PsychSearch.net
Ken Kramer Answers Journalist’s Questions

By Cindy Bevington
November 11, 2013

As a journalist my job is to question everything. That means digging below the surface of the obvious and exposing the truth for what it is whether people agree with me or not, whether they like what I’m doing or not, and regardless of whether other journalists are doing what I’m doing.

Ken Kramer, private investigator

Ken Kramer, Private Investigator

That’s why, when I had a chance to interview Ken Kramer about his website, PsychSearch.net, I made it clear that my questions would not be canned journalism. I wanted to know up-front, no-holds barred, why he’d conducted a background search for public records on every psychiatrist in America. I also wanted to know what motivated him to publish what he’d found.

Kramer met the challenge and answered every single question in detail. I wish I could say the same for the numerous health professionals and public figures whom I contacted for this article, and who declined to comment. But I did get two people, one who supports Kramer’s efforts, and one who doesn’t believe what he’s done is all that purposeful, to respond.

You can go to the website PsychSearch.net, to find all the gruesome, disgusting, horrendous examples of psychiatry at its worst that you can stomach reading, all courtesy of Ken Kramer.

You can read below to learn what these two individuals had to say about the website, and to read Kramer’s answers verbatim.

Two Different Opinions

Florida Psychiatric Society, 521 East Park Avenue, Tallahassee, Florida
(a branch of the American Psychiatric Society)[/caption] Margo Adams, executive director of the Florida Psychiatric Society said she was only “marginally” knowledgeable of Kramer’s website. But she wouldn’t use it anyway, she said. “Rather, when I’m looking for background information, I go to the Florida Board of Medicine,” she said. She admitted that PsychSearch.net might have some redeeming value in some people’s background searches, but not her own. “I personally would just go to a different site, like the boards of medicine,” she said.

In contrast, a former investigator in the Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General, Allen Jones, approves of Kramer’s site. “It provides a very, very valuable public service,” Jones said. “It exposes the wrong-doing by many people whose credentials alone prevent (laypersons) from discovering their atrocities and egregious deeds.”

People like Adams will naturally have access to public and private documents that can inform them of the offenses committed by some psychiatrists, Jones said. “But the average person won’t be able to get that information. This site (of Kramer’s) makes it easy to put your fingers on this important resource. It sure would have helped me when I was in the inspector’s office, and I would have used it if it had been available then.” Jones was responsible for blowing the whistle on a widespread pharmaceutical campaign of bribery and off-label marketing of the psych drug Risperdal.


The Q&A

1. What is the purpose of doing background searches on every psychiatrist in America?

The purpose is to provide documentation so that the public is informed about psychiatrists. It’s all about providing documented evidence as opposed to arguing or debating. You can discuss issues on psychiatrists until the cows come home but when the documents are plopped on the table―the discussion is over. PsychSearch.net is striving to become the Better Business Bureau or the Angie’s list of psychiatrists. The difference is we won’t recommend a single psychiatrist.

2. You seem to have an almost relentless pursuit of exposing psychiatry as a fraud. Some people would say that, as a Scientologist, you’re simply extending your religion in covert ways to undermine conventional medicine. Explain why everyone should be concerned about the backgrounds and history of people practicing as psychiatrists.

I wouldn’t classify it as “almost relentless”. It is absolutely relentless. The harm being done by psychiatrists need to be shouted from rooftops. There is no question the public needs to be informed about the dangerous consequences of visiting a psychiatrist. Generally, psychiatrists do no biological testing. No blood, urine, saliva or lab tests of any kind. Psychiatrists themselves admit that. There is no argument on that point. Yet, based only upon opinion, which varies from psychiatrist to psychiatrist, they use biological methods (harmful drugs or shock treatment) on unsuspecting patients. How’s that for a blatant unscience? We shouldn’t classify psychiatry as a “branch of medicine” because it is unlike any other discipline. Every valid branch of medicine has scientific tests to validate a proper diagnosis. Psychiatry does not. Physically damaging psychiatric drugs and shock treatment are bad enough. But on top of all that, there is still a need to document fraud, rampant sexual misconduct and generally bizarre behavior.

Just the fact that they tell patients what to think about themselves (when patients know themselves better than anyone) is fraudulent and harmful. Interestingly, the word “psychiatry” comes from the Latin word “psychiatria” which means “a healing of the soul”, yet psychiatrists are fixated on drugging the body or jolting the brain with electricity. The term alienists as they were called until the middle of the 20th century, is more fitting.

3. Have you taken on, or do you plan to take on any other aspects of health besides psychiatry?

We have no plans on investigating other branches of medicine. Generally, “real doctors” (as opposed to psychiatrists) are competent and actually help people. The entire field of psychiatry is full of phonies, with those few exceptions who are exposing it. Using biological means (drugs and shock) without biological testing is proof that psychiatry itself is a grand lie. Some psychiatrists may enter the field with the notion of helping others, but then sticking with it for financial or other reasons, after seeing its unworkability, demonstrates dishonesty.


4. As a follow-up to that question, what we’re talking about here is the admitted “conspiracy of silence” that medicine uses to surround and protect its own―whether it’s psychiatry or general medicine, right now it’s impossible to find out if a physician you’re seeing has been sued for malpractice, and what kinds of alleged mistakes they’ve made. Therefore, do you see any possibility in the future of taking on doctors as a whole?

Cases of malpractice can be found searching through civil lawsuits, but we’re only concerned with psychiatrists. There are plenty of sources of records that demonstrate their incompetence and the harm that they cause. That’s why we are only focused on psychiatrists, not real doctors who as a whole provide life-saving expertise and help people.

5. Explain the work behind what you’re doing here, and what you go through to get these background checks done. I mean― you don’t just send a request and get an answer back, because it’s been a few years since you and I first discussed this. Are freedom of information requests involved, or is there another process involved?

Each state has their own public records laws and requests to agencies in each state is permitted. Sometimes these are called FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests, but the term FOIA is mainly used by the federal government. Each state’s laws, although all different, do allow citizens to request public records on psychiatrists. But some laws (or state’s interpretations of the law) are quirky. Rhode Island, for instance, has a law which says that correspondence to and from legislators is not public record. People from outside the states of Arkansas, Tennessee and Virginia are not allowed to request their public records which is easily remedied by getting someone from those states to request the records. Vermont says providing the names of their top psych drug prescribers would violate their privacy. South Dakota says that the names of their top prescribers are exempt from public records laws because these are medical records. The Feds don’t release mug shots.

Most public officials are pleasant and efficient and willing to help. Once in a while you run into a government bureaucrat who withholds public records, but there are ways to deal with these. States usually have a means to appeal a denial of public records. Some offer a mediation process you can do via fax or email. The press can also be contacted to complain about government officials refusing to provide public records. Public records are the backbone of many newspaper stories, so reporters really don’t like it when an agency official withholds public records unlawfully.


6. What are some of the roadblocks you’ve run into as you pursue this list, and has anyone threatened you in any way―either as a physical threat, or something like lawsuits― as you’ve compiled your lists?

PsychSearch.net provides public records. We don’t allege anything so there are no lawsuits, nor have there been any overt threats. The biggest roadblocks are sorting through the bureaucracy that sometimes presents itself when dealing with governments and the occasional less than helpful government employee. Earlier, the biggest roadblock was separating out psychiatrists from other branches of medicine because all have “M.D.” after their names. To further confuse things, psychiatrists managed to get jumbled up with neurologists. Both are certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. The Neurologists should seriously consider severing ties with the psychiatrists as this would give them more credibility. But this year we had a major breakthrough. We identified every psychiatrist in the country. They have now been separated out from the rest, which makes it a lot easier to find records.

7. Mainstream media is beginning to pick up some of your “big” stories―of sleazy psychs who are having sex with their patients, and greedy people who are prescribing mountains of drugs in such quantities that in some cases they would have had to be working 35 hours a day, seeing patients every minute to actually have that many real claims. What do you consider your biggest scoop, and along that line, what would you consider your biggest media success?

We’ve worked on providing records to reporters across the nation resulting in a large number of stories. Examples include stories on top psychiatric drug prescribers, antipsychotic drugs on children, state lawsuits against psych drug companies, sexual misconduct cases, fraud, TeenScreen and just plain bizarre conduct. Without calculating the numbers, suffice it to say you’ve probably read some of them! This action mainly involves finding public records involving controversy, sex, big money or big names. They are simply e-mailed to reporters. Usually they will pick up the more egregious stories and the ones that clearly show patient harm. Emails to reporters are very brief and very simple. Example: “Psych Sex Case. See attached record.”

8. Is the website a success―meaning, are you getting positive feedback from it, and are people beginning to feed you information to add to it?

Yes, we get lots of positive feedback and people send us records of psychiatrists they want exposed. We keep track of hits and visits in order to increase our statistics. We are in the initial stages of developing social media and search engine optimization. PsychSearch.net is now mobile compatible, so you can get the Psychs in Hot Water news on your Smartphones and iPads.

9. How do you vet the information you get, to make sure that you’re not being fed erroneous information, and that what you publish is true and accurate?

We simply ensure that the records we obtain are from a reliable source. Mainly governments. If a relatively unknown person sends records, we would obtain a copy of the record ourselves direct from the source to ensure a proper “chain of custody” so that the records are not altered or perverted in some way.

10. Why do you suppose no one’s taken on this job before?

We can’t speak for others, but because of our familiarity with researching and obtaining public records, it was just a natural progression to start compiling actual copies of psych-type documents. It is just our way of contributing. But there is an international effort from all walks of life to expose psychiatrists and psychiatry. There are many approaches and angles of attack; some document cases by speaking with victims, some picket, some make websites, some write books, do radio shows, lobby legislators, etc.

11. The new DSM-V is out. Do you have any plans to take that monstrosity on, and if you do, how?

No. We’ve got our hands full compiling records on individual psychiatrists. The DSM has already been proven to be an unscientific 900+page doorstop and judging by the bad press, there are many out there working on this. There are now experts galore coming out of the woodwork exposing psychiatry. There are at least 6 books published this year with titles such as: Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs.

12. Is there anything I haven’t asked you that you’d like to add?

Reports of shortages of psychiatrists in parts of the USA are not an accident. There is a cultural change afoot. Medical students in India and Pakistan (who have inundated the field of psychiatry in America) need to know that there is no financial future in Psychiatry. Psychiatry is not a smart career path. It is not scientific. It is going out of business. Psychiatrists are drug pushers only. Stick with Psychiatry and you will lose. Financially, you will lose. And your patients (victims) will lose. Study any other medical specialty and you will help your patients, become rich, have a nice big house and live the American dream! Your choice.

13. Is the Church of Scientology funding the psych research you do, or is this a project of your own? Gotta ask it because people will wonder about it if I don’t ask.

No. This is a public service informational project of DataSearch, Inc. We are backed up by good people who understand the importance of our work and contribute in their area of expertise or pay for public records – when the need arises. This couldn’t be accomplished without them.

+++
Second American psychiatrist who worked in NZ was accused of sex with US patient
The New Zealand Herald
June 6, 2020 Saturday

Copyright 2020 The New Zealand Herald All Rights Reserved
Section: NEWS; General
Length: 1039 words
Body

A second American psychiatrist allowed to work in New Zealand had been accused of having sex with a former patient in the United States, the Weekend Herald can reveal.
Dr Robert Ivan Fink began working for the Waikato District Health Board in August 2015, one month after fake psychiatrist Mohamed Siddiqui was arrested for using forged documents to work at Waikato Hospital.
Fink”s employment as a locum in adult mental health services came 18 months after another American psychiatrist, Dr Paul Fox, left the DHB when he was exposed as facing misconduct charges in the United States.
Fox was eventually jailed in Connecticut for the sexual assault of a vulnerable teenage patient.
READ MORE:

Fink, from Seattle, was accused by his former American patient of sexual misconduct in November 2015, but he failed to tell Waikato DHB.
In April 2016, when notified the complaint was being investigated, he again failed to tell the DHB or alert the Medical Council of New Zealand, which is responsible for doctor registration.
It wasn”t until July that year, when the outcome of that investigation was that Fink should have restrictions on his practice, that he made DHB managers aware of the situation.
He was immediately sacked and stripped of his registration in New Zealand.
But it was only after US-based private investigator Ken Kramer contacted the Weekend Herald, that the full details of the allegations against Fink came to light.
In the list of allegations against Fink, the State of Washington Medical Quality Assurance Commission said he was issued with a licence to practice as a physician and surgeon in 1978.
The Commission alleged that, as a psychiatrist, Fink began treating a woman known as patient A in 2007. He had first met patient C who later referred patients A and B – a couple – to do various repair jobs on his properties.
Patient A had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] and a history of substance abuse.
In 2011 Fink allowed the woman and her partner to move into his home, after which he allegedly began having sex with her.
“Patient A performed repair work on respondent”s [Fink”s] home and respondent and patient A went to the casino together,” the licence surrender documents state.
“Respondent took patient A to the railroad tracks where he took photographs of her posing in a costume.”
Fink also allegedly prescribed addictive chronic pain medications to all three patients without referring the trio to a pain management specialist.
The licence surrender document claims: “At no time did respondent attempt to properly evaluate pain levels, establish a treatment plan, document that he discussed the risks and benefits of treatment, and failed to document treatment alternatives prior to prescribing opioid pain medication”.
The Commission said Fink violated the standard of care to the three patients by treating them when he was socially involved with them and the alleged sex with the patient amounted to sexual misconduct.
“In his first letter to the Commission, respondent stated that he thought it might be all right to treat friends on occasion but later realised that he was unable to manage their health care needs appropriately, and as intended.”
The Commission claimed Fink also dismissed several indications that patient A was still abusing substances, including her openly admitting that she misused substances.
Fink surrendered his licence to practise in Washington state on September 21, 2016 but kept ties with New Zealand, returning to Hamilton to undertake film studies at Wintec. He also has shares in a popular city bar.
Fink told the Weekend Herald the allegations had “nothing to do with New Zealand”.
When asked why he did not disclose the complaint to Waikato DHB and the Medical Council as obligated to do, Fink said “that”s not an accurate statement” and declined to talk about the matter further.
Kramer, who runs PsychSearch.net – a website dedicated to compiling records on psychiatrists – said Fink was no longer registered in the US, but no charges had been laid against him by police there.
The same month Fink joined the Waikato DHB, an inspection of its mental health services was undertaken by the Ministry of Health after the death of Nicky Stevens in March 2015, and other serious events.
The inspection report, released in April 2016, specifically addressed the recruitment of Siddiqui, the doctor who posed as an American-trained psychiatrist of the same name, saying Waikato DHB had undertaken best practice in the recruitment and there were no obvious red flags.
Medical Council deputy chief executive Aleyna Hall said since the Fox case, the council had gone to greater lengths to get information about doctors applying to work in New Zealand if they disclose a complaint.
Medical Council chairman Dr Curtis Walker said the council had a zero-tolerance position on doctors who breached sexual boundaries with a patient.
In Fink”s case, because the complaint came after he was registered, Walker said they relied on Fink to notify them or colleagues overseas to raise concerns.
“Doctors have an obligation to inform us immediately in these circumstances.”
As part of registration, the council obtains a certificate of professional status which notifies any complaints, investigations, or disciplinary action, and asks questions about a doctor”s health, conduct, character, and professional competence.
“Dr Fink did not make any disclosures to us on his application form. We do not specifically ask the doctor whether they have had a sexual relationship with a patient as this is covered in the question: “Have you ever breached any code of ethics relating to boundary issues regarding patient relationship?”.”
The Weekend Herald put questions to Waikato DHB about Fink on Wednesday; however, the DHB said it would treat the questions as an Official Information Act request which gives it 20 working days to respond.
Former acting chief executive Derek Wright previously said no concerns had arisen in Fink”s clinical practice for the DHB.
“Dr Fink saw the vast majority of his patients in the company of another member of staff or family member. He was respected by his patients and their families and has been described as professional and appropriate in all his dealings with others.”

Load-Date: June 5, 2020

End of Document

Second psychiatrist in shady sex ‘cover-up’
The New Zealand Herald
June 6, 2020

Copyright 2020 The New Zealand Herald All Rights Reserved
Section: GENERAL NEWS; Pg. A012
Length: 1052 words
Highlight: Doctor failed to tell DHB of allegations
Body

A second American psychiatrist allowed to work in New Zealand had been accused of having sex with a former patient in the United States, the Weekend Herald can reveal.
Dr Robert Ivan Fink began working for the Waikato District Health Board in August 2015, one month after fake psychiatrist Mohamed Siddiqui was arrested for using forged documents to work at Waikato Hospital.
Fink’s employment as a locum in adult mental health services came 18 months after another American psychiatrist, Dr Paul Fox, left the DHB when he was exposed as facing misconduct charges in the United States.
Fox was eventually jailed in Connecticut for the sexual assault of a vulnerable teenage patient.
Fink, from Seattle, was accused by his former American patient of sexual misconduct in November 2015, but he failed to tell Waikato DHB.
In April 2016, when notified the complaint was being investigated, he again failed to tell the DHB or alert the Medical Council of New Zealand, which is responsible for doctor registration.
It wasn’t until July that year, when the outcome of that investigation was that Fink should have restrictions on his practice, that he made DHB managers aware of the situation.
He was immediately sacked and stripped of his registration in New Zealand.
But it was only after US-based private investigator Ken Kramer contacted the Weekend Herald, that the full details of the allegations against Fink came to light.
In the list of allegations against Fink, the State of Washington Medical Quality Assurance Commission said he was issued with a licence to practice as a physician and surgeon in 1978.
The Commission alleged that, as a psychiatrist, Fink began treating a woman known as patient A in 2007. He had first met patient C who later referred patients A and B – a couple – to do various repair jobs on his properties.
Patient A had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] and a history of substance abuse.
In 2011 Fink allowed the woman and her partner to move into his home, after which he allegedly began having sex with her.
“Patient A performed repair work on respondent’s [Fink’s] home and respondent and patient A went to the casino together,” the licence surrender documents state.
“Respondent took patient A to the railroad tracks where he took photographs of her posing in a costume.”
Fink also allegedly prescribed addictive chronic pain medications to all three patients without referring the trio to a pain management specialist.
The licence surrender document claims: “At no time did respondent attempt to properly evaluate pain levels, establish a treatment plan, document that he discussed the risks and benefits of treatment, and failed to document treatment alternatives prior to prescribing opioid pain medication”.
The Commission said Fink violated the standard of care to the three patients by treating them when he was socially involved with them and the alleged sex with the patient amounted to sexual misconduct.
“In his first letter to the Commission, respondent stated that he thought it might be all right to treat friends on occasion but later realised that he was unable to manage their health care needs appropriately, and as intended.”
The Commission claimed Fink also dismissed several indications that patient A was still abusing substances, including her openly admitting that she misused substances.
Fink surrendered his licence to practice in Washington state on September 21, 2016 but kept ties with New Zealand, returning to Hamilton to undertake film studies at Wintec. He also has shares in a popular city bar.
Fink told the Weekend Herald the allegations had “nothing to do with New Zealand”.
When asked why he did not disclose the complaint to Waikato DHB and the Medical Council as obligated to do, Fink said “that’s not an accurate statement” and declined to talk about the matter further.
Kramer, who runs PsychSearch.net – a website dedicated to compiling records on psychiatrists – said Fink was no longer registered in the US, but that no charges had been laid against him by police there.
The same month Fink joined the Waikato DHB, an inspection of its mental health services was undertaken by the Ministry of Health following the death of Nicky Stevens in March 2015, and other serious events.
The inspection report, released in April 2016, specifically addressed the recruitment of Siddiqui, the doctor who posed as an American-trained psychiatrist of the same name, saying Waikato DHB had undertaken best practice in the recruitment and there were no obvious red flags.
Medical Council deputy chief executive Aleyna Hall said since the Fox case, the council had gone to greater lengths to get information about doctors applying to work in New Zealand if they disclose a complaint.
Medical Council chairman Dr Curtis Walker said the council had a zero-tolerance position on doctors who breached sexual boundaries with a patient.
In Fink’s case, because the complaint came after he was registered, Walker said they relied on Fink to notify them or colleagues overseas to raise concerns.
“Doctors have an obligation to inform us immediately in these circumstances.”
As part of registration the council obtains a certificate of professional status which notifies any complaints, investigations, or disciplinary action, and asks questions about a doctor’s health, conduct, character, and professional competence.
“Dr Fink did not make any disclosures to us on his application form. We do not specifically ask the doctor whether they have had a sexual relationship with a patient as this is covered in the question: ‘Have you ever breached any code of ethics relating to boundary issues regarding patient relationship?’.”
The Weekend Herald put questions to Waikato DHB about Fink on Wednesday; however the DHB said it would treat the questions as an Official Information Act request which gives it 20 working days to respond.
Former acting chief executive Derek Wright previously said that no concerns had arisen in Fink’s clinical practice for the DHB.
“Dr Fink saw the vast majority of his patients in the company of another member of staff or family member.
“He was respected by his patients and their families and has been described as professional and appropriate in all his dealings with others.”

Load-Date: June 5, 2020

End of Document

Public records are yours to research, discover, access information; ANOTHER VIEW
The Daily Telegram (Adrian, Michigan)
March 13, 2019 Wednesday

Copyright 2019 The Daily Telegram
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: OPINIONS; Pg. 4A
Length: 438 words
Byline: Kenneth Kramer
Body

Public records: documents made by a government agency which are required to be kept and maintained.
Reporters love them. They form the backbone of many news stories. A reporter’s pay can be based on drumming up stories so public records are of great value. Watch the newsroom waters churn when juicy public records are thrown in! Political scandal, big names, big money, controversy, sex or violence! Hold on to your boat! Those fish bite hard!
Reporters can do a whole story on a public record. Example: A psychiatrist gets his license revoked by the state for having sex with a patient. Oh, that’s a good one – story! Hold the press! Translate the legalese into everyday English, get a couple of comments from participants and it might be on the front page the next day.
“Unnamed sources”, “it was reported,” “some people say” – just can’t compare to the black and white of a mug shot, lawsuit or your mayor’s e-mails – all public records.
Attorneys love them. They can be a primary source of evidence. Peruse any lawsuit and you will see attorneys demanding the other side produce documents. The code language of attorneys, Latin, even has a phrase for demanding documents, subpoena duces tecum:
“A command for a witness to appear in court and produce documents.” As soon as the documents are entered into the court file they become a public record.
Private investigators love them. They are an essential element of some investigative agencies. By checking public records alone, an investigator can find criminal histories, lawsuits, property, habits, whereabouts, affiliations, reputation or character of his target.
Some legislators hate them – apparently. They dream up legislation to hide public records.
They’re constantly proposing iron walls to whittle away citizens’ rights to public records.
This week you will see newspapers across the country pointing out law and bills that restrict access to public records.
Reporters, attorneys, private investigators do not have a monopoly on public records.
There’s a reason they are called “public records.”
They are yours. Paid for by your tax dollars. Court records, property records, the e-mails of your local mayor. The list goes on.
Just dream up the record you’d like to obtain. If you don’t know whether it exists just ask the city, county, state or federal agency for it.
If a government agency withholds a public record, it is their responsibility to tell you why.
Good luck to you in your research!
Kenneth Kramer is a private investigator and public records expert. His website, PsychSearch.net, has the world’s largest collection of public records on psychiatrists.

Load-Date: March 15, 2019

End of Document

Public records are yours to research, discover, access information (edit)
The Monroe News (Michigan)
March 13, 2019 Wednesday

Copyright 2019 The Monroe Evening News
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: COMMENT; Pg. 4A
Length: 437 words
Byline: Kenneth Kramer
Body

Public records: documents made by a government agency which are required to be kept and maintained.
Reporters love them. They form the backbone of many news stories. A reporter’s pay can be based on drumming up stories so public records are of great value. Watch the newsroom waters churn when juicy public records are thrown in! Political scandal, big names, big money, controversy, sex or violence! Hold on to your boat! Those fish bite hard!
Reporters can do a whole story on a public record. Example: A psychiatrist gets his license revoked by the state for having sex with a patient. Oh, that’s a good one – story! Hold the press! Translate the legalese into everyday English, get a couple of comments from participants and it might be on the front page the next day.
“Unnamed sources”, “it was reported,” “some people say” just can’t compare to the black and white of a mug shot, lawsuit or your mayor’s e-mails all public records.
Attorneys love them. They can be a primary source of evidence. Peruse any lawsuit and you will see attorneys demanding the other side produce documents. The code language of attorneys, Latin, even has a phrase for demanding documents, subpoena duces tecum:
“A command for a witness to appear in court and produce documents.” As soon as the documents are entered into the court file they become a public record.
Private investigators love them. They are an essential element of some investigative agencies. By checking public records alone, an investigator can find criminal histories, lawsuits, property, habits, whereabouts, affiliations, reputation or character of his target.
Some legislators hate them apparently. They dream up legislation to hide public records.
They’re constantly proposing iron walls to whittle away citizens’ rights to public records.
This week you will see newspapers across the country pointing out law and bills that restrict access to public records.
Reporters, attorneys, private investigators do not have a monopoly on public records.
There’s a reason they are called “public records.”
They are yours. Paid for by your tax dollars. Court records, property records, the e-mails of your local mayor. The list goes on.
Just dream up the record you’d like to obtain. If you don’t know whether it exists just ask the city, county, state or federal agency for it.
If a government agency withholds a public record, it is their responsibility to tell you why.
Good luck to you in your research!
Kenneth Kramer is a private investigator and public records expert. His website, PsychSearch.net, has the world’s largest collection of public records on psychiatrists.

Load-Date: March 21, 2019

End of Document

Fake news deterrent? Access to public records
The Courier (Houma, LA)
12 March 2019

Copyright 2019 The Courier
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: LA NEWS; Pg. A7
Length: 469 words
Body

Public records are documents made by government agencies that are required to be kept and maintained.
Reporters love them.
They form the backbone of many news stories. A reporter’s pay can be based on drumming up stories, so public records are of great value. Watch the newsroom waters churn when juicy public records are thrown in. Political scandal, big names, big money, controversy, sex or violence. Hold onto your hat! Those piranhas will bite hard, man.
Reporters can do a whole story on a public record. Example: A psychiatrist gets his license revoked by the state for having sex with a patient. Oh, that’s a good one – story! Hold the press. Translate the legalese into everyday English, get a couple of comments from participants and it might be on the front page the next day.
Accusations of “fake news” could simply be countered with links to public records. “Unnamed sources,” “it was reported,” “some people say” – just can’t compare to the black and white of a mugshot, lawsuit or your mayor’s emails – all public records.
Attorneys love them.
They can be a primary source of evidence. Peruse any lawsuit and you will see attorneys demanding the other side produce documents. The code language of attorneys, Latin, even has a phrase for demanding documents, Subpoena duces tecum, which is “a command for a witness to appear in court and produce documents.”
As soon as the documents are entered into the court file, they become part of the public record.
Private investigators love them.
They are an essential element of some investigative agencies. By checking public records alone, an investigator can find the criminal histories, lawsuits, property, habits, whereabouts, affiliations, reputation or character of his or her target.
Some legislators hate them, apparently. They dream up legislation to hide public records.
They’re constantly proposing iron walls to whittle away citizens’ rights to public records.
This week, Sunshine Week, you will see newspapers across the country pointing out laws and bills that restrict access to public records.
But reporters, attorneys and private investigators do not have a monopoly on public records.
There’s a reason they are called “public records.”
They are yours, paid for by your tax dollars. Court records, property records, the emails of your local mayor. The list goes on.
Just dream up the record you’d like to obtain. If you don’t know whether it exists, just ask the city, county, state or federal agency for it.
If a government agency withholds a public record, it is their responsibility to tell you why.
Good luck to you in your research.
Kenneth Kramer is a private investigator and public records expert. His website, PsychSearch.net, a research division of DataSearch, has the world’s largest collection of public records on psychiatrists.

Load-Date: March 13, 2019

End of Document

Fake news deterrent
Daily Comet (Thibodaux, LA)
12 March 2019

Copyright 2019 Daily Comet
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: LA NEWS; Pg. A7
Length: 469 words
Body

Public records are documents made by government agencies that are required to be kept and maintained.
Reporters love them.
They form the backbone of many news stories. A reporter’s pay can be based on drumming up stories, so public records are of great value. Watch the newsroom waters churn when juicy public records are thrown in. Political scandal, big names, big money, controversy, sex or violence. Hold onto your hat! Those piranhas will bite hard, man.
Reporters can do a whole story on a public record. Example: A psychiatrist gets his license revoked by the state for having sex with a patient. Oh, that’s a good one – story! Hold the press. Translate the legalese into everyday English, get a couple of comments from participants and it might be on the front page the next day.
Accusations of “fake news” could simply be countered with links to public records. “Unnamed sources,” “it was reported,” “some people say” – just can’t compare to the black and white of a mugshot, lawsuit or your mayor’s emails – all public records.
Attorneys love them.
They can be a primary source of evidence. Peruse any lawsuit and you will see attorneys demanding the other side produce documents. The code language of attorneys, Latin, even has a phrase for demanding documents, Subpoena duces tecum, which is “a command for a witness to appear in court and produce documents.”
As soon as the documents are entered into the court file, they become part of the public record.
Private investigators love them.
They are an essential element of some investigative agencies. By checking public records alone, an investigator can find the criminal histories, lawsuits, property, habits, whereabouts, affiliations, reputation or character of his or her target.
Some legislators hate them, apparently. They dream up legislation to hide public records.
They’re constantly proposing iron walls to whittle away citizens’ rights to public records.
This week, Sunshine Week, you will see newspapers across the country pointing out laws and bills that restrict access to public records.
But reporters, attorneys and private investigators do not have a monopoly on public records.
There’s a reason they are called “public records.”
They are yours, paid for by your tax dollars. Court records, property records, the emails of your local mayor. The list goes on.
Just dream up the record you’d like to obtain. If you don’t know whether it exists, just ask the city, county, state or federal agency for it.
If a government agency withholds a public record, it is their responsibility to tell you why.
Good luck to you in your research.
Kenneth Kramer is a private investigator and public records expert. His website, PsychSearch.net, a research division of DataSearch, has the world’s largest collection of public records on psychiatrists.

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Public records are yours, and they are an excellent fake news deterrent; VIEWPOINT: IT’s SUNSHINE WEEK
Crookston Daily Times (Minnesota)
March 11, 2019 Monday

Copyright 2019 Crookston Daily Times.
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: NEWS; Pg. 4
Length: 449 words
Byline: Kenneth Kramer
Body

Public Records: documents made by a government agency which are required to be kept and maintained Reporters love them.
They form the backbone of many news stories. A reporter’s pay can be based on drumming up stories so public records are of great value. Watch the newsroom waters churn when juicy public records are thrown in! Political scandal, big names, big money, controversy, sex or violence! Hold on to your boat! Those piranhas will bite hard man!
Reporters can do a whole story on a public record.
Example: A psychiatrist gets his license revoked by the State for having sex with a patient. Oh, that’s a good one – story! Hold the press!
Translate the legalese into everyday English, get a couple of comments from participants and it might be on the front page the next day.
Accusations of “fake news” could simply be countered with links to public records. “unnamed sources”, “it was reported”, “some people say” just can’t compare to the black and white of a mug shot, lawsuit or your mayor’s emails all public records.
Attorneys love them.
They can be a primary source of evidence. Peruse any lawsuit and you will see attorneys demanding the other side produce documents.
The code language of attorneys, Latin, even has a phrase for demanding documents, Subpoena duces tecum: “A command for a witness to appear in court and produce documents”. As soon as the documents are entered into the court file they become a public record.
Private investigators love them. They are an essential element of some investigative agencies.
By checking public records alone, an investigator can find criminal histories, lawsuits, property, habits, whereabouts, affiliations, reputation, or character of his target.
Some Legislators hate them – apparently. They dream up legislation to hide public records.
They’re constantly proposing Iron Walls to whittle away citizens’ rights to public records. This week you will see newspapers across the country pointing out law and bills that restrict access to public records.
But reporters, attorneys, private investigators do not have a monopoly on public records.
There’s a reason they are called “public records”.
They are yours. Paid for by your tax dollars. Court records, property records, the e-mails of your local mayor. The list goes on.
Just dream up the record you’d like to obtain. If you don’t know whether it exists just ask the city, county, state or federal agency for it.
If a government agency withholds a public record it is their responsibility to tell you why.
Good luck to you in your research!
Kenneth Kramer is a private investigator and public records expert. His website, PsychSearch.net, is a research division of DataSearch, Inc.

