NEWS RELEASE -- MARCH 1, 2001
NAMI GLUE SCANDAL KEEPS RAISING A STINK
"MENTAL HEALTH" GROUP LEAVES A STICKY MESS WHEN THEY FIRE THEIR EDITOR, CANCEL THEIR OWN PUBLICATION, AND THEN GLUE PAGES TOGETHER
*SEE* THE GLUED PAGES... WHAT IS NAMI TRYING TO HIDE?
NAMI MEMBERS, OTHER GROUPS, REBEL
Two months after they censored their own journal, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill California chapter is still coming unglued... and some members are rebelling.
For those just tuning into this bizarre story:
The NAMI- California board of directors, led by board president Brian Jacobs, canceled their own journal, fired the editor, and then hired a vocational rehabilitation program composed of people with psychiatric labels to glue pages together in thousands of copies to try to censor two articles.
NOW YOU CAN SEE a photograph of the pages that were glued together... as they are peeled back!
Irony of ironies -- one of the glued pages included a reproduction of the Bill of Rights. (Guess which Amendment happened to end up shredded by the glue in the above photograph?... See for yourself!)
NAMI MEMBERS AND OTHER GROUPS SPEAK OUT:
The Santa Cruz County chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill is leading the way in speaking out. The editor of their publication, Anna Haulenbeek-Huskey
Apparently, Dan's original transgression was criticizing fraudulent statistics promoted by psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey, in the Treatment Advocacy Center's push for more forced psychiatric drugging. These false statistics demonized people with psychiatric labels.
The National Stigma Clearinghouse news item for _February 18, 2001_ also broke the silence:
You can read the original "NAMI unglued" alert from Support Coalition International by clicking on the below link. It includes ways you can speak out against the censorship:
So what does NAMI want to hide? The text of the censored articles is here:
WHAT OTHER SECRETS DOES NAMI HAVE?
Those pages aren't the only thing NAMI wants to hide. Despite NAMI's own Consumer Council voting for full disclosure last year, NAMI is still refusing to reveal the amounts of money they get from the psychiatric drug industry.
_Mother Jones_ and Support Coalition International investigated and found out that NAMI drug company money primarily goes to a slush fund with a top priority: To push a program that uses coerced at-home psychiatric drug deliveries to people living in the community! (Watch the news this month, March 2001, because this story has been nominated one of the top under-reported stories of the year by the widely-read Project Censored.)
See a photo of a secret NAMI check, and the story here:
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE GLUE SHOP -- WHO ORDERED IT?
Several concerned NAMI members want to clear something up: The gluing and censorship of the NAMI journal was the work of the newly-elected NAMI California board of directors, not any local chapter, not the national group. In fact, to clear up a mystery, the NAMI California board itself chose the glue. (And while sometimes the pages can be easily pulled apart, sometimes peeling does destroy patches of print on the censored pages.)
The director of the vocational rehabilitation program, Turning Point, which did the gluing says they feel tricked by NAMI. When Turning Point agreed to the job, they had no idea it involved a controversial censorship. The director said they would have refused if they'd been fully informed.
To get the other side of the story from NAMI California itself, we phoned up Brian Jacobs, the NAMI California board president. Mr. Jacobs said he refused to comment to this reporter. The reason? "Several things you've written," said Mr. Jacobs (thankfully, this reporter was not within range of Mr. Jacobs' glue brush). Mr. Jacobs said he is totally willing to speak with others, however, as long as they are not rude. Please keep any inquiries civil. Mr. Jacobs' direct phone number as provided by NAMI is (562) 438-4174.
You can also send a civil complaint by e-mail to NAMI-California and ask that they share your comments with their board of directors, including Mr. Jacobs: firstname.lastname@example.org
The fired editor, Dan E Weisburd, can be reached at the below contact information, and many people internationally are thanking him for speaking out:
Dan E. Weisburd
10260 Moorpark Street
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Since Dan gave 11 years of his life to NAMI Calfornia, other members and volunteers are wondering how they will be treated.
Who is next? A lot of more people, if the Jacobs get their way:
Carla and Brian Jacobs, and the California NAMI board, are continuing their plans to push for laws allowing more forced psychiatric drugging throughout California, both in institutions and out in the community.
With glue brush in one hand, and a hypo in another, the Jacobs continue their chemical crusade... but it's getting sticky.
