About

About the name:

According to wikipedia:

Lunatic fringe is a pejorative term used to characterize members of a usually political or social movement espousing extreme, eccentric, or fanatical views. It was coined by the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, to marginalize American anarchists.” ~wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunatic_fringe

There need be little mystery as to the  inspiration for the title of this web blog.  Annoyed by the song “Lunatic Fringe“, by the Canadian band Red Rider, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to turn the message of the piece on its head, and give an aggressive twist to the term. What better way is there to express your mad pride than by turning up your nose at public opinion and expectation with just such an expression!

The lyrics of this song I’ve posted below:

Lunatic Fringe
from the Red Rider LP “As Far As Siam”
1981

Lunatic fringe
I know you’re out there
You’re in hiding
And you hold your meetings
We can hear you coming
We know what you’re after
We’re wise to you this time
We won’t let you kill the laughter.

Lunatic fringe
In the twilight’s last gleaming
This is open season
But you won’t get too far
We know you’ve got to blame someone
For your own confusion 
But we’re on guard this time
Against your final solution

We can hear you coming
(We can hear you coming)
No you’re not going to win this time
We can hear the footsteps
(We can hear the footsteps)
Way out along the walkway
Lunatic fringe
We know you’re out there
But in these new dark ages
There will still be light

An eye for an eye;
Well before you go under…
Can you feel the resistance?
Can you feel the thunder?

It is ironic in this song that Fascism is seen as a psychiatric condition when the Third Reich began those experiments which led to “the final solution” on institutionalized people.

There is also the matter of the controversy and furor that arose over returning to the original name of the former Weston State Hospital in West Virginia, The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, when the building was opened to tourism. This is a subject that I hope to tackle in this blog at a later date. I personally find the apellation Lunatic less offensive than the Medical Model terms Mentally Ill or Sick for a person who has had their life and times disrupted by psychiatry and the Mental Health system.

Lunatic is a now archaic and redundant term for a person who has been labeled mentally ill. A lunatic was another word used for a person who would have been characterized at the time as a madman or mad woman. The myth that the phases of the moon have any significant effect what so ever on human behavior has been disproven by the evidense of scientific research.

About the weblog:

This internet log is, if not daily, a regular account of the struggle for human and civil rights for people at the receiving end of the mental health system. Some of these people have had their rights violated and their lives disrupted by bad laws and psychiatric oppression. Vignettes, anecdotes, facts, figures, personal accounts, news stories, scientific treatises, art, poetry–all is permissable and allowed. Come back, and find out more about what’s going on in the movement to change the mental health system, and restore people to justice who have had their rights denied.

About the author:

Frank Blankenship, aka the raving reporter, is a psychiatric survivor, human rights advocate, and community activist. He has been forceably drugged, tortured, and incarcerated by the psychiatric system on numerous occasions. He has been imprisoned in psychiatric facilities in five states of the United States at one time or another. Frank has been released from the hospital and he has been completely free of psychiatric drugs for the past 12 years now. He has fully recovered from his former discomfiture and he is in no danger of hospitalization at the present point in time. He is working to build an affiliate for the organization, MindFreedom International, in Florida.

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19 Responses

  1. Great blog Frank- I’ll keep my eye on the sight for continued interesting info.
    Keep up the great work! Ryan

  2. This is a great read and I look forward to much more. Well done and best wishes!

  3. Wow I love what I have read so far!!!

  4. Frank – Good to have found you again. Good work. Perhaps you could promote this site more. In solidarity, George ebert

  5. By-the-way. I have several years of of the “Lunatic Fringe” newsletter that was published around the late ’80. Let me know if you are interested in them and if I locate them I will make them available for you. George

  6. Hi Frank… what’s with no email address to you being posted on your site?

    I want to ask you a question… where is the best place to ask it?

    You’ve provided no contact details on your website…. requiring mine… would be presumptuous considering you’ve not provided yours…

  7. Some blogs and sites are good and may have a net positive true benefit but at the expense of pandering to some notions that actually support the psychiatric establishment, or can too easily be spun by the shrinks to ridicule and dismiss their victims.

