Re: Million Mad March (fwd)

Liberty (
Mon, 01 Dec 1997 12:09:41 -0500


I am reposting my earlier comments to this post when it appeared before
on this list.  I am not sure if you were on the list at that time, so
here goes -- have fun!!!

  ------------------ Forwarded Message Begins Here ------------------

X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Light Version 3.0.2 (32)
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 03:03:49 -0500
To: Anitra Again <>
From: Liberty <>
Subject: Re: Million Mad March
Cc: "Homeless People's Network" <>



Anitra & Others,

At 09:29 AM 19/11/97 -0800, Anitra Again wrote:

>I'm heading down to the Homeless Women's Forum, folks, I'll check in
>later today.  In the meantime:
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>                               MILLION MAD MARCH
>                                 PRESS RELEASE
>  ---------------------------------------

Who is organizing this?  Is anybody funding this?  How are consumer/
survivors going to get to this Mad March, if most of them don't have
any money, unless they are into hitch-hiking, or worse yet (and one of
my nightmares), taxpayers' money is being used?
>    Internet -- The MADNESS family of e-mail lists, web pages, and other
>    forums has launched plans for a "Million Mad March" as our proud and
>    triumphant presence in "Walk the Walk," a national event scheduled for 
>    May 2, 1998, in Washington DC.

MADNESS family of e-mail lists?  An amorphous group of people that have
nothing in common, other than subscribing to an e-mail list thousands of
miles from one another, is able to get together on a global scale and 
organize a million consumers to march to Washington, DC?  Please, I hope 
you aren't expecting me to take this seriously, because I don't. Is this
(MADNESS family of e-mail lists) an incorporated group?  Does it have a
membership?  Who is on its executive?  Does it have real and meaningful
participation and input by people with the skills of this calibre to 
organize such an event without any money or resources?  What is this 
"Mad March" supposed to achieve at the end of the day? 

>    Several thousand people from around the world who are consumers/
>    survivors/ ex-patients of psychiatric treatment have participated
>    in MADNESS Internet activities since its inception in 1994.

More like a few dozen.  Many people have joined MADNESS over the years,
but soon thereafter, quit in disgust over that list's propensity for
flaming people whose views are the least bit different than the radical
vanguard of its regulars.  I will never go back on that list or any of
its "family" lists, so long as the same people are running it.  I know
many folks that I still correspond with over the Net that feel the same.
>    As announced by federal SAMHSA administrator, Nelba Chavez, "Walk the 
>    Walk" is sponsored by numerous US National Mental Health Organizations, 
>    and honorary co-chairs are U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
>    Secretary Donna Shalala and Mrs. Tipper Gore.

I hope they're not funding it too.  I am concerned about tax dollars going
to questionable causes, such as this one.  Where is the Republican Congress
when we need it, to put a squelch to this one?
>    Dr. Chavez promoted the Walk as a partnership in support of the common
>    cause of "dispelling myths about people with mental illness." In response
>    to this request, during Walk the Walk on May 2, MADNESS will foster the
>    bringing together of people who have used psychiatric services to:
>    * dispel the myths about us by being there ourselves as equal partners.

Do you REALLY think something like this will eliminate stigma?  If so, how?

>    May 2 will be not only a walk in Washington, D.C., but an international 
>    Day of Madness. User/survivors of psychiatric services on the MADNESS 
>    forums invite all mad people everywhere to join us in a Million Mad

So, where do I meet the five or six people in Canada that will probably be
making a desperate trek to Ottawa on this day?

>    According to Sylvia Caras, MADNESS founder, "Since 1994, we have
>    views and mutual support over the Internet. Our original mailing list
>    called MADNESS now includes our web sites, IRC Chat, and 12 specialized
>    lists. Under the umbrella of our web site MADNATION 
>    ( we are calling for participation of consumer/ 
>    survivors around the world. It is our intention to be a visible presence 
>    in 'Walk the Walk,' and to raise our international voice as people who 
>    experience mood swings, fears, voices and visions."

I visited that web site and I am not impressed that the views espoused on
it are representative of the majority of people who have been involved in
the mental health matrix.  I would be interested in seeing a web site that
will bring consumers together that have an interest in getting themselves
and their peers off apparent permanent dependency on government support.
>    (a discussion list
>                                                   for user/survivors)
>    (auto-responder with up-to-dateplans)
>    (e-mail about Australian plans)
>    (e-mail about Canadian plans)

I suppose people can do what they want, but there does not seem to be an
elected body that is steering this event, or is there? If so, who elected 
them? And, who does this body - elected or not - purport to represent?    

>    Please use this Million Mad March announcement to spread the word. 
>    Post it to your favorite e-mail lists, newspapers, and friends.

I don't see why I should. This release offered very little information
about this so-called event.  I would need to know a lot more about this
event than there is outlined in this flyer, and yes - I have been to the
web site, and there does not seem to be much information provided there

I am not trying to be a party pooper, but when I subscribed to Madness a
little over a year ago, there have many similar grandiose plans in the
works, that never took off the ground, simply because organizing by e-mail
the same six or seven people with little or no resources, does not work.  

----------------------- Forwarded Message Ends -----------------------------

At 10:09 AM 01/12/97 -0500, Bruce D. Burleson wrote:
>Thought folks on the Homeless list ought to know about this.
>I'm hoping to make it to this event.
>:) Bruce
<snipped for brevity, and to cut down on redundancy>