Sunday, March 12, 2017


Edited and Translated by
Maurice A Finocchiaro

       This book is a collection of some of the most important writings of Galileo.  The decision of "what was most important" was made based on consultation with scholars familiar with Galileo from around the world (and listed in the introduction of the book).  An excellent introduction is followed by a "Chronology of Galileo's Career and Aftermath" which is a listing of dates important to the life and story of Galileo.
       Any person who is interested in the science that Galileo came to understand should read this as a synopsis of his most perceptive writings in this book.  This book can also help anyone who wishes to understand the famous court proceedings through the words of Galileo himself.   One will find that Galileo understood much more science than most of his peers but also misunderstood natural events (such as tides) as well.  In addition, as John Paul II recognized, Galileo was also ahead of his time in understanding how to read sacred scripture.  Galileo also appears to have differentiated the methods used in scientific analysis from theological analysis.
       The Introduction  (pg 1-16) is a a fabulous summary of the life of Galileo.  It frames the activities and context of his life precisely.  In addition to the chronology the index of the book allows for quick access to the many topics and thoughts that Galileo investigated and pondered.   I found this chronology useful (referred to it often during reading).  The Chapters each provide translations of key Galileo writings in temporal order including his excerpts from his published works and private communications.
       Reading his words reveals that Galileo was certainly a scientist with amazing insight and confidence but also a skilled, even great writer.
       Galileo's writings speak for themselves well in this collection.


Interesting Quotes of General Interest:

     "His [Galileo's] contributions to scientific knowledge were so radical that he constantly had to discuss with his opponents (scientific as well as ecclesiastic) not only what the facts were and what their best theoretical interpretation was, but also what the proper rules for establishing the facts and for interpreting them were."
                                                                                                                                   pg 2
     "His [Galileo's] orientation was critical of Aristotelian physics and was fundamentally Archimedean; that is he followed Archimedes' mathematical approach, accepted his physical principles of statics, and tried to build upon them for the analysis of how bodies move.  In his study of falling bodies, Galileo became and ingenious, skillful and indefatigable experimenter who pioneered experimentation as a procedure involving the combination of empirical observation with both mathematization and conceptual theorizing." 
                                                                                                                                     pg 4
Summary of Arguments against Copernican System that Galileo was "acutely aware" of:
      "The earth's motion seemed epistemologically absurd because it contradicted direct sense experience.  It seemed astronomically false becasue it had consequences that could not be observed, such as similarity between terrestrial and heavenly bodies, Venus phases, and annual stellar parallax.  It seemed mechanically impossible because the available laws of motion implied that bodies on a rotating earth would, for example, follow a slanted rather than vertical free fall, and would be thrown off by centrifugal force.  And it seemed theologically heretical because it contradicted the literal meaning and the traditional interpretation of the passages in the Bible.  Until 1609 Galileo apparently judged that the anti-Copernican arguments far outweighed the pro-Copernican ones.  Thus we find him teaching geostatic astronomy in his courses and reacting in a lukewarm and evasive manner when an enthusiastic Copernican life Johannes Kepler tried to engage him."
                                                                                                                                     pg 4-5
From "History and Demonstrations Concerning Sunspots" (1613)
Knowing properties vs. Knowing Essenses
     "I am opposing Aristotles's doctrine much less than those who would want to claim it inalterable.  For I am sure that he never regarded the conclusion of inalterability as certain as the principle that plane sense experience must have priority over any human theory.  Thus, one will philosophize better by giving assent to conclusions dependent on clear observations than by persisting in opinions that are repugnant to the senses and are confirmed only with probable or apparent reasons."
                                                                                                                                     pg 100
     "These [knowledge of sunspots] enable us to philosophize better about other more controversial questions regarding natural substances.  Finally lifting us to the final purpose of our efforts, namely the love of the Divine Architect, they can sustain our hope of learning all other truths from Him, source of light and truth."
                                                                                                                                   pg 102
Letter to Castelli (1613)
     “I should believe that it would be prudent not to allow anyone to oblige [284] scriptural passages to have to maintain the truth of any physical conclusions whose contrary could EVER be shown to us by the senses and demonstrative and necessary reasons. Who wants to fix a limit to the human mind? Who wants to assert that everything which is knowable in the world is already known?"
                                                                                                                                    pg 105
Letter to the Grand Dutchess Christina (1615)
     "...I think that in the course of examining Scripture one may find more appropriate passages whereby we would be entitled, if not to prove something for certain, at least to believe something on this topic based on the words of sacred authority....[citing St. Augustine].."Now then, always practicing a pious and serious moderation, we ought not to believe anything lightly about an obscure subject, lest we reject (out of love for our error) something which may be truly shown not to be in any way contrary to the holy books of either the Old or New Testament."
                                                                                                                                       pg 110                 
     "It is most pious to say and most prudent to take for granted that Holy Scripture can never lie, as long as its true meaning has been grasped; but I do think on can deny that this is frequently recondite and very different from what appears to be the literal meaning of the words.
                                                                                                                                   pg 115
     "Therefore, I think that in disputes about natural phenomena one must begin not with authority of scriptural passages, but with sense experiences and necessary demonstrations.  For the Holy Scripture and nature derive equally from the Godhead, the former as the dictation of the Holy Spirit and the latter as the most obedient executrix of God's orders....."

