Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Chance in 2007 - Please Sign

Last chance to do something in 2007 against the push to mental screen American children:

Please assist before this infiltrates your area! Send this video and petition to everyone you know .

Only 943 signatures against TeenScreen needed to reach 25,000 Video: Can you help get us there?

On Dec. 27, the Boston Globe ran a story about how Massachusetts plans to do mental screening on children. The new requirement applies to the 460,000 children and young adults covered by state's Medicaid program. Below are some responses to the article:

Boston Globe

Screening brings labeling, drugsDecember 31, 2007

AS A psychiatrist since 1947, I am appalled that mental health screening is now being required of Massachusetts children on Medicaid ("Mental screening for young to begin,"
Page A1, Dec. 27).

Such screening greatly exaggerates the significance of the normal variations in psychological state.

Normal kids will therefore be labeled "sick" and referred for "treatment." That labeling is often harmful in itself; once tagged, how does a kid prove he's not mentally ill?

In some middle-class families, treatment may be individual or family counseling. Whether it helps or is merely wasteful, it usually causes relatively little harm. For Medicaid kids, however, treatment will almost always involve powerful drugs whose serious side effects can include the stunting of growth. Mental health screening is thus a harmful invasion of the privacy of Medicaid youngsters.


Boston Globe

A needless strain on health dollars

December 31, 2007

WITH ALL of the strain Medicaid has been reported to suffer already - and health coverage in Massachusetts and in other states in general - what makes mental health screening a good idea?
An almost automatic $4.5-million hit - if anyone bothered to do the math - for a written questionnaire? To ask if your toddler has been fussy? If your teenager has been emotional? Duh.
And this is going to be a yearly thing. Add to that the prescriptions that will inevitably come, and the doctor followups, oh geesh Wouldn't that money be better spent on schools? That could be more than 100 teachers' salaries.

Massachusetts Takes Wrong Turn On Mental Health Screening
By Tony Zizza .

Mr. Zizza is a freelance writer who lives in Atlanta, GA. He writes frequently about psychiatry and children's issues. Zizza can be reached via email:

For the entire article see here:

A recent news article by Carey Goldberg in the Boston Globe newspaper ought to have Massachusetts parents fuming mad. In fact, parents nationwide need to be on the alert as well. The long and stretched out arms of psychiatry are poised to put a choke-hold on your children.

Think I am kidding? Think again. In Carey Goldberg's December 27th article,
("Mental screening for young to begin: Mass. doctors to offer questionnaires for children on Medicaid"), we find out that on December 31st, "Annual checkups for the nearly half a million Massachusetts children on Medicaid will carry a new requirement: Doctors must offer simple questionnaires to detect warning signs of possible mental health problems, from autism in toddlers to depression in teens."

This is scary stuff. Pay close attention to this part again, "from autism in toddlers to depression in teens." Perhaps I am paranoid, but I believe a Brave New World is here. Psychiatry just had an incredible cash cow handed to them on a silver platter through the force of government. That is, Massachusetts taxpayers fund Medicaid. In turn, Massachusetts taxpayers are supporting through no choice of their own the inevitable drugging of children.

Instead, we twist things to try and justify forced drugging and the destruction of informed consent by throwing around subjective "national estimates" that Carey Goldberg included in his article that attempt to show "about 10 percent of children have some sort of significant psycho-social problem from hyperactivity to anxiety to stress from living amid domestic violence." Again, it appears children and young adults in Massachusetts, and nationwide, can no longer experience any kind of feeling or thought or deep reflection without it being subjected to a mental health screening or antidepressant psychiatric drug. This isn't medicine. It's medicine gone mad.

Massachusetts has taken a wrong turn here on mental health screening. Cute code words and catch phrases don't cut it. Lisa Lambert, executive director of the Parent/Professional Advocacy League, falsely compares the screening of children and young adults for mental illness to that of acting as a "check engine light" for parents to gauge if their children have any problems. I'm sorry, growing up is a little more complicated than this. On the other hand, mental health screening sets off alarms when no alarm needs to be sounded.

It's time for parents all over this country to get in the front seat when it comes to parenting their children and young adults. I find it hard to believe a subjective mental health "questionnaire" can serve somehow as a substitute parent. Something is seriously wrong when 460,000 Massachusetts children and young adults wake up one morning to find out that they must now submit to a subjective mental health screening at their next annual checkup.

24,057 signatures against



Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sheldon Johnson

Today I received an email plea from Sheldon Johnson:

Dear Louise,

My name is Sheldon Johnson, and I have an urgent message that I want to share with you and the public. All of my concerns is address in the letter (attachment) that I written to President George Bush. Please take time to review my concerns and follow your heart. God bless you and thank you for your consideration. My family desperately needs your help to get the justice that we deserve and make this story public knowledge.

Sheldon Johnson

I've left out the address and phone numbers. If you want to be part of helping Sheldon with whatever you can [even a shoulder to lean] on leave me a message and I will fwd it to Sheldon.

Let me try to get all the legalities out of the way, I have NOT investigated this case myself, so I can only go by what Sheldon has writen to me. I would like to believe every word of it is true [why else would someone put in so much time and effort to pass along the email below]

However, I am not to be held responsible by any legal ramifications if this story is not true.

Without any further delay here is the letter Sheldon Johnson wrote...

Album: My brother's last days...A story that must be told!

December 12, 2007 President George Bush1600 Pennsylvania AvenueWashington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I’m writing you today to inform you of the gross miscarriage of justice that my family is suffering from State/Government sponsored corruption involving behavioral modification experimentations. The crime that I’m reporting is that my family has been targeted for unethical human research and psychological warfare experiments against their will by covert means by numerous physicians with the aid of corrupt New York City/State Officials and peace officers. These crimes are comparable to the 1975 Church committee investigation into project MKULTRA and the U.S. Senate select committee on Intelligence and subcommittee on Health and Scientific research of the committee on Human Resources into behavioral modification and mind control experimentations in August of 1977 which was presided over by Senator Daniel Inouye.

During those hearings Admiral Stansfield Turner, former director of the Central Intelligence agency revealed that his predecessors experimented on unsuspecting American citizens using all sorts of clandestine means including the use of hypnosis, drugs, the magicians art (witchcraft), toxins, biologically in human tissue, exotic pathogens, electroshock and harassment techniques for offensive use amongst other things for the sole purpose of behavioral modification and mind control, all of which has been used on my family at one time or another.

Mr. President, I’ve written Mayor Bloomberg and former Governor Pataki of New York City/State, I’ve have shared numerous letter’s with them and other elected New York Officials including President hopeful candidate Senator Hillary Clinton and every responsible investigative agency local and federal and we have yet to received any help from any of them regarding my concerns of unethical Governmental maltreatment involving Human Research. My mother has written everyone as well with the same unsatisfactory result for over 30 years.

We have no choice but to petition you for a full investigation into the unethical activities of the criminal elements that may be operating within our government. Whoever is responsible for these crimes have the clout to get numerous New York City Hospitals, Lawyers, peace officers, Judges, City Agencies, etc to participate in their evil campaign to cause severe harm to my family.

My brothers has been targeted for behavioral modification experiments and are being slowly killed over a number of years as their predators look on with deprave indifference, studying their inhuman accomplishment and writing into a log the results of their gruesome discovery. Meanwhile, the psychological warfare that has been levied against my mother has been so monstrous that she doesn’t know who to trust. She has been betrayed by close friends and family members and has been made an outcast in her place of worship.

My mother is a dedicated baptized servant of Jehovah God and her belief in him has proved to be her foundation and her salvation. However things were done to even try to break her faith to Jehovah God. The predators have infiltrated into her religion and started a malicious campaign to sabotage her reputation with claims that she has some sort of mental illness in order to discredit her.

These individuals are very cunning and would go to any extreme to prove a point that doesn’t exist. They was even successful in convincing my mother that I was a traitor and that I work for them which lead to her not speaking to me for about 17 months which ended almost 2 weeks ago on the 29th of November.

