James Blackledge, CEO of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company

An Open Letter to James Blackledge, CEO of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company

In “Good Faith”? — Why Mutual of Omaha’s “Code of Ethics” Is Recklessly Incoherent Bullshit

“…As an employee, you have an obligation to know and follow the Code as well as to encourage, promote and practice exemplary business conduct. You also are accountable for reporting potential violations of the Code. There are a number of reporting mechanisms available and there will be no retaliation for raising issues or concerns….”

— James Blackledge [photo], CEO, Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company1

Dear Mr. Blackledge,

In my opinion your company’s Code of Ethics and Business Conduct is recklessly incoherent bullshit. For example, on page 8, under the heading “We Are Responsible for Voicing Our Concerns”, we read.

“…You have a responsibility for promptly reporting any issue or concern that you believe, in good faith, may constitute a violation of the the Code or any other Mutual policy. Reporting in ‘good faith’ means you have given all of the information you have and your report is sincere. You are also encouraged to come forward if you encounter a situation that ‘just does not feel right.'”

What does that mean, “in good faith”? I know the paragraph seems to explain it, but I do not understand the explanation either. What does it mean to report “all of the information” I have regarding such an issue or concern? What does it mean for such a report to be “sincere”? And just what exactly is an “issue or concern” that “may” constitute some violation of the company’s Code or policy? And perhaps most importantly, what does it mean to have a “responsibility” to make such “sincere” or “in good faith” reports?

Please do not misunderstand these questions. They are neither rhetorical nor disingenuous. And although I am autistic, I do not have an intellectual disability (there’s a difference). I assure you that I do have my own way of answering these questions. I absolutely have my own private meanings for the terms under consideration — what I personally happen to mean when I use them; what I in fact think they really ought to mean.

But you see, therein lies the problem. Because last May 19, 2017, I actually got fired for acting on my (apparently mis–) understanding of these terms. I somehow got myself unceremoniously sacked for trying to fulfill what I had then understood to be my “responsibility” to make such “sincere”, “in good faith” reports about an “issue or concern” that I believed “may” constitute a violation of the company’s Code or policy.

See, I did all of that, and then I got fired for doing so. Which is supposedly against the rules. Right? Isn’t that what you mean when you say “…there will be no retaliation for raising issues or concerns….”? And yet, that is exactly what happened to me.

Furthermore, this apparent “misunderstanding” of mine wound up costing my family and me some $40,000 in missed salary and benefits, accrued during the 5 months of unemployment and financial free-fall that it took me to find another job. What’s more, there’s a much larger and heavily relevant contextual narrative that actually began 9 months earlier in August, 2016, and which involved so much emotional distress throughout that it eventually provoked a relapse in a health condition that my wife must manage and which required her to take a two-month course of steroids.

But as if all of that weren’t bad enough, this new job I have — the company that I’m now working for has pretty much the exact same recklessly incoherent bullshit in its own Code of Ethics. So, I hope you can appreciate just how important it is to me and my family that I make some sense out of this insanity — that I find some coherence in all of this rampant, bullshit, business-ethics incoherence.

Now, when these individuals fired me, they had the audacity to allege that I was being fired for some unspecified “violation” of company policy. At the time they refused to be specific, but I found out 6 months later from the company’s attorney that the “violation” in question was allegedly not one but many violations, most of them described too vaguely for me to even know what they’re referring to, but among which was the following very specific one, that did come complete with dates and named witnesses2:

“…For example, on April 26, 2017, Mr. Autistickish contacted Ms. Huntress [i.e. my boss at the time], asserting he wanted to file a complaint against Director of Production Management Aquaman because Mr. Aquaman, a senior leader in the Department, had allegedly tried to ‘hijack’ Mr. Autistickish’s meeting. Mr. Autistickish included with his complaint an excerpt from an instant message exchange in which he admittedly told Mr. Aquaman, ‘Don’t you ever, ever piss on one of my meetings again.’ Mr. Autistickish then also sent a follow-up e-mail to Mr. Aquaman further berating him for his alleged conduct…Mr. Aquaman complained to Ms. Huntress as well as to Human Resources….”

