Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Social Security Document Submission: June 1993

Pages 49-54 of Social Security Document Submission

transmittal for Mrs. Estelle Jacobson c/o Mr. Edward Jacobson

Dear Stell,

I’m faxing this because of the importance attached to Dennis Race’s reaction to me in your call on Friday, September 25 [1992]. He didn’t think I was too disturbed to be working at AGHF. I thought it important to respond to this immediately


Just for the record, this is the “Dennis Race axis.” These are, to the best of my recollection, all of the pieces of information, which I have not previously discussed, that could possibly have gone into my perception of Dennis Race. It is highly favorable, which explains my astonishment regarding his behavior at my termination (which was itself polite and, on the surface, professional. The guy's a gentleman, even when he’s not a gentleman. I had the feeling at the termination meeting that he was, speaking metaphorically, “honoring someone else’s picket line.”)

The information is purely subjective, simply impressions, and highly self-referential (most of the impressions are low-grade inferences that don’t score more than a 1 or 2, if that, on my inference scale).

I have no idea how I remember these things. I suspect there is some relation between my memory and cognition. The way I “file and store” data helps me to recall. And my ability to recall is in some way related to the way I file and store data. As Dr. Brenman-Gibson has stated, “The banks form the river, and the river, in turn turn, forms the banks.” Ultimately, my inferences are related to the peculiarities of my memory and cognition.

1. In about late March 1989 I telephoned you, on a weekend, for the first time in a few months. (I had the impression that my failure to call you led to a stir at the firm, and decided it was a good idea if I called you. But that’s part of another axis.) I think it was on the Monday following my call to you that I saw Dennis Race talking to David Tobin in an elevator area. When Dennis Race saw me he smiled, and, talking to David Tobin, said, “He’s smart.” I didn’t know who Dennis Race was at that time but had the peculiar feeling his comment, “He’s smart,” in some symbolic way referred to me. I also had the tentative, self-referential notion that if the statement did refer to me it related to the fact that I had called you.

2. All-Attorney’s Dinner: May 3, 1989. I saw Dennis Race speaking with Malcolm Lassman in a patio area when I first got to the dinner at the Westin Hotel. I did not know the identity of either individual. I used to think that the person I later learned was Malcolm Lassman was an important person because he seemed to walk around the firm “like he owned the place.” (But that’s part of the Malcolm Lassman axis. I learned Mr. Lassman’s identity at the Legal Assistant Christmas Luncheon in December 1989, also at the Westin Hotel.) I assumed that Dennis Race was also important since he seemed to have a rapport with Malcolm Lassman. Later, Dennis Race spoke at a meeting of the firm in an auditorium of the Hotel. He identified himself as the chairman of the hiring committee. He also introduced Douglas Rosenfeld, and mentioned that Doug Rosenfeld had started working at the firm on Mr. Race’s birthday, March 13, 1989.

3. On Friday July 28, 1989 I had helped to cite check a brief for attorney Merrill Spiegel. Merrill Spiegel’s office adjoined Mr. Race’s office. Late that afternoon, I stopped by Merrill Spiegel’s office to drop off the work I had completed. I have the vague recollection that Mr. Race saw me from his office and smiled at me. But the recollection doesn’t make sense to me now, because at the termination meeting in 1991 Mr. Race’s desk was positioned so that he could not have seen me outside his office. This may be a faulty recollection, and therefore psychologically significant. Or, it may be that Mr. Race’s desk was in a different position in late July 1989.

4. In the late afternoon on a day in early August 1989 I saw both Malcolm Lassman and Dennis Race at the firm. Both smiled broadly at me. It was the day after a legal assistant happy hour at Stetson’s in Adams Morgan shortly after I had been granted a permanent position. After that happy hour, I had gone to dinner with Jesse Raben and his roommate [Franz Wisner] (who I believe now works for the Governor of California -- but that’s the Franz Wisner axis.) I had the tentative, self-referential inference that Mr. Race was smiling at me because he might have learned of my attempt to be friendly with my co-workers. [Dennis Race had been the partner in charge of the Legal Assistant Program at the firm, prior to Earl Segal; he may have had a special interest in the firm's legal assistants.]

