Part two of a series: – Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett – black Episcopal priest
You and we have seen the power of one Episcopal priest – white. He was able to subvert the democratic process by using money and power. Not the power inherent in why he was called to the ordained priesthood nor giving a thought to what God was calling him to do.
Using his earthly power and money he did his own thing. Something that would bring him – Senator Danforth – more power and money and earthly prestige rather than something that would help bring in God’s kingdom on this earth.
He brought us one Josh Hawley. A man who did what he thought he was called to do, subverting and attempting to destroy American democracy. Senator Hawley saw himself, with the blessing of his backers, as being the one to lead the charge calling Americans to overturn a legitimate election for president of these United States and put a fascist, authoritarian government in its place. He was, after all, backed by the aristocracy of these United States. He was close to the powers which put Donald Trump into office as United States President.
Hawley has been living an autocrat’s dream and the nightmare of those who choose to live under a democratic government. Backed by One who used the money and power he inherited ( Senator Danforth) to help install a government more in tune to corporate America’s need for an authoritarian government which could subvert, overturn, patronize and so much more the lives of the people it needs to produce and carry to fruition its programs, projects, products and/or services.
Before there was a Josh Hawley to spend time, money and other resources on, for Senator Danforth there was a Clarence Thomas and probably even more. Clarence Thomas is a man who many believe should never have been confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, but who was with the advice, consent, power and money of the Rev. Senator Danforth.
Clarence Thomas, a black man, widely disrespected in the African American community and even more so amongst many white Americans. By manipulating the system the way only one with power and money can manipulate, the objections to Clarence Thomas were cast aside. The people who could have shed more light onto who he was and his character were not allowed to testify in the hearing at which Anita Hill was allowed to testify and then nothing. Senator Danforth’s inability to see those he is moving to a more powerful place in the light of who they are and what they might contribute to or destroy the society over which he is majorly responsible for placing them carries a lot of negative weight for what he has done for and with Hawley and Thomas.
Thomas is a man whose wife recently sent her love to the insurrectionists of January 6, 2021 during their time of uprising against the government her husband serves as a Supreme Court Justice. The insurrectionists who tried to destroy democracy along with its Capitol buildings. Insurrectionists she has been encouraging and supporting for quite some years.
Clarence Thomas cannot be so above board with his actions, but he clearly supports his wife. As a Supreme Court justice, what does it mean when his wife goes the distance and sponsors 80 buses to transport those who were a part of the “Save America” rally on January 6, 2021. The Thomas family aided and abetted those trying to overthrow a legitimate United States election in favor of putting in place a government which was, apparently, not legitimate from its beginnings, but which had philosophies, beliefs, actions of which Virginia Thomas approved and for which she spends a great deal of time publicly backing. I think it can be safely said and by his own admission that Clarence Thomas is now a Supreme Court justice thanks to Senator Danforth – white Episcopal priest.
Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett – black Episcopal priest – is the other American side of that story. The side on which he is vulnerable to white Americans who feel they can obliterate African Americans who step out of their place and have institutionalized ways to establish a dictatorship over even in 2020 and even in places like Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Cities which constantly brag about their ‘openness’ and where Black Lives do not matter – especially those of consequence; those that dare criticize white Americans in power positions; those that are not subservient to the autocracy. In fact, many believe Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts are among the most racist cities in these United States.
We recently wrote many Bettina Network articles about what was happening to Dr. Bennett. We wanted everything to be public because we were taken off-guard by the way he and his wife were attacked and having had decades of civil rights experience we knew where those attacks were headed from the day Rev. Dr. Bennett, after brain surgery at MGH, was forced into Sherrill House against his will when he was told places like Spaulding Rehabilitation Center were not open to him and he had no choice.
After his discharge from MGH, Dr. Bennett and his wife were told an ambulance was going to immediately take him to Sherrill House. Neither Rev. Bennett nor his wife, Marceline Donaldson – who was his Health Care Proxy – had a choice in the matter. What was the problem? Two fold -Sherrill House was under quarantine for the flu at the time and they did not know about that and were not told Rev. Bennett was being sent to a rehab center after brain surgery which was under flu quarantine. When, having arrived at Sherrill House and they discovered the quarantine and they complained there was no doctor available. Not physically present nor available via telephone or other communication possibilities. So their choice was to go home where they had a set up which was far superior to what they were exposed to at Sherrill House.
What they discovered through that experience were the racial discrepancies between Sherrill house and Spaulding. Once you turn from Huntington Avenue into Jamaica Plain the medical institutions mostly turn from white to brown to black.
