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Open Letter to the Director – The Movie "Split" Hurts Us All

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Please read and consider signing using form below!

Dear Mr. Shyamalan,

We wish to inform you of the harm that will be done when your film, Split, is released on January 20, 2017.

We write to you on behalf of millions around the world who live as plural: that is, many people sharing one body.

In the media, plurality is only ever portrayed as a mental illness: “Multiple Personality Disorder”; now called Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

Plurality and DID have always been sensationalized and were first brought into public discourse through film.
The Three Faces of Eve was released in 1957 and introduced “multiple personalities” as a strange and pitiable condition.
In 1976, Sybil was released. It was a film adaptation of a fictionalized account “based on true story”; a distortion of truth for which we are continually subjected to stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination. Pop-culture has had an unhealthy obsession with us ever since.

In the 1980s and early ’90s, other fictionalized accounts “based on true stories” pulled us into scandals and moral panics that destroyed families, careers, lives and the credibility of all things related to plurality.
We became objects of unwelcome fascination and were said to have psychic powers.
We could fry kitchen appliances and change our bodies “with our minds.”

No “true story” has ever been told.

Split represents yet another gross parody of us based on fear, ignorance and sensationalism, only much worse. The harmful bigotry perpetuated by your horror film will inspire a new wave of revulsion and hatred against plurals and plurality.

It is a well known fact that persons with mental illness are 10 times more likely to be victims of crime than commit them. Your film is yet another in a long tradition of portraying us as dangerous and unpredictable villains.

It makes us targets and encourages violence against us.

Lawmakers call us “insane.”
Doctors dismiss us as delusional for believing in ourselves.
Academics ridicule our very existence when they teach of it as “controversial” to new generations of practitioners.
Laypeople objectify us with their pity while whispering to each other:

“Well, you’ve seen that movie haven’t you?”
Fictional portrayals have real-world consequences.

Those of us with DID already face barriers to care and often insurmountable life challenges and violence from society’s prejudice against neurominorities.

Those of us without DID, for whom plurality is not a disorder, live in fear of ever being discovered, psychiatrically labeled and blackmailed into treatment.

Plurality in and of itself is not a disorder.*
It exists both apart from and as a part of a disorder.
It is a way of being, living and relating to this world.
This is not a radical concept.
In fact, the criteria for DID in DSM 5** allow for the existence of non-disordered plurality beyond the purview of psychiatry.

In addition, many studies*** over the years estimate that anywhere from 1 to 3 percent of the general population meet the full criteria for DID.
This makes it at least as common as Schizophrenia (1%) to more common than Bipolar Disorder (2%).
1 to 3 percent translates into roughly 3 to more than 9 million people in the United States alone.
However, those of us meeting the criteria for DID and receiving treatment are the only plurals who can be documented.

The number of plurals living without DID may never be known.

Thus we remain invisible and afraid. Such is the life of a target.
As long as films like Split continue to be made and distributed, tens of millions across the world will suffer for it. Any hope for the visibility and dignity of the plural community diminishes with each ticket sold.

Now you know.

Kind Regards,

The undersigned members and allies of Plural Activism

L, G. et al. for ΝΥΞ
Simon for NVFG
Calen and Shawn for NS
Astraea Group
River and T.A.M. for AC
Jared and Jasmine for OF
Jason Hellwhicker of TCS
Phoenix L.S.
Kaimi et al. of K.M.
The Seaborn System
J, Z, Alli, and little joy of the Redwoods
Jim Bunkelman
Jazz & Tracee Abbotlane et al. of Oure Gaiya

* http://www.astraeasweb.net/plural/
** https://psychiatry.org/patients-families…-disorders
*** https://www.isst-d.org/downloads/GUIDELI…ED2011.pdf

Additional Signatures

Caroline Scott
C V Talbot
Alexandra Phillipe, MFT
Bri Jay
Petal Quartzdove
Julio A. Rios
Eli Baker
Ryan Gates
Elizabeth Limburg
Hannah Rogge
Stephanie Notablesay
Susan J Hyder
Lauren A Smith
billie rain
Rachel Dwight
Noel Janka
Emma Hryniewicz & The DreamWriters
Tara & the System

You can sign on too! Use this form!  Thank you!

A version of this letter was also published on The Mighty.

Site admin note: This letter was written by a team of many different multiples, completed and distributed starting in late December 2016. This site was created partly to host this letter with support of the writers. Those signed above are only endorsing the contents of the letter.


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4 hours ago
SF Bay area, CA (formerly ATL)
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It's published! One article is ours, and also we're among the editors. It's a new free webzine about plurality. https://t.co/Rv9odM6CKy

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It's published! One article is ours, and also we're among the editors. It's a new free webzine about plurality.


Posted by ireneista on Thu Jan 19 03:49:57 2017.

