A participant on a Yahoo Internet group posted a hoax — intentionally or not — that MindFreedom is “associated” with an effort to help supply “techniques” to encourage suicide by people diagnosed as “schizophrenic.” This is of course totally false, and is a hoax. Here is the truth.
3 August 2007
This is a HOAX alert from MindFreedom International.
Someone — intentionally or not — spread really negative disinformation on a yahoo e-mail list that is potentially harmful to our nonprofit human rights group, MindFreedom International.
The Yahoo list is called “newdeathgroup,” and it examines issues involving death and dying. We are not associated with the list. I’ve posted this correction there.
A MindFreedom member noticed the message copied at BOTTOM, which claimed that our nonprofit organization MindFreedom International is somehow “associated” with an effort to support the right of “schizophrenics” to gain access to “techniques” to commit suicide.
That message in question copied at bottom — intentionally or not — is a HOAX. Below is my response.
I am David W. Oaks and I direct MindFreedom International here in Eugene, Oregon, USA.
In fact, to help establish that we’re the real deal, many of you working in the topic on this e-mail list may know one of our local MindFreedom members and supporters, the wonderful and creative Cynthia Beal of “Natural Burial” of Oregon.
MindFreedom is one of the few totally independent nonprofit organizations in the mental health advocacy field. We have no funding from or link to the mental health system, government, corporations or religions.
This is not meant as a criticism of any other group, but just to state the truth:
MindFreedom has zero connection with the “right-to-die” organization named in the hoax.
And of course we are not in any way associated with actively searching for suicide “techniques” to help “schizophrenics” commit suicide. This is an offensive piece of hoaxing, watch out.
In fact, MindFreedom just completed a five-nation conference about humane alternatives for mental and emotional well beings, including suicide prevention!
By the way, the disinformation in that hoax goes deeper.
I happen to know that OPN.ORG — which is located here in Lane County, Oregon — is mainly a provider of many e-mail lists to many groups. Drake Ewbank on the board of a local drop-in center for people in the mental health system (that we do indeed work with, and helped start) has volunteered for years to keep OPN.ORG going.
OPN.ORG simply provides lots of groups e-mail lists. That doesn’t mean OPN.ORG has any affiliation or endorsement of e-mail lists they host!
As Drake says, “The only connection here that I can see … is the listserve that OPN still hosts for the non profit that Mr. Derek Humphrey [leader of ‘right to die’ e-mail list on OPN] is part of. MindFreedom’s lists are hosted elsewhere.”
Several years ago, MindFreedom’s lists were hosted by OPN.ORG, but no longer (they’re hosted by Intenex).
But so what if we were still using OPN.ORG e-lists. By the hoaxer’s reasoning, if any group has an e-mail list on “Yahoo” — and there must be hundreds of such groups — then that group is somehow “associated” with this and all other thousands of current Yahoo groups. Huh?
Again, perhaps the poster did NOT mean to post a hoax, but I request an immediate correction and retraction whether the post was innocent or not. Also, this post from yesterday has already been circulating elsewhere on the web on at least two lists. Please copy this correction to other places it may have been posted. We ought to all take care of this among ourselves… if we follow principles I’m sure at least most of us share!
David Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International https://mindfreedom.org
— In NewDeathGroup@yahoogroups.com, “” <@>… wrote:
Opn.org’s right-to-die, associated with Mind Freedom, both in Eugene, Oregon, is looking for painless euthanasia, suicide, recipes. Do you all know any? We will apprecate knowledge of any techniques you may know. Nothing less than a 38 or a 45 is any real guarantee, but, in a state like Massachusetts it would be easier to obtain a 20 pound ingot of solid gold than a 38 or a 45. Right-To-Die supports the right of schizophrenics to choose euthanasia. This culture is going to be mighty sorry if it doesn’t allow easy suicides. The menaces could self destruct, but they can’t.