Renegade member accuses Benzo Buddies of being a cult

Re: Mclean's Hospital Boston MA
« Reply #53 on: July 25, 2017, 04:46:11 pm »

[Buddie]

Quote from: [Buddie] on July 25, 2017, 02:48:46 pm
Quote from: [Buddie] on July 25, 2017, 02:26:48 pm
I am just looking for a doctor or two to help me in my journey with this challenging problem.

I think people on this thread are reading a lot of their own experiences into a very benign internet article.

The link you posted is not a benign internet article.

It is a sales pitch from McLean Hospital. Please reread it.

http://www.mcleanhospital.org/news/2016/08/02/tapering-addictive-therapies

[…],

Really?? It’s just an article. Not advertised on Twitter or YouTube or anything else.

Just a stupid article that I had to dig to find for after numerous upon numerous attempts on Google search.

I already talked to a doctor there that said you shouldn’t do more that a cut of 10% and that you can do liquid titration.

People here are a little overboard. Now I can see where the claims that this place is a cult are coming from (probably some upset ex-members).

The article does not say it’s going to be easy. Please show me where that is implied.

Oy vay! I’m starting to think this is a misery loves company forum and I really just came here for some help — not to be talked in to more symptoms than I already have.

Ugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 04:58:52 pm by [Buddie] »

Kook composes twisted lullaby to Ativan

If I was going to write a song about lorazepam, it'd be like....
« on: May 19, 2016, 06:21:47 am »

[Buddie]

Lorazepam lullaby,
took half a pill on a fly,
to stop the panic and doom,
to feel like other people do

Lorazepam abstinence,
why am I so anxious? it makes no sense
what is with this crazyness?
is it coffee or the food I ate?

I am anxious I need these pills,
But no longer know how I feel,
Does this stuff helps or hurts,
Lots of stress in life and
I’m feeling worse

Lorazepam danger zone,
this ain’t good for me, but I can’t stop
my anxiety is killing me,
and I am barely functioning

Lorazepam twilight zone,
am I dying all alone,
I went to the ER,
They said, “oh, you’re fine”

Lorazepam meltdown
What is this withdrawal thing?
Benzobuddies sites offers hope,
but why do I feel I can’t cope?

Lorazepam tapering,
what kind of world am I living it?
Feel like Frodo in Lords of the Rings
This can’t be possibly happening

To the rescue comes valium,
The nasty pills from 70’s films
Thought new benzos were safer things
Feel like fool for believing it

Colin’s all-consuming obsession with the Beyond Meds superstar: Cult leader uses phony dependence vs. addiction debate as opportunity to smear Gianna

Re: Not something I agree with: addiction
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2016, 01:46:35 am »

Colin

Hi all,

It is quite simple, really. Dependency describes a physical state. Addition describes a set of behaviours. Both those ‘addicted to’ and ‘dependent upon’ benzodiazepines are welcome at BenzoBuddies. It just so happens that those who are ‘dependent’ after taking benzodiazepines prescribed by – and as directed by – their doctor far outweigh the number of members who might be more accurately described as ‘addicts’. The reality is that BB (and support groups like us) were formed by those who experienced very problematic ‘dependency’ to benzodiazepines. I, personally, do not like the word ‘dependency’ (I don’t feel I was ever ‘dependent’ upon it for anything), but this is small semantic quibble, and is just opinion. Though, certainly, I would never choose to use the word ‘addict’ for what I went through, nor for the majority of our members. So, the majority of our members might prefer the term ‘dependent’, simply because that is a better (generally accepted) description of their situation. But, language being what it is, some who might be (objectively) described as being ‘dependent’ instead choose to describe themselves as being ‘addicted’. And, vise versa. Although I can understand why some people are exercised by the (mis)use of these terms, and I think the words do have (pretty objectively) different meanings, we should not get bent out of shape by the term being used interchangeably. In the main, it is just people with different interpretations of the terms, and how it applies to them. I think both sides might make their points, but then just accept the (sincerely held) differing views of others on this matter.

However, what I really do not like, is when people try to tell others ‘how it really is’, without any regard to inherent inaccuracies of language, and that people will have different opinions about ‘addiction’ and ‘dependency’ (and most other matters too). To put that blog entry and blogger into perspective, we had a lot of problems with Gianna when she was a member of this community. She had what I can only describe as a ‘hissy fit’ when we rejected her calls (demands, actually) for us to have a ‘bipolar’ support board at this forum. She then habitually linked to her blog in most of her posts here (even adding a link in her signature line) after she was told by one of the BB Admins that she could not do this because she was soliciting donations at her website. She eventually stopped frequenting our forum. She did return, maybe a year or more later,; we eventually banned her account (for similar abuses of our linking policy).

