Rosella Tolfree Installment Stories
A series set in a politically dark and dystopian future of the U.S.A.
Featuring blogs that explains Rosella's World
Rosella Tolfree's World is a fictional world.
Eugenics, Dysgenics, and Neoliberalism
For the longest time, the “cure” argument was about treating mental illness as a disease versus a cognitive variant of the human species. For some time, these two models had been at professional odds, with the disease model winning most political and social arguments. This was because some psychiatric disorders had behaviors that were disruptive to society if left untreated. Helping to shape this argument were the big pharma corporations who had a vested interest in the off-label use of drugs.
What arose out of the cognitive variant arguments was the concept of being self-proclaimed or self-diagnosed, and one’s cognitive variants create one’s identity. Historically, one self-advocate group, that followed such arguments, managed to change the definition of a disorder with the APA during a revision of the DSM. An impressive feat of lobbying by such an organization when most lobbying is guided by Big Pharma interests through a series of controlled studies.
The social changes in psychiatry into one where mental illness was not only a disease to be treated, but one to be eradicated took a long time to occur in Rosella’s world. It required a social and political shift on a near global scale in the people. It included the use of artificial intelligence to sift through the vast amounts of data and the intervention of improved reproductive technologies. Its impetus was the ongoing burdens of long-term care of the most severe patients in society.
Before the CBHM, and Sawa Kaneko and Ei Yoshimi’s discovery of genetic micro-deletions for mental disorders, there was the National Organization of Genetic Psychology through A.I. Research (NOGP-AIR). A congressionally established organization and placed under the operational control of the OSTP. Its reporting would be under the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
Science had known for a long time that many of the mental health disorders had a genetic link or relationship. This was especially true for disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Also known were some disorders with associations with genetic diseases, such as Angelman syndrome or Rett syndrome.
Thus, the organization was tasked with the gathering and sorting of all available genetic information to find clues to specific alleles changes that may be related to psychological disorders when compared to “normative individuals.” It was to use the latest in deep learning and A.I. technology to determine this.
This was a bi-partisan effort, despite the public posturing of key party members. The rising aging levels of such disorders as autism and schizophrenia were costing America too much in social welfare. The same was occurring in many other nations, and their leaders were very interested in the outcomes of the NOGP-AIR project. Both US political parties knew cutbacks had to be made, and if couples could use genetic testing to identify those who will have these disorders, then they could be better informed with amniocentesis creating potential future government savings.
Before this point, many scientists and advocates kept saying they had no clue what was “the cause” of many of these disorders and “there can’t be a cure.” So, despite genes being identified as connected to various disorders, any use of abortion after identifying an unborn through amniocentesis would be seen as a eugenic use.
What NOGP-AIR discovered through the gathering, sorting, and processing of countless numbers of sourced human genomes, with and without mental illness, was that there were constellation patterns of specific genetic mutations associated with various mental illnesses. Some of these constellation patterns aligned with observed variances in behaviours that required higher degrees of social welfare and interventions.
Once this information became public, a firestorm erupted in the mental health community. The self-advocates and various supportive psychologists were alarmed by what was being suggested, coining the term, “The Final Cure” from the old Nazi program called “The Final Solution.”
On the other side were medical professionals and psychologists backed by a coalition of anti-tax and neoliberal political action committees seeking to lower the government’s burdens. This group ran very sophisticated ads on the internet, social media, and television that made convincing arguments for a cost-efficient government, the end to social ills such as poverty and homelessness, healthier family structures, and the use of new reproductive technologies to cure diseases.
The self-advocate side took to the streets in protest marches, trying to gather free publicity through news coverage. After these marches took place, a few self-advocate groups supported the dysgenics use of the same technologies they claimed were supportive of state paid eugenics, to increase the number of those with mental disorders. These groups came under attack by conservative and neoliberals as being hypocritical.
The social damage caused by the small number of self-advocate groups supporting dysgenic ideologies was enough to push most people into the eugenics. Not that these people were full blown Nazi supporters, but they preferred a society where a couple’s choice was preserved to what kind of family they wanted, and that such a family shouldn’t be a burden on society.
