Friday, September 30, 2011

A Jewish Tale

I once read a story, a true story, about a non-observant Jew who had been invited to a dinner at the home of Hasidic Jews. There were bottles of soda on the table for the assembled guests. The non-observant Jew picked up a soda bottle in a back-handed way, his wrist turned, with his thumb on the bottom. Immediately, everyone at the table glared at the man, aghast and horrified. "What did I do?" the confused man asked. It was quietly explained to him that in the Hasidic community that particular wrist motion was reserved for washing the dead in preparation for burial.

I thought of that story while watching the following YouTube video of Penn State Psychology Professor David Rosenbaum (The Central High School of Philadelphia, 229th class, 1970) performing an experiment on grasping objects. 

GW Psychiatric Treatment: Misdiagnosis of Bi-Polar Disorder -- SSA Fraud

In September 1992 I underwent a two-hour psychiatric assessment by Napoleon Cuenco, M.D. at the George Washington University Medical Center (Attending Physician: Daniel Tsao, M.D.).  Dr. Cuenco assigned the diagnosis bi-polar disorder (rule out schizoaffective disorder).  Dr. Cuenco claimed to have observed the mood-congruent psychotic features of racing thoughts, loose associations, flight of ideas, and pressured rapid speech: all symptoms of mania.

In February 1993 my then treating psychiatrist Suzanne M. Pitts, M.D. (deceased) prescribed lithium for bi-polar disorder.  I stopped taking the medication after several weeks.

On April 20, 1993 I filed a claim for disability benefits with the U.S. Social Security Administration.  My claim was based on the assumption that I suffered from bi-polar disorder as diagnosed by GW.

In August 1993 Dr. Pitts recommended that I take the anti-psychotic medication Haldol, days after I filed a complaint against her with the D.C. Medical Board.

On August 26, 1993 I placed a telephone call to my sister, Estelle Jacobson, in which I discussed my treatment at GW.  My sister was incredulous that I had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and firmly maintained that I never suffered from mania or bi-polar disorder.

The following is a transcript of a portion of that telephone conversation with my sister.

[sister:] Well, either you have faith in your doctor or you don’t.

[Gary Freedman:] I have none. 

[sister:] Oh.

[Gary Freedman:] And it’s not in keeping . . .  Why is it . . .  And it’s not in keeping with their diagnosis. 

[sister:] Of what?

[Gary Freedman:] Bi-polar disorder.

[sister:] Oh no.  Well,  I didn’t . . .  you don’t have bi-polar disorder.

[Gary Freedman:] That’s what I was diagnosed as having: manic depression.

[sister:] But you don’t have mood swings high and low.

[Gary Freedman:] That’s exactly it.  Wouldn’t you say that would call into question her prescribing an anti-psychotic medication?  How am I supposed to have any faith in her?

[sister:] Mm-hm.

[Gary Freedman:] Would you have any faith in a doctor like that?

[sister:] No, I mean you’re definitely not bi-polar. 

[Gary Freedman:] Well, would you have any faith in. . .

[sister:] When are you ever manic?

[Gary Freedman:] Well, let me say something, Stell.

[sister:] Yea.

[Gary Freedman:] If a doctor were to misdiagnose and misprescribe one drug . . .

[sister:] So why would you . . .

[Gary Freedman:] Why would I have any faith  in the second drug?

[sister:] Yea.  I can understand that.

[Gary Freedman:] And you can ask her that question.

[sister:] Hm-hm.

[Gary Freedman:] And tell her that you don’t see any manic depression in me.

[sister:] Yea.

[Gary Freedman:] As far as you can see.

[sister:] No, I don’t see any mania.

[Gary Freedman:] I think she’s nuts!

Thus, my claim for Social Security disability benefits was based on the misdiagnosis of a psychotic mental illness by the George Washington University Medical Center as well as the false sworn statements of my former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, that I had been determined to be mentally ill and not suitable for employment effective October 29, 1991.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Odd Concern for My Employment Problems

This individual has been logging onto my blog for the past several weeks, seemingly concerned with my employment problems. I wonder who the individual is?

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On Mysterious Forces and Feelings

At one time, Max Graf (Sigmund Freud’s friend) expressed doubt concerning the wisdom of raising his infant son as a Jew, for the child had been born in the midst of an anti-Semitic ferment whipped up by the Viennese demagogue. Freud said to him: “If you do not let your son grow up as a Jew, you will deprive him of those sources of energy which cannot be replaced by anything else. He will have to struggle as a Jew and you ought to develop in him all the energy he will need for the struggle. Do not deprive him of that advantage.”

"In my opinion, we as Jews, if we want to cooperate with other people must develop a little masochism and be prepared to endure a certain amount of injustice. There is no other way. You may be sure that if I were called Oberhuber my new ideas would, despite all the other factors, have met with far less resistance." --Sigmund Freud

“I must admit that I share neither Jewish faith nor national pride … but there are other qualities that endowed Jews and Judaism with an irresistible attraction. This attraction is rooted in mysterious forces and feelings which draw their power from an inexplicable source that defies definition”. --Sigmund Freud

Preface to the Hebrew Edition of Totem and Taboo 

No reader of [the Hebrew version of] this book will find it easy to put himself in the emotional position of an author who is ignorant of the language of holy writ, who is completely estranged from the religion of his fathers — as well as from every other religion — and who cannot take a share in nationalist ideals, but who has yet never repudiated his people, who feels that he is in his essential nature a Jew and who has no desire to alter that nature. If the question were put to him: 'Since you have abandoned all these common characteristics of your countrymen, what is there left to you that is Jewish?' he would reply: 'A very great deal, and probably its very essence.' He could not now express that essence clearly in words; but some day, no doubt, it will become accessible to the scientific mind.

Thus it is an experience of a quite special kind for such an author when a book of his is translated into the Hebrew language and put into the hands of readers for whom that historic idiom is a living tongue: a book, moreover, which deals with the origin of religion and morality, though it adopts no Jewish standpoint and makes no exceptions in favour of Jewry. The author hopes, however, that he will be at one with his readers in the conviction that unprejudiced science cannot remain a stranger to the spirit of the new Jewry. --Sigmund Freud: Vienna, December 1930.

Speech to the B'nai Brith on his seventieth birthday. May 6, 1926

Right Honorable Grand President, honorable President, dear Brothers:

Thank you for the honor you have done me today. You know why I cannot answer in my own voice. You have heard one of my friends and followers speak of my scientific work-but the verdict on these things is difficult to pronounce and perhaps will not be pronounced with any certainty for a long time to come. Permit me to add something to the remark of the other speaker, who is also my friend as well as my solicitous physician. I would like to tell you briefly how I became one of the B'nai B'rith, and what I sought among you.

In the years following 1895 two strong impressions were made upon me that combined to leave the same effect. On the one hand, I had won my first insight into the depth of the instinctive life of a human being, had seen much that was sobering and even frightening. On the other hand, the communication of my unpleasant discoveries resulted in the loss of what were then the greatest part of my personal relationships. It seemed to me that I was like a man outlawed, shunned by everyone. In my isolation, the longing arose in me for a circle of chosen, high-minded men who, regardless of the audacity of what I had done, would receive me with friendliness. Your society was pointed out to me as the place where such men were to be found.

