Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Witness for the Defense

The U.S. Marshal Service found that I am a very angry person who writes a very angry blog: a person who is obsessively concerned with past wrongs, real and imagined.

These observations are evidence that I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a disability compensable by the U.S. Social Security Administration.

The Worst Possible Concept Test: Guilt and the Repetition Compulsion

In May 1994 I was administered a battery of psychological tests by The George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.  Among the tests I took was The Worst Possible Concept Drawing.

The intern who administered the testing asked me to create a drawing that depicted what I considered to be the worst possible concept that I could imagine. I drew a picture of an exploding sun whose rays appeared to envelop and destroy the Earth. I titled the drawing “The Death of Optimism,” and explained that the picture was intended to depict my belief that as long as there is life there is hope, and that the destruction of the Earth and of life itself would be for me the worst possible concept since it would mean the end of hope, or “optimism,” itself.

The intern described the drawing as follows: "His Worst Possible Concept drawing which he entitled as 'The Destruction of Optimism' is of an enormous and ominous sun setting the world ablaze and destroying it. This drawing is indicative of a person who feels lost and burdened. There is an evocative quality to his drawing which suggests that he may indeed be at the brink of despair and is fighting off feelings of destructive aggression."

It recently occurred to me that the drawing is encapsulated verbally in the opening monologue of Lord Byron's dramatic poem Manfred.  I first heard a recording of Manfred, with incidental music by Robert Schumann, when I was 17 years old and was deeply affected by it.

Lord Byron's poem opens with the following monologue.  The pertinent passage is highlighted in yellow:


ACT 1.

Scene 1.—Manfred alone.—Scene, a Gothic Gallery.Time, Midnight.

Man. The lamp must be replenished,
but even then
It will not burn so long as I must watch:

My slumbers—if I slumber—are not sleep,
But a continuance, of enduring thought,
Which then I can resist not:
in my heart
There is a vigil,
and these eyes but close
To look within;
and yet I live, and bear
The aspect and the form of breathing men.
But Grief should be the Instructor of the wise;
Sorrow is Knowledge:
they who know the most
Must mourn the deepest o'er the fatal truth,
The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life.
Philosophy and science, and the springs
Of Wonder, and the wisdom of the World,
I have essayed, and in my mind there is
A power to make these subject to itself—
But they avail not:
I have done men good,
And I have met with good even among men—
But this availed not:
I have had my foes,
And none have baffled, many fallen before me—
But this availed not:—
Good—or evil—life—Powers, passions—
all I see in other beings,
Have been to me as rain unto the sands,
Since that all-nameless hour.
I have no dread,
And feel the curse to have no natural fear,
Nor fluttering throb, that beats with hopes or wishes,
Or lurking love of something on the earth.

Now to my task.—Mysterious Agency!
Ye Spirits of the unbounded Universe!
Whom I have sought in darkness and in light—
Ye, who do compass earth about, and dwellIn subtler essence—
ye, to whom the tops
Of mountains inaccessible are haunts,
And Earth's and Ocean's caves familiar things—
I call upon ye by the written charm
Which gives me power upon you—
Rise! Appear!

[A pause.

They come not yet.—
Now by the voice of him
Who is the first among you—by this sign,
Which makes you tremble—by the claims of him
Who is undying,—Rise! Appear!—Appear!

[A pause.

If it be so.—Spirits of Earth and Air,
Ye shall not so elude me!
By a power,
Deeper than all yet urged, a tyrant-spell,
Which had its birthplace in a star condemned,
The burning wreck of a demolished world,
A wandering hell in the eternal Space;
By the strong curse which is upon my Soul,
The thought which is within me and around me,
I do compel ye to my will.—

The context of the poem provides possible insight into my drawing.  The character Manfred is a guilt-ridden individual, oppressed by the cares of life.   The intern's speculation that I am fighting off destructive aggression is insightful.  But what the intern failed to see was that the destructive aggression involves internal objects (not my relationships with others), namely, the aggression of a punitive superego on the ego, the affective component of which is a powerful unconscious sense of guilt.

The fact that the character Manfred feels he is an accursed individual ("By the strong curse which is upon my Soul,") suggests another issue of psychoanalytical interest: namely, the repetition compulsion or fate neurosis.

Helene Deutsch developed the notion of "fate neurosis" on the basis of the notion of "compulsion of destiny" (Schicksalszwang), which Freud mentioned at the end of the third chapter of Beyond the Pleasure Principle. In that work Freud described the following trait in nonneurotic people: "The impression they give is of being pursued by a malignant fate or possessed by some 'daemonic' power; but psychoanalysis has always taken the view that their fate is for the most part arranged by themselves and determined by early infantile influences. . . . 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 . . . or the man whose friendships  all end in betrayal by his friend; . . . or again, the lover each of whose love affairs with a woman passes through the same phases and reaches the same conclusion."

Helene Deutsch developed this clinical description beginning in 1930 in her paper "Hysterical Fate Neurosis" (1965), in which she presented a case involving a such neurosis. Hysterical fate neurosis, she explained, "is a form of suffering imposed on the ego apparently by the outer world with a recurrent regularity. The real motive of this fate lies, as we have seen, in a constant, insoluble, inner conflict."  She linked the neurosis to a lack of control over an anxiety-inducing childhood situation that arose during the genital phase.

A possible expression of the fate neurosis -- the feeling of being oppressed by a cruel destiny -- is my experience of being defamed as paranoid and potentially violent by my former employer despite my exemplary job performance.

The Canadian psychoanalyst Joseph Fernando describes details from the history of an analytic patient who had severely repressed demands for recompense for an injury she suffered in childhood and who for this reason was attracted to (more accurately, obsessed by) persons who displayed the character type of the "exceptions." The patient herself showed some signs of being an "exception." Fernando, J. "The Exceptions: Structural and Dynamic Aspects." The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, vol. 52: 17-28 (1997). 

The patient, a young adult, had suffered a broken leg in early childhood. According to Fernando, the injury and its aftermath (parental blaming behavior) caused a disturbance in her superego maturation, and led to the character type that Freud termed the "exceptions." In the "exceptions," the early idealized parental images are never metabolized as in the normal person, and the individual's superego remains warped. Such individuals attempt to recapture in their interpersonal relations in adulthood representations of their early idealized parental images. Fernando's patient was obsessed with two persons, her only friends. The patient was not simply lonely; she wanted to affiliate closely with these two persons because they matched her internalized and idealized images of her parents.

The patient's development foundered on her inability to accomplish one of the major tasks of late adolescence: the integration of previously unresolved traumas into the character structure, or what Peter Blos calls the "characterological stabilization of residual trauma."

The relative lack of superego maturation and integration in the exceptions affects the maturation of the ego ideal. It interferes with the deconcretization of the ego ideal and its integration into the personality as a substructure within the superego system, a process that normally takes place definitively in late adolescence. This interference was evident in Fernando's patient who found it impossible to relinquish her attachment to the idealized images of her parents and instead began a prolonged attempt, beginning in late adolescence, to recapture her ideals in concrete form in her relationship with her two friends.

The accident and hospitalization of this patient were traumatic in the narrow sense of the term. During and immediately following the accident there was a breaching of the stimulus barrier. Ego functions (motility, perception, judgment, time sense) were temporarily overwhelmed (the period of numbness). The subsequent attempts at mastery by turning passive into active and through sexualization led to a lifelong fate neurosis: Throughout her life in small ways and large the patient repeated the sequence of mounting self-confidence that preceded the accident to the point of excitement and feeling as though she were "flying," followed by a period of "numbness," and finally by a repetition of the feelings of anxiety, anger, confusion, and humiliation associated with the hospitalization. She repeated this sequence over and over in the analysis.

The ego attitude of justified rebellion or entitlement, which is characteristic of the "exceptions," develops because of early mistreatment, injury, or maternal deficiencies; such disturbed experiences lead to a distortion in ego-superego interaction and interfere with normal superego maturation.

