Starbucking the Trend

Don’t cry for me, Argentine: First of all, I want to thank the Pitch for helping to dispel the Wyandotte County myth and letting people know that there are wonderful, safe, quiet neighborhoods in Kansas City, Kansas (“Best of Kansas City,” October 19). Now hush up about it! Those of us who live in Argentine kind of like our bad reputation. We don’t want people to know that you can buy beautiful homes for less than $60,000. We don’t want them to know that we have award-winning schools. And we don’t want them to know that it is a safe neighborhood and that people still talk to each other over back fences almost every day. As long as people still think Argentine is a “bad neighborhood” then maybe Starbucks and The Gap will stay down on the Plaza where they belong.

Cammie Kramer

Kansas City, Kansas

Schlock Treatment

The damage is done: Thank you for Deb Hipp’s article “Could It Be … Satan?” (October 12). I’m glad someone printed the truth on these human atrocities. These psychiatric-based “treatments” are proven to be destructive and have been shown time and time again to be deadly. With their emphasis on electric shocks, drugs, punishment, and hypnosis, they are truly causing permanent damage to people.

For a full 13-page report on the recent shootings/massacres (especially in the schools) and their connection to psychiatrics/psychologists and in almost all cases, psychiatric drugs, call Citizens Commission on Human Rights at 800-869-2247. And once again, thanks for this most timely article.

Mark W. Manroe, DDS, PA


Devil’s advocate: I hope that Deb Hipp’s excellent article serves to alert unsuspecting Missourians about the recovered-memory/ritual-abuse/multiple-personality hoax. Patient John Neal and psychologist Delany Dean deserve much credit for their candid, courageous contributions to the story.

In addition to lawsuits or complaints to licensing boards, there is another little-known recourse available to patients, families, and hospital staff who witness psychotherapy abuse. Requests may be made to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, located in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, for a “public information interview.” The Joint Commission is the chief accrediting agency of hospitals and treatment centers. Hospitals need accreditation to receive insurance reimbursement.

The interview is then scheduled to take place during the triennial survey of the hospital. Information such as a hospital’s noncompliance with the commission’s safe standards of care, harmful treatment outcomes, or the lack of an informed-consent policy are considered by the commission’s examiners during the survey. Hospitals are required to publicly post the date of a survey and must inform the public of the survey dates, when asked. The Joint Commission’s Accreditation Manual for Healthcare Networks is available in hospital and medical school libraries.

I have found that public complaints made directly to the Joint Commission’s surveyors effectively circumvent the psychobabble often used by hospitals to defend their recovered-memory nonsense.

Karen Johnson

St. Louis

Step right up: Thank you, and about damn time someone had the guts to call the psychiatric world out. Deb Hipp’s article was long overdue and thought-provoking for both consumers and professionals who provide services. I caught the Schwartz/ Galperin dog-and-pony show when it came through town six or seven years ago. Like with the real circus, I was bedazzled by the slickness but was stunned at how many of my colleagues were buying the premise without question.

I would venture that if you compare the current most-used diagnosis from the DSM-IV with the latest fad psychiatric units at your for-profit hospital, you will find a correlation. Back when Masters and Johnson were opening units across the country, Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) and satanic-cult diagnoses were everywhere. Well, now that the fad has run its course, they have dropped out of sight. Where are all these MPDs who needed their own hospital units five years ago? Were they suddenly cured? Or perhaps the public is getting a glimpse at the therapy world’s nasty secrets. As a clinician, I believe in the principle of Multiple Personality. It is rare, and I have never worked with someone who fits the criteria of the diagnosis, in 15 years of providing therapy. I have had certain types of clients come into my office fishing for a diagnosis or validation from someone in my position toward that type of label. Often we work with very fragile people who are susceptible to what and how we frame things. I could have led those clients down that road if I chose, but I have found more traditional and far less complicated ways to help them alleviate their emotional pain.

The foundation of all good therapy is truth. Once you start the process with a lie, one can only add more layers of the lie. There are so many wonderful and talented people in this profession, and I hope that consumers will reward these professionals for the dedicated work they do and will hold the therapeutic community accountable, like this article did.

Bart Ewing, LSCSW, LCSW


Photo Realism

Worth a thousand words: I realize that the Pitch considers itself as being on the “cutting edge,” and maybe I’m being too conservative and typically Midwestern. However, the choice to print the photo entitled Gyahtei: Age in the Night & Day section (November 2) shows a complete lack of taste and sensitivity on your part. This was a feeble attempt for recognition, and if you were striving for shock value, well, it worked marvelously.

I’m so close to boycotting your rag altogether, and this may have been the last straw. Instead of attempting to be artsy, why don’t you exhibit a little class?

Name Withheld Upon Request


Book Notes

Lethem correct the record: Just thought I’d let you know that Luke Echterling severely dropped the ball on Jonathan Lethem (“Tic, Tic, Boom,” October 26). He reported Lethem’s first book as being As She Climbed Across the Table (which actually is his fourth book) and that the title of his fifth book is Girl in Curious Landscape (the word “Curious” appears nowhere in the title).

Seems like a quick two-minute scan of the stock at the local Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com or even a phone call to a bookstore could have elicited better information than he gave out. Glad to see Lethem merits a first-up in local announcements, but why bother if you’re just gonna mangle information willy nilly? Ah, well, thanks anyhow.

Christopher Sebela

Kansas City, Missouri

Hell to Play

Dark angels: Reading the Pitch by the flickering light from the fires of hell is never easy, but I still do it week after week, and to my surprise, this week I saw familiar names and faces in this particular area.

Thank you for the support of Descension (Around Hear, October 26); we truly appreciate it! It has not been easy being this type of band in this area. We have been ridiculed, and we have a very hard time getting gigs (some bands don’t want us to play due to our shows, while some promoters are scared of us). We have even been told we are TOO SCARY to play certain places. But Andrew Miller’s insight and appreciation of who we are and what we do is very, very awesome. It is a major plus coming from this magazine, because many in the Kansas City area seem to believe that the Pitch is THE paper to be in. The opinion on the street is that the Pitch is the only local paper that really has its fingers on the pulse of the local music scene, and Miller’s kind words were welcomed, even by denizens of the dark like ourselves. We invite you all, and anyone out there reading this, to see a hell of a show, literally, at El Torreon November 24.

Astoroth Occultus

Kansas City, Missouri