That you were Jews only suited me the more, for I myself was a Jew, and it always seemed to me to be not only shameful but downright senseless to deny it. That which bound me to Judaism--I am obliged to admit it--was not my faith, nor was it national pride; for I was always an unbeliever, raised without religion, although not without respect for the so-called "ethical" demands of human civilization. And I always tried to suppress nationalistic ardor, whenever I felt any inclination thereto, as something pernicious and unjust, frightened as I was by the warning example of the peoples among whom we Jews live. But there remained enough other things to make the attraction of Judaism and Jews irresistible -many dark emotional forces, all the more potent for being so hard to grasp in words, as well as the clear consciousness of an inner identity, the intimacy that comes from the same psychic structure .

And to that was soon added the insight that it was my Jewish nature alone that I had to thank for two characteristics that proved indispensable to me in my life's difficult course. Because I was a Jew I found myself free from many prejudices that hampered others in the use of their intellects; and as a Jew I was prepared to take my place on the side of the opposition and renounce being on good terms with the "compact majority." And therefore I became one of you, took part in your humanitarian and national interests, made friends among you, and persuaded the few friends remaining to me to join our society. There was no question whatsoever of convincing you of my theories, but at a time when no one in Europe listened to me and I had not a single follower even in Vienna you granted me your benevolent attention. You were my first audience.

For some two thirds of the long period of time since my admission I came to you conscientiously, gaining recreation and stimulation from my intercourse with you. Today you were kind enough not to reproach me for having stayed away from you the last third of this time. My work piled up over my head; the demands connected with it mounted; my day could not be prolonged enough to permit me to attend your sessions; my body soon after could no longer endure the delayed mealtime. And finally there came years of illness, the illness that today too prevents me from putting in an appearance among you. you conscientiously, gaining recreation and stimulation from my intercourse with you. Today you were kind enough not to reproach me for having stayed away from you the last third of this time.

I do not know whether I was a regular B'nai B'rith in your sense. I am almost ready to doubt it; too many special conditions came up in my case. But I can assure you that you meant much to me and did much for me during the years I belonged to you. And so accept my warmest thanks for the past, as well as for the present. -- Sigmund Freud, Speech to the B'nai Brith on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday, May 6, 1926

GW Psychiatric Treatment: Knowledge of Allegations of Violent Tendencies

I saw Dimitrios Georgopoulos, M.D. in weekly psychotherapy during the period July 1994 through June 1996 at the George Washington University Medical Center.  On several occasions I asked Dr. Georgopoulos to prepare a written statement saying that I did not pose a risk of violence, as had been alleged by my former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.  Dr. Georgopoulos repeatedly refused to sign such a statement although he stated to me his opinion that he did not consider me to be potentially violent.  I prepared several draft statements, each of which Dr. Georgopoulos refused to sign.  The following statement that I prepared dated August 2, 1995 is evidence that the George Washington University Medical Center was fully aware of concerns that I might become violent.  It was not until the fall of 1995, several months later, that I filed a civil action in D.C. Superior Court that appealed the final agency action of the D.C. Department of Human Rights affirming that Akin Gump had genuine concerns about my potential for violence as of late October 1991.

TO:        Dr. Georgopoulos
FROM: Gary Freedman
DATE:  August 2, 1995
RE:       Statement--Potential for Violence

Further to my memo to you dated July 31, 1995, I offer the following alternative statement that you may find more acceptable.


[Background facts relating brief treatment history at GW and relationship with Dr. Georgopoulos.]

Mr. Freedman does not pose a risk of violence.  Mr. Freedman has not threatened to commit an act of violence.

In representing that Mr. Freedman does not pose a risk of violence, I am aware of the following facts or allegations, which I have determined to be nondispositive as to Mr. Freedman’s current potential for violence.

1.  Results of psychological testing prepared by the George Washington University Medical Center in May 1994 under the supervision of William Fabian, Ph.D. state that psychotic decompensation and/or suicide are an ever-present possibility for Mr. Freedman and that Mr. Freedman does not appear to have a good psychological coping mechanism.

2.  Results of psychological testing prepared by the George Washington University Medical Center in May 1994 under the supervision of William Fabian, Ph.D. state that Mr. Freedman may have lied on psychological testing in order to conceal the presence or severity of a delusional (paranoid) disorder.

3.  A chart dated September 13, 1989 by Kathleen Kelley of Sheppard Pratt Employee Assistance Programs states: “Client described what appear to be paranoid delusions.  Co-workers make comments to trivialize his sense of importance, to insinuate he is insane, and to suggest he is potentially violent and may appear at work with a gun and shoot them.  He reports he does not have this intention and does not have a gun. . . .  Client has paranoid delusions of his co-workers suggesting he is homicidal and planning to shoot them.  Internal and unexpressed rage is projected.”

4.  Mr. Freedman reports that a co-worker at his former place of employment, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (“Akin Gump”), Stacey Schaar, stated to Mr. Freedman in about August 1989: “We’re all afraid of you.  We’re all afraid you’re going to buy a gun, bring it in and shoot everybody.  Even the manager of your apartment building is afraid of you.”

5.  Mr. Freedman reports that on the evening of July 1, 1993 he placed a telephone call to one of his former co-workers at Akin Gump, Mrs. Patricia McNeil.  Mrs. McNeil reportedly advised Mr. Freedman that immediately after his job termination on October 29, 1991, his direct supervisor, Chris Robertson, had all the keys to the office changed because of her fears that Mr. Freedman might be homicidal.  Mrs. McNeil reportedly stated that Chris Robertson, in about late October 1991, warned her employees, including Mrs. McNeil, that Mr. Freedman was potentially homicidal.

Mrs. McNeil reportedly stated: “The only  thing I knew is that Chris [Robertson] sent the E-mail over the system, and she wanted all of us in the office. And the next thing, she said, ‘no, forget about it.’  She said, ‘Well, you all know that Gary, he’s gone, and they’re coming to change the locks because Gary may come back and he may kill me or something.’”

According to Mr. Freedman, his former direct supervisor, Mrs. Robertson, was a senior supervisory employee who reported directly to R. Bruce MacLean, a partner and member of the law firm’s management committee.

6.  A sworn statement made under penalty of perjury, dated May 22, 1992, filed with the District of Columbia Department of Human Rights by two Akin Gump partners, managing partner Laurence J. Hoffman, Esq. and Dennis M. Race, Esq., expressly characterizes Mr. Freedman’s conduct as an employee as “disruptive, with occasional violent outbursts,” “frightening to co-workers,” and states that Mr. Freedman was unable to work with or in close proximity to other legal assistants or litigation support personnel,” that he “engaged in conduct which was detrimental to the firm,” and that his conduct was “bizarre” and “volatile.”

Mr. Race states in a confidential memo, dated October 29, 1991, that the employer determined that Mr. Freedman’s continued presence on the firm’s premises might expose the firm to potential legal liability.

7.  The District of Columbia Department of Human Rights (DHR) made the following finding of fact: “[Akin Gump] also sought outside professional guidance because of the emotional and psychological nature of [Mr. Freedman’s] allegations [of job harassment] and his coworkers responses.  [Akin Gump] contacted an unnamed counselor from its Employee Assistance Program and an outside psychiatrist.  Both agreed that [Mr. Freedman] should seek counseling.  Dr. Gertrude Ticho [M.D.] identified [Mr. Freedman’s] behavior, putting a negative meaning to virtually every event as ‘ideas of reference’ and cautioned that individuals in similar circumstances may become violent. . . .”  DHR Initial Determination, dated June 30, 1993, Finding of Fact No. 6.