5. [There is no paragraph 5: error in the original document.]

6. In about early December 1989, during a telephone call with you, I mentioned that I got a reply from Dr. Rothenberg, to whom I had sent a copy of my autobiographical sketch ["The Caliban Complex: An Attempt at Self-Analysis"]. On Monday I saw Dennis Race on the ninth floor. I vaguely recall that he was coming out of the men’s room (if it is a faulty recollection it may relate to my homosexuality). He smiled and said hello. I thought, “I wonder if he heard about the letter from Dr. Rothenberg?”

[On Friday January 15, 2010, the Justice Department law enforcement officer who interviewed me at my home asked me: "How would you react to Dennis Race if you happened to see him in a men's room?" Was that question just a coincidence?]

7. In the late winter of 1990 [possibly Friday March 16, 1990], after I had first been assigned to litigation support, and litigation support moved from the 12th floor to the terrace level, Christine Robertson held a luncheon in the terrace level at which she had ordered pizza ([Chris Robertson said:] “It sure beats the hell out of everything else.”) Someone at the meeting was talking about Dennis Race, in my presence. The reference was somewhat gratuitous. I may have the recollection all wrong,* but I seem to recall that it related to Dennis Race complaining about some kind of noise (possibly emanating from the firm’s exercise room (*Dennis Race’s office is not located anywhere near the firm’s exercise room), and that some action was taken to cut down on the noise in response to Mr. Race’s complaint. The statement suggested that Dennis Race had “pull” in the firm. I had the self-referential feeling that Dennis Race had said something positive about me, and the person was trying to elicit a negative response from me so that Dennis Race could be told, “You see what he did when I mentioned you.”) (My interpretation of this incident related to another axis: The gratuitous and questionable remarks that are made about people who have said something favorable about me.) (Also, these were the “events of the previous day” relating to my dream about Dr. Palombo in the swimming pool (another axis), suggesting that Dennis Race and the practice of law may somehow have been connected with that dream.

Further the notion of “troublesome noise,” or “noise emanating from the exercise room," suggests the primal scene or fantasies regarding the primal scene, which may have a theme in my dream about Dr. Palombo; *a faulty recollection on this issue is significant.)

8. On Thursday afternoon April 5, 1990, after business hours, I prepared a brief “creative“ piece on the firm’s computer network about a man’s travels in Albania. The next morning there was a bit of carrying on, near my desk by a few employees. The employees were engaged in what appeared to be a kind of histrionic display of their knowledge of a certain scientific subject. I interpreted their behavior as acting out in response to my “creative” piece -- that they were signaling me symbolically that they thought my piece was overcompensation, that the piece was evidence of my “showing off” (the piece contained a technical reference to the phenomenon of sympathetic vibration).

That morning I saw Barbara Rufener, Dennis Race’s secretary. She usually didn’t register any reaction when she saw me; this morning she smiled at me. I wondered if Dennis Race was in the office that day; and even if he were his secretary’s expression could have meant anything or nothing.) If Barbara Rufener was expressing Mr. Race’s reaction by proxy, then this incident provides a parallel with the anecdote in paragraph 10 on the issue of the polar opposite reactions to me my co-workers and management.

9. At a session with Dr. Palombo on Friday April 13, 1990, I mentioned Dennis Race. I said I believed he had a high opinion of me, and cited the incident regarding Mr. Race and David Tobin (see paragraph 1). I used the incident to illustrate my “unusual perceptiveness.” I had the feeling that Dr. Palombo thought my example was anything but perceptive and was, to the contrary, self-referential in the extreme. My trivial illustration to Dr. Palombo, however, was stunningly peculiar -- if not prophetic -- in light of later events and in light of other material I shared with him that day. It was at that session with Dr. Palombo that I had brought along a copy of Dr. Shengold’s book, Soul Murder, and read to him the passage suggestive of “adaptive paranoia,” written by Rudyard Kipling. As far as I can recall, this was the only occasion, in all my sessions with Dr. Palombo, that I mentioned Dennis Race.

