Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yes, I Am Mythical!

In late July 1987 a coworker of mine, Daniel D. Cutler, at the Washington, DC law firm of Hogan & Hartson wrote me the following note:


For the first three months I worked with you I saw you probably a total of three hours. When I did see you some of the things you said made me feel uncomfortable. I don't "understand" you. Yes, you are definitely an enigma.

Moreover, you are the subject of occasional conversation, like everyone else. I don't believe any of these behind the back conversations are malicious or intended to paint anyone in a "hideous hue." People talk and laugh about people and circumstances they don't understand or find unusual.

I think I understand one thing: you feel and see too much sometimes. Sensitivity and strong intellect when taken too far will tear your guts out. That's some free homespun bullshit but while lacking substance it still smells right.

However, your knowledge of this scenario exceeds mine. Personally, psychology depresses me because all summed together everyone consciously or unconsciously puts themselves into positions where they are unhappy, neglected, paranoid, degraded and on and on . . . And most of us lack the will to extricate ourselves from this state of being. We cling to that certain feeling because it is constant and predictable. These big brains we have demand it.

Anyway, rest assured that myths are exaggerated and distorted, including yours. Nevertheless, the dull Daniel or plain Jane rarely have myths written or spoken in their name.

Significant Moments: A Boyhood Friend

A striking feature of Freud's correspondence is the fact that the bulk of it was limited almost exclusively to his professional colleagues. A touching exception is his letters to his friend Eduard Silberstein, a young Romanian from the town of Braila whom he met in his early teens when both were students at the gymnasium in Vienna.
Phyllis Grosskurth, The Secret Ring: Freud's Inner Circle and the Politics of Psychoanalysis.
The friendship between the two was an unusual one.
Hermann Hesse, Beneath the Wheel.
They had spent almost every hour together, taking "secret walks." They learned Spanish, which they made into a secret code, taking names from Cervantes with which to address each other, Silberstein becoming Berganza, Freud Cipion.
Phyllis Grosskurth, The Secret Ring: Freud's Inner Circle and the Politics of Psychoanalysis.
One cannot resist imagining his astonishment had someone suddenly addressed him as Cipion half a century later!
Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud.
The character, Cipion, appears in "The Colloquy of the Dogs" (1613), a picaresque tale in which a vagabond mongrel tells his story to a compassionate canine listener. . . . The two, guard dogs at a hospital, had the gift of speech for only a day, and Cipion instructed Berganza to tell his life story first. Cervantes' two characters—the sage commentator and the charming, sometimes maudlin hysteric—interact within strict time limits. Cipion never gets his turn to confess or regale; as in the "talking cure," there is no reciprocity. Cervantes' tale unfolds a charming parody of the human colloquy called psychoanalysis.
E. James Lieberman, Acts of Will.
Silberstein and Freud comprised the entire faculty of the imaginary "Academia Castellana" (also called "Academia Espanola")—"the two sole luminaries of the A.E."—and they addressed each other formally as "Your Honor." Girls were known as "principles," and European cities were given the names of their Spanish counterparts. (Madrid stood for Berlin, Seville for Vienna.)
Phyllis Grosskurth, The Secret Ring: Freud's Inner Circle and the Politics of Psychoanalysis.
Unbeknownst to his friend, he had led a second, very different life of his own, in which his friend played no part.
Hermann Hesse, Tales of Student Life.
In the dark, he sat for a long time in his room.
Hermann Hesse, Beneath the Wheel.
. . . he always had a room of his own, no matter how straightened his parents' circumstances.
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
Here he was his own master, undisturbed. Here—obstinately, ambitiously—he had battled weariness, sleep and headaches, brooding many hours over Caesar, Xenophon, grammars, dictionaries and mathematics. But he had also experienced those few hours more valuable than all lost boyhood joys, those few rare, dreamlike hours filled with the pride, intoxication and certainty of victory; hours during which he had dreamed himself beyond school and examinations into the elect circle of higher beings. He had been seized by a bold and marvelous premonition that he was really something special, superior to his fat-cheeked, good-natured companions on whom he would one day look down from distant heights.
Hermann Hesse, Beneath the Wheel.
Even as a boy of seventeen, he was looking for a companion 'to whom I could pour out my inmost being to my heart's content, without my caring what the effect might be on him.'
Anthony Storr, Feet of Clay—Saints, Sinners, and Madmen: A Study of Gurus.
Could it be in reality he had had no friend at all, possessed no share in someone else's life? He had had a companion, a listener, a yes-man, a henchman, and no more!
Hermann Hesse, Tales of Student Life.
The intensity with which . . .
Phyllis Grosskurth, The Secret Ring: Freud's Inner Circle and the Politics of Psychoanalysis.
. . . later in life . . .
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.
. . . he entered into his largely epistolary friendship with Wilhelm Fliess must have been a reflection of his disappointment with reality and his need to seek an idealized friend who existed only as a projection of his own needs. For Freud the ideal friend had to be an extension of himself.
Phyllis Grosskurth, The Secret Ring: Freud's Inner Circle and the Politics of Psychoanalysis.

My psychiatric assessment, prepared in September 1992 by Napoleon Cuenco, MD at the George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, states the following about me:

"Though a bit shy and withdrawn, he had a few friends. In fact, from age 9 to age 14 or so, he had one best friend. He felt very attached to this male friend. Reportedly they had a lot of fun and spent a lot of time together. Patient said, however, that he felt that the closeness was perceived by his family in a malicious sort of way. Reportedly, he heard his brother-in-law on several occasions make snide remarks about the friendship and expressed concerns about the homoerotic nature of the relationship. This bothered the patient and made him panic. He then decided to withdraw from his friend and from then on he has not had any sort of involvement outside a few superficial intellectual encounters, mostly with men he admired in school and later at work."

Something Rotten In The State of Denmark

In August 1989, while I worked at the DC law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, a coworker, Stacey Schaar, said to me: "We're all afraid of you. We're all afraid you're going to buy a gun, bring it in, and shoot everybody." Personally, I think she was motivated by jealousy. Stacey and I were both temporary employees. In August 1989 the firm granted me a full-time position with benefits; Stacey remained a temp. She was oddly desperate to get a job with the firm. During the summer of 1989, Stacey had flown down to the firm's main office in Dallas, Texas to interview for a paralegal position in the Dallas office. Yes, let me repeat -- she flew from Washington, DC to Dallas to interview for a paralegal position in the firm's Dallas office! A tad askew, to say the least! At the time, I remember saying to a coworker, "it's Pee Wee's big adventure."

Be that as it may.

In September 1989 I made an appointment to see a counselor at the firm's Employee Assistance Provider, Sheppard Pratt in DC. The counselor was a social worker named Kathleen Kelley, a graduate of Catholic University. I told Kathleen Kelley that I was having problems with my coworkers. I reported the statement made by Stacey Schaar that coworkers feared that I might be a homicidal maniac.

In July 1993, after I had been fired from my job at Akin Gump, I went back to Shepperd Pratt to find out what was in my file. Oddly enough, Kathleen Kelley, the social worker I had met with in September 1989, had written up my factual report about Stacey Schaar as if it were a paranoid delusion on my part. According to Sheppard Pratt, I was a delusional employee who imagined that coworkers were afraid I might be a homicidal maniac. That's a tad askew, don't you think? Do you think Sheppard Pratt was in cahoots with Akin Gump to thwart me from filing a harassment lawsuit against the firm? Who knows?

Sheppard Pratt Employee Asistance Programs
P.O. Box 6815, Baltimore, MD 21285-6815


CASE NO: 470009890064

Date: 9/13/89

Counselor Notes:

Client described what appear to be paranoid delusions. Co-workers make comments to trivialize his sense of importance, to insinuate he is insane and to suggest he is potentially violent & may appear at work with a gun & shoot them. He reports he does not have this intention & does not have a gun.

Wants a referral for therapy.

Schizoid features -- no relationships

Isn't Perjury Grand?

I was fired from my job at the DC law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld on October 29, 1991. Dennis M. Race, Esq., the attorney who fired me, later filed a sworn statement with the DC Department of Human Rights alleging that he had spoken to a psychiatrist, Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D., who told him that I was paranoid and potentially violent. Supposedly, that was the reason that I was fired: that I had been determined by a psychiatrist to be paranoid and potentially violent.

I later spoke with Dr. Ticho on the telephone. She denied ever talking to Dennis Race about me.

[notarized statement follows:]

I, Gary Freedman, hereby affirm that on an evening during the week of October 25, 1993 I placed a telephone call to Gertrude R. Ticho M.D. (telephone no. (202) 244-2113); tape-recorded the ensuing telephone conversation between Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. and Gary Freedman in compliance with 18 U.S.C. sec. 2511(2)(d) and D.C. Code sec. 23-542(3); and thereafter prepared a typewritten transcipt of said telephone conversation.

I, Gary Freedman, hereby affirm that the above-referenced tape recording (a copy of which is attached herewith) is a complete and unaltered aural record of the above-referenced telephone conversation between Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. and Gary Freedman and hereby further affirm that the above-referenced transcript (a copy of which is attached herewith) is a faithful, accurate, and complete record of said telephone conversation.

I, Gary Freedman, hereby affirm that the statements made by Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. in the above-referenced tape recording and typewritten transcript had become public knowledge upon my filing on July 27, 1993 with the District of Columbia Department of Human Rihghts and Minority Business Development (DOHR) in Docket No. 92-087-P(N) of a letter dated July 4, 1993 written by Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. with the intent to disavow publicly the finding of the DOHR that Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. had consulted with an attorney manager of the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld in the period late October 1991; and that public disclosure of the above-referenced tape recording and typewritten transcript is therefore lawful as per Fultz v. Gilliam, 942 F.2d 396, 403 (6th Cir. 1991) and other federal court rulings that have relied on the legislative history of 18 U.S.C. secs. 2511(1)(c) and (d) stating that "[t]he disclosure of the contents of an intercepted communication that had already become 'public information' or 'common knowledge' would not be prohibited." Sen. Rep. No. 1097, 90th Cong., 2d Sess. at 93, reprinted in 1968 U.S. CODE CONG. & ADMIN. NEWS 2112, 2181.

[signed] Gary Freedman

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 28 day of January, 1994.

[signature illegible]
Notary Signature

My Commission Expires: 11-1-98

The following is a transcript of a telephone conversation I had with Dr. Gertrude R. Ticho [now deceased] some time in about late October 1993. The statements made by Dr. Gertrude Ticho in this telephone conversation had become public information upon my filing with the District of Columbia Department of Human Rights (DOHR) on July 27, 1993 of Complainant's Application for Reconsideration of No Probable Cause Finding, Docket No. 92-087-P(N), which contained as an exhibit a letter prepared by Dr. Ticho dated July 4, 1993. In this conversation Dr. Ticho (1) affirms having written the letter dated July 4, 1993, the authenticity of which was questioned by the DOHR in its Determination on Reconsideration dated September 24, 1993, and (2) reaffirms that she had no contacts whatsoever with Akin Gump.

[colloquy apparently between Dr. Ernst Ticho and Dr. Gertrude R. Ticho [GRT] in German.

ET: . . . fahrweg? [?]

GRT: Fahrweg! Fahrweg! [?]]

GRT: Hello?

GF: Yes, Dr. Ticho?

GRT: Yea?

GF: How are you? This is Gary Freedman

GRT: Yes?

GF: Yes. I, I was wondering if you received the letter I sent you earlier this week.

GRT: Yes.

GF: Ah.

GRT: But it has nothing to do with me.

GF: Um. But it's very important that, um, you file an objection to these findings of the Department of Human Rights. I think it's in your interest to do that.

GRT: No. I have nothing to do with that. You only wanted to know whether I have seen you. And I told you that I haven't seen you in consultation. That's all.

GF: Yes. But the Department of Human Rights states that there's a possibility that you responded to a hypothetical question about me, ah, in conversation with my former employer.

GRT: Yea. But that, that has nothing to do with me. And, ah, I, I gave you that, ah, ah, letter -- and that's all . . . that concerns me.