Mr. Freedman reports that Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. denied to him ever having consulted with anyone at Akin Gump concerning Mr. Freedman’s employment.

The George Washington University Medical Center has had no communications whatsoever with any attorney managers or supervisors at Akin Gump concerning Mr. Freedman, and has not sought any additional details regarding the circumstances surrounding Mr. Freedman’s employment or job termination despite a government agency finding that Mr. Freedman was determined by the employer, reportedly in consultation with a psychiatrist, to be potentially violent and a threat to persons in his environment.  The George Washington University Medical Center is aware that were Mr. Freedman to commit an act of violence consistent with the determinations of attorney managers of Akin Gump and DHR that Mr. Freedman is potentially violent, the prior failure of the George Washington University Medical Center to consult Akin Gump’s attorney managers regarding Mr. Freedman’s violent and/or purportedly homicidal propensities might expose the Medical Center to legal liability to Mr. Freedman’s victims or their survivors.

8.  Mr. Freedman was interrogated in December 1994 by special agents of the U.S. Secret Service as a potential threat to the life of the President of the United States.  In February 1995 the U.S. Secret Service advised the George Washington University Medical Center that the agency would like access to Mr. Freedman’s file of confidential mental health information

Mr. Freedman reports that the U.S. Secret Service advised him, in February 1995, of that agency’s belief that he does not pose a risk of violence to that agency’s protectees.

9.  Mr. Freedman has been determined by the U.S. Social Security Administration to have been continuously unemployable by reason of mental impairment since October 29, 1991, on which date his employment was terminated by his former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.

10.  Mr. Freedman continues to believe that he was a victim of harassment and job discrimination at his former place of employment, Akin Gump.  Mr. Freedman continues to express feelings of despair and outrage in connection with his employment experience at Akin Gump, which employment ended on October 29, 1991, nearly four years ago.

According to DHR Mr. Freedmen was not subjected to discrimination or harassment of any kind while employed at Akin Gump.  According to DHR, Mr. Freedman’s belief that he was so treated was the product of a paranoid mental disturbance that rendered him potentially violent.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Telephone Call to Sister: April 1993 -- Social Security Disability Application

I had filed for Social Security disability on April 20, 1993.  Material pertinent to the Social Security application is found at the end of the post, and is highlighted in yellow.  On the day of the following telephone conversation with my sister, April 26, 1993, I hand-delivered to the American Psychological Association a copy of an ethics complaint against my former treating psychologist, William D. Brown, Ph.D.  I formed the suspicion that Akin Gump was contacted about the complaint and that some of my sister's references in the telephone call were symbolic allusions to the complaint: such as, references to incompetent doctors and the TV show Murphy Brown.

May 24, 1993
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20008

Suzanne M. Pitts, MD
Dept. of Psychiatry
GW Univ. Medical School
2150 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20037

Dear Dr. Pitts:

Enclosed is a transcript of a telephone conversation I had with my sister on the evening of April 26, 1993.  I have already supplied you with a tape of the conversation.

I request that you review my editorial comments at pages 4, 6, and 7 of the transcript.


Gary Freedman

[Gary Freedman:] [inaudible].

[sister:] Oh, OK.

[Gary Freedman:] Un huh.

[sister:] So, how are you doing?

[Gary Freedman:] All right.

[sister:] What’s new?

[Gary Freedman:] Not a great deal.

[sister:] No?

[Gary Freedman:] No.

[sister:] Oh.  Well, ah.  Not much new here.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] So, Suz, I think, is napping a tad.

[Gary Freedman:] Un huh.

[sister:] Yea, so how was that gay rally down there?

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] Did that have the town abuzz?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.  I went down there.

[sister:] Oh, did ya?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] Was it real crowded?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea. It interfered with my walking, ah . . .

[sister:] Oh.

[Gary Freedman:] . . . route.

[sister:] Ah, they were out in full force, huh?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] So.  Oh.  We went out to dinner with Nedda yesterday.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] So, we brought the girls.  It’s enjoyable whenever they’re away.  So.  You know, they had the club on their car, and their car was stolen with the club.

[Gary Freedman:] What?

[sister:] [laughter].  Yea, the car was stolen with the club.  Ya know how they do it?

[Gary Freedman:] What club?

[sister:] You know, Ya ever see the club, ya buy it. And you put it on, um, the steering wheel.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh that, yea.

[sister:] Yea.  Well, what they did was, I mean she heard them, the horn blew in the middle of the night and she looked out, she looked out, she saw them stealing the car.  So, when they finally caught up with them, and Paul got in the car, and there was no club on the ah, you know, and he looked in the back seat.  Here, what they did, there was the steering wheel with the club on it.  What they did was, they just took the whole steering wheel off and brought their own steering wheel with them. And connected it, and off they went.  So it seems like the club is not gonna deter someone who wants to steal a car.  You just, I’m sure they know, anybody who’s a car thief, know you just take the whole steering wheel off.  Is that something?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] So.  So. So, Ed’s Dad was over this weekend.

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] Yea.  He has this, eh, I told you he has Paget’s disease?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] Yea, so he’s kind of in pain.  I mean, he doesn’t know he has it.  Cause you can’t really tell him  . . .  certain things, you can’t tell him.  He just doesn’t, I don’t know if he doesn’t understand what you’re telling, you know, I can’t understand why, but you can’t, because he’ll just, I dunno, I can’t explain it.  It’s not like he doesn’t believe you.  It’s, I don’t know, it’s weird.  So.  It’s just better left unsaid.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] Mer went to the library.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] She got a pretty good report card.  She, I think she got an A, three B’s, oh, no, no, she only has, two or three B’s and a C.  So she got the C in math, which she brought up.  So, she oughta be all right for the end, there.

[Gary Freedman:] Just coast along.

[sister:] Yea.  Coast along.  So, I.  Did you ever hear of the Stafford Loan?

[Gary Freedman:] No.

[sister:] Oh, well, it’s this, ah, they have subsidized and unsubsidized, depending on how much you need.  Ah, it’s a loan from the government, and you don’t have to pay it back till you’re finished school.  So, they don’t give you much.  I think it’s like $2,600, ah, a year, for your first two years, and then after you're successfully completed two years, I guess they figure, you know, you have your better chance of making it.  And so, ah, they push it up, I don’t know, to 4,000 or something.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] So, ah, you know, you don’t have to prove any need.  You just have to request it, I guess, and they give it to you.  So.  So, I just got the forms in the mail today for that.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] [Sighs.]  So, did you have a rainstorm down there today?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea, it was raining today.

[sister:] Yea.  Yea.

[Gary Freedman:] It wasn’t as big as they said it was going to be.

[sister:] So.  Well, first of all it didn’t get cold till later, I mean they had said, I dunno, I got the impression it was gonna get cold earlier, but, I mean tonight its supposed to go down to around 40.  But, it was warm for most of the afternoon.  So, did I tell you Arthur [Calhoun] had open heart surgery?

[Gary Freedman:] No.

[sister:] Yea, Eddie, eh, found out he was in the hospital, so he asked his secretary to call up, and they said, “We have no Arthur Calhoun here [laughs].”  But as it turned out, I don’t why. . . .  Oh, yea, yea, yea, He was under an alias [laughs].  Now you say, why would he check into the hospital under an alias?  But, I think somebody, Eddie said somebody’s out to kill him.  Now, I don’t know if he’s paranoid or what.  But, somebody’s probably is out to kill him because a lot of people do, ah, you know, I think, he did, ah, a lot of people dirty, so, eh, I guess it could be any number of people out after him.  So, he had to go in the hospital under an alias.  But he was only there . . .