During that time her persecutions escalated unbeknown to me. On December 16th of 2006 my mother went to Metropolitan Hospital because her eyes kept feeling drowsy. The attending medical doctor plotted with psychiatrist from that hospital to illegally detain her for 11 days on a ruse that she has a psychological disorder where 4 male officers held her down while a female officer and a nurse forcibly ripped her clothes off and put her in restraints for several hours and forcibly removed several tubes of blood from her. My mother never once had a psychological evaluation, thus without professional diagnosis what was the basis of their detaining her? Is it to cover-up their tracks in the illegal removal of her granddaughter Geneva Johnson by ACS and that corrupt family court Judge Susan K. Knipps? Or was it a way to establish a psych history on her to participate in the stealing of the Lackey Estates in Covington Georgia?

Back in the latter part of the 60’s my mother cousin Wavy Lackey told her that she was going to be named administrator over the Lackey Estates (which is worth in the millions). Her cousin then met an untimely death and the property which is heir’s property wound up in the hands of this lawyer name Pat Campbell, a powerful southern attorney and an illegitimate relative name Lester Lackey.

Is it possible that she and her children was recommended for these unethical experiments by someone in the South in order to distract her from pursuing what was rightfully hers?

My family’s story has many twists and turns which have to be investigated thoroughly because now this tragic story has a murder involved in it. My brother Trevis Johnson has succumbed to the injurious abuse of the human research predators. He passed on 12/11/2007 at the home of my mother Annie Lackey sometime late in the morning. His abuse started when he was in the 2nd grade by individuals within the board of education unbeknown to my mother and continued to the day that he died. I was appalled with the dishonesty of the investigator from the medical examiner officer who gave us 2 different names during his initial introduction.

The name Austin Epstein were given to us when he first introduced himself to us, but later after he asks us some questions he identified himself as Matt Jones. Naturally after picking up on the discrepancy I ask for his ID, in which he replied that he didn’t have it and he immediately stormed out of my mother’s apartment with a female assistant that didn’t identify herself. We was later informed by officer Nawaz badge # 4593 that if we didn’t have a picture ID for my brother that he was going to be tagged as a John Doe which we found to be very disturbing.

About a half hour later Sgt. Preston badge # 1037 and a detective who reluctantly identified himself as Alexander Morales badge # 4858 and another guy in a suit who said that he was FBI who produce no identification threaten us with arrest for obstruction of Governmental administration for asking to see the identification of the investigator of the medical examiner. We was force in the living room under guard by numerous police officers from the 19 precinct while the unidentified Investigator now with 4 assistants did what they had to do with my brothers body.

We was left with a generic card from the medical examiner office with case # M-07-6816 scrabbled on it. Noticeably absence was the name of the investigator and his 4 assistants who handled my brother’s body and disrespecting the family’s wishes for identification of its workers.

It is my family’s wishes that my brother’s death be treated as a murder from all the years of forced medicating with powerful Neuroleptics (mood-stabilizers) and other chemicals, toxins or radiation that he may have been exposed to. After the experience we received from the investigator of the NYC Medical Examiners office we are not in a position of trust to receive an honest cause of death especially since the gross abuse my family had suffered from those in the health and hospital community throughout the county of New York over the last 3 decades.

Whatever happened to my brother was sudden as something ate away at his body over the last 8 months. It is in our belief that the last 4 hospitals that he was in were instrumental in his cause of death. The hospitals are Jacobi, Jamaica medical center, Mount Sinai and lastly Lenox Hill which is where he took a turn for the worst. It is in our belief that something was done to him there that caused him to stop talking and moving. They kept him in unsanitary condition in his weaken state. He was given 12 hours to 36 hours to live due to cirrhosis of the liver on 11/29/07 by the medical staff of that hospital.

We decided to take him home rather to leave him to die in that hospital. A nonhospital order not to resuscitate was forced on us along with a prescription for morphine and a adhesive patch for this large wound he had at the base of his spine in which they claim was a bed sore. The risk manager Janice fajardo, Dr. Andrew Fabel and Dr. Elenora Gashi didn’t want to entertain revival methods or ways to take care of him. They just kept on insisting that we place the DNR over his bed and that there was nothing more that can be done for him.

He was able to hang on for almost 2 weeks through proper nourishment and plenty of love that he received from his immediate family. In fact his speech came back and he started talking, moving and eating and he was alert and Coherent. That was very special for my family because we were able to bond together for one last time. However the damage was done internally.

Mr. President, this is an American tragedy and I’m sure you don’t approve of what’s going on in our government under your watch especially since we have soldiers dying in Iraq because Saddam Hussein did similar atrocities to his citizens. My family is under attack from an enemy or enemies within your administration. Their terrorist action against my family has got to come to a halt. There is already one fatality and I do not wish to lose any more family members to this evil regime that is hiding out in Local/Federal Government.

Mr. President after over 3 decades of trying to seek help with no satisfaction from anyone in Federal or Local government it is the decision of my family to share our story with the public because it’s worthy of public scrutiny. It is in the belief of my family that it is in our best interest to share this communication that I’m writing today with the public and all responsible investigative agencies and civil rights leaders. Justice has to be served. Below are images of my brother after we rescued him from Lenox Hill Hospital.

Please refer to photos in Trevis' share.

Album: My brother's last days...A story that must be told!

Below is a copy of the Nonhospital Order not to Resuscitate hat was forced on us by Lenox Hill Hospital. Please refer to photos in Trevis' share.

Album: My brother's last days...A story that must be told!

Below is a copy of his prescriptions, Please note the different names of doctors on the prescriptions. It was very unusual that we did not once meet the attending physician Dr. Belilouski that was assign to my brother’s care. Please refer to photos in Trevis' share.

Album: My brother's last days...A story that must be told!

This is the image of my brother days before his death. Please note the large sore at the base of his spine. The doctors at Lenox Hill claim that this was a bed sore. It is in my belief my brother was exposed to radiation or some other biological toxins as well as injurious medications which was used under the umbrella of MKULTRA, MKSEARCH and MKNAOMI for the sole purpose of behavioral modification and Mind Control. Please refer to photos in Trevis' share.

Album: My brother's last days...A story that must be told!

Who in our Government would want to cover-up crimes such as these? The expression on my brother’s face tells the story of the lifetime of abuse that was forced on him as a child and throughout his short adulthood. He had just turned 43 years old last month on the 9th of November.

Please refer to photos in Trevis' share.

Album: My brother's last days...A story that must be told!

This is the generic copy of the card the investigator from NYC medical examiner officer left us abscent his name or his 4 assistants. It is important to note that after we were forced in the front of the apartment a laptop was removed from its case and taken by one of the 5 people that was in the bedroom with my brother’s body. This type of theft is consistent with THE CONTINIOUS harassments that victims of MKULTRA suffersPlease refer to photos in Trevis' share.

Album: My brother's last days...A story that must be told!

It’s hard to believe that my brother took the photo in this Identification Card 7 months ago. whatever they did to him reduced him to bare Skin and bones. Please refer to photos in Trevis' share.

Album: My brother's last days...A story that must be told!

My brother lifeless body 12/11/2007

Album: My brother's last days...A story that must be told!

Please refer to photos in Trevis' share.
Album: My brother's last days...A story that must be told!
Trevis is far right with fist pump into air, I love you bro.
We were mere babies when they targeted us for their sadistic experiments.

Please refer to my web-page and click on the links for family history.

Cc: Represenative Carolyn mALONEY 212 860-0606















Created by: Sheldon Johnson

In Loving memory of my brother, Trevis Lee Johnson

Police search for woman who left 'L' train while kids were still inside

Angelo, 4, (left) and Isaiah, 6.

(Photo courtesy Chicago Police / December 29, 2007)
She stepped off the elevated train at 63rd Street on Thursday night with her 3-year-old daughter in her arms, but as the train pulled away, passengers frantically tried to alert her that her two young sons were still aboard, police said.
"Someone shouted 'She's leaving her kids,' " Detective Christopher Garlington said Saturday. "People tried to get her attention, but she just walked away.
"With the two boys—Isaiah, 6, and Angelo, 4—in foster care, police continued searching for their 24-year-old mother and her daughter, Infinity, who were last seen about 6:40 p.m. Thursday, getting off the southbound CTA Red Line, Garlington said.
Passengers said the two boys were sitting away from their mother on the train and may have been unaware that she had gotten off, Garlington said.
On Friday night, a man who said he was Isaiah's father called police after seeing a television news story about the boys, Garlington said.
Police still are looking for Angelo's father.Police think that the family is from Chicago and that the woman didn't have any other children.
The Department of Children and Family Services took protective custody of the boys Thursday night and placed them in foster care, spokesman Kendall Marlowe said. The agency is investigating, he said.
Police identified the woman from surveillance photos taken on the CTA platform, but they do not know her address and have not been able to contact any of her relatives, Garlington said. Police have been distributing fliers in hopes that someone can help authorities find her.
Garlington declined to discuss possible charges the woman may face because police did not want discourage her from contacting authorities.
Original Article -

Family of dead baby: ‘It’s all DSS’ fault’

Outraged relatives of a baby girl allegedly shaken to death by her Peabody mom lashed out at social workers yesterday, blaming the state for allowing the “miracle” child to be sent home after being born with drugs in her system.

