March 29,2021 Update


If you haven't heard, Charles was indeed shocked last Friday despite our efforts to stop it.  It is now believed that his scheduled forcible electroshocks are every two weeks, however, not every week as we thought.  That gives us a little more time before his next unwanted electroshock, but there is still no time to waste.


We are trying to see what we might be able to do to challenge the court order, but it will take some time to even get plugged into what went on in the court.  In connection with that if you live in Minneapolis or St. Paul and might be willing to obtain some court documents, please e-mail me back. 


We are putting together some additional actions for you to take, but they are not quite ready to launch so let's keep doing what we have been for now.  There are a list of actions towards the bottom of the MindFreedom Shield Alert for Charles.


A number of people have used the online contact form for the Governor and gotten back a particularly unsatisfactory form response.  I am thinking it would therefore be good for as many people as possible to call the Governor's office to ask him to intervene to stop, or at least investigate the Forcible Electroshocking of Charles Helmer.   It is okay to be firm, but it is very important to be polite and respectful.  I know that can be hard because of the great abuse the state of Minnesota is inflicting on Charles, but we will be dismissed as a bunch of lunatics if we are not. 


Governor of Minnesota

Staffed office hours are: Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Telephone Numbers: 651-201-3400

Toll Free: 800-657-3717

Minnesota Relay: 800-627-3529


I will appreciate it if you can let us know that you called the governor or whatever action you take in support of Charles.  There is a Facebook Event Page where, if you are on Facebook, you can post about your call or other action directly (I think), or you could e-mail me back with your report and I will post it.  I know a lot of people are not on Facebook for good reasons, but I think it is good to have a place like that where people can see how much is being done to try and stop Charles Helmer from being Electroshocked against his will.


I think good talking points can be extracted from the following e-mail by Joseph and Susan Rogers to the Minnesota Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.  If you are on Facebook you can also look at what other people have written on Charles' Facebook Event Page to use when you call the Governor's office.


From: Susan Rogers

Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 5:31 PM


Cc:; Joseph Rogers

Subject: Please stop the forced ECT of Charles Helmer


To whom it may concern:


We are writing to strongly urge you to prevent the forced electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) of Charles Helmer, a 22-year-old man who was discharged on March 22, 2021, from Fairview Riverside Psychiatric Clinic at the University of Minnesota to live in a group home. We have learned that, unless you intervene to prevent it, he will be subjected to forced ECT, also known as shock treatment, this Friday, March 26, and on subsequent occasions.


Electroconvulsive therapy “damages memory and cognition, and brings no lasting relief,” according to a recent article in Aeon by Dr. John Read, available at this link ( In addition, autopsies have repeatedly shown that it causes brain damage. In fact, “[t]he idea that ECT causes brain damage was so obvious to the early proponents that they incorporated it into an explanation for how ECT worked,” Read writes. The article notes that other studies have shown that “there’s no evidence of any benefits beyond the end of the course of treatments, and no evidence that ECT prevents suicide…Furthermore, some people kill themselves because of the damage done to them by ECT.”


ECT is rightly controversial. Its risks—permanent amnesia and permanent deficits in cognitive abilities—have been confirmed by prominent proponents of ECT, including Dr. Harold Sackeim, whose 2007 study in Neuropsychopharmacology ends on this chilling note: “[T]his study provides the first evidence in a large, prospective sample that adverse cognitive effects can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings.” For the study,


In 2011, when the Food and Drug Administration made one of its periodic attempts to reclassify ECT equipment from Class III (the highest risk category) to Class II—which it subsequently accomplished—psychiatrist Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., was one of those who testified to prevent the reclassification. His testimony is available at this link: “In my expert opinion and that of a recent review of the ECT literature by Drs. John Read and Richard Bentall,” Dr. Fisher said, “the short-term gains of ECT do not justify its associated brain damage, memory loss, cognitive deficits and increased risk of death.” (The literature review is available at this link:


Again, we strongly urge you to intervene to help Charles Helmer by preventing him from receiving forced ECT.


Thank you.




Joseph Rogers, Executive Director

National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse




Susan Rogers, Director

National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse


My only comment is I always use "Electroshock" or "Shock" instead of "Electroconvulsive Therapy," or "ECT," because "ECT" is not therapy and does not convey the brutality of Electroshock.  This is not a criticism of Joseph and Susan.  Sometimes one wants to use the language of the oppressor to be more effective. 


In any event, Charles will greatly appreciate whatever you can do to help him get the Electroshock stopped.