     "God reveals Himself no less exceptionally in the effects of nature than in the sacred words of Scripture"
                                                                                                                                    pg 116           
Galileo's Consideration on the Copernican Opinion (1615)
     "Moreover, we admit that a physical proposition which has been proved true by physical and mathematical demonstrations can never contradict scripture, but that in such a case it is the weakness of our mind which prevents us from grasping its [Scriptures] true meaning."
                                                                                                                                     pg 161
From Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems (1632)
     "I applaud his (Aristotle) being examined and diligently studied and only blame submitting him in such a way that one blindly subscribes to all his assertions and accepts them as unquestionable dictates, without searching for (other) the reasons for them."
                                                                                                                                     pg 201

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Review: The Great PARTNERSHIP

Science, Religion, and the
Search for Meaning
by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

The book is organized, well researched and fluently written. Three parts of the book are followed by a letter to the scientific atheist.  The first part "God and the Search for Meaning" asserts that man is a meaning seeking animal that science alone can not, by itself, satisfy.   The second part addresses the question of "Why it matters" ending in a chapter titled "A meaningful life".  Part three addresses "Faith and Its Challenges" which addresses the confusion brought on by the modern understanding of evolution, why religion goes wrong, evil and the answer that addresses our need for meaning: God.  One of the finest parts of the book is the letter to the scientific atheist.

The truths we hold for life are often metaphors we have to manage our view of reality. They approximate reality, but if we mistake them for the literal truth we can make a leap too far.  The book early and often uses the separate hemispheres of the brain which are called upon to explain how religion and science relate to each other.   We must come to grips with the limits of the metaphor for that metaphor to serve us.  The author warns us that this is the trap of fundamentalism in the faithful and materialism in the scientific.

The author reminds us throughout the book that science breaks things down and analyzes them.  Religion creates and builds meaning.  He systematically juxtapositions treatment of faith and scientific reasoning so that the reader can clearly see the contrast.   In the end science and religion address different questions and when they overlap an issue it may be that there is a misunderstanding of religion or of the science or of both.

Surprising to me was the extensive treatment of culture and politics.  Eventually it dawned on me, because of the book's careful development, that science flourishes where there is freedom.  Freedom only flourishes where there is the recognition of the divine dignity because we are all made in the image of God.  The connection between freedom and science had escaped me until reading this book.  

The greatest feature of the book is the large number of quotes.  The impressive array of thoughtful reflections on the the place of faith and science in our lives as humans make this book a real treasure.  It is the type of book put on the shelf to be reread well into the future.