[Gary Freedman:] What did he do to people?

[sister:] Well, like, how about his last wife who he, um she caught him in bed with another man?  (Compare (1) sodomy with a “stolen husband” with earlier reference to finding the (2) stolen car with the steering wheel in the “back seat.”  See p. 2.]

[sister:] Oh, Joy, um . . .  Oh, yea, what’s her name?

[Gary Freedman:] The Australian?

[sister:] No, not the Australian.  He broke, he never did marry her.  Then he met Terry.  Well, actually he knew Terry and then he went off to Australia and he met, eh, her, the Australian.  Then he came back and he got engaged to Terry and he got married, and they had this big wedding.  F’you know, fancy wedding at the Pennsauken Country Club, and all this kind of stuff.  And then, um, this was the first year we were here, March of ‘90.  And then ah, she, she went aw[ay]. She went to Florida, or something, and when she came back, she caught him in bed with another man.  That was the first time we had actual proof, that, you know, he was strange.  I mean, we never had proof before.  So, ah, so naturally, that kind of broke up the relationship.  And, ah.  So, her son . . .

[Gary Freedman:] Why?

[sister:] Why [laughs]?  I don’t know [laughs].  So, her sons were hot under the collar about that one.  I don’t think they’d go and kill him, I mean, to be honest with you.  But I think a few people, ah, he’s had business dealings with, ah, weren’t too pleased with him.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] So, eh, he, you know, he’s ah.  So, he was in the hospital.  I didn’t know what for, what, do you know anything, how long you stay in the hospital for open heart surgery?  He was only there for four days.

[Gary Freedman:] What kind of open heart surgery, did he have a heart transplant?

[sister:] No, ah, they’re different, that’s right, he had bypass, about three or four bypasses.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] So, he’s home, and . . .

[Gary Freedman:] So, he wasn’t watching himself after his heart attack.

[sister:] Yea, but that was, eh, what, fourteen years ago?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea, was he taking care of himself?

[sister:] Oh, then he had another heart, well had another heart attack recently.

[Gary Freedman:] And he still smokes, doesn’t he?

[sister:] Oh, smokes, and he, he’s gained and lost weight, but I would say he, cause he’s diabetic, too.  You have to remember that.  So, I’m sure that’s not good for your, for your, eh, circulatory system.

[Gary Freedman:] So, maybe if he had stayed in good shape he wouldn’t have had these problems.  If he had used his first heart attack as a warning.  So apparently he didn’t, he didn’t.

[sister:] Maybe, maybe, because he did smoke, right.  Yea, I dunno.  And then, um, like he, you know, he would be in the office, and he’d eat some junk, you know, and he’d say, “Eh, I’m not going to worry about it.”

[Gary Freedman:] How’s his weight?

[sister:] Well, I haven’t seen him.  I think he had lost weight.  See, and then he had the cancer.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh, that, yea.

[sister:] So, he was supposed to die, em, well.  He told Eddie he was going to die in two years, that was when Eddie’s mom died, in 1986.  So, and then, all through the years, he’s always been saying: oh, he’s almost dying.  And then one time I talked to him, and this eh, was, because he had said, you know, he had got a hot tub, a couple years ago, he had said this, because the doctor said, gradually, you know, he’s gonna be in a lot of pain, and, so, you know, it’ll be soothing for him.  And then he told me he couldn’t walk steps, so he moved into a one-floor house.  But, meanwhile, he keeps perking along, ya know.

[Gary Freedman:] Is he your age?

[sister:] No, he, April 9th was his birthday, and I think he’s about, I was trying’ to figure, cause when Mom, Mom, his, well his birthday is in April, he was, em, 36, when he had his first heart attack.  And that was right before Mom died, so, that was like, eh, December of, eh, ‘79.  So it means in 1979 he turned 36, so figure it out from there.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh, so he’s 50 now.

[sister:] So . . . So, he’s 50, yea.  So, he’s like 4 years older than we are.  Or, 4 and a half, whatever.  So, eh, yes, so, em, he just turned 50.  So . . ., yea, so . . .

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] So, that’s it.  And, his son’s [Christopher Calhoun] finishing up his MBA at, ah, LaSalle.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] So, ah, cause he did his undergraduate there, too.  So he liked it, you know, we ran into him at the, ah, mall.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] So, he was saying, he knew all the teachers, so it was nice.  He felt at home at LaSalle.  So.  And, em.  That’s about it.

[Gary Freedman:] OK.

[sister:] Yea.  So, what did you have for dinner?

[Gary Freedman:] Spaghetti.

[sister:] Oh. That’s what I had.  Whole wheat fettuccine with, em, baked yam.  You know, I cannot settle this yam/sweet potato controversy.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] Then I picked up a nutrition book that said that, eh, yams eh, that true sweet potatoes, that true yams, what was that?  Yams weren’t grown in this country.  I would doubt they would import yams.  I don’t know.

[Gary Freedman:] Did you find out about the, ah, about beta carotene content?

[sister:] Yea, well, that's it. Cause some places, yea, I think some of them are maybe misinformed.  After all, the people who do research doesn’t mean they do scrupulous research.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] Don’t you figure?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

The following lines merit special attention:

[sister:] So then they have some nutritional books that seem, um, you know, really, ah, well one was a textbook.  So, you figure that would be pretty well researched [compare Freud’s observations regarding infantile sexual research as a precursor of later intellectual curiosity].  And they, there’s this other Mt. Sinai

[Play on “Sign (symptom) eye?”  In about April 1968, my sister, then 20 years old, consulted an ophthalmologist about an eye symptom of undetermined cause.  The elderly physician (Dr. Donnelly?), who my sister said was probably senile and incompetent, was unable to diagnose any organic cause of the symptom, of longstanding duration a constant feeling of mild discomfort as if caused by a foreign body.  Intriguingly, my sister apparently felt some shame in connection with the symptom.  I had accompanied my sister to the doctor’s office and she swore me to silence about the office visit.  Thus, another possible reference to the competence of a doctor.  Also, the following possible phallic reference (“big thick thing”) suggests the possible psychosomatic origin of my sister’s eye symptom (”Sign-eye”), namely, scoptophilia.)

[sister:] Book on nutrition.  It’s a big thick thing [phallic reference?].

[Gary Freedman:] [Sighs]

[sister:] It's, eh.  Well, it’s funny ‘cause in Cherry Hill [female sexual reference?] in the reference shelves, and you can’t take it out [play on “take out on a date?”] but in the Moorestown library, it's on the, um, you know, I never could find a definitive answer [compare earlier reference to finally arriving at a definitive answer regarding the sexual orientation of friend, Arthur Calhoun].  Then, another thing I can’t find is sweet potatoes.  But I think they only have them in the fall.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] So, I figure.  I’ll eat the other anyway, it’s got fiber [anal, or alimentary , reference?--symbolic reference to regressing to anal position because of frustrated genital satisfaction?--"can’t find definitive answer in the big, fat thing”].

[sister:] Right?  I mean I’m sure it has a lot of good things in it even if it's not up to par on the.  ‘Cause you know what I started to do, I don’t know if I told you this, every day at, when I have my sandwich at lunch I cut up a carrot.  So, at least I know I’m getting one, cause one carrot has an awful lot of beta carotene in it.  Oh, did I tell you, did I tell you what, what has a tremendous amount of ah, I don’t know if it’s vitamin A or beta carotene?  Polar bear liver?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea, it’s full of cholesterol.

