Richmond homemaker was innocent victim of CIA brainwashing experiments, Boy Scouts’ opposition to background checks let pedophiles in
December 4, 2012 Comments Off on Richmond homemaker was innocent victim of CIA brainwashing experiments, Boy Scouts’ opposition to background checks let pedophiles in
“Boy Scouts’ opposition to background checks let pedophiles in
Boy Scouts of America fought the trend of adopting criminal background checks for volunteers and staff, unknowingly allowing convicted child sex offenders to join.”
Richmond homemaker was innocent victim of CIA brainwashing experiments
By Kent Spencer, The Province December 2, 2012
Fifty years ago Richmond homemaker Gina Blasbalg was a victim of physical and psychological torture and unethical experiments. As a teen she was part of a CIA-sponsored program into mind control at the Allan Psychiatric Institute in Montreal. Today, times are happier, but Ralph and Gina Blasbalg still have a favourite bench to sit on at Garry Point Park in Richmond. Gina was an unsuspecting patient in the CIA-sponsored brainwashing program in Montreal, a young Ralph Blasbalg rescued Gina from daily rounds of pills she was being coerced to take. While she was withdrawing from the medication, they had a place they would walk to at night in Montreal. They called it their “crying bench.”….
Gina Blasbalg was brainwashed by the CIA. The Richmond homemaker was a victim of physical and psychological torture and unethical experiments.
The “medical misadventure” took place in Canada more than 50 years ago at the Allan Institute in Montreal.
Although traumatized by the experience, her story is one of triumph, and today her life is about giving back to young people….
The Allan Psychiatric Institute has been called a “House of Horrors” for good reason.
The so-called treatment of the teenaged Gina consisted of ingesting twice daily doses of 16 pills, under a nurse’s strict supervision.
The drug types varied widely and often had opposing effects.
In no particular classification, they included uppers and downers, depressants and anti-depressants, tranquillizers, barbiturates and truth serum.
The capsules came in a rainbow of colours: blue and brown, turquoise, yellow and red, azure, salmon, pink and white.
“We had to take our medication. If I didn’t I was told I would be put in the insane asylum,” she says.
The effects left her very weak.
“I was a zombie. I wanted to sleep.”
In additon to the pills there was physical and psychological torture.
She says one the worst things done to her was drug-induced contortions which twisted her muscles into unnatural forms.
“It was extremely painful and traumatizing. They wanted to measure the effect of the contortions so they could add it to their research,” she says.
The nitrous oxide given to her, called laughing gas, was anything but funny.
“I felt like I was spinning forever. I didn’t know if I’d ever come out of it. I dreaded it. I remember thinking, is this what it’s like to die?”
She was also given mind-altering LSD.
“I had a dream that I was flying continuously into a massive sticky spider’s web. I was screaming and somebody held me down.”
After long periods of artificially-prolonged sleep, doctors posed questions while she was hypnotized under a truth serum.
“They were able to penetrate my thoughts.,” says Gina.
She was one of hundreds of unsuspecting patients who never gave their informed consent to be used as guinea pigs.
And there was no way to dispute medical orders. “Welfare patients could not sue doctors,” she says.
She feels fortunate not to have received massive doses of electric shocks to the brain which many received at the Allan.
The CIA and Dr. Strangelove
At the top of the Allan’s chain of command was an enigmatic man called Dr. Ewen Cameron.
He was an imposing, Scottish-born figure who was later dubbed “Dr. Strangelove.”
“The chief,” as he was known, had made his mark as a member of a select team which studied Nazi leader Rudolph Hess in Germany after the Second World War.
He was a giant of international medicine who was the first president of the World Psychiatric Association.
Cameron wanted to delve into the inner depths of the human psyche and receive international acclaim — perhaps a Nobel Prize — for his work.
He thought the mind could be deprogrammed through extra-large doses of electric shock, sensory deprivation, drug concoctions and long periods of induced sleep.
Once the mental slate was wiped clean, he believed that minds could be reprogrammed by playing reassuring taped comments through pillows as patients slept.
The messages — things such as ‘You are a good wife and people appreciate you’ — were played over and over each day for hours at a time, and repeated for weeks on end.
“He wasn’t liked by the patients,” says Gina. “They were terrified of him. They tried to run away. I heard people begging for no more treatments.”
During a climate of fear engendered by the Cold War, the CIA gave him money to find out how to control the human mind.
It took two decades for it to be made public that the CIA and the Canadian government secretly contributed more than $500,000 to the now discredited program.
Cameron’s actions have been widely criticized since news of his work surfaced during the 1980s.
A 1986 Department of Justice report concluded that his therapeutic techniques were a “medical misadventure.”
The report’s author said it was an unjustifiable form of assault on the human brain.
He recommended the government award victims $100,000; 77 people have collected.
Montreal lawyer Alan Stein, who has successfully sued on victims’ behalf, says many patients didn’t qualify for the compensation, Gina among them.
Their records were lost (Gina was told her records couldn’t be found) or they didn’t meet the standard of mistreatment that was set.
