15 January 2013

Judge Rotenberg Center Survivor's Letter

Trigger Warning: Extremely detailed description of abuse and torture of a disabled person.

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This letter was written by an autistic survivor of the Judge Rotenberg Center. It was initially sent to Nancy Weiss, past president of TASH, and is published here in this version with the author's permission. The Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts, has been torturing disabled people since 1971. My friend Shain Neumeier and I were recently at an Occupy JRC protest of the JRC last week in Silver Spring, Maryland. It is because of accounts like the one below that we are absolutely determined to see the JRC closed for good. This is unconscionable and morally abhorrent.

The Judge Rotenberg Center received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month for their use of the new graduated electronic decelerator (GED), the device that administers painful, powerful electric shocks as punishment to disabled residents. They were called to a meeting on January 9th in Maryland, which is why the protest was held. Under Commissioner Elin Howe, the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services promulgated regulations last year prohibiting the use of the GED on any new students, but the GED is still legally allowed to be used on students admitted prior to their promulgation. The previous and current United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Torture, Manfred Nowak and Juan Mendez, have condemned the JRC's practices as torture. Yet they continue to be allowed to torture the disabled people committed to their institution. 

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Dear Ms. Weiss

Hello my name is xxx. I was told you are someone I can talk to in confidence and be safe. I would like to share with you my letter that I wrote to the FDA about life inside JRC and on the GEDs. It was torture being there. And I suffered so much. I am still tormented. Here is my letter of testimony:


    My name is xxx and I attended the Judge Rotenberg Center.  I am writing to ask you to please reconsider your approval of the GED for use on ANY human being. I was placed on the GED about 2 months after arriving.  I started out on the GED-1, and during my last few years I was placed on the GED-4.  There are so many of us that were tortured with these devices, this “treatment”. I believe the reason why more ex-students haven’t spoken out is because they are either non-verbal, afraid, or believe that no one cares about us or it will not make a difference. Parents and families that speak and rally in favor of the GED, are not the ones who have to experience it, the pain and anxiety, day after day for years on end.

    The GED IS harmful. Even the GED-1. I was burned many times, and I still have scars on my stomach from being repeatedly shocked there, by the FDA approved GED-1. The electrodes had actually burned into my skin. I experienced long term loss of sensation and numbness in my lower left leg, after getting a shock there. I felt searing pain all the way down to the bottom of my foot, and was left with no feeling in my skin from the knee down for about a year. Again, this was with the GED-1.  After complaining to JRC nursing about my leg, they told me to tell the Neurologist about it during a follow up visit for a suspected seizure.  He asked the staff what that device was on my leg, and they explained to him it was an electrode. After their explanation, the Neurologist said, “Well, I don’t know what that thing is, but it needs to come off.” JRC left the device off my leg for about a year, then decided on their own, without sending me back to a Neurologist, it was ok to put it back. I have seen students with torso electrodes accidentally placed on their spine area, get a shock there and be violently bent backwards.

     Also, I would like you to know that the devices have a tendency to malfunction and go off all by themselves. JRC refers to this as a “misapplication”. It happened to me and other students so many times I cannot count. Sometimes the GED’s will just start to go off and shock you by themselves.  Other times the staff shock one student but the remote can also set off someone else’s device at the same time.  I have also gotten accidentally shocked from staff mixing up my device with another student’s device, shocking me instead. Then there are the times when staff intentionally misuse the GED. I have had a staff who became angry with me and started pushing more than one remote at a time, shocking me several places on my body at once. I have had staff intentionally give me shocks for things I didn’t do in places like the bus where there was no camera to prove it. I have had numerous staff over my years there threaten me with a GED, antagonize me to try and get me to have a behavior they can then shock me for, merely for the sport of it. Staff can and DO use the GED to scare non-verbal students into doing what they want them to by pretending they are about to shock them.  Some even laugh when they do this.