Although that is a viciously misleading rendition of what actually happened3, it does bear enough resemblance to the truth to warrant comment. At the very least I can confirm that yes, I did in fact tell Aquaman in an IM exchange to not “ever, ever piss on one of my meetings again.” I can also confirm that I included that IM excerpt in my complaint about Aquaman to my boss, Ms. Huntress. But even if we assumed that the whole paragraph were factually accurate (it is not), I would still like answers to a number of questions. Once again, these questions are neither rhetorical nor disingenuous — they are sincere questions that I’m asking, because I do not know what the answers are, and I’m hoping you can help me understand them:

  1. Is there anything in the above account of what happened to suggest that my complaint about Aquaman was not “sincere”, or that it was not made “in good faith”?
  2. Is there anything in the above description to suggest that I did not provide “all of the information” that I had? Based on what you read above, do you think I left something out that I should have included?
  3. Is there anything in the above description to suggest that I did not really believe that Aquaman’s attempt to hijack my meeting may constitute a violation of company policy? For example, the company’s anti-harrassment policy?
  4. Is there anything at all about the above description that suggests that my behavior throughout was not a sincere, good faith attempt to fulfill my express mandate as an employee to promptly report any issue or concern that I believe, in good faith, may constitute a violation of company policy?

To my view, the answers to all of the above are in the negative: my complaint about Aquaman was utterly sincere; it included all of the information that I had to offer about it; I truly believed (and still do) that Aquaman’s attempt to hijack my meeting the way he did was against company policy — it is a form of harassment, and it was brutal, unprofessional, and wholly gratuitous; and finally, I absolutely made the complaint in order to fulfill my mandated responsibility as described in the company’s Code of Conduct.

To the extent that one agrees with me on these points, then by Mutual of Omaha’s own definition, Mr. Blackledge, and even as described so misleadingly above, my complaint about Aquaman was made “in good faith”. And yet, for some reason this event was offered by the attorney in question to Federal Investigators for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in explanation for why I lost my job. This event was actually presented as an act of misconduct — a reason for why I got fired on May 19, 2017.

I don’t believe that the above is the end of the story with regards the recklessly incoherent bullshit in Mutual of Omaha’s “Code of Ethics”, but I do believe it illustrates the general point.

I hope that’s useful, quite sincerely.

1 From “A Message from Our CEO”, Our Mutual Commitment, MUTUAL OF OMAHA’S CODE OF ETHICS AND BUSINESS CONDUCT, last accessed Jan. 11, 2018. Although I have never actually worked for Mutual of Omaha, the company is quite similar to a company that I worked for, and their published “Codes of Ethics” are virtually identical. In fact, the problems I’m discussing in the above letter are in pretty much every corporate ethics document I’ve ever seen. To the extent that they are identical, they are all of a piece: recklessly incoherent bullshit. I’ve chosen to target Mutual of Omaha more or less at random.

2 I’m using DC Comics characters to hide the identities of the individuals in question. I have several reasons for doing so, which I have explained elsewhere.

3 It is beyond the scope of this letter to explain why it is viciously misleading. For background and the complete text of they attorney’s version of what happened, see What I Did Not Do To Get Fired From My Last Job

An Open Letter to a Certain FBI Special Agent in Charge

FBI Office

Image Credit: iStock by Getty

Dear Sir,

This is just the latest in several attempts I have made to request the FBI’s assistance in the investigation of the Conspiracy against Rights crimes that I earnestly believe were committed against my family and me during the past 14 months, most likely because the perpetrators were too ignorant and confused with respect to autism to be able to distinguish between clinical symptoms of autism and workplace behavior that is genuinely “inappropriate” or “unprofessional”. I earnestly believe that these individuals — most but not all of whom were fellow employees at the XYZ Insurance Company until they conspired to fire me last May 19, 2017 — ignorantly and confusedly stigmatized certain autism symptoms of mine as “professional misconduct”, and subsequently took it upon themselves to punish me harshly for these pseudo-crimes.

Most recently I spoke to technician #9263 of the FBI’s Tipline, and as kindly and compassionately as he listened to my tale of woe, since speaking with him I cannot shake the impression that I have not yet provided enough evidence of the crimes in question in order to engage the FBI’s attention.