In my own case perhaps the following observation made by the GW psychological test evaluator is consistent with an "ego attitude of justified rebellion":  "There is a tendency for him to challenge or denounce social sanctions, to a point where he may at times lose sight of his own best interests."

GW Psychiatric Treatment: Critique of Psychological Testing

In May 1994 I was administered a comprehensive battery of psychological tests by The George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.  The testing was performed by a psychology intern named Yu-Ling Han under the supervision of William Fabian, Ph.D.

On August 25, 1994 I reviewed the eight-page test report prepared by Yu-Ling Han during a consultation with my then-treating psychiatrist, Dimitrios Georgopoulos, M.D.  Dr. Georgopoulos did not provide me a copy of the test report to keep.  On August 25, 1994, I returned the copy Dr. Georgopoulos had given me to read aloud in his office.  It was not until late June 1996 -- about two years later -- that Dr. Georgopoulos provided me a copy of the test report.

The following is a critique of the test report I prepared in the days following August 25, 1994 based on my recollection of what I read in Dr. Georgopoulos’s office.  Some of the criticisms are valid and substantial.

One oddity.  I distinctly recall that the copy of the test report Dr. Georgopoulos handed me on August 25, 1994 stated that my overall IQ as measured by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale was 129.  I can recall that clearly because I remember thinking at the time, “Damn, if I had scored only one point higher, I would qualify for membership in Mensa,” an organization whose members have an IQ of 130 and above.  Yet, the copy of the test report Dr. Georgopoulos gave me in late June 1996 stated my overall IQ as 125. 

In any event, I transmitted a copy of the following critique to GW’s Medical Director Keith Ghezzi, M.D., who in turn forwarded the critique to Psychiatry Department Chairman, Jerry M. Wiener, M.D.  I may have forwarded a copy of the critique to the Washington Field Office of the FBI.

August 29, 1994
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20008

D. Georgopoulos, M.D.
Dept. of Psychiatry
GW Univ. Med. Ctr.
2150 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20037

Dear Dr. Georgopoulos:

This communication is a follow-up of our review, on Thursday, August 25, 1994 of the psychological test summary.  This letter states my comments, critique, and concerns regarding the test report summary (“test report”) prepared by psychological intern Yu-Ling Han (“intern”).  The test report discusses the results of psychological testing performed by the intern in early May 1994, under the supervision of William Fabian, Ph.D. of the George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.  The test report synthesizes the results of the psychological testing, the intern’s clinical impressions, input from my former treating psychiatrist, Dr. Suzanne M. Pitts, and statements contained in the initial assessment chart (“assessment chart”) prepared by Napoleon Cuenco, M.D., dated September 24, 1992.

The following comments are based on my recollection of the test report, which I read in your presence on August 25 and thereafter returned to you.  I was not provided a copy of the test report for my personal records.

1.  “Worst Possible Concept” Test

The intern requested that I create a drawing that depicted what I considered to be the worst possible concept that I could imagine.  I drew a picture of an exploding sun whose rays appeared to envelop and destroy the Earth.  I titled the drawing “The Death of Optimism,” and explained that the picture was intended to depict my belief that as long as there is life there is hope, and that the destruction of the Earth and of life itself would be for me the worst possible concept since it would mean the end of hope, or “optimism,” itself.

It recently occurred to me that the way I depicted that particular concept might have a concrete basis in actual childhood experience.  When I was a child, my family and I used to vacation each summer in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  I can remember that on one particular vacation, I experienced a mildly serious and painful burn as a result of over-exposure to the sun.  We used to stay with friends of my father who resided at the intersection of Vermont and Oriental Avenues in Atlantic City.  The intern (Yu-Ling Han) was of Asian (“Oriental”), presumably Chinese, heritage.  Thus, the concept of “The Death of Optimism," drawn at the request of Ms. Han, may have had a concrete basis in childhood experience and, at one primitive level, may have simply signified the concerns of a small boy whose optimistic hopes for his vacation had been ruined by a bad sunburn.

One wonders to what degree this interpretation of the concrete basis of the concept relates to how I translate concrete thinking into abstract conceptualization.  Also, one wonders to what degree my interpretation of the concrete basis of the drawing either complements, corroborates, or contradicts the intern’s interpretation of the abstract content.

2.  Intelligence Testing -- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)

The intern reports a relatively high IQ of 129, but cautions that this score is heavily skewed by unusually high scores on two verbal scales.  She observes that, generally, I tested only average on the Performance Scales.  The intern then proceeds to advance an hypothesis to explain my putatively poor reality testing ability.  According to the proposed theory my poor reality testing ability, or impaired ability to read social cues, may be attributed to my relatively poor performance on the (nonverbal) Performance Scales: that my performance on the (nonverbal) Performance Scales, which tested only average, reflects a perceptual and cognitive style that is impaired.  The hypothesis advanced by the intern seems to be supported by the Wechsler (WAIS) test results, although it will be noted that none of the (nonverbal) Performance Scales, to the best of my recollection, were below average (50th Percentile).  That an individual who scores no lower than 50th percentile on the Wechsler (nonverbal) Performance Scales and whose overall IQ is measured at 129 (95th percentile) will have significant difficulties reading social cues is debatable at best.

However, significantly, the intern had available to her the results of prior IQ testing that I had provided to her.  In a memo dated May 4, 1994 (attached herewith) I detailed to the intern the results of two prior IQ tests taken, respectively, when I was age 11½ and 12½.  A review of the IQ score breakdown contained in the subject memo dated May 4, 1994 indicates a broad-based, overall above-average verbal ability.  Indeed, the verbal ability scale indicated a mental age of 19, 6½ years in advance of my chronological age of 12½.  The reading comprehension scale indicated a mental age of 17, or 4½ years in advance of my chronological age at the time of testing.  Of particular significance is the fact that two of the nonverbal scales on the IQ test administered at age 12½ indicate a very high mental age.  The map reading scale (a nonverbal scale) indicated a mental age of 20, fully 7½ years in advance of my chronological age.  The graphs scale (a nonverbal scale) indicated a mental age of 18, or 5½ years in advance of my chronological age.  Thus, the results of the IQ test administered when I was 12½ do not support the intern’s implication that I am a kind of idiot savant who performs extraordinarily well on a limited range of intellectual tasks.  Further, the prior IQ test results vitiate the hypothesis that my putatively poor reality testing ability may be linked to the fact that I uniformly score poorly on any nonverbal IQ scale.  The results from the IQ testing from age 12½ indicate an unusually high score on two of the nonverbal scales, maps and graphs, which one assumes are equally related to reality testing as any of the Performance Scales on the Wechsler (WAIS) test.  My extraordinarily high score on the map reading scale at age 12½ is utterly inconsistent with the intern’s hypothesis that when faced with a complex, real life situation I tend to become lost in a maze of details; in fact, map reading ability correlates with a general aptitude to understand and synthesize a complex set of nonverbal facts.

All of this raises a significant and troubling question.  Why did the intern attempt to confer a deceptively credible gloss on a hypothesis concerning my putatively poor reality testing ability by selectively omitting other IQ test data that were in her possession?  One wonders why the intern proposed a theory which she had to have known had no support; the memo dated May 4, 1994 that I had given to the intern, which detailed the results of prior IQ tests, renders the theory unsupportable.  It would appear that the intern was overreaching in an effort to provide a deceptively rational, objective basis for the view that my putatively poor reality testing (and seeming paranoia) can be linked to an impaired perceptual/cognitive style that can be objectively established by reference to the results of intelligence testing.

3.  Diagnoses

(a.)  The assessment chart, dated September 24, 1992, states a diagnosis of bi-polar disorder (rule out schizoaffective disorder).  I had provided Dr. Cuenco a detailed writing that summarized what appeared to be a complex delusional belief system that centered on the imagined activities of my former employer.  Despite the clear import of the writing, Dr. Cuenco made no reference whatsoever to delusional thinking in the assessment chart, although he did refer to “paranoid ideations.”