     Many of the things I and others get shocked for at JRC were very small things. They would often shock us for things simply because staff found them annoying and they would keep writing therapy notes until our psychologist added it to our program. I got shocked for tic like body movements, for which I have no control over, and which don't hurt me or anybody else. I would be shocked for waving my hand in front of my face for more than 5 seconds, for closing my ears with my fingers, which I do when things get too loud, because I cannot tolerate too much noise. I would be shocked for wrapping my foot around the leg of my chair, for tensing up my body or my fingers, and the list goes on and on. There was a period of time where I and many of the other students were getting shocked for having 5 verbal behaviors in an hour. A verbal behavior is a minor behavior like talking to yourself, noises (such as clearing your throat), or talking without permission. Every hour would start a new block. And if you were pinpointed more than 4 times in that hour, on the 5th you would get a shock, and then for EVERY minor verbal behavior after that you would be shocked. If you talked out a 6th time, shock. If you had to go to the bathroom, and you had to go really bad, but you asked more then once, that would be nagging, which is a verbal behavior. And these were the things we were getting shocked for. My program was this way for a while. Some of my verbal behaviors I got pinpointed for were crying, talking to myself (even quietly), noises, laughing, humming, repeating myself and inappropriate tone of voice (which was based on staff's opinion of how my voice should sound).  Almost every time I spoke or answered a question, I was pinpointed with these behaviors. My reaction was to stop speaking, but they also made part of my program that if I didn't answer staff in 5 seconds, I would automatically be shocked. I was paralyzed with fear every day. No matter what I did I was doomed. I ask those who read my letter to think to themselves about how often they do some of these things while they are working. Twirl their pens, talk to yourself or think out loud, ask a question to someone nearby, hum a song that's in your head, laugh at something funny in the room. These are things humans do. And they are not harmful. Yet we were being subjected to terrible pain and fear for doing these simple things. One day, out of the blue, the case managers went through the building and scratched off this punishment from all their students recording sheets. They didn't say anything to us about it, just made it like it never happened. Although I can't say for sure, I overheard talk that one of the male students had told his lawyer and family they were shocking him for talking, and that JRC was never supposed to be allowed to do that to us. Whatever the reason, they covered it up fast. And even though they stopped, they still need to be held accountable for all of it. Because it went on for a very long time, and I suffered greatly because of it. People NEED to know these things happened.

    There was a time when I was there that I was on the portion program. This is where JRC starves you as a punishment for having a behavior. For example, my first plan was that for every time I had a minor behavior, such as talking to myself, rocking, wiggling my fingers, I would lose a part of my next meal. My meals came to the classroom cut into tiny pieces and divided into portions inside of a little plastic cup. Every time I had one of these little behaviors, I was forced to stand up and throw one cup away. There were many days I would lose most of my meals. And the hungrier I got, the more frantic and restless my body became. This caused me to have more behaviors like tics and rocking, and in turn I would lose more food. My mind clouded and I could no longer concentrate. I would often become so frustrated from this I would end up hurting myself.  At the end of the day, at 7pm, I was offered "LOP" (loss of privilege) food. This was made intentionally to be completely unappetizing. It was ice cold, and it was made up of chicken chunks, mash potato, spinach, and then doused with liver powder, then set to sit in the refrigerator for days. The smell alone made me sick. And I never once was able to eat it, no matter how hungry I got.

     It was very difficult to sleep at JRC. There are several alarms in the room and over the bed. Every time someone moved in bed it would set a loud alarm off that could be heard throughout the house. Most of us on GED's had to sleep with the devices on. That means locks and straps that get all tangled around you and make it very hard to lay down in a comfortable way. I was very anxious to close my eyes, always fearing a shock for something I might not have even known I did. My fears came true one day, and I was given a GED-4 shock while I was asleep. It was not explained to me why I got this shock. I was terrified and angry. I was crying. I kept asking why? And they kept telling me "No talking out". After a few minutes Monitoring called, and told the staff to shock me again for "Loud, repetitive, disruptive talking out."  The next day I asked the supervisor why I had gotten that GED. And she explained that staff had found a small piece of plastic in my self-care box, which contained my shampoo bottles etc, and that they considered this a hidden weapon. I could not believe it. I did not hide anything in my self-care box. I had not done anything wrong. Yet I was shocked for it, and worse off in my sleep. That piece of plastic, of which I was never shown, had  probably broken off of one of the plastic containers inside the box. And I was severely punished for this. After this incident I really stopped sleeping. Every time I closed my eyes they would jump open, anticipating that jolt somewhere in my body.