Load-Date: March 12, 2019

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Fake news deterrent; GUEST COLUMN
Capital Journal (Pierre, South Dakota)
March 8, 2019 Friday

Copyright 2019 Capital Journal.
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: NEWS; Pg. A4
Length: 464 words
Byline: KENNETH KRAMER
Body

Public Records: documents made by a government agency which are required to be kept and maintained.
Reporters love them. They form the backbone of many news stories. A reporter’s pay can be based on drumming up stories so public records are of great value. Watch the newsroom waters churn when juicy public records are thrown in! Political scandal, big names, big money, controversy, sex or violence! Hold on to your boat! Those piranhas will bite hard man!
Reporters can do a whole story on a public record. Example: A psychiatrist gets his license revoked by the State for having sex with a patient. Oh, that’s a good one – story! Hold the press! Translate the legalese into everyday English, get a couple of comments from participants and it might be on the front page the next day.
Accusations of “fake news” could simply be countered with links to public records. “unnamed sources”, “it was reported”, “some people say” – just can’t compare to the black and white of a mug shot, lawsuit or your mayor’s e-mails – all public records.
Attorneys love them. They can be a primary source of evidence. Peruse any lawsuit and you will see attorneys demanding the other side produce documents. The code language of attorneys, Latin, even has a phrase for demanding documents, Subpoena duces tecum: “A command for a witness to appear in court and produce documents”. As soon as the documents are entered into the court file they become a public record.
Private investigators love them. They are an essential element of some investigative agencies. By checking public records alone, an investigator can find criminal histories, lawsuits, property, habits, whereabouts, affiliations, reputation, or character of his target.
Some Legislators hate them -apparently. They dream up legislation to hide public records.
They’re constantly proposing Iron Walls to whittle away
KENNETH KRAMER citizens’ rights to public records. This week you will see newspapers across the country pointing out law and bills that restrict access to public records.
But reporters, attorneys, private investigators do not have a monopoly on public records.
There’s a reason they are called “public records”.
They are yours. Paid for by your tax dollars. Court records, property records, the e-mails of your local mayor. The list goes on.
Just dream up the record you’d like to obtain. If you don’t know whether it exists just ask the city, county, state or federal agency for it.
If a government agency withholds a public record it is their responsibility to tell you why.
Good luck to you in your research!
Kenneth Kramer is a private investigator and public records expert. His website, PsychSearch.net, a research division of DataSearch, Inc., has the world’s largest collection of public records on psychiatrists.

Load-Date: March 8, 2019

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Public records a deterrent for fake news
Rockford Register Star (Illinois)
March 14, 2019 Thursday

Copyright 2019 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: IL OPINION; Pg. A7
Length: 505 words
Body

Reporters love them. They form the backbone of many news stories. A reporter’s pay can be based on drumming up stories so public records are of great value. Watch the newsroom waters churn when juicy public records are thrown in! Political scandal, big names, big money, controversy, sex or violence! Hold on to your boat! Those piranhas will bite hard man!
Reporters can do a whole story on a public record. Example: A psychiatrist gets his license revoked by the state for having sex with a patient. Oh, that’s a good one – story! Hold the press! Translate the legalese into everyday English, get a couple of comments from participants and it might be on the front page the next day.
Accusations of “fake news” could simply be countered with links to public records; “unnamed sources,” “it was reported,” “some people say” – just can’t compare to the black and white of a mug shot, lawsuit or your mayor’s emails – all public records.
Attorneys love them. They can be a primary source of evidence. Peruse any lawsuit and you will see attorneys demanding the other side produce documents. The code language of attorneys, Latin, even has a phrase for demanding documents, Subpoena duces tecum: “A command for a witness to appear in court and produce documents.” As soon as the documents are entered into the court file they become a public record.
Private investigators love them. They are an essential element of some investigative agencies. By checking public records alone, an investigator can find criminal histories, lawsuits, property, habits, whereabouts, affiliations, reputation or character of his target.
Some legislators hate them – apparently. They dream up legislation to hide public records. They’re constantly proposing Iron Walls to whittle away citizens’ rights to public records.
But reporters, attorneys, private investigators do not have a monopoly on public records.
There’s a reason they are called “public records.”
They are yours. Paid for by your tax dollars. Court records, property records, the emails of your local mayor. The list goes on.
Just dream up the record you’d like to obtain. If you don’t know whether it exists just ask the city, county, state or federal agency for it.
If a government agency withholds a public record it is their responsibility to tell you why.
Good luck to you in your research!
Kenneth Kramer is a private investigator and public records expert. His website, PsychSearch.net, a research division of DataSearch Inc., has the world’s largest collection of public records on psychiatrists.
About Sunshine Week
Sunshine Week, which was first celebrated in 2005, is a national initiative to educate the public about the importance of open government, access to public information and what it means for you and your community. Sunshine Week was launched by the American Society of News Editors, is co-sponsored by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Gridiron Club and Foundation.

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Reporters love them. They form the backbone of many news sto
The Journal-Standard (Freeport, Illinois)
March 14, 2019 Thursday

Copyright 2019 Itasca Press
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: IL OPINION; Pg. A4
Length: 505 words
Body

Reporters love them. They form the backbone of many news stories. A reporter’s pay can be based on drumming up stories so public records are of great value. Watch the newsroom waters churn when juicy public records are thrown in! Political scandal, big names, big money, controversy, sex or violence! Hold on to your boat! Those piranhas will bite hard man!
Reporters can do a whole story on a public record. Example: A psychiatrist gets his license revoked by the state for having sex with a patient. Oh, that’s a good one – story! Hold the press! Translate the legalese into everyday English, get a couple of comments from participants and it might be on the front page the next day.
Accusations of “fake news” could simply be countered with links to public records; “unnamed sources,” “it was reported,” “some people say” – just can’t compare to the black and white of a mug shot, lawsuit or your mayor’s emails – all public records.
Attorneys love them. They can be a primary source of evidence. Peruse any lawsuit and you will see attorneys demanding the other side produce documents. The code language of attorneys, Latin, even has a phrase for demanding documents, Subpoena duces tecum: “A command for a witness to appear in court and produce documents.” As soon as the documents are entered into the court file they become a public record.
Private investigators love them. They are an essential element of some investigative agencies. By checking public records alone, an investigator can find criminal histories, lawsuits, property, habits, whereabouts, affiliations, reputation or character of his target.
Some legislators hate them – apparently. They dream up legislation to hide public records. They’re constantly proposing Iron Walls to whittle away citizens’ rights to public records.
But reporters, attorneys, private investigators do not have a monopoly on public records.
There’s a reason they are called “public records.”
They are yours. Paid for by your tax dollars. Court records, property records, the emails of your local mayor. The list goes on.
Just dream up the record you’d like to obtain. If you don’t know whether it exists just ask the city, county, state or federal agency for it.
If a government agency withholds a public record it is their responsibility to tell you why.
Good luck to you in your research!
Kenneth Kramer is a private investigator and public records expert. His website, PsychSearch.net, a research division of DataSearch Inc., has the world’s largest collection of public records on psychiatrists.
About Sunshine Week
Sunshine Week, which was first celebrated in 2005, is a national initiative to educate the public about the importance of open government, access to public information and what it means for you and your community. Sunshine Week was launched by the American Society of News Editors, is co-sponsored by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Gridiron Club and Foundation.

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Public records are not just for journalists
Sauk Valley Newspapers (Dixon-Sterling, Illinois)
March 11, 2019 Monday

Copyright 2019 Sauk Valley Newspapers, Shaw Newspapers
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: OPINION
Length: 516 words
Byline: Kenneth Kramer
Body

Public records are vital tools for holding the government bodies that spend your hard-earned tax dollars accountable. While journalists depend on public records to do their jobs, as the name indicates, these documents belong to the people. Here’s a Sunshine Week reminder: It’s everyone’s job to be a government watchdog.
Public records: Documents made by a government agency which are required to be
kept and maintained.
Reporters love them. They form the backbone of many news stories. A reporter’s pay
can be based on drumming up stories, so public records are of great value. Watch the
newsroom waters churn when juicy public records are thrown in. Political scandal, big
names, big money, controversy, sex or violence. Hold on to your boat. Those piranhas
will bite hard man!
Reporters can do an entire story from a public record. Example: A psychiatrist gets his license revoked by the state for having sex with a patient. Oh, that’s a good one – story! Hold the press! Translate the legalese into everyday English, get a couple of comments from participants and it might be on the front page the next day.
Accusations of “fake news” could simply be countered with links to public records – “unnamed sources”, “it was reported”, “some people say” – just can’t compare to the black and white of a mugshot, lawsuit or your mayor’s emails – all public records.
Attorneys love them. They can be a primary source of evidence. Peruse any lawsuit and
you will see attorneys demanding the other side produce documents. The code language
of attorneys, Latin, even has a phrase for demanding documents, subpoena duces tecum:
“A command for a witness to appear in court and produce documents”. As soon as the
documents are entered into the court file they become a public record.
Private investigators love them. They are an essential element of some investigative
agencies. By checking public records alone, an investigator can find criminal histories, lawsuits, property, habits, whereabouts, affiliations, reputation, or character of his target.
Some legislators apparently hate them. They dream up legislation to hide public records.
They’re constantly proposing iron walls to whittle away citizens’ rights to public records. This week you will see newspapers across the country pointing out laws and bills that restrict access to public records.
But reporters, attorneys, and private investigators do not have a monopoly on public records.
There’s a reason they are called “public records”. They are yours. Paid for by your tax dollars. Court records, property records, the emails of your local mayor. The list goes on.
Just dream up the record you’d like to obtain. If you don’t know whether it exists, just ask
the city, county, state or federal agency for it. If a government agency withholds a public record it is their responsibility to tell you why.
Good luck to you in your research.
Kenneth Kramer is a private investigator and public records expert. His website, PsychSearch.net, a research division of DataSearch, Inc., has the world’s largest collection of public records on psychiatrists.

Graphic

Kenneth Kramer

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VIEWPOINT Public records belong to you
The Herald (Circleville, Ohio)
March 12, 2019 Tuesday

Copyright 2019 The Herald
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: COMMENT
Length: 528 words
Byline: Staff Writer
Body

Editor’s note: The press and those who believe in open government records are this week observing Sunshine Week. At the crux of Sunshine Week are the records generated by taxpayer dollars, your dollars, and available for your inspection. You have the right to examine and make copies of public records and anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed. This applies from the township trustees up to the president of the United States. Power checked is power restrained. — Craig Lovelace, editor, Circleville Herald.
Public Records: documents made by a government agency which are required to be kept and maintained. In Ohio, they are formally called the Public Open Meeting and Open Records laws. Collectively, they are known as the Sunshine Laws.
Reporters love them. They form the backbone of many news stories, and can be enhanced when public records are thrown in. Political scandal, big names, big money, controversy, sex or violence. Hold on to your boat Those fish bite hard man.
Reporters can do a whole story on a public record. Example: A psychiatrist gets his license revoked by the state for having sex with a patient. Translate the legalese into everyday English, get a couple of comments from participants and it might be on the front page the next day.
“Unnamed sources”, “it was reported”, “some people say” – just can’t compare to the black and white of a mug shot, lawsuit or your mayor’s e-mails – each a public record.
Attorneys love them. They can be a primary source of evidence. Peruse any lawsuit and you will see attorneys demanding the other side produce documents. The code language of attorneys, Latin, even has a phrase for demanding documents. Subpoena duces tecum: “A command for a witness to appear in court and produce documents.” As soon as the documents are entered into the court file they become a public record.
Private investigators love them. They are an essential element of some investigative agencies. By checking public records alone, an investigator can find criminal histories, lawsuits, property, habits, whereabouts, affiliations, reputation, or character of his target.
Some legislators hate them – apparently. They dream up legislation to hide public records.
They’re constantly proposing iron walls to whittle away citizens’ rights to public records. This week you will see newspapers across the country pointing out law and bills that restrict access to public records.
But reporters, attorneys, private investigators do not have a monopoly on public records.
There’s a reason they are called “public records”.
They are yours. Paid for by your tax dollars. Court records, property records, the e-mails of your local mayor. The list goes on.
Just dream up the record you’d like to obtain. If you don’t know whether it exists just ask the city, county, state or federal agency for it.
If a government agency withholds a public record it is their responsibility to tell you why.
Good luck to you in your research.
Kenneth Kramer is a private investigator and public records expert. His website, PsychSearch.net, a research division of DataSearch, Inc., has the world’s largest collection of public records on psychiatrists.

Load-Date: March 12, 2019

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Sunshine Week tips on records
Las Cruces Sun-News (New Mexico)
March 11, 2018 Sunday
1 Edition

Copyright 2018 Las Cruces Sun-News All Rights Reserved
Section: NEWS; Pg. A5
Length: 436 words
Byline: By, Your turn, Kenneth Kramer
Body

Happy Sunshine Week! This week (March 11-17, 2018) newspapers nationwide grade the performance of government agencies on access to public records.
“Public records” generally are defined as records, regardless of their physical form, made or received in connection with official government business. “Regardless of physical form” means that public records come in various forms, not just paper records. They can also be electronic, such as email or can be photos, video or audio.
Examples of public records used by reporters are arrest reports, mug shots, lawsuits and property records. Add a quote or two and presto! Story!
The term FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) is an acronym commonly used when describing the activity of accessing records from government agencies. But each state has a name for its own public records law.
Some newspapers this week will report that they submitted identical requests for records to various agencies and compared the responses and compliance with public records laws. Some papers this week will expose an agency that stonewalls access to public records.
Public records are a big deal to newspapers. They form the backbone for many stories and access to records can affect the paycheck of a reporter. Perusing newspaper articles will often reveal information from a public record.
Allegations of “fake news” can easily be countered with public records.
Tips on becoming a crackerjack public records researcher:
If you are uncertain whether a government record is public or not – don’t waste your time wondering about it. Just ask for it. It is the responsibility of the agency to tell you if the record is public or not.
Don’t ask questions. Government types are not required to answer your questions. They are required to provide public records. So frame your question as a public record request. Don’t ask: “How much is our mayor making this year?” Better: “Please provide a copy of the record that shows how much the mayor makes per year.”
The more exact the request, the better. Add as much detail as possible so the records custodian can find your record easily.
Be persistent and patient. Some governments are painfully slow.
Some records custodians will have your records to you before you finish drinking that cup of coffee. And to those records custodians please wish them a
Happy Sunshine Week! And, if you give them flowers you will get your records even faster! (Yes, that is a proven technique!)
Good luck in your search!
Kenneth Kramer is a public records expert and private investigator. His website, PsychSearch.net has the world’s largest collection of records on psychiatrists.

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Board opens 2nd probe of doctor; Psychiatrist’s guilty plea follows ‘anger,’ license on probation
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky)
April 7, 2019 Sunday
1 Edition

Copyright 2019 The Courier-Journal All Rights Reserved
Section: NEWS; Pg. A3
Length: 753 words
Byline: By, Andrew Wolfson, Louisville Courier Journal
Body

A Louisville psychiatrist whose medical license was already on probation for punching a woman at a bar and punching a patient in his office has now pleaded guilty to battery of his wife.
Dr. Charles Noplis II, who was featured in a Courier Journal story last year about addiction medicine, pleaded guilty Tuesday to battery in Dearborn County, Indiana. He had been accused of pulling his wife by the arm and hair from an SUV in a casino garage and causing her to suffer a concussion.
The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure on March 21 placed Noplis’ license on probation for five years for two prior assaults in Louisville, saying he had issues with “anger management and control.”
It found he had brought the medical profession into disrepute by “engaging in criminal acts while in a state of intoxication that can be grounds for other individuals to seek … treatment from professionals like himself.”
The board, which was unaware of the Indiana case, has now opened a second investigation of Noplis, said Leanne Diakov, its general counsel.
Noplis, a contract physician at Renew Recovery, 9702 Stonestreet Road, did not respond to a request for comment. Fox DeMoisey, one of his lawyers, said that he intends to appeal the medical board order and that the Indiana charge arose from a contentious divorce.
“The guy is really a very talented and effective psychiatrist,” DeMoisey said.
In the first incident, according to the board, Noplis entered the women’s restroom at Gerstle’s Place on Aug. 2, 2015, looking for his date, and punched a woman in the head when she emerged from a stall and asked, “What in the hell are you doing here?”
After a doorman forcibly removed him from the bar, Noplis ran up to the woman from behind and without saying anything, hit her in the head, causing her to suffer “concussive syndrome,” the board said.
Although Noplis denied both allegations, a hearing officer found that his “assertions simply aren’t believable.”
Noplis entered an Alford plea in Jefferson District Court to misdemeanor assault of Marsha Johnson, meaning he disputed his guilt but acknowledged there was enough evidence for a conviction.
He was required to pay $821 in restitution to cover the woman’s hospital expenses and to receive an assessment for substance abuse. The conviction was expunged but his plea is attached as an exhibit to the board’s order.
The board also found that when he applied to renew his medical license in February 2016, while the criminal charge was still pending, he falsely answered “no” when asked if he was the subject of any criminal investigation or charges. DeMoisey said it was an oversight.
According to the board, nine months after assaulting Johnson, on March 16, 2016, when Noplis and a patient got in an argument over his medication – and the patient pushed Noplis in the chest with a forearm – the doctor punched him in the head.
Noplis denied striking the patient, saying he would never do that because of his “extensive training in the marshal art of Jujitsu.” But a hearing officer noted that “Patient A,” as he is identified, got a black eye and was a credible witness who apologized for his role in provoking Noplis.
The officer also noted that the patient was elderly, while Noplis was 37 years old at the time and weighed about 240 pounds.
On Dec. 1, Noplis was charged with domestic battery causing moderate bodily injury, a felony, for assaulting his then-wife, Jennifer, in a garage at Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, and with battery by bodily waste, for allegedly spitting in her face.
A police officer said in a probable cause affidavit that she was sitting in his Lincoln Navigator pumping breast milk for their baby when he pulled her out to the pavement and slammed the door, striking her in the forehead.
Noplis pleaded guilty Tuesday to an amended charge of misdemeanor battery and was sentenced to 365 days in jail, with all but two suspended, according to court records. He was placed on probation for a year but will not have to report.
Noplis’ Indiana charge was reported to the medical licensure board by a Clearwater, Florida, private investigator, Ken Kramer, who with his wife operates PsychSearch, which they bill as “the world’s largest collection of records on psychiatrists.”
He said in an interview that they are are both members of the Church of Scientology, which has long opposed psychiatry.
Andrew Wolfson: 502-582-7189; awolfson@courier-journal.com; Twitter: @adwolfson. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/andreww.

Graphic

Noplis

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Board opens 2nd probe of doctor; Psychiatrist’s guilty plea follows ‘anger,’ license on probation
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky)
April 7, 2019 Sunday
1 Edition

Copyright 2019 The Courier-Journal All Rights Reserved
Section: NEWS; Pg. A14
Length: 753 words
Byline: By, Andrew Wolfson, Louisville Courier Journal
Body

A Louisville psychiatrist whose medical license was already on probation for punching a woman at a bar and punching a patient in his office has now pleaded guilty to battery of his wife.
Dr. Charles Noplis II, who was featured in a Courier Journal story last year about addiction medicine, pleaded guilty Tuesday to battery in Dearborn County, Indiana. He had been accused of pulling his wife by the arm and hair from an SUV in a casino garage and causing her to suffer a concussion.
The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure on March 21 placed Noplis’ license on probation for five years for two prior assaults in Louisville, saying he had issues with “anger management and control.”
It found he had brought the medical profession into disrepute by “engaging in criminal acts while in a state of intoxication that can be grounds for other individuals to seek … treatment from professionals like himself.”
The board, which was unaware of the Indiana case, has now opened a second investigation of Noplis, said Leanne Diakov, its general counsel.
Noplis, a contract physician at Renew Recovery, 9702 Stonestreet Road, did not respond to a request for comment. Fox DeMoisey, one of his lawyers, said that he intends to appeal the medical board order and that the Indiana charge arose from a contentious divorce.
“The guy is really a very talented and effective psychiatrist,” DeMoisey said.
In the first incident, according to the board, Noplis entered the women’s restroom at Gerstle’s Place on Aug. 2, 2015, looking for his date, and punched a woman in the head when she emerged from a stall and asked, “What in the hell are you doing here?”
After a doorman forcibly removed him from the bar, Noplis ran up to the woman from behind and without saying anything, hit her in the head, causing her to suffer “concussive syndrome,” the board said.
Although Noplis denied both allegations, a hearing officer found that his “assertions simply aren’t believable.”
Noplis entered an Alford plea in Jefferson District Court to misdemeanor assault of Marsha Johnson, meaning he disputed his guilt but acknowledged there was enough evidence for a conviction.
He was required to pay $821 in restitution to cover the woman’s hospital expenses and to receive an assessment for substance abuse. The conviction was expunged but his plea is attached as an exhibit to the board’s order.
The board also found that when he applied to renew his medical license in February 2016, while the criminal charge was still pending, he falsely answered “no” when asked if he was the subject of any criminal investigation or charges. DeMoisey said it was an oversight.
According to the board, nine months after assaulting Johnson, on March 16, 2016, when Noplis and a patient got in an argument over his medication – and the patient pushed Noplis in the chest with a forearm – the doctor punched him in the head.
Noplis denied striking the patient, saying he would never do that because of his “extensive training in the marshal art of Jujitsu.” But a hearing officer noted that “Patient A,” as he is identified, got a black eye and was a credible witness who apologized for his role in provoking Noplis.
The officer also noted that the patient was elderly, while Noplis was 37 years old at the time and weighed about 240 pounds.
On Dec. 1, Noplis was charged with domestic battery causing moderate bodily injury, a felony, for assaulting his then-wife, Jennifer, in a garage at Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, and with battery by bodily waste, for allegedly spitting in her face.
A police officer said in a probable cause affidavit that she was sitting in his Lincoln Navigator pumping breast milk for their baby when he pulled her out to the pavement and slammed the door, striking her in the forehead.
Noplis pleaded guilty Tuesday to an amended charge of misdemeanor battery and was sentenced to 365 days in jail, with all but two suspended, according to court records. He was placed on probation for a year but will not have to report.
Noplis’ Indiana charge was reported to the medical licensure board by a Clearwater, Florida, private investigator, Ken Kramer, who with his wife operates PsychSearch, which they bill as “the world’s largest collection of records on psychiatrists.”
He said in an interview that they are are both members of the Church of Scientology, which has long opposed psychiatry.
Andrew Wolfson: 502-582-7189; awolfson@courier-journal.com; Twitter: @adwolfson. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/andreww.

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‘Sunshine Week’ shines light on public records
San Angelo Standard-Times (Texas)
March 15, 2018 Thursday
1, StandardTimes Edition

Copyright 2018 San Angelo Standard-Times All Rights Reserved
Section: NEWS; Pg. A9
Length: 549 words
Byline: Your Turn
Body

Happy Sunshine Week! This week (March 11-17) newspapers nationwide grade the performance of government agencies on access to public records.

“Public records” generally are defined as records, regardless of their physical form, made or received in connection with official government business. “Regardless of physical form” means that public records come in various forms, not just paper records. They can also be electronic, such as email, or can be photos, video or audio.

Examples of public records used by reporters are arrest reports, mug shots, lawsuits and property records. Add a quote or two and presto! Story!

The term FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) is an acronym commonly used when describing the activity of accessing records from government agencies. But each state has a name for its own public records law.

Some newspapers this week will report that they submitted identical requests for records to various agencies and compared the responses and compliance with public records laws.

Some papers this week will expose an agency that stonewalls access to public records.

Public records are a big deal to newspapers. They form the backbone for many stories and access to records can affect the paycheck of a reporter. Perusing newspaper articles will often reveal information from a public record.

Since “news” could be defined as “something that someone somewhere wants to withhold,” reporters are constantly turning over rocks at the county courthouse, police station and any government agency that might contain THE public record that can be used in a story.

Allegations of “fake news” can easily be countered with public records.

But reporters certainly don’t have the market cornered on public records. They are public records.

You paid for them with your tax dollars and they are yours! Does your daughter’s new boyfriend have a criminal record? How much did your new neighbor pay for that house? Has your doctor ever been disciplined? Did your old flame ever get married? All can be found in public records.

Tips on becoming a crackerjack public records researcher:

1. If you are uncertain whether a government record is public, don’t waste your time wondering about it. Just ask for it. It is the responsibility of the agency to tell you if the record is public or not.

2. Don’t ask questions. Government types are not required to answer your questions. They are required to provide public records. So frame your question as a public record request. Don’t ask: “How much is our mayor making this year?” Better: “Please provide a copy of the record that shows how much the mayor makes per year.”

3. The more exact the request, the better. Add as much detail as possible so the records custodian can find your record easily.

4. Be persistent and patient. Some governments are painfully slow.

5. Some records custodians will have your records to you before you finish drinking that cup of coffee. And to those records custodians, please wish them a Happy Sunshine Week! And if you give them flowers you will get your records even faster! (Yes, that is a proven technique!)

Good luck in your search!

Kenneth Kramer is a public records expert and private investigator. His website, PsychSearch.net has the world’s largest collection of records on psychiatrists.

Kenneth Kramer

Guest Columnist

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End of Document

Public records are for you, the people
The Jackson Sun (Jackson, Tennessee)
March 14, 2018 Wednesday
1 Edition

Copyright 2018 The Jackson Sun All Rights Reserved
Section: OPINION; Pg. A9
Length: 550 words
Body

Happy Sunshine Week! This week newspapers nationwide grade the performance of government agencies on access to public records.
“Public records” generally are defined as records, regardless of their physical form, made or received in connection with official government business. “Regardless of physical form” means that public records come in various forms, not just paper records. They can also be electronic, such as email, or can be photos, video or audio.
Examples of public records used by reporters are arrest reports, mugshots, lawsuits and property records. Add a quote or two and presto! Story.
The term FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) is an acronym commonly used when describing the activity of accessing records from government agencies. But each state has a name for its own public records law.
Some newspapers this week will report that they submitted identical requests for records to various agencies and compared the responses and compliance with public records laws. Some papers this week will expose an agency that stonewalls access to public records.
Public records are a big deal to newspapers. They form the backbone for many stories, and access to records can affect the paycheck of a reporter. Perusing newspaper articles will often reveal information from a public record.
Since “news” could be defined as “something that someone somewhere wants to withhold,” reporters are constantly turning over rocks at the county courthouse, police station and any government agency that might contain the public record which can be utilized in a story.
Allegations of “Fake News” can easily be countered with public records.
But reporters certainly don’t have the market cornered on public records. They are public records. You paid for them with your tax dollars and they are yours! Does your daughter’s new boyfriend have a criminal record? How much did your new neighbor pay for that house? Has your doctor ever been disciplined? Did your old flame ever get married? All can be found in public records.
Tips on becoming a crackerjack public records researcher:
1. If you are uncertain whether a government record is public or not – don’t waste your time wondering about it. Just ask for it. It is the responsibility of the agency to tell you if the record is public or not.
2. Don’t ask questions. Government types are not required to answer your questions. They are required to provide public records. So frame your question as a public record request. Don’t ask: “How much is our mayor making this year?” Better: “Please provide a copy of the record that shows how much the mayor makes per year.”
3. The more exact the request, the better. Add as much detail as possible so the records custodian can find your record easily.
4. Be persistent and patient. Some governments are painfully slow.
5. Some records custodians will have your records to you before you finish drinking that cup of coffee. And to those records custodians, please wish them a Happy Sunshine Week! And, if you give them flowers you will get your records even faster. (Yes, that is a proven technique.)
Good luck in your search!
Kenneth Kramer is a public records expert and Private Investigator. His website, PsychSearch.net has the world’s largest collection of records on psychiatrists.
Your Turn
Kenneth Kramer
Guest columnist

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End of Document

Don’t forget -public records are yours
The Montgomery Advertiser (Alabama)
March 14, 2018 Wednesday
1 Edition

Copyright 2018 The Montgomery Advertiser All Rights Reserved
Section: OPINION; Pg. A8
Length: 543 words
Byline: By, Kenneth Kramer, Special to Montgomery Advertiser
Body

Happy Sunshine Week! This week newspapers nationwide grade the performance of government agencies on access to public records.
“Public records” generally are defined as records, regardless of their physical form, made or received in connection with official government business. “Regardless of physical form” means that public records come in various forms, not just paper records.
They can also be electronic, such as email or can be photos, video or audio.
Examples of public records used by reporters are arrest reports, mug shots, lawsuits and property records. Add a quote or two and presto! Story!
The term FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) is an acronym commonly used when describing the activity of accessing records from government agencies. But each state has a name for its own public records law.
Some newspapers this week will report that they submitted identical requests for records to various agencies and compared the responses and compliance with public records laws.
Some papers this week will expose an agency that stonewalls access to public records.
Public records are a big deal to newspapers. They form the backbone for many stories and access to records can affect the paycheck of a reporter. Perusing newspaper articles will often reveal information from a public record.
Since “news” could be defined as “something that someone somewhere wants to withhold,” reporters are constantly turning over rocks at the county courthouse, police station and any government agency that might contain THE public record which can be utilized in a story.
Allegations of “fake news” can easily be countered with public records.
But reporters certainly don’t have the market cornered on public records. They are public records. You paid for them with your tax dollars and they are yours. Does your daughter’s new boyfriend have a criminal record? How much did your new neighbor pay for that house? Has your doctor ever been disciplined? Did your old flame ever get married? All can be found in public records.
Tips on becoming a crackerjack public records researcher:
1.If you are uncertain whether a government record is public or not – don’t waste your time wondering about it. Just ask for it. It is the responsibility of the agency to tell you if the record is public or not.
2. Don’t ask questions. Government types are not required to answer your questions. They are required to provide public records. So frame your question as a public record request. Don’t ask: “How much is our mayor making this year?” Better: “Please provide a copy of the record that shows how much the mayor makes per year.”
3. The more exact the request, the better. Add as much detail as possible so the records custodian can find your record easily.
4. Be persistent and patient. Some governments are painfully slow.
5. Some records custodians will have your records to you before you finish drinking that cup of coffee. And to those records custodians please wish them a Happy Sunshine Week. And, if you give them flowers you will get your records even faster. (Yes, that is a proven technique.)
Good luck in your search!
Kenneth Kramer is a public records expert and private investigator. His website, PsychSearch.net has the world’s largest collection of records on psychiatrists.

