Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Legal Irony

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a person has a right to burn the United States flag; it is a form of expression guaranteed by the first Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The issue of flag desecration as a form of protest came before the Supreme Court in Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989). The Supreme Court reversed the conviction of Gregory Lee Johnson for burning the flag by a 5-4 vote. Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. asserted that "if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable."

So if I wanted to, I could burn a flag (in an appropriate place) every day of the week from here to eternity. That would be legal. The act of burning the flag is a legally-protected form of "speech."

I have been protesting my job termination for the last eighteen years. Somehow this arouses the ire of people. "You've been at this for 18 years? You need to get on with your life." The fact is I am permitted to protest my job termination by any lawful means -- for any time period. If I want to protest my job termination for the next 20 years, I have that right, so long as I use lawful means. My obvious anger toward my former employer does not mean I am potentially violent. My protest against my employer does not mean that I might commit a violent crime.

If I had stuck to burning the flag for the last 18 years, maybe no one would have noticed. But if I protest an unlawful job termination for 18 years, people start to worry. Now that's a legal irony.

But remember the words of the U.S. Supreme Court: if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.

There's no statute of limitations on the expression of an offensive or disagreeable idea.

Me, an Angry Person? I Don't Think So.

On October 12, 2004 ten (10) Metro DC Police officers (including a second district supervisor) plus four (4) FBI agents showed up at my residence because of a letter I sent to an employer, who had contacted the police in alarm. The letter was purely factual; several prospective employers, including The Montgomery County Government, sent me a cordial reply to a nearly identical letter. So damaging was the defamation to which I was subjected that the police were convinced I must have been insane to have written such a letter. The police had me transported to DC General Hospital in handcuffs for an emergency psychiatric examination. I was interviewed by a Dr. Martin at DC General (202 673 9319) (ECURA #224623) who determined that I did not require admission. I was released; no medication was administered, prescribed or recommended.

I think my response to the police action in October 2004 is critical to understanding my nature, particularly the notion that some people seem to have that I am an angry person. Some people claim I am an angry person, a person whose anger could spill over into physicality. I have to disagree. For me anger is a purely intellectual phenomenon. I do not have a propensity to violence; in fact, I rarely get into shouting matches with people.

Interestingly, during the summer of 2009, a Harvard University Professor (Henry Louis Gates) became belligerent when he was confronted by the police at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To the best of my knowledge Professor Gates has not been diagnosed with a severe mental disorder or ever been determined by an employer to have been potentially violent or homicidal. What's interesting is that I have been diagnosed with severe mental illness; I've been unemployed for the least 18 years because, supposedly, I suffer from severe mental illness; and my previous employer said I was potentially violent (and my direct supervisor said she feared I might kill her!).

What's intriguing is that in the last 18 years I have had numerous interactions with the Police and federal law enforcement. Unlike the totally sane Professor Gates (who was arrested for belligerent behavior toward the Police), I have never acted in an irrational, belligerent manner with the police or any federal law enforcement officer.

Am I an angry person? Well, in a sense, yes. On an intellectual level I resent the wrongs I have suffered by my former employer. But I am not a violent or belligerent person. I operate on a purely verbal level--with words: sane, rational argumentation. I use the tools I was taught to use as a lawyer.

I think what's particularly revealing is the following "Letter to Brian" dated October 18, 2004. I wrote the letter about one week after the police handcuffed me and hauled me off to D.C. General for a forensic psychiatric evaluation. The letter is good-humored. Apparently, the police action appealed to my sense of grandiosity. I believed at the time that the police raid would help me prove that I had suffered a civil rights violation as a result of the wrongful acts of my former employer. I seem to have thought that the police action would lead to fame and wealth! In the letter I equate my transport to D.C. General for a forensic psychiatric exam with a "bad night at the theater." Hardly the comparison of an angry person! I saw myself as an actor playing a role, no more.

Here is what I wrote. Feel free to scrutinize the letter for any signs of anger against the D.C. Police or authority in general:

A Tempest Without Miranda


October 18, 2004

Hey, buddy. "How now? Moody?"

October 12, 2004. Columbus Day. A day for visionary mariners sailing on voyages of discovery aboard wood-framed caravels. A day for innovative seekers of distant marvels, of abiding fame and expansive riches. A day of triumph for self-possessed risk-takers. Columbus followed a map of possibilities, routes taken, neglected, and cut fresh -- always careful to avoid shark-infested waters. I identify with Columbus. Perhaps you don't, my friend. One need not accept the identification to value the discovery.

And what did you do on Columbus Day, Brian?

I spent the day at the theater. I saw a performance of -- ironically -- "The Tempest," speaking metaphorically, of course. "The Tempest" was the last entire play that Shakespeare wrote before he left London to lead the life of a man of property in Stratford. Do you know it, Brian? "The Tempest?" I know it intimately. The play commences with a frightful storm at sea: at least a category 3 or 4 on the meteorological scale. On the F-scale the opening storm is off the charts.

Act I, Scene 1: "[A ship at sea.] A tempestuous noise of thunder and lightening heard. Enter a Shipmate and a Boatswain [without warrants, I might add]." As the scene ends, the ship seems about to sink and all fear they are lost.

The audience appeared to be terrified. I sat there thinking, "No, this is the way it's supposed to go. This is what Shakespeare wrote. This is how the play begins." My curiosity was only aroused in Scene II. [The island. Before Prospero's cell]. It's the scene where Miranda makes her entrance. She never appeared. I thought, "This is odd. All these actors, traipsing about -- from two theater companies, no less (four players from a national touring troupe and ten players from a local company: fourteen in all)." I thought: "Where's Miranda? Where IS Miranda?" Well, in point of fact, Miranda never did appear. Her part had been excised from this production. Watered down Shakespeare, I suppose you'd call it.

All in all, the production was a grim affair, frightfully tedious. There was a special irony to the line: "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows." Yes, there were many strange bedfellows in that production. In any event, it was a night out. And I got a free ride to the theater! Someone said to me, "How did you survive the ordeal?" "Will Power," I replied.

To tell you the truth, I could hardly wait for the denouement -- the final lines. The Epilogue, spoken by Prospero. You must remember this. "Now 'tis true I must be here confined by you, or sent home. Let me not, since I have my own home got, dwell in this bare island in Southeast by your spell; But release me from my bands with the help of your good hands. Gentle breath of yours my sails must fill, or else my project fails, which was to please. Now I want spirits to enforce, art to enchant; and my ending is despair unless I be relieved by prayer, which pierces so that it assaults mercy itself and frees all faults. As you from crimes would pardoned be, let your indulgence set me free."

And so Prospero was set free, as even I was set free -- Thank God!

Shakespeare. Poets and playwrights (like letter writers who send red flags up the mast) may often write things they do not feel, but they rarely feel things that they do not, sooner or later, write. The absence of one emotion in Shakespeare, the undue intensity of another are powerful indicators of a mind and a man at work.

People say to me, "You had a horrific time at the theater the other night. Yet you seem emotionally unaffected by the experience." That's true. Attendance at one performance of "The Tempest" does not a life make. My emotional investment remains tied up with the Campaign. The Campaign's the thing -- everything else is just commentary. Shakespeare himself lived through far worse. Against the old notion of an expansive Elizabethan culture connected by the open English road, Shakespeare drew a portrait of a society nearly Soviet, or perhaps South American, in its paranoias, public persecutions, and sudden assaults on free expression and personal freedom. For Shakespeare, as for me, a bad night at the theater is just a bad night at the theater. "It's not the worst so long as you can say, 'This is the worst.'"

There are many points of comparison between Shakespeare and me. In some ways we are similar: in other ways, not. One tenet that Shakespeare lived by was that it was insane to throw your life away on a principle of faith. That's a lesson I never learned. My whole campaign -- the last thirteen years of my life, in fact -- bears testimony to that. As Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt points out, among the vast array of human types that Shakespeare drew -- prostitutes and sorcerers, pickpockets and Egyptian queens -- the only one he never attempted a sympathetic portrait of is the saint-fanatic, the visionary religious. Shakespeare could write "The Tempest," but he would never have written a play about Gandhi with a title like "Monsoon for the Mahatma."

It makes sense if you imagine both Shakespeare and me not as men running away to seek fortune but as already experienced players, trying to resume an interrupted career. I would like to get back to work. I would like to resume my career.

All Shakespeare's tragic heroes -- Othello, Macbeth, Lear, even Hamlet -- have plenty of courage; what they lack is prudence and judgment. Sound familiar, buddy? Prudence and judgment are two qualities that I lack as well. Unlike Richard Nixon's, my tragedy is more Shakespearean than Biblical. Nixon's life drama, in Len Garment's view, was that of a man who sinned, suffered, died, and rose again. The career of Richard Nixon was a set of variations on the same theme. As Shakespeare put it: "What's past is prologue." (By the way, Brian, what's your stand on the Log Cabin Republicans? Are you pro-Log or anti-Log?)

A Nixonian realist I'm not. I, like Shakespeare's heroes, never seemed to have learned what conviction coupled with a lack of realism (or sound legal advice) can get you. My life drama is that of a man who never sinned (what a pity!), but suffered the obloquy of his peers, and, in trying to extricate himself from a lifelong fate-neurosis, dug himself into ever-deeper holes. I have lived the last thirteen years as a tragic Falstaff-like epistolarian (if that can be imagined), but without a Master Ford to offer pardon. At times I play the cunning fool, and, at others, I appear to be an unbalanced mountebank.

