Wednesday, February 29, 2012

GW Psychiatric Treatment: Letter 10/30/95

October 30, 1995 (rev'd 7/30/95)
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW 
Washington, DC 20008-4530

D. Georgopoulos, M.D.
GW Med. Ctr.
Washington, DC 20037

Dear Dr. Georgopoulos:

This letter comments on the consultations on October 25, 1995 and October 27, 1995.

[Monday October 23, 1995 the patient forwards to the U.S. Department of Justice a computer disc that contains the texts of letters, dated May 5, 1995 to October 23, 1995, the patient had previously submitted to the psychiatrist.]

Consultation Wednesday October 25, 1995:


I want to comment on the letter I sent to the FBI last October: the letter the FBI later forwarded to the U.S. Secret Service. I had previously mentioned that the incident—my meeting the Secret Service Agent—seemed uncanny to me.


At a prior consultation, in February 1995, the patient had told the psychiatrist that his two meetings with a Secret Service agent had a quality of uncanniness: that the interaction seemed to involve the unfolding of certain events over which the patient had no control, but nonetheless helped shape an outcome that was peculiarly consistent with his pre-existing fantasies. The patient stated, concerning his meeting with the agent at a coffee shop in early February 1995, that the interaction recalled for the patient a brief creative piece the patient handwritten in July 1987; the creative piece concerned a man suspected of having Communist sympathies who sought to become an FBI agent and who had attempted to ingratiate himself socially with FBI agents. The patient obliquely alluded to the fact that the agent's request, in December 1994, that the patient provide to the U.S. Secret Service copies of the patient's previously written dream interpretations struck the patient as uncannily similar to the story of the biblical Joseph.

In that tale Joseph's skill as a dream interpreter came to the attention of Pharaoh seemingly by chance after Joseph, imprisoned on the false accusation of sexual impropriety made by Potiphar's wife, interprets the dreams of fellow prisoners who happen to be Pharaoh's servants. The biblical chronicler sees a divine plan at work: “Potiphar's wife had to tempt Joseph so that he would resist and be imprisoned [upon her false accusations]; the servants of Pharaoh had to be placed in prison with Joseph, so that he could interpret their dreams and rise to prominence as Pharaoh's interpreter.  Dreams and the recognition of their disguised meanings are critically linked to power and future possibilities.” Frieden, K. Freud's Dream of Interpretation, at 53 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990).

Oddly enough, there are parallels between, on the one hand, the biblical tale of Joseph's encounter with Pharaoh's servants upon his imprisonment on sexually-motivated false accusations, and, on the other, the patient's encounter with a Secret Service agent, a protector of the President. And while divine intervention as a mediating factor may be discounted in the case of the patient, the relevance of the repetition compulsion (with both active and passive aspects) seems plausible.

The patient had originally been assigned to work at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld by a temporary agency in early March 1988. The patient had not sought employment at Akin Gump, and, in fact, had been involuntarily terminated by his previous employer. Cf. Note 2, below. The patient was terminated by Akin Gump in late October 1991 following false accusations made by a female supervisor, who later told employees she feared the patient might return with a gun to kill her! 1/

During the subsequent period of unemployment the patient began, in January 1992, to prepare written analyses of his dreams. In late December 1992 the patient was apprised for the first time, in legal documents filed by Akin Gump in the patient's wrongful termination action, of certain false accusations made against him by the supervisor and others. And in early July 1993 the patient learned for the first time, in a conversations with a former coworker, that the supervisor had stated to employees, a brief time after the patient's termination, that the patient might be armed and homicidal.

By way of a letter dated October 8, 1994 to the FBI the patient detailed the supervisor's false accusations about the patient's supposed homicidal tendencies and listed certain of the patient's dream interpretations that mentioned President Clinton. In mid-December 1994 the U.S. Secret Service, which had been alerted by the FBI of the patient's letter, requested a meeting with the patient to resolve concerns that the patient might pose a risk of danger to the President. The U.S. Secret Service requested the patient to supply copies of the dream interpretations the patient had previously prepared, which the patient had mentioned in the letter to the FBI dated October 8, 1994. Thus, the patient's dreams found their way, following a series of fortuitous circumstances and active steps taken by the patient, to the U.S. Secret Service—the agency designated to protect the President of the United States.

The psychiatrist refused, at the consultation in February 1995, to acknowledge the possibility that passive elements hay have led to the patient's meeting with the U.S. Secret Service—a meeting that struck the patient as uncanny—and asserted, instead, that the meeting was the sole product of active steps taken by the patient. In effect the psychiatrist denied that the patents meeting with the U.S. Secret Service was determined in part by a passive repetition compulsion. 2/


When I mentioned to you months ago that I thought the encounter with the U.S. Secret Service was uncanny you said that the whole thing had been under my control—that I had brought about the meeting myself by sending a letter to the FBI. But I don't think so. I think there were strong elements of uncanniness in the meeting.

I thought of a metaphor that describes the mixture of active and passive elements in the experience. Let's say you're in the woods, that there's a river, and you want to cross the river. That's what you have in mind--that you actively want to cross the river. But let's say there's no way you can get to the other side. There's a rapids there, and it would be too dangerous to swim or wade across the rover. Then, all of a sudden, a giant tree falls and forms a natural bridge. You then cross the river by using the fallen tree as a bridge. In my mind, that metaphor encapsulates my experiences. The metaphor brings together both the active and passive elements of my experiences. There's an opportunistic element to my personality that gets overlooked in your simplistic interpretation. Yes, I wanted to cross the river and I did cross the rover, but originally there was no means to cross the river. Then, all of a sudden, something happens in the environment, something over which I had no active control, and I take advantage of the circumstances to further my pre-existing aims.  I wrote the letter to the FBI yes, but I didn't create the circumstances that led my supervisor to accuse me of being armed and homicidal.   And as for the dreams, I had begun to prepare written dream interpretations years before I ever wrote to the FBI or before I even knew of my supervisor's accusation that I might be armed and homicidal. I made opportunistic use of my supervisor's accusations. Your simplistic interpretation—that I made it all happen--overlooks the way I make use of my environment, the subtle interaction between my personality needs and other people in the environment.


The psychiatrist says absolutely nothing at the consultation other than to make a brief comment at the beginning of the hour relating to patient billing.

Consultation Friday October 27, 1995


I had some additional comments to what I discussed at our last meeting. Last hour I compared my experiences with a person in a forest who wants to cross a rover, but there's no way he can get across. I said—imagine that a giant tree falls and forms a natural bridge that allows the person to cross to the other side. There's something I want to add to that. The metaphor leaves out an important element relating to my interpersonal experiences. Because in interpersonal relations we're not dealing with trees, we're dealing with people. In the metaphor, the tree is a passive facilitator. Whether the tree falls or not is outside the person's control. But in my interpersonal experiences, it's as if I am the one who makes the tree fall just by walking into the woods. 3/

[The psychiatrist winces at this statement.]

