Monday, August 17, 2015

The Pat Report: The Ludicrous Adventures of Safety Pat the Proud Schizophrenic Clown

Photograph by Ed, the Martian Eyewitness and Story-Teller of Third-Kind Encounters. Come again next time. Same time, same channel, says Mr. Ed.

Trigger disclaimer. As per the warnings of Board Certified Behavior Analyst - Doctorate (BCBA-D), Ed the Martian Chronicler, this post contains very clean plunger jokes. However, do to the fact that typical plungers, though never Pat's always spotless clown plunger, are used to clear stuffed up toilet bowls, please do not read any copy of this file on any electronic device while sitting outside with a group of friends at a sidewalk cafe eating, snacking, or having a good, stiff drink, as it might spoil your appetite.

My alter-ego, #SafetyPat the Proud Schizophrenic Clown, is horsing around on foot all day at the New Jersey Shore while pushing a short blue shopping cart loaded with gags, props, and gadgets.

Demonstrating acute sensibilities, Pat doesn't trust people who claim they're completely honest. "How could that be?" says Pat to the phony bolognas. "If you never lie, then please respond accordingly: This is a false statement. Do you agree?" Even though Pat admits to being a little bit of a very big liar who wants to make friends with other self-admitted liars, it would be udderly impossible for anyone, madwoman or madman, to make this stuff up!

The Korean Tacos and the Attack of the Water Balloons

Just last night water balloons landed all around Pat and others who were standing in a long line outside Mogo, an after bar-closing hours Korean sober-up taco purveyor, which were falling down from the roof of a two-story building on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park and splattering onto the sidewalk. To defend against the water bombs, Pat pulled the solid aluminum Velcro-attached Martian ray-gun ricochet dish-helmet pans off the bike helmet. Then Pat put a pan horizontal, level with the roof pan up on top of the head to block any potential falling balloon from soaking him up. As the tail of the line made its way inside, Pat made it in unscathed and proceeded to order a Korean taco shrimp salad with unlimited unsweetened iced tea refills while schmoozing with the other diners inside. Pat encouraged the taco server to put his tray up on the top of his head to serve tacos. He could wear a bib. "Careful you don't tilt your head, though."

The Wesley Lake Volunteer Goose Poop Scoop Job

Just before the water bombs had landed, Pat was explaining to a nice young couple behind him in the line, a captured audience, how "I'm an official, bi-city, Wesley Lake, goose-dropping, pooper-scooper who is seeking volunteers to blow the clown horn to attract the geese at the lake all together to go only in the vicinity of one particular area so Pat doesn't have to pick up the bird debris all around the lake."

Three months before the water bomb incident, when it was Pat's turn to speak at the meeting, local officials and neighborhood Wesley Lake area community members applauded Pat into the poop job by unanimous consent, without objection, when making a speech and volunteering before the Lake reconstruction fundraising throngs. Pat grabbed the mic, pulled it off the stand, held it right up nest to his lips, and made a little speech about the geese in Lakewood, and then said softly into the mic, "You'll see me wearing these big fat orange rubber gloves!" The former Neptune Township Mayor, a dentist, was smiling in a happy manner as soon as Pat announced that the Sanitation Department had already given instructions about how to handle the debris. This lake responsibility committee had been debating the potential efficacy of different kinds of water pollution abatements, so Pat told them how cleaning the bird doo could make a significant dent into the problem.

Pat is hoping to see a baseline (before-scooping) analysis of the pollution, then a post-pooping-scooping analysis to see if the labor of love has helped the Lake, which feeds into the nearby Atlantic Ocean beach bathing areas. The historical pedal-boat-swans-on-the-lake company has indicated to Pat that free rides to fill vials of lake water will be available subsequent to four weeks of Pat scooping. Pat hopes to find out how to send water sample for laboratory petri dish verification of no-shit-in-the-lake-Sherlock-verification when Pat goes out on the lake peddling a Swan Boat or a Duck or a Minnie Mouse to gather samples with a turkey baster.

After volunteering at the meeting, Pat spent five afternoons in the month of July sweeping the stuff into the "butler" picker-upper. Wearing knee pads, Pat also got down to the knees with a kitty litter scooper and a gardening fork to lift the debris that couldn't be swept into the butler, on account of some of the poop clinging fast to the leaves of grass.

This took place at a the sidewalk of a heavily-footed, heavily-soiled intersection where many particular green tinted droppings were scattered about and clustered nearby in a bunch by the lawn. Pat was wearing that big pair of bright orange rubber gloves. Passers by said, "Don't fall into the lake," as Pat leaned over the wall to get the stuff that had landed near the edge of the lawn. Pat said, "Very funny. Would you please blow that horn and call them over here?" They did volunteer. The joint Asbury Park and Neptune Township pooping scooping committee shall organize itself next Spring and present a pollution abatement report to the public docket and to the Asbury Park Press

While out on the lake, Pat can be heard saying to the pedestrians, "Thanks for blowing the horn. It's just a little experiment. If it works, we can form a committee. What shall we call it? Geese are just like people using 'the John,' or rather 'the Pat,' as guys named John don't like to be called a 'toilet bowl.' Every species of animal or bug wants a clean plopping area.

Pat is in love with wild animals and is happy to oblige even though it sounds like all the geese are mocking him while they jab each other with their beaks and honk furiously at each other, just like that family of people over there. They never hiss at Pat, however, so Pat knows the love affair is mutual. If these birds could speak Espanglish, the USA national language, they would tell Pat how much they loved Pat as much as Pat loves them!