A neglect complaint months later, they added, should have been enough warning for the state Department of Social Services to take custody of 9-month-old Jocelyn Mae Ward-Anderson.
“We’re speaking for the baby. She wants justice and she wants peace,” cousin Tasha Anderson, 21, told the Herald yesterday.

“It’s all DSS’ fault,” added another cousin, Amanda Anderson, 19. “(The mother) was doing drugs. She should have never left the hospital with the baby.”
The baby died Nov. 21 at Children’s Hospital in Boston after being treated for head trauma, authorities said.

The accused mother, Jennifer Ward, 37, of Peabody, pleaded not guilty yesterday to murder in Salem Superior Court and was ordered held without bail. Her arraignment was continued to Wednesday, on the request of her attorney, when more details of the alleged shaken-baby slaying are expected to be released.

DSS refused to accept blame yesterday, sending the Herald a statement listing steps that were taken to try and wean the mother off drugs and teach her how to be a better parent.

DSS spokesman Richard Nangle said the case was first reported to the agency in March “following positive drug screenings on both the mother and child at the time of birth” in
Nangle said the mother agreed to undergo “intensive therapy for her drug use” and was allowed to keep her baby at home.

“In late March,” Nangle added, “DSS was contacted with a report of neglect and the decision was made to remove the child from the home and place her in temporary foster care while DSS worked with the mother.”

The baby was again sent back home in mid-July after Ward completed her parenting training and drug treatment programs and Lynn Juvenile Court “dismissed the care and protection order,” Nangle said.

Ward was arrested last week at her parents’ home in Kennebunk, Maine, after a grand jury indicted her for the death of her daughter.

“She was a miracle baby,” added Amanda Anderson outside the Salem court, saying Ward struggled to have children and Jocelyn was born premature, yet she was “a happy baby.”
Original Article -

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Three Faces of Victim

This article will take a strong person to read and understand.

I usually blog about the abuses of power, abuses of the system, Parent Alienation PAS and child abuse in general.

Today I want to throw something unusual in the mix, this is a blog about stepping out of the victim role. Most people that get targeted by others are usually mellow, kind, sure what ever you want kind of people. I say usually because, I'm not an idiot, I know that CPS abuses those that can not afford legal representation as well.

But usually those that are poor are often times the product of a dysfuntional home so therefore although this blog seems off topic it's not. However, it may take a strong person to admit it.

Twenty five years of therapy and many many thousand pages of self help books on D.V. Narcissists and Sociopaths later ...

[How can I say the things I said above? Experience and my own personal life- that's how]

Without further delay, I bring you .. The Faces of Victim

By Lynn Forrest

Most of us unconsciously react to life from a position of victim-hood. When we refuse to take responsibility for ourselves, we play the victim. This leaves us feeling helpless, duped, angry, unable to change; regardless of our situation.

Victim-hood consists of three positions outlined by Stephen Karpman, a teacher of Transactional Analysis, on what he called the "Drama Triangle". Having learned of it some thirty years ago, it has been one of the most important tools in my personal life, as well as my professional life.

As my understanding of the Drama Triangle has expanded, so has my appreciation for this simple, but powerfully accurate instrument. I call it the "shame machine" because through it we unconsciously re-enact our vicious cycles, thereby creating shame. Every dysfunctional interaction takes place on the Drama Triangle! Until we make these dynamics conscious, we cannot transform them. Unless we transform them, we cannot move forward on our journey towards re-claiming our spiritual heritage. Karpman named the three roles on the Drama Triangle, Persecutor, Rescuer and Victim and placed them on an inverted triangle representing the three faces of victim. Even though only one is called Victim, all three originate out of and end up back there. Therefore they are all stopping places on the road to victim-hood, although each have a most familiar, or, starting gate position.

We first learn our primary position from within our family. Although we each have a role with which we most identify, we will also rotate through all the positions, going completely around the triangle, sometimes in a matter of minutes, or even seconds, many times every day. It's difficult to realize we ourselves are victims when we are in a care-taking or blaming role. Nonetheless these two, Rescuer and Persecutor, are the two opposite extremes of Victim. This is because all roles eventually lead back to victim. It's inevitable. You notice that both the Persecutor and Rescuer are on the upper end of the triangle. Whenever we assume either of these stances, we come across as one-up. From either position we are relating as though we are better, stronger, smarter, or more-together than the victim. Sooner or later the Victim, in the one-down position, develops a metaphorical "crick in the neck" from looking up. Feeling looked down upon, resentment builds and some form of retaliation follows. At that point the Victim moves into a Persecutor role. Reminiscent of a not-so-musical game of musical chairs, all players sooner or later rotate positions.

Here's an example: Dad comes home from work to find mom and Junior engaged in conflict. "Clean up your room or else," mom threatens. Dad immediately comes to the rescue. "Mom" he might say,"give the boy a break". Any one of several possibilities might follow. Perhaps Mom, feeling victimized by Dad, turns on him, moving Dad into Victim position. They might do a few quick trips around the triangle with Junior on the sidelines. Or maybe Junior joins Dad in a persecutory "Let's gang up on mom" approach, or again Junior could turn on Dad, rescuing Mom, with, "Mind your own business, Dad . I don't need your help!" So it goes, with endless variations, but nonetheless, pinging at each corner of the triangle. For many families, it's the only way they know how to interact. Everyone has a starting-gate position on the Drama Triangle. This is not only the place we most often get hooked, but also the role through which we actually define ourselves; a strong part of our identity. Each starting-gate position has its own particular way of seeing and reacting to the world. Each primary position originates out of a particular life theme and moves around the triangle in its own distinct way.

For instance, although we all eventually end up in the victim position on the triangle, the starting-gate position of Rescuer (*henceforth starting-gate positions will be capitalized to differentiate them from the movement through a particular role) moves through victim and persecutor in a very different way than do either a primary Persecutor or Victim.

The Rescuer moves into victim wearing the cloak of martyrdom with thoughts such as, "After all I've done for you ...", whereas a Persecutor claims victim as a way to justify vengeance “If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have had to ....". Whereas a Rescuer may persecute by withdrawing their care-taking, a Persecutor's rescuing is liable to be almost as painful as when they are in attack-mode. And a starting-gate Victim is perpetually pitiful and incapable. They even rescue from a one-down position "You're the only one who can help me, because you're so talented”…”smart”... etc. Our primary positions are generally set-up in childhood. For instance, if a parent is overly protective, doing everything for a child, then that child may grow up to feel incapable of taking care of themselves, or the opposite, they might come to feel angry and vindictive if others don't take care of them, thereby adopting a primary Persecutor stance. Either way, this sets them up for a lifetime role of Victim.

There are many variations, and each case needs to be individually considered. We not only act out these triangular distortions in our everyday relations with others, but also internally. We move around the triangle as rapidly inside our minds as we do out in the world. We trap ourselves with dishonest and dysfunctional internal dialogue. For example, we may come down hard on ourselves for not completing a project. Perhaps we lambast ourselves as being lazy, inadequate or defective, causing us to spiral into feelings of anger and self-worthlessness. Inwardly, we cower to this persecutory voice, fearing it may be right.

Can you see the persecutor/victim exchange happening? As soon as we begin to blame or insult, a victim is created. And in this case, we're it! This could go on for minutes, hours or days, but sooner or later, there will be a voice in us that comes to the rescue. Because we're feeling lousy and need relief, we start to make excuses,"Well, I would have finished that project if it hadn't been for ...", we might say. Now we have moved into rescuer. Sometimes we rescue ourselves, and others, by denying what we know, "If I look the other way and pretend not to notice, it will go away", we say. These inner dramas perpetuate a vicious cycle of shame spirals and self loathing. Whether through internal interaction or external communication, moving around the triangle keeps the self-disparaging messages rambling.