Here I wish to provide you with a few additional facts, which I hope may remedy that problem.

To begin with, I hope you can see that regardless of whether the crimes in question actually occurred, the fact is that I earnestly believe that they did. As it appears to me at least, my family and I are victims of these crimes. As such, I earnestly believe that we have suffered both financial and health consequences at the hands of the perpetrators. As a direct result of their ignorantly confused and unlawful behavior, we sustained a financial loss of roughly $40,000 dollars in missed salary and benefits, accrued during the initially unpredictable period of unemployment and financial free-fall they subjected us to when they fired me illegally last May 19, 2017, and which finally came to an end when I found another job 5 months later. And among other untoward health & wellness consequences, the protracted emotional distress we all had to endure caused a relapse in a chronic health condition my wife must manage, and for which she had to take steroids for two months in order to quell the flareup.

In addition, I also earnestly believe that we are not the only victims of this sort of crime. I earnestly believe that not just autistic people, but most generally anyone with a psychiatric disability is vulnerable to this kind of crime. Furthermore, I earnestly believe that such crimes have been, are being, and will continue to be perpetrated against this most vulnerable sub-population of human beings, if action is not taken to stop them.

Finally, I earnestly believe that I am currently in a good position to help stop this sort of systemic abuse against people with psychiatric disabilities. Please note that whether I really am in such a position is actually not what’s relevant here, for now. What is only relevant for now is that I earnestly believe myself to be in such a position.

The primary fact that I want to share with you here is that at this point it really shouldn’t matter to the FBI whether my earnestly held beliefs are actually true. That will eventually matter, of course, but for now the only thing that need concern the FBI is that I earnestly believe them to be true; and this because to the extent they may not be true, then these (very) earnestly held beliefs of mine indicate that I may be suffering from some sort of paranoid persecution delusion. And to the extent that that may be what’s really going on here, then I’m pretty sure that would make me quite dangerous, at least to the people I earnestly believe perpetrated these crimes against my family and me.

Now, to be perfectly honest, the only sense in which I might be dangerous to these people is that I wish to help the Department of Justice bring charges against them. But I will confess here that I am quite obsessed with bringing about this result. I earnestly believe that accomplishing this — bringing these criminals to justice — is so very important and to so many people that it may in fact warrant some fairly extreme but wholly non-violent gestures of civil disobedience on my part in order to ensure its outcome.

For example (others could be given), I am seriously wondering if I should go eat lunch every day on the property of my former employer in protest of what appears to be their callous endorsement of the vigilante tactics of these perpetrators. I am seriously wondering if illegally trespassing in this way might be an excellent way to draw the sort of attention to this matter that I earnestly believe it deserves. It really seems to me that getting myself arrested for eating lunch would be the perfect follow up for getting fired for the ridiculous pseudo-crime of showing signs of autism in the work place. Heck, I might even wear a baseball cap while doing it, in flagrant violation of the company’s dress code.

I eagerly await a response from the FBI, and I will interpret every day that passes until I get such a response as evidence that the FBI thinks that my plan to get myself arrested for eating lunch while wearing a baseball cap is a good one.



An Open Letter To A Certain EEOC Enforcement Superviser

Seal of the EEOC

Image found here.

Dear Wonderwoman,

In order to protect the health and safety of my family and me, I have decided to withdraw my charge 433-2017-ABCDE against my former employer the XYZ Insurance Company. Please accept this as my formal request to do so. And please let me know if there’s some form I need to fill out in order to make the withdrawal official.

I wish to be clear about my reasons for doing this. The charge was sincere and legitimate, but based on what I learned in our phone conversation yesterday, I can only conclude that allowing you and your sidekick Batgirl to continue with your so-called “investigation” will only result in even more damage to my family and me than we have already been forced to endure. I think we have all had quite enough of your so-called “help” in this matter. It’s time to cut our losses.

