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This page was last updated: Wednesday, January 19, 2000 at 6:10 pm EST









No Force Across America









Welcome




The use of force and coercion in all 
its forms has no place -- and ought NOT 
to be tolerated or supported -- in 
health care treatment in any setting or 
for any reason.


STOP forced and coerced mental health and behavorial health treatment now!



In the words of Justin Dart:

"No Forced Treatment Ever!"


-- Justin Dart, Jr. is a 
Disability Rights Movement Leader

For more information about Justin Dart, visit:

Justin Dart: his life and accomplishments





Glorious News from the Green Mountain State of Vermont:

News of a Court Decision in Vermont regarding IOC:
Read an editorial and an article written by Vermont Times Editor Shay Totten published on Wednesday, January 5, 2000 regarding the Superior Court Decision on the "J.L." Consent Decree which governs forced drugging in Vermont which directly impacts Act 114 which was passed by the Vermont Legislature in 1998 in order to vacate the consent decree. Plus, links to related documents available at MadNation and also a link to the Vermont Times Web site.




No Force Across America Essays:



Self-determination and independence versus force and dependency
By Morgan Brown


For some time now, there has been much written 
about and even more talk concerning the 
"restructuring" supposedly happening in various 
mental health systems. So far, everything I have 
read or heard of, indicates to me that all this 
"restructuring" is nothing more than an attempt 
to find new ways to do much of the same old 
thing within these systems and within the 
societies which foster and embrace them. 

The use of force within these mental health 
systems needs to be completely done away with 
before these systems can truly become ones of 
"empowerment" for everyone involved. This 
would be real change, because it is what is 
needed and because it is also very long overdue.

Whether on an inpatient, outpatient, or 
"community" basis, the use of force or coercion 
in mental health treatment is clearly wrong. 
Force and treatment do not go or work together. 
In fact, each works in opposition to the other. 
Force fosters dependency, victimization, anger, 
violence, helplessness, and irresponsibility. 
However, treatment which is free from the use 
of force or coercion embodies what is essential 
to what often becomes termed as "recovery": 
personhood, self-determination, hope, faith, 
responsibility, and independence, as well as 
interdependence. Force does not ensure safety 
or security; rather, it is the use of force 
that destroys them. 

Using force is easy. Choosing alternatives 
to force may be difficult, or seem so, but 
it need not be impossible. Many options are 
available which are not possible when force 
is the governing paradigm. 

If the force/coercion paradigm were no longer 
in place, the power imbalance that currently 
exists would cease, or at least its base would 
lose its authority. Resources which are 
currently being employed to bolster the force 
paradigm could be used instead, to meet the 
basic needs of individuals-needs now not met 
in a way of their choosing, or not met at all. 
These needs include: non-segregated, 
non-congregate housing, home ownership programs 
(designed by persons they are meant to assist 
and packaged to assist persons living on very 
low incomes), tenant-based rental assistance 
programs, income, food, support, training, 
employment, healthcare and transportation. 

Meals on Wheels, personal assistance services, 
and Part B-Independent Living Services can 
play meaningful and vital roles in supporting 
individuals labeled with psychiatric 
disabilities to live independently. However, 
it would take a major shift in resources to 
fund these much- needed programs. In Vermont, 
information regarding these programs and 
access to them, can be gained through the 
Vermont Center for Independent Living 
(V.C.I.L.). 

We must do several things, including these: 

End civil commitment and abolish the 
insanity defense for persons labeled with 
psychiatric (or emotional) disabilities.

Hold people fully accountable for their 
actions if a crime is committed and then 
proven within the criminal justice and 
correctional systems, regardless of whether 
or not an individual is labeled with a 
psychiatric disability.
 
Shift resources to fund a system that 
helps to meet the needs of individuals 
labeled with psychiatric disabilities in a 
way of their choosing and make mental health 
systems completely voluntary. 

Use vouchers to allow people real choices 
both in selecting care and/or service 
providers and the actual care and/or service 
that they may choose to receive.

End the preferred-provider status, sponsored 
by state statutes, currently in place within 
community mental health systems across the 
United States.

 
Often, there are concerns raised about what 
should be done if someone is "out of control" 
or "troubled" or "in need of treatment" when 
their state of mind and/or behavior is being 
questioned. While the issue appears to be 
complicated by several factors, including 
current constitutional law regarding an 
individual's rights in criminal proceedings, 
it is my belief that people can be held more 
accountable by changing how they are treated, 
by abolishing the insanity defense, and by 
ending civil commitment of individuals 
labeled with psychiatric disabilities.
 
Being "out of control" or labeled with a 
psychiatric disability should not be an 
excuse and should not be tolerated if a 
person is proven to have committed a crime. 

If no crime is committed, but the person 
appears to be "out of control" or "troubled," 
they should be offered voluntary assistance 
only or otherwise be left alone. More 
tolerance in this manner is actually needed, 
not less of it. If an individual is not 
committing a crime, but her or his actions 
are annoying others, then they should not be 
detained or interfered with-just like anyone 
else. Being annoying, a jerk, or "out of 
control," or being labeled with a psychiatric 
disability in itself should not be grounds 
for imposing society's will. 