The Drama Triangle becomes our own personal shame machine. The good news is that we can do something about it. We have to learn to turn off the shame machine in order to get off the triangle. It's simple, but not easy. Before we can get off the triangle we have to recognize and be willing to relinquish the drama produced therein. We must first become intimately acquainted with the costs and trade-offs of each stopping place on the path of victim-hood. This allows us to not only recognize the various roles, but to realistically evaluate the consequences of being at each dysfunction. Identifying the language and behaviors of each role further helps us to comprehend when we are being invited by others to join them on the triangle. With this awareness, we can choose whether or not we want to dance to the shame generating tune of victim. With that end in mind, let's examine each role carefully.


The Rescuer role is the shadow mother principle. It's the typically co-dependent response we think of as “smothering". It's a distorted version of the feminine aspect that genuinely desires to nurture and protect. The Rescuer is the enabler, protector, mediator; the one who wants to "fix" the problem. Of course, before a Rescuer can remedy a problem there needs to be one. Part of the issue of rescuing is that it comes from an unconscious need to feel important or to establish oneself as the savior. Taking care of others is the only way a Rescuer knows how to connect or to feel worthwhile. Rescuers usually have grown up in families where they were put down or shamed for having needs. They therefore learn to deny those needs, turning instead to taking care of others. This makes having someone who needs them essential.

Very often, Rescuers operate out of the hope that if they just take care of others well enough they will get their turn, too. Unfortunately this rarely happens. Often the resulting disappointment sends them spiraling into depression. Martyrdom and depression earmark the victim phase of a Rescuer's dance around the triangle. This is when concerns are voiced such as, "This is what I get, after all I've done for you" or,"No matter how much I do, it's never enough", or "If you loved me, you would be more supportive."

A Rescuer's greatest fear is that there will be nobody there for them. They compensate for that anxiety by making it a point to be there for others, thus encouraging dependency. They make themselves indispensable as a primary way of avoiding abandonment and to receive the validation they long for, as well.

Rescuers are oblivious to the crippling dependency they foster. Through these tactics, they send disabling messages. Everyone involved becomes convinced that the Victim is incapable, inadequate or defective, thus reinforcing the need for constant rescue. It becomes the job of the Rescuer to keep the other propped up,"for their own good", of course. Having a Victim is essential in order for the Rescuer to maintain the illusion of being one-up and needless. This means then, that there will always be at least one person in every core Rescuer’s life who is sick, fragile, inept and in need of their care. Beatrice grew up seeing her mother as helpless and ineffectual. From an early age, she felt a huge responsibility to take care of her frail parent. Her own well-being depended on it! As the years went by, however, she could scarcely contain the inner rage she felt towards her mother for being so needy and weak. As a starting-gate Rescuer, she would do all she could to bolster her mother, only to come away again and again, feeling defeated (victim) because nothing she tried worked. Inevitably the resentment would take over leading her to resort to treating her mother with scorn (persecutor). This became her primary interactive pattern, not only with her mother, but in all of her relationships. By the time we met she was emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausted from having spent her life taking care of one sick and dependent person after another.


Like the other roles, the Persecutor is shame based. It's the sort of anger that results from growing up overloaded with scorn. Persecutors have long ago repressed their convictions of worthlessness, covering them instead with indignant wrath and an attitude of uncaring. In the same way that the Rescuer is the shadow mother principle, this role is the shadow father principle. The father's job is to protect and provide for his family. The Persecutor role is a perversion of that energy, instead attempting to "reform" through force. This role is taken on by someone who has learned to meet their needs through authoritarian, controlling and often punishing methods. The Persecutor overcomes feelings of shame by over-powering others. Domination becomes their most prevalent style of interaction. This means they must always be right! Techniques include preaching, blaming, lecturing, interrogating and attack. They believe in getting even, very often through passive aggressive acts. Just like the Rescuer needs someone to fix, the Persecutor needs someone to blame! Persecutors deny their weaknesses in the same way Rescuers deny their needs. Their greatest fear is powerlessness. Denying their own infirmities, they are in constant need of someone on whom they can project their own unclaimed inadequacies. Both Rescuers and Persecutors therefore need a Victim in order to sustain their place on the triangle.

Persecutors also tend to compensate for inner feelings of worthlessness by putting on grandiose airs. Grandiosity inevitably comes from shame. It provides compensation and a cover-up for a deep internal inferiority. Superiority is about swinging hard to the other side of "less than" in order to come across as "better than". A client who is also a doctor, exemplifies the Persecutor mentality. He believed hurting others was justified as a compensation when his own pain was triggered. Once in session, he told about running into a patient of his on the golf course. He said his patient had the nerve to ask for on-the-spot treatment. "Can you believe he asked me to treat his injury on my one day off?" he railed. I asked him how he handled it."Oh, I took him to my office, all right,” he said, “and he got a steroid shot too," the doctor chuckled,"but I bet he'll never ask me to do that again." “Oh?” I was puzzled."Oh yeah, I gave him a shot he'll never forget!" To the doctor, his action was justified. His patient had infringed on him. He deserved whatever pain he got. This is a prime example of Persecutor thinking. It never occurred to my client that he could have just said no. He did not have to feel victimized by, or have to rescue, this patient. In his mind he had been treated unjustly and therefore he had the right, even the obligation, to get even. It is most difficult for someone in this stance to take responsibility for the way they hurt others. In their mind, others deserve the treatment they receive! These warring individuals tend to see themselves as having to fight the world for survival! Theirs is a constant struggle to regain the love that they perceive has been taken from them.


The Victim is a life role most often taken on by someone who was raised by a dedicated Rescuer. It is the shadow of the precious child within; that part in each of us that is innocent, vulnerable and needy. This child-self does need support on occasion but when an individual becomes convinced that they can never take care of themselves they easily take on a primary Victim stance. Accepting the idea that they are intrinsically defective, Victims adopt an attitude of "I can't make it." This becomes their greatest fear, which forces them to be ever vigilant for someone “more capable," to carry them. Victims deny both their problem solving abilities and their potential for self-generated power. Instead they tend to see themselves as too fragile to handle life. Feeling done in by, at the mercy of, mistreated, intrinsically bad and wrong, they see themselves as the “unfixable problem". This doesn't stop them, however from feeling highly resentful for their dependency. Victims eventually get fed up with being in the one-down position and find ways to get even. A move to persecutor usually means sabotaging the efforts made to rescue them, as well as other passive-aggressive behaviors. They are very apt players of the game called,"Yes, but." Any time a helpful suggestion is offered, a Victim response might be,"Yes, but that won't work because ...". They may also resort to the persecutor role as a way to blame or manipulate others into taking care of them.

The Victim consumes a daily dose of shame. Convinced of their intrinsic incompetence, they live in a perpetual shame spiral, often leading to self abuse. Perpetual Victims walk around much like the Charlie Brown character, Pig-Pen in his whirlwind of dust, except Victims are surrounded by a shame vortex of their own making. This cloud of shame becomes their total identity. Linda was the second-born in her family. Almost from birth, she had problems. Linda was a child who was forever in trouble of one sort or another. She struggled academically, was perpetually disruptive and often sick. It came as no surprise to anyone when she got into drugs as a teenager. Her mother, Stella, was a die-hard Rescuer. Thinking she was being helpful, Stella bailed Linda out every time she got into trouble. By alleviating the natural consequences, Stella's earnest enabling deprived Linda of the opportunity to learn from her poor choices. As a result, Linda came to see herself as incapable and became dependent on others to fix things. Her mother's well-intentioned rescuing sent a crippling message which promoted a life long Victim stance.

Projection and Shadow of Victim-hood

As individuals grow in awareness and begin to alter their behavior, they often change their starting-gate positions. Becoming aware of a primary position, they may commit to change but often merely switch roles instead. Although they may be operating from a different place, they are nonetheless still on the triangle. This happens frequently and may even be an essential part of learning the full impact of living on the triangle. Placing the three positions on a straight line with Victim in the middle, is a way of demonstrating that Persecutor and Rescuer are simply the two extremes of victim-hood.