Can anyone understand me in my totality? I have certain abilities, yes. I have managed, as few have done since, to play a perfect "psychotic -- functional -- hopeless fool" trifecta. I am a hustler and an egotist; a deluded and dysfunctional mental patient (when I need to be); and a naive fool. But I play these roles to my advantage, hoping someday for the big payoff; hoping (speaking metaphorically) to someday sight land -- a "brave, new world" at the edge of a desolate horizon.

Perhaps I, too, like Shakespeare, will prosper -- truly prosper -- some day, and leave the capital for a country estate. In his rent-controlled apartment in London Shakespeare had prospered. He had invested his money wisely, bought the best house in Stratford, and, as he sat down to write "The Tempest," was looking forward to taking his ease in his garden at New Place where he might contemplate his London successes and write a bit when it suited him. Life could be calm and serene.

Dennis Race probably thought I was rather naive and guileless and that he could take advantage of me. He will discover, if he hasn't already, that the naive young outsider he last saw thirteen years ago was just as ambitious as any Akin Gump associate (or partner, even), and far more able and adaptable in certain situations.

Yes, everything always leads back to The Termination: my job termination back in 1991. It was the crushing and transforming blow to my life. My life since has been a new version of an old revenge play. The knot of griefs and obsessions that entangle me emotionally find expression and discharge in "walking the boards" (i.e., acting), avoiding boredom, writing and, of course, the theater. Theater is my religion, both in the sense that it is what I care most about and in the sense that the ritual of theater is the only available substitute for the utter vacuity of my outer life.

In my revenge play I have feigned madness. I have waited for years, acting like an idiot, until the moment is right for me to strike and claim my rightful station as a victim of a Federal civil rights violation. My show of madness is not just superfluous but truly self-destructive -- it does nothing but draw suspicious attention to me. Yes, I acknowledge that. But my hope is that someday attention will be paid to my supporting cast: the entire troupe and company of players without which my play would not exist. Attention must be paid.

People say to me: "But what is your motive? Why do you do it? Why do you persist in acting this role? Why do you continue with this play?"

A motive? What is my motive? In all honesty, I have replaced the clear exposition of motive with a kind of chattering, compulsive, image-chasing interior monologue of dreads and desires. These letters are part of my interior monologue, an interior monologue made public. Letters are my substitute for soliloquy. And you, my friend, are my Horatio.

My handling of "motive" is what distinguishes my theater from conventional theater. In conventional theater, the motives of each of the key characters are perfectly clear. Their behavior is as transparently motivated as that of people in melodramas. What I have done is to eliminate the motive in ways that make a mess of the story, and allows it to become something more than a story. My characters have drives that are rooted in who they are, not motives generated by plot. "Why would the managers of Akin Gump put you under surveillance?" asks The Mad Monk. "What would possess them to gain unlawful access to your apartment and videotape its contents?" she queries. "What you know you know," I say to The Mad Monk, and there is no more I can say.

The compulsive nature of my behavior allows for both black comedy -- Dennis Race can be mocked (like Lear) because his behavior is ridiculous in a way that Oedipus' is not -- and human sympathy; we feel sorry for Dennis Race (as we do for Lear) in a way that we never feel sorry for Oedipus. Do you remember your "King Lear?" He had three daughters: Cordelia, who was faithful and sincere -- as well as the two British bitches, Goneril and Regan. Cordelia remained silent at the termination meeting in Act I, and Lear misread her. The old king was conned by Goneril and Regan, who eventually destroyed him; more precisely, Lear's credulity brought about his own downfall. Poor old Lear. In my theater, as in Shakespeare's, the plot deepens and darkens in ways that no one could ever have imagined at first.

In my tragedy, it didn't have to happen; a decision not to terminate my employment was one telephone call or timely doubt or conversation away. By canceling out the ordinary neatness of narrative explanation, I do not merely mystify my people; I humanize them. We know my characters the way we know real people -- not as illustrations of some principle, or as exemplary remote figures who have "desires" and "arcs" of success and failure, but as compulsion machines capable of charm. And I certainly do charm you, buddy, don't I?

There is not, of course, a formula that can be universally applied; if it could, every melodrama could become Shakespearean just by muddying up the plot. President Nixon, for example -- at least according to Len Garment -- remained fundamentally Biblical rather than Shakespearean. Nixon muddied up the plot, all right, but only for about eighteen-and-half minutes: a brief interlude in a lengthy history play.

As Glickman put it: "The questions forced on every screenwriter -- where is the character's motive? what does he 'want?' -- are exactly the questions Shakespeare ignored. (When Hollywood melodrama does touch the edge of the tragic, it is nearly always through the removal of motive. Why does Michael ruin his own values and dearest hopes by shooting the policeman and Sollozzo? Why does Gittes pursue Noah? All that keeps 'Citizen Kane' from tragedy is Rosebud.) With Shakespeare, the inner life is no longer a condition of narrative but one of existence. They are, therefore they think." Smart guy, that Glickman.

Fundamentally, I -- like Shakespeare -- am an instinctive liberal humanist, capable of empathy, because, in a world of sharks, I can imagine what it feels like to be sharked, and I know how to bracket experience -- to ask, What is it like for "them?"

I hope that law enforcement has learned something from "The Tempest." Drama can seem, can even be, incredibly potent art -- very big stuff, the work of magi and majesties, reanimating the past and restoring losses. But in the end it is just rough magic -- show business, the craft of the conjurer and the juggler and the player, making shadows in candlelight. At the theater the other night, I asked James Brown [James Brown was the intake employee at D.C. General on October 12, 2004] (yes, Brian, THE James Brown): "How do you know I'm not just a scam artist, a con artist pulling a hustle? Maybe I'm just acting." James Brown said to me: "That's what we're here to find out." I wonder if the audience ever did get the plot of "The Tempest": a peculiar and motiveless play of the tragic and the absurd, the latest (is it the last?) play in a canon of thirteen years duration. Yes, I wonder.

In the end, who am I? I am a connoisseur of comedy, a free flowing natural who will do anything for a joke or a pun, and whom life and ability bend toward tragedy. I have evolved a matchless all-sidedness and negative capability, which can probe two ideas at once and never quite come down on the "side" of either: I am a man in whom a temperamental timidity and caution has blossomed artistically into the nearest thing we have to permanent disability benefits.

My normalcy is not philistine or easy -- in my play, people lose jobs, library privileges, minds, and lawsuits -- and it entails a conservative obeisance to the common order: I believe in the Metro DC Police, the FBI, bosses, authority. But I do not believe "too much" in those things, and in this lies the beginning of sanity.

My Campaign? How is that going? It goes, it goes.

On Saturday I received a reply to a letter dated October 12, 2004 that I wrote to the Office of Human Resources of Montgomery County, Maryland. Yes, I'm serious. The government of Montgomery County actually replied to THE letter that aroused such a tempestuous response from the Metro DC Police. Not only did they send me a response, they also sent me a photocopy of my letter (they kept the original), and stamped my letter "RECEIVED -- HUMAN RESOURCES -- '04 OCT 13 A10:47." They also sent me a copy of information from their website on employment opportunities in Montgomery Country. The letter reads: "October 14, 2004. Dear Applicant: Enclosed you will find the resume/application that you submitted to the Office of Human Resources. We are returning this resume/application because you must apply for a specific position. In order to be considered for employment with Montgomery County Government, you must apply for an announced position. Information pertaining to current employment opportunities is available on our website at - click on "careers" We appreciate your interest in Montgomery County and wish you continued success in your employment endeavors. Sincerely, Office of Human Resources, Montgomery County Government" (unsigned) (Joseph Adler, Director, telephone 240 777 5000). An important piece of documentary evidence, don't you think, Brian?

I've been asked to remove myself from the Campaign. I will not back down. I am still a candidate for a Federal civil rights violation. I will continue to run. This isn't 1972. Remember that campaign? The Senator Tom Eagleton affair. The press disclosed that George McGovern's running mate, Tom Eagleton, had been treated for depression -- The Black Dog -- and had received electroshock therapy. Well, as I say, this isn't 1972. Yes, "I am a depressed American." But I'm out and proud. We depressed Americans are no longer consigned to closet space. We are just like the rest of Americans. We are the leaders of society. We are people like Mike ("Cuff 'im") Wallace of CBS NEWS, who is a depressed American. We are Patty Duke, former President of the Screen Actors Guild, a bi-polar American. (Coincidentally, both Patty Duke and I were treated by the same psychiatrist: Jay D. Amsterdam, M.D., a psychopharmacologist affiliated with The University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia).

Yes, I will modify my campaign, but it will continue. I plan to visit government offices personally, with a collection of documents in toe: the U.S. Social Security Administration, The EEOC, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the D.C. Office of Human Rights, the office of Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton. I will continue to fight the fight.

I was recently asked at a press conference about a statement I made several weeks ago. A reporter said: "Mr. Freedman, you stated that you formed a belief in the year 1992, during the summer of that year, while you were on extended unemployment benefits, you formed a belief that Dennis Race became very angry about your action of including his name and telephone number in employment inquiries to prospective employers. Is there any documentary evidence that would point directly or circumstantially to the fact that you actually did put Dennis Race's name on employment inquiries, or that you formed a belief that Dennis Race was angered by your action?" Yes, I was asked that question. Let me respond to that in this forum.

Yes, as a matter of fact, there is a contemporaneous document that talks about my putting Dennis Race's name on employment applications in the summer of 1992, when I was receiving extended unemployment benefits. The document is page 17 of the document submission I made on June 14, 1993 to Paul Yessler, M.D., the U.S. Social Security Administration psychiatric consultant who evaluated me for disability benefits in June 1993. The letter is part of my Social Security disability file; indeed, it is part of my original disability claim from 1993.

The letter is a fax I sent to my sister that reads:

I have been sending out resumes to prospective employers.