This new neoliberalism view of the family, a non-social burdening couple’s choice, had taken root and became adopted on a global scale. Some saw it to control population growth and others saw it to improve government spending, all the while providing the human couple freedom of choice.
Links to Other Posts about Mental Health
The Committee for Better Mental Health (CBMH)
Mental Illness During Rosella’s Time
Rosella Tolfree’s World – Important Historical People Pt 1
A Rosella World Psychological Stories
Dawn Mason’s Extreme Hatred Bias
The Story of Thomas Finley
“I am hungry doesn’t mean that one’s identity is the state of hunger, but that one’s being is the equal to that of the state of hunger.”—Sune Bentzen, Linguist
The Committee for Better Mental Health (CBMH) is a group founded in the last eras of the First Age. Fully backed by the billionaire Felicity McCourtney, herself a self-proclaimed bipolar. She blamed her bipolar mental identity on society’s barriers as a youth and a young adult. The group sought changes to the discrimination laws to make mental health a self-determined identity issue.
CBMH was successful in nations like the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Colombia, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, and Portugal. They followed this up with limited success in the United States. The states of Vermont, Maine, Oregon, Colorado, New York, and Maryland picked up mental health identity protections. California attempted a citizens’ ballot proposition, but it failed by an overwhelming majority because of a successful social media campaign mounted by the political advocacy arm of the APA. CBMH made multiple attempts to codify mental health identity in the civil rights acts at the US federal level, but all failed because of the APA’s lobbying effort.
Example of Legal Language Used for Defining Mental Health Identity
“Mental health identity” means the mental identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned mental status, which may be demonstrated by:
(1) Consistent and uniform assertion of the person’s mental identity; or
(2) Any other evidence that the mental identity is sincerely held as part of the person’s core identity.
The limited success spurred the group to press harder on their political agenda. The activities of the CBMH sparked political backlash across Europe and the US, with protests from both sides. The protests became violent, requiring police or national armed forces to deal with it.
The opposition accused CBMH of being nothing more than a Marxist front organization and a Nazi Übermensch theory based on its origin with Hans Asperger, who had ties with the Nazis. While CBMH accused the opposition to be in bed with big pharma and corporate elites.
An increased number of “hate crimes” was seen in those locations that had adopted mental health identity laws, which included school mass bullying. This resulted in some young adults and late teens committing suicide at higher rates in these locations. Various members of the APA were quick to point out that this was the opposite desired effect, and the direct result of self-diagnosis. The CBMH countered that this was the result of non-acceptance by some hateful individuals.
Meanwhile, in the locations where CBMH was successful in changing the laws, legislators dismantled government psychological supports provided to children and adults. The reasoning was that these were no longer needed as there was now no actual psychological science guiding the diagnosis and treatment. If people who claimed to have a disorder wanted treatment, that was now a private issue between them and a doctor. It was no longer a concern of public health.
Children were seen under these laws as having the same level of protections as adults and would be assigned government advocates to ensure parents would not force unnecessary treatments.
In the US, the state courts were mixed on the application of the discrimination by mental health identity, including how it was being applied within the context of criminal law. At the heart of the legal problem was the notion of self-determination of one’s mental health status. Some judges were accepting, while more conservative judges were not. At the Federal level, the courts didn’t entertain these protections with the minor exception of the Southern District of New York. The SCOTUS never picked up any of these cases.
The biggest opposition to CBMH came from a well-funded American group of neurologists in the field of neuroplasticity. They published scientific paper after scientific paper showing and countering “mental health identity” based on the natural adaptive nature of the human brain. And thus, provided the underlying mechanics for the possibility of treatment to recondition the brain into other behavior patterns. These papers became fodder for conservative talking points. CBMH struggled to find medical researchers willing to publish counter papers and stuck to the social sciences making political and moral arguments instead.
