This message is from MindFreedom International:
Shield Update for Dawn Dziuba 8/21/2023
Your action on Dawn’s behalf resulted in an initiative for mental health legislative reform in the state of Missouri! Two state representatives are investigating her case (Click HERE to read Rep. Unsicker’s letter to the Department of Mental Health); the legislative assistant to Representative Boggs wrote to the MindFreedom, “This has been an eye opener as to the potential for this system to be abused and we are looking at legislative reforms in Missouri for DMH” (Department of Mental Health). Dawn thanks all who took action on her behalf. She asks for your continued help!
Dawn has been kept in a forensic psychiatric facility since 2014. She was transferred there from a jail, where she awaited trial for what appear to be trumped-up charges. She never had any mental health problems before her arrest. Due to lack of transparency by the government, we do not have all of the facts yet but it appears that she suffers retaliation for whistleblowing: she accused Washington University at St. Louis of research misconduct and misappropriation of funds, and a university administrator told her that, if she continued her accusations, “I will get you arrested.”
Dawn did not take it seriously, but soon was, indeed, arrested for allegedly making terrorist threats to the university, which she denies. It appears that proclaiming her incompetent and transferring her to a psychiatric facility was a way to prevent a trial that was likely to result in Dawn’s acquittal and an exposure of the university’s misconduct.
This is a new call to action. Even if you already took action please continue to help!
Dawn is going on her second month of being denied contact with the outside world (no phone, visitors, trips to the library, etc.) in retaliation for submitting a complaint against a staff member, something she is legally entitled to do.
Prior to being forcibly drugged, Dawn reached out to MindFreedom and showed no signs of ‘psychosis.' Her family and friends say that they have never seen any behavior in her that may be called mental illness. On the phone with MindFreedom, she was discussing ways of helping other patients assert their rights against forced drugging and indefinite institutionalization. HERE is a recording from that conversation.
Staff at the forensic hospital pathologized Dawn's persistent efforts to advocate for herself and others.
She is an attorney and holds several graduate degrees. A tense stand-off developed between Dawn and the staff, culminating with Dawn being restricted to the ward, losing phone and visitors privileges, and being threatened and coerced into ‘voluntarily’ taking an oral ‘antipsychotic’ called Abilify. She has been ‘voluntarily’ taking this drug orally for over one month in order to avoid a forced ‘depot’ injection of the same drug.
Last week, we learned that Dawn was subjected to an injection of ‘Abilify’ which is an escalation of her situation. Psychiatric survivors who have been subjected to forced injections have compared it to being raped. ‘Antipsychotics’ are known to cause a host of side effects, including metabolic and movement disorders, cognitive impairment and brain shrinkage.
‘Depot’ or time-release injections are particularly scary. Once they are in the bloodstream, doctors cannot ‘discontinue’ or withdraw patients quickly from that drug, even if a patient experiences an adverse reaction.
Note: The drug manufacturers of Abilify recently lost their patent for this lucrative drug and used corrupt, scientific trials to create artificial demand for a substitute: patented Abilify injections which are now billable to Medicaid. A summary of the of explosive rise in the use of Abilify depot injections and the economic forces behind this trend can be found in this article on Mad In America entitled "The Once and Future Abilify: Depot Injections for Everyone?"
A new series entitled 'Painkiller' which premiered on Netflix last week, focuses on Purdue Pharma's role in the multi-decade opioid epidemic. It took decades for the Department of Justice to connect the dots and realize that the corruption of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) played a key role in Purdue's ability to market its blockbuster drug 'Oxicodone' unethically.
Abilify, marketed as an 'antipsychotic', belongs to the class of drugs known as neuroleptics. Neuroleptics are powerful major tranquilizers and they have been around for over six decades. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, antipsychotic medications are now the largest-selling class of drugs in the U.S. Many experts believe they are highly overprescribed and that their risks often outweigh their benefits. How many more deaths and adverse conditions from neuroleptics have to take place before we re-evaluate our mental health system's practice of drugging millions of people for life?
Dawn is not being subjected to a therapeutic ‘treatment’; she is being chemically restrained with a dangerous drug and punished for her beliefs, as well as for asserting her rights. Why is this new injection so popular in the USA? How many people are being forcibly subjected to this costly new drug at the taxpayers expense?
