Friday, August 12, 2011

The "Surveillance Fantasy" -- An Interpretation

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has a favorite movie! No, it's not “Transformers 2.”

At a judical conference in West Virginia in June 2009, Chief Justice Roberts was asked about his favorite film, and he confirmed previous reports that it is “Dr. Zhivago.”

But then Roberts went on and on, waxing lyrical in a very good imitation of a USC film school grad. He praised “Dr. Zhivago” – a story of a man torn between two women against the backdrop of the 1917 Russian Revolution – for its “astounding” cast, its “wonderful” cinematography, and its “great” drama. Then he began to dissect its themes, among them its message that art endures even in the midst of great peril.

“See, once you get me started on ‘Dr. Zhivago’...,” he said, to general laughter. “You know ... the symbolism of these people triumphing over the Russian winter and the storyline of their fundamental human emotions persisting through human oppression, I just think it all comes together, and it’s a great story,” he said.

Amazingly, the conference moderator, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson of the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals, admitted that “Dr. Zhivago” was his favorite movie, too. Surely that has nothing to do with the fact that Roberts can sit in judgment of Judge Wilkinson’s rulings.

Note to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor: this movie is widely available on DVD. You know, just in case you are interested. 


In January 1990 I embarked on psychotherapy with Stanley R. Palombo, M.D., a Washington, D.C. psychiatrist. I told Dr. Palombo that I believed I was under surveillance by my employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, whose founder, Robert S. Strauss, was named to the post of U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union in mid-year 1991. Dr. Palombo suggested that I treat my beliefs as if they were a fantasy.

In October 1991 my employment was terminated by Akin Gump. Effective December 31, 1991 the Soviet Union was dissolved and was succeeded by the Russian Federation, to which Robert Strauss remained U.S. Ambassador. In late December 1991 I formed the unsubstantiated belief that Ambassador Strauss had talked to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev about me, and perhaps had given him one of my writings.

The political events of late December 1991, and the emotions those events evoked in me, prompted me to revisit Dr. Palombo’s earlier suggestion that I treat my “surveillance fantasy” as if it were fantasy. In a writing I took the trouble to prepare on New Year’s Eve 1991 I merged my “surveillance fantasy” with my thoughts about Russia and the Russian Revolution.  My fantasies about Russia could be traced back to age thirteen when I saw the movie Doctor Zhivago, in August 1967 (incidentally, the so-called Glassboro (New Jersey) Summit was held on June 23-25 1967 between then President Johnson and Soviet leader Andrei Gromyko).

In early January 1992, perhaps Thursday January 2, 1992, I mailed a copy of my paper, 18 pages in length, to my sister. A few days later I made some changes to the paper and I mailed the revised version to my sister, which explains the cover letter, below.

I attached the paper to my self-analysis, The Caliban Complex: An Attempt at Self Analysis, in a binder. The two writings, bound in a single binder, is the document I submitted to the George Washington University Medical Center (Jerry M. Wiener, M.D.) in about July 1992 in contemplation of my beginning psychotherapy at GW. If Dr. Wiener read the writing he would therefore know that my former employer was the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld; the name of the firm is mentioned in the following writing. Did Dr. Wiener, perhaps, contact Akin Gump at that time?

Dear Stell,

Please discard the earlier version of this, which you may not have received yet. Thank you.

If you check out paragraphs 20 and 21 you can see that the character Valjean in Les Miserables is really a metaphor for the artist. Interestingly, my friend Craig always had an interest in intelligence work.  In view of other elements in his personality, that interest may be related to his creativity.


1. A 36-year-old male tells his psychiatrist that he believes the therapist is having secret communications with members of management of the patient’s employer, one of the largest law firms in the country. The psychiatrist possibly concludes that the patient’s belief reflects grandiose and persecutory elements in the patient’s personality, since the patient is able to offer no more than what appear to be ideas of reference to support his belief.  The idea of secret communications is grandiose because it implies that members of management of this large law firm have taken a special interest in someone who holds no more than a very minor position in the organization. The idea of secret communications is persecutory because it implies that the psychiatrist is engaging in a betrayal of the patient, or that the psychiatrist and the employer are conspiring against the patient.

The patient’s suspicion that the psychiatrist is having secret communications with the patient’s employer may also reflect superego resistance. First, such communications would violate D.C. statutes prohibiting nonconsensual communications between a psychiatrist and a patient’s employer. Symbolically, the D.C. authorities are superego representatives, and D.C. laws symbolically represent superego injunctions. The patient’s fantasy may reflect anxiety that the patient feels in connection with his own imagined violation of superego injunctions--anxieties that are projected onto his relationship with his psychiatrist. Psychotherapy, and the moderation of a sense of guilt that therapy seeks to achieve, may represent for this patient the defiance of an overweening superego precursor that seeks to hold him in bondage; his anxiety may reflect a fear of overthrowing a dictatorial superego. Assuming that a central feature of the patient’s psychology is an overweening superego, “cure” in the case of this patient means a lessening of the crippling grip that his conscience holds on his life. The anxiety this patient feels in therapy can be likened to the anxiety that a person in a totalitarian state might experience if his aid and support were enlisted to overthrow the oppressive regime; he wants a better, freer life but he fears the existing authorities. He sympathizes with the aims of the revolutionary forces that seek to overthrow the regime [symbolically represented by the psychiatrist], but fears that if he participates in revolutionary activities he will suffer reprisals by those loyal to the dictatorial regime. The subject may defend against his fear of violating the injunctions of a harsh superego that seeks to retain its power over his life by saying, in effect, “It is not I who am breaking the ‘law,’ it is you, Doctor, who are breaking the law.”

Second, the aspect of the patient’s fantasy that implies that his employer has taken a “special” interest in him may be a projection of the patient’s own unacknowledged, intense, primitive idealization of the his employer. The subject may defend against his idealization by translating that idealization into the statement, “It is not I who think that Akin Gump is special, rather it is the management of Akin Gump who thinks I am special.” (Indeed, the patient made a number of mildly disparaging remarks about the firm to his psychiatrist). The patient thereby conceals his secret longing for affiliation with, and protection by, the father--symbolically represented by the management of the firm.

Thus, the patient’s fantasy that his psychiatrist is in communication with his employer may conceal the workings of a sadistic and punitive superego precursor and an ego ideal of intense, primitive idealization.

2.  In August 1967 the subject saw for the first time the movie, Dr. Zhivago, based on the novel by the Russian writer, Boris Pasternak.  In the next eight months he saw the film an additional three times, and viewed the movie numerous times thereafter.  Apparently, the film has some special meaning for him.

3.  According to an article about Boris Pasternak in the Encyclopedia Britannica the novel Dr. Zhivago is “[a]n epic of wandering, spiritual isolation, and love amid the harshness of the Russian Revolution.”