My highlighted quotes had to be redacted because there were so many.  In addition Rabbi Saks quotes a variety of writers and thinkers.

PART I: God and the Search for Meaning

   "Science takes things apart to see how they work.  Religion puts things together to see what they mean."                                                                                                                                   pg 2

    "When you treat things as they were people, the result is myth: light is from the sun god, rain from the sky god, natural disasters from the clash of deities, and so on.  Science was born when people stopped telling stories about nature and instead observed it; when, in short they relinquished myth.
     "When you treat people as if they were things, the result is dehumanization: people categorized by color, class or creed and treated differently as a result.  The religion of Abraham was born when people stopped seeing people as objects and began to see each individual as unique, sacrosanct, the image of God." 
                                                                                                                                     pg 3
    "Religion and Science [They] perform different functions and if one is damaged or the connections between them are broken, the result is dysfunction."
                                                                                                                                     pg 6
    "People who are confident in their beliefs feel no need to pillory or caricature their opponents.  We need genuine, open, serious, respectful conversations between scientists and religious believers if we are to integrate their different but cojointly necessary perspectives."
                                                                                                                                    pg 15
    "Faith begins with the search for meaning, because it is the discovery of meaning that creates human freedom and dignity.  Finding God's freedom we discover our own."
                                                                                                                                     pg 15
    "Science is the search for explanation.  Religion is the search for meaning. Meaning is not accidental to the human condition because we are a meaning seeking animal.  To believe on the basis of science that the universe has no meaning is to confuse two disciplines of thought: explanation and interpretation."
                                                                                                                                     pg 37
     "There is only one thing capable of defeating tragedy, which is a belief in God who in love sets his image on the human person, thus endowing each of us with non-negotiable, unconditional dignity."
                                                                                                                                     pg 38
     "Science takes things apart to see how they work.  Religion puts things together to see what they mean."
                                                                                                                                     pg 39
     "When the Hebrew Bible want to explain something, it does not articulate a theory.  It tells a story."
                                                                                                                                     pg 44
     "Europe lived with the heritage of Democritus and his successors who believed the physical universe was made up of atoms, and who thought in terms of the analysis of substances into the smallest component parts.  For the Chinese by contrast, 'Their universe was a continuous medium or matrix within which interactions took place, not by the clash of atoms but by radiating influences.'"
                                                                                                                                     pg 47
     "Argument appeals to verifiable truth, story appeals to verisimilitude, lifelikeness.  Argument comes together with theory, analysis, logical coherence and empirical testing.  Narrative speaks to imagination and the emotions."
                                                                                                                                     pg 53
     "There are truths we can express in systems, but others we can only tell through story.  There is a kind of knowledge for which we need detachment, but another kind of knowledge we can only achieve through attachment - through empathy and identification with an other."
                                                                                                                                     pg 54
     "Christendom drew its philosophy, science and art from Greece, its religion from Israel."
                                                                                                                                     pg 61
     "the rabbinic literature records a conversation between Rabbi Judah the Prince, head of the Jewish community in the early third century, and Antoninus, a Roman Sage, about when the soul enters the child. Rabbi Judah says, at birth. Antonius says, at conception.  The rabbi then astonishingly declares that Antoninus is right.  Thereafter, when he repeats the teaching, the rabbi is careful to say, 'Antoninus taught me this.'  This is a religious attitude to science both open-minded and willing to learn."
                                                                                                                                  pg 67
Genesis creation commentary:
     "It was as if from the outset Jews knew that science - what they called wisdom - was one thing, and religion another.  Natural laws are laws that predict and explain, moral laws are laws that command and constrain.  Science was about things, religion about people and their freely chosen acts."
                                                                                                                                     pg 68
    "Equally radical is the idea that, since God created everything, he is God of everywhere.  For the first time, God and religion are de-territorialised.  There is no longer a god of this place or that; a god of these people opposed to those.  Abrahamic universalism is born here. "
                                                                                                                                     pg 69
   "It is about a God who creates and makes a being, Homo Sapiens, able to create; a God who is free and bestows on his most cherished creation the gift of freedom.  Virtually everything that follows in the Bible is about this personal relationship between Creator and creation, at times tender, often tense."
                                                                                                                                    pg 70
  "Faith is not certainty. It is the courage to live with uncertainty."
                                                                                                                                     pg 97
  "God lives wherever we open our eyes to his radiance, our hearts to his transforming love."
                                                                                                                                     pg 98
PART II:  Why it Matters