In the 'Call to Action' below, you will find directions for Shield action #5 for the Shield campaign of Dawn Dziuba. Responding to the 'Call to Action' can take as little as fifteen minutes of your time. Please take action today!
Below the Call to Action, you will find specific volunteer opportunities for individuals who are willing to make a greater comiitment of time to support Dawn.
Volunteers for a Shield campaign can gain valuable, documented experience in the field of human rights which can be included on your work resume, used for college admission applications, satisfy community service hours, or internship requirements.
CALL TO ACTION
Contact the Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services (P & A)
Demand an investigation of the Forensic Treatment Center South in St. Louis, Missouri and more specifically, of the forced drugging and indefinite institutionalization of patient Dawn Dziuba. (See talking points below)
Send an email to:
Call the Missour P& A:
Call or write to Gabriel E. Gore
Demand an investigation into the forced drugging and indefinite institutionalization of Dawn Dziuba.
To write, fill out the following form:
Be respectful and non-violent in tone.
Remember to cc firstname.lastname@example.org and members of Dawn's treatment team (scroll down to view contact information for Dawn's treatment team) Letters can be detailed or concise. Speak from the heart and use your lived experience.
Letter from Loretta Wilson, Liaison for MFI MIdMichigan HERE
Share your letter (and any responses) on our website HERE by scrolling down to the bottom of the alert.
Dawn is a resident of Missouri and a patient in the Forensic Treatment Center South in St. Louis.
She has been locked up since 2014.
Her 10 years of being locked up has cost Missouri taxpayers over 1 million dollars. If even a portion of her decades-long incarceration is being billed to Medicaid, this may constitute Medicaid fraud and requires a specialized investigation.
She has a law degree and practiced as an attorney before her arrest, but she was not allowed represent herself, and was appointed a public attorney.
The psychiatrist involved in the incompetency and guardianship hearing worked for Washington University in St. Louis, which this constitutes a serious conflict of interest. Dawn petitioned that her father be appointed her guardian, but the public attorney made a motion on Dawn’s behalf to appoint a public guardian, acting against the expressed wish of her client.
Dawn’s legal documents were confiscated from her room by staff.
Her phone use is restricted and she is not allowed to have visitors.
Her ability to file a motion to terminate/change her guardianship (her right to due process) is being denied because all of her communication with the outside world has been terminated.
She is restricted to the ward and subjected to forced drugging in retaliation for filing a complaint against a staff member.
Dawn's Treatment Team
A note on Dawn’s history
Many of you have understandably asked us why Dawn is locked up to begin with.
Dawn was charged with a crime about 10 years ago (Washington University vs. Dawn Dziuba), a crime for which she was never convicted. She is alleged to have trespassed and made threats against her former colleagues at the Washington University in St. Louis. In turn, Dawn alleges that her former colleagues misappropriated federal funds.
We don’t know all of the facts in this complex case, and the legal evidence that would normally be accessible to the public via court transcripts are notably absent, making it hard to validate information for either party.
However, MFI is certain of one thing: it is morally wrong to lock people up indefinitely on vague charges and subject them to forced psychiatric drugging as 'therapy'. Punishing people under the guise of therapy is wrong. How is Dawn’s treatment therapeutic? How is this consistent with the Olmstead Decision, which guarantees all individuals the right to live in the least restrictive setting in their community?
*Additional Volunteers Needed
We are running into stone walls. Despite having permission from Dawn and despite a request from a state lawmaker, her guardian refuses to release important records related to Dawn's legal situation, claiming it is for her 'privacy.'
1) Research Volunteer is needed to obtain information through Missouri's Sunshine laws HERE and a donor to pay for search fees (donor can be the same volunteer or a different volunteer). The volunteer should be prepared to study the Sunshine Act rules and strategize with MFI staff or other volunteers to narrow the search so that a cost estimate can be obtained. A donor may be needed to pay anywhere from $25 to $250. Volunteer should be able to read and follow basic instructions, scan documents, possess good phone manners, and have access to a computer/internet.
