Wednesday, November 23, 2011

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


Gary Freedman said...

August 19, 1993 [afternoon]: I meet with GW psych. department chairman, Dr. Jerry M. Wiener to discuss the letter of complaint that I plan to send to the D.C. Board of Medicine. (I thought that it was appropriate that I meet with a Board Certified Psychiatrist before sending the letter of complaint to the D.C. Board of Medicine, and I had first sought to meet with previous psychiatrist, Stanley R. Palombo, M.D. I learned, however, that Dr. Palombo would be away from his office until Monday August 23, 1993. It was upon learning that Dr. Palombo was unavailable that I arranged an appointment with Dr. Wiener). At my meeting with Dr. Wiener he advises that he has read the letter of complaint, a copy of which I submitted to him on August 17, 1993. He states that the letter is incontrovertible evidence of my paranoia, and that my paranoid preoccupations have crippled my life. He states that he declines to investigate the charges made in the letter of complaint to the D.C. Board of Medicine. Throughout the meeting, Dr. Wiener refers to the letter of complaint, copies of which I have forwarded to various parties, as symptomatic of severe psychopathology. Dr. Wiener refuses, however, to reduce to a writing his comments concerning my paranoid mental state that I could then submit to the U.S. Social Security Administration in connection with my disability claim; he reminds me that I had initially agreed that my meeting with him was in his capacity as Psychiatry Department Chairman and not as a psychiatrist conducting a consultation. We do not discuss Dr. Pitts or my current psychiatric treatment, per se, and Dr. Wiener makes no treatment recommendations, which is consistent with the agreed nature of the meeting.

Gary Freedman said...

See Ganellen, R.J. "Attempting to Conceal Psychological Disturbance: MMPI Defensive Response Sets and the Rorschach." Journal of Personality Assessment, 63(3): 423-437 (1994). The author asserts that a guarded, defensive response set is manifested on the Rorschach by (1) fewer than average responses, (2) a constricted response style, and (3) an attempt to appear conventional.

It is difficult to reconcile these criteria of defensiveness/mendacity with the GW test evaluator's express assertions, or admissions, that I was "enthusiastic and very self-disclosive" (p. 3), had a perceived need to "[give] as many responses as possible per card" on the Rorschach (p. 4), made attempts to impress with a "stellar performance" on the Rorschach (p. 4), with a marked tendency on the Wechsler test "to respond in an intentionally overly elaborate way in order to show off [my] verbal sophistication and complex thought processes" (p. 4) (thereby suggesting the unusual expansiveness of my test responses generally), and--significantly--I made no attempt to conceal a "disturbed" thinking style on the Rorschach (p. 5).

Gary Freedman said...

Tarter, R.E., et al. "Clinical and Perceptual Characteristics of Paranoids and Paranoid Schizophrenics") indicates that paranoids (297.10) and paranoid schizophrenics (295.30) have distinct MMPI profiles, which do not appear to match my MMPI profile.

It is questionable whether the relative normality of paranoids renders them unemployable (absent a finding that they are a direct threat in the workplace).