The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Wesley Lake Avian Feces Control Experiment

Pat says to the volunteer horn honkers, "I happen to be a Positive-Behavior-Support-only behavior analyst, so we shall conduct a goose feces control experiment in the following manner. Unlike a typical Board Certified Behavior Analyst, we shall never use goose punishment as a last resort crutch of behavioral submission training. Anything our fine-feathered friends shall do shall be under the influence of positive reinforcement, whether or not their automatic consent to reward is fully informed. As long as we don't deprive them of any basic necessity, such as food, in order to strengthen the satiation value of something like a single Sun-Maid raisin made contingent upon nonsensical, behavior-analytical, irritated-with-the-therapist-two-year-old Lego®-stacking-skills, as pathetic Judge Rotenberg Center BCBAs had recently been well-known to starve their students to force compliance to asinine teacher demands, everything will be hunky-dory with the local goose community. You may play along as you wish. You are free to make anything up, no matter how foolish you might make me appear, as we advance through the steps as outlined below. You may escape at any time during the experiment, except when we are finished, by throwing up your hands up and stating, 'I quit, once and for all! This study is nuts! Pat, why don't you just climb up a tree and stash all your acorns in your little hole of a studio apartment?'"

The design is an ABAB return to baseline study: First, we hire two gung-ho volunteer college students who are going all out, full force, memorizing mounds of useless piles of data in order to become BCBAs whose job is to "fix" the behaviors of young autistic children with panicky parents who hire them believing their profession's dissemination experts that their children will never get a job if they don't stop rocking their upper bodies back and forth.

Then we shall prepare a behavior analytic definition of what constitutes one discrete piece of shit. The students shall  wear bright orange rubber gloves and don barber shop smocks to cover their clothes. Together they shall collect the greenish brown samples with a kitty litter scoop each one with a hand on the handle in order to maintain balance and keep it from falling on their shoes. Independently they shall measure and sniff the samples to see if they each meet the definition of one particular poop, being careful not to disturb its shape so that the next student can perform an accurate sniff test and tape measure test. All other times they''ll be wearing nose plugs. If they agree with each other on what constitutes a single piece of shit 95% of the time, then interobserver reliability shall be deemed a success!

Baseline Condition A-1: In the beginning, when the Buddha made Heaven and Earth (Don't worry. God has a wonderful sense of humour. She gets a kick out of Pat and then kicks back with scary bolts of lightning which force Pat to lay the big fat orange rubber gloves on the metal pans on top of the head.), you go one week without honking the horn. In week one, Pat removes the lake debris nonetheless, even though you don't call the geese, during Days 3 and 5 of Week 1. The two BCBA students shall probe for the poop count by collecting samples as per above, independently counting total discrete poops in a laboratory at the Psychology Department of Rutgers University. If they don't cooperate, we snitch on them so that their professors can give them a couple bold red F's on their report cards. Then we call their parents when it's time for them to bring their report cards home to Mommy and Daddy. That way they can't pretend they never got a bad mark. Upon BCBA collection of the grassy green and brown data, the crap shall be preserved in formaldehyde and shipped to the lunacy ward of Psychology professors at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) founder Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas first began shocking Pamela, a 9-year old autistic girl, to teach her to listen to the word "no," while she was standing barefooted upon a UCLA lab room floor he rigged up with electric strips and then attached electrodes to her back and gave her the "effective treatment, because she has the right to receive extremely painful electric skin shock whether she wants it or not." (Reward and Consent blogger note: This Lovaas section is no joke, but it is a scathing satire. Shock to this little girl really did happen, according to Grant, 1965. BCBA organizational support of shock, what the U.N. calls "torture" (See Méndez, 2013, p. 85.) has continued non-stop, relentlessly, ever since Lovaas used it in 1965, See Dave Jersey, (2015).)

Experimental Condition B-1: The non-BCBA student Wesley Lake neighborhood volunteer shows up between noon and 1:00 pm every day and toots the horn for an average one toot per minute on a variably periodical stimulus presentation schedule. Meanwhile, Safety Pat picks up all the poop he can collect each day during days 1-6 of the seven day Condition B-2 experimental condition. The independent variable, the fixed action pattern goose call honk stimulus is occurring. The hypothesis tested is that the honk of the horn, which in fact sounds very much like a goose call, causes the geese to come irresistibly to the ready-cleaned, not so nasty any more, fresh and tasty grass and poop in one clean spot, rather than all over the rest of the filthy sidewalks that completely surround the bi-city Lake Wesley. We shall imagine that like humans, geese like to shit and eat in the same spot, as long as it is sanitary. If the hypothesis is confirmed, we shall commence with phase two of the plan. Seeking wealthy investors for a start-up corporation and rob the dog trainers of their jobs chasing the geese off golf courses. That never works. The Canadian geese love it down here as long as USA behavior modification experts such as Schizo Pat are happy to provide the formerly migrating birds with a nice, clean place to do their business. That's why they stay down here. The Canada Supreme Court has forbidden Canadians from cleaning up after their geese, under pain and penalty of perjury law. So the geese don't go home anymore. They just stay down here and laugh their heads off at the agitated USA golfers who must scrape off their own cleats. Pat has a plan to fix it so the geese go back to Canada where they belong and leave us alone!

Day 7, Week 2 Condition B-1, the hapless pair of Windows 8 HP using BCBA students appear out of thin air, collect and count all the poop at the designated northwest Lake Wesley traffic light and then disappear again under the sneaky cloak of darkness to sniff and measure the samples while we forbid them from talking to each other. Then they shall preserve a parcel of shit via UPS in formaldehyde filled plastic bags to the Lovaas electroshock room at UCLA so that future generations of BCBA's will have something with which to never forget their primary stakeholder, the consumer of their services, with all the might to hire and fire them at will, whether or not they whine and complain, the infamous pest of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), the official team of shock torture positive reinforcement maniacs, Safety Pat the Proud Schizophrenic Clown, no matter how much the behavior analytic community wants to milk the population for all that it's worth by comparing autistics and schizophrenics to cancer ridden bodies in order to stoke fear in the minds of panicky parents who can't deal with the fact that their children have a disorder and so their problem behaviors must be "fixed."

