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A friend of mine (whose advice and sincerity I greatly value) sent me an email containing some valuable feedback / critique of my protest. The following is that email (posted with permission):
I have I read your blog. I support you and believe that you will get results, but I would rethink one aspect of your protest. Your sweeping war against "psychiatry" is not entirely wrong-headed but it is definitely premature and out of sync with certain facts. It is currently unwinnable. Take it our of your battle plan and focus on smaller, cumulative results, and you might bring substantial improvements to Friends Hospital and the way they serve their patients, and maybe even more than that. But you cannot expect one of their representatives to communicate solely by e-mail. The people who commented on some of your posts were right to advise that you meet them in a neutral arena and with a witness present. I would ask the representative to meet you on your territory, and with one or more of your own witnesses present. You need to show that you have credibility in a community of real people, so you must produce credible witnesses. Enlist the most credible people you know who know and support you, as if this was a trial--for in a way it is. And in a trial, both sides are under scrutiny.What is the "rigorous and fully transparent investigation"? Who would conduct it? How? It is unclear what you want from Friends and how they should proceed, but it is clear that you were wronged, and it is also clear that you seem to be on a combative, semi-messianic mission. Your letter has bravado, but your real bravery is on exhibit through your protest, and I don't doubt that faces are burning in Friends, because they do know (I would hope) that you're telling the truth. But if you want to get even more measurable results, you must show even more credibility and practicality. It is impractical for you to expect an ill-defined investigation that belongs not to you or them but the general public and victims at large and be conducted entirely over e-mail with you and with their full and unconditional cooperation. You are calling for them to conduct a sweeping investigation and to change their policies massively--to surrender, almost. They will not do this. So your response is a declaration. See if you can get something useful out of a practical, sensible meeting. But if you choose to stick to your ground and wait for the media, then abandon the war against psychiatry. If you are truly inviting scrutiny, then be prepared for scrutiny.You can do this, so do it right, otherwise it will not get done, I don't believe. I think you should offer to meet this representative at the home of a priest or some other wise and trusted counselor. During and after such a meeting, more options may be revealed. And your option to continue what you are doing now will not be diminished. And what you are doing is pretty incredible.
Well, he raises some important issues and I will address them once I have some time...