   "When religious faith goes five things happen , gradually and imperceptibly.  First there is a loss of belief in human dignity and the sanctity of life....
    The second sign is the loss of the politics of covenant, the idea that society is a place where we undertake collective responsibility for the common good....
    The third is a loss of morality....words that once meant a great deal begin to lose their force - words like duty, obligation, honour, integrity, loyalty and trust...
     The fourth sign is the loss of marriage....
     The fifth is the possibility of a meaningful life...I mean life with meaning that comes from outside us, as a call, a vocation, a mission"
                                                                                                                                     pg 102-04
   "The fact that we  occupy a small space in the universe and a small stretch of the totality of time says nothing about our significance or lack of it."
                                                                                                                                     pg 118
   "For the sake of human dignity, science must be accompanied by another voice.  Not in opposition to science, but as the humanizing voice of what we call the soul.  There is no greater defense of human dignity that the phrase from the first chapter of the Bible that dared to call the human being 'the image of God.' "
                                                                                                                                     pg 127

Plato talking about signs of decline in the democracy of Athens:
     " 'People lose a sense of shame.  Rudeness is taken as a sign of sophistication.  People pursue the pleasure of the moment.  They lose respect for their leaders.  The young no longer defer to the old, and the old behave as if they are young.  The difference between the sexes is blurred.  People get irritated by the least touch of authority and they dislike any rules that inhibit their freedom to do as they like.'  [The Republic by Plato 560-64]
                                                                                                                                     pg 161
     "Faith is about relationship sustained without the use of power."
                                                                                                                                     pg 169
     "The story of the first humans in Genesis 2 begins with God giving Adam the ability to use language to classify things. He names the animals..."
                                                                                                                                     pg 174
     "Faith for the prophets, was a kind of marriage.  Marriage is an act of faith."
                                                                                                                                     pg 181
A Meaningful Life:
     "In the age of fiction - what has come to be called the postmodern condition - everything people once thought was true is now seen as merely constructed, invented, a fiction.  There is no truth any more, only the various stories humans devise to make sense of their lives...Of course, we can liberate oursleves from these naratives, but there is nothing to put in their place because we are now too sophisticated, too knowing."
                                                                                                                                     pg 195
     "Happiness is a state of being, not having, and still today, as it always did, it depends on a strong and stable personal relationship and a sense of meaning and purpose in life."
                                                                                                                                     pg 202
     "Love is what redeems us from the prison cell of the self and all the sickness to which the narcissistic self is prone - from empty pride to deep depression to a sense of nihilism and the abyss."
                                                                                                                                    pg 205
PART THREE:  Faith and Its Challenges