4.  One theme of Dr. Zhivago (both movie and book) is political surveillance by the “authorities” (superego representatives).  Thus, we find the lawyer Komarovsky warn Zhivago:

“There exists a certain Communist style, Yuri Andreievich.  Few people measure up to it.  But no one flouts that way of life and thought as openly as you do.  Why you have to flirt with danger, I can’t imagine.  You are a living mockery of that whole world, a walking insult to it.  If at least your past were your own secret--but there are people from Moscow who know you inside out. . . .”  Pasternak, B.  (1956)  Dr. Zhivago, at 350 (Signet Paperback Edition).  [All of the bold type in this post is in the original document.]  [Bob Strauss was living in Moscow as of the writing of this document in December 1991.]  [According to Akin Gump one of the reasons for my job termination was that there was "a lack of fit" between me and other firm personnel--in effect, I flouted the firm's culture.]

5.  The Russian Revolution can be interpreted psychoanalytically as representing an inversion of the Family Romance, a fantasy in which the child replaces his biological (humble) parents with idealized or “royal” (noble) substitutes.  In Dr. Zhivago, the Royal Romanov line, together with the aristocracy, is overthrown, and the humble of Russian society, under Lenin and his followers, rule in their place.

6.  The Family Romance, and the intense idealization and displacement that  the fantasy implies, is assumed to play an important role in the subject’s psychology.

7.  At about the age of 11 the subject developed a keen interest--indeed, obsession--in the life and work of the composer Richard Wagner.  He has carried this interest into adulthood.

8.  Important themes in the work of Richard Wagner are, as in Dr. Zhivago, wandering, spiritual isolation, and love.  Variations on the Family Romance Fantasy (a kind of psychological revolution) are also featured prominently in the operas.

9.  The themes of wandering, spiritual isolation, love, revolution, and political intrigue were important aspects of Wagner’s life.  The following excerpt from a biography of Wagner [Gregor-Dellin, M. Richard Wagner His Life, His Work, His Century, at 289-291 (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: 1983)] highlights the occurrence of these themes during one brief period in Wagner’s life.  (Also, the theme of political surveillance by the authorities [superego representatives] arises in the context of these themes, as in Dr. Zhivago):

[From the chapter titled “Peregrinations Resumed,” signifying the theme of wandering.  Wagner had been living in exile since the year 1848, when a warrant had been issued for his arrest by the German state of Saxony for his participation in revolutionary activities directed at overthrowing the Saxon monarchy that year.]   

Wagner relished his solitude [spiritual isolation].  Venice was the source from which the world would hear ‘lamentations of the most anguished bliss,' he confided to the exhibitionistic journal he kept for Mathilde’s benefit from August 21, 1858, until April 4 of the following year.  It contained all he felt about the object of his ill-starred adoration [love].  Mathilde did not read this diary until Eliza Wille had persuaded her to forgive its author for the scandal he had caused.  His effusions provide our most eloquent indication of what the whole affair was worth: It had paralleled Tristan by transporting him into a frenzy that became the receptive for all his unfulfilled and sublimated sexuality.  On October 15, he resumed work on the orchestral sketch for Tristan, albeit laboriously and plagued by various ailments that convinced him he did not have many years to live.  He developed gastritis, together with an ulcerated leg so painful than it prevented him from walking for some time and made sitting at his desk a torment.  The second act of Tristan very nearly sustained another dramatic interruption.  Wagner’s seven-month seclusion in Venice was not quite as relaxed as his daily routine and his journal for Mathilde’s might lead one to suppose.   

The sole tenant of the Palazzo Giustiniani had been under police surveillance from the outset.  Wagner’s sojourn in Venice, which did not go unreported by the Austrian press, gave rise to some brisk and wide-ranging political activity by government and police authorities at work behind the scenes [surveillance by the authorities].  Though not itself a part of the German Confederation, Venetia had been administered by Austria ever since the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, who had ousted the last of the doges.  The head of the supreme Vienna police authority, Baron Johann Kempen von Fichtenstamm, had urged the Austrian premier and minister of foreign affairs, Count Karl von Buol-Schauenstein, to do Saxony a favor by expelling the “political refugee” from Venice at once.  Rebuffed, he notified the Dresden authorities of his correct procedure in this matter and sent an official directive to police headquarters in Venice.  This drew a soothing response from the music-loving Venetian police superintendent, Angelo Crespi, whose acknowledgement of September 5, 1858, referred to Wagner’s “artistic genius” and reported that the exile was devoting himself entirely to his profession.  Crespi could not, however, prevent Kempen from gaining a free hand in consequence of wider political developments.  [harshness of political turmoil]

As tension increased between Austria on the one hand and Sardinia-Piedmont on the other, Buol-Schauenstein became too preoccupied with the international situation to care whether the letter of the law was observed in the case of a runaway conductor.  On February 2, 1859, Kempen decreed Wagner’s expulsion.  Again the local police came to the rescue.  Wagner was advised to obtain a medical certificate and apply to Archduke Maximilian, governor general of Lombardy and later emperor of Mexico, for permission to extend his stay.  The request was granted, and Wagner, who was among the crowds that welcomed Maximilian when he visited Venice soon afterward, raised his hat from afar in gratitude for this act of indulgence.  Alarmed by the activities of Garibaldi and Cavour, who aimed to unite and liberate their country, the Austrians massed half a million men in northern Italy.  Some of their units disembarked at Venice, so Wagner’s peaceful strolls became a thing of the past.  If he were not to get caught between the opposing forces [cf. Dr. Zhivago--caught between conflict of Whites and Reds after flight to Ural mountains], Wagner’s departure could be delayed no longer.  On March 24, he said good-bye to [his friend] Karl Ritter for the last time.  Traveling by way of Milan, Como, and Lugano, he reached the snowy St. Gotthard, which he crossed in an open sleigh.  He arrived in Lucerne on March 28.  The Austrian police promptly reported his change of residence through diplomatic channels, and the Saxon Foreign Ministry transmitted this information to the ministries of the Interior and Justice in the following terms: “With reference to his communication dated September 24, of last year, the undersigned most humbly begs to report that, as recently advised by the Imperial and Royal Austrian Legation here, and notified by the head of the Imperial Supreme Police Authority, the fugitive Richard Wagner departed Venice on the 25th of last month and has gone to Lucerne.  Dresden, April 13, 1859.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Beust.”

10.  In October 1988 the subject prepared a biographical sketch, and revised it numerous times thereafter.  In  its final form the autobiographical sketch may be said, roughly, to cover the themes of wandering,

[See, for example, the following passage from my autobiographical sketch relative to the theme of "wandering":

(Compare the age-old aspiration of the Jews, which found practical expression in the Zionists’ goal: the end of Jews’ exile from their ancient homeland, or “motherland,” and the revival of a lost Hebrew (phallic) identity. Interpreted psychoanalytically, exile for the Jews meant a traumatic separation from a symbolic nurturing mother, resulting in a collective identity loss in the form of a regression, on a cultural level, to a pre-phallic stage. Return of the Jews transformed the Jewish identity into an Israeli identity (and indeed transformed the whole region, once so stagnant). “The Israeli is now possessed of a sovereign state, whose power, though objectively not great, represents for the unconscious a phallus like any other The Israeli, by living in his own land, has thus refound the mother and forms with her a couple, as is the case with most other peoples. He lives, not in a vacuum like the Jew, but in a material (as Freud remarked, the words materia and mater have the same derivation) world that is governed and organized.” Grunberger, B. “The Anti-Semite and the Oedipal Conflict.” International Journal of Psychoanalysis 45: 380-385, at 384-385 (1964). And “[i]n his ‘homeland,’ and tilling his very home soil,” Erikson notes, “the ‘ingathered’ Jew was to overcome such evil identities as result from eternal wandering . . . and intellectualizing and was to become whole again in body and mind. . . .” Erikson, E.H. Identity and the Life Cycle (1959), at 172 (Norton: 1980)).]

spiritual isolation, libidinal cathexes, all amid the fantasy of the Family Romance.  The themes correspond, more or less, with the essential themes of Dr. Zhivago and the life and works of Richard Wagner.  (At the time he prepared the autobiographical sketch in October 1988, the subject had no specific intent to model his sketch on Dr. Zhivago or any other work.)  An additional important theme in the final version of the subject’s biographical sketch is that of personality transformation, expressed in the hope that the subject’s personality might undergo a process of reform, leading to a fuller and freer life.