(Blogger note. The preceding paragraph contains some additional satire by Pat of the horrible truths about some provocative old-guard led ABA institutions such as ABAI. See Dave Jersey (2015) for ABAI's official approval of shock "torture," Lerner (2011) for a Lovaas Institute leader comparing autism to cancer, and the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (2014) led boycott of Autism $peaks for comparing autism to a deadly disease, among other institutional offenses to actually autistic human beings. autistics. See also inside the Autism $peaks Resource Guide for evidence of the strong ties between ABA and A$.)

Return to Baseline A-2: No horn blowing during all seven days of Week 3, Condition A-2. Pat cleans debris at the intersection Day 1-6, Week 3, as in every week during each condition. The primary independent variable, the one that varies, is the one being analyzed, not necessarily the clean place for the birds to eat grass and to go to the bathroom, but rather the target variable is the horn tooting. Since it varies from toot positive to toot negative among four ABAB conditions, the hypothesis that the toots will attract the geese to go in a clean spot, will be corroborated if indeed, the BCBA students agree with each other that they shit more often when they're called to the spot by the facsimile goose-honking clown-horn.

Return to Experimental Condition B-2: As in all four conditions, Pat picks up the debris at the same heavily-foot-trafficked intersection Day 1-6, Week 4, Condition B-2. The two young adult BCBA students, the terribly good sports who are the brunt of the vast majority of the scatalogical gags in this experinent, collect the samples and proceed as planned. Then as a reward, they get to push Pat into the Lake and dunk his head up and down. This will be fine with Pat since at that point, the really-not-so-bad-water-pollution-abatement-plan will have succeeded, to the delight of all the local residents.

If it works, we'll publish a report in the Journal of Applied Ridiculous Behavior Analysis (JARBA). Then we'll market the plan to all the golf courses in New Jersey and make a billion dollars to donate to Bill Gates. He's a pauper now on account of the Windows 8 debacle and the up and coming Windows 10 upgrade crashes.

Pat Lands by Train and Foot at Pier Village, Long Branch Boardwalk

Out on a train-traveled adventure from the Asbury Park Transportation Center, three days ago, Pat applied to the Ocean Place Resort and Spa at the Pier Village promenade at the Long Branch beach lawns to serve “hors d'oeuvres" upon the head to ravishingly famished hotel guests. An aluminum pan with the Johnson's Restaurant Supply Company sticker was Velcroed horizontally on top of helmet once again. Pat did a free demonstration for the bewildered, yet amused clientele and held a plastic microwavable dish cover on top of the pan to keep the would-be delicacies from fresh. “Would you care for a cucumber sandwich?” said Pat to the guests while practicing for the upcoming job interview. Past the lawn, the outside bar, and the band, inside past the hotel shop, the family playing billiards, past the inside bar, now well inside and still no security guard issue, a front desk receptionist greeted Pat smiling ear-to-ear. "Will you be spending the night?" "No. I'm local. I'd like to apply as a waiter to serve food on top of my head." She beamed! She offered Pat an application. Pat took it to a table at the bar, filled it out, wrote "Safety Pat the Proud Schizophrenic Clown. Highly-skilled at serving food upon head. Waiter. Will pay for anything that lands on the floor." Pat brought the application to the charming receptionist and asked her to check the spelling of hors d'oeuvres. She said, "The manager is gone for the day." Pat said, "I'd like to return another day to speak with her or him. Would that be okay?" She said, "Yes. That would be find. I'll be sure to give him or her the application."

Pat Interviews for Job Serving Promotional Food Samples on Top of Head at Wegmans

With the same horizontal pan upon the head, Pat applied another day to offer promotional food samples at the Ocean Township Wegmans gourmet healthy food supermarket. It was a long walk across Fourth and Sunset in Asbury, but doable. Once inside Wegmans a woman attending out in front of the customer service desk called a manager wearing a black shirt to speak with Pat. Pat had asked her for somebody nice. They conducted a ten-minute interview. Pat promised, "I'll sit on my stool in the middle of an aisle. Your customers will eat off my head. I'll wear a barber shop smock so the crumbs won't land on my shoulders. Your customers will be happy; they will be laughing; they will return for more hearty laughter much more often than they do now with their neurotypically unfunny shopping experiences. I will volunteer for free and Wegmans will make a million dollars." The manager said, "We already have employees who do that." Pat said, "Then there's competition?" He said, "Yes." "With a pan on the head?" "No." After the pitch, the kind gentleman firmly decided once and for all that there would be no deal. Pat pulled the shoe phone out of the front shirt pocket, a light-brown-and-black leopard-dotted women's, Family-Dollar-Main-St.-Asbury-Park sandal which had never once been worn on a foot. Pat pushed the invisible buttons underneath on the flat sole surface of the shoe-phone and dialed for the Wegman's "Chief Executive Officer." Pat said, "Hi, Sally. It's me again.... Food served on head? ... No? Okay." Pat hung up the phone back into the pocket and said, "Young man, you made a good decision. Headquarters agrees with you. No job for Pat. You have very fine judgment!"

Pat Shops, Very Well Behaved, at Wegmans

Pat said, "I'm going shopping now. I'll have one of everything. Will I need a truck?" The manager said, "Yes, you will." Pat said, "I promise I'll behave." Pat perused the aisles and only blew the clown horn once which was hidden inside his big green pharmacy bac whereupon Pat put a finger to the lips and said to the grandmother, mother, and two little boys, "I didn't do that. This is a corporation. I'll get in trouble if you tell." Pat saw the the Almond Milk in the dairy case and then lost it completely at the fish booth, laughing at length way out loud, uncontrollably, hysterically, while trying to ask the fish vendor if he sold "Peanut Butter Milk." The young man appeared baffled and remained extremely polite. Pat proceeded to the sushi bar and inspected the fish by turning on the intensively bright miner's light strapped to the the forehead area of the blue and round Walmart bicycle helmet. Pat asked another shopper who was hovering over the other side of the sushi display, "Do you want those salmon rolls over by you? If not, I'd like them." She took it up and gave the pack to Pat. After some other minor trouble-making incidents, Pat checked out of Wegmans, walked home with the push cart and the safety gear, gags, and props, about three miles, through Ocean Township, Asbury Park, and back home to Ocean Grove which composes less than half of Neptune Township.

