Pencil Urchin


From: Andrew Phelps <>

Subject: Re: [PsySR-humanrights] The Voices of Those Held in Indefinite Detention - Australia


Date: Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 7:36 PM


On Mon, 6/4/12, Ooo wrote:


With the High Court set to hear a challenge to the policy, Maris Beck meets people who face spending the rest of their life in limbo.

IT WAS after he was assessed as a security threat by the Australian Security Intelligence Organization and discovered he could spend the rest of his life in detention that Kanth began speaking to the balloons in his room.

Been there, done that.  I was renditioned to Washington DC in 1971 and psychiatrically hospitalized ("mental illness is a life sentence") because I was a "security threat" (my physician was "personal physician to the U.S. Secretary of Defense" and I admitted to "advocating for the NLF of South Vietnam (not:  "wanting to avoid the 'draft'")).  At that point, I started to consider the "balloons in [my] room." 

Being then a political activist in Berkeley, CA I was involved in politics the DC psychiatric security crowd didn't entirely grasp.  I formulated my situation to myself as "learning to survive a concentration camp" and I found a way to get the "SS" to behave sensibly from their own framework; I learned how to work my metaphors with social grounding.  I worked out of that "indefinite" detention and later, back to Berkeley; I am now headed back to DC this July to present at the PsySR conference on "Psychology and the Occupy Movement."

Madness, anyone?  HERE.  I found out that Wittgenstein had turned the logic of Bertrand Russell "on its head" [Tractatus Logico-philosophicus "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen"] - and that the "psychiatric security" did not have the intellectual 'muscle' to enforce their "logic dysfunction."  Years later I found that John Shotter had had a parallel experience (his career got stuck for 22 years "like Robin Hood" at the Univ. of Nottingham) and he came to explain its meaning in the language of "social accountability."

I think the upcoming conference will be an interesting and worthwhile "lived experience" - it will be a challenge to discourse on "Occupy" while not engaging by way of "pepper spray." The long experience of yourself, Ooo, and many others will - I expect - be rendered as new direction in the way mindfulness and then again integrity can be lived and talked. Anyway I'm heading there and my associates - who as client/survivors may need some funding - and I are looking forward to a creative experience.


ABO "Andrew Behavior Object"