Load-Date: March 14, 2018

End of Document

21st Century mental asylums
The Lebanon Daily News (Pennsylvania)
September 12, 2017 Tuesday
1 Edition

Copyright 2017 Gannett Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: OPINION; Pg. A7
Length: 495 words
Byline: By, Colin Taufer, for Lebanon Daily News
Body

The three largest mental institutions in America are the Los Angeles County Jail,
Rikers Island Correctional Institution in New York City and Cook County Jail in Chicago,
the latter being the largest in the United States. This fact may come as a surprise to
many.
But to the men and women who work on the front lines of law enforcement and mental
health care, this is the stark reality of the world they live in. They see first-hand the
cycle of human destruction psychiatrists have created: Psychiatrists cast the mentally ill
out onto the streets uncured. These former patients return to society with their senses
numbed, their moral compasses shattered, and each one hooked on addictive and
powerful mind-altering drugs. In this brain-addled state they run afoul of the law and
find themselves in jail where psych drugs flow in (paid for by tax dollars) and profits to
Big Pharma flow out.
Prisoners become captive psych drug consumers. In confinement and without effective
care, their mental illnesses are further exacerbated while doses increase and Big
Pharma’s profits rise.
And all the while sheriffs, prison wardens and compassionate advocates are left trying
to make the best out of the rotten hand they’ve been dealt by the psychiatrist.
Recently I reached out to specialists in these fields and asked them for their opinions
and experiences on the incarceration of the mentally ill and the troubling consequences
this has for society. The feedback I received was voluminous and overwhelmingly dire.
All respondents, from sheriffs to corrections officers to mental health care defenders,
painted the same picture of a flawed system destroying lives on a massive scale with a
combination of dehumanizing confinement and debilitating psychiatric drugging.
Psychiatric drugs are the most common “treatment” for prisoners and jail inmates.
Facilities across the country spend millions every year on psychotropic drugs to
medicate (and tranquilize and numb) inmates. Just one example is Bexar County (San
Antonio) where the sheriff laments they spend $2.2 million annually on psychotropic
drugs to treat people with mental illnesses in their jail, nearly 60 percent whom have
been arrested five times or more.
Peter Kehoe, Executive Director of the New York State Sheriff’s Association told me:
“Obviously, closing the mental institutions did not result in a miraculous cure of
the mentally ill. The mentally ill are still mentally ill, and for the most part have
been dumped out into a setting where they are unable to cope. That leads to
trouble with the law, and what are the police to do with them? The mentally ill
end up in our jails and prisons, which do not have the ability to serve their mental
health needs.”
That’s proof that psychiatrists have no cure.
When confronted with their lousy handiwork psychiatrists always whine that making it
all better requires “more funding.”
-Taufer is a career educator, writer and lifelong advocate for human rights. He can
be reached at Colin@PsychSearch.net

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End of Document

21st century mental asylums
The Jackson Sun (Jackson, Tennessee)
September 10, 2017 Sunday
1 Edition

Copyright 2017 The Jackson Sun All Rights Reserved
Section: OPINION; Pg. A9
Length: 504 words
Body

The three largest mental institutions in America are the Los Angeles County Jail, Rikers Island Correctional Institution in New York City and Cook County Jail in Chicago – the latter being the largest in the United States. This fact may come as a surprise to many.
But to the men and women who work on the front lines of law enforcement and mental health care, this is the stark reality of the world they live in. They see first-hand the cycle of human destruction psychiatrists have created: Psychiatrists cast the mentally ill out onto the streets uncured. These former patients return to society with their senses numbed, their moral compasses shattered, and each one hooked on addictive and powerful mind-altering drugs. In this brain-addled state they run afoul of the law and find themselves in jail where psych drugs flow in (paid for by tax dollars) and profits to Big Pharma flow out.
Prisoners become captive psych drug consumers. In confinement and without effective care, their mental illnesses are further exacerbated while doses increase and Big Pharma’s profits rise.
And all the while sheriffs, prison wardens and compassionate advocates are left trying to make the best out of the rotten hand they’ve been dealt by the psychiatrist.
Recently, I reached out to specialists in these fields and asked them for their opinions and experiences on the incarceration of the mentally ill and the troubling consequences this has for society. The feedback I received was voluminous and overwhelmingly dire.
All respondents, from sheriffs to corrections officers to mental health care defenders, painted the same picture of a flawed system destroying lives on a massive scale with a combination of dehumanizing confinement and debilitating psychiatric drugging.
Psychiatric drugs are the most common “treatment” for prisoners and jail inmates.
Facilities across the country spend millions every year on psychotropic drugs to medicate (and tranquilize and numb) inmates. Just one example is Bexar County (San Antonio) where the sheriff laments they spend $2.2 million annually on psychotropic drugs to treat people with mental illnesses in their jail – nearly 60 percent of whom have been arrested five times or more.
Peter Kehoe, executive director of the New York State Sheriff’s Association told me:
“Obviously, closing the mental institutions did not result in a miraculous cure of the mentally ill. The mentally ill are still mentally ill, and for the most part have been dumped out into a setting where they are unable to cope. That leads to trouble with the law, and what are the police to do with them? The mentally ill end up in our jails and prisons, which do not have the ability to serve their mental health needs.”
That’s proof that psychiatrists have no cure.
When confronted with their lousy handiwork psychiatrists always whine that making it all better requires “more funding.”
Colin Taufer is a career educator, writer and lifelong advocate for human rights. Reach him at: Colin@PsychSearch.net
Colin
Taufer
Columnist

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End of Document

‘It was just dropped, like it never happened:’ Child psychiatrist still practicing after psychotic episode
FOX – 6 WITI (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
September 12, 2018 Wednesday

Copyright 2018 Local TV LLC
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: INVESTIGATORS
Length: 1728 words
Byline: Bryan Polcyn
Body

MEQUON — A Wisconsin psychiatrist pleaded insanity, and the court agreed, so how is she still practicing?
Her doctors blame a rare medical condition for a “one-time” incident that frightened three young children.
In the spring of 2011, a mother took her three young children to a Naples, Florida beach, where a mentally unstable stranger mistook the children for her own.
“The woman was yelling ‘these are my kids. Jesus, these are my kids!'” said Ashli Minor, the mother of the three children.
Minor lives in Massachusetts and was on vacation in Naples when it happened. Collier County Sheriffs Office records describe her 8-year-old son as he ran “screaming” about a woman who witnesses say had “crazed” eyes. The stranger had grabbed the boy’s 9-year-old sister and 4-year-old brother as they played in the water, and refused to let go.
“[She] stuck him in between her legs and was squeezing him, yelling, ‘these are my children. You’re not allowed to touch them,'” Minor recalled.
Witnesses say the plainly delusional woman was standing in two feet of water, gripping the children so tightly she left scratches on their arms. Minor feared she might drown them, and for at least two harrowing minutes, she pleaded with the woman to let her children go.
“The kids were, oh gosh, terrified — crying, shaking, looking at us as a parent to help them, and we were helpless,” Minor said, fighting back tears.
Kimberly Frank was charged with three felony counts of interference with custody. A Florida court later found her not guilty by reason of insanity.
In most cases, an insanity finding in a criminal case means the defendant is committed in mental health facility, but in Frank’s case, the Florida court instead released her on the condition that her psychiatric health be monitored. Before long, Doctor Frank went back to work in Wisconsin… as a child psychiatrist.
“Why is she still allowed to practice?” Minor wondered.
“Not just a psychiatrist. She is a child psychiatrist!” said Ken Kramer, a licensed private investigator in Florida.
Kramer is also the founder of Psychsearch.net, an online clearinghouse of information about psychiatrists accused of misconduct.
“Sometimes you see a case where it’s just like, ‘holy crap! Look at this!'” said Kramer.
He admits his belief in Scientology drives his criticism of psychiatry. Even so, he says, this case stands out.
“We see an awful lot of psychiatrists in hot water, but we seldom see anyone that was declared insane in court, and we never see one that was declared insane in court that was also having an active license to practice,” Kramer said.
In July, he filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. That is the agency that licenses professionals in Wisconsin, including psychiatrists.
“Couple days ago, I got a response from Wisconsin that said, ‘oh no, we looked at this a couple years ago and we’re not doing anything about it,'” Kramer said.
Records obtained by the FOX6 Investigators show Dr. Frank had been acting strangely in the days leading up to the Florida incident. In March 2011, she called Mequon police to report a stalker outside her house. Police found only a city sewer crew. Around that same time, her ex-husband described an incident in which Frank drove her car into a ditch to get away from someone following her and her children. The kids later told their father no one had been following them. A short time later, she took time off of work and went to Florida.
“I was told she was down there at a retreat with her parents because she was having some psychotic issues and needed to regroup,” Minor said.
Dr. Frank’s own attorneys and psychiatrists say the day she went to the beach, she was in a “profound psychotic state” caused by a change in her thyroid medication.
“To me, it’s all a bunch of baloney,” Kramer said.
To Dr. Stephen Dinwiddie, it’s science.
“We’ve known for decades and decades that there’s a link between thyroid disease and different kinds of psychiatric problems,” Dinwiddie said.
However, Dinwiddie, who is director of forensic psychiatry at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, says thyroid-induced mental health conditions usually amount to little more than anxiety or depression.
“That severity of thyroid disease manifesting with a true break with reality is quite rare,” he said.
In 1949, British researchers gave the condition a name — Myxedema Madness.
“A case like that would certainly bear close watching into the indefinite future,” Dinwiddie said.
Just a year after the incident, the Florida court released Dr. Frank from her monitoring requirements. When the state of Wisconsin offered a 10-year monitoring agreement, she rejected it, so in the fall of 2013, the state filed a formal complaint accusing Dr. Frank of unprofessional conduct. Five months after that, when her symptoms still had not resurfaced, the state reversed course and closed the file.
Today, there is no mention of it on the state’s licensing website because the state does not publish cases that are dismissed.
“No one contacted me. No lawyers, nothing. It was just dropped, like it never happened,” Minor said.
Dr. Frank declined repeated requests for an interview, but in a 2013 letter to the medical board, she cited her “exemplary” record as a psychiatrist and “outstanding job performance” reviews as evidence that she poses no risk to the public.
Her lawyers say it was a “one-time” incident.
Her psychiatrist described her as “completely stable,” said she takes her medications “faithfully” and is “safely able to practice medicine.”
Another expert wrote that “the likelihood of recurrence is low,” though “no one can 100% predict the future.”
“At what point do professionals have a certain right to privacy?” Dinwiddie said.
If the state believes Dr. Frank poses no future danger, Dr. Dinwiddie says there’s little reason for the public to know about her past.
“That’s not fair to somebody who’s bringing their child to her,” Minor said.
Minor said she has a hard time imagining the woman who traumatized her children is treating someone else’s.
“I think it’s insane,” Minor said.
It has now been seven years since the Florida incident, and there is no indication Dr. Frank has suffered any symptoms of psychosis since then. Dr. Frank currently treats children at Rogers Behavioral Health in West Allis and at 16th Street Community Health Centers in Milwaukee. Representatives of both employers told FOX6 they were aware of the incident and have no concerns about her mental health. They called Dr. Frank an “outstanding practitioner” and said they wholeheartedly stand behind her.
You can read their complete statements here:
Rogers Behavioral Health: “Rogers Behavioral Health is committed to helping our patients overcome mental health issues and find recovery. Suggesting that someone is not able to rise above a psychiatric issue only serves to perpetuate the stigma of mental illness. In her more than five years with Rogers, Dr. Frank has been an outstanding practitioner with nothing but success in her treatment of patients. Rogers wholeheartedly stands behind Dr. Frank with full support and no concerns. Those who hired her were aware of the earlier issue and we are absolutely confident she is fully competent, just as the State of WI determined in granting full licensure and privileges.”
16th Street Community Health Center: “We are aware of the incident and to answer your questions, have no concerns regarding Dr. Kimberly Frank’s capacity or competency as a provider. Dr. Frank has been with Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers’ Behavioral Health Department for 5 years, caring for hundreds of patients with no complaints and maintaining a reputation of respect and excellence among her peers. Equal to all Sixteenth Street providers, Dr. Frank has been and continues to be subject to ongoing and regular peer review (which includes random chart review for clinical accuracy) patient satisfaction surveys and collaborative case reviews and holds in good standing all licenses and practicing privileges required by the State of Wisconsin. She is a valued member of the Sixteenth Street family, community and behavioral health team.”
Dr. Frank provided this statement through her attorney:
Kimberly Frank, MD: “Like millions of other Americans, I live a healthy and productive life with a thyroid disorder by proactively managing the condition with my doctor. Over seven years ago, an incident occurred when I experienced a one-time occurrence of a rare complication of my condition that could happen to anyone, while I was following the treatment recommendations of my doctor. A Florida Circuit Court Judge subsequently determined that I was not guilty of any wrongdoing, and the physician members of two separate state medical boards, including the State of Wisconsin Medical Board, each concluded that I have at all times met applicable professional license standards. I believe every person who experiences a traumatic incident deserves the opportunity to recover and continue on with his or her life’s pursuits, as I have done by continuing to serve my patients. At all times, I have had the full support of my family, my community, my professional colleagues, my employers, and the families I serve, for which I am eternally grateful.”
The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services declined our request for an interview, but did send this statement:
Wisconsin DSPS: “The Department of Safety and professional Services takes seriously our mission of protecting the public. The Department and the Medical Examining Board thoroughly and completely pursued this case. In light of testimony from the department’s expert, pursuing the matter further would have been inappropriate, as the evidence did not support the conclusion that Dr. Frank was unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety.”
Dr. Frank’s thyroid-induced psychosis does raise the question of how many others who suffer from thyroid disease may be at risk. Dr. Dinwiddie says while there is always a risk, it is “very, very, very low.” Genuine psychosis caused by an over- or under-active thyroid, he says, is extremely rare, especially if the thyroid condition is properly treated. If you or someone you know has thyroid disease, he recommends consulting with your doctor.
43.215923 -88.031417

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End of Document

Play to be performed at OWU; News & Views
The Sunbury News (OH)
March 15, 2019
Final Edition

Copyright 2019 AIM Media Midwest Operating, LLC
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: OPINION
Length: 3428 words
Byline: Staff & Wire Reports
Body

TEATRO INVERSO
Spanish Theater Company to Perform ‘Rosaura’ March 24 at Ohio Wesleyan
DELAWARE, Ohio – The Spanish theatre company Teatro Inverso (Inverse Theatre) will present “Rosaura,” a contemporary adaptation of the 17th century Spanish comedy “Life is a Dream” March 24 at Ohio Wesleyan University.
The company’s free performance will begin at 8 p.m. in the Studio Theatre of Ohio Wesleyan’s Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave., Delaware. The play will be performed in English by its creators, Paula Rodríguez and Sandra Arpa.
The performance seeks to promote and encourage Spanish culture through “a new and vibrant interpretation of the Spanish Golden Age Classic,” according to the international theatre company.
Drawing inspiration from Calderón de la Barca’s “Life is a Dream,” Rodríguez and Arpa retell the story from the perspective of Rosaura, one of the most important female characters of this period.
The drama of “Rosaura” combines aspects of the original story and Teatro Inverso’s own adaptation. Rodriguez and Arpa incorporate “storytelling” to capture the larger message of Calderón’s work.
The event is hosted by Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Modern Foreign Languages and made possible by an OWU Theory-to-Practice Grant. For more information, contact faculty member Glenda Nieto-Cuebas, Ph.D., at gynietoc@owu.edu
To learn more about the production, visit www.teatroinverso.org. To learn more about OWU ’s Department of Modern Foreign Languages, visit www.owu.edu/mfl.
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 25 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.
KNOX COUNTY
SR 13 Culvert Replacement at Cassell Road Next Week
Beginning Monday, March 25, ODOT crews will be replacing a culvert on SR 13 at Cassell Road near Fredericktown.
Cassell Road will be closed to traffic while work is being completed
SR 13 will remain open to traffic
Estimated completion: Tuesday, March 26, weather permitting
Detour: SR 13 to Sandusky Street to S. Main Street and reverse
PROJECT UPDATE: Work Resumes Monday on I-70 Reconstruction in Madison County
I-70 between US 42 & Franklin Co. Line
Starting Monday, March 18 at 9 AM, I-70 will be reduced to two lanes in each direction around the clock so crews can install temporary pavement and build median crossovers.
Once the crossovers are complete, the plan is for I-70 EB traffic to cross thru the median onto the WB side. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction, but starting mid-April, both directions of I-70 will be on the WB side of the road. This traffic pattern is expected to be in place until November, while crews work to rebuild the EB lanes of I-70.
Since lanes are reduced, drivers should expect some delays in the seven-mile work zone, especially during peak travel times.
Next year, traffic will use the EB lanes while crews reconstruct the WB side. The $50 million project is expected to be complete in October 2020, weather permitting.
All work is weather dependent; it may be postponed or cancelled without prior notice.
Palatines meeting in April
More Ohioans are of German descent than any other ancestry. That includes Columbus, where a U.S. Census Bureau survey released in December 2016 showed that nearly 20% have German ancestors. The annual spring seminar of the Ohio Chapter Palatines to America will be a good place to learn more about researching your own German heritage.
Saturday, April 13, 2019 – Plain City, Ohio
Ohio Chapter Palatines to America Spring Seminar
THE LAND THEY LIVED ON!
Der Dutchman Restaurant, 445 Jefferson Avenue, U.S. Route 42, Plain City, Ohio
Saturday, April 13, 2019, 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Featured Speaker: Warren Bittner, CG, Well-known genealogical researcher and lecturer.
Topics: How German History Affects Research
Germany and its Legal Records;
Bads, Bergs, Burgs, and Bachs;
Meyer’s Gazetteer: Gateway to Germany.
Registration: $55, members $45; Deadline March 27, 2019 – after March 27: $65, members $55; No refunds after April 6, 2019.
Fees include syllabus, seminar sessions, vendor showcase, Der Dutchman pastries, coffee and juice for breakfast
and full Buffet lunch including Broasted Chicken and Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Noodles, Stuffing, Vegetables, Salad, Rolls, and Dessert
Register today! Use Pay Pal online at the website: https://oh-palam.org/registernow.php
Or: make check payable to Ohio Chapter – Palam and mail to: Joe Stamm, 3930 Lander Road, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022-1329, questions? Great Lakes restoration nearly cut in President Donald Trump’s budget
Ohio lawmakers are fuming over President Trump’s plan to gut federal funding for cleaning up toxic pollution and combating invasive species in the Great Lakes.
As he’s done twice before, the President practically dropped the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from his budget proposal unveiled Monday. Lawmakers from both parties panned the move, which slashes funding by 90 percent from $300 million to $30 million.
“At a time when our government should be investing in job creating policies that improve America’s infrastructure, natural resources, and clean energy future, the Trump Administration is once again heading in the wrong direction,” said Toledo Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a Democrat whose district snakes along Lake Erie from Toledo to Cleveland.
Miss Kaptur described Mr. Trump’s plan to reduce funding for the Great Lakes as “reckless” and said it jeopardizes the world’s largest freshwater system. The initiative has helped fight algal blooms and Asian carp, two major threats to Lake Erie.
Democrats, including Miss Kaptur, blasted the entirety of Mr. Trump’s 2020 spending wish list, which includes an additional $8.6 billion for a wall at the Mexican border and deep cuts to safety-net programs proposals that stand little chance in a Democrat-controlled U.S. House.
“For the past few years, no matter whether it was a Republican or Democratic-led administration, there have been attempts to cut or eliminate funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. And every year, we have successfully defeated those efforts and ensured that this critical program receives full funding,” said Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio.
“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been a successful public-private partnership that helps protect both our environment and our economy. It has been a critical tool in our efforts to help protect and restore Lake Erie.”
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) said, “Instead of investing in Ohio communities so they can grow and create jobs, President Trump is asking Ohioans to pay for permanent tax cuts for millionaires by slashing the programs that hardworking families rely on.”
Congress has repeatedly fended off efforts to dry up the Great Lakes initiative, a program that started in 2010 under President Barack Obama and has received bipartisan support from Midwestern lawmakers.
Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Obama came under fire for trying to cut Great Lakes funding, which has remained at $300 million annually. In his last budget, Mr. Obama sought to eliminate $50 million from the initiative; in his 2012 plan, he proposed cutting $125 million.
The Great Lakes aren’t the only environmental target in the President’s budget. His proposal also reduces by 90 percent a similar program for Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay and eliminates all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency clean-up funding for bodies of water including the Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound, and San Francisco Bay.
In a statement to The Blade, a Trump Administration official said protection efforts at places such as Lake Erie are best left to local groups.
“The budget retains funding for the continuation of long-term federal monitoring efforts in the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay watersheds, including monitoring for algal blooms and invasive species, while eliminating funding for local ecosystem protection activities,” the official said.
“These programs perform local ecosystem protection and restoration activities, which are best handled by local and state entities. State and local groups are engaged and capable of taking on management of clean-up and restoration of these water bodies.”
U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) said the President’s request marks the beginning of the budget process, and he expects that Great Lakes funding will remain intact.
“Cuts to GLRI will harm efforts to restore habitats, prevent invasive species, and clean up areas of concern for Lake Erie. This program has been targeted for cuts before, including under President Obama, and I have consistently worked with a bipartisan group of my colleagues to ensure full funding is maintained,” he said.
(Great Lakes restoration nearly cut in President Donald Trump’s budget. Toledo Blade. March 11, 2019.)
Senate votes to terminate Trump’s national emergency
Congress handed President Donald Trump a pair of stinging defeats Thursday, with Sen. Rob Portman joining a majority of senators to reject the president’s emergency declaration to pay for a wall on the Mexican border and the House urging public release of the final report expected to be filed this spring by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Portman, R-Ohio, joined 11 fellow Republicans on a measure to kill Trump’s plan to declare a national emergency so he can find the money to build a wall on the U.S.–Mexico border. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D–Ohio, also voted to reject the emergency.
Portman’s vote which he had not announced before Thursday afternoon came hours after the House voted 420–0 on a non–binding resolution calling on U.S. Attorney General William Barr to make public Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion during the 2016 campaign between Russian intelligence officials and members of Trump’s campaign.
The Senate’s 59–41 vote on the emergency will likely provoke the first veto of Trump’s presidency. In fact, he tapped out a one word tweet after the Senate vote: “VETO!”
A few minutes later Trump added: “I look forward to VETOING the just passed Democrat inspired Resolution which would OPEN BORDERS while increasing Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking in our Country. I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!”
The House backed its version of the proposal in late February, with Ohio Democrats unanimously supporting the measure and Ohio Republicans in unanimous opposition.
But even though Trump’s veto likely will be sustained, the votes Thursday were the first major rebukes of the president by Republicans since he took office in January of 2017.
Alex Conant, a Republican consultant in Washington, said the Senate vote “is more concerning for the White House in part because it will force a veto. It also shows there are an increasing number of Republican senators who are seeking small ways to distance themselves from Trump.”
Portman said while a wall is necessary and the border crisis is a humanitarian crisis, he could not back what he called an “unprecedented” use of presidential power.
Instead, he suggested Trump use a different pot of money that would not require taking money from military construction projects, as the Trump emergency declaration would do.
“I believe that the president’s use of the national emergency declaration to access already approved military construction project funding in this case is wrong,” Portman said.
He added that Trump’s emergency declaration “opens the door for future presidents to implement just about any policy they want and take funding from other areas Congress has decided on without Congress’s approval.”
“Each one of us in this body has sworn an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” he said.
Portman had suggested alternative solutions to pay for the wall, such as using money designated to fight drugs or organized crime in addition to the $1.4 billion Congress approved for the wall earlier this year.
In mid–February, Trump announced he’d use $3.6 billion in military construction dollars in addition to other money appropriated by Congress last year to pay for the wall. Among the allocations potentially affected: $61 million to replace a World War II–era National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright–Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton.
Portman’s vote to terminate the emergency came hours after every House Republican and Democrat from Ohio called for release of the Mueller report in a nearly unanimous vote; four GOP lawmakers voted “present.”
Rep. Troy Balderson, R–Zanesville, called the Mueller resolution “a no-brainer: make the Mueller report public so Americans can get answers and move forward.”
Mueller, the former director of the FBI, has to file a report to U.S. Attorney General William Barr into whether there was collusion during the 2016 campaign between Russian intelligence officials and members of Trump’s campaign to damage the candidacy of Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, said he looks “forward to reviewing” Mueller’s report, adding “Congress and the public have the right to see the report; today’s overwhelmingly bipartisan vote reaffirms that, and moves us one step closer to putting these questions to rest.”
When Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., asked senators to bring the Mueller resolution to the Senate floor, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. objected.
Graham said he would withdraw his objection if Schumer permitted floor vote on a resolution urging a special counsel be named to investigate the FBI’s inquiry in 2016 into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.
(Senate votes to terminate Trump’s national emergency. Columbus Dispatch. March 14, 2019.)
Don’t Press your Luck this St. Patrick’s Day
Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving
Columbus – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is urging those who are planning on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day to designate a sober driver. The Patrol and local law enforcement will work together to remove impaired drivers from the roadways as part of the National Highway Safety Administration’s Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving campaign.
The consumption of alcohol is a common occurrence on St. Patrick’s Day. The popularity of the holiday has also made it a dangerous time to travel on Ohio’s roadways. In 2018, there was one person killed and an additional 33 people injured on St. Patrick’s Day due to OVI-related crashes. In all of 2018, 394 people were killed and 7,799 were injured in OVI-related crashes. Also in 2018, the Patrol made 26,602 OVI arrests. Troopers have made almost 4,630 OVI arrests in the first two months of 2019.
“We want to encourage all motorists to make plans for a sober ride home before they start celebrating,” said Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent. “Planning ahead before you go out is not only the smart thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.”
The Ohio Investigative Unit and other safety partners work to educate the consequences of impaired driving to motorists and over-serving to permit holders. For bars and permit holders, over-serving or serving to underage customers could mean costly fines, suspension or revocation of their liquor permit.
As always, motorists are encouraged to dial #677 to report drug activity or impaired drivers.
OPINION: THE CIRCLEVILLE HERALD
VIEWPOINT Public records belong to you
Mar 12, 2019
Editor’s note: The press and those who believe in open government records are this week observing Sunshine Week. At the crux of Sunshine Week are the records generated by taxpayer dollars, your dollars, and available for your inspection. You have the right to examine and make copies of public records and anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed. This applies from the township trustees up to the president of the United States. Power checked is power restrained. Craig Lovelace, editor, Circleville Herald.
Public Records: documents made by a government agency which are required to be kept and maintained. In Ohio, they are formally called the Public Open Meeting and Open Records laws. Collectively, they are known as the Sunshine Laws.
Reporters love them. They form the backbone of many news stories, and can be enhanced when public records are thrown in. Political scandal, big names, big money, controversy, sex or violence. Hold on to your boat Those fish bite hard man.
Reporters can do a whole story on a public record. Example: A psychiatrist gets his license revoked by the state for having sex with a patient. Translate the legalese into everyday English, get a couple of comments from participants and it might be on the front page the next day.
“Unnamed sources”, “it was reported”, “some people say” – just can’t compare to the black and white of a mug shot, lawsuit or your mayor’s e-mails – each a public record.
Attorneys love them. They can be a primary source of evidence. Peruse any lawsuit and you will see attorneys demanding the other side produce documents. The code language of attorneys, Latin, even has a phrase for demanding documents. Subpoena duces tecum: “A command for a witness to appear in court and produce documents.” As soon as the documents are entered into the court file they become a public record.
Private investigators love them. They are an essential element of some investigative agencies. By checking public records alone, an investigator can find criminal histories, lawsuits, property, habits, whereabouts, affiliations, reputation, or character of his target.
Some legislators hate them – apparently. They dream up legislation to hide public records.
They’re constantly proposing iron walls to whittle away citizens’ rights to public records. This week you will see newspapers across the country pointing out law and bills that restrict access to public records.
But reporters, attorneys, private investigators do not have a monopoly on public records.
There’s a reason they are called “public records”.
They are yours. Paid for by your tax dollars. Court records, property records, the e-mails of your local mayor. The list goes on.
Just dream up the record you’d like to obtain. If you don’t know whether it exists just ask the city, county, state or federal agency for it.
If a government agency withholds a public record it is their responsibility to tell you why.
Good luck to you in your research.
Kenneth Kramer is a private investigator and public records expert. His website, PsychSearch.net, a research division of DataSearch, Inc., has the world’s largest collection of public records on psychiatrists.
Israeli Leadership Institute to Lead Urban Terror Recovery Workshop in Delaware County
WHAT: Training exercise for community stakeholders to learn how to prepare, respond, and recover from a terror event and other major incidents. The format includes instructional and table-top exercises for maximum learning.
WHEN:Thursday, March 21 from 9:00AM – 5:00PM
WHO:Leaders from public and private school districts, healthcare and hospitals, utilities, financial institutions, social service providers, higher education, transportation, fuel suppliers, top 5 large employers, numerous government agencies (police, fire, 9-1-1, etc.) from townships, cities, Delaware County, ODOT, and the National Guard. Currently, 60 professionals from 35 entities will be participating.
WHERE: 7991 Columbus Pike, in Lewis Center, Ohio, 43035. This is the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities building, which sits on the northeast corner of US23 & Orange Rd. Please park in rear of building.
WHY:Delaware County, under the direction of its Emergency Management Agency, conducts disaster trainings and exercises regularly throughout the year. Two unique aspects of this training is that it is led by experts in the field of urban terrorism with years of real-world experience and it focuses on sustainability and community resilience.
This training is sponsored by Delaware County Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Delaware County Criminal Justice Association, and the Fire Chiefs Association of Delaware County, and is led by the Israeli Leadership Institute.

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DSS Admits Public-Records Error with Release of Doctors Excluded from Medicaid
Newstex Blogs
Madville Times (South Dakota)
December 28, 2013 Saturday 4:38 PM EST

Copyright 2013 Newstex LLC All Rights Reserved
Length: 712 words
Body

Dec 28, 2013 (Madville Times:http://madvilletimes.com Delivered by Newstex)
Ken Kramer’s public-records tussle with the Department of Social Services shows South Dakota state government’s unhealthy addiction to secrecy.
The Florida man made a simple request[1] last summer: he wanted to know the name of every doctor South Dakota had kicked out of Medicaid since 2010. Kramer maintains a website to publish information about fraud and abuse in psychiatry[2]. The Medicaid information helps him identify psychiatrists who take advantage of their patients and the public.
Kramer had little trouble getting the Medicaid-exclusion records from other states. South Dakota was the only state[3] that told him that list of excluded doctors was secret. According to e-mails Mr. Kramer sent to various state officials, we gave him the runaround. DSS officials told him the exclusion of doctors from payment by a public program is not a public record. DSS told him to look for the excluded doctors on a federal database[4], but finding excluded doctors would require obtaining a list of every doctor in South Dakota and then entering each doctor’s name.
On November 1, over three months after their initial response, DSS Director of Legal Services Daniel J. Todd cited South Dakota public records statutes 1-27-1.5[5] and 1-27-4[6] to justify withholding these records. The latter refers to the format of open records, which seems not to over DSS any cover for refusing to provide the requested record in any format. The former provides the lengthy list of exceptions South Dakota makes to keep its secrets. The only faintly relevant exception appears to be paragraph 2, which protects medical records… but medical records tell the specific ailments and treatments of specific patients. Kramer wasn’t asking for medical records. He wasn’t even asking for payment records. He was asking for a list of doctors who could not receive payment from a public program.
After enlisting the help of Rep. Stace Nelson[7] (R-19/Fulton), Kramer got results. On December 19, Mr. Todd told Mr. Kramer that DSS had erred. DSS sent Kramer the names of four doctors[8] Jeffrey Buckau, Brian O’Connor, Joshua Payer and Edward Wegrzynowicz excluded from South Dakota Medicaid payments since 2007.
The public nature of the information Kramer wanted seems clear. Citizens covered by Medicaid have an interest in knowing whether the doctor they want to see can accept payment from Medicaid, just as folks with private insurance have an interest in knowing whether their doctors are in their insurer’s network. Citizens also have a reasonable interest in knowing whether a doctor has behaved so egregiously as to get kicked out of Medicaid. The state had no problem publicizing the fact that it suspended Medicaid payments to Dr. Annette Bosworth[9] during the litigation over her overbilling of Medicaid, and her accounting errors appear to have done less harm than Buckau’s, O’Connor’s, Payer’s, and Wegrzynowicz’s misdeeds.
Why would the state withhold this information? The only explanation I can come up with is that too many officials’ default response is to withhold information, to think that telling the public what’s going on will harm someone rich or powerful who shouldn’t be bothered, and to view citizens seeking information as troublemakers. Unfortunately, that means folks like Ken Kramer and Rep. Stace Nelson really do have to make some trouble to shake loose information that belongs to the public.
[1]: http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/content/florida-man-pries-records-away-sd-officials [2]: http://www.psychsearch.net/ [3]: http://www.psychsearch.net/psychsearch-kicking-ass-and-taking-names/ [4]: http://exclusions.oig.hhs.gov/ [5]: http://legis.sd.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/DisplayStatute.aspx?Type=StatuteStatute=1-27-1.5 [6]: http://legis.sd.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/DisplayStatute.aspx?Type=StatuteStatute=1-27-4 [7]: http://www.psychsearch.net/the-gloves-are-off-call-in-the-marines/ [8]: http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/content/florida-man-pries-records-away-sd-officials [9]: http://atg.sd.gov/News/NewsReleases/NewsReleasesView/tabid/441/itemID/3070/moduleID/719/view/597/Default.aspx

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New York Man, Houston Doctor Charged in Sex Trafficking Case
News India – Times
August 15, 2014

Copyright 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning
All Rights Reserved
Ethnic NewsWatch
Copyright 2014 News – India Times
Section: COMMUNITY NEWS; Pg. 10; Vol. 45; No. 33
Length: 552 words
Byline: Dutt, Ela
Body

ABSTRACT
In an indictment filed on July 9 and unsealed recently, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, accused Rashmikant Patel, Mehmood Hassanali Dhanani, Sabja Khimani and Riyaz Mazcuri of committing human trafficking offenses and visa fraud. Mazcuri, whose first name is also spelt “Riaz” in news reports, is a psychiatrist from East Texas and was also known as “The Doctor.” News reports describe him as a psychiatrist from Texas who was arrested on July 24, and released on a $300,000 bond according to the web- site psychsearch.net. He was scheduled to appear before the New York court on Aug. 1. The name Sabja Khimani shows up on Mylife.com in Richmond Hill, N.Y. but no other information about him was available.
FULL TEXT
Four individuals, at least one of them of Indian ori- gin and another of Pakistani origin, described as a “criminal group” operating in New York City, have been indicted by a grand jury for bringing dancers from India on false pretenses and forcing them to dance at nightclubs and engage in prostitution.
In an indictment filed on July 9 and unsealed recently, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, accused Rashmikant Patel, Mehmood Hassanali Dhanani, Sabja Khimani and Riyaz Mazcuri of committing human trafficking offenses and visa fraud. Mazcuri, whose first name is also spelt “Riaz” in news reports, is a psychiatrist from East Texas and was also known as “The Doctor.” News reports describe him as a psychiatrist from Texas who was arrested on July 24, and released on a $300,000 bond according to the web- site psychsearch.net. He was scheduled to appear before the New York court on Aug. 1. The name Sabja Khimani shows up on Mylife.com in Richmond Hill, N.Y. but no other information about him was available.
More people are expected to be charged, U.K.’s Daily Mail reported.
The grand jury indictment which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York charged the group with four counts of – forced labor con- spiracy, visa fraud con- spiracy, visa fraud, and foreign labor contract- ing fraud conspiracy.
According to the indictment the group hired Indian dancers telling them they would be performing at cul- tural events in the U.S. Instead, when they arrived on American soil, the “criminal group” took away their passports, and con- fined them in houses and hotel room against their will. The accused then allegedly forced the dancers to dance for 12 to 14 hours per night seven nights a week, in front of crowds of men. Some of them were pressured into prostitution, under threats of physical harm, the indictment alleges. The group also made false statements on visa applica- tions to get permission for the dancers to come to this country says the indictment. The crimes were allegedly committed between 2008 and 2010, it says.
The indictment singles out Patel for submitting false state- ments to the U.S. State Department in support of a visa application for one of the dancers.
According to the FBI, human sex trafficking is the most com- mon form of modern-day slav- ery. Estimates place the number of its domestic and international victims in the millions, mostly females and children enslaved in the commercial sex industry for little or no money, an FBI report says.

