THOMAS RESPONDS WITH DIGNIFIED RESISTANCE

Update

The American press is giving much more coverage to a Chinese activist than the forced shocks that are occuring on their own soil.

You can help

NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH FORCIBLY ELECTROSHOCKS ANOTHER PERSON!

*STOP* THE FORCED ELECTROSHOCK OF PAUL HENRI THOMAS!!!

THOMAS RESPONDS WITH DIGNIFIED RESISTANCE.

READ HIS “OPEN LETTER TO THE WORLD”. THOMAS ASKS FOR *YOUR* HELP TO WIN HIS “TOTAL FREEDOM FROM THIS TORTURE AND TRAUMATIZATION!”

A NEW YORK STATE CONSUMER/SURVIVOR COALITION CALLS ON *EVERYONE* TO CONTACT NEW YORK STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS, *NOW*!

WEST BRENTWOOD, NEW YORK: Yes, forced electroshock against the expressed wishes of the subject is a fact of life in the USA, in 2001. And it’s happening again at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, one of New York State’s major psychiatric facilities.

Yesterday, the 49-year-old Paul Henri Thomas had still another forced electroshock. His psychiatrist applied electrodes to Thomas’ temples and gave him one more in a series of involuntary electroshocks against Thomas’s fervent objections.

Electroshock — also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT — sends a powerful electrical current through the brain of the subject.

How is forced electroshock possible in this day and age? Technically, it’s legal under New York State law using a court order that is easy to obtain. An attorney familiar with the New York Office of Mental Health (OMH) said that forced electroshock is “fairly routine” in the state, paid for by unknowing taxpayers.

The difference this time is that Thomas is part of a movement.

Thomas is dignified, well-read and especially moving in his resistance to shock. He is a proud African American member of the “Consumer/Survivor/Ex-Patient Coalition” of New York State, which is part of the international mental health consumer/psychiatric survivors human rights movement. This “C/S/X Coalition” has voted to ask everyone — inside or outside New York State — to contact New York State elected officials to investigate OMH forced electroshock. (An easy way for you to e-mail these legislators is toward the BOTTOM of this alert.)

VIEW A PHOTO OF PAUL HENRI THOMAS, AND PILGRIM PSYCHIATRIC CENTER, ON THIS WEB PAGE: http://www.mindfreedom.org/mindfreedom/news/010213.shtml

Here are a few edited excerpts directly from the words of Paul Henri Thomas from inside Pilgrim Psychiatric Center. We asked Thomas how he was able to survive so many forced electroshocks, and still stay so strong, to keep the faith?

——————————————————————————–

DO SOMETHING PLEASE!
by Paul Henri Thomas

I am currently undergoing forced electroshock treatment. But I would not call this electroshock ‘treatment.’ It is not medical.

The forced electroshock is horrible. It is horrible. Maybe God himself or herself allowed me to hold onto my faith. This torture and traumatization is not for what I did wrong. I am being tortured because I devoted myself to helping people as much as possible.

I am aware that to obtain progress for humanity we have to suffer and endure. We have to absorb these things. Other people ask me whether I think my life is miserable because I receive forced electroshock. No. The people doing this to me are miserable. I have my pride and self respect.

I am strong. But no human being is invincible.

Please, please do whatever is possible to stop their Machiavellianism. This is an arbitrary process of court hearings and submitting me to a ‘court order’ of electroshock treatment.

Do something, please! I need my total freedom out of this center. I have all the rights of a respectable human being and all his duties.

I thank you a lot. I ask God to bless you in anticipation of your helping me in my torture and traumatization. God bless you. Do whatever is possible!

——————————————————————————–
THE PSYCHIATRIC SURVIVOR MOVEMENT “ZAPS BACK”

Sherry Taub, a member of the C/S/X Coalition, has visited Paul recently. She said this about his forced electroshock: “It’s terrifying. I have a psychiatric diagnosis and I’m frightened about what that could mean. You can be stripped of any semblance of human rights. There’s no consideration of you as a human being. This is harmful and torturous to Paul. Any rational human being would accept his understanding of this. This is not helping people. It’s doing him harm.”

In a recent speech in front of OMH Commission James L. Stone, Sherry said, “Wherever people stand on ECT itself, everyone that I’ve spoken with agrees it should not be *forced* on anyone. Everyone that I’ve spoken with agrees that this is a clear violation of human rights. But it *is* happening.”

