A Statement from the Original Editors of “Madness Network News”
by Jenny Miller, Dianne Walker, and Tanya Temkin
There is some confusion about who the creators of “Madness Network News” are and who has permission to share the copies. A site calling itself “Madness Network News Redux” has listed a bunch of people as the editors, around half of whom are (or were, since some are now deceased) either mental health or legal professionals. Some of the people listed never attended a single editorial meeting or contributed in any way to the production of the paper, or else were only involved in an extremely minimal way.
The authors of the Redux site have violated the true history of “Madness Network News,” by erasing the fact that it was founded by two current inmates of a psychiatric institution, Tulia Tesauro and Jenny Gleissner. They are also trying to give the world the impression that over the many years of its existence, it was largely a joint effort of mental health professionals and people who had been on the receiving end of psychiatric “treatment.”
It’s true, in the very early days of its creation, MNN was a joint creation of ex-psychiatric inmates and mental health professionals. We honor all these brave pioneers who challenged the oppressive psychiatric paradigms, most especially Sherry Hirsch and her husband, who chose to go by the name of Dr Caligari. The latter doctor contributed many invaluable articles about the extremely detrimental effects of psychiatric drugs.
As time went on, MNN became more and more dominated by mental health professionals. Tulia Tesauro, one of the two founders, committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate bridge. The tension between the mental health professionals, and a group of ex-inmates who felt their participation was being systematically excluded, reached a breaking point in 1976. The ex-inmates took control of the paper and, from then on, it became the legendary voice of the psychiatric survivor movement.
The MNN Redux site is trying to give the impression that they hold the copyright to the back issues of “Madness Network News” and that only they have the right to display them on their site. The people involved with the MNN Redux site had nothing (zero) to do with the creation of “Madness Network News” and do not hold the copyright, despite their attempts to claim ownership.
Although dozens of people came and went as editors/creators of “Madness Network News” over the 14 years of its existence, there were six people who were the primary creators of the paper for most of that time. These six people were Jenny Miller, Dianne and Kelso Walker, Tanya Temkin, Judy Hughes, and Anne Boldt. Oddly, you will find none of these names mentioned on the MNN Redux site. Only three of these people are still surviving—the three of us who are signing this statement.
Although MNN was completely collectively run, with everyone having an equal voice, we did have to designate officers in order to incorporate and satisfy bureaucratic purposes. The President of the MNN non-profit was Jenny Miller and for much of the time Kelso Walker (now deceased) was the Treasurer. None of us, either the surviving MNN editors (including the surviving editors from the earliest days of the paper), or former officers, have granted permission to the Madness Network News Redux to use our intellectual property or to have exclusive control over it.
We are giving permission to this site, http://www.madnessneworknews.com to post the back issues and make it available to all who want to share it, as long as they do not charge a fee for reading or sharing, do not alter the content, or attempt to re-write and dishonor the true history of the paper and how it was founded.