|Every once in awhile a story comes along that you can’t summarize or add to, all you can do is urge people to read it. Rob Waters, the guy who recently blew the lid off the irresponsible prescription of antidepressants to children even though the pharma companies knew these drugs heightened the risk of suicide, is back, writing in Mother Jones about a case of a 13 year old girl, Aliah Gleason, caught under the outrageous Texas law that allows government psychiatrists beholden to big pharma to barge into schools, subject students to compulsory psychological tests, and mandate expensive and controversial drug and incarceration treatments. Please read the full story. The outcome in Aliah’s story, after she was seized by the government from her parents:
The Gleasons would not be allowed to see or even speak to their daughter for the next five months, and Aliah would spend a total of nine months in a state psychiatric hospital and residential treatment facilities. While in the hospital, she was placed in restraints more than 26 times and medicatedóagainst her will and without her parents’ consentówith at least 12 different psychiatric drugs, many of them simultaneously.
As reported last year in the British Medical Journal, Bush wants to expand this invasive travesty to a national program with the grotesque name “New Freedom Initiative”.
This boggles the mind. How can an administration that claims to want to minimize the role of government justify this gestapo-like intrusion into citizens’ private lives in the absence of any crime being committed? Why are the legacy media not investigating the aggressive lobbying of big pharma for laws and programs that are blatantly designed to sell their most expensive and experimental products, and test them on children, our most vulnerable citizens? And how can all of this be tolerated in a nation that calls itself “the land of the free”?
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>How can an administration that claims to want to minimize the role of government justify this gestapo-like intrusion into citizens’ private lives in the absence of any crime being committed? They do as they always do: they simply spin everything so it fits their way. They will try to sell you black as white and white as black. But they would never admit that they were inconsistent or hypocritical … No way!>Why are the legacy media not investigating the aggressive lobbying of big pharma for laws and programs that are blatantly designed to sell their most expensive and experimental products, and test them on children, our most vulnerable citizens?Perhaps the legacy media fears the pharma lobby and its backers in the White House?>And how can all of this be tolerated in a nation that calls itself “the land of the free”?Good question. But I think ‘the land of the free’ was yesterday anyway. A relict myth from old times.
An administration that is not a representative of the people but a tool of corporatists — particularly the pharma industry — can do this, no moral qualms. Read about the background of the New Freedom commission and its predecessor in Texas, and you’ll see pharma’s finger prints all over. For Americans reading this, I hope you realize that you permitted the passage of a law that approves MANDATORY psychological testing of all children in the U.S., as well as teachers. There is a possibility this includes pregnant mothers as well, depending on the parsing of the legislation.</P.Keep the light on, Dave. If this gets as far as “No Child Left Behind” did, I’ll be bringing the kids to Canada.
Dave: I’ve posted this on my own blog, and I’m currently fishing about for confirmation. So far, I’m not finding much:A Google search for “Aliah Gleason” shows the same article reposted on a variety of Web sites, many of which range from unreliable to loony.A Google search for Dr. Breeding, the psychiatrist who allegedly treated Aliah, shows his rather impressive resume on http://www.wildestcolts.com, which calls itself “A resource site for parents, and a challenge to the biomedical mental health industry,” but says nothing about this alleged incident.Here’s what a friend found about the author of the article:Rob Waters is the former editor of the men’s health channel at WebMD. A contributing editor to the Psychotherapy Networker and freelance writer for such publications as Health magazine, Reader’s Digest, Family Circle, and Salon.com, he lives in San Francisco. He has co-written a book:From Boys to MenA Woman’s Guide to the Health of Husbands, Partners, Sons, Fathers, and BrothersBy M.D. Emily Senay and Rob Waters He has spoken here:http://www.kaisernetwork.org/health_cast/hcast_index.cfm?display=detail&hc=1398An article by Rob Walters can be found here, including his email address:Rob Waters’ article, “A Suicide Side Effect? What parents aren’t being told about their kids’ antidepressants,” appeared in the Jan. 4 edition of The Chronicle Magazine. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. And: — Rob Waters, an award-winning journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, has written on health, mental health, and children’s issues for Parenting, The Psychotherapy Networker, Salon.com, and other publications. He is currently a Packard Future of Children Fellow with the University of Maryland’s Journalism Fellowships in Child and Family Policy program. Other than that, I can’t find anything other than a *lot* of San Francisco Chronicle articles written by him.The more I think about this, the more fishy it sounds. ACLU liberals wouldn’t stand for this; neither would limited-government conservatives; Jesse Jackson would be raising questions about racial bias, since the Gleasons are Black; the Christian right don’t have enough control over the scientific and medical establishments (yet) to trust them with this much power; so who would be left to support both the policy AND the cover-up? Right-wing propaganda notwithstanding, I bet you’d be hard-pressed to find support even among the most nanny-statist Americans.