Like everyone who has spoken with Paul, Sherry is especially impressed by him as a person. “Paul actually comforts *us* about his forced electroshock when we feel frustrated. He has a background as an activist. He was part of the student human rights movement when he lived in Haiti.” Paul moved to the USA in 1982 and became a US citizen. He still speaks English with a Creole accent.

George Ebert of New York’s Mental Patients Liberation Alliance has also been supporting Paul. George said, “I met Paul three weeks ago. I’m amazed his thinking is so clear. His thinking is clearer than mine. In every conversation I am learning from him. He speaks four languages. I’m very concerned about what the Office of Mental Health might do. We’ve warned OMH that the Alliance will do anything to call attention to this. I’ve been through forced electroshock myself. This is scary for me. Paul is in a lot better ‘mental health’ than I am. I feel like I could be next.”

Ironically, one of the alleged reasons Paul is being held is that he continues to have a “delusion” that he is inside a prison. Activists like George and Sherry agree — Paul *is* in a prison. It’s no delusion.

Movement advocates have obtained public attorneys to help Paul zap back. His lawyers demanded a hearing this Friday, Feb. 16, at the trial level. Advocates are concerned they will be illegally denied admittance because the hearing will be held inside a room built inside Pilgrim Psychiatric Center.

Paul Henri Thomas is not the only person who has won public attention while being forcibly shocked at Pilgrim Psychiatric Center. Two months ago, a similar alert went out about 25-year-old Adam Szyszko, who also was receiving forced electroshock:

http://mindfreedom.org/mindfreedom/news/001206.shtml

Since that alert, Adam’s attorneys convinced four judges to grant a full stay until a hearing on March 29 in the appellate division in Brooklyn.

Hopefully, Paul’s attorneys will also win this Friday. But no matter what, the New York Office of Mental Health must be investigated for its involuntary electroshock. Otherwise, many more people besides Paul and Adam will receive forced electroshock.

OMH strategy is to give the public and media the “silent treatment” about forced electroshock. But there’s one group of people OMH has to respond to: The New York State elected officials who have the power to cut OMH funding.

YOU CAN USE E-MAIL TO ZAP BACK *NOW*!

EASY ACTION YOU CAN TAKE WHEREVER YOU LIVE — WHETHER OR NOT YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK STATE!

E-mail to New York State elected officials, today!

COPY AND PASTE the e-mail addresses below this sample message. Please cut and paste the e-mail addresses into the “bcc” section of your e-mail. It’s helpful to use the “bcc” section, because there are so many e-mail addresses. By using “bcc” the recipients won’t be inconvenienced by a big “header” at the top of their e-mail.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SAMPLE MESSAGE TO ELECTED OFFICIALS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please investigate forced electroshock by the New York Office of Mental Health! Stop the forced electroshock of Paul Henri Thomas and Adam Szyszko!

I request that you contact the New York Office of Mental Health (OMH) and ask these questions:

1. Is it true there are instances of involuntary electroshock against the expressed wishes of the client, inside New York State psychiatric facilities?

2. If OMH admits it does forced electroshock, how many people receive it each year? Who keeps track?

3. What is OMH’s policy about involuntary electroshock? And how does this policy mesh with OMH’s stated policy of “consumer empowerment”?

The contact information for the New York Commissioner of the Office of Mental Health is:

OMH Commissioner James L. Stone, MSW, CSW
New York State Office of Mental Health
44 Holland Avenue
Albany, New York 12229

Telephone: (518) 474-4403
Fax: (518) 474-2149
E-mail:
While I understand OMH cannot comment about a particular client due to confidentiality, these are reasonable policy questions that OMH can and should answer. I look forward to hearing the results of your inquiry with OMH.

Thank you.
Sincerely,

[Your name]
[Your contact information]

USING THE ABOVE SAMPLE MESSAGE — OR YOUR OWN CIVIL WORDS — CUT AND PASTE the below e-mail addresses for New York State elected officials — into the “bcc” section of your email. Then *send*! Here are e-mail addresses for the two US Senators, plus available e-mail addresses for New York State Senators and New York State Assembly Members:

