Friday, March 12, 2010

Social Security Document Submission: June 1993

Pages 86-88 of Social Security Document Submission

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

Dear Stell,

I have some more somewhat related anecdotes, analysis of which may provide some further insight into why people react to me the way they do. I’m wondering what the reactions described here are typical of: are they a typical reaction to a shy person, a socially maladroit person (the “goof” factor), a homosexual, a homosexual pretending not be a homosexual, or some other factor(s) or combination of factors.

1. Late in the afternoon, on February 11, 1987, Craig [W. Dye] stopped into the office [at Hogan & Hartson] where I was working to get some supplies, which were kept in a closet in that particular office. Craig and I never had much to say to each other, but that afternoon I said, “Craig, you and I have had some really great conversations, haven’t we?” Craig said, “Yes, scintillating.” I said, “we’re like two mutes passing in the night.” If I recall correctly, Craig really laughed at that one. He left the office. A brief time later, I heard Daniel Cutler say, outside my closed door, “So what does he have to talk about?” (I inferred that Craig had told Daniel that I was talking to him and that Daniel’s statement was a response to Craig’s communication to Daniel. What did Daniel’s response mean? Note that if I had talked to Daniel, the probable response would have been, “Gary is trying to make Craig jealous”; a double-bind that [R.D.] Laing and Dr. [Harold] Searles would call an “untenable position.”

On one occasion in about early June 1987, while I was talking to Clarence Pollard I overheard Esperanza Rebollar say to someone, “He’s trying to make Craig jealous.”

(Combine all this with Craig’s own ambivalent reactions to me and you get into triple and quadruple binds.) Later that afternoon [February 11, 1987], Craig stopped by the office again to get something else from the supply closet, and said something to the effect, “Scintillating conversation, Part II.” I had the feeing at that time that Craig had responded favorably to my retarded foray into sociability. There was no reference at that time to homo shtick.

The next day, February 12, 1987 [Lincoln's birthday], at around noon (I can remember the date because it was that morning that Sheryl Ferguson announced to the group that she was leaving the firm), Craig and I were standing together, and Craig, referring to a women’s clothing catalogue in the office, said, “Say, Gar, maybe there’s something in that catalogue for you.” I got angry, and said to Craig, “Maybe there’s a nice pink negligee for you in there.” Craig looked at me with a kind of knowing smile, as if he were thinking, “I had him figured.” (Why the change in Craig’s attitude from the previous afternoon?)

2. In late August 1987 (if I recall correctly, it was Friday afternoon August 28), Cindy [Rodda] stopped by the office [at Hogan & Hartson] where I was working. During the course of a conversation, Cindy said to me, “Why aren't you friendly with Craig? The two of you have so much in common. You don’t have any friends. Craig could be a good friend for you. Why, the two of you could end up being friends for life!” (I told Craig this anecdote at lunch on about Friday April 28, 1989. Craig said, “I’ll have to talk to Cindy about that.”

A week or two later, in early September 1987, I moved out into a large common area where Craig and Daniel worked. Craig, Daniel and I started having lunch together for the first time since we had been working together. Cindy said to me at that time, “Why don’t you ask Miriam if you can move out of here and into a private office?” Based on what Cindy had said on August 28th, one would have assumed that Cindy would have welcomed my sharing office space with Daniel and Craig. Another double bind. He’s not friendly -- crime. He is friendly -- crime.

3. During the summer of 1988, while working at Akin Gump, I used to perform a certain task on Eastern [Airlines] for legal assistant Phil Fagen,

who shared office space with legal assistant Jesse Raben.

One day Phil telephoned requesting that I stop down to his office to pick up some work. When I arrived, Jesse Raben was very friendly. It was, in fact, the first time that Jesse was friendly with me since he started working at the firm on June 13, 1988 [the anniversary of Franz Kafka's bar mitzvah]. As Jesse and I engaged in some banter, [legal assistant coordinator] J.D. Neary stopped at the doorway of the office. Not saying a word, J.D. simply nodded at Jesse, as though cuing Jesse to a prearranged plan.

I took a stack of documents to a nearby Xerox room to make copies for the task I was doing for Phil. Moments later, Jesse stopped by the Xerox room, and continued his banter in a lively manner. The next day, I stopped at Phil’s and Jesse’s office to perform more of the same task I had been doing the previous day. But this day, Jesse seemed his normal self.

[The link above contains the following statement: "I continue to believe that one day during the summer of 1988 I went to the office of another legal assistant (Jesse Raben), who had been coached to harass me. During my conversation with Raben, another employee (the legal assistant coordinator, Neary) walked by and, without saying a word, nodded to Raben. Later, Raben entered the Xerox room where I was making copies and continued the conversation in an affectedly buoyant manner. The next day Raben's earlier buoyant manner was noticeably gone. See Brief of Appellee District of Columbia at 7-8. On an occasion in November 1989 and again in about March 1990 I asked Raben if he would go to lunch with me; he initially agreed but later backed out."]

Some time in late January or early February 1989, I was doing some work in the Eastern file room, arranging the files for Continental Airlines for legal assistant Jennifer Meader.

[At Akin Gump's All-Attorney's Dinner held at the Westin Hotel on May 3, 1989, I sat at a table with Jennifer Meader, Jesse Raben, Gary Zanfagna, and others.]

(I can recall specifically that it was a Friday afternoon, but I can’t recall the date.) Jesse Raben stopped by the office, and I embarked on yet another one of my retarded forays into sociability, I asked Jesse Raben if he liked poetry, and further asked him whether he was familiar with the line from the poem by Edgar Allen Poe, “Quoth the Raben nevermore.” Despite the almost grotesque lameness of what I said to him, Jesse’s response seemed favorable in that he offered some personal information about himself, including the fact that his mother’s name was Frieda and that his family name had originally been Rabenstein, but was changed to Raben because, as Jesse said, “My grandfather was an assimilationist.”

