Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Budding Psychoanalytic Theorist

Wilfred Ruprecht Bion DSO (8 September 1897 – 8 November 1979) was an influential British psychoanalyst, who became president of the British Psychoanalytical Society from 1962 to 1965.

Wilfred Bion's observations about the role of group processes in group dynamics are set out in Experiences in Groups where he refers to recurrent emotional states of groups as basic assumptions. Bion argues that in every group, two groups are actually present: the work group, and the basic assumption group. The work group is that aspect of group functioning which has to do with the primary task of the group - what the group has formed to accomplish; will 'keep the group anchored to a sophisticated and rational level of behaviour'.The basic assumption group describes the tacit underlying assumptions on which the behaviour of the group is based. Bion specifically identified three basic assumptions: dependency, fight-flight, and pairing. When a group adopts any one of these basic assumptions, it interferes with the task the group is attempting to accomplish. Bion believed that interpretation by the therapist of this aspect of group dynamics would result in insight regarding effective group work.

In dependency, the essential aim of the group is to attain security through, and have its members protected by, one individual. The basic assumption in this group culture seems to be that an external object exists whose function it is to provide security for the immature individual. The group members behave passively, and act as though the leader, by contrast, is omnipotent and omniscient. For example, the leader may pose a question only to be greeted with docile silence, as though he or she had not spoken at all. The leader may be idealized into a kind of god who can take care of his or her children, and some especially ambitious leaders may be susceptible to this role. Resentment at being dependent may eventually lead the group members to "take down" the leader, and then search for a new leader to repeat the process.  (Perhaps, resentment at being dependent may also lead to group projections onto an outsider, depicting him as a "basket case," or a baby.)

In a group dominated by the basic assumption of Dependency members behave as if the primary task is solely to provide for the satisfaction of their needs and wishes.  In such a group, in the same way as a child, members unconsciously experience dependency from an imaginative parent figure or system.  Because their needs are not met, members experience frustration, helplessness, powerless, and disempowerment.  This kind of defense against anxiety can also be interpreted as a manipulation of authority out of its role according to the fantasy that then the group will be safe/cared for.  The leader becomes a focus for a pathological form of dependency which inhibits development and growth.  Furthermore provided the illusion that the leader contains the solution can be sustained, he or she may be absent or  even dead.

Be that as it may.

In a letter dated March 30, 1999 that I wrote to my then treating psychotherapist, Lisa Osborn, Psy.D. I offered theoretical speculations about a workplace incident that occurred on April 6, 1989 at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where I was employed from 1988-1991.

The letter is theoretical and abstract and did not cite any authority that was precisely on point.  In fact, Bion's concept of the Dependency Basic Assumptions group supports the theory that I had worked out on my own, based on logic and intuition.

The letter assumes that the work group at Akin Gump had taken on the function of a Dependency Basic Assumptions Group and that the group leader and the work group had alternating roles, with the group leader at times functioning as a symbolic mother for the group, and at other times the work group-as-a-whole served as a symbolic mother for the group leader.  I was the outsider on whom the role of "dependent child" was projected to preserve the narcissistic integrity of the Dependency Basic Assumptions Group -- the group members' resentment at being dependent was discharged by projecting the fantasy of dependency onto me.

Perhaps the anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews-as-babies can be interpreted by reference to Bion's belief that the Church operates as a Dependency Basic Assumptions Group -- Christians' resentment at being dependent may be discharged onto Jews-as-Outsiders by projecting the fantasy of dependency onto Jews.

The letter to Dr. Lisa Osborn is at the link below:


Friday, July 19, 2013

Malcolm Lassman and Judge John A. Terry on the Use of Inference in the Law

458 F.2d 825
148 U.S.App.D.C. 3

Joseph WEAVER, Appellant.

No. 71-1172.

United States Court of Appeals,
District of Columbia Circuit.

Feb. 28, 1972.

Mr. Malcolm Lassman, Washington, D. C. (appointed by this court) was on the brief for appellant.
Messrs. Thomas A. Flannery, U. S. Atty., at the time the brief was filed, and John A. Terry, Herbert B. Hoffman and Barry W. Levine, Asst. U. S. Attys., were on the brief for appellee.

Before McGOWAN, LEVENTHAL and MacKINNON, Circuit Judges.

This is an appeal from a judgment on a conviction for unlawful possession of a narcotic drug (cocaine) in violation of 33 D.C.Code Sec. 402. Although the statute does not contain the term, the offense prohibited by the law is a knowing possession of the drug. Appellant claims plain error in the judge's failure adequately to instruct the jury on this element of the crime. The judge both read from the indictment, which charged that defendant did "knowingly" possess a narcotic drug, and instructed that one of the elements of the crime was that "the defendant knowingly" had cocaine in his possession.

The evidence, viewed most favorably to the Government, was sufficient for a reasonable man to conclude there was no reasonable doubt of knowing possession. Defendant was a passenger in a car which was stopped by the police, and was parked alongside the parking lot at the carryout shop at Farragut Street and Georgia Avenue. While the driver and police officer were in conversation, defendant walked past the scout car, where Officer Penn had remained seated. Officer Penn testified: defendant continued down the street past the vacant parking lot to the corner, where he stopped momentarily, turned and looked back at the scout car; he then went east on Farragut alongside the parking lot to an alley where he stopped again, looked in the direction of the scout car, and proceeded south in the alley behind the carryout. He was out of sight momentarily, and when he reappeared he was seen standing for some 10-15 seconds at the rear of the carryout shop standing at the corner of the building. The officer could see the left side of his body; defendant's left hand was alongside the zipper of his trousers, and his right hand apparently up against the wall. Officer Perin lost sight of him for a moment. Then defendant reappeared at the same point, in a peeking position, looking out from the corner, then "leaned to his right and downward," the officer could see him "placing something," and defendant then seemed to straighten up. Defendant then went south in the alley, and in the parking lot towards the cars. Officer Perin investigated, found a wet area where defendant was standing, and saw alongside that area a ledge on which there was a plastic container, with several packages of aluminum foil, found to contain cocaine that would cost $450 if purchased from pushers.

