A stand against tyranny

September 16, 2019

Dear Dr. Marcus,

I hope this email finds you well.

I am reaching out to make you aware of a project that I recently kicked off, and to ask you to have a public conversation with me about the circumstances surrounding your civil commitment of me 17 years ago.

If you’re open to having a conversation like the one I described in my open letter to you (included in the post linked above), please let me know by the end of this week, and we will arrange for a time to connect.  An hour should suffice, and I am willing to compensate you for your time. 

If I don’t hear back from you by the end of the week, I will assume that you are not interested in speaking with me.

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Given the noises that President Trump has recently been making about mental illness, I am determined to continue raising awareness about the shortcomings of the system that empowered you and Dr. Ekong to engage in tyranny 17 years ago by summarily stripping me of my liberty, and injecting me with a substance that could have killed me.

If I don’t hear from you, or if I learn that you are unreachable for some reason, I will publish a video explaining in detail why I trespassed at CIA headquarters 17 years ago (here’s a hint), and why I believe that you and Dr. Ekong behaved as you did.  

I will publish that video before the end of next weekend, September 22nd.
I’ve already tweeted this publicly, so I will note it here too. 

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I don’t think you made a mistake when you filled out the form documenting the reasons for my civil commitment.  I know that you necessarily arranged for police officers to be in your waiting room prior to beginning your examination of me.  I also know that you lied to my face when you said that I was free to go after you were done examining me.

Frankly, I don’t know or care if you or Dr. Ekong violated a law while treating me, because it is clear to me, as I suspect it will be to many others, that your actions were undeniable examples of tyranny, that is, cruel and unreasonable uses of power or control.

As King wrote in his April 16, 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

I hope that you will seriously consider agreeing to publicly provide an explanation for why you civilly committed me, and why you misrepresented the truth on the document describing why you subjected me to involuntary psychiatric treatment.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Francesco Bellafante

UPDATE

October 7, 2019

Dear Dr. Marcus,

I hope this message finds you well.  I’m reaching out to let you know that I have decided on a different next step to move The Nellie Bly Project forward.  

Instead of publishing a video explaining my actions in the days leading up to our interaction over two decades ago, I am focusing on working to change the civil commitment laws in the state of Delaware.  

I will be sure to provide you with updates on my progress.

I do remain committed to trying to have a conversation with you aimed at highlighting obvious shortcomings in the system that empowered you and Dr. Ekong to emergently restrict my liberty and inject things into my body, against my will.

Suffice it to say for now, that I believe that both you and Dr. Ekong acted in ways that you both believed were in my best interest.  As I’ve noted before, I harbor no ill-will for anyone involved in my involuntary hospitalization and forced treatment.  

Frankly, I’m grateful for the opportunity to leverage my experience to help improve civil rights protections for people in the mental health care system.

Kind regards,

Francesco