Sunday, December 27, 2009

09-12-27 Punitive psychiatry in the Soviet Union and in the US


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

психушка (slang)
Russian term
psychiatric hospital
In the Soviet Unionpsychiatry was used for punitive purposes. Psychiatric hospitals were often used by the authorities as prisons in order to isolate political prisoners from the rest of society, discredit their ideas, and break them physically and mentally; as such they were considered a form of torture.[1]
Psikhushka (Russianпсихушка) is a Russian colloquialism for psychiatric hospital. It has been occasionally used in English since the dissident movement in the Soviet Union became known in the West.


Psikhushkas had been already used since the end of the 1940s (see Alexander Esenin-Volpin) and during the Khrushchev Thaw period in the 1960s. One of the first psikhushkas was the Psychiatric Prison Hospital in the city of Kazan. It was transferred to NKVD control in 1939 under the order of Lavrentiy Beria[2] On April 29, 1969 the head of KGBYuri Andropov, submitted to the Central Committee of CPSU a plan for creating a network of psikhushkas.[3]
The official Soviet psychiatry allegedly abused the diagnosis of sluggishly progressing schizophrenia (вялотекущая шизофрения), a special form of the illness that supposedly affects only the person's social behavior, with no trace of other traits: "most frequently, ideas about astruggle for truth and justice are formed by personalities with a paranoid structure," according to the Moscow Serbsky Institute professors (a quote [4] from Vladimir Bukovsky's archives). Some of them had high rank in the MVD, such as the infamous Danil Luntz, who was characterized by Viktor Nekipelov as "no better than the criminal doctors who performed inhuman experiments on the prisoners in Naziconcentration camps[4].
The sane individuals who were diagnosed as mentally ill were sent either to regular psychiatric hospitals or, those deemed particularly dangerous, to special ones, run directly by the MVD. The treatment included various forms of restraint, electric shocks, electromagnetic torture[clarification needed], radiation torture[clarification needed], entrapment, servitude, a range of drugs (such as narcoticstranquilizers, andinsulin) that cause long lasting side effects, and sometimes involved beatings. Nekipelov describes inhuman uses of medical procedures such as lumbar punctures.
At least 365 sane people were treated for "politically defined madness" in the Soviet Union, and there were surely hundreds more [4].

Current practice in the US

In recent years the custom has been increasingly used in the United States, or at least - the evidence showed it was used in Los Angeles County. Two recent inmates in the Los Angeles Central Men's jail were attorneys who filed complaints against corrupt California judges in United States courts. One - Richard Isaac Fine is held for 10 month (as of December 2009) under false hospitalization with no warrant at all.[15]. The other - Ronald Gottschalk was help from about October 8, 2009 to November 6, 2009 in a psychiatric ward. [16]. In parallel, the Los Angeles County California Sheriff Department has refused to allow access to arrest and booking papers of the two inmates, as required by California Public Records Act [17].
In his case as well- there was no warrant at all. Although no statistics are available regarding the practice, anecdotal evidence from Los Angeles County and elsewhere suggested that it was much more common than the public may believe. The practice is doubly effective, since after such forced psychiatric hospitalization, and diagnosis by prison staff that the prisoner is mentally unstable, any future damaging evidence he/she would present would be undermined.

Linked Records:
15. ^ See: Booking No.: 1824367 Last Name: FINE First Name: RICHARD Middle Name: I at: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
16 ^ See: Booking No.: 2088144 Last Name: GOTTSCHALK First Name: RONALD Middle Name: NORTON at: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
17 ^

09-12-27 Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Richard Isaac Fine

Richard Fine_ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _Montclair Plaza

Review of the back and forth in re: Deleting any mention of Richard Isaac Fine from Wikipedia was instructive.  It demonstrated clearly that there were two parallel realities. It also brought into focus what the differences between them were. The five main points that were repeatedly removed, no matter what:
1) Richard Fine started his legal career as a US prosecutor in the anti-trust division of the US Department of Justice, and was assigned in that job to investigate matters in Los Angeles. Richard Fine later founded the anti-trust office of the City of Los Angeles, serving the city in that capacity.
2)  Richard Fine was disbarred on a charge of Moral Turpitude - albeit in an unprecedented creative liberal construction, Moral Turpitude encompassed filing complaints against California state judges for corruption.
3) Retroactive Immunities/Pardons were enacted in February 2009 - to all Los Angeles judges - as the outcome of the exposure by Richard Fine of payments to such judges, which were "not permitted".
4) No warrant was ever issued for the arrest of Richard Fine - although he has been confined for ten months by now.
5) Richard Fine was denied access to pen and paper - therefore he could neither write nor sign either his habeas corpus or his petition to the US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit.
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Richard Isaac Fine [1]

The original reason claimed for deletion - "local story". Later, "lacking notability" was added.  A quick link for the difference between the current and a previous version I entered was provided below [2] Below are some of my comments:

  • OPPOSE DELETE - keep wikipedia in touch with reality...
I was the one who initiated the article, albeit it was edited, modified, added to etc by others. I challenge the move to delete on the following grounds:

