlled* while they pocket the money for it. They don't care about her health or well-being, they care about the power and the money.

Because of hospital cut-backs and the low pay they offer (so the administration can pocket the proceeds), the staff takes out their anger and frustrations - including pathological, sociopathic, sadistic behavior - on the defenseless patients.

This is not to say "there are no violent patients".

I'm talking about the kind, meek patients who are too exhausted to defend themselves from the psychological warfare they encounter on the ward. The staff whispers, "are you thinking of hurting yourself?" while the *exhausted* ones are for the most part blank until the suggestion came along. When you're mentally exhausted, you really can't think for yourself, and you're vulnerable to suggestion, so that's how they're manipulated... they're manipulated into ECT (shock therapy), they're manipulated into taking four times the manufacturer's recommended dosage (that's why the mother drowned her five children!), and they're manipulated into believing their *mentally ill* and they take those pills. Not all mental patients need to be on pills. Most are just exhausted, and need to rest.

I've witnessed psychiatric patients on five different wards in two different states. Anyone who thinks psych patients are treated with respect and care is delusional. There may be exceptions. I don't doubt there are exceptions, but let the patients be the judge, NOT those who are personally profitting from the set-up.

Psych wards are detrimental to their patients' recovery because the staff de-humanizes them and treats them like worthless trash.

My focus is on the mentally *exhausted* patients, not those who sniffed glue and have no brain function. When we recognize and distinguish those who are *exhausted* (including PTSD) from those who are violent and brain-damaged because of glue sniffing, or from brain-damaging drugs (the *exhausted* have no energy for violence), then we see a whole different view and a whole different form of treatment.

Until we're willing to see that the brain can become *exhausted* the same way the body becomes *exhausted*, we're stuck in an autoplay intended to exploit.


Ben, in the U.S. a person cannot be locked up against their will unless they are a danger to themselves or others. The law is similar in Canada. Tell her to put in writing that she wants to be discharged, and to call another psych hospital (with a good reputation) and tell them she wants to be transferred and wants an assessment. Tell her: DO NOT SIGN ANY WAIVER OF HER MEDICAL RECORDS TO BE VIEWED BY ANYONE. In the U.S., they'd have to transfer her without any record. If she is not a danger to herself or others (if she's not homicidal or suicidal... not harboring any thoughts of hurting anyone) then they won't be able to lock her up.


She's probably just exhausted. We'll be seeing more and more of this as more and more people begin to face what the government is doing, how the corporations are being allowed exploit the public and rule the world...

It's exhausting to wrap your brain around the ugliness of evil.


We must stop resisting the facts and begin facing the evidence. Evil is upon us. They have control of the food supply, and the seed supply. They're manufacturing wars so they can profit from the slaughter of human beings.

Sorry this is so long, but we've endured exploitive propaganda too long.


Ben, I love your idea of the ashram "bring gently honest and frankly strong with those who are adrift" not "fussing over the brilliant and gifted". Thank you for that.


14 Dec 2002 @ 02:02 by jazzolog : Re: Freedom
"The prisons fill up with people who once would have been looked after in our mental asylums; and there is a steady stream of people through our hospitals who desire admission, and want never to go home, because the self-directed life that has been forced upon them is beyond their intellectual capacities. Time after time, with a heavy heart, and because their hospital bed is needed for someone else, we have to return them whence they came and whence they fled, because there is nowhere else to send them. The heartlessness of it all, while extravagant aid is given to those who deserve none and whom such aid will actually harm, is sickening."


Theodore Dalrymple is a doctor who works in a British innercity hospital and prison. He has worked in Africa, the Pacific and Latin America. He has published 2 collections of articles and a novel. He writes for several newspapers both here and in the UK.  

14 Dec 2002 @ 13:00 by sharie : Where to go, what to do?
He may be an exception to the rule. Maybe all the bad psychiatrists are in the midwest and every place else they're good, decent people. I doubt the dozens of stories I listened to, day in and day out (something psych staff doesn't do because they're too busy *charting* - ah, that may be the difference... You're talking about a time before insurance companies required all the *charting*. It's a whole different world in psych wards than it was 10, 20, or 30 years ago.)

If you're a danger to your self or others, you can be locked up in a mental hospital. Once your insurance runs out (usually after 3-4 weeks), you're out on the street. If you commit violence, yep, you're locked up in jail or prison.

I've heard the highest correlating factor with homelessness is "domestic violence". The correlation between homeless and mental exhaustion is self-evident. So we take it back to "violence" in the home. This doesn't necessarily mean "physical violence", often the mental and "emotional violence" is even more damaging. Ripping someone to shreds with insults over and over.

So many people are turning to drugs and alcohol. Why? To escape? From what? The horrors of their personal life?

It's sad.

But there's got to be a solution.

Change the whole system, and create a new civilization.

That's why we're here.  

14 Dec 2002 @ 15:06 by cho : Tactic VS Strategy
One of the reasons the "Mr. P." type succeeds so well (I'm referring to _quasi_psychopaths, yes?) is that there intentions are whole-hearted *now, ain't that ironic?!* ... they're willing to pay big bucks for Sigma Six quality ... if/when they speak with "forked tongue" you can bet they're very much at one with themselves.

"We", on the otherhand (if I can pretend to a solidarity that doesn't look like it will surive its 30th year) are big on statements of strategy, such as "Change the whole system, and create a new civilization. " but (please forgive me) rather lame on implementation, i.e. tactic.

In the quarter century that I've been trying to weave buddhist epistemology into the fabric of my daily life, I've met people who actualize the boddhisatva understanding that best benefit comes from aleviating the other's suffering ... yaaa, like maybe 6 or 7. The others? Unlike Mr. P, they are divided against themselves, professing the very best and practicing a very sharp cost/benefit analysis ... giving just enough to maintain deniability, saying the right thing to maintain their group identity, but ensuring that their lives are marked by all the conventional comforts.

"When what is said is not what is meant, what is done need not be done, and what need be done is left not done." Confucius

p.s. 15 years ago, reading a text on cognitive ergonomics, I imagined integrated infomation systems comprised of task-based ontologies and process-oriented taxonomies. While I was busy going broke "creating a new civilization" the industry was beetling away creating an extraordinary understanding of how IT can be applied. My nightmare scenario seems to be coming true: there will be those who are prisoners in the concentration camp, those who live comfortably administering the concentration camp, and a fevered few outside the camp walls. I'm thinking of cutting my dreads, trolling for funds so I can get a working PC, and going to work for BPMI or TIBCO or IBM ... heck, I was making $1,500/month three decades ago, and being dissident has made me a party of one ... time to give my head a shake and get real!

Addendum: If the "rich young man" of the New Testament had approached a guru (in the modern sense), he would have been sold a book and given an invitation to the ashram. Joshua, the carpenter's son, replied simply and frankly, "Give up all you have and follow me." Needless to say, dewd turned and walked away. /Some/ things never change!  

17 Dec 2002 @ 16:57 by sharie : Implementation and Tactic
When all else fails...


And live in peace.

How are things in Nova Scotia?

--++--++-- In this sharp chill even the north Atlantic air is clear, so the night sky is ablaze with stars. Except for a face to smile into, could I want for more? --++--++--  

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