      I truly believe that the judges that approve us for the GED have no idea what it really is like.  All they have to go on is what JRC claims.  The GED does not feel like a “hard pinch” or a “bee sting.” It is a horrible pain that causes your muscles to contract very hard, leaving you sore afterward. I would often have a limp for one or two days after receiving a GED.  The devices JRC puts on us are not the same ones they show to the outside world when they let outsiders try the GED. Students wear a different electrode, a long one with 2 metal electrodes that radiate the electricity across a large area.

     Besides the physical pain, life with GEDs is a life of constant anxiety. I experienced heart palpitations daily, had a very hard time sleeping and eating, and became rather paranoid, always wondering if I was about to get shocked and constantly alert in all directions. I eventually became very depressed there and contemplated suicide every night. Now, after having been gone almost 4 years, I am still having nightmares and flashbacks during the day, especially when I hear certain noises that remind me of GEDs and JRC.

     I want to mention, similar to many other students, I was also tied to the 4-point restraint board and given multiple shocks for a single behavior. And if I screamed out in fear while on the board, I would  be shocked for that as well.  I was shocked for behaviors I had no control over, such as tensing up and tic-like body movements.  We were always having to watch others getting shocked in the room. Hearing others scream, cry, beg to not be shocked.  Students would scream “I’m sorry, No, Please!!” all day. I, like other students, would cringe and feel sick and helpless while watching others getting shocked.  I was so anxious about getting shocked that I would many times bang my head just to get it over with. The GED often was the cause of my behavior problems. The students that get shocked the most at JRC are non-verbal. So they cannot speak up. I feel that just because we were born different, we are not given the same rights to be protected from tortures like the GED.

     We are at the mercy of guardians and judges. When I was brought to court to be approved for the GED, I was not told where we were going or why. I was brought into the courtroom wearing a helmet and restraints on my wrists and ankles.  I was not questioned by the judge.  All he had to go on was my appearance in those restraints, testimony from JRC officials, and charts of provoked behaviors. These behaviors came from being forced to sit in isolation with a straight upright posture, in the center of a hard restraint board, day after day, week after week, for two months. I received no real help and no socialization. For those two months I was not allowed to sit in a chair, at the classroom or residence. I was to sit on the board. Also, JRC provoked me by not allowing me to shower during those two months. Instead of showers, I was bathed tied to a restraint board, naked, while staff washed me, putting their hands all over me. All in front of cameras, where Monitoring watched, including men.  Being tied on a restraint board, naked, with my private areas exposed to the staff in the bathroom and the cameras was the most horrible, vulnerable, frightening experience for me. I would scream out “rape, rape!” And these were recorded as major behaviors for me. When I first arrived at JRC, I was immediately subjected to humiliation and provocation by them forcing me to wear a diaper. I in NO WAY needed or have ever needed a diaper as an adult. I am completely independent in all toilet and hygiene skills. And they knew that. I had NEVER worn a diaper up until that day, except of course when I was a little baby. And that is exactly how they made me feel, like a little baby. I was embarrassed and confused and angry. I took that diaper off constantly. When I would take the diaper off they would mark that down on my chart that they would later show the judge as destructive behavior. I would often get restrained on the 4 point board for taking off the diaper and fighting staff not to make me put it back on. In these ways and more, JRC provoked many behaviors in me that were shown on a chart to the judge. There is no way the judge could know what was provoking my behaviors. JRC told the judges that their program was the only thing that could help me. That theirs is the only last resort treatment.

