Aftermath

POETRY FORMAT, 5 Sep 2016

Leonard Roy Frank – TRANSCEND Media Service

1989

With “therapeutic” fury
search-and-destroy doctors
using instruments of infamy
conduct electrical lobotomies
in little Auschwitzes called mental hospitals.

Electroshock specialists brainwash,
their apologists whitewash,
as silenced screams echo
from pain-treatment rooms
down corridors of shame.

Selves diminished
we return
to a world of narrowed dreams
piecing together memory fragments
for the long journey ahead.

From the roadside
dead-faced onlookers
awash in deliberate ignorance
sanction the unspeakable.
Silence is complicity is betrayal.

_____________________________________

Leonard Roy Frank (July 15, 1932 – January 15, 2015) was an American human rights activist, psychiatric survivor, editor, writer, aphorist, and lecturer. Frank lived in San Francisco from 1959 until his death, where he managed an art gallery before he began collecting quotations. In 1962, in San Francisco, Frank was committed to a psychiatric hospital for being ‘paranoid schizophrenic‘ and given insulin shock therapy treatments and dozens of electroconvulsive therapy-ECT treatments. By 1972, Frank was staff at Madness Network News. In December 1973, he and Wade Hudson founded Network Against Psychiatric Assault (NAPA), a patients’ and survivors’ advocacy group. Of ECT, Frank wrote: “Over the last thirty-five years I have researched the various shock procedures, particularly electroshock or ECT, have spoken with hundreds of ECT survivors, and have corresponded with many others. From all these sources and my own experience, I have concluded that ECT is a brutal, dehumanizing, memory-destroying, intelligence lowering, brain-damaging, brainwashing, life-threatening technique.” (Wikipedia)

 

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 5 Sep 2016.

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