Survivor (my brother) largely stopped posting after a screen name fraud he experienced here a few years ago, but I imagine many of you remember him. He was locked up last week for sending a message to the FBI that employed satire.
Gestapo tactics! That's what happens when a government strays from being a republic (no matter which side of the aisle they say they sit on).
Does your brother have an advocate in the mental health field (a psychiatrist, therapist, case worker, etc.)? If so, were they allowed to speak on his behalf?
Have you contacted a news media representative? April was National Autism month - it might be worth a try.
You also might be able to contact your state senator or local congressional rep, but I'm not sure how much they would want to start something with the FBI.
As far as your brother's debt, there is no way they can collect on it. As you have stated, he doesn't own a home and doesn't have an income, therefore they have nothing to take (I am assuming your mother's home is in her name). Even if he received disability or SSI, they could not take it because these are federal benefits. His credit score (if he has ever used credit) will be affected, but in all honesty lenders make allowances for medical-related debts.
Update: Richard is out of the inpatient ward, which is somewhat of a relief, though he is still under the authority of the agency that ostensibly gave the police authority to apprehend him for at least a month.
Fortunately, the same mental characteristics that cause Richard to give the FBI helpful suggestions also allow him to decline meds while in the hospital, and he was ultimately released with no prescription. Uniforms and authority don't really mean much to him.
Legal action has not been ruled out. My other siblings have been contacting members of congress and local authorities. There hasn't been mainstream media contact as far as I know.
I never knew why he left Hatrack, and didn't realize it had to do with that screen name fraud. The website software has been set up to prevent that kind of thing happening again. I wish I could say the same for what has happened to him now.
It's an unfortunate situation. Especially that he was tazed. It seems that most law enforcement don't realize that tazing someone risks killing them.
But that aside, he should have known better. For the same reason you don't joke about bombs at the airport you don't mail the FBI with a message that could be construed as a threat. That's just common sense.
I hope his situation resolves without further injury or insult.
[This message has been edited by Zero (edited May 09, 2010).]
I've been wondering what happened to Survivor. His input is sorely missed. I hope things settle down soon for your family. It's getting scarey what the FBI and other assorted agencies are able to do, the information they can collect by following your IP trail around the internet. I'm thinking the calendar should be reading "1984" instead of 2010.
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As I understand it, some heavy-duty autistics have very limited ability to interact with the world at all, whereas "high functioning" would be those that can speak and communciate and otherwise get along more easily, but there perceptions and ways of thinking/doing things are a bit different from the mainstream.
Theres a pretty broad spectrum I think, much like with Obessive Compulsive Disorder and the like.
Depending on where on the spectrum one is, high-functioning autistics and people with autism in general often have very high IQs. There's often a perception that because they have many other challenges (one of the hallmarks is an inability to read social queues, blatant or subtle, which can make someone with autism look rather stupid in some social settings when say a girl is telling a guy to knock it off, she's not interested, and he keeps pursuing her with dogged determination.) they're kind of dumb, but the opposite is more often the case, at least in my experience (which tends to be with those higher-IQ autism-spectrum individuals.)
I have worked with people with various degrees of autism. There is a very wide spectrum of ability and disability alike within this disorder. Some people have severe mental retardation (without any savant abilities) and some are geniuses with only mild difficulties in social settings (The Big Bang Theory crowd). People with autism are as diverse as people who are considered "neurotypical".
There is a growing number of people with a higher functioning form of the disorder called "Aspergers Syndrome". Most are very intelligent with above average writing ability. However, these people tend to have limited interests, very defined moral beliefs, and greater difficulty with expressing metaphors and figurative language.
When Survivor threatened to "devour the souls" of FBI agents, I highly suspect he was making mental connections that most people would not initially understand. I doubt this had anything to do with their deaths, and more to do with ridding them of their unjust/Big Brother-like behavior.
Since he used satire (and most likely has some difficuly making this evident), this probably also came across as threatening.
I am only speculating on what might have sparked such a strong reaction to his letter. It would seem that his brief institutionalization was extreme; however, it is better for people with this disorder to not be isolated from face-to-face social situations. I hope he has someone who encourages him to get out and meet with people other than his family. Increased socialization decreases socially inappropriate behavior (such as writing "threatening" letters to the FBI).
There have been many famous people who have displayed behavior indicative of Aspergers (these people had behaviors either as children or adults that are common in people with this disorder). Here are a few who some professionals use as examples of Asperger-like:
Albert Einstein Thomas Edison Sir Isaac Newton J.R.R. Tolkien Bill Gates
[This message has been edited by philocinemas (edited May 12, 2010).]
