The psychology professor who was fired by Yale after diagnosing President Trump and his allies from afar as mentally ill is suing to get her job back.
Bandy X. Lee, who was a faculty member of the Department of Psychiatry in School of Medicine, contends she was fired “due to her exercise of free speech about the dangers of Donald Trump’s presidency,” the Yale Daily News reported.
The complaint states Yale fired her “in response to a January 2020 tweet that characterized ‘just about all’ of former president Donald Trump’s supporters as suffering from ‘shared psychosis’ and said that Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer on Trump’s legal team, had ‘wholly taken on Trump’s symptoms by contagion.'”
Dershowitz responded with a letter to Yale asking that Lee be disciplined for violating ethics rules.
“Dr. Bandy Lee of the Yale Medical School has publicly ‘diagnosed’ me as ‘psychotic,’ based on my legal and political views, and without ever examining or even meeting me,” he wrote. “This constitutes a serious violation of the ethics rules of the American Psychiatric Association. I am formally asking that association to discipline Dr. Lee. By this email, I also formally ask Yale University, Yale Law School and its medical school to determine whether Dr. Lee violated any of its rules.”
The January 2020 tweet was part of a campaign by Lee against Trump throughout his term. In 2017 she authored a book titled “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.”
In a January interview with the Yale Daily News she said she has been “involved in this because it is so urgent.”
“It is urgent beyond anything I have experienced in my career,” she said. “And I have never, in 20 years of my career, I have never been involved in anything political. … And here I am at the forefront, because the dangers rose to a level where I felt compelled to speak out, and it is not being addressed. If it were addressed, there would no longer be a need for me to be involved.”
In her lawsuit, Lee claims breach of contract, breach of good faith and wrongful termination.
The firm representing her, Robin Kallor LLP, contends her accusations were “protected by the First Amendment.”
The chairman of Yale’s Psychiatry Department, John Krystal, warned Lee in an email she would be terminated if she continued with her public diagnoses.
She eventually was fired based on consideration of her “clinical judgment and professionalism” after she publicly stated her “diagnostic impressions” of Trump and other public figures
Krystal wrote to Lee in a Sept. 4 letter: “Your repeated violations of the APA’s Goldwater Rule and your inappropriate transfer of the duty to warn from the treatment setting to national politics raised significant doubts about your understanding of crucial ethical and legal principles in psychiatry.”
Lee said she considers the Goldwater Rule, which “prohibits member psychiatrists from giving professional opinions about the mental state of someone they have not personally evaluated,” a gag order and she won’t follow it.
She also has not been a member of the APA since 2007, the Daily News said.
In her public campaign against Trump, she stated, “Sociopathy is dangerous, in part because out of envy of other human beings for having human characteristics, it actively desires people to suffer and die.”
She led what was called the “World Mental Health Coalition,” in which “100 mental health experts” contended Trump was unfit to be president.
Authoritarian regimes such as the Soviet Union fine-tuned the political weaponization of psychiatry, confining many dissidents of sound mind to insane asylums for “involuntary evaluations” because of their political opposition.
She also said, “What people need to understand about many of his followers is that in their need for a parental figure who will take care of them, his position alone justifies whatever he does, and any exposure of his fraudulence and criminality will be experienced as an existential threat to them, which is why it only activates defensive denial, disavowal and protection of their ‘protector.'”
And she said: “Violence, paranoia and delusions are also particularly contagious, and so having someone with these symptoms in an influential position is almost a setup for propagation of these traits — what I have been calling ‘shared psychosis’ but which others have also called ‘folie à millions,’ or madness by the millions. This contagion of symptoms dissipates when exposure to the primary person is reduced. We already saw this happen when he was temporarily unable to hold rallies at the onset of the pandemic.”
Lee has not diagnosed Joe Biden, but Summit News reported Norwegian psychiatrist Fred Heggen assessed that Biden is suffering from dementia.
Heggen, the medical director at an Oslo clinic, said at the time: “Of course I may still judge him wrongly, but in my eyes he appears as a person who is already very affected by dementia. And the presidential election is still far ahead. What if his condition worsens further over the next two-three months?”
Last October, Lee said in an interview with Salon that “from his behavior alone, [Trump] meets criteria for a locked psychiatric facility.”
“Past violence often leads to future violence, and we now have a person who has committed mass killings, recklessly endangering life, if not engaging in negligent homicide,” she claimed.
She said Trump supporters are like brainwashed “child soldiers” who easily could turn violent. She urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to put a “72-hour hold” on Trump.
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