A black man – a black family which did not choose Sherrill House as a place for rehab was forced into that institution and told Spaulding Rehabilitation Center was not where they could go. When they checked, there was space available so what was the problem. No one ever said, however, their investigation showed a clear color problem.
That was not the first nor the last such situation with which Rev. Dr. Bennett and his family had to deal during some very difficult times in their lives. Because Dr. Bennett needed brain surgery, it was as though the society had gone crazy with glee over being able to be the dictators over this African American man and his family. Because Dr. Bennett needed surgery, he was exposed to the worse and discovered there were other elderly African Americans who had and were going through very similar situations with no help and had to face the overwhelming and very racist power of “Protective Services” in Massachusetts. This was supposed to be an organization to aid the elderly in need. In fact, it is an organization which pushed into families that do not need nor want their help.
Actually, elderly and protective services is out of control and their racism, sexism, sins against immigrants virulent and long standing. It is instead becoming the means of making the minority elderly vulnerable to many health care institutions with no choice of any kind as they enter or are pushed into this world. Most often their assets are drained and redistributed into the white community so the minorities die with a life of hard work spent accumulating assets for their children to have better and more comfortable lives taken away and given to the white establishment – the white autocracy/aristocracy with many in the middle to upper classes assisting, most without even realizing the damage being done and not interested.
That was the first in many steps to drag down and attempt to destroy the end of life of a man who achieved and received a Harvard University Doctorate; had a life of service to the Episcopal Church; taught in its seminaries; taught as an adjunct professor at Princeton University, Atlanta University and several more. A man who served on the National Council of Churches Lectionary Committee using his work and study to help edit scripture to make it more available to both sexes. Well, maybe that wasn’t so good since the FBI had to intervene at that point because the members of that committee received death threats – through the National Council as well as at their homes. The minorities we have heard from or heard about include African Americans, Jews, Latina’s, Immigrants, and more.
We could go on for pages with how Dr. Bennett spent his life, but that is all well documented. We are outlining here the way this society tried to strip him of the quality of his life, making horrible the end of his life, his assets, his reputation and so much more. Who? Which institutions? The Commonwealth of Massachusetts through its Somerville Cambridge Elder and Protective Services. Particularly its ‘Protective Services”
Recently, they were dubbed #1 in the state. That was not even surprising to us because we knew the forces which support such institutions would be coming to their assistance to try to drown out what Dr. Bennett and his wife were exposing.
The real “tell” of what was in store for Dr. Bennett happened when 8 white Cambridge police arrived at Dr. Bennett’s home demanding to remove him from his home to put him into the psych ward at Mount Auburn Hospital. Besides the eight white policemen there were TWO ambulances, five or six EMT’s and assorted people. No one knew where all the people were coming from until a neighbor of the Donaldson-Bennett family saw and talked about all the attention the police and their coterie were receiving as people came running from the Charles River to see what was happening with all the police and people and police cars parked and left in the middle of the street around the Bennett/Donaldson home.
The police arrived to force Dr. Bennett into the Mount Auburn Hospital psych ward. He was just a couple days out of MGH after brain surgery and had no relationship to Mount Auburn Hospital. He had a very low opinion of Mount Auburn Hospital, had expressed his concern for the racism he knew about as a minister. His family insisted that if he had to go someplace it be to the hospital he left just days earlier. After some back and forth the police agreed. They did not, however, arrive with any Court papers to back up their demands. After quite awhile and with Marceline Donaldsons’ insistence they produced such a paper which was a Section 12 – used by the police to hospitalize people who have had too much to drink and were a public nuisance; people who overdosed on drugs; people having a psychiatric break of some kind and are endangering the public, etc.
Rev. Dr. Bennett did not fit any of those categories. In fact, once in MGH having been forced into the psych ward after leaving days earlier having been discharged from the Neurology Department and having undergone the indignity of having been examined against his will by one of the MGH psychiatrists, Dr. Bennett was found to be someone who should not have been so treated. They saw no reason for his having been picked up and forced into the hospital in the first place. No medicines prescribed no reason for his having been forced into MGH nor did they find any reason to keep him. So the Section 12 was lifted and Dr. Bennett was sent home.
Somerville Cambridge Elder and Protective Services are the group – the state agency which signed out the Section 12 against Dr. Bennett. No one at that agency knew Dr. Bennett – no one there had ever interviewed him – no one had any kind of relationship with him of any kind. They would not have known him if they passed him on the street.