10 likes, 3 retweets
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21 hours ago
Check out what my queerplatonic partners helped make! <3

(link is to a 16-page pdf suitable for reading in bits and pieces ^.^ )
SF Bay area, CA (formerly ATL)
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as-per-usual: Based on a tweet by SortaBad!Webtoon | Instagram...

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Based on a tweet by SortaBad!

Webtoon | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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22 hours ago
SF Bay area, CA (formerly ATL)
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Facebook’s Zuckerberg sues to force land sales

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Business| Hawaii News

Posted January 18, 2017

January 18, 2017

Updated January 18, 2017 1:16pm


    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg


    Several small parcels of land within Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg’s 700-acre Kauai property are owned by kama­aina families who have rights to cross the billionaire’s estate. Zuckerberg is suing to force the families to sell.


    Andrade is helping Zuckerberg buy the family land, which encompasses four parcels totaling 2 acres including above, which contains a taro patch, through a court process intended to identify what could be a couple hundred or so relatives with partial ownership of the property and force them to sell their interests.


    The family of Carlos Andrade is pictured here decades ago on the porch of a Kauai home Andrade had built in 1981 on an 11,000-square-foot parcel of kuleana land that has been in his family since 1894 and is surrounded by land owned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

When Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg paid around $100 million for 700 acres of rural beachfront land on Kauai two years ago to create what Forbes magazine described as a secluded family sanctuary, he actually acquired a not-so-secluded property.

Close to a dozen small parcels within Zuckerberg’s Kauai estate are owned by kamaaina families who have rights to traverse the billionaire’s otherwise private domain.

Now the Facebook CEO is trying to enhance the seclusion of his property by filing several lawsuits aimed at forcing these families to sell their land at a public court auction to the highest bidder.

The legal action known as “quiet title and partition” isn’t uncommon in Hawaii. Yet even with an order from a judge and financial compensation, forcing people to sell land that has been in their families for generations can be off-putting — especially when it’s driven by the sixth-richest person in the world.

“The person being sued is ultimately on the defensive,” said Donald Eby, a real estate attorney and partner in the Colorado law firm Robinson & Henry who isn’t involved in the Zuckerberg actions and directed his comment to quiet title actions in general. “Their ownership is being challenged, and because of that their ownership is put at risk.”

A Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law primer on quiet title and partition law titled “E ‘Onipaa i ke Kulaiwi” said using the law to compel land sales has reduced Native Hawaiian landownership: “Partition by sale in particular is highly problematic for the Native Hawaiian community because it severs a family’s connection to ancestral land.”

Zuckerberg, through several companies he controls, filed the lawsuits against a few hundred people — many living and some dead — who inherited or once owned interests in what are known as kuleana lands where ownership is often largely undocumented.

Kuleana lands refers to real estate initially acquired by Hawaii citizens through the Kuleana Act of 1850, which followed the Great Mahele, in which the Hawaiian kingdom began allowing private ownership of land. Often, kuleana lands automatically passed to heirs of the first owner in absence of a will or deed, and then down through subsequent generations of descendents who in some cases now own just fractions of an interest in the property without documentation.

Hawaii’s quiet title law can be used to establish legal title to such land. However, quieting these “noisy” real estate titles is expensive and therefore doesn’t happen often unless someone with the financial resources and interest in the property becomes engaged.

“This is a big problem in Hawaii,” said one local lawyer who isn’t involved in the Zuckerberg case, but asked not to be named because of sensitivities surrounding the issue.

A contested case with many owners can cost $100,000 or $200,000 or more. For someone to use the law to not only establish title, but to also force a sale requires that they have an ownership claim. For some of the Kauai land, Zuckerberg has done this by purchasing interests from several part-owners.

Keoni Shultz, a partner at the Honolulu law firm Cades Schutte representing Zuckerberg companies in the litigation, said in an email that it’s common for large tracts of land in Hawaii to contain small parcels that lack clear ownership title and have co-owners who might not be aware of what they own.

“Quiet title actions are the standard and prescribed process to identify all potential co-owners, determine ownership, and ensure that, if there are other co-owners, each receives appropriate value for their ownership share,” Schultz said.

Three Zuckerberg companies — Pilaa International LLC, Northshore Kalo LLC and High Flyer LLC — filed eight quiet title lawsuits Dec. 30 in state Circuit Court on Kauai.

In one suit the only named defendant is Oma, a Hawaiian woman who is believed to be the first private owner of one parcel within Zuckerberg’s property. She has no surname, as was tradition in old Hawaii.

Another case names Eliza Kauhaahaa, Annie I and long-deceased defendants including Kelekahi, Palaha, Laka, Lote, Luliana, Kapahu and Kaluuloa.