Pat asks, "How Many Gags at a Time?"

It didn't stop, not even for a minute as Pat went out in a bi-daily manner all done up in safety gear regalia. At times, however, choosing one gag at a time in lieu of the usual multiple simultaneous gag approach, Pat went shopping from store to store sucking up and down upon the Rite Aid Bumble Bee Pacifier with a miniature shopping bag hunting for that diamond ring. At times Pat goes out without a single solitary artificial prop, only an elephant nose snout and a silly walk modelled after Monty Python's Flying Circus's Great British Ministry of Silly Walks. Due to the heat rash from the excess blubber between the thighs, on a late night, mile long walk for a large fresh cup of coffee for a dollar at Country Farm, Bradley Beach, Pat needed to walk with toes pointed out and knees lifted far apart from each other. For a little added flair, Pat waved in the air a pointed index finger of each hand and held shopping bags by the pinkies.

Pat's Respectable Boardwalk Partners, the Asbury Park Good Sportsmen and Women Police Department

One sunny breezy afternoon, a police officer riding in a golf cart on the Asbury Park boardwalk said to Pat, "How are the toilets?" as Pat left the bathroom with plunger over head. The answer: "All clear. All systems are go." Another time the same young cop said, "You're not looking for enough Chaos agents in the USPS mailboxes!" And once again he asked, "Is this called satire what you're doing?" Pat said, "Have nice day, officer," and proceeded north, mid-boardwalk, through the beach crowd, balancing plunger on top of head, saying to each group walking south, "Careful. Plunger on head might fall. Ok. You're far enough away. Your're safe. I like your hat. Are you a couple? Nice couple. You look romantic holding hands. Happy fifty state gay marriage day." It didn't let up for a minute.

The Purple Zebra Employs Volunteer Pat the Practical Joker

Then one evening as Pat was heading east on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove in a beeline for ice cream at Nagle's, the Purple Zebra clothing vender, a prior target of a practical joke of a nearby prankster, delivered Pat to the sidewalk cafe next to her store to play a retaliatory practical joke on the prankster. She had put a lifelike image of Pope Francis out on her porch one night. Pat set out to do the job. “The Purple Zebra sent me. I’m shopping for diamond rings. I propose to five men per day and I get five rejections per day. Do you have any diamonds for sale? I'm doing something wrong. What could it be? If I had a diamond ring, do you think I could find a husband?" She replied, as they stood outside among the diners crowded around the tables, "It depends on the ring." Pat returned to the pretty Zebra lady and said, "Mission accomplished." She said, "Now I'd like you to shop here next Sunday on my day off and ask my attendant if you can try on some of our women's clothing in the dressing room."

Silly Dancing

Silly dancing pursued on late-Saturday-clubbing-nights on the Asbury Park and Long Branch boardwalks, as in Monty Python's skit, "The Ministry of Silly Walks."

Dainty Pat Shops Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park

Sporting a Marilyn Monroe tie to attract the attention of the heterosexual men, with no helmet or pans on head this time, but with a purple hair net to smush down the big mop of a hair rag, locks sticking out at the bottom of the net like a curly tips Bozo the Clown, pushing the blue Harley Time Machine Shopping Cart with a Rite Aid bumble bee pacifier in mouth, Pat took baby steps past the diners at the sidewalk cafes and in and out of the family retail outlets of the quirky posh Cookman Avenue shopping district, blowing the horn to keep the automobile traffic stopped at all the red lights, and swaying back on forth in the air a flat, miniature, scissored-out, brown-paper-bag, two-inches by two-inches squared, string handle sacheting from one limp wrist to the other, alternating between uplifted pinkies. Pat told the clerks, "Ed the behavior modification expert told me I should buy "a round red nose to put over my regular nose. I don't why he would tell me such a thing, but do you have any extra large round red noses that might fit over my snout? No? That's okay. Nobody has them. Do you like my little shopping bag? It's from Paris. It's a Jordache. Does it have the Jordache look?"

Safety Pat and the Schizophrenic Billboard Head

Five establishments stuck company labels on the helmet-pans, including the boardwalk Earth Rags vender, Juice Beach, and MOGO Korean Fusion Tacos of Asbury, Johnson's Restaurant Equipment, Inc. of Neptune, and the Purple Zebra Artistic Boutique an Ocean Grove shop. At times the pair of flat pans, with lips on the end like eight inch pizza pans, were Velcroed above the ears on a forty-five-degree angle to function as "Martian-ray-gun-ricochet-satellite-dishes." A salesman at Johnson's was the one who advised Pat to use Velcro on the helmet to secure kitchen items to the top of the head. Pat said, "Why do all you businesses want to put stickers on the head of a schizophrenic?" They might as well have said, "You know you want it!" And Pat would have said, "Why yes, indeed. I do consent to being used as a completely free advertising agency. I get a kick out of that!"

The Reputation Among Bipolar Schizoaffectives Precedes the Proud Schizophrenic

Outside the Burger King on Main St., Neptune, an anonymously self-identified "bipolar-schizoaffective" man approached Pat who was pushing the usual "Harley Davidson time-machine push cart." Pat had never met him before. He asked, "Are you the proud schizophrenic?" A lively conversation ensued which shall remain anonymous and confidential.

