Author Topic: RotGASM  (Read 2823 times)

Golden Applesauce

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RotGASM
« on: June 06, 2010, 04:31:13 pm »
(brief disclaimer - this post and those that follow are written for the Principia Discordia language community, which employs some bizarre and idiosyncratic usages of words, phrases, and exaggerations that you might find offensive or disturbing.  We probably don't mean them that way.

This is the thread to discuss organization against the Judge Rotenberg Center and the systemic human rights abuses it inflicts on the children and adolescents entrusted to it.  This GASM is unusual in that it is not (primarily) an effort to spread humor and enlightenment, be weird, or troll people who annoy us.  Our objective is the cessation of the atrocities committed by the Judge Rotenberg Center: we are taking on a real, brick-and-mortar institution.

For reference, see my posts here (in particular the last couple) and the NY State Education Department report on the JRC available below.

Measures of Success:
Complete Victory will be declared if the JRC closes its doors and proper treatment and therapy is provided to its (now former) students.
Success is the closure of the Rotenberg Center.
Partial Success is bringing hope to the children being abused at the JRC or sharply reducing the number of children sent there.
Minor Success is causing substantive changes in its operating practices or getting a full-fledged media and/or blogosphere blitz.

The Five Prongs of Engagement:

I: Information
If the first rule of warfare is "Know your enemy" then the first rule of information warfare is "Get everyone else to know your enemy."  If you google "judge rotenberg center" the major hits are their own website and their Wikipedia entry - which currently looks like it was written by their marketing department.  In other words, the intelligent person with a healthy skepticim (exactly the kind of person we need) might see a damaging blog post or two, and then check up on the claims via Wikipedia and the company's own statements, both of which are great works of PR, especially if the researcher is not particularly knowledgeable about modern psychiatry.  If he looks no further, there's a good chance he'll come to the conclusion that the claims are overblown and that this is just another "cause" promoted by conspiracy-minded self-declared "advocates."  We can fix that.

First, we can fix the Wikipedia page.  This might be an uphill battle in that most of the criticisms of the JRC are found on blogs and forums, while its apologetics are found on its very official-looking web page, complete with cherry-picked citations for, say, why bipolar kids do just fine without medication.  News sites aren't that much help either; they mostly seem to try to be "balanced," which apparently means showing the pros and cons of dehumanizing child abuse, and they deal with the complex psychiatric issues with the understanding of a communications major being fed pseudoscience by a very good PR team.  The Wiki page needs to be updated with objective, sourced, and airtight documentation of the various problems of the JRC.  And no, no matter how accurate it is, the other editors are (justifiably) not going to treat something published by NoSpank.com or Aspies for Freedom as either NPOV or reliable.  Again, I recommend the NYSED report - it's damning enough by itself, and from a US state government agency, a credible and authoritative source.

Second, we can promote accurate, informative, and persuasive links on Google.  In particular, we should promote sites that give coherent and accurate descriptions of the JRC in an easily digestible format.  An understated 26-page report, TL;DR forum posts, and apparently biased blogs aren't going to cut it.  PD.com apparently does have the clout to affect Google rankings by itself (incidentally, we're still the #1 and #2 hits for "worst forum on the internet" without quotes) but we need to find sites worth promoting first.  Remember, Google shows the URL, title, and the first couple lines of the pages it links to; the links we promote should be persuasive even without the user having to click on them, and have a credible looking (if not actually credible) URL.

Also about Google - you know how it suggests search terms as you're typing in your query?  Right now, if have "judge rotenberg" or "judge rotenberg center" in the search box it suggests "judge rotenberg center X," where X is "mother jones," "wikipedia," "jobs," "reviews," "employment," "2009," "shock," and "deaths."  If we could get "child abuse," "human rights violations," "torture," and various articles and reports that condemn the JRC up there as well, that would be pretty cool.  Anybody know how Google determines search suggestions?  Can we just make a bot that spams searches for "judge rotenberg center human rights violations"?  (If you were wondering, Mother Jones is a news site that ran a series of articles on the JRC a while back - they might have more resources we could use as well.)