Dr. Rebecca Warner, the psychiatrist who had Dr. Bennett so “committed” said on the papers she signed to send him to the hospital with which she was affiliated – Mount Auburn Hospital – where several African Americans have complained of their very racist treatment – that she did not know Dr. Bennett, had never met him, had never examined him, had never been to his home – but she claimed his home was ‘not safe’. So much for medical ethics and why does she still have a license to practice?
After Dr. Bennett was released from MGH it is as if enormous anger broke out amongst the people at Somerville Cambridge Elder and Protective Services. Who did he think he was, after all. And then the fun started.
Attorney James O’Sullivan, who was given an award by the Archbishop O’Malley for the great work he supposedly does amongst the poor, especially the poor elderly, was in Court the very next day with an “emergency motion.” As we did research on Attorney O’Sullivan and the award he was given we discovered that the last recipient was ex-Attorney General Bill Barr. There is something wrong in the Diocese that this is the case, especially with the elderly because much suffering has happened and been condoned by Archbishop O’Malley with such an award.
O’Sullivan is actually someone known to use and from this experience abuse “emergency motions”. He asked the Court not to notify Dr. Bennett of the hearing, claimed he was not capable of participating, claimed Dr. Bennett was “indigent” and asked for “Protective Orders” so Dr. Bennett would not be further hurt, etc. Attorney O’Sullivan was acting on behalf of his clients, but he had never met Dr. Bennett nor his wife nor his adult children yet he talked knowingly about someone he was asking the Court to forcibly remove from his home and family and put into a psych ward for reasons not even clearly spelled out in Court.
The “Protective Orders’ were against Dr. Bennett’s wife who Attorney O’Sullivan claimed was abusive to Dr. Bennett and because of that Dr. Bennett was in grave danger. The Court refused to give Attorney O’Sullivan the “Protective Orders”.
What Attorney O’Sullivan did not tell the Court that this was not his first move against Dr. Bennett on behalf of Somerville Cambridge Elder and Protective Services. He did not tell the Court that his first move failed because it should not have been filed in the first place. He did not tell the Court the hospital into which Somerville Cambridge Elder and Protective Services tried to force Dr. Bennett dismissed and lifted the Section 12 his clients tried to get against Dr. Bennett. As we further investigated we found Somerville Cambridge Elder and Protective services were trying to have Dr. Bennett committed for an extensive time in Mount Auburn Hospital’s psych ward and they had no reason, authority nor anything else to have pushed themselves into this family nor to try such a thing.
Leaving out the most important information when Attorney O’Sullivan went to Court, what he included was the lie which said Dr. Bennett needed to be represented by attorneys, but said Attorney O’Sullivan on behalf of Somerville Cambridge Elder and Protective Services – Dr. Bennett was “indigent” and could not afford attorneys. Since O’Sullivan claimed Dr. Bennett could not afford attorneys and asked for a state appointed attorney, the Court appointed Cheri Myette to represent Dr. Bennett without Dr. Bennett’s knowledge – without anyone speaking to Dr. Bennett or his family about all of this and Dr. Bennett still not being notified of any motions filed in Court against him and with Attorney O’Sullivan moving ahead with an ex parte motion to take away Dr. Bennett’s freedom in violation of state law. To circumvent state law, Attorney O’Sullivan on behalf of his clients constructed what we have been told has been done many times against elderly black people in Massachusetts and other places – a series of court events which actually did not take place as represented, but put in place to be able to “win” against Dr. Bennett who then had all of his rights taken away from him as though this was a fascist Court system which sets up a case without the defendant knowing anything about the case against him and putting in place what was needed to move against the Defendant giving a public relations set of motions, etc. so the plaintiffs – Somerville Cambridge Elder and Protective Services could gain their ends without going through the democratic process, but coming out with the result they wanted with this very fascist way of functioning. It is common today and many are in great pain because of this allowed way of functioning violating everything this country and its court system stands for.
Attorney Myette immediately filed a motion – in Rev. Dr. Bennett’s name without Rev. Bennett’s knowledge or consent. That motion had Dr. Bennett swearing to the attorneys claims that he was “indigent” and needed the state to pay his bills and that his wife was guilty of elder abuse against him.
Dr. Bennett knew nothing about that motion. In fact, that motion stayed very “secret” for quite some time because it was immediately impounded by the Court as soon as it was filed by Attorney Myette. We found out about it when someone put the papers showing that through the mail slot at the Donaldson/Bennett home with copy of the motion and more papers having to do with the workings of SCES and some of the papers needed for Dr. Bennett which had been withheld.