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Photographs

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‘TeenScreening’ for High School Suicides Overwhelmingly Rejected by Florida School Board;
Experts Fear Program Is Just Another Way to Boost Sales of Anti-Depressant Drugs
Market Wire
January 31, 2005 Monday

Copyright 2005 Market Wire, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
Length: 432 words
Dateline: Jan. 31, 2005; LARGO, FL; MARKET WIRE
Body

In a move to protect its students from issues of privacy and wrongful labeling, Pinellas County’s School Board voted 6-1 yesterday to bar pilot projects like TeenScreen’s suicide questionnaire program.
Like many other counties, Pinellas has had a county-wide policy which prevents outside agencies from gaining information like students’ names and addresses. This has kept outside mental health groups from being able to implement programs they claim will identify information on students.
In addition to privacy concerns, many experts question the efficacy of programs like TeenScreen. For example, TeenScreen was implemented in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1997. According to a 2003 Tulsa World newspaper article, Mike Brose, executive director of the Mental Health Association in Tulsa, stated, “To the best of my knowledge, this is the highest number of youth suicides we’ve ever had during the school year — a number we find very frightening.”
“What happens to all the normal and healthy children that are being wrongly labeled?” says Ken Kramer, an investigator for Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a non-profit, mental health watchdog agency established in 1969 by the Church of Scientology. “It’s tough to imagine the ramifications for a child going to school and then being told that he is suicidal or depressed, when he is not.”
Kramer organized a website to distribute information about TeenScreen and county school policies (http://www.psychsearch.net/teenscreen.html).
Opponents also contend that the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry has most to gain from TeenScreen, not the children. While a link has not been proven, even Columbia University, where TeenScreen was developed, seems to shy away from the point. Columbia recently revised a press release on their website to remove a statement concerning their donation of $19 million to TeenScreen. According to information provided by PsychSearch.net, David Shaffer, the originator of the program, is a long-time apologist and paid consultant to more than one pharmaceutical company, including two makers of anti-depressant drugs.
“It’s just a way to put more people on prescription drugs,” said Marcia Angell, a medical ethics lecturer at Harvard Medical School and author of “The Truth About Drug Companies.” She said such programs would boost the sale of anti-depressants even after the FDA in September ordered a “black box” label warning that the pills might even be the cause of such suicidal thoughts or actions in minors.
For more information contact:
Hans Eisenman
Phone: 727-452-5241

SOURCE: BNI Communications

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Celebrating Sunshine Week
Great Falls Tribune (Montana)
March 20, 2015 Friday
1 Edition

Copyright 2015 Great Falls Tribune All Rights Reserved
Section: A; Pg. 6
Length: 677 words
Byline: By, Ecke, Rich
Body

The annual nationwide Sunshine Week is celebrated this week from March 15 to 21.
U.S. newspapers publish stories about public records and the difficulty in obtaining some of them. “Public records” are generally defined as records regardless of their physical form made or received in connection with the transaction of official business by any government agency.
This week, newspapers judge government agencies on their compliance with public records laws. They often publish their findings from experiments they have done, such as submitting the identical request for records to various agencies and evaluating the response from each.
Public records have an impact on a reporter’s paycheck because they form the backbone of many stories that newspapers sell. If you peruse any newspaper article, at least part of the article will probably be from a public record. Therefore, public records are very important to reporters. That’s the reason reporters cozy up to the PIOs (public information officers) at government agencies.
Agencies give reporters preferential treatment, and their requests for records are made a priority. You can’t blame an agency for wanting to look good to taxpayers on the front page, so they snap to attention when a reporter calls! The power of the pen is undeniable.
Papers get uptight when legislators propose exemptions to public records laws as this limits access to information. So, many times, during legislative sessions, you will see this see-saw of legislators filing bills to limit access and papers hollering back to get the politicos to back off.
The federal law governing public records is called the The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but each state has their own laws, (Reference: http://www.foiadvocates.com/records.html) and there are quirks.
– In Rhode Island email correspondence of their elected officials is not public.
– The FBI won’t release records on a living person if they haven’t consented.
– Certain criminal records are provided in Georgia – but only with the consent of the criminal.
Reporters certainly don’t have the market cornered on public records. They are public records. They belong to you! The information contained in public records comes in many varieties, too many to mention briefly, but one example is discipline records from state licensing agencies on healthcare providers. You can use this to check on your doctor before you accept his prescription. Other types of public records include lawsuits, criminal cases, marriage and divorce records, property records and the emails of your local bureaucrats and so on.
In many states, emails are public record. So, before you press “send” on your request for records, ask yourself: “Do I mind if this shows up on the front page of the New York Times?” Most public agencies are polite and helpful and follow the law, and will give you your public records upon request. Some agencies have attorneys guarding the hen house who are reluctant to hand over records. Try finding online discipline records on a Mississippi psychiatrist! Luckily, this is rare, so just persist and you will eventually obtain the public records you seek.
If you are uncertain whether information is a public record, don’t worry about it, just ask for it. You may just get it. If not, it is the responsibility of the agency to inform you why your request was denied.
You may have to be patient. Usually you will get your records instantly, but the most extreme example I’ve run across is asking the Florida Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for criminal investigation records on a Florida psychiatrist – 71/2 years ago! Still waiting! I do reiterate the request occasionally, about every 6 months now. I am told the records are not public because there is an ongoing criminal investigation.
Good luck in your search for public records. Happy Sunshine Week!
Kenneth Kramer is an expert public records researcher and licensed private investigator who lives in Clearwater, Fla. His hobby is collecting documents on psychiatrists which are compiled at PsychSearch.net.
Kenneth Kramer
Guest Opinion

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Crusader Pressed State For List Of Possible Violations
The Tampa Tribune (Florida)
January 28, 2005 Friday
FINAL EDITION

Copyright 2005 Times Publishing Company All Rights Reserved
Section: NATION/WORLD; Pg. 10
Length: 335 words
Byline: LENNY SAVINO, , lsavino@tampatrib.com
Body

By LENNY SAVINO
lsavino@tampatrib.com
Save for the persistence of one person, Ken Kramer, of Clearwater, the Florida Department of Health might not be telling prosecutors about alleged sexual improprieties involving psychotherapists.
Kramer is chief researcher for the Citizens Committee on Human Rights, an organization founded by the Clearwater-based Church of Scientology in 1969. Kramer says the church no longer finances it.
Scientology opposes many of the holdings of modern psychiatry and psychology.
The committee’s primary mission is to monitor misconduct by psychotherapists, Kramer says. It maintains a Web site — www.Psychsearch.net/ publicrecords.html publicrecords.html– with a list of more than 1,100 therapists who have been the subject of disciplinary proceedings in Florida.
Kramer, 48, works without pay at the committee’s one-story storefront office in downtown Clearwater. The organization has two paid staff members, about 200 volunteers and 500 members statewide, he says.
Kramer began wondering last year whether the health department was complying with a 1992 state law requiring it to notify local prosecutors of cases involving alleged sexual contact between therapists and patients and sent the department a public records request on the subject in July.
“They couldn’t find anything” at first, Kramer says. He kept at it.
Finally, the department sent him evidence of about 100 cases that should have been referred but hadn’t been, Kramer says. He thinks there are more.
“The Department of Health is up to their eyeballs in crimes committed by psychotherapists,” Kramer says.
He has found evidence in one document suggesting department officials “are fearful that if they report all crimes they would overwhelm state attorney offices” across Florida, he says.
Department spokeswoman Lindsay Hodges says the agency is “grateful to Mr. Kramer for bringing this matter to our attention.”
Copyright © 2005, The Tampa Tribune and may not be republished without permission. E-mail library@tampatrib.com

Graphic

PHOTO
Ken Kramer, of the Citizens Committee on Human Rights, says there likely are more violations than the state has revealed.

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Florida man pries records away from SD officials
The Daily Republic (Mitchell, South Dakota)
December 26, 2013 Thursday

Copyright 2013 The Daily Republic
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News
Section: STATE AND REGIONAL NEWS
Length: 805 words
Byline: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic, Mitchell, S.D.
Body

Dec. 26–It took nearly five months, but a Florida man has been allowed to view records about doctors excluded from Medicaid in South Dakota.
In July, Ken Kramer, of Clearwater, Fla., asked the South Dakota Department of Social Services for the names of every doctor terminated or excluded from Medicaid, a federal-state health care program for the poor, since 2010.
Individuals or companies may be excluded from federal medical programs for various reasons, including health care fraud, overcharging patients, charging for unnecessary services, failure to pay student loans, felony convictions, or failing to take corrective measures ordered by a federal agency.
Kramer documents abuses of the psychiatric profession on his website, PsychSearch.net, which includes a compilation of public records about ethical misbehavior, over-prescription of medications, sexual misconduct and Medicaid fraud.
As a result of his research, Kramer said he has become familiar with the rigmarole that can arise when dealing with government agencies.
“You get into a rhythm of knowing what’s right and what’s screwy,” he said.
South Dakota, Kramer said, is the only state in the country that attempted to withhold the records. Other states have either provided documents listing the requested doctors’ names or Internet links where the names of those excluded from Medicaid can be found.
“I think it’s mysterious,” Kramer said. “It’s strange why records are withheld like that when the entire country is pretty much open.”
Following Kramer’s initial request, Assistant Attorney General Daniel Todd, director of the South Dakota Department of Social Service’s Division of Legal Services, told Kramer “the information you request is not a public record in the state of South Dakota,” in a July 25 reply.
In an answer to Kramer’s request for an explanation of why the records were being withheld, Todd cited state codified law 1-27-1.5, which has 27 subparagraphs listing exemptions from the state’s open-records laws.
Kramer, who wanted to know specifically what part of the law excluded the information from public access, appealed in October to the South Dakota Office of Hearing Examiners — the office designated to handle disputes over government records.
In a Dec. 5 letter, Chief Hearing Examiner Hillary Brady notified the state Department of Social Services of Kramer’s appeal. Two weeks later, in a Dec. 19 letter addressed to Kramer, Todd released the information requested.
“The department carefully relooked at your request and will provide the requested information,” Todd wrote in the letter.
The record is a list of four doctors terminated from Medicaid in South Dakota since July 2007 — Jeffrey Buckau, Brian O’Connor, Joshua Payer and Edward Wegrzynowicz. The list does not say where the doctors are from or why they were excluded from Medicaid, but The Daily Republic gleaned further information about each one from other sources.
Payer surrendered his medical license in August 2010 for “alleged unprofessional conduct and violations of the South Dakota Medical Practices Act,” according to records from the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners’ website.
Payer pleaded guilty in March 2011 to aiding and abetting the distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, according to court documents. He was sentenced to 22 months in prison.
O’Connor accepted a suspension of his medical license in March 2008 after he “engaged in the use of alcohol and/or controlled substances in a manner that would affect his medical practice,” according to the board of examiners’ records. In September 2009, the board reinstated O’Connor’s license, with certain restrictions in place to monitor him and keep him from using drugs or alcohol.
Buckau gave up his medical license in March 2008 after he was caught over-prescribing addictive drugs to patients, according to the board’s records.
No records appear from the state medical board on Wegrzynowicz.
State Rep. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton, helped Kramer pursue the information. Nelson, who is a candidate for U.S. Senate, also requested the records in question and, according to an email sent Friday addressed to state Attorney General Marty Jackley, was denied and was also told the records did not exist.
In that same email, Nelson requests an official explanation of the situation from Jackley.
Kramer believes public officials who wrongly deny requests for public records should face some type of penalty, though he said he doesn’t believe any such penalties exist in South Dakota law.
“There should be a criminal penalty in the statute that has some kind of deterrent to this type of non-compliance,” he said.
___ (c)2013 The Daily Republic (Mitchell, S.D.) Visit The Daily Republic (Mitchell, S.D.) at www.mitchellrepublic.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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What’s Angerer doing about Medicaid waste?
The Monroe Evening News (Michigan)
November 3, 2008 Monday

Copyright 2008 The Monroe Evening News
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Section: COMMENT; Pg. 5A
Length: 505 words
Body

A year ago Michigan politicians, including Rep. Kathy Angerer, raised state income tax from 3.9 percent to 4.35 percent to pay for state police, roads, schools and essential services.
Since then, recession forced GM, Ford, Chrysler and dozens of suppliers to lay people off on state unemployment. Continuing high unemployment, falling property values, declining wages and a failing economy are bankrupting Michigan. Can we afford another tax increase to keep Michigan running?
Amid financial chaos, Michiganders are cutting back. We drive less, buy cheaper meat or go out less. When you can’t increase your paycheck, you either cut back spending or risk bankruptcy. The same applies to Michigan, and our politicians should scramble to reduce wasteful state spending when it’s pointed out.
Yet for two years I have urged Rep. Kathy Angerer to question the millions of state Medicaid dollars being siphoned off by drug companies to reimburse expensive, unnecessary prescriptions for anti-psychotic drugs to kids 18 and under. These drugs are Abilify, Geodon, Risperdal, Seroquel and Zyprexa and are some of the newest, most expensive and profitable drugs.
They are the subject of many state, federal and class-action suits because they have damaging side-effects like diabetes and death and are being unethically prescribed to children and the elderly to treat ADHD and dementia. Geodon, Seroquel and Zyprexa have no FDA approval to be prescribed to kids for anything. Abilify and Risperdal have limited FDA approval to treat bipolar disorder in kids. These lawsuits are laid out at http://www.psychsearch.net/lawsuits.html.
In 2000, Michigan Medicaid spent $1,891,569.31 on these drugs. In 2007, $39,560,421.67 went for Medicaid prescriptions for kids 18 and under. That is a 21-fold increase in spending on drugs generally not approved for use in kids. This does not count spending for 2008 or spending on elderly Medicaid patients.
In spite of two years of urging and the federal and dozens of state governments now investigating this nationwide scandal, Rep. Angerer has yet to question state Medicaid officials or call for an investigation as to how it is legal to reimburse millions of dollars of Medicaid prescriptions for powerful, damaging psychiatric drugs that are not approved for kids.
The $162 million spent from 2000 through 2007 to experiment on kids would pay for a lot of teachers, police, roads and a lot more legitimate, FDA-approved Medicaid treatments. If you think so too, urge Rep. Angerer — (888) 345-2849 — to investigate this.
Ernest P. Ryan
Temperance
Editor’s note: Rep. Angerer said she appreciated the writer’s interest and suggestions. She said she has taken action, including writing letters to the Food and Drug Administration and to U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, but hasn’t received any answers from the FDA. She said she is trying to get information about “off-label” uses of drugs. She said one problem with getting FDA approval of drugs for children is that federal law prohibits research on minors.

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MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Tucson Citizen (Arizona)
March 20, 2007 Tuesday

Copyright 2007 Tucson Citizen All Rights Reserved
Length: 559 words
Body

These letters to the editor appear online only and not in the Tucson Citizen’s print edition.
*
Kudos to positive article, educators
Re: the Feb. 27 article by Mary Bustamante (“TUSD’s Tolson Elementary School puts emphasis on positive reinforcement with its students using notes of praise”):
I will make this very simple.
Thank you for running this story. It is so nice to see someone (the school officials) care about their students enough to help them in such a way.
And it wasn’t done with drugs.
This is how we all can help our children do better in life.
Jill Reichel
Clearwater, Fla.
*
More opposition to psychiatric drugs
I shouted “yes!” when reading your article by Mary Bustamante. I have spent more than 20 years privately educating more than 3,000 teachers, tutors and students, including my child.
I felt a new sense of hope for our children, particularly from Principal Figueroa’s “tough love” approach with uncooperative substitute teachers: Send them home! These are the kinds of educators we need in all of our schools!
Dr. Steven Sharfstein, president of the American Psychiatric Association, said it best when he admitted on national TV in June 2004, “There are no clear-cut tests for chemical imbalances,” and “In many, many cases, placebos (such as sugar pills) have worked just as well.”
We all need to be educated about the truth regarding psychiatric drugs and their history.
Hear and read it from noted psychiatrists at www.cchr.org. Further information about what is legally being done about psychiatric abuse can be found at www.psychsearch.net.
Laura Doreson
Woodstock, Ill.
*
Let Tolson method serve as a model
It is wonderful to hear how Tolson Elementary is educating and protecting the children! May many educators follow their example!
Carol Yingling
Cheshire, Conn.
*
Schools should adopt use of reinforcement
My heart was warmed by Mary Bustamante’s story about the elementary school that puts emphasis on positive reinforcement using notes of praise with its students.
More schools should follow its example. My commendations to your paper and to Mary for writing this story.
Elvira Morgan
Clearwater, Fla.
*
Sing praises far and wide
While the rest of the country spirals out of control with student discipline and study problems despite students being stuffed full of meds, Principal Maria Figueroa succeeds without drugs because she is a craftsman at her trade.
She should be commended, and the program should be rolled out to the rest of Tucson, the state and the country.
Steve Hechtman
Sacramento
*
Upbeat story made my day
Re: Mary Bustamante’s Feb. 27 article (“TUSD’s Tolson Elementary School puts emphasis on positive reinforcement with its students using notes of praise”):
Now that is news! Thanks. Made my day.
You get a praise slip for that one!
Bob Mithoff
Ojai, Calif.
*
Kids need education, not medication
Reading your article on the method used at the school in which only two students now are on medication for ADHD and 519 students are doing well without medication is like seeing a beautiful scene that is very heartwarming.
Students deserve an education, not medication, which is not needed when teachers use the methods teachers use at Tolson Elementary.
And education should be just that – teaching students what they should know to be able to work in our society with confidence in themselves. Tolson is doing it!
Mary Collins
Concord, N.H.

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Teen privacy concerns spur suit over psych test
The Indianapolis Star (Indiana)
September 18, 2005 Sunday Final Edition

Copyright 2005 The Indianapolis Star All Rights Reserved
Section: LOCAL — METRO & STATE; Pg. 1B
Length: 517 words
Byline: RUTH HOLLADAY
Body

Conscientious parents concerned that their children perform well on ISTEP starting Monday would be wise to pay attention to a less incisive and more insidious exam creeping into some Indiana high schools.
Called TeenScreen, this computerized Q&A is designed to diagnose mental illness and identify depression and suicidal tendencies in adolescents.
That ambitious agenda, plus a history of giving the test to some students without parental permission, has put TeenScreen in the hot seat. Friday, a lawsuit outlining these complaints was filed in federal court in the Northern District of Indiana in South Bend by a Northern Indiana couple and their 16-year-old daughter.
They charge that the Columbia University test violates parental and child rights at federal and Indiana levels and invades privacy.
“This is a big issue because TeenScreen is in a lot of states,” said John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties organization in Charlottesville, Va., representing the family.
“Basically a child goes to school one day thinking she is normal and comes home that night thinking she is not.”
That sums up the effect of TeenScreen on Chelsea Rhoades, daughter of Osceola residents Teresa and Michael Allen Rhoades, said Whitehead and John R. Price. Price, an Indianapolis attorney, is participating in the lawsuit.
According to her mom, Chelsea is well-adjusted and a high achiever at school in Mishawaka. But she “flunked” the TeenScreen test in December when it was administered to her class.
Instead of a grade, she got a diagnosis.
Here are some questionable questions from the 11-page test: Have you often felt very nervous or uncomfortable with a group of children or young people? Have you had an attack when all of a sudden you felt very afraid or strange? Have you often worried that things you touch are dirty or have germs?
A mental health worker visiting school told Chelsea she had two disorders: She was obsessive compulsive, and she suffered from social anxiety. If her conditions got worse, she was warned, her mother should take her to a mental health center.
Small comfort, perhaps, but the majority of her peers were also deemed mentally unstable, the lawsuit said.
This is insanity, said Ken Kramer, a former Hoosier now living in Clearwater, Fla., where TeenScreen was introduced a few years ago, then voted out by the School Board.
Kramer, a researcher, has become Public Enemy No. 1 for the program, busting it consistently on his Web site, www.psychsearch.net/teenscreen.html.
Still, TeenScreen has defenders in high places. Endorsed by President Bush, it has the backing of a strong advisory council, some with ties to the pharmaceutical industry, and the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill.
“It is another tool that can be used to help screen kids for depression,” said Deborah Washburn, president of the Indianapolis chapter of NAMI.
Perhaps. But the tool can become a weapon, according to Chelsea Rhoades and her parents.
Ruth Holladay’s column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. You can reach her at (317) 444-6405 or via e-mail at ruth.holladay@indystar.com

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ACTION LINE
The Miami Herald
February 28, 2004 Saturday FINAL EDITION

Copyright 2004 The Miami Herald All Rights Reserved

Section: METRO & STATE; Pg. 7B
Length: 747 words
Byline: Herald Staff
Body

FOR FALSE ALARMS,
CALL REPEATEDLY
* Q: I called a day or two ago to complain about a building under construction where the fire alarm goes off morning, noon and night. The building is at 225 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. I have called police, fire inspectors and everyone; I don’t know what else to do.
A. Kellibrew,
via telephone
* A: The Miami Beach Police Department says that according to its records, it has received only two fire alarm calls from that address. The second time, the alarm was being tested.
Nannette Rodriguez, spokeswoman for the city of Miami Beach, said that if the alarm goes off, you should call the police at 305-673-7776. (If the alarm continues, complain to your elected commissioners and be persistent. They have to face you, sooner or later, at the ballot box.)
ALERT
COMING UP: CODES
ON PRESCRIPTIONS
* As part of a wide-ranging effort to improve patient safety, the federal Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday finalized a rule requiring bar codes on the labels of thousands of human drugs and biological products. The measure aims to protect patients from preventable medication errors by helping to ensure that health professionals give patients the correct drugs at the appropriate dosages.
The bar codes – similar to those on food packages and other consumer goods – will be required on most prescription drugs and certain over-the-counter drugs. The rule also requires machine-readable information on container labels of blood and blood components intended for transfusion.
The FDA estimates that the rule will help prevent almost 500,000 adverse events and transfusion errors while saving $93 billion in health costs over 20 years.
ALERT
CHECK OUT EXPERTS
IN MENTAL HEALTH
* A new website, www.PsychSearch.net, has been launched to help journalists, law enforcement, insurance investigators and citizens gain ready access to governmental reports on mental health practitioners in the state of Florida.
The website contains disciplinary records from the state Department of Health on psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health counselors, marriage counselors and clinical social workers. These reports cover medical incompetence, misprescribing drugs, sexual misconduct, criminal convictions, ethical lapses and other offenses.
When this phase of report gathering is complete, the site will expand to include reports from various law enforcement agencies, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and Medicare/Medicaid.
ALERT
SPOTTING COUNTERFEIT
CONTRACEPTIVES
* The federal Food and Drug Administration has taken action against three foreign Internet sites associated with a site previously found to be selling counterfeit contraceptive patches that contain no active ingredients. These patches provide no protection against pregnancy.
The sites involved are www.usarxstore.com, www.european
rxpharmacy.com and www.generic.com. They also sold other drugs that purported to be the same as FDA-approved drugs, but are, in fact, from unknown sources and of unknown safety and efficacy.
The action followed similar steps taken earlier by the FDA against www.rx
pharmacy.ws, which sold counterfeit contraceptive patches as well as other products that purport to be versions of FDA-approved drugs.
Consumers seeking to buy safe and effective drugs online should only purchase from sites bearing the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites seal showing they are in accordance with the National Boards of Pharmacy standards. Photos contrasting the legitimate contraceptive patch with the counterfeit are on display at the FDA’s website: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/
topics/news/photos/
contraceptive/
counterfeit.html. Details of the differences between the counterfeit patch and the authentic Ortho Evra patch are available at http://www.fda.gov/bbs/
topics/NEWS/2004/
NEW01017.html.
REACTION
MIAMI HASN’T HAD
SNOW SINCE 1977
* If [you] included the recall of Ariens snow-throwers in your column to see how many curious people would comment, then I think that you should let us in on the result. If you included [it] because you didn’t have anything else to do, then I suggest you go back and bring to light some of the still unanswered questions you must surely have. I have several.
E. Tom Thurmond, Jr.,
Miami
Write Action Line,
The Miami Herald, 1 Herald
Plaza, Miami, FL 33132, or
call 305-376-3000.
In Broward, call 954-463-0404.
Or e-mail
actionline@herald.com
When sending us documents, send copies only. We can’t be responsible for the return of the originals.

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Poll tries to gauge mental health; Schools, critics argue value of TeenScreen in preventing suicide
The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)
January 30, 2006 Monday
Home Final Edition

Copyright 2006 The Columbus Dispatch All Rights Reserved

Section: NEWS; Pg. 01A
Length: 923 words
Byline: Jennifer Smith Richards, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Body

Teens: Have you ever felt nervous around a group of other young people, say, in the cafeteria? How about in front of people?
Have you thought about killing yourself recently?
Hundreds of Ohio teens answer questions such as these at their high schools with a click of a mouse. A computerized survey called TeenScreen prompts New Albany and Pickerington high-school students to divulge anxiety, suicidal thoughts, drug use, obsession with hand-washing and more. It’s coming to Beechcroft and East high schools in Columbus, too, and is in at least 60 other schools statewide.
The point, educators and mental-health professionals say, is to identify troubled teens and get them help. Critics, mostly small but vocal groups scattered across the country, say the program doesn’t belong in schools.
Schools say the survey takes about 10 minutes and can prevent teen suicide. The program was developed by Columbia University and is reputable and well-researched, TeenScreen proponents say.
“It kind of gives us a feel for kids who aren’t on anyone’s radar screen. They’re doing OK, their grades are OK, but they are having some issues,” said Susan Guy, a New Albany school nurse who oversees TeenScreen there. “A lot of times, the parents are unaware as well. These kids might be suffering silently and no one knows.”
Opponents say the program too often misdiagnoses illness, scares students and funnels them into a mental-health system that prescribes psychotropic drugs to youths too frequently.
“There’s no study that shows (TeenScreen has) ever reduced any suicide,” said Ken Kramer, a TeenScreen critic from Florida. “There’s no evidence that screening for suicide reduces suicide.”
Suicide among young people is relatively uncommon in Ohio and the nation. Between 2000 and 2002, 42 people ages 15 to 24 committed suicide in Franklin County, according to the most recent figures available from the Ohio Department of Health. Vehicle accidents remain the leading causes of death.
“Youth suicide is a really serious problem. There are more young people that die from suicides than many other causes of illness put together, after accidents and homicides,” said Michael Hogan, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health.
“(They) represent a whole lifetime that is not lived. It’s a terrible loss of life.”
The department would like to see TeenScreen used more widely. So would Children’s Hospital.
All participating Ohio schools send home a form parents must sign if they’d like their children to be tested. School nurses, often with the help of mental-health clinicians, have students take the computerized survey.
Students can refuse to answer any question. All students speak to a professional after the screening.
Those who answer “yes” to some of the questions about mental health are interviewed further by a clinician. At New Albany, for example, a Children’s Hospital clinician talks to students. She and hospital social worker Heather Feehan can call the student’s parent and suggest the student seek treatment.
Students often are very open about their concerns, Feehan said. They’re glad someone is listening — even if it’s the voice on the computer survey.
Everything is confidential between the parent, student and school nurse or clinician.
More than half of New Albany parents have agreed to the screening, the school and hospital say.
Beechcroft will seek parents’ permission early next month. The school will start screening this spring.
“For students at this age, communication and articulation skills can be somewhat prohibitive. This is an instrument that gives them a way to help describe what is happening to them,” Beechcroft Principal Thomas Reed said.
Some New Albany High School parents opted to keep their students out of the program, but administrators would not say how many and they did not ask the parents why.
There hasn’t been any public outcry against the program in central Ohio.
“The reason for that is they don’t know what it is,” Kramer said. “They’re not informed. They think it’s good because ‘They’re looking out for our kids.’ It’s a big scare tactic.”
National critics also worry about “passive consent,” which is when schools send home notices that they’re going to start mental-health screenings, but require parents to respond only if they don’t want their children to participate.
Schools here use “active consent,” where parents must sign if they want their children to participate.
Web sites such as teenscreentruth.com and Kramer’s site, psychsearch.net, point out that the mental-health department’s Hogan served on boards and commissions such as President Bush’s New Freedom Initiative, which recommended TeenScreen as a way to help prevent teen suicides. They also note that Ohio has twice as many schools using TeenScreen as any other state.
“A lot of the critics of (screening) approaches cite mostly exaggerated links between different mental-health experts, including myself, and the drug companies,” Hogan said. “It is the most outrageous and preposterous proposition I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Bev Carter, Beechcroft’s school nurse, said the program is not meant to diagnose illness. The goal is to connect teens who need help to the right people. It’s up to the mental-health professional to decide what treatment, if any, is best, Carter said.
“I would refer a student I believe has asthma or strep throat to a medical doctor, and I would much rather refer them, even if I’m wrong,” she said.
“This is a family decision,” Reed said, “and the school needs to play a support role.”
jsmithrichards@dispatch.com

Graphic

Graphic, Graphic

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The ‘Gay Cure’ Experiments That Were Written Out Of Scientific History
Medical Daily
July 7, 2016 Thursday 3:05 PM EST

Copyright 2016 Newstex LLC All Rights Reserved
Length: 6963 words
Byline: Robert Colvile
Body