GF: I . . .


GF: I don't think so. Now, ah, I think the Board of Medicine might have an interest in this matter. The fact that the, ah, the Department of Human Rights, a government agency, found that you did in fact contact, had contact with, the firm. Ah, I think that might . . .

GRT: No. I had no contact with the firm. Not the slightest contact.

GF: See. That's the thing. That's the thing. There's a finding by a government . . . I'm not saying that you did. I'm saying that the Department of Human Rights said you did. And if you don't object to that, if you don't file, if you don't file a motion to intervene in this matter, it could pose problems for you -- with your professional standing and your public reputation. I spoke with an attorney with the Amercan Civil Liberties Union, and he suggested that I go to the, go to the press about this matter. Now, if there's an article in The Washington Post that says that Dr. Gertrude Ticho is giving out information like this to employers, it could cause you a great deal of harm. And if you don't do something to object to that, then, then your acquiescence, it'll, it'll signify your acquiescence in this matter.

GRT: There'as an article in The Post?

GF: I'm saying if I go to The Washington Post and provide them with the findings of the Department of Human Rights, and they publish this matter, it could, it could, it could cause a great deal of harm to you.

[brief pause]

GRT: But I have nothing to do with that.

GF: Well, absolutely -- Yes! But the, the, the government agency said you did. I'm not saying you did; I'm saying the Department of Human Rights said you did -- incorrectly!

GRT: So what am I supposed to do?

GF: Well, I think you should, you should intervene in this, in my appeal with the, with the, ah,. in the Court of Appeals.

GRT: How should I intervene?

GF: Well, I, I think you should see an attorney about this.

[brief pause]

GF: He would advise you on this matter. I am not saying that you spoke to my employer, I am saying that a government agency says that you did, however incorrectly.

GRT: How could the government agency say that?

GF: Well, that's the point. They, ah, it was just an incorrect decision. I am, I am appealing this matter with the Court of Appeals. I filed an appeal.

GRT: Hm-mm.

GF: But, the problem is that I am not allowed -- on an appeal -- to file new evidence. You, now you could provide me with an additional statement, a more detailed statement refuting everything. But that would do me no good because I am not allowed to file additional evidence on an appeal. The only course of action that you could take is to intervene -- is for you to file a motion to intervene in the matter, and for you to state your case personally: that in fact you had no communications with my former employer.


GRT: Hm-mm.


GRT: So, I have to . . . to consult a, a lawyer.

GF: Yes. And it, it has to be done fairly quickly because there's, you only have one month . . . from October 22nd. On October 22nd I filed an appeal. And, to, to intervene in the matter you have to do that within one month of October 22nd.

GRT: [abruptly] OK. Thank you very much. Bye-bye.

GF: All right. Thank you.

[end of conversation]


So, in the end, Dr. Ticho did not intervene in my appeal. I ended up losing my case against my former employer, the DC law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. I used Akin Gump's sworn statement that it consulted Dr. Ticho -- who allegedly told the firm I was paranoid and potentially violent -- to support my case with the U.S. Social Security Administration that I suffered from severe mental illness and that I was disabled. Social Security determined that I was disabled and entitled to disability benefits in August 1993. Social Security determined that I became disabled effective October 29, 1991, the date Dennis M. Race, Esq. of Akin Gump terminated my employment after allegedly learning from Dr. Ticho that I was paranoid and potentially violent.

Since October 29, 1991 I have collected about $150,000 from the Social Security Administration based in part on what appears to be the perjured statements of Dennis M. Race, Esq. -- and here I wonderfully am! Isn't perjury grand? The person who invented perjury should get a Nobel Prize for literature. Don't you just love fiction writers? It's a gift, I tell you -- the ability to make up convincing stories.

Dr. Ticho died in 2004. She now has no right to privacy.

February 24, 2004: Gertrude R. Ticho, 83, a Washington psychoanalyst who also for more than 20 years was a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University's medical school, died of cardiac dysrhythmia and coronary artery disease Feb. 10 at her home in Chevy Chase.

Dr. Ticho and her husband, psychoanalyst Ernst Ticho, supervised and trained analysts at the Baltimore-Washington Psychoanalytic Society and later at the Washington Psychoanalytic Society. They also had a private psychoanalytic practice.

She retired about three years ago. Her husband died in 1996.

Dr. Ticho was born Gertrude Ruth Hollwarth in Vienna and graduated in 1944 from the University of Vienna Medical School.

Incidentally, Ernst Ticho, Ph.D. was Otto Kernberg's mentor. Dr. Kernberg is the past president of the International Psycho-Analytical Association.

If you're going to be certified insane, it pays to be certified insane by the stars of the psychiatric community.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Psychological Test Results -- GW -- May 1994

The George Washington University Medical Center
Washington, DC
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Psychological Evaluation

NAME: Gary Freedman
DOB: 10-27-64 [sic]
DATES EXAMINED: May 4, 5, & 11 [1994]
REFERRED BY: Suzanne Pitts, M.D.
[Evaluator: Yu-Ling Han]


Mr. Freedman was referred for psychological evaluation to better determine a differential diagnosis. He reports having "personality difficulties in such a way that is nothing like what I've seen in others." His "unique personality" has caused chronic interpersonal difficulties most of his adult life. While Dr. Pitts would like to have a better understanding of which Axis I and which Axis II diagnoses contribute to his chronic interpersonal difficulties, Mr. Freedman would like to have a more "objective measure to understand my personality and to determine whether or not I am paranoid." [I was not on any medication at the time of testing, which is confirmed by the final paragraph of this report.]


Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test
Millon Clinical Multiaxial Personality Inventory -- II
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory -- 1 (MMPI-1)
Rorschach Test -- Exner Scoring System
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R)
The Worst Possible Concept Drawing


Mr. Freedman is a 40-year-old single, white male who has a law degree and an M.A. in International Law. Reportedly, although he had received excellent evaluations, after three years' employment with this law firm he was terminated in October 1991 because his employers claimed "I was too paranoid, hostile, and (they) feared the potential that I would become violent or homicidal." He has not worked since that time and spends his solitary time doing research and prolifically recording his thoughts in an autobiographical document. He continues feeling angry at, and preoccupied by, the way he was terminated.

He describes himself as being hypersensitive to peoples' non-verbal cues, tone and inflections. He believes that he is under surveillance by his former employer and that others are hostile towards him because they covet his intellectual abilities (On the other hand, he feels that his former employer’s motivation for putting him under surveillance is not malicious; rather, "it is their way of protecting me and maintaining continuity with my life.") He states that although both his former employer and various psychiatrists have described him as "paranoid and delusional," his special ability to sense his environment validates his belief that there are people who feel hostile towards and threatened by him, and who therefore persecute him. He dismisses people's alternative explanations of his experiences as "so feeble, that I am left to believe my own hypothesis." Although he distrusts most people, he feels lonely and distressed over the resulting isolation.


Mr. Freedman comes from a lower-middle-class background and grew up in Pennsylvania. He and his older sister were raised by his parents and maternal aunt. Retrospectively, as this aunt was a domineering person who easily influenced his more dependent mother, the "destructive interactions" amongst his three primary caretakers played a crucial role in the development of his "fragile character structure." He feels that because his parents defensively allowed this aunt to act as a powerful manipulator and relegated control over family affairs to her, he was left with an extreme sense of confusion over how to view his parents and ambivalent feelings towards them. He believes that he ended up having a "double Oedipus Complex" toward the two women in his life As he had minimal feelings of attachment, positive regard or respect towards his mother, he "had no emotional response to her death" when he was 26 years old. On the other hand, he was very attached to his father. Although Mr. Freedman felt that his father defensively gave up his role as the man in the house, his image of his father was that of an older brother or friend. Thus, he felt his father's death as a tremendous loss. In fact, he experienced his first major depressive episode following his father's death and tried to kill himself by overdosing on the antidepressant medication. Since that time Mr. Freedman has been in-and-out of psychotherapy. He has never been hospitalized for psychiatric-related difficulties.

He reports that he was very close to his sister while growing up. Currently, he has more mixed feelings about her. He talks about her in a somewhat disparaging way and believes that she is involved in the conspiracy to keep him under surveillance by providing his former employer with information about him.

Although he always had a few friends, he reports being more sociable as a child. He felt particularly close to a male friend. However, at age 14 he abruptly ended this five-year friendship because reportedly he heard his brother-in-law made comments about the homoerotic nature of this friendship. Since then, he has not involved himself in any type of gratifying friendships outside of intellectual and superficial encounters. He was involved in one serious heterosexual relationship back in 1988 [sic]. The relationship ended after two years as Mr. Freedman felt pressured to commit himself to marriage.


Mr. Freedman is a 40-year-old, white male who looks his stated age. He comes to the sessions casually but neatly dressed. He was oriented in all spheres. Both short- and long-term memory were intact. Although his speech was pressured and rapid, his use of language was articulate, expressive, and sophisticated. He did manifest circumstantial thinking and looseness of associations. Although not at a psychotic level, he exhibited marked paranoid ideation accompanied by delusional thinking. His thought content was notable for feelings of anger, entitlement and grandiosity on the one hand, and loneliness, depression and a craving for connection on the other. He expresses his feelings and conflicts using psychological metaphors and theoretical frameworks, although he has very limited insight into his difficulties. His affect was intense, though somewhat constricted.

All in all, his demeanor, response to the interpersonal nature of the testing situation, and approach to the tasks of the tests themselves were quite unique. For example, he immediately began the first session by giving me two voluminous, typewritten documents with the explanation that "These are my autobiographical documents. It is a systematic account of my thought processes that I have written down since I was fired from my job. You can get a better sense of my personality by reading this." Given this introduction, I had expected that he would be reticent in answering open-ended questions. However, he was both enthusiastic and very self-disclosive, although anxious and guarded about the testing situation.

He exhibited his apprehension about his performance on the tests in several ways. First, he felt a need to defend the integrity of his answers. He constantly sought to justify and explain his answers through elaborate rationalizations. On one occasion he brought in some researched information to validate the answer he had given in a testing session the week before. Second, he also tried to do research on the various tests he would be taking prior to their administration, in order to find out how to respond "so that I would come out looking normal." For example, he had some vague understanding of those scales on the MMPI which assess the validity of a person's response and psychological profile. In fact, Mr. Freedman reports that he had taken the MMPI a number of years ago and although "the Lie Scale indicated my responses were valid," his therapist went over each statement and challenged him to see whether his oral response matched his earlier paper-and-pencil response. Mr. Freedman's pressing desire to take the MMPI seems to be a token act to redeem himself from this memory of a person who seemingly injured and ruptured the relationship and Mr. Freedman's sense of integrity. For the Rorschach, he stated that, based on an article he had read in some psychological journal, he understands that integrating the whole blot and giving as many responses as possible per card is desirable. I tried to persuade him to answer as he normally would and that his assumptions based on the articles were indeed misleading. Third, during the Rorschach, he would stray away from the task by expressing his free-associated feelings of anger towards me whenever he felt frustrated in his attempts to maintain what he conceived of as his stellar performance.

Overall, his continual defensive and impression-management stance notwithstanding, he was cooperative throughout the testing session. He worked rapidly and with assurance when performing on the WAIS-R timed tasks; he tended to be elaborate with organizational details on tasks where no time limits were imposed. Given his superior verbal ability and extensive knowledge-base on disparate topics, he would tend to respond in an intentionally overly elaborate way in order to show off his verbal sophistication and complex thought processes.


Mr. Freedman is currently functioning at a superior level f intelligence according to his Full Scale IQ of 125 (95th percentile) on the WAIS-R. His Verbal IQ is 136 (99th percentile) and his performance IQ is 100 (50th percentile). The highly significant 36-point difference between his Verbal and Performance IQ was primarily associated with his very superior scores on two Verbal Scale sub-tests and his somewhat lower score on one Performance Scale subtest. Thus, while visuo-motor skills are more uniformly developed in the average range of functioning, verbal skills show more variability, with some abilities more superiorly developed than others.