Then Sawa Kaneko and Ei Yoshimi, two Japanese molecular geneticists, discovered that autism spectrum disorder was a combination of micro-deletions across the human genome resulting in a differential neural development. The variations in phenotypes between cases were results from the amount of the deleted genetic information. This further explained the links between such syndromes as Angelman for also showing ASD. Scientists found poor neuroplasticity to be the culprits for mental comorbidities, such as anxiety and ADHD. Later, additional research would find that other common mental disorders such as bipolar and schizophrenia were also related to genetic micro-deletions.
The CBMH used this genetic discovery to show mental health identity as being a form of evolutionary adaptation. In doing so, questions arose about the concept of self-determination of one’s mental health identity and if genetic testing should be the determining factor.
By this point in history, the whole notion of mental health identity hit a social brick wall when legislatures allowed human cloned reproduction using advance CRISPR technology to strip away many genetic based disorders. With advent of these technologies and advance A.I. systems, medical psychology was transformed, offering the “cure” for all known disorders without lifelong use of drug therapy.
CBMH tried to fight for the right to be born naturally, but it was too late. Society had bought into these new wonders. The political winds had changed, and younger politicians backed by these new technologies stripped away the old mental health identity laws.
Other Mental Health Postings & Stories
Mental Illness During Rosella’s Time
Dawn Mason’s Extreme Hatred Bias
While dark and disturbing, the short story, “Dawn Mason’s Extreme Hatred Bias”, shows the realities facing those in the dystopian U.S. deemed seriously mentally ill. It’s not a hope filled future for these individuals.
And despite Uzzia Banks’ attempts to lead a social revolution to overturn things, society was firmly set on its opinions concerning the seriously mentally ill.
By Rosella Tolfree’s time, the U.S. society still harbored a disdain and near hatred for those suffering from serious mental illness.
Those fears were further added to by the continual development of artificial intelligence into autonomous walking machines, known as androids.
Research of the time showed that the android brain was prone to psychological issues like that of a human’s brain. It was from this reality that scientists developed psychological control features for androids, but this didn’t comfort society. People became scared of a robotic rampage.
With the Hollywood Rampage event, in which a few cerebra cybernetic enhanced actors went on a killing spree in downtown Los Angeles, humanity’s fear of full cybernetic interconnection with the digital world would lead to problems were realized.
As a child, Rosella herself almost ended up in a state repression drug program. There was an incident when she was around the age of seven when the state of California did a reassessment on her. This was prompted by one of her online schoolteachers noting fantasy elements in a creative writing assignment that were too detailed. The details were so vivid it was as if she had been there and snapped a photo. The administration suspected Rosella might be suffering from dementia or schizophrenia. Results of the reassessment came back as inconclusive. Without a conclusive result, the state couldn’t place her in the program. The results spared Rosella the trauma Dawn suffered.
Image- mental illness depression mental. By avi_acl, Source pixabay. (Processed using Adobe Spark).
Uzzia Banks and
The Moon Riots of Houston, Texas
In 2017, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. were reported to have a mental illness from mild to severe according to the NIMH. Of which, “serious mental illness defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities” was about 4.5% of U.S. adults.
By the time of the late First Age of Humanity, the U.S. dealt with its mental illness problem that plagued not only its prisons and jails, but society.
Advance CRISPR systems were used to wipe out all genetic mental illness. Society followed this up by advance A.I. to aid in the early detection of the remaining mental illness in children.
Those children discovered to have latent mental illness traits as early as two years of age were placed into government sponsored drug programs. These kids for their rest of their lives were given doses of drugs formulated for their genome to control the mental illnesses from developing. This practice continued straight through the chaos of the Great Melt, with the inclusion of the A-4 birthing androids.
The success rate for this program was about 85%. The remaining 15% where either not caught by the initial early detection or the drug program was ineffective for unknown reasons.
To make matters worse, this 15% were the worst of the mental illness spectrum. Those who had behavioral issues, were antisocial, and sometimes psychotic.
Uzzia Banks was one of the 15%. Born in London to an older couple, his parents immigrated to the U.S. to seek better treatment of his mental illness before the time of the Great Melt. Uzzia suffered from high functional autism and expressed antisocial behaviors as a child. He had chronic violent outbursts. Afterwards, he would collapse asleep where he stood.