Third, we need a list of factoids about the JRC, with sources cited and a little information about how the person can help (see next point.).  This is intended to be the TL;DR summary of what the JRC is and why it needs to be closed down post-haste.  The intended audience is an ordinary person who probably has never heard of the JRC before, and the reaction we're looking for is the reader scraping their jaw off the floor afterwards.  It would also be a good thing to link people to - if someone says "Your extraordinary claims about torture require extraordinary evidence" we need to have a simple response rather than linking them to half a dozen sites that each tell half the story.  We'll also probably want slightly different versions for different target audiences, or at least for people who already have a decent background knowledge of special education.  I may or may not have something along these lines done sometime tomorrow.

Lastly, either I or someone else should rewrite this post the results of this discussion into a kind of "action plan" that can distributed / linked to to other people outside PD who want to know what they can do to help.  Probably should wait until we get a clearer idea of what we're doing, though.

Final note: this isn't a project that calls for disinformation.  The Truth is on our side, and frankly it is horrible enough.

TL;DR summary of what you can do: Find lots of good, credible sources, which we/you can then use to improve the Wikipedia article, influence Google search rankings, and create our own summaries for use elsewhere.

II: Rhetoric
In addition to fact sheets, we need specialized motivational material.  The most obvious are simply persuasive articles and essays that can then be spread around in the usual fashion.  Images are also good.  If anyone wants to illustrate some of the horror stories that come out of that place, that would be wonderful.  Again, I have a couple of ideas for comics and articles and stuff, but this is definitely an area where you can help - there are a surprisingly large number of good writers and artists on this site.

There is also the need for direct argument and refutation.  The JRC has a good media arm, and they publish "for the media" articles and responses to some news articles and blog entries, which are full of misleading statements, bad science, and even outright falsehoods.  (For instance, they keep repeating that they have a highly trained staff; NY state says that the majority have only a high school education and a generic two-week orientation that is the same for the people monitoring the cameras as it is for the people working directly with the children.  JRC claims that their high-level aversives are used only to prevent even more destructive behaviour; their own records disagree.)  We need refutations of their refutations, also written for the media.

Random thought about rhetoric - we probably want avoid the abbreviation JRC and instead abbreviate it as just Rotenberg Center in publications.  Because i) to many initialisms is a signal that a group has developed its own internal jargon, which indicates something of a exclusive and cultish atmosphere (count how many TLAs are in internal CoS documents) and ii) as much as I hate to play on stereotypes, the name "Rotenberg" just sounds vaguely menacing in a human-rights-violating, unethical-human-experimentation kind of way.  It also reminds me of "Röntgen" (a measure of ionizing radiation, the kind that kills you) and "rottweiler" (a scary fucking dog, guards prisons, and the second most likely to kill a child after the pit bull.)  The "Judge" prefix makes it sound more legitimate, so not using that when avoidable could be a good idea.

III: Networking
Possibly the most important prong: whatever it is that we're doing, the more people we have doing it the more effective it is.  Networking is connecting to sympathetic people and getting them involved in their own way, and taking people who are already involved and connecting them to each other.  The obvious and easiest method is simply to promote materials from sections I and II via social networking sites.  (Is that thing from TwitterGASM suitable for this / still working?)  While it's true that the typical Facebook user who joins a group for some social cause promptly forgets about it and does nothing, if we get enough exposure there's the chance that a reporter or editorialist or blogger or just plain profligate sneezer notices and spreads the message somewhere else.  And if we come up with something simple and painless for the general public to do, even Facebook might accomplish something.  Maybe something like a group for "everybody tweet about the JRC on MM/DD" or "digg/reddit these articles" or "politely ask Fark.com to run this story," I dunno.  I also know next to nothing about other social networking sights, like Twitter and the various social bookmarking sites, so if anybody knows how we can use those productively, post about it.