I really believe that I have this effect on people, that people react defensively to me when I interact with them, and that defensive reaction is analogous to the tree falling in the woods. I then make opportunistic use of that defensive reaction. When I say opportunistic, I don't necessarily mean for any salutary purpose. I may also use other persons' defensive reactions to serve my ego's regressive needs [to advance the repetition compulsion].

Just as the man in the metaphor made use of the fallen tree to advance his pre-existing goal, I made use of my supervisor's defensive reaction to me (her accusation that I might be armed and homicidal) to contact the FBI [which ultimately led to my meeting with the U.S. Secret Service].

I was thinking that there's a biological analogy to this. Its not something that actually happens, to the best of my knowledge, but maybe it could happen. Imagine a situation in which a virus was able to make adaptive use of a host's immune reaction. Imagine a situation in which an invading virus could translate the chemical structure of the host's antibodies for use in viral replication. Now that's a frightening thing if it could really happen. But that's essentially what I am saying. That I am able to take a person's defensive reaction to me and make adaptive use of it.


People are not actually reacting to you. They have their own issues, their own personalities. They may say certain things about you, but they are not reacting to you. It has nothing to do with you.

[A few months earlier the patient had asked whether the psychiatrist was familiar with any literature concerning persons who arouse a paranoid, or defensive, reaction in others. The psychiatrist stated that he had read accounts of such persons, and, at the patient's request, said that he would provide the patient with citations to the literature—a promise yet to be fulfilled. The psychiatrist's statement at the current session “People are not actually reacting to you—it has nothing to do with you” is strikingly inconsistent with the psychiatrist's previous assertion that he had read of persons who arouse a defensive reaction others, an inconsistency that contributed to the patient's rage later in the hour.]


In certain sense you're right. I mean, let's look at the immunology metaphor. The host has its own genetic make-up. Its response to a virus is based on its own genetically-determined immune response But that response is elicited by the virus. There's really two things going on simultaneously, the host's own internal capacities are there, yes. But also when the virus invades, it is the virus that triggers that response. So, actually the host is responding to the virus, despite the fact that the way it responds is pre-determined according to the host's own internal make-up.

[Further colloquy between the patient and psychiatrist concerning this issue leads to the patient becoming enraged.]

PATIENT [enraged, but maintaining his coherence and logic]:

What do you mean peoples' reactions to me have nothing to do with me? You mean a person can say, “We're all afraid of you, we're all afraid you're going to bring in a gun and shoot everybody” and that has nothing to do with me? And that that can happen not once, but with two different people making the same accusation, and that has nothing to do with me? 4/ When Hitler sticks six million Jews in an oven, who is he reacting to—the Eskimos in Alaska? If I were to say to you “I'm afraid you're going to bring in a gun and shoot everybody,” who am I reacting to—Dr. Wiener? (But cf. Letter to Dr. Pitts, dated June 4, 1993.)


The psychiatrist's comment that other person's behavior or statements, even when manifestly concerning or directed at the patient, are not related to the patient highlights once again the psychiatrist's inability to focus on the issue of mutuality in the patient's interpersonal difficulties and the Oedipally-charged nature of the patient's interpersonal conflicts.

The particular formulation employed by the psychiatrist at the current session to deny interpersonal mutuality, namely that other persons' behavior or statements have nothing to do with the patient, is a novel one for this psychiatrist, however. What is intriguing about the formulation is that the particular psychological context in which it does apply seems to serve as an identifier, a certificate of origin, as it were, of the very unconscious prohibitions that render the psychiatrist incapable of confronting issues relating to peer jealousy, fear and retaliatory aggression.

The psychiatrist's statement “Other peoples' reactions to you have nothing to do with you” carries an ironic ambiguity in that the statement may be interpreted to identify the cause of the psychiatrist's denial (or negation 5/) of aggression and, in addition, simultaneously affirm the Oedipally-charged nature of the patient's interpersonal difficulties with attendant peer reactions of jealousy and fear.

The small boy in the throes of the Oedipal struggle fears and envies the father whom he wishes to displace. Paradoxically, one might appropriately say, however, that the child's struggle over issues of fear and jealousy in relation to the father has nothing to do with the person of the father; in the child's Oedipal struggle, the father is a more-or-less mythological person who is absolutely fantasied. The child's struggle relates solely to the father's relationship with the mother, and is a product of the child's maturational stage.

The psychiatrist's statement to the patient “Other peoples' reactions to you have nothing to do with you” serves, as Nietzsche might say, as “the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir.” As a personal confession the statement reveals the nature of the psychiatrist's own Oedipal struggle and the relation of that struggle to the psychiatrist's apparent need to isolate or deny aggression and placate potential attackers.  It is as if the psychiatrist were saying to his own father: “My behavior, which seems to signify my rejection of you and which places me at risk of castration, has nothing to do with you. Do not punish me for my transgressions.” 6/

The particular character of the psychiatrist's Oedipal struggle carries important implications in regard to his work with a patient whose interpersonal conflicts are Oedipally-charged. 7/ The psychiatrist's defensive interpretations impair the therapy yet an analysis of those very defensive interpretations provides valuable insight into the nature of the patient's interpersonal relations generally. In his relations with the psychiatrist the patient re-experiences all his past toxic relationships in vivo via the counter-transference.

Sullivan recognizes and describes triadic (Oedipally-charged) interpersonal relations in which peer jealousy of a fantasied individual has nothing to do with the individual himself, but everything to do with the fantasied individual's relations. Sullivan H.S. The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry, at 348 (New York: W.W. Norton, 1953).
Jealousy, [unlike envy], never concerns a two-group situation. [Somewhat as in the Oedipal triad or, even more remotely, as in the biblical tale of Joseph and his brothers it] is invariably a very complex, painful process involving a group of three or more persons, one or more of whom may be absolutely fantasied. Jealousy is much more poignant and devastating than envy; in contrast with envy, it does not concern itself with an attribute or an attachment, but, rather, involves a great complex field of interpersonal relations. While data are hard to get, apparently jealousy occurs frequently in adolescence, and frequently with real or fancied lustful involvement with someone else. In such cases, the jealous person has a deep conviction of his own inadequacy and unworthiness in participation in lustful involvement, along with the conviction that his partner and the third person could do much better.