Time Travel to Anywhere, Anywhen, as Whomever You Want to Be

Pat still tells onlookers, "The Harley Davidson time machine works by clicking your heels three times, touching a rung on the cart, closing your eyelids, and proceeding to wherever, whenever you want, as whatever kind of person you want to be." Some of Pat's newfound friends do indeed travel back in time as a 1960 Manhattan fashion district executive for one, as recalled, and forward in time to see if the Martians will be nice. They report the details of the adventure as they ensue to Pat and friends. When the trip is all finished and they open their eyes, Pat says, "And they say I'm crazy? What about you? Here's the number of my psychiatrist." Pat sticks a hand into one of the pharmacy bag and takes out another gag, a big blue lettered, six-inch, day-of-the-week, pill-time reminder case. "I'm all out of anti-psychotics, but you need to take some Thorazine! Check yourself into the office crazy man shrink, Dr. Martin Bier. Be careful, though. You might never check out."

What I, Dave Jersey, can only conclude from the Pat Report is the following: "We're not the crazy one! No not us! Only the world wide world is crazy!" So tune in next Saturday, as soon as the sun is up and shining, for some more looney tune adventures, same bat time, same bat channel.

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Friday, July 31, 2015

FDA Gives New England Complaint Line to Advocates Against Painful Electric Skin Shock: (800) 891-8295

FDA requests more public input into Rotenberg's use of FDA-unapproved electric current levels

July 9, 2015. Canton, Massachusetts. Director Crookes tells two advocates they still shock clients with FDA-uncleared devices

The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) uses painful electric skin shock devices to control the behaviors of its disabled clients. It is the only facility in the country where shocking of students is allowed (Gonnerman, 2007, p. 1). It "was established by Matthew Israel in 1971, as the Behavior Research Institute (BRI) (Davies, 2014)" and it's located about fifteen miles south of Boston in Canton, Massachusetts, which is a New England state in the northeastern-most portion of the United States. 

"In 2010, Disability Rights International (DRI) submitted an urgent appeal to the United Nations, which presented evidence that the use of shock devices at JRC constitutes nothing less than torture. Two subsequent UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture agreed with us that the abuses rise to the level of torture under international law, and both have asked the United States State Department to investigate JRC. This request was forwarded to the Justice Department and an investigation is ongoing." Eric Matthews, DRI, in Transcript of Proceedings, p. 166, Neurological Devices Panel (U. S. Food and Drug Administration, filed April 24, 2014),

"Paradoxically, the devices that are actually being used are ones that have not been cleared or approved" by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Rick Glassman, Disability Law Center, in Transcript of Proceedings, p. 169 (2014)

Why and how much has JRC hurt its clients, psychologically and physically

If some of their "students" get out of their seats without raising their hands and asking for permission, the "educators" press the remote control buttons and deliver the jolt. Blenkush, JRC, in Transcript of Proceedings, pp. 144-145, (2014)
Shocks have been used at JRC for an incredibly wide variety of behaviors. Although JRC claims that the intention is to stop self-harming or violent behaviors, it also has shocked students for many other things, including: involuntary body movements, waving hands, blocking out sound overstimulation by putting their fingers in their ears, wrapping their foot around the leg of their chair, tensing up their body or fingers, not answering staff quickly enough (xxx), screaming while being shocked, closing their eyes for more than 15 seconds, reacting in fear to other students being shocked, standing up, asking to use the bathroom, raising their hand (Miller), popping their own pimple, leaving a supervised area without asking, swearing, saying “no” (Ahern and Rosenthal 13), stopping work for more than 10 seconds, interrupting others, nagging, whispering, slouching, tearing up paper, and attempting to remove electrodes from their skin (Ahern and Rosenthal 20-21). Additionally, students are shocked for having 5 verbal behaviors in an hour. These behaviors can include talking to oneself, clearing one’s throat, crying, laughing, humming, repeating oneself, or “inappropriate tone of voice” (xxx). A former JRC teacher recalled how “one girl, who was blind, deaf, and non-verbal was moaning and rocking. Her moaning was like a cry. The staff shocked her for moaning. Turned out she had a broken tooth. Another child had an accident in the bathroom and was shocked” (Ahern and Rosenthal 3). The behaviors that JRC considers punishable by shocking are also discovered by surveillance footage, with shocks then administered after the fact. Shock has even been used as a threat to pressure students to say positive things about JRC in front of the state legislature (Berrington). Non-speaking students tend to be subjected to shock the most, and are the ones who often have a more difficult time speaking up about their abuse (xxx). (Davies, 2014)
"Employees shocked him for aggressive behavior, he says, but also for minor misdeeds, like yelling or cursing. Each shock lasts two seconds. 'It hurts like hell,' Rob says. (The school's staff claim it is no more painful than a bee sting; when I tried the shock, it felt like a horde of wasps attacking me all at once. Two seconds never felt so long.) On several occasions, Rob was tied face-down to a four-point restraint board and shocked over and over again by a person he couldn't see. The constant threat of being zapped did persuade him to act less aggressively, but at a high cost. 'I thought of killing myself a few times,' he says." Gonnerman (2007. p. 1)

The JRC had substantially stepped up the old, FDA-cleared, GED-1 voltage level to the newer GED-4 intensity. GED stands for Graduated Electronic Decelerator: noxious, aversive skin shock devices that decelerate the frequency of occurrence rates of unwanted behaviors contingent upon the presentation of the electric stimuli. Two-second surges of electrons pass into the skin of autistics and others with disabilities through electrodes connected to their "legs, arms, soles of their feet, fingertips, and torsos." They wear the devices in packs on their backs. "Some students receive dozens of electric shocks per day." Transcript of Proceedings, pp. 14, 23-29, 96, 165, 166 (2014) ... "The dog training collar: Two to four for peak current.... Four milliamperes for the typical electric fence. The SIBIS would be peak current of 10 mA.... (See SIBIS below.) The GED is about three to four times the strength of SIBIS , and the GED-4 is about three times the strength of the GED-1.... The GED-3A, again, is 15 mA and the GED-4 is 41 mA 90 mA for peak current." Transcript of Proceedings, p. 114, 169-170 (2014)