1) The man reversed or prevented single handed over a billion dollars in false taxation on Californians. Not a feat that could be claimed by many.
2) Starting 2001, the man single handed exposed, advertised and denounced the secret payments to all ~450 judges and ~120 commissioners in Los Angeles that required pardons for civil and criminal liabilities for all judges and commissioners. This is the most populous county in the US,with more than 10 million residents, and the largest superior court in the US. In such county, and such court - all judges were in fact declared pardoned criminals. The story this far already was worthy of inclusion in wikipedia - it was unprecedented in US history.
3) Less than two weeks after the signing of the pardons on February 20, 2009, the man was arrested with no warrant, while appearing in court, and he has been held with no conviction and no sentencing ever since, under the guise of false hospitalization, with no medical justification. That too, I hope, was not common, albeit, I have not data regarding the prevalence of human rights abuses of this sort in the US. It is exactly the kind of data that were often deleted from wikipedia and other published sources. (see below)
It would be regrettable if wikipedia decided to delete this article, but would also be a repeat of my experience in an attempt to mention extreme Human Rights abuses that took place under Katrina in the article on Human Rights in the US. A one sentence mention, in a multi page article, which referenced articles in the Nation and a UN official report, was repeatedly attacked and deleted, to the point that I found it worthless to insist on its inclusion. The human rights abuses that were referenced there were most likely the worst in the US in the past decade. Prisoners were left to drown in their cells, the guards left them locked when the water was rising, and abandoned the prison. You could not find the story ever mentioned in the English version wikipedia, with pages and pages on human rights virtues of the US. If the trend goes on, you were likely to find the English Wikipedia supporting education of young Americans in a bubble that is out of touch with reality as perceived by the rest of mankind. Deletion of the Richard Fine story, would confirm a picture of wikipedia trying to portray the US as clean and good as mom and apple pie. It just ain't the reality, folks.
I hope you share a vision of wikipedia as a place where people, especially young people can go and find true data on significant subjects. Not only celebrity stories and trivia pursuit. We have sufficient other sources for that.
The story was referenced in brief under biography of Carlos R. Moreno,in wikipedia, as the reason that undermined his credibility as US Supreme Court candidate. Surely it was no "local story."
Finally - I invite anybody to google the web for Richard Fine and see the level of interest around the country in the story. However, many of the sites can be confusing in providing partial information, and not allowing to grasp the full story. There was need for one place where people could get a short, reliable information on the story as a whole -that was exactly the function of a good encyclopedia.
Suggested action - I hope that the article would not be deleted, it would be a sign of politization, in the worst sense of the word, of wikipedia. I would be grateful for any constructive suggestions. I could make efforts to beef the article up with more references, albeit, it already had many more references, but some were deleted by others.
I request that the issue be forwarded for moderation using whatever procedures were available in Wikipedia.
InproperinLA (talk) 09:16, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Delete:
I find it difficult to accept the comment above at face value. "the single event" has lasted more than a decade. It involved the urgent need to issue pardons to ALL judges of the largest superior court in the US, in fact - declaring them pardoned criminals. It is unprecedented in US history. Calling is lacking in notability is just not credible criticism.
It goes more along the lines of deleting from the English wikipedia uncomfortable facts about the U.S. - example - the Katrina Human Rights atrocities mentioned above. I guess it was also, local, single event, was never reported in US media in any significant way, therefore - was lacking in notability... Only difference - in the Katrina story, the victims were dead, the living persons criticism could not be used.
It would be really unfortunate if one could find these stories in the non-English wikipedia, but not in the English version.
InproperinLA (talk) 00:54, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose delete
I guess by wiki standards I was the creator or progenitor, however, many others changed, edited, added and deleted, to the point that I could not call it my own child. Also, in view of the comments above, and with generous and gracious help from PMJ, the article was now transformed into a new trim and slim figure, regardless of holidays overeating!
A major mop up job on the references, in view of comments above, and again - PMJ's helpful hints - is still planned for this long holiday weekend.
Therefore - I suggest that anybody interested in the discussion above take a look at the article again
In case deletion is still on the agenda - I request moderation following whatever procedures are available in wikipedia.
InproperinLA (talk) 21:04, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Delete
After reading and writing, i browsed a bit the list of proposed deletions in this site, and found here at #82 Montclair plaza - a shopping mall that I happen to know and love. However, I never considered it notable enough to be an entry in an encyclopedia. I was not sure what the final editors' consensus was regarding my favorite shopping experience, but finding it here surely gave me an entirely new perspective on the nature of wikipedia. In view of possible, or likely notability of Montclair Plaza, I would repeat my request: In case deletion is still on the agenda - I request moderation following whatever procedures are available in wikipedia.
InproperinLA (talk) 21:17, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Keep in the version linked below:
Quick link for review of the difference between the current and above versions:
Regarding striking out and such - I thought this was not going by popularity vote, so what the striking out for? The "Keep" title is to indicate the content of the opinion, not meant as a vote.
As to opinion: I suggest that Richard Fine be declared a shopping mall, which would be as close to to the true fact in this matter as the current exposition in wikipedia. As a shopping mall he would also be automatically notable. 19:50, 27 December 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added byInproperinLA (talk • contribs)

Linked Records: