Category Archives: Social Work Ethics

New Anti-AA Video Podcast: Not Powerless #1 – Regulatory Capture and 12-Step Extortion

Here is a key document (that I couldn’t find during the live podcast). In my post Social Work Licensing in New York, I question whether the Capital Tonight interviewee was referring to this document when she said “2002 was the first time we tried to regulate the spoken word as treatment”. I have never got any verification about what specifically she was referring to when she said that.

Local Services Bulletin No. 2002-05: Impact of Recent Federal Court Decision Concerning Alcoholics Anonymous
On Government Funded Providers

New Denial

Just received this letter from the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. Here is the document they refer to and I haven’t the time to analyze it right now https://archive.hhs.gov/ocr/combinedregtext.pdf

“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”

On the one hand I’m happy that they have apparently seen my blog notpowerless.com and also directed me to the specific laws they considered (which I did not have the HIPAA expertise to find specifically). A prior complaint directed me to the laws near what I found to be 12-step extortion written into professional licensing law New York State Office of Professions is entangled with Alcoholics Anonymous

On the other hand, they don’t seem to have noticed that the whole point of my complaint about the HIPAA request for amendment (of my complaints to my medical records) is that it should not be necessary to post your private medical records online to make a point. Any professional I might see in the future should be able to see that I made serious complaints if they were to review my historical medical records (they would NOT see any of my complaints, to be clear), and should not have to go on a (probably illegal) cyberstalking expedition to my blog to learn the facts about my case.
OCR

Conversation with Alcoholics Anonymous General Service Office about Members who are Also Professionals (Two-hatters)

January 17th, 2017 call to Clay Writtenhouse at the AA GSO. 22min

10:00 is a good starting point if you’re short on time.

Here is a class action ethics complaint to the NASW about this phenomenon.

See also What Contract? and What is 12-step Coercion?

What contract?

This was shortly after being terminated from the 12-step outpatient rehab for complaining about the cost of drug tests and step one worksheets. That was never acknowledged by Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capital Region. Months later, they said my claims to have done those things were ‘contradictory’ (regardless of the fact that I can prove I was there and paid Saint Peters Addiction Recovery Center (SPARC) a lot of money and the most recent interaction before I was terminated from there was with a young counselor who asked me if I could get sober ‘for her’ and had me draw a picture of what ‘powerlessness’ looked like. I drew a dead man.). In the first few months of this nightmare, I was required to go to an inpatient 12-step rehab, and refused.

“Case discussion with Oona Edmands: agreed that Tom will need to have two months of sobriety and weekly sessions with me before he could see Oona Edmands.” – James Garrett 3/17/14

12-step

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“See me once a month for ‘trust building’ sessions and get approval to have appointment with Oona Edmands after two months” – James Garrett 3/26/14

(at this point my trust of him was rapidly declining after nearly a year of jumping through his increasingly expensive hoops).

Why was my therapist being encouraged to not speak to me if I didn’t do 12-step treatment (I actually already know the answer, and it has to do with James Garrett realizing I was attached to her and realizing he could use that as leverage. He wrote a whole book about doing that. and you can see the reviews here.) and you can see that he was at the time charged with five felonies for this kind of nonsense here. I clearly said to her that I wanted to be done with Saint Peters Addiction Recovery Center and James Garrett’s nonsense and wanted to speak to her about it, and yet James Garrett and David Olsen both seem to have insisted that 12-step was some kind of requirement for me to resume therapy. I never was allowed to tell her what happened in the treatment she recommended, because they created this game where she was supposed to shun any contact with me until and unless I was ‘in recovery’ (which had nothing to do with drinking and everything to do with being ‘in’ AA/rehab).

I’ve been trying to express this scenario in different ways for about three years now and the NYS Education Department said that pretty much nothing I say makes any sense. So I’ve kept trying to make sense, pinpointing themes like emotional extortion, gaslighting, and coercion.

