Echoes of the Gulag
Dedicated to, and Written by, American Citzens Fraudulently held under the California SVP Act

Thursday, December 7, 2006 

Volume VII No 6, November / December 2006
Published Bimonthly at Coalinga, CA.

By: Lawrence D. Halbert

In the years that I have been involved with the GULAG, I have had the opportunity to talk with people about how this publication has evolved. Many of you, who look forward to reading each issue, have given some very positive feedback, making each issue better. Still there are some who do not seem to get what the purpose of the GULAG is. For some this might be the first time they are reading the GULAG.

Many of the individuals who have found themselves here at ASH & CSH after serving their sentence(s) have a mistrust of the judicial system. Some are here after serving our sentences for the WIC §6600 qualifying offenses. Some are here for other crimes who have a past history of sexual offenses, like myself. No matter what label you place upon this law, S.V.P. 6600, Civil Commitment, the first purpose of this law is preventative detention. The rules used to apply this preventative detention change upon the perception of who is the worst of the worst. Many of us have been painted with a wide brush, just barely meeting the criteria if at all. In addition, when you have the very person that gathers evidence as to who qualifies to be held under the SVP A, are employed by those that have the most to gain by keeping you incarcerated (the fox guarding the hen house) the objectivity goes out the window.
It is a harder task for society to uphold and celebrate the sanctity' of due process than to give in to misguided prejudices that help people feel better.

The banner on each issue is, "This Publication is Dedicated (and Written by) American Citizens Fraudulently Held Under the California SVP Act" a statute that has not yet been challenged in the Highest Court. The law, as applied to us, is unconstitutional for many different reasons. Where is all the due process that we are entitled to be the Constitution? Why does it take several years for one to go through the commitment process while that person suffers the same loss of liberty as a criminal defendant who faces criminal charges? (A criminal defendant enjoys speedy trial rights, civil commitment under the S.V.P.A. does not.) Why are we not afforded the right to participation and legal representation in the initial screening process?

The term "Gulag" comes from the name given prisons in Siberia, Russia where people deemed to be enemies of the state or political prisoners were sent to be reeducated while imprisoned. Although this term may, for some, not be pleasing, it nonetheless, encapsulates our cause in one perfect word, as we are political prisoners locked away and branded as reprobate, not worthy of another chance.

None of us, the people that issue to issue put together the GULAG, have any training in journalism. Originally, Tim McClanahan was our teach, but now we are on our own. With all that it takes to produce each issue, our purpose is to inform, educate, and enlighten our readers and to speak to the injustices we suffer.

Those who wish to ridicule the writers in the GULAG as "whiners" and "snivelers" or call our publication a "rag" or a "kiddy paper" I believe are the same persons who seem to believe that molesting a child is ok or sexually victimizing a woman is acceptable. These are not the individuals who we wish to represent. Absolutely, we believe that ANY form of victimizing is inexcusable. Nor do we discourage any person who needs or wants help. More importantly, we as members of society, do not want anyone to be a victim, others or ourselves. I say to you, if you are not part of the solution, you are the problem, a problem that, I might add, YOU yourself created. They keep all of us off the computers because some of YOU like to write kiddy porn!

While I'm on this subject, I want to speak to you people who think you are doing something by repeating and distorting the rumor. Misinformation is not what we need. What is needed are for persons to research and investigate areas of the law and other relevant subjects in order to prepare each person to be well informed for trial. Facts, truths, and accurate information are what is needed, not your distorted perception of how you want the facts to fit your delusion.

Many of the articles written in past issues for the GULAG are about the very same conditions and treatment that presently being investigated by the Department of Justice

Mr. Todd Melnik, Attorney at Law, now has openings for new clients. If you are financially able, I urge you to contact Mr. Melnik @ Warner Kenter Ln. Woodkand Hills CA. 91367-6540. phone (818) 995-7777
Mr. Melnik has not lost a case in the last 7 years. He is extremely diligent and knowledgeable in defending Welfare & Institution Code 6600 cases.
Yes Lap-tops are allowed at Coalinga, & Phone Cards.

The Christian Science Monitor, June 14, 2005 Submitted by: Peter Tolles

The abuse of a child by a sexual offender is a despicable crime, for which every parent and law enforcement officer ought to be on the alert. Children, the most vulnerable members of society, depend on the care and wisdom of adults to protect them. It's because of that responsibility that so many state and local governments have been tightening laws relating to child molestation.
But as they go about drawing their security circles around children, these governments need to watch that they don't overreact.