[The above conversation was creatively transformed in my book, Significant Moments:"

[He] looked at me, and said: “I have seen you before, I think. You are . . .”
Hugo Wolf, Letter to His Parents in Romain Rolland, Hugo Wolf.
. . . Rabenstein?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust.
Ah, no, no!
Richard Wagner, Letter to Mathilde Wesendonk (April 7, 1858).
. . . pardon the slip!
Richard Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg.
. . . Raben?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust.
I must confess that . . .
Primo Levi, The Periodic Table.
. . . I was born . . .
Matt Ridley, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters.
. . . Rabensteiner, . . .
Franz Kafka, The Trial.
. . . a Jew:
Primo Levi, The Periodic Table.
. . . but I sign . . .
Arthur Rubinstein, My Young Years.
. . .Raben . . .
Richard Wagner, Gotterdammerung.
. . . as a pen name . . .
E. James Lieberman, Acts of Will: The Life and Work of Otto Rank.
. . . now and then.
Johann Wolfang von Goethe, Faust.

(During lunch with Craig and Daniel on May 13, 1988 [the anniversary of Sigmund Freud's circumcision]--at which I gave Craig as a gift a copy of Fritz Stern’s Gold and Iron--following Daniel’s comment that he was reading Hesse’s novel, Demian, Craig mentioned that his mother’s maiden name was Hess.)

Later that afternoon [in February 1989], Jesse stopped by the office again. He wasn’t at all friendly, and I had the (perhaps paranoid) inference that he was piqued. (I had the paranoid inference that Jesse had told someone about our earlier conversation, and that someone had said to Jesse, “He’s using you.”) Also, later that afternoon, the attorney Jon Geier stopped by the Eastern file room where I was working. He didn’t say more than hello to me. My paranoid reading of the expression on his face, was, “Uh oh, you did something forbidden.”

(Compare the sequence of events in paragraph 1).

See Jon A. Geier, Esq.:

See Jack Gallagher:

[Jack Gallagher, Esq. and Jon Geier, Esq., both attorneys at Akin Gump, worked on Eastern Airlines litigation. Gallagher was the billing partner on Eastern. Geier was an associate. Both attorneys--together with Labor Group paralegal Jennifer Meader--left Akin Gump suddenly in about the year 1990 to work at the D.C. law firm of Paul Hastings.]

See Groupthink:

[Oddly -- or uncannily -- Wagner's stepfather had been named Geyer, and Wagner himself used that name till about age 14. I reference this in my book Significant Moments.

He was known as Richard Geyer at least until his confirmation at the age of fourteen, six years after Geyer's death; sometime thereafter he . . .
Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music.
. . . changed his name to . . .
Johannes Ehrmann, Float Like a Butterfly.
. . . Wagner. Not only had the Norns of destiny in a malevolent
hour given the boy a Jewish name; they had also placed his birth on the Bruhl, the center of the Leipzig Jewish quarter, and had, to crown their mischief, given his features a hawklike cast with a prominent nose, pointed jaw, and high, intellectual brow; . . . in short, the boy had physical characteristics which ignorance and prejudice associate exclusively with the Jews. It is not unlikely that young Richard Geyer was considered Jewish by various classmates and townsfolk and that his denial was expressed by a vigorous anti-Semitism.
Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music.

4. In the 6th grade, when I was 10-11 years old, I can recall that Mark Needleman once said to me, “Arthur Koren* says you’re just using me.” (*I think it was Arthur Koren, but can’t be 100% sure now. I can recall specifically that he [Mark Needleman] said someone told him I was just using him.)

[I attended Mark Needleman's bar mitzvah in November 1966. His birthday was November 19 -- the anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.]


My own reading of all this is that this is the response to a charismatic person who people fight over. Hard to believe, but I can’t see any other conclusion.



Gary Freedman said...

During the year 1990, I was in psychotherapy with a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst in Washington, DC, named Stanley R. Palombo: telephone (202) 362 6004.

During one of my sesssions I began to talk about the Nobel Prize. Dr. Palombo chastized me: "You're being grandiose. Talk about something else." Of course, any intelligent, educated layman would probably say the same thing: that I was being grandiose. But I was paying Dr. Palombo $110 per week for treatment. I was expecting more than a layman's opinion.

I subsequently learned that there is a recognized entity known as "the Nobel Prize Complex." Perhaps it would have been useful if Dr. Palombo had known about this specific, recognized entity.

In 1966 Helen Tartakoff introduced a nosological entity, the “Nobel Prize complex,” to apply to people who have in common many of the following characteristics: They are preoccupied with the achievement of diverse ambitious goals, which may include, for example, the wish to become President, to attain great wealth, to be a social leader, or to win an Oscar. Many are intellectually or artistically gifted and possess charismatic qualities that others admire. They are often firstborn and frequently only children. They adopt an all-or-nothing attitude toward their aspirations. They are hypersensitive to disappointments in life, particularly to lack of recognition, and may become depressed and develop psychosomatic symptoms at the time of real or fantasized disappointment. They unconsciously look upon psycho-therapeutic treatment as a magical cure and expect to be rewarded during their treatment with the same applause they received from their mothers.

Dr. Michael A. Sperber has elaborated on the concept in his paper: "Freud, Tausk, and the Nobel Prize Complex." Dr. Sperber is a practicing psychiatrist, affiliated with Mclean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.

Gary Freedman said...

If anybody says I'm not crazy, he's going to have a hard time of it -- because, in the immortal words of Woody Allen, I am "fucking nuts!" Franz Kafka's bar mitzvah??

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.