“Tough-love programs often ritualize emotional testimonies and require testimony about conversion experiences as a prerequisite for release from treatment. Because there is no scientific evidence to validate the safety and efficacy of coercive methods, these anecdotes are the “hook” that this multi-billion dollar industry is built upon.” – Setting the Record Straight

Here you can see that those

‘recommendations’ were actually requirements for therapy at Samaritan Counseling, something I wasn’t aware of (I had thought those were negotiable) until the point I was terminated.

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I continued to see James Garrett and try to negotiate to be ‘allowed’ to speak to the therapist about this ‘preferred treatment’ that she recommended for about a full year before terminating me with suicidal ideation and the ‘boundary issues’ of wanting to discuss the treatment she insisted I engage in for the ‘possibility’ of having my complaints acknowledged. I never did get to tell her about what happened in the treatment. In fact, my letter attempting to explain the situation got me a response from the Clinical Director Jenness Clairmont (who now promotes Gamblers Anonymous) and Executive Director David Olsen “to inform you that under no circumstances will any further personal contact with the center, its satellites or its personnel be allowable.”

Apparently, James Garrett thinks my attempts to complain about this are ‘Axis 2′ behavior. What I would like is for Oona Edmands to acknowledge that agreements were made and that the way I was being treated under the direction of David Olsen and James Garrett (both confirmed 12-steppers) was unreasonable and weird.

arise

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resources

I’ve spent the last three years of my life trying to understand why nobody in NYS Government seems to see the problem here.

Demanding Apologies from NYS OASAS for Using the F-word About Father Peter Young Industries

Here on Capital Tonight is a heated debate about using the F-word between 12-stepper OASAS Chief Counsel Robert Kent and 12-stepper Father Peter Young, with neither of them involved in the actual discussion. There is a side of this debate that is not even being recognized, and has nothing to do with anybody using the F-word.

Why apologize for being upset by bullshit?

Father Peter Young halfway house exec charged

Ex-official of Schenectady nonprofit sentenced for theft

Investigation crippling Schenectady-based ministry

Schenectady charity official facing charges

“Hello Representative McLaughlin,

As a former resident of Albany NY, I have to speak out against any state funding of 12-step programs, because it is a violation of the Establishment Clause. I was an OASAS client, and witnessed 12-step coercion among OASAS and OMH employees that brought political battles into my personal therapy. I was terminated and banned from all communications with my therapist over this issue, because after two years of AA meetings and ‘treatment’, I decided that I did not want to be involved in turning my will and my money over to 12-step programs anymore. This is an issue of religious indoctrination, comparable to Scientology corruption but bigger. Probably bigger than the Catholic Church sex scandals. It needs to be addressed in discussions like this. I watched your interview with Liz Benjamin, and was upset that, again, this issue is very much about 12-step but nobody ever mentions very fundamental issues with the program.

Here are some examples of letters I’ve sent from myself and others, including a petition with over 150 signatures. http://notpowerless.com/letters-and-petition-sent-to…/

See here: https://www.oasas.ny.gov/mis/bulletins/lsb2014-22.cfm

and thebusinessofrecovery.com which is a documentary about systemic fraud and lack of accountability in the 12-step programs and features an Albany judge.

and the13thstepfilm.com which explains how widespread this problem is which goes beyond money and insurance issues, but to basic human decency. I’ve met many people who have such similar concerns and are being completely ignored by the government agencies they are supposed to be able to trust.

I have written to the Department of Health and Human Services, OMH, State Education Department, Office of Professional Discipline, Samaritan Institute, Attorney General, Inspector General, Justice Center, and have largely got complete non-responses.

I don’t think this is about Kent using the F-word. There is a much deeper discussion to be had than decorum. When complaints are being deleted and ignored, people do get mad. I’m personally furious at the lack of concern for my very legitimate complaints and investigations into this matter on my blog. I’ve made my case over and over again for almost three years now, and because I got angry at one point, I’ve been banned from all communications with a long-time therapist. I am not about to apologize for being upset by this treatment racket that is leaving people dead and sweeping evidence under the rug.