11.  In mid-October 1988 the subject mailed copies of the autobiographical sketch to three friends with whom he used to work at the law firm of Hogan and Hartson.  These three individuals were the only persons who were in possession of a copy of the paper, until September 1989.

12.  In late October 1988 the subject first developed the fantasy that he was being “surveilled’ by his employer.  His fantasy centered on the suspicion that his employer was in communication with his sister. At no time prior to late October 1988 did the subject ever fantasize that his employer was in any way “surveilling” him.

13.  From the time that his employment began at the law firm of Akin Gump, in early March 1988, the subject fantasized that he was being harassed by co-workers.  His fantasies of harassment became especially intense in late October 1988, coincident with the emergence of his fantasy that his employer was in communication with his sister.

[I find paragraph 13 interesting.  I wrote this document on December 31, 1991.  Paragraph 13 refers to my belief that I was being harassed at Akin Gump as a fantasy.  It was not until late December 1992, one year later, that I received in the mail a copy of Akin Gump’s Response to my unlawful job termination complaint filed by the D.C. Department of Human Rights.  It was in Akin Gump’s Response that I learned for the first time that Akin Gump was claiming that I had been fired for mental health reasons: that my belief that I had been a victim of job harassment at the firm was, in Akin Gump’s view, in effect, a fantasy.  In April 1993 I filed for Social Security disability benefits.   In June 1993 I was assessed by Paul Yessler, M.D., a psychiatrist/consultant for the Social Security Administration.  I specifically recall that I gave Dr. Yessler a copy of this document.  The document seems tailor-made to support a disability claim in that it refers to my belief that I was a victim of job harassment as a fantasy or delusion, possibly a product of psychotic mental illness.  Yet, the above chronology establishes that there is no way I could have anticipated that I would file for disability benefits as of December 31, 1991, that is, as of the date I wrote this document.]

14.  The subject’s fantasy that his employer began to surveill him after he distributed copies of an autobiographical sketch that implicitly expressed the hope for reform of his personality parallels the following clinical vignette. The vignette describes a man in the Soviet Union who was confined to a mental hospital after the authorities [superego representatives] found a copy of a book the man had written calling for a reform of the Soviet Communist state.  (The vignette is from Spitzer, R. L., Gibbon, M., Skodol, A.E., Williams, J.B.W., and First, M.B.  DSM-III-R Casebook.  A Learning Companion to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Third Edition, Revised), at 427-430 (American Psychiatric Press: 1989)).  The subject first read the following account during the week of December 30, 1991.

Crimes Against the State.  Gregor, a 40-year-old economist, is brought to the maximum security ward of the Moscow Central Institute for Forensic Psychiatry from the KGB prison. Four months earlier, while searching the house of a friend, the KGB agents discovered a book, written by Gregor, that was critical of the Soviet economic system. In this book Gregor defined himself as a "Marxist economist" and a patriot of his country. He used language indistinguishable from that of the "official" and "approved" concepts current in Soviet economic and political thought. However the book is an impassioned argument for reform of the state economy in order to bring about greater prosperity and economic stability in the country.

Gregor was arrested and charged with "anti-government propaganda and agitation harmful to the interests of the Socialist state." Because he was uncooperative during his detention, he has now been referred for a psychiatric evaluation by a KGB investigator, who writes in the referring document that "There are strong reasons to suspect that this detainee suffers from chronic mental illness, which is responsible for his behavior and has resulted in serious crimes against the state, with which he is charged."

The prisoner arrives in handcuffs, looking anxious and fearful. At the beginning of his admission report, the forensic psychiatrist takes note of "burning and penetrating eyes, and a Christ like beard."

During the interview the prisoner insists on his right to take notes and to write down the questions asked of him; when this is denied, he refuses to participate in the evaluation interview. On the ward, surrounded by seriously ill offenders, he keeps to himself and is described as "withdrawn, with long staring spells, and persistent refusal to discuss his thoughts and feelings." The ward staff is puzzled by his "excessive attention" to food served in the hospital, and his concern that medication has been put into his food is described in ward notes as "paranoid."

By the end of the first week, the prisoner is demanding to see the medical director of the hospital. When the director obliges, the prisoner confronts him with an accusation of "collaborating in crimes against humanity." The doctor is reminded of the fate of the Nazi doctors during the Nuremberg Trials. The prisoner categorically denies the criminal nature of his activity and claims that he pursued his chosen profession in writing a book about the state economy.

From the information provided by the secret police investigator and summaries of treatment obtained from the local health center and the district mental health clinic, the forensic psychiatrist learns that the patient had a "stormy adolescence," during which he pursued, with abandon, the study of his country's history, literature, and art. He was described by his teachers as "stubborn, oppositional, and obsessed with his ideas."

[Note that the description of Gregor as "stubborn, oppositional, and obsessed with his ideas" is consistent with high ego strength.  Persons with high ego strength are described as  "stubborn," "oppositional," and "absorbed in ideas."]

His principal wrote: "This young man is far too sensitive and intense for his age. He is negative about everything our country stands for, and his tastes in art and music are bizarre. However, he is a great mathematician, and with proper guidance and education, he can be an asset to our country."

The records of the local draft board revealed that the prisoner was relieved from compulsory military duty because of a diagnosis of "psychoneurosis" established by a psychiatrist at the district mental health clinic. The records from the clinic described a young man who was "moody, preoccupied with his interest in history and mathematics, precise and compulsive in his habits, with some excessive concern about his health." Apparently, the prisoner was seen at the mental health clinic only three times, and never requested any treatment.

The forensic psychiatrist makes no attempt to contact or interview by telephone, Gregor's wife, parents, or friends and colleagues (he is under strict orders not to reveal the prisoner's whereabouts because of the KGB's insistence on keeping Gregor incommunicado before the trial). Failing to do that, the forensic psychiatrist never learns that the prisoner was a "star student" in the department of economics of a leading state university, or that he was universally admired by his peers and faculty. Most of his professors later became his colleagues, when Gregor was invited to remain in the department to continue his research. The forensic psychiatrist also never learns that the prisoner has written several articles approved for publication in respected professional journals, that he has been married for 18 years, maintains numerous close and enduring friendships, and has adopted two children, after having been approved as an adoptive parent. Finally, the forensic psychiatrist was also denied an opportunity to read Gregor's book, which presumably was a product of a disturbed mind.