(b.)  Dr. William Fabian assigned the diagnosis Paranoid (Delusional) Disorder on the billing statement prepared in late June 1994 for the subject psychological testing.  The intern states in the test report that the results of both the MMPI and the Millon tests (both self-report surveys) failed to yield either an axis I or axis II diagnosis.  The intern states that I may have lied on the tests in order to conceal the severity of my paranoia, but does not explain why I would attempt to conceal my paranoia on testing but freely discuss my ideations with her.  In fact, on the Millon test I responded affirmatively to the test statement: “I believe I have been spied on for years.”  My response to this test question was freely available to the intern at the time she made the insupportable statement that I may have lied on the MMPI and the Millon tests in order to conceal the severity of my paranoia.

Note also that the MMPI and the Millon contain validity scores: the MMPI includes three separate validity scores, namely, a lie score, a validity score, and a correlation score.  None of the validity scores on either of the tests indicate that I lied on the tests in an attempt to conceal the nature or severity of my psychopathology.

4.  Grandiosity

(a.)  The intern refers repeatedly to my grandiosity and grandiose self image.  The intern, however, does not state the basis of her conclusion.

The test report refers to my belief that I am a victim of the jealousy of others, which belief is generally indicative of a narcissistic trend in the personality; however, it was a previous psychiatrist, Stanley R. Palombo, M.D., who told me it was his belief that I was a victim of others’ jealousy.

The intern may have viewed my unusual idea production as grandiose; she refers to my seeming attempts to impress her with my ideas.  Note, however, that the willingness to extend effort in idea production has been interpreted as an aspect of creative ego functioning.  See Parnes, S.J. “Research on Developing Creative Behavior.”  In Widening Horizons in Creativity.  Edited by C.W. Taylor.  (John Wiley & Sons: 1964).

Finally, one of my responses on the Thematic Apperception Test may have contributed to the intern’s perception that I am grandiose.  I was asked to provide a story line and description of a picture of a boy contemplating a violin.  I stated that I interpreted the picture as portraying a violin prodigy, and proceeded to describe the travails of child geniuses.  Some weeks later I discovered, accidentally, that the boy depicted in the picture (and whose identity was not disclosed at the time of testing) was in fact the violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin.  Thus, an instance of hypernormal reality testing--my ability to accurately perceive in the child’s face the fact that he possessed special qualities--may have been misinterpreted as an example of my grandiosity.  The intern’s deceptively credible conclusion applied to me, “paranoid, poor reality testing”--was given additional weight by her possible misinterpretation of my response on the Thematic Apperception Test.

(b.)  The assessment chart prepared by Dr. Cuenco makes no reference whatsoever to grandiosity, grandiose self image, or narcissism.  Note that I had provided Dr Cuenco a copy of an “autobiographical sketch” that might be termed grandiose.

5.  Reality Testing

The intern concluded that my reality testing ability is poor.

An independent, objective assessment of reality testing ability may be obtained by evaluation of Rorschach responses.  In one study, for example, it was concluded that the test subjects’ systematic handling of Rorschach patterns correlated “with keener awareness of peculiarities and more selective theoretical interest” which indicates a high reality testing potential.  See Boyer, L.B., et al.  “Comparisons of the Shamans and Pseudoshamans of the Apaches of the Mescalero Indian Reservation: A Rorschach Study.” Journal of Projective Techniques and Personality Assessment 28:173-180, at 178 (1964).  Another study correlated cognitive/perceptual style (and, hence, reality testing potential) to Rorschach response style.  Boyer, L.B. and Boyer, R.M. “Prolonged Adolescence and Early Identification A Cross-Cultural Study.”  In: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, vol. 7, 95-106, at 98-99.  Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D., contributing editor (Yale University Press: 1976).

There is no indication that the intern assessed my Rorschach responses according to accepted criteria to arrive at an independent evaluation of my cognitive/perceptual style and reality testing potential.  Instead, the intern attempted to advance a theory to explain my putatively poor reality testing ability on the basis of a spurious interpretation of the IQ results available to her (see paragraph 3, above).

6.  Intellectualization

The intern emphasizes my reliance on intellectualization, an ego defense.

Intellectualization, or brooding, has been defined as “anxious or moody pondering, usually about very abstract matters.  Brooding is seen frequently in obsessive-compulsive neurotics as a thinking compulsion, a need to worry very much about apparently insignificant things.  This is a form of displacement onto a small detail and represents an attempt to avoid objectionable impulses or affects by escaping from the world of emotions into a world of intellectual concepts and words.”  Psychiatric Dictionary, 6th ed., at 106.  R.J. Campbell, M.D., ed. (Oxford University Press: 1989).

In terms of ego functioning, the primary aspect of “intellectualization” is that it, like all ego defenses, wards off ego dystonic unconscious impulses.

However, not all compulsive intellectual activity is attributable to defensive intellectualization.  In certain individuals compulsive intellectual activity may be attributed to a hyper-developed synthetic functioning, and does not result from the warding off of instinctual impulses, but is actually a libido-derived activity.  “Synthesis is considered to be a complex ego function, probably a derivative of libido, which impels the person to harmonious unification and creativity in the broadest sense of the term.  Synthesis includes a tendency to simplify, to generalize, and ultimately to understand--by assimilating external and internal elements, by reconciling conflicting ideas, by uniting contrasts, and by seeking for causality.”  Psychiatric Dictionary, 6th ed., at 734.  R. J. Campbell, M.D., ed. (Oxford University Press: 1989).

Although normal personality functioning relies on the development of some degree of synthesis, it is believed that in certain persons the synthetic function may become hyper-developed.  “When the ego’s stability is most gravely threatened [with the loss of object libido], but it yet retains a certain measure of constructive energy its synthetic functions are immeasurably extended.”  Nunberg, H. “The Synthetic Function.”  Practice and Theory of Psychoanalysis, at 127 (1930; reprint, International Universities Press: 1948).

According to Nunberg, traumatic object loss may be a factor in the development of hypernormal synthetic functioning.  You will note that both the assessment chart prepared by Dr. Cuenco and the intern’s test report emphasizes the problem of pathological mourning (object loss) for me, which arguably, is consistent with the development of hypernormal synthetic functioning.

Unfortunately, there is no indication in the test report that the intern even considered the possibility that my intellectual activity results from libido-derived synthetic functioning.  She assumes, summarily, that my intellectual activity is the more common defensive intellectualization (and that my idea production reflected my grandiosity as opposed to a willingness to extend effort in idea production as seen in creative persons).

The intern observes my emotional flatness and, without apparent justification, associates that flatness with defensive intellectualization.  But note that while hypernormal synthetic functioning would not in itself account for the emotional flatness more commonly associated with defensive intellectualization, it is reasonable to suppose that hyper-developed synthetic ego functioning might be accompanied by isolation or splitting defenses (especially in view of the often traumatic origin of hypernormal synthetic ego functioning, as postulated by Nunberg).  Where libido-derived compulsive intellectual activity is accompanied by the ego defenses of isolation or splitting, the patient’s intellectual activity, accompanied as it will be by emotional flatness, will be virtually indistinguishable from purely defensive intellectualization.

An attempt to distinguish defensive intellectualization from libido-derived intellectual activity is not mere hairsplitting.  Synthetic ego functioning (libido-derived intellectual activity) is an essential element of reality testing ability, while the use of defensive intellectualization does not necessarily correlate with reality testing (though, of course, defensive intellectualization is associated with above-average intelligence).  The presence of hypernormallibido-derived intellectual activity is not mere hairsplitting.  Synthetic ego functioning (libido-derived intellectual activity) is an essential element of reality testing ability, while the use of defensive intellectualization does not necessarily correlate with reality testing (though, of course, defensive intellectualization is associated with above-average intelligence).  The presence of hypernormal synthetic-functioning would, however, tend to indicate high reality testing potential since synthesis, by definition, involves cognitive functions fundamental to reality testing, namely, a tendency to simplify, to generalize, and ultimately to understand--by assimilating external and internal elements, by reconciling conflicting ideas, by uniting contrasts, and by seeking for causality.  The intern, by ignoring the possibility that my compulsive intellectual activity might reflect hypernormal synthetic functioning, and asserting, in the alternative, that my intellectual activity was simply defensive intellectualization gives, once again, a deceptively credible gloss to the proposition that my reality testing is poor.