Jul 07, 2016( Medical Daily: http://www.medicaldaily.com Delivered by Newstex) This article[1] first appeared on Mosaic[2] and is republished here under a Creative Commons lisence. For the first hour, they just talked. He was nervous; he’d never done this before. She was understanding, reassuring: let’s just lie down on the bed together, she said, and see what happens.
Soon, events took their course: they were enjoying themselves so much they could almost forget about the wires leading out of his skull. The year was 1970, and the man was a 24-year-old psychiatric patient. The woman, 21, was a prostitute from the French Quarter of New Orleans, hired by special permission of the attorney general of Louisiana. And they had just become part of one of the strangest experiments in scientific history: an attempt to use pleasure conditioning to turn a gay man straight. The patient — codenamed B-19 — was, according to the two academic papers that catalogued the course of the research, a ‘single, white male of unremarkable gestation and birth.’ He came from a military family and had had an unhappy childhood. He had, the papers said, entered the military but had been expelled for ‘homosexual tendencies’ within a month. He had a five-year history of homosexuality, and a three-year history of drug abuse: he had tried glues, paints, thinners, sedatives, marijuana, LSD, amphetamines — even nutmeg and vanilla extract. He had temporal lobe epilepsy. He was depressive, suicidal, insecure, procrastinating, self-pitying, and narcissistic. ‘All of his relationships,’ wrote his doctors, with an unsparing lack of sympathy, ‘have been characterized by coercion, manipulation, and demand.’ One of the strangest experiments in scientific history: an attempt to use pleasure conditioning to turn a gay man straight.In 1970, B-19 ended up in the care of Robert Galbraith Heath, chair of the department of psychiatry and neurology at Tulane University, New Orleans. Heath’s prescription was drastic. He and his team implanted stainless steel, Teflon-coated electrodes into nine separate regions of B-19’s brain, with wires leading back out of his skull. Once he had recovered from the operation, a control box was attached that enabled him, under his doctors’ supervision, to provide a one-second jolt to the brain area of his choice. Before being given control of the electrodes, B-19 had been shown a film ‘displaying heterosexual foreplay and intercourse.’ He reacted with anger and revulsion. But then the stimulation sessions started, delivered via the button that felt most pleasurable to him. Over the next few days, he found that it could arouse him, and he would press the button to stimulate himself ‘to a point that, both behaviorally and introspectively, he was experiencing an almost overwhelming euphoria and elation and had to be disconnected, despite his vigorous protests.’ He would hit the button up to 1,500 times over a three-hour session. ‘He protested each time the unit was taken from him,’ said one of the papers, ‘pleading to self-stimulate just a few more times.’ Ten days into his treatment, the doctors suggested that B-19 watch the porn film again. ‘He agreed without reluctance… and during its showing became sexually aroused, had an erection, and masturbated to orgasm.’ He started talking about wanting to have sex with women — and so Heath got permission to hire what he later referred to as a ‘lady of the evening.’ ‘We paid her $50,’ he said. ‘I told her it might be a little weird, but the room would be completely blacked out with curtains.’ She certainly did her job, guiding B-19 through the process and encouraging him to gradually build up his confidence. ‘As the second hour began, she relates that his attitude took an even more positive shift to which she reacted by removing her bra and panties and lying down next to him. Then, in a patient and supportive manner, she encouraged him to spend some time in a manual exploration and examination of her body.’ Despite his initial shyness, he ended up having such a good time that — much to his doctors’ delight — he often paused before the moment of orgasm, in order to prolong his pleasure. B-19 features in two 1972 papers: “Septal stimulation for the initiation of heterosexual behavior in a homosexual male,” by Heath and his colleague Charles E Moan, and “Pleasure and brain activity in man,” by Heath alone, which set out — apparently for the first time — what happens to human brainwaves during orgasm. The papers are extraordinary: at once academic and pornographic, clinically detached and queasily prurient. And they prompt all sorts of questions. Who was this Dr. Heath? How on earth did he come to carry out this experiment — and get permission for it? And did it really, you know, work? In the course of trying to unravel these questions, I read Heath’s papers, interviewed his former colleagues, and traveled to New Orleans to see where he worked and to watch the videos in which he reminisced about his career. What I found was something more remarkable than I could have imagined; the story of the man responsible for some of the strangest, boldest and most controversial experiments of the 20th century, yet who has been almost entirely written out of scientific history. Phil Robathan (L) and James Preston (R) hold hands during their wedding ceremony in Brighton, southern England, on March 29, 2014 Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images The first thing you have to understand about Bob Heath is his charisma. If you were casting a movie and looking for someone to play the scientist-hero, he would be the first and last name on your list. In every profile, every interview, the topic of his presence came up: he was Gary Cooper or Cary Grant or Gregory Peck in a crisp white lab coat. ‘He looked like a god — and carried himself like one,’ says his former colleague Marilyn Skinner. The second thing is that he was talented — perhaps too talented. He was board-certified in both psychiatry and neurology. He was a qualified psychoanalyst. He could treat a patient, diagnose a mental illness, read an EEG, and dash off a paper, all before heading off to the country club for a round of golf. The third thing is that the one true love of his life wasn’t a woman, but an area of the brain. Imagine a line that goes through one ear and out the other. Now take another line that runs dead center from the top of your skull and down through your tongue. Where the two meet is what Heath labelled the septal area, although scientists today would probably call it the nucleus accumbens. For Heath, it was the seat of pleasure and emotions that he thought would allow him to unlock the human brain. Born in 1915 in Pittsburgh, Heath trained as a neurologist, before being drafted into service as a military psychiatrist in World War II. He rapidly aligned himself with the new breed of biological psychiatrists — scientists who argued that what were traditionally thought of as diseases of the mind were often actually diseases of the brain and could therefore be cured through surgery, not therapy. There was already some obvious evidence for this, in the shape of the way that patients’ behavior changed after prefrontal lobotomy. This was the most widespread form of what was known as psychosurgery — the surgical treatment of mental illness. Yet even though the procedure, which involved chopping away the connections to much of the brain’s frontal lobe, was growing in popularity, Heath and his colleagues at Columbia University rightly viewed it as crude and ineffective. They decided to compare it with a much less invasive alternative, which they called topectomy: this involved targeting and removing specific areas of the cortex, in order to avoid wider damage to the brain. Heath had already developed a particular interest in schizophrenia, which he viewed as the single greatest challenge in mental health, affecting roughly 2 percent of Americans. He noticed that such patients seemed largely unaffected by either lobotomy or topectomy; since these procedures targeted only the most immediately accessible part of the brain, the cortex, he concluded that their symptoms must be more deep-rooted. So Heath began his investigations of the subcortex (literally, “the part below the surface”). And one particular area — the septal region — appeared particularly promising. When it was damaged or destroyed in cats and monkeys, they started behaving in a startlingly similar fashion to people with schizophrenia: their emotions were dulled, they lost their ability to experience pleasure (a phenomenon known as anhedonia), and they generally seemed to be removed from reality. This reinforced Heath’s burgeoning conviction that schizophrenia was a biological, not a psychological, problem: something ‘dependent upon a defect in basic machinery, rather than a complication of environment,’ as he would later write. By implanting electrodes into the deepest parts of the brain, he could not only examine how this machinery operated, but also — he hoped — jolt it back into life. There was just one problem. Heath could — and did — carry out all the tests he wanted on animals, but he couldn’t test his theories on humans: not so much for ethical reasons as because his colleagues at Columbia weren’t interested in the subcortex. Then, on a trip to Atlantic City, he found himself lying on the beach next to a man from New Orleans. He was the dean of Tulane University’s medical school, and he was looking to set up a psychiatry department. He’d heard good things about a guy called Bob Heath. I’m Bob Heath, said Bob Heath. And so they started to talk. For the 35-year-old, the job at Tulane was an irresistible opportunity. New Orleans was an academic backwater. But it had something very special: in the words of his future colleague Arthur Epstein, ‘a big sprawling beautiful hospital, containing some of the sickest patients you will ever see.’ This was Charity Hospital, a vast, brutalist 1930s edifice through which the poor and sick of New Orleans flowed in their thousands. Heath was open about the fact that it was this endless supply of potential patients — or, as he put it, the ‘tremendous amount of clinical material’ — that attracted him to the job, because it gave him the chance to realize his outsize ambitions. He moved to New Orleans in 1949: within a year, he had persuaded Charity’s governors to budget up to $400,000 to set up a 150-bed psychiatric unit on the third floor, which would enable him to tackle a waiting list for psychosurgery that was already 10 months long. Heath’s new position made him one of the most powerful men in the Louisiana mental health system. As well as Charity, he held positions at other New Orleans hospitals such as DePaul, Touro, and the Veterans Administration Center, and later Tulane’s own private hospital. He maintained an experimental unit — at the state’s expense — at the East Louisiana Mental Hospital in Jackson, and was involved with another facility in Mandeville. If he needed healthy volunteers, he had free access to inmates at the state prison complex at Angola. On top of this, there was his role within Tulane. Uniquely, his new department combined not just neurology and psychiatry — itself a reflection of his then-radical commitment to treating the mind and brain as linked — but also a psychoanalytic institute modeled on the work of his mentor Sandor Rado, who had argued for the key role of pleasure in motivating behavior: Heath urged all of his colleagues to learn analysis, and to be analyzed themselves. By 1970, the time of the “gay cure” experiment, there were almost 200 staff and medical students under his supervision. In 1952, Heath and the colleagues he had recruited from Columbia and elsewhere revealed the first fruits of their work. At a scientific conference (written up as the 1954 book Studies in Schizophrenia), they described how they had honed their techniques, developing better and safer methods of implanting ever more electrodes, and leaving them in for ever longer. These electrodes had, they announced, uncovered ‘an abnormality in the septal region’ — unusual brainwave patterns, seen during seizures, that were exclusive to schizophrenia. And their use of electrical pulses to stimulate the same area had had promising results with the initial 22 patients, 19 of whom were schizophrenic. (The others were two patients with terminal cancer and one with acute TB: Heath wanted to see whether septal stimulation would offer relief from their incurable pain.) The tone of the reports — and of most of the observers’ comments — was upbeat. Professor Herbert S. Gaskill of Indiana University, while admitting that the clinical results were not conclusive, praised the ‘breadth of vision and imagination which this research study has shown,’ calling it ‘of inestimable value.’ Patient 14 developed a generalized terror, which appeared to be associated with his extreme apprehension and fearYet you do not have to read through many of the 600 pages of Studies in Schizophrenia to feel slightly different emotions. The type of electric pulse, Heath and Co. admitted, was ‘arbitrarily chosen’ because it seemed to work on animals: ‘We are still by no means certain that it is the most effective way of influencing the circuit.’ Among the first 10 patients, ‘Two patients had convulsions… wound infection occurred in two cases.’ Among the second 10, there were two deaths, both related to brain abscesses that developed following the operation. Some patients developed infections, others had convulsions. Patient 21 ‘tugged vigorously at his bandage and displaced the electrodes.’ Patient 12 had two electrodes put in the wrong place. When the electrical currents were activated, several of the patients had seizures. Patient 13 ‘complained of nervousness, urinary urgency, and chills.’ Patient 14 ‘developed a generalized terror, which appeared to be associated with his extreme apprehension and fear, and which persisted for several minutes after stimulation.’ Patient 16 ‘became quite agitated,’ with her blood pressure spiking to 178/110. Patient 17 developed ‘marked cardiac arrhythmia,’ and ‘in both stimulations, the patient’s eyes were seen to open widely, and she said she was afraid.’ Patient 22 ‘expressed great fear, and at one point it took four or five people to restrain her.’ If these studies make uncomfortable reading, they make for even more disturbing viewing. Heath filmed many of his experiments over the years, showing the results to colleagues and visitors. After his death, the films were seen by neuroscientist Gregory Berns, while researching his book Satisfaction. He describes watching footage of patient A-10, a member of the Army whose erratic behavior saw him diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, and entrusted to Heath’s care in 1952. The full description is harrowing. At one point, A-10 rakes his face with his hands, squirms, and complains of ‘going black in the head,’ before curling into the fetal position and saying: ‘I can’t think of nothing when my brain is turning up like that. Oh, no… before I pass out! I don’t want to pass out… Oh, my brain!’ ‘Suddenly,’ writes Berns, ‘the patient’s voice changes. He screams in a pitch so high it is uninterpretable. Then he starts tearing at his clothes, trying to rip off his shirt, and gets up from the gurney. ‘The interviewer says, ‘You’re tearing at your clothes. Do you know you’re tearing at your clothes?’ On the verge of incoherence, in a falsetto voice, the patient screams, ‘I don’t care! I gotta do something! I don’t care. I don’t care!’ Pausing for a moment, he starts to get off the gurney again before yelling, ‘I’m gonna rip you up!'” ‘Several hands come into view and hold the patient down, tying his hands. ‘Stop!’ the interviewer commands. ‘Stop!’ The patient stares into the camera and hisses, ‘I don’t give a goddamn. I’m gonna kill you. Let me up. I’m gonna kill you and rip you to goddamn shreds!” Heath’s was a time in which damaging or experimental procedures were commonplace: there were almost none of the controls or restrictions that we have today. But even so, his radicalism stood out.Even by the standards of the time, these experiments were radical and strange — and they duly caused an uproar. Heath and his acolytes later blamed this on the hostility of the American Psychological Association, in which the emotional rather than biological model of mental health was firmly entrenched (a popular theory on schizophrenia, for example, was it was caused by poor parenting — the ‘schizophrenogenic mother’). But as Heath admitted, his work also ’caused a great deal of emotional upset to a lot of people at the 1952 meeting’ – particularly the stimulation of ‘averse emotions of an intense degree,’ such as rage or fear. There was another problem: while the work had improved scientists’ understanding of the brain’s circuitry, it hadn’t actually done much to cure schizophrenia. Heath had been encouraged by the initial results of stimulating patients with electrodes: ‘if they were catatonic and mute, they would begin to talk; if they were very delusional, they would tend to come back toward reality to varying degrees.’ But in the long term, the risk of damage from the electrodes’ implantation appeared to outweigh any benefits from the treatment: of the initial 22 patients, four who had had abnormal brainwave patterns showed improvement a few months later, but at least the same number who had had normal patterns developed ‘evidence of gross abnormality.’ Also, although Heath did not acknowledge it, any improvement may have come about simply because the chosen patients were getting more attention from their doctors. By 1955, Heath had stopped the study, on the grounds that ‘the lasting beneficial effects in the patient group… have not been significant’. But this did not mean that he was done with his electrodes. He was just getting started. He noticed that the same jolt to the septal area, in depressed but non-schizophrenic patients, resulted in an intense sensation of pleasure, almost ecstasy. Given the chance to stimulate themselves, some of his patients would do so hundreds of times an hour, just as rats did in similar experiments (and as patient B-19 later would). In one of Heath’s films, a man who has just tried to kill himself starts to smile when his electrodes activate, saying: ‘I feel good. I don’t know why. I just suddenly felt good.’ He adds: ‘When I get mad, if I push the button I feel better… that’s a real good button… I would buy one if I could.’ Soon, Heath was coming up with all manner of uses for those buttons. In 1963, he reported that he was treating two new types of patient. One, with epilepsy, had 51 electrodes implanted into 17 separate brain sites in an attempt to disrupt seizures before they happened. The other, a 28-year-old nightclub entertainer with narcolepsy, was given a self-stimulation unit with three buttons, each linked via electrodes to a different part of the brain. Like B-19 later on, he quickly settled on the button connected to the septal area as his preferred option. If he felt himself falling asleep, he would push the button — or his friends would give him a jolt to wake him up. But he also learned another use for the button: to push it in a ‘frantic’ fashion. “It built him up toward a feeling of orgasm that he was never quite able to consummate,’ writes the campaigning psychiatrist Peter Breggin in his book The Return of Lobotomy and Psychosurgery. Heath’s was a time in which damaging or experimental procedures were commonplace: there were almost none of the controls or restrictions that we have today. But even so, his radicalism stood out. It built him up toward a feeling of orgasm that he was never quite able to consummateOther doctors would implant a few electrodes for a few days; Heath implanted dozens, and left them in for years. Others experimented with animals; Heath experimented with people and animals both, feeding the findings from one set of tests into the next. Others tested the pleasure reflex under carefully controlled laboratory conditions; Heath handed patients the control boxes and set them loose to juice themselves as they saw fit. One of them ended up in Chicago, trying to sell himself and his hardware to the university for $5,000; another popped up in New York, whose police force called Heath on the grounds that he was the only one anyone could think of whose patients had wires coming out of their heads. Heath was, in other words, a man of extraordinary curiosity — and in a position to follow his muse wherever it took him, or have one of his many subordinates do so on his behalf. While septal stimulation was the constant of his career, he engaged in an enormous variety of other work, publishing at least 425 papers. Among these were his efforts to treat gay men by turning ‘repugnant feelings… toward the opposite sex’ into pleasurable ones — and similar work on ‘frigid women.’ He experimented with dripping drugs deep into the brain down tiny pipes called cannulae, targeting the same regions as his electrodes. He tested a “brainwashing” drug called bulbocapnine for the CIA, on both animals and (although he denied it for decades) on a human prisoner, as a small part of the vast and largely illegal “MK-ULTRA” program to explore the limits and limitations of the American body. He talked a suicidal patient down from a roof. He injected horseradish peroxidase into the brain to see how it carried chemicals. He gave a talk to the Army on electrical stimulation of the brain, after which his department was contracted to test psychoactive drugs on prisoners: the resulting paper, from 1957, is as macabre and gripping as the studies involving B-19, complete with detailed descriptions of the patients’ behavior and hallucinations. In 1972, the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper reported that Heath had been able to ‘record septal activity resulting from alcohol, tobacco, amphetamine, marijuana, and sexual orgasm.’ At around that time, he began testing the effects of marijuana on monkeys by blowing smoke into their cages: the equivalent of 250 joints a day. ‘Memo to the parents of New Orleans,’ ran the resulting report in the Times-Picayune in 1974. ‘If you’ve been trying to persuade yourselves that the ‘pot’ which ‘Junior’ is smoking isn’t harming him, listen to this.’ Marijuana, Heath claimed gravely, could cause brain damage, respiratory damage, and erectile dysfunction. For all the volume and variety of his work, Heath’s contemporary reputation rested on one particular discovery — again the product of his work on the septal region. As well as stimulating the schizophrenic brain, Heath was studying it. He wanted to know what was different about the tissue, the chemicals, the genes that caused the anomalies he had found. Examining blood samples and brain matter from people with schizophrenia, he discovered a mysterious substance he called taraxein, which seemed to be generated in the septal area. This was, he dramatically announced in 1956, not a by-product of schizophrenia: rather, it seemed to be its cause. If you took a serum of taraxein and injected it into monkeys, they started showing schizophrenia-like symptoms. A couple of hours later, they were completely back to normal. When he tried it on people, the results were the same. The report caused a sensation. And in 1967, Heath doubled down, claiming that further investigation had revealed that taraxein was in fact an antibody produced by the brain. The first line of Tulane’s press release suggested this might well be ‘one of the most significant scientific advances in the field of psychiatry,’ and it was hard to disagree. What Heath had discovered — as the global media eagerly reported — was that people with schizophrenia were, in effect, allergic to their own brains. There was talk of a Nobel Prize. There was just one problem: taraxein didn’t exist. Or if it did, no one else could find it. Even some of the technicians charged with isolating and purifying the substance became convinced that it didn’t actually exist. James Eaton, a colleague of Heath’s who witnessed a failed demonstration for visiting dignitaries, says it became clear that the patients were acting crazy because that’s what they realized Heath wanted: when the “taraxein” was administered by other doctors, their behavior was unchanged. This controversy damaged Heath’s national reputation — already imperilled by a feud with Seymour Kety, who as the first director of the National Institute of Mental Health ensured that Heath was always denied federal funding for his work, and had to go cap in hand to private donors. But it did not change things in Louisiana: Heath continued to be given awards and positions, to be respected and venerated. There was just one problem: taraxein didn’t exist. Or if it did, no one else could find it. Yet a wider backlash against psychosurgery was stirring. It wasn’t just lobotomy, although that was increasingly discredited: there seemed to be a laundry list of damaging, dangerous, or disturbing treatments being carried out around the U.S. Fears of mind control and brainwashing, stoked by the success of the film The Manchurian Candidate, cast suspicion on any research involving drugs and electrodes to manipulate the mind. In 1972, Peter Breggin published an essay warning of the dangers of psychosurgery, including Heath’s work, which a sympathetic Congressman inserted into the Congressional Record. It caught the attention of Todd Ochs, a member of the Medical Committee for Human Rights (which provided care for civil rights activists across the South) who was working at a free clinic in the French Quarter of New Orleans — and as a paramedic at Charity Hospital. Ochs and his committee took up the cause, and he alerted his friend Bill Rushton, a gay rights campaigner and investigative reporter for the local Vieux Carre Courier. The resulting piece, “The mysterious experiments of Dr. Heath: in which we wonder who is crazy and who is sane,” was a broadside against Heath’s work. Published in 1974, it not only told the story of patient B-19 but also claimed that nurses at Charity would hide their patients from Heath’s lackeys when they came sniffing around for subjects. Heath attracted further negative publicity in Alan Scheflin and Edward Opton’s 1978 book The Mind Manipulators. The most damaging critique, however, came in Elliott Valenstein’s 1973 book Brain Control. Unlike the others, Valenstein — now professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Michigan — was a member of Heath’s own profession. And he argued not that Heath was a monster, but simply a bad scientist. Valenstein pointed out gently but firmly that because of Heath’s lack of controls, his habit of reading what he wanted into the data, and other experimental errors, much of his work was simply invalid. ‘My criticism of Heath,’ he says today, ‘was really that he didn’t seem to know how to test his own conclusions for verification. He was always interested in results that were spectacular — like finding some protein in the brain that would evoke schizophrenia. He’d published papers of that sort but never really looked for alternative explanations, never tested the reliability of his findings, was very willing to rapidly publicize his findings, so that he was quite unreliable.’ Some people Valenstein talked to told him that even Heath’s vaunted pleasure center wasn’t all it was cracked up to be: ‘[They] said that many of these patients were just stimulating their own brains because they thought that’s what he wanted them to do — it wasn’t really a pleasurable experience for them.’ Heath admitted in print that septal stimulation had different effects on different people — generally serving to amplify rather than create emotions, especially in the case of arousal, and having much less effect on those who were already feeling happy and contented. Despite the growing controversy, Heath retained his position and prestige — but Tulane was becoming increasingly worried about its reputation. In the early 1970s, donors to fund the electrode studies became harder to come by, as did official approval for procedures. Heath even took a brief sabbatical while the bad publicity died down. Yet, in terms of his ambitions and his convictions about the brain, nothing of substance changed. Psychiatrist Marilyn Skinner remembers, as a young resident at Tulane, being given the case of a 22-year-old woman: ‘She was wild, you couldn’t get close to her, she was literally scarred — her whole body was a scar, from her own cutting and burning. … She was going to kill herself, and somebody else too.’ Heath decided to carry out a radical surgical procedure — but couldn’t get permission to do it in New Orleans. So he found a sympathetic hospital in California, and when the procedure took place, something amazing happened, Skinner says: ‘They basically severed the connections between the two hemispheres [of the brain]. And I’m not kidding you, she was a dream after that. She showed warmth, and gratitude — she was able to talk about her feelings, and what happened, and was no longer suicidal or homicidal.’ That is the tantalizing thing about Heath: sometimes, his wild ideas actually came off. Heath retired as chairman of his department in 1980, after 31 years at the helm, although he continued working for some years afterwards. Even before his death in 1999, at the age of 84, his reputation outside Tulane had become tarnished. He was known, if at all, not as the man who was the first to map out the pleasure circuit, or as one of the earliest and most passionate advocates for the biological causation of schizophrenia (now the established orthodoxy), but as a man whose work seemed closer to science fiction than practical medicine. To some, he was a monster, plain and simple. He used vulnerable patients to hone his theories, to no therapeutic benefit, causing many of them very significant harm. He tested psychoactive drugs on the unwitting. Harry Bailey, an Australian doctor who briefly worked with Heath on his electrode studies, accused him of picking out African-Americans for his experiments because, as he put it, ‘it was cheaper to use ni–ers than cats… they were everywhere and cheap experimental animals.’ The patients would be wired up and given a little box and ‘just went around, ‘pop, pop, pop,’ all the time, continuous orgasms.’ A woman called Claudia Mullen even testified before Congress in 1995 that Heath had, when she came to him as a child patient, engaged in all kinds of unethical practices before handing her over to the custody of the CIA, where she was used as a sex slave. He has been accused of mind control, of barbarity, of ‘Nazi science,’ of using prisoners in Charity, Jackson, and elsewhere as his playthings. To some, he was a monster, plain and simple.Yet his former colleagues almost uniformly tell a very different story. ‘Other than my parents,’ says James Eaton, ‘he was the most formidable mentor and leader, and ideal that I had.’ For John Goethe, another who worked with him at Tulane, ‘Nobody was more devoted to trying to find a cure for the people he felt medicine had neglected. He was in psychiatry and neurology rather than cardiology and dermatology because he felt ‘We’re not paying enough attention to these folks.” Yes, he was arrogant and temperamental — ‘It would be easy for him to win a contest to see who could divide a room quickest,’ says Goethe — but he was also inspirational. In an obituary, fellow Tulane neurologist Leon Weisberg called him ‘a true visionary… an extraordinary clinician, teacher, administrator, scientist, and friend’. How to reconcile these two Bob Heaths? Certainly, it is easy to cast doubt on the wilder allegations. Bailey’s quotes come from a long, rambling, drunken speech, decades after the event — and he himself was a genuine monster, whose ‘deep sleep’ therapy, based on the idea that the human brain would be more malleable if the patient were plunged into a barbiturate-induced coma, killed dozens of people. In fact, given New Orleans demographics, African-Americans appear to have been under-represented in Heath’s electrode studies rather than the reverse. As for Claudia Mullen, her social worker and champion, Valerie Wolf, had her lisence revoked over claims that she had exploited her clients and encouraged them to believe recovered memories that turned out to be false. Wolf is now dead and Mullen has long been out of the public eye; Alan Scheflin, the Santa Clara law professor (and co-author of The Mind Manipulators) who validated her claims of CIA abuse, refused multiple requests for an interview. Heath may have gone to extremes, but he had many companions in excess. In 1963, a different group of scientists at Tulane started transplanting chimpanzee kidneys into humans. Lobotomies, deep sleep therapy, ‘insulin shock’ — Heath’s electrodes were, in comparison, a relatively delicate intervention. He generally used them, he insisted, on incurably sick patients for whom all other treatments had been tried and had failed — although the B-19 case and others suggest that is not entirely true. And while he did map out the ‘aversive’ areas of his patients’ brains (including ‘a site which when stimulated would turn on intense killing rage, instantaneously’), and carry out that experiment with bulbocapnine on the CIA’s behalf, he also claimed to have rejected a request from the CIA to study the brain’s pain center. Yet this, in an odd way, is precisely what makes Heath so fascinating, and his career so relevant today. He was not a villainous outlier, cackling to himself in a basement, but the respected head of a major university department, someone who was not only in the academic mainstream but had defined, at least for Tulane, what that mainstream was. His excesses, and his flaws, and his failures to accept his limitations, were therefore all the more significant. His 425 papers have left a remarkably small imprint on the wider fieldHeath’s central insight — that schizophrenia was a disease of the brain rather than the mind — has certainly been vindicated, and triumphantly so. Much of his research, for example in mapping the pleasure circuit of the brain or monitoring it during orgasm, was pioneering. Yet his 425 papers have left a remarkably small imprint on the wider field. By the time he retired – and, in truth, long before — it was clear that much of his work had been rendered moot by advances in antipsychotic medication; the idea of there being one single, fixable cause for schizophrenia also ended up being simplistic and overly optimistic. Scientists are now, again, attempting to use deep brain stimulation to treat mental illness — such as intractable and crippling obsessive-compulsive dsorder. But a recent profile of one of the leaders in the field, Emad Eskandar, claimed the practice had only begun in 1987. Heath’s use of deep-brain stimulation 20 to 30 years earlier has been largely written out of the history of neuroscience. The attitude towards homosexuality at the time was very different from what it is now.To modern eyes, the B-19 episode is the most controversial of Heath’s cases — even though there is some pretty stiff competition. But what is striking in the contemporary reports is how few people, in comparison to his other electrode experiments, seem to have raised any objections. Take Elliott Valenstein’s book Brain Control. In it, he did criticize the experiment — but for its method, not its motives. His argument was that ‘orgasmic reorientation’ — a behavioral therapy program based around masturbation — seemed to get equivalent results for much less effort. The basic idea that it was a psychiatrist’s duty to ‘cure’ gay people went unquestioned. Homosexuality was, until 1968, formally listed in the diagnostic textbooks as a sociopathic personality disturbance, a fear of the opposite sex that was thought to result — just like schizophrenia — from childhood trauma. It was still listed as a ‘sexual deviation’ until 1973. Speaking today, Valenstein acknowledges that ‘the attitude towards homosexuality at the time was very different from what it is now.” What was different about Heath’s procedure, he says, wasn’t that he was trying to ‘fix’ homosexuality — many people, including Heath’s mentor Sandor Rado, were doing the same. Heath’s work, and other such biological approaches, were notable mostly because they seemed to offer an easier and more lasting solution than long-term therapy. A few years ago, says James Eaton, he was interviewed about Heath’s work for a potential documentary. At the end, he was asked about Heath’s apparent crusade to wipe out homosexuality. ‘I said, ‘What are you talking about? I myself am gay. I’ve known I’ve been gay all of my life. Heath knew it too. And out of 44 or 45 fellows or residents, he made me his chief resident, and he trusted me until his death. Now why would he do that? He never once alluded to the fact that I was gay.’ And that floored them. It just floored them.’ And what about the young man, B-19? Did Heath’s ‘cure’ actually work? In the paper he wrote with Charles E. Moan, Heath claimed that B-19 — who he identified in contemporary interviews as a male prostitute — had subsequently had a 10-month relationship with a married woman. While he had also returned to homosexual activity, this had only happened twice, ‘when he needed money and ‘hustling’ was a quick way to get it when he was out of work.’ Heath added that ‘such acting out was not intended to be a replacement for sex with females, which he indicates he is definitely motivated to continue.’ In an interview in 1972, he went further, claiming that B-19 ‘has solved many of his personal problems and is leading an actively and exclusively heterosexual life.’ Mission accomplished, then? Not quite. While Heath’s electrodes may have stirred up arousal temporarily, they didn’t actually change the patient’s basic nature. ‘At least at the time I knew [B-19], it was less about whether he was homosexual or heterosexual. He was sort of asexual. He just wasn’t that interested,’ says John Goethe. ‘It was clear to me… that his life stressors were — some were related to sexual orientation, but most were not.’ He drifted between jobs, and ‘was not a happy camper about a lot of things’. He adds that it was B-19 who approached Heath for help with his sexuality — rather than having a ‘cure’ imposed on him in exchange for leniency over drugs charges, as suggested by Bill Rushton at the time. The Tulane electrical brain stimulation experiments were ‘dubious and precarious’ not just by today’s standards, but by those of the time.The best place to find the truth about B-19 and Heath’s other experiments would be his archives, which are held by his old department at Tulane. But the university (which is a private institution) refuses to let anyone have access to them, even though researchers have in the past been allowed to view the films of Heath’s experiments held by Tulane. While I spoke to several of Heath’s former colleagues, those still working at Tulane itself refused to comment. With the assistance of Ken Kramer of PsychSearch.net, who investigates cases of psychiatric malpractice, I was able to track down Moan, Heath’s co-author on the B-19 paper, but he refused repeated requests for an interview. Yet from the available evidence, it is hard to disagree with the judgement of Alan Baumeister, a Louisiana State University psychiatry professor and the leading academic expert on Heath, that the Tulane electrical brain stimulation experiments were ‘dubious and precarious’ not just by today’s standards, but by those of the time. ‘Heath, throughout the history of his work, justified what he was doing on therapeutic grounds,’ says Baumeister. ‘He said that it was done for the benefit of the patients. But some of the things he did couldn’t conceivably have been done for the benefit of the patient.’ He may not have been a god, but Heath was clearly a man of extraordinary gifts and extraordinary charisma — yet one whose self-belief blinded him to the flaws in his theories and his methods. ‘He, like many doctors, did not see any ethical problems from what he was doing,’ says Todd Ochs. ‘He was trying to help people. And in a way it makes it more sad and also more dangerous — self-righteousness is something that reason doesn’t address. … He thought he was helping gay men, he thought he was helping schizophrenics, and that his research was going to be transformative.’ During his long career, Heath made many claims about what stimulating his beloved septal region could do. First he thought it could ‘wake up’ the brain from a sleep-like state; then that it could be used to compensate for schizophrenics’ defective pleasure centers; or to detect and disrupt epileptic fits; or relieve chronic pain. Even in old age, he was coming up with new ideas, arguing that transplanting septal tissue from one person to another could enhance brain function and ward off the effects of aging and Alzheimer’s: he’d already done it in rats, he told a Tulane colleague in an interview in 1986, and they’d tried it out on squirrel monkeys just the day before. Yet what Heath had, ultimately, was a procedure in search of a purpose. Like his patients with their metal boxes, he could do something to the brain — septal stimulation — that was strange and fascinating and enthralling and mysterious. So, like them, he kept doing it, again and again and again. [ 1]: http://mosaicscience.com/story/gay-cure-experiments [ 2]: http://mosaicscience.com

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The ‘gay cure’ experiments that were written out of scientific history
Medical Xpress
July 5, 2016 Tuesday 2:02 PM EST