     "Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature.  And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery we are trying to solve."
                                                                                                                              by Max Planck
                                                                                                                                     pg 209
     "The way of testing a scientific hypothesis is to do science, not read scriptures.  The way of testing religion is to do religion - to ask, in total honesty, and full understanding, is this really what God wants of us?  It is not to make assertions about the truth or falsity of some scientific theory...
For if science is about the world that is, and religion about the world that ought to be, then religion needs science bacause we can not apply God's will to the world if we do not understand the world."
                                                                                                                                     pg 214
"Darwinism has immense religious implications.
     First is tells us that God delights in diversity...
     Second, and this is Darwin's wondrous discovery, the creator made creation creative...
     Third, we now know that all life derives from a single source.  That is a remarkable unexpected fact....
     Fourth, science and Genesis have now converged, in an utterly unexpected way, on the same metaphor.  Life is linguistic....discovery of DNA. It has hardware and software.  The cell is an information processing system...
    Fifth, the interconnectedness of all life."
                                                                                                                                     pg 215-9
     "If we give up in belief in the God of justice, we relinquish belief in objective reality and categorical imperative of justice also.  In such a world there is no comfort for the sufferer, no rebuke for the oppressor, no hope, just the stoic endurance of hopelessness."
                                                                                                                                     pg 240
     "Bad things happen when religion ceases to hold itself answerable to empirical reality, when it creates devastation and cruelty on Earth for the sake of salvation in heaven.  And bad things happen when science declares itself the last word on the human condition and engages in social or bio-engineering, treating humans as objects rather than as subjects, and substituting cause and effect for reflection, will and choice."
                                                                                                                                    pg 265
     "Human self consciousness lies at the heart of all art, metaphysics, poetry; of all science, mathematics and cosmology; of everything that makes humanity different, distinct, unique.  The least significant fact about Homo sapiens is that we evolved to survive....What makes us different is that we are meaning seeking animal"
                                                                                                                                     pg 271
     "Science gives us a sense of wonder. It does not disclose the source and origin of that wonder."
                                                                                                                                     pg 273
     "Tested on attitudes, religiosity as measured by church attendance turns out to be the best predictor of altruism and empathy: better than education, age, income, gender and race."
                summary of R. Putnam, D. Campbell, S Garrett
                American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, Simon-Schuster 2010
                                                                                                                                     pg 278
     "To explain the world we have science.  To control it we have technology.  To negotiate power we have democratic politics.  To achieve prosperity we have a market economy.  If we are ill we go to a doctor, not a priest.  If we feel guilty we can go to a psychotherapist; we have no need of a confessor.  If we are depressed we can take Prozac, we do not need the book of Psalms.  Schools and welfare are provided by the state, not by the church.  And if we seek salvation, we can visit the new cathedrals -  the shopping malls at which the consumer society pays homage to its gods.
    Faith would seem to be redundant in the contemporary world. And yet far from disappearing it is alive and well and flourishing in every part of the world except Europe.....In Russia , where religion was exiled for seventy years, a poll in 2006 showed 84% of the population believed in God.   ANd as the Editor in the Economist writes, whereas in the past religion has been associated with poverty, today the growth in faith has coincided with a growth in prosperity. [Micklethwaite, Wooldridge God is Back (2009)]"
                                                                                                                                     pg 281-2
"The Bible is not proto-science, pseudo science or myth masquerading as science.  It is interested in other questions entirely. "
                                                                                                                                     pg 285
"Without belief in a transcendent God-the God of freedom who acts because he chooses - it is ultimately impossible to sustain the idea that we are free, that we have a choice, that we are made by our decisions, that we are morally responsible agents."
                                                                                                                                     pg 289
Letter to a Scientific Atheist

  "Science fulfils three functions...It diminishes human ignorance.  It increases human power.  And it exemplifies the fact that we are in God's image."
                                                                                                                                     pg 292
"We are desecularising in a destablilising age.  That brings fear, and few things are worse than the politics of fear.  It creates a sense of victimhood and a willingness to demonize those from who we differ...The best thing to do in such a circumstance is for moderates of all sides to seek and find common ground."
                                                                                                                                     pg 295 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Things to have if you hike the wilderness of the Grand Canyon!

       The hike of the Grand Canyon is spectacular experience.  Hikers and guides from around the world come to do the hike for the breath taking views and the thrill of the accomplishment.  In the summer the temperatures quickly rise from 40 F (at 4 AM at the trail head) to 110 F (or higher at the Colorado River). We will be in designated wilderness with no cell signals, no internet and no promise of rescue if we are in a compromised position and unprepared.  So preparation is important.  The good news is that I have been hiking these trails and this wilderness many times.  So we will be ready!