7.  Automated Computer Interpretation

There is no indication that the intern employed automated computer personality profiling.  Several computer programs are available that will generate an automated computer interpretation of MMPI (and, presumably, Millon) profile scales.  The Mayo Clinic-Psychological Corporation system, the simplest of the available programs, generates a narrative report that concentrates on present symptomatology and emotional status; more complex programs are available that provide highly interpretative statements.  Automated computer interpretation of my MMPI and Millon test scores would provide an independent and objective evaluation of my personality, untainted by the subjective biases and intellectual limitations of an evaluator.

8.  Depression

The intern emphasizes evidence of depression in my case, and recommends that an anti-depressant be prescribed.  You will note that the MMPI (and, presumably, the Millon) includes a Depression scale.  There is no indication in the intern’s test report that the Depression scale was significantly elevated.

Further, despite the intern’s emphasis on depressive psychopathology--including the possibility of suicide--my former treating psychiatrist, Dr. Suzanne M. Pitts, repeatedly refused to prescribe an anti-depressant.  She stated that my manic or hypomanic symptoms were contra-indications for an anti-depressant.

(The intern may have based her concern regarding the possibility of suicide in my case on one of my responses to the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT).  I identified one of the TAT pictures, which depicted a woman lying in bed, as representing the actress Marilyn Monroe following a suicide attempt.  You will note that the reference to suicide in this context may not automatically signify depressive psychopathology, per se.  As Dr. Albert Rothenberg has pointed out, death is the biological and, according to Freud and others, the psychological antithesis of sexual potency.  The image of the suicidal Marilyn Monroe may therefore be an elegantly-complex metaphor for the simultaneous defensive negation of the antithetical ideas of death (suicide) and sexuality.  Additionally, this interpretation of the TAT response carries implications regarding the structure of my ego functioning, here indicating the presence of simultaneous defensive negation, a creative ego function.  See Rothenberg, A. “Janusian Thinking and Creativity.”  In: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, 1-30, at 6-7 and 24.  Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D., contributing editor (Yale University Press: 1976) (discussing the simultaneous conceptualization of suicide and sexuality as it pertains to the genesis of both Eugene O’Neil’s play The Iceman Cometh and Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity).)

9.  Mania/Hypomania

The MMPI (and, presumably, the Millon) includes a Hypomania scale.  There is no indication in the intern’s report that the Hypomania scale was elevated, or that any of the tests were suggestive of manic-depression.  Although the intern makes a pharmacologic recommendation of anti-depressant or tranquilizer, she does not recommend a mood stabilizer such as lithium.  The propriety of nonmedical staff making pharmacologic recommendations notwithstanding, the intern’s failure to recommend lithium or other mood stabilizer indicates that she did not discern significant manic-depressive symptomatology.

You will recall that Dr. Cuenco had diagnosed me as suffering from Bi-Polar Disorder in September 1992 and Dr. Pitts prescribed lithium therefore in February 1993.

The intern does report certain symptoms, based on her clinical impressions, suggestive of hypomania, namely, loose associations and rapid, pressured speech.

You will note that the pathological symptom “loose associations” may be confused with a trait characteristic of creative persons: a drive and capacity to bring together remote associations.  See Mednick, S.A. “The Associative Basis of the Creative Process.”  Psychological Review 69: 220-232(1962).

With regard to rapid speech one wonders whether this is a pathological symptom or simply a reflection of the verbal fluency that one might expect from an individual whose verbal IQ was measured on the Wechsler test (WAIS) at the 99th percentile.

The essential point is that one of the basic flaws of the intern’s test report is its utter failure to engage in any differential diagnosis.  “If he produces a lot of ideas and states them quickly, he’s automatically a grandiose hypomanic” (not a highly creative and verbally-fluent individual).  “If he thinks a lot about his situation, he’s a defensively intellectualized person with poor insight who cannot face up to the real source of his problems" (not a fellow with extraordinary insight who is compelled by the nature of his ego functioning to understand, reconcile conflicting ideas, and seek for causality).

Need one inquire into the source of the intern’s observation “He devalues people?”

10.  Gender Confusion/Shame Regarding sexual Orientation

The assessment chart prepared by Dr. Cuenco states as one of its three central recommendations for therapy that I work on my concerns regarding my sexual orientation.  Dr. Cuenco’s recommendation suggests that I am either a shame-ridden homosexual or a shame-ridden heterosexual with poor gender identity.

The MMPI (and, presumably, the Millon) contains a Masculinity/Femininity Scale.  The intern’s report does not indicate a score on this scale suggestive of either gender confusion or shame regarding sexual orientation.

11.  Social Phobia/Introversion

My former treating psychiatrist, Dr. Pitts, had recommended the neuoleptic Haldol to help me overcome what she perceived to be severe social phobia.  She stated that Haldol would permit me to initiate social interaction with others without being overcome by paralyzing social fears.  Dr. Pitts’ recommendation of a neuroleptic, a drug frequently prescribed to psychotics, to ease my interaction with others indicates that she must have viewed me as suffering from a social phobia of considerable severity.

The MMPI (and, presumably, the Millon) includes a Social Introversion Scale.  There is no indication in the test results that the Social Introversion Scale is elevated.  One would have assumed, based on Dr. Pitts’ pharmacologic recommendation, that this scale would have been quite high.

12.  Ideas of Reference and Delusions

My former employer justified his termination of my employment on the grounds that my complaint of harassment was based on ideas of reference, suggestive of a serious mental disorder.

Although the MMPI does not contain a scale than measures ideas of reference directly, the test does apparently permit some kind of assessment of ideas of reference.  “The MMPI items range widely in content, covering such areas as: health, psychosomatic symptoms, neurological disorders, and motor disturbance; sexual, religious, political, and social attitudes; educational, occupational, family, and marital questions and many well-known neurotic or psychosomatic behavior manifestations, such as obsessive or compulsive states, delusions, hallucinations, ideas of reference, phobias, and sadistic and masochistic trends.”  Anastasi, A. Psychological Testing, 4th ed., at 497 (MacMillan: 1976) (emphasis added).

The intern’s report does not indicate that the MMPI results were consistent with the presence of either delusions or ideas of reference, despite the fact that, apparently, the MMPI permits assessment of both these disturbances.

13.  Factual Distortions and Overbroad Generalizations

(a.)  The intern’s report contains several factual distortions, including the odd, if not bizarre, confabulation that I had reported terminating my work with a previous therapist following a dispute concerning that therapist’s interpretation of an MMPI test.  The MMPI in question was administered by Mr. John Brennan at the Spokane Community Mental Health Center in Washington state in April 1980.  I terminated my work with that therapist in August 1980 upon transferring from a law school in Spokane to one in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  One wonders how the intern’s factual distortion about my previous experience with psychological testing might relate to a possible underlying, subjective bias concerning me.  (It is noted, incidentally, that the previous therapist who administered the MMPI in April 1980 thought that I had "faked crazy.”)

(b.) The intern’s report includes numerous overbroad, generalized conclusions.  For example, the test report states that I have a fear of ridicule in my social interactions.  I suspect that the intern based this conclusion on my response to one of the Rorschach cards that I identified as “a mask of Shakespeare being worn by Dr. Jerry M. Wiener, who is laughing at me contemptuously under the mask.”  The concern regarding ridicule, in the context of my association to Dr. Wiener, relates specifically to my relations with authority figures and to my internal object relations vis-à-vis my superego.  Indeed, the fear of ridicule by an authority figure, as in this context, may suggest Oedipal conflict or the presence of unmetabolized superego precursors resulting from traumatic object loss--an interpretation far afield of the intern’s generalized extrapolation.


Gary Freedman

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Is There Anybody Here Who Isn't a Covington & Burling Partner?

