Tuesday, 6 October 2009

"What a show!" - Oprah is going to feature Jani Schofield

"An article in the LA-Times, a radio interview (...) a book, hope for a movie contract,..." I forgot to mention something of the most sought-after by every true narcissist: An appearance on The Oprah Show.

Yeah, Michael Schofield made it! Oprah is going to feature Jani's absolutely unique case in her show. Congrats Michael! Here's to you:



(Indeed, the very last words Peter Gabriel sings in this vid are: "Go to hell!"...)

Stephany has written more about the upcoming event here.

Concerning Stephany's doubts whether the show will be one-sided pro-drugs, just watch the Pfizer-ad at the top of this page.

22 comments:

Rossa Forbes said...

Hi, Marian,
I don't blame the Schofields for doing what they are doing, even if I have a different understanding of schizophrenia. They are young, desperate and have their hands full. They seem to believe that schizophrenia is a brain disease and unrelated to the trauma of their respective family backgrounds. From following his blog, what they are trying to do is to highlight the lack of services for children like their daughter and to force some sort of social change. It works in other situations. The problem is that their life is an open book, and people will judge them as parents. As a parent myself, I can empathize with their problems, but of course, I see their problems entirely differently than they way they seem to understand them.
...Rossa

Marian said...

Rossa,

I don't know whether you've been following the story. The guy "fought" - his own words - to have his daughter labelled with, of all labels, "schizophrenia". he admits to have hit and starved her. His blog is all about his and his wife's suffering, he does nothing, absolutely nothing, to prevent the drugging of his daughter with highly toxic substances that are very likely to cost her her life, sooner or later, he rejects any kind of help people have offered him that isn't mainstream, and he exploits every, absolutely every, opportunity that presents itself to draw attention - to his person, his suffering. What kind of parent would do all this? A truly loving parent would proceed in quite a different manner. This man sacrifices his daughter to his own ego.

I know. I'm highly judgemental, and I shouldn't be. But I've been the victim of a narcissist, though not quite as reckless as Michael Schofield, myself. I know them when I see them. And I sometimes judge them. I can't help it.

Stephany said...

There is a comment discussion at the Oprah site, I left the link in my blog post. In the father's May 2, 2009 archived blog post, he compares himself to a serial killer in thoughts, and talks about writing a book, etc. Just having him write so disgustingly about his abuse of his wife and Jani gives me little compassion for him. I do have compassion but not for child abusers. I cannot believe Oprah didn't discuss it on the program.

Marian said...

Stephany: I had a profile at Oprah's site. I deleted it today. Right after I'd written the post here. I very much enjoyed the Eckhart Tolle-webcasts and most of her Soul Series, but let's face it: Oprah is a mainstream medium, she knows how to make money, and, this my personal opinion/judgement, she is pretty much naive. At least I hope she is, because as a victim of abuse herself, and presumably being on a spiritual path, she should know better than to give someone who without doubt is some abuser the least chance to show off and go fishing for the nation's sympathetic attention on her show. And if she isn't naive, that would make her something a lot less pleasant.

I had a look at the comments and the discussion. Some good comments there. Some not so good. Painful, actually. Especially when they come from a psychologist/therapist-to-be.

I too find it very very hard to have any compassion for people like Michael Schofield. Although it must be said that you don't do to others what hasn't been done to you yourself in the past. He is a victim of abuse, he too. The question is whether it serves anyone, the abuser included, to remain silent about abuse where it occurs. I don't think so.

Rossa Forbes said...

Hi, Marian,
Yes, I have contributed comments to Michael Schofield's blog, and am aware of all the controversy. I was on the receiving end of a lot of negativity from people who read things into my comments that I never intended, so I judge him by the same standard I would want to be judged by. Since I blog about my own son, I can't really condemn him for what he's doing. (He lives in L.A. after all!) It's hard enough being the parent of an adult son with problems, I can't imagine what it would be like having to parent a seven year old with these problems. So, while I truly believe that the daughter is merely reflecting the troubled background of the parents (here I am referring to the family history on both sides that was laid out in one of M.S.'s posts), I also feel that the family hasn't been through enough yet to question what is being handed out. My understanding is that the point of M.S.'s campaign is about getting access to education for his daughter and others in same boat. Right now, the spotlight and the money is on autism, which is less prevalent in the population, but you wouldn't know it by all the attention it gets. So, I assume he is trying to do for schizophrenia was is being done for autism. Schizophrenia, like autism, to me can only be solved within the context of the family background, but then I am not the exhausted parent of a severely disturbed seven year old who I still hold out hope of educating and leading a normal life. For now, he is content to trust the doctors.