Some cases filed by Zuckerberg involve properties believed to have no living owners. In this instance, Zuckerberg’s team will have to trace ownership through genealogical records and make valid efforts to identify any living descendents and, if found, notify them so they have an opportunity to participate in the court action.

Perhaps the most complicated case was filed against roughly 300 defendants descended from an immigrant Portuguese sugar cane plantation worker named Manuel Rapozo who is listed in the complaint as having bought four parcels totaling about 2 acres in 1894.

In this case one of Rapozo’s descendents, Carlos Andrade, is helping Zuckerberg’s team as co-plaintiff.

Andrade, a great-grandson of Rapozo, is a retired University of Hawaii professor of Hawaiian studies who said he lived on his family’s kuleana land from 1977 until recently but still visits the property, on which he built a house, several times a week to maintain taro patches and fruit trees.

The 72-year-old Andrade, who was born on Kauai and is part Hawaiian, said he’s working with Zuckerberg partly to ensure that the family property isn’t lost to the county if no one takes his place paying property taxes that totaled about $6,500 in 2015. Also, documenting who in his family tree owns what share in the property is too expensive for him, and letting shares become further diluted among future generations makes the problem worse.

Andrade recently sent a letter to many of his known relatives explaining the situation.

“I feel that each succeeding generation will become owners of smaller and smaller interests, each having less and less percentage of the lands and less and less capability to make sure everyone gets their fair share of (Rapozo’s) investment in the future of his family,” the letter said.

Andrade also said in the letter that he figures more than 80 percent of his relatives don’t know that Rapozo’s legacy exists.

Marian Tavares of Hilo, a great-granddaughter of Rapozo, said she didn’t know about the family land on Kauai or the lawsuit. She didn’t know what to make of the situation offhand. Tavares is alleged to own a 1/191, or about 0.5 percent, stake in the land.

Another Rapozo descendent, Cameron Pila of Palolo, said he knew of the land but lost a connection to Kauai when his grandmother Margaret Jordan Cameron left Hawaii before she died in 1993. Pila, whose share in the family land is listed at 1/156 in the lawsuit, said he can’t be upset over losing a stake in something that he never possessed. “No hurt, no foul,” he said.

For some pulled into the quiet title action, proceeds from a sale might seem like a windfall. On the other hand, discord is also possible from relatives who include individuals who recorded partial deed interests in the family’s kuleana land that the lawsuit contends are invalid.

Defendants have 20 days to respond to the legal complaint after being served with a copy. If they don’t respond, they get no say in the proceeding. If they choose to participate, it could be expensive if they want to be represented by an attorney.

The lawsuit against Rapozo’s descendents alleges that individual ownership fractions range from about 1/7 (about 14 percent) to 17/333,396 (less than a one-hundredth of 1 percent).

Andrade owns the 1/7 share, according to the complaint, which explains that he acquired all his shares in 1976 from several aunts and uncles.

Valuing all the shares is hard to estimate. Some idea can be gleaned from property tax values and shares Zuckerberg bought in November and December.

These purchases, according to property records, include a 1/28 interest acquired for $36,453, a roughly 1/100 share for $8,607 and a 1/3,276 share for $350. Based on these prices, a whole interest would be worth around $1 million. The county values the Rapozo family’s 2 acres at $1.15 million for property tax purposes.

However, actual real estate values can be far higher than tax assessors gauge. For example, the county values about half of Zuckerberg’s land at $18 million even though he paid retired Hawaii car dealer James Pflueger about $56 million for this piece.

For the eight quiet title cases on Kauai, if a judge allows an auction, anyone with the money to back up their bid can participate. A judge also could grant a Zuckerberg request to recoup his attorney fees and other costs including research tracing family trees.

Recovering such costs from the sellers is permitted on the idea that the landowners benefit from their ownership being proven, though owners can feel as though they are charged for a service they didn’t want.

In the past, quiet title auctions have been known to result in below-market sale prices even though judges can reject a high bid that they deem grossly inadequate. But some involved with the Kauai cases expect that Zuckerberg, who Forbes said had a net worth of $44.6 billion last year, will offer a fair price.

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22 hours ago
Stay classy, techbro. >_>
SF Bay area, CA (formerly ATL)
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Trump picks Sonny Perdue for agriculture secretary

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The former Georgia governor grew up on a farm and has a doctorate in veterinary medicine.

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23 hours ago
Oh shit. This guy. Why am I even surprised.
SF Bay area, CA (formerly ATL)
23 hours ago
(answer: because I moved all the way to California and forgot this creep existed.)
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Economy nears full employment, Fed’s Yellen says

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SAN FRANCISCO — The nation is approaching full employment and the economy is close to being able to grow on its own without stimulus from the Federal Reserve, the Fed Bank’s chair, Janet Yellen, said Wednesday during a speech in San Francisco.