During the summer of 1992 I sent a job application for a paralegal position to the law firm of Covington & Burling.  I received a cordial reply from a Covington & Burling partner named Mitchell Dolin. The cover letter I sent to Covington & Burling offered the name of Dennis M. Race, Esq. (Akin Gump) as a job reference. I do not know what communications, if any, Mitchell Dolin had with Dennis Race.
I sent an attention-grabbing follow-up letter to Mr. Dolin five years later, in 1997.  I copied that letter to Mr. Dolin's law partner at Covington & Burling, Lanny Breuer, who, in 1997, served as assistant White House Counsel under another former Covington & Burling partner, Charles F.C. Ruff who, in 1997, served as White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton.  It was Charles F.C. Ruff who, in his role as Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia, defended my appeal of Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights before the D.C. Superior Court in 1996.   Incidentally, the presiding judge in that case is married to another Covington & Burling partner to whom I had sent several email messages during the period 2005-2009.

Lanny Breuer currently serves as head of the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. who served as a Covington & Burling partner during the period 2001-2009.

I wonder what Lanny Breuer knows about me?

Covington & Burling Job Application -- 1992

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. practiced law at Covington & Burling from 2001-2009.  I sent several email messages to Covington & Burling partner Jeffrey G. Huvelle, Esq. between 2005-2009.  I also sent several email messages to Covington & Burling partner Eugene I. Lambert, Esq., who happens to be a trustee of The George Washington University.  Did Mitchell F. Dolin contact anyone at Akin Gump (including Dennis M. Race, Esq.) in connection with my job application?  I listed Mr. Race as a job reference on the cover letter.

Covington & Burling

July 22, 1992

Mr. Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Apartment 136
Washington, D.C.  20008

Dear Mr. Freedman:

Thank you for your recent letter inquiring about employment here as a paralegal.  We regularly receive a large number of applications, and I am sorry to advise you that, despite your qualifications, we are unable to offer you a position.

We appreciate your inquiry and interest.

Sincerely yours,

Managing Partner for Paralegals

Letter to the FBI -- 1994 -- Freddie K. Rios

My motivation in writing this letter was to get various actors involved in my employment problems to make admissions that would be memorialized by the FBI.  Did Freddie Rios in fact speak with Dennis Race?  What did Dennis Race say, if anything, to Freddie Rios about my employment history at Akin Gump?  Freddie Rios had been the legal assistant administrator at Hogan & Hartson during my tenure at that firm from September 1985 to February 1988.  Ms. Rios worked closely with Craig W. Dye at Hogan on the firm's furniture inventory, beginning October 6, 1986, in preparation for the firm's relocation to Columbia Square.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
August 20, 1992
Mr. Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Apartment 136
Washington, D.C.  20008

Dear Mr. Freedman

Thank you for the interest you have expressed in a position at Skadden, Arps.  Unfortunately, due to the large number of qualified applicants for the few available positions, we have had to make difficult decisions.  We are unable to invite many applicants, such as yourself, to our office for an interview.  If it later appears that we will be able to consider you for a position, we will be in touch with you.


Ms. Freddie K. Rios
Manager, Legal Assistant Services

November 26, 1994
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington Field Office
1900 Half Street, SW
Washington, DC 20324-1600

     RE: Freedman v. Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld

Dear Sir:

The enclosed document is forwarded further to my letter to you dated November 25, 1994.

The document is a letter from Freddie K. Rios 1/ dated August 20, 1992, written in response to my employment inquiry to the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in the period after my job termination by Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, on October 29, 1991.

I had forwarded to Fredddie K. Rios a resume that listed Akin Gump as my previous employer. I do not know what communications, if any, Freddie K. Rios had with any Akin Gump supervisors or attorney managers in connection with my employment application. I believe that my letter of inquiry to Skadden, Arps listed Mr. Dennis M. Race of Akin Gump as a reference and included Mr. Race's telephone number.


Gary Freedman


1/ Freddie K. Rios had been legal assistant administrator at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson during the period of my employment at that firm, from September 1985 to February 1988. At the time I was hired by Akin Gump in June 1988, Akin Gump's then legal assistant administrator Margarita Babb advised me that she knew Freddie K. Rios and that she might speak with her about my employment background at Hogan & Hartson.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Akin Gump: Harassment Complaint -- Contemporaneous Notes

The following document is five pages of handwritten notes that I prepared and placed on a table in my apartment at 3801 Connecticut Avenue on the morning of Friday October 25, 1991 under the influence of my paranoid belief that the apartment manager, Elaine Wranik, routinely entered my apartment and reported her findings back to my employer. It was the previous morning, Thursday October 24, 1991, that I met with two attorney managers at Akin Gump, Dennis M. Race and Malcolm Lassman, to offer a complaint of harassment (I have previously submitted two pages of the notes to the U.S. Social Security Administration in connection with my disability claim.)

If Akin Gump’s managers had been apprised by Elaine Wranik of the existence of the enclosed notes, might the notes not help explain the seeming sudden change in Dennis Race’s attitude toward me in the period immediately following my meeting with him and Malcolm Lassman on October 24, 1991.  I transmitted to my sister, Mrs. Estelle Jacobson, on September 26, 1992 a letter detailing the events at the time of my job termination. The letter to my sister discusses what appeared to be a sudden shift in Dennis Race’s attitude in the period after my meeting with him on October 24, 1991.

I forwarded a copy of the notes to the FBI under cover letter dated February 3, 1995.

Ms. Wranik--

There were a few things I couldn't tell Mr. Lassman and Mr. Race yesterday, Oct 24, because I would appear insane.  I see certain things--chalk it up to paranoia or reality testing.

--I believe that on October 2, [1991] Mr. Lassman had a particularly difficult telephone conversation with my sister, that my sister became hysterical, and that the incident that afternoon with one of the legal assistants was an attempt to enrage me in an effort to counteract my sister's behavior earlier in the day.  (Earlier that day a few people were saying, "She's crazy"--which I inferred to relate to my sister.

--The afternoon I was offered chocolate I believe there had been some communication with Jesse Raben either earlier that day or previous day.  It was that day that I had changed my computer password to "FAUSTLINE 4399"

-- I believe that on Wed July 3 1991 there was some communication with an outside party that reflected negatively on the masculinity of a male employee in litigation support.  There was an attempt that day to adduce evidence of my "gayness."  Hence, my appointment calendar entry re "Desire to play a small room, instead of the big theater."

--It was my perception that the harassment became excruciatingly intense in April 1990, beginning just a few days after the Anti-Defamation League would have received a letter I sent re: Anti-Semitic harassment.  I inferred that management must have alerted the Anti-Defamation League in advance, requesting that the organization inform the firm of any communications I might have with it.

--On the issue of my perceptiveness: It is my belief that Mr. J.D. Neary met with Dr. Palombo on Monday, April 16, 1990.

--The incident on the elevator with Mr. Eisenstat occurred shortly after I changed my computer password to "shanepisk."  I think he just thought I was a crackpot.  -- No harm, no foul, guy.

--Also--here are some impressions I had while meeting with Mr. Race & Mr. Lassman.  They are simply impressions, not firm conclusions.  Maybe a psychiatrist could determine just how paranoid these impressions are.

--Mr. Race's reference to the fact that Mr. Eisenstat is "intense" -- possible meaning -- reference to "in tents, intense, in tenths" -- reference to John Falk.  Attempt to arouse, or determine the existence of homosexual anxiety, which is material on the issue of the nature of my perceptions.

--Mr. Race's reference to fact that my office on 9th floor was across from recruiting. = possible attempt to gently remind me that he is chairman of the hiring committee to determine whether that arouses anxiety in me.

-- Mr. Race's reference to possibility that Mr. Eisenstat had some problem with his wife.  Attempt to determine existence of Oedipal anxiety.

--Both Mr. Lassman & Mr. Race seemed to get mildly excited when I mentioned Paul Wageman, as if they were keenly interested in what I had to say about him.

--Mr. Lassman seemed impressed with my analysis of "July."  I noted that the previous evening my sister's voice seemed to catch when she mentioned the word "summer."  (And I wondered why?)