Marian said...

Rossa: my problem with all this is that I don't see a child with "schizophrenia" here at all. What I do see is an extremely gifted and smart child, rebelling her parent's violence toward her, and unfortunately too young and naive to understand, that she's digging her own grave.

IMO, "schizophrenia" is an artificial, meaningless and abstract cultural construct created to explain away the abused and oppressed individual's rebellion against the abuse and oppression. This is not to say, that every parent whose child rebels in this particular way (if at all it is "particular" as there are just as many different kinds of "schizophrenic" behavior as there are people who are labelled with "schizophrenia") is a malicious abuser and oppressor. In fact, I believe pure evil is very rare, probably even non-existent, since I believe all our actions (thoughts, emotions behavior), no matter how extreme, are perfectly adequate reactions to our environment.

However, "forgive them for they don't know what they do" doesn't apply to the Michael Schofields of this world. They know what they're doing. Their problem is that they're controlled by their ego, and that their ego's survival depends on doing what they do. Helplessness, not unconsciousness. The problem is not Jani. It's an ego run wild. Michael Schofield's ego. And he needs to understand that, or he will continue to create havoc and misery wherever he goes. Unfortunately, there's no need for him to understand and accept this as long as the public feeds his ego what it needs to survive and even thrive.

Think about this: would you excuse a serial killer who asked for more and safer opportunities to kill while he claims these would reduce the suffering of both his victims and himself, thus being "help"? Would you say, that he just wants to make the world a better place? And, indeed, Michael Schofield is a serial killer (cf. Stephany's comment above).

Rossa Forbes said...

Marian - I can't speak for Michael Schofield. He has enough to deal with. The only difference between him and others is that he has gone public with some very personal problems. As a parent, I have a lot of sympathy even though he himself doesn't come across as likeable or stable. Somehow he has become the lightening rod for a lot of people, probably because of the way he comes across. Much as I wish it to be different, the majority of people are swayed by the supposed knowledge that the doctor knows best. That's why we do what we are doing - to try to change public perceptions.

Rossa Forbes said...

Marian - Re your comment "my problem with all this is that I don't see a child with "schizophrenia" here at all. What I do see is an extremely gifted and smart child, rebelling ...."

That is in essence what schizophrenia is - the term schizophrenia is just a label that unfortunately provokes a medical response. But if more people would take a deep breath and not overreact, and pay attention to what the person is saying and doing, they will probably come to the same conclusion as you do. Didn't John Nash say that his brain was on strike?

Sherri said...

This kid is not suffering from schizophrenia. Her illustrations changed thorughout the program, she couldn't keep her story straight on national tv. Jani is just a spoiled, McDonald's over fed, caffeine driven and overall bad diet kid. Did you notice her condition got a LOT worse once her baby brother was born? This is not schizophrenia, this a kid who wants her parents attention soley, doesn't want a little brother in 'HER APRATMENT', she's a brat and her parents want $. Oprah, give us something real to care about.

Marian said...

Rossa: that's where I see a decisive difference between someone like you (or Stephany for that sake) and the Michael Schofields (he's certainly not the only one of his kind, no): you would go to the end of the world to help your son, the Michael Schofields go to the end of the world only to help themselves. That's what abusers do: everything to protect themselves. For instance by trying to change public perceptions so that people are even less likely to ever become suspicious of what their true agenda actually is.

The somewhat brusque and defensive way Michael Schofield replied to for instance David Oaks comment on his blog speaks volumes: "Don't you dare and try to tell me that my daughter is not the world's most special case!" With his daughter being him. Jani is not an independent person. She only and solely exists as an extension of Schofield's ego. And whenever she tries to be herself, this happens:

"With schizophrenics, you always have to try to rationalize with them. You have to try and point out where their thinking is irrational. It doesn’t work right then and there but the hope is that it will sink in over time and that Jani will learn to question her own thoughts." (my italics, from Michael Schofield's blog, can't find the post's URL right now)

First, he repeatedly talks about "the schizophrenics", and about Jani being "schizophrenic. Did he see anything else in his daughter than "the schizophrenic", he wouldn't use this wording.