A closer inspection of the notable differences in his sub-test results may be helpful in understanding his strengths as well as the difficulties that he does report. Within the verbal area, his learned memory ability, richness in ideas, and fund of information are excellent. Within the performance area, he has difficulty anticipating, judging, and interpreting both the antecedents and consequences of social situations would result in misguided assumptions. Furthermore, his proclivity to overintellectualize at times jeopardizes his ability to think clearly in situations calling for the application of social mores and expression of emotional relatedness. There is a tendency for him to challenge or denounce social sanctions, to a point where he may at times lose sight of his own best interests.

Mr. Freedman was asked to do two drawings. His initial response to the task of drawing a person was unique insofar as he chose to draw an elaborate impression of me. This may be seen as an attempt to distance himself from a task that has the potential of revealing himself and/or an attempt at flattering or being personal with me. His next drawing of a male figure suggests a person who is uneasy about his body and self-image. There is also indication of underlying but intense feelings of anxiety and aggression in his figure drawing. His Worst Possible Concept drawing which he entitled as "The Destruction of Optimism" is of an enormous and ominous sun setting the world ablaze and destroying it. This drawing is indicative of a person who feels lost and burdened. There is an evocative quality to his drawing which suggests that he may indeed be at the brink of despair and is fighting off feelings of destructive aggression.

Both his results on the MMPI-1 (Welsh Code of 564-82/093:7#1 FR/K:L#) and Millon instruments, which asses the severity of psychiatric symptoms, indicate no distinctive syndromes falling in the clinical range of Axis I psychiatric disorder. However, he is experiencing psychological dysfunction of mild to moderate severity that appear to reflect a pervasive pattern of personality difficulties. Both tests show elevations in the paranoid/avoidant scales, showing an enduring pattern of increased sensitivity, outright suspiciousness, expressed hostility, and self-protective withdrawal from interpersonal relationships. Although both test results reflect a valid profile, care must be taken in interpreting the results, as Mr. Freedman had reported to Dr. Pitts about his tendency to deny certain statements pertaining to his persecutory beliefs on these tests. Thus, the salience of the severity of his symptoms may need to be modulated slightly upward.

His Rorschach protocol is consistent with the above findings. The results are notable for hypervigilence aw it related to his interpersonal relatedness, depression as it relates to his overly-grandiose yet fragile self-image, and a disturbed and ideational thinking style. These personality features are deeply ingrained, causing him serious and chronic interpersonal difficulties.

There is mush cause for concern in the area of his interpersonal relations. A positive hypervigilant index suggests that he expends considerable energy in maintaining a relatively continuous state of preparedness. His relationships are characterized by superficiality, caution, and guardedness. Because of his great discomfort around emotions, he defends against his vulnerability by becoming socially constrained and isolated. Although he tends to be conservative in his interpersonal relationships, this does not mean that he has no desire for closeness. In fact, his central conflicts are (a) between his need to withdraw from people as a self-protection and his desire for a more gratifying relationship, and (between his efforts to become autonomous and independent and his dependency need for others to secure his sense of self-worth and appreciation. Furthermore, because of a long history of feeling injured ridiculed and betrayed by others, he has learned to anticipate pain, disillusionment, and humiliation.

Such deep conflicts, in tandem with failed attempts at asserting his integrity, stir deep resentments. Several of his TAT responses suggest feelings of deep resentment and contempt toward others, especially women. He often acts out his resentment in a petulant, forceful or aggressive manner. Such frequent outbursts jeopardize his need to feel affirmed. His displays of discontentment bind him to further isolation and feelings of humiliation. He copes through the use of fantasy, hopeless resignation, and the devaluation of others.

His depression is due primarily to difficulties in regulating his self-esteem. He has a great need to view himself in an overly grandiose way. He is so preoccupied and involved in sustaining his inflated sense of self that it dominates his perception of his environment. Thus he tends to filter information in an overtly personalized way. Unfortunately, his frequent need for reaffirmation and his failure to achieve it makes him vulnerable to repeated bouts of depression and anxious wariness towards others. He feels trapped in his conflict, for the very avenue for potential gratification is obstructed by the manner in which he has earned to compensate for the non-gratification of his needs. Risk for suicide must be monitored as he may act impulsively in his attempts to seek a dramatic form of retribution or solace from the bind he feels he is perpetually in.

Although he is quire uncomfortable in dealing with negative feelings, there are indications that he has the capacity to control and tolerate stress. He has an abundance of available resources which he uses through denial or externalization of his negative feelings; intellectualization is his primary defensive tactic. Thus, he is not experiencing much subjective distress. Consonant with this is his tendency to keep his emotions at a peripheral level during decision making. However, there are times when he may not be as stringent as other adults in modulating his affect and may discharge his emotions in a more obvious and intense way.

Although he is not experiencing much subjective distress, this does not mean his coping style is efficient. He is vulnerable to disorganization in complex and ambiguous situations. Furthermore, his Rorschach protocol does reveal that perceptual inaccuracy and mediational distortion occur as a result of a pervasive negative orientation toward his environment. He tends to be hypervigilant but does not process the connectedness productively, which ads to his propensity to distort. Affective arousal is likely to interfere with his reality testing and disrupt his judgment. His anger also compromises his decision-making and coping capacities. In stressful situation he becomes over-ideational and uses fantasy as a defense. Increased reality testing is highly recommended.


There is strong evidence to suggest that Mr. Freedman's long standing interpersonal difficulties are accompanied by a great deal of inner conflict. In social situations, Mr. Freedman is in continual conflict over his longing for emotional connection, yet feeling discomfort and distrust of others. He tends to be overly cautious and somewhat superficial in social situations and prefers to avoid emotional connection. He becomes quite uncomfortable when experiencing emotions and deals with this by becoming socially constrained and overly vigilant. His need for self-affirmation through gaining the approval of others often results in a further humiliation or rejection because of the very nature of a personality style that is embedded in narcissism, grandiosity, and paranoid delusion. Constant frustrations in getting his needs met result in an interpersonal behavior that is marked by anger, hostility, and contempt.

Feeling uncomfortable in dealing with any negative or ineffectual self-image, he accordingly employs denial, fantasy, and intellectualization as defense mechanisms against the,. Although he does have the inner resources to tolerate these stressors, his defenses only work up to a point and leave him prone to disorganized functioning, flawed judgment, and poor decision-making when confronted with complex or highly ambiguous situations. He as difficulty reading his environment and responding appropriately, particularly in social situations. Furthermore, his high verbal and intellectual abilities leads him to employ sophisticated yet misleading and delusional rationalizations for his problems. Given is deeply ingrained pattern of maladaptive functioning, he is vulnerable to bouts of anxiety and depression. The risk for suicide attempts must be anticipated in such a state of decompensation.

Patients such as this have a difficult time sustaining a therapeutic relationship as he is likely to employ maneuvers to test the sincerity and motives of the therapist. A major goal of therapy would be to guide Mr. Freedman into recognizing the source of his ambivalence and to reinforce a more direct and constructive means to approach his life.

There are specific therapy techniques that may be helpful for him. He would probably benefit most from supportive therapy that calls attention to his positive traits in order to shore up his confidence and self-esteem. An approach that employs the combination of behavioral modification to achieve consistency in his social behaviors, and directive cognitive techniques to confront him on his self-defeating and obstructive patterns in his interpersonal relations may pout reins on his vacillations of mood and behavior. A more exploratory and interpersonal approach to therapy must be handled cautiously, as it may awaken feelings of false hopes disappointments, and self0depcreaction that are too painful for Mr. Freedman to tolerate at this time. Furthermore, he may derive benefits from pharmacological tranquilizing agents and/r antidepressant drugs to alleviate his anxiety and depression.


Yu Ling Han, M.A.
Clinical, Psychology Intern


William D, Fabian, Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor


Fictional Cross Examination of Yu Ling Han:

Dr. Han, did the testing disclose that Mr. Freedman has any anxiety whatsoever surrounding his sexual orientation? Yes or no.

--No, it did not disclose that.

Dr. Han, did the testing disclose that Mr. Freedman has any psychotic thought processes that would be consistent with the diagnosis of a psychotic disorder such as bipolar disorder, delusional disorder, or paranoid schizophrenia? Yes or no.

--No, it did not.

Dr. Han, what is your basis for saying that Mr. Freedman shows delusional thinking--his self report or the testing?

--Mr. Freedman’s self-report indicated to me that he was delusional. As I said, the testing did not disclose any psychotic thought processes.

The testing itself did not indicate that he had a psychotic disorder or a nonpsychotic paranoid personality disorder, isn't that true.

--Yes. That is correct.

Dr. Han, the MMPI includes an ego strength scale, does it not?

--Yes, it does.

Did the MMPI indicate that Mr. Freedman showed any impairment in ego strength?

--No. His ego strength was normal.

Dr. Han, did the testing indicate that Mr. Freedman suffers from any psychiatric disorder of any kind?

--No. The testing did not yield any diagnosis.

No further questions, Your Honor.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Psychiatric Assessment -- GW -- September 1992

The George Washington University Medical Center
Department of Psychiatry
2150 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037

September 24, 1992

PATIENT: Gary Freedman
DATE OF ASSESSMENT: [9-8-92/9-15-92]
CLINICIAN NAME: Napoleon Cuenco, M.D., PGY-3

IDENTIFYING DATA: The patient is a 38-year-old single white male, a law graduate, born and raised in Pennsylvania, who is currently unemployed. He used to work as a legal assistant.

CHIEF COMPLAINT: Feelings of loneliness, isolation, and hopelessness of several months' duration.

HISTORY OF PRESENT ILLNESS: Patient said that he has had various contacts with mental health professionals since age 19. Reportedly, he was doing relatively well until he was terminated from his job as a legal assistant last October 1991. He said that he got fired in spite of excellent evaluations he earned during his three years of stay in the office. In retrospect, he feels that the evaluations were a mere cover-up to the negative thoughts people had about him. All along he knew that there was a scheme against him and this was probably due to his coworkers' concerns about his "weird personality." He said that they thought that he was a homosexual and that he was crazy. He said that they also believed that his office-mates were scared of him because they thought that impulsively he could just get a gun and shoot everyone. Patient said that he has had similar difficulties in the past, that he tends to elicit a similar response from people. He feels that people tend to be paranoid about him, to take advantage of him, and to trap him in double-bind situations. As a result, he feels that he has become increasingly lonely. He feels isolated and somewhat hopeless. He has not been in contact with anyone outside his family. He spends his days ruminating about his difficulties. Patient denied feeling suicidal or homicidal, however. He has not had any appetite changes. However, energy level is increased. Occasionally, he has racing thoughts. Frequently, he feels hyped up. Lately, he has been feeling very motivated. He has been writing his thoughts up to the wee hours of the morning and feels less need for sleep.

MEDICAL HISTORY: Patient broke his arm in a car accident two years ago. He was hospitalized for two days with no serious sequelae. He has no history of seizures, head trauma or any major medical illnesses.

PSYCHIATRIC HISTORY: Patient has had various contacts with mental health professionals since age 19. Several of these were one or two session consultations. At age 23, following the death of his father, he reportedly suffered from a severe depression. He was prescribed Elavil which he discontinued because of the development of side-effects. A few months later, he tried to kill himself by overdosing on the medication. Following the hospitalization, he has been in off-and-on psychotherapy with various psychiatrists, at least two of which lasted about one-and-one-half years. Patient reportedly terminated whenever he felt that the therapists were in communication with his employers or were no longer helpful to him. He was also prescribed Ativan for a few years. Reportedly, the medication was helpful to him. Patient reports that one of his former psychiatrists recommended a trial of Lithium and neuroleptics [sic] because of concerns that he may be manic depressive.

SUBSTANCE USE HISTORY: The patient denies having abused drugs in the past. He has a questionable history of alcohol abuse. Reportedly, his family was concerned that he may be alcoholic. He claims that he has not had any problems with alcohol, however.