senator@clinton.senate.gov, senator@schumer.senate.gov, ALESI@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, BALBONI@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, BONACIC@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, BRESLIN@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, BBROWN@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, BRUNO@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, CONNOR@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, JDEFRANC@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, DOLLINGE@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, DUANE@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, ESPADA@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, FARLEY@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, FUSCHILL@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, GENTILE@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, GONZALEZ@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, GOODMAN@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, HANNON@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, DHEVESI@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, HOFFMANN@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, OJOHNSON@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, KRUGER@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, KUHL@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, LACHMAN@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, LACK@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, LARKIN@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, LAVALLE@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, LEIBELL@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, MALTESE@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, MARCELLI@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, MARCHI@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, MARKOWIT@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, MAZIARZ@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, MCGEE@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, MEIER@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, MENDEZ@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, MONTGOME@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, MORAHAN@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, NOZZOLIO@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, ONORATO@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, OPPENHEI@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, PADAVAN@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, PATERSON@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, RATH@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, SALAND@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, SAMPSON@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, SANTIAGO@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, SCHNEIDE@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, SEWARD@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, SKELOS@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, SMITH@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, MASMITH@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, SPANO@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, STACHOWS@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, STAFFORD@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, STAVISKY@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, TRUNZO@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, VELELLA@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, VOLKER@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, WRIGHT@SENATE.STATE.NY.US, speaker@assembly.state.ny.us, fasoj@assembly.state.ny.us, abbatep@assembly.state.ny.us, acampop@assembly.state.ny.us, arroyoc@assembly.state.ny.us, bacallj@assembly.state.ny.us, boylep@assembly.state.ny.us, bragman@assembly.state.ny.us, brennaj@assembly.state.ny.us, brodskr@assembly.state.ny.us, butlerm@assembly.state.ny.us, cahillk@assembly.state.ny.us, calhoun@assembly.state.ny.us, canestr@assembly.state.ny.us, carroza@assembly.state.ny.us, clarkb@assembly.state.ny.us, cohena@assembly.state.ny.us, colmans@assembly.state.ny.us, coltonw@assembly.state.ny.us, contej@assembly.state.ny.us, crouchc@assembly.state.ny.us, cymbros@assembly.state.ny.us, davisg@assembly.state.ny.us, delmonf@assembly.state.ny.us, dinapot@assembly.state.ny.us, dinowij@assembly.state.ny.us, eddingp@assembly.state.ny.us, engles@assembly.state.ny.us, espaila@assembly.state.ny.us, evea@assembly.state.ny.us, farrelh@assembly.state.ny.us, ferrard@assembly.state.ny.us, finchg@assembly.state.ny.us, flanagj@assembly.state.ny.us, galefs@assembly.state.ny.us, glickd@assembly.state.ny.us, gordond@assembly.state.ny.us, gottfrr@assembly.state.ny.us, grannis@assembly.state.ny.us, greenr@assembly.state.ny.us, greenea@assembly.state.ny.us, gromaca@assembly.state.ny.us, gunthej@assembly.state.ny.us, hayesj@assembly.state.ny.us, heastic@assembly.state.ny.us, higginb@assembly.state.ny.us, hikindd@assembly.state.ny.us, hoyts@assembly.state.ny.us, jacobsr@assembly.state.ny.us, johns@assembly.state.ny.us, kaufmas@assembly.state.ny.us, kleinj@assembly.state.ny.us, kolbb@assembly.state.ny.us, koond@assembly.state.ny.us, lavellj@assembly.state.ny.us, labrios@assembly.state.ny.us, lafayei@assembly.state.ny.us, lentolj@assembly.state.ny.us, levys@assembly.state.ny.us, littlee@assembly.state.ny.us, lopezv@assembly.state.ny.us, lusterm@assembly.state.ny.us, mageew@assembly.state.ny.us, magnarw@assembly.state.ny.us, manninp@assembly.state.ny.us, markeym@assembly.state.ny.us, matusow@assembly.state.ny.us, mcenenj@assembly.state.ny.us, mclaugb@assembly.state.ny.us, millerj@assembly.state.ny.us, millmaj@assembly.state.ny.us, morellj@assembly.state.ny.us, nesbitc@assembly.state.ny.us, normanc@assembly.state.ny.us, nortzh@assembly.state.ny.us, oconnem@assembly.state.ny.us, oaksr@assembly.state.ny.us, ortizf@assembly.state.ny.us, ortlofc@assembly.state.ny.us, paulina@assembly.state.ny.us, perryn@assembly.state.ny.us, pheffea@assembly.state.ny.us, powella@assembly.state.ny.us, pretloj@assembly.state.ny.us, ravitzj@assembly.state.ny.us, cumminp@assembly.state.ny.us, riveraj@assembly.state.ny.us, riverap@assembly.state.ny.us, scarbow@assembly.state.ny.us, schimmr@assembly.state.ny.us, scozzad@assembly.state.ny.us, seamand@assembly.state.ny.us, sidikmd@assembly.state.ny.us, smithr@assembly.state.ny.us, stephew@assembly.state.ny.us, stranir@assembly.state.ny.us, strings@assembly.state.ny.us, sweeney@assembly.state.ny.us, tediscj@assembly.state.ny.us, thielef@assembly.state.ny.us, toccir@assembly.state.ny.us, tokaszp@assembly.state.ny.us, tonkop@assembly.state.ny.us, townsd@assembly.state.ny.us, townsed@assembly.state.ny.us, vanna@assembly.state.ny.us, warnerr@assembly.state.ny.us, weinsth@assembly.state.ny.us, weisenh@assembly.state.ny.us, weprinm@assembly.state.ny.us, wertzr@assembly.state.ny.us, winnerg@assembly.state.ny.us, wrightk@assembly.state.ny.us, aubryj@assembly.state.ny.us, jchrist@assembly.state.ny.us, dandrer@assembly.state.ny.us

