This day, 21 January 2008, is the official national holiday in the USA to celebrate the life of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who would have turned 79 last week. Just moments ago, Patch Adams, MD phoned up MindFreedom International from his home in Virginia. Patch agreed to be the new chair of a dream MLK had that never came true: The IAACM. That’s the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment,
Patch Adams, MD, famous physician/clown, has agreed to chair Martin Luther King’s dream of an International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment
Patch Adams, the internationally-famous psychiatric survivor physician/clown who was portrayed by Robin Williams in a film about Patch’s life, has agreed to chair a dream of Martin Luther King that never came true.
Repeatedly, in the last two decades of his life, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in speeches and essays that he was proud to be “psychologically maladjusted” to oppression, war and poverty.
MLK said the “salvation of the world lies in the hands of the maladjusted!”
More than 10 times MLK said the world desperately needed a new organization, the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment (IAACM)!
As far we know, the IAACM never officially formed. Time Magazine called it a “half joke.”
But last year, in 2007, MindFreedom International helped launch the IAACM at its international conference as part of the “Mad Pride” movement that celebrates the right to be nonviolently different, odd, crazy, nuts, strange, weird, or whatever term society would like to toss our way.
Who else could have intentionally and consciously formed the IAACM, in reality, other than psychiatric survivors?
The Mad Pride movement asks you a simple question:
By MLK’s 80th birthday in 2009, what action will you take to show your “creative maladjustment”?
For a decade “Mad Pride” celebrates each and every human being’s creative uniqueness and right to be nonviolently different, including we people who have survived the psychiatric system. Like Gay Pride, Mad Pride events have included parades, theater, “bed pushes,” concerts and more.
Patch announced the paradox today that as official honorary chair he would like to have the IAACM “as non-hierarchical as possible.”
Patch said the main quality he would most like to celebrate is, “Insane persistence! Never, ever give up. I am crazy every day. Stay nuts!” Patch travels the world 300 days of the year spreading his message of maladjustment. In 2008 he will be in Haiti and Darfur among other places literally dying for a new kind of normality.
As long as you follow MLK’s nonviolence guidelines, *YOU* are a leader in the IAACM!
Your suggested long-term goal: Millions upon millions upon millions — okay billions, why not — of people engaged in creative acts of cultural disobedience! Hey, we’re in a global crisis — get grandiose!
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. ON “NORMALCY”:
“The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy that recognizes the dignity and worth of all of God’s children.
“The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy that allows judgment to run down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.
“The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy of brotherhood, the normalcy of true peace, the normalcy of justice…
“We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of [hu]man as [hu]man.”
-from MLK’s 25 March 1965 speech in Montgomery, Ala.
LATEST MAD PRIDE 2008 NEWS!
IAACM actions can be about anything. You don’t need a psychiatric label.
For example: Even a few people together can do public “cultural disobedience” about something to which we ought to be maladjusted, nonviolently, and take a digital photo, get it out. You’ve done an IAACM action!
As usual, though, people with psychiatric labels are leading the planet!
Mad Pride “IAACM” actions for 2008 have been announced already been announced in seven nations!
For example, there’s the third annual “Bonkersfest” in UK which gathers together thousands for music and costume and strangeness. Three thousand people participated last year, and far more are expected this year. This year Bonkersfest will be on the site of the actual historically infamous “Bedlam” psychiatric institution!
A number of nations are holding “Bed Pushes.” This is where individuals dressed in patient garb help push a bed through the streets to “escape” people dressed as psychiatrists carrying huge needles. The public loves them, the psychiatric industry not so much. Past Bed Pushes have won national media in UK, along with publicity in Canada and the USA. This year Berlin has announced a Bed Push, and more are expected.
A new innovation in the Bed Push announced for Oregon: MFI mad scientists are developing huge pill or capsule props to help roll after and “chase” the bed, symbolizing the overwhelming power of the psychiatric drug industry. Stay tuned.
Your Mad Pride action shows your creative maladjustment, and does not have to be big.
Yes, there are some major events planned, including theater events in Toronto; concerts in Australia; an annual campout protest on the grounds of the Capitol in Albany, NY; annual street marches in Accra, Ghana; normality screenings once more at the huge Oregon Country Fair (more than a thousand done, no normality found yet).
But small events are as important! Even two or three people can take a Mad Pride nonviolent action by, say, holding up a sign publicly with your unique message, taking a digital photo or video, and e-mailing it into MindFreedom at email@example.com or uploading it to YouTube. Include a caption. Use the IAACM tag. Be creative!
Or you could do a public skit, such as that “Normality Screening” inspired by the Patch Adams clown troupe in Florence, Italy. This is an “airport-type” screening for normality using a rubber chicken, white coat and red rubber nose. People love these! MindFreedom has held more than 1,000 normality screenings, including at the entrance to the American Psychiatric Association headquarters. Normality is never found.
Let us know your hopes and dreams for your Mad Pride event at firstname.lastname@example.org. Both labeled and unlabeled are all welcome to lead.
LATEST LINKS ON MAD PRIDE:
*** HOW-TO tips from Rufus in UK about how you can hold a Bed Push, including a link to dozens of photos of their three years of Bed Pushes:
*** New MAD PRIDE 2008 full-color graphic by Canadian artist Irina Lyubchenko that anyone can use for MAD PRIDE events under Creative Commons copyright….. along with updated listing of all known 2007 MAD PRIDE events, and how to get on MAD PRIDE e-mail lists for both ‘talk’ and ‘news’:
*** INFO ON PATCH ADAMS and Gesundeit Institute, which has been sponsor group of MindFreedom’s coalition since 1992:
MORE NEW ITEMS ON MFI WEB SITE:
*** LATEST UPDATE on conferences and events all over world:
*** Exclusive to MindFreedom: Prof. NORMAN SARTORIUS of Geneva, retired from WHO, summarizes studies that show that your best chance of full recovery from a “serious” mental health problems is to live in poorer, developing countries, rather than rich, developed nations!
*** REVIEW by Ron Bassman — psychiatric survivor & psychologist — of book “Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry”:
*** ANNOUNCING NEW AFFILIATE:
MindFreedom Germany has started! You may e-mail to the affiliate at email@example.com. Get your German translation of the MFI brochure (and English versions for that matter!) here:
HERE IS MORE INFO on the web about IAACM, Mad Pride, MLK
*** QUOTES from Martin Luther King about his dream of an International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment (IAACM), here:
*** ONLINE VIDEO of MLK calling for creative maladjustment:
*** MINDFREEDOM LAUNCH of IAACM last year:
*** INFO ABOUT MAD PRIDE MOVEMENT, including update of known 2007 events:
*** HOW TO SCREEN FOR “NORMALITY”
*** BRIEF VIDEO ABOUT HOW TO DO AN EASY NORMALITY SCREENING:
*** MORE MFI VIDEOS:
PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO ALL APPROPRIATE PLACES ON & OFF THE INTERNET!
WHAT’S YOUR IAACM – MAD PRIDE 2008 ACTION?
E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org