PERSONAL HISTORY: The patient was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the younger of two siblings. He was raised by his parents and a maternal aunt. Reportedly, the interaction amongst his caretakers played a crucial role in the formation of his "fragile character structure." Patient reported that he was very dependent on his mother during his childhood. The mother, on the other hand, was extremely dependent on her only sibling, the maternal aunt, for strength and emotional support. Meanwhile, the father, for the most part, relegated most of his powers defensively to the maternal aunt so that within the family structure he was perceived by the patient to have been more of a brother or an older friend than a father. The patient said that he had better social skills as a child than as an adult.

Though a bit shy and withdrawn, he had a few friends. In fact, from age 9 to age 14 or so, he had one best friend. He felt very attached to this male friend. Reportedly they had a lot of fun and spent a lot of time together. Patient said, however, that he felt that the closeness was perceived by his family in a malicious sort of way. Reportedly, he heard his brother-in-law on several occasions make snide remarks about the friendship and expressed concerns about the homoerotic nature of the relationship. This bothered the patient and made him panic. He then decided to withdraw from his friend and from then on he has not had any sort of involvement outside a few superficial intellectual encounters, mostly with men he admired in school and later at work. Meanwhile, he diverted all his attention to his father whom he felt was all accepting and supportive of him. He said that for a while following the breakup of his friendship, he idealized his father to the exclusion of almost everyone else.

After high school, the patient went on to college with no significant difficulties. He then worked for a couple of years as a researcher before proceeding to law school. It was around that time when the father died. Following the tragedy, the patient had his first depressive episode. Reportedly, on at least two occasions, the depression alternated with feelings of distressful euphoria, increased motivation, decreased need for rest, and racing thoughts. And since then, patient has been in off-and-on psychotherapy. Patient said that while he was in law school, he had one serious heterosexual involvement. Reportedly, the affair lasted two years. They eventually broke off, however, because of patient's refusal to commit himself into marriage before graduation. Patient claims that the breakup transpired over the phone and that it did not cause him any significant distress. Following graduation from law school, patient came to D.C. to do his Masters in International Law. Following this, he reportedly had difficulty finding a job as a lawyer and had to settle for a legal assistant position in spite of excellent scholastic records. He has always felt bad about this. He feels that it puts him in a situation that invites a lot of envy and power struggles. On one hand, he feels that people he works with at his level feel insecure about his being a lawyer; on the other, he feels that the lawyers he works for are threatened by him.

FAMILY HISTORY: The patient denies a family history of mental illness. His father died in 1976 from complications of a coronary bypass operation. The patient felt very close to him and loved him dearly. He said that this was in spite of his perceptions that the father all along was defenseless against his wife and his sister-in-law, and thus was powerless in the household. The mother died in 1980 from a cerebrovascular accident. Reportedly, she had a strange relationship with her husband. She was perceived as weak and ineffectual. Moreover, under the influence of her sister, she appeared strong and in control. The maternal aunt is a lady whose whereabouts are not known to the patient. She was last seen during her sister's funeral. She is remembered as a powerful manipulator of the family. Although she never lived with the patient's family and had her own home, she reportedly ruled the family from afar. The patient compares her to the set-up that exists between an abusive colonial power and an enslaved territory. The patient has one sibling, a sister six years his senior. She is married with two children. The patient feels very close to her. The patient has mixed feelings about his brother-in-law.

MENTAL STATUS EXAMINATION: Patient came to both interviews appropriately groomed and dressed. He appeared his stated age. He spoke with a normal tone of voice. His speech was pressured and rapid but clear. He manifested flight of ideas and occasional looseness of associations. He had paranoid ideations which occasionally bordered on a delusional level. He was not suicidal or homicidal. He denied ever having had any perceptual disturbances. Patient appeared anxious more during the first interview than the second. He was much more comfortable talking about his thoughts and ideas than about his feelings. When confronted with questions associated with his mood and affect, he withdrew and became defensive. He said he felt sad isolated and somewhat hopeless. He, however, denied any problems with his sleep or appetite. On both occasions, he had fast thoughts and felt very motivated. His affect was intense though somewhat constricted. The patient was oriented to time, place, person and situation. Short and long-term memory were intact. Calculation, abstraction, fund of general information and tested judgment were good. Intelligence seemed about average. Insight was poor.

IMPRESSION: The patient is a 38-year-old white male who feels extremely isolated and trapped. He is grappling with issues surrounding his sexual identity and his fears of intimacy. He has unresolved grief about major losses in his life, namely the loss of his best friend during adolescence, the death of his father, the death of his mother and a step-down in his career. He uses projection as a means of warding off forbidden thoughts and wishes which center on his sexuality, low self-esteem, and interpersonal difficulties.

At present, patient seems to fulfill the criteria of a major affective disorder. Although he does not fulfill the criteria of either a major depressive episode or a full manic syndrome currently, he has a mixture of both and his symptoms have been significantly affecting his functioning in a pervasive manner. In spite of a clear history of a major depressive episode in the past, at best, he has only had hypomanic symptoms previously and at present. The closest diagnosis is probably a bipolar disorder NOS with mood congruent psychotic features. However, the possibility of a schizoaffective disorder cannot be ruled out entirely. The patient is open to the possibilty of being put on medications. A trial of mood stabilizers and short-term neuroleptics seem in order. Meanwhile, he should be given the chance to work through his psychosocial difficulties in a psychotherapeutic process.


Axis I - Bipolar disorder NOS
Rule out schizoaffective disorder
Axis II - Deferred
Axis III - None
Axis IV - Severe
Axis V - 50


1. Psychopharmacologic treatment with a mood stabilizer like Lithium and possible short-term use of neuroleptics.

2. Supportive psychotherapy aimed at addressing unresolved grief about father's death, mother's death, sexual orientation, and interpersonal difficulties.


Napoleon Cuenco, M.D.

[not signed]

Daniel Tsao, M.D.
Attending Psychiatrist


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Dream of the Blue Oxford -- Parts I and II

Upon retiring on the evening of Friday July 1, 1994 I had the following strikingly brief and simple dream:

Dream of the Blue Oxford

I am looking at a man's shirt; it is blue with a buttoned-down collar. I know intuitively that the shirt belongs to my friend Craig. There is no objective evidence that the shirt belongs to Craig, however. I look at a tag affixed to the shirt that indicates its size. I see that the collar measures 15«" and the sleeve measures 33", which is my shirt size. I feel a great deal of satisfaction to learn that Craig and I wear the same size shirt. I have an impulse to smell the shirt. At that moment I think: "Only a queer would smell another guy's shirt." I examine the collar of the shirt and notice that it is frayed in one location.

EVENTS OF THE PREVIOUS DAY, July 1, 1994: I watch the televised preliminary hearing in the O.J. Simpson murder case. On this day of the hearing the prosecution attempts to establish the approximate time of death of the victims, who were killed in a knife attack.

I receive a bill in the mail from the George Washington University Medical Center for psychological testing that had been performed in May 1994. I am angered because I had been told at the time of the testing that I would not be charged because the testing was being performed for didactic purposes. In view of the fact that my psychiatrist at GW, Suzanne M. Pitts, M.D., had told me that she had not been apprised of the test results, the testing had absolutely no therapeutic value. I thought: "It's like billing a corpse for a didactic autopsy."

EVENTS OF JULY 1, 1976: My father dies one day after having undergone a coronary artery bypass, a surgical procedure. A brief time after my father's death, doctors approach my mother to obtain her permission to perform an autopsy. The doctors tell my mother: "We view an autopsy as a continuation of our medical care for your husband." My mother refuses to give her consent. On the evening of July 1, 1976 my mother gathers together a suit, necktie and shirt for my father's burial. She wants to bury him in a white shirt, but my father does not own a suitable white shirt. My mother asks me if I will give her a white shirt that I own, which I do. I had worn the shirt on only one previous occasion. Thus, my father was laid to rest attired in my white shirt.

The following is a partial transcript of the testimony of one of the witnesses called at the O.J. Simpson preliminary hearing on July 1, 1994. The witness is wearing a white suit, dark tie--and a blue shirt with a buttoned-down collar.

I interpolate various personal associations between the lines of the transcript.

[Clerk]: State and spell your name for the record.

[Witness]: My name is Steven Schwab. S-T-E-V-E-N S-C-H-W-A-B.


The name Schwab calls to mind an incident involving the composer Richard Wagner and one of his creditors, a woman named Schwabe. One of Wagner's biographer's describes the incident as follows: "Police officials entered Wagner's house with warrants to attach his furnishings for failure to settle the claims of Madame Schwabe, the English Jewess who had once generously lent him money in Paris. Despite his efforts to quash the idea that the King's coffers were at his disposal, old creditors, not fooled, were pressing their demands. Julie Schwabe quite justifiably expected to be repaid, and her attorney had given ample notice." Gutman, R.W. Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music at 275 (New York: Time Inc., 1972).

I discuss Wagner's relations with his creditors in a letter to Dr. Pitts, dated November 27, 1992 (page 2, 2). Perhaps significantly, the letter dated November 27, 1992 was written days after the "Dream about Greensboro" of November 25, 1992, the latent content of which deals with my father's death. See letters to Dr. Pitts dated December 3, 1992 and December 9, 1992, which letters analyze the "Dream about Greensboro."

Though he lived the life of a sybarite, Wagner's pleasures came at a cost. His luxuries were more often than not paid for with borrowed money. For many years of his adult life, Wagner was pursued throughout Europe by creditors seeking repayment for their loans. Wagner's chronic indebtedness--a central feature of his life--was a kind of guilt by alternate means. It was as if Wagner could not enjoy a luxury unless that enjoyment carried a penalty. One might say that Wagner had established an extrinsic superego: the anxiety associated with being doggedly pursued by creditors being a symbolic, externally-rooted sense of guilt. Indeed, one wonders whether pleasure was Wagner's ultimate aim or whether, paradoxically, the ultimate, unconscious aim of his pleasure was the gratification of a masochistic need to remain debt-ridden. Not unlike those individuals oppressed by an unconscious sense of guilt, about whom Freud writes, who require an opposing force of equal strength to mitigate or expunge that guilt, Wagner sought out wealthy patrons who would redeem his debts and not seek repayment for themselves. (One might note that, as with Freud, the theme of the father is an important aspect of the verbal content of Wagner's creative output. Though the fathers of Wagner's dramatic heroes are almost always absent, their presence hovers over the action as a kind of Divine Absence, to use one of George Steiner's phrases.) Wagner's benefactor, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who finally rescued the composer financially, extinguished Wagner's debt (Wagner's symbolic sense of guilt), serving as an "opposing force" to Wagner's creditors--literally acting as Wagner's "protector, savior, and redeemer." Excerpt from Letter to Dr. Pitts, dated November 27, 1992.

Note the symmetry of the following issues pertinent to the present dream:

1. The inventory of Wagner's possessions by his creditor pursuant to a warrant. (Dreamer's association)

2. The search of the home of O.J. Simpson, the legality of which was at issue in the preliminary hearing. (Emotionally significant aspect of the previous day's experience)

3. The autopsy of my father's body pursuant to a consent sought from my mother; the didactic purpose of the procedure is deceitfully concealed. (Emotionally significant event from the Dreamer's past)

4. The inventory of my personality by means of psychological testing; again, whether the testing was primarily didactic or therapeutic is unclear. (Emotionally significant aspect of the previous day's experience)

See Palombo, S.R. Dreaming and Memory at 219 (New York: Basic Books, 1978) ("the dream compares the representation of an emotionally significant event of the past with the representation of an emotionally significant aspect of the previous day's experience.") The highly emotionally-charged nature of item no. 4, above, is suggested by the fact that three months later, in October 1994, I wrote a letter of complaint to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that referred to inadequacies in the testing, which letter also referred to the President of the United States. The FBI forwarded my letter to the U.S. Secret Service for investigation. In December 1994 the U.S. Secret Service initiated an investigation into whether I posed a security risk to the President of the United States. The Secret Service called me in for questioning in mid-December 1994: an indirect result of my reaction to the psychological testing performed in May 1994 by the George Washington University Medical Center.


