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.
George Washington University
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.