After the ban, Gianna went on to misinform the readers of her blog of why she was banned from BB. I’ve long been aware of her blog entry about her ban from this site, but have not been previously motivated enough to address it (at least so fully).

I’ve been banned from Benzo Buddies (benzodiazepine withdrawal forum)

Quote
I was finally banned from Benzo Buddies which is rather amusing because I asked that I be removed from membership over a year ago since they would not let me freely share my experience of having been multi-drugged. They refused to remove me. Since that time I’ve not visited as a member.

Actually, ‘no’, that is not what occurred. The blogger, Gianna, asked a third-party to intervene and request that I delete her account (this was after she left of her own accord the first time around). As a policy matter, we do not delete accounts unless requested to do so, directly, by the member concerned. At least twice I relayed back through to Gianna via the third-party that she would have to login and make the request herself. Instead, perhaps a year or more later, Gianna returned to BB, but never made a request for her account to be deleted. Instead, she continued from where she had left off, making lots of posts, usually with links back to her blog (with its requests for donations). This is why we banned her account! The original blog entry about her ban from BB is older than the updated one she has there now. The opening, updated information in the blog entry now reads:

Quote
Update: politics among us — I continue to be banned from benzo buddies and they continue to break the links their members post to my work (their members often post my work as they find it helpful) — the administrators of the site break the links to my site so they cannot be followed and misinform their readers that my blog is a commercial enterprise. I find this very sad. Very sad indeed. It’s also unethical and nasty to make out my site is commercial. I still link to them as being a reliable source of information to free oneself from benzos…there isn’t too much out there at the moment….and I care more about people’s ability to free themselves from drugs than politics. Still there are larger implications to this position they’ve taken with me that effect all their visitors. Essentially they deny the potential grave dangerousness of other psych drugs besides benzos. That is the bottom line.

This is the same kind of tone she used when she practically demanded that BB have a bipolar support board. We have a policy of not allowing ‘active’ (clickable) links to commercial websites (this includes sites requesting donations). And, actually, the links are not ‘broken’ at all – they were just made non-clickable. And Gianna’s BB signature line link persists to this day (albeit, deactivated too). But, if we had decided to remove the links entirely, and/or any mention of Gianna and her blog from BB, that would be our decision, not hers. Gianna seems to have a problem understanding the limits of her domain; she demands that we change our policy as it is somehow unfair to her. What is “unethical” is to register with a group, agree to abide by their rules, to knowingly and continuously break those rules when pointed out to her, and then lie about the reasons for her ban. It is also generally considered very bad form to enter someone else’s ‘house’ and demand that they make changes to accommodate your particular interests.

So, anyway, that blog entry fits with what I already know about Gianna. I thought, given enough time, she would have thought better of it and remove the blog entry about her ban from BB. Gianna was wrong to demand that BB be structured to her own preferences; she is wrong to label all those going through benzodiazepines withdrawal as ‘addicts’.*

I’d prefer to not write anything about Gianna. In reality, I am not particularly bothered about her (false) accusations regarding the circumstances of her ban from this forum. But, I see the same general (poor) attitude on display in the blog entry linked in the opening post here, so I felt I would comment more generally (probably more than I needed to).

* I mean no disrespect to those who might be more properly described as addicts (or choose to term their situation as ‘addiction’). But, given the general stigma associated with the use of the term (and its generally accepted associated behaviours), it should come as little surprise that people who have problems with benzodiazepines, when taken as prescribed by their doctor, might prefer a different (and more descriptive) term.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 01:54:17 am by Colin »

Re: Not something I agree with: addiction
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2016, 10:15:13 pm »

Colin

Hi,

I just wish to add, on the face of it, Gianna/Monica went through a really rough time. She is, quite evidently (and understandably) angry about what occurred to her. For this reason, I think she lacks objectivity. For similar reasons, this is why I caution members about extrapolating from the specific (their own experience) to the general; and is why BB has far more rules about writing style than content.

If Gianna is going to have such a ‘crusading’ blog, she will have to expect criticism. It comes with the territory. For the reasons I’ve already explained here and elsewhere, I do not think it sensible (or ethical) to make blanket (negative) statements about psychiatry and/or the medical profession. Things go wrong in every profession. And, of course, by the very nature of medicine, it is less exact than we might hope. Criticism and critiques are fine (and can be very useful too), but when we go further and make blanket statements based upon our personal experience (or the experiences of self-selecting groups), we are making the same kind of mistakes of which the self-interested medical trials by the pharmaceutical industry are sometimes accused.