-- Mr. Lassman seemed particularly interested to see whether my voice caught on any words.  He seemed to very mildly reflex when I used words with possible double meanings.  (I had noticed the same thing about Mr. Segal the previous afternoon.) (Mr. Segal seemed to note my use of word roof - just why, I don't know.)  Maybe because he's always thinking real estate!)  (Just between you and me, Ms. Wranik, I think Mr. Race is an OK guy--I realize it's a business decision).

"I just want to come in the office and work."

"I spoke with her for 15-20 minutes."

"It requires concentration."  (concentration camp?)

A Shengold Limerick

A mouse named Ulysses was housed in a cage

by the things he could see you could call him a sage

The scientists tested him

but he always bested them

He sized up their cues like a gauge.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Disabled Worker: Employee's Duty to Disclose

Irvin B. Nathan
Attorney General for the District of Columbia

Dear Mr. Nathan:

I am a disabled American who has received disability benefits paid by the U.S. Social Security Administration since October 29, 1991 because of severe mental illness (SSA no. xxx xx xxxx). I registered with the Rehabilitation Services Administration in the year 2005 and submitted my “Ticket to Work” to RSA. I am still seeking employment. The D.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the finding of the D.C. Department of Human Rights that my last employer terminated my employment (effective October 29, 1991) lawfully because of a determination, made by the employer in consultation with a psychiatrist, that the pressures of the work environment could lead me to become violent. Freedman v. D.C. Dept. Human Rights, D.C.C.A. no. 96-CV-961 (Sept. 1, 1998). The D.C. Government determined (D.C. Corporation Counsel) that my coworkers formed genuine and credible fears in August 1989 that I might become armed and extremely dangerous. The U.S. Capitol Police (Special Agent Steven J. Horan) advised me that I am listed on a federal registry of potentially violent offenders.

I am writing to inquire whether I have a duty to disclose facts about my potential for violence to a prospective employer under the D.C. Human Rights Act or other District statutes. I understand that the Americans with Disabilities Act permits an employer to decline to hire an individual who poses a direct threat in the workplace. While my psychiatrists do not believe I pose a threat of violence at the present time, I am concerned that the pressures of the workplace could cause me to exhibit behaviors that led to violence risk determinations in the past. Do I have a duty to disclose my situation to a prospective employer?

Thank you very much for your help.

Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Apt. 136
Washington, DC 20008

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Significant Moments: The Composer, The Lawyer and Art Imitating Life

          It was, as the loquacious Strauss . . .
Jules Witcover, Marathon: The Pursuit of the Presidency 1972-1976.               
              . . . who was active on the podium one way or another all his long life, . . .
Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Conductors.                           
                       . . .wrote later:
Jim Bishop, FDR’s Last Year: April 1944-April 1945.         
          It was . . . “like giving Heifetz a Stradivarius. . . . ”
Jules Witcover, Marathon: The Pursuit of the Presidency 1972-1976.     
           “ . . . The son of a bitch . . .
William Faulkner, Light in August.                      
                     . . . knows how to play . . .
Jules Witcover, Marathon: The Pursuit of the Presidency 1972-1976.                           
                                . . . his audience . . . ”
William Faulkner, Light in August.

The following is an anecdote from an article published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas:

It has been decades since I was an active member of this prestigious forum. Last night, I attended a book party for Kathryn McGarr, Cappy McGarr and Janie Strauss McGarr’s daughter. She has written a zinger of a book about her mother’s uncle, Bob Strauss, one of our most accomplished and colorful public servants.

The evening brought to mind the time―I believe it was in 1979 or thereabouts―when Bob was U.S. trade representative and spoke to the Friday Group. He was introduced by his brother Ted, who gave such an admiring and thorough background introduction that it went on longer than Bob had time to speak. When Bob finally stood up to the podium, right off the bat he was vintage Strauss: “G-- d---it Ted, I asked for an introduction, not a G-- d---ed travelogue!” (And it wasn’t “Gosh darned.”)

Cosima Wagner's Diaries: The Management Committee

Friday, January 29, 1875 Richard despondent on account of the hopelessness of Glatz. “I need savages,” Richard says, “not cultivated barbarians.” I write to Baron Normann to inquire about a tenor, Herr Schwab, who has approached us. -- I am now reading [Lessing’s] Nathan der Weise with the children and once more find much of it very moving; the voice of Assad, which rests in Saladin’s soul, moves me particularly--one forgets the voice of the dead, but it can be recalled. Truth, paid out like a coin in the monologue of Nathan, reminds one of the businesslike attitude of the Jews toward their God. Conference regarding a restaurant to be built--one difficulty after another, but Richard is still satisfied with the people on his Management Committee.  In the evening read Gfrorer’s book.

Saturday, January 30, 1875 Richard works on his “Albumblatt” for Frau Betty Schott. Several singers reply to the circular, and in a very friendly way.  But Richard is still not very well, the rash on his three fingers is a great torment to him. In the evening read Gfrorer. Herr Glatz still unwell, little hope for Siegfried! . . . In the evening Gfrorer’s Primitive Christianity, in which a saying of the Jews makes a deep imprint on my mind: “One should pray for a good eye, a humble spirit, and a soul free from desire.”

Sunday, January 31, 1875 A fine winter’s day, the children in church and on the ice, I busy with preparations for the journey. In the evening read Nathan der Weise to the children, and later guests. E-flat Major Quartet and E Major Sonata.

Idea of Reference: The Management Committee

Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld
Attorneys At Law
A Partnership Including Professional Corporations
Suite 400
1333 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 887-4000

February 14, 1990




As you all know, John Dowd and Chip Welch, formerly of Heron, Burchette, recently joined the firm along with several other of their colleagues.  It has come to our attention that, while at Heron Burchette, Chip billed some time (for some research on strictly legal issues) to the plaintiffs in which we are currently representing the defendants -- Fortson v. Craig Hall Civ. No. 89-0625-A (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division), our client number 72979.0001.  Chip also discussed the case with John Dowd.

John and Chip have informed us that the plaintiffs imparted no privileged or confidential information to them.  Nonetheless, to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, we are establishing an institutional screening mechanism, or a "Chinese Wall."  Accordingly, no attorneys or support staff, whether or not they have worked on the Hall case, should discuss it in any manner with any former Heron, Burchette attorneys or support staff, including but not limited to John and Chip.  This prohibition especially includes the following Akin Gump lawyers who have worked on the Hall case: Dave Donohoe, Clint Batterton, Bruce Mendelssohn, Larry Tanenbaum, Courtney Ellis, Bill Potts, Mike Mueller, Leslie Turner, Jon Spaeth, Cynthia Hogue, Karen Johnston, Rob Shapiro, Tommy Pierce, Eve Dubrow, Amy Bowerman, John Langmore, Sam Wolff, Amy Cohen, Jon Redway, Carl Hankla, and David Mann.

In addition, any of the above named attorneys and Litigation Support personnel who have pleadings or other papers from the Hall case should place copies of the attached notice on Hall pleading binder, folder and file cabinet drawers announcing restricted access to any former Heron, Burchette attorneys or support staff.

Any questions regarding the above should be directed to Dave Donohoe or Mike Mueller.



The pleadings and other papers in this case, Fortson v. Hall, Civ. No. 89-0625-A (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria,Division), our client number 72979.0001, are subject to a "Chinese Wall."  Access is not permitted to former attorneys and support staff from Heron, Burchette, Ruckert & Rothwell, including but not limited to John Dowd and Chip Welch.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gertrude R. Ticho: "I wrote the letter."

In late October 1991 I lodged a harassment complaint against coworkers and my supervisor Christine Robertson at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. A few days later the firm terminated my employment. Thereafter the firm alleged that it had spoken with a psychiatrist, Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. (GRT), who advised the employer that my harassment complaint was the product of a psychiatric disorder that might dispose me to become violent. Some time later I spoke by telephone with Dr. Ticho who, at my request, wrote a letter denying that she spoke to the employer.  I subsequently used the letter in legal proceedings concerning my job termination.