[Court]: You may inquire.

[Prosecutor]: Thank you, your honor. Good morning, Mr. Schwab.

[Witness]: Good morning.

[Prosecutor]: Directing your attention, sir, to the date of June 12th, 1994, Sunday, as of that date, sir, can you tell us where you lived?

[Witness]: I live on Montana Avenue. Do I need to give the address?

[Prosecutor]: No, sir, you don't. Was that on Montana near to Bundy?

[Witness]: Yes. That's on Montana between Bundy and San Vicente.

[Prosecutor]: How far from the intersection of Bundy and San Vicente did you live at that date?

[Witness]: It's about half a block.

[Prosecutor]: Do you own any pets, sir?

[Witness]: Yes, I have two pets. I own a dog and a cat. 1/

[Prosecutor]: Do you ever walk the dog in that neighborhood?

[Witness]: Yes, I walk the dog in that neighborhood, in the morning and at night.

[Prosecutor]: With regard to at nights, is that a habit that you have, sir, of doing that every night?

[Witness]: Yes. I walk the dog every night after watching television.

[Prosecutor]: Is there a particular time that you always walk the dog at nights?

[Witness]: There . . . It varies from day to day, because of the different shows that are on, generally, during the week I walk at a different hour than on the weekends.

[Prosecutor]: During the week, what time do you usually walk the dog at night?

[Witness]: I usually leave the house at 11:30. That's during the week. I generally watch the Dick Van Dyke Show, and then walk my dog, and that's during the week. That's on between 11:00 and 11:30.

[Prosecutor]: And on Sunday nights?

[Witness]: Well, the Dick Van Dyke Show is also on, but it's on an hour earlier. So, I watch the Dick Van Dyke Show on Sunday night--I watch it between 10:00 and 10:30. And then I go to walk my dog.

[Prosecutor]: Now, June the 12th was a Sunday, sir?

[Witness]: Yes, it was.

[Prosecutor]: Did you watch the Dick Van Dyke Show that night?

[Witness]: Yes, I did.

[Prosecutor]: And that was at what time you watched that show?

[Witness]: I watch the show between 10:00 and 10:30.

[Prosecutor]: Did you watch the entire show, sir?

[Witness]: Yes, I did.

[Prosecutor]: And what time did that show end?

[Witness]: That ends just prior to 10:30.

[Prosecutor]: Did you walk your dog that night after you watched the show?

[Witness]: Yes, as soon as the show was over, I got my dog, put her leash on, and took her for a walk.

[Prosecutor]: So, on the night of June the 12th, that Sunday night, about what time did you leave your apartment to walk your dog?

[Witness]: Shortly after 10:30. Between 10:30 and 10:35. Much closer to 10:30, though.

The unvarying routine of the witness's conduct parallels the theme of periodicity that I discussed in the "Dream about Greensboro" (See letter to Dr. Pitts of December 9, 1992, page 6, 3): "Note the recurring theme of periodicity: the annual trips to Atlantic City in early July, the annual celebration of Thanksgiving, the annual celebration of Christmas at which time I would have played with my toy trains, the weekly visits to Dr. Pitts, the regular revolutions of the toy trains around the track--all possibly symbolizing that most fundamental and vital periodic event, the contractions of the heart."

[Prosecutor]: Can you tell us what route you took when you walked her?

[Witness]: Yes, I walked down Montana, and I continued along Montana, I crossed the street at the intersection of Montana and Bundy and continued along Montana until I got to a street called Gretna Green. At Gretna Green I made a left and walked up one block, made a right on a street called Gorham, I then walked down one block, made a left on Amherst, walked up one block to Amherst and Dorothy, made a left at Amherst and Dorothy, and continued along Dorothy until I came to Bundy.

[Prosecutor]: Now, if you can tell us. You walked along Montana past Bundy, and you went left on Gretna Green?

[Witness]: Yes.

[Prosecutor]: How long did it take you to get to Gretna Green?

[Witness]: Well, I looked at my watch, when I turned to go down Gretna Green and that was 10:37. I remember that my dog had taken care of its business. I was deciding whether to return home or continue walking. And it was a nice night, so I decided to continue walking.

[Prosecutor]: Sir, what time was it about when you got to Gretna Green?

[Witness]: 10:37.

[Prosecutor]: 10:37 -- You know that exactly?

[Witness]: Well, between 10:35 and 10:40. Obviously, it's not exact because I don't have a digital watch. But it was between 10:35 and 10:40.

[Prosecutor]: Were you wearing a watch at all?

[Witness]: Yes, I was wearing a watch.

[Prosecutor]: A regular watch, not the digital kind?

[Witness]: Not the digital. In fact, I'm wearing it now. It's a regular watch.

[Prosecutor]: Can you tell us what kind of watch that is?

[Witness]: Sure. [Witness displays watch.] It's a regular watch. It doesn't have numbers on the face. It's not a digital watch.

[Prosecutor]: For the record, the witness is indicating a watch that has dots where the hours would
be . . .

[Court]: All right.

[Prosecutor]: An analog watch.
The witness's discussion of his watch parallels a portion of the "Dream of Greensboro" letter of December 9, 1992 (page 7, 6): "Wagner's last words, 'my watch,' are noteworthy. In light of certain observations by Erikson, the phrase, which symbolically expresses a concern regarding the passage of time carries certain existential implications (though certainly not intended by Wagner) that may have significance with regard to the interpretation of my dream. Erikson's comments may shed light on the theme of the train station in my dream and its underlying relation to my father's death from heart disease. Erikson writes, 'During these years [the 1890's] Freud at times expressed some despair and confessed to some neurotic symptoms which reveal phenomological aspects of a creative crisis. He suffered from symptoms of an over-concern with the all too rapid passage of time. 'Railroad phobia' is an awkwardly clinical way of translating what in German is Reisefieber--a feverish combination of pleasant excitement and anxiety. But it all meant, it seems, on more than one level that he was 'coming too late,' that he was 'missing the train,' that he would perish before reaching some 'promised land.' He could not see how he could complete what he had visualized if every single step took so much 'work, time and error.' As is often the case, such preoccupation with time leads to apprehension centered in the heart, that metronome and measure of endurance.'" Insight and Responsibility at 39 (New York: W.W. Norton, 1964).

[Prosecutor]: So, at what street did you decide to turn around and go back home?

[Witness]: Well, that was when I came to Amherst and Dorothy. At Amherst and Dorothy I made a left, which would take me back home. I use this route . . . This takes me, generally, half an hour to do because I get home and then another show begins at 11:00 and 11:30. So, that's the route I use.

[Prosecutor]: So, you turned around at Amherst and Dorothy and decided to go back home.

[Witness]: Correct.

[Prosecutor]: What happened next?

[Witness]: Well, I was walking down Dorothy and as I approached the corner of Dorothy and Bundy, I saw that there was a dog at the corner of Dorothy and Bundy, I saw that there was dog at the corner. It was a large Akita, very white, and as I approached further I saw that it wasn't with anyone. There was no one walking the dog. The dog was just there. And, the dog. . . It was unusual for a dog to just be wandering the neighborhood by itself. And the dog seemed agitated. It was barking at the house on the corner.

[Prosecutor]: On the corner of what?

[Witness]: On the corner of Dorothy and Bundy. There's a house on the corner that has a driveway that . . . a path to the door--that comes right to the corner. And it was unusual for a dog to be barking at a home that way. But that's what it was doing. And. . .

[Prosecutor]: Can you describe the way the dog looked?

[Witness]: Yes. It was a white Akita. Beautiful dog. It had a collar on, what looked like a very expensive embroidered collar--red and blue.
The witness's discussion of the dog's collar seems to parallel the dream thought concerning the frayed collar: "I examine the collar of the shirt and notice that it is frayed in one location." The precise significance of the collar's frayed condition is not known.

Note, incidentally, that the witness's use of the phrases "white Akita" and "red and blue" collar links up with the witness's later use of the phrase "I flagged down a police car" to create an unintended patriotic allusion; my father died days before the U.S. Bicentennial celebration, held on July 4, 1976.

[Witness]: Um, and it smelled my dog and my dog smelled it.
The witness's statement clearly parallels the following dream thought: "I have an impulse to smell the shirt. At that moment I think: 'Only a queer [i.e., a castrate] would smell another guy's shirt.'"

Note that the chemical formaldehyde, a compound with a distinctive and pungent odor, has applications both in the textile industry and as a tissue preservative. Formaldehyde thus encapsulates in some symbolic fashion both the manifest dream thought about the shirt and the corresponding latent dream thoughts about death. Even the word "formaldehyde" itself suggests the idiosyncratic symbolism: "formal"=formal wear=dress shirt; "hyde"=hide= (to keep secret)=human skin=tissue preservative.

In the weeks prior to my job termination in 1991 by the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, I had been working on a special project for the client Hoechst-Celanese, a chemical firm, and had been reviewing technical documents relating to formaldehyde, including its industrial (textile) applications. I was terminated, in an apparent retaliatory action, by Akin Gump in late October 1991, a few days after I made a complaint of harassment to senior management about my supervisor. The supervisor in question was later determined by a federal district court to have engaged in racially-inappropriate conduct in her dealings with minority employees. It was my view that my intrusion on the firm's "secrets" provoked the termination; firm management had, in a sense, seized the opportunity to suppress me by terminating me. See n. 3, below.

Cf. Letter to Dr. Georgopoulos, dated July 10, 1995 ("Dream of the Elephant Sanctuary") (discussing my identification with a rebellious son figure who intrudes on the private ("secret") territory of another, and fears being "smelled out" and retaliated against [i.e., castrated].)

Significantly, my associations to the present dream relate to two noteworthy acts of rebellion and their consequences: (1) my complaint of harassment to my employer in October 1991 concerning a supervisor (and the employer's response in "investigating" my complaint and later terminating my employment); and (2) my letter of complaint to the FBI in October 1994 that referred to inadequacies in the psychological testing performed by GW and that also referred to the employer's allegation that I was potentially violent (and the FBI's response in forwarding the letter to the U.S. Secret Service, which initiated an investigation). The present dream is no doubt an Oedipal dream.

[Witness]: And I looked . . . I checked the collar to see if there was an address or a tag on it. But there wasn't.

The witness's statement regarding a possible dog tag or other identifier seems to parallel the following dream thought: "I look at a tag affixed to the shirt that indicates the size of the shirt. I see that the collar measures 15«" and the sleeve measures 33", which is my shirt size. I feel a great deal of satisfaction to learn that Craig and I wear the same size shirt."

It is significant that the theme of inquiry into identity recurs (or is, loosely speaking, "overdetermined") in the hearing transcript. The witness's inquiry into the identity and origin of the dog ("I checked the collar to see if there was an address or a tag on it") parallels the later courtroom examination of the witness himself, who was asked pro forma by the Court to state his name, and, by the prosecutor, to state his address. The witness's later description of his discovery of blood on the dog's paws points to some unidentified victim. An issue of personal identity attaches to three figures in the hearing transcript: the witness (Schwab), the unidentified dog, and the unknown putative victim. Thus, the theme of personal identity emerges in various guises in the testimony, thereby conferring an unintended esthetic balance and integrity.

Similarly, at almost every level, Wagner's opera Parsifal derives its conflict from situations involving the problem of identity. Cf. Gregor-Dellin, M. Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century at 20-21 (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983). In Act I Parsifal blunders into an alien realm he has no means of understanding; Gurnemanz's cross-examination of Parsifal exposes the ignorant boy's orphaned dislocation from his origins. Beckett, L. Richard Wagner -- Parsifal at 31 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981). Cf. Lost Prince: The Unsolved Mystery of Kaspar Hauser. Translated and Introduced by J.M. Masson (New York: The Free Press, 1996).

[Gurnemanz]: From where did you come?

[Parsifal]: I don't know.

[Gurnemanz]: Who is your father?

[Parsifal]: I don't know.

[Gurnemanz]: Who told you to come this way?