Persecutor ------- VICTIM ------- Rescuer

All three roles are merely the perverted expression of positive powers we possess, but deny. The primary face we assume determines which of these traits are denied. The Rescuer embodies the gifts of mediation and problem solving, yet intervenes in unhealthy ways to those who elicit these characteristics. It might be deemed a feminine aspect. The Persecutor, on the other hand, is the part of us that knows about the use of power and assertiveness, yet exercises these gifts in distorted ways. They might be considered masculine attributes. When these essential qualities are not fully acknowledged and claimed, they are repressed into the unconscious, where they become the perverted expressions we see on the Drama Triangle. In other words, because these aspects are denied, they are expressed in unconscious and irresponsible ways.

When we suppress both our problem solving abilities and our willingness to initiate assertive action, we take on the role of Victim. When we see ourselves primarily as mediators and caretakers, we deny ourselves by setting inappropriate boundaries. We occupy the Rescuer position. Persecutors on the other hand, have hidden their caring, nurturing qualities, and therefore tend to problem solve through anger, abuse and control. In essence, the victim's dance is a constant, unconscious surfacing of unclaimed aspects of ourselves that produces perpetual drama.

We live in a Victim based society. In the United States, we think of ourselves as Rescuers. For many years Russia was the Persecutor with third world countries being the under-dog, or Victim. Several years ago, Russia's President Gorbachev allegedly told President Bush,"I'm about to do the worst thing imaginable, I'm going to take away your enemy!" He innately understood our country's need for a scapegoat, which provides us the chance to say,"It's those bad communists again". Otherwise, we, as Americans might be forced to take responsibility for our own perpetrator tendencies.

Our very history is built on persecution. Within a few years of arriving in America, our forefathers began to systematically oppress, subjugate, and even kill the Native Americans who had been living here for centuries, yet we resist seeing our role as any other than Rescuer. Our cultural identity is tied to being the good guys of the world, however distorted. It is always difficult for Persecutors to perceive themselves as Persecutors. It is much easier to justify the necessity for persecution than to own the oppressor role.

The cycle is: "I was just trying to help (rescuer), and they turned on me (victim), so I had to defend myself (persecutor).” Persecution is always justified as a necessary defense, although it is the role most often denied. After all, who wants to admit that they mistreat people?

The Rescuer, on the other hand, has no trouble identifying with their helper roles. They are generally proud of their position as caretakers and fixers. They are socially acclaimed and rewarded for “selfless acts" of helping. They believe in the goodness of being caretakers and see themselves as heroes. What they deny is the ill-begotten consequences of their enabling/disabling acts. But what these “do-gooders” can’t see is how they, themselves, end up as victims. It's very hard for a Rescuer to hear themselves referred to as victims even while they complain about how mistreated they are!

Triangular Pain

Living on the Drama Triangle creates misery. The primary commonality is that none of the players know how to take responsibility for themselves. The cost is tremendous for all three roles and lead to emotional, mental and even physical pain. Evading responsibility and/or attempting to protect oneself or others causes angst, and yet it becomes the primary goal of those caught up on the triangle. The simple truth is that the greatest pain is created in trying to avoid accepting responsibility for ourselves or to allow others to accept responsibility for themselves. When we try to shield others from the truth, we discount their abilities. Everyone involved ends up hurt and angry, no-one wins. As long as we chase ourselves and others around the Triangle, we relegate ourselves to living in reaction. Rather than living vibrant lives of spontaneity and choice, we settle for a dull life ruled by others’ agendas. To experience a fulfilling life requires a conscious willingness to get off the triangle and extend grace to those still encumbered by their drama.

Denied Feelings

Frequently we find entry onto the triangle through the port of denied feelings. Whenever we deny our own or another's feelings we inevitably end up playing a role on the triangle. We rescue others anytime we attempt to keep them from feeling bad, such as, "I can't tell Jim what I think because it'll hurt his feelings.” So we keep our opinions, feelings and thoughts hidden which inevitably creates distance.

Parents who grew up without permission to acknowledge or express feelings often deny their children the same right. Repressed, these denied emotions become secret shame pockets, alienating us from others and sentencing us to life on the triangle. Feelings, although changeable, are nonetheless real. Anytime we deny our feelings we set ourselves up for a victim perspective. We cannot take responsibility for feelings we have not allowed ourselves to acknowledge, therefore we end up on the triangle.
Shame and Core Beliefs

As we interact with other triangular participants, we generate shame. Although each role moves around the triangle in their own distinct way, each starting gate position possesses core beliefs that generates this shame-based interaction. These unconscious attitudes are what creates feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy and defectiveness. The triangle is the way we reinforce and perpetuate beliefs.

Rescuers, for instance, believe that their needs should be denied as unimportant and irrelevant. The only way they can legitimately connect with others and feel valued and have their needs met, is by taking care of someone else. Rescuers chastise themselves when they aren't care-taking others. Their primary myth is; "If I take care of others well enough and long enough, then I will be fulfilled and feel loved." Unfortunately, Rescuers are involved with life-time Victims who have no idea of how to be there for others. This reinforces the Caretaker's core belief that they shouldn’t be needy, which then produces more shame surrounding their needs.

Guilt and shame are the driving forces for the perpetuation of the Triangle. Guilt is often by Victims in an effort to hook their Rescuers into taking care of them: "If you don't do it, who will?” The Victims’ shame produces the belief that they are not able to make it on their own. They feel powerless and needy.

Persecutors who believe the world is dangerous, use shame as a primary tool for keeping others in their place. Their primary goal is to feel safe by putting others down. “Get them before they get me!”, is their primary agenda although this is often unconscious. What better way of accomplishing that, then to judge, moralize or denigrate their victims?


Of course, once feelings are denied, reality and honesty become impossible. Telling our truth first requires knowing it. When we react out of denied feelings and unconscious programming, we cannot possibly know our personal truth. This means that there will be hidden agendas and dishonesty. This is another primary trait of all players on the triangle. Only by knowing our truth, can we begin to speak from a place of personal honesty. Then exiting the triangle becomes possible.

Failed Intimacy

Although most long for a sense of connection with others, many people are secretly terrified of intimacy. Allowing someone to really know us can be frightening. Intimacy requires vulnerability and honesty. Believing at heart that we are unlovable, defective or “less than,” makes it difficult to reveal ourselves. We want unconditional acceptance, but when we haven't accepted ourselves, it's impossible to believe that anyone else could embrace us. Needing to hide our unworthiness makes distance imperative. As long as we maintain hidden agendas and deny our truth, intimacy is impossible. Victim-hood is designed to insure alienation, not only from others, but also from ourselves.

Getting Off the Triangle

In order to get off the Triangle, we must first decide to take responsibility for ourselves. We then begin to allow ourselves to acknowledge and express our true feelings, even when doing so is uncomfortable. As we explore our core beliefs and starting gate positions, we become better able to recognize when someone is attempting to hook us into unhealthy behavior, and refuse to participate. Learning to have guilty feelings without acting on them is a big part of resisting the Victim game. Feeling guilt does not necessarily imply that we are behaving unethically. Guilt is a learned response. Sometimes guilt indicates that we've broken a dysfunctional family rule. Unhealthy beliefs about ourselves and the world, instilled in childhood, become rigid rules that need to be violated. Family dictums such as: don't talk about it, don't share feelings, or it's selfish to take care of yourself, must be overcome if we are to grow. We can expect, and even celebrate the guilt, when we defy these deeply entrenched family rules.
Getting honest with ourselves and others is a primary way to get off the triangle. Telling our truth is a key way of taking responsibility. We then must be willing to take necessary action for whatever that truth reveals. In order for a Rescuer to get honest, for instance, they have to confess their investment in keeping others dependent. This means acknowledging that being a rescuer fills their need for self-worth. In this way, Rescuers learn to recognize and address their own needs.

It can be threatening for someone stuck in Persecutor consciousness to get bare-bones honest with themselves. To them, to do so feels like blaming themselves, which only intensifies their internal condemnation. Persecutors need to have a situation or person they can blame so they can stay angry. Anger energizes them by acting like the fuel within the psyche that keeps them going. It may be the only way they have of dealing with chronic depression. Persecutors need a jolt of rage the same way some people need a shot of caffeine. It jump-starts their day.

Just as with the other roles, self-accountability is the only way off the victim grid for the Persecutor. There has to be some kind of breakthrough for them to own their part. Unfortunately, because of their great reluctance to do so, it may have to come in the form of a crisis.