The case is a close one. Cases like these turn on their individual facts.

In this case, while defense counsel elicited that Officer Perin never saw this bag in defendant's hand or possession (Tr. 20-1), he did see defendant leaning down, placing something, straighten up and leave. While the parking lot was a public space, it was then deserted, and there were drugs of some value on a ledge. Defendant's own testimony is that he had told the person driving his car "the first gasoline station you get to, stop; so I could take a urine," but before he could stop he was flagged by the scout car, so "I just took it on my own and went around the building to take a leak." But defendant "paid no attention" to a gas station across the street. And all of this must be assessed in the context of looking back at the scout car, and peeking.

Cases like these turn on their individual facts. The "throwing" cases require an additional inference and speculation.*

Here, there was a furtive peeking, a bending and placing, a package found on a ledge, and a failure to use the gas station facility. The case is close, but we think there was enough to go to the jury.

* In Malloy v. United States, 246 A.2d 781 (D.C.App.1968), the officers saw defendant make a "quick motion, as if he was throwing something away." In view of the difficulty the officers had finding the silver wrapper, and the fact that the area between the car and hospital was open all to visitors and employees, the court considered it a distinct possibility that the wrapper had been dropped by someone else. In People v. Jackson, 23 Ill.2d 360, 178 N.E.2d 320 (S.Ct. Ill.1967), defendant was not even seen throwing anything; the proof was solely that defendant went to the bathroom and locked the door after the agents entered the apartment, and that the drug was found in an air well that was not only beneath the window but also accessible to tenants of seven other apartments

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lisa Jackson -- Fatal Burn

Lisa Hassel's predecessor as David Hardee's secretary at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, where I worked as a paralegal from 1988-1991, was Lisa Jackson.   I was assigned to a private office at Akin Gump upon my being hired by the firm on June 13, 1988.  From at least June to about September 1988 Lisa Jackson was employed as David Hardee's secretary.
Christopher E. Hassell, Esq.
Bonner Kiernan
1233 20th Street NW, 8th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20036

Tel:  (202) 712-7000
Fax:  (202) 712-7100

Mr. Hassell:

Here's a heads-up on my current status.  I believe you are the Christopher E. Hassell who is married to Lisa Hassell.  I used to work at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld as a paralegal.  My private office on the firm's fifth floor was adjacent to your wife's work station from about September 1988 to March 1989.  Your wife worked as a legal secretary for David Hardee, Esq. a tax partner (as well as Steven Wrappe, an associate).  David Hardee had close professional ties to senior counsel Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Esq.  Mr. Hardee represented RJR Nabisco, a company on whose Board of Directors Mr. Jordan then served.

I request that you ask your wife, Lisa Hassell to disclose to the FBI Washington Field Office any information she recalls about me (such as rumor or reputation evidence) as well as any first hand-knowledge that my behavior was violent, disruptive, or bizarre as described by senior counsel Dennis M. Race, Esq. in a sworn pleading Akin Gump filed with the D.C. Department of Human Rights in May 1992.  Mr. Race also described me as being unable to communicate with my peers.  I specifically recall that in November 1988 I asked Mrs. Hassell if I could spend Thanksgiving with your family.  I also specifically recall that on Monday morning March 20, 1989 I left a box of doughnuts for Mrs. Hassell as well as David Hardee and Steven Wrappe upon the reassignment of my office to another floor of the firm.

Thank you very much.

Gary Freedman
Washington, DC
202 362 7064

Monday, July 15, 2013

You Can Fool Some FBI Agents Some of the Time

To the FBI Washington Field Office:

The document at the link below (dated April 29, 1996 and delivered to my then treating psychiatrist, Dimitrios Georgopoulos, MD of the George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry) details the occurrence of events during the period March 1988 to late October 1991 (the period of my employment at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld) affecting my initial right to Social Security benefits.  The Social Security Administration implicitly found that my disability arose during my tenure at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and expressly found that I became disabled and unemployable effective October 29, 1991, adopting facts alleged in a sworn declaration made by Akin Gump management attorneys, Dennis M. Race, Esq. (202 887 4028) and Lawrence J. Hoffman, Esq. (retired).

The document controverts the sworn declaration of Dennis Race that "
that the Claimant had emotional problems which adversely affected his work and his co-workers" and that "Claimant was uncomfortable communicating with his peers and required work that ensured total isolation."

By letter dated February 14, 1996 Dr. Georgopoulos advised me that his working diagnosis was paranoid schizophrenia.
  Note that lack of desire to form relationships (asociality) is a typical symptom of schizophrenia as well as other severe (psychotic) mental disorders.
The following document tends to show that I did not appear to suffer from a mental illness in the period 1988 to 1991 that would support my right to Social Security benefits effective October 29, 1991.  My acquaintances Craig W. Dye, Jesse Raben, and John Falk may have information about me tending to show that my initial claim for benefits was a criminal act in violation of 42 USC 1011.


Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Gary Freedman
Washington, DC
202 362 7064

GW Department of Psychiatry       Jesse Raben, Esq.       Craig W. Dye (University of Maryland)       Randy Levine, Esq. (GW trustee)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Did The American Psychological Association's General Counsel's Office Block Me?


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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Getting GW's Interest

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