Because the Court appointed an attorney for Dr. Bennett even though Robert Bennett knew nothing about any of this – the Court moved ahead and gave the attorneys who were clearly conspiring with each other over this the right to have Rev. Bennett picked up by the police, forced out of his home for a second time and forced into the psych ward of MGH.
When the police arrived with this Court order, copy of which they again refused to give to Dr. Bennett or his wife or to anyone else in the house at that time, but insisted on taking him out of his house and if he refused they would carry him out. They said to all present that if anything was broken in the process of chasing all over the house looking for Dr. Bennett to drag him out of his own home, it was not their fault or responsibility and they claimed the Court gave them the authority to go anyplace in the Bennett/Donaldson’s home that they had to go to get Dr. Bennett and drag him out if necessary. They claimed Dr. Bennett was in grave danger because of the abuse they accused his wife of and because he was alone with no one else to care for him.
That was March 6th at 6pm. A Friday. Dr. Bennett’s wife was not allowed to see him from the time he was shoved into MGH for more than a week. She had to have the attorneys they hired go to MGH to negotiate some way for her to see him. When she tried to see him she was told many different things like Dr. Bennett did not want to see her; Dr. Bennett had been to court to get a restraining order against her which said she could not come near him; Dr. Bennett was asked and declined to see her. In actual fact, Dr. Bennett knew nothing about this. He was told his wife had done this to him and didn’t want to see him ever again. All of this time, Dr. Bennett was being drugged apparently by MGH people getting him ready for his “independent Exam” by Dr. Rebecca Warner. When she was finally able to see him he didn’t recognize her, he was so groggy he couldn’t keep his eyes open and more.
What was happening at the Bennett/Donaldson home at the time Attorney O’Sullivan was in court describing Dr. Bennett as being alone, destitute with an abusive wife and no one to care for him or protect him? Dr. Bennett, his wife, his adult daughter, his adult son and his wife were about to sit down to a candlelight dinner. They spent the day cooking and preparing for this celebration meal because Robert’s surgery was a success and they were giving thanks. Robert Bennett did not have dinner that day because the police and hospital were so concerned about him they shoved him in a corner of a room and left him there.
When Dr. Bennett arrived at MGH and was shoved into a room, he was immediately started on anti-psychotics; anti-seizure medications, hallucinatory drugs, blood thinners forced on a man just days from brain surgery, plus 10 more medicines. 10 days later Dr. Rebecca Warner shows up at MGH to do what she called an “Independent Exam” although she is affiliated with Mount Auburn Hospital. She – the one who signed out the Section 12 against Dr. Bennett for which the Commonwealth of Massachusetts paid her $2,000 because, after all, Dr. Bennett was “indigent”. So many people and institutions road that “indigent” gravy train that our minds have been twirled around many times trying to nail down all of it.
Dr. Warner appeared 10 days after Dr. Bennett was forced to take all of the above drugs, which he did not want, but did not have a choice. Examining him those 10 days later – a man who did not want to be there and constantly wanted to leave, but was kept on an alarm blanket on his bed so nurses would be notified if he tried to get out of bed; he could move to a chair next to the bed, but that was also alarmed and he could not move without someone moving him; being forced to take medicines which could do serious and long term harm to him was then given an “Independent Exam” – which he already had been given the first time he was taken to MGH, but the circumstances were very different. This time, Dr Warner found him to be “incapacitated”. Those drugs were not put on his medical chart until months after Marceline Donaldson discovered the discrepancy and insisted on an answer as to why. They knew about the drugs because they were sent home with him with MGH insisting that he be required to continue to take them daily or he would be brought back to the hospital for a more “permanent” commitment.
How did would they know if Dr. Bennett was not taking the drugs? Dr. Bennett’s family was forced to accept a Home Health Care Company coming to the house daily – 5 or 6 people each day going in and out of the house during the time of the Pandemic. They were supposed to give him the pills and watch while he swallowed them. And – one thing that resulted from this – Dr. Bennett was sexually abused in the process. His family reported all of this to the Massachusetts District Attorney and the Attorney General’s Office and to the office of Elder Services. None of them paid any attention and in spite of the fact that there were witnesses, none of those institutions bothered to contact and/or interview those witnesses.