[sister:] Yea, but whatever, I mean, but it has so much vitamin A you would probably, ah, kill yourself with one bite.  Like 5 million international Units or something.  It’s really highly concentrated.  But who would eat Polar bear liver?  I guess Eskimos.  But eh, so I thought that was kind of weird even to have that in a book.  I mean, you know, who would, it’s not like it’s a source of, eh, food that the average person would have access to.

[Gary Freedman:] [sighs]  Ah, gee.  You don’t want to deplete the Polar bear population.

[sister:] No.  No. [sighs]

[Gary Freedman:] All right.

[sister:] So, so do you watch Murphy Brown?

[Gary Freedman:] Ah, yes.

[sister:] Do ya [laughs]?  I like that show.  Boy, I can’t believe Suz is still asleep.  And then she woke up and she won’t be able to sleep . . .

[Gary Freedman:] I think May 13th is the last episode of Knots Landing.

[sister:] Oh, you like that, don’t you?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] You watched that all through the years.

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] Yea.

[Gary Freedman:] Yea, it's sort a, I saw it like, ah, the 86-87 season was really good.]

[sister:] Oh.

[Gary Freedman:] And . . .

[sister:] Yea, I watched it years ago and I, I guess the characters have changed through the years?

[Gary Freedman:] Well, yea.  Like Sid died back in . . .

[sister:] Like Joan, Joan Van Ark, she’s still on it?

[Gary Freedman:] She got killed in the beginning of the season.

[sister:] No kidding.

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.  But she’s com . . .

[sister:] And how about Ted Shakleford?

[Gary Freedman:] He’s still there, Gary Ewing, Gary Ewing, Yea, he’s still, he’s like the main character, and, and Michelle Lee.

[sister:] Yea, yea, yea.  Oh, oh, yea, Oh, yes, that’s right.

[Gary Freedman:] Un huh.

[sister:] Yea, the staples.  Yea.

[Gary Freedman:] I think she was in it from the beginning, wasn’t she?

[sister:] Um, probably.  Yea, she was in it, yea.  Ah, boy.

[Gary Freedman:] Her and Sid.

[sister:] I mean I didn’t even know it’s still on.  I mean, I know, cause you’ve mentioned it, but I wouldn’t even know it’s still on the air.

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.  Cheers is going’ off.

[sister:] Yea.

[Gary Freedman:] Now that’s, that’s a real loss.

[sister:] Oh, you making’, you bein’ sarcastic?

[Gary Freedman:] No.  I love that show, I think that it is so incredibly inventive.  That’s one of, that’s really well done show.

[sister:] Oh.  Oh, you mean the dialogue, or something?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea, the dialogue.

[sister:] Yes.  Well, I don’t know, I never could take to it.  I liked Shelley Long.

[Gary Freedman:] Yea, she went off in ‘86.

[sister:] I never liked Ted Dan . . ., huh?

[Gary Freedman:] She went off in ‘86.

[sister:] Yea, I know, but I never really cared for it that . . .  I think Murphy Brown’s really good.

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.  That’s, that’s on a par with that . . .

[sister:] And you know what’s funny?   We watched an episode, and yes, dialogue was really funny, that um,  Mad About You?

[Gary Freedman:] Oh, yea.

[sister:] That is really funny.

[Gary Freedman:] With Helen Hunt and . . .

[sister:] Yea!  You know she’s like, she’s in so many movies . . .

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] And if somebody said “Helen Hunt” to you , you’d say, “who’s that?”  But, I mean, she was in, em, oh, I don’t know, she was in a movie we saw recently, I can’t think of which one it was.  Ah . . .  And then when she came on in something else, I said wait a minute, that’s the girl who was in that movie, and Eddie said. “No, it’s not” and I could see it wasn’t, and then we were in the store and she was in another movie.  She’s just like one of these people who you see all the time and I don’t know if she'll ever develop a name.

[Gary Freedman:] Helen Hunt.

[sister:] Yea.

[Gary Freedman:] Well, she’s developing it!

[sister:] I guess she is.  Yea.  Em.

[Gary Freedman:] Stell, you know what’s the most idiotic show, but it sort of grows on you?

[sister:] What?

[Gary Freedman:] Jerry Steinfeld [sic].

[sister:] Oh I, no, I like that, in fact, I was gonna say that next.  Yea.  I like him.  He’s funny.

[Gary Freedman:] Yea, it is funny, but I, I didn’t like that show at first.

[sister:] He’s funny, like odd-ball characters?

[Gary Freedman:] It is the most meaningless show.

[sister:] It’s meaningless, but it’s funny.  It’s funny.

[Gary Freedman:] It is.

[sister:] They are funny, and they are, eh, the, the acting, I mean, they, they’re comic actors, who are, comic, you know, comic timing.

[Gary Freedman:] Uh huh.

[sister:] They’re really funny.  Yea.  I like that.  I just don’t watch it that much.

[Gary Freedman:] Yep.

[sister:] But eh, yea, some shows are pretty good.

[Gary Freedman:] Hm.

[sister:] D’you ever, oh, I don’t know if you. . . .  Do you ever see, eh, well . . . . Do you get those Fox and all those?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] Yea, em, Married with Children?

[Gary Freedman:] You don’t like that, do you?

[sister:] I didn’t but it’s, it’s so goofy, it’s so . . .

[Gary Freedman:] [laughs]

[sister:] You know, you can’t help watching it sometimes.

[Gary Freedman:] Now that Steinfeld [sic] show started out on Fox, I think . . .

[sister:] Oh, did it?  And then it went to the network?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] Although they say Fox is a network.  Do you ever watch Beverly Hills 90210?

[Gary Freedman:] Ah, I caught it once in a while.

[sister:] The teenagers.  I like it, I mean, its good.  Now they’re gonna be graduating.  It’s not gonna be the same because they’re graduating high school. [My sister's daughter Meredith was graduating high school that spring, 1993.]  And Brenda’s going back to, ah, Minnesota, and they’re all going to different colleges in California, and they’re bringing some new people on, but . . .

[Gary Freedman:] Un huh

[sister:] Not the same.

[Gary Freedman:] Yep.

[sister:] Yea. So.

[Gary Freedman:] [inaudible]

[sister:] OK.

[Gary Freedman:] [sniffles]

[sister:] D’you have a cold?

[Gary Freedman:] I’m sort of stuffed up.

[sister:] Oh.

[Gary Freedman:] I don’t think it’s a cold.  I don’t know what it is.

[sister:] Yea.  Well, Mer has to  . . .  In fact, you know what, Mer went to the doctor for a cold, which she thinks she caught from her friend when they went, eh, you know, went on vacation together.  So she finally came down with it, and when she went to the doctor, he said, he says, “I don’t see tonsils every day of the week.”  He says, “But yours look awfully weird.  So, I’d like you to have ‘em checked out with an ear, nose and throat doctor.”  So, we’re gonna get her over to an ear, nose, and throat doctor.

[Gary Freedman:] [sighs]

[sister:] Oh, we had this doctor, but Eddie says he’s a quack.  So . . . [laughs].  We don’t go to him anymore.  But, he’s, um . . .

[Gary Freedman:] I know about them.

[sister:] Oh, you know about them.  This guy graduated from the University of Guadalajara Medical School.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] So, we’re just not too sure about him.