So, I do not dismiss Gianna’s experiences. I just take issue with some of her generalisations. Well, that and her explanation of why she was banned from BenzoBuddies. ::)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 10:24:57 pm by Colin »

Re: Not something I agree with: addiction
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2016, 04:47:59 am »

[Buddie]

It seems like I see links to Mad in America here all the time and they have a donation button. How is that different from Monica’s site? How come […] is free to put a link to Monica’s site but she herself can’t?

I suspect this has a lot more to do with conflicts other than the issue of whether a site is commercial, and I just can’t feel as down on her as you all seem to think we should be. I’ve looked at her site and it seems to me she’s knocking her lights out genuinely trying to help people.

Re: Not something I agree with: addiction
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2016, 08:55:15 am »

Colin

Quote from: [Buddie] on March 14, 2016, 04:47:59 am
It seems like I see links to Mad in America here all the time and they have a donation button. How is that different from Monica’s site? How come […] is free to put a link to Monica’s site but she herself can’t?

I suspect this has a lot more to do with conflicts other than the issue of whether a site is commercial, and I just can’t feel as down on her as you all seem to think we should be. I’ve looked at her site and it seems to me she’s knocking her lights out genuinely trying to help people.

Hi […],

Unless I’m mistaken, donations to MIA do not go to an individual (I could be wrong – please let me know if this is the case). Additionally, the position taken by a BB admin about Gianna’s links to her blog (with its appeal for donations) was a reasonable interpretation of our rules. There is no specific rule about this. Edge cases like this are prone to possible inconsistencies (not that I think that the MIA case is a proper comparison to Gianna’s). What I mean is, just maybe I (or another admin) would take a different view in either or both of these cases. Sometimes, it is a judgement call. Since I did not make the call, it is not possible for me to now post an unbiased view about what I would have done in either of those particular (edge) cases. But what I can say is this, I think the decision in each case is consistent with our rules (certainly not inconsistent) and that my guess is that I probably would have made similar determinations.

As for […] (or me) linking to Monica (Gianna’s) site and how is that different? Simple. When Gianna did it, it was self-interested promotion. When […] (and I) did it, it was in the aid of discussion.

This has nothing to do with “conflicts”. Gianna was banned from BB for consistently breaking our rules before blogging her (false) comments about the reasons for her ban from BB. The linked article, “we are all addicts” reminded me of other attitudes displayed by Gianna in the past. It was not an ad hominem attack precisely because I made clear it was her attitude with which I took issue. I addressed the content of her article separately. I don’t have a problem with criticisms or critiques of BB, but if sufficiently motivated, I might point out flat-out falsehoods – this should hardly come as a surprise. Here’s an example of how I react to criticisms of BB:

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=151694.msg2037304#msg2037304

Hardly the most eloquent critique of BB policies, but the poster is entitled to her views.

As for MIA (where the above appeared): I am not a great fan. Specifically, I don’t agree with their reasons for allowing so-called ‘information’ originating from Scientology to be posted at their website. Indeed, Scientologists are welcome to participate there. As I’ve written many times, Scientology are not honest brokers of information (they have an agenda to spread their own brand of ‘therapeutic counselling’, Dianetics – the abolition of psychiatry is part of that agenda). Further, allowing the dissemination of ‘information’ from Scientology invites unnecessary ridicule and skepticism, damaging their aims (and the aims of others) to make psychiatry more accountable.* So, I do not have a positive bias towards MIA. However, from what I have read there, I think they do provide some good information, and potentially useful critiques and discussion. If Gianna’s article had instead appeared at MIA, I would have been just as critical about it. And, if I might add, not withstanding my specific criticisms, I’m sure Gianna posts a lot of useful and/or interesting articles at her blog too.

I think it also worth me stressing that even BB members sometimes post (at BB) critiques of this place, its policies, me, etc. None of that, in of itself, is a problem or moderation issue. In example, I point you to the following BB thread, which questioned if BB could be more detrimental than positive for some people:

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=48083.0

My initial response, here:

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=48083.msg650876#msg650876

You might also read our feedback board.

Please keep in mind that BB is, first and foremost, a discussion space. And I am as entitled as any other member to post my views.

Edited to remove some repetition, for typos, and clarifications.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 11:00:07 pm by [Buddie] »

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