Category Archives: Destructive Cults

What’s Going on at Pennsylvania DDAP?

NYS OASAS needs a similar investigation, because the situation is similar (my analysis of OASAS), because the rehab industry works in every state like this (disruptedphysician) to become entrenched in health systems and gain regulatory capture (disruptedphysician).

A series of articles by Ford Turner of the Reading Eagle exposed serious conflicts interests that are not unique to the employee, the department Secretary, the Department, or to Pennsylvania for that matter. This is happening nationwide and state workers need the freedom to speak out about it. It’s disgusting to hear how much money these rehab industry people are making and the lengths they go to to hide the realities of addiction treatment from the public (which is what this blog is about). Here is a quick overview, with links to the articles:

“I spoke loud and clear while I worked within the department via the allowable channels. Any disgruntelment I had was expressed while I was a Bureau Director. Current employees for DDAP, however, are not permitted to speak to the press. I believe in full transparency in government, and I will answer any direct questions that are asked. Part of going out on my own was to have the true freedom to speak my mind.” -Ex-state employee responding to comment about ‘sour grapes’

Top state lawmaker commends Gov. Wolf’s dismissal of drug chief (Reading Eagle)

“In an email to the Reading Eagle’s top management shortly after the story was published, the chairman of the board of a large and influential member of DASPOP in Berks County attacked the story and said it “could lead some to surmise a suggested scandal in the government or treatment field.”
The latest federal filings of financial information by nonprofit members of DASPOP show that their three highest-paid leaders receive compensation packages of $4,760,306, $1,015,577, and $736,244.” – Pennsylvania Secretary of Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs loses his job (Reading Eagle)

This follows up on investigative work from October 2015 on the connection between Caron Treatment and DASPOP: On drug abuse policy, one group wields enormous clout but is shrouded in mystery (Reading Eagle)

“The concern is whether the state agency has in some sense been captured by the substance abuse (treatment) industry as represented by this lobbyist or trade association,” Clark said. “It is a situation in which that agency is at risk of being dominated by the industry.”

“Reactions from four professionals told of the agency-lobbyist interaction varied from surprise, to disbelief that such a scenario might not violate laws, to outrage.
“This is just so wrong, I think, in so many ways,” said Sen. Mike Folmer, a Lebanon County Republican whose district used to include part of Berks County. “A lobbyist should not be interviewing prospective state employees. It opens the door for corruption, whether it is intended or unintended.” – Ex-state employee says she interviewed with a lobbyist (Reading Eagle)

State lawmaker criticizes Wolf’s plan to merge agencies (Reading Eagle)

Feb 2, 2017 – Pennsylvania drug treatment program uses ‘archaic practices,’ 2 ex-state employees say (Reading Eagle)

Department of Drug and Alcohol Prorgrams recognized support options (all 12-step…DDAP website).

Deceased Patient Records – HIPAA Concerns and Rights for Substance Abuse Treatment

1

I am sure many parents whose children have died after drug rehab become curious to know what exactly happened. I am concerned that dissent in rehab is not being correctly documented, perhaps even censored. I know this is possible because I have unsuccessfully attempted to get my complaints amended to my therapy records from Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capital Region (which is a HIPAA right). These included detailed accounts of my own experience which did not necessarily put all the professionals in a very positive light. Instead, I found that without these complaints, it looks like I was no more than tragically non-compliant and personality disordered due to ‘untreated alcoholism’. The two letters he sent me was the one telling me I could resume therapy if I went to 12-step programs, and the termination letter saying that I was no longer under any circumstances to contact anyone at Samaritan because I hand-delivered my complaint.

“Q: Is access to a deceased person’s psychiatric or substance abuse records treated any differently than access to other medical records?
A: HIPAA governs most healthcare providers and the records they keep; however, a different federal law governs many substance abuse programs (42 CFR Part 2). A substance abuse program can be covered under one, both, or neither regulation, depending on how it is funded.”

“In your complaint, you allege that on or about July 18, 2015, the Center denied your request that your medical records be amended to include complaints, the content of which are available on your online blog”

Accessing Deceased Patient Records—FAQOCR

New MedScape Article on Important 1st Amendment Case – Appeal Being Made to Massachusetts Supreme Court

New details have emerged in the apparent refusal by the Mass Board of Medicine to fairly settle OR prosecute a case involving clear evidence of forensic fraud and Establishment Clause / human rights violations, and professional extortion.