Lydia Brown (2014) said, "(GED-4 has) a shock more than fifteen times as powerful as the stun belts designed to incapacitate violent adult prisoners." See the math figures in Brown's Comments Submitted to the Neurological Devices Panel, p. 6, (Docket No. FDA-2014-N-0238 (2014),

Some non-regulatory history of Electrical Stimulus Devices (ESDs)

Electrical Stimulus Devices (ESDs) are "for aversive conditioning intended to deliver a noxious electrical stimulus to modify undesirable behavioral characteristics in patients who exhibit self-injurious behavior, or SIB, and aggressive behavior." Transcript of Proceedings, p. 19, 26, (2014)

The only ESD's in use at JRC are the GED-4 and the GED-3A. The previous device, GED-1, delivered less current than GED-4. It is no longer in use. JRC used Self-Injurious Behavior Inhibiting System (SIBIS) before they developed their own GEDs (Israel, von Heyn, Connolly, and Marsh, [ca. 1992]). Technologically-oriented Applied Behavior Analysts modelled SIBIS after a crude ESD developed by the Grants, parents of a self-injurious autistic girl.

In reverse chronological order,

The Grant family's crude pre-SIBIS device.
The forerunner of SIBIS was conceived following futile attempts by Leslie and Moosa Grant to obtain effective treatment for their autistic daughter's severe self-injurious face and head hitting, which had produced lacerations to the bone and almost severed an ear. In medical parlance, the Grants went "shopping," requesting assistance from one professional after another, only to meet with eventual failure. After years of exposure to ineffective treatment, the Grants became well versed in behavior modification and learned that contingent electric shock was an effective means for eliminating otherwise untreatable self-injury. The Grants built a shock device, equipped with an accelerometer to activate the stimulus. The device was quite cumbersome, but it served its purpose by rapidly eliminating their daughter's self-injurious behavior. Justifiably, the Grants wondered why they had subjected their daughter to repeated failure using other approaches, and why devices such as the one they had built were not more readily available. Thus began their search for someone to build a better device for their daughter and for others similarly affected. Eventually they approached the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). Designed as a research institution specializing in the transfer of space technology, APL inventors have produced devices such as the cardiac pacemaker and the implantable infusion pump. APL engineers were moved by the Grants' plight and agreed to build a prototype. In fact, they considered the problem only a minor technological challenge, which apparently it was, but they did not nor could they consider the behavioral side of the technology. Realizing in 1982 that the development of SIBIS posed a number of questions about apparatus-behavior interactions, APL asked Tom Linscheid, then on the medical faculty at Georgetown University, to serve as an unpaid consultant to advise on matters of behavioral technology. Tom had previously conducted clinical research on the use of contingent electrical stimulation as a treatment for life-threatening infant rumination. He subsequently invited my colleagues, Gary Pace and Michael Cataldo, and me to join him; and I eventually provided unpaid technical consultation from the Kennedy-Hopkins program. From the beginning we considered a number of questions about the ramifications of our involvement. Iwata (1988, p. 153)
SIBIS outside JRC.

Brian Iwata (1988, p. 153) said, "(The) existence (of the SIBIS) was partially a product of my behavior. My association with the SIBIS project has been in the area of technology development."
He and other scientists reported that they employed SIBIS upon the Self-Injurious Behavior (SIB) of five females and males aged 11 to 24. They said, "In each case, the behavior was forceful contact with the head or face, and treatment consisted of mild and brief contingent electrical stimulation, delivered automatically or by a therapist via (SIBIS) (Linscheid et al., 1990, p. 53)." Within the report they concluded that SIBIS worked better than the hockey helmet which had been used unsuccessfully by other institutions hoping to protect the head and face of Johnny, an eleven year old autistic head-hitting boy, also diagnosed with an intellectual disability (1990, p. 63). Iwata also advocated an "apolitical" promotion of his shock device. Sometimes ABA practitioners treat SIB and exhaust all the alternatives to punishment they know how to use, he argued. The only options remaining, he said, were "restraint, sedating drugs, or aversive contingencies." Without explaining why, he ruled out restraint and sedation as too  "devastating." However, as this blogger has reported from first-hand experience, major anti-psychotic tranquilizers aren't as bad as Iwata and JRC have made them out to be, especially compared to the nauseating shock he once felt as a young boy. Nevertheless, the professor from Florida continued, "The only remaining ethical action" was to punish SIB (Iwata, 1988, pp. 152, 53, 56), even with the SIBIS. So his response to children who hurt themselves was to continue hurting them until and unless they stopped doing it by themselves. He neglected to mention a much more humane solution, response blocking. A heavily padded, blow-blocking helmet and a soft pair of mittens would have solved the problem much more easily than SIBIS, but neither he nor his colleagues explored this common sense idea in Iwata (1988) or in Linscheid et al. (1990). What were they thinking when they invented their automatic head-blow-detecting, electroshock machine instead of designing a decent helmet? (Dave Jersey, 2015
JRC's punishments before ESDs.

