Eleanor Gregory, Trustee, Vancouver School Board

As Vancouver School Board Trustee Eleanor Gregory is dogged by accusations of being soft on the Board’s practice of political psychiatry — political psychiatry that has been compared to that used against political dissidents in China and the former Soviet Union — she has switched parties. Gregory (in photo above) has resigned her membership in the ruling center-right Non Partisan Association and taken out a membership in the center-left Vision party.  She made the switch as Vision prepares for a meeting on Sunday to choose a mayoral candidate to compete with the NPA in the November civic election.  

Gregory’s switch was announced yesterday via a press release from the campaign office of Gregor Robertson, co-founder of Happy Planet Juice Co. who is seeking nomination as Vision’s mayoral candidate at Sunday’s meeting.  But Canadians Opposing Political Psychiatry [COPP] have been critical of Robertson for embracing Gregory while she “breaches public trust”. 

Gregory, according to COPP, has been concealing from parents the fact that the VSB’s practice of political psychiatry has resulted in an international boycott of diplomas issued by the Vancouver School Board.  Gregory appears to have done nothing to resolve the issues that prompted COPP to organize the boycott as an “absolute last resort”.  The boycott was a response to the alleged use of political psychiatry to smear a woman who had informed the VSB in writing that she would be campaigning about their mishandling of bullying complaints as the tight Nov. 2002 school board election approached.  She was almost immediately made a target of political psychiatry — she received a surprise visit from an armed police officer and male psychiatric nurse who assessed her for apprehension to a mental hospital — and was “terrorized” to the point where she dropped her plans to campaign against the NPA.    

The VSB resorted to brazen fraud when targeting this woman for political psychiatry according to COPP.  A tape of a telephone conversation between the victim and Police-School Liaison, Sergeant Garry Lester, is evidence of that.  Lester claimed that he had emphasized to the School Board that there was no evidence to justify targeting this woman for a psychiatric assessment as the letter she had written to the VSB — the sole evidence used against the woman by the VSB – contained “nothing untoward”.  The School Board nonetheless proceeded in having the woman targeted for an assessment under what COPP calls “fraudulent pretenses”.

The resulting psychiatric report was Orwellian in nature.  The woman complained to the School Board that any sign of intellectual development on her part was identified in the report as a sign of social deviance.

The Downtown Eastside Enquirer exposed Gregory’s lack of action on the boycott and the underlying issue of political psychiatry on April 29, 2008, just after Gregory announced that she was throwing her support behind Gregor Robertson rather than the NPA mayoral candidate.   

Gregory responded by leaving a message in the comments section of the Downtown Eastside Enquirer on May 19, a comment brought to the attention of the alleged victim of VSB political psychiatry. Gregory wrote, “Not sure what the author of the article is referring to since it predates the time of my involvement with the NPA.” 

The boycott does not predate Gregory’s involvement with the NPA and in fact escalated during Gregory’s term on school board.  The boycott was covered extensively on the internet during Gregory’s term on the Board as well.  Further, COPP lobbied last year to prevent VSB Superintendent Chis Kelly from promoting himself as a United Way “visionary” while he evaded addressing the use of political psychiatry by the School Board; this lobbying effort was reported on several internet sites.  The victim had also written to the School Board via Chair Ken Denike in 2007.  “They never respond,” she says.       

Gregory further stated in her two sentence message, “However, if there is something that I can make enquiries about, please let me know.”  The victim of the alleged political psychiatry suspected that Gregory’s offer was a public relations ploy. Based on her experience with VSB stonewalling, she predicted that if she contacted Gregory, her email would drop into “a black hole” and she would receive no response.  

The victim nonetheless responded to Gregory’s message with a polite email sent to her school board address.  Nineteen days have passed.  Gregory has not acknowledged receipt of the email. 

Eleanor Gregory is not the first woman accused of being soft on Soviet-style political psychiatry who has been embraced by left-leaning mayoral hopeful Gregor Robertson. Robertson’s current campaign manager, Andrea Reimer, was a Vancouver School Board trustee from 2002-2005 when the Board resorted to fraud as part of a cover-up of the VSB’s use of political psychiatry (which had also involved fraud) to deter election campaigning. There is documented evidence of this cover-up.  But that’s another story.

COPP intends to ensure that political psychiatry remains on the record of Eleanor Gregory, Andrea Reimer, and other VSB trustees and staff, as long as it remains on the record of the victim in this case.  That is COPP’s way of making a statement about the fact that anyone targeted for political psychiatry in British Columbia, even if they are “CLEARED”, gets stuck with a “DISTURBED PERSON” record attached to their name on a province-wide police database and in Health Authority files “for 99 years”, a time period confirmed in writing by the Vancouver Police. Whether Robertson will have to answer for embracing women who are soft on Soviet-style political psychiatry will be discussed at the next COPP meeting, that is if Robertson emerges from Sunday’s meeting as the Vision mayoral candidate.

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