But I would like to sincerely thank you and Batgirl for taking the time yesterday to speak with my wife and me. And thank you, especially, for recording that conversation, as I’m quite sure you did. Please do hold onto that recording, as it captured some important information that will be necessary to support the Title 18 USC Section 241, Conspiracy-against-Rights charges I intend to file with the Department of Justice against you, Batgirl, Andromeda (the EEOC mediator), Batman, and the rest of your Unconstitutional, self-appointed, Inappropriate-Behavior Police force, which I’ll refer to here as the Justice League Gang (JLG). By the way, I’m not using these DC Comics pseudonyms simply because I think you’ve all acted like a posse of buffoonish Saturday-morning cartoon characters, but also because I’m trying to protect your privacy and especially your Constitutional rights to due process. You will want to know that this email you’re reading is actually what’s called an “open letter”, and that by the time you receive it, it will have already been posted on my blog, with minor editing, for the whole world to see.

Yup, that’s the whole fucking world!

Hey, what do you think of my use of the F-word there? I happen to think it was quite appropriate and professional, but do you agree?  If not, maybe you missed the following memo from our POTUS regarding the modern understanding of the terms inappropriate and unprofessional. It seems the rules have changed in that regard:


Image Credit: TBD

Or maybe you just disagree with Mr. Trumplethinskin. If so, then all the more reason for me to withdraw my charge, because now you definitely have all you need to complete your sham “investigation” and to publicly agree that Batman and the rest of your Justice-League-Gang vigilance committee acted with great if not extra-judicial rectitude by denying me my legal right to protection as an autistic person under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as my Constitutional right to due-process, and thereby bringing me to vigilante pseudo-justice for the pseudo-crime of exhibiting signs of autism in the workplace.

Maybe now you can affirm to the world that the (allegedly) “Equal” Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) officially agrees that Batman and his Saturday-morning cartoonish Super Friends made a good decision to punish me for exhibiting signs of autism in the workplace, and that they all acted quite reasonably when they sentenced me and my family to an unpredictably long period of unemployment and financial free-fall that eventually cost us some $40,000 in lost salary and benefits; when they inflicted upon us so much emotional distress that it provoked a relapse in my wife’s chronic health condition, so that she had to go on steroids for two months to quell the flare up. (FYI, the distress caused other problems too, but you get the picture.)

Yesterday’s phone conversation convinced me beyond any reasonable doubt that your obvious decision to conspire with Batman and the JLG is most likely based entirely in your own ignorance and confusion regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD, autism) and probably the entire DSM V. I think it’s very unlikely that you actually went to work for the EEOC because you secretly wanted to indulge some sadistic desire to punish people with autism and other psychiatric disabilities. On the contrary, I feel quite sure that you go to work everyday with nothing but the purest intentions. In fact, you are no doubt utterly aghast at my accusations that you and your sidekick Batgirl have somehow illegally conspired with Batman and the JLG to punish me in the way you have done.

And because I am quite sure that your own defense attorneys will make much of these good intentions in their arguments for leniency, along with the fact that your own ignorance and confusion regarding psychiatric disabilities seems to be a cultural norm, I hope you can appreciate why I might care less about why you think you are entitled to deprive Constitutional rights to people with autism and other psychiatric disabilities, and am focusing now more on the fact that you clearly do feel thus entitled.

To be clear: you are not thus entitled — at least not according to the U.S. Constitution, and specifically not according to Title 18 USC Section 241, Conspiracy against Rights. And for now at least, I do not care in the least about how much good you think you have done, are doing, or will do in your capacity as EEOC Enforcement Supervisor. What I do care about is that your obvious ignorance and confusion regarding psychiatric disabilities like autism poses a serious public health hazard to everyone with such a disability, and who dares petition the EEOC for help, as I have so naively and foolishly done in this matter.

And that is why, as stated above, for the health and safety of my family and me, I hereby withdraw the above mentioned charge against my former employer. I can see now that not only is this billion-dollar, global multinational insurance company wholly incapable of taking any responsibility for its actions in this matter, but that actually the company itself should not even be held accountable for the Conspiracy against Rights crimes that a dozen or so of its own employees committed against me last year. This ruthless posse of self-appointed enforcers of XYZ’s fundamentally incoherent “Code of Conduct” would never have risked doing what they did if they hadn’t been absolutely confident that you, Batgirl, and Andromeda would have their backs at the EEOC.