Jealousy in malevolent situations often assumes delusional proportions, in which the person tends more less insidiously to become inaccessible to remedial experience by being secretive, and, later, by supplementary processes which make any factual data ineffective. Jealousy becomes properly termed paranoid when the sufferer “sees” that the second person in the threesome--the link--is doing things to make him jealous out of pure malice. Id.
In his psychoanalytic study of anti-Semitism Grunberger sees in the anti-semite's image of, and reaction to, the Jew a re-enactment of the Oedipal struggle with the father. In a certain sense, applying Grunberger, one might say that anti-semitism has nothing to do with the Jew 8/; the antisemite has his own issues, his own personality.
We have seen that the role played by the Jew in the anti-Semite's unconscious is a superego figure, a powerful father imago, and in a certain measure an identification project, especially since it is given at the same time, owing to the projection, a powerful anal sexuality. In other respects it is the decisive factor that the Jew, according to the anti-Semite's criteria . . . is an absolutely castrated being whom we may therefore attack without danger and without guilt. In the Jew we find combined the two contradictory characteristics which cannot anywhere else be found associated in such a way.

The father is both all-powerful and castrated, thus being, as Sartre said of a Jewish minister of State, 'at the same time His Excellency and an untouchable'. Grunberger, B. “The Anti-Semite and the Oedipal Conflict.” Intl. J. Psychoanalysis 45: 380-385, 384 (1964).

Gary Freedman

1/ Rumors and accusations that the patient was potentially violent or homicidal arose at various times during the patient's tenure at Akin Gump. That these rumors of a dangerous aggressiveness coexisted with rumors that the patient was homosexual indicates the Oedipally-charged (and possibly antisemitic) character of the patient's interpersonal difficulties, in which peer jealousy appears to have payed a prominent role. Cf. Spitzer, R. L. et al. DSM-III-R Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Revised Edition) Case Book, at 197-198 (American Psychiatric Press: 1989) (case report titled “False Rumors”). The antisemite typically depicts the Jew inconsistently as a dangerous aggressor or weak and hypersensitive castrate. Grunberger, B. “The Anti-Semite and the Oedipal Conflict.” Intl. J. Psychoanalysis 45:380-385; 381, 384 (1964). “Paradoxes and contradictions have characterized anti-Semitic portrayals. Opposing traits clashing within the Jew, such as unbridled power vs. terrible cowardice, have underscored his alleged lack of humanity.” Encyclopedia of Jewish History: Events and Eras of the Jewish People at 119, Joseph Alpher, ed. (New York: Facts on File Publications). Curiously, the anti-Semite's conflicted depiction of the Jew parallels “contradictions to be found in the Bible in the characterization of Moses. He is often enough described as masterful, hot-tempered, even violent, and yet it is also said of him that he was the most patient and 'meek' of all men.” Freud, S. Moses and Monotheism at 49 (1939; reprint New York: Vintage Books, 1967). The parallel supports the inference that in either case—the anti-Semite's depiction of the Jew and the ancient Hebrews' depiction of the founder of their religion—we are dealing with a powerful father imago.

2/ See Freud, S. (1919) “The 'Uncanny'.” Standard Edition, 17:219-256 (London: Hogarth Press, 1955) (“whatever reminds us of the . . . inner 'compulsion to repeat' is perceived as uncanny”); See also Freud, S. (1920) Beyond the Pleasure Principle, 16 (New York: W.W. Norton, 1961) (discussing “cases where the subject appears to have a passive experience, over which he has no influence, but in which he meets with a repetition of the same fatality”). One might wish to speculate as to a possible insidious relationship, or symmetry, between the psychiatrist's denial of the applicability of the repetition compulsion in the stated fact pattern—a fact pattern that involves arguably anti-Semitic elements—and the psychiatrist's conviction that other persons' toxic reactions to the patient have nothing to do with him, a conviction that denies antisemitic animus.

Of possible relevance to this issue is Theodor Reik's application of the concept of the repetition compulsion to explain a recurring pattern in Jewish history, from antiquity to the present, concerning Jews' relations with the host population. “What is that repetitive core? In simplest terms it is the following: The Jews migrates into a new country (Egypt, Palestine, Greece, Germany), sometimes as welcome guests, where in a short time they become prominent in science, medicine, literature, commerce and finance. Some acquire high social position. The envy of the host people is then awakened and increases to hostility. A secret storm starts brewing. Often an insignificant incident has a triggering effect and unleashes the storm. There are accusations against the foreigners, and finally outbreaks of violence, riots pogroms and massacres. The end is always the same. The Jews are either exterminated or are forced to leave the country. . . The impression we get is that of a Schiksalsneurose (neurosis of destiny) of a whole group or nation[.]” Reik. T. Curiosities of the Self, at 140-141 (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1965).

3/ Cf. Rose, G. “Creative Imagination in Terms of Ego 'Core' and Boundaries.” Intl. J. Psychoanalysis 45: 75-84 (1964).

4/ Cf. Prager, D., Telushkin, J. Why the Jews?, at 21 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983): “Nearly every study of antisemitism consists almost solely of historical narrative, thus seeming to indicate that no universal reason for antisemitism exists.  We reject this approach. To ignore or deny that there is an ultimate cause for antisemitism contradicts both common sense and history. Antisemitism has existed too long, and in too many disparate cultures, to ignore the problem of ultimate cause and/or to claim that new or indigenous factors are responsible every time it erupts. . . . The very consistency of the passions Jews have aroused demands a consistent explanation" (emphasis added).

5/ Freud pointed out that the process of saying that something was not so could be an effective means of sidestepping repression without overcoming it. Freud, S. (1925) “Negation.” Standard Edition, 19: 235-242 (London: Hogarth Press, 1961). “Negation is a way of taking account of what is repressed; indeed, it is actually a removal of the repression, though not, of course, an acceptance of what is repressed. It is to be seen how the intellectual function is here distinct from the affective process. Negation only assists in undoing one of the consequences of repression—namely, the fact that the subject matter of the image in question is unable to enter consciousness. The result is a kind of intellectual acceptance of what is repressed, though in all essentials the repression persists.” Id.

6/ Cf. Letter to Dr. Georgopoulos, dated September 6, 1995: “The psychiatrist's fundamental existential concern may be expressed in the following metaphoric formula, which encapsulates his anxieties with respect to questioning authority, defying the social system, and his fears of consequent social isolation. 4/ Like a priest rebuking a blasphemer, it is as if the psychiatrist were saying to the patient week after week, by means of psychiatric rationalizations:

It is because you question the community of Christ that you are cut off and isolated from the community of Christ, which provides succor and comfort to those who, like myself, do not question. This is why you suffer eternal torment in the form of loneliness, isolation and hopelessness. You question the community, therefore you suffer.”