10. On about Monday April 16, 1990 I sent a letter to the Anti-Defamation League, requesting information on anti-Semitic harassment and outlining the harassment that I thought I was undergoing at the firm. A few days later, the harassment at the firm intensified to an excruciating level (this is part of the “harassment following my letter to the ADL axis.”) I suspected, based on the reaction from my coworkers and others, that a manager at Akin Gump, possibly Malcolm Lassman, had previously contacted the ADL and had alerted the organization to any communications it might receive from me.

During this period, following April 16, 1990, probably during that very week, an unusual incident occurred while I was riding on an elevator. The elevator stopped on about the fourth floor (the floor on which the respective offices of Dennis Race and Malcolm Lassman are located). Malcolm Lassman and Dennis Race appeared to be awaiting for an elevator, but saw me and didn’t get on. I don’t know whether they didn’t get on because they saw me, but they both seemed to have a strong, favorable reaction to me. Mr. Race smiled at me broadly, only slowly turning away his gaze; Mr. Lassman smiled while simultaneously ogling my organ, then turned away quickly, as though trying to conceal a secret and deeply-felt satisfaction. (If I were to attach words to Mr. Lassman’s expression, they would be, “You smart ass, you are clever.”) (Were Dennis Race and Malcolm Lassman reacting to my letter to the Anti-Defamation League or to my reference to Dennis Race in my session with Dr. Palombo on Friday April 13, 1991 -- or both -- or neither? I can’t say. But they seemed to be reacting to something more than my mere presence on an elevator). (Can it be that the negative reactions of my coworkers during that period were not related to the favorable reactions of Mr. Race and Mr. Lassman? And, assuming some relation between these polar opposite reactions, do they not encapsulate my difficulties at Akin Gump in their entirety? Compare paragraph 8).

11. At the legal assistant Christmas luncheon in December 1990, Malcolm Lassman spoke. He briefly discussed the history of the legal assistant program at Akin Gump and mentioned that Dennis Race had preceded Earl Segal as the partner in charge of the program. This was before Mr. Race became chairman of the hiring committee. I had not known this fact before.

12. On Friday August 30, 1991 I received a telephone call from Christine Robertson about a computer program she was designing for use in the Hoechst matter. During the call she seemed to use a number of double entendres.

[I had the paranoid impression that the words and phrases Chris Robertson used were double entendres relating to a possible conversation between Dr. Palombo and firm management:

guinea pig = a pejorative reference to Italians; presumably Dr. Palombo was of Italian heritage

bugs = Jews or younger siblings; Freud believed that psychoanalytically references to insects by patients symbolized the envied younger sibling; also Hitler used the insecticide Zyklon B in the gas chambers to kill Jews

data conversation = a play on the term "religious conversion" -- a reference to the fact that I am only half-Jewish

scroll down and scan -- homosexuality, looking down at a man's genital area

“It will be better for you,” and -- ?

fine tuning = Dr. Palombo used this phrase periodically with me -- he used to say that my personality needed "fine tuning," thereby indicating the mildness of my personality problems]

During the weekend [following Friday August 30, 1991], I made some notes about the call, recording some of the highlights. The notes also included some half-witted witticisms. I accidentally left the notes on my bed during the weekend. I had the vague suspicion that Mal Eno (not Elaine Wranik) may have seen the notes in my apartment and reported their existence back to the firm. I believe that was on Monday September 2, 1991, at about lunch time, that I saw Dennis Race standing near Malcolm Lassman’s office where I had been working [temporarily on the fourth floor]. Despite the distance between us, Dennis Race smiled at me. I had the self-referential feeling that he was reacting to my notes about Chris Robertson’s call. I had the thought, "He must know the score. He knows what’s going on.”