Here is a portion of the transcript of a telephone conversation I had with Dr. Ticho in October 1993:

GF: Yes. I, I was wondering if you received the letter I sent you earlier this week.

GRT: Yes.

GF: Ah.

GRT: But it has nothing to do with me.

GF: Um. But it's very important that, um, you file an objection to these findings of the Department of Human Rights. I think it's in your interest to do that.

GRT: No. I have nothing to do with that. You only wanted to know whether I have seen you. And I told you that I haven't seen you in consultation. That's all.

GF: Yes. But the Department of Human Rights states that there's a possibility that you responded to a hypothetical question about me, ah, in conversation with my former employer.

GRT: Yea. But that, that has nothing to do with me. And, ah, I, I gave you that, ah, ah, letter -- and that's all . . . that concerns me.

Be that as it may.

When I was a boy I saw a movie on television, a Billy Wilder film, Witness for the Prosecution.  I was much impressed with the movie.  I suspect that somehow the movie resonates with my adult psychological concerns with perjury and the authenticity of letters.

Witness for the Prosecution

During the period 2004-2005 I was a psychotherapy out-patient with the D.C. Department of Mental Health (Spring Road Clinic) under the care of Israella Bash, Ph.D.  Dr. Bash is a forensic psychologist who qualifies as an expert in court proceedings.  Dr. Bash is the co-author of "The Determination of Malingering," Annals of the N.Y. Academy of Sciences, 347(1): 86-99, June 1980.

It was Dr. Bash's professional opinion that I was engaged in malingering while I was her patient and that I was fully employable.  Perhaps the U.S. Attorney would like to call Dr. Bash as a witness for the prosecution for the crime of defrauding the U.S. Social Security Administration -- which I appear to be engaged in.

GW Psychiatric Treatment: Akin Gump Re-Employment

The following letter from Jerry M. Wiener, M.D. (which I forwarded to U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder, Jr. Esq.) is a response to a letter I wrote to him dated May 22, 1995.

The George Washington University
175th Anniversary 1821-1996

The Leon Yochelson
Professor and Chairman

June 1, 1995

Mr. Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW - #136
Washington, DC  20008-4530

Dear Mr. Freedman,

The issues you raise are properly taken up with the psychiatrist currently seeing you and/or with your former employer.


Jerry M. Wiener, M.D.

Americans With Disabilities Act: Right to Reasonable Accomodation

December 17, 2004
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW #136
Washington, DC 20008

Office of the Corporation Counsel
Mental Health Division
Washington, DC

RE: Mental Disability -- Right to Reasonable Accommodation

Dear Sir:

I am a disabled American. I suffer from mental illness and qualify for protections under the DC Human Rights Act of 1977 (as amended) as well as the federal Americans With Disabilities Act. In order to invoke the protections of these laws I must fully disclose to a prospective employer facts about my disability. I face a dilemma, however.

I was a victim of severe defamation at my last place of employment by a senior management attorney, my supervisor, and coworkers. The defamation was compounded by the DC Office of Corporation Counsel; and moreover, the Corporation Counsel's actions were subsequently acquiesced in by the employer.

A full disclosure of facts about my background might seriously impair my employability and might even subject me to involuntary commitment or criminal prosecution. On October 12, 1994 a Metro DC Police detective said something to me that was revealing and disturbing regarding the problems I face as a victim of severe defamation. He asked me: "How can it be that all these people had said these things about you and that none of it is true.  Some of it must be true." I can assure you that none of the allegations that have been made about me are true.

My main concern is the following: precisely what do I need to disclose to a prospective employer in order to invoke my rights under The Americans With Disabilities Act as well as the DC Human Rights Act, and to enjoy the full protection of the law? Do I need to disclose my psychiatric diagnosis? Specific facts about my past employment problems? Specific facts about my mental state that are the basis of my psychiatric diagnosis? Facts underlying the Social Security Administration's determination that I am disabled?

Also, I believe I have been the victim of a fraud and racketeering conspiracy that is being run by attorney managers of the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, my former employer. The criminal enterprise has involved The George Washington University Medical Center Medical Faculty Associates and the DC Public Library (Richard Jackson, Interim Director). I have taken several different anti-psychotic medications, none of which has remediated my illness.

In the event I obtain employment in the future, I may encounter problems obtaining employer-sponsored health care benefits for the treatment of my mental illness.

The enclosed computer disc contains letters that explain the above-referenced employment problems in detail, and includes a collection of letters to my imaginary friend, Brian Brown. I have no family or friends. Brian is all I have. How I wish I could be Brian's real buddy!


Gary Freedman

Letter to FBI -- January 12, 1995

January 12, 1995
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20008

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington Field Office
1900 Half Street, SW
Washington, DC  20324-1600

Dear Sir:

The enclosed Memorandum Opinion and Judgment issued by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, No. 93-AA-1342, is forwarded for your information.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is advised that, in view of the above-referenced Opinion, the following determination by the D.C. Department of Human Rights continues to stand:

As of October 29, 1991 I suffered from a severe mental disorder that rendered me paranoid, potentially violent, a threat to those in my environment, and unemployable.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is further advised that, to the best of my knowledge, my former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, has not disavowed the determination by my former supervisor, Mrs. Christine Robertson, that I may be armed and homicidal (extremely dangerous).


Gary Freedman

FBI Response:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My People

My father's father was born in Vilna, Lithuania. Yes, he was a Litvak -- a Lithuanian Jew. Certain stereotypes attach to the Litvak.

The stereotypical Litvak is portrayed as unemotional, withdrawn, intellectual, and mercilessly critical; he challenges authority and is by nature skeptical, stubborn, and impatient with, and suspicious of, others. The Litvak’s commitment to tradition is suspect; his Judaism purely intellectual. Hyperbolic expressions of the stereotype maintained that even when he is studying Torah, the Litvak has one leg out the door of the bet midrash (study hall), on his way to inevitable apostasy. He studies Mishnah, Talmud, and halakhic codes publicly, went the stereotype, while at the same time furtively glances into Christian scripture or reads Marx and Tolstoy. The Litvak was called, derisively, tselem kopf—meaning, split the head of a Litvak and you’ll find a cross. There was widespread suspicion among Polish Jews that Litvaks somehow lacked a yidishe neshome, an authentic Jewish soul, and that there was something inherently flawed, “goyish” and lacking in authentic Jewish flavor (yidisher tam), about them—the latter confirmed by the Litvak’s austere diet, which contrasted with the sweeter and more complex foods of Galitsianers. While Polish, Galician, and Romanian Jews would typically sweeten the most popular Jewish staple foods (e.g., gefilte fish or kugel) with sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and the like, Litvaks prepared their food with salt and pepper—appropriate, according to the stereotype, to their bitter personalities. “The Galitsianer’s gut is too big, but he has a small head,” wrote Mendele Moykher-Sforim; “the Litvak’s gut is too small, but he has a big head.”

GW Psychiatric Treatment: Status of Illness as of January 1995

I forwarded a copy of this letter to the Washington Field Office of the FBI.

January 13, 1995
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20008

D. Georgopoulos, M.D.
Dept. Psychiatry
GW Univ. Med. Ctr.
2150 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20037

Dear Dr. Georgopoulos:

This will confirm that at our consultation on Thursday January 12, 1995, you stated, concerning the issue of my current employability, that you believe that I may be able to perform certain tasks.  You stated that you would review with your supervisor the possibility of contacting my former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (“Akin Gump”), to explore with the employer the possibility of reinstating my employment with the firm.

In order to assist you in the evaluation of my current mental state, I submit the following statement of pertinent facts:

1.  By way of a letter dated April 1, 1994 to Mr. Dennis M. Race of the law firm of Akin Gump, I stated my willingness to undergo a psychiatric evaluation with the results to be made available to Akin Gump to allay any concerns the firm might have regarding the reinstatement of my employment.  Mr. Race did not respond to my offer.