7/ Presumably, the Oedipally-charged nature of the patient's interpersonal relations is related to an important aspect of the patient's own Oedipal struggle: his apparent need for fusion with an all-powerful father representative, or omnipotent protector, such as symbolized by the President of the United States.

8/ According to Grunberger, the Jewish concept of God as a superego figure—a pure father representative—makes the Jew a particularly suitable and susceptible object for the abreaction of the anti-semite's Oedipal conflict. See Grunberger at 382-3.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Unusual Interest in Akin Gump

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Group Paranoia and "Naming Names" -- Random Musings

In a pleading titled "Complainant's Reply to Respondent's Response to Interrogatories and Document Request" that I filed on January 5, 1993 with the D.C. Department of Human Rights in Freedman v. Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld, I attempted to provide facts to support the unlawful job termination complaint I had filed against my former employer.

The pleadings state in part:
Complainant discussed the following incidents of harassment at the meeting on October 24, 1991, called by Mr. Race, at which Complainant was directed, on the initiative of Messrs. Race and Lassman, to relate instances of harassment.

(a.) On the second day of Complainant's assignment with Respondent as an agency-supplied temporary employee, March 4, 1988, Complainant introduced himself to a male employee outside whose office Complainant was working at a secretary's work station. A brief time after Complainant introduced himself, a group of employees gathered in the office adjacent to the work station at which Complainant was working. The employees proceeded to engage in a lively and mildly-sexually suggestive discussion about the size of the male employee's chest and whether it was hairy or not. The discussion lasted about two minutes.

In response to a question by either Mr. Race or Mr. Lassman, Complainant stated that he believed that the male employee in question was either a legal assistant or staff person, but not an attorney. Complainant stated that he did not recall the name of the male employee. Complainant further stated, in response to a question, that he did not know the status of the other employees--whether they were attorneys, legal assistants, or staff persons. Complainant had to explain, in response to repeated questions by Messrs. Race and Lassman, that the incident had occurred on the second day of his assignment with the Respondent and that Complainant did not know the identity of many of Respondent's employees as of March 4, 1988. Messrs. Race and Lassman appeared to want to gather the names of as many harassers as Complainant could possibly name. (emphasis added)
Clearly, Lassman and Race wanted me to "name names," a phrase closely associated with McCarthyism. I find the parallels between McCarthyism and my employment experience at Akin Gump striking.  The underpinnings of both McCarthyism and my employment experience involve group paranoia.  I suspect that it is impossible for a victim of group paranoia to credibly describe the nature of his victimization to outsiders, particularly to persons unfamiliar with the dynamics of mass hysteria.  It will be the victim of group paranoia who will appear disturbed and ridiculous, not the members of the group that is gripped by paranoid dynamics. The complaint, "They claimed I was a witch" will not get any traction in the year 2012.

In the year 2012, if someone were to complain, "They said I was a Communist," the probable response would be "So what?"  In today's world nobody cares if someone declares his adherence to Communist dogma.  For all practical purposes, Communism is a defunct ideology.  Not so in the early 1950s.  In the mid-twentieth century even the appearance of allegiance to Communist beliefs was fraught with an hysterical aura.  The disturbed feelings engendered in the victim of group paranoia were aptly described by playwright Arthur Miller who was himself caught up in the Communist scare of the 1950s.   Miller writes of his emotions from 1948 to 1951 as "the sensation of being trapped inside a perverse work of art, one of those Escher constructs in which it is impossible to make out whether a stairway is going up or down."

In  the late 1930s, a committee (that would later become the House Un-American Activities Committee or HUAC) was formed to investigate the activities of radical groups, especially communists. J. Edgar Hoover of the Federal Bureau of Investigation diligently spied and collected names and information and fed it to the committee. The committee prosecuted these insurgents on the charge that they were conspiring to overthrow the government.

In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin burst onto the scene with a speech claiming that he had a list of 81 communists working in the State Department. Using this sensationalism, he rode the wave of hysteria and paranoia to celebrity status. With his celebrity came power:

McCarthy’s real triumph, both in 1950 and afterwards, lay in making himself a personal symbol of these issues. Once he had accomplished this, the task of dislodging or even restraining him became most complicated. He held a privileged position in American politics, and he was bold enough, audacious enough, perhaps even desperate enough, to exploit this privilege for five long years.

McCarthy led the HUAC hearings in 1951, focusing on government employees, intellectuals, and especially the entertainment industry. Writers, directors, and actors were called to the hearings to enter their plea of being communist and to name the names of other communists and sympathizers. Those who refused were blacklisted by the Hollywood studios and denied any work in the industry. Ten individuals refused to testify at all, citing their fifth-amendment rights. They were subsequently found guilty of contempt and sentenced to jail time.

McCarthy was re-elected to the Senate in 1952. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible premiered on Broadway in 1953, making an obvious comparison between McCarthyism and the Salem witch trials. In 1954, McCarthy, along with the HUAC, set his sights on the United States Army. Determined to find the communist element in the Army, McCarthy convened hearings. These Army-McCarthy hearings were the first nationally televised congressional inquiries. All of America watched as Joseph McCarthy poked and probed, searched and questioned. Eventually, McCarthy came up empty-handed and all of America saw the true nature of McCarthyism. As The Crucible suggested, McCarthy had been on a witch-hunt. In late 1954, the Senate voted to censure McCarthy for his behavior during the HUAC hearings.

In 1952, theatre and film director Elia Kazan was called before HUAC and pressured to admit his affiliation with the Communist Party and to name those he knew to be Communists. Kazan submitted to the demands of McCarthy and the committee, much to the dismay of his colleagues. Most of all, this wounded his best friend Arthur Miller. Kazan had directed Miller’s All My Sons and Death of a Salesman, and they were said to be as close as brothers. Miller and Kazan did not speak for 10 years.

Miller was outraged at what HUAC was doing to his colleagues and amazed that the committee was given such power.

In the “Introduction” to Arthur Miller’s Collected Plays, he states:

It was not only the rise of “McCarthyism” that moved me, but something which seemed much more weird and mysterious. It was the fact that a political, objective, knowledgeable, campaign from the far Right was capable of creating not only terror, but a new subjective reality a veritable mystique which was gradually assuming even a holy resonance.