     I was considered a difficult case. I would like you to know that I am doing very well in a new program that is nothing like JRC. I don’t get shocked or put in restraints, and I am given help by staff and doctors that I can talk to. I am not drugged up as JRC claims I would be if I left. JRC made no attempt to understand me.  Feelings do not matter to JRC and we were specifically not allowed to express them.  I felt like an animal test subject there.  My new program does not punish me for my problems, that are the result of having Aspergers Syndrome. I have gotten so much better from getting real help instead of constant punishment and pain.

     I ask you to please investigate carefully into the GED. The ones that are actually being used on the students, not the samples JRC provides, as I have experienced them to be extremely manipulative in all things. There are no doctors overseeing us with the GED. Every few years they would drive me to a doctors office near Framingham, Ma, and not tell me why. In his office he would literally walk in, say hi how are you, and before you can answer he has signed their papers and you are shown the door.

     I have attached with this email a document I wrote called “The Board” which is about one of JRC’s worst tortures that they used on me and others.  I wrote it so that outsiders can feel what we feel, and hopefully to help others understand the agony of GED treatment. I invite you to read it, and I hope it will share a new perspective for you, the perspective of the ones that should matter the most, the human beings on which these devices are being used.

Sincerely,
xxx
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The Board
By: xxx
December 2012

     The most sickening, horrifying experience of my life was being shocked on the restraint board. What is the board? It is a large, door sized contraption made out of hard plastic, with locking restraint cuffs on each corner where your wrists and ankles get locked in. Your body becomes stretched spread eagle style, pinned tight, rendering you completely helpless, combined with an overwhelming feeling of vulnerability. It is a torture that you would expect to see in a horror movie. The kind that makes you cringe and scream while you watch. The kind you cant get out of your head even a after it’s over. Only this was happening for real, to me.

     They added the restraint board, which for me was 5 shocks over 10 minutes to my program after a few months, which means getting shocked 5 different times, over a period of 10 minutes for having just one single behavior. If you have just one of those behaviors on your sheet, which can be getting out of your seat without permission (even without doing anything violent), tensing your body, anything they decide to put in your program. A behavior is anything you do that JRC considers a problem. Anything from hitting your head, to talking to yourself, saying a swear word, rocking, even screaming from fear and pain of the shocks, is a "behavior". The staff grab you, put you in restraints, walk or drag you to where the board is kept (usually right in the middle of the classroom with all the other students watching and stepping around you), and than restrain you to the board. Arms and legs locked in. Then the terror starts. You have to wait for it. You never know when it's coming. The staff shocking you usually hides behind a door or desk so you can not see them. JRC lavishes in the element of surprise when shocking us. Then all of a sudden the searing pain and jolt in your arm or leg or stomach, or sometimes even the fingertips or thigh or even bottom of your feet.  Whichever part of the body gets shocked, it will travel throughout. If you get shocked in your arm, for example, it is not a "hard pinch" it is a radiating electricity that will travel from your bicep through to your fingertips. Your whole arm jerks against the restraints, causing added pain from your muscles being forced to contract against being tied up. The loud screech of the device goes off with it, and they say, "(name) there is no tensing up". One down, 4 to go. Your heart races immediately, and you sweat profusely. All you want to do is throw up. That ten minutes feels like hours. You try to prepare yourself for the next shock. I keep saying in my head, 4 more, 4 more. Please just finish please. Trying not to scream in fear because i will be shocked for that as well. It comes again without warning, next time maybe in your stomach, the stabbing pain runs from left to right, right to left, across your belly button area. Your stomach heaves in and you lose your breath. More sweat now. Your heart beats faster now than you can feel possible. I start to hope my heart stops. Anything to let me away from this. 3 more. But now it's even harder, I don't feel I can take any more of this torture. Besides the pain, it's the panic and fear in your mind. There were times when I peed on myself. One particular time I was put on the board for hitting my head the night before. They said because the staff did not "follow my program". They put me on the board. They shocked me repeatedly in the stomach. And when they finally got to 5, I thought "it's over". But then they didn't take me off the board. They gave me a 6th, than 7th, than 8th. They kept going. I was so filled with fear, not knowing what was happening or when they would ever stop. I went away in my head. I started floating. I had no more tears left. When they finally stopped after 10, they sent other staff in to "change my batteries". When they lifted the electrodes off of my stomach, it was stuck. They had to pull because it had burned into my skin. I still have those scars on my stomach. When they took the devices off of me to test them, I was still strapped to the board. Every time I heard the noise from the test, I cried and panicked. The staff attempted to comfort me, she whispered to me so they wouldn't hear her, because any kind of comforting is never allowed. I was shocked on the board on many separate occasions. One time for something I never even did.