THREE EXTRA ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE…

1. DIRECTLY CONTACT OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH YOURSELF!

Phone, fax, e-mail and/or write to OMH! Please stay *civil*!

The contact information for the OMH Commissioner is inside the “sample message” above.

You can also call *dozens* of other internal phone numbers directly inside OMH at the below web site, to educate OMH employees’ and their voice mail!

http://www.omh.state.ny.us/omhweb/aboutomh/central_office.html

2. PLEASE COPY AND FORWARD THIS ALERT!

Broadcast this to all *appropriate* places on and off the Internet, including friends, colleagues, relevant e-mail lists, newsgroups, etc. Please especially forward this to anyone you know in New York State! The corporate media is again ignoring this very real story, so e-mail this to all media, especially in New York State.

3. DO YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK STATE? THEN *YOU* CAN TAKE A REALLY IMPORTANT ACTION!!

Please directly and personally e-mail, phone, fax, write and/or visit the offices for both the New York State Assembly Member and your State Senator who represent *you*. They know that every vote counts.

You can use the sample message above.

If at all possible, please follow-up! GET TO KNOW the names of one or two staff people who work in your home district office and/or the Albany office.

Politely request that this staff person directly contact the Office of Mental Health, with your reasonable constituent inquiry. PLEASE FOLLOW-UP with this staff person to find out the results. Ask for a full investigation! Keep Support Coalition in touch with your progress at

You can locate your State Senator in most cases by going to the below web site, click on “Senators,” and use the map or zip code locator.

http://www.senate.state.ny.us/

If you know your Assembly Member’s name, you can look up their contact information on this web site:

http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/

If you have any trouble finding out who your State Assembly Member or State Senator is, simply inquire with your local County elections office, listed in the government section of your phone book.

And *everyone* in New York State (or outside) can contact the US Senators from New York State, in both their D.C. offices, and their nearest office to you.

For contact information on US Senators from New York:

http://clinton.senate.gov/offices.html

http://www.senate.gov/~schumer/

AS PAUL SAYS, “I thank you a lot. God bless you. Do whatever is possible!”

*** YOU CAN NOW JOIN SUPPORT COALITION ONLINE ***

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To contact or join Support Coalition International other ways: Phone 9 am to 5 pm Pacific Time at (541) 345-9106. Or you can join toll free at 1-877-MAD-PRIDE (623-7743). Or fax at any time to (541) 345-3737. Or write to: Support Coalition; PO Box 11284; Eugene, OR 97440 USA. Or e-mail: office@MindFreedom.org. Donations tax deductible.

This www.MindFreedom.org DENDRITE ALERT IS BROUGHT TO YOU FREE BY SUPPORT COALITION INTERNATIONAL.

www.MindFreedom.org DENDRITE is a one-way *occasional* e-mail list, so you do *NOT* get too much e-mail this way.

UPDATE: One week after one of these alerts went out to stop a psychiatric institution from hounding postal worker Arnie Smith to pay for his own forced human rights abuses, Arnie won!

*** BRANCH LIKE DENDRITES DO *** Copy and forward this alert to appropriate places on and off the Internet, just as your brain uses your tree-like dendrites to network billions of neurons. Thousands of interested people are the first to receive this. Many re-distribute it and take action. Disclaimer: WWW.MINDFREEDOM.ORG DENDRITE is not affiliated with — and not to be confused with — any other entity, such as “DENDRITE FOREST” or their publications.

Support Coalition International is a totally independent non-profit federation of nearly 100 groups in 14 countries united to win human rights and alternatives in the “mental health system.” SCI is open to the public, and led by psychiatric survivors. SCI receives no funding from the psychiatric drug industry, the “mental health system” or the government.

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