13. On October 29, 1991 after my termination meeting with Dennis Race, as we both walked out of Mr. Race’s office, each [of us] carrying one of my boxes, we passed by the desk of Barbara Rufener, Mr. Race’s secretary. I glanced over at Barbara Rufener. I could hear Mr. Race, in back of me, register a non-verbal vocalization. I had the self-referential feeling that Mr. Race was thinking, “And they say he’s a homo! What a lot of crap that is."

14. A moment after passing Barbara Rufener’s desk, as Dennis Race and I walked into the hallway outside his office, I spotted the attorney Daniel Spiegel at the end of the hall, at the point where the hall turns down to Malcolm Lasman’s office. I vaguely recall that Daniel Spiegel looked down the hall at Mr. Race and me. I vaguely recall also that Mr. Spiegel smiled. I had the inference that Mr. Spiegel and Mr. Race, who was behind me, were smiling at each other, though I could not see Mr. Race’s face. I had the feeling Mr. Race was thinking, and silently communicating to Mr. Spiegel, “Everything went great. It’s all a lot of crap what they said about him.“) (The thoughts that I ascribed to Mr. Race in this instance were less than inference--they are pure fantasy. Why I should have ascribed these thoughts to someone who had just terminated me is peculiar, to say the least.)

15. The next morning, at about 9:00 AM on Wednesday October 30, 1991 I telephoned Mr. Race to inquire about unemployment insurance. Mr. Race‘s secretary, Barbara Rufener, answered the call. Barbara Rufener asked me who was calling. I said, “Gary Freedman.“ When she said words to the effect, “I’ll transfer your call.“ I could hear a kind of smile in her voice, as though she were responding to something favorable that Mr. Race had said about me. (Again, pure fantasy--but why?)

[Supposedly, I attach a negative meaning to trivial events. Not so. I also attach a positive meaning to trivial events.]


That’s why I think this whole termination thing is a little screwy--and suspect. Happy New Year. [I am referring to the Jewish New Year--a subtle suggestion that I was a victim of antisemitism at Akin Gump.]


1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

June 14, 1993
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008

Paul G. Yessler, MD
2501 Calvert Street, NW
Suite 101
Washington, DC 20008

RE: Social Security Disability Psychiatric Evaluation

Dear Dr. Yessler:

Enclosed with respect to the above-referenced matter is a collection of letters I wrote and sent (by mail or fax) to my sister after my job termination on October 29, 1991 and before the filing of a disability claim with the Social Security Administration. Most of the letters were in fact written and sent in the year 1992.

I wrote the letters under the influence of my belief that my sister was in communication with my former employer, Akin Gump, and that my sister, upon receipt of the letters, would transmit the letters by fax communication back to managers of Akin Gump.

Both the writing and sending of the letters together with the content of the letters establish the persistence of seemingly paranoid ideation throughout the period beginning October 29, 1991. The letters deal, among other issues, with my concerns regarding harassment by Akin Gump co-workers; harassing (and anti-Semitic) telephone calls I received during 1991 and 1992; my belief that various of my treating psychiatrists were in communication with my former employer; the belief that librarians at the Cleveland Park Public Library (referred to as "the Club") harassed me; my belief that a clerk at a Giant Supermarket in my neighborhood (Adam) harassed me concerning my friendship with Craig Dye; my belief that a specialist at the Brookings Institution (Stephen Hess) was in communication with my former employer; the belief that it was not a mere accident that my former supervisor, Christine Robertson, had me touch her breasts, etc.

Please forward these materials to:

Ms. Fay Peterson
District of Columbia
Rehabilitation Services Administration
Disability Determination Division
P.O. Box 37608
Washington, DC 20013

If you have any questions, you may contact me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx (or leave messages at xxx xxx-xxxx). Might I suggest a follow-up evaluation consult?

You may contact my sister, Mrs. Estelle Jacobson, at (609) 727-3295.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely ,

Gary Freedman

The above cover letter transmitted a document production of approximately 185 pages. The document production is presumably on file at the Social Security Administration. The produced documents were presumably a significant factor in Social Security's disability determination of August 1993.