    I lived this. These things happened. These things were done to me and I witnessed them done to many others.
     
    
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If you are a survivor, a family member, former staff, or otherwise have any past or present affiliation with the Judge Rotenberg Center, and you would like to talk to someone, you can contact me at lydia (at) autistichoya.com. You can also contact my friend Shain Neumeier, who is also Autistic and disabled in addition to being a disability rights attorney. Shain is a Policy Associate with the Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth, and is part of Occupy the Judge Rotenberg Center. Shain's email address is s.m.neumeier (at) gmail.com. We may be able to help or at least offer support.

You may read more from Gregory J. Miller, a former teacher at the Judge Rotenberg Center, in his letter to the FDA about the torture there.

50 comments:

  1. Honey you are a very brave girl and I hope that what you wrote here has GREAT impact on the world today. My heart goes out to you and many others like you,,Bless your soul!

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  2. Going to tweet this. #occupyjrc #opliberation

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  3. It's really disgusting to think that the most vulnerable people can be abused in this way for behaviors that they have little to no control over.

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  4. Thanks for publishing this Autistic Hoya. Is there anything more we can do for or with this courageous person who is speaking out?

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  5. You are very brave to stand up and try to get the truth out to people that can make a difference. I truly hate that you, or anyone, had to go this type of treatment. You are in my prayers that this will get to the right people and something will finally be done to stop this. Good luck with the treatment you are getting now and keep up the good work.

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  6. You are incredibly brave. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

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  7. I cried when I read this. No child should be subjected to this kind of treatment. I'm going to share this everywhere I can think of, more people need to read this horrific story. To the person who wrote this, you didn't deserve it and I'm sorry our government has failed you and hurt you so deeply. I'm glad you are in a safe place now and hope you will recover soon. We will continue to fight so no children have to go through what you did.

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    1. Please note that "xxx" was not a child when she was admitted to JRC. She was 26.

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    2. It does not matter if xxx is 26 or a 45 year old. 1 in 88 births results in autism. XXX has a disability. We don't even allow criminals to be tortured this way. This must stop and JRC must be shut down.

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    3. It does not matter if xxx is 26 or a 45 year old. 1 in 88 births results in autism. XXX has a disability. We don't even allow criminals to be tortured this way. This must stop and JRC must be shut down.