My last place of employment was Akin Gump. There's always a chance that a prospective employer will, on his own initiative, contact Akin Gump. In all likelihood, the prospective employer would wish to speak to the legal assistant administrator or another supervisory employee.

My termination from Akin Gump was unlawful, and resulted in part from the knowingly
false and malicious statements made by the legal assistant administrator and other supervisory employees to management. Further, there is reason to believe that it was supervisory employees who, for three and one-half years, helped to instigate a course of harassment and helped to instigate malicious and defamatory rumors. Further there is evidence that this harassing conduct by supervisory employees did not end with the termination of my employment with Akin Gump, but continued on for months afterwards by use of the telephone for harassment purposes and not for legitimate business purposes.

In order to protect the firm and in mitigation of my own damages I have indicated on the cover letter that if there are to be any contacts they are to be with Dennis Race. (I know that Dennis Race will act responsibly in relation to third parties.) This may help prevent any further unlawful behavior by the legal assistant administrator or other supervisory employees, which would only compound the firm's legal liability.

I hope Dennis Race and the management of the firm understand and appreciate this course of action, which, unfortunately, is unavoidable in a case such as this. What do you do in a case like this, do you have any suggestions?


The letter is pure campaign B.S. I had put Dennis Race's name on the letter so that he would be getting calls that he would find annoying. The reason I wrote the above letter to my sister is that you, Brian, and Debra were acting out so wildly in the library ("I want my name taken off that letter. I want my name taken off that letter!") that I knew there were some real storms brewing at the firm about my letter writing campaign, back in the summer of 1992. There is an old French expression, "Qui s'excuse, s'accuse." He who excuses himself, accuses himself. Why did I find it necessary to explain my actions to my sister, if I was not feeling defensive about my behavior? Why was I feeling defensive about my behavior? I was picking up strong signals at Cleveland Park Library that you knew exactly what was going on at the firm. And I believed that my sister was faxing my letters back to the firm. Hence, the above letter. I faxed the above letter to my sister in the hope (or belief) that she would fax the letter to Akin Gump.

Check you out next week, buddy. Piece of advice: always leave a paper trail (or try to generate one, -- The Montgomery County Government can be very helpful in that regard.)

P.S. If you're ever in Bombay, never yell "Monsoon!" in a crowded theater. It gets the locals nervous as hell.


Is this the letter of a potentially violent, angry person? I think not. This is the letter of a person who lives in a world of words, verbal images, and turns of phrase. It is the letter of a person who faces reality grimly, accepts the limitations imposed by society on the individual's right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. But it is also the letter of someone who understands the right of any person to protest his situation by any lawful means. I ask you: whose response to the police was more sane: My response -- or that of Professor Henry Louis Gates, the sane Harvard professor who was arrested for belligerent behavior?

And, by the way, can you believe the Federal Government pays me to write this crap?

U.S. Dept. of Justice: A Nonresponsive Reply

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section-NYA
950 Pennsylvania Aveniue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

DJ: 204-16-0

September 22, 2009

Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

RE: D.C. Police

Dear Mr. Freedman:

We have received your letter dated 7/7/09, which indicates that you have filed a complaint with a court or government agency. Because you have filed your complaint appropriately, this office will take no further action regarding your letter.


Cee Cee Allaway
Director, Complaint
Intake & Adjudication

The Justice Department reply is nonresponsive to my letter. I did not indicate in my letter that there is a pending court or agency case. I advised the Justice Department that I was a victim of a continuing civil rights violation, and transmitted a copy of a letter to former D.C. Police Chief, Charles Ramsey.

Here is the cover letter I sent to the Justice Department (dated June 24, 2009):

June 24, 2009
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Apartment 136
Washington, DC 20008
(202) xxx xxxx

John L. Wodatch
Chief Disability Rights Section – NYA
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530

RE: Federal Civil Rights Violation – Disability Discrimination

Dear Mr. Wodatch:

I am a disabled American. I am writing to request that your office review and refer for appropriate action the federal civil rights violation described in the attached letter addressed to former District of Columbia Chief of Police, Charles Ramsey.

I am a victim of a federal civil rights violation, based on my status as a disabled American. I am unable to apply for employment because of intimidation by the Metropolitan Police of the District of Columbia (MPDC). I risk arrest or commitment to a mental hospital if I file an employment application with a prospective employer and invoke my rights as a disabled American.

The Social Security Administration determined that I became disabled and not suitable for employment effective October 29, 1991 (the date of my job termination), in part, based on evidence that I evoke fears that I am potentially violent and homicidal. There is substantial evidence that that evidence is unreliable. My Social Security number is xxx-xx-xxxx.

The right to seek employment is a fundamental liberty interest guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States; the denial of, or interference with, that right constitutes a federal civil rights violation. See Doe v. Bredesen, U.S. Dist. Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, at Nashville: "Right to Seek Employment . . . While no Supreme Court decision has expressly found the right to work, or at least the right to pursue employment, to be a fundamental right, it can hardly be concluded otherwise."

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Gary Freedman

I sent a similar letter to D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton. Representive Norton's reply was also nonresponsive.

The following is the above-referenced letter to former D.C. Police Chief, Charles Ramsey together with an email message I received from former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, Esq., who is now an attorney in private practice. I asked Mr. Thornburgh if he would represent me in a civil rights lawsuit. Apparently, Mr. Thornburgh did not believe that my claim was frivolous.

Dear Mr. Freedman:

Thank you for your inquiry. Upon review of this matter, I find that we are not equipped to handle your case on a pro bono basis.


Dick Thornburgh

Dick Thornburgh
K&L Gates LLP
1601 K Street, N.W.
7th Floor
Washington, DC 20006-1600
Phone: 202-778-9080
Fax: 202-778-9100
November 2, 2004
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Apartment 136
Washington, DC 20008

The Honorable Charles Ramsey
Chief of Police
300 Indiana Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

RE: Mental Disability -- Discrimination -- Police/FBI

Dear Chief Ramsey:

I am writing to you, Chief Ramsey, to apprise the Office of Chief of Police of a serious police matter that arose in the second district on October 12, 2004. Underlying the police matter is an issue of discrimination involving the DC Office of Corporation Counsel.

I forwarded a letter to the Washington Field Office of the FBI concerning the following matter on October 23, 2004.

I have been unemployed and disabled under U.S. Social Security Administration eligibility rules since October 29, 1991. My Social Security no. is xxx xx xxxx.

I am a patient of the DC Department of Mental Health (Patient no. xxxxxx). I receive psychotropic medications from the DC Department of Mental Health.

I was employed as a paralegal at the Washington, DC law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld until October 29, 1991. Dennis M. Race, Esq. (202 887 4028), a senior management partner, terminated my employment upon determining in consultation with a psychiatrist (who did not examine me personally) that there were reasonable concerns about my mental health and stability that rendered me unsuitable for employment. Freedman v. DC Dept. of Human Rights, 96-CV-961 (DCCA, Sept. 1998). The fact that I had received "above average or outstanding" job performance ratings during my three-and-one-half-year tenure was not disputed; also undisputed was the fact that my personnel file contained no record of reprimands, oral or written.

SSA granted my claim for benefits (in August 1993) in part based on Mr. Race's sworn interrogatory responses filed with the DC Dept. of Human Rights (in May 1992); SSA's disability determination date, October 29, 1991, was the date of job termination.

There is substantial evidence that Mr. Race's interrogatory responses were perjured; that Mr. Race did not in fact consult with the psychiatrist, Gertrude R. Ticho, MD [now deceased], a physician licensed to practice in the District of Columbia. See Brief of Appellant, 96-CV-961. Additionally, I possess tape recordings of two telephone conversations in which Dr. Ticho denies any contacts or acquaintance with Dennis M. Race. Officer J.E. Williams, Badge 1226, Second District, Metro DC Police is in possession of copies of those conversations (202 282 0070).

I was seriously defamed by Mr. Race, my supervisor, a coworker (who was subsequently terminated for gross misconduct), and the DC Office of Corporation Counsel. In the past several months I have been sending out job inquiries to employers, which summarize allegations made against me by the above-named parties. On October 12, 2004 ten (10) Metro DC Police officers (including a second district supervisor) plus four (4) FBI agents showed up at my residence because of a letter I sent to an employer, who had contacted the police in alarm. The letter was purely factual; several prospective employers, including The Montgomery County Government, sent me a cordial reply to a nearly identical letter. So damaging was the defamation to which I was subjected that the police were convinced I must be insane to have written such a letter. The police had me transported to DC General Hospital in handcuffs for an emergency psychiatric examination. I was interviewed by a Dr. Martin at DC General (202 673 9319) (ECURA #224623) who determined that I did not require admission. I was released; no medication was administered, prescribed or recommended. Of course, the incident bolsters my Social Security disability claim. I have already received in excess of $100,000 in benefits.

The defamatory allegations about my character that arose at my last place of employment, which I have a legal duty to report to a prospective employer, may impose a constitutionally-impermissible burden on my ability to obtain employment. The allegations, made at my last place of employment, were presumably a substantial factor in SSA's disability determination. Despite the fact that the allegations were made at least 13 years ago, they remain material to my difficulties in my last employment situation.

Facts about my psychiatric treatment history since 1992 are peculiar, if not bizarre:

1. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in September 1992 as an outpatient at The George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry (Napoleon Cuenco, MD). The illness did not respond to lithium, and later underwent spontaneous remission.

2. I underwent comprehensive psychological testing at GW in May 1994 (William Fabian, Ph.D.). The testing did not yield a psychiatric diagnosis or disclose any psychotic thought processes. The testing yielded a valid profile. I was not on any meds at the time. The WAIS yielded a verbal IQ of 135 (99th percentile) and an overall IQ of 125 (above average).