Last week, Miami Beach, Fla., banned convicted child molesters from moving to within 2,500 feet of schools, school bus stops, day-care centers, parks, and playgrounds. It effectively bans sexual molesters from moving into the city.

Vermont's governor is pushing to lock-up certain violent criminals, including sexual offenders, in' mental health institutions indefinitely; after they've 'served their sentences. More than a dozen states have "civil commitment" laws for sex offenders.

New York is considering lengthening the period that paroled sex offenders need to register their location with the state from 10 years to a lifetime. It's also looking at monitoring parolees electronically.

With measures like, these, communities are applying solutions far more broadly than necessary.

The Miami Beach case, for instance, assumes that most child molesters are strangers to their victims: If the city just cordons off their children they'll be safe. In fact, most victims are known to their abusers.

It's also important to remember that the rate of repeat offense by a convicted child molester is low. "Sex offenders as a group have a relatively low recidivism rate. In fact, they have a lower recidivism rate than most other 'offenders," says John Q. La Fond, author of a new book, "Preventing Sexual Violence."

An extensive study' by the Department of Justice published in 2003 shows a recidivism rate for child molesters of just 3.3 percent in the first three years. In almost half of the original offenses, the victim was the prisoner's relative.

Experts say it's possible to identify probable repeat molesters by looking at a person's history, behavior, and mental state. This argues for a selective approach, though governments might be tempted to define high risk too broadly.

Still, instead of trying to keep tabs on every released offender, governments should target funds, personnel, and expertise to parolees in the high risk group, monitoring them closely and working to rehabilitate them.

Public outrage and sorrow accompany cases of child sexual abuse. Governments should do all they can to prevent these crimes - and some of the predators do appear to be beyond current methods of rehabilitation. But the outrage shouldn't get in the way of trying to help the majority of abusers redeem their lives.

By: R. Lefort

The War on Terror seems to have its seeds planted in the various S.V.P.A. statutes. which started in the State of Washington, following the case of Shiner who clearly stated he would do abominable acts to young boys upon his release. Soon after his release, he kidnapped and cut off the penis of a young boy and then hung the boy with a belt until his death, in his closet. The State of Washington enacted the "civil" S.V.P.A.

California followed this lead in 1996, to prevent the release of those it wanted to deem "too dangerous" to be released. In order to do that, the State of California, in conjunction with the California Department of Mental Health, hired psychologists to make predictions in this modern day witch hunt. The State DMH presented a "state of the art" treatment program to the California Legislature, and trained the hired evaluators to make their predictions look scientific. Basically, if the individual has not participated in their "new", developing and evolving "state of the art" treatment program based on Behaviorism, then that individual is dangerous. What jury, although never fully informed (if so, they are removed) would not say, "he has done these detestable things the prosecutor has said” (and prosecutors don't lie) what would be the harm in a little "state of the art” treatment, even if there is no "proof” of a current dangerousness."
No one explains that the SOCP treatment is experimental & evolving.

What these jurors do not realize is that the various laws across the country are being used as a testing grounds for the bigger picture. Mainly, "Can We Lock up Folks without any PROOF of dangerousness, based solely on the word, or prediction, of a so called "expert we have hired?" The courts, and juries, seem to have taken the bait . " What will it take to expand this philosophy to the general, John Q. Public?

Lets look to· the passage of the Patriot Act, and what it does to increase police powers across the country, city, county, state. Federal police now have the authority to, on hearsay or with self-determined probable cause, enter and search anyone's home. Similarly, the S.V.P. Act, allows the. state to commit individuals upon multiple layers of hearsay, even when the allegations were dismissed. The Patriot Act expands terrorism laws to include "domestic terrorism" which could subject lawful political organizations unpopular to the "administration" to unlawful (i.e. Unconstitutional) surveillance, wiretapping harassment and criminal penalties simply for advocating an unpopular political viewpoint. The Patriot Act also allows FBI agents to investigate American citizens for criminal matters, no matter how trivial, without probable cause, if an agent deems the activity is warranted for "intelligence purposes." The Patriot Act greatly expands law enforcement's ability to conduct secret searches, giving it broad and unfettered access to phone and Internet usage, as well as highly personal information such as medical, financial, mental health (so much for HIPP A) and education records. Such scrutiny can now be made with minimal judicial oversight, leaving surveillance to the arbitrary discretion of overzealous law enforcement agents. It also subjects citizens to be detained and questioned without counsel on mere suspicion of terrorist activity, which includes political dissent. (“What do you mean you don't believe' in our State of the Art protocol for behavioral modification? And, you do not believe you are in need of our behavioral modification protocol”?)