A range of clothing is important and this is a personal decision.
The following items are essential:
 Sturdy hiking boots, well broken in (½ to one-size larger than your street shoes to allow for swelling and thick socks)
 Brimmed hat and bandanna
 T-shirt and long-sleeved shirt for protection from the sun (cotton for the hotter months)
 Underwear
 Shorts
 Long pants such as leggings or lightweight trousers (no jeans) to block sun
 Swim wear
 Warm top such as a sweater or fleece jacket (especially for the cooler months). Even in July I have had hikers complain about the cool temps at the rim in the morning)
 Hiking socks such as SmartWool®, Thor-Los® or similar padded socks
(wearing a thin liner sock under your hiking socks is highly recommended. Thin polypropylene socks are one type). No cotton socks!  Good socks are very important!
 Sport water sandals OR light-weight flip-flops for camp comfort

Important note: The less weight you carry the more fun you will have. Tim will carry a number of shared items. Cut back on “stuff” by practicing a less complicated style of living while on the trail. It is really is amazing just how little one needs.  Below is an equipment checklist; examine it carefully. Final gear choice should be based on the most up-to-date weather forecast. For example, no rain gear will be needed if rain is not forecast.

 Backpack is best with padded waist belt, padded shoulder straps, and a suspension system that will shift weight to hips. Internal or external frame. (Beware of borrowing a pack from someone not your size.)
 Lightweight sleeping bag. (Some trips that are at higher elevations need warmer bags. Trip description will contain this information.)
 Lightweight self-inflating mattress (such as Therm-a-Rest® Ultralight) to insulate you from the ground. (Important no matter what season.)
 Sunscreen and sunglasses
  If you have special meds bring them!
 Towel for drying (and for use as a pillow.)   Moleskin or duct tape to prevent blisters.
 I recommend the Tubed hydration bladders (such as the Camelback® recommended) . Generally you’ll need 3-4 liters in bladders and bottles.  Note:  I normally fill my 3 liter bladder with 1/3 strength gatorade and carry a liter of water for each hour of strenuous hiking.
 Plastic cup, bowl, and utensils. You may not need a knife as you will be carrying a pocketknife.
 Stuff sacks for keeping gear organized in your pack.
 Each hiker may want a plastic bag for dirty wet/soiled clothes and trash
 Toilet articles and washcloth (bandanna can double as towel and/or washcloth)
 Small amount of Toilet paper and 2 Ziploc® bags to carry out (if needed)
 Walking stick/Trekking Poles (strongly recommended), knee brace if needed [Tim has some extra trekking poles]
 Headlamp or flashlight (small, lightweight, using AAA batteries) &
Pocketknife such as a Swiss Army knife (with scissors is best)
 Notebook pencil (have addresses of people you want to write to at Phantom Ranch!)


 Water filter with chemicals as a backup water supply  [Tim will have & carry]
 First-aid kit* [Tim will have & carry]
     Includes a cleaning pads, snake venom extraction kit, wrap, bandages, 
     Tylenol, Aspirin, some duct tape
 10 ft x 12 ft Ground cloth tarp  [Tim will have & carry]
     Dry weather means no tent but this could change based on forecast.
 Pots, stove*, fuel (one container is usually sufficient), lighters  
    [Tim will have & carry]
 Guidebook, map & compass [Tim will have and carry]
 10 Ft. of light nylon chord [Tim will have and carry]

 On this trip (2016) You will be having a Steak Dinner the first night.  A stew dinner the second night.
 We will pick up your favorite freeze dried meal(s) prior to departure (I happen to like the lasagna) for our third night at a local store. We will consume this on the third night. Each person will carry the meal they plan to eat.
 Snacks are important for munching on during our 3-5 hours of hiking.  There are salty "trailing mixes" for sale at local stores.  Some prefer sweet and salty so this is a personal decision.  I would suggest 12-24 ounces for the entire 4 days which has 3 days of intensive hiking (depends on your size and appetite).  We will also use the mix as a replacement for breakfast at the start of hikes (the summer requires early morning hiking!)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Alert: Winning Candidates Use of "Pathos" Works!

