Letter to Financial Post Re: Frum Article

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@arcos.org)
Sat, 13 Jun 1998 06:50:41 -0400


Graeme  F.  Bacque
319 Dundas St. E. #408 Toronto, Ontario M5A 2A2 CANADA
V: (416) 368-3366 F: (416) 368-5984 Internet: <gbacque@arcos.org>
<<http://web.arcos.org/gbacque>http://web.arcos.org/gbacque>

Saturday, June 13, 1998

To whom it may concern:

 I really fear for the safety of psychiatric survivors, homeless persons and
other vulnerable members of the community as long as people like David Frum
are
allowed to continue spewing their misinformed opinions and blatant hatred
through the mainstream media.

 The six assaults which occurred on the subway system over the previous few
months (three of which involved suspects with no previous psychiatric records)
were unfortunare, but pale in comparision with the dozens of violent acts
committed in Toronto _on a daily basis_ by so-called 'normal' people. But does
this ever get mentioned by the proponents of forced treatment or other
law-and-order advocates?  Not half - and as long as this unbalanced reporting
continues there can be no freedom from either stigma or psychiatric abuse.
Survivors are clearly being singled out here. This is inciting hatred, pure
and
simple.

 Contrary to Frum's views, homelessness isn't caused by 'mental illness'
but by
a lack of affordable housing, legislation which affords Godlike powers to
landlords, and the total lack of any employment which actually provides
security or a living wage - or adequate income supports in lieu of such.
Psychiatric intervention is most certainly punitive whem imposed forcibly on
persons against their clearly stated wishes, _whether or not they have engaged
in violent acts - and  anyone else considering such a personal decision to
be '
not in the individual's best interest' is totally  irrelevant. Whose life is
it, anyway? 
 
 Likewise, imposing incarceration or 'treatments' upon persons which damage
their liver, kidney and central nervous system function, compromise their
immune systems, and destroy their body's ability to regulate its own
temperature (all known effects of psychiatric drugs) is most definitely a
civil
and human rights issue - especially when this particular felony is compounded
by the fact shrinks seldom advise their 'patients' of these damaging effects.

 On February 19 this year, more than a hundred survivors of psychiatric abuse
participated in a meeting with Dan Newman and spoke out with one voice against
the imposition of draconian 'community treatment orders' in Ontario. Newman
chose to totally ignore this cry for justice - and it is irresponsible,
hatemongering journalism such as Frum's which bears direct responsibility for
this. Persons labeled 'mentally ill' are no more violence-prone than anyone
else, and are in fact being subjected to violence as a result of
sensationalistic media.

Sincerely yours,

Graeme Bacque
cc: The Hon. Elizabeth Witmer, Dan Newman, the Toronto Sun