His outrage gave him the impetus to write on a subject he already had pondered. As a literary scholar, he began to identify similarities in the actions of HUAC and the story of the Salem witch trials he had come across in earlier readings and research. The intangible enemies (communism and witchcraft), the mass hysteria and paranoia, the naming of names, the absolution by admission of guilt and pledge of loyalty, and the obvious self-gratification of the accusers were all parallels that seemed compelling and comparable. The product was The Crucible. Though not completely historically accurate, The Crucible told the story of the Salem witch trails and was produced in 1953, when comparisons to HUAC were inevitable. The play forced the audience to look at Salem in 1692 when the same mistakes were being made and the consequences were horrific. In 1957 Miller was called before HUAC to testify about a meeting of Communist writers that he attended. Miller refused to name names. He was found in contempt of Congress and sentenced to jail time. The Crucible remains one of Miller’s most popular plays.

What is my point in all this?  I suspect that my experience of workplace mobbing at Akin Gump was in some way related to the dynamics of group paranoia, dynamics that propelled the Salem witch trials in the 1600s as well as McCarthyism in the early 1950s.  What I saw and experienced at the firm were events and interactions at the perimeter of that group paranoia, and therefore I am unable to credibly describe the core issues and actors' roles in that environment.

Archive of all Writings 1991-1995: What did the Attorney General Know and When Did He Know It?

July 18, 1995
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW #136
Washington, DC 20008-4530

Philip C. Leadroot
Special Agent
U.S. Secret Service
Suite 1000
1050 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036

Dear Mr. Leadroot:

Enclosed for your information are 12 computer discs, copies of all computer discs in my possession. The discs contain personal files that I created during the period November 1991 until the present.

I understand that the U.S. Secret Service may share any information contained on the enclosed discs with any government agency or law enforcement authority.

I have not created, deleted, or omitted any file with the intent corruptly to establish or augment any right or entitlement under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction. I have not created, deleted, or omitted any file with the intent corruptly to establish a defense to the prosecution of any crime under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction.


Gary Freedman

cc: Office of U.S. Attorney for D.C. [Eric H. Holder, Jr., Esq.--without enclosures]

GW Psychiatric Treatment: Mental Status -- 1995

The following is a parody that I wrote in the year 1995 about the O.J. Simpson case.  At that very time I was in twice per week out-patient psychotherapy at The George Washington University Medical Center.  According to my psychiatrist I suffered from psychotic mental illness for which the doctor recommended anti-psychotic medication.  Persons suffering from psychotic mental illness are typically humorless.

Like my father, Robert Shapiro's father worked in the garment industry.  Shapiro was just a poor Jewish kid from New Jersey.


NEW YORK--The O.J. Simpson defense team not only played the breast card, but, "we dealt from the bottom of the deck," according to Robert Shapiro, one of Simpson's own lawyers.

"My position was always the same," Shapiro told ABC News' Barbara Walters yesterday--"That the size of a woman's breasts would not and should not be a part of this case.  I was wrong."

Shapiro blamed Johnnie Cochran for changing the rules, but said Cochran "was in charge of the overall strategy" of the defense.

"He believes that everything in America is related to female breast size," Shapiro said.  "I do not."

Shapiro also said he was upset when Cochran likened the size of O.J. Simpson's hand--the hand that did not appear to fit the bloody glove found on Simpson's estate--to the breasts of Shapiro's wife, Linell.

In an off-hand remark to the jury during his summation Cochran had told jurors that Simpson's hand could no more have fit into the infamous glove than Linell Shapiro could fit into one of prosecutor Marcia Clark's old bras.

Marcia Clark is a noticeably small-breasted prosecutor.

"I was deeply offended, " Shapiro said.  "To me, breasts stand alone as the most sacred of female anatomical parts.  And with breasts come nipples, and to compare my wife's breasts in any way to some flat-chested bimbo in the D.A.'s office in my opinion is wrong."

Shapiro said that Cochran had not warned him of the breast comparison, and that he would not work with him again.

On the CBS Evening News, Cochran said: "We followed what we called the credibility card."  He said Marcia Clark was the lead prosecutor, and it was Clark who claimed that a bloody glove at the Simpson estate fit the hand of O.J. Simpson, and it was the defense's duty to discuss the fact that her breasts are pitifully small.

"To use the vernacular, that woman just ain't got none.  We exposed that she ain't got no tits.  It would be malpractice for a lawyer not to pursue the fact that she is just one small-breasted prosecutor," Cochran said.

Dan Rather of CBS later quoted Cochran as telling him he felt sorry Shapiro was angry.  "He must be deeply troubled," Rather quoted Cochran as saying.  "Look, you ever see that Linell?  Man, that upper torso!  She looks like a walking fruit stand.  Word is Shapiro paid for that breast job with the money he got from the Christian Brando case.  Bob Shapiro is probably the only heterosexual man in America who can proclaim 'my sex life is what it is because of Marlon Brando,'" Cochran is reported to have said.

In his ABC interview, Shapiro also said he did not plan to work with F. Lee Bailey again, indicating that their friendship had been wrecked by the strains of the case and Bailey's failure to censure Cochran for the breast remark.

"This is a man who I had a very close relationship with, and I will never have a relationship with him, " Shapiro said, adding "I will not talk to F. Lee Bailey again."  Shapiro added. "I got the guy off a drunk driving charge and he has the nerve not stand up for my wife when her breasts are defamed."

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, asked to comment on the dispute concerning Marcia Clark's breasts, issued the following terse statement: "They're not spectacular, but they're real."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Akin Gump Alumnus: Robert K. Burger

Robert K. Burger was a legal assistant at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld during my tenure at the firm: 1988-1991.  My earliest recollection of him is from the year 1990.  I can remember he was friendly with the summer interns with whom I shared office space on the ninth floor: Matthew Erskine (University of Virginia, 1991), Ben Greenberg (University of Pennsylvania), and Robert Wyman (Brown University, 1991).

He seemed to be one of the few normal people in the firm: not caught up in the cult-like atmosphere that dominated the legal assistant program.

An undated recollection:  I was terminated by Akin Gump effective October 29, 1991.  In about November 1991 I was walking down Connecticut Avenue in downtown Washington.  Burger was with a group of friends.  He spotted me and called out, "Hey, Gar!"

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GW Psychiatric Treatment: Letter October 15, 1995

October 15, 1995
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008-4530

D. Georgopoulos, M.D.
Dept. Psychiatry
GW Univ. Med. Ctr.
Washington, DC 20037

Dear Dr. Georgopoulos:

This letter summarizes my thoughts about a particular segment of our consultation on Thursday October 12, 1995.


[The patient arrived at the Medical Center for his regularly scheduled consultation on Wednesday October 11, 1995. While the patient waited in the reception area of the psychiatry department, Jerry M. Wiener, M.D., the department chairman, entered the area, nodded to the patient in recognition, then walked out. Shortly thereafter, the receptionist advised the patient that Dr. Georgopoulos had canceled the appointment, and that he had unsuccessfully tried to contact the patient by telephone at home. Later, in the afternoon, Dr. Georgopoulos telephoned the patient at home and scheduled a make-up consultation for the following morning, October 12, 1995. On Wednesday October 11, 1995, the day the patient saw Dr. Wiener in the reception area, the Nobel Prizes for Physics and Chemistry were announced—the pertinence of which fact will become apparent at a later point in this discussion.]