    I’ve seen nothing here written by the author of the blog that causes me to cringe and think, “Ooh, don’t say that”.

  8. Wow. What a great blog. I am so glad I found you. I cannot wait to get into your archives and read.

    Take care. And bless.

  9. Frank
    Came across your blog via http://betasheep.blogspot.com/. I don’t recall you telling people about it on FaceBook. Great Site!

    Will Brady

  10. Frank

    Can’t see a Contact box.

    Could you please replace the link I left at the foot of my post with the correct link, which is:

    http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevision/Pages/SomaticSymptomDisorders.aspx

    Thanks

  11. Really interesting blog… Thanks!

  12. Thank you for your important work. I have created a blog on WordPress called The Inmates of Willard 1870 to 1900 – A Genealogy Resource. It includes the names of the inmates from the U.S. Federal Censuses for the years 1870, 1880 and 1900 to help descendants find their ancestors who may have been buried in the Willard State Hospital Cemetery. I hope you will take a moment to visit my blog. Thank you so much!
    Sincerely,
    Linda S. Stuhler
    http://inmatesofwillard.wordpress.com/

    http://saveagrave.net/

    http://www.causes.com/causes/338050-identify-the-5-776-people-buried-in-numbered-graves-at-willard-state-hospital-cemetery

  13. I was very surprised, and disappointed, to inquire at the Ovid, NY Post Office twice, and no one knew or wouldn’t answer my question, about a museum regarding Willard State Hospital, or information available.

    Is there a Museum in the area, or where I could inquire? I am the niece of a former patient that lived at Willlard State – 1950 until her death in the late 1950’s.

    Thank you.

    stigginse@yahoo.com

    • Not being a native New Yorker, I can’t provide the assistance that I wish I could in this instance.

      Darby Penney and Peter Stastny co-authored the book, The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases From A State Hospital Attic, following a successful museum exhibit on the subject. There is a website on the exhibit:

      The Willard Suitcase Exhibit Online.

      I doubt that this information will necessarily be very much help to you, but there is a cemetery project attached to Willard State Hospital. There is also blog, and from this blog I’d think you might be able to make the connections you are looking for:

      The Inmates of Willard – A Genealogical Resource

      Also, see above. Comment 12 links to Linda S.Stuhler’s WordPress page. The comment itself has a number of hyperlinks to websites associated with Willard. On the WordPress page an email address has been posted. You might try contacting this person.

      High up on my cemetery project page, just next door, there is an article on the cemetery project at Willard. The heading of this article is Group wants to show respect for thousands of patients buried in Willard State Hospital cemetery. It’s the 3rd article down at this point, but it will be lower soon enough. This article mentions a number of people you could try reaching, and there is also the name and telephone number of the reporter listed at bottom. You could try getting in touch with him.

      Good luck!

  14. […] of MindFreedom Florida. Frank chairs the MFI Affiliate Support Committee. Check out his blog Lunatic Fringe, highly critical of the mental health industry abuses. Frank has participated in a number of […]

  15. My liberation is now completely guided by one and only one driving force ~ my lived experienced.
    This is the way discoveries are uncovered . As I am in the United States at the moment , proud to be gladly Mad, my respect and interest for my sister , Mary. Maddock led me here.

  16. you have some great content here! in particular i liked

    I was an observer at a meeting of a task-force connected with the Virginia Supreme Court commission to reform mental health care in that state. The chair of this taskforce gave an introductory speech stating that a person would have to be “mentally ill” to oppose coercive mental health treatment. I myself was amazed that nobody on this taskforce strenuously objected to that statement. I don’t think opposition to coercive mental health treatment makes people “mentally ill” any more than I believe that support for state sanctioned assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment and torture makes a person “mentally healthy”.

    probably the worse part of being labeled with a mental illness is that things I say in my defense is viewed as me being angry, or in denial, and in the worst case situation, the defense I put up is a reason itself to go forward with “medication over objection”. All this, when I’m just standing up for my civil rights!!

  17. Hey Frank Could I please have a post I made on January 14th 2014 8.35 pm within the ”what science is not article” taken down. I would like it to longer appear if at all possible would be much appreciated, Thanks Jeremy Schroder

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