[Parsifal]: I don't know.

[Gurnemanz]: Your name then?

[Parsifal]: I once had many, but now I don't know any of them.

[Witness]: So, I didn't know where the dog was from. And as I examined the dog further, I noticed that there was blood on the paws.

[Prosecutor]: Blood on all four paws?

[Witness]: There seemed to be blood on all of the paws in different amounts. There was more on some than on others. But there was blood on the paws. I specially, I noticed some blood on one of the back paws. That was the one I noticed first.

The witness's unwitting discovery of evidence relating to an as yet unreported crime parallels a recurring theme in the Wagner operas: the naive innocent who unwittingly stumbles upon--and becomes entangled in--an ongoing web of corruption. The theme finds its starkest representation in Parsifal, where, coincidentally, the hero's initial appearance in Act I is heralded by the discovery of a recently killed swan, the feathers of which are soaked in blood.

It was, in fact, Parsifal himself who had shot the swan, with bow and arrow, in mid-flight (psychoanalytically, suggestive of male sexual arousal--"To look for his mate he flew aloft"). 2/ In Act II of the drama Parsifal barely escapes being impaled by a spear, hurled at him by a castrating father figure 3/ while Parsifal contemplates the commission of an Oedipal crime. There is, therefore, a likeness in the fate of the swan in Act I and the near fate of Parsifal in Act II, strongly suggestive of child sacrifice and sacrificial substitutes for children. A cultural analogy for these dramatic themes is found in Jewish belief and ritual practice, where symbolic derivatives of child sacrifice are prominent features of the modern-day ritual observance of Passover. 4/ "Originally, (pre-Judaic) child sacrifice must have been prevalent at festival time. Eventually, animal surrogates were permitted. At a later stage, these events were memorialized in holy day ceremonies. The origins of Judaism must lie in that transition. . . . The traditional basis of the reading of the Haggadah [i.e., the book that presents the holiday's liturgy] on Passover eve is derived from the biblical sentence 'and thou shalt tell thy son . . .' (Exod. 13:8).
But the Bible also states, 'and it shall come to pass when your children shall say unto you--what mean ye by this service?' 5/ (Exod. 12:26). This question is repeated three more times in different forms in the Bible (Exod. 13:14; Exod. 13:8; Deut. 6:20). . . . [C]hildren ask this question because of their anxiety, whose source is the unconscious recognition that the 'service' (sacrifice of the lamb) is a substitute for their sacrifice." Lustig, E. "On The Origin of Judaism: A Psychoanalytic Approach." In: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society. Id. Vol. 7: 359-367 at 362-3.

The issue of guilt transmuted from object to object (or from generation to generation) emerges as part of the Passover observance. "The most popular Seder song is the Chad Gadjoh (One Only Kid). It is in Aramaic Hebrew and harks back to medieval days. It is a repeated refrain in which a hierarchy of killings occurs from the destruction of a kid through the destruction of the slaughterer by the Angel of Death and culminating in the Holy One (Hakodesh) slaying the Angel of Death. Here in this children's song is captured the quintessential meaning of the holiday." Schlesinger, K. "Origins of the Passover Seder in Ritual Sacrifice." In: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society. Id. Vol. 7: 369-399 at 389.

"The song was popularly interpreted as an allegorical history of Israel. The kid was Israel, purchased by God for the price of the tables of the Covenant." Gaster, T.H. Passover: Its History and Traditions at 72 (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1949).

Wagner's Parsifal has, likewise, been interpreted as an allegory depicting an endless cycle of guilt, passed from generation to generation. "In his essay 'Parsifal: A Betrayed Childhood: Variations on a Leitmotif by Alice Miller' the musicologist Martin Geck attempts a radical reinterpretation of Parsifal using the unconventional views of the psychoanalyst Alice Miller [citation omitted]. Whereas the drama, in keeping with Freud's Oedipus theory . . . , has variously been seen hitherto as the symbolic enactment of a necessary process of development by which the individual learns to conform, Geck seeks to turn this positive interpretation right side up. The process of development depicted here is not in the least necessary for Parsifal either as a boy or as adolescent. Rather it is necessary for the patriarchal society of the Grail brotherhood, which seizes the opportunity offered by the 'pure fool,' mistreating him as a sacrificial lamb and expecting him to solve the problems which their society has brought on itself. Just as Alice Miller sees Freud's drive theory, and the kind of psychoanalysis practiced on the basis of that theory, as a means by which to implement paternalistic interests at the cost of children's rights in life, so Geck shows how the Grail fathers unload their own sense of guilt onto the shoulders of the next generation in the person of Parsifal, thereby breaking that generation on the wheel of their demands and rendering its members sufficiently submissive as to rid them of their guilt, while in actual fact forcing them to accept the same obligation to atone for that guilt, an obligation which passes ineluctably from one generation to the next in a never-ending spiral." Wagner Handbook at 140-141. Muller, U. and Wapnewski, P., eds. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992) (emphasis added).

[Prosecutor]: Now, what time was it when you first saw that dog?

[Witness]: Well, I didn't look at my watch the moment that this occurred. But based on the path and how long it generally takes me, I would say that that was approximately 10:55.

[Prosecutor]: And that was at the corner of Dorothy and Bundy?

[Witness]: Yes, it was.

[Prosecutor]: Did the dog wear a leash?

[Witness]: No, there was no leash. There was just the collar.

[Prosecutor]: The blood that you saw on the dog's paws, did it appear to be wet, fresh or dry?

[Witness]: I didn't touch the blood, so I don't really know. The dog was also dirty, and there seemed to be mud on the dog. But, um, I didn't get like any blood on my hands or anything like that, so I don't know whether it was wet or dry.

[Prosecutor]: After those two dogs met each other, what happened next?

[Witness]: Well, my dog doesn't like other dogs very much. They barked at each other for a little bit. And then I noticed by that time that no one had come that wasn't like a block or two behind that, you know, in front of its owner or anything. So, I crossed the street at that point. I crossed the street from one side of Bundy to the other. And the dog stayed with us. The dog followed us, and, ah, so knowing that this was a lost dog I allowed it to stay with us. And I continued. . . I made a left at that point on Bundy heading back towards my house.

[Prosecutor]: During the time that the dog walked with you, did it continue to bark?

[Witness]: Yes, it was very strange. It would bark at each house as we passed. It would bark at. . . When we got to the entrance to the house, the path leading to the door of the houses, it would bark at the house. I had never seen anything like that before. But it would stop at each house and bark.

[Prosecutor]: So, as you walked down the sidewalk, you and your dog. The other one was following you. And every time you got to a place where a path leading up to a residence met the sidewalk, the dog would stop, look at the house, and bark.

[Witness]: Yes, absolutely. But the dog also didn't want to get very far from myself and my dog. It stayed very, very close to us.


The witness's description of the dog's seeming desperate need to communicate what it had witnessed parallels in some way Bruno Bettelheim's discussion of his need to communicate his experiences as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. Bettelheim writes: "From the moment I arrived in this country, within weeks after I spoke ["barked"] of the camps to everybody willing to listen, and many more unwilling to do so. Painful as this was because of what it brought back to mind, I did it because I was so full of the experience that it would not be contained. I did it also because I was anxious to force on the awareness of as many people as possible what was going on in Nazi Germany, and out of a feeling of obligation to those who still suffered in the
camps. . . . It was a need which, many years later in the literature on survivors, was called their compulsion to 'bear witness.'" Bettelheim, B. Surviving and Other Essays at 14 and 16 (New York: Vintage, 1979).

[Witness]: Well, I continued to walk down Bundy and at that point, ah, a police car came, going in the other direction. And so I flagged the police car down to tell him that I had found this dog. And I did. I told the officer that I had found this dog that's obviously lost, and that maybe he could, you know, call someone, find out if someone had reported a missing dog. And he said he would take care of it. And so I continued on, but the dog continued to follow me. And it followed me down Bundy past Gorham, again, and then, all the way to Montana. So, I turned the corner on Montana. I made a right on Montana heading home, and the cop pulled into a driveway on Montana heading home, and the cop pulled into a driveway on Montana and we spoke again because obviously the dog wasn't going to leave my side. So, at that point I gave him my address and the phone number and said that I would take the dog home and that he would call the animal control people, and that they would contact me with regard to the dog. So, I left the police officer at that time, continued home, and the dog followed me into the courtyard of my building, which has a pool, and up the stairs--I live on the second floor--up the stairs into my apartment. I mean, it stayed right with me. At that point I went into the house, leaving the dog outside because my wife was inside, and I also have a cat. And I didn't want to freak either of them out. So I closed the door and told my wife that this big Akita followed me home.

* * * *

[Witness]: At that point while we were discussing the various options my neighbors came home.
And. . .

[Prosecutor]: Can you tell us what their names were?

[Witness]: Yes. His name is Sukru and her name is Bettina. And they live. . .

[Prosecutor]: What time was it when you saw them?

[Witness]: That would have been, oh, about 11:40.

[Prosecutor]: At the time that they came into the apartment building, were you outside still?

[Witness]: Yes, we were out in the courtyard. And we were discussing whether it would be OK if maybe we could tie the dog up in the courtyard overnight 'cause my plan was to tie the dog up or keep the dog with us overnight and then print up some posters on my computer, go back to the location, put up lost dog signs, and try to find the owner.

[Prosecutor]: So, you were outside in the courtyard with your wife and the dog. . .

[Witness]: And the dog, absolutely.

[Prosecutor]: when Sukru and Bettina came up.

[Witness]: That's exactly what happened. And Sukru and Bettina take care of my dog when I'm away, either on vacation or if I'm out of town for the weekend, they take care of my animals. And, um, so, at that point Sukru offered to take care of the dog overnight and to leave it out in the courtyard in the morning so that in the morning I could deal with trying to find the owner once again.

[Prosecutor]: And, did you give him the dog?

[Witness]: At that point I gave him the dog. And, I said, "fine." And at that point he took the leash that I had put on the dog--it was still on the dog--he took the dog for a walk. My wife and I spoke to his wife, Bettina, for a few more minutes and then went to bed.

[Prosecutor]: And did you ever see the dog again after that?

[Witness]: I have not seen the dog again since then. That was the last that I saw of the dog.
[Prosecutor]: Thank you. I have nothing further.

Another witness, Steven Schwab's neighbor, Sukru Boztepe, later testified that "he had been literally pulled to the murder scene by [murder victim, Nicole Simpson's] dog, a white Akita, which [Schwab] had found wandering the streets earlier in the evening and given to him to keep for the night. Boztepe said he and his wife left their apartment around midnight with the dog, which was pulling hard on its leash. Finally, he said, the dog stopped in front of Nicole Simpson's condominium and looked up the path that led to the house. . . . Bettina Rasmussen, his wife, testified that there was blood everywhere. 'It was coming down like a river,' she said." The Washington Post, A3, July 2, 1994.

Note, additionally, that the murder scene, described as a place flowing with blood, is--as a literary symbol--a negated image of the Biblical "promised land," described as a place "flowing with milk and honey." This conflicted imagery--of a cursed place of suffering from which there is no escape that disguises by means of negation a place of fond recollection (or a promised land that one despairs of ever attaining)--is elaborated in Part II of this dream analysis, which follows. See Rothenberg, A. "Janusian Thinking and Creativity." In: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society. Vol. 7: 1-30. Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D., contributing editor. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976) (describing a creative ego process characterized by "actively conceiving two or more opposite or antithetical ideas, concepts, or images simultaneously").



1/ A group of daydreams, the animal fantasies of the latency period, originate as a result of the same emotional conditions (oedipal conflicts) that are the basis for the so-called family romance wherein the latency period child develops fantasies of having a better and worthier family than his own, which has so bitterly disappointed and disillusioned him. Burlingham, D.T. "The Fantasy of Having a Twin." In: The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. Vol. I: 205-210, 205-6 (New York: International Universities Press, 1945). The child takes an imaginary animal as his intimate and beloved companion; subsequently he is never separated from his animal friend, and in this way he overcomes loneliness. This daydream is constructed in much the same way as the family romance, with this difference: the child does not here choose a new family, does not repeat a similar experience under improved conditions, but chooses a new companion who can understand him in his loneliness, unhappiness, and need to be comforted. Id. at 206. Animal fantasies and the fantasy of having a twin sibling are related fantasies, oedipal in origin, of the latency period. Id. at 210.