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  8. I feel for you and will keep you in my prayers. My daughter was there for a short time and couldn't tell me what was going on. I could see though, by the way she acted and looked. I won't go in to detail but will say that she was a happy, healthy girl when she went in and was a mess, lost so much weight that she was barely 100 lbs., was back in diapers that she had been out of for years. She didn't even know she was wetting herself and cried fearfully when she did. Unable to tell me what was happening to her, she was helpless. She was taken to the hospital once for not being able to go upstairs to take her shower. Their reason was supposedly that they thought she was sick. The poor child had suffered seizures that day that zaps the strength out of her and makes her very tired. When they told me that they were at the hospital. I decided to go to see her and was shocked by what I saw. She was crying and restrained. Someone from JRC was there but on the other side of the room, paying no attention to her. When the elevator opened, I could hear her crying so much and when I walked in, I took the restraints off of her, sat on the bed and held her. She continued crying, clinging to me and said "go home with Mommy?" I said yes, you're coming home with Mommy. The JRC person said that she'd have to "ask" her supervisor. I said that I was her mother and she was going home with me. Then they were going to punish both of us by not letting her come home for either Christmas or her birthday because I had just had her home. I didn't want her to go back but was told that if I didn't let her, she wouldn't be placed in a group home. I was extremely upset but gave in with the promise that it wouldn't be much longer and thank God, it wasn't. The home that she went into usually gradually gets their clients used to being there before staying permanently but I pleaded with them to just take her. Thank God they did. She's still there, loves it and they love her. I can see her whenever I want and take her home for visits whenever I want. What a difference!! At the JRC, she was so drugged that she was walking into the walls. She went there temporarily because she was having behavior problems and there was no place for her to go while we were waiting for an opening in a group home. Had I known what was going on, I never would have agreed to send her there. She was seriously physically hurting me but I still would rather have kept her home until a spot opened up in a group home than what she suffered there. She got points for bad behavior for leaving a room without permission even though she wasn't capable of understanding what that meant. I called every day to see how she was doing and ask if she was eating and they always gave me a cheerful answer and told me that she ate things that I knew she wouldn't eat. She was a fussy eater as it was, without them keeping food from her for whatever they considered inappropriate behavior. IT DEFINITELY NEEDS TO BE SHUT DOWN. God bless you and anyone else who is placed there. I cringe at the thought of what my daughter probably went through that I'll never know about.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your own horror story of your daughter's experience at JRC. I am so glad that you remained in touch with your daughter while she was there, and that you didn't just drop her off and leave her as happens with most students there. I truly believe that most parents who support JRC have NO IDEA what JRC is doing to their children, yet they keep fighting for JRC to shock their children. I "woke up" to reality far too late, after hurting the students I loved and thought I was helping for far too long. I gave my resignation, then returned only to deliver a letter to Dr. Israel telling him why I resigned, and that I would oppose JRC and the GEDs until all GEDs were removed. All that is to say that I am thankful and touched to read your testimony as an example of a parent who paid close attention to her daughter every day while at JRC, who recognized the signs, and who got her child OUT of JRC, to find a MUCH BETTER PROGRAM elsewhere. Thank you for sharing! - Greg Miller, former Teacher's Assistant at JRC

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    2. Thank you for sharing your story about what happened to your daughter at the JRC. If you want to be in touch with me or my friend Shain Neumeier (who is also Autistic and disabled, as well as being a disability rights attorney), you can reach me at lydia@autistichoya.com or Shain at s.m.neumeier@gmail.com. We may be able to help, and we are definitely available to listen and provide support.

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    3. I find this article to be completely outrageous. My name is Robert Rudolph and i was a former supervisor there and I worked with Greg Miller. From what i remember GREG was terminated due to his poor perfomance. If not i gurantee you Greg would still be there. This place deals with toughest students in the country with the most severe behavorial issues. Some students so heavily medicated they are unable to feed themselves. This place is a life saver for many students. Greg Miller is not a reliable source when it comes Jrc.

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    4. Well I find this whole thing a terrible tragedy. FIRST of all, why in the world would anyone think shocking anyone is appropriate? That is just unheard of. These people have mental problems, why would you punish them with pain of any sort? That makes NO SENSE at all. Has each person who administers these shocks personally taken one themselves let alone five or six of them. If not, I would like to know why each person does not try it for themselves. Robert Rudolph, have you been shocked? Several times over and over again? Life saver my butt...sick sick sick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember you will meet your maker someday, how will you explain that one. Each person knows what it looks like to see fear in a persons eyes. To repeatedly do this to them and think you are helping them, well maybe you are the ones with the mental problems....if so, try shock therapy on yourself.

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    5. Robert Rudolph, there is no justification for this kind of treatment, under any circumstances. It is illegal to do this sort of thing JUST ONCE to MURDERERS. How could it possibly ever be ok to do it REPEATEDLY to people who don't understand or can't help it, even if they are the "toughest students" in the entire world? You are sick, and your pathetic attempts to smear Greg's name and thereby somehow absolve yourself of guilt just make you look that much colder. I don't care if Greg got terminated for poor performance. Not one bit. What I care about is that these people are being TORTURED.