The way things appear to me now, the real ring leader in these Conspiracy-against-Rights crimes is probably not actually Batman at all, but is most likely at least you, dear Wonderwoman, and quite possibly the entire EEOC. As captured in the recording of yesterday’s conversation, you clearly do not have the first useful clue about how to distinguish between symptoms of autism and behavior that is “inappropriate” or “unprofessional”, and because of this ignorance, I believe you are dangerously incompetent and unfit to fulfill your mandate to enforce the ADA in its objective to protect people with psychiatric disabilities.

And so I say to you this: thank you, Wonderwoman and Batgirl, but your services are no longer required in this matter. To phrase it in those other words made so famous by our magnificent POOTUS (pardon the typo): You’re fired!


Help, They’re Out to Get Me! — An Open Letter to the FBI

FBI Office

Image Credit: iStock by Getty

Dear FBI,

First, a little about me: I have a gift, sort of. I’m pretty sure I can take any given group of human beings and rapidly turn them against me. I don’t need them to all have anything particular or remarkable in common. They don’t even have to know each other. Whoever they are, and however many of them there are, I believe that I can more or less instantly bond them together — transform them, really, into a cohesive group, organized entirely around a shared belief that I am batshit crazy, in the first place, and in the second place, around a shared goal of rejecting me because I am batshit crazy.  In short, given some otherwise arbitrary ensemble of human beings, I can unite these folks into a conspiracy against me.

Now, does that sound paranoid? Maybe a little delusional? Do you think I’m crazy? Might you say that I am batshit crazy? And if so, does this new opinion you have of me — that I’m batshit crazy — make you want to reject me?

Well, if it does, let me assure you, you’re not alone. In fact, out there in the world right now are a great many of your brothers and sisters. I believe they meet every third Wednesday of the month to commiserate, roll their eyes, chant things like “That guy!” and “That fuckin’ guy!” and “wow, what a nut job!” Of course, I’m not allowed to go to any of these meetings, so if you do go to one, please give them all my regards, will you?

Pretty funny, right? Ha ha. But I’m really not joking — well, except for the monthly meeting; I don’t think there’s a monthly meeting. But causing conspiracies against me is an actual thing that I can do, and I’ve been doing it my whole life since childhood. Some might call it an ability, but I definitely don’t feel like it’s the sort of ability that I can control in any useful sense. It’s really more like an attribute — like a smell, perhaps; or a way of appearing; or sounding to others; or a weird taste that I leave in their mouths; or maybe a way of making them feel when I’m in their presence — a way that I give them the “creeps”.

You should also know that I’m autistic, and if you know anything useful at all about autism, you know that we autists find it very difficult to navigate the subtleties of interpersonal relationships. As a group, we are not known for our people skills. And really nobody need raise an eyebrow, or squint, or be even a little surprised when an autistic person, such as myself, inadvertently transforms some otherwise unrelated group of human beings into an actual conspiracy. This sort of scenario is practically a diagnostic criterion of autism. And if the FBI is not equipped to cope with this basic fact about autism, if it doesn’t understand it, or is not equipped to handle it in some way, then there is no meaningful sense in which the FBI can help protect autistic people from the very real conspiracies that spontaneously and far too often arise and turn against them.

Now, maybe you’re thinking something like, “Protect? Why protect? Why on Earth should the FBI protect someone from a conspiracy that he or she caused to arise in the first place? If such a person wants protection from their own self-created conspiracies, let them stop creating the damned conspiracies to begin with!”