By the end of the third week, the prisoner was forcibly given small doses of a neuroleptic.   He became weak and apathetic, complained of dryness of the mouth, increased appetite and grogginess throughout the day, and an increasingly troublesome tremor. Each time the prisoner was given medication, he offered resistance. This was described in the record as "paranoid refusal to believe in the good intentions of the medical personnel, and inability to develop insight into his condition and his own needs."

When medication produces no change in the prisoner's attitude except for obvious side effects, it is discontinued. One week after this, the prisoner is looking more cheerful, and finally agrees to cooperate with the expert committee consisting of three forensic psychiatrists. When the committee sees the prisoner, none of its members has a chance to read the manuscript that brought the man to the attention of the authorities. During the interview, the prisoner is attentive and guarded, and later is described by one of the members as "hypervigilant, with obvious ideas of reference."

[The description of Gregor as having "ideas of reference" seems uncanny now, in the year 2011.  I wrote this document on December 31, 1991.  It was not until late December 1992, one year later, that I learned that Akin Gump alleged, in its Response to my unlawful job termination complaint filed by the D.C. Department of Human Rights, that I suffered from "ideas of reference."]

The committee unanimously agrees on the diagnosis offered by the forensic psychiatrist, Sluggish Schizophrenia. (Sluggish Schizophrenia is considered by Soviet authorities to be the mildest form of the continuous subtype of Schizophrenia. It is roughly equivalent to the concepts of "pseudoneurotic" and "pseudopsychopathic" Schizophrenias that were used by clinicians in the United States in previous decades. It is presumed to have a more favorable course than the other types of Schizophrenia.) The committee recommends compulsory psychiatric treatment for Gregor "because of his inability to have a critical attitude toward his own condition and circumstances and failure to cooperate with necessary medical treatment."

Discusssion of "Crimes Against the State"

The Soviet psychiatrist (now living in the United States) who provided this case suggests that the KGB investigator knew that the state would have considerable difficulty in prosecuting Gregor since it would have had to prove that he had a malicious intent to "undermine and harm the interests of the Socialist State." Because Gregor is articulate and persuasive, a public trial would have been an embarrassment to the government. Knowing that Gregor had been given a psychiatric diagnosis that exempted him from the draft, the KGB investigator reasoned that a trial would be unnecessary and that the credibility of Gregor's ideas would be undermined if his behavior could be attributed to a mental disorder.

The forensic psychiatrist was given inadequate and biased information, had no access to his "patient's" family or colleagues, and had to deal with a frightened and unwilling man. Practicing within a social system with an extremely narrow range of "permissible" behavior and within a profession that uses an extraordinarily broad concept of Schizophrenia, the forensic psychiatrist could very well have been sincere in considering Gregor mentally ill. It is also possible that the psychiatrist was cynically using his power to make diagnoses, hospitalize, and treat in order to satisfy an implicit request from the KGB to take this "troublesome man" off their hands.

Whether or not the forensic psychiatrist actually believed that Gregor was ill, he probably justified his diagnosis as follows: The onset of Gregor's Schizophrenia was, as is usual in this illness, at the time of adolescent transition to adult life. He exhibited overvalued ideas, instability of mood, inappropriately intense and single-minded pursuit of interests unusual for boys of his age, and obsessive compulsive personality traits. He developed a system of rationalized obsessive preoccupations with seeking reforms in Soviet society His tragic world view is evidence of chronic dysphoria and anhedonia. His belief that he can make a contribution to the economic theory and well-being of his country is evidence of an overvalued idea that has progressed into a fantastic delusion of reform. His cautious attitude toward authorities and state-appointed physicians is an expression of paranoid and self-referential perception.

In contrast to the Soviet forensic psychiatrist, we see absolutely no justification for making a psychiatric diagnosis in Gregor's case. His difficulties are certainly a result of the interaction between his personality traits and an oppressive society. However, in a freer society these personality traits might not cause any particular difficulties--indeed, might even be rewarded.

[DSM-III-R Diagnosis:

Axis I: V71.09 No Diagnosis or Condition
Axis II: V71.09 No Diagnosis or Condition]

15.  During the spring of 1985 the subject read a book by E. James Lieberman, titled Acts of Will:  The Life and Work of Otto Rank (The Free Press: 1985).  The introduction to the book, at xxxii, contains the following passage: “Upon Rank’s death that same year [1939], 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 towards a father.  That was now being unloaded onto me, and my dominant concern was how to protect Freud from the consequences. . . .  It became plain that a manic phase of cyclothymia was gradually intensifying.’”

While reading the above book in the spring of 1985 the subject made a handwritten marginal notation next to the above quoted passage.  The subject’s notation reads: “insanity as defiance of authority: cf. Psych in USSR.”  The subject highlighted the phrase underlined above, concluding with the phrase, “Freud and his doctrines."  Next to that highlighted phrase the subject wrote the following marginal notation, “(Marx & his doctrines?).”

[My employment at Akin Gump started three years later, in March 1988.]

16.  The subject’s fantasy that harassment by co-workers became especially intense in late October 1988, after he sent copies of his autobiographical sketch to some friends, parallels the reception in the Soviet Union of Pasternak’s novel, Dr. Zhivago.

An article about the author in the Encyclopedia Britannica states:  “Although Pasternak hoped for the best when he submitted Dr. Zhivago to a leading Moscow monthly in 1956, it was rejected with the accusation that ‘it represented in a libelous manner the October Revolution, the people who made it, and social construction in the Soviet Union’ . . .  In the Soviet Union, the Nobel Prize brought a campaign of abuse, Pasternak was ejected from the Union of Soviet writers and thus deprived of his livelihood.”

[Upon award of the Nobel Prize to Pasternak the presidium of the Union of Soviet Writers passed a resolution demanding that Pasternak be stripped of Soviet citizenship.  One wonders whether patriotism or jealousy motivated this action by fellow writers.]

In late October 1988, at the time the subject began to fantasize that his co-workers were harassing him and that firm management was in communication with his sister, he had no specific knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the publication of the novel Dr. Zhivago.  The subject first read the above-quoted encyclopedia article around September 1991.

[The campaign against Pasternak involved personal harassment.  To cite one incident: “Misha Svetlov, who was living out at Peredelkino that autumn, told me how one dark evening some local hooligans and drunks threw stones at Pasternak’s windows.  They also shouted anti-Semitic remarks.”  Gladkov, A.  Meetings with Pasternak: A Memoir at 168 (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977).]

17.  Beginning in August 1990 the subject began to fantasize that firm management was sending copies of his autobiographical paper to various experts, seeking their opinion of the writing.  The subject experienced this fantasy for the first time in early August 1990, nearly two years after he initially wrote the paper and mailed it to three individuals in October 1988.  In early August 1990 the subject imagined that firm management had asked Dr. Ernst Ticho for his opinion of the writing.  The subject fantasized that Dr. Ticho said of the subject, “He did a good job.”  The subject imagined, during the course of succeeding months, that his employer sent copies of the writing to other individuals including, among others, Professors Peter Gay, Harold Bloom, Fritz Stern, and Dr. Anthony Storr.  He imagined that Dr. Gerald Post in January 1991, after reviewing the writing, said of the subject. “He wants to be respected.”  This particular fantasy, of secret circulation of the writing, parallels the reception of the novel Dr. Zhivago, of which the Encyclopedia Britannica says “[the novel was] circulated only in secrecy and translation in his own land.”  Again, the subject had no specific knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the reception of the novel until he read the encyclopedia article in the fall of 1991.

