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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
"…what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you."
– Liam Neeson, Taken
Having served as an airline pilot for 33 years, I came into the Human Intervention Motivation Study (HIMS) program from the unique perspective of being, in my “other life,” a political activist and writer for more than 25 years. Trained in hard-core grassroots mobilization tactics in the 1990s, I learned to make an art of extracting compliance from governmental bodies and corporations.
Initially overwhelmed by people who wanted to “help” me, I succumbed to the HIMS program. Gradually, however, I realized that the more I adopted the program’s demands for powerlessness, gratitude, and surrender to God (a.k.a. your “higher power”), the more miserable I became. It also began to dawn on me that the HIMS program was really about control. Namely, placing as many pilots as possible under the thumb of a cabal of airline management and substance abuse quacks who could end their careers at any time, for any reason.
Then came the fateful day when my chief pilot, using something I said during a HIMS meeting, committed a potential violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is supposed to protect recovering alcoholics as well as those who reject religion. When I had the audacity to speak of the violation at a HIMS monthly monitoring meeting, the retaliation began.
What happened next was straight out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I was removed from the line and remanded to the company psychiatrist for “evaluation” (read that “re-education”). Next, when I was deemed insufficiently supplicant, I was kept out of work and remanded to anger management counseling. Finally, when I refused to allow them complete access to every bit of my life in their effort to gather information to get rid of me, the psychiatrist, who made his living by rubber-stamping airline decisions, tried to diagnose me with “narcissistic personality disorder” – a diagnosis he himself described as “potentially career-ending.”
Please note that through all of this, I carefully complied with all program requirements, including complete abstinence from mood-altering substances, with the intent of giving them no concrete excuse to eject me from the program. But HIMS personnel accustomed to subjects either drinking the Kool-Aid, playing “cooperate to graduate,” failing out of the program or, occasionally, committing suicide, were unprepared to deal with someone willing and able to use their every abuse of power against them.
Before the skeptic in you says, “This guy is probably just a malcontent,” understand that each and every step I made was with the prior review of lawyers and behavioral health specialists not associated with HIMS, all of whom were appalled at the atrocities to which I was being subjected.
As I write this, the maneuvering continues. But whatever the ultimate financial disposition, I have won by escaping with my personality intact. What follows is my effort to spare you the pain and injury HIMS routinely inflicts on its victims..