3. In February 1996 I was diagnosed at GW (Dimitrios Georgopoulos, MD) with paranoid schizophrenia that later underwent spontaneous remission.

4. In March 1996 I took a psychological test called "The Wisconsin Scales of Psychosis Proneness" (Ramin Mojtabai, MD). Results were negative. I scored six non-perseverative errors -- one of the lowest possible scores, indicating high concept-formation ability. I was not on any meds at the time.


5. In July 1996 I entered the DC Dept. of Mental Health System. In January 1998 my psychiatrist, Dr. Singh (a resident) determined in consultation with his supervisor (Stephen Quint, MD) that I suffered from no diagnosis or condition for which meds were indicated.

6. In February 1999 Albert H. Taub, MD diagnosed me with paranoid schizophrenia, which later underwent spontaneous remission. I was later diagnosed with delusional disorder. That portion of my thinking termed delusional has not responded to three different antipsychotic meds: Zyprexa, Abilify, and Risperdal. I currently take Effexor for depression and Xanax for insomnia.

7. On March 16-17 2004 I had a minor bout of paranoid schizophrenia, so-called "24-hour" paranoid schizophrenia, diagnosed by Betsy Jane Cooper, MD. My treatment plan prepared on March 17, 2004 by my case manager/therapist, Dr. Israella Bash, records that Dr. Cooper diagnosed me with paranoid schizophrenia on March 17, 2004; Dr. Cooper prescribed Zyprexa on March 17, 2004, which I took for about a month. There was no change in my delusional thinking. My current diagnosis is delusional disorder. Again, Dr. Martin at DC General recommended no anti-psychotic meds during my emergency psychiatric assessment on October 12, 2004; I was not agitated on October 12, 2004--my blood pressure was normal, 130/85.

I am totally socially isolated. I have no friends. I haven't spoken to my only relative, an older sister, since February 1996.

I have created an imaginary friend who I write letters to periodically, Brian Patrick Brown, manager of the Cleveland Park Branch of the DC Library System. The enclosed disc contains some of my recent letters to Brian.

I like Brian a lot, and would welcome him as a real friend. How I wish I could be Brian's real buddy!

My therapist, Dr. Bash (DC Dept. of Mental Health) is at 202 576 8939. My psychiatrist, Henry Barbot, MD, is at 202 576 8946.

Thank you. The U.S. Attorney's Office in DC (202 514 7566) is familiar with this matter.

In closing, this will respectfully advise the Office of Chief of Police that I have a constitutionally-protected right to seek employment. Also, in order to invoke my rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act I must fully apprise a prospective employer of facts concerning my disability, including allegations (however defamatory) placed in controversy by Dennis M. Race, Esq., his employees, and the DC Office of Corporation Counsel. State action that impairs my right to seek employment or my right to protections under federal law may be legally actionable.


Gary Freedman



Dear Applicant:

Enclosed you will find the resume/application that you submitted to the Office of Human Resources. We are returning this resume/application because you must apply for a specific position.

In order to be considered for employment with Montgomery County Government, you must apply for an announced position. Information pertaining to current employment opportunities is available on our website at - click on careers.

We appreciate your interest in Montgomery County and wish you continued success in your employment endeavors.


Office of Human Resources
Montgomery County Government



[The following letter is stamped by the Montgomery County Government: RECEIVED - HUMAN RESOURCES - 04 OCT 13 A10:47 - MONTGOMERY COUNTY GOVERNMENT]

October 12, 2004
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Office of Human Resources
101 Monroe Street
7th Floor
Rockville, MD 20850


Dear Sir:

I am writing to you at the express direction of the Metropolitan District of Columbia Police Department (Officer J.E. Williams, Badge 1226, Second District, Washington, DC: 202 282 0070) that I actively seek employment consistent with my high intelligence as well as my professional and academic credentials.

I am specifically interested in the position of senior legislative attorney for the Montgomery County Council. I am an attorney, licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I hold an advanced degree (Master of Laws) in international trade law.

I am a disabled American, and I qualify for the legal protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I believe I have a legal duty to apprise you, as a prospective employer, of the following matters.

1. TERRORISTIC THREATS: On April 21, 2004 the Metro DC Police issued a protective order against me, on the petition of Brian Patrick Brown, Manager of the Cleveland Park Branch of the DC Public Library. Brian Brown alleged that I had made terrorist threats, in writing, against unspecified persons. The six-month order of protection prohibits my entering or loitering in the vicinity of said library, under penalty of arrest and prosecution. The investigating officer was the aforementioned Officer Williams. This will advise that at this time I continue to satisfy the prognostic criteria that were determined by the Metro DC Police in April 2004 to indicate that I am at significant risk of committing a crime of violence or arousing a reasonable apprehension of committing a crime of violence. It is likely that I will satisfy said criteria for committing a crime of violence or arousing a reasonable apprehension of same in the future event I obtain employment with The Montgomery County Council. On April 21, 2004 Officer Williams stated to me: "You seem OK to me right now, but what I'm worried about is what's going to happen a few days from now." Obviously, my future conduct was a substantial concern to the Metro DC Police. [Note that if I had made an actual threat I would have been arrested or transported to DC General Hospital for a forensic psychiatric examination. It is clear that what the MPDC did was to simply rubber-stamp a specious request made by a supervisory DC employee.]

2. VIOLENCE-RISK DETERMINATION: My former employer, Dennis M. Race, Esq. (202 887 4028), a senior management partner at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, determined, in consultation with a psychiatrist, that my thinking was consistent with a psychiatric "disorder" that might be associated with a risk of violent behavior. See Freedman v. DC Dept. of Human Rights, 96-CV-961 (DCCA, Sept. 1998). [The psychiatrist did not evaluate me personally. There is no documentary evidence that Mr. Race, in fact, consulted a psychiatrist. Under applicable law, the employer had a burden of production, not a burden of persuasion -- a very low evidentiary threshold.] Mr. Race determined that my continued presence on the firm's premises might pose a risk of tort liability for the firm, and terminated my employment effective October 29, 1991. I have been unemployed and disabled under Social Security Administration eligibility rules since the date of the termination. My thinking, upon which Mr. Race's violence-risk determination was based, remains unchanged.

3. HOMICIDE-RISK DETERMINATION: Shortly after conferring with Mr. Race about his forensic psychiatric determination, my supervisor called a meeting of her employees to advise them that she had formed a reasonable apprehension that I might have been planning to kill her [an act of defamation]. The supervisor undertook [self-serving] protective measures [to give the appearance that she needed] to ensure her safety as well as that of her employees against a possible future homicidal assault. See Brief of Appellant. Mr. Race did not challenge appellant's brief. The supervisor was a senior non-attorney manager who reported directly to a member of the firm's management committee, R. Bruce MacLean, Esq. Mr. MacLean is the firm's current managing partner.

4. ARMED, MASS HOMICIDAL ASSAULT: The DC Corporation Counsel determined, sua sponte [relying on legally-irrelevant, "after-acquired" evidence], that my coworkers had formed genuine and credible fears that I might carry out an armed, mass homicidal assault on the firm's premises, and that said widespread fears of an armed, mass homicide were material to Mr. Race's termination decision. See Brief of Appellee, District of Columbia (citing statement of coworker [who was later terminated for gross misconduct] in record on appeal: "We're all afraid of you. We're all afraid you're going to buy a gun, bring it in and shoot everybody!"). At oral argument before the DC Court of Appeals, the Assistant Corporation Counsel declared to the Court, referencing the above record evidence, that I had "admitted" that my "coworkers were afraid of" me. Mr. Race did not challenge the District's handling of 96-CV-961.

5. MULTIPLE ARMED HOMICIDE UNDER FEDERAL LAW: On the evening of August 6, 1998 two Special Agents of the US Capitol Police (Threat Investigation Unit) forcibly entered my home, after frisking me for weapons, and proceeded to interrogate me about an allegation made by a DC employee that, earlier in the day, at the height of an enraged argument, I had threatened to kill two federal officers at point-blank range, execution style in the Capitol rotunda. Later investigation by Agent Steven Horan disclosed that said allegation was mistakenly based on a letter I had written to my psychiatrist (Stephen Quint, MD) and copied to a DC agency that factually summarized Mr. Race's violence-risk determination [an act of defamation]; my supervisor's homicide-risk determination [an act of defamation]; as well as the DC Corporation Counsel's determination that my coworkers had formed a reasonable apprehension that I might commit an armed, mass homicide [an act of defamation]. Though I was exonerated of making unlawful threats, Officer Horan photo ID'd me to all federal officers assigned to the U.S. Capitol Building as a protective measure.

6. POTENTIAL TERRORIST: On August 7, 1998 Agent Horan advised me that the federal government (unbeknownst to me) had previously placed my name on a national registry of potential terrorists because of a letter I had written in 1996 to a local psychiatric facility (The Meyer Clinic), inquiring into out-patient services. Said letter elaborated Mr. Race's violence-risk determination [an act of defamation] as well as my supervisor's homicide-risk determination [an act of defamation].

7. PRESIDENTIAL THREAT: On the afternoon of August 7, 1998 two Special Agents of the U.S. Secret Service placed me under house arrest because of concerns I might pose a risk of harm to President Clinton. The two Secret Service agents were part of a team of six federal special agents who had been assigned to interrogate me and secure my person, over a two-day period (August 6-7, 1998). Federal law enforcement concerns were aroused by a letter I had written and sent to a DC agency that discussed the federal civil rights implications of the DC Corporation Counsel's handling of 96-CV-961. I had sent an identical letter to U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R.-PA.) on Capitol Hill, who responded with a cordial and personalized reply. Senator Specter, a former prosecutor, saw absolutely nothing threatening about the letter I had written, much less did he see the need to assign six federal special agents to interrogate me and secure my person.