2/ Gurnemanz asks Parsifal if it was he who killed the swan; Parsifal replies: "Of course, I hit in flight whatever flies!" Gurnemanz explains to Parsifal what he has done: he has killed a beautiful creature who has done him no harm: "What did the faithful swan do to you?" Gurnemanz forces the boy to see for himself the congealing blood on the white feathers, the dead eye, as the music moves from a lyrical description of the swan flying over the lake to the dawning of guilt in Parsifal. Beckett, L. Richard Wagner -- Parsifal. Id. at 31.

3/ It is believed that "infanticide was widely practiced by prehistoric man. Possibly, therefore, parricide never occurred in the form described in [Freud's] Totem and Taboo. Instead of the son's successfully rebelling against the father, it may be that the father successfully suppressed the son by murdering him. In terms of later Judaism, the extensive ritual laws developed by the Jews, as well as their ethics, were not the result of guilt feelings for the crime of parricide. Rather, they were adhered to because of the constant reminder that infanticide can be invoked against a rebellious son." Lustig, E. "On the Origin of Judaism: A Psychoanalytic Approach." In: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society. Vol. 7: 359-367 at 362. Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D., contributing editor. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976).

4/ Wagner's wife, Cosima, records in her diary that the composer had the following (possibly unconsciously-determined) associations on a morning just weeks prior to the premiere performance of Parsifal, which took place in late July 1882. "Tuesday, June 27 [1882] R. had a restless night, he got up 4 times, dreamed that he was on trial and having a difficult time in court! [suggesting the themes of guilt and interrogation, or questioning.] In the morning he is pleased by the peacocks, the white and the colored ones sitting together on the roof timbers of the poultry shed. He jokes about the 'mousetrap for house tutors' he is setting in friend Gross's 'den.' Then we talk about a preface for [Heinrich von] Stein's dialogues. At lunch he remarks on the beauties of La Juive [i.e., the opera The Jewess], the Passover celebrations, the final choruses, also the lively first act, and says it contains the best expression of the Jewish character; before that he jokingly told [the Jewish conductor] Levi that frivolity did not suit him." (Heinrich von Stein was the tutor of the Wagners' son Siegfried, the couple's youngest child.)

(Parsifal features a depiction of a Eucharist-like service, which may have reminded Wagner of "Passover celebrations.")

Tradition dictates that at the Passover celebration the youngest child ask four questions, prescribed by ritual, relating to the Passover service. "The earlier determinants for questioning [might] arise out of the child's response to his previously central role to the ceremony as sacrificial object. The four questions thus interpreted are a later vestigal remnant of a child-centered celebration in which sacrificial and purification rites were central." Schlesinger, K. "Origins of the Passover Seder in Ritual Sacrifice." In: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society. Id. Vol. 7: 369-399 at 386.

5/ In Act I of Parsifal, when the Eucharist service is finished, Parsifal, who has been an interested spectator of the scene, shows no comprehension of its meaning. Gurnemanz asks Parsifal: "Do you know what you have seen?" When Parsifal shakes his head slightly, Gurnemanz tells him, "You are nothing but a fool!"

The Dream of the Blue Oxford -- PART II

According to Greenspan "every dynamic drama must take place in the context of a particular structure or set of structures. In addition, when focusing on structural perspectives it's [important to recognize] that structures provide the foundation--the housing, so to speak--for different dynamic dramas, each with its own content or meanings." "A Conversation with Stanley Greenspan." The American Psychoanalyst, 28(3): 25-27, 26 (1994).

I have identified a text the structure of which is identical to that of the Schwab testimony reproduced in Part I of the dream analysis, while elements of the content of that text mirror important aspects of both the manifest and latent dream content.

The text is a portion of the transcript of the 1985 French film Shoah. The film, produced by Claude Lanzmann, comprises a collection of interviews of Nazi holocaust survivors, Nazi officials, and other eyewitnesses of the holocaust. The text in question is a transcript of an interview of Jan Karski, a former courier of the Polish government-in-exile in London who was enlisted by underground Jewish leaders in Poland to inspect the Warsaw ghetto and report his observations to the Allied governments. See Lanzmann, C. Shoah: Transcription of English Subtitles to 1985 French Film Shoah at 167-175 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1985).

The key figures in the text are (1) the interviewer (an intellectualized, or affectively neutral, figure), (2) Jan Karski (an outsider witness), (3) the underground Jewish leaders (frantic witness-participants), and (4) inhabitants of the ghetto (mute victims).

These key figures parallel the central figures of the Schwab testimony, who comprise (1) the prosecutor (an intellectualized, or affectively neutral, figure) who examines (2) Steven Schwab (an outsider witness), (3) the dog Kato (a frantic witness-participant), and (4) the mute victims.

I am intrigued by the apparent likelihood that it was not the content of the Schwab testimony alone that instigated the dream, but also the housing of that content: namely, the structure of the Schwab testimony. Cf. n. 4, below. That structure may be interpreted to symbolically express the differentiated or contradictory mental states of a single individual: integrated representations of thought and feeling of a single individual as projected onto a "gallery of characters."

"The existence of the complicated split mental representations of self and parents does not automatically make for pathology," explains Shengold. "That depends on how the splits are used. The crucial questions are whether the contradictory mental representations can be integrated if necessary, and whether they
can be brought together and taken apart again so that they can be worked with in a flow of thought and feeling." See Shengold, L. Soul Murder at 280-281 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989).

The structure of the Schwab testimony (and that of the Shoah narrative) may be interpreted to relate to aspects of ego structure and functioning:

--a split between observing and experiencing egos;

--a differentiated ego structure that houses, or accommodates, valences of thought and feeling arrayed in layered gradations; and

--a superego that permits (indeed, demands as a form of ego mastery) examination of the self and the environment (denoted symbolically in the Schwab testimony by the judge's direction to the prosecutor: "You may inquire." 6/). Cf. Shedler, J. et al. "The Illusion of Mental Health." The American Psychologist, 48(11): 1117-1131 at 1119 and 1121 (1993) (discussing the use of verbal defensiveness to stifle inquiry by persons whose superego intones: "That question shall not be put!").

I had seen the eight-hour movie Shoah in a television broadcast in about 1987 or 1988. In my recollection the many interviews presented in the film merged into a vague sameness, except for one (which apparently held some special meaning for me), the interview of --


Jan Karski, university professor (USA), former courier of the Polish government in exile:

Now . . . now I go back thirty-five years. No, I don't go back . . . I come back. I am ready.

In the middle of 1942, I was thinking to take up again my position as a courier between the Polish underground and the Polish government in exile in London.

[The reference to the "government-in-exile" may be interpreted, psychoanalytically, to relate to the Family Romance fantasy, with the Nazi occupiers of Poland representing a debased parental image, and the Polish government-in-exile in London representing an idealized parental image, endowed in fantasy with a rescuer role.]

The Jewish leaders in Warsaw learned about it. A meeting was arranged, outside the ghetto. There were two gentlemen. They did not live in the ghetto. They introduced themselves--leader of Bund, Zionist leader.

Now, what transpired, what happened in our conversation? First, I was not prepared for it. I was relatively isolated in my work in Poland. I did not see many things. In thirty-five years after the war I do not go back. I have been a teacher for twenty-six years. I never mention the Jewish problem to my students. I understand this film is for historical record, so I will try to do it.

They described to me what is happening to the Jews. Did I know about it? No, I didn't. They described to me first that the Jewish problem is unprecedented, cannot be compared with the Polish problem, or Russian, or any other problem. Hitler will lose this war, but he will exterminate all the Jewish population. Do I understand it? The Allies fight for their people--they fight for humanity. The Allies cannot forget that the Jews will be exterminated totally in Poland--Polish and European Jews. They were breaking down. They paced the room. They were whispering. They were hissing. It was a nightmare for me.

Did they look completely despairing?

Yes. Yes. At various stages of the conversation they lost control of themselves. I just sat in my chair. I just listened. I did not even react. I didn't ask them questions. I was just listening.

They wanted to convince you?

They realized, I think . . . they realized from the beginning that I don't know, that I don't understand this problem. Once I said I will take messages from them, they wanted to inform me what is happening to the Jews. I didn't know this. I was never in a ghetto. I never dealt with the Jewish matters.

Did you know yourself at the time that most of the Jews of Warsaw had already been killed?

I did know. But I didn't see anything. I never heard any description of what was happening and I was never there. It is one thing to know statistics. There were hundreds of thousands of Poles also killed--of Russians, Serbs, Greeks. We knew about it. But it was a question of statistics.

Did they insist on the complete uniqueness . . . ?

Yes. This was their problem: to impress upon me--and that was my mission--to impress upon all people whom I am going to see that the Jewish situation is unprecedented in history. Egyptian pharaohs did not do it. The Babylonians did not do it. Now for the first time in history actually, they came to the conclusion: unless the Allies take some unprecedented steps, regardless of the outcome of the war, the Jews will be totally exterminated. And they cannot accept it.

This means that they asked for very specific measures?

Yes. Interchangeably. At a certain point the Bund leader, then at a certain point the Zionist leader--then what do they want? What message am I supposed to take? Then they gave me messages, various messages, to the Allied governments as such--I was to see as many government officials as I could, of course. Then to the Polish government, then to the President of the Polish republic, then to the international Jewish leaders. And to individual political leaders, leading intellectuals--approach as many people as possible. And then they gave me segments--to whom do I report what. So now, in these nightmarish meetings--two meetings--two meetings I had with them--well, then they presented their demands. Separate demands. The message was: Hitler cannot be allowed to continue extermination. Every day counts. The Allies cannot treat this war only from a purely military strategic standpoint. They will win the war if they take such an attitude, but what good will it do to us? We will not survive this war. The Allied governments cannot take such a stand. We contributed to humanity--we gave scientists for thousands of years. We originated great religions. We are humans. Do you understand it? Do you understand it? Never happened before in history, what is happening to our people now. Perhaps it will shake the conscience of the world.

We understand we have no country of our own, we have no government, we have no voice in the Allied councils. So we have to use services, little people like you are. Will you do it? Will you approach them? Will you fulfill your mission? Approach the Allied leaders? We want an official declaration of the Allied nations that in addition to the military strategy which aims at securing victory, military victory in this war, extermination of the Jews forms a separate chapter, and the Allied nations formally, publicly, announce that they will deal with this problem, that it becomes a part of their overall strategy in this war. Not only defeat of Germany but also saving the remaining Jewish population.

* * * *

Between those two Jewish leaders--somehow this belongs to human relations--I took, so to say, to the Bund leader, probably because of his behavior--he looked like a Polish nobleman, a gentleman, with straight, beautiful gestures, dignified. I believe that he liked me also, personally. Now at a certain point, he said: "Mr. Vitold, I know the Western world. You are going to deal with the English. Now you will give them your oral reports. I am sure it will strengthen your report if you will be able to say 'I saw it myself.' We can organize for you to visit the Jewish ghetto. Would you do it? If you do, I will go with you to the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw so I will be sure you will be as safe as possible."

A few days later we established contact. By that time the Jewish ghetto as it existed in 1942 until July 1942 did not exist anymore. Out of approximately four hundred thousand Jews, some three hundred thousand were already deported from the ghetto. So within the outside walls, practically there were some four units. The most important was the so-called central ghetto. They were separated by some areas inhabited by Aryans and already some areas not inhabited by anybody. There was a building. This building was constructed in such a way that the wall which separated the ghetto from the outside world was a part of the back of the building, so the front was facing the Aryan area. There was a tunnel. We went through this tunnel without any kind of difficulty. What struck me was that now he was a completely different man--the Bund leader, the Polish nobleman. I go with him. He is broken down, like a Jew from the ghetto, as if he had lived there all the time. Apparently, this was his nature. This was his world. So we walked the streets. He was on my left. We didn't talk very much. He led me. [Compare Steven Schwab's description of his interaction with the dog Kato.] Well, so what? So now comes the description of it, yes? Well . . . naked bodies on the street. I ask him: "Why are they here?"