Copyright 2016 Newstex LLC All Rights Reserved
Length: 6885 words
Body

Jul 05, 2016( Medical Xpress: http://medicalxpress.com Delivered by Newstex) For the first hour, they just talked. He was nervous; he’d never done this before. She was understanding, reassuring: let’s just lie down on the bed together, she said, and see what happens. Soon, events took their course: they were enjoying themselves so much they could almost forget about the wires leading out of his skull.
The year was 1970, and the man was a 24-year-old psychiatric patient. The woman, 21, was a prostitute from the French Quarter of New Orleans, hired by special permission of the attorney general of Louisiana. And they had just become part of one of the strangest experiments in scientific history: an attempt to use pleasure conditioning to turn a gay man straight. The patient – codenamed B-19 – was, according to the two academic papers that catalogued the course of the research, a “single, white male of unremarkable gestation and birth”. He came from a military family and had had an unhappy childhood. He had, the papers said, entered the military but had been expelled for “homosexual tendencies” within a month. He had a five-year history of homosexuality, and a three-year history of drug abuse: he had tried glues, paints, thinners, sedatives, marijuana, LSD, amphetamines, even nutmeg and vanilla extract. He had temporal lobe epilepsy. He was depressive, suicidal, insecure, procrastinating, self-pitying and narcissistic. “All of his relationships,” wrote his doctors, with an unsparing lack of sympathy, “have been characterised by coercion, manipulation and demand.” In 1970, B-19 ended up in the care of Robert Galbraith Heath, chair of the department of psychiatry and neurology at Tulane University, New Orleans. Heath’s prescription was drastic. He and his team implanted stainless steel, Teflon-coated electrodes[1] into nine separate regions of B-19’s brain[2], with wires leading back out of his skull. Once he had recovered from the operation, a control box was attached which enabled him, under his doctors’ supervision, to provide a one-second jolt to the brain area of his choice. Before being given control of the electrodes, B-19 had been shown a film “displaying heterosexual foreplay and intercourse”. He reacted with anger and revulsion. But then the stimulation sessions started, delivered via the button that felt most pleasurable to him. Over the next few days, he found that it could arouse him, and he would press the button to stimulate himself “to a point that, both behaviorally and introspectively, he was experiencing an almost overwhelming euphoria and elation and had to be disconnected, despite his vigorous protests”. He would hit the button up to 1,500 times over a three-hour session. “He protested each time the unit was taken from him,” said one of the papers, “pleading to self-stimulate just a few more times.”Ten days into his treatment, the doctors suggested that B-19 watch the porn film again. “He agreed without reluctance… and during its showing became sexually aroused, had an erection, and masturbated to orgasm.” He started talking about wanting to have sex with women – and so Heath got permission to hire what he later referred to as a “lady of the evening”. “We paid her $50,” he said. “I told her it might be a little weird, but the room would be completely blacked out with curtains.” She certainly did her job, guiding B-19 through the process and encouraging him to gradually build up his confidence. “As the second hour began, she relates that his attitude took an even more positive shift to which she reacted by removing her bra and panties and lying down next to him. Then, in a patient and supportive manner, she encouraged him to spend some time in a manual exploration and examination of her body.” Despite his initial shyness, he ended up having such a good time that – much to his doctors’ delight – he often paused before the moment of orgasm, in order to prolong his pleasure. B-19 features in two 1972 papers: ‘Septal stimulation for the initiation of heterosexual behavior in a homosexual male’, by Heath and his colleague Charles E Moan, and ‘Pleasure and brain activity in man’, by Heath alone, which set out – apparently for the first time – what happens to human brainwaves during orgasm. The papers are extraordinary: at once academic and pornographic, clinically detached and queasily prurient. And they prompt all sorts of questions. Who was this Dr Heath? How on earth did he come to carry out this experiment – and get permission for it? And did it really, you know, work? In the course of trying to unravel these questions, I read Heath’s papers, interviewed his former colleagues, and travelled to New Orleans to see where he worked and to watch the videos in which he reminisced about his career. And what I found was something more remarkable than I could have imagined – the story of the man responsible for some of the strangest, boldest and most controversial experiments of the 20th century, yet who has been almost entirely written out of scientific history. § The first thing you have to understand about Bob Heath is his charisma. If you were casting a movie and looking for someone to play the scientist-hero, he would be the first and last name on your list. In every profile, every interview, the topic of his presence came up: he was Gary Cooper or Cary Grant or Gregory Peck in a crisp white lab coat. “He looked like a god – and carried himself like one,” says his former colleague Marilyn Skinner. The second thing is that he was talented – perhaps too talented. He was board-certified in both psychiatry and neurology. He was a qualified psychoanalyst. He could treat a patient, diagnose a mental illness, read an EEG and dash off a paper, all before heading off to the country club for a round of golf. The third thing is that the one true love of his life wasn’t a woman, but an area of the brain. Imagine a line that goes through one ear and out the other. Now take another line that runs dead centre from the top of your skull and down through your tongue. Where the two meet is what Heath labelled the septal area, although scientists today would probably call it the nucleus accumbens. For Heath, it was the seat of pleasure and emotions that he thought would allow him to unlock the human brain. Born in 1915 in Pittsburgh, Heath trained as a neurologist, before being drafted into service as a military psychiatrist in World War II. He rapidly aligned himself with the new breed of biological psychiatrists – scientists who argued that what were traditionally thought of as diseases of the mind were often actually diseases of the brain and could therefore be cured through surgery, not therapy. There was already some obvious evidence for this, in the shape of the way that patients’ behaviour changed after prefrontal lobotomy. This was the most widespread form of what was known as psychosurgery – the surgical treatment of mental illness. Yet even though the procedure, which involved chopping away the connections to much of the brain’s frontal lobe, was growing in popularity, Heath and his colleagues at Columbia University rightly viewed it as crude and ineffective. They decided to compare it with a much less invasive alternative, which they called topectomy: this involved targeting and removing specific areas of the cortex, in order to avoid wider damage to the brain. Heath had already developed a particular interest in schizophrenia, which he viewed as the single greatest challenge in mental health[3], affecting roughly 2 per cent of Americans. He noticed that such patients seemed largely unaffected by either lobotomy or topectomy; since these procedures targeted only the most immediately accessible part of the brain, the cortex, he concluded that their symptoms must be more deep-rooted. So Heath began his investigations of the subcortex (literally, ‘the part below the surface’). And one particular area – the septal region – appeared particularly promising. When it was damaged or destroyed in cats and monkeys, they started behaving in a startlingly similar fashion to people with schizophrenia: their emotions were dulled, they lost their ability to experience pleasure (a phenomenon known as anhedonia), and they generally seemed to be removed from reality. This reinforced Heath’s burgeoning conviction that schizophrenia was a biological, not a psychological, problem: something “dependent upon a defect in basic machinery, rather than a complication of environment”, as he would later write. By implanting electrodes into the deepest parts of the brain, he could not only examine how this machinery operated, but also – he hoped – jolt it back into life. There was just one problem. Heath could – and did – carry out all the tests he wanted on animals, but he couldn’t test his theories on humans: not so much for ethical reasons as because his colleagues at Columbia weren’t interested in the subcortex. Then, on a trip to Atlantic City, he found himself lying on the beach next to a man from New Orleans. He was the dean of Tulane University’s medical school, and he was looking to set up a psychiatry department. He’d heard good things about a guy called Bob Heath. I’m Bob Heath, said Bob Heath. And so they started to talk. For the 35-year-old, the job at Tulane was an irresistible opportunity. New Orleans was an academic backwater. But it had something very special: in the words of his future colleague Arthur Epstein, “a big sprawling beautiful hospital, containing some of the sickest patients you will ever see”. This was Charity Hospital, a vast, brutalist 1930s edifice through which the poor and sick of New Orleans flowed in their thousands. Heath was open about the fact that it was this endless supply of potential patients – or, as he put it, the “tremendous amount of clinical material” – that attracted him to the job, because it gave him the chance to realise his outsize ambitions. He moved to New Orleans in 1949: within a year, he had persuaded Charity’s governors to budget up to $400,000 to set up a 150-bed psychiatric unit on the third floor, which would enable him to tackle a waiting list for psychosurgery that was already ten months long. Heath’s new position made him one of the most powerful men in the Louisiana mental health system. As well as Charity, he held positions at other New Orleans hospitals such as DePaul, Touro and the Veterans Administration Center, and later Tulane’s own private hospital. He maintained an experimental unit – at the state’s expense – at the East Louisiana Mental Hospital in Jackson, and was involved with another facility in Mandeville. If he needed healthy volunteers, he had free access to inmates at the state prison complex at Angola. On top of this, there was his role within Tulane. Uniquely, his new department combined not just neurology and psychiatry – itself a reflection of his then-radical commitment to treating the mind and brain as linked – but also a psychoanalytic institute modelled on the work of his mentor Sandor Rado, who had argued for the key role of pleasure in motivating behaviour: Heath urged all of his colleagues to learn analysis, and to be analysed themselves. By 1970, the time of the ‘gay cure’ experiment, there were almost 200 staff and medical students under his supervision. § In 1952, Heath and the colleagues he had recruited from Columbia and elsewhere revealed the first fruits of their work. At a scientific conference (written up as the 1954 book Studies in Schizophrenia), they described how they had honed their techniques, developing better and safer methods of implanting ever more electrodes and leaving them in for ever longer. These electrodes had, they announced, uncovered “an abnormality in the septal region” – unusual brainwave patterns, seen during seizures, that were exclusive to schizophrenia. And their use of electrical pulses to stimulate the same area had had promising results with the initial 22 patients, 19 of whom were schizophrenic. (The others were two patients with terminal cancer and one with acute TB: Heath wanted to see whether septal stimulation would offer relief from their incurable pain.) The tone of the reports – and of most of the observers’ comments – was upbeat. Professor Herbert S Gaskill of Indiana University, while admitting that the clinical results were not conclusive, praised the “breadth of vision and imagination which this research study has shown”, calling it “of inestimable value”. Yet you do not have to read through many of the 600 pages of Studies in Schizophrenia to feel slightly different emotions. The type of electric pulse, Heath and co admitted, was “arbitrarily chosen” because it seemed to work on animals: “We are still by no means certain that it is the most effective way of influencing the circuit.” Among the first ten patients, “Two patients had convulsions… wound infection occurred in two cases.” Among the second ten, there were two deaths, both related to brain abscesses that developed following the operation. Some patients developed infections, others had convulsions. Patient 21 “tugged vigorously at his bandage and displaced the electrodes”. Patient 12 had two electrodes put in the wrong place. When the electrical currents were activated, several of the patients had seizures. Patient 13 “complained of nervousness, urinary urgency and chills”. Patient 14 “developed a generalized terror, which appeared to be associated with his extreme apprehension and fear and which persisted for several minutes after stimulation”. Patient 16 “became quite agitated”, with her blood pressure spiking to 178/110. Patient 17 developed “marked cardiac arrhythmia”, and “in both stimulations, the patient’s eyes were seen to open widely, and she said she was afraid”. Patient 22 “expressed great fear, and at one point it took four or five people to restrain her”. If these studies make uncomfortable reading, they make for even more disturbing viewing. Heath filmed many of his experiments over the years, showing the results to colleagues and visitors. After his death, the films were seen by neuroscientist Gregory Berns, while researching his book Satisfaction. He describes watching footage of patient A-10, a member of the Army whose erratic behaviour saw him diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, and entrusted to Heath’s care in 1952. The full description is harrowing. At one point, A-10 rakes his face with his hands, squirms, and complains of “going black in the head”, before curling into the fetal position and saying: “I can’t think of nothing when my brain is turning up like that. Oh, no… before I pass out! I don’t want to pass out… Oh, my brain!” “Suddenly,” writes Berns, “the patient’s voice changes. He screams in a pitch so high it is uninterpretable. Then he starts tearing at his clothes, trying to rip off his shirt, and gets up from the gurney. “The interviewer says, ‘You’re tearing at your clothes. Do you know you’re tearing at your clothes?’ On the verge of incoherence, in a falsetto voice, the patient screams, ‘I don’t care! I gotta do something! I don’t care. I don’t care!’ Pausing for a moment, he starts to get off the gurney again before yelling, ‘I’m gonna rip you up!’ “Several hands come into view and hold the patient down, tying his hands. ‘Stop!’ the interviewer commands. ‘Stop!’ The patient stares into the camera and hisses, ‘I don’t give a goddamn. I’m gonna kill you. Let me up. I’m gonna kill you and rip you to goddamn shreds!'” Even by the standards of the time, these experiments were radical and strange – and they duly caused an uproar. Heath and his acolytes later blamed this on the hostility of the American Psychological Association, in which the emotional rather than biological model of mental health was firmly entrenched (a popular theory on schizophrenia, for example, was it was caused by poor parenting – the “schizophrenogenic mother”). But as Heath admitted, his work also “caused a great deal of emotional upset to a lot of people at the 1952 meeting” – particularly the stimulation of “averse emotions of an intense degree”, such as rage or fear. There was another problem: while the work had improved scientists’ understanding of the brain’s circuitry, it hadn’t actually done much to cure schizophrenia. Heath had been encouraged by the initial results of stimulating patients with electrodes: “if they were catatonic and mute, they would begin to talk; if they were very delusional, they would tend to come back towards reality to varying degrees”. But in the long term, the risk of damage from the electrodes’ implantation appeared to outweigh any benefits from the treatment: of the initial 22 patients, four who had had abnormal brainwave patterns showed improvement a few months later, but at least the same number who had had normal patterns developed “evidence of gross abnormality”. Also, although Heath did not acknowledge it, any improvement may have come about simply because the chosen patients were getting more attention from their doctors. By 1955, Heath had stopped the study, on the grounds that “the lasting beneficial effects in the patient group… have not been significant”. But this did not mean that he was done with his electrodes. He was just getting started. He noticed that the same jolt to the septal area, in depressed but non-schizophrenic patients, resulted in an intense sensation of pleasure, almost ecstasy. Given the chance to stimulate themselves, some of his patients would do so hundreds of times an hour, just as rats did in similar experiments (and as patient B-19 later would). In one of Heath’s films, a man who has just tried to kill himself starts to smile when his electrodes activate, saying: “I feel good. I don’t know why. I just suddenly felt good”. He adds: “When I get mad, if I push the button I feel better… that’s a real good button… I would buy one if I could.” Soon, Heath was coming up with all manner of uses for those buttons. In 1963, he reported that he was treating two new types of patient. One, with epilepsy, had 51 electrodes implanted into 17 separate brain sites in an attempt to disrupt seizures before they happened. The other, a 28-year-old nightclub entertainer with narcolepsy, was given a self-stimulation unit with three buttons, each linked via electrodes to a different part of the brain. Like B-19 later on, he quickly settled on the button connected to the septal area as his preferred option. If he felt himself falling asleep, he would push the button – or his friends would give him a jolt to wake him up. But he also learned another use for the button: to push it in a “frantic” fashion. “It built him up toward a feeling of orgasm that he was never quite able to consummate”, writes the campaigning psychiatrist Peter Breggin in his book The Return of Lobotomy and Psychosurgery. Heath’s was a time in which damaging or experimental procedures were commonplace: there were almost none of the controls or restrictions that we have today. But even so, his radicalism stood out. Other doctors would implant a few electrodes for a few days; Heath implanted dozens, and left them in for years. Others experimented with animals; Heath experimented with people and animals both, feeding the findings from one set of tests into the next. Others tested the pleasure reflex under carefully controlled laboratory conditions; Heath handed patients the control boxes and set them loose to juice themselves as they saw fit. One of them ended up in Chicago, trying to sell himself and his hardware to the university for $5,000; another popped up in New York, whose police force called Heath on the grounds that he was the only one anyone could think of whose patients had wires coming out of their heads. Heath was, in other words, a man of extraordinary curiosity – and in a position to follow his muse wherever it took him, or have one of his many subordinates do so on his behalf. While septal stimulation was the constant of his career, he engaged in an enormous variety of other work, publishing at least 425 papers. Among these were his efforts to treat gay men by turning “repugnant feelings… toward the opposite sex” into pleasurable ones – and similar work on “frigid women”. He experimented with dripping drugs deep into the brain down tiny pipes called cannulae, targeting the same regions as his electrodes. He tested a ‘brainwashing’ drug called bulbocapnine for the CIA, on both animals and (although he denied it for decades) on a human prisoner, as a small part of the vast and largely illegal ‘MK-ULTRA’ programme to explore the limits and limitations of the American body. He talked a suicidal patient down from a roof. He injected horseradish peroxidase into the brain to see how it carried chemicals. He gave a talk to the Army on electrical stimulation of the brain, after which his department was contracted to test psychoactive drugs on prisoners: the resulting paper, from 1957, is as macabre and gripping as the studies involving B-19, complete with detailed descriptions of the patients’ behaviour and hallucinations. In 1972, the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper reported that Heath had been able to “record septal activity resulting from alcohol, tobacco, amphetamine, marijuana and sexual orgasm”. At around that time, he began testing the effects of marijuana on monkeys by blowing smoke into their cages: the equivalent of 250 joints a day. “Memo to the parents of New Orleans,” ran the resulting report in the Times-Picayune in 1974. “If you’ve been trying to persuade yourselves that the ‘pot’ which ‘Junior’ is smoking isn’t harming him, listen to this.” Marijuana, Heath claimed gravely, could cause brain damage, respiratory damage – and erectile dysfunction. § For all the volume and variety of his work, Heath’s contemporary reputation rested on one particular discovery – again the product of his work on the septal region. As well as stimulating the schizophrenic brain, Heath was studying it. He wanted to know what was different about the tissue, the chemicals, the genes that caused the anomalies he had found. Examining blood samples and brain matter from people with schizophrenia, he discovered a mysterious substance he called taraxein, which seemed to be generated in the septal area. This was, he dramatically announced in 1956, not a by-product of schizophrenia: rather, it seemed to be its cause. If you took a serum of taraxein and injected it into monkeys, they started showing schizophrenia-like symptoms. A couple of hours later, they were completely back to normal. When he tried it on people, the results were the same. The report caused a sensation. And in 1967, Heath doubled down, claiming that further investigation had revealed that taraxein was in fact an antibody produced by the brain. The first line of Tulane’s press release suggested this might well be “one of the most significant scientific advances in the field of psychiatry”, and it was hard to disagree. What Heath had discovered – as the global media eagerly reported – was that people with schizophrenia were, in effect, allergic to their own brains. There was talk of a Nobel Prize. There was just one problem: taraxein didn’t exist. Or if it did, no one else could find it. Even some of the technicians charged with isolating and purifying the substance became convinced that it didn’t actually exist. James Eaton, a colleague of Heath’s who witnessed a failed demonstration for visiting dignitaries, says it became clear that the patients were acting crazy because that’s what they realised Heath wanted: when the ‘taraxein’ was administered by other doctors, their behaviour was unchanged. This controversy damaged Heath’s national reputation – already imperilled by a feud with Seymour Kety, who as the first director of the National Institute of Mental Health ensured that Heath was always denied federal funding for his work, and had to go cap in hand to private donors. But it did not change things in Louisiana: Heath continued to be given awards and positions, to be respected and venerated. Yet a wider backlash against psychosurgery was stirring. It wasn’t just lobotomy, although that was increasingly discredited: there seemed to be a laundry list of damaging, dangerous or disturbing treatments being carried out around the USA. Fears of mind control and brainwashing, stoked by the success of the film The Manchurian Candidate, cast suspicion on any research involving drugs and electrodes to manipulate the mind. In 1972, Peter Breggin published an essay warning of the dangers of psychosurgery, including Heath’s work, which a sympathetic Congressman inserted into the Congressional Record. It caught the attention of Todd Ochs, a member of the Medical Committee for Human Rights (which provided care for civil rights activists across the South) who was working at a free clinic in the French Quarter of New Orleans – and as a paramedic at Charity Hospital. Ochs and his committee took up the cause, and he alerted his friend Bill Rushton, a gay rights campaigner and investigative reporter for the local Vieux Carre Courier. The resulting piece, ‘The mysterious experiments of Dr Heath: in which we wonder who is crazy and who is sane’, was a broadside against Heath’s work. Published in 1974, it not only told the story of patient B-19 but also claimed that nurses at Charity would hide their patients from Heath’s lackeys when they came sniffing round for subjects. Heath attracted further negative publicity in Alan Scheflin and Edward Opton’s 1978 book The Mind Manipulators. The most damaging critique, however, came in Elliott Valenstein’s 1973 book Brain Control. Unlike the others, Valenstein – now professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Michigan – was a member of Heath’s own profession. And he argued not that Heath was a monster, but simply a bad scientist. Valenstein pointed out gently but firmly that because of Heath’s lack of controls, his habit of reading what he wanted into the data, and other experimental errors, much of his work was simply invalid. “My criticism of Heath,” he says today, “was really that he didn’t seem to know how to test his own conclusions for verification. He was always interested in results that were spectacular – like finding some protein in the brain that would evoke schizophrenia. He’d published papers of that sort but never really looked for alternative explanations, never tested the reliability of his findings, was very willing to rapidly publicise his findings, so that he was quite unreliable.” Some people Valenstein talked to told him that even Heath’s vaunted pleasure centre wasn’t all it was cracked up to be: “[They] said that many of these patients were just stimulating their own brains because they thought that’s what he wanted them to do – it wasn’t really a pleasurable experience for them.” Heath admitted in print that septal stimulation had different effects on different people – generally serving to amplify rather than create emotions, especially in the case of arousal, and having much less effect on those who were already feeling happy and contented. Despite the growing controversy, Heath retained his position and prestige – but Tulane was becoming increasingly worried about its reputation. In the early 1970s, donors to fund the electrode studies became harder to come by, as did official approval for procedures. Heath even took a brief sabbatical while the bad publicity died down. Yet in terms of his ambitions, and his convictions about the brain, nothing of substance changed. Psychiatrist Marilyn Skinner remembers, as a young resident at Tulane, being given the case of a 22-year-old woman: “She was wild, you couldn’t get close to her, she was literally scarred – her whole body was a scar, from her own cutting and burning. … She was going to kill herself, and somebody else too.” Heath decided to carry out a radical surgical procedure – but couldn’t get permission to do it in New Orleans. So he found a sympathetic hospital in California, and when the procedure took place, something amazing happened, Skinner says: “They basically severed the connections between the two hemispheres [of the brain]. And I’m not kidding you, she was a dream after that. She showed warmth, and gratitude – she was able to talk about her feelings, and what happened, and was no longer suicidal or homicidal.” That is the tantalising thing about Heath: sometimes, his wild ideas actually came off. § Heath retired as chairman of his department in 1980, after 31 years at the helm, although he continued working for some years afterwards. Even before his death in 1999, at the age of 84, his reputation outside Tulane had become tarnished. He was known, if at all, not as the man who was the first to map out the pleasure circuit, or as one of the earliest and most passionate advocates for the biological causation of schizophrenia (now the established orthodoxy), but as a man whose work seemed closer to science fiction than practical medicine. To some, he was a monster, plain and simple. He used vulnerable patients to hone his theories, to no therapeutic benefit, causing many of them very significant harm. He tested psychoactive drugs on the unwitting. Harry Bailey, an Australian doctor who briefly worked with Heath on his electrode studies, accused him of picking out African-Americans for his experiments because, as he put it, “it was cheaper to use niggers than cats… they were everywhere and cheap experimental animals”. The patients would be wired up and given a little box and “just went around, ‘pop, pop, pop’, all the time, continuous orgasms”. A woman called Claudia Mullen even testified before Congress in 1995 that Heath had, when she came to him as a child patient, engaged in all kinds of unethical practices before handing her over to the custody of the CIA, where she was used as a sex slave. He has been accused of mind control, of barbarity, of “Nazi science”, of using prisoners in Charity, Jackson and elsewhere as his playthings. Yet his former colleagues almost uniformly tell a very different story. “Other than my parents,” says James Eaton, “he was the most formidable mentor and leader and ideal that I had.” For John Goethe, another who worked with him at Tulane, “Nobody was more devoted to trying to find a cure for the people he felt medicine had neglected. He was in psychiatry and neurology rather than cardiology and dermatology because he felt ‘We’re not paying enough attention to these folks.'” Yes, he was arrogant and temperamental – “It would be easy for him to win a contest to see who could divide a room quickest,” says Goethe – but he was also inspirational. In an obituary, fellow Tulane neurologist Leon Weisberg called him “a true visionary… an extraordinary clinician, teacher, administrator, scientist and friend”. How to reconcile these two Bob Heaths? Certainly, it is easy to cast doubt on the wilder allegations. Bailey’s quotes come from a long, rambling, drunken speech, decades after the event – and he himself was a genuine monster, whose “deep sleep” therapy, based on the idea that the human brain would be more malleable if the patient were plunged into a barbiturate-induced coma, killed dozens of people. In fact, given New Orleans demographics, African-Americans appear to have been under-represented in Heath’s electrode studies rather than the reverse. As for Claudia Mullen, her social worker and champion, Valerie Wolf, had her licence revoked over claims that she had exploited her clients and encouraged them to believe recovered memories that turned out to be false. Wolf is now dead and Mullen has long been out of the public eye; Alan Scheflin, the Santa Clara law professor (and co-author of The Mind Manipulators) who validated her claims of CIA abuse, refused multiple requests for an interview. Heath may have gone to extremes, but he had many companions in excess. In 1963, a different group of scientists at Tulane started transplanting chimpanzee kidneys into humans. Lobotomies, deep sleep therapy, “insulin shock” – Heath’s electrodes were, in comparison, a relatively delicate intervention. He generally used them, he insisted, on incurably sick patients for whom all other treatments had been tried and had failed – although the B-19 case and others suggest that is not entirely true. And while he did map out the “aversive” areas of his patients’ brains (including “a site which when stimulated would turn on intense killing rage, instantaneously”), and carry out that experiment with bulbocapnine on the CIA’s behalf, he also claimed to have rejected a request from the CIA to study the brain’s pain centre. Yet this, in an odd way, is precisely what makes Heath so fascinating, and his career so relevant today. He was not a villainous outlier, cackling to himself in a basement, but the respected head of a major university department, someone who was not only in the academic mainstream but had defined, at least for Tulane, what that mainstream was. His excesses, and his flaws, and his failures to accept his limitations, were therefore all the more significant. Heath’s central insight – that schizophrenia was a disease of the brain rather than the mind – has certainly been vindicated, and triumphantly so. Much of his research, for example in mapping the pleasure circuit of the brain or monitoring it during orgasm, was pioneering. Yet his 425 papers have left a remarkably small imprint on the wider field. By the time he retired – and, in truth, long before – it was clear that much of his work had been rendered moot by advances in antipsychotic medication; the idea of there being one single, fixable cause for schizophrenia also ended up being simplistic and overly optimistic. Scientists are now, again, attempting to use deep brain stimulation[4] to treat mental illness – such as intractable and crippling obsessive-compulsive dsorder. But a recent profile of one of the leaders in the field, Emad Eskandar, claimed the practice had only begun in 1987. Heath’s use of deep brain stimulation 20-30 years earlier has been largely written out of the history of neuroscience. § To modern eyes, the B-19 episode is the most controversial of Heath’s cases – even though there is some pretty stiff competition. But what is striking in the contemporary reports is how few people, in comparison to his other electrode experiments, seem to have raised any objections. Take Elliott Valenstein’s book Brain Control. In it, he did criticise the experiment – but for its method, not its motives. His argument was that “orgasmic reorientation” – a behavioural therapy programme based around masturbation – seemed to get equivalent results for much less effort. The basic idea that it was a psychiatrist’s duty to “cure” gay people went unquestioned. Homosexuality was, until 1968, formally listed in the diagnostic textbooks as a sociopathic personality disturbance, a fear of the opposite sex that was thought to result – just like schizophrenia – from childhood trauma. It was still listed as a “sexual deviation” until 1973. Speaking today, Valenstein acknowledges that “the attitude towards homosexuality at the time was very different from what it is now”. What was different about Heath’s procedure, he says, wasn’t that he was trying to “fix” homosexuality – many people, including Heath’s mentor Sandor Rado, were doing the same. Heath’s work, and other such biological approaches, were notable mostly because they seemed to offer an easier and more lasting solution than long-term therapy. A few years ago, says James Eaton, he was interviewed about Heath’s work for a potential documentary. At the end, he was asked about Heath’s apparent crusade to wipe out homosexuality. “I said: ‘What are you talking about? I myself am gay. I’ve known I’ve been gay all of my life. Heath knew it too. And out of 44 or 45 fellows or residents, he made me his chief resident, and he trusted me until his death. Now why would he do that? He never once alluded to the fact that I was gay.’ And that floored them. It just floored them.” And what about the young man, B-19? Did Heath’s “cure” actually work? In the paper he wrote with Charles E Moan, Heath claimed that B-19 – who he identified in contemporary interviews as a male prostitute – had subsequently had a ten-month relationship with a married woman. While he had also returned to homosexual activity, this had only happened twice, “when he needed money and ‘hustling’ was a quick way to get it when he was out of work”. Heath added that “such acting out was not intended to be a replacement for sex with females, which he indicates he is definitely motivated to continue”. In an interview in 1972, he went further, claiming that B-19 “has solved many of his personal problems and is leading an actively and exclusively heterosexual life”. Mission accomplished, then? Not quite. While Heath’s electrodes may have stirred up arousal temporarily, they didn’t actually change the patient’s basic nature. “At least at the time I knew [B-19], it was less about whether he was homosexual or heterosexual. He was sort of asexual. He just wasn’t that interested,” says John Goethe. “It was clear to me… that his life stressors were – some were related to sexual orientation, but most were not.” He drifted between jobs, and “was not a happy camper about a lot of things”. He adds that it was B-19 who approached Heath for help with his sexuality – rather than having a “cure” imposed on him in exchange for leniency over drugs charges, as suggested by Bill Rushton at the time. The best place to find the truth about B-19 and Heath’s other experiments would be his archives, which are held by his old department at Tulane. But the university (which is a private institution) refuses to let anyone have access to them, even though researchers have in the past been allowed to view the films of Heath’s experiments held by Tulane. While I spoke to several of Heath’s former colleagues, those still working at Tulane itself refused to comment. With the assistance of Ken Kramer of PsychSearch.net, who investigates cases of psychiatric malpractice, I was able to track down Moan, Heath’s co-author on the B-19 paper, but he refused repeated requests for an interview. Yet from the available evidence, it is hard to disagree with the judgement of Alan Baumeister, a Louisiana State University psychiatry professor and the leading academic expert on Heath, that the Tulane electrical brain stimulation experiments were “dubious and precarious” not just by today’s standards, but by those of the time. “Heath, throughout the history of his work, justified what he was doing on therapeutic grounds,” says Baumeister. “He said that it was done for the benefit of the patients. But some of the things he did couldn’t conceivably have been done for the benefit of the patient.” § He may not have been a god, but Heath was clearly a man of extraordinary gifts and extraordinary charisma – yet one whose self-belief blinded him to the flaws in his theories and his methods. “He, like many doctors, did not see any ethical problems from what he was doing,” says Todd Ochs. “He was trying to help people. And in a way it makes it more sad and also more dangerous – self-righteousness is something that reason doesn’t address. … He thought he was helping gay men, he thought he was helping schizophrenics, and that his research was going to be transformative.” During his long career, Heath made many claims about what stimulating his beloved septal region could do. First he thought it could “wake up” the brain from a sleep-like state; then that it could be used to compensate for schizophrenics’ defective pleasure centres; or to detect and disrupt epileptic fits; or relieve chronic pain. Even in old age, he was coming up with new ideas, arguing that transplanting septal tissue from one person to another could enhance brain function and ward off the effects of ageing and Alzheimer’s: he’d already done it in rats, he told a Tulane colleague in an interview in 1986, and they’d tried it out on squirrel monkeys just the day before. Yet what Heath had, ultimately, was a procedure in search of a purpose. Like his patients[5] with their metal boxes, he could do something to the brain – septal stimulation – that was strange and fascinating and enthralling and mysterious. So, like them, he kept doing it, again and again and again. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-07-gay-written-scientific-history.html# Explore further: Power, work struggles in Bangladesh households linked to domestic violence[6]Provided by: Mosaic This article[7] first appeared on Mosaic[8] and is republished here under a Creative Commons licence. [ 1]: http://medicalxpress.com/tags/electrodes/ [ 2]: http://medicalxpress.com/tags/brain/ [ 3]: http://medicalxpress.com/tags/mental+health/ [ 4]: http://medicalxpress.com/tags/deep+brain+stimulation/ [ 5]: http://medicalxpress.com/tags/patients/ [ 6]: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-11-power-struggles-bangladesh-households-linked.html [ 7]: http://mosaicscience.com/story/gay-cure-experiments [ 8]: http://mosaicscience.com

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The ‘gay cure’ experiments that were written out of scientific history: Full extent of controversial 1970s electric shocks tests revealed
MailOnline
July 7, 2016 Thursday 12:30 AM GMT

Copyright 2016 Associated Newspapers Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Section: SCIENCE
Length: 8217 words
Byline: ROBERT COLVILE FOR MOSAIC
Body