Victims had to prove that they had been “put in a childlike state.”
Boy Scouts’ opposition to background checks let pedophiles in
Boy Scouts of America fought the trend of adopting criminal background checks for volunteers and staff, unknowingly allowing convicted child sex offenders to join.
By Jason Felch and Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times
December 2, 2012
Amid reports of widespread sexual abuse of children in the late 1980s, several leading youth organizations began conducting criminal background checks of volunteers and staff members.
Big Brothers Big Sisters ordered the checks for all volunteers starting in 1986. Boys and Girls Clubs of America recommended their use the same year.
One of the nation’s oldest and largest youth groups, however, was opposed — the Boy Scouts of America….
Scouting officials argued that background checks would cost too much, scare away volunteers and provide a false sense of security. They successfully lobbied to kill state legislation that would have mandated FBI fingerprint screening.
While touting their efforts to protect children, the Scouts for years resisted one of the most basic tools for preventing abuse. The result: The organization let in hundreds of men with criminal histories of child molestation, many of whom went on to abuse more children, according to a Times analysis of the Scouts’ confidential abuse files.
Scouting did not require criminal background checks for all volunteers until 2008 — despite calls from parents and staff who said its vetting system didn’t work.
In 1989, a Scout committee chairman in St. Paul, Minn., decried the organization’s “half-hearted” screening in a letter to headquarters.
“BSA is only creating an illusion of performing what they claim,” K. Russell Sias wrote to Scout Chief Executive Ben Love. “It becomes quite clear that BSA is more concerned in ‘passing the buck’ than in accepting responsibility for those who are its adult leaders.”
That same year, a Las Vegas scoutmaster with a criminal history of exposing himself to boys was arrested for sexually abusing a 12-year-old Scout. One parent said casinos did a better job of screening workers.
“The black eye which scouting has suffered in this … could easily have been avoided if the council had taken the simple expedient of doing a background investigation,” the parent wrote to Scouting officials.
From the time national background checks became widely available in 1985 until 1991 — when the detailed files obtained by The Times end — the Boy Scouts admitted more than 230 men with previous arrests or convictions for sex crimes against children, the analysis found.
The men were accused of molesting nearly 400 boys while in Scouting. They accounted for one in six of those expelled for alleged abuse during those years.
Scouting officials declined to be interviewed but said in a prepared statement that they have enhanced their policies over the years and tried “to ensure we are in line with and, where possible, ahead of society’s knowledge of abuse and best practices for prevention.”
August 24, 2010 Comments Off on Friedman’s case – Capturing the Friedmans – the victims’ perspective
many of the quotes in this section come from:
Capturing the Friedmans: Annotated Bibliography http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/ctf/bib.html
Many viewers leave the theater believing that they have seen an objective documentary presented by a director who entrusted audiences to draw their own conclusions on Arnold Friedman’s and Jesse Friedman’s guilt. A careful review of the original evidence, however, shows that the case against the Friedmans was much stronger than the film revealed.
Geraldo Rivera’s interview with Jesse Friedman “Busting the Kiddie Porn Underground” February 23, 1989 — Geraldo!
Jesse’s attorney, Peter Panera, is interviewed. He tells how he and Jesse made a special trip to Wisconsin to visit Arnold Friedman in prison to convince him to reveal where he had hidden the photos and videos of the children. Arnold refused to reveal what he had done with them, despite the fact that it would have helped gain lenacy for his son. Jesse’s mother Ms. Friedman also appears on the show.
Frances Galasso, the detective-sergeant who was in charge of the Friedman case, describes Jesse’s lack of remorse for his victims and describes how he and his brother harassed some of the victims’ parents at court proceedings. She says that Jesse told the grandfather of one victim: “Well maybe we are suffering now, but with what we’ve done to your children, they’ll suffer for the rest of their lives.”
Geraldo Rivera’s interview with Jesse Friedman http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/ctf/geraldo.html
Geraldo: “How many kids, Jesse, did you and your father actually physically abuse in your home?” Jesse: (long sigh, appears to be mentally counting) “I guess 17.”….
Geraldo: “What did you do to the children?” Jesse: “What did I do to the children? I fondled them. I was forced to pose in 100’s of photos for my father in all sorts of sexual positions with the kids and the kids likewise with myself.
The Secret Life of Arnold Friedman By Alvin E. Bessent – Newsday — LI., NY May 28, 1989 http://web.archive.org/web/20060901203550/www.newsday.com/mynews/ny-friedman052889,0,1599081.story
Bessent reports on the victims’ fear of the Friedmans:
“As the abuse escalated so did the threats. Police said the children were extensively videotaped and photographed. No pictures of the children have been recovered. But police said Arnold Friedman told the children he would send pornographic pictures of them to magazines and tell the publishers to print their names if they told what was going on. He threatened to burn their houses down. He reportedly said he would kill their parents. . . . Some of the children who testified before the grand juries received threatening telephone calls warning them not to cooperate with police.” “Some of them still wet their beds, take baseball bats to bed with them or are unable to sleep.”
