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Psychiatry for Dummies
By Me
Posted November 20, 1997

Let's say Barnes & Noble sent you a book you didn't order. Call it Psychiatry for Dummies. It cost $23.95.

You wouldn't have to pay for that book. The law would be on your side when you refused.

Now, let's say a friend ordered a copy of Psychiatry for Dummies and had the book and the bill sent to you.

You still wouldn't have to pay for it. Nope. Not a cent.

Finally, let's say your friend decided you really, really, really, really needed a copy of Psychiatry for Dummies, because...well...because your friend thinks you're a dummy and you need psychiatric help. So this friend, in order to "help" you, gets together with executives at Barnes & Noble and forges a decision at the highest levels of the company that you must have a copy of Psychiatry for Dummies. Or else.

"For your own good, do you hear?!! And if you try to send it back, we'll force you to take it! And you'll pay the bill, whether you like it or not!"

Would you have to pay? Of course not. Never. Your friend (Do you really need friends like this?) would get stuck with the cost. Or Barnes & Noble would eat it. But there's not a court in the land that would inflict the bill upon you.

So why the hell is poor Shirley Allen -- tortured for 39 days before being dragged off to a psychiatric hospital where she patently doesn't want to be -- now being told she must pay the bill for her own incarceration?

She shouldn't have to pay it, even if it were $23.95. She shouldn't have to pay it even if she actually got some sort of treatment (which she is, bless her heart, refusing). She didn't order it. She doesn't want it. Case closed.

That this brave woman -- who has no health insurance -- is being told she must pay $500 to $1,000 per day for being kept prisoner against her will is the most damnable, wretched flipping-on-its-head of justice in this whole unjust business. Hell, Ted Bundy didn't have to pay for his own incarceration! Charles Manson is living free off the state of California! And they're guilty of something. But Shirley?

Shirley Allen ought not pay a dime.

Nor should the taxpayers of Illinois, already stuck with a million dollar bill for a siege they didn't order and didn't endorse. Nor should any other innocent party.

If you apply the same standards to this bill as to any other, then it's perfectly obvious who should pay for the "service" currently being rendered unto Shirley Allen.

The relatives who ordered this treatment "for Shirley's own good" should get the largest share of the bill. Let them pay at least 3/4 of the cost, for having provided Shirley with the unwanted service. Next comes the judge who processed their order. And the local, then the state police. Mr. Gainer, pay your share! And how about the psychiatrists who serve at the pleasure of the state? Empty your pockets, boys & girls. This one's on YOU.

But that isn't going to happen. And in the meantime, it could take as little as 200 days -- just over half a year -- for this "helping system" to devour everything a self-reliant woman and her husband worked for all their lives. That doesn't even count the legal bills, which Shirley also has to pay. Just the hospitalization. Two hundred days to turn a woman from an independent human being into a piece of social baggage.And these bastards -- knowing that -- are still looking into the cameras and claiming that the destruction they have wrought is good.

Since the busybodies (and busybodies with guns) who set this outrage in motion are not going to pay, let's you and I, please, put our money where our mouths are for Shirley Allen.

(As of December 8) There are now two funds for Shirley.

Money for the Shirley Allen Human Rights Fund, managed by Allen's guardian, can be sent to:
First National Bank
P.O. Box 19264
Springfield, Ill. 62794

Donations to the privately managed Shirley Allen Defense Fund can be sent to:
First Trust and Savings Bank
P.O. Box 350
Taylorville, Ill. 62568

This second fund is devoted to purchasing an independent mental health evaluation for Allen.

Don't let the bastards grind Shirley Allen down! If the meddlers who did this to her aren't going to pay, at least don't let them stick Shirley with the bill.


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20 November, 1997