Ironically, the doorway off the triangle for all roles is through the persecutor position. This is because when we decide to get off the triangle, we are often seen as persecutors by those still on it. Once we decide to take self-responsibility and tell our truth, those still aboard are likely to accuse us of victimizing them. "How dare you refuse to take care of me," a Victim might cry. Or "What do you mean you don't need my help?" a primary enabler enrages when a victim decides to become accountable. In other words, to escape the victim grid, we must be willing to be perceived as the "bad guy." This doesn't make it so, but we must be willing to sit with the discomfort of being perceived as such.

When you are ready to be accountable, you begin by sorting through your genuine motives and feelings regarding your present situation. You become willing to experience your own uncomfortable feelings and to allow others their uncomfortable feelings without rescue. If your loved ones and associates are also willing to participate in this process of self-realization healthier interactions can be cultivated together, thus diminishing the guilt and shame. However, if you're ready to get off, but they aren't, you may have to draw irrefutable boundaries, or even walk away. Again, this puts you at risk of being perceived as a persecutor.

Since starting-gate Victims are the identified problem in their family, it's natural for them to seek outside professional help. Often, however they are unconsciously looking for another Rescuer, which abound among helping professionals. Those in primary Victim roles must challenge the ingrained belief that they can't do for themselves. If they are to escape the triangle, they have to initiate self-care, rather than look outside themselves for a savior. Instead of seeing themselves as powerless, they must acknowledge their problem solving as well as their leadership capabilities.
Original Article -

Thursday, December 27, 2007


American children are not languishing in or aging out of foster care because of a lack of parenting resources. There are 500 married couples in America for every child waiting to be adopted, and countless singles that could also provide loving families, says Thomas Atwood, President and CEO of the National Council for Adoption (NCFA).

The inflexibility of child welfare financing is one factor behind the long wait times for those in the system and the record number of children aging out:

Under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, 61 percent of all federal financing allocated to states for child welfare purposes is spent on maintaining children in foster care and for related administrative and training costs.

This limits states' resources for other important services, such as prevention and rehabilitation.

Furthermore, only children whose original families meet the outdated, 1996 income eligibility requirements for the now-defunct Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program are Title IV-E eligible.

As these eligibility requirements have never been adjusted for inflation, fewer children are Title IV-E eligible each year, which continues to increase states' share of the costs.

Title IV-B of the Social Security Act is the second largest source of federal child welfare funding after Title IV-E.

Unlike Title IV-E, Title IV-B covers prevention and rehabilitation services and has no eligibility requirements.

However, Title IV-B is a capped entitlement program, whereas Title IV-E is open-ended.

Thus, Title IV-E represents a much larger pool of funding than Title IV-B -- $7.8 billion versus $721 million in 2006.

This asymmetric funding structure gives states a clear financial incentive to move children into foster care and keep them there, says Atwood.

Source: Families Thomas Atwood, "For All: Doing Right By Children In Foster Care," American Legislative Exchange Council, December 2007.

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Moti charged with child sex offences

Former Solomon Islands attorney-general Julian Moti has been charged with child sex and tourism offences at Brisbane International Airport tonight.

Moti has been deported to Australia and is accused of raping a 13-year-old girl in Vanuatu in 1997.

He evaded Australian police for 14 months, but was arrested at a house in Honiara today.

He arrived at Brisbane International Airport tonight, closely guarded by Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers, after losing a last ditch legal bid to stay in the Solomons.

He was taken to the Brisbane watch house and charged with engaging in sexual intercourse with a person under 16.

Moti was remanded in custody and is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of 17 years imprisonment.

Original Article -

Mental Screening For Young To Begin

In an Email this morning from was the message below...

Please assist before this enters your area!

"Families may decline the screening if they wish. If a screen turns up signs of potential trouble, it is also up to the family whether to pursue further help and an official diagnosis.

The new requirement applies to the 460,000 children and young adults covered by Massachusett's Medicaid program, at annual checkups from birth to age 21."

Dr. John Abramson, a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and author of "Overdosed America." says: "What happens is that there's a very quick translation of mental health symptoms into drug treatment."

Write a letter to the editor, click here:

Please get this info to all your friends in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

The Boston Globe

Mental screening for young to begin
Mass. doctors to offer questionnaires for children on Medicaid
By Carey GoldbergGlobe Staff / December 27, 2007

As of Monday, annual checkups for the nearly half a million Massachusetts children on Medicaid will carry a new requirement: Doctors must offer simple questionnaires to detect warning signs of possible mental health problems, from autism in toddlers to depression in teens.

The checklists vary by age but ask questions about children's behavior - whether they are spending more time alone, seeming to have less fun, having trouble sleeping - that are designed to trigger discussion between parents and doctors. The conversations may or may not lead to a referral to a specialist.

Over the last several years, such questionnaires have increasingly become the standard of care in pediatric practices, but - spurred by legal action - Massachusetts is jumping ahead of other states by requiring the screens for all its young Medicaid recipients.

The new requirement represents "a huge step forward in a direction that is a national trend," said Dr. Robin Adair, a University of Massachusetts Medical School pediatrician and screening specialist.

Supporters say the screening can catch issues earlier, before they develop into hard-to-manage crises.

Skeptics warn that more children could end up on heavy-duty medications that they don't really need.

"In a more perfect world, screening for mental illness amongst children would clearly be a good idea," said Dr. John Abramson, a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and author of "Overdosed America."

"But let's look at the realities of the world we live in," he said. "What happens is that there's a very quick translation of mental health symptoms into drug treatment."

Others wonder how Massachusetts' overburdened mental health system for children will handle the new patients the screening i s expected to identify.

Already, children's psychiatrists and psychologists are often overbooked. Children with serious mental illness sometimes end up stuck in psychiatric hospitals for lack of mental health services in the community.

If, as expected, the new screening requirement turns up more children with mental health problems, "I do think it creates a potential additional access problem," said Dr. David DeMaso, chief of psychiatry at Children's Hospital Boston.

The new screening requirement stems from a lawsuit, Rosie D. v. Romney, that accused the state of falling down on its obligations to poor, mentally ill children. The federal judge in the case ruled in January 2006 that Massachusetts must improve its care, and the new requirement is the first step in the state's court-ordered remedy plan.

Families may decline the screening if they wish. If a screen turns up signs of potential trouble, it is also up to the family whether to pursue further help and an official diagnosis. The new requirement applies to the 460,000 children and young adults covered by MassHealth, the state Medicaid program, at annual checkups from birth to age 21.

The state's private insurers generally already reimburse children's doctors for such written screens, and Medicaid will now pay $9.73 to cover the testing.

The majority of pediatricians still rely on conversational questions such as "How are you doing in school?" or "Does your child have friends?" But research shows that written questionnaires are more accurate at picking up potential problems.

The tests can also home in on children whose problems might otherwise be missed. According to national estimates, about 10 percent of children have some sort of significant psycho-social problem, from hyperactivity to anxiety to stress from living amid domestic violence.

"The earlier we intervene, the more impact we can have on brain development," DeMaso said.

The screening is not meant to produce a diagnosis, but rather to act as a "check engine light," calling attention to a potential problem, said Lisa Lambert, executive director of the Parent/Professional Advocacy League, which represents families with mentally ill children.

"If it lights up, you need to call your mechanic, find out what the problem is and if it needs to be repaired," she said.

One of the league's family support specialists, Kathy Hamelin of Fitchburg, said her own experience as the mother of an autistic son has convinced her that expanded early screening is one of the best things to come out of the Rosie D. case.

When her now 17-year-old son, Kevin, was a toddler, she said, he would scream and cry all the time, smash his head against the wall when frustrated, and flap his hands bizarrely. When she asked her pediatrician about the hand-flapping, he said, "That's nothing. That's just an excitement reflex and he'll outgrow it." In fact, she said, it is a c lassic autism trait. Kevin's diagnosis and treatment came only years later.

If the pediatrician had used an autism screening tool, it might have sounded an early alarm.

"Our family suffered tremendously because of this," she said, "and I just feel like if he had had early diagnosis, not only the pain and frustration we felt as overwhelmed parents would have been less, but we would have received early intervention," which "would have put him in a much better position than he is now."

As the routine screening gets underway, the state will be tracking how many children are tested and how many screens indicate a need for follow-up, said Emily Sherwood, who is overseeing the state's remedy for the Rosie D. case as director of its Children's Behavioral Health Interagency Initiatives. The state also plans to expand mental health services for children and make them more family friendly.