We shouldn't be able to hold people 
accountable for actions that we think that 
they might do. People should, however, be 
fully accountable for proven criminal 
violations of the law. 

I do believe that it is possible for us to 
finally rid ourselves of the terrible burden 
of force and coercion within mental health 
systems. 

One of my favorite quotes which I need to 
constantly remind myself of and which I use 
often in this charge of work is this one: 
"Some men see things as they are, and ask, 
Why? I dream of things that never were and 
ask, Why not?"-Robert F. Kennedy. These 
words help carry me through many tough 
times-both personal and political. I 
encourage everyone to dream and then to ask, 
"Why not?" This can be very liberating to 
one's mind, body and soul, especially when 
sharing with and supporting each other-as we 
journey into the unknown together. 



As published in the National Empowerment
Center Newsletter -- NEC News -- and
available online via the NEC Web site at:
Self-determination and independence versus force and dependency




Since When?
By Morgan Brown


There are some among those who are proponents 
of the use of force in psychiatry that seem to 
make a big deal about people who are opposed 
to the use of force, coercion and violence in 
the name of "mental health treatment" as being 
"nay sayers" or "no sayers" as if that implys 
something bad about them or their message. 

This, of course, is only a projection being 
put upon them as well as an attempt in 
negating them as people opposed to such use 
of force, and their message, in order to 
distract and reflect from what is the actual 
topic and points at the heart of the matter 
and being discussed by those opposed to the 
use of force under any guise.

Since when did it become something bad to 
oppose and say "nay" or "no" to the use of 
force, coercion and violence in any form or 
under any guise? 

The fact is that this is really all about 
power. It is about those people who have to 
use force in order to gain power over 
someone else in order to then control and 
dominate that person or group. Of course, 
as such, they do not want that discussed, 
explored, exposed or taken seriously. They 
have to blame or find fault in someone for 
their use and support of violence.

Since when did it become a bad thing to 
say "nay" to such oppression and tyranny 
no matter how supposedly well intentioned?

I say "NO" to such dehumanization and 
cruelness.

I say "NO" to the question posed by the
TV cable network A&E: "Should schizophrenics 
be forced into mandatory treatment?"

I say yes to that which is better in all 
of us if and when we choose to embrace it 
and act upon it so we may rise above that 
which should be left behind. In order to 
do that, first - yes - we must say "NO" and 
then act on it and move on. 

I am saying yes to all the possibilities 
that lay before us when we embrace life, hope, 
responsibility, mutual respect, peace and 
freedom toward a real state of holistic 
wellness. 

I am saying "NO" to those forces and 
people who would take those opportunities 
away from us: life, hope, responsibility, 
mutual respect, peace, freedom and holistic 
wellness.

For that, I am proud to be yet another 
NON-compliant "nay sayer".





Note:
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page for the sake of convenience.





End the violence!



Abolish forced and coerced treatment now!



Note: Appreciation goes to MadNation for use of the above No Force graphic



An old resistance song:



Die Gedanken Sind Frei
(Thoughts Are Free)


Die gedanken sind frei, my thoughts freely flower, 
Die gedanken sind frei, my thoughts give me power 
No scholar can map them, no hunter can trap them 
No one can deny, die gedanken sind frei, 
No one can deny, die gedanken sind frei! 

I think as I please and this gives me pleasure 
My conscience decrees this right I must treasure 
My thoughts will not cater to duke or dictator 
No one can deny, die gedanken sind frei, 
No one can deny, die gedanken sind frei! 

And should tyrants take me and throw me in prison 
My thoughts will burst free like blossoms in season 
Foundations will crumble and structures will tumble 
And free people will cry "Die gedanken sind frei!" 
No one will deny die gedanken sind frei!



Note:
This German resistance song was made "popular" 
in the United States by Pete Seeger and is 
included on his album "Dangerous Songs."   
Originally sung by Prussian prisoners of war, 
it was banned by Hitler and became an 
underground anthem of prisoners of war and 
concentration camp inmates during World War II.  
Some people might recognize it from the sound 
track of a movie about a great escape from a 
German P.O.W. camp. 





*******



Poems to ponder:




flowers of hope


searching for flowers of hope 
within the snow and ice of a cold, 
indifferent and hostile world; 
growing impatient for life's endless 
winter to pass, since spring's warmth 
may not be enough to compel these 
expectant blossoms to rise and flower. 

like so many others mindlessly 
trampled, leaving the world barren; 
desolate of those whose faith, beauty, 
passion, strength and resolve would 
usually still be able to rise, had they not 
had that spirit carelessly plucked from them. 

by Morgan W. Brown 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 
March 6, 1999 
White River Junction, VT USA



*******





a home is a garden of life


Dedicated to members of the 
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty 
(OCAP)  whose Safe Park Vigils 
inspired this work.  
Please visit their Web site:

