MINDFREEDOM NEWS UPDATE – please forward
Ray Alert #19 – http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray
TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, 13 MAY 2009:
RAY SCHEDULED FOR ANOTHER SURPRISE FORCED ELECTROSHOCK
RAY SAYS, “I AM THE ONE LIVING THIS NIGHTMARE!”
by David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International
Ray Sandford just phoned our MindFreedom office this morning with some
very bad news.
Ray has just been told by staff at his assisted living facility in
Minnesota that he will be escorted for another forced electroshock
tomorrow morning, Wednesday, 13 May 2009.
Tomorrow’s forced electroshock is especially surprising and
devastating, because Ray had felt he was winning, and had even
declared a “guarded victory” after his last shock, 15 April 2009.
Those of you following Ray’s campaign know that in this past month
there have been quite a few developments because Ray’s campaign is
winning international attention:
** Ray’s psychiatrist, Dean K. Knudson, who has been ordering the
forced shock, at this point every 30 days, has apparently said he
wants to quit as Ray’s psychiatrist because of public pressure.
** Ray’s “general guardian,” Lutheran Social Service (LSS), who
have opposed and blocked Ray’s campaign, have also apparently told the
court they wish to “resign” as guardians, too.
** Friends of Ray quickly found a new psychiatrist more sympathetic
to Ray’s human rights, but LSS apparently cancelled a scheduled
appointment with that new psychiatrist that was set for last week,
Monday, 4 May 2009.
** LSS claimed they cancelled the meeting with Ray’s new
psychiatrist because they wanted Ray’s mother Marilyn present for the
appointment, even though Mrs. Sandford was out of the state at the
time, and had said in writing she wanted Ray to see the new
psychiatrist. LSS apparently refused to reschedule Ray to see a new
** Meanwhile, because of MindFreedom protests in Minnesota, the
Associated Press picked up Ray’s story and Ray’s campaign is currently
on the national wire services.
For links to the AP story and other info about Ray see:
Despite all of these developments, without a new psychiatrist stepping
in, a nightmare scenario is now unfolding.
As Ray said today, “And I am the one living this nightmare!”
We need to get out this alert now, so I can only briefly say to all of
Never give up. Never ever give up!!
Let us resist this forced electroshock, and all psychiatric human
And if we fail tomorrow, let us all witness — and never forget — the
incredible brutality being forced on Ray, over his wishes and the
wishes of his family, even though he has been living peacefully out in
the community in his own home.
Those of us planning to protest this Sunday, 17 May 2009, at 1 pm and
on Monday, 18 May 2009 at 10 am, in front of the American Psychiatric
Association at Moscone Center, California, will also remember Ray. For
info on those protests see:
Wherever you are, remember that “reform” of the mental health system
is no where near enough.
For centuries there have been countless efforts to “reform” the mental
health system that have mainly increased funding to that mental health
Truly, who could argue with me today, especially today, that what is
needed is a nonviolent revolution in the mental health system?
PLEASE FORWARD THIS UPDATE FAR AND WIDE.
In the big picture, it is time for a new strategy.
As we announced at the May Day for Ray Rally, it is time to turn off
the enormous flow of money to this mental health system until
atrocities like Ray’s forced electroshock are an impossibility…
until empowering, humane, wholistic alternatives for mental and
emotional well being are made widely available.
By coincidence, Ray’s last forced electroshock was on USA tax day, 15
April 2009. He has had more than 40.
The 15th of April was also the day of the very first forced
electroshock, back in 1938 in Italy, when the subject said:
“Non una seconda! Mortifierel” which means in Italian, “Not another!
Let’s remember that story and our history — never forget, never again!
And no tax money for this mental health system, until our human rights
FROM ECT.ORG — THE STORY OF THE FIRST FORCED ELECTROSHOCK IN ITALY ON
15 APRIL 1938
Who invented ECT?
…Italian psychiatrist Ugo Cerletti
is credited with the introduction of electroshock therapy. Cerletti,
having “doubts regarding the danger of electric applications to man,”
observed that hogs were subdued and calm moments before slaughter
after the application of 125 volts using metallic tongs clamped to
“It occurred to me,” wrote Cerletti, “that the hogs of the
slaughterhouse could furnish the most valuable material for my
experiments…At this point I felt we could venture to experiment on
man, and I instructed my assistants to be on the alert for the
selection of a suitable subject.”
On April 15, 1938, Cerletti found his man, known only by the initials
S. E. The Police Commissioner of Rome found S.E. wandering, and took
him to the hospital for observation. Cerletti diagnosed S.E. with a
form of schizophrenia and applied the first use of ECT, using the
small dose of 80 volts for 0.2 seconds. S.E. jumped, then stiffened
and fell back on the bed. Then he burst into song.
“It was quite evident to all of us that we had been using a too low
voltage,” Cerletti wrote. He discussed the patient with his colleagues
and decided to let S.E. rest before giving him another shock. The
patient, who had – unbeknownst to Cerletti – been listening to the
conversation said clearly in Italian “Not another one! It’s
deadly!” [Non una seconda! Mortifierel”]
“I confess that such explicit admonition under such circumstances, and
so emphatic and commanding, coming from a person whose enigmatic
jargon had until then been very difficult to understand, shook my
determination to carry on with the experiment. But it was just this
fear of yielding to a superstitious notion that caused me to make up
my mind. The electrodes were applied again, and a 110-volt discharge
was applied for 0.2 seconds.” (1)
With that, electroshock therapy was born.
In an article written by Dr. Frank Ayd in 1963, Cerletti is quoted as
saying “When I saw the patient’s reaction, I thought to myself: This
ought to be abolished! Ever since I have looked forward to the time
when another treatment would replace electroshock.” (2)
1. Frank, LR (1978). The History of Shock Treatment. San Francisco.
2. Ayd, F.J. Jr. Guest Editorial UGO CERLETTI, M.D. (1877-1963).
Psychosomatics, 4:A6-A7, 1963.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS UPDATE FAR AND WIDE
In support and struggle,
David W. Oaks, Executive Director
454 Willamette, Suite 216 – POB 11284
Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA
office phone: (541) 345-9106
fax: (480) 287-8833
member services toll free in USA: 1-877-MAD-PRID[e] or 1-877-623-7743
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“Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.