Open Letter to Governor Tim Pawlenty re psychiatric abuse

November 8, 2008:

Dear Governor Pawlenty –

One of your citizens there in Minnesota, a Mr. Ray Sanford, has been forced to undergo weekly electro-shock therapy (ECT) for several months, against his will, by court order, on an outpatient basis.

Will you please investigate this abuse of his human rights and common decency?

According to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, passed in 1948, every human on earth (much less Minnesota) has the right not to be tortured or made to endure treatment he does not want:

Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Please do the humanitarian thing and investigate this with an eye toward putting an end to it.


Jere Matlock

3 Responses to Open Letter to Governor Tim Pawlenty re psychiatric abuse

  1. Owner November 10, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    Autoresponse from Gov. Tim Pawlenty:

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    We’ll see if anything happens….

  2. Grahame November 10, 2008 at 11:52 am #

    Wow! Forced ECT? That is horrific. To be forced to undergo a treatment that is so damaging they have to give you a muscle relaxant plus put a wedge into your mouth to stop you breaking your teeth is truly a violation of human rights.

  3. Jere Matlock October 25, 2009 at 4:50 pm #

    An update to this story from October 25, 2009:

    I just received word that Ray Sanford has been granted a change of guardianship, and has been promised by his new guardian that he will not receive any more electro-shock “therapy”; never again will he be subjected to high voltage flowing through his brain.

    His last ECT “treatment” (I can’t bring myself to call zapping someone’s brain with electricity a “treatment” without putting it in quotes) was on April 15th, 2009. By coincidence, that happens to be the anniversary of the day back in 1938 when, in Italy, the first forced electroshock patient cried out, “Non una seconda! Mortifiere!” (“Not another! It’s deadly!”) Of course the psychs started giving electroshocks to people after they saw how well it make pigs tractable during the slaughtering process; even if it didn’t quite kill the pigs, it rendered them incapable of defending themselves or fighting for their lives (as pigs, and people, will do when cornered).

    As a Scientologist and student of the mind and spirit for the greater part of my life, I am always appalled that anyone could even pretend to think that such things as shock “treatments” and lobotomies could be considered in any way beneficial for a patient. When you know what these “treatments” actually do to a mind and to the spirit running that mind and body, you become outraged at the callous indifference to suffering, and the betrayal in the name of help, that psychiatry has embraced wholeheartedly. The modern-day equivalents to these barbaric practices, which as you can see from Ray’s case, continue even into today, are the chemical attempts to override and suppress the natural proclivities of kids, by prescribing them psychiatric drugs that carry warning labels advising that they CAUSE suicidal ideation and can cause heart attacks, stroke and other diseases.

    We’ve had a nice win, thanks to the people over at Mind Freedom and to the many volunteers who pestered Governor Pawlenty and others, and brought enough light to the attrocity of Ray’s torment by his captors to create enough public outcry to prevent Ray from further abuse at the hands of his court-appointed psychiatrist.

    Let’s use that win as a stepping-stone to more activity and more outrage. It’s time to move on to help the millions of kids in America who are being poisoned, limited and constrained by psych meds pretending to be help, for money.

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