And second, what he states here is the abuser's first and foremost concern par excellence: silencing the victim, by making the victim believe s/he can't trust him-/herself, his/her own genuine feelings, perceptions and thoughts. And by bringing discredit on the victim's words in public: "Don't believe in anything Jani says! Her brain is diseased, her thoughts irrational (meaning: worthless), her mind is making things up (meaning: she's a liar)." He actually says the opposite of what you write in your comment: "Do not pay attention to what Jani is saying and doing!" Meaning: Do not try to make sense of it.

Watch how he describes his physical abuse of Jani: she made him do it. He is the victim. The abuser par excellence, once more.

He even has the impudence to test if it works, how far he can go, how much power he has over his readership, writing about the abuse, describing it on his blog. Comparing himself to a serial killer in thoughts. Does anyone react? No, he got them in the palm of his hand. He rules. He calls the shots. He's the greatest. Invincible. Only when some people came by his blog, who didn't buy it, he got cold feet, and removed some of the worst of it.

His weakness, his own irrationality, his dependency, helplessness, misery... he projected the whole lot of what he hates about himself into Jani, whom he can control (with the help of the "experts") and define ("schizophrenic"). Once again, he rules, he calls the shots. He's the greatest. Invincible.

Yes, it's John Nash who said that.

Marian said...

Sherri: Jani is what her parents made her be. A 7-year-old, no matter how bright intellectually, is not spiritually/personally capable of taking full responsibility. That makes her neither a "schizophrenic" nor a brat. Both terms are equally abusive.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled upon your blog, and OMG... the depth of your ignorance is staggering. That includes horrid people like Sherri. I have a son with psychiatric problems. He was "different" from day one. I was a new mom, but I could see he had different needs. He needed almost constant holding, so I gave it to him. He's still difficult, but I often wonder if he would be less functional if I had given into my own needs more than his. I find some comfort in that... that those years without sleep weren't for nothing.

But there were days that I was so frustrated that I felt anger and resented my little boy. I occasionally felt violent towards him, because frankly, there is only so much we can take. And what I have dealt with has been a cakewalk compared to what the Schofields have been through.

You know... some people believe that autism doesn't exist. Those people are idiots and they do no favors for the children who suffer the isolated life of autism. And if you all think you could do better for Jani, why don't you offer up your help. I bet her mom and dad would welcome the day off.

Marian said...

Anonymous: how does calling others for "horrid" people make you any better than these others, as you seem to think it does?

Living organisms, human beings or others, do not act, they react. To their environment. Especially in the case of "psychiatric" problems a thorough look at the "problematic" individual's environment will ultimately reveal the cause of the problems. Someone who's not ready to take that look in the mirror is not fit to take care of another individual. Certainly not when the other individual is as dependent on them as children are on their parents.

Mark p.s.2 said...

regarding Jani . To a narcissist his/her children do not exist as seperate individual beings but an extention of themselves, so they can kill their own children.

The Schofields are supposed to be an adults. The child is behaving as a child.

Guy Turcotte, 36
"Quebec doctor charged with killing his 2 children"

Penny Boudreau, 34
"N.S. woman admits she strangled daughter to keep boyfriend"

The fathers description of need to control the child is a revealing that he has little to no empathy for the childs position, the childs (different)feelings and opinions.

A parent has to control their child, to get them to grow up and behave like adults, but it comes from love. And the control has to be reasonable.

13-year-old Rekha Kalindi
"Girl's Refusal to Be Child Bride Inspires Nation"
"Rekha is a slight girl – maybe 4 feet tall – with long dark hair loosely pulled back in a ponytail. A huge smile appears when talks about school. She fell in love with learning and excelled in her classes which is why she was devastated when her parents told her last year at the age of 12 that it was time for her to get married.

So Rekha did the unthinkable. She said “no.”