Before his transport to the MGH he was walking, talking, in a good state of mind and friends interacted with him – he walked to Harvard Square – sat by the river to soak up the sun and more. When he was sent home from MGH some 5 weeks later he was in horrible shape. He had no shoes on – his feet were swollen and his shoes didn’t fit – he hadn’t been able to get out of bed for five weeks and at Dr. Bennett’s age that could have been a death sentence or one which would have produced an “incapacitated” person for the rest of his life. He looked as though he had been homeless on the street for years. and he could not walk. That is what MGH and SCES contributed to Dr. Bennett’s “health”. It was disgraceful and heartbreaking.
The Court Order said Dr. Bennett was being taken to MGH not for medical reasons, but because of elder abuse and because of that they had to immediately take him from his home. They treated him in a disgraceful way. He spent the five weeks in a space 7 by 9 feet and he shared that space with unused hospital equipment. He shared the room with someone else who had two beautiful picture windows, the sun coming through, a chaise lounge kind of chair he could sit in during the day and a lot more. Dr. Bennett didn’t see the sun because curtains were kept drawn around his bed. If you entered his room you would not know anyone else was in that room.
We are finding others who have gone through the same thing. The elderly are particularly vulnerable because most who have gone through this have not fought civil rights battles the way the Donaldson/Bennett’s have nor have they had any other fights so they are ‘taken over’ by people like Nora Al Wet-Aid and Angela Clary with the acquiescence and consent of their superiors.
During the entire time no one talked to Dr. Bennett. They did what they wanted to do and what they felt they needed to do pursuing the goal they have for people like him. Being moved from a psych ward into a nursing home for life with the Court’s permission to feed him and others like him anti-psychotics for life along with others drugs which ruin their health and the quality of their life. Why? Assets!
Dr. Bennett’s wife was told – and a letter to other lawyers attest to the fact – that she would be given a small stipend and could find a room someplace – maybe even with her own bathroom because the family’s assets would be needed and taken over by a Guardianship Corporation – drained down by that Corporation to supposedly pay for Dr. Bennett’s bills.
It gets worse from here so we won’t go through all of the gory details, but as you read this can you imagine Senator Danforth being so treated? Or reaching out to help someone like Rev. Dr. Bennett? And how have others in the Episcopal Church reacted?
As you read this we hope you realize the very authoritarian system in which the health care institutions are functioning and the way it is so much easier to have blacks put out of commission with their assets stripped so their children cannot inherit and therefore lose the edge in this society that assets inherited would bring to them.
Add to that the very aggressive stripping of the vote from minorities which is what Senator Hawley – who was backed by Senator Danforth – is trying to do with his attempted takeover of a democracy turning it into an authoritarian government.
Dr. Bennett, who hired attorneys to represent him was not able to be represented by the attorneys of his choice. The Court appointed an attorney to represent him before he even knew he needed any kind of representation. Dr. Bennett was not “indigent” and paid the retainers requested by those attorneys. Didn’t matter. The attorney appointed by the Court in an “emergency motion” about which Dr. Bennett knew nothing – he was not served or contacted in any way; the attorney so appointed by the Court did not contact him she simply did what others told her to do, resulted in the “dictatorship over” way he was treated during every moment of what must have been a nightmarish experience for him. He was treated as though these United States are a system of “dictatorships over” in the areas necessary for whites to keep control.
There is talk of “defunding the police”. The problem is much more serious than what is happening with the arrest and killings of blacks and other minorities who supposedly have committed some kind of crime. When the police can push their way into your home without your knowledge of why or what for and can forcibly take you out for no reason the ‘police problem’ in this society needs to have its entire structure and what it can do unearthed before any solutions are sought or rendered.
When the people, like Senator Danforth, with the power and money are calling the shots on who is elected; who is appointed to important positions in this society which can bring substantial changes to our individual and collective lives those people need to be highlighted and call out on what they are doing and why they are allowed to wield so much more power and have so much more money than the rest of society.
We are still living in a “slave society” which we inherited from the many generations who went before. Instead of looking at that and making major changes, we are playing games with “riots” and attempting to force those changes in physical ways which will most hurt those making the physical and psychic sacrifices to bring in a new way of being in society, which will simply bring a more concentrated form of wealth and power to the aristocracy at the top calling the shots – manipulating the strings of the puppets who are dancing without any thought to what it is they are doing.
Don’t you think it is time to stop all of this? Don’t you think it is time for us to live in some other kind of community which benefits all? That is such an incredible threat to most we are afraid to even go there. We might encounter people who don’t look like us – talk like us – have our history – etc, etc, etc. and isn’t that the greatest threat of all?