From: Andrew Phelps <>


Subject: Re: [s-acc] Re: community conversation experience

Date: Thu 10/17/13 09:43 PM



I like the post very much.

The concern is not that JFK had any single-minded passion about behavior management, rather it would seem he took for granted that process and then saw the focal concern of the "developmentally disabled." The story of our friend Xur who worked at the developmental center at Agnews in the late 60s, would I believe sustain that.

What Mr. Kennedy did not engage was the fact that "mental illness" is not a scientific conception, and that the general status of "social science" is pre-science. That contrasts with the perspective of ML King Jr. who explicitly criticized behavior management as not being practiced from the framework of "science." Martin called for "creative maladjustment" rather than adjustment.

On Thu Oct 17, Cde sent:

While President Kennedy may have had several misunderstandings about the nature of mental illness, I do applaud his efforts to do something genuinely meaningful about a problem he became aware of in the most painful of ways.

Good for him for trying ..

And I'd say the same goes for President Obama. His misunderstanding is deep but he does care to 'try'. The "community conversations" project is not grounded

in wisdom.

I agree about the donuts. .. I experienced that as occupying NAMI's behavior.


Nash's "Game Theory" and subsequent writings can only be fully appreciated by somebody who has been psychiatrically incarcerated by the state.

I have taught that, as part of "Finite Mathematics."

The concern is not just the breakdown in the system of analyzing and the consequent "diagnostic behavior" that is exhibited by people in the name of helping.

In addition there is the concern for community organizing. What JFK put into law was not uniformly implemented; there were variations. In Santa Clara County, for instance, the behavior management system was set up in parallel with the "community police" system, and "community" was interpreted by a "top-down" paradigm that does not represent very well the experience of the person on the street. Vro is the daughter of the lead behavior manager from that period; she participated in the PsySR conference in Boston 2010 with some of us, and she has worked to handle the problematic of "community control" being taken not as a system of healing but as a system of control and abuse