The patterns are clear and have been widely ignored by professionals and state-related authorities who are themselves subject to these patterns of regulatory capture. It is likely that adequate resolution will need to involve the US Supreme Court and or an FBI RICO investigation.

Embattled Doc Suffers Another Setback in PHS Fight (Medscape Jan 2017)

Physicians Health Programs: More Harm than Good? (earlier Medscape article by Pauline Anderson, Aug 2015)

“Dr Recupero also notes that “almost without exception,” Dr Langan’s test findings have been below the minimum level to declare a test positive and that positive findings “are not a sign of relapse.”

“Dr Langan said that since it suspended his medical license, the board has “engaged in a persistent pattern of ignoring my every reasonable effort at trying to be reinstated” and has “abused the administrative law process to accomplish this.”

“A memorandum to the Supreme Judicial Court, filed May 13, 2016, proposed a settlement between Dr Langan and the board. In return for the immediate reinstatement of Dr Langan’s license, he would be monitored for a maximum of 3 months by Dr Recupero and Timothy E. Wilens, MD, codirector of the Center for Addiction Medicine at MGH.”

“That memorandum was accompanied by letters from Dr Recupero and Dr Wilens agreeing to the terms, but according to Dr Langan, it has been “ignored.””

“The board did not acknowledge or address the proposals in any way,” said Dr Langan.”

Is Complaint About Alcoholics Anonymous a Mental Illness?

Nobody knows why I was taken out of my home by Oakland CA police to spend 5 days at a mental institution, including the mental institution itself. But they still asked the government to pay for it. The government refused to pay for it because the mental institution did not have any good reasons for me being there.

This coincided with my complaint to the NYS Justice Center about how the Department of Education investigator said it was their policy to not look into ‘the AA thing’, which I told them made me feel suicidal because there is plenty of reason to look into it.

The Clinical Director of Samaritan Counseling at the time, Jenness Clairmont, happens to be on the NYS DoE Office of Professions licensing board. She is a consultant for the 12-step group NYCPG (problem gambling). I am not allowed to speak with her because I didn’t use a stamp when I delivered a letter about AA coercion. The letter telling me that I was not allowed to speak to her was signed by her and David Olsen, the Executive Director of Samaritan Counseling, and it referred me back to a 12-step interventionist. I thought this was strange because in the one meeting I had with her, she said that most Samaritan Counseling therapists don’t agree with the 12-step approach. The Office of Professions first investigator told me “nothing you are saying now makes any sense” and the second one told me “we don’t look into the AA stuff“.

I have also asked for verification that my complaint was received and understood by my therapist Oona Edmands, who seemed compelled by addiction specialists to ignore me, and there has been no response.

denial

An Inquisition – Alcoholics Anonymous in Higher Education

AA has been preventing AA criticism in colleges for a long time.

“He asked, Do you think it’s a cult? I replied, I do, and I’ve given evidence to support my position. I’m not demanding that my students agree with this, but I am asking them to look at the evidence. He then said, Well, you can’t teach here. I said, Are you telling me I can’t use peer-reviewed articles from sociological journals and similar academic materials in a graduate course in psychology? Are you telling me I have to toe the line according to Alcoholics Anonymous? He replied, That’s exactly what I’m telling you.”

An Inquisition

ACLU’s History of Not Defending the Establishment Clause when it comes to AA

It’s time to stop seeing Anti-AA activists as government conspiracy theorists and take a close look at how government works.

This is the HHS OCR’s notice at the beginning of the Surgeon General’s report:

or religion

When I filed my complaint, I saw this:

hhsocr

and then when I asked about it, i got this weird response that it depended on who funded it.

Government is staffed by people with ideological and financial interests. They create laws that regulate or refuse to regulate industries based on private interests. The purpose of checks and balances is to protect the public from unjust law.

The US Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

The anecdote in this article is significant in that there was a clear case to be made that the state was establishing religious indoctrination by mandating Alcoholics Anonymous attendance, but due to personal and group political interests, eyes were averted from this violation of the Establishment Clause.

It is expected and understandable that people entrusted to wisely allocate public funds, and with the regulatory power to license or de-license professionals endorsed by the state will bring their personal beliefs into the equation.

The judicial branch of government protects the public from policy-makers acting unfairly in their own interests to the detriment of society. Judges can only get involved if the case is brought to their attention. A group like the ACLU is obligated by their own promises to bring these cases to the courts. In this case, it is fairly clear that the opportunity was missed, and the consequence has been the increasing ability for government agencies to protect, promote, and fund the establishment of the 12-step cult religion.

