Yesterday, on 11 October 2007, a MindFreedom International expert “Normality Screening Team” visited outside the American Psychiatric Association headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The results: No normality found.
For me a normality screening like this is 50 percent effective public education, as delighted people participated. They were glad to hear they were ‘normality free’ and accepted our coupons.
But 50 percent was also just personal healing.
Our team arrived yesterday morning at the American Psychiatric Association headquarters, but you would be hard pressed to even know that the APA was there. Upon entering 1000 Wilson Boulevard one encounters three sets of escalators going up, up, up to a mezzanine of restaurants and shops. A directory was blank. To find the American Psychiatric Association we actually talked to another tenant who explained the APA was on the 20th floor.
A sign on the elevator, that said it was just for that day only, asked for all deliveries to instead go to the mailing room on the 18th floor.
All just for us, a handful of normality screeners with rubber chickens and red noses. Never underestimate the power of rubber chickens, red noses and peaceful humor!
We held quite a few screenings, and had a great time. Thanks to Larry, Al and Frank, who seemed to enjoy themselves a great deal.
And at the end we went up to deliver normality screening info to that mailing room. The APA had three security guards, including a guard who said that this was a special gig just for that day.
Thankfully, we don’t use labels such as “paranoid.” We dropped off our material and left.
I’m glad to report that the American Psychiatric Association is free of normality. Now, if the APA — which is in the business of defining for us what is “normal” — has no normal person, then can we actually declare the world free of normality? You are encouraged to “self-test” for normality, and encourage others to do the same.
And yes, there’s a serious message here: To end the “segregation” of considering people who are mentally and emotionally different as somehow fundamentally, to the core, different from the so-called “normal.” We are all in the same “mad boat.” It’s time to talk to some of those labeled officially mad to get some navigation tips.
For photos of our normality screening 11 October 2007 at the APA headquarters, click here.