The government is now allowed to monitor communications between federal detainees and their lawyers, destroying the attorney / client privilege and right to fair and impartial counsel. (Is this why the Public Defenders "don't want to discuss it over the phone?") The new Attorney General guidelines allow FBI spying on religious and political organizations, including individual members, without direct evidence of wrong doing.

What lessons in history apply when we see our country persecute and subjugate it's own people? The fall of Athens and Rome came after police authority had expanded to allow warrantless searches and seizures and due process had evolved to the point that citizens were tried by secret tribunals authorized to arbitrarily sentence them to hard labor or death. In the case of the SVP Act, a lifetime commitment, based on a simple instruction that "you are to follow the law as I give it you" As I give it to you? What ever happened to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court, in 8 Peters 658, stated: "Its is clear there can be no common law of the United States." In essence, the judge neuters any actual, evidentiary proof, by this loaded instruction to the jury. (The Rape of Justice, National Commission for Judicial Reform).

Sir Francis Bacon noted in his "Judicature," "Judges ought to remember that their office is jus decere, and not jus dare: To interpret law, and not to make law, or to give law, Judicious officium est, ut res, ita tempora rerum. A judge must have regard to the time as well as to the matter." (The Rape of Justice; Judge Not. Eustice mullins.)

"When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either “quit being mistaken or he will cease being honest." Anonymous. Daniel Webster stated on March 16, 1831, in New York City. "I shall be subject to decision of no unjust judge today."

The Bill of Rights was affixed to the Constitution to assure the American people that their newly won freedoms, the result of a successful revolution, would not be abrogated by a later tyrannical government. (The Rape of justice, p. 191)

Remember, the Supreme Court has ruled that all State Courts must follow Federal Rules of Evidence whether they were in conflict with State Statutes or not.) The judge's arbitrarily extended power to "instruct" the jury is part of the same law merchant process which was used to extend Article I legislative courts based in the District of Columbia, and created by Congress' exclusive legislative power over the District of Columbia, Art. 1, Sec. 8, CI. 17, by a secret interpretation of the commerce clause of the Constitution, (Id. at p. 264) The Bill of Rights Defense Committee post an informative web site dedicated to. the recognition of the unconstitutional nature of the Patriot Act provisions, at

BY: Tom Watson

With the placement of the California Department of Corrections ("CDC") under receivership by a federal judge in June, 2005, the media has now made the public aware of the abysmal state of medical care in the California's State prison system. The public also should be made aware of the substandard medical care being provided the mentally ill in California's State Hospital System.

As the media has reported, the Department of Justice and the Commission on Human Rights have ongoing investigations underway of allegations of civil rights violations· at Atascadero State Hospital ("ASH"), a facility operated by the department of Mental health ("DMH") which houses patients such as mentally disordered offenders, those not guilty by reason of insanity, and sexually violent predators.

Allegations of substandard medical care at ASH is just one of the issues being investigated, but is probably one of the most important as substandard medical care can result in unnecessary deaths. Poor medical care can also cause unnecessary pain and suffering, and in the long run, will eventually cost the taxpayers unnecessary spending. After all, prevention is almost always more cost effective than delayed repair.
In addition to the federal investigation into ASH, the patients themselves have in process a class action lawsuit in federal court.

The case could potentially result in the DMH facing the wrath of a federal judge just as happened with the CDC. Could the DMH possibly be a placed under a very costly federal

Most of the same contributing components also exist within the DMH. The DMH has a rapidly growing patient population. The State has been unwilling or unable to adequately fund the growth. The infrastructure and resources have not grown commensurate to the patient Population growth. The staff shortages are acute. The list goes on.

Time and time again throughout history, government operated mental institutions have been exposed as little more than dungeons to warehouse societies mentally ill. The public will rant and rave for a short time, but be unwilling to provided the long-term funding to make real changes.

Because of the substandard medical care, the CDC was recently called a “dungeon” by an expert in the field of corrections. The DMH suffers the same medical care problems and inadequacies as does the CDC, and also has a long history of being compared to medieval dungeons. There are reasons for this.

The federal judge placed the blame on management, and praised most of the first level CDC. medical care providers. Interestingly, it appears that the same situation also exists at ASH and probably throughout DMH facilities.

Several of the medical doctors employed by the DMH are former CDC doctors. Their official reasons for the move are unknown, however, they are quick to state, "The CDC did not allow me to practice medicine." They elaborate that they were not allowed to provide necessary medical procedures or intervention in a timely manner - if at all.