Atheist Challenges Order to Attend Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

One ACLU lawyer neglected to attack AA under the the Establishment clause and later admitted she was an AA member.

“[Ellen, that’s when we first began to disagree. You wanted to stick with a free exercise clause argument. I wanted you to include the establishment clause. I felt some satisfaction when Jack Schwartz, the AG’s assistant, asked you why you weren’t arguing the establishment clause. You got mad at me and became stubborn. I later realized you didn’t want to endanger people’s access to AA. Later you told me, as if in a confession, that you’d gone to AA for quite a while. You seemed surprised that I didn’t care. We disagreed on a lot of things after that. That’s something I always valued in our relationship. That we could disagree and get angry at one another and still be friends.]” -Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

“As an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in Maryland, Ms. Luff successfully argued in 1988 that court-ordered attendance at meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees religious freedom.”
– From the Washington Post Obit.

Elements of the Surgeon General’s report on Facing Addiction suggest that the Department of Health and Human Services needs to be brought to court for neglecting concern for civil rights related to religion.

Disrupted Physician

Disrupted Physician is one of my favorite whistleblower sites. Michael Langan is exposing nationwide fraud in Physicians Health Programs, and his work has inspired many other doctors and nurses subjected to medical license extortion to speak up and speak out against irrational authority — a pretty hot topic these days!

His case involves fraudulent drug test results and suppression of evidence in addition to the clear Establishment Clause violation described in this document: BRM_and_PHS_Must_Offer_Secular_Alternatives_to_AA_NA_in_Disciplinary_Contracts.pdf.

Gamblers Anonymous meetings, NYCPG Funded by the State

“Problem gambling education also will be provided to patients at these six ATCs [Addiction Treatment Centers]. Several ATCs also have established connections with local Gambler’s Anonymous (GA) chapters, who will provide GA meetings on site at the ATCs.”

You can now go in to ‘treatment’ for substance use disorder and come out powerless over gambling, or at least telling everybody you know that they might be.

NYS OASAS ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF SERVICES FOR NEW YORKERS STRUGGLING WITH PROBLEM GAMBLING

Here’s why that’s probably illegal Impact of Federal Court Decision Concerning Alcoholics Anonymous On Government Funded Providers

HHS Office for Civil Rights Policy loses its “religion” — or — This is is not the kind of “oversight” the rehab industry needs

Hello,

In Surgeon General Murthy’s report on Facing Addiction, I noticed that the word “religion” was not used in OCR’s notice.

or religion

The word “sex” WAS in this notice, but not “religion”, so the decision to leave “religion” out might be slightly more certain than:

last year after having no luck in getting New York state *at any level* to acknowledge precedented Establishment Clause violations (religious coercion) in 12-step treatment, I received a similar response from Sarah Brown, Deputy Director, where the wording was changed to “under certain circumstances, sex and religion [are protected].

This was not the response I expected, because on the OCR website where I initially filed my complaint, it says “religion” on the complaint form.

My question is: Under what circumstances is discrimination based on religion allowable, and is “addiction treatment” one of those circumstances? It does seem to be, based on the notice in the Facing Addiction report. If so, why?

Does it have anything to do with the 12-step programs, which the same notice says are not specifically endorsed by HHS?

http://notpowerless.com/new-york-state-education-department-investigator-admits-policy-of-willful-negligence/

—-

“Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Please note that OCR has limited jurisdiction to investigate complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of religion. This jurisdiction depends on the particular program and the funding source to pay for the program.

Me: “Thank you for your response. Are there any documents I can read regarding OCR’s jurisdiction, such as which funding sources prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion and which ‘particular programs’ might be exempt from investigation? “

“This information is not on OCR’s website and is not available to the public. It is information that is used in OCR’s investigation process.”

Me: “Is it available via a FOIL request?”

“You can request anything under FOIA, but it is likely that the request would be denied because it is part of OCR’s investigative process.”

Me: “Thank you. Perhaps you could answer about a specific situation with NYS OASAS funding Gamblers Anonymous indoctrination in the course of substance abuse treatment, or using Gamblers Anonymous meetings on site, or funding the non-profit organization called the Council for Problem Gambling which promotes GA meetings and OASAS state-run GA-based rehab.”

“I don’t investigate complaints or have access to the information to make this determination. If you have further questions regarding your complaint, it should be directed to OCR’s Central Intake Unit which investigate your complaint.”