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?
“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…/
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.
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.
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.”
And here is what the OPD said to me after that:
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”
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.”
“Please be assured that we have documented your concerns”
I’m not sure the AG’s Health Care Bureau understands the situation. I did send a complaint to OPD two and a half years ago, and the Office of Professions investigator told me nothing I say makes any sense. That’s why I’ve tried to find somewhere else to complain to!
Could it have had anything to do with the fact that one of the people I was complaining about (Jenness Clairmont) is on the Office of Professions board, and another one, who seemed to be telling her what to do and how to do it, was her 12-stepper boss (Executive Director David Olsen)?
The whole point of contacting the Attorney General was because they are incapable of even acknowledging their problem (perhaps because they know it would sound criminal, not just problematic, if anybody said out loud how it actually works and for how long they’ve dealt with complaints by retaliating).
She (Jenness Clairmont) DID acknowledge a widespread (underground) negative sentiment toward 12-step, privately. On the surface, you’d never know it because her boss doesn’t allow that discussion to happen. For some reason she’s fine with being on the NASW and the licensing board and pretending all this is perfectly reasonable to actively promote something you don’t agree with… (NYCPG does pay her as a consultant, and NYS OASAS funds them).
She expected me to just happily go along with the licensing board that SHE’S ON saying I make no sense at all, ignoring my complaints and literally acting like I’m making this stuff up out of nowhere as the addiction fraud specialists bankrupted me financially and spiritually and then OMH tried to drug me into oblivion as everybody involved acted like they had no idea what I was talking about.
This cult stuff is sick. It’s like 1984, or Scientology or something. It’s beyond dumb; they are actually letting people die or erasing them from history to just to keep pretending AA has no problems whatsoever (to keep their own jobs, in many cases). I don’t know how to get this across to the people who could do something about it. The Attorney General has taken down isolated rehab rackets before. I am just not sure he realizes how systemic it is. These are not isolated incidents. They are pretty much systematized by OASAS….which is why I’m doing my best to let people know.
I will have to send more information to the Attorney General as well as the Inspector General, which is 1-800-367-4448 (1 800 DO RIGHT). It says “this will put you in contact with trained staff who can discuss with you the specifics of your complaint”. Worth a shot.
“You can also write us at:
Office of the State Inspector General
Empire State Plaza Agency Building 2 16th Floor
Albany, NY 12223″
The Justice Center (who I’ve got zero response from) is at
161 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054
“Oxford House is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, organizationally or financially, but Oxford House members realize that only active participation in Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Narcotics Anonymous offers assurance of continued sobriety.
Every Oxford House member attributes his sobriety to Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Narcotics Anonymous. Each Oxford House member, as an individual, considers himself a member of AA and/or NA. Without that, sobriety would be short-lived.
As individual members of Alcoholics Anonymous…”
The Surgeon General’s report (Big PDF) says:
They also left out the word ‘religion’ in the Office for Civil Rights notice…What’s up with that?
From Oxford House Traditions:
“If a house member does not regularly attend AA or NA meetings, the house may — as a group conscience — decide that an individual resident should attend a set number of meetings each week for both the individual’s well-being and the well-being of others who live in the house.”
In fact, they seem to like to think of Oxford House as a kind of endless AA meeting:
“In fact, Oxford House creates an environment whereby each member can more fully realize the benefits available from active AA or NA membership. A house full of sober, recovering alcoholics and drug addicts invites informal AA or NA “meetings after the meeting” and each day finds many informal AA or NA meetings before individual members each go off to their regular AA or NA meeting.”
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).
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”