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StigmaBusting Network and Alerts


NAMI Campaign to End Discrimination
October 14, 1999.

Contact Information:

Ms. Stella March

ALERT: Minnesota Governor Calls Suicide Action of "Weak-Minded"

In an interview with Playboy magazine Governor Ventura said that he did not read books by Ernest Hemingway because the writer killed himself. He went on to say, "I've seen too many people fight for their lives. I have no respect for anyone who would kill himself. If you're a feeble, weak-minded person to begin with, I don't have time for you."

At Harvard University yesterday Governor Ventura was asked about his remarks. He replied, "I don't have sympathy, is what my feelings are on suicide. . . .To me it's something that doesn't have to happen if people take a positive attitude on life like I do."

NAMI issued the following press release in response to Governor Ventura's remarks:

Governor Jesse Ventura's lack of sympathy for persons driven by brain disorders to commit suicide stands as an example of the ignorance and stigma that still needs to be overcome in American society in the treatment of mental illness.

We expect more of public leaders. Governor Ventura needs to apologize to the nation for his remarks and demonstrate new awareness and support for people who need help instead of contempt for a no-fault disorder that destroys lives.

Send your NAMI StigmaBuster message to:

Governor Jesse Ventura, 130 State Capitol, St. Paul MN 55155

ALERT: Mensa Needs Educating

NAMI has written a letter to Mensa, the organization that (for a fee) tests applicants for high IQs for membership. The reason for the letter and this alert are the "Christmas Carols for the Psychiatrically Challenged" found on the Eastern North Carolina Web site as follows:


Christmas Carols for the Psychiatrically Challenged

[author unknown - appeared in e-mail in 1998]

  • SCHIZOPHRENIA - Do You Hear What I Hear?
  • MULTIPLE PERSONALITY - We Three Kings Disoriented Are.
  • DEMENTIA - I Think I'll Be Home For Christmas.
  • NARCISSISTIC - Hark The Herald Angels Sing (About Me)
  • MANIA - Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Office and Town ...or... Deck the Halls and Spare No Expense!
  • PARANOIA - Santa Claus is Coming To Get Me.
  • PERSONALITY DISORDER - You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, then MAYBE I'll tell you why.
  • DEPRESSION - Silent anhedonia, Holy anhedonia. All is calm, All pretty lonely.
  • OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE - Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock. Jingle Bell, Jingle, Bell, Jingle Bell Rock. Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock. Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock. Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Jingle Bell Rock. Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock. Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock. Jingle Bell... (YOU GET THE IDEA)
  • BORDERLINE PERSONALITY - Thoughts of Roasting in an Open Fire.
  • PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE - On the First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me (and then took it all away)

The Mensa response to a NAMI letter was posted on the Mensa Web site as follows:

"The NAMI - National Alliance for the Mentally Ill StigmaBusters says this 'is NOT humorous, but rather offensive and hurtful. [see letter] "No offense or hurt has ever been intended by the posting of this satirical piece. Some Mensans (and/or their relatives) have these psychaitric disorders, too. [for example, see The Affective Friends Special Interest Group of American Mensans (High intelligence is itself stigmatized by people who don't (or won't) understand. Many Mensans have mental disorders, and/or have family members with these problems. For example, the Affective Friends Special Interest Group of American Mensa is 'designed to be a support group for Mensans who have an affective disorder, know someone who does, or who work in the mental health field.' A high IQ does not equal perfection. [But we know how to laugh at ourselves]."

NAMI commends Mensa's Affective Friends Support Group and their announcement of the Depression Day Free Screening during Mental Illness Awareness week. However, it is obvious that they do not know much about these devastating brain disorders.

Let's educate Mensa! Email your passionate, informative letters to: Amy White, Eastern North Carolina Mensa where this posting appeared: and cc their national headquarters:

ALERT: N-Sync Video Perpetuates Stigma

Based on your reports about the N-Sync Video, set in a padded cell of a hospital psychiatric unit, with the group wearing straitjackets, singing "I Go Crazy Over You," a NAMI letter was sent to the Producer and to MTV. They have been putting off our follow-up telephone calls and it's time to call them to task for this most offensive portrayal of persons with mental illness.

Please send your letters to:

Mr. Doug Brown,
7648 Southland Blvd. Suite 105,
Orlando, Florida 32809
(407) 826-9100
and to
MTV Network,
N-Sync Video,
1515 Broadway,
New York, NY l0036
(212) 258-8000

Your letters will reinforce the NAMI letter letting them know the dehumanizing and hurtful nature of this video which fuels the pervasive stigma against all persons with a severe mental illness.


For your TV watching on Monday, November 8, l999:

In response to NAMI StigmaBusters, Judge Mills Lane will apologize for his insensitive response to a person with severe depression. Check your local schedule for the time and station of this syndicated series.

As you know, your passionate letters melted Nestle USA. Nestle has discontinued the offensive names "Psycho Sam," "Loony Jerry" and "Weird Wally" on Tangy Taffy bars.

Thanks to your reports about the American Greetings Online Birthday Card which opens with 'Sometimes I think I am schizophrenic"and continues with hurtful, offensive language and animation, American Greetings' CEO responded with an apology and withdrawal of this offensive online card.

Thank you for your continued support and letters, which do work!

New! Receive stigma alerts via e-mail! Click here to learn how you can join NAMI's stigma alert list to receive regular stigma alerts.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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