HOLY CRAP!!!! I was too busy and only scanned the first paragraph of that MotherJones article you linked, Dave, the first time I read this. I just went and read it in full this time.OH. MY. GOD.Raging Bee, this is ACCURATE. Deadly-like-a-heart-attack SERIOUS. Development of TMAP, under which Aliah was taken, doped and “hospitalized”, was funded by Big Pharma. TMAP is the program that supported Bush’s so-called “Texas Miracle”, the alleged improvements to the state of Texas education system. TMAP and the underlying rationale as well as fulsome support from Big Pharma is what spawned the New Freedom Commission and its resulting findings and legislation. The same legislation that has already been voted on and approved by BOTH the House and the Senate, the same one that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) fought against tooth and nail.Bee, go do your homework on TMAP — that’s the real story here. Also look up HR 292 from the 108th Congress, also read the findings of the New Freedom Commission. Libertarians AND the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons were extremely upset about the bill and the New Freedom Commission; Ron Paul had been trying to build an amending bill to insert a clause for parental consent (that’s right, there’s NO provision for parental consent).If memory serves, this bill got through as an attachment to the Labor-HHS-Education budget for 2005; the Republicans have gotten EXTREMELY sneaky about burying this kind of stuff in omnibus-type bills so that Congress has only a couple of days to read a mountain of documents and often misses this kind of legislation. That’s why it appears that there was insufficient protest — because not enough people knew about it in advance, only Big Pharma lobbyists knew.Seriously – if anybody touches my kids under the guise of mandatory psych testing and follow-up treatment a la TMAP, I’m out of this country with the kids in tow.
So, Rayne, where’s the corroboration? I’m not saying the incident didn’t, or couldn’t, happen; I’m only asking for verification. Can you cite ANY credible Texas or other newspaper that has reported the Gleason incident, independent of the MJ article? Can you tell me, at the very least, why Salon wasn’t all over this by now? Can you tell me why ordinary Texas parents by the thousands aren’t screaming bloody murder at the mere possibility that their kids might be forcibly hauled away by jack-booted thugs in black helicopters? This is NOT something Big Pharma can cover up.Extremists of all persuasions are well known to exaggerate and even fabricate events to further their agendas. This story has been reported both in leftist sites (one of which trumpets the latest long-debunked 9/11 conspiracy theory) and in at least one overtly Christian site that gave Phyllis Schlafly honorable mention — but not, to my knowledge, in any more reputable publication than MJ. So I hope you understand my current scepticism.
While there is certainly something to be said for the ability of our alternative media and watchdog elements of society in alerting us to significant threats in time for us to take meaningful action, it is best not to put too much trust in that. Perhaps the Mother Jones article is the warning you get. Perhaps what protection we get beyond that depends on how we respond to it. Raging Bee, are you thinking of perhaps having some active response if you do find it to be true? It is useful to be sceptical of information we receive of course, and to use our discernment. But I think the important thing is to not fall into a dead end game of general displeasure with how things are, fretting over how they are getting worse, but refusal to accept the reality of anything so truly abhorent that business as usual cannot continue in our own personal lives. So maybe it is a non-issue because this threat isn’t real, but what I believe is useful is for each of us to ask ourselves, “what if it is real? what do I personally do next to define who I am?”
This boggles the mind. How can an administration that claims to want to minimize the role of government justify this gestapo-like intrusion into citizens’ private lives in the absence of any crime being committed? Because this administration enjoys lying and does it consistantly with impunity. Why are the legacy media not investigating the aggressive lobbying of big pharma for laws and programs that are blatantly designed to sell their most expensive and experimental products, and test them on children, our most vulnerable citizens? Because the “legacy media” no longer exist. Mainstream media today is Bush created infomercials and pap, lies and voicelessness. And how can all of this be tolerated in a nation that calls itself “the land of the free”?Because most of its citizens are asleep, drugged by one form or another (mostly TV) into quiessence, disbelief, channeled thinking (when there is any), and lethargy. We, Americans, have become notoriously soft and lazy, myself included. I am ashamed of my country and no longer see it as my country, only the land of my birth. But, I keep sending those emails and faxes, making those phonecalls, blogging when my computer permits, and praying for change. Thank you, Dave, for being here.