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  9. This is a shocking and terrifying account. I am horrified and saddened for this person, but am sufficiently motivated to do something about, and will be sharing this with as many as possible.

    Lydia - Do you have any suggestions for constructive action steps that we can take in our communities to help bring this behavior to an end?

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    1. 1.) Meet with and educate your public officials at the local and state level about compliance-based behavioral interventions, including aversive interventions.

      2.) Meet with and educate your local advocacy and disability rights organizations about the Judge Rotenberg Center and similar institutions. Include the developmental disabilities council and your state's protection and advocacy agency on that list.

      3.) See whether your state has any legal protections against abusive and coercive "treatment," and if not, speak to your state representative or senator or assembly member about introducing such legislation. Potentially pursue additional legal remedies, such as learning about the process for introducing administrative regulations through the state's relevant department or office -- mental health, mental retardation, developmental services, special education, education, disability services, etc.

      6.) Meet with and educate members and leaders of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties, or other similar organizations in your state about these issues in order to build a broader coalition of support.

      5.) Work toward challenging ableist attitudes that legitimize and condone these practices as acceptable when used on the disabled. This is a more abstract answer, and possibly not particularly helpful, but these practices will end when attitudes change.

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    2. The petition at change.org/shock is still active. There may be future petitions in the near future as well.

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  10. I feel like I'm at a loss for words.. I am so sorry for the treatment you received. What happened to you is absolutely horrible, however, I am grateful you are able to put it into words. Nobody should ever have to go through what you went through. Thank you for sharing this part of your life, even though I have no doubt it was very difficult. Thank you for speaking for those who cannot.

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  11. I feel like I'm at a loss for words.. I am so sorry for the treatment you received. What happened to you is absolutely horrible, however, I am grateful you are able to put it into words. Nobody should ever have to go through what you went through. Thank you for sharing this part of your life, even though I have no doubt it was very difficult. Thank you for speaking for those who cannot.

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  12. This sounds as bad or worse than anything we heard of in Soviet psychiatric prisons. Or at Abu Ghraib. They made you wear a remote-controlled shocking device 24/7? I can't imagine this even being legal. You should apply to the International Court of Justice, as this is clearly a protracted practice of torture, to people who are neither prisoners of war or convicted criminals (not that either of those groups should be treated that way). But this was supposed to be a MEDICAL FACILITY. What you are describing is beyond the pale, and I can't believe it--except I believe you, having read your words. You were locked up with sadists who played with their electronic toys to terrorize, injure, humiliate, and try to kill your spirit. It amazes me that you can even write this down, but trust me, your words are being heard around the world tonight. I don't know who to call, but I AM CALLING SOME PEOPLE TOMORROW ABOUT THIS.

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  13. I had thought that is what it was like there from the report about Andre McCollins. JRC needs to be shut down for good now!!!

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  14. Criminals get treated better than this. But then again, most criminals can speak for themselves and have lawyers.

    This place needs to be shut down. I can't imagine anyone, for any reason, thinking it is acceptable to attach a shocking device to ANY one. Animals that are being prepared for slaughter are treated better. I am sharing this information with anyone that will listen.

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  15. Please shut this place down. Please. Rescue these innocent people.

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  16. Can I help in any way from Texas?! I would even give someone a temporary place to live to escape! HOW CAN THIS BE LEGAL?!?! :'(

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  17. That's horrible what happened. There wasn't anyone you could turn to to help you get out of there?

    How did you finely get out of that hell; get out of JRC that is?

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  18. I posted a link to this article on my Wordpress site http://stopjrc.wordpress.com/ . I have posted many articles there about JRC, many wich site very reputable sources even from JRC its-self (using there own words against them).

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  19. I couldn't even get through the letter. I can't imagine what it was like to live through that hell! I will share this piece with some friends who are human rights lawyers. Thanks so much for posting.

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  20. When it comes to torture, I guess religion, treatment and the CIA get a free pass. Under the guise of help, people are forever hobbled and then blamed for their victimization.