       A liberal take on Trump from Politico "A Trump political rally seeks to focus collective emotions, not make reasoned cases for one set of policies over another. To borrow a page from the rhetoricians, Trump rejects logos (the appeal to reason) when making his pitch and goes directly to pathos (the appeal to emotion) as he strives to elicit tears, laughter, and ultimately agreement from his supporters.". 
       Well of course! Trump was and still is a democrat. The democratic party dispensed with legos long ago. Now we are shocked to find out he uses the typically democratic ploy as republican? Could this mean he could win? Scary but that is a fact.  It wins.

       Example: The democrats wanted to give out free health care and free prescriptions.   When I challenged the ability of a government to efficiently dole out such charity I personally experienced being categorized as "mean hearted", "selfish", "lacking compassion" and "cruel".  Disagreements with my position did not lead to exploring the reasoning and implications for such policies.  Instead I heard that arguments that implied "conservatives" had character flaws that prevented them from wanting better health care for "poor people".   Now we have much more expensive health care, no improvement in quality of care, with no impact on span or quality of life AND we have an ever growing over medication and addiction problem caused by thoughtlessly implemented policies.  Pathos won the day. 

       The point: Democrats have been using pathos for quite a while and it works. Now when a "republican" nominee uses pathos he is called out. We now have two parties using pathos to persuade the electorate. The saddest part, for me, is that using "pathos" works.

Comment based on article found at:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Does Everyone Need Insurance?

     There are people who can live life without fear, anxiety or insurance.   There exist people (myself among them) who would prefer to be left alone and allowed to face life without the help that insurance companies or the government would like to impose.   In fact there are some who think that the evidence is sufficient to conclude that insurance can often do harm by financing treatments that are ineffective, are focused on symptoms and even those that actually harm.
       The story below details one story that displays how insurance can be much worse that having un-affordable "care".

Jaye sought help for depression and she thought hoe lucky she must be to have generous insurance policy that could help pay for her care.  A psychiatrist and "expert" in "repressed memories" arranged for her insurance sponsored hospitalization.  Over a period of many months the doctor and hospital provided care, counseling, medication and restraints when needed during the nurtured emergence of horrid memories of abuse and torture by her father .  When the insurance ran out Jaye was discharged.  The medications stopped.  The mind cleared.  The " repressed memories" faded.  Jaye realized that the memories were never true and that her father was a good man.

My name is Jaye

It is common to desire perfect parents.  Like most, I yearned for all knowing, protective, caring, nurturing Mommy and Daddy to shower me with unconditional love.  This unrealistic desire was much like feeling warm fuzzies at the mere thought of Santa Claus as a child.  Santa's round belly, puffy pink cheeks, soft white beard, and contagious chuckle came close to the ideal father.  Dr. Stratford, my new psychiatrist, resembled Santa Claus and had the same charming disposition.

My role as a psychiatric patient began with the na├»ve idea that unyielding depression would be alleviated if I followed Dr. Stratford's treatment regime.  Desperate for relief, I failed to ask questions regarding his specialty, professional credentials, clinical experience, success rate, and treatment plan.

Unbeknownst to me, Dr. Stratford was considered an expert in repressed memory therapy and in the diagnosis of multiple personality disorder, which has since been redefined and renamed dissociative identity disorder.  Dr. Stratford's area of expertise led him to believe my depression was caused by buried memories of child sexual abuse.  I, therefore, had unwittingly become a patient of repressed memory therapy after agreeing to a short hospital stay under his care.