Yes, Dave, thanks so much for this link and insight. I forwarded to a legal friend of mine and we are discussing what options we realistically have for responses.
Indigo: at this moment, this is not about “refusal to accept the reality of anything so truly abhorent that business as usual cannot continue in our own personal lives;” this is about making sure we’re on solid factual ground, so that we can avoid being thrown off-message by our opponents’ propagandists. Do you really think another repeat of Memogate will help our cause? Me neither. I don’t want to see an important issue sidelined by questions about a story’s accuracy.As for what I’m doing about it, I have forwarded this to two “mainstream” newspapers for some sort of confirmation, and plan to contact more. I have also asked Molly Ivins, a Texas liberal and no friend of “Big Pharma,” whether she’s heard anything of the Gleason incident. (No response from anyone yet.)Here’s a suggestion: forward this to media friends as well as legal friends; and try to get in touch with Dr. Breeding (who allegedly treated Aliah), via his Web site, and see if he has any response.
Raging Bee, I just did a simple google search and came up with this from the Dallas Morning News. Apparently they didn’t think the Mother Jones article, or its author, were as illegitimate as you seem to, since they’ve printed it in their own paper:http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/points/stories/061905dnedialiah.219c9169.htmlI think it’s a shame that this whole discussion has moved to the legitimacy of this case, rather than a discussion of TMAP, as Rayne points out. The truth is our administration cares more about corporations than individuals. This is another case of it. Perhaps now that it’s getting more press the ACLU and other organizations will fight it. It’s possible, too, that there isn’t much web documentation of Aliah Gleason because she’s a minor. In the public record, she’s probably not listed by name, so maybe there are organizations fighting TMAP already.Anyway, clearly a thought-provoking post, Dave.
One other thing…why is Salon more credible than Mother Jones? What’s the rationale with that argument?
Thanks, I’ll pass this on. And my point is not that MJ is less credible than Salon (although that is my opinion); it is that two sources are better than one.
Raging Bee, I’m not here to provide documentation for you. You are perfectly capable of contacting MotherJones yourself and asking the journalist who wrote the piece for corroboration, or perhaps the editor at MJ. I’ve already done my homework following up on HR 292, reading about TMAP, and trying to raise hell about the New Freedom Commission; I didn’t need the MJ story on Aliah to tell me what I already knew, it only served to piss me off even more and strengthen my resolve. I’ve got a son who’s borderline gifted and borderline ADD; what happens when a government-appointed psychologist gets involved, instead the one I’ve already selected and been working with? Do we get the Aliah treatment when he drifts off mentally in class one day? How many other unrecognized-as-gifted children, bored and restless and under-challenged by a school system that must teach to NCLB test outcomes, will get the Aliah treatment, too?
I am glad so many of us are being activated by the story. I guess Raging Bee is pursuing it his way. He is still bringing attention to the story, which is what needs to happen. I will also be suggesting on Oprah’s site that a story be done on her show. I want to urge others of you to also go to the site for her show and make a viewer suggestion for a show topic and include a summary of why you want a report on HR292 focusing on Aliah as a case in point of how it can effect families. the more suggestions the more likely they will investiage and maybe do a show.
Here is an excerpt from the Exec Summary of the President’s “New Freedom Commission on Mental Health” — the group of big pharma toadies specifically commissioned by Bush to intervene in the private lives of American families. As you read it, ask yourself Why is this the business of the federal government?: “In a transformed mental health system, the early detection of mental health problems in children and adults – through routine and comprehensive testing and screening – will be an expected and typical occurrence. At the first sign of difficulties, preventive interventions will be started to keep problems from escalating. For example, a child whose serious emotional disturbance is identified early will receive care, preventing the potential onset of a co-occurring substance use disorder and breaking a cycle that otherwise can lead to school failure and other problems. Quality screening and early intervention will occur in both readily accessible, low-stigma settings, such as primary health care facilities and schools, and in settings in which a high level of risk exists for mental health problems, such as criminal justice, juvenile justice, and child welfare systems. Both children and adults will be screened for mental illnesses during their routine physical exams.”