[The late psychoanalyst Ernst Ticho, Ph.D., a mentor of Otto Kernberg's,  was married to Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D.  It was not until a year-and-one-half after I wrote this document (December 1991) that Akin Gump disclosed for the first time (May 1993) that it had consulted Gertrude Ticho, M.D. in connection with its plans to terminate my employment in late October 1991.  See Freedman v. D.C. Dept. Human Rights, D.C.C.A. no. 96-CV-961 (Sept. 1, 1998).  How uncanny that I should have had a paranoid fantasy about Ernst Ticho in August 1990, years before I knew about his actual links to Akin Gump!]    

18.  In a brief “creative” piece written in July 1987, the subject described a fictional scenario set in the Communist “witch hunt” days of the early 1950’s.  The piece concerned an enigmatic fellow, suspected of Communist sympathies, who tries to become an FBI agent.  He is scrutinized carefully and questioned closely by FBI agents, who seek to learn more about the fellow before they will allow him to join the “Bureau.”  In sum, the piece concerned the issue of surveillance by FBI agents (superego representatives).  The subject wrote the piece while employed at the law firm of Hogan and Hartson, before he began employment at Akin Gump.

19.  The subject’s “creative” piece about a man seeking a position with the FBI is reproduced below.  Note that the piece was written in late July 1987 coincident with the so-called “Iran-Contra” investigation, conducted by the U.S. Senate.  Note also that the name “Brandon Bloke” was probably inspired by the name of Mr. Oliver North’s attorney, Mr. Brendan Sullivan.  Further, the fictional characters in the piece, “Cadler” and “Bloke,” were inspired by two of the subject’s co-workers at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson.  These persons were also two of the three individuals to whom the subject sent copies of his autobiographical sketch in mid-October 1988.

Malice With Dignity.  Scenario for Short Story.  Scene: early 1950’s.  Cadler was a middle level supervisory employee at the FBI. He was a 100% American with unquestioned loyalties to his country. The mere mention of the word communist was enough to make him see red. He was always on the lookout for suspected communists. Ordinarily he would have nothing to do with communists or persons suspected of communist leanings.

His associate at the Bureau was one Brandon Bloke (or as his Chinese friends in Taiwan simply called him, Blandon Broke), another thorough going, dyed-in-the wool American. Bloke had an even more intense hatred of Communists and persons suspected of Communist sympathies. Bloke was a middle level employee at the Bureau, but was hoping to move up in the ranks. He was waiting for his security clearance,  which would enable him to move on to a higher position within the Bureau. Because he was being investigated for his security clearance he was even more scrupulous than usual in avoiding persons suspected of having left-wing leanings since this would jeopardize his chances of advancement in the Bureau, and compromise his status with fellow agents (not to mention his position vis-a-vis the more politically-conservative Wahine).

Enigman  had applied for a position with the Bureau. He was an unknown quantity to everyone. No one knew about his background or his loyalties. Was he loyal to his country? Did he have left-leaning tendencies?  Was he in fact a communist? There were many rumors about Enigman. One rumor had it that he was really a Soviet agent who was trying to infiltrate the Bureau, that he was desperate to get a position with the Bureau simply to betray his country.

Bloke and Cadler decided on a plan of action. Cadler would get friendly with Enigman simply to find out more about his motives. Ordinarily, Cadler wouldn’t have anything to do with someone of such suspect political orientation was Enigman, but he could pretend to be friendly with someone like Enigman for the sake of Bureau and Country.  (Cadler would be acting out of a desire to protect his country and what it was meant to stand for).

As noted, little was known about Enigman, but what was known was not too promising. It was known that he liked opera--Russian opera (he had real pinko interests). He didn’t appear to have normal American interests, like a regular Joe (no one ever saw him eating apple pie).

There were other things known about Enigman, however. He was known to be a very bright fellow. Bloke knew that if he was in fact loyal to his country, Enigman might prove to be a valuable employee of the Bureau.

Then there was Mary Cheltenham, the alluring and nubile supervisor of the Bureau’s intelligence decoding operation. She monitored the situation surrounding Cadler, Bloke, and Enigman with interest. She too wanted to know more about Enigman.

So, Cadler, proceeded with the plan. He used to engage Enigman in conversation, always reporting back to Bloke what he had learned. Bloke used to pick Cadler’s brain about what was learned in Cadler’s conversations with Enigman to the point where Cadler’s brain started to look like Swiss cheese.

Enigman was no fool. He knew what was going on. He had formulated his own game plan. Enigman was different--but not a Communist. He seemed to derive some perverse pleasure out of playing along with Cadler--even going so far as to lead Cadler on to thinking he was interested in infiltrating the Bureau. Enigman would sit back and watch Cadler and Bloke draw their typical inferences and end up embarrassing themselves in front of Mary Cheltenham.

On one occasion, Enigman even rearranged his lunch schedule, just to lead Cadler and Bloke on--to make them believe he was interested in meeting with them to further his goal of getting a job with the Bureau. **** (According to Freud, humor veils aggression, permitting the joke-teller, in Freud’s words, “to be malicious with dignity.”)

20.  At the time he wrote the above “creative” piece in late July 1987, while employed at Hogan & Hartson, the subject did not know that a founding partner of Akin Gump, Mr. Robert Strauss, had started his career as an FBI agent.  The subject first learned about Mr. Strauss’ affiliation with “The Bureau” in a front-page article in the New York Times, dated June 5, 1991, written in connection with Mr. Strauss’ nomination to the post of U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union.  Titled “’The Ultimate Capitalist’ - Robert Schwarz Strauss,” the article states in part:  “After he graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1941, Robert S. Strauss took a job as an F.B.I. agent ‘watching out for Communists,’ he jokingly recalled today about his F.B.I. postings in Washington, Ohio, Iowa and Texas.  ‘I would come home at night and my wife, Helen, would say, ‘Did you catch any spies today, dear?’’” (Paradoxically, in later years, as founder of a law firm Mr. Strauss was to devote some of his energies to spotting potential legal talent, just as earlier in his career he was assigned the task of identifying subversives.  And so, one finds that the impresario bears an affinity with the domestic intelligence officer just as the talented bear an affinity with the criminal element.)

21.  In Wagner’s Die Meistersinger, a comic opera set in the sixteenth century, a somewhat enigmatic knight arrives in Nürnberg from another city, seeking to become a member of the Mastersinger guild.  “Schliesst, Meister, in die Zunft mich ein!”  he says [Allow me to join the guild, Masters!].  The knight later learns that the winner of a soon-to-be-hold song contest will be granted both admission to the guild and the in hand in marriage of the heroine.  Thus, the issue of the knight’s suitability for membership in the fraternal guild becomes entangled--at both the psychological and political levels on which the drama operates--with the libidinal rivalries of the protagonists.  The skeptical and suspicious masters carefully scrutinize and closely question the knight on his origins.  He provides them with a brief autobiographical sketch: “Am stillen Herd. . . .”  An idealized father figure, venerated by the townspeople and the Masters, with an appreciation for the novel in art, protects the knight from the pedants who try to undo him.  In the second act of the opera, this father figure surveills the night to prevent him from running off with the opera’s heroine.  The world of Wagner’s opera is a world of guilds--of apprentices seeking to become masters.  It is a hierarchical world that engenders political rivalry, a world that mirrors the politically-charged atmosphere of a major law firm--an organization of associates and partners.