Tom Gleason
notpowerless.com”

Response (or non-reponse) from New York State Inspector General

I kind of had hopes that there was someone to complain to. This makes me sad. Unless OMH executive management sees a problem with OASAS providers, this isn’t going to go anywhere. Yes, they referred my complaint about OMH to OMH. Maybe it will go a little higher up to people who haven’t heard about it before. I don’t know.

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Cease and Desist

Looking up “Cease and desist” I found this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cease_and_desist

Apparently I am being threatened by NYS government with a lawsuit for filing legitimate complaints and further complaining that those complaints have been ignored. Jenness Clairmont, the former Clinical Director of Samaritan Counseling, is on that board.

“A cease and desist letter is a document sent to an individual or business to halt purportedly illegal activity (“cease”) and not take it up again later (“desist”). The letter may warn that if the recipient does not discontinue specified conduct, or take certain actions, by deadlines set in the letter, that party may be sued.”

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And here is what the OPD said to me after that:

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I’ve not said anything new worth examining in two and a half years, according to NYS Investigator Michael Kinley

Actually, the whole point of this blog is that there is something worth investigating, and I have presented lots of new information since June 2014. The Attorney General’s office just referred me back to this Office of Professional Discipline department that is now asking me to stop complaining. I’m mad.

In fact, I have discovered a lot in the past 2 and a half years that I had no idea about before. I learned about regulatory capture of government agencies. I learned about the history of coercive 12-step programs like Straight Inc. and how doctors and pilots and nurses are extorted by 12-step programs. I learned that it’s a $35 billion dollar industry. I learned about sexual, psychological, and spiritual abuse and the role of shunning. I learned about cults. I made connections suggesting that this was not a personal disagreement or an isolated incident at all, but very systemic. I have made that information available to the government in every way possible in the form of petitions, letters, complaints, news articles, research, etc. I learned that my own interventionist has trained hundreds of professionals to ‘treat’ people this way. I learned about the Establishment Clause and why religion, how it’s funded and subsidized, matters. I learned about censorship and HIPAA laws. Freedom of Information laws and why they are important. I learned about Medicaid fraud, drug testing, and ‘parity’ for ‘treatment’ that is ‘not treatment’ that is lifelong and never ends. I’ve connected lots of dots and I don’t appreciate being seen as an annoyance for trying to share this information with the people who could potentially do something about it.

I would not have even thought about any of this if I hadn’t been banned from all communications with Samaritan Counseling and wondering why David Olsen and Jenness Clairmont banned me from speaking to people that are right there in my community. They also banned me from the church that I was told to go to to remedy this. Yes, it makes no sense.

I learned that the Office of Professional Discipline ‘doesn’t look into the AA thing‘, as a matter of policy! Which is why I explained the problem to the Attorney General’s office who deferred to the opinion of this office that told me it has no jurisdiction:

“We have investigated your complaint against Samaritan institute and have explained to you in the past that While we cannot address the complaint against the Samaritan institute as we have no jurisdiction we did not find any violation of Education Law regarding your complaint against licensed professionals that work at the Samaritan center. In all the emails you have sent after that determination there has been nothing new to be investigated that wasn’t brought to our attention in your initial and subsequent complaints. Therefore I request that you cease and desist from sending these complaints to us.
If in the future you have any NEW information we will be happy to look into these matters for you.

Michael A. Kinley
Deputy Director of Investigation
Office of Professional Discipline
New York State Education Department”

“Confidentiality Notice
This email including all attachments is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. This communication may contain information that is protected from disclosure under State and/or Federal law. Please notify the sender immediately if you have received this communication in error and delete this email from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.”

kinley

This is how my last email conversation with him ended.