OCAP: Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
let people find a place where they can plant fertile seeds-that contain their own hopes and dreams, from which they may then draw harvests of plenty to share with others and, which they will call home, for it is a garden where lives thrive and are grown. By Morgan W. Brown ALL RIGHTS RESERVED August 13, 1999 Still Homeless in Montpelier, Vermont USA


*******



Bio & position statements:


Morgan W. Brown is a struggling, but "serious 
and persistent" writer, poet and activist. 
His life experience includes that of 
psychiatric incarceration, shock treatment 
(ECT) and also being homeless many times.
Morgan advocates NON-violent NON-cooperative 
active resistance in various activism concerns 
including and especially for human rights and 
social justice for people who are "seriously 
and persistently" psychiatrically labeled or 
who are either homeless or formerly homeless. 
He urges that people STOP supporting or 
otherwise cooperating with any person(s), 
organization(s) or service provider(s) who 
either engages in, supports or is otherwise 
indifferent to forced or coerced mental health 
and behavorial health treatment. In turn, he 
advocates for fully funded services and 
supports which are fully directed by those who 
use them and that are provided by psychiatric 
survivors, mental health consumers, clients, 
ex-patients and ex-inmates -- which are true 
voluntary alternatives to the traditional 
forced and coerced medical model system of 
mental health and behavorial health treatment. 
Morgan believes that the current traditional 
medical model system of mental health and 
behavorial health treatment system needs to 
become totally force and coercion FREE.



*******




Glorious News from the Green Mountain State of Vermont:

News of a Court Decision in Vermont regarding IOC:
Read an editorial and an article written by Vermont Times Editor Shay Totten published on Wednesday, January 5, 2000 regarding the Superior Court Decision on the "J.L." Consent Decree which governs forced drugging in Vermont which directly impacts Act 114 which was passed by the Vermont Legislature in 1998 in order to vacate the consent decree. Plus, links to related documents available at MadNation and also a link to the Vermont Times Web site.

For more information about the No Force message, visit:

MadNation:
People Working Together for Social Justice & Human Rights in Mental Health
MindFreedom:
Support Coalition International
Mental Health Rights Coalition/CARES:
Coalition of Advocates for Rights Empowerment and Services
PACT:
People Against Coercive Treatment
The Antipsychiatry Coalition:
a nonprofit volunteer group consisting of people who feel we have been harmed by psychiatry - and of our supporters
The Antipsychiatry Reading Room:
articles, news, and links to other web sites
Nuck 'n Futs:
A Checkup From The Neck Up!
NARPA:
National Association for Rights Protections and Advocacy

In Their Own Words: What others have to say:

If It Isn't Voluntary It Isn't Treatment:
By Vicki Fox Wieselthier, 1998; Vicki Fox Wieselthier is a psychiatric survivor and activist from St. Louis, Missouri. She is the Web Minder/Owner of MADNATION
Forced Treatment: Symptom or Cure?:
By Deborah Lisi-Baker, Editor; The Independent; Waterbury, Vermont; April / May 1998; Page 8
Forced Treatment Doesn't Work:
The promise of community mental health service was neither funded nor fulfilled. By Vicki Fox Wieselthier and Michael Allen; Washington Post -- Thursday, August 5, 1999; Page A23
Trust, not Coercion, Facilitates Recovery:
By William Sullivan, Executive Director, MHA in Essex County, New York; MHANYS Newsletter -- Community Connections, Fall 1999
IAPSRS Position Statement on IOC:
The International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services Official Position Statement on Involuntary Outpatient Commitment -- November 1999
NAPAS P&A News article on IOC:
The National Association of Protection & Advocacy Systems P&A News article "Involuntary Outpatient Commitment: If It Isn't Voluntary.... Maybe It Isn't Treatment"
10 Key NCD Recommendations:
Key Recommendations from the draft of the National Council on Disability's Report on People Labeled with Psychiatric Disabilities
The Ex-Patients' Movement:
The Ex-Patients' Movement: Where We've Been and Where We're Going -- written by Judi Chamberlin
Vicki Says:
an April, 1999 interview with Vicki Fox Wieselthier by Josie Byzek published July, 1999 in Mouth Magazine
Families Against Psychiatric Drugging:
an open letter sent to California legislators and elected officials January 17, 2000

For other excellent sites of related interest, visit:

CAMHPRA:
California Association of Mental Health Patients' Rights Advocates
Bazelon Center: Psychiatric Advance Directive:
If you are concerned that you may be subject to involuntary psychiatric commitment or treatment at some future time, you can prepare a legal document in advance to express your choices about treatment. The document is called an advance directive for mental health decisionmaking.
Thomas Szasz:
Cybercenter for Liberty and Responsibilty
Food Not Bombs:
Food Not Bombs Menu

For writing & information on ethics, community, helping others & non-violence:

Ethics for the New Millennium:
Ethics for the New Millennium: Common Sense for the Common Good -- By His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Morgan W. Brown

no_force@looksmart.com

No Force Across America



No Force Across America has had souls wander in & welcomed here








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