But more importantly, we can directly talk to people who can help.  I think that the main groups who are most likely to be helpful are:
-Teachers, because most of them really do care about education, and they all know how hard it is.  Sentences like "the majority of the teaching staff had only a high school education" and "the most common interaction between teachers and students is the hourly rotation of electrodes" are probably enough to convince most real teachers that what goes on at the JRC cannot be called "education."  Oh yeah, and most of them like kids.
-Psychologists and psychiatrists, because they know real psychology and the associated therapies.  That the JRC starts with the assumption that every kid can be taken off their meds, pulled out of every other complementary treatment, and given exclusively fringe behaviorist therapy with no mechanism for rewarding good behaviors, without any attention to side effects, and regardless of the underlying condition, is probably enough right there to get psychologists/psychiatrists foaming at the mouth, if only out of professional pride.
-Various mental health / disability / special ed advocates, because they already care about and advocate for these kinds of children - they just need to be informed that this place exists.  That, and they have networks in place already and are presumably good at activism and raising a big stink when necessary.
-Human rights activists, for much the same reasons.  Then again, they have a lot of other stuff on their plates so they might be too busy for this.  On the other other hand, they like to use examples of human rights abuses going on in your presumably civilized country to remind people that "human rights" is an issue that doesn't just apply to smudgy people on another continent.
-Weird people, the kind who read about the children who get sent there and think, "That could have been me."  People who don't need to read all the way to "Then they came for me / and by that time no one was left to speak up." because they know they'd be gone before the first three stanzas are up.*  The people who have had their own experiences with special education services and IEPs and child psychologists and know first hand how important it is that these things are done right and what the stakes are when they are done wrong, and that the children on the receiving end of these treatments are real human beings, not facimiles thereof.

The first two groups, teachers and mental health professionals, might be the most important because they have understanding of the issues in question, professional organizations, clout, and standards.  A letter signed by 500 mental health facilities, 1,000 educational institutions, or 10,000 teachers, counselors, and licensed psychologists is going to carry a lot more weight than one signed by 10,000 no-name internet activists, especially if we get recognized professional organizations on the letterhead.

I intend to write personal letters to a number of teachers and counselors I know from my old high school and current college (run by the Jesuits and Marianists, respectively, both of which have a strong commitment to social justice and links to a ton of human-rights type groups.  If we can get the Jesuits involved, that would be a major coup.)  This is another area where you can definitely make a difference, especially those of you who are current students or recent graduates - I have a feeling that talking to teachers, professors, and school counselors could be a very fruitful exercise.  They are exactly our target audience, and you already have a personal relationship with them.

Additionally, there are already a lot of organizations and bloggers who have already tried to raise awareness on the JRC or related issues - a March 2010 Boston Globe article mentions "31 disability advocacy groups" charging JRC with inhuman practices.  They need to be connected together into a unified coalition.  (I don't mean actually uniting the groups, just getting them working together collaboratively.)  This is an issue that has already gained some traction among mental health advocates, especially the ASD self-advocacy movement.  Off the top of my head, Mental Disability Rights International has written a very strongly worded letter, the Autism Self-Advocacy Network has written a letter to various official bodies, and Aspies For Freedom has already tried to do some kind of protest against the JRC ... but I don't know how much real follow through they've done.  They need to be told that a major push is about to be made, and that this time something concrete is actually going to be accomplished.

*I am not, of course, referring to communists, union members, or Jews, or at least not exclusively.  I'm thinking of the various modern versions of the poem with all kinds of additional vulnerable peoples thrown in.

TL;DR summary of what you can do: locate all the groups and blogs who have already done something or expressed concern so we can get them all working as a unified front on this issue.