• Robert Heath’s controversial experiment took place in 1970
• Subject ‘B-19’ had nine electrodes placed in pleasure centre of his brain
• B-19 is said to have lived an active heterosexual life following therapy
• Heath first began using electrodes on patients with schizophrenia, which was deemed unethical even though he mapped out brain’s pleasure circuit
For the first hour, they just talked. He was nervous; he’d never done this before.
She was understanding, reassuring: let’s just lie down on the bed together, she said, and see what happens.
Soon, events took their course: they were enjoying themselves so much they could almost forget about the wires leading out of his skull.
Scroll down for video
HOW THE EXPERIMENT WORKED
Robert Heath transplanted electrodes in nine separate regions of B-19’s brain, in order to ‘expel’ the man’s homosexual tendencies’.
A control box was attached that allowed the patient to send a one-second jolt to an specific area of his brain.
Before being given control of the electrodes, B-19 had been shown a film ‘displaying heterosexual foreplay and intercourse’.
He reacted with anger and revulsion.
But then the stimulation sessions started, delivered via the button that felt most pleasurable to him and hit the button 1,500 times over a three-hour session.
He started talking about wanting to have sex with women and Heath paid for a prostitute for the patient.
The year was 1970, and the man was a 24-year-old psychiatric patient.
The woman, 21, was a prostitute from the French Quarter of New Orleans, hired by special permission of the attorney general of Louisiana.
And they had just become part of one of the strangest experiments in scientific history: an attempt to use pleasure conditioning to turn a gay man straight.
The patient – codenamed B-19 – was, according to the two academic papers that catalogued the course of the research, a ‘single, white male of unremarkable gestation and birth’.
He came from a military family and had had an unhappy childhood.
He had, the papers said, entered the military but had been expelled for ‘homosexual tendencies’ within a month.
He had a five-year history of homosexuality, and a three-year history of drug abuse: he had tried glues, paints, thinners, sedatives, marijuana, LSD, amphetamines, even nutmeg and vanilla extract.
He had temporal lobe epilepsy.
He was depressive, suicidal, insecure, procrastinating, self-pitying and narcissistic.
‘All of his relationships,’ wrote his doctors, with an unsparing lack of sympathy, ‘have been characterized by coercion, manipulation and demand.’
In 1970, B-19 ended up in the care of Robert Galbraith Heath, chair of the department of psychiatry and neurology at Tulane University, New Orleans.
Heath’s prescription was drastic.
He and his team implanted stainless steel, Teflon-coated electrodes into nine separate regions of B-19’s brain, with wires leading back out of his skull.
Once he had recovered from the operation, a control box was attached which enabled him, under his doctors’ supervision, to provide a one-second jolt to the brain area of his choice.
Before being given control of the electrodes, B-19 had been shown a film ‘displaying heterosexual foreplay and intercourse’.
He reacted with anger and revulsion.
But then the stimulation sessions started, delivered via the button that felt most pleasurable to him.
Over the next few days, he found that it could arouse him, and he would press the button to stimulate himself ‘to a point that, both behaviorally and introspectively, he was experiencing an almost overwhelming euphoria and elation and had to be disconnected, despite his vigorous protests’.
He would hit the button up to 1,500 times over a three-hour session.
‘He protested each time the unit was taken from him,’ said one of the papers, ‘pleading to self-stimulate just a few more times.
Ten days into his treatment, the doctors suggested that B-19 watch the porn film again.
‘He agreed without reluctance… and during its showing became sexually aroused, had an erection, and masturbated to orgasm.’
He started talking about wanting to have sex with women – and so Heath got permission to hire what he later referred to as a ‘lady of the evening’.
‘We paid her $50,’ he said.
‘I told her it might be a little weird, but the room would be completely blacked out with curtains.’
She certainly did her job, guiding B-19 through the process and encouraging him to gradually build up his confidence.
‘As the second hour began, she relates that his attitude took an even more positive shift to which she reacted by removing her bra and panties and lying down next to him.
Then, in a patient and supportive manner, she encouraged him to spend some time in a manual exploration and examination of her body.’
Despite his initial shyness, he ended up having such a good time that – much to his doctors’ delight – he often paused before the moment of orgasm, in order to prolong his pleasure.
B-19 features in two 1972 papers: ‘Septal stimulation for the initiation of heterosexual behavior in a homosexual male’, by Heath and his colleague Charles E Moan, and ‘Pleasure and brain activity in man’, by Heath alone, which set out – apparently for the first time – what happens to human brainwaves during orgasm.
The papers are extraordinary: at once academic and pornographic, clinically detached and queasily prurient.
And they prompt all sorts of questions. Who was this Dr Heath? How on earth did he come to carry out this experiment – and get permission for it? And did it really, you know, work?
In the course of trying to unravel these questions, I read Heath’s papers, interviewed his former colleagues, and travelled to New Orleans to see where he worked and to watch the videos in which he reminisced about his career.
And what I found was something more remarkable than I could have imagined – the story of the man responsible for some of the strangest, boldest and most controversial experiments of the 20th century, yet who has been almost entirely written out of scientific history.
The first thing you have to understand about Bob Heath is his charisma. If you were casting a movie and looking for someone to play the scientist-hero, he would be the first and last name on your list.
In every profile, every interview, the topic of his presence came up: he was Gary Cooper or Cary Grant or Gregory Peck in a crisp white lab coat.
‘He looked like a god – and carried himself like one,’ says his former colleague Marilyn Skinner.
The second thing is that he was talented – perhaps too talented. He was board-certified in both psychiatry and neurology.
He was a qualified psychoanalyst. He could treat a patient, diagnose a mental illness, read an EEG and dash off a paper, all before heading off to the country club for a round of golf.
The third thing is that the one true love of his life wasn’t a woman, but an area of the brain. Imagine a line that goes through one ear and out the other.
Now take another line that runs dead centre from the top of your skull and down through your tongue. Where the two meet is what Heath labelled the septal area, although scientists today would probably call it the nucleus accumbens.
For Heath, it was the seat of pleasure and emotions that he thought would allow him to unlock the human brain.
Born in 1915 in Pittsburgh, Heath trained as a neurologist, before being drafted into service as a military psychiatrist in World War II.
He rapidly aligned himself with the new breed of biological psychiatrists – scientists who argued that what were traditionally thought of as diseases of the mind were often actually diseases of the brain and could therefore be cured through surgery, not therapy.
There was already some obvious evidence for this, in the shape of the way that patients’ behavio1r changed after prefrontal lobotomy.
This was the most widespread form of what was known as psychosurgery – the surgical treatment of mental illness.
Yet even though the procedure, which involved chopping away the connections to much of the brain’s frontal lobe, was growing in popularity, Heath and his colleagues at Columbia University rightly viewed it as crude and ineffective.
They decided to compare it with a much less invasive alternative, which they called topectomy: this involved targeting and removing specific areas of the cortex, in order to avoid wider damage to the brain.
Heath had already developed a particular interest in schizophrenia, which he viewed as the single greatest challenge in mental health, affecting roughly 2 per cent of Americans.
He noticed that such patients seemed largely unaffected by either lobotomy or topectomy; since these procedures targeted only the most immediately accessible part of the brain, the cortex, he concluded that their symptoms must be more deep-rooted.
So Heath began his investigations of the subcortex (literally, ‘the part below the surface’).
And one particular area – the septal region – appeared particularly promising.
HALF OF US HAS ‘GAY GENES’ CONTROVERSIAL STUDY CLAIMS
Around half of straight men and women potentially carry so-called homosexuality genes that are passed on from one generation to the next, according to new research.
This has helped homosexuality exist among humans throughout history, even though gay men tend to have fewer descendants who directly inherit their genes.
The researchers came to this conclusion using a computational model that, among others, included aspects of heredity and the tendency of homosexual men to come from larger families.
However, the researchers did not identify any specific genes and instead the conclusions are based on the fact homosexuality must have a hereditary element.
This idea is reported by Giorgi Chaladze of the Ilia State University in Georgia, and published in Springer’s journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour.
Chaladze used an individual-based genetic model to explain the stable, yet persistent, occurrence of homosexuality within larger populations.
He took into account findings from recent studies that show that homosexual men tend to come from larger families.
These suggest the genes responsible for homosexuality in men increase based on the number of children someone has.
And this applies to large families that have both sons and daughters, because females also carry the genes.
Other reports also suggest many heterosexual men are carriers of the genes that could predispose someone to homosexuality.
Based on Chaladze’s calculations, male homosexuality is maintained in a population at low and stable frequencies if half of the men and roughly more than half of the women carry genes that predispose men to homosexuality.
‘The trend of female family members of homosexual men to have more offspring can help explain the persistence of homosexuality, if we also consider that those males who have such genes are not always homosexuals,’ explained Chaladze.
When it was damaged or destroyed in cats and monkeys, they started behaving in a startlingly similar fashion to people with schizophrenia: their emotions were dulled, they lost their ability to experience pleasure (a phenomenon known as anhedonia), and they generally seemed to be removed from reality.
This reinforced Heath’s burgeoning conviction that schizophrenia was a biological, not a psychological, problem: something ‘dependent upon a defect in basic machinery, rather than a complication of environment’, as he would later write.
By implanting electrodes into the deepest parts of the brain, he could not only examine how this machinery operated, but also – he hoped – jolt it back into life.
There was just one problem. Heath could – and did – carry out all the tests he wanted on animals, but he couldn’t test his theories on humans: not so much for ethical reasons as because his colleagues at Columbia weren’t interested in the subcortex.
Then, on a trip to Atlantic City, he found himself lying on the beach next to a man from New Orleans.
He was the dean of Tulane University’s medical school, and he was looking to set up a psychiatry department.
He’d heard good things about a guy called Bob Heath. I’m Bob Heath, said Bob Heath. And so they started to talk.
For the 35-year-old, the job at Tulane was an irresistible opportunity.
New Orleans was an academic backwater.
But it had something very special: in the words of his future colleague Arthur Epstein, ‘a big sprawling beautiful hospital, containing some of the sickest patients you will ever see’.
This was Charity Hospital, a vast, brutalist 1930s edifice through which the poor and sick of New Orleans flowed in their thousands.
Heath was open about the fact that it was this endless supply of potential patients – or, as he put it, the ‘tremendous amount of clinical material’ – that attracted him to the job, because it gave him the chance to realise his outsize ambitions.
He moved to New Orleans in 1949: within a year, he had persuaded Charity’s governors to budget up to $400,000 to set up a 150-bed psychiatric unit on the third floor, which would enable him to tackle a waiting list for psychosurgery that was already ten months long.
Heath’s new position made him one of the most powerful men in the Louisiana mental health system.
As well as Charity, he held positions at other New Orleans hospitals such as DePaul, Touro and the Veterans Administration Center, and later Tulane’s own private hospital.
He maintained an experimental unit – at the state’s expense – at the East Louisiana Mental Hospital in Jackson, and was involved with another facility in Mandeville.
If he needed healthy volunteers, he had free access to inmates at the state prison complex at Angola.
On top of this, there was his role within Tulane.
Uniquely, his new department combined not just neurology and psychiatry – itself a reflection of his then-radical commitment to treating the mind and brain as linked – but also a psychoanalytic institute modeled on the work of his mentor Sandor Rado, who had argued for the key role of pleasure in motivating behavior: Heath urged all of his colleagues to learn analysis, and to be analyzed themselves.
By 1970, the time of the ‘gay cure’ experiment, there were almost 200 staff and medical students under his supervision.
In 1952, Heath and the colleagues he had recruited from Columbia and elsewhere revealed the first fruits of their work.
At a scientific conference (written up as the 1954 book Studies in Schizophrenia), they described how they had honed their techniques, developing better and safer methods of implanting ever more electrodes and leaving them in for ever longer.
These electrodes had, they announced, uncovered ‘an abnormality in the septal region’ – unusual brainwave patterns, seen during seizures, that were exclusive to schizophrenia.
And their use of electrical pulses to stimulate the same area had had promising results with the initial 22 patients, 19 of whom were schizophrenic.
(The others were two patients with terminal cancer and one with acute TB: Heath wanted to see whether septal stimulation would offer relief from their incurable pain.)
The tone of the reports – and of most of the observers’ comments – was upbeat.
Professor Herbert S Gaskill of Indiana University, while admitting that the clinical results were not conclusive, praised the ‘breadth of vision and imagination which this research study has shown’, calling it ‘of inestimable value’.
Yet you do not have to read through many of the 600 pages of Studies in Schizophrenia to feel slightly different emotions.
The type of electric pulse, Heath and co admitted, was ‘arbitrarily chosen’ because it seemed to work on animals: ‘We are still by no means certain that it is the most effective way of influencing the circuit.’
Among the first ten patients, ‘Two patients had convulsions… wound infection occurred in two cases.’
Among the second ten, there were two deaths, both related to brain abscesses that developed following the operation.
HOW THE PATIENTS REACTED
Some patients developed infections, others had convulsions.
Patient 21 ‘tugged vigorously at his bandage and displaced the electrodes’.
Patient 12 had two electrodes put in the wrong place.
When the electrical currents were activated, several of the patients had seizures.
Patient 13 ‘complained of nervousness, urinary urgency and chills’.
Patient 14 ‘developed a generalized terror, which appeared to be associated with his extreme apprehension and fear and which persisted for several minutes after stimulation’.
Patient 16 ‘became quite agitated’, with her blood pressure spiking to 178/110.
Patient 17 developed ‘marked cardiac arrhythmia’, and ‘in both stimulations, the patient’s eyes were seen to open widely, and she said she was afraid’.
Patient 22 ‘expressed great fear, and at one point it took four or five people to restrain her’.
If these studies make uncomfortable reading, they make for even more disturbing viewing.
Heath filmed many of his experiments over the years, showing the results to colleagues and visitors.
After his death, the films were seen by neuroscientist Gregory Berns, while researching his book Satisfaction.
He describes watching footage of patient A-10, a member of the Army whose erratic behavior saw him diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, and entrusted to Heath’s care in 1952.
The full description is harrowing.
At one point, A-10 rakes his face with his hands, squirms, and complains of ‘going black in the head’, before curling into the fetal position and saying:
‘I can’t think of nothing when my brain is turning up like that.’
‘Oh, no… before I pass out! I don’t want to pass out… Oh, my brain!’
‘Suddenly,’ writes Berns, ‘the patient’s voice changes.
He screams in a pitch so high it is uninterpretable.
Then he starts tearing at his clothes, trying to rip off his shirt, and gets up from the gurney.
‘The interviewer says, ‘You’re tearing at your clothes. Do you know you’re tearing at your clothes?’ On the verge of incoherence, in a falsetto voice, the patient screams, ‘I don’t care! I gotta do something! I don’t care. I don’t care!’
Pausing for a moment, he starts to get off the gurney again before yelling, ‘I’m gonna rip you up!’
‘Several hands come into view and hold the patient down, tying his hands. ‘Stop!’ the interviewer commands. ‘Stop!’
The patient stares into the camera and hisses, ‘I don’t give a goddamn. I’m gonna kill you. Let me up. I’m gonna kill you and rip you to goddamn shreds!’
Even by the standards of the time, these experiments were radical and strange – and they duly caused an uproar.
Heath and his acolytes later blamed this on the hostility of the American Psychological Association, in which the emotional rather than biological model of mental health was firmly entrenched (a popular theory on schizophrenia, for example, was it was caused by poor parenting – the ‘schizophrenogenic mother’).
But as Heath admitted, his work also ’caused a great deal of emotional upset to a lot of people at the 1952 meeting’ – particularly the stimulation of ‘averse emotions of an intense degree’, such as rage or fear.
There was another problem: while the work had improved scientists’ understanding of the brain’s circuitry, it hadn’t actually done much to cure schizophrenia.
Heath had been encouraged by the initial results of stimulating patients with electrodes: ‘if they were catatonic and mute, they would begin to talk; if they were very delusional, they would tend to come back towards reality to varying degrees’.
But in the long term, the risk of damage from the electrodes’ implantation appeared to outweigh any benefits from the treatment: of the initial 22 patients, four who had had abnormal brainwave patterns showed improvement a few months later, but at least the same number who had had normal patterns developed ‘evidence of gross abnormality’.
Also, although Heath did not acknowledge it, any improvement may have come about simply because the chosen patients were getting more attention from their doctors.
By 1955, Heath had stopped the study, on the grounds that ‘the lasting beneficial effects in the patient group… have not been significant’.
But this did not mean that he was done with his electrodes.
He was just getting started.
He noticed that the same jolt to the septal area, in depressed but non-schizophrenic patients, resulted in an intense sensation of pleasure, almost ecstasy.
Given the chance to stimulate themselves, some of his patients would do so hundreds of times an hour, just as rats did in similar experiments (and as patient B-19 later would).
In one of Heath’s films, a man who has just tried to kill himself starts to smile when his electrodes activate, saying: ‘I feel good. I don’t know why. I just suddenly felt good’.
He adds: ‘When I get mad, if I push the button I feel better… that’s a real good button… I would buy one if I could.’
Soon, Heath was coming up with all manner of uses for those buttons. In 1963, he reported that he was treating two new types of patient.
One, with epilepsy, had 51 electrodes implanted into 17 separate brain sites in an attempt to disrupt seizures before they happened.
The other, a 28-year-old nightclub entertainer with narcolepsy, was given a self-stimulation unit with three buttons, each linked via electrodes to a different part of the brain.
Like B-19 later on, he quickly settled on the button connected to the septal area as his preferred option. If he felt himself falling asleep, he would push the button – or his friends would give him a jolt to wake him up.
But he also learned another use for the button: to push it in a ‘frantic’ fashion.
‘It built him up toward a feeling of orgasm that he was never quite able to consummate’, writes Peter Breggin in his book The Return of Lobotomy and Psychosurgery.
Heath’s was a time in which damaging or experimental procedures were commonplace: there were almost none of the controls or restrictions that we have today.
But even so, his radicalism stood out.
Other doctors would implant a few electrodes for a few days; Heath implanted dozens, and left them in for years.
Others experimented with animals; Heath experimented with people and animals both, feeding the findings from one set of tests into the next.
Others tested the pleasure reflex under carefully controlled laboratory conditions; Heath handed patients the control boxes and set them loose to juice themselves as they saw fit.
One of them ended up in Chicago, trying to sell himself and his hardware to the university for $5,000; another popped up in New York, whose police force called Heath on the grounds that he was the only one anyone could think of whose patients had wires coming out of their heads.
Heath was, in other words, a man of extraordinary curiosity – and in a position to follow his muse wherever it took him, or have one of his many subordinates do so on his behalf.
While septal stimulation was the constant of his career, he engaged in an enormous variety of other work, publishing at least 425 papers.
Among these were his efforts to treat gay men by turning ‘repugnant feelings… toward the opposite sex’ into pleasurable ones – and similar work on ‘frigid women’.
He experimented with dripping drugs deep into the brain down tiny pipes called cannulae, targeting the same regions as his electrodes.
He tested a ‘brainwashing’ drug called bulbocapnine for the CIA, on both animals and (although he denied it for decades) on a human prisoner, as a small part of the vast and largely illegal ‘MK-ULTRA’ program to explore the limits and limitations of the American body.
He talked a suicidal patient down from a roof.
He injected horseradish peroxidase into the brain to see how it carried chemicals.
He gave a talk to the Army on electrical stimulation of the brain, after which his department was contracted to test psychoactive drugs on prisoners: the resulting paper, from 1957, is as macabre and gripping as the studies involving B-19, complete with detailed descriptions of the patients’ behavior and hallucinations.
In 1972, the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper reported that Heath had been able to ‘record septal activity resulting from alcohol, tobacco, amphetamine, marijuana and sexual orgasm’.
At around that time, he began testing the effects of marijuana on monkeys by blowing smoke into their cages: the equivalent of 250 joints a day.
‘Memo to the parents of New Orleans,’ ran the resulting report in the Times-Picayune in 1974.
‘If you’ve been trying to persuade yourselves that the ‘pot’ which ‘Junior’ is smoking isn’t harming him, listen to this.’
Marijuana, Heath claimed gravely, could cause brain damage, respiratory damage – and erectile dysfunction.
For all the volume and variety of his work, Heath’s contemporary reputation rested on one particular discovery – again the product of his work on the septal region.
As well as stimulating the schizophrenic brain, Heath was studying it.
He wanted to know what was different about the tissue, the chemicals, the genes that caused the anomalies he had found.
Examining blood samples and brain matter from people with schizophrenia, he discovered a mysterious substance he called taraxein, which seemed to be generated in the septal area.
CAN A DISGUSTING SMELL MAKE YOU CONSERVATIVE AND HOMOPHOBIC?
In a new study, titled ‘Disgust and the Politics of Sex,’ researchers say that an odour really can change our mind – and even change our religious views.
The team tested a range of view on people both with and without exposing them to noxious fumes.
‘Disgust has been implicated as a potential causal agent underlying socio-political attitudes and behaviors,’ the University of Arkansas team wrote in the journal PLOS One.
‘The present study tested the effects of disgust on a range of policy preferences to clarify whether disgust is generally implicated in political conservatism across public policy attitudes or is uniquely related to specific content domains.’
The team say their unusual research proved the theory.
‘The study showed that exposure to a disgusting odor increased endorsement of socially conservative attitudes related to sexuality,’ they wrote.
‘In particular, there was a strong and consistent link between induced disgust and less support for gay marriage.’
The researchers tested their theory with the use of a particularly offensive smell.
Of the 57 participants, consisting of community members and students recruited via an online ad and paid $10 for their time, 30 were randomly chosen for the control group and the remaining 27 were in the variable group.
The variable group was exposed to a stench caused by butyric acid, the smell found in rancid butter and sweat, that was placed on hidden cotton pads in the room.
They say the results were shocking.
‘In the research presented here, exposure to a disgusting odor caused greater endorsement of conservative views, including: rejecting gay marriage, restricting sex to marriage, disapproving of the use of pornography, and increased beliefs in Biblical truth.
‘Rejection of gay marriage was a particularly strong response to the disgust-inducing odor, perhaps because of the connection between homosexuality and perceptions of sexual impurity.
‘It is possible that some forms of political conservatism, particularly those related to sex and sexuality, are basic and inherent in some populations and can readily emerge under threatening or taxing conditions.’
This was, he dramatically announced in 1956, not a by-product of schizophrenia: rather, it seemed to be its cause.
If you took a serum of taraxein and injected it into monkeys, they started showing schizophrenia-like symptoms.
A couple of hours later, they were completely back to normal.
When he tried it on people, the results were the same.
The report caused a sensation.
And in 1967, Heath doubled down, claiming that further investigation had revealed that taraxein was in fact an antibody produced by the brain.
The first line of Tulane’s press release suggested this might well be ‘one of the most significant scientific advances in the field of psychiatry’, and it was hard to disagree.
What Heath had discovered – as the global media eagerly reported – was that people with schizophrenia were, in effect, allergic to their own brains.
There was talk of a Nobel Prize.
There was just one problem: taraxein didn’t exist.
Or if it did, no one else could find it. Even some of the technicians charged with isolating and purifying the substance became convinced that it didn’t actually exist.
James Eaton, a colleague of Heath’s who witnessed a failed demonstration for visiting dignitaries, says it became clear that the patients were acting crazy because that’s what they realised Heath wanted: when the ‘taraxein’ was administered by other doctors, their behavior was unchanged.
This controversy damaged Heath’s national reputation – already imperiled by a feud with Seymour Kety, who as the first director of the National Institute of Mental Health ensured that Heath was always denied federal funding for his work, and had to go cap in hand to private donors. But it did not change things in Louisiana: Heath continued to be given awards and positions, to be respected and venerated.
Yet a wider backlash against psychosurgery was stirring. It wasn’t just lobotomy, although that was increasingly discredited: there seemed to be a laundry list of damaging, dangerous or disturbing treatments being carried out around the USA.
Fears of mind control and brainwashing, stoked by the success of the film
The Manchurian Candidate, cast suspicion on any research involving drugs and electrodes to manipulate the mind.
In 1972, a campaigning psychiatrist called Peter Breggin published an essay warning of the dangers of psychosurgery, including Heath’s work, which a sympathetic Congressman inserted into the Congressional Record.
It caught the attention of Todd Ochs, a member of the Medical Committee for Human Rights (which provided care for civil rights activists across the South) who was working at a free clinic in the French Quarter of New Orleans – and as a paramedic at Charity Hospital.
Ochs and his committee took up the cause, and he alerted his friend Bill Rushton, a gay rights campaigner and investigative reporter for the local Vieux Carre Courier.
The resulting piece, ‘The mysterious experiments of Dr Heath: in which we wonder who is crazy and who is sane’, was a broadside against Heath’s work.
Published in 1974, it not only told the story of patient B-19 but also claimed that nurses at Charity would hide their patients from Heath’s lackeys when they came sniffing round for subjects.
Heath attracted further negative publicity in Alan Scheflin and Edward Opton’s 1978 book The Mind Manipulators.
The most damaging critique, however, came in Elliott Valenstein’s 1973 book Brain Control.
Unlike the others, Valenstein – now professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Michigan – was a member of Heath’s own profession.
And he argued not that Heath was a monster, but simply a bad scientist.
Valenstein pointed out gently but firmly that because of Heath’s lack of controls, his habit of reading what he wanted into the data, and other experimental errors, much of his work was simply invalid.
‘My criticism of Heath,’ he says today, ‘was really that he didn’t seem to know how to test his own conclusions for verification.
He was always interested in results that were spectacular – like finding some protein in the brain that would evoke schizophrenia.
He’d published papers of that sort but never really looked for alternative explanations, never tested the reliability of his findings, was very willing to rapidly publicize his findings, so that he was quite unreliable.’
STUDY FINDS BEING GAY IS IN YOUR GENES
Scientists have found two stretches of DNA linked to homosexuality in men.
The confirmation of the existence of a ‘gay gene’ or genes will strengthen arguments that homosexuality is a matter of biology, rather than choice.
However, it also raises the prospect of a genetic test that could be used by insurance companies to discriminate against clients or by pregnant women to abort gay babies.
In a 2014 study, Chicago University researchers analysed the DNA of more than 400 pairs of gay brothers, recruited at Gay Pride festivals at marches over several years.
is revealed flagged up two pieces of DNA that seem to be linked to homosexuality.
It is not known which of the many genes they contain are key or how they affect the development of sexual orientation.
However, the result, revealed at a science event in Chicago, backs up a contentious 1993 study.
That research, the first to find evidence of a ‘gay gene’, created a storm of controversy, which was further fuelled when other scientists failed to find a genetic link.
Dr Michael Bailey from Northwestern University in Illinois, who contributed to the latest study, said it is the biggest of its kind.
He added: ‘Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice. Our findings suggest there may be genes at play – we found evidence for two sets that affect whether a man is gay or straight.
‘Although this could one day lead to a pre-natal test for male sexual orientation, it would not be very accurate, as there are other factors that can influence the outcome.’
Despite this, he would not would not object to a prenatal test being developed.
He said: ‘Clearly parents should not be allowed to torture or kill babies. But they can currently choose to terminate a pregnancy early on, so they should be allowed to have as much information on the future child as possible.’
Qazi Rhaman, a King’s College London psychologist, said that genes are thought account for up to 40 per cent of a person’s sexual orientation is governed by genes, and that it is likely that many genes are involved.
This would make developing a genetic test incredibly difficult.
He said: ‘There is no real risk of anyone finding a ‘genetic test’ for sexual orientation based on these or any of the scientific findings about the genetics of sexuality from the past 20 years.
‘The reason is that there is no gay gene. You are not going to be able to develop a test to find them all.’
Dr Rhaman, who has written a book about sexual orientation, added that all psychological traits involve genetics and people should not be afraid about link homosexuality to genes.
Some people Valenstein talked to told him that even Heath’s vaunted pleasure centre wasn’t all it was cracked up to be: ‘[They] said that many of these patients were just stimulating their own brains because they thought that’s what he wanted them to do – it wasn’t really a pleasurable experience for them.’
Heath admitted in print that septal stimulation had different effects on different people – generally serving to amplify rather than create emotions, especially in the case of arousal, and having much less effect on those who were already feeling happy and contented.
Despite the growing controversy, Heath retained his position and prestige – but Tulane was becoming increasingly worried about its reputation.
In the early 1970s, donors to fund the electrode studies became harder to come by, as did official approval for procedures.
Heath even took a brief sabbatical while the bad publicity died down.
Yet in terms of his ambitions, and his convictions about the brain, nothing of substance changed.
Psychiatrist Marilyn Skinner remembers, as a young resident at Tulane, being given the case of a 22-year-old woman: ‘She was wild, you couldn’t get close to her, she was literally scarred – her whole body was a scar, from her own cutting and burning. … She was going to kill herself, and somebody else too.’
He used vulnerable patients to hone his theories, to no therapeutic benefit, causing many of them very significant harm
Heath decided to carry out a radical surgical procedure – but couldn’t get permission to do it in New Orleans.
So he found a sympathetic hospital in California, and when the procedure took place, something amazing happened, Skinner says: ‘They basically severed the connections between the two hemispheres [of the brain].
And I’m not kidding you, she was a dream after that.
She showed warmth, and gratitude – she was able to talk about her feelings, and what happened, and was no longer suicidal or homicidal.’
That is the tantalizing thing about Heath: sometimes, his wild ideas actually came off.
Heath retired as chairman of his department in 1980, after 31 years at the helm, although he continued working for some years afterwards.
Even before his death in 1999, at the age of 84, his reputation outside Tulane had become tarnished.
He was known, if at all, not as the man who was the first to map out the pleasure circuit, or as one of the earliest and most passionate advocates for the biological causation of schizophrenia (now the established orthodoxy), but as a man whose work seemed closer to science fiction than practical medicine.
To some, he was a monster, plain and simple.
He used vulnerable patients to hone his theories, to no therapeutic benefit, causing many of them very significant harm. He tested psychoactive drugs on the unwitting.
Harry Bailey, an Australian doctor who briefly worked with Heath on his electrode studies, accused him of picking out African-Americans for his experiments because, as he put it, ‘it was cheaper to use niggers than cats… they were everywhere and cheap experimental animals’.
The patients would be wired up and given a little box and ‘just went around, ‘pop, pop, pop’, all the time, continuous orgasms’.
A woman called Claudia Mullen even testified before Congress in 1995 that Heath had, when she came to him as a child patient, engaged in all kinds of unethical practices before handing her over to the custody of the CIA, where she was used as a sex slave.
He has been accused of mind control, of barbarity, of ‘Nazi science’, of using prisoners in Charity, Jackson and elsewhere as his playthings.
Yet his former colleagues almost uniformly tell a very different story.
‘Other than my parents,’ says James Eaton, ‘he was the most formidable mentor and leader and ideal that I had.’
For John Goethe, another who worked with him at Tulane,
‘Nobody was more devoted to trying to find a cure for the people he felt medicine had neglected.
He was in psychiatry and neurology rather than cardiology and dermatology because he felt ‘We’re not paying enough attention to these folks.’
Yes, he was arrogant and temperamental – ‘It would be easy for him to win a contest to see who could divide a room quickest,’ says Goethe – but he was also inspirational.
In an obituary, fellow Tulane neurologist Leon Weisberg called him ‘a true visionary… an extraordinary clinician, teacher, administrator, scientist and friend’.
How to reconcile these two Bob Heaths?
Certainly, it is easy to cast doubt on the wilder allegations.
Bailey’s quotes come from a long, rambling, drunken speech, decades after the event – and he himself was a genuine monster, whose ‘deep sleep’ therapy, based on the idea that the human brain would be more malleable if the patient were plunged into a barbiturate-induced coma, killed dozens of people.
In fact, given New Orleans demographics, African-Americans appear to have been under-represented in Heath’s electrode studies rather than the reverse.
As for Claudia Mullen, her social worker and champion, Valerie Wolf, had her license revoked over claims that she had exploited her clients and encouraged them to believe recovered memories that turned out to be false.
Wolf is now dead and Mullen has long been out of the public eye; Alan Scheflin, the Santa Clara law professor (and co-author of The Mind Manipulators) who validated her claims of CIA abuse, refused multiple requests for an interview.
Heath may have gone to extremes, but he had many companions in excess.
In 1963, a different group of scientists at Tulane started transplanting chimpanzee kidneys into humans.
Lobotomies, deep sleep therapy, ‘insulin shock’ – Heath’s electrodes were, in comparison, a relatively delicate intervention.
He generally used them, he insisted, on incurably sick patients for whom all other treatments had been tried and had failed – although the B-19 case and others suggest that is not entirely true.
And while he did map out the ‘aversive’ areas of his patients’ brains (including ‘a site which when stimulated would turn on intense killing rage, instantaneously’), and carry out that experiment with bulbocapnine on the CIA’s behalf, he also claimed to have rejected a request from the CIA to study the brain’s pain centre.
Yet this, in an odd way, is precisely what makes Heath so fascinating, and his career so relevant today.
He was not a villainous outlier, cackling to himself in a basement, but the respected head of a major university department, someone who was not only in the academic mainstream but had defined, at least for Tulane, what that mainstream was.
His excesses, and his flaws, and his failures to accept his limitations, were therefore all the more significant.
Heath’s central insight – that schizophrenia was a disease of the brain rather than the mind – has certainly been vindicated, and triumphantly so. Much of his research, for example in mapping the pleasure circuit of the brain or monitoring it during orgasm, was pioneering.
Yet his 425 papers have left a remarkably small imprint on the wider field.
By the time he retired – and, in truth, long before – it was clear that much of his work had been rendered moot by advances in antipsychotic medication; the idea of there being one single, fixable cause for schizophrenia also ended up being simplistic and overly optimistic.
Scientists are now, again, attempting to use deep brain stimulation to treat mental illness – such as intractable and crippling obsessive-compulsive disorder.
But a recent profile of one of the leaders in the field, Emad Eskandar, claimed the practice had only begun in 1987.
Heath’s use of deep brain stimulation 20-30 years earlier has been largely written out of the history of neuroscience.
To modern eyes, the B-19 episode is the most controversial of Heath’s cases – even though there is some pretty stiff competition.
But what is striking in the contemporary reports is how few people, in comparison to his other electrode experiments, seem to have raised any objections.
Take Elliott Valenstein’s book Brain Control.
In it, he did criticize the experiment – but for its method, not its motives.
His argument was that ‘orgasmic reorientation’ – a behavioral therapy program based around masturbation – seemed to get equivalent results for much less effort.
The basic idea that it was a psychiatrist’s duty to ‘cure’ gay people went unquestioned.
Homosexuality was, until 1968, formally listed in the diagnostic textbooks as a sociopathic personality disturbance, a fear of the opposite sex that was thought to result – just like schizophrenia – from childhood trauma.
It was still listed as a ‘sexual deviation’ until 1973.
Heath’s use of deep brain stimulation 20-30 years earlier has been largely written out of the history of neuroscience
Speaking today, Valenstein acknowledges that ‘the attitude towards homosexuality at the time was very different from what it is now’.
What was different about Heath’s procedure, he says, wasn’t that he was trying to ‘fix’ homosexuality – many people, including Heath’s mentor Sandor Rado, were doing the same.
Heath’s work, and other such biological approaches, were notable mostly because they seemed to offer an easier and more lasting solution than long-term therapy.
A few years ago, says James Eaton, he was interviewed about Heath’s work for a potential documentary.
At the end, he was asked about Heath’s apparent crusade to wipe out homosexuality.
‘I said: ‘What are you talking about? I myself am gay. I’ve known I’ve been gay all of my life.’
‘Heath knew it too. And out of 44 or 45 fellows or residents, he made me his chief resident, and he trusted me until his death.’
‘Now why would he do that? He never once alluded to the fact that I was gay.’ And that floored them. It just floored them.’
And what about the young man, B-19? Did Heath’s ‘cure’ actually work?
In the paper he wrote with Charles E Moan, Heath claimed that B-19 – who he identified in contemporary interviews as a male prostitute – had subsequently had a ten-month relationship with a married woman.
While he had also returned to homosexual activity, this had only happened twice, ‘when he needed money and ‘hustling’ was a quick way to get it when he was out of work’.
Heath added that ‘such acting out was not intended to be a replacement for sex with females, which he indicates he is definitely motivated to continue’.
In an interview in 1972, he went further, claiming that B-19 ‘has solved many of his personal problems and is leading an actively and exclusively heterosexual life’.
Mission accomplished, then? Not quite. While Heath’s electrodes may have stirred up arousal temporarily, they didn’t actually change the patient’s basic nature.
THE SCIENCE OF SEXUALITY
Between two and 11 per cent of adults have reported having experienced homosexual feelings.
Yet, what determines a person’s sexual orientation is largely a mystery.
For years scientists have searched for the answer, exploring the influence of siblings and specific genes, and a new study points out their quest has been clouded by how sexuality is measured, as well as political agendas.
Scientific evidence suggests biological and non-social environmental factors jointly influence sexual orientation, in other words, a combination of nature and nurture.
‘At least at the time I knew [B-19], it was less about whether he was homosexual or heterosexual. He was sort of asexual. He just wasn’t that interested,’ says John Goethe.
‘It was clear to me… that his life stressors were – some were related to sexual orientation, but most were not.’
He drifted between jobs, and ‘was not a happy camper about a lot of things’.
He adds that it was B-19 who approached Heath for help with his sexuality – rather than having a ‘cure’ imposed on him in exchange for leniency over drugs charges, as suggested by Bill Rushton at the time.
The best place to find the truth about B-19 and Heath’s other experiments would be his archives, which are held by his old department at Tulane.
But the university (which is a private institution) refuses to let anyone have access to them, even though researchers have in the past been allowed to view the films of Heath’s experiments held by Tulane.
While I spoke to several of Heath’s former colleagues, those still working at Tulane itself refused to comment.
With the assistance of Ken Kramer of PsychSearch.net, who investigates cases of psychiatric malpractice, I was able to track down Moan, Heath’s co-author on the B-19 paper, but he refused repeated requests for an interview.
Yet from the available evidence, it is hard to disagree with the judgement of Alan Baumeister, a Louisiana State University psychiatry professor and the leading academic expert on Heath, that the Tulane electrical brain stimulation experiments were ‘dubious and precarious’ not just by today’s standards, but by those of the time.
‘Heath, throughout the history of his work, justified what he was doing on therapeutic grounds,’ says Baumeister.
‘He said that it was done for the benefit of the patients. But some of the things he did couldn’t conceivably have been done for the benefit of the patient.’
He may not have been a god, but Heath was clearly a man of extraordinary gifts and extraordinary charisma – yet one whose self-belief blinded him to the flaws in his theories and his methods.
‘He, like many doctors, did not see any ethical problems from what he was doing,’ says Todd Ochs.
‘He was trying to help people. And in a way it makes it more sad and also more dangerous – self-righteousness is something that reason doesn’t address. … He thought he was helping gay men, he thought he was helping schizophrenics, and that his research was going to be transformative.’
During his long career, Heath made many claims about what stimulating his beloved septal region could do.
First he thought it could ‘wake up’ the brain from a sleep-like state; then that it could be used to compensate for schizophrenics’ defective pleasure centers; or to detect and disrupt epileptic fits; or relieve chronic pain.
Even in old age, he was coming up with new ideas, arguing that transplanting septal tissue from one person to another could enhance brain function and ward off the effects of aging and Alzheimer’s: he’d already done it in rats, he told a Tulane colleague in an interview in 1986, and they’d tried it out on squirrel monkeys just the day before.
Yet what Heath had, ultimately, was a procedure in search of a purpose. Like his patients with their metal boxes, he could do something to the brain – septal stimulation – that was strange and fascinating and enthralling and mysterious.
So, like them, he kept doing it, again and again and again.
This article first appeared on Mosaic and is republished here under a Creative Commons licence.