Although contrary to state law, ordered medical treatment was often disallowed by low level' custody staff. The double whammy of both management refusing to authorize medical procedures and low level custody staff overriding medical orders was simply too much for these doctors.

Most of the same problems also exist within the DMH. It takes approximately six months to have management approve a surgical procedure. and often the DMH management simply will not approve procedures allegedly based upon lack of funding.

Lack of funding is simply not a good enough excuse. The United States Supreme court held in DeShanev v. Winnebago. (1998) 489 U.S. 189, that when a state incarcerates a person that the state has an affirmative duty to provide for that person's basic needs. One of the needs listed was medical care. The Supreme Court explained that the rationale behind this requirement was that when the state involuntarily takes a person in to custody, the state has removed the person's ability to care for himself and thus the states has a duty to provide that care. If the state does not provide that care then the person will not receive medical care.

Such is the case with both the CDC and the DMH. Those incarcerated by either agency will not receive medical care if the agency refuses to provided such care. This principle underlies the problem presently existing within both agencies. The CDC has now been called to task -- the DMH is next.

An example: Approximately three years ago, 65 year old ASH patient Michael Dodele was rushed to a local public hospital with severe chest pains. The first level ASH staff did an exemplary job in dealing with the emergency. What initially appeared to be a heart attack, was eventually diagnosed as something else. The symptoms of a heart-attack are shared with several other maladies, and only testing will define the true problem In this case, Dodele was ultimately diagnosed with a Hyatal Hernia. The treating doctor recommended immediate surgery, but DMH refused to allow the surgery.

Subsequently, the first level medical doctors at ASH recommended the surgery be scheduled, again the DMH management refused to authorize the surgery.

On July 7, 2005 Dodele began having 'chest and stomach pains. As before, the first level staff did an exemplary job in their response. The first level ASH doctor made preliminary test and recommended he be checked out at Twin Cities Hospital in Paso Robles.

In the Twin Cities Emergency Room ("ER"), Dodele was observed and tested for approximately four hours, and was then admitted to a regular hospital room (212). Continued testing and monitoring was done until they determined the problem was not cardiac in nature, but was the same old Hyatal Hernia. Again the Twin Cities doctor recommended immediate surgery, and was poised to do the surgery right then and there. The paperwork process was begun, but yet again the DMH management at ASH refused to authorize the surgery, allegedly stating that they didn't have the money and it takes four to six months to get approval. Dodele was then taken back to ASH without his medical condition being repaired.

Much like the CDC guard interference with prescribed medication documented by the investigator for the federal court, Dodele reported a similar interference from the ASH Department of Police Service ("DPS") Officers sent to guard him. In a Penal Code Section 832.5 complaint he is preparing to file, Dodele alleges that at various times during his stay in Room 212 at Twin Cities Hospital, as many as six DPS Officers would congregate in his room for long periods of time drinking coffee and soda pop and eating. When interrupted by the Twin Cities nurse attempting to administer prescribed medication, the DPS Officers denied Dodele his medication, telling the nurse to get out of the room and not come back. The nurse did come back, and she brought an armed Hospital security Office who threatened to eject the DPS Officers from the room if they continued to interfere with the administration of prescribed medication.

Later, when Dodele attempted to obtain the names of the interfering DPS Officers, they refused to identify themselves and turned their picture identification badges around facing backwards so their names could not be read.

In a non medically-related show of defiance to Dodele's civil rights, the' DPS Officers refused to allow Dodele a telephone call to his attorney even though their sergeant had previously issued written authorization for this call.

Examples such as this one show that the arrogance of some DPS Officers in not following the directions of medical professionals, and their supervisors, is no different than what the federal courts documented against CDC officers.

Not only should the taxpaying public question how long this man should be forced to suffer, but also the costs of repeated emergency trips and overnight stays to the hospital. Not only does the state have to pay for the medical costs of this trip, but also for around-the-clock security personal to guard the patient. Since the hospital doesn't have a legal leg to stand on, eventually the legal system will force the DMH to provide this surgery. So also legal cost will be added to all the other costs, Therefore, it would appear that all of the costs associated with this medical condition following the first episode are unnecessary and could have been avoided.

This situation is typical, and there are over 1200 patients at ASH. How many millions of taxpayer dollars are thus wasted through the prevalent denial of medical care at ASH and probably throughout the DMH? There are many deaths per year at ASH. How many of these' deaths were preventable had timely medical care been provided?