She said parents and clinicians may decide on a variety of responses to worr isome scores: to wait and watch a while. To handle the problems themselves. Or to seek a referral to a mental health specialist.

The screenings in doctors' offices "help us understand mental health as a part of health," she said. "It's really up to parents and primary care clinicians how they want to use this tool."Medicaid law already requires that children be screened annually for various problems, such as hearing and vision loss, as well as for mental illness. This new requirement specifies the method of screening for mental health problems, asking clinicians to choose from among eight standard tools for the screening. Each screen is geared toward a target age; some look for specific problems, such as substance abuse and autism.

Research suggests that the screens will boost the number of children referred to mental health providers - but not overwhelmingly.

Dr. Karen Hacker, executive director of the Institute for Community Health at Cambridge Health Alliance, has used and researched mental health screening for four years, and has found that between 5 percent and 7 percent of children score high enough to cause concern. Other practices have found rates as high as 12 percent.

But, she pointed out, many of those children were already in counseling. Some families decided not to pursue further help, and of those who did, many did not show up at appointments. She has not seen a dramatic uptick in the use of psychiatric medications since the screens were added to routine care, she said, though she understands that is a cause for concern.

"We're going to have to see how this unfolds," she said.

Carey Goldberg can be reached at

Mother Sues Over Son's Choking Death


A Morristown woman filed a wrong death lawsuit against a Nashville-based foster care agency because of her son's choking death in a foster home.

Shelly Shelton filed the suit Tuesday. She is seeking $40 million.

"He just wanted to fit in with us adults," Shelton said about her 16-year-old son Jordan Kaleb Shelton. "He didn't want to be treated like a kid.

Jordan struggled in school and ended up in foster care in West Tennessee.

He died in November. Police said his foster father Kenneth Wayne Taylor strangled him.
Taylor, a former bodybuilder, was charged with reckless homicide.

Shelton is suing Taylor, his wife Lisa Taylor and Omni Visions, the company contracted by the state Department of Children's Services.

"I don't know if you have children. What would you take for one of your children?," said Jon Peeler, who is representing Shelton. "More importantly, what would you take if you have one strangled to death?"

Peeler said Omni Visions ignored past complaints about Taylor harming foster kids.

"Omni has been scrutinized before so you have to wonder why DCS continues to contract with Omni Visions," Peeler said. "They keep making mistakes. They keep being paid by DCS."

Omni Visions is one of the state's largest providers of foster care.

Omni Visions declined comment. DCS officials said it is a good provider and the department will continue to do business with Omni Visions. The company has a good record, according to DCS.

Jordan's mother can't believe that. She said the agency needs to be held accountable for what happened to her son.

"I just want something good to come out of this," she said. "You know, this is so bad. It didn't need to happen. Something needs to be done. Something needs to be changed."

Omni Visions was sued in 2006 in another case for allegedly placing a child with a convicted pedophile.

DCS officials said children placed in foster care are sometimes unruly, but policy prohibits foster parents from ever physically assaulting a child.

Original Article -

State discriminated against disabled mom, investigator rules

Of The Gazette Staff

The state agency charged with protecting children from abuse and neglect violated the rights of a disabled Livingston woman and retaliated against her when she complained of discrimination, a state hearings officer has found.

In a 49-page ruling issued Friday, Terry Spear, a hearings officer with the state Department of Labor and Industries, found that employees with the Child and Family Services Division of the Montana Department of Health and Human Services violated state anti-discrimination laws when they launched an investigation without good cause into whether Geri Glass could properly care for her newborn son.

Glass, a 29-year-old tetraplegic, filed the discrimination and retaliation complaint with the Montana Human Rights Bureau in April 2005. A hearing was held into Glass' complaint over seven days in April 2006.

Glass said Wednesday that she is relieved by the ruling and hopes the state agency "gets a little respect for people."

"The treatment was pretty much you do as we say or we're taking your son," Glass said. "Finally, after a year and a half, there are some grounds where they can't mess with me anymore."

Glass' son, Gage, was a newborn in December 2004 when her troubles with the state agency started. Glass, who uses a wheelchair but has partial use of her arms and hands, said her son recently celebrated his third birthday and is healthy. Glass was disabled in a 1996 car crash.

Tim Kelly, Glass' attorney, said he will soon file for damages against the state agency for trauma and emotional distress. A remedial phase hearing will be scheduled before Spear within the next few months, Kelly said.

Kelly said he was gratified by the ruling, which found several instances where state child welfare employees skirted or ignored normal procedures meant to protect children from abuse and neglect. In extreme cases, the agency can involuntarily remove children from their home and place them in foster care while seeking to have parental rights terminated in state court.

"This agency has enormous power, and it shows how power can be corrupted if it's not strictly supervised," Kelly said. "I think the only abuse and neglect that was committed was by the agency, and it was from the bottom all the way to the top."

Jon Ebelt, a spokesman for the state agency, said Wednesday that the ruling remains under review by agency administration and legal staff. The review has been slowed by the Christmas holiday, he said, and meetings have yet to be scheduled on the issue.

Spear found state employees retaliated against Glass when she complained their actions were discriminatory. Among Spear's finding were that agency employees made false statements about the extent of Glass' disability, refused to act on her complaints of discrimination and withheld information about how to make a complaint to the agency.

The child welfare workers failed to conduct an independent investigation into Glass' ability to parent, Spear said, and imposed "different and more burdensome requirements on her" than on other parents.

Spear also noted that a story in The Billings Gazette on Feb. 20, 2005, may have been the catalyst for the agency to close its investigation into Glass.

"The article got the immediate attention of the top administrators at DPHHS," Spear wrote in the ruling. "In various combinations, they held meetings and exchanged e-mails about Geri and Gage, primarily concerning the public image of DPHHS, without addressing the substance or handling of Geri's discrimination compliant."

The agency closed its investigation into Glass 15 days after the publication of the news story, Spear noted in the ruling.

Spear also found that the agency has failed to properly train its employees in anti-discrimination laws. It is unclear, Spear said, what steps the agency has taken to comply with state law.

The state agency "knows that it has a duty to analyze its operations to see if it complies with Montana nondiscrimination laws," Speer said. "It has done no such analysis of (the Child and Family Services Division) for at least the last 16 years."

Kelly said the upcoming hearing on damages will include an effort to compel the state agency to provide training for its employees on anti-discrimination laws.

Ebelt, the agency spokesman, said he can't comment on whether the agency has training deficiencies.

"If there are training issues, that will definitely be reviewed, but no decisions have been made on that one way or the other," he said.

Original Article -

Published on Thursday, December 27, 2007


December 20, 2007

American children are not languishing in or aging out of foster care because of a lack of parenting resources. There are 500 married couples in America for every child waiting to be adopted, and countless singles that could also provide loving families, says Thomas Atwood, President and CEO of the National Council for Adoption (NCFA).

The inflexibility of child welfare financing is one factor behind the long wait times for those in the system and the record number of children aging out:

Under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, 61 percent of all federal financing allocated to states for child welfare purposes is spent on maintaining children in foster care and for related administrative and training costs.

This limits states' resources for other important services, such as prevention and rehabilitation.
Furthermore, only children whose original families meet the outdated, 1996 income eligibility requirements for the now-defunct Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program are Title IV-E eligible.

As these eligibility requirements have never been adjusted for inflation, fewer children are Title IV-E eligible each year, which continues to increase states' share of the costs.
Title IV-B of the Social Security Act is the second largest source of federal child welfare funding after Title IV-E.

Unlike Title IV-E, Title IV-B covers prevention and rehabilitation services and has no eligibility requirements.

However, Title IV-B is a capped entitlement program, whereas Title IV-E is open-ended.
Thus, Title IV-E represents a much larger pool of funding than Title IV-B -- $7.8 billion versus $721 million in 2006.

This asymmetric funding structure gives states a clear financial incentive to move children into foster care and keep them there, says Atwood.

Source: Families Thomas Atwood, "For All: Doing Right By Children In Foster Care," American Legislative Exchange Council, December 2007.

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"YOUR Columbine"

Gunman wrote of rejection abuse, and being suffocated by christianity as reason for revenge.

At times he was DyingChild_65, at others nghtmrchld26. But regardless of Matthew Murray's alleged screen name, he was always angry when posting to various anti-religious websites.

The 24-year-old Arapahoe County resident — who carried out attacks Sunday at two religious organizations about 70 miles apart, killing four people and injuring several others — exploded on the Internet between Sunday's shootings.