State of New York v. Arnold Friedman.
Motion for order requiring return of property seized from 17 Picadilly Road, Great Neck, Nassau County, New York, seized pursuant to search warrant of November 25, 1987. Motion #C-427, Indictment #67104 & 67430.
September 14, 1990.
Judge Abbey L. Boklan approved Arnold Friedmans’ request for the return of all property seized at the Friedman home with the exception of pornographic materials listed in this document. Materials include such items as: 5 pornographic movies, assorted order forms for pornography, assorted pornographic magazine cutouts, 2 partially nude photos of children, 3 sheets advertising homosexuality with boys, 6 photos of naked people, 3 battery operated sex aids, 1 hypodermic needle, 9 pornographic computer games (with descriptions), list of names and phone numbers of 9 victims, 2 registration sheets with names of victims.
The People of the State of New York , Respondent, v. Ross G., Appellant 163 A.D.2d 529; 558 N.Y.S.2d 603; 1990 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8786 June 28, 1990
The Supreme Court of New York responds affirmatively to an appeal by Ross Goldstein who asks the state to reduce his sentence to the terms recommended and agreed to by the prosecution. Although he was not mentioned in the film, Mr. Goldstein was a third defendant who was arrested along with Arnold and Jesse Friedman. According to this document, Goldstein, a former friend of Jesse’s who was between 15 and 16 years old when he committed the crimes. He later became repulsed by the abuse, and six months before the Friedmans were arrested, Goldstein disassociated himself from Jesse Friedman and his activities. Goldstein, now age 19, confessed to the crimes and agreed to testify against both Arnold and Jesse Friedman in exchange for leniency.
In Their Own Words: Jesse’s Victims Speak Out http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/ctf/vict.html
Victims break their silence Victor Manuel Ramos — Newsday — LI., NY February 29, 2004 Newsday staff reporter Victor Manuel Ramos interviews several of the victims who Arnold and Jesse Friedman plead guilty to abusing.
“For Gregory, the hullabaloo over Jarecki’s film — and whether the director will pick up an Oscar tonight — is a sideshow to the legacy of the abuse. Even now, Gregory said he sometimes wakes up at night shaking, especially after hearing of other child abuse cases on the news or elsewhere. What would be passing news to others, hits home for him.
Diagnosed in his preteen years, Gregory said he has persistent rectal bleeding from the abuse. Memories aside, the physical scar will never let him forget. `This is the constant reminder I live with every day,’ Gregory said, `that I was abused.’”
Case of Arnold Friedman and Jessie Friedman “Capturing The Friedmans” http://web.archive.org/web/20070918045108/www.theawarenesscenter.org/arnoldandjessefriedman.html
Our research into the case shows that the director of the film sacrificed truth in favor of creating artistic ambiguity. Clear evidence is omitted and facts are distorted. In addition, the film relies on popular but erroneous myths about child sexual abuse. As a result, uncertainty is created about the guilt of two confessed pedophiles — who are recast as victims — while the real victims — the boys and their families — are portrayed as untrustworthy.
CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS” Documentary or Whitewash? http://capturingthefriedmans.wordpress.com/2008/10/02/capturing-the-friedmans-documentary-or-whitewash/
Man’s 1988 child molestation conviction to be revisited by Vivienne Foley, CNN August 17, 2010 “In August 2010, the 2nd Circuit Court decision stated that “… the police, prosecutors and the judge did everything they could to coerce a guilty plea and avoid a trial” and said there was a “reasonable likelihood” Friedman was “wrongfully convicted” of sexually abusing children.” Nassau County (Long Island) District Attorney’s office will re-open the case.
October 2, 2009 § Leave a comment
Polanski’s defenders lose sight of the true victim By Steve Lopez September 30, 2009
The grand jury transcripts of the sex abuse case paint a far more damaging picture of the events that allegedly unfolded between the director and a 13-year-old girl at Jack Nicholson’s home in 1977. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lopez30-2009sep30,0,1671827,full.column
(Victim’s Op-ed) Judge the Movie, Not the Man By Samantha Geimer February 23, 2003 I met Roman Polanski in 1977, when I was 13 years old. I was in ninth grade that year, when he told my mother that he wanted to shoot pictures of me for a French magazine. That’s what he said, but instead, after shooting pictures of me at Jack Nicholson’s house on Mulholland Drive, he did something quite different. He gave me champagne and a piece of a Quaalude. And then he took advantage of me. It was not consensual sex by any means. I said no, repeatedly, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. I was alone and I didn’t know what to do. It was scary and, looking back, very creepy….We pressed charges, and he pleaded guilty. A plea bargain was agreed to by his lawyer, my lawyer and the district attorney, and it was approved by the judge. But to our amazement, at the last minute the judge went back on his word and refused to honor the deal.
Worried that he was going to have to spend 50 years in prison — rather than just time already served — Mr. Polanski fled the country. He’s never been back, and I haven’t seen him or spoken to him since. Looking back, there can be no question that he did something awful. http://articles.latimes.com/2003/feb/23/opinion/oe-geimer23