8. POSSIBLE DOCUMENT FORGERY: The District speculates that I might have filed an inauthentic letter with a DC agency (purportedly written by a psychiatrist) in order to invidiously deny competent forensic psychiatric evidence proffered by Mr. Race under oath that showed I had been reasonably determined to be potentially violent. Presumably, according to the District [contrary to well-established case law], I might have forged a psychiatrist's signature and/or fabricated her letterhead. The U.S. Attorney's Office in DC has not yet issued me a notice of an intent to prosecute me.

9. UNLAWFUL SEXUAL THOUGHTS: The DC Corporation Counsel determined, sua sponte [relying on legally-irrelevant, "after-acquired" evidence], that private, undisclosed sexual thoughts I experienced on April 13, 1990 concerning the activity of masturbation were material to Mr. Race's termination decision as well as to Mr. Race's violence-risk determination. Mr. Race did not challenge the District's brief. I admit to having sexual thoughts in the workplace.

I look forward to hearing from you. Please send my regards to Doug Gansler, Esq. He's a bit of an attention seeker, but he knows what he's talking about.



Gary Freedman
PA ATTY ID 41032

Friday, January 29, 2010

Significant Moments: A Crucial Distinction

It is important to note the distinction between how a person reacts to a wrong or unlawful act and how he reacts to a disappointment. I can forgive a person for disappointing me. I may have difficulty forgiving someone who has committed a crime that has adversely affected me. I make the distinction between the response to a disappointment and the response to a wrong in my book, Significant Moments.

In 1995 I filed a lawsuit in the D.C. Superior Court. I lost the case, which was a disappointment. But I moved on to appeal in the D.C. Court of Appeals, where, again, the court decided against me. But I feel no lingering resentment against the D.C. Courts. I was not wronged by the courts; I was merely disappointed by the courts.

In May 1992, my former employer filed false, defamatory sworn statements about me with a District agency. I have never forgiven my former employer for that act. How can I forgive a criminal act? Surely, the state does not forgive a criminal act.

I. Response to a Wrong

As I close my eyes to recollect I can see . . .
Hermann Hesse, Demian.
. . . an image . . .
Primo Levi, The Periodic Table.
. . . rise up: where was that? Yes, I have it now:
Hermann Hesse, Demian.
I cannot remember ev'rything. I must have been . . .
Arnold Schoenberg, A Survivor From Warsaw.
. . . ten or twelve years old when my father began to take me with him on his walks, and in his conversation to reveal his views on the things of this world.
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams.
I remember only . . .
Arnold Schoenberg, A Survivor From Warsaw.
. . . that he once told me the following incident, in order to show me that I had been born into happier times than he: "When I was a young man, I was walking one Saturday along the street in the village where you were born; I was well-dressed, with a new fur cap on my head. Up comes a Christian . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams.
. . . and all of a sudden . . .
Arnold Schoenberg, A Survivor From Warsaw.
. . knocks my cap into the mud, and shouts, 'Jew, get off the pavement!'"—
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams.
“What did you do?”
Janet Malcolm, Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession.
—"I went into the street and picked up the cap," he calmly replied. That did not seem heroic on the part of the big, strong man who was leading me, a little fellow, by the hand. I contrasted this situation, which did not please me, with another, more in harmony with my sentiments--the scene in which Hannibal's father, Hamilcar Barcas, made his son swear before the household altar to take vengeance on the Romans. Ever since then Hannibal has had a place in my phantasies.
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams.
Was this child really myself? was the unuttered question behind this tale.
Tamara Deutscher, Introduction to Isaac Deutscher, The Non-Jewish Jew and Other Essays.

II. Response to a Disappointment: The following is a creative transformation of my Superior Court lawsuit in 1995-1996. Freud's speech before the Vienna Society for Psychiatry and Neurology symbolizes my appearance at a scheduling conference in D.C. Superior Court in late January 1996.

On the evening of April 21, 1896, Sigmund Freud gave a paper before his colleagues at the Society for Psychiatry and Neurology in Vienna, entitled "The Aetiology of Hysteria."
J. Moussaieff Masson, The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory.
This is the place where I shall start my great career, I daydreamed.
Arthur Rubinstein, My Young Years.
He took . . .
Mark Twain, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg.
. . . the paper . . .
David Evanier, The Man Who Refused to Watch the Academy Awards.
. . . out of his pocket, opened it, glanced at it, looked surprised and worried, and stood silent for a few moments. Then he waved his hand in a wandering and mechanical way, and made an effort or two to say something, then gave it up, despondently. Several voices cried out:
"Read it! read it! What is it?"
Mark Twain, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg.
His listeners were all experts on the twisted byways of erotic life. The great Richard von Krafft-Ebing, who had made sexual psychopathology his own, was presiding. Freud's lecture was a lively, highly skillful forensic performance. The student of hysteria, he said, is like an explorer discovering the remains of an abandoned city, with walls and columns and tablets covered with half-effaced inscriptions, he may dig them up and clean them, and then with luck the stones speak—saxa loquuntur. He expended all this rhetorical effort to persuade his incredulous listeners that they must seek the origin of hysteria in the sexual abuse of children. All eighteen cases he had treated, Freud noted, invited this conclusion. But his mixture of colorful eloquence and scientific sobriety was wasted.
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
A dozen men got up now and began to protest.
Mark Twain, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg.
The twelve men spake, and said . . .
Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews.
. . . that this farce was the work of some abandoned joker, and was an insult to the whole community.
Mark Twain, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg.
I felt as if I were going to the scaffold.
Arthur Rubinstein, My Young Years.
Afterwards they stood about in groups chattering. I heard some say: ‘It starts just as if he were out to play a carnival joke on the public.’ Others were disappointed that there had not been more hissing.
Natalie Bauer-Lechner, Recollections of Gustav Mahler.
The seduction theory in all its uncompromising sweep seems inherently implausible, only a fantasist like Fliess could have accepted and applauded it.
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
The whole thing was a bitter experience for me.
Arthur Rubinstein, My Young Years.
All his grandiose visions of future glory fell away.
Karen Armstrong, In the Beginning: A New Interpretation of Genesis.
How different was this state of affairs from Freud’s initial hopes!
Gary N. Goldsmith, Freud’s Aesthetic Response to Michelangelo’s Moses.
I have had to demolish all my castles in the air, and I am just now mastering enough courage to start rebuilding them again.
Sigmund Freud, Letter to Wilhelm Fliess.
So be it!
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine.
The lecture, he told Fliess a few days later, "had an icy reception from the donkeys and, on Krafft-Ebing's part, the odd judgment: 'It sounds like a scientific fairy tale.' And this," Freud exclaimed, "after one has shown them the solution of a thousands-years-old problem, a source of the Nile!"
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
One thing I know for certain as I think back on that night: nothing, in later years, had such an impact on my character.
Arthur Rubinstein, My Young Years.
What is astonishing is not that Freud eventually abandoned the idea, but that he adopted it in the first place.
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
It would take a good psychoanalyst to decipher my own state of mind.
Arthur Rubinstein, My Young Years.
What Freud repudiated was the seduction theory as a general explanation of how all neuroses originate. This renunciation opened a new chapter in the history of psychoanalysis. Freud . . .
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
. . . totally and refreshingly free of what Nietzsche called the spirit of revenge . . .
Harold Bloom, The Book of J.
. . . claimed to be anything but "upset, confused, weary," and wondered prophetically "whether this doubt merely represents an episode in the advance toward further discoveries?"
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
I felt neither resentment nor hatred.
Arthur Rubinstein, My Young Years.
He is a dreamer and an interpreter of dreams, which means, however paradoxically, that he is a pragmatist and a compromiser with reality.
Harold Bloom, The Book of J.
. . . an important page of my life had turned!
Arthur Rubinstein, My Young Years.

Defamation -- and the Independent-Minded, Favorite Son

The following is an excerpt from E. James Lieberman, M.D. Acts of Will: The Life and Work of Otto Rank at xxxi-xxxiv (New York: The Free Press, 1985). Otto Rank, Ph.D. was a close associate of Freud's, sometimes called Freud's favorite son. Rank's special position as Freud's favorite aroused jealousy and angry defamation from Freud's followers. Rank's independence of thought and action also aroused the ire of the close-knit group of Freud's followers, who placed a premium on loyalty to the all-powerful father-figure represented by Freud. As a general rule, the independent-minded favorite of an all-powerful father-figure will tend to arouse aggression from a cohesive group.

I draw the reader's special attention to the final paragraph of this post.

E. James Lieberman, M.D., is a retired Washington, D.C. psychiatrist, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry. Incidentally, I was a patient at GW's psychiatry department during the years 1992-1996. During that time frame, the department chairman was the late Jerry M. Wiener, M.D.: past president of the American Psychoanalytic Association and past president of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Wiener was himself an all-powerful father-figure in the department and in the world of psychiatry and psychoanalysis. Did that fact influence psychiatry residents' reactions to me and my prolific writings about psychoanalysis? I wonder.


In 1926 Otto Rank left Freud's inner circle, the "Ring" or Committee, to make his own way in Paris and New York. The departure of Freud's favorite son was promptly interpreted by Rank’s rivals as a sign of his own emotional instability, and Ernest Jones sent out word to that effect. But many American professionals including psychiatrists continued to seek out Rank for analysis and supervision.

