Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Circumstantial Evidence Confirming a Paranoid Idea

In January 1991 I worked as a paralegal at the D.C. law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.  I believed that I was under surveillance by the managers of the firm.  I believed that the managers had acquired a copy of my autobiographical study, The Caliban Complex: An Attempt at Self-Analysis.

The Persian Gulf War began in January 1991.  I happened to see a television interview of Jerrold M. Post, M.D., a Professor of Psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center.  Dr. Post, an eminent figure in the field of political psychology, had written a psychological profile of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for the U.S. government.

I formed the paranoid idea that Akin Gump managers talked to Dr. Post about me, and I formed the specific belief that Dr. Post had said to the firm: "He wants to be respected" or words to that effect.  I never met Dr. Post or had any communications with him.  I had no hard evidence that Dr. Post, a nationally-prominent psychiatrist, had talked to Akin Gump's managers or that Dr. Post had offered any opinion about me.

Dr. Post played the lead role in developing the "Camp David profiles" of Menachem Begin and Anwar El Sadat for President Jimmy Carter.  Robert S. Strauss, Esq. had served as special ambassador for Middle East peace negotiations during the Carter Administration.  Mr. Strauss had personal meetings with Sadat and Begin.  He reportedly later said: "Sadat and Begin were fascinated by me!"

How odd it was, therefore, when I learned in December 1992 that Malcolm Lassman and Dennis M. Race -- two senior managers at the firm -- had (reportedly) spoken to the nationally-prominent psychiatrist Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. in October 1991 about me and that she had in fact offered an opinion about me!  In some way my "paranoia" about Akin Gump was confirmed.  Akin Gump was, in fact, disposed to speak with a nationally prominent psychiatrist/psychoanalyst about me.  They admitted that.

Jerrold M. Post, M.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry, Political Psychology and International Affairs. He is also the Director of the Political Psychology Program at George Washington University (GWU). At the Center for Advanced Defense Studies he is a distinguished Fellow, holding the title of Chief Scientist, Political Psychology.

Dr. Post has devoted his entire career to the field of political psychology. Dr. Post joined GWU after a 21-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where he founded and directed the Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior, an interdisciplinary behavioral science unit which provided assessments of foreign leadership and decision making for the President and other senior officials to prepare for Summit meetings and other high level negotiations and for use in crisis situations.

Dr. Post initiated the US government program in understanding the psychology of terrorism. In recognition of his leadership at the Center, Dr. Post was awarded the Intelligence Medal of Merit in 1979, and received the Studies in Intelligence Award in 1980. He received the Nevitt Sanford Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Political Psychology in 2002.

A founding member of the International Society of Political Psychology, Dr. Post was elected Vice-President in 1994, and has served on the editorial board of Political Psychology since 1987. A Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, he has been elected to the American College of Psychiatrists and is currently Chair of the APA's Task Force for National and International Terrorism and Violence.

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

Another stunning coincidence:

1. In early August 1990 I formed the unsubstantiated (paranoid) belief that Akin Gump managers submitted a copy of my autobiography (The Caliban Complex) to Dr. Ernst Ticho. I believe Dr. Ticho told Akin Gump managers about me, "He did a good job."

2. My paranoid belief is memorialized in a statement I submitted to the U.S. Social Secuity Administration in April 1993 in support of my disability claim.


3. It was only later (May 1993) that Akin Gump's managers disclosed for the first time that they consulted Ernst Ticho's wife, Gertrude Ticho, M.D. in connection with the firm's decision to terminate me in October 1991.


It is nothing short of uncanny that I would have formed a paranoid belief about Ernst Ticho in August 1990 (as memorialized in April 1993) -- and only later (May 1993) did Akin Gump disclose that it in fact spoke to Ernst Ticho's wife, Gertrude Ticho: and further, that Gertrude Ticho was a personal friend of Akin Gump manager Malcolm Lassman.