Her parents, shocked by her behavior, withheld her food for nearly two weeks.

Her mother, Manaka Kalindi, said she was angry that her daughter had defied her.

“Parents have rights to (control) their children,” she said."



If the parents have some empathy they could negotiate a compromise. They can't understand they can not control the will and mind of another being. So they put the victims in jail, or in a chemical jail.

Marian said...

Mark: to a narcissist no one exists as an independent individual. Everything and everyone only and solely exists as an extension of the narcissist's ego, an object for him/her to use and abuse as it pleases him/her, or, actually, as the narcissist's neediness demands.

I watched the vid Stephany has posted earlier today. There's this sequence where jani says, her name isn't Jani. As someone at FS (can't find the comment right now) suggests, this is rather natural child behavior than the "symptom" of brain disease the context of the vid turns it into. It's absolutely natural behavior for an individual who is in the process of liberating themselves from being nothing but the extension of someone else's ego, and develop an identity of their own. "Jani" doesn't exist other than as an extension of Michael Schofield's ego. So the individual she is can impossibly be this "Jani".

A problem this only becomes when individuation fails - for instance because the parent is a thorough narcissist, unable to provide the room his/her child needs to become him-/herself.

I know people with an "sz"-label, myself included, who have an "issue" with their name.

Rossa Forbes said...

"I know people with an "sz"-label, myself included, who have an "issue" with their name."

Hi, Marian,
Why is that? My son seems to have "issues" with his name. I used to talk about his birth (as I do with all my sons because I thought it would be a good way of communicating about a really wonderful event.) Apparently my son took as a negative my saying that I couldn't believe my husband called him "Chris" not Christopher (as I had thought we agreed to call him), right after his birth. I don't understand why he would carry this around as a huge burden. It was only an anecdote that I thought was amusing. My other sons enjoy these kind of stories and take them in the spirit I thought they were intended. Are we simply talking about low self esteem or is there something else going on?
...Rossa

Marian said...

Rossa: it's more complex than that. At least to me it is, and of course I can only speak for myself, not for your son or anybody else.

Somehow, my given name was a symbol for the prison I felt, I was held captive in, a symbol for everything I was expected to be but that was not my true self.

I've changed my name many times. Trying to find the one that was really, truly me. At the same time, I knew that no existent name would do. Because what we really are can't be named - or labelled. And names, too, are labels. Defining, limiting, denying labels. Catch 22: you need a name to live in this world. So, I settled for second best. Any name but my given one, the most defining, limiting and denying of them all. And I changed my name each time I felt it had become too defining, limiting and denying.

BTW: I didn't like it, neither, when my mother told me about my birth. Basically, what she was telling me was that I in fact was her child, part of her, an extension of her... So-called "schizophrenia" is also a struggle for freedom - from being defined, limited and denied by others. And then the system comes along, and what is the first thing it does?!...

MacCruiskeen said...

Marian, I agree with everything you say about the "naming" thing and the process of individuation.

Moreover 'January' (in particular) is also a hell of a name to saddle your child with; not just because it's so wilfully and selfishly "different", and therfore likely to encourage teasing in the playground; but quite simply because it's one of the coldest, darkest and most unpleasant months of the year.

Not for no reason are April, May and June very old, very popular and very common girls' names; and not for no reason are December, January and February practically unheard-of. Imagine naming your child after the time when nature is its deadest...

In any case, my own sister and my own daughter (like many, many other children, maybe most) both went through a very similar phase at exactly the same age. Like imaginary friends, "hyperactivity", "picky eating", and jealousy of younger siblings, choosing new names for oneself is one of the commonest phenomena of childhood and entirely unpathological. That the quacks can call it a "symptom" of anything, much less "schizophrenia" (!) simply beggars belief.

Anonymous said...

