The following is the text of five pages of handwritten notes that I left on a table in my apartment under the influence of my paranoid belief that the manager of my apartment building Elaine Wranik inspected my apartment every day surreptitiously after I left for work and thereafter reported her findings to Akin Gump management. I have previously posted notes I left on a table in my apartment on the morning of Friday October 25, 1991. I left the following notes on a table in my apartment apparently on the morning of Monday October 28, 1991. Akin Gump management made its decision to terminate me on the afternoon of Monday October 28, 1991; the firm's severance check was dated October 28, 1991. The termination meeting was held at about mid-day on Tuesday October 29, 1991.
The stunning fact is that the following notes are devoted to an analysis of the issue of "ideas of reference." In the following document I pose the question whether my belief that I was a victim of job harassment was the product of an ability to accurately read subtle social cues, or whether my beliefs were "ideas of reference." I even suggest that Akin Gump management talk to Stanley R. Palombo, M.D., my former treating psychiatrist, about the issue.
How uncanny is it that Akin Gump later alleged to the D.C. Department of Human Rights that its decision to terminate my employment was based on a consultation with a psychiatrist (Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D.) who advised that my harassment complaint seemed to be the product of "ideas of reference?" Is it possible that the firm got the idea to allege that I suffered from "ideas of reference" from these very notes?
Is it conceivable that a seriously disturbed person who suffered from "ideas of reference" would have the mental processes to critically analyze his thinking, and consider the possibility that his thinking was dominated by "ideas of reference?"
Ideas of Reference or Something Else?
An American moves to a foreign country. He doesn’t understand a word of the language spoken in that country. Walking along a wooded road he notices a sign that says “IBLUKRUK.” He waits along the side of the road and notices that as drivers approach the sign, they slow down to stop, look around into the woods, then proceed. The man walks into the village. He sees signs at interactions that say “SULFUMAR.” When cars approach these signs, the drivers stop, then proceed. He infers that “SULFUMAR” means “STOP.” But if “SULFUMAR” means “STOP” then what can “IBLUKRUK” possibly mean? The man gets a job (one that doesn’t require any verbal skills). He notices that often, around 11:30 AM or so, people begin to use the word “ABLUKRANA” with increasing frequency. When he watches television in the evenings he notices that during the course of food commercials there is an increased frequency in the use of the word “ABLUKRANA.” He infers that “ABLUKRANA” must relate to food, eating or hunger. He thinks back to the sign that said “IBLUKRUK.” He notes the identity of the root “BLUK” in “IBLUKRUK” and “ABLUKRANA” and infers that “IBLUKRUK” may in some way refer to eating, food, or hunger. But why would a road sign referring to food cause motorists to stop or slow down? He infers that “IBLUKRUK” refers to animals, that is, edible creatures. He concludes that “IBLUKRUK” may mean “ANIMAL CROSSING.”
Assume the man is orally fixated, can we impeach his inferences on that basis?
Of course, it’s one thing to notice peculiarities and infer meanings, and an entirely different thing to assume that these words relate to you. Why I make this leap I don’t know. Perhaps an expert in information processing, such as Dr. Palombo, could offer insight.
I offer the following incidents or anecdotes.
Beginning in September 1989, I noticed that people began to use the name “Chris” with increasing and peculiar frequency in conversations with me. I was not able to infer any meaning, but simply noted it as peculiar. About a month later around October 20, 1989 I was moved up to the ninth floor. I introduced myself to a legal assistant who was also moving into the area, and who said his name was Chris Montague. I thought, “Maybe this is THE Chris.” My inference was bolstered when I found out that he started working at the firm in September, at about the same time that people started to use the name “Chris” with unusual frequency. In this case I noted a peculiarity without attaching a meaning, and waited for some logical meaning to present itself.
Just last August (1991), on a Thursday (I can’t remember the exact date--it was the Thursday just before I began working on Hoechst Chem Analysis), Lutheria Harrison used the word “rude” a number of times. I had previously “translated" the word “rude” to mean Dr. Winkler, but drew no conclusions on this occasion. Late that afternoon, after 5:00 PM, Chris Robertson said to me, “I talked to Maryellen Conner about your working on the Hoechst Chem Analysis project and she said she was enthusiastic about the idea of having you work on the project.” My mind flashed back to a telephone conversation I had with Dr. Winkler in April 1991 at which time I said, “I’m enthusiastic about resuming my work with you.” I linked enthusiastic with rude and inferred that Mr. Lassman must have talked to Dr. Winkler that day and perhaps Dr. Winkler noted that I had said I was enthusiastic about working with him, then seemingly inexplicably later terminated my work with him.
In this example we see cognitive abilities beyond mere ideas of reference. First, the use of memory in linking an event from April 1991 with an event in August 1991. Second, we see a synthesis of associations. Third, presumably, the ability to attach special meanings to commonly used words.
Here’s an interesting and ludicrous anecdote. After I told Dr. Palombo in February 1991 about a dream I had that was probably occasioned by a movie titled “Always Remember I Love You,” broadcast on Dec 23, 1990, people began to use the word “file” around me, especially just before lunch time. I inferred that the word “file” must have something to do with Craig because of other allusions which people raised in connection with the word “file.” But I had absolutely no idea what “file” meant in their “minds” or what on Earth it could possibly have to do with Craig, Then about 2 months ago, in late August or early Sept , CBS re-broadcast the move, “Always Remember . . . “ I had tuned in at the point where this kid is doing calisthenics outside a tent in the cold of winter. I had never seen the part, earlier in the movie, where he learns he’s adopted by looking through some files in an attorney’s office. When I saw the movie from the beginning in late August it became clear to me what my co-workers’ allusions to “file” meant. My earlier inference that the word “file” related to Craig was corroborated.
Here, I was able to draw a correct inference about a “coded” meaning of a word by examining the context of the word, word frequency, and at what times during the day the word was used.
How I inferred that J.D. Neary saw Dr. Palombo on April 16, 1990.
--I happened to see J.D. that afternoon. He looked very subdued, as if his pet dog had just died.
--Chris Robertson held a staff meeting that afternoon. She appeared unusually agitated. Her voice dropped when she referred to J.D.
--That afternoon I happened to see Margarita Babb. She smiled at me. What I registered was, “She’s smiling at me as though I had scored some type of victory.” I had no idea what it meant.
--Late that afternoon, a legal assistant looked at me angrily, then turned away.
--A few days later, a legal assistant said, “I’m going to call you Stan.” The other legal assistant said, “Ooo, Stan is an ugly man’s name, Stan is an ugly man’s name.”
--When I told Dr. Palombo that I believed he met with one of my colleagues he simply looked at me the way you look at a magician when he pulls a bouquet of flowers out of a hat.
[An arrow points to the word “flowers,” above. In parentheses is the phrase “(yellow roses)." When I lodged a harassment complaint with Dennis Race and Malcolm Lassman on the morning of October 24, 1991, I mentioned that attorney Paul Wageman (who was from Texas) kept a bouquet of yellow roses on his desk.]