"Early on, punishments – known as aversives – were used to control the behavior of people who were called severely ―mentally retarded and children with autism. Punishments included pinching, spatula spankings, water sprays, muscle squeezes, forced inhalation of ammonia and helmets which battered the brain with inescapable white noise." Ahern and Rosenthal (2010, p. 8)

SIBIS inside JRC.
In the late 1980s, JRC began using SIBIS (Self-Injurious Behavior Inhibiting System) machines on students, as an alternative to spanking, squeezing and pinching. The machine, developed in 1985, produced a 0.2 second shock of 2.02 milliamps on the arms or legs of the recipient, with the intention of stopping self-injurious behaviors in children with autism and other developmental disabilities.... Over the years, JRC has found that an individual who responds to low levels of electricity may become ―adapted to pain and ―needs a stronger stimulation. The 12 year old nephew of Massachusetts State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez was diagnosed with autism and was a student at JRC in 1989 when JRC began using the SIBIS machine. As described in testimony before the Massachusetts legislature, 27 one day he received more than 5,000 shocks to stop his behaviors – to no avail.  Ahern and Rosenthal (2010, p. 8)
When the manufacturer of SIBIS refused JRC‘s request to provide them with a stronger and more painful shock machine, JRC developed its own mechanism for administering shock, the Graduated Electronic Decelerator (GED). The GED is a remotely controlled device that can be strapped to an individual‘s back or another part of the body with electrodes attached to the torso, arms, legs, hands and feet. The GED administers 15.5 milliamps of electricity. A stronger version, the GED-4, subjects an individual to a shock of 45.5 milliamps. Both may be used up to 2.0 seconds. The director of JRC, Matthew Israel, describes the shock as ―very painful. Sanchez‘s nephew is now 31 years old and remains at JRC. According to testimony before the Massachusetts Legislature in November 2009, he is still tethered to the GED shock machine. Ahern and Rosenthal (2010, p. 8)
JRC's ESD/restraint combination.
JRC also uses physical restraints as a form of aversive treatment, sometimes simultaneously with electric shock.  The GED and restraints are sometimes combined because it is necessary to stop a person from ripping the GED pack off his or her body. Other times, physical restraints may be added to the use of the GED when the aversive power of electricity alone is not sufficient. As described on the JRC website, ―[T]he safest way to do this is to use mechanical restraint to contain the student, in a prone position, on a flexible plastic restraint platform that has been specially designed for the purpose. It is worth noting that, outside JRC, the use of any ―prone (face down) restraints are widely considered to be inherently dangerous, and many states have banned any form of prone restraints in the mental health context. Ahern and Rosenthal (2010, pp. 8-9)
Some FDA regulatory history of JRC's ESDs

The FDA has a substantial history with JRC. The U.S. Presidential agency is still deliberating on its potential Executive Branch ban on ESDs.

1994. FDA first approves GED. 

"The GED device was cleared in 1994 (by the FDA) through a 510(k) clearance." Crookes, Transcript of Proceedings, p. 95 (2014)

2000. FDA exempts GED from regulations. 

"In 2000, FDA showed up at JRC for an unannounced inspection and determined at that time, while the 3A device and the 4 device were in service and in use at the time, that it was no longer -- the 510(k) process no longer was required, that this device was under the exemption, the medical device exemption." Crookes, Transcript of Proceedings, p. 95 (2014)

May, 2011. FDA instructs JRC how to process GED 3A and 4 for FDA approval. 

"In 2011, however, FDA abruptly changed their position. They came to JRC again, 11 years later issued an untitled letter." Crookes, Transcript of Proceedings, p. 95 (2014)

"In a letter dated May 23, 2011, FDA notified your facility that the changes and modifications to the originally-cleared (GED-1) require a new premarket notification under 21 CFR 807.81 (a)(3)." Warning Letter from New England FDA District Director Shamsi to JRC Director Crookes (December 6, 2012)

May, 2011-October, 2012. JRC noncompliant with FDA directive regarding the required procedure to gain approval for the GED-3A and 4. 

See next two paragraphs.

October, 2012. FDA New England inspects JRC property, finds unapproved, improperly processed GED devices. 

"On October 3, 2012, through October 17, 2012, an investigator from the (FDA) inspected your (Canton) facility.... As a result of this inspection, we observed the Graduated Electronic Decelerator (GED-3A and GED-4) devices at your facility." Warning Letter from Shamsi to Crookes (December 6, 2012)

December, 2012. FDA warns Crookes of JRC violations.

"...and in 2012 a warning letter stating that a new 510(k) notice for the GED devices was now required." Crookes, Transcript of Proceedings, p. 95-96 (2014)

"As a result, the (3A and 4) violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because your facility has failed to obtain FDA clearance for approval.... Failure to promptly correct these violations may result in regulatory action being initiated by the FDA.... These actions include, but are not limited to, seizure, injunction, and civil money penalties." Warning Letter from Shamsi to Crookes (December 6, 2012)

December, 2012 - April, 2014. JRC cooperates with FDA.

"We have been working with them since that time on submitting a new 510(k). However, upon their request, we submitted a pre-submission to the 510(k). A bit over a year ago we submitted the pre-submission. We scheduled a meeting with them to discuss the pre-submission and had not heard from them until two weeks ago regarding this meeting." Crookes, Transcript of Proceedings, pp. 95-96 (2014)

April, 2014. FDA announces its potential FDA ban. 

"Based on a comprehensive review of all available data and information, the FDA is concerned that ESDs...may present a substantial and unreasonable risk of illness or injury. Therefore, FDA is considering banning these devices under Section 516 of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.... The ban that FDA is considering would apply to all ESDs for aversive conditioning, whether or not they are currently cleared by the FDA." Transcript of Proceedings, p. 19 (2014)

April, 2014. FDA convenes advisory panel on its potential GED ban. 

The investigation eventually led to an all-day, open-public, FDA advisory hearing in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Neurological Devices Panel met to "discuss current knowledge about the safety and effectiveness of aversive conditioning devices that are intended to deliver a noxious electrical stimulus to a patient to modify undesirable behavioral characteristics."  The purpose of the meeting was "to obtain scientific and clinical expert opinion on: the risks and benefits associated with other treatment options for this population; the risks and benefits of ESDs for aversive conditioning to modify undesirable behavioral characteristics in patients who exhibit SIB and aggressive behavior; whether ESDs for aversive conditioning present a substantial unreasonable risk of illness and injury; potential approaches to risk mitigation; the risks and benefits of applying the ban to devices currently in use by patients; and whether a clinical trial could be conducted to evaluate ESDs for aversive conditioning for the treatment of SIB and aggressive behavior." Transcript of Proceedings, p. 10, 19 (April 24, 2014)

April, 2014. FDA panel majority decides ESD's are potentially too harmful. 