IV: Direct Kindness
We can also write letters directly to the students enrolled at the JRC.  This needs to be done very carefully, of course.  The objective of this part is to try to communicate that there is always hope, that yes, even strangers care about them, and that they have friends on the outside - that is, to show basic human kindness to the people who need it most.  The idea is to try to mitigate the enforced solitude these students live in with some genuine human contact.  If we do this right it has the potential to be very, very positive, and it has the added benefit of helping children even if ultimately the school doesn't change any of its policies.

I like this idea because it isn't aggressive or confrontational; it's genuinely constructive.  This is the sort of thing we could get lots of ordinary compassionate people to do, and it isn't reliant on any kind of complicated media effort or iffy legal challenge, and requires no skills in organization, media manipulation, activism, etc.  I'm picturing a number of community service groups at various schools writing a letter or two each per member - that adds up quickly.

A word of caution: this is very easy to get wrong.  At a minimum someone else should review each letter before it's sent, preferrably someone with experience working with disabled children.  In particular, it would be a terrible idea to send any form of a call to action or any kind of religious message (they do not need to know about Ganesh, remover of obstacles, no matter how much you might think it would help.)  These children are not going to organize anything approaching an effective protest inside, and trying to incite them to do so can only make things worse.  That's not the point; the point is to show basic human decency to people who are being treated like something less.  We also want to avoid implying that we're only writing to them because they're students at the JRC and we think it's evil - we're writing because they are human beings who could use a smile.  They'd still be having a tough time of it even if they were at a quality institution.  Come to think of it, there are already groups who do similar things for hospitalized children, there's probably someone who already does this for children at mental health facilities.  If there is already a group that does this, we should use the networking and organization for this to help them expand to cover the JRC.

Also remember that the people we would be writing to range from profoundly disabled to average intelligence with severe emotional problems.  (I don't know what percentage are even literate.)  This is not the normal audience for the letters you usually write.  It would probably be a good idea to get some feedback from a professional in psychology as to what might actually be beneficial to the student we're writing too.  (Like, would jokes help?  What kind of joke would a person who mutilates himself to relieve stress find funny?)

As for names and addresses, I think we could probably get those from the parents themselves.  (It would be a good idea to get their parents' permission before strangers start mailing these kids en masse anyway.)  If we do approach the parents for this purpose, though, we would want to do it through a group that isn't confrontational or attacking the school their kids go to.  I don't think that names/addresses of the minors in this sort of institution would be public knowledge (or the names of the students over 18, for that matter.)

TL;DR summary: we (and a lot of other people) can write uplifting and encouraging letters to the people trapped at the JRC, and even extend the basic idea past this particular GASM as a long term effort to be nice to the Children of Eris everywhere.


Completely random thought: it would be awesome if we could acquire one of the GEDs that the school uses.  Probably not possible to get one from them, but I bet they have patents filed somewhere, and if we get the specs I'm sure we can find a Mad Scientist willing to put together a replica.  That would be a killer demo to show people - here, try this one.  BRZZAP.  There, that's what they call a "hard pinch" at the JRC.  The JRC doesn't let journalists demo the things anymore, probably for a reason.  The Boston Globe articles say they have a model that delivers 41 milliamps at 66 volts for 2 seconds (pretty sure that's AC).  How bad is that?
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Golden Applesauce

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2010, 04:32:51 pm »
Space reserved for resources, etc.  Also, the above post is within a sentence of the 20k character limit, so I can't add anything else to it.
Q: How regularly do you hire 8th graders?
A: We have hired a number of FORMER 8th graders.

Requia ☣

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2010, 05:32:12 pm »
Quote
The Boston Globe articles say they have a model that delivers 41 milliamps at 66 volts for 2 seconds (pretty sure that's AC).  How bad is that?

I'm curious how they control the amps that much, given that human skin can vary in resistivity by a couple orders of magnitude, it might be assuming wet skin for safety reasons.  If that assumes dry skin... that'd be real bad, a kid that started swetaing might die from the amps suddenly jumping 100 fold.