[Gary Freedman:] What’s his specialty?

[sister:] His specialty is, um, arthritis.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] Arthritic conditions.

[Gary Freedman:] Stell, these people who go to off-shore medical schools, how do they get into residency programs in the United States?

[sister:] I don’t know.  But I say to myself, if in the whole United States he couldn’t be accepted to one medical school, you know what I’m saying?

[Gary Freedman:] Uh huh.

[sister:] How bad could he have been?

[Gary Freedman:] Uh huh.

[sister:] And do you want him, see now, I, like Eddie went to him for something, and he didn’t, eh, wasn’t impressed.  And I went to him with, eh.  Well, I went to him with pretty minor things.  But I had that poison ivy on my face, which he really didn’t do a whole lot with.  I ended up going back to the, well I didn’t go back to the dermatologist, I was going to the dermatologist cause it was my acne check up, and he looked me over and he gave me another medicine.  So, he really, I don’t know if it was his fault or not, but I just don’t have too much confidence in him.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] Yea.  He doesn’t seem like a doctor, you know.  He seems, ah, I dunno, doctors are usually kind of serious, you know [laughs]?  This guy’s, eh, I don’t know . . .

[Gary Freedman:] Fun loving.

[sister:] Well, he’s sociable.  You know, let’s put it that way.  He's sociable.  But, eh, maybe that’s what kept him out of medical school [laughs] in the United States.  I don’t know.  But, eh, so, and you know what, another funny thing, which I thought about this afterwards, he doesn’t wear a coat.  You know how you, you go to a doctor, they always have a coat on.

[Gary Freedman:] Un huh.

[sister:] The white coat.

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] Or like one of the pediatricians, they’ll wear a, no the pediatricians wear a blue coat.  But, they always wear a coat.  And it dawned on me one time, you know, he doesn’t wear, he just goes and he comes in in his shirt.  And it’s, eh, it’s unusual for, maybe that's what, you know, it just an aura, its like a psychological thing.

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] So that you just, maybe he just feels, eh, it's pretentious, or, whatever.  You know.

[Gary Freedman:] He’s just down-to-earth.

[sister:] Yea.  He’s just a down-to-earth type of guy.  Yea.

[Gary Freedman:] Yea.

[sister:] But, eh.  You know, I wouldn’t want to go to him with a serious illness.

[Gary Freedman:] Eh.  Not like major heart surgery.

[sister:] No.

[Gary Freedman:] [laughs]

[sister:] No.  OK.  So I guess I’ll go, huh?

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.  I didn’t receive my financial assistance yet.

[sister:] No. No.  Well are you in dire need?

[Gary Freedman:] Well, you said you sent it out already.

[sister:] No.  I didn’t say I sent it out.  I said we’ll be sending it out.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] Yea.

[Gary Freedman:] Un huh.

[sister:] Yea.

[Gary Freedman:] Well, like, like, sometime in the near future?

[sister:] Yea.  In the near future.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh, like when the spirit moves you?

[sister:] No.  Well, you said you’re not in dire need.

[Gary Freedman:] Not dire need, no.

[sister:] No.  Well, we won’t let you get down to the dire part.  So, eh, yea.  What you applied for, is that SSI?

[Gary Freedman:] No, it’s disability.

[sister:] Oh.  Ooh, did you read that article?  There’s an article in the paper how, eh, claims, for disability, you know like your problem, not your specific problem, but like mental problems, have increased so much.

[Gary Freedman:] Why is that?

[sister:] I, they don’t know.  They’re trying to figure it out.

[Gary Freedman:] Eh.

[sister:] Unless people are just stressed out, but they said claims for mental disabilities have gone way up.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh, geez.

[sister:] So your . . .

[Gary Freedman:] So, I guess they’re gonna be extra scrutinizing with it.

[sister:] Yea.  Well,  you could pass the test, don’t you think?

[Gary Freedman:] Well, I, everything I told them was factual.  It’s not like I was making something up.

[sister:] And you have, you have doctors.  It’s not like you’re at home saying, “Gee, you know, I’m hearing voices,” or, I mean, you’ve been in, you know, you’ve been, you have a hi . . . , I mean you can document . . .

[Gary Freedman:] I have a history of . . .

[sister:] Well, I’m saying, you, you can, um, document that you’ve been to doctors for years, can’t you?

[Gary Freedman:] And that I'm paranoid and violent.

[sister:] Oh,  I don’t believe that.

[Gary Freedman:] I got a statement, says I’m paranoid . . .

[sister:] I know [laughs].

[Gary Freedman:] Why do you laugh at that?

[sister:] I laugh because, just because somebody says something doesn’t make it true, that’s why . . .

[Gary Freedman:] Well, why would somebody say that?

[sister:] Huh?

[Gary Freedman:] Why would somebody say that?

[sister:] To have justification to fire you.

[Gary Freedman:] But,  then I got, a le . . ., this memo from Dennis Race, from his confidential file, the . . . Not something he told me, but something he put in his file.

[sister:] Oh, for no one for no ah . . .

[Gary Freedman:] For, his eyes only.

[sister:] Which said what?

[Gary Freedman:] That I was paranoid and violent.

[sister:] Well, how do you have it if it wasn’t [inaudible] . .  .

[Gary Freedman:] Because he put that in the, um, in the Response that he filed with the Department of Human Rights.

[sister:] And how did you get a hold of it?

[Gary Freedman:] Well, when they sent me that Response that I responded to with my Reply.

[sister:] Oh. Oh, OK [sighs].  Oh, so, in other words, you feel that he personally felt that . . .

[Gary Freedman:] Of course.

[sister:] Oh, well . . .

[Gary Freedman:] Eh . . ., yea.

[sister:] I don’t know.

[Gary Freedman:] And then my psychiatrist said she felt threatened by me.

[sister:] Yea.

[Gary Freedman:] She said, “I can understand how people would say they are afraid of you.”

[sister:] Oh, well, that’s doesn’t make you feel too good.

[Gary Freedman:] No [laughs].

[sister:] [laughs].

[Gary Freedman:] No, it wasn’t an ego boost.

[sister:] No.  So, what days do you see her?

[Gary Freedman:] Tuesday and Friday.

[sister:] Oh, do you look forward to that?

[Gary Freedman:] Not really.

[sister:] No?  Oh.

[Gary Freedman:] In a way, I mean I don’t dread it.  I don’t have negative feelings, but I don’t look forward to it like when I was seeing Dr. Palombo.

[sister:] Oh.  So, what’s gonna happen when she’s eh, goes, eh. Graduates?

[Gary Freedman:] Ah. She’s gonna stay on.  I don’t know what happened there.

[sister:] Oh.

[Gary Freedman:] But she’s gonna be staying on.

[sister:] Oh.  And she wants to keep your, eh, case?

[Gary Freedman:] I guess so.

[sister:] Oh.

[Gary Freedman:] [sighs]

[sister:] Ok.

[Gary Freedman:] So, don’t let me get in too dire need.

[sister:] No, we won’t, we won’t.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] OK?

[Gary Freedman:] So, you’re not giving me any specifics?

[sister:] No, pretty soon.  You know, I mean, eh.  A week or two.

[Gary Freedman:] Oh.

[sister:] OK?

[Gary Freedman:] Yea, that’s fine.

[sister:] Yea. Yea. OK.

[Gary Freedman:] All right.

[sister:] Ah. Take care.

[Gary Freedman:] OK.

[sister:] Bye. Bye.