22.  There is an ego property, “a form of alloplastic adaptation in which the external world is pressed into the service of the ego in order to combat instinctual threats.”  Day, R. and Davidson, R.H. “Magic and Healing: An Ethnopsychoanalytic Examination.”  In: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, at 281 (Yale University Press: 1976).  Individuals who employ this mode of alloplastic adaptation engage in a “fusion of inner and outer reality” that “represents a magical mode of synthetic functioning that operates at both the primary and secondary process levels.  In the former instance there exists a mixture of idiosyncratic and cultural forms of primary process thinking--symbolism tends to reflect the intrapsychic conflicts and the reality of the inner world; in the latter case, however, symbolism tends to follow the general functioning that is characteristic of secondary process thinking--it is ‘object-related, conventionalized, and subject to linguistically-determined rules’ . . .--though retaining certain aspects of the magic-omnipotent primary process level.”  Id., at 291.  For individuals who engage in this type of alloplastic adaptation, seemingly-idiosyncratic fantasies may fuse with object-related secondary process thinking so that, in the end, the individual’s fantasies become identical to the objective and real.

[At this point in the exposition it becomes clear that a Janusian process of fusing opposing or antithetical ideas inspired the writing.  The writing conceives and elaborates the opposing ideas of delusion and reality as one and the same thing.

Dr. Albert Rothenberg, a noted researcher on the creative process, identified a process in 1979 he terms, "Janusian Thinking", named for the Roman god Janus, who had two faces that looked in opposite directions.  The way to use Janusian Thinking is to ask "What is the opposite of this?" and then try to imagine both opposites existing at the same time.

Incidentally, Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. served as a contributing editor on the text quoted above.  In May 1993 Akin Gump revealed for the first time that it had consulted Dr. Ticho prior to my job termination and that Dr. Ticho diagnosed my thinking as paranoid, a conclusion that was decisive in the firm’s decision to fire me -- or so the firm claims.  Ironically, it was Dr. Ticho who, in a sense, set in motion the events of the last 20 years concerning my relations with Akin Gump.  Thus, it was Dr. Ticho who in some way facilitated the process whereby my fantasies have become identical to the objective and real.]

23.  Wagner expressed an appreciation of the operation of the synthetic function in his life when he wrote in the late 1850’s, “My poetic conceptions have always been so far ahead of my experiences that I can only consider these conceptions as determining and ordering my moral development.” Richard Wagner to Mathilde’s Wesendonk.  Trans. By William Ashton Ellis. (Scribner: 1905).  Wagner found that there were instances when his conception of a dramatic situation actually preceded an occurrence of a like experience in his life.  Indeed, King Ludwig’s improbable rescue in 1864 of the 50-year-old destitute and debt-ridden composer is foreshadowed by the themes of rescue and redemption that inform Wagner’s previously-completed works.  Thus, we find in Wagner a fusion of inner and outer reality; we find him pressing the outer world into the service of his inner world.

24.  The characters and dramatic structure of Wagner’s operas reflect their own creator’s synthetic functioning; the characters appear to thrust their inner psychological motives outward to an historical, political level.  “Friedrich Nietzsche was the first to realize that at the heart of Wagner’s dramas there is a peculiar ‘double perspective’ affecting both action and psychological motivation. . . .  Wagner set the action [of Lohengrin] on two different levels; he composed a fairy-tale opera in the guise of an historical drama. . . .  Lohengrin’s tragedy is intelligible only if the two levels on which the drama operates are strictly separated one from the other.  The historical level is the contrasting background that throws the absolute, timeless artist into relief.  The ‘external’ action, rooted in a definite historical period, is contrasted with the ‘inner’ action, which is motivated on a purely psychological level and which resolves around the complementary relationship between Elsa and Lohengrin, a relationship that is brought into light through Ortrud’s intrigue.  [Wagner] throws the inner action outwards and thus creates a true drama.”  Holland, D. Lohengrin (Decca Record Co.: 1987) (insert accompanying recording).  The “double perspective" is also an important aspect of Die Meistersinger.  The Oedipal rivalries of the central characters are mirrored in the Oedipally-charged milieu of guild politics.  Individual psychological relationships are thrust outward to a political level, and political causes are used, in turn, to settle old scores between the protagonist.

[I wrote this essay in December 1991.  Dr. Kernberg's book Ideology, Conflict, and Leadership in Groups and Organizations was published seven years later, in 1998.]

25.  Poetic conception preceded life experiences for Pasternak as well as for Wagner.  Zhivago, the poet-physician, whose poetry is disfavored by the ruling Bolshevik elite, leaves Moscow to avoid the possible political consequences.  Ironically, the novel Dr. Zhivago aroused so much opposition against Pasternak in the Soviet Union that there were pubic meetings calling for its author’s expulsion.  Thus, Pasternak, who lived out his remaining years in seclusion, succumbed to the same fate as his fictional creation.  Pasternak’s crime against the state, in an uncannily literal sense, was Zhivago's crime against the state.

26.  A kind of “double perspective,” like that found in Wagner, can be seen in Dr. Zhivago, where the Family Romance operates both on a psychological level and a political level.  On a political level, the Russian revolution can be viewed as an inverted Family Romance, with the rule of the noble father, the Czar, overthrown in favor of that of the humble father, represented by Lenin and the Bolsheviks.  The orphaned Zhivago, like Russia, has a succession of fathers--in Zhivago's case, one biological and one adopted.  Moreover, Zhivago's biological father himself has both a noble and humble identity; originally wealthy, he sinks into a state of poverty.  Zhivago's fate mirrored Russia’s fate, just as Pasternak’s fate mirrored Zhivago's fate.  For Pasternak, the inner world fused with the outer world, the psychological fused with the political; fantasy was reality.

27.  The form of synthetic ego functioning described above can appear to be related -- in terms of its effect -- to the repetition compulsion in which the “ . . . the individual unconsciously arranges for variations of an original theme which he has not learned to overcome or to live with; he tries to master a situation which had been too much for him by meeting it repeatedly and of his own accord. . . . ”  Brenman-Gibson, M.  Clifford Odets: American Playwright - The Years from 1906 to 1940, at 636 (Atheneum: 1982), quoting Erikson, E. H., Childhood and Society (Norton: 1950).  To some degree, the individual who unconsciously arranges for repetitions of infantile and childhood experiences, like the individual who engages in the form of alloplastic adaptation discussed in paragraph 22, draws the objective world into the service of his inner world.  (The “creative” piece at paragraph 29 suggests the simultaneous operation of the repetition compulsion and synthetic ego functioning.)