“The economy is near maximum employment and inflation is moving toward our goal,” Yellen told the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. “The unemployment rate is less than 5 percent, roughly back to where it was before the recession.”

The inflation rate has remained below the Central Bank’s target of 2 percent for some time, she stated. Nevertheless, inflation has begun to creep back towards the 2 percent target as the job market continues its upswing, the Fed chief said.

The Federal Reserve, Yellen noted, has begun to increase interest rates, with the most recent hike of 0.25 percent coming in December.

“It was the second such step — the first came a year earlier — and reflects our confidence the economy will continue to improve,” Yellen said during the speech. “Now many of you would love to know exactly when the next rate increase is coming and how high rates will rise. The simple truth is, I can’t tell you because it will depend on how the economy actually evolves over coming months.”

More rates hikes loom, including multiple potential increases in the Fed Funds Rate during 2017.

“A few times a year” would be an appropriate pace for increases, Yellen said. Those increases would likely continue, she added, until the end of 2019. At that point, the Fed’s short-term interest rates would be at what Yellen said would be a “neutral” level of 3 percent.

Yellen gave her speech just two days before Donald Trump is due to be sworn in as president. Trump in September during the campaign criticized the Fed of playing politics with interest rates and being part of a worldwide web of special interests that are influencing economic decisions.

During her remarks, Yellen didn’t discuss the incoming president by name, but stated that, like the Commonwealth Club, the Federal Reserve has acted, and will act, in an apolitical fashion.

“We too are nonpartisan and focused squarely on the public interest,” Yellen said. “We strive to conduct our deliberations impartially and base our decisions on factual evidence and objective analysis.”

Federal Reserve officials say they will seek to keep interest rates relatively low, an effort that Yellen described as keeping the gas pedal down to continue pushing the fuel of monetary stimulus into the nation’s economic engines.

“Right now our foot is still pressing on the gas pedal, though, as I noted, we have eased back a bit,” Yellen said. “Our foot remains on the pedal in part because we want to make sure the economic expansion remains strong enough to withstand an unexpected shock, given that we don’t have much room to cut interest rates.”

A neutral rate means the Fed is neither pressing on the gas pedal to make the economy go faster, or taking the foot off the economic gas to slow things down, Yellen said.

“By some measures, there may still be some room for progress in the job market. For instance, wage growth has only recently begun to pick up and remains fairly low,” Yellen said. “A broader measure of unemployment isn’t quite back to its pre-recession level. It includes people who would like a job but have been too discouraged to look for one and people who are working part time but would rather work full time.”

The Fed Bank’s chair, during a question-and-answer session after her speech, said she’s concerned about an issue that has surfaced in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley: income inequality.

“Our tools to address disturbing trends such as income inequality are limited,” Yellen said. She noted that a “growing differential” has emerged in wages for people in high-skilled jobs compared with those in low-skilled work.

Yellen was asked if she believed the stock market — now in record territory — is in a bubble. She indicated that didn’t appear to be the case.

“I would characterize risks to financial stability as moderate,” Yellen said.

Despite strong oversight of the nation’s banking system, some misdeeds can occur, Yellen said. Among those: the Wells Fargo scandal linked to bogus bank accounts.

“You mentioned the abuses at Wells Fargo,” Yellen said in response to a question. “This remains conduct that I regard as unacceptable. We are focused on increased compliance,” she added, without elaboration.

Some experts said Wednesday they agree with Yellen’s outlook about the economy.

“She’s right on target,” said Jeffrey Michael, director of the Stockton-based Center for Business and Policy Research at University of the Pacific  “Some places, like the Bay Area, are already at full employment while others are getting close.”

It’s possible more job seekers could return to the labor pool if they believe they can capture bigger paychecks.

“So long as wage growth remains moderate, we are near full employment,” said Jon Haveman, director of San Rafael-based Marin Economic Consulting. “If the Fed keeps its foot on the gas, causing wages to rise, there would likely be reentry into the labor force of folks who are currently sitting on the sideline.”

Yellen also described global issues such as the effects of Brexit, economic uncertainties in China and weakness in some European countries as “less of a concern” than in the past.

“She generally gave an upbeat assessment about the economy and that economic growth will probably continue even with gradual rate increases,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist with San Francisco-based Bank of the West. “That’s very encouraging.”

Yellen noted that economic forecasts and monetary policy are inexact sciences, and she vowed the Fed will continue to closely scrutinize the U.S. economy.

“Figuring out what the neutral interest rate is and setting the right path toward it is not like setting the thermostat in a house, Yellen said. You can’t just set the temperature at 68 degrees and walk away.”







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23 hours ago
Don't let anyone -- especially "what about the economy?" conservatives -- forget that THIS is where we are at the end of the Obama Presidency. There's plenty of room for improvement, still, but look how far we've come.
SF Bay area, CA (formerly ATL)
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