Then, at a major conference in 1930 the eminent Dr. A.A. Brill slandered Rank before an audience, denouncing his ideas as a product of mental disturbance. Rank was dropped from the roster of the American Psychoanalytic Association; analysts who had been trained by him had to resign from the APA or be reanalyzed by an approved Freudian. Freud himself vacillated between expressions of admiration for Rank's contributions to psychoanalysis and condemnation of his maverick ideas and behavior.

To the extent that Rank expressed himself politically in these times, he opposed the fascism of Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco. Yet in 1939 Erich Fromm -- not an establishment Freudian -- published an article labeling Rank's "will therapy" as a Nazi-style totalitarian philosophy.

Upon Rank's death that same year, Ernest Jones described his late rival as a mentally sick man. In his subsequent biography of Freud, Jones relentlessly pursued this theme.

"Rank in a dramatic fashion presently to be described, and Ferenczi more gradually toward the end of his life, developed psychotic manifestations that revealed themselves in, among other ways, a turning away from Freud and his doctrines. . . .

I had known that Rank had suffered much in childhood from a strongly repressed hostility to his brother, and that this usually covered a similar attitude toward a father. This was now being unloaded on to me, and my dominant concern was how to protect Freud from the consequences. . . .

It became plain that a manic phase of his cyclothymia was gradually intensifying."

Comparing Rank with Carl Jung, Jones said, "The outstanding difference in the two cases is of course that Jung was not afflicted by any of the mental trouble that wrecked Rank and so was able to pursue an unusually fruitful and productive life." Unfortunately this testimony became widely accepted even in New York, where -- as Jones himself later admitted in a complete reversal -- Rank had a highly successful career. Reviewing the Jones work in The New York Times, critic Lionel Trilling exaggerated the falsehood, stating that Rank and Ferenczi both died insane.

In 1958 Jessie Taft's memoir Otto Rank was reviewed in the mass media. Although it effectively refuted Jones, review of her book in Time magazine and The New York Post carried on the libel: "Ernest Jones, the peppery little Welshman, was perhaps the first to realize that Rank was deeply disturbed . . . a victim of manic-depressive psychosis." Dr. Walter Alvarez, the widely syndicated medical columnist, diagnosed the adolescent Rank as "a typical schizoid or mildly schizophrenic person. . . . Like so many men of this type, who one finds in mental hospitals, he soon was feeling that he belonged to the group of heroes. . . . See what sort of a man it was who presented some of our psychiatrists and social workers with many of the weird theories of mental illness on which they now base their teachings and behavior."

Marthe Robert represents a second wave of historians who discredited Rank in Europe and America. "The practice of excessively short treatments could easily lead to charlatanism," she wrote, "especially as Rank, who was not a doctor, preferred to address 'lay' analysts and this opened the doors of the profession to all comers." Rank was a doctor -- a clinical psychologist, not a physician. And Freud was the strongest advocate for nonmedical (lay) therapists; he hoped to prevent the domination of psychoanalysis by psychiatry. In this he was thwarted by the efforts of Jones and Brill, the most powerful psychoanalysts in the English-speaking world, where analysis flourished after World War II.

Karl Menninger, perhaps the most influential American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, wrote: "The three months of analysis advocated by Otto Rank proved to be a farce for some and a tragedy for others." But Rank never advocated a fixed length of time for treatment, only that an ending be kept in focus.

Some correctives appeared in books favorable to Rank by Ira Progoff, Paul Roazen, and Ronald Clark, and articles by Jack Jones, Max Lerner, and Philip Freund. But the denunciations continue in recent psychoanalytic writings: "Clinical evidence of a narcissistic disturbance in Rank's personality can be found in the patterning of his mood swings, in his lifelong tendency of grandiose isolation, and in the quality of his object relations." The posthumous analysis suggests that Rank suffered from "a dangerous fragility in his self-representation along with a looming threat of self-fragmentation," and that "isolation and insulation from human contact was apparent throughout his life." As recently as 1983, in a biography of the late Anna Freud, who did not regard Rank as mentally ill, the author echoes Jones in citing Rank's "eventual paranoia and psychotic collapse."

Considering the duration and extent of the attack on Rank, it stands out among examples of psychoanalytic character assassination. He was demeaned in public and private, in plain words and in jargon, in professional and lay circles. It is hard to imagine a stigma greater than to be labeled mentally ill by leading authorities in psychiatry and psychoanalysis. Rank did not fight back directly: he tried to find assistance in disseminating his views but did not defend or counterattack. (I have found no mention of Ernest Jones, for example, in Rank's publications or correspondence after 1925.) The sorry result of the stigma has been the virtual disappearance of the works of Otto Rank. For a whole generation only a few hardy souls studied his books, and even fewer taught his ideas in universities and clinics.


I love this line: "It is hard to imagine a stigma greater than to be labeled mentally ill by leading authorities in psychiatry and psychoanalysis." Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D., who, according to my former employer, concluded that I was paranoid and potentially violent, was one of the most eminent psychoanalysts in the country!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Me and Boris Pasternak

Boris Pasternak: I was sent to Siberia because I won a Nobel Prize for literature, what was your crime?

Gary Freedman: I was described as being as close to the perfect employee as it is possible to find. Apparently, that was a crime.

A Psychiatric Oddity -- Or Dirty Work Afoot?

I was terminated from my job as a paralegal at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld on October 29, 1991. The firm later advised the D.C. Department of Human Rights (May 22, 1992) that it had determined, in consultation with a psychiatrist (Gertrude R. Ticho, MD), that I was not suitable for employment because of my paranoia ("ideas of reference"), a condition that might be associated with a risk of violent behavior.

I had an initial assessment at the George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry in September 1992 with Napoleon Cuenco, MD. Dr. Cuenco diagnosed me with bipolar disporder. He noted the mood-congruent psychotic features of pressured, rapid speech; loose associations; and flight of ideas. These symptoms, if present, would have been immediately apparent to any assessing psychiatrist.

Dr. Cuenco had the idea that perhaps it would be better for me to return to treatment with a psychiatrist in private practice (Stanley R. Palombo, M.D.) I had seen throughout the year 1990, rather than enter treatment at GW. Dr. Cuenco arranged for me to have a consult with Dr. Palombo. I met with Dr. Palombo at his office on the afternoon of Friday October 2, 1992. Dr. Palombo said that he would be unable to treat me at GW's billing rate of $20.00 per hour. "I do reduce my fee for certain patients, but certainly not to $20.00 per hour," Dr. Palombo said. My visit with Dr. Palombo served as an independent psychiatric assessment. During the consult Dr. Palombo said to me: "I think you are fully employable, without restriction." See letter to Dimitrios Georgopoulos, MD dated January 22, 1996, reprinted below. (Dr. Palombo's comment is memorialized at the conclusion of the letter.)

I started in psychotherapy at GW with Suzanne M. Pitts, MD in late October 1992.

Dr. Pitts prescribed lithium for bipolar disorder in early 1993.

I applied for Social Security Disability benefits in early April 1993.

Social Security determined in August 1993 that I had become disabled effective October 29, 1991, the date of my job termination.

January 22, 1996
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008-4530

D. Georgopoulos, M.D.
Dept. Psychiatry
George Washington University
Medical Center
2150 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20037

Dear Dr. Georgopoulos:

The purpose of this communication is to advise you of the current status of that portion of my belief system that has been termed paranoid by various mental health professionals at GW.

I continue to believe that I am at the center of a large communications network controlled by attorneys associated with the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, and that confidential mental health information has, since the inception of my therapy at GW in September 1992, been routinely transmitted to these attorneys, including Vernon Jordan, Esq., a close friend of President Clinton, and Robert S. Strauss, Esq., former U.S. Ambassador to Russia.

I believe that one or more of the following mental health professionals associated with the GW Department of Psychiatry has transmitted information to Akin Gump from September 1, 1992 until the present.

Stuart Sotsky, M.D.: Director of Out-Patient Care

Napoleon Cuenco, M.D.: conducted initial assessment in September 1992

Daniel Tsao, M.D.: attending physician at time of initial assessment in September 1992. I met with Dr. Tsao on May 28, 1993 to request a transfer from Dr. Pitts to another resident on the grounds of personality conflict and incompetence. Dr. Tsao declined to transfer, citing departmental protocol.

Suzanne M. Pitts, M.D.: treating psychiatrist (resident) during period October 1992 - June 1994. Dr. Pitts consistently maintained that Akin Gump's decision to terminate my employment was justified in view of the severe nature of my illness. She consistently maintained with utter conviction that my belief that I had been subjected to harassment and discrimination at Akin Gump was the product of a psychotic mental illness.

Caroline W. Wohlgemuth, M.D.: attending physician as of late 1993. I spoke by telephone with Dr. Wohlgemuth in about late 1993 to request, for a second time, a transfer from Dr. Pitts to another resident. Dr. Wohlgemuth agreed to meet with me to discuss my concerns about Dr. Pitts, but explained that the requested transfer was contrary to departmental protocol and could not be effected. Dr. Wohlgemuth stated: "I'm not telling you to do this, but you might want to go elsewhere for treatment. There's the P Street Clinic, there's Georgetown, there are other places you could go." I declined to meet with Dr. Wohlgemuth.

Jerry M. Wiener, M.D.: I met with Dr. Wiener in August 1993 to provide him an opportunity to comment on a complaint that I planned to file with the D.C. Board of Medicine relating to my belief that various of my treating psychiatrists had been in communication with my former employer, Akin Gump. Dr. Wiener declined to investigate my allegations of wrongdoing by GW psychiatrists, and stated that my beliefs were the product of paranoia. He stated: "Your paranoia has crippled your life."