[Gary Freedman:] Bye.

Monday, September 26, 2011

But I believed in you so bad, Vernon!!

Of "Clowns," "Psychotics," and Catching the Criminal

Fictional Tale:  The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is suspected of being involved in illegal activities in violation of federal law.  The FBI institutes an investigation.  It just happens that an FBI special agent is a graduate of clown college.  The Bureau decides to have the agent get a job as a clown with the circus and work undercover to gather evidence on the organization.   Although the agent dresses as a clown and acts like a clown, he is no clown.  

People have criticized me for "acting like a clown," sending out bizarre letters.  My behaviors have a purpose.  My letters are calculated to elicit responses from the recipients or establish facts.

A good example are the following two letters.  The first letter dated May 27, 1996 addressed to the District of Columbia Community Mental Health Center-North ("P Street Clinic") is a hysterical communication I wrote that was intended to establish certain facts: namely, that (1) the P Street Clinic (a public clinic) had improperly denied me psychiatric services; (2) the George Washington University Medical Center wrongfully failed to take any action to assist me find alternative psychiatric care when it terminated my treatment despite the fact that my psychiatrist (Dimitrios Georgopoulos, M.D.) had promised to assist me in securing alternative psychiatric care; and (3) the George Washington University Medical Center and Dr. Georgopoulos did not form a good faith belief that I suffered from paranoid schizophrenia as it claimed in writing in February 1996 (3 months earlier) and that the diagnosis "paranoid schizophrenia" was a self-serving attempt to discredit my allegation that GW had been engaged in illegal activity.

The letter to the P Street Clinic reads:

May 27, 1996
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW #136
Washington, DC  20008-4530

Ms. Heydt
Community Mental Health Center-North
3246 P Street, NW
Washington, DC
(202) 282-2229

Dear Ms. Heydt:

We spoke by telephone on Thursday May 16, 1996 at which time I inquired about the availability of psychotherapy at the P Street Clinic. You advised me that psychotherapy was not feasible because of the staffing limitations at the Clinic.

I remain interested in therapy at the Clinic, and I enclose a document relating to my current situation: Memorandum dated May 21, 1996 to Stuart M. Sotsky, M.D., Director of Psychiatric Out-Patient Care at the George Washington University Medical Center.

My situation remains desperate. According to senior managers at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (my former employer), my belief system is the product of a severe mental disturbance that renders me potentially violent. Senior supervisors stated a concern during my tenure at the firm that I might be disposed to commit murder. The D.C. Corporation Counsel has affirmed, in a document filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on May 17, 1996, that the fears of Akin Gump managers and senior supervisors were genuine.

Please, please I beg of you. Don't turn away from me. According to the D.C. Corporation Counsel, recommendations that I need counseling are based on a good-faith belief that I suffer from a serious mental disturbance that renders me potentially violent. How many lives light be lost, how many people will be destroyed 1/, if I do not get the psychological counseling that the Government of the District of Columbia has affirmed that I need?


Gary Freedman

cc: U.S. Department of Justice

1/ Consistent with the determination of senior Akin Gump managers and supervisors that I suffer from a severe mental disturbance that renders me potentially violent or homicidal.

The fact that the hysterical tone of the letter did not reflect my true mental state is established by a cover letter dated May 28, 1996 that I wrote the very next day to the D.C. Commission on Mental Health Services transmitting a copy of the earlier letter addressed to the P Street Clinic.  The cover letter to the D.C. Commission on Mental Health Services (below), dated May 28, 1996, is business-like and professional.  The purpose of the hysterical tone of the earlier letter to Ms. Heydt is clear: it was an affectation -- like clown paint -- that I assumed to create a certain impression, to establish certain facts.  Speaking figuratively, I may act like a clown, but I am no clown.

May 28, 1996
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20008-4530

District of Columbia
Commission of Mental Health Services
2700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., SE
Washington, DC

Dear Sir:

My former employee, the Washington law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, terminated my employment, effective October 29, 1991, after determining, in consultation with a psychiatrist (Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D.) that I suffered from a serious mental illness that rendered me potentially violent.

The District of Columbia Corporation Counsel filed a brief 1/ in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on May 17, 1996 stating that the employer's concerns about my mental stability and potential for violence were genuine and non-pretextual, and that the fears of senior supervisors that I might be homicidal were genuine and not the product of a hostile or offensive work environment.  The Corporation  Counsel found that a co-workers' fears that I might be armed and homicidal were not evidence of a hostile work environment, and that the action of senior supervisors in securing an office suite against a homicidal assault that I might commit were based on genuine fears that were not the product of a hostile or offensive work environment.

The Corporation Counsel further found that the employer's recommendation that I receive counseling was based on the employer's legitimate concern that I had emotional or psychological problems that might be associated with a risk of violent conduct.

I am concerned about the refusal of the District of Columbia's mental health clinic, the "P Street Clinic," to provide counseling in a case such as mine.  Enclosed for your information is a letter to the P Street Clinic (plus attachment) that addresses my need for counseling.


Gary Freedman

1/ See Brief of Respondent in Opposition to Petition for Review of No Probable Cause Determination by Department of Human Rights.  Freedman v. Dept. of Human Rights, No. 95-MPA-0014 (Superior Court of the District of Columbia, filed May 17, 1996).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bruce Engel

Bruce Engel played trumpet in my high school orchestra: The Central High School of Philadelphia (228th class) (1969).  He graduated from the Juilliard School and has had an impressive career in the field of music.

Bruce Engel: Stony Brook
 Bruce Engel
conductor of the university wind ensemble

Bruce Engel's conducting credits include appearances with the Goldman Band and the New Jersey Pops. Internationally, he has conducted in Florence, Rome, Venice, Seville, Toledo, and Madrid. Presently Mr. Engel is Music Director of the Brooklyn Brass and the New York Herald Trumpets, and is Director of Music at St. Anthony's High School. After his studies in trumpet and conducting at Juilliard, Mr. Engel was granted fellowships to perform at the Tanglewood Music Festival, the National Orchestral Association, and the Festivals of Two Worlds in Spoleto. He is a member of the New York City Symphony and principal trumpet of the Goldman Band. As a free-lance musician, Mr. Engel has appeared with the Bolshoi and Metropolitan Operas, the American Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, the New York and New Jersey Pops, the Winnipeg and Stuttgart Ballets, and the New York Philharmonic. In addition to directing the wind ensemble at Stony Brook, Mr. Engel teaches a summer graduate conducting course. He also appears nationally as a conducting clinician.


Post Graduate Conducting studies with Anthony Maiello.
M.M. The Juilliard School, Brass Fellowship, Principal trumpet of Julliard Orchestra and Brass Ensemble. Conducting studies with John Nelson. Graduated 1974.
B.M. The Juilliard School, 1973.
 National Orchestra Association, Principal trumpet and soloists, 1973 - 1977.
 Tanglewood Music Festival, 1969.
 Central High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1969.
Private Study
 William Vacchiano, Melvyn Broiles, Vincent Penzarella, Roger Voisin, Elin Frazier, Don Miles.

Courses Taught

Undergraduate non-major courses: Music and Culture of the 1960s, Introduction to Music, Contemporary Traditions in American Music
Undergraduate major courses: The Analysis of Twentieth Century Music, Analysis of Tonal Music, Twentieth Century Opera, History of Western Music—1830 to the present.
Graduate Courses
: Phenomenological Approaches to Music Analysis; Postmodernism and Music; Implications of Postmodern Thought for Music Theory and Analysis; Theories of Contemporary Music; Visualizing the Musical Object; Music as Place.