The FDA had directed the panel to answer a set of questions. Question 3 was: "Considering the adequacy and availability of alternatives to treat patients exhibiting SIB and aggressive behavior, as well as the benefits ESDs may provide for these patients, please discuss whether ESDs intended to administer a noxious electrical stimulus for the treatment of SIB and aggressive behavior present a substantial and unreasonable risk of illness or injury.... So to restate, the question here is does the available evidence show that this presents a substantial and unreasonable risk of illness or injury?" Transcript of Proceedings, pp. 313-314 (2014)

Toward the 6 p.m. closing time, Panel Chair Linda J. Yang concluded, "So, Dr. Peña, in answer to Question 3, 60% say yes, that there is an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness and injury, and 40% say no -- and I'm going to lump this in there together -- no or not enough data. It's hard to separate those apart." Carlos Peña is the FDA Director, Division of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices, Office of Device Evaluation. Officially, he was representing the FDA at the Devices Panel meeting. Transcript of Proceedings, pp. 2, 329 (2014)

April, 2014. Behavior analyst supports shock devices.

Panelist Iwata, past president of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, votes against the majority of the panel on Question 3 and says the entire class of ESDs is not potentially too harmful.
My problem is separating the class from the device and the device from where it's being manufactured and used. My understanding is FDA is basically focusing on the class and not on a device or where it's being used. And if one examines electrical stimulation, I can imagine an electrical stimulus that is not painful; it might be annoying. So, for example, you walk across the carpet, you put your finger on the stereo, that is an electrical stimulation. That's annoying. It's annoying enough for me to not want to do that again. And that deters a lot of my behavior. On the other hand, we've got the GED-4, which I have not experienced and I hope I never do. If we were to look at other classes of devices such as, for example, visual stimulation, one would ask is it harmful to shine a laser in someone's eyes to deter them from engaging in behavior, and I'm sure everyone would agree, yes. But then what would happen if we ask, well, what if we shined a flashlight in their eye briefly? I'm not so sure about that. So I think it's entirely dependent upon the parameters of the class of devices, and I can envision parameters that really would not be viewed as noxious or painful by many people. So speaking about the class, I would have to say no. Transcript of Proceedings, pp. 327-328 (2014)
June, 2015. Advocates continue lobbying the FDA in pursuit of the shock ban.

Led by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, sixty-nine advocacy organizations sign onto a letter to FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff. They said, "We note that the FDA has refrained from making any final determination as to the status of these devices since last year’s hearing.... We remain concerned for the welfare of those currently receiving contingent electric shock while a ruling remains pending. These individuals spend every day wired to electric shock devices, unsure when they may next be shocked against their will." Letter from Advocacy Groups to FDA Commissioner, Dr. Stephen Ostroff, (June 6, 2015)

JRC Director Crookes tells advocates pain continues unabated

July 9, 2015. Advocates go to JRC. Speak with unrelenting Director Crookes.

Jacob Persico, Disabled Peer Advocate from Rhode Island, and Jay M. Rosenthal, Advocate and Direct Care Staff member at Andrus Children's Center in New York, met with Glenda Crookes at the JRC school building in Massachusetts. She told them that they haven't stopped using the 3A and 4. (Personal communications by the two advocates to Dave Jersey, Reward and Consent blogger, soon after July 9, 2015)

FDA gives New England complaint line to advocates against shock, (800) 891-8295

July 14, 2015. FDA representative speaks with an advocate against shock.

Upon hearing the news from Persico and Rosenthal, Dave Jersey telephoned the FDA to tell them that JRC keeps using the latest-model GEDs. An FDA representative returned his call, and, also upon hearing the news, which JRC has nevertheless never denied, told him that the FDA would appreciate some more public input regarding JRC's continued use of the unapproved electroshock devices. The official provided Jersey with the New England District Complaint Line, (800) 891-8295, so that he may publish it on his blog, and then suggested to him that the advocates can tell the FDA Compliant Line operator how they feel about shock. Jersey asked, "If the New England District were to receive as many as a hundred phone calls, would that be too intrusive for the office?" The answer was negative. He was advised by the party on the line that the advocates may also state their views to Karen Archdeacon, a New England District Compliance Officer, whose name appeared within the body of the Warning Letter to Crookes (2012), by calling Archdeacon in New England at (781) 587-7491. Dave Jersey was also informed that the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, also known as the Medical Devices Center, will be making the ultimate ban-or-no-ban decision. Their contact information can be found herePersonal communication (July 14, 2015)

How to stay informed

Followup for current status.

For up to date news on the topic, follow Twitter's #CloseTheJRC hashtag and join the roughly 800 members of the Facebook group entitled Massachusetts Students United Against The Judge Rotenberg Center.


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Israel, M. L., von Heyn, R. E., Connolly, D. A., Marsh, D. [ca. 1992].A remote controlled electric shock device for behavior modification.(Non-periodical publication No. 92-3). Canton, MA: Judge Rotenberg Center. Retrieved from
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Jersey, D. (2015, May 20). Association for Behavior Analysis International officially approves Rotenberg Center of painful electric skin shock "treatment/torture". Retrieved from
Letter from Advocacy Groups to FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Ostroff (June 6, 2015), in Autistic Self-Advocacy Network web archives. Retrieved from
Méndez, J. E. (2013). Report of the special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.(Human Rights No. A/HRC/22/53/Add.4). United Nations: United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Council. Retrieved from
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Warning Letter from FDA New England District Director Mutahar S. Shamsi to Judge Rotenberg Center Director Glenda Crookes (December 6, 2012), in web archives. Retrieved from

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