A car battery would produce (assuming wet skin) 42 volts and 42 millamps if the information I have is right (42 volts on the battery, and 1000 Ohms for wet human skin).  So yeah... those giant sparks when you accidentally let the jumper cables touch?  It's like that, bit worse even.  :x

I'd assume DC, since with AC you're getting real close to the ~60 milliamp deadly force range.  DC is safer (300 mA, at a minimum).
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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2010, 06:27:01 pm »
So, I'm poking around for some legitimate sources about the Rotenberg Center and I found a couple of potentially useful links.

An article on it by Education News dated Feb 23 2012. There does appear to already be some legal action being taken, an investigation by the US Department of Justice. As far as I can tell, the investigation could take some time. But, we at least know that there are organizations that are actively working against them, organizations that are credible. Like the Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies - Syracuse University, The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities - University of Delaware, and the University of San Diego Autism Institute. This site also has a copy of the original complaint letter filled by these groups, which could be useful.

I also found a pdf of a court case that the Rotenberg Center filled against the New York State Education Department. New York banned them from shocking their students, and the Rotenberg Center tried to claim this violated their rights. The ruling was that their rights were not violated and the Rotenberg Center cannot legally use their "therapy." We also have a very legitimate source that details exactly what was done.

Quote
Aversive methods include contingent food programs, the use of helmets on some children, mechanical restraints, and the application of electric skin shocks through a graduated electronic decelerator (GED).

They've also been caught in a lie, but I'm not sure how useful it is.
Quote
Plaintiffs [Rotenberg Center] contend that defendants [New York State Education Department]
improperly accepted allegations of mistreatment by JRC as fact in early
2006 without investigating their merits. With their next breath, however,
plaintiffs object to just such an investigation, asserting that defendants’ “rereviewed”
JRC to avoid negative media attention arising from the 2006
allegations. Clearly, plaintiffs cannot have it both ways, and their attempt
to do so must be rejected.

Golden Applesauce

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2010, 07:22:55 pm »
So those 31 groups are already aware of each other and working together, or at least co-signing a letter.  MDRI isn't on the list of co-signees, which is a little odd, because they're kind of a big deal and they even made their own report asking the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.  It's a little over 60 pages.  They did a couple of their own interviews with former students and staff but mostly used public sources, in particular the NYSED report and a Massachusetts report which I just spent the last half failing to find.  Did find this, however, which is a rather cryptic report on the quality of life in the facility.

ETA: Vene, the first link is dated 2010, not 2012.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 07:30:54 pm by Golden Applesauce »
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Golden Applesauce

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2010, 07:29:40 pm »
Quote
The Boston Globe articles say they have a model that delivers 41 milliamps at 66 volts for 2 seconds (pretty sure that's AC).  How bad is that?

I'm curious how they control the amps that much, given that human skin can vary in resistivity by a couple orders of magnitude, it might be assuming wet skin for safety reasons.  If that assumes dry skin... that'd be real bad, a kid that started swetaing might die from the amps suddenly jumping 100 fold.

A car battery would produce (assuming wet skin) 42 volts and 42 millamps if the information I have is right (42 volts on the battery, and 1000 Ohms for wet human skin).  So yeah... those giant sparks when you accidentally let the jumper cables touch?  It's like that, bit worse even.  :x

I'd assume DC, since with AC you're getting real close to the ~60 milliamp deadly force range.  DC is safer (300 mA, at a minimum).

Hmm, not exactly sure where the Globe got the 41 mA from.  The NYSED report says that the weaker GED does an average of 15.25 mA RMS with an average peak of 30.5 mA, with the stronger version having a maximum current of 45.0 mA RMS and an average peak of 91 mA.
Q: How regularly do you hire 8th graders?
A: We have hired a number of FORMER 8th graders.

Hoser McRhizzy

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2010, 07:38:16 pm »
[Edit: This might be related to the 31 groups you mention, GA.]  I’ve found a few groups that already exist that are potential allies (in MASS and other).  What follows is a mess-o-links.  Hopefully it's readable.

The Arc of Massachusetts (activist and advocacy group - ARCMASS) are opposed to the Rotenberg Center.  Executive director Leo V. Sarkissian spoke against Matt in a 2006 article.
Schuler, Rory.  (26 Oct. 2006)  Mistrust of center grows with title slips.  Tauton Gazette. Oct. 26, 2006. hxxp://www.judgerc.org/NewsArticles/mistrust_of.html
- ARCMASS’s page on ‘aversive therapy’ (all about the Rotenberg center) here.


A list of a few advocates who already know about the place.  Some have been working to get it closed. ARCMASS, Mind Freedom, MDRI (already a UN group). Also The National Disability Rights Network in the U.S. and TASH (The Association for the Severely Handicapped), The Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion; the Coalition for Transparency in Public Education (NY State Org.), which has a 2006 item page on aversives and the New York State Educational Department getting sued by Matt and Friends (which Vene mentioned).


2 Facebook groups:
Mass Students United Against the Judge Rotenberg Center
DOWN with the Judge Rotenberg Center


And some reports, PDFs, etc that are Wikipediable:

- The 2006 NYSED review GA is referring to (linked in the previous thread):
NYSED Review Team.  (9 June 2006) Observations and Findings of Out-of-State Program Visitation Judge Rotenberg Educational Center. New York State Education Department, Board of Regents. 5.

- The MDRI argument that the JRC is committing a violation of human rights, good review of previous investigations (also contains a copy of the confidentiality agreement staff have to sign - pg. 45; also linked in the previous thread):
Laurie Ahern & Eric Rosenthal.  (2010)  Torture Not Treatment: Electric shock and long-term restraint in the United States on children and adults with disabilities at the Judge Rotenberg Center.  Urgent Appeal to the Special Rapporteur on Torture.  Washington, DC: Mental Disability Rights International.

- NY Psychological Association Task Force (2006),
New York Psychological Association Task Force.  (22 Aug. 2006)  Report of the New York Psychological Association Task Force on Aversive Controls with Children. 6. [public pdf available through ARCMASS]

[edit - just noticed your mention of MDRI and your link.  Are the 31 groups mostly state and federal?  While it's based in Washington, MDRI is an international rights org... might account for the absence.  I still think the appeal is useful - it's an overview of the studies that have been done so far, interviews include therapists treating former Rosenberg students.  Either way, apologies for the overlap.]
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 07:41:35 pm by Nurse Rhizome »
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Vene

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2010, 07:43:31 pm »
A list of the 31 groups.

Alaska Youth and Family Network and YouthMOVE

Anchorage, AL

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Washington, DC

Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Silver Spring, MD

The Arc of the U.S.

Silver Spring, MD

Autism National Committee (AutCom)

Forest Knolls, CA

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Washington, DC

Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies, Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

The Coalition for the Legal Rights of People with Disabilities

Boston, MA

Cobb and Douglas Counties Community Service Boards

Smyrna, GA

Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities

Hartford, CT

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund

Berkley, CA

Easter Seals

Chicago, IL

Exceptional Parent Magazine

Johnstown, PA

Hope House Foundation

Norfolk, VA

The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices

Annapolis, MD

The Maine Independent Media Center

Waterville, ME

Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education

Hanover, MD

National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors

Washington, DC

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities

Washington, DC

National Association for the Dually Diagnosed (NADD)

Kingston, NY

National Disability Rights Network

Washington, DC

The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities, University of Delaware

Newark, DE

Respect ABILITY Law Center

Royal Oak, Michigan

RHA Howell, Inc.

Raleigh, NC

Self Advocates Becoming Empowered

Kansas City, MO

TASH

Washington, DC

United Cerebral Palsy

Washington, DC

Values Into Action

Media, PA

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Nursing

Newark, NJ

University of San Diego Autism Institute

San Diego, CA

The Voices and Choices of Autism

Lakewood, CO

Hoser McRhizzy

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2010, 07:58:43 pm »
This is great, vene.  Should have read your Education News link before posting.  (I'll catch up soon.)  :D


Huge thanks GA for getting this started.
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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2010, 09:51:45 pm »
One of my cousins is an activist and a lobbyist and I'll ask her if she has any connections we can use for this.



Additionally, something LMNO said in the thread this originated in, a lot of these kids come from poor homes where the parents can't afford to take care of these kids. A measure of success I'd argue for would be to have the facility taken over by the state or another entity like that. Kids can stay there and get real treatment and the parents don't have to struggle with a child whose needs they can't meet for one reason or another.
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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2010, 10:14:59 am »
I am a teacher. Please PM me if that's useful.

Also, on contacting the students, i think possibly the better method may be identifying major news sources in the area and having messages of support sent to these (letters to the editor.)
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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2010, 03:27:49 pm »
Wow, I am absolutely sickened by what I've been reading here

My suggestion:

create a blog with this url----

http://JudgeRotenbergCenterAbuse.wordpress.com

Chop up all the abuse data you've collected here - format them into short, easy to understand blog entries which get to the point immediately. The entry titles should contain the name "Judge Rotenberg Center" and another emotionally evocative hook.


like: The Judge Rotenberg Center withholds therapy to children who need it

The Judge Rotenberg Center restrains and shocks children for not sitting up straight


wherever possible, you want the entry to contain text from those reports, or better - first hand accounts of people who've been imprisoned there.


when writing the blog, always use the word We instead of I, portraying us as an interest group instead of an individual.


and most importantly: you need a call to action, some kind of hook which can translate the emotions you're evoking into ACTION.

you'll need a blog entry titled "Help end the abuse" or something to that effect, which contains the information about how to get involved.  Link to this post from every blog entry, so if you just got linked in, you are going to be encouraged to participate.

Telarus

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2010, 08:50:37 pm »
This is getting some good momentum. I have a quote I'd like to share:

http://technoccult.net/archives/2010/01/29/interview-with-neurodiversity-advocate-kassiane/

I met Kassiane while going to a Discordian themed party @ the "Pink and Brown Collective" housewarming (Johnny Fenderson, of P&B was one of the blokes who got the Parlour going, which sadly just closed).

She identifies as Discordian, and has an athame that is pronounced W-R-E-N-C-H, which she uses to project bloody noses onto street-kids who try to touch her animal crackers. She's witty, fun to be around, an incredible gymnist (and coach), and identifies as “neurodiverse” but not "disabled". Definitely worth a read. I can get permission to use the full thing, probably. (She also name-drops some orgs we can get behind us on this.)

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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2010, 09:58:01 pm »

Final note: this isn't a project that calls for disinformation.  The Truth is on our side, and frankly it is horrible enough.


I don't think it should be ruled out yet.

The Yes Men have had the truth on their side as well, but the disinformation in their pranks was the key to raising awareness. The contrast of the disinformation with the actual situation may be a way to drive points home with more entertainment, engagement with the issues, and efficacy in getting people to act than a more straightforward approach.

The level of interest and outrage that is generated with a prank, as well as it's humor value, could help get past people's yeah-that's-horrible-but-so-are-a-million-other-things filter.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 10:03:47 pm by Ne+@uNGr0+ »
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Re: RotGASM
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2010, 10:17:30 pm »
I just saw a blip about Bhopal on the news, which reminded me of the Yes Men

an example of how they might approach this project would be to concoct a press release which looks like it's from the Judge Rotenberg Center, in which they apologize for the abuses and list the steps they're taking to make things right [read: the reforms we want].

At this point, the JRC has to respond, probably by dismissing the apology (thereby drawing more attention to the points we're attacking).