Selected Publications

1993. "Analysis, Hearing, and Performance" with George Fisher, Indiana Theory Review 14/1:1-36.
1996. "The Expressivity of Timing in Musical Performance," Time and Life:The Study of Time VIII, ed. J.T. Fraser and Marlene P. Soulsby. (Madison, CT:International Universitites Press, Inc.) pp. 147-160.
1996. "A Question of Technique: The Second and Third Piano Sonatas of Roger Sessions," The Journal of Musicology. XIV/4 (Fall):544-578.
1997. "Lulu's Feminine Performance" Cambridge Campanion to Berg, ed. Anthony Pople. (Cambridge:Cambridge University Press):227-246. [The Cambridge Campanion to Berg has been translated into German and published by Laaber-Verlag.]
1998. “Retooling the Technique,” Music Theory Online 4.2 (March1998):
1999 "Hearing Lulu" Audible Traces, edited by Elaine Barkin and Lydia Hamessley (publisher: Carciofoli Verlagshaus, Zurich)
2001 “Hearing Chaos”, American Music 19/2 (Summer 2001):210-46.
2000/2001. “Music Theory as Knowledge Building”, Forum: “Music Theory at the Turn of the Millennium”, Int├ęgral. Vol. 14/15.
2001. “Controlling Liberation: David Tudor and the ‘Experimental’ Sound Ideal”, part of the symposium “The Art of David Tudor: Indeterminacy and Performance in Postwar Culture May 17–19,” Getty Research Center. Paper published at:
2002. “Analyzing from the Body”, with George Fisher, Theory and Practice, Journal of the Music Theory Society of New York State, 27: 37-68.
2003. “Composer Portrait: Anne LeBaron”, International Alliance for Women in Music. 9/1: 1-6.
2004. “Refiguring the Modernist Program for Hearing: Steve Reich and George Rochberg”, Listening to Modernism: Re-Evaluating Contemporary Music at the Millennium, ed. Arved Ashby. Rochester: University of RochesterPress.
2005. “Textural/Timbral Analysis of Barbara Kolb’s Millefoglie, for Chamber Ensemble and Computer Generated Tape”, Engaging Music: Essays in Music Analysis, ed. Deborah Stein. New York: Oxford University Press.
2006. “Visualizing the Musical Object”, Expanding (Post) Phenomenology: A Critical Companion to Ihde, ed. Evan Selinger. Albany: SUNY Press: pp.
2006. “’How Does It Work?’: Challenges to Analytic Explanation” Music Theory Spectrum 28/2 (Fall 2006): 233-254

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Did the U.S. Department of Justice Commit a Felony?

On Friday January 15, 2010 I was interviewed at my residence by two officers from the U.S. Department of Justice.  They voiced concern about the content and tone of this blog, My Daily Struggles.  In the fall of 2009 I had started to blog about my employment problems at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where I had worked as a paralegal from 1988 to 1991.  The officers were specifically concerned about what they saw as the anger expressed in my blog posts.

In addition to posting items on My Daily Struggles, I also post items on the social networking site,  The community adviser on TBD is Katherine Brennan (San Francisco).

I sent the following message to Katherine Brennan in the fall of 2009:

From Gary Freedman to Katherine
Sent Sep 20, 2009


I don't mean to alarm you, but some of the things I post on TBD are a little strange.

Please don't hesitate to contact the FBI about me. If you believe you have have reason to do so, contact Special Agent Andrew J. Castor at the Washington, DC Field Office of the FBI at (202) 278-2000. Special Agent Castor is the head of criminal investigations at the FBI Washington, DC Field Office.


P.S. Have a good week!
Katherine Brennan sent me the following reply:

Methinks this might be a clever means of advertising your contributions.

If not my response is, in the inimitable words of akabukowski, "Huh?"


It is my opinion that the purpose of the law enforcement interview conducted on January 15, 2010 was to harass and intimidate me, in violation of federal civil rights statutes. Specifically, I believe that the Justice Department attempted to intimidate me in the free exercise of my First Amendment right to free speech, a possible felony per 18 U.S.C. Section 241 (Conspiracy against Rights.)

My page on contains numerous quotations by a federal judge that I posted in October and November 2009.  The Justice Department claimed in mid-January 2010 that my references to that judge were of a threatening nature.  Katherine Brennan, who had been warned about the potential law enforcement problems associated with my posts in September 2009, did not see the slightest problem with my posts.

The TBD page states:

Last night my sister was talking about finger-printing. Gosh, I hope the FBI isn't after me.
Status posted by Gary Freedman Nov 17, 2009
"This is an unbelievable case." --Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle
Status posted by Gary Freedman Nov 17, 2009
"Who are the powers that be?"--Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle
Status posted by Gary Freedman Nov 2, 2009
"This is a case unlike any other case."--Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle
Status posted by Gary Freedman Oct 31, 2009
"There is a problem with this case. You've known about it for years. You've known about it since—" Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle
Status posted by Gary Freedman Oct 23, 2009
"This case is an outrage to me. I'm sorry. This is an outrage." -- Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle
Status posted by Gary Freedman Oct 23, 2009
"Sir, the facts can only get smaller, not bigger." -- Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle
Status posted by Gary Freedman Oct 22, 2009

Compare the following statement posted by an angry individual about the same federal judge in the year 2009.  Note that the statement is still on the Internet.  Did the Justice Department investigate this individual?

Stinkin “angry” judge over the govt holding a teen age terrorist for 6 1/2 years.....Hey you liberal rat bastard judge, how about getting angry when the little twerp tried to kill our U.S. soldiers. Guess that flies against your socialist pro-uzzlim, anti-American tendencies. The little bastard should have been swinging from a rope long ago. 2nd solution is to release him to you and make you financially accountable that if he bolts, we will make you pay up, say a million so. Socialist black robed liberal thug!!!
17 posted on Thursday, July 30, 2009 8:42:46 AM by rcrngroup

The following post on the same webpage discloses the location of the judge's residence:

To: Robert DeLong
Maybe she should purchase a house for him in her Cleveland Park neighborhood. Average home sales prices there are just a hair over $1 Million.
26 posted on Thursday, July 30, 2009 1:44:45 PM by ASA Vet

Friday, September 23, 2011

David Rosenbaum

David Rosenbaum (violin), 229th class (1970), The Central High School of Philadelphia. Dr. Rosenbaum is a professor of psychology at The Pennsylvania State University.

Akin Gump: Denial of Disability Benefits

I wrote the following letter to the Texas Department of Insurance inquiring into Akin Gump's de facto denial of long-term disability income benefits upon the termination of my employment by the firm effective October 29, 1991.

Texas Department of Insurance

June 28, 1993

Mr. Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Apt. 136
Washington, D.C.  20008

RE: Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld-Employer
  COMPANY: UNUM Life Insurance Company-Disability Plan

Dear Mr. Freedman:

Thank you for your letter.

Your complaint involves the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA).  COBRA is a federal law, and state agencies do not have the authority to enforce or interpret federal laws.

We suggest that you contact the Office of Program Services, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.  20210.  The telephone numbers for that office are (202) 219-8784 and (202) 219-8776.

We hope this information will be of some assistance to you.


B.E. Burk, Insurance Specialist
Complaints Resolution (512) 463-6582
Consumer Services 111-1A
P.O. Box 149091
Austin, TX 78714-9091


See also: