For OpEdNews: Michael David Morrissey, author of The Transparent Conspiracy
Review of The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee
This is a frightening book. Much of it reads like a thriller, but unfortunately it is a true story. Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, a woman (despite the unusual first name) and a psychiatrist, describes her 15-year long mental, emotional and physical ordeal resulting from her involvement in leftist activist politics in Seattle, Washington.
Beginning in 1986, says Bramhall, “for some unknown reason, some faceless higher-up in one of the eleven federal agencies that spy on American citizens decided I posed a threat to national security,” and from then on she was subjected to phone harassment, wiretaps, break-ins, and even attempts on her life. Since she was never able to prove any of this (and how does one prove it?), she was also confronted with the disbelief of her own professional colleagues, who were quick to diagnose her as “psychotic” and gave her the choice of losing her medical license or spending a week in a locked ward at a mental hospital for observation. She chose the latter, though she continued to be misdiagnosed and over-medicated, which exacerbated her mental torment and had serious physical side-effects that lasted for years afterward.
Bramhall learned the hard way that her fellow medical professionals were the last people in the world she could be honest with about her feelings of persecution:
“The moment I mentioned the CIA, my psychiatrist decided I was psychotic and refused to listen anything else I said… Nelson’s erroneous diagnosis stemmed from pure political naiveté. He had no reason to come in contact with political or union activists, unemployed whistleblowers or the low-income street people that the police, and, I believed, U.S. intelligence, recruited as informants. Nevertheless, I had no confidence in any of my colleagues to objectively assess my mental state. I practiced in a totally different world from other Seattle psychiatrists, who automatically turned away patients who couldn’t afford their one hundred dollar fee.”
Read more at A Psychiatrist Searches for Sanity in a Crazy World
NOTE: The title of this post is a quote from anarchist labor activist Rosa Luxemburg