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    1. America is a twisted mess. Torturing people with disabilities, families living in their cars while others award themselves millions in bonuses from public bailout money. Most of the country so twisted by their belief in an imaginary sky daddy that they reject science, compassion and common sense.

      Children are barely being educated, anyone not lily white is labelled "terrorist" or "gang member" and is locked up for life.

      Unless you're a white, neurotypical, ablebodied, straight Christian man then you don't stand a chance.

      What a hellhole. When people defend and endorse torturing CHILDREN because they dared to be born non-NT.

      America is proof that there is no god.

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  21. It confuses me that the employees 'gang together' to administer this kind of 'treatment'..Isn't there anyone there with common sense and the 'guts' to say "HALT!" This kind of treatment is barbaric. You wouldn't think in this day and age that there are people who willingly and knowingly do things like this to clients put in their care. I can't imagine them being able to go home and sleep at night after inflicting this kind of treatment on these people who are in need of care. It is sadistic! They all need to be strapped to this wonderful board and given the same treatment to see how they like it. In lieu of receiving the same treatments, they should be reprimanded and terminated so fast they'd not know what happened to them. The whole place needs to be closed, a complete investigation and if RE-OPENED, under new management, new staff, new guidelines with some kind of over-seer program. Bless you who are trying to do something to help the others and may your life be so much better, and may those you are trying to help know peace and improvement in their lives.

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    Replies
    1. I read a moving letter by a former employee of that place who now deeply regrets the actions he assisted in.

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  22. If you can, can you pass this along to xxx? My heart goes out to you, especially as a fellow survivor of electric shock therapy (for different reasons). People, especially the parents, have no idea just how awful electric shocks feel. It was very hard for me to get through this letter but I'm glad I did because I have such a deep respect for your courage to speak up about the truth, especially for those who can't speak for themselves. You are so brave to be willing to trigger memories and flashbacks in order to get this message out to people. You described it so well, I can only hope that your letter serves as a reality check and motivates people to do something about it. Harrowing doesn't even begin to describe it. Not only because of electric shocks, but the way you were controlled to the furthest degree. I know that even with your articulateness, no one who hasn't survived JRC can fully understand. I can't imagine being subjected to the shocks that frequently for such small reasons every day all day. I hope it your letter gives people just the inkling of an understanding it takes for them to stop pretending it isn't happening. I sincerely hope that this letter is the beginning of the end. Please keep us posted with anything else we can do to help put a stop to this. And if there is anything we can do to support your well-being and the well-being of other JRC survivors, please let us know.

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  23. Is there any interest in demonstrating at this place or occupying this place?

    vwcanter@gmail.com

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  24. Death to America.

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    Replies
    1. I'm American. Not all of us are sick and twisted.

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    2. Unfortunately, this is not an American problem. This is a human problem.

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  25. In my car driving,I turn on the radio and amongst the music a comercial for the JRC tunes in.I am the father of a six year old autistic boy.I ve loved my son since the day he was born and even more upon the fact that he is dissabled.....he needs me that much more.Just the thought of somebody hurting my son invokes in me feelings of anger and violence towards any entity responsible.Thank you for sharing your story and making it clear to me that I alone am the only one capable of dealing with my son ....because Ill be doing it with love.

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  26. This is how the holocust happened

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  27. Holy shit, I cried, sitting right here at my desk. Me, a 35 year old man who doesn't like to show his emotions. I should not have read this at work. We like to think the world has changed for the better, and the horrible cruelties that used to take place no longer happen. But this is not true. How can people be so HORRIBLE? They should have to feel all the pain and suffering they have given to others.

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  28. I didn't know. I don't even know what to do, but as another autistic, I need to do something.

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  29. I didn't know. I don't know what to do but as another autistic person, I need to do something.

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  30. Is Matt Israel getting some sort of sexual thrill out of all this?

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  31. I will spread the word about this story. More bad attention for the JRC means eventually Some kind of change

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  32. Tumblr will know of this travesty. Torture and abuse of disabled people, of anyone, shall not stand.

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