The corpses, you mean?

Corpses. He says: "Well, they have a problem. If a Jew dies and the family wants a burial, they have to pay tax on it. So they just throw them in the street."

Because they cannot pay the tax?

Yes. They cannot afford it. So then he says: "Every rag counts. So they take their clothing. And then once the body, the corpse, is on the street, the Judenrat [i.e., the Jewish Council] has to take care of it."

Women with their babies, publicly feeding their babies, but they have no . . . no breast, just flat. Babies with crazed eyes, looking . . .

[The phrases "If a Jew dies and the family wants a burial" and "Every rag counts--so they take their clothing" are facially related to both the dream's manifest content (the blue shirt with the buttoned-down collar) and the dream's latent content:

"On the evening of July 1, 1976 my mother gathers a suit, necktie and shirt for my father's burial. She wants to bury him in a white shirt. My mother asks me if I will give her a white shirt that I own, which I do. I had worn the shirt on only one previous occasion. Thus, my father was laid to rest attired in my white shirt."


It has occurred to me recently that the choice of the title "Dream of the Blue Oxford" may have been more than random. My father's parents lived on Oxford Street in North Philadelphia, in a house later occupied by my father's older sister and her family (the Klein family). As a small boy I accompanied my mother, by subway train, to visit my aunt on Oxford Street, where she lived until about 1957. Perhaps, other relatives were present, possibly including my father's maternal aunt, Tante Elke. I have no firm conscious recollection of these visits, but I can assume that for a small boy Oxford Street must have looked "like a completely strange world, another world." The word "Oxford" is a play on words, relating both to an article of clothing and to a street associated with my father's world.]

Did it look like a completely strange world? Another world, I mean?

It was not a world. There was not humanity. Streets full, full. Apparently all of them lived in the street, exchanging what was the most important, everybody offering something to sell--three onions, two onions, some cookies. Selling.

[When I was a small boy I used to accompany my mother once a year to the Jewish market on Marshall Street in North Philadelphia, where my mother would buy, in preparation for Passover, kosher chicken, fresh carp for gefilte fish, and horseradish (which the merchant ground fresh).]

Begging each other. Crying and hungry. Those horrible children--some children running by themselves or with their mothers sitting. It wasn't humanity. It was some . . . some hell.

[Karski's account of his visit to the Warsaw ghetto, in which he was accompanied by a Jewish underground leader, parallels psychoanalyst Jeffrey Masson's description (published in his autobiographical work Final Analysis) of his visit to a psychiatric hospital where he was guided by a psychiatrist who showed Masson "his world." See Letter to Dr. Georgopoulos dated July 10, 1995 ("The Dream of the Elephant Sanctuary"). The lethargy of the patients as described by Masson resembles the despairing demeanor of the Warsaw ghetto inhabitants: in the case of both psychiatric patients and the Jewish ghetto inhabitants, the victims' fate is attributed to an autocratic regime. Also, as in the Karski narrative concerning the Warsaw Ghetto, the Family Romance fantasy may to some extent inform the Masson narrative.

Extended excerpt from Letter to Dr. Georgopoulos dated July 10, 1995 ("The Dream of the Elephant Sanctuary"), beginning with a passage from Masson's book Final Analysis:

And so, in September 1973, on a cold gray evening, I presented myself to the Clarke [to begin my psychoanalytic training]. The building was forbidding. It was a psychiatric hospital; this was immediately apparent upon entering. I spotted another man carrying a letter of acceptance and introduced myself. He was David Iseman, an M.D. who had only recently completed his residency in psychiatry. He was my age, about thirty. He seemed shy and, like me, in awe of this first evening, so we made our way together down the halls.

I had rarely visited a psychiatric hospital before, and I was struck by the patients who shuffled past us in the hallways wearing slippers and institutional gowns, with their vacant stares, tic-like movements of the mouth, and slow deliberate gaits.

"What do they have?" I asked David. "What kind of illness is this that makes them look so vacant?"

"They don't have anything. Or rather they do. That's part of the problem. What you're seeing is not from the illness, it's from the cure.

[Note that the emphasized phrase is a symbolic variant of Alice Miller's concept of "poisonous pedagogy." Miller writes: "the conviction that parents are always right and that every act of cruelty, whether conscious or unconscious, is an expression of their love is so deeply rooted in human beings because it is based on the process of internalization that takes place during the first months of life--in other words, during the period preceding separation from the primary care giver." Miller, A. For Your Own Good at 5 (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1983)].

They look the way they do as a result of psychotropic drugs. Some of them probably have tardive dyskenesia, a real scourge, and one that is entirely iatrogenic."

I was glad that I sensed a note of disdain in his voice. I also liked the sound of "iatrogenic," which means "created by the doctor." I had never heard it before. I was puzzled and pleased by his apparent irreverence for psychiatry.

"They're not suffering from an emotional disease?"

"You mean an affective disorder? Oh, I guess it's the same. You know, when it's put like that the physician in me bristles. When I was doing my histology rotation, I never saw an emotional disease under a microscope." He was thinking out loud, and was thinking critically. I realized I could learn from him.

[It appears possible that the psychiatric patients Masson describes are his own Family Romance-mediated identification projects. In effect, Masson may be saying: "You see, this is what the 'occupiers' (actually, Masson's real parents) did to me; my 'real' parents (actually, Masson's exalted fantasy-parents) would never have allowed this to happen!"]

I also knew that David was no dyed-in-the-wool psychiatrist. We both smiled, and I sensed we were going to be friends.


Masson identifies in his colleague Iseman another person with whom he shares a secret identity and affinity in a strange world that both attracts and repels him. 7/ There is an almost subversive quality about the relationship, which Masson seems to savor: a subversive attitude of disdain for the therapeutic ideals of the medically-trained analytic candidates who comprise the majority of Masson's training unit.

I am reminded here of a passage from Demian by Hermann Hesse:

'When you were a little boy, Sinclair, my son one day came home from school and said to me: there is a boy in school, he has the sign on his brow, he has to become my friend. That was you. You have not had an easy time but we had confidence in you. . . .'

We who wore the sign might justly be considered 'odd' by the world; yes, even crazy, and dangerous. We were aware or in the process of becoming aware and our striving was directed toward achieving a more and more complete state of awareness while the striving of the others was a quest aimed at binding their opinions, ideals, duties, their lives and fortunes more and more closely to those of the herd.

The theme of subversion of the existing order suggests, in psychoanalytic terms, issues relating to the family romance fantasies that Freud and Rank "attributed to the disillusionment in childhood with one's parents. Such fantasies often include the development of a sense of 'differentness' that is associated with the circumstances (real or imaginary) of one's birth; this, in turn, may be followed by the feeling that other, usually more exalted, parents are preferable to the real parents; finally, the construction (in imagination) of the other set of parents may give way to the belief that one is actually descended from these more exalted persons, which implies, as well, a desire to 'get rid of' the real parents." Day, R. and Davidson, R.H. "Magic and Healing: An Ethnopsychoanalytic Examination." In: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, 231-291, at 283. Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D., consulting editor. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976).

[End of Excerpt from Letter to Dr. Georgopoulos dated July 10, 1995 ("Dream of the Elephant Sanctuary")]

* * * *

[Karski's Warsaw Ghetto narrative, continued:]

Next day we went again [to the ghetto]. The same house, the same way. So then again I was more conditioned, so I felt other things. Stench, stench, dirt, stench--everywhere, suffocating. Dirty streets, nervousness, tension. Bedlam. This was Platz Muranowski. In a corner of it some children were playing something with some rags--throwing the rags to one another. He says: "They are playing, you see. Life goes on. Life goes on." So then I said: "they are simulating play. They don't play."

It was a special place for playing?

In the corner of Platz Muranowski--no, no, no, open. So I say: "They are . . ."

There are trees?

There were a few trees, rickety. So then we just walked the streets; we didn't talk to anybody. We walked probably one hour. Sometimes he would tell me: "Look at this Jew"--a Jew standing, without moving. I said: "Is he dead?" He says: "No, no, no, he is alive. Mr. Vitold, remember--he's dying, he's dying. Look at him. Tell them over there. You saw it. Don't forget." We walk again. Its macabre. Only from time to time he would whisper: "Remember this, remember this." Or he would tell me: "Look at her." Very many cases. I would say: "What are they doing here?" His answer: "They are dying, that's all. They are dying." And always: "But remember, remember."

We spent more time, perhaps one hour. We left the ghetto. Frankly, I couldn't take it anymore. "Get me out of it." And then I never saw him again. I was sick. Even now I don't go back in my memory. I couldn't tell any more.

But I reported what I saw. It was not a world. It was not a part of humanity. I was not part of it. I did not belong there. I never saw such things, I never . . . nobody wrote about this kind of reality. I never saw any theater, I never saw any movie . . . this was not the world. I was told that these were human beings--they didn't look like human beings. Then we left. He embraced me then. "Good luck, good luck." I never saw him again.

[It is noteworthy that Karski's statement "I never saw him again" is virtually identical to Steven Schwab's concluding statement (in Part I of the dream analysis):

[Prosecutor]: And did you ever see the dog again after that?

[Witness]: I have not seen the dog again since then. That was the last that I saw of the dog. ]


6/ At the Passover Seder the ritual emphasis on a particular structure--namely "questioning"--may have a more than incidental relationship with the dynamic drama, or content, of the Passover observance. At the Seder "[t]he Mah Nishtanoh (The Four Questions) are asked. Tradition has it that the youngest child ask the questions, 'Why is this night different from all other nights?' [etc.] . . . Traditionally it is said that giving a child a function at the Seder incorporates him in the proceedings, makes him more attentive to the moral of the redemption from Egypt. It seems plausible to me that peeling back this historicized layer, the role of the child may be central in a much more fundamental way. The earlier determinants for questioning could then arise out of the child's response to his previously central role to the ceremony as a sacrificial object. . . . The iteration of the moral of redemption and the need to inculcate a fearful moral appears to be a reaction-formation. The emphasis on responses to questioning appears disproportionate. The inference of much more ambivalently cathected observances in which children are involved at a much higher level of intensity seems quite plausible. The reading of the subtext would be that the injunction that all men regard themselves as personally redeemed out of the underworld, out of death, from the obligation of being the sacrifice. Thus everyone's life is enhanced by the death of one. (The stridency of the argument, the insistence on learning the lesson, is related to the intensity of the countercathexis against the sacrificial ceremonies.)" Schlesinger, K. "Origins of the Passover Seder in Ritual Sacrifice." In: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society. Id. Vol. 7: 369-399 at 386-387.

7/ "A common daydream which in spite of its frequency has received very little attention to-date is the fantasy of possessing a twin. It is a conscious fantasy, built up in the latency period as the result of disappointment by the parents in the oedipus situation, in the child's search for a partner who will give him all the attention, love and companionship he desires and who will provide an escape from loneliness and solitude. The same emotional conditions are the basis of the family romance. In that well-known daydream the child in the latency period develops fantasies of having a better, kinder and worthier family than his own, which has so bitterly disappointed and disillusioned him. The parents have been unable to gratify the child's instinctual wishes; in disappointment his love turns to hate; he now despises his family and, in revenge, turns against it. He has death-wishes against the former love-objects, and as a result feels alone and forsaken in the world." Burlingham, D.T. "The Fantasy of Having a Twin." In: The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. Vol. I: 205-210, 205 (New York: International Universities Press, 1945). "A further element in many daydreams of having a twin is that of the imaginary twin being a complement to the daydreamer. The latter endows his twin with all the qualities and talents that he misses in himself and desires for himself. The twin thus represents his superego." Id. at 209.