He scored 144 on the standard IQ test and was considered “gifted”. He enjoyed playing games. Anything that required mental thought to puzzle it out. Uzzia’s unique gaming gifts attracted a group from MIT to help them teach an A.I. system how to do what he does. This would lead to a breakthrough in advance A.I. systems towards the development of the android brain by Dr. Koremori in Japan.
As Uzzia aged, he learned to focus his rage into fiery rhetoric. This became useful during college in Houston, Texas, where he studied political science. Unlike many of his peers who were doing online classes, he attended a small in-person college. This is where he became entangled with a group of college Marxists associated with the local Antifa. While popular within the group, his disorder made him awkward around people. Dating was difficult for him and he failed at it.
All this caused him to turn inward into himself, only to burst outward with a fiery rage of complaints about society and people.
His outbursts landed him into trouble both with the local police and the college administration. Several times he was arrested for disturbing the peace and was eventually expelled from the college for being a disruptive student. It was around this time when both his parents died one year after each other from natural causes. As a result, he inherited a large sum of financial assets.
Still living in Houston, he set up a Social Media Net channel and held his own political commentary show. In time, the show gained followers for his offbeat Marxist views of the world. Since he was a child, he knew he had an untreatable mental illness. But his parents told him he was always special. As a result, he blended this special view with Marxism to come up with two conflict groups. Those who were the special untreatables and the normies as he called them.
On his show he would call normies mental illness bigots for their treatment of the special untreatables. And he was right. U.S. society pushed these people into the fringes. They were in prisons, mental institutions, or left to be homeless. Society did little to help these people since they were untreatable. Employers could discriminate against them in many jurisdictions. Even while attending college, there were no accommodations or help given to him. The police and law didn’t see him as special.
In his forties, he formed a local group of Marxists called the Dignity for Mental Illness, Houston Chapter. They would meet weekly at the Secret Moon Tearoom off Ferris Street to discuss recent Marxist theories and plan protests. Most of his followers were like him, in that they too were untreatable and had run ins with the law.
His small group continued to locally demonstrate, and occasionally caused property damage, hoping to seek change concerning the social treatment of those like themselves. Their demands were always met with both deaf ears and force.
The movement spread to a few other cities as the Great Melt began. Chiefly the areas around Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, and Chicago. Once again protests were met with clashes against police in full riot gear. The public had no stomach to provide special treatment to the untreatables. Many saw them as a violent threat to society, and the psychological community agreed.
Around the time of the Great Melt, when Uzzia was pushing in his early 70s, he was participating in a protest that turned into a multi-block riot in Houston. A stone hit him in the head. Many always assumed it was one of the police officers that had thrown the stone back at the crowd after they threw it at the officer. But this was never confirmed. Uzzia would die because of his injuries. The riot became known as the Moon Riots because the protest started at the Secret Moon Tearoom off Ferris Street.
With Uzzia’s death the movement lost momentum and fell apart.
In a twist, Uzzia’s work resulted in social change a few years later during the rebuilding phase after the Great Melt. With the passing of The New Public Workers and Assistance Act, it granted work guarantees even if the worker committed sexual harassment at the workplace, because the person had a genetic or psychological issue causing the problem. Criminal or civil charges couldn’t be levied against such individuals because the act saw it as retaliatory. Legal challenges associated with the act got hung up in the courts, resulting in a mixed bag of lower court decisions, and a Supreme Court unwilling to resolve the issues.
While only a simple nod to Uzzia Banks’ movement, some in the U.S. Congress were paying attention.
Related Freemium Story- Dawn Mason’s Extreme Hatred Bias
Image- untitled image. By Florian Olivo, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License (Processed using Adobe Splash).
Seth Underwood writes adult science fiction and political dystopian science fiction. His future political dystopian U.S. world features decades of despot presidents, a flooded world, and new para-military force known as the Ranger Marshals. He has freemium stories at www. sethunderwoodstories.com