[This letter appears to relate to my Nobel Prize Complex.  It would appear that early fall, which coincides with Columbus Day and the Nobel Prize announcements, is an affectively charged time of the year for me.  See the following two blog posts relating to, respectively, the fall of 1988 and the fall of 2004:

Consultation, Thursday , October 12, 1995:

I had something on my mind from yesterday. I was going to tell you this yesterday, if I had seen you, but the appointment was canceled. What's really strange is that last night I had a dream about the issue. Instead of telling you in real life what I had on my mind, I told Dr. Wiener in my dream. I had seen Dr. Wiener yesterday in the reception area while I was waiting for you. But then I found out you had cancelled, and I went home. But then last night I had a dream that I had a psychiatric consultation with Dr. Wiener, and in the dream I told him about what I had planned to tell you. What I told Dr. Wiener related to the issue of frustration, something that I had planned to discuss with you. I guess that says something about the way I handle frustration. I was frustrated in not being able to talk to you, but in my fantasy life, or dream life, I simply corrected for the deficiency in my waking life by creating what I really wanted. Once again, it reminds me of Weissman—that creative people had as infants the ability to withdraw their emotional investment in the mother, and create an ideal world in their fantasies.

[[Philip Weismann] believed that the future artist, as an infant, had the ability to hallucinate the mother’s breast independently of oral needs.  According to him the unusual capacities of the artist ‘may be traced to the infancy and childhood of the artist wherein we find that he is drawn by the nature of his artistic endowment to preserve (or immortalize) his hallucinated response to the mother’s breast independent of his needs gratifications” . . . .  One major concept of Weismann is the ‘dissociative function of the ego’ that he substitutes for Kris’s concept of regression in the service of the ego.  With the aid of this dissociative function, the creative person ‘may partially decathect the external object (mother’s breast) and hypercathect his imaginative perception of it.  He may then further elaborate and synthesize these self-created perceptions as anlagen or precursors of creative activity which must then await full maturation and development of his ego  and his talent for true creative expression.’  In simple words, according to Weismann, the child who will become creative has the ability to diverge the energy originally invested in primitive personal objects and to invest it again in creative work.” Arieti, S. Creativity: The Magic Synthesis, at 25-26 (Basic Books: 1976), quoting Weismann, P. “Psychological Concomitants of Ego Functioning in Creativity” International Journal of Psychoanalysis 49: 464-469 (1968).]

(Compare the Letter to Dr. Georgopoulos, dated July 10, 1995, which analyzes “The Dream of the Elephant Sanctuary.” In that dream the patient responds to feelings of frustration that arose as he is compelled to wait in the psychiatry department reception area to see his psychiatrist; the patient's thoughts turn to his friend Craig, 

[Note the deceptively situation appropriate resort to the third person, "his friend Craig."  The use of the third person "his" instead of the first person "my" indicates dissociation.]

an idealized figure. An interesting feature of the current dream about Dr. Wiener is that the instigating affect of the previous day, namely a feeling of frustration resulting from the resident's unanticipated cancellation of the consultation, is actualized exclusively in the content of the dream dialogue—an imagined discussion with Dr. Wiener concerning the topic of frustration while the affect present in the manifest dream is limited to awed idealization, drained of any frustration. Significantly in regard to the transference, the patient relieves feelings of frustration in connection with an unfulfilling relationship with his treating psychiatrist by means of dream thoughts about another (idealized) figure—and not by thoughts of a corrected, or idealized, version of the frustrating figure, Dr. Georgopoulos. This outcome parallels a statement the patient had made to the psychiatrist at a prior consultation in reaction to the psychiatrist's question, “What would you like to change about me?” The patient stated: “I don't like you, but I don't want to change anything about you; I just wish I could see somebody else.”)

[In the dream about Dr. Wiener, Dr. Wiener seemed especially erudite and scholarly, not unlike the idealized image one might have of a Nobel prize winner. This struck the patient as somehow odd in the dream. The patient had the following dream thought: “I knew he was a smart guy, but he seems like a real authority in a way I had never imagined.”]


Something about dreams. You know, a person who appears in a dream can represent someone else. The Dr. Wiener figure in the dream might have represented someone else. For example,. The figure of Dr. Wiener could have represented some authority figure from your past.


The psychiatrist's gratuitous and disruptive comment concerning the nature of dream symbolism is peculiar in view of the patient's demonstrated knowledge concerning the nature of dreams and dream interpretation. The patient had previously provided the psychiatrist with detailed written analyses of his dreams that exhibited unusual insight regarding the dreams' latent content.

The gratuitous nature of the psychiatrist's comment tempts an explanation. One might offer the hypothesis that the psychiatrist's comment was motivated by the psychiatrist's own internal struggle concerning issues of shame and castration anxiety relating to the assimilation of parental, or authority figure, values. In the child the critical attitudes of authority figures cannot immediately be assimilated as one's own. It would be too deflating to self esteem to accept the full burden of blame all at once. Thus normally the child seeks to transiently project the blame for wrongdoing onto an imaginary companion, sibling, or toy. He attempts to work out his feelings by adopting the patent's critical attitude but directing the blame toward a scapegoat outside. This transient projection allows the child to internalize the blame gradually in small doses without being faced with the full force of self-blame all at once. Freeman, D. M A., Foulks, E.F., Freeman, P. A. “Superego Development and Psychopathology.” In: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, vol. 7: 107-122, at 117-118 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976).

At the immediately previous consultation, the patient had submitted a letter to the psychiatrist (Letter to Dr. Georgopoulos, dated October 2, 1995) that discussed the psychiatrist's naive interpretation of one of the patient's dreams—an interpretation, or admonishment, that ascribed in a ridiculous manner undue importance to the dream's manifest content. The letter states:
At the very first session [with this psychiatrist in July 1994], the patient reported a dream the manifest content of which concerned a man's shirt.  The patient reported the following dream thought: "Only a queer would smell another guy's shirt." At this, the psychiatrist interrupted the patient to deliver a little lecture: "You shouldn't say that.  Homosexuals have an alternative lifestyle.  They deserve to be respected.  You shouldn't use words like 'queer.'"  The patient felt like saying: "Hello, it's a dream!"
One is tempted to infer that the psychiatrist's inappropriate admonishment to the patient at the current consultation, namely, that a manifest dream figure might represent someone else—a fact about which the patient is abundantly and obviously aware—may reflect the psychiatrist's response to a critical comment from a staff psychiatrist regarding the resident's psychoanalytic naivete, in the wake of the patient's letter dated October 2, 1995, which the resident had experienced as a narcissistic injury. In such a case, the psychiatrist might have experienced a need to work out his feelings by adopting the staff psychiatrist's critical attitude regarding dream interpretation but directing the admonishment to the patient qua scapegoat.