And if that’s what you are thinking, then rest assured I agree with you, wholeheartedly. I could not be more in agreement with that advice. Really, I think that’s excellent advice. Good job, sir! You clearly have a superior sort of mind. I mean you obviously don’t have any formal training in Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), probably never read more than a magazine article about autism. I’m guessing that pretty much everything you know about autism you learned from watching Rainman, am I right? And yet…your mind….wow, your amazing mind….your laser beam perspicacity…your ability to see the one tree in a very complicated forest that even the real autism experts have been seeking for so long, and yet have not found. I mean, your ability to see the simple in the complex, to detect the subtlest of signals in the overwhelming noise, bring fresh eyes to a problem about which you really know absolutely nothing…NOTHING! I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT AUTISM! CLEARLY, YOU DON’T HAVE THE FIRST FREAKIN’ CLUE ABOUT AUTISM, and yet, despite centuries of dismally failed efforts to cure autism with good advice….man…until you showed up! Golly, did you ever knock that one out of the park — cut through the layers of bullshit, and technical jargon, and Science — oh, gosh, those arrogant scientists. They always think they know what’s “probably” true within some “margin” of error based on the “best available evidence”, preferably obtained by conducting “carefully controlled” experiments published in “reputable, peer-reviewed journals”! But you….you….un-be-leevable…Really, I think your really on to something there. Yeah, you should write that up and submit it to the American Journal of Armchair Psychiatry. I think I see a Nobel Prize in your future.

OK, sorry about the rant. I know it’s a common stereotype that autistic people can’t understand sarcasm, and clearly I’m some sort of sarcasm genius….a real professional level sarcasticker. I’m like a super hero — Sarcasm Man from the Planet Sarcasticon! Saving the world from pompous fools by making them feel ashamed of themselves!

No, seriously, listen, you shouldn’t feel totally ashamed of yourself  for thinking that autism is somehow caused by a lack of good advice. Really, I think everybody wants to think that. Heck, I would like to think that. The problem is that autism just doesn’t work that way. If it did, it wouldn’t be in the DSM V. In fact, pretty much nothing in the DSM V can be cured with good advice. Imagine if you tried to advise a blind man into seeing: “You just have to really open your eyes. Come on, wider…wider!” Or to advise a man with no legs to “just grow another one. Hey, you grew the first one, didn’t you? Don’t be so negative!”

The point here is that if an autistic person were able to stop creating these kinds of conspiracies, he or she would have done so a long time ago. Nobody wants to get rejected by a group of people. I know in my own case, that has never been my goal. In fact, I’m pretty sure that whenever this happens, it does so because I’m actually trying to participate in the group, to be a constructive member, to contribute, to make myself useful to the others, to connect with them, to fit in, but then I somehow totally botch it up, and by the time I realize that it’s happened, it’s too late to fix.

And for reasons that I really do not understand, it appears to be true that the only thing I’m actually choosing to do and which appears to be causing the conspiracy is to try to participate in the group. And the only reliable way I’ve found for not causing such a conspiracy, is just to avoid people as much as possible. This was much harder for me to do as a child. As a child I spent most of my time feeling lonely. But eventually I came to embrace the solitude, even to enjoy it. Now I actually prefer it. It’s safer. People are just too complicated.

But they are also inevitable. Sooner or later, I have to cope with other people. I have to live with them, work with them, interact with them, and because they are inevitable, sooner or later I am going to botch things up and create yet another conspiracy of people who all think I’m batshit crazy and who feel compelled to reject me for it. Now, really, most of the time this collective rejection is just frustrating and depressing, and occurs for the most part without too much visible drama. But every so often, one of these conspiracies will appear to lose its hive mind and take things up a notch, going beyond mere rejection to reach down deep into to a much darker place in the human psyche. Every so often, one of these conspiracies gets it in its head to preemptively “defend” itself against me, which from my perspective feels like an arbitrary attack. And when that happens, I start to defend myself in return.

That’s when things can get really hairy — when they can really start to spin out of control. Last year, one of these conspiracies arose among a number of colleagues at work, and these people decided that they wanted to get me fired. And they eventually did. And because they didn’t have anything on me other than their mutual dislike of me, they had to poke and prod me until I overreacted enough times so that they could spin my overreactions into evidence of misconduct. They had several ways of provoking me, but one of these was to take an unbelievably long time to grant me the reasonable accommodations that I was trying to set up, so that I could do good work for the company. To give you an idea of how long: in the end the people involved in preparing the reasonable accommodations document wound up having to write/revise about 4 pages of text. To clarify, the document was just one page long, but it was went through 4 versions — 1 original, and 3 revisions. It took them 7 months to write/revise those 4 pages.

