Category Archives: Government / Law

My Own Letter to Mental Health Professionals

Here’s my own letter which will go on top of the packet I’m sending to the New York State Department of Education, Samaritan Counseling Center, NASW, Samaritan Institute, and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

I don’t think I’m ‘personality disordered or mentally retarded’ (Axis 2) for being concerned about Alcoholics Anonymous coercion in mental health care.

notpowerless (PDF)

tomgleason

Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran and Agent for Change, Second Letter Campaign

12-step treatment not only induces PTSD in some people, it is absolutely the wrong treatment for people traumatized by combat nursing, who were seeing people get shot, burned, or bombed, and then decided to shake it off, have a few drinks and get right back to work.

What the hell is wrong with these state licensing boards being run by blame and shame steppers? Licensed professionals are being forced to accept utter stupidity, extortion and abuse by their superiors in the State.

I’m also wondering what real PTSD treatment involves (which thankfully she’s now getting more of, after advocating for her rights, from the VA hospital).

Pride Letter (PDF)

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Pride2

Until I Hear Otherwise…

I would really like Samaritan Counseling Center to tell me that they will not coerce people into the 12-step programs which landed me in psychiatric wards twice and nearly killed me, but the last I heard was from David Olsen on the phone saying it’s their right to a ‘preferred mode of treatment’, right before he and Jenness Clairmont wrote me a letter saying that ‘under no circumstances’ was I to have any further personal contact with anyone at Samaritan or its affiliates.

Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capital Region‘s official position on 12-step coercion is that it is their right to do it. Unfortunately I was not informed about this until about a year into the therapy after I had developed an attachment to the therapist, which was then used as ‘leverage’. This is why I think their licenses should be reviewed and possibly revoked by the state of New York.

After deciding that I did not want to do AA, I was told I could speak to my therapist if I went to a $17,000 30-day rehab, which I could not afford and then went to an outpatient 12-step rehab where I found more AA at $265/1.5 hrs (group session and drug test). They told me not to worry about the money. Since I thought this was medical treatment, I paid for $700/month for health insurance, which 6 months later I found covered NOTHING of this. The rehab was kind enough to give me a 60% discount for self-pay, but that discount was discontinued during the year of 2014.

After requesting to speak with my therapist at $40/hr about 12-step coercion (I was willing to pay the $80/hr but was suddenly subsidized by a mysterious fund at Samaritan), I received a letter referring me to 12-step meetings and a 12-step interventionist at $110/hr (also self-pay only), saying that I may be able to speak with her if I complied.

After filing a thorough complaint about being more and more forcefully referred to 12-step meetings and a 12-step interventionist, they (David Olsen and Jenness Clairmont who is on the state licensing board) simply terminate-referred me back to the 12-step interventionist. I checked myself into Capital District Psychiatric Center where I was told by a doctor that I’m “fucked” and need AA. I told them I didn’t understand why I couldn’t discuss this, and they prescribed me anti-psychotics (I tried Geodon, Risperidone, Haldol, and Zyprexa) and $170/mo worth of Neurontin. But none of these medications helped me ‘get over’ what I thought was more of a systemic problem with the way I was being treated. If AA hadn’t depressed and confused the heck out of me, I would not have gone to therapy in the first place.

Both my therapist and the Clinical Director had expressed to me privately that they were not fond of the 12-step programs, but neither of them would explain to me why or why they then kept recommending it. Although, in my records, it is mentioned these things were done ‘under the direction of David Olsen’.

Yet, my records and correspondences show zero acknowledgement of my concerns or my complaint. In fact, they did not consider my complaints to be part of my records, which also makes no sense and eliminates the paper trail of my experiences.

James Garrett’s official position on 12-step coercion is in this book, which basically said coercion into treatment is the only thing that works. If you’re self-motivated when seeking treatment, you’re going to fail, according to James Garrett and Judith Landau. Now, to give him a little credit, after I got extremely mad at this he did say to me “Since you’ve been so honest with me, I’m going to be honest with you. AA doesn’t work for everybody”. I thought, well that would have been nice to have known about two years ago, thank you for letting me in on this ‘little secret’, because here I am thinking my only other options are jails, institutions and death, or complete abandonment by a therapist I trusted. I told him I wanted to tell my therapist about this, but she’d probably just keep referring people to AA. And he nodded. Then he told her to mark me down as Axis II (personality disorder).

12-Step Extortion Written into NYS Office of Professions Law

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I did appeal and never got any response from Mary Ellen Elia.

Check this out. I found 12-step extortion written into NYS Law on professional licensing.

§6510-b Temporary surrender of licenses during treatment for drug or alcohol abuse.

There is a section that enables 12-step professional extortion, point for point [my interpretations]

1. Your license can be voluntarily surrendered when someone alleges (or you feel) that you are incapacitated. (You can do this without ‘getting into trouble’…don’t worry…). Your license shall be restored when you satisfy the Department’s ‘reasonable conditions’.

2. There will be a committee with ‘expertise in problems of drug and alcohol abuse’.

3. A treatment or rehab program will be identified. Don’t worry, this will all be done without anyone knowing about it… “Approval of a treatment or rehabilitation program by the committee shall not constitute a representation as to the probability of success of the program or any assumption of financial responsibility for its costs.”

4. “The immunity from disciplinary action conferred by this section may be revoked by the committee upon a finding that the licensee has failed to successfully complete the program or that the incapacity to practice has not been eliminated. ”

6. Exemption of any liability for people involved in the intervention.

This is how many state-licensed professionals in NY have an AA gun behind their backs.

Interesting fact: Jenness Clairmont, the former Clinical Director of Samaritan Counseling who banned me from ‘any further contact‘ with employees or Samaritan Counseling offices ‘under any circumstances’ directly after I complained about 12-step coercion and emotional extortion via the ARISE Intervention (the creator of which was at the time charged with five felonies for fraud)…she is ON the Office of Professions board (the licensing board whose ‘investigator’ told me ‘nothing you are saying makes any sense’. You can see in the video above this Office of Professions is not averse to extorting its licensees into 12-step treatment. She’s also an NASW member, and a consultant for the 12-step group New York Council on Problem Gambling, which is PAID by OASAS (illegally it seems) and who’ve introduced inpatient gambling rehab and GA meetings to OASAS rehabs (also illegally). This idea of ‘boundaries’ against people who are not engaged in 12-step programs is also called ‘cult shunning‘, and even though the Executive Director David Olsen of Samaritan Counseling recommends these boundaries ‘to help the ministry flourish‘ and to avoid ‘scapegoating’ pastors (he’s a sex therapist/pastor who makes nearly 200K/year at his non-profit), I find it very odd that Samaritan Counseling has effectively shunned me or anyone representing me from any communication with state licensed ‘social workers’ who are supposedly interested in helping resolve social problems.

Watch Jenness Clairmont talk about ‘male depression’ and ‘not wanting to talk about it’. LOL.