While I was seeing Dr Palombo, I used to place a lot of emphasis on the importance of the oral injury I had when I was about 2½ years old. I thought that the injury, or my adjustment to the injury, had a significant effect on my personality development. I thought that it related to the issue of frustration[, superego development, and the internalization of parental values.] You know, it was a painful injury[, the body-ego equivalent of a narcissistic injury resulting from the incorporation of the parents' critical attitudes]. [At age 2½ the patient had injured himself with a metal curtain rod he had placed in his mouth; the metal rod had caused a puncture wound in the soft palate when the patient accidentally fell to the floor.]

The doctor had to cauterize the wound. I imagine it took some time to heal, and made eating painful for some period of time. Well, when I told Dr. Palombo about this he said the only significance the injury would have had was that it would have reawakened issues from infancy relating to oral frustration, that's all. 1/ The injury wouldn't have had any psychological effects.

[Note that I wrote this letter in October 1995.  It was not until 1998 that the psychoanalyst Joseph Fernando published a paper supporting my view that a physical injury in childhood might result in important and specific consequences for superego development.  See The Exceptions: Structural and Dynamic Aspects, The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 52: 17-28 (1997).  Fernando's female patient presented with an obsession with a male lover who was described as "handsome, intelligent, manipulative, and a womanizer."  Years into the analysis the patient disclosed that she had suffered a leg fracture as a child.  Fernando theorized that the injury (that breached the stimulus barrier) and the consequent blaming behavior by the patient's parents (that aroused feelings of "anxiety, anger, confusion, and humiliation") distorted her superego development.

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--a male lover and a female friend. 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

But I think that's wrong. It just occurred to me in the last few days why that's wrong. If Dr. Palombo were here now I'd have to say to him: “You're wrong, Dr. Palombo.”

[Note here that I change voice from the third person "He (Dr. Palombo) is wrong" to the second person, "You (Dr. Palombo) are wrong."  The shifts in voice from first to second or third person are suggestive of early trauma, according to Leonard Shengold, M.D.]

[It is probably significant that the patient's thoughts or insights, about this issue arose contemporaneously with the patient's sister having informed the patient, just a few days earlier, that the patient's brother-in-law had just undergone surgery for esophageal cancer and had been fed via intubation.]

The idea just came to me a few days ago that there's something wrong with what Dr. Palombo said.  Psychoanalytic writers talk a lot of certain affects in infancy. Melanie Klein talks about the depressed position and the paranoid-schizoid position.

People like Kohut and Kernberg talk about feelings of rage and despair in adults that can be traced back to feelings of rage and despair in infancy. But nobody ever talks about feelings of frustration in infancy.

I don't feel rage or depression as an adult. The predominant affect I feel is frustration. It's an overwhelming feeling of frustration. Its always with me. [I feel as if I were in a straightjacket and there's nothing I can do about it.] But it just occurred to me a few days ago that infants don't feel frustration; you can't retrace adult feelings of frustration back to infancy. When you deprive an infant of its needs, it reacts with rage or despair, as Kohut and Kernberg point out. The infant just doesn't have the psychological apparatus, its ego hasn't developed to the point that it will react to the deprivation of its needs with feelings of frustration. If you don't feed an infant when it's hungry, it doesn't feel frustrated—it feels rage. So, that's why I think Dr. Palombo was wrong. The oral injury and oral frustration I experienced at 2½ could not have reawakened feelings of frustration, since an infant doesn't experience feelings of frustration. What I believe is that my current overwhelming feelings of frustration can't be traced back to infancy. They would have to be traced back to a period in which I was able to experience oral deprivation as “frustrating” and not as enraging. That could only be in early childhood, not infancy. If I had experienced overwhelming oral frustration in infancy, I would be overcome with feelings of rage in adulthood. But what I feel as an adult is not rage but overwhelming frustration.


There is an intriguing correspondence, relating to the respective instigating events of the previous day, between the patient's dream about Dr. Wiener, described above, and an earlier dream about former treating psychiatrist, Stanley R, Palombo, M.D. In the case of the dream about Dr Wiener, the dream was occasioned in part by the announcement earlier in the day of the winners of the 1995 Nobel prizes in the categories of physics and chemistry.

In January 1992 the patient had a dream about Dr. Palombo, which is reproduced below. On the day preceding the dream the patient had been browsing in a bookstore (See Letter to Dr. Georgopoulos, dated August 10, 1995, analyzing “The Dream of Milton's Successor”) and had purchased an autobiographic work by Richard Feynman titled Surely You're Joking, Mr. FeynmanRichard Feynman, a physics professor at the California Institute of Technology who had, as a graduate student, worked on the Manhattan project that developed the first atomic bomb, was a Nobel prize winner in physics; he succumbed to colon cancer in February 1988. Feynman was of Jewish heritage, but apparently derived some pleasure from things Italian. Compare the "Dream of the Four Miltons” (Letter to Dr. Pitts, dated February 8, 1993).

Feynman's book, really a collection of anecdotes, includes a humorous entry titled “Latin or Italian,” which the patient had read the day preceding the dream about Dr Palombo, in January 1992.
There was an Italian radio station in Brooklyn, and as a boy I used to listen to it all the time. I LOVed the ROLLing SOUNds going over me, as if I was in the ocean, and the waves weren't very high. I used to sit there and have the water come over me, in this BEAUtiful iTALian. In the Italian programs there was always some kind of family situation where there were discussions and arguments between the mother and father:

High voice: "Nio teco TIEto capeto TUtto..."
Loud, low voice: "DRO tone pala TUtto!!" (with hand slapping).

It was great! So I learned to make all these emotions: I could cry; I could laugh; all this stuff. Italian is a lovely language.

There were a number of Italian people living near us in New York. Once while I was riding my bicycle, some Italian truck driver got upset at me,leaned out of his truck, and, gesturing, yelled something like, "Me aRRUcha LAMpe etta TIche!"

I felt like a crapper. What did he say to me? What should I yell back?

So I asked an Italian friend of mine at school, and he said, "Just say,'A te! A te!' -- which means 'The same to you! The same to you!'"