In doing this I believe they broke the law — in particular, I believe they violated the so-called Conspiracy against Rights Statute (Title 18 U.S. Code § 241). (For background see An Open Letter to the Inappropriate-Behavior Police). And even though I can see that my autism played an important causal role in creating the initial conspiracy — in making them dislike me, in turning them against me in the first place — as I understand it, our Constitutional rights to not require us to win any popularity contests. Even the worst of criminals are granted their Constitutional rights. As such, these individuals collective dislike of me did not somehow entitle them to block my exercise of the ADA and to set me up to get fired. This is just vigilantism, pure and simple. It is one thing merely to dislike someone, even collectively; quite another indeed to gang up on him in order to block him from exercising his legal rights. The first is perfectly legal; the second is a violation of Title 18 U.S. Code § 241.

I respectfully beseech your assistance in bringing these individuals to Justice.



An Open Letter to the Inappropriate-Behavior Police

The U.S. Constitution is displayed with a brown gavel on it

Image Credit: iStock by Getty Images

vigilante: a member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate); broadly: a self-appointed doer of justice.

vigilance committee: a committee of vigilantes.

From the entries for “vigilante”  and “vigilance committee” in Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary.

Dear Inappropriate-Behavior Police (IBP),

I urge you to read this letter carefully. In doing so, you may wish to know that it’s actually an “open letter”, by which I mean that I am going to post it on my blog for the whole world to read. Yup — the whole fucking world.

Whoops! Was my use of the F-word there “inappropriate” or “unprofessional”? I really don’t think so, but perhaps you disagree. If so, I invite you to just add this allegedly “inappropriate” or “unprofessional” use of the F-word “to my tab”, so to speak – by which I mean your little top-secret list of all my alleged “inappropriate behavior” offenses. You know, the list you all fabricated during that secret sham investigation you did on me last year? I’m referring to the list that eventually deluded you all into thinking that you could actually get away with stealing my Constitutional rights to due process and to the protections offered me as an autistic person by the American’s with Disabilities Act. Yes, yes, that list – the one that led you to believe falsely that you could just fire me with impunity from my job at the XYZ Insurance Company, and this for the pseudo-crime of being autistic.

On the afternoon of May 19, 2017, as two of your own deputies were committing this crime on behalf of the rest of you – recall they actually called me at home after work and told me that I was being fired for an alleged “…violation of [XYZ]’s Code of Conduct and [XYZ]’s Email and Other Electronic Communication policy]…” – I made a promise to these two individuals, and very soon I intend to keep it. I promised these two extra-judicial IB fake-police officers that I would eventually prove to them that in firing me they were in fact breaking the law; and though it has taken me several months to figure out just how to do that, I believe I now have nearly everything I need.

I have caught you, you fools. I have caught you all. And now I’m going to help the authorities – the real policepersons, a.k.a. the FBI – to bring you all to Justice.

It turns out the law you broke is known as the Conspiracy against Rights Statute, or Title 18 U.S. Code § 241, and it empowers a sentencing authority to impose a maximum fine of $10,000.00, or a maximum prison term of 10 years, or both; and this for fulfilling any of several violation criteria, most of which don’t apply to you, but in particular one of which that does. This is in fact the Statute’s first violation criterion, which states,

“If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same;…”

From Title 18 U.S. Code § 241 (Conspiracy against Rights)

To clarify, I believe that my family and I are the victims of your unlawful vigilance committee, or gang of self-deputized vigilantes; whose lofty, self-appointed, and profoundly misguided purpose is to enforce a highly discriminatory and fundamentally incoherent corporate “Code of Conduct” for a certain billion dollar, global, multinational insurance company, which I referred to a moment ago as the XYZ Insurance Company (XYZ), my former employer.

In particular, I believe that roughly a dozen of you, give or take, have conspired with each other to “injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate” me in my State of residence “in the free exercise or enjoyment” of my right to protection as an autistic person under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and of my Constitutional right to due process.