28.  Freud provides instructive examples of the compulsion to repeat:  “Thus we have come across people all of whose human relationships have the same outcome: such as the benefactor who is abandoned in anger after a time by each of his protégés, however much they may otherwise differ from one another, and who thus seems doomed to taste all the bitterness of ingratitude; or the man whose friendships all end in betrayal by his friend; or the man who time after time in the course of his life raises someone else into a position of great private or public authority and then, after a certain interval, himself upsets that authority and replaces him by a new one; or, again, the lover each of whose love affairs with a woman passes through the same phases and reaches the same conclusion. This 'perpetual recurrence of the same thing' causes us no astonishment when it relates to active behavior on the part of the person concerned and when we can discern in him an essential character-trait which always remains the same and which is compelled to find expression in a repetition of the same experiences.”  Freud, S. (1920) Beyond the Pleasure Principle, at 16 (Norton: 1961).

29.  The following “creative” piece, which the subject wrote in April 1990, may indicate the subject’s compulsion to repeat.  The subject’s description of a conflict between his personality traits and a succession of like environments merits comparison with the case of Gregor, at paragraph 14.  (The piece contains minor revisions made in May 1991).


An American moves to a small Albanian village. The American speaks only a few words of Albanian. None of the Albanians speak more than a few words of English. Relations between the Albanian villagers and the American are marginal. The Albanians view the American as aloof, cold, and strange. The negative interaction between the American and the Albanians is experienced as a torment by the American. Over a period of time the American internalizes the Albanians' negative view of him; he adopts the Albanians' view of him as his own view of himself. The American decides to leave the village and move to a second Albanian village.


In the second village the American speaks only a few words of Albanian and none of the Albanians speak more than a few words of English. Again, relations between the American and the villagers are poor. But now, in a addition to the problems posed by the American's language barrier he also bears the psychological scars he acquired in the first Albanian village. The American's problems are twofold, but interrelated. One difficulty is an interpersonal problem rooted in the conflict between his identity and the identity of the villagers (just as in the first village). A second difficulty is an intrapsychic conflict -- with interpersonal effects -- rooted in the internalization of the negative valuations to which he was subjected in the first village, a difficulty ultimately attributable to some degree to a conflict of identities. In a process analogous to the phenomenon of sympathetic vibration, the American's interpersonal relations, to the degree they are mirrored in his intrapsychic functioning, produce "vibrations of the same period" in his introject.

A second American moves to the Albanian village; fortunately for him, the second American speaks Albanian fluently and gets on well with the local population. The first American strikes up a kind of friendship with the second American. (The two Americans do not necessarily read the same books, but the respective books they do read are written in the same language: a situation that gives rise to a rumor that our American friend is homospatial or, at least, has homospatial tendencies). The Albanian villagers, envious and angry that the American has made a friend, begin to spread a story that he is homospatial. The townspeople in the second Albanian village view the American not simply as aloof, cold, and strange, but as an aloof, cold, and strange homospatial. The American decides to move to a third Albanian village.


In the third Albanian village, the American speaks only a few words of Albanian and the local Albanians speak no more than a few words of English. Again, relations between the Albanian villagers and the American are poor. But now, in addition to the problems posed by the American's language barrier and psychological scars, he is plagued by rumors that he is homospatial (that is, he has a marked tendency to think metaphorically of males whom he admires, integrating their contradictions into figures of speech). The rumors have been spread by contacts between residents of the second and third Albanian villages. Also, villagers from the first Albanian village, retaining their old vendetta against the American, provide information that confers a vogue of credibility to the rumors in the second and third Albanian villages.

[Note that the term "First American" is a play on words.   First American is also the name of a bank.  

Former Secretary of Defense and Washington insider Clark Clifford was the Chairman of First American Corporation from 1981 to August 1991 and was the Chairman of First American Bankshares from 1982 through August 1991.  Robert Altman was a Director and President of First American Corporation from 1981 to August 1991. Clifford and Altman were law partners who, at a psychological level, had a symbolic  father-son or mentor-protege relationship.  Coincidentally, their firm's office in the 1980s was located at 815 Connecticut Avenue, in Washington, DC.  The office of the Hogan & Hartson law firm, where I used to work, was located in that building until April 1987; on occasion I saw Clark Clifford on the elevator.  See page 114A of Social Security document Submission.]

(The subject’s “creative” piece was to some extent inspired by, and includes a quotation from, Gold and Iron: Bismarck, Bleichröder, and the Building of the German Empire (Knopf: 1977), a book by Professor Fritz Stern.  In the words of the author the book is “about Germans and Jews, power and money.  It is a book focused on Bismarck and Bleichroeder, Junker and Jew, statesman and banker, collaborators for over thirty years.  The setting is that of a Germany where two worlds clashed. . . .”  The book employs the “double perspective" structure that Nietzsche discerns in the Wagner operas.  Here, the psychological relationship of Bismarck and Bleichroeder is thrust outward to the world of German society and politics.  Paraphrasing Holland’s analysis of the structure of Wagner’s Lohengrin [see paragraph 24], one might say that “Bleichroeder's tragedy is intelligible only if the two levels on which the book operates are strictly separated one from the other.  The historical level is the contrasting background that throws the absolute, timeless, wandering Jew--represented by the banker, Bleichroeder--into relief.  The ‘external’ action, rooted in a definite historical period, is contrasted with the ‘inner’ action, which is motivated around the complementary relationship between Bismarck and Bleichroeder, a relationship that is brought into the light through German provincialism.”)

30.  Freud observes that the compulsion to repeat is not limited in all cases to active behaviors on the part of the person concerned:  “We are much more impressed by cases where the subject appears to have a passive experience, over which he has no influence, but in which he meets with a repetition of the same fatality.”  Freud, S.  Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920), at 16 (Norton: 1961).

31.  During the period March 1988 through October 1991, the subject was employed at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, founded by Mr. Robert Strauss.  Mr. Strauss withdrew from the partnership during the summer of 1991 to assume the post of U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union; following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, Mr. Strauss became U.S. Ambassador to Russia).

Earlier in his life, during various periods from July 1970 until July 1979, the subject was employed in a division of the Franklin Institute, a scientific research organization located in Philadelphia.  The subject was employed in a division of the Institute, called the Science Information Services Organization, founded and headed by Mr. Alec Peters.

32.  Robert Strauss, a Jewish-American lawyer, who started his career as an FBI agent, founds a law firm, that grows to be a large organization employing hundreds of people; the organization branches out to cities worldwide.  He ends up in Moscow as U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, a political position of honor and esteem.  (In October 1991 the subject was terminated from the firm founded by Mr. Strauss.)  The Soviet Union is dissolved and Mr. Strauss is left ambassador to a remaining constituent part of the Union, Russia.  (The parent structure is dissolved and the part remains.)

Alec Peters, a Jewish-Romanian lawyer, spends ten painful and humiliating years as a political prisoner at the hands of the KGB in Lubianka prison (KGB headquarters) in Moscow after World War II.  After his release, he emigrates to the United States, and founds an organization that ultimately employs hundreds of people, which is itself a constituent part of a larger scientific institution, The Franklin Institute; Mr. Peters’ organization branches out to cities worldwide.  He ends up in a position of honor and esteem as Vice-President of The Franklin Institute.  (In July 1979 the subject resigned from the organization founded by Mr. Peters.)  Mr. Peters is ultimately fired, and the organization he founded is later dissolved.  The Franklin Institute, of which Mr. Peters’ organization was a constitution part, remains.  (The parent structure remains and the part is dissolved.)