"Christian America this is YOUR Columbine," said the poster who appears to be Murray on the newsgroup almost four hours before the shooting at the New Life Church campus in Colorado Springs.

Police say Murray walked onto the campus hurling smoke bombs and armed with handguns, rifles and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. He fatally shot sisters Stephanie Works, 18, and Rachael Works, 16, before getting into a gunbattle with a security guard and finally killing himself, officials say.

Hours before, Murray opened fire in a dormitory for missionaries in Arvada, killing Tiffany Johnson, 26, and Philip Crouse, 24.

Between shootings, Murray apparently logged onto a computer and posted writings from Columbine shooter Eric Harris under his own name, lyrics from satanic rock songs and rants about being rejected, abused and suffocated by Christianity.

Authorities have confirmed some website postings; police are still examining other postings, including ones by DyingChild_65 on Officials from the organizations named in those postings confirmed some of the details Murray wrote.

A post from DyingChild_65, made at 9:33 a.m. Sunday, said he had been a member of the Denver chapter of Youth With a Mission, a member of the occult group Ad Astra Oasis in Denver and a staff member of the missionary group King's Kids Denver.

Each of those groups on Tuesday confirmed Murray's involvement.

Murray participated in several camps with King's Kids Denver, which does Christian outreach. The family that runs King's Kids Denver introduced Murray to Youth With a Mission in Denver, said Paul Filidis, a spokesman for Youth With a Mission in Colorado Springs.

"They said he was a special case," Filidis said Tuesday, agreeing to speak after talking with King's Kids Denver director Ronny Morris.

After Youth With a Mission officials refused to send Murray on a mission, the Morris family offered to talk to YWAM officials but Murray asked them not to, said Filidis.
Morris' daughter Veronica said, "We loved Matthew, and we cared for him the best we could."

Angered by rejections

DyingChild_65 did not feel loved. He wrote that he was angered by being rejected by various groups over the years.

"I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things," one post said. "Never inviting me to all your fun parties, never inviting me to hang out."

The killings in Arvada followed a night of Christmas revelry by the young people training to be missionaries, said Peter Warren, YWAM director. Murray arrived after the Christmas party, asking to stay at the dorm. He talked with staffers for 30 minutes before firing.

Later, on the website, DyingChild_65 wrote that he had looked everywhere for spiritual truth.

"All I found in christianity was hate, abuse (sexual, physical, psychological, and emotional), hypocrisy, and lies," writes the poster.

DyingChild_65 ends his rant by saying: "Like Cho, Eric Harris, Ricky Rodriguez and others, I'm going out to make a stand for the weak and the defenseless this is for all those young people still caught in the Nightmare of Christianity for all those people who've been abused and mistreated and taken advantage of by this evil sick religion Christian America this is YOUR Columbine."

Rodriguez, as a child member in a cult, was forced to perform sex acts. He later left the cult, killed a former nanny and then killed himself. In April, Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and himself in the deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history.

At least one visitor to the website was alarmed and contacted the FBI promptly, before the second attack, 9News reported the site's administrator as saying.

The FBI confirmed to 9News that the bureau got the warning about 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Murray's final posting on the website was at 11:03 a.m.

The FBI told 9News that after it got the warning, it contacted Arvada police. Agents were examining Murray's posts when the shootings at New Life Church occurred.

Carl Raschke, a professor of religious studies at the University of Denver, said he believes Murray was "under huge psychological turmoil."

"It seemed like he was involved in his own spiritual battle against the empire of Christianity," adding that one of the screen names, nghtmrchld26, is taken from a video game in which characters battle evil demons.

"I would call him a defector from the spiritual warfare that he was brought up in," Raschke said.

Asked to leave group

Steve Mariner, the president of Denver's occult group Ad Astra Oasis, says Murray attended group meetings for about a year before being asked to leave in September.

Ad Astra Oasis is an officially chartered body of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a ceremonial magic order based on the teachings of English poet and mystic Aleister Crowley.

"He was a mostly quiet, geeky young man," Mariner said of Murray. "He was a skinny little kid. He was your typical I-like-college-over-cars type. He was a voracious reader, as far as I could tell. I never heard him raise his voice."

Mariner said the group of about 15 people realized over time that Murray was not fitting in.

"It seemed like he needed some time to back off and evaluate himself," he said. "We could summarize it as saying the personalities were not a good mix."

Mariner said he was shocked when he learned Murray was the shooter.

"You are sitting there having a conversation with someone ," Mariner said. "We all have our little personality quirks, but you don't appraise them of being someone who would go off and do something this atrocious."

That Murray shot several people horrified Richard Werner, a missionary who bunked with him in Arvada in 2002, but it didn't surprise him.

"It was something you can't ever imagine, but it was so obvious after it happened," said Werner, 34, who now lives in Brazil. "It's just because of the way he used to behave."

Uncomfortable memories

Werner shared a dormitory with 18 other people, and Murray slept on a bottom bunk next to his. Now a cook who ministers in his free time, Werner said his time with Murray left him with some uncomfortable memories.

One experience jarred Werner enough to note it in his diary.

"It was Oct. 23 of 2002," Werner said Tuesday in a telephone interview from Brazil. "He was tossing and turning in the middle of the night, talking to himself. I asked him if everything was OK, and he said, 'I'm just talking to my voices.' "

The response jarred Werner.

"I said, 'Dude, you've got to be kidding,' " Werner recalled. "And he said, 'Don't worry, Richard. You're a nice guy and you have nothing to worry about. The voices like you.' "

Another memorable incident occurred at a missionary Christmas party where attendees grouped together and some sang songs in the talent-show atmosphere, Werner said.

"He just went up there to sing, and one of the songs was 'I'm One Step Closer to the Edge,' which really upset people," Werner said.

The Linkin Park song culminates with the anguished phrase "I'm about to break!"

When directors at the school decided in December 2002 that Murray shouldn't join others on a mission trip to Bosnia, Werner said it was because "people weren't comfortable with his behavior."

"He wasn't kicked out," he said. "The directors had a conversation with his parents, and it was decided it would be better if he leave."

On another website, a poster named nghtmrchld26, believed by police to be Murray, said he rebelled against an upbringing that forbade him from buying rock music, video games and popular DVDs.

He writes that he felt oppressed by the restrictions. The hypocrisy of religious leaders, he wrote, prompted him to rebel, although he feared "returning back to what is at least 'familiar,' into a system I at least know how to behave in.' "

In another posting, Murray wrote of a crushing depression that would not respond to intensive therapy or medication.

"This is the Nightmare that just goes on and on," he wrote.

Some postings harbor bitterness toward Youth With a Mission. He said the staff there decided to tell him one week before an outreach mission that they did not want him to go.

"The fact is, in YWAM, and christianity, it's all about the Beautiful People," he wrote.

Jeremy P. Meyer: 303-954-1367 or


"Sprinkled with tears"

Among the online writings purported to be from Matthew J. Murray:

Murray wrote of finding solace in cutting himself, describing it as "a beautiful work of art shaded in crimson sprinkled with tears as you descend into the darkness of loneliness (sic) and despair drowning and sinking with no one around, even when you're doing it with your friends."

He wrote that he found a "secret drug addiction," which "can completely alter blood pressure, heart rate, brainwave patterns and other bodily functions," revealing at the end of a page-long post that the "addiction" was rock music, and the person who had helped make it a powerful force in his life was Marilyn Manson.

"If you're an extrovert, and popular, then yes, there is plenty of love waiting for you in christianity. ... If you ask questions and want to understand things and/or desire a real and deep spirituality, or if you're just not popular ... well you are considered as one of the horrible people and are either going to be abused or kicked out by "holy spirit love filled" christians. it's all about the Beautiful People "

"I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. Never inviting me to all your fun parties, never inviting me to hang out. And no, don't say, 'Well, that's your fault' because it isn't. You people had my phone number, and I asked and all, but no no no no no. Don't let the weird kid come along."

"All I found in christianity was hate, abuse (sexual, physical, psychological, and emotional), hypocrisy, and lies," writes the poster, who adds that he is one of the "nobodies" "who just wants to be loved and accepted somewhere. I just want to be one of the somebodies."

"This is the Nightmare that just goes on and on "

Original Article and comments-

The Denver Post - "YOUR Columbine"