To help support ect.org financially, please shop via the bookstore, in association with Amazon. Thank you.
If you’ve been to ect.org before, you may have noticed big changes to the site. I’ve switched over to a CMS system (WordPress) to help me manage the site more efficiently.
There were so many old files – news stories, studies, and so on – that were important to keep online, but they were all hand coded in straight HTML. The new system uses a MySQL database, so I had to find a way to import every item. Rather than spend many months trying to do it by hand, I came up with a series of scripts (Unix, Visual Basic if you’re interested) to automate the process for me. It still involved a lot of work, but it was a fraction of what it would have been had I tried to do it manually.
However, the process involved taking HTML code, stripping it down to straight ANSI text, formatting it into the proper syntax for the database, and finally, importing. So there are bound to be some characters that were incorrectly converted, strange typos, and other minor errors. As I see them, I’ll fix them. But in the meantime, you may run into an odd question mark that should have been quote marks, or something like that. If you’re so inclined, you may let me know of a typo or other errata by clicking on the contact page (located on the left sidebar under “About ect.org” and also at the bottom of each page in the footer section). Send me a note, but please be specific. I need an exact URL and some kind of description of the problem. General emails that say “Hey I saw a typo” are unhelpful.
That said, I hope the new system will be more efficient, and easier to maintain. The site has grown quite large and keeping up with it on a timely basis can be a daunting task. I’m pleased to announce that my dear friend and colleague, Linda Andre, will be an editor and regular contributor at ect.org as well. If you’d like to know more about Linda, please see the CTIP pages, link located under Affiliated Sites links on the left menu.
Also please note that the “added” dates on all of the older articles will be July 2006, because that’s when they were ported to the new system. However, the original article dates are normally listed within the body of the articles for your reference.
History of ect.org
I began ect.org in 1995, and it’s gone through many evolutions. Despite cosmetic changes, my goals have remained constant: to provide as much information as possible about electroconvulsive therapy for anyone who wants it, and to provide a sense of community and support for those who have had ECT, good or bad. It really is that simple.To learn more about me, my own involvement with ECT, and a more detailed history, please see the original “Why I created this website” page.
Who is behind the curtain?
My name is Juli Lawrence and I started ect.org over a decade ago. You can read more about why I started it by clicking the link in the previous paragraph. There are no corporations or other organizations behind me. I receive no funding to run the site, and run it out of my own pocket. I do accept donations to help defray the costs, and I sell Amazon books as well.
In the past, I’ve tried other affiliate programs and some Cafe Press items, but Amazon seems to be the most successful. It’s not huge, but every little bit helps offset my costs. So if you’d like to help out monetarily but don’t have spare money to donate, you can make sure that when you purchase books and other items at Amazon, go through this website so ect.org gets a small commission. I also briefly tried Google ads, and that was a disaster. First, I never made a cent, but more importantly, the ads were ridiculous. They either promoted pharmaceuticals in ways I considered sneaky and somewhat deceptive, or products completely unrelated to the site. I also don’t like the idea of cluttering up the site with a bunch of ads, so I quickly dropped that.
This site has always been – and will always remain – devoted to sharing information and providing support, not making money.
In the interest of full disclosure, I offer the following:
1. I have lifelong ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Members of my immediate family are either retired from the industry, or currently work in the industry, for one of the major corporations. They are “company men.” My childhood was spent under the umbrella of this corporation and I grew up surrounded by everything related to this company. To this day, I have giveaway products around my house, and on my desk: mugs, calculators, sticky notes, pens, backpacks and so on. I have personally profited – and continue to profit – directly and indirectly, from the profits of the pharmaceutical industry.
That said, I’ve never worked for the company and do not currently own any stock in the industry. My close family members do, but that’s their business, not mine. I’ve been privy to “inside” information that I wish I did not know, but it’s nothing that isn’t already available in books that expose industry practices. (The book I consider the best expose on the pharmaceutical industry is “Bitter Pills” by Stephen Fried, available at Amazon. It remains on my personal list of top ten favorite books.)
So, my “ties” to the pharmaceutical industry are by proxy, by way of family members who have spent their careers with the company. While I *personally* have been on the receiving end of the benefits of the most profitable (legal) industry in the world (according to Fried), I remain critical of industry practices and do not receive any funding from them.
This is why I am quite sympathetic to the criticism against President George W. Bush regarding his “ties” to the pharmaceutical industry. From what I’ve been able to gather from the information made available by fellow activists, his ties result from his father, the first President Bush, formerly being a board member with Eli Lily.
If he’s guilty by association, then I am equally as guilty. If you hold a person accountable for the career choices of family members, then yes, President George W. Bush and I share the same crime: we have ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
Sorry, but that’s lame and I’m the kind of person who calls a spade a spade. Based on the information available to me, the attempt to smear the current president as a pharmaceutical industry hack is weak. There are plenty of things one can criticize about the president. His ties to pharmaceuticals are not one of them.
2. I have received monies from both state and federal governments, some while in my capacity as owner/operator of ect.org. The state funding came long ago, pre-ect.org, when I worked for an agency that provided medical and social services for adolescents in Illinois. Illinois tax dollars paid my salary. I also taught for two years at a state university, with my salary coming from federal and state money. (This was also pre-ect.org.)
Since the founding of ect.org, I have received expense money and small honorariums from the federal government, SAMSHA to be more specific. (Under Health and Human Services and CMHS.) I have given lectures and presented papers at federal agency conferences, speaking for myself and ect.org. The funding for my travel expenses and honorarium came from the federal budget, and therefore, tax dollars.
I also served on the committee that researched and produced the CMHS statement on electroconvulsive therapy. Again, my trips to Washington, DC were paid for by the US Government, as was my honorarium.
Additionally, I served three years on a federal advisory committee (we made policy recommendations), also within SAMSHA/CMHS and my expenses/honorarium were funded by federal dollars. My term has since expired.
That sums up my “funding.” None of the funding has been for the benefit or operational costs of ect.org.
However, I am currently in partnership with a friend and we are exploring opportunities – governmental and private – for research funding. If you hear of grants that might be appropriate, please let me know via email.
This page last modified on October 25, 2006 @ 12:03 pm