Gary Freedman said...

Dr. Wiener had served as President of both the American Psychiatric Association as well as the American Psychoanalytic Association. I had transmitted a copy of my written self-analysis, The Caliban Complex, to Dr. Wiener some time during the summer of 1992. I telephoned Dr. Wiener in August 1992 in connection with my plans to embark on out-patient psychotherapy at GW. Dr. Wiener acknowledged that he had received the paper, and that he had given it to Dr. Tsao. I do not know if either Dr. Wiener or Dr. Tsao ever read the paper. Dr. Cuenco, who performed the initial assessment in September 1992, had been given the paper by Dr. Tsao; Dr. Cuenco said he read the paper. The paper suggests the presence of some creative potential in me.

Gary Freedman said...

Incidentally, during his Senate confirmation hearings Chief Justice John Roberts said his favorite movies were Dr. Zhivago and North by Northwest.

Gary Freedman said...

"The patient thereby conceals his secret longing for affiliation with, and protection by, the father--symbolically represented by the management of the firm."

In The Ego and the Id, Freud wrote:

The battle with the obstacle of an unconscious sense of guilt is not made easy for the analyst. Nothing can be done against it directly, and nothing indirectly but the slow procedure of unmasking its unconscious repressed roots, and of this gradually changing it into a conscious sense of guilt. One has a special opportunity for influencing it when this unconscious sense of guilt is a "borrowed" one - when it is the production of an identification with some other person who was once the object of an erotic cathexis. A sense of guilt that has been adopted in this way is often the sole remaining trace of the abandoned love-relation and not at all easy to recognize as such. (The likeness between this process and what happens in melancholia is unmistakable.) If one can unmask this former object-cathexis behind the unconscious sense of guilt, the therapeutic success is often brilliant, but otherwise the outcome of one's efforts is by no means certain. It depends principally on the intensity of the sense of guilt; there is often no counteracting force of a similar order of strength which the treatment can oppose to it. Perhaps it may depend too on whether the personality of the analyst allows of the patient's putting him in the place of his ego ideal, and this involves a temptation for the analyst to play the part of prophet, savior and redeemer to the patient. Since the rules of analysis are diametrically opposed to the physician's making use of his personality in any such manner, it must be honestly confessed that here we have another limitation to the effectiveness of analysis; after all, analysis does not set out to make pathological reactions impossible, but to give the patient's ego freedom to decide one way or the other.

Gary Freedman said...

In December 1991 I had the fantasy that Bob Strauss talked to Gorbachev about me.

Note that earlier that year, in June 1991, I had the impression that Bob Strauss had talked to Sec. of State James Baker about me.

Gary Freedman said...

Bob Strauss served as trustee of the Ronald Reagan Inst. of Emergency Medicine at GW. Perhaps the firm has other ties to GW Medical Center.

Jerry M. Wiener, M.D. was a nationally-prominent psychiatrist. It is conceivable that Akin Gump contacted Dr. Wiener before I sent him a letter in July 1992.

The D.C. Government admits that Akin Gump contacted a nationally-prominent psychiatrist (Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D., a GW-affiliated psychiatrist) about me during my employment. Freedman v. D.C. Dept. Human Rights, D.C.C.A. no. 96-CV-961 (Sept. 1, 1998).

Gary Freedman said...

My psychiatrists at GW insisted that my belief that I was under surveillance was a psychotic symptom, and recommended anti-psychotic medication to eliminate that belief. Even if the medication eliminated my belief that I was under surveillance, I would have been left with unconscious fantasies relating to all the psychological issues discussed in this document concerning the issue of surveillance.

The psychiatrists would be left with the task of analyzing the psychological issues concerning my "fantasy of surveillance." The psychiatrists never confronted that issue. Dr. Palombo, a psychoanalsyt, quite correctly confronted the unconscious determinants of my conscious beliefs in saying, "We can treat your beliefs as if they were a fantasy."

Gary Freedman said...

On the uncanniness of my employment at Akin Gump and my longstanding interest in Russian studies and Communism:

Gary Freedman said...

My treating psychiatrist at GW from October 1992 to June 1994 was Suzanne M. Pitts, MD (deceased). In August 1993 Dr. Pitts recommended the anti-psychotic medication Haldol (Haloperidol) to treat my paranoid delusions.

There are multiple reports from Soviet dissidents, including medical staff, on the use of haloperidol in the Soviet Union for punitive purposes or simply to break the prisoners' will. Notable dissidents that were administered haloperidol as part of their court ordered treatment were Sergei Kovalev and Leonid Plyushch. The accounts of Plyushch in the West, after he was allowed to leave the Soviet Union in 1976, were instrumental in the triggering Western condemnation of Soviet practices at the World Psychiatric Association's 1977 meeting. The use of haloperidol in the Soviet Union's psychiatric system was prevalent because it was one of the few psychotropic drugs produced in quantity in the USSR

Gary Freedman said...

Early in his career, famed psychiatrist Aaron Beck, MD sucessfully treated a schizophrenic with a fixed delusion based on borrowed guilt. The delusion described in this post is similar to the case reported by Dr. Beck. (Dr. Beck trained as a psychoanalyst before developing cognitive therapy).

Gary Freedman said...

Alec Peters' second wife was Patricia Devlin Peters.

Bernard E. Epstein (Huntingdon Valley, PA) was a close associate of Alec Peters at The Franklin Institute.

Gary Freedman said...

The Clifford/Altman Relationship

It is often said that Bob Altman was the son Clark Clifford never had. But more than that they appeared to be alter egos. “I think Mr. Clifford saw a lot of himself in Bob,” Bert Lance told me. From the beginning, Altman was dazzled by Clifford. “Robert had never seen such a high concentration of savoir faire,” a friend recalls. The protégé seemed to exhibit his own brand of deformation professionelle. Perhaps unconsciously he even began to imitate Clifford’s gestures and stentorian tones. He affected dark double-breasted suits. One reporter who interviewed him during Lancegate observed, “Altman seemed like he was wearing his father’s suit.”

As a child, Altman had been a brainy “nerd,” a close family friend remembers. His parents were highly competitive lawyers who lived in the pleasant Washington neighborhood of Cleveland Park. As a law student at George Washington University, Altman worked at Clifford and Warnke and later joined the firm.

Altman led the takeover battle to buy Financial General bank for the group of Arab businessmen who became the nominal owners. They changed the name of the bank to First American, and with Clifford and Altman’s assistance, got government approval to open its doors. Clifford became the chairman of the new bank, and Altman the president. Clifford’s wife, Marny, would later tell a close friend how impressed her husband had been with the perks of the bank job. “One of the things that impressed him the most was the very large office and two huge limousines he received,” she reportedly said. When Clifford resigned as chairman of First American, in the wake of the B.C.C.I. scandal, he was said to have asked Nicholas Katzenbach, the new head of the bank, if he could buy one limousine.