2) Volunteer Writer to file complaint with the federal government. One lawmaker suggested that due to irregularities in this case we file a complaint through the Inspector General HERE. Volunteer should be able to read and follow basic instructions, possess good writing skills, and have access to a computer/internet.
3) Media Volunteers are needed to contact the media. Volunteers should possess basic writing skills, and either have experience working with the media or be willing to work with other volunteers who have experience working with the media.
If you are a good research/writer or you are passionate about human rights and you are willing to learn the skills needed to pursue these tasks, please contact Sarah at email@example.com
Shield Update for Dawn Dziuba 7/27/2023
Dawn wants to convey her gratitude for the many Shield members who have taken action on her behalf. She asks for your help keeping up the pressure.
Please write to Missouri lawmakers by using the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sending a message to this email address will send a message to every single legislator in Missouri.
Write to Missouri lawmakers and demand an immediate investigation of the Forensic Treatment Center South in St. Louis, Missouri and more specifically, of the unjust treatment of patient Dawn Dziuba.
Click here for a sample letter.
Demand Missouri lawmakers take immediate action to stop the psychiatric abuse of Dawn Dziuba. Let them know that she has not been convicted of a crime, yet she has been detained there since 2014, a staggering waste of taxpayers money (A conservative estimate is that her detainment has cost the Missouri taxpayer about one million dollars)
Dawn is being subjected to coerced psychiatric drugging, the removal of her phone privileges/visiting privileges, and is she is being restricted to the ward in direct retaliation for exercising her legal right to file a complaint against a staff member.
You can complain to every single lawmaker in the Missouri State Legislature by sending an email to
Be sure to cc the members of Dawn’s treatment team listed below to remind them that we are holding them accountable for their unjust and treatment of Dawn.
As always, keep the tone of your letter respectful and non-violent. Comments on our website have been activated. Feel free to post your letter and/or email below.
Send a copy of your letter to Dawn’s treatment team:
Shield Update for Dawn Dziuba 7/24/2023
If you are reading this for the first time, please scroll down and read the original Shield alert dated 7/13/2023.
For those of you who already took action, Dawn conveys her gratitude!
Unfortunately, Dawn lost her phone privileges since the release of her first Shield alert on 7/13/2023. The loss of her phone privileges is the latest retaliation against Dawn for exercising her right to protect herself and others from unwanted, ineffective, or harmful treatment. Nevertheless Dawn was able to convey a brief message to a Shield volunteer before the staff ripped the phone from her hands….
When a supporter asked Dawn, ‘would you be willing to promise staff members that you will withdraw all complaints and cease to file complaints in return for your freedom or in return for your right to decline medication?’ Dawn replied unequivocably, “NO”. Dawn refuses to sign anything as a condition of her
release and she refuses to withdraw complaints.
The rational of staff in this latest violation of Dawn’s rights is that “Dawn uses too much phone time”.
Things to consider:
What is the existing time limit for phone calls? Is this policy applied equally to everyone?
On what grounds can patients have their phone privileges removed by staff?
Is there a patient advocate who can investigate this matter and find out the answer to these questions?
Demand that staff members restore Dawn’s phone and library privileges!
1) Write to Dawn’s limited guardian, Sean Rapp, who is an attorney like Dawn. Why is he not doing anything to protect Dawn from being forcibly drugged? Why isn’t he responsive to the needs of his ward?
Please note that previously, we did not possess the email address of Dawn’s limited guardian. Thanks to a Shield volunteer we are now in possession of his email address (below), so please remind him of his obligations to protect his ward from medical harm.
2) Please continue to write the other staff on Dawn’s ‘treatment’ team (see below) and demand that Dawn’s phone/library privileges be restored.
3) Contact Dawn by writing letters to offer encouragement, support, and solidarity. Dawn would also appreciate high protein snacks such as nuts. Scroll down for her address below.
Treatment team members to contact regarding phone/library privileges:
c/o Forensic Treatment Center – South
5300 Arsenal Street Ward F
St. Louis, MO 63139 USA
Note: Certified mail requires extra money but ensures that there is documentation that staff received your letter or package. Also, Dawn reports that she has plenty of stationary and postage stamps but she could use books, and high protein snacks like nuts.
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