Autism aside, probably one must consider that the FBI has quite likely received threats to devour their souls from other people... who have meant it literally. They're probably jumpy about the whole subject. I'm just not sure that a good round of soul-devouring would effectively put them in check, mind you. In fact, perhaps it already happened decades ago, and we are just now seeing the after-effects.
-----------------------------------------------------------------Autism aside, probably one must consider that the FBI has quite likely received threats to devour their souls from other people... who have meant it literally. They're probably jumpy about the whole subject. I'm just not sure that a good round of soul-devouring would effectively put them in check, mind you. In fact, perhaps it already happened decades ago, and we are just now seeing the after-effects. Hmm. There must be a story in this idea... ***************************** They are trying to protect the one who already devoured their souls, The person who made the threat knows where their souls are an have the power to follow up the threat. Posts: 1005 | Registered: Feb 2006
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At the risk of going off topic, philo, I was surprised to see one entry on your list of people who are thought to be Asperger-like; you mention Bill Gates. I've never personally sat down and had a chat with the man, but when I used to work at Microsoft I saw him speak on several occasions and many, many people that I know had spoken with him quite a bit. While he certainly did seem to be born when all the stars were aligned "geek," he doesn't come across to me at all Asperger-like. My understanding of that particular disorder leads me to believe that people suffering from it would have very difficult times understanding social norms and subtle emotional gestures, for instance, a person who would watch you struggle to parallel park your car, then say "Your parallel parking ability reminds me of a fifteen-year-old with motor skill deficiencies," and wonder why you were mad at his perfectly valid observation.
A slightly more realistic example from what little I've read of Asperger's: A person with Asperger's might come over to your house for dinner, and if someone asked him about the food he might answer, "The lasagna was horrible and overcooked," without having any understanding that it was rude to say so.
In any case, Gates never came across to me as such a person. I've heard of his tirades at business meetings in the formative years of the company, but that sounds more to me like a very competitive man with powerful drive. If the dramatized movie "The Pirates of Silicon Valley" had any truth to it and he could be tyrannical at times, he seems to me like the kind of person that knew perfectly well how he was coming off and offending people. He simply didn't care, b/c he was of a mind that the job needed to be done. Also, the "extreme moral compass" that is commonly associated with people who have Asperger's typically manifests itself as being highly judgmental of those who don't measure up to that standard (I've heard - could be off the mark here), as opposed to making one determined to solve large societal problems, as Gates has made the mission of the second half of his life. I get his twitter feed, and lately he's just updating his trip through the poor areas of India and talking about the amazing and heartbreaking things he sees. That and poetry by his nephew (or was it kid? I don't remember.) In any case... didn't seem very much in the mold of Aspergers.
Don't mean to come across as a Gates defender, particularly given my previous employment at his company, but I just thought it an odd inclusion to the list. I have read a little about Isaac Newton, and from what I had read he sounded like the classic example of someone with Asperger's. Don't really know much about Einstein or Tolkien. I've heard Edison described as something of a total vindictive jerk and idea thief, particularly b/c of what he did to Tesla, but I hadn't heard before that he perhaps had Asperger's.
Out of curiosity, where did you read the reasoning behind the inclusion of the people on your list, philo?
[This message has been edited by micmcd (edited May 13, 2010).]
[This message has been edited by micmcd (edited May 13, 2010).]
I'd like to add that Survivor has fantastic satire skills. You want evidence, go read his posts here. I think perhaps he may not have understood that the FBI has a poor track record with satire.
Oh and I don't believe Bill Gates has Aspergers. Most cases of Aspergers I've seen had a certain kind of speech pattern, and Bill Gates doesn't have a hint of it. I've also seen that list used for ADHD and OCD. I think that's just a list of people who were successful but had something off about them.
Actually, micmcd, Bill Gates has been second to the top of most of the "Speculative-Aspie" lists for some time, second only to Einstein. I have my own theory about autism/Aspergers syndrome, that would not necessarily exclude him, but also would suggest he falls somewhere on the fringe of the disorder's root cause (I basically believe it is a hardwiring problem).
All that aside, I have read several books and essays that list him as having "Asperger Characteristics". Instead of me digging them out, however, all you need do is Google the following words:
"Bill Gates Aspergers Syndrome"
It will probably show up in your search engine before you even finish typing it, and there should be a plethora of hits for you. Wikipedia even addresses it.