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Antidepressant web resources; Web Page Potpourri; AlternativeMentalHealth.com; Website overview
Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients
October 1, 2006

Copyright 2006 Gale Group, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
ASAP
Copyright 2006 The Townsend Letter Group
Section: Pg. 66(3); No. 279; ISSN: 1525-4283
Length: 1780 words
Byline: Roswell, Marjorie
Body

Safe Harbor: AlternativeMentalHealth.com
http://AlternativeMentalHealth.com/directory/search.asp
http://AlternativeMentalHealth.com/directory/signup.htm
Find an alternative mental health practitioner at Safe Harbor’s web site. Their database includes fields such as Type of practitioner, Type of treatments, Prescribe or recommend psychiatric drugs, and, importantly, Help take patients off psychiatric drugs if they wish to do so. If you are an alternative mental health practitioner, be sure to get listed in this database via the sign-up page listed above.
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
http://www.DrugAwareness.org/

Click to access ZoloftAd.pdf

http://www.DrugAwareness.org/ICFDAlinks.html
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/DrugAwareness/
This site includes a spot-on serious parody of an ad for Zoloft. Don’t miss it–it’s the ZoloftAd.pdf link, above. The Coalition has anassociated listserv.
QuitPaxil.info
http://QuitPaxil.info/
http://www.QuitPaxil.info/Main/links.htm
http://www.QuitPaxil.org/Main/lighter.htm
http://www.QuitPaxil.org/Images/paxilfighter.gif
In Australia, it’s Aropax; in the United Kingdom, it’s Seroxat; and in the United States, we know it as Paxil. Withdrawal is difficult but can be achieved. I recommend this page, which features both excellent content and clean design. Some of what appears on the “Lighter Side” page is actually tragic, but the Paxilfighter image at the bottom of the page might draw a smile. The rich links page includes resources such as “My Paxil Nightmare,” “A Diary for Quitting Paxil” [software], and a link to the official Paxil site.
Prozac Survivor
http://www2.netdoor.com/~bill/prosurv/prosurv.html
This site hasn’t been updated for years, but it still has a terrific set of valuable links.
The Effexor Activist
http://TheEffexorActivist.org/
http://TheEffexorActivist.org/forum/
The Effexor Activist shares information on the dangers of antidepressants, while also supporting people in their efforts to withdraw from them. At this site, you can sign petitions and download bumper stickers with messages such as Antidepressant Withdrawal is HELL. The forum contains terrific content, mostly posted by the site founder.
Dr. Peter Breggin
http://www.Breggin.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Breggin
http://www.heall.com/holistic_psychology/your_drug_may_be_your_problem.html
Retired psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin has authored a number of important books. Talking Back to Prozac: What Doctors Aren’t Telling You About Today’s Most Controversial Drug is essential reading for anyone who is prescribing antidepressants, taking antidepressants, or considering taking them. His web site is home-grown, but the critical content more than demands attention. You can read more on Peter Bregginat the Wikipedia site. I’ve included the heall.com link, as well, inwhich Dr. Breggin addresses head-on the industry’s continued effortsto falsely associate him with the Church of Scientology.
Antidepressant-Induced Suicide and Violence: More About Deception Than Science

Click to access fdapressconfsept142004.pdf

http://www.ahrp.org/risks/SSRI0904/Breggin.php
These are remarks by Dr. Peter Breggin at an event held by the Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP). Eli Lilly and Company hidProzac-induced suicidal behavior by coding suicide attempts under misleading terms such as “no drug effect.”
Antidepressants’ Risk Of Suicide Now Called Low
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/01/01/antidepressants_risk_of_suicide_now_called_low
A large January 2006 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry determined that risk of suicide is reduced by patients taking antidepressants. Interestingly, the study authors also admit that antidepressants don’t significantly help most people who have chronic depression.
The Link Between Psychiatry, Drugs, and Suicide
http://www.TeenScreenTruth.com/psychiatry_drugs_suicide.html
A sample entry on this long page of tragic stories says, “JenniferO’Connor, 40, shot her 7-year-old daughter, Sara, while she was sleeping. O’Conner’s psychiatrist had recently switched her medications.”Another suicide entry notes: “Her autopsy revealed she had gallstones, the real cause for her original symptoms. Why was she put on antidepressants?”
Teen Screen Facts
http://www.TeenScreenFacts.com/
Teen Screen Truth
http://www.TeenScreenTruth.com/
TeenScreen: A Front Group for the Psycho-Pharmaceutical IndustrialComplex
http://PsychSearch.net/teenscreen.html
No Child Left Unmedicated
http://www.eagleforum.org/psr/2005/mar05/psrmar05.html
Columbia University TeenScreen Program
http://www.TeenScreen.org/
TeenScreen is a controversial suicide and mental health screening program developed by Columbia University’s Child Psychiatry Research Department. Designed by well-meaning people, unfortunately, the program yields a high number of false-positives–too many kids being put on psychiatric drugs–and has the potential to create lifelong psychiatric patients. I encourage you to learn more about TeenScreen and theBush Administration’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. By the way, I never thought I would find a place to agree with conservative Phyllis Schafley, but, behold, I appreciate her phrase “No Child Left Unmedicated” and find the piece to be well-written and informative.
Prescription: Suicide?
http://www.PrescriptionSuicide.com/
http://www.ParticipateNow.net/
Prescription: Suicide? is a film about the effects of the use of antidepressants by teenagers. Consider getting a public performance license via the ParticipateNow.net web site to show the film in your community.
Side Effects
http://www.SideEffectsTheMovie.com/trailers/
http://www.SideEffectsTheMovie.com/shop/dvdpackages.shtml
Side Effects is a satirical movie created by Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, who worked for a decade as a pharmaceutical sales representative. In addition to producing Side Effects, she also created the more serious documentary, Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety.
Katrina Survivors Need Homes, Jobs–Not Psychiatric Drugs
http://www.NewMediaExplorer.org/sepp/2005/09/20/katrina_survivors_need_homes_jobs_not_psychiatric_drugs.htm
http://PsychRights.org/
When hard times hit, the mental health system is more likely to offer you drugs than real help. The president of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, Jim Gottstein, Esq. says, “Let’s not compound the Katrina tragedy by lining the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies at the expense of people’s long-term mental health. These people needhomes, money, jobs and support, not drugs.”
International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology
http://www.icspp.org/
This organization is having a conference in early October. If you see this article before October 7, consider attending. In any case, consider joining the ICSPP to help break the pharmaceutical industry’sstranglehold on the mental health professions.
Mind Freedom International
http://www.MindFreedom.org/
http://www.MindFreedom.org/links.shtml
http://www.MindFreedom.org/MindFreedom/posters.shtml
http://www.intenex.net/pipermail/MindFreedom-news/2006-June/000036.html
http://www.ProgressiveRadioNetwork.org/
http://www.MadMarket.org/
This is a key web site for the psychiatric survivors’ movement. The site has a super set of links, oral histories, and downloadable posters. This year, the MindFreedom News Hour launched a free weekly internet radio show in the Progressive Radio Network. Tune in every Tuesday, 1PM EST, or go to the Progressive Radio Network and download thearchives. Mind Freedom’s “hot news” is quite old (perhaps because the original MindFreedom.org web developer died tragically from a routine allergy injection). But the related Mad Market site is a current shopping spot where you can order books like Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs; The History of Shock Treatment; and The Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses. Proceeds support MindFreedom human rights campaigns.
Antidepressant Facts
http://www.AntidepressantsFacts.com/
http://www.AntidepressantsFacts.com/taper.htm
http://www.AntidepressantsFacts.com/reaction.htm
http://www.AntidepressantsFacts.com/2004-02-03-FDA-Advisory-Committee.htm
This is a rich, helpful site if you spend some time figuring out the navigation. Note the fly-out menu in the upper left hand side of the screen.
Worst Pills
http://www.WorstPills.org/
http://www.WorstPills.org/search.cfm?
http://www.WorstPills.org/member/back_issues.cfm
The content on this site is worth the $15 per year subscription fee. Developed by the nonprofit organization, Public Citizen, the site can be searched by drug name, family of drugs, disease or condition, or by drug-induced disease. Search results include both technical information (such as drug side effects) and political information (such as Senate testimony.) The site includes access to the Best Drugs, Worst Drugs Newsletter archives. The web site and newsletter have a companion book, Best Drugs, Worst Drugs.
Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATC_code_N06#N06A_Antidepressants
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_antidepressants
Wikipedia, the best encyclopedia on the web, is a good source for antidepressant information. For most Wikipedia entries, if you get anaccount, you can also add content. Note that Wikipedia is composed of entries that are not vetted by the web site and has been criticizedfor some inaccuracies in the past. However, a recent study in Natureconfirmed that “such errors are the exception, not the rule.” According to the study, entries on Wikipedia are nearly as accurate as those in the Encyclopedia Britannica when it comes to covering scientificsubjects.
Listservs and Discussion Forums
http://health.dir.groups.yahoo.com/dir/Health__Wellness/Drugs_and_Medications
Withdrawal and Recovery
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Withdrawal_and_Recovery/
SSRI Crusaders
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/SSRI-Crusaders/
SSRI Withdrawal Support Discussion Forum
http://www.network54.com/Forum/281849/search
Quantitative Analysis of Sponsorship Bias in Economic Studies of Antidepressants
http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/183/6/498
http://JournalReview.org/view_pubmed_article.php?pmid=14645020&specialty_id=18
The conclusion of this 2003 paper will not surprise Townsend Letter readers: “Pharmacoeconomic studies of antidepressants reveal clear associations of study sponsorship with quantitative outcome.” In other words: follow the money.
Note:
I am especially interested in learning about mental health and substance abuse treatment programs that integrate nutrition and exerciseinto their practice. Please send me examples of practices and related research.
Marjorie Roswell
3443 Guilford Terrace, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
410-467-3727
mroswell@gmail.com

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Test takes on teens’ mental health; Schools say students are referred for help. Critics fear abuse.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
February 9, 2006 Thursday

Copyright 2006 Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC All Rights Reserved

Section: NATIONAL; Pg. A01
Length: 1763 words
Byline: Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Body

Somewhere in junior high, Jennifer Rashti lost her smile.
The once-genial Cherry Hill girl began to feel sad, angry, low. By last year, when she was a high school sophomore, Rashti was making excuses not to go out with friends.
Then Cherry Hill High School West, which Rashti attends, announced last winter that it was introducing TeenScreen, a voluntary questionnaire developed by Columbia University to help identify youngsters with undiagnosed mental health problems and used at 44 sites in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Rashti told her mother that she wanted to take it.
The results pointed to depression.
“I feel much better now,” said Rashti, 17, who was given a list of counseling resources and sought therapy and medication. “I knew I wanted help. I just wanted to show my parents that I really needed help.”
To proponents of TeenScreen, which Cherry Hill West will offer again tomorrow, stories such as Rashti’s are proof of the survey’s merit.
Last year, about 55,000 young people took the test, which is administered in more than 460 schools and youth programs in 42 states. Cherry Hill High School East will offer it next month.
Through 14 to 52 self-administered questions, adolescents who suffer in silence, and may be at risk for suicide, are referred to help if they want it.
President Bush’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health held up TeenScreen as a model program in 2003. Yet it is cause for alarm among a vocal group of critics who stretch from the far right to the far left.
In campaigns often conducted via the Internet, detractors including the Church of Scientology and self-described survivors of the psychiatric system accuse TeenScreen of undermining parental authority, violating privacy, putting potentially harmful ideas in children’s heads, stigmatizing children, being a tool for the pharmaceutical industry, and potentially steering youths toward medication that may be unsafe for them. Some say mental health screening doesn’t belong in schools.
Ken Kramer, a Florida man whose Web site PsychSearch.net documents alleged psychiatric abuse, has declared war on TeenScreen. He rejects disclaimers by the testing organization that it neither noses children nor prescribes them drugs.
“They’re not the hangman. They’re the gallows-builders. They lead them to the drugs,” said Kramer, whose Scientology religion bars psychotherapy.
Vera Hassner Sharav, president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, which seeks to protect the rights of participants in medical research, called TeenScreen a “flawed instrument.”
Critics like Sharav cite Columbia’s own research to argue that TeenScreen has a high rate of false-positive results. David Shaffer, a Columbia professor who developed TeenScreen, denied the assertion. He said most children who tested positive in the study pointed to by opponents had a psychiatric problem even if they were not suicidal.
Leslie McGuire, director of Columbia’s three-year-old program, did not anticipate the vehemence of the test’s critics.
“It definitely took me by surprise,” McGuire said. “This honestly is a program that purely has good intentions.”
Youths who take TeenScreen, on paper or online, answer one of three confidential surveys designed to identify signs of depression, suicidal thoughts, or a range of emotional problems. An on-site mental health worker reviews responses and asks follow-up questions if needed.
If further evaluation is suggested, the student or family is given a list of care providers, some of whom charge reduced rates. TeenScreen urges schools to notify parents within 24 hours. (Other organizations may give youths the option not to involve parents.) Subsequent treatment, if sought, is independent of TeenScreen and the testing site.
TeenScreen cites findings by the U.S. surgeon general that 90 percent of teens who commit suicide had a mental disorder, and that most mentally ill youths do not get treatment. And research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, they say, disputes the notion that screening leads to more suicidal thoughts.
Youth suicides have fallen in recent years, and their number is not huge. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, lists suicide as the third leading cause of death among 12- to 19-year-olds nationally and in Pennsylvania. In New Jersey, it is the fourth-leading cause.
“This is a major health problem that is invisible until it hits close to home,” said Michael Hogan, Ohio’s mental health director, who chaired the New Freedom Commission.
Hogan called TeenScreen critics “a curious coalition” with whom he disagrees, but who have understandable concerns about pharmaceutical companies and the safety of drugs for children.
TeenScreen officials deny critics’ suggestions that they take drug company money. An exception, they acknowledge, was a $7,500 grant from Eli Lilly & Co., manufacturer of Prozac, to buy computers about six years ago.
Columbia does not identify groups that administer its survey, citing confidentiality concerns. There are six test sites in New Jersey and 38 in Pennsylvania, including the Family Service Association of Bucks County’s Teen Center and Girls and Boys Town of Philadelphia, a residential girls’ juvenile justice facility. Both say they are pleased with TeenScreen.
Joseph Rogers, president of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, has reservations about mass screenings. He doesn’t trust schools not to stigmatize kids, he said, and care is already insufficient to meet demand. He would rather see more public money go to mental health treatment, he said.
“We’re going to screen these kids, slap a label on them, and then what?” Rogers said.
TeenScreen opponents have also made much of the fact that some test administrators have not sought active parental consent: Children were given the test unless their parents objected.
The conservative Rutherford Institute has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of an Indiana family who say their daughter was tested at school without their knowledge.
Teresa Rhoades of Osceola, Ind., said daughter Chelsea, 15, was told that her answers indicated that she could have obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety. The reason, said Rhoades, was that Chelsea revealed she often helped clean the house and did not go out a lot.
“Both my husband and I told her, ‘Honey, those aren’t conditions.’ Those are the way she was raised,” Rhoades said.
The school district, named in the lawsuit with a local mental health provider, will seek explicit parental consent this year, but participation in TeenScreen has fallen dramatically, a district spokeswoman said. Only 35 of about 830 10th graders are signed up.
In Cherry Hill, which has experienced a number of teen suicides in the last several years, 68 sophomores out of about 960 in both schools took the test in 2005. Ten were referred for assessment.
“Did we save 10 kids? In my mind, yes,” said Jennifer DiStefano, the district student assistance coordinator.
At Cherry Hill West, where all 1,600 students are eligible to take the test tomorrow, 27 were signed up. The national norm for participation is 33 percent to 50 percent, TeenScreen’s McGuire said.
“People always want to think, ‘It’s not my kid,’ that ‘nothing like this could affect my family,’ ” said Maggie Suender, president of the Cherry Hill West PTA, whose two sons will take the test.
Some Cherry Hill parents interviewed said their children would not take TeenScreen because they didn’t need it. Professionals such as DiStefano say it can be hard to tell.
“I can’t imagine the majority of my 11,000 students telling their parents everything,” she said.
Not only does TeenScreen flag kids whose symptoms are hidden, it gets them help faster than if they sought it on their own, DiStefano said. Many mental health professionals on the list Cherry Hill provides give TeenScreen referrals priority and, often, a reduced rate.
“To me, this is so positive,” DiStefano said.
Linda Rashti said it had taken a few months to get Jennifer a therapist they both liked and who would accept the family’s insurance. Rashti is glad for the program, however.
“I didn’t know how negative Jen felt,” she said. “You can’t always tell.”
Jennifer Rashti, a swimmer and a good student, said she wanted to tell other young people to seek help, “that suicide isn’t the only way out, that it’s the worst thing.”
After making excuses not to go out, she said, she likes being with people again. She doesn’t feel so shy anymore, or so angry.
“I still get depressed sometimes, but not as bad,” she said. “I’m actually enjoying life.”
Mental Health Hotlines
For someone to talk to, visit www.suicidehotlines.com/ or call one of these numbers. All are 24 hours unless noted.
National: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
Philadelphia: 215-686-4420.
Camden and Gloucester Counties: 856-795-2155.
Burlington County: 856-234-0634 (4 to 8 p.m., teen-to-teen counseling).
Montgomery County: 610-279-6100.
Chester County: 610-918-2100.
Sample TeenScreen Questions
TeenScreen results, designed to flag the likelihood of a mental health disorder, are given immediate on-site assessment. If further questions suggest the need for professional evaluation, a list of clinicians is provided. The decision to make an appointment is optional and private.
During the last three months, how much of a problem have you had with feeling nervous or afraid? (Response options: no problem, slight problem, medium problem, bad problem, very bad problem.)
Have you felt like nothing is fun for you and you just aren’t interested in anything?
Has there been a time when you felt you couldn’t do anything well or that you weren’t as good-looking or smart as other people?
Have you often felt grouchy or irritable and often in a bad mood, when even little things would make you mad?
Have you thought seriously about killing yourself?
SOURCE: Columbia University TeenScreen Program
ONLINE EXTRA
For information on suicide prevention, go tohttp://go.philly.com/suicides
Contact staff writer Rita Giordano at 856-779-3841 or rgiordano@phillynews.com.

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Local Schools Lack Screening
The Tampa Tribune (Florida)
March 12, 2006 Sunday
FINAL EDITION

Copyright 2006 Times Publishing Company All Rights Reserved
Section: NATION/WORLD; Pg. 17
Length: 2817 words
Byline: DONNA KOEHN, , dkoehn@tampatrib.com
Dateline: TAMPA
Body

SCIENTOLOGY LOOMS LARGE IN DISCUSSIONS
By DONNA KOEHN
dkoehn@tampatrib.com
TAMPA – One year before Dan Casseday lost his teenage son to suicide, five years before Tony Dungy lost his, Terry Smith’s 21-year-old daughter died by her own hand.
The Flagler County high school where Smith teaches and from which his popular, athletic daughter graduated, already had lost two students to suicide the year before.
Sad and shaken students – along with their sad and shaken parents, teachers, superintendent and school board members – decided they must do something fast to strip the taboo from this horror.
They declared an annual suicide prevention week, marked by yellow ribbons on T-shirts, somber assemblies and open discussions about feelings. Students, teachers, janitors and cafeteria workers were trained to spot young people who might be in trouble, to know what to say and how to help them.
A screening system, implemented a year ago, provided another layer of protection.
“There’s such a common misconception that if you talk about suicide, it will happen,” Smith said. “If this had been around when my daughter was a student here, it might have saved her.”
Certainly, some teens experiencing the sturm und drang of adolescence continued to feel depressed at Flagler Palm Coast High School, and some no doubt thought about suicide during the next five years. But no one died from it.
Both Joey Casseday, 16 at his death in 2002, and James Dungy, 18 when he died in December, had attended Gaither High School in Hillsborough County. It is a school touched by suicide too many times over the years.
So a pilot program was proposed to screen Gaither students for suicidal thoughts.
David Shern, dean of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida, secured a federal grant to finance TeenScreen, a survey developed four years ago by Columbia University. Gaither’s principal was on board; a local counseling center agreed to treat students who might need help.
But before the program could begin, Hillsborough County school administrators backed away from it.
They fretted that too many children without insurance would need help the county couldn’t afford to provide and that genuine depression is too difficult to discern from the normal angst of adolescence.
“We bent over backward,” Shern said. “We felt we had answered all of their concerns.”
The Scientology Influence
All over the country, school districts great and small have implemented suicide prevention programs and screenings. But not here.
Administrators, school board members, psychiatrists and parents of children who have died by suicide agree that bringing prevention instruction into the schools is a touchy issue. The area’s conservative bent is one reason, they say. Some parents are more comfortable letting churches help with their children’s problems and moral issues. Fearing stigma, others are queasy about giving schools another opportunity to affix indelible labels.
Privately, however, many concur that unease over the Church of Scientology, a vehement critic of psychiatry, looms large in local discussions.
After failing to get the pilot program at Gaither, Shern tried last year to introduce it in Pinellas County, home to the Scientologists’ self-described spiritual mecca in Clearwater. The school board quickly received more than 700 negative e-mails, as well as Freedom of Information requests for all correspondence on the issue. Church representatives met with Pinellas schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox.
The church denied having a campaign to dissuade the board.
Scientologist Ken Kramer, a public records expert and crusader against psychiatry, said he found out about the Pinellas pilot program and got some of his friends to write board members. Not all of them are Scientologists, he said.
Kramer volunteers for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, founded by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to expose abuses in psychiatry. In December, that group opened a museum in California called Psychiatry: An Industry of Death. High-profile Scientologists such as actors Tom Cruise and Kirstie Alley speak openly of their disdain for the specialty.
Kramer’s recent research led to an admission by the state Department of Health that it had failed to report for prosecution numerous cases of sexual abuse by therapists.
Kramer thinks all teen suicides are directly linked to psychotropic drugs such as Prozac and Paxil. He is studying five years’ worth of autopsy and toxicology reports from suicides of Floridians age 18 and younger in hopes of proving his theory.
His research comes as a study, published Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that 4 percent of children taking the drugs thought about or attempted suicide, compared with 2 percent of those taking a placebo. In October, the Food and Drug Administration required that makers of antidepressants warn about the risks of suicidal thoughts and actions in children taking the drugs in prescribing information.
Kramer views Shern and other TeenScreen supporters as fronts for drug companies seeking to generate consumers for their products.
“They’re not the hangmen,” he said. “They’re the gallows-builders. They lead them [children] to the psych drugs.”
Scant Prevention Education
TeenScreen says it does not receive money from drug companies for its screening programs, although it acknowledges that a testing site in Tennessee received $7,500 for computers from Eli Lilly, maker of the antidepressant Prozac, six years ago.
About 122,000 students in 42 states completed one of three online or paper-and-pencil TeenScreen surveys last year. About 30 percent of the answers sent up red flags that one-on-one discussions with counselors were needed. About half those will be recommended for evaluation, a decision that’s left to parents.
Parental permission is normally required for testing at TeenScreen sites.
After the negative feedback, the Pinellas County school board decided against allowing the TeenScreen testing. That vexed board member Linda Lerner.
“I was disappointed we didn’t have a full discussion,” said Lerner, who says she has been on antidepressants for about 20 years. “There were some legitimate concerns that could have been addressed.”
TeenScreen would have augmented the one day of suicide prevention education Pinellas high school students receive in mandatory health classes. The students come away with a business card listing resources to call for help.
That’s more than Hillsborough County students get.
Gwen Luney, assistant superintendent and the district’s point person in its discussions with Shern about TeenScreen, said suicide prevention education is handled in classes taught by the Mendez Foundation, a nonprofit group.
But Regina Birrenkott, director of the foundation, said Mendez offers a drug and violence prevention program that doesn’t address suicide.
“Drug education is our primary focus,” she said. “We’re definitely not suicide prevention. We teach life skills.”
If a student were to talk about suicide, the Mendez instructor would refer the child to a school counselor, she said.
Other TeenScreen Concerns
Shern expressed frustration at his thwarted efforts to launch TeenScreen, which he thinks is a good way to identify seriously troubled adolescents. He acknowledged that it might be a lost cause here.
“I don’t think it is an accident or a coincidence that Pinellas is home to one of the headquarters of Scientology and that that’s why we’ve been subjected to this concerted opposition here,” he said.
“We’re not forcing anybody to do anything. That’s why this is so maddening. It’s pre-empting a choice that parents should be allowed to make. There’s such an arrogance about it.”
Smith, the teacher in Flagler County, said Scientologists tried to block his efforts there.
“Scientologists came after me personally,” he said. “They got my personnel files and my e-mails.”
But others also are uneasy about psychiatric screening.
David Cohen, a social work professor and researcher at Florida International University in Miami, expressed disdain for Scientology and thinks its antipsychiatry stance is an attempt to attract people to its own counseling methods.
Nevertheless, he finds himself sharing concerns about the lack of studies proving TeenScreen’s worth and the possibility that well-adjusted children could be funneled into the mental health system unnecessarily.
“Who wants a young person to die?” he asked. “But without proof that it benefits young people, who benefits is the army of mental health professionals and their ability to augment the pool of mental health consumers.”
Kramer said support for his antipsychiatry cause has come from the far right, the far left and those in between. “We’ve got people like [conservative] Phyllis Schlafly as well as Bush-haters.”
President Bush’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in 2003 issued a report supporting screening and cited TeenScreen as a model program for youth.
In 2005, calling suicide a “complex social phenomenon,” Gov. Jeb Bush called for a reduction in Florida’s suicide rate by one-third by the end of 2010. His task force recommends screening teenagers.
Many Teens In Despair
Seemingly, if any part of Florida would serve as a model for suicide prevention efforts, it would be the Tampa Bay area. The University of South Florida is a center of research and development on the topic.
A suicide prevention guide for schools developed at the university is used in districts throughout the nation and overseas. Available online free, or as a booklet or CD for $9, the “Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide” helps determine which prevention techniques would be most effective and advises how to put those in place.
Pasco County has it; USF knows of no other local districts that do.
Another USF researcher has a $237,500 federal grant for a suicide prevention program to be implemented in four high schools – not in Tampa, but in Albuquerque, N.M.
Among Hillsborough teens, suicide is the fourth-leading cause of death after accidents, natural causes and homicide. It is third, after accidents and natural causes, in Pinellas. But the number of young people who die by suicide is small and has declined slightly in the past few years. In 2004, the most recent year for which statistics are available, three people age 19 or younger killed themselves in Hillsborough, five in Pinellas.
However, Hillsborough schools’ statistics suggest many students are in psychological pain.
Last year, approximately 5,000 Hillsborough middle and high school students anonymously completed the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is administered in selected districts nationwide.
To the question, “In the last 12 months, have you ever felt so sad or hopeless every day for two weeks or more that it stopped you from doing your usual activities?” about one in three high school students said yes.
Almost one in five students said he or she had seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months, and almost all of them had made a plan to carry it out.
One in 10 students made a suicide attempt one or more times in the past year. Of those, about 4 percent had an injury or overdose that required medical treatment.
The Hillsborough County school district doesn’t keep a record of how many students die by suicide. However, crisis teams were invited to campuses 12 times in the past five years to help students cope with the suicide of a classmate. That wouldn’t include students who died during vacations or weren’t well-enough known at school to upset classmates, said Tracy Schatzberg, supervisor of psychological services.
Lyn Casseday knew her son Joey was troubled, but she had no idea of the depth of his despair. She was the one who discovered his body hanging in the bathroom four years ago March 9.
“When I found him, I thought he was just playing mind games with me,” she said. “If he had been screened, it might have been caught.”
This year Schatzberg formed a small group of community suicide crisis workers, school personnel and suicide prevention advocates to start a discussion. The group has met twice.
Dan Casseday, who asked to join the group, hopes it will give parents a voice, something missing so far in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
“If 10 staircases collapsed, killing kids in Hillsborough County schools, do we take the time to sit around and study this?” he asked. “Or do we do something fast to stop this from happening again?”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. Reporter Donna Koehn can be reached at (813) 259-8264.
Photo: David Shern, of USF, secured a grant to bring TeenScreen into Hillsborough schools, but administrators turned it down.
Photo: Ken Kramer, a psychiatry opponent, says screening programs endanger children by leading them to antidepressants.
(CHART) TEENSCREEN
TeenScreen is a survey some school districts use to identify teens likely to be at risk for suicide or those who have a significant mental health problem. It was developed by the division of child and adolescent psychiatry, part of the New York state Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University. Here are some questions from the 10-minute paper-and-pencil survey:
During the past three months, how much of a problem have you had with feeling nervous or sad? (Answer choices: no problem, slight problem, medium problem, bad problem or very bad problem)
During the past three months, how much of a problem have you had with feeling unhappy or sad? (Same answer choices)
During the past three months, have you thought of killing yourself? (Yes or no)
RESOURCES
• Suicide crisis: Call 211 in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, or 1-800-SUICIDE (1-899-784-2433), a national, toll-free hot line staffed by counselors
• Crisis Center of Tampa Bay in Tampa: (813) 964-1964 or www.crisiscenter
.com
• Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition: www.florida
suicideprevention.org
• Data Search Worldwide Inc., antipsychiatry site: www.psychsearch.net
• Life Center of the Suncoast: (813) 237-3114 or www.lifecenteroftampa.org
• Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida: (813) 974-4602 or www.fmhi.usf.edu/amh/homicide-suicide
• Personal Enrichment Through Mental Health Services, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week hot line in Pinellas County: (727) 791-3131 or (727) 541-4628
• Pasco County Crisis Line, The Harbor Behavioral Health Care: (727) 849-9988
Elsewhere
• American Association of Suicidology: www.suicidology
.org
• American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: www.
afsp.org
• National Organization for People of Color Against Suicide: www.nopcas.com
• National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: www.mentalhealth.org/
suicideprevention
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: www.suicide
preventionlifeline.org or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
• Organization for Attempters and Survivors of Suicide in Interfaith Services: www.oassis.org
• Suicide Awareness Voices of Education: www.save
.org
• Suicide Information and Education Centre: www.siec
.ca
• Suicide Prevention Action Network: www.spanusa
.org
• Suicide Prevention Action Network – Florida: www.spanfl.org
• Survivors of Suicide: www.survivorsofsuicide.com
• The Jason Foundation: www.jasonfoundation.com
• The Jed Foundation: www.jedfoundation.org
LEGISLATION
Florida’s Legislature is to consider several bills related to suicide during the current session:
House Bill 527, Senate Bill 1008
Creates the Statewide Office for Suicide Prevention within the state’s Office of Drug Control and a coordinator’s position. It also would create a coordinating council of state agencies to work on suicide prevention. Bills are in the Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations Committee.
House Bill 999, Senate Bill 1876
Provides $600,000 for a suicide prevention and depression screening pilot program called Signs of Suicide for use in secondary schools in Brevard, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. Bills are in the PreK-12 Committee.
House Bill 1213, Senate Bill 2286
Requires fully informed consent by a parent before his or her child’s evaluation for an emotional, behavioral or mental disorder, a specific learning disability or other health impairment. It also specifies the contents of a statement that must be signed by a parent, acknowledging the evaluation may result in the child being labeled and prescribed psychotropic medications. It specifies the side effects of the medications, including increased suicide risk, that some of the medications have not been FDA-approved for use in children and that no medical tests exist to prove such psychiatric diagnoses. Actresses and Scientologists Kirstie Alley and Kelly Preston testified in favor of similar bills in Tallahassee last year. Bills are in the Health Care Regulation Committee.
Buddy Jaudon
and Donna Koehn
Copyright © 2006, The Tampa Tribune and may not be republished without permission. E-mail library@tampatrib.com