I thought it was a great idea. I would say "A te! A te!" back-gesturing, of course. Then, as I gained confidence, I developed my abilities further. I would be riding my bicycle, and some lady would be driving in her car and get in the way, and I'd say, "PUzzia a la maLOche!"-- and she'd shrink! Some terrible Italian boy had cursed a terrible curse at her! It was not so easy to recognize it as fake Italian.

Once, when I was at Princeton, as I was going into the parking lot at Palmer Laboratory on my bicycle, somebody got in the way. My habit was always the same: I gesture to the guy, "oREzze caBONca MIche!", slapping the back of one hand against the other.

And way up on the other side of a long area of grass, there's an Italian gardener putting in some plants. He stops, waves, and shouts happily, "REzza ma LIa!"

I call back, "RONte BALta!", returning the greeting. He didn't know I didn't know, and I didn't know what he said, and he didn't know what I said.

But it was OK! It was great! It works! After all, when they hear the intonation, they recognize it immediately as Italian -- maybe it's Milano instead of Romano, what the hell. But he's an iTALian! So it's just great.

But you have to have absolute confidence. Keep right on going, and nothing will happen.
The following dream, from January 1992, was apparently inspired in part by the Feynman autobiography, which the patient had been reading earlier in the day.

I had an appointment to see Dr. Palombo. I was no longer one of his regular patients, but I had made an appointment to see him because I wanted to discuss one important issue that was on my mind. As I was walking up Connecticut Avenue, I noticed that it was nearly 2:00 PM, and my appointment was at 2:00 PM. I grew somewhat frantic, because I thought that at the rate I was walking, I wouldn't get to Dr. Palombo's office until 2:15 to 2:30.

[Note the pressure of time.  Persons at a high level of ego strength are described as tense, high energy, impatient, driven, frustrated, over wrought, and time driven; persons at a lower level of ego strength are described as relaxed, placid, tranquil, torpid, patient, and composed low drive.

The following of my dreams express frantic concerns about the passage of time:

Someone in a car in back of me yelled out, “Gary!” I thought “that's my name, but I don't know anybody, so I may as well not turn around to see who it is.” The person called out more emphatically, “Gary!” This time I turned around. 

[Note the concern with personal identity.  The issue of personal identity is a notable feature of the "Dream of the Four Miltons," the very title of which includes a man's name.]

It was a group of middle-aged people in a car. I didn't recognize any of them. They all seemed to be Jewish. They were all very friendly, especially the man who had called out my name. He said, “You are Gary Freedman. We were friends of your father. He used to talk about you all the time.”

[My father had friends in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  When I was a boy my family stayed with the family every year at the beginning of July.]

I talked to the man for a while. And, for a brief time I forgot about my appointment with Dr. Palombo, although the possibility that I might be late for my appointment was still pressing on my mind somewhat. The people then drive off. I made my way to Dr. Palombo's office.

I arrived late at the office. Dr. Palombo was so happy to see me that he hugged me. I sat down. He talked on and on about social matters in a lively and friendly manner. At the same time I noticed, however, that he had aged terribly. He looked 15 years older instead of a year older. I thought he must be ill. He pulled a wig off his head; he was bald. I thought, “He must be dying of CA.” 

[The act of taking off the wig may be a castrative gesture.  It may also denote the act of disrobing and appearing naked.]

["CA" appears to be overdetermined.  In the context of this dream it refers to cancer.  But CA is also the postal code for California.  In the "Dream of Craig at Wanamakers" Craig tells me that he is moving to California, which signified the death of our friendship.]

I felt very sorry for him—and for myself. I thought, “I will never be able to tell him what I wanted to tell him. This session's almost over, so I can't discuss with him now what I wanted to tell him. And it appears that he doesn't have much time left on this earth, so I probably will never be able to tell him what I wanted to tell him.”

Dr. Palombo said, “The time is up.” We both stood, and he led me to the door.

[These thoughts merit comparison with a section of my book Significant Moments relating to the issue of anti-Semitism.

     In any event, Levi . . .
Peter Gay, Freud, Jews and Other Germans.
. . . the poor conductor, . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Wednesday, June 29, 1881).
When he returned . . .
Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews.
Wagner stood "in the hall, . . .
Peter Gay, Freud, Jews and Other Germans.
. . . at the door . . .
Cosima Wagner's Diaries (Tuesday, December 23, 1879).
. . . watch in hand, and . . .
Peter Gay, Freud, Jews and Other Germans.
. . . looking at the timepiece . . .
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine.
. . . said in a highly ceremonious, serious tone, . . .
Peter Gay, Freud, Jews and Other Germans.
. . as if prearranged, . . .
Arnold Schoenberg, Survivor from Warsaw.
'You are ten minutes late! Unpunctuality is half infidelity! He who keeps others waiting is an egotist.'"
Peter Gay, Freud, Jews and Other Germans.
I must emphasize the fact that there was not a trace of personal jocularity or clownishness in his pose, manner, or behaviour. On the contrary, there was complete seriousness, an absence of any humorous appeal . . .
Thomas Mann, Mario and The Magician.

But I stopped him and said, “Dr. Palombo, I never got a chance to tell you what I came here to tell you.”I paused for a moment, then I said, “Don't you think that in itself is significant—that I made all this effort to come here to tell you something, and never got a chance to tell you what it was. It seems like the repetition compulsion.” Dr. Palombo said, “Yes, indeed. Psychoanalytically, it is quite important that after all the effort you took to come here to tell me something that you thought was significant, you never told me what it was that you wished to say. That in itself is far more important and revealing than whatever it was you came to tell me.

[These thoughts denote the issue of frustration.  I was frustrated -- by the constraints of time -- in my attempt to tell Dr. Palombo what I thought was vitally important.]

1/   Dr. Palombo's published work relating to dreams holds that “the dream compares the representation of an emotionally significant event of the past with the representation of an emotionally significant aspect of the previous day's experience.” Palombo, S.R. Dreaming and Memory, 219 (New York: Basic Books, 1978) cited in Storr, A. Solitude, 25 (New York: The Free Press, 1988). It is difficult to imagine how the patient's pervasive feelings of frustration in adulthood--which the patient associates with the oral frustration he experienced following his oral injury at age 2½—can be traced back to like feelings in infancy, since the infant does not experience the objective state of oral frustration as “frustrating” but rather as enraging. The term “oral frustration” is ambiguous; absent additional information the term in itself does not specifically communicate whether the individual is experiencing internal feelings of frustration or whether an external object is denying the individual oral gratification. In infancy “oral frustration" can only exist as an objective state, referring to the deprivation of the infant's oral needs, to which the infant responds with feelings of rage. Only at a later stage of development does the ego permit the individual to experience the objective state of oral deprivation as an internal feeling of “frustration.”