2.  Social Interaction:  I am virtually totally socially isolated.  I speak by telephone to my sister about once a week.  I have had absolutely no face-to-face social interaction with anyone since the early fall of 1992, nearly two-and-one-half years ago, when I visited my sister and her family.  I had lunch with a friend in early February 1992; this friend has since broken off contact with me and during a telephone conversation in July 1993 he suggested that I “be friendly with dead people.”

3.  As recently as mid-March 1994, my psychiatrist at GW recommended a course of the anti-psychotic Haldol to help me overcome what she termed severe social phobia.

4  On December 15, 1994 I underwent an informal interrogation by the U.S. Secret Service.  The U.S. Secret Service had concerns based on a letter that I had previously forwarded to the FBI, that I might pose a threat to persons within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secret Service.  The agent who conducted the interrogation concluded that I did not pose a threat.  The agent noted that I seemed to be a “friendly guy” and that my social isolation seemed inexplicable to him.

5.  In May 1994 I underwent comprehensive psychological testing at GW, conducted by Yu-Ling Han, an M.A. psychology intern. The test result summary report was reviewed and approved by William Fabian, Ph.D., a member of the faculty of the GW Psychiatry Department.  The results of the self-report surveys I underwent (the MMPI and Millon) failed to yield either an Axis I or Axis II diagnosis.  Dr. Fabian assigned the diagnosis “paranoid (delusional) disorder,” a severe and rare psychotic condition that renders the sufferer incapable of distinguishing certain fantasies from reality.  Although the test results, which failed to yield a diagnosis, were deemed valid and consistent, Yu-Ling Han states in the test result summary report that I lied on the testing in order to conceal the severity of my illness, which presumably is quite severe.  GW’s assertion that I lied on the testing and that, apparently, I was able to lie so convincingly leaves open the possibility that I may be, from a law enforcement perspective, extraordinarily dangerous.

6.  In August 1994 I prepared a critique of the above-referenced test result summary report, which critique I forwarded to Keith Ghezzi, M.D., Medical Director at GW.  Dr. Ghezzi thereafter forwarded my letter to Jerry M. Wiener, M.D., chairman of the GW psychiatry department, for comment.  Dr. Wiener, by way of a letter to me, subsequently declined to comment on my concerns regarding the testing.  Dr. Wiener’s letter stated: "I regret that you continue to be occupied in this manner."  Presumably, Dr. Wiener (1) concurred with the test result summary report (including the conclusion that I lied on the testing to conceal the severity of my illness), (2) concurred with the diagnosis “paranoid (delusional) disorder” (a psychotic disorder), and (3) apparently believes that my letter was itself the product of my mental disturbance, a psychotic disorder.

7.  In September 1992 I underwent a two-hour evaluation ay GW prior to commencing psychotherapy.  The assessment chart, prepared by Napoleon Cuenco, M.D., and dated September 24, 1992, assigned the diagnosis “bi-polar disorder” (manic depression).  My current treating psychiatrist, Dr. Georgopoulos, states that I do not currently exhibit symptoms of manic depression.  The assessment chart does not refer in any manner to a delusional disorder, though it mentions “paranoid ideations.”  I provided Dr. Cuenco (via attending physician, Daniel Tsao, M.D.) an autobiographical document (The Caliban Complex) that detailed a delusional system centering on the belief that I was under surveillance by my former employer, Akin Gump.  Dr. Cuenco acknowledged to me that he had read the said document.

8.  I continue to hold the following beliefs, which might be termed paranoid.

(i)  My former employer, Akin Gump, has been in communication with each of the mental health professionals I consulted during my employment and that the mental health professionals informed my former employer of the content of each of these sessions.  None of the mental health professionals admitted, when asked, that they were in communication with my former employer.

(ii)  My former employer has been having regular communications with the Department of Psychiatry, George Washington University Medical Center, where I am currently in therapy.  I discussed this belief with Dr. Wiener in August 1993.  Dr. Wiener states that my beliefs were incontrovertible evidence of my paranoia.  Dr. Wiener further stated that my paranoid beliefs have left me a “psychological cripple.”

(iii)  My former employer had an informal agreement with the former manager of my apartment building, Elaine Wranik, whereby the manager would inspect my apartment daily, without my consent, and report her findings back to my employer.  I believe that these inspections were occurring at least as of March 1989 and continued until about early February 1992.

(iv)  My former employer, without my consent, gained access to my apartment on January 2, 1990, prepared a video-tape of my apartment, and sent a copy of the video-tape to my sister, who lives in New Jersey.

(v)  My former employer has had regular and frequent communications with my sister, Mrs. Estelle Jacobson (609 727-3295).  I believe that the communications began in about late October 1988 and continue to the present.  My sister denies ever having communicated with my former employer.

(vi)  My former employer has submitted a copy of my autobiography to various experts including Professors Peter Gay at Yale, Fritz Stern at Columbia, and Harold Bloom at New York University and Yale.  I believe that my former employer has also consulted, and submitted a copy of my autobiography to, Dr. Ernst Ticho and Dr. Gerald Post, two local psychiatrists, as well as Dr. Anthony Storr in the United Kingdom.  I also believe that Mr. Robert S. Strauss, a founding partner of the firm of Akin Gump and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, gave a copy of my autobiography to former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker in June 1991.

(vii) My former employer arranged, without my knowledge or consent, to have an Akin Gump supervisory employee, John D. Neary, consult with one of my former psychiatrists, Dr. Stanley R. Palombo, on April 16, 1990.

(viii) My former employer shared with supervisory employees confidential mental health information obtained from various mental health professionals whom I consulted.  I believe that these supervisory employees proceeded to use the confidential mental health information to harass me.

(ix)  I believe that during the entire period of my employment at Akin Gump I was harassed daily by co-workers, attorneys, and supervisory personnel, including my immediate supervisor, Mrs. Christine Robertson.  Akin Gump management maintains that it was unable to substantiate my allegations of harassment, and contends that its consultation with a psychiatrist, Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. (who denies ever having communicated with Akin Gump management), led it to conclude that my ideation is dominated by “ideas of reference” that are the product of a serious mental disorder that renders me potentially violent (or violent) and not suitable for employment.

An Akin Gump Performance Evaluation prepared in May 1991 contains the following description of my suitability for employment: “Gary seems as close to the perfect employee as it is possible to get!”  “He is reliable, hard working and extremely responsible.”  Five months later, in late October 1991, Akin Gump management determined that in fact I was mentally incompetent, potentially violent, and not suitable for employment; this determination was made, so Akin Gump claims, in consultation with a psychiatrist (who now denies ever having communicated with any Akin Gump managers) days after I complained that I was a victim of harassment by Mrs. Christine Robertson.

On the day of my termination Mrs. Robertson reportedly advised her employees that I might be armed and homicidal (extremely dangerous), and arranged to have the locks to the office suite that houses her department changed.  (Earlier on the day of my termination Robertson had requested of me, in a friendly manner, that I log onto a computer at a terminal near her office and remain in the building to complete the task I had been engaged in that morning, prior to the termination notice.  My interaction with Mrs. Robertson at this point was witnessed by a fellow employee, Richard Taylor).  To the best of my knowledge Akin Gump’s managers have not disavowed Mrs. Robertson’s determination that I might be armed and homicidal (extremely dangerous).

My own belief as to my employability is that I am no more employable and no less employable than I was on October 29, 1991, the day I was, according to the D.C. Department of Human Rights, lawfully terminated pursuant to Akin Gump’s determination that I suffered from severe mental disturbance that rendered me paranoid, potentially violent, a threat to others in my environment, and unemployable.


Gary Freedman

cc:  Arthur Isack, executive director, GWU MFA 8/6/93
Betsy Ranslow, Office of Ethics, APA 8/9/93
Jerry M. Wiener, Chairman GWU Dept. Psychiatry 8/17/93
Harold F. Baker, Esq., GWU trustee (partner, Howery & Simon) 8/20/93
Sheldon S. Cohen, Esq., GWU trustee (partner, Morgan,. Lewis & Bockius) 8/20/93