Now, I strongly suspect you must have done this primarily as a consequence of your own ignorance and confusion regarding Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD, or autism), and no doubt the rest of the DSM V, as well. I strongly suspect that this collective ignorance and confusion effectively blinded you all to the important distinction that exists between the symptomatology of a psychiatric disability such as autism, and genuine misconduct. But however much this ignorance and confusion may explain why you broke the law, to my view it absolutely cannot excuse it. You people have way too much power, and if you are not held accountable for your actions, you will only go on to hurt others with ASD and other psychiatric disabilities — as I’m quite sure you have already done in the past, long before you did it to my family and me, and without ever getting caught.

But now I have caught you, you fools! And I’m going to help the the FBI to bring you all to Justice.

As a direct result of your unlawful actions, my family and I have had to endure intense and protracted levels of emotional distress, which continue to this day, in fact. Among the consequences of this relentless flood of cortisol through our veins and arteries, a variety of damages and injuries have ensued, including, but not limited to the relapse of a chronic health condition that my wife must manage, and which had been in remission for two years. In the end my wife had to undergo a two-month course of steroids in order to quell the flare up. We have also sustained a heavy financial loss, amounting to roughly $40,000 in lost salary and benefits, because it took 5 months for me to find another job.

I believe you should compare these unlawful posse-punishments that you imposed on us against the penalties you are likely to receive as first offenders for having violated the Conspiracy against Rights Statute. As first offenders I think you are unlikely to do any prison time, and the fines you will pay will be not more than $10,000, which is still far below the roughly $40,000 effective fine you ultimately coerced us into paying for my pseudo-crime of showing signs of autism in the workplace — symptoms which you ignorantly and vindictively stigmatized as “inappropriate” or “unprofessional”.

I urge you to note the glaring implication this comparison suggests, which is that you each appear to believe the absurdity that the pseudo-crime of “inappropriate” behavior is roughly five times worse than a Conspiracy against Rights violation – an actual Federal offense!

Now, in case you’re still not sure exactly which list I’ve been referring to, I mean the list that displays all of the cherry-picked pseudo-evidence you all tricked me into providing you – the one you probably all scrutinized so diligently during your secret sham in absentia trial of me so that you could comfortably and irrationally rationalize to yourselves sustaining the exact same conclusion you had long since jumped to like robotic little bunny rabbits in flight from the fox of your ignorance-and-confusion-fueled anxieties about, in general, the psychiatrically disabled, and in particular those of us with autism, and even more specifically me.

You know, I never did get to see this list myself, but two separate individuals have told me about it, including a former boss. I have only learned just recently what else is on the list, but during the conversation with my former boss – we spoke about it one morning late last April, barely a month before I got fired – I learned that it documented the following alleged “transgressions” of the company’s shiny, utopian, but discriminatory and fundamentally incoherent (not to mention haphazardly enforced) “Code of Conduct”:

  1. Mr. [Autistickish] was observed sitting for 10-minutes with his eyes closed in one of the chairs out in front of the building;
  2. He was also seen exercising in the company fitness center during working hours;
  3. He is often away from his desk for long periods of time.

Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me? Is that really the all you had on me, just three weeks before you fired me?

Golly. You know, it’s really too bad that you all did not invite me to my own secret trial. Had you done so, I really think I could have saved us all a lot of grief. I really think I could have stopped you from firing me and from breaking the law. I could have pointed out, for example, with respect to item (1), that the company actually put those chairs out in front of the building for its employees to sit in them. With respect to item (2), I would have explained that the company allowed the fitness center to be open during the day in order to encourage employees to exercise during the day. And finally with respect to (3), I would have reminded them that company’s campus where I was working at that time had been expressly designed to implement modern productivity enhancement theory, which in this case involved encouraging employees to make use of “alternate work spaces” – to specifically not feel “chained” to their desks, is the way it was commonly explained in casual conversation. This is proudly advertised both in the company’s onboarding orientation classes, as well as written prominently on a wall next to an entrance to the dining commons. But regardless, I never was away from my desk without my mobile phone, and would have answered immediately, had the particular IBP spy that reported this alleged “infraction” seriously wanted to know where I was, instead of been just trying to cherry-pick the evidence required to justify my termination on May 19th.

I have caught you, you motherfucking fools! I have caught you all!