Most of you posting comments on this site seem, in my humble opinion, to be well-meaning but fantasically deluded individuals who, though possessing the noble intent of protecting an innocent child, seem to imagine that if only we all stopped believing in Schizophrenia it would simply cease to exist as an actual organic illness. Having known or made the acquaintance of several truly authentic schizophrenics over the years, I can assure all of you that such a forlorn condition actually does exist and is not simply the evil construct of a greedy pharmaceutical company, the defensive machination of an abusive parent or any number otherwise of admittedly plausible but, as is sadly so in this case, wholly spurious conjectures. Though some of you here are perversely determined to disbelieve it, there is a definite dividing line between what most children generate as harmless imaginary playmates that eventually dissipate with time and what this poor tortured soul experiences on a daily basis. Jani's hallucinations are as real and palpable to her as these words of mine you are now reading on your computer screen; but, unlike the charming, humorous kitty-cats and bunny-wunnys most children conjure up from their fantasy realms, Jani's are glaringly MEAN, HOSTILE and decidedly MURDEROUS in intent. Perhaps none of you have ever actually met up with a bona-fide schizophrenic, because if you had, you would no doubt realize that Jani's parents have performed no less than heroically under extremely trying circumstances, especially in this brutal and merciless country which offers almost NOTHING in the way of support, assistance or aid for parents attempting to care at home for a child like Jani, and instead requires them, ABSOLUTELY requires them for the purposes of obtaining sufficient funds, to perform like side-show freaks for a public that, as your posts make so clear, are often less than sympathetic for such a variety of pathological reasons that it makes one's head spin. And just so you don't think I'm shilling for anyone's interest other than Jani's and the Schofields', I, too, believe the drug companies to be hideously malovelent; I know for an unvarnished fact that most psychiatrists have their heads up their asses and often are no better than mindless pushers, as the great Freud was himself for that miracle drug Cocaine; but I also know that, despite all my hopes to the contrary, diseases of the brain like Schizophrenia do exist, and often there isn't much one can do to stop the hallucinations from gaining a greater hold on their victim other than drugging them into a stupor with terribly toxic compounds that are inevitably going to cripple the patient in other unfortunate ways. C'est la vie, mes amis, c'est la vie...

Marian said...

Anonymous: That you have chosen to judge people who experience extreme states of mind to suffer from a brain disease called "schizophrenia", doesn't make the disease more real than what you call a "hallucination" or "delusion". Show me the lab tests for "schizophrenia"!

Jani's "hallucinations" are just as MEAN, HOSTILE and MURDEROUS as her environment is.

If "often there isn't much one can do" than chemically lobotomizing people and shorten their life expectancy considerably, how come that non-psychiatric alternatives like Soteria have a recovery rate of 85 % for so-called "schizophrenia"?? BTW, another misconception: If you'd really listen to people, you'd know, that all the drugs do is sedating the person who takes them. Not much "symptom control" involved here, I'd say. More social control.

MacCruiskeen said...

Unbelievable... Michael Schofield has now removed his entire blog from the Internet.

Try googling "January First Notes from Calalini"; you will still find the old link, but it now takes you to this:

http://www.janisjourney.org/

Quote: "The following is an ***edited*** version of Jani’s story as told by her father, Michael Schofield."

Emphasis added. And why "edited"? The answer is obvious.

Michael Schofield is a chronic and inveterate liar. Three of his worst lies were exposed again in his comments box yesterday, before he deleted all the evidence, along with every other post that did not agree with him 100% or submit unquestioningly to his will. (Among other things: He lied to the doctors when he told them Jani had never suffered physical abuse.) He is a controlling narcissist and a serial child abuser, and now he is panicking and trying to conceal the evidence.

Luckily, the original blog has been saved elsewhere, in its entirety (up to at least the beginning of August 2009).

And he has been writing a BOOK since very shortly after (maybe even before) Jani was finally was burdened with the grotesque diagnosis he had been pushing so hard for: "schizophrenia". To him, Jani is a mere extension of himself; he hopes she will make him a famous and wealthy author.

More about this later. Michael Schofield has to be stopped; because, since Oprah, he hhas become an influence on thousands if not millions of parents, and therefore on thousands if not millions of children.

It is simply intolerable. He will not get away with this.

More later.

Rodney St.Michael said...

I had schizophrenia too 16 years ago when I was in California, and I was confined in Las Encinas Hospital, CA. I posted a message to Oprah @

http://www.oprah.com/community/blogs/rstmichael

Schizophrenia is curable, and my website http://illuminated.tripod.com
gives more information about it.

Rodney St. Michael