THE ABOVE GLUE-PROOF NEWS PROVIDED BY:
David Oaks, Director
Support Coalition International
454 Willamette, Suite 216
PO Box 11284
Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA
general info: office@MindFreedom.org
phone: (541) 345-9106
toll free: 1-877-MAD-PRIDE
fax: (541) 345-3737
Support Coalition International is a non-profit federation of 100 grassroots groups in 14 countries winning human rights and alternatives for people labeled with mental disabilities.
NEWS UPDATE -- MARCH 20, 2001
GLUE STORY UPDATE!
NAMI VS. NAMI
BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF SONOMA COUNTY CHAPTER OF
NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR MENTALLY ILL ISSUES
LETTER OF PROTEST ABOUT NAMI-CALIFORNIA CENSORSHIP
As people following this story know, NAMI-California has fired the editor of their Journal, killed their Journal and then -- in a theatre of the absurd -- has glued shut thousands of copies of their own Journal to try to censor two articles the board found offensive.
The following is a letter which was approved by NAMI Sonoma County Board of Directors to be sent to NAMI California Board Members and to be included in the NAMI Sonoma County newsletter.
March 13, 2001
A Letter of Protest to NAMI California
You are receiving this letter of protest from the NAMI Sonoma County Board of Directors. This board strongly objects to and is offended by the recent actions of the NAMI California Board taken against Dan Weisburd and the act of censoring The JOURNAL. This act of censorship is an assault on the intelligence of NAMI members to think and make judgements for ourselves.
The facts we believe are clear. Many of us felt deep concern when we learned that The JOURNAL was to be suspended. Most, if not all, were offended and alarmed by the insult of having the front pages of The JOURNAL glued together.
We object to the clear acts of censorship. We object to the usurping of funds and take over and suspension of The JOURNAL. Further we object to the disconcerting acts toward Dan Weisburd, a highly regarded and respected individual within our mental health advocacy and wellness community. We do not subscribe to your actions that reveal an attitude of intolerance toward divergent views within our community and misuse of power.
"IT IS CENSORSHIP! I WILL NEVER KOWTOW TO A DICTATORSHIP!"
Those are the words of Dan Weisburd in response to the actions of NAMI California. The NAMI Sonoma County Board of Directors echos that response.
Dan Weisburd has recently written to say that he has been in conversation with NAMI nationals' staff attorney, Ron Honberg. At this point the actions of NAMI California are not seen as a NAMI National issue. But, Ron Honberg did emphasize that he regretted that the publication of The JOURNAL which he held in high esteem, had been suspended by the NAMI California board.
NAMI Sonoma County Board of Directors feels that Dan Weisburd should have been afforded the courtesy and respect he deserves for his years of service. A fair, orderly and decent transition should have occurred, but your actions have precluded this. Dan's experience and wisdom might have been viewed as valuable in finding the individuals needed to take on the task of editing and publishing future issues of The JOURNAL. Dan's wealth of experience might have been viewed as invaluable and he would be retained if possible as an advisor to those continuing this widely admired publication. Instead we got the suspension of the JOURNAL and the insult of censorship.
Your actions have offended many NAMI members and have created a tremendous distraction from the work in which we prefer to be engaged. We believe the membership of NAMI California deserves a full apology and a full explanation of the actions of the NAMI California Board. We also request an accounting of cost in dollars to NAMI California for the legal fees the Board is incurring in pursuing this issue. We ask that the NAMI California Board give us a timely response to these requests.
[Below is a letter of thanks from Dan Weisburd to NAMI-Sonoma County.]
Dear Byron and Sharon;
Bless you. My 15 years of experience in CAMI and NAMI have taught me that within our ranks we have many bright and decent honest people who will not be hoodwinked by trickery and false posturing. However, all too often those I would call "the good people" walk away when conflict rears its head, so as not to get involved in the messiness of it all. It takes another kind of valor, courage, to face those with a private agenda who are willing to do whatever it takes to give themselves the "victory" they seek at all costs.
You have certainly called it the way I have experienced it and I am grateful for your perceptions, the courage to express what you believe, and the willingness to stand up to the culprits and their persistent and debasing actions. Only by the membership rising up as you good folks in Sonoma are doing can NAMI California regain its good name and turn its focus once again toward its true purpose. That, I know, will never happen with the present board.
With love and respect,