Treatment plucked me from home and sequestered me in a psychiatric hospital in a large city an hour away.  My lucrative job as an administrator was placed on hold; my social life and friends in community theater were avoided, and graduate school ended.  My relationship to family methodically began to fold after Dr. Stratford explained that buried memories could not surface unless I was free of family influence.  When he claimed depression was caused by events I could not remember his theory made sense because medication and talk therapy had been unsuccessful.  Dr. Stratford's novel approach to a very old problem seemed logical.

Disconnected from everything I loved and held dear, I was seduced by lavish attention from my charming doctor who was accessible twenty-four hours a day.  Nurses and attendants became mommies and siblings of sorts.  The hospital was home and a skewed sense of family was created after I assumed the role of dependent, little-girl patient.

It was 1986, and it was fashionable to seek psychotherapy.  The counseling environment offered an opportunity to find an external source to blame for personal difficulties, incompetency, failure and fear while basking in the warmth of a loving psychotherapist.  Dr. Stratford and I embarked on a course of treatment that focused on this blame game which I practiced with abandon.  I based the cause of depression on sexual torture rather than faulty biochemistry.  By this time, I had been sequestered for months, separated from family and friends, was high on narcotics, lacked sleep, ate poorly, was isolated on a locked unit from the general patient population, and often tied to a bed by leather restraints as a means to deal with horrific memories.

Dr. Stratford oversaw treatment in a gentle, kind, loving, and devoted manner.  When restraints and narcotics were ordered to help me cope with the bizarre content of new memories, I viewed the act as a display of concern and affection.  I trusted Dr. Stratford with my life and the goal was to have faith in the process of therapy so I could triumph over depression.

Old memories of the father, who raised me by working hard five days a week to provide for our family, quickly receded.  My Father, who had sent me to church camp, who had provided piano and dance lessons, who mowed the lawn and cleaned the swimming pool in the heat of summer, who taught me to drive and paid for my college education, was accused of nefarious acts.  The content of newly recovered memories became paramount while facts that countered them were disregarded.  Dr. Stratford eagerly stepped in as the emotional Daddy he believed I needed.

As years passed I became totally dependent upon Daddy Stratford and my hospital family.  It was not until insurance monies ran out, and I was discharged immediately, that I understood the truth of my role as psychiatric patient.  I had been the source of income for many mental health professionals - nothing more.  When I was destitute and in poor health due to the severity of treatment, no one from the hospital came to rescue me, no one helped me find a new apartment, no one called by telephone to ask how I was, and no one came to visit.  With a mind clear of narcotics, I was alone with the realization that my true family had not abused me and my hospital family, on the other hand, had used, and then discarded me.

Daddy Stratford returned to Dr. Stratford.  My Father carried on as my Father - which is the way it should have been all along.

How My Psychiatrist Became "Daddy" 
Jaye D. Bartha 
author, Orphan of the Memory Debate 

Obtained from:

NOTE:   This retraction is a rare example of integrity and courage.  Many live with the false memories their entire lives and rob their children of grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.  Losing contact at a time when the children most benefit from the contact.
 If you are seeking help for personal struggles and a therapist, counselor or friend says that "recovering childhood memories can help you get better" then IMMEDIATELY get up from your chair (or off the couch), run to the door, open it and flee. Hundreds of thousands have lost families, years of productive living and squandered immense wealth with tragedy inducing therapy that produces horrid false memories, splinters families, isolates the client and is documented to cause decline in mental health.
Learn about the myth of REPRESSED MEMORIES*: 
*now called pseudo memories by the 
American Psychiatric and Psychological Association

Communication with Grace just prior to treatment in Walla Walla, Washington:

       Grace will always be one phone call away from getting help.  When direct communication is resumed this blog will no longer be needed.  Resources reserved for lawyers, ads and protection can be freed to help and heal harm done by false memories.  The need for medication can end.  Children can be helped.  We hope and pray for that day!

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