Dimitrios Georgopoulos, M.D.: treating psychiatrist (resident) during the period July 1994 to the present. Dr. Georgopoulos has stated that my paranoid belief system has left me "incapacitated."

My beliefs regarding the surveillance currently being carried out by Akin Gump's attorney managers are fully documented in numerous prior letters that I have submitted to Drs. Pitts, Georgopoulos, and Wiener; these beliefs remain unchanged. The letters, including the letter of complaint to the D.C. Board of Medicine (dated August 20, 1993) and a letter to Dr. Georgopoulos (dated January 13, 1995), are hereby incorporated by reference.

By way of brief summary, I believe that I have been under surveillance by attorney managers of the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld since late October 1988. I believe that the employer has had routine and frequent communications with my sister from October 1988 to the present; had enlisted the former manager of my apartment building to routinely spy on me and my possessions during the period 1989 - February 1992; unlawfully gained access to my apartment (on January 2, 1990) to video-tape the apartment's contents, and distributed copies of the tape to my sister and others; has had routine and frequent communications with my friend Craig W. Dye; has communicated with numerous other persons with whom I have had professional or social dealings, including childhood friends; has distributed unlawfully-procured copies of my writings to various persons, possibly including President Clinton, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who may be a neighbor of Robert Strauss at the Watergate and who is an opera enthusiast), and Federal Reserve Chairman Allen Greenspan, among others. There is a remote possibility that Robert Strauss has used his professional connections to transmit copies of my writings to former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev (who is a Wagner enthusiast) and Czech President Vaclav Havel (a playwright), among others.

I believe that the receipt by President Clinton of writings unlawfully obtained from the GW Department of Psychiatry via attorney managers of Akin Gump may constitute the commission of a crime by President Clinton and, therefore, at least in a technical sense, might constitute an impeachable offense.

I continue to believe that librarians and staff persons at the Cleveland Park Branch of the D.C. Public Library system continue to receive daily reports from person(s) associated with Akin Gump. These reports relate to the content of my psychiatric consultations at GW, Akin Gump's communications with my sister (who lives in New Jersey), and other issues pertinent to my activities.

The pervasive and bizarre quality of my delusional thinking (specifically, the scope, complexity, and duration of the delusions; the delusions regarding use by attorney managers of video-tape equipment and acts that may constitute the crime of burglary; the grandiose delusion of the President's having committed an impeachable offense; the involvement of the former President of the Soviet Union--and the President of the Czech Republic, of all places!) suggests psychopathology indicative of paranoid schizophrenia.

The following is a brief summary of the ideas of reference that I experienced at the Cleveland Park Branch of the D.C. Public Library System on Saturday, January 20, 1996. This brief account indicates the pervasively self-referential quality of my thinking, typical of psychotic thinking, including paranoid schizophrenia (an illness that might predispose me to violent conduct). I notice that generally the library staff will talk in an inaudible tone of voice, but, at certain times, will state
certain words and phrases in a markedly audible tone.

[Debra:] "There's no question about it!" - [possible reference to determination by law enforcement that my allegations or personality attributions are accurate];

[Bruce Snyder (earlier in the week)]: "I felt like one of the three stooges." - [possible reference to a humorous piece I wrote about Akin Gump's attorneys and forwarded to the U.S. Secret Service];

[Bruce Snyder:] "Calvin Klein" - [possible reference to Melanie Klein, a psychoanalyst about whom I spoke with Dr. Georgopoulos at my consultation on Friday January 19, 1996];

[Bruce Snyder:] "I'm sorry" - [possible reference to Melanie Klein and her writings about guilt ("The child regrets the damage he has done to his parents")];

[Bruce Snyder:] "it's gone up in flames" - [possible reference to the actor Mark Harmon's rescue of two passengers from a burning vehicle in Brentwood, California, ultimately relating to my dream about the attempted assassination of president Reagan ("The Dream of Murder in the Lobby"), which mentions Mark Harmon. I attributed significance to the fact that ever since the Mark Harmon incident there has been a frequent use of the words "flames" or "fire" by personnel at the library];

[Bruce Snyder (earlier in the week)]: "it's a book about an imaginary planet in another galaxy" [another possible veiled reference to Mark Harmon, a Superman-like rescuer (Superman was, of course, from the planet Krypton)];

[Bruce Snyder:] "He's creepy" - [possibly a reference to Dr. Georgopoulos].

Also, on Saturday, January 20, 1996, while I was in the Brookville Supermarket, the assistant manager, Jim, stated to a customer (as he saw me) "It's happened before." He then quickly averted his gaze. I interpreted his comment as a reference to the repetition compulsion.

The affect that I attribute to these persons includes jealousy, wonder, awe, admiration, and fear. The minority staff persons seem to convey a quiet admiration and satisfaction. Brian Brown, the head librarian, seems subdued.

Surely, only the gravest of mental disorders could account for this kind of thinking. Precisely how paranoia of this pervasive magnitude could evade detection on a battery of psychological tests is utterly remarkable.

As you can well imagine, my pain and suffering has been extraordinary for the last number of years. I am totally isolated socially. I last visited my family in the fall of 1992, more than three years ago. My last social interaction with a non-family member took place in February 1992, about four years ago, when I had lunch with a friend, who has since told me to be friendly with dead people.

My situation is desperate. On Friday October 2, 1992 I met with a previous treating psychiatrist, Stanley R. Palombo, M.D. Dr. Palombo advised me at that time that I was fully employable, without restriction. By GW's own admission I am now "incapacitated," a "psychological cripple." I continue to believe that I was subjected to a severe, pervasive, and degrading pattern of harassment at my former place of employment, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. According to Dr. Pitts, this belief was the product of a psychotic mental disorder. It is as if I have been destroyed, a victim of a psychological homicide.


Gary Freedman

Me, Freud, And The Soviet Ambassador

According to the George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, I was an unmedicated psychotic at the time I wrote this letter, exhibiting loose associations and flights of ideas:

November 23, 1992
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Apt. 136
Washington, DC 20008

Dr. Suzanne M. Pitts
Department of Psychiatry
George Washington University
Medical Center
2150 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037

Dear Dr. Pitts:

I respectfully offer for your evaluation some additional thoughts regarding certain issues raised in my autobiographical sketch [The Caliban Complex: An Attempt at Self Analysis]. It is hoped that this communication will help you to define further the nature of my psychological difficulties.

The references in my autobiographical sketch to Robert Strauss, founding partner of my former employer, the law firm of Akin Gump, and appointed by President Bush as Ambassador to Russia, may relate to the issue of identity and to my fantasies concerning a "protector," or an individual needed to serve as an opposing force to a sense of guilt. See Freud, S. (1923) The Ego and the Id, at 50-51 (Norton: 1960)(discussing cases in which a sense of guilt is the sole remaining trace of an abandoned erotic cathexis and in which a counteracting force of a similar order of strength is required to oppose that sense of guilt; whether an individual can serve as such an opposing force may depend on whether his personality allows of the patient's putting him in the place of his ego ideal, acting as a kind of prophet, savior, or redeemer.)

The role of ambassador may be interpreted as symbolizing or encapsulating, two of my central psychological concerns. An ambassador, with regard to his official duties in connection with the issuance of passports is a guarantor of personal identity in a legal sense. Without a passport one cannot re-enter one's homeland, or "motherland," and will remain an exile (the status of exile symbolizing a withdrawal of an erotic cathexis from the mother and the resulting sense of guilt.) The references to Robert Strauss in my autobiographical sketch as ambassador may be related to my fantasies in regard to him as a guarantor of my psychological identity, as someone who will grant me access to the lost mother and end my status as an exile (which symbolically expresses a need for an affirmation of a lost identity and the end of a sense of guilt). The fantasy in regard to Robert Strauss would parallel my previously stated fantasy in regard to my friend Craig Dye as guarantor of identity, someone who allowed access to lost parts of the self. (Compare the role of Moses, as a kind of "ambassador," who obtained "exit visas" for the ancient Hebrews, ending their harassing and degrading bondage and allowing them access to their homeland.)

It is in that portion of my autobiographical sketch designated "Notes Regarding An Analysis of the Resistance" that the references to Robert Strauss occur. The references arise in the context of a discussion of my concerns, or fantasies, regarding the environmental, or political, consequences of having authored an autobiographical sketch. My concerns or fantasies, might be encapsulated in the phrase, "crimes against the state"--a phrase that indicates my fears of retaliation in connection with my having written an autobiographical study.

Two works by Freud cited in my autobiographical sketch, Moses and Monotheism and Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Study, may be interpreted as relating to the issue, "crimes against the state." In the case of both books Freud was concerned with the possibility that publication might lead to political retaliation. In the case of Wilson, Freud was concerned that publication would jeopardize the career of his co-author, Ambassador William C. Bullitt; indeed, the book was not published until 1967, the year Bullitt died. In the case of Moses, Freud feared retaliation by the Catholic authorities in Austria; accordingly, Moses was published in 1939 only after Freud had been granted asylum in the United Kingdom. Thus, with respect to both books--which share as a central theme the political consequences of a Father Complex--the content of the books parallel Freud's concerns regarding the books' critical (political) reception. (In this sense both books to some degree parallel Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago and my own autobiographical study.) With respect to both books the issue of "ever more encompassing" superego representatives is raised. There is a direct line from Freud's own Father Complex, which is paralleled in his discussion of the Father Complexes of the subjects of his inquiry (the Father Complexes of Moses and Wilson being intrinsic issues in both books), to Freud's concerns in relation to the state. The intrinsic theme of the Father Complex rises up from the pages, as it were, to encompass the authors' relations with the state, the ultimate earthly superego representative, where the theme is expressed in Freud's fears of political retaliation. At the level of the authors' relations with the state, the theme of the Father Complex is operative--but at this level the theme is extrinsic to the books, and involves the books' critical, or political, reception. In sum, we can say that in both Moses and Wilson (and Dr. Zhivago) the theme of the Father complex and its political consequences is both an intrinsic and an extrinsic issue.

Note how the intrinsic/extrinsic dichotomy arises in connection with the issue of authorship in both books. In Moses the issue of Moses' authorship of the Pentateuch is implicitly raised by Freud's contention that Moses was an Egyptian who spoke no Hebrew: the theme of authorship is intrinsic. In the case of the Wilson study, Freud's own authorship is questioned: the theme of authorship is extrinsic. (Scholars make the claim, on stylistic grounds, that it was Bullitt who wrote the text of the Wilson study; Freud is believed to have written only the introduction.)

One wonders whether the possibility that Freud and Bullitt might have been not merely co-authors, or collaborators, but mutual father-transference objects has any significance. Freud may have viewed Bullitt as a kind of protector, or Moses-like figure. It was Bullitt who assisted in rescuing Freud and his family from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938. As to Bullitt's relation to Freud, though Bullitt later denied having entered analysis with Freud, Bullitt did in fact originally seek Freud out for the purpose of entering analysis. Brownell, W. and Billings, R. N. So Close to Greatness: A Biography of William C. Bullitt, at 120 (Macmillan: 1987). The possibility that Bullitt transferred a father imago onto Freud is more than likely.

Salient facts tending to support the argument that a mutual (father) transference relationship arose between Freud and Bullitt, and, further, that Freud may have come to identify Bullitt with Moses, are as follows. According to Anna Freud, Bullitt was "tremendously personable and charming, [but also] frightfully arrogant." So Close to Greatness, at 324. The complex of personality characteristics attributed to Bullitt by Freud's daughter matches those typically associated with the so-called phallic narcissistic character. See Reich, W. (1926) Character Analysis, at 217-224 (Noonday Press/Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 1990) ("The typical phallic-narcissistic character is self-confident, often arrogant, elastic, vigorous and impressive.") Dr. Leonard Shengold, citing Freud's relationship with Wilhelm Fliess, has observed that Freud had a special need and weakness for individuals whose characters might be termed phallic-narcissistic. Malcolm. J. In The Freud Archives (citation?). Indeed, Freud permitted Bullitt to address him by his surname rather than by title, indicating a degree of closeness and informality that was exceedingly rare in Freud's relationships. So Close To Greatness at 120. It is possible that Freud put Bullitt "in the pace of his ego ideal," and unconsciously assigned Bullitt the role of "prophet, savior, and redeemer," perhaps not inconsistent with Freud's lifelong idealization of the arrogant, elastic, and vigorous prophet, Moses. Cf. Freud, S. (1923) The Ego and the Id, at 51 (Norton, 1960). Bullitt's phallic-narcissistic character is consistent with the possibility that he may have harbored a "rescue fantasy," a fantasy that would require Bullitt to satisfy a special need to rescue persons in a precarious position. See Eissler, K.R. Talent and Genius (citation?) (discussing the rescue fantasy of another one of Freud's associates, the analyst Victor Tausk). (With respect to the issue of a rescue fantasy, compare Robert Strauss's ambassadorship to Russia. Nominated to the post in June 1991, Robert Strauss assumed his duties at the time of the August 1991 coup. Russia--a nation state in a precarious position, seemingly forever in need of rescue.

Can one easily dismiss the possibility that the personality factors of Robert Strauss that led President Bush to name him to the post of Ambassador during a critical period of Russia's history might be related to the personality factors that led President Roosevelt to name William Bullitt to the same post? And are we to assume that these same personality factors in Bullitt would not have exerted a powerful sway on Freud, who, as we know, was particularly susceptible to persons of Bullitt's character? The existence of a rescue fantasy in Bullitt, independent of his relationship with Freud, is suggested by Bullitt's acceptance, as an honorary citizen of France, of a commission as commandant in the French army during World War II; despite his having been rejected by the U.S. military as too old, Bullitt was apparently determined to serve in what he must have viewed as a heroic effort. So Close to Greatness, at 303. In 1938, Bullitt, then U.S. Ambassador to France, literally played the role of "savior" to Freud by securing Freud's safe release from Nazi-occupied Austria. In addition to character traits that might have attracted Freud to Bullitt one might speculate that Bullitt's having served as an emissary of a great power, the United States, may have heightened Freud's possible identification of Bullitt with Moses, that most politically well-connected of prophets, son of Pharaoh. (Freud's possible identification of William Bullitt with Moses suggests the logical possibility that Freud also may have identified Woodrow Wilson with Pharaoh.) In 1919, before Bullitt's first encounter with Freud in 1925, President Wilson had sent Bullitt on a diplomatic mission to Moscow to meet with Lenin, and Bullitt had also accompanied Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference after World War I. (In the 1930's, following the decision of the U.S. government to grant diplomatic recognition to the Soviet Union, President Roosevelt appointed William Bullitt as the first American ambassador to the Soviet Union; later in the 1930's Bullitt was appointed U.S. Ambassador to France.) One might further speculate, assuming Freud was aware of Bullitt's ethnic background, that Bullitt's Jewish origins (his mother's forbears were Jews) might have been a factor in Freud's possible identification of Bullitt with the ethnically ambiguous Moses. See So Close to Greatness, at 4-5.

Thus, we can say that in the case of the Wilson study the Father Complex was not only an intrinsic subject of the study (i.e., Wilson's relationship with his father and the consequences of that relationship in Wilson's political career), but also arose as an extrinsic issue in connection with the transference-like relations of the co-authors (a relationship that in turn mirrored the authors' relationships with their respective fathers), and arose once again as an extrinsic issue in connection with the authors' relations with the environment on a political level.

These observations, though expressly relating to the Wilson study, may in some way point to Freud's seemingly obscure motivations in writing Moses since it would appear that Freud was operating under the following unconscious identifications that link the two books: Bullitt:Moses = Wilson:Pharaoh. Further, assuming that extrinsic issues relating to the authorship of the Wilson book parallel the books' content, might not Freud's deferral of responsibility for authorship to Bullitt--unique for Freud--be interpreted as "acting out" a content relating to the Father Complex? [Put another way, might not the peculiar working arrangement that Freud and Bullitt arrived at regarding authorship of the Wilson study be interpreted as part of their mutual father transference, which was, in turn, expressed in the book's content?] And might this "acting out," in the form of a deferral of authorship that symbolically expressed an aspect of Freud's Father Complex, in some way shed light on a central content of Moses, namely, the thesis that Moses was an Egyptian and not a Hebrew, itself a kind of "deferral of authorship?"

Also, in appraising these questions one might also have to consider Freud's oral cancer--and the psychological implications of intense oral frustration--as a confounding factor both in his psychoanalytic interpretations of his subjects, Wilson and Moses, and in Freud's relationship with Bullitt: once again, the issues of oral disturbance and "special protector." Compare the following observation in Peter Gay's biography of Freud, at 609, elegantly synthesizing the concerns that crowded in on Freud during the spring of 1935: "Harassed by his prosthesis [oral frustration], by politics [a political situation from which Bullitt and other protectors would later rescue Freud], by Moses, he could still mobilize cheerful feelings, or at least write cheerful communiqués." Gay, P. Freud: A Life For Our Time, at 609 (Norton: 1988) (Gay's observation regarding cheerful communiqués" suggests the transferential nature of this very letter).

(Note how an issue relating to Peter Gay's own creativity emerges if one compares two passages in his Freud biography concerning, respectively, (1) Freud's writing of Moses and (2) Freud's and Bullitt's work on Wilson. By comparing these passages (indeed, only as a result of the comparison), one can discern Gay's own identification with Voltaire. (Peter Gay, one of whose areas of concentration is the Enlightenment, is the author of Voltaire's Politics: The Poet as Realist.) Discussing Freud's work on Moses, Gay writes, at 606: "Voltaire had adduced cogent reasons why Moses could not have written the Pentateuch [thereby supporting Freud's contention that Moses was an Egyptian]." Later, not unlike Voltaire, Gay himself adduces cogent reasons why Freud could not have written the Wilson study (see Gay's Bibliographic Essay, at 775-776). Why did Gay's Voltaire identification emerge -- in piecemeal fashion like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle -- in the Moses/Wilson passages of all places? Did Gay have an intuitive recognition that there is some important parallel between Freud's Wilson and Moses and, by implication, to Gay's own creativity as an historian?)

In conclusion, Freud's actual relationship with Ambassador William Bullitt and Freud's possible fantasies in connection with Bullitt, together with Freud's fantasies regarding Moses, may parallel my own fantasies concerning Ambassador Robert Strauss and certain others (and may parallel possible reality aspects of my relationship with Robert Strauss or members of management of my former employer). Also, the citations in my autobiographical sketch to Freud's Moses and Monotheism and to Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Study suggest that the role of Moses and Woodrow Wilson in my fantasies may parallel the role of Moses and Woodrow Wilson in Freud's fantasies.

Thank you very much.


Gary Freedman

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Idea of Reference: Cleveland Park Library -- Tuesday January 26, 2010

Yesterday, Tuesday January 26, 2010, at the library, the mood was extremely somber. I noticed that all the employees seemed very concerned and nobody would make eye contact with me. I had the feeling something very serious had occurred.

